There is simply too much content in the Old Testament for one ABCs. Therefore, the honest and respectful analysis of the most violent and unhinged Testament of the Bible must continue. I will concentrate on other characters, artifacts and scripture, as well as some of the weirdest books of the Old Testament
Ark Of The Covenant Boy, Howdy, this thing. The Ark is by far the most terrifying non-human or non-god thing in the Bible. It is an altar for fiery and bloody sacrifices “as an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord” (Leviticus 3:2-5)
Supposedly, the Ark was just sort of a traveling deposit box for the original Ten Commandments, but in reality, it was a killing machine that would make The Terminator blush.
The Ark made its rounds, but everyone that was associated with the thing regretted it. Tens of thousands died because of this dangerous artifact, and when the Philistines captured it, it inflicted plagues of rats and tumors on them. After 7 months, they shipped it back to the Israelites (I Samuel 5:6-12; 6:1-12)
Balaam and his Talking Donkey This is one of the strangest and most inexplicable stories in a Testament that is just filled to the brim with nonsense. (Numbers 22:21-2-34)
Not even the most ambitious and creative apologist can make any sense out of this totally ridiculous lie in the Bible, that you will just have to read for yourself.
Cross-Dressing God forbids it. (Deuteronomy 22:5) “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”
Check out the highest-ranking member of God’s church and tell me what you think.
Daniel was a character that a familiar tale taught in Sunday School, but again, there is more to Daniel than the familiar fare about the survival in the lion’s den, the writing on the wall, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego surviving the furnace. David had the job of preaching to the heathens, especially the whacky King Nebuchadnezzar.
What you didn’t hear in Sunday School was that after Daniel survived the lion’s den, innocent men, women and children were thrown in instead, to be torn to bits by the lions. God was never one to waste an opportunity for violence, and Daniel did not utter a peep in protest.
Ecclesiastes This strange book, written by an unknown author, but sometimes credited to Solomon, reads like the “anti-proverbs”. Its words are filled with despair (and reality for a change), about the human condition.
“All things are wearisome…What has been done, will be done again, and even those who are yet to come will not be known by those that follow.” (Ecclesiastes I 8-11)
I have to give the writer of Ecclesiastes credit, he really nails, especially this line, “A feast is made for laughter and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer to everything.” (Ecclesiastes 10-19). It is only at the end of the book that “fearing God” is mentioned.
Foreskins (Part II) In my first OT article, I touched briefly on the creepy and violent origin of this ritualistic mutilation. (See: Foreskins and King David)
Far from being just a “holy” ritual, circumcision was used in trickery and war as shown in these brutal verses (Genesis 34:24-25)
“All the men who went out of the city gate agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male in the city was circumcised.“
Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male.”
Lastly, we have this inexplicable verse (Deuteronomy 10:16). Apparently other body parts can be snipped, either literally or figuratively, it still makes no sense.
“So, circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.”
God Is Not Pro-Life Contrary to the fervent belief of most Evangelicals today, God was hardly pro-life in the Old Testament. There are a host of verses where murder and abortion are sanctioned by God, decreeing those women be “ripped up and ripped open” (Hosea 9:11-16, 13:16). God also has no problem with the killing of infants and young children, either. (See: Killing of Children)
Heaven Just like in its counter-destination Hell, there is not a lot said about Heaven in the Old Testament. There are some vague verses about “dwelling in the house of the Lord” (Psalms 23:6) and Heaven being a place of joy and everlasting life, but there are few specifics. Enoch was supposedly “whisked away” [to Heaven] for being a good boy, but the details are practically nil (Genesis 5:24)
Iron Chariots There are many embarrassing verses in the Old Testament for God, who was supposedly omnipotent. There is a particular account, where God states that he is “With the men of Judea”, meaning of course that they were bound to win the battle. However, God and the Judeans were defeated (Judges 1:19) because:
“The Lord was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had chariots fitted with iron.”
Job “God does not play dice” -Albert Einstein This quote was not directed at God and Job, but the story of Job is one of the most despicable and odious stories in the Bible. I guess God was bored or paranoid, or both as he made a wager with Satan.
Job was the most righteous man on Earth at the time, and was living a splendid and fruitful life. Satan bet God that Job wouldn’t be so righteous if he were smitten, tortured and miserable, so God immediately took the bet, killed Job’s herds and 10 children and covers Job with sores.
Unlike the version you hear in Sunday School, Job cursed God in the following 29 chapters of the book. God was losing the bet, so he cheated, came down from Heaven in a whirlwind, (Job 38:1) and terrified Job into worshiping him again with promises that things could get even worse. This is God’s M.O., believe or ELSE!
Killing Children There are too many verses to list them all of the killing of children, with God’s approval, in the Old Testament. One of the most horrific is in (II Kings 2: 23-24). 42 little kids. They must have committed some horrific sin for this. Nope, just kids being brats and making fun of a bald-headed prophet. He curses them and God sends two bears to rip them to pieces. Take your time to think about this. Here is yet another verse about God’s love for his children.
“So give their children over to famine; hand them over to the power of the sword. Let their wives be made childless and widows; let their men be put to death, their young men slain by the sword in battle.” (Jeremiah 18:21)
Of course, you have the famous Sunday School story of the death of all the first-born of Egypt, where God hardened Pharoah’s heart, to make sure that the slaughter occurred.
Last, but not least is: “Happy is the one who seizes your infants, and dashes them against the rocks” (Psalms 137:9)
For more, see: (Numbers 31:17, Deuteronomy 2:34 & 3:6, II Kings 8:12, Isaiah 13:16, Hosea 10:14, Nahum 3:10)
Leviticus This book is both the “to do” list for haters and cherry-pickers as well as the ‘I’ll just ignore the inconvenient directives” for modern Christians.
In this book, God condemns male homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13), but also forbids eating shrimp, wearing Dacron-polyester, and having tattoos. (Leviticus 19:28).
God also goes into morbid detail about pus, semen, menstrual flow, skin diseases and personal hygiene. (Leviticus 13-15)
Manna From Heaven God provided heavenly bread for his chosen people as they were starving from all that wandering around, looking for the Promised Land. They complained to God, begging him for a little meat.
God is not happy, but sends a flock of quail for the starving people to eat. God then changes his mind and kills the meat-eaters with a plague (Numbers 11:4-5,31-34)
Numbers This book, along with Judges, is one of the most horrifying, violent and misogynistic books in the Old Testament. There are stoning’s, butchery and plagues sent by, or approved by God, but he outdoes himself when he commands the men of Israel to totally annihilate the Midianites. What follows are perhaps the most notorious verses in the Bible.
They killed all the men, but took the women and children as slaves. God is not happy and commands through Moses:
“Kill every male among the little ones. And kill every woman who has known a man by sleeping with him. But all the young girls who have not known a man by sleeping with him, keep alive for yourselves.” (Numbers 31:1-18)
Obadiah This is the shortest book in the Old Testament being only 21 verses long. No one knew who this Obadiah was and the short book is about yet another tribal quarrel.
Proverbs This book is supposedly composed of the best nuggets of God-approved wisdom, but get a load of some of these directives.
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout, is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” (Proverbs 11:22)
“The poor are disliked even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends“(Proverbs 14:20) NOTE: So much for the rich man/poor man lesson in the New Testament.
“Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost beings (Proverbs 20:30)
“A bribe is a charm to the one who gives it; Wherever he turns, he succeeds (Proverbs 17:8)
Queerness Homosexuality has probably existed since the dawn of modern homo sapiens, but with few exceptions has been repressed by the major religions. Even today, some religions prescribe punishment by death for homosexuality. (From Wiki)
“Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria (some states in northern Nigeria), Saudi Arabia, and Yemen—homosexual activity is punishable by death.”
The Old Testament, of course, is no different in its fomentation of hate. (See Leviticus)
Regicide There is a lot of smiting, plunder and murder in the Old Testament, most notably of women, children and other tribes that were constantly facing the swords of God’s chosen people, but the fat cats did not escape the carnage.
There are at least 15 references to the murder of kings in the Old Testament, and one of the grisliest was found in (Judges 3:16-23).
“Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his palace and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat, Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.”
Song of Songs A.K.A. The Song of Solomon is another embarrassing book that the present-day religiously impaired wished had not been included in their holy writ.
This book was mercifully edited from its original target of affection, a homosexual love affair, even though many religious scholars are skeptical of this. However, with verses like this one, it is hard to not embrace the truth of this steamy passage (Song of Songs 2:3)
“Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my love come into his garden, and taste its choice fruits.”
Paging Dr. Freud, Dr. Freud, stat.
Time Stands Still The low-hanging fruit for impossible whoppers in the Bible are plentiful, and easy to find. One of the most outrageous lies is the account in Joshua, where the sun stood still for 24 hours, and the Earth ceased to rotate on its axis for a day.
Of course, this is physically impossible. Any such event would result in the instant death of all of Earth’s inhabitants. (Joshua 10:13) Yet, the verses are there, in all their ridiculous lying glory.
“ And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.”
Unicorns These animals are just another Biblical embarrassment that modern-day Bible-thumpers wish that the numerous editors of their holy word had quietly gotten rid of. There are at least NINE verses in the Old Testament that mention this mythical creature.
The apologists actually state: “Unicorns in the Bible are not like the fairy tales. “Unicorns are actual animals, they are powerful with either one or two horns”
Veracity or Mendacity? Any logical and thinking person, who is not hamstrung by cognitive dissonance or confirmation bias, should be able to see that the Bible is just a pack of lies. The Old Testament, of course, is the most offensive of the two Testaments because of the omnipresence of its most blood-thirsty character, God.
The Old Testament was written by a rag-tag crew of primitive and very violent animal herders, with little knowledge of how the world works. In today’s day of science and enlightenment, it is absurd to cling to these myths, perpetuated by threats and fear, as somehow being fact.
Willful Ignorance Can be used to describe anyone who believes the lies in the Old Testament.
Xtianity How we got from this (The Old Testament) to this (Christianity) is the greatest non-sequitur of all time.
Yossarian was correct about God “How much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements?” (Catch-22 by Joseph Heller)
Zephaniah and Zechariah are mercifully bringing to an end the depressing drones of the gloom and doom prophets of the Old Testament.
“I will utterly sweep away everything…I will sweep away humans and animals; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea…I will cut off humanity from the face of the Earth.” (Zephaniah 1:2-3)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it. It sucked to be a prophet of this God.