Special Sub-Topic: Bizarre Bible
|The odds of a person with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot being allowed to join the army these days are pretty slim!
In 2 Samuel, the Bible describes a battle where there was "a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number."
Whereabouts did this battle take place?|
Gath. In 2 Samuel 21:20, we hear about this "giant man" who had been born with twelve fingers and twelve toes.
Our "digitally enhanced" man defied Israel, and was thus slain by Jonathan, son of Shime'e-ah, and nephew of David.
2 Samuel 21:18-22 basically tells us the story of how a group of giant Philistines were slain by David's men.
|Now that Pope Benedict XVI has declared genetic engineering to be a mortal sin, I wonder whether Jacob would be exempt from going to hell?
Jacob, after being forced to work for over 14 years for Laban just to marry Rachel, increased his own flocks at Laban's expense. Annoyed, Laban, the rotter, tried to cheat Jacob by taking all the striped and spotted cattle in his herd. Jacob, for some reason, didn't seem to like the plain-coloured cattle that were left, and so decided to "genetically engineer" new striped cattle.
How did Jacob go about doing this?|
He created white stripes in various types of rods, and planted them near the cattle, in the hopes that the cattle would see them whilst mating, and thus give birth to striped young.. Yup. Apparently having your cattle watch stripy rods whilst copulating is the answer to getting them to give birth to healthy, stripy young calves.
"And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chestnut tree; and pilled white streaks in them, and made the white appear, which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ring-streaked, speckled and spotted."
Genetically and scientifically speaking, this is HIGHLY improbable. And just what exactly is wrong with plain-coloured cattle?
|From the cradle to the grave. We're born, we die, right? Not all of us. There were two men in the Bible who never actually "died" per se, but were rather, bizarrely, taken up to heaven very gracefully by God.
Who were these two men, who managed to escape death?|
Elijah and Enoch. Elijah and Enoch were two characters in the Bible who managed to escape an experience that most of us are 100% sure of having; death.
2 Kings 2:11-12 tells us how Elijah and Elisha were walking along together, talking, when suddenly, a chariot of fire, drawn by horses of fire appeared, creating a whirlwind, which whisked Elijah up and away to heaven.
According to Hebrews 11:5, Enoch was taken from this life by faith. Genesis 5:21-24 tells us how after Enoch had lived for 365 years, he walked away with God, and was seen no more.
|It's a common belief that anybody who should see God's face would not live to tell about it. The Book of Exodus tells us an interesting, and somewhat amusing, story about Moses and this very concept...
Moses, worried about his leadership of his people, asked God to "see His glory." God would not let Moses His face. What did God consent to letting Moses see?|
His backside. God sure does have some VERY mysterious ways!
Exodus 33 tells us of God's promise help Moses and the people of Israel "drive out the people of the land," and to make His presence known to them. God agreed to let Moses "see His glory" (Exodus 33:18), and told him to stand on a rock to prepare himself for seeing his Creator. God did, however, say to Moses that he could not see God's face, as no mortal could do so and live. He did, however, consent to letting Moses see His back parts.
"And He said, thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by: and I will take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shall not bee seen."
It's not clear as to whether God was referring to his back or his bum. Whatever the case may be, it makes for a pretty good theological debate.
|An oldie, but a goodie...
We all know that Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt. What was God's reason for doing this?|
She looked back on Sodom and Gomorrah whilst they were being destroyed. When God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because the citizens are evil, Lot and his family were allowed to leave the city of Sodom safely. However, one catch was that neither Lot nor his family were allowed to look back under ANY circumstance. Lot's wife, however, glanced longingly back at the place that she had once called home, as it was destroyed with fire and brimstone. As a punishment, God turned her into a pillar of salt.
An account of Lot's wife's unfortunate fate can be found in Genesis 19:24-26.
|The phrase "crazy in love" really takes on a whole new meaning here!
Young David was absolutely crazy for Saul's daughter, Michal. Saul, not being one to miss an opportunity, told David that he would give him Michal if he collected a certain number of foreskins from the opposing Philistine army. How many foreskins did Saul want David to collect?|
One hundred. Quite an... interesting form of a dowry. However, David was successful, and was able to marry Michal.
1 Samuel 18:25-28 tells us of how when David asked Saul for Michal's hand in marriage, Saul saw this as a golden opportunity to either have David (whom he didn't like much) killed, or alternatively, slay some of his Philistine enemies, and gave David the task of bringing him 100 foreskins of the slain Philistines. David (obviously VERY determined to marry Michal) returned with not only 100 foreskins, but 200! Needless to say, Saul was forced to let Michal marry David.
Crazy in love indeed!
|Getting mad at a tree might be something we'd expect from a crazy person, right? Wrong. Jesus once got pretty mad at a tree because it didn't have any fruit for him.
What kind of tree did Jesus eventually curse because it didn't respond (it's a tree) to his command?|
A fig tree. Both Matthew 21:18-22 and Mark 11:12-14 tell of this story.
Basically, both stories tell of how Jesus was coming out of the city of Bethany with his disciples, and stumbled across a fig tree. Unfortunately, because figs were out of season at this point, the tree was not bearing any fruit, and bore only leaves. Jesus then cursed the fig tree to death, saying "let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever."
The moral of the story does not seem entirely clear, at least not to me. Just always have an abundance of fruit ready at all times, even if you are a tree, I guess!
|In 2 Kings, 42 youths were mauled to death by two female bears after having mocked Elisha. What were the youths teasing Elisha about?|
His baldness. Elisha, although a very wise prophet, suffered from male pattern baldness. Whilst leaving the city of Bethel, some children from the city came up to him and started mocking his baldness. Annoyed, Elisha turned around and cursed them in the name of the Lord. At this point, two female bears appeared from the woods and mauled 42 of the children to death.
An account of this can be found in 2 Kings 2:23-25.
The lesson learnt? Always be nice to bald people!
|The Book of Daniel tells us the story of King Belshazzer, who, whilst hosting a great feast for over a thousand nobles, saw something that REALLY freaked him out. What did King Belshazzer see?|
Fingers materialising out of thin air. Daniel 5 tells us the story of King Belshazzer, and how he saw fingers of a human hand materialise out of thin air, and begin writing on the wall. This scared the living daylights out of King Belshazzer, so that "his countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that joint of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another."
Belshazzer, perturbed by the mysterious writing, declared that anyone who could interpret the writing would be clothed in scarlet, receive a gold chain around his neck, and be promoted to third ruler of the kingdom. He called up all his magi (wise men), who were unable to interpret the writing. Finally, at the suggestion of the queen, he called up Daniel, now an old man, who had already made himself known for his dream interpreting skills. Daniel was successful in interpreting the writing on the wall, and was promoted to third ruler of the kingdom.
|And now, for the question you've all been waiting for ... Let's hear about the streakers of the Bible!
Which Old Testament prophet walked around stark staring naked for three years as a way of showing the people of Israel the message God wanted him to give them?|
Isaiah. "And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia."
Turns out that streaking isn't such a new, college-kid thing to do!
Another instance of streaking in the Bible is the time that Mark, one of Jesus' friends, became a naked runner when, as Jesus was being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, soldiers attempted to seize Mark, but succeeded only in grabbing his outer garment. There are a few others as well, such as Joseph leaving his garments with Potiphar's wife; and of course, Adam and Eve, who wandered naked around the Garden of Eden!
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