3 weird Bible Stories you didn’t hear in Sunday School
Recently, I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover. It was a noble attempt, of course. I certainly embraced a smugness as I ticked the boxes on my plan and read my way through Genesis. I revelled in the familiarity of the creation story, the sibling rivalry of Cain and Abel and Noah’s heroic building of the ark. And then - the Bible started to get really weird. I went from quietly meditative to bolt upright as my inner man (or woman as the case may be) reacted with a full and hearty “I’m sorry, what?!” Here are 3 of the weirdest Bible stories of the Old Testament.
1. The other bad hair day.
We all know the Samson and Delilah story. I think we can agree it’s unusual. But wait until you hear the tale of the other bad hair day. We’re in 2 Samuel 18, and David’s army are heading off to battle. His son, Absalom, is among the warriors, gallantly riding his mule into battle with the best of them. Until, unfortunately, his hair gets caught on a low branch of an oak tree. So entangled it is, he just hangs there. He hangs there long enough for his enemies to have a chat about it, then go back and stick a javelin through his heart. It seems the Bible has no clear message on long hair. Strength or weakness?
2. Foreskins, please.
Given most of us won’t even talk about sex in church, the Bible certainly doesn’t have a problem with discussing the most private of parts. In 1 Samuel 18:20, Saul is having a fit about David, who is not only a better warrior than him, but all the women are singing about it. Looking for a covert way to get David killed off, Saul sends him to the frontline to earn the honour of marriage to his daughter. The price…wait for it…100 Philistine foreskins. Why foreskins? I suppose it’s not that much weirder than scalping. No, it is. It really is. Incidentally, once again proving himself as the victor, David brings back 200. Now that must have annoyed Saul.
3. Shh, I’m talking to my a**. (My donkey, obviously)
Has anyone actually read the book of Numbers? You should. At least the bit about the talking Donkey. In Numbers 22, Balaam is riding his donkey and an angel appears three times. Each time the Donkey does something unusual and Balaam beats him. Eventually, the donkey starts to talk back in an exasperated attempt to alert Balaam to the fact that something unusual and holy is happening. That’s right, talk back. Now, you would probably feel like an a** if it takes your a** to point out a massive messenger Angel in your path. As you can imagine, Balaam very quickly starts to pay attention. Let that be a lesson to us all.
And that’s just the beginning. Whoever said the Bible was boring? This is the best read I’ve had in years.