Note: In the Bible, words having to do with killing significantly outnumber words having to do with love.
It begs the question how nice was God to his creation?
GE 3:1-7, 22-24 God allows Adam and Eve to be deceived by the Serpent (the craftiest of all of God’s wild creatures). They eat of the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil,” thereby incurring death for themselves and all of mankind for ever after. God prevents them from regaining eternal life, by placing a guard around the “Tree of Eternal Life.” (Note: God could have done the same for the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” in the first place and would thereby have prevented the Fall of man, the necessity for Salvation, the Crucifixion of Jesus, etc.)
GE 34:13-29 The Israelites kill Hamor, his son, and all the men of their village, taking as plunder their wealth, cattle, wives and children.
GE 6:11-17, 7:11-24 God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to do something about it. He kills every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah’s family and thereby makes himself the greatest mass murderer in history.
GE 38:9 “… whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked …, so the Lord put him to death.”
EX 2:12 Moses murders an Egyptian.
EX 7:1, 14, 9:14-16, 10:1-2, 11:7 The purpose of the devastation that God brings to the Egyptians is as follows:
to show that he is Lord;
to show that there is none like him in all the earth;
to show his great power;
to cause his name to be declared throughout the earth;
to give the Israelites something to talk about with their children;
to show that he makes a distinction between Israel and Egypt.
EX 9:22-25 A plague of hail from the Lord strikes down everything in the fields of Egypt both man and beast except in Goshen where the Israelites reside.
EX 12:29 The Lord kills all the first-born in the land of Egypt.
EX 17:13 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua mows down Amalek and his people.
EX 21:20-21 With the Lord’s approval, a slave may be beaten to death with no punishment for the perpetrator as long as the slave doesn’t die too quickly.
EX 32:27 “Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.
EX 32:27-29 With the Lord’s approval, the Israelites slay 3000 men.
LE 26:7-8 The Lord promises the Israelites that, if they are obedient, their enemies will “fall before your sword.”
LE 26:22 “I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children.”
NU 11:33 The Lord smites the people with a great plague.
NU 12:1-10 God makes Miriam a leper for seven days because she and Aaron had spoken against Moses.
NU 15:32-36 A Sabbath breaker (who had gathered sticks for a fire) is stoned to death at the Lord’s command.
NU 16:27-33 The Lord causes the earth to open and swallow up the men and their households (including wives and children) because the men had been rebellious.
NU 16:35 A fire from the Lord consumes 250 men.
NU 16:49 A plague from the Lord kills 14,700 people.
NU 21:3 The Israelites utterly destroy the Canaanites.
NU 21:6 Fiery serpents, sent by the Lord, kill many Israelites.
NU 21:35 With the Lord’s approval, the Israelites slay Og “… and his sons and all his people, until there was not one survivor left ….”
NU 25:4 (KJV) “And the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun ….”
NU 25:8 “He went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly.”
NU 25:9 24,000 people die in a plague from the Lord.
NU 31:9 The Israelites capture Midianite women and children.
NU 31:17-18 Moses, following the Lord’s command, orders the Israelites to kill all the Midianite male children and “… every woman who has known man ….” (Note: How would it be determined which women had known men? One can only speculate.)
NU 31:31-40 32,000 virgins are taken by the Israelites as booty. Thirty-two are set aside (to be sacrificed?) as a tribute for the Lord.
DT 2:33-34 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Sihon.
DT 3:6 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Og.
DT 7:2 The Lord commands the Israelites to “utterly destroy” and shown “no mercy” to those whom he gives them for defeat.
DT 20:13-14 “When the Lord delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the males …. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves.”
DT 20:16 “In the cities of the nations the Lord is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.”
DT 21:10-13 With the Lord’s approval, the Israelites are allowed to take “beautiful women” from the enemy camp to be their captive wives. If, after sexual relations, the husband has “no delight” in his wife, he can simply let her go.
DT 28:53 “You will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you.”
JS 6:21-27 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua destroys the city of Jericho men, women, and children with the edge of the sword.
JS 7:19-26 Achan, his children and his cattle are stoned to death because Achan had taken a taboo thing.
JS 8:22-25 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly smites the people of Ai, killing 12,000 men and women, so that there were none who escaped.
JS 10:10-27 With the help of the Lord, Joshua utterly destroys the Gibeonites.
JS 10:28 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Makkedah.
JS 10:30 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Libnahites.
JS 10:32-33 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Lachish.
JS 10:34-35 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Eglonites.
JS 10:36-37 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Hebronites.
JS 10:38-39 With the Lord’s approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Debirites.
JS 10:40 (A summary statement.) “So Joshua defeated the whole land …; he left none remaining, but destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.”
JS 11:6 The Lord orders horses to be hamstrung. (Exceedingly cruel.)
JS 11:8-15 “And the lord gave them into the hand of Israel, …utterly destroying them; there was none left that breathed ….”
JS 11:20 “For it was the Lord’s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be utterly destroyed, and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the Lord commanded Moses.”
JS 11:21-23 Joshua utterly destroys the Anakim.
JG 1:4 With the Lord’s support, Judah defeats 10,000 Canaanites at Bezek.
JG 1:6 With the Lord’s approval, Judah pursues Adoni-bezek, catches him, and cuts off his thumbs and big toes.
JG 1:8 With the Lord’s approval, Judah smites Jerusalem.
JG 1:17 With the Lord’s approval, Judah and Simeon utterly destroy the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath.
JG 3:29 The Israelites kill about 10,000 Moabites.
JG 3:31 (A restatement.) Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an oxgoad.
JG 4:21 Jael takes a tent stake and hammers it through the head of Sisera, fastening it to the ground.
JG 7:19-25 The Gideons defeat the Midianites, slay their princes, cut off their heads, and bring the heads back to Gideon.
JG 8:15-21 The Gideons slaughter the men of Penuel.
JG 9:5 Abimalech murders his brothers.
JG 9:45 Abimalech and his men kill all the people in the city.
JG 9:53-54 “A woman dropped a stone on his head and cracked his skull. Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say a woman killed me.’ So his servant ran him through, and he died.”
JG 11:29-39 Jepthah sacrifices his beloved daughter, his only child, according to a vow he has made with the Lord.
JG 14:19 The Spirit of the Lord comes upon a man and causes him to slay thirty men.
JG 15:15 Samson slays 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass.
JG 16:21 The Philistines gouge out Samson’s eyes.
JG 16:27-30 Samson, with the help of the Lord, pulls down the pillars of the Philistine house and causes his own death and that of 3000 other men and women.
JG 18:27 The Danites slay the quiet and unsuspecting people of Laish.
JG 19:22-29 A group of sexual depraved men beat on the door of an old man’s house demanding that he turn over to them a male house guest. Instead, the old man offers his virgin daughter and his guest’s concubine (or wife): “Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine; let me bring them out now. Ravish them and do with them what seems good to you; but against this man do not do so vile a thing.” The man’s concubine is ravished and dies. The man then cuts her body into twelve pieces and sends one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
JG 20:43-48 The Israelites smite 25,000+ “men of valor” from amongst the Benjamites, “men and beasts and all that they found,” and set their towns on fire.
JG 21:10-12 “… Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword and; also the women and little ones…. every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall utterly destroy.” They do so and find four hundred young virgins whom they bring back for their own use.
1SA 4:10 The Philistines slay 30,000 Israelite foot soldiers.
1SA 5:6-9 The Lord afflicts the Philistines with tumors in their “secret parts,” presumably for having stolen the Ark.
1SA 6:19 God kills seventy men (or so) for looking into the Ark (at him?). (Note: The early Israelites apparently thought the Ark to be God’s abode.)
1SA 7:7-11 Samuel and his men smite the Philistines.
1SA 11:11 With the Lord’s blessing, Saul and his men cut down the Ammonites.
1SA 14:31 Jonathan and his men strike down the Philistines.
1SA 14:48 Saul smites the Amalekites.
1SA 15:3, 7-8 “This is what the Lord says: Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass ….’ And Saul … utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.”
1SA 15:33 “Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord ….”
1SA 18:7 The women sing as they make merry: “Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands.”
1SA 27:8-11 “David left neither man nor woman alive ….”. (Note: This implies that children and infants were included in the slaughter.)
1SA 30:17 David smites the Amalekites.
2SA 2:23 Abner kills Asahel.
2SA 3:30 Joab and Abishai kill Abner.
2SA 4:7-8 Rechan and Baanah kill Ish-bosheth, behead him, and take his head to David.
2SA 4:12 David has Rechan and Baanah killed, their hands and feet cut off, and their bodies hanged by the pool at Hebron.
2SA 5:25 “And David did as the Lord commanded him, and smote the Philistines ….”
2SA 6:2-23 Because she rebuked him for having exposed himself, Michal (David’s wife) was barren throughout her life.
2SA 8:1-18 (A listing of some of David’s murderous conquests.)
2SA 8:4 David hamstrung all but a few of the horses.
2SA 8:5 David slew 22,000 Syrians.
2SA 8:13 David slew 18,000 Edomites in the valley of salt and made the rest slaves.
2SA 10:18 David slew 47,000+ Syrians.
2SA 11:14-27 David has Uriah killed so that he can marry Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.
2SA 13:1-15 Amnon loves his sister Tamar, rapes her, then hates her.
2SA 13:28-29 Absalom has Amnon murdered.
2SA 18:6 -7 20,000 men are slaughtered at the battle in the forest of Ephraim.
2SA 18:15 Joab’s men murder Absalom.
2SA 20:10-12 Joab’s men murder Amasa and leave him “… wallowing in his own blood in the highway. And anyone who came by, seeing him, stopped.”
2SA 24:15 The Lord sends a pestilence on Israel that kills 70,000 men.
1KI 2:24-25 Solomon has Adonijah murdered.
1KI 2:29-34 Solomon has Joab murdered.
1KI 2:46 Solomon has Shime-i murdered.
1KI 13:15-24 A man is killed by a lion for eating bread and drinking water in a place where the Lord had previously told him not to. This is in spite of the fact that the man had subsequently been lied to by a prophet who told the man that an angel of the Lord said that it would be alright to eat and drink there.
1KI 20:29-30 The Israelites smite 100,000 Syrian soldiers in one day. A wall falls on 27,000 remaining Syrians.
2KI 1:10-12 Fire from heaven comes down and consumes fifty men.
2KI 2:23-24 Forty-two children are mauled and killed, presumably according to the will of God, for having jeered at a man of God.
2KI 5:27 Elisha curses Gehazi and his descendants forever with leprosy.
2KI 6:18-19 The Lord answers Elisha’s prayer and strikes the Syrians with blindness. Elisha tricks the blind Syrians and leads them to Samaria.
2KI 6:29 “So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”
2KI 9:24 Jehu tricks and murders Joram.
2KI 9:27 Jehu has Ahaziah killed.
2KI 9:30-37 Jehu has Jezebel killed. Her body is trampled by horses. Dogs eat her flesh so that only her skull, feet, and the palms of her hands remain.
2KI 10:7 Jehu has Ahab’s seventy sons beheaded, then sends the heads to their father.
2KI 10:14 Jehu has forty-two of Ahab’s kin killed.
2KI 10:17 “And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had wiped them out, according to the word of the Lord ….”
2KI 10:19-27 Jehu uses trickery to massacre the Baal worshippers.
2KI 11:1 Athaliah destroys all the royal family.
2KI 15:3-5 Even though he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, the Lord smites Azariah with leprosy for not having removed the “high places.”
2KI 15:16 Menahem ripped open all the women who were pregnant.
2KI 19:35 An angel of the Lord kills 185,000 men.
1CH 20:3 (KJV) “And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes.”
2CH 13:17 500,000 Israelites are slaughtered.
2CH 21:4 Jehoram slays all his brothers.
PS 137:9 Happy will be the man who dashes your little ones against the stones.
PS 144:1 God is praised as the one who trains hands for war and fingers for battle.
IS 13:15 “Everyone who is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their … wives will be ravished.”
IS 13:18 “Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.”
IS 14:21-22 “Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers.”
IS 49:26 The Lord will cause the oppressors of the Israelite’s to eat their own flesh and to become drunk on their own blood as with wine.
JE 16:4 “They shall die grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcasses shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.”
LA 4:9-10 “Those slain by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food. … pitiful women have cooked their own children, who became their food …”
EZ 6:12-13 The Lord says: “… they will fall by the sword, famine and plague. He that is far away will die of the plague, and he that is near will fall by the sword, and he that survives and is spared will die of famine. So will I spend my wrath upon them. And they will know I am the Lord, when the people lie slain among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and on all the mountaintops, under every spreading tree and every leafy oak ….”
EZ 9:4-6 The Lord commands: “… slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women ….”
EZ 20:26 In order that he might horrify them, the Lord allowed the Israelites to defile themselves through, amongst other things, the sacrifice of their first-born children.
EZ 21:3-4 The Lord says that he will cut off both the righteous and the wicked that his sword shall go against all flesh.
EZ 23:34 “You shall … pluck out your hair, and tear your breasts.”
HO 13:16 “They shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.”
MI 3:2-3 “… who pluck off their skin …, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron.”
MT 10:21 “… the brother shall deliver up his brother to death, and the father his child, … children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.”
MT 10:35-36 “For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man’s enemies will be the members of his own family.”
MT 11:21-24 Jesus curses [the inhabitants of] three cities who were not sufficiently impressed with his great works.
AC 13:11 Paul purposefully blinds a man (though not permanently).
Tomorrow part 5 Bible Inconsistencies and contractions
NOTE: These lists are meant to identify possible problems in the Bible, especially problems which are inherent in a literalist or fundamentalist interpretation. Some of the selections may be resolvable on certain interpretations–after all, almost any problem can be eliminated with suitable rationalizations–but it is the reader’s obligation to test this possibility and to decide whether it really makes appropriate sense to do this. To help readers in this task, these lists are aimed at presenting examples where problems may exist given certain allowable (but not always obligatory) assumptions. It should be kept in mind that a perfect and omnipotent God could, should, and likely would see to it that such problems did not exist in a book which s/he had inspired. It should also be kept in mind that what is and is not an absurdity is to some extent a matter of opinion. You are entitled to disagree with the author that these are, in fact, absurdities
GE 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven(s) and the earth.” (One might ask what “existed,” and where God dwelt, before he created heaven and earth. Of course, if God were pure spirit the question could be considered moot, but inasmuch as the God of the Bible allegedly participated in a wrestling match, ate solid food, was seen face to face, spoke with Moses, etc., it would seem that he possesses physical attributes, including form.)
(Note: Some biblicists contend that biblical chronology fixes the date of creation at 4004 B.C. thereby making the earth about six thousand years old. Some present-day creationists stubbornly adhere to a young earth timetable in spite of overwhelming evidence that the earth is actually billions of years old.)
GE 1:3-5, 14-19 There was light (“night and day”) before there was a sun. (Note: If there were no sun, there would be no night or day. Also, light from the newly created heavenly bodies seems to have reached the earth instantaneously though it now takes thousands or millions of years.)
GE 1:12, 16 Plants began to grow before there was sunlight.
GE 1:29 Every plant and tree which yield seed are given to us by God as good to eat. (Note: This would include poisonous plants such as hemlock, buckeye pod, nightshade, oleander.)
GE 2:15-23, 3:1-5, 1TI 2:14 Eve was created after Adam had already been given the prohibition about eating the forbidden fruit. Eve believed the serpent (the craftiest of all of God’s wild creatures) when he assured her that she would become wise and would not die if she ate the fruit. Eve has been blamed for causing Adam to fall, and ultimately for the fall of mankind. (Note: Prior to eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve would have had no knowledge of right and wrong; they would not have known that it was a sin to disobey God or to obey the serpent. After they ate the forbidden fruit, God placed a guard around the “Tree of Eternal Life” to keep them from eating its fruit. He could have done the same for the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” before Adam and Eve disobeyed. In addition, even though the prohibition regarding the forbidden fruit was made to Adam before Eve came on the scene, Eve has been blamed for the Fall; 1TI 2:14 says: “… Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”)
GE 3:1-5 The serpent speaks human language (presumably Hebrew).
GE 3:14-16 God curses the serpent, Eve, and Adam for what they have done. (Note: This is inconsistent with God’s omniscience; God should have known full well, ahead of time, what the outcome would be. Since God created the three as well as the Tree of Knowledge, he is ultimately responsible for the Fall.)
GE 3:14 The serpent eats dust for the rest of his life (by command of God).
GE 4:15 A mark is placed on Cain as a distinctive identifying symbol when there were only three (known) persons on earth.
GE 4:17 Cain builds and populates a whole city in only two generations.
GE 6:4 There were giants on the earth at one time. (Note: No evidence exists to supports this assertion.)
GE 6:5 God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to flood the earth to eliminate mankind. All living things including plants, animals, women and innocent children are also exterminated. (Note: This is like burning down a house to rid it of mice.)
GE 6:15 The size of Noah’s Ark was such that there would be about one and a half cubic feet for each pair of the 2,000,000 to 5,000,000 species to be taken aboard.
GE 7:17-19 The flood covered the entire earth at the same time. (Note: There is no evidence of a worldwide flood, but rather of many, widespread, but local floods.)
GE 7:19-20 The flood covered the earth with water fifteen cubits (twenty plus feet) above the highest mountains.(Note: This would require steady, worldwide rainfall at the rate of about 6 inches per minute, 360 inches per hour, 8640 inches per day–for 40 days and nights–so as to cover the entire earth with an endless ocean 5 miles deep, thus burying 29,000 ft. Mt. Everest under 22 ft. of water. How did the author know the depth of the water? Did Noah take soundings? And where has all this water gone?)
Noah’s first recorded action following the flood is to sacrifice one of
every clean animal and bird. (Since so few animals were saved, this could be considered rather wasteful and defeating–especially given that the stated purpose of taking the animals aboard the Ark was to keep them alive [GE 6:20]. To see a discussion of the various ways this verse can be interpreted, and in turn the different ways to approach the Bible generally, see addendum.)
GE 8:21 The odor of Noah’s sacrifices was pleasing to the Lord.
GE 9:12-16 God first creates the rainbow. (Note: Apparently the laws having to do with refraction of light were null and void prior to this time.)
GE 18:1, 7-8 God eats solid food with Abraham.
GE 30:37-43 Jacob alters the genetic characteristics of cattle by letting them view a striped rod. (Note: His purpose in doing so was to fleece Laban of his cattle.)
GE 32:24-30 God takes part in a wrestling match. He wins by injuring Jacob’s hip.
GE 38:27-29 Twins are being delivered. One puts out his hand and the midwife binds it with a scarlet ribbon to identify him as the firstborn. But he draws back his hand, and his brother is born first (thereby obtaining the rights of the firstborn son).
EX 4:24 The Lord sought to kill Moses (one of his own prophets.)
EX 12:30 The Lord kills all the first-born of Egypt and there is not a house where there is not at least one dead. (This means that there was not a house in Egypt that did not include at least one first-born—a most unusual situation.)
EX 12:37, NU 1:45-46 The number of men of military age who take part in the Exodus is given as about 600,000. Allowing for women, children, and older men would probably mean that a total of more than 2,000,000 Israelites left Egypt at a time when the whole population of Egypt was less than 2,000,000.
EX 17:14 God says that he will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek.
DT 25:19 “... you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget.”
(That remembrance is now permanently preserved in the Bible.)
EX 28:34-35 Entering the holy place without wearing bells can result in death.
LE 11:20-21 There are winged creatures (birds or insects) that go around on all fours. (Note: There are no birds that go around on four legs, and all insects have six or eight legs.)
LE 11:6 (States, incorrectly, that the rabbit, or hare, chews its cud.)
LE 14:33-57 God himself believes that a house or clothes can have leprosy and he details the remedy.
LE 14:49-53 The cure for leprosy involves incantations and the blood of a bird.
NU 11:31-33 A “wind from the Lord” brings such an abundance of quail that “he who gathered the least gathered ten homers,” or about 62 bushels. Altogether, this would have been enough to fill several thousand boxcars. Unfortunately, it was immediately followed by a great plague (food poisoning?) from the Lord.
NU 22:21-30 A donkey sees an angel, recognizes it as such, and then speaks in human language (presumably Hebrew) to his master.
DT 1:1 Moses speaks to “all” of Israel, perhaps 2,000,000 people (see EX 12:37 above).
DT 2:14 All of the “men of war”–some 600,000–who left Egypt in the Exodus were dead just thirty-eight years later. (See EX 12:37 above.)
DT 7:15 Moses promises his people that the Lord will take away all sickness.
DT 25:5-9 A man has an obligation to produce a child with his brother’s widow. If he refuses, his sister-in-law is to spit in his face in front of the elders.
JS 10:12-14 God obliges Joshua by making the sun and moon stand still (so that he can finish his battle by daylight).
JG 3:21-22 (KJV) “Ehud … took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.”
JG 7:12 The camels were without number as the sand of the sea.
JG 15:15 Samson slays 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass.
JG 16:17-22 Samson loses his strength as a result of having his head shaved. (Note: This is not psychosomatic since he began to lose his strength while he was still asleep.)
JG 20:16 There were seven hundred men who were left handed and could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
1SA 5:8-9 God causes “emerods” (hemorrhoids or tumors) amongst the Philistines (who have captured the Ark of the Covenant, where God was thought to reside).
1SA 13:5 The Philistines had “… troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude.”
1SA 16:14-23 Evil spirits can come from God (and be exorcised with God’s help).
1KI 3:12, 16-28 Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, can think of no better way to determine the natural mother of a child in dispute than to threaten to divide the child in half. (Note: This does not take into account the possibility of mental derangement on the part of the natural mother.)
1KI 4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom as measureless as the sand on the seashore.
1KI 6:2, 2CH 3:3 Solomon’s temple was only about ninety feet long by thirty feet wide, yet:
1KI 5:15-16 153,300 persons were employed to build it.
1KI 6:38 It took seven years to build.
1CH 22:14 ~7,500,000 lbs. of gold and ~75,000,000 lbs. of silver were used.
1CH 23:4 24,000 supervisors and 6,000 officials and judges were employed to manage it. (Note: Inasmuch as there seems to be uncertainty as to the exact weight of the biblical talent, some estimates place the weight of gold at more than 13,000,000 lbs. and the weight of silver at more than 116,000,000 lbs.)
1KI 10:24 The whole world sought an audience with Solomon to hear his wisdom.
1KI 17:2-6 The Lord commands ravens to bring bread and meat to Elijah.
1KI 18:33-38 Fire consumes wet wood, stones, and dust, and “licks up” water.
2KI 6:5-7 An iron axe head “swims” (or floats).
2CH 9:23 All the kings on earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom.
2KI 13:21 A man who is being buried comes alive after touching the bones of Elisha.
2KI 16:2, 20, 18:1-2 Ahaz was thirty-six years old when he died. His twenty-five year old son Hezekiah succeeded him. Thus Ahaz was a ten or eleven year old father.
2KI 19:35 (KJV) “…the angel of the Lord…smote…an hundred four score and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning … they were all dead….”
2KI 20:11 The shadow on a sun dial moves backwards.
2CH 7:5, 8-9 Solomon sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep in one week. This is 845+ animals per hour, 14+ animals per minute, for seven days straight.
2CH 21:20, 22:1-2 Ahaziah was forty-two when he became king; he succeeded his father, who died at the age of forty. Thus, Ahaziah was two years older than his father. [Note: Some translations use “twenty-two” here in an attempt to rectify this discrepancy. The Hebrew is clear, however, that 2CH 22:2 is 42. The Hebrew words involved are Strong’s H705 and H8147, “forty” and “two,” respectively.]
2CH 13:3 Abijah sent 400,000 men into battle against Jeroboam’s 800,000 men. This is a total of 1,200,000 men, all of them Jews. (Note: Assuming one additional woman per man of fighting age, plus two persons per man [either older persons or children] would put the Jewish population of the surrounding area at a minimum of 4,800,000 persons; hardly feasible.)
2CH 13:17 500,000 Israelites are slain in a single battle. (Note: This is more than were lost in any single battle of World War II, and even exceeds the number of deaths that resulted from the dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.)
ES 6:6, JB 19:27, PS 7:9, 16:7, 73:21, PR 23:7, 16, IS 10:7, JE 11:20, 17:10, 20:12, MT 9:4, LK 2:19, 9:47, AC 8:22, RO 10:9-10, HE 4:12, RE 2:23 (See KJV especially.) Thought occurs in the heart. The kidneys (“reins”) are the seat of conscience.(Note: This is not merely a poetic use of these terms, as is now claimed. In early times, it was actually believed that various body organs other than the brain were responsible for our thoughts, feelings, actions and the like. The heart was believed to be the seat of thought processes and beliefs, while the kidneys were thought to be the seat of conscience.)
JB 9:6 (KJV) God shakes the earth out of its place and makes its pillars tremble.
JB 9:7 God can make the sun not rise and seal up the stars.
JB 28:28, PS 111:10, PR 1:7, 9:10, 15:33, IS 33:6 Fear of the Lord is equated with obtaining wisdom.
PS 121:6 It is apparently possible to suffer moonstroke as well as sunstroke.
PR 19:23, 22:4 Fear of the Lord brings freedom from trouble(s). Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth, honor, and life.
PR 20:30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil.
IS 30:26 The moon will someday be as bright as the sun now is. (Note: Until relatively recent times, the moon and the planets were thought to give off their own light.)
IS 38:8 The shadow of the Sun is made to move backwards.
IS 40:22 The earth is a circle. (Note: The earth is really a sphere, not a circle, and this verse does not imply a sphere as some believers like to infer.)
JE 20:7, EZ 14:9 Jeremiah says that the Lord deceived his own prophet. God himself says that he deceives his own prophets in order to get rid of them.
EZ 37:1-10 Dry bones come alive.
AM 8:9 The Sun will be made to set at noon in “clear day.”
MT 4:8 There is a high mountain from which all the kingdoms of the world can be seen. (Note: This implies a flat earth.)
MT 4:23-24, 9:32-33, 12:22, 17:14-18, MK 1:23-26, 32-34, 5:2-16, 9:17-29, 16:9, LK 11:14, 4:33-35, 8:2, 27-36, 9:38-42, AC 8:7, 16:16-18 Both physical and mental illness are caused by demon possession and can be cured by exorcism.
MT 7:7-8, LK 11:9-10 Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find. Everyone who asks, receives.
MT 13:41 Jesus will send his angels to purge his kingdom of evildoers and sin. (Note: How did evildoers get into his kingdom in the first place?)
MT 17:20, 21:21, MK 9:23, 10:27, 11:23, LK 17:6 Faith can move mountains. Nothing is impossible if you have faith [as small as] a grain of mustard seed.
MT 18:19 If two [believers] agree about anything they ask, God will do it for them.
MT 21:22, MK 11:24 Whatever you ask in prayer, if you have faith, you will receive it.
MT 24:29-30 Although the sun and the moon have been darkened and the stars have fallen from heaven, there is still enough light to see.
MT 26:52 All who take the sword will perish by it.
MT 27:52-53 The bodies of dead saints arise and go in force in the city.
MK 11:12-14, 20-21 Jesus curses a fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season. (Note: Rather than cause the fig tree to wither and to bear fruit never again, he could have performed a miracle and made it bear fruit even out of season.)
MK 16:17-18 Those who believe are able to handle snakes and drink any deadly poison without suffering harm.
LK 1:39-42 The fetus in Elizabeth’s womb jumps for joy when Elizabeth hears Mary (who is pregnant with Jesus).
LK 22:28-30 Jesus assigns each of his twelve disciples (including Judas, his betrayer) a place (or throne) in his kingdom.
JN 6:24-30 A large crowd of persons (probably several thousand) asks Jesus for a sign so that they might see and believe. This occurs immediately following the Feeding of the Multitude which should have been one of the greatest miracles and most convincing signs of all time.
JN 8:51 Jesus says: “… if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
JN 12:34 A crowd of persons (speaking in unison?) asks Jesus a thirty word question.
JN 16:23 Jesus says: “Whatever you ask in my name, my Father will give you.”
RO 10:17-18, CN 1:23 The gospel had already been preached to every living creature even in Paul’s time.
2CO 12:2 There are at least three heavens.
2CO 12:4 There are things which cannot be told–things which man cannot utter.
GA 1:8-9 An angel (from God?) who preaches a gospel contrary to that of Paul will incur Paul’s wrath.
1TI 5:11 Younger widows want to marry because their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ.
1TI 6:10 The love of money is the root of all evil(s). (Note: Some translations emend the text to read, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evils,” or something similar, in an attempt to ameliorate an obvious problem. Those additional words are not there in the Greek of the oldest and most reliable manuscripts.)
TS 1:12 “One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars ….” (Figure the logic of this verse–if you can!)
HE 7:1-3 Melchizedek had no mother or father, no beginning or end.
RE 14:1-4 Heaven is to be inhabited in part by 144,000 virgin men who have not been “defiled” by women.
RE 21:16 The city of New Jerusalem (where the residents of heaven reside) is only about 1500 miles square.
PART 4 Tomorrow Atrocities
Adam and Noah were ancestors of mine. I never thought much of them. Adam lacked character. He couldn’t be trusted with apples. Noah had an absurd idea that he could navigate without any knowledge of navigation, and he ran into the only shoal place on earth.
– speech, November 9, 1901. Reported in The New York Times, November 10, 1901 – Mark Twain
In case you haven’t been paying attention: The presidential election is shaping up to be very, very, very close. The scenarios are mind-boggling. One possibility: Mitt Romney could win the popular vote but lose what counts: the electoral college. It would be fitting revenge for Democrats still angry about the Bush-Gore debacle from 2000. The opposite could also occur: Obama, popular in voter-rich California, New York, and Illinois, could win the most votes but be edged out in the electoral college.
Perhaps the craziest of all is the possibility of Romney and Biden winning. You heard that right: a Romney-Biden administration. Imagine, if you will, that Obama and Romney wind up with an electoral college tie of 269-269 (a very slim possibility). It takes 270 to win. So what happens?
The House of Representatives decides. Under Article 12 of the Constitution, each state gets one vote, according to which party dominates that state’s House delegation. There are more Democrats in California’s House delegation, and more Republicans in Texas’, for example. And so forth.Since more state delegations in the House are controlled by Republicans, there’s no question who they’d award the presidency to: Mitt Romney.
But the VP would be picked by the Senate. And the Senate is controlled — and is likely to be controlled after election day — by the Democrats. Who would they vote for? You guessed it: Joe Biden.
Bizarre (or hilarious) as that would be, it would hardly be unprecedented. The election of 1800 was equally screwy, and the contests of 1824 and 1876 were also ones for the books. All three make the 2000 mess seem almost like a picnic. Judge for yourself:
In the early days of the republic, electors each cast not one, but two electoral votes for president. Adding to the confusion: There was no such thing as “election day” as we know it now. States voted whenever they felt like it over a period running from April to October. It was a long, drawn-out, and often confusing process.
The republic was just 24 years old when Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr squared off against President John Adams and Charles Pickney. Yet electors gave both Jefferson and Burr — who were on the same ticket — 73 electoral votes apiece. Adams got 65, and Pickney 64.
So what do you do in the event of a tie? The Constitution said the House of Representatives would decide. Since Jefferson and Burr got the most electoral votes, the former running mates suddenly became rivals. Voting went on for days, with ballot after ballot. Finally, after 36 ballots, the tie was broken: Thomas Jefferson was declared the president-elect. Aaron Burr was declared vice president. But Jefferson, at this point, didn’t trust Burr and gave him nothing to do.
In an unrelated matter, by the way, Burr later shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury secretary, in a duel.
1824: John Quincy Adams vs. Andrew Jackson
Jackson (you know him from the $20 bill) crushed John Quincy Adams, the son of our second president, John Adams, in both the popular vote (41 percent to 31 percent) and in the electoral college (99 to 84). Yet Adams won. How could Adams lose both the popular vote and electoral college yet win the White House?
Unfortunately for “Old Hickory,” as Jackson was known, there were two other men on the presidential ballot in 1824: William Crawford of Georgia, who received 41 electoral votes, and Henry Clay of Kentucky, who got 37. Because the four men received a combined 271 electoral votes, Jackson had a plurality but not a majority. He needed 136, but had only 99.
Once again, it was up to the House. Because the 12th Amendment to the Constitution said that only the top three presidential candidates could be considered, Clay was out. He threw his support to Adams, and on Feb. 9, 1825, the House gave Adams 138 electoral votes. John Quincy Adams — loser of both the popular vote and, at first, the electoral college — would become the sixth president of the United States.
Now, a story like this can’t be told without a little dirt. After all, it’s presidential politics. Just before the results of the House election became public, an anonymous letter appeared in a Philadelphia newspaper. Said to be from a member of Congress, it accused Clay of selling his support to Adams if Adams made Clay secretary of State. Jackson and his supporters were outraged over what they called “the corrupt bargain.”
Clay did indeed become secretary of State in the Adams administration.
This is also a cautionary tale. You’ve got to be careful what you wish for. John Quincy Adams hated being president. He called it the “four most miserable years of my life.” One reason: He was hounded at every turn by Jackson and his supporters. In 1828, both would clash again when Adams sought re-election. This time, Jackson got his revenge, crushing Adams in both the popular vote and winning a majority of the electoral college. Adams later spent 17 years in Congress — the only president to do so after leaving the White House.
1876: Samuel Tilden vs. Rutherford Hayes
It happened again: A candidate lost after getting the most popular votes and the most electoral votes on election day.
In addition to snagging 51 percent of the popular vote, New York Gov. Samuel Tilden (D) won 184 electoral votes — one short of winning the White House. His rival, Ohio Gov. Rutherford B. Hayes (R), won just 48 percent of the vote and 165 electoral votes. Here’s the catch: Twenty other electoral votes in several states were disputed and went uncounted. The states: Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Oregon.
In all three southern states, it looked like Tilden won the popular vote. But there were allegations of fraud (ink-smeared ballots and bribery) and voter intimidation. Chaos ensued. In Florida, for example, the Republicans said they won by 922 votes. Democrats say they did — by 94 votes.
Meantime, in Oregon, both Democrats and Republicans agreed that Hayes won the state. But when the Democratic governor found out one Republican member of the electoral college was a federal worker (a postmaster) and ineligible to serve, he replaced him with a Democrat. The Republican elector promptly resigned his post office job and said that as a private citizen, he would cast his electoral college vote for Hayes.
All four states submitted two sets of electoral vote counts each to Congress, all with different results. To untangle the mess, Congress set up an electoral commission: five members of the House, five members of the Senate, and five Supreme Court Justices.
By the way, there’s absolutely nothing in the Constitution saying this is how an election standoff was to be resolved. After much maneuvering, the commission voted along party lines — 8 to 7 — to award the disputed electoral votes, and the presidency, to Hayes.
But it still wasn’t over. Democrats threatened to filibuster the counting of electoral votes to keep Hayes from winning. In 1877 — just weeks before inauguration day — Democrats gave in, with one big string attached. Republicans must agree, they said, to withdraw all federal troops from the South. This was just a decade after the civil war. The GOP agreed — and thus the Compromise of 1877.
And you thought Bush-Gore was messy…