Thursday, 24 January 2013

Even Sillier Bible Stories

How's this for a story from the Bible, also known as 'The Word Of God'? Apparently, it never used to be necessary to be born first before you could father children. You could start way before you were even a twinkle in your own father's eye!

No, really!

Thirty and two years old was he [Jehoram, son of Jehosephat] when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.

2 Chronicles 21:20

So that means Jehoram died when he was forty. He was succeeded by his youngest son:

And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned. Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.

2 Chronicles 22:1-2

So, Jehoram was forty when he died, leaving his forty-two year-old youngest son to succeed him.

A son two years older than his father! The miracle of prenatal conception!

One wonders how many years prior to his birth Jehoram fathered his older sons! But the matter can be cleared up by reading 2 Kings:

Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.

2 Kings 8:26

Phew! So Ahaziah was both twenty-two years old and forty-two years old at the same time. There had to be a simple explanation.

Unless the 'Word of God' made a mistake somewhere.

Incidentally, don't be confused by the NIV version of the Bible. For that version, the translators 'corrected' God's inerrant word for him and wrongly translated 2 Chronicles 22:2 to read twenty-two, so you wouldn't notice God's silly mistake. Wasn't that kind of them?

I'll leave you to decide whether this story is more absurd that the next one, in which King Saul dies four different ways, apparently. Maybe the first recorded instance of triple resurrection?

Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

1 Samuel 31:4-6

And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.

2 Samuel 1:8-10

And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:

2 Samuel 21:12

So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; And enquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

1 Chronicles 10:13-14

First suicide, then an Amalekite, than a Philistine and finally God. Did Saul keep coming back to life, like one of those trick birthday cake candles that you can't blow out, until God finally got tired of it and did the job himself?

Incidentally, did you notice in the first account, how everyone died and yet someone was able to report the conversation? Strange how often that sort of thing seems to happen in the Bible, like with Jesus and the adulteress where only he and she remained after the crowd had wandered off, and yet someone recorded exactly what Jesus said to her.

Many more of these biblical absurdities are listed in Long, Jason. Biblical Nonsense: A Review Of The Bible For Doubting Christians.

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  1. You would have thought god could have found a half decent copy editor to check for continuity errors in his book.

  2. Ahaziah was 42 in dog years :D

    Not that I'd call a dog something like Ahaziah. That's animal cruelty.

  3. Hm... time travelling son and unrereundead (no longer reundead (undead again) again) Saul...

  4. I really don't understand why we say something like that for the Sacred Scriptures. The title goes wrong with word of Bible. Yeah, there can be mistake of translation but that should be in euphemism.

    1. Do you think it could be because the stories in the Bible are silly, and obviously made up by simple people who knew very little, possibly?


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