When Bible Characters Attack!

What You’ve Missed…
* Seeing as I haven’t written in forever, you’ve missed tons. But it’s 11:15 at night, and I’m trying to be out the door in the next 45 minutes, so I’ll just keep it simple.
* You missed the story of Esther, which would make a totally epic, totally over the top, totally drawn out drama film like Ben-Hur. I probably wouldn’t watch it.
* You missed that totally weird and over-sexed king from 300, who apparently was a real dude. (No word on whether he was actually a third black, a third extraterrestrial and a third bizarro freak, or if that was just Hollywood’s creative liberty.)
* You missed the Jews who started rebuilding their temple and the walls of Jerusalem. Oh, and all the Jews in captivity in Babylon were released and came home. It’s kind of a, “if you (re)build it, they will come” Field of Dreams moment. Just with way less Kevin Costner and his “acting.” Christian or not, I think we can all throw an “amen” out there for that.

Day 265
Daily Reading: Nehemiah 12-13

Quick background story on Nehemiah. He was the governor of Judah for twelve years. As order is being restored to the land and Jewish people, Nehemiah is overseeing everything, and really taking point on making sure the Hebrews return to life based on God’s law. And by taking point, I mean the guy got his hands dirty putting in some serious man hours with hands on construction work. (Who knew politicians could actually do the work they talk so much about doing? I wouldn’t have believed it if it wasn’t in the Bible.)

So as the temple is coming together, and the walls of Jerusalem are cobbled back together, and life is really starting to look up, Nehemiah busts in like the Kool-Aid man (ironically enough though, he actually builds walls, rather than breaks through them) and shuts down the Jews recent party vibe.

“About the same time I realized some of the men of Judah had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab…So I confronted them and called down curses on them. I beat some of them and pulled out their hair. I made them swear in the name of God that they would not let their children intermarry with the pagan people of the land.” Nehemiah 13:23-25

He beat them and pulled their hair? That’s pretty extreme. And remember this guy held political office. Talk about the Governator…this guy wasn’t just playing a tough guy in the movies, he was a tough guy in real life. (Author’s note: It is important to mention some people would say real tough guys don’t pull hair. I say you decide. I also say, real tough guys do whatever it takes to give themselves more time to run away.)

Seriously though, Nehemiah just kind of loses it here and goes ballistic. I get that he was upset that his people had married outside of their culture, which God instructed them not to do, but, geez, to go straight into beating and torture? I mean, how is this infraction even related to hair pulling? What does it have anything to do with anything, other than Nehemiah being totally pissed?  You can’t just going around as a holy man of God, beating people and ripping out handfuls of their hair.  Can you?

It’s all pretty crazy when you think about it. Clearly he wasn’t afraid to REALLY get his hands dirty if you know what I mean.

So while many people may think of Nehemiah as just another nice Bible character who loved God and served him with gentle joy, I’d like to suggest he was a pretty intense dude who could seriously fly off the handle. He was also possibly the world’s most awesome combination of Sylvester Stallone (from Rocky), Arnold Schwarzenegger (from politics), and Chuck Norris (because he probably had a killer beard.)

(And as everyone knows when it comes to Chuck Norris, the term killer beard is NOT an exaggeration.)

Bible Body Count: More Than Robocop

What You’ve Missed…
* Moses sings a song. It’s a bit long, kind of a downer, and without any kind of infectious pop beat. I’m sure Simon would hate it, Paula would love it and Randy would still be trying to get everyone to think he’s really cool.
* Moses makes Joshua the new leader of Israel. (And the dude is ready to get down to business. Just keep reading.)
* Moses dies and God personally buries him. Which makes you wonder, did God give an amazing eulogy? And did He have an after funeral party to attend? And since that party was in heaven, was Moses there, attending his own after funeral party? (Also, is it possible to have seen Zoolander too many times? I mean, really?)
* The Israelites have a seven day music festival outside the walls of Jericho that makes Bonaroo look like amateur night at The Apollo. They literally brought the house down. Lots of houses actually. And then they killed everyone.

Day 84
Daily Reading: Joshua 10-12

So the forty years in the desert have come to a close and Israel is about to cross over the Jordan River and move into the Promised Land. There’s only one problem…it’s inhabited by tons of people who don’t really want to hand over everything to this crazy group of gypsies wandering through the desert who think they’re entitled to everyone else’s stuff simply because their God told them they could have it. Except, it isn’t really a problem at all because God is leading Joshua, and Joshua is a firm believer in killing anyone who gets in his way.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us on the brink of an epic war equal to those fought in the land of Middle Earth. (What’s Middle Earth? It’s where nerds pretend they live. It’s also the setting for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.) The word is out that the Israelites have defeated a couple of nations in the past, and this time around, no one is taking any chances. So five local kings in the area team up to fight and dominate Israel.

Things don’t go as planned for those kings, and they quickly find themselves impaled on poles, by Joshua. And as scripture so delicately states, “So Joshua and the Israelite army continued the slaughter and completely crushed the enemy. They totally wiped out the five armies…” (Joshua 10:20) Five armies down, and that’s only the beginning.

As God continued to hand city after city to Joshua, he continued to annihilate person after person.

“That same day Joshua captured and destroyed the town of Makkedah. He killed everyone it…leaving no survivors. He destroyed them all…Then Joshua and the Israelites went to Libnah and attacked it. There, too, the LORD gave them the town and its king. He killed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. From Libnah, Joshua went to Lachish…” (Joshua 10:28-31)

I think you get the idea. God leads Joshua to a city. Joshua and the Israelites destroy everyone. They move on. I imagine this to be, well, I imagine it to be a lot like this…

Only with less John Cleese, and more blood spraying all over the place…also with a lot more moaning, suffering, and recently amputated limbs flying everywhere. So, I guess what I’m saying is maybe it was really more like that scene in Kill Bill where Uma Thurman turns a cool Japanese nightclub into a modern day Thunderdome with her Samurai sword.

The Israelites do this again and again and again. They are an unstoppable force, completely wiping out, killing and destroying everyone who is not part of Israel. The Bible even says, “So they [Israel’s enemies] were completely destroyed without mercy, as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Joshua 11:20)

At the end of it all, Joshua and God’s army had completely destroyed thirty-one kings and their kingdoms. They went on a 31-0 killing streak. That’s some serious conquering and a whole heck of a lot of killing. That body count had to be in the millions. And that’s about the same as Robocop.

So…why isn’t the Bible rated R?