Monday, April 22, 2024



It ain't necessarily so
It ain't necessarily so
The things that yo' li'ble
To read in the Bible
It ain't necessarily so

- Lyric from “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from the Gershwins' opera Porgy and Bess (1935), music by George Gershwin and lyrics by his brother Ira Gershwin.

There are numerous oddities and quirky verses/stories in the Bible, bizarre even.

Many of them are from the Old Testament. I am aware that there is justification for dietary laws for people who did not have refrigeration or modern medical care, eg prohibitions against eating pork, shrimp, shellfish and many types of seafood, most insects, scavenger birds, and various other animals, but this is somewhat hollow when dietary rules were never intended to apply to anyone other than the Israelites and that the purpose of the food laws was to make the Israelites distinct from all other nations. After this purpose had ended, Jesus declared all foods clean.

So, some oddities . . .
“If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.”
- Deuteronomy 23:1
As a result, rabbis were expected to prove their parts were in working order before they could work in the Temple.

King Saul, jealous of David and fearing that David would take over as king, offered David the hand of his daughter if David brought back 100 Philistine foreskins. The intent was not to collect foreskins but for David to be killed.

Informed by servants of Saul’s true intent, David put his back into and came back to Saul with 200 foreskins!
"And Saul said: Speak thus to David: The king desireth not any dowry, but only a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. …. And after a few days David rose up, and went with the men that were under him, and he slew of the Philistines two hundred men, and brought their foreskins and numbered them out to the king, that he might be his son in law. Saul therefore gave him Michol his daughter to wife. And Saul saw, and understood that the Lord was with David. "
- 1 Samuel 18:25-27

Abraham instructed his chief servant to “place his hand under his thigh” and swear an oath.

The placing of one’s hand under the “thigh” is a euphemistic way to refer to swearing upon the testicles of the master. The testicles are the sign of Abraham’s descendants (they literally contained the “seed” that God had promised to bless in Genesis 15, 17, 22). The Abrahamic Covenant in general is sealed upon the genitals of Abraham and his descendants.

Although the etymology is contested by some, the word Latin word testes is identical to the same word for “witnesses”. It is therefore considered by other etymologists that the word ‘testimony’ has this origin

- Genesis 24:2-9
You shall also have a place outside the camp and go out there, and you shall have a spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn to cover up your excrement. Since the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to defeat your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy; and He must not see anything indecent among you or He will turn away from you.

- Deuteronomy 23:12-14
If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

- Deuteronomy 22:28-29
Fifty shekels of silver is equal to about $148 in USD in 2022.

Unicorns are mentioned, by name, at least nine times in the King James Bible translation. They are only found in the Old Testament. Examples:

Some of the more interesting references in Scripture to unicorns include the following.
God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn
- Numbers 23:22

Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns
- Psalm 22:21

But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil
- Psalm 92:10

Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
- Job 39:9 - 10

The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn
- Psalm 29:5 - 6
Other than the verses above, umicorns are also mentioned by name in in Numbers 24:8, Deuteronomy 33:17 and Isaiah 34:7.

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