Tag Archives: family

The Story of Jonathan and the Cursed Honey
Saul Tries to Starve His Own Army

During a war with the Philistines, King Saul’s son Jonathan ate some honey that he found on the ground. But then someone informed him that his father had said anyone who ate anything that day would be cursed. Jonathan thought that was dumb. By depriving them of food, Saul was making his army too weak to fight the Philistines. So Jonathan sneaked away and started killing Philistines himself. Then God made the Philistines panic and attack each other so the Israelites wouldn’t have to.

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Saul Tries to Starve His Own Army
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Who was Maakah’s father?

According to 1 Kings, King Abijah’s mother Maakah was the daughter of Abishalom. Then in 2 Chronicles, it says she was the daughter of Absalom. That’s probably supposed to be the same name, just written a little differently.

(From the context, it sounds like that likely means David’s son Absalom. That would mean Abijah’s father Rehoboam married his cousin, which might seem weird and unlikely to some people, but note that there are two more first cousin marriages mentioned right there in that same passage. Absalom’s mother was also named Maakah, so maybe he named his daughter after her.)

Two chapters later, though, it says Maakah was the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. That doesn’t sound like the same person at all. Absalom was born in Hebron, not Gibeah.

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The Story of the Calling of Samuel
Why the Family of Eli Was Cursed

A man named Elkanah had two wives, named Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah didn’t, because God wouldn’t let her. Peninnah kept tormenting Hannah about this for years, and she was miserable. Her husband told her she should stop crying, because she had him, which was better than having children. Hannah silently asked God to give her a son. When Eli, the priest and leader of Israel, saw her mouth moving but didn’t hear her saying anything, he told her she needed to stop getting drunk.

Then God let Hannah have a son, and she named him Samuel. She was so happy to finally have a son that she gave him away to Eli, whose sons were scoundrels. Eli tried to get his sons to change their ways, but God wouldn’t let them repent, because he wanted an excuse to kill them.

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Why the Family of Eli Was Cursed
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The Story of Ruth and Boaz
How I Met Your Great-Grandmother

Ruth was a Moabite woman who married an Israelite man named Mahlon, whose parents, Elimelek and Naomi, had moved to Moab from Judah because of a famine. Naomi’s and Ruth’s husbands both died. When the famine was over, Naomi moved back to Judah, and Ruth chose to go with her, rather than looking for a new husband in Moab. In Judah, Ruth met a man named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s dead husband. Boaz had heard that Ruth was good to Naomi, so he was good to Ruth.

Naomi wanted Ruth to remarry, so she told Ruth to go sneak up on Boaz and lie down with him while he was sleeping. That night, Boaz woke up and found Ruth lying there with him. This was a pleasant surprise, because he was so old. But he said there was another man Ruth should marry rather than him, because that man was more closely related to her first husband. Boaz told Ruth to stay with him for the rest of the night, and then hurry home before anyone saw them together.

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How I Met Your Great-Grandmother
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The Story of King Abimelek
The King Who Wasn't Killed by a Woman

Gideon was another judge of Israel. He destroyed a pagan object of worship that his father had made, and then he made his people a new one. He also tortured or killed anyone who wouldn’t give his men free food. The Israelites liked Gideon so much, they wanted him to become their king. But he refused. After Gideon died, his son Abimelek murdered his 70 brothers, and then he was made the first king of Israel.

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The King Who Wasn't Killed by a Woman
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Was Mahlon’s name maintained?

In ancient Israel, it was customary for a remarried widow to name the first son she had with her new husband after her dead husband. In fact, God’s law required it. In order to maintain Mahlon’s name in his family, his widow (Ruth) and her new husband (Boaz) should have named their son after Mahlon.

And that’s what Boaz said he was going to do. He even said that was the reason he was marrying Ruth, so the dead man’s name would be maintained and wouldn’t disappear.

But apparently that’s not what they actually did. Boaz and Ruth named their first son Obed, not Mahlon.

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The Story of the Levite’s Concubine
The Most Pointlessly Evil Story in the Bible

A Levite man’s girlfriend broke up with him and went back to live with her parents. But then he followed her to her parents’ house and took her back. On the way back to the man’s home, they stopped for the night in Gibeah, a city of the tribe of Benjamin, and stayed in an old man’s house.

Some of the Benjamite men from that city came and surrounded the house. They told the old man to send the Levite man out so they could have sex with him. The old man said he couldn’t let them have sex with his guest, because that would be outrageous and vile. So he offered to let them rape his daughter and his guest’s girlfriend instead.

The Levite man thought that was a good idea, so he sent his girlfriend outside. The men of Gibeah spent the whole night gang-raping her to death. Then the man went home, and he chopped up his girlfriend into a dozen pieces and had them distributed all over the country.

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The Most Pointlessly Evil Story in the Bible
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Who is God’s firstborn?

Of all God’s children, who is the firstborn? Paul says Jesus is God’s firstborn, having been there before he made anything else. But the gospel of John suggests that Jesus wasn’t created in the beginning, much less born. He was just always there. So the only way Jesus could be God’s firstborn would be if God had no other children before Jesus was actually born, 2000 years ago.

Is that really the case? The Bible says it’s not. Instead, it calls David God’s firstborn.

God also says Ephraim is his firstborn son, and Ephraim was born long before David. But wait, that same verse also says God is Israel’s father. And Israel was Ephraim’s grandfather. So Israel must be a son of God who was born before Ephraim, right?

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The Story of Jephthah’s Sacrifice
The Stupidest Story in the Bible

The people of Israel angered their God again by serving other gods. So God let the Ammonites take over Israel, and he said he would never save his people again. But his people insisted on being saved, so the never-changing God, who never listens to sinners, changed his mind and appointed a new judge to save Israel: Jephthah, the leader of a gang of scoundrels.

Jephthah asked the Ammonite king why he was attacking Israel. The king explained that the Israelites had stolen the Ammonites’ land, and the Ammonites wanted it back. Jephthah was like, that never happened, what would you know about that? The king ignored him.

So Jephthah went to attack the Ammonites, which God had forbidden the Israelites to do. He promised that if God helped him disobey God in this way, he would give God whatever met him at the door when he came home, as a burnt offering. The all-knowing God knew what would happen if he did this, but he wanted that burnt offering. So he helped Jephthah destroy twenty Ammonite towns, and he didn’t warn Jephthah’s family to stay indoors.

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The Stupidest Story in the Bible
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Who was Achan’s father?

After the Israelites destroyed Jericho, killed almost everyone living there, and stole all their valuables, God got angry and decided to abandon his people and stop protecting them. Not because he didn’t approve of the massacre or anything, but just because one guy, Achan, had stolen some of the stolen goods, which God had intended to keep for himself for some reason. Shortly after that, God decided he didn’t mind his people keeping the plunder for themselves after all. But not before having Achan and his innocent children stoned and burned.

So that’s who Achan is, but who’s his father?

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