They Ain’t No Saint!
I hate to break it to you, but Biblical patriarchs weren’t saints. They were people like you and me, with weaknesses and sometimes serious issues. Often insecure, they didn’t feel adequate to meet God’s demands. However, despite all their shortcomings and doubts, God still accomplished amazing things with them – I guess, there’s still hope for us too. 😉
Here are the top ten badass saints of the Old Testament:
Badass Saints #10 Ya’aqob, the Cunning
Ya’aqob (Jacob) talked Esau, his elder brother, into selling him the right of the firstborn. Although he was a tricky fellow in his early days, Ya’aqob was blessed with a vision of Heaven (Ya’aqob’s ladder) and wrestled with Jehovah or rather one of His archangels. Here’s a strange side story: his uncle Laban took all his spotted and striped cattle and left him with plain colored ones. I’m not sure what was the problem, but Ya’aqob felt bad about his plain vanilla livestock. He painted stripes on some sticks and planted them into the ground next to where the cattle was grazing. He figured that if they stared at the sticks while copulating, they would give birth to striped cattle. Guess what – it worked! I’m still trying to figure out the spiritual significance of this story – any idea?
Badass Saints #9 Rachel, the Idol Thief
When Ya’aqob secretly left Laban, Rachel took her father’s idol figures. Laban went after Ya’aqob and confronted him for leaving secretly with his daughters and stealing his idol figures. Rachel rushed to her tent, hid the figures in her camel’s furniture, and sat on it. When her father came into her tent, looking for the figures, she said: “I apologize that I can’t stand up to greet you, father, I have my period.” Laban didn’t search the camel furniture and Rachel got away (Gen 31:35).
Badass Saints #8 Ham, The Incestor
In Genesis 9:22, Ham stared at the nude, dead drunk Noah, his father, for which Noah cursed him. Isn’t it sad that Noah, the man God deemed good enough for saving mankind and animalkind, ended up as a drunk? Seeing one’s father naked isn’t so bad, you may think; however, the Talmud suggests that Ham may have sodomized his father (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 70a). Some scholars suggested that he may have done so also with his mother. Hmm … what else could he have done after the deluge? On a side note: also Abraham’s nephew Lot committed incest, but without knowing it. His two daughters made him drunk and seduced him – also due to a lack of available men. Both daughters gave birth to sons (Genesis 19:32 – 35).
Badass Saints #7 Elisha, the Child-slayer
When the prophet Elisha (Elijah’s successor) traveled to Bethel, he was bullied by some children, because he was bold. He sentenced them to death by bears. His curse called two bears out of the woods, who killed those poor kids – 42 in total (2 Kings 2:23 – 24).
Badass Saints #6, Abraham, the Trouble Maker and Fornicator
Abraham got other people into trouble by lying. When Abraham arrived in Egypt, he asked his wife Sarah to pretend to be his sister. Sarah was beautiful and it didn’t take long until the pharaoh seized her as his mistress. As a result of that, Jehovah punished the pharaoh with plagues. When the pharaoh discovered the reason for his misfortune, he complained to Abraham: “If I knew that Sarah was married, I wouldn’t have touched her!” At least Abraham took Sarah back. Mind that Abraham did this twice, the second time when he moved to Gerar. Since Sarah had problems to get pregnant, she persuaded Abraham to fornicate with her maid Hagar, who got pregnant with Ishmael.
Badass Saints #5 Jonah, the Reluctant Prophet and Failed Avenger
Jonah began as a normal religious person: nagging at God all the time. One day, Jehovah asked Jonah to go to the sin-city Nineveh to warn its people about His imminent wrath, but Jonah ran in the opposite direction. Jehovah gave him a hard time (made a fish swallow him) until Jonah gave in and agreed to preachify Nineveh’s people. They listened to Jonah, started worrying about bad karma, repented, and fasted. Jehovah forgave them and refrained from punishing them as He had threatened. Jonah got pissed and left the city, raging at Jehovah: “I knew it! Before, I ran, because I knew that you are gracious, merciful, kind, and slow to anger. Now, there will be no punishment for Nineveh’s vices!” Jonah even got suicidal, isn’t that hilarious?
Badass Saints #4 Mosheh, the Breaker of the Tables
When Mosheh (Moses) returned from Mt. Sinai the first time he found his people praying to the golden calf. He got so angry that he smashed the tablets of commandments into pieces. This is funny: he melted the golden calf, ground it to powder, mixed it with water, and forced his people to drink it (Exodus 4:24 – 26). Lucky for him, Jehovah didn’t punish him for breaking the tablets; however, Jehovah punished him for missing a detail in his instructions. Jehovah asked him to assemble all people, take his staff, and talk to a rock so that the rock will pour out water for his thirsty folk. Mosheh did as he was told, except that he stroke the rock with the staff instead of talking to it. The result was the same, water galore; however, Jehovah got pissed and withheld Mosheh the Promised Land (Numbers 20:9-12). What a harsh punishment after all Mosheh had done, don’t you think? Having said this, this event strikes me as a reference to an Alchemical procedure (rock, wand, water, and: grinding gold, mixing it with water, and drinking it). In that case, it wasn’t a punishment, but rather Mosheh’s inability to reach the Sacred Land.
A funny side story: when Mosheh was on his way back to Egypt to free Israel, Jehovah went after Mosheh to kill him, apparently, because his son wasn’t circumcised (Exodus 4.24). In order to save him, his wife Zipporah took a sharp stone, quickly cut the foreskin of their son, and threw the bloody skin fragment at Mosheh’s feet, shouting: “Bloody husband!” When Jehovah heard that, he backed off and let Moses go. Even Jehovah doesn’t want to mess with an angry mother.
Badass Saints #3 David, Sex Addict, Murderer, and Crazy Dancer
David couldn’t get enough of women, he had at least eight wives. Well, his name means “The Beloved” – I guess he was loved by both Jehovah and women. Already married, he fell in love with Mykal, Saul’s daughter (1Sa 18:20 and yes, she had the same name as Michael, the Archangel). Saul agreed to give his daughter to David under the premise that David delivers him 100 Philistines foreskins. David killed 200 of those men and gave their foreskins to Saul – better safe than sorry. :-))
Another funny side story: David assembled 30,000 Israelis and went with them to Baale in Judah, to take the Ark of the Covenant to the City of David (1 Samuel 18:1-27). They put it on a cart, played music, and dragged it along. After passing six cities, they made sacrifices and David danced ‘with all his might’, dressed in a linen priest garment. When they arrived that way in the City of David – shouting, singing, and dancing – Michal expressed her disgust about her husband’s behavior.
David really couldn’t hold his libido together. One day, he had Uriah the Hittite killed to seize his wife Bathsheba. This backfired: Bathsheba gave birth to Solomon and intrigued against David’s older sons. Eventually, Jehovah got sick and tired of David’s escapades and punished David by giving his wives to his unnamed neighbor, who had sex with them in plain sight.
Badass Saints #2 Sholomoh, the Master Polygamist and Fornicator
Sholomoh (Solomon) was an even greater polygamist than his father David. He had more than 1,000 women in his entourage. Eventually, these women messed with his head and he built a temple of idols on Mt. Olives, in plain sight of Jehovah’s Temple. Jehovah punished him by destroying Israel’s union after his death. Israel was divided into north and south and the ten tribes in the North got lost. Hmm … was that really a punishment for Solomon or is the nation of Israel not what we think? Read the post Our Inner Angels and Demons
Badass Saints #1: Job, the Undaunted
Job is our top bad-ass patriarch because nothing was wrong with him. Beaten to a pulp by karma (Satan, the Adversary), he was steadfast in his belief that Jehovah was a Good Guy. First, Job lost his children and wealth. Job remained cool and responded: “Naked I was born, and naked shall I die. Jehovah gave and Jehovah took – blessed be His name.” Satan kicked it up a notch and stroke Job with a nasty disease. Outcast, mocked, boils all over this body, and sitting in ashes, his wife asked him to curse Jehovah and drop dead, but Job was unimpressed: “Isn’t it cheap if we want to receive only good from Jehovah, but no evil?”
Jehovah’s ways are mysterious, that’s why the ‘Hymn to Wisdom’ in the Book of Job concludes that wisdom is inaccessible to people. Really – where were we when Jehovah laid the world’s foundations? What do we know and who are we to complain? On a side note: there’s hope, sometimes Jehovah does reveal wisdom – through dreams and visions.
The Book of Job raises the hardest, religious question: why would people get bad karma if they didn’t sin? Conclusion: karma has nothing to do with morality. This may be the most important lesson of the Book of Job or even the Bible, which, incidentally, has a happy ending.
Picture attribution: copyright/ fotomaximum / 123RF Stock Photo