After Noah saved the entirety of land-based human and animal life, he did what pretty much any of us would do: he planted a vineyard and proceeded to get plastered, then passed out nude in his tent. Trouble is, his son Ham saw his dad naked, then went and told folks about it. Opinions vary about whether that’s all Ham did or not – some folks say that the story should be read as Ham having sex with his father or even castrating him. But whatever it was, the transgression was serious enough that drunk-ass Noah went ahead and cursed not Ham, but Ham’s son, Canaan, and all those who came after him.
Judges 3:21-25: Too fat to impale
As a kid, this was one of my favorite Bible stories because it was so violent, gruesome, disgusting, and ridiculous. Long story short, this guy Ehud was supposed to kill this king named Eglon, as per instructions from God, natch. But Eglon was so grotesquely fat, that when Ehud shoved his sword into him, he lost the blade inside the royal blubber. Eglon then voided his bowels and died, which, as a 12 year old boy, was kind of the greatest end to any story ever.
Samuel 18:25-27: David, foreskin collector
You remember David, right? The dude who felled Goliath with a stone to the brain, then cut his head off with the giant’s own sword? Later on, David wanted to marry into the royal family, but King Saul would only give him his daughter’s hand if he brought him 100 foreskins. That part isn’t actually what makes this so crazy though, as God’s Old Testament covenant with Abraham required circumcision. What makes this story nutso is that David went above and beyond, bringing back a whopping 200 foreskins.
Kings 2:23-24: God sends bears
Elisha was a super smart guy, but he was also going bald. That shouldn’t have really been a problem, but you know how cruel kids can be, right? When a bunch of rebellious youths made fun of him for his thinning hair, Elisha made use of a little-known benefit of worshiping the God of the Old Testament: he cursed the kids and God came to the rescue, sending bears rushing out of the woods, which then proceeded to kill those vicious little snots.
Ezekiel 4:11: Poo bread
Ezekiel was tasked with planning out the siege of Jerusalem and, naturally, wanted God’s help, like you do. Thing is, God had some very specific requirements, including lying on one side for 390 days, then on his other side for 40 days. But the weirdest, most ridiculous part? God stipulated that he could only eat bread made using a fire fueled by human feces. Fortunately for Zeke, God showed that famous mercy and allowed him to use cow patties instead. Which is…better, I guess?
Matthew 21:18: Jesus, tree-murderer
The Old Testament doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy Bible stories. To wit, one time Jesus and his bros were walking around and rolled up on a fig tree with no fruit on it. To teach that tree a lesson, the Son of God proceeded to magic the tree and force it to wither away and die. Seems counterproductive if all you want is a fig, but it probably got all the surrounding trees in line.
Genesis 19:1-26: No angelsex
The tale of Sodom & Gomorrah is a famous one that gets bandied about frequently by all kinds of homophobic moral scolds, so it’s easy to forget how bugnuts insane it is. God’s dude Lot was hanging out in Sodom when he got visited by a couple angels. Naturally, all the guys who lived in Sodom wanted Lot to let those handsome celestial beings out so they could run a train on them. Lot refused (Good!) and then offered up his daughter to the mob (Bad! Extremely bad!). Eventually, God had enough and blew up the town, but because Lot’s wife decided to look back at the destruction, God transmogrified her into salt.
Genesis 19:30-38: Incest…again
The Bible starts with a single couple that go on to populate the entire Earth, so of course the book is absolutely lousy with incest. But in Lot’s case, the incest isn’t just implied, it’s clearly laid out. After leaving Sodom (and their saltmom), Lot’s daughters decide that the best way to propagate their line would be dear old dad, so they get him drunk and convince him to knock them up.
Numbers 22:28-29: Talking out your ass
Balaam was walking along with his donkey, and then, wouldn’t you just know it, the donkey stopped moving on account of seeing an angel. As was probably pretty standard practice back then, Balaam started beating the brakes off the donkey, at which point God has the animal learn how to speak. It’s unclear whether this was something that happened to Balaam’s beasts of burden all the time or not, but either way, he didn’t make much of it, and just threatened kill the donkey.
Genesis 32:22-32: Jacob wrestles an angel
Jacob is my favorite Biblical character because he’s kind of a jerk. He’s a liar and a cheat, and even stole his brother’s birthright by covering himself in hair and fooling his blind old dad. But the dopest, craziest thing that Jacob ever did? That would be wrestling with an angel. Even though the angel dislocated his hip, Jacob wouldn’t let go until he squeezed a blessing out of the celestial being.
Exodus 33:23: God moons Moses
So, here’s the thing about God: You can’t look upon him. He’s so majestic, so wonderful, so divine that if a mere mortal would lay eyes upon him, he wouldn’t survive the ordeal. So, when God and Moses are supposed to have their first-ever face-to-face meeting, God thinks better of it, and instead, turns around and allows Moses to gaze upon his backside.