Beyond the many wild, fascinating, and hilarious Bible stories found amongst the ones we often read, there are also some pretty crazy characters in and of themselves found in the pages of the Bible. From Og and the land of giants to Cain’s wife (who seems to have appeared out of nowhere), there is no shortage of fascinating people in the stories we don’t read every day. Some of the people have funny stories; some have tragic stories; still others have violent ones — but there’s no doubt that they’re all interesting!
In Chapter 21 of the Book of Numbers, the authors of the Bible introduce us to King Og. We don’t learn too much about Og at this point, but we do learn that his people rule over the land promised to the Israelites by God. But with God on their side, the Israelites are fortified: “Do not fear him, for into your hand I deliver him with all his forces and all his land,” God reminds them. Sure enough, the Israelites triumph.
Decades later, the Israelites retell the story of this conquering, chronicled in the book of Deuteronomy, and we learn much more about Og. He was the last of the Rephaim (a race of giants that lived in the Promised Land) and for some reason, the Bible gives very specific details about the dimensions of his bed — approximately 13 ½ feet long by 6 feet wide! So, in case you were planning to build a bed for a giant (or just think your bed needs a little extra space), or needed to be more amazed at the feat it took for the Israelites to defeat him, look no further than Og!
Last week, we learned the story of the prophet Elisha, who was so upset about being teased for his bald head that he released two vicious she-bears onto the children who taunted him. If that’s enough to bring down the wrath of God, imagine what happened to Korah, who was trying to work in the sacred center of the temple. He stages an uprising against Moses and Aaron, challenging them as to why he and the other disgruntled Jewish people aren’t allowed into the most sacred part of the temple. He says “‘You go too far! The whole community, all of them, are holy; the Lord is in their midst. Why then should you set yourselves over the Lord’s assembly?’” (Numbers 21:3a)
Korah says all the right words, but God is unfortunately on the side of Moses and Aaron. Speaking to them, God tells the brothers to gather all the rebellious ones into one location in the temple square, and to step away from everyone else. Despite Moses and Aaron’s request for mercy on the rebels, God then opens the ground and swallows the rebellion alive. That’s one way to get rid of people who disagree with you for sure; and God, with his penchant for a dramatic flair, has no issue doing so!
These are just a few of the funky, unconventional, and unusual characters in the Bible. Join us next week for Part 2.
--Claire Kosewic, Staff Bulletin Writer
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