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God's Plague Of Hemorrhoids


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I had don't remember this story from when I had read the OT years ago, but I came across it again, and it struck me as nearly absurd as Balaam and his talking donkey.

 

Below is my summary of 1 Samuel chapters 4 - 7:

 

The Israelis and the Philistines were having a skirmish and the Israelis had taken on some pretty bad causalities, so they fetched the ark of the covenant to their camp for protection and got really boisterous. The Philistines heard the Israelis whopping it up and got really frightened that Yahweh would open up a can of whoop ass on them, like he did on the Egyptians, so they raided the Israeli camp and took the ark. This really pissed Yahweh off, so he inflicted all the Philistines with a plague of hemorrhoids.

 

Well the Philistines were so barraged with death and hemorrhoids, that they were desperate to get rid of the ark and get Yahweh off their asses (so to speak). So upon the advice of their priests and diviners, they cast five golden replicas of their hemorrhoids, five golden mice, build a cart, and loaded it up with the Ark, the golden hemorrhoids, and the gold rats. They yoked two cows to the ark and let them go where they wanted. According to the priests, if they went to Bethshemesh, an Israeli settlement, it was proof that Yahweh had been smiting them, otherwise not. Of course, the cows made a bee line for Bethshemesh. The hapless men of Bethshemesh gazed upon the ark, which pissed Yahweh off either slightly or big time, and he slaughtered either 70 or 50,070 of the Bethshemesh residents (depending on which translation you read).

 

Now you'd think that if the Philistines were convinced that Yahweh had been slaying them and plaguing them with hemorrhoids, that they would lay low, but they end up attacking the Israelis once again, whereupon the Israelis and their bloodthirsty god smite them in droves, and they finally back off.

 

Now I have a question for those who are more knowledgeable of biblical translations and the original Hebrew than I. It seems that some translations call the hemorrhoids, "hemorrhoids," while others call them "tumors" and yet others call them "sores." Some also call them "emerods," which I had to look up (result: they seem to be a biblical term for hemorrhoids). The emerods are what got me started on comparing that word and eventually the number of Bethshemesh residents slayed in the different translations.

 

So the question: Tumors, emerods, hemorrhoids, sores: are these all referring to hemorrhoids? I have to admit, Yahweh plaguing the Philistines with hemorrhoids, and their making five gold models of their own hemorrhoids makes a more entertaining story than if he just gave them sores.

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Lol he gives the bad guys who steal the ark hemorrhoids and kills possibly thousands of the good guys just for being there when it comes back? God is a funny guy. Probably why they attacked again, figured maybe isreal god hated his own people more than them.

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I could have put this in the humor section. Pretty violent and bloody, but really funny, nonetheless.

 

God was no less harsh to his own chosen people than he was to the Philistines. He did not intervene for his people or lift a finger against the Philistines after the initial slaughter, either, only after their frat boy prank! Apparently it's OK to kill each other en masse, but whatever you do, don't mess with a couple of stone tablets or even cast your eyes upon them, because THAT'S an infinitely worse transgression with consequences of widespread death and misery at the hand of god himself.

 

It's another one of the many things that make me wonder why xians seem so comfortable with the belief that god will keep them in paradise for all eternity and not cast them into torment when they do something trivial to randomly piss him off four hundred billion years from now (or probably a lot sooner).

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I could have put this in the humor section. Pretty violent and bloody, but really funny, nonetheless.

 

I just have one question. I've seen a lot of hemorrhoids, but if someone made a golden cast or model of one and put it on my desk, I'm not sure I would know the difference between a model of a hemorrhoid and a nugget.

 

That's got to be the weirdest visual I have ever had from a biblical passage. Imagine the artist - working to try and copy the shape of the hemorrhoid...

 

Did he use one model, or several?

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I could have put this in the humor section. Pretty violent and bloody, but really funny, nonetheless.

 

I just have one question. I've seen a lot of hemorrhoids, but if someone made a golden cast or model of one and put it on my desk, I'm not sure I would know the difference between a model of a hemorrhoid and a nugget.

 

That's got to be the weirdest visual I have ever had from a biblical passage. Imagine the artist - working to try and copy the shape of the hemorrhoid...

 

Did he use one model, or several?

He made a cast with hot wax.

 

This isn't a word I'm familiar with (sorry, I never made a study of disgusting medical terms in Hebrew), but Strong's says it specifically means "protruding tumors of the anus."

 

I think this was right after the Plague of Acne and the Plague of Bad Hair.

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