23 April 2008

Five Golden Hemorrhoids

My last post listed the top ten biblical plagues, one of which involved five golden hemorrhoids. Since that probably bothered a lot of you, I thought I'd tell more about it.

It all started when the Philistines stole the ark of the covenant from the Israelites and brought it to the city of Ashdod. They put the ark in the temple next to their god, Dagon. The next day they found Dagon face-down on the floor. So they put Dagon back up again, but they found him on the floor again the next day with his hands and head cut off. The Bible tells us (1 Samuel 5:5) that no one ever went into that temple again.

But God was just messing around with Dagon. Next he gets down to serious business by striking the people of Ashdod with emerods (hemorrhoids).

But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods. 1 Samuel 5:6

The people of Ashdod figure it's the God of the Israelites that is smiting them with hemorrhoids (who else would do something like that?), so they try to get rid of the damn ark, since God seems so pissed off about it. So they send it to the city of Gath, which didn't work out too well for the Gathites.

The hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. 1 Samuel 5:9

And the Gathites packed up the ark and sent it to the next city, Ekron, with much the same result.

There was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven. 1 Samuel 5:11-12

Finally, the Philistines ask their priests if they have any ideas. The priests tell them to make five golden hemorrhoids and five golden mice as a trespass offering, put the ark and the trespass offerings in a cart pulled by two cows. Then let the cows go wherever they choose. If they go toward Bethshemesh, then it is God who was striking the people with hemorrhoids in their secret parts.

Since that sounded like such a reasonable plan, that's what they did. And the cows headed straight for Bethshemesh "and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left." So the world now knows for sure that it was God who had killed the Philistines by putting hemorrhoids in their secret parts.

That would have been a happy ending, I suppose, except some of the Bethshemeshites looked into the ark. So God had to kill 50,070 of them. (A God's gotta do what a God's gotta do.)

And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. 1 Samuel 6:19

Stories like this can only be found in the Bible.


Brian_E said...

This is hilarious. Why any intelligent, reasonable person would think this behavior is appropriate for the creator of the universe is insane. Do stories like this not make it plainly obvious that the bible was written by a bunch of stupid primates, whose primary purpose was to instill fear and awe in the power of their god?

RsD said...

If I might go off topic: Happy National (U.S.) Day of Prayer. The only way that I see that this could possibly be Constitutional would be if we declare June 1st to be National Day of Admitting that Organized Religion is B.S.

Thank you.

v_quixotic said...

The LORD seems to be very hard on His chosen people. The Philistines who steal the ark and defile it by installing it in a pagan temple are only punished with hemorrhoids and some minor vandalism. The Israelites on the other hand are subjected to the collective punishment of genocide for just checking to see if the tablets were still there. Brutal, and inconsistent!

Aquaria said...

I always have to read certain versions of the Hebrew fairtyale (like the KJV) carefully, because they sometimes make things sound worse, or at least more confusing, than some of the other translations. For instance, read a certain way, 1 Samuel 5:6 as listed above (KJV) almost makes it sound like the imaginary sky guy first destroys the people of Ashdod then he smote them with hemorrhoids, which would seem like unnecessary effort. I mean, why give dead people hemorrhoids?

As it is, why hemorrhoids, anyway? I mean, the guy turned somebody into a pillar of salt once. Had he forgotten how to do that? Or was it "been there, done that"?

So much about the guy in the sky doesn't make sense...

N T Wrong said...

Have you seen Aren Maeir's recent theory on the meaning of the 'opalim?

See http://ntwrong.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/aren-maeirs-philistine-penis-in-full-colour/

Steve Wells said...

Thanks N T Wrong! I'd never heard that theory before. I've added a links in the blog entry and at the SAB.

BCPipes said...

On the other hand, emodude, the authors of the Bible may have been more with-it than we think. Read the directions for constructing the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus. What better to awestrike the meeping primates to enslavement than a Superheterodyne demodulator with a capacity for around 50MJoules?

Strange that they were also instructed to walk around with it a lot. To build up a charge, I suppose?

On a smaller scale, behold the "speaking tube" at Mystery Hill NH.

"A 4 inch by 6 inch shaft, lined with thin facing stones, runs from the exterior and enters through the interior wall at about chin level. The “Speaking Tube,” as it is called, emerges above ground, yet concealed underneath a sacrificial altar with runnels. It would seem that the speakers within the Oracle Chamber could talk into the tube, their voices warped and amplified, carrying up to the altar above and creating quite an impressive sound to a group of worshippers who might be gathered around the altar—in effect making the altar talk."


Then there's Penn and Teller.

Bukko Boomeranger said...

With apologies to the late Johnny Cash and "A boy Named Sue", I just gotta say that if I ever have a son, I'm naming him Bethshamesh.