9th May 2016
“Him that pisseth against the wall!”
- Dave (Amongst Others)
1 Samuel 25:22, 34
1 Kings 14:10, 16:11, 21:21
2 Kings 9:8
This is another gem from 1611’s monarch-commissioned English translation, the KJV.
Usually referring to a group of men facing imminent slaughter, most modern English translations translate this phrase as “all the males” (with perhaps a micturational footnote), which is what it essentially means. But I feel that really takes away all the poetry of it.
Thanks, King James.
1st August 2015
“The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a maniac.”
- The Watchman
2 Kings 9:20 (NIV)
“What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
there is nothing new under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 1:9 (HCSB)
I find it strangely heartwarming that, thousands of years before the advent of the motor vehicle, somebody managed to get a rep as a crazy driver.
2nd May 2015
“There’s death in that pot, man!”
- Hungry Guys
2 Kings 4:40 (HCSB)
Next time you need to call someone's cooking abilities into question, this one may be of use.
Like all the best Bible stories, this one begins with “There was a famine in the land…”
The prophet Elisha has just returned home after performing some impressive miracles in the neighbouring towns when he asks his assistant to get a stew on for some of his friends. The lad goes out to find some ingredients, but all he finds are some “wild gourds”, which, hoping for the best, they chuck in the stew, even though “they were unaware of what they were”.
When the stew looks ready, everyone is keen for a helping. But after tasting it, they quickly change their minds: “There's death in that pot, man of God!”
Many readers and translators take this to mean that the stew was poisonous—which is understandable—but I think it just means that it tasted really, awfully bad. Either way, they wouldn't take another bite.
But just as it seems that dinnertime is over, Elisha adds “culinary salvage” to his list of God-given, miraculous abilities, sprinkling some meal into the pot, and making it fit for grateful consumption.
18th April 2015
- Unfortunate Lads
2 Kings 2:23
In one of the more controversial stories in the Old Testament, Elisha is walking up to Bethel when some unruly youths come and have a go at him. Their insult of choice? You guessed it.
Put out, the follicly challenged prophet turns around and curses the lads. I imagine a fist was also shaken in their direction. All of a sudden—and here's the controversial bit—a pair of she-bears come and maul forty-two of them.