Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • The Bible- for some a source of controversy, for others, inspiration.

  • What both sides can agree on though is that some of literature's greatest villains grace

  • its pages.

  • 10.

  • We'll start with something relatively light.

  • We say relatively, but in today's world, this man could have easily stood on the top

  • of a tri-level podium with Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy standing next to him clutching

  • their respective silver and bronze medals.

  • His name was Abimelech.

  • He was partial to the odd massacre, but they are two a penny in the bible.

  • It's what he did to become king that gets him a place on this list.

  • Abimelech had many brothers, 70 of them, which didn't bode well for his ascension to rulership.

  • Those brothers were only half-brothers since his mother was his father's slave and concubine.

  • One day Abimelech went to his mother and asked, “Please ask all citizens of Shechem, what

  • seems best to you?

  • Do you really want all of Gideon's 70 sons to rule you or just one man?

  • Remember, I'm your own flesh and blood.”

  • He was given 70 pieces of silver, which he used to hire a bunch of violent thugs.

  • They were ok with bashing some brothers up for the right price.

  • They helped him kill all of the brothers, except the youngest, Jotham, who escaped.

  • Notably, all the brothers were slain on the same stone.

  • Abimelech was cursed after that, and he died in battle not quite the way he'd dreamed

  • of.

  • A woman dropped a stone on his head from a height.

  • Dying on the floor, Abimelech told one of his men to stab him with a spear, lest anyone

  • know a member of the fairest sex felled him.

  • According to the bible, in Judges 9, “So God paid back Abimelech for the evil he had

  • done to his father when he killed his 70 brothers.

  • God also paid back the men of Shechem for all their evil.”

  • Hubris, greed, vengefulness, it doesn't often go down too well under the eyes of God.

  • Make no mistake, God's wrath was hardcore, as you'll see time again in this show.

  • 9.

  • Again, we are going to discuss some brotherly friction that led one sibling to take out

  • the other.

  • Fratricide might not be very common these days, but in ancient times it was all the

  • rage.

  • Be thankful your older brother only ever pushed you off a swing.

  • This story is about Cain, and his older brother, Abel.

  • It's one of the most well-known tales in the bible.

  • Here's the abridged version.

  • Cain was the firstborn of the couple we all know and love, Adam and Eve.

  • Then Abel came along, and thus started the oldest sibling rivalry known to man.

  • It was when they got older that all the problems started.

  • Cain was a farmer, and one day he made a sacrifice to God by handing over some of his harvest.

  • Cain expected to be in the good books for that, receiving a pat on the back.

  • But that never came.

  • Then Abel, the shepherd, came onto the scene and did a bit of sacrificing himself.

  • He gave God the firstborn of his flock.

  • God was actually well pleased with both sacrifices, but he preferred Abel's.

  • Why?

  • Because Abel gave of his firstborn from amongst his flocks, thinking of God before thinking

  • of himself- while Cain's offering has no mention of the firstfruits, meaning he didn't

  • place God, or his faith, first..

  • Abel had living faith, while Cain's was stagnant, his giving merely a ceremonial ritual,

  • so God was more pleased with Abel.

  • Cain sulked and cried like a child who'd thrown his toys out of the pram.

  • Then God said to him, “Why are you angry?

  • Why is your face downcast?

  • If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?

  • But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have

  • you, but you must rule over it.”

  • Given that he'd just killed his brother in a jealous fit, the advice was prudent.

  • God then famously asked, “Where is your brother Abel?”

  • Cain replied with the immortal lines, “I don't know.

  • Am I my brother's keeper?”

  • But oh, Cain knew alright.

  • Out of jealousy, he'd murdered his own brother.

  • God said, “Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth

  • to receive your brother's blood from your hand.”

  • He cursed Cain to wander the Earth in torment, hence walk with the mark of Cain.

  • Cain had said, “I will be a restless wanderer on the Earth, and whoever finds me will kill

  • me.”

  • God said, nah, no deal.

  • No one will kill you.

  • That's why he put the mark on Cain, to let people know not to kill this guy.

  • Cain had no love, no God, no brother, no friends, nothing!

  • His pitiful envy had done that.

  • He had to go live in the Land of Nod, which was the ancient equivalent of being blocked

  • from social media.

  • The story is very important, which is why we've included it.

  • German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said thatRessentiment”, resentment, can explain

  • much of the misery of man.

  • It makes us weak and sick, and it makes us attack others, even if our resentment is resentment

  • to life itself.

  • The story of Cain and Abel represents that resentment.

  • Just look at Twitter, it's full of Cains.

  • So, Cain makes the list with just one kill because he kind of kicked off what would become

  • the lodestone of human hatred, envy, and suffering.

  • It's a brilliant tale.

  • This next one is about plain cruelty.

  • 8.

  • One day a guy named Herod the Great heard someone say, “Where is the one who has been

  • born king of the Jews?

  • We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

  • Wait on a minute, Herod thought, I'm the king around here.

  • He then asked where this king was born, to which he received the reply, “Bethlehem.”

  • Ok, he thought, I better rub out this ostensible king.

  • Tracking down a newborn without ID is hard enough now, never mind back in the day when

  • transport options were few and far between.

  • But Herod sent someone to look for the baby.

  • They were the Three Wise Men, and when they found this kid, Jesus, they showered him with

  • gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

  • Those former two tree resins were just as valuable as gold back then.

  • To cut a long story short, the wise guys never returned to Herod, knowing that he would try

  • and kill the infant Jesus.

  • The bible says, “He was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem

  • and its vicinity who were two years old and under.”

  • This became known as theMassacre of the Innocents”.

  • If it actually happened- and most biblical scholars merely consider it a myth- the estimated

  • kill count was somewhere between 14,000 and 144,000.

  • You see, resentment again.

  • This next king was arguably worse, but for different reasons.

  • 7.

  • His name was Ahaz, and he was the king of Judea from 732–716 before Christ was born.

  • One Christian website we found called him theevil king of Judah.”

  • It's said his actions led to the destruction of the kingdom.

  • He worshipped idols, which was pretty much the biggest no-no in God's eyes, but he

  • also sacrificed two of his own kids to a pagan deity called Moloch.

  • In the eyes of God, this was not cool at all.

  • This is from Leviticus 18:21, “And thou shalt not give any of thy seed to set them

  • apart to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.”

  • Ahaz even started messing with temples, restructuring bits and then setting up places of worship

  • around Judea where people could pray to idols.

  • This was a man that went to the dark side.

  • It would be an understatement to say God didn't much like being forsaken by his people.

  • Especially when they were burning their infant children alive to foreign Gods.

  • Now for a really sad love story.

  • 6.

  • Why, why, why Delilah?”

  • goes a 1960s pop song.

  • Indeed, why Delilah?

  • The next lines are, “I could see, that girl was no good for me.

  • But I was lost like a slave that no man could free.”

  • Delilah was a Philistine, folks who settled in Palestine around the 12th century BC.

  • They became the enemies of the Israelites.

  • What you need to know is that Delilah met a really strong Israelite warrior named Samson.

  • This is from Judges 16, “One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute.

  • He went in to spend the night with her.”

  • A plan was made to kill him by some Israelites who knew where he was, but he pretty much

  • ripped the doors off the city gate and walked out like a man who'd just been crowned WWE

  • champion.

  • This was some strong dude.

  • Then he met Delilah, and so the Philistine rulers said to her, “See if you can lure

  • him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him.”

  • She agreed, but only when she was told eleven hundred shekels of silver was part of the

  • deal.

  • She then used her charms to make him fall in love with her, which he did, but all the

  • time, she was feigning reciprocity of that love.

  • She tried three times to get it out of him what the source of his strength was, and then

  • the smitten warrior told her: “It's my hair.”

  • Samson said, “No razor has ever been used on my head.

  • If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any

  • other man.”

  • She told the Philistines and collected her bounty, after which, when Samson was asleep,

  • someone cut off his locks.

  • Delilah didn't feel the least bit guilty.

  • You could do a lot back then with 1,100 silver shekels.

  • The Philistines gouged out Samson's eyes, as was a la mode in those days.

  • They then made him a prisoner.

  • The Philistines made him put on a show like a circus animal, and one day he was brought

  • into their royal palace, where he prayed to God for forgiveness and to give him the strength

  • to atone for his sins by taking the Philistine leadership down with him as he toppled the

  • palace pillars.

  • The love story has been calledthe archetypal story of cross-cultural love between members

  • of warring nations.”

  • This next one might be the worst promise ever kept.

  • 5.

  • The star of this story was named Jephthah.

  • His mother was a prostitute, maybe a busy one, because the bible doesn't say who his

  • father was.

  • Jephthah was a mighty warrior, but it seems he was also morally bankrupt.

  • He was driven out of his house by his brothers because he was an illegitimate child.

  • But later, when the Ammonites started giving the Israelites a hard time, they asked for

  • the help of Jephthah.

  • He said to them, “Did you not hate me and drive me out of my father's house?

  • Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?”

  • They said, c'mon, let bygones be bygones, and he said, ok, no worries, I'll fight.

  • But he said once he'd won the battle, he had to become the head, and they said if that

  • was the case, they'd be glad to have him as the leader.

  • Later, Jephthah made the sort of deal that is always going to end in tears.

  • We now call this kind of deal a “Faustian bargain”, although this was a pact with

  • the good guy, not the devil.

  • Jephthah said to God: “If you will give the Ammonites into my

  • hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace

  • from the Ammonites shall be the LORD's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”

  • He won the battle, of course.

  • The next part in the bible reads, “The Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel.”

  • But guess who should walk out of Jephthah's house next?

  • His only daughter!

  • She was in a great mood over the victory, dancing towards him, slapping a tambourine.

  • She saw he looked a bit glum and, feeling confused, she put the tambourine down.

  • Jephthah then said, “I have opened my mouth to the LORD, and I cannot take back my vow.”

  • He allowed his daughter a trip to the mountains for a couple of months so she couldweep

  • her virginity,” but when she came back, he did as promised and burned her.

  • There is a message here, but we'll let a scholar explain it to you.

  • As a potential mother, the daughter represents the future for family and community.

  • Her father's shortsightedness signifies the chaos of pre-monarchic life.”

  • In the biblical context, the message is even simpler: don't make foolish vows.

  • Now for another evil woman.

  • 4.

  • Her name was Herodias.

  • She was a princess of Judea around the time of the birth of Christ.

  • It was a strange time for sure.

  • Her father was Aristobulus IV.

  • He was murdered by his own father, Herod the Great, the guy behind the Massacre of the

  • Innocents.

  • He killed two of his sons after accusing them of treason.

  • With that in mind, Heriodias was always going to be a bit messed up.

  • She married one of the surviving sons of Herod the (not so) Great, which meant she married

  • her half-uncle.

  • His name was Herod Antipas.

  • Moving on, according to the gospels of Matthew and Mark, John the Baptist took a dim view

  • of all the inter-marrying going on in this family.

  • For that, he was put in prison.

  • Still, Herod Antipas did not want to kill John.

  • But then one night there was a party, and the stepdaughter of Herod Antipas put on a

  • wonderful dance performance.

  • Herod got a bit excited watching this.

  • The stepdaughter was the daughter of Herodias.

  • Herod told her, for that outstanding performance, you can have what you want.

  • The young girl wasn't sure what she wanted, not until Heriodias whispered in her ear.

  • She told her daughter to ask for John's head on a platter.

  • You see, she still had a beef with him over his incest criticism.

  • In Matthew 14, it's written, “His head was brought in on a platter and given to the

  • girl, who carried it to her mother.”

  • Obviously, the evil here is shared among many people, not just Heriodias.

  • The next guy is said to have been the worst ever.

  • 3.

  • He was King Ahab, sometimes called the most wicked king of Israel.

  • That's a tall order, given the history of Israel's kings.

  • In 1 Kings 16:30, It's written, “Ahab son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord

  • more than all who were before him.”

  • But why?

  • Well, there are a few reasons, but one thing often brought up was the fact he was behind

  • the execution of a vineyard owner named Naboth.

  • Ahab wanted to buy the vineyard because the land was close to his own place.

  • Naboth didn't want to sell.

  • God's land was not for sale by law.

  • Basically, after