Who says that the Bible has to be boring and hard to understand? Sure there are lots of passages about “this person, who was the son of this other guy, who was the second cousin twice removed from this other guy“, but there are some really good stories in their, as well! These people had to deal with plagues and invasions and people trying to kill them at every turn. You couldn’t start a religion at the time with a bunch of pacifists and God knew this so He hand-picked a few to really show His might. Who were the baddest of the Biblical butt-kickers? Note: You can read about these people if your Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. They are so tough, they are mentioned in each religion. Here’s our five best:
Also known as Shimshon and described in the Book of Judges, chapters 13-16. He was also written about in Josephus’ book called, Antiquities of the Jews, written in the first century C.E. Samson was the Hercules of the Bible. What makes him a butt-kicker is that God had given him his incredible strength as long as he grew his hair (God was even for the hippie culture). Samson killed a lion with his bare hands and kills 1000 Philistines with the leftovers from lunch (i.e. the jawbone of a donkey). He falls in love with a woman named Delilah and she learns the secret to his strength. She betrays him and has his head shaved while he sleeps. With his strength gone, the Philistines capture and torture him by poking out his eyes. They are going to sacrifice him to their god, Dagon (the same one mentioned in the movie, Conan the Destroyer), but wait too long until all of the kings and leaders of the Philistines can show up. In the meantime, Samson’s hair grows back and so does his strength. Going out with a blaze of glory, Samson waits till all of his enemies are in the temple and then he pulls the whole thing down on top of them – killing himself in the process!
David is probably one of the best known people in the Old Testament. He can be found in the Book of Joshua. This is the guy who killed the giant, Goliath, when he was a teenager – ‘nuff said for being a bad ass, right? Well, David is just starting off. After killing Goliath, he is made a general in the army and leads his men to kill “tens of thousands” of people. David’s life is filled with murder and betrayal. He has an ongoing nemesis in King Saul and David has the opportunity to kill him many times. He doesn’t do it, but then he turns around and tells Saul, “I could have just killed you, but I didn’t.” He takes another man’s wife, kills off his enemies, and even on his deathbed, commands his son Solomon to kill anyone who would question his family line to leader of all the Israelites.
Joshua was the fellow that took over after Moses died. You can read about him mainly in the Books of Exodus, Numbers, and Joshua. Moses originally had him as one of his companions and used him to spy into the land of Canaan. Later, Joshua would become a military leader and help to take over Canaan. He’s possibly most famous for being the one in charge when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. He then led the Israelites against the Amorites who held an alliance of five kings. At the final battle of Gibeon, Joshua charged down the mountain with his men – the sun at his back – and defeated all of them.
He is found in the Book of Judges and his name means “The Destroyer” or “Mighty Warrior”. This kind of sets him up to be a kick-ass hero. He was chosen by God to bring the Israelites back to the faith. God wanted Gideon to take on the army of the Midianites, so Gideon grabbed 10,000 men and was ready to go. God said “That’s too many, just take 300.” Thus, the first story of the 300 was made, with Gideon successfully destroying an army with only 300 warriors.
Never heard of Joab? He’s not as famous as the rest of this list, but a badass hero, nonetheless. You can read about him in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, Book 7, Chapter 1. Joab was one of David’s captains, so right off the bat, he surrounded himself with some ass-kickers. When his brother got killed, he took revenge by killing the guy who did it – why? Was it because he loved his brother? Nope! Because he didn’t want this guy taking his place in the army! While Joab was a follower of David, he didn’t think that David was tough enough. So when David gave orders to NOT kill people, Joab did his own thing and had the people killed anyway. Joab did everything for political reasons. He could have taught Machiavelli a thing or two when it came to getting ahead in the political game. Unfortunately for him, David knew what he was up to and had his son, Solomon put Joab down when he was on his deathbed. I guess David was tougher…