The movie industry is flooded with epic stories of valiant ancient warriors sometimes so intrepid and invincible that we find ourselves questioning how unrealistic such feats are. From tales of Gladiators tearing apart Roman armies to epics about men in fictitious Middle-Earth knifing down hundreds of Orcs single-handedly, we’ve endured with growing skepticism.
But here are a few people from biblical history that could no doubt make us give up on the plausibility of classical movies and probably return to porn…
Here’s the condition of the battlefront before Jonathan had his moment:
“The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns.” 1 Sam 13:5,6.
Yeah, they were pretty screwed. And it’s always times like this that the badass steps up in movies, yeah?
“That same day Saul’s son Jonathan said to the attendant who carried his weapons, “Come on, let’s cross over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” However, he did not tell his father.” 1Sam 14:1
That’s right. While others were hiding, Jonathan decided to do what Van Damme would do, take the fight up to them. Who knows what that poor armor bearer who had no choice in the matter was thinking at that point. This story gets cooler when instead of sneaking around their enemies camp and slitting their throats like we watched Spartacus do repeatedly, they marched to the front gate… literally.
“So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. ‘Look!’ said the Philistines. ‘The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in. Then the men from the outpost shouted to Jonathan, “Come on up here, and we’ll teach you a lesson!’ ‘Come on, climb right behind me,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “for the LORD will help us defeat them!” 1Sam 14:11,12.
Again, that poor armor bearer.
“Come… and we’ll teach you a lesson,” and he went. That alone is a testament to the bravado of this prince. And then he climbed up. It’s suffice to say that at this point the Philistines quavered a little like- He’s coming? He’s really coming? Are you sure he ain’t gat a nuke?
“Jonathan climbed up using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer behind him. Jonathan cut them down, and his armor-bearer followed and finished them off. In that first assault Jonathan and his armor-bearer struck down about 20 men in a half-acre field. 1Sam 14:13,14
And that’s how he turned the tides of the war right around, here’s the happy ending:
“When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit. So on that day the LORD saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.” 1 Sam 14:22,23.
As Commander in the house of Israel, he was anointed to be king by Elisha the prophet. Immediately after that he rides straight to the King’s quarters, making us wonder if he hadn’t been plotting a coup long before Elisha came and gave him the right excuse. He was probably as cool as he was tough because immediately he was anointed, his army swore fealty to him. The King sends a messenger to him asking if he comes in peace, but he replies cool and calm “What have you to do with peace? Turn around and follow me” and yes, the messenger turned and followed, a second was sent and… déjà vu, thus setting precedence for Napoleone Bonaparte. And then goes on to in one day kill TWO kings: King Jehoram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah (the Hebrews were split into two nations at the time) who for all the ill-fated luck a man could have was with the King of Israel at that time.
Check this out;
“Jehu aimed his bow and shot an arrow right between Jehoram’s shoulders. The arrow went through his heart and he fell to his knees in his chariot.” 2Kings 9:24
Gbam! Legolas, yo’ heard?
He went on to kill the evil and erstwhile powerful queen Jezebel and then laid another precedent, this time for Hitler when he embarked on a genocide campaign of any Ahab-blooded survivor.
“Then Jehu killed all who were left of Ahab’s relatives living in Jezreel and all his important officials, his personal friends, and his priests. So Ahab was left without a single survivor.” 2Kings 10:11
He’s attributed with the reverred quote from a scared shitless king’s watchman: “The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a madman.” 2Kings 9:20
David’s go-to guy whenever an assassination was required, Joab, General of the army during David’s reign was so badass even the great King David couldn’t touch him, despite the fact that he killed two fellow Generals (Amasa and Abner) and the King’s own son Absalom.
“Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me–what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet.” 1Kings 2:5
So valiant and bloody, Joab led the King’s armies through countless victories, squashing any internal uprising with maximum amount of bloodshed.
He was famously known for being a no-shit cold-blooded belly-stabbing assassin, take a look;
“Amasa didn’t notice the dagger in his left hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it so that his insides gushed out onto the ground. Joab did not need to strike again, and Amasa soon died”2Sam 20:10
“When Abner arrived back at Hebron, Joab took him aside at the gateway as if to speak with him privately. But then he stabbed Abner in the stomach and killed him in revenge for killing his brother Asahel” 2Sam 3:27
“Enough of this nonsense,” Joab said. Then he took three daggers and plunged them into Absalom’s heart as he dangled, still alive, in the great tree.” 2Sam 18:14
Even Abner who at the time was on opposing sides cowered at his name.
“Again Abner shouted to him, “Get away from here! I don’t want to kill you. How could I ever face your brother Joab again?” 2Sam 2:22
Well, he was wise to be terrified cos if you scroll just a little bit upwards, you’ll see how he ended.
3. Simeone and Levi.
Most people on this list have a list of intrepid badass moments but these two have only a single story of valiance to share, howbeit, such impressive is their feat that they made it here.
Here’s the background story; As part of a nomadic family, they settled temporarily in front of a city. Their sister, Dinah, strolls into the city to window shop and then gets raped by the prince of the city, Shechem. Obviously, the Women Rights laws back then were crap cos this dude comes to the family of the lady he just raped, professing love for her and requesting her hand in marriage. The nerve!
Unlike most of the people on this list, these guys actually developed an ingenious plan. They accept to hand their sister in marriage only if the prince and his whole town is circumcised, quoting some bullshit religious tenet to back their claim. He was the prince and he was in love and love is blind and love is foolish so he accepted, went back to his city and had every male circumcised.
Alas, here’s the Simeone-Levi moment;
“All the men who went out of the city gate agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male in the city was circumcised. Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male. They put Hamor and his son Shechem to the sword and took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left. The sons of Jacob came upon the dead bodies and looted the city where their sister had been defiled. They seized their flocks and herds and donkeys and everything else of theirs in the city and out in the fields.They carried off all their wealth and all their women and children, taking as plunder everything in the houses.” Gen 34:24-29
That’s how two dudes conquered an entire city. If that aint badass then what is?
Some only know David for his famous victory over the giant Goliath. What people tend to overlook is that this same dude as a youthful shepherd bare-handedly killed a lion and a bear. That’s gotta count for something, yeah?
Ok, fast forward few years later, he slays the Giant Goliath and becomes a nationwide celeb. So King Saul takes him in during which time David proves he’s the coolest badass in history by instantly befriending a prince and princess (Jonathan and Micah) who were both noted to have loved him (1Sam 18:1,28) as well as the whole freaking nation.
“But all Israel and Judah loved David.” 1Sam 18:16
Saul gets jealous (who wouldn’t?) and decides he’s gotta kill this guy. So he tries to spear the dude to a wall, and David dodges -twice- while PLAYING A HARP! Which makes us decide that either Saul was a very lousy shot or David is the earliest documentation of Kung Fu practice.
Saul would go on to lead a remarkably futile and prolonged manhunt for David. To worsen matters, twice David slipped into his chambers while he was asleep, first cutting his cloth and on the second trip taking his spear and water jug (I like to think he took a selfie with a wide smirk on his face while holding the jug above Saul’s head) and afterwards showing himself to the king with the artifacts just to prove a point!
And thus cup as trophies where invented…
After a while, David got bored of playing hide and seek, so he strolled across the border to the Philistines territory, sworn enemies to his people and whose numerous citizens he had slaughtered including the famous Goliath. But his record was so dope that they figured he’ll make better use fighting for them than being slain. He however later returned to Israel and promptly won the throne.
His conquests can be summarized thus;
“David did not leave one person alive in the villages he attacked. He took the sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing before returning home…” 1Sam 27:9
As a King he conquered and conquered. Of course he had very good hands behind him, an army led by the previously mentioned Joab and remarkable badasses.
As expected, the number one name is Samson who managed to outdo everyone on this list put together along with every on screen badass warlord. His numerous exploits include;
Killing a lion with his bare hands.
“…and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces” Judges 14:5-6
He loses a bet with thirty men through cheating, so he goes ahead and kills thirty men.”…He went down to the town of Ashkelon, killed thirty men, took their belongings, and gave their clothing to the men who had solved his riddle” Judges 14:12-19
His father in law tries to swindle him by giving him a different daughter, so he burns down the Philistines Vineyards and Whitefield. Understandably the Philistines get irate, so they burn down the to-be father in law and wife. Samson turns on Sage mode, picks a jawbone of an ass and kills a thousand Philistines on the spot. And then, a woman finally seduces Samson to captivation. There he pulls the greatest stunt of his life by bringing down the two pillars he is chained to with his bare hands in a suicidal move that killed more people in one night than he had done all his life.
“…Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.” Judges 16:30
After all these being stated, we can only conclude that the only reason Samson wasn’t included in The Expendables is because he’ll make the Hulk look too feeble.
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