19 Crazy Bible Stories That Will Make You Cringe

We love crazy and weird Bible stories.

There are plenty of weird and crazy Bible stories in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

And they might even make you cringe.

Many worldly people walking in darkness get their kicks making fun of them.

But all of these ridiculous and unbelievable Bible stories have a very good reason for being there. They give us details about how merciful and forgiving and powerful God really is.

And when you get to the bottom of these interesting and bizarre Bible stories, they turn out to not be weird or crazy at all. In fact – rightly understood – they are the coolest Bible stories you’ve ever read!

What we find out is that God always remains sovereign even as man exerts his free will. So no matter how strange these stories might seem, God always wins even as man asserts his own free agency.

His promises are always true, and his faithfulness is proven again and again. Here are nineteen of the craziest, yet most compelling stories in the Bible.

We can learn so much about God’s character from them. His love, his righteousness and his faithfulness come through in all of these Biblical accounts.

1. Judah and Tamar

During the times of the Patriarchs in the book of Genesis, they lived under the Levirate Law – a law practiced throughout the world and not unique to Israel.

Under this system, every family was responsible for finding a mate for each child.

If the son died after getting married, the parents of the dead husband were expected to provide a new mate for their daughter-in-law from their other sons.

Tamar was the wife of Judah’s son who died (see the whole story in Genesis 38). The family offered her their second son and he soon died.

Now that two of Judah’s three sons were dead after marrying the same woman, you can see why Judah wasn’t too enthusiastic about giving her his third and only remaining son.

Later, Tamar dressed like a prostitute and fooled Judah into unknowingly performing the husband’s duty, if you know what I mean… (are you cringing yet?)

Tamar gave birth to twin boys Perez and Zerah.

And Judah became the father of his own grandsons. Keep in mind that under Levirate law, these sons were legally regarded as the sons of his dead son, leaving Judah as their grandfather and adoptive father. 

God would show his unfailing grace and The Messianic line to David and Jesus Christ would come through Perez.

Yes, this Bible story is pretty crazy, but just look how well it ends!

2. When Jesus Cursed the Fig Tree

In Mark 11:12-25, it withered and died very quickly. A lot of folks scratch their heads over this.

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

Remember that in the Bible, the fig tree symbolizes Israel. Just as the fig tree was showing promise with its leaves but bearing no fruit, so was Israel.

Key point, Israel had leaves but no fruit -same as this ill-fated fig tree.

This special nation that God established as a light to all nations was negligent in fulfilling her duties and the time for judgment had come. She rejected her Messiah.

Days later, the Messiah would be crucified.

A few short decades later, the entire nation would be judged and dispersed. The cursing of the fig tree was an ominous prophetic sign of things to come.

 So is this a crazy Bible story? Well, where else would you find such an eloquent prophetic sign?

3. You Must Hate Your Family

Why did Jesus say that you must hate your own parents if you are going to be his disciple in Luke 14:25-26?

To illustrate that as His disciples, we must be ready to give up everything for Him, including our loved ones. 

But doesn’t the Bible teach us to honor our parents in Exodus 20:12? Absolutely! – this is something that we need to do if we’re genuine followers of Christ.

Now, hold on before you assume that the Scriptures contradict themselves (hint: here is where I show there are Zero Contradictions in the BIble). When examining and studying the Living Word of God, we always have to put things into context

And when we consider the context of Luke chapter 14, we’ll find out that what Jesus is implying here is crystal clear.

Jesus has to be your top priority, above everything else in your life – including your family. And when he says so, he’s using typical Semitic hyperbole -a well-known linguistic phenomenon known around the Mediterranean. And anybody in those parts would instantly understand what he meant.

So now does it still seem weird? I didn’t think so…

4. Balaam’s Donkey and the Angel

Numbers 22:22-41 presents us with another quite extraordinary Bible story. This time, we have a talking donkey that literally saves the life of a diviner sent by the king of Moab.

Even more astonishingly, this diviner named Balaam was actually on his way to place curses on the Israelites who were about to capture the promised land.

While Balaam was on his way to curse God’s chosen people, his donkey started acting really weird. And out of anger, the diviner struck his donkey three times.

Then, the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes and he was able to see the angel with his drawn sword in his hand, staying in front of him. 

It turns out that the donkey was doing everything it could to make Balaam turn around so that he wouldn’t get chopped to pieces by the angel. Including talking to him!

Eventually, Balaam repented and he actually blessed Israel, instead of cursing them.

So, what does this crazy story tell us about a wicked magician sent by the Moabite king only to be spared by the Lord’s angel?

That anyone can repent and turn to the Lord, even the most wicked and perverted person -and he can eventually find himself on God’s side even after resisting God for so long.

Pretty crazy, huh?

5. The Ax Head Recovered

Do you think that something as seemingly insignificant as losing the head of your ax, isn’t important enough for God to intervene and show His ultimate and unlimited power?

Think again.

In fact, if we go to 2 Kings 6:1-7 we’ll quickly find out that the Lord even cares about the little things in our lives.

While they were chopping trees, the ax of one of Elisha’s friends’ broke and sank in the mighty Jordan river. Turns out, the ax head was borrowed to add more insult to injury.

And in those days, an ax head was pretty expensive and hard to come by.

Then the Lord used  Elisha to perform a miracle by throwing a stick into the river, which made the iron (the head of the ax) float. And that’s how the man was able to retrieve the borrowed ax.

This incredibly interesting Bible story showcases God’s power in a truly mind-blowing way. It also shows us that He can reveal His power in an unexpected way even in the little things.

Pretty weird story. But…weird in a good way.

6. A Great Fish Swallows Jonah

It might seem hard to believe, but the Bible records a man being swallowed by a fish and surviving for three days and three nights inside its belly.

This is found in Jonah 1:17, where the Lord appointed a great fish to go and swallow the disobedient Jonah.

Earlier in this chapter, God instructed Jonah to go to the people of Nineveh and call them out for their evil and wicked ways. But instead of obeying the Lord as one of His prophets, Jonah decided to flee.

He boarded a ship going the opposite direction to another city called Tarshish, thinking that he would be able to escape from the presence of the Lord. 

How foolish. But in a way you could understand Jonah’s attitude since Nineveh was an enemy of Israel.

Long story short, the ship was ravaged by a storm and Jonah found himself trapped inside a fish’s belly for three days and three nights.

After this, Jonah was already more than humbled and he repented for trying to flee from the presence of the Lord.

Then he went to Nineveh and preached one of the gnarliest fire-and-brimstone sermons recorded in the Bible. Jonah was finally on the Lord’s side, but he still looked at the Ninevites as enemies.

And you know what? The entire City repented right then and there! They turned from their wicked ways and began serving the Living God!

What does this amazing story teach us?

We cannot put a wrench in the Lord’s perfect plan and will. Also, He can humble us and straighten our paths in all kinds of incredible ways that only He is capable of.

But what really puts the frosting on the cake is when Jesus Christ pointed to Jonah’s 3 days and 3 nights in the fish as a sign of Jesus’ own burial and resurrection in Matthew 12:40.

Now that’s pretty cool.

7. Captured Because of His Long Hair

Absalom was the third son of David and he had beautiful long locks. In fact, David’s third son was so obsessed with his hair that he weighed it when it was time for his annual haircut (2 Samuel 14:26).

But Absalom had no interest in following in his father’s footsteps. His pride and greed got the better of him and he eventually tried to seize David’s throne.

He opposed God’s plan by rebelling against King David and on top of everything else, Absalom even wanted to usurp his father’s kingdom.

Eventually, David gathered his loyal soldiers in an effort to reclaim his kingdom, which was rightfully his.

But Absalom fled the battle, riding on a mule, only to find his long hair entangled in an oak tree. He was eventually captured and killed by Joab (one of David’s generals) and his men.

This truly incredible story goes to show what happens when we live in complete rebellion to God’s plan. What a ridiculous waste for Absalom. 

He was the King’s son and had everything going for him. Pride and selfishness can only lead to destruction – just ask Absalom.

This might be one of the most interesting Bible stories yet.

8. Eutychus Raised from the Dead

Eutychus was a young man who was one of the people that listened to apostle Paul preaching as recorded in Acts 20:7-12.

But while Paul was still talking, the young men sank into deep sleep. The problem was that he was sitting at the window, so he fell from the third floor.

And in this tragic chain of events, Eutychus was taken up dead.

However, Paul went to the deceased boy and miraculously brought him back to life.

So why did Paul bring Eutychus back to life? To show the unlimited power of God and to solidify Paul’s position as a true apostle with “signs and wonders and mighty works”. (2 Corinthians 12:12)

Something else – Eutychus (the latinized version of the Greek name Eutychos) means “fortunate”.

Despite the tragedy, this young man was indeed very fortunate to be brought back to life by the spirit-filled apostle Paul. What an amazing story he must have had for his children and grandchildren!

9. The Captain of an Army Killed by a Woman

In Judges 4:4, we see the story of Deborah and Barak.

Deborah is a prophetess who prophesied that Sisera (a general of an army opposing Israel) will be killed by a woman.

What a crazy idea! In 1100 BC. That’s over 3000 years ago.

The woman’s name is Jael. Initially, she displayed hospitality toward Sisera by giving him something to drink and by promising to guard him, while he rested inside her tent.

Unfortunately for Sisera, Jael drove a tent peg into his head while he was still sleeping.

But why a non-israelite…and… Why a woman?

Well, the Lord has a tendency of using people who might seem unimportant (i.e. a non-israelite) or weak (i.e. a woman) to do incredible things. All for His glory of course.

The story of Jael nailing Sisera to the ground with the tent peg is also reminiscent of Jesus nailing our sins to the cross, once and for all…Which is what he was doing to our sins while he was himself nailed to the cross.

You know what’s really weird about this true story? The Bible has many other female heroes besides Deborah and Jael. I wrote a whole post about it you can read here.

God uses real people -whether male or female- who want to serve him. Will you find female heroes in the Quran, the writings of Buddha or any other ancient “holy” books besides the Bible?

Why not?

10. Boys Get Mauled by Two Bears

Elisha was the prophet who succeeded Elijah, who was taken to heaven without experiencing death.

Logically, Elisha went on to do what the Lord had appointed him for. But while he was on his way to Bethel, a group of boys confronted him and began mocking the prophet.

2 Kings 2:23-25 reveals that Elisha actually cursed them in the name of the Lord for what they did.

And shortly after, the boys were attacked by two bears who mauled 42 of them.

Clearly, God doesn’t take mockery lightly.

Our God is not to be mocked, nor is His message that’s delivered by Godly people like Elisha. 

11. Water Turned to Blood

The Nile river is the longest river in the world and it runs across Sudan and Egypt.

Now imagine the entire Nile river turning into blood, when Aaron struck the river with his staff as told to do so by Moses, who received the instructions from the Lord.

Yep, that’s what happened during the first plague that God sent to Egypt as recorded in Exodus 7:14-25.

It wasn’t like God didn’t warn Pharaoh that this would happen if he wouldn’t let the Israelites go.

But since Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, he refused to grant the Israelites freedom.

This incredible story reveals the consequences of rebelling against the Most High.

Because Pharaoh was so arrogant and prideful, his entire nation suffered greatly by not being able to drink from the water.

But what’s really weird is this was just one of the ten plagues Egypt had to go through because of Pharaoh’s hard heart. 

Then as the Israelites were traveling through the desert, Moses was at the center of the amazing story of the Bronze Serpent. (and here’s where you can read my post about the amazing story of Moses and the Bronze Serpent)

Not only is this miracle amazing in it’s own right, but it is also a prophetic foreshadowing of what Jesus Christ would do for us at the cross outside Jerusalem 1480 years later.

Now that’s incredible!

12. Human Fallen-Angel Hybrids

Genesis 6:1 tells us that the corruption in the earth was so significant, that even some fallen angels (demons, really) took human wives.

This led to what’s known as the giants or nephilim, which was a total abomination in God’s sight. So He had to intervene… and He did!

The Lord would send a massive flood that would consume all corrupt flesh, except Noah and his family.

Can you imagine this? Out of all people, only 8 people were righteous so God allowed them into the ark. (1 Peter 3:20)

But even more astonishing is the type of depravity that was present on earth. Humans were interbreeding with fallen angels, which led to atrocious abominations that were neither fully human, nor fully angel.

This mind-blowing Bible story reveals that God takes sin seriously.

And He wouldn’t let corruption and depravity run rampant at such levels, without dealing with them swiftly.

13. The Burning Bush

Exodus 3:4 tells the story of how God appeared to Moses in the form of a fiery bush.

The bush was on fire but it didn’t burn up, which caught Moses’ attention.

And when he got closer, the Lord called him from the bush by name “Moses, Moses!”.

Moses replied with “Here I am” and hid his face as he was afraid to look at God.

Now, can you try visualizing a fiery bush that doesn’t burn up and the voice of God coming out of it?

Talk about some really mind-blowing stuff!

But this is just yet another example of the Lord’s majesty and ultimate authority over all creation.

In His divine sovereignty, God can do all kinds of extraordinary things that we can’t wrap our finite human brains around.

Because, in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17).

14. Moses Strikes the Rock

The period following the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt was full of truly incredible stories.

One of them is found in Numbers 20:2-13. The Israelites were still in the wilderness and they were really thirsty as there was no water for the congregation.

So instead of trusting the Lord in this difficult situation, they rebelled against their leaders – Aaron and Moses.

Then, Aaron and Moses gathered the assembly and the latter struck a rock with his staff twice, and water began flowing from the rock. Not just a few drops, but an abundance of fresh, drinkable water.

This goes to show us just how longsuffering and loving our Heavenly Father is.

Even in their rebellion, the Lord was still willing to perform a miracle through Moses, so that all the Israelites and their livestock could have access to fresh water.

15. The Parting of the Red Sea

The entire 14th chapter of Exodus is dedicated to how the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry ground.

Yes, they actually managed to cross the sea by walking on the bottom of the sea, which was dry.

This might sound rather far-fetched but it’s exactly what happened in Exodus 14:21.

As instructed by the Lord, Moses stretched out his staff and God divided the waters so that the Israelites could cross the red sea safely.

Once everyone had successfully crossed the sea, God told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea again. And the waters returned to their normal course, completely engulfing pharaoh’s army that was chasing the Jews.

Why did God use this display of power?

To get “all glory over Pharaoh and all his host”, because He is the Living God. In other words, he was displaying to Israel, Egypt and yes -us, that he is the sovereign Lord over all the earth.

16. Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

In Matthew 21:18-19, we find the story of Jesus cursing a fig tree that had leaves, but no fruit.

Then the tree instantly withered and we’re left with a miracle combined with a parable.

Keep in mind that in the OT, the fig tree was associated with Israel.

By cursing the fig tree, Christ shows us that Israel had become spiritually empty. Even during Jesus’ earthly ministry, God’s chosen nation had all the Pharisees and Sadducees who were supposedly Godly people.

They appeared to be, but they didn’t live righteously i.e. they didn’t bear any fruit.

And this absolutely applies to modern churches and congregations.

The Lord wants us to bear fruit that glorifies Him, not just look like we’re righteous, without producing any spiritual fruit.

17. Jesus Drives Out Many Demons from a Man

Although there are numerous records in the four Gospels of Christ casting out demons from people, there’s one particular account in Mark 5:1-13 that’s really crazy.

Basically, Jesus encountered a man with an unclean spirit who no one could bind with chains and shackles.

So Christ commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man, while also asking for its name, which was Legion for there were many evil spirits possessing this man.

Note that a legion is made of anywhere between 4,000 to 6,000 soldiers. Apparently, this man had thousands of demons inside him!

But Christ didn’t ask what the name of the unclean spirit was because He already knew it. He is God in the flesh, so logically He knows everything about His creation.

By doing this, Jesus showed His ultimate power and glory as He has full authority over everything in existence. Including legions of demons.

18. The Earth Swallows Korah

Korah was a man who felt like disobeying Moses’ guidance. This led to him gathering like-minded followers who rebelled against Moses, who was essentially doing God’s will.

Korah and his followers taunted the Lord and eventually they were all swallowed by the earth. This is recorded in Numbers 16:31-35.

In fact, in Numbers 16:33 we see that they went to hell alive – “So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol”.

This is a powerful display of how God views rebellion against Him and His ways.

Korah had the audacity to challenge the God-given guidance of Moses and the Most High made quick work of him and his followers.

This should serve as a sobering example of what happens when we live in rebellion to how God wants us to live as holy and righteous people.

19. Samson Tears a Lion to Pieces with His Bare Hands

Samson was one of the judges of Israel and a Nazarite who was subject to strict vows.

Nazarites weren’t permitted to drink alcohol, go near anything unclean (e.g. a corpse) and cut their hair.

It was the long locks that gave Samson his power, which ultimately came from the Lord.

And in Judges 14:5-6 we find the truly amazing story of Samson killing a lion with bare hands.

Samson was attacked by a lion and although he had no weapons, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon him. And long story short, Samson tore the lion to pieces with nothing but bare hands.

[Later, a teenage David-who-would-become-King would also kill a lion and a giant named Goliath.]

Unfortunately, later on Samson was betrayed by Delilah who cut his hair. So poor Samson lost his incredible strength, although toward the end of his life God restored it.

Nonetheless, this jaw-dropping story shows us that when we trust the Lord, He will be there for us, no matter the circumstances.

We only need to have faith and not doubt the power of the Holy Spirit.

Final Thoughts

The Bible does have plenty of mind-blowing stories that some might even call crazy.

But they’re not just fairy tales. These are actual historic events that reveal a number of different things.

They show us the different aspects of God’s personality and how He deals with sin and corruption.

These supposedly crazy stories also serve as a reminder that there are consequences for disobeying the Lord.

Remember that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

This includes the amazing stories shared in this article, as they’re all part of Scripture.

Is your Faith Founded on Fact? Have you committed to follow Jesus?

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