18 of the Worst Bible Verses You’ve Ever Seen

The Worst Stories in the Bible turn out to be some of the best when correctly understood.

If you’ve never seen a list of the Worst Verses in the Bible before, you better hold on, because this is going to be a wild ride!

I’ve compiled a list of the worst Bible passages from the Old Testament and the New Testament.

I can say that these are easily the most abominable, disturbing and crazy Bible quotes you will ever read!

These are the messed-up, controversial and violent verses you can use to stop any fundamentalist Christian right in his Bible-thumping tracks.

But before we go any further – let’s get clear on just one thing. 

These verses can only be regarded as the worst and most disturbing Bible verses when they are deliberately misused and taken out of context.

Or when they are compiled by people who lack basic English comprehension skills.

And they can only be regarded as bad by people with a preconceived agenda.

People who have no desire to give the Word of God – the Sword of the Spirit – a fair hearing.

In other words, they don’t care about the truth, and they write like people who are living in darkness.

So let’s review some of the “most shocking, evil and controversial verses in the Bible” and reveal the true story.

The Complete List of the Worst Verses in the Bible

Below you’ll see the entire list of the Bible verses that some people mistakenly call “worst” along with actual in-context explanations:

1. 2 Samuel 13:11-14

“But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” She answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.”But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.”

Explanation: Amnon was completely consumed by lust and in his sinful desire he raped his half-sister Tamar.

This son of David committed a horrible sin and later on, he was murdered by his brother Absalom because of what he did.

Conclusion: Lust and incest are horrible sins that God doesn’t take lightly. And both were revealed in Amnon’s despicable act, which is an example of the depravity of man.

And don’t think Absalom got off easy. Murder is also a horrible sin.

The way he dealt with Amnon’s sin wasn’t right before God. Absalom later paid the price for his arrogance with an early and brutal death.

One major line of evidence underscoring the trustworthiness of the Bible is this:

It includes embarrassing details about important characters. Amnon, Tamar and Absalom were all children of King David.

2. 1 Samuel 6:19

“And he struck some of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they looked upon the ark of the Lord. He struck seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the Lord had struck the people with a great blow.”

Explanation: God gave the Israelites clear instructions as to what they should NOT do regarding the Ark of the Covenant, including not touching it.

And these poor men not only touched the Ark, but they also looked upon it.

God told them not to look on the ark [Numbers 4:20] which angered our Heavenly Father who struck them.

Conclusion: The Lord showed His chosen people that they are to live by a higher standard and that such serious disregard of His commands would be punished severely. Ignorance is not a defense.

3. Exodus 21:7-8

 “And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she [a]does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her.” (Emphasis added)

Explanation: This verse depicts a practice in the ancient world (not just Israel) where a father would sell his daughter for marriage. It’s also known as dowry. (Key words: “who has betrothed her to himself”)

This was done at an earlier age so that the girl might fit in with her new family.

But the difference in Israel is the girl still had rights -which she did not in pagan nations.

If the actual marriage didn’t take place, she was to be treated well and her rights under God’s law respected.

Conclusion: When you consider the context, this verse from Exodus doesn’t speak about slavery in the classical sense even though the word slave is an appropriate translation.

On the contrary, if the girl didn’t receive what she was bought in for (marriage), she would be let go as a free person.

All of this was part of God’s law that protected these young ladies against abuse.

Centuries later, the first women to be recognized as having the same rights as men would be treated equally -in Christian nations, of course.

4. Luke 16:18

“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

Explanation: Although the law and the prophets were until John the Baptist came, the law regarding marriage was still active.

Thus, divorcing your wife and marrying another woman without the reason for the divorce being rooted in Scripture, means that you’re committing sin. 

Sexual immorality (Matthew 5:31-32) and desertion (1 Corinthians 7:15) are two Biblically-sound reasons for divorce.

Conclusion: As a believer, you have to follow God’s commands regarding marriage and divorce.

Leaving your wife and marrying another woman because your wife likes to talk a lot isn’t a Biblically-valid reason for divorce.

Marriage is to be kept honorable by all and the Lord will judge the adulterers and sexually immoral (Hebrews 13:4).

5. Matthew 5:28

“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Explanation: What Jesus is referring to here is the lust of the eye and committing sin in your heart by looking at a woman with inappropriate thoughts.

Although it’s a no-brainer that the act of adultery is a sin in and of itself, Christ is implying that you can also commit adultery in your heart and mind.

Conclusion: It’s not necessary to physically engage in adultery for it to count as sin. It’s enough to look at a woman with lustful intent. By doing so, you’ve already committed sin in your heart.

6. 2 Chronicles 21:14-15

“Behold, the Lord will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions,and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day.”

Explanation: Jehoram was a wicked ruler who led Israel astray from the footsteps of his fathers and into idolatry and other sinful practices. Logically, God judged him and his people.

Why his people though?

Because most of them had also sinned by being involved in the same idolatrous practices, out of fear of the king Jehoram.

Conclusion: Taken out of context, you might think this implies that God is some evil puppet master who enjoys bringing suffering to mankind.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. God is a perfectly righteous judge. All his ways are perfect. (Psalm 18:30, 2 Samuel 22:31, Deuteronomy 32:4)

King Jehoram and his people were rightfully judged for going astray and falling for wickedness and idolatry.

7. Isaiah 3:16–17

“The Lord said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet,therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.”

Explanation: The daughters of Israel were provocative, proud, and lustful and they were obsessed with improving their physical appearance.

They were extremely prideful.

And the judgments that were upon the women of Zion were related to the future invasions of Israel by hostile nations.

Conclusion: In contrast to the Jewish women during the time of Isaiah, women of God are called to be discrete and to focus on their inner beauty.

8. Jeremiah 13:15–26

“And if you say in your heart, ‘Why have these things come upon me?’ it is for the greatness of your iniquity that your skirts are lifted up and you suffer violence. Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil. I will scatter you like chaff driven by the wind from the desert.This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you, declares the Lord, because you have forgotten me and trusted in lies. I myself will lift up your skirts over your face, and your shame will be seen.”

Explanation: The prophet Jeremiah was warning God’s people about what would happen if they continue to live in rebellion against His ways and commandments.

The iniquity of Judah reached catastrophic levels and their judgment would soon commence.

Conclusion: God is longsuffering and He gave His people multiple warnings.

Through Jeremiah, the Lord was telling them to repent and go back to His holy ways.

However, their wickedness was too great and God would soon reveal their spiritual and actual harlotry by letting Babylon scatter them across the land.

9. Leviticus 26:27–29

“But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me, then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins.You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.”

Explanation: God’s chosen people were walking in open rebellion to Him and His ways and their punishment was fast approaching.

The Lord was so furious with their wickedness that the consequence would involve famine and even cannibalism.

Conclusion: The Lord doesn’t play games and he takes willful disobedience very seriously. Israel was warned that living in continual disobedience would be punished as they’d be removed from their land.

A lot of people think that God will never judge their sin.

They forget that God sent his son and poured out his wrath on him so if we confess our sins and repent, we will be spared the wrath we deserve.

As for Israel -the judgment came to them in 2 Kings 6:26-29. It happened around 850 BC and came to them exactly as prophesied above.

But they needed to learn their lesson more than once. Josephus recorded a similar incident in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

10. Judges 11:30–39

“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, “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.” So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the Lord gave them into his hand.”

Explanation: Jephthah wanted to solidify his case before the Lord so much that he made a rather stupid vow.

Of course, what he had in mind was most likely an animal that’d act as a burnt offering.

But after the victory over the Ammonites, the first one who greeted him in front of his house was his daughter, Jephthah’s only child. 

He fulfilled his vow but not by actually sacrificing his daughter.

Verse 38 implies that most likely Jephthah simply set apart his daughter for the tabernacle service, which was in accordance with Leviticus 27:2-4.

According to this principle, people who were part of a vow to the Lord didn’t have to be sacrificed – instead, they were sent to tabernacle service for a certain fee.

Conclusion: We shouldn’t try to force our desires upon God, nor should we try to manipulate His will. He will gladly provide deliverance and help in time of need if we walk in faith and trust in His ways and righteousness.

It’s incredibly foolish to try to bribe God, in a similar sense to what Jephthah did.

It’s also good to remember that many things we read in the Bible are not prescriptive, but descriptive.

We should read the Bible with wisdom and discernment. Many Bible characters did not live up to our expectations.

But neither do we.

We all fail to meet our own expectations. We all fall short of the glory of God and we all need his forgiveness.

The good news is that this forgiveness is found only in Jesus Christ, so we know exactly where to go!

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Weird Bible Verses

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11. Numbers 25:6-9

“And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting.When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped. Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.”

Explanation: The entire nation of Israel was in major distress, assembled before the tabernacle as they were weeping because a horrible plague was upon them.

And in the midst of all this, a prince of the tribe of Simeon brought in a Midianite woman to engage in sexual immorality with her. 

Not only that but this shameless and brazen act of wickedness was committed before the eyes of Moses and the whole congregation.

Eventually, Phinehas (the son of Eleazar) intervened and in righteous anger killed the offenders.

Conclusion: God uses righteous people like Phinehas to bring judgment and justice, according to His perfect will and plan.

It was Phinehas’ determination to put an end to the wickedness displayed by this Jewish man with his Midianite lover that stopped the plague that was ravaging Israel.

12. Isaiah 13:9, 16

“(9) Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it… (16) Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.”

Explanation: Babylon was the primary seat of evil in the world after the flood.

Unsurprisingly, the Babylonian empire committed many atrocities and horrible sins, especially against God’s chosen people.

Thus, Babylon was ripe for God’s just punishment.

Conclusion: The warning of “their infants will be dashed and wives ravished” was a sort of retaliation for what Babylon inflicted on the Jews as recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:17.

In essence, the Lord’s judgment upon the wicked is inevitable and Babylon wasn’t spared.

13. Hosea 13:16

“Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword; their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.”

Explanation: The open rebellion of Samaria against the Living God was obvious and judgment was upon this region in ancient Israel.

In fact, the entire 13th chapter of Hosea is about God’s relentless judgment on His chosen nation.

Conclusion: Israel was once again involved in idolatrous practices by creating metal images and other abominable things.

And we all know that Yahweh is a jealous yet forgiving and longsuffering God. That’s why he offered His only begotten Son as the ultimate sacrifice that fully paid the price of sin (John 3:16).

14. Job 2:3

“And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”

Explanation: The Lord’s intriguing wager with Satan led to an incredible test of Job’s faith.

God lets the devil know that His servant still has an incredibly strong faith, even after having his family and home destroyed by the evil one.

Conclusion: Although what happened to a holy and just man like Job might seem unfair (from a human standpoint), this story actually reveals something far greater. 

God let Satan do his dirty tricks in a really nasty way on Job who persevered until the end to receive incredible rewards. Through Job, God gave us an example to follow.

To love our enemies and to endure until the end, remaining strong in our faith in the Lord –this is one thing we learn from Job.

Another lesson is that when a calamity strikes, the enemy uses it to try to destroy us. But God uses it to strengthen us and improve our character.

In the end, God blessed Job by doubling everything he lost.

15. Leviticus 9:10

“When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean.”

Explanation: This was part of the strict Old Testament laws that the Jews were subject to. The ladies were considered impure during their menstrual cycles.

Conclusion: Note that this specific commandment only applies to the Old Covenant. We’re currently living under the New Covenant courtesy of Jesus Christ. However, abstaining from having sex with your wife during her period is wise. Not only from a hygienic point of view, but it also provides good training for your sexual restraint.

16. 1 Peter 2:18

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.”

Explanation: In this verse, you as believers are instructed to be submissive to your “masters”, which in modern times means your employers.

Even if they’re treating you poorly (especially because you’re a Christian) you have to endure, as this pleases the Lord.

Conclusion: This verse has nothing to do with human trafficking and perversity. It’s about being submissive to your employer, even if it means suffering for your faith in Christ.

17. Matthew 21:18-19

“In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry.And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.”

Explanation: Jesus cursed the fig tree, which then withered away because it had no fruit. This shows us a clear analogy of believers who bear no fruit.

This means believers who don’t have the fruits of the spirit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness (Galatians 5:22-23) on full display.

People who claim to be of God, but their actions speak otherwise.

Conclusion: This powerful example of Jesus showing His divine side by commanding a tree to wither away should serve as a sobering reminder that we should not only be hearers of the Word, but we should also be doers.

18. Revelation 21:8

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Explanation: If God is indeed just and holy, then none of the above can enter into His heavenly kingdom.

It might sound shocking and utterly horrible to go to hell simply because of being a liar, but we have to understand the consequence of sin.

Conclusion: Suffering in the fiery pits of hell might seem a little bit too harsh for someone who, for example, only lied a couple of times in their life but were otherwise a good person. But remember that we’ve all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). 

By default, the consequences of sin are death and eternal separation from our Creator.

But thanks to the redeeming work of Jesus on the cross, we can be reconciled with God and inherit eternal life as a free gift by believing in what Christ did for us.

Final Thoughts

The assumption that there are “worst” Bible verses implies that the different parts of Scripture have varying degree of truth and it questions the morality of God’s Word.

But every word is true and the scriptures cannot be broken. And the True God is holy and Righteous and will not allow iniquity in his presence.

Remember that ALL Scripture (not parts of it) is inspired by God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16).

To twist the Living Word of God or to demote it is not something that our Heavenly Father will approve.

In fact, God takes the message of His Written Word very seriously and those who twist it are under a curse as evident in Galatians 1:8.

Even the supposedly “worst” verses in the Bible are there for a reason and there’s always context behind them.

In fact, we should always consider what the context is when we read Scripture.

Don’t simply take certain parts from where they belong only to come up to the wrong conclusion.

God will not be mocked.

He is just, faithful, longsuffering and loving. Although He’s much more than that but our finite human minds can’t fully understand His character.

Because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

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

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