"Whose Members Were Like Those of Asses and Whose Issue Was Like That of Horses": A Compendium of Indecent Biblical Passages

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Keep in mind that the standard of "indecency" pays little attention to context--whether a description of sexual functions, homosexuality, incest, rape, urination, or nudity is in a pornographic novel, a medical dictionary, an academic treatise, a work of art, or the Bible, makes little difference. Indecency is indecency, period.

And, I must admit that there is much more indecency in the Bible--some of it strikingly graphic--than even I suspected on beginning this project. If you don't believe me, just check out the passage that gave this little document its title.

Just so any of you slow readers don't miss the indecency, I have put it in emphasized type, like this. Don't want anybody to miss the fun, you know. Enjoy . . .

Back to The Indecency Page.

Onan's Indiscretion (Genesis 38:6-11, RSV)

But Er, Judah's first-born, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. Then Judah said to Onan, "Go in to your brother's wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother." But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he slew him also.

Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, "Remain a widow in your father's house, till Shelah my son grows up" --for he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.

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The Men of Sodom (Genesis 19:1-11, RSV)

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening; and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed himself with his face to the earth, and said, "My lords, turn aside, I pray you, to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the street." But he urged them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them." Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof." But they said, "Stand back!" And they said, "This fellow came to sojourn, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them." Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door.

But the men put forth their hands and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. And they struck with blindness the men who were at the door of the house, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves groping for the door.

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Lot's Daughters (Genesis 19:30-38, RSV)

Now Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar; so he dwelt in a cave with his two daughters. And the first-born said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring through our father."

So they made their father drink wine that night; and the first-born went in, and lay with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. And on the next day, the first-born said to the younger, "Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring through our father." So they made their father drink wine that night also; and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. The first-born bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. The younger also bore a son, and called his name Benammi; he is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

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A Dishonorable Discharge (Leviticus 15:1-6, Good News Bible)

The LORD gave Moses and Aaron the following regulations for the people of Israel. When any man has a discharge from his penis the discharge is unclean, whether the penis runs with it or is stopped up by it. Any bed on which he sits or lies is unclean. Anyone who touches his bed or sits on anything the man has sat on must wash his clothes and take a bath, and he remains unclean until evening. Anyone who touches the man with the discharge must wash his clothes,and take a bath, and he remains unclean until evening.

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Indecent Emissions (Leviticus 15:16-24, Good News Bible)

When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body and he remains unclean until evening. Anything made of cloth or leather on which the semen falls must be washed, and it remains unclean until evening. After sexual intercourse both the man and the woman must take a bath, and they remain unclean until evening.

When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches her is unclean until evening. Anything on which she sits or lies during her monthly period is unclean. Any one who touches her bed or anything on which she has sat must wash his clothes and take a bath, and he remains unclean until evening. If a man has sexual intercourse with her during her period, he is contaminated by her impurity and remains unclean for seven days, and any bed on which he lies is unclean. [Top] [Elf's Reaction] [Back]

The Unkindest Cut . . . (Deuteronomy 23:1-2, Good News Bible)

No man who has been castrated or whose penis has been cut off may be included among the Lord's people. No one born out of wedlock or any descendant of such a person, even in the tenth generation, may be included among the Lord's people.

[Ed. note: The first sentence is indecent. The second ought to be.]

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The Rape of Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1-15, RSV)

Now Absalom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and after a time Amnon, David's son, loved her. And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.

But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother; and Jonadab was a very crafty man. And he said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?" Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister." Jonadab said to him, "Lie down on your bed, and pretend to be ill; and when your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.'"

So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Pray let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand." Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Go to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare food for him."

So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, where he was lying down. And she took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. And she took the pan and emptied it out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, "Send out every one from me." So every one went out from him. Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand." And Tamar took the cakes she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.

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 force me; for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this wanton folly. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the wanton fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray you, 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 forced her, and lay with her.

Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred; so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Arise, be gone."

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Rabshakeh Makes an Indecent Suggestion to the Servants of Hezekiah (Isaiah 36:1-3 and 11-12, KJV)

Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them. And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field. Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph's son, the recorder.

. . .

Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.

But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

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A Gallery of Piss (KJV)

Note: According to a recent AP article, the new standards for Internet indecency are very similar to those already in place for broadcast media and "[s]ome of the things the FCC has deemed indecent for broadcasters are explicit references to nudity, sexual intercourse, urination and breast size."

1Sa 25.22: So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

1Sa 25.34: For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

1Ki 14.10: Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

1Ki 16.11: And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.

1Ki 21.21: Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,

2Ki 9.8: For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:

[For those curious but not-yet-enlightened Biblical scholars among you, a common Hebrew idiom for "man" translates literally as "he who pisses against the wall." (Apparently this was seen by the ancient Hebrew as the vitally important characteristic distinguishing men from women. I was unable to discover if women were referred to as "she who squats in the bushes", but I suppose that it can be safely assumed.) As usual, our trusty KJV scholars forgot to check with the FCC's Board of Indecency Checker-Uppers and just went ahead and wrote down what it says in Hebrew. What could they have been thinking of?]

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Two Whores, Together With a Graphic Description of Their Activities (Ezekiel 23:1-21, RSV)

The word of the LORD came to me:

"Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; they played the harlot in Egypt; they played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled. Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

"Oholah played the harlot while she was mine; and she doted on her lovers the Assyrians, warriors clothed in purple, governors and commanders, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. She bestowed her harlotries upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them; and she defiled herself with all the idols of every one on whom she doted. She did not give up her harlotry which she had practiced since her days in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their lust upon her.

Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. These uncovered her nakedness; they seized her sons and her daughters; and her they slew with the sword; and she became a byword among women, when judgment had been executed upon her.

"Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt than she in her doting and in her harlotry, which was worse than that of her sister. She doted upon the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way.

But she carried her harlotry further; she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, girded with belts on their loins, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, a picture of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea. When she saw them she doted upon them, and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.

And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their lust; and after she was polluted by them, she turned from them in disgust. When she carried on her harlotry so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned from her sister.

Yet she increased her harlotry, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the harlot in the land of Egypt and doted upon her paramours there, whose members were like those of asses, and whose issue was like that of horses.

Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts."

[Ed. note: The Good News Bible's version of this passage may be even more titillating than the one you just read.]

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Solomon's Bride in All Her Glory (Song of Solomon 7:10-13, RSV)

How graceful are your feet in sandals,
O queenly maiden!

Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand.
Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies.
Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.
Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, overlooking Damascus.
Your head crowns you like Carmel, and your flowing locks are like purple;
a king is held captive in the tresses.

How fair and pleasant you are,
O loved one, delectable maiden!
You are stately as a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its branches.
Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine
and the scent of your breath like apples,
and your kisses like the best wine that goes down smoothly,
gliding over lips and teeth.

I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me.

Come, my beloved,
let us go forth into the fields,
and lodge in the villages;
let us go out early to the vineyards,
and see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened
and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.

The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
and over our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

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Elf's Reaction to This Cesspool of Religious Indecency

Wanting to get the reaction of our resident expert on indecency, S. Elf Righteous, to these blatantly indecent biblical passages, the staff here at The Indecency Page decided to engage in a small subterfuge. We changed a few of the names that would be easily recognized by anyone who has attended Junior Sunday School over two weeks in a row ("Solomon" became "Sloo-muk-muk", "Hezekiah" "Her-gublook-blook", etc.), told our dearly beloved Elf only that the excerpts represented "the religious writings of some obviously depraved and barbaric civilization that have been translated in a pseudo-biblical style, probably in an attempt to increase their acceptance among unwary Christians", and handed passages over to him with fingers crossed.

Luckily, Elf is a naturally righteous person who just knows innately what's right, so he doesn't need to waste a lot of time reading God's word or any other such "meaningless drivel" (as he himself called one of the less offensive verses above). In short, our ruse worked: Elf was incensed. Here is his reaction:

I have never before seen such a literal cesspool of filthy and indecent references! Any society that includes these appalling obscenities in its RELIGIOUS writings must be depraved indeed. It's sickening, it's disgusting--I can't find words to describe my revulsion.

Any upright and righteous man can see that the society that would promulgate this indecency, the culture that would put forth such filth and blasphemy to be read by its helpless women and children--why, that society must be driven from the face of the earth and its heinous and depraved writings must be banned forever. That is the one and only true way to protect ourselves from the despicable group that is peddling these worthless writings--a group, which may, even at this very moment, be planning to infiltrate our own God-fearing and heretofore morally upright country. Heaven only knows what might happen if they are allowed to do so! We MUST act now to ban the FILTH!!!!!!!!!! Call your congressman TODAY and DEMAND that this OUTRAGEOUS INDECENCY by DRIVEN FOREVER from CYBERSPACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! --Elf

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