These Are The Worst Murders That Take Place In The Bible

There are several versions of the Bible and some would argue that it's the most well-read book in the world. Though there are plenty of fallacies in the King James version, there are quite a few little-known and obscure bible facts

Most people know all about Jesus, for example. They know that he was not actually white and that he was crucified. Most people don't know, though, that some biblical stories are much more gruesome; death and killing are actually common bible fodder. Some of the violent biblical rampages are spurred by power struggles but revenge is, of course, responsible for many of the brutal scenes you'll read about in this list.

Not all of these biblical murders are brutal but some of the more outrageous might make you cringe.

  • Amnon, son of King David, falls in love with his half-sister Tamar. Treacherously, Amnon pretends to be sick so that Tamar will come into his bedroom and feed him but when she arrives, Amnon rapes her. Tamar's other brother, Absalom, hears of the rape and becomes furious.

    Absalom convinces the King to have Amnon accompany him on an outing but in truth, the outing is a vengeful ruse. The indignant older brother orders his men to strike Amnon down when he "is in high spirits from drinking wine" and indeed they do kill him dead (2 Samuel 13: 1-32 NIV).

  • Absalom Gets Stuck In A Tree And Is Stabbed The Heart

    Absalom Gets Stuck In A Tree And Is Stabbed The Heart
    Photo: Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional / WikiMedia Commons

    Vengeful older brother Absalom doesn't meet a pleasant end after murdering his sister's rapist. During a revolt against King David, Absalom finds himself on the opposite side of his father's royal troops. He encounters David's men as he is "riding his mule, and as the mule [goes] under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair [gets] caught in the tree." 

    While Absalom hangs suspended from the tree, one of the soldiers takes "three javelins in his hand and plunge[s] them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom [is] still alive in the oak tree." As if that's not punishment enough, "ten of Joab’s armor-bearers" then surround Absalom and strike him until he dies (2 Samuel 18:9-15 NIV).

  • Multiple Kings Are Slain By Their Own Servants
    Photo: Hochschul- und Landesbibliothek Fulda / WikiMedia Commons

    King Elah is killed by his own charioteer, Zimri. Elah is getting drunk at the home of Tirzah administrator Azra when he's ambushed. Zimri doesn't stop with the king, though. After taking the crown, the charioteer kills every male member of the royal family. (1 Kings 16: 8-14 NIV)

    Interestingly enough, Elah's father Baasha kills Israeli ruler Nadab in much the same way years before Elah's death. Baasha is Nadab's army captain before he revolts and steals the throne (1 Kings 15: 25-29 NIV).

  • Athaliah Murders Her Children And Grandchildren To Be Queen
    Photo: Gustave Doré / WikiMedia Commons

    Athaliah seems to be the only female regnant in the Bible. She comes to rule Judea after the deaths of her husband Joram and her son Aziah. Once Aziah dies, Athaliah destroys "the whole royal family," killing all possible rivals to the throne.

    One of Athaliah's sons is hidden from her wrath, though. He returns to Judea to kill her six years later. Athaliah's guards seize her when she tries to run and "put her to death" just inside the palace grounds (2 Kings 10:12-27, 11:1-16 NIV).

  • Ish-Bosheth Is Beheaded And His Murderers Suffer An Equally Disturbing Fate
    Photo: Hochschul- und Landesbibliothek Fulda / WikiMedia Commons

    Ish-Bosheth, a captain in Saul's army, is killed by his own men, Rekab and Baanah. The two turncoats stab Ish-Bosheth in the stomach while he sleeps to gain the favor of enemy King David. They then cut off Ish-Bosheth's head to take with them on their travels.

    Rekab and Baanah's treachery appalls David so he has them killed. And indeed, the men's fates are dire; after cutting off their hands and feet, David has the men's bodies hung by the pool for all to see (2 Samuel 4: 1-12 NIV).

  • Cain Takes Abel Out To A Field And Kills Him

    Cain Takes Abel Out To A Field And Kills Him
    Photo: Albrecht Dürer / WikiMedia Commons

    Cain and Abel, sons of Adam and Eve, are both workers of the land. Cain is a farmer and Abel a shepherd before they make reverent offerings to the Lord. Cain becomes jealous and angry when God favors his brother's offering instead of his own. Cain tells his brother to venture "out to the field" with him but instead of bonding, Cain kills his brother on the spot (Genesis 4: 3-7 NIV).