By Nelly Favis Villafuerte
Contrary to the impression of many, the Bible is not a boring book. It contains much interesting information that cannot be found in other books. Let me share with you some delightful, amazing, amusing, refreshing, and fascinating Bible tidbits on Biblical characters who could easily qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records. Simply because these characters in the Bible did things never before done by others. In short, they did it first.
Did you know that the first royal birthday party is mentioned in Genesis 40:20? The Biblical verse says: “ Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and gave a feast for all his officials.”
- The first royal birthday party is mentioned in Genesis 40:20? The Biblical verse says: “Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and gave a feast for all his officials.”
- Did you know that the first beauty contest in the Bible is mentioned in the Book of Esther in the Old Testament. The winner was Esther, a Jewish beauty who later became the queen. It was held at the court of the Persian ruler Ahasuerus. In the Book of Esther, we find the following: “Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, ‘Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful girls into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegal, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them.’” (Esther 2:2-4)
- The first farmer mentioned in the Bible is Cain, Adam’s son and Abel’s brother. In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we find the following: “Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.” (Genesis 4:3)
- It was King Solomon who built the first Jerusalem temple. In 1 Kings 5:5, King Solomon said: “I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’ And King Solomon built the Jerusalem temple for the Lord as he committed to do.”
- Falling asleep during a sermon is not a habit of some people unique only in our contemporary times. From the Biblical account, we see that the first person to fall asleep during a sermon was Eutychus. In the Book of Acts in the New Testament, we have the following verses: “Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘He’s alive!’ Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.” (Acts 20:9-12)
- There are many prophets of God mentioned in the Bible during various stages of Israel’s history. For every reigning king, there was always a prophet of God who guided and/or rebuked the king. The Bible records that the first prophet was Abraham. In the Book of Genesis, we find the following words of God that were given to Abimelech, the Philistine king of Gerar: “Now return the man’s wife (referring to Sarah, Abraham’s wife) for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die.” (Genesis 20:7) This prophet Abraham is the same Abraham who is the father of the Hebrew nation, the same Abraham with whom God made the following covenant: “You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.” (Genesis 17:3-7)
- The first case of book burning mentioned in the Bible is found in the Book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. In Chapter 37 of the Book of Jeremiah, we see King Jeholakim of Judah burning the scroll containing the prophecy of the Lord made through the prophet Jeremiah. The scroll contained the prophecy of disaster that would befall the people of Judah if they did not turn from their wicked ways.
- The first military coup in Israel was staged by the son of the king at that time. I am referring to Absalom who led an attempt to overthrow his own father David. Absalom was the third son of King David, with a foreign mother Maacah, daughter of the King of Geshur. Talking about coups, the first coup that was ever staged was Lucifer’s failed coup against God when he led one-third of the angels to challenge God’s authority and lordship.
It is not true that only preachers, priests, and other spiritual leaders should read the Bible. All of us should read the Bible. So we will know more about our God who created us as well as to know more about His promises to us, His character, and what we should do to worship God and obey His Word.
This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
Be joyful and forgiving! ( may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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