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10 Shadowy Biblical Characters No One Can Explain

10 Shadowy Biblical Characters No One Can Explain 88

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The canonical Bible is filled with mysterious characters, many of whom drop in for a cameo, do their thing, and then slide out, never to be heard from again. Some are merely extras, but some have a contextual presence that begs further examination. And some are, well, just weird.

10  Melchizedek

01

Probably the single most mysterious figure in the Bible, Melchizedek was a priest-king of Salem (later known as Jerusalem) in the time of Abram (Abraham), suggesting a religious organization, complete with ritual and hierarchy, that predated the Jewish nation and their priestly lineage from the tribe of Levi. He is only portrayed as active in one passage, although he is alluded to once in Psalms, and several times in the New Testament’s Epistle to the Hebrews.
Some Jewish disciplines insist that Melchizedek was Shem, Noah’s son. He is thought of, in Christian circles, as a proto-messiah, embodying certain traits later given to Christ. New Testament writings assert that Christ was “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek,” indicating an older and deeper covenant with God than the Abrahamic-Levite lineage.
Hebrews 7, though presents him in a more unusual light. In verses 3 and 4:
“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.”
Not only do these verses grant Melchizedek a hierarchical level above the most important Jewish patriarch, they assign him mystical qualities. Some take this to mean an earlier incarnation of Christ. Others see it as an ancient manifestation of the Holy Spirit. His identity, role, and theological function have long been debated.
The paucity of scriptural references have added to the mystery, making him a somewhat spectral figure. As such, newer spiritual traditions, as well as New Age quacks, have taken liberties with his persona. Gnostics insisted he became Jesus, and he is cited as a high-level priest in Masonic and Rosicrucian lore. Joseph Smith wrote that he was the greatest of all prophets, and Mormons still trace their priesthood back to him. The Urantia, a 20th-century pseudo-Bible that claims to merge religion, philosophy, and science, insists he’s the first in an evolutionary succession of deification manifestations, with Abraham being his first convert.
There is even a school of thought that Melchizedek is a title or assumed character name, sort of a theological 007, played by a series of Judeo-Christian James Bonds.

The lore of Melchizedek is confusing but deep and fascinating. Apocryphal books give us more details, some cryptic, some relatively mundane. The Second Book of Enoch is particularly informative, insisting Melchizedek was born of a Virgin. When his mother Sophonim (the wife of Noah’s brother Nir) died in childbirth, he sat up, clothed himself, and sat beside her corpse, praying and preaching. After 40 days, he was taken by an archangel to the Garden of Eden, protected by angels and avoiding the Great Flood without passage on Uncle Noah’s ark.

9  Cain’s Wife

02

Cain was, according to Genesis, the first human ever born. He later killed his younger brother Abel in a hissy fit over his sacrifice of meat being more favored than Cain’s sacrificial fruit basket. God put a mark on Cain and cursed the ground he farmed, forcing him into a life as a wandering fugitive.

That part of the story is fairly well known. Later, though, we read that he settled in the Land of Nod, and, all of a sudden, he has a wife. Absolutely nothing else is mentioned about her. We don’t even know where she came from. In fact, the question of where Cain got his wife, when his immediate family were apparently the only people in the world, has sent many a perceptive young Sunday schooler down the road of skepticism.

Some have posited a mysterious other tribe of people, maybe created after Adam and Eve, maybe even another race or species. But the standard response is that Adam and Eve had many other sons and daughters to populate the Earth. The only way to keep the human race going would be to mate with siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In fact, though the Holy Bible is silent on her identity, the apocryphal Book of Jubilees tells us exactly who was Cain’s wife: his sister Awan, who bore his son Enoch.

8  Joseph Barsabbas

03

After Judas Iscariot turned in his resignation by selling out his boss, Jesus’s disciples rushed to fill the open position and bring the number back up to a more theologically apt 12. The remaining disciples, including the newly convinced Thomas, looked over the candidates from the 120 or so adherents who followed Jesus. Then they cast lots to pick who would fill the position.

It went to Matthias, a fairly mysterious character himself. We don’t know where he came from or his previous occupation. Some think he was actually the diminutive Zacchaeus, the tax collector who climbed a sycamore tree to get a better glimpse of Jesus’s ride on the donkey.
The man who lost out was Joseph Barsabbas, also known as Joseph Justus. We know nothing solid about him, even less than we know about Matthias.
There is, however, one bit of interesting speculation. A list of names presented in Mark 6:3 includes some of Christ’s earliest and most loyal adherents. One of these is a man named Joses, and another is James the Just. Biblical scholar Robert Eisenman suggests that James carried on Jesus’s work, and the writer of the Book of Acts assigned him an alias to minimize his importance.

7  The Beloved Disciple

04

In the Gospel of John, several references are made to “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” This particular favorite is present at the Last Supper, the crucifixion, and after the resurrection. The writer of the Gospel of John even states that the testimony of this disciple is the basis for the text. But there is considerable debate over the identity of this mystery figure.
The most obvious nominee is John the Apostle, one of Christ’s inner circle of 12 and the namesake of the Gospel. But none of the 12 apostles were present at the crucifixion, so that crosses him off the list. Lazarus, resurrected by Christ, is also considered. He seems to have been present at the cited events and is referred to specifically, in the story of His death and resurrection, as “he whom Thou lovest.”
Mary Magdalene, Judas, Jesus’s brother James, or an unnamed disciple, possibly even a Roman or governmental official, have all been considered. There is even a school of thought that John is an interactive gospel, with the reader being the beloved disciple.

6  Simon Magus

05

“Simony” is the selling of church position or privilege. It is named for Simon Magus, or Simon the Magician, who makes only a brief appearance in the Bible, in Acts 8:9–24. Simon has since become synonymous with heretical thought, and religious exploitation.
He is presented as a powerful magician with a large following of in Samaria, who converts to Christianity and wishes to learn from apostles Peter and Phillip. When he sees the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including speaking in tongues and an ecstatic spiritual state, he offers the men money if they will give him the secret to passing these gifts to others. They are not amused.
Apocryphal texts reveal quite a bit more, like his alleged ability to levitate and even fly, emphasizing that he was something akin to a cult leader in his hometown. It is suggested that his conversion is more for economic purposes than spiritual, and he set himself up as a messianic figure himself, competing for the Jesus dollar with his own homespun theology.
He is thought by some to be a founder of Gnosticism, a patchwork of various religious systems that relied heavily on Judaic and Christian symbolism.

5  Onan

06

Not unlike Simon Magus, Onan’s brief appearance inspired a name for a particular action.
He was the second son of Abraham’s grandson Judah, the patriarch and namesake of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. His older brother, Er (yes, just “Er”) was “wicked in the sight of the Lord,” so God killed him. What he did to deserve such an execution remains a mystery.
Tradition at the time dictated that Er’s widow, Tamar, become Onan’s wife. Onan had to impregnate her to keep the lineage alive, but he was not as wild about the idea. Maybe it was the thought of impending fatherhood, or Tamar just wasn’t his type. So, taking matters into his own hands, he committed the first recorded act of coitus interruptus. Or, as Genesis 38:9 so poetically put it: “And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.” God was displeased and slew Onan.
The whole tale gets even more sordid. Onan had a younger brother, Shelah. Customarily, he would have been next in line to impregnate Tamar, but Judah forbade it. Tamar, rather than graciously accepting forced spinsterhood, seduced Judah and (became pregnant) by the old man. Judah fathered twins Zerah and Perez, the latter of whom was listed by Matthew as an ancestor of Jesus’s earthly father Joseph…
Some have even suggested that Onan’s death warns that sex is meant only for purposes of reproduction, and not for pleasure.

4  Nicodemus

07

Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, a council of men who ruled on Jewish law and governance. He became a friend, follower, and intellectual foil for Jesus, whose egalitarian teachings often ran counter to the Sanhedrin’s rigid decrees. He was also a Pharisee, a leader within the Jewish community who toadied up to the Roman government at the time of Christ’s arrest and subsequent crucifixion.
He is mentioned three times in the New Testament, all in the Gospel of John. He subtly defends Jesus as the Pharisees discuss His impending arrest. Later, he helps prepare Jesus’s body for burial, indicating he had become an adherent to Christ and His teachings.
The first time he is mentioned, however, is in dialogue with Jesus, and these conversations reveal some of the most important aspects of Christian theology, such as the notion of being “born again” and the most famous reference to the divinity of Christ, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This detailed conversation explores the divide between the Old Covenant’s dogmatic and exclusive Jewish Law and the New Covenant’s spiritually inclusive concepts. But for a vital contributor to such an important passage of the New Testament, Nicodemus remains a mysterious figure. Some scholars have suggested he may be Nicodemus ben Gurion, a Talmudic figure of wealth and mystical power. Christian tradition suggest he was martyred, and he is venerated as a saint. His name has come to be synonymous with seekers of the truth and is used as a character in many works of biblically inspired fiction.

3  James The Just

08

He is considered, next to Paul and Peter, the most important apostolic figure in the Church’s history. The Book of Acts specifically names him the head of the Christian church in Jerusalem, and he is frequently cited, both scripturally and apocryphally, as being consulted by both Paul and Peter. So who is he?
Traditionally, he is thought of as Jesus’s brother (or, more precisely, His half-brother). Jesus is listed, in the Gospels, as having siblings, some younger than Him. One was named James.
But James was a common name, and there are several mentioned in the Bible. Two of the 12 disciples were named James, but both are listed as having different fathers than Jesus, and neither went on to become James the Just. James the son of Zebedee went on to be known as James the Great, and James the son of Alphaeus was called James the Less.
It is known that he was a contemporary of Jesus, although he seems to have had no real inner-circle status during Christ’s ministry. The apocryphal Gospel of Thomas says Christ Himself designated James to lead the movement upon His death. The Apostle Paul initially seems respectful, even subservient, to “James the Lord’s brother,” calling him a “pillar” of the movement, even though he was later to disagree with him on matters of doctrine.
Some, though, have suggested the “brother” designation was spiritual, rather than physical. St. Jerome, among others, suggested that the doctrine of perpetual virginity indicated James could be a cousin, which, given the tribal associations and clannishness of the Jewish community of the time, seems valid. Such a relationship would indicate a certain social proximity without necessarily being a true sibling.

2  Simon The Zealot

09

Of Christ’s 12 disciples, none are more mysterious than Simon the Zealot. His name was meant to differentiate him from Simon Peter and has come to symbolize, for some, that he was a member of a similarly named political movement that advocated Jewish defiance to Roman law. Some have speculated that he acted, within Christ’s inner circle, as a political adviser. His presence then indicated that Jesus had a revolutionary political agenda.
The truth is much less exciting. The “Zealot” movement did not take place until long after the time that Christ would have given Simon his sobriquet, and there has never been any serious evidence that Simon, despite the designation, was a political radical. The name, and the word upon which it is based, did not take on those aggressive undertones until the movement itself was in full swing. More than likely, Simon was given his name because of intense spiritual devotion, rather than any radical political stance.
Nothing else is known of him, at least not with any surety. The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions him as possibly being a brother or cousin of Jesus, with no real evidence. The Eastern Orthodox tradition says he developed his zeal when Jesus attended his wedding and changed water into wine. Some legends say he was martyred; the philosopher Justus Lipsius somehow got it into his head that he was sawed in half.
1  Og

10

Cited twice specifically, but alluded to frequently in general terms, the Nephilim were a race of violent giants that lived in the pre-Flood world at the same time as humanity. Were they, as some suggest, the offspring of demons and human women? Fallen angels themselves? Or simply the descendants of Seth mentioned in the Dead Sea scrolls, a tribe of cranky cases cursed by God for their rebelliousness? Regardless, they evolved and became known by other names, like the Raphaim, and frequently battled humans for land and power.
The most storied of them was Og, the King of Bashan. He was killed, along with his entire army, and his kingdom was ransacked. All of the survivors—men, women, and children—were put to death, and the strongest and most powerful line of Nephilim descendants was eliminated. Some Nephilim bloodlines continued to do battle with the Israelites, though they were becoming less powerful and dying out. One tribe, the Anakim, allied themselves with the human tribes in Philistia. Goliath was thought to have been one of the last few descendants of the Nephilim.
Goliath’s height is given in the earliest manuscripts as 275 centimeters (9′). That’s hardly as awe-inspiring as the creature laying in Og’s bed, which measured, according to Deuteronomy, 400 centimeters (13′ 6″). That’s basically Yao Ming sitting on Shaquille O’Neal’s shoulders.
Biblically, descendants of the Nephilim could not have survived the Flood, even though Og and other giants are post-Flood figures. Some biblical literalists have attributed their later existence to the descendants of Noah’s family hooking up, once again, with demons. Or, being fallen angels and not human, they did survive the flood.
Jewish tradition gets deeper into information about the Nephilim and their descendants, going against the grain of the biblical account. It tells of Og booking passage on the Ark by promising to act as a slave to Noah and his family. Other accounts have him hanging on to the side of the Ark and riding the flood out rodeo-style.10 Shadowy Biblical Characters No One Can Explain 89

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Aliens & UFO's

“Canadian Roswell”: Jacques-Yves Cousteau family investigating a UFO crash near Shag Harbor

"Canadian Roswell": Jacques-Yves Cousteau family investigating a UFO crash near Shag Harbor 102
Front page of the Canadian newspaper The Chronicle Herald, October 7, 1967.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau gained worldwide fame as one of the largest and most successful explorers of the sea and depths. His grandchildren decided to devote themselves to the study of a completely different sacrament. 

Already in August, they are going to go to the waters near Shag Harbor, a small fishing village on the coast of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, in search of an unidentified flying object (UFO) that allegedly crashed into the sea here in 1967.

As reported by the Shag Harbor Incident Society, which is still investigating the case, the grandchildren of the famous explorer of the seas, Selina and Fabian Cousteau, announced their upcoming visit to the traditional UFO Conference of Shag Harbor “and said they want to take a direct part in the research and search at the alleged crash site of an unknown object”.

Background

At about 11 pm on the night of October 4, 1967, local fishermen and residents of the village of Shag Harbor watched in the clear and moonless night sky the crash of a brightly luminous object that fell into the sea. Among the witnesses were three members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), as well as civilian pilots who were flying over the southwest coast of Nova Scotia at the time.

Despite the undertaken searches, no wreckage or bodies were found, therefore the observation is still considered inexplicable today – 51 years after the incident. True, countless government and military protocols and documents are dedicated to the incident, which is why it is considered one of the most extensively documented UFO incidents in the history of Canada.

According to the president of the research society and one of the witnesses of the incident, Lauren Wickens, Cousteau’s grandchildren will visit the scene in preparation for the filming of a series of new investigative documentaries. 

“On their arrival, Brother and Sister Cousteau will dive accompanied by local diver David Queta, who has been involved in the investigation of the incident since 1967.”

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Aliens & UFO's

Another TR-3B? Huge triangular UFO flew over New York

Another TR-3B? Huge triangular UFO flew over New York 103

A resident of Bronx, New York, on January 16, 2021, saw three UFOs above the houses in his area, moving synchronously in the form of a huge triangle. The brightly shining points were very clearly visible in the night sky.

The man managed to capture a triangle slowly floating in the sky on video (see below) and posted it on his YouTube channel.

Since he was a very modest blogger who had only a few subscribers, his video went unnoticed for several days by UFO lovers, until finally it was re-posted on social networks, and from there it got to news sites.

Huge triangular UFO flew over New York

The video shows how the author of the video is very surprised by what is happening, he looks up into the sky and says:

“They fly nearby and look like stars. It’s a triangle and I don’t know what it is.”

Then he tried to ask someone from the passers-by about whether they knew that it was in the sky, but they could not answer either.

On social networks, this video caused a lot of comments from curious people who offered their versions of what they saw. From the fact that someone has programmed the drones to move in the form of a triangle, to the fact that they are actually Chinese lanterns.

The lantern version was quickly criticized, as the lights move at such a high altitude that Chinese lanterns could not continue to burn so brightly.

The drone version also drew a lot of criticism, because in order to launch several large drones over residential buildings in New York, you need to obtain special permission and it is not so easy.

The most popular was the theory that what he saw was a secret American reconnaissance aircraft TR-3B, about which there have been many rumors for a long time. Allegedly, it was developed on the basis of an alien ship that fell in Roswell, it can move silently and is practically invisible to radars.

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Aliens & UFO's

Indians and aliens – “I was told that there are four aggressive species in the universe, and humans are one of them.”

Indians and aliens - "I was told that there are four aggressive species in the universe, and humans are one of them." 104

Dr. Ardi Sixkiller Clarke, professor emeritus at Montana State University, who is a native of the Cherokee tribe, has studied Indian stories about the “Star People” and collected stories of encounters between aliens and native Indians over the years.

Here is one of the stories she recorded, which she recorded from the words of a female elder named Tali:

I have seen star creatures all my life. The first time I was about 8 years old. I picked berries by the river. I watched the ship descend and land across the river. I crossed the river, stepping carefully over the rocks so as not to get my feet wet. I was curious; I’ve never seen anything like it.

As I approached, the door opened and I went inside. I remember that the star beings greeted me. There were two women. One combed my hair and said that I was beautiful. After that, I often met with them.

Sometimes I brought them flowers, sometimes stones. My grandmother told me that stones have a soul, and I tried to explain it to them. I don’t think they understood. But they taught me to heal with my hands. Star doctors taught me how to treat diseases with my hands. They taught my grandmother how to heal.

When my grandmother died, the star beings were very saddened and I was tasked with continuing her work and learning about herbs and healing people naturally and metaphysically.

They are light, tall and thin. They are much smarter than us, but they are interested in our development. They travel the stars and learn from others throughout the star system. They collect information about the aging process of earthlings. They are trying to understand why we die so young.

Star people live much longer than we do. The normal age for them is 1000 Earth years. They do not have such diseases as we do. Their civilization does not consume alcohol and tobacco.

They choose who they will be, their job and stay on it forever. They become experts in their field, which leads to many discoveries that improve their lives. Star physicians visit Earth constantly. They mostly watch, but all over the world there are “helpers” who serve them. Both my grandmother and I were their assistants.

Star people call themselves observers.

They weren’t cruel. I was told that there are four aggressive species in our universe. People are one of them.”

Dr. Clarke ends the story like this:

“For the next five plus years, I frequently visited the reservation to meet Tali. She remained strong and mobile until her death at 95. On the day of her funeral, several people saw a UFO appear and hover in the sky. I was one of them.”

Observers

In the stories of many people who have come into contact with representatives of extraterrestrial civilizations, there are references to the fact that they are just observers. It seems that some of these creatures are just curious observers of planet Earth, collecting data, as if some of them are carrying out scientific missions to bring information about other planets and civilizations back to their planet.

We are not alone in the universe. Perhaps one day we ourselves will become aliens for someone exploring another planet.

Can we change?

As for the fact that humans are one of the most violent species in the universe … We are empathetic beings with tremendous potential for good. We really can, but we do not change, and if you were an alien watching what is happening on our planet, you would probably be intimidated by how aggressive and cruel we are …

It is a pity that we are in a group of worlds characterized as aggressive, but I really hope that we will change. People can change, but only by standing at the edge of the abyss and realizing that if they do not change, human civilization will simply disappear. We are already on the edge of the abyss. We have actually destroyed the house we live in and the name of this house is Earth.

Humanity has only two ways – to change or die out.

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