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"I am that I am."
- Ambiguous Gender: More common in Judaism, but present in other views. The reasoning being, why would a perfect being (who simply "is" according to the quote above) have a mortal gender identity? Averted in many Christian dogmas, which explicitly portray God as male.
- Animal Motifs: God has a snake motif in the Old Testament. He turns Aaron's staff into a snake to showcase his power, and punishes the Israelites who spoke against him by releasing a pack of venomous snakes into their midst. When they ask for mercy, he has Moses create the Nehushtan, a bronze snake that healed their injuries.
- Awesomeness Is Volatile: His presence can be lethal for mere mortals.
- Badass Boast: Has quite a few, but his extended rant on his own awesomeness in Book of Job is especially notable.
- Berserk Button: God hates sin, but the most particular sins He punishes severely are idolatry and blasphemy.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: God's moral standards are beyond human comprehension.
- Catchphrase: "I am The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Later He added "I am The Lord who took Israel out of bondage in Egypt". Doubles as Badass Boast.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Several actions seem a tad extreme. By our standards, anyway.
- Divine Intervention: He is divine. The Bible as a whole is about Him intervening.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: God does NOT take kindly of mockery. There's a reason "Don't take His name in vain" is one of the 10 Commandments, and many Blasphemous Boasts have been answered.
- Eldritch Abomination: An incomprehensible being that at one point defines himself by the extent to which he is unlike humans.
- Friend to All Living Things: He even cares about the sparrows.
- God Is Displeased: There are times where He withdraws His protection of Israel when they disobey Him, usually when invasions of other nations occur.
- God Is Good: Generally seen as the baseline of morality.
- Good Is Not Nice: God loves. Sometimes the love is really, really tough love.
- Good Is Not Soft: He is compassionate to those in need, especially to those who turn to Him for counsel, aid or solace. But He has no qualms whatsoever with punishing someone when they've done evil and are unrepentant of it.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He describes himself as a jealous deity on at least one occasion.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Literally. His presence is so great that seeing Him is almost invariably fatal.
- Holy Is Not Safe: Seeing just His radiance rendered Paul blind and seeing His face is fatal. When Moses asked to see God's face, He refused due to this trope, but compromised for Moses to see His back instead. One of the beatitudes specifically mentions how the pure in heart will see God.
- Imagination-Based Superpower: Goes with the whole "omnipotence" thing.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: God is holy and righteous that it's impossible for Him to commit evil.
- I Have Many Names: Along with a bit of Spell My Name with an "S" and occasionally No Pronunciation Guide.
- Kill It with Fire: There are plenty of examples of God killing people for sinning against Him in this manner (i.e., Sodom and Gomorrah).
- Light The Way: The Bible connects God to both light and darkness.
- Our Gods Are Different: Jews, Christians, and Muslims have three different ideas. Long story short, Jews believe in one God who favors them above all others; Christians believe in one God who is also three (though there are denominations that don't believe in the holy trinity, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Latter Day Saints/Mormons and the Arian sect) but does not favor any particular ethnic group; and Muslims believe in one God who plays no ethnic favorites.
- The Patriarch: He's usually described as Our Father above.
- Secret Test of Character: He often tests his people's loyalty to Him. His commandment to Abraham to sacrifice Issac being one example.
- There Can Only Be One: The "one and true deity" note of course, but given how much He is angered at the worship of other gods as well as some weird one time passages/verses suggest He may not be the only one.note Needless to say....
- Downplayed in Catholicism. He demands to be the only one actually worshipped as God, but is fine with saints and angels being venerated and even demands it.
- The Unpronouncable: YHWH is not supposed to be pronounced.
Adam and Eve
And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creep upon the earth."
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Many biblical scholars argue that Adam was the most handsome man and Eve the most beautiful woman, being directly created by God.
- The Exile: Adam and Eve were permanently banished from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God.
- Double Standard: Some people have put the blame solely on Eve, others on Adam.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Eve, like Adam, is naked because humans were still innocent. Until they eat the forbidden fruit and are banished from the Garden.
- Meaningful Name: Adam was the first man, his name means "man". Eve was the first woman. Her name in Hebrew means "living one" or "source of life".
- Methuselah Syndrome: Not only Adam and Eve, but plenty of their offspring. It is not until after Exodus things start to even out.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Them eating the forbidden fruit led to centuries' worth of sin and sorrow.
- Sadly Mythtaken: The Bible does not call the fruit an apple. The portrayal of said fruit as an apple is a Stealth Pun on the Latin word malus.
- Swiss Messenger: Picture the most beautiful person of the preferred gender you know of. Thanks to them, you're not hanging out naked with him or her in the Garden.
Sentient Talking Snake, (Satan according to some traditions); sometimes named Nahash
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field.
- Brother Chuck: Despite causing the following: Mankind receiving knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden and being cursed, the existence of death, the existence of the entire human race, and the first evil act ever, the snake absolutely disappears off of the face of the earth after the whole "Eden" incident. It is possible that he is Satan, but The Bible is not explicit about this.
- Our Dragons Are Different: One interpretation. Before being made to crawl upon his belly he must have had legs. What would you call a walking, talking serpent with (at least) human level intelligence?
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
- Being Evil Sucks: According to Islam, he felt really bad after killing Abel but he never really repented.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Sure you may have gotten shafted in the contest, but was murder really the best way to resolve the issue?
- Green-Eyed Monster: He murdered his brother because of he coveted his land.
- Joker Immunity: The ur-example. He commits the first murder and is protected from retribution ever after by his mark.
- Red Right Hand: God gave him a mark to protect him from harm, specifically anyone who might seek vengeance upon him for Abel's death. Exactly what kind of mark is not canonically specified, and interpretations vary.
- The Resenter: Bible commentators indicate that Cain was this due to his parents having been driven out of the garden of Eden.
- Walking the Earth: After Cain murdered his bother, he became a wanderer until he settled in the Land of Nod.
"Why are you angry? Why that scowl on your face? If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling." note
- Youngest Child Wins: Slightly subverted since he dies, and Adam and Eve have another son after his death.
He spent his life in fellowship with God, and then he disappeared, because God took him away.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Some may say he was just Put on a Bus.
- Breakout Character: There's a non-canonical book about him. It influenced the Book of Revelation, The Divine Comedy, and a lot of Christian notions about heaven and hell.
- Pals with Jesus — or rather, Jesus's dad.
And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
He was a mighty hunter before The Lord.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The nation he built, Babylon, would become a Middle Eastern power.
There went in two and two unto Noah into the Ark, the male and the female.
- Cool Boat: The Ark, big enough to house at least two of every animal and Noah's entire family.
- Improbable Age: Building a boat when you're 500.
- Methuselah Syndrome: The last person to live over 900.
- They Called Me Mad!: They called me mad, but I'll show them, I'll bring two of every animal on The Ark, and lets see who's laughing when they're drowning and I'm floating! (Except the floating ones and the swimming ones.)
Children of Israel
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people."
- The Clan: Originally a confederation of tribes. Hence the term "children of..."
- Determinator: And they're still around. Really! Although ten of the original twelve tribes are unaccounted for.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Israel's history with God is basically a sine wave of loyalty and disloyalty, usually depending on the men leading them at the moment.
- I Gave My Word : The word "testament" implies "treaty of vassalship". In other words Israel is a sub-kingdom that accepted God as their Feudal Overlord.
- Meaningful Name: "Israel" means one who argues with God.
- The Migration: To the Promised Land. The first, and the return of the exiles from Babylon
- Proud Warrior Race: At times in the Bible, though not so much afterward. Is there a Proud Survivor Race trope?
- Slave Race: Once, they were all slaves to the Egyptians.
- Too Dumb to Live: The ease with which they are led astray from God is mind-boggling, particularly given that they can usually remember seeing one of His miracles in person, or hearing about such from a close relative whenever it happens. Golden Calf incident, we're looking at you.
- Zen Survivor: Despite slavery in Egypt; being conquered by the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans; persecution by Christians for not accepting Jesus; and persecution by Nazis for being supposedly genetically inferior, they keep on keeping on.
"I will bless those who bless you. But I will curse those who curse you. And through you I will bless all nations."
- Angel Unaware: Is rewarded for entertaining three of these...with a long-awaited son in his old age
- Idiot Ball: Locked his wife Sarah in a box while passing through Egypt, for fear that she would be taken by the Egyptians on account of her beauty. He didn't stop to think that maybe, just maybe the box would have to pass through Customs.
- I Lied: Well, more like told a half-truth: told the Egyptians (who found her in the above incident) that she was his sister. (She was his half-sister, as well as his wife.) He did this to protect himself from being killed by the men in order to obtain her. (Which they never did, even upon finding out the truth.) The lie causes all sorts of mayhem. Oh, and this happened more than once.
- Human Sacrifice: Abraham was almost sacrificed (according to a Midrash), but escaped. Later, he almost sacrificed Isaac, note but just barely didn't.
- Macho Masochism: Within this universe, he's the ur-example of one of the most common in the Old World.
- Meaningful Rename: God has him change his name from Abram (High father) to Abraham (Father of many).
- The Mourning After: Averted. After Sarah dies, he marries another (much younger) woman named Keturah. (Who some believe is his concubine Hagar, by another name.)
- Pals with Jesus: Is literally called a "friend of God."
- Parental Favoritism:
- He preferred Isaac over Ishmael, but was ready to sacrifice Isaacnote to God when God told him to. Good thing it was just a test.
- The Genesis account indicates that Abraham actually pleaded with God for Ishmael to receive some sort of blessing from God as well. Isaac was really The Chosen One Because Destiny Says So.
- Parents as People
- Sacred Hospitality: God is debating whether to destroy the city of Sodom. Abraham bargains God down to letting the city survive if there are ten good men. God's messengers go to Sodom, and they meet Lot and his family. The Sodomites want to rape them. Lot's even willing to let them rape his daughters rather than these men. The city is destroyed.
- Absurdly Elderly Mother: She burst out laughing when the angels promised she would have a son because she was menopausal (the narration delicately mentions she ceased to have "what women have"). Yet one year later, Isaac was born.
- Angel Unaware: Entertains three of these, and is rewarded with a long-awaited son.
- Girl in a Box: Is locked in a box when passing through Egypt so that Abraham won't be killed for her.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Gets jealous of Hagar
- Go-Go Enslavement: Sort of. She is taken to be one of the Pharaoh's concubines. But before he can defile her, God makes Pharaoh sick and the rest of his harem sterile, and Pharaoh gives her back to Abraham.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Her maidservant Hagar gets pregnant by Abraham by sleeping with him once; Sarah has always been infertile (which is why she gave Hagar to Abraham in the first place as per the Code of Hammurabi.)
- Meaningful Rename: Renamed from "Sarai" to "Sarah" (though both translate as "Princess")
- Rich Bitch: When her jealousy gets the better of her (see above) she abuses her pregnant servant.note Also, she sends Ishmael (legally her son) out into the desert, not giving a rip what happens to him because she favors her biological son Isaac.
- Silver Vixen: Despite her age, the Pharaoh saw her as beautiful.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Deconstructed, as the Pharaoh tried to make her into his concubine because of this.
His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him.
- Hero of Another Story: He is an important patriarch to the Muslims, just as Isaac is to Jews and Christians.
"Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
- Brick Joke: His name means "To laugh" because that's what his mother Sarah did when an angel told her she will be pregnant in her old age.
- Human Sacrifice: Narrowly averted. God ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son, but stopped him in the last minute. Turns out it was a Secret Test of Character.
- Kissing Cousins, Love at First Sight and Perfectly Arranged Marriage: With his wife and cousin Rebecca.
- Out of Focus: Of the four patriarchs, he's by far the least focused on.
- Parental Favoritism: Abraham preferred him over his older brother, Ishmael. Granted, that was because God basically told him to. He in turn preferred Esau to Jacob
"Two nations fight in your womb. The lesser will defeat the greater, the older shall serve the younger."
- Guile Heroine: She does all the planning for Jacob to impersonate Esau.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Esau's Canaanite wives "vex" her.
- Parental Favoritism: Favored Jacob to the point of deceiving his father Isaac into giving him the better inheritance.
- Sacred Hospitality: Offers Abraham's messenger a place to stay, plus water for himself and all his camels.
And he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
- Cain and Abel: The trope might just as well have been called Jacob and Esau. Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for some porridge, Jacob tricks Isaac into giving him Esau's blessing, Esau tries to kill Jacob, Jacob runs away and comes back with gifts for Esau. End result: Esau repents, makes up with Jacob, and accepts gifts from Jacob. The thing is, it's kind of hard to tell who is Abel and who is Cain in this scenario.
- Carpet of Virility: Esau was such a hairy man that when Jacob tricked Isaac (who had gone blind in his old age) into thinking he was Esau, he wore a goat skin to simulate Esau's hairiness.
- Evil Twin: To Jacob. (Unlike most examples, he's not truly evil, just short-sighted, and he and Jacob are Polar Opposite Twins. Played straight in later Word of Dante, i.e. The Talmud, in which he becomes very evil indeed.)
- Fiery Redhead: One possible interpretation of "red and hairy" is that the hair was red. He's been portrayed as anything from hot-headed and impulsive to an outright homicidal maniac.
- Jacob and Esau: One of the Trope Namers; he was the favorite of his father, while Jacob was the favorite of his mother.
- Kissing Cousins: His third wife, Mahalath/Basemath, is the daughter of his uncle Ishmael.
- Parental Marriage Veto: Rebekah does not like the Canaanite women he married.
- Polyamory: As many men of that time and place did, Esau was married to Adath, Basemath, and Oholibama, three local Canaanite women.note
- Rated M for Manly: Why Isaac favors him over Jacob; Isaac admires Esau's hunting skill
- Self-Made Man: He is not The Chosen One, but after the Time Skip, he already has a lot of wealth and status to his name (almost as much as Jacob)
Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.
- Bride and Switch: He was very irked when Laban gave him his eldest daughter Leah instead of Rachel, but only noticed that after consummating the marriage since Leah was wearing a thick veil.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He fought God Himselfnote and almost won, but God cheated by breaking his hip, after fighting him all day and all night. Jacob gained the nickname "Yisrael" which means "Struggles with God," or, the more popular translation, "Israel" means "Let God prevail" meaning he struggles with God and lets Him win.
- Dysfunction Junction: Right in the middle of one. Also applies to his relatives on this list, but he's the one who has to deal with it from all sides.
- Easily Forgiven: Esau forgives him for stealing his birthright and welcomes Jacob and his family warmly
- Groin Attack: A particularly nasty variant by said sons: convince the rapist and his people to get circumcised, then slaughter them all while they're still in pain.
- Guile Hero: And how. He gets it from his mother's side of the family.
- Jacob and Esau: One of the Trope Namers; he was the favorite of his mother, while Esau was the favorite of his father.
- Love at First Sight: Towards Rachel. He got it so bad he accepted to work fourteen years for Laban, as long as he was granted her hand in marriage. Technically, he promised to work seven years for Rachel, but after the above Bride and Switch, he was tricked into working seven more years.
- Manipulative Bastard: Jacob's name means deceiver, and he is often shown using tricks to get his way. He even, at his mother's request, tricked his father into giving him the better inheritance.
- Parental Favoritism: Jacob was Rebecca's favorite, and later Jacob preferred his (second) youngest son, Joseph. Notice a pattern here?
- Polyamory: With the sisters (and his cousins) Leah and Rachel. It wasn't his idea, though; he wanted Rachel but was stuck with Leah after the Bride and Switch. Like most other accounts of polygamy in the Bible, it ends badly, here in the form of an ugly Sibling Rivalry.
- He also took his wives' servants, Bilhah and Zilpah as concubines to have more children for his wives.
- Rape and Revenge: His sons, led by Simeon and Levi, brutally avenging their sister Dinah's rape. Jacob disapproves and removes them from the line of succession.
- Youngest Child Wins: According to later books in The Bible, the nation who will produce the savior of mankind will bear his name while Esau's will vanish from the earth.
Rachel was lovely in form and beautiful
- Beauty Equals Goodness: She is described as more beautiful than her sister, who turns out to be, if not evil, then certainly angry and bitter.
- Death by Childbirth: Poor Benjamin...
- Guile Heroine: Stole Laban's idols and hid them in her menstruation couch.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: She really, really wanted to bear Jacob sons, but contrasting with her sister Rachel (who conceived seven times) she only managed to fell pregnant twice, and she died the second time.
- No Periods, Period: Averted; her excuse for not getting up to let guards search was "It's that time of the month."
- Sibling Rivalry: With Leah, because Leah was able to give Jacob lots of sons.
- Youngest Child Wins: Jacob's favored wife bore his favorite sons, one of which becomes a Prince.
Leah had tender eyes.
- Bride and Switch: Laban had agreed to marry his younger daughter Rachel to Jacob, only to disguise Leah with a thick veil and give her to the other man instead.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: It wasn't until Jacob was in his death bed does the reader find out Leah had died before him.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Conceives very easily, while her sister remains infertile for a long time.
- Sibling Rivalry: With Rachel, because Rachel was Jacob's favorite wife.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Her husband wouldn't love her, so God blessed her with many children.
- The Unfavorite: Since it was Rachel Jacob always wanted, he was a bit put off with Leah, and the Bride and Switch probably didn't help. The narration outright tells Leah wasn't loved by her husband.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: See quote. It contrasts with Rachel, who's entirely beautiful instead of having just a beautiful feature.
- Manipulative Bastard: Not only did he trick his nephew and son-in-law into marrying both of his daughters, but he went out of his way to keep Jacob working for him.
- Pure Is Not Good: His name means "White" so he is apparently without blemish or fault, yet he is a scheming bastard who used his own daughters to his advantage.
- Stealth Pun: Keeps culling the sheep without speckles or spots from Jacob's herds, before Jacob turns the tables on him with primitive methods of breeding.
Joseph, son of Jacob
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Not only does the 17-year-old Joseph tell tales about his brothers to his father, he openly announces his dreams about ruling over them all and flaunts his coat as much as possible.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: "Joseph was handsome in form and appearance." Additionally, according to Muslim tradition, "One half of all the beauty God apportioned for mankind went to Joseph; the other one half went to the rest of mankind."
- Big Brother Instinct: Joseph's reaction on seeing Benjamin for the first time in more than 20 years:God be gracious unto you, my son.
- Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage: Joseph's marriage with Asenath seems to be an example of this. However, in view of Joseph's monogamy, the birth of his two sons, and the absence of any contrary statement in the Bible, it might also qualify as a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
- Chaste Hero: Resisted the advances of his master Potiphar's wife.
- Chick Magnet: Implied in the biblical episode involving Potiphar's wife. Dwelt on in much greater detail in the Quran.
- Completely Unnecessary Translator: To conceal his true identity, Joseph uses an interpreter to speak to his brothers. This leads to a moment of Bilingual Bonus for Joseph, when the brothers' private conversation turns to what they did to him all those years ago.
- Dramatic Irony: The brothers insist before the Vizier of Egypt that they are "honest men". They don't realise that the man they are speaking to is the brother whose death they faked after having sold him into slavery 20 years ago.
- The Good Chancellor: He saves countless lives and livestock through his efficient administration during the seven years of famine. Harsher in Hindsight, though, as his economic policies result in the State gaining ownership over all privately owned property.
- Guile Hero: No matter where he is placed, Joseph finds a way to climb to the top of the organisation through sheer intelligence, charisma and competence. Also, see Xanatos Gambit below.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: To Potiphar, his warden in prison, and eventually to Pharaoh, to the point that Potiphar and the warden felt they didn't need to supervise him, and Potiphar even lost track of all his affairs because Joseph took care of them all.
- Made a Slave: His brothers sold him into slavery.
- Matzo Fever: He unwittingly infected Potiphar's wife with this.
- Not So Stoic: Despite his cold and calculating treatment of his brothers, Joseph loses his composure several times in private. That's before his rather public outburst and self-revelation following Judah's Rousing Speech.
- Parental Favoritism: He was the favorite son of Jacob, being the first child of his favorite wife. It's encouraging to note that Joseph himself systematically averts this trope in relation to the upbringing of his own two children, Manasseh and Ephraim. He is even somewhat disapproving of Jacob when Jacob resorts to his old habit of favouring the younger child by giving the greater blessing to Ephraim.
- Rags to Riches: Eventually became second to Pharaoh in power, sometimes described as being a prince. (Not the same Pharaoh who enslaved the Israelites.)
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Zig-Zagged with. As the Vizier of Egypt, Joseph acts like The Good Chancellor and is ultimately praised by the people for saving their lives. However, when dealing with his brothers (before having revealed his true identity), Joseph takes full advantage of his power and makes them suffer for what they did to him.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: A small-scale version: the fancy robe Jacob gave him is believed to traditionally signify a father's choice of successor as head of the family. And of course, he got the real deal when Pharaoh made him second-in-command of all Egypt.
- Xanatos Gambit: Precisely what Joseph had in mind during the above-mentioned cat-and-mouse game is up for debate. However, it would most likely have been something like this: Plan A: (1) Joseph's brothers bring Benjamin to Egypt to buy more corn. (2) Joseph accuses Benjamin of stealing his cup and demands him as a slave. (3) The brothers, having learnt nothing from the past, agree to leave Benjamin with Joseph and go back to Canaan. (4) Joseph and Benjamin live happily ever after in Egypt. Plan B: (1)-(2) are the same as before. (3) The brothers, wiser with experience, refuse to part with Benjamin, thereby indicating to Joseph that they have overcome their hatred for Rachel's sons and are ready for reconciliation. (4) Joseph reconciles with his entire family and they ALL live happily ever after in Egypt. Fortunately, it was Plan B which succeeded.
- Youngest Child Wins: Naturally, in keeping with several generations of family tradition.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Offers himself as a slave to Joseph to save Benjamin.
- Hypocrite: Is willing to put Tamar to death for adultery despite having slept with some random prostitute himself. Upon realizing that she was the prostitute, he realizes his error.
- Jail Bait Wait: Invokes this to Tamar when he tells her to live as a widow in her father's house until his third son, Shelah is old enough. However, he still refuses to let them marry after Shelah comes of age.
- Made a Slave: He was the one to suggest selling Joseph into slavery. Also see Heroic Sacrifice.
- Rousing Speech: Judah's famous monologue in Chapter 44 proves to be the catalyst to the family's reconciliation, causing Joseph to break down in Manly Tears.
- Outliving One's Offspring: He outlived his first two sons.
- Sex for Solace: Probably why he slept with a prostitute (Tamar in disguise) after his wife's death.
- Token Good Teammate - He was the one who suggested selling Joseph to slavery instead of killing him.
Tamar (daughter-in-law of Judah)
- Bed Trick: Tricked Judah into sleeping with her by disguising herself as a prostitute.
- Cartwright Curse: She married Judah's first son, who died. Then she married Judah's second son, who practiced coitus interruptus and was killed by God as punishment. This is why Judah keeps his third son away from her.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Briefly. She impersonates a hooker as part of a ploy to get her stingy father-in-law to do as he'd agreed and provide her with a new husband.
- Youngest Child Wins: Her younger son took his brother's place as first-born as they were being born.
- Bilingual Backfire: Ruben and his brothers recall their betrayal of Joseph in front of the Vizier of Egypt, who doesn't speak Canaanite, or so they think.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Poor Ruben, through and through. A prime example of this trope is when Ruben tries to persuade Jacob to let Benjamin travel with him to Egypt. As an indication of his sincerity, he tells Jacob he will kill both his own sons if he can't bring Benjamin back. Needless to say, Jacob isn't persuaded.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: God gave him two prophetic dreams that Joseph interpreted.
- No Name Given: His real name is never given. Pharaoh is a title.
- One Steve Limit: Averted, there are other Pharaohs mentioned. In fact, it's likely that Joseph served under multiple Pharaohs.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He was willing to accommodate Joseph's relatives in Goshen, a particularly fertile area of Egypt where they would be able to graze their flocks (and also where they would be separate from the Egyptian populace, as Egyptians tended to look down on shepherds).
"Let my people go!"
- Back from the Dead: While this would normally not apply to someone for whom they Never Found the Body, he shows up again over 1000 years later in the New Testament as a spirit.
- Beyond the Impossible: He writes about his own death.
- Cue the Sun: God prolongs the day in one battle for as long as Moses held up his arms. He got people to help him hold them up.
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Given the area she came from, Its very likely that one of his wives was black. In any case, Miriam and Aaron where not happy about him marrying her, and spoke against him until God got angry at them and rebuked them.
- Moses in the Bulrushes: The Trope Namer. Ironically, he is not a perfect fit for this trope as in the actual text he knew he was an Israelite. The movie changed it because of the Rule of Drama.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When the Israelites were complaining about a lack of water, God told Moses to speak to a stone to get a spring to appear, but Moses smacked it with his staff instead. As punishment for not following God's directions exactly, he was not allowed to enter the promised land.
- Shiksa Goddess: His wife's Ethiopian, he is Jewish.
- Unstoppable Rage: Got quite angry when he came back to find some of the Israelites worshiping a golden calf. Understandable. The text ambiguously implies they were having a orgy.
- Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking...: He had a speech impediment, so his brother Aaron did the talking for him. This is subverted in Deuteronomy which shows how much he's changed. The whole book is Moses' eloquent last instructions to Israel before his death.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Often portrayed as a nicer person than his brother, especially in the Talmud, where he micromanages Israelite home life. His death is also given a lot more solemnity than Moses'.
- Too Dumb to Live: After he had seen irrefutable evidence of God, he breaks one of the first commands He gave him: not to make any idols. Granted, he was being pressured, but it's still kinda stupid.
And Miriam the prophetess, Aarons sister, proceeded to take a tambourine in her hand; and all the women began going out with her with tambourines and in dances.
- Jerkass: Temporarily; She didn't like Moses's new wife and roped Aaron into helping her speak out against her. God didn't like that very much.
- Sick Episode: Punishment for her insolence; she got better.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country."
- Determinator: He was stubborn even before Godnote started hardening his heart.
- Ignored Epiphany: He admitted that "this time I have sinned", that his people were wrong and God is right, told Moses that he could go, then, right after Pharaoh saw that the hail and rain were gone and everything was fine and dandy again, Pharaoh "hardened" his own heart and refused to let the Israelites go.
- Infant Immortality: Averted. He sent men to kill the Israelites kids. His own son died later.
- Infanticide Backfire: One of the infants they tried to kill survived, and this ultimately resulted in the Israelites being freed and the death of Pharaoh.
- Kill It with Water:
- Orders the first born sons of the Israelites to be thrown into the Nile river.
- He himself dies when the water of the Red Sea rushes back into place.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Send men to drown the infants of the people you enslaved? Your own people's children will die, including your own son, and your armies (possibly including you) will drown.
- Nay-Theist: He acknowledged the existence of God. He even went so far as to admits that he sinned, but he still refused to do what God said and let His people go.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Herod!: Attempted unsuccessfully to kill the prophesied savior by killing all male Hebrew babies. Ended unknowingly raising the child himself.
- No Name Given: His real name is never given, as Pharaoh is just a title.
- One Steve Limit: Averted, as there are other Pharaohs mentioned.
- Rage Against the Heavens: He fought against God by refusing to let His people go, even after he saw proof that He exists.
- Pride: His refusal to humble himself before God cost him quite dearly, any way you slice it.
And Israel served the Lord throughout Joshua's lifetime.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: The translation directed by King James the 1st of England confuses him with Jesus at a few points. Helps that their Name's The Same, albeit under different naming conventions.
- Cue the Sun: "And that day was unlike any other before or since, when God listened to a man" - Joshua 10:14
- Curse: He foretold that whoever rebuilds Jericho will lose both his sons in the process and this came true during the time of Ahab.
- Heroic BSoD: When the attack on the city of Ai failed followed by God telling him Get up! Why are you down on your face?.
- Kill 'Em All: What happens to most of the cities he conquers.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: She saves the Israeli spies from being killed.
- Les Collaborateurs: A rare heroic example.
"How can I curse those whom God had not?"
- Cruella to Animals: Started beating his donkey when she refused to move.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He is later found to have been killed in an Israelite raid.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He is later found guilty of encouraging Israel's enemies to seduce it into performing pagan worship.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Balaam got this from a donkey of all things. Though Balaam was not really a hero.
Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"
- Evil-Detecting Dog: The donkey was able to see the angel. Balaam could not until the angel revealed himself. (This was not a Glamour Failure, as it was very likely intentional.)
- Stubborn Mule: This is probably what Balaam thought, but in reality the Donkey refused to move because she saw an angel.
- Talking Animal: It was due to a miracle, but it is not clear whether this literally happened or was a vision of some sort.
"And I rose a mother in Israel".
- Action Girl: She got her job as judge/ruler by acting when the men would not.
- Animal Theme Naming: Her name means bee.
- Brains and Brawn: Deborah is the brains to Barak's Brawn; Without her at his side guiding him every step of the way, he wouldn't have gone to war.
- Iron Lady: She was nearly unstoppable in battle
- The Smurfette Principle: Certainly not intentional, but she IS the only female Judge.
- Team Mom: See the quote. She's the team mom for the entire Jewish nation.
- Warrior Poet: Her and Barak celebrate the victory over Sisera and his army by breaking into song.
"Come and I shall show you the man you are looking for"
- More Deadly Than the Male: Tricks Sisera into trusting her, lulls him to sleep with warm milk, and then brutally drives a tent stake through his temples.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Jael or Yaelnote ?
"If you will go with me, I also shall certainly go; but if you will not go with me, I shall not go."
- Awesome McCoolname: His name means "lightning".
- Cowardly Lion: Fears going to war without God's prophetess at his side
- The Aragorn: Takes second string to Deborah, but wins the battle.
- Warrior Poet: Sings with Deborah after the battle.
"You say that you have decided to use me to rescue Israel. Well, I am putting some wool on the ground where we thresh the wheat..."
- Offered the Crown: After the big battle he won with only 300 men.
- Refusal of the Call: Initially was skeptical and wanted God to prove He is who He says he is by "putting out a fleece".
- Shaming the Mob: Gideon's father saved him when he destroyed an altar to Baal.
- Think Nothing of It: Refuses to be king.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Tried to get his armor bearer to stab him so no one would know he was fatally wounded by a woman who dropped a rock on him.
- Evil Prince: Fancied himself as Israel's first king, although God says otherwise.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Led a band of outlaws.
- Son of a Whore: He was kicked out of town for it.
- The Unfavorite: Being the son of a prostitute, his step-mother didn't like him.
"From this day I shall be blameless in what I do against the Philistines: For I will do you evils.
- Achilles' Heel: His hair. If his head is ever shaved, he loses his strength. This is perhaps a case of divine irony since not getting a haircut is the only Nazirite vow Samson has kept, the other two being not drinking and not touching a dead thing. He lost his strength not because he cut his hair but because he disobeyed God for the last time. He was also drunk when his hair was cut.
- Badass Israeli: He is the strongman of Jewish myth.
- Bond One-Liner: Upon killing one thousand men with a Donkey's jawbone, he made a pun on the fact that "donkey" and "heap" are homophones in Hebrew. Methods of translating this wordplay vary."With the jawbone of an ass, I have piled them in a mass"
"With a donkeys jawbone, I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey's jawbone, I have killed a thousand men"
- Cherry Tapping: 1,000 kill count...with a jawbone of an donkey.
- Driven to Suicide: And God helps him with his suicide.
- Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Got a haircut out of it.
- Eye Scream: The Philistines stab out his eyes.
- Fake Weakness: He made up several of these to tell Delilah, after she asked the secret of his strength. Somehow he never figured out why, whenever he told her one, some Philistines would always try to use it on him...
- Fatal Flaw:
- See Love Makes You Dumb.
- And his drunkenness, which God told him to avoid, gave Delilah the chance to cut his hair.
- Good Flaws, Bad Flaws: Despite his faults, the letter to the Hebrews still cite him a great hero for his faith in God, largely due to how he repents.
- Handicapped Badass: He is blinded by his enemies after being depowered, but he later kills them all for it.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Gave this treatment to a random lion with his bare hands.
- Horrible Judge of Character: One wonders if he was one, considering he ended up having two traitorous wives...
- Humiliation Conga: When the Philistines captured him, they blinded him, imprisoned him, and put him work grinding grain. They then brought him out to mock him, and have him perform for them. He gets the last laugh, though.
- Improbable Weapon User: His signature weapon was a donkey's jawbone.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Delilah, you manipulative bitch, we read your book!
- Messianic Archetype: The subversion of the type. His birth is announced by an angel and raised a Nazirite (puritan Hebrew) yet broke its traditions simply because he was the Chosen One, his battles are more like the antics of a super powered college prankster and his motivation to finally beat the Philistines was personal revenge.
- '90s Anti-Hero: Well, he sure wasn't The Cape.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Kinda. He did smash the two pillars of the Philistine temple, killing over 3000.
- Red Herring: Delilah tries to find the reason for Samson's strength by asking him. He is less than helpful at first.
- Sweet Tooth: After killing the lion and coming back some time later, he finds a swarm of honeybees making a hive in its carcass. He eats some honey right out of the corpse and shares the rest with his parents without telling them where he got it.
- Stellar Name: His name means "Sun".
- Taking You with Me: He prays to God to give him strength one last time and collapses the temple with all the rulers of the Philistines inside, and three thousand of their people on the roof.Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. (Judges 16:30)
- Too Dumb to Live: He eventually gives in to Delilah and tells her the secret of his strength, leading to his capture by the Philistines.
- Touched by Vorlons: The reason for Samson's Super Strength.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Everyone knows about his hair being his Achilles' Heel.
- Xanatos Gambit: God blessing Samson was all part of the plan.
The other Judges (Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Tola, Jair, Ibzan, Elon and Abdon)
- Chosen One: God picked them personally.
- Improbable Weapon User: Shamgar's weapon was an ox goad.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Ehud. "I have a message from God for you".
"For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God."
- Chekhov's Gunman: It's only at the end of her story do we find out her significance, she's David's great grandmother.
- MayDecember Romance: Boaz was much older than her, and he even says so openly.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: Her story which reads like a domestic drama, is set during the action packed Crapsack World of Judges.
- Ready for Lovemaking: After Boaz had fallen asleep on a grain heap, Ruth uncovered his feet, lied down, and waited for him to wake up with cold feet. This being ancient Israel though, consummation did have to wait until after the wedding.
- Curse: Through the wickedness of his sons, Eli lost favor with God and it was prophesied that all men in his family will be ruined. The priests of Nob, most were his relatives, were killed by Saul and his youngest son Abiathar, David's high priest, was exiled by Solomon for supporting a rival to the throne.
- Death by Falling Over: After hearing of his sons' death, he fell from his chair and broke his neck. To be fair, he was already very old.
The Lord called Samuel: and he answered, "Here am I".
- Last of His Kind: The last of The Judges.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Saul after the latter only partially obeys the divine command to utterly wipe out the Amalekites (which included their finest animals, which Saul spared).
"For rejecting The Lord's command, He has rejected you as king!"
- Better to Die than Be Killed: He fell on his own sword, because he did not want his enemies to abuse and mock him.
- Beauty Is Bad: He is described as being a beautiful king.
- Fallen Hero: He was good at first before he became a wicked king.
- Ignored Epiphany: Admitted that he had treated David evilly and that David had been good to him, but he went right back to trying to kill him.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: He didn't take kindly to the fact that God was going to replace him.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Was mortally jealous of David.
- Hypocrite: Had all magic users purged but went to a witch to summon the spirit of Samuel for advice on his what would turn out to be his final battle.
- Large and in Charge: He was noticeably taller than all the other people around.
- Offered the Crown: They don't call him King Saul for nothing.
- The Uriah Gambit: Used it on David before David named it.
"Your love was greater than that of a woman's!"
- Conflicting Loyalty: Was caught between his insane father's paranoia and his loyalty to his best friend David.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With David. See above quote from 2 Samuel. More likely the text was referring to the close bond of friendship between the two, but still. This essay clarifies the subject.
And David danced before the Lord with all his might.
- Antagonist in Mourning:
- David's the protagonist, but when his opponent Saul dies he still goes further than most in mourning a man bent on killing him.
- He wept hard for Absalom too. It's understandable though, as he was his son.
- The Atoner:
- Fasts and prays following God's judgment on him for his adultery and subsequent Uriah Gambit to cover it up; as a result, his life and kingdom are spared but he and Bathsheba lose their first, newborn child and the rest of David's family life is extremely troubled.
- Also many passages within the Psalms attributed to him are quite repentant.
- Badass Israeli: The original. Note: The "Star of David" is the frame of his shield.
- BFS: Wielded the sword of Goliath.
- Break the Cutie: In his last days, he is described as "no longer feeling warmth". A stark contrast to the happy well-adjusted shepherd boy he once was.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Brought a gun to a swordfight (metaphorically), then cut Goliath's head off with Goliath's own sword.
- Even the Guys Want Him: He had several wives (Michal and Bathsheba being just two of them) as well as Ho Yay with Jonathan.
- Heroic BSoD:
- Intimate Healing: When David was old, he could not get warm, so they got a young girl (possibly one of his wives) to care for him, which included snuggling up besides him. Oddly, their relationship was not sexual.
- Kick the Dog:
- Manly Tears: He was a formidable warrior who cried quite a lot.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: The hypotenuse being poor Uriah.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Very narrowly averted; The only thing that stopped David from wiping out Nabal's entire house when he insulted him was quick thinking on Abigail's part. David snaps out of it and thanks God that he was prevented from having such blood guilt on his hands.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Did this while in exile before he was crowned king, when the King of Gath (Goliath's hometown) recognized him as an anti-Philistine guerrilla warrior.
- Offered the Crown: Again, he's King David
- Polyamory: Michal and Bathsheba were just the start; he had eight total plus concubines.
- The Purge: Killed all the men in Saul's family (except Jonathan's son) eligible for succession and even forced Saul's daughter Michal to marry him again to force an alliance with the former royal family. His last wishes (textually, if not chronologically) were for Solomon were to kill Joab and Shimei, steward of the house of Saul.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: 1 Samuel, 17:46. "This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you...!".
- Pretty Boy: "And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and withal of a fair countenance."
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: His "Mighty Men" who were mercenaries and outlaws who joined him during his years as a fugitive.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: David had the men who killed Ishbal (Saul's heir apparent) executed.
- Rightful King Returns: Part of the conditions for the Jewish Messiah is being of his bloodline. Given David is estimated to have lived 3000 years ago, had something like 18 wives and concubines, and one of his sons had somewhere around 1000, that's a good chunk of the population, or no-one at all.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: David had a young girl as a ward in his old age who everyone thought was a concubine. One of his sons even asked to marry her, perhaps to subtly lay a claim to the throne. David always denied any claims of her being more than his nurse of sorts.
- Suffer the Slings: Goliath found out the hard way just how deadly they can be.
- 20 Bear Asses: Although he only needed to bring back 100 Philistine foreskins.
- The Uriah Gambit: Trope Namer, though Saul tried to pull it on him first with the Philistine Foreskins bit.
- Warrior Poet: Quite literally. Kicks ass, writes poems, dances with his people. He's even got a nickname, "The Sweet Psalmist of Israel"
- What the Hell, Hero?: After the above incident with Uriah, Nathan explicitly call him on this. He repents, but it's too late, at least for his first child with Bathsheba.
Abigail, Wife of David
When Abigail caught sight of David, she at once hastened and got down off the ass and fell upon her face before David and bowed to the earth. She then fell at his feet and said: Upon me myself, O my lord, be the error; and, please, let your slave girl speak in your ears"
- Shaming the Mob: After her husband Nabal insulted David, David led a couple hundred men back to him, intending to wipe out his entire household. Abigail placates him with gifts of food and a heartfelt speech.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife:
- Nabal, Abigail's first husband, is certainly ugly... at least in personality, though Abigail's beauty is specifically stated.
- Averted with her second husband David. He was quite handsome.
"Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Servants have been leaving their masters more and more these days."
- Meaningful Name/Unfortunate Names: "The Fool". According to Abigail, it fit him.
- Too Dumb to Live: Yes, Nabal, insult the man who went out of his way to protect your flocks and shepherds and only wants a bite of food in return, and who's got armed men accompanying him. That'll win you his respect.
"Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?"
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivered by the much smaller David.
- Giant Mook: was stated to be around 10 feet — tall even by modern standards.
- Glass Cannon: It only took one shot from a slingnote to kill him.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Depending on how you interpret a passage in Genesis, he may or may not be half angel/demon.
"If I had only been a judge, then this land would have justice".
- Asshole Victim: Both perpetrator and victim in this trope.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Amnon did have it coming, gotta say. Poor Tamar.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Avenged his sister's rape by killing his half-brother then goes off to plot against David's rule.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Not him, but one of David's advisers who said he would "serve you as I served your father".
- Villain with Good Publicity: He got quite a following in trying to usurp his father's role.
Tamar, princess of Israel
And she lived in her brother Absalom's house, a desolate woman.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: Wore one as a mark of her chastity. She tore it apart after the rape.
- Kill 'Em All: His solution to everything.
- Poisonous Friend: Among David's inner circle, he's always the first to advocate violence against whoever is threatening them.
- You Killed My Father: His reason for killing Abner is the murder of his brother.
- Celibate Hero: He refused to have sex with his wife while a war was going on, despite royal orders.
- Uriah Gambit: The Trope Namer. Once it became impossible to pass off Bathsheba's unborn child as his, David sent him back to the front with sealed orders to have him abandoned to die in battle.
- Naked First Impression: David first saw her when she was taking her clothes off to take a bath.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: David believes this of her.
"Consider the lilies of the field. Not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed as well as these".
- Author Filibuster: Ecclesiastes. The topic, "Life Sucks".
- The Casanova: He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, which is more than anyone else in the Bible - and if you read closely, those are just the foreign women. Also if you read the Song of Songs of Solomon, you can see that he sure knows how to sweet talk women
- Elemental Powers: According to Islamic tradition.
- Fallen Hero: Turned to idol worship in his old age, and had extremely acquisitive tendencies even before that, signified by his massive numbers of imported horses (specifically warned against in Deuteronomy).
- I Lied: Nobody seriously believes he was going to cut a baby in half...
- Infant Immortality: See the Third Option below.
- Lonely at the Top: According to Ecclesiastes, not even the wisdom he asked from God had made him happy.
- Polyamory: Again, he had a thousand women. Who led him to worship pagan gods, leading to the kingdom of Israel fracturing.
- The Purge: Appointed as the next king and secured it by killing all his rivals including his brother and David's general Joab.
- Shiksa Goddess: Married a thousand of them, the most notable being Pharaoh's daughter and Rehoboam's mother Naamah the Ammonite - perhaps the Queen of Sheba as well.
- Sketchy Successor: His son Rehoboam, upon becoming king, promptly takes the Idiot Ball and spikes it in the endzone.
- The Smart Guy: Due to God giving him a great amount of wisdom. There was a reason why he was consulted for miles around for answers to problems.
- Take a Third Option: Two woman came up to him with a baby, one of the woman had accidentally smothered her own child in her sleep, and swapped it with the other woman's baby. Now both claim to be the mother of the surviving child. How does Solomon decide which woman should get the baby? He orders it to be split in half, with each woman getting one half. One woman, bizarrely, is perfectly okay with this, the other begs him to give the baby to the other woman. He gives it to the woman who actually cared about the baby. It was his plan all along, he never intended to actually cut the baby in two.
- Youngest Child Wins: Youngest of 7, but the first surviving son of his father's favorite wife.
The Queen of Sheba
- Did They or Didn't They?: Debate rages to this day as to whether or not she was ever intimately involved with Solomon during her visit
- The Smart Guy: Was pretty well-read and eloquent
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Debates about the location of Sheba range to this day.
"The Lord gave and The Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of The Lord!"
- Character Filibuster: Job and his 3 friends really liked to talk.
- Rules Lawyer: As David Plotz points out, he accused God of wrongdoing, but didn't technically curse Him, as Satan had wanted.
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: The Satan tried to invoke this reaction, and his own wife suggested it so he could be put out of his misery. It didn't work.
- Trauma Conga Line - Ur-Example: Servants rush in to inform him of the latest tragedy to plague his estate even while previous servants are still informing him of the one before it.
- With Friends Like These...: Job's visitors keep insisting that he must have done something to deserve all his suffering, and turn on him when he denies it. In the end, God is far angrier with them than with Job, but pardons them when Job, despite everything, brings an offering on their behalf.
Kingdom of IsraelAfter Solomon, the kingdom splits in two, Israel is the northern one. The kingdom quickly turned to worshipping other gods, and was eventually punished by being conquered by Assyria.
- Decadent Court: close to half of its rulers are overthrown, suggesting the kingdom is prone to these.
- The Good King: Had very few of these.
- Made a Slave: The earthly reason for rebelling. The northern Kingdom was already not fully invested in the united monarchy, and continuing forced labor finally was too much.
- Too Dumb to Live: Several times, rulers try to rebel against Assyria, the most powerful empire in the region. This is the earthly reason the kingdom gets conquered.
- War Refugees: What happens to its population after conquest. This was a deliberate Assyrian policy, conquered populations would be forced to move somewhere else, where they would be unfamiliar with the area and more easily controlled. People from other regions were settled in Israel as replacements.
Kingdom of JudahThe Southern kingdom, named after its biggest tribe. Stayed loyal to the family of David, but also engaged in some idolatry and worship of other gods.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: When the kingdom fights Assyria and Babylonia, it goes quite badly. In the Assyrian case, the kingdom survived, in the babylonian case, the kingdom is conquered and destroyed after invasion and some revolts. Records from the two empires back up the story.
- The Good King: Switched between these and bad kings.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Happens when a not so good king takes power. Idolatry is encouraged, the kingdom decays.
- War Refugees: A number of these from Israel settled here after it was conquered.
Zimri, king of Israel
- Driven to Suicide: Set his palace on fire.
- Klingon Promotion: Became King by assassination. His "reign" lasted a week. Before Judas, Zimri was the byword for traitor. Jezebel called Jehu a "Zimri".
- Hero of Another Story: In the bible, he gets little more attention than other kings. Records from Assyria and other nearby kingdoms suggests he was powerful and highly successful, conquering a lot of territory and helping keep the Assyrians out of the region.
- Klingon Promotion: The one who overthrew Zimri.
"I will purge the house of Ahab like I had done to the houses of Jeroboam and Baasha. Anyone who dies in the city will be eaten by dogs and anyone who dies in the country will be eaten by birds!"
- Corner of Woe: After Naboth refused to sell his vineyard to Ahab, Ahab proceeded to curl up on his couch, refuse to eat, and go into a truly royal sulk.
- Heel Realization: After Elijah declared to him the fate of his family, Ahab tore his clothing and fasted, humbling himself before God.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His plan to get Jehosaphat killed in battle backfired and Ahab was killed instead.
- Manipulative Bastard: Was always scheming to displace the Davidic dynasty in Judah.
The very dogs will eat up Jezebel in the plot of land of Jezreel
- Curse: Elijah fortold that Jezebel would be eaten by dogs when she died. He was right, and it gets described in gory detail.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Being eaten by dogs.
- Disney Villain Death: At least the thrown out of the tower bit. What comes after, on the other hand....
- Face Death with Dignity: She knew that she wasn't going to survive her confrontation with Jehu, so she just put on her best clothes and got ready for whatever it'd come.
- Flanderization: Over the years her defining feature has become a sexual, seductive nature, when in reality she was an influential and powerful, if evil, Queen.
- Kick the Dog: After her husband failed to buy Naboth's vineyard, she just coldly arranged his death. And embarrassed him in the process.
- Poisonous Friend: Lead her husband Ahab down the path of Baal worship and is usually considered to be a bit more evil than he.
- The Dreaded: Even Elijah, who could call down fire from heaven, was scared of her.
- The Purge: Ordered the deaths of the Israeli prophets.
- Trope Namer: Her name is associated with the flanderization.
Elijah the Tishbite
He went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
- Angel Unaware: Jewish tradition has him taking up this role. Elijah was human back in Biblical days, but he never died and, according to legend, ascended to heaven while still alive. To this day, it is believed he turns up on Earth sometimes to deliver unexpected help.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He went to heaven in a fiery whirlwind, rather than die. When he ascended, his robes/coat fell onto his apprentice/friend/padawan Elisha, thus inventing the phrase "Taking up The Mantle of The Prophet". Many still leave a seat open for him at feasts, because they believe that he will come back. In fact, the last verse of the Old Testament refers to Elijah coming back to announce the Day of the Lord.
- Badass Longcoat: The Coat, or Mantle of The Prophet. It was instrumental in Elijah and Elisha's first meeting, Elijah threw The Coat at Elisha, who instinctively caught it. Later, Elijah parted a river with with it, just before giving it to Elisha, who also used it perform miracles.
- Clever Crows: God sent ravens to feed him.
- Friend to All Living Things: When he was hungry ravens would bring food to him. Despite his skill in killing people he was very good with animals and kids. It might have something to do with how he grew up in the wilderness.
- Last of His Kind:
- He thought that he was the last surviving prophet and the last faithful person left for a while. God told him that he was not alone and, even if he is the last prophet, he can always train some more prophets, like Elisha.
- He and Elisha were also the last major Old Testament characters to work miracles. (Though many characters in the New Testament worked miracles.)
- You Are Not Alone: God showed up, not in a maelstrom of fire, not in a howling wind/hurrricane, but in a still, small voice to tell Elijah this.
The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.
- Arc Words: His last words to Elijah, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.", were spoken to him also as he lay dying. No one knows what it means even now.
- Badass Longcoat: Given to him by Elijah, later used to part the sea, proving himself the true prophet, thus inventing the phrase "Taking up the mantle of the prophet".
- Bald of Awesome: Never, under any circumstances, insult him for it. Ever. Forty-two youths learned this the hard way.
- Berserk Button: Never insult his mentor and NEVER mock his baldness in front of him.
- Disproportionate Retribution: 42 youths died for insulting his baldness. Not the best reaction...
- Dub Induced Plothole: A nice prophet guy summoning bears to maul what King James and co. translate as "children" makes a lot more sense when you look at the actual Hebrew word and see what it means and how it was used. He was being mocked by a gang of 42 young men, which could have been a threat, especially if they were soldiers.
- Nice Guy: Surprisingly so, especially when compared to his mentor, Elijah. While most of Elijah's miracles were powerful, violent, and fiery, Elisha's miracles were mostly to heal, save, or help people. Elijah showed thousands of people the power of God, while Elisha preached to individuals, and showed God's helpful, loving side. Just don't insult Elijah, or mock his Bald of Awesome. However, Elisha was not good with kids, nor was he as good with animals as Elijah. Maybe it was because he was a city kid?
- Think Nothing of It: he refused to take a material reward for curing Naaman of leprosy; however, his friend Gehazi, gladly took Naaman's stuff, and for that he got leprosy himself.
Jehu, king of Israel
- Drives Like Crazy: His master the king recognized him (2 Kings 9:20) because he drives his chariot "like a madman".
- The Purge: Killed Jezebel and all Baal priests as well as Ahab's relatives.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Appointed by God to eradicate pagan worship in Israel but his penchant for mass murder went far beyond what was expected of him.
Athaliah, queen of Judah
- Generation Xerox: She's every bit as wicked as her mother.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Was one kid away from destroying David's royal line.
- Lady Macbeth: She leads King Jehoram, and by extent all of Judah, into abandoning God.
- Offing the Offspring: After her oldest son dies, she orders the deaths of her grandchildren.
- The Purge: What her father Ahab couldn't do with intrigue and manipulation, she tried to do with force.
Joash, king of Judah
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Sadly, he got worse as he got older.
- Can't Take Criticism: When a prophet named Zechariah rebukes him for turning to idolatry, he has the prophet executed.
- FaithHeel Turn: Under the tutelage of Jehoiada, he serves God faithfully. After Jehoiada's death, he turns to worshipping pagan deities. When Zechariah rebukes him for it, he has him executed by stoning.
- Moses Inthe Bulrushes: Saved from being killed during his grandmother's purge.
Amaziah, king of Judah
- FaithHeel Turn: At the start of his reign, he follows God's commandments. But after going to war with Edom, he starts worshipping their deities.
- Too Dumb to Live: He worships gods that couldn't even protect their own people.
Uzziah, king of Judah
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Under him, the kingdom of Judah reaches new heights of power and prosperity. Unfortunately, he becomes arrogant and tries to take on the duties of the priesthood. In retaliation, God gives him a harsh lesson in separation of church and state.
- Break the Haughty: As punishment for attempting to burn incense in the temple, he's stricken with leprosy.
- The Good King: Was this before he became corrupted by power.
Jotham, king of Judah
- The Good King: Downplayed: while he's personally pious, he fails to root out heathen practices in the kingdom.
Ahaz, king of Judah
- Absurdly Youthful Father: He's 20 when he takes the throne and reigns for sixteen years, but his son Hezekiah is 25 when he succeeds his father, which would make Ahaz just 11 years old when he fathered Hezekiah. Some biblical scholars have explained this by assuming that Ahaz was actually in his early 20s when Hezekiah was born, and that he made his son co-regent for 14 years after sixteen years of ruling alone.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: While his father obeys God, Ahaz is an unrepentant heathen.
Hezekiah, king of Judah
- The Good King: Does his best to bring Judah back to God after his father's disastrous reign.
- Ill Boy: Once was this close to death...
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nice job showing those Babylonian envoys all Judah's treasures, putting your nation on Babylon's hit list.
Manasseh, king of Judah
- A Child Shall Lead Them: He becomes king at twelve years old.
- Break the Haughty: As punishment for his sins, God allows him to be captured by the Assyrians, who treat him in a very humiliating manner.
- HeelFaith Turn: After being taken prisoner, he repents of his evil ways and prays to God for forgiveness. As a result, God allows him to return to Judah, where he spends the rest of his life stamping out idolatry.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: While his father is a man of faith, Manasseh is described as the most evil person to sit on the throne of Judah.
- Offing the Offspring: He sacrifices his children to Moloch.
- The Caligula: Before his HeelFaith Turn, he's the most wicked king in Judah's history. He institutes the worship of pagan gods, practices witchcraft, and orders the execution of anyone who doesn't obey his religious policies.
Josiah, king of Judah
- A Child Shall Lead Them: He takes the throne at eight years old.
- The Ace: The greatest king of Judah bar none.
- Heroic BSoD: He found a "Book of the Law" (possibly Deuteronomy) and ripped his clothes and mourned because he realized how far his nation had forgotten its roots.
- Tragic Mistake: Going to war with Egypt. He was killed in battle and Judah just couldn't recover.
"Before you were formed I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart"
- The Cassandra: He tries desperately to get the people of Judah to return to God, but they refuse to listen.
- Heroic BSoD: Seems to be in this state every day of his life.
- Mad Oracle: Is viewed this way by the people of Judah.
- Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking...: At first.
"Go and get married; your wife will be unfaithful, and your children will be just like her. In the same way my people have left me and became unfaithful".
- Arranged Marriage: God told him to marry an unfaithful harlot as an object lesson to Israel's idolatry.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to his Amos' red. He spoke out against Israel's internal spiritual problem.
The Lord spoke to Jonah and said "Go to Nineveh, that wicked city, and speak out against it". Jonah set out in the opposite direction.
- Refusal of the Call: More like he didn't want to preach in the Assyrian capital which would have got him killed. He would face a trial that made him reconsider.
- What the Hell, Hero?: God did this after Jonah became upset after the people repented:But the LORD said, You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their leftand much livestock?
"Let justice flow like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Hosea's blue. He was a plain spoken Judean farmer who railed against Israel's corrupt affluence.
"Though your sins are as scarlet, you shall be as white as snow".
- Cruel and Unusual Death: While his fate is never mentioned in the Bible itself, Jewish tradition holds that he was sawed in half at the orders of King Manasseh.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: He saw 2 centuries into Israel's future. Some scholars believe these were written by other prophets and attributed them to Isaiah to increase their authority.
"Nations will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks and they will war no more". note
They are a hard and obstinate people so I will make you as hard and obstinate as they".
- Celebrity Is Overrated: People finally listened to him when Jerusalem fell but it was clear to him that they have still not taken God's words to heart.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: At one point, he makes a model of Jerusalem and besieges it in the city square for about fourteen months. Another time, he shaves his head and beard with a sword, then runs about town with a portion of the hair hitting it with the sword.
- Good Shepherd: He cultivated the image of God as a shepherd better than anyone.
O Daniel, a man greatly beloved.
- Badass Bookworm: A total genius (he was one of the top students at the royal academy) who interpreted the king's dreams and didn't flinch a bit when thrown into a cave of hungry lions. 99% of people would shit their pants even if they did know God will protect them).
- Friend to All Living Things: Which saved his life when confronted by hungry lions.
- Meaningful Rename: The Babylonians changed his name to Belteshazzar in an attempt to get him to worship Babylonian deities.
- Trope Namer: In the lions' den. Yes, this book has coined a lot of idioms.
Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego
"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majestys hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: When they refuse to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar's golden idol, their response is "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
- Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. As punishment for refusing to bow down to the king's idol, these three guys get thrown into a furnace. The subversion happens when God protects them within the fire and they emerge from the furnace completely unharmed.
- Meaningful Rename: They were given new names by the Babylonian government. Their Hebrew names, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were all meant to glorify God; their new names were meant to glorify Babylonian deities. The name change was supposed to help indoctrinate them in the Babylonian religion. It didn't work.
- Spell My Name with an "S": It's Abednego, but everyone says Abendego.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Had a dream that Daniel interpreted.
- HeelFace Turn: Daniel 4 is his narrative outlining how it happened.
"And the king ordered his wife Vashti to appear before his guests wearing her crown, that he might display her beauty before them, but she came not."
- Beauty Is Bad: Viewed by some as defiant and haughty
- Ms. Fanservice: Averted; her husband asked her to come to his banquet to show her off, but she refused
- Vain Sorceress: She is viewed as vain and conceited for not arriving
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After she is banished from the empire, she is never mentioned again, and it is not known what happened to her.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: So beautiful that her husband wants to show her off (according to some, wearing nothing except her crown)
"I will go to the king, even if it is forbidden. And if I perish, I perish"
- Guile Heroine: Used her wits and good looks to save the Jews from Haman.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Saves her people through her husband, the king.
- Self-Made Man: Manages to be quite successful even with a lack of miracles backing her up. Often used to drive home the point "God only helps when needed"
- Stellar Name: Her name means "star".
- Time Skip: Esther's crowning was delayed by 4 years possibly because Xerxes was fighting those pesky Greeks.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: She was chosen as queen because she was regarded as the most beautiful woman in the Persian Empire. (Which did, in fact, stretch across much of the known world at that time.)
"See how the king rewards a man he wishes to honor!"
- Parental Substitute: He took care of Esther after her parents died when she was a little girl
- Wife Husbandry: Subverted, as he should have married her per the Jewish rules but didn't do so.
"Who else would the king honor aside from me?"
- Disproportionate Retribution: Tried to institute government sanctioned genocide just because one man refused to bow to him.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Hanged on his own gallows that were built for Mordechai.
- Oh, Crap!: Upon realizing that his queen (Esther) is one of the very people he plans to have massacred, right when she outs him to the king.
- Villainous Breakdown: Cried to his wife when he found out Mordechai was to be honored for uncovering a conspiracy years before.
"Oh God, Lord of Israel, You are righteous!. This day you have made us a remnant."
"Remember The Lord, who is awesome and mighty, and fight!"
Helel/Lucifer (Possibly Satan or a Babylonian king)
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! How art thou fallen from heaven,
- A God Am I: Even if he is not Satan, the passage concerning him states quite plainly he wants to make himself like "the Most High".
- Beauty Is Bad: He was "perfect in beauty" and his ways until inequity was found in him.
- Dub Name Change: In the original Hebrew, his name is pronounced as "Hay-lel" or "Helel" which literally means "shining one" and metaphorically means "morning star" or "day star". However, he is far more well known with the Latin translation of the word, "Lucifer" which literally means "light bearer" or "light bringer"
- FaceHeel Turn: Whoever he was, human or angel, the whole passage describes his fall from heaven as a metaphor for this.
- Pride: The main reason for his FaceHeel Turn.
- Light Is Not Good: His association with light is accompanied with unflattering descriptions of FaceHeel Turn.
Behemoth and Leviathan (and the Ziz; he is alluded to in 2 Chronicles)
- Breakout Character: Their mysterious nature have made them popular in pop culture. Leviathan became the Demon of Envy. This mostly just applies to Behemoth and Leviathan, though. Poor Ziz got Demoted to Extra.
- Gag Penis: Behemoth is described as having "flesh like that of an ass".
- Giant Flyer: the Ziz is depicted as a giant bird.
- Land, Sea, Sky: Behemoth is a huge, fearsome beast of burden (Land), Leviathan is a massive sea serpent (Sea) and Ziz is an enormous bird (Sky).
- Our Dragons Are Different: Leviathan, a huge, reptilian, fire-breathing sea monster.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
- Angel Unaware: Appeared to His disciples after His death, but they did not recognize Him at first.
- Back from the Dead: "But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."
- Badass Boast: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
- Berserk Button: Don't treat His father's house like a marketplace. EVER.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Sure, He will die for your sins, but if you ever happen to push His Berserk Button, may God help you...actually, He wouldn't.
- The Chosen One: According to most Christian Denominations, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Messianic Prophecy. Furthermore, he'll be this trope again in the second coming when he returns to judge the living and the dead.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: When asked if an adulterer should be stoned, Jesus wrote or drew something in the dirt with his finger instead of answering, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of the time, these moments ''do'' help him make his point.
- Compelling Voice: He can stop storms with His voice.
- Crucified Hero Shot: The Trope Codifier. He died at the cross to atone for mankind's sins.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Crucifixion was actually a standard public execution method in ancient Rome, but it was most definitely cruel. Certain aspects of his death were made to be more brutal than usual, like the Crown of Thorns.
- Death Glare: Surprisingly enough. The Bible has many accounts of Jesus defusing a bad situation or stopping a potential attacker just by looking at them.
- Determinator: The man could. Not. Be. Stopped. Not by Legionnaires, not by crowds, not by endless humiliations and sufferings, not by death itself and all of the sins of ALL EXISTENCE.
- Forgiveness Requires Death: With the twist that Jesus wasn't guilty, He was dying to get forgiveness for everyone else.
- Friend to All Children: Jesus had a soft spot for the innocents, especially children, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
- Healing Hands: He healed a lot of people, usually by laying hands on them.
- The Hero: Of the New Testament. Specifically, a Guile Hero who pwned people with smarts rather than violence.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Jesus had to die and suffer punishment for mankind's sins, in order to make it possible for people to be saved and not have to suffer punishment for their own sins.
- Humiliation Conga: The "Passion" was an ordeal Jesus was put through before his formal execution. It began with a public flogging, then escalated to being slapped around by the mob, and crowned with a crown of thorns to mock his claims of kingship.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: Many people see Him as this, despite the fact that if he wasn't the messiah then he was quite frankly, a madman with a God complex.
- Kung-Fu Jesus: Despite forcibly kicking shady merchants out of the temple on more than one occasion, this is mostly averted. In fact, the people turned against Him because He wasn't this; they expected their Messiah to lead a revolt against Rome.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: In many Bibles, His words are written in red. Also, He is often portrayed wearing purple robes, purple being a color long associated with royalty in the West.
- Light Is Good: He could also be considered Good Is Not Nice.
- Lineage Comes from the Father: Subverted. Jesus is both the legal and biological heir of David; Legally through Joseph, but it turns out that the geneology in Luke is actually Mary's, tracing her back to David. In addition, there are a few women so well-respected that Matthew felt the need to mention them; Tamar, Bath-sheba, Rahab, and Ruth.
- The Medic: He healed a lot of people.
- My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Often took the Rules Lawyer Pharisees down a notch or two.
- The Power of Love: One of Jesus's most remembered teachings is to love God and to love thy neighbor. Jesus emphasizes love as the most powerful thing in the universe. (Faith and Hope being the two runners-up)
- "Rashomon"-Style: The four gospels emphasize different sides of Jesus based on each evangelist's target audience. Matthew showed Jesus as an Expy of Moses and cited a myriad of Old Testament prophecies to really drive the whole Messiah thing home. Mark's gospel was Darker and Edgier because his audience was persecuted Christians. Luke's gospel is Lighter and Softer, emphasizing Nice Guy qualities of Jesus because he was targeting non-Jewish converts. John's gospel is the most mystic-like of the four and writes a Higher Self version of Jesus to emphasize His divinity.
- Scars Are Forever: He still had the scars from His crucifixion after He rose from the dead, probably because the Apostles would not believe unless they felt them.
- Self-Restraint: He went along with being sentenced to death.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Jesus essentially said something similar to Satan three times when Lucifer tempted Him in the wilderness ('Man does not live by bread alone but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God'), tried to get Him to throw himself off a hill ('Do not test the Lord your God') and worship him instead ("It is written, 'You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him'.").
- Take a Third Option:
- One of His specialties. Notable Example: saving the adulteress from stoning by basically telling those who wanted to kill her "hey you guys, it's not like you're so pure either".
- There's also the time where the Pharisees asked if it was legal to pay taxes to Rome, hoping they could get Jesus arrested for his answer; Jesus outsmarted them with a simple answer of "if it belongs to Rome, give it to them".
- Take That!: It's hard to read His words and not think He's talking about someone today, but He was more talking about the people of his time, their hypocrisy and blindness to injustice. But, since He's omnipotent, He very well could be talking about people today, so this can be Doubly Subverted.
- The Unreveal: In John 8, the people brought a woman who was caught in adultery in yet another attempt to trap Jesus by his own words. To settle the dispute, Jesus wrote something in the ground that apparently blew them away and made everyone stop fighting. This is the only recorded instance of Jesus ever writing anything. But none of the books ever tell us what he wrote. Commentators have suggested that what Jesus wrote on the ground was the accusers' own sins, as a way of calling them out for hypocrisy.
- Verbal Tic: In the book of John, "I tell you the truth," or "Truly, truly I say to you."
- Wham Line: "Tonight, one of you will betray me" at the last supper.
- Working-Class Hero: Depending on which translation of the Bible you read, Jesus was either a carpenter or a simple handyman, who got along well with the common people and preached a simple message of loving each other that resonated strongly with humble folk.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
- A God Am I: He tried to place himself above God, and was struck down for his Pride.
- Big Bad: The king of all big bads. He created evil in his heart and rebelled against God, and will be the first and the last Big Bad to exist. That is,if you see him that way.
- Blow You Away: Briefly mentioned as "lord of the air".
- Composite Character: In Jewish tradition, Satan is a separate entity from Helel/Lucifer. However, most Christian beliefs have various reasons to believe they are one in the same.
- Deal with the Devil: Quite literally. He tried to get Jesus to worship him in exchange for the world, but Jesus refused.
- Eldritch Abomination: If the descriptions of the other angels are to be taken literally he started out as quite weird looking; according to Fanon he was a seraph, meaning he was a six winged being with eyes on every feather and that anyone seeing his true form would burn to death.
- FaceHeel Turn: The Bible paints his rebellion as the first one in all existence.
- Fallen Angel: The Bible itself offers no direct confirmation, but various passages and sects believe he is the first angel to try and defy God as well.
- Jerkass: He caused the whole human race to fall as well as a third of the angels and will try to murder anyone who hasn't got the Mark of the Beast during the Great Tribulation.
- Kneel Before Zod: Tried to get Jesus to worship him.
- Light The Way: His real name according to some interpretations is Helel (translated into Latin as Lucifer), which means "a shining one" and he is an angel. In fact, his title as "prince of darkness" isn't very supported by The Bible itself (unless you consider reptiles "dark"). Obviously Light Is Not Good when he is presented ACCURATELY as a villain.
- Light Is Not Good: Satan transforms/disguises himself as an angel of light, and the Bible (especially the Gospels and the Book of Revelation) states he is evil.
- Malicious Slander: He is referred to as the "accuser of the brethren".
- The Corrupter: To Judas at the very least. If he was the serpent in Eden, then he was also one to Eve.
- The Man Behind the Man
- Various passages in the Old Testament regarding about punishing various sinners are believed by some interpretations to be two-fold - the first half of the described punishment goes to the sinner, and the second half is directed to Satan acting through the sinner. This is most noticeable with the serpent in Eden: whereas the first half curses the serpent about how he will crawl on his belly and eat dust for all his life, the second half addresses Satan behind the serpent, declaring he will be enemies with Eve's offspring and bruising their heels.
- He is also the man behind the scenes powering the beast/Antichrist/lawless one's miracles, signs and wonders in the last days.
- The Masquerade: In much of the world today. A popular quote is that Satan's greatest trick was convincing the world he doesn't exist.
- Meaningful Name: Satan means "the adversary" or "the accuser". Guess what his role is.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Takes the form of a red, seven headed dragon in Revelation. Whether he really looks like this, or if he shape shifted, is not specified, may not even be literal (Revelation is strange).
- Our Genies Are Different: In Islam, he is believed to be a Jinn/Genie.
- Sadly Mythtaken: Most people nowadays see him as a horned, red skinned guy with a trident and a tail, with the title: "prince of darkness". None of this is supported by the Bible. Also, he does not rule hell, nor is he actually in hell yet. While on the topic, nowhere in the Bible is hell really described.
- Satan is Good: He started out officially working for God; sects and religions disagree on how long that gig lasted, whether if he's still in the Lord's employ, or if he's now an independently malicious agent.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He is not allowed in heaven.
- We Can Rule Together: He tried to make this deal with Jesus.
Joseph of Nazareth
- Disappeared Dad: Theological scholars speculate Joseph's lack of appearance post-Nativity may be due to Joseph dying at some point.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Averted. After finding out that Mary was pregnant, he decided to (quietly) divorce her rather than make a big deal about it and have her be humiliated. That was really decent of him, considering the time and place he was in, he probably saved Mary's life (though he did come back for her).
"Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.!"
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Became Queen of the world according to some Christian traditions.
- Celibate Heroine: Played straight at the time of Jesus' birth - there's a reason she got her title. Possibly averted afterward, depending on whether you translate references to Jesus' "brothers and sisters" as literal or metaphorical.
- The Chick: The most feminine figure in Christianity.
- The Chosen One: Chosen by God out of many different young women to be the mother of Jesus. She had to watch her son be humiliated and killed, and cannot do anything about it.
- The High Queen: To those who believe that she became Queen of Heaven and Queen of the World at the end of her earthly existence
- Humble Heroine: Despite the praise Catholics heap on her, Mary herself always took care to direct attention to Jesus, rather than herself.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception states that she had to be perfect from the very beginning in order to be a suitable mother for Jesus, and so she was spared from Original Sin.
- Jewish Mother: Well, literally. Subverted, however, in that she isn't really a Control Freak.
- Miko: Extrabiblical tradition has it that she was the equivalent of this (played straight) from an early age
- Something About a Rose: Roses are a flower associated with her, notably the most iconic prayer about her is the rosary (meaning "rose garden")
- Timey-Wimey Ball: One of the weirdest parts of Catholic doctrine is how God made Mary free of Original Sin: by looking into the future, collecting Jesuss blood at the Crucifixion, and anointing her unborn soul with it.
John the Baptist
And there was a cry from the wilderness...
- Beyond the Impossible: John the Baptist and Jesus saluted each other in the womb.
- Off with His Head!: What happened to him in the end.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He was a religious leader of great renown in Judea, with an army of followers. Once Jesus came onto the scene his fame and influence faded quickly. He all but admitted it himself when Jesus came to him to be baptized, saying, "It is you who should be baptizing me."
The Apostles/disciplesPeter, Andrew, James the brother of John, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the Lesser, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the Betrayer. Matthias was later brought into the group as Judas' replacement. Peter, John, and Judas have their own sections below.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Thomas has this reputation if the phrase "Doubting Thomas" is anything to go by, but it's fairly unjustified: all the apostles had trouble accepting Jesus' resurrection without physical proof; Thomas was just singled out because he arrived late. In addition, Jesus readily offered said proof and they immediately believed upon seeing it.
- Literal-Minded: The Apostles were often clueless about the things Jesus taught. They thought that Jesus was coming to restore the monarchy that David started even after Jesus rose from the dead. It wasn't until after Jesus sent the Holy Spirit that the Apostles understood everything.
- One Steve Limit: Averted with two Jameses, also with a second John (the first being John the Baptist). Played straight with Simons, as Jesus named one "Peter" - but even then, yet another Simon was involved in the crucifixion.
- Red Baron: James and John are known as the "Sons of Thunder".
- What the Hell, Hero?: Jesus did this to the disciples after they rebuked people for bringing their children to see Jesus.
"And I name you Peter, for you are the rock from which I will build My church".
- Badass Nickname: Jesus gave him the name "Peter", which is from the Greek word for stone, "petros" ("cephas" is another Greek word meaning the same thing). How cool must that have been to have Jesus call you "Rock"? (Though, to be fair, Jesus was also quick to point out when he wasn't living up to the name.)
- Character Development: Post-Pentecost, Peter becomes the new leader of Jesus's movement and gains maturity from it.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He was crucified. Upside down.
- Glamour Failure: He sees through Simon Magus' scams.
- During two accounts of Jesus's arrest scene, Peter cuts off a soldier's ear with his sword (and one of these accounts makes it clear that, yes, Jesus healed it). This is just one of the many times Peter opens his mouth and inserts his foot.
- Also, the time when Jesus tells Peter that anything he asks by faith will be granted. The first thing Peter asks for? That Jesus doesn't have to die. Jesus immediately rebukes it, repeating that his death is preordained.
- The Lancer: Jesus left Peter in charge of the movement he started. According to the Catholic Church, the whole "I'm giving you the keys to my kingdom" scene represents Peter becoming the first pope.
- Living Lie Detector: One incident in Acts has a guy named Ananias attempting to commit fraud, but Peter sees right through the con. Ananias dies on the spot. A few hours later, Ananias's wife, Sapphira, tried to do the same and suffered the same fate.
- One Steve Limit: Enforced. Since there was another Simon among the twelve, Jesus gave him the Peter nickname instead.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Initially, Peter was the hot blooded foil to Jesus's calm demeanor, but post-Pentecost, he got better and became Paul's foil.
John the Apostle
"He who does not know love does not know God because God is love".
- Hot-Blooded: He and James often fought over who would have a better position in Heaven, to the point where their mother had to ask Jesus in order to have them stop fighting.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Jesus, if you think that "the disciple whom he loved" was him. That phrase is talking about platonic love not homosexual love
- One Steve Limit: Averted with John the Apostle and John the Baptist.
"Have you come to betray the son of man with a kiss?"
- Greed: Interesting note, the thirty pieces of silver Judas was paid is the same amount Jewish law requires you to pay someone if you murder their slave.
- Meaningful Name: Judas is the Greek form of Judah, the brother who got the idea to sell Joseph into slavery.
- Only in It for the Money: Possibly. He stole from the poor (see below) and betrayed Jesus for money.
- Stealing from the Till: This is noted of in John 12:6 when he is among those to complain when Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus:"He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it."
- Trope Namer: To call someone a Judas is to say he is a traitor.
- Canon Discontinuity: She had a whole gospel to herself in the Gnostic texts, but it's not considered canon by any modern religions.
- Demonic Possession: Supposedly had seven demons trapped within her, until Jesus healed her.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Traditionally she has been depicted as a harlot, but this comes from tradition and not from scripture.
- One Steve Limit: Another aversion; she shares a name with Jesus' mom.
Herod the Great
Simon of Cyrene
- HeelFace Turn: Some stories say he converted to Christianity.
Paul (Saul) of Tarsus
"Saul, Saul, why persecute thou me?"
- The Atoner: When he had an epiphany on the road after witnessing Stephen's stoning, which inspired him to spread Christ's teachings.
- HeelFaith Turn: Some interpretations speculate he was struck by lightning.
- Jerkass: Before his conversion, he ruthlessly persecuted the Christians. He regrets it.
- Off with His Head!: Being a Roman citizen, he had the right to die in a way seen as dignified instead of the very humiliating crucifixion.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Pauline Christianity does away with Jewish laws. For instance, in addition to the inherent pain of circumcision, it would've made Christians ineligible to go to the gymnasium.
- Sixth Ranger: Thought himself as one of the Apostles.
- Self-Restraint: Was once in jail with Silas when the wall miraculously collapsed - they stayed put.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Saul is Paul's Hebrew name. Due to having dual citizenship (Jewish and Greco-Roman), Saul/Paul has two names. Since Paul is mostly shown in Greco-Roman territory, he goes by Paul.
- Unwanted False Faith: Acts 14, Paul and Barnabus are witnessing in one Greek city and performing some miracles while they were at it. The citizens of the city were convinced that they were the Gods, Hermes and Zeus respectively and set up a whole procession to sacrificing to them as such. The apostles had to go to considerable lengths trying to make them to stop. This, in turn, made it easier for troublemakers to convince the very same citizens to attempt stoning Paul and Barnabus to death.
John from the Book of Revelation
"Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy... because the time is near."
- Cryptic Background Reference: It's never specified if this was the same John the Apostle, John Mark, or John the Evangelist, or some other unknown John. He definitely isn't John the Baptizer. Probably. Most Bible scholars and commentators are of the view that John the Revelator (as this one is sometimes called) and John the disciple of Jesus are the same person.
- Appropriated Appellation: "Christian" was originally a slur against Jesus' followers.
- The Atoner "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
- Five-Token Band: Eventually will include people from every tongue and tribe, no exceptions.
- Humble Hero Christians must be humble if they ever hope to see the kingdom of God.
- Token Trio: The Magi are traditionally portrayed as one: One from Europe, one from Africa, and one from India.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: There is considerable controversy over the Sign Gifts and the more mundane gifts. Paul called the early church out on this bickering.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Christians, while still alive, are still fallen. Some have shouted the name of Christ but enacted the service of Satan.
"Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone."
- Completely Missing the Point: See quote. They followed the ceremonies of the law to a T, but they completely over looked the more important spirit of the law.
- God Never Said That: Invoked. God gave a number of general rules, but by Jesus' time these had been analyzed and quantified into strict rules by the Pharisees. When the Pharisees tried to call Jesus on his "rulebreaking", He often explained that they had over analyzed the letter of the law and missed the spirit completely. For example, the Pharisees said He violated the Sabbath's ban on work by healing someone; He explained that while the Sabbath is a day of rest it's never against God's law to help a person or show mercy on them (See Matthew 12).
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: "If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent."
- Greed: They turned the temple into a bank.
- Hypocrite: Their religion was more to make them look good in front of men then out of any real love for God. For example, they got mad at the disciples for eating with unwashed hands, but they themselves plotted murder and stole from people.
- Irony: They had a reputation as being very religious. They also were some of Jesus's worst enemies.
- Insane Troll Logic: They accused Jesus of being Demonically Possessed because He healed people and cast out demons.
- Loophole Abuse: Sort of, they had to make up a new rule to do it. They had a tradition that if something was declared "Corban" or "devoted to God" it was not to be used for secular use, and they would use that as a excuse not to use whatever it was to help their parents.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Jesus called them out not only for being holier-than-thou, but for putting unnecessary restrictions on the average folk.
- Rules Lawyer: And really didn't like it that Jesus' Rule Fu Was Stronger.
- What the Hell, Hero?: They were not really heroes, they only claimed to be, but the Pharisees made the temple into a den of thieves and Jesus rebuked them for this.
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
- Breakout Character: He is only mentioned a few times yet he appears in works enough to get his own page.
- Flaming Sword: No mention of having one in the Bible, but often depicted with one.
- Playing with Fire: He is often associated with fire.
- Winged Humanoid: Often depicted as this, though no mention of what he is supposed to really look like.
The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
- Breakout Character:
- He is only mentioned a few times yet he appears in Works enough to get his own page.
- Most notable are the interpretations of Gabriel as the angel who spoke to Mohammed.
- She's a Man in Japan: The Bible refers to him as male, but he is sometimes portrayed as female in Works and some new age beliefs. Granted, whether angels even have a sex at all is open to interpretation, especially given how The Bible describes some of them.
- Winged Humanoid: Often depicted as this, though there is no mention of what he is supposed to really look like. Whatever he looks like, he scared Zechariah.
- Angelic Abomination: Their true forms.
- Angel Unaware: The angels that visited Lot and Abraham.
- Breakout Characters: Very common in Works.
- Eldritch Abomination: See Angelic Abomination above.
- Friend to All Living Things: The Angel Of the LORD. He only spared Balaam's life for the sake of his donkey.
- Flaming Sword: The cherubim guarding the way to the tree of life has one of these.
- Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: The nephilim are believed to be the offspring of angel fathers and human mothers.
- Light Is Not Good: In the Book of Enoch, among the fallen angels there's Shamsiel, the angel of the Sun, and many others associated with light, fire and stuff.
- Making a Splash: Ghaghiel and a few others are associated with water.
- Meaningful Name: Many of them deliver messages. In Hebrew, they're called malakhim. In Greek, they're called angeloi. Both mean "messenger".
- Our Angels Are Different: More specifically, "our angels are the originals, accept no substitutes".
- Unwanted False Faith: John tried to worship a angel in Revelation, but the angel told him to stop as he was just a fellow servant and told him to worship God.
Zechariah, father of John the baptist
- The Speechless: He was unable to speak for a time because he did not believe the angel Gabriel when he said that he would have a son.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
''He broke the first seal and there appeared a rider on a horse."
- Breakout Characters: They show up in Works enough to get their own page.
- Color-Coded Characters: White (plague), Red (war), Black (famine) and Pale (death).
- Dark Is Not Evil: Possibly the last two, depending on your interpretation (as they were sent by Yahweh).
- Grim Reaper: The 4th horseman is Death himself.
- Light Is Not Good: The first horseman on the white horse, depending on who you think he is and whether you see them as evil or not.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "His name was Death and Hell followed behind him."
- Person of Mass Destruction: Bad stuff happens when The 4th horseman comes around.
- Sickly Green Glow: Death's pale horse is actually a pale green horse. Presumably because it's rotting.
- White Stallion: The rider on the white horse is the first one, but whether he is the leader or not is not said.
The Beasts of Revelation
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: The lamb with the tongue of a dragon is probably meant to represent this.
- Angel Unaware: When he first appears, he is disguised as Azarias the son of the great Ananias and is seen traveling with a blind man named Tobias. After many, many hints, including binding a demon, Raphael cures Tobias' blindness and presents himself as "the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord". He then proceeds to show him how to defeat the demon Asmodeus, who was killing every man his daugter married.
- Winged Humanoid: Often depicted as this, though no mention of what he is supposed to really look like.
Tobias and Sarah
- Death by Sex: Her first husbands died right before the wedding night. It was a demon's fault, so Raphael fights and defeats him.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: While it was NOT unusual to torture people, the sheer extremes and "creativity" used in the case of the seven siblings and their mom is what puts him here.
- And then God dealed him one of these in form of a just as horrible illness.
- God-Emperor: Saw himself as this. He even named himself "Epiphanes", the divine. Everyone else called him "Epimanes", the mad.
"We must destroy Israel, or its women will beguile the whole world!"
- Canon Discontinuity: Catholics consider the book of Judith to be canon, Protestants don't.
- Off with His Head!: Killed Holofernes by getting him drunk then decapitating him in his sleep.