As I stroll ever further around the back alleys and byways of the good Book, something has occurred to me:
Those crazy old testament-ers were, I'm convinced, in a some sort of competition to decide who could come up with the weirdest things to name their kids.
You just have to pick a book and dive in to see what I mean. Some of the names are nearly unpronounceable, and yet SOMEONE though they would be great monikers to hang around the neck of an innocent baby. Can you imagine it?
"Aw, sweet little
You're so CUTE!"
Those kids, you can be sure, grew up with nicknames. Not like David and Esther and Dan and Ruth and Simon and all those folks with easy names, oh no - THEIR parents were kind and uninventive and gave their kids names that people could pronounce! Poor Absalom over there has to go by "Abby' because Mom and Dad were gettin' creative in the crib, mixin' it up linguistically until the wine took over and the papers were signed and that's that for ever and ever.
Shadrach, Messhach, Abednigo. Yoiks!!
You know what name is in the Bible that makes me giggle? Rufus. Hyuck Hyuck!! Rufus!
Perhaps not entirely coincidentally it means 'red.' Let that one sink in, would ya? Har Har, Rufus = red! Pert soon y'all be tellin' me that Bubba = neck! Hoo-EE!
A point of cogitation is this: When Rufus came out all red in the head, his Dad must have been struck dumb at the sight (remembering that the Bible stuff happened mostly in the Middle East, where gingers are rarely spotted in the wild) and just started babbling on about the kid's hair color. Hard for mom to explain THAT one, I'm betting, esp if Dad was the typical dude of the times with swarthy good looks and fancy mustaches. "Red hair? RED? Bathsheba, what have you DONE? It was those Kurds, wasn't it? Those dirty Kurds with their blue eyes and fair hair, those mountain men who came to sell their goats last spring, wasn't it? You can't fool me, Missy, I saw you getting cleaned up on the roof, every day, and should have known better than to let you out of the house without an escort!"
So, Rufus must have been a bit of a shocker, is what I'm saying. However, better to be Rufus than being named 'Jael,' which sounds cool but really means 'goat.' What unholy dalliance would cause someone to call a baby that? Must have been one ugly kid.
Heh, kid. Goat, baby, KID. Get it?
Guess that's all I have to say about THAT.