Which One of These People Does NOT Belong in This Bible Story?

Zoe Samuel

Image: Jon Behrens

About This Quiz

The Good Book has an awful lot of stories in it, and many of them contain an entire cast of characters. Indeed, if the Bible were a Hollywood TV series, many of the book's main figures - God, Moses, Jesus, etc - would be considered core cast, as they appear in multiple tales. Others, such as Job, should be regarded as more of a "guest star": They show up and star in a single short book, but they don't appear again and they're not even the parent or descendant of another key character. Some characters are never the star of their own story, but they are more like recurring figures, such as archangels Michael and Gabriel, who pop up to influence the outcome of other books.

This quiz is about all of them, but it's also about the least-known characters in the Bible: the speaking extras, if you will. They're the ones who pop up in a single story, speak a few lines, maybe interact with the hero a little, and then disappear, never to recur. More than anything though, this is a quiz about characters who belong in one story, but might look like they fit in another - or not, depending on how well you know the stories. So let's see if you've got your Bible down, or if you need a holy refresher!

The entire Book of Job

Job had daughters named Jemima and Keziah. The angel Raphael is not in his story, though.

The story of Esther

The Book of Esther does not mention God. It's a story about a heroic woman who saves her people from evil courtier Haman, who is intent on destroying them.

The tale of Ruth, the Moabite woman and ancestor of David.

Ruth and Boaz are the main characters in the book of Ruth. Salmon is Boaz's father, and not a fish! Carp, however, is indeed just a kind of fish.

The story of David's first big victory

Saul was the unfit king of the Israelites who refused to fight the giant Goliath. David was only a boy and armed with just a slingshot, but was not afraid. Samson belongs in another story.

The story of David's childhood

Bathsheba is David's lover from later in his life. She doesn't appear in stories of his youth. Father Jesse and grandfather Obed are in those stories.

The story of Jacob's twelve sons

Cain is not in the story. The other three are sons of Jacob.

The story of Elijah calling out an evil deity and its worshipers

Elijah calls out Jezebel and Ahab for worshiping Baal. Moloch is another evil deity who blasphemers worship.

The story of the enthroning of Joash

Queen Athaliah was the ruler who was dethroned in favor of Joash. Zechariah ben Jehoiada was the prophet involved. Manasseh is another Biblical king, but is not in this story.

Kings during whose reign the prophet Isaiah was working

The other king during Isaiah's tenure was the very noble and good Hezekiah. However, Isaiah was not around during the reign of the equally excellent Rehoboam.

The story of Jonah and the whale

While Jonah was a prophet sent to predict the doom of Nineveh, capital of Assyria, and Shalmaneser was an Assyrian ruler, the latter is not in the tale of Jonah and the whale.

The story of the minor prophet Hosea

Hosea's father was Beeri, his wife was Gomer and Jeroboam was a king of Israel while Hosea was around. Judah was the name of the other kingdom into which the land of Israel had divided, and not itself a character.

The story of Ahaziah, a young prince who became king due to his elder brothers being carried off in raids

There were two Ahaziahs in the Bible. The other one was the son of Ahab and Jezebel and ruled in Israel. The one who became king after his brothers were carried off is the son of Athaliah and Jehoram, and ruled in Judah. He ruled for only a year. Ahaziah of Israel is not in his story.

The story of Lazarus

The story of Lazarus is told in the Gospel of John, but there is no character called John. Lazarus' sisters are Mary and Martha.

The story of the Last Supper

It's not clear if there were other people present at the Last Supper - there probably were, but they're not named in the story. That means Mary Magdalene is not in the story.

The story of a man whose strength was in his hair

Jephthah is one of the Judges of Israel, but not in the story of Samson. Samson was the final Judge. His strength as a warrior was in his hair but he was betrayed by his love Delilah, who cut his hair in his sleep and sold him out to the Philistines. While he was in captivity with them, his hair grew back and he took revenge on them by destroying their temple.

The story of the Hebrews' emergence from the wilderness

Joshua and Caleb were sent by Moses to check out what was going on in Canaan before the Hebrews would arrive there. Jericho was the city they later captured.

The story of the family of the third son of Adam and Eve

The third son of Adam and Eve is called Seth, whose son and grandson are Enosh and Kenan, respectively. Cain is the second son of Adam and Eve.

The story of Jacob's marriage

Jacob labored seven years for Rachel's father for permission to marry her. He was tricked into marrying with her sister Leah (who was veiled at the ceremony) and had to put in another seven years to get Rachel too. This story gave rise to a Jewish tradition whereby the groom must see the bride before the wedding ceremony and put the veil on her himself, so he can check that she is the right woman!

The story of the blessing of Isaac's son

Isaac had two sons: Jacob and Esau. Isaac was old and blind when he was all set to bless Esau as his heir. Jacob deceived him and got the blessing. Abraham is the father of Isaac and thus is not around for this story.

The story of Joseph's rise to Pharaoh's favor in Egypt

After working for Potiphar and then sleeping with his wife, Joseph was put in prison. Joseph met the baker in prison and interpreted his dream to predict his death. He also correctly interpreted the dreams of a royal butler who was in prison to mean he would be restored to Pharaoh's favor - only to have that butler put in a good word for him when Pharaoh needed a dream interpreter. That resulted in Joseph becoming very rich and influential in Egypt, as Pharaoh's right-hand man.

The story of Abraham becoming God's chosen

Abraham is told by God to sacrifice Isaac, his beloved only son with his wife Sarah. He agrees and God stops him at the last moment, blessing him instead and telling him he shall be chosen. Abel is not in the story.

The story of the Ten Plagues

In this story, Moses and Aaron do indeed perform a miracle in front of Pharaoh, and two of Pharaoh's priests prove they too can do similar things. However, Hotep is not the name given in the Bible for one of these priests; this was a later made-up name given to this character in the movie "The Prince of Egypt".

The story of the calling of the prophet Samuel

Samuel is called by the Lord at night and initially thinks his boss and mentor Eli is calling him. Eli tells him the voice is that of the Lord. There are no angels in this story.

The stories of Solomon's wisdom

Solomon was offered wealth or wisdom by the Lord, and chose wisdom - which resulted in him getting both. Stories of his wisdom include two women claiming to be mother of the same baby, and also the visit of the Queen of Sheba, who tested that wisdom with riddles and questions and left satisfied. Naamah is the only one of Solomon's many wives to be named in the Bible, and is the mother of Rehoboam, his heir.

The story of Balaam and the king of Moab

Balaam is a very interesting prophet, as he is a bad man but not a false prophet. God sends an angel to stop him going out with the Moabites, but Balaam's donkey can see it while Balaam cannot. Balaam beats the donkey to get it to move and God makes it speak to him. Balaam can then see the angel and is repentant. He refuses to speak false prophecy, but does trick the Israelites into sin by getting them to worship Baal. However, Baal is not in the story.

The story of Elisha taking on the mantle of Elijah

Elijah is a prophet who ascends to heaven in a chariot on a column of fire. Elisha is his protege and Jezebel is the queen who had vowed to kill Elijah for standing up to her idolatrous ways. Eli is in the book of Samuel and not this story.

The story of the birth of Solomon

Uriah the Hittite was the first husband of Bathsheba. David had him killed so he could marry Bathsheba. Solomon was their second child but first born in wedlock; the first was born as a result of adultery with Bathsheba.

The story of the person released as an act of mercy during the Crucifixion

Unfortunately for Jesus, the person who is given clemency is the notorious criminal Barabbas. Judas is not in this story.

The four horsemen predicted in the Book of Revelations

The four horsemen are Death, Pestilence, Famine and War. Cruelty is not one of the horsemen.

The story of the prediction of the birth of John the Baptist

The angel Gabriel tells the priest Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth will have a child, who is John the Baptist. John the Divine is another John!

The story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

Strabo is a Greek historian who tried to parse out where Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah might have been. Interestingly, while some interpretations focus on the sexual nature of the sins of the two destroyed cities, the prophet Ezekiel is clear on how he views the problem, saying Sodom's residents "were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."

The story of Moses' first flight from Egypt

The Angel of Death does not appear in this story, which focuses instead of Moses leaving Egypt and falling in with Jethro and family. Moses' sister is named Miriam and his wife is Ziporah.

The story of the Flood

Noah is the main character in the story of the Flood, as he is the builder of the Ark. His sons are Ham, Shem, and Japheth. Aaron is not in this story.

The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden

The Serpent is the villain of this story. Satan is not named in the Old Testament except in the Book of Job. Characterizing the Serpent as being Satan is a later widely-accepted interpretation of the text, but it's not explicit.

The story of Jesus' birth

The other three are the kings who were present at the manger. Pilate is not in the story ... yet.

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