I was reading a blog this morning, and the writer was encouraging people to think of the ten most memorable villains. Since I hadn't had my coffee yet, I could come up with nothing. So when the thought struck me later, when I was in church, it is not surprising that I came up with villains from the Bible. So here's my list of Bible villains.
Cain. The first murderer ever. Consumed with jealousy when his brother got more attention, and his own sloppy attempts got a reprimand instead, Cain killed own brother, and then professed his own innocence.
Potipher's Wife. A rich woman in Eqypt, she could have almost anything she wanted. What she lusted after was Joseph, a servant of her husband. When he refused, she accused him of rape, sending Joseph to prison. What she couldn't have, she tried to destroy: the epitome of a lying, manipulative shrew.
Saul. He was once a humble man, chosen by God to be king. But when pride got the best of him, and God chose a successor, Saul hunted him down like a man possessed. He tried to kill David to protect what he had, and pass it on to his son.
David. I feel bad calling him a villain, because he wrote some great psalms, and is known as a man after God's own heart. But technically, he is an adulterer, and a murderer. He let one mistake (staying home when he should have been leading a battle), escalate into another (adultery) which escalated into murder to cover up. He is a good example of a good man caught up beyond where he should have been, and then looking desperately for a way to hide it.
Athaliah. She wanted power. The wife of the king, when he died, she killed all of his children, including her own, so she could rule. Nothing was more important to than that being queen.
Jezebel. The wife of a whiny king, Jezebel wielded her own power to get her own way. Known for her heavy make-up and willingness to destroy anyone who disagreed with her or had what she wanted, she was quite a force to be reckoned with.
Haman. Motivated by prejudice, he wanted to destroy all the Jews. When the new queen seemed to be showing him some special attention, he thought he had it made. He built gallows for the one man who didn't show him the respect he thought he deserved.
Herod. He was king, and wanted to remain king. When wise men came, suggesting there was another, he killed all the young boys in the area. Herod was later destoyed and manipulated through flattery.
Judas. Once a trusted apostle, he stole petty cash from the treasury, and betrayed Jesus for 20 pieces of silver. After seeing Jesus arrested (he possibly thought Jesus would escape them, as he had before) he tried to return the money, and eventually killed himself.
Saul of Tarsus. OK, he later became the apostle Paul, but before that he imprisoned and killed Christians, thinking he was doing God a favor. Misplaced religious zeal makes for an interesting motive.
There are a few good ideas for villains here, all from the Good Book. Who says that Christians can't write murder mysteries?