Him That Pisseth Against the Wall”

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor
of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

One of the most colorful verses in the Bible is found in 1 Kings 14:10 (KJV):

Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

In the context of the verse, the expression “him that pisseth against the wall” means “a male.” However, the origin of the expression in ancient Israel is a matter of discussion.

How should preachers preach from this text? How to use the words of this text in proclaiming the gospel? I have to confess that I have never preached from this text and probably never will.

Here is how a preacher explains the expression “him that pisseth against the wall.” [Note: The Video has been deleted].

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary



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20 Responses to Him That Pisseth Against the Wall”

  1. Jim Getz says:

    >Please… make it stop…


  2. >Jim,This may be considered “the foolishness of preaching.”Claude Mariottini


  3. parkersmood says:

    >I just stumbled onto your blog for the first time, and I have to say a huge thank you. I can not stop laughing. Adam


  4. anthony says:

    >another winner for the award of ‘what not to do in preaching’ and the award for prime example of eisegesis.


  5. >Adam,Thank you for visiting my blog. I also think the video is funny.I hope you will come back again.Claude Mariottini


  6. >Anthony,You and I believe that people who listen to preachers deserve a good sermon. The preacher in the video is not preaching a good sermon.Claude Mariottini


  7. Norma says:

    >I was laughing so hard, tears were rolling. And my pastors have been saying the miracles of the cross were a difficult subject for our Lenten series.But he’s got a point. The word “males” isn’t the same as “men.”


  8. >Norma,One must say that although the sermon was an example of poor exegesis, it was funny. I just wonder how one could remain serious during that sermon.Thank you for visiting my blog.Claude Mariottini


  9. Anonymous says:

    >Not only was the sermon a “train wreck”… it is a vivid example of how words that were 400 acceptable are now vulgar. People’s strong defense of the King James is simply a picture of arrogance.. Mike


  10. Anonymous says:

    >I just wish there was a camera on the audience so we can see their reaction.


  11. >Mike,I agree with you. I just wish I were there to hear that sermon.Claude Mariottini


  12. >To anonymous,I just wonder how many people were taking those words of the preacher seriously.Claude Mariottini


  13. DFH says:

    >The phrase occurs six times in the following passages (and nowhere else).1 Samuel 25:22, 34, 1 Kings 14:10, 16:11, 21:21, 2 Kings 9:8It's in the older English translations like the KJV and the Douai Rheims. It's not in most of the modern translations.Is that due to sensitivities and the fear of causing offence?In the Vulgate, the phrase is "mingentem ad parietem", but online Latin to English translation tools can only cope with the last two words!I see this as a colorful expression unique to a particular period of Israel's history, one that adds to the authenticity of the Bible as a historical record.The French Martin translation renders it somewhat differently, "depuis l'homme jusqu'à un chien".This suggests that the intention is to emphasise what men and dogs have in common, and strengthens the use of "dogs licking up the blood" in the divine judgement on Ahab and Jezebel.


  14. >DFH,The reason the phrase does not occur in modern translations is because these translations seek to express the phrase in modern English, thus changing the original Hebrew to make sense to modern readers.I believe the phrase was has nothing to do with dogs. It probably was an ancient Hebrew way of offending someone.Claude Mariottini


  15. >Dear Anonymous,Very interesting. I was not familiar with these words by Mark Twain. I may use them some day and if I do, I will give credit to you.Thank you for sharing this information.Claude Mariottini


  16. Al Coffman says:

    >It seems much more likely that this phrase, taken in context, would refer to the destruction of the posterity (male children) of an individual for the violation of Gods'law. In Ahab's case, after Elijah's pronouncement of GODs judgement, Ahab repented yet his posterity was subsequently killed by Jehu.Al Coffman


  17. >Al,Thank you for your comment. Your suggestion is good, but I do not think it is correct.I believe this expression is a vulgarity, an expression that was used to offend people.Thank you for visiting my blog.Claude Mariottini


  18. Anonymous says:

    >Way to take the heat there. At least this man is preaching the word of the LORD unapologetically. He acknowledge it referred to males, and then differentiated it from the effeminate. Every word of God is pure and is given to us for a reason.


  19. Aiksmart says:

    >Y'all don't seem to get it, I think we all need to start praying for America, else something worse may happen to her…omigosh, I just called the USA a "SHE"…hmmm, Pastor Anderson is definetly unto something!


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