Friday, January 28, 2011

On Pissing on Walls

(The earlier post that relates to the above hotograph can be found at:

During some research recently on a Bytes item, I was surprised to come across a Bible reference to “pisseth against a wall”:
And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, [that] he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.
1 Kings 16:11
It was in the King James Version, which is the version we grew up with as kids, long before plain English versions.

Intrigued that the Bible used such language, I looked up other similar references and came up with the following, again all in the King James Version:
1 Samuel 25:22
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that [pertain] to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

1 Kings 21:21
Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,

1 Kings 16:11
And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, [that] he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.

2 Kings 9:8
For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:

1 Samuel 25:34
For in very deed, [as] the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

1 Kings 14:10
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.
Now this was fascinating to me. Did God hate people who urinated against walls so much that he smote them? When guys were going home after the Jerusalem v Galillee football match, for instance, and felt the need to relieve their bladders against a nearby wall, did they thereby seal their own death warrants? And if this was known, why did the guys keep doing it? Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice said.

Other versions of the Bible drop the reference to urinating against walls and substitute “males”. That could make sense. The Middle East c 1,000 BC had no indoor flush toilets, so that men needed to wee somewhere or other. A wall was probably as good a place as any. But why then simply not say males?

My researches indicate that much of the book of Kings in the Bible concerns kings (as one would assume by the name) and their relationships with God, both good and bad. One king by the name of Jeroboam (c930-900 BC), who later had a champagne bottle named after him, was a rival of another king, Rehoboam, a bigger king and a bigger champagne bottle. As part of that rivalry, Jeroboam had golden calves built for the people to worship instead of worshipping at the Temple of Solomon. This displeased God enough to say “Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall…” (1 Kings 14:10). Similar fates befall Elah and Ahab in chapter 16 and 21

One nut job Baptist preacher, Steven L Anderson, interprets the Bible as stating that real men urinate against walls, that idolaters sit down to pee "like women".  He accuses Barak Obama of being a sitting downer. Hear and see him at:

The Bible wall pissing references have also been the subject of comment by Mark Twain.  In 1909 in his Letters from the Earth, a contentious work that was not published until 1962, Twain wrote:
A person could piss against a tree, he could piss on his mother, he could piss on his own breeches, and get off, but he must not piss against the wall – that would be going quite too far. The origin of the divine prejudice against this humble crime is not stated; but we know that the prejudice was very strong – so strong that nothing but a wholesale massacre of the people inhabiting the region where the wall was defiled could satisfy the Deity.

Take the case of Jeroboam. “I will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall.” It was done. And not only was the man that did it cut off, but everybody else.

The same with the house of Baasha: everybody was exterminated, kinsfolks, friends, and all, leaving “not one that pisseth against a wall.”

In the case of Jeroboam you have a striking instance of the Deity’s custom of not limiting his punishments to the guilty; the innocent are included. Even the “remnant” of that unhappy house was removed, even “as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.” That includes the women, the young maids, and the little girls. All innocent, for they couldn’t piss against a wall. Nobody of that sex can. None but members of the other sex can achieve that feat.

(Mark Twain - Letters From The Earth 1909)
The next time that you watch the end of a motor car or motor cycle race and you see the winner phalically spray a jeroboam of champagne over the crowd, spare a moment to ponder the connection between Jeroboam, the Bible and pissing against walls. I know it has to all connect and make sense somehow, but I haven’t discovered it yet.

One final note on the issue.

One writer has commented on “the source of the genitourinary disparity that has kept women seething in a jealous rage since the dawn of human history. Oddly enough, the best available evidence comes not from evolutionary biology but from a theological event that dates back to 3,949 B. C. The material that follows was taken from a revised version of Genesis based on the Dead Sea Scrolls:
God approached Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and said unto them, “There remain of my gifts to mankind only two items, but I have yet to decide how they shall be divided between man and woman.”

And Adam said, “Tell me of these wondrous things, for I am the man, and by virtue of my closer resemblance to Thee, I must be given the first choice.”

“Well,” said God, “the first item is an extraordinary arrangement of tubing and erectile tissue that will allow you to urinate while standing up.”

“That’s it!” said Adam. “I’ll take it.”

“But this other item . . . ”

“No, no,” said Adam, “that’s what I want, God, and I want it right now.”

The moment the item was installed on his person, Adam gave a gleeful shout, then rushed off to urinate on trees and write his name in the sand, feats that to this day have eluded every woman on earth.

God and Eve stood alone in silence, looking one another in the eye.

“Ok,” Eve said at last, “what’s left for me?”

And God said, “It’s called a brain.”

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