Confusion in understanding the Bible

I confess.  Sometimes what I read in the Bible seems quite confusing.  For example, take the issue of adultery.  God clearly specified that it’s not right beginning with the Ten Commandments.  Also, He stated what marriages are not allowable–namely, among family members.  

When you read about the kings of Judah and Israel, they’re labeled as being right in the eyes of the Lord or being evil in the eyes of the Lord.  The primary distinction in the two categories relates to whether or not they worshipped God or a false god.  However, when it came to marriage and adultery and incest, these guys seemed to receive a free pass.  A king could have many wives and concubines; also, marriage to a relative didn’t appear to be a problem.  Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  Most of them came from tribes that the Israelites weren’t supposed to marry.  What gives?  

Another example of a confusing story to me is Balaam’s donkey, as recorded in Numbers 22-23.  Balak of the Moabites summoned Balaam to meet with him for a prophecy session.  Balak sent two men to retrieve Balaam.  God instructed Balaam to to with the two men.  En route, an angel interfered with his travel, and Balaam started beating the donkey he was riding.  Miraculously, it complained by speaking to Balaam, whose eyes were opened to see the angel blocking the path.  Balaam acknowledged sinning by going on this trip and said he’d turn around and go back.  The angel responded by informing him to go with the two men to meet Balak.  In summary, God instructed Balaam to go with the two men; then His angel stopped Balaam; Balaam agreed to turn around and return home; finally, His angel told Balaam to go with the two men.  Go, stop, turn around, go–I don’t get it.  

I could cite more examples, but you get the picture.  Does my confusion suggest the Bible contains some errors, poor translation, etc.  Not in the least.  It simply means my understanding falls short.  Perhaps with more study I’ll figure out both of these examples.  

If you’re confused by the Bible, don’t dismay.  You’ve joined the club of people who are still studying and learning.  Happy reading!  

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