May 12, 1828 — Nat Turner sees a vision urging him to rebellion

Nat Turner’s first vision was a striking one: the Spirit appeared to him and told him to take up Christ’s cross and suffer in his place, metaphorically. Turner interpreted this as a call to arms, and began laying plans for a rebellion (which would eventually bear fruit in August of 1831).

For the meantime, Turner continued to work in slavery, building his forces and biding his time, and growing ever stronger in his faith. How much he suffered we can only guess at, but based on the events of the slave rebellion he led, it must have been a great amount.

April 3, 33 CE — Jesus dies upon the Cross

It is the central event of Christianity: Jesus Christ surrendered to the Romans, was briefly tried by Pontius Pilate, and sent to be crucified. Once up on the cross, he died in an unusually short time (crucifixion is a slow and painful death). In his last words, he called on his heavenly father, saying “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?” (in English “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). (At least, he did according to the Gospels of Mark and Matthew – John and Luke each tell different stories.)

When the Romans came by to break the legs of the crucified (a measure that hastens death), they discovered that Jesus was already dead. He was taken down and buried, rising from the dead on the third day (somewhat undermining the “last words” thing, but he’s the Son of God. Different rules apply.)

Today, these events are commemorated by the eating of chocolate (not introduced to Europe, Asia and Africa until 14 centuries later) delivered by a rabbit (because… I have no idea why).

1015 BCE — Solomon becomes King of Israel

Solomon, legendarily the wisest man in all of antiquity, was the son of King David of Israel. He ascended to the throne after his mother Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan prevailed upon the elderly (and possibly senile by that time) David to name him heir ahead of his brother Adonijah (who was the heir-apparent). Adonijah, for some reason, reacted badly to this, and led a brief rebellion that ended in his arrest and execution.

Solomon would go on to write the soft porn classic “The Song of Songs”, to oversee the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, to found the Freemasons, and to take a total of 700 wives (and 300 concubines), suggesting that his legendary wisdom was exceeded only by his horniness (and love of goat skin aprons and funny handshakes). He ruled for 41 years, dying at the age of 80 and being succeeded by his son Rehoboam.

Cornelis de Vos - The Anointing of Solomon

As mentioned in:

Ah Yeah — Krs-One

June 22, 1491 BCE — The Ten Commandments are handed down to Moses

No doubt you’re familiar with the story: during the 40 years that the Israelites spent wandering in the Sinai desert between fleeing Egypt and entering Canaan, they encamped for some time at the foot of Mt Sinai.

At one point, God summoned Moses, his chosen prophet and the leader of the Israelites, to the top of the mountain, and here he gave him stone tablets upon which were inscribed the Ten Commandments – one of the world’s earliest legal codes that is still known to us.

When Moses carried the tablets back down the mountain, he was sufficiently enraged by the conduct and reaction of his fellow Israelites that he broke them half. Fortunately, God had made a backup copy, and Moses was able to once more bring the tablets of the Ten Commandments.