I have seen this medieval illustration used for a lot of different memes and it has popped up again recently. Let me tell you the real story of this picture. It is from the Bible, and it is the passage I often give as example to show the actual nature of Christianity; one that is eerily present in modern Christian belief. This is the true spirit of "love, tolerance, and forgiveness" that so many Christians espouse.
I normally don't bag on the Christians too much because their religion is doing such a fine job of destroying itself. But I feel this illustration needs its proper context given.
It is a depiction of Judges 5. I will cite verses from the King James Version.
As you may or may not know, the Israelites (first Christians) were, and still mostly are, a very violent and warlike people; despite the peaceful teachings of their lord and savior Jesus. This passage is about Deborah who became a leader of their people as they were fighting foreigners and everybody around them, or in their terms, being oppressed. Though it says at the very beginning that it was the Lord, their god, doing this to them because they were shitty human beings.
1 - And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead.
2 - And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin, king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.
6 - In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travelers walked through byways.
7 - The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother of Israel.
8 - They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear among forty thousand in Israel?
9 - My heart is towards the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the Lord.
Eventually, after 20 years, the Israelites defeat their Canaanite "oppressors." Sisera flees. He seeks refuge at the tent of Jael.
24 - Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
25 - He asked for water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.
26 - She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.
She gives him milk and butter then hammers a tent spike **through** his temples, then smashed him so many times with the hammer that she knocked his head off.
Loving Christians indeed.
31 - So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.
How come they never taught this one in Sunday school?