Monday, July 06, 2009
Day 5 - I am on Genesis, Chapter 12. And to be honest, I'm not going to be able to get to the child sacrifice just yet. I forgot how long the saga of Abraham was.
The story of Abram, later to become Abraham, starts with God telling Abe to get the hell out of Dodge so he can be a founder of a "great nation." Abraham makes the journey south toward Egypt, and takes with him his wife Sarai (Sarah), and Lot, who will be instrumental in the future destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
A side note on Lot - He is one of the big honchos of the Old Testament, and I'd argue that everyone living today would agree that he was just about as evil as the folks in Sodom and Gomorrah. I mean, he gave his "virgin" daughters up to a mob so they can be raped, just to save two angels from being raped. Angels! Angels are supposed to be warriors. On top of that, Lot lied about his daughters virginity. More on that in a later entry, but I wanted to point out that our morality today is so much different than it was back then.
Back to Abram's story - On the way to Egypt, Abram tells his 70-year-old wife Sarai that she is very beautiful and that the Egyptians will kill him in order to have her; so he's going to tell the Egyptians that she is his sister. She is his half-sister, after all. Yea, that's gross but incestual type relationships were common back then.
I don't know what the Egyptian standard of beauty is, but how many 70-year-old women out there are hot? Hot enough to murder for? This is waaaaaay before Botox and plastic surgery folks, and well after God had sentenced mankind to the 120-year max lifespan. Was there an elderly fetish going on at the time?
Sure enough, the Egyptians actually do think that Sarai is the cat's pajamas, and true to his word, Abram says that she is his sister. The Pharoah even thinks she's hot, and gives Abram livestock and slaves so that Sarai could be part of his harem. God gets pissed off as usual and sends a plague on the pharoah and his family.
Man, that sucks! The Pharoah thinks a 70-year-old chick is hot, trades with Abram livestock and slaves so that Sarai can be part of his harem, and then gets punished (by GOD, no less!) because he believed Abram's lie. That ain't right!
Pharoah somehow gets wind of Abram's lie and said to Abram, "Why the F**K did you lie to me, @$$hole?" Okay, he didn't say that, but he should've. I would've. But the Pharoah didn't understand why he was lied to about his wife, and sent them away with all the stuff they accumulated as well. How nice. Abram basically just pimped out his wife and became rich because of it!
In Chapter 13 it says that Abram was very rich in cattle, silver, and gold - it doesn't say that he was rich because he whored his wife out to the Pharoah, but that is basically what happened. Abram and Lot wind up settling with the Canaanites somewhere south of Egypt.
For some reason, the herdsman of Abram's and Lot's herds get pissed off at each other, and Abram and Lot decide to split up. "You go left, and I go right," is basically what they agree on. Abram settles in with the Canaanites, and Lot winds up living near Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Bible says that the men in Sodom "were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly." But there is nothing specific. This of course will later play out with the infamous story of Sodom and Gomorrah, which is one of the main reasons so many conservative Christians hate gays.
Male gays especially; lesbians are tolerable. It's like what the comedian Bill Hicks said, "Two women together in bed is God's way of showing how much he loves us. Two men together in bed is evil. Two women together in bed is a miracle bestowed on God's children. Two men together in bed is satanic."
As for Abram, God tells him that he can have the land of Canaan "forever". This verse (Genesis 13:14-15) is one of the main justifications for the unending warfare that exists in the Middle East. And history will tell us that this promise was broken multiple times throughout the following millennia. Most of the time since then, the land was controlled by other people as well. It's only been the 60 years or so that Jews have regained control over this area.
Chapter 14 is a very dry report of battles and rebellions. One interesting event was when Lot was taken captive in Sodom, and Abram hears of the news. Abram responds by training and ARMY OF SLAVES (318 of them) and sending them to rescue Lot. The army of slaves pursues Lot's captors into the city of Dan. The mention of Dan, by the way, is proof that Genesis was edited later, as the City of Dan did not exist until later. The guy whom Dan is named for wasn't even born yet!
Abram plans a night assault with his slave army and successfully saves Lot, some women (Lot's women or Sodom's women?), and some goods. But Abram does return the goods, and keeps just enough for his army to survive the journey back.
In Chapter 15, Abram is a little concerned that he has not produced any male offspring and starts to consider one of the slaves born in his house to be his heir. God tells Abram not to worry, he'll have countless seeds (like the stars, in fact).
"Just sacrifice some animals to me," says God. Specifically, God asks for a 3-year-old heifer, a 3-year-old she-goat, a 3-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. Abram does it, but still no dice.
By Chapter 16, even Sarai is concerned that no offspring have been born, and suspects it is her own advanced age. She even tells Abram to have sex with a female slave named Hagar. After having sex with the old man, Hagar conceives and all of a sudden Sarai gets PISSED OFF and JEALOUS.
God and an angel tell Hagar that the son, to be called Ishmael, will have a successful lineage, as long as Hagar returns to Sarai as her slave. "Oh yea, and there's something else I'd like to tell you about your son," the angel says. "He will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."
Finally, in Chapter 17, God makes a covenant with Abram, and it goes something like this. "You can have all the land of Canaan if you and all the men in your tribe chop of the tips of your penises. And any man that doesn't have this operation done will no longer have a soul."
Abram is now called Abraham, and Sarai is now called Sarah. God tells Abe that Sarah will give birth to a son (at 90 years old!) and Abraham understandably laughs. So, Abraham happily chop off his foreskin, as well the foreskin of 13-year-old Ishmael and every male in his house. The word "house" used here is probably more like a tribe at this point, and includes other families, herdsmen, slaves, etc. More than likely, by the time this was finished there was a sizeable amount of penis flesh laying around. Just imagine that, piles of foreskins!
I will end this section of Abraham's story here. And will continue tomorrow with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; and God's request for Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, who will be his heir.