Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Day 7 - In Chapter 18, God and three angels visit Abraham at his home, where old Abe SERVES THEM water, a calf, milk, and butter. That's right, God and the angels not only eat and drink, but they apparently have no problem eating un-kosher meals! That is, if they boiled the calf in milk (Exodus 23:19).
God, all-knowing and all-powerful, then asks Abraham, "Where's your wife?"
God's got good news for them, and He reports to Abe that Sarah will have a son. Sarah, from behind a tent wall, overhears this and laughs her @$$ off because she's 90 YEARS OLD! God punks Sarah a little bit because she laughed, and she says she wasn't laughing at God, she was laughing because she was afraid.
At about this point, God looks toward Sodom and wonders aloud to one of his angels, "Should I hide from Abraham that little thing-a-ma-jiggie that I'm about to do?"
Nice. A little foreshadowing. God's planning another mass killing, and is trying to be modest about it. God can't hold it in, He's probably very giddy, and says, "Alright, Sodom and Gomorrah are doing horrible things, and I'm basically about to blow the two places up."
Abraham is concerned and asks, "You're going to kill both the righteous and the wicked?" This starts an interesting bartering process. "What if there's 50 righteous people in Sodom, will you spare the city?"
"Yes, I will spare it," replies the Almighty.
"What about if there is 45?"
"I'll spare it."
Finally, Abraham gets down to 10. "Hmm ... well, what about 10?"
And God agrees. He will not destroy the city if there are 10 innocent Sodomites. How hard is it to find an innocent person? Well, children are innocent. Newborns? Toddlers? Nah ... there are apparently no innocent newborns and toddlers in Sodom. Not even 10 of them.
Chapter 19. God sends two angels out to Sodom and they visit Abe's brother Lot, who is supposedly the only known righteous person in the city. The angels EAT and WASH THEIR FEET! The residents find the angels to be sexually irresistable and the men of the city surround Lot's House. "Hey Lot!" they call. "Where's those two dudes you brought into your home. Let them out so we can get jiggy wit' 'em!"
Lot, being the righteous man and a great host, refuses to let his guests be raped by the Sodomites. Instead, he offers his two virgin daughters. "They're virgins! Take them, and do with them what you will," he says.
Like I said in the last post, Lot is a despicable human being. What other person aside from an immoral one would offer up their daughters (virgin or not) to a mob of sexually depraved men? Angels are supernatural warriors, and can easily take out a mob of humans. Sure enough, the angels blind all the men surrounding the door and the angels make their escape.
In 19:14, the angels tell Lot to take his family (son-in-laws, daughters, wife, etc.) elsewhere because they're going to blow up Sodom. But wait; son-in-laws? Lot just lied to a mob of rapists and offered his virgin daughters to them. But they're not virgins - they're married! Lot is a liar and a coward.
The angels say when they leave, that no one should look back. Everyone knows what happens next. Lot escapes with his wife and daughters (the son-in-laws thought Lot was a nutjob ... they were right!), and then his wife looks back and turns into a pillar of salt. I'm with comedian Julia Sweeney on this one, I think that Lot's wife did it in purpose. "Being a pillar of salt is PREFERABLE to be married to Lot."
So, Lot and his daughters are the only survivors. They find a cave in the mountains. Lot's daughters, who are now single, apparently think that God killed EVERYBODY. They say, "Woe is us, there ain't a man out there to come (cum?) in us. Let's get daddy drunk so that we can have sex with him, and preserve his seed."
Who the hell are these people?!?! Family values, in the Old Testament, is all about preserving the patriarchal family line. That's it. Maybe the New Testament is better? Well, when I get there, and that won't be for a while, I can guarantee that it isn't. The truth is, I don't know where conservative Christians get their family values. I know for sure that it isn't from the Bible.
I'm glad that Chapter 19 ends, and I'm glad to start reading about Abraham again. Maybe this sickening feeling in my stomach will soon go away. Yea right.
Chapter 20. Well, Abe is lying about Sarah being his sister again, and for the SAME REASON! And why not? He got hooked up pretty damn good the last time! This time, it is King Abimelech of a nation called Gerar. For some strange reason, the King of Gerar finds Sarah - who is 90 YEARS OLD - simply gorgeous. But God tells the King, in a dream, that Sarah is married and that the King shouldn't have sex with her or He'll destroy Gerar. The King, who is very reasonable, opts not to hump her and returns her to Abraham. And, like the Pharoah, says, "Why the F*CK didn't you tell me you were married, A$$H*LE!!! Why'd you lie to me?"
He didn't say exactly like that. But he should've, though. I would've.
Abraham weasels his way out of it and says that technically, she is his sister; just a half-sister. So he didn't really lie! And the reason that he lied was that he was scared the King would kill him just to have 90-year-old Sarah.
Like the pharoah, King Abimelech gives Abraham slaves and riches. Unlike the pharoah, he invites Abraham to stay in his land. And God heals the wombs of all the women in King Abimelech's household. Apparently, God sewed all of them shut because King Abimelech believed Abraham's lie, even though he never touched Sarah!
Chapter 21. Finally, 90-year-old Sarah gives birth to her son, and Abraham names him Isaac. As Isaac's growing up, old Hagar's son Ishmael mocks, or inappropriately plays with, Isaac. It's unclear as to what happened. Perhaps Ishmael, who is supposedly 16 years old by this time, was molesting Isaac? Whatever it was, it was bad enough that Sarah arranges (with God's help) to get Hagar and Ishmael kicked out, which Abraham agrees to.
Oddly, Genesis seems to err (probably by later editing) and suggest that Ishmael is but a child, which is of course impossible. Abe sees Hagar off with a bottle of water and some food. Hagar is holding Ishmael over her shoulder (pretty tough to do if he's a 16-year-old) and later, after running out of water, she casts Ishmael under a shrub so that he will die. An angel saves them by pointing out that there's a well right next to them.
Chapter 21 goes on and on, and eventually ends with Abraham moving to the land of the Philistines, which is another historical inaccuracy because the Philistines didn't arrive on the scene until 800 years later, in 1200 BCE.
Chapter 22. God decides to test Abraham. God tells Abraham to sacrifice his only son. "Take now thy only son, whom you love ... and offer him as a burnt offering."
In other words, "Hey Abraham, you know that son that you worked so hard for and whom you love. I'd like you to burn him alive as proof of your love to me."
Abraham obeys, and doesn't ask any questions. In fact, he tells his son that they're both going to perform an animal sacrifice. Very awkward. It would be kind of hard to break it to your only son that you're about to murder him because God requested it. So, they take their "long walk" together to where the sacrifice is tol take place.
Isaac notices that they've gathered wood, and basically says, "Okay, we have fire and wood. So, um, where's the lamb?"
Abraham replies that the lamb will be provided. He then promptly ties up Isaac and puts him on the wood, he grasps his knife, and just when Abraham was about to kill his son, God says, "Ha ha, just kidding Abe. Don't kill your son. I just wanted to see if you'd actually do it."
And God sends a ram instead, and Isaac and his father have some quality time sacrificing the ram together.
Just some thoughts - only an evil God would request this of a father, and only an evil father would carry through with it. Frankly, their morality is alien to me and I can't help but think that these people in the Old Testament are psychos.