Day 10, A Love Story. I could've sworn that I've said that the Bible is the one of the most oddball collection of stories I've ever read. Right? Well, it continues with Jacob's trek to find a wife, and escape his hairy brother. It actually starts off as nice little love story.
Jacob makes it to his cousin's house, and finds that his cousin Rachel is simply to die for. He offers his uncle to work seven years in exchange for Rachel's hand in marriage. His uncle agrees, but after seven years he tricks Jacob. After seven years, Jacob says "Give me my wife, so we can do some humpin'."
His uncle gives him a different daughter, Leah, instead. But Jacob doesn't notice for some reason. In fact, he goes ahead and has sex with her and is surprised the next morning that it isn't Rachel.
What the heck is this guy smoking?!?
After finding out, he demands to have Rachel, and finally the uncle complies. Jacob then does the horizontal hokey-pokey with Rachel. God sees that Leah, who is now also married to Jacob, is hated, and so the Almighty Lord of the Universe opens Leah's womb and makes Rachel barren. This has happened three generations in a row. There's got to be some sort of significance to this, right?
Here's a weird thing about Jacob and Leah's relationship; Jacob supposedly hates her, but she winds up bearing FOUR SONS to him! That means that they've been having some angry sex, which is the kind of hatred we can all bear, I imagine.
The Baby-Making Contest
What follows is the oddest wife competition I've ever heard of. Rachel gets jealous of Leah for bearing four sons, so she passive-aggressively threatens Jacob by saying, "You better give me kids or I will die."
Jacob responds that it's not his fault that God made her that way.
Rachel then offers a slave-girl to Jacob to have sex with, and says that she will give birth on her behalf. Jacob naturally obliges, and the slave-girl eventually gives birth to two sons.
Leah then realizes that she isn't able to have kids anymore, and so she offers HER slave-girl to Jacob to give birth on her behalf. This slave-girl gives birth to two more sons!
Later, Leah is picking her son's mandrakes from the field and Rachel nonchalantly asks to trade the mandrakes for a night of hot sex with Jacob. Leah didn't refuse the offer, and when Jacob had sex with Leah, she was actually able to conceive again! Over the course of the next few years, she gives birth to two sons and a daughter. One friggin' girl out of this whole mess?!
God suddenly remembers Rachel, opens her womb up, and now Rachel FINALLY gives birth to her own son.
A Useless Magic Trick
This whole escapade is going on at Jacob's uncle's house, and Jacob, probably homesick, starts feeling like he wants to head back to his own country.
Before he does, Jacob does a useless and scientifically unlikely magic trick in order to gain a flock. This was probably useless because his uncle had grown fond of Jacob and was willing to give him anything he wanted. I'm not sure if I understand Jacob's thinking myself. Jacob gets rods from a green poplar tree, and paints white streaks in them. Then he lets goats, sheep, and cattle copulate in front of these rods, so that they would give birth to speckled, striped, and spotted offspring. Jacob then keeps the stronger of the offspring, and gives his uncle the weaker.
His uncle starts to not like Jacob at this point, and at this point God tells Jacob to leave.
Jacob Literally Wrestles With God
Jacob takes off with his two wives, two concubines, and a bunch of kids. After some final dealings with his angry uncle and some praise from God, or an angel, regarding his genetic magic trick, he's left in relative peace. It is now time to meet his brother Esau, who 20 years ago wanted to kill Jacob.
Esau, 20 years later, is still pissed off. That's one hell of a blood-feud, and raises an army of 400 at hearing of Jacob's return. Jacob in turn offers a gift of "200 she goats, 20 he-goats, 200 ewes, 20 rams, 30 milch camels with their colts, 40 kine, 10 bulls, 20 she-asses, and 10 foals."
The good old days, when people traded livestock!
Apparently, the gift appeased Esau enough to allow Jacob to send all his family and belongings across a creek, and Jacob was left alone for the night, until a man came out of nowhere and starts wrestling him! This man reveals himself to be the Almighty Lord of the Universe Himself! Jacob, a mere mortal, wrestles God and actually wins. God loses so bad against Jacob that He even dislocates His leg.
After Jacob defeats God in this wrestling match, God tells Jacob that his name is now Israel, for he wrestled against God and won. The Bible still refers to Jacob as "Jacob", though.
Holy crap! Jacob wrestles - WRESTLES - with the ALL-POWERFUL LORD OF THE UNIVERSE - and WINS!!! That's got to put a dent in the omnipotency theory.