A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Jacob reunites with Esau

Encamped by the river, Jacob's arch-nemesis brother Esau approaches with 400 men. Jacob only has two concubines, two wives, and a bunch of children. But oddly, Esau isn't out for revenge. He's actually happy to see Jacob and they embrace each other. I'm not sure why he needed 400 men, though. Maybe for effect?

Jacob is happy that Esau likes him now. As Jacob gives Esau gifts, he tells Esau, "I have seen your face, as though I had seen the face of God."

That is a very strange thing to say, especially since Jacob HAS seen the face of God. Does this mean that God is red, hairy, beastman? Or maybe Jacob's a liar. He has lied a few times already.

Rape and Slaughter

Jacob's daughter Leah is goes out to see the countryside, performing the very odd task of "seeing the daughters of the land."

A man named Shechem, a prince of the land pounced upon her and basically raped her. He was apparently in love with her. He asks his father Hamor to "get me this damsel to wife." Basically, "Whoops, I just raped her, and now I want to marry her."

So Hamor went out to find Jacob so that he can arrange a marriage between Dinah and Shechem. Jacob and his sons had heard that Shechem was a rapist, though. Hamor comes with the jolly idea that each party should trade women with each other; like cattle. Rather than be up front with Hamor, Jacob lies and says that she can't marry Shechem because everyone is uncircumcised.

Hamor and Jacob hammer out a deal to have ALL the men in the city circumcised! Hamor and Shechem go back to the city and tell everyone, "Jacob and his family are peaceful people. Let them live and trade with us. We will take their daughters as wives, and give our daughters to them. The only catch is that all the men have to cut the tips of their penises off. But hey, free chicks!"

So basically, another pile of foreskins for the all-powerful Creator of the Universe. Yippee!

Then, when the men were "still sore" (OUCH!), two of Jacob's sons walk into the town and basically slaughter every man in the city, including King Hamor and Shechem. The rest of Jacob's sons then plunder the city, taking with them all the wives and children as captive.

Jacob isn't pleased with this. "Why the heck did you do THAT?!?" He basically said. "Now everyone's going to think we're hostile and band together against us!"

That was a fairly wise observation.

The brothers rationalized their slaughter by saying, "So we should've let him treat our sister like a whore?"

This gets behind the mentality of men back then. To these people, rape is not a crime against the woman; it's a crime against the man. This is the same morality that brought about Muslim honor killings. To contrast, in rape cases today, justice is upon the individual who committed the crime, not the people who live in proximity to the person. The response of Jacob's family was that the rape of Dinah was a crime against them and their family line.

Jacob renamed Israel, again ... and Jacob renames Bethel, again

Jacob, now with an army of women and children P.O.W.s, heads back to Bethel. He then confiscates their false gods, which they were holding in their hands (idols).

All the surrounding cities were scared of the sons of Jacob, and they did not want to pursue them. Along the way, God Himself appears to Jacob (He's a frequent visitor) and says that Jacob's name is no longer "Jacob," but Israel. Didn't we go over this before. Yes! After Jacob WRESTLED with GOD and WON! But for some reason, the name didn't stick, so God is renaming him again. Guess what? It still doesn't stick.

And when Jacob is in Bethel, he names it Bethel AGAIN, right before his wife Rachel dies. Isaac also dies, at the tender age of 180.

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