A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Deuteronomy, Chapter 25 is another list of arbitrary rules that leave me wondering what situation created a need for them in the first place?

Rule 1.  If a judge convicts someone as guilty in a dispute, the judge can issue no more than 40 lashes by a whip.  Anymore than that would be publicly humiliating.

Rule 2.  Don't muzzle an ox while he's working; in other words, let the ox eat while it works.

Rule 3.  When one brother dies, his wife must marry his brother (whether she likes him or not?).  It says, "If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry ... her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her."  A husband's duty, according to this passage, was just to have sex with his wife.

Rule 4.  If the MAN doesn't want to have sex with his brother's wife, then the wife should go to the elders, remove the man's shoe, and spit in his face.  Huh?

Rule 5.  When two men are fighting, and a wife helps her husband by grabbing the other man's balls, then she should have her hand chopped off.  What?!?

Rule 6.  Be honest when doing business with others.

Rule 7.  Hate the Amelekites. 

Okay, so in Deuteronomy Chapter 25 the rules are all over the map, and they're all arbitrary.  The one rule that is actually halfway decent is the sixth one I list above, which is Deuteronomy 25:13-15, about not cheating when doing business with others.  Letting an ox eat while it works is nice, but I'd be inclined to say its unimportant.  And the other stuff, stopping at 40 lashes, hating the Amelikites, chopping a woman's hand off for protecting her husband, is just wrong.  And weird! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Deuteronomy 24 is fun, because it is weird.  There is no unifying message behind this chapter, except maybe advice on how to resolve disputes.  I think.

1.  The first lesson is about divorce and remarriage.  If the man doesn't like her for some "unclean" reason, he can divorce her and then she can remarry.  But if the second husband doesn't like her for some "unclean" reason, then the first husband CANNOT take her back.  I wonder what situation occurred where such a rule should ever even be addressed?

2.  The second lesson is that a newly wed man can not go to war or be bothered with business matters.  He has to spend the whole year trying to make his wife happy.

3.  Anyone who steals slaves should be executed.

4.  Do what the priests tell you to do, or you'll get leprosy.  That's an awesome rule, and such a guilt trip!

5.  Don't oppress the poor, whether they be slaves or just poor.  That's actually a decent rule!

6.  You shouldn't kill the father for the crimes of the child, and vice versa.  This is such a good rule, but it contradicts other Biblical teachings that the criminal's progeny should be punished.  That's the whole concept of original sin, isn't it?

7.  Finally, the last rule is to treat kindly strangers, orphans, and widows; and share whatever you have with them.  Another nice thing to practice.

In summary, we went from divorce and marriage; to treating strangers kindly.  And there isn't a real thread of unity between the two subjects.  I think that this document was an attempt to legislate random occurrences that just happened.  But the solutions are so arbitrary and don't really solve the problem, or are just completely ignorant.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Deuteronomy, Chapter 23 has more sets of obscure rules.  Here they are:

Preserving the Male Genetic Line

1. A man whose testicles are injured must not be admitted into the congregation of Yahweh.
2. Bastards (male children without fathers) cannot be admitted into the congregation of Yahweh.
3. Moabites and Ammonites may never be admitted into the congregation of Yahweh, even later generations.
4. But the third generation of Edomites and Egyptians can be admitted into the congregation of Yahweh.
5. Any male who has a wet dream is unclean until the evening (and after he's washed himself).

These four rules seem to be geared toward assuring that the male Israelite genetic line is preserved. Men with injured testicles cannot reproduce and bastards can not carry their family line.  Wet dreams, I'm not sure but I suppose they thought it was 'unclean', which I suppose it is.  But to wait until nighttime to come back to the camp?

The Moabites and Ammonites dared to go to resist the Israelites, but the Edomites are the descendents of Esau, who was the brother of Jacob, one of the founders of the Israelite people.  So, the logic is that the Edomites are technically related to the Israelites.

The mercy to the Egyptians follows different reasons, though.  It is because the Israelites, even though they were in captivity by the Egyptians, were "strangers in their land."  Maybe someone else can explain the reasons in that one.


So that Yahweh doesn't step in human feces, it is advised in Deut. 23:12-14 to carry a shovel with you and poop outside of the camp.  Some people call this Doodooronomy.  This raises an interesting question, did the Israelites think Yahweh has a physical body that can actually step on crap?

Freeing the Slaves

Here's a nice rule.  Deuteronomy 23:15-16 says that if a slave runs away from his master, the Israelite shouldn't return the slave, but rather let him stay with him in his house.

Intolerance in the Bible
Whores, Dogs, and Sodomites shouldn't be allowed inside the house.  Whores and Sodomites I understand; but dogs?  Dogs is the Israelites' derogatory word for homosexual.  Essentially, it's like saying, "Don't let those flaming faggots live in your house!"

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Here are some more rules as laid out in Deuteronomy, Chapter 22.  Notice how they get more morbid as they progress.

  1. Look out for your brother's animals and keep them harm.
  2. Transvestites are an abomination.
  3. If you come across a birds nest, you can take the eggs and the chicks, but not the mother.
  4. When you build a house, make sure the roof is strong.
  5. Don't wear garments of mixed fabrics (i.e. cotton and linen).
  6. Don't plow with an ox and a donkey together.
  7. You should put fringes on your clothes.
  8. If your wife isn't a virgin on her wedding day, take her to her father's doorstep and kill her.
  9. Adulterers should be executed.
  10. If a woman is raped in the city, and doesn't cry for help loud enough, she should be executed.
I wonder, what events happened in order for the author to even come up with these rules?  Whoever it was, he had to be really uptight, and a little eccentric.  Kill women who don't scream loud enough, don't plow with an ox and a donkey together, but do wear fringes on your outfit!