Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Genesis Chapter 19 and 20

Chapter 19:

Two strangers roll on into S&G and Lot insists that they come inside. After being a few polite refusals they eventually agree and partake in some delicious unleavened bread. An angry mob comes to the door because Lot lives in a really bad neighborhood. The mob insists that Lot brings the strangers on out so they can "know" them. If you recall how Adam got to "know" Eve, it involves more than small talk.

Lot does the right thing and offers his two virgin daughters in place of the two strangers. This is where I begin a series of wtf faces because this chapter merits it.

He says the mob can do whatever they want to his daughters provided that they leave his two guests alone. Lot's logic is that these men are under his protection since he invited them into his home, under his roof. I guess the daughters were never really invited by Lot, perhaps they live in the barn and therefore do not get the same "under my roof" protection rights.

The mob kindly rejects this option and suggests that they will rape Lot and then go onto rape the two strange men. I guess they're just not into virgin girls. The men save Lot and create a blinding light so the mob cannot see the door to Lot's home. The men warn Lot that he need to get out of S&G and go to the mountain Zoar which sounds like something out of Lord of the Rings.

The weather report for S&G the following evening is a rain heavy with brimstone and fire. As Lot's family escapes, they are told not to look back at the destruction. Lot's wife naturally does the opposite because ovaries. She gets turned into a pillar of salt because when you don't do what Lord God tells you, shit happens.

The story then transitions onto what Abraham's up to which is exactly what Lot's wife is up to. He's checking out the destruction of S&G:

"And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace."

Is Abraham a pillar of salt now? No? Why not? Because penis.

Now back to Lot who has moved away from Zoar because Lord of the Rings mountains creep him out. He goes and lives in a cave with his two daughters. No word on how he copes with his wife now being a pillar of salt.

The two daughters seem concerned that their father is old and no men will come for them. These virgin daughters seem eager to devirginize themselves which makes me think that Lot was really willing to sacrifice their virginity back in S&G because they were bound to do it at any point anyway.

The oldest daughter suggests that they make their father drink wine and "lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father." 

They get their father drunk with wine which is the date raping drink of choice in this book. The oldest "lies" with him and "he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose." The father is somehow clueless to this which...I'm just going to If he's completely passed out

The younger daughter does the same thing the next night and the two get knocked up by their own father.

The older had a son named Moab and the younger a son named Ben-ammi and those babies go on to have more babies consequences apparently.

So word on how Lot takes that...nobody turned into a pillar of salt? I guess Lord God didn't explicitly tell them not to date rape their father to get pregnant with incest babies? In fact the narrator doesn't seem to judge this at all. How am I meant to process this?! HOW?! When Noah was date raped, generations of decedents were CURSED to be servants. What was the consequence here? Who will get me through this?!

Chapter 20:

Abraham and Sarah decide to go on a holiday somewhere between Kadesh and Shur and get back to their favorite activity: entrapment. So they play the little "she's my sister" game so Abraham won't be murdered for his beautiful now 90-year-old wife. Sarah gets taken by a married man Abimelech because she cannot be resisted at any age. Abimelech has a dream where Lord God tells him he's a dead man for taking another man's wife. I'm not exaggerating: "Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou has taken: for she is a man's wife." i.e it's not about taking women against their will; it's about taking another man's property. Abi is all "um what? I never touched her." and God's all "duh I made you not do that. I know you're a good guy. You wouldn't have taken a woman against her will and have non-consensual sex with her while being married yourself unless you thought she was single. Now go give that wife back or you're totally dead."

Abi gets up early and has a little chat with Abraham. "So uh why are you such a liar?"

Abraham: "I didn't want you to murder me like other heathens would for my wife. I didn't know you were down with G.O.D. Also I technically didn't lie. She's my half sister. We share a father but not a mother."

I'm not really sure if Abraham means this figuratively as in the shared father is Lord God or...if incest is just super popular at this time. George R.R. Martin has nothing on the bible.

Abi says it's all good and gives them a bunch of stuff and slaves and sends them on their way.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Genesis Chapter 17 and 18

Chapter 17: 

We're still hanging in there with Abram and all his wacky adventures. Now he's 90 years old and God talks to him about the kid thing again. He goes on and on about how his kids will be kings and rule nations so long as Abram does him a tiny favor: remove his own foreskin. God isn't really clear on why this is necessary but Abram doesn't ask questions because he's baby crazy. Anyone who wishes to be apart of the covenant with Lord God must participate in the circumcision party. Obviously this includes Abram's son Ishmael and any future male descendants of Abram on their 8th day of life. God gets a little witty explaining this:

"And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people...Get it? See what I did there?"

 So Abram's family gets to be in the covenant club so long as they remove their foreskin. No word on how Abram's slaves benefit who also have to get circumcised.

God thinks it's time for a name change to fit Abram's new foreskin free image. Abram shall now get an extra "ha" and is now Abraham. Sarai, his wife who was of course not asked because ovaries, is now Sarah. Abram is cool with all this up until the point God promises that Abraham's 90-year-old wife is going to give birth to a son because after everything we've read so far that's what's ridiculous. Build a giant arc to fit 2 of every animal? Got it.  Leave everything  you know and just travel the world forever. You betcha. Circumcision party? Oh I was thinking of throwing one of those anyway. An old lady giving birth? Now you've gone too far.

Abraham is in hysterics, literally falling on his face with laughter. God patiently explains that this is going to happen and doesn't bother to mention that this isn't the most insane miracle he's ever performed. If fertility doctors can do it, Lord God can do it too.

God likes naming things and tells Abraham that his first son with Sarah will be named Isaac and Isaac will of course be blessed and have lots of prince producing seed. God says this will happen next year. After their little chat, Abraham goes a circumcising. Here's a lego reenactment:

by Brendan Powell Smith. all rights reserved "The Brick Testament"
Chapter 18:

Lord God checks in with Abraham again in the form of three men but Abraham's a sharp guy and catches onto that. He invites them in and orders Sarah to make some cakes because Lord God has a sweet tooth especially when he's in the form of three men. God tells Sarah about the kid she's going to have with no mention of how painful that might be for a 90-year-old woman. Sarah laughs to herself with more discretion than Abraham managed but this still makes God super paranoid.

"And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh[?]"

What's so fucking funny Sarah?

Sarah tries to be polite and claims that she didn't laugh. God calls her out on it and says she did.

Nay; but though didst laugh.

Apparently it's fine if Abraham laughs and doubts him but God is really bothered by the laughter of women. I think he might have some mom issues to address.
The men get up and go for a stroll. God's got a plan that he's not sure if he should let Abraham in on. He finally decides that seeing as he's picking Abraham and his family to rule nations, he should probably be honest with him. God's sick of Sodom and Gomorrah's sinning and crying. He's going to go check things out and if he doesn't like what he sees, he's going to lay down some of that good old testament punishment on them. Abraham has some qualms with this. Abraham points out that wiping out all of the people is unjust. What is there are 50 nonsinners there that don't deserve to die? Now I'm thinking that it might have been awesome if Abraham had been around during the time of the flood to speak up about the same thing; instead, we got Noah who basically shrugged that all off and drank a wine vineyard.

Here is where I would have put a picture of Russell Crowe shrugging, however, that picture does not seem to exist because Russell Crowe is not indifferent about anything.

God takes Abraham's point very literally. "Yeah okay if there is EXACTLY 50 people sinfree in S&G, I'll spare those innocent people."

Abraham: "Okay...yeah....but what if there's 45? Are you going to kill everyone just because S&G are 5 short of that hypothetical number I suggested?"

God: "Okay....if there's 45 sinfree people, I'll spare those 45 people."

Abraham: "Yeah so 45 was hypothetical too, what if there's 40 innocent people?"

God: "40 it is then."

Abraham:  "Okay I hope I'm not pissing you off but...30? What if there's only 30 innocent people?"

God: "Okay EXACTLY 30."

Abraham: "...20?"

God: "Right-O exactly 20."

Abraham: "10?"

God: "Alrighty I will not destroy S&G if there's exactly 10 or more nice non sodomizing people there."

Abraham: "Yeah fuck it. Ten's good."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Genesis Chapter 15 and 16

First off, sorry about the 2 week hiatus. It was a vacation thing so the laziness was justified., remember how I kept complaining that there were no images of elephants playing scrabble in all of the internet? The internet? That place that has an extensive collection of images of snakes wearing hats, the place that insists that attractive men look like cats, yet this place has no sign of elephants playing scrabble? Well, Leslie O'Connor, a reader and presumably fan of the blog, remedied that situation. Here are elephants playing scrabble and they are glorious. The internet owes Leslie a thank you.

They're stressed out  because the loser gets sacrificed by Noah.

Now onto the the bible. 

Chapter 15:

So God's all "Hey Abram you've got nothing to worry about because I'm your shield. Like shield from the Avengers. I was really hoping that show would be better. I've never not enjoyed a Joss Whedon show before. 

God: He makes his followers suffer almost as much as I do.
Abram says that's cool and all but he'd really like some kids because altar making just isn't as fulfilling as it once was. And he really doesn't want his only heir to be their "servant" Eliezer of Damascus. By the way that was not at all clear to me with just the book: 

"And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt though give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus" I had to look things up for you. I didn't know what a steward or an Eliezer of Damascus was. I'm ashamed to say I never knew what a steward was before. It's one of those words I've heard thrown around a lot in BBC period dramas and Game of Thrones and just never bothered to look it up.

So anyway Abram is whining to God about not having very good seed and God's all "Why didn't you say so? I can totally get you kids. See all those stars up there? That's how many descendants you're going to have."

Abram: "That sounds swell."

God: *mumble* "They're going to suffer for 400 years."

Abram: "Sorry, didn't quite catch that?"

God: "You're going to have like the biggest family reunions ever."

So God and Abram seal the deal with a bunch of animal sacrifices as per usual. God orders up a 3-year-old cow, ram, and goat (because 3-year-olds are delicious) a turtle dove, and a pigeon.  God is clearly not a fan of vegetarian. I don't think tofu sacrifices would cut it for him. You probably can't just go pull some weeds from your garden to show your devotion to God. The good news is, God likes pigeon so it's okay to wipe those winged rats out. 

He's doing this for the Lord. 
So Abram cuts up the 3-year-olds into halfsies for God, takes a nap, and a "horror of great darkness fell upon him." 

Now, God lets Abram know that when his seed grows up into people, they will be strangers in a land "that is not their's" and be servants for 400 years. No need to worry though, God's got this. He's going to look out for the chosen seedlings long after Abram's dead. 

Chapter 16: 

God neglected to mention some finer details of the deal. Like the part where Abram was not going to have all the promised star children with his barren wife because one miracle at a time okay? Sarai the barren, pharaoh entrapping, foxy lady actually suggests to Abram that they use a surrogate mother. Then Sarai and Abram interview several young women with a lengthy questionnaire about their health histories and family background until one woman is chosen to voluntarily bare Abram's seed. Ha ha just kidding. They pick out a slave to do it. 

Hagar the slave conceives with Abram and shockingly gets attached to the life growing inside her. She is a little bitter toward Sarai. Hagar expresses this with the old side eye.

For example.
Sarai isn't having any of that and works through the conflict with Hagar directly through adult communication. Just kidding. She tattles to her husband. Abram gives the usual husbandly advice for his time and tells her to suck it up but do whatever you want to the girl because she's just a slave and who cares.

"And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face."  I'm going to assume that "dealing" with Hagar did not involve any conversation. So Hagar runs away until an angel finds her by a fountain of water. 

The reenactment
The angel makes some fair points to Hagar. "Where will you go? You're a slave girl. Daenerys Targaryen isn't coming to save you anytime soon. So suck it up." The angel also promises to "multiply [her] seed exceedingly" which means she gets to have even more babies for people who abuse her. Awesome. Happy endings all around. 

Hagar is already pregnant with another child, a boy called Ishmael who "will be a wild donkey of a man" which is all any mother can ask for.