Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Genesis Chapter 39-41

Chapter 39: 

Now we're back to the adventures of Joseph, the brother sold to slavery in Egypt. He's a good and prosperous little slave and his master makes him the top slave of the house.  Joseph brings good luck with him just like his father Jacob did. They've got that God luck. The master's wife is pretty into Joseph and takes to sexually harassing him. Joseph explains to her his reservations:

"Hey, do you want me to die? Is that what you want? Your vagina is not worth dying for."

Actually he was more noble about it and said the master gave him everything a master could give aside from his wife (or freedom) and taking advantage would not be very cool.

The wife doesn't particularly care. One day, all the men are gone from the house except for Joseph. She grabs onto his "garment" aggressively. Here's a reenactment.

Joseph panics and runs from her, leaving his "garment" behind in her hand. I'm going to assume garment means pants. The bored housewife decides to call rape just for funsies. When all the men return, she tells them that Joseph tried to seduce her until she screamed and he ran away. She's got his pants as proof after all. She lays on a guilt trip pretty thick for her husband:

"The Hebrew servant, which though hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me" i.e. This is your fault for hiring a Hebrew.

The husband is none too pleased and sends Joseph to prison but Joseph carries his God luck to prison too. God makes the guy in charge there like Joseph, so Joseph is rewarded with the responsibility of looking after the other prisoners and being held responsible for their actions. I fail to see how this is a reward.

Chapter 40: 

The Pharaoh of Egypt gets pissed off at his butler and baker for some reason and sends them to jail with Joseph. Both the men have strange dreams and Joseph offers to interpret for them because that's something he does. The butler has a dream that he comes across a vine with three branches budding with grapes. He takes the grapes and serves them in a cup to the Pharaoh. Joseph has good news. The butler is going to be restored to his position in three days and get the privilege of serving another man. Oh joy. Joseph asks the butler to tell the pharaoh about him and how he was wrongly put in prison.

Now onto the baker's dream. He dreams that he carries three white baskets on his head filled with meat pastries for the pharaoh but the birds eat them form the baskets first. So that means he's going to be restored in three days in serve the pharaoh again right? Joseph's got some bad news and doesn't bother to break it easily.

"Yeah so in three days the pharaoh's going to hang you and birds will eat your flesh."

The people in this book could really benefit from some sensitivity training.

The dream prophecies come to pass but the butler forgets all about telling the pharaoh about Joseph. I bet the baker would have remembered.

Chapter 41: 

The pharaoh has bad dreams about fish and corn. Seven fat fish are eaten by seven thin fish and seven rich ears of corn are...eaten somehow by seven thin ears of corn. The evil corn must have looked like this:

The pharaoh is very upset about all this and sends for wise men and dream interpreters around the world but no one can figure it out. The butler finally has a lightbulb moment and remembers Joseph. They bring the dream master in. Joseph rarely has good news. The dreams mean that there will be seven prosperous years for Egypt followed by a seven year famine. He recommends that they store up as much corn as possible over the years to prepare.

The pharaoh is pleased by the idea so much that he makes Joseph the new leader of Egypt. Joseph gets promotions very quickly. The pharaoh still gets to be the pharaoh but Joseph gets to do all the fun responsibility stuff a leader's supposed to do. The pharaoh gets Joseph a wife because that's how bible promotions work.

The famine comes along as promised and everyone gets to eat corn for seven years which is the most tragic thing in the book so far.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Genesis Chapter 37-38

Chapter 37:

Israel, the prophet formally known as Jacob has a favorite son, Joseph. He loves Joseph, the baby of the family, so much he gives him a fabulous multi-colored jacket.

Naturally Joseph's brothers are jealous of this special treatment and Joseph's sweet jacket. Joseph goes ahead and makes things worse for himself by having prophetic dreams. He dreams that he will rule over all his brethren. He then blabs and brags about it to everyone. The prophet formally known as Jacob is also concerned about these dreams. He decides that the best course of action when his favorite child is hated by all his brothers is to send him out by himself to check if his brethren are cool with him ruling them.

Joseph's brothers see him from a distance and start scheming. They debate whether to kill their brother. The concubine loving Reuben comes up with a cleaner solution, that they merely leave Joseph in a pit to die rather than actually kill him themselves. So they throw Joseph in a pit and do brunch. As they're brunching, traders heading to Egypt stop by and Judah suggests "hey, why don't we make money from our brother instead? Let's sell him as a slave." Sibling rivalry is really extreme in this book. So they sell their brother into slavery for 20 pieces of silver, then bloody up his gorgeous jacket with goat bits. They show the evidence to Jacob/Israel who is very sad and gullible. The traders sell Joseph to higher up political Egyptians that are apart of the Pharaoh's court.

Chapter 38:

Weird kinky confusing stuff happens in this chapter. Judah (the brother who suggested selling Joseph as a slave) goes to hang out with an Adullamite named Hirah and sees a nice girl named Shuah:

"And he took her, and he went in unto her."

They do that a few times until they have 3 sons: Er, Onan, and Shellah. I'm unclear whether it was consensual or if there was marriage. I think she's just a baby mama. When the sons grow up a bit, Judah goes on down to the biblical wife store and gets his son Er a wife named Tamar. Apparently Lord God didn't particularly like Er and decides to slay him. Because reasons. Judah insists that his second son Onan then marry Tamar to keep the family line. Onan knows that when Tamar has a baby, it will be his brother's and not his and for some reason...doesn't want to mix up the seed?:

"when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled IT on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother." 

So Onan uh...pulled out? God decides to kill him too because God's not a fan of pulling out. Tamar's not having the greatest luck with men. Judah tells Tamar to just hang on and stay a widow until his youngest son Shellah's old enough to marry her. Later on, Judah's wife dies and "Judah was comforted" because Judah is a dick. Judah celebrates his new found bachelorhood by going to a new town with his buddy Hirah. Tamar the widow wife decides to meet up with him. She changes out of her widow's clothes into a veil that a prostitute would wear to...seduce him. It would be nice if someone explained this character's motivations to me. I don't understand most of these people. They just seem to do things. Things just happen. This book is chaos. Is this a nihilist book? Anyway, Tamar goes and hangs out in the road until her father-in-law shows up.

Joseph propositions her with his majorly smooth skills:

"let me come in unto thee"

i.e. "Can I put it in?"

Judah doesn't know he's trying to buy the sexy services of his daughter in law. This book is just like one long Jerry Springer episode. He offers her a goat as payment. I know this is the time of bartering but I find the idea of trying to buy sex with a goat vastly amusing and I hope that one of you someday try to offer a prostitute a goat for his/her services for my sake.

Tamar says that she's going to need some collateral until that goat's delivered on her doorstep. She asks that he give her his staff (teehee), his signet, and his bracelets. He agrees and they do some conceiving. Judah sends the goat to be delivered with his pal Hirah and expects to get his stuff back. The girl cannot be found so Judah goes on a door to door harlot search. Everyone assures him that this is a family friendly environment and therefore harlot free. He eventually finds out that Tamar is the lady in the veil and he insists that she be burned. Men are swell. Tamar's a tricky lady herself and tells everyone that she has his baby in her belly and she has his collateral items to prove it.

Judah kindly leaves Tamar to be a single mother and never sees her again. Tamar has twins. The birth is kind of horror movie creepy. One kid starts to come out, reaching out with one hand, and the midwife puts a scarlet thread around his wrist then the kid decides he's not ready just yet and draws his hand back. The other one comes on out and Tamar names him "Pharez." The noncommittal baby with the scarlet thread finally comes out and she names him Zarah. I was curious if babies reaching their hand out during birth was a thing. I used google images. If you feel like ruining your day a little bit, you can do the same.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Genesis Chapter 34-36

Hello Bible Blog readers. I missed something last time and a reader commented. The part I misunderstood is when Rebekah steals her fathers' expensive idols and hides them in her tent. She hides them under some camel furniture and sits on it. She says:

"Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women IS upon me."

I didn't really know what this meant. I thought maybe "the custom of women" meant that women weren't supposed to stand up in the presence of men in tents or something. At this point, it wouldn't surprise me but actually "the custom of women" means their "lady time." Rebekah was pretending to be on her "lady time." Men are squeamish about "lady time." Tampax wasn't a thing yet so if she stood up, things would get gross.

Now that that's all cleared up, onward.

Chapter 34:

Dinah, Jacob's only daughter goes on a stroll to get to know the other young girls in their new home. She meets the son of a prince, Shechem, who is very taken with her. I thought maybe this moment would lead to long flowing romance novel hair, jumping off of horses and running to embrace each other much like Isaac's romance. Instead, we get rape. Schechem rapes Dinah. Schechem is not a very nice prince's son. I'm going to go ahead and picture him like this:

Schechem and his father Hamor the prince, go out to meet with Jacob and his sons to say "sorry." Just kidding, they suggest that Jacob's family marry Dinah off to her rapist and in addition that they marry all their daughters to the Hamor clan and the Hamor clan will marry their daughters off to the Jacob clan. If you recall, the Jacob family isn't into marrying foreign. They like to keep it in the family. Also, shockingly, they're not fond of the idea of marrying Dinah off to her rapist. I do not mean this sarcastically. I do find it shocking. Finally, girl rape matters.

Dinah's brothers Simeon and Levi are devious bastards much like their father. They have their sister's back. I'm going to picture them this way:

They explain that they couldn't possibly marry Dinah off to an uncircumcised man. Rapist? sure, but not a foreskin wearer; they're not barbarians. In fact, if the Hamor family wants to have a marriage agreement with the Jacob family, their entire clan will have to remove their fleshy anteaters. The prince and his son are happy with this agreement and run off to tell their clansmen the good news. I'm sure the clansmen are equally thrilled with the proposal. Once the clan all gets circumcised, they're fairly sore and weak, that's when the brothers make their move:

"Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males."

Was this an excessive method of protecting their sister? Sure. But will a man ever rape Dinah again? Probably not, because they're all dead now. A man won't so much as make eye contact with Dinah again.

Jacob is displeased and tells them that they will have to move again before vengeance is taken. The brothers sound pretty remorseful about slaughtering an entire clan of people:

"And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?"

i.e. "Yeah, we'd do it again."

Chapter 35:

God tells them to return to Bethel. Nobody bothers them on the trip because Simeon and Levi are terrifying. On the way some people die. First Rebekah's nurse and later Rebekah during childbirth. It's ok though, because she has a baby boy and he survives. It would have been a real tragedy if she gave her life for a baby girl. God reminds Jacob to stop calling himself Jacob, his new nickname is Israel and he has to stick with it. And then this little tidbit is thrown in:

"And it came to pass, when Israel (Jacob) dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve." 

1. Two wives not enough Jacob? Two wives and their maids not enough? Had to get a concubine too? It's a good thing super gonorrhea wasn't around then.
2. There is no follow up. Jacob heard his son Reuben getting it on with his concubine and...that's it. I thought maybe the sentence "Now the sons of Jacob were twelve" implied that Jacob killed Reuben off but I went back and did the counting, same number of kids as before. J&J have terrible transition skills.

Anyway, Jacob visits his dad Isaac who dies at 180. Esau and Jacob bury him.

Chapter 36: 

Esau married foreign chicks. Those chicks had babies. And those babies have babies. And so forth.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Genesis Chapter 31-33

Hello kind people who read my blog. As promised I am blogging 2X this week because you deserve it. I mean this positively. I am not punishing you. If you want to follow the blog you can press the "join this site" button near the top left, bellow the summary or you can like it on facebook.


Chapter 31:

We start off with Laban being a little miffed that all the new farm animals being born aren't perfectly white, which means they belong to Jacob. In fact, just about all of them will belong to Jacob. Though it turns out Jacob's speckled stick psychology trick didn't have anything to do with it, it was that sweet God blessing insurance.

God: "You are blessed so I took care of it."

Jacob: "So my speckled sticks didn't work?"

God: "I'm concerned with your grasp of science Jacob."

Jacob knows he's going to have some in-law issues now and gathers his ladies to share his side of the story. "I'm just going to say it. Your father's being kind of a dick." The women agree. They're not pleased with the loss of money and are down to run away with Jacob. Jacob only takes the cattle, sheep, and goats that are his when they run off but the little sister Rachel has other ideas. She steals her fathers "gods" i.e. fancy schmancy idols made of expensive things.

Laban is displeased and sets out to chase the family down. Even though he has a dream where God threatens him not to say anything good or bad to Jacob, "better keep that conversation neutral" he still accuses Jacob's family of theft. Jacob is deeply offended; he only steals identities, not objects. Laban and his men search everyone's tent for the stolen idols but save Rachel's tent for last. She's super sneaky. She hides the images in "camel furniture" and sits on top of it. When Laban and his men enter the tent, they search everywhere but the camel furniture because she won't move:

"Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women IS upon me."

i.e. Oh sorry I can't move. Guess your patriarchy's keeping me down.

When the search is finished, Jacob has a hissy fit. He goes on for awhile about how he served Laban for 20 years, never stole anything, served his daughters, his cattle, etc. even though Laban tricked him and changed his wages 10 times, points out that Laban probably would have screwed him over more if it weren't for the God blessing.

Laban's response "These are MY daughters and their children are MY children, and these cattle are MY cattle. So you know what THAT means? Means you're my family and it'd be a shame to lose you guys. Want to make a covenant?"

Jacob grabs one of his comfy rock friends invites everyone to set up a rock friend of their own. This separates Laban's land from Jacob's land. They solve their problems like bad roommates.

Chapter 32:

Jacob goes back to his family's land. He sends a message out to Esau to let him know he's back. Esau sends a message back that he will meet Jacob with 400 men. This concerns Jacob since Esau has a lot to be angry for and might murder Jacob and all his people. Jacob splits his people into two so that way only one half dies. You're cool with that right Jacob's slaves? Oh right it doesn't matter if you're cool with that.

Jacob sends a gift to Esau of just a whole bunch of animals as a peace offering. I also get people food when I think they might be mad at me. Jacob then sends his family away for safety. Then...something I don't really understand happens. Jacob meets a stranger and wrestles with him...all night? Then there's some...thigh action?

"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh."

...so that happens.

Maybe I just have a dirty mind. Maybe it doesn't go down like I'm picturing it at all. Let's google image that:

Totally platonic. 

 When the sun rises the stranger comes to his senses and is all "stop touching me." And Jacob's all "no silly not 'til you bless me." Jacob is very aggressive when it comes to negotiating with higher powers. The stranger asks Jacob what his name is. When Jacob tells his name, the stranger's all "No, no you're Israel now." This is the type of person who immediately forces nicknames on people. He gives him this name because it means prince. "You're such a prince let's wrestle some more." Jacob asks his name but we don't find out because reasons. Jacob name's the wrestling place "Peniel" which uh sounds a lot like...uh. I'm just going to say it. Penis. It sounds like penis. Jacob wants to commemorate his thigh touching wrestling experience by naming a place a name that sounds like penis. There. Said it. As Jacob moves along, the sun rises and stops at his thigh, specifically the hollow of Jacob's thigh. SYMBOLISM. Probably.

Chapter 33: 

As the sun rises, Jacob sees Esau and his 400 men approaching. He bows to his brother 7 times. Esau runs and gives his brother a big old bear hug. They kiss and weep. Esau's excited to meet Jacob's family like the big goofy uncle you'd picture Thor to be. Then Esau's all "what's with all the animals you sent me?" Jacob: "Because I was a royal prick." Esau: "Don't even worry about it. Take your walking food back." Jacob: "No you keep it." Esau: "No. No. I insist." This goes on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Genesis Chapter 28-30

Heya people,

1. Sorry for the lack of bible blogging last week. I was sick and incapable of doing much more than napping and eating.

2. I will make up for this by posting 2X this week. Today and Thursday (Fridayish for my Korea bound friends).

3. I am bad with technology but have recently figured out how to add a follow button. It was strenuous. So if you'd like to follow the blog (you should) press the blue "Join this site" button to the left side below the blog summary...near the top of the page. Ok now to the bible.

Chapter 28:

Jacob's not allowed to marry foreign chicks. Part of Isaac's blessing was for him to go off and marry his cousin. So he goes off to do that. Back to ADD Esau who gets side tracked from murdering his thieving brother with thoughts of marriage. Esau unfortunately missed out on the privilege of marrying a cousin. He is faced with the burden of marrying foreign chicks instead. So he goes and does that.  

Poor poor Esau. 
Back to Jacob who...is taking a nap.  He takes a nap using a nice rock pillow that used to be all the rage in those days.

Jacob then has a trippy dream sequence where he sees a ladder to heaven. Cue the Led Zeppelin soundtrack. Jacob sees angels doing angely things. One of the angels assures Jacob that he's going to have outstanding seed so long as he continues with his family's tradition of serving God. Sperm and the removal of foreskin is very important to these people. The assurance of robust seed is important at a time when all the women who aren't slaves are barren.  After Jacob wakes up, he names the area he saw the ladder in "Bethel" which means House of God. There you go. You learned something.

Jacob isn't as fully satisfied with the God pact as Abraham or Isaac once were. He's wily. He wants God to sweeten the deal. He agrees to not only worship God, but he'll even throw in 10% of his earnings if God throws in some food and clothes. God accepts said deal. This is during a time when negotiating your worship of God in exchange for material goods was acceptable.

Chapter 29:

Jacob continues on his cousin marrying quest when he comes across some sheep surrounding a well. The poor sheep can't get any water because there's a rock blocking the well mouth. Jacob gets all heroic and tells the sheep they are his brethren (maybe there were people around but I prefer to think he was talking to the sheep). He tells the sheep not to worry and removes the big rock all by himself. Robust God blessed sperm gives you super strength.

Jacob meets a pastoral hottie named Rachel who is luckily(?) his cousin. The outcome is very different from Arrested Development; he is in fact encouraged to follow through with this attraction. Jacob makes a deal with Rachel's father, his uncle Laban, that he will work for 7 years in exchange for Rachel's hand in marriage. Laban's a little shifty and after the 7 years, gives Jacob his older daughter Leah instead. Jacob is very displeased but in all fairness, maybe Jacob should have bothered to look at his new wife's face before consummating the marriage.

They strike up another deal. Jacob offers another 7 years of service for Rachel to be his second, simultaneous wife. Laban agrees but is so generous that he lets Jacob go ahead and take Rachel as his wife while serving the 7 years, because ovaries have an expiration date.

Jacob of course gives Rachel more attention in the marriage triangle. God takes pity on Leah so decides to make Rachel barren and gives Leah a super uterus. Leah has a bagillion sons.

Chapter 30: 

Rachel gets jealous of Leah's super uterus. God changes his mind about Rachel and "harkened to her, and opened her womb."  God does a lot of womb opening in these chapters, yet doesn't have to pay any child support. Rachel and Leah have their own baby making olympics that even includes their handmaids. Luckily, Jacob has an unlimited supply of super sperm and what must be the stamina of a wild stallion. Just about all the babies are boys; this family's going to be a real sausage fest.

When every woman involved in this orgy of a marriage has enough kids to start their own basketball team, Jacob decides it's time to move away from Laban; he asks for his wages and his freedom. Laban wants to continue to reap the benefits of secondhand God blessing from Jacob. Jacob points out that Laban has a lot more than before Jacob came but now it's time for Jacob to move on and provide for his own enormous nuclear family.

Laban asks what Jacob wants as payment. As mentioned before Jacob is wily so he comes up with a wily arrangement. He suggests that he gets all the spotted and speckled cattle and goats and brown sheep. Laban tries to be tricky once again and removes all the spotted and speckled from the flocks and hides them with his sons. But Jacob has a trick up his sleeve.

"And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chestnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink."

So uh...looking at speckled sticks makes animals conceive speckled babies? I guess? It's uh it's psychology.