Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ruth 1-2

This section of the book is titled Ruth. A woman has a name? AND her name is in the title? I want to be excited about it but I assume horrible things will happen to Ruth. 

Chapter 1:

The chapter opens to tell us we're still in the time of Judges,so in a way, we haven't escaped that section of the book and possibly never will.

Elimelek a simple man just trying to raise his family during a time period when the government sanctions kidnapping for diplomatic purposes, lived in Bethlehem with his wife, Naomi, and his two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. 

But there's a famine in Bethlehem and the schools PTA is really intense, so Elimelek takes his family to Moab.

Let's visualize this family so you can care when bad things happen to them:

Picture this but with more famine. 

Elimelek dies in some way that is not mentioned.  

Oh, Elimelek we hardly knew ye.

Naomi raises her two sons alone which is rough but at least they're slightly less likely to be kidnapped. 

Mahlon and Kilion get married...soooo picture them as slightly older than the above photo. Their new wives are Orpah and Ruth. They spend an adjective-less ten years together.

Then, the two sons die. No. No the book does not explain how. 

Oh, interchangeable sons who didn't matter. We hardly knew ye.

Wait. Is this book about to give us a story about women and only women? AND they ALL get names?!

Please don't get kidnapped please don't get kidnapped please don't get kidnapped

Naomi decides to head back home after hearing the famine is over. Her daughter-in-laws want to come with her. Naomi tells them politely that they should go home to their parents. Orpah and Ruth insist on coming with her. Naomi then gives them a reality check.

"Am I going to have any more sons, who would become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for meeven if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sonswould you wait until they grew up?"

Women can only hang out if they're married to each other's male relatives. This book is failing the Bechtel test pretty hard. 

This convinces Orpah not Oprah to give up and return to her family. Ruth isn't convinced. She doesn't need a man to hang out with Naomi. Ruth is the most progressive person in this book and also potentially in love with Naomi. 

"Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me." 

No one has ever loved their mother in law this much. 

The two of them go on a road trip to Bethlehem where Naomi insists on nicknaming herself:

"Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter."

Naomi has been listening to a lot of Morrissey albums. 

Chapter 2:

Ruth goes to work in the field picking up leftover grains to sell, when a man named Boaz notices her. 

"Who does that young woman belong to?"

Boaz makes a move with his unparalleled flirting skills:

"Hey daughter,"

Hey daddy.

"I have told the men not to lay a hand on you."

The other women are totally fair game, but you girl, you're special.  

"And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled."

Remember dumb woman, when you get thirsty, drink water. 

Ruth is into it. She falls at his feet and asks 

"How have i found such favor in your eyes?"

Boaz heard what she did for Naomi so she gets that special treatment: water and going unassaulted. 

The flirting continues, at meal time he shares bread and dipping sauces with her. He secretly tells the men not to yell at her and to help her by essentially doing the work for her without her knowing it. 

Awww how sweet, he doesn't think she's capable of working. What a romantic story of mutual respect. I'll stick with the Samson romance of multiple wives actively trying to murder him thank you.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Judges 21

Good news. This is the last chapter of Judges.

Bad news. My head hurts from the amount of stupidity I had to read in this chapter.

In the last chapter, the Israelites went to war with the Benjamites (who are also Israelites) and win. It took them three tries. They outnumbered the Benjamites by hundreds of thousands...but it took them three tries.

The Israelites vowed to never let their daughters marry the Benjamites, which is fair because some Benjamite men raped and murdered a woman and the rest of the Benjamites stood by those men. Still, the Israelites feel really bad about the whole thing because they've already forgotten about the raped and dismembered woman. The Benjamites aren't such bad guys. They were just drunk. This one act doesn't represent who they are. They're really good swimmers. Don't be such a nag okay?

The Israelites can't bear the thought of their fellows Israelites, the Benjamites dying off. A whole Israelite tribe gone forever? It's unthinkable. Though, they can't possibly break their vow. Their solution? The dumbest thing you're going to hear today, provided you do not read about any current events.

The Israelites also made a vow to kill any tribe that did not help them in the war against the Benjamites. Jabesh Gilead did not help in the war. So...

The Israelites decide...wait for kill everyone in the Jabesh Gilead tribe (except for the virgin girls) in order to give wives to the Benjamites...the people they went to war with. They can't stand the thought of an Israelite tribe dying they kill off another one instead. They are killing their own people who didn't help them to kill the people they were at war with in order to help the people they were at war with. 

That's like...if I got into a fight with my brother because my brother was being a total dick.One of my sisters wanted no part in the violence, so she sits it out. Then, later, I feel bad about fighting with my brother....even though he shows no remorse and I was totally justified in fighting him in the first place but I feel bad about it anyway and I just want to get along again. So my solution is to MURDER my sister to make my dick brother feel better.

Wait guys. It get dumber.

After giving the Jabesh Gilead virgins to the Benjamites like a non-consensual fruit basket, they realize there still aren't enough wives for them. Solution? Kidnap more virgins.

The Israelites tell the Benjamites to go to Shiloh where there is a festival of women (probably little girls) dancing to get a husband. Dancing is a very important skill, some say, the foundation of a marriage.

The Israelites can't break their vow and just LET the Benjamites marry any other Israelites, but the Benjamites can kidnap the women (little girls) from another Israelite tribe. You see, these men wouldn't want to break their vows and lose their promote kidnapping women (little girls)...women (little girls) in their own tribes...

The Benjamites hide in the bushes, watch the dancing, then kidnap the women (little girls). When the fathers of  the women (little girls) come to complain about it, this is what the other Israelites tell them:

"Do us the favor of helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war. You will not be guilty of breaking your oath because you did not give your daughters to them."

TLDR: The Israelite method of arguing

It works. The plan works. All these honorable bros agree on the loophole and little girls continue to get passed around to their own war mongering cousins.

End of Judges.

Have a nice day.