Sunday, October 4, 2009


Just a quick note here, I didn't have a bible after I left my husband (go figure). I believe I will be accessing it online and hopefully continuing these posts. Since ishie is the only one who reads it, i guess this message is for her alone. Hope your presentation went well, chica! yay nyc!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Genesis chapter 31 v. 1-55

Jacob heard his brothers-in-law talking. They were saying things like, 'hey, you know that Jacob, he's pretty wealthy now, and it's all because of our father Laban.' This of course, was true. It made Jacob nervous, though. He was a shifty person, and shify people get nervous easily. Also, Laban was acting differently towards him.

So then god said to Jacob, why don't you go back to your home now? I'm sure Esau isn't mad anymore. I'll be with you. It'll be fine.

So he met with his two wives out in the fields and told them that their father was acting funny. He told them he'd worked for a long time and their father hadn't given him a fair shake. But he figured he was still okay because he was being watched over by god, and that god made it so that if Laban told him to take the speckled offspring all the offspring that year were speckled.

So that's a bit contradictory. I mean, in the last chapter Jacob did some mystical genetics meddling to make sure he got all the offspring. Now he tells his wives that it was god that made his flock so large. Now he tells them that god took away their father's flock and gave it to him. History being rewritten as we read.

Boy, Jacob was on a tear in this sililoquy. He goes on to say that he once had this dream during breeding season where he saw speckled goats mating with the flock, and that in the dream god pointed this out to him and said, look at all the speckled males mating in the flock. God then told him to leave and go back to his native land.

Rachel and Leah listened to this and told him that they no longer have any share in their inheritance anyway. They reasoned that since the dowry for their marriage was paid in manhours, all the wealth that Jacob had accumulated was owed to them.

Then they said: "So do whatever God has told you." Since it's in our best interest.

So Jacob got everyone together, his two wives, two maidservants, twelve children, and however many manservants he had, and, driving the livestock ahead of them, left. Before this, Rachel waited until her father went out shearing and stole all his household gods. For some reason. I imagine her snickering when she does it.

Three days after their departure Laban noticed they were gone. Hey I need to borrow a cup of sugar. . . where IS everyone?!? He gathered his relatives and went after Jacob. But god came to him in a dream in transit and told him, don't say anything to Jacob! Good or bad! Ah, the specificity.

Well, Laban caught up with Jacob in Gilead, which is some beautiful grazing land north of the Dead Sea. Laban, completely disregarding what god told him, because Laban had had his own gods stolen from him, told Jacob off.

What? What is this? You left without a word! Boy are you shifty! This is half my family you have with you, I wanted to say goodbye! You know, I'd knock you flat but that scary god of yours told me last night not to. But you know, I noticed all my household idols are missing. Coincidence? Do you have them?

Jacob, not knowing what Rachel had done, told Laban he didn't have his stupid gods. And that they were ugly anyway. He said, go on and look for them here, if you love them so much why don't you marry them?

So Laban looked through everyone's tents. When he got to Rachel's tent she was sitting on her camel's saddle, probably trying to look nonchalant. The idols were in the saddle. She said, oh, daddy! How good to see you! I would get up to hug you but you know, I'm on my period. (Geeze I wish I'd made that last bit up.) So Laban didn't find his household gods. Wonder how hard they were to come by.

Jacob was pretty steamed. Didn't find them did you?!? You should know I'm not a common theif! I'm an uncommon theif! Are you happy?

Boy this next soliloquy is great, he went on to tell Laban, oh I've worked for you for TWENTY YEEEEARS! And you've changed my wages TEEEEEENNNNNN TIIIIIIMMMEEESS! And I've never eaten rams from your flock! And you always wanted me to cover for anything that was stolen, and I DID! "The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes." If it hadn't been for god you probably would have turned me out into the STREEEEEETTT!!! But now god has finally spoken to you on my behalf!

Laban answered evenly, yeah, but everything that surrounds you is mine. Seriously. My daughters, my grandchildren, my flocks, my camels. . . probably my tents and tent poles. Everything you have is what you've taken from me. You owe your wealth to me and your own avarice, not god.

Which is true.

But Laban didn't want any trouble, after all. They made a covenant there, in front of a pile of rocks. That he would not follow any farther, that they would not harm each other. I think that Laban realizes finally that if his daughters have a shrewd husband they'll probably do well in life. He left the next morning after giving half his family a kiss and a hug.

I think it's understated here how desolate it might be for someone to leave without saying goodbye. I think of Laban as this wily kind of snarky uncle. But good natured. And he is shocked and hurt when that many people leave unannounced. And it's Jacob's fault. But he must realize eventually that he brought some of it on himself, being wily, and he now must come to terms with the fact that he was okay with Jacob marrying his daughters even though one day he knew they must all leave, probably for good. No wonder he kept cheating and hemming and hawing on the subject. He's human.

Jacob should have been a little less of a bastard about things, though, that much is obvious. He's a coward that only stands up when his back is against the wall. And his head is getting bigger now he thinks he has god on his side.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Genesis Chapter 30 v.1-41

There was a mad-cap romantic comedy afoot in Jacob's household:

Rachel was pretty upset that her ugly sister Leah was getting all the attention with her children, and Rachel didn't have any in the oven. So she gave Jacob her maidservant. How thoughtful.

Jacob had a son by Billah the maidservant. Rachel was happy. She claimed it was god's doing that produced a son for her. Sure.

Billah became pregnant with a second son by Jacob. These proxy sons of Rachel's were named Dan and Naphtali.

Leah also thought this was a good idea, and gave Jacob her maidservant, Zilpah. Suddenly the Benny Hill music is playing in my head. Zilpah bore Jacob two sons also, named Gad and Asher.

So, if we're keeping score, it seems Leah is still winning. Even with the proxy children Rachel was down 2, and now she'd been bested in that game as well.

Then one of Leah's sons brings her some mandrake root. Mandrake root, as I'm sure you all know, is supposed to induce pregnancy when eaten (by women, anyway). Ostensibly this is because it resembles the lower half of a man. Oh, the jokes that surely abound (see also: that's what she said).

So Rachel tried to get Leah to give her some of the mandrake root and Leah said, sure, if you give me Jacob for the night. Rachel agreed and Leah went out to meet Jacob when he came in from the fields, saying something like 'drop 'em hubby I've bought you off.'

Leah became pregnant three more times, two boys and a girl. Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah. She still wanted her husband's respect, but I'm pretty sure buying his affections with tubers was probably not helping her case.

Finally, as if awoken from a nap, God entered the picture and opened Rachel's womb. Right after she ate mandrake root. God is also not helping himself in the respect department. Here he even fails in the causality department.

So Rachel named her son Joseph, and then immediately asked for another son.

Meanwhile, Jacob was still trying to get the F out of D. He was arguing with Laban about the work he'd done, and that he was no longer his indentured servant, and that he wanted to take his family back to his home. Laban was having none of it. He knew how well things were going with Jacob's free labour, and also, he was probably having fun watching the sitcom that was unfolding next door. Eight's company and all that.

Laban wanted to know what Jacob needed. Just name your price and stay. Jacob, being a shrewd bastard, decided to tell Laban that he'd like to glean a herd of his own from Laban's flocks, but would only take those sheep and goats that were speckled or dark-coloured. Laban agreed. He separated the flocks then left.

While he was gone, Jacob decided to put some branches into the water troughs where the sheep drank. Branches he had made magical by cutting them with white lines. The sheep mated at the troughs and presto! They had spotted offspring.

Once again, the bible is NOT a place I go when I want to study genetics.

This actually worked, according to the bible. Jacob made himself a nice little flock when Laban was gone. Also, he made sure the stronger couples were the ones mating in front of the branches. So his speckled flock was stronger. So they understood at least THAT much.

So Jacob became very rich and prosperous off of cheating his father-in-law and performing some magical genetics rituals. The End.

I don't really see the point of this chapter. Comic relief? How to get a piebald sheep?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Genesis Chapter 29 v. 1-35

Jacob got to Paddan Aram and there was a well with a huge stone over it, and the shepherds were gathering their flocks around it to water them.

Jacob asked the shepherds if they knew Laban and they said, oh yeah. Here comes his daughter Rachel with his herds.

Jacob looked and saw a lovely shepherdess, and he rolled the stone off the well just for her. Then he introduced himself, and for some reason began to cry. She was a sight for sore eyes! His cousin!

Jacob stayed at Laban's place. After he was there a while, helping with the flocks, Laban asked him if he'd like to be paid for his work. Jacob told him that he wanted to marry Rachel and Laban said, okay, well, you'll have to work for seven years for that. Sounds like Laban was trying to deter Jacob a little, huh? Jacob worked for seven years.

At the end of seven years they had a wedding feast and got really really really drunk. I mean blotto. Went to the wedding suite and got it on big time! Woo!

When Jacob woke up and rolled over to stare into his bride's eyes, who the hell was THAT?!?!? It was Leah, Rachel's older, homelier sister. WTF?!?

Yeah, Laban pulled a fast one. Those deceit genes were strong in that screwed up family.

Jacob went to Laban and asked him for Rachel, but Laban told him, oh you know we don't give the younger girl in marriage before the older one, I thought you understood all that. But you can have Rachel now if you work seven more years.

So Jacob got two wives, and he was only into one of them. Also, he worked for seven more years.

God noticed that Jacob married this girl Leah and didn't give a toss about her. So he deliberately fucked with the situation by making Leah fertile and Rachel barren. So Leah had four sons by Jacob, Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah.

Genesis Chapter 28 v.1-22

So Rebekah's nagging ploy worked because Isaac sent for Jacob and told him to go pick a wife from among his uncle Laban's children, otherwise your mother will kill herself.

Esau found out how much his parents hated the Hittites (also referred to as the Canaanites) and promptly married one of Ishmael's daughters for good measure. Her name was Mahalath. This was 'in addition to the wives he already had.'

Polygamy, in case anyone was wondering, is a-okay according to the bible.

On the way to Paddan Aram Jacob 'stopped for the night because the sun had set.' Could be one of the stupidest phrases I've ever read. He rested his head on a comfortable stone and had a dream that heaven's gates were opened and a tall staircase descended from there upon which a dazzling array of angels were commuting up and down.

Above the staircase was god. God told Jacob that he was going to give Jacob the land where he was sleeping, famine or no famine, and that he would watch over him wherever he went. He made other familiar promises, like the increase of offspring and the peoples of the earth being blessed through him blah blah blah. Maybe god thought it was okay all the bad shit Jacob had done to his brother. All the lying and cheating and coniving. Yeah, come to think of it, that would totally be god's style.

Jacob woke up probably with an AH! Looking around himself, paranoid. Then saying aloud to no one, wow, so god. . . is. . . so there is a . . . okay. . .

He put his stone pillow on a handy nearby pillar, and consecrated it with oil. Just to hedge his bets.

Jacob vowed, okay, well, if god really does bring me back safely, and gives me food and clothes and stuff, then I guess I will believe in him. And I'll gladly give back one tenth to god what god has given me. But only if I make it home safely! And also, I want a pony.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Genesis Chapter 27 v.1-46

Isaac was getting old, and his eyesight was growing dim. He called for his older son, Esau, and told him that he would bestow on him a blessing in god's presence before he died.

Remember when Esau sold his birthright for some tasty soup? Well, maybe it'll be okay because he can get his father's blessing.

Anyway, Isaac told Esau to go hunt him some game and prepare him some tasty food and then he would give him his blessing. So Esau went out hunting.

Rebekah overheard this and told her son Jacob to go get some goats and she would prepare them, and then Jacob could get the blessing. I guess Jacob said, you don't think buying his birthright with some soup was enough? Apparently not.

So Jacob says, that's a swell plan ma, but Esau's hairy. I'm not. I know dad's eyesight sucks, but if he touches me the jig is up. And if I'm caught tricking him I'll be cursed instead of blessed.

Rebekah said, just do what I tell you.

She cooked the food, dressed Jacob up in Esau's clothes, then put goat pelts on his hands and neck (ew was Esau THAT hairy??). Jacob took the food into his father.

Isaac asked who is it? And Jacob said, Oh I'm Esau, remember? The one who sold my birthright for some soup? Come to get your blessing? I have tasty food for you!

Isaac I imagine here making a bemused face. Tasty food already? That was quick?

Jacob gave him the catch-all trump card answer: god helped me.

Isaac was still doubtful, probably because Jacob didn't SOUND like Esau, and asked Jacob to come closer so he could touch him. When he felt the goat pelts he said, oh, you sound like Jacob. But you're hairy so I guess you're Esau. Hand over that tasty food.

After he ate Isaac told Jacob to lean down for a kiss and smelled Esau's clothes and gave this general blessing:

Ah, my son smells like a field! A field god has blessed! May you have the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, and lots of grain and wine. May nations bow down to you and may you lord over your brothers blah blah blah

Thanks dad. I smell like a field.

Thus Jacob got the blessing AND the birthright. Suckers!

Esau came in with his game, unsuspecting, and made the tasty food and took it into his father. He said, hey there, wow quite a hunt. Ready for my blessing!

Isaac was surprised, I just gave you a blessing? Wait a minute. . . HEY! That was JACOB!

Esau said, oh no! First he 'tricks' me into giving him my birthright and now he's taken my blessing! What an asshole! And Isaac said, I know!

Esau asked if there was any blessing left for him, or did he use it all on Jacob. (So blessings, like matter, can neither be created nor destroyed.) Isaac said, I made him lord over you! And Esau said, Oh no! No! Come on! isn't there something you can do?

So Isaac blessed Esau like this:

May you live away from the dew of heaven which I already gave to Jacob, and away from the richness of the earth which I also gave to Jacob. You will live by the sword and your brother will lord it over you, but I suppose one day you'll shake off his yoke.

Thanks dad. You put the yoke there.

Wow, so Esau was PISSED. Isaac was about to die and everyone was preparing for the mourning that would follow, but Esau said as soon as that was over, he was going to KILL his brother. And not in the metaphorical way. And he's probably a big scary hairy man normally, so I can imagine him with an axe to grind. Against someone's head.

Rebekah told Jacob he better get the F outta D before he got hisself kilt, and Jacob went to live with her brother Laban. She told him to stay there until Esau figured out that the whole blessing thing was a bunch of hooey anyway.

She told Isaac that if Jacob had to pick a wife from among the Hittite women, 'my life will not be worth living.'

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Genesis Chapter 26 v.1-35

I just have to quote this first line, it made me laugh:

'Now there was a famine in the land--besides the earlier famine of Abraham's time'.

Oh of course. A famine. Big surprise there.

God told him preemptively not to go to Egypt, even though he was hungry, because god had promised Abraham this land and so Isaac must stay there too.

'"Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you."' As soon as this famine is over. I promise.

So he stayed. In Gerar.

Of course, while there, people asked him about the beautiful woman living with him. And he said, oh she's my sister. (I'm starting to see a general theme going with the men in this family. . . )

But one day the king Abimelech (who had the same name as the one that struck a deal with Abraham, but the translators want us to know that it's probably his grandson) looked out a window and saw Isaac and Rebekah making out. He was probably disgusted at first, until he realized he'd had the wool pulled over his eyes.

So he summoned Isaac to tell him off. What if one of the guys slept with her? What were you gonna do then? Then Abimelech made it known that no one better mess with these people because they are weird with a capital W!

After this Isaac planted some crops and they did well. He planted some more and they did even better. Isaac became very wealthy, and the Philistines around him got a bit miffed. They filled in all his wells. That's not messing with him, right? Abimelech saw the tension and told Isaac he's better move away. So Isaac moved. . . next door? He was in Gerar and he moved to the Valley of Gerar.

He began digging wells. The first two he dug the Philistines had a problem with. They wanted the water. The third well they didn't seem to care about, and Isaac was pretty happy. Wow, a well digging story. Exciting stuff.

Then when Isaac went to Beersheba the lord appeared to him saying the usual thing, I'm god, friend of your dad's blah blah blah. So Isaac built an altar there, and guess what? They dug a well.

Then Abimelech showed up, asking for a treaty. He wanted to hedge his bets, you see, because Isaac seemed to have the backing of some deity. So they ate a feast and swore an oath and everything was cool.

As an afterthought, we are told that Esau (the hairy red dude) was forty when he married Judith and Basemath, both daughters of Hittites. And that these daughters-in-law were a pain in Isaac and Rebekah's neck. How charming.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Genesis Chapter 25 v.1-34

So Sarah was gone and Abraham took another wife named Keturah. He also had some concubines. So he was old, but not dead yet ifyouknowwhatImean winkwinknudgenudge.

Anyway, Ketura bore him 6 children (whose names I don't feel like typing) from whom sprouted approximately eight nations (whose names I don't feel like typing). He gave gifts to these sons, and other unnamed sons of other unnamed concubines, and sent them away. To the east. Somewhere. Apparently Isaac was the jealous type.

So when Abraham died he was 175 years old. So I suppose it was just sort of time for him to check out. He was buried in the cave where Sarah was already interred, and you will remember that cave as being the one he purchased rightfully from the Hittites, just in case there is any misunderstanding. Isaac and his half-brother Ishmael buried him, but Abraham left everything to Isaac, and after Abraham's death god blessed Isaac, so one wonders why Ishmael even bothered.

Ishmael had twelve sons: Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. Just like god promised. And they apparently lived either 'in hostility toward' or 'to the east of' their brothers, the translators aren't sure which. Hm. That's sort of a big difference. You be the judge.
Ishmael lived to the ripe age of 137 before he died.

Isaac was forty when he married Rebekah. She was barren (?!?!?!?!) man what a downer. But never fear, because Isaac PRAYED about it, and man, when you pray about your wife being barren, as we all know, god will TOTALLY get RIGHT ON that particular problem. In like, a hundred years!

Sorry, I shouldn't pshaw so much.

Twenty years after they prayed about the barrenness problem Rebekah became pregnant. So god's time scale is improving a little. She wasn't only pregnant, either, it was with twins! Two for the price of one! They jostled inside her and she was most upset about it, so much so she went to speak with god about why he couldn't ever answer a prayer in a normal fashion. He was undoubtedly hanging around with the djinn of the east too much!

God explained that the two fetuses (fetii?) would grow apart from each other into two separate nations, and that the older would serve the younger.

Which didn't really answer her question. Which had been about HER.

So the first boy she had was a bit of a freakshow, he was covered in red hair. Like the wolfman. He was named Esau. The second son was 'grasping Esau's heel'. So they named him Jacob. Esau was good at hunting (oo killing things, god should like that) and Jacob just stayed inside.

One day, in what could be one of the lamest stories I've ever read anywhere, Esau came in from hunting and was really hungry. Jacob was making some stew and Esau asked to have some. Jacob told him to sell him his birthright first. So Esau did, and Jacob gave him some food. Which goes to show that Esau was either much stupider than Jacob or simply much hungrier. In this way Jacob got the rights and privileges of being firstborn, all for a little red stew and a crust of bread.

Where the hell was I?

Wow, I am a real bastard. There's about 2 centimetres of dust on the bible I was using. Yikes.

Anyway, here goes!

Eh, might as well put it in another post. . .