Posting will be scarce here this week, as I focus on the anniversary of Colin Powell's fateful UN presentation on 2/5/03, and the historic failure of the American news media to unveil it for the hoax that it was.
In the coming week, I'll be christening a new site called "Day of Shame" where fellow citizens can share their recollections of the run-up to the Iraq war and their thoughts about how we can learn from this disaster.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
1And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.And this is The Good Book?
2And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
3And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
4And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
5And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
6And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
7And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter: which thing ought not to be done.
8And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
9And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.
10And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.
11And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
12Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
13And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
14And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
15But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;
16Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
17But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.
18And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
19And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.
20And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,
21These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.
22Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
23Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of their's be our's? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
24And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
25And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
26And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
27The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.
28They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,
29And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
30And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.
31And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?
- A girl gets raped (that's bad)
- The rapist loves her (that's too fucking bad for him — he's still a goddamn rapist)
- His father wants to merge the two tribes with a mass wedding (that's not what you do when your son rapes someone)
- The girl's father lies, to avoid offending the rapist's dad (that's kind of chickenshit; how about "He raped my daughter, asshole, buzz off!")
- The lie gets all the males in the rapist's city to cut off their foreskins (that's kind of unfair, to punish one guy by inflicting genital pain on a city full of innocent men)
- The girl's brothers slaughter every male and take all their stuff and their daughters (there's some biblical justice for you)
- The brothers explain it to their dad, gangsta-style — "We gonna let them treat our sista like a ho?" (that's a pretty weak-ass justification for killing all those other men, stealing their stuff, and absconding with their women)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.This is a rare decent moment in Genesis, as Esau proves a much bigger man than Jacob. Makes you wonder why God favored the latter, eh?
2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.
9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.
10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.
11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
13 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.
17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.
19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.
20 And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael.
My favorite site for Bible reading, http://bibledev.azaz.com, has been down for the last couple of days.
I do hope the LORD hasn't executed great vengeance on them.
In the mean time, and perhaps for all time, formatting of quoted passages will change slightly.
I do hope the LORD hasn't executed great vengeance on them.
In the mean time, and perhaps for all time, formatting of quoted passages will change slightly.
Monday, January 22, 2007
1And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.It's a relief to see that Jacob sees that he's unworthy of the blessings that God has given him.
2And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
3And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
4And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:
5And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.
6And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.
7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;
8And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
9And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
11Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
12And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
13And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;
14Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,
15Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.
16And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove.
17And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?
18Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.
19And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.
20And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.
21So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
22And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
23And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
31And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
32Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.
The wrestling match is a little mystery. With whom did Jacob wrestle? Was it God? Esau? A player to be named later?
He says he saw the face of God, which I'm not sure he did before, and he asked the unnamed grappler to bless him, so I'll assume this means the former, but I'd have to figure God could have kicked Jacob's ass if he wanted to. Plus, he does the old renaming bit, turning the con artist formerly known as Jacob into "Israel."
At the end of this sports report, we get a dining tip:
Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.Is this the book of Random?
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
1And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory.This whole sordid saga reminds me of Blood Simple, where everyone was such a shithead, it was hard to develop much rooting interest.
2And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.
3And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.
4And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock,
5And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me.
6And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.
7And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.
8If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked.
9Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.
10And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.
11And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.
12And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.
13I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.
14And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?
15Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.
16For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.
17Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
18And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.
19And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's.
20And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.
21So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.
22And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.
23And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.
24And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
25Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.
26And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?
27Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?
28And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.
29It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
30And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?
31And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.
32With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
33And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.
34Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.
35And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched but found not the images.
36And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?
37Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.
38This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.
39That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.
40Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
41Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.
42Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.
43And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?
44Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
45And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
46And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
47And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.
48And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;
49And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
50If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.
51And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee:
52This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.
53The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.
54Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.
55And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.
Laban tricked Jacob into marrying the wrong daughter, before he let him also marry the right daughter, and now we find he was gypping him on his wages. Jacob's whole mission in Laban's neighborhood stemmed from his own trickery, and while he was working for Laban, he kept his own cattle healthy and he let his boss/uncle/father-in-law's cattle wither. God, it seems, played a role in helping sneaky Jacob get the lion's share of Laban's herd.
I'm confused by verse #31. Jacob seems to be confessing to taking Laban's "gods" (idols). That's before he says the thief must die (not knowing that the culprit was Rachel).
Odd that the punishment for stealing graven images should be so severe....
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
1And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.Holy moly! Wall-to-wall sex in this unwholesome little tale.
2And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
3And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.
4And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
5And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.
6And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.
7And Bilhah Rachel's maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son.
8And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.
9When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife.
10And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a son.
11And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad.
12And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a second son.
13And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
14And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes.
15And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes.
16And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
17And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
18And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.
19And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.
20And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.
21And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
22And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
23And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:
24And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.
25And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.
26Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.
27And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.
28And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.
29And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.
30For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?
31And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock.
32I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.
33So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.
34And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.
35And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons.
36And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.
37And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
38And 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.
39And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.
40And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle.
41And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods.
42But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.
43And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.
We have a double-dose of the old "take my handmaid, please" routine here, with the added freaky twist of Rachel wanting to feel she's in on the action by having her handmaid deliver her husband's baby onto her knees.
Also, God reverses his decision to make Rachel barren, because what could be more righteous than to "wrestle" your sister for the right to have your cousin's babies... by making your servant sleep with him?
When Leah "left bearing," she keeps the baby parade going by giving her handmaiden to Jacob, too. And, what do you know? Leah starts crankin' them out again.
So, now three times barren women have had their husbands screw their handmaidens, and all three times they've been rewarded with a return to fertility. 'Tis a fair god.
BTW, mandrake is an herb, once thought to be an aphrodisiac. In one translation, Genesis 30:15 is:
But Leah said to her, Is it a small thing that you have taken my husband from me? and now would you take my son's love-fruits? Then Rachel said, You may have him tonight in exchange for your son's love-fruits.I hate to second-guess Mr. Bible Writer Man, but that doesn't sound exactly proper.
I got a bit lost in the description of how Jacob used the rods to ensure that his cattle were robust and his father-in-law / uncle Laban's were feeble, but it sounds par for the course for the guy who twice cheated his brother out of his birthright.
Monday, January 15, 2007
If you thought Isaac was a bit dotty for, while on his deathbed, not seeing through his son's disguise, how about the latter falling for the ol' switcheroo in the marital bed?
1Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.
2And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well's mouth.
3And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well's mouth in his place.
4And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we.
5And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him.
6And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.
7And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.
8And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep.
9And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep; for she kept them.
10And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
11And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
12And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father.
13And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.
14And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month.
15And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?
16And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
17Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
18And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
19And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
20And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
21And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
22And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
23And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.
24And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.
25And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?
26And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
27Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
30And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
31And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
32And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.
33And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.
34And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.
35And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.
So, kids, what have you learned from this lesson?
That's right, if you have two daughters, marry them both off to the same cousin, through a combination of trickery and barter. God will punish the innocent one by making her infertile.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
1And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.Isaac calls Jacob and blesses him. Or is he really calling Esau, since that's the one he intended to bless last time around?
2Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughers of Laban thy mother's brother.
3And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
4And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.
5And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
6When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughers of Canaan;
7And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padanaram;
8And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;
9Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.
10And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
11And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
16And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
17And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
18And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
19And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
20And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
21So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
22And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Hmm, is there a version of the Bible that's been cleansed of redundancies and continuity gaffes?
Anyway, Isaac beseeches Jacob to go find a first-cousin to marry. This guy can't tell his sons apart, and yet he's supposed to be listened to about stuff like this?
Esau marries a more distant cousin, his grandfather Abraham's grand-daughter, from the Hagar side of the family tree. Seems like black sheep meets black sheep. Could be interesting.
In verse #12, we hear of Jacob's ladder, a dream of a man-made shortcut between Earth and Heaven (shades of the cursed Tower of Babel), and God stands at the top spouting his usual spiel about how the descendents of Abraham will multiply, be blessed, be given lands, etc. Same ol', same ol'.
Other editions translate "dreadful" as "awe-inspring," which makes a little more sense if Bethel / Luz is supposed to be hallowed ground. Even so, I'd like a little more evidence than a guy who just woke up saying so before I'm convinced that it's the "House of God."
Jacob offers the LORD a deal: give me food and clothes, and you'll be my God and I'll give you a tenth of the action.
At first I couldn't figure what's in that for God.
Well.. what qualifies as a gift from God? If Jacob earns or otherwise gets something in an earthly manner, does God get the credit? In that case, and if God isn't actually doing anything, then he's got a sweet deal going.
Now, how does God collect the vig? Do angelic bag men make the rounds?
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
1And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.Well, first things first. I don't know if this is the best quote in the Bible, but it's clearly the winner thus far: "I am a smooth man." A man needs a motto, and you can't do much better than Genesis 27:11.
2And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
3Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
4And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
5And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
6And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,
7Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
8Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
9Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:
10And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
11And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
12My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
13And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
14And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
15And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
16And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
17And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
19And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
20And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.
21And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
22And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
23And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.
24And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
25And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank.
26And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
27And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:
28Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
29Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
30And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.
32And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
33And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
34And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
35And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
36And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
37And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
38And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
39And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
40And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
41And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
42And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.
43Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;
44And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away;
45Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?
46And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?
A lot of intrigue in this one.
As his name suggests, Jacob ("supplanter") is a regular Cousin Clem, born nipping at his brother's ankles, conniving away his birthright, and then sealing the deal by executing his mother's sneaky plan to, well, connive away Esau's birthright.
They say that the Greeks and Romans didn't have a word for zero. I wonder, did the Canaanites have a word for "redundancy"?
Monday, January 8, 2007
1And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.God's starting to sound like one of those compulsive Monty Python characters who can't stop repeating themselves.
2And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
3Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
4And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
5Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
6And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:
7And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.
8And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.
9And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife; and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
10And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.
11And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
12Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
13And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
14For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
15For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.
16And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.
17And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
18And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
19And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
20And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.
21And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.
22And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
23And he went up from thence to Beersheba.
24And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.
25And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.
26Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.
27And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?
28And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee;
29That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD.
30And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.
31And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
32And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water.
33And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day.
34And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
35Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
Every few pages he barges in, promising Abraham or his descendents that they'll multiply and be given nations, etc., etc.
And now for something else completely the same, Isaac's doing his dad's old pretend-my-wife-is-my-sister con.
Amazingly, Abimelech seems not to notice that AbeScam is being worked on him again.
What's really up with this third repetition of this story? Was it a popular folk tale, and the Bible's show runner didn't do a good job coordinating the plot lines across multiple writers?
Also, why would the Philistines envy someone chosen by God and given shitloads of stuff? How small-minded of them.
Saturday, January 6, 2007
1Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.Playing favorites is a recurring motif. God favored Noah and family, He favored Lot and family (his salty wife notwithstanding), and then He favored Abraham, it seems, most of all.
2And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
3And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
4And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
5And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
6But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
7And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
8Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
9And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;
10The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
11And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi.
12Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham:
13And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,
14And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa,
15Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah:
16These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.
17And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.
18And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren.
19And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac:
20And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
21And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
22And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
23And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
24And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
26And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
27And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
28And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
31And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
Further, Sarah and Isaac are treated a heck of a lot better than Hagar and Ishmael. Sometimes Isaac is referred to as Abraham's only son, and the only good shake we've seen Ishmael get is some water when he was about to be left for dead as an infant.
Here Isaac gets all of Abraham's inheritance, even as a new wife and six kids enter the picture. Oh, and Abraham's concubines and the children he had with them, they get stiffed, too, except for some "gifts."
Isaac and Rebekah's twins continue the tradition, as Jacob is chosen by God to be favored over his slightly older (and redder and hairier) brother, Esau.
Also, Isaac prefers Esau because he eats deer meat; Rebekah seems to have no such sound reason for preferring the other son.
So far, we're seeing material wealth and God's blessings go hand in hand, as Isaac gets the Lord's blessing, as well as all of Abraham's riches. As if that weren't enough, Jacob talks Esau into giving up whatever special privileges he had as firstborn.
It's no wonder Republicans love this book so.
Friday, January 5, 2007
1And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.Before they invented shaking hands on a deal there was "Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh." I'll bet "Getting to Yes" was a tad harder back then.
2And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
3And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
4But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
5And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
6And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
8And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.
9And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.
10And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.
11And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.
12And he said O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.
13Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:
14And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.
15And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
16And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
17And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.
18And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.
19And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.
20And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.
21And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
22And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;
23And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?
24And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor.
25She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.
26And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.
27And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren.
28And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things.
29And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.
30And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.
31And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.
32And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him.
33And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
34And he said, I am Abraham's servant.
35And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.
36And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath.
37And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
38But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.
39And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
40And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house:
41Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.
42And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:
43Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;
44And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master's son.
45And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.
46And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
47And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, the daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.
48And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son.
49And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
51Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken.
52And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.
53And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
54And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.
55And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
56And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
57And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
58And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
59And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men.
60And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
61And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
62And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country.
63And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.
64And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
65For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.
66And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
67And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
On the other hand (the one not under another man's thigh), when a guy shows up and says he's the slave of God's chosen one, so please send your daughter to back with me and marry his son, they didn't need a lot of convincing.
Peradventure Rebekah and family knew that Abraham was a made man. After all, it's her first cousin, once-removed she's marrying.
Apropos of a comment by Anonymous, here's an etymologist's take on the thigh thing:
In the book of Genesis there are several passages in which a man who is taking an oath puts his hand "under the thigh" of the man to whom he is swearing: "And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house...Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the Lord...." The Hebrew word in this passage is yarek, which means 'thigh' throughout the Old Testament. My Biblical expert says that this ritual seems to come from the idea that the thigh is the locus of power, probably because it's near the genitals. He also notes that some modern interpreters of the Bible envision it as a swearing on the genitals, with "under the thigh" being a euphemism which goes all the way back to the Hebrew.
I think it is very likely that these Biblical passages are the source of the popular notion that testify derived from testicle.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Not too much to report on here: Abraham picks a burial plot for the Mrs., and he has the good manners to insist on paying.
1And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.
2And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
3And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,
4I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.
5And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him,
6Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.
7And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.
8And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,
9That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you.
10And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,
11Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.
12And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.
13And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.
14And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,
15My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.
16And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.
17And the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure
18Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.
19And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.
20And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
1And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.This famous incident is one of the darkest parts of our journey so far.
2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
15And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
19So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
20And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;
21Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,
22And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.
23And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
24And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.
Spin it if you will, but the following are quite clear:
- The Biblical God wants people to be willing to murder their own children for him
- Abraham, hero of three world religions, is happy to oblige
- God calls Isaac Abraham's only son. So much for him looking out for Ishmael, conceived when Abraham fucked his wife's slave, Hagar.
Maybe Dena Schlosser had the same kind of faith when she sang the hymn "He Touched Me" while she cut off her baby's arms.
If this is holiness, praise be to the sinners.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
1And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.Well, well, well. They say never write a chapter of the Bible when you're thirsty, because you'll write about nothing but well water.
2For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
3And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
4And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
6And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
7And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.
8And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
9And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
10Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
11And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.
12And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
13And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
14And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
16And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
17And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
18Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.
19And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
20And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
21And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
22And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:
23Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
24And Abraham said, I will swear.
25And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.
26And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing; neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.
27And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
28And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
29And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
30And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
31Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.
32Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
33And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
34And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.
What's notable here is that after God lets Hagar — the handmaid used by Abram and Sarai for babymaking — and her infant get so thirsty that she leaves the little one to die in the bushes, he comes through with a magically appearing well. Finally we see a little mercy from the all-powerful one!
I hope we'll see more of the same, because after killing everybody with that flood and wiping out whole cities and shit, he's still got some 'splaining to do.
Monday, January 1, 2007
1And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.Abra(ha)m is back to his old my-wife-is-my-sister tricks.
2And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
3But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.
4But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, LORD, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
5Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
6And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
7Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
8Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.
9Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.
10And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
11And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.
12And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
13And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
14And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
15And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.
16And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.
17So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.
18For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
This time, there's no doubt that God leans on the mark (with the Corleonesque "You're a dead man" threat to Abimelech and his nation). Once again, the shakedown victim never does touch the lady, and in fear he ponies up some fabulous parting gifts for God's favorite couple/threesome.
The story goes all Chinatown with the revelation that Sarai/Sarah is Abe's sister and his wife.
To punish Abimelech for being the unwitting stooge of the wife/sister scam, the great and merciful LORD renders all the women in his household sterile (though Abraham does manage to convince the font of all goodness in the world to show them a little mercy).
Tell me, what kind of person draws inspiration from such a tale or would pray to such a God?