Numbers, Part Deux

Numbers 17:1

Remember how, in part one of Numbers, God was dividing the Israelites up and was having some issues because of it? Well, He isn’t done trying that approach. Just to make sure that everyone understands that Moses and Aaron are in charge, God has Moses collect a staff from the leader of each tribe. On the staffs, the leaders inscribed their names. The staffs were taken into the Tabernacle overnight with the understanding that God would cause the staff of the leader He chose to bloom. The next morning, probably no one was surprised to see that Aaron’s staff, representing the Levites, had blossomed and sprouted almonds. God had Moses put the staff at the entry to the Tabernacle to remind everyone who the boss was going to be. He hoped it would end the constant whining about who was in charge. Then God reiterated that Aaron and the Levites had been chosen as a gift to Aaron. And nobody else could come near His holy stuff, or they would die. This seems stupid, but the Israelites do a fair amount of moaning and tearing their clothes because of the staff thing.

Then God told Aaron that He would give him the best of everything. And everything that was brought to the Lord as a tithe would belong to Aaron and the Levites. Except for some specific animals, those still need to be burnt up. However, in return, the Levites could not inherit from other Israelites.

When it was time for the tribe to move again, Moses sent out messengers to the city of Edom to ask for passage through their lands for his people. Edom was like Fuck no. So Moses said Please, but Edom said Not only fuck no, but if you try we’ll kill you. So, no. So the Israelites went a different way, which is fairly anticlimactic.

Then God warned Moses that Aaron would “be gathered to his people.” AKA, dead. So Moses took Aaron up onto a mountain, stripped him of his clothes, and gave them to Aaron’s son, Eleazar. Then Aaron died, naked I’m assuming. Which seems like a strange end to God’s first priest. The people mourned for 30 days. Afterward, the city of Arad found out the the Israelites were passing through their land, so they attacked them and carried some of them off. This pissed the Israelites off. So they asked God to “deliver” the city to them. God did. They completely destroyed the people and town of Arad. Slaughtered them.

21:4

The Israelites are complaining again, as usual. This time God found a better alternative to the plague, he sent poisonous snakes amongst the people. Many were bitten and afraid to die, so they asked for forgiveness for being whiny shits. God listened and told Moses to make a bronze snake on a pole. Anyone who had been bitten could look at the snake and be cured. It worked! (I give God a lot of grief for killing off the Israelites so often and in such high numbers, but seriously, I’m not doing justice to how annoying these people are. Every other section is about them whining. And they do it in the most annoying ways possible. Oh, you should have just left me in Egypt to die of the whip instead of out here to die by the sword. Imagine the most stereotypical old Jewish lady you’ve ever seen in a movie, that’s what they sound like.)

Then Moses sent out another letter, this time to Sihon, king of the Amorites. Again, the Israelites were turned down. Not only that, the Amorites marched out against the Israelites and attacked them. But the Israelites won, put Sihon to death and captured the Amorite cities. Then the army of another king attacked the Israelites, but God was like Don’t worry, you got this. And they won and took that king’s land as well.

After these victories, the Israelites shared borders with the Maobites and the Midians, who were both worried about their new neighbors. They were terrified of them. So the kings of Moab and Midian went to Balaam (Balaam is a diviner from the Torah) to ask that he curse the Israelites so that they might defeat them. But God told Balaam not to do it, so he didn’t. But the elders tried again, and this time God told Balaam ok, but do only what I tell you. While Balaam was on his way to “help” the Medians and Moabites, there is another weird aside story, kind of like the wrestling with God one that doesn’t make a lot of sense. God got cranky and put an angel in Balaam’s path. The donkey that Balaam was riding on saw the angel and turned to the side, so Balaam beat her brutally, then the angel was like, Why the hell are you beating your donkey, stop it. Completely useless story right? Once Balaam gets to where he is going, he blesses the Israelis instead of cursing them, as the kings had asked him to do. That pissed the kings off. To which Balaam  replied that he had to do what God told him to do. Then Balaam talks about how Israel is a lioness who will drink the blood of its enemies, which doesn’t make the kings any happier. And is also gross. Balaam gives this bad news to the kings three separate times and then tells the elders that they gonna die. The Israelites are going to kick their asses.

25:1

Meanwhile, the Israeli dudes starting gettin’ it on with Medianite women, who seduced them into sacrificing to Medianite gods. Obvisouly, God didn’t take this very well. Plague time. One of the priests followed an Israeli tribal leader into his tent where he was gettin’ it on with a Medianite woman. The priest put a spear through both the Israeli and the woman, killing them obviously. Then God was happy again, because of the priest’s “zest” for carrying out God’s wishes. This also stopped the plague, but 24,000 had died by this time. God also decided it was time to let the Medianite bodies hit the floor. War time.

So God once again had Moses count all the Israelis who could fight in the army. The only two who were left form the first count were Joshua and Caleb. Just as God had promised, the generation who had questioned God and Moses had died in the desert. All the land and inheritance of the Israelis was split amongst the tribes depending on their census count. At which point, some ladies got pissed off because their father had died leaving behind no sons and demanded that they be given his inheritance. God said ok, women can inherit. As long as there aren’t any sons to inherit it first. Women can’t be given their rights all at once, or they would go absolutely drunk with power, am I right? Stupid Bible.

Then God told Moses that he was going to die and that Joshua was to take his place as the shepherd of the Israelis. Then we have to repeat all the damn offerings and feasts and crap because Moses is teaching Joshua. Dead animals, blah blah blah, blood, blah blah blah, aromas. A new one. Guys can give vows to God freely. But ladies? You only get to give vows if daddy says you can. Or if you hubby says you can.

Then the Israelis make war on the Midianites. They slaughtered them. Seriously. They killed every man. Even Balaam, that prophet that refused to curse them. They burned the cities and took the women and spoils back to their own camp. At which point Moses was pissed, because they had let them women live. So then they killed the women too, except the virgins. Oh, and everyone in the army was unclean, because they had been near dead bodies and had to stay outside of the camp for seven days. Then the spoils were split up amongst the Israelis who had fought in the war. But half of all of their spoils went to God. And 1/50 of their spoils went to the Levites who hadn’t fought (don’t worry it was still a lot.)

32:1

A couple of the tribes wanted to stay in the land they had just conquered, to build cities and keep their flocks. But Moses said Hell no, you have to fight in the army. If you don’t, God will get mad and kill everybody. Do you want to be the cause of that? No really, Moses played the mom card. Hard. So the guys promised to go and fight with their fellow Israelis if they could keep the land. So Moses compromised and gave it to them. But if the broke their promise, death.

And inexplicably, we then get a run down of every stop on the forty-year journey from Egypt. Followed up by pep talk from God about killing everybody and taking their land. No more of that, be nice to aliens bullshit. Kill them, take their land, or I’ll kill you. That pretty much sums up God’s speech.

Then God explains where the boundaries of their land will be. It mostly matches where Israel is today. Then we throw out some new rules about killing and stuff. If you kill on purpose, you have to die. Obviously, we’ve been over that one. But now you have to able to convict the murderer with multiple witnesses. You can’t sentence someone to death with one witness. But if was an accident, the killer can flee to one of six refuge cities. They have to stay there though, because someone will probably be out seeking revenge, and if the killer goes outside of the refuge city, he can be killed legally.

God also says that blood makes the land unholy, and they shouldn’t live where blood has been shed. But I guess the thousands they killed taking their land don’t count. Also, inheritance cannot be go from tribe to tribe. Remember those ladies earlier, who lobbied for their inheritance and won? They only got to keep it so long as they married their cousins, so that the inheritance could stay within their tribe. Two steps forward, and you step in dog shit.

The end! Of Numbers. Remember when we started this, and we discussed how violent everyone says the Koran is? I have no idea whether or not that’s true, but holy shit, the Bible sure as hell is violent. And we’re nowhere near done with the warring and the slaughtering. Up next, Deuteronomy. You’ll see more war, more whiny Israelis, and of course more of our vengeful God!

I am going on vacation, so I will not be posting this coming week. My next post will be on Sunday, July 10th. I’m sure you’re very distraught and will be waiting with bated breath.

Numbers. Ew.

Numbers 1:1

As you may have guessed, this book of the Bible is called numbers. Because we’re counting stuff. We begin by counting all of the Israelite men above the age of 20 who can fight in the army. Want to know how many? 603,550 men were able to serve in the army. One lucky tribe, the Levites, were left out of that count. The Levites didn’t have to fight, they were to be “given wholly” to Aaron to help with Tabernacle upkeep. Anyone else who came near it would be put to death. Because separating people and arbitrarily putting some over others never ends badly. Then the tribes arranged their tents by their divisions. God even assigned a place in the camp for each tribe and commanded that each tribe fly their own flag over their tents. See?

camp

Let’s talk about the Levites some more. God changes His mind about the whole, I want every Israelite first-born dedicated to me and decides He really just wants all of the Levites. All of them, not only the first-born. When all of the Levites are counted vs every first-born in camp (22,000 vs 22,273), God realizes that He would have gotten 273 more people had He just stuck with the first-born thing. But people=money in the Bible, remember, so the Israelites just paid the difference for the 273 lives, and everyone was square. Out of the Levites, God picked a super-special branch, the Kohathites, to look after the top-secret holy stuff inside the Tabernacle. They also had to carry all of that secret holy stuff around when the camp moved. Aaron and the priests had to cover up all of the holy stuff first, because if the Kohathites messed up and touched or saw the wrong thing, guess what? They would die. If at first you don’t succeed, God probably killed you. Then God nominates two other branches of the Levites to care for/carry some other holy shit. Must be heavy shit, because there were 22,000 Levites, remember? That’s a lot of people to carry stuff around the desert.

5:1

Ok, we counted stuff. Let’s get back to rules. Anyone unclean has to be sent outside the camp; God doesn’t want their dirtiness where He dwells. If someone sins, they must confess and make full restitution. Restitution means paying people off and sacrificing rams, of course. If you suspect your wife is cheating, you can take her to the priest. He’ll make some magic God water for her to drink. If she drinks it, and she becomes sick she is guilty. Her thigh will waste away, her abdomen will swell, and everyone will know that she has defiled herself. If she is innocent, the water will not make her sick, and her name will be cleared. Ladies? If your husband is cheating that’s just normal. Get over it.

Apparently, if you want to, you can take the Nazarite vow, which means consecrated or separated. But you can’t drink any alcohol or eat grapes. I’m not really sure what the point of being a Nazarite actually is. Bragging rights probably. The vow doesn’t last forever. You can’t cut your hair during the allotted time (not sure how long that is, maybe you get to pick?), and you have to shave it off and offer the hair to God once your time is up. And sacrifice animals. Always sacrifice animals just to be safe.

Then Moses set up the Tabernacle (I thought we had already done this, but if the Bible is the word of God, God has Alzheimer’s because we go over the same shit a lot). For twelve days it was consecrated, and the leaders of the twelve tribes brought offerings. Lots of gold and silver, lots of dead animals. Then God’s voice came from between the two cherubim on the Indiana Jones Ark thing to talk to Moses. He didn’t say much though, just gave Moses more details about how His holy shit should look.

Then the Levites were officially cleansed (they shaved and washed their clothes) and “set apart.” Aaaaaaaaaaand it’s time for Passover. Anybody unclean can’t participate, but God takes pity on them and gives them a backup day to celebrate. Anyone who doesn’t celebrate gets cut off. Any alien who wants to celebrate absolutely can, they just have to abide by the same rules that the Israelites follow. The more the merrier.

9:15

Eventually, it was time to leave the Sinai, so God inhabited the Tabernacle in the form of a cloud. If God’s cloud was over the Tabernacle, the Israelites stayed put, but if the cloud moved, they followed it all around the desert. There were also some fancy trumpets that were made for Aaron and the priests. They were to blow the trumpets to ready the people to move out. God promised that they would also come in handy for battles and ceremonies.

Naturally, some of the Israelites got tired of walking around the desert continually. They complained about it, and God heard them. He got mad and did what God does best, burnt them up in His fire. But they continued to complain. They were upset because they wanted meat instead of the manna that God was providing to them. I’m guessing they had sacrificed most of their animals at this point. Moses got tired of the complaining too, and eventually was like God I can’t do it anymore. I don’t know why you hate me so much that you make me listen to this constant whining. Kill me. Please. So God decided to get Moses some help. He told Moses to gather seventy elders, so that God could put the Spirit in them. So Moses gathered them, and they all became prophets.

God also told Moses to get the people all consecrated up, because they would be eating meat for a month. Moses, ever the doubter, wanted to know where God would get enough meat. To which was like Am I God, or am I God? Then tons and tons of quail flocked to the camp, and the people started to eat them, overjoyed to have meat. Surprise, mfers! God put a plague on that meat. That’ll teach you to complain.

Afterward, there’s a story about how Aaron and his wife, Miriam, get really jealous of Moses and talk about him behind his back. But God can hear it, and calls all three of them to His tent. Then He calls Aaron and Miriam out right in front of Moses, commenting that He only speaks in riddles to His prophets, but with Moses He speaks clearly and face to face. Because Moses is the most faithful servant to Him. Then He makes Miriam completely white with leprosy. (Why just her? Probably because she is wrong and female, which makes her wronger.) Aaron is understandably upset and begs that they be forgiven, and I think they are. It says Miriam gets to come back to camp after seven days, so we’ll go with yes.

13:1

Then Lord had Moses pick leaders from each tribe to go explore Canaan (the promised land). They were to find out things like how many people were on the land, was the land fertile, how well fortified were the cities, what kinds of fruits could be grown. Innocent, conquesty things like that. For forty days the twelve leaders explored the land. When they got back, they confirmed that the land flowed with “milk and honey” as God had promised, but they were also 100% sure that the Israelites could never take the land. The people were huge, and the cities were well-fortified.

That night, for about the one-millionth time, the Israelites cried out against God, saying Why did he even bring us out here? Now we’ll just die by the sword. Let’s go back to Egypt. Two guys, Joshua and Caleb, were like Guys, God said He would give us that land. How about let’s trust Him just this one fucking time? The people replied by damn near stoning both of them. But God and His cloud came over the Tabernacle and talked to Moses. As God often does, He wanted to kill everybody with a plague. But Moses used that same If you kill them, the Egyptians will find out and think you aren’t the bestest god ever argument. So God compromised. He struck down the leaders who had gone to explore the land and had come back with doubts with fire. Then He announced that the whiners would never see the promised land. They would wander in the desert for forty years. Only Joshua, Caleb, and the children would live to enter the land that God had promised. Some people tried to go anyway, but God was not with them, and their enemies killed them. As usual, God way overreacts, but damn these Israelites can be irritating. I’m almost tired of feeling sorry for their constant brutal deaths.

More rules. Once the Israelites do get to the promised land, they are to sacrifice a bunch more animals. They are also to let all aliens live among them and sacrifice to God. In fact, “You and the alien shall be the same before the Lord.” All of the same rules apply to both. If the people unintentionally sin, a priest can make a special animal sacrifice, which will cleanse the entire population, even the aliens. If they sin on purpose, he or she should be cut off. Plus, everyone had to wear blue tassels on their garments. God thought it would be a good reminder to everyone not to be a shit head.

While still in the desert, a man was caught gathering wood on the Sabbath. He was taken to the priests, and God decided that he had to die. Obvs. So the entire camp participated in stoning the man. That is a lot of stones.

16:1

After a while, some of the Levites became insolent. They were pissy because Moses and Aaron and the priests thought they were just way better than everyone else. They wanted to be priests too. They tried to bring offerings to the Lord, but Moses was like, Hold up, dudes. God set you apart from the Israelites and brought you closer to Himself, and you’re still being dicks. Then Moses told God what they were doing. God opened the earth and swallowed the three main troublemakers. Them, their wives, their kids, their stuff. All gone. Then He sent His fire down on the rest who had tried to sacrifice to Him when they had no right. The rest of the Israelites were a bit upset at all this killing and complained about it. So then God sent another plague. This plague killed 14,700 people before Moses could make the necessary animal sacrifices to God to stop the killing. See, I told you that the whole arbitrarily putting some people over others couldn’t end badly.

Next time, more Numbers. Probably more people will die. People are always dying in this book. Violently.

 

 

Leviticus aka Endless List of Rules

Leviticus 1:1

We start this lovely book off with a detailed description of how offerings are to be brought to God. Not the swag. The dead animals. Each type of animal has its very own, super-special death ritual. Also, lots of blood. Everywhere. Ever thought sacrificing animals is super fucked up? Welcome to the world’s most popular religion. And animals can be slaughtered for a myriad of reasons. Fuck up really badly? Unintentionally sin? That’s ok! The death of an innocent bull can cure that. The sins of a leader, however, require a slaughtered goat to wipe the slate clean. Whichever animal, the breast and the right thigh always go to Aaron and his descendent priests to eat. It makes them holy. Also, no one is allowed to eat the fat or blood of an animal. Tell ya why later.

If ripping animals apart isn’t your thing, worry not. God also likes “pleasing aromas.” You can use all kinds of different ingredients to make an aroma offering, but guess what it can’t have in it? If you didn’t guess yeast, you haven’t been paying attention. No yeast. God does, however, ask that you always use salt. Salt good. Whatever the aroma of your choice, the pleasing-aroma fire must never go out!

Let’s get down to some consecrating. Moses put Aaron’s new pimp clothes on him and his sons, killed some animals, chopped them up, splashed their blood everywhere, burnt the rest, and bam! Aaron and his sons were consecrated. Remember those meat offerings that always go to Aaron and his priests? Only Aaron’s male  descendants could eat offerings, and therefore become holy. So they ate their meat and got all holy. Then it was time for the entire camp to give their offering, so more animals had to die. Then God showed himself to the Israelites. Well, he showed his glory. Whatever that means. His glory must have been pretty fantastic,  because the people loved it and fell facedown in joy.

Two of Aaron’s sons, who shall remain nameless because there’s no point in naming them, offered fire to God, but it was the wrong kind of fire. So they apologized for their accident and went about their day. Just kidding. God killed them. Consumed them in His fire. Moses chose this time, when Aaron and his sons were scared shitless, to lay down some new rules for them. They weren’t allowed to drink any fermented drinks inside God’s tent (alcohol). It would be there job to distinguish between common and holy, clean and unclean. Then Moses changed his tune and said that all of Aaron’s descendants could eat the holy meat that was their share. Even the ladies (but they still can’t become holy.) Maybe he just felt really bad? Then it was discovered that Aaron’s remaining two sons had fucked up and burnt some stuff the wrong day, or eaten it in the wrong place, or some such nonsense. Moses was really angry, but Aaron was like this shit is confusing, so Moses let them off the hook for that one.

11:1

Ok, dietary rules. You can only eat clean animals. If you eat unclean animals, you get kicked out the camp. SO, you can only eat animals that live on land. Of those, you can only the ones that have a split hoof, completely divided, whatever that means. And only the ones that chew the cud. Whatever that means. For  example: no camels, no rabbits, no pigs. Those are just examples of what not to eat. Don’t eat them, don’t touch them. I think those rules pretty much narrow it down to cows, sheep, and goats. I think. You can eat animals that live in the water, as long as they fins and scales. No oysters, whales, jellyfish, you get the idea. You can also eat most birds, except for the ones God lists. Owls, bats, eagles, vultures, those sorts of things. There are also edible bugs, but the rules are really specific. Anything the crawls on the ground is a no-go. Like I said, no touching, no eating, and if an unclean animal dies in your pot, you have to break it. Pots, clothes, anything unclean carcasses touch are unclean too and must be destroyed.

Moving on to ladies and their bleeding. A woman is unclean during her monthly bleeding. Keep telling yourselves that, gentlemen. It keeps the viability of the period lie alive and well. A lady is also unclean after giving birth to a child. If she gives birth to a son, she has seven days of being unclean, then she has to snippety snip her sons penis, then she has thirty-three more days of being unclean. If she has a daughter, she has to wait two weeks, and then an extra sixty-six more days to be purified. And once the woman is clean again, she has to make a sin offering to God. Because having your period or giving birth to a human child is a sin. Ok, it never says sin, but you do have to atone for it.

If you get an infectious skin disease, you have to go to the priest to have it inspected by a priest. If it looks really bad you’re unclean. If it only looks sort of bad, you go to quarantine for seven days. If it has cleared up, or if it has covered your entire body, you’re clean again. If it stays the same, back to the pit with you! The fun part is that the really bad ones and the ones with the disease covering their entire bodies get to go be among the people. Only the not so bad ones go to quarantine. Weird huh? Itches differ slightly in that you have to be shaved everywhere except for where the itch actually is. Bald guys get the worst deal. If a guy goes bald and has a red sore on his head, he is unclean. But this one is a special unclean. He has to walk around in torn clothes and yell, “Unclean,” where ever he goes. He also has to live outside the camp, away from everyone. If these rules don’t make sense to you, you aren’t reading it wrong. They don’t make sense.

In order to be cleansed from an infectious disease, you have to be quarantined, you and your clothes have to be washed, you have to shave your head and beard, and you have to do some ceremonial animal sacrificing. The sacrificing part is so that you can atone for having been sick. Bad, sick person!

Most important part of the Bible so far: “Regulations About Mildew.” Thank goodness, I’ve been wondering about this one. If anything you own gets mildew on it, you have to take it to a priest. The priest has to isolate the item for seven days; if the mildew spreads, into the burn pit, but if the mildew doesn’t spread, it can be washed. Good to know, God.Houses are different. If God puts mildew in your house (seriously, the book says He puts it there), you have to take everything out of the house and contact a priest. The priest has to remove any stones inside the house that have mildew on them. If that doesn’t work, you burn the damn thing to the ground. Kind of like with spiders.

Having fun yet? Mildew and periods not gross enough for you? Let’s talk about human discharge. All discharge is unclean, so you have to make sure it doesn’t get blocked up into your body. If you’re all blocked up with discharge, you and anything/anyone you touch will be unclean. So if you are constipated, keep ya damn hands to yourself! Semen is a special case. If a guy cums (no, really) he has to bathe, or he will be unclean. If he cums in a woman, she has to bathe too. Back to periods. Any bleeding woman, anything she touches, anything she sits on, are all unclean. Once her bleeding has stopped, she has to wait seven days and then sacrifice two doves to God to atone for her bleeding. The Israelites have to know these things and stay clean, God says, so that they don’t die while unclean. I’m guessing that would be a bad thing to do.

16:1

Every year, on the tenth day of the seventh month, is to be the Day of Atonement. On that day, the priest slaughters some stuff, puts all of the sins of the Israelites onto the shoulders of one lucky goat, and sends that goat out into the desert. (At least the goat doesn’t get slaughtered.) This is supposed to atone for everyone’s sins. Also, no one can sacrifice anything outside of God’s tent area. Because you might be sacrificing to other gods, and God is hella jealous. If you do, you will be guilty of bloodletting, and you’ll be voted off the island. Additionally, when you kill an animal to eat it, you have to drain and bury the blood. That’s because “the life of every creature is its blood.” The life-force of the animal deserves a proper burial, and you can’t eat the life-force.

Finally, we get to sex. First and foremost, no sex with close relatives! Not your mom; not your stepmom; not your sister, your stepsister, or your half-sister; not your niece; not your aunt; not your daughter-in-law; not your sister-in-law. No doing both a mom and her daughter, two sisters, or your neighbor’s wife. No doing women while they are bleeding. Don’t sacrifice your kids to Molech (I can’t tell you why that’s thrown into the sex rules. I also can’t tell you what or whom Molech is. I looked it up. Possibly a Canaanite god or the practice of sacrificing your child to a god. Shoulder shrug.) Do not “lie with a man as one lies with a woman.” We’ll come back to this, because I’m going to need some elbow room. No having sex with animals. Ever. God says that these are the ways that the non-Israelite people defiled themselves, which is why the land is “vomiting” them out. Anyone who breaks these rules will be cut off from his or her people.

Then there a bunch of miscellaneous rules, most of which are repeats form the ten commandments. One new one is that when you harvest your fields, vineyards, etc. you are not to be too careful to pick everything up. And don’t go over it  second time to double-check that you didn’t leave anything behind. You have to let the poor find all of that! Do not deceive one another is a good rule. Don’t mess with the deaf or the blind. Pay your workers on time. Judge everyone equally, do not be partial to the poor or the wealthy. If you’re mad at your family, say it out loud. Don’t keep it to yourself, or you’ll share in the guilt. Do not seek revenge or hold a grudge. Do not mate different types of animals. Don’t plant your field with two different types of seed, or wear clothing made from two different materials. If you sleep with someone else’s “slave girl” you have to pay the man for his slave and do some animal sacrificing. Do not practice divination or sorcery or listen to those who do. Do not cut the hair on the sides of your head or the edges of your beard. Don’t cut yourself or get tattoos. Don’t force your daughter to be a prostitute. Rise in the presence of the elderly and show them respect. Treat foreigners as one of your own people; “Love him as yourself.” Do not try to cheat people with dishonest weights and measures.

So what happens if you do any of these things? Don’t worry, God is very specific. If you sacrifice your kid to Molech, you die by stoning. Because you have defiled God, not because you killed your kid. Priorities are key. If you turn to sorcerers, you get cut off from your people. If you curse your mother or your father, you die. If you sleep with another man’s wife, both you and the wife die. If you break any of those sex rules we talked about earlier, you die. If you have sex with an animal, the animal has to die too. Bad day for the animal.  Ok, I lied. Some of the sex rules end with being cut off or dying childless. Mediums and sorcerers have to die. I hope that cleared everything up for you.

21:1

Priests get special rules. They can’t marry prostitutes or divorced women. In fact, let’s make it virgin, they have to marry virgins. If a priest’s daughter becomes a prostitute, she has to be burned alive. Priests have to look respectable, no torn clothing or unkempt hair. If Aaron has any physically disabled or deformed descendents, they don’t get to be priests or come near God’s  altar. They’ll defile it by being all disabledy. God is not  an equal-opportunity employer. You can’t sacrifice any animals with defects, those don’t count. You have to sacrifice a perfect, male specimen. And there better not be anything wrong with its testicles, because then you’re in serious trouble. You also cannot sacrifice an animal given to you by a foreigner. Baby animals have to be at least eight days old before you can sacrifice it. How thoughtful.

Then God goes over the feasts that are to be celebrated. Suffice it to say, a lot of animals are gonna die. Feast=lots of animal sacrificing. Even more than usual. There’s also the Year of Jubilee. Nobody has to do any work for a year! God promises to provide bountiful harvests in the year before to hold them over, so that they won’t have to worry about food. You also have to go back to your homeland, or the place you grew up. Even if you have a buy it back; there are all kinds of weird rules about buying land/houses. Basically, you’re only renting, because God owns it all. We’re just his tenants. Also, don’t screw each other over. If a man is too poor to care for himself, you must help care for him, so that he may continue to live among you. Poor Israelites are not to be slaves, you can hire them as workers, but you have to release them on the Year of Jubilee. The Israelis are God’s slaves, and He doesn’t feel like sharing ownership.

Next, God lists the things He will do for the Israelis. He will provide peace to the land, they will not go to bed afraid. He will make their harvests bountiful, and they will not go hungry. He will make them more powerful than their enemies and remove beasts from their lands. He will walk among them and be their God, because He saved them from slavery. Granted, He only seems to have saved them so that they could be His servants. But that is only if you’re good. If you’re bad He’ll ruthlessly kill you or enslave you to other peoples. Keep being bad and you’ll end up having to eat your own sons and daughters. Yeah, cannibalism. He’ll pile up the dead bodies, without a single fuck given out. And  he won’t even like the pleasing aromas you offer Him. So there. He won’t kill everyone completely, though. He did make a promise. Remember the rainbow He created just to remind Himself not to kill us all?

We’ll close this book out by talking about dedicating people to the Lord as vows. Yes, you can give people to God. Everyone has their monetary equivalent, depending on their sex and age. Guess what? Women are worth way less. Did you guess? You can also dedicate animals, your house, your land. But no firstborns, those already belong to the Lord, remember? And you have to tithe. You have to. The Lord likey the tithing; it is holy to Him.

Ok, we’re done. Rant time. “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman.” The Bible is very clear this time that homosexuality is a no no. I wanted to make a sexist lie joke about how men are liars, but the etymology of the original wording isn’t having it. It’s definitely talking about the love making kind of lying. But that was just going to be for fun. On a more serious note, if you have ever used this line or any other part of Leviticus to hate on someone (let’s say a witch or someone with tattoos) I hope you’re following the rest of the rules as well, or you’re a hypocrite. So unless you’re an animal sacrificing, blood burying, slave-girl having, non-bacon eating, handicapped hating, poor-people supporting, mildew-having-house destroying, no side-hair cutting wearer of only one type of material at a time… shut the fuck up.

Next up, Numbers. Hopefully not the mathy kind.

 

Moses and the Israelites Build That Ark Thing from the Indiana Jones Movie

Exodus 21:1

Ok, sharing time. I thought we were pretty much done with the part of Exodus that the movie covered. I was wrong. So. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Turns out the movie wasn’t completely accurate and left a bunch of stuff out, which once again not surprised. But still. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

So Moses is still up on that damn mountain. He’s gotten the ten commandments, but buckle up, because we’re nowhere near done with the rules portion of this game. Allow me to list these fuckers without trying to make them funny, because I just don’t have it in me. The Israelites are supposed to burn livestock to God as offerings. They have to do it on an alter of stones, but they can’t defile the stones with tools. They also can’t have steps leading up to the alter, because God is afraid that going up the steps will show their nakedness. Odd time for God to suddenly be opposed to all things wieners.

If you buy a Hebrew servant, you have to let the dude go after six years of service. If he has a wife, she gets to go too, but if they have children you get to keep the wife and the kids. If the dude wants to stay, you can pierce his ear with an awl and keep him. Women don’t get to go free on their own. Ever. If she’s not very good in the sack, you can’t sell her to a foreigner. You can, however, give her to your son. You can also marry as often as you wish, as long as you still take care of all your baby mamas. Baby mama is actually the correct term, because there is no reason to have a lady if she isn’t shooting out babies full time. (You might notice that you tends to mean male.)

Anyone who kills another man will be put to death. Unless it’s an oopsy. Then he can flee from his people. If one guy beats up another guy, he needs to pay the hurt dude for his time spent in bed. Unless it’s a slave. No harm, no foul as long as the slave doesn’t die. It is after all, just property. Beat away.

God says that the bottom line is: “You are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” Except not really, because there are all kinds of exceptions and shit. Like servants. You can poke their eye out, but they don’t get to poke your eye out back. You only have to free them and compensate them for the eye. Or for instance, if your bull gores someone it has to be stoned to death but not eaten. But if your bull has a history of goring, both you and the bull get the death penalty. Or if you are super rich, you can just pay a lot of money and get out of it, scot-free. If your bull gores a slave though, you just have to pay the owner the price of the slave. Just pretend like women and slaves are less than people, and this whole system makes a lot of sense. Also pretend that people with money mean more than people without money. See? It isn’t that different from our current system. Easy.

This list of laws goes on forever. FOREVER. We go over stealing livestock and thieving. (You can kill an intruder. Unless it’s after sunrise. You’re in deep shit if you kill an intruder after sunrise. Sensical stuff like that.) Borrowing animals is especially tricky, because if it dies in your possession, you’re responsible. Because what if you killed it on purpose just to spite the guy from whom you borrowed the animal? Not to worry. You can just super, double-pinky swear to God that you didn’t kill the animal on purpose and get out of it. If you seduce a virgin, you have to pay the bride price and marry her. Interesting how it doesn’t say, “If you seduce a virgin, she’s a nasty slut who should be shamed.” Not even close. Do not allow a sorceress to live. Sorcerers are cool though, sorcerers have dicks. Kill anyone who sacrifices to another god. If someones sleeps with an animal, kill them. I wonder where that “Thou shalt not murder” stuff went? Animal Farm, anyone? Here’s a good one: “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.” Interesting. Americans fail so hard at that one. Do not fuck with widows or orphans, or God will kill you even if it means creating more widows and orphans. He ain’t scurred. If you loan money to someone, do not add interest. It’s a dick move. If you borrow a cloak, return it by nightfall, nobody sleeps nakey. “Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.” I wonder if a president counts as a ruler? Do not hold back offerings from your granaries. It doesn’t specify if that means offerings to God or just people who need it in general. You must give God your first born of both your children and your livestock. Like Rumplestiltskin. Do not eat the meat of an animal killed by other animals. Kill your own shit.

Do not spread gossip or give false reports. “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.” Bring people’s donkeys back to them. Always. Do not deny justice to the poor. “Do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.” Interesting take on the death penalty. God gives no freebies, ya’ll, so it isn’t really up to us to decide who is guilty and who is innocent. Do not accept bribes. Again, do not oppress an alien. Grow food for six years and let the field lie fallow on the seventh year, so that the poor can eat off of your field. All people and animals rest on the Sabbath. Even livestock and slaves need to be refreshed. Do not invoke the names of other gods. You will have 3 festivals a year. No yeast! Don’t cook a goat in its mother’s milk. Because that’s just not right. Sweet goodness, we’re done with the list of rules. Fuck yeah!

23:20

Let’s talk about the promised land. God promised to drive out the people already living in the promised land. He had sent an angel ahead of the Israelites to shoo out anyone already occupying the “land of milk and honey.” (It sounds a lot less creepy when Heston isn’t saying that.) The Israelites were not to bow down to the people already living on the land. They were to demolish their practices and destroy their places of worship. Do this, God said, and I will provide food, cure sickness, and stop fucking with your women’s wombs. The Israelites were not to let the foreigners live in their land, because they would cause them to sin. They were to have all of the land between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, from the desert to the Euphrates. Wtf happened to the don’t mess with aliens stuff? God was very specific on the don’t mess with aliens stuff.

Moses went back down the mountain to join the Israelites for a little sacrificing and partying, and everybody promised to obey God’s new rules. Probably, I’m hoping, in a drunken stupor, because imagining Moses drunk makes me happy. Then Moses goes back up the mountain and stays in God’s cloud for forty days and forty nights. Remember all of the gold God helped the Israelites smuggle out of Egypt? Did you think that was for the Islraelites? Apparently no, it was for all the cool stuff God wanted the Israelites to build for His temple. God was very specific about everything that He wanted built. First off, the ark. A gold box that would house the tablets that the commandments were written on. Thank you, thank you, thank you God, for demanding this one. This helped make my all-time favorite movie possible. Thank you. Then there’s the Tabernacle, the menorah, and all kinds of other shit that God wants built. And don’t forget, God expects the best in everything. Wrap that shit in gold, God loves gold. Any left over rich stuff would be for offerings to God. God also likes swag.  Look, I found a picture for you, because I’m not explaining all of this crap.Tabernacle

Fun fact for the kiddies, in Quebec “tabernak” is a bad word. Pretty much their equivalent of fuck. I don’t speak French, so I was sitting and watching two Quebecois talk to each other, and I couldn’t figure out why they were talking about church so much. They weren’t. They were cussing. That made me more happy than I can explain to anyone. Anyway. Then God decides that Aaron and his descendants will all be priests, and He gives some directions for the outfits that they should wear. I found another picture:

aaron

So much easier. It’s a little hard to tell, but Aaron is pimped out. He got a cool turban and everything is gold and gems and shit. Aaron and his sons had to wear this stuff to go into the tabernacle and minister to God, otherwise God might forget why they’re there and kill them. Obvi. Also, there’s a sacred diadem. Neat, huh? Then God goes into a lot of detail about how Aaron and his sons are to be consecrated, which involves a lot of dead animals and blood. Because God likes the smell of dead, burnt animal flesh. Don’t ask questions. And everybody has to pay a half shekel as a ransom to God for their lives. A ransom. Poor, you pay a half shekel. Rich, you pay a half shekel. God gives zero shits about your financial hardship. All of this cool stuff may sound and look like it would have been difficult for a bunch of ex-Egyptian slaves to make. I mean in the movie, they just made bricks and shit, but don’t worry. God gave two random guys all of the skills they would need to do His bidding. Then God goes back over the Sabbath, and how the Israelites really, really need to keep it holy. Anyone who works on the Sabbath dies. Any work. No excuses, you die.

31:18

Only after explaining all of that does God give Moses those two stone tablet things from the movie. But the Bible calls them the “tablets of the Testimony.” So they might have just the commandments etched into them, or they might have had tons of detailed instructions and rules written on them. Like, pages worth of the shit. In little, tiny letters. Meanwhile at the base of the mountain, the Israelites were up to no good. They had gotten impatient waiting for forty days while Moses was up in God’s cloud. So they decided to make their own god to worship. Never mind that this God had just saved them from their slavery, and drowned their captors in the sea. Not good enough. Nobody puts the Israelites in a corner. Aaron had everyone collect all of the gold that they had, and from the gold Aaron molded a golden calf. The Israelites bowed down to it and made sacrifices to it. God saw and got pretty pissed off about the Israelites doing one of the very things they had just promised not to do. He told Moses that he was pissed off, and that he was going to destroy them.  I like to imagine Him stomping around the mountain, like I told them! Did I not fucking tell them? But Moses pointed out to God that the Egyptians would see all of the dead Israelites, and think that He was a cruel god. Don’t forget God had just completed a major image campaign in Egypt, and probably didn’t want to ruin it. So God changed his mind about killing everybody.

When Moses went down the mountain with his tablets, he saw the shenanigans that his people were engaged in. Pretty enraged, he threw the tablets to the base of the mountain, shattering them. Then Aaron made some excuses for himself, weak ones. I sear, Moses, that golden calf just jumped right out of the fire! I didn’t even touch it! (This is the guy God picked to be His priest.) Moses destroyed the calf, and made the people drink the ashes. Then Moses commanded all who were loyal to God to go back and forth through the camp killing their brothers, friends, and neighbors as punishment. So they did. Around 3,000 were killed in the Israelite camp at the hands of their family and friends. But not the guy who called for everyone’s gold and then created a false god with it. That guy (Aaron) still got to be the priest. Moses went back up the mountain and pleaded with God to to forgive the remaining Israelites. It kind of worked. God didn’t kill everyone, but He did put a plague on the Israelites (on top of the 3,00 already killed for the same sin). Then He refused to travel with them, because God realized he had anger management issues, and would probably end up killing everyone in the camp in a fit of rage.

God then helped Moses rewrite the destroyed tablets, so that they could be placed in the ark. When Moses came down from the mountain again, his face was radiant. It doesn’t really explain what that means, but the Israelites definitely noticed it. Maybe it’s that pregnant glow thing that people talk about? Maybe he was dressed in drag and just looked fantastic? Not sure. Just “radiant.” Then Moses and the Israelites got to work making all of that stuff that had God asked for earlier. The Bible says that the people brought together whatever gold, gems, etc. that they had in order to create all the swag God wanted. They supposedly already gave all of their gold away for the giant calf that Moses destroyed, but we all know that logic has no place here.

When the Israelites were done hammering all of that gold leaf, Moses saw that they had done a great job and blessed everything. Then Moses set it all up as he had been instructed, and the cloud of God settled over the Tabernacle and inhabited it. Thus concludes the book of Exodus. Death count: higher than even I had expected. Lesson learned: if all else fails, give God swag. None of that fake shit, though. God knows.

Next up, Leviticus, and what looks to be another endless list of rules. Can’t wait!

 

EXODUS!

Ugh… Exodus. Everybody already knows this shit! Ok. I guess if we have to. Get ready for some Charlton Heston jokes, ’cause I’mma be throwin’ ’em out. Like pitches. Like pitches at the mother f’en World Series. Like mother f’en Kershaw at the mother f’en World Series. Like… I would try and put this Exodus thing off longer, but I don’t know enough about baseball to keep it going. So… I guess we’ll get started. Now. We’ll start now…. Now. Someone kill me.

1:1

Joseph and his entire generation had completely died out. But, as these Israelites are apt to do, they had multiplied in number. A lot. There were so many of them the new pharaoh was like No… no way. Too many. Enslave them. And they did. But the Israelites were still reproducing way too quickly. So the pharaoh worked them even harder. Still they wouldn’t quit doin’ it. Finally pharaoh decided that since he couldn’t tire the Israelites out enough to get them to quit sexing it up all the time, all newborn Israelite males were to be thrown into the Nile. Simple fix, really.

Do we really have to do Exodus? Anyone who has ever been limited to network television on an Easter weekend had surely seen the damn story… Damn it.

One of the Israelite slaves became pregnant. Unwilling to kill her newborn son (mothers can be funny that way) she put the baby in a water-tight basket and sent it off across the Nile. Luckily for the babe, none other than the pharaoh’s own daughter finds him. She feels sorry for the crying baby and decides to keep him. Like a pet, maybe.She sends for a maid to feed the baby and somehow the baby’s actual mother ends up nursing him. They named him Moses. There was no hot Egyptian princess, by the way. And no Moses, pharaoh, princess love triangle either. I cannot begin to explain what a letdown that is.

As much of a letdown as that is, there are some other ways Hollywood really screwed up the story in order to create drama. Who’d have thought Hollywood would ever do that? Charlton Heston’s whole, I didn’t even know I was an Israelite baby this whole time that I’ve been heartlessly directing their slave labor; now that I’ve found out, I’m gonna whine and cry like a teenager. Yeah, complete bull. He knew. In fact, it sounds like the entire No, really, he’s Egyptian cover up was Hollywood bull. Pretty sure everyone knew that the pharaoh’s daughter was harboring a slave baby. And everyone seems ok with it, until Moses screwed up. Hard. One day Moses went to watch his people at work and killed an Egyptian who had been beating a slave. Pharaoh finds out and tries to kill Moses, but Moses flees into the desert. As you often do when wondering through the dessert, he ends up finding a wife and having two children. See? All these young people in the club trying to find love, when really they should just go hiking through the desert. Easy.

Meanwhile, back in Egypt, pharaoh dies and another pharaoh takes his place. The Israelites cry out loud enough for God to hear, because slavery seriously sucksSo God was like, Oh yeah, I totally promised Abraham I would save his people after they had been slaves for a while. And by that time, they had been slaves for just under 430 years, so I’m guessing He got that, oh shit, I forgot to take the pizza out of the oven feeling. God came to Moses in the form of a burning bush. Why a bush? It’s Bible logic, there is no why. He told Moses to go back to Egypt and save the Israelites. Now I’ll warn you right off that Moses and the Israelites are whiney little wankers, so get ready for that. Prepare for it, it’s annoying. Moses was all why me? (Did I not warn you?) And God didn’t really answer the question but promised that the Israelites would get super rich off of plundering the Egyptians on the way out. What if they don’t believe me, Moses asked, so God showed him some cool tricks to show the Egyptians to prove that he was legit. I’m a horrible public speaker, Moses complained. So God kicked Moses in the balls. No he didn’t, but maybe he should have.

Apparently annoyed by Moses’ whininess (I’m guessing), God decided to kill him. But Moses’ wife, Zipporah, did a quick circumcision on her son, and put the bloody dick skin on Moses’ feet, so…. I don’t know why. I have no idea why. That’s disgusting. But for whatever reason it makes God decide not to kill Moses. Or maybe He was just really busy throwing up, I’m not sure. Back in Egypt, God tells Moses’ brother Aaron to round up the Israelite elders and get his butt to the desert and meet with Moses. So Aaron does, and Moses does his tricks for them and tells them that he’s there to save them. Which in my mind was Charlie Heston saying, “Come with me if you want to live.” Am I right?

5:1

Aaron and Moses go to pharaoh and do their best imitation of the Heston: “Let my people go.” To which pharaoh not only said no, but hell no. So much no that now I’m going to stop supplying your people with straw. They can get their own damn straw and still complete the same amount of work. When the Israelites heard about this, they were (naturally) less than happy with Moses. Moses got all whiney again, but God wasn’t about to let him out of this people-saving thing.

Moses and Aaron went back to pharaoh and did the staff into a snake trick, but pharaoh called his own sorcerers who did the same thing, but then Moses’ snake totally ate their snakes. So Moses came back the next day. (Does pharaoh not have bodyguards? Seriously?) This time Moses did the Nile water into blood trick. The water got really stinky, and all the fish died. But pharaoh wasn’t impressed, because his sorcerers could do the same thing. How they proved that I’m not sure, because the Nile was already blood. I guess they did it on that other river that runs through Egypt.

Seven days passed (without water? No one had water. Even the water in the pots had turned to blood… so?) and Moses made frogs appear. Lots of frogs. Shit tons of frogs. It had to be a lot of frogs, because seriously, they’re frogs. How annoying could they be? Pharaoh’s sorcerers also made frogs appear, which is the opposite of helping at this point. Finally, pharaoh was like, ok , do what you want, just get the frogs out of here! So Moses made the frogs go away, but the pharaoh went back on his word. So then God made all of the dust into gnats. Which are way more annoying than frogs, but even though the sorcerers couldn’t reproduce it, pharaoh wasn’t having it. Then, God sent flies. Lots of fuckin’ flies. Just to make it more impressive, God made the homes of the Israelites a fly-free zone. Once again pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites go but later went back on his word once the flies were gone. Next, was the plague on livestock. The Egyptians lost all of their livestock, while the Israelites lost none. Next, was boils, which for me was the freakiest part of The Mummy. Waaaaaay gross. Although I am confused on one thing, all of the Egyptian livestock die in the previous curse, but in this one it says that the animals got boils too. So? Pets? Maybe? If anyone ever gave my pets boils, that shit would be over ASAP. I would cut some bitches.

Afterward, God totally trash talks. I could for serious, just kill  you all with a plague, but I won’t. You know why? Because then you’d all be dead and couldn’t see how cool I am, so I’ll just keep cursing you instead. And then God told the Egyptians that they had better bring their livestock (yes, another plot hole) inside, because He was gonna send the worst hail storm ever. And he did. It destroyed all of the fields (again… the same fields that the flies destroyed). Pharaoh pulled his lying bullshit again, so Moses stopped the storm. After pharaoh went back on his word again, came the locusts. They destroyed what was left after the hail (which I thought was nothing, but this book follows its own set of rules). Guess what pharaoh did?  If you guessed lying like the sack of crap he is, you’re correct! But at least the locusts were gone. Unfortunately, so was the light. For three days nobody could see shit. I’m not talking darkish, like in the Heston movie. I mean full on shit your pants dark. Still  pharaoh insisted on being a prick.

11:1

Then came the big show. God explained to Moses that he planned to kill the first born of every Egyptian, from the pharaoh’s son to the lowest slave’s son. Because God obviously likes to punish people who haven’t done shit to anyone. Also the firstborn of the Egyptian animals were to die. All of the animals should be dead at least three times over, but ok. God also tells Moses to have the Israelites ask their Egyptian neighbors for their gold. Which they gave to them… because they liked the Israelites? So confused…. Lastly, each Israelite family was told to slaughter and eat a one-year old lamb. God even specified the way they were to prepare the lamb and how they should dress as they ate it. To me, this relationship seems a little overbearing, but the Israelites were obviously desparate. The Israelites also had to take the blood of their lamb and smear it around their doorway, that way God would know to pass over their doors with his first-born murder cloud. (It was a cloud in the movie). Get it? Pass over, passover? You see what they did there? Then God explained how they were to celebrate Passover from then on (lots of unleavened bread. He’s big on the unleavened bread).

That night, God swept through Egypt, killing all of their firstborn. “There was not a house without someone dead.” Ah… religion. At which point, pharaoh was fucking done and ordered Moses to take his people and gtfo. Luckily, the Israelites had time to collect all of the gold form their Egyptian neighbors and left their enslavement totally rich. Unluckily, they didn’t have time to put the yeast back in the bread. Seriously, this bread thing seems to be a major issue. 600 Israelites left Egypt that day. Men, Israelite men. Women don’t count. On the way out, God gave some additional Passover instructions, which mostly have to do with circumcision. God takes a serious interest in the penises of his followers. Also, should it not be peni?

Something to point out about this story, is that God is constantly driving both sides of the story. The Bible makes it very clear that God either hardens or softens pharaoh’s heart to change his mind back and forth. So what happened to free will? Does it exist at all? Does it only exist for the Israelites? Dunno. Also, as I noted earlier, God points out that he could have just killed all of the Egyptians and freed the Israelites. Better yet, he could have just used his Jedi mind trick and had pharaoh release everyone without bloodshed. But no. God has to showboat and show off his power to earn the respect of the Egyptians. The Bible is also careful to point out that part of God’s issue is that he wants to prove that he is better than the Egyptian gods. So instead of just freeing the damn people, He goes on an ego trip that results in the deaths of many innocent Egyptians. Not to mention, if the Bible is to be believed, most of the Egyptians were slaves at this time too. Remember Joseph and his food scam?

God knows that the Egyptians plan on following and making war with the Israelites, so instead of leading them down the road, he takes them on a path to the Red Sea. God led the way as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Have I not pointed out at least once, that God has style? Once they got to the sea, the Israelites saw that pharaoh and his army were closing in on them and started being little shits to Moses about bringing them out just to be killed. But God told Moses to put out his hand over the sea, so he did and the sea parted. The Israelites walked through the two walls of water. Pharaoh tried to follow, but God closed the sea back up, killing every Egyptian, the pharaoh included. The Bible says that God did this in order to prove himself to the Egyptians. Except he forgot to leave a survivor. You have to leave a survivor. God needs to watch more movies.

It’s really only at this point that the Israelites stop whining and put their trust in Moses and God. Just kidding. They did until they realized they were in a desert with no food. Then they got bitchy again. So God gave them bread to collect off of the ground. (No really, they collected it off of the ground.) Then they were all upset about not having water, so God had Moses hit a rock with his snake staff and water came out of it. I guess rain storms are harder to make that nail storms? Then some outsiders attacked the Israelites. Moses sent some guys out to fight and promised to fight with the staff of God. On a hill. Far away from the battle. Wink. But seriously, Moses would raise his hands and his guys would start to win, but if he lowered his hands the other side would start to win. Imagine the fun you could have with that. Eventually, Moses’ arms got tired, so Aaron and another guy had to hold them up. Charlton Heston, you weak bastard.

18:1

Eventually, the Israelites get to Mount Sinai. God tells everyone to get all cleaned, stop banging, and get consecrated, because he was going to make a major announcement. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron up the mountain. Where He gave them the Ten Commandments: 1) No other gods before me. Note once again that there are other gods, God just wants to be number one. 2) No idols. At least God can admit that he’s a jealous dude. 3) Do not misuse the name of God. “Misuse” can mean a lot of things. 4) No working on the Sabbath. None, not even the slaves! 5) Honor your mom and dad. 6) No murdering. Unless you’re God, then you can murder whomever, whenever. 7) No adultery. Unless you need some people to think your wife is your sister and not kill you. Then they can bang your wife. 8) No stealing. 9) Don’t give false testimony against your neighbors. I’m willing to bet this would cover a lot of today’s gossip. 10) No being jealous of your neighbor. Which we have just torn all to shreds. Those are the Ten Commandments. Not suggestions, not random lines in the Bible that may or may not mean what you want them to. The Commandments. So if anyone can judge an unmarried, pregnant woman, a gay man or anyone else who isn’t quite up to snuff, I hope that they’ve never said “God damn it,” that they’ve never even lifted a finger on a Sunday, that they’ve never talked back to or questioned their parents, that they’ve never stolen so much as a paperclip from the office, that they’ve never cheated on their spouse, that they’ve never gossiped or lied about their neighbors and that they’ve never, ever been even a little bit jealous of something a neighbor had.Otherwise? Those in glass houses, ya’ll.

I feel like I failed you in my Heston promise. There should have been more. I just… I failed. I was also hoping to slip in a “from my cold, dead hands” line, but I failed in that too. For that, my most sincere apologies. But other than that, hell yeah! Done with shit that everybody already knows! Onward to new subjects!

 

Jacob’s Stairway to Heaven and Joseph’s Bedazzled Robe

Back to Ishmael. He had lots of sons. Lots. These Biblical people reproduced like rabbits. Like Ishmael, his offspring lived in hostility toward everyone else. But then, who wouldn’t after daddy kicks both you and your mother out into the desert. And we’re done with Ishmael. That’s all you get.

Back to Isaac. Isaac pulls the same shit with Rebekah that Abraham had pulled with Sarah. He told everyone that Rebekah was his sister, because he was afraid of being killed over his beautiful wife. Never you mind that maybe Rebekah didn’t want to be on the market. This time Abimelech (remember Abimelech from last time? He married Sarah but didn’t get around to doin’ it with her, because God told him to cut it out. He’s still around, trying to marry and do it with all of the fine ladies) figured out Isaac’s bull shit game. He was like dude, that’s fucking rude. We could have unknowingly banged your wife and gotten in a shitload of trouble. Between that and that fact that Isaac had gotten obscenely rich and everyone was already jealous of him, Abimelech decided it was time for Isaac to gtfo. Everywhere Isaac tried to go, men were so jealous that they continuously stopped up his wells. Which is hilarious. Maybe not as much fun as setting off fireworks on your band teacher’s front porch, but still hilarious. Also, no of course I never did that firework thing, I was just  assuming it would be really fun.

Rebekah was barren. Because fucking of course she was. Isaac prayed to God, and God responded by making Rebekah pregnant with twins, because God doesn’t do in betweens. When Rebekah was all, God what the hell have you done to me, God responded that she carried “two nations” in her womb (it would take a lot of shea butter to to keep a two-nations belly stretch-mark free), but that the older would be servant to the younger. When Rebekah gave birth, the first came out fully covered in hair (are we sure Isaac was the father?) and was named Esau; the younger came out holding onto Esau’s ankle and was named Caleb. Esau, a wild child and avid hunter, became Isaac’s favorite. But Rebekah favored her quiet child, Caleb. Because all parents should have a favorite, obviously.

When Isaac was getting up in his years, he went blind. One day he was lying on his death bed and told Esau to go hunt some game and cook it for him, so that Isaac could give him his blessing. Hear that parents? Straight to their rooms with no blessings if they don’t make you some fucking mac and cheese for once. Rebekah overheard what Isaac has said, and loving Jacob more, she told Jacob that he should trick Isaac and take Esau’s place. Is it just me or is every mother in the Bible a Cersei Lannister? Serves the men fucking right. Also as fun side note, Rebekah had to cover Jacob in goat skin so that he would feel hairy like his brother. Are we really sure that Isaac was the father? Either way the plan worked, and Isaac blessed Jacob, believing him to be Esau. When Esau found out that all of the good blessings had been given out, and that he had been left sort of blessings-less, he was pretty pissed off. As in, I’mma kill that little shit, so Rebekah sent Jacob away to her family to hide and find a wife (a wife from amongst Rebekah’s own family).

When Esau turned forty, he married. Twice. So that’s a thing. Then he realized that two wasn’t really douchey enough, and he took another wife. Remember how this guy is completely covered in hair? Not like seventies porn star hairy, covered in what felt like goat hair hairy. There isn’t a point to bringing it up again, I just wanted to reiterate… gross, right?

On the way to stay with his uncle, Jacob took a nap and had a dream about a stairway that reached from the earth to heaven, and angels were going up and down the stairs. God stood at the top and blessed him. What the fuck did Jacob eat? Whatever it is, that shit isn’t even legal in Colorado.

When Jacob finally got his drugged-out ass to his uncle’s, Laban, he discovered that Laban had two daughters. The oldest, Leah, had “weak eyes.” I have no fucking idea what that means. The youngest, Rachel was beautiful. Naturally Jacob’s dick, like an arrow on a compass, went straight for Rachel (his first cousin, btw.) Laban said Jacob could marry Rachel if Jacob worked for him for seven years. So Jacob worked for seven years, probably with a  woody for every second of every day of that. But Laban tricked Jacob into marrying and getting it on with Leah instead of Rachel, because back in the day, you had to unload the oldest daughter first. So, Jacob had to work another seven years in order to earn his second wife, Rachel.

Obvi, Jacob preferred Rachel over miss “weak eyes” and didn’t treat Leah all that well. Jacob must have been a real dick, because God actually felt sorry for a Leah. Yes, God actually seems to get the feels over how a woman was being treated. So God opened Leah’s womb and made her preggers. Meanwhile, Rachel was barren… because fucking of course she was! Leah ends up getting preggers a lot, and eventually Rachel gets super pissed and pulls the same thing Sarah had. She gave Jacob her servant to make a baby with. Which he did. At that point, Leah had stopped having children, so she gave her  servant to Jacob to get preggers with. Which he also did. This seriously goes back and forth like the war of the fucking vaginas. At one point, Rachel wants some mandrakes that Leah has, so she trades getting banged by Jacob that night for the mandrakes. Leah tells Jacob, “You must sleep with me, I have hired you with mandrakes.” Which is just… the best damn thing I’ve ever read in my life. Then Leah gets pregnant some more. And finally, finally Rachel actually gets pregnant. God just plays with women’s wombs like a damn clicky pen.

Afterward, there’s a long story about how Jacob screwed his uncle out of all of his best livestock. Jacob prospered of course; being tricksy and screwing over other people doesn’t seem to be something that God concerns himself with. Eventually, the uncle got pissy that he was losing everything to Jacob and sent him (and the daughters he had “sold” to him) away. Rachel stole some stuff when she left, but when Laban tracked them down to find the stolen goods, Rachel sat on them and told her father she could not get up, because she was on her period. And the lie of the menstrual cycle was born. If you can work your period into anything you tell a man, he has to, by rule, believe you. Why are you late to class? Period. Why can’t you work tonight? Period. Why do women win every fucking argument ever? Period. If you’ve been paying attention to anything in this book, you’ll realize that, quite frankly, women deserve this loophole. Period.

During the trip back to his family, Jacob “wrestles with God.” At least I think so; that’s what the heading says. Inside the story it says that a man wrestled with Jacob all night, and that the man couldn’t overcome Jacob, so he did something to the socket in Jacob’s thigh to make it lock up. Then the man renamed Jacob, Israel, meaning “struggles with God,” and went about his way. Apparently, we’re not supposed to eat some specific tendon attached to the hip socket for this reason. I think the writer just got really drunk, made up some weird story and forgot to proofread when he was sober, because this story makes zero sense.

Jacob (apparently God didn’t for serious rename Jacob, because he is still referred to as Jacob) went back to Canaan and made peace with Esau. While living amongst the Canaanites, one of Jacob’s daughters, Dinah, is “violated” by a Canaanite jerk off. But the Canaanite jerk off proclaimed that he loved Dinah and wanted to marry her, so his father asks Jacob to give Dinah to the jerk off. At first, Jacob was all, we can’t because they haven’t cut that part of their penis off yet. Seriously, the only thing Jacob is worried about during his discussion of whether or not to give this “violated” girl away was whether to not their lack of  having been circumcised would bring the family embarrassment. But the Canaanites agreed to circumcision, so Jacob’s all sure you can have my daughter whom your son raped. So the Canaanites, true to their word, circumcise themselves, and are in a shitload of pain when Dinah’s brothers kill every man in the city in retribution. When Jacob was like, what the fuck, guys? They responded that the men should not have treated their sister like a “prostitute.” I mean… I’ll give a hesitant hurrah to her brothers actually giving a shit about their sister and how she was treated, but… overreact much? They killed every guy in the city. Then looted the city. After the men had all just mutilated their penises as agreed. And honestly, I’m not sure what “violated” means, but I assume it means that they forced sex on her before marrying her, instead of marrying her first and then treating her a slave, which was the custom. So… not sure that anyone in this story has any place to be defending the rights of a woman. I’m also not sure whether the brothers were actually defending Dinah, or if they just wanted revenge because the family was embarrassed by the act. Either way, they basically butchered an entire city, by both the direct act of murder and by looting anything that the surviving women and children might have been able to survive on.

The Canaanites never get revenge for the butchered city, because the “terror of God” fell on the surrounding cities. Shortly after, Rebekah dies giving birth to Benjamin (Rebekah wanted to name him Ben-Oni, but apparently dying to give birth to him doesn’t give her the right to name him, plus Jacob was afraid people would mistake his son for that guy in Star Wars.)

Now let’s have a lesson on the dangers of parental favoritism, shall we? Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son, so Jacob made him a super awesome robe. Remember that technicolor dreamcoat? This is the one. His brothers were jealous of Joseph and his bedazzled robe. It also didn’t help that Joseph was like I had a dream where my leaf rose above all of your leaves, and your leaves bowed to me. One day, when they were far from home, the brothers plotted to kill Joseph, but one brother, Reuben, told them that it was a dick move, so they stole his robe and threw him down a well instead. Compromise. But helping your brother out of a well is a lot of work, so they sold him to some merchants headed to Egypt instead. Then they took his robe, dipped it in blood and presented it to their father, Jacob, who believed that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal and was, understandably, upset about that.

Next there’s a fun story about another of Jacob’s sons, Judah. Not Judas. He had three sons. God killed the first son for unknown reasons, then God killed the second son, because he would not spill his seed in his wife. Then Judah tried to burn a woman alive because she was pregnant and a prostitute, which was apparently a no no. But the prostitute proved that is was Judah who got her pregnant, and suddenly the case was dropped. Judah could totally be an American politician. He would fit right in.

Back to Joseph. He had been sold into the household of an Egyptian, but God was with him, and Joseph took great care of everything, and his master loved him. The master’s wife wanted to bang Joseph something fierce, but he wouldn’t do it. Why? Because someone in this book finally has some damn morals. The wife makes up a story about how Joseph was trying to sleep with her, and the master throws Joseph into prison.

In prison, Joseph meets two servants of the pharaoh and correctly interprets their dreams through God. Two years later, the pharaoh has a dream that no one in his palace can interpret. One of the servants, who remembered Joseph, suggested that the pharaoh go to him. So pharaoh does, and Joseph successfully interprets the dream: Egypt will have seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. Joseph also suggests that pharaoh save food from the next seven years to use during the famine. Pharaoh is way impressed by this somewhat obvious solution and puts Jacob in charge of pretty much everything. Pharaoh is the only one higher up than Joseph, because he’s like… the pharaoh. The Bible makes it very clear that Joseph’s sudden rise to stardom was because God was with him, not because Joseph was smart or cool or anything.

Once the famine started, it was far-reaching, and Jacob’s family was wasting away. Jacob had heard that there was food in Egypt, so he sent his sons to buy some.  When they arrived, Joseph recognized his douchebag brothers and messed with their heads at first. Being a cool dude, he eventually got tired of messing with them and revealed himself as their brother. At first, they were scared because they had seriously fucked Joseph over, but Joseph told them that instead of giving them the dick kicks they so obviously deserved, he wanted them to go retrieve the rest of their family from Canaan and bring them to Egypt, where he could provide for them. So they did. When the brothers returned home and told Jacob everything that had happened, Jacob was was super happy that Joseph was alive and never even thought to ask about the whole blood soaked robe thing. They immediately packed up and went to Egypt.

Throughout the famine, Jacob controlled all of the food that had been saved to feed the people of Egypt. Jacob kept his word to his family and provided for them. However, the Egyptian people eventually could no longer afford to buy food from Joseph and pharaoh, so Joseph instructed them to bring their livestock in trade for food. When they ran out of that, Joseph took all of their land in payment. After that, the Egyptians sold themselves into slavery to the pharaoh for food. Once the famine ended, pharaoh pretty much owned everything in Egypt, including the people. To be fair, Joseph seems to want to do right by the Egyptian people, to make sure they have food. And in the end, they survive the famine, but was there a better way? Like… I don’t know… giving the food back to the people who had given it to Joseph to save in the first place?! Yeah, maybe that would have been better. Adulting is hard.

Eventually, Jacob dies, but not before he blesses his twelve sons as the twelve tribes of Israel. (Remember how God, or possibly some random wrestler, renamed Jacob, Israel and I wasn’t sure if it was for realsies? I still don’t know. Both names are used throughout the story.) His family carries him back to the land of the Hittites to bury him in the cave with Abraham and Sarah.  Joseph dies not long after, leaving behind two sons and his wife. He, however, is not carried back to his birthplace but put into a tomb in Egypt. Jacob’s death is the first time that the Bible addresses what happens to a person when he or she dies. It says that he “was gathered to his people.” Which sounds pretty nice, really.

And there you have it! Genesis, in all of it’s bloody, sexist weirdness. And now onto that Charlton Heston story!

 

Father Abraham or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Burning Sulfur

Ok, so last time we left off right after God screwed us on the language thing. Now everybody is scattered again, and there are lots of different languages for me to fail at learning. Afterwards, there’s a lot more sex and a lot more so-and-so becomes the father of so-and-so, until we get to Abram and his nephew Lot. Abram married Sarai, who was barren.  God told Abram to leave his country and go to a land that God would show him. “I will make a great nation of you,” God said, “and I will bless you.” Sounds promising, huh? Not really. There was a famine on the land that God told Abram was to be his. So Abram left. Where did Abram go? To the one fucking place even I know you should never go as a Bible character. Fucking Egypt.

Abram tells his wife Sarai that the Egyptians would find her beautiful and kill him to be with her. So, he asked her to lie and tell everyone that she was his sister. Sounds innocent enough, right? Except Pharaoh takes Sarai “into his palace.” To wife, people. That’s old school for bang. Not only is Abram not killed because of his “sister,” he gets stupidly fucking rich off of marrying his wife to another man. Stupidly rich. Eventually, God finds out what has happened and takes it out on the Pharaoh! God “inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household,” because he banged another man’s wife. At which point, Pharaoh figures out the game, is understandably pissed the fuck off at Abram for lying to him, and he kicks both Abram and Sarai out. Don’t worry though, Abram got to keep the riches, because Bible logic.

Afterward, Abram goes back to the land that God had given him. Lot suddenly appears at his side again. (Apparently he had been around for the whole Egypt thing.) Between the two of them, Abram and Lot were so damn rich and had so much shit with them, that they decided to split up. Abram went to the land of Canaan, and Lot went to live near the city of Sodom. Yes, that Sodom. God tells Abram that his offspring will be, “Like the dust of the earth,” because he will have so many that they could not be counted. Downside? God adds that the offspring will be enslaved for 400 years. God smooths that over by promising that Abram will not be a slave, and that He will totally for sure punish those who take Abram’s offspring as slaves. Hello, your children will be held captive and forced to work against their will, but not you, totally not you, bro. And everybody seems cool with that. Plus now, all of the sudden, God decides to be omniscient.

As stated earlier, Abram’s wife, Sarai, was barren. No kiddies were poppin’ out of that any time soon. So Sarai gave her Egyptian servant, Hagar, to Abram to have kids with. Gave her. Gave a human being to Abram for sexual uses. Let that sink in for a hot minute. Hagar conceived. Afterward, a plot line worthy of a Lifetime movie unfolded. Hagar was pissy to Sarai, because she knew she had conceived when Sarai could not. Then Sarai got pissy with Abram, because he got Hagar pregnant, never mind that it was her idea. Abram, tired of being continually nagged, told Sarai to do whatever she wanted with Hagar. So Sarai was a first-class bitch to Hagar, and Hagar ran away. But God found her, told her to get her butt back to Abram and to name her kid Ishmael, whom God said would be a “wild donkey of a man.” Hagar, for whatever reason, did as she was told.

Then God makes a covenant with Abram; basically God promised to be God to all of Abram’s descendants. Note that at this point, there are a lot of other people in the world with zero promises from God, only Abram and his offspring. The only thing that God asked for in return? That Abram, his descendants, and every person he bought (yes, you read that correctly; people could be bought), cut off a part of their penises. There isn’t really a reason given for why God asks for that particular thing… I guess it just seemed like the ultimate show of faith. Almost nothing seems worse than that (except what God asks of Abraham later, but we’ll get to that. Yes, worse than cutting part of your dick off. And dudes think women are rough asking for flowers and shit.) God then renamed Abram, Abraham, and Sarai, Sarah, and promised Abraham that Sarah would give him a child, even though she was ninety years old. Yep, a ninety year old woman with a baby coming out of her hooha. Try and get that image out of your head.

Sometime later, God visits Abraham with two men, later pointed out to be angels. God told Abraham that he planned to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, because the “outcry” against the cities was so great and their sins so grievous. The Bible never specifically says what the cities did that was so wrong; maybe God was just having a shitty day? Abraham asks God if he will spare the cities should he find fifty righteous men within them. God agrees. Abraham then proceeded to be a whiny little pain in the ass until he wore God down to sparing the city for ten righteous men. Apparently, but at this point not surprisingly, righteous women counted for nil. They were goin’ down either way.

During the bargaining process between God and Abraham, the two angels had gone down to Sodom. When they came through the city gates, Lot saw them and invited them into his home. While they were in Lot’s house, men from all over the city came to Lot’s door and asked Lot to “bring them out,” so that they could “have sex” with the angels. I’m assuming they were super-hot Channing Tatum angels. Lot said no way, but then he offered his virgin daughters for them to do with as they pleasedNo dude, you can’t have these angels, but please gang rape my daughters until they die. That line is not meant to make light; it is meant to highlight how fucking disgusting that is.

The two angels dragged Lot inside, saving him and his daughters, and then they struck the men outside with blindness so that they could not find the door. The angels told Lot to get himself and his loved ones out of Sodom, because God had sent them to destroy the city. So just to recap: trying to have sex with angels, not ok. Trying to give your daughters over to angry men to be repeatedly raped, the angels insist on saving you.

Lot ran to a nearby city, Zoar, which the angels promised to spare. Soon after Lot fled, God rained down burning sulfur (if nothing else, God’s got style) on Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying the cities and the crops completely. Lot’s wife looked back at the cities and became a pillar of salt; to be fair, she had been warned. Now, I know that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has been used by some to argue against homosexuality. As far as I can tell, homosexuality never enters the narrative. The sins of those inside the city are never mentioned. The men outside of Lot’s doors do ask to have sex with the angels, but they’re angels. They aren’t really even men. Not to mention, they’re trying to rape the angels, not have consensual sex with them. Plus, if you want to take just that paragraph seriously, you would also have to be ok with giving your daughters over to being repeatedly raped, so… I don’t see an argument against homosexuality in this story.

Unfortunately, after Lot and his daughters flee, their story just gets more fucked up. They wind up in a cave, and the daughters apparently get horny. Not having any dudes around to bang, they decide it would be a good idea to sleep with their father to “preserve the family line.” They got Lot super drunk two nights in a row, “lay with him,” and conceived. Personally, I think Lot asked for it. Those two girls must have a a daddy-issues list a mile long. No one gets in trouble for this by the way. This was apparently a-ok.

Once the smoking remains of Sodom were blocking Abraham’s view, he decided to move again. This time, he went to Negev. He did the same thing to Sarah that he had done in Egypt. He made her call herself his sister. Once again, the king “took” Sarah. Now this time God came to the king, Abimelech, in a dream. God told him that were he to go near Sarah, he and his nation would die. To which Abimelech pointed out that both Abraham and Sarah had lied, and that he was innocent. God responded with, that was the reason for the forewarning, cut it out. In the dream, God also proclaimed Abraham to be a prophet, even though he is a lying sack. Abimelech then called Abraham in to ask him, wtf? Abraham answered that Abimelech and his people needed “the fear of God,” and that in all reality Sarah was his half-sister, so it was only really a half lie. Abimelech, apparently cool with that excuse gave Sarah, plus a bunch a female slaves to Abraham. The man simply cannot fucking lose, no matter how shitty he is. Then God reopened all of the women’s wombs, which had been closed as punishment against Abimelech. So maybe all of those ultra-conservative politicians are right; God can and does control the wombs of women! Plus, they can be used as a fun mechanism to punish men!

After Sarah’s womb was reopened, she finally gave birth to the long promised son, Issac. This, of course, opened old wounds with Hagar and Ishmael, because Sarah wanted only Isaac to get Abraham’s inheritance. Abraham was troubled, but God was like yeah, totally kick your first son out. He and his mother, whom you used, will wonder in the desert and almost die, but I won’t kill them for realsies. So off Hagar and Ishmael were sent. God did promise to care for Ishmael, which he did, and Ishmael grew to be a great archer and father to a great nation; we’ll get back to him later.

Later in Beersheba, where Abraham lived, God seems to have gotten bored one day and decided to test Abraham. He told Abraham to take Isaac, now his only son and burn him as an offering. As Abraham and Isaac walked to the assigned spot with only wood and fire utensils, Isaac asked his father why they did not have an offering to burn. Abraham lied and told his son that God would provide the offering. At this point, if I didn’t already really really dislike Abraham, I would be crying in my cereal for him. Abraham built the altar, put his son on it, and started to make with the killing. But before he could do so, an angel of God spoke to Abraham and told him that it had been a test. (I like to imagine he also threw in a you mad, bro?)  Abraham was super happy, but personally, I think I would have been bitter. God is legit the worst prankster ever. The angel also told Abraham that because he had passed the test and offered his only son to God, He would bless all of the nations of the earth, not just Abraham’s offspring as earlier promised. Not sure how that really helps the dude that damn near killed his son for you, but whatevs, right?

Next up, a bunch more “father of” stuff, including the sons of concubines, which are never pointed out as bastards, just treated as normal children, thank you very much. Then Sarah dies. All the sudden Abraham seem to care for her and wants the best tomb around. At the time, he was living amongst the Hittites, and they offered him a sweet ass cave, but Abraham insisted on buying it. I like to think that this a small token of apology to his dead wife for having earlier let other dudes marry and bang her. Sarah was buried in the cave shortly thereafter. Abraham, being old as balls, then made his top servant promise him to find a son for Isaac amongst Abraham’s own people, and the servant agreed. Side note, the oath was made by the servant putting his hand under Abahram’s thigh, so the pinky promise thing? Total bull, slip your hand under their thigh, or that promise is complete shit.

Abraham’s servant left immediately to find a wife for Issac. Along the way, he stopped at a well. He prayed to God to help him on his quest, and low and behold out walks Rebekah (cousin twice removed from Isaac, or something gross like that). The man gave Rebekah his nose ring (he actually took it out of his nose and put it in hers… ew) and two gold bracelets, asking to spend the night with her and her family. Rebekah ran home to tell her family, and her brother invited the man in. The servant explained his plight to Rebekah’s brother, to which the brother said, “take her and go.” Because once again women matter zero. However, Rebekah did seem pretty fired up to meet her new “master.” The upside to this portion? Anyone who follows the Bible and gets all judgy about a nose ring needs to get over it. Even Rebekah wore them.

Once the servant brought Rebekah back to her new master, the two were immediately married. Isaac loved her, and he was comforted after the passing of his mother. Soon after, Abraham remarried and had a lot more sons with her and with his concubines. He gave gifts to each son and sent them off to die or make their fortunes. That’s a lot of packs of cigarettes he had to fake go get. And people think that society and the home unit is just now falling apart… eye roll. Abraham finally died at the age of 175 and was buried beside his sometimes beloved Sarah.

Next time, we’ll check in on Ishmael and meet Jacob!

 

In the Beginning….

*Disclaimer: I promised a couple of you that I would get through one book of the Bible a week. Turns out, it is impossible to cover an entire book in one post. Genesis is pretty beefy. So, my plan is to post parts of Genesis throughout the week, maybe every other day or so. Better ideas on that? What follows is an honest retelling; I haven’t tried to twist words or to take things out of context. This is just an outsider’s honest takeaway.*

 

Ok, so we all know this one: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Only He didn’t do a very good job. It sucked. Earth was a dark, formless mass of water. But like any good entrepreneur, He didn’t give up. He then said, “Let there be light,” and light there was. Though what kind of light is up for debate, because God created light on the second day, but then He created the sun on the fourth day. So…? Conundrum. Anyway, on the second day he created the sky, the purpose of which was to separate water from water. Again… wtf? On the third day God created land masses, the seas, and all known forms of vegetation. As earlier pointed out, God created the sun on the fourth day, as well as the stars and the moon. On the fifth day, all of the ocean and sea life was added, plus He threw in birds for some reason. Logic is for mortals. It wasn’t until the sixth day that land creatures were created. Some of the land creatures He created were specifically pointed out as being “livestock,” which may not seem important now, but we’ll come back to it.

Man, as we know, was created in God’s own image. God tells man to “be fruitful and increase in number,” to subdue the earth and all things in it (pretty sure we surpassed all expectations on this one), and then He gave both man and the animals all of the VEGETATION on earth to eat. Did you catch that? VEGETATION. “Everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” No meat, kiddies. So what was the livestock for? Fur? Nope, man is still naked at this point. Milk? What part of VEGETATION aren’t you getting? We’ll come back to this again later. On the seventh day, God saw that all he had made was good, so he blessed the day and rested.

Apparently, God only really created Adam to take care of Eden. Someone needed to work the fields, and God is more of a delegator. He told Adam that he could eat from anything in the garden, except the fruit the grew on the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” If man ate it, God warned, man would surely die. Which we all know was a bunch of propaganda.

Next, God had man name all of the creatures. Aardvark, Adam? Really? Then God decided man needed a suitable helper, so He put Adam into a deep sleep, removed his rib without the proper sign offs, and created Eve with it. Man named his helper woman, because “she was taken out of me.” Gross.

So at this point in the story, Adam and Eve are both nakey and unashamed. Enter the snake. The snake is craftier than any of the other animals, and he basically told Eve that God had given Adam a bunch of bullshit when He said that the fruit on the tree of knowledge would kill them. “You will not surely die,” the snake said, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened , and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So Eve took some of the fruit, gave some to Adam (who had been standing right there–no trickery here), and they both ate it. Then their eyes are opened, they realize they’re nakey, and decide to cover their nakeyness with fig leaves. Personally, I think poison ivy would have made a more interesting story. Though they did go against God’s words, in fairness to Adam and Eve, God had lied to them about the tree, and maybe they just wanted to open their eyes and be more like God.

Soon after, God decided to take a stroll in the garden. Knowing they were in deep shit, Adam and Eve hid. God called out to them. Adam, being a fucking moron, yelled back saying he was afraid to come out because he was naked. So then God was all, did you eat from the tree? And Adam was all, Eve told me to. So Eve was all, the snake started it; because owning your shit apparently hadn’t been created yet. (Also note that the Bible has not yet said anything about God being omniscient, and this episode would suggest that He is not.) So God made the snake lower than all animals, cursed to crawl the earth on his belly. The most terrifying thing about this, to me, is that prior to this episode snakes must have had legs. Nightmares. Every night. He also created enmity between women and the snake, which is why my grandmother hates them and chops their heads off with shovels.

God then punished Eve, telling her that childbearing was going to suck something fierce, and that man was to be her master. To Adam, God said that man would have to grow his own food now, that it would be hard as shit to do, and then Adam would die. Apparently, the “Life’s a bitch, and then you die” motto is completely true and masterminded by God. He then kicked Adam and Eve out of Eden, so that they could not eat from the tree of life and live forever. He put cherubim and a flying, flaming sword at the entrance to guard it. Seriously, “a flaming sword flashing back and forth.” So God pretty much kicked the kids out of the basement, took away eternal life, and cursed all future generations because of some apples. If you think God over reacted on this one, just wait.

So then Adam and Eve celebrated their newly opened eyes by doin’ it. Eve later gave birth to Cain and a little later, Abel. Cain cared for the fields, and Abel took care of the flocks. Side note: again with the flocks/livestock?! What the holy fucking shit is the point?! VEGETATION, guys. Cain brought fruits from the soil to God as offerings, but his wanker brother brought God fat portions from his flock. (So God can eat meat?) Apparently, God preferred the meat, because He favored Abel. Which made Cain super pissy, so he killed Abel. Obviously, God wasn’t really happy about that, so He made the soil baren and forced Cain to wonder the earth. The upside, was that God put a mark on Cain, so that other men would know not to kill him. WHOA, there… other men? OTHER MEN? THE FUCK? What other men??? Did we, or did we not, just  create the world and the only fucking people in it?!?! On that same note, Cain settled and “lay with his wife.” What wife? What in the holy hell is going on here?! This damn story has more plot holes The Dark Knight Rises. How in the hell did Bruce Wayne get back to Gotham, people?!

Anyway… Cain and his mystery wife had a bunch of kids. Adam and Eve also conceived again, a little bundle named Seth. Then Seth had lots of kids, and everyone lived until they were like 800 years old. (Once again, the mystery of where Seth’s wife came from is not addressed.) One dude down the line lived so long that God eventually just “took him away.”

Eventually, we come to Noah. Around this time, man had multiplied quite a bit, and the Bible seems to differentiate between the “sons of God” and “men.” How there is a group of people outside of those that God created is not explained and makes zero sense, but there it is. The daughters of man were beautiful, and the sons of God married them. Apparently, God didn’t like that, decided not to remain with man, and to limit their lives to 120 years–something he doesn’t live up to. Here, the Bible mentions the Nephilim, which I looked up. It seems to be somewhat of a consensus that the word refers to the offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men. They were also, possibly, giants. Which sounds like fun. Or it could just refer to fallen men; it depends on who you ask. (I asked a trusted source: Wikipedia, our modern-day tree of knowledge.)

At this point God decided men pretty much sucked, had only evil in their hearts, and regretted his impulse creation. Naturally, he decided to kill everything that walked the earth. Except for Noah; Noah was cool. So God told Noah that he planned on killing everybody and to build a big ship. God even provided dimensions, which came out to about one and a half football fields in length and about 5 stories high. At first, God tells Noah to take two of each kind of animal onto the ark, which is probably the version you’ve heard as well. But then in the next paragraph,God totally screws up every image you’ve ever seen/imagined of Noah’s ark. He says to bring seven of every clean animal, two of every unclean animal, and seven of every kind of bird. Childhood ruined.

From here, you probably know the story. Noah, his wife, his three sons, their three wives, and a metric fuckton of animals got onto the ark. It rains a lot, the earth floods, everything dies, and I’m guessing a lot of sea sickness took place on board the ark. Imagine a rhino with stuff coming out of both ends… this boat ride was probably not for the faint of heart. Eventually there’s something about a raven which generally gets glossed over, then Noah sends a dove out, it comes back with an olive branch, so Noah figures all is well. Once they get off of the boat, Noah takes a bunch of the clean animals and birds (which he just went through a lot of trouble to save) and burnt them as an offering to God. For whatever reason, although God had just fucking asked Noah to save those animals, God loved the aroma and decided to make a covenant to never again “destroy all living creatures” even if man was super, Voldemort evil.

Afterward, God gives all of the animals to man for food, as well as the vegetation. (Up until this moment I was pretty sure I had found the ultimate argument for veganism. Super disappointed, guys. At least now there is reason for the livestock.) He then also changed His covenant to never again destroy all creatures with a flood, so… we might still be screwed? Then God created the rainbow and said that it would be a sign of man’s covenant with God that He would never again destroy all life on earth… with a flood. 

This time, the Bible does specifically say that all mankind, all over the earth, came from Noah’s three sons. So yes, you too are a product of an incestuous relationship. Additionally, Noah became a drunk after the flood. One time, he got so wasted, that he passed out naked in his tent. His son, Ham, saw his nakedness, so Noah cursed him and his offspring to be the “lowest of slaves,” because loving fathers are hard to find in this book so far. Noah lived to be 950 years old–I told you that 120 thing was bull, didn’t I?

So then, Noah’s sons spread out and had lots of sex. Lots. Even after many generations and lots  of sex, man only had one language, so they decided to build a tower that reached to the heavens to gather man together in one place. This made God afraid that if they all worked as one, they could accomplish anything, so He decided to “confuse” their language, so that they would not “understand each other.” And so the tower was abandoned and named the Tower of Babel, because it is where our language was “confused.” Question. Why in the hell would God want to do that? What is he afraid we will accomplish together? Not fighting each other? Not killing each other in wars? Just seriously, what the fuck, God?

 

Tune in next time to find out what happens to man after the Tower of Babel fell, and why I’ve re-renamed Abraham Captain Dick Monkey! Like what I’m trying to do, tell me about it! Don’t like it, suggest a better way I can go about it! I’m open to suggestions! I’m also open to the thoughts and ideas of others regarding the words of the Bible. This blog is meant mostly to start a conversation about what is actually in the Bible, not to be dismissive of a religion, piss people off, or to make anyone feel ousted. So let’s talk! Please comment, follow, and share!