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!

 

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