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!

 

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2 thoughts on “Jacob’s Stairway to Heaven and Joseph’s Bedazzled Robe

  1. I like what you are doing, it’s a good read. One suggestion I might make is to include chapter and verse references somewhere so if anyone wants to read the text you have written about in the post.

    Please keep going.

    Like

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