Need a King? Better Call Saul!

Samuel I 1:1

So there’s this Israelite, Ephraim, who has two wives. The one he loves, Hannah, has had no children, because the Lord closed her womb. The other one, whose name is unimportant, Ephraim loves less, but she has many children. Hannah is beside herself because the other wife gives her constant grief over this fact. Yes, that old Bible trope is back. Hannah goes to the local temple and prays to God that He give her a son. The priest, Eli, sees Hannah praying, and thinks she is drunk. (Apparently, you should never move your mouth while praying. You pray with your heart only.) Hannah swears she is not drunk, and Eli tells her that he hoped she would get what she wanted.

And she did. The next time Ephraim lay with Hannah, God “remembered” her, and she became pregnant. Once she gave birth, she named the baby Samuel.

Let’s talk about that priest, Eli. He had evil sons, who were wicked in the eyes of the Lord. Instead of waiting for their portion of sacrificial meat until after it had been burnt and offered, they took meat (sometimes by force) from people before they could even offer it to God. They also banged the ladies who worked at the temple entrance. Eli tried to talk to his sons, to get them to cut their shit out. But it was God’s will to “put them to death,”so they continued to do evil.

God spoke to Eli. The hell dude? I picked your family as an honor, but you love your sons more than me and allow them to do evil. I’m gonna make you regret it. I’m gonna choose someone else to be my priest. Even though it was God’s doing that made Eli’s sons continue to be evil.

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Samuel, who is a good little boy and prays constantly, is taken in and trained by Eli. One night, God spoke to Samuel telling him that soon He would ruin Eli’s family, just as He had promised. Samuel told Eli what God had said, and Eli wasn’t really surprised.

And then the Israelites decided it would be a good idea to attack the Philistines (the people who keep enslaving them). But they lose, badly. Then they decide that God is not with them, and that they need to bring out the Ark of the Covenant (that Indiana Jones thing) to convince God to fight on their side. God wasn’t having it. The Philistines not only slaughtered 30,000 Israelites (including Eli’s two sons), they also stole that Ark of the Covenant-Indiana Jones thing.

Eli was back at the tent awaiting news, which he soon got. An Israelite who had escaped the battle and run back home told Eli all that had happened. Eli, to put it lightly, didn’t take it well. He fell off of his chair and died. By breaking his neck. From falling off of a chair. Because “he was an old man and heavy.” Uh huh. That same day, one of Eli’s daughters-in-law died in child birth. The child survived and was named Ichabod. Ichabod Crane. Just kidding, just Ichabod.

The Philistines put the Indiana Jones thing in the temple for their own god, Dagon. God is not amused by the theft of his Indiana Jones thing. Remember that part of the movie where the Germans open it, and it kills everyone who looks at it? That, as it turns out, isn’t entirely off the mark. First, God killed that other god, Dagon. Not just killed, the Philistines found him with his head and hands separated from his body, lying front-down on the ground. Their GOD, guys. Then God put tumors upon the Philistines. So the rulers of Philistine sent (let’s just call the Ark thing Indy from now on, ok, it will make me happy) Indy to another city, and the people there got tumors. They kind of pass it around like a hot potato for a while, throwing their cities into an uproar and leaving tumors all over the place, until they finally decided to send the damn thing back to Israel.

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The Philistines decide to fill the Indy with, wait for it… models of tumors and rats made out of gold as a guilt offering, hoping to buy God off, so he would quit cursing them. Then they hitched Indy to a cart with two cows, and watched to make sure it got safely back to Israel. It did. Indy ended up in an Israelite village, and the people were overjoyed to see it. They looked inside to see what the Philistines had put in it, and God killed them for it. The remaining villagers sent Indy on its way back home before it could kill/curse anyone else.

By this time, Samuel had grown up and started speech-making. He told the Israelites that they needed to put away their other gods, and serve only the Lord, and the Lord would deliver them from the Philistines. So they listened. Soon after, the Philistines came and attacked, but God was with them, and the Philistines were routed. And slaughtered. It isn’t a fight without a slaughter. In doing this, Samuel became the judge (leader) of Israel.

Once Samuel got older, he appointed his sons as judges. But they sucked, and the Israelites demanded that Samuel give them a king to lead them. Samuel spoke to God about this. God was unhappy that the people would not accept Him as their king, but told Samuel to do as the people asked. Samuel warned the Israelites that a king would take their sons and send them to war, take the best parts of their land and harvests as his own, and do other king stuff that history has pretty much proven to be true. The people would not listen and demanded a king.

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There is a Benjamite (the Benjamites are the ones who almost got wiped off the map after that concubine was raped to death) who was better than all the other Israelites. What makes him so great you ask? He was tall. The end. His name was Saul. Saul’s dad lost his donkey and sent Saul and a servant to go find them. As the two men were wondering around aimlessly, the servant suggested that they go to the local prophet and ask him where to look. So they went. The local prophet turned out to be none other than Samuel. And guess what else? Just the day before Saul came to Samuel’s city seeking help, God told Samuel that a Benjamite would come to him for help, and that Benjamite was to be anointed as king.

Saul was a bit perplexed by this turn of events, but he gave in and decided to be king. Then Samuel told Saul to go on a really weird, seemingly pointless journey to a Philistine outpost. Once he got there, Saul met with his uncle, so that his father would know that he was safe. A short time later Samuel showed up at the outpost as well. Samuel brought together all the tribes of Israel, reminded them that God had saved them from Egypt (they get reminded like every other verse, but let’s face it, they need it), and chastised them for throwing God aside in favor of a king. Still, they got their king in Saul. They quite liked him. Why? He was tall. The end.

Still, Saul had doubters. Before long, someone came along to attack and try to subdue the Israelites. The attackers surrounded an Israelite city and demanded that the city give in and allowed their eyes to be gouged out (one eye per Israelite, that is.) The city refused and sent off messengers to the rest of Israel. Once Saul got the message, he was pretty upset. He cut his two oxen into pieces and sent the pieces out to the other tribes with a message that was pretty much Fight with me, or I’ll cut you into pieces too. So the Israelites fought and massacred the would-be attackers.

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That was the end of any Saul-doubting. The Israelites had a great feast and sacrificed a bunch of animals. Except for Samuel. Samuel is right little party crasher. He recounted all of the things God had done for his people (bringing them out of slavery and stuff), and told them that they had messed up yet again by asking for a king. Samuel called to God to bring down thunder and lightning to prove that God was paying attention to their actions. If they didn’t get right, Samuel said, God would surely punish them. Again. 

After the Israelites had all gone home after their victory celebration, some idiot (Saul’s son, Jonathan) attacked a Philistine outpost, which really pissed off the Philistines. The Philistines gathered to attack the Israelites. Saul sent out word to the other tribes to come and fight with him. (No butchered ox parts this time, as far as I know.) Many came, but Samuel did not. Saul got worried and decided to make sacrifices to God without Samuel. But that’s naughty, remember? You don’t sacrifice without the priest. When Samuel did show up, he pointed this out. And because of this little slip up, Samuel said, Saul’s kingship was pretty much over.

Because of this, a lot of Israelites deserted, and Saul was left with 600 men. Not only that, but there were no blacksmiths in Israel. Apparently, the Philistines didn’t want them making sharp, pointy things like spears, so they just didn’t allow blacksmiths in Israel. Because of this, only Saul and Jonathan, out of the 600 fighters had weapons. Jonathan is an idiot. Without his father knowing, he goes into the Philistine camp with his armor bearer, and together, they kill a bunch of Philistines. (Stupid, but quite a good fighter.) This put the Philistines into quite an uproar (a God-sent uproar), and the men started killing each other. Then Saul and his guys went into finish up the survivors. You thought God was gonna let them die because Saul messed up, huh? Me too.

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Once the battle had been won, Saul told his men not to eat anything until he was able to kill all of his enemies. As you might imagine, that took a long time, and the men were hungry and tired. But none of them ate anything. Except Saul’s idiot son, Jonathan. Jonathan ate some honey. Eventually, Saul found out and was going to kill Jonathan, but the army saved him, because they saw Jonathan as the one who had saved the army that day. So Saul didn’t get to kill his idiot son. Sad.

Throughout Saul’s reign (yes, he somehow got a long reign after Samuel told him his kingship was over–no I can’t explain it), he was constantly at war with the enemies of the Israelites. Though they fought him from all sides, he always won and protected his people. After he had been king for a while, Samuel went to visit Saul and told him that God wanted him to go wipe out a foreign people, the Amalekites. Saul is told to kill every one of them and everything they have. Saul does as he is asked and gets his slaughter on, but he keeps the best of the Amalekite livestock to take back with them. Samuel finds out and informs Saul that his kingship is over (for serious this time). Saul begs Samuel to give him another chance, but Samuel refuses, walks away, and never goes back to see Saul until his dying day.

Worry not, because next time the Israelites get a new king, a better king, a cooler king! They get David!

 

Ruth: A Lovestory, Bible Style

Ruth 1:1

Get ready kids, time to make Bible history! We’ve got a book named after and written about… a woman. Aaaaaaaaaaand she isn’t a prostitute or super naggy. Which is a bit of fresh air if you’ve been paying attention thus far. Don’t get too excited though. Ruth’s book comprises all of 3 pages, and it isn’t exactly a thrilling romance. But she doesn’t get raped, beaten or kidnapped, so we’ll call that progress.

During the time of Judges (we’ll just assume that Samson is running around killing people while this story is happening), there was a woman named Naomi. Naomi and her husband left Israel to go live in a foreign land during one of the many times that the Israelites were enslaved. (Somehow all of those nasty threats God made don’t seem that bad. Even when Israel is enslaved they seem to be able to do just about whatever they want. Not exactly the worship me or animals will pick your eyes out of your dead body threats that we’ve read about). Naomi had two sons, who each took foreign wives. One of those wives was Ruth. Naomi’s husband and two sons all died, leaving all three of them widows. It doesn’t say how they died, but I blame Samson for all three deaths. That guy is a particularly virulent plague.

After being left a widow, Naomi heard that God had come back around to the Israelites and given them food, so she decided to go back and get some food too. She tried to leave her daughters-in-law behind, to stay with their own families and find new husbands, but Ruth would not stay. She insisted on going wherever Naomi went. Eventually, Naomi gave in and took Ruth back to Israel with her.

When Naomi got back to Israel, everyone was really excited to see her, but Naomi insisted on whining about how badly God had screwed her over instead of kindly saying hello back. You would think people would questions the whole leave while shit is bad and then come back when it’s fixed thing, but no one seems to care. Including God. I was hoping for a Naomi-shaped pillar of salt or something (maybe the Bible violence is rubbing off on me), but no. Nothing. I’m assuming the two women had very little, because Ruth decided to go pick up food that had been left behind in nearby fields (remember the rule that says no going back over your field to see if you’ve missed anything? you have to leave it for the poor? Ruth takes advantage of that rule).

The field that Ruth chose happened to belong to a guy named Boaz. Boaz, aside from having a kick ass name, seems to be a pretty popular and all-around good guy. When he sees Ruth out working in the field, he immediately asks the men working his field who she is. They reply that she is the foreigner who came back with Naomi. Boaz walks out to talk with Ruth, and lets her know that she is welcome in his field. In fact, he would prefer she kept working in his field and no one else’s. He offers to provide her with water and safety.

She thanked him, asking why he would show such kindness to a foreigner. He replied that he had heard stories of how kind and good she had been to her mother-in-law. And he was impressed that she had left her family behind t0 live amongst people she did not know.

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Boaz must have been quite taken with dat booty, because he invited her to eat dinner with him and his people. He also told his men to help her and give her part of his own harvest to collect.

After a hard day’s harvesting, Ruth took what she had collected back to Naomi. Naomi was astounded at how much Ruth returned with and asked her whose field she had worked. Ruth told Naomi all about Boaz. Naomi, who apparently thought very highly of Boaz, was excited to hear it. She also warned Ruth to stay in Boaz’s field, because she might not be safe in other fields. Which makes me think that a woman out and about in Israel is most likely to be a) kidnapped and carried off like a prize b) brutally raped or c) brutally raped and then stoned to death for not trying hard enough to stop it. So safety was probably highly prized, especially for an unmarried woman.

Plus, says Naomi, Boaz is a close relative and “kinsman redeemer.” (I looked that up, it just means that whomever is your closest relative gets all your stuff if you die. Your land, your wife, your kids, stuff like that.) As such, Naomi decides it would be a good idea for Ruth to go to him and try to get him to find a home (a man) for her. Naomi tells Ruth to get spiffed up, wait until Boaz has eaten and fallen asleep, and (you think she’s gonna trick him into sleeping with her, don’t you? while i understand why you would guess that, you’re totally wrong) lay down at his feet.

Ruth does as she’s told. When Boaz awakes to find her at his feet, he’s pretty excited. He offers to to help her but notes that there is another kinsman-redeemer who is more closely related to her, and he has to make sure that the other guy doesn’t want to help her before he can. (“Help” means to marry her and claim everything belonging to her.) So he sends Ruth back to Naomi with more food. Ruth seems pretty down at first, thinking that Boaz has brushed her off, but Naomi assures Ruth that Boaz would help and not to lose heart until the matter is closed.

The next day, Boaz goes to the other kinsman-redeemer. Boaz asks  him if he wants Naomi’s land (I didn’t realize at first that the land was up for grabs, but apparently it is. And how does she still have land after jumping ship for years?) And of course, the guy wants the land. So then Boaz asks if he will also marry Ruth , but the guy says no, because it might endanger his own estate. Being next in line, Boaz stakes his claim on the land and Ruth. He gave his sandal to the other guy to show it. Apparently, that was the closest thing to signing a contract  on the dotted line. Legally binding contract=give a dude your sandal.

That’s it. That’s the “wedding.” There you have it: a romance, Bible style. Then they do it and make a baby. A couple of generations later, comes David. But we aren’t ready for David yet.  We have to backtrack a bit, because I’m following the Bible, and it only  makes rough chronological sense. Next time, we will be reading about Samuel.

Judges: Now With Twice the Samson!

Judges 13:1

The cycle continues: the Israelites are being naughty and “prostituting” themselves to another god. So God makes them slaves to the Philistines for forty years. Once God decided that the Israelites had been good and punished, He sent His angel to a barren woman. The angel told her that she would soon carry a son; she was to forego alcohol and unclean foods until then. Also, she wasn’t allowed to cut or shave the child’s hair. The child was to be set apart to God and would one day free the Israelites from their slavery.

So the woman went and told her husband what had happened. She was pretty sure it had been an angel, but not 100%. Whatever he was, he looked “very awesome.” Not all men would be cool after their wives told them that a “very awesome” looking guy/angel/dunno had visited her, and she was suddenly pregnant.  But the husband believed his wife and prayed to God to tell them how to raise the child. The angel came back and was like I damn well told you–no alcohol, no unclean food, and don’t cut his hair. Then the couple made an offering to the Lord and a while later the baby, Samson, was born.

Samson grew up. One day, he saw a Philistine woman and decided he had to have her, so he demanded that his parents set up the marriage for him. They weren’t happy about that; they wanted Samson to marry a nice Israelite girl. But Samson wasn’t having it. One day, while walking over to talk to his beloved, a young lion came running toward him. Samson tore the lion apart with his bare hands and continued on his way. After Samson’s marriage had been arranged, he was walking to his wedding when he noticed the carcass of the lion still on the ground. There was honey in it. So he took the honey out of the carcass and ate it. First of all, pretty sure there was a rule about not eating food off of anything unclean, which includes the bodies of dead animals. Second, that is gross. Third, that. is. gross.

During the seven days of Samson’s wedding feast, he made a bet with the Philistines who attended. If they could solve his riddle, he would give them lots of robes and stuff. If they couldn’t solve it, they had to give him robes and stuff. The riddle was really hard (and stupid) and the Philistines couldn’t guess it. So they got really pissed and threatened Samson’s new wife and her family with death by fire if she didn’t tell them the answer. So his wife begged him, until finally Samson gave her the answer. She, in turn, immediately told her people the answer. Samson was way pissed that he lost the bet. He went and killed some random people and stole their robes and stuff, so that he could pay up on his bet. Then he gave his new wife to a friend.

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Actually, he didn’t give his wife away; he showed so much hatred toward her that her father gave her away to a different guy. When Samson came back to claim his wife and was told that she had been given to someone else, Samson went full on Hulk. First, he tied some burning torches to the tails of foxes and released them in the Philistine’s fields, burning up all of their food. (Not a fan of animals, this guy.) Then he burned his wife and her father alive. Then he killed a bunch of other Philistines until he felt satisfied that he had avenged himself.

Naturally, the Philistines were non-too pleased by this turn of events, so they went to the Israelites to have them hand over Samson (remember that at this time, the Israelites are enslaved to the Philistines). The Israelites do as they were asked and brought Samson to the Philistines, bound by ropes. But as Samson was walking to the Philistines, the power of God came over him, and his ropes fell away. Full blown Hulk again. He picks up the jawbone of a dead donkey and kills one thousand men with it. With an old bone. You read that correctly. This dude has a thing for dead things and making things dead. And vagina. That’s pretty much it.

Times passes. Samson goes back into the land of the Philistines to sleep with a prostitute. The Philistines find out and plan to ambush him, but Samson tears apart their city gate and walks off like a badass instead. A while later, Samson meets and falls in love with Delilah. Again, the Philistines find out, and go to Delilah, offering her money if she could tell them the source of Samson’s strength and how to subdue him.

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Delilah bugged and bugged Samson about how to subdue him until finally, he gave her an answer. So she tried it, but he was lying and was not subdued. Then she begs and begs again. He lies three times, and every time she tries to subdue him in whatever way he told her. You would think her continually trying to tie him up would tip Samson off that she was up to no good. Or you might think that since Samson has been screwed because of telling his lady top-secret stuff before that he might have wised up. But you’re wrong. Samson is super strong and super dumb. Delilah was so annoying that eventually he gave up and just told her the truth about how to subdue him. He told her that no razor had ever been put to his head, and if his hair were shaved off, he could be subdued. So Delilah had a Philistine come in and shave Samson’s head while he was asleep. When Samson woke up and realized that the Philistines had him, he thought he could go Hulk and fight them off. But because his hair had been cut, he was weak and could not fight back (God had left him). The Philistines gouged out his eyes and put him in prison.

The Philistines threw a great party in honor of their god delivering Samson into their hands. They decided to bring Samson up to perform for them as added insult. Samson was tied between the two main columns of the temple. Samson prayed to God to give him strength one last time, and God did. Samson pushed to the columns until they crumbled, and the great temple crumbled with them, killing Samson and all of the Philistines inside. Samson had “led” the Israelites for 20 years.

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So we’re back to no king/leader/judge, and the Israelites are being assholes again. Though I’m not sure that Samson actually freed them from enslavement or made them better people. In fact, I highly doubt that. So everyone is doing as he damn well pleases. And then there was Micah. Micah had stolen some money from his mother, but then he gave it back. Then his mother had him use the money to create an idol. A traveling man from the tribe of Levi (remember, the priest tribe?) came along, asking for a place to stay. Micah invited him to stay as long as the man agreed to be his priest, and the man said yes.

Now, the the land that had been given to the tribe of Dan hadn’t actually been conquered yet, and they were just kind of wondering round when they happened across Micah and his Levite priest. The Danites asked the priest if God was with them, and the priest said yes. So the Danites traveled out into foreign territory to find themselves some land. They found a place where the land was awesome and the people were living prosperously and peacefully, suspecting nothing. So the Danites decided that they wanted to live there.

The Danites went back to Micah’s house and took his idols, his “household gods,” and his priest to go fight with them. Micah was upset and chased them down, but he couldn’t defeat everyone, so he had to go back home. The Danites went on and completely destroyed the peaceful community that they had found, killing everyone. They rebuilt the city as their own and kept the priest and idols to serve their community. But they were using false idols and “house-hold gods,” you might say. Why did God help them win?  you might ask. I have no fucking clue.

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And now for a really fucked up story: A Levite took a concubine, but she was unfaithful and fled back to her father. The Levite travelled quite a ways to reclaim her, did so,  and headed back home with her. On the way home, they stopped in a village and were taken in by a kind, old man. During the night, men from the village (these people are Benjamites, part of the tribe of Judah) came and demanded that the old man let them have the Levite, so that they could have sex with him. The old man said no, but you can have my virgin daughter and the Levite’s concubine to do with as you will (sound familiar?). So the Levite pushed his concubine out the door, and the men mercilessly raped her all night. When the Levite went to leave the next morning, he found his concubine unresponsive on the doorstep. He took her body back home with him. Once he got there, he cut the concubines body into 12 pieces and sent a piece to each tribe of Israel.

The tribes of Israel were not happy, formed an army, and showed up at the Levites house. The Levite explained what had happened, and the army agreed to fight. So they went to the tribe of Benjamin and demanded that the perpetrators be handed over, but the Benjamites would not listen. The Israelites had the Benjamites surrounded, but the Benajmites killed 22,000 Israelites that day. So the Israelites went and wept to God about fighting their brothers and dying and stuff, but God told them they were doing the right thing. So they went back again, but on the second day, the Benjamites killed 18,000 more Israelites.

This time, the Israelites did more than weep to God. They also made burnt offerings and fasted. So God agreed to give the Benajmites “into the hands” of the Israelites. At first, it looked like the Benjamites would win again. But the Israelites turned the tables and destroyed the Benjamite army. 25,000 men from the Benjamite army died that day. Some were able to run and hide in the hills. Then the Israelites army did what they do best: they went to each Benjamite city, put every living thing to the sword, and destroyed the cities.

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Then the Israelites felt bad for having almost wiped out an entire tribe. They badly wanted to provide wives to the remaining Benjamite men (the ones who escaped and hid), but all of Israel had promised not to intermarry between tribes. The Israelites held a great gathering to decide what to do, and there was one city who did not send any representatives. So the Israelites sent fighting men to the unrepresented city. The men killed everyone in the city except for the virgins. Those, they took to the remaining Benjamites, so that they could reproduce and the tribe would not die out. But there weren’t enough virgins, so they made a new plan.

In a town called Shiloh, unmarried women were to dance in a festival of God. The Benjamites were told to hide in the vineyard, and when the women came out to dance, kidnap them and take them as wives. And they did. The Benjamites carried women off, caveman style. They reproduced and rebuilt their cities.

And we end this book pretty much where we started, with the Israelites all leaderless and naughty. Of course, thousands upon thousands of people have died brutally since this book started, but what have you come to expect? Up next, the book of Ruth.

Judges Gonna Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge

Judges 1:1

When last we met, a lot of people died. A lot of people. The Bible said that the city of Ai was very small, but just the army of that city alone consisted of 12,000 men. So imagine that number, plus all of the women, children, and men unable to fight in the army. Plus, that was just one small city, the Israelites attacked and destroyed many cities and villages. They wiped out an entire region. Let that simmer for a few minutes. Still God was unhappy, because the Israelites had failed to break down the altars of the people they had defeated. He now refused to help the Israelites defeat their enemies; instead, their enemies would forever be a “thorn” in their side. By thorn in their side, God means I’m going to test the hell out of them by using foreigners to lure the Israelites into worshipping other gods. Whereby, I can have other foreigners attack, kill and enslave them. “Thorn in the side” was somewhat of an understatement. Thorn in the side is like your weird uncle making ridiculous political statements at every family gathering. Thorn in your side is like your little sister forever borrowing you clothes without asking. Enslavement? Slightly more than thorny. So the people wept and most likely tore their clothes. That is what you do in times of sadness. Don’t cry, don’t seek revenge, don’t even shake it off, just tear your clothes.

Over time, the generation of Israelites who had come out of the desert to fight for and win their land died out. The very next generation “knew not what the Lord had done for them.” Really guys? You couldn’t tell bedtime stories about that time God helped you kill thousands upon thousands of people? Ok, maybe not bedtime stories, but how about a sobering talk with your teenager about how your people came to be in the promised land? But that didn’t happen, and the Israelites began intermarrying with the outsiders still living amongst and around them. They also did the worst thing anyone could possibly do: they worshipped other gods. So God sent raiders to plunder and enslave the Israelites. Then God felt bad and “raised up” judges (leaders, judges are leaders of the people) who would set the Israelites back on the path to the correct God and fend off their enemies. The judges were a good idea; they rescued the Israelites from slavery when they wondered astray and brought them back to God. But once each judge died, the little wankers were right back at it, “prostituting” themselves to other gods.

For instance: the Israelites were being naughty, so God “sold them into the hands” of a foreign king. The Israelites got super whiney, so God sent the nephew of Caleb to save everybody, and he did. But once Caleb’s nephew died, the people turned naughty again. So God sold them into slavery again. Then they were saved again by a new judge. So the Israelites are again free and at peace. And then they’re jerks again, rinse and repeat.

Then there was a lady judge, Deborah. She did the judge thing and saved the Israelites from slavery. She got help from another lady, Jael (not an actual judge), who got to put a tent spike through a foreign king’s temple. Gross, right?

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And then, there’s judge Gideon. Gideon’s a tool. God comes to Gideon, telling him that He will save the Israelites through him, and Gideon’s all but I’m a loser, and are you sure you’re God? So God does some God stuff to prove who He is. Then He has Gideon destroy an altar built for another god. This pisses people off because the Israelites like their other god, and they want to kill Gideon. But Gideon points out that they shouldn’t kill him, because if the god whose altar he destroyed is angry, that god should punish him. And the people seem to find logic in/agree with that. Then Gideon doubts God again, and God has to do more cool God stuff to prove Himself before Gideon will just do what the hell he was told. Finally, Gideon agreed and called together a huge army. But God didn’t want a huge army. If there was a huge army, the Israelites might think that they had earned the victory for themselves instead of God handing it to them . It had to be really obvious that God was behind it. So, He had Gideon send home all but 300 men. Which men to keep was decided by how they drank water out of a stream. Men who lapped it up like a dog were chosen to fight. The normal ones were sent home. Obviously no manners=mad fighting skills, because with those 300 men, Gideon routed a huge enemy; I think mostly by trickery. Then the 300 chased people down, beheaded the two leaders and brought their heads back to Gideon. Could have sworn I had seen this movie and that the 300 all died. But I was distracted by abs, so really anything could have happened, and I wouldn’t know.

Gideon and his army followed after the bits of the foreign army they hadn’t already killed. (“The rest” of the army is 15,000 men. 15,000 men left out of the huge army that he completely stomped with 300). He tried to to get people in the area to give his army of 300 food and water, but they refused. Eventually, Gideon caught up to the foreign army and killed everybody. Then he went back and punished those who would not give food and water to his army. Some he killed, some he tortured with thorns and briers. He also destroyed their stuff. After he saved the enslaved Israelites, they tried to get Gideon to be their king. But he was all, No, God will be your king. Sounds like a guy on the straight and narrow, right? Wrong. As repayment for saving them, Gideon made all of the rescued Israelites give him a gold earring. (These people somehow escape slavery with riches every time.) Then he made some fancy priests clothes, an ephod,  with the earrings, and people began worshipping the ephod. The ephod became  a “snare” to Gideon and his family as they lost touch with worshipping God and worshipped Gideon’s pimp suit instead. So much for the straight and narrow. Behold, my gold pimp suit!

And then Gideon died, and the people prostituted themselves to other gods again.

9:1

Gideon had 70 sons and an Abimelech, henceforth known as Abi, because Abimelech is hard do type. Abi was Gideon’s concubine baby. After Gideon had died, Abi killed Gideon’s other 70 sons (all 70 in one day, in one place) and claimed the kingship that his father had rejected. Not all of the Israelites were super happy about the whole killing 70 people thing, and some planned to overthrow him. This resulted in a lot of fighting and a lot of death, including people being burned alive in a tower. God was not pleased with Abi and had to punish him for killing his brothers. So, while Abi was sieging a tower, a woman dropped a millstone on his head, craking his skull. At that point, Abi asked the man closest to him to run him through with a sword so that no one could say that a woman had killed him. And so, that asshole died.

And then there are some more judges who don’t get any cool stories. And again the Israelites did evil stuff. Then this random dude had a bunch of sons. One of which, Jephthah (aka Jeph, I’m not typing that every time), was born to a prostitute. Jeph was a mighty warrior, but his brothers kicked him out, because he was a bastard, and they didn’t want him to get any of their inheritance.

Unfortunately, for the brothers, the Israelites were soon under attack from a foreign enemy. Because Jephthah was such a kick-ass warrior, they went to him to ask for help. Jephthah was like, Didn’t you shits kick me out? They responded, Yeah, but we’re little wussies, so  if you save us, we’ll make you our leader (judge). And Jeph agreed. He also made an arrangement with God that if God helped him defeat his enemy, he would sacrifice whatever was first to come out of his front door when he got home. Then Jephthah kicked some serious ass, killed some folks and went home. Unfortunately for Jeph, his daughter (and only child) was the first thing to come out of his front door when he got home. Jeph was understandably way upset and tore his clothes, but his daughter told him to do as he had promised. She just wanted one month to roam the hills crying over the fact that she would never be married. No really, that’s what she asked for… and seriously, that’s why she wanted time to grieve. So Jeph gave her a month, and then sacrificed her as a burnt offering. It is extra-special super sad, because she was a virgin.

12:1

Later, one of the tribes, Ephraim, came over to Jeph’s turf and got really angry, because Jeph hadn’t invited them to come fight in some battle. Then they had their very own Israelite civil war over whether or not someone had been invited to go and help kill people. 42,000 Ephraimites died, and they lost control of the ford on the River Jordan. Apparently, some tribes had different accents by this time, because after Jeph’s tribe took control of the ford, they would ask anyone trying to cross to pronounce a specific word. If they didn’t pronounce it correctly, they were probably Ephraimite and were immediately killed.

Then Jeph died. And then there were a bunch more judges who were boring. And then… drum roll… motherf’n Samson. Not yet though, you’ll have to wait ’til next time.

Joshua (Think Game of Thrones on Steroids)

Joshua 1:1

After the death of Moses, all of the generation that God had brought out of Egypt, all the naughty little wankers who had challenged God in the desert, had died. Only the two who had been loyal, Joshua and Caleb, were left. So it was time to cross the Jordan and take the promised land from the nasty Hittitesis (that’s a Gollum reference) who inhabited it.

Two spies were sent into Jericho to scope out the place, but they weren’t very good spies because the king was informed of their whereabouts. Luckily, they had hidden in the house of a prostitute, and she was willing to hide them in exchange for her and her family’s protection. The people of Jericho had heard about the Israelites attacking and destroying their neighbors and were “melting” in fear that the Israelites would attack them as well. Which is why the prostitute made the deal to save herself and her family; she was terrified of the Israelites. She helped the spies safely escape the king and was told to tie a scarlet chord on her window so that the Israelites would know not to attack her house.

Joshua told the Israelites that they were to make ready to attack the Hittites. The Ark of the Covenant (that Indiana Jones thing) was to go first. The rest of the people were to follow at a distance. As the Ark was brought to the edge of the Jordan, the water stopped flowing, and the entire nation of Israel crossed the river on dry land. Half way across, one man from each tribe gathered one stone from the riverbed as a reminder of what God had done in stopping the waters and letting them cross on dry land.

5:1

Once they were across the Jordan, God told Joshua to circumcise everyone in the camp. I thought everyone was supposed to be circumcised as they were born, but apparently only the original generation that came out of Egypt had been. So they made with the penis mutilation and stayed at that camp until everyone had healed. Meanwhile, word of how the Israelites had crossed the Jordan spread to the kings nearby, and they continued to “melt” with fear.

This is how the Israelites defeated the city of Jericho (don’t laugh): God had them march around the city walls six times for six days. One the seventh day (sounds like people are working on the Sabbath to me) they marched around the city seven times, blowing trumpets all the while. Then they gave a great shout and the city walls crumbled. They crumbled. Worst siege movie ever. Then the Israelites ran into the city and killed everything in it. Man, woman, child, slave, animal. Everything. Except that prostitute and her family; the Israelites kept their word and saved them. All of the riches, the gold and silver, were put into God’s treasury, and the city was burned to the ground.

Unfortunately, one guy was unfaithful and kept some treasure for himself. True to His style, God decided to take this out on the entire tribe. When the Israelites attacked the next city, they were routed and many died. Joshua, after tearing his clothes a good deal, asked God why He had abandoned His people. To which God responded, Someone stole my rich stuff, and I want to kill him. Bring him to me. Once the Israelites had figured out who stole the rich stuff and gotten a confession out of him, they gathered him and all of his belongings (including his children and livestock) and stoned them all to death, burying him and his belongings in a pile of stones. Once God’s bloodlust had been sated, He decided to help His people again.

8:1

God commanded Joshua to take the city of Ai next. Part of Joshua’s army lured the city of Ai’s army outside of the city walls. But Joshua had sent most of his army to the back of the city, to attack and take the city once its army had gone out. Then Ai’s army was caught in the middle and destroyed. 12,000 people, everyone living in Ai, died that day. The city was burned to the ground, and the king was hung from a tree. This time though, God allowed the Israelites to keep the spoils and livestock for themselves.

Then, the Israelites built that altar thing that Moses told them to build. And Joshua painted the laws of God on the walls and read them allowed to the entire camp. Meanwhile, the kings of the surrounding cities were trying to unite and mobilize against the Israelites. But one group, the Gibeonites, decided to take matters into their own hands. They pretended to be poor travelers, who had come a very long way to meet the Israelites and serve God. So the Israelites believed them and made an oath with them. When the Israelites found out that they were actually the Gibeonites, one of the peoples in the promised land whom they were supposed to wipe out, they decided to make them slaves since they couldn’t kill them and break the oath they had just made.

Of course this little deal didn’t make all of the peoples who had agreed to unite against he Israelites  very happy with the Gibeonites, so they attacked the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites asked the Israelites to come and protect them. And they did. The Israelites attacked, and God killed people with hailstones while the Israelites killed with their swords. And for some reason God made the sun stop moving so that they could take their time hunting down and killing all of their enemies.

10:16

While the Israelites hunted down and killed their enemies, five of the enemy kings were found to be hiding in a cave. Once the fighting was over, Joshua had the kings pulled out of their cave. He had the commanders of the Israelite army put their feet on the necks of the kings and told the people that this is what God would do to all of their enemies. Then Joshua killed the kings and hung their bodies from a tree. Then the Israelites attacked and destroyed another city, leaving yet another king hanging from a tree. Then another city. Then another city. Then they decimated another enemy army. Then another city. Then some villages. Then another city. Joshua ensured that there were no survivors. “He totally destroyed all who breathed.” And just like that, all of the southern cities in the region had been completely wiped out.

Hearing the news, the kings of the northern cities banded together and marched out a huge army, complete with horses and chariots to defeat the Israelites. Once they attacked, Joshua and the Israelites killed every man in that army. Not only that, but they also  hamstrung the horses and burned the chariots. Hamstringing basically means severing the hamstring muscles, which leaves the animal in intense pain and unable to move. Then the Israelites went to the cities of the people who had raised the army to attack them. They killed everything that breathed and burned the cities to the ground. Then Joshua and his army went around the land killing everyone who was left. What did these people do to deserve this? Their only sin seems to be worshipping the wrong god. Though the Israelites attacked first, the Bible says that the enemies of the Israelites  attacked because “the Lord Himself hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that He might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy.” Joshua 11:20.

Once the promised land had been won, it was time for rest. Then the land was split between the tribes. Apparently, there were still some enemy hold outs, because Caleb “gave” his daughter to his brother for sacking and destroying another city. In fact, every now and again the Israelites decide to give away land that isn’t yet conquered to a tribe, so they just go kill everyone and take control of it too. One group, the Canaanites, were allowed to live but forced into slavery. Here is a map of how they split the land amongst the tribes:

tribemap

So yeah… pretty much everyone in the very large piece of land (minus the Canaanite and Gibeonite slaves) died so that the Israelites could have their land of milk and honey. Anyway, then the Israelites set aside the cities of refuge. Remember? You could go there if you accidentally killed someone and escape possible retribution. Lastly, cities and pastureland from each territory were given to the Levites, as they had no territory of their own. Then everyone could rest and “everyone was fulfilled.”

22:1

The tribes who had been given land on the east side of the Jordan River went back home and built an altar to serve as a witness and a symbol of their loyalty to God. After the Israelites had lived in peace for many years, Joshua called the priests and the leaders of each tribe together again. He told them that he would soon die and asked if the Israelites meant to serve God or turn from Him. The Israelites agreed that they would stay true to God, so Joshua set up some rocks or something to serve a witness to their promise. Then Joshua died. Both he and Joseph’s bones were laid to rest in the promised land. (Joseph was the dude who had served pharaoh in Egypt before the whole slavery thing. He had died in Egypt, but the Israelites brought his remains with them into the promised land.)

You may notice that I’ve had a hard time making light of this particular book. That’s because I find everything about it absolutely disgusting. The end. Next up, Judges.

Deuty Part Two-ty

Deuteronomy 23:1

And we continue exploring Moses’ very long (very boring) soliloquy to the Israelites. Certain people are not allowed in God’s special worshipping place. For instance: no one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting. Yikes. Bigger problems. No one born from a forbidden marriage or born out of wedlock is allowed. It doesn’t matter whether or not it was your fault. No foreigners. Or wait. I oversimplified that. No Ammonites or Moabites. They are naughty, never make friends with them. But the Edomite is your brother, they’re cool. Egyptians are also cool. Never mind that they enslaved your people.

Make sure to keep the camp clean! If a guy has a “nocturnal emission” (I think that means ejaculation) stay away from him until he is clean again. And I don’t mean as in wiped himself off with a sock or whatever happened to be around. Clean as described in Numbers. You have to wait until the next sunset and then sacrifice an animal or something. Designate a place outside of the camp to “relieve yourself.” And bury it. God lives among you, and He doesn’t want to step in that shit.

If a slave comes to you for refuge, do not hand him over to his master or oppress him. Give him refuge. No Israelite woman can be a shrine prostitute. It doesn’t specify about regular prostitution. However, it does say that no money made by male or female prostitutes can be used to pay a vow to God. He doesn’t want your sex money. But He also doesn’t specifically say that you can’t be a prostitute. Even if you’re a dude, prostitute away. Don’t charge other Israelites interest on anything. Always pay your vows to God in a timely fashion. And you can take whatever you want from a neighbor’s field or vineyard. You just have to eat it onsite, no doggie bags.

24:1

If a man marries a woman and decides he doesn’t want her anymore, he can write her a “certificate of divorce” and send her on her way. But he can’t take her back after she’s married (and been divorced by) another man, because he has defiled her. I think that applies to women being remarried and/or having sex with more than one guy ever. I think. You get one chance ladies, one guy. And you better be married to him. Also, you don’t get to pick the guy or decide if you get divorced or not. So… Yeah. After a man is newly married, he is to have an entire year without any responsibilities to focus on making his new wife happy. Probably by putting a bun in her oven.

Don’t take people’s millstones. Just don’t. If someone kidnaps a fellow Isrealite, kill him. If a guy owes you money, do not go into his house to get it. Let him bring it out to you. Hear that mafia? I’m guessing busting kneecaps is also out. Do not take advantage of hired men. Pay them promptly. Take care of the poor and needy and see that they get justice. You were once slaves too. And don’t go over your fields a second time looking for things you missed. If you missed it, it belongs to the poor. No takesy backsys.

If a man is found guilty of a crime the requires flogging, do not flog him more than forty times, or he will be degraded. And it would hurt really fucking badly. Widows must remarry within the family, most likely to her brother-in-law. And if the husband died without any children, the first child of the widow (and her new husband) will be named after the dead guy. That way his name does not die out. If the dead guy’s brother refuses to marry the widow, she gets to spit in his face and publicly shame him for not doing his brotherly duty. If a lady grabs a man by his private parts (when defending her husband in a brawl, of course) cut off her hand and show her no mercy.

26:1

Moses tells the Israelites that they are to offer fruits to the Lord once they are in the promised land (on top of all the dead animals they’re supposed to sacrifice and the pleasing aromas and the vows and the first-born livestock and the everything else). And the special worshipping spot will be on Mount Ebal. There, the Israelites are two set up an altar and write all of God’s laws on the walls. Then there is this really long prayer thing that the Levites are supposed to recite every so often.

Then there is a very long, very detailed rant about how awesome life will be if the Israelites follow the laws of God. Afterward, an even more impressive rant about what will happen if they don’t. To put this in perspective, the positives for worshipping God equal about one column and mostly deal with having plenty to eat, being rich, and having shit tons of babies. The negatives and how seriously fucked you’ll be if you screw up? It takes three columns to describe how badly life will suck. Some highlights: God will put pretty much every disease on you; you won’t be able to grow anything; your wife will be ravaged; your enemies will defeat you; you’ll be so distressed that you’ll try to sell yourself into slavery, but no one will buy you; your wife will try and eat your children while you’re being besieged by your enemies (probably after being ravaged); birds and wild animals will eat your dead carcasses. Bleak, dude.

Sorry, I thought that because there was a new heading that we were done with the threats. There’s more. Remember Egypt? God will pull that shit again if you disobey Him. But come back and worship Him, and He will restore you to the promised land and make you prosperous once again. Moses breaks it down this way: you choose life or death by choosing to follow or betray God.

Moses then reminded everybody that he would die before they reached the promised land and announced that Joshua would be the one to take his place. Then Moses writes down the laws of God and announces that the people should read them every seven years. Everyone is to be included, even aliens, so that they can learn the laws of God. Then God has Moses bring Joshua to Him, so that He could commission His new prophet. God also asked that the book of laws Moses had written be kept beside the Ark of the Covenant, aka that Indiana Jones thing.

31:14

Then God bursts Moses’ bubble real hard. Remember the very long warning Moses just gave to the Israelites about following God’s laws and not worshipping other gods? God tells Moses that before too long, the Israelites will do all of things they were just warned not to do. And God will do as promised: He will fuck their shit up. Moses doesn’t seem that surprised, tbh. God is so sure that the Israelites will screw up, that He has Moses write down a song that will serve as a “witness” to the Israelites’ wickedness in the future. The song is pretty long. It basically consists of I’m the best God, but you’re gonna forget that and cheat, and then I’ll kill you. Almost like the Carrie Underwood song, except the Israelites are the car. Moses recites the song to the Israelites in a last-ditch effort for them not to be assholes.

God clarifies that He only gave the promised land to the Israelites because He had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would. He tells Moses to go to the top of Mount Nebo; from there, Moses looked down and could see the promised land. Because I don’t think I explained this very well, let’s backtrack. God refused to let Moses into the promised land, because back in the desert when the Israelites were throwing one of their many bitch fits, God had Moses perform the water out of a rock trick for the Israelites. Which Moses did, but the problem was that he also took credit for the trick instead of giving the credit to God. Ok, fast forward to Moses looking at that place he’ll never get to go. Moses blessed the tribes, and then died at the age of 120. Though Joshua held the wisdom of God and the people listened to him, there has never been another prophet like Moses. Meaning that no prophet has known God face to face, and God has not performed miracles through a prophet like he did through Moses. Imagine that God was a ventriloquist, and Moses was His dummy. And then God realized that dummies are fucking creepy and decided to use a different method.

So ends Moses and his soliloquy, Deuteronomy. Next up, the book of Joshua. How Moses didn’t get a damn book named after him is beyond me. I think this next book gets real good and bloody, because we’re about to take over the promised land, motherfers.

Deuty. Teehee.

Deuteronomy 1:1

Release that bated breath, because we’re back at it.

Before we get started there is something you should know, Deuteronomy is told from Moses’ perspective. It is pretty much an ungodly-long retelling of all the rules and how the Israelites must act once they get to the promised land. First, he tells the Israelites that they need to pick leaders, who will judge over their squabbles. All cases are to be heard fairly, big and small. No taking bribes. And if the issue is too large to be resolved by the leaders themselves, they can go to the priests and God Himself to judge over them.

And then Moses recounts this little gem of a story: the death of pretty much anyone who gets in the way of the Israelites. The people left the desert, because God wanted the Israelites to go into the land He had promised them and fuck some shit up. I thought we had done that already; I guess only kind of but not really. There’s more shit to be fucked. But before they could leave, Moses started preaching about how God had tried to give the Israelites their land before, but they were whiney little babies, so God made them wonder around until that “evil” generation had died out. If they had just minded their manners and not been completely irritating, they could have had their land by now.

2:24

Remember back when the Israelites were sending out letters, trying to get a king to ok their passage through the king’s land, but the king was like fuck you? (They did so, because God hardened their hearts, obvi. So God makes you do something, and then punishes you for it. We’ve been over this before.) One of those kings became the Israelite’s first target. And the Israelites crushed them. Destroyed all the cities; killed every man, woman, and child; and took the spoils for themselves. And then they chose another king and did the same to his kingdom. No survivors.  Even the newborn babies, un-born babies and pregnant women were offed.

Afterward, Moses starts getting really pissy and begins talking about how the Israelites were jerks and ruined his chances for crossing the River Jordan and seeing the promised land with them. He then warns the Israelites that they better not turn evil again and worship idols. Otherwise, God will destroy them and scatter them from the land. Which in the end, will make the Israelites come back and worship God. Supposedly. Because punishing them has worked so well in the past. Then we go over the Ten Commandments again. And we talk about how important it is to completely wipe out the non-Israelite tribes living in the promised land. And don’t take gold or silver from them as spoils, it has cooties. You might notice some inconsistencies between how the Israelites have acted in the past compared to the new rules we’re about to go over. Like not taking spoils of war. Because they’ve already claimed spoils of war, but now it’s a no no. Don’t ask questions or expect for this to make sense; you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Moses makes it very clear that the Israelites are being given the promised land, not because they are super righteous or anything, but because the people currently living on those lands are way wicked. They do naughty things like worship other gods. Have I not mentioned that God is a bit jealous? In fact, Moses points out that the Israelites are a “stiff necked” people. I interpret that as complete pain in the damn ass. Because they are.

12:1

A lot of Moses preaching the same things over and over again, blah, blah, blah. Then Moses tells the Israelites that once they are in the promised land, they have to bring their sacrifices, tithes, and other gifts for God to one place that God will pick. No worshipping about wherever you want all willy nilly. Also, God is gonna test the fuck out of you. By say, sending a loved one to you to try and tempt you into worshipping other Gods. If someone does that, even if you love them dearly, you have to stone them to death. Never mind the fact that God Himself put them up to it just to make sure that you really love Him. This is also supposed to scare everyone shitless, so that they won’t try and convince each other to worship other Gods. If an entire town goes to the dark side and starts worshipping other gods, you have to kill everyone in it. Everyone. Also, kill all of the livestock and burn all of the goods. Burn that bitch to the ground, leave it ruins, and never build over it ever again. Shit probably haunted anyway.

Then Moses goes back over what you can and cannot eat. And tithing. He also throws in that every three years the tithe that you give should go to aliens, widows, and the fatherless. You know, the poor. And don’t forget to always give to the Levites, because they get zero inheritance. In fact, just give generously to the poor at all times. Do so without a “grudging heart.” There will always be poor people, care for them no matter who they are. And all debts are to be wiped clean after 7 years. Including student loan debt. Ok, maybe Moses didn’t mention student loan debt specifically, but I’m gonna go with it counts.

17:14

More stuff we’ve already been over…. And a king. Once the Israelites are in the promised land, says Moses, you are to pick a king. It has to be the king God chooses though, so really you don’t get to pick. JK. That king should not amass great wealth for himself or take multiple wives. He is study the laws and scripture of the Lord. He is to see himself as an equal with the rest of his brothers. God will also pick a new prophet after Moses dies. But there will also be people pretending to be prophets, and those people must be killed. Hope you choose wisely.

When going to war, never fear even if it looks like you’re about to be walloped. God will be with you, and you will win. When you come to a city, offer them peace. If they say yes, make them slaves and take over their city. If they say no, kill everybody and still take over their city. Not the best choice for them either way. Are you starting to see what I meant by things won’t make sense? Now we’re leaving survivors and taking slaves.

Marrying a captive is also now ok. But she better be beautiful. Bring her home, make her shave her head and trim her nails, take her clothes away, and let her mourn her dead family for a month. By then, surely, she will be over it. Then you can “have” her as your wife. If it turns out that she isn’t that great in the sack, let her go. Do not sell her, because you have dishonored her. If you have multiple wives, and you love one but not the other, you have to will your inheritance to your firstborn, even if he is the son of the wife you don’t love. If you have a rebellious son, take him to the elders to be stoned to death. If this were still a thing, no one would make it out of their teenage years. No one.

22:5

“A woman must not wear men’s clothing nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests this.” Couple of things. First of all, if you use this line to prove to yourself that men dressed in women’s clothing are detestable, let me ask you something. Have you ever judged a woman for wearing her boyfriend’s t-shirt? How about a woman wearing pants? No? Shut the fuck up. Secondly, never, anywhere in the Bible thus far, have we discussed what the wardrobes of the two sexes should be. The Scots may have it right, and dudes should be letting their junk fly in the wind, we don’t know.

Help your fellow Israelites find their lost stuff, blah, blah, stuff we already know. If you marry a woman and find she sucks in bed, you may feel the need to try and get rid of her by claiming that she was not, in fact, a virgin when you married her. If this happens, the burden of proof lies upon the girl’s father to prove that she was, in fact, a virgin. If no proof can be found, stone the girl to death for  being promiscuous. Even if proof is found, she still has to be married to a lying jerk who hates her for the rest of her life.

Let’s talk about rape. If a guy rapes a girl in a city, stone them both. She is just as guilty as the man, because she did not scream out in order to be saved. Talk about victim shaming. But if a guy rapes a woman in the countryside, the woman gets to live since no one was around to hear her cries and save her. Both of those instances are only if the raped woman is betrothed to be married. If she is not promised to another man, and she is raped, the rapist has to pay a fee to her father and marry her. Lucky girl. If you have followed along thus far, and you don’t find the Old Testament to be a bit (ok, a lot) misogynistic, come at me. Because holy shit. If you do not find the treatment of women in this book hard to swallow, I don’t know how to begin explaining it to you. Women married to their rapists? Stoned for being raped in the city? Are you shitting me? Granted, nobody gets an easy road in this book, but women seem to be little more than property.

So next time, we’ll wrap up Deuty. Get excited, because the next laws listed are headed as “Miscellaneous Laws,” which means there’s probably some crazy shit in there. Should be fun. But first, I want to point out a sentence that is repeated in Deuteronomy ad nauseam. “You must purge the evil from among you.” Meaning kill those who break the rules. There are no second chances to the laws listed above. No jail, no giving back to society to make up for your sins. You die. The end.