Friday, May 28, 2010

Numbers 16-20

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Numbers 16 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 17 - No mention of any women.

18:11 - Whatever is set aside from the gifts of all the elevated offerings of the Israelites is for Aaron and his sons and daughters; everyone who is clean in Aaron's house may eat them.
18:19 - All the holy offerings that the Israelites present to the Lord are given to Aaron and his sons and daughters as a perpetual due.

Numbers 19 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 20 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Okay, Numbers 16, no surprise that God gets all pissed when his will is questioned and kills everyone who so happen to sneeze funny in his presence. But then when a bunch of people get justifiably pissed that God was being an asshat when he killed those who questioned him God casts a plague on those people, a great deal of whom die before Aaron can slake God's blood lust with some incense. What the hell? The people were angry that God decided it'd be totally cool to destroy a bunch of Levites (I think it was just Levites anyways) because they wanted into the priesthood and they were right to be angry. Seriously, it's just chapter after chapter of God being a horrible being now. But, you know, if he wants to be worshiped based solely on fear and not actual love I guess that's his deal and everyone else's problem. I can understand staying with God because it's better to be on his side than be one of the tribes he's decided it's totally cool to slaughter, but when he's gonna basically destroy anyone following him at the drop of the hat then it no longer matters which side you're on, does it?

And then Aaron dies at the end of Numbers 20 because he apparently questioned God about the water from rock thing and therefore he doesn't get to go to the promised land. Therefore he must die. Or so God logic goes. Gos seems to just be leading these people on. "Oh yeah, don't worry. The Promised Land is just around the corner. WTF?! What did you just do?! Now I'm angry! I'm gonna kill a bunch of you and you're all gonna have to wait longer to get into the Promised Land!" Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Seriously wish the Bible would give us a few more women in the chapters, though. This blog is starting to get really off topic.

Tuesday: Numbers 21-25

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Numbers 11-15

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Numbers 11 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 12 - While at Hazeroth, Aaron and Miriam spoke out against Moses because he married a Cushite woman. They asked, "Has the Lord spoken only through Moses/ Has he not spoken through us also?" And the Lord heard this. He sent for Aaron, Moses and Miriam to come to the tent of meeting. He came down in a pillar of cloud and told Aaron and Miriam to come forward. He told them that with prophets He speaks to them in visions and dreams, but with Moses, who is entrusted with His whole house, He speaks to him face to face, clearly and not in riddles. Why then were Aaron and Miriam not afraid to speak out against Moses? God's anger was kindled and he departed. When the cloud left Miriam became leprous, white as snow. Aaron saw this and cried to Moses, "Oh my lord do not punish us for a sin that we so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like one stillborn, whose flesh is half consumed when it comes out of the mother's womb." Moses cried for God to forgive her, but God said, "If her father had but spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp for seven days and after that she may be brought in again." So Miriam was shut out of the camp for seven days and the people did not set out until she had been brought back in again.

Numbers 13 - No mention of any women.

14:3 - "Why did the Lord bring us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become booty; would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?"

Numbers 15 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Really? God's people want meat and God gets angry that his people dare want something other than the manna he gives them (which seems to be a seedy bread type food). God kills the outlying people in the camp outright in his rage, then promises the people shall get meat but they shall have so much that they shall hate it, and then God sends the meat and not long after the people start to eat it he gets pissed that they're eating the meat he gave them and strikes them down with a plague? What the hell?

God, seriously, people cannot live on just manna, whatever it is. See, people need things called nutrients that we receive from a variety of sources, us being omnivores and all. And one of those things that we need is meat (or at least the protein and vitamin B12 from meat, it is unclear if God's people drink milk or eat cheese or anything to get any B12 or protein, so I am going to assume that they are not). So you're people probably want meat because they are malnourished from getting ONLY manna and need something else. And honestly, never mind the nutrition part of it, eating just one thing for YEARS on end would get so boring that, if it were me there, I would probably kill myself just to end the eternal monotony of it. So why the hell are you getting so pissed about this, God? You made people therefore you should understand what they need. And what people NEED is proper nutrition and variety in their diet. Seriously, it's like you put your special people on a college diet of ramen. And then killing them and giving them a plague for daring to be people with needs? Kinda cruel. Just saying.

Plus, they probably don't have any meat because they're using it all as offerings to the Lord. So God is cruel and selfish.

And why the hell is Miriam the only one punished for questioning Moses? Aaron questioned just as much as Miriam did, and yet Miriam is the one who becomes leprous and has to stay outside the camp for seven days to pay for her sin. Seriously, what the hell is up with that? There is no logical reason for that other than the fact that she is a woman. So, what, women should know their place better than a man so she must bear the whole of the punishment? Completely ridiculous.

To paraphrase God in Numbers 14: "Quit your whining or I will kill every one of you and leave your children to wander the desert alone and in pain until they die as well!" God sure does get into that abusive parent role pretty well, doesn't he? And again we have Moses trying to talk God out of slaughtering all of his people and yet God does not seem to care. Moses presents some fairly good arguments against God not killing all of His people, too. And yet, God is still mightily pissed. He does seem to be swayed by Moses' slick tongue yet again, though, since he does not seem to strike everyone dead. What an amazing all powerful God?

If I didn't already not believe in the Christian God I'm starting to think that reading the Bible would have definitely fixed that problem. It's actually hard for me to believe that someone reading the Bible would actually bring them into the faith, nevermind keep them in the faith. But apparently this happens. Miracles do happen, I guess.

Tomorrow: Numbers 16-20

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Numbers 7-10

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Numbers 7 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 8 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 9 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 10 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

... so... yeah... maybe there will be something to look at tomorrow...

Tomorrow: Numbers 11-15

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Number 3-6

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Numbers 3 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 4 - No mention of any women.

5:3 - God commands the Israelites to put any person who is leprous, has a discharge or has touched a corpse, male or female, outside the camp.
5:6-7 - When a man of a woman wrongs another breaking faith with the Lord, that person incurs guilt and shall confess the sin that has been committed.
5:11-33 - Concerning an unfaithful wife. If a man's wife goes astray and cheats on her husband and a fit of jealous comes over him because his wife defiled herself, or if a fit of jealousy comes over the husband even though his wife has not defiled herself the man shall bring his wife to the priest. The man will bring an offering of one tenth of an ephah of barley flour with no oil and no frankincense on it since it is an offering of jealousy. The priest shall set her before the Lord and take holy water in an earthen vessel and add some of the dust that is on the tabernacle floor to the water. The priest will dishevel her hair and place the grain offering into the woman's hands. She shall drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and if she has not been unfaithful then she will be immune to it and be able to bear children, but if she has been unfaithful under her husband's authority and has defiled him then her uterus shall drop and her womb discharge. The priest shall put this into writing and wash it off into the water of bitterness. The woman then drinks the water and a bitter pain shall enter her. Then the priest will offer up the grain to the Lord. This is the law in the case of jealousy and the priest shall apply this entire lawto the woman. The man shall be free from iniquity, but the woman shall bear her iniquity.

6:2-4 - If an Israelite, man or woman, takes a special vow, the vow of a nazarite, to separate themselves from the Lord they shall separate themselves from strong drink and wine.
6:7 - Even if father or mother, brother or sister should die, they may not defile themselves because their consecration to God is upon the head.
6:14 - Nazarite offering to the Lord includes: a one year old unblemished male lamb, a one year old ewe lamb without blemish, and a ram without blemish.

My Comments

So I guess the big part here is the unfaithful woman section. I do enjoy how the man only has to have a fit of jealousy to be able to bring his wife forward to be tested by the Lord on her faithfulness. No evidence needed, no eye witness testimony. He just has to think that maybe his wife might have been defiled by another man to bring her forward. And the wife bears the entire burden of the pain of the "bitter water" and the entire burden of the sin upon her, whether she is innocent of not, it seems. So yeah, that's so very just, right? Truly only a great and loving God could come up with such a law.

And what is so special about the dirt on the tabernacle floor? Is it filled with the power of God or something? Really, the woman is just drinking dirty water so the only thing that determines whether she's innocent or not is whether she gets an infection, bacterial or viral, from the dirt of not. Which wouldn't be that weird since I'm sure the entire tabernacle is coated with the blood of all types of animals, definitely not a clean environment nor a place I would want to injest anything that had been on the floor.

But does it only count if her womb explodes? Is it supposed to bring upon a horrible miscarriage and that's how you know she's been unfaithful, so a small cold or flu wouldn't be evidence that she's been unfaithful? Which, of course, brings up again the issue on whether God is against abortion or not, if this is supposed to expel a fetus in the process and all. From what I've seen so far God has no qualms with the slaughter of babies in utero or even children that are out of the womb. I guess God couldn't be considered pro-life or pro-choice, instead I think the best way to describe his views would be pro-death. Children are just a means to an end and usually that end is some sort of lesson to be learned. Here the lesson is don't do anything that may make your husband think that you have been unfaithful to him in any way shape or form. Of course many people, including the all loving God, would probably say it's not God's fault the fetus is killed in this process but the woman's because she was unfaithful. If she hadn't been unfaithful then she wouldn't have lost the baby ergo God is still the awesome all loving being he's claimed to be and that woman is a cheating whore. It's always easy to twist it to make God the "good guy" in any situation in the Bible, but just because you can twist it that way doesn't make it true.

Random side note: Why does God insist on the camp being so clean because he's gonna be there? Why do they have to get rid of all the sick and unclean? God is incorporeal and omnipresent, so if he can't get sick then why does he care if they are there or not. And if he's supposedly everywhere at once then why does he state he will specifically be in that camp and that's why the sick must be removed. If he's everywhere at once it really doesn't matter where the people are, now does it?

Tomorrow: Numbers 7-10

Monday, May 24, 2010

Leviticus 26-27 & Numbers 1-2

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

26:26 - God's punishments for not obeying him: "When I break your staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven and they shall dole out the bread by weight, and though you eat you will not be satisfied."
26:29 - "You shall eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters."

27:3-7 - Votive offerings: a person between 20 and 60 is fifty shekels of silver for a male and thirty shekels for a female; from 5 to 20 years it is twenty shekels for a male and ten shekels for a female; 1 month to 5 years it is five shekels for a male and three shekels for a female. 60 years or over it is fifteen shekels for a male and ten shekels for a female.

Numbers 1 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 2 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Thank you, Bible, we get it. Women. Are worth less. Than men. Can we move on now?

There is nothing more riveting when it comes to story telling than a census. Which, of course, I say with the greatest sarcasm. And that entire chapter that just listed in horrid detail exactly what God would do to his people if they dared to not worship him the exact way he told them to was amazing. Making parents cannibalize their own children was really a nice touch. The modern masters of horror couldn't have done better, I think. A loving God, indeed.

Tomorrow: Number 3-6

Friday, May 21, 2010

Leviticus 22-25

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

22:12-13 - If a priest's daughter marries a layman she may not eat the sacred donations. But if priests daughter is widowed and without children and has returned to her father's house she may eat of her father's food.

Leviticus 23 - No mention of any women.

24:10-12 - A man whose mother was an Israelite and whose father was an Egyptian came out among the people of Israel. The Israelite woman's son and a certain Israelite began fighting in the camp. The Israelite woman's son blasphemed the Name in a curse. They brought the man, whose mother's name was Shelomith daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan, to Moses. The man was put into custody until the Lord should make clear to them what they should do. (The man is later ordered to be stoned to death)

25:6 - During the Sabbath year you may eat what the land yields - you, your male and female slaves, your hired and your bound workers who live with you.
25:44-45 - You may acquire male and female slaves from the nations around you. You may also acquire them from aliens residing with you and from their families that have been born into the land. And they may be your property.

My Comments

Slaves are property not people. Check. Random story time about a dude who took the Lord's name in vein and was stoned for it. Check. A ridiculous amount of time going on and on ad nauseum about ritual and specific celebrations. Check. Tears of boredom. Check.

Seriously, God spends so much time on senseless and useless ritual and sacrifice and NO TIME on morals and how to treat your fellow man at all. Except for trade and lending money, that's about the only thing he's really covered in detail regarding people on people interaction. And I like how the side story in here not only randomly mentions this dude's mom over and over again but is basically just a tale about how HORRIBLE it is to say something like "Goddammit!" We can't have a story to reinforce don't kill or don't steal or don't be an adulterer, oh no. We gotta really drive home the point that God HATES it when you disrespect him. Or do something completely inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. So yeah. I guess this proves God doesn't exist because if he did I would have been dead YEARS ago.


Monday: Leviticus 26-27 & Numbers 1-2

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Leviticus 16-21

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Leviticus 16 - No mention of any women.

Leviticus 17 - No mention of any women.

18:6-18 - You shall not uncover your father's nakedness, which is the nakedness of your mother. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether born at home or abroad. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister nor your mother's sister. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother, that is, you shall not approach his wife, she is your aunt. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law, she is your son's wife. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife, it is your brother's nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, and you shall not take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter to uncover their nakedness. And you shall not take a woman as a rival to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while she is still alive.
18:19-23 - You shall not sleep with a woman while she is on her period. You shall not sleep with your kinsman's wife. You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. You shall not have sexual relations with any animal and defile yourself with it, nor shall any woman give herself to an animal to have sexual relationships with it, it is a perversion.

19:3 - Everyone shall revere their mother and father.
19:20-22 - If a man has sex with a woman who is a slave, designated for another man but not ransomed or given freedom, and inquiry shall be held. They shall not be put to death since she has not been freed, but he shall bring a guilt offering of a ram to the tent of meeting.
19:29 - Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute so that the land will not become prostituted and full of depravity.

20:9 - All who curse father or mother shall be put to death. Having cursed their father and mother their blood is upon them.
20:10-16 - If a man commits adultery with his neighbors wife then both he and the wife shall be put to death. The man who lies with his father's wife has seen his father's nakedness, and both he and the wife shall be put to death. If a man lies with his daughter-in-law then both shall be put to death. If a man takes a wife and her mother also that is depravity, and they shall all be burned to death. If a woman approaches an animal to have sex with it then she and the animal shall be put to death.
20:17-21 - If a man takes his sister, a daughter of his father or a daughter of his mother and they see each others nakedness they shall be cut off from the people. If a man lies with a woman during her period and they are both naked then they shall be cut off from the people. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister or your father's sister, you shall be punished. If a man lies with his uncle's wife he shall be subject to punishment. If a man takes his brother's wife it is impurity and they shall be childless.
20:27 - A man or woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be stoned to death.

21:2-3 - A priest may only defile himself with a dead body when it is his nearest kin: mother, father, son, daughter, brother and virgin sister, since she has no husband.
21:7 - A priest shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled. Neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband.
21:9 - If a daughter of a priest profanes him by prostituting herself she shall be burned to death.
21:11 - A preist shall not defile himself with a dead body, even for his father or mother.
21:13-14 - A priest shall only marry a virgin of his own kin. He may not marry a widow, a divorced woman or a prostitute.

My Comments

Alright, we get it Bible. Don't look at women naked because they belong to another man. You can only look at the women you own (ie. wife, unmarried daughters). Also, I'm pretty sure several people have already broken a bunch of those rules. Say, for instance, Jacob, who married Rachel and Leah, and Judah who slept with his daughter-in-law. Do the laws not apply to them since they were created after they did those things?

And I guess if we're taking the Bible as literal truth, then lesbians are totally kosher. It only specifies a man being with another man as if with a woman, but it completely leaves out a woman lying with another woman as if with a man. Were lesbians just unheard of? Was it not specified since women were property and men were expected to keep their property in line? Is it because homosexual behavior back in the olden days was culturally a male activity, like during the Roman times and what not? Since, you know, women were not equals with men so men shared company with each other because they considered the relationship to be stronger with another man than a woman, since relationships tend to be stronger when they are with an equal. So it's nice to know the Bible has nothing negative to say about girl on girl action. Right on.

Lev 19:3 is interesting, since it's the first time I've seen a woman placed in front of a man. It's always "father and mother" and "sons and daughters," so seeing mother placed first here is interesting. But then at 20:9 we're back to having father in front of mother. So does it actually mean something when the order is different? Or is it a literary device?

And remember kids, it's okay to rape a female slave as long as they haven't been freed yet. You won't have to die for it, it's just a small fine of a ram. So go ahead, kids, do what you want with those female slaves. After all, women are strictly property and slaves aren't people, so what's the harm? :D

And don't prostitute your daughter. Not because she's a person with feelings but because you'll just muck the place up with hookers and no one wants that.

Leviticus 20:10-21 is ridiculous. Women had not autonomy during those times. It is stupid to think that a woman who laid with a man always did so willingly. But even if a woman is raped by her neighbor she has to die. Or if a daughter-in-law is raped, she is put to death along with her father-in-law rapist. I especially like the taking a wife and also her mother and then everyone has to die law. Women didn't CHOOSE who they married. If those women were given to a man then shouldn't the man responsible be put to death? Why are we killing the women when they really have no input into a marriage decision? Senseless woman killing if you ask me.

And weren't there just laws a few chapters ago about sleeping with a woman during her period? Wasn't the result uncleanliness and having to be unclean for a week? And now it's saying if you do that you have to be cut off from the people? So which one is it, because that's a BIG difference in punishment.

These contradictions are getting even closer together. Like 21:11. The Bible just got through saying a priest could defile himself if it was a close relative like his father or mother and NOW it's saying a priest may not defile himself with a dead body EVEN FOR his mother and father? What gives? I understand there being contradictions but they're in the SAME CHAPTER. Did no one notice?

Tomorrow: Leviticus 22-25

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Exodus 11-15

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Leviticus 11 - No mention of any women.

Leviticus 12 Summary - If a woman has a male child she shall be ceremonial unclean for seven days after the birth. Her time of blood purification will be thirty three days during which she shall not touch any holy thing or go into the sanctuary. If she has a female child she will be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation, and her blood purification shall last sixty six days.

When her purification is complete she will bring the priest at the tent of meeting a lamb in it's first year for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or turtledove for a sin offering, whether her child was a boy or a girl. The priest will offer it to the Lord and make atonement on her behalf and then she shall be clean from her flow of blood. If she cannot bring a lamb then she shall bring two pigeons and two turtledoves. She must do this whether the child is male or female.

13:29 - When a man or a woman had a disease on the head or in the beard a priest must examine it.
13:38 - When a man or a woman has white spots on their body a priest must examine it.

15:19-30 - When a woman has her normal bodily discharge she will be unclean for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. Whatever she touches shall be unclean. Whoever touches her bed or where she sits shall be unclean and must wash their clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until the evening. If a man lies with her during this time he shall be unclean for seven days and every bed upon which he lies shall be unclean.If a woman discharges blood not during her normal time or if her normal time lasts for longer than seven days then she shall be unclean all the days of her discharge. Once she is cleansed of her discharge she shall count seven days and after that she is clean. On the eight day she must bring two turtle doves and two pigeons to the priest at the tent of meeting as a sin offering and a burnt offering. The priest will make atonement to the Lord for her unclean discharge.
15:32-33 - This is the ritual for those who have a discharge, for a man who has a discharge of semen and a woman who is in the infirmary of her period, for any male or female who has a discharge, and for the man who lies with a woman who is unclean.

My Comments

Seriously, what insect has 4 legs? Last I checked the very definition of insect required a six leg minimum. Even locusts and crickets have six legs. So what is God talking about in Leviticus 11?

Again, female children suck and are more unclean than male children. We get it, Bible, thanks.

And apparently the women must atone for the GRAVE sin of having a child. Pretty much God's sole purpose for women in the Bible is to have children, and then we find out that having children is actually detestable to God and he requires sacrifices to forgive her horrible actions. You know, the action of BLEEDING or something. Seriously, if it offends God so much why did he design women so they bleed once a month and during childbirth? He could have easily had them NOT bleed at all, which honestly would make life much easier for us women folk. So, yeah, thanks God for deciding what you created is totally unclean and detestable.

I find it weird that Leviticus 13 mentions general persons when discussing what one must do when they have a rash or whatnot, and only in those two passages says men and women. Why do some one way and some the other? And side note: You know what have been really useful information during the whole leprous diseases and rashes section, God? Maybe some information on actual medicine and cures for the disease, not ritual and sacrifices. Probably would have been a lot better for your people to have that knowledge or, if nothing else, at least a rudimentary understanding of how the disease works. Again, either God doesn't understand his own creation or he is a jackass, why is this always the case so far? And then God mentions offhand that really he's the one giving people these diseases. He says (14:34) "When you come into the land of Canaan, which I give you for possession, and I put a leprous disease in a house in the land of your possession..." Seriously, what a jackass. He puts this disease on people for seemingly no reason and then gives them bullshit rituals for "cures." So I guess this means he does understand the disease and so that leaves us with God being a jackass as our only option here.

And before anyone says this is a punishment for sin, or something, it doesn't seem to be. No where in the passage does it mention that God gives this house leprosy because of something they did or a sin. Plus, only an asshole punishes someone without telling them what they've done. If you're trying to teach a person something you don't punish them randomly and give them no indication of what exactly they did to displease you. Even first time parents understand this concept. So again, either God doesn't understand how to teach his own creation not to piss him off OR he's an asshole. Again, I'm siding with the later here.

And in Leviticus 15 I pretty much feel bad for both women and for boys going through puberty. Wet dreams must be hell, I bet they were CONSTANTLY making offerings of atonement. Puberty is already a mess without having to sacrifice something every other night because you can't stop thinking about your sister in your dreams. And of course "WOMEN UNCLEAN AND BAD! DO NOT TOUCH!" So sayeth the Bible. No surprise there.

Tomorrow: Leviticus 16-21

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Leviticus 5-10

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

5:6 - A sin offering for becoming unclean or touching something unclean or for uttering a rash oath is a female from the flock, either sheep or goat.

Exodus 6 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 7 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 8 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 9 - No mention of any women.

10:14 - Aaron's sons and daughters may eat in any clean place. (I'm not really sure what exactly is going on in this section, I think they are eating a sacrifice to atone for Aaron's sons making a displeasing fire for God.)

My Comments

I never realized how excessively boring this book is. I mean, I heard it was really boring, but I guess I thought there would at least be some ridiculous rules to poke at. So far there isn't even that. It;s just rules about sacrificing stuff, and I can only say so many times how the sacrifices are wasteful, seemingly unnecessary if God is the all mighty incorporeal being that he is supposed to be, and how occult/Satanic the rituals sound.


Tomorrow: Leviticus 11-15

Monday, May 17, 2010

Exodus 39-40 & Leviticus 1-4

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Exodus 39 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 40 - No mention of any women.

Leviticus 1 - No mention of any women.

Leviticus 2 - No mention of any women.

3:1 - An offering of well being may be a male or female animal from the herd and it must be without blemish.
3:6 - An offering of well being may be a male or female animal from the flock and it must be without blemish.

4:28 - When a sin made by an ordinary person is made known you shall bring an unblemished female goat as an offering to the Lord for the sin that you have committed.
4:32 - If the sin offering is a sheep then you shall bring a female without blemish.

My Comments

I think I have an idea of why the offerings to God, that so closely mimic the same kind of sacrificial offerings that many, many other religions (including the Greek and Roman religions), bother me. The Christian God is supposed to be the True God. I would think in this respect, then, the True God would be very much different from every other god. So yeah, if he's so special then why is he so the same? And if God later, through Jesus, wants us to help our fellow man, give to the poor and feed the hungry and whatnot then why is God being so wasteful? Why is he commanding his people to sacrifice stuff that could easily be given the the poor and hungry and needy? Is it because God is not all powerful and is in fact a being that requires some form of material sustenance? Or is he simply just mean and evil, turning tithes that could be used for charity into wasteful offerings that he doesn't even need? Seriously, it always seems to come down to either God is not all powerful and needs material things to live or he's an asshole.

And also, to add, if you read these sacrificing rituals to a random person on the street, omitting any mentions of God specifically, I wonder how many people would say these rituals were from an occult or Satanic ritual. Some ritual that is associated with an evil presence, an evil god. Because there is ALOT of sacrificing going on, and a lot of blood that is ritually splattered on the altar, on the horns of the altar, on the priests themselves, and the specifics about how to slaughter the animal and how to separate the fat from the rest of the animal and on and on. It's amazing how barbaric it sounds. And I'm willing to bet that a lot of people, if read these rituals would think they were occult rituals of some kind.

Oh, and male critters are what God wants for sacrifices. Not the female ones, those aren't good enough to God to have. The Bible has to make sure it keeps constantly reminding everyone of this fact. Except, for some reason, unimportant people's sin sacrifices. Those are female animals. Which is... oddly specific. Why are males used for some sacrifices and not others? The Bible is relentlessly specific about SO MANY DETAILS and yet takes no time to explain WHY these details are the way they are.

Are we gonna get back to any women again anytime soon?

Tomorrow: Leviticus 5-10

Friday, May 14, 2010

Exodus 33-38

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Exodus 33 - No mention of any women.

34:16 - God tells Moses to not take wives for his people's sons out of conquered lands, since those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods and would make his people's sons also prostitute themselves to their gods.

35:22 - Both men and women brought materials for the tabernacle.
35:25-26 - All the skillful women spun with their hands, and brought what they spun in blue and purple and crimson, both yarns and fine linen. All the women who's hearts moved them to use their skill spun the goats' hair.
35:29 - Everything the men and women brought brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.

36:6 - When there was more than enough material for the tabernacle Moses told all the men and women to make no more offerings.

Exodus 37 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 38 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Ha! Even my version of the Bible calls the second tablets Moses makes the Ten Commandments. Which have NOTHING to do with the Ten Commandments that we generally know. There is no "you shall not murder" or "you shall not steal." Nope, none of that. It's all ritual and practice. And YET, the book itself calls them the Ten Commandments. How did this get so mixed up in our culture? I mean, I thought when I first heard it maybe it was a translation thing, like just specific to the KJV, but nope. This seems to be the same in all the versions, which makes it even weirder. What I don't get, is that when God is riffing to Moses with the well known "Love me your God, don't take God's name in vain, honor your mom and dad, don't kill, don't steal, etc. etc." the heading for that section is The Ten Commandments, but in that section it never calls those the Ten Commandments. They weren't even written on stone tablets, and even if they were, Moses smashed them and then later received a completely different set of commandments. The second set were written on stone tablets, there were only ten listed, and these are actually referred to in the Bible itself (not a heading I can only assume was added in by translators and editors) as the Ten Commandments. Soooooo... if the Bible says it right there in black and white, and in multiple translations of it, is it wrong then? Is the Bible wrong or are we, as a culture, just picking the list of ten rules that we like best? Is it because we would like to think our all loving and all powerful God would think to put "Thou shall not kill" in a list of top ten rules to live by before "Thou shall not cook a kid in it's mother's milk." Whatever the reason it doesn't much matter since it boils down to either the Bible not being the divinely inspired word (or if it is God isn't all powerful enough to fix something that I would think is one of the more important bits of the Bible) or God doesn't care about morals or life or people being good to each other, he just cares that you worship him and you do it correctly.

And this lack of women is getting pretty darn boring. Doesn't really give me much to talk about when the subject of my blog is women in the Bible. Hopefully I'll stop filling up post space with rants about contradictions and weird amoral God antics. But we just finished reading all the horribly boring details about building the tabernacle and we're gonna move into making the priestly vestments. I don't think we'll see much more women for a while. And really, God thought the specifics of the tabernacle and priestly vestments were something so important he had to put it in the Good Book? It just HAD to be included in the final draft when he could have been, I dunno, actually teaching morals and giving people rules to live by (maybe that was just Jesus' job). Boring. I hope it starts getting interesting again.

Monday: Exodus 39-40 & Leviticus 1-4

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Exodus 28-32

The facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Exodus 28 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 29 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 30 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 31 - No mention of any women.

32:2 - Aaron tells the men to bring him the gold rings off the ears of their wives, sons and daughters.

My Comments

Yeah, no women so nothing to really say.

Except for a random side note: God is REALLY quick to anger here. The people grow restless (understandably since Moses is gone for about 40 days supposedly), make a golden calf to worship and the second God see this he's like "I'm gonna murder everyone!" It's a good thing God, an omnipotent and all powerful being, is so easily swayed by someone just telling him to basically take a chill pill.

Oh, but wait. So Moses apparently convinces God to not do anything to his people because of the calf. So God changes his mind about killing everyone. Then Moses goes down, finds the faithful people, the Levites, and proceeds to tell them to go out and slaughter their brothers, friends and neighbors. AND THEN on top of that God casts a plague on everyone because of the calf. So God didn't actually change his mind? And Moses telling the Levites to go out and slaughter their own people is okay? And the Levites are revered for doing this horrible thing and basically become the keepers of God's tabernacle? What happened to God telling Moses that killing is bad? What the hell is going on in this section? It seems COMPLETELY messed up, from God basically lying about not punishing the people and Moses' apparently love for the wanton killing of neighbors and loved ones. How messed up is that?

And I find it strange that so much of this section was about how to ritually sacrifice animals. Was this just a time period thing? Because ritual sacrifices were used by the Greeks and Romans and many many other religions too. And why so many animals? I mean, there was a part about two sheep being sacrificed EVERY DAY to the Lord. How wasteful is that? One sheep could feed so many people and yet they're just gonna burn them for God. So do they have SO MANY animals they can afford to do that? Why is God so obsessed with ritual sacrifice and how does this make him any different that any other gods around at the time? I still haven't completely decided what this may mean, but it is really strange to me and bugs me a lot.

Tomorrow: Exodus 33-38

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exodus 22-27

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

22:16-18 - When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married and lies with her, he shall give the bride price for her and make her his wife. If the father refuses to give his daughter to the man, he shall pay an amount equal to the bride price for virgins. You shall not suffer a female sorcerer to live.
22:22-24 - You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If they are abused God will heed their cry and His wrath will burn and will kill you with his sword, and your wives shall become widows and you children orphans.

23:8 - Officials shall not take a bride because a bride blinds an official and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
23:19 - You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.

Exodus 24 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 25 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 26 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 27 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Well, now we at least get God caring about the little people. God's wrath will come down upon anyone who treats widows or orphans badly, and I think that is a nice step in the right direction. Of course with his wrath he creates MORE orphans and widows, but you know, take what you can get.

And a woman's virginity is always available for a price.

Female sorcerers shall be destroy, but apparently MALE sorcerers are totally cool.

And women subvert justice. Awesome.

Now I'm gonna go recreate a Biblically accurate arc of the covenant and tabernacle. And then NOT go into it because I have boobs. Should be fun.

Tomorrow: Exodus 28-32

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Exodus 16-21

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Exodus 16 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 17 - No mention of any women.

18:2 - Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah back to her father, Jethro, who took her back along with her sons.
18:5-6 - Jethro meets Moses in the wilderness at the mountain of God, bringing along Moses' wife and sons. He sent word ahead to Moses letting him know he was bringing him his wife and sons.

19:15 - Moses consecrates the people and tells them, "Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman."

20:10 - No one shall work on the sabbath, not you nor your sons or daughters nor your male or female slaves nor livestock or alien residents in your town.
20:12 - Honor your father and mother.
20:17 - You shall not covet your neighbor's house, or your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

21:1-11 - If you have a male slave and he comes in single he shall leave the same. If he was married when he became a slave he shall leave with his wife. If his master gives him a wife then when the male slave leaves his wife and children shall stay with his master since they are his property and the male slave shall go out alone. But if the slave declares, "I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out a free person." Then the master shall pierce the slaves ear and he shall serve his master for life.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave she shall not go out as the men do. If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to a foreign people since he has dealt unfairly with her. If the man designated her for a son then he shall deal with her as a daughter. If he takes another wife to him then he shall not diminish the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife. And if the master doesn't do these three things then she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.
21:15 - Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.
21:17 - Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.
21:20-21 - when a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment for the slave is the owners property.
21:22 - When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman's husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.
21:26-27 - When a slave owner strikes the eye of a male or female slave and destroys it, or if the owner knocks out a tooth, the slave may go free to compensate for the eye or tooth.
21:28-32 - When an ox gores a man or a woman to death the ox shall be stoned and the owner of the ox is not liable. If the ox has been known to gore in the past and the owner has been warned but done nothing about it, and the ox gores a man or woman to death then both the ox and the owner shall be put to death.If the ox gores a boy or girl the owner shall be dealt with under the same rules. If an ox gores a male or female slave the owner of the ox must pay the slave owner 30 shekels of silver and the ox shall be put to death.

My Comments

Random side note in Exodus 17: God didn't do a good job of blotting out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven, you know, considering he mentioned him and the epic battle right in the Bible. Which everyone reads. So everyone is going to know about Amalek. Blotting out fail.

So Moses wife and sons come to see him (or were brought to him by Jethro), and yet when they get there the only person Moses hangs with his his father-in-law? Zipporah saved him from death and yet Moses seems to want nothing to do with her return. Or his kids. What is that about? There can't just be a verse about him just saying hi and acknowledging their existence.

Exodus 19 gives us our very first taste of women being unclean. And I guess in this case the "people" Moses is talking to do not include women at all. It would be very hard to stay away from yourself to stay clean. So here's the Bible specifically saying, "Stay away from women because they are unclean and dirty." So I guess not everything God created is good and just in his sight. This also leads me to assume that any reference to "the people" or any plural of people doesn't always include women, seeing as the above statement obviously excludes women and yet says "people."

And Exodus 21 is just full of rules where people, in this case slaves and women, are considered property before they are considered persons with feelings and ideas and lives of their own. Even unborn fetuses are the property of men before they are the property of women. It's kind of sad, but very easy to see how slavery was able to continue for so long with people using the Bible to justify owning slaves and the way they treated them. And how it was and still is so easy to use the Bible to justify treating women as less than men. And when a male slave leaves his wife and children with his slave owner after he is free what happens to them? Does the woman become the owner's wife? Does he give her to some other slave? What exactly happens to her and her children?

Also random side note: I like how the ox goring laws are very much like our modern day laws concerning dogs that bite. Very interesting.

Tomorrow: Exodus 22-27

Monday, May 10, 2010

Exodus 10-15

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

10:9 - Moses says that he and his people will go worship with their young and their old, their sons and daughters, their herds and flocks, because they have the Lord's festival to celebrate.

11:2 - God tells Moses to tell the people that all the men are to go to their neighbors and all the women are to go to their neighbors and ask for objects of silver and gold.
11:5 - God says every first born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the Pharaoh's son who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the female slave behind the land mill.

Exodus 12 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 13 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 14 - No mention of any women.

15:20-21 - The prophet, Miriam, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine and all the women danced after her with tambourine's. And Miriam sang to them, "Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea."

My Comments

The Bible continues to punish the slaves for the actions of the masters. I guess the Bible wouldn't want to seem wishy washy on the subject of making slaves suffer on account of their masters.

And apparently God doesn't want any firstborn FEMALE children/animals. Because, you know, why would we redeem females or act like they were worth anything. They are completely useless to God. You know, except for actually MAKING the children possible and giving birth to them and whatnot. But whatever, completely worthless.

The end of the exodus from Egypt felt almost like an M. Night Shyamalan ending. Because, what a twist, there had been a prophet there the whole time during this story that wasn't Moses and this prophet managed to not get mentioned ONCE. And it was a woman. I mean, I thought prophets were important people. But nope, seems the prophet Miriam, Aaron's sister, was there the whole time being a prophet and we had no idea. Glad they deemed it fit to mention her in a good two verses after everything was all handled by the men folk. So what made her a prophet? What did she do? Can you just call yourself a prophet and you suddenly are one? And why is she named as Aaron's sister when she must have been Moses' sister as well? And why was Miriam a prophet but not Aaron? Aaron was Moses' right hand man throughout this whole ordeal, and yet he's apparently not a prophet. So why was Miriam special? Was it because she was the sister who watched Moses on the Nile and brought him back to his mother? But how can we know that for sure when the sister wasn't even named. If she's an important prophet you'd think they would have named her during the Moses in the reeds story, so maybe that sister was a different sister entirely. And if she was prophet material, seriously, why do we only hear about her in those very last two verses. It's just weird to leave her out of the whole story and then suddenly plop her in, like we knew about her the whole time. Doesn't work, Bible.

Seems we've really stepped into the parts of the Bible that seriously lack women characters or even a mention of a woman. But, you know, it totally makes sense when women are so inferior to men that God doesn't count them as the first born. Ever. Even if they ARE the first born, God wants nothing to do with it. So yeah, when this is the case it makes sense that women are very absent and the prophet Miriam gets a two verse cameo.

Tomorrow: Exodus 16-21

Friday, May 7, 2010

Exodus 4-9

The Facts

4:20 - Moses takes his wife and sons back to Egypt with him.
4:24-26 - The Lord tries to kill Moses. But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched it to Moses' feet and said "Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!" And God left him alone. Zipporah continued, "A bridegroom of blood by circumcision."

Exodus 5 - No mention of any women.

6:14 - Shaul was the son of a Canaanite woman.
6:20 - Amram married Jochebad his father's sister and she bore him Aaron and Moses.
6:23 - Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
6:25 - Aaron's son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel and she bore him Phinehas.

Exodus 7 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 8 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 9 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

So a lot of nothing in this section. Only 2 chapters have any women, and one is a really random Moses and Zipporah story and the other is just genealogy. And seriously, why does God try to kill Moses in chapter 4? I mean, what did Moses do? He was going to Egypt just as God says and then suddenly one night while they're camping bam, God's there to kill him. At least Zipporah was thinking on her feet with that weird bridegroom of blood thing. Works every time.

What I find weird is Zipporah saves Moses and doesn't seem to get any sort of thank you or anything. You never even hear about this when the Moses story is told. It's like she saved Moses, the savior of the Israelites, and yet she gets no recognition for this. Maybe no one wants to include a random side note about God randomly trying to kill Moses when they tell the story. Or maybe people get put off by Zipporah rubbing her sons freshly cut off foreskin on Moses' feet. I will admit, that is super weird and would probably make a lot of people a bit uneasy. But still! The first lady in the Bible to save a man and she saves a BIG pivotal dude in the Bible and yet where's her parade?

And a random side thought: Why the hell is God hardening Pharaoh's heart throughout this? God puts all these plagues and curses on Pharaoh and his people and basically FORCES Pharaoh to keep saying no. Who knows, maybe Pharaoh would have let Moses and his people go after only the first two or three plagues. God's basically MAKING a bad guy here by actually going down and hardening Pharaoh's heart. It's like God was afraid Pharaoh would let them go too easy and God wouldn't get his chance to rain hellfire and brimstone and kill all the first born sons and other "cool" almighty godly stuff. God always wants to have a reason to show off, it seems, and apparently most of his showing off involves pain and suffering for the little people on Earth. And to add to that the people that seem to get the brunt of damage during this onslaught of plagues are the slaves. The slaves not only get to participate in the boils and flies like everyone else, but they get the special honor of being left outside by their asshole owners during the hail and thunderstorm. The WORST hail and thunderstorm in the history of Egypt, apparently. But does God care that all these innocent slaves are left outside to die? Nope. Does he maybe lighten the hail a bit to show some mercy on the slaves or at least protect them like he does the Isrealites? Nope. So the moral of the story is: God doesn't care about slaves at all. They are basically right on par with livestock, since God doesn't care at all that all those animals are also pointlessly killed when their asshole owners don't bring them in either. Seriously, God is such a jerk.

Monday: Exodus 10-15

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Genesis 48-50 & Exodus 1-3

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

48:7 - When Jacob came from Paddan, Rachel died in the land of Canaan while there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, and Jacob buried her there on the way to Ephrath (Bethlehem).

49:9 - Jacob describes Judah as crouching and stretching out like a lion - like a lioness - who dares rouse him up?
49:21 - Jacob describes Naphtali as a doe let loose that bears lovely fawns. (An alternate translation for "bears lovely fawns" given in the footnotes is "gives beautiful words.")
49:31 - Jacob asks to be buried in the cave where Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, where Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and where he buried Leah.

Genesis 50 - No mention of any women.

1:15-22 - The king of Egypt commands the Hebrew midwives, one named Shiprah and the other Puah, to kill any boy born onto a Hebrew woman, but they may let the girl children live. But the midwives feared God and they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded. The king finds out and asks the midwives why they have done this? The midwives tell the king that the Hebrew women are more vigorous than the Egyptian women, and the children are born before they arrive. So God dealt with the midwives and the Hebrew people multiplied and became strong. And because the midwives feared God they were given families. The the king of Egypt commanded all of his people, "Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live."

2:1-10 - A man from the house of Levi married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son. When she saw that he was a fine boy she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer she made a basket out of Papyrus, put the child in it, and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. The daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river and discovered the basket. She sent her maid to fetch it and when she opened it and found the baby boy she took pity on him. The sister asked the daughter of Pharaoh if she wanted her to fetch a Hebrew woman to nurse him. The daughter said yes. So the sister went and called the child's mother, and the woman took the child and nursed it. When the child grew up she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter and she too him as her son. She named him Moses because she drew him out of the water.
2:15-22 - Moses leaves Egypt after Pharaoh finds out he killed another Egyptian. Moses fled to the land of Midian where he came upon a well where the priest of Midian's seven daughters were drawing water. Some shepherds came and drove the daughters away, but Moses defended them and also watered the daughter's flocks. The daughters went to their father Reuel and he asked why they were back so early. They told him about the Egyptian, Moses, that defended them and watered their flocks. and Reuel told them to go back and invite him to their house to break bread. Moses agreed to stay and Reuel gave Moses Zipporah for a wife. She bore him a son and Moses named him Gershom, for he says he has been an alien residing in a foreign land.

3:22 - God tells Moses that he shall not leave Egypt empty handed. Every woman (I assume Hebrew women here) shall ask any woman living in their neighbor's house for jewelry of silver or gold and clothing. And Moses shall put these on his sons and daughters and Moses shall plunder the Egyptians.

My Comments

Seriously? Jacob dies and says not a word to his other wives or daughters? Calls his sons over, gives them all blessings and yet nothing for the women in his family? That's a bit harsh, I think.

And then we get the story of the birth of Moses. I am a bit surprised that Moses mother apparently has no name, though that really shouldn't shock me by now since alot of women I assumed would be given names have none. So I guess it's all par for the course. I do like the midwives, standing up for themselves against Pharaoh like that, standing for what they believe in. And just to add no, I do not think this section is any sort of Biblical decree against abortion. Maybe a Biblical decree against killing (male) babies that have just come out of the womb, but that is a different matter. These are fully formed babies, both living and breathing, and generally the only reason a woman has to live. Without sons a woman is useless. And without sons God's promised people cannot multiply, since God's people use a patriarchal lineage. This passage is much more pro-sons than anti-abortion, and the midwives understood that without male children the mothers would be devastated. Even in the end the midwives are rewarded with children, which I assume at least some of them were male. That being said, the midwives are super awesome. They should have gotten much more awesome Pharaoh fighting verses.

And again, I totally admire Moses' mother hiding her baby to save him. She did this at a cost to her own life, which is so much love right there. We haven't gotten to see the mother's actually care for their children yet, so it's definitely nice to see a mom being proactive with her child's safety and caring so much about his well being. Not as awesome as how Laban seemed to care so openly for his daughters (since daughters were deemed as very much less than sons) but still awesome nonetheless. I guess it's just nice to see an entire section of a chapter just filled with women being active. No men around, just women. Moses' mother places him in the reeds, his sister follows him, the daughter finds him and decides to keep him, the sister suggests a Hebrew nursemaid and brings Moses back to his mother. It's just a nice change of pace.

And now I REALLY want to go watch The Prince of Egypt. I can't help it. For the entire last part of Genesis all I wanted was a copy of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat to listen to. And now it's The Prince of Egypt. Wonder how long it would take to get a copy of Netflix...

Tomorrow: Exodus 4-9

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Genesis 43-47

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

43:29 - Joseph sees Benjamin, his mother's son.

44:20 - Judah explains to Joseph that Benjamin is his father's son of old age. Benjamin's brother is dead and so he is the only child of his mother left and his father loves Benjamin very much.
44:27 - Judah tells Joseph how his father told him that his wife bore him two sons, and one has already left him.

45:19 - Joseph tells his brothers to take wagons from Egypt for their children and wives and bring all of them and their father into Egypt.
45:23 - Joseph send his father ten donkeys loaded with good things from Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread and provisions.

46:5 - The sons carry their father, children and wives to Egypt.
46:7 - Jacob brought all his offspring into Egypt, his sons and his son's sons, his daughter and his son's daughters.
46:10 - Shual was the son of a Canaanite woman.
46:15 - These are the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, together with his daughter Dinah. In all his sons and daughters numbered 33.
46:18 - These are the children of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah, and Zilpah bore to jacob sixteen persons.
46:19 - The children of Jacob's wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
46:20 - Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore Jacob Manasseh and Ephraim.
46:22 - These are the children of Rachel born to Jacob, numbering fourteen.
46:25 - These are the children of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and she bore Jacob seven persons in all.
46:26 - The number of Jacob's offspring, not including his sons's wives, was sixty-six.
(This is another name heavy genealogy section, and as mentioned in an earlier post I cannot tell if there are any female names mentioned. If anyone knows of any women named in this section please do let me know so I can add it.)

Genesis 47 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

So, a pretty boring section. Pretty much just mentioning which woman had which son. I do find it interesting that pretty much all children are born TO the father. The wives cannot just have the children, the children must be had FOR their husband and the children belong to the husband, not to the wives. Just a little insulting, I think. The women did carry the children for nine months, you'd think they'd have a little ownership of their own children.

Not much to say on this section. We're moving out of the Joseph story and into the Egypt enslaving the Hebrews saga. Maybe there will be more to discuss in the upcoming chapters.

Tomorrow: Genesis 48-50 and Exodus 1-3

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Genesis 38-42

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

38:2-5 - Judan married the daughter of Shua, a Canaanite. Judah came into her and she bore a son, Er. Again she conceived and bore her son Onan. She bore another son and named him Shelah, she was in Chezib when she had him.
38:6-11 - Judah gave Tamar to his son Er as a wife. But God killed Er so Judah told Onan to go into Tamar and perform his duties as a brother-in-law to her and raise up offspring for his brother. But since Onan knew the offspring would not be his whenever he went to his brother's wife he spilled his seed on the ground. The Lord was angry at this and killed Onan. So Judah told Tamar to remain a widow in her father's house until his son Shelah grew up, since he feared Shelah would die just like his brothers. So Tamar went to live in her father's house.
38:12-30 - Judah's wife, the daughter of Shau, died. After Judah was done mourning he went to Timnah to his sheepshearers. Tamar learned of this and she took off her widow's garments, put on a veil and wrapped herself up and sat down at the entrance to Enaim, on the road to Timnah. She had seen that Shelah had grown up yet she had not been given to him. When Judah saw Tamar he thought she was a prostitute. He asked Tamar if he could come into her, since he did not know she was his daughter in law. She asked, "What will you give me?" Judah promised her a kid from his flock. Tamar asked for Judah's cord and staff as a pledge, so he gave them to her and he then came into her. Tamar conceived by him. She got up and went away, putting back on her widow's garments.

Judah sent his kid by his friend the Adullamite to recover his pledge from the woman. The friend could not find her. He asked the townspeople about her and they said that there was no prostitute there. He returned to Judah and told him that he could not find the woman and that no prostitute had been there. Judah said, "Let her keep the things as her own, otherwise we will be laughed at; you see, I sent this kid and you could not find her."

Three months later Judah was told that Tamar has played the whore and she was pregnant as a result. Judah said "Bring her out, and let her be burned." As she was brought out she sent word to her father in law "It was the owner of these who made me pregnant." Tamar brought out Judah's cord and staff. Judah acknowledged them and declared that Tamar was more in the right than he was, since her had promised her Shelah and he did not give her to him. Judah did not lay with her again.

Tamar bore twins. While she was in labor, one child stuck it's hand out and the midwife ties a red string around it and declared that one was first. But then the
child retracted its hand and the other child stuck its hand out. The midwife cried, "What a breach you have made for yourself!" And that child was called Perez. The brother with the crimson thread came out second and he was named Zerah.

39:6-19 - Joseph is bought by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer, and was put in charge of his household because the Lord was with Joseph and Joseph made everything prosper. Joseph was handsome and good looking and after a while Potiphar's wife set her eye on him. She said, "Come lie with me." But Joseph said we would not betray his master this way or sin against God with such a great wickedness. Potiphar's wife continued to ask him day after day, each time Joseph refusing. Until one day, when he went into the house to work and no one was around, Potiphar's wife grabbed hold of Joseph's garment saying, "Lie with me!" Joseph left his garment and ran outside. When the wife saw Joseph had left his garment and fled she called out to the members of her house and said, "See? My husband has brought a Hebrew among us to insult us! He came to lie with me and I cried out in a loud voice, and when he heard me cry out her left his garment and fled outside." When Potiphar came home she told him the same story. When Potiphar heard this he became enraged and locked Joseph in jail.

Genesis 40 - No mention of any women.

41:45 - Pharaoh names Joseph Zapenath-paneah and Pharaoh gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. Thus Joseph gained authority over the land of Egypt.
41:50 - Before the years of famine, Asenath bore Joseph two sons.

Genesis 42 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Quite a few chapters with no women in them this time. Which doesn't surprise me, since I pretty much knew the Joesph story did not have many women characters. So there are only two women heavy stories this time, and not surprisingly both the women are tricksters who use sex as a way to dupe, betray and get vengeance on men.

We've got the lovely tale of Tamar, who tricks her father-in-law to have sex with her so that she may bear a child and, I assume, partly to get back at him for not giving her to his youngest son as he promised. Though I do think it is funny that Judah using a prostitute is okay, but if a woman IS a prostitute then hold everything, bring out the bon fire! But seriously, if a woman's only purpose in life is to bear lots and lots of sons, do you think she is gonna sit idly by and waste her child bearing years waiting for her promised husband to come of age? Of course Tamar's going to try to fix this problem in any way she can, otherwise she'll be considered less than for the rest of her life.

And then we get the wonderful false rape accusations of Potiphar's wife with Joseph the poor victim to a woman's wild and uncontrollable sex drive. Which I think is weird since it's been culturally accepted that women dislike sex while men can't get enough. Is this where the true evil of women lies, women dislike sex and yet women know that men are so weak against it. Therefore women will use it at any chance to get the upper hand? Maybe that's how the logic goes.

But it seems women are constantly using sex in the Bible to gain power. They either use sex or children (sons more precisely), which ever they have at hand. So is this resounding Biblical theme why our culture hates women who are deemed "too sexy?" Or why people are generally always quick to blame the woman who is raped and not her rapist? Or why so many people assume rape accusations are false? I mean, if women are always tricking men with sex then how can they ever be trusted?

If the Bible is the inspired word of God, then God really has a low opinion of women. Or really, really needs to learn how to write women. Though it seems much more likely from this evidence that the Bible was written by a bunch of men in a culture that had a strong hatred and distrust of women. Maybe whoever wrote the Bible can take a few tips from Joss Whedon or even James Cameron on writing strong female leads. Here's a hint: having women's main story lines constantly revolve around sexual deviancy, trickery and child bearing isn't really the way to go. Women are not just their lady parts. Also: adding aliens or vampires could probably spice up the narrative quite a bit. Just a thought.

Tomorrow: Genesis 43-47

Monday, May 3, 2010

Genesis 32-37

The facts (Chapter number: Verse)

32:5 - Jacob's message to Esau, telling Esau how he has oxen, donkeys, flocks, male and female servants, and he has sent to tell Esau that Esau may find favor for Jacob in his sight.
32:11 - Jacob asks God to deliver him from Esau and his men, that Esau may come and kill them all, the mothers with the children.
32:14-15 - Jacob took a present to Esau that consisted of two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milch camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.
32:22-23 - That same night Jacob took his two wives, two maids and eleven children and crossed the Jabbock. He sent them across the stream and everything he had.

33:1-2 - Jacob sees Esau and the four hundred men approaching. He divided the children w=among Leah and Rachel and the two maids, the maids and their children in front, then Leah and her children, and Rachel and Joseph last.
33:5-7 - Esau asks whom all these people are. Jacob tells Esau these are his children that the Lord graciously provided. The maids and their children came forward and bowed, then Leah and her children, and lastly Rachel and Joseph.

Genesis 34 - The rape of Dinah. Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob went out to visit the women of the region. Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite saw Dinah, seized her and laid with her by force. Shechem loved Dinah and spoke to her tenderly. Shechem asked his father Hamor to get Dinah to be his wife. When Hamor came to Jacob and his sons to ask for Dinah Jacob and his sons were very angry because Shechem had committed such an outrage in isreal by laying with Jacob's daughter. Hamor tells Jacob that Shechem is very in love with Dinah and to please give her to him in marriage. Hamor wants a trade, make marriages with them, give their daughters to his people and they would in turn give their daughters to Jacob's people. Hamor says he will give whatever is asked as a marriage present for Dinah.

Jacob and his sons answered deceitfully because Hamor had defiled Dinah. They say this cannot be done unless Hamor and his men are circumcised, for to give Dinah to someone who is uncircumcised would be a disgrace. Only then will they trade daughters and live amongst them. So Hamor tells Shechem of this agreement, which pleases Shechem because with Dinah he will be the most honored of his family. They tell the men of the city of the trade that has been established and Hamor, Shechem and all the men left the city, and all the men who left the city were circumcised.

On the third day when the men were still in pain, Simeon and levi, two of Dinah's brothers, went out and killed all the males of the city. They killed Hamor and Shechem and took Dinah out of Shechem's house. The other sons of Jacob plundered the city because their sister had been defiled. All the wealth and the little ones and the wives were captured and made their prey. Jacob asks why his sons have brought this trouble upon him, bringing so many of the city to be amongst them that they may rise up on day and destroy him and his household? The sons replied, "Should our sister be treated like a whore?"

35:8 - Rebekah's nurse, Deborah, died and was buried under an oak below Bethel.
35:16-26 - Rachel was in childbirth and had a hard labor. During her labor the midwife told her to not be afraid because she was having another son. As Rachel as dying she named her son Ben-oni, and his father named him Benjamin. Rachel was buried on the way to Ephrath (Bethlehem). A pillar was erected on her grave. While Israel (fka Jacob) lived in that land his son Reuben laid with Bilhah, his father's concubine, and Israel heard of it.Now Jacob had twelve sons. Leah had Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Rachel had Joseph and Benjamin. Bilhah had Dan and Naphtali. Zilpha had Gad and Asher.

Genesis 36 - More genealogy.
36:2-5 - Esaus wives were taken from the Canaanites, Adah, Oholibamah and Basemath (sister of Nebaioth). Adah bore Eliphaz. Basemath bore Reuel. Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah.
36:6 - Esau took all his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, his cattle and his livestock and all his property and moved to a land some distance from his brother Jacob.
36:9-14 - Names of Esau's sons. Eliphaz born of Adah. Reuel the sone of Basemath. Timna was Eliphaz's concubine and bore Amalek. The son's of Eliphaz were the son's of Adah, Esau's wife(?). The sons of Reuel were the sons of Basemath, Esau's wife(?). Oholibamah bore Esau Jeush, Jalam and Korah.
36:16 - Sons of Adah.
36:17 - Sons of Esau's wife, Basemath.
36:18 - Sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah the daughter of Anah.
36:22 - Lotan's sister was Timna.
36:25 - Oholibamah daughter of Anah.
36:39 - Habar becomes king. His wife is Mehetabel, daughter of Matred, daughter of Me-zahab.

37:2 - Joseph was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives.
37:10 - Joseph tells his dreams to his father and his father asks, "What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shell we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?"
37:35 - Jacob mourns the loss of his son Joseph. All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted.

My Comments

Chapters 32 and 33 are pretty boring, though I do have to wonder why Jacob introduces Esau to his children but not his wives, even though Esau inquires about the entire group.

And then we get the rape of Dinah. I find it interesting that Dinah is the one who is violated and raped but she serves no other purpose in the story than as a catalyst for Jacob's sons to go and murder and destroy an entire city. Did Dinah ask them to do this? Did they ask her at all what she wanted or needed after this horrible violation? Would they have cared if she hadn't wanted her tormentors killed? And she's important enough to destroy and entire city for but not important enough to mention ever again when doing a run down of Israel's/Jacob's children? Was this whole thing simply just about the family's honor and the honor of Jacob and his sons? Or after she was violated and saved for the family's honor was she basically an outcast, because we know historically (and even today in some places) women are only good for their virginity to be sold to husbands, and once their virginity is gone, through rape or otherwise, they are basically useless. No one will want them as a wife, and anyone who will isn't someone who will be worth mentioning as a big character in the Bible. At least the family fought for their sister and didn't just sell her to her rapist, but still. I would think she'd have a much larger and more active role in her own rape story.

And I love Rachel's midwife telling her to be happy that she's having a son even though she's dying. Because it's totally cool that Rachel died because she had a son and that is all that matters, right? At least she didn't pass on while having a daughter, right?

I hope I'm reading the last bit of chapter 36 wrong, because it kind of sounds like Esau's wives bore their son's children which is really kinda horrible. I hope it means that the children were their GRANDsons and, I guess, that makes them sons by proxy. I hope.

The story of Joseph (and his technicolor dream coat) is one of the most well known stories in the Bible. So of course there are basically no women in it ( at least not until you get to the rich man's wife who cries rape, which doesn't help much). And I love how they mention "all of Jacob's sons and all of Jacob's daughters" and yet who are these daughters? They NEVER get mentioned. If you just went strictly by the genealogy you'd think no one ever had any daughters, that wives just appeared out of thin air (or left over ribs) and other than that there are no other women around. Which is funny since every man in the Bible seems to get at least three wives. So if we take this as the norm (since it pretty much is the norm in the Bible) the world must be about 3/4 women and 1/4 men. And yet we never hear of all these women. So do we have a case of men taking more women than they need and leaving many men with no women to take as wives? Or is it really the case that there are all these women, droves and droves of women, hanging around that manage to NEVER get mentioned?

I mean, you know, except when they get mentioned off hand as a random "all of [so and so's] sons and all of [so and so's] daughters." I know that sons are held in much more high regard than daughters but still. If there are that many why can't we mention them? Sadly it seems if you're a daughter and you get mentioned by name you're likely to be in a world of hurt later on. Like Dinah, who managed to get mention in one verse amid all of Leah and Rachel's son, only to be violently raped and captured later on. So maybe it is better for the women of the Bible to stay nameless. It might just be safer for all of them in the end.

Tomorrow: Genesis 38-42.