Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Seems I'm sick. There won't be any posts for the rest of this week while I try to rest and get better. Hopefully I'll be back to posting next week.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Judges 16-21

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

16:1 - Samson went to Gaza and saw a prostitute and went into her.
16:4-22 - Samson fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek named Delilah. The lords of the Philistines heard of this and asked Delilah to cox Samson into telling her what make his strength so great and how he could be bound. So Delilah asks Samson and Samson tells her, "If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that are not dried out then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else." So Delilah was brought seven fresh bowstrings and bound Samson. When he was bound she cried out, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And Samson broke out of the bowstrings as if they were nothing. Delilah tells Samson that he has mocked her by telling her lies and asks again for him to tell her how to bind him. Samson says, "If they bind me with new ropes that have not been used then I shall become weak and be like anyone else." The Philistines bring Delilah the rope and she binds Samson again. She cries out to him and Samson breaks through the rope as if it was nothing. Delilah again bemoans that Samson has mocked her and told her lies and asks again to know how he can be bound. Samson tells her, "If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and make them tight with the pin I shall become weak and be like anyone else." So while he slept Delilah wove the seven locks of his head. Once finished she cries out and Samson breaks free again, as if nothing was holding him at all. Delilah asks how Samson can say he loves her when he keeps lying to her and mocking her. Finally, after she nags him day after day he gives in and tells her, "If my head were shaved then my strength would leave my. I would become weak and like anyone else." Delilah goes to tell the Philistines to lie in wait, and while he slept in her lap a Philistine cut the hairs on Samson's head, and his strength did leave him. Delilah calls out once more and Samson awoke, not knowing the Lord had left him. The Philistines seize Samson and gouge out his eyes. He is shackled and forced to grind at the mill in prison as his hair slowly grows back.
16:27 - The house where people watched Samson perform was filled with men and women, all the lords of Philistine were there and about 3,000 men and women were on the roof to watch Samson perform.

17:1-5 - A man in Ephraim named Micah said to his mother, "The eleven hundred pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse, and even spoke about within my hearing - that silver is in my possession. I took it but now I will return it to you." The mother cried, "May my son be blessed by the Lord!" When the mother received the silver pieces she had two hundred pieces cast into an idol, and it was in the house of Micah.

Judges 18 - No mention of any women.

19:1-9 - A certain Levite took a concubine from Bethlehem to Judah. But his concubine became angry with him and went away from him to her father's home at Bethlehem in Judah and was there for four months. Her husband set out to speak to her and bring her back. The girls father met him when he arrived and made him stay, so the husband stayed three days. On the fourth day the husband made to leave and the girl's father asked him to stay and fortify himself with food, and as the day got dark the husband stayed another night. The same happened on the fifth day when the husband rose to leave, but the husband did not stay this time and left with his servant and concubine.
19:19 - The husband meets a man in Gibeah and tells the man that he has straw for his donkeys and bread and wine for him, his servant and his concubine. He does not need more. The man from Gibeah offers him a place to stay.
19:24-30 - While staying with the Gibeah man a bunch of men come and demand to have sex with the husband. The Gibeah man offers the mob his virgin daughters and the husband's concubine, as long as they leave the husband alone. But the men would not listen so the Gibeah man took the concubine and threw her outside. The men raped and abused her all night until the morning. As the dawn broke they let her go, and the woman went to the Gibeah man's doorstep and fell down. In the morning her master found her on the doorstep. He tells her to get up, and when she doesn't answer he puts her on the back of a donkey and sets out for his home. When he has entered his house he takes a knife and cuts his concubine into twelve parts and sent her throughout the territory of Israel.

20:4-6 - The man tells the people of God what happened. How he stayed with the man from Gibeah, how the men intended to kill him and how they raped his concubine until she died, and how he took her body and cut it into twelve pieces and sent them throughout Israel, for a vile act had been committed.

21:1 - The Israelites swear at Mizpah that no one of them shall give his daughter in marriage to a Benjamin.
21:7 - The Israelites wonder what to do for wives for those Benjamin who are left, since they swore they would not give their daughters in marriage to them.
21:10-12 - The Israelites go to Jabesh-gilead and kill the inhabitants, including the women and children. And every woman who had lain with a man is killed, which left 400 young virgins, which they brought back to the camp at Shiloh.
21:14 - They gave the women to Benjamin but they did not suffice for them.
21:16-18 - Again the Israelites wonder what they should do for wives for the Benjamin since they swore to not give them their daughters in marriage but they did not want a tribe of the Lord to vanish.
21:20-23 - The Israelites tell Benjamin to lie in wait in a vineyard and watch while a festival goes on in Bethel. And when the women come out to dance the Benjamin may take a wife as they see fit. And if the fathers or brothers complain to the Israelites the Israelites will just say, "Be generous and allow them to have them because we did not capture in battle a wife for each man. But neither did you incur guilt by giving your daughters to them." The Benjamins did this and took wives for each of them from the dancers they abducted.

My Comments

I'm not feeling well so this will be very short since it took so long to write all the notes for these chapters.

First I will just say that these sections have made me about as furious as the rape laws did in Deuteronomy.

In the Delilah story the Bible once again says that she "nagged" Samson. Samson's previous wife "nagged" him as well about the riddle. Is this a translator choice? Because it just kinda rubs me the wrong way when it describes her as "nagging" Samson.

Delilah may not be the best spy in the world, but Samson has to be dumb as mud to fall for it. Even if it took him days before he finally caved in and told her. How stupid to you get, she was obviously setting him up.

Nice to see that the trading your daughters and women to save a male guest is apparently a normal custom. Except this time, unlike in Soddom, the woman thrown outside actually dies from being raped. And yeah, the husband didn't do it himself but did he put up a fight? Sounds like the owner of the house threw his concubine outside and he just kinda shrugged and was like "Oh well." Seriously, after she was thrown outside and raped to death he only stumbled upon her body because he was just planning on taking a stroll outside. He doesn't even seem to be phased by this since he tells her corpse to get up so they can go. I mean what the fuck?! He could have done something about this, but instead he left his concubine to the crazed men outside to have their way with her. And the best part is how he takes her corpse home and then cuts it into twelve pieces. What kind of person does that? And all of this is apparently okay, as he tells the Israelites this story later, with no real changes, and they get super pissed for him to. It just makes me so angry. How worthless is a woman's life to these men?! Just how worthless does a woman have to be where her being thrown out to an angry mob of horny men is no cause for alarm but her husband/master. Where her abused lifeless body is ordered to get up and go before asked if she is okay. Before any comfort or solace is offered to her.

What kind of book is this where when a tribe of Israel is slaughtered that the next logical step is to steal women from a neighboring town so that they can take them as wives. Where it is okay for men to kidnap women in order to force them into marriage and rape them.

Seriously, not a book I want around. And definitely not a book I would hold up as my source of morals. Not in any sense of the word. I don't care if it has a few nice fluffy passages of some substance. Those fluffy passages are drowning in rape and slaughter and immorality that is often endorsed by the God people hold up to be the ultimate source of goodness and love.

There may not be a post tomorrow if I start feeling any worse. This kind of frustration takes too much out of me.

Tomorrow (possibly): Ruth

Monday, June 28, 2010

Judges 10-15

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Judges 10 - No mention of any women.

11:1-2 - Jephthah, the son of a prostitute, was a mighty warrior. Gilead was the father of Jephthah. Gilead's wife also bore him sons, and when his wife's sons grew up they drove Jephthah away, saying he shall not inherit anything because he was the son of a prostitute.
11:34-40 - (Jephthah makes a vow to God that if God helps him destroy the Ammonites that Jephthah would make a burnt offering to the Lord of the first person to greet him when he returned home.) Jephthah returns home and his daughter, his only child, is the first out of his house to greet him. When Jephthah saw her he ripped his clothes and cried, "Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low; you have become the curse of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and cannot take back my vow." His daughter wants him to keep his vow, since he made it to the Lord and the Lord did help him take down the Ammonites. She asked her father for two months so that she and her companions may go and wander in the mountains and bemoan her virginity. So she and her companions went into the mountains for two months and bewailed her virginity. At the end of two months she came back and her father upheld his part of the vow. There then arose an Israelite custom that for four days every year the daughters of Israel would go out to lament the daughter of Jephthah.

12:9 - Ibzan judged Isreal for seven years and had thirty sons. He gave his thirty daughters in marriage outside his clan and brought in thirty young women from outside for his sons.

13:2-14 - A man named Manoah had a wife who was barren. An angel of the Lord appeared to his wife and Said to her that she would no longer be barren, than she would bear a son. He warned her to be careful not to drink or eat anything unclean, and that no razor was to come to her son's head since he was to be a nazirite to God from birth. Her son is to be the one who will begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines. The wife went to her husband and told her what had happened and what the angel had told her. Manoah entreated the Lord to send the man again to tell them what he as his wife are to do concerning the boy who was to be born. God listened to Manoah and sent the angel to the woman again, but Manoah was not with her. She went to her husband to tell him the man who talkedto her the other day was back and Manoah went to him. The angel told Manoah what he had told his wife previously.
13:19-25 - Manoah offers a burnt offering to the Lord and the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar before Manoah and his wife. Manoah and his wife fell on their faces to the ground and the angel of the Lord did not appear again. Manoah said to his wife that they would surely die for seeing the face of God. His wife said that surely the Lord would not kill them if He had just accepted their burnt offering, or shown them this vision, or announced to them these things.

The woman bore a son and named him Samson. The boy grew and the Lord blessed him.

Judges 14 - Samson went down to Timnah and saw a Philistine woman. He told his father and mother and asked for her as his wife. His mother and father asked why doesn't he take a woman from his kin or his people. Samson again told them he wanted the Philistine woman, his mother and father unaware that this was part as a pretext to act against the Philistines. Samson went down with his mother and father to Timnah. Samson fought and killed a lion without letting his mother and father know. Then he went down to talk to the Philistine woman and she pleased Samson. He later returned to marry her. While there Samson found honey in the carcass of the lion he had killed and brought some honey to his mother and father, not letting them know where he had gotten it from.

Samson's father went down to the woman and Samson made a feast there. Thirty companions went to be with him during this feast. He offered up a riddle for them to solve, the reward being thirty linen garments and thirty festal garments. If they could not solve the riddle in seven days the companions were to give him the same. They accepted the challenge and Samson told them the riddle, "Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong something sweet."

After three days they could not explain the riddle. On the fourth day they asked Samson's wife to coax the answer out of him, threatening to burn her and her father's house if she did not. So Samson's wife went to Samson and wept before him, saying, "You hate me. You do not really love me. You have asked a riddle of my people, but you have not explained it to me." Samson told her he hasn't even told his father and mother the answer, why should he tell her? She wept before him for seven days, and because she nagged him on the seventh day he told her. Then she explained the riddle to the people. The men of the town told him on the seven day, "What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?" And Samson told them, "If you had not plowed with my heifer you would not have found out my riddle." The spirit of the Lord rushed down on Samson and he killed thirty men of Ashkelon, took their spoil, and gave the festal garments to the men who solved the riddle. He went back to his father's house. Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

15:1-8 - At the time of the wheat harvest Samson took a kid and went to visit his wife. He asked to go to his wife's room but her father would not allow him to. Her father told Samson that since it seemed Samson had rejected her, she had been given to Samson's companion. Her father offered up her younger sister to Samson instead. Samson, angry about this, went and tied torches to 300 foxes' tails and set them loose in the town. The Philistines asked who had done this and they said Samson, the son-in-law of the Trimnite, because he has taken Samson's wife and given her to his companion. So the Philistines burned the woman and her father. Samson swears revenge on the Philistines for burning his wife and her father, and slaughtered them all.

My Comments

Have to say, I was looking forward to the piece of work that is the story of Jephthah. I mean, really? Jephthah blames HIS DAUGHTER? It's his daughter's fault that he now has to sacrifice her to the Lord? He's the one that made the vow. He knew damn well his daughter was a possibility. So how dare his guilt trip his daughter just because she was happy to have him home. Why not place the blame on himself for making such a stupid vow? Or putting the blame on God for allowing such a horrible vow to be made in the first place? Both of those are far more reasonable than blaming the victim in this whole mess.

God is definitely not against human sacrifices. He's not even against parents sacrificing their children. Which is weird since he spent many a verse talking about how he detested human sacrifices and forbade parents from sacrificing their children. Maybe he just doesn't mind if people sacrifice women. Since, you know, women are lesser than and all that jazz. So sacrificing a woman isn't really a HUMAN sacrifice. It's on par with sacrificing cattle or sheep. Yeah...

Then there's Manoah and his wife. Another woman who is promised the glory of having a son after being barren for years. Seems being promised a son by God is like winning the lottery in the Bible. Such an awesome thing to happen. I especially love how Manoah doesn't believe his wife when she tells him so he has to ask God to send the man back to tell him personally what his wife was already told. And God thinks this is totally okay and actually sends the angel back. And just in case God happened to not get the praise for this miracle he makes sure to put an angel in the flame of their offering just to make damn sure he was the one who got the credit.

Where to begin on the Samson story. First, I guess, way to use a woman to gain a reason to destroy the Philistines. Apparently this is only possible if he gets the Philistines to kill her. So, yay for her I guess. I guess second is the horrible riddle thing. How stupid is that riddle? It's seriously not a real riddle since no one could get the answer correctly without knowing what he had done. It's not word games or something that cam be figured out logically. You HAVE to know the story to get it right. So yeah, the men are gonna ask for help. Third, Samson had no right to blame his wife for all that shit when she was threatened by the men with death if she did not get the answer. She wept and "nagged" because she feared for her and her father's life. Samson even refers to her as "his heifer" when he finds she'd told the men the answer. You can't get much more woman hating than that, actually referring to you wife as cattle. How loving.

Fourth: So after he leaves Samson's wife is given to his best man. Understandable, since apparently in these times women can't be without a husband ever. And when Samson comes back he's pissed about it? He's the one that left without warning and for a significant amount of time. If he'd wanted to keep his wife he should have taken her with him. But I guess this was all part of his plan? He wanted a reason to be able to destroy the Philistines, so he manipulated it so his wife would be given away, giving him something to be pissed about, allowing him a reason to set fire to the town. And then when the town was burning the people would blame the woman and her father for their troubles, since the father gave her away and (I guess) the woman allowed it(?). So they burn the father and woman and thus give Samson yet another good reason to slaughter everyone. I can only assume this is what is actually going on, since Samson mentions the Philistine woman was just a way to form a pretext in which to act against the Philistines. This "plan" is never mentioned again, so I'm not really sure. It's unclear if he is actually angry that all this has happened or if he's only acting out because this was his plan all along. It doesn't seem to make much sense. If this was a big plan I'd think it'd be mentioned more than just once.

And why don't ANY of the women get names in these stories? Each woman basically gets an entire chapter dedicated to her story and yet we get no names. Is it because they are so passive? Merely bending to the will of any man around them? Passive women seem more likely to be denied names in the Bible, so maybe this is a reason. But it seems completely unfair that women like Jephthah's daughter, who suffered so much and were treated so poorly, aren't given names for us to remember them by. Not only are they passive but they must always be referred to in relation to men in their lives. Manoah's wife. Jephthah's daughter. Samson's wife. It strips their individuality and constantly leaves them someone's property. For all of history. It's just... really unfair.

Tomorrow: Judges 16-21

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Judges 6-9

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Judges 6 - No mention of any women.

Judges 7 - No mention of any women.

8:30-31 - No Gideon had 70 sons of his own offspring for he had many wives. His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son and he named him Abimelech.

9:1 - Now Abimelech son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's kinsfilk and spoke to them and to the whole clan of his mother's family.
9:3 - His mother's kinsfolk spoke all his words on his behalf in the hearing of all the lords of Shechem and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech for he was their brother.
9:18 - Jotham cries, "But you have risen up against my father's house this day, and have killed his sons, 70 men on one stone, and have made Abimelech, son of his slave woman, king over the lord of Shechem because he is your kinsman."
9:49 - Abimelech and his men cut bundles of brushwood and set them against the Tower of Shechem, setting it on fire and killing about a thousand men and women.
9:51 - There was a strong tower within the city and men, women, and all the lords of the city took refuge inside it.
9:53-54 - A woman threw a millstone on Abimelech's head and crushed his skull. Before he died Abimelech called to the young man who carried his armor and commanded the young man draw his sword and kill him, "So people will not say about me, 'A woman killed him.'"

My Comments

There isn't too much here. The only part of any significance is Abimelech not wanting to have his exact cause of death be a woman so much that he ordered one of his own men to finish him off. I'm not really sure that "His own man killed him" is better than "A woman killed him." But that's just me, apparently in these times and in this culture it is better to be killed by you own armor carrier instead of a woman. I think that speaks volumes by itself, no other commentary necessary.

And it says after Abimelech died that the soldiers quit fighting and went home. I wonder then if that woman, in throwing that millstone and striking Abimelech, saved all those people in the tower. It doesn't say that the tower was burned down or tat the people inside were slaughtered, so one can only assume that the woman single-handedly saved the remaining people of Shechem. Which is pretty awesome.

Still, I'm fairly certain she didn't get a parade or a holiday in her honor. I guess them's the breaks when you're a woman living back in the day.

Just as an update there won't be a post tomorrow. My brother is coming into town to visit and I don't think I will get a chance to sit and write an entry for tomorrow. Posts will return to their normal schedule on Monday.

Monday: Judges 10-15

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Judges 1-5

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1:12-15 - Caleb said "Whoever attacks Kiriath-sepher and takes it, I will give him my daughter Achsah as wife." And Othniel son of Kanez, Caleb's younger brother, took it, and he gave him his daughter Achsah as wife. When she came to him she urged him to ask her father for a field. As she dismounted from her donkey Caleb asked her what she wished. She said, "Give me a present since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me also Gulloth-mayim." So Caleb gave her upper and lower Gulloth.

Judges 2 - No mention of any women.

3:5-6 - So the Isrealites lived among the Hittites, Canaanites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusties. They took their daughters as wives for themselves and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they worshiped their Gods.

4:4-22 - At this time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. The Iraelites came to her for judgment. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali. She said to Barak, "The Lord commands you to go take position at Mount Tabor, bringing ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and Zebulun. I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jaban's army, to meet you by the Wadi Kishon with his chariots and his troops and I will give him into your hands." Barak said, "If you will go with me, I will go. If you will not then I will not go." Deborah said, "I will surely go with you, nonetheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell the life of Sisera into the hands of a woman." So Deborah went with Barak into Kedesh.

Sisera heard about Barak and he called out his chariots and troops. Deboah said to Barak, "Up! For this is the Day on which the Lord has given Siserainto your hands! The Lord is indeed going out before you." Barak and his tropps went down to meet Sisera and the Lord threw Sisera's army into a panic. Sisera fled from the battle on foot while the rest of his troops were killed.

Sisera fled to the tent of Jael wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between King Jabin of Hazor and the clan of Heber the Kenite. Jael came out to meet Sisera and told him to turn aside and have no fear. So he came into her tent and she covered him with a rug. Sisera asked her for some water to drink and she brought him milk. Sisera asked Jael to stand at the entrance of the tent, and if anyone came by to ask if he was there for her to tell them no. But Jael instead took a tent peg and a hammer and, while he was sleeping, slowly crept up and drove the peg into his temple until it hit the ground. When Barak came in pursuit of Sisera Jael came outside her tent and said to him, "Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking." So Barak went into her tent and found Sisera dead.

Judges 5 - Deborah and Barak sing of the events that had unfolded. The sing praises to the Lord. They praises Deborah as a mother of Israel who helped the people prosper. They sing of the people coming to Deborah. They sing of the battles Israel fought against foreign lands. They sing of the blessed woman Jael who drove a tent peg through Sisera's temple and delivered him to Barak. They sing of Sisera's mother who awaits her sons return and wonder why he is gone so long.

The land then had rest for forty years.

My Comments

Is Judges 1:12-15 supposed to be an addition to Joshua 15:16-19 or is it a retelling? Because it does not sound like an addition to the story, and if it is a retelling then it odd because in Joshua she got the upper and lower springs, not Gulloth. And why retell it again? Is this really that important that we need to mention it twice? And if it is that important then why do the two contradict on the present she is given? Just weird.

And I'm sorry, it's just weird that God basically punishes his people for NOT slaughtering everyone. The Israelites decided the conquered people were better used as slaves and workers instead of being corpses. Which is debatable if that is in fact better than being killed but that's not really the issue here. I just find it strange that God punishes his people because he is disappointed he didn't get the slaughter he demanded. God's just so bloodthirsty it's kind of creepy.

The excessive use of pronouns has been bothering me for a while. But this is so evident in Judges 3:6. So many "their"s I'm not sure who's giving whose daughter to whom and whose gods are being worshiped by whom and it's just a mess. This is not the first time that pronouns have made a passage super vague and basically unreadable, but this is the first time I'll bring it up. I won't mention every case I come upon (I could dedicate a whole other blog to that) but I may start mentioning ones that really pop out at me or are in the passages that deal with women, since I'll be writing about those passages anyways.

I do have to admit, I am suddenly enjoying the women stories. This is a much needed reprieve from women being constantly raped or being sexual tricksters. The women are suddenly more active, having a bigger role in God's plan. Sadly, I do not think these women are talked about near enough. I don't even remember really hearing about Deborah the judge when I went to church all those many years, and I only vaguely remember hearing about Jael delivering Sisera to the Israelites. And this is totally badass, so why don't we hear their stories more? Why aren't they being used as female role models in Sunday school to show how God did call upon women in the Old Testament to fulfill prophecy and even lead his people in very important roles? Perhaps it is because the stories are kind of violent. Jael's duty to God was to drive a spike through a man's head, not really suited for Sunday school coloring books.

Of course now that I say that I so want a Bible coloring book depicting all the bloodier scenes in the Bible. Like one about men and women being forced by God to cannibalize their own children and fetuses. Egyptians stumbling around with open oozing sores all over them. The Israelites slaughtering nation after nation. Jael staking Sisera. Oh the possibilities. :)

But yeah, Deborah and Jael both kick ass. They show that women can be called upon by God to take on higher responsibilities. That women can be something more than a baby maker or a prostitute. They can be active in their lives and their following of God's will, not just pieces to be moved around in a man's story. And this is much better than what Miriam ever got. Miriam was a prophetess too, but her story was never told. We'll never really know what she did or what she accomplished in her role as prophetess. Deborah and Jael managed to get into the tale and have their stories stand out. Maybe it's because Deborah was a judge, a big wig, while Miriam was overshadowed by the big prophet of the day Moses. Maybe if Moses hadn't had such a focus on him we could have gotten more of Miriam's story. We will never know, but at least some of the big female players in the Bible are getting well deserved face time.

Maybe this will continue to be a theme. Now that we're out of the more law heavy and boring books of the Bible hopefully it'll just be story time from here on out. I'll keep my fingers crossed but I still won't hold my breath. Yeah we've gotten 3 very strong female characters fairly close to each other, but the Bible has A LOT of bullshit to make up for. I sincerely hope it at least continues to try to make up for it.

Tomorrow: Judges 6-9

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Joshua 19-24

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Joshua 19 - No mention of any women.

Joshua 20 - No mention of any women.

Joshua 21 - No mention of any women.

Joshua 22 - No mention of any women.

23:12-13 - If the Israelites turn back and join the survivors of the nations left behind and intermarry with them, you with their women and them with ours, then the Lord will not continue to drive out the nations before them.

Joshua 24 - No mention of any women.

My Comments


Tomorrow: Judges 1-5

Monday, June 21, 2010

Joshua 12-18

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Joshua 12 - No mention of any women.

Joshua 13 - No mention of any women.

Joshua 14 - No mention of any women.

15:16-19 - Caleb said, " Whoever attacks Kiriath-sepher and takes it, to him I will give my daughter Achsah as wife." Othniel son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it; and he gave him his daughter Achsah was a wife. When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. Caleb asked her what she wished. She said to him, "Give me a present; since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me springs of water as well." So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

Joshua 16 - No mention of any women.

17:3-6 - Zelophehad had no sons, only daughters, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They came before the priest Eleazar and Joshua and said, "The Lord commanded Moses gives us an inheritance along with our male kin." Thus there fell to Manasseh ten portions, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance alongside his sons.

Joshua 18 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Holy crap is this section boring. Reading about how land was divided amongst the people on the scale of Biblical boredom is somewhere between reading genealogies and reading the many, many laws about ritual sacrifice. Pretty much a big snooze fest.

And nice to see women are still prizes to be given out to men who do well. Wouldn't want to give up that trend.

But at least the law concerning daughters and inheritance is still working. Not much but it's something.

Tomorrow: Joshua 19-24

Friday, June 18, 2010

Joshua 5-11

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Joshua 5 - No mention of any women.

6:17 Joshua cries that the town shall be destroyed except for Rahab and anyone who is with her in her house because she hid the messengers.
6:21 - The Israelites kill everything in the city, man and woman, young and old, donkeys, sheep, and oxen.
6:22-25 - Joshua tells the two men to go get Rahab the prostitute and to brig her out of her house and all who are with her. The men did so and brought out Rahab, her mother, her father, her brother and all who belonged to her. They went outside the city and the Israelites burned the city down. Rahab and her family were spared and lived in Israel ever since.

Joshua 7 - No mention of any women.

8:25 - The total people of Ai who died that day, men and women, was twelve thousand.

Joshua 9 - No mention of any women.

Joshua 10 - No mention of any women.

Joshua 11 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

War, war, war, war, war. God LOVES him some wars. He also loved conquering people and completely destroying the cities. Wouldn't it be beneficial for the Israelites to let the cities stand and just toss all the shit they don't want outside the city and then burn it there? Why destroy all the already made buildings and structures? Burning them down just means more work. Needless work.

But the Bible and God don't always make that much sense so I dunno what I'm complaining about, really.

Rahab still rocks.

Monday: Joshua 12-18

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Deuteronomy 32 - 34 & Joshua 1-4

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

32:19 - "The Lord saw it, and was jealous; he spurned his sons and daughters."

33:9 - "[Levi] said of his father and mother, 'I regard them not.'"

Deuteronomy 34: No mention of any women.

1:14 - All the wives, children, and livestock of Israel shall remain beyond the Jordan in the land Moses gave them

2:1-21 - Joshua sent two men into Jericho as spies. The entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and spent the night there. The king of Jericho was told some Israelites had come into the land The king of Jericho sent out orders for Rahab to bring out the men who had come to her, for they were there only to search the land. Rahab told the guards that the men had in fact been there, although she had not known who they were at the time, but had left trough the gates when they were being closed at night. She said she did not know where they had gone to, but the guards should pursue them quickly. So the guards went after the men, and after they had gone the gates were shut.

Before they had gone to sleep, Rahab went to the roof where she had hidden the two men among stalks of flax. Rahab said, "I know that the Lord has given you the land and that dread of you has fallen on us, and all the inhabitants of the land melt in fear before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you come out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amrites that were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og,whom your utterly destroyed. As soon as we heard it our hearts melted and there was no courage left in any of us because of you. The Lord your God is indeed God in heaven above and on earth below." Rahab makes a deal with the men to spare her life and the life of her family since she has saved theirs. The men agree to this and tell her to take a red cord and tie it on the window through which she'd let them down from and to take her whole family and keep them in the house. If anyone should not be in the house the men would not be responsible for their deaths, but if anyone is harmed while in the house then they shall be to blame. If Rahab tells anyone about their business then the men shall not do as they have said. Rahab tells them she will not and the men depart and Rahab ties a crimson cord onto the window.

Joshua 3 - No mention of any women.

Joshua 4 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Okay, Rahab is badass. Not only is she active in her story but she saves the two spies who came to her. She gets them to hide, she distracts the guard, and she saves her entire family from the invasion that is soon to come. I really got nothing bad to say about it. I do wish we could have a female character who wasn't either a prostitute or just a baby making machine. But it is the Bible and culturally that's pretty much all women could be. You were either a virgin, a baby maker, a prostitute, or a widow. So, you know, I don't take all that much issue with her being a prostitute. Maybe that makes her even cooler, since prostitutes were not considered all that human during the time, so that on top of her being a woman and she manages to get the two pies to listen to her plan and to trick the guards into following a false lead?

Yeah, so far Rahab is up there as one of my fave women characters. Right up there with Eve and Zipporah. I like it when the women get a chance to do something and not just sit there and let things happen to them. They should get to take charge just as often as the men do, yet this isn't always the case. But this is definitely a nice reprieve after those god awful Deuteronomy chapters. Thank you, Rahab.

Tomorrow: Joshua 5-11

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Deuteronomy 28-31

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

28:30 - (curses if you do not obey God's commandments) "You shall become engaged to a woman but another man shall lie with her."
28:32 - "Your sons and daughter shall be given to another people while you look on; you will strain your eyes looking for them all day but be powerless to do anything."
28:53-54 - "In the desperate straits to which the enemy siege reduces you, you will eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your own sons and daughters whom the Lord your God has given you. Even the most refined and gentle men among you will begrudge food to his own brother, to the wife whom he embraces, and to the last of his remaining children."
28:56-57 - "She who is the most refined and gentle among you, so gentle and refined that she does not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground, will begrudge food to the husband whom she embraces, to her own son, and to her own daughter, begrudging even the afterbirth that comes from between her thighs and the children that she bears, because she is eating them in secret for lack of anything else, in the desperate straits to which the enemy siege will reduce you in your town."
28:68 - "The Lord shall bring you back in ships to Egypt, by a route that I promised you would never see again: and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there shall be no buyer."

29:11 - ...all your children, you women, and the aliens who are in your camp stand to enter into a covenant with God.
29:18 - There may be a man or woman, family or tribe, amongst them whose heart is already turning away from Gd and towards the gods of other nations.

Deuteronomy 30 - No mention of any women.

31:12 - Assemble the people - men, women, children as well as the aliens residing in your town - so that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord and to observe diligently his laws.

My Comments

So how about Deuteronomy 28, huh? Pretty awesome stuff. God may be (supposedly) against child sacrifice but he just LOVES making parents eat their own children. Cannibalism is just a hobby of his, I guess. Seriously, that is some pretty messed up shit right there, and the stuff I wrote is only a small portion of it. There are plagues and boils and starvation and abuse and blindness and it goes on and on. Basically God is getting people to follow him through sheer terror. Which he apparently loves, by the way. Deut 28:63 - "And just as the Lord took delight in making you prosperous and numerous, so the Lord will take delight in bringing you to ruin and destruction." I mean really? So much for love, God just enjoys using us as his little puppets. And if they upset him he takes just as much joy in watching them burn.

Not sure if anyone has ever seen the movie The Adventures of Mark Twain, and I may be dating myself mentioning it, but it was a claymation movie that involved three children from the book Tom Sawyer flying on a balloon with Mark Twain and venturing through his many stories and whatnot. It's pretty damn creepy most of the time, but maybe that's just my horrible fear of claymation talking. But God here and in many other places really makes me think of the part where the three children meet "Satan" and play creation with him. They call the character Satan, but honestly, it has so many similarities to the God of the Bible that it could just as easily be God. Anyway, here's the clip. It's pretty interesting to watch. The children's reactions at the end are about how I've been feeling reading up to this point.

Tomorrow: Deuteronomy 32-34 and Joshua 1-4

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Deuteronomy 23 - 27

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

23:17-18 - None of the daughters of sons of Israel shall be a temple prostitute. You shall not bring the fee or wages of a prostitute or a male prostitute into the house of God in payment for any vow, for both are abhorrent to the Lord.

24:1-4 - If a man dislikes his wife or finds her objectionable in some way, sends her out with a bill of divorce, she then becomes another man's wife, and then the second husband dislikes her and sends her out with a bill of divorce (or dies), the fist husband who sent hr away is not permitted to take her as his wife again after she has been defiled. That would be abhorrent to the Lord your God.
24:19-21 - When you reap a harvest and forget a sheaf in the field you shall not go back and get it. It shall be left for the alien, the orphan and the widow. When you beat your olive trees do not strip what is left. It shall be left for the alien, the orphan and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard do not glean what is left. It shall be left for the alien, the orphan and the widow.

25:2-10 - If two brothers reside together and one one them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside of the family to a stranger. Her husband's brother shall come into her, taking her in marriage and performing the duty of a husband's brother to her. Her firstborn shall bear the name of the deceased brother so that his name will not be blotted out of Israel. But if the man does not desire to marry his brother's widow then the widow shall go to the elders at the gate and tell them the brother will not do the duty of a husband's brother. The elders shall summon the brother and ask him. If the brother persists, then the brother's wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, pull the sandal off his foot, spit in his face and declare "This is what is done to the man who does not build up his brother's house."
25:11-12 - If a man gets in a fight with another man, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband and reaches out and grabs the other man's genitals then her hand shall be cut off, show no mercy.

26:12-13 - When you have given your tithe of produce on the third year, giving it to the Levites, the aliens, the orphans and the widows so they may eat their fill, you shall say before the Lord, "I have removed the sacred portion from my house and given it to the Levites, the aliens, the orphans and the widows in accordance with your commandment."

27:16 - "Cursed be anyone who dishonors father or mother."
27:19 - "Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice."
27:20 - "Cursed be anyone who lies with his father's wife for he has violated his father's rights."
27:22 - "Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother."
27:23 - "Cursed be anyone who lies with his mother-in-law."

My Comments

I'm honestly still quite angry about the load of crap from yesterday's post. A woman is still basically a piece of property, to be dealt with as such and not as a human. She is to bear her husband sons and if she cannot before he husband dies then she must bear a son through her husband's brother. A man cannot sleep with another man's wife, because they are another man's property and right. A man cannot sleep with his sister because she is owned by the father until ownership is transferred to her husband. The rules are pretty simple. Just think of women like cattle and livestock and you basically get the general idea.

At least if you're a widow you get people's handouts. Because, you know, a woman without a husband is something to be pitied, much like orphans and strangers in your land.

Also, apparently getting back together with your ex is abhorrent. Why, I have no idea. I guess God is anti-sloppy thirds or some bullshit. It's a stupid law that again treats the woman as nothing more than property to be grown tired of and easily dismissed by whatever man happens to have her at the time. I'm actually astonished by how easy it is to get rid of a wife you dislike. Apparently you just write her a note that says something like "She nags me too much." and you're done. Just shove her off into the world and tell her to never come back. And yet, so far there is not system set up for women to choose to leave a marriage. It's all based on what the husband wants to do or the husband's actions.

Seriously, this book alone is enough proof for me that the Bible HATES women. Not only that, everything leading up to this basically says that the Bible isn't even remotely addressed towards women. It constantly addresses men and tells the men rules about who they can or cannot sleep with, when they can or cannot divorce their wives, how much they should or should not marry/sell their daughter's for, how they should or should not punish a woman for immoral behavior (you know, immoral behavior like being raped). Why do women even read this? It's no even addressed to us! Not even in the slightest. This is a book written by men for men and (supposedly) with the aid of a male God. This has nothing to do with us. And yet many many women follow the Christian faith and are okay with it.

Wake up!!! This shit is hurting us!!! This shit tells us over and over again that we are less than and it doesn't matter what kind of hippie happy go lucky message that it gets wrapped up in, it doesn't change the fact that the book the Christian religion is based on is full of more misogyny and woman hating than prime time Spike TV. Seriously, get out of this shit. It is NOT worth it and I'm glad I never got that invested in all the hypocrisy and bullshit. I remember how I felt when I was more religious, the guilt that I constantly had about natural normal feelings I had or natural normal processes my body went through. I'm much happier not having to live with all that shame and guilt. And I'm much better off not having the Bible influence my life and thinking.

Tomorrow: Deuteronomy 28-31

Monday, June 14, 2010

Deuteronomy 18-22

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

18:10 - No one shall make their son or daughter pass through fire.

Deuteronomy 19 - No mention of any women.

20:7 - (The priest addresses troops before battle) "Has anyone become engaged to a woman but not yet married her? He should go back to his house, or he might die in the battle and another marry her."
20:14 - If a town does not submit to Israel peacefully then they shall kill all the men and may take as booty all the women, children, livestock and everything else in the town.

21:10-14 - When you capture a city and see a beautiful woman among the captives whom you wish to marry, you may bring her to you house. She will shave her head, pare her nails, discard her captive's garb and remain in your house a full month, mourning for her mother and father. After that she may become your wife. But if you are not satisfied with her you shall let her go free, you may not sell her for money nor treat her as a slave.
21:15-17 - If a man has two wives, one disliked and the other loved, and if they have both borne him sons, the firstborn being of the one he dislikes, then on the day he wills his possessions to his sons he is not permitted to treat the son of the loved wife as the firstborn in preference to the son of the disliked, who is the firstborn. He must acknowledge the son of the disliked as the firstborn, giving him a double portion of all he has.
21:18-21 - If a father and a mother has a son who will not obey them and does not heed their discipline, then his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders of the town at the town gate. They shall tell the elders that their son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey them and he is a glutton and a drunkard. Then the men of the town shall stone the son to death.

22:5 - A woman shall not wear a man's clothing, nor shall a man wear a woman's. Whoever does such a thing is abhorrent to the Lord.
22:6-7 - If you come across a bird's nest with fledglings or eggs, with the mother sitting on them, you shall not take the mother with the young. Let the mother go, taking only the young for yourself, in order that it may go well with you and you may live long.
22:13-21 - If a man marries a woman and after going into her decides he dislikes her and makes charges against her the father and mother of the young women shall bring evidence of her virginity to the elders. If they can produce the sheets which prove her virginity to the elders then the man shall be punished and fined 100 shekels (to be paid to the wife's father) and the woman shall remain his wife. The man shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives. If the father and mother cannot produce evidence of her virginity then the woman shall be punished, and she shall be taken to the entrance of her father's house and stoned to death by the men of her town.
22:22 - If a man is found laying with another man's wife then they shall both be stoned to death.
22:23-29 - If a young virgin, already engaged to be married, is met by a man in town and he lies with her then they shall both be taken to the town gates and stone them both to death, the woman because she did not cry for help in the town and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife. If the man meets the engaged woman in the open country and lies with her then only the man shall die. You shall do nothing to the young woman since she was out in the open country and if she had cried out then no one would be around to hear it. If a man meets a virgin who is not engaged to be married and lies with her and they are caught, the man shall pay 50 shekels of silver to the woman's father and she shall become his wife. Because he violated her he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives.
22:30 - A man shall not marry his father's wife, thereby violating his father's rights.

My Comments

Okay, I guess I asked for actually woman type stuff to write about and I guess the Bible gave me exactly what I wanted. Ask and ye shall receive, right?

We'll start from the top. Deut 18 states simply enough "do not sacrifice your children." Fair enough, but is this the same God who told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (which he later took back, I guess. Just a test, right?) and who allowed Jephthah to sacrifice his daughter? Seriously, God, this is really making you look like a two faced douchebag.

Deut 21. There is not end to how much it must suck being a woman in these times. If your town is captured you can simply be whisked away by some stranger, taken to his house, your head shaved and your nails ground down, and then forced to be his wife. No questions asked. No thought given to your feelings or anything. And this is all sanctioned by this guy's God. Yeah, I imagine it was REALLY hard to get these women to feel like worshiping the God of the Israelites after he's allowed this bullshit to happen. I guess you can always hope that your new husband/rapist dislikes you and throws you out. You know, so you can wander the desert or whatever without any supplies or anything until you maybe happen upon another village or town that may or may not treat you just as crappily as the Israelites did. Honestly, if I was a woman and my town got invaded I'd be searching for something sharp to go ahead and end my life before any of that shit could happen to me. I'm almost certain Sheol has to be better than that shit.

And I love the addition of the disputes between the firstborns of two wives, a loved and a disliked one. That means that this happened enough that it needed to be put into the Bible. The laws of God himself. How awesome would that be? Stuck in a marriage to some asshole who hates your guts and loves your "rival" more than you. And you have NO WAY to get out of it since (so far) it seems only men can initiate a divorce. Right on.

And random side note: how easy would it be to be a parent if you could just kill the kid that pissed you off and never listened? I mean, there would be WAY less children around now a days but come on, super easy parenting there.

Deut 22. Sooo... does any woman who wears pants now a days automatically set for hell now? Or does this only apply to the garb of these times, which I can imagine is VERY different from the clothing we wear now? And clothing is all cultural, not biological, so how does this work between cultures? Is there just one set plan of clothing and anyone who strays from it gets the boot out of heaven? Or does this part of the Bible change with a culture? But then how can the rest of the Bible not change with a culture? And why the hell does this even matter? Oh, right, I forgot, God cares about stupid shit like what clothes you wear, whether you have a wet dream, and how exactly you cut up his meat before burning it as his sacrifice.

And now we get to the good stuff. The real meat of the issue here. First, the rape passages. Apparently whoever wrote this shit has no idea how exactly rape works for a woman. It doesn't matter where a woman is when she is raped, when a woman is raped by definition she basically has NO CONTROL over the situation. Whether she is in a town or in the country she may be forced to not scream. The rapist may be covering her mouth. The rapist may be holding a knife to her or threatening her in some other way to keep her quiet. I mean, the whole "stone them both if they're in a city" law only matters if someone finds out abut the rape. If the rapist keeps the woman quiet and no one happens upon them then the rapist can get away no issue. So the rapist would probably want to do anything he could to keep her from screaming. And YET, if a woman is raped in a city, no matter what, she gets stoned to death with her rapist. The funny thing is, even if she does scream, and for some reason no one hears her or comes to her aid, and someone finds out about the rape she will still be put to death. This has nothing to do with her screaming and everything to do with whether someone helps her or not. And how exactly her rapist feels like approaching the rape that night. Completely bullshit.

Oh, but that only matters if your engaged to be married. If you're NOT then hey, good for you, you get to marry your fucking rapist and be his wife FOREVER. Because apparently the rapist's punishment is he cannot divorce his victim. What kind of punishment is that? Seriously? Polygamy is RAMPANT at this time and in this culture. That is not a fucking punishment. All he has to do is marry some woman he actually does like, and then we get the all to familiar scenario of the loved wife v. the disliked wife. Complete bullshit again.

If a man is found with another's wife they both get stoned. Really? This is fairly clean cut so I guess this does not account for rape. So if a man rapes another man's wife the man and the woman are stoned, no questions asked. Doesn't matter where is it, what time it is, nothing. Apparently women who are not virgins are so easy to throw away just because they have been "soiled." Bullshit bullshit bullshit.

AND THEN MY FAVORITE ONE! The proof of virginity passage. What a load of horseshit this one is. If a husband sleeps with his wife on their first night and dislikes her he can go straight to the elders and tell them all about it. First off, I like how only the husband can complain about the wife and not the other way around. Is a woman simply not allowed to have any say in her marriage and whether she is actually happy in it or not? (Answer: Duh.) And then after the husband has gone to the elders the mother and father of the wife have to produce proof of her virginity. Because, you know, that is what the husband bought and paid for. He didn't pay for a wife to love and cherish and to give him children, he apparently paid for a fucking hymen. So the parents must produce the bloody sheets, and if they do then the husband is given a fine, and if they cannot the wife is stoned to death.

How fucking fair is that shit? A fine v. stoned to death. Seriously, what the fuck?! B.u.l.l.s.h.i.t.

The best part about this, the reason I love it so much, is that not every woman bleeds her first time having sex. A woman can be a virgin and not have an intact hymen. Hell, some woman don't have hymens at all. A hymen is thin and easily broken, and many women break them just doing normal every day tasks, or from a fall or whatever. (For more information and links ) So the whole having to produce blood to prove she is a virgin is complete and utter horseshit. I have to wonder how many women died needlessly just because they didn't happen to bleed that first night and the asshole who bought them decided he didn't want "used goods." I wonder how many douchebags looked down after they consummated their marriage, didn't see any blood and just threw their wives to the dogs.

Every passage it's woman as property. You can't sleep with your neighbors wife because you defile his property, not because she is a human being. You can't marry your father's wife because you'd be violating your father's rights, not because she is a person with thoughts of her own who may not want to marry her "son." A woman deemed not a virgin by her husband and the elders shall be stoned to death because she is used goods and therefore was bought under false pretenses. She is not a real person who can voice her own side at a hearing or who can stand on her own without a husband. A virgin who is raped in a city will either be killed if she is engaged to be married or will be forced to marry her rapist. She is not a human being who has just been violated beyond words and now either has to face death right after or face a lifetime of trauma married to her rapist.

What kind of God is this who would say such things? Who would treat woman like this? Who would ALLOW men to treat women like this? Women are not fucking things to be bought and sold and discarded when they are broken or spoiled. Women are people who have emotions and thoughts and ideas and dreams and aspirations that I'm sure went far beyond being some man's baby dispenser, even in those days. But they would have never been given the chance. They didn't have opportunities like the men did to be something else. They couldn't be shepherds or priests or soldiers or farmers or elders. They were simply property to be used.

Seriously. I think I've said bullshit enough this entry. I think I'm done. I'll never complain about NOT having any passages about women from now on. Apparently the Bible is the fucking Monkey's Paw.

Tomorrow: Deuteronomy 23-27

Friday, June 11, 2010

Deuteronomy 14-17

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

14:21 - You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.

15:12 - If a member of your community, whether a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and works for you six years you shall let him go on the seventh.
15:13-17 - If the slave wishes to stay with you after they have been freed that seventh year they may, and you shall thrust an awl through their earlobe and they shall be your slave forever. This apples to both male and female slaves.

16:11 - During the festival of weeks you shall rejoice with your sons and daughters, male and female slaves, and Levites residing in your town, as well as the strangers, orphans and widows among you.
16:14 - During the festival of Booths you shall rejoice with your sons and daughters, male and female slaves, Levites residing in your town, strangers, orphans and widows among you.

17:2-7 - If a man or woman among you does what is evil in the sight of the Lord and is found to be guilty then they shall be stoned, only on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
17:17 - A man shall not acquire many wives for himself or else his heart will turn away.

My Comments

So not much again. The only really interesting bit is the line about a man not taking too many wives because his heart would turn away from God. Again, we see that women are never to be trusted and are apparently only there to lure men away from God. Which I guess makes sense when the original woman Eve turned Adam away with the apple. Women are just doomed to forever be the harbingers of evil and treachery, I guess.

And seriously, haven't we heard enough about how to worship you properly, God? It's really getting boring.

Monday: Deuteronomy 18-22

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Deuteronomy 8-13

The Facts (Chapter Number: Verse)

Deuteronomy 8 - No mention of any women.

Deuteronomy 9 - No mention of any women.

10:18 - God "who executes justice for the orphan and the widow."

Deuteronomy 11 - No mention of any women.

12:12 - You shall rejoice before the Lord with your sons and daughters, and your male and female slaves, and the Levites who reside in your towns.
12:18 - You shall eat that which the Lord approves of in his presence together with your sons and saughters, male and female slaves, and the Levites in your town.
12:31 - Everything God abhors other nations have done for their Gods, including burning their own sons and daughters in the fire.

13:6 - If anyone tries to entice you to worship another god, be it your brother, father's son or mother's son, your own son or daughter, wife or intimate friend do not be tempted (it continues: and show no pity to such a person, who must be executed by your hand for their treason.)

My Comments

Funny, in 12:31 God says that he's horrified that other nations sacrifice their own sons and daughters in the fire for their gods, and yet later on there's that story where Jephthah burns his daughter for God because that is the sacrifice he promised God in exchange for winning a great battle. And God allowed it to happen, he didn't stop it. So I'm kinda thinking God is just talking out his ass here because he obviously has no problem with the sacrifice of children (well, at least not girl children since he did stop the sacrifice of Isaac).

And I still think it is odd that a supposedly all loving and all powerful and all moral God spends so much time talking about how people should worship him and what exactly will happen to those who do not worship him and worship the right way. I would think an all loving all powerful and all moral God would spend more time on things like loving your neighbor and not killing people or lying or stealing or whatever and less time on how to worship him and reiterating over and over again that he is to be worshiped and him alone. Actually, instead he advocates and condones killing your neighbor (or children or wife or best friend or whatever) with your own bare hands if they happen to not worship God properly.

The Bible is a great source of morals? I'm really not thinking so.

Tomorrow: Deuteronomy 14-17

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Deuteronomy 5-7

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

5:14 - No one may work on the Sabbath, not you or your son or you daughter of your male or female slave, nor your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male or female slave may rest as well as you.
5:16 - Honor your mother and your father.
5:21 - Do not covet your neighbor's wife, nor your neighbors male or female slaves or donkey or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.

Deuteronomy 6 - No mention of any women.

7:3 - Do not intermarry with other nations, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons.

My Comments

Okay, the ten commandments Moses goes over in Deuteronomy 5 are not the commandments that God wrote on the stone tablets. God spoke them to Moses, yes, but they were not put on tablets. But in Deuteronomy 5 it says that these are the ten that were written on the tablet. Can you make up your mind, Bible? Which are the real ten commandments?

And God is seriously holding the whole "I saved you from Egypt" thing over the Israelites' heads. I mean really, he's like "you better love me because remember how I saved you that one time?" "You better believe everything I said because remember how I got your out of Egypt?" "You better love me because I'm the one who saved you from Pharaoh." "Don't you ever dare doubt me because I'm the one who cared so much about your small group of people that I killed billions of people to take you out of slavery." On and on and on. Seriously, it's kind of sad. Maybe if God did more than just that ONE thing the people wouldn't be so skittish about him. Maybe if God, oh, I dunno, actually finally brought them to the land he promised them the people would finally settle and be all cool with him? Because, yeah, he took them out of Egypt but then what does he do right away? Force them to wander 40 years in the desert because he was pissed at the current generation. Not a God I'd be all willing to follow completely and without question. He really hasn't done much other than the whole rescuing them from slavery bit. Which, yeah, is great, but God's honestly not treating his chosen people much better than they were probably being treated in Egypt. Just wish God would quit being a broken record.

Tomorrow: Deuteronomy 8-13

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Deuteronomy 3-4

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

3:6 - The Israelites utterly destroy the kingdom of Og, men, women and children.
3:19 - The Israelites may only leave their wives, children and livestock must stay behind in the town that God gave them.

4:16 - The Israelites may make no idols in the form of any figure, including the form of man or woman.

My Comments

Not much to say about this section that hasn't been said before.

Tomorrow: Deuteronomy 5-7

Friday, June 4, 2010

Numbers 35-36 and Deuteronomy 1-2

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Numbers 35 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 36 - There is concern about the daughters of Zelophehad and the inheritance they were given. There is concern about the daughters marrying into another tribe of Israel and their father's inheritance being absorbed into that tribe and taken away from his own tribe. God tells Moses that the daughters may marry whomever they choose but it must be a member of their father's tribe so that the inheritance will not transfer from one tribe to another. The daughters Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah and Noah married sons of their father's brothers. They were married into the clans of the descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph, and their inheritance was kept in their father's tribe.

Deut 1 - No mention of any women.

2:34 - The Israelites captured all of Sihon's towns and in each utterly destroyed the men, women and children.

My Comments

Again, not much to talk about. The daughters of Zelophehad get the option of picking whomever they want as a husband with the draw back being they can only pick from a certain tribe. No big issue there, at least they still get to choose a husband themselves. Well, I assume they do, the Bible doesn't say otherwise. I bet they don't get to have anything to do with that inheritance once they are married, though. Pretty sure that gets transferred instantly to the husband. Oh well.

Tuesday: Deuteronomy 3-4 (updating on Tuesday since I'll be out of town all weekend)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Numbers 31-34

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

31:9 - The Israelitestook the women of Midian and their little ones captive.
31:15-18 - Moses asked the Israelites why they left the women alive. The Midian women made the Israelites act treacherously in the affairs of Peor and the plague came upon the congregation of the Lord. Moses commands the Isrealites to kill every male child and kill every woman who has known a man. But all the young girls who have not known a man may be kept alive for the Israelites to keep.
31:35 - The total persons were 32,000 in all, women who had not known a man.

32:26 - The Gadites and Reubenites tell Moses that their little ones, wives, flocks and livestock shall stay in the town of Gilead while they go to do battle for the Lord.

Numbers 33 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 34 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Not much of note. Just a nice section demonstrating the "women as war booty" concept the Bible (and many other documents of ancient cultures) loves to mention. I can't help but feel so sorry for young girls back in the day. And I'm sure they had to be young to have never been married off or sold to be prostitutes/slaves so they'd never "known" a man. So the Bible condones treating women as nothing more than property to be taken AND pedophilia. So... God cares more about the sexual lives between consenting adults (ie. homosexuality) and NOT about grown men raping little girls? Nice...

Tomorrow: Numbers 35-36 and Deuteronomy 1-2

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Numbers 26-30

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

26:33 - Zelophehad son of Hepher had no sons, only daughters, names Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
26:46 - The daughter of Asher was Serah.
26:59 - The wife of Amram was Jochebed daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt. And she bore Amram Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam.

Numbers 27 - The daughters of Zelophehad were Mahah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. They stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting. They said that their father had died in the wilderness and had no sons. Why should the name of their father be taken away from the clan just because he had no sons? They asked to have a possession among their father's brothers. Moses took this before the Lord and the Lord said that the daughters were correct. If a man dies and has no sons then his inheritance shall go to his daughters, if he has no daughters then it shall go to his brothers, if he has no brother's then it shall go to his father's brothers, and if he has none of those then it shall go to the nearest kinsman of his clan.

Numbers 28 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 29 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 30 - If a woman makes a vow or pledge while in her father's house, in her youth, and her father hears the pledge by which she has bound herself, and says nothing to her, then her vow shall stand and any pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if the father expresses disapproval at the time he hears of it then her vow is nullified and shall not stand, and the Lord will forgive her because her father had expressed to her his disapproval. If she marries while obligated by a vow by which she has bound herself and her husband hears of t and says nothing then the vow shall stand. But if at the time he hears of it her husband disapproves then he shall nullify the vow by which she was obligated. Every vow of a widow or of a divorced woman shall be binding upon her. If a woman makes a vow while in her husband's house and her husband hears of it and says nothing then her vow shall stand. But if he hears of it and disapproves then her vow is nullified and does not stand, and the Lord shall forgive her. Any vow or any binding oath to deny herself (or to fast), her husband may allow or nullify. But if a husband says nothing to her from day to do and validated her pledge by which she is obligated then he has validated her vows because he said nothing at the time he heard of it. If a husband nullifies her vows some time after he has heard about them then he shall bear her guilt. These are the statutes the Lord commanded Moses concerning a husband and his wife and a father and his daughter while she is still young and in his house.

My Comments

I guess the up side to a woman's vows being taken from her by her father or husband (read: owner) is that she isn't punished for these actions at all. Which is nice for a change, a woman not being punished for something a man does to her. Does suck that a woman basically isn't allowed the privilege of being able to honor God the same way a man could. But I guess that's what we get for being women folk and having "thoughtless" words spill from our mouths all the time. I did love the addition of the word "thoughtless" when describing a woman's vows, like woman couldn't possibly put any thought into a vow to God. I guess she's thoughtless because she didn't bother to think what her male owner would think of such a vow. Even if it is to God.

And God does allow women to get their father's inheritance if their father has no sons, so I guess this section is two for two in decent women sections.

I may want to rail on it but for the Bible, as it's been going so far, this is really progressive. It's sad that the Bible just giving a nod to women as being human is progressive but yeah. That's how it goes. So I'm not gonna rail on it too hard (especially since I got a wicked headache tonight that just doesn't want to go away). Maybe the Bible'll keep this kind of thing up? Maybe next women'll not just be people but will be individuals with actual ideas that are worth people's time to hear and aren't just harbingers of uncleanliness or baby incubators?

... yeah, not holding my breath. But yay, glimmer of hope.

Tomorrow: Numbers 31-34 (if my head hasn't exploded by then)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Numbers 21-25

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

21:29 - "Woe to you , O Moab. You are undone, O people of Chemosh. He has made his sons fugitives and his daughters captives to an Amorite king, Sihon.

Numbers 22 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 23 - No mention of any women.

24:9 - "He crouched, he lay down like a lion, like a lioness; who will rouse him up?"

25:1-2 - While Israel was staying at Shittim, the men began to have sexual relations with the Moab women. "These" invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed to their gods.
25:6-9 - An Israelite man brought a Midianite women into his family in the sight of Moses and the sigh of the whole congregation of the Israelites. When Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest say this he went into the man's tent and pierced both him and the women through their stomachs with a spear. The plague was stopped among the people of Israel, but twenty four thousand had already died.
25:14-18 - The name of the slain Israelite man was Zimri, son of Salu, and the name of the Midianite woman was Cozbi daughter of Zan, who was the head of an ancestral house in Midian. The Lord told Moses to harass the Midianites because they had deceived him in the affairs of Peor, and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of a leader of Midian, their sister. She was killed on the day of the plague that resulted from Peor.

My Comments

Once again, Numbers 22, God gives someone an order and when they follow it God gets totally pissed. Why is this every where in the Bible? I mean seriously. Balaam was doing the right thing by not helping Moab and his officials out. But then God shows up and tells Balaam "No, go ahead and go with the officials." And so Balaam does because God told him to and then God gets angry ("God's anger was kindled because he was going, and he angel of the Lord took his stand on the road as his adversary.") and sends an angel down to mess with Balaam and his donkey. And then God speaks through the donkey, which Balaam totally takes in stride, and asks Balaam why he's been hitting the donkey to make it go forward. And then God shows him the angel and Balaam is all like "I'm so sorry I didn't know you were there!" And then God tells him to again go to the officials, the very thing that kindled God's anger in the first place. I mean, seriously, what the hell?

23:19 - "God is not a human being that he should lie, of a mortal that he should change his mind." Really? God lied to Adam and Eve in the garden when he told them the Tree of Knowledge would kill them. And he's changed his mind multiple times, like we he said he would kill the Israelites that made the golden calf and Moses talked him out of it. So do the worshippers of God always lie like this? Or, actually, since these are supposed to be the exact words of God coming from Balaam's mouth then that means God is saying this. And that God is lying yet again. Seems God just likes to blow his own horn and make himself sound better than he really is.

25:2 - So, women who are not of the people are just refered to as "these." Not these women, or these people, just "these." Even if they are from another people that just seems uncalled for. We haven't seen the men of other people or places just refered to as "these."

And then in Numbers 25 a man is killed for sleeping with the wrong sort of woman. I'm not sure if in cases like these the man is blamed more because he took a woman that was deemed unworthy or the woman is blamed more for "tricking" the man into taking her for a wife. The end seems to make it very clear that the woman is the one at fault, for he came in and deceived and tricked the Israelites and allowed a plague to come upon them. Which makes sense, women, while thought of as lower on the totem pole than men and less intelligent and what not, are at the same time always considered great tricksters and threats to men. It seems that even "stupid" women understand that men are solely slaves to their sex drives and are powerless when it comes to women. Or something. The whole idea really makes no sense, either women are smart or men are smarter, you can't have women being dumb and inferior all the time and yet have the ability to bring all of men down with a single hip thrust. Of course this idea is the reason why women's sexuality is so closely controlled, in Biblical times and even today. Women who are sexual and considered a threat and treated as less than then those women who are virginal and chaste. We just don't have laws that allow us to kill women who dare to be sexual (not that woman aren't killed for being sexual even today).

So women are weak but are man's one true weakness. So I guess with that logic it is always a woman's fault if a man succumbs to immoral behavior through them, either by taking a woman that is against his people or adultery or rape or what have you. And if it isn't strictly the woman's fault she at least shares half the blame and usually the punishment of the man, which in the Bible's case seems to almost always be death.

I also love how God is so pleased that Phinehas killed Zimri and Cozbi in a flight of passion that God blessed Phinehas and all his progeny that they may be priests because they so zealously fought for God. You know, by killing an unarmed man and woman. So noble. If these are the people were are supposed to look up to and the people that God holds up as the pinnacle of morality and good deeds I don't see how this is a good book to get one's morality from. Or how anyone can separate this heartless blood thirsty God from their beloved hippie God of the new testament. If people truly believed that God is NOTHING like the bastard God of the Old Testament then why do Christians still read it? Why not just read the New Testament with the new and improved God? And if we are to believe God and his prophets, that God is in fact all powerful and never changing then why do we believe that the God of the New Testament isn't the same God from the Old? If God never changes then he is still the heartless bastard I'm reading about right now. Is that comforting?

Not to me. And since there is no human on earth who could possibly live up to God's standards then I wonder how it can be a comfort for anybody.

Tomorrow: Numbers 26-30