Monday, March 21, 2011

Isaiah 31-35

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Isaiah 31 - No mention of any women.

32:9-15 - Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

"Rise up you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, listen to my speech. In little more than a year you will shudder, you complacent ones; for the vintage will fail, and the fruit harvest will not come. Tremble, you women who are at ease; shudder, you complacent ones; strip, and make yourself bare, and put sackcloth on your loins. Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine, for the soil of my people growing up in thorns and briers; yes, for all the joyous houses in the jubilant city. For the palace will be forsaken, and the populous city deserted; the hill and watchtower will become dens forever, the joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; until a spirit from on high is poured out on us, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest."

Isaiah 33 - No mention of any women.

34:9 - "And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and her soul into sulfur; her land shall become burning pitch."
34:14 - "Wildcats shall meet with hyenas, goat-demons shall call to each other; there too Lilith shall repose, and find a place to rest."

Isaiah 35 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Here's a wiki page (as always, take wiki pages with a grain of salt) for Lilith, since she isn't a commonly known character. The only reason I know about her at all and her mythology is from Neon Genesis Evangelion then they explain the body NERV has been hiding was really Lilith and not Adam... it's a really complicated anime, so it's a bit hard to explain. Anyway, I watched the show and was like, "Lilith? Who's that?" All I knew was it was probably someone from a religious text in that show is REALLY heavy handed with the religious symbolism. In doing research, I found that she was supposed to be Adam's first "wife", which really confused me because I had always been told that Eve was the first woman. An interesting mythology which really complicates the creation story, to say the least. She has also been viewed as a demon, which I guess makes a little more sense in the context presented here.

A female demon being the downfall of man? Totally didn't see that one coming, right?

Anyway, just thought people would be interested in a little information on Lilith since I think it's a really interesting bit of Biblical mythology and I know she's not very well known.

So, again, we have a warning that is specifically written for (complacent) women. Women who, it seems, have no clue what is going on around them because women are just so oblivious. So far we have had passage after passage of violent prophecy about the downfall of cities and God's people and kings and princes. Yet, God does not stop and directly address the king. Or the prince. Or the complacent men. Or the complacent children. It seems God and his prophecy only has enough time to take a step back and direct address the women who are unaware of the coming downfall. Which is odd since the entire book of Isaiah is just a big destruction fest and seems to be addressed to everyone, so why take a moment to break away from talking to everyone to just speak to the women? You may think, how nice of him, right? See how much he cares for the women over anyone else, right?

As I mentioned in the previous post on Isaiah 26-30, this shows more of a mistrust and lack of confidence in women's strength and faith rather than any actual care for these women. Which I don't find to be all that comforting at all. In fact, it's really rather insulting. Like that teacher that takes you aside from the rest of the class to patronizingly give you an extra talk about manners when you didn't start the sandbox fight in the first place. Or that guy talking about the latest video game who stops the conversation mid way and feels the need to explain what video games are to you when you've actually beaten that game a week ago (okay, sorry, Gamestop flash backs).

It's insulting. Special treatment is not always a good thing and is not always wanted. Most of the time special treatment just makes you look like more of an outcast to others, and people notice that you are being treated as a weaker person who is in need of extra help. This generally makes everyone else see you as weaker and that you require this special treatment (when you may have never asked for it in the first place). An example would be like how able bodied people often treat any person with a handicap as an invalid, such as when a server at a restaurant speaks loudly and slowly to someone just because they have a cane. Or how men will explain any concept that is above a high school education level in detail to a woman who has 4 years of college under her belt and never even asked for an explanation on the subject in the first place... sorry, more flash backs. The type of "special treatment" where those in power feel they have to bring themselves down to our level in order to really communicate. Usually this type of "special treatment" is general hand holding and infanitlization, not constructive. Treating someone like a child never pulls them to your level, it only serves to reinforce their "lesser" status.

Basically, I'm saying that specifically addressing women in this way shows that the Bible and God believe that women are weak and lacking strong faith because it feels it has to hand hold and give "special treatment". Even though these women never asked for this special treatment nor did they seem to require it. And when the Bible continues to provide this special treatment over and over and over again to women and female subjects, it is just reinforcing the idea that women need hand holding and special explanations while men do not. Thus, it reinforces the idea that men are stronger than women and inherently superior. (I really hope that's how that all came across...)

I mean, if women weren't inherently weaker and stupider then God wouldn't need to take a time out to take those women aside and give them a personal talking to while he left the men out there to fend for themselves, right?

Wednesday: Isaiah 36-40

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