Monday, April 11, 2011

Jeremiah 1-3

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1:5 - "'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.'"

2:2-3 - "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of the harvest. All who ate of it were held guilty; disaster came upon them, says the Lord."
2:23-24 - "How can you say, ' I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baals'? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done - a restive young camel interlacing her tracks, a wild ass at home in the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her."
2:32-33 - "Can a girl forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number. How well you direct your course to seek lovers! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways."

3:1-13 - "If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not such a land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me, says the Lord. Look up to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? By the waysides you have sat wailing for lovers, like a nomad in the wilderness. Therefore, the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore, you refuse to be ashamed. Have you not just called to me, 'My Father, you are the friend of my youth - will he be angry forever, will he be indignant to the end?' This is how you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could.

"The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? And I thought, 'After she has done all this she will return to me'; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense, says the Lord. Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north and say: Return, faithless Israel, says the lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says the Lord; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you have rebelled against the Lord your God, and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and have not obeyed my voice, says the Lord."
3:20 - "Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband, so have you been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the Lord."
3:24 - "But from your our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our ancestors had labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters."

My Comments

Strange thing, Israel throughout all of these chapters (and all throughout Isaiah) is consistently female. She is a whore and a bride and a mother. She is always a she. Except, it seems she isn't always a she. For two verses in chapter two, Israel suddenly becomes a man before shifting right back into being a woman.

2:14-15 - "Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become plunder? The lions have roared against him, they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitants."

Notice anything interesting about the language? Israel is constantly berated for being a whore, for playing the slut behind God's back. It's Israel's mercurial nature and wayward lusts that have forced God's hand in punishment. SHE is the whore in this marriage between God and his people, and it is HER actions that have caused HER downfall.

But wait. Suddenly, for two verses at least, it seems it is not completely Israel's doing. "Why has HE become plunder?" it asks. Isn't it because Israel is an unfaithful cheat? Isn't it because Israel strayed from God's wishes and plan? "The lions have roared against him... They have made his land a waste..." Wait, didn't Israel do this herself? Isn't it Israel's actions that have laid her lands to waste? Isn't it Israel who caused these lions to roar against her? Why is this suddenly something to question?

Why have the kiddy gloves suddenly been brought out? Even the verses after those two (which may still be addressing the masculine Israel, though I am not exactly sure) are tame compared to, say, 3:1-13. The vitriol in those thirteen verses is just DRIPPING with anger and hatred and straight up LOATHING of women. While reading it I was afraid it might coalesce, take shape and punch me in the face for daring to have a deceitful and filthy vagina. The word whore is used no less than 6 times in those 13 verses alone. They read like a recently divorced man sitting at the bar after one too many shots, flying off the handle and yelling to anyone who would hear about his whore wife that would put out for anyone else but him! Might as well have called her the town bicycle! Why, he gave everything to that whore and THIS is what she does after all these years?!

It's really something to read. I especially love the bit where he states that he will not look upon Israel in anger if she comes back and GROVELS at God's feet for forgiveness. He will not look upon her in anger BUT there will still be punishment. It'll be short punishment, but it will still be there. So I guess this means that he'll look away while he beats Israel into submission? Wow, I can't think of a single reason why Israel wouldn't want to come back to that loving picture of a "husband."

Also love the bits about the divorced woman who marries another man as being "polluted." Is there any conclusion to draw from this other than, on some level, sex with men is "polluting" of a female body? And why the hell would the husband go back to his wife after HE divorced HER? No, really, I'm curious about this. The husband, when this is first mentioned, is the one divorcing his wife. Why divorce her if he is liable to want her back? And if he didn't, in fact, want her then what is the big friggin' deal if she married again while he's off being an asshole? Apparently serial monogamy is now a horrible, POLLUTING activity, now. Good to know. Of course, this is the first telling of the divorced story. Later in the same chapter, suddenly it is the faithless wife who is leaving the husband. How did that happen? I can understand the upset if the wife leaving the husband story was at the front of this ridiculous diatribe, but no. It STARTS with the husband divorcing the wife and only after all the "whores" have been, one can only assume, spat out like a curse upon all women who dare stray from their (abusive) husbands, do we get the situation where it's the faithless wife who is leaving her (loyal?) husband.

I still can't believe this is such a thing. I mean, God is clearly such a huge dick in this situation. It's amazing when he whines about how he kept his people alive while he forced them to stay in a dessert wasteland. And how do his people repay him for keeping them pretty much trapped in a barren land? Why, they seek out fertile lands were they can actually live and enjoy life! How could they?! After God was nice enough to actually feed them while he kept them trapped in that huge, unbearable dessert land, they go and leave him for (literally) greener pastures? It's like a husband whining about his wife leaving after he spent all those years feeding her while he kept her chained in the basement. I mean, of all the nerve! He could have just let her starve while she was chained down there, you know? He even constantly promised her that one day she would finally get to go upstairs and sleep in a real bed and get to eat freely from the fridge. But no, apparently that future promise and the constant, tasteless gruel just weren't ENOUGH for her.

THIS, people, is the Christian God. The Christian God is something I would expect to see as the villain in an upcoming episode of Criminal Minds or Law and Order: SVU. The Christian God is not something I would expect people to go out of their way every Sunday morning to worship. Not one bit.

Wednesday: More Jeremiah

IRL Update: I am feeling much better now. My throat seems to be getting better, as long as I don't let myself go into coughing fits and I keep sucking on cough drops to keep it from getting that dry tickle right at the back of my throat. I don't know if it's allergies or what, since I don't normally have really bad allergies. Whatever it is, I'm feeling mostly better and that is the most important bit. :)

In other news that may affect future blog posting, the boyfriend and I have been looking at places to rent these past couple of weeks. We found a couple houses we really loved this weekend, so we're making offers/applying to rent them. Which is awesome, really. I'm so ready to be out of my parents house it's not even funny. But, being me and consisting of half of my Mom's DNA (which I call certified-crazy DNA because she and her entire family are all battling a myriad of mental craziness) I have a great amount of potential for anxiety attacks. Which, of course, kick up most when I'm really stressed and nothing stresses me out more than change (even GOOD change). So just putting that out there to let people know that there is a chance, during the next few weeks, that posts may be skipped without any notice due to anxiety and general panic. Dog willing, we'll be able to get one of those houses and we'll be moved and in a new place by the 1st of next month, so that all of this craziness can be over and done with as quick as possible. If this week proves to be pretty bad for me, I may just put the blog on a temporary hiatus. Well, I may end up doing that for a week anyway when we actually have to get the bulk of the moving done...

I guess that long winded mess was mostly just to say that things may be crazy (figuratively and literally) for the next few weeks, so the blog may be a bit inconsistent with posts. And there will definitely be a week sometime soon where I will be away from the blog so I can work on packing and moving stuff, but I will give some advanced warning before that week happens. And I know some people get concerned when I mentioned my stress induced anxiety, but there's no real need to worry about me and my stress. I can freak out pretty good, but it's never been something I couldn't survive. So if you must say anything just wish me good luck. :D

1 comment:

  1. Great write-up!

    Good luck in your new adventure. I hope all goes well.


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