Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jeremiah 4-6

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

4:16-17 - "Tell the nations, 'Here they are!' Proclaim against Jerusalem, 'Besiegers come from a distant land; they shout against the cities of Judah. They have closed in around her like watchers of a field, because she has rebelled against me, says the Lord.'"
4:31 - "For I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, anguish as of one bringing forth her first child, the cry of daughter Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands, 'Woe is me! I am fainting before killers!'"

5:7-8 - "When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of prostitutes. They were well-fed lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor's wife."

6:2-8 - "I have liked daughter Zion to the loveliest pasture. Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her. They shall pitch their tents in her; they shall pasture, all in their places. 'Prepare war against her; up, and let us attack at noon!' 'Woe to us, for the day declines, the shadows of evening lengthen!' 'Up, and let us attack by night, and destroy her palaces!' For thus says the Lord of hosts: Cut down her trees; cast up a siege ramp against Jerusalem. This is the city that must be punished; there is nothing but oppression within her. As a well keeps its water fresh, so she keeps fresh her wickedness; violence and destruction are heard within her; sickness and wounds are ever before me. Take warning, O Jerusalem, or I shall turn from you in disgust, and make you a desolation, an uninhabited land."
6:11-12 - "But I am full of wrath of the Lord; I am weary of holding it in. Pour it out on the children in the street, and on the gatherings of young men as well; both husband and wife shall be taken, the old folk and the very aged. Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together; for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land, says the Lord."
6:23-24 - "The grasp the bow and the javelin, they are cruel and have no mercy, their sound is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses equipped like a warrior for battle, against you, O daughter Zion! 'We have heard news of them, our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, pain as a woman in labor.'"

My Comments

Is it just me or does it feel like we're basically reading about the rape of Jerusalem/Zion here? A very, very detailed account of the rape Jerusalem/Zion can expect if they do not comply with God's wishes. But we know that God isn't beyond advocating rape as punishment for unruly women. It just goes on and on, poetically even, about the punishment God's daughter city shall have to endure. It's disturbing and disgusting and sometimes it's almost like something you'd read in some serial rapists fantasy notebook. How long does the Bible really need to linger on this? How long before others become uncomfortable as well with the overly sexually abusive language?

Doesn't take long before I'm uncomfortable and quite angry with it. Perhaps they leave this part out during church services, so that others never have to deal with it.

Funny, though, that the daughter cities are the ones paying such a high price when it's their male inhabitants that have a great deal to do with God's displeasure.

"When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of prostitutes. They were well-fed lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor's wife."

Why must the female cities be ravaged and raped on account of male mistakes and sins? Is it because women are always the root of male sin? Women are the reason man fell from paradise, women are the reason that men stray from God and are led down a path of lust, women are the reason that men are born unclean, women are the reason men are tricked and deceived and left weak (like Samson). It seems men's shortcomings can always be blamed on a woman, and generally it's on a woman who is not "pure" and "virtuous".

Jerusalem and Zion were whores to other lands. They couldn't keep their people under control therefore it is their fault that the men in these cities were led astray. Jerusalem and Zion are the ones t fault, not the men who actually engaged in the sinful behavior, therefore it is Jerusalem and Zion who shall pay the price. Honestly, if it was Jerusalem and Zion it would be some other group of women. It would be the prostitutes and adulteresses in the streets or the beautiful daughters of Zion.

Nope, woman just cannot catch a break. So let's sit back and enjoy the word of God as he further delves into the horrid rapes and abuses that he shall allow Jerusalem and Zion to endure until they beg for his forgiveness.

Bonus videos!

There was an episode of 20/20 about IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist) churches and the sexism and sexual abuse that happens in those churches. It's kind of hard to watch, the stories can be so horrible. I don't know if anyone recalls a story that was going around about a girl at one of these churches, when she was 15, having to stand in front of her congregation and apologize for being pregnant after she was raped by a church member. Also a lot of child abuse going on in these churches as well. It's a very interesting episode and worth a watch if you get 40 minutes.

This video is a response that an IFB pastor gave regarding this episode of 20/20. I'm thinking of just permanently posting this at the top of the blog and taking a long vacation because he basically made the point of my entire blog in 3 minutes. Thanks for saving me all that time, asshole.

(h/t Stuff Fundies Like)

And to prove that isn't an isolated incident. This sermon is also referenced in the 20/20 episode.

(h/t Christian Nightmares)

Friday: More Jeremiah


  1. Here's an awesome article by Paula Kirby from The Washington Post, "Religion Lies About Women". It's relevant to you whole blog, but a great counterpoint to the videos above.

    (I got the link from via Pharyngula).

  2. Thanks for the article! It's really very good and is a great summary of everything I've found so far in my readings and experiences in the church. :)


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