The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)
Nahum 1 - No mention of any women.
2:7 - "It is decreed that the city be exiled, its slave women led away, moaning like doves and beating their breasts."
2:12 - "The lion has torn enough from his whelps and strangled prey for his lionesses; he has filled his caves with prey and his dens with torn flesh."
3:4-10 - "Because of the countless debaucheries of the prostitute, gracefully alluring, mistress of sorcery, who enslaves nations through her debaucheries, and people through her sorcery, I am against you, says the Lord of hosts, and will lift up your skirts over your face; and I will let nations look on your nakedness and kingdoms on your shame. I will throw filth at you and treat you with contempt, and will make you a spectacle. Then all who see you will shrink from you and say, 'Nineveh is devastated; who will bemoan her?' Where shall I seek comforters for you?
"Are you better than Thebes that sat by the Nile, with water around her, her rampart at sea, water her wall? Ethiopia was her strength, Egypt too, and that without limit; Put and the Libyans were her helpers.
"Yet she became an exile, she went into captivity; even her infants were dashed in pieces at the head of every street; lots were cast for her nobles, all her dignitaries were bound in fetters."
3:13 - "Look at your troops; they are women in your midst. The gates of you land are wide open to your foes; fire has devoured the bars of your gates."
Well, here we are again. It may be a slow start getting back into the groove, but I need to try to get back into it and frankly I want so desperately to be in a state of mind where blogging is possible again. The last few weeks have been a bit of a struggle on the stress front, but I'm settling into my new job okay. There's a lot to learn, but I tend to pick up new things fairly quickly so I'm not too worried about that. :)
Anyway, back to the Bible!
Sorry, Bible, lions are no the be all, end all of the lion pride. Lionesses tend to be the primary hunters in a pride and primary caretakers of themselves and their cubs. Lions are important for safety, sure, but definitely not the most vital component of a pride, no matter what Disney may have taught us in The Lion King. So the sentiments in the verse listed above isn't horribly accurate, other than the bit about the lion taking from his children (the lion ALWAYS eats first in a pride). And while the lion may help hunt on occasion, he is not the master hunter that he is usually held up to be. The verses before it quest what shall become of the lion's den when the lion falters. Simple answer: nothing. Lions are constantly being rotated out of prides, either because they leave or because they are challenged by another male and lose. The only consistency in a pride are the lionesses. So really, losing a male lion is not a huge deal.
It would seem the dens filled with torn flesh are supposed to be analogous to the people of God hoarding treasures and other things, but I really do not think lions (or other carnivorous animals) tend to hoard food very often. They tend to eat all that they have so that none of it goes to waste.
So, really, lions are an odd choice. Other than the fact that prides have one to two males to 4-20 females and the females tend to do all the work for the males (preparing food and child rearing), there really aren't many similarities between the human family culture of the Bible and lion prides.
And once again we have nudity being used as a punishment for women. More than happy to let their bodies be laid bare for those around them to gaze upon and use as they wish against the will of the woman. Nice.
I've started to wonder where this idea that the flesh and being nude are shameful. Where exactly did this come from? According to the Bible this shame came from the Tree of Knowledge, since Eve and Adam presumably walked freely in the garden and only hid their nakedness after they ate the fruit, but when you really start to think about it the whole idea of it starts to unravel.
Think about this for a bit and see if you can make any sense of it. God make Adam and Eve naked from the start. He never pushed them to wear clothes or commanded it from them or had any issues whatsoever with it, which would imply that God was completely okay with human nudity. The Tree of Knowledge supposed held the knowledge of good and evil, which was knowledge God already possessed but Adam and Eve were (for whatever reason) forbidden from learning. Once they ate the fruit, Adam and Eve KNEW that their bared flesh was sinful and covered it up.
So here's my question: If the knowledge obtained from the fruit includes the information that nakedness is sinful, then why was God, who supposedly already had this knowledge, okay with Adam and Eve's nakedness from the beginning?
It seems that only AFTER Adam and Eve eat the fruit does God decide that, yeah, nakedness is a horrible thing! Suddenly, instead of a philosophy that includes nakedness as just a part of nature and life, God decides that nudity is something to be ashamed of; punishable if one looks upon another naked (unless under the binds of a marriage contract) and used as a punishment for those who displease God enough (so far, only women).
So why is this? It seems even odder because nakedness is seen as pretty much one of the worst things ever. Hell, an entire blood line from Ham (son of Noah) and on were cursed by God just because Ham had the audacity to cover his drunk, naked father with a blanket and accidentally looked upon him while doing so. Nakedness is so shameful that it is used as a punishment for women who dare to stray from their owners/husbands/fathers/whomever. Nakedness has proved to be something incredibly horrible and yet God still refrains from using it as a punishment against men/males. Women, sure, no problem, hang their shame out for everyone to see. But God loves men so much that he would never dream of making men deal with such a horrible punishment.
Any thoughts on the concept of nakedness in the Bible? Any ideas on God's sudden change of heart when it comes to nudity? I'd love to hear them. I've pretty much just come to the conclusion that it's not really gonna make any sense, like most things in the Bible. God, even though unchanging and perfect, changes his mind at the drop of a hat and is more than happy to find any new punishments that he can to inflict upon his creations.
Next post: Habakkuk