Saturday, July 17, 2010

Genesis: Chapters 13-20

I'd like to take a moment to break down what occurs between God promising to make Abram the father of a great nation, and God actually getting around to doing it. If you guys wanted a numbers-light analysis of the Old Testament, you've come to the wrong place.

-God makes his promise, and tells Abram to travel all over the lands his progeny shall rule (this is when he pulls that stunt in Egypt). Abram is 75.

-Abram and Lot split up their land, in what may be the earliest recorded example of a Fair Division Method. Lot chooses the half which includes Sodom, which turns out to be a mistake.

-Lot is taken captive in what sounds like a VERY awesome battle; five kings against four and SLIME PITS, guys, this is a battle with SLIME PITS. Abram has to go rescue him, and all the other defeated, with a mere 318 men. Abram graciously declines a single thread or shoelace (no, seriously) of reward from the grateful king of Sodom. One wonders where this magnanimity was when he was getting all that stuff for pimping his wife out.

-God appears before Abram to assure him that, yes, he is getting around to it, whereupon Abram is like, "Are you SURE?" and God is all, "Yes you are going to have SO MANY CHILDREN seriously, I'm getting to it" but suggests that maybe a few animal sacrifices wouldn't go amiss, just to make SURE.

-Sarai gets tired of waiting, and suggests Abram simply knock up her slave Hagar. Abram offers no objection. Hagar starts putting on airs, and is beaten. God sends an angel to tell her to go back and suck it up, comforting her with the promise that she will have SO MANY DESCENDANTS. This promise is starting to sound a bit old hat. He also promises that her son shall be, "a wild ass among men," which may be the best pregnancy blessing ever.

-Hagar bares Ishmael; Abram is now 86.

-God appears before Abram 13 years later and says unto him, "I'm REALLY NOT KIDDING, I'm totally about to honor this covenant, and also I've been thinking maybe you should change your name. Oh, and also I've thought of a condition, so please cut off some of your penis for me, and we'll just call it even." At this point, Abraham is maybe feeling a little skeptical, and can we really blame him? This covenant also applies to all of Abraham's children and slaves; between the raping, beating and circumcising I'm thinking maybe Abraham and Sarah weren't the best people to be owned by back in the day.

-God sends a few angels to Abraham and Sarah to enjoy their hospitality and to tell them that yes, God is DEFINITELY getting to it and they will TOTALLY have a baby in a year. Sarah laughs, and is scolded a LOT for her poor faith.

-God tells Abraham he is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham, in what may be the earliest recorded example of the Sorites Paradox, manages to get God to agree to spare Sodom if it contains as few as ten good men.

-God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah anyway. To be fair, I don't think there are currently any cities on Earth where things are so bad that there is a crowd of people clamoring to rape you the second you get into town. More on this episode later.

-Abraham and Sarah travel to Gerar, where he pulls the EXACT SAME STUNT he pulled in Egypt. What the hell, Abraham? Also, is Sarah really THAT hot? She's ninety. NINETY. God warns the king of Gerar before he accidentally sleeps with Sarah, because for some reason he likes Gerar more than Egypt, though he does make everyone infertile until he is satisfied that Abraham has been treated well. Whereupon Abimelech the king of Gerar says unto Abraham, "Thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done." This is known as an UNDERSTATEMENT. Abraham defensively replies, "Well I figured you would KILL me and anyways she IS my sister" because SARAH ACTUALLY IS HIS SISTER, GUYS. I had no idea! Abraham gets a lot of gifts and slaves out of this interaction, too, and Sarah doesn't have to sleep with anyone!

-Sarah bares Issac. Abraham is now 100.

Twenty five years, guys! Twenty five years and a lot of adventures, and slaves, and smitings.

More on Sodom and Gomorrah: It is not clear whether the message from Sodom and Gomorrah is, "It's wrong to have sex with men", "It's wrong to rape men," "It's wrong to rape men when there are women available to rape" or any number of other possible morals, but the most likely one seems to be, "It's wrong to rape guests" because there's nothing worse than bad hospitality.

Everyone's also probably familiar with the whole "And then Lot's daughters got him super wasted and raped him and got pregnant" bit that comes next and, yes, that is exactly how it happens. What I find curious is the rationale; the elder sister says to the younger, "There is not a man in the earth to come in unto us,"; this is the morning after Sodom has been smote, which leads me to believe these two girls are IDIOTS who think Sodom is the only city in the world, and their father is now the LAST MAN ON EARTH.

Best name: Chedorlaomer


  1. . . . This is my favorite so far. What is WRONG with everyone?

  2. So did Sodom contain 10 good men, and God still destroyed it?!

    That battle sounds great. I didn't know they had awesome battles in the Bible!

    Where did Saint George's battle with the dragon come from? That's not in the Bible, right?

  3. Sodom did not contain 10 good men! I simply meant that Abram's cleverness was in vain. If only he had kept going down to one good man! Maybe he knew not to push it.

    I don't think Saint George's battle is in the Bible, but maybe!

  4. St. George's battle couldn't be in the bible because he was a knight in the time of castles.
    Eras (epochs?):
    Dawn of times <--- Bible times start
    Caveman Times
    The time of the Pyramids
    Ancient Greek Times
    Ancient Roman Times <--- Bible times end
    The time of Castles
    Renaissance Times
    Pilgrim Times
    American Revolution Times
    French Revolution Times
    British India Times <--- Merry Poppins
    Present Day

  5. Good times!

    I read St. George's battle in a book of English fairy tales. I think he *is* from ancient Roman times, or the English equivalent - maybe King Lear times?

    Agree with floodsrollback. This entry is great, and everybody is acting crazy! I like getting the Bible through the filter of your numerical and colloquial analysis!