Friday, July 23, 2010

Genesis: Chapters 26-30

"And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:
And the men of the place asked [him] of his wife; and he said, She [is] my sister: for he feared to say, [She is] my wife; lest, [said he], the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she [was] fair to look upon."

OH NO YOU DID NOT, ISSAC. Your father tried that TWICE and it didn't work EITHER TIME. Now you're trying it again? In the same country? Abimelech is all, "Dude that is CLEARLY your wife, what the HELL?" At this point, Abimelech cannot possibly have a very good impression of this ridiculous, inbred family. The impression I get is that the only reason anyone is nice to them at all is it is clear God favors them most of all but no one has any idea why, and we don't either.

Esau brings terrible grief to his parents when he fails to marry a first cousin, but he is still Issac's favorite. Issac decides to bless Esau before dying, but Rebekah tells Jacob to trick his blind father into blessing HIM instead. For some reason this works, and presumably Jacob shouts "NO TAKE BACKS" upon receiving his blessing because once it is done, there is nothing Issac can do! He feels very bad, but there it is. Esau sobs and begs his father for some blessing, any blessing, and basically gets "May you live well AND SERVE YOUR BROTHER." Thanks, Dad.

Now Jacob is on the run for his life from Esau, which is what he gets for listening to his mother. Issac sends him off with the instruction to go marry a first cousin-Esau wises up and takes a new first cousin wife for himself to add to his collection of Philistine wives, but it's too little, too late!

Jacob falls in love at first sight with Rachel, and though his uncle makes him work for seven years for the privilege of marrying her, "they seemed unto him [but] a few days, for the love he had to her," which I think is a genuinely sweet passage. Less sweet is what happens just a few verses later; Jacob's uncle throws a wedding and feast, Jacob gets married, enjoys his wedding night, and not until the NEXT MORNING does he notice that he has actually married Rachel's older sister Leah. Inobservancy clearly runs in the family, probably aided by the massive inbreeding.

This whole story just makes you feel terrible for everyone. Poor Jacob has to work ANOTHER seven years, poor Leah is married off to a man that doesn't want her, and poor Rachel is barren because, as far as I can tell, God is punishing her for Jacob's blatant favoritism. Poor Leah just keeps having sons, and after each one says in her heart, "NOW Jacob will love me, surely." Guess again!

God eventually lets up and Rachel bares Joseph. At this point Jacob has worked enough for his uncle, so he packs up his horde of wives, concubines and brats, and moves on to see if his brother still wants to kill him. It's a pretty big caravan; between his two wives and their two handmaids, Jacob has fathered twelve sons, and at least one daughter. I'm guessing he's had more; in general daughters aren't mentioned unless they are relevant to the plot. Stay tuned for what happens with his daughter Dinah, because it's UNBELIEVABLE.


  1. I like that the second-best blessing is "go serve your brother." Really, that's the next-best option?

  2. The best entry of all time.

    "Inobservancy clearly runs in the family, probably aided by the massive inbreeding." Hilarious!

  3. I just found your blog through the Happy Atheist Forum, and I'm glad I did! This is hilarious.

    I'm doing a very similar thing at my blog, if you're interested in checking it out: