Author Archives: Atheist Ron

Exodus Chapters 6-10

Chapter 6

After Moses had brought his people’s latest complaint to God, God tells him that the pharaoh will not only let the Israelites go, but that he will force them to leave. (6:1)

God then tells Moses that he is God; that his name is Jehovah; that he made promises to his followers and that now he intends to keep them. (6:2-5)

Then God rehashes the story to this point about how he is God and will free his people with the help of Moses and Aaron, and how the pharaoh is being a douche. (6:6-13)

Abraham to Moses (1)Now that God has brought us up to date on his story a couple of times, we get a rundown on the family line of Moses from Jacob’s son Levi.  In this family tree we learn that Moses’ and Aaron’s Dad married his aunt, so Moses’ mom is also his great-aunt (6:14-26) I have included a diagram at right to illustrate the family line from Abraham to Moses.

Then the author rehashes the Exodus story to this point for the second time in one chapter. (6:27-30)

Chapter 7

This chapter begins by rehashing the Exodus story, in case we forgot after being told several times before including the two times in the last chapter. (7:1-7)  When the author finally starts on new material, God tells Moses that when the pharaoh asks for a miracle he is to tell Aaron to throw down Moses’ magic wand and it will turn into a snake. (7:8-9)  Why God decided to have Aaron do a magic trick when he had stated earlier that Moses would be doing all of them is never explained.

385px-Figures_The_Rods_of_Moses_and_the_Magicians_Turned_into_SerpentsSo Aaron does as instructed and sure enough, his wand turns into a snake.  The pharaoh has his court magicians turn their wands into snakes, but Aaron’s wand eats their wands. (7:10-12)

So God makes the pharaoh unwilling to cooperate, and then tells Moses that the pharaoh is unwilling to cooperate (7:13-14)

God tells Moses to meet the pharaoh down by the river the next day with Aaron’s magic wand.  When the pharaoh arrives Moses is supposed to tell the pharaoh that God has sent him to free his people and to prove it he is going to smack the river which will then turn into a river of blood which will stink and kill all of the fish. Then he is to give Aaron his wand back and have him do what Moses had just said that he was going to do. Which will cause all of the water in Egypt to turn into blood. This last part of the plan involving lying about who was going to smack the river is presumably meant to confuse the pharaoh. (7:15-19) Why God changed who was to talk and who was to do the magic tricks is not explained.

So, Moses and Aaron do things according to the revised plan.  The pharaoh’s magicians tried to reverse the spell, but were unable to do so, and as a result, the Egyptians and all their animals went without water in the desert for seven days. How they survived is not explained. The pharaoh still refuses to cooperate. (7:20-25)

800px-Plague_of_FrogsChapter 8

After the water returns to normal.  Moses asks the pharaoh to cooperate saying that if the pharaoh doesn’t he will cause a frog plague.  The pharaoh refuses again, so Moses has Aaron use his magic wand to cause frogs to come out of the river and swarm all over the place instead of doing it himself as he told the pharaoh he would.  The magicians join in on the fun and there are frogs everywhere. (8:1-7)

The pharaoh calls Moses in and says that if he will get rid of the frogs, his people will be free to go.  So, Moses tells God about the deal, and the next day God kills all of the frogs, which are then gathered up into big stinky piles of rotting amphibians.  Once the frogs are dead, the pharaoh decides to take back his offer, so God has Moses have Aaron turn all the dust in Egypt into lice which afflict the Egyptians.  The pharaoh’s magicians try to rid Egypt of the lice but can’t so they try to convince the pharaoh to cooperate, but he won’t. (8:8-19)

Tissot_The_Plague_of_FliesThe next day God has Moses tell the pharaoh that if he doesn’t cooperate that the following day God will send a plague of flies to bother everyone except for his own people. Which God then does without any help from Aaron’s magic wand. (8:20-24)

The pharaoh tells Moses that his people will be free to go do their sacrifices if they don’t go too far.  So, Moses has God get rid of the flies.  Once again, the pharaoh goes back on his word. No mention is made of the lice problem. (8:25-32)

Chapter 9

Since the pharaoh is still uncooperative, God has Moses tell him that if he doesn’t cooperate that all of his domestic animals will get a disease, but the Israelites’ animals won’t.  Then God plagues all of the Egyptian animals, which kills all of their cattle, but leaves the Israelite cattle alone. (9:1-6)

The pharaoh still refuses to cooperate, so God has Moses sprinkle ashes into the air which turns into magic dust that causes boils on everybody and all of the remaining animals.  The pharaoh’s magicians can’t do anything about the magic dust, and God makes the pharaoh refuse to cooperate. (9:7-12)

The next day Moses tells the pharaoh that God has done all of these horrible things as a way to show off so that everybody will know how special he is.  Moses then tells the pharaoh that if he doesn’t cooperate that God will send the worst hail storm that they have ever seen, and that the Egyptians should take all of their cattle which were dead from the previous plague, and other animals indoors before the storm, because anything left outside, man or animal, will die in the storm. (9:13-19)  Why God wanted the Egyptians to drag their dead cattle indoors is not explained.

The Egyptians who are scared of God drag their dead cattle, and their servants indoors.  The Egyptians who aren’t scared, leave their dead cattle and servants outside. (9:20-21)

Martin,_John_-_The_Seventh_Plague_-_1823Moses points his magic wand at the sky, and God causes hail and fire to rain down everywhere in Egypt except for Goshen. This hail/fire storm destroys crops, trees, and anyone/anything outside, including the already dead cattle. (9:22-26)

The pharaoh calls Moses and Aaron in, and he admits that he and his people have been naughty, but that this time, if God will stop the storm, he will let the Israelites go. Moses doesn’t believe the pharaoh but has God stop the storm anyway as a way for God to show off some more.  Sure enough, the pharaoh retracts his offer. (9:27-35)

Chapter 10

God admits to Moses that the pharaoh is refusing to cooperate, because he is making him do so as a way to show off so that his followers will be scared of him, then Moses and the pharaoh start their negotiations again. (10:1-3)

800px-Holman_The_Plague_of_LocustsMoses brings Locusts with his magic wand, then God sends them away and makes the pharaoh refuse to cooperate (10:4-20)  Then God has Moses makes the light go away for three days everywhere except for Israelite houses, then God makes the pharaoh refuse to cooperate again, and tell Moses to go away and not come back.  Moses says he won’t come back anymore. (10:21-29)

Next time: we get to see how God kills children, and babies then the Israelites head into the desert.

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Exodus Chapters 1-5

Welcome to the book of Exodus.  All of the incest, lying, and deceit in Genesis have led up to this book wherein we see God’s penchant for killing children, find out that God’s people prefer being master over being slave, get a little more incest, and get a whole bunch of new rules.

So let’s get started.

Chapter 1

The book of Exodus begins by telling us that 70 of Jacob’s family came into Egypt with him, that Joseph has died and that the family has bred like bunnies. (1:1-7) Where Jacob’s extra family member came from is not explained.

A new pharaoh takes over and decides that the Hebrew population is getting too large to ignore, and worries that they could be a problem if they sided with an enemy, so he enslaves them and has them build the cities of “Pithom and Raamses.” (1:8-11)  No explanation is given for how they built the cities hundreds of years before they were built.

When the pharaoh makes it hard on the Hebrews their population increases, so he mandates that all midwives kill newborn male Israelites, but the midwives go against his wishes, and let male babies live. God rewards the midwives for their insubordination with houses, and the Hebrew population continues to grow.  Since his mandate to kill male babies didn’t work, the pharaoh mandates that all newborn male Hebrew babies are to be thrown in the river. (1:12-22)

Chapter 2

MosesRescued_FromTheNileA man and woman of the house of Levi, the seller-of-his-brother, and son of Jacob’s first wife, have a son during this time, and the boy’s mother hides the child for three months, before putting him in a little boat made of reeds and putting the little boat in the river.  The pharaoh’s daughter finds the little boat and saves the boy from certain death. (2:1-5)

The princess knows it is a Hebrew child but she feels sorry for him, and hires a slave to wet-nurse and take care of him, who as it happens is Moses’ mother.  When the boy gets a little older he is brought back to the princess, who names him Moses. (2:6-10)

490px-Moses_erschlägt_den_Ägypter_F_19_JhAs Moses grows older he leaves the palace and starts hanging around with his own people. One day he comes upon an Egyptian beating on a Hebrew so he kills the Egyptian and buries him. The next day a couple of Hebrews give him a hard time about killing the Egyptian which makes Moses worry about how many people know about the murder he has committed. (2:11-14)

The pharaoh finds out about the murder and puts out a death warrant on Moses, so Moses runs away to Midian where he ends up helping the daughters of a local priest overcome some bullies. The priest in turn gives Moses a place to stay and one of his daughters,  Zipporah, as a wife.  Moses has a son with his new wife, whom he names Gershom. (2:15-22)

Eventually the pharaoh dies, and God finally notices the problems his followers are having and remembers his promises to them. (2:23-25)

Chapter 3

395px-Domenico_Fetti_-_Moses_before_the_Burning_Bush_-_WGA07855One day while Moses is tending to his father in law’s flocks he spots a bush on fire and goes to check it out. (3:1-3) When God sees Moses headed toward the bush he talks to him through it, telling him to take off his shoes. The bush then tells Moses that it is God, and Moses turns away out of fear of looking at God. (3:4-6)

The bush then says that it knows all about the slavery and such of his followers, so it has decided to come down and deliver his people back to Canaan, a land described as “flowing with milk and honey.” (3:7-8)

BushGod then repeats himself, and tells Moses that he has been appointed to do the actual work. (3:9-10)

Moses questions God’s choice of him as a messenger, and God tells him not to worry about it. God tells Moses to simply tell the elders that God has sent him and what the plan is and that doing those things should be sufficient proof. (3:11-18)

In regard to the pharaoh, God tells Moses that he is positive that the pharaoh won’t initially cooperate, but that after God bullies him a bit he will give in, and not only will the Israelites be let go, but they will take a bunch of their Egyptian neighbors’ money and valuables with them. (3:19-22)

Chapter 4

Moses is still not convinced that anyone is going to believe the whole “God sent me” thing, so God gives him a magic wand, the ability to make his hand look like it is rotting away, and the ability to turn water into blood. (4:1-9)

Moses continues to try to get out of being God’s spokesman by pointing out that he is no Charlton Heston, and doesn’t do so well with public speaking. God tells him not to worry about it, but Moses keeps whining, so God, who at this point is starting to get angry about Moses’ whining, tells him that he will have Aaron, the previously unknown brother of Moses, do the talking and that Moses will just have to do the magic show.  This arrangement seems to satisfy Moses. (4:10-17)  No explanation is ever given as to why God doesn’t just free the Israelites himself.

Moses goes back home and tells his father-in-law that he needs to go back to Egypt. God tells Moses that it should be safe to do so because all of the people there who wanted him dead are themselves dead. Moses gathers up his wife and sons and, magic wand in hand, heads out for Egypt. (4:18-20)

God then tells Moses that he will make the pharaoh refuse to cooperate, and that he should threaten to kill the pharaoh’s kids. (4:21-23)

On the way to Egypt, Moses and his family stop at an inn for the night and for some unexplained reason, God tries to kill his newly appointed messenger.  Moses’ wife runs God off by cutting their son’s foreskin off and throwing it on the ground then saying something similar to the old AC/DC lyric: “if you want blood, you got it.” (4:24-26)

Unphased by his defeat at the hands of a woman, God arranges for Aaron and Moses to meet in the wilderness, and the two of them put on their show for the elders, who believe what Aaron and Moses have to say. (4:27-31)

Chapter 5

Artist's Rendition of the Pharaoh

Artist’s Rendition of the Pharaoh

After their success with the elders, Moses and Aaron go to the pharaoh and tell him to let their people go or else.  The pharaoh dismisses them and their god as insignificant, and tells them to get back to work. (5:1-4) No explanation is given as to why the pharaoh even bothered giving an audience to two slaves in the first place.

389px-Figures_The_Israelites'_Cruel_Bondage_in_EgyptAfter the meeting, the pharaoh decides to make things even harder for the Israelites by reducing the availability of materials needed to do their job, yet keeping their quota the same.  When asked about this new policy, the pharaoh explains that it is designed to keep them busy so they won’t have time to organize; an ancient union busting tactic if you will. (5:5-19)

The workers then complain to Aaron and Moses about how the demands on the pharaoh made by the two brothers have made things harder for the people they say they’re trying to help.  (5:20-21)  Moses takes the grievance to God, (5:22-23) and the chapter ends.

Now that we have the basic plot lines and a good introduction to the major players in the upcoming story, we are left with some questions: Will God help the workers fight management?  Will there be any more good ole’ Abrahamic incest?  Will God try to kill Moses again?  For answers to these questions and more, be sure to tune in next time.

Genesis Chapters 43-50

Chapter 43

Jacob (now called Israel) and his family end up eating all of the corn that they got in Egypt, so Jacob tells the boys that it’s time to go get more.  Judah brings up the detail about having to take Benjamin with them (they seem to have forgotten about Simeon rotting away in an Egyptian jail) and says that they will starve if they don’t do things “the man’s” way.  So Israel/Jacob tells them to gather up some balm, honey, spices, myrrh, nuts and almonds as gifts for “the man.”  He then tells them to take twice the money they need for the food and to take Benjamin along. At this point he remembers poor forgotten Simeon, and mentions trying to get him back as well. The boys do as their told and head out to get some food. (43:1-15)  Why they didn’t eat the nuts and honey, or how they grew them when they couldn’t grow other food is never explained.  There is also never an explanation as to why God isn’t just helping them instead of forcing them to go to Egyptians for help.

When Joseph spots the brothers and has his butler bring them to his house for lunch.  This scares the boys because they think that Joseph thinks they had stolen money the first time they were there and is going to make them slaves. (43:16-18)

When they get to Joseph’s house they explain to the steward about the money and he tells them not to worry and explains that he had put their money back.  He then brings out Simeon, feeds their donkeys, and lets them clean up for lunch. (43:19-24)

When Joseph arrives, the brothers give him their gifts. Joseph chit chats with them about their family and they have lunch. (43:25-34)

Chapter 44

Tissot_The_Cup_FoundThe next morning Joseph has his steward fill up the brothers’ sacks with food, put their money back into the sacks, and put a silver cup in Benjamin’s.  Then when the brothers leave the city he has the steward chase them down, accuse them of stealing the cup, and bring them back to him. (44:1-14)

Joseph accuses them of theft, and tells them that Benjamin will be his slave since he was the one who actually “stole” the cup, and that the rest of them are free to leave.  Judah, begs Joseph to take him instead and let Benjamin go, because of what the loss of Benjamin would do to his father. (44:15-34)

Chapter 45

Joseph can’t hide his identity anymore and tells them who he is, and that they shouldn’t worry about what they had done to him, because it was obviously God’s plan. (45:1-7)

Joseph tells his brothers to go get their father and their families and bring them to Egypt so he can take care of them for the next five years.  Then the pharaoh tells Joseph to do what he had already done and gives him wagons and supplies for his brothers.  Joseph also gives his brothers some new clothes and gives Benjamin a bunch of money. (45:8-24)

The brothers go home and tell Israel (who is now called Jacob again), about Joseph and his offer. Jacob, (who is now called Israel again), agrees to go so that he can see Joseph. (45:25-28)

Chapter 46

Israel gets ready for his trip to Egypt, but stops at Beersheba for the night.  God comes to Israel in his dreams and calls him Jacob, even though he’s the one who changed his name to Israel.  God tells Israel/Jacob not to be afraid to go to Egypt because he will go with him and make him a great man there. (46:1-4)

The next morning Israel (who is once again called Jacob) gathers up all 67 members of his family, and all of their livestock and other possessions and they all head for Egypt.  He sends Judah ahead to tell Joseph they will meet him in Goshen. (46:5-28)

Joseph meets his family in Goshen, and he and his father have a teary reunion. (46:29-32)

Joseph tells his family to tell the Pharaoh that they are shepherds so that the Pharaoh will settle them in Goshen because all shepherds are “an abomination unto the Egyptians.” (46:33-34)  Why a man in his position wouldn’t know that Egyptians themselves were often shepherds who did not consider themselves abominations is not explained.

Chapter 47

Tissot_Joseph_and_His_Brethren_Welcomed_by_PharaohAfter getting their story straight, Joseph introduces his family to the pharaoh, and gets permission for them to settle in Goshen, “in the land of Rameses” where he makes sure they have plenty to eat. (47:1-12) No explanation is given for the pharaoh calling the area “the land of Rameses”, when Ramses I wouldn’t even be alive for another 500 years.

After getting his family settled, Joseph gets back to his job of making sure that there is plenty of food for people throughout Egypt. (47:13-26)

During his 17 years in Egypt, Jacob (now called Jacob or Israel randomly) does well and his family grows, but as he nears death he makes Joseph promise to bury him back home and not in Egypt. (47:27-31)

Chapter 48

Since his father is sick, Joseph introduces him to his sons.  Jacob blesses the boys and says that the younger one will be more successful than the older, seemingly trying to pass on the problems he had with his own brother. (48:1-20)

Jacob then tells Joseph that one day God will make sure he returns to his native land which Jacob has made more his land than his brothers’, once again trying to sow discord amongst brothers. (48:21-22)

Chapter 49

Jacob then gathers all of his sons together and tells them their futures.  Most aren’t so good, but he says Judah (the brother-seller) will do the best, he heaps a good bit of praise on Joseph then makes them promise to bury him with Abraham and crew (again) then he dies. (49:1-33) The year is 1731 BC.

Chapter 50

After Jacob dies, Joseph gets permission to take him home for burial, and he and his brothers bury Jacob the maid-breeder in the same place as his incestuous ancestors. (50:1-13)

The boys then return to Egypt where Joseph formally forgives his brothers, again, for what they had done to him and eventually dies at the age of 110.  He is mummified and buried in Egypt. (50:14-26)

And so ends the book of Genesis.

Next time we will start on the book of Exodus, which doesn’t contain near as much incest, but does contain a lot more murder, genocide, and other godly death and suffering.

Genesis Chapters 36-42

Chapter 36

Basically , this chapter just runs through Esau’s children and grand-children and takes a long-winded approach to saying that Esau fathered the Edomites, after he left Jacob and Canaan behind.

Chapter 37

Jacob_blesses_Joseph_and_gives_him_the_coatThe story line goes back to Jacob’s family, and we learn that Joseph has become Jacob’s favorite son, and that Jacob had made him a fancy multi-colored shirt. Because of the favoritism Jacob has shown Joseph, the other eleven boys don’t like him much. (37:1-4)

To make matters worse Joseph starts having dreams where he is in charge of the whole family, except it seems for Dinah.  This makes his brothers even angrier. (37:5-11)

His brothers, who are working instead of dreaming, take the family’s sheep to Shechem to feed them.  Jacob tells Joseph to go join them and help out, so Joseph heads out to find his brothers.  When Joseph gets to Shechem his brothers aren’t there and some stranger finds him wandering around in a field (probably day-dreaming) and tells him that his brothers have taken the flock to Dothan, so he heads that way. (37:12-17)

Joseph’s brothers see him coming and decide to kill him, throw him in a pit, tell everyone that some beast ate him, and then “…see what will become of his dreams.”  But, Reuben the maid-breeder, convinces the rest of his brothers not to kill him, and just throw him into the pit. His intention is to rescue his little brother later, and take him back to Daddy.. (37:18-22)

So, when Jacob arrives in camp his brothers take his pretty coat, and throw him into a pit. (37:23)

Joseph soldThe boys then sit down for supper and spot some traders headed for Egypt, Judah convinces most of his brothers to sell Joseph to the traders for 20 pieces of silver. (37:24-28)

When Reuben notices that Jacob is gone, they all decide to smear goat’s blood on Joseph’s pretty coat, and they take it to Jacob, who believes that a beast killed and ate his son.  Jacob losses it and starts dressing like Tarzan, and mourns hard for his lost boy, who we find out has been sold to the Pharaoh’s captain of the guard in Egypt. (37:29-36)

Chapter 38

Sometime after selling his little brother into slavery, Judah marries a Canaanite woman named Shuah.  Judah has three sons with Shuah:  Er, Onan, and Shelah. (38:1-5)

Judah then gets Er a wife named Tamar, presumably after he’s grown up a bit, but God doesn’t like Er, so he kills him. (38:6-7)

After Er dies, Judah has Onan marry his late brother’s wife so he can get her pregnant. Onan marries her, but instead of getting Tamar pregnant, he spills his seed on the ground since any child wouldn’t be considered his for some reason.  God gets mad at Onan for pulling out, and kills him.  Sell your brother into slavery, no big deal, but refuse to get your brother’s wife pregnant=death. (38:8-10)

Judah sends Tamar back to her father because he thinks that his sons keep dying because of her and he wants his youngest son Shelah to live long enough to give her a try. (38:11)

Then Judah’s wife dies, so he and his buddy go see what his sheep shearers are up to. (38:12)

Tamar hears that Judah is nearby so she dresses up like a prostitute to see if Shelah has grown up yet. (38:13-14)

Judah spots her, and not knowing who she is, offers her a baby goat for some sex.  She says ok, but only if he’ll give her his ring, bracelets and staff to hold until she gets her goat. He says ok, they have sex, and she heads back home to her father’s house. (38:15-19)

Judah gets the baby goat and has his buddy try to deliver it so he can get his jewelry back, but his buddy can’t find her. (38:20-24)

Three months later, Judah hears that Tamar has been selling herself and has ended up pregnant.  So Judah has her brought to him so he can burn her alive for being a whore. When she gets there, she shows him the jewelry, and he decides not to kill her.  (it’s OK because she was a whore for him and not some stranger) She later has twin boys:  Pharez and Zarah. (38:25-30)

Chapter 39

Now we turn to Joseph.

Since Joseph had been sold into slavery he had done quite well for himself, and had become the overseer of his owner’s estate.  God was good to Joseph’s owner, Potiphar, for appointing Joseph as overseer. (39:1-5)

444px-José_y_la_mujer_de_putifar_de_Antonio_María_EsquivelPotiphar’s wife develops a hankering for Joseph and starts trying to get him to sleep with her.  Joseph keeps turning her down, then one day she grabs him by his cloak and he runs away leaving his cloak behind. She tells everybody he tried to rape her, and Potiphar throws him in prison.  Where the warden takes a liking to him, and puts him in charge of all the other prisoners. (39:6-23) Joseph doesn’t know how lucky he is that it wasn’t his dad deciding his fate, because we all know that Jacob would have killed him and every man town, then taken the women and children as slaves.

Chapter 40

While Joseph is running things at the prison, the Pharaoh throws his chief butler and chief baker in prison where Joseph is put in charge of them.  After they had been there a while the two men have dreams that make them sad.  When Joseph sees that they are upset he asks them what’s going on and they tell him that they have had dreams but have no one to interpret the dreams for them. Joseph tells them that interpretation of dreams is for God to do, so he will do it. (40:1-8)

So, Joseph tells the butler that his dream means that in three days he will restored to his old position. And, Joseph asks him to put in a good word for him. (40:9-15)

Then the baker, thinking he’ll get good news also, has Joseph interpret his dream.  Joseph tells him that in three days the Pharaoh would remove his head, hang him on a tree, and that birds would feast on his flesh. (40:16-19)

Three days later the Pharaoh throws a big party, gives the butler his job back, and hangs the baker. (40:20-22)

The butler forgets all about Joseph. (40:23)

Chapter 41

This chapter starts with more dreams.  This time the dreams are from the Pharaoh.  In the first dream seven fat cows are eaten by skinny cows.  And in the second seven good ears of corn are eaten by seven thin ears. The really strange thing about this last dream is that corn didn’t exist in the Middle East until sometime around the 16th century AD, some 3,500 years after the pharaoh’s dream.  In fact, no one in the Bible would have eaten corn, known what it was, or have even seen it, except possibly Adam. (41:1-7)

The pharaoh’s dream interpreters can’t figure out the dreams, and his chief butler suggests talking to Joseph. So, the pharaoh calls in Joseph, who gets cleaned up and goes to the pharaoh. (41:8-14)

The pharaoh tells Joseph about his dreams, and Joseph tells him that they both mean the same thing: that God has shown him that there will be seven good years in the kingdom followed by seven years of famine. (41:15-32)

Joseph then advises the pharaoh that he should put somebody in charge of things to collect a 20% tax on all food crops for the next seven years, so that those crops held as taxes can be used to feed people for the following years. (41:33-36)

495px-Joseph_made_ruler_in_egyptAfter asking his advisers if they know of anyone who has God’s blessing to do such a job, the pharaoh makes Joseph a prime minister of Egypt and gives him jewelry, fine clothes, and the pharaoh’s own second chariot.  Pharaoh then changes Joseph’s name to Zaphnathpaaneah, and gives him Asenath the daughter of a priest for a wife.  Joseph is 30 years old when this happens. (41:37-46)  No explanation is given for the pharaoh’s belief in God.

During the next seven years, Joseph collects a lot of corn (seemingly from South America since corn won’t be in Egypt for another 3,500 years) and has two sons Manasseh, and Ephraim. (41:47-53)

Then the seven bad years start.  Joseph uses the corn he had stored to feed Egypt, and soon people come from other lands to buy corn, because the famine is worldwide. (41:54-57)

Chapter 42

Jacob hears about the corn in Egypt, and since his land is suffering from God’s famine along with the rest of the World he sends ten of his remaining sons to buy some of this amazing new grain.  Benjamin stays home because they are worried that he might get hurt.  They, like everyone else, have to go to Joseph for the purchase. (42:1-6)

Joseph recognizes his brothers, and disguises himself so that they won’t recognize him. He then accuses them of being spies, and tells them to send one brother to get their youngest brother and return with him or they will be thrown in prison. He puts them in jail for three days, then changes the terms for their release.  The new deal is that they can buy their corn and take it back, but one of them has to stay in prison until they return with their younger brother. (42:7-20)

They reluctantly agree, and Joseph has Simeon shackled and lets the others out.  Joseph then has his men fill the brothers’ grain sacks, put their money in their sacks, give them some provisions and send them on their way.  During their trip home the brothers discover that their money is in the sacks which confuses them. (42:21-27)

When they get home they tell Jacob about what happened.  Jacob says that there is no way he is going to send Benjamin to Egypt, because losing another son would kill him. (42:28-38)

Next Episode:

What will Jacob do?  Will it be revealed why God is trying to starve everyone to death? Will we learn how Joseph got corn from South America, and will he get potatoes also? Will the boys find suitable sisters or cousins to marry during this famine?  

Tune in next time as we finish the book of Genesis and at least one of these questions is answered.

For those of you who are interested, I have included below an updated family tree for Jacob’s family to account for the two sons of Judah which came from his buying the widow of his two oldest sons and using her like a prostitute.

Jacobs family (1)

Genesis Chapters 29-35

Chapter 29

Rachel_WilliamDyceSo, after Jacob has his dream of grandeur, he heads east toward his uncle’s.  After a while he comes upon some guys watering their sheep and asks them if they know his uncle Laban; they say yes and point out his daughter Rachel who’s approaching the well to “water” her sheep.  So, Jacob goes over, helps her water her sheep and kisses her.  After he kisses her, he tells her who he is. (29:1-12)

Rachel tells her dad about Jacob, and instead of killing him for attacking his daughter he invites him to his home, where Jacob tells him that he is his nephew.  Jacob stays there for a month free of charge. (29:13-14)

541px-Dante's_Vision_of_Rachel_and_LeahAfter a while Laban asks Jacob what he wants and what he has to offer. Jacob offers seven years of service for Rachel, even though Rachel has an older sister Leah. Laban accepts the deal and Jacob works for him for seven years. (29:15-20)

At the end of seven years Jacob says it’s time for Laban to honor his deal and give him his wife so he can “…go in unto her.”  So Laban throws a big feast, and that night Jacob takes his mother’s cousin, Leah and goes “in unto her.” (29:21-23) and Laban gives Leah his maid. (29:24)

Well, Jacob doesn’t realize that he went in unto the wrong sister until morning.  He goes to Laban and complains about being tricked.  Laban tells him that the youngest daughter can’t get married before the older, but if Jacob will work for him for seven more years he can have Rachel too. Jacob agrees, so he marries his sister-in-law, and works for her dad/his great-uncle for seven more years.  During this time, he treats Rachel better than he does Leah. (29:25-30)

God sees how Jacob is treating his first wife, so he makes Rachel Barren and makes Leah quite fertile.  Leah ends up having four sons:  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. (29:31-35)

Chapter 30

Rachel starts getting jealous of her sister/sister-in-law’s having children when she’s not.  At first she gets all dramatic and blames Jacob for her not having any kids, but then decides that if her maid gives birth in her lap then it’s the same as if she gave birth.  She has Jacob sleep with her maid Bilhah. (30:1-4)

Jacob starts sleeping with Rachel’s maid and she starts having kids, which Rachel, who doesn’t seem to understand the idea of childbirth, starts taking credit for.  Bilhah has two sons in Rachel’s place:  Dan, and Naphtali. (30:5-8)

Not to be outdone, Leah pimps her maid Zilpah to Jacob, and Zilpah has two sons:  Gad, and Asher (30:9-13)

As time goes on Reuben, Leah’s oldest boy, finds some mandrakes.  Rachel tells Leah that she can have her turn with Jacob in return for the magic roots.  Leah takes her up on her offer, and as a result has three more children: two boys, Issachar, and Zebulun, as well as a girl, Dinah. (30:14-21)

Now that Rachel has mandrakes God allows her to have a kid whom she names Joseph. (30:22-24)

After Joseph is born Jacob decides that it’s time for him to get ready to move back home, so he makes a deal with his great-uncle/father-in-law to earn some livestock.  Jacob then uses magical animal-husbandry to increase his own stock while depleting Laban’s stock. (30:25-43)

Chapter 31

Jacob finds out that his brothers-in-law/cousins are upset about his using magic to increase his own herds and depleting their father’s.  Jacob and God decide that it’s time for Jacob to run away back to his father’s land.  Jacob gathers all his livestock, children and wives together, and tells his wives to take whatever they think should be theirs.  Rachel does as Jacob suggested, and the Jacob clan takes off. (31:1-21)  It takes Laban, Rachel and Leah’s father, three days to notice that the Jacob clan had fled. (31:22)

Seven days later, Laban catches up with Jacob and company, and God tells Laban not to talk with Jacob, so Laban goes to talk with Jacob. (31:23-25)

Laban asks Jacob why he snuck away without a goodbye and subtly mentions that he could kill him, but chooses not to because God told him not to.  Jacob uses a version of his father’s and grandfather’s old excuse and says he did it because he thought Laban would take his wives. (31:26-31) Then Jacob claims ignorance of Rachel stealing anything. (31:32)

512px-Ciro_Ferri_-_The_Reconciliation_of_Jacob_and_Laban

So Laban searches for the stuff that Rachel had stolen, but doesn’t find it.  Then Jacob throws a hissy fit, and Laban says that even though everything Jacob has is technically his he will make a deal with him. (31:33-44)  Laban says that as long as Jacob doesn’t mistreat his daughters, then he will let everything slide.  Jacob agrees and promises to do right by the girls, and the two men part amicably. (31:45-55)

Chapter 32

Jacob takes all of his ill-gotten gains and heads toward home.  On the way he sends a messenger to Esau to let him know he’s coming.  The messenger comes back and says Esau is headed their way with 400 men, and Jacob gets scared, so he divides his crew into two groups, and then has some men take a bunch of livestock and get between him and Esau as an offering for Esau, then he prays for help, and hides his family. (32:1-23)

Then Jacob spends the night wrestling with some angel who decides to change Jacob’s name to Israel. (32:24-32)

Chapter 33

Rubens_Reconciliation_of_Jacob_and_EsauJacob meets with Esau in the morning, and introduces his family.  Esau it seems was happy to see him and had brought the men to help Jacob defend his family and livestock, so Jacob had been scared of nothing. (33:1-15)

Then Esau goes home, and Jacob sets up camp in Shechem and builds an altar which he names Eleloheisrael. (33:16-20)

Chapter 34

Shechem_seizes_DinahThe local prince sees Dinah, rapes her, then decides that he would like to marry her, so he tells his dad to get her for him. (34:1-4)

So the boy’s dad meets with Jacob, and Jacob says that if every man in the city will get circumcised then he’ll agree to the marriage.  The king says ok, and has every man get circumcised.  Three days later when all the men of the city are hurting from the crude penile surgery, Jacob and his men go in and kill all of the men, take the women and children as slaves, and destroy everything else. He does this because he doesn’t want his children breeding outside of the family. (34:5-31)

Chapter 35

God tells Jacob to go to Bethel.  Jacob has his clan change their clothes and hand over all their jewelry and gods, which Jacob stashes under an oak tree by the city that he had just destroyed. (35:1-4)

As Jacob travels, everyone leaves him alone since he had already destroyed one city, and Jacob eventually arrives in Luz where he had started his run from Esau.  While there, God promises him all the stuff that he had promised his father and grandfather, they bury Rebekah’s dead nurse, God changes Jacob’s name to Israel, even though an angel had already done that, obviously without telling God about it, and Jacob renames the place Bethel having completely forgotten that he had already renamed the place Bethel before, and that he had gone there since God told him to go to Bethel. (35:5-15)

After leaving Bethel, Rachel dies giving birth to a son that she names Benoni.  Jacob doesn’t like the name and changes it to Benjamin, then buries Rachel in Bethlehem, before heading out again “beyond” Edar. (35:16-21)

While near Edar, Reuben Jacob’s oldest boy, gets his late-mother’s maid Bilhah pregnant and she gives birth to a son who doesn’t get a name. (35:22-26)

Soon after Jacob gets home, Isaac dies (1758 BC) and is buried. (35:27-29) Esau doesn’t kill Jacob, since they have made up since Esau’s vow. And so ends our trip through the Bible for this time.

Since the family tree gets quite convoluted in the preceding chapters I have include an updated family tree through Jacob (below left), and then a separate family tree for Jacob and his immediate family (below right).  (Click on either table to see a larger image if need be) With explanations as needed below the trees.

The Abraham Family tree (4)Jacobs family

Updates on the Abrahamic Family tree:

  • Rachel and Leah are Jacob’s second cousins/wives
  • Rachel is Leah’s sister/sister-in-law.  The reverse is also true.
  • Jacob has 13 children and 1 grandchild.  4 of the children and the grandchild are born out of wed-lock
  • Bilhah is Rachel’s maid, Jacob’s mistress, and Reuben’s servant-with-benefits.
  • Bilhah is the mother of two of Jacob’s children and the mother of his grandchild.
  • Bilhah is Reuben’s aunt, and the mother of his child.

Next time:  

We learn about Esau’s huge family; more incest (of course); God kills some of Jacob grandkids; and we get into the story of Jacob’s son Joseph (of “coat of many colors” fame)

Genesis Chapters 25-28

With chapter 25 we reach the halfway mark for the book of Genesis.  However, this does not mean that the incest and genocide are anywhere near an end as there are many more examples of God’s special types of love to come.

In this post:  Abraham gets remarried then dies; Brotherly love Bible style; Isaac tries his hand at the family con; Rebekah teaches Jacob how to lie and swindle his father; More incest;

Chapter 25

This chapter starts by telling us that Abraham remarried after Sarah’s death and had several children with his second wife (no blood relation this time) and that he also had some children with mistresses.  Though none of these children were allowed to stay around, and everything Abraham had went to Isaac. (25:1-6)

Then in 1863 BC at the age of 175 Abraham dies and is buried next to Sarah. (25:7-10)

After Abraham dies God gives his blessing to Isaac who is still living in Lahairoi. (25:11)

We then learn that Ishmael had several children and died in 1815 BC at the age of 137.  He wasn’t buried in the family plot. (25:12-18)

We then backtrack a little and learn that Isaac eventually made an honest woman of Rebekah after their first-date night of sex.  They were married in 1898 BC when Isaac was 40, and they soon discovered that Rebekah is barren (possibly a result of inbreeding), but God takes care of it and she gets pregnant. (25:19-21)

Esau_and_Jacob_Presented_to_IsaacRebekah has a hard time with the pregnancy and talks to God about it.  God tells her that there are two different people in her, one stronger than the other and that the older and stronger of the two will serve the younger. And, sure enough, in 1878 when she gives birth, it is twins:  the first out is a hairy red-head they named Esau, and the other comes out holding his brother’s foot; they name him Jacob. (25:22-26)

Esau, we learn, becomes a great hunter and “man of the field” who feeds his family and is the favorite of Isaac, while Jacob becomes a momma’s boy who hangs out at home all the time. (25:27-28)

JacobBirthrightTo end the chapter we are told a little story of brotherly love Bible style.  It seems that one day when Esau returned home famished from actually working to feed the family, he found that Jacob had made some bean soup, with what was apparently the last of the food Esau had worked so hard for.  Esau asked Jacob for some soup since he was so hungry he felt faint.  Jacob says that Esau can have some soup if he gives up his birthright as firstborn. Esau, who is half-starved, agrees.  It seems that Jacob had been well-trained in the art of extortion by his grandfather/great-uncle/great-great-uncle.  (25:29-34)

Chapter 26

This chapter starts with a famine similar to that which Abraham had experienced.  Isaac, unlike his father, does as God tells him and goes to Gerar (the same Gerar where Abe and Sarah last pulled their sister/wife scam) and not Egypt.  In return, God makes all the same promises to Isaac that he had made to Abraham who had done everything that God told him to do. (26:1-6)

Isaac tries to pull his father/uncle’s old routine of “she’s not my wife she’s my sister,” but the king had already fallen for this trick before with Abraham and Sarah, and calls Isaac out on it, and puts out a decree saying that anyone who touches Isaac or Rebekah would be put to death. (26:7-11)

So, Isaac and Rebekah stick around in Gerar growing wealthy, making deals with the king’s men when he isn’t around, and digging wells.  Isaac even renames Beersheba:  he calls it Shebah, so everyone calls it Beersheba.  I know, it’s confusing, but that’s what it says. (26:12-33)

Then we’re told that Esau gets a couple of wives (not blood relatives) that Isaac and Rebekah don’t like. (26:34-35)

Chapter 27

Fade in on an old blind Isaac who believes that he’s going to die soon.

Isaac calls in Esau and says that if he will bring him some savory venison that he will grant him his blessing before he dies. (27:1-4)

Rebekah overhears the conversation and when Esau heads out, she tells Jacob to get some goats and they will use them to think Isaac into blessing Jacob instead. (27:5-10) Gotta love this family.

800px-Book_of_Genesis_Chapter_27-5_(Bible_Illustrations_by_Sweet_Media)Jacob points out to Rebekah that Esau is hairy and if Isaac touches him he will know that he isn’t Esau.  But, Rebekah has that covered and tells Jacob to do as he’s told.  So they get the goat meat, Rebekah makes it so it will taste like Isaac’s favorite venison, and she has Jacob wear Esau’s clothes and she wraps goatskin around his hands and neck. (27:11-16)

So Jacob takes the meat to Isaac, who falls for the stunt like a moron, even though he notices that the voice is wrong, and gives Jacob the blessing meant for Esau. (27:17-29)

No sooner than Jacob leaves with his stolen blessing, in walks Esau.  They quickly figure out what has happened and Isaac says that because of the blessing, Esau must serve his brother, but that in time he will be free from that service. Esau leaves swearing that when his father dies he will kill Jacob. (27:30-41)

Rebekah finds out about Esau said and has Jacob run and hide at her brother’s house in Haran, until Esau calms down. (27:42-45)  Then she goes to Isaac and says she’s worried that Isaac might marry some local girl, and she doesn’t want that to happen. (27:46) She doesn’t mention her role in swindling him earlier.

Chapter 28

Isaac then calls Jacob in, blesses him and tells him to go look for a wife at his uncle’s place. (28:1-5)

Esau overhears Isaac talking to Jacob, and decides to beat him to marrying a cousin by marrying one of Ishmael’s daughters, so he now not only beat Jacob to the incest punch, but has three wives. (28:6-9)

JacobsLadderWhile Jacob is on his way to get a wife from his uncle, he spends the night in Luz.  While asleep he has a dream that the place he’s in is the stairway to heaven (Jacob’s Ladder) and that God blesses him as he had blessed Abraham and Isaac.  When he wakes up, Jacob renames the place Bethel, and vows that if God will give him everything he wants then he will give ten percent back.  (28:10-22) Quite a deal.

The Abraham Family tree thru Esau and Jacob(4)

Since Esau dragged poor Ishmael into the Abrahamic tradition of incest I have included an updated family tree at right.

So now:

  • Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, is Esau’s wife/cousin, Isaac’s niece/daughter-in-law, Rebekah’s cousin/daughter-in-law, and Jacob’s cousin/sister-in-law
  • Jacob is Esau’s cousin by marriage/brother
  • Ishmael is Esau’s uncle/father-in-law

Fortunately, Ishmael didn’t live to see his child dragged into the family tradition of incest.

Next time:  Jacob has sex with a lot of sisters and maids, and rips off his uncle then runs away; some rape and war; brothers make up; and Isaac dies.

Genesis Chapters 20-24

In this post:  Abraham has a son with his wife, and throws his bastard son and his mother out into the desert, Abraham tries to kill his legitimate son, Incest, Incest, and more Incest, Sarah dies, Abraham stays in family to buy a wife for his son, and we try to unravel Abraham’s tangled mess of a family tree to this point.

 Chapter 20

 We move from Lot’s little cave of incest back to Abraham who is up to his old tricks.

After watching the Genocide in Sodom, Abraham and Sarah head south to Gerar a Philistine town in what is today south central Israel. (20:1)  The odd thing is that they would have had to be in Gerar at least 700 years before it was ever settled.  Isaac, who hasn’t yet ben born in the story, was born in 1938 BC. Gerar wasn’t settled until sometime around 1200 BC and nothing more than a small village until around 800 BC.  Odd isn’t it.

Anyway, once in Gerar, Abraham and Sarah pull their old sister/wife routine on the King. (20:2)  Sarah must have truly been an outstanding woman to still be so desirable at the age of 90.

This time, instead of plagues on the King’s children, God threatens the king directly through a dream.  In this dream God tells the king that he’s a dead man for what he’s done. However, the king defends himself by mentioning Abraham’s lie, and asking God if he would kill an innocent man for a crime he didn’t actually commit.  The king clearly didn’t know about the infanticide in Sodom, or he would have been worried about the answer.  But, God relents and tells the king to release Sarah and treat Abraham well and his non-existent crime will be forgiven. Otherwise God will go on another baby killing spree.  So the King agrees. (20:3-8)

The next day the king asks Abraham what his deal is with trying to get him killed.  Abraham pulls the ‘ole I thought you’d kill me to take my wife bit (20:9-11) and then admits that Sarah is in fact his half-sister. So, in a way, Abraham wasn’t lying when he called his wife his sister because, he was married to his sister.(20:12-13)  That’s right folks, more incest, and there’s more to come later.

So, the king gives Abraham more livestock and protection money, and says he can camp out there as long as he wants.  In return, Abraham gets God to let the king’s wife have babies again since God had shut off all the baby making machinery in the king’s household. (20:14-18)

 Chapter 21

A little time goes by, and God visits Ma Sarah and gets her pregnant. Sarah gives birth to Isaac, in 1938 BC when Abraham is 100 years old and she is 94. The boy is circumcised and eventually bar mitzvahs and all was good. (21:1-8)  Well, almost all.

480px-014.Abraham_Sends_Hagar_and_Ishmael_AwayAfter Isaac’s bar mitzvah, Sarah starts thinking about Ishmael, and tells Abraham that she doesn’t want Ishmael to have any rights as a son.  Abraham talks to God about it, and they decide to toss Ishmael and Hagar into the desert with some bread and a bottle of water. (21:9-14)

As will happen in the desert, the water runs out and the child almost dies.  But, God shows Hagar where to find water for the boy, and he ends up surviving and doing relatively well in the wilderness with a wife that his mother gets for him in Egypt.  The wife wasn’t a blood relative as was the custom in Abraham’s family. (21:15-21)

Sometime after throwing his son and the child’s mother out into the desert, Abraham is visited by the king from chapter 20.  Abraham and the king get into a little argument about a well that Abraham supposedly dug, but they part amicably, and Abraham sticks around for a little longer and names the area around the well Beersheba. (21:22-34)

 Chapter 22

God then tells Abraham to take Isaac to Moriah and burn him as an offering.  Without batting an eye, Abraham grabs Isaac, a couple of servants and a bunch of wood and heads to the mountains to kill Isaac. (22:1-6)

778px-Sacrifice_of_Isaac-Caravaggio_(Uffizi)When they get there, Isaac gets a little suspicious since they don’t have an animal to sacrifice, so Abraham ties him up and throws him on the altar they had built, and, without pause, raises the knife to kill him, but an angel steps in and stops him. (22:7-12)  So, Abraham grabs a ram and kills it instead. (22:13-14)

God then promises Abraham, all of the stuff he had promised him several times before, and Abraham and crew go back to Beersheba. (22:15-19)

Once back in Beersheba, Abraham is brought up to date on the family of his brother Nahor and Nahor’s niece/wife who has eight children and a grand-daughter Rebekah.  He’s also told that Nahor has some other kids with his mistress.  Seems that Nahor was not only incestuous, but also adulterous; truly a brother of Abraham. (22:20-24)

 Chapter 23

This chapter begins with the death of Sarah, Abraham’s sister/wife/extortion partner.  Sarah dies in 1905 BC at the age of 127. (23:1)

The rest of the chapter details how Abraham buys a piece of land to bury her in. (23:2-20)

 Chapter 24

Abraham is starting to feel old so he sends a servant back to Nahor (the town) to find a wife for Isaac, because he doesn’t want Isaac finding his own wife in Canaan. (24:1-10)

When Abraham’s servant gets to Nahor, there is a line of women at the well and he’s really thirsty, so he says to himself, that whoever gives him and his camels a drink will be the woman he takes back as Isaac’s wife. (24:11-14) An old version of eeny-meeny-miney-moe.

He soon spots a hot young virgin and asks her for a drink and she gives him one, then she gets water for his camels.  The little hottie is Rebekah, Abraham’s brother’s granddaughter, but the servant doesn’t know this yet. (24:15-20)

So, the servant thinks that God might be helping him with his quest, but, just in case, he gives the girl a bunch of jewelry to soften her up, then asks her who she is, and if he can spend the night at her place. (24:21-23)

Rebekah tells him who she is and offers him a place to stay, the servant is overjoyed to find out who she is in relation to Abraham, most likely because he knows how much Abraham likes incest, and the girl goes to tell her family. (24:24-28)

Rebekah’s brother fetches the servant to their house where he unpacks and gets ready to eat. (24:29-33)

Bacciarelli_Rebecca_and_EleazarBefore he eats, the servant tells them who he is and why he’s there.  Bethuel, Rebekah’s father, happily sends his daughter off to be married to his great-uncle’s son, after all the entire family is built on incest, and Rebekah, being a good daughter agrees.  So, the servant gives Rebekah’s family a lot of money for her, and takes her and her stuff back to Abraham. (24:34-61)

When they get to Lahairoi where Isaac now lives, Isaac and Rebekah meet, and Isaac immediately takes his second-cousin into his late mother/aunt’s tent and they have some pre-marital sex.  After sleeping with Rebekah, Isaac no longer feels bad about his mother/aunt having died. (24:62-67)

The Convoluted Abrahamic Family Tree

The Convoluted Abrahamic Family Tree

So, now we have a family line from Terah to Jacob.  However the family tree reads like some stereotype hillbilly family tree.

I have included a diagram of Terah’s family line at right, and to help understand it I have listed some of the highlights below:

  • Terah is Abraham’s Father, Nahor’s Father, and Sarah’s father
  • Abraham is Sarah’s half-brother and husband
  • Rebekah is Abraham’s great-niece and daughter-in-law.  She also has the same relations to Sarah
  • Rebekah is Isaac’s wife and second cousin
  • Moab, and Benammi are Lot’s sons as well as his grandsons
  • Benammi is Moab’s brother and uncle. The reverse is also true.
  • Nahor is Milcah’s uncle and husband as well as Lot’s uncle and brother-in-law
  • Milcah is Bethuel’s cousin and mother
  • Isaac is Bethuel’s cousin and son-in-law.  He is also the son and nephew of both Abraham and Sarah.
  • Jacob is Rebekah’s cousin and son, as is Esau
  • There are four generations from Terah to Jacob, there are also only three generations from Terah to Jacob
  • There are also three and four generations from Terah to Moab

Confusing isn’t it.  Ishmael should be thankful he was tossed into the desert to die by his father, otherwise he might have ended up married to his mother or grandmother.

Next time:  Abraham gets married again, and then dies;  Isaac marries his cousin and they have kids;  brotherly love Bible style; Isaac keeps his dad’s con alive; and, of course, more incest.  Until then, beware of incestuous con artists.  Ron