Tag Archives: Book of Genesis

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.

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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 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

Genesis Chapters 8-11

Genesis Chapter 8-11

In this post: The flood comes to an end, I explain where the water went, more divine senility, Noah the Drunk, God gives away the first slave, Tower of Babel, Noah’s family line to Abraham

Chapter 8:

When we last saw our heroes they were floating around on a small boat with millions of animals and a few thousand tons of manure.

We pick up our story in Gen 8:1 when God recovers from another bout of senility and “…remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark… .”  Then God causes a wind to stop the rain, and the other water coming from the sky as well as the water shooting up from the bottom of the ocean (Gen 8:2-3).

The water starts slowly receding.  Where did all the water go?  Well literalists will tell you that God lowered the ocean floor and raised the land so the water is still here.  Aside from there being no basis for that in this story or in any geological record, and its being an ignorance-based version of plate tectonics, it’s just plain stupid.  I find it much easier to believe that it all went down a drain at the bottom of the ocean, next to the spigot that it was coming out of in 8:2-3.  The spigot and drain are as of now undiscovered, but that in no way definitively proves that they aren’t there.  Then God put a stopper (also undiscovered…yet)  in it which left us with the water we have.  My version has just as much evidence as theirs and is better written.  Na Nanna, Boo, Boo.

Mt. Ararat

Mt. Ararat

Anyway, after 150 days it had gone down about 13,000 feet to around 16,850 ft, so that on July 17th 2348 BC the Ark settles on Mt. Ararat, and by the first of October the mountain tops could all be seen.(Gen 8:3-5)  Actually the story says “mountains of Ararat” so it could have landed on any peak in the Armenian Highlands, but Mt. Ararat is a good choice because it is a volcano, and many early cultures loved their volcano gods.

After forty days of sitting on top of a mountain in a boat full of 10s of millions of pounds of manure, Noah opens the little window on top of his boat, and lets out a raven and a dove.  The raven flew around in circles for the next few months landing on the stinking boat, nevermore, while the dove flew around for a while and came back. (Gen 8:6-9)

After a week, Noah let the dove out again, and this time it came back with a newly sprouted olive leaf, which told Noah that the water was “abated from off the earth”,  or at least the hill that the olive tree was growing on. (Gen 8:10-11)  How an olive tree had survived almost six months under water is never explained, though I guess it could have been growing in one of the many empires that survived the flood intact with no water damage.

Noah waits another week and lets the dove go again, and the dove doesn’t come back. (Gen 8:12)  He probably got sick of the smell like the raven had.

8:13 tells us that on New Year’s Day “in the six hundredth and first year” Noah opens the Ark to reveal dryland.  Now obviously this isn’t the 601st year because the World had been around over twice that long, we can only assume that it means Noah’s 601st year, which would mesh with the rest of the story.  What doesn’t mesh is why Noah waited 37 days to open the boat if the land was already dry.  You would think he would want to air the place out as soon as possible.

Anyway, 8:14 says that the Earth wasn’t dry until the 27th of February which means 8:13 lied, or the author forgot.

Whenever the drying out happened, God told Noah to get his family and all the animals out of the boat, and Noah happily complied. (Gen 8:15-19) I’m sure everybody was getting tired of the piles of manure that by now were surrounding the boat.

390px-Figures_011_Noah_offered_burnt_offerings_on_an_altar_to_the_Lord[1]It wasn’t to be a happy day for all involved because Noah immediately took one of every “clean” animal and bird, and set them on fire. (Gen 8:20)  We can’t be sure if this means that these animals had babies before they were put to death, or if this offering led to the extinction of these animals whose significant other was left without a mate.

Anyway, God catches a whiff of burning flesh and seems to like it.  It was probably a welcome smell since the millions of dead bloated people, and the 10s of millions of dead bloated animals that surely littered the ground, along with the heaping piles of manure surrounding the Ark, were most likely quite smelly.  Because of Noah’s animal scent-candle, God vows to never again kill everything on the planet: (Gen 8:21-22) I would just like to thank Noah for his flood-stopping Bar-B-Que.

Chapter 9

Chapter 9 starts with God telling Noah and his boys to go make babies, lots of babies. (Gen 9:1)

Not the Least Bit Scared of People

Not the Least Bit Scared of People

Then God tells the guys that every animal on the planet will now be scared of them.  (Gen 9:2)  It would have been nice if that fear had passed down through the generations, but alas, it hasn’t. It would seem that God cared more for Noah than he does for 13 year old admirers.  God then goes on to explain that animals should be scared of them because “every” animal is now to be considered food.  The one caveat is that they can’t eat hearts or blood. (Gen 9:3-4)

Verses 5-6 re-establish capital punishment, but this time for murderers instead of for killers of murderers.

God tells them to have babies again, in case they didn’t hear him the first time. (Gen 9:7)  And, this isn’t the end of his repeating himself:

In verses 8-13 Gods promises to never kill everything with a flood again and creates rainbows as a reminder of this.

In verses 14-17 God promises to never kill everything with a flood again and creates rainbows as a reminder of this.

Is God repeating things because he thinks Noah and his sons are thick-headed?  Is divine senility rearing its ugly head again?  Were there multiple authors?  You decide.  My money is on senility.

Gen 9:18 starts a rather odd side story.  In this story, Noah plants a vineyard, makes some wine from the grapes, gets blackout drunk, and passes out naked in his tent.  His son Ham stumbles upon his drunk, naked father and tells his two brothers, Shem and Japheth about it.  Shem and Japheth go to great lengths to cover their drunkard of a dad with a blanket without looking at him. (Gen 9:18-23) There is no mention of where Mrs. Noah is during this.

When Noah wakes up from his drunken coma, does he apologize to his family for getting blind drunk and passing out naked in a tent?  No, he gets mad at his son Ham for stumbling onto the sight of his alcoholic naked father, and curses Ham’s son Canaan to be a servant to his uncles. (Gen 9:24-27)

Then we are told that the drunk lived for 350 years after the flood and dies (liver cirrhosis) at the age of 950 in 1998 BC. (Gen 9:28-29)   Did you see the math error?  According to Gen 7:6 and 11 Noah was 600 when the flood started.  According to Gen 8:13 Noah was 601 when the flood ended, and 8:14 reiterates that the flood lasted for a year.  601 + 350=951, not 950.  God’s divinely guided messenger isn’t very good at math, or maybe God isn’t.  Either way a big mistake.

Chapter 10

This chapter is a series of begats.

Nimrod's Nemisis

Nimrod’s Nemisis

First we get  Noah’s oldest son Japheth’s family tree. (Gen 10:1-5) Then Ham’s. (Gen 10:6-20) Then Shem’s. (Gen 10:21-31)  Chapter 10 ends by telling us that this  was how the Earth was repopulated (Gen 10:32)  The only name of any interest is Nimrod the Hunter (Grandson of Ham) who rules Babel, and then goes on to fight the X-Men.

Chapter 11

Our final chapter for this post starts by telling us that everyone was speaking one language (Gen 11:1)  This should have been obvious since everyone at this point is descended from one family.

Babel[1]Then we are told that all of these people got together and started to build a huge tower toward the heavens as a way to unite them as a people.  (Gen 11:2-4)

So, God wonders out from where ever he had been hanging out since completing his first genocide and sees the tower (Gen 11:5)

When God sees the tower he tells his female companion that it is a sign that people have become smart, and full of ingenuity, and that if they can do such a wonderous thing then there is nothing that they can’t do if they put there minds to it (Gen 11:6)  Generally, such words spoken about children by a parent would be considered a good thing.  Not so to humanity’s kind and loving father.  Instead of congratulating his children, he and his female companion make it so the children can’t understand each other thereby creating the different languages and scattering the people all over the planet. Which is why the tower came to be called Babel. (Gen 11:7-9)

What God didn’t know was that there were at least four recorded languages before this: Sumerian , Egyptian, Akkadian, and Eblaite.  But, since these languages were different from Noahnese God probably didn’t understand them and ignored them, especially since speakers of these languages had all managed to survive the flood.

Then the chapter starts another begat list. This time just from Noah’s son Shem to Abram (Abraham born 2038 BC) and Abram’s nephew Lot. (Gen 11:10-27)  All the men mentioned in this list live longer than God’s set lifespan for humans.  It seems that God forgot again and let these guys live too long.

11:29 tells us that Abram marries a woman named Sarai, and that Abram’s brother Nahor marries their niece, Lot’s sister, Milcah.  It aint love if it aint in the fam’ly.

Then God gets a little personal and lets us know that Abram’s wife was barren. (Gen 11:30)

Then Abram’s dad takes Abram, Sarai, and lot from Ur where they had been living to live in a city named after Abram’s brother, and Abrams’ brother’s father-in-law, and lot’s father, Haran, in Canaan. (Gen 11:31)  Where Abram’s father dies in 1903 BC (probably from shame about his son marrying his granddaughter) (Gen 11:32)

Why they moved from a city that had survived the flood to a place designated as bad, we are not told.

Next time:  Abram, Sarai, and Lot wander around the Middle East making money.

See you then, Ron

Genesis Chapter 7

In this post:  I cover the genocide of every human on the planet except for seven people, I try to figure out how to stuff millions of animals on a boat smaller than any NFL stadium, we see a few examples of God’s senility, and we look at God’s confusion about how many animals to put on the Ark

Genesis Chapter 7

Remember at the end of chapter 6 when God told Noah that he would establish a covenant with him and that he should build an Ark then take his family and two of every animal and bird and put them into the Ark?

Well, chapter 7 starts off the same way by God telling Noah, again, to put his family in the Ark, only this time in a much more poetic way.(Gen 7:1)  Maybe God forgot that he had already told Noah this. God has been around for infinity, so he could be showing signs of senility.

Most  Biblical scholars say that the reason it seems to repeat itself a lot is that Genesis had more than one author, and early manuscripts combined all of the different accounts into the book we would come to know as Genesis.  I know what you’re saying:  It’s much easier to just believe that God forgot and is repeating himself.  I agree, because the only sensible reason for the confusion that follows would be divine senility.

Chapter 7 continues with God telling Noah that not only should he put his family on the big boat but the following as well:

2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

Now some people might say that this completely contradicts the previous chapter when God told Noah to take two of “every” animal, whereas here God says to take seven of some and two of others.  These people clearly know nothing about Divine Senility, or they would understand that this is divinely inspired confusion and not a contradiction.  What other explanation could there be?

So, God goes on to tell Noah that he has seven days to get the boat loaded, because after that God plans to make it rain for 40 days and 40 nights and thereby destroying “every living substance…from off the face of the Earth.” (Gen 7:4) Unless, of course, he forgets.

And Noah says ok, again.(Gen 7:5)  It would seem that Noah is familiar with God’s senility  because he doesn’t ask for clarification on the whole numbers thing.

We get a date for the flood from Gen 7:6 when it says that Noah is 600 years old when the flood started.  If you’re keeping track that puts the flood at  1656 AC or 2348 BC.

Where did I get the BC?  Well, a long time ago an Irish Bishop named Ussher meticulously went through the Bible and available historical records, and came up with the evening of Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC as the date creation was finished.  While challenged in many different arenas this date is the most widely accepted of the creation dates proposed, largely due to it’s inclusion in King James Bibles and Scoffield Reference Bibles.  Naturally, since it is the most relied on date it’s the one I use.

To put the date for The Flood in a historical context here are a few events to consider:

  • 5400 BC:  Almost 1400 years before the Earth is created, Eridu, the World’s first city, is built in Mesopotamia, near present day Abu Shahrein, Iraq.  No signs of the Flood some 2,100 years later have been found on that site, but of course that doesn’t discount its having happened.
  • 3800 BC Sumerian city of Ur founded.  Strangely enough this city survived the Flood with no apparent damage or interruption of daily life.  However, is was conquered by Sargon the Great  8 years after the flood, completely intact, people and all.  It would seem that Sargon and his empire survived the flood.
  • 2490 BC the last of the three pyramids at Giza is completed.  The is no sign of any flood at this location either.
  • 2500 BC Great Sphinx of Giza built.  Again no sign of flood damage.
  • 2375-2345 Unas is ruler of Egypt.  Oddly enough, Like Sargon to the east, he and his entire kingdom survived the flood unscathed, and there is no mention from this time period of the flood which covered the rest of the planet to a depth of 29,000 or so feet for a year.

Anyway on with our story.

The obedient Noah puts his family into the boat (Gen 7:7), and then puts two of each animal on the boat “as God had commanded Noah.”(Gen 7:8-9)  It seems that Noah made a command decision and went with the earlier amount for how many animals to load.  God didn’t correct him, so he must have forgotten all about the whole seven-of-some and two-of-others thing.

So at this point in the story we have 7 adult human beings, at least 2 million insects (2 of each known species), around 20 million other land animals (2 of each),  and 20,000 birds (2 of each), on Noah’s boat, which has three decks each of which is 33,750 square feet.

So we have a boat with a total floor space of 101,250 square feet housing at least 20 million animals, 2 million insects, 20,000 birds, (Remember, God said two (or seven) of “every” animal, and we know that every animal alive now or in the past was created in one day back in 4004 BC 1400 years after the Mesopotamian city of Eridu was built.) and 7 humans, plus enough food to last all the inhabitants for just over a year.  And this doesn’t even count the 250,000 or so species of extinct animals that we have fossils of which includes 1,047 dinosaurs some of which were as large as 120 feet long and weighed more than 100 tons.  Creationists will tell you that these animals were on the Ark too.

Fun fact:  The San Diego Zoo houses around 3,700 animals and employs 6,000 people.  The 3,700 animals at the San Diego Zoo produce about 2.5-3 tons of manure every day.  If we put this in terms of the number of animals on the Ark we get at least 6,757 tons or 13.5 million pounds of manure every day that Noah and his family had to scoop up and throw out an 18” square hole on the roof of the boat.  The amount of ammonia and methane in the air would have probably killed everything on the boat since the only ventilation was the little hole in the roof.

Another fun fact:  If each animal on the Ark took up only a 3”x 3” space (just a little bigger than a dollar bill folded in half) they would have taken up 625,000 square feet or just over six Arks. But we all know that there was only one Ark, so each animal only had about a 1½ inch square space (about the size of a silver dollar). And this isn’t counting insects, birds, dinosaurs, mammoths, food, or humans.  Animals were obviously quite teeny back in Noah’s day.  How they have gotten so big since then, and why fossils and skeletons of these animals are so much larger are things which aren’t explained in the Bible.

Of course, to get really picky, it is estimated that of all the species that ever lived only about 10% are alive today or are known about from fossils, and since God said two of “every” animal, and creationists say that the only mass extinction event ever was the flood then all 90,000,000 of those animals were on the boat also, so each animal and human would have had a square with sides as long as the thickness of 4 sheets of notebook paper, but I think things are getting a bit silly now.

Now some doubting Thomases will try to deny God’s great feat of shrinking all the animals to fit on the boat by saying that Noah took baby animals, and only took two of every “kind”, or family, of animal, and that these animals bred afterwards to give up the diversity we see today.  Aside from this idea being stupid and not grounded in any way by science or the Bible, there is the issue of what the Bible actually says.  These heathen unbelievers obviously haven’t read Genesis 7:2 where it says: “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens (pay no attention to this number, Noah doesn’t), the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female”; or Genesis 7:15 where it says:  “And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life”.

If people are going to try to say a story is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, they shouldn’t try to rewrite that story,  ignore parts of it, and make up ‘facts’ to fit their beliefs.  They should just believe the story or not.  Just my opinion.

On a personal note, I had a toy Noah’s ark when I was a kid and I could never get all of the two dozen or so animals to fit into it, but then again I wasn’t a 600 year old Bronze Age shipwright either.  When I told my father as a child that the animals wouldn’t fit, I got disciplined.  When I told him again as an adult, he ignored me.  My how times change.

Enough fun, back to Genocide.

496px-World_Destroyed_by_Water[1]So, after seven days the flood starts. (Gen 7:10) God didn’t forget about this, after all, killing every man, woman, child, and newborn infant on the planet, except for Noah and his crew, was important to him.

We are told again (in case we forgot while reading) that Noah was 600 when the flood started, and that it was the 17th of February (Gen 7:11) and, we are told that it rained continuously for the next 40 days. (Gen 7:12)

Genesis 7:13-17 tells us that Noah and his family as well as the animals went into the Ark and that it rained for the next 40 days.  Obviously the author forgot that he just told us that.  Senility is starting to run rampant.

In 7:18-20 things get a little confusing concerning how deep the water got.  First, in 7:19 it says that “…all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.”  Since we now know about Mt. Everest, we know that this means the water had to be at least 29,036 feet deep.  But then in 7:20 it says that the water was 15 cubits deep which comes to 22.5 feet.  But, maybe it meant 15 cubits a day, although it doesn’t say that, and it would still only be 900 feet.  Of course it could have meant an hour, though it doesn’t say this, which would get us to  21,600 which is closer.  Either way, contradiction aside, 22.5 feet or 29,036 ft of water over the whole planet is a lot of water.

481px-007.The_Great_Flood[1]In 7:21 we are told that everything died.  Babies and puppies included.

In 7:22 we are told that everything died.

In 7:23 we are told, you guessed it, that everything died.  But, this time we are reminded about the boat and its passengers, and it tells us that they lived.

Why we are told three times in three different ways that everything died is unclear.  What is certain is that it couldn’t have been due to the combining of three different stories from three different authors, and, that everything died.

Chapter seven ends with the author telling us (once) that the water stuck around for 150 days. (Gen 7:24)

So, there you have it;  God’s first Genocide, if you don’t count the de-creation after chapter one.

As we continue through the rest of the Bible you will come to understand that genocide is something that God is a big fan of.

See you next time, when we learn about how the flood ended, and that Noah is something of a drunk.  Then we learn about Noah’s bloodline to Abraham, and about the Tower of Babel.

Note:  I had intended to combine this chapter with chapter 8 into one post, but it was starting to get rather long and chapter 8 has a few things to point out, so I didn’t.  I will combine two or more chapters as it is prudent, so don’t worry, not every single chapter of every book will get its own post, and we will start gliding though the Bible at a quicker pace very soon. Thanks for Reading,  Ron

Genesis Chapters 5-6

Genesis Chapters 5-6

In this post:  I discuss the begat list in chapter five and how it helps put a date on things from here out, then we get started on the story of Noah’s flood.

Chapter 5

The entirety of this chapter is devoted to giving the family line from Adam to Noah.  For the most part it is unimportant in the scheme of things and serves only to connect Adam and Noah.  The only interesting character mentioned before Noah is Methuselah, who has the title of the oldest man in the Bible with his living 969 years before dying. (Gen 5:27)

The key part of this chapter is the meticulous and detailed timeline it gives us.  By taking the number of years a person lived before begating the son named, then adding the numbers of years that the son lived before his son was born, and so on, we get a dating system of sorts which I’ll call After Creation or AC.  For example:  5:3 says that  Adam was 130 yrs old when his son Seth was born.  Then, in 5:6, we learn that Seth was 105 when his son Enos was born.  So by adding 130 to 105 we can say that Enos was born 235 years after creation was finished, or 235 AC.  This dating system gets more detailed and starts to come in really handy in Chapters 7-8.

If we revisit some creationists claims that the ‘days’ of creation could have been eras or millennia, or whatever, we find that not only is this soundly refuted by Genesis 1:14, but by Genesis 5:3-5 when it uses the word years for how long Adam lived, which by the way was a total of 930.  Not bad for someone who was supposed to die the day he ate the forbidden fruit at least 800 years earlier (he lived 800 years after Seth was born.  Seth was born after Cain killed Abel.  Cain killed Abel after his parents had been evicted from Eden.  See how useful detailed begat-lists can be).

As I mentioned before, the only discernable reason for this chapter is introducing Noah.  With a little basic math and Gen 5:28-29 we learn that Noah was born 1056 AC.  Then we learn at the end of the chapter that Noah is five hundred years old and has three sons. So the date is 1556 AC.

Chapter 6

Artist's rendeition of a woman/angel hybrid

Artist’s rendeition of a woman/angel hybrid

In chapter 6:1-4 we learn a couple of things.  We learn that the angels thought human women were hot, so they quite often had babies with them, and that these babies grew to be giants among men also described as great and mighty men. (Gen 6:4)  I have heard time and time again that this angel and woman sex party was the reason God sent the flood, however there is absolutely no indication whatsoever that this is the case.  In fact we are told in the next few verses what his reasons were and horny angels and giants aren’t mentioned.  But first, lets not forget to look at Gen 6:3 where God decides that being bothered by all of these people who are living for hundreds of years is not worth the trouble, so he puts a limit on human lifespan of 120 years. (Jeanne Calmet of France defied this limit by living for 122 years and 164 days before dying in 1997, obviously there are French women who are more powerful than God)

Genesis 6:5-6 tells us God noticed that mankind had become utterly and completely evil, and that God regretted ever creating them and was sad about it.  And, who can blame him for being sad.  He created people twice and they still had design flaws, I would be upset with myself too.

So, God decides to rectify his mistake, by destroying not only people, but every other animal on the planet. (Gen 6:7)  Well, not every animal, because fish and other aqutic life are not mentioned on the to-destroy list, which is understandable, after all, who doesn’t like dolphins.

But then God spots Noah who is described as a good, God fearing man, with a good bloodline and three sons. (Gen 6:8-10)

God looks at the Earth again and sees that nothing has changed since the last time he looked. (Gen 6:11-12)  Measure twice cut once. You would think that an all-knowing god wouldn’t have to double-check himself, but there you have it.

After double-checking himself, God tells Noah that he plans to destroy everything (Gen 6:13) and then goes into great detail about the boat he wants Noah to build.

The Ark’s specifications:

The boat is to be made of gopher wood (squared or planed wood) and covered inside and out with pitch (plant resin used for water-proofing). (Gen 6:14)

It will be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. (Gen 6:15) A cubit is 18 inches, so the measurements come out to  450 ft long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. A large boat, but by comparison the Queen Elisabeth 2 is 1,132 feet long, 135 feet wide at the waterline, and 236 feet tall, and an American pro football field is 360 ft long and 160 feet wide.

The floating managerie will have one 18 inch square window on top (not much ventilation), a door in its side and will be divided into three decks. (Gen 6:16)

God then explains to Noah that he intends to cause a flood so great that “ every thing that is in the earth shall die.” (Gen 6:17)  This possibly means that he changed his mind about killing dolphins.

After shocking Noah with that news, God goes on to say that he will strike a deal with Noah wherein he and his family will be spared in return for building the big boat, and putting two of every living land animal, insect/invertebrate, and bird on the planet along with enough food to feed them all on his boat.  (Gen 6:18-21) God also tells Noah that the animals will come to him, which is a good thing since there’s no way that Noah could have gotten to Patagonia and back in time, much less Australia, or Antarctica.Noah's_Arc[1]

Noah agrees to God’s deal and gets started building his big boat in the desert. (Gen 6:22)  Actually, I can’t say for sure that Noah was in the desert, for all we know he lived in Madagascar, but since every other time the Bible talks about the World, it is centered on the Middle East, I’m assuming that this story takes place there as well.  It’s as though the authors are completely unaware that places like North and South America, Australia, Antarctica, or the Arctic even exist.

We are never told why God, who had the power to create, and then re-create everything didn’t just blink everybody on the planet except for the Noah clan out of existence thereby taking care of the whole evil babies problem, while leaving the animals and plants unharmed.  This seems to be a better plan than destrying every single plant and tree on the planet with a flood.  I guess it’s possible that God was a little sadistic and thought it might be fun to watch babies drown.  It’s, also entirely possible that God did it out of spite, we’ve seen him be spiteful before with the whole Garden of Eden eviction.  And, it’s possible that he did it because the Sumarian gods had done the exact same thing centuries before the Bible was written.  We know how prideful God can be, so letting some Sumarian god out-destroy him would be unthinkable.  Or, Maybe God just enjoys a good Russel Crowe movie, and was thinking ahead.  I guess we’ll never know.

On the Next episode of The Bible for Atheists:  God’s first genocide.  It should be fun, so stay tuned.