Genesis

Saying that you’re reading The Bible has such a charged effect; you look like a kook. And yet it’s one of the classics, one of the oldest tomes, the book of books. I ordered a copy of the authorized King James Version years ago so it would feel less bible-y while reading, once I got around to it. What a perfect pandemic read! We’ve got nothing compared to the fire and brimstone of these old stories. Step right up and get circumcised, one and all!

I don’t think I’ll document every book of the bible but I felt compelled to get some thoughts on Genesis down because it’s a humdinger. Twenty pages in and you’ve already got murder, incest, drunkenness. Now that I’ve finished it, I have to wonder if anyone has ever made Bible-themed porn? Unexpected to find so much sex and violence.

Considering making t-shirts with Genesis 1:29 printed on them to promote veganism: “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

1:27 – God creates men and women at the same time (later in 2:22 god steals that famous rib, but I prefer the earlier verse)

Adam and Eve have their sons, then all of a sudden Cain’s got a wife– hmm, who that could be? Yes, his sister. Unnamed, of course.

In chapter 5 we’ve got all sorts of nonsense. Adam lives to be 930 years old? Seth 912 years? Enos 905? I guess we’re getting shorter and shorter lifespans but then Noah gets 950 years.

After the flood, there’s some weirdness with Drunk Noah lying naked in his tent. Ham sees him naked (some scholars say this mean he buggers him!) and his brothers cover him up, when hungover Noah wakes up he gets pissed off at Ham’s son Canaan. Why?!

Things get even weirder with Abram/Abraham (both he and Sarai/Sarah get renamed in Chapter 17?!). When traveling, A pretends that S is his sister (12:13) to save his own life and to give her to the Pharaoh as a wife. Boop!– here comes a plague and the Pharaoh finds out S is A’s wife already. This must have been a common ruse because it happens again in chapter 20 (20:2); Abraham says Sarah’s his sister and so the king took Sarah. Best part: the grand reveal in 20:12 – yep, she is my sister but she’s ALSO my wife!

Let’s see, what other goodies are there. First recorded mention of menopause? (18:11) First recorded mention of women lying? (18:15) The decree of circumcision and the fact that everybody got circumcised that day– Abraham was 99 years old, Ishmael was 13, and all of the men in the house no matter what age they were (moving forward, it was boys at age 8 days).

My two favorite names so far are brothers Huz and Buz (22:21).

Oh, the Sodom section is completely nuts. A couple of angels float into town, Lot gives them hospitality, the townspeople crowd around the house demanding to bugger the angels, Lot says “Nah, mate, but I have two virgin daughters, take them?” Later, when the town’s destroyed, Lot and those two virgins are hanging out in a cave and the virgins decide to get their dad drunk and fuck him to “preserve his seed.”

More craziness with Abraham—when he goes to sacrifice Isaac and the poor kid’s like, “where’s the lamb, dad?” You’re the lamb, kiddo. He binds him up and reaches for the knife! Tell me Isaac isn’t mentally scarred for life from this.

Before Abraham dies, he does one last crazy thing, where he has his servant “put his hand under the thigh of Abraham” to swear something; Bible notes say this is a solemn oath, “Probably it is an euphemistic manner of describing the circumcised member, which was to be touched by the hand placed beneath the thigh; and thus the oath was really by the holy covenant between Abraham and God, of which circumcision was the symbol.” !!!

More pseudo sister shenanigans with Isaac this time who pretends Rebekah is his sister and not his wife.

Jacob has a dream about a ladder, which I guess is the origin of Jacob’s ladder, something I only know of as a cat’s cradle string figure we used to make as kids. Rachel pimps out Jacob to her sister for some mandrakes.

How convenient that giving a tenth of your income to the church is written here (29:22).

Revenge for raping their sister Dinah? Jacob’s sons tricked the townsmen into circumcising themselves because they wouldn’t agree to live in their town unless everyone was circumcised. Why would the men agree?! Anyway, on day 3 after the act, “when they were sore,” Jacob’s sons killed all the dudes in town.

Another inexplicable name change– Jacob becomes Israel.

Ah yes, Joseph and the technicolor coat who’s sold to the Egyptians and is skilled at interpreting dreams, gets in with the Pharaoh, predicts the famine and prepares for it by storing grain, saves his family from starvation when they come creeping up.

Chapter 49 gives us the 12 tribes of Israel, e.g. the 12 sons of Jacob, when on his deathbed he gives his opinion of (disses) them all. Reuben, you no good lout, “unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.” Judah’s eyes “shall be red with wine”, Dan “shall be a serpent”,  Asher “shall yield royal dainties”, etc.