Genesis 12 to 24

Gen 12

And the LORD said to Abram, Go out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house into a land that I will show you. And I will make you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.

And Abram departed, even as the LORD had spoken to him. And Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gained in Haran. And they went forth to go into the land of Canaan. And they came into the land of Canaan.

Ah, the introduction of Abram. Spoiler, he became Abraham. Interesting thing in the Bible is the changing of names when someone converts or accepts the LORD. Here, again, a ridiculous age. This is actually a very important paragraph, it is where the LORD blesses, what will become, the Jewish people. They move to Canaan.

And Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, unto the Oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared to Abram and said, I will give this land to your seed. And he built an altar there to the LORD who appeared to him. And he moved from there to a mountain on the east of Bethel. And he pitched his tent with Bethel toward the sea and Hai on the east. And he built an altar there to the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed, going on and pulled up stakes toward the south.

Abram wanders…and builds altars.

And there was a famine in the land. And Abram went down into Egypt to stay there, for the famine was grievous in the land. And it happened, when he had come near to enter into Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look upon. And it will be when the Egyptians see you, they shall say, This is his wife. And they will kill me, but they will save you alive. I pray you, say that you are my sister, so that it may be well with me for your sake. And my soul shall live because of you.

Where did all these Egyptians come from? Been only a few generations since the beginning of the world. Anyway, this is a lot less confusing than the rather odd scheme laid out here. Your beautiful wife is so beautiful the Egyptians will take her, and kill you. So, you are protecting your own ass by making her lie about being your sister. By this logic, you will have to hand over your wife, who is your ‘sister’ with the knowledge they will want to marry her and presumably consummate. Wow. Am I reading this wrong?

And it happened when Abram had come into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her before Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And he treated Abram well for her sake. And he had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, and male servants, and maidservants, and she-asses, and camels. And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she is your wife? Why did you say, She is my sister? And so I was about to take her to me as wife. Now therefore behold your wife. Take her and go. And Pharaoh commanded men concerning him. And they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

The Pharaoh (a nameless one, for some reason) seems like a really understanding guy is genuinely offended that this Abram would deceive him. The Pharaoh does not kill him, just sends him on his way, with all of his stuff. This Pharaoh really took the high ground here.

Gen 13

And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, (and Lot was with him) into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the south, even to Bethel, to the place where his tent had been from the beginning, between Bethel and Hai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at the first. And Abram called on the name of the LORD there.

Well, that that pointless. Back to where we began.

And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might live together. For their substance was great, so that they could not live together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite lived then in the land. And Abram said to Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray you, between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are men, brothers. Is not the whole land before you? I pray you, separate yourself from me. If you go to the left, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.

And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the circuit of Jordan, that it was all well watered (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah,) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you come to Zoar. And Lot chose all the circuit of Jordan for himself. And Lot journeyed east; and they separated themselves from one another. Abram lived in the land of Canaan, and Lot lived in the cities of the circuit and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD, exceedingly so.

Makes sense, the land can only support so many cattle/sheep/livestock, so let’s help each other by splitting. A little Sodom foreshadowing here.

And after Lot was separated from him, the LORD said to Abram, Lift up your eyes now and look from the place where you are northward and southward, and eastward and westward. For all the land which you see I will give to you, and to your seed forever. And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can count the dust of the earth, then shall your seed also be counted. Rise up and walk through the land, in the length of it and in the breadth of it, for I will give it to you. And Abram moved his tent and came and lived in the oaks of Mamre, which is in Hebron. And he built an altar to the LORD there.

The LORD gives Abram that land around Hebron and there will be a sit ton of descendants.

And it happened in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations, they made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. All these were joined together in the valley of Siddim, which is the Salt Sea. They served Chedorlaomer twelve years, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. And in the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him came and struck the giants in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their Mount Seir, as far as the oak of Paran, which is by the wilderness. And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and struck all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar. And the king of Sodom went out, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboim, and the king of Bela (which is Zoar). And they joined battle with them in the valley of Siddim; with Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal the king of nations, and Amraphel the king of Shinar, and Arioch the king of Ellasar, four kings with five. And the valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits. And the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their food, and went their way. And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who lived in Sodom, and all his goods, and went away.

War, war, war, fight, fight, fight. Repeat.

And there came one who had escaped. And he told Abram the Hebrew, for he lived in the plains of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner. And these had a covenant with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained servants, born in his own house (three hundred and eighteen) and pursued them to Dan. And he divided himself against them by night, he and his servants. And he struck them, and pursued them to Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

More battles. As a little anachronism, Dan was the not the name of the town at the time this passage was supposedly written. It was named Laysha or Laish. Probably due to later translations, minor quibble.

And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and of the kings with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s valley. And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought forth bread and wine. And he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of Heaven and earth. And blessed be the most high God, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Thankful to your God for your success in war. Some things never change.

And the king of Sodom said to Abram, Give me the people and take the goods for yourself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up my hand to the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of Heaven and earth, that I will take from all that is yours, not from a thread even to a shoestring, lest you say, I have made Abram rich. Nothing for me, only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Abram does not want to be associated with the king of Sodom, other than the food the man ate. The last sentence is a little awkward; does he want Aner, et al. take what they want?

Gen 15

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your exceeding great reward.

And Abram said, Lord God, what will You give me, since I am going childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, You have given no seed to me. And behold, one born in my house is my heir. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him saying, This one shall not be your heir. But he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir. And He brought him outside and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So shall your seed be. And he believed in the LORD. And He counted it to him for righteousness.

I would of thought loins would be a better choice than bowels in this context. His seed shall outnumber the stars. This is clearly evidence that this book was written by ancient people. I kind of doubt there will be 100 x 10^27 Jews out there, ever. This is doubly odd since the number of stars visible in the northern hemisphere is around 3,000. You can totally count how many stars are in the sky, over just a few nights. So I guess either way you take it, the number is wrong.

And He said to him, I am the LORD that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord God, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it? And He said to him, Take Me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took all these to himself, and divided them in the middle, and laid each piece against one another; but he did not divide the birds. And when the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

Ohhkayyy. Lets cut a bunch of 3 year old animals in half so I can have an heir?

And it happened as the sun was setting, and a deep sleep fell upon Abram. And, behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him! And He said to Abram, You must surely know that your seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs, and shall serve them. And they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance. And you shall go to your fathers in peace. You shall be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Abram has a nightmare and is told his seed shall be slaves for 400 years, but will multiply greatly, then 4 generations after their liberation, will return to where they came from.

And it happened, the sun went down, and it was dark and behold, a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp passed between those pieces. In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the giants, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Sounds like a volcano to me. Wow, that is a huge chunk of land. From Egypt to Iraq. Who are these giants? Why weren’t they destroyed in the great flood? Noah brought them on the ark? Did the LORD make new ones?

Gen 16

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, did not bear. And she had a female slave, an Egyptian, and her name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, Behold now, the LORD has kept me from bearing. I pray you, go in to my slave woman. It may be that I may be built by her. And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her slave woman, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife (after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan).

This is one accommodating wife. She can’t bear children, so you can bang my fine, young, Egyptian slave. By my reckoning, Abrams has to be at least 85 years old at this point. Another thing, the Bible is totally cool with slaves. Sex slaves.

And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said to Abram, My wrong be upon you. I have given my slave woman into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes. The LORD judge between me and you. But Abram said to Sarai, Behold, your slave woman is in your hand. Do to her as it pleases you. And Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.

Well, I guess Sarai was not that accepting. Abram totally banged Hagar, but Sarai didn’t think this all the way through. Very human of her, and people don’t change that much. Away from me, sex slave.

And the Angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And He said, Hagar, Sarai’s slave, where did you come from? and where will you go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the Angel of the LORD said to her, Return to your mistress and submit yourself under her hands.

Is this the first mention of an angel? I feel a lot of pity for this Hagar. She was a sex slave and was doing the best that she could. She tried to get away and the angel sent her back to her master.

And the Angel of the LORD said to her, I will multiply your seed exceedingly, so that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the Angel of the LORD said to her, Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son. And you shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has heard your affliction And he will be a wild man. His hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. And he shall live in the presence of all his brothers. And she called the name of the LORD who had spoken to her, You are a God of vision! For she said, Even here have I looked after Him that sees me? Therefore the well was called The Well of the Living One Seeing Me. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

Poetic, but hard to understand passage. So, Hagar will have a lot of children, but this child shall be a wild man? Poor Ishmael sounds pretty messed up and will require the care of his brothers.

And Hagar bore Abram a son. And Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bore, Ishmael. And Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

Got it right, he was 85 when he knocked up Hagar.

Gen 17

And when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, I am the Almighty God! Walk before Me and be perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face. And God talked with him, saying,

As for Me, behold! My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham. For I have made you a father of many nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, greatly so, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you.

99 year old Abraham nee Abram is promised, again, to have a great nation. Passages like this really point to the fact that the Bible is a lot of related, retold stories mashed together. Why promise this twice?

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your seed after you. And I will give the land to you in which you are a stranger, and to your seed after you, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. And I will be their God. And God said to Abraham, And you shall keep My covenant, you and your seed after you in their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you. Every male child among you shall be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. And it shall be a token of the covenant between Me and you. And a son of eight days shall be circumcised among you, every male child in your generations; he that is born in the house, or bought with silver of any stranger who is not of your seed. He that is born in your house, and he that is bought with your silver, must be circumcised. And my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised male child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.

Insert joke here. In order to have a covenant with God, you need to be circumcised. Does this mean women can not have a covenant with God, since they have no foreskin? What does God need with buckets of foreskin? What an odd commandment.

And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but her name shall be Sarah. And I will bless her, and give you a son also of her. Yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations, kings of people shall be from her. And Abraham fell upon his face and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born to him that is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said to God, Oh that Ishmael might live before You! And God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed. And you shall call his name Isaac. And I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But I will establish My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time in the next year. And He left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

Even Abraham had to laugh at the idea that a 100 man and a 90 year old woman could produce a child. By the way, totally impossible. So Issac shall be born and have lots of kids.

And Abraham took his son Ishmael, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his silver; every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskins in the same day, even as God said to him. And Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the same day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. And all the men of his house, that were born in the house, and bought with silver of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

Circumcisions for everyone, old man, kids, slaves, everyone. Again, Bible totally ok with slaves.

Gen 18

And the LORD appeared to him in the plains of Mamre, and he sat at the tent door in the heat of the day. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him. And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed toward the ground. And he said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, do not pass away, I pray, from Your servant. Let a little water, I pray, be brought, and wash Your feet, and rest under the tree. And I will bring a bite of bread, and will comfort your hearts. After that You shall pass on. For this is why You have come to Your servant. And they said, Do so, as you have said. And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal; knead it, and make cakes. And Abraham ran out to the herd and brought a calf, tender and good. And he gave it to a young man. And he hurried to dress it. And he took butter and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

Are these angels? If they are, why do they need food?

And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. And He said, I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and lo, Sarah your wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard in the tent door which was behind Him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, far gone in days, and it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After my being old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the LORD said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I, who am old, truly bear a child? Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return again, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh.

Repetitive. Down to the laughter. Instead of appearing in a dream, now we have three ‘men’ tell her the same thing.

And the men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. And Abraham was going with them to bring them on the way. And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham the thing which I do, And Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the persons of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his sons and his house after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment, that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him. And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which has come to Me. And if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces away from there, and went toward Sodom. But Abraham still stood before the LORD.

The LORD is clearly not omnipotent or omnipresent here. He is concerned about hurting Abraham’s feelings. Very human actions.

And Abraham drew near and said, Will You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Perhaps there are fifty righteous within the city. Will You also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are in it? Far be it from You to act in this manner, to kill the righteous with the wicked. And far be it from You, that the righteous should be as the wicked. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak to the LORD, who am but dust and ashes. Perhaps there will be five lacking from the fifty righteous. Will You destroy all the city for lack of five? And He said, If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it. And he spoke to Him yet again, and said, Perhaps there shall be forty found there. And He said, I will not do it for forty’s sake. And he said, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak. Perhaps there shall be thirty found there. And He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there. And he said, Lo now, I have taken upon me to speak to the LORD. Perhaps there shall be twenty found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. And he said, Oh do not let the LORD be angry, and I will speak only once more. Perhaps ten shall be found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. And the LORD went His way as soon as He had left off talking with Abraham. And Abraham returned to his place.

Strangest passage so far. Reads a lot like haggling between a rather humble man and the LORD. Can I hear fifty, fifty, fifty? Forty five, I hear forty five..etc all the way down to ten. Good for you Abraham. Debating the LORD God.

Gen 19

And there came two angels to Sodom at evening. And Lot sat in the gate of Sodom. And Lot rose up to meet them when he saw them. And he bowed himself with his face toward the ground, and said, Behold now, my lords, please turn into your servant’s house and stay all night, and wash your feet, and you shall rise up early and go your way. And they said, No, but we will stay in the street. But he urgently pressed on them, and they turned in to him and entered into his house. And he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Are these two new angels? Or just two out of the three ‘men’ who met with Abraham? Lot is persistent, to say the least. Angels do need to eat.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both old and young, all the people from every quarter. And they called to Lot, and said to him, Where are the men which came in to you this night? Bring them out to us, that we may know them. And Lot went out to the door to them, and shut the door after him. And he said, I pray you, brothers, do not act evilly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man. I pray you, let me bring them out to you, and you do to them as you see fit. But do nothing to these men, for this is why they came under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back! And they said, This one came in to stay, and must he judge always? Now we will deal worse with you than with them. And they pressed hard upon the man, Lot, and came near to breaking the door. But the men put out their hands and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

So much what the fuck? going on here. First, all of the men, young and old want to rape the angels? Then, to top that what the fuck? we have Lot offering up his virgin daughters to be raped…by the whole town. LORD God, just destroy everyone. The sodomites and the man offering his virgin daughters. Really a window into the values at the time. Women are nothing more than chattel and baby makers.

And the men said to Lot, Have you anyone here besides yourself? Bring your sons-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whatever you have in the city, bring them out of this place. For we will destroy this place because great is the cry of them before the face of the LORD. And the LORD has sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out and spoke with his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said, Get up and get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked to his sons-in-law.

The son in laws to be did not believe Lot. Dead.

And when the dawn rose up, then the angels hurried Lot, saying, Rise up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And he lingered, the angel laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters (the LORD being merciful to him), and they brought him forth and set him outside the city. And it happened when they brought him outside, He said, Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, nor stay in all the plain. Escape to the mountain lest you be consumed. And Lot said to them, Oh no, Lord, behold now, Your servant has found grace in Your sight, and You have magnified Your mercy, which You have shown to me in saving my life. And I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me and I die. Behold now, this city is near to flee to, and it is a little one. Oh let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. And He said to him, See, I have accepted you concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. Hurry and escape there! For I cannot do anything till you have come there. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun had risen upon the earth, and Lot entered into Zoar.

Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire, from the LORD out of the heavens. And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Run you son’s of bitches, RUN! The brimstone sounds a lot like a pyroplastic flow from a volcano.

But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Pillar of salt for looking back. Poor woman. Strange question, how did anyone know how the cities were destroyed since looking back equals death by salt pillar?

And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD. And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the lands of the plain, and saw, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And when God destroyed the cities of the plain, it happened that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.

And Lot went up out of Zoar, and lived in the mountain, and his two daughters with him. For he feared to live in Zoar, and he and his two daughters lived in a cave. And the first-born said to the younger, Our father is old, and there is no man in the earth to come in to us in the way of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, so that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night. And the first-born went in, and lay with her father. And he did not notice when she lay down nor when she arose. And it happened on the next day, the first-born said to the younger, Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine this night also, and you go in and lie down with him so that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him. And he did not notice when she lay down nor when she arose. So both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. And the first-born bore a son, and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. And the younger also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.

And this is one of the passages in the Bible that will never be read in Sunday school. Lot lives in a cave with his daughters of child bearing age. They come up with a plan to get him drunk, ride him while he sleeps, so they can get pregnant and have incestuous children with their own father. And they succeeded. And the Bible is okay with incestuous, drunken rape. Think about that. This passage is written in really plain language, and there really is no ambiguity here. How is this a solid moral code for modern people?

Gen 20

And Abraham moved from there toward the south country, and lived between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister. And Abimelech the king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

This, again? At this point, she at leat 90 years old, or maybe not. The timing here is suspect. I think she was rejuvenated, but why this EXACT SAME STORY? It didn’t work last time, why would it work this time? Again, more evidence that this was a collection of stories.

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, you are about to die, for the woman whom you have taken; for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her. And he said, Lord, will You also kill a righteous nation? Did he not say to me, She is my sister? And she, even she herself said, He is my brother. In the sincerity of my heart and innocency of my hands I have done this. And God said to him in a dream, Yes, I know that you did this in the sincerity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me. Therefore I did not allow you to touch her. Now therefore, restore his wife to the man. For he is a prophet, and he shall pray for you, and you shall live. And if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you, and all that are yours.

And Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears. And the men were greatly afraid. Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, What have you done to us? In what have I offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done. And Abimelech said to Abraham, What did you see that you have done this thing? And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place, and they will kill me for my wife’s sake. And yet truly she is my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother. And she became my wife. And it happened when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, This is your kindness which you show to me, at every place where we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and men-servants and women-servants, and gave them to Abraham. And he restored him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before you. Live where it pleases you. And to Sarah he said, Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. Behold, he is to you a covering of the eyes, to all that are with you, and with all this, you are justified. And Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his slave women, and they gave birth. For the Lord had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Same, exact story from a few chapters ago. Just replace Pharaoh with Abimelech and it is an almost word for word copy. Except for one thing, Sarah really IS his half sister. So, eww, you married your half sister. I like how Abimelech said ‘take all this shit and get the fuck out of here, freaks.’

So, so much incest in the Bible.

Gen 21

And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said. And the LORD did to Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born to him (whom Sarah bore to him) Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, God has made me laugh, so that all who hear will laugh with me. And she said, Who could have said to Abraham, will Sarah suckle children? For I have borne a son to him in his old age. And the child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast the day that Isaac was weaned.

Rerun.

And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian (whom she had borne to Abraham) mocking. And she said to Abraham, Cast out this slave woman and her son. For the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son, with Isaac. And the thing was very evil in Abraham’s sight, because of his son. And God said to Abraham, Let it not be grievous in your sight because of the boy and because of your slave woman. In all that Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice. For in Isaac your Seed shall be called. And also, I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman, because he is your seed.

Didn’t this already happen with slightly different wording? I sure hope the Bible gets better. Already sick of the repetition of the same stories, but I have a bad feeling this will be a theme…

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder. And he gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. And the water was gone in the bottle, and she cast the boy under one of the shrubs. And she went and sat down across from him, a good way off, about a bowshot. For she said, Let me not see the death of the boy. And she sat across from him, and lifted up her voice, and cried. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar out of the heavens, and said to her, What ails you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Rise up, lift up the boy and hold him up with your hand, for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the bottle with water, and gave drink to the boy. And God was with the boy, and he grew, and lived in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.

Glad Hagar and Ishmael were taken care of. She did no wrong. I do like this version of their story better than the last version. Much more poetic.

At this point, I want to make an aside. From what I can tell, there at least three different, maybe four different styles of writing. One style is written in a passive voice, with very little poetic language. Almost all of these passages are retold using a much more poetic voice, like the passage above. Another obvious example is the two different versions of creation. The first is written in a passive voice, the second is written in the active voice, with beautiful imagery. The third voice is the boring listing of genealogy. The last voice uses angels, as opposed to the LORD God.

And it happened at that time, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, God is with you in all that you do. Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son. Do to me according to the kindness that I have sworn to you, and to the land in which you have lived. And Abraham said, I will swear. And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. And Abimelech said, I do not know who has done this thing, neither did you tell me, neither have I even heard of it, except today. And Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and both of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said to Abraham, What are these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves? And he said, For you shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, so that they may be a witness to me that I have dug this well. This is why he called that place Beer-sheba, because they swore, both of them, there. So they made a covenant at Beer-sheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, rose up. And they returned to the land of the Philistines.

Sounds like some primitive peace accord.

And Abraham planted a tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. And Abraham lived in the Philistines’ land many days.

I can sleep at night knowing this.

Gen 22

And it happened after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Behold me. And He said, Take now your son, your only one, Isaac, whom you love. And go into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will name to you.

God wants you to sacrifice your only son as a burnt offering!?!

And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. And he split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, You stay here with the ass. And I and the boy will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took the fire in his hand, and a knife. And they both went together. And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, My father. And he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering. So they both went together. And they came to the place which God had told him of. And Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. And he bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

And the Angel of Jehovah called to him from the heavens and said, Abraham! Abraham! And he said, Here am I. And He said, Do not lay your hand on the lad, nor do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only one, from Me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked. And, behold, a ram behind him was entangled in a thicket by its horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Will See; so that it is said until this day, In the mount of Jehovah it will be seen.

This is one of the more disturbing sections of the Bible and the the first reference to Jehovah, or an angel of Jehovah. So you make your only son carry the wood…to burn himself on as a blood offering to God. With this passage I will leave it up to you what the meaning is. I just can’t believe a loving God would want to do this to any loving parent.

And the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of the heavens the second time, and said, I have sworn by Myself, says the LORD; because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only one; that in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore. And your Seed shall possess the gate of His enemies. And in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice. Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba. And Abraham lived at Beer-sheba.

I how many times can we promise the same thing? This is at least the third time. Foreskins one time, his only son the third? time.

And it happened after these things that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold Milcah! She also has borne children to your brother Nahor: Huz his first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram, and Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. And Bethuel fathered Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. And his concubine, named Reumah, she also bore Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.

ZZZ

Gen 23

And Sarah was a hundred twenty seven years old, the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. And Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

Still violating the 120 year limit. It was nice knowing you Sarah.

And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, I am a stranger and a visitor with you. Give me a possession of a burying place with you, so that I may bury my dead out of my sight. And the sons of Heth answered Abraham saying to him, Hear us, my lord. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choice of our burying places. None of us shall withhold from you his burying-place from burying your dead. And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. And he spoke with them, saying, If it is your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and ask for me of Ephron the son of Zohar, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he has, which is in the end of his field. For as much silver as it is worth he shall give it to me for a possession of a burying-place among you. And Ephron lived among the sons of Heth. And Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the ears of the sons of Heth, of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying, No, my lord, hear me. I give you the field, and the cave that is in it I give to you. In the presence of the sons of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead. And Abraham bowed before the people of the land. And he spoke to Ephron in the ears of the people of the land, saying, Only if you would hear me. I will give you silver for the field. Take it from me, and I will bury my dead there. And Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, My lord, listen to me. The land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that between me and you? And bury your dead.

So many words spent on the burying place of one woman. Not that she does not deserve it, but more words were spent on this than the creation of all the sun, stars, moon, and man. Odd.

And Abraham listened to Ephron. And Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, which passes with the merchant. And the field of Ephron was certified, which was Machpelah, which was before Mamre; the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees in the field, in all the borders round about, to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave at the field of Machpelah before Mamre, which is Hebron, in the land of Canaan. And the field, and the cave that is in it, were certified to Abraham for a possession of a burying place by the sons of Heth.

We are still on this topic of how much a burial place costs? Move on.

Gen 24

And Abraham was old, going on in age. And the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, I pray you, put your hand under my thigh. And I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of Heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell. But you shall go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife to my son Isaac. And the servant said to him, Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I necessarily bring your son again to the land from which you came? And Abraham said to him, Take care that you do not bring my son there again. The LORD, the God of Heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, To your seed I will give this land: He shall send His Angel before you. And you shall take a wife to my son from there. And if the woman will not be willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this oath of mine. Only do not bring my son there again. And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning the matter.

Back to the passive voice author. Go find me a nice Jewish wife, just don’t bring Isaac there…three times. One other thing, put your hand under your thigh to swear an oath?

And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed. For all the goods of his master were in his hand. And he arose, and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, the time that women go out to draw. And he said, O LORD, God of my master Abraham, I pray You, send me good speed this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, I stand by the well of water. And the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water. And let it be that the young woman to whom I shall say, Let down your pitcher, please, so that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give your camels drink also. Let her be the one that You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by it I shall know that You have shown kindness to my master. And before he had finished speaking, it happened, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the young woman was very beautiful to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her. And she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Please let me drink a little water of your pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord. And she hurried and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave a drink to him. And when she had finished giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking. And she hurried, and emptied her pitcher in the trough, and ran again to the well to draw water. And she drew for all his camels. And the man was watching her, keeping silent, in order to know whether the LORD had prospered his journey or not. And it happened, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hand, weighing ten shekels of gold. And he said, Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to stay? And she said to him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor. And she said to him, We have both straw and fodder enough, and room to lodge in. And the man bowed down his head, and worshiped the Lord. And he said, Blessed be the LORD, God of my master Abraham, who has not left my master destitute of His mercy and His truth. The LORD led me, I being in the way to the house of my master’s brothers. And the young woman ran and told her mother’s house these things.

Sounds like the well is some of sort of bronze age singles bar. Why the redundancy, she a virgin and has not known a man? Is this some sort of not even gotten to first base analogy?

And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. And Laban ran out to the man, to the well. And it happened when he saw the earrings and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, So spoke the man to me, he came to the man. And behold, he stood by the camels at the well. And he said, Come in, blessed of the LORD. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. And the man came into the house. And he unloaded his camels, and gave straw and fodder to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men that were with him. And food was set before him to eat. But he said, I will not eat until I have told my errand. And he said, Speak on. And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the LORD has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great. And He has given him flocks and herds and silver and gold, and male slaves and slave women, and camels and asses. And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old. And he has given to him all that he has. And my master made me swear, saying, You shall not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live. But you shall go to my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife to my son. And I said to my master, Perhaps the woman will not follow me. And he said to me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his Angel with you, and prosper your way. And you shall take a wife for my son from my kindred, and from my father’s house. Then shall you be clear from my oath when you come to my kindred, and if they do not give you one, you shall be clear from my oath. And I came this day to the well, and said, O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if now You prosper my way in which I go, behold, I stand by the well of water. And it shall be when the virgin comes forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, please, a little water from your pitcher to drink, and she say to me, Both you drink, and I will also draw for your camels, may she be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master’s son. And before I finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. And she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, Please let me drink. And she hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give drink to your camels also. So I drank, and she made the camels drink also. And I asked her and said, Whose daughter are you? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him. And I put the earring upon her nose and the bracelets upon her hands. And I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter to his son. And now if you will deal kindly and truthfully with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me so that I may turn to the right hand or to the left. And Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing has come forth from the LORD. We cannot speak to you bad or good. Behold! Rebekah is before you; take her and go. And let her be the wife of your master’s son, even as the LORD has spoken. And it happened, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth to the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.

Probably the most tedious passage so far. All rehash except for the end where they send off Rebekah.

And they ate and drank, he and the men with him, and stayed all night. And they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away to my master. And her brother and her mother said, Let the young woman stay with us perhaps ten days. After that she shall go. And he said to them, Do not hinder me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away, that I may go away to my master. And they said, We will call the young woman and inquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men. And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her, Our sister, be the mother of thousands of millions, and let your seed possess the gate of those who hate them. And Rebekah rose up, and her young women, and they rode upon the camels and followed the man. And the servant took Rebekah and went his way.

Wow, billions of Jews…thousands of millions. And off she rode, on a camel. Another aside, camels are an anachronism if this story was written in 2,000 BCE. It would make perfect sense to people who wrote this story down 1,000 years later, but at this time, there would be no camel. It would be akin to someone saying the knights of the crusades drove there in a Dodge Caravan. More evidence this was not the inspired word of God.

And Isaac came from the way of the well, The Well of the Living One, my Beholder. For he lived in the south country. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the beginning of the evening. And he lifted up his eyes, and looked. And behold, camels coming! And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and she saw Isaac. And she dismounted from the camel. For she said to the servant, What man is this that walks in the field to meet us? And the servant said, It is my master. Therefore she took a veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. And he loved her. And Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Good old grief sex. It always makes me smile to think how little humans have changed in the last 50,000 years. I sure hope Isaac didn’t get to know her on his mother’s death bed…ew.