Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mistakes of Moses Expanded Universe: Genesis 19

In this installment we detour away from the Abraham narratives and examine the cities of the plain and Lot. We get to wonder why in the world Lot is ever called righteous, how he's able to run faster than a Jedi, and where his daughters managed to find wine and Viagra but no men to have sex with other than their father.

Genesis 19:1-14
So Yahweh’s two angel buddies go to Sodom. Lot greets them and insists that the two stay with him. Like Abraham, he prepares food for them and offers to have their feet washed. At bedtime all the men of the city gather around his house and demand he put out his angel guests so they can rape them. Why? What’s all the fuss about? Is it because the men of Sodom had identified them as angels and wanted to go after their “strange flesh” (Jude 7)? Were they just so wickedly gay that they had to gangbang every traveler who came to town? Did Lot receive this kind of treatment when he first came to town? Honestly, it’s anybody’s guess.

Like any good host, Lot offers to turn over his virgin daughters to the mob so the mob can gangbang them instead saying, “Just don’t do anything to these men because they are under the shadow of my roof.” Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Righteous Lot™ (2Peter 2:7-8). I have to ask: do one’s daughters not deserve the same level of protection from their own father under the shadow of his roof as visiting strangers? According to the Bible’s view of women, no. It’s not the same. That conclusion is not reached by merely looking at this passage either.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mistakes of Moses Expanded Universe: Genesis 17 & 18

In this installment: Abe is asked to put some skin in the game, everyone gets a laugh about having kids when you're old, Yahweh has to talk himself into telling the patriarch about his plans for Sodom and Abe teaches the deity about fairness, justice and mercy and schools him in negotiation.

Genesis 17:1
In this verse God appears to Abram and identifies himself as El Shaddai. Early translations from the Hebrew like the Greek Septuagint rendered this something like “God Almighty” because a similar word shadad means to overpower or destroy and this seems to fit when the name is employed in Numbers, Job and Ezekiel without the El element.

However, when it’s used in Genesis with El it’s almost always in the context of reproductive fertility (see 28:3, 35:11 & 49:25). Interestingly the Hebrew word shad means “breast” and the ending ai means “my own.” It’s very possible that Shaddai started out as a large-breasted Semitic fertility goddess whose “fruitfulness” attributes were eventually subsumed into Yahweh’s attributes, minus the accentuated breasts, of course.