Genesis – Chapter 29: Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram

The story of Jacob continues.  In the last chapter, Jacob married his first cousin and vowed to build a house for God, but only if God led Jacob to safety.  This directly contradicts the entire book of Job in which God demanded full faith in Him by Job.  Although every bit of evidence pointed toward Job having full faith, God said no and punished Job horribly.  Did God punish Jacob for not having faith?  Nope.  God picks and chooses his favorites.  Let’s see what Chapter 29 brings us.

Jacob travels to Paddan Aram and meets Rachel, Laban’s daughter and Jacob’s first cousin.  Laban is the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s mother.

“When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep.  Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep.” – Genesis 29:10-11

That’s just odd.  Jacob kisses Rachel upon first meeting her and starts to weep?  Jacob needs mental help!  If Rachel was my daughter and I saw Jacob run up and kiss her upon first sight, I’d either kick his ass, call the cops, or do both!  The story gets even weirder.

“He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah.” – Genesis 29:12

As if the kissing upon sight wasn’t weird enough, Jacob follows it up by telling Rachel that he is her relative.  Because that doesn’t make it weirder!!!  What is Laban’s reaction?

“He (Laban) embraced him (Jacob) and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things.  Then Laban said to him, ‘You are my own flesh and blood.’” – Genesis 29:13-14

Yes, that’s the typical reaction of every father upon seeing his daughter kissed by a random dude that neither knows.  This sounds like the beginning of some back alley incest focused porn movie.  Jacob next agrees to work with Laban for seven years in exchange for Rachel’s hand in marriage.

“Laban said, ‘It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man.’” – Genesis 29:19

Rachel has no choice in the matter.  She’s going to marry Jacob because that’s what the men agreed to.  Misogyny at its finest.  If I had to define the Bible with one theme only, it would be misogyny.

“Then Jacob said to Laban, ‘Give me my wife.  My time is completed, and I want to lie with her.’” – Genesis 29:21

Translation:  I’ve got a raging boner and my hand isn’t cutting it anymore.  Wow!  GIVE ME MY WIFE!!!  Yep, an amazing story filled with love.  Note my deep sarcasm.

This story can’t get possibly weirder, right?  WRONG!

“But when evening came, he took his daughter to Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her.” – Genesis 29:23

Wait, what?  Jacob lays (has sex with) Leah and doesn’t know?!?!?!  How is that even possible?

“When morning came, there was Leah!  So Jacob said to Laban, ‘What is this you have done to me….why have you deceived me?’” – Genesis 29:25

Again, how did Jacob not realize Leah was in bed with him and not Rachel?  This makes no sense at all!

Jacob has to work another seven years for Laban, but in the end, he gets two wives!

“Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah.” – Genesis 29:30

Biblical love at its finest.  Since Jacob loves Rachel more, God punishes Rachel by making her barren.  Again, God punishes the wrong person.  Leah goes on to have four children by Jacob.  They are named Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.

That does it for Chapter 29.  Jacob chooses Rachel to be his wife, through no choice of Rachel’s.  Jacob is ‘tricked’ into sleeping with Leah, as if that is somehow possible.  Jacob loves Rachel more and as a result, God punishes…wait for it…RACHEL!  LOL!  I’ve never read a love story more romantic than this!

Coming Soon:  Genesis – Chapter 30:  Jacob’s Children

1 Corinthians 14:33-34

Today’s crazy Bible verse comes from the New Testament and is one all women (and all men who care about women’s rights) should read, especially Christian women.

“As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches.  They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33-34

It doesn’t get any clearer than that.  The Bible clearly states that women are not allowed to speak in church.  Too often the Christian apologist will argue against crazy Bible verses, stating that was Old Testament nonsense.  This ‘argument’ itself is nonsense as Christians believe Jesus is God and Jesus clearly states in Matthew 5:17 that he isn’t here to abolish the old law, he’s here to FULFILL the old Law

In this case, the common apologist’s argument can’t be used as the verse comes directly from the New Testament.  The Bible is NOT friendly to women.  It’s too bad more Christians don’t READ the Bible they worship, for they’d quickly see the utter nonsense it contains.  Read your Bible people!

Genesis – Chapter 28: Jacob Flees to Laban

In our last look in Genesis Rebekah and Jacob tricked a blind Isaac into blessing Jacob as his firstborn son, despite Jacob being the second born son.  God doesn’t seem to care about this lie and allows it to happen.  Everything beyond this point in the Bible is based on a known lie that God endorses.  Wow!  Christians really need to read their Bible!  Chapter 28 begins with Isaac speaking to Jacob.

“Do not marry a Canaanite woman.” – Genesis 28:1

So much for Jacob making his own decisions

“Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel.  Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother.” – Genesis 28:2

In other words, Jacob is told to marry one of his first cousins.  Again, the Bible condones incest.

“May He give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien.” – Genesis 28:4

This isn’t new, but God’s blessing, through Abraham, is to allow Jacob to steal away the land already occupied by others.  Others who have done NO wrong.  Esau hears of this and tries to please Isaac.

“…so he (Esau) went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.” – Genesis 28:9

More high quality family values in the Bible.  Esau marries a cousin, but already has wives.  It would be bad enough if Esau already had a wife, but he already has more than one wife!!!  All of those fundamentalist conservatives pushing family values should really read their Bible.  Jacob travels to Bethel and on the way has a dream where God speaks to him.

“All peoples on Earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” – Genesis 28:14

All peoples, as we’ll later learn, does not include the people Jacob murders to take the already occupied land God ‘gives’ Jacob.

“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’  He was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place!  This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.’” – Genesis 28:16-17

Hold on there just a second Jacob.  You had a dream.  That’s it.  It doesn’t matter how vivid the dream was, it was still just a dream.  Nothing more.  I once had a dream of tossing couch cushions over the roof of my house.  On the back side of the house was a pond of bright rainbow colored water.  The cushions landed in the water and were instantly painted rainbow colors.  It was quite vivid, however I didn’t go out proclaiming God wants me to paint all couch cushions in the world with rainbow colors.

“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.’” – Genesis 28:20-22

This is a very odd vow.  Jacob isn’t placing his full faith in God.  Jacob uses an if/then statement.  If God brings Jacob to safety, then Jacob will have faith in God.  That’s NOT the message the Bible sends in the book of Job.  Job clearly told us that you MUST have full faith in God before receiving a reward.  Now God is suddenly changing his mind?  Surprise, surprise.  A God that makes a command and then backtracks on it or changes it completely.  Does Jacob receive the wrath of God as Job did?  Is Jacob covered in sores?  Does Jacob see his entire family killed?  Nope.  Jacob sees none of this as a result of his lack of complete faith from the get go.

I “think” this is the first mention of giving God a tenth in the Bible.  I may be wrong, but I think it’s the first time it is mentioned.  Apparently an all-powerful, all-knowing God needs you to give Him back a tenth of all you own.  For what purpose?  Beats me.  What is God going to do with that money/land/animals/slaves/etc.?  If God is truly all-powerful, then He doesn’t need any of this.

That concludes Chapter 28.  Jacob marries his cousin, has a dream, and doesn’t have full faith in God.  Unlike Job, God doesn’t require Jacob to have full faith to get started.  This is the God of shifting goal posts, that’s for sure.

Coming Soon:  Genesis – Chapter 29:  Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram

Skeptic Magazine

I’ve previously offered my review of Free Inquiry and the Skeptical Inquirer publications.  Another publication I consider a must read is Skeptic.  It’s published quarterly and is loaded with a great number of well written articles on topics of interest to any true skeptic.  Each issue also contains a section called Skeptic Junior for younger readers, although still an excellent read for adults.  Skeptic has a subscription cost of $30/year, but you can decrease the overall cost by subscribing for 3 years at $70.  That’s a savings of $20 over 3 years.

I encourage you to check it out.  It’s a great publication!

Genesis – Chapter 27: Jacob Gets Isaac’s Blessing

In the last chapter we read in Genesis, we learned of Isaac’s encounter with Abimelech.  Isaac tried to pass off Rebekah as his sister (God doesn’t intervene) and eventually reaches an agreement with Abimelech.  This chapter brings back Jacob and Esau.  The story begins with an old and nearly blind Isaac calling for his oldest son, Esau.

“Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.” – Genesis 27:4

This does not please Rebekah.

“Rebekah said to her son Jacob, ‘Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau…Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.  Then take it to our father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.” – Genesis 27:6-10

This sounds like a healthy family.  Back-stabbing is a command of the Lord, right?

“Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your firstborn.” – Genesis 27:19

In case anyone thinks this is solely a deception by Rebekah, you are wrong.  Jacob freely takes part in this deception.  Jacob tells his father:

“’The Lord your God gave me success,’ he replied.” – Genesis 27:20

Jacob lies about the Lord.  Surely God will punish Jacob!  Isaac even questions Jacob asking if it is really Esau.  Jacob has a chance to end this lie, but doesn’t.  He continues to lie to Isaac.  Isaac can’t see and blesses Jacob, not realizing it is Jacob and not Esau as Isaac thought.  Esau enters and the game is up.

“Isaac trembled violently and said, ‘Who was it, then, that hunted the game and brought it to me?  I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!’” – Genesis 27:33

If the blessing was based on a lie, why can’t Isaac take the blessing back?  Surely the all-knowing God will not accept a blessing based on a lie.  Will He?

“But he (Isaac) said, ‘Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.’” – Genesis 27:35

It should be very disturbing to all Christians that God accepts blessings based on lies.  What kind of all-knowing God does that?  One who works in mysterious ways?  LOL!  Esau pleads his case to no avail.

“His father Isaac answered him, ‘Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above.  You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother.  But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.’” – Genesis 27:39-40

Wow!  Esau must suffer because of his brother’s lies.  That’s the God of the Bible for you.  An all-knowing God that does nothing about lying.

Esau pledges to kill Jacob, but Rebekah catches wind of this and warns Jacob.  She also says:

“Why should I lose both of you in one day?” – Genesis 27:45

Uh, Rebekah, YOU’RE the one who hatched this stupid plan that caused all of this!  This is YOUR fault!!!  And God’s for not intervening.

“Then Rebekah said to Isaac, ‘I’m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women.  If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of the land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.” – Genesis 27:46

That’s quite the case of xenophobia.  Again, Rebekah turns out to be a great family woman.  🙂

To sum up Chapter 27, we basically learn much of the Bible is based on a lie.  We’ll see that Jacob and his descendants have a great role to play in the Bible, but only because he and Rebekah trick Isaac into blessing him.  It’s all based a lie, and this all-powerful God allows it!!!  Jacob even lies about the Lord and God does NOTHING!!!

Coming Soon:  Genesis – Chapter 28:  Jacob Flees to Laban

Genesis – Chapter 26: Isaac and Abimelech

Genesis Chapter 25 brought us the death of Abraham at the ripe old age of 175.  It also brought us the birth of Esau ad Jacob.  Esau had a bad case of the hangries and Jacob took advantage, claiming Esau’s birthright, as if one could change the past.  Let’s see what Chapter 26 brings us.

The Lord speaks to Isaac saying:

“For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.  I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees, and my laws.” – Genesis 26:3-5

Abraham did not obey the command of God to die before the age of 120.  Abraham also lied more than once, claiming Sarah was his sister.  Did God command Abraham to lie?  If not, then Abraham did not obey all of God’s commands.

“When the men of that place asked him (Isaac) about his wife, he said, ‘She is my sister,’…” – Genesis 26:7

Like father like son.  Isaac also lies about his wife being his sister.  All under the watchful eye of God.  Does God step in or punish Isaac in any way for this lie?  As with Abraham, God remains silent.  Abimelech discovers the truth and says:

“What is this you have done to us?  One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” – Genesis 26:10

Isaac was very willing to allow others to sleep with Rebekah or have others take Rebekah as a wife.  God allows all of this.  Isaac gains great wealth and is asked to leave.  He does so.

“I am the God of your father Abraham.  Do not be afraid, for I am with you;…” – Genesis 26:24

God may be with Isaac, but He’s not with Rebekah.  God was willing to allow Rebekah to be taken by another man to protect Isaac.  Next Isaac and Abimelech agree to work together and offer each other no harm.

“When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite.  They were a great source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.” – Genesis 26:34-35

Yes, you read that right, Esau married two women at the same time.  This is not the first time we’ll see this.  There are many cases of God-blessed characters in the Bible with more than one wife and/or many concubines.

That concludes Genesis Chapter 26.  Like his father Abraham, Isaac gains great wealth.  He also, like his father, lies to Abimelech about his wife being his sister.  In Abraham’s case, that was part truth as Abraham and Sarah had a common parent.  That’s not the case with Isaac and Rebekah.

Coming Soon:  Genesis – Chapter 27:  Jacob Gets Isaac’s Blessing

1 Peter 2:18

Today’s crazy Bible verse moves away from the recent trend of the penis to slavery.  I previously discussed Exodus 21:20-21 where God condoned slavery.  Christians love to point out that the Old Testament is no longer valid because Jesus came to wash away our sins.  However, the New Testament still condones slavery.

“Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.” – 1 Peter 2:18

Having a horrible time as a slave?  Is your master working you to near death?  Is your master beating you?  Don’t worry, God says this is okay, so just keep doing what you’re doing and submit yourself to your master, no matter how evil he is to you.

On top of that, why does a loving God demand that His creations fear Him?  I’ve never understood this and will never understand it.  A loving God does NOT demand fear.  A good parent never requires his/her child to fear him/her.  God, again, demonstrates that He is the worst parent in the Universe.