The book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible.It is the first book of the Old Testament and the first book of the Hebrew Torah. Besides the story of the creation, Adam & Eve, Noah and the Ark, The tower of Babel (pretty much in that order) there is a story that many believe to exemplify how god tests humans by throwing trials and hardships their way and then blessing them if they pass the test.Like we don’t have enough tests in school and life to need a supreme being throwing in a pop quiz like this one…
Abram is a prophet or a guy that talks to God. Fortunately for Abram he lived a long ass time ago because these days he would be locked up with the likes of Charles Manson, Warren Jeffs, Jim Jones and a multitude of others that are or have been isolated from the bulk of society for carrying out “gods will” in somewhat troubling ways.
In Genesis chapter 12:2-3 God makes a promise to Abram that he will be the father of a great nation. Now this is perplexing to Abram who is not exactly a spring chicken and does not have any children of his own (Gen 15:2-3).But, being a prophet and all, Abram figures god has some insight that may just give him some credibility, so he trusts in this promise.
Now Abram came about a sizeable amount of worldly possessions for his time during his travels. The good book says his wife Sarai was fairly easy on the eyes and Egyptians of the time had this nasty habit of killing people for their wives. Abram, not wanting to die, tells Sarai to lie to the Egyptians and say she is his sister. (Apparently, the whole thou shalt not bear false witness does not apply to a prophet or his wife.) The pharaoh sees her, has a thing for her, Abram not willing to piss of the Pharaoh, settles up financially for the going rate for a sister, and she moves in with Pharaoh to his kingly love nest as his wife.
And he dealt well with Abram for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses, and men-servants, and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels.
God, for screwing Abrams wife in turn plagues poor unsuspecting Pharaoh “exceedingly”. In time, Pharaoh figures out she was married to Abram in the first place and freaks out saying “why the hell didn’t you tell me she was your wife?” It seems even the Pharaoh was in disbelief of Abrams cowardice or avarice – it is unclear which or if a combination of both. Pharaoh pretty much divorces Sarai and sends them both on their way a whole lot richer while he recovers from the almighty smiter’s smite. (Gen 12:11-20)
So, Abram and Sarai obviously work through the whole sleeping with the Pharaoh episode and move on.Supposedly, Moses wrote the book of Genesis and one can only assume he did after the whole burning bush fiasco, the 10 commandments and all, but it seems god hadn’t come up with the “thou shalt not commit adultery” thing yet.
Now, Sarai has some major fertility issues, which is a good thing for Pharaoh since the last thing he needs to worry about is child support, visitation and inheritance issues after being “smitten” by god for doing her in the first place. Nobody addresses the reason god saw fit to smite Pharaoh when he was just doing what Pharaohs do. Hell, he was downright fair about it; he gave Abram the going rate for what he thought was a sister and went into the deal in good faith. It seems a just god would smite the hell out of Abram for being such a chicken-shit whiney-ass little excuse of a man, but as we will see, it appears this god has a thing for men like that.Anyway, Sarai’s infertility really put a wrench in the gears of god’s promise to Abram that he will have descendents “like the dust of the earth” not to mention the fact that she is 90 years old. (Gen 13:16).Sarai figures what the hell, Abram was pretty cool with the whole Pharaoh thing, so she says to him that he should hook up with Hagar, Sarai’s handmaiden (that was politically correct jargon of the time for slave) so she could be a surrogate mother so to speak and Abram could have some kids.
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, Jehovah hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
And Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.
Now that is any guy’s dream – I don’t care who you are.Your wife says here, have my handmaiden as a wife so we can have some kids.Prophet or not, you know Abram was dancing a jig in his head but to Maurice Ravel’s Bolero in Hebrew music –whatever the hell that would be, but you get the gist.
Being the god-fearing man he was, enhanced by the fact that Hagar was not exactly ugly, Abram slips the maid the old prophetic kosher sausage and knocks her up. Hagar gets cocky with Sarai because she got pregnant when Sarai could not. Sarai goes to Abram and says “hey, I give you my hand maiden, you knock her up and now she is all cocky with me – what the hell?”And Abram true to his cowardly form (remember the Pharaoh incident.) does a “hey she’s just a slave do what you want with the bitch” thing. Gallant guy our Abram.
But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her that which is good in thine eyes. And Sarai dealt hardly with her, and she fled from her face.
So while Hagar is looking down her nose at her boss/owner/sister wife, Sarai pulls rank and runs Hagar out of town in a very mean way.
Hagar is on her way out of Dodge when this angel of god shows up and says whoa there, you need to get back and submit to Sarai and chill out because you are pregnant with the boss man’s kid. To make a long story short, Hagar squeezes out Ishmael, Abrams first son when Abram is and six years old. (Apparently, they could only count to “score” back then.) (Gen 16:1-16)
So, god tells Abram that while Ishmael may actually have this birthright thing going for him being the first-born and all, he is after all his somewhat illegitimate love child so he isn’t going to be part of this upcoming “covenant”.God goes on to tell Abram that because he is such a stud and will father this huge nation, he is now going to be called Abraham and he is going to have a kid with his wife Sarai who will now be called Sarah from here out. Apparently, if your name is not just right, you can’t get pregnant. So, while they get used to calling each other new names, god informs them that they will have a kid and his name will be Isaac.
For a prophet, old Abram a.k.a. Abraham must not have talked to god a whole hell of a lot or he would have known that god’s plan was for Isaac to be the child of the covenant. Then he would not have had to “take Hagar to his bosom” and could have spared Ishmael a lot of childhood trauma associated with being a bastard and all. But, history does indicate that every prophet has had his human side and there is a rash of short sightedness among prophets when it comes to getting some nooky on the side.
Anyway, back to the story –
Bible god gives Sarah some divine fertility treatment, and she at the age of 90 and Abraham at the age of 100 have a bouncy baby boy named Isaac. (Gen 21:1-5)
Now, god also tells Abraham that a sign of this covenant between him and god will be … well here is what he had to say:
Gen And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt me and you.12. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any foreigner that is not of thy seed.
Now if we are to extrapolate the nature of god from his holy text … - Holy shit!
I mean what was he thinking?Obviously, this god never found himself in a hurry while taking a leak and got his dick caught in his zipper, or there is no way a “loving father” would ask anyone to do what he did in that verse.
In a day, long before local anesthetics, he wants every guy and every kid at the age of 8 days old to have their foreskin lopped off as a token? A TOKEN?! That my friends, is a blood sacrifice not a token, and a less than loving request at best. So what exactly does one do with a foreskin token anyway? Dry it out, put it on a string and wear it as a necklace like a catholic with a cross? A cross – now that is a token. The skin off your dick without anesthesia – that is just barbaric.
And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
But as we see in verse 14, he takes it a step further and elaborates on the importance of this wrinkled token ring, saying that any chicken-shit among you that isn’t willing to put his dick in a cigar trimmer or whatever rusty-ass contraption they used back then to tokenize one’s unit, would be basically cast out.Lovely!
But it seems the covenant pinking of the Johnson took root in Judeo-Christian culture, because Jewish or not, most of us guys had it done –but for medical reasons, in a sterile setting and we were anesthetized for Christ sake!
Now lets look back at that last disturbing sentence god uttered to Abraham in chapter 17 verse 11 as well as the many references to “man-servants, she-servants” and any human being “bought with money of any foreigner that is not of thy seed”.
Clearly, god at least at this point in the evolution of his “word and will” is OK with slavery and the buying and selling of human beings as servants.Personally, I cannot come to terms with that being OK in any way shape, or form because I believe we are all God’s creatures and equal in importance and status before his whateverness regardless of color, religion, lifestyle, or any other factor imaginable. In fact, I personally denounce any attempt to subjugate anyone or even any thing – animals included.
But, I have to say, based on the holy word of god as contained in his Holy Bible, anyone of African-American descent that happens to subscribe of his or her own free will and choice to the Judeo-Christian faith of any denomination whatsoever that believes in the Bible as the word of god … shut the hell up about slavery already! Get over it! You endorse it by worshiping the main enabler, the man himself, the master of masters, the holy slave trader, the divine inquisitor of those dark of skin.Hey, like I say, I don’t believe it, but if you do – get over it, shut up and be glad god flip- flops his biblical policy more than a self serving politician in an election year.
Anyway, back to the story…
Abrahams being a prophet isn’t quite good enough for god, and while god is all-knowing and all-powerful, omni this and omni that, he apparently has a slight glitch that doesn’t allow him to assess character through omniscience. So, one day while they are chatting as prophets and god do, god tells Abraham (Gen 22)
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah. And offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Prophet or not, any sane person is going to respond with “I’m sorry - what?!!” You want me to take my son and lay his guts open on a pile of wood, set the wood on fire and burn him as an offering to your omnipotently insecure ass to prove what!?
But not our man Abraham; He not only gets Isaac, but makes him carry the damn wood, (that’s just wrong) and has a couple of servants go with them on this journey to a place where god wants Isaac offered unto him as a sacrifice.Now, on the way up the mountain, Isaac says something like “uh - dad, we have wood and fire and a knife, but what lamb will we be offering?” to which Abraham says “don’t worry about it boy, god has it under control.”
And they came to the place which God had told him of. And Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
Lets think this through, you go on a hike with your dad who you adore and love to go pray in the woods thinking you are going to kill a lamb and burn it because somehow god thinks that’s cool and “pleasing”. The next thing you know, you are the damn lamb!! Now I don’t know about you, but my dad could be god himself and that shit’s going to take years of therapy to get over.Imagine the horror as Isaac processes the fact that dad is going to kill him as he lays tied up on a pile of wood looking up …
And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
Lucky for Abraham who is about to become a felonious murderer, and even luckier for Isaac who is about to become … well, dead – an angel speaks to Abraham and stops the insanity.He says something to the effect of “blessed art thou Abraham for being willing to commit murder, bizarre acts of torture, corporal mutilation and desecration of a corpse - and not just any corpse but your own flesh and blood, your beloved son Isaac - to prove that you love and obey the lord thy god”.
And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him. For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.
Here is where you ask WHAT THE …HELL?! What kind of a lame-ass god needs a) to be feared b) to screw with an old man’s and a young child’s brain in that way to prove to him that they love and obey him? And why didn’t god already know Abraham would do it if he is so all-knowing?
Now, maybe its just me, and I have an overly developed sense of etiquette, but god spent all this time chit chatting with Abram/Abraham about covenants, tokens, nations, nooky on the side, kids, inheritance, child bearing, name changes, you know daily stuff prophets and god bullshit about.But when Abraham is about to filet and bake his beloved son to prove his fear and blind obedience, somehow god had something more pressing at the moment and couldn’t pull him self away? Isn’t he the one that set the whole “test” in motion in the first place? So what’s up with sending an underling as if he was disappointed the guy actually passed the test. Maybe it is just me, but something isn’t right.
The bible isn’t going to give the account because there is nothing to be gained by it, but anyone can imagine Abraham’s relief and the mental dialogue as the effect of the mushrooms he must have eaten subsided: what the hell did I almost do?
But imagine Isaac’s mental state if you will. Here we have a young kid that loves his dad and is just one “thou shalt” from being an entree menu item at a Hannibal Lector family barbeque, and trying to make sense of it all. How does a kid process an experience like that? This traumatic episode was brought about by some god that Isaac is supposed to love, and yet apparently fear; that supposedly loves him, but almost had him killed in order for his dad to prove a point to this god (that no one else hears talking but dad) that an all knowing omni whatever would already know anyway.
You think Isaac didn’t have trust issues, daddy issues, nightmares, bed wetting ‘til he was 40, and all kinds of trauma as he grew up? Sure, he became quite the biblical all-star, but what is the point? Was it really necessary or could it be that this is its just another sick Little Red Riding Hood type story that uses extreme dramatics to make a point.Maybe it’s as simple as back then they couldn’t diagnose schizophrenia, delusory deity syndrome, filicidal tendencies or psychopathic behavior so they attributed it to the next best thing – religion, prophecy and god.
Now I have children and I am not omni-anything but, I don’t need any of them to do a damn thing to prove to me that they love me, and I surely don’t want them proving that they fear me.In my feeble carnal and very ungodly state, even I have a fairly good idea that they love me. I sure as hell don’t want any of my grand kids tied up and put on a barbeque with any kind of knife even in the vicinity, to prove anything to me.That is just plain sick and wrong and I don’t care what religion you are. Come on now open your eyes! And guess what? – I will leave as their inheritance, everything I have to my children – The kingdom of Dave will be theirs - no tests, no psychotic pop quiz, no fire, no brimstone, no tokens, no fear of …me, and no knives. I love them and they do not have to prove anything to me – and I am just a mere mortal.
Do we really believe that a perfect, loving father – God - would be so insecure, sadistic and petty as to be less than me? I don’t!
So I say come on Abraham of Genesis and Mr. whacko nutsoid god-dude talking crap to this obviously demented brain – what the hell?!