Monday, August 30, 2010

Genesis 34-36: A series of random events

So, Jacob et al are in Shechem. The son of the ruler of Shechem rapes Jacob's daughter, Dinah. Then the ruler asks Jacob et al to let Dinah marry his son. They say, "sure, but every man in your city must be circumcised." And they all get circumcised with shockingly little complaint.

Turns out, it was all a trap! While every man is still in pain from the circumcision, Jacob's sons Simeon and Levi kill every man, and take all the women and children. Harsh.

Jacob is slightly pissed off when he learns of all this, but just because he doesn't want to make any enemies and not because he felt that what they did was wrong, of course. But they say, basically, "they totally had it coming."

And God doesn't say a single thing about this, which I can only assume means he approved. WTF.

What a charming story.

Then God said, "go to Bethel," so they do. But first, Jacob tells everyone to give him their "gods," which he buries. I guess idols?

They get to Bethel safely; no one attacks them because they were too afraid...something about the "terror of God." When they get there, God shows up and says the same old line to Jacob...numerous descendants, land, blah, blah, blah. He also renames Jacob Israel, even though he already did this back when they were wrestling that one night. From here on out the Bible seems to randomly switch between Jacob and Israel...guess the name didn't really stick.

They leave Bethel and head somewhere else, we don't know where yet. On the way, Rachel dies in childbirth, but no one seems to care much. And oooh, Jacob's son Reuben slept with Jacob's "concubine," and Jacob found out about it! But that's all we get about that juicy tidbit.

Then Jacob's 12 sons are randomly listed, even though we already know who they all are. The daughter Dinah is of course not listed, even though she was totally worth murdering a whole city not one chapter ago.

Then Jacob got back to Isaac just in time to watch him die. And again, no one seems to care I don't either. Seriously.

Wait, wasn't Isaac like super old and on the verge of death when Jacob left? That was at least 20 years ago (we know Jacob spent 20 years with Laban, and who knows how long the journey back took). But I'm bored with this book, so I don't care.

Yes, chapter 35 was just stuffed full of completely random events that didn't seem to have much of anything to do with anything.

Chapter 36 lists Esau's (or Edom, apparently) descendants, frankly I didn't bother to actually read it.

Oh, I got it! I bet the secrets of the universe are hidden in these really boring parts.

[some time goes by...]

Well, I've read chapter 36 now, and no, the secrets of the universe are not hidden in the boring parts. They're just boring. Though this chapter did contain a verse 42...

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