Ironic Tidbits (Psalms 126-137)

I’m trying to imagine the person(s) who wrote the Bible, re-read it, edited it and said, “People will fer sure take this seriously; there’s nothing in here worth making fun of at all”.

Wrong.

A large slice of the joy I’ve derived from painstakingly reading the Bible is stumbling across ironic tidbits. They’re delicious to my atheist palate. Psalm 136 is chock-a-block with them. I think that it’s supposed to be sung because every other line pretty much is “…for his steadfast love endures for ever.”

Try this on for size:

“…to him who smote the first-born in Egypt/for his steadfast love endures for ever” (Psalms 136:10)

Ironic, n’est pas? Even more so when the language is updated:

“…the guy who killed thousands of little, tiny, defenseless babies… he’s nice”

Here’s a couple more:

“…to him who smote great kings/for his steadfast love endures for ever/and slew famous kings/for his steadfast love endures for ever” (Psalms 136:17-18)

Both great AND famous kings? Those were the best ones!

I’m glad that I’ve only got one more post on Psalms to get through. I’m really reaching here. I can feel it.

Don't smite me!

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Published in: on July 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Attack of the Giant Babies (Chronicles 2 1-3)

At the beginning of the second book of Chronicles, King David is dead and his pansy son Solomon is in charge. His main task is to build the house of Lord the way that David imagined it which, by all accounts, resembles a Vegas casino. David had pretty bad taste. If he lived in modern times he probably would’ve had a couple of stone lions at the end of his driveway, regardless of the size of his house. I’m of the opinion that you need to have a big house to do stuff like that. If you live in a small, decrepit bungalow then take a pass on the stone lions, Chinese dragons, arctic wolves and the like.

Basically, the house of the Lord is covered in gold. Does God care about that sort of thing? It doesn’t really square with the messages at the heart of the Judeo-Christian tradition which I thought upheld poverty as a virtue (almost). But maybe that’s just when Jesus comes into the picture. Whatever the case, here’s a sample of what the joint looked like: “The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house; and its height was a hundred and twenty cubits. He overlaid it on the inside with pure GOLD. The nave he lined with cypress, and covered it with fine GOLD, and made palms and chains on it. He adorned the house with settings of precious stones. The GOLD was GOLD of Parvaim. So he lined the house with GOLD – its beams, its thresholds, its walls, and its doors; and he carved cherubim on the walls” (Chr 2 3:4-7).

I added the capitalization for effect.

The description of the cherubim is particularly disturbing from the interior decorating point of view. Mostly because of how enormous they are. I’ve always had a soft spot for those fountains that have a cherub pouring water out of an urn. I think they’re really classy. Or maybe it’s because I want to live in an Italian villa and have a tragic life like that loopy lady in the video for Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved”. Anyways, I think if you’re going to do cherubim then keep them small. Always smaller than scale. The cherubim in the house of the Lord have a wingspan of like, twenty cubits. That’s way over the top. Babies are cute and all (I guess) but giant babies are downright frightening. Imagine trying to carry on a conversation in a room where you’re eclipesed by a statue of a giant baby with wings. I couldn’t.

Clearly, you married for the money so you get what you deserve. Stop trying to steal your daughter’s statuatory rapist. It’s gross.

 

Published in: on September 12, 2011 at 1:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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It’s a Boy! (Chronicles 1-4)

I was really looking forward to Chronicles because I thought it was chock-full of all those predictions that people like Nostradamus kept on about. The first four chapters consist of long lists: so-and-so was so-and-so’s son and so on and so forth. Yawn. Basically, the sons of Israel, David and Simeon (who?) are listed in detail. Usually, I’m a girl who loves lists (I make a “To Do” list almost every day, even on a Sunday, and get an incredible charge when I check something off) but these lists are bo-ring. 

There are some interesting facts that pop up, however. For example:

– Abraham had a concubine named Keturah, who bore him six children (then had to do her Kegels to keep her post)

– Caleb had sex with his mother, Ephrathah, and she bore him Ashur (whose father was also his brother and whose mother was also his grandmother)

– Jabez’ mother named him as such because “[she] bore him in pain” (Chr 4:9)… if you pronounce “Jabez” as one syllable and make the “z” soft then it makes sense

Giving birth is one of the most terrifying things to me. That and getting eaten by a Great White Shark like Robert Shaw’s character in Jaws. My pal Summeroni (nickname) was in town visiting this week with her new baby boy, August. She had pictures on her iPhone of August coming out of her vagina. I was horrified. She was pretty casual about it. Remember the days when the dads stood out in the hallway, pacing and handing out cigars to everyone? Let’s bring those days back.

"We're going to need a bigger boat."

Published in: on August 20, 2011 at 1:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Ol’ Switcheroo (Kings 3)

Women are baby-crazy, aren’t they? They just love ’em, don’t they? (Not I, of course; nothing bores me more than a game of “Pass the Baby” at a social gathering).

In Kings 3, King Solomon has to resolve an issue between two women and two babies, one of which is alive and one of which is dead. You do the math. Two women approach King Solomon claiming to be roommates (a likely story) who are so synched up that they both get pregnant at the same time and give birth on the same night. One of these women who must think she is a cat lies on top of her newborn during the night and kills it. So she swaps her dead baby for the other woman’s. A-ha! The ol’ switcheroo. When the other woman wakes up and finds a dead baby on her chest (could be worse, am I right, ladies?) and realizes that her roomie has pulled a fast one on her. They argue and seek out King Solomon to settle things.

Solomon is a smart guy. He’s like, “Okay, ladies. You both had a baby. Now only one of you has a baby. But you both want a baby. Why, I can’t imagine. But, whatever. Split the baby in two and each take half. Fair’s fair“. This is a scare tactic designed to reveal the real mother. It operates on the principle that a woman’s instinct for preservation of her young is so strong that she’ll do anything to see it live. Note to Solomon: This doesn’t always happen in the wild. I’m not sure which species are capable of eating their young but I’m sure there’s more than one. I decided to look it up and came across this question, which I deem to be slightly retarded:

“I am doing a report on abortion and I was wondering if you could give me a few examples of animals that kill their young?  Animals that are most commonly known would be very helpful.  Thanks!”

In the end, the real mother protests much more loudly (squeaky wheel) than her roomie that the baby should live regardless of who raises it and in so doing proves herself. Solomon gives her the baby. Problem solved.

Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 10:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s Not Cold in Here – You’re Just Dying (Kings 1)

Have to give credit to Sarah Silverman for the title to this post.

King David is at the end of his years and he’s cold. He just can’t seem to get warm. So he hires a nurse whose sole responsibility is allowing him to snuzzle into her bosom. Hey – it’s a living. 

Having noticed David’s tenuous grasp on life itself, a young upstart named Adonijah starts proclaiming that he’s going to be the next king. He makes a whole bunch of sacrifices, including something called a “fatling,” which I think should henceforth replace the word “baby”. I’ve never thought babies were particularly cute; I’ve always thought them to look very out of shape. They’re like 75% body fat. Very unhealthy body composition. Adonijah does all this sacrificin’ by this thing called the Serpent’s Stone, a place that sounds like it should be in Camelot or a video game from the late 80s.

Bathsheba tells David that Adonijah is out campaigning, impressing everyone with his fatlings. David gets pissed because he has his sights set on his son Solomon being king. So he tells Solomon to go with Benaiah (who’s capable of killing a lot of people at once if you read the last post) and Nathan the prophet and interrupt Adonijah’s partying with a trumpet blast and an announcement that Solomon is the legitimate king. They do this and scare the crap out of everyone: “Then all the guests of Adonijah trembled and rose [buzzkill] and each went his own way” (Kin1:49). I love this image of a slow scatter. They probably all walked backwards. Adonijah is then like, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and invites Solomon to have some bevvies with him to smooth things over. Very diplomatic.

A fatling.

Published in: on June 23, 2011 at 4:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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