Leftovers (Chronicles 2 34-36)

After a cavalcade of crappy kings, Josiah takes over Judah when he’s eight years old. Child pageants had given him the confidence required to rule effectively.

During renos on the house of the Lord (renos: do they ever end?), Hilkiah, the high priest, stumbles across the book of laws that God had gifted to Moses. He passes it on to Shaphan, the king’s secretary, to read to the king who “rent[s] his clothes” when he realizes that his people aren’t abiding by the laws. Renting one’s clothes seems to be the only available reaction to disturbing news. No one has fainted or peed their pants, not even once. Too bad.

Josiah decides to make a new convenant with God, like hippies who force all their friends and family over to watch them reaffirm their marriage vows and eat weird salads after. He throws a big shin-dig for passover with way too much food (i.e., he orders the sacrifice of thirty thousand lambs). No doubt there were countless of repetitions of the following rigmarole:

“You have to take some leftovers home with you”

“No, no, no. We couldn’t”

“You have to. Here. Just take a little something”

“What about the tupperware?”

“Forget the tupperware. It’s old. Keep it”

“Really. I don’t want your gross food. It’s going to sit in the fridge for 4-5 days and then when I remember it’s still there, I’m going to throw it out”

“I’m forcing this food upon you because I’m an emotional over-eater and I can’t be surrounded by it. Take the fucking food”

Some of that dialogue was internal. Anyways, Josiah is an okay king but his undoing is he doesn’t know how to mind his own business. For no reason, he decides to interfere with a battle between Neco, king of Egypt and an unnamed opponent. He’s so intent on participating in the battle that he even disguises himself. What an idiot. He gets shot with lots of arrows and dies.

Here is the next string o’ kings: Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah. To keep this short and sweet, all I’ll mention is that they’re all crappy and they all run into trouble with the Babylonian king who conquers them, takes their fancy things and makes a lot of their subjects slaves. Now, on to the Book of Ezra because I’m so done with Chronicles.

Look good? It IS!

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 2:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Battle of the Wombs (Samuel 1-2)

The Book of Samuel starts out with a man called Elkanah who has two wives (I can see why some branches of Christianity believe that polygamy is fine and dandy; there’s plenty of endorsement of it in the Bible). One of his wives, Peninah, is quite fecund but the other, Hannah, is barren. Hannah is disheartened because the Lord has “closed her womb” (Sam 1:5) and she’s down on herself because Peninah keeps making fun of her for it (bitch). She’s driven to constant weeping and can’t eat. This is bad strategizing on Peninah’s part: if anything, women want their rivals to get pork up, don’t they?

In a moment of desperation, Hannah prays to God for a son down on her knees, moving her lips silently in prayer. A priest, Eli, thinks she’s drunk and basically tells her that she’s cut off. Her prayers work and she bears a son, Samuel who turns out to be a bit of a goody-goody. Eli’s jealous and wishes he was Samuel’s father because his sons are man-whores who keep screwing up the sacrifices. Basically, they’re supposed to burn the fat off the flesh and then offer up the flesh but they keep treating it like a barbeque and eating everything. Very gauche.

Hannah goes on to bear three more sons and two daughters. That’s a total of six children, which is an obscene number in my mind (so is one). Then again, everytime I feel myself ovulating (oh, I can feel it), I contract my abdominals forcefully and crush the egg instantly. I’ll have none of that.

Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 2:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Mixed Messages (Joshua 6-7)

So many mixed messages (story of my life, right ladies?). I honestly don’t know how anyone drawing on the Old Testament for moral guidance is able to come up with cogent rules for conduct.

In Joshua 6, the Israelites take over the city of Jericho, their long-awaited promised land. They go about it ceremoniously, parading around with seven trumpets and seven sets of rams’ horns and seven priests. It’s sort of like that little dance that football players do after a touch-down (note: this is the extent of my knowledge of football). Then they kill everyone in Jericho that’s not them, including harmless old people, little babies and sadly, edible animals. Shame.

The one person the Israelites let live is Rahab, the harlot who housed the spies who where checking out the land. This contradicts a familiar narrative: sluts die first, no? If I may be so bold as to extract a lesson from the Old Testament, it’s that sluts aren’t so bad and maybe – just maybe – they are the ones who shall inherit the earth.

Sometime during this process of razing Jericho, a certain corrupt portion of the Israelites swipe a few valuables and hide them. God gets really mad and the next time the Israelites come face to face with one of their enemies (this time the Amorites,) they lose the battle. Hilariously, only thirty-six out of the three thousand who went to battle die, which really isn’t that bad at all, given that God’s chosen people are responsible for a death tally that’s got to be in the hundreds of thousands by now (but who’s counting?). Joshua, for one, doesn’t cope well at all: “Then Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust upon their heads” (Jos 7:8). I’ve tried a lot of things in times of stress – eating to the point of sickness being a personal favourite – but I’ve never found tearing my clothes off my body and throwing dust on my head to be helpful.

Anyways, the culprits are found and they’re promptly stoned. And then they’re burned. And then they’re stoned again. Literally. This makes God happy again.

Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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