Genesis : Family Values (50)
- Because God liked Abel's animal sacrifice more than Cain's vegetables, Cain kills his brother
Abel in a fit of religious jealousy. 4:8
- Lamech is the first of a long line of biblical men with more than one wife. It seems
that God approves of such marriages. 4:19
- The "just and righteous" Noah (6:9, 7:1) plants a vineyard, gets drunk, and lies
around naked in his tent. His son, Ham, happens to see his father in this condition. When Noah
sobers up and hears "what his young son had done unto him" (what did he do besides look at
him?), he curses not Ham, who "saw the nakedness of his father," but Ham's son, Canaan. "A
servant of servants shall he [Canaan] be unto his brethren." This is a typical case of biblical
justice, and is one of many Bible passages that have been used to justify slavery. 9:20-25
- "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger
son had done unto him."
What did Ham do? Did he just look at his naked father or was there something more to it than that?
Some commentators have suggested that Ham committed homosexual rape on his drunken father, and that
this was why Ham's descendants were eternally punished with slavery. 9:24
- Abram makes his wife lie for him, by telling the Egyptians that she is his sister. But at
least it was half-true, since she was his half-sister. Such incestuous marriages are condemned
elsewhere in the Bible, but god makes an exception for Abram and Sarai. (See
where God blesses their marriage.) 12:13
- Sarai is the first of a long line of barren women who were desperate for children. (In
the Bible, it is the women who are barren, never the men.) She sends Abram into her
handmaid, Hagar, so that she can "obtain children by her." Abram gladly complies.
- Hagar conceives, making Sarai jealous. Abram tells Sarai to do to Hagar whatever she
wants. "And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled." 16:6
- An uncircumcised boy is to be abandoned by his parents and community. 17:14
- "I will not destroy it for ten's sake."
I guess God couldn't find even ten good Sodomites because he decides to kill them all in Genesis 19.
Too bad Abraham didn't ask God about the children. Why not save them? If Abraham could find 10 good children, toddlers, infants, or babies, would
God spare the city? Apparently not. God doesn't give a damn about children. 18:32
- Lot refuses to give up his angels to the perverted mob, offering his two "virgin daughters"
instead. He tells the bunch of angel rapers to "do unto them [his daughters] as is good in your
eyes." This is the same man that is called "just" and "righteous" in
2 Peter 2:7-8. 19:8
- God kills everyone (men, women, children, infants, newborns) in Sodom and Gomorrah
by raining "fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven." Well, almost everyone -- he
spares the "just and righteous" Lot and his family.19:24
- Lot's nameless wife looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt.
- Lot and his daughters camp out in a cave for a while. The daughters get their "just
and righteous" father drunk, and have sexual intercourse with him, and each conceives and
bears a son (wouldn't you know it!). Just another wholesome family values Bible story.
- Honest Abe does the same "she's my sister" routine again, for the same cowardly reason.
And once again, the king just couldn't resist Sarah -- even though by now she is over 90 years
old. (See Gen.12:13-20 for the first, nearly identical,
- God gets angry with king Abimelech, though the king hasn't even touched Sarah. He
says to the king, "Behold, thou art but a dead man," and threatens to kill him and all of his
people. To compensate for the crime he never committed, Abimelech gives Abraham sheep,
oxen, slaves, silver, and land. Finally, after Abraham "prayed unto God," God lifts his
punishment to Abimelech, "for the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of
Abimelech, because of Sarah." 20:3-18
- Abraham married his sister, and God blessed their marriage
- God "closed all the wombs" because Abimelech believed Abe's lie. 20:18
- Sarah, after giving birth to Isaac, gets angry again at Hagar (see
16:5-6) and tells Abraham to 'cast out this bondwoman and her son." God commands Abraham to
"hearken unto her voice." So Abraham abandons Hagar and Ishmael, casting them out into the
wilderness to die. 21:10-14
- After the water ran out, Hagar left Ishmael alone to die. But God heard the infant crying, so he had an angel cry to
Hagar from heaven, telling her not to worry. God heard the child's cry and opened Hagar's eyes so she could see a well,
filled with water. God said he'd make Ishmael a great nation, and the child became an archer. 21:14-20
- God orders Abraham to kill Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham shows his love for
God by his willingness to murder his son. But finally, just before Isaac's throat is slit, God
provides a goat to kill instead. 22:2-13
- Abraham shows his willingness to kill his son for God. Only an evil God would ask a father to do that; only a bad
father would be willing to do it. 22:10
- "Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son."
Why did God love Abraham so much?
Because he was willing to murder his son for him. (Greater evil hath no man than this, that he is willing to kill his own son for God.)
- "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her."
Rebekah became Isaac's wife when he "took" her and had sex with her. No marriage ceremony was performed, no vows were exchanged. 24:67
- "Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac."
Abraham gave everything he had to Isaac, ignoring his other sons (Ishmael, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian,Ishbak, and Shuah),
as well as all of his nameless and unmentioned daughters, along with God knows how many other children he had with his other concubines.
- "Abraham ... sent them [all of his sons (and daughters) except Isaac] away from Isaac his son."
Abraham sent all of his sons (and daughters?) away from his "only son" Isaac. 25:6b
- Abraham had several concubines. 25:6a
- Isaac loved Esau because Esau was a hunter and Isaac loved venison. Rebekah loved Jacob, but God hated Esau (see
Romans 9:13). No reason is given for why one son is loved while
the other is hated. But since God chose to act this way, it must have been as an example for parents to follow. Have
you decided which of your children to hate? 25:28
- Isaac uses the same "she's my sister" lie that his father twice used so effectively. (Once on the same King Abimelech)
(see 12:13, 20:2). 26:7
- Esau "takes" two wives. 26:34
- Jacob, with coaching from his mother, obtains Isaac's blessing by lying. God seems to
have been fooled as well. 27:19
- Esau, who already had two wives (26:34),
"takes" another. 28:9
- Jacob offers to work for seven years to pay for Rachel. As it turns out, he is tricked
into having sex with her sister, Leah, instead, so he has to work for another seven years so in order
to pay for them both. 29:18-30
- Jacob is tricked by Laban, the father of Rachel and Leah. Jacob asks for Rachel so
that he can "go in unto her." But Laban gives him Leah instead, and Jacob "went in unto her
[Leah]" by mistake. Jacob was fooled until morning -- apparently he didn't know who he was
going in unto. Finally they worked things out and Jacob got to "go in unto" Rachel, too.
- Jacob finally gets to "go in unto" Rachel. He loved Rachel more than Leah. 29:30
- Since Jacob hated Leah, God decided to "open her womb" and make Rachel barren. (Like he did to Sarah and Rebekah.)
- Leah conceives and bears four sons. And it's a good thing, too, since her husband
hated her until then for not giving him any sons. 29:32-34
- "Give me children or else I die." Rachel considers herself worthless if she
cannot produce children for her husband. But luckily she has an idea. She says to
Jacob, "Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her." She solved the problem the same way
as did Sarah (16:2). "And Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah
conceived, and bare Jacob a son." (These arrangements rarely produce daughters.)
- Leah, not to be outdone, gives Jacob her maid (Zilpah) "to wife." And Zilpah "bare
Jacob a son." 30:9
- Rachel trades her husband's favors for some mandrakes. And so, when Jacob came
home, Leah said: "Thou must come in unto me, for surely I have hired thee with my son's
mandrakes. And he lay with her that night." Presumably God, by telling us this edifying story, is
teaching us something about sexual ethics. 30:15-16
- Leah thinks her husband will honor her now that she has given him six sons. 30:20
- "Then Jacob ... set his ... wives upon camels." Jacob had four wives (or two wives and
two concubines -- this distinction is not clear in the Bible): Rachel, Leah, Billah, and Zilpah.
There is no indication that God disapproves of this arrangement. 31:17
- Jacob has two wives and two concubines, continuing the biblical tradition of polygamy. 32:22
- Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, is "defiled" by a man who seems to love her dearly. Her
brothers trick all of the men of the town and kill them (after first having them all circumcised),
and then take their wives and children captive. 34:1-31
- Esau (Isaac's son) had several wives (continuing the tradition of polygamy, with no
editorial comment from the Bible). 36:2, 6
- Jacob loved Joseph more than his other children, and he made it pretty obvious. So the other kids
in the family hated Joseph. (God didn't seem to mind; he liked Joseph best, too.)
- Judah has casual sex with a Canaanite woman which results in two sons, Er and Onan.
- After God killed Er, Judah tells Onan to "go in unto they brother's wife." But "Onan
knew that the seed should not be his; and ... when he went in unto his brother's wife ... he
spilled it on the ground.... And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; wherefore he slew
him also." This lovely Bible story is seldom read in Sunday School, but it is the basis of many
Christian doctrines, including the condemnation of both masturbation and birth control.
- Tamar (the widow of Er and Onan, who were killed by God) dresses up as a
prostitute and Judah (her father-in-law) propositions her, saying: "Let me come in unto thee ....
And he ... came in unto her, and she conceived by him." 38:13-18
- After Judah pays Tamar for her services, he is told that she "played the harlot" and "is
with child by whoredom." When Judah hears this, he says, "Bring her forth, and let her be
- "Reuben went and lay with his father's concubine."