In the closing pages of Genesis (or, on a scroll, the final little bottom portion!), Jacob-slash-Israel gives a blessing to his twelve sons, and it’s pretty intense. Here is where the futures of the Twelve Tribes are spelled out, some in more detail than others.Continue reading
In the homestretch of Genesis, we first read about Tamar’s deception of her father-in-law Judah in order to become pregnant, and then are plunged right back into the Joseph narrative—as Joseph is enslaved, then becomes a renowned interpreter of dreams in Egypt. We discuss: What does it mean to have agency? Is it morally wrong to lie when you have no other way of asserting your agency? Can dreams—or their interpreters—be trusted?Continue reading
A big week: Jacob wrestles with some kind of divine being, and his daughter Dinah has an encounter with the prince of Shechem that her brothers interpret as a defilement or rape.Continue reading
So, after cheating Esau of the birthright (still unclear why they can’t share it), Jacob flees from the land where he was raised, and goes to stay with his mother Rebekah’s brother, Laban. It’s a marriage plot! Specifically, Jacob’s marriage to not one but two of Laban’s daughters, and his sexual relationship with two of their handmaidens, Bilhah and Zilpah.Continue reading
In this week’s reading, Yahweh seems to favor Jacob, the younger of Isaac and Rebekah’s twins, right from the get-go. Right from the womb! God has already favored Abel over Cain, Noah, and Shem/Japheth, and Isaac over Ishmael. Is this a pattern? Why does God prefer some people over others?Continue reading
Belial challenged us to consider the testing of faith alongside the implications of the Abraham narrative regarding circumcision, gender, naming/transformation, and the idea of the “chosen people.” Along the way we dove into nakedness, the miracle of life, and the fickleness of God. Are we moving from physical memes to abstract memes? Does the nation of Israel have a founding trauma, as Michael suggests? Is God “fleshy,” as Gabriel asks? And what are we to make of the fact that Abraham doesn’t hesitate for a moment when he’s called upon to draw blood? It’s gnarly.Continue reading
This week, Mephistopheles led us on a voyage of self-discovery. Why did God flood the earth, and why was Noah saved? Was Noah all that great? Or was he just not evil all the time? Phanuel introduced us to “the smelling Lord”; Michael and Anael “vibed” about blood; we discussed sperm and mini-me’s, sexy angel-giants and the etymology of “baby.” And finally, was Yahweh a union buster? Find out this week.Continue reading
This picture is ClipArt that I, Lucifer, found online. Mostly I include it because I find it hilarious. But it’s also oddly disturbing. We have our key players: two little boys, wearing some tasteful hides, holding up sacrifices to God. They’re instantly recognizable—on the left, Abel’s little sheep is in for a snooze, and Cain’s corn on the cob is honestly looking pretty good. So why doesn’t God like them equally?
Because God is thirsty for blood.
Or… maybe not?Continue reading
Was the Fall of Man all part of God’s Plan? It rhymes, but it’s also kind of disturbing.
The entire chapter brings to mind larger questions about being, judging and seeing. In Genesis 1, God saw that things He made were good, which both made them good, and judged them good. In Genesis 3 we encounter the first “sin” (according to later Christian interpreters, such as St. Augustine). It’s the first thing in the universe that is not good. Does that mean, though, that it’s evil? Or is that just centuries of Christian theologians whispering in our ears?Continue reading
Genesis 1 is a doozy. It’s hard to get more epic than “In the beginning…”, i.e., Bereshit, the first words of the Hebrew text.Continue reading