Design By Humans

Friday, 17 August 2012

Genesis 19. Of Incest and Buggery

Genesis 19.

1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

    Do we yet know what an angel is? I have to look at the linguistic root at this point since the narrative hasn't said word one about it. Well in it's current English form it's from Sanskrit via Greek via Latin via French and it means messenger. The Hebrew it has been translated from also means messenger so an angel is no more special than a messenger, I suppose envoy might be a good approximation. Back to the text then are these two messengers the same two men that went and visited Abraham with the man that Abraham recognised as the LORD? Are angels human? is the LORD for that matter?

2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
    Lot is hospitable and offers them a bed for the night and they that they'll sleep in the street. It might be because I'm English but it strikes me that the angels were being sarcastic.

3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

    Lot convinces them to come in and makes them a meal.

4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
    A good number of the menfolk of Sodom come and surround Lot's house. Why?

5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

    Now do they mean know in the way that people call biblical? Like Adam knew his wife? perhaps, so some men turn up in a city (angels must look exactly like men) and all the men in the city want to have sex with them? I find their motivation to be inadequately explained. For what reason would an entire town of men, young and old, from all quarters, descend on Lot's house and demand to have sex with his guests?

6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

    Good move, if there are indeed that many men all wanting to slip some to your house guests are waiting outside.

7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

    He begins to plead with the horny hoard...

8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

    ...and offers the men 'full access' to his virgin daughters in place of his male guests. Is this a good act? a righteous suggestion? Are daughters less valuable than strangers? Would it not be more honourable to not offer *anyone* to the rampaging rapists and actually just say no?

9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.

    So unsatisfied with Lot's offer and with an appetite for angelic-arse-action, the hole-hungry-horde attempt to push by Lot and break into the house where their rectal-ramming-retribution will be laid heavier on Lot for having got in the way.

10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.

    The men (are angels human) pull lot into the house and close the door...

11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

    ...and struck all of the men at the door blind. What sorcery is this? By what mechanism was this achieved?
   

12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
    The men (Still men? after blinding all those people with magic?) instruct Lot to get his whole family out of Sodom.

13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
    Right, so these angels were sent to destroy Sodom. There is no mention of the investigation the LORD agreed to carry out to find out if there were ten good people in Sodom. Has the LORD broken his agreement with Abraham and just sent some angels to destroy the city despite there possibly being some righteous people in it. Was it just by chance that they walked past Lot's house? If they had taken a different route into Sodom, would Lot's family have been spared?

14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
    Lot's sons-in-law didn't believe him, I can't say I blame them. On a side note, how big is Lot's family? How many Sons-in-law does he have? we already know he has two unmarried daughters and a wife, if he has just three married daughters then his family alone make up the ten required to save Sodom from destruction.

15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
    The angels (formerly referred to as men. Are they just messengers?) usher Lot, His wife and two daughters out of the city.

16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

    ...

17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
    Is this the LORD speaking now?

18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:

    ...

19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

    Lot complains to the LORD that the mountains he's been ordered to are too dangerous to run to...

20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

    ...and begs that he be allowed to run to this nearby city instead.

21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.

    God capitulates, just like he did with Abraham. Is this god all powerful? All knowing? surely he would know it was too dangerous for Lot to go to the mountains and if it wasn't too dangerous why capitulate? If the city was the best destination for Lot, why didn't God command him to go there in the first place?

22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

    God can't destroy Sodom and Gomorrah until Lot is safely in Zoar.

23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

    Phew, he got there in time.

24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
    Now, which heaven are we talking about here? The heavens as in the sky, or the odd ethereal other-world that the gods (The Lord and his friends from Genesis 1,2 and 3) live in? Or... is 'the LORD out of heaven' a title and he is spewing fire and brimstone out of himself like some sort of flamethrower?

25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

    What about Zoar? As I remember from Genesis 14 Zoar is in the plain.

26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

    Wait what? Why did she become a pillar of salt? There was no warning against looking back, who or what turned her to salt and why? What precedent do we have to even believe it possible? who's testimony is this? This sounds rather like a story fabricated to explain the existence of pillars of salt in a dry sea-bed by goat herders to stop their children asking what they were.

27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:

    OK.

28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

    The cities and lands of the plain burned (but not Zoar?).

29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.
    Well he didn't remember Abraham very well did he? He said he'd spare Sodom if he found ten righteous people, He didn't even look, he just sent two messengers who didn't get past the first house.

30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

    OK, Caves are cool I guess, not quite as good as a house and probably about as good as a tent, I might have gone for a tent myself.

31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:

    Conveniently forgetting all of the men in Zoar and for some reason not knowing that there are plenty of people living outside of the now destroyed plain, probably not three days walk away...

32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

    The eldest daughter decides to get her father drunk and have sex with him in order to keep the family line going.

33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
   
    How drunk would the man have to be to not notice being boinked by his daughter?

34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

    And then his youngest daughter does the same?

35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

    Could he really be drunk enough not to notice yet be functional enough to 'rise' to the challenge? Again I ask who's testimony this is because it sounding a little shaky, Could it be lot that got his daughters drunk? Either way the acts are distasteful and at the very least not the best way to preserve a family line... If you want to preserve it in an healthy way that is.

36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

    OK.. and by that I mean I understand, not that it's OK.

37 And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.

    Right you are.

38 And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

    Well there we are then.

So what have we got out of this?

    God promised Abraham that he would survey Sodom to see if there were ten or more righteous people and not destroy it if he found them but instead sent two messengers who stopped at the first house and didn't bother to look any further. Why did the LORD destroy Sodom? It seems quite likely that ten righteous people would have been found if a thorough search were conducted. Did the LORD lie to Abraham? It seems he did but this should come as no surprise given that his first words to a human were also a lie.

    Are angels human? The description of them would indicate yes. Admittedly the angels in this story were able to strike a crowd blind but then so are men today with the aid of powders or gases. It is entirely likely that these 'angels' are just human men with some nifty weapons.

    Speaking of nifty weapons, is the LORD in this chapter and the last also a human? He is described as a man many times, he walks from place to place on foot, he eats food and drinks wine, he negotiates with both Abraham and Lot showing no clear authority. So if the LORD is a man, is the destruction of the plains and the cities therein supernatural? Well, it depends how you read verse 24.

    Is the judgement of Lot as righteous a tacit approval of his offer to send his daughters out to a rape-mob as fuck-fodder? It seems that protecting the messengers, who it turns out are capable of protecting themselves, is something that Lot needs to do at any cost, including the surrender of his virgin daughters to sexual violence and humiliation. For some reason this is also the first thing Lot thinks of to try to placate the mob, there are a great number of things he could have tried first. Is offering your daughters up for rape a righteous act in the eyes of the LORD?

    Why was Lot's wife turned to salt? This is very ill explained, there isn't even enough detail to try to work it out.

    And finally... The incest! Why? What possible reason could there be for both of Lot's daughters to need to have sex with their father? We know there are settlements in the mountains, Abraham's tribe for example, there is also a city full of men in near-by Zoar. There is no justification for the incest. Furthermore, is it actually possible for a man to be drunk enough to not notice his own daughters riding his rod yet be sober enough to keep it up?

What an odd chapter!

2 comments:

  1. And no explanation whatsoever as to what, if anything, Gomorrah did to deserve similar treatment.

    Whoever wrote this stuff may have believed in God, but they surely didn't have anything resembling respect for him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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Book Index

GENESIS

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|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18|19|20|
|21|22|23|24|25|26|27|28|29|30|
|31|32|33|34|35|36|37|38|39|40|
|41|42|43|

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