Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Genesis 19

I kind of want to go back and give all my posts at least some sort of subtitles. Just looking at the list of post titles is snore-inducing! But I think my current project must be maintaining my posting schedule (goal: every 3 days, at least), as I've obviously struggled with that in the past. The good news is that I will have a more consistent work life now that I have transitioned out of the military, so I have high hopes for more consistent blogging. And now back to our regularly scheduled genesis!

We left off in chapter 18 with Abraham bargaining for the good people of Sodom, getting god to agree that even ten righteous folks means the city isn't going to get sodomized (couldn't resist, sorry). Chapter 19 picks up with the two angels arriving in Sodom, where Lot (Abraham's nephew) happens to be hanging out at the gate. Lot convinces the angels to come to his home for some hospitality, but after their feast, there's a small problem. All of the men of Sodom come surround Lot's house. Seriously, "young and old, all the people to the last man." How big is Lot's lot? Yikes! I'll chalk that up to hyperbole. So this crowd of men calls for Lot to bring out his guests so that they may "know" them. Winkwink bible-speak for sex.

Lot isn't very happy with this. I guess that isn't the kind of house he's running. So he goes out and tries to bargain with the mob, offering them his two virgin daughters for whatever use they like. He just wants them to leave his guests alone as they are "under the shelter of my roof." Somehow his daughters aren't? That is some fucked up priorities right there. Also, it isn't stated whether Lot knows these two are angels or not. I wouldn't be surprised if Abraham had sent a speedy runner to warn his nephew in an attempt to save the city, but if so, it isn't recorded here.

Anyway, the men are not impressed with the idea of Lot's virgin daughters, plus they're pissed that he's trying to tell them what to do when he is an immigrant. The mob tries to attack him, but the angels pull him inside and struck the mob with blindness. Now that they were blind they couldn't find the door, which considering some of them were literally standing at the door is pretty impressive.

The angels are suitably happy with Lot, and tell him that he needs to get himself and his family the hell out of dodge before the city goes down. Apparently Lot didn't have at least ten people in his household, so Abraham's bet doesn't work out. Also his son-in-laws thought he was joking when he told them to leave, so it ends up just being him, his wife, and his two daughters who flee the city. The angels warn them not to look back and not to stop anywhere in the whole Plain.

Lot doesn't want to go all the way to the hills, so he asks the angels if he can escape to a little city nearby. The angels decide to grant him his request and not destroy that little city. Phew, close call for whoever lived there! No clue where they fell on the righteousness scale, but the angels don't seem concerned about that. I guess it helps that those people didn't form a mob to try to sodomize them. So Lot runs away, and god rains down sulfur and fire on Sodom, Gomorrah, and the whole of the Plain (except Zoar, Lot's haven). Unfortunately, Lot's wife looks back at the destruction, so she turns into a pillar of salt. Oops!

Abraham watches the smoke rising from all this destruction, and it is said that god sent Lot out of the city in remembrance of Abraham. Not because Lot tried to save the angels? That's weird. Guess he was offering up his daughter's hymens for no good reason if god was gonna warn him anyway.

The last part of Genesis 19 is such a crazy story that it almost deserves a post of its own. Especially as this one is already getting long. But, one chapter per post! So.

Lot and his daughters leave Zoar after this because Lot is pretty freaked out by the whole sulfur and fire raining down from heaven thing. It's just the three of them, since Lot's wife got salted, living in a cave. So when his oldest daughter wants to have a baby, she doesn't have a lot of options. She says that there is "not a man on earth to come in to us." Does she really think they are the only 3 people left on earth? Sure, the whole Plain just got smoked, but there were people in Zoar, presumably. And since her family isn't even from there originally, it makes no sense that she thinks everyone everywhere is dead. But apparently she does.

So she tells her sister about this great plan for impregnation. They will get their father drunk in order to lay with him, and that way their offspring can continue. The older daughter goes one night, the younger daughter the next. Both times, Lot doesn't know when they lay down or rose.


Re-read that again. Yup, his daughters raped him. One hundred percent. Pre-planned sexual assault upon their father. It works in that each of them get pregnant (Lot really must have a very magical penis to be able to impregnate two women while that drunk!). And from them come the Moabites and the Ammonites. That's a very fucked up story, and I suppose it is not surprising that both tribes were enemies of the Israelites.

So that's Genesis 19. In a nutshell, utter destruction of multiple cities plus father-rape and mud-slinging tribal origin stories. Yay?

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