Herod the Great, the one who wanted to kill baby Jesus, had a bunch of kids, many of whom he had to have executed because of coup attempts. After one of these, he married his granddaughter Herodias to his son Herod (Phillip) II. They lived in Rome for a while, where they had a daughter they named Salome, after her aunt. But then they got divorced, and Herodias married another one of her uncles, Herod Antipas, who was serving as a Roman client king over the province of Galilee. (See, after Herod the Great died, Rome divided the region into four sections, each ruled by one of his surviving kids (Herod Antipas, Philip the Tetrarch, Herod Archelaus, and Salome I).
Anyhoo, John the Baptist had made a big stink about Herodias’s second uncle marriage, the one with Herod Antipas. So when Herod Antipas had arrested John for generally disturbing the peace, Herodias began nagging her new uncle husband to execute the troublemaker. Herod refused. But then Herod’s birthday came around, and his step-daughter/niece Salome did a dance for him, and she danced so well, that he told her she could have anything she wanted as a reward. So she piped up, as her mother had bid her, I want the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter! Herod felt bad, but he always kept his promises, so in a twinkling, she had her wish! Later, they married her off to her uncle, Philip the Tetrarch, who was 32 years older than her. Continue reading “Matthew 14: John dies”
God told me to judge Jerusalem and to list all the reasons why It was angry and had decided to destroy the city. So I announced to everyone, Jerusalem has been condemned to doom and destruction for these reasons:
- The people worship idols, practice polytheism, and all around cheat on God.
- The rules are violent and corrupt and the religious leaders find excuses for all of their misdeeds.
- Many people openly despise their parents.
- People generally treat foreigners badly and they don’t take care of poor women and children and other needy people.
- They break the Sabbath and bastardize the rituals God prefers.
- People lie and slander in order to incite violence.
- Did I mention they cheat on God? It especially dislikes the fertility rituals people commonly perform.
- Sons sleep with their fathers’ wives and girlfriends.
- Men sleep with women on their periods and that really grosses God out.
- Men also sleep with their friends’ wives–some even rape their daughters-in-laws and sisters.
- There are hitmen and goons who commit violence for money.
- People there loan money at interest and generally make profits from their neighbors’ work.
For these reasons God has decided to destroy Jerusalem and kill or scatter its people.
David’s harem produced many children. One of this sons, Amnon developed a massive crush on his half-sister Tamar, Absalom’s whole sister. One day, while Amnon was going on and on about how hot she was a how bad her to their first-cousin Jonadab, when Jonadab was all, Dude, stop moaning about her! I bet if you play sick and tell the king that the only thing that will make you feel better is to have Tamar nurse you, David will totally order her to do it. Then you’ll have your sister at your house, alone, and totally at your mercy.
So Amnon played sick and asked for his sister. Tamar came and started cooking him lunch. While she was busy, he sent all his servants away. When she brought him the food, he grabbed her wrist and was all, Why don’t you crawl in bed with me? She started trying to pull her wrist away, begging, Brother no! Let me go! Please don’t rape me! But Amnon dragged her into bed. She continued to struggle and was all, Please! Not like this! I’m sure that if you asked our father for me, he would give me to you. Then at least it would be honorable! But Amnon ignored her pleas and raped her. Continue reading “II Samuel 13: Iron Age Family Drama”
So Judah was given all the land between Edom and Zin, the Mediterranean and the Jordan, and they set about pacifying the land by exterminating the inhabitants. Before the battle at Kiriath-Sephar, Caleb promised his daughter Aksah and the city to the officer who captured it. Caleb’s nephew, Othneil won the day, the girl, and the city. Then Aksah told her new husband and first cousin that they needed some land with the city and asked her father for the surrounding countrywide, which he granted her.
Then the other cities and towns were divided among the clan leaders.
Moses was all, so when you guys cross the Jordan, you need to complete a ritual before you begin the conquering. First you need to take some really huge stones, cover them with plaster, and then paint all of God’s rules on them. Then you need to make an altar of unhewn stones on Mount Ebal and give burnt offerings. After that, everyone from Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphatali need to climb up Mount Ebal and everyone from Simeon, Levi, Judah, Joseph, Issachar, and Benjamin need to climb up Mount Gerzim. Then the Levite priests will chant the following curses, and after each one all the people will answer Amen: Continue reading “Deuteronomy 27: Cursing Ritual”
What’s that, Moses? You want me to explain what I meant by Molech? Don’t you know what that is? No? Well, ok, then. Some of you people are worshiping this other god, Molech, and I don’t like it. In particular, people are dedicating their kids to Molech, and you all are MINE. If you find out that someone sacrificed or dedicated their kid to Molech, then execute him. If you don’t, my wrath will rain down upon the entire community that permitted such blasphemy.
Also, execute people who abuse their parents. And magicians, witches and sorcerers–execute them too. But, only banish the people that consulted with them. They’re just dupes. Continue reading “Leviticus 20”
God continued, you know, if you guys don’t follow these rules, I’ll disown you and break up with you and make you pay, right? I want you to follow my rules and only believe in me and not any of those other gods out there. And even though I expect sojourners among you to follow my rules and not to practice theirs while they are visiting, I expect you not to return the favor. You should never, under any circumstances, ever follow rules or practices of either the Egyptians or of any of the peoples in which you will go among and war with. And don’t sacrifices to their Gods! Continue reading “Leviticus 18: Let’s Talk about Sex Baby”
It pissed Rachel off that Leah kept getting pregnant, and she was all, why can’t you get me pregnant, Jacob? You keep getting my ugly sister pregnant. I want a baby! Man up! Jacob was all, I keep trying! I get your sister pregnant, so it’s clearly not my fault! Rachel was all, fine, then sleep with my slave woman Bilhah. I’ll count any kids she has as my own.
When Leah found out about this arrangement, she was not to be outdone, so she gave Jacob her slave woman Zilpah, too. Continue reading “Genesis 30”
When Jacob got near his uncle’s land, he saw some shepherds and asked them if they knew his uncle and, if so, how things were going. And they were like, everything’s great! Here come’s Laban’s daughter Rachel with the sheep. When Jacob saw Rachel (who must have been just a little girl), he fell madly in love with her. He told Rachel he was her cousin, and she ran to tell her dad that his nephew had arrived. Laban came out to meet him and invited him to stay for a while.
After Jacob had lived with and worked for Laban for a month, Laban was all, it’s not fair for you to work for nothing, what do you want for pay? Jacob was all, I’ll work for you for seven years if you give me Rachel for a wife. And Laban was all, done! Continue reading “Genesis 29: Leah and Rachel”
Abraham didn’t want Isaac to marry one of the local girls, but someone from Abraham’s homeland. Since Abraham was too old to make the trip back home, he called his head servant to him and made him swear to find a nice relative for Isaac to marry. So the servant put his hand under Abraham’s thigh (or maybe grabbed his balls?) and swore he’d do his best. Then the servant asked if he should take Isaac with him so that the boy could pick out his own bride, but Abraham, was like Lord no! Don’t take my son into that hellhole!
So the servant got a caravan together and headed back toward Ur where Abraham’s brother Nahor lived. Now this servant didn’t want to put a lot of effort into finding a wife for Isaac, so he made a vow that the first unattached girl who gave him a drink and offered to water his camels would be the girl for Isaac. Luckily for Isaac, the first woman was a pretty virgin named Rebekah. The servant thought, so far, so good, then asked the girl, miss, who’s your father? Would he let me and the caravan rest for a couple of days, and she was like oh, this is Nahor’s camp. He’s my grandpa, I’m sure he’ll let you stay! The servant was all yessss! to himself, and gave her a golden nosering and some golden bangles. She ran home to show her mom. Continue reading “Genesis 24: Isaac and Rebekah”