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The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

Blogging the Bible: Exodus 16-20 January 15, 2012

Filed under: Religion — katblogger @ 10:51 AM
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16: The Israelites wander around in the desert, slowly starving. In response, God makes bread rain from the heavens, giving them enough to eat. If God can create food from nothing, why are people starving? He feeds them with this manna for forty years. That’s a long time to wander in the desert. I wonder how many Israelites didn’t make it through.

17: Next, they complain about water. I would have thought that water would have trumped bread, but apparently not. Moses summons water from a rock, which I remember from that illustrated Bible I used to have. A random guy named Amalek shows up, but they fight and defeat him. This plot line is harder to follow than Grey’s Anatomy.

19: Nothing interesting has happened for a while. God says he’ll come down in a cloud upon Mount Sinai, so Moses begins to prepare. He tells everyone that if a human or animal touches the mountain, they’ll be stoned or shot with arrows. Nice. Also, to keep everyone pure, he instructs them to “not go near a woman”. I wonder what the women are supposed to do. There’s a big dramatic noise and spout of fire, and God arrives.

20: God delivers the Ten Commandments. You know, THE Ten Commandments. The things that pop up on courtroom walls, and are lauded as the most important moral guidelines of the civilized world. Let’s take a look.

1. Don’t worship anyone else. The paranoia’s showing through a little here. After all, if they’re worshipping someone else, they’re probably not paying any attention to these commandments.

2. Don’t make idols, “for I am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me”. At least he admits it.

3. Don’t take his name in vain. I guess everyone who says “Oh my God” is going to hell.

4. Don’t do anything on Sunday. I can live with that.

5. Honor your parents.

6. – 10. Don’t murder, cheat, steal, lie, or covet things. All very nice, although good luck not coveting. However, it seems that multiple Christians have botched some of these up. Crusades, anyone? Heck, God screws up the murder one all the time. Perhaps he ought to sign a version of the Magna Carta. No one should be above the law.

 

 

 

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Blogging the Bible: Exodus 9-15 January 8, 2012

Filed under: Religion — katblogger @ 10:33 AM
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I haven’t done this in ages. But now I’m back and ready for some plague-y fun.

So my last post title lied. I only got through section 8. So we’re starting with section 9, and I’ll see how far I get until this post is ridiculously long.

9: God’s next plague kills all the livestock in Egypt – specifically, those of the Egyptians. For once, he spares the Israelites from his punishments. However, God seems content to punish innocent animals for the humans’ errors. Not cool. If he can reach into human emotion and ‘harden Pharaoh’s heart’, why can’t he soften it and let them go? I think he’s on some power trip – trying to completely cow Egypt and show them who’s boss, no matter how many people get hurt. This sounds like plenty of villains. Marvelous.

Next come boils, and God finally admits his grand plan. “I have let you live: to show you my power, and to make my name resound through all the earth.” He’s prolonging the suffering of Israelites, Egyptians, and animals alike for that? You’d think an omnipotent deity wouldn’t have such insecurity issues.

God adds in a deadly hail/fire combo, killing many people. What’s interesting is that Moses summons all of these plagues, showing absolutely no remorse. Most likely, plenty of the Egyptians would love to let him go. Pharaoh is the one standing in his way. Yet all of these plagues are hurting the regular Egyptians. Pharaoh probably has attendants protecting him from frogs and flies, and he has the wealth to buy water and cover livestock losses. The big bad is the one who’s least affected. Yet Moses doesn’t seem to mind destroying an entire country and murdering its inhabitants. I was ok with him, too. That so figures. Is there anyone in this book who isn’t a jerk?

10: God starts giggling like a little kid who pulled off a trick. He tells Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heat and the hearts of his officials, in order that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them – so that you may know that I am the Lord.” Uh… yeah. I’m not even going to tackle this one. Let’s just say that there’s a reason that Abrahamic God makes the list of ‘Jerkass God’ tropes on tvtropes.org.

Locusts desecrate the land. Then darkness falls upon Egypt. Every time, Pharaoh says he’s changed his mind, then changes it back. I think he’s split personality.

11: God brings one last plague upon Egypt – the worst of them all. God plans to kill every Egyptian firstborn – from Pharaoh’s to the slaves’ to animals’, and there’s no way to avoid it. God says he’ll harden Pharaoh’s heart once more “in order that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”

Does Moses say “Wait a minute”? Does he question the fairness of punishing the entire country and killing innocent children because of some petty deity’s plot? Does he suggest that there must be SOME line they shouldn’t cross, even if they want their freedom?

Of course not. Moses is a good little follower now. He doesn’t seem to care about the devastation he leaves behind.

12: Passover originates from this passage. Each Israelite family kills a lamb and paints its blood over their doorways, so God’s deadly rampage will pass over them. It works, and “there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.” Finally Pharaoh relents, and sends the Israelites away.

13: Once the Israelites leave Egypt, God starts setting a bunch of ground rules. However, he doesn’t warn any of them that he’s planning on reverting to Jerkass mode yet again. You just wait. It’s about to get lovely.

14: God (apparently talking to himself) says “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and he will pursue them so that I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” Uh huh. Forget whoever might die in the attempt. God likes to play Risk, bossing everyone around and making them fight for his amusement.

The army pursues the Israelites, who are righteously pissed, telling Moses he led them from a decent life to certain death. Then we have the famous parting-the-sea story, and God wipes out most of the Egyptian army. Yay. Good for him. Can I be done now? Who the heck would worship this guy? He sounds like a total sadist.

15: Moses and the Israelites, cheerful after mass slaughter, sing a song to God. Honestly, I skimmed it. This is making me sick, and I am so done with the Bible for the week.

 

Blogging the Bible: Exodus 5-10 December 18, 2011

Filed under: Religion — katblogger @ 11:45 AM
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We left off with Moses being instructed by a flaming shrub to become a revolutionary. So far I like Moses. However, I’m not holding out on liking him for much longer. More on that later. This is rather off topic, but I’m honestly curious. After a terrible disaster, you’ll often hear people say something along the lines of “God saved me/decided to spare me/had other plans for me.” Does that imply that God intentionally killed off/let other people die? Cold. And these people believe that God must love them better than the innocent families that were obliterated by the same disaster? Nice. Moving on.

5: Moses runs off to Pharaoh and explains that God wants him to let the Israelites go. Pharaoh retorts that he doesn’t know this god, and that they need to get back to work. Indeed, he gives them harder work to punish them for their small act of defiance. Moses gets a little snippy with God, saying, “O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me? Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.” So far I’m still liking Moses. He’s not afraid to call God out for not exactly fulfilling his promise.

6: God again promises to free the Israelites, but the Israelites are so sick and tired of being mistreated that they don’t believe him anymore. They’re tired of empty promises, and the last one just made things worse.

7: God instructs Moses to speak to Pharaoh again with Aaron as his eloquent sidekick. Now things get confusing. God says, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and I will multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. ” Wait a second… Pharaoh might have let them go? But God made Pharaoh more stubborn so he wouldn’t do the very thing God told Moses to ask him to do? This makes less sense than Pedro Paramo. I think God is just really bored or something, and entertains himself/itself by playing with people’s minds.

Apparently Moses is 80 now. Time sure flies when you’re being oppressed. I guess a wizened old man threatening Pharaoh with dire consequences isn’t really imposing. However, Aaron transforms his staff into a snake to prove that he has God on his side. Pharoah’s magicians do the same, although Aaron’s staff eats their snakes. So Egyptians can do magic too… is this acknowledging the Egyptian gods as sources of divine power as well? I wish it would explain how they did it beyond ‘secret arts’. Maybe there’s some god civil war, and God prompted Moses to do this so he could prove he can beat Ra, Isis, and all their gang.

Moses then turns the water of the Nile into blood, which is just gross. All the water in Egypt then turns into blood. This is a little bit of a problem. I don’t think they thought it through. Egypt is a very dry climate, and people need water to survive, yes? The Israelites are currently trapped in Egypt, right? See where I’m going with this? Every plague they release onto the whole of Egypt is going to blow up in their faces. Nice.

After everything becomes blood, “the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts.” I thought everything was already blood. What did they do, turn the blood bloodier? Either way, Pharaoh still refuses to do anything, and a whole week passes.

8: God’s next plague takes the form of an infestation of frogs. Aaron stretches his hands over the waters of Egypt, and frogs come out. Except I thought that all the waters turned to blood, so all aquatic creatures died. Strange. Then “The magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts,a nd brought frogs up on the land of Egypt.” I’m not really understanding their thought process:

Pharaoh: That nasty slave infested our country with frogs. It’s so annoying.

Magician: Oh, that’s no big deal. We can do that too. See? *summons vast amount of frogs*

Pharaoh: Oh, that’s very nice. Now we have more frogs. Brilliant.

These plagues aren’t really in great order. Turning water into blood is very ominous and creepy, with the side effect of making everyone super thirsty. Frogs are just… frogs. Who says ‘Cower beneath  my terrible onslaught of amphibians!’ No one. Are the plagues going to keep getting lamer?

Pharaoh disagrees with me. The blood didn’t faze him, but he calls Moses in and promises he’ll let the people go if he only stops the frogs. Moses agrees, and convinces the Lord to remove the frogs. God does this by killing them all, so everyone gets to deal with their stinking corpses. Humane treatment of animals, anyone? However, once the frogs are gone, Pharaoh decides not to let the people go.

God continues his theme of summoning annoying but non-deadly animals, having Aaron bring about a swarm of gnats. The magicians cannot duplicate this feat, and tell Pharaoh it is indeed the work of God. After a long time being attacked by flies, while the Israelites are left alone, Pharaoh agrees to let the Israelites go off to sacrifice if they don’t go very far away. See, I didn’t mention this before, but Moses never said, “Hey, I want you to let us go forever.” All he wanted was a short break so they could all wander off and perform a sacrifice to their God. Naturally, once they’d escaped slavery, I seriously doubt they would have come back, which Pharaoh obviously caught on to, since he’s so reluctant to grant them vacation.

Moses removes the flies, but again Pharaoh changes his mind. I was planning to do a lot more this week, but this post is 1000 words long, and I think that’s quite enough. So far, Exodus is much more interesting. See you next time.

 

Blogging the Bible: Exodus 1-4 December 11, 2011

Filed under: Religion — katblogger @ 10:59 AM
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Yes! We’re done with Genesis! Now I just have… the rest of the Bible left. This is going to take a while, isn’t it?

These chapters or whatever you call them are longer than the ones back in Genesis, so I may not read ten. We’ll see how it goes.

1: Jacob has seventy children. That’s just… gross. I feel bad for his wives. A new ruler of Egypt arises who doesn’t like this Israelite infestation. He then enslaves them, afraid that the large number of Israelites will overpower him. To keep their numbers down, it’s ordered that all newborn boys must be killed. (Because a girl could never lead a successful rebellion (*coughJoanofArccough*).

2: One woman has a child and hides him, until she’s no longer able to. Then she places him in a basket and sets him in some reeds by the river. I fail to see how this is a good plan. Sure, it turns out well, but ordinarily, you’d just be setting your baby up to either starve to death, be devoured by wild animals, or found by Egyptian soldiers and killed. Brilliant.

Luckily, the Pharaoh’s daughter sees the child and takes pity on him. She actually brings in the kid’s real mother to take care of him, although she becomes his foster-mother. The child is named Moses.

Moses grows up in the Pharaoh’s household, but one day sees an Egyptian beating an Israelite and kills him. Pharaoh hears of this and wants him dead, so Moses flees. It’s strange to me that Moses, after being brought up Egyptian, immediately sides with an Israelite. Besides, if he’s favored in the Pharaoh’s household, why couldn’t he just order the Egyptian to stop? Killing him seems excessive. But no matter…

Moses becomes a shepherd while in exile, and meets and marries a girl named Zipporah. He’s content for a while, until the Pharaoh dies and the Israelites cry out for help. “God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.” That part just seems unintentionally funny to me. I imagine God glancing over and saying, “Oops. I let those people I was supposed to protect get enslaved and tortured. Guess I hadn’t checked in on them in a while. The time sure flies.” I thought he was omnipresent?

3: Moses is tending his flock and then sees a random bush on fire. Naturally, he goes to check it out, and the voice of God comes out of the bush. “Moses! Moses!”

Now, if it was me, and I heard a flaming bush calling my name, I’d either assume I’d eaten bad mushrooms or that there was a crazy pyromaniac hiding behind the bush ready to set me on fire too. However, Moses is a more trusting individual, and replies “Here I am.”

The bush – who is God, although I have no clue why God desires to appear in the guise of a flaming bush – instructs Moses to deliver the Israelites from suffering. He promises to be with Moses and help him with his task.

4: Moses protests, wondering what he should do if people doubt that God appeared to him. This is a fair question, since if I went up to the president and told him to free all the prisoners in Guantanamo because a bush told me so, I’d probably be institutionalized. I like Moses. He’s not afraid to chat with flaming bush-God, instead of just bowing in reverence and promising to do whatever he orders, no matter how stupid it sounds. God then gives Moses’ staff the ability to turn into a snake as proof of his power. Why is a snake proof of God? I thought he didn’t like snakes. Whatever. God also gives Moses the power to cause leprosy, or turn water into blood. He argues a bit more, until God gets fed up with him and sends him off.

Now I’m confused. Perhaps I’m reading it wrong, but I think it says that while Moses is traveling to Egypt, God tries to kill him. I thought he’d just prepped him for taking over Egypt. This is odd. However, Zipporah circumcises her son and touches Moses’ feet with the blood, so God leaves Moses alone. This is very strange. Perhaps an allusion to the later angel of death scene?

This post has gotten long enough, so I’m done for the day. So far, I like Moses better than Abraham. I’ll still holding out, though, until I see whether he feels bad about killing all the innocent kids in Egypt. He’d better.

 

Blogging the Bible: Genesis 47-50 December 4, 2011

Filed under: Religion — katblogger @ 12:20 PM
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It’ll be a short post this week, because I’m finally done with Genesis! Just a million and a half sections to go.

I’m working on my Extended Essay, discussing archetypes in various religions, and I can’t help but notice a few scattered here and there. Lots of the Biblical stories echo earlier myths I’ve read elsewhere. I think I’ve already discussed the tree one, but think about Lot. They’re told not to look back, his wife does, and she turns to a pillar of salt.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Orpheus? He attempted to retrieve his wife from the underworld, but looked back and she was lost to him forever. A similar thing happened to Izanagi and Izanami, two Japanese gods. I believe there’s also a Native American legend – I don’t recall which tribe – where a chief trys to lead his wife out of the spirit world through a deep canyon path. He looks back, and the canyon shuts, barring the way to the world of the dead forever.

The point is, many Biblical stories have simply altered earlier myths to suit their needs. It’s interesting, and I suppose it makes sense. Christianity ballooned outward, picking up influences as it went. Of course, did it reach Japan before the Bible was written? Probably not, although Carl Jung has an explanation as to why those stories are similar…

But moving on. Let’s look at the Bible.

47: Joseph introduces his relatives to Pharaoh, who welcomes them. This is kind of odd, since I recall the whole evil Pharaoh bit in Exodus. Perhaps this is a different guy. Joseph holds all the food, and starving Egyptians sell their land and finally themselves for food. Poor things.

48: Jacob is ill, and blesses his son. He also blesses his grandchildren, favoring the younger brother. Joseph is displeased by this, which is ironic. Wasn’t he the one who lorded over his older brothers?

49: These sections are fairly brief, which is nice. Jacob assembles his sons and tells all of them their futures, speaking in poetry. He’s a little harsh to some of them, but they don’t seem to mind. Apparently his twelve sons represent the twelve tribes of Irael, and these stanzas describe each tribes’ histories. Then – finally, after announcing he was dying over and over – Jacob dies.

50: The Egyptians embalm Jacob, so he’s a mummy now. Cool. The old man is buried, and Joseph’s brothers worry he’ll be angry with them. However, their younger brother forgives them, and then he dies. That was quick. The time sure passes when you’re having fun… or ruling in Egypt, or whatever.

 

Blogging the Bible: Genesis 37-46 November 27, 2011

Filed under: Religion — katblogger @ 9:54 AM
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Back to the Bible. So far, it’s just really boring. I can’t believe anyone read this thing through and decided, “Hey! This would be a great model for a huge, world-controlling religion.” But I digress.

37: So Jacob plays favorites again, loving Joseph more than any of his other children. The parents in this book suck. Anyway, he makes him a coat, which is all very nice, but naturally Joseph’s siblings get pissed because he gets everything and they’re ignored.

Joseph, who seems a little lacking in the common sense department, goes on to tell his brothers that he dreamed he was more important than him. His father scolds him, while his brothers plot to kill him. They throw Joseph into a pit and then sell him to some traders, who take the boy to Egypt. The brothers return home and tell their father that Joseph was killed by animals.

38: Ok, some guy named Judah does some stuff, but maybe I should be making a character chart, because I have no clue who he is. God starts killing people for no apparent reason. “Er was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and LORD put him to death.” Do we know why? Silly question – of course not. Then Onan, who is told to sleep with Er’s wife so Er may have vicarious children, refuses, and god kills him too.

Judah’s daughter in law, Tamar, sits on the side off the road for some reason, and Judah thinks she’s a prostitute. Since his wife is dead, naturally, he runs over to have some fun. They barter, and then Judah sleeps with her. She ends up being pregnant, and Judah (not knowing the prostitute and Tamar are the same) says she must be burned. However, she explains that Judah is the father, so he forgives her.

39: We had this little interlude, but now we’re back to Joseph. He’s sold to an Egyptian guard, and becomes a favored slave. His master’s wife hits on him, but he runs away, leaving his ‘garment’. I’m hoping this is his scarf or something, and poor Joseph isn’t getting a nasty sunburn running around Egypt naked. Then the woman says Joseph tried to rape her, and her husband believes her. Joseph ends up in jail, but the head jailer puts him in charge, which is very convenient.

40: Two men in prison have dreams, and go to Joseph to interpret them. He does, but asks one – whose interpretation is favorable – to think well of him. He forgets, however, and Joseph remains in prison.

41: Two years later, the Pharaoh has a strange dream and brings Joseph to interpret it. Joseph explains that there will be seven years of prosperity and seven years of famine. Pharoah approves of this, and decides Joseph shall become his second in command. The famine arrives, but Egypt has stockpiled grain, and they have bread.

42: Jacob, Joseph’s father, needs grain as well. He sends ten of his sons off to buy grain, and they meet Joseph. Joseph recognizes them and imprisons them, carrying out a grudge. However, eventually he lets all but one go, giving them lots of free grain. He insists they bring their youngest brother, Benjamin, but Jacob refuses to lose another child.

43: The family eventually runs out of food, and must bring Benjamin to Egypt. Once they get there, Joseph rewards them, especially Benjamin, as he is his full brother.

44: Joseph sends all the brothers back with lots of food and money, but frames Benjamin for stealing his silver cup. Judah, who is apparently one of Joseph’s brothers, begs him to reconsider.

45: Joseph finally explains who he is, and his brothers freak out. There’s a lot of weeping and kissing and throwing upon necks. Apparently no hard feelings among siblings, even if they did leave you to die or sell you into slavery. They forgive one another, and the brothers return to Jacob/Israel and tell him the good news. Jacob insists on seeing Joseph himself.

46:  Jacob’s whole family travels to Egypt. Joseph orders them to introduce themselves as “keepers of livestock from our youth to even now” so they may stay, because Egypt hates shepherds. I’m not sure how shepherds and ‘keepers of livestock’ are any different, but whatever.

Ugh. If you’re still reading this, you’re a wonder. Even I’m bored, and I’m writing it. Ah well. Now that  NaNo’s done, I can promise more interesting posts in the future.

 

Blogging the Bible: Genesis 26-36 November 13, 2011

Filed under: Religion — katblogger @ 8:32 AM
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So… NaNo’s moving along, quickly enough. I’m not too pleased with my output this year, but it’s words and practice, so oh well. Back to the Bible.

26: The sins of the father, eh? Issac wanders off with Rebekah and says she’s his sister. Brilliant move. Has he learned nothing? Again, a king calls him out on it, when he sees Issac being a little too familiar with his ‘sister’. Awkward… The king later tells Issac “Go away from us; you have become too powerful for us” simply because he makes a lot of money on grain. This seems a little odd for a king to say, but Isaac obeys and wanders off. Later, the king somehow figures out that Isaac is god’s golden boy, and makes a treaty with him. Everything is wonderful… until Esau shows up and ‘made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah’. Cue ominous music.

27: Isaac is old and blind. He tells his son Esau to go make him dinner, so he can give him his blessing. However, Rebekah plays favorites, so she switches Jacob and Esau so Jacob will win his father’s blessing instead. It seems to me that playing tricks on your dying father is kind of low, but Jacob doesn’t mind. You can imagine Esau is very annoyed. I have no idea why Isaac can’t bless both his kids – nowadays, both siblings are generally taken care of by the parents, and you don’t just spoil one and chuck scraps to the other one. Finally, Isaac gives Esau a sort of blessing – he already told Jacob he would lord over Esau, but he promises Esau that he will live by the sword and break loose from his brother.

There seems to be a tradition of fratricide in the Bible. Esau intends to kill Jacob, but Rebekah tells Jacob to flee. She convinces Isaac to let the boy go marry one of her relatives. Can you say incest?

Now we get to the famous Jacob’s ladder story. He sleeps using a stone as a pillow – which has to be pretty darn uncomfortable – and dreams of angels ascending and descending from heaven. God appears and gives Jacob the land he’s lying on – I hope no one else wanted it

29: Jacob continues walking, and meets Rachel, his cousin. For some reason, he kisses her and then “weeps aloud”. This seems a bit forward, but everyone else seems all right about it. Jacob works for the family for seven years, and for his wages asks for Rachel’s hand in marriage. However, at the wedding, Jacob realizes that he’s married Leah instead, Rachel’s older sister. The horror! He becomes angry, but Laban (the girls’ father) tells him he can have Rachel too if he works for another seven years. Jacob does so, and wins both sisters, as well as their maids, who are bonuses.

Jacob very rudely plays favorites, and loves Rachel more. This isn’t fair to poor Leah, so he makes her fertile while Rachel is barren. Rachel becomes upset, and tells Jacob to sleep with her maid so she can have vicarious children. Leah soon asks the same. I wonder if this is justification for husbands having affairs with maids. It seems odd that the wife would ask their husband to cheat on them.

Later, Leah’s son Reuben finds some mandrakes in the field. I don’t know why she’d want them – the plants are poisonous, and can send people into a coma, but apparently they were thought to be a remedy for barren women. Rachel wants the plants, and the women barter, using sleeping with Jacob as currency. Weird… and it’s even stranger that Jacob goes along with it.

Leah: Hey – you have to sleep with me tonight because your wife ditched you for roots.

Jacob: Ok. No biggie.

I suppose he’s slept with pretty much every female around, so a little variety isn’t a big deal.

Eventually Rachel has a son – Joseph.

31: Through methods that I found confusing, Jacob managed to manipulate Laban’s herds of goats and sheep so he would profit. Laban’s family is annoyed, and Jacob leaves. Laban chases him, ignoring god’s warning not to speak to the man. After a heated argument, they make peace.

32: Jacob sends Esau a very servile message, and Esau comes to visit bringing four hundred men. Jacob freaks out, thinking his brother is homicidal. He sends his brother lots of presents of livestock, and puts his wives somewhere safe. That night, a random man wrestles with him and then blesses him. Apparently he was wrestling with god. I have no idea why.

33: Esau arrives and meets him happily. He seems to have forgiven him for stealing his birthright. *sniff* I just love a happy ending.

34: Dinah, Jacob’s one daughter, is raped by a prince who falls in love with her. Jacob and his kinsmen are very angry, but the prince Shechem, insists he’s in love with the girl and wishes to marry her. Jacob’s sons do not wish to reward the man who defiled their sister, and tell Shechem he must be circumcised before he marries. He does so, but Jacob’s sons come into the city and slaughter every male there. That’s not fair at all. No one else did anything wrong.

35: Jacob is renamed Israel by god – a sort of origin story for the entire nation. Rachel has another son, but she dies in childbirth.

36: This section is just a long, long list of children and death. See you next week.