Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jacob earns Rachel as his wife

After Jacob steals Esau's blessing, he flees Esau to journey to the land of his maternal uncle Laban. At a well, Jacob sees and falls in love with Rachel, Laban's daughter. He asks Laban for Rachel as a wife, offering to work for Laban for seven years in order to earn Rachel. After the seven years are up, he has a wedding, and only discovers after the consummation that he had been tricked into marrying Leah, the older (and less attractive) sister of Rachel. Laban points out that Leah is the older, and should be married first, so Jacob offers to work for another seven years for Rachel. After his marriage to Rachel, Jacob fathers several sons by Leah, a couple by Leah's servant woman, and a copule by Rachel's servant woman. Finally Rachel bears Joseph (Jacob's favorite son) and Ben. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The story of Jacob and Esau

After God's test of Abraham in the sacrifice of Isaac, Sarah dies, Isaac marries Rebekah, and Abraham dies. Following these events comes the story of Jacob and Esau. The story almost ignores Isaac's life as an adult, and skips on to his sons Jacob and Esau. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Abraham's offering of Isaac

Finally, God gave Sarah the promised son, Isaac. Due to her love of Isaac and her jealousy of Hagar and Ishmael she expelled the two. Abraham was loathe to abandon Ishmael to the elements, but God promised to take care of Ishmael, and that he would be the father of of a nation, so Abraham trusted God and did what he was told. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

In Chapter 18 of Genesis two angels and God appeared at Abraham's tent. Abraham saw them and thought they were three men, so he rushed to extend his hospitality to the guests. Hospitality was of very high importance to Abraham's culture, and he did everything right. He set Sarah to work kneading flour, prepared a calf, and provided curds and milk. After this, the angels and the LORD revealed themselves to Abraham and told him that Sarah would bear a child. Sarah, who was eavesdropping, laughed at this, and the LORD scolded her. Sarah, afraid, denied laughing. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The woes of spraying

This has been an uneventful week for me. Things are going well at work, though I'm working a little too hard these days and have decided I don't have enough time for all the books I'm reading. Sadly, I've had to cut out a few of the books in my currently reading list, so that I can finish SOMETHING this month. Also my male cat, Puck, whom I have not had money to fix yet, has started spraying. Yuck. It has not been going on long and I'm hoping the behavior will stop once he's neutered. The internet says that he'll probably spray for a little while after being fixed, but if the behavior has not been going on long there's a good chance he'll stop. This is exactly why I didn't want a male cat at all, but, alas, when I had the chance at two free kittens one of them was male. And the vets convinced me to fix the female first. Shouldn't have listened. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Unwinding Discussion Google Doc

I am leading a discussion of 6 Books to Help Understand Trump's Win. This is a discussion of the first book: The Unwinding by George Packer. Anybody may participate in this discussion. I have made a Google Doc for the ease of discussion. The Google Doc is here.

How to Read the Bible Chapter 6, by James Kugel

Abram Journeying Into the Land of Canan, by Gustave Dore
Chapter 6 of Kugel's How to Read the Bible covers the call of Abram to leave the land of Canan (Genesis 12 - 15). 

Abram (or Abraham) is thought of as the first monotheist, but where did this legend come from? It is not explicitly stated in the story of Abram that he is monotheistic (though allusions to it are included in the New Testament and supporting documents written later in the Hebrew history). This belief that Abram was a monotheist comes originally from early scholars who believed that Abram must have done something to deserve being singled out by God and given great nations of descendants.