Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Reading the Bible - Genesis 23

The best part about reading the Bible again is that you get to read some of those obscure stories that you had forgotten from the first time round. Now let me be clear, this does not mean many Bible readers are illiterate, it just means that there are some real weird stories that take whole chapters when other stories get a fleeting look. For example today's entire biblical reading involves the death, bargaining and burial of Sarah, while other stories like the whole creation of the universe get a mere 2 chapters (well 1.5 when you consider that Genesis 2 covers most of Genesis 1 again).

Honestly when I first read the story I was utterly confused and so I had to use a lot of commentary to understand it. To me all that happens is that Sarah dies, then Abraham bargains for land to bury Sarah on. The people he is bargaining with want to give him the land for free, however he insists that they pay him for the land. The reason they do not want to take money is because the realise that Abraham is Gods chosen guy, maybe they think this will carry favour with the bloodthirsty one? Anyway in the end Abraham pays for the land and then he buries Sarah on his land.

So what can I learn from the biblical commentary?

Well according to the David Guzik commentary the only thing that I missed is that Sarah was really important and considered the most important women in the Bible as her age of death is reported. As such women should try follow Sarahs role. Now if you remember what Sarah did, I would think this is a bloody jhorrible example to follow. After all envy and hatred are not good qualities in any person.

Sarah banishes Hagar (Source)

According to the Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers I also nailed this reading.

The reason I mention these commentaries is that theists like to point out that us atheists do not understand the Bible and we are not biblical scholars. Well I hate to tell any theists reading this, besides the Sarah as a role model, I understood this part of the Bible just as any other part and I am no Biblical scholar. So next time you point out to an atheist that they do not understand the Bible, remember that the Bible is not so difficult to understand. The only reason many theists believe the Bible is difficult to understand has to do with the excuses they need to make so that things like slavery can be justified.

In closing when you start making excuses lies to justify anything, you usually need more excuses lies to make it work. At the end of the day you are just making stories to justify a book that makes no sense.

All verses come from the New World Translation Of The Holy Scriptures.
Online version available at the Jehovah's Witnesses official website