Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Reading the Bible - Genesis 33

Sometimes I want to kick myself for saying that I will re-read the Bible and blog about it. The fact is that the Bible is filled with so many inaccuracies that there is no way that it can be considered a holy book from which to take moral lessons.  How is anyone meant to trust a book that cannot even get simple geography correct? How is anyone meant to believe a book that makes false claims about history? How is anyone meant to believe a book that is unscientific in claims about genetics? Yet, here we sit in the 21st century with millions of people believing this crap, yet are not willing to accept the implications of their beliefs. Sure you get the more liberal Christians who are prepared to accept that you should not stone homosexuals, but yet they still cling to the Bible as fact. Like I said at the offset, I really kick myself for taking on this massive task.

From last weeks reading we know that Jacob is going home to the land of his birth and that Esau his big brother is coming to meet him. Remember that Jacob was the person who stole Esau's birthright so we can understand why he was hesitant to meet Esau, it also explains why he sent a lot of gifts ahead to placate his brother. Picking up the story we see Jacob spotting his brother and his men on the horizon, so Jacob divides his children among the various women/wives that he has impregnated over the course of the past few years. Here we see a type of hierarchy developing, as the servants and their children are first, followed by Leah and her children, then lastly Rachel and Joseph. As we will see later this makes sense as Joesph is the important child and so we expect great things from the tribe of Joseph.
"He put the female servants and their children in front, Leʹah and her children after them, and Rachel and Joseph behind them."
After organizing his people, Jacob then goes ahead to meet Esau and bows deeply to him.....and then.....

Nothing happens. Esau is elated to see his brother again and they kiss and makeup.
"But Eʹsau ran to meet him, and he embraced him and kissed him, and they burst into tears."
Remember, this is the same brother that promised to kill his brother. So this story essentially contradicts the earlier stories about Esau's character and so we have to draw conclusions what happened, 1)either Esau is in fact not a bad person at all, or 2) Esau had some life altering experience. Unfortunately for us this issue of transformation from bad to good is not detailed so we will forever be at a loss as to why Esau decided to not destroy his brother.

Esau then inquires about the children and the flocks that he met that went ahead of Jacob on the journey. Jacob explains this is a gift for Esau so that he can find favor in his eyes. Needless to say Esau says it is not necessary, as he is super wealthy anyway, but on Jacobs persistence Esau accepts the gift. Again we see Esau acting like a good person, so it is really bizarre that Jacob is the chosen one in this story that is the Bible. Then again who am I to doubt the ways of God??

Now lets take a history lesson which demonstrates either 1) a lack of historical reliability in the Bible or 2) the lying nature of Jacob that is so highly approved of by Jehovah. Jacob says to Esau the following:
"Let my lord, please, go on ahead of his servant, but I will continue the journey more slowly at the pace of my livestock and of the children until I come to my lord at Seʹir.”"
So Seir is meant to be located North of Hebron, so where does Jacob go?
"And Jacob journeyed to Sucʹcoth, and he built a house for himself and he made shelters for his herd. That was why he named the place Sucʹcoth."
But, Succoth is East of the river Jordan which is no where near Hebron. So Jacob by buliding a house in Succoth was lying to his brother yet again! But, it gets worse.
"After journeying from Padʹdan-aʹram, Jacob arrived safely at the city of Sheʹchem in the land of Caʹnaan, and he set up his camp near the city. Then he acquired a portion of the field where he pitched his tent from the sons of Haʹmor, the father of Sheʹchem, for 100 pieces of money."
So where did Jacob settle, apparently in Shechem which is nowhere near where he built his houses in Succoth.  Additionally, it is no where near Hebron either. So why build the houses so far away from where you intend to live? All round this seems like a very bizarre historical account and one that should raise questions concerning integrity of either the Bible or the moral figures in the Bible.

Till next time.

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