Tag Archives: sodom

Va-Yera – Lot’s Final Indignity

Lot is the Rodney Dangerfield of early biblical figures: he really gets no respect. Only a few verses after Lot flees from the burning ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah, his story ends. Not with a triumph. Not even with any dignity. No. Lot gets raped by his daughters who, apparently, are tremendous idiots.

More after the break.

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Va-Yera – A Tale of Two Dinners

Where we left off, Abraham and Ishmael had just been circumcised, accepting the covenant with God. The following chapters (summary after the break) paint a complex story of punishment, of two men’s relationships with God, and how sometimes a weaker man can do more than a strong one.

This story also marks a turning point: The first time that a man (Abraham) argues with God and wins. It is also the moment where it appears that God’s vision of justice begins slowly to turn from the clan- or family-based justice to individual justice. It won’t get there until the Book of Ezekiel, but it’s a good start. More on that in the next post.

But what do you say about a man who selflessly puts his own butt on the line (rather literally) while trying to save a group of strangers from a rape gang? If he’s Lot, you call him a buffoon.

More after the breakā€¦

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Lech-Lecha – Abram: Warrior-King of Canaan

I think I’m beginning to understand what Genesis is doing in these first few narratives about Abram: they are demonstrating that God’s decision to select his family was correct. Not only does he have an insanely beautiful wife – a woman that could clearly sail a thousand ships, if only there were ships in the deserts of Canaan – but he’s also a master warrior with a deep sense of family and clan loyalty.

The next section of the narrative depicts Abram – somewhat oddly, relative to the nomadic way that he was presented so far – as something of a masterful warrior, perhaps even a warrior king. And it does so by discussing his role in what amounted to the closest thing Genesis has to a World War.

The story goes something like this:

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