Eve Tamar Bathsheba
Cain's Wife Potiphar's Wife Athaliah
Daughters Of Men The Midwives Mothers Of Influence
Noah's Wife Moses' Moms Lois & Eunice
Pioneers Shelomith Jesus' Mom
Sarai a.k.a. Sarah Rahab Elizabeth
Hagar Deborah Gomer
Lot's Wife Samson's Mom Alien Mothers
Lot's Daughters Micah's Mom Jesus' Paterfamilias
We might wonder what woman in her right mind would agree to marry a violent man like Cain; let alone bear his children. Well . . some women are attracted to cruel men; and find them irresistible. Others are just simply too afraid to stand up to cruel men and spurn their advances. Some have such a low opinion of themselves that no matter how attractive or personable others may insist they are, the women themselves simply aren't convinced in their own minds that they rate something better. And then there are always women willing to marry a cruel man only because they're out of options; after all, there really weren't all that many men to pick from in those days.
Men and women have very different needs as regards to companionship. Shaunti Feldhahn, author of For Women Only, relates a survey taken among segregated groups of men and women with this question: Given a choice; would you rather be disrespected, or would you rather be alone and unloved in the world? The majority of the ladies chose disrespect rather than living alone and unloved in the world while the majority of the men chose to live alone and unloved rather than be disrespected.
FAQ: Where did Cain's wife come from?
God is on record creating only one man; no others; ergo: Cain married a sister. No, it wasn't wrong in those days; the human genome was in very pristine condition, and incest would not be forbidden until many, many years after the Flood in the days of Moses. In point of fact, Abraham's wife Sarah was his half-sister (Gen 20:12). Everybody is related to Adam.
● Acts 17:26 . . He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth
Were not all men of one blood, then they would not all die because of Adam's transgression.
● Rom 5:12-13 . . Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned
● Rom 5:18 . . By the offence of one; judgment came upon all men to condemnation
So Cain was pretty much forced to either marry a sister or live alone.
● Gen 4:17 . .Then Cain's wife conceived and gave birth to a son, and they named him Enoch. When Cain founded a city, he named it Enoch; after his son.
This is the first mother in the Bible who's entire posterity would become so evil that God had to step in and destroy them all— men and women, single people, married people, parents, pregnant moms, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, teen-agers, handicapped people, and senior citizens: none survived the Flood; and their pet bunnies, ponies, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, parakeets, puppies, and kitties all drowned with them.
The city Mrs. Cain's husband founded was probably not the kind of city we're used to thinking. The Hebrew word for it is from `iyr (eer); which can indicate even a mere encampment or post.
Whether Mrs. Cain and her baby boy actually lived in a permanent settlement is doubtful since her husband self-banished himself to vagrancy and wandering (Gen 4:14). Enochville was very likely nothing more than a rudimentary village like the towns in the Old West and the Klondike that grew up around rail heads and mining camps. Some of those were little more than a village of tents, and that's probably really all that Enochville amounted to: just a nomadic assembly of Mrs. Cain's clan where they could pool their resources, and watch each other's back as they wandered from place to place in the land of Nod searching for natural sustenance.
Mrs. Cain's side of the Adams family was characterized by technology, invention, boasting, achievement, commerce, and violence. But not one word is recorded concerning its association with, nor its interest in, Man's maker. Her entire community was God-less and went on to be completely destroyed right down to the last man, woman, and child in Noah's flood. Not one survives Mrs. Cain today.
On the pages of Scripture, Mrs. Cain's clan have nothing good to say about the Bible's God; nor did they offer Him any presents, nor invite Him into their homes, nor care how He might feel about anything. The Bible doesn't record even one single incident of Mrs. Cain's village blessing God for His goodness; nor for His mercy, nor for His providence. There is no record that any of them ever said even one single prayer— not even a simple lay-me-down-to-sleep kind of prayer. Every one of the little kids in Enochville went to bed each night without the slightest assurance that the God of creation cared at all for the well being of their little souls.
How many homes of American mothers right here in the modern
USA reflect that very same Cainish culture? The parents and the children are
unthankful, irreverent, impious, and secular; caring little or nothing for
things of eternal value: moving towards an inevitable head-on rendezvous with
death and the hereafter, and totally unprepared to meet their maker. Of them it
can honestly be said that the hand that rocks the cradle also spawns fuel for
the ovens of Hell.
Daughters Of Men
● Gen 6:1-2 . . Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.
The precise identity of the "sons of God" has been debated. Some say they were sons of the aristocracy of that day who married beautiful women from among the commoners. Others say they were perverted spirit creatures who cohabited with mortals to produce a hybrid strain of hominids. But it's far more likely the sons of God were just simply pious men who, overcome with sensual lust, built themselves harems of gorgeous infidels rather than women of like faith.
All too often in a mixed marriage, the mother's religion (if she has one) will be taught the children because husbands, as a rule, put a higher priority on peace in the home than religion, so they typically don't risk alienating mama by forcing the issue. This situation can result in tragic consequences for the children of a son of God. His religion will be marginalized; and the kids will grow up to be just as much an infidel as their mother, and look upon their dad's religion as error rather than the way, the truth, and the life.
The sons of God in Noah's day— whose wives were chosen based solely upon s-ex appeal sans any spiritual prudence whatsoever— all perished in the Flood. None of them took Noah's preaching seriously. And the mothers of their children? They drowned too. The children? Swept away. In my opinion, that's too high a price to pay for sensual pleasure.
● Luke 17:26-27 . . Just as it happened in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of Man— they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the Flood came and destroyed them all.
No doubt just as many Christians will be caught off-guard at the Lord's return as were the sons of God in Noah's day. And some of that off-guardedness will be the result of unholy marriages to the unbelieving mothers of their children.
● 2Cor 6:14-18 . . Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and the Devil? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.
. . .Therefore come out from them and be separate, testifies the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters; testifies the Lord Almighty.
● Gen 9:18-19 . . Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah, survived the Flood with their father. From these three sons of Noah came all the people now scattered across the earth.
When Noah's boys came out of the ark, their wives came out with them to set up housekeeping in a Flood-ravaged world that can only be described as a totally wrecked wilderness. It's almost beyond belief that the olive tree of Gen 8:11 survived.
Even ordinary flooding is very destructive. Just southeast of Mount Ste. Helens is an area called the Lahar. It's a totally denuded region caused, not by the volcano's blast, but by water that poured down from the mountain's side when glacier and snow pack melted during the eruption in 1980. In the water's path, whole pine trees were uprooted and swept away, like plucking a woman's eyebrows; leaving nothing but bare, scraped earth. Well, Noah's flood was umpteen times more powerful than Ste .Helens' momentary rush of water. The erosion it caused must have been beyond belief.
Another consideration of the Flood is sediment; which is inherent with flooding. Back in the 1990's, the Willamette river here in Oregon rose high enough to enter our shop buildings along the river. It wasn't a raging type of flooding by any means. Just a gentle, steady rising of the river's waters enough to come over the docks and make a pretty good mess of things. When the water receded a few days later; it left behind a layer of silt. Well, just imagine the layer of silt that a total of 370 days of flooding must have left behind. (It rained only 40 days; but the water didn't dry up for another 330. (cf. Gen 7:11 and Gen 8:13-14)
Even after surviving the Flood, there was nothing waiting for the wives at trail's end but hardship— no convenience stores, no malls no supermarkets, no doctors, no hospitals, no druggists, and no place to live. Noah had to start right from scratch and dig a well, build a shelter, and plow the land for farming.
Can you just imagine how the wives must have felt knowing they were going to bring children into that world with absolutely no friends and neighbors to rely on for help? They and their mother-in-law Mrs. Noah, the only four women on the entire planet, were going to have to stick together against all odds and survive; and help their husbands survive too. If ever men needed their wives, and children needed their mothers, that was it! But they did. We today are the proof of it because we're all grandchildren of those three mothers. (Mothers today complain when their cell phones don't have any bars.)
FYI: Some people feel there is a legitimate question about where Cain got his wife because they don't believe God would ever approve of incest. But this time there is certainly no doubt about it. The eight people aboard the ark were the only human beings left on the entire planet. In order for the race to survive, then the children of those three mothers had to mate with their own first cousins.
Sarai a.k.a. Sarah
● Gen 11:29 …Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah.
Nahor married a niece; the daughter of his brother Haran. And Abram, according to Gen 20:12, married a half sister; the daughter of his father Terah. Such close marriages were later forbidden in Moses' covenanted law. But in Sarai's day, they were neither illegal, nor were they particularly dangerous from a genetic point of view, and so were not uncommon. Adam's family married among themselves; and so did Noah's. They really had no choice about it. There just weren't any other people available for spouses at the time.
Close inbreeding was neither a sin nor a problem in the early days. But it sure is now. You wouldn't dare engender children with a sister or a brother or a niece nowadays. The risk of birth defects is just too high. It's notable that as longevity decreased, so did the margin of safety in marrying kin.
● Gen 11:31 …But Sarai was barren, she had no child.
Nowadays, it would be possible to have both the husband and wife tested to determine exactly which one was causing Sarai's infertility. However; it wasn't Abram (a.k.a. Abraham) because he was potent enough to fertilize Hagar on the first try (Gen 16:1-4).
The Hebrew word for "barren" is `aqar (aw-kawr') which means sterile (as if extirpated in the generative organs). In the Bible, `aqar isn't limited to females, but can be a male problem too (Deut 7:14).
Gen 11:31 is the very first incident recorded in the Bible of a human reproductive malfunction. Other than a gradual reduction in longevity; the human body seems to have been running on all eight cylinders up to this point.
One of the first horrors the human family witnessed was Abel's death. No one had ever seen a dead body before. And now this. A woman who couldn't conceive. It must have been stunning and unbelievable. All the women in history up to this point were cranking out babies by the litter like rabbits and mice.
But this was double-bad for Sarai. Not only could she not have a family of her own, but you know how the tabloids feed on unusual events. Well . . this was one for the books. Sarai, in her day, was a true freak of nature. Everyone would point at her and whisper in hushed tones: Look! There she is! That's the one we saw on 20/20.
She must have felt terribly inferior, and you can just imagine what that did to her self esteem too. Sarai was a gorgeous piece of work, but her womb had no more life in it than a hand-stitched Marc Jacobs purse.
I'm a man; so how can I possibly understand Sarai's personal grief? Only another barren woman can understand what Sarai must have felt. There are women who don't care about children. Their psyches are defective— void of maternal feelings and natural affections. But Sarai doesn't strike me as one of those. And even if she didn't care for children, it would have still been a comfort in her mind to know that at least she could have some if she wanted to.
There's a rare defect in women that is just astounding. I read about it in the Vital Signs column of Discover magazine. The defect, though rare, is most common in otherwise perfectly gorgeous women— girls like Sarai —and seems to be somewhat hereditary. Their birth canal is a cul-de-sac: a blank pouch. There's no ovaries, no fallopian tubes, no uterus, and no cervix. One of the first clues to the presence of the defect is when girls are supposed to start menstruating, but don't.
The story I saw was of a young Mexican girl (I'll call her Lupé). Young, beautiful, and filled out in all the right places; Lupé came to a clinic for an examination to find out why she wasn't menstruating and that's when they discovered she didn't have any generative plumbing.
Lupé was devastated, not only with the news that she would never have any children of her own, but to make matters worse; in her home town's culture, fertile girls are highly valued and respected, while the sterile ones are treated like expendable grunts: char-girls and slave labor. Lupé left the clinic with the full weight upon her heart that in spite of being a 10, and in spite of her feelings to the contrary, she would have to spend the rest of her youth solo because no man in her community would want her; and even among her own kin Lupé would be looked upon as cursed and untouchable.
Too many women today in advanced countries like America take motherhood far too lightly. In Sarai's day, motherhood gave women a reason to exist and that's why they celebrated like mad whenever they had a baby of their own. Children of their own give women a sense of worth and fulfillment that no career can possibly ever do. The glass ceiling? It's futile. Posterity are all that really matter when you get old.
I recall a scene from The Hunter— a 1980 action film starring Steve McQueen —where the main character supported his family by catching bail jumpers. He was away from home frequently, and even upon return, spent more time with his model car hobby than with his wife and kids. A buddy confronted him about it with a lecture that focused upon his worth as a man. In so many words, the friend told McQueen that his family was the only thing in the life of a man of his age that makes sense; and he was missing it. The same issue arose in Hook, starring Robin Williams, about a daddy whose office hours were far more important to him than the precious hours he was losing with his growing children.
More and more American women these days are delaying children till they're older, and some might be tempted to point to Abraham's wife as a good example of an aged mother. But those delayed mothers are missing a very important element of Sarah's motherhood. She was not only restored to fertility, but she was also restored enough youthful vitality to enjoy pleasure with her 100 year-old husband and to raise a young child.
Being an older mother has some serious disadvantages. Topping the list is diminished vitality. It takes energy, endurance, and a good attitude to raise small children; and old gray mares just ain't what they used to be. Sooner or later, even a new mother of say, only 28 or 30, is going to be wishing she'd done it sooner. Older mothers may even lose love for their little ones as they begin to resent their demands; leaving her neither time nor energy for attention to her own needs.
Number two is psychological aging. As a woman's body ages, her mind goes through a subtle aging process all its own. Maturing puts more and more psychological distance between the days of now and the days of her own childhood. As a result, older mothers eventually lose their intuitive ability to relate to young people. A younger mother is in a far more appropriate psychological state of mind to nurture children than an older, maturing women who can no longer hear the bell. (If you have to ask what the bell is; then maybe it's time for you to pause for a bit and read "The Polar Express" or better yet, rent the movie).
Number three: tiny children are easily frightened by ogres, monsters, and Frankensteins; so it's not hard to understand why they would be more comfortable with young parents. Older people seem to glower with scary scowls and perpetually grumpy looking faces. They seem annoyed all the time, with little sense of humor, and short on patience; while young people tend to be cheerful, and radiate friendly looking, pleasant, serene faces. To tiny children, even 30 seems really old. Can you imagine how they feel about people 40, 50; and beyond?
I can still recall, to this day, the face of an older man who came to the back-seat window of my dad's Dodge sedan way back in the late 1940's just to say hello to me and my pre-school brother and sister. We all started bawling and screaming in utter terror as the man pressed his wrinkled, squinting, yellow-toothed face right up to the window to peer in at us. We were too young to appreciate his friendliness; no, all we saw at that window was a horrifying nightmare; chilling us to the bone.
They say "You're not getting older; just better." Haw! what a load. No; you are getting older. Time, tide, and the aging process pause for no man. Waylon Jennings says in one of his songs: "I may be used, but I'm not used up and I may be worn, but I'm not worn out." (chuckle) Trust me; he's worn out. Waylon couldn't take first place in a beauty contest with a gnarly 200 year-old oak tree.
Hagar's role in Abraham's life has repercussions all the way to the World Trade Center— September 11, 2001. The son produced by his union with Hagar went on to become the father of the Arab world; and ultimately, Muhammad: the inventor of Islam.
● Gen 16:1 . . Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.
The word for "maidservant" is shiphchah (shif-khaw') which is a female slave— as a member of the household.
Hagar wasn't just another skull in the slave pool. As a member of the household staff, she held a measure of status. Being a member of the household; Ms. Hagar probably seemed like a daughter to ol' Abram in spite of her slave status.
● Gen 16:2 . . And Sarai said to Abram: Look, the Lord has kept me from bearing. Consort with my maid; perhaps I shall have a son through her.
This is the very first instance in the Bible of the principle of adoption. According to the common law of that day, Sarai had the right, and the option, of keeping a female slave's children as her own if it was her husband that fathered them. No one bothered to ask Hagar how she might feel about it because slaves had no say in such arrangements.
● Gen 16:2-2 . . And Abram heeded Sarai’s request. So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took her maid, Hagar the Egyptian— after Abram had dwelt in the land of Canaan ten years —and gave her to her husband Abram as concubine.
Abram was 75 when he left home for Palestine (Gen 12:4). So Hagar was forced to sleep with an 85 year old man. That may seem gross, but reckoning by modern life expectancy, Abram was only about the equivalent of 36 since he lived to be a hundred and seventy-five (Gen 25:7). Still, the tryst was not very romantic. Hagar no doubt was attracted to any one of a number of fine unattached young men in Abram's community; but due to circumstances beyond her control, she was doomed to a lonely limbo of unrequited love. Her lot in life, though very comfortable, was, nonetheless, not very fulfilling.
The word for "concubine" is 'ishshah (ish-shaw') which means nothing more than a female of the human species. (cf. Gen 2:23)
Concubines weren't as low on the food chain as an adulteress. They at least had some measure of respectability and social acceptance. And they had a legitimate place in their man's home too. But, at the same time, they were not a real wife. They were, in fact, quite expendable. When a man was tired of a concubine, he could send her away with nothing. Concubines shared no community property, and concubines didn't have the right to inherit any portion of a man's estate when he died.
The tenor of the story is that Sarah gave her maidservant to Abram as a wife, but not to actually marry him. Sarai's intention was that Hagar be a baby mill; nothing more. The 1985 JPS Tanakh's use of the word concubine, instead of the word "wife" found in some Gentile bibles, does a better job of conveying the meaning.
Because of Sarai's scheme, the family ended up with two sons: Hagar's Ishmael the firstborn, and Sarah's Isaac the second born. That condition was unbearable for Sarah because Hagar's boy was in a position to inherit the lion's share of Abraham's estate.
● Gen 21:10 . . Sarah said to Abraham: Cast out that slave-woman and her son, for the son of that slave shall not share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.
The phrase "cast out" implies cruelty; and leaves a wrong impression. Sarah wanted her own flesh and blood to become the firstborn instead of Hagar's boy Ishmael; and, in the case of mothers in slavery, there was a perfectly legal way to do it.
The code of Hammurabi, and of the still earlier laws of Lipit-Ishtar, implicitly made inheritance rights a legal consequence of the father's acceptance of an infant boy as his legitimate son; so then, the common laws of Abraham's day entitled Ishmael to the lion's share of Abraham's estate. However, there was a clause in the law stipulating that if the slave's owner emancipated his child's in-slavery biological mother; then the mother and the child would lose any and all claims to a paternal property settlement.
Abraham couldn't just sell Hagar; no, he had to emancipate her for the law to take effect. Sarah, in saying "cast out that slave-woman and her son", is actually encouraging her husband to grant Hagar's freedom; which would then have the effect of disowning Ishmael, and elevating Isaac to the status of not just the firstborn son, but that of the only son. (Gen 22:2)
● Gen 21:11 . .The matter distressed Abraham greatly, for it concerned a son of his.
How does a good man like Abraham disown his own flesh and blood? If Ishmael were a gang-banger, a drug addict, or a career criminal it would be different. But he was really a pretty good kid and Abraham totally loved him. Being the lad's biological father, I'm sure Abraham felt very responsible for Ishmael's welfare (cf. Gen 17:18). He and Ishmael had been a team together for seventeen or eighteen years. You just don't dissolve a bond like that as if giving away old clothes to Good Will.
● Gen 21:14a . . Early next morning [at God's insistence] Abraham took some bread and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar. He placed them over her shoulder, together with the child, and sent her away.
BTW: "at God's insistence" is my own editorial insertion. However, it's accurate. (cf. Gen 21:11-23)
The phrase "sent her away" is from the Hebrew word shalach (shaw-lakh') which is a word used of divorce as well as for the emancipation of slaves.
I would have hated to witness that scene. Abraham didn't dispatch a servant or a butler to equip Hagar. He did it himself. And he didn't just bring the provisions out to her and set them down at her feet. No. He put them up on her shoulder himself. You have to stand close to someone to do that; close enough to look them right in the eyes like when Avatar's Jake Sully looked in Neytiri's eyes for a magic moment while she was instructing him in the proper use of the Na'vi bow.
There's no record of ever any ill will between Hagar and Abraham, nor any between him and his boy Ishmael either. Those three were truly family in every sense of the word— mom, dad, and child. There couldn't have been a dry eye nor a cheerful face at any time during this excruciating farewell. If you've ever experienced something so upsetting as to make you nauseous and greasy in your stomach, then you know what I'm talking about. Anybody who can read their story without feeling the slightest twinge of compassion for any one of those three; has got to be the most insensitive clod on earth.
Lot's wife (call her Meryl; after Meryl Streep) and her husband lived in the ancient town of Sodom; which God destroyed because its inhabitants were sinners. According to Gen 13:13, they were very wicked sinners; and not only very wicked sinners, but very wicked sinners "against" the Lord.
Sodom's inhabitants were not what you might call average sinners. No, they were willful sinners, in fact, they were downright insolent and their wickedness had reached the point of outrage (Gen 18:20). They knew that their conduct wasn't pleasing to The Almighty, but weren't concerned even one whit how He might feel about it. They flaunted their lawlessness to a hateful degree. Like impudent adolescents; they could look God right in the eye, lift their haughty little chins, and proclaim with a defiant attitude; "You don't like it? Well . . ain't that just too bad."
Certain portions of prophetic preaching, spoken to shame Yhvh's people, shed additional light on the depth of Sodom's wickedness; e.g. Isa 3:8-9, Jer 23:14, and Ezk 16:49-50.
Sodom is widely known for its sexual sins. But as you can see from those passages above, they did worse than that. One of the most interesting of their sins was that they did nothing to discourage wickedness. They actually applauded evildoers and encouraged them to keep it up. Added to that was arrogance, and a lack of charity— indifference to the plight of the poor —and haughtiness, adultery, dishonesty, favoritism, insulting the glory and dignity of God, bragging about their sins, and idolatry.
● Gen 19:12-13 . .Then the men said to Lot: Whom else have you here? Sons-in-law, your sons and daughters, or anyone else that you have in the city— bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place; because the outcry against them before the Lord has become so great that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.
In a succession of rapidly developing, inevitable events; within 24 hours, before the next sunrise, Meryl would lose her home, her way of life, her married daughters, all her friends and in-laws, and all the wealth and possessions and property and livestock the Lots had accumulated in the 24 years they had lived in Canaan.
My gosh! She is so caught off guard and must have been terribly shocked at the tone of those two men. The awful realization of who they were and why they came to Sodom slowly began to gel in her befuddled mind. I feel so sorry for her and her family. Calamity, like a 7.0 earthquake right out of the blue, pounced on them, and came to ruin their life. They will become refugees; taking nothing with them but suitcases, the clothes on their backs, and the breath in their lungs. Meryl and her husband were at one time prosperous cattle ranchers (Gen 13:5-6) but in just a few hours they would lose their entire life's work in a raging inferno hot enough to melt the steel in a foundry kettle.
● Gen 19:15-16a . . As dawn broke, the messengers urged Lot on, saying: Up, take your wife and your two remaining daughters, lest you be swept away because of the iniquity of the city. Still he delayed.
The Hebrew word for "delayed" is mahahh (maw-hah') which means: to question or hesitate, i.e. (by implication) to be reluctant
I can best picture this with a scene from John Steinbeck's novel: The Grapes Of Wrath. When the day came for the Joad clan to vacate their clapboard shack in the impoverished Oklahoma Dust Bowl during the economic depression of the 1930s, Ma Joad spent a few last minutes alone inside going through a box of mementos. She had lived in Oklahoma many years, since she was a young bride— raised her family there and enjoyed the company of kin. As she held up an old pair of earrings, looking at herself in a mirror, it pierced her heart to see etched in her face the many years that she had lived as a sharecropper; and that it was all futile: now coming to naught. Her life would be obliterated, and her home flattened to scrap lumber by a bulldozer.
I can imagine that Meryl walked through the rooms in her house, reminiscing all the things that took place in her home over the years. As the girls grew up, maturing into young women, they made marks each year on a doorway to record their height. She lingered by the beds where each girl slept for so many nights from their youth; and Meryl thought back to the days when she gave homebirth to each one in turn; read bedtime stories, rocked them all to sleep, softly singing lullabies and humming familiar tunes.
When ol' Harry Truman perished in the Mount Ste. Helens blast of 1980, I totally understood why he chose to remain instead of fleeing to safety. That mountain, and his lodge, had been a part of his life for just too many years. Harry felt that if that mountain went, then life wouldn't be worth living any more. He decided to go with the mountain rather than see it go and leave him behind to live without it.
Later, Meryl would look back at Sodom, no doubt with the hope and intention of returning there to search for the remains of her married daughters, and possibly to rebuild; but God turned her into a pillar of salt so she couldn't. That was a drastic measure, but apparently the only way to stop her. I've heard it said that you can't go back home. Well, in Meryl's case, that was certainly true. Sodom was so completely obliterated that to this day, no one has ever found its location.
Peter sheds some interesting light on the Lots' stay in Sodom.
● 2Pet 2:5-8 . . Then God destroyed the whole world of ungodly people with a vast flood. Later, he turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into heaps of ashes and swept them off the face of the earth. He made them an example of what will happen to irreverent people. But at the same time, God rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a good man who was sick of all the immorality and wickedness around him. Yes, he was a righteous man who was distressed by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day.
What does that suggest? It suggests that it wasn't Lot's idea to live in Sodom in the first place. It was Meryl's; and against his better judgment, Lot gave in to his wife like a little puppy dog just like Adam gave in to Eve. Wives who coax their husbands to do something they don't have their hearts in, had better be prepared to reap the whirlwind because it's going to cost them something in the long run.
● Gen 19:30a . . Lot went up from Zoar and settled in the hill country with his two daughters for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar; and he and his two daughters lived in a cave.
It's really not too bad to start out in a cave— kind of like being born in a barn— but it's sad to end up in one at the end of your days with nothing to show for all of the years of your life as the folk living under bridges and in subway tunnels. Lot and his daughters were homeless. (call them Elaine and Phoebe)
● Gen 19:31 . . And the older one said to the younger: Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to consort with us in the way of all the world.
Talk about crying in your beer. The girls as much as said: Boo-hoo-hoo. Nobody loves me. (weep) Well of course nobody loved them down in Sodom, Gomorrah, and Zoar. The single guys down there were all a bunch of perverts; but apparently nobody ever gave those two chickies a geography lesson because those three communities weren't the end of the world; just its armpit.
The hill country where Lot's cave was located was isolated and lonely. No doubt Elaine and Phoebe were afraid their dad Lot would die and leave them all alone to fend for themselves. Poor things. With no TV, radio, newspapers, or telephone, they had no way of knowing what was going on in the outside world or where to go for relief. Ironically; hardly fifty miles from there, right across the Jordan valley, was Abraham's camp. He had at least four hundred men mature enough to go to war— and certainly many more than that who would just love to meet Elaine and Phoebe. But for some reason the girls weren't aware of them. Hadn't Lot and Abraham stayed in touch? Didn't they get together for family reunions or holidays? I guess not.
You know who else was in Abraham's camp? Ms. Hagar. She could have taken Elaine and Phoebe under her wing and encouraged them with her story of how The Lord had named her baby and took an interest in her problems. She could have taught the girls how to pray and put their hopes in Yhvh's providence. Rescue was so close at hand, but Elaine and Phoebe had no way of knowing it; so Abraham's camp might just as well have been out on Pluto.
● Gen 19:32 . . Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him, that we might have children by our father.
Well . . it's certainly to Lot's credit that he would never approve of their plan while sober. We might wonder what they were doing with wine. Of all the things to take with them, why that? Well; it was part of their first-aid kit. In those days, wine was an essential; and not just for getting hammered.
● Gen 19:33-38 . .That night they made their father drink wine, and the older one went in and lay with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. The next day the older one said to the younger: See, I lay with Father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go and lie with him, that we might obtain descendants by our father.
. . .That night also they made their father drink wine, and the younger one went and lay with him; he did not know when she lay down or when she rose. Thus the two daughters of Lot came to be with child by their father.
At this point, Elaine and Phoebe disappear from the pages of Scripture. Those two mothers came from a wealthy, privileged family and ended up foraging and surviving practically like animals all because their dad and mom just had to live among the Sodomites; a people whose morals grieved Lot, yet he chose to raise his family there anyway.
Lot's oldest girl gave birth to a boy named Moab.
● Gen 19:37 . . And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
● Gen 24:15-16 . . He had scarcely finished speaking, when Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, the son of Milcah the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder. The maiden was very beautiful
Some chafe at that passage and refuse to believe Genesis is talking about Becky's physical attributes. However, later on, in Gen 26:6-7, Isaac will attempt his dad's old trick in order to save his skin by saying Becky is a sister. The reason for the trick? Because Becky was very alluring and Isaac was afraid that the men in the community of Gerar would slay him to obtain her.
How did the men of that day figure out that a girl was a hottie if she wore a burqa? Answer: Semitic women didn't wear burqas in that day.
Depicted in a wall painting in the tomb of an Egyptian nobleman named Khnum-hotpe, at Beni-Hasen on the Nile river, dating from about 1900 BC, is a Semitic troupe passing customs to enter Egypt. The women are wearing form-fitting, highly colored, sleeveless wrap-around dresses whose hems stop at mid calf. Neck lines swoop from the left shoulder to just under the opposite armpit, leaving that side's shoulder completely bare. Their hair, fastened by a thin white ribbon around the forehead, falls loosely over breast and shoulders, and there's stylish little curls just in front of the ears. Upon their feet are dark brown, half length boots. In attire like that, a woman with any physical assets at all would be very easy to notice.
● Gen 24:16b . . a virgin
Becky is three girls in one: a maiden, a virgin, and a virgin. What the heck you say? How is she two virgins?
The Old Testament's Hebrew word for "virgin" in 24:16 is bethuwlah (beth-oo-law'). Technically, bethuwlaw doesn't necessarily indicate a girl who's never slept with a man. The primary denotation is chronological, and the word simply indicates a mature young woman of marriageable age whether she's married or single; e.g. Joel 1:8, where a bethuwlah laments the husband of her youth.
● Gen 24:16c . . whom no man had known.
That's the second virgin. So Genesis is saying that Becky was not only a girl of marriageable age; but still had her virginity intact. We have before us a gorgeous knockout of a "chick" neither living with a man, nor had ever slept with a man— plus, she was courteous to boot! This was "the one" God selected, and intended, for Mr. Isaac. Hence, Becky became the mother of Jacob and Esau; and ultimately, the mother of the Christ of Christianity.
My point is; it is NOT sinful for women to be attractive and
filled out in all the right places; nor is it dumb and stupid for a man to fall
in love with a shapely girl and marry her. All things being equal, a beautiful
girl isn't somehow less holy than an average girl, nor is a man somehow rendered
less holy when he marries a beautiful girl; unless you're of the opinion that
Almighty God didn't know what He was doing when he brought Isaac and Rebecca
Leah and Rachel were sisters married to the same man. Later-to-come law would forbid those kinds of arrangements (Lev 18:18). The two really had no choice in the matter at the time because in those days, and in their culture, very few girls had any real say in who they got to marry. (cf. Gen 31:14-15)
Rachel was the better looking.
● Gen 29:16-17 . . And Laban had two daughters. The name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. And Leah's eyes were tender. But Rachel was beautiful and well favored.
Genesis is kind. It could have said Leah was homely; but instead at least complimented her eyes so that Leah didn't appear totally bankrupt in the sex appeal department; although I don't think too many guys ever really pay much attention to a girl's eyes. And as most women already know, men's seeing skills are much better than their social skills. :-)
When the women of Afghanistan were given the liberty of appearing in public without a burqa, it was very uncomfortable at first because they felt as if men were eating them with their eyes. Well . .what did the ladies expect? Have you seen some of the Afghan women? Yow! Some of those ladies are very appealing, and the Afghan guys hadn't really been permitted to view them for years. It was a case of a female drought finally coming to an end; and those guys had gone without water way too long.
There is something really good about Leah that overrules her lack of sex appeal; and that's her love for Jacob. On the pages of Scripture, Sarah herself never once calls Abraham "her" husband. No, she calls him "my lord" (Gen 18:12). And it's neither implied, nor said, that Sarah "loved" Abraham.
True to form, Rebecca never calls Isaac her husband, and though it's said that he loved Rebecca (Gen 24:67) it's never said that she loved him. Of all four matriarchs, Leah is the only one who calls her man "my husband" and she does it not one time, but five. (Gen 29:32, Gen 29:34, Gen 30:15, Gen 30:18, Gen 30:20). This mommy was very possessive of the father of her children.
It's true that guys are visually oriented, and typically attracted primarily by a girl's looks. But it's a pretty strange guy who can resist a girl who truly loves him. You know, Jacob didn't have to keep Leah. Their marriage was the product of a fraud perpetrated by his uncle Laban (Gen 29:23-25). But by the time of the nuptials, Jacob had associated in close proximity with both sisters for at least seven years. When a girl truly loves a man, it shows. They can't hide it forever. Sooner or later they are going to slip up and you will see it in spite of their best efforts to hide those feelings. Not only that, but a girl's girlfriends, and mother, usually know it too and sometimes pass hints to the guy so he will be aware of what's going on.
Yes, I am confident Jacob knew all along that Leah loved him. And even though he really wanted Rachel, he kept Leah. Wouldn't you? Of course you would! Take out a pencil and paper and make a list of all the people in this world who truly love you— people whom you can always trust, and always depend upon to look out for your best interests; and with whom you can safely discuss your innermost secrets and feelings. Was one of those names your spouse?
If Sarah is the Queen of Israel, then Leah is its Princess. It was she who gave birth to the two most important tribal heads of Israel: Judah and Levi (Gen 29:32-35) from whence came Moses, Aaron, David, and Christ. And of the two sisters, Leah was buried alongside her husband Jacob in Abraham's family plot; while Rachel was buried alone, in a nondescript grave, somewhere undisclosed near the town of Bethlehem. (Gen 35:19, Gen 48:7, Gen 49:29-31)
● Gen 38:6 . . And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
Tamar's ethnic origin is currently unknown. Some propose she was the daughter of Canaanite neighbors; trusted family friends of the Jacobs. That seems plausible seeing as how Abraham himself had trusted friends and allies in Canaan when he was living thereabouts (Gen 14:13). Then again, she could very well have been from Esau's clan; since he and Jacob were back on speaking terms at this point.
Tamar wanted to be a mother; and I can't think of another woman in the Old Testament who went to such extreme lengths to make it happen. This girl was really plucky!
Er turned out to be a demon seed, so God clipped him (Gen 38:7). So, according to custom, Er's nearest brother was supposed to marry his widow and the first son they produced would be genetically the surviving brother's son while for inheritance purposes, legally reckoned as the son of the dead. It was a sort of post humus adoption process (Gen 38:8). A coincidental benefit was that it kept widows under the family's umbrella.
Onan wasn't forced to marry Tamar; he could have declined. But when and if he did accept her, then it was his assumed responsibility to try and engender a son in his dead brother's name. It's really kind of a roundabout way of passing the dead man's estate on through his surviving wife. Men were supposed to own all the property in ancient Israel. Sometimes it was impossible (e.g. Num 26:1-11). But for the most part, that's how it went.
Well . . Onan married Tamar, but instead of doing his duty like he was supposed to; Onan chose to just simply enjoy himself. When time came for the deposit, he made sure it didn't go in Tamar. That was a very low down dirty thing to do, so God clipped him too. It's important to note that God didn't execute Onan for practicing birth control. No, he was executed for dereliction of duty to his dead brother. (Gen 38:9-10)
At this point in time, Judah didn't have any more marriageable sons so he instructed Tamar to bide her time until Judah's underage boy Shelah got older. Meanwhile Judah shipped Tamar back to her father's home; which was an improper thing to do since the marriage to Er had made her Judah's responsibility. Probably he hoped she would meet somebody back there and forget all about marrying another of Judahs' sons, but that was not to be.
Actually the age difference between Tamar and Shelah may not have been all that great. Girls commonly married as young teen-agers in those days; while boys married later after they got older. So that although Shelah himself may have been too young for marriage, in reality, age-wise, maybe he was just about right for Tamar.
As time went by, Judah forgot all about his promise to Tamar; so she hatched a scheme in her head. This girl was tough. Judah's clan; of which she was legitimate kin; owed Tamar a baby of her own, and one way or the other, she was going to make them pay up; and that was that!
Tamar put on a veil and pretended to be a cult prostitute along a road where her father-in-law would pass in his travels. At this point, Judah's wife Shuah was dead; he was living alone, and instead of remarrying, apparently took to sleeping around. To make a long story short (or at least shorter) Tamar tricked Judah to sleep with her and they produced twins; two little guys named Pharez and Zerah.
Shame of shames; Pharez was a child of both adultery and incest (although Judah wasn't married; Tamar was betrothed to Shelah at the time and she was, by law, Judah's daughter-in-law though her husbands were all dead). Pharez is notable because he's one of Christ's grandfathers. (Matt 1:3, Luke 3:33)
*Cult prostitution wasn't a vice, but rather, it consisted of relatively decent women who farmed themselves out to raise money to support their "church". In the Canaan of that day, nobody thought anything of it and the women weren't considered tramps.
● Gen 39:7-10 . . Now Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man. And about this time, Potiphar's wife began to desire him and invited him to sleep with her . . She kept putting pressure on him day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and avoided her as much as possible.
Potiphar's wife (I'll call her Anna; after Anna Nicole Smith) wasn't actually a mother; she was a sexually active woman married to the wrong man. Her husband was a courtier, a member of Pharaoh's cabinet, and captain of the palace guard (Gen 39:1). It was a cushy civil service job that likely paid very well and came with some attractive perks like free housing and a limo; but had a downside to it. Men in Potiphar's position were often eunuchs. Which would imply that Anna didn't marry for love; but for security. That's understandable since women of that day didn't have a lot of career options, nor a minority status, nor any retirement benefits like Medicare and Social Security. For women in Anna's day, marriage was often a matter of survival rather than a matter of the heart.
It's not uncommon to find women who feel trapped in an unfulfilling marriage. Henry David Thoreau once wrote that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. Well . . some of that "mass" includes women.
Not only was Potipher possibly a eunuch, but maybe a bit too old for Anna. She was obviously still lively and maybe would have enjoyed dinner out and salsa dancing once or twice a week; while Potipher probably barely had enough energy left to plop down and fall asleep in his La-Z-Boy recliner after working 12-14 hours a day in the palace and just wanted to be left alone in the den. There are women who prefer older men; sometimes much older. But there are other women, like Anna, who prefer the young ones; however, sometimes life just doesn't give them any options.
So then, what's a perky girl to do when her husband is old and boring (or worse, a eunuch), and here's this strapping, virile young slave guy around the house with you all day long? Well . . you're either going to drink a lot, get bitchy, take pills, or make a move and see what happens.
● Gen 39:11-20 . . One day, however, no one else was around when he was doing his work inside the house. She came and grabbed him by his shirt, demanding; Sleep with me! Joseph tore himself away, but as he did, his shirt came off. She was left holding it as he ran from the house.
. .When she saw that she had his shirt and that he had fled, she began screaming. Soon all the men around the place came running. My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to humiliate us; she sobbed. He tried to rape me, but I screamed. When he heard my loud cries, he ran and left his shirt behind with me.
. . She kept the shirt with her, and when her husband came home that night, told him her story. That Hebrew slave you've had around here tried to humiliate me; she said. I was saved only by my screams. He ran out, leaving his shirt behind!
. . When Joseph's master heard the story his wife told him, saying: "This is how your slave treated me," he burned with anger. Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined.
Joseph's situation parallels a case in Harper Lee's book To Kill A Mockingbird where a promiscuous woman accuses an innocent man of rape in order to cover up her own indiscretions.
Scorned women can be very cruel. When I was a youthful, good-looking guy, the wife (whom I was careful to avoid) of a good friend accused me to her husband of going off on her with abusive language in a tirade. To defend myself and expose his wife for the liar that she was, would have meant causing my friend deep humiliation; so I elected to keep silent and take the pain. Our friendship was of course ruined, and we parted. A few months later, I was told they divorced. Like that was any big surprise.
I've no doubt Potiphar didn't believe a word of his wife's story or otherwise he would have put Joseph to death rather than in a cushy jail where political prisoners were kept, but what was he to do? Stick up for a slave over his wife? Not happening. So Joseph was sacrificed to keep peace in the home.
I should point out something that goes without saying. Women are not a protected species. When a bad girl like Potiphar's wife stands before God to answer for the way she ruined Joseph's reputation, she will be punished just as severely as if a man did it because there is neither partiality nor favoritism with God.
● Rom 2:11 . . God does not show favoritism.
● Eph 6:9 . . There is no favoritism with Him.
● Col 3:25 . . Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrong, and there is no favoritism.
● 1Pet . . You call on a Father who judges each individual's work impartially,
You know what those verses tell me? Answer: they tell there will be just as many, if not more, women thrown into the reservoir of liquefied flame depicted at Rev 20:11-15 as men, and their gender will not be a mitigating element.
● Ex 1:15-17 . .Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah, and the other was named Puah; and he said: When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birth-stool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.
Those two mothers-to-be (Ex 1:21) did a very courageous thing. They disobeyed a potentate who, at the snap of his fingers, could order them both impaled on a sharpened pole like human shish kabob as easily as order breakfast. They didn't comply with his mandate to kill all the little baby Hebrew boys; and they lied through their teeth about it. (Ex 1:18-18)
There are purists who believe honesty is always the best policy; and that the people of God should always obey the law of the land and submit to every ruling authority (Rom 13:1-7, Titus 3:1, 1Pet 2:13-15). But it doesn't stop there. The people of God answer to a higher authority than any of Man's. (Acts 5:27-29)
As an example; the Lord chafed his Jewish opponents because of his interpretation of the Sabbath; even to the point of criticizing him for doctoring people on that day. But Jesus replied that the Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around: so that the welfare of human life takes priority over holy days— even over God-given, God-mandated holy days.
The best example I've seen of an excessive legalist was a cartoon showing a man stopped at a red light while huge landslide boulders are within seconds of crushing him and his family to death unless he moves the car right now. While his wife and children scream in mortal panic, the legalist calmly points out that he cannot move the car until the light turns green.
Legalists typically refuse to accept the possibility of extenuating circumstances, which Webster's defines as: circumstances that lessen, or tend to lessen, the seriousness or extent of an act by making partial excuses; viz: mitigate.
Although it's normally illegal to run red lights, those boulders rushing down the hill to crush the man's family to death unless he moves his car, are an acceptable excuse to go before the light turns green. In that specific case, the welfare of human life takes priority over strict conformity to the law.
The very fact that God rewarded Shiphrah and Puah is evidence enough that sometimes people just have to take the law into their own hands; and that is why I believe with all my heart that the guards in the numerous Nazi death camps were wrong. Believe it or not many of those guards were actually Christians who sang lovely hymns on Sunday morning, went to Mass and holy communion, and then gassed, beat, molested, starved, bayoneted, shot, clubbed, and cremated more than six million of their Lord and Master's Jewish countrymen— men, women, children, and babies too —practically 24 hours a day, seven days a week till the war ended. Their excuse? They were only were only doing their duty and following orders; viz: they passed the buck. But you know what? Sometimes the buck stops right here; with the man in the mirror.
●Ex 2:1-3 …Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was adorable, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she fashioned a papyrus ark for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.
The Levitical Jews are descendants of Jacob's wife Leah. This is interesting because Mary's cousin Elizabeth was of the house of Levi (cf. Luke 1:5 and Luke 1:36) though Mary herself was the daughter of a man of Judah (Heb 7:14). Both Judah and Levi were Leah's sons (Gen 35:23) so Elizabeth, and Mary, and Moses' mom were all related to each other via Leah; consequently John the Baptist, Jesus, David, and Moses were all related to each other via Leah too.
The Levite's name was Amram, and his wife's name was Jochebed (Num 26:59).
●Ex 1:22 …Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: "Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile"
Putting babies in the Nile could lead to their deaths in a couple of ways; by drowning and by crocodiles. In the case of Jochebed's baby, he would probably starve to death if the crocs didn't find him first.
Jochebed left her baby and went home, while big sister stood guard.
●Ex 2:3-4 …His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
Big sister's name is Miriam (Num 26:59); the namesake of Jesus' Jewish mom, whom Gentiles call Mary. Her name in New Testament Greek— Maria (mar-ee'-ah); and/or Mariam (mar-ee-am'); i.e. Mirjam —is the equivalent of the Old Testament Hebrew name Miryam (meer-yawm'). So it would be far more polite to call Jesus' mom Miriam rather than Mary because his mom is a Jewish woman, and Miriam is her birth name; the one her biological Jewish parents gave her when she came into the world.
●Ex 2:5-6 …Soon after this, one of Pharaoh's daughters came down to bathe in the river, and her servant girls walked along the riverbank. When the princess saw the little basket among the reeds, she told one of her servant girls to get it for her. As the princess opened it, she found the baby boy. His helpless cries touched her heart. "He must be one of the Hebrew children," she said.
Tell me that isn't material for a first class fairy tale— a mysterious little baby boy, rescued from Nile crocodiles by an Egyptian Princess to become a Pharaoh's grandson.
●Ex 2:7-10 …Then the baby's sister approached the princess. "Should I go and find one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?" she asked. "Yes, do!" the princess replied. So the girl rushed home and called the baby's mother. "Take this child home and nurse him for me," the princess told her. "I will pay you for your help." So the baby's mother took her baby home and nursed him. Later, when he was older, the child's mother brought him back to the princess, who adopted him as her son. The princess named him Moses (i.e. WaterBoy), for she said, "I drew him out of the water."
Moses was rescued from certain death by a woman with maternal feelings; for when the Princess heard Moses' helpless cries; it "touched her heart". The best part about Pharaoh's daughter (I'll call her Bette, after Bette Midler) is that she didn't just send the little tyke off to an orphanage. No, Bette adopted him into her home as her own child. Now there was a Princess with real mother potential.
You know what's odd about that story. There's no record of Moses' birth name. In point fact, Moses kept his Egyptian name for 120 years, his whole life, even after disowning its privileges (Heb 11:24). You know something else? I will just lay you odds that Jochebed didn't put little Moses into the Nile indiscriminately. No, come on now. You just know she was fully aware that the Princess was wont to frequent that portion of the river's shoreline. Jochebed was no fool; she was a real mother, and a woman of real faith (Heb 11:23).
● Lev 24:10-16 . . One day a man who had an Israelite mother, and an Egyptian father, got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed Yhvh's name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother's name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until The Lord's will in the matter should become clear.
. . .Then The Lord said to Moses: Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes Yhvh's name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes Yhvh's name will surely die.
Blaspheme is one of the capital crimes in Moses' covenanted law which there is neither pardon nor atonement. The offender has to be executed; no exceptions. (Lev 24:15-16)
Shelomith made a terrible mistake. She married outside both her people and her religion to a Gentile. So her son wasn't Abraham's posterity, but rather, the Egyptian's because in the Bible, it's the fathers who determine tribal heritage, not the mothers. According to Jewish tradition, Shelomith's son was illegitimate.
● That when an idolater or a slave cohabits with an Israelitish woman their child is a b_stard (Yevamoth 99a, v36).
The precise cause of her son's altercation with the Israelite man is not said, but appears from the data to be a racial issue. The Israelite man no doubt took pleasure in reminding Shelomith's son that he wasn't a real Jew like himself, but a wanna-be: a half-breed. So; to show just how much respect the half-breed man had for his opponent's supposed genetic superiority, he made a comment about the Israelite man's religion.
There's two Hebrew words translated blaspheme in that passage. The one in verses 11 and 16 is naqab (naw-kab'); which means to puncture or perforate in a hostile manner. It can also mean to libel.
The word for blaspheme in verse 14 is qalal (kaw-lal'); which means to make light of something; viz: to treat as trifling. Neither of those words specifically mean to cuss; but simply imply ridicule and demeaning comments.
I have just about zero respect for parents who bring children into a marriage divided by race and religion. It's just not fair to the children. They get confused in those kinds of arrangements; and often become targets of cruel remarks by thoughtless peers.
No doubt God cared for Shelomith's half-breed son just as much as He cared for any of the real Jews. But I find it notable that Leviticus makes a point of saying that the man stoned to death for blaspheme was a mixture of Jew and Gentile; which was done, I think, to show that not all of Yhvh's people who came out of Egypt were pure-blooded Abraham's descendants. No doubt just as many real Jews blaspheme Yhvh's name as half breeds so the passage wasn't intended to denigrate mixed-race people; nor to discourage mixed-race marriages.
Well . . Shelomith paid a terrible price for living her own life. Since the
mandate was for the "whole community" to stone the offender, the man's own
mother had to take part in his death too. The adult community consisted of about
600,000 when Moses led them out of Egypt (Ex 12:37)
so when it was over, Shelomith's boy was buried under a big enough pile of
stones for a sizeable cairn.
● Josh 2:1 . . And Joshua, the son of Nun, sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying: Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
The Hebrew word for harlot in Josh 2:1 is the very same word for the kind of harlot that Judah assumed Tamar to be in Gen 38:15 which are not your usual kind of street-walking prostitute but socially accepted as devotees who trade their favors for money in support of a local religion centered upon the worship of a goddess like Ashtoreth (a.k.a. Astarte).
If you're a young person with high ideals reading this, you may wonder why, of all the people in Jericho, Joshua's scouts turned into Rahab. Well, as far as the scouts were concerned, no one citizen in Jericho was any better than the rest; viz: they were all bad; but then again, if they knew she was a devotee, which they probably could easily tell by the garments she wore, they may have had a motive, if you know what I mean.
After Jericho fell, Rahab married a Jewish guy named Salmon; and their little boy Boaz became Ruth's husband; and from Ruth and Boaz eventually came David, from whence came Christ; the Lord and Master of New Testament Christianity. (Matt 1:4-6)
Catholics are often wont to label Mary the mother of God. Well; if she was, then Rahab the cult harlot was a mother of God too because she's one of Jesus' grandmothers; and her own genes would have been in Jesus' DNA right along with Sarah's, Tamar's, Ruth's and Mary's.
● Jdg 13:2-3 . . And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. Then the angel of The Lord appeared to the woman, and said to her: Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son.
Samson's mother (I'll call her Teri, after Teri Hatcher) actually had far more spiritual discernment than her husband; for when Manoah feared they would be executed for "seeing God" Teri simply pointed out that if that were the case, then The Lord wouldn't have gone to all the trouble of predicting her pregnancy and her baby's gender, nor would He have bothered to specify the conditions of her baby's prenatal care. (Jdg 13:3-23)
Alas. Although Teri's son was dedicated to God from birth, he lived like a pagan with parties, fights, vandalism, arson, cruelty to animals, and sleeping around with promiscuous women. Samson was a great man of faith (Heb 11:32) but he was a very small man of piety.
Teri's boy died young, before his parents, and never had a family of his own nor produced any grandchildren for his mom and dad. It's not an easy thing for a mother to bury her children. Samson was one of those kids for whom parents have high expectations; but instead, screw up and totally fail to appreciate their advantages; hence; guys like Samson become failures, and end up wasting their lives. Prisons and graveyards are populated with lots of boys like that.
Only a real mother can fully understand the kind of disappointment I'm talking about here. The rest of you can probably guess what it's like, but you can't really and truly know how it feels till you've lost a child of your own.
● Jdg 17:1-6 . . A man named Micah lived in the hill country of Ephraim. One day he said to his mother: I heard you curse the thief who stole eleven hundred pieces of silver from you. Well, here they are. I was the one who took them.
. . .The Lord bless you for admitting it; his mother replied. He returned the money to her, and she said: I now dedicate these silver coins to the Lord. In honor of my son, I will have an image carved and an idol cast.
. . . So his mother took two hundred of the silver coins to a silversmith, who made them into an image and an idol. And these were placed in Micah's house. Micah set up a shrine, and he made a sacred ephod and some household idols. Then he installed one of his sons as the priest. In those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.
Micah's mother (I'll call her Oprah; after Oprah Winfrey) broke the very first commandment of Moses' Law by making statuettes of celestial beings (Ex 20:2-4). But before you jump to condemn Oprah, let me point out that the days of the Judges were a time of decadence in Israel so that she wasn't the only one messing up; which implies that the Levitical priests were failing to set up yeshivas to teach their constituents Torah. Laymen didn't have Bibles in those days, so the Levites were really their only source of religious instruction.
● Mal 2:7 . . For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of The Lord of hosts.
The interesting thing about Oprah's religious confusion is that The Lord was her God; but in the wrong way; viz: her religion was a mixture of truth and error; she had God and she had gods. The sad part is; Oprah's mixed up religious beliefs didn't lead only just herself into disfavor with The Lord, no, it led her children into disfavor too.
Catholics sometimes extol the mothers of the saints. Well let me tell you something about mothers. They may mean well; but just because they are mothers doesn't make them right. Oprah is a timeless case in point. Mothers are the best Judas Goats one can imagine. They can lead their children to disaster with far more effectiveness than the demon world because mothers have the advantage of trust. Kids are naturally inclined to trust their parents, so they are easy victims of disinformation when the source of that disinformation is moms and dads— most especially moms. In other words, many of the hands rocking cradles are also fueling the fires of Hell.
I have no doubt whatsoever that there will be great numbers of fractured parents watching their offspring at the Great White Throne of Rev 20:11-15 who will wish to God they had been neutered rather than breed souls into existence only to end up incarcerated in a reservoir of liquefied flame.
If Rahab was the black sheep in Jesus' family tree, then Ruth was the white sheep. Rahab was promiscuous, while Ruth was virtuous. Neither girl was born a Jew; yet both are Jesus' grandmothers: so that both women are equal in that both were chosen of God to make a genetic line to David and Christ.
Every man is different about the kind of girl he wants to marry. Some guys want a never-before-married girl; other guys prefer a divorced woman. Some guys want a virgin; other guys prefer a girl who sleeps around. Some guys want a girl with world class hangers, other guys are perfectly content with petite hangers. Some guys want a sensible girl, other guys want a crazy girl. Some guys want a prudish girl, other guys want a naughty girl. Some men are drawn to cruel women, some men are drawn to a sensitive women. Some men prefer tomboy women, while other guys prefer feminine women; some men prefer competitive women, while other men prefer cooperative women; some men prefer confrontational women, while other men prefer diplomatic women. Every man is different; and the problem is: too many men tend to lie about what they really want in a woman.
But Mr. Boaz was one of those guys who are very picky— not about marital status, not about virginity, nor about hangers— rather, he was picky about character; which is notable because the Bible doesn't point out any of Ruth's any physical attributes the way Genesis points out Sarah's, Rebecca's and Rachel's. No, this girl is special because the guy she's going to marry is special. When it comes to women, most guys use their eyes much better than they use their heads. But Boaz was one of those unusual guys who use their heads rather than their eyes.
Boaz was the most eligible bachelor in Bethlehem. But he wasn't only single, no, he wasn't even dating because none of the girls in Bethlehem interested him. Guys like Boaz often frustrate women because they seem so frigid; leading women to conclude that he's a guy who doesn't like girls. But they are so wrong. The really good marriages aren't built upon s-ex appeal anyway; no, they're built upon trust. Boaz liked girls alright, but only the ones he could trust; and up till Ruth's arrival, Bethlehem had failed to produce one.
● Ru 2:10-13 . .Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him: Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner? And Boaz answered and said to her: All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your nativity, and came to a people that you did not previously know. May The Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from The Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.
BING! Finally a girl that Boaz could trust! She was the same religion (albeit by conversion), she was humble, she was unselfish, she was loyal to dependant kin, and she was compassionate (cf. Matt 5:7). Plus! Ruth had a spotless reputation. (Ru 3:10-11)
There appears to be a large difference in their ages (Ru 3:10) but that wasn't an issue, nor did it get in the way. Ruth trusted Boaz; and he trusted her— in the end, that's all that's really important anyway in a man's choice of the mother of his children.
BTW: Ruth's conversion to Judaism took place prior to meeting Boaz (Ru 1:16) so then nobody can ever accuse her of converting just to trap a man.
●1Sam 1:1-5 . . Now there was a certain man named Elkanah . . he had two wives; Hannah, and Peninnah— and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children because The Lord had shut up her womb.
Hannah was favored wife in a polygamous marriage, just as Rachel enjoyed in her marriage to Jacob; which, if left unchecked, has the potential to create an unbearable disparity in the marriage. By giving the lesser-loved wife children first, it kind of helps make up for her second-rate status. But Peninnah gloated.
Hannah might have become resentful and reacted with hostility for the direction The Lord took with her life; but didn't. Women of real faith are far more inclined to accept The Lord's sovereign will, and yield to His control regardless of how it might tamper with their life. (e.g. Luke 1:38)
Jesus' mom had to endure the public disgrace of an apparently illegitimate baby; and if not for God's intervention, would have lost her fiancé. Jesus destroyed his mother's reputation in Nazareth. But did Miriam get resentful and hostile over it? No, she didn't; instead; she did something usually unheard of in pious circles: she forgave God; and that's not easy to do.
Miriam and Hannah were amazing women, the kind of real mothers God can clearly, and justifiably, be very proud of. Hannah's little boy Samuel went on to become the greatest Judge that the post-Joshua country of Israel has ever known. And Miriam's little boy is destined to rule the entire world.
Hannah entreated The Lord regarding her barrenness and He heard and granted her request.
● 1Sam 1:10-11 . . And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto The Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said: O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto The Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head." (the boy would be a Nazarite; like Samson was.)
● 1Sam 1:19-20 . . Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and The Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked The Lord for him."
Hannah intended to keep the vow and loan her little boy to The Lord; but not until Samuel was old enough to leave home. Hannah never forgot the little guy though, even after The Lord gave her five more kids.
● 1Sam 2:19-20 . . Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.
There's a movie out on DVD, staring Denzel Washington and Derek Luke, based upon the true-life story of a neglected boy named Antwone Fisher. His mother was in prison when Antwone was born so he became a ward of the state practically right out of the womb.
Antwone spent his entire youth in orphanages and foster care. During that time, there was hardly a day went by that he didn't wish for his mother to come and take him home. But Antwone never met his mother face-to-face till he was an adult in the US Navy; and that's only because he took the initiative himself to search for her— his mother never once tried to find Antwone after she got out of prison.
Antwone's young soul was demolished because of his mother's abandonment and he became convinced that he was an utterly unlovable human being; a veritable untouchable. Well, that didn't happen to Samuel. His mom visited him at the very least once a year on Yom Kippur, but more than likely during other feasts too like Passover and Sukkot which are also pilgrimage kinds of sacred days.
● 2Sam 11:2-3 . . Late one afternoon David got out of bed after taking a nap and went for a stroll on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath.
You can't tell me that Bathsheba wasn't aware she could be seen naked taking a bath. Come on now. Bathsheba knew d_mn good and well she could be seen naked, and no doubt hoped to be seen; especially by a virile, man of power like David.
Some women are attracted to men of power; and find them irresistible; and if you don't think that's true just remember back to President Clinton's escapades with Monica Lewinski. She adored that man, and he took advantage of it. When asked in a televised interview some time ago why he messed around with Monica, the President replied; "Because I could."
● 2Sam 11:3-4 . . He sent someone to find out who she was, and was told: She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Then David sent for her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her.
Why didn't Bathsheba put her little foot down and flat refuse? Duh.
David knowingly slept with a married woman. He himself was married at this time to seven women: Michal, Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, and Eglah. David was a well-known public figure, so that Bathsheba had no excuse. She and David were both adulterers. And they were not unwitting adulterers, no, they committed adultery in the full knowledge that adultery is a sin for which there is neither pardon nor atonement under the terms and conditions of Moses' covenanted law.
● Lev 20:10 . . If a man commits adultery with another man's wife— with the wife of his neighbor —both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
When a woman sleeps with a man in a town, and doesn't scream for help, then Divine Law construes that she wasn't the victim of rape; au contraire; she was a consenting adult.
● Deut 22:23-24 . . If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death— the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife.
Bathsheba— who really and truly should have been stoned to death for adultery —became one of Jesus' grandmothers.
● 1Chrn 3:5 . .The sons born to David in Jerusalem included Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon. Bathsheba, the daughter of Ammiel, was the mother of these sons.
● Matt 1:6 . . David was the father of Solomon (his mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah).
Yeah, she was a widow alright; because David ordered her husband clipped.
● 2Sam 11:14-17 . . So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. The letter instructed Joab: Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed. So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy's strongest men were fighting. And Uriah was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.
You single guys out there having zero luck hooking up with someone on eHarmony dot com: how does that make you feel to see a man in power— with seven women at home already —murder the husband of an eighth?
And my opinion of Bathsheba? Don't get me started. My own mother was an adulteress; and we almost lost our home because the payments she was supposed to be mailing in for the mortgage, she was secretly funneling to her lover to pay his rent and purchase his food and clothing. When my dad received a foreclosure notice in the mail, he was devastated. Well, at least my dad was permitted to live. Bathsheba's indiscretion led to her husband's death while my dad was only driven to alcohol for a few months.
● 2Ki 8:26 . .Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.
At that time, the country of Israel was divided into two kingdoms— Israel in the north, and Judah in the south. (1Ki 11:26-40)
Apparently, marriages between the two royal families was supposed to foster peaceful relations between them. An unfortunate side effect was some pretty bad kings. Ahaziah was a bad king who walked not after David's ways, but after his northern kin's ways— the house of Ahab.
● 2Chro 22:3-4 . . He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly. Wherefore he did evil in the sight of The Lord like the house of Ahab: for they were his counselors after the death of his father— to his destruction.
That's a perfect example how a man's in-laws can be his own worst enemies. Ahaziah's mother was even in on it. You know; iIf a kid can't trust his own mother; then who can he trust!?!
Anyway, God saw to it that Ahaziah lost control over the south (2Chrn 22:7) which prompted his mother to do a terrible thing.
● 2Chro 22:10-23:1 . . But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not. And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.
Joash was just an infant; and if not for his auntie Jehoshabeath's rapid response, that heartless monster Athaliah would have murdered even her own little flesh and blood grandson.
There was an incident here in Oregon some time ago, back in the late 1980's I think, where a woman drove her car into a lake and left it to sink with her kids in the back seat because her boyfriend didn't like them. They drowned; and she went on the air all weepy-eyed and pleading with whoever kidnapped her children to please return them.
Parents like Athaliah and that woman give a special meaning to the phrase: mothers from Hell.
Mothers Of Influence
● 2Sam 20:13-22 . . As soon as he was removed from the highway, all the men passed on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. Now he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel even to Beth-maacah and all the Berites; and they were gathered together and also went after him. And they came and besieged him in Abel Beth-maacah, and they cast up a mound against the city, and it stood by the rampart; and all the people who were with Joab were wreaking destruction in order to topple the wall.
. . .Then a wise woman called from the city: Hear, hear! Please tell Joab; Come here that I may speak with you. So he approached her, and the woman said: Are you Joab? And he answered: I am. Then she said to him: Listen to the words of your maidservant. And he answered: I am listening. Then she spoke, saying: Formerly they used to say "They will surely ask advice at Abel" and thus they ended the dispute. I am of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You are seeking to destroy a city, even a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of The Lord?
. . . And Joab answered and said: Far be it, far be it from me that I should swallow up or destroy! Such is not the case. But a man from the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against King David. Only hand him over, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said to Joab: Behold, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.
. . .Then the woman wisely came to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, each to his tent. Joab also returned to the king at Jerusalem.
The name of that "mother in Israel" is unknown, but she should be called Marilyn Vos Savant after the lady with a 200 IQ who writes the Ask Marilyn column in the Parade magazine of the Sunday papers. Some people are inclined to look down upon mothers as sub humans of lesser intelligence than other women. HAW! Never underestimate the power of a mother. Just because they're mothers, doesn't make them eo ipso any less a woman, nor any less influential. If you were to look around; I'm pretty sure you would find real mothers in politics, commerce, education, military, finance, medicine, law, and industry— all actively, and energetically, contributing a major portion of the world's smarts towards making significant things happen.
● Ezra 9:1-4 . . Then the Jewish leaders came to me and said: Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the Gentiles living in the land. They have taken up the detestable practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. For the men of Israel have married women from these people and have taken them as wives for their sons. So the holy race has become polluted by these mixed marriages. To make matters worse, the officials and leaders are some of the worst offenders. When I heard this, I tore my clothing, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked.
It's easy to sympathize with Ezra's dismay when you realize that Yhvh's people had only just recently returned to Palestine from 70 years of Babylonian slavery for doing the very things he heard in this latest report of their conduct. Some people just never learn. (cf. Ez 9:5-15)
Not only were mothers' lives wrecked by the mixed marriages; but children's lives were wrecked too because of it (Ez 10:44). Well . . in that particular instance, there was really only one sensible course of action— divorce. (Ez 10:1-5)
The Bible is punctuated with the tragic results of marriages of mixed religions; yet Yhvh's people still do it anyway. The Jews today are so thoroughly assimilated that the overwhelming majority of them are hiloni (secular) even in the very State of Israel itself.
Less than, yes less than, 10% of the world's Jews are orthodox. I'm not talking about an insignificant number of Jews. According to the 2009 World Almanac and Book of Facts, the estimated number of Jews in the world as of mid 2007 was 14,956,000. Ninety percent of that number is 13,460,400. That's 13.46 million Jews currently estranged from the God of their ancient ancestors Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel and Leah.
Think of that! The very people whom God, via a special miracle, were selected to bring light to the Gentiles are now themselves so in the dark that the overwhelming majority of the modern world's Jewish mothers are raising irreverent children in homes where the God of their sacred ancestors is no longer worshipped, obeyed, nor respected.
When I became a Christian back in 1968, I was just a young guy going on 25 years old and wasn't married yet, nor even dating at the time. The man who led me to The Lord drilled it into my skull that I simply must not marry outside my faith. Well . . I took that drilling to heart; although I was sorely tempted by some very attractive women; seriously, they were girls to die for; and some men literally do die for them when they compromise their religious principles for sex because the Bible says: If you live after the flesh, you shall die (Rom 8:12-13). That doesn't mean a Christian man will go to Hell if he binds himself to a woman of unlike faith; but it does mean he will break fellowship with God (1John 1:6) and quite possibly end up an ineffective Christian; and/or worse: his children will be assimilated into the world of secularism and thus doom his own posterity to perpetual darkness.
Lois & Eunice
● 2Tim 1:3-5 . . For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.
It's difficult to tell when Timothy's mom and grandmother were converted. The Gospel came into their region some time prior to Acts 16:1 when Paul and Barnabus fled to Lystra from violence in Iconium (Acts 14:6). So it's very possible it was then when Lois and Eunice were exposed to the Gospel; and being strong in their new faith, no doubt began teaching it to Timothy as soon as he was able to understand it.
● Gen 18:17-19 . . And The Lord said: Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of The Lord, to do justice and judgment; that The Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
Abraham pastored not only his offspring, but his entire household; which at the time of Sodom's destruction, easily numbered over a thousand men, women, and children, because a man's household in Old Testament times included the slaves and hired hands. Abraham's experienced servants, born on his diggings (Gen 14:14) were no doubt well-catechized in their master's religion, and Abraham could depend on them as a man counts on his own sons.
My point is this: don't assume your posterity will find its own way to the Bible's Christ. No, don't do that. You're almost sure to guarantee they will become secular and/or go off into cults and isms if you do that. People don't just naturally gravitate towards the New Testament's Jesus; no, they quite naturally move away from him because no one will come to the Bible's Jesus unless his Father draws them (John 6:44) and people are not drawn except by somebody's teaching them (Rom 10:14-15). So you've got to take the initiative to insure that your knowledge of the Bible's God survives you after you're gone.
I began doing this very thing for my own son back in 1997. At that time, our home-spun Sunday school was an infant and could easily fit on a single 1.44 mb floppy with room to spare. Today it's about 8 mb in pdf format, and 13 mb in html, so I have to store it on CDs and Flash drives. The html version is bigger because it contains music.
If you leave your legacy behind on electronic media, be aware that the substrate of freshly burned CDs and DVDs begins to decay almost right away. Deterioration is slow and not very noticeable the first couple of decades, but it's only a matter of time before a disk becomes quite useless so you would be wise to instruct your posterity to burn fresh copies from time to time.
There's also the problem of obsolescence. CDs, DVDs, and Flash drives will some day be just as obsolete as 5-inch floppy discs; so be sure to instruct your posterity to transfer your data to modern storage media from time to time to avoid losing it to progress.
The best media, in my opinion, is good quality inks and papers; but with a web site like ours, that's not practical. In pdf, it's 1,947 pages, or roughly 2½ packages of 400 count sheets of 8½ x 11 if both sides are used.
The Complete Woman
FAQ: Why does Christianity teach that women are worthless without a man?
Well; that inquirer was certainly under the wrong impression. It is far more accurate to say that without a man, women are incomplete rather than worthless.
When the human race was created, it was created in two genders, male and female; and both genders were given complete dominion over the entire earth.
● Gen 1:27-28 . . So God created Man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them; Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
I would never consider a being under God with complete dominion over this earth to be "worthless" would you?
But still; the God of the Bible intended "them" to dominate the earth as couples.
● Gen 2:18 . .The Lord God said; It is not good for the male to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.
The Hebrew word for "helper" is `ezer (ay'-zer) which means: aid. Be sure to note the spelling. There is no "e" on the end as in aide, but rather aid as in First Aid. The woman wasn't created to be the male's assistant, but rather, to be his assistance; in other words, his crutch— someone to lean on.
Adam attempted to find a suitable aid from among the critters of the animal kingdom, but as adorable as animals can be, they are not suitable to be a man's home companion. No, only a creature like himself, specifically tailor-made for the purpose, will do.
● Gen 2:19-24 . .Now The Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
. . So The Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then The Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said; Now this, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.
. . For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
For what reason? Well; it's quite obvious that women are a perfect match for men; and pets are simply an inadequate substitute. So then, according to the Bible, the Eves are completed by being an Adam's assistance, and those who stubbornly refuse are not only incomplete; but also in open rebellion against their Creator's design.
Turtles In The Sky
What do you call an Oregon painted turtle perched in a tree? Well; for one thing, Mr. OPT is out of his element. He's supposed to be in a pond, not up in a tree. But suppose the painted turtle is happier up in the tree? Then that little guy is an abnormal painted turtle rather than a new specie of turtle because you won't find too many painted turtles using a tree for its habitat unless the tree is fallen down and become a log in the water.
What's this got to do with women who prefer living without a man? Well; Genesis amply demonstrates that women are supposed to live with a man. However, there are lots of women who would rather not, and are happier if they don't. What happened?
● Ps 82:5 . .They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
In that particular Psalm, justice is the foundation in view. However, the author stated that all the foundations are out of course. Well, one of the foundations was the basic family unit: a husband and his wife.
It is not unusual for nearly 30% of my wife's kindergarten classes to consist of kids from single parent homes; and even one or two from homes with gay female companions. Those little minds are barely six years old, and already they have no daddy at home with them.
Women living without a man are like Mr. Oregon painted turtle using a tree for his habitat. They are out of their element. Yes, I'm sure they have good reasons, but don't you see? That is not the norm. Something terrible has happened to them somewhere along the line; either socially, genetically, ideologically, or psychologically, that's made them reject the natural course of life for women and go it alone without a man to lean on. Everybody needs somebody. According to the Bible, human beings were not created to be specimens, but rather, to be couples. People who resist that concept are not only fighting against the Bible's God, but fighting against nature itself, and quite likely suffering with some serious inner conflicts.
Frequent Objection: The historical witness of the Church has always been that some people are called to monogamy and some to celibacy. 1 Cor 7. Jesus, Paul and Jeremiah, for example, remained celibate.
Celibacy is abnormal. In the beginning, God created men to be married, not solo.
Frequent Objection: If celibacy is abnormal, than Jeremiah was abnormal. Jesus is abnormal. And Paul is abnormal
I seriously doubt that any of those men preferred celibacy. Circumstances beyond their control forced them into an abnormal life-style; but given the choice, I truly believe that even Jesus would have preferred marriage; as his own quotation of scripture easily attests.
● Matt 19:4-5 . . Haven't you read; he replied; that at the beginning The Creator made them male and female and said; For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?
(Incidentally, Jesus holds the distinction of being the only king in the Davidic dynasty who never married. ●Isa 53:8 . .And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living)
Frequent Objection: But when Jesus and the others remained celibate, weren't they actually in violation of God's command to be fruitful and multiply?
No, because that was not a command, it was a blessing.
● Gen 1:28a . . God blessed them and God said to them; Be fertile and increase
Some interpret that verse to be a mandate requiring married people to have children. But the wording is so obviously a blessing rather than a mandate; especially since God said the very same thing to the birds, and the fish, and the reptiles, and the bugs, and the beasts. It's always best to consider blessings as gratuities unless clearly indicated otherwise. Some blessings have to be earned, like rewards and wages; but this one wasn't. It was neither requested nor was it earned; no, it was freely given without any strings attached and nothing asked in return.
A celibate nun like Mother Teresa is a very limited role model. She might be okay for women with no intention of settling down with a man, in a home of their own, to raise children of their own. Teresa might be okay for women who won't be living with a man for the next forty years, but for normal women— for the overwhelming majority of women —Teresa just isn't suitable. Most women not only don't want to live like she did, but they are not going to live like she did even if they have to stay single the rest of their lives.
In the Bible, real mothers are typically women who sleep with men and have children of their own. To label a childless nun like Teresa of Calcutta (a.k.a. Kolkata) a mother does injustice to The Creator's design, and demeans normal women who prefer family life to celibate religious devotion.
For those who are Catholic, we would like to state firmly, clearly, and without ambiguity, right at the gun, that Matrimony is one of the seven sacraments. Matrimony is just as much, and no less a sacrament than Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, and Holy Orders. To put Matrimony on a lower level than the other sacraments is to make one sacrament somehow less holy than others; and we believe that's an evil thing to do.
We talk about relationships in this chapter; so I hope that some of you out there are young people who haven't screwed up your life yet. Not all mothers are good people, and not all mothers are at peace with grown men. That's just a fact of life; and we have some bad mothers on our list as well as good ones. Familiarizing yourself with a few Bible mothers— their personalities, and the men they slept with —will surely go a long ways towards helping you avoid prospective spouses that aren't right for you.
I'm going on 65 years old, and been married to only one girl. We've been together since March of 1980 for 28+ years and have a well adjusted son who graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in journalism. So I believe we've made our bones, and earned the right to say a few meaningful things about motherhood and family life.
In the movie Moonstruck, starring Cher and Nicolas Cage, the grandpa makes this statement at the breakfast table one morning prior to offering his son a father's advice; "I am old; and the old are not wanted. And if they say it, they have no weight."
The best people to listen to regarding marriage and parenthood are older people who succeeded at it; not the young ones who lost at it. That's like alcoholics and drug addicts warning of the dangers of substance abuse. It's too late for them; it doesn't have to be too late for you. The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness (Eccl 2:14); viz: watch where you're going; not where you've been.
Many young, twenty-something Christian women today, are the daughters of mothers who, as younger women, were feminists in the 60's and 70's. While most of the daughters would never claim to be feminists themselves, they are, nevertheless, living in a modern woman's world reshaped by feminist activism, and their minds are subconsciously influenced by feminist thinking whether they agree to it or not. For that reason, we strongly urge junior misses and young twenty-something Christian women, with every bit of power of persuasion at our disposal, to read a very pertinent book that just might save them wasting the very best years of their life, and/or making family life and motherhood so unbearable as to make them wish they'd never done it.
What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us
By Danielle Crittenden
ISBN 0-684-85959-9 (paper back)
Let me caution all you younger ladies and junior misses out there about something: life is not a do-over. You have only one reputation, and you have only so many years of youth and vitality to work with, so you've got to make every effort to get things right the first time. Botch those years with poor choices, and you cannot go back and re-do them. Never. Take it from a man of 64+ years; the age of 32 comes along a lot sooner than you ever expected. Why did I pick 32 years? Because right about then is when the aging process starts to kick in and your body begins slowly dying. If you arrive at that age, and still feel you're missing something, then you will be in serious trouble, I kid you not.
The "Mothers" in the title of Danielle Crittenden's book, refers to feminist mothers who, by now, have discovered to their dismay that feminism has not only failed to make women happier, but it has only served to make them whiners; and cheap, self-centered, and immoral— it has kept them on hold in perpetual adolescence, and rendered them insecure and a whole lot more unfulfilled; primarily because the desire to be pursued and courted, to sleep with someone they love as opposed to someone they hardly know, to be certain of a man's affection and loyalty— these are deep female cravings that didn't vanish with the sexual revolution; nor were those cravings assuaged by marginalizing family life for careers, power, and the pursuit of independence and individualism.
● Pro 1:32 . . the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
Solomon's observation is so true for many a modern women. There is today a growing problem among the wives and mothers of industrialized nations coming to be known as Hurried Woman Syndrome (HWS). The women inflicted with this syndrome simply have too much on their plates and actually resent their own husbands and children for wanting time with them. The result is that HWS women are not happy; no, they are stressed to the point where it is impossible for them to be happy. They're angry, irritable, hostile, and impatient: and of course their husbands and children are not happy either; consequently the homes of HWS women are living hells instead of cheerful havens of support, encouragement, sympathy, and love.
We are begging, pleading, with young unattached Christian men to read Danielle Crittenden's book too if for no other reason than to familiarize themselves with the philosophy of feminism and its effects on home life. Whether it be a shacked-up home life, or one in the sphere of matrimony, feminism does not produce affectionate homes held together by unity, love, devotion, trust, faithfulness, and self sacrifice; no, au contraire, feminism produces political homes infected with individualism, independence, irresponsibility, selfish ambition, and divisions of labor.
Feminists' children often receive very little, if any, meaningful nurturing from their biological mothers. A large quantity of feminists' children obtain much of their nurturing from day-care providers, baby sitters, au pairs, and nannies. I'm asking you as a man, as a potential father; is that really what you want for your own kids? No; wait, let me rephrase that question: Is that really the kind of woman you want to be the mother of your children?
Women who deny their children a mother's companionship they so deeply crave when they're growing up, in order to pursue a career, are often appalled by their children's indifference, even hostility, when they seek their company as old women. During a conversation with an immigrant woman from Sinaloa, it was told me that women in Mexico without children are as good as dead because children are a woman's old age security in a country where poverty is wide spread, and social programs are scarce. Well; here in industrial America— the land of plenty, the land of abundant entitlements, opportunities, and social programs —a women who denies her own young children their mother's companionship, had better be prepared to go into old age a largely ignored individual.
Feminists and Discipleship
● Matt 10:39 . .Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
The biggest road block to feminists becoming true Christian disciples is Jesus' gender. You see, at the heart of feminism, is the drive to be independent of males. Yet the very Lord and Master of Christianity, the supreme male in the universe; demands death to a woman's self interests, and submission to his domineering control. Good luck on that one ladies.
● Luke 14:26 . . If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children brothers and sisters— yes, more than your own life. And you cannot be my disciple if you do take up your own cross and follow me.
In Jesus' day, crosses were for executions. So when Jesus told his disciples to "take up their own cross" it meant stifling their own way; viz: it was a call to abandon self interests, and follow The Master's leading.
● Rom 12:1-2 . .Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The bitter irony of it all is that God has delegated the task of humanity's final judgment to His son; viz: in the end, it will be a male who casts condemned feminist women into Hell and permanently ruins any chances they might have had for happiness in the future. For all eternity, condemned feminist women will grind their teeth with hot tears and white-knuckled fury that they ultimately lost out on everything because of one lone male's obsessive control over their lives. Isn't that what feminism is really all about anyway: control? Pity.
Stand By Your Man
Many a young woman is under the false assumption that just because she's female that makes her an expert on love and motherhood. Nothing could be farther from reality. Young women are typically self absorbed and a total ninny at loving a man and raising children. The books below make it very clear just how clueless they really are at it.
For Women Only
By Shaunti Feldhahn
The Proper Care
And Feeding Of Husbands
By Dr. Laura Schlessinger
To the young American women reading this: I can just about guarantee that many of you don't have a clue how to love a man. Why? Because you've grown up in a modern world shaped by years of feminist activism, along with aggressive movie and television female role models who carry guns, abuse men, put their careers first, sleep around, are grossly insubordinate, poor team players, and break the law; (not to even mention the women in sit-coms who treat men like silly dunces who can't even tie their own shoes without their mommies; and the androgynous women in business and politics who exhibit more testosterone than their male counterparts) and now somebody is going to have to de-program all that and start with you from scratch and teach you a thing or two about the male mystique.
● Titus 2:4-5 . . Older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
Paul's mandate runs 180° counter to modern feminism's self-aggrandizing attitude that homemaking is oppressive and demeaning to women; which is obviously an attitude that's out to denigrate the word of God instead of honor it.
Loving a man rarely comes natural to any young woman; Christian or otherwise makes no difference. No, the average young woman, regardless of her religious affiliation, is in a defensive posture; she's self confident, self centered, and very good at annoying men. You wouldn't try to become a dental assistant, or an investment banker, or an accountant without training; would you? Then what makes you think you can love a man without training? We do not encourage younger women to seek training from others their own age because young women their own age are just as clueless and probably all that you'll end up doing is banding yourselves together to construct yet one more little fortified village consisting of whining, criticizing, and laying all the blame for your failure at marriage on men.
Marriage is not a fortified village consisting of you and your female friends' angst-driven whining and criticizing. Not even close. Marriage devalues your female friends; and scrapes them off if necessary because in the adult world, marriage is a unified front consisting of just two people: you and your man. Marriage is not for children and scatterbrains; no, it is for grown-up women; and I'm not talking about years of life; no, even 35 and 40 year-old women often fall short of being grown-up. Their association with men is on no higher a level now than when they were a 17 year-old, self absorbed brat in high school.
Miserere (Andrea Bocelli)