|The Need to Breed
Genesis 23:1 to 26:34
23:1 Abraham’s wife Sarah died at the age of 127. It happened during the time when Abe was ranging cattle in an area being controlled by the Hittites. In great sorrow he negotiated with them for the deed to a remote cave that he used to entomb dear Sarah. Abraham felt old.
Abe said to his number one slave, "Come over here and put your hand under my thigh. Good. Now, promise me something and I’ll grant you freedom from slavery. Promise me by God. Promise me that you won't go fetching no goddamned god-forsaken wicked wretched no good stinking foreign poontang for my boy to marry! I want him to marry a babe of the proper ethnicity like his mother Sarah. A chick from Ur would be acceptable. Swear you'll get a suitable breeder from good Ur stock and not some dirty ethnic type." The slave, with his hand under Abe's thigh, swore. Ten camels were then loaded down with supplies and an expedition set out for the city where Abe's brother Nahor lived, in order to choose a genetically acceptable wife for young Isaac.
When the slave got to Nahor's place he halted the caravan and made the camels kneel down by a well in the evening, which is when the women always come to fill their pitchers with fresh water. He looked up to the sky and pleaded "Oh God, please be a nice guy this time..." And just as he was saying his prayer, a young healthy fertile one named Rebekah came by. She was Isaac's second cousin, a virgin, and she really filled her pitcher if you know what I mean.
"Let me drink" the slave commanded. "By all means my most gracious honorable lord man sir" said she bowing, and hurried to serve him some water. Then she said "You rest and I'll tend to all of your livestock" and started running back and forth with her little pitcher watering the ten enormous thirsty camels. This was admirable considering one thirsty camel can drink 25 gallons in 10 minutes. The slave watched her quietly as she dashed about and wondered whether or not Abraham's god was again just wasting everyone’s time for some bizarre reason. When she finished with servicing the animals he gave her a few heavy pieces of jewelry and asked her "Who’s your daddy?" "His name is Bethuel" she smiled. "In fact why don't you come to our place for dinner? We have plenty enough food for you and all of these huge camels, no problem." To this he sighed "Thank God."
24:28 Rebekah ran home immediately and showed her fancy new jewelry to her family. As a lovely feast was being prepared for the camels, the slave announced loudly "My master has become very rich and has sent me here to fetch a female of reasonably good breeding stock, and not some weird ethnic stock mind you, for his son to impregnate. Actually I’ve been told that one of God's personal assistants has been assigned to supervise the whole thing and the indications are, if I read the vague mysterious signs correctly, that Rebekah is the one I’m supposed to be picking for the function. She does appear to be quite functional. Can I take her please? I mean, do you mind? I could just take her now if that’s ok." Her father replied "Well if this involves assistants and holy official stuff like that, I hardly have much choice in the matter now do I? Go ahead and take her then. Take her away."
Rebekah wasn’t exactly resistant to the idea of leaving her parents and siblings and the other Nahorbians behind her in a cloud of dust. So Abe's slave gave a bunch of jewelry to her mom and her brother and then loaded up the camels for the trip home. As they were leaving, Rebekah’s family shouted "May you have thousands of millions of millions of millions of children and may they totally be the boss over all the people who are guaranteed to hate them."
Isaac took Rebekah as a wife. This arrangement made him feel somewhat better in spite of some serious grieving over his mother's recent death.
25:1 Abraham himself took another wife and also continued to rape and impregnate the many personal pleasure slaves of his harem, but he made it clear that when he died all of his wealth was to go only to Isaac and not some half ethnic bastard child like Ishmael.
At the ripe old age of 175, God’s favorite human finally died. Isaac and his half brother Ishmael buried Abraham in the Hittite cave with his first wife, Sarah. Ishmael left to live his own life at this point and eventually went on to have whole nations of offspring who are now collectively known as Arabs.
Meanwhile Isaac begged Yahveh “Please please please allow Rebekah to become pregnant.” Yahveh did allow it and during the pregnancy Rebekah asked Yahveh why she was having such extraordinary discomfort and pain. He answered back that she was carrying twins, each of whom represented whole tribes of incorrigible brats. The first twin to be born had fiery red hair and was named Esau. He was quite the tough little brute. The second twin born was more of the quiet sneaky type. He was named Jacob.
As they grew up Esau learned to be a hunter whereas Jacob stayed at home hanging around the kitchen and became more of a mama's boy. Dad loved Esau best because he was a manly man and because of all the tasty deer meat he supplied from the frequent hunting trips. Mom loved Jacob best because he helped her out in the kitchen.
Jacob was always trying to manipulate his older twin brother. One day Jacob was in the kitchen making a fresh pot of soup. Esau had been out hunting all day and came dragging in starved. He smelled the delicious soup cooking and said "Give me a bowl bro, I'm so freaking hungry I might faint." Jacob said "OK bro, first give me the right to inherit the entire family fortune and I’ll give you a bit of soup." Now the family fortune technically belonged to the older son, that’s just how things are always done, but Esau said "What good is eventually inheriting such massive wealth and land and cattle and slaves and jewelry and gold and stuff when I'm hungry for a bowl of soup right now?" Rather than go elsewhere for a simple meal or whip something up for himself, he agreed to the absurdly unfair offer from his twin brother. Jacob traded him a two dollar bowl of soup for his inheritance but threw in some small pieces of bread for free.
26:1 Depression hit and times got tough for everyone in Canaan, Famine from crop failures meant a lot of starving poor people begging for handouts so Isaac and family relocated down to Gerar. That country was still being ruled by king Abimelech, the same king that was in charge back when Abe and Sarah ran an escort service there. Isaac considered taking the family to Egypt instead but Yahveh advised him against that for some reason.
In Gerar men took notice of the beautiful Rebekah and Isaac was afraid they might kill him and rape her. It was like Abe and Sarah all over again. So Isaac pulled an old family trick he had learned from dad and told people Rebekah was only his sister and a real sex machine. Like father like son, Isaac charged men to “date” his wife including various extras, ala carte.
The old family business kept running for quite awhile and had been making lots of money when one day the king looked out the window and saw Isaac and Rebekah in the garden doing the horizontal cha-cha. The king was furious and called them in straight away and said "Look here Isaac, she is obviously not your sister, I saw you two out there playing hide the kishka. What if some of my higher officers had casually boned the babe just for fun or because they were bored? God would then lay the blame on my whole damn kingdom and we all know how much that sucks." So the king made a new law right then and there. Anyone in the kingdom who even touches Isaac or Rebekah in a sexually inappropriate way will be arrested and put to death.
Isaac lived for awhile in Gerar and became fat and rich. He became so fat and so rich that the king asked him to move out. He waddled out into the desert a ways and developed a nice spread by digging a few wells. The king and his army came by to check on things one day and the army chief said "Isaac we know you have some sort of special deal going with God so we'll make you a special deal with us. You don't attack us and we won't attack you. How’s that?" Isaac agreed to the deal and they had a great big feast to celebrate.
26:34 At the tender age of 40 the ginger-headed twin Esau entered into the sanctity of matrimony; a holy institution between one man and a couple of Hittite women, Judith and Bashemath. Naturally there was a lot of racial tension between these ethnically challenged women from the wrong side of the camel tracks and their snobby pure-bred racist in-laws, Isaac and Rebekah.
When Isaac was getting on in years and his eyesight was starting to go bonkers he called to Esau and said "Listen here boy, I am going to die soon so go kill a deer and fix me a nice venison dinner. After that I will officially wish you good luck in a magical formal patronizing way, and officially put in a good word for you with God." Rebekah overheard words like “formal” and “official” and as soon as Esau was out of ear shot she called Jacob into the kitchen for a little sinister plotting of her own. She said "Quick, fetch me a couple of young goats. We are going to trick your father into thinking you are your brother." Jacob was skeptical about the scheme but she assured him she would take full responsibility for any deadly danger he might face.
Rebekah cooked the goat meat perfectly, the same way she would normally cook deer meat. Then she lashed some of the goat hide to Jacob's neck and hands so he would feel all hairy like his brother, at least to an old mostly blind guy. She dressed him up in some of Esau's smelly dirty laundry to give him the proper stank.
Jacob went to his dad and said "Here I am. I’m Esau, your oldest son, not Jacob or anything, just old hairy stinky me. I have brought fresh deer meat, not a couple of goats that mom cooked special or anything, just some deer that I kilt, just now, by myself, hunting and stuff." Isaac asked "How did you get a deer so fast?" "Umm…" Jacob improvised "I guess God must have been in a big hurry for you to get to the official part." Dad was still a bit suspicious. Something didn’t seem right and he wanted to be sure. "Come here boy. Your voice sounds like Jacob and I want to see if you are that lying little poop." He felt the goat hair mom had strapped onto Jacob’s hands and neck. That all checked out so he ate the meat and drank the wine. After thoroughly stuffing his face with two goats and a big bottle of vino, he leaned over, belched loudly, and kissed the lying little poop on the head. Meanwhile he smelled what were clearly a hunter's gamey underpants and at last he was convinced that indeed this must be Esau.
Isaac proceeded with the formal petitioning of almighty Yahveh on his son's behalf. "God, make this here boy right here that I’m touching right now rich rich rich. Let him be a boss of bosses. Let him boss whole nations of bosses and boss his brothers and his uncles too. If someone wishes him bad luck let them have all the bad luck instead. If they wish him good luck well then I guess let them have a little bit of good luck too. Bless bless bless bless bless bless bless bless bless bless bless bless."
Jacob, having received the official father-son blessing, dashed out of the house just as the real Esau was returning from the hunt. "Here you go dad, here’s the deer meat." "What the?" screams dad, "Who the? Your damn brother just tricked me into blessing him instead of you!" Esau exploded "CHEATER!!! wait, can't you just bless me too?" "Nope" said the old man as he shook like a leaf. "The spell only works once. I said the special words and now that’s it, God is locked in. No matter what I say or do, no matter how much I plead, from now on Jacob is your boss, that’s how the magic works. However, I can and will make a non-binding recommendation to God that he make you somewhat well off, upper middle class maybe, not too well off." "KILL KILL KILL" raged Esau.
Rebekah heard all this kill kill kill talk going on and advised Jacob "You’re the boss now but you'll obviously be a dead boss if Esau ever catches you, so you better go hide out till things cool off." She convinced Isaac that unless they wanted the twins to have a cage match to the death then Jacob would have go to her brother's place to live. Besides, that would be the ideal place for him to look for a quality wife of good breeding stock rather than to marry racially inferior Hittite girls like Esau shamefully did. Isaac agreed with that part whole-heartedly. This new arrangement convinced Esau that his racist dad must really hate his Hittite wives pretty bad so he went right out and immediately scored himself a third sister-wife of better breeding stock by marrying his cousin, one of the girls on uncle Ishmael's side of the family but a good breeder none the less.
Next: The good wife.