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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 101 (NC-17)

[reaction OYB's Nov. 9-11 readings]

Today's reactions is for mature audiences only.


First, Ezekiel has just flipped out with his Israel is a whore motif. He tells the story of a parable about these two prostitutes, Oholah and Oholibah. In the parable, "Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem." Ezekiel 23:4. A bit later, describing how badly the women betrayed God, he writes this, "Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses." Ezekiel 23:19-20. One, there are not that many passages in the Bible that I think people would really be upset to have their children read, but this and the rest of chapter 23 probably fits the bill. Two, this stuff actually bugs me. It is hard to read it as not promoting violence against women at some point. Metaphor after metaphor of Israel as a women being attacked.

Second, Hebrews caused me to continue my suspicion that initially Christians like Paul were looking for a Second Coming, and when it didn't happen, the Christians who said Jesus had already returned won the argument, and that view was supported in the Gospels. In Hebrews, the author explains, "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Hebrews 9:27-28. So, this is weird because it seems to not be aware of Jesus' return in the resurrection. Furthermore, we have the earlier quoted condemnation from Second Timothy for false teachers. "Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some." 2 Tim. 2:17-18. And, you might think that the resurrection discussed there was the resurrection of the dead along with Jesus. But, remember from Matthew 27:52-52 that when the Gospel writers about resurrection it included the dead. When Jesus was crucified, "[t]he tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people." So, obviously a heresy, right? But I really wonder. It also answers the question of why the Gospel writers would have Jesus says that they would see his return in the lifetime of those listening.

3 comments:

Matt Dick said...

Why do you think this is one of the only sections of the Bible that people might not want their kids to read? I mean, this is about large genitals, but there is story after story you've already gone through where no living thing was left within the walls of an opposing city-state. How is that not worse?

grapto

JimII said...

Good question. It is probably just because I am a product of American culture, but the notion of war and slaughtering lots of people doesn't strike me as obscene a discussion of donkey size genitals and horse-like emissions. Beastiality seems to be sort of sideways suggested, too.

It really was a personal reaction to this. As I have come across other things that sort of shock me, I'll often read it to the family--much to their interest I am sure--but when I came to this one I censored myself, and this is the first time while reading the Bible that I have done that.

Is this a discription of the most immoral act in the Bible? Heck no. Frankly, lusting after men with large genitals and horse-like emissions is not that big a deal. It is just the graphic nature of the description, I think, that would make this more awkward that most other things.

Matt Dick said...

Yeah, you're undoubtedly right. One of much more graphic than the other. I think I'd make the same decisions you have about sharing with the family.

America as a culture is also a big part of why we fetishize violence but shy from sexuality.

orion