Holy Fuck!

The Bible keeps on coughing up these gems. It hasn’t given us much in the way of moral direction or useful life advice, but if you want to know what to do or what to avoid doing with your penis, you have plenty of guidance in the Good Book.

Judah is the main protagonist in this chapter. He sets off on a sexcation to Canaan, as these characters are so fond of doing. The proscription against coupling with Canaanite women seems to be fading, however, because he is the third man in a row to bed down with a Canaanite woman. Previously, they were under strict instructions to avoid the women of the tribes who surrounded them in Canaan. Maybe the birth defects from cousinfucking became evident.

Judah knocks up a Canaanite woman three times, having three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah. For some reason which is not explained,the first-born Er “is evil in the eyes of Jehovah, and Jehovah doth put him to death.” Edification and due process be damned, God smote this shit out of this guy without explanation and you don’t need to know what justified a death sentence from the almighty. Thanks again Bible.

After Er is smitten by the almighty, Judah tells his second-born “go fuck your dead brother’s wife.” Totally reasonable demand. Onan objects to this course of action, not because fucking your dead brother’s wife is a questionable way to grieve, but because he knows if he knocks her up, the children will be Er’s children, not his. These guys clearly had a masterful understanding of genetics and where babies come from.

Onan comes up with the elegant solution of blasting his load on the ground instead of his dead brother’s wife’s vagina. Why mince words? This is your Bible people. Your God wants you to know that he is watching every contraction and ejaculation and you will have to account for where you blew your load when you get to the pearly gates. God is just going to be standing there shaking his head at you and holding a bunch of crunchy socks. You fucking heathen.  

Of course, this sin is also punishable by death. Jesus fucking Christ on a cracker, that’s a bit severe, no? As far as I can tell, the lesson is that you should be generous with your ejaculate and obey your father even when he tells you to go fuck your dead brother’s wife. Maybe God should put people on notice that there are some situations in which anything but strict compliance will be met with instant death. Since when can humans make divine law by proxy and have it enforced by the death penalty from the almighty executioner? Does God every intervene to help anyone or just to destroy them for slight, trivial deviations from laws of which they have not even been informed? The Bible is really fucking stupid.

Moreover, as perverse as this story is, it has been contorted even further by the church to demonize every nature of sexual gratification. Masturbation? Death sentence. Any sex not directly tied to procreation? Sin, Death. Homosexuality? Death. Premarital sex? Death. There have been millions, probably billions of people who start their lives as sexual beings with dysfunction and shame because of the ridiculous teachings of a stupid book and equally stupid people. How about a priest raping a boy is punishable by the death penalty? Or the church covering it up? How about that? Huh? God? Oh, right, imaginary.

Back to the stupid text.

Judah, who is as concerned with other people’s sexual conduct as God is, demands that his daughter-in-law wait until Judah’s third son can grow up and get sloppy thirds on the woman that has fucked almost every member of his family now. Yeah, that’s way better than premarital sex.

Then it gets weird. Although he was very adamant that Tamar wait for Shelah to grow up and fuck her, Judah apparently neglects to follow-through on that pairing, but also fails to free Tamar from her sexual enslavement. One day, he goes out to inspect his sheep and sees Tamar, whom he does not recognize, and mistakes her as a harlot. He offers her a goat for some sex. On credit! Seriously.

16 and he turneth aside unto her by the way, and saith, `Come, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee,’ (for he hath not known that she [is] his daughter-in-law); and she saith, `What dost thou give to me, that thou mayest come in unto me?’

17 and he saith, `I — I send a kid of the goats from the flock.’ And she saith, `Dost thou give a pledge till thou send [it]?’

He offers her his staff (rimshot) and ribbons to seal the deal. Good enough, she says, and then she fucks her father-in-law and gets pregnant. Upstanding guy that he is, he leaves the goat and cab fare on the nightstand.

Three months later, somebody tells Judah that his daughter-in-law “hath committed fornication” and Judah says “well, shit let’s burn that witch.” I wish I were joking, but that’s the gist of it.

24 And it cometh to pass about three months [after], that it is declared to Judah, saying, `Tamar thy daughter-in-law hath committed fornication; and also, lo, she hath conceived by fornication:’ and Judah saith, `Bring her out — and she is burnt.’

In one of the greatest switcheroos ever, she produces the staff and ribbons and says “YOU fucked me, you dirty old asshole!” You go girl.

She has twins and they live happily ever after (but the Bible makes sure you know they didn’t fuck again, because, you know, THAT would be wrong).

What in the name of sweet fucking baby Jesus are we supposed to take from this chapter? What kind of book pauses in the middle of a story to take a heartwarming sidetrack into sexual dysfunction and death? This chapter also introduces yet another divergent God character: a superdimensional Asgardian-destroyer who is somehow both emotionally distant and intimately involved in human affairs. Basically just a golem at Judah’s disposal.

There is also no cohesive moral instruction or discernible set of rules. It merely proscribes a variety of conduct without explanation, leaving it subject to interpretation and abuse (the latter part both literally and figuratively). Why is it kosher to fuck your daughter-in-law whom you mistook as a prostitute, but failing to impregnate your dead brother’s wife is punishable by death? Why can these guys tomcat around with impunity, but a woman is summarily burnt to death for the same behavior? Where is the constancy and candor that we should expect from a perfect being?

This chapter, bizarre and humorous though it may be at points, is actually a good representation of some of the overarching problems I have with the Bible and religion in general. A perfect being should not create (or permit to be created and attributed to Him) a scattershot and inconsistent foundational theology. The least–the very least–I would expect would be a book that has a consistent concept of the supposed author and almighty fucking creator. Do you know what I would expect from a book cobbled together by a bunch of primitive, superstitious tribesmen? Exactly what we have here. This Bible.

GENESIS 38

1 And it cometh to pass, at that time, that Judah goeth down from his brethren, and turneth aside unto a man, an Adullamite, whose name [is] Hirah;

and Judah seeth there the daughter of a man, a Canaanite, whose name [is] Shuah, and taketh her, and goeth in unto her.

And she conceiveth, and beareth a son, and he calleth his name Er;

and she conceiveth again, and beareth a son, and calleth his name Onan;

and she addeth again, and beareth a son, and calleth his name Shelah; and he was in Chezib in her bearing him.

And Judah taketh a wife for Er, his first-born, and her name [is] Tamar;

and Er, Judah’s first-born, is evil in the eyes of Jehovah, and Jehovah doth put him to death.

And Judah saith to Onan, `Go in unto the wife of thy brother, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother;’

and Onan knoweth that the seed is not [reckoned] his; and it hath come to pass, if he hath gone in unto his brother’s wife, that he hath destroyed [it] to the earth, so as not to give seed to his brother;

10 and that which he hath done is evil in the eyes of Jehovah, and He putteth him also to death.

11 And Judah saith to Tamar his daughter-in-law, `Abide a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son groweth up;’ for he said, `Lest he die — even he — like his brethren;’ and Tamar goeth and dwelleth at her father’s house.

12 And the days are multiplied, and the daughter of Shuah, Judah’s wife, dieth; and Judah is comforted, and goeth up unto his sheep-shearers, he and Hirah his friend the Adullamite, to Timnath.

13 And it is declared to Tamar, saying, `Lo, thy husband’s father is going up to Timnath to shear his flock;’

14 and she turneth aside the garments of her widowhood from off her, and covereth herself with a vail, and wrappeth herself up, and sitteth in the opening of Enayim, which [is] by the way to Timnath, for she hath seen that Shelah hath grown up, and she hath not been given to him for a wife.

15 And Judah seeth her, and reckoneth her for a harlot, for she hath covered her face,

16 and he turneth aside unto her by the way, and saith, `Come, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee,’ (for he hath not known that she [is] his daughter-in-law); and she saith, `What dost thou give to me, that thou mayest come in unto me?’

17 and he saith, `I — I send a kid of the goats from the flock.’ And she saith, `Dost thou give a pledge till thou send [it]?’

18 and he saith, `What [is] the pledge that I give to thee?’ and she saith, `Thy seal, and thy ribbon, and thy staff which [is] in thy hand;’ and he giveth to her, and goeth in unto her, and she conceiveth to him;

19 and she riseth, and goeth, and turneth aside her vail from off her, and putteth on the garments of her widowhood.

20 And Judah sendeth the kid of the goats by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the hand of the woman, and he hath not found her.

21 And he asketh the men of her place, saying, `Where [is] the separated one — she in Enayim, by the way?’ and they say, `There hath not been in this [place] a separated one.’

22 And he turneth back unto Judah, and saith, `I have not found her; and the men of the place also have said, There hath not been in this [place] a separated one,’

23 and Judah saith, `Let her take to herself, lest we become despised; lo, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.’

24 And it cometh to pass about three months [after], that it is declared to Judah, saying, `Tamar thy daughter-in-law hath committed fornication; and also, lo, she hath conceived by fornication:’ and Judah saith, `Bring her out — and she is burnt.’

25 She is brought out, and she hath sent unto her husband’s father, saying, `To a man whose these [are], I [am] pregnant;’ and she saith, `Discern, I pray thee, whose [are] these — the seal, and the ribbons, and the staff.’

26 And Judah discerneth and saith, `She hath been more righteous than I, because that I did not give her to Shelah my son;’ and he hath not added to know her again.

27 And it cometh to pass in the time of her bearing, that lo, twins [are] in her womb;

28 and it cometh to pass in her bearing, that [one] giveth out a hand, and the midwife taketh and bindeth on his hand a scarlet thread, saying, `This hath come out first.’

29 And it cometh to pass as he draweth back his hand, that lo, his brother hath come out, and she saith, `What! thou hast broken forth — on thee [is] the breach;’ and he calleth his name Pharez;

30 and afterwards hath his brother come out, on whose hand [is] the scarlet thread, and he calleth his name Zarah.

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6 thoughts on “Holy Fuck!

  1. Ha. Excellent. I always assumed we got to “er[r] is human” from the Awesome Book. Seeing that the almighty decided to smote him… he reminds us that we are human. Too, Er, is human. Oh, hell, nevermind. It made so much sense in my head before it fell out of my fingers.

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