Begin an authentic relationship with the Lord

Harem Dancers by Fabio Fabbi

This is not a normal teaching from your normal church.  Some experiences cannot be shared by the congregation.

This blog is not for the immature or new believer. It is for the believer who sits up one days and says “I want more, in my relationship with God. I want to be closer to my God, my King, my Redeemer, and my Beloved.”

The Song of Songs teaches that we are all in God’s harem.  We are all brides of Messiah, individually. For purposes of the blog I have substituted Harem where one would normally write congregation, church, or believers. The great love poem was left for us to understand that the  relationship with out Lord is to be as intimate as any passionate encounter.

Of Kings, Cloaks and Sex

Euphemisms for Sexual Relations in the Bible

or Wink Wink Nod Nod (an English euphemism for secret information everybody already knows)

allan-ramsay-king-george-iii-in-coronation-robes-1761-62The Hebrew Bible is full of word play i.e. Paronomasia. There are lots of parallelisms, similes, puns, idioms, and euphemisms, etc. many of which are impossible to translate.

When the paronomasia is a euphemisms, some translators will chose to woodenly translate it word for word, others substitute an English euphemism, and some of the more modern translations opt for stating directly what was meant. All three of these solutions leave the English reader missing some of what is being communicated, and often cloud the issues rather than bring clarity. Finding the right word can be quite difficult, what one culture’s euphemism might be, may use that same words for something completely different, e.g. Where in Hebrew uncovered or nakedness can mean a sexual encounter, to the ancient Greeks it meant drunkenness. When in English we speak of someone’s nose being red, we mean drunkenness, however ancient Hebrew it means angry. In English the heart is the seat of emotions, where in ancient Hebrew it was the bowels. So translators must decide how best to express these ideas. It all come down to, is the idea or the word more important?

Sexual Euphemisms

Like all cultures the ancient Hebrews did not openly speak of sexual things. The use of euphemisms for such activity is practically universal. So a translator must decide, is the passage in question a euphemism or is the plan ordinary meaning meant?

To Lay With

This little phrase can mean many things, from bestiality, or sleep, or death.  Just as it does in English. Context is everything, and that is the problem with euphemisms, they almost always mean something else as well as the wink wink nod nod, meaning.

When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and said,  “You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night.  Gen. 30:16

. . . she caught him by his garment, saying,  “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and got out of the house. Gen. 39:12

. . . but let me lie with my fathers; carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.” He answered,  “I will do as you have said.” Gen. 47:30

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Lev. 18:22

. . . the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down within the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 1 Sam. 3:3 

Uncovering the Nakedness

Uncovering the Nakedness of a close relative, is incest. This is pretty obvious in Lev 18 that incest is what is meant. As the whole chapter is just one long list of all a persons nearest kin.

“None of you shall approach any one near of kin to him to uncover nakedness. I am the LORD. Lev. 18:6   

Cover with One’s Cloak, Standard, or Garment

This one can be a little difficult to decide, as people are covered up for all kinds of reasons besides sexual ones. Another problem that can cloud the facts, is that there are many kinds of cloaks, robes, or standards to be covered up with. And since the early translators of the Bible were all celibate monks, they tended to minimize the sexual content. The early translations of the Bible often carry more prestige than is warranted. Leaving all future translators not wanting to differ too much from first the Latin Vulgate and later for English readers the King James Version. In some circles, to disagree with the King James often brings out accusations and or denouncements of having produced a heretical translation. Trust us, there are enough heretically bad translated passages out there to go around. No Bible is prefect, and no translator can possible but aside all their preconceived notions.  Even some of the worst translations were done with good intentions. It is important for even the casual reader of the Bible to know who and why the translation they are using was made. That way at least one will have an idea where the translators prejudices may reside.

Ruth offered herself right there and then to Boaz. She was not interested in the finer details of the law, she wanted a son for her dead husband. (See Also: Ruth Chapter 3)

He said,  “Who are you?” And she answered,  “I am Ruth, your maidservant; spread your skirt over your maidservant, for you are next of kin.” Ruth 3:9

No one wanted the king’s robe or mantle, as the Babylonian army was pressing down on Jerusalem.

When a man takes hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying:  “You have a mantle; you shall be our leader, and this heap of ruins shall be under your rule”; in that day he will speak out, saying:  “I will not be a healer; in my house there is neither bread nor mantle; you shall not make me leader of the people.” Is. 3:6-7 

Eliakim will receive all the authority of Shebna.

In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your girdle on him, and will commit your authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.  And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.  And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. Is. 22:20 -23

This is what was upsetting to Joseph’s brothers. Jacob had given him a cloak of authority.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a long robe with sleeves. Gen. 37:3

The Song of Solomon has the most euphemism and or allusions to sex in the Bible. It is after all an erotic poem.  But this one verse has been worked over by both the drinking police and the sexual prudes.

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Song 2:4

What it actually says is, He brought me to the wine house (which we would call a cellar) and covered me with his standard (meaning sexual intercourse).

Noah

Just when things are beginning to get clear, and we are all pretty sure what the text is really indicating. With uncovering someone’s nakedness is morally wrong sex, and covering someone is morally acceptable sex. And being under someone cloak can mean intimacy or authority. We come to the strange tail of Noah’s drunkenness.

 20 Noah was the first tiller of the soil. He planted a vineyard;  21 and he drank of the wine, and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his tent.  22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.  23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.  24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him,  25 he said,  “Cursed be Canaan; a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers.”  26 He also said,  “Blessed by the LORD my God be Shem; and let Canaan be his slave.  27 God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his slave.”  28 After the flood Noah lived three hundred and fifty years.  29 All the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died. Gen. 9:20-29

The question comes down to, is someone trying to take Noah’s authority, or is someone having sexual relations with Noah or Mrs. Noah? Or possibly someone is trying to show that they have taken Noah’s authority by sleeping with his wife [see Rueben]. Depending on how one answers these questions will have a great deal to do with ones interpretation of what was going on. It is interesting that Canaan the son of Ham and the father of Nimrod as well as the fore father of the Phoenicians, gets the curse.

To Know

To know someone in ancient Hebrew usually denotes a certain amount of intimacy. How intense that intimacy is usually explain in the passage in question.

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying,  “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” Gen. 4:1 

Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. Gen. 4:17

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said,  “God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, for Cain slew him.” Gen. 4:25

Modern translators have taken this simple “to know” and translates it in someway more direct manner, as in “had sex” or something of the kind. Although that may clear things up for the casual reader. A great many passages depth of meaning will  then go unrecognized. Then this same casual reader may miss what the Psalmist is saying in the song written for the Alamot to sing.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!” Psa. 46:10  

This is not a casual “to know”. This is a call from God to have an intimate relationship with Him. Even though He is exalted among the nations, He wants to be intimate with the individual believer just as a man is with a woman. He is calling for a deeply intense, closely personal, faithful relationship, that can only be expressed to our finite minds in sexual terms. That is after all the whole point of the Song of Solomon, and in a less graphic manner the whole Bible. We are to be God’s lover. We are to respond to God as a wife to her husband. Unfortunately we have a tendency to let our spiritual leaders step in-between us and our Beloved.  We let them tell us what our lover is like instead of picking up the love letter he left us, for ourselves. Even a bad translation is better than second hand information.

We must KNOW God. There are no easy short cuts to an intimate relationship with God. We must not let someone’s teachings or ideas get between us and our lover.  The consequences can be spiritually devastating.

15    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?  17 So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.  18 A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  20 Thus you will know them by their fruits. 

21    “Not every one who says to me,  ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  22 On that day many will say to me,  ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  23 And then will I declare to them,  ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ Matt. 7:15-23

Acquiring and maintaining an intimate relationship with God is paramount. As children we are taught to worship our parent’s God.  As young adults we a taught to worship the congregation’s God. But at some point everyone must begin to worship God on their own, as their own lover. At some point every one must on their own go into the kings chambers, and begin their own intimate relationship with God. He calls to us in a most alluring way. He draws us to him. We must make haste. Once in the king’s chambers we will never be the same.

Draw me after you, let us make haste. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you. Song 1:4 

The Rape of Tamar, 2 Samuel 13

tissot-james-absalom-causeth-amnon-to-be-slain1 Now Absalom, David’s son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and after a time Amnon, David’s son, loved her.  2 And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.  3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shime-ah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very crafty man.  4 And he said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”  5 Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed, and pretend to be ill; and when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.’”  6 So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Pray let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.” 

7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.”  8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, where he was lying down. And she took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes.  9 And she took the pan and emptied it out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, “Send out every one from me.” So every one went out from him.  10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the cakes she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.  11 But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.”  12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not force me; for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this wanton folly.  13 As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the wanton fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray you, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.”  14 But he would not listen to her; and being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her. 

15 Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred; so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone.”  16 But she said to him, “No, my brother; for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other which you did to me.” But he would not listen to her.  17 He called the young man who served him and said, “Put this woman out of my presence, and bolt the door after her.”  18 Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves; for thus were the virgin daughters of the king clad of old. So his servant put her out, and bolted the door after her.  19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent the long robe which she wore; and she laid her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went. 

20 And her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar dwelt, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom’s house.  21 When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry.  22 But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar. 

23 After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.  24 And Absalom came to the king, and said, “Behold, your servant has sheepshearers; pray let the king and his servants go with your servant.”  25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you.” He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing.  26 Then Absalom said, “If not, pray let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?”  27 But Absalom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.  28 Then Absalom commanded his servants, “Mark when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Fear not; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.”  29 So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and each mounted his mule and fled. 

tissot-james-absalom-causeth-amnon-to-be-slain30 While they were on the way, tidings came to David, “Absalom has slain all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.”  31 Then the king arose, and rent his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants who were standing by rent their garments.  32 But Jonadab the son of Shime-ah, David’s brother, said, “Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead, for by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day he forced his sister Tamar.  33 Now therefore let not my lord the king so take it to heart as to suppose that all the king’s sons are dead; for Amnon alone is dead.” 

34 But Absalom fled. And the young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the Horonaim road by the side of the mountain.  35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about.”  36 And as soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept; and the king also and all his servants wept very bitterly. 

37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son day after day.  38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.  39 And the spirit of the king longed to go forth to Absalom; for he was comforted about Amnon, seeing he was dead. 2Sam. 13:1-39

None of this sorry tail happened in a vacuum. It lies in-between the incidents with Bathsheba, and the revolt and civil war that Absalom brought down on David.  Without this context Absalom’s revolt seems to have no rationale. But his actions were not in a vacuum. He had cause. As this tail illustrates, David was unjust.

None of us like to admit that great men of God often have feet of clay. We want to teach and recall the younger David, the perfect David. We want to remember his battles, his refusal to lift his hand against Saul. We plead for the perfect, young, bold, and dashing David. Not this old man with no self control, no justice, no moral authority. As is often the case with God, our judgments come from those who are even worse than ourselves. And Absalom was in the end far more corrupt than the father he sought to dethrone.

Amnon is the heir apparent. As David’s oldest son he was the natural presumptive future king [2 Sam 2:3]. From what is here, and we have nothing else to go on, he was as unwise, selfish, narcissist, who cared nothing about the consequences of his actions. After all his father David bore no personal consequences for his own actions in the previous chapter.

Absalom is the third son. He probably figured he has no chance at all at the throne.  But Amnon is about to prove his unworthiness, spectacularly, and Absalom is not about to waist this chance. Oh he is angry, but he is also going to seize upon this opportunity, to remove a rival to the throne.

Amnon has a friend and cousin Jonadab. He is one of those fellows who attaches himself to the powerful. So at first we see him here with Amnon. He is befriending the one who looks as if he will one day be the king. Always good to be the one who got the powerful man what he wanted.  So it is he that cooks up the ruse of being sick in order to get to Tamar.

David willingly sends Tamar to take care of her brother. Odd he didn’t see this coming because clearly Absalom did. Absalom knew why Tamar was crying before she told him.  Amnon’s either had a reputation of taking women or it was common knowledge that he wanted Tamar. But David seems oblivious, and indulges what he thinks is a sick man’s request.

FYI: English translators are alway squeamish about all thing sexual, and go to great lengths to down play the actual bluntness of the Hebrew. In this RSV translation it says in verse 12 c.f. 14, 22, 32 “do not do this wanton folly.” A better English translation would probably be “do no violate me”.

When this disgraceful attack happens, Tamar tries to get away for Amnon with the suggestion that David, if asked, will give her to Amnon. It is hard to tell if this was plausible or just subterfuge to get away from him. Ezekiel decries and condemns the practice in his day. But there is 400 years between Ezekiel and David  [Ezek. 22:10]. Brother sister marriage was common among the royalty of the Egyptians and some think also among the Canaanites. However it is in the list of condemned incestuous relationships in the Law [Lev 18].

You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or born abroad. Lev. 18:9

It took Absalom two years of careful planning to get his revenge and some justice for Tamar. He must have planned all this quite carefully. First he does something none of his brothers seem willing to do. He is the only prince that has gone down to oversee the sheep shearing, which was after all the family’s business. He is showing himself as the responsible one. The one the family and the nation can depend on to get things done. He is making it plain for everyone to see that he is to be preferred over Amnon for the crown.

 FYI: This is happening at the time of the sheep shearing, interesting to note that it was at the time of the sheep shearing that the first Tamar tricked her father-in-law Judah into sleeping with her, in order to have children for her dead husband [Gen 38].

When Absalom arranges Amnon’s death, David hears the report and thinks all his sons are dead, but it is Jonadab who knows and assures him that only Amnon has been killed. Jonadab once again is staying close to where the power is. After the murder, Absalom flees to his Uncle Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. [2 Sam. 3:3] He must have continued his planning. Because three years later when David brings him back to court, he subtly begins to undermined David’s authority.

The emotions in all of this are quite interesting and perplexing. First Amnon desires and loves Tamar only to turn on her with great hate. Either this is from guilt or the experience was not what he had fantasied. The Text also says that Absalom hated Amnon which is quite understandable. But David’s reaction to all of this is quite puzzling. David’s hatred was not the normal word for hate, but rather a burning hate. In spite of this David does nothing to Amnon.

In the chapter before this on David took Uriah’s wife, he then had Uriah killed.  Nathan the prophet confronted him in the presence of the whole court, and pronounced God judgment.

Thus says the LORD,  ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 2 Sam. 12:11 

tissot-james-absalom-hanging-on-the-oak-treeIt is as though David has lost his moral authority after his affair with Bathsheba.  As he does nothing to Amnon for the rape of Tamar, and he will do nothing to Absalom in the following chapters, even though he leads a full out civil war against David. It is as the prophet predicted and he knows that nothing he can do will change the course of events.

In the following chapters Absalom begins to present himself as the prince that is the logical choice for king. David’s inability to act sets up a whole series of events in which Absalom usurps the throne, partly on a charge that the king is unjust. He will begin by setting up a court system outside of the king’s justice system. In the end David must flee for his life, and Absalom does indeed rape some of David’s wives on the rooftop in the eyes of the people. Still David will not order his son’s death. To the very end he wants to forgive. It is Joab who puts an end to Absalom.

There is nothing anyone can do, if events or circumstance are foretold by God, no amount of praying or bargaining with God will work. If He has said it, it will truly come to pass. We cannot vote or make a proposal, set new goals and objectives, in order to get our way. Sometime like David we must simply endure.

If any one is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if any one slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. Rev. 13:10

David marred the image of God’s love by taking Bathsheba another man’s wife. Then the whole thing snowballed out of control as his whole family was caught up in the injustice.

But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out. Num. 32:23

The important thing to remember is no matter how out of whack things seem to be we must continue to seek and do the will of God. Our prayer is THY will be done, and those who follow the Lord keep His commandments. [Matt. 6:10; John 14:15] When in doubt always go back to those Ten Commandments. They are the way we keep things straight between God and man, and man and man.

Judah and Tamar – Genesis 38

Judah and Tamar1 It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah.  2 There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and went in to her,  3 and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er.  4 Again she conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Onan.  5 Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. She was in Chezib when she bore him.  6 And Judah took a wife for Er his first-born, and her name was Tamar.  7 But Er, Judah’s first-born, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.  8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.”  9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother.  10 And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he slew him also.  11 Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father’s house, till Shelah my son grows up” — for he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house. 

12  In course of time the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died; and when Judah was comforted, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.  13 And when Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,”  14 she put off her widow’s garments, and put on a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage.  15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot, for she had covered her face.  16 He went over to her at the road side, and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”  17 He answered, “I will send you a kid from the flock.” And she said, “Will you give me a pledge, till you send it?”  18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him.  19 Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood. 

20 When Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand, he could not find her.  21 And he asked the men of the place, “Where is the harlot who was at Enaim by the wayside?” And they said, “No harlot has been here.”  22 So he returned to Judah, and said, “I have not found her; and also the men of the place said, ‘No harlot has been here.’”  23 And Judah replied, “Let her keep the things as her own, lest we be laughed at; you see, I sent this kid, and you could not find her.” 

24 About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has played the harlot; and moreover she is with child by harlotry.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.”  25 As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “By the man to whom these belong, I am with child.” And she said, “Mark, I pray you, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.”  26 Then Judah acknowledged them and said, “She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not lie with her again. 

27 When the time of her delivery came, there were twins in her womb.  28 And when she was in labor, one put out a hand; and the midwife took and bound on his hand a scarlet thread, saying, “This came out first.”  29 But as he drew back his hand, behold, his brother came out; and she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” Therefore his name was called Perez.  30 Afterward his brother came out with the scarlet thread upon his hand; and his name was called Zerah. Gen. 38:1-30

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Rueben, how He Lost the Scepter

Dinet, Etienne 1861 - 1929There is this one odd verse statement about Rueben. It is right between the deaths of Rachel [Gen. 35:19] and Isaac [Gen. 35:28].

 

While Israel dwelt in that land Rueben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard of it. Gen. 35:22

There is never a reason given for his act. Rueben was the first born of Jacob. His mother was Jacob’s first wife Leah. Bilhah had been Rachel’s hand maid, and in a reproductive war of one-up-man-ship with her sister Leah, Rachel had given Bilhah to Jacob as a wife. (See Also: Three Kinds of Wives)

Many reasons for his act have been suggested.

The most predominant reason given is that of being a total pervert. This seems unlikely however as many others at the time were stuck down for bad behavior of one kind or another. Yet God himself says nothing about this.

Then there is the one that says his actions represent some kind of vengeance for his mother. It is suggested that after Rachel’s death Jacob may have gone on and on mourning, and his first wife instigated this wickedness, to show Jacob that nothing  which came from Rachel was true or faithful. This view relies heavily on the similarity of the tale with the Greek myth of Amyntor and Pheonix, where Pheonix at the instigation of his mother slept with his father’s mistress.

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Phinehas, the Man and the Midianite Woman performing sex acts in the Tabernacle

spear 1   While Israel dwelt in Shittim the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab.  2 These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods.  3 So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel;  4 and the LORD said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.”  5 And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Every one of you slay his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor.” 

6   And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting.  7 When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation, and took a spear in his hand 8 and went after the man of Israel into the inner room, and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman, through her body. Thus the plague was stayed from the people of Israel.  9 Nevertheless those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. 

10   And the LORD said to Moses,  11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy.  12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace;  13 and it shall be to him, and to his descendants after him, the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the people of Israel.’” 

14   The name of the slain man of Israel, who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, head of a fathers’ house belonging to the Simeonites.  15 And the name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was the head of the people of a fathers’ house in Midian.  Num. 25:1-15

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An Introduction to the Sexually Deviant in the Bible

Prostitution stands for Paganism

DionysusSatyr2Astonishingly to many people who have never read the Bible there is a surprisingly large amount of prostitution and other deviant sexual behaviors going on. Many have said that the Bible is one of the dirtiest books to survive from antiquity. Since very little has survived from antiquity, that is of an erotic nature that seems to be an unwarranted charge. These materials rarely survive as there is always some prudish person who out of guilt or shame has burned or otherwise destroyed these materials so mostly no one else thinks badly of their deceased relative, who had secretly collected these things. However the Bible is scared and no matter how prudish a person may be, those portions that are questionable cannot be destroyed because of their inviolable status.

They exist because they are there to teach what is wrong.

Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. 1Cor. 10:11

Most of what is written on this blog is about the hidden love song that runs through the Bible. The wonder of the seven tones that repeat over and over in perfect octaves. The passages we are going to look at here stand in perfect discord and disharmony with the seven tones. They are the six tone song of the whore.

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The Battlefield of the Soul

Léon Cogniet (1794 - 1880) - The Battle Of HeliopolisOr Be Still and Know part 2

Those in the Harem to often rush about our daily tasks, keeping ourselves too busy to give ourselves time to think. For we know that in the quiet, our hidden guilt will be self-evident, and what we fear most, that experience of an undertone of self-judgment, will manifest. Like Adam and Peter we know we are unworthy.

And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Gen. 3:10

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Luke 5:8 

We want God to be on the throne of our lives, at the same time there is nothing more horrifying than the thought that He is there. To be constantly accountable to a holy God is to be brought invariably into judgment. The self revelation of who we really are in light of His perfection is truly awful. Even if one triumphs in business, sports, scientific discovery, etc. our inner soul know that there is still a sense of unworthiness, and weakness.

For the man of faith (those in the harem) know that they must sally forth into this battlefield, to stand face to face with this most difficult task, a task of struggle, defeat, and failure to put aside all sin. Continue reading