Background Probability

The Agnostic Popular Front has moved to its new home at Skeptic Ink, and will henceforth be known as Background Probability. Despite the relocation and rebranding, we will continue to spew the same low-fidelity high-quality bullshit that you've come to expect.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Genesis 13-15: In the land of Girgashites, Rephaites, Amalekites, Sodomites, Perizzites, and the like...

The Bible is nothing if not a tribal document, and here we see the distinctions between the tribes drawn to such a degree as to make modern white supremacist racism seem incredibly inclusive by comparison. As to which tribe is considered supreme herein this narrative, the reader is not given unto any doubt:
"Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and
southward, and eastward, and westward... For all the land which thou seest, to
thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. ... Unto thy seed have I given
this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates,
[land of] the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites,
and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and
the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."

So, one might suppose that all the "-ites" who aren't fit to be called "Israelites" are going to have to go, by whatever means necessary. Perhaps, though, it is overly pessimistic to assume, at this point in the story, that even an ancient tribal deity would ordain and establish war and genocide as His preferred means of settling the Promised Land. Surely the god who would later be described as loving and just and merciful by Christian theologians would never do such a barbaric thing. We shall see.

As to the main characters in the story, Abram and his nephew must go their separate ways, as they have become the very first exemplars of what would much later become known as the prosperity gospel. They are by this point so gloriously blessed that, like rich people everywhere, they just can't stand each other's company anymore. Out of necessity, they invent and implement the concept of exurban sprawl, and that thousands of years before it catches on here in the West. Abram journeys out to the western plains, and there sets up his tents and settlements in defiance of native land claims, thus presaging the Oklahoma Boomers. Lot,
for his part, pitches his tents towards the thriving metropolis of Sodom, where the markets are overfilled and the women are undersexed.

There is also a bit of a war, but it didn't really more the narrative forward.

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