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.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Genesis 28-31: More selective breeding

Isaac send Jacob forth into the world to find a bride, telling him to "take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother." This Isaac does, not just once but twice.

Jacob works for seven years to marry Rachel, but he is tricked into marrying her older sister Leah instead. Somehow, he doesn't notice this until after consummating the union. I know they didn't have electric indoor lighting back then, but I'd wager good money that I could tell my wife from her older sister even in the dark, and even though their voices sound fairly similar. Perhaps seven years of celibacy makes one a bit overhasty.

Jacob does eventually get to marry Rachel, however, after only seven more years of working for his new father-in-law. As an added double bonus, he also fathers children upon both of his wives' maidservants, firstly with Rachel's maid Bilhah and later with Leah's maid Zilpah. I've heard a good deal about Biblical family values from the politicians and preachers around here, but I'm thinking they need to be a bit more specific as to which bits of the Bible contain the family values which they would like us to emulate.

Jacob works some magic with selective breeding of his father-in-law's livestock using specially prepared almond trees. How this works is a bit obscure, but the practical upshot was that he ends up with loads of sheep and cattle. He tries to sneak away from his father-in-law, but he is pursued. Rachel steals some of the household goods, or rather gods, for reasons unknown, and hides them quite well. Eventually, Jacob and Laban reach a sort of d├ętente, and go their separate ways.

1 comment:

Jim N said...

Selective breeding of livestock and almond trees? My fantasies whirl in the brain.