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Theme Changer

 Topic: Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition

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  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #30 - August 14, 2016, 07:02 AM

    No I am a positive atheist.
    I do believe in supernatural and paranormal phenomenons but not god.

    Hmm.. positive atheist ..   negative  atheist .. Agnostic atheist ....     positive Muslim ..   negative  Muslim .. Agnostic Muslim...  .. they are interesting words dear abid ali
    if we can't explain lot of things, doesn't means that there is a god.
    and if there is a god, he is a complete dick.
    evil god in fact.

      you got a point there.,   well any fool  or any stupid book that says  god is " he " means they are shit books and dick heads  are propagating that idea of "god"   being     "heeeeeeeee"

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #31 - August 25, 2016, 10:40 AM

    Next installment! This is going to be the one with by far the most donkey dicks, eating shit, and drinking piss, if that interests or disinterests you. I'm not judging. (Well, I'm judging a little, but hey, it's the Bible so it's all clean and wholesome, right?)  piggy

    So, today we're going to be talking about the women in Nevi'im/The Prophets. When we're talking about Prophets in reference to the Hebrew Bible, the books we're talking about are Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel (the major prophets), and Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi (the minor prophets). One notable book that isn't on that list is Daniel. Although Daniel does contain passages that the author obviously intended to be read as prophetic, it isn't considered a book of prophecy by Jewish authorities, and never was as far as I can tell.

    Since we covered the women in Genesis last time, you might think we'd go through the rest of the Torah today, but honestly, most of the stories of the women in the rest of it aren't found in the Torah, they're found in the Midrash. For women like Miriam, sister of Moses, or Zipporah, his wife, there's very little besides their names listed in the Torah, but there's a wealth of interesting stories in the Midrash. The laws of Moses also don't really cover women or women's rights that often, they're almost all directed at men, especially in terms of the pronouns and verb tenses used. The only law (or I suppose, omission from the laws) I'd point out in particular is that while there is a long list of people who you can't have sex with and most of them are what you'd expect (mother, mother-in-law, step mother, daughter-in-law, and so on), one group that is missing from the list is "daughter by a woman who is not your wife." The daughter of your wife is on the list, which includes both her daughters by you and any daughter by a previous marriage or whatever, but not the daughter of your concubine or slave, which I think is an interesting omission in a time where those arrangements would have been fairly common. That's not to say that Hebrew men were having sex with their illegitimate daughters, it's just not on the list of sins found in the Bible.

    I'm not going to have time to run through the history of when the books we're examining today were written or by whom; instead, I'm going to be talking about the themes that run between the books. If you want more information about the books, please watch "History of the Old Testament with Christine Hayes" in my saved playlists if you want to watch it on youtube, or it's also available for download on iTunes if you visit and search for "RLST 145".

    So on to Isaiah. The first woman in the book is in chapter 7. This is where you get the commonly misquoted "a virgin shall conceive" line that Christians often quote around Christmas. I'm going to give you the entire prophecy so we can discuss it:

    Isa. 7:7 thus saith the Lord GOD: It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 8 For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people; 9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not have faith, surely ye shall not be established.' 10 And the LORD spoke again unto Ahaz, saying: 11 'Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God: ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.' 12 But Ahaz said: 'I will not ask, neither will I try the LORD.' 13 And he said: 'Hear ye now, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to weary men, that ye will weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 Curd and honey shall he eat, when he knoweth to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16 Yea, before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings thou hast a horror of shall be forsaken. 17 The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.'

    So the context was that the city was under siege. Isaiah went to the king and told him "hey, in 65 years, you're going to have total relief from your enemies, and both the kings who are besieging the city right now will be dead before the kid this woman here will have is weaned." Then in chapter 8, the kid is born:

    3 And I went unto the prophetess [note: I think this is supposed to be "woman of the prophesy" as in "the woman Isaiah pointed to in the last chapter", not "woman who prophesied"]; and she conceived, and bore a son. Then said the LORD unto me: 'Call his name Maher-shalal-hashbaz. 4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry: My father, and: My mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be carried away before the king of Assyria.' ...7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them...the king of Assyria and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks; 8 And he shall sweep through Judah overflowing as he passeth through he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.

    This theme of "have kids and their names will be used as prophetic tools" idea is also used in Hosea:

    the LORD said unto Hosea: 'Go, take unto thee a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry; for the land doth commit great harlotry, departing from the LORD.' 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bore him a son. 4 And the LORD said unto him: 'Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will visit the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.' 6 And she conceived again, and bore a daughter. And He said unto him: 'Call her name Lo-ruhamah; for I will no more have compassion upon the house of Israel, that I should in any wise pardon them...8 Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son. 9 And He said: 'Call his name Lo-ammi; for ye are not My people, and I will not be yours.'

    So, from a "women in the books" point of view, it's pretty cut and dry: Men have big interpersonal and international conflicts and go on great campaigns and make great presentations and do lots of cool and often bizarre stuff: Isaiah goes and talks to kings; Jonah gets thrown over the side of a boat and swallowed by a fish; Jeremiah buys a new belt, buries then retrieves it; in Isaiah 36, an Assyrian official named Rab-shakeh goes and talks to the king and officials of Jerusalem and basically offers them a peace treaty (the nobles will suffer a bit, but the average man will be able to go back home) and yells at the "average Joe" from the city IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE that if the officials don't take his offer, Average Joe's will be ones who are going to be eating shit and drinking piss; and the women in the books.....have kids. None of the individual women mentioned in the Prophets have any kind of interesting adventures. In fact, they're usually being used as nothing more than props in men's stories. In Amos 7, for example, the prophet Amos is having a fight with the priest Amaziah, and Amos says to Amaziah

    16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest: Prophesy not against Israel, and preach not against the house of Isaac; 17 Therefore thus saith the LORD: Thy wife shall be a harlot in the city...and thou thyself shalt die in an unclean land, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land."

    However, as you can see from the passage in Hosea, there is another way that women are alluded to: as a metaphor for the Israelite kingdoms. The other nations, when they are personified, are for the most part personified as a man, as in:

    Isa. 15:1-2 The burden of Moab. For in the night that Ar of Moab is laid waste, he is brought to ruin; for in the night that Kir of Moab is laid waste, he is brought to ruin. 2 He is gone up to Baith, and to Dibon, to the high places, to weep; upon Nebo, and upon Medeba, Moab howleth...

    But when the prophets are speaking about the kingdom of Israel, they overwhelmingly personify the kingdom as a woman, and characterize both the good and bad things that happened to the kingdom as a lover's spat between God and the nation. Like we already saw in Hosea, the bad things Israel did were personified as actions of a woman against her husband. I say "kingdom" because when most of the texts were written there was only one kingdom--Judah--and the kingdom of Israel was a distant memory, so the inhabitants of Judah appropriated the name for their own people, but some passages, like Ezekiel 23, do separate the two.

    Here are some choice verses from that chapter, because it is really rich in its imagery:

    4 And the names of them were Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister; and they became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters. And as for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem Oholibah. 5 And Oholah played the harlot when she was Mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians, warriors....8 Neither hath she left her harlotries brought from Egypt; for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised her virgin breasts; and they poured out their lust upon her. 9 Wherefore I delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted...11 And her sister Oholibah saw this, yet was she more corrupt in her doting than she, and in her harlotries more than her sister in her harlotries. 14 And she increased her harlotries; for she saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, 15 girded with girdles upon their loins, with pendant turbans upon their heads, all of them captains to look upon, the likeness of the sons of Babylon, even of Chaldea, the land of their nativity. 16 And as soon as she saw them she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea. 17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their lust; and she was polluted with them, and her soul was alienated from them.19 Yet she multiplied her harlotries, remembering the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. 20 And she doted upon concubinage with them, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue [semen] is like the issue of horses. 21 Thus thou didst call to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, when they from Egypt bruised thy breasts for the bosom of thy youth.

    God then goes on to say in that chapter that since the people of Judah have "played the harlot" by choosing other gods, he will sell them into slavery. This theme also appears in other passages, like:

    Isa. 50:1 Thus saith the LORD: Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, wherewith I have put her away? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities were ye sold, and for your transgressions was your mother put away. 2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish become foul, because there is no water, and die for thirst. 3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.

    and in Zephaniah 3:
    1 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! 2 She hearkened not to the voice, she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD, she drew not near to her God. 3 Her princes in the midst of her are roaring lions; her judges are wolves of the desert, they leave not a bone for the morrow. 4 Her prophets are wanton and treacherous persons; her priests have profaned that which is holy, they have done violence to the law. 5 The LORD who is righteous is in the midst of her, He will not do unrighteousness; every morning doth He bring His right to light, it faileth not; but the unrighteous knoweth no shame. 6 I have cut off nations, their corners are desolate; I have made their streets waste, so that none passeth by; their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, so that there is no inhabitant. 7 I said: 'Surely thou wilt fear Me, thou wilt receive correction; so her dwelling shall not be cut off, despite all that I have visited upon her'; but they betimes corrupted all their doings.

    and in Hosea:

    4 Plead with your mother, plead; for she is not My wife, neither am I her husband; and let her put away her harlotries from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts; 5 Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. 6 And I will not have compassion upon her children; for they are children of harlotry. 7 For their mother hath played the harlot, she that conceived them hath done shamefully; for she said: 'I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.' 8 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and I will make a wall against her, that she shall not find her paths. 9 And she shall run after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them, and she shall seek them, but shall not find them; then shall she say: 'I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.' 10 For she did not know that it was I that gave her the corn, and the wine, and the oil, and multiplied unto her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.

    Even Amos, which is probably the earliest of the books of Nevi'im and refers to Israel as an independent kingdom from Judah, talks about the nation of Israel as a virgin.

    1 Hear ye this word which I take up for a lamentation over you, O house of Israel: 2 The virgin of Israel is fallen, she shall no more rise; she is cast down upon her land, there is none to raise her up. 3 For thus saith the Lord GOD: The city that went forth a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went forth a hundred shall have ten left, of the house of Israel. 4 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel: Seek ye Me, and live; 5 But seek not Beth-el, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beer-sheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Beth-el shall come to nought.

    Gilgal, Beer-sheba. and Beth-el were all cities in the northern kingdom. What he seems to be saying here is to seek God from your own homes, not in any of the cities, including not to seek him in Jerusalem, because destruction was going to fall on the cities. However, I believe the addition of Amos to the Biblical canon was probably done in part by people who wanted to cement that it was Jerusalem in the southern kingdom, not any of the cities of the north, where God could be sought.

    All these passages, though, contain a ray of hope: although God will destroy, he will not destroy utterly; although he will punish and exile her, he will also bring her back. Often the language of reconciliation is the the same as the language used in the message of punishment.

    So going back to Hosea, where the children (Jezreel, Lo-Ammi, and Lo-Ruhamah) signified God's anger, the reconciliation passage reverses their names:

    2:1 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass that, instead of that which was said unto them: 'Ye are not My people', it shall be said unto them: 'Ye are the children of the living God.' 2 And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint themselves one head, and shall go up out of the land; for great shall be the day of Jezreel. 3 Say ye unto your brethren: 'Ammi'; and to your sisters, 'Ruhamah.'

    Isa 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear, break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. 2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations, spare not; lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes. 3 For thou shalt spread abroad on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall possess the nations, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. 4 Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed. Neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and the reproach of thy widowhood shalt thou remember no more. 5 For thy Maker is thy husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is thy Redeemer, the God of the whole earth shall He be called. 6 For the LORD hath called thee as a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit; and a wife of youth, can she be rejected? saith thy God. 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great compassion will I gather thee. 8 In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

    Isa. 26:17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been at Thy presence, O LORD. 18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the land; neither are the inhabitants of the world come to life. 19 Thy dead shall live, my dead bodies shall arise--awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust--for Thy dew is as the dew of light, and the earth shall bring to life the shades.

    This kind of language of a dead land and a dead people coming back to life and being restored was probably a big part of the hopefulness that characterized the post-exilic Jews, people who had been carried away from their homes to a strange land and then in part restored to their homeland, as well as to comfort those who were still in captivity. Where many other conquered nations simply adopted the gods of their conquerors, at least some Jews, a "remnant" as it were, managed to hold onto monotheism in the hopes that it would one day be worth it, that their suffering would be repaid. It was this kind of tenacious devotion to the principle that made it survive this long, where many other religious texts and traditions have faded into the mists of time. Remember, this was something that was happening most of the time to everyone in the region. This happened to the followers of Moloch and the Ba'al worshiping Philistines just as much as it happened to the Jews, but they didn't maintain their cultural and religious identity as well as the Jews did, which is at least a good portion why their religions aren't alive today. This sort of imagery of God as a husband, not a master or unreachable ethereal being, and of the Jewish people collectively as a wayward bride, not as a people who stumbled on a certain god's habitat, appealed to people on a very deep emotional level. That's not to say the message of the passages is true, but it is certainly powerful.


    Edit: I cleaned it up a little and took out some extraneous parts and parts I managed to paste in twice.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #32 - August 25, 2016, 12:47 PM

    ................ It was this kind of tenacious devotion to the principle that made it survive this long, where many other religious texts and traditions have faded into the mists of time. That's not to say it's true, but it is certainly powerful. ..............

    Well religious texts survived because they were NOT allowed to question .,  the only people who were questioned these faith  books were also faith heads from other faiths  born out earlier faiths.

    Now at the end of 20th century and   in 21st century along with tremendous progress in biology with simple Darwinian hypothesis  "the  evolution of species and human beings  comes from  life "  coupled to the world wide web.,  these faith and faith books have no chance to survive ..  unless we have Armageddon on earth and some faith heads have complete control on these modern tools and communications ..   even that will not last long...  

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #33 - August 26, 2016, 09:30 AM

    Comparing the believers to unfaithful prostitutes really seems to be a religious thing.  What is the deity supposed to be, a pimp? 

    I might add
    If you look at the new testament part of the bible, the church (believers in Jesus Christ) are by contrast compared to a bride and the groom is Jesus.  The imagery is much better and happier. 

    The unreligion, only one calorie
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #34 - August 28, 2016, 02:32 AM

    Comparing the believers to unfaithful prostitutes really seems to be a religious thing.  What is the deity supposed to be, a pimp? 

    I might add
    If you look at the new testament part of the bible, the church (believers in Jesus Christ) are by contrast compared to a bride and the groom is Jesus.  The imagery is much better and happier. 

    I'm getting there.....these videos are each 45 minutes long, take over an hour to record, and take 5-6 hours to write--which for the most part I do in a single sitting--so I have to have a few days that I'm feeling pretty good to get new ones out. but the tl;dr of the answer to that is: sometimes...there's a ton of calling Christians that don't agree with the book's authors whores, like in Revelations:
    2:18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
    These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

    20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds..

    These weren't polytheists or Jews, this was another Christian sect, just one the author of Revelations thought was heretical..

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #35 - August 28, 2016, 09:11 AM

    ........... the author of Revelations thought was heretical.............

    Any Christian who considers the saying of that silly book " Revelations" as word of god  or even words of Christ.,  I WILL CONSIDER THEM AS ULTIMATE CHRISTIAN FOOLS and tell them that they are fools on their face...

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #36 - August 28, 2016, 12:36 PM

    I'm getting there.....these videos are each 45 minutes long, take over an hour to record, and take 5-6 hours to write--which for the most part I do in a single sitting--so I have to have a few days that I'm feeling pretty good to get new ones out. but the tl;dr of the answer to that is: sometimes...there's a ton of calling Christians that don't agree with the book's authors whores, like in Revelations:
    These weren't polytheists or Jews, this was another Christian sect, just one the author of Revelations thought was heretical..

    He is writing to an angel? 

    The book of revelations is weird.  But you know what happens when person stays in a cave all alone for months. 

    The unreligion, only one calorie
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #37 - August 28, 2016, 12:52 PM

    He is writing to an angel? 

    The book of revelations is weird.  But you know what happens when person stays in a cave all alone for months. 

    It's clearly meant to be to the Bishop or some other religious leader. If you read it and the other ones in chapters 1 and 2 of Revelations (I think there are seven or eight of them total), it doesn't make any sense to read it as being to an angel, how can an angel be tortured? How can an angel be starving? How can an angel by infiltrated? it's clearly to the churches/elders.

    Also, Jakob is great, the reason why I do the videos with him is he reigns me back in when my mind goes off on a tangent and he quite rightly pointed out that I didn't summarize the relevance of the comparison of Israel as a nation to a woman in comparison to the lives of women in the books of Nevi'im. At the end of the day, although the liturgical bits are quite pretty, comparing the nation to an adulterous woman who has been sold into slavery for her cheating--and using this to describe what literally happened to Israelite noblemen--many of whom had been taken from their homes and families, sold into slavery, and castrated to serve in the courts of foreign kings, to what a normal woman's life was like kinda underlines just how shit women have it in Nevi'im.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #38 - November 25, 2016, 03:01 PM

    Working conditions would have been terrible for women that time.
    And no healthcare.
    Pregnancy would be a problem from hell.

    I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #39 - March 15, 2017, 05:16 AM

    my back hurts too much to type the next article from this f*cking chair, so I'm going to have to switch computers.

    Next episode: Job, Daniel, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations

    Also here's the episode 4 video:

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #40 - March 16, 2017, 04:15 AM

    So, picking up from last time, this episode is going to wrap up the last five books of the Tanakh/old testament that we haven't covered yet: Daniel, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs/Song of Solomon, and Lamentations.

    Daniel doesn't have much mention of women, but Daniel was made a eunuch (which is to say he had his dick cut off) so he could serve in the house of the Babylonian king. Lamentations is basically more of the last episode.

    Job has 7 "real" women in it (or at least they're portrayed as real in the narrative of the story). At the beginning of the story, Job has a wife, 7 sons and 3 daughters. God makes a bet with Satan and Satan kills Job's kids. In the last chapter, Job gets a new 10 kids, 7 sons and 3 daughters, same as he had before. Interestingly, the book doesn't name his sons but it does name his daughters: Jemimah, Keziah, Keren-happuch. It then goes on to say in
    Job 42:15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers.

    So we can infer that it was unusual in that time for women to inherit property, since that was specifically mentioned by the authors. This could also indicate that the authors of Job were not quite as misogynistic as their contemporaries. However, I wouldn't say they were too in favor of women thinking. Job's wife was apparently more upset about the loss of all their stuff and children at the hands of Satan, and tells Job:

    Job 2:9 'Do you still hold fast your integrity? blaspheme God, and die.' 10 But he said unto her: 'You speak as one of the impious women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?' For all this did not Job sin with his lips.

    Now, the philosophy of the book of Job is unique in the Biblical canon. While others like Moses, Ezekiel, or David talked back to God and asked him questions, with varying levels of success, Job's authors felt it wasn't the place of humans to question or judge God and that we should accept that we were fated to be nothing more than pawns on their chess board. To the authors of Job, that was the entire meaning of our existence, so if God and the demi-gods decide to place bets on our behavior and cause us suffering, we should accept that fate.

    However, Job does say that he wished he wasn't born:
    11 Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not perish at birth?
    12 Why did the knees receive me? And wherefore the breasts, that I should suck?
    13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet; I should have slept; then had I been at rest--
    14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, who built up waste places for themselves;
    15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver;
    16 Or as a hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants that never saw light.

    The next 38 chapters involve philosophical debate about the meaning of life, which I'll summarize as briefly as I can. They seem to be in the form of a stage play with each character standing and giving a soliloquy. Each of his friends seem to represent a different school of ancient Judaism, and Job himself seems to represent an almost Hellenistic or Greek view of God. This might have been performed by actors or scholars on holy days or the Sabbath, like the morality plays of the medieval and Greek world, to teach philosophy and answer philosophical questions for the illiterate masses.

    Job's friend Eliphaz brings up the more common Jewish view that if humans suffer, it's because we have angered God with our sins and he urges Job to repent and offer sacrifices (again, a major part of the Jewish tradition, or at least of the school that became the Pharisees). Eliphaz also gives Job the promise of God's comfort if he repents, like we saw was the common motif of the last episode:

    5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth; therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.
    18 For He maketh sore, and bindeth up; He woundeth, and His hands make whole.

    Job says he wishes God would just kill him already so he could die happy, knowing that he hadn't questioned the order of things and his own place in the universe:

    8 Oh that I might have my request, and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
    9 Even that it would please God to crush me; that He would let loose His hand, and cut me off!
    10 Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would exult in pain, though He spare not; {N}
    for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

    Bildad, another of Job's friends, says that it may not be Job's sins that Job is being punished for; in his view, God will sometimes punish entire families or nations for the sins of a minority. Job says that he knows God is malevolent like that, but it's not his place as a human to judge and that he has no way to hold God accountable, even if he did judge God immoral:

    Job 9:24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he covereth the faces of the judges thereof; {N}
    if it be not He, who then is it?...32 He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him [as in, answer his challenge in a duel or trial by ordeal], that we should come together in judgment. 33 There is no arbiter betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both [meaning there's no one who can punish God if he is found guilty].

    He repeats his wish that he was dead:

    18 Wherefore then hast Thou brought me forth out of the womb? Would that I had perished, and no eye had seen me!
    19 I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.
    20 Are not my days few [especially compared to God's]? Cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,
    21 Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and of the shadow of death;
    22 A land of thick darkness, as darkness itself; a land of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.

    Zophar finds this "doctrine" (Job 11:4) of a malevolent and capricious God blasphemous and misguided. Job points out the problem of evil and asks who is to blame for the evil in the world, if not God, but says that he still believes that in spite of that, it's his job to be a pawn:
    13:15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him; but I will argue my ways before Him.
    16 This also shall be my salvation, that a hypocrite cannot come before Him.

    Job and his friends repeat and expand upon their arguments about the nature of God for another 30 chapters. Then Elihu stands up and makes his case about the nature of God. He says that even if it seems like God is malevolent and capricious, we should still act as if we believe he isn't and hope that he will some day prove himself to be good and make our suffering worthwhile. Then, deus ex machina style, God speaks. He basically says "I'm much bigger and smarter than you, so you'd better do what I say and accept my actions, because you can't possibly fight me." God then berates Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, but not Elihu, for their arguments. So it seems that the authors of Job believed God was probably malevolent and capricious, that human suffering was unfair and overwhelming, but that it was not our place to argue about it because we're not strong enough to fight back against fate and the decrees of God. The fact that Job made it into the Biblical canon at all may indicate that it was a people's favorite, even if the political elites didn't agree with it, or that it was a good way to control the masses.

    Interestingly, Ecclesiastes does seem to have some of the same ideas about our place in the universe, although it isn't quite as blatant about the problem of evil, and it uses some of the same phrases and ideas. Ecclesiastes is Solomon but the consensus of the scholars is that it wasn't written by him. It may have been written by the same authors of Job; it shares several specific phrases that don't occur elsewhere in the Bible with reference to humans and our place in the cosmos and it certainly shares the same idea that life is full of suffering. I went and found a comparison of Ecclesiastes and Job, in case you want to learn more but you're feeling too lazy to go read them both yourself and compare notes, which I'll link to. Working on the assumption that they were written by the same author or at least the same sect, we can use what Ecclesiastes has to say about women to kind of color in the gaps left by Job. The author of Ecclesiastes describes how he got male and female slaves, that he bred them to get new slaves, that he got male and female entertainers, and that he had acquired "the delights of the sons of men, women very many." This probably means concubines.

    The author of Ecclesiastes doesn't think very highly of women's integrity or intelligence, much like Job's wife:

    Ecc 7:26 I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands; whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. 27 Behold, this have I found, saith Koheleth, adding one thing to another, to find out the account; 28 which yet my soul sought, but I found not; one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. 29 Behold, this only have I found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    Basically what he's saying there is that about 0.1% of the male population is extremely virtuous, but women never are, and that when women gain control of things, it's probably going to get you hurt. This may relate to Ecc. 10:20 "Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought, and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber; for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter." -- This is just speculation, but the author may have been betrayed by a concubine and landed himself in some financial or social difficulty after having let something slip to her after sex. Of course I can't prove that, but it's an interesting speculation about why the author distrusts women and finds them often impious and always somewhat dangerous.

    The last book to cover is Song of Songs. This one is also attributed to Solomon, but like the last one, chances are slim that he had anything to do with writing it (if he existed). Song of Songs is basically a work of erotic fiction, in which a man and a woman (and their friends, for some reason) go back and forth about how hot they both are and how good their sex is. The woman seems to be mostly interested in telling him that she's naughty and dtf, while the guy is mostly concerned about architecture, interior decorating, and comparing her looks to bizarre things. Here's a collection of choice verses with some thoughts on them:

    Her: "1:6 my mother's sons were incensed against me, they made me keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard [chastity?] have I not kept.' 7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon; for why should I be as one that veileth herself [dresses as a shrine prostitute] beside the flocks of thy companions?"

    Him: "1:16 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant; also our couch is leafy. 17 The beams of our houses are cedars, and our panels are cypresses."

    Her: "2:2 As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. 3 As an apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. Under its shadow I delighted to sit, and its fruit was sweet to my taste." [she likes to sit down in front of him and his fruit is sweet to her taste...think I've worked out that metaphor. If they knew about maple trees that would have been slightly more interesting because at least then I could make a joke about what was she shoving up in him.]

    Him: 4:2 Thy teeth are like a flock of ewes all shaped alike, which are come up from the washing; whereof all are paired, and none faileth among them. 3 Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy mouth is comely; thy temples are like a pomegranate split open behind thy veil. 4 Thy neck is like the tower of David builded with turrets, whereon there hang a thousand shields, all the armour of the mighty men. 5 Thy two breasts are like two fawns that are twins of a gazelle, which feed among the lilies.

    Her: 6:2 'My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

    I'm not sure whether it's him or her: 11 I went down into the garden of nuts, to look at the green plants of the valley, to see whether the vine budded, and the pomegranates were in flower.

    Their friends or him: 7:5 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes as the pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim; thy nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus. 6 Thy head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thy head like purple; the king is held captive in the tresses thereof.

    Then there's some very incestuous stuff:
    8:1 Oh that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! When I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, and none would despise me. 2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, that thou mightest instruct me; I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine, of the juice of my pomegranate...8 We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts; what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? 9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a turret of silver; and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

    I honestly don't know what the overall message of Song of Songs is about women. I guess it could be read as a celebration of women's sexuality and therefore somewhat empowering to women; however, it's unlikely to have been written by a woman and most of the people who copied it for the first few centuries would have been men, and for a good thousand years or so virtually all of them were monks who had taken vows of chastity. It implies that women should be faithful by somewhat denigrating the sexuality of shrine prostitutes, and half the time when the woman goes out at night looking for her beloved she gets roughed up by the guards which is apparently normal, and the rest of the time she gets mocked by them for looking for sex, so in that sense her situation is kind of like Evey in the first part of V for Vendetta. So while she does seem to really like the guy and wants to have sex with him, it's certainly not socially acceptable for her to be sexually liberated. He on the other hand has multiple partners: "There are threescore (60) queens, and fourscore (80) concubines, and maidens [slaves] without number. "

    However, then there's the problem of keeping it "all in the family", and how either her brothers or someone's brothers are concerned about her tits not being big enough and what they can do to make her more sexually attractive and her comparison of wanting her lover to be her brother so she could kiss him openly and then take him to her mom's house to fuck in her mom's bed. So I have conflicting feelings about the book and its message.

    But thankfully that's it for the Tanakh/old testament, so next time we can do the new testament/Christian bible!

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #41 - April 11, 2017, 05:12 AM

    On to the women of the New Testament! We'll be covering Esther and Judith together next time because they purport to be written at about the same time and because I forgot about Esther and had this episode half finished by the time I realized I'd forgotten Esther. After this episode, we'll do apocryphal books, the Midrash, and then Islam.

    The gospels are widely accepted to have been written in this order: Mark soon after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, then Matthew/Luke a few years later at the same time but different places, then John several decades after that when the first believers were starting to die to explain why Jesus hadn't returned yet. The earliest manuscripts of Mark end at chapter 16:8, so it's also widely accepted that the last few verses were added at a later date and we'll go into what that means for the women in the book later.

    Mary is first alluded to in Mark 3, but not by name:

    31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers[e] are outside seeking You.” 33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”

    So in this passage, he's kind of downplaying Mary's importance and uniqueness; her importance in general is very much downplayed in Mark especially compared to the later gospels. In addition to the uniqueness of Mary being downplayed by Jesus, the uniqueness of Jesus seems to be downplayed by his friends and family. After wandering the countryside performing miracles, he returns home in Mark 6 only to be greeted with:

    3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

    However, he still does stress the importance of your duty to your family:

    Mark 11:10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’;[d] and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’[e] 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer compel him do anything for his father or his mother,
    Corban doesn't actually mean "gift", it literally translates to "sacrifice", so what the passage is saying is that if you give your money to the Temple and religious authorities instead of giving it to his parents, you're sinning. However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid giving to them:

    12:41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

     Family duty doesn't just extend to your father and mother, but to your wife:

    Mark 10:11 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

    Note that in this passage, both the man and the woman are guilty of adultery; this will be different in other passages. However, this duty to your family apparently stops if they are unbelievers or don't like your sudden adoption of a monastic lifestyle:

    Mark 10:29 “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

    At the beginning of Mark Simon Peter's mother-in-law apparently lived with him, because when Jesus went to Peter's house, he found his mother-in-law sick:

    1:30 But Simon [Peter]’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.

    In the rest of Mark, it's made clear that your illness is usually the result of your sin, and that if you want to be healed you need to have your sins forgiven and get an exorcism to drive out the demons who have entered your body through your sin. So, perhaps the mother-in-law's sin was not serving the men in her life, since that's the first thing she does after being healed; however, after this when Peter leaves to follow Jesus, we never hear from his wife or family again. 

    So, there’s a constant back and forth between how you should treat your family and in particular, the women in your family. There doesn’t seem to be very much consistency. The justification for the difference in treatment is given explicitly in Mark 14:

    3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
    6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

    So, the justification is basically that you treat dying, doomed people differently from the way you treat the living. The relevance of this to abandoning your family is that the authors believed that the world was ending, which made them want to discourage marriage and procreation, but not abandoning your family entirely. As we see in Mark 13:

    14 “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 17 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 And pray that your flight may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. 20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

    This refers to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE; as we’d spoken about two episodes ago, you can date prophecies not by what they said is going to happen but by what they say will happen going wrong. The world obviously did not end in 70-75 CE, but the authors of Mark clearly believed that it would. The number of people who had died in the sacking of Jerusalem was enormous. Many people had lost their entire families. The entire choir of the priests burned to death on the altar singing Sunday’s psalm. Josephus put the casualties at 1.1 million, although it was probably a third of that. Within that context, it’s somewhat easy to see why they’d write such an apocalyptic book claiming the world was ending.

    I want to briefly go on a tangent about the “Abomination of Desolation” because I’ve had some thoughts about it recently. The “abomination of desolation standing where it ought not” was used by the Maccabees as prophetic justification for their revolt after Antiochus IV slaughtered a pig in the Temple. I’m sure that the author of Mak felt that if a dead pig on the altar could be called the abomination of desolation, dead priests on the altar was far more worthy of the title. However, I’m not sure if Antiochus was intent on sacrilege when he sacrificed that pig; it may have been a case of “lost in translation”, especially since all the accounts we have of it were taken from his enemies. Look at it from his point of view: he was marching through Judea on his way to Egypt and saw the Temple. He would have asked what it was and been told that it was a Temple to the great God, or something to that effect. He would probably have thought to himself “oh, good, I’m only a few day’s march from Egypt, I should probably offer a sacrifice for my victory.” So he probably would’ve gone to see what he had he could sacrifice, found a pig, and given them to Jason the High Priest--a Hellenistic Jew--for sacrifice to the Great God (who he understood to be Zeus). Jason didn’t have much of a problem with that and offered the pig; he probably thought “well, God doesn’t accept pigs from US but he’s been known to hold the other peoples to different rules, so he’ll probably be fine with the pig since it’s not from US, it’s from Antiochus”. The Maccabees saw this as Jason offering pigs to Zeus on their altar (probably on threat of death) and seized the opportunity to kill him for blasphemy and install themselves as the new heads of the religious lives of the people (and, incidentally, as kings of the nation). So, tangent over, let’s get back to Mark.

    The rest of Jesus’ interactions with women through to Mark 15 are him performing miracles for them. There are two women healed by Jesus in Mark 5, a 12 year old girl and an older woman. The woman seems to have some kind of uterine problem, as the passage says she's had a bloody discharge for several years and that she gave "all she had" to doctors, but no one had a cure. She reaches out and grabs Jesus' clothes, and he tells her that her faith has healed her and to go in peace. The 12 year old girl is the daughter of a rabbi (allegedly) and dies before her father returns with Jesus. Jesus downplays the miracle by telling the professional mourners gathered outside that she isn't dead, she is only asleep, then goes and raises the girl from the dead. She gets up and eats. It's very strange that the authors would claim she was the daughter of a rabbi, since rabbi then did not mean what it means today. Today it means "religious scholar" but just about anyone can claim the title, even without any professional training, because there is no centralized authority to give out the title. In those days, however, most religious power was centralized within the Sanhedrin, and anyone who held the title of Rabbi was a member of the Sanhedrin because those two terms were synonymous. Although the different members of the Sanhedrin, a 70 member high court that claimed an unbroken line of succession from Moses, often disagreed with each other very bitterly, they did have a lot of control over the titles and social lives of the rest of Jewry, and that did drive them to work together most of the time and not engage in direct conflict with each other. The only way for someone to become a rabbi was to be the disciple of another rabbi and to study "at his feet" for almost half a lifetime, then assume his teacher's seat when the teacher died or retired.

    In Mark 7, he is passing through a non-Jewish area and a woman asks him for a miracle, and he declines on the basis that she's not nearly as good as a Jew, and compared to them she's not even human:

    25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

    28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” 30 And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.

    She accepts his judgement that she is a dog compared to the Jews but asks him to help her anyway, and he does. His view of her and her daughter is obviously not nearly as good as his view of the other women in his life, which already left a lot to be desired.

    Herodias, wife of Herod, is one of the most evil women of the New Testament, according to Mark. She got mad at John the Baptist for condemning her for marrying up from a guy named Philip to his brother King Herod, and sent her daughter to dance for Herod and when Herod gets aroused or just really pleased with the dancing, he offers her whatever she wants and she asks for John the Baptist's head on a platter to give to her mother.

    Mark 15, second to the last chapter, is the first chapter in the entire book where there are women mentioned as following Jesus for anything more than healing.
    40 There were also women looking on from afar [at his crucifixion], among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, 41 who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.... 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid. 16:1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
    6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” 8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

    This is where the original passage ends. The women who apparently had followed Jesus, although no one felt it important to mention them until the very last chapters, watch the crucifixion then go to the tomb and don’t find him there, but don’t bother to tell anyone. In the added on verses, Jesus then appears to Mary Magdalene and we get some extra backstory on her:

    9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

    So, they didn’t see it as very important to listen to women, even if they did talk. The women in Mark are either too emotional and can’t be trusted or they’re entirely unfeeling and will stab you in the back.

    This is already getting long, so we’ll cover Matthew and hopefully Luke next time.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #42 - April 12, 2017, 12:41 AM

    Yes, certainly Corban/Korban means sacrifice. That's what you tell little kids who move your heart. Ba Korban! It's short for "I would sacrifice myself for you". Didn't know it was understood outside of Persia.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #43 - August 07, 2017, 09:06 AM

    Welcome back, and a special welcome to my new subscribers since Suit Yourself very kindly mirrored two of my videos. This episode will discuss the role of women in gospel of Matthew. I've already written at length about why Matthew is a gnostic gospel and how it is anti-Jewish and indeed anti-Christian in an article I titled "Do you know Jesus", which will be linked below, but this week we're simply going to be discussing the role women play in the book. In the gnostic tradition in general celibacy was highly praised and in many gnostic texts women were seen as imperfect versions of men. This more than likely arose from Aristotle's writings, whether or not the authors of these texts were actively aware of them, since the views of Aristotle had been influencing Middle Eastern thought for around 400 years before these authors put pen to paper.

    Similarly, the women who the book of Matthew discusses are "broken" or incomplete women, or prone to passion and poor judgement, just as described by Aristotle. Also, I would like to draw another quick comparison between the words of Aristotle and the author of Matthew, just to show that this correlation doesn't apply only to their views on women.

    Aristotle wrote in "On the Soul":
    “If the eye were an animal, sight would be its soul; for this is the eye’s substance – that corresponds to its principle. The eye is a matter for sight, and if this fails it is no longer an eye, except homonymously, just like an eye in stone or a painted eye.

    Matthew writes about the eye:
    6:22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

    Lamp imagery is often used to refer to souls, including in parables of the gospels, and the authors of Matthew, like Aristotle, seem to believe that the eye is more than just an organ, it is an almost supernatural mechanism by which one experiences the universe. So that's just one interesting correlation between Matthew and Aristotle's views, I'm sure there are many others I could pick out but that's not this video's subject. An example of lights being compared to souls occurs in Matt. 251-13, where a group of virgins are told to prepare for a wedding and half put oil in their lamps while the other half don't and the ones that don't are essentially thrown into hell or at least out of paradise for not being ready when the wedding party arrived.

    Matthew contains the same stories as Mark about Peter's mother in law (Matt. 8:14), the non-Jewish woman who had a sick daughter  whom Jesus compared to a dog (Matt. 15:21-28), the dead girl Jesus restores to life and the woman with a uterine discharge (9:18-23). Matthew also includes the anointing of Jesus before his death with costly oil. Matthew also includes a list of women who were present for the death and resurrection of Jesus that more or less matches the one in Mark: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joses, and Salome are the women in Mark's account, Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of Joses appear in Matthew, but Salome seems to have been replaced with "the mother of Zebedee's sons", who I'll come back to later. The last shared story of women is that of Herodias and her daughter, who get John the Baptist beheaded in both Mark 6 and Matthew 14. Since all of these stories were more than likely copied by Matthew's authors from Mark and we covered Mark last time, we're not going to cover these stories again.

    In Matthew, we have another thing we alluded to last time: in Mark, a man who divorced his wife and married another was guilty of adultery and of causing his ex-wife to commit adultery, but in Matthew, more of the blame is put on the woman, even though she wasn't the one who had the right to initiate a divorce proceeding. In chapter 5:32, the sin is placed almost entirely on the ex-wife:
    "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."


    The man causes her to commit adultery but she is the one who is the sinner and is guilty of adultery. It isn't assumed that she can live independently without a husband, but that she will inevitably remarry and by doing so she commits adultery.
    In the verses immediately preceeding this, Jesus compares feeling lust to committing adultery and his solution is that you pluck your eyeballs out, which is another interesting nod to our discussion earlier. He doesn't seem to view lust as something both men and women experience, but as something only men experience, because the language he uses has men looking at women with lust and not the other way around (and no homosexual lust is included).

    The second time that divorce comes up is in Matthew 19 and in that passage, more of the blame is placed on the ex-husband but he only becomes guilty of adultery if he remarries. Otherwise, it's still all the ex-wife. As I had mentioned earlier, Matthew is a gnostic gospel and praises celibacy. So in this passage, Jesus is praising the life of celibacy and says that while not everyone is able to live a celibate lifestyle, it is how he would prefer his followers to live:

    9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
    10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
    11 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 12 For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”...29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

    However, the rewards Jesus is promising here don't actually include marriage or sex in the afterlife, because he says in Matthew 22:23-30 that the resurrected people in heaven neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven, implying that they and the angels will be genderless and genital-less.

    The women mentioned uniquely in Matthew are all defined entirely by their relationships to men. In chapter 1, Matthew goes down a genealogy of Joseph and lists four women among the men: Rahab, a prostitute; Tamar, who disguised herself as a prostitute to sleep with her father-in-law; Bathsheba, who willingly or unwillingly slept with King David while married to one of his soldiers; and Ruth, whose entire story is designed to challenge the rules of the (by Matthew's time) Jewish orthodoxy. The woman who replaces Salome in the Mark accounts, the mother of Zebedee's sons, asks Jesus in Matthew 20:20-21 to let her two sons sit on his right and his left when he rules, basically asking for them to be appointed as his second and third in command. Jesus directs his response at them, not at her, perhaps implying she only asked because they pressured her to or perhaps implying that she wasn't worthy of addressing. Another "new" woman in Matthew compared to Mark is the unnamed wife of Pilate. She asks Pilate in Matthew 27:19 not to put Jesus on trial because she had a nightmare about him. In the passage where Jesus' mother and brothers come to get him, which plays out the same as in Mark, Jesus refers to those who follow him as his mother and brothers; however, a few verses later in Matthew 13:55-56, some new women join the scene: Jesus' sisters. His sisters, according to Matthew, were "with" the men of Nazareth, apparently married and not permitted to go searching the countryside for Jesus when he left to start preaching.

    So the women in Matthew are mostly copied from Mark, but the ones unique to Matthew are defined by their relationships with men. However, Matthew also encourages men to break those relationships in favor of celibacy, and there seems to be little to no regard for what will happen to the women in their lives if they do. The author certainly doesn't seem to believe the women will continue autonomous lives, but he also seems to see their inevitable future relationships as sinful, making his overall message rather negligent when it comes to caring about the women in his story. In a way, though, that shouldn't be too surprising considering Matthew's place as a gnostic gospel; the gnostics believed in focusing exclusively on your own individual spiritual development as opposed to saving your social connections, your family, or the world.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #44 - August 07, 2017, 01:06 PM

    ...... Corban/Korban  ............... Ba Korban! .............

    Didn't know it was understood   outside of Persia.


    dear three  Not Just Persia ... THAT WORD IS ALL OVER the globe  wherever Islam went.,     In Indian subcontinent you will find   movies and zillion songs on that word...

    that word is  often very  Misunderstood and very often misused to kill voiceless  animals  for feasting ...   .. IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SELF SACRIFICE FOR THE GOOD OF THE WORLD ..,   but in Islam and Judaism  scandalous  scoundrel priests   turned the story around  and kill animals &  kill other fools of  their own faith for the loot,  booty  and feasting

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #45 - August 10, 2017, 06:10 AM

    On to Luke! Luke is easily the most egalitarian book we have seen since Judges and Proverbs all the way back in the first episode. The women of the book have individual stories instead of being props in men's stories, and Luke seems to have been interested in bridging the gap between people who were preparing for the end of the world and those who were realizing the world hadn't ended and they might have to prepare for living as if it wouldn't. This makes sense because the time when it was being written was around the same time that the people who had been first-hand witnesses of the destruction of the Temple (like the author of Mark) were starting to die off. So the book is riddled with this juxtaposition of two competing ideas about the future, on the one hand preparing the church to survive the death of its earliest leaders and on the other preparing for the apocalypse, which leads the book to contradict itself. The story of the women in the book is the story of two competing narratives, on the one hand of death and destruction, on the other of life, birth, and rebirth. So let's examine the stories starting with the life and birth motif, the one preparing for a future with no immediate return by Jesus, and gradually working our way to the death motif, then to how Luke attempts to solve this crisis of faith; just keep in mind that we're going to be skipping around a lot to weave a coherent train of consciousness that ties these disparate parts of the book together.

    The most crucial thing in preparing for a long-term future with Christianity as an independent religious order instead of as a sect of Judaism was to establish the authority of Jesus and of his successors. We talked last time about the Sanhedrin and how they were a group of seventy men who claimed a hand-picked line of succession from 70 men chosen by Moses and approved by God. According to Numbers 11:16-17:

    16 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with thee. 17 And I will come down and speak with thee there; and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.

    So basically what's happening in these verses is that Moses had a big backlog of cases to judge with the entire Jewish people coming to him for religious and social pronouncements on every single issue, so God, in order to make Moses' job easier, gives the same knowledge to 70 other people, and (at least in the mythos of Jewish tradition) each of them teach it to a small group of disciples, who can then be appointed a member of the Sanhedrin once their teacher retires or dies. Luke in his attempt to correlate Jesus to Moses to give the same validity to Christian leaders relates in Luke 10 starting at verse 1:

    After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

    So hopefully you can see the similarities in these two stories: Moses and Jesus have far too much work to do, pick out 70 men and delegate the work of religious instruction to them. Luke is trying to give the apostles, the earliest disciples, the same kind of unbroken chain of succession from divine revelation, but from Jesus instead of Moses since they didn't share it with the self-reported line of Moses. This would allow them--and those that came after them--to create religious edicts for the people who would come after. Luke also wanted to draw similarities between the birth of Moses and birth of Jesus, which is why the story of Elizabeth appears in Luke 1. Elizabeth is a descendant of Aaron, brother of Moses and first high priest, and her husband Zacharias is a priest, a cohen, also descended from Aaron, serving in the Temple. Elizabeth and Zacharias have no children, an angel appears to Zacharias as he's working in the Temple and tells him Elizabeth will have a kid. This is a motif we see a lot in the Bible, from Rachel to Samuel's mother and beyond, so that's not too interesting, but what is interesting is that then, the angel appears to Mary and tells her she will become pregnant with Jesus. She objects saying she's never slept with a man, the angel says "God's got this". Mary goes to visit Elizabeth because the angel tells her to, since they're both having miracle babies and why not. Elizabeth says the following:

    (Luke 1) 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

    Elizabeth is making clear that Jesus, the kid Mary is having, is closer to God and more special than the kid she is having, who is a cohen, inheritor of the line of Moses. These women, through giving birth, are standing in for the concept of the birth of Christianity as separate to and superior to Judaism, at least in the mind of the author. Luke also provides a lot of new hymns and prayers in chapters 1-3, which is kind of important when you're creating an independent liturgy. It also raises women like Mary to the same status as women like Deborah and Miriam, who each have hymns attributed to them, by making her the author of her own hymns as well. Luke also includes a woman named Anna who shows up and becomes one of the first people preaching about Jesus:

    36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

    This is typical of Luke's view of women's roles. They may not have been among the 70, but they were certainly part of the faith from the very beginning, and he emphasizes that point quite a bit. He certainly sees their prayers and songs as a valuable service that they are performing, even if he doesn't elevate them to positions of leadership, and the service their prayers provide is as important as financial contributions like the widow's two mites (which we talked about last time, and it appears in Luke 21:1-4). In Luke 8:1-3, we have a list of women following Jesus:

    Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.

    These women are following him from the beginning of his story instead of showing up at the end of it like they did in Mark and Matthew. Jesus also doesn't mind taking women away from domestic duties for religious instruction, according to Luke, again in contrast to the earlier gospels, like in Luke 10.

    "Luke 10:38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

    Luke 10:41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

    Martha's choice to do domestic work isn't denigrated per se, but it's portrayed as less important. This is typical of the serendipitous attitude that Jesus displays in Luke with regards to the future; in Luke 11-12, we read Jesus' praise of a lifestyle of wandering mystics, going from town to town, not worrying about what to eat or drink or where to sleep because God will provide it. This probably reflects the lifestyle of the readers, especially given the problems they faced as shown in chapter 21:16-19

    16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.

    Luke creates an interesting new interpretation of why Jesus denied the importance of his mother and brothers in Matthew and Mark (and indeed in Luke 18:19-21). In Luke 11:27-28, it says:

    And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”
    28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

    So there are some interesting things there: the woman from the crowd is praising the female part of family, and Jesus shoots her down but not with denigration of women; he does it by praising religious devotion instead of family ties. Luke isn't completely comfortable with women being independent; in addition to the familiar stories of a dead girl being raised from the dead and a woman with a discharge being cured (occurring in 8:40-56), Luke adds a new story about a widow whose only son Jesus raises from the dead after taking pity on her in chapter 7:11-15. So Luke's version of Jesus does seem to care about supporting women but sees it as men's job.

    Luke has the most complimentary view of the women appearing in the previous two gospels like Peter's mother-in-law and even Herodias. In Luke, Peter is the one who requests Jesus' aid in healing his mother-in-law and when Jesus goes to her, he rebukes the fever. Herodias isn't blamed for John the Baptists's death like in Matthew and Mark, and there's no mention of her daughter dancing; Herod is the one who is said to be a sinner, and Luke says that he added imprisoning John on top of all the other evils he did. In Luke 16:18, we have the somewhat familiar passage conflating divorce with adultery, but this time all the blame is on the men: "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery." Luke also includes two new women Jesus performed miracles for in chapter 7:36-50 and in chapter 13:10-17.

    So now we're at kind of the middle ground between the "life, birth and rebirth" part and the "death and destruction" part. Luke is encouraging the early Christians to not give up when faced with betrayal and threats of death from their family and friends, but also hints at the promise of resurrection. Not everyone will earn resurrection, in Luke's gospel; in Luke 14:14, he refers to the future time of resurrection as "resurrection of the just". So we see a clear progression between Mark believing the world was ending, Matthew focusing more on spiritual affairs, and now Luke is focusing on the afterlife and the rewards of the just after death. Luke is trying to address the question of "why do bad things happen to good people"; the age-old question Jews had been asking themselves: "if we're right, why are we being persecuted", and Luke's answer is "bad things happen because of sin, but not always, and good things will happen in the future, but not for everyone". This ideology strings through a good portion of the book, with good people suffering for things they didn't do, and Luke's solution is prayer and belief in the resurrection of the just. You can see these themes in chapter 13:1-5, chapter 17:22, chapter 18:1-6, and chapter 23:27-34 (they're not really relevant to the episode so I'm not going to include them but I encourage you to go read them on your own).

    In Luke, even the disciples are incredulous about resurrection. In chapter 24:1-11, we have a similar story to Mark with the women finding an empty tomb, but they do actually go tell the disciples about it. Even though they do tell the disciples, no one believes them except Peter, who goes to check for himself. This may indicate that not all early Christians were believers in a resurrection of the dead, and the author of Luke (among other writers) wanted to instill the idea of a future resurrection to address the loss of faith in the Messianic kingdom, now that people were starting to die without having seen it happen. Luke includes some interesting new ideas about resurrected bodies, like that they can eat, but he does maintain that they can't have sex.

    To Luke, becoming a Christian did mean that you would be giving up a lot and suffering a lot, but in his estimation the benefits outweighed the costs, so in chapter 14:25-33 he praises forsaking everything to be a disciple, and believes that this "finding" of the path should be celebrated (even if it seems insignificant or counterproductive to your friends and family, as he explains in the parables of the lost sheep and lost coin in chapter 15:1-10.

    So to put this all together, the underlying theme of Luke is preparing the church for a future without a Messianic kingdom, a life with the church as an entity. He puts far more thought into the position of women in that society than Matthew or Mark did, and he values women's contributions to both family life and to the Christian community's spiritual life, and even if he's not willing to put them in positions of power, he's against denying women religious instruction. He isn't in favor of dissolving the family like Matthew was because he sees it as important to maintaining women financially even though he recognizes that he lived in uncertain times with lots of death and destruction happening to people who did nothing to deserve it. When families do fall apart, it's sometimes because the other family members turned against the new Christian, but he encourages people to not lose faith and focus on living just lives so they can be resurrected and receive the love and belonging of a family during the resurrection in a physical form (albeit without sex or marriage). This is one of the most egalitarian books we covered in a long time and it will be several episodes before we cover another one this "good."

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #46 - June 26, 2018, 01:41 PM

    Was there more to this series in another post somewhere?

    I really enjoyed it, very interested to follow on.

    Appreciate the effort that's been put in.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #47 - July 04, 2018, 01:12 AM

    Here's the video playlist for all of the ones that have been done so far:

    I'll be finishing the series at some point, my health has gone downhill and so that's kind of been taking up more of my time.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #48 - July 04, 2018, 01:28 PM

    Here's the video playlist for all of the ones that have been done so far:

    I'll be finishing the series at some point,

    my goodness gracious.. I was wondering how you are doing dear M_usa girl.,  so glad to read you and i must watch  all of these tubes  of yours....

    great work....

    my health has gone downhill and so that's kind of been taking up more of my time.

    This is not good...  please take care of yourself...  What is happening with health??... You  Americans spend enormous amount of money on health care and you have WORST HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AMONG ALL NATIONS .. Too much control by AMRIKA govt along with multi national drug companies ruining health  of  everyone in that country...  

      and on your independence day you and country people must thank that great guy George Washington without him and his basic rules your country would have been a jungle of  human killing fields ..

    with beat wishes

    Do not let silence become your legacy.. Question everything   
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
  • Property & Women in the Abrahamic Tradition
     Reply #49 - July 06, 2018, 04:06 AM

    What is happening with health??

    My PTSD nightmares have been getting worse so I was put on a med called prazosin to help with their severity. It was awesome at stopping the nightmares at 4 mg (the healthy maximum dose for a woman my age/size is 12 mg, so that's a pretty low dose). But then my blood pressure started going up and down by up to 20 points every 15 minutes, which was quite bad and landed me in the hospital, so we cut the dose to 2 mg. I kept taking it for a few more months but then because FML, I started having the same problems and coughing up blood when I walked up a tiny flight of stairs and we realized that apparently there's no safe dose of prazosin for my body so I had to be taken off it entirely. Then because my life wasn't done sucking, as a parting gift the prazosin made me start bleeding heavier than I ever did when I had periods, and I stopped having periods like 10 years ago so that's and extra layer of FML. So now I'm at 72 days of non-stop bleeding and my hysterectomy is still 6 days away. And because I can't take the medication for my PTSD, my PTSD is getting worse, and apparently there are no other classes of drugs that the doctor could give me to treat my PTSD. Also the doctor wants me to see a cardiologist but I'm like...let's wait until after I do the surgery, I can't take going to four doctors a week, three is difficult enough. But on the plus side my blood pressure has stabilized and I've stopped coughing up blood when I do moderate exercise. So that's good.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I have a sonic screwdriver, a tricorder, and a Type 2 phaser.
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