Biblical Family Values Parte the Thirde: Erecting Phallic Symbols
I would ask all of you who’ve ever giggled uncomfortably while watching Hindu priests oil up Shiva’s penis statue on the National Geographic Channel to pay close attention to the following section.
After Jacob’s sons pissed off the entire area by murdering a whole town full of dudes, then stealing all their stuff (including their women and children), the whole clan has to go. God tells Jacob to head back to Bethel and make an altar to him. So Jake makes everybody get rid of their strange gods, clean up, change clothes, and go. Traveling through the territories of all the cities who’d heard of their mass-murdering ways might have been a little fraught, but God jammed his divine finger into the terror centers of the residents’ brains, so they were too shit-scared to attack. How thoughtful (Gen. 35:1-5).
After they’ve got settled in and built the required altar, God decides to bless his favorite scummy cheating dirtbag with the mass-murdering sons. He delivers his usual pitch, telling them to have more babies, father nations and kings, have the same land as Abraham and Isaac, etc. Also, God bestows a sniny new name on Jacob. Jake, now Israel (although the Bible writers keep forgetting God renamed him), is so impressed by this that he sets up a pillar of stone right there where they talked (Gen 35:6-14).
And then he poured wine all over it. Then he oiled it up (Gen. 35:14).
Yeeep… So, yeah, you’re never allowed to laugh at other cultures and their phallic religious statues again.
So Jacob Israel takes this fruitful-and-multiply order seriously, and promptly knocks Rachel up again. God sorta forgets to bless her, so she ends up having her labor go catastrophically wrong. The midwife says, “No worries – it’s gonna be a boy!” Which piece of great news somehow fails to save Rachel’s life. With her last breath, she names her baby boy – the one she’s dying for – Benoni. You might think a man would respect and cherish his beloved wife’s very last word, but Jacob promptly renames the kid Benjamin, because he’s a patriarch and that’s how he rolls. But at least he erects a penis pillar on his dead wife’s grave (Gen. 35:16-20).
Jacob Israel keeps right on traveling, until the clan reaches the countryside past Eder. He pitches his tent, and the next thing he knows, his son Reuben’s sleeping with his concubine, Bilhah. Shtupping Dad’s own sex slave. The nerve of some kids, let me tell you (Gen. 35:21-22).
For some reason, right after that, the Genesis writers decided to give us a list of all twelve of Jacob’s sons, both his wives, and his two concubines – but left out the daughter, because it’s not like girl children matter, even if you have committed genocide for them (Gen. 35:23-26).
Nice little traditional Biblical family there, innit?