04 December 2013

The two wives of Yahweh: Aholah and Aholibah

There's a strange story in Ezekiel 23 about two sisters, Aholah and Aholibah. It is a story that is seldom told by Bible believers. And that's a shame, since it sheds so much light upon God's biblical plan for marriage.

Aholah and Aholibah were sisters, both of whom were married to Yahweh.
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: ... And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister. And they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Ezekiel 23:1-4
But the marriage between God and his two wives was a troubled one. The older sister, Aholah, was unfaithful to Yahweh, having sex with her Assyrian neighbors.
Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours, Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. 23:5-6
She committed whoredoms with them and defiled herself with all of their idols.
She committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself. 23:7
The Assyrians lay with her and bruised the breasts of her virginity, pouring all their whoredom upon her.
Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her. 23:8
So Yahweh delivered her into the hands of her Assyrian lovers who discovered her nakedness, enslaved her children, and killed her with the sword.
Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword. 23:9-10
God’s other wife, Aholibah, was even more corrupt in her whoredoms than her older sister. She also doted upon her desirable, young Assyrian neighbors.
Her sister Aholibah ... was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men. Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way. 23:11-13
When she saw the images of Babylonian men on her wall, she invited them to come visit her.
And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion … And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea. 23:14-16
So the Babylonians came to her on her bed of love, discovered her nakedness and defiled her with their whoredoms.
And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness. 23:17-18a
When God saw all this, his mind was alienated from her, like it was from her sister.
Then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister. 23:18b
Aholibah multiplied her whoredoms like she did in her younger days as a harlot in Egypt.
Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. 23:19
Where she doted upon men with donkey-sized penises and ejaculate as voluminous as horses.
For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses. 23:20
Which reminded God again of the lewdness of her youth, where the Egyptians fondled her youthful breasts.
Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth. 23:21
To punish Aholibah, God brought lovers against her “on every side.”
Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side. 23:22
And set his jealousy against her, forcing her Egyptian “lovers” to cut off her nose and ears, enslave her children, and burn everyone else to death.
And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and … they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire. 23:25
He forced Ahobiah to drink from Aholah’s cup, to suck it out, and to pluck off her own breasts. 
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou shalt drink of thy sister's cup deep and large: Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow ... Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. 23:34
Then God killed Ahobiah (as he did to Aholah) by stoning her to death and killing her with a sword. Then he killed her children (which are also his children) and burned their houses--to punish them for forgetting him.
Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy whoredoms. 23:35
For thus saith the Lord GOD ... stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire. 23:46-47
In this way taught women a lesson. Don't behave like God's wayward wives (Aholah and Ahobiah) or God will do likewise to you.
Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. 23:48

Okay, so what can we learn from Yahweh's marriage to Aholah and Ahobiah?

Well, plenty, I'd say. After all it's God's own example.

Here are just a few things that come to mind:
  1. It's OK to have two wives. If it's good enough for God, it's good enough for anyone.
  2. If  either of your wives is unfaithful to you, invite everyone over to rape her in public, then cut off her nose and ears, force her to pluck off her breasts, and kill her by stoning or with a sword or (if at all possible) both.
  3. After you kill your wife (or wives) kill any of her children. (Sure some of these kids may be your own sons and daughters, but since your wife was a whore, they might be some other guy's kids. You just can't be too careful.)


sandchigger said...

Gordon Gano and The Ryan Brothers recorded a great song about this bible story "Oholah Oholibah".

Matt B said...

Lol. I love the "Five Biblical Purposes for your Marriage" link at the beginning. Rick Warren uses three quotes from the Bible, which are only loosely relevant to marriage imo, and is able to expand them to 1200 words of Biblical "advice". I wouldn't doubt a similar ratio could be found in the "Purpose Driven Life". Can't wait for his diet book!

Stephen said...

Boy, Yahweh was a pretty poor judge of whom to select for his wives... considering he was omniscient!
Also, if he'd been better in the sack, the girls wouldn't have been as likely to look elsewhere. And I'd expect his "package" to be even more impressive than those of the guys they doted on... and how could Yahweh's "issue" be less than mere men?

Rick Warren: "Your ministry is to nobody and your mission is to believers — allowing you to use your marriage as a means for telling others that there's no need for 'His love' to have a good marriage."
There... fixed it for ya!
Steve Weeks

Peter Wacko said...

Do you know if " and they are mine" is biblical jargon for marriage?

doobay said...

nice work steve. GIVE THEM THE GOSPEL

nursemommy4 said...

I thought it was an allegorical tale relating the cities of Samaria and Judah on their nefarious ways.

Steve Wells said...

Peter and doobay,
Yes, of course, the story in Ezekiel 23 is an allegory. The author was crazy, but probably not crazy enough to believe that all the shit in that chapter actually happened. But it's still a nasty story, however allegorical it might also be.

As for the phrase "they were mine" here's what Howard Eilberg-Schwartz says about it in God's Phallus: "In ... God marrying two sisters (Israel and Judah) who had earlier whored in in Egypt, Ezekiel has God say, 'they became mine, and they bore sons and daughters' (23:4). The birth of children here makes explicit the idea that divine intercourse has occurred with the feminized nations of Israel and Judah."

Stephen said...

Well, it's pretty clear that god had fathered some children here:

"23:37 That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them."
Steve Weeks

Lance Williams said...

Don't you think it's a little intellectually dishonest to claim that this is a literal story when you admit yourself it's an allegory?

Steve Wells said...

Lance said: Don't you think it's a little intellectually dishonest to claim that this is a literal story when you admit yourself it's an allegory?

Hey, it's not my story, Lance, it's God's. And he's proud of it.

God told us a story about his two wives, how they were unfaithful to him (in disgustingly graphic detail), and what he thinks should be done about it (they should be raped, forced to pluck of their own breasts, and killed). Sure, he was trying to make some kind of a point (that everyone in Samaria and Judah should be viciously killed or whatever), but the story tells us a lot about the storyteller. (He's a sick fuck.)

Stephen said...

Lance, it's nice that you are giving Steve Wells the authority to say whether the bible is allegorical or literal. He's probably not comfortable with that authority, even though it's not yours to give.

Lots of people don't thing the bible is anything but literal truth. If you're one of them, I feel sorry for you. If you think this is allegory, what the heck is it supposed to mean? And why did the authors have tomake their point with such a messed-up (read "fucked-up") scenario?
Steve Weeks

Sir Artur said...

well written

Lance Williams said...

Steve, you ignored the point I was making. In your hate for God and your desire to mock him, you present a story as being literal when you yourself state that it wasn't literal. I just think that that is a little dishonest. Regardless of your beliefs and feelings toward religion, some decent intellectual honesty should still be shown, don't you think?

And Stephen, your smart aleck remark doesn't do anything to add to the conversation. It's just very childish. Your actual reply is valid, but the first sentence is useless and immature.