27 July 2013

God's design for marriage

Focus on the Family has a set of web pages entitled God's design for marriage, which got me thinking.

According to the Bible, what was God's original plan for marriage and how did it changed over time? So I thought I'd try to figure that out. Here's what I came up with.

God's original plan was for Adam to select an animal for a "help meet" (spouse).
God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam. Genesis 2:18-19
God created several million species of animals for one purpose and one purpose only: to find a spouse for Adam. God hoped Adam would find one or more of these animals attractive enough to marry. But it didn't work out as planned.
But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 2:20
So God made a woman out of Adam's rib.
The LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 2:21-22
 Very resourceful!

But this didn't work out too well either. Men liked women so much that they decided that if one was good, two would be even better. So God made rules for "taking" a second wife.
If he take him another wife.... Exodus 21:10
Often men liked one of their wives better than another, so God had to provide rules for men who had two wives, "one beloved, and another hated."
If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated.... Deuteronomy 21:15
And sometimes a man married a woman only to decide on his wedding night that he hated her. To deal with that situation, God came up with this plan:

The husband can claim she wasn't a virgin when they were married. Then if her father can't produce the "tokens of her virginity" (bloody sheets), God's plan called for the woman to be stoned to death at her father's doorstep.
If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her. And say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And ... say ... these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. But if ... the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel, Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:13-21 
And men sometimes forced women to have sex with them. So God had to make rules for that, too.

If you "entice" an "unmarried maid" to "lie" with you, then you must marry her, unless the father refuses to give her to you, in which case you must pay him the going price for virgins.
If a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins." Exodus 22:16-17 
If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife." Deuteronomy 22:28-29
And then God had to decide what to do with women during holy wars.

If you see a pretty woman among the captives and would like her for a wife, then just bring her home and "go in unto her." Later, if you decide you don't like her, you can "let her go."
When thou goest forth to war ... and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands ... And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house ... and ... thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go. Deuteronomy 21:10-13
Since these marriage rules are often confusing, God provided holy examples for men to follow. The best and surest example, of course, is David, a man after God's own heart.

From David we know that it is perfectly acceptable for a man to:

Buy a wife with 200 foreskins.
David arose and went ... and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. And Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David. 1 Samuel 18:27-28
Get a wife by asking God to kill her husband.
The LORD smote Nabal, that he died. And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD ... And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife ... And Abigail hasted ... and became his wife. 1 Samuel 25:38-42 
If you're lucky, God may even give you another man's wives, as he gave David Saul's wives.
Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel ... and I gave thee ... thy master's wives. 2 Samuel 12:7-8
But you must be careful. If you are unfaithful to your wives, God may punish you by having your wives raped by your own son while everyone else watches.
Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house,and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 2 Samuel 12:11
Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines ... So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel." 2 Samuel 16: 21-22
Of course, some men will want to have more than two wives. God is okay with that.

Go ahead. Wax mighty and have 14 wives.
But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives 2 Chronicles 13:21
Or, what the heck, have 700 wives and 300 concubines.
He [Solomon] had seven hundred wives ... and three hundred concubines. 1 Kings 11:3 
Or marry a whore and have children of whoredom.
The LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. So he went and took Gomer. Hosea 1:2-3  
Or buy an adulterous wife with 15 pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley.
Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley.  Hosea 3:1-2 
Still, all things considered,  it might be wise not to marry at all. Because if you do get married, God might give your wife to another man or force you to eat your children (and vice versa).
The word of the LORD came also unto me, saying, Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters. Jeremiah 16:1-2
Therefore will I give their wives unto others. Jeremiah 8:10 
I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. Jeremiah 19:19
The fathers shall eat the sons ... and the sons shall eat their fathers. Ezekiel 5:10
But if and when God kills your wife, don't complain or mourn her death.
Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. So ... my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded. Ezekiel 24:16-18
 If you're confused by any of this, don't worry. It is all straightened out in the New Testament.

Jesus said that the people that make it to heaven don't marry.
Jesus answered ... in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. Matthew 22:29-30
And Paul said that it's best just not to touch women or get married.
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. -- 1 Corinthians 7:1-2
For I would that all men were even as I myself.... I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. -- 1 Corinthians 7:7-9
But if you do decide to get married, or if you already are married, don't have sex. There's no time for it since Jesus is coming soon.
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none. -- 1 Corinthians 7:29
Or, better yet, if you are married, get a big reward by abandoning your wives and children for Jesus's name's sake.
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. -- Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30
So from God's point of view, the main thing is this: same-sex marriage is an abomination, everything else you can possibly imagine is OK.

19 July 2013

Drunk With Blood - The revised 2nd Edition is now available

Since the First Edition of Drunk With Blood was published, I've found another 23 killings from the Apocrypha. They include some of the best killings in the entire Bible,  so I decided to include them in the 2nd Edition, which is now available at Amazon.  (For some examples, see  killings 136 to 147.)

The 2nd Edition has a new design, with the killings now grouped into chapters. I think it's a vast improvement over the original book, and I hope you'll think so too.

(Buy it now or God will smite you with hemorrhoids in your secret parts!)

18 July 2013

Elisha and the dead boy

I've been busy working on another project lately that involves this Bible story. So I thought I'd share it with you, since I haven't had time for posting lately.

It's about Elisha. You know, the prophet who sent two bears to kill 42 boys for making fun of his bald head.

The story begins when a woman from Shunem befriends Elisha. She immediately recognized him as a man of God, so she fed him and convinced her husband to give him a place to stay.
Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. 2 Kings 4:8-10
So Elisha stayed in the room they made for him.
And... he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 2 Kings 4:11
Elisha wanted to repay the woman and her husband. So he asked his servant, Gehazi, to look into it. Gehazi said, “Well, she has no children and her husband is old.”
He said to Gehazi his servant … What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. 4:12-14
Which gave Elisha an idea. He'd make the old woman pregnant!
He said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. 4:15
The woman thought that was a crazy idea. She and her husband were too old to have kids.
And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. 4:16
But Elisha made her pregnant anyway. And she had a baby boy. (Boys always result from miracle pregnancies in the Bible.)
And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. 4:17
Years later, the boy was out helping his dad when he grabbed his head and cried out, “My head, My head.”
When the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. And he said unto his father, My head, my head. 4:18-19
And by the time they got back to the house, the boy was dead.
And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 4:20
The woman put her dead son on Elisha’s bed and went to find Elisha on Mount Carmel.
And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. 4:21-25
When she found him, she said, “Why did you give me a son? I didn’t ask for one!”
Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me? 4:28
Elisha responded by telling Gehazi to gird his loins, go back to Shunem, and lay Elisha’s staff on the face of the child.
He said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way … and lay my staff upon the face of the child. 4:29
So Gehazi traveled to Shunem and laid Elisha’s staff on the dead boy’s face. (The body must have been getting a bit stinky by now since Shunem is 15 miles from Mount Carmel.)
And Gehazi ... laid the staff upon the face of the child. 4:31a

But Shucks! The magic trick didn’t work.
But there was neither voice, nor hearing. 4:31b
Gehazi went back to Mount Carmel to tell Elisha the bad news.
Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked. 4:31c
So Elisha returned to Shunem to take care of things himself. When he arrived, he went into the room, closed the door, and prayed to God.
And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. 4:32-33
Then he lay down on top of the dead boy's body, placing his mouth on the boy's mouth, his eyes on the boy’s eyes, and his hands on the boy’s hands.
And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands. 4:34a

While still in this position, he stretched himself upon the dead boy's body until the flesh began to warm.
And [he] stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. 4:34b
But Elisha still wasn’t through. He got off of the boy and walked around a bit.
Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro. 4:35a
Then he lay down on top of the warming body until the boy sneezed  seven times.
And [he] went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times. 4:35b
And with that, the boy opened his eyes.
And the child opened his eyes. 2 Kings 4:35c

09 July 2013

Bill Maher on religion

I thought I'd seen everything Bill Maher had done on religion, but it turns out I hadn't.

You probably haven't either. Take a look.

08 July 2013

Love Wins (Faith Loses)

It was hell that did me in as a Christian. I couldn't believe that my family and friends and billions of other nonbelievers (and religiously incorrect believers) would be tormented forever in hell for their honest disbelief (or their religiously incorrect beliefs).

It was also hell that was the beginning of the end of Jerry DeWitt's faith, as he explained in his book, Hope After Faith.

And it was the same for Charles Darwin. Here's what he said about it in his autobiography:
I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
But there are some Christians who can get around hell by ignoring "the plain language of the text."

Rob Bell is one of those.

In the first chapter of his book, Love Wins, Bell clearly expresses the problems that hell presents to a believer.

1. It's unfair and incredibly cruel.
2. The Bible is unclear about how it can be avoided.

The first problem is obvious to anyone who gives it a moment's thought. Here is just one of the many excellent rhetorical questions that Bell asks about hell.
Of all the billions of people who have ever lived, will only a select number "make it to a better place" and every single other person suffer in torment and punishment forever? ... Can God do this, or even allow this, and still be a loving God?" 
The second problem is a bit less obvious. According to the Bible, how do you escape hell?

It was here that Rob Bell provided me with another half dozen ways to get saved. (I'm now up to 205. Some of these were already listed, but some I added to the list.)
  • Listen to a preacher and call on whomever he tells you to believe in. Romans 10:14
  • Give half your goods to the poor and restore fourfold whatever you have taken falsely. Luke 19:8-9
  • Get saved (or at least have your sins forgiven) by other people's faith. Mark 2:3-5
  • Do whatever a voice in the sky tells you do do. Acts 22:6-10
But besides pointing out new ways to get saved, he pointed out something even more interesting. And that is this: The way most evangelicals believe people are saved -- the only way they believe you can get saved -- is not found anywhere in the Bible.

And what is that way?

It is this: You've got to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus.

There are 205 ways to get saved that I have found in the Bible, but the one most believers believe in is not one of them. Because it's not in the Bible.

So the first chapter of "Love Wins" is great. Bell demolishes hell.

The rest of the book tries to salvage what remains of Christianity after removing the belief in hell.

What remains after removing hell from Christianity?

If there is no hell, there's no outer darkness, no place of torments, no everlasting fire, no everlasting punishment, no land of immortal worms, no weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

If there is no hell, there's no way to get saved and no need for a savior. Jesus has nothing to say and nothing to do.

And faith loses.

03 July 2013

Congratulations, It's a boy! Episode 2: The line of Cain

As you'll recall, the first thing Adam and Eve did after leaving the Garden of Eden was -- well, obey God's command to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 

And they got off to a great start, too. They had two babies in the first two verses, both boys, named Cain and Abel. But then Cain killed Abel, and the world's population fell to 3.

It took the first couple a while to get back into the business of being fruitful, but eventually Adam knew Eve again. And when Adam was 130 years old they had another baby boy named Seth.

But this episode isn't about them. It's about Cain.

So what happened to Cain after he killed his brother Abel?

Well, God cursed him to be a fugitive and vagabond and put a mark on him so no one would kill him (I guess God thought Cain's parents might kill him since they were the only other people alive at the time).
The LORD said unto Cain ... now art thou cursed ... a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be. Genesis 4:9-12

And Cain said ... every one that findeth me shall slay me. 4:13-14

And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. 4:15
Then Cain went to the land of Nod on the east of Eden, got married (to an unnamed sister?), and founded a city (population 3), naming the city after his son, Enoch.
Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 4:16
And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 4:17
In the next verse, there's a population explosion in the city of Enoch in the land of Nod.
And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. 4:18
Four baby boys in a single verse! (No mention of wives or daughters. And every father had a single son. I guess the land of Nod had a one-son policy at the time.)

But Lamech broke the one (nameless) wife / one son rule. He had two wives (Adah and Zillah), and the three of them worked together to produce three sons and one daughter. (The daughter--Naamah--was the first daughter born in the Bible and the first named female, after Eve.)
Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 4:19
And Adah bare Jabal ... And his brother's name was Jubal. 4:20-21
And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain ... and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah. 4:22
And that's all the Bible has to say about Cain and his descendants in the land of Nod. They were all destroyed in the flood.

OK, so it's time to count boys and girl babies.

There were five generations after Cain, each with one baby boy. (5)
Then there's Lamech's three sons and one daughter.

So the total for this episode is: 8 boys, 1 girl.
Cumulative total: 11 boys, 1 girl.

Next we get to count boys and girls in the Sethite line.

01 July 2013

Roy Zimmerman: I want a marriage like they had in the Bible

A few weeks ago, I attended Moscow's sixth (I think) annual Intolerista Wingding that featured Roy Zimmerman. Here's one of the songs that he sang (along with the lyrics and relevant Bible quotes).

I want a marriage like they had in the Bible, because the Bible tells me so.

Now, Abraham and Sarah had a marriage, but she could not bear him...a kid.
So Sarah gave Abraham a slave girl and pretty soon they did it and they did, Lord Lord. Pretty soon they did it and she did.

Now I know that slavery was banned. But a woman should be free to give a slave girl to her husband.
Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid ... And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai ... took Hagar her maid the Egyptian ... and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived. Genesis 16:1-4
I want a marriage like they had in the Bible, because the Bible tells me so.

Now Othniel and Achsah had a marriage, because she was a battle prize he won.
Yes, he fought to win Caleb's daughter. And he was Caleb's brother and his son-in-law.
Yeah, he was Caleb's brother and his son.

Now I know it sounds like incest, but a woman should be proud to be married off and princessed.
Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher ... will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother,. took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. Judges 1:12-13
(There is some disagreement about whether Othniel was Caleb's brother or nephew, but either way "it sounds like incest.") 
I want a marriage like they had in the Bible, because the Bible tells me so.

Now if two brothers live together and one dies, the other one must marry his brother's widow.
For this is pleasing in God's eyes. And if he should refuse, then she should steal his shoes and spit right in his face. It's right there in the Bible.
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her ... And if the man like not to take his brother's wife ...Then shall his brother's wife ... loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face. Deuteronomy 25:5-9
Now Jezebel and Ahab had a marriage. And she began usurping all his power.
She was wicked, of course, but he could not divorce her, so he had her thrown off a tower, Lord, Lord.
And sent the dogs her carcass to devour.

Now I know, it sounds excessive. But a woman should submit to her husband or be made a mess of.
Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot ... And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands ... This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel. And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field. 2 Kings 9:33-37
(Actually, though, in fairness to Ahab, he had nothing to do with his wife's death. Jehu, Elijah, and God were the co-conspirators of Jezebel's messy death.)
I want a marriage like they had in the Bible, because the Bible tells me so.

Now if a man should take a woman to be his, and it turns out he thinks she's not a virgin.
Well then her parents have a chance to prove she is. And if they let her down, then every man in town,
should stone her till she's dead. It's right there in the Bible. (Deuteronomy)
If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... And say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And ... say ... these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity ... But if ... the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel, Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:13-21
Now Solomon and  Naamah had a marriage. And they were together all their lives.
Yes she was his. And he was pretty busy, cause she was one of seven hundred wives, Lord, Lord.
Yeah, Solomon had seven hundred wives. (And three hundred concubines.)

Now I know, that's illegal. But a woman should be one of as many wives as her husband can inveigle.
And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah ... And his mother's name was Naamah. 1 Kings 14:21
Solomon ... had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. 1 Kings 11:2-3
I want a marriage like they had in the Bible, because the Bible tells me so.

Nicanor's army: The Almighty being their helper, they slew above nine thousand men

It’s hard to sort out God’s killings in First and Second Machabees. The same stories are often told, but the details are so different that it’s hard to believe they are the same story.

This is the account from 2 Machabees.

King Philip (Demetrius in 1 Machabees 7:4) sent Nicanor and Gorgias with 20,000 soldiers “to root out the whole race of the Jews.”
Philip … sent Nicanor ...giving him no fewer than twenty thousand armed men … to root out the whole race of the Jews, joining also with him Gorgias. 2 Machabees 8:9
When Judas found out about it, he gathered 7000 men “to fight manfully.”
Now when Judas found that Nicanor was coming, he imparted to the Jews that were with him, that the enemy was at hand. 8:12
But Machabeus calling together seven thousand … to fight manfully. 8:16
Telling them to trust in God who “at a beck” can destroy all of Nicanor’s army--along with “the whole world,” if he has a mind to.
Trust in the Almighty Lord, who at a beck can utterly destroy both them that come against us, and the whole world. 8:18
Like he did to Sennacherib’s 185,000 sleeping soldiers.
Moreover he put them in mind also of the helps their fathers had received from God: and how under Sennacherib a hundred and eighty-five thousand had been destroyed. 8:19
(“The angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.” 2 Kings 19.35, Isaiah 37.36)
And when 6,000 Jews and Macedonians slew 120,000 Galatians, “because of the help they had from heaven.”
And of the battle that they had fought against the Galatians in Babylonia, how they, being in all but six thousand, when it came to the point, and the Macedonians their companions were a stand, slew a hundred and twenty thousand, because of the help they had from heaven. 8:20a
For such a great slaughter, “they received many favors.”
And for this they received many favours. 8:20b
The speech had the desired effect, inspiring the troops to die for their country.
With these words they were greatly encouraged, and disposed even to die for the laws and their country. 8:21
After Judas concluded his speech by reading Esdras’s holy book and giving them the watchword “The help of God”, his soldiers went off to fight Nicanor.
And after the holy Book had been read to them by Esdras, and he had given them for a watchword, The help of God: himself leading the first band, he joined battle with Nicanor: 8:23
And with God as their helper, “they slew above nine thousand men” (“almost five thousand” in 1 Machabees 7:32).
The Almighty being their helper, they slew above nine thousand men ... of Nicanor's army. 8:24
Then they asked the “merciful God” to help them kill some more.
When this was done, and they had all made a common supplication, they besought the merciful Lord. 8:29
And with God’s help, they killed more than 20,000 in Timotheus and Bacchides’s army.
Moreover they slew above twenty thousand of them that were with Timotheus and Bacchides. 8:30
They killed Philarches (a wicked man).
They slew also Philarches ... a wicked man. 8:32
And they burned to death Callisthenes, as “a worthy reward for his impieties.”
They burnt Callisthenes, that had set fire to the holy gates, who had taken refuge in a certain house, rendering to him a worthy reward for his impieties: 8:33

Since the Galatian massacre that Judas referred to in 1 Machabees 8:20 isn’t recorded elsewhere in the Bible, I’ll give God credit for it here, and another 120,000 to his total.

And I’ll average the “almost five thousand” and “above nine thousand” in the two accounts and add another 7000 to God’s killings.

Then there was the 20,000 soldiers in 8:30, along with Philarches and Callisthenes.

So the total for this episode is 147,002.

Genesis 1-3 and the definition of marriage

In the Bible's first creation story (Genesis 1:1-2:3), God created humans in his own image, male and female.
God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:26-27
Which seems a strange thing for a macho God to do.

Is God both male and female? Or were humans, as originally created by God, neither? Did sexuality come later, after the fall? (Notice that this story doesn’t say how many humans were created or what their names might be. There was no Adam, no Eve, or even Steve in this version.)

In the second creation account, God formed man from the dust of the ground.
God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7
And here too, the man is unnamed, and he remains unnamed until after God creates the animals in a misguided attempt to find a proper “help meet” for him, at which time God finally gives him a name (Adam).
God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam. Genesis 2:18-19
(You have to wonder what God was thinking here. Did he expect Adam to fall for a raccoon or a blue-footed booby perhaps? Did he create 350,000 species of beetles thinking they might make good matches for Adam? And if God was OK with that, could he object to Adam and Steve?)

After the newly-named Adam examined and rejected the millions of species of animals that God created to be his “help meet,” God tried again, this time creating something from Adam’s rib.
The LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Genesis 2:21-22
This newly-formed rib-creature was much more to Adam’s liking. And he immediately named it “Woman” (not “Eve”--that name didn’t come until later).
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Genesis 2:23
So what was this “woman” like, anyway? Was she a clone of Adam, since she was created (or cloned) from his rib? Did she have the same genitalia as Adam or did they both lack sexual organs, since there was no need for reproduction before the fall?

In any case, Adam goes on to explain the purpose of marriage in the next verse.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24
Now that may seem like a strange thing for a man with no father or mother to say, but there it is. The point Adam was making was this: the purpose of marriage is companionship, not procreation. And Jesus seemed to agree with this in Matthew 19:5.
For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.
It wasn’t until after the fall that sex and procreation became a part of marriage, when God punished the (still nameless) woman with the pain of childbirth, and the desire for(?) and subjection to her husband.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 3:16
Everything changed after the fall. Death entered the world, and along with it, the need for procreation. Adam recognized this and renamed “the woman” accordingly.
Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Genesis 3:20
So according to the Genesis creation stories, heterosexual reproduction was an unintended consequence of the fall. Marriage, as originally created, was for love and companionship so that two “shall be one flesh.”

And that works for either Adam and Eve or Adam and Steve.

Congratulations, it's a boy! Episode 1: Adam and Eve

Evan Ringuette at StaticDespair.com posted this on twitter.

And it got me to thinking. What percentage of the bible's babies were boys?

So I started at the beginning of Genesis and went through the bible counting male and female babies.

It's going to take me a while to get through them all though, so I decided to do it in a series of posts.

Here's the first one.

Adam and Eve

It didn't take long for Adam and Eve to get down to business after leaving the garden of Eden. In the next two verses they had two kids, both boys, named Cain and Abel.
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. Genesis 4:1-2
Six verses later, Cain killed Abel.
Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. Gen 4:8
130 years after that, Adam and Eve decided to make a replacement for Abel. God cooperated by giving them another boy, named Seth.
And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. Gen 4:25
Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth. Gen 5:3
So apparently, Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen 1:28)  by having only three kids in 130 years. But after abstaining from sex (or practicing some killer form of birth control) they finally had some more kids in the next 800 years or so.
And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. Genesis 5:4-5
Since the Bible didn't bother giving theses latter day babies names, sexes, or numbers, I won't either.

So the score for this episode is: boys 3, girls 0.