The TL:DR Bible – Genesis 42-45


Chapter 42:

Jacob’s kids: “Daaaaaad, there’s no food.”

Jacob: “Well, go the store in Egypt and buy some.”

Jacob’s kids: “But we don’t have any money.”

Jacob: “I gave you $50 last week. What happened to it?”

Jacob’s kids: “Stuff…”

Judah: “Definitely not random prostitute stuff…”

Jacob’s other kids: “Shut up, Judah!”

Jacob: “Just… just go… go… now…”

So Jacob’s kids (minus Benjamin who is Jacob’s new favorite) head down to Egypt to buy food and Joe’s there selling the food to people. Food that he took from them as taxes to prepare for the famine. Again… Joe is still a jerk. Joe’s brother show up and he recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him, so he starts an elaborate and overcomplicated plot to discover whether or not they’re still jackasses, and also… because he’s a jerk.

He accuses them of being spies. They say, we’re not spies, we’re brothers. Joe’s like go get your younger brother.

Jacob’s sons: “Man, this is totally karma for how we beat up and sold our brother to slavers.”

Levi: “Yeah, that was bad, but didn’t we also kill an entire town and enslave their women and children?”

Jacob’s sons: “It makes for a better narrative if it’s just the whole brother selling thing, Levi.”

Joe has Simeon thrown into jail as a hostage and sends the brothers away, but not before hiding their money into their grain sacks, because while it’s okay to charge an Egyptian farmer money to buy grain that you took from him, doing that to family is simply not to be done.

The brothers discover the money and freak out a bit, then return to Jacob and tell him what happened and how they need to go back with Benjamin to Egypt to get Simeon sprung from jail. Jacob says no. He’s worried about Ben dying, and Reuben says, “Hey, dad… look, if I don’t bring him back safe and sound, you can kill my kids… I never really liked them and they’ve been pissing me off lately with their long hair and lava lamps…”

Jacob’s not down with that, so they sit around and eat bread until the grain runs out.

 

Chapter 43:

The grain runs out.

Jacob and his sons argue about going back to Egypt with Benjamin. Judah talks Jacob into it and they go back to Egypt. When Joe sees Ben with them, he invites them all over for lunch. Simeon finally gets out of jail. Probably a bit of awkward conversation ensued:

Simeon: “Oh, thanks guys. Glad you came back… wish you would have done it MONTHS AGO!”

“Dude, dad was all like, “No, Ben can’t go.” And we’re like, “Yeah… but Simeon” totally had your back, bro…”

“Screw you guys. Do you know what I had to do in prison to survive? No… you don’t…”

Joe asks about dad and talks to Ben a bit and cries a lot. They have lunch and ancient Egyptians were racist, I guess since they refused to eat with Jews… or maybe the author was just projecting at that point…

 

Chapter 44: In which this pointless jerking around of his brothers continues…

Joe has his steward put his family’s money back into their sacks and puts a silver cup into Ben’s sack. (I will not make obvious jokes… I will not make obvious jokes…)

The kids ride off, and Joe sends the army to stop them accusing them of stealing the silver cup. They deny it and say you can kill whoever you find it with. The steward says, “Okay, but I won’t kill him, he’ll be my slave.” Everyone’s cool with that, but then they find the silver cup with Ben. Uh-oh….

The brothers go, okay, we’ll be your slaves. Joe says, no. Ben will be my slave. Judah stands up and repeats the whole story of getting Jacob to agree to let Ben come and offers to be a slave if Ben can go free.

 

Chapter 45:

Joe says, “Hi, brothers! Remember me!”

Brothers: “Ooooooooh…. Craaaaaaaaaaaaaap.”

Joe says, “Eh, it’s all good now. I’m vice-Pharaoh. Hey remember that dream where you all bowed to me. Heh heh…” because Joe is still a bit of a jerk.

Okay, he didn’t say that last part, but he did tell them to go and bring Jacob and the family up to Egypt to live so he can take care of them, because what’s the use of having a high government office if you can’t use it to take care of you and your own?

Joe: “Come on up to Egypt. There are literally yooouge tracks of land for you. Beautiful. The best lands.”

So Pharaoh sends people to help move Jacob and the rest of his family. And the rest of Jacob’s sons get to have an even more awkward conversation with their dad.

“Hey, dad… remember when we sent you Joe’s robe and told you he was eaten by animals?”

“Every day of my life.”

“Yeah, turns out… kind of a funny story actually… he wasn’t so much eaten by wild animals as he was… thrown into a pit by us, sold into slavery, and is now the vice Pharaoh of Egypt. “

“I am going to beat you with my cane now, okay?”

“Yeah… yeah, that’s probably fair.”

The TL:DR Bible: Genesis 40-41


Chapter 40:

Joe’s still in jail.

The king’s cupbearer and baker arrive in jail too. The cupbearer was basically the food and drink tester for the king, so maybe there was a plot to kill the king and the two men were implicated.

Anyway, they have dreams. Joe interprets the dreams. The baker will die, the cupbearer will live. Joe asks the cupbearer to plead his case to Pharaoh, but the cupbearer forgets him for two years.

 

Chapter 41: 

Pharaoh has a dream. Seven fat cows get eaten by seven gaunt cows. He has another dream: seven heads of grain get devoured by seven bad heads of grain.

No one can interpret the dream and this is sounding a lot like the book of Daniel… Hmm… anyway, the cupbearer suddenly remembers Joe. Yo, Joe!

Joe appears before the king and says, “You’re going to have seven years of good harvests followed by seven years of famine. You should probably have someone take charge of the harvests and store up grain for when you need it.”

And lo and behold, the king says, “Hey, prisoner I just met, how about you take charge and be the number 2 man in the kingdom! I’ll be on my yacht.”

Joe taxes Egypt at 20% and builds storehouses for the grain and foods.Remember that for later, guys. Joe taxed the people at 2o% to prepare for the famine.

Joe has two kids with an Egyptian woman.

And when the famine comes, Joe opens the grainaries and SELLS the food back to the Egyptians. Yeah… he taxed the people at 20% to prepare for the famine and now he’s selling the grain back to them for profit.

Remember how I said Joe was kind of a jerk? Yeah…he’s still kind of a jerk. But wait… it will get worse.

 

 

 

 

The TL:DR Bible: Genesis 37-39


Chapter 37:

We shift from Jacob to Joseph now. Joseph is 17 which means he’s kind of dumb and kind of a dick. I mean it’s really easy to overlook that in light of how really horrible his brothers are to him, but the very first thing we learn about Joseph is that he rats out his brothers to his dad. He’s dad’s favorite and he’s going to keep it that way.

Then he goes and tells his brothers his dreams in which he claims they will all bow down to him and serve him. If you’ve ever been 17 and had siblings you fought with, try and imagine saying Joseph’s lines in the most snotty obnoxious way your 17 year-old self could have said them.

Yeah, Joe, I know you have issues with your brothers, but remember that two of them are definite killers and slavers, so you might want to temper that… oh, and his brothers have thrown him into a pit, sold him to slavers, and taken his special coat and smeared it with blood to convince their dad that animals ate him, breaking their father’s heart.

Please note that it is Judah who comes up with the idea to sell their brother into slavery. This will be important in the next chapter. Also note that there appears to be two different accounts of this story that were edited into one narrative as in one verse the slavers are referred to as Midianites and in another verse referred to as Ishmaelites.

 

Chapter 38:

Judah marries a Canaanite girl and has three sons. He marries off his firstborn Er to Tamar. But Er was wicked in the sight of the Lord, so God killed him.

Judah: “Hey, God…”

“Yes.”

“I was wondering something… you know I just sold my brother into slavery and broke my father’s heart, right?”

“Yeah…”

“And Simeon and Levi just massacred a town, kidnapped and enslaved the women and children and I don’t know… maybe raped a few of the pretty ones, and stole all of the loot the town had.”

“Yes…”

“And up until two chapters ago, all of us were idolatrous pagans worshipping idols…”

“Yes…”

“What the hell could my son have possibly done that was worse than that to get himself killed?”

God: …

So there was a custom that if your brother died childless, the next closest relative would have to marry his widow and knock her up and those kids would be considered your dead relative’s kids legally. The next kid Onan doesn’t want to do that, so while climaxing in bed, he pulls out. So God kills him.

God’s really kind of all over the place with the smiting and lack thereof.

Judah’s next son is still a little young to be having sex, so Judah tells Tamar to wait until he’s older and then his next son can knock her up. Tamar waits around, but Judah never fulfills his word, so she dresses up like a prostitute, hangs out on the route that Judah frequents, and Judah is, in fact, looking for a good time. So he offers her a goat that he’ll totally bring tomorrow. She asks him for his seal and his staff as a pledge. They knock boots, she gets knocked up. And they go on their way. Judah later goes to deliver the goat, but the “prostitute” is gone. Judah’s like, “Score!”

A few months later…

“Hey, Judah.”

“Yeah?”

“Your daughter-in-law is pregnant.”

“Bring her out here and burn her to death!”

“Really? Because you frequent prostitutes and you’re cool with that, but she goes out and has sex and you want to kill her?”

“Yes. What’s the problem?”

Tamar: “The problem is you’re the father. See this staff and seal?”

Judah: “Ooooooooh… uh… awkward….”

Tamar has twins. Judah has to put with a lot of awkward Thanksgivings.

 

Chapter 39

Joe’s down in Egypt and gets sold to Potiphar. Potiphar puts him in charge of everything. Potiphar’s wife is a cougar and wants to seduce the new kid. Joe says no. She arranges a situation where they will be alone and grabs his coat and demands sex from him. Joe sheds his coat and runs away. She accuses him of rape, and Joe is thrown into prison.

Joe does so well in prison that the warden makes him the prison administrator.

“And everyone saw how awesome and cool and handsome Joe was and they totally loved him and wanted to be with him and girls would throw themselves at him, but he was too good to take advantage of them…”

Geez… Joe sounds an awful lot like he might just be the first use of a Mary Sue.

The TL:DR Bible: Genesis 34-36


Chapter 34:

Jacob’s daughter Dinah goes out to the city to see the local girls and make friends, shop, and what not. And she’s accosted by Prince Shechem who rapes her. Yikes. Afterwards, the prince decides he kind of likes her and wants to marry her, so he asks his dad to go talk to Jacob and settle the terms. Course we all know what God says should be done in a case like this:

“If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days. – Deuteronomy 22:28-29

Alright, well, that sounds just… horrible and awful and cruel, but there you go. Done deal, right, Jacob? I mean, she is just property after all. It’s not like she’s people.

Well, her brothers Simeon and Levi don’t think it’s a done deal and they talk to the king and tell him that they’ll only agree to give Dinah to the prince if everyone cuts part of their dick off. The king and prince are cool with it and convince the men of the city to cut pieces of their penis off. Which they agree to because they hope to get some of Jacob’s wealth via trade and more intermarriage.

And right after they finish cutting pieces of their penis off, Simeon and Levi go through the town and kill all of the men, stealing the women and children and goods and herds for themselves. So no 50 shekels of silver then? Just some genocide, more rape, slavery, and theft.

Jacob’s like, “Dudes, you know the rest of the Canaanites might decide to get together and kill us all, right?”

Simeon and Levi: “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”

According to Deuteronomy 22: 28-29, yes.
Chapter 35

Right after his sons massacre an entire city for the offense of one man and steal their wives, children, and goods, Jacob again gets a call from God to leave the area quickly and go somewhere else. There’s God again with some good advice about running just after Jacob is convinced that bad things are coming his way.

Jacob has a chat with his family that maybe they should once again find religion and hope God helps them out. So they give him all of the idols they had been worshipping and he buries them. And God shows up and promises Jacob the land again in case Jacob had forgotten it.

Rachel gives birth to Benjamin and dies.

Reuben goes and has sex with his dad’s sex slave. This is a big no-no. Only dad gets to have nonconsensual sex with his sex slave, kid.

The bible recounts all of the kids of Jacob: Reuben… Dan… Naphtali… Sneezy… Grumpy…Murderery…

Issac dies and Jacob and Esau bury him.

Chapter 36

Esau has lots of sex and lots of kids who have lots of sex and lots of kids and more sex, more kids… more sex… more kids… and they build cities and become the kingdom of Edom because they were tired from all of the sex and needed to rest.

The TL:DR Bible – Genesis 31-33


Chapter 31:

Jacob notices that Laban’s sons are getting angry and bitter over how wealthy he’s becoming while working for Laban, and wouldn’t you know it? Right around then as they’re eyeing Jacob and stroking the hilts of their swords menacingly, Jacob hears from God that it’s time to leave and head back to Canaan. Good timing, Lord!

Jacob asks his wives if they can go and they’re like, “Phppt… yeah, this place sucks. He sold us and spent all the money he should have kept for our dowry. Screw him.”

So Jacob leaves town with everything he has and doesn’t tell Laban who is out sheering sheep at the time and Rachel makes off with Laban’s gods. Which is really funny to say. You’d think if they were really gods, they could have stopped her.

Anyway, Laban finds Jacob and his stuff missing and goes off to murder him and steal his stuff, but God vetoes that idea. Laban yells at Jacob for a bit. Jacob yells at Laban. Laban spends time looking for his gods. Maybe they just didn’t like you, Laban.

Marduk: “Yeah, screw that guy.”

He keeps looking and finds Rachel sitting on her camel which is a bit odd. Rachel has hidden his gods under her saddle. Dramatic tension.

But fortunately, Rachel knows what era she lives in and tells her dad she can’t get down because she’s on her period and all the guys go, “Ewwww…. Woman things….” And they leave her alone and stay away from her because girl cooties.

Jacob and Laban make a pillar of rocks and agree that Jacob will stay on his side and Laban will stay on his side.

So for the record, that’s now two blood relatives that want to kill Jacob. The hero of our story, folks.

 

Chapter 32:

As Jacob is coming home, he’s getting close to Esau’s place, so he sends envoys to his brother telling him, “Hey, uh, I’m rich now… so don’t worry about my share of dad’s stuff… you can… you can keep that for yourself. U mad bro?”

And Esau replies by gathering 400 guys together to go out and meet Jacob. Jacob freaks and decides to give religion another try.

“Oh Lord… help?”

He puts together a quick gift for Esau and sends his family away hoping they’ll be able to escape a slaughter, then falls asleep and wrestles with God all night. God cripples Jacob.  God wants to leave. Jacob won’t let him go without a blessing. God says, “Okay, your name is Israel now. Happy?” And Israel lets him go.

 

Chapter 33:

Jacob and Esau meet and Esau runs up and hugs him and kisses him. They both cry at the reunion.

Esau once again seems like a pretty stand-up guy. He declines Jacob’s gift, but Jacob insists he take it. He offers to escort his brother to their location, presumably protecting them from bandits, but Jacob declines and the two brothers end up parting with Jacob implying that he’ll meet Esau down in Seir, but going away from his brother’s lands and settling in Sukkoth and then Shechem where he buys some land and settles down.

Personally, I’d like to hear more about Esau, he seems like he’d be a bit more heroic and over the top like Hercules or Achilles or some Greek hero.

But instead, we’re going to stick with Jacob and get a tale of genocide next chapter. Yea?

The TL:DR Bible: Genesis 27-30


Chapter 27:

Isaac is old and blind. He wants to impart the blessing to his son Esau. Apparently this is a big deal and means Esau will be the next patriarch, even if Jacob gets 2/3rds of Isaac’s goods when he dies because of that whole birthright thing.

Rebekah decides that’s not going to cut it and she really wants Jacob to be the next patriarch because of a ‘prophesy’ that was told to her that the older would serve the younger. Which seems like a really convenient way for the writer to justify why the nation of Israel should be free to stomp on the Edomites, like the curse of Canaan was a good way to justify stomping on the Canaanites, but hey, that’s probably just crazy talk.

Anyway, Isaac sends Esau out to go hunt down some deer and whip up some venison because it’s his favorite dish, and Esau complies. Rebekah dresses up Jacob in Esau’s clothing and puts goat skin on his arms so he’ll pass if Isaac touches him. Esau must have made Robin Williams (RIP) look like a waxed model.

Jacob serves the old man some goat and gets the blessing. Esau comes in later and everyone discovers Jacob’s wacky antics. Esau plots to kill him and Rebekah sends Jacob off to Mesopotamia to marry some sister-wives cousins.

Chapter 28:

Isaac tells Jacob, “Don’t marry any of these filthy heathen Canaanites. Keep those genes in the family, son.” Esau thinks he can please his family by taking a third wife from one of the daughters of Ishmael, which is only like a half-cousin of his, so it’s still a little disappointing by Genesis standards. Got to shoot for full blood relative or nothing, Esau.

Jacob has a dream on the way to Mesopotamia and makes a deal with God: if you keep me alive, I’ll worship you and give you a tithe.

Chapter 29:

A classic tale of boy meets girl. Boy works as a slave to a father for seven years to marry girl. Boy accidentally marries girl’s sister and boy marries girl and works another seven years as a slave to her father. Girl’s sister is depressed, but has four sons as a way to try and fix her relationship with boy, because that always works.

You know, it’s like one of those wacky rom-coms with incest and polygamy and heartbreaking unrequited love!

Chapter 30:

Rachel really wants children and begs Jacob to get her pregnant. Rachel tries the Sarah method and gives Jacob her slave girl to rape and impregnate. And he does and the slave girl has two sons. Leah decides to give Jacob her slave girl too so everyone can get in on the rape and impregnation action. And her slave girl has two children.

One of Leah’s kids finds some plant that they think has aphrodisiac or magical properties and Rachel wants them. Leah objects and Rachel pimps out her husband to her sister who then gets pregnant. And then gets pregnant two more times. There was really nothing else to do for entertainment back in those days.

God remembers Rachel. “Oh yeah, Mesopotamian girl, about 17-18, brown hair, dark eyes… yeah, she seemed cool. Can’t understand how I could have forgotten her with the whole, you know… omniscience, but I remember her. She’d be a good mom. Here, Rachel, have a kid.” Rachel names her son Joseph.

Jacob is ready to go, but Laban realizes that he’s been making more money since Jacob showed up and hires him for a bunch of spotted and stripped animals.

The writer then gives us a pretty bizarre account of how they thought genetics worked involving some magic rods. It doesn’t work that way.

It’s never worked that way.

The TL:DR Bible – Genesis 26


Chapter 26:

Short one today. Also, you ever notice how everyone criticizes Esau for selling his birthright for a bowl of stew, but no one criticizes Jacob for being an asshole and not just giving his brother something to eat? What’s up with that?

Well, this is familiar. A bit too familiar. Isaac tries to pull the ol’ “She’s my sister” routine with Abimelek. Look, I’m a 21st century guy, so maybe I’m lacking in the cultural nuance of bronze age tribesman, but I think I’d risk death before I let another man take away my wife to his harem.

Anyway, you might be wondering how the hell Abimelek was still alive since Abraham had pulled this stunt with him before Isaac was even conceived, and you’d be right. I figure either:

  1. It’s the same story slightly altered over time and the writers of Genesis included both.
  2. Or it’s Abimelek Jr.

Abimelek sees Isaac getting a bit inappropriate with his sister one day and calls him out for it. Of course, if Abimelek had read the previous chapters of Genesis, he’d know that brothers and sisters tend to have sex a lot together in this book, so a little canoodling didn’t necessarily mean Isaac was lying. But Isaac confesses saying, “Well, you’re damned dirty Canaanite heathens, so I figure you’d kill me and rape my wife.” Nice one, Isaac.

Abimelek shrugs it off and orders everyone to not kill Isaac and not rape Rebekah and the two get along for a while until Isaac gets too rich and Abimelek fears he might take over the place and asks him to leave town.

There’s a bit more sniping back and forth between the two over water rights, but they make a treaty and it’s all good.

Esau marries a couple of local Hittite girls and his parents disapprove.

“Son, why do you have to marry these foreigners? Why can’t marry a cousin or sister like Grandpa and I did?” Isaac said.