Saturday, December 03, 2016

Old Testament Grind

... would be a good name for a coffee.

I'm back to struggling my way through the Old Testament. I'm up to Chronicles wherein we learn thing like this.
The sons of Judah were: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. Reaiah, the son of Shobal, became the father of Jahath, and Jahath became the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. These were the sons of Hareph, the father of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash; their sister was named Hazzelelponi. Penuel was the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah. Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, the Temenites, and the Ahashtarites. These were the sons of Naarah.
I'm sure they were awesome people who could tell jokes just right where the timing of the punchline was impeccable to the point where you'd laugh so hard that coffee would come out of your nose and you weren't even drinking coffee at the time.

Having said that, reading about them is a real drag. Still, it must be done*.

What's hitting me as I let this cataract of unpronounceable names wash over me is how the only people that mattered in the Old Testament were the royalty and the priests / prophets. If you're some schlub tending his sheep, your fate is tied to whether or not the king does right in the sight of the Lord. If he does, your chances of being killed in battle go down. If he doesn't, get ready to drop your sword and get cut down by the Gorgomites as you flee.

In contrast, Jesus tells the shepherd that not only is he not a schlub, he's an equal to the king in the eyes of God. Your life, even if you listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd, fly a Confederate flag and hold improper views on gay marriage, matters.

Meanwhile, in the Koran, it's probably time to whack a few infidels. If you're an atheist, it's time to act superior and come up with more reasons why atheism didn't open the floodgates to Mao's industrial slaughter of the Chinese. If you're of the Eastern religions, I have no idea what you do because I'm not there yet in my reading. You probably drink some chai and do yoga. Whatever.

In any case, it looks to me like faith and belief systems matter. If you're even half-listening to what you say you believe in, the faith you chose is going to have an impact on you.

If you belong to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you get to tell your one joke over and over and over and over and over and over and over...
* - As a friend of mine said to me, "Why?" I think that encapsulates my motivations quite well.


Anonymous said...

My dad tried to do that, read the Old Testament. But Chronicles ended it for him. I majored on Hebrew and specifically Bible, and told him that a preeminent scholar of Hebrew Bible wrote that if you can make it through Chronicles, you have a high tolerance for tedious. The scholar's archive was unless you HAVE to read it, skip it.

Anonymous said...

The scholar's ADVICE...

K T Cat said...

Anon, that's defeatism! I refuse to submit to the torture. Instead, I'll listen to the audio book as I drive, with my eyes blinking out in Morse Code to nearby drivers, "Please come and kill me."


Ilíon said...

"... would be a good name for a coffee."

And, for New Testament types, HeBrews.

K T Cat said...

Ilion, there's a brewery called Schmaltz Brewing that makes He'Brew beers.

Ilíon said...

Fitting. Schmaltz -- "excessive sentimentality, especially in music or movies."