|Posted on August 15, 2010 at 10:18 PM|
It's been almost two months since the last bible-reading update. (That included the terrific pick-up line advice found in the book of Song of Solomon. Seriously, if you haven't dropped "Baby, you got breasts like two young ones" on some beautiful young baby while in the Rainman suite, then you can't truly say that you've lived. ) So, with the year 5/8 over, I am way ahead of schedule to complete my cover-to-cover goal by being on page 1150 of 1543.
In the past two months, I have had to work through a few books which can best be described as a slog. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel... When you actually look forward to a book called "Lamentations" to provide a little light-hearted change of pace, you now that you are deep into some heavy prophesy. Isaiah offers this bit of prophesied bad-times-to-come for "haughty women" in chapter 3 verse 24. "Instead of balsam oil there will come to be merely a musty smell; instead of a belt, a rope; instead of an artitstic hair arrangement, baldness; instead of a rich garment, a girding of sackcloth; a brand mark instead of prettiness." Somehow, I hope to see fulfillment of this prophecy for Snookie. I can't stand that girl. I don't even watch that train-wreck of a show, but I want to see her bald and branded. Also, chuck in the entire cast of Real Housewives of New Jersey. They could all use some sackcloth and musty.
Isaiah does give us one of the most promising scriptures in the form of chapter 2:4 with the promise of a time of peace where nations will not lift up sword (or Barrett 50 cal, or ICBM or NavSpecWar) against each other and will learn war no more and the quote about turning swords into plowshares that is found outside the UN. Sadly, depsite the cool sculpture, the UN doesn't seem to be getting this and continues acting like a wild beast...
Jeremiah is essentially 83 pages and 52 chapters of bad news for Jerusalem. A series of crappy kings has basically built up a crap load of bad will debt that needs to be paid back. And that pay back is coming. With interest.
But the real trek-up-Everest-without-a-Sherpa so far has been Ezekiel. This book was just brutal reading. Slow, totally non-linear. Just jumping around from one deep, tough/boring bit of text to the next. One moment you are neck deep in incredibly symbolism filled prophecy and pronouncement of judgement and the next you are reading what could be CAD drawings translated using a Kindle's text-to-speech function for measurements of the temple. Seriously, if you want to recreate the exact requirement for the walls, chambers, holy and dining spaces of the Jewish temple, just peruse the final chapters of Ezekiel.
However, there are two scriptures that I particularly like. While Isaiah is full of different measurements -- the ephah (33.6 quarts), the bath (9.8 gallons), the shekel (11.4 grams) and the gerah (20 shekels), the reed (10.2 ft) and the cubit (20.4 inches) -- only chapter 45:14 totally nails the whole measurement thing. In reading it, you can just get a sense of Ezekiel John-ing the Israelites. "ten baths are a homer; because ten baths are a homer." Dude, people, LISTEN! I'm only gonna say this one...more...time. Ten baths are a homer! It's not that hard of a concept. One homer = ten baths, because they do and because I said so!
But that verse pales in awesomeness next to this next one. Which, frankly I'm citing as a reward to those you who have stuck with this post for this long. (Believe me, I realize that you aren't swinging by a mostly tech blog for your daily bible discussion... But stay with it...you're about to be rewarded with...something ) So, we come to Ezekiel 23:20. Probably the least prudish verse in all of the bible. Sure you can cruise over to Leviticus for discussion on seminal emissions and connecting with beasts. But this is a verse SO out there, that it demands the benefit of multiple translations... In case you ever thought that size didn't matter to all the ladies, well, apparently it does. Even dating back to biblical times...
We'll start kind of mysterious with the King James version. "For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses."
So you're thinking, "Wait. 'Flesh as the flesh of asses' and 'issue like issue of horses.' Surely I'm reading that wrong!" Oh, but you're not! Let some other translations break it down for you...
New World Translation: And she kept lusting in the style of concubines belonging to those whose fleshly member is as the fleshly member of male asses and whose genital organ is as the genital organ of male horses.
New International Version: There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
New American Standard: She lusted after their paramours, whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys and whose issue is like the issue of horses.
Yeah. These chicks liked the big d... Uh, you get the point.
So now I'm getting into Daniel which is like a linerar breath of fresh air. There is a start to the story, a continuation and then an end. I can follow all the points. It also has just 3 M.C.'s and we're on the go; Get even like Steven like pulling a Rambo, Shadrach, Meshac and Abednego! And so far I've already learned that it does NOT pay to be a magic practicing priest, sorcerer, conjurer or Chaldean (a little bit of knowledge for you: From early times the Chaldeans were noted for their knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. In the days of Daniel a special cult of prognosticators who considered themselves skilled in the so-called science of divination were called Chaldeans) back in King Nebuchadnezzar's day. So far on two different occasions the king has offered this group an impossible task or interpreting his dreams -- basically saying, "I'm not even gonna tell you the dream. If you're so magical you should already know the dream. And then be able to interpret it. Bitches." The upside for this impossible task was gifts and much dignity. But the downside was way more down. Like express elevator down. Get off the elevator. Then go down like two more times. For those who couldn't come up with the odds-of-winning-the-lottery answer, the "reward" was being dismemberment and having their homes turned into a public crap house. Uh, yeah king, thanks but no thanks. Not gonna do it. Nah...gah...da...it.