Most Confusing Book I’ve Ever Read In My Life

Ok, we are meeting for Day 3 of reading the bible in 365 days.  Let me just say that I am completely and utterly confused and my brain hurts and I’m angry, feeling (at least within these first 12 chapters of Genesis) that God is extremely sexist, preferring men to women.  At least it seems that way with the first 12 chapters.  I’m angry because my bible is different than Hallie’s.  Names of people are different.  Amounts of time, months, etc. are different, which makes me want to go take up Hebrew and Aramaic, just so that I can get a little closer to the truth of what the bible was intended to say.  You would think with all the confusion in the world, that with this book that God had man write, the book would at least be easier to understand to everyone.  Why else write the book?  Seems as though much of it is written to only confuse and frustrate.  That being said and off my chest, I’ll get to today’s reading and discussion.

Genesis Chapters 9 thru 12:

God told Noah and his sons to go out, be fruitful, increase in number, and told them all that lives and moves on the ground would be food for them.  As he gave all the green plants, he now gives them everything. 

So, no more vegetarians?  Meat eaters!  Hey, I like my bacon cheeseburgers, too and my slow roasted crockpot chicken.  Mmmmm.  Although, I was a vegetarian for a couple of years many moons ago.

God said to not eat what still has its lifeblood in it, and “for your lifeblood, I will surely demand an accounting.  I will demand an accounting from every animal and from each man, too and the life of his fellow man.  Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will also be shed.”  He promised no floods will ever come again to destroy all of mankind and earth.  He sent the Rainbow as a sign of the covenant between God and the earth.

Noah’s 3 sons, Shem, Ham & Japheth – from them came the people who scattered over the earth.

Now, one question I have, among the many (and if you want to take a crack at answering, please do so), is where did all the other people come from?  I’m talking about in the days of Cain and Abel.  Who did Cain marry?  Where did she come from?  Or is it just understood that God created all these other people but didn’t feel the need to mention?

Anyway, Noah planted a vineyard, drank its wine, became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.  Ham (one of his sons) saw his nakedness and went out and told his brothers.  Shem and Japheth took a garment, and covered their father with their faces turned away so as not to see his nakedness. 

When Noah found out what Ham did, Noah cursed Canaan (Ham’s son).  That’s another thing I do not get.  Why not curse Ham?  Why curse his innocent grandson?  Canaan didn’t do this thing.  Ham did.  Another thing I’m angry about.  And why did God not correct Noah for doing this?  Canaan was cursed and made to be a slave to Shem, and Noah said, “May Japheth live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave.”  So, Canaan was a slave to both Shem and Japheth?

One of the sons of Japheth was Javan.  The sons of Javan – from these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.

Tower of Babel – At this point, the world had one language.  As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.  They decided to build a city with a tower that would reach the heavens.  They figured they could make a name for themselves and not be scattered all over the face of the earth.  God came down to see the city, saw the tower and realizing there’s nothing impossible for these people, he decided to confuse their language so they couldn’t understand each other.  So, God scattered them about the earth and they stopped building the city.  That’s why it’s called Babel.  The Lord confused the language of the entire earth and scattered them.

Abram – God told him to leave his country, his people, his family and go to the land God would show him.  God promised him blessings, saying he’d make his name great and he’d be a blessing to others, blessing those who blessed Abram, cursing those who cursed him.  Lot left with Abram for Haran.  Abram’s wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot, their possessions and people acquired in Haran – they all set out for the land of Canaan. 

Due to their being a famine in the land, Abram went to Egypt to live, but before entering Egypt, he asked his wife to say she was his sister so that his life would be spared for fear of being killed, because she was a hottie and everyone would want to marry her.  So, they went into Egypt and he was treated well.  The Egyptians praised her for her hotness and she was taken to Pharoah into the palace.  For her sake, Abram acquired sheep, cattle, donkeys, men/maidservants and camels.  The Lord inflicted diseases on Pharaoh and the household because of Abram’s wife, Sarai.  Pharaoh summoned Abram, asked him why he lied and allowed him to take her as a wife.  He sent Abram, his wife and all their belongings away.  He told them to go and they went.

Now, another thing that chaps my hide is why the heck did Abram do that in the first place?  Asking his wife to lie for him?  Letting her be taken as a wife when she was already married?  Just to acquire things?  To be treated well?  God should have cursed Abram for asking her to do all that.  I feel Abram was very wrong and did not deserve greatness. 

Your thoughts?  Your views?

Tomorrow – Genesis 13-17.

God speed! 

Carol & Hallie

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About Carol B Sessums

I'm a person just like you who wants to find ways to better my life - not to just better myself, but to become extraordinary and to love my life.
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17 Responses to Most Confusing Book I’ve Ever Read In My Life

  1. youthguyerik says:

    Ok, I played smarty pants last time around… so here goes a second round.

    What translations are you using? Its odd for the names to be different.

    Shem ham Japeth and their wives are on the boat with noah… so we have a handful of folks. Adam and eve only have a handful of kids sited because there were only a handful who were important to the story at the moment. The book follows the line of seth because eventually these guys are the parents of Abraham, david and Jesus. The lineage plays out in the long run. This doesn’t mean that the names are all the people born.

    God doesn’t correct Noah because he doesn’t choose to. Perhaps a different way to look at the story is to consider the fact that God pressed the global reset button and saved the best of the best…. except Noah still wasn’t that good. Part of the point of Genesis is to demonstrate the degradation of man by sin. Noah is the best and he’s still sinful…

    You touched on Noah…. Theres an important bit to understand here. The story of Genesis is the beginning of the story of Jesus told through a series of covenants (contracts or treaties between God and man). He starts out by making one with Noah not to kill everyone for being evil…. Pretty good deal for us. Then he makes an agreement with Abram that he will be God’s people and God will be their God because the world is still rebellious and rejecting him, thus God chooses to start over with one guy and have a people. The whole story is about God trying to get back to the closeness he had with Adam and Eve before the fall. Abraham is God’s new plan for doing so. Make sense?

    Abraham was wrong, btw. He did it because he was afraid. Also, he did it several times. Part of the point of this sort of story is to show sue that he was imperfect. God does most of the work in making things right with people. Its not because we are awesome…. It’s cause he is. This is the case with Abram as well… By he way, God doesn’t curse Abram because Abram is in a contract situation with God. God keeps his promises… even when we really don’t deserve it.

    I think the next section will upset you as well…. one of the things to keep in mind as you read this is that it is a very different part of the world and it took place like 6,000 years ago. Its culturally different.

    I really enjoy reading your posts. If I play too much of the know it all let me know.

    • Nah, we don’t think you’re a smarty pants. We are liking your input. You have a way of putting things in perspective and it’s appreciated.

      Oh, my translation is NIV (New International Version) & Hallie’s is NLT (New Living Translation). Where one guy’s name was Meshech in my bible, it has his name as Mash in her’s.

      I get the part about Noah – being the best of the best, yet still sinful. Thanks. I also get the part about Abram/Abraham becoming God’s new plan. Makes sense.

      We are enjoying hearing from you. 😉

  2. Louise says:

    I know I’m coming late to the party but I can tell you a bit about why your bibles are different. As you know, the bible is made up of lots of books and letters that were later chosen to be bound together (and some judged not-bible-worthy too) and were originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Some of the grammar and tenses are different when translated and that accounts for some of your issue. But the MAIN thing is that one of you has a “translation” and the other has a “version”. This might not sound like much but it is the difference between drinking orange juice or Fanta. Both are fine, but when side by side are really quite different. Maybe 40 or 50 years ago, they introduced The Living Bible which was a contemporary paraphrase of the bible. It was easier to read and appealed to people who didn’t have a scholarly background. So it is goes Hebrew to Bible Version then to Living Bible Paraphrase. Well, the NLT is a recent revised version, updated to be more contemporary, so it is again removed further from the original language. The NIV is a VERSION of the bible and has been worked and reworked by a panel of scholars to try to keep it as close to the original as possible, but still be readable for people today. That is always a compromise. So, the NIV is a more ‘accurate’ version of the original, but it is only ‘accurate’ in terms of what the majority of people agreed was accurate. Short of learning Hebrew (which is very difficult and often one word could have several meanings) you have to rely on the english version. For general study a NIV is great. For readability, the NLT might flow better. I hope that makes sense!

  3. jakesprinter says:

    What can i say It`s a great Story my friend 🙂

  4. Cris says:

    Quote: Now, one question I have, among the many (and if you want to take a crack at answering, please do so), is where did all the other people come from? I’m talking about in the days of Cain and Abel. Who did Cain marry? Where did she come from? Or is it just understood that God created all these other people but didn’t feel the need to mention? :Unquote

    These are a good questions.

    I, for one, never for one minute believed that in 900+ years that Adam and Eve only had three children — all boys, and that all humanity sprang from them. Doesn’t make sense.

    Now, either it was as you have suggested, that God created other people that he never made mention of to Moses, who wrote the Book of Genesis, or everyone married their brothers and sisters. This being the case, we would have to assume their bodies were much more perfected than they are now and, therefore, wouldn’t have had the genetic difficulties such a practice would result in today. In any event, offspring had to have been started in some manner.

    You brought up some interesting conundrums. I’ll have to look further into them and perhaps if I can come up with something interesting, I’ll address them in my “The Biblical Apologist” blog at
    https://thebiblicalapologist.wordpress.com/ , one of which you so kindly Liked. Thank you.

    • It is covered in Genesis, Chapter 5, that Adam and Eve did, indeed, have more children after Seth. I speak about that in my post, Bible 101, dated September 1, 2011. Here’s the link: http://wp.me/p1gMHb-gb

      Also, as far as incestual relations go, Lot’s two daughters each had a son, and Lot was the father. This is covered in Genesis, as well. Gross, right?

      Thanks for stopping by my blog, and the Likes and Comments.

  5. Cris says:

    Quote: Let me just say that I am completely and utterly confused and my brain hurts and I’m angry, feeling (at least within these first 12 chapters of Genesis) that God is extremely sexist, preferring men to women. At least it seems that way with the first 12 chapters. :Unquote

    I suggest you read my 10-part series, “Is There a Mother in Heaven?” in order to maybe alleviate some of your feelings.

    It’s hard to deny your allegations, though. Still, it’s hard to know what went on in someones’ minds six thousand years ago. Even up into the late twentieth century, male designations, such as “he” were used to refer to both male and female. Such may have been the case way back when.

    I wouldn’t take it too seriously, or you might just miss the message by donking the messenger. 🙂

    • I’ll have to read that series of yours. Actually, I was upset at the time, after reading what I did (and it was fresh in my mind), but I know the Bible changes a lot, and, later, women are more respected – women of God.

      Thanks, again, for stopping by. 😉

  6. judithatwood says:

    Hi, and thanks for stopping by the blog and for the Like! I just read the above post, and I have an explanation for the first part of your distress — Is God pro-man and anti-woman? Those stories were written down by humans — by men living in a misogynistic society in which women were at best property. I am not criticizing — any person writes from their own perspective, and these authors did not grow up in a feminist world. If one believes that God inspired the authors to write the Bible, that doesn’t change anything about the fact that they took that inspiration and wrote it down in their own language, from their perspective. I hope this helps!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Ms. Judith, and the Comment. This is very insightful and does help me see this from another angle. I have heard it before, just perhaps not in the way you described. Thank you for explaining from a different perspective. It does help, a lot, and makes sense. Thank you, friend. 😉

  7. orples says:

    I never read the bible because I could never get though all of that proper old English. That alone is enough to confuse anyone. But I must say, I’ve enjoyed your version of the stories told here. I prefer to be simply spiritual and live by the golden rule “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you” as opposed to “He who owns the gold, makes the rules”. Okay, so both are true, but the world is more apt to live in peace by following the first version. This was a fun read for sure.

    • I feel your pain. Boy do I! Aw, thanks. Me, too – spiritual. I’m actually not religious at all. I just mainly listen to God whispers and what my heart tells me to do with my brain mixed in. I feel my way, try to do what’s right and try REALLY hard to set a good example, not always quite making it. But, then, Hallie has a mind of her own and she sings her own song, is spiritual, and is a pretty great person, I must say. So, maybe I’m doing ok as a teacher/mom. Hopefully. 😉 Ah yes, the Golden Rule. Everyone should live by this if nothing else. Thanks!

      • orples says:

        I really enjoy your outlook. They cut me off on the Obama reply, I wasn’t done there yet. I was going to defend my man, Ron Paul (since he is probably the ONLY HONEST POLITICIAN in Washington D.C).
        Back to religion. The way I see it, it is a crock of man made you know what . . . just something else to control us with; guilt. I wholeheartedly believe if we treated each other with respect, this world would be a much better place to live in (less the politicians) LOL. I think Jesus would approve of those of us that mock religion, but live by his teachings more so than he would of some pedophile priest that attends church every Sunday. No matter, here again, we all the right to be us. In our short conversation to date, I suspect you and I tend to think a lot alike.

      • Thanks.
        Yes, religion really doesn’t matter. God doesn’t care anything about religion. And yes, if we all treated each other with respect, the world would be a better place.
        Indeed, I believe, too, we do tend to think a lot alike. 😉

  8. orples says:

    Speaking of Religion . . .
    1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God’s Chosen People.
    2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
    3.Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian world.
    4. Baptists do not recognize each other at the liquor store.
    *************
    I just couldn’t resist sharing this with you. Hopefully, you will laugh as hard as I did. It’s from some silly e-mail I got, so I don’t know who to credit. But they studied their religions well, I’ll give them that.

    • Hahaha! That is friggin hilarious!!! And so true. I used to be Baptist and used to go to the church in the small town in which I live. The liquor store is on the same road. For some reason, I always was scared to go in the store, for what would be said of me in the church circles. Of course, it didn’t matter enough to keep me from going in the store. haha! Hey, ain’t nothin’ wrong with a glass o’ wine now and again or a margarita. Although, I haven’t had a glass in about a year, due to being laid off work. I cut out all the extras. 😦 But ya know, Jesus even drank wine. I never did quite understand why certain religions believe certain things – stupid things.

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