And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. - Joshua Ch 5: 2-3
Now, you've gotta love that, haven't you? The Lord, not content that the Israelite blokes (who, to put the story in context, had been wandering around in the desert, stone motherless lost, for forty years) had already had the chop once, decided that another application of a very sharp knife to the genitals was in order, just to be sure that they'd be "pure" before they stepped into the promised land. Now, a tiny thought springs to mind - I know it's a fairly petty quibble, but here goes - what kind of fucking drugs was the Lord on, anyway? I mean, it's a pretty crook go when a bloke gets circumcised anyway, especially when, in the biblical times, they'd do it at the age when a young feller was starting to get a sense of his (excuse me, ladies) "manhood". But no - the stark raving mad elders of the tribe decided that what had been good for them must, ipso facto, be good for every young lad. But twice? I mean, what was going to be left?
And what, may I ask, is the motivation behind a "hill of foreskins"? How big was this hill? How many foreskins were there? Did the ladies sew a few of them together to make a purse? Not a bad idea - rub it a few times, and it instantly becomes an overnight bag.
All right, I'll settle down now. I think I've already derailed the original intention of this little homily, but I'll press on regardless.
I think my point, in this, is to critically analyse a few selected verses from the Bad Book, and marvel at how little it does take, if you're human, to become a full-blown, irredeemable, obsessive-compulsive, blood and guts Psycho-Jeezoid. So buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, and let's find out just what a terrific bloke the Lord was (when he wasn't tripping).
And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord.
Those Israelites didn't fuck around, did they? This, of course, was Joshua (again! - a bloke who makes Milosevic look like a latte-sipping, pigeon-chested Mardis-Gras float driver) quietly (or rather loudly, in this case, what with the trumpets and all) doing God's business. This ethnic cleanser par excellence went on a binge of killing, raping, destroying and smiting that saw city after city sacked and burnt: Sihon, Og, Jericho, Ai, Gibeon, Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Hebron, Debir, Zidon, Hazor, and most of Lebanon; all because the Lord's treasuries were slightly depleted. The Lord, meanwhile, must have been fairly busy himself; he was tied up with processing the hundreds of thousands of newly-arrived Amorite, Jezubite, Hittite, etc. souls queuing up, headless, at the Pearly Gates. (I don't know why he bothered; he could have just handed them over, as a job-lot, to the bloke with the horns and pointy tail.)
No wonder the Palestinians are fucking edgy!
Now, dipping randomly into the Book again, we find this little nugget of Israelite purity:
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife...
But if a man finds a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing... For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
This little gem is from Deuteronomy chapter 22, and is one of my all-time favourite examples of Logic 101, goat-herder style: virgins only protest at being raped when it happens in a bucolic setting. Pheeeeeewwwww! You've got to hand it to them, haven't you? These barbarians had the brains of termites and the morals of a Wall St. futures trader (and, come to think of it, those two appellations are probably interchangeable, with my apologies to the termites).
Now, get this - stoning is the punishment du jour for a myriad of crimes, including talking back to your parents (I'm not kidding; check out Deuteronomy 21:18), and pretending to be a virgin on the wedding night (ladies only, of course). It really does underline the meaning of the word Paleolithic, doesn't it?
Let's now dip into the theme of luurve, and with it, some poetry, Solomon-style:
Behold, thou art fair, my love; thou hast doves' eyes; thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from Mt Gilead. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep, that are even shorn; thy temples are like a piece of pomegranate; thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury; thy navel is like a rounded goblet; thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies; thy breasts are like two young roes that are twins, thine eyes like the fish-pools in Heshbon.
Now, fellers, try this little exercise. Close your eyes and build yourself an imaginary woman made out of sheep, pomegranates, goats, sacks of wheat, rabbits, doves, and fish. Got a stiffy, yet?
Just try and tell me that old Solomon wasn't munching an L.S.D. sandwich as he etched this one into a tablet. Whatever the hallucinogen, I want some!
I spent the early years of my life subjected to this kind of revelatory moral guidance, Sunday after Sunday. No wonder I think it's time for a more rational Biblical concordance to be written. As soon as I've stopped quivering with desire I'll have another go...