11 January 2010

Jan 11

Reference links:
Old Testament

And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah's tend, and she became his wife. He loved her deply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.
Awww!  =)

After Sarah's death, Abraham marries again and has five more sons by his second wife. Mostly, they serve as an explanation of the origins of yet even more of the locals. In addition, we learn that Abraham had concubines too:
before [Abraham] died, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them off to a land in the east, away from Isaac.
Abraham dies in today's reading. At a ripe 175, yet again defying the 120 year limit set how long ago now? We also read that Ishmael eventually died at the age of 137.

On to the next generation! Esau and Jacob are twins. Jacob ends up with the birthright of the first born son when he makes Esau swear to give it up in return for some food (rather stupid of Esau, but rather unfair of Jacob). Their relationship bears some resemblance to that of Isaac and Ishmael. The older brother is considered wild, the older brother loses his birthright, and both brothers in both pairs founded nations. Once again, it sounds to me like the author of Genesis was synthesizing similar oral traditions into distinct accounts.

Speaking of which, today we get the third deception of a ruler by a man who claims his wife as his sister. Once again, there is a famine. They go to Gerar where Isaac is afraid the locals will kill him to get Rebekah. Isaac and Rebekah fool Abimelech (yup, same guy, or at least same name, as before) by claiming Rebekah is his sister. They are eventually caught in their deception (unlike Sarah, Rebekah avoids getting taken as anyone's wife).

New Testament

Jesus calms a storm! When I imagine this scene, Jesus is cranky. He rebukes the disciples for having so little faith (and waking him from his nap). Then he snaps at the waves and winds to calm them down; he is not in the mood for finesse. Once that is done, back to bed.

Today we read the story of Jesus and the pigs. Today we see that when the author of Matthew talks about demon possession, he means it literally. Demons possess two men. The demons converse with Jesus and beg him to banish them to some pigs instead of destroying them. He does so, and the now mad pigs drown themselves in a lake. Jesus gets chased out of town for being a nuisance. He rather deserves it, in my opinion.

Psalms and Proverbs

Nothing particularly noteworthy in today's Psalms and Proverbs readings.