Monday, July 25, 2011

Lamentations, Chapters 1-5: God turns mothers into cannibals.

Now this is the proper length for a book!

Chapter 1

The first seven verses are a fairly pretty poem comparing Jerusalem to a sad woman. But this being the bible it can't keep it up without going misogynist and telling us the sin was in her skirts, that god crushed her like a virgin in a winepress or telling us Jerusalem is like a menstruating woman. It's like a Lars von Trier movie. The author asks god to inflict the same punishments on the Babylonians.

Chapter 2

Verses I really need to keep in mind when speaking to stupid Christians The LORD was as an enemy (v. 5). The rest of the chapter is a description of the destruction of Jerusalem, including the fact that women ate their children.

Chapter 3

Crikey. 68 verses.

God has been torturing the lamenter with broken bones and teeth, chains, wild animals and arrows to the kidneys. But the author has developed Stockholm Syndrome and thinks all these things are signs of mercy and love. He even thinks that he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. (v. 33) He urges us to accept punishment for our sins and god to inflict it on his enemies.

Chapter 4

Apparently sea monsters nurse their young. Thank you, bible, for clearing that up! Also, if you'll remember from Job, ostriches are really bad parents. And speaking of bad parents, god is refusing to feed the Israelite children, which evangelicals always insist is because of their sins. But they're kids, so that's dumb.

All this is worse than what happened in Sodom, and I agree, because at least the Sodomites didn't have to watch their kids starve to death, then cannibalize them as this chapter graphically points out. I don't think I've read anything so horrible since Judges.

The prophets are no help except to say that the women of Edom are going to get drunk and naked soon.

Chapter 5

A long, depressing list of ways the Israelites have become abject. Highlights: they're tanned from labouring in the field, princes have been hung by the hands, young men can no longer play music, foxes are walking on Mount Zion! The book ends on perhaps the most depressing note ever: But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us. (v. 22) But who knows? We still have like, 12 major and minor prophets left to go.

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