Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ecclesiasticus, Chapters 2 & 3: The kids aren't all right

Chapter 2

First there are a bunch of verses for would-be priests: you'll lose all your material wealth, but be cheerful because it's coming back to you in the afterlife. Then there is some advice for believers, namely be patient because all that stuff that sucks in the now will go away after you die. Then it instructs us to look back through the bible and find someone who trusted in god and were fooled by him. Um, Job? Also, Moses isn't allowed into the holy land for hitting a rock wrong. God's definition of 'trust me' is pretty strict.

Chapter 3

Solomon has some advice for us on how to run our families, and he should know, since he has a thousand wives. Dads are in charge of the kids' 'honour,' i.e. making sure the daughters stay virgins. Mothers have authority over their sons. Kids who honour their father by staying virgins until marriage absolve their dads of sin, like the time he slept with their mother while they were just engaged. Sons who honour their mothers are good at saving money. Good kids will have good kids and live long lives. Faith will make your parents and owners happy, if you're a slave.

Never talk shit about your parents and you'll have a happy life. Fail to follow this precept and your dad won't give you  a house and your mother will make your marriage hell. Your own glory depends on your parents', which makes me so happy I live in a time of state-provided services like education and housing. Be nice to your parents when they get old, especially if they get dementia. God will remember that.

What happens to people who aren't good children? Glad you asked! Solomon has a lot to say about them: they're blasphemers, and cursed. They do evil and take unnecessary risks, and they lie. Of course all this makes them sad.

Further advice: be meek and humble and you'll find out the answers to the mysteries of life, supposedly including parables. Don't do things that are too hard or that you aren't strong enough to do. Don't try to figure stuff out if someone tells you they're secret. Remember that curiosity killed the cat.

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