Thursday, January 15, 2015

Baruch, Chapters 3-6: How to tell if your god is false

Chapter 3

The continuation of the prayer to god to release the Israelites from Babylon, as it's been a couple of generations now. We are told that there used to be giants, but they refused to receive any wisdom (read: preaching) and they all died. We also find out that farmers who practice animal husbandry have it.

Chapter 4

Jacob was given a book and told it contained the laws, and if people obeyed them, they would live forever, but if they ignored it, they'd all die. But then everyone started to ignore it and sacrifice to the devil, so they ended up enslaved in Babylon. And now the city of Jerusalem weeps for them and wears sackcloth. But no worries! God will free them and all the nations that laughed at the Israelites will be burnt and inhabited by devils.

Chapter 5

Eventually god will let the Israelites go back to Jerusalem, so Jerusalem should get ready to welcome them.

Chapter 6

Now we change tack and get a letter from someone called Jeremy. I can only hope it's less boring than the last 5 chapters, but this is the bible we're talking about.

Anyway, Jeremy sent the letter to the Israelites before they were taken hostage to warn and rebuke them. He also wanted to warn them that the Babylonians had their own gods, and they shouldn't join them in worship or be afraid of them. Rather, they should pray silently to this god.

They also shouldn't listen to the Babylonians, for all their pretty words, because they lie all the time. Other funny things the Babylonians do: make crowns for their gods and have corrupt priests who steal temple gold to pay for prostitutes. However, their idols get rusty and moth-eaten in their finery. Furthermore, their gods have weapons, but can't fight off death or war or thieves. Bit rich coming from the god that sold his people into slavery.

Anyway, the Babylonian gods are useless and the priests are so greedy even their wives won't give out salted bread to the poor. Even worse, menstruating women and those in labour eat the sacrifices. In fact, women are allowed to make offerings directly to these gods! In fact, even the Chaldeans dishonour them.

No, better to be a king or a jar or a door or a pillar of wood  or a scarecrow  or a dead body than to be a Babylonian god

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