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Let’s Learn : Relationships & other affairs of the heart and body from the Bible – Genesis : Pt 1

The first book in the Bible – Genesis, details the start of the human race and the first families and is filled with plenty of drama within these families. The first part in this Let’s Learn series has referenced relationship complications, love, lust and other deviant behavior. The second part of this topic can be found at this link.

1) Polygamy
We have our first known polygamist in Lamech who had two wives named Adah and Zillah. These two women have the honor of being the second named women in the Bible after Eve!
Genesis 4:17-22
[17] And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. [18] And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech. [19] And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. [20] And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. [21] And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. [22] And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

Lamech and his two wives

2) Inter species relationships?!
We have earthly females and heavenly beings having intercourse and producing children who were giants, these giants became mighty and men of renown. For this reason, the Lord decides to cut short the lifespan of man to a hundred and twenty years. An interesting point to note here is that the earthly females were so beautiful that they attracted the attention of angels!
Genesis 6:1-4
[1] And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, [2] That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. [3] And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. [4] There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Notes: The Hebrew translation of a few key words in these verses
han-nə-p̄i-lîm – The Nephilim (giants)
bə-nê – the sons
hā-’ĕ-lō-hîm – of God
bə-nō-wṯ – the daughters
hā-’ā-ḏām – of men

Abraham and Sarah

Abraham and Sarah rejoice at the birth of their son Isaac

3) Nakedness/Nudity
Noah lay inebriated in his tent with his clothes in disarray and in comes Ham who looks at his father uncovered. He did not take any measures to cover his father but instead goes and tells the news to his two brothers Shem and Japheth. The two of them immediately take a garment and laid it on their father covering his nakedness – they do this by going backward with their faces not facing their father so as they don’t even chance to look at his nakedness. A deep sense of propriety existed within Shem and Japheth in sharp contrast to their brother Ham – who did three things that were improper : a) He didn’t avert his eyes immediately when he saw his father Noah uncovered b) He didn’t do anything to cover his father c) He goes and publishes the news of his father’s nakedness to his brothers. Ham paid a steep price for his actions by having a curse applied to his progeny Canaan by his father Noah! Shem and Japheth gets blessed by Noah
Genesis 9:20-27
[20] And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: [21] And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. [22] And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. [23] And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. [24] And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. [25] And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. [26] And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. [27] God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Noah and his sons

Noah sons covering his nakedness

4) Abram, Sarai and Pharaoh – close call for Sarai in almost becoming Pharaoh’s wife
Abram and Sarai are headed to Egypt and Abram knew at the outset itself that his life will be in danger because of his wife Sarai – she was a beautiful woman and he feared that he would be killed being that he was her husband to get him out of the picture in order for Sarai to become unattached. He asks Sarai to call him her brother instead – which he is in fact, Sarai is Abram’s half-sister, they share the same father but different moms! So they land in Egypt and just as Abram suspected, the princes of the land see that Sarai is a stunner and recommend her to Pharaoh. Sarai is taken into Pharaoh’s house and Abram becomes the beneficiary of livestock and servants for being Sarai’s brother! Imagine the future mother of nations and the Messiah himself sitting in Pharoah’s house ready to become Pharaoh’s wife, well the LORD was having none of that! The Lord plagued Pharaoh’s house with great plagues because of Sarai – we really don’t know how Pharaoh figured that the plagues were occurring on account of Sarai but we know he does get wind of this fact. He calls Abram and asks him why did he pass off Sarai as his sister while he(Pharaoh) was preparing to take Sarai as his wife, he then asks Abram and Sarai to go their way and Abram ends up leaving Egypt a rich man with plenty of livestock and servants!
Genesis 12:11-20
[11] And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: [12] Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. [13] Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. [14] And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. [15] The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. [16] And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. [17] And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. [18] And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? [19] Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. [20] And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had

Abram, Sarai and Egypt's Pharaoh

Abram, Sarai and Egypt’s Pharaoh

5) Child birth after menopause!
Sarah was ninety years old, she had entered menopause and stopped having her periods. She was way past the age of ovulating and producing eggs. Both Abraham and Sarah had also stopped coming together for pleasure. Sarah’s reaction at hearing that she was to bear a child was laughter! The Lord asks Abraham why Sarah had laughed and declares – Is anything too hard for the Lord? Just as God had promised, Sarah becomes pregnant and gives birth to a healthy boy named Isaac. Sarah says God made her laugh and with the birth of him all who hear the news would laugh with her! In today’s current times, pregnancy at such an advanced age if possible at all is through in vitro fertilization. And yet here God preforms a miracle for Sarah even after she was well past her child bearing days, after she had entered menopause and it was impossible to get pregnant by making her to give birth at ninety!! Surely is anything too hard for the Lord!!
Genesis 17:17
[17] Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
Genesis 18:10-15
[10] And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. [11] Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. [12] Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? [13] And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? [14] Is any thing too hard for the Lord ? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. [15] Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
Genesis 21:1-7
[1] And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. [2] For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. [3] And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. [4] And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. [5] And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. [6] And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. [7] And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

Abraham and Sarah

Abraham and Sarah rejoice at the birth of their son Isaac

 

6) Sodom and Gomorroh – grievous sins of hedonism, degeneration and extreme deprivation
The sin and wickedness of the people of Sodom and Gomorroh is so grievous that the cry of these lands has reached the Lord Himself who personally comes down to check it out! The two other angels who were with the Lord visit Sodom in the evening, they are met by Lot who implores them to come stay with him at his house instead of sleeping in the streets. What happens next is deplorable – the men of Sodom, both young and old come banging at Lot’s door to send out the two men staying at his house so that they can rape them. Lot comes out of his house and begs them not to be wicked, he instead offers them two of his virgin daughters to be raped rather than giving up the two men who have come under his roof and have become protected guests. The men of Sodom would have none of it, they say to Lot, there was this guy who had previously stopped over in Sodom, that he will be a judge and will let Lot know that what the men of Sodom would do to Lot if it will be worse that what they would do to the two men – this sojourner would be called to do a comparison to see if Lot or the two men had it worse when they are done being raped vs what he was put through during his rape! The angels/two men had heard enough, they pull Lot back into the house and smite all the men outside with blindness, and still they wouldn’t stop searching for the door in their sexual lust to commit rape! This intent to commit such a horrible deed by all the men of Sodom, both young and old, one shudders to think of the depraved and degenerate lives of those living in Sodom and by extension Gomorroh since that was the other city that got destroyed with fire and brimstone that rained down from heaven burning everything down! How did these two cities have their moral condition deteriorate into such a base, deplorable and abominable state where the Lord himself had to personally come and check the cry of these lands!!
Genesis 18:20,21
[20] And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; [21] I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
Genesis 19:1-17
[1] And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; [2] And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. [3] And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. [4] But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: [5] And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. [6] And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, [7] And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. [8] Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. [9] And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. [10] But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. [11] And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. [12] And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: [13] For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. [14] And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. [15] And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. [16] And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. [17] And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
Genesis 19:24-25
[24] Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; [25] And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Sodom

7) Daughters plot intercourse with their father!
God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah with all its inhabitants with brimstone and fire. Lot and his family escape from Sodom at the instruction of the two angels and because of what God told Abraham. Lot fears going to another city called Zoar and takes his daughters instead to a cave in the mountain. Lot’s wife had been turned into a pillar of salt due to her disobedience of looking back during their escape. The older sister fears that they are the last family left on earth and all of the earth’s inhabitants have been destroyed. She must have had knowledge of Noah’s flood narrative in order to have had this fear of being the last ones on earth! She tells her sister that their father is the last man on earth and the two of them will need to sleep with their father in order to preserve their father’s seed and by extension all of humanity!! They end up making their father drink wine, have sex with him on separate occasions and get pregnant by him. So many questions raised for me fromthis incident – where did they get wine? Were the daughters close to an existing vineyard or did they brew it themselves. Also they must have known the science of the menstrual cycle and ovulation peak to plan and have their father drunk so that they have the highest chance of getting pregnant!
Genesis 19:29-32 , 36-38
[29] And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt. [30] And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. [31] And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: [32] Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
[36] Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. [37] And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. [38] And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

Lot and his daughters

Lot and his daughters

8) Abraham and Sarah – pulling the brother/sister act, again!
In Genesis 12 we see the then Abram and Sarai passing off as brother and sister in Egypt on account of Sarai’s beauty being a threat to Abram’s life if it was known that he was her husband. Pharaoh is plagued by God because of this, Pharaoh when he comes to know that they both are husband and wife, he sends them away with great wealth and did not take Sarai to be his wife. Now here again we see Abraham and Sarah have journeyed to Gerar and Abraham tells the king of Gerar – Abimelech that Sarah is his sister. At this point, one has to wonder just how beautiful Sarah would have had to have been to have kings attracted to her – Pharaoh, king of Egypt and now Abimelech, the king of Gerar! She sure must have passed on great genes in the looks department to her son Isaac, atleast one hopes! So Abimelech takes Sarah and God comes to him in a dream and gets right to it by saying you are a dead man because the woman that he has taken is another man’s wife. Poor Abimelech has the presence of mind to defend himself that he has not come near her and whether God would slay a righteous nation. And he states that Abraham informed him that Sarah was his sister and Sarah also concurred that Abraham is her brother and that he took her into his household out of the integrity and his heart and innocency of his hands. A moving defense from Abimelech indeed! God tells him that He is aware that Abimelech acted in the integrity of his heart and that God also intervened and ensured that he wouldn’t sin against God by suffering him not to touch Sarah. He asks Abimelech to return Sarah back to Abraham as he was prophet and he would pray for Abimelech. If he per chance does not restore Sarah back to Abraham then Abimelech and all that he counted as his were staring at their definitive deaths. Abimelech gets out of bed early in the morning and calls his servants and informs them of everything and they were all very afraid which is no surprise! Abimelech returns Sarah back to Abraham and Abraham prays to God and God heals Abimelech, his wife and his maidservants so that they could bare children for the Lord had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife!!
Genesis 20:1-8
[1] And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. [2] And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. [3] But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. [4] But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? [5] Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. [6] And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. [7] Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine. [8] Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.
Genesis 20:17-18
[17] So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. [18] For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.

Abraham, Sarah and Abimelech

9) In love with each other – Isaac and Rebekah
Rebekah has undertaken a long journey to be joined with her future husband and is traveling on camels. Isaac on seeing the camels comes walking towards them, and Rebekah had inquired and known from the servant with her that it was his master, her future husband Isaac that was coming to greet them. Immediately she covers herself with a vail and alights from the camel. The servant tells Isaac all the things that had transpired and Isaac brings Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent and she became his wife and Isaac loved her. For the first time we see the concept of love between a man and a woman in the Bible. We have the names of men and woman in various genealogies and the one couplethat had their stories fleshed out was Abraham and Sarah – we know that Sarah was very beautiful and most of their story was how they were barren and in their old age God blesses them with a son. Now for the first time we have a husband and wife – Isaac and Rebekah where it says Isaac loved Rebekah and was comforted after the passing away of his mother Sarah. Rebekah is also barren for a while and it is Isaac who intreats for his wife to the Lord and she conceives. It is really amazing to know of this detail where a husband cares enough for his wife that he pleads to God for her!
Genesis 24:63-67
[63] And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. [64] And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. [65] For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. [66] And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. [67] And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
Genesis 25:21
[21] And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

Rebekah and Isaac

Rebekah and Isaac

10) Isaac following in his father Abraham’s footsteps – passing off his wife as his sister!
Isaac following in the footsteps of his dad literally – calls his wife as his sister fearing that he will be killed for her. Similar to Sarah who was taken by both Pharaoh of Egypt and Abimelech of Gerar of the Philistines, Rebekah also has to pass off as Isaac’s sister in the land of Gerar following Isaac’s instructions! Isaac was in his sixties when had Jacob and Esau – we don’t know for sure if the kids were born by the time he was in Gerar – even then we know he was forty when he got married. What we know for sure is that here he was in the open being lovey dovey with his wife Rebekah so much so that Abimelech when seeing the scene had no doubt in his mind that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife and not his sister! Also just how old is Abimelech? He is present during Abraham’s time and had even taken Sarah because of her beauty, the result of which God shut up the wombs of all the womenfolk in his household and here he is present during the time of Isaac as well! Looks like it was a lesson learnt though as it does not mention that Abimelech had taken Rebekah into his household. But lo and behold, he was not about to be taken in by the same trick twice that Abraham pulled on him and Isaac was pulling on him by calling their wives as their sisters. Alarm bells go off as soon as he sees Isaac and Rebekah indulging in behavior not becoming of brother-sister and he immediately calls for Isaac and declares that Rebekah has to be his wife!
Genesis 26:6-8
[6] And Isaac dwelt in Gerar: [7] And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon. [8] And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife. [9] And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.

Isaac, Rebekah and Abimelech

Isaac, Rebekah and Abimelech

11) Esau marries outside the clan causing grief to his parents
Isaac and Rebekah were not happy that Esau chose for himself wives from the Hittites – A group who most probably did not have the knowledge of God and who most probably were involved with idol worship. This act of Esau caused grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac was the son who chose to obey his father Abraham implicitly when he was going to be sacrificed and here was Esau causing his father and mother grief with the choice of his lifemate.
Genesis 26:34-35
[34] And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: [35] Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

 

12) Esau marries again to please his father Isaac
Esau sees the obedience of Jacob in leaving for Padan-aram so as to not take a wife from the daughters of Caanan. And seeing that the daughters of Caanan pleased not his father (Esau already had two Hittite wives), he goes to his uncle Ishmael and takes his daughter Mahalath to be his wife. We see that Esau wants to please his father as he was Isaac’s favored son and tries to correct his earlier action of marrying Hittites
Genesis 28:6-9
[6] When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padan-aram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; [7] And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padan-aram; [8] And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; [9] Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.

– By SAP for almondtreerod.com

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