Was it true love?

I pointed out a few weeks ago that the concept of courtly love has thoroughly changed how we read stories like Gen 29 in the Bible.  Where the Bible describes a very raw sexual passion, we see a modern romance story.  For just one example of this, see Bible.org’s 4. Never Satisfied! – The Story of Jacob and Rachel.  This piece is a chapter out of a 1978 book by Dr. Richard L. Strauss originally titled Famous Couples in the Bible.  Long time readers will recall Dr. Strauss as the originator of the theology of Women as responders.

When a man claims that his wife doesn’t love him anymore he is unwittingly admitting that he hasn’t loved her as he should have.

Strauss has clearly had a huge impact on modern Christian thought about marriage, which explains why his ideas are still taught by Bible.org.  Strauss’ teaching on Gen 29 comes straight out of the Book of Oprah, so it isn’t surprising that it is so well loved.  Strauss frames Jacob as a sensitive new age guy who wasn’t afraid to express his emotions, unlike the brutes of the 1970s:

…“Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted his voice and wept” (Gen. 29:11). The emotion of the moment overwhelmed him. The miracle of God’s guidance and care, the thrill of meeting his pretty cousin, the prospect of what the future would hold—all of it filled his heart so full that he wept for joy. Our culture frowns on a man expressing his emotions like this, but honestly expressing one’s feelings might promote greater emotional health and greater marital stability.

Strauss continues, warning that Jacob’s expression of 1970s emotional vulnerability might not be enough to keep this marriage together.  While an emotionally vulnerable husband is essential, for a marriage to last what is needed most is true love:

It seems as though this romance was off to a blazing start. The neighborhood beauty and the new boy in town had found each other. But from the beginning we are a little dubious about the match. We know that a relationship based primarily on physical attraction rests on a shaky foundation. Hollywood has given us some good evidence for that thesis. And the marital misfortunes of the proverbial football hero and homecoming queen bear it out too. They can make their marriage succeed, but it will take a little extra effort, and they will need to make their relationship grow far beyond the physical magnetism that got it started.

But when a man is enamored of a woman, he does not want to hear those things. He is going to have her, and nothing else matters. It was only one month after Jacob arrived in Haran that Uncle Laban approached him to see if they could work out a mutually acceptable wage arrangement. The Scripture says that Jacob loved Rachel and offered to serve Laban seven years for her hand in marriage (Gen. 29:18). He had nothing to offer Laban for his daughter, so his labor was promised in lieu of a dowry. Now we are even more dubious. One month is hardly sufficient time for us to get to know someone well enough to make a lifelong commitment, and it surely is not enough time to learn whether or not we are in love. True love requires thorough knowledge. To profess to love someone we do not know intimately is merely to love our mental image of that person. And if he does not measure up to our mental image, then our so-called “love” turns to disillusionment and resentment, and sometimes to hatred.

Strauss’ whole analysis of Gen 29 is rooted in an assumption that our moral elevation of romantic love and our corresponding invention of no fault divorce are biblical concepts:

But Jacob thought he was in love. When Rachel was near, his heart pounded faster and a wonderful feeling swept over him. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes on, and he felt life without her would be worthless. That was enough for him. “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her” (Gen. 29:20). That is a remarkable statement. In fact, they are about the loveliest words ever penned of a man’s feeling for a woman. Seven years is a long time to wait, and I think Jacob really did grow to love Rachel during those years. The physical attraction was still there, but he could not live in such close contact with her through a seven-year engagement period and not learn a great deal about her, both good and bad. This marriage was to see hard times, but had it not been for this long engagement and Jacob’s deepening and maturing love, it probably would not have survived at all.

This perversion crept into our theology long ago, and no one seems to have noticed.  One of the criticisms about my posts on courtly love has been that I’m making too much out of an 11th century literary movement.  The problem is that these ideas have so thoroughly changed our thinking that they are now just how we see the world.  We don’t think courtly love changed our thinking because we think the moral teachings of courtly love come from God, from the Bible.

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This entry was posted in Courtly Love, Divorce, Dr. Richard L. Strauss, New Morality, Romantic Love, Traditional Conservatives. Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Was it true love?

  1. Pingback: Was it true love? | @the_arv

  2. Cecil Henry says:

    We’re tired of these virtue signalling idiots. Don’t even want to argue. They are just laughable. So laugh at them.

    Period

  3. ayatollah1988 says:

    The virtue signalling idiots are not the problem. The problem is that everyone else, even including you and me, have adopted and internalized some of their idiotic ideas. If you live in the 21st Century, you bought some of this BS unless you have been thoroughly redpilled. So much of what is taught as “biblical love” and “godly marriage” is actually just fools teaching against post-1960’s sexual anarchy in favor of secular, un-biblical, perhaps even downright heretical, pre-1960’s Romance and True Love.

  4. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    I bought into it in my youth. From my teens through late 20s, I thought that most women (Bad Girls excepted) didn’t want sex. They wanted love. True love. Romantic love, from a respectful, gallant man who was sensitive to their thoughts and feelings.

    I believed that women first fell in love with such men. And only after falling in love, would they feel any sexual desire for him.

    Dennis Prager still preaches this. That women are not attracted to a man’s body, but to how he is as a person. This is why, says Prager, lesbians are often slovenly and overweight, whereas gay men are heavily into physical appearance.

    I believed all this when I was young. I was very gallant and respectful. And I spent much time orbiting in the friend zone.

  5. Oscar says:

    More “equality” in Sweden!

  6. Spike says:

    This cult of romantic love, like all parasites, damages it’s host, often fatally.
    Pastors will lament that the current generation of 18-35 year olds no longer attend church. Of those that do, the majority are women.
    Put two and two together: young men want sex and would have to wait forever ( or until our “Christian” heroine has had enough of bad boys).
    This we know. What is more insidious is that the Cult of Romantic Love is supposed to take over at this point. And make everyone “live happily ever after”.
    It’s too late for my generation, but there’s still time to warn our young men.

  7. Gunner Q says:

    “That was enough for him. “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her” (Gen. 29:20). That is a remarkable statement.”

    … About her chastity belt. I doubt Jacob the Deceiver waited seven years out the nobility of his warm, pure heart. This guy lied to his own, blind father in order to rob his brother.

    In fact, it was after that treachery that Isaac had the idea to send Jacob to Laban for a wife. And Laban just happened to cheat Jacob (swapping Leah for Rachel) in a similar way to how Jacob cheated Esau? Come to think of it, why didn’t Isaac give Jacob the cash to purchase Rachel on the spot? Grandpa Abraham had been a billionaire. Suspicious. Forget Oprah, these people are Jerry Springer material.

    By the way, if I did the math right, Jacob married his first cousins once removed. I’m sure ‘keeping it in the family’ helped his love grow even more via mutation. Stop your blog, Scott! The answer is here! The best place to find a spouse is AT A FAMILY REUNION! It’s Biblical!

  8. Frank K says:

    @Cecil Henry – “So much of what is taught as “biblical love” and “godly marriage” is actually just fools teaching against post-1960’s sexual anarchy in favor of secular, un-biblical, perhaps even downright heretical, pre-1960’s Romance and True Love.”

    Given the blind eye so many allegedly “Bible believing” churches give divorce and remarriage, this fits right in,.

  9. Pingback: Was it true love? | Reaction Times

  10. CSI says:

    I just stumbled across Marriage Builders site run by Willard Harley. I see its been reviewed here. But this site is the ultimate in Blue Pilled, courtly love. The wife has ill-defined but huge “emotional needs”. It is vital the husband fulfill his wife’s emotional needs. To do this, he needs to spend as much time as possible with her. Talk to her about feelingz at least 2 hours a day. Ask her permission if he wants to spend any time away from her. Phone her from work at least a couple times a day. Never disagree with her about anything.

    The only needs the man has though is for sex apparently. But whether or not she has sex with him is optional. In fact, in the page on “porn addiction”, Harley recommends the husband take anti-depressants to dampen his sexual “cravings”.

    This is not the role of a husband, this is the role of carer for someone with crippling emotional problems. Or the role of a man who’s being manipulated by a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder. What this says about Harley’s marriage that he thinks this is normal we can only guess.

  11. Anon says:

    Some off-the-charts solipism and ‘women don’t understand how women think’ gold over here :

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/261514/

    It is like ‘feminism’ actually exposed women as being MORE inferior than initially presumed in the old days..

  12. SirHamster says:

    … About her chastity belt. I doubt Jacob the Deceiver waited seven years out the nobility of his warm, pure heart. This guy lied to his own, blind father in order to rob his brother.

    If Jacob had spent time knowing her in the Biblical sense, he probably wouldn’t have fallen for Laban’s switcheroo. Not to mention lack of birth control and all that.

    Point on the rest, though. I imagine 7 years was enough for Laban to hear why dear nephew is over here, and may have given him inspiration for his own scheme …

  13. Anon says:

    More FemTwat lunacy :

    A beloved coach who has elevated hundreds of female athletes gets persecuted for saying what tons of women already have said and what may not have been controversial even as recently as 2007. That alone is not noteworthy, what is is that his 17-year-old twat daughter is publicly insulting him on Twitter, and correcting him as though he, her father, is a retard :

    https://heatst.com/life/uconns-geno-auriemma-get-reamed-for-saying-what-plenty-of-women-coaches-have-said/

    Well, at least the Internet is forever, and the stupid daughter should see her lifetime marriage prospects and courtship dollars reduce dramatically, until only manginas.

  14. Anon says:

    Correction : The daughter is not 17. She is more like 30, and is an adjunct lecturer of misandry studies. So her marriage prospects to a non-mangina are already almost nil.

  15. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    PETA says rape is rape — whether you’re raping a woman or a chicken: https://heatst.com/culture-wars/controversial-new-peta-video-destroyed-for-likening-animal-exploitation-to-rape/

    And now SJW feminists are fighting SJW animal rights activists, each side refusing to back down.

    SJW’s defy satire.

  16. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    Dalrock fantastic post!

    Just as odious is that Strauss’ ideology has become entitlement for women. “If a man won’t spend seven sexless years courting me, he really doesn’t love me for all I’m worth.” Strauss treats love as a feeling and not committed actions. I wonder if he would say that a mother cannot love her baby until she has sufficient knowledge of that baby’s thoughts and personality?

    His approach is toxic and is foundational to the pro-divorce culture within evangelicalism; “it’s not true love after all, so better to seek my soulmate than be stuck in a bad relationship.” For better or worse my aunt Fanny’s fanny.

  17. Tigersault says:

    “I bought into it in my youth. From my teens through late 20s, I thought that most women (Bad Girls excepted) didn’t want sex. They wanted love. True love. Romantic love, from a respectful, gallant man who was sensitive to their thoughts and feelings.”

    I did too in high school. That cost me…

    With regards to the post but but but muh courtly love!

  18. Johnycomelately says:

    Cucks simply don’t understand the difference between love and horniness.

    The reality is that Eros is upheld as the highest of virtues for women, all laws advantaging women and restricting men follow Roissy’s maxim of ‘removing all constraints on female sexuality’.

    Freedom of Eros is the first of the feminist’s commandments, everything else hinges on this divine decree. To the extent that a jilted husband must prostrate himself before her lust for Eros and even fund her adventures in search for ‘true love’, Eros.

    The phrases are couched in ‘love language’ but the reality is that it is simply a method of passing the buck and absolving themselves of not being horny for their husbands.

    Of course it doesn’t sound very pure and virtuous to be driven solely by horniness and lust so it has to be weaved and embellished in the language of love, agape.

    Take the common phrase, “I like you but I am not in love with you.”

    Translation, ” I like you but you just don’t make me horny.” Doesn’t sound very nice ? Hell of a thing to blow up a family for horniness.

    “True love requires thorough knowledge”, so for the love of God don’t be unsexy, nothing is more important than making your wife horny for you. After all her horniness and Eros is a sacrament….

  19. Lost Patrol says:

    Thanks for once again parsing out the individual elements of the atmosphere Dalrock. This post, and going back through the embedded links (and their embedded links) exposes a process I wouldn’t have found on my own, or ever thought to look for. I was just breathing the air.

    The problem is that these ideas have so thoroughly changed our thinking that they are now just how we see the world.

    A hallmark of only the very best deceptions is that they become how things have always been.

  20. Damn Crackers says:

    There is a reason why the Muslims ban Valentine’s Day.

  21. Anon says:

    “If a man won’t spend seven sexless years courting me, he really doesn’t love me for all I’m worth.”

    Seven years? Is the woman presumed to be celibate, or is she slutting it up elsewhere?

    Note that in Game, the expected time from initial contact to sex is expected to be seven HOURS. Not years, but hours.

  22. @Oscar

    One notes how the first guy comes over and subdues the perpetrator and then gets shooed away once the girls think the have it under control.

    manningthewall.com

  23. To think well-respected Theologians are nothing but god-forsaken fools. No wonder our churches are in such a mess.

    “This marriage was to see hard times, but had it not been for this long engagement and Jacob’s deepening and maturing love, it probably would not have survived at all.”

    How screwed up in the head does a Christian discussing Genesis (!!!) have to be to assume that the marriage wasn’t permanent? Unless he’s selling books to supposedly Christian Women that would never be caught dead with romance novels. What was that about false preachers?

  24. Hose_B says:

    Oscar hit the nail on the head. While the princess bride might be satire, Our idea of true love is not. So noble that death cannot stop it, only delay it for a while.

    Characteristics of Wesley.
    Poor. No dowry. Can’t marry.
    Willing to take her crap.
    Murderer and pirate.
    Willing to hit a woman for lying
    Cheats at the “battle of wits”
    Characteristics of buttercup
    Beautiful
    Helpless
    Useless. (She doesn’t even hit the big rat that’s eating her true love with the big stick that’s in her hand)
    Offers herself to another. Multiple times.

  25. Hose_B says:

    There is something about true love that gets twisted by the expression of love. We want “true love” and instead go after the trapping of expressions of true love.
    For instance, a man in love with his wife would give his life for her. So does a man giving his life for a woman MEAN that he is her TRUE LOVE?? Not necessarily.
    A man in love might carry a girls books. But does carrying her books mean that he loves her?? No. Not necessarily.
    But humans tend to focus on the trappings and conclude that if you can make someone provide the trappings, then the underlying concept is real.
    But it’s not. Which is why prostitutes don’t make a substitute for a wife. You just pay for the trappings without the reality.

  26. Durasim says:

    Correction : The daughter is not 17. She is more like 30, and is an adjunct lecturer of misandry studies. So her marriage prospects to a non-mangina are already almost nil.

    A women’s studies adjunct who describes herself as an “intersectional feminist” dedicated to “smashing the patriarchy in the face.” She also writes freelance agitprop for things like “The Mary Sue” (on her father’s dime, of course). Based on this evidence, Auriemma’s daughter is almost certainly a lesbian.

    She also said “eventually I would like a cat.” Who would have guessed?

    https://thecuriousallycat.com/about/

  27. Bart says:

    This was another great article Dalrock. Most of us are so submersed in this type of thinking that we never contemplate its validity.

    I was truly amazed at what Strauss had to say. He really shows himself to be a man of his time, rather than a man of God’s timeless written word. He reads so much into the text, and then runs wild with his assumptions.

  28. slarrow says:

    If Jacob was so in love and in tune with Rachel as Strauss suggests, then how in the world would he ever have been fooled during the ceremony and until morning? Doesn’t add up.

  29. Cane Caldo says:

    @Gunner Q

    This guy lied to his own, blind father in order to rob his brother.

    Jacob lied to his father but he did not rob his brother. Esau scorned his inheritance and loved his appetites so much so that he traded it to Jacob for a bowl of stew.

  30. Oscar says:

    @ Phil Christensen says:
    April 4, 2017 at 11:30 am

    “One notes how the first guy comes over and subdues the perpetrator and then gets shooed away once the girls think the have it under control.”

    One untrained male bystander did what three trained female police officers couldn’t. How much did their training cost?

  31. Hose_B says:

    Cane,
    Jacob gets no defense. He dressed up as Esau to fool his father and steal the blessing intended for Esau. To the extent of covering his arms with wool so he was “hairy” like Esau. All with his mothers help. Knowingly deceiving.
    As for the inheritance, do you really think Esau scorned and undervalued his inheritance? Or was he simply succumbing to Maslows lowest level of needs? I’ve heard Esau condemned before and it’s never really rang true.
    If Esau thought he would die of hunger, what good was his birthright.

  32. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    Are tiny police women a threat to the lives of large men? http://jneilschulman.rationalreview.com/2017/04/armed-and-deadly-mouse/

  33. Caspar Reyes says:

    Gentlemen,

    Jacob obtained the birthright by trading with Esau. He obtained the blessing by deceiving Isaac. It had been foretold that way, and you can argue that Jacob and Rebecca should have stepped out of the way and let God do things God’s way. But God does not accomplish his ends apart from the means; he accomplishes his ends by means of the means. In this case, Jacob’s (and Rebecca’s) nature was among the means.

  34. SirHamster says:

    @ Cane,

    > Jacob lied to his father but he did not rob his brother. Esau scorned his inheritance and loved his appetites so much so that he traded it to Jacob for a bowl of stew.

    Heard an interesting sermon claiming that the birthright and that blessing were separate.
    Note God’s promise to Abraham in Gen 12:2

    “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

    And the re-iteration in Gen 22 after Abraham offers Isaac

    “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

    God speaks to Isaac in Gen 26:

    The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”

    Two elements: A promised land, and a blessed people who bless all peoples. Contrast that with the blessing Isaac intended to give Esau (but Jacob deceitfully took):

    When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed. May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness– an abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”

    There is a difference in the content of those blessings. Also note Esau’s reaction:

    Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?”

    This makes the later reconciliation of Jacob and Esau interesting. Note what Jacob offers to Esau before he bows before him. A return of the stolen blessing.

  35. Bruce says:

    “had it not been for this long engagement and Jacob’s deepening and maturing love, it probably would not have survived at all”

    Was there female-initiated divorce back then?

  36. Anon says:

    I am seeing stranger and stranger things going on.

    There is no shortage of ‘men’ who will strenuously argue that Michelle Obama is more attractive than Melania or even Ivanka. I mean, be a Democrat, fine, but is the brainwashing capable of this level of overwrite of evolutionary progress?

    Oh, and they mean Michelle today, not Michelle at age 20 (which still does not change anything).

    Weird things are happening. If this is happening, then they can easily program young boys to be gay.

  37. SirHamster says:

    “There is no shortage of ‘men’ who will strenuously argue that Michelle Obama is more attractive than Melania or even Ivanka. I mean, be a Democrat, fine, but is the brainwashing capable of this level of overwrite of evolutionary progress?”

    Unless they actually marry and bed a Michelle Obama in preference over an Ivanka Trump, those are just virtue-signaling words.

  38. Anon says:

    Unless they actually marry and bed a Michelle Obama in preference over an Ivanka Trump, those are just virtue-signaling words.

    I hope so. For many, it seems like they really believe it…

  39. BillyS says:

    Essau definitely sold his birthright and I am convinced that Jacob was trying to circumvent some of the with the blessing.

    That doesn’t justify Jacob’s lie, but Essau had his own pile of wrong, not really valuing his inheritance as noted in Genesis and confirmed in the NT.

    Gunner Q,

    I believe the evidence is in that close marriage was not as much of a problem at the time because the genetics from Adam and Eve had not decayed sufficiently.

    Abraham married a half sister. Isaac married a close cousin. Jacob did the same. God didn’t object to any of these even though the law prohibits at least the first one. (I am not certain about the others.)

    Inbreeding causes problems as humans decline. It was not a problem at the start. Adam married himself (in some manner) since Eve was taken from him. His children married siblings, or children of siblings.

    We need to watch imprinting our situation on the past too closely. Sarah was quite hot at 70. I can’t imagine a single 70 year old today that would be that hot, even considering some surgery boosted Hollywood types.

    It is also possible puberty wasn’t quite as early at that point in time. The age at a child noted in the genealogies tends to point to that as well. Waiting 7 years to marry now is idiotic.

  40. BillyS says:

    SirHamster,

    Esau lied. He sold his birthright for a pot of stew, as confirmed elsewhere in the Scriptures.

    Jacob paid him off. The goods he gave Esau didn’t change the words Isaac spoke over Jacob.

    [Heb 12:16-17 NKJV] 16 lest there [be] any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

    I think I will believe Hebrews over what Esau claimed. Keep in mind that the Bible accurately records things, it doesn’t mean everything said is 100% accurate. We must evaluate the context for that.

    Note that these Scriptures also assert that Esau’s seeking the blessing with tears was because of his own responsibility. That is a bit harder for me to fully grok, but it is what is written, so I accept it.

  41. Cane Caldo says:

    @Hose_B, SirH, et al

    It seems to me that the birthright is the blessing. Perhaps it is better said that the former depends upon the latter.

    As for the inheritance, do you really think Esau scorned and undervalued his inheritance? Or was he simply succumbing to Maslows lowest level of needs?

    If you have faith in a birthright, don’t you have assurance of survival?

    Jacob strived for blessings and truly lived by faith. Later he would wrestle God and refuse to quit until he got a blessing. Esau was foolish. Esau thought all he had to do was just show up and he’d be blessed. We can either learn from his lack of faith, wisdom, and desire–or not.

    18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

  42. SirHamster says:

    @BillyS

    [Heb 12:16-17 NKJV] 16 lest there [be] any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

    I think I will believe Hebrews over what Esau claimed. Keep in mind that the Bible accurately records things, it doesn’t mean everything said is 100% accurate. We must evaluate the context for that.”

    I think the Hebrews passage is referring to a particular blessing as the birthright – that God will give (Abraham/Isaac/Jacob) a particular land, that they will be blessed, and that their nation will bless all peoples.

    But that does not match the blessing that Jacob received while pretending to be Esau. Also note that after Jacob’s deception, Isaac found another blessing to give Esau.

    Your dwelling will be
    away from the earth’s richness,
    away from the dew of heaven above.
    You will live by the sword
    and you will serve your brother.
    But when you grow restless,
    you will throw his yoke
    from off your neck.”

    The birthright has to do with a blessing, but not all blessings are part of the birthright. Esau received at least one blessing from Isaac that did not circumvent Jacob’s inheritance; IMO, the blessings Jacob deceptively received were not the birthright blessing.

    In this view, Jacob was acting like his mother and uncle, lived up to his own name, and can trace much of his life’s hardships to his own decisions. For those keeping track of (((coincidences))), this sure seems to run in the family.

  43. Frank K says:

    @Damn Crackers – “There is a reason why the Muslims ban Valentine’s Day.”

    I suspect that if St. Valentine was still alive he would also ban it.

  44. SirHamster says:

    @CaneC

    Jacob strived for blessings and truly lived by faith. Later he would wrestle God and refuse to quit until he got a blessing. Esau was foolish. Esau thought all he had to do was just show up and he’d be blessed. We can either learn from his lack of faith, wisdom, and desire–or not.

    Good point. Even looking at the deception as Jacob pulling a dick move on his brother and claiming ALL the good stuff and not being content to take just the birthright, there is something to commend there, like the shrewd manager. It also reminds me of this:

    Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

    God is just, but it’s not clear He plays fair, or if His idea of fair matches up with ours.

  45. BillyS says:

    SirHamster,

    I am not saying Jacob’s actions were honorable, but Isaac included everything in his blessing, so it didn’t leave anything for the second one to be blessed.

    I am convinced Isaac was in error and seeking to go against what God expressed. Even his father (Abraham) had a history of missing things that should have been done otherwise. (See claiming Sara was his sister, etc. Isaac did the same.)

    The Patriarchs were quite flawed. That doesn’t mean anything was really stolen from Esau.

    Note the sermon by Stephen in Acts 7. He noted that the Jewish people got it wrong the first time many times, starting with Abraham. The right action happened the second time. This fits with the fact that Isaac accepted the blessing going to Jacob, even though that had not been his intent.

    I would have expected much more anger if Isaac had felt Esau really was robbed.

  46. Gunner Q says:

    BillyS @ 4:23 pm:
    “We need to watch imprinting our situation on the past too closely.”

    That was my point when ‘recommending’ bride-hunting at family reunions. What was rightly forbidden by Mosaic law and general taboo was once legitimate in God’s estimation. This is why Christians shouldn’t live by the Mosaic Law. It was given to a specific people for specific purposes, and while God has not changed the mortal context has–both before and after the Law. This is also why Richard Strauss did wrong to claim Jacob/Rachel’s extensive engagement was a good idea for us today. It’s obvious (in hindsight) he already believed men should pedestalize women and found (twisted) this account far out of context to support his preconceived beliefs.

    Only a PhD can be enthusiastic about “he worked seven years, got screwed, worked another seven years and finally got tenure. I mean, Rachel.”

    Cane Caldo @ 4:51 pm:
    “It seems to me that the birthright is the blessing.”

    The birthright was physical. Firstborn son gets most of his father’s estate. The blessing was spiritual. Had it been given to Esau then Jacob would have gotten the money but Esau would have been Patriarch #3. I suppose that would have made today’s Jews violent Sasquatches instead of treacherous banksters.

  47. Hose_B says:

    @GunnerQ
    I agree that the birthright and the blessing were separate. The birthright being the “double portion” of inheritance as the eldest son. I don’t have enough knowledge to really understand the blessing. It was clearly meant for Esau. Isaac checked to make sure it was Esau. And I don’t clearly understand how someone’s “blessing” can be “given” to the wrong person.

    Back to the OP, my question was always, if he had been near (and in love with) Rachel for seven years, how did he not notice he was banging Leah?? Did he not light candles for his love on the wedding night??

  48. Hose_B says:

    @SirHamster
    there is something to commend there, like the shrewd manager.

    Yes, there is something troubling about this. Example, it would be shrewd to repick your field to increase yield,
    However Jesus tells us not to do that. To leave the gleanings for the poor.
    Many parts of scripture leave me scratching my head as in one place economy, shrewdness, even deception seems to be enouraged. Then discouraged in other places.

  49. Samuel Culpepper says:

    It may be that God knew more than we. He told Rebekah that Esau would serve Jacob (Genesis 25:23) while the two were still in utero and to Malachi that he hated Esau/Edom (Malachi 1:1-4) . Moses, presumably by God’s instruction, told the Israelites to “blot out the remembrance of Amalek” (Deut. 25:19), the Amalekites also being the descendants of Esau like the Edomites. These scriptures taken together, would suggest that events unfolded as God expected or according to his will.

  50. Samuel Culpepper says:

    Hose _B:

    Maybe he was drunk on his wedding night, it was dark and the two sisters favored one another. He wouldn’t have known what either woman felt like since he hadn’t slept with either before, so it isn’t that difficult for me to imagine.

  51. PokeSalad says:

    Only a PhD can be enthusiastic about “he worked seven years, got screwed, worked another seven years and finally got tenure. I mean, Rachel.”

    Well played, sir

  52. Damn Crackers says:

    So, we’re not allowed to marry Canaanite women?

  53. Gunner Q says:

    Samuel Culpepper @ April 4, 2017 at 9:08 pm:
    “Maybe he was drunk on his wedding night”

    My vote, too. Also, maybe Leah wore Rachel’s clothing to look/smell like her since it worked so well for Jacob.

    Hose_B @ April 4, 2017 at 8:10 pm:
    “And I don’t clearly understand how someone’s “blessing” can be “given” to the wrong person.”

    That’s Genesis for you. I get hung up on how Noah cursed his son for looking at him naked and somehow, that was a real bloodline curse that changed the course of history. “‘You bastard of a Peeping Tom!’ And lo, Ham’s descendants only gave birth to bastards ever since.”

    It’s probably best read as a metaphor for how even minor actions in mortal life can have profound eternal consequences. That, and how God can cherrypick our freewill decisions to sanction just about anything He wants.

  54. Mike J Baron says:

    Almost 20 years ago our well respected Baptist pastor preached a sermon in which he said, “If anything goes wrong inside a Christian marriage, IT IS THE HUSBAND’S FAULT!”
    Less than 2 years later when my wife of 21 years decided she was leaving me she said “YOU KNOW THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT BECAUSE PASTOR JAKE SAID SO!”
    It’s no wonder why that church secretly helped her pack the moving van which I was at work!
    I cannot believe Christian men accept and such nonsense emanating from the modern pulpit! This is why I formed AMBEC, to help men take a stand against all the Anti-Male Bias happening in the Evangelical Church!
    Please find AMBEC on facebook, join it, and report incidences of bias you’ve seen against husbands, fathers and men of the church.

  55. @Gunner Q:

    Here’s one to play with the head:

    ” “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

    Exodus 20:4-6 ESV

    How long do the physical effects of severe mental, emotional or personal dysfunction carry down via genetics? At least 3, up to 4 generations normally. So, was the Lord telling us the System he’s created and how it operates, his direction operation within the World or both?

  56. Hose_B says:

    @Mike J Baron
    Almost 20 years ago our well respected Baptist pastor preached a sermon in which he said, “If anything goes wrong inside a Christian marriage, IT IS THE HUSBAND’S FAULT!”

    My (former) Baptist pastor stated less than two years ago “If a marriage fails, it’s the husbands fault”. He completely rejected my response that everyone in the church HEARD “If anything goes wrong within a marriage it’s the husbands fault”
    It’s a twisted application of “if the mission fails, the leader is the one held responsible.” Only someone with a military background and good work ethics would understand the true concept.
    This pastor did not go so far as to pack my wife up (she had her dad for that) he has given her a hiding place masked as “service to the church”. His specialty as it turns out is “divorce recovery.” How convenient. And of course the prescription given to recover from divorce is to serve the church and pastor. Divorce recovery is good for business. Divorce prevention, not so much.

    Anyone know a link to the “parable of the whore” posts?? I remember it from this site (or maybe Cane’s?) but I cannot find it now.

  57. Cane Caldo says:

    @Looking Glass

    Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

  58. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    My (former) Baptist pastor stated less than two years ago “If a marriage fails, it’s the husbands fault”.

    The marriage did not “fail.” The wife walked out.

    When women are to blame, they love using such impersonal phrases that blame no person.

    * The marriage failed.

    * The marriage just ended.

    * The marriage had run its course.

    As if the marriage had a mind of its own. As if the woman was just a passive figure, buffeted about by impersonal forces of nature.

  59. Ofelas says:

    @Cane Caldo
    It appears that the concept of consequences of sin falling on next generation(s) was common though, as in John 9:2 they ask was it the blind man’s or his parents’ sin the reason for his blindness.
    (leaving aside the interesting point that the way they ask suggests that it could even be the blind man’s sinning (before he was born?) the cause for him being born blind)

    And also for example children of divorced parents obviously reap what their parents sow.

    Or another example could be what was observed in holocaust survivors and the common pattern how the trauma ‘soaked’ through generations in their families, changing shape and form: from generally strongly repressed (since otherwise would be totally crippling, but nevertheless strongly affecting the family and relationships’ dynamic of the people) massive wound in the primary affected group, through common strong neuroses among their children, until in the generation of their grandchildren it became somehow ‘mute’, somatized, generally turned into somatic issues..

  60. Ofelas says:

    @Red Pill Latecomer
    My ‘favorite’ ones are “It just did’t work out” or “was not meant to be”.
    Guaranteed make my blood boil always.

  61. Ofelas says:

    *The holocaust example was not meant to suggest they would sin, but just to illustrate the pattern of next generations inheriting consequences of evil that affected their ancestors..

  62. BillyS says:

    Gunner Q,

    I expect we are not that far off from each other.

    I have heard reasonable teaching that Noah’s son did more than just look at his father. Even just reading what was written notes that he blabbed about it. He didn’t just look, somehow cover his father and then remain quiet. The latter would seem to be a more respectful approach.

    Exactly why his son Caanan was then cursed is something I don’t fully understand as well however.

    =====

    General note about Rachel, I believe the text allows that she was given to Jacob immediately, but he then served 7 more years for her. I see that as much more consistent than asserting he must have served for 7 more years first.

    Her father then got both his daughters off his hands (and responsibility) and had locked in some future service. He probably didn’t think it all through very well, but I doubt anyone else of value was nearby, perhaps because of his sons.

    ======

    Keep in mind that God knew Jacob would get both the older portion and the blessing ahead of time. God is outside time and sees all parts at the same instant. (Not an easy concept for our brains, but God is not constrained by time.) He also knew Jacob, flawed as he was, would still seek him as well as failing in many ways. (Note how he favored one of his own sons in spite of the damage it did in Jacob’s life.)

    I also note that they were only seconds apart in age. The difference mattered, but was not as extreme as with Joseph and his brothers, for what it is worth.

  63. BillyS says:

    My exwife has told my oldest son and his family that she is “sorry things didn’t work out.” She blames those same impersonal forces, not her own choices.

    She is unlikely to see them much, especially since my 8 year old granddaughter asked her “why” many times, from what I have heard.

    Convincing a woman who breaches that barrier is impossible without strong repentance on her part and I am convinced that is quite unlikely, in spite of my ongoing wish (at the present time) for such repentance.

  64. Samuel Culpepper says:

    Gunner _ Q and Bill S:

    I have always read Genesis 9:21-22 in conjunction with Leviticus 20:11-21 to mean that Ham had sexual relations of some sort with Noah’s wife.

  65. BillyS says:

    I think I heard that at some point Samuel. I have also heard some believe it was a homosexual act on his father.

    You explanation has more direct connection, but the Genesis account doesn’t specify the exact situation, so I would lean toward what I wrote earlier since that fits what is written there.

  66. Yet Another Commenter, Yet Another Comment ("Yac-Yac") says:

    Red Pill Latecomer wrote [April 5, 2017 at 3:11 pm]:

    As if the marriage had a mind of its own. As if the woman was just a passive figure, buffeted about by impersonal forces of nature.

    i.e., as if women had no moral agency.

    And of course, either they do or they don’t, but pick one.

    Similarly: — women can either be ‘special’ or they can be ‘equal’: pick one.

    In fact, there’s plenty of this sort of stuff abroad in the larger (i.e., Leftist) Culture we live in. For example: ‘sexual orientation’, or ‘gender fluidity’ — pick one. Examples are TNTC, and no doubt commenters here have their own “favourites” on the list of these popular contradictions.

    Part of the reason I bring this up (in this way), is above in the comment thread there is a sort of discussion about a “Biblical Contradiction” (not that anyone here seems to be claiming that, but the thread is skirting close to that territory). Much can be said (and has been said) about this general topic — but a thing I rarely hear said, is that the Secularists who are so fond of making lists of “Biblical Contradictions”, in defence of their own irreligion (etc.), often don’t seem bothered by actual, literal, inarguable contradictions in their own irreligious belief systems.

    Almost as if human beings had a perverse nature or something. ;^)

    Pax Christi Vobiscum

  67. Anon says:

    When women are to blame, they love using such impersonal phrases that blame no person.

    * The marriage failed.

    * The marriage just ended.

    * The marriage had run its course.

    Yep. The next step is for the woman to angle for sympathy, saying she ‘suffered’ through divorce.

    It was her own doing, but she ‘suffered’ through it.

  68. Anon says:

    I strongly dispute the notion that ‘only’ 42% of marriages end in divorce. I think it is much higher if you exclude old-timers and people from very conservative cultures.

    If you apply two criteria :
    1) The marriage began in the year 2000 or later.
    2) The wife grew up in a Western country.

    Then I think at least 67% of such marriages will/did eventually end in divorce. Some in 1 year, some in 25 years. But I think that is the majority outcome.

  69. PeterW. says:

    People believe all sorts of rubbish about scripture, because they don’t follow one of the most basic rules – if the simple sense, makes common sense, then seek no other sense.

    To imagine that we need to write in extra or worse sins for Ham to have committed in order to justify the response by Noah and God, is to demonstrate that you are judging the situation by your standards, not those of God or the culture in which they lived.

    Isn’t this whole discussion about the fallacy of our culture as a moral basis?

  70. Hose_B says:

    @Samuel

    I had not heard the connection from Gen 9 to Leviticus before. I can see how the translation might cause some to want to connect them. As Peter W. said, we don’t need to write in extra or worse sins.
    When Ham had walked in on his father, he could have covered him respectfully and walked out. Instead he called his two brother to come and see. He found his father in a vulnerable position and exploited it (to what gain, we don’t know). His brothers acted respectfully. This would be no different from uploading naked pictures of your father (or anyone) to the Internet.

    The phrase “uncover their nakedness” seems to have many applications. I see it used mostly to describe putting someone in or taking advantage of someone in a compromising situation. Habakkuk says “Do not feel your neighbor wine so that you may uncover their nakedness.” Drinking merrily with your neighbor isn’t wrong, but getting them drunk so you can take advantage of them in some way is. You can’t get your neighbor drunk, then convince them to give you their house or seduce them. This isn’t limited to sexual acts. Gossip can be seen as uncovering someones nakedness.
    Note: Nakedness is also translated as “undefended” or “weakness” in Gen 42:12

    ESV: He said to them, “No, it is the nakedness of the land that you have come to see.”
    NASB: Yet he said to them, “No, but you have come to look at the undefended parts of our land!”
    KJB: And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
    HCSB: No,” he said to them. “You have come to see the weakness of the land.”

    As for Noah’s curse, If he had the direct ear of God and the Faith of a mustard seed (I know, NT, but God does not change) then a curse from him would carry power. Just my opinion.

  71. Lyn87 says:

    Hose_B’s explanation seems likely to be the correct one, and meets the “Occam’s Razor” test. The idea that Noah would have cursed his son (and his grandson in turn, who is not mentioned as even being there) for doing nothing more than innocently entering a tent when he was passed out naked and then telling his brothers (who in turn covered him up) borders on the absurd. Variations of the phrase “uncover nakedness” are used euphemistically in the Bible in dozens of places. There are well over 30 Bible verses that contain both some of “cover/uncover” in conjunction with “naked/nakedness.” The phrase always implies something beyond innocently/accidentally seeing someone naked. In those verses wherein it applies to two individuals, it usually implies something sexual and invariably implies something deviant. Whatever Ham did that is denoted by the euphemism “uncovered his nakedness” was in some way profoundly shameful to Noah. There is little need to parse it beyond that: if it was important to know precisely what Ham did, the scripture would tell us.
    _______

    What’s important here is that churchian leaders have taken emotions (and lets face it – we’re only talking about the emotions of women), and elevated them above all else, including even obedience to God… and almost everyone fell for it. It has gotten to the point that the supremacy of a woman’s cravings for feeling romantic love is, for most practical purposes, an article of faith of greater significance than the virgin birth of Christ.

    A man certainly doesn’t get a pass for “following his heart” when he trades in the “old grey mare” for a “young filly”… even if she turned off the sex spigot ten years and 100 pounds ago. Nope: everyone recognizes that as lust and roundly condemns him as a miscreant. But let a pampered woman complain about her subjective perception of her husband’s lack of emotional demonstrativeness, and suddenly she gets a pass to find a “real” man who is more in tune with the “needs of her heart” (as if it was her “heart” that was driving her into other men’s beds). Not only will the church “ladies” and their beta enablers back her power play, but they will all place the blame squarely on the soon-to-be ex-husband.

  72. Frank K says:

    @Hose_B- “And of course the prescription given to recover from divorce is to serve the church and pastor. Divorce recovery is good for business. Divorce prevention, not so much.”

    Another red flag to add to the list for identifying “churchian” churches, which in this day and age seem to be legion.

  73. Damn Crackers says:

    Here’s one for Dalrock:

    Adam and Eve introduced romance to the world.

  74. Damn Crackers says:

    From the author, as heard on PBS and Glenn Beck –

    You have got the original story that appears in the text in Genesis. And then what you have is organized religion sort of glomming onto the story and entirely reinterpreting it.

    And by organized religion, I mean men. And I think that what you have here is a situation where Adam and Eve, but especially Eve, are victims of the greatest character assassination the world has ever known.

    Basically, the story was weaponized as a way to elevate men and to hurt women. And you go back to the story, that’s not what you find. So, I mean, I think the first thing, just to sort of set the stage briefly here, is, you have got two stories.

    The second story is more famous, right? That’s — you have got Adam being created from the earth, Eve being created Adam, the fruit and getting kicked out of Eden.

    But the first story is very different, because, in the first story, you have got man and woman being created in the image of God. What’s true for one is true for the other. The whole story begins in equality. And that’s what got lost in all these interpretations.

    -Bruce Feiler

  75. Oscar says:

    RE: Bruce Feiler

  76. I heard part of that Glenn Beck interview. I did not hear enough to get the gist, but it was obvious where he was headed. If he claims that the narrative was weaponized to elevate men I wonder how he sees it now. Not to mention the likewise weaponized remainder of Bible for the purposes of subjugating men.

  77. Tc says:

    A woman does not need to recover from divorce, but repent of it. It is sin. Until that fundamental truth is dealt with, the rest is rubbish,

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