The Lord says onto Abram to pack his shit and get the hell out of Dodge (Haran) with his wife Sarai and nephew Lot. They head off to a new, secret joint up ahead a ways that God says is super dope. In their travels, God also promises that He will bless the motherfuckers who are chill to them, and curse the motherfuckers who ain’t. Abram and his caravan pass through Canaan, Sichem, Moreh, before finally arriving in Egypt. Abram tells Sarai that because she is so damn hot, the Egyptians are going to kill him so he’s not in the way when they try to grind up on her. Abram cooks up the scheme to say that they are brother and sister so they don’t try some stupid shit like that. She agrees to the plot.
Upon seeing Sarai, the Pharaoh’s homies bring her back to the fort so Pharaoh himself can get himself a peek. Pharaoh takes one look at Sarai and yelps, “Damn, girl!” Thinking Abram is her brother, he butters him up with all sorts of dope shit – sheep, oxen, asses, manservants, she asses, camels, you know, the works. Once it was apparent that Sarai was going to spend the night, the Lord immediately starts dropping heavy plagues on homeboy.
Pharaoh finds out Abram and Sarai are actually married, and he’s like, “What the fuck, dude?” Saddened, he sends them both away. But Pharaoh was a solid dude and not at all petty, so he let Abram keep all the dope shit he buttered him up with (manservants, etc). For Pharaoh, it was all about love.
God to Abram: “Road trip, dude!!!”
Aside from the famine he strolled past on his way through Beth-el, it seemed like they had a pretty good time. But once they got into Egypt, I think Abram was pushing his luck with that identity-switching Three’s Company bullshit. There’s an old saying in Egypt that I think applies to this situation – “Never play Pharaoh like he Mr. Roper.” I honestly felt bad for the guy. You can tell by the tone of the denouement that Pharaoh really liked Sarai and was heartbroken about the whole thing.
Pharaoh is a mighty dude and he could have messed up everybody permanent-style for what went down. At the very least, he could have taken all his shit back. But instead, he took the high road, merely kicking them out of his house. Because of this gesture of vengeance moderation, I hereby name Pharaoh from Genesis 12 the honorary title of “Most Chill Person/Entity in the Bible thus far.”
As far as Abram getting himself hooked up with an army of manservants, I only got three words to say about that… Oh la la!
Genesis 13: Abram and Lot
Abram and Lot leave Egypt and pitch tent out between Beth-el and Hai. Between the two of them, they had mad scores of herds to maintain and grazing space was limited. Because of this, the herdsmen from their respective crews got tangled up in a heated turf beef. Abram was diplomatic though, and proposed they separate for the time being in order to cool the hot beef. Abram and his posse headed out to Canaan, while Lot and his gang pitched tent in the plains that were out toward Sodom. The men of Sodom were apparently crazy as fuck and God frowned on all the wicked shit they always be doing right up in His face like He wasn’t even real.
God then gave the land that Abram was peepin’ to him as well as his seed and his seed’s seed and his seed’s seed’s seed. He then dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built an altar.
Not much happens here. Abram, to his credit, does a great job of ending the beef between the warring herdsmen. Hats off to Abram, for real. For a second, it looked like there was going to be a Biggie Smalls / 2Pac sized mess up in the Beth-el. I like to think some of that ill diplomacy my man Pharaoh flexed back in the 12 might have rubbed off some on him.
Oh yeah, I think God may have given Abram the nation of Israel here, though I’m not totally positive about that. He might have just given him a plot of land that was in modern day Syria or Iraq.
Genesis 14: Expedition of the Four Kings
This section was edited out of the Dartmouth Bible for reasons not noted. Though the title sounds exciting and epic, I read it quick in my full, unabridged Catholic version and I found it to be away from the point and totally boring. If you’re just dying to know what went down, click the link below and you can read the nerd version for yourself.
Genesis 15: Abram’s Vision
God came to Abram in a vision. Abram immediately goes off to Him about how his balls don’t work and he’s afraid he won’t have any kids. God tells Abram not to worry, and that he’ll have some kids. Unfortunately, they’ll be strangers in a strange land and have to serve as slaves to these strangers for 400 years. God assures him that at a later date he will judge that nation. Then, sort of contradicting himself, he tells Abram that the land between the river of Egypt and the Euphrates is all his and his children’s.
No joke, this chapter was so all over the place. Style completely ruled over substance. For reals, I had to read the thing six fucking times before I was able to wrap my head around it. And even then, I’m not sure I totally did.
I’m not trying to come across as some sort of Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back nerd, but there is some serious, ‘Obi Wan appearing to Luke on Hoth and telling him to go to Dagobah’ shit going down up in this. Like Obi Wan to Luke, God kicks down to Abram a bunch of mixed-bag covenants – in ghost form, no less. Abram got to be feeling some serious see-saw nausea at this point from the spooky ups and downs. I totally feel for him.
After years of trying, Abram’s seed could not take root in the Sarai’s uterus. So, she offered him the uterus of her Egyptian handmaid, Hagar. Abram was open to the idea. They got it on and soon after Hagar conceived, at which point Sarai decided that swinging was a bad idea for a healthy marriage and promptly fired Hagar. Hagar split, but the angel of Lord found her and unfired her. Angel told her to name her son-to-be Ishmael, who will be “a wild man” (direct quote). Hagar reluctantly went back to work for Sarai.
Hey Kidz! Genesis16 is all about fun facts*!
Fun Fact #1: Before advances in modern fuck science, the old school way to figure out if it was the man’s swimmers or the woman’s pluming at fault for the lack of progeny was to have the husband get busy with the handmaid! If the handmaid got pregs, as was the case with Sarai and Abram, it was the lady plumbing! Another victory for old school science!
Fun Fact #2: Before Sammy Hagar rocked the mic, there was another Hagar… Hagar the handmaid! I wonder how much Cabo Wabo she had to slurp down in order for her to sleep with Abram? Holy shit! He was like 88!
Fun Fact #3: Between Hagar and that earlier bullshit with Pharaoh, Abram and wife really treat Egyptians like crap! What’s up with that? Egyptians made the sphinx, yo! Give them some a little bit of respect, Abram!
*Fun facts get a lot of exclamation points to remind you that they are in fact fun.
Chapter 17: God’s Covenant with Abraham and Sarah
When Abram was 99, the Lord went up to him and said, “I am the Almighty God,” as if they hadn’t met at least a half dozen times before. God declared that he be the father of many nations, and renamed him Abraham, which is a longer name than Abram by two letters. Then He tells him to get his foreskin chopped off, and then warns him that any man who doesn’t get clipped herein will be cut off from his people and also be labeled a total covenant-breaking dick.
God then renames Sarai ‘Sarah.’ Then, He tells Abraham that she will finally bear him a son. Abraham laughs in his face, as the wife formally known as Sarai is 90 years old at that point. God, for once, doesn’t really seem to mind that He’s not believed.
First off, I love the name upgrade. The names Abram and Sarai is more unfashionable than the swatch colors of a 1970’s-style kitchen. You gots to update that shit, grandma. For reals.
Second thing I’m not as sure about, but better safe than sorry. In all honesty fellas, I don’t exactly know why God wants us to chop off the tip, but in case you haven’t yet, see Figure 17.1 below. Don’t be a slouch, buddy. Get your ass down to the CVS and buy up some tweezers and a pair of mini-scissors and take care of that thing. Better to feel a little pain on the junk than walk around perpetually pimp slapping God’s covenant with a sinfully heavy bell end.
Next Week – Sodom and Gomorrah! Part 2 of the Abraham saga! We’re talkin’ Genesis 18 – 24, son! Be there!