Nathan (vovat) wrote,

The Big Big Whoredom Scares God

In the Old Testament, several metaphors are used to describe the relationship between God and Israel. One is the popular one of God as a parent, but another quite popular one is that of a marriage. Israel is the bride of God, so when the Israelites decide to worship other deities instead, they're playing the whore. After all, BAAL didn't lead them out of Egypt or help them win all those battles, did he? Actually, what I've seen suggests that the Baals weren't all that different from contemporary concepts of Yahweh, but I've also heard that people often cheat with people who remind them of their spouses. The Bible often blames women for leading men astray from the true faith, because apparently men can't resist doing anything a pretty girl wants them to do, including changing religions. The reason given for why marriages to foreigners are discouraged is that they're likely to lead the Jews into a-whoring after other gods, which is both sexist AND xenophobic at the same time. Still, I have to wonder how interfaith marriages work out, even today. If you can get it to work, more power to you, but is anyone really going to be comfortable thinking their chosen partner is going to Hell? I guess it depends on the religion, though, since not all of them regard themselves as the ONLY way.

Anyway, one Biblical figure suggested to have been lured into Baal worship by his wife is Ahab, described as the worst ruler of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. While his name is now more likely to be associated with whale-chasing, you almost certainly know the name of his wife, Jezebel. The name is now often applied as an epithet to promiscuous women, but I don't think there's any indication that Queen Jezebel was literally promiscuous. It was more a case of her being a whore for Baal. On the other hand, she IS one of the few Biblical characters specifically mentioned as wearing makeup. A lot of the hatred for Jezebel might well simply stem from her being a female who serves as the power behind the throne, first through her husband and later through her sons. She's not described as a very nice person anyway, though, not only ordering prophets of Yahweh executed, but also framing Naboth in order for Ahab to take possession of his vineyard. I have to wonder if the vineyard story is ever used to protest eminent domain laws, because it seems like it would serve the purpose quite well. Anyway, during the reign of Ahab and Jezebel's son Jehoram, Jehu launched a rebellion, and had Jezebel's eunuchs throw her out a window, after which she was eaten by wild dogs. The Bible sure is one gory book, isn't it?

Tags: bible, characters, religion
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