Jehovah sure loves foreskins!
So, a guy takes all his collected foreskins from the battlefield to a tradesmen to see what can be made from them.
He comes back a week later and the result is a small wallet.
"That's all you could make?"
He then rubs the wallet and it immediately grows into a duffle bag...
It always amazed me that God must have made mistakes in the "creation" process of humans...
Jehovah: "Ah, an appendix? Just a wasted organ of no use: throw it away. Ah, a foreskin? No need for that! In fact it is WRONG to have it...oops I made another design mistake: Cut it off!"
So jehober created Adam physically perfect---right? Why would he later require the mutilation of the perfect penis? It just doesn't make sense now does it? It's one of those bible mysteries I guess.
I always thought it was pretty strange that Saul demanded David to bring him 100 foreskins as a sort of bride price for his daughter. Good old David brought 200 instead. Maybe those Philistines had 2 penis each!
Anyway, I think the 'new light' appropriate jw term is now "overlapping skin" not foreskin!
@eyeused2beadub, "the perfect penis" and "overlapping skin". Those, those are two things that we have now said....
It’s quite interesting to read the posts in this conversation from my perspective. For instance, where you (non-Jews) see a story about circumcision at Exodus 4:24-26, Jews see something different. Also, people from a Christian world view (whether religious or not) tend to read the statements in the Bible as literal, as if God commanded the practice of circumcision (which is not likely at all).
Exodus 4:24-26 is a parallel of the episode of Genesis 32:25-33. The stories both involve a Jewish hero, in Exodus it is Moses, in Genesis it is Jacob. Both stories involve an attack by a divine being while journeying from one land to another, Jacob by an angel, and Moses by God. Both stories have the divine beings “losing” the fight, with Jacob refusing to stop fighting and with Zipporah using blood as a ransom.
It is not certain if this is a story of an actual circumcision because there seems to be a play on words in the expression “Bridegroom of Blood” which can mean “protect” as well as “circumcise.” The expression “Bridegroom of Blood” may be a name given to Moses much as Jacob gets renamed Israel. The saving power of the blood in the attack on Moses foreshadows the saving power of the blood used by the Israelites on their doorposts on Passover.
As for the episode in which Saul asks David for “foreskins” as a substitute for a bride-price at 1 Samuel 18:25, the expression was a contemptuous (and somewhat bigoted) way of referring to the Philistines and their lives. As the Philistines were not circumcised, and this was considered detestable to the Jews, this was a way of asking for “proof” that David had slaughtered Philistines. (Compare 1 Samuel 14:6 for a similar contemptuous use of the term toward the Philistines.) The issue is not really the foreskins but the insult of referring to proof of their lives in being reduced to counting foreskins of the dead.
Circumcision was not exclusive to the Jews, but was common as a rite in neighboring cultures and nations. It appears to have been connected with the nuptial ceremony of these peoples. In line with this, the ancient Hebrews picked up the tradition and at first followed the more primitive custom of circumcision at the age of puberty, a rite of passage to manhood. It appears it was sometimes reserved to the age of warrior acceptance in Israel before their settling in the Promised Land. It was only after settling that the rite was transferred to the eighth day after birth, the Torah being only a regulating factor to the custom and less the source of something that was adopted from the custom of the surrounding heathen world.
In other words, this seems to be another thing the Jews did (like plural marriage and slavery) that they had previously adopted from the surround cultures as norms and that the Mosaic Law merely allowed by regulation. As always, the language of Scripture makes these practices sound like inspired instruction from heaven but critical examination of Hebrew history offers contrary evidence.
I'm certain those of us here understand that the Bible is not to be taken literally. When it is, it's ridiculous, horrendous, and self-satirical.
Ya know, @David_Jay, it bothers me that I know less about Irish or Cherokee lore than I do about lore from the Middle East and Egypt. That really does bother me lately as we discuss these things.
I got one better (or worse) to admit: After leaving the JWs in my youth, I had to un-learn all the wrong things about my own culture and then learn them again. It was nice to know I was a Jew upon leaving the Watchtower, but very sad that I was a stupid Jew. So yeah, I kinda know what it means to feel bothered that you don't know as much about your own culture than you do about an insignificant people from a desert land.
One thing for sure: It's good that the JWs didn't claim to be experts in Irish and Cherokee history and stuffed this down your throat under threat of loss of salvation. Can you imagine having to undo all that for yourself now?
the language of Scripture makes these practices sound like inspired instruction from heaven but critical examination of Hebrew history offers contrary evidence
Since there is not one word from god commanding them to stop that barbaric practice that hardly let's him off the moral hook.
@David_Jay, I'm gonna ramble a little bit here... I should do more research in those areas, but there will always be plenty that I just won't know. It's lost to me.
To think, too, that if I were to go back tens of thousands of years, eventually I could find ancient relatives who were... (Gasp!) Neanderthal. This is a hominid species that is mostly lost to time and history, but that evidently did have intelligence and intuition and emotion about them. At the same time, I could find Sapien relatives migrating throughout Europe, as well as their family in Africa. On the Western hemisphere, I might even track down some ancient family (I'm honestly not sure if ancient Native Americans would be considered Denisovan or another variant).
And in fact, since Sapiens evidently came from Africa, I have read some about African origins of religion. Really fascinating stuff.
At some point, a lot of things happened and a lot of people died and a lot of cultures passed, and I am alive today. And my wife? Black and Mexican. I want our kids to have culture, and not a culture of fear and indoctrination... Just some mythology, history, and a good humanist philosophy to live by.
But anyway, circumcisions. :P