Dirty Parts of Genesis

I was raised in the Lutheran church, still attend the church and as a child, attended parochial school for all of elementary school. Each day began with religion class and we attended church at least one morning a week. I remember the stories of the creation, the garden of Eden, Cain killing Abel, the great flood, Joseph’s coat of many colors, the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot’s wife turning into salt. But of course, nothing was ever said about Lot’s daughters getting him drunk and having sex with him. That belongs in the “Dirty stories of the Bible”. There were other stories that I had never heard such as Jacob being duped by Laban into marrying his daughter Leah instead of his daughter Rachel that Jacob wanted. Of course, there was also no mention of the fact that it was a common practice for the wife’s maid to become a concubine to the husband and for children to be born from these relationships. Additionally, there was never any mention of a women’s period as in Rachel sitting on a pillow hiding Laban’s idols and because “the period of women” was upon her, he did not look there or the rape of Dinah (Leah’s daughter).

Another interesting fact that I had never heard of was that when a man died childless, his brother was obligated to marry his sister-in-law and have children by her. Onan, Judah’s son, refused to have a child with his sister-in-law and it says “ but Onan, knowing that his seed would not count as his, let it go to waste whenever he joined with his brother’s wife”. I can just see a parochial teacher back in the 60s trying to explain that one.
Likewise, I don’t recall ever hearing about the last ten chapters of Genesis that deal with story of Joseph after he was sold, of him being able to interpret dreams, becoming the right hand of the Pharaoh, his brothers coming to him and not knowing him and Joseph being ultimately reunited with Jacob before Jacob’s death.

Although I found it somewhat tedious at times, I did enjoy reading Genesis and was surprised about the parts of the Bible which had never been taught, although I do understand why they wouldn’t have been.

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