In an underhanded effort to kill the precocious and popular upstart, David, King Saul promised his daughter's hand in marriage if David would collect one hundred foreskins from their enemies, the Philistines. The narrator of 1 Sam 18:20-27 tells that David foiled Saul's murderous plan by killing said number of Philistines and bringing their foreskins back to Saul. Yuck. Cut to wedding bells. I wonder if he could have achieved the same result with a little smooth-talking?
August 2009 Archives
"In the beginning," the Bible says, food meant plants. Everybody -- human beings, birds, beasts, everything that moves and breathes -- vegan. Yup. "It was so... and very good." Or so the authors/editors of the first chapter of the Bible tell it. Not till after the great Flood and Noah's (meat) sacrifice do the biblical narrators tell that God explicitly allowed meat eating. It appears as a kind of concession and seems tied to human incorrigibleness. For, as the story goes, even after destroying all the people at least partly because their mean-spiritedness and violence proved to be such a disappointment to God, God accepted that people would still be bad. In that context (which also thought-provokingly includes disruption of relationships b/w humankind and animals and a warning against murder), God edited God's earlier remarks about diet to include everything, not just plants. But take care, God warned, that you not eat meat with its life. Back in the day, it was thought that blood = life, so: get rid of the blood before consumption. We think otherwise about what vitalizes -- about where is the life source. It makes me think, omnivore that I am, about what it might mean to us today to avoid eating life.