The New Bible – Genesis 30

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In the last chapter we saw lots of trickery and polygamy, so in this chapter we have Rachel trying to have kids, which is one of the things in the Bible people are obsessed about.

  1. When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children she became jealous of her sister. She told Jacob that if she didn’t have children she’d die. A little extreme, but each to their own.

2. Jacob became angry and said, “Am I God? No. I wish I was, but I’m not. Go complain to him.”

3. Then she said, “Fine, go have children with my servant, Bilhah, we’ll pretend they’re mine.”

4. So Jacob married her and had a child with her. Rachel named the child, who was a son, (like most people in the Bible!) Dan.

5. Rachel’s servant bore Jacob a second son, who was named Naphtali. She was happy because apparently she had ‘won’ the war of children with Leah, who had given Jacob no more children, despite already having three.

6. When Leah saw that she was not having any more children, she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. So Jacob got four wives and two more sons, named Gad and Asher. Maybe God was finally fulfilling his promise about Jacob having lots of descendants.

7. During harvest, Ruben (one of Leah’s sons) found some mandrakes, and he brought them to his mother, Rachel saw this and asked for some of them.

8. “Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?” Leah said,

9. “Fine, You can sleep with him tonight in return for some mandrakes” Rachel said.

10. So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me,” she said. “I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”

11. So Leah bore Jacob two more sons, named Issachar and Zebulun. It seems that all people do in the Bible is breed like rabbits.

12. Some time later she bore him a daughter, which was a first. I’m pretty sure there’s a 50/50 chance of what sex the child is, not half a million male and one or two female!

13. God finally remembered about Rachel, so he enabled her to have children ans she bore Jacob yet another son, who was named Joseph.

14. After Rachel had Joseph Jacob went to Laban and asked him to ‘give’ him his wives and children so that they could leave and go back to his homeland, where Esau had probably forgotten about the whole stealing his birthright and blessing deal.

15. “But when you are here I am blessed – my flocks have multiplied greatly under your care. So stay here so that I can take advantage of you and your blessing. Name your wages” Laban said.

16. “I must leave, and you don’t need to give me anything” Jacob said. But then he immediately changed his mind and said, “Do this one thing: let me go through your flocks and take every speckled goat with me back to my homeland; they will be my wages. And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted will be considered stolen.”

17. Laban agreed to this and took every speckled or spotted goat from his flocks, and he put them under the care of his sons, whilst Jacob continued to care for Laban’s flocks.

18. Jacob meanwhile decided to try some trickery of his own. He had already been tricked by Esau and Laban, so he was getting some payback. He took fresh branches and cut spots on them, he then placed them in the drinking water of the goats.

19. When the goats drank the water and reproduced they had speckled and spotted offspring. This defies biology but who cares!

20. So Jacob did this and soon had a huge flock. Soon enough he would be leaving, but his departure does not go exactly to plan.

What have we learned today? That the Bible is a weird book! But it’s going to get even weirder as time goes on!

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Homosexuality and the Bible

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I haven’t talked much about homosexuality on this blog, which is surprising considering there are over 160 posts here, but today I’ll be discussing some of the arguments used against homosexuality, and some useful rebuttals. Most of these arguments have been countered time and time again, and what with the legalization of gay marriage earlier this year, the ‘war’ is pretty much won. But I ought to make at least a few posts dedicated to homosexuality, after all, it is tied in with religion quite a lot.

One of the main claims against homosexuality is that it goes against marriage in the Bible. But who cares? The Bible didn’t invent marriage, it didn’t even invent monogamy. We see polygamy throughout the Bible, and God never condemns it. He may have said a few things, and there are a couple of verses that make it seem as though having too many wives is not a good thing, but God ever out-and-out says that polygamy is wrong. Mark 10:6-8 is quoted often times, but this is an example of a Christian doing what they accuse atheists of doing so much – taking a verse out of context. In Mark 10 Jesus is talking about divorce, not marriage. Most of the Leviticus commands about gay marriage can be ignored like the rest of them, and Paul does most of the hate speech about gays, and he still gives no decent reason for it.

But arguing the details of whether God approves of polygamy or not is besides the point. The point here is that Biblical marriage is not the only type of marriage, and it is not a good excuse to condemn homosexuality. Just because it’s ‘God’s way’ doesn’t mean it should be outlawed. Keep your religion to yourself.

Another argument so often made is a fallacy of personal incredulity. Just because you don’t think it is right does not make it so, and it is not a reason to force your beliefs and opinions on other people. Not agreeing with it is fine, but trying to stop people from being homosexual is not. This is quite an interesting comment that I found on this Yahoo answers page, perhaps many Christians feel this way:

I see homosexuality as a sin like any other. I feel no differently about them than I do about any sinner including myself. Not my place to condemn. It’s between them and God. I do resent when they want to change our society to conform to their whims (gay marriage) or have us embrace or celebrate their sex choice. I also do not agree with this being pushed down our kids throats in school. The only difference between them and any other sinner is that they want us to celebrate their sin. Nobody else asks us to do this.

Why not allow them to legalize gay marriage? It doesn’t affect you, at least, not much. Preventing gays from getting married is against the constitution. Celebrating and embracing their sex choice is perhaps a bit extreme and unfair – just because we allow them to get married does not mean we need to celebrate or embrace their lifestyle, but so far I haven’t seen any examples of this.

As a final note, I shall show that Christians should stop complaining about the legalization of Gay marriage, abortion, or anything else they don’t want, because of Romans 13:1-7

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

So clearly, according to the Bible, the people that are in charge are there because of God, and the decisions they make are a result of God’s will. Rebelling against the government is rebelling against God.

Image courtesy of nongpimmy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is Christianity Sadistic?

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I am not going to jump ahead and say that it is, but there are one or two aspects of Christianity that are particularly troubling. This comes, surprise surprise, in the form of Hell. There is debate over what the Christian Hell is actually like, and if it exists at all, (more on that here) but the idea of a place like Jesus describes is sadistic and troubling.

Do you honestly think that there is anyone who ever lived who deserves Hell? You can name people like Hitler and Stalin, but are their crimes punishable by eternal torment? Perhaps for a day, or maybe a few years, but for eternity? And that is only the beginning, according to the Bible you can get sent to Hell for all sorts of reasons, from as little as being a coward. (Revelation 21:8) In fact, humans are supposedly doomed to Hell to begin with!

I just want you to sit and contemplate that for a moment. The idea that a supposedly loving God will quite happily send an innocent person to burn for eternity in a lake of fire and not think twice about it. That is something only a sadistic psychopath would do. You can make excuses and rationalizations all you want, but the fact still remains.

I think that I am using nicer wording than I could, and perhaps not communicating the full sadism that is the concept of Hell. Luckily this site makes a perfect example for you to contemplate!  Just read that and see if your image of a loving God remains, because if Hell exists and it is the Hell Jesus describes, saying that God is a sadistic psychopath is a massive understatement.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The New Bible – Genesis 29

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Jacob marries two people and has some kids. If God doesn’t like polygamy, he chooses not to say anything. On a related note, it’s funny how the Bible follows some people, but the other descendants are just forgotten about, isn’t it?

  1. Jacob arrived in the land of Paddan Aram, and for once decides not to re-name it.

2. He found a bunch of shepherds watering their sheep from a well with a large stone over it, and went to bother them with his questions.

3. “Where are you from?” he asked them.

4. “We come from the land of Harran” they replied.

5. And Jacob said unto them, “Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?”

6. “Yes, we know him. What convenient timing, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”

7. “Look, the sun is still high, water the sheep and take them back to pasture” Jacob said, thinking that he could just give orders to random strangers.

8. When Rachel approached, Jacob rolled the stone away from the well and watered his uncle’s sheep.

9. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to ‘weep aloud’. Proving to everybody that he was some kind of weirdo.

10. He told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah, but he probably should have said that before acting like a complete weirdo.

11. When Laban heard of this he went to greet Jacob, and said, “You can stay at my home, for you are my own flesh and blood.”

12. After Jacob had stayed there for a whole month, Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work for nothing, tell me what you think your wages should be. I know that you live here and eat my food, but I’ll pay you anyway.”

13. Ignoring the fact that Laban had waited a full month before saying this, Jacob set about thinking about what his wages could be. He said to Laban,

14. “I will work for you for seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

15. Laban agreed, and Jacob worked for seven years, but they only seemed like a few days to him. Who knows, judging by the amount of trickery that goes on in the Bible, maybe it really was just a few days.

16. While Jacob was working God got bored and went to go and stalk someone else.

17. Once Jacob was done, Laban brought all of the people together and there was a great feast. But the trickery was not over yet.

18. Laban gave Jacob Leah, his older daughter, and Jacob, probably too stupid to tell at the time, married her anyway.

19. When Jacob awoke in the morning, he was annoyed. “You promised me Rachel” he complained.

20. “It is not custom here for the younger daughter to get married before the older one, so, instead of making an exception, you’re stuck with this one. Just as well polygamy is a thing around here!” Laban said, “Tell you what, work for me for another seven years and you can have Rachel. That’s right, the term ‘buy one get one free’ hasn’t been invented yet!”

21. But because Laban was feeling generous, he allowed Jacob to marry Rachel before the seven years of work.

22. Leah had three children in an attempt to make Jacob happy; she named the first one Simeon, the second one Levi, and the third one Judah.

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

10 Stupid Christian Arguments

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In this blog post I’ll be showcasing some of the dumbest Christian arguments I can find. Christians, if you don’t use these, good job.


Argument: (I just had to throw this one in) “What came first, the chicken or the egg” – this is widely accepted as a saying, and not a real question, but Creationists seem to think it is a major argument against evolution, some even having the attitude that it is impossible for evolutionists to answer.

Counter argument: The egg. Now, instead of explaining to the Creationist how evolution works, when they ask what laid the egg, we can respond by saying: ‘a jungle fowl.’ Chickens were selectively bred and domesticated from wild jungle fowl, and we have evidence of this. Just like the guinea pig was domesticated from the wild cavy, and the banana was domesticated I mean selectively bred from a wild variant that was almost inedible.


Argument: “You can’t prove Christianity false” – I haven’t personally seen many people use this one, but nevertheless it is one for Christians to avoid.

Counter argument: I don’t need to. You can’t prove a negative anyway. (Perhaps in some fields, like mathematics, but that is really besides the point.) You can’t prove Islam wrong. You can’t prove the Greeks wrong. Prove to me that the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t exist. The fact that you can’t prove a negative like that gives no more credibility to your claim. Besides, the burden of proof is on the one making the claim, and the religious are the ones making the claim.


Argument: “There is historical evidence of Jesus, so therefor he must be telling the truth.”

Counter argument: There is no record of Jesus ever existing outside of the Bible. It’s bad enough that he didn’t write down a single word himself, but nobody else bothered writing about him until years after his supposed death. We have some forgeries, and a couple of mentions of somebody, but no real evidence. Furthermore, even if Jesus existed, it does not mean that he was really the son of God.


Argument “The consequences of atheism are depressing.” – this argument includes all of the claims that ‘atheists think that life is meaningless’ or ‘atheism causes war’ or really any of the other claims going around.

Counter argument: Even IF what you’re saying is true, and that is a big if, that does not make the idea that there is no god any less true. Christianity can bring, and has brought, all kinds of death and suffering. Look at the Spanish inquisition, the crusades, or just the hate and bigotry going around.


Argument: “I know that God exists” or “I hear God’s voice.”

Counter argument: An argument from personal incredulity is a fallacy. End of story. Just because you ‘think’ or claim to ‘know’ that God exists doesn’t mean he does. How do you know you’re not crazy? How do you know that an evil being from another religion is tricking you? You don’t.


Argument: “The Bible mentions names that archaeology has later found to be accurate. Therefor the rest of it must be true”

Counter argument: Harry Potter mentions London. London exists. Therefor Harry Potter must be true.


Argument: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20)”

Counter argument: You want me to believe that God exists because a book told me too? The Bible is a claim, a claim without evidence, I might add. Don’t use the Bible to try and prove anything.


Argument: “The good in the world shows that God exists.”

Counter argument: Tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, volcanoes, smallpox, the plague, disease in general, poisonous animals, poisonous plants, poverty, death, etc. Was God on drugs when he made our planet or what?


Argument:  “So you think the Big Bang just happened? And evolution says we got here by chance, and life came from nonlife? That’s crazy—I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist!

Counter Argument: But you have enough to believe without a doubt that a supernatural invisible man poofed everything into existence and watches us like some sort of weirdo? On a more serious note, science has given us amazing claims that the earth goes around the sun, that disease is caused by microscopic creatures, and all sorts of other things, from quantum physics to plate movement. All of this is just as incredible as evolution, abiogenesis and the big bang, but it doesn’t get in the way of the bible, so it is accepted without a second thought. Your double-standard is illogical.


Argument: “If God made himself plainly known then we wouldn’t have free will”

Counter argument: Firstly, this means that God would rather let his creations burn in Hell. So much for being all-good. Secondly, Satan knows all about God, but still doesn’t follow him.

And there you have it, 10 stupid Christian arguments.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Excuses.

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Alright. Time for a rant.

One of the biggest things that infuriates me about debating religion, particularly about debating against Young Earth Creationists, are the constant excuses and rationalizations.

It doesn’t matter how many arguments I bring up, or what I tell people about geomagnetic reversals, heliosiesmology, or lunar retreat, they always have some sort of argument excuse to counter it. This comes mainly in the form of ‘we weren’t there’ or ‘we didn’t observe it, so how do we know it takes that long?’ Well, let me tell you, I will now use your method to prove that the Flying Spaghetti Monster made the universe just yesterday.

You have already provided the perfect ‘answers’ to the arguments about an old earth, so now it’s just time to prove that the past 6000 years didn’t happen. Well, that’s simple. Anything that contradicts the argument that the FSM created the earth yesterday was created to fool you. Memories? He put them in your head to fool you. Photos? He made them to fool you. Ancient structures? Historical accounts? He made them all to fool you.

As you can see, now you have no choice to admit that my day-old-earth Flying Spaghetti Monster theory is scientific and accurate. All by using the ridiculous, unproven assumptions, excuses and rationalizations that the Creationists themselves use.

But it isn’t just Creationists who use this method. Nor is it only used when regarding the age of the earth. I was having a debate not too long ago, and I will showcase some of the conversation. It starts off just after I explained the problems with Omnibenevolence and Omnipotence with the Whence Cometh Evil argument.

Me: “Omnibenevolence is not a bad trait in general, but it brings up some philosophical issues when paired with omnipotence, such as the Whence Cometh Evil argument.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

Him: “He is able to stop sin and He will but He gives us a choice and we chose sin so we are going to have to live with it because that is our choice. But that is why God sent Jesus to save us from sin.”

You can already see that he is trying to avoid coming to one of the four conclusions. But the argument is so simple that God either can’t, or doesn’t want to.

Me: So basically he can but doesn’t want to. Even if it’s ‘he doesn’t want to yet”, this is a violation of the term ‘omnibenevolent’.

Him: I never said that he doesn’t want to. He is giving us free will and we chose poorly so as punishment we are going to have to live with it for now.

Does it seem like a difficult thing to get your head around the term “Omnibenevolent”? God COULD stop evil, but he is allowing us to live with evil because we ‘chose’ it. God isn’t doing anything about the evil, so therefor he doesn’t want to. THIS MEANS HE ISN’T OMNIBENEVOLENT!

Personally I think God not being omnibenevolent is more true to the Bible, where God isn’t such a nice guy.

More about omnibenevolence here.

The New Bible – Genesis 28

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In this chapter we have people having dreams and Isaac giving pointless orders.

  1. Isaac went ahead and blessed Jacob, even though he had stolen Esau’s blessing, he then said to him,

2. “Do not marry a Canaanite woman, go to Paddan Aram instead, and marry one of your cousins or something.

3. May God bless you and increase your numbers, just like he promised to both me and Abraham but never did, and may he give you land – the same land that he promised to both me and Abraham but never gave us. Yeah… I wouldn’t count on God that much.”

4. Isaac then sent Jacob on his way, and he did as his father had commanded.

5. Now Esau had learned that Isaac had told Jacob to go to Paddan Aram and not to marry a Canaanite, and that Jacob had obeyed, and he realized how much his father hated the Canaanites,

6. So he went to Ishmael and married another wife for no good reason.

7. As Jacob left Beersheba and journeyed to Harran it got dark, so he sat down and used a rock as a pillow.

8. He had a dream, where he saw a stairway going from earth to Heaven, which was pretty weird because apparently Heaven is not actually in the sky, at least according to most preachers.

9. “They’re either too poor or too primitive to afford an escalator, I wonder which one it is” Jacob said to himself.

10. The Lord stood at the top of the escalator I mean stairs, and he said to Jacob,

11. “I am the Lord your God, the god of Isaac and Abraham, and I am here to tell you that I will give you the land that you are sleeping on, and that your descendants will be as numerous as the dust on the earth. I hope I’m not repeating myself,

12. Anyway, I will be watching over you like some sort of weird stalker, so you’d better behave.”

13. When Jacob awoke he thought: ‘Surely the Lord is in this place,’ so he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This place shall be called Bethel, as I somehow have the right to re-name it.”

14. He built a pillar, and placed his rock pillow at the top. He covered it with oil and used it as some kind of offering.

15. And Jacob made a vow that whatever he got from the Lord, he would give back a tenth.

The New Bible homepage can be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Prove that I’m not a god

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I am an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent god. Don’t believe me? Prove it. In this post I will be using some of the arguments and rationalizations that the religious use to ‘prove’ their god to prove my divinity!

Combating ‘unbelievers’:

Prove that you are a God.

I don’t really want to, why not take my word for it? I wrote a book, after all.

Why is that book of yours true?

Because it says it is. End of story.

If you’re a god, how come you don’t look or act like one?

I work in mysterious ways.

But if you’re all-powerful, why won’t you solve the world’s problems?

Ahem, mysterious ways.

And now, arguments to prove my divinity:

Without me you would be incapable of being moral.

Without me nothing would exist, so there!

The cosmological argument proves that the universe had a creator, that creator is me!

Don’t believe in me? Prove that I’m not a god then.

The sun came up today. That was my miracle.

Everything is so perfectly designed. It was me that did that.

You had better believe in me just in case I’m right.

Do you believe that I am a supernatural god yet? If not, do you think that atheists have any inclination to believe in your deity when you use these exact same arguments for your god?

Image courtesy of Waiting For The World at flickr.com – image edited by mclasper

150 messages to Creationists

This blog post will be featuring an excellent video by the YouTuber ‘JaclynGlenn’ and her video ‘150 messages to Creationists’. After the 2014 debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, a video came out about 22 Creationist messages for people who support evolution, so JaclynGlenn had the great idea doing the same thing, but for Creationists. I wouldn’t recommend trying to answer too many of these, becausethe comments could get pretty big!

Some of the messages might be hard to read, and you might need to pause the video a bit, but it’s still worth it!

The New Bible – Genesis 27

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A (fairly) long chapter about blessings and trickery; there is a plot twist about Isaac’s wife, and it turns out that the Lord is only the god of Isaac, not anybody else.

  1. Isaac was now old, and he could not see anymore, he called Esau, his ‘older’ son.

2. “I am old, and do not know the day of my death, and I have a task for you,” Isaac said, “Get your bow and go out into the wilderness, bring me some food and I will give you my blessing.”

3. And Rebekah, who turns out to be the villain of the story, overhear this. She went to Jacob and said,

4. “Jacob, go out to the flock and bring me two goats, so I can give them to Isaac and you will receive his blessing”

5. And Jacob replied, “But Esau looks like Bigfoot, where as I look more like a bald rat. Isaac will know that I am tricking him, and he will put a curse on me.”

6. Rebekah replied, “Let the curse fall on me, just do as I say.”

7. Jacob went and got two goats, and Rebekah prepared them for Isaac.

8. She took some goatskins and handed them to Jacob, who used them to cover his arms.

9. Jacob went to his father and gave it to him, saying, “Father, it is I, Esau, your firstborn, now hurry up and give me your blessing.”

10. And Isaac replied, “How did you get it so fast?”

11. “The Lord your God gave me success, and you can’t question him because he ‘works in mysterious ways'” Jacob replied.

12. Isaac then said, “Come near so that I can touch you, to see if you are my half-Bigfoot son Esau.”

13. The goatskins confused Isaac, for his son had the voice of Jacob but the hands of Esau. He shrugged and blessed him anyway, saying:

14.“Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the Lord has blessed.

15. May God give you heaven’s dew
and earth’s richness—
an abundance of grain and new wine.

16. May nations serve you
and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,

17. And may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed
and those who bless you be blessed.”

18. After Isaac had blessed him, Jacob left, and Esau returned from hunting,

19. “Father, it is I, Esau, I have brought you food, now give me my blessing” he said.

20. “Wait a minute,” Isaac said, “If you’re Esau, then who the hell was that other guy!?”

21. “Jacob came and took your blessing, and indeed he shall be blessed!” Isaac exclaimed.

22. And Esau said, “Can’t you bless me as well? Or ‘un-bless’ Jacob? First he takes my birthright, and now my blessing!”

23. Isaac told him that he was to live by the sword and serve Jacob, and Esau began plotting his revenge.

24. Rebekah, once again, overheard him, and she said to Jacob, “Esau is plotting to kill you to avenge himself, flee to the land of Harran, and I shall call you back when Esua ‘forgets’ what happened.

25. And then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I hate these Hittites, if Jacob marries one of them, my life will not be worth living.”

The New Bible homepage an be found here.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net