This one is a long one, so bear with me. These are the questions that I am most interested in having answered. If you would like to answer these questions, feel free to do so in any method you find most appropriate. I have tried to keep the context with the question, so hopefully they are all clear.
And if Adam and Eve were the first people, and Cain, Abel, and Seth were their only children and all sons, where did their wives come from? Did God create other people but they weren’t allowed inside Eden? Did God create them for Cain and Seth?
Who are the sons of God? Are they angels? Demi-gods? Holy people? If they’re gods, then the Bible isn’t monotheistic, and angels are commonly thought to be creations like humans, not children of God. But if they are holy men, how do you explain the implication that, while Enoch was a man of God, the rest of the people weren’t? And how do you explain the later claim that all people only ever have evil in their hearts? And why would they marry human women?
We go back to the nakedness being evil thing again when Ham, Noah’s son, sees Noah naked. So Noah curses Ham’s son Canaan (oh look, the Hebrew Canaanites) for Ham seeing him naked, and he praises his son Shem for covering him (though both of Ham’s brothers apparently covered him, so why did only one get praised?). How does Noah know what has happened to him since he seemed to immediately wake up and curse Canaan? Why is Ham seeing him naked (by accident) so bad that Noah curses his own grandson as punishment? Why does he curse Canaan instead of Ham?
Was the God of Abraham one god of many? And did the people see the idols (what was stolen) as gods? Or did they merely represent gods but were spoken of as if they were gods? Who were these gods?
Jacob said that he was protected by the God of his father. That suggests that Jacob doesn’t view this god as his. Did Jacob worship other gods? Did he worship any? Or is it merely because his father is assumed to still be alive so he’s still the head of the family? Can children have different gods from their parents?
While waiting for Esau, Jacob wrestles with a man after he sent everybody in his household across the river. It doesn’t say anything about where the man came from or why they began to wrestle. Why did Jacob wrestle with the man all night? Why did he demand to be blessed? Why does the man change Jacob’s name to Israel? Why does Jacob wrestle with someone he doesn’t know? How does Jacob know he wrestled with God? He says he’s “seen God face to face,” but isn’t that supposed to be impossible?
The new Pharaoh feared the Israelites would leave Egypt, so he enslaved them. The story of the enslavement of the Israelites is very silly. There are a lot of questions left unanswered. There were only two midwives to help all the Israelite women who were pregnant despite the fact that the Israelites filled the land? How did the Pharaoh find out that the midwives let the boys live? Why did the Pharaoh want all the boys killed when he wanted to keep the Israelites in Egypt? Why was he fine with the girls living?
How did the daughter of Pharaoh know that Moses was Hebrew? Why did the slave suggest getting a Hebrew woman to nurse him? Why didn’t she suggest tossing him in the Nile? Why did Pharaoh let his daughter keep a Hebrew baby?
Why did God suddenly decide to kill Moses at one point? Why did Zephora’s cutting off her son’s foreskin do anything? Why did her son have a foreskin?
Moses is told beforehand that his request will be denied. God says that he will harden Pharaoh’s heart. Since God hardens Pharaoh’s heart, does that meant that God is responsible for the Israelites being made to work harder and getting beaten?
At one point God says that Moses is like god in Pharaoh’s heart, but that doesn’t seem to be true at all. And why does God want Moses to be viewed as a god? Doesn’t that make him jealous?
The bit about the Passover is also confusing. Why does God care so much about how the Israelites eat the lambs? Why does he care so much about the yeast? These are such minor details. Shouldn’t they be irrelevant?
At one point the Israelites look up and see the glory of the lord. What is “the glory of the lord”?
The length of time that it took the Israelites to get to the Canaanite land makes no sense. Why did it take 40 years to get to the land of Canaan?
How did Jethro hear about what God had done for Moses? Jethro says “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods.” Did Jethro doubt this before?
Why does God need cloth and precious metal?
Why would Aaron die if he weren’t wearing bells?
Why is Aaron so easily convinced to make a new god? Isn’t he supposed to be worthy of the priesthood? Why would the people be so quick turn from the Israelite God when they saw his power?
The part about child birth and periods makes the sexism of the ancient culture obvious. Women are unclean for having periods, but periods are a sign that the woman can have children, which makes it possible for our species to continue. And the woman is unclean for longer if she has a girl than if she’d had a boy. Basically, women are secondary citizens. Why would we want to continue that belief today?
God will kill anyone who remains unclean in his dwelling. This is silly. Why is God so quick to murder over so little?
When discussing how people should behave once the Israelites have taken over the Canaanite land, God says “The native born and the foreigners must not do any of these things.” I’m sorry God of the Bible, but you’re not my god. How is it okay to go into somebody else’s land and start telling them how to live?
Though many of these new laws contradict what was previously just fine. “Do not lie.” But…but…Abraham got to! “Do not practice divination or seek omens.” Why is that only wrong now? It wasn’t wrong in Exodus. “If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law both will be put to death.” Didn’t that very act make a woman righteous in the previous book?
“Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists.” What’s a spiritist?
The Levites became God’s. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Why did God pick out the Levites from the others?
A woman who is accused of cheating is to drink a cursed water. If she has cheated, she’ll miscarry. This seems to be an odd way to determine if someone has cheated. Most pregnancies end in a miscarriage, but this generally happens so early in the pregnancy that the woman doesn’t even know it happened. What if the woman drinks the water and miscarries, but nobody recognizes the miscarriage as a miscarriage? And what if the miscarriage happens months after drinking the water? Is the woman then found guilty, or does it only count if she immediately miscarried? Did the Israelites ever test this out by getting a woman who was well into her pregnancy and had been caught in bed with another man to make sure that it actually worked?
Foreigners must also celebrate the Passover. Again, there is this idea that the Israelites should be allowed to force others to believe what they believe. Why should a foreigner have to celebrate Passover? Simply because God is jealous? What if their religion forbids them from celebrating Passover?
Why does he get so angry with people who have every reason to complain? They have been chased from their homes and have spent 40 years travelling through a desert with little food. “Now the lord has given you meat to eat, and you will eat it. Not just today, but tomorrow and every day for a month. You will eat it until it comes out of your nostrils.” Well that’s a bit of an overreaction. “I’ve eaten nothing but bread for 40 years. I’d really like something else to eat for a change.” “You want something else? Fine! I’ll shove something else down your throat until it makes you sick! Ungrateful bastards! I feed you! You should be happy I do so much for you!”
Moses and Aaron are told that they won’t enter the promised land because the Israelites complained…again. They did what they were supposed to, yet somehow they didn’t. If God is so angry at the Israelites, why does he keep helping them defeat their enemies?
Moses: “now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Keep all the women who have never slept with a man for yourselves.” This guy is supposed to be moral? What did the women and boys do?
“The children, who do not yet know good from bad.” But wait, I thought that children were born in sin? If they don’t know good from bad, then aren’t they innocent? Aren’t they like Adam and Eve before they ate the fruit?
Deuteronomy says that at no point are the people to create an idol. Not of man, woman, or animal. Moses mentions that this includes figures to be worshiped. Does Jesus count as an idol. Not just in the crucifix form the Catholic Church uses, but the very ideal of Jesus? And what about crosses? Are those idols?
Moses said that God would make sure that the Israelite women would never miscarry so long as they were faithful to God. That sounds horribly manipulative. How must women have felt when they miscarried? Miscarriages are quite common, and we’re talking about a time when infant mortality was high. How many women blamed themselves for something they had no control over? How many women pleaded forgiveness when they did nothing wrong?
Don’t ask about other religions. Okay, so, in fear of possible conversion, it is bad to so much as ask about another religions practices. I guess that means it’s best to remain ignorant. But what is god so afraid of? If he’s so powerful and is so much better than those other gods, why would he need to be worried about the Israelites turning against him? What do those other gods have that this one doesn’t?
Prophets are okay, but divination and witchcraft are bad. How are they any different?
If God differentiates between intentional and unintentional killing, and different sins are worthy of different punishments, how can anyone think that all sins are equal?
God claims that his words are in the mouths and hearts of the Israelites. So does this mean that we can go up to anybody of Israelite descent and they’ll be able to tell us all of God’s laws?
God predicts that the Israelites will turn against God. I’ve heard this used as an excuse for past antisemitism and harm done to the Jews, but this seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. Or like people looking for ways to explain past hardship. The Jewish people seem to have a history of following their religion closely. Why is there no history of people intermittently going against their religious doctrine and following it closely?
At one point it says that all the Israelites were to be circumcised again. It sounds like they’re to be circumcised twice, which makes no sense. But it’s really every bodies first time. Why hadn’t the Israelites born in the desert been circumcised?
At the beginning, a woman had helped the spies escape Jericho. She is told to put a scarf in her window and bring her family into her house. After Jericho is defeated, the woman and her family are found safe by the Israelites. How did God know to spare the woman and her family? Could he see the scarf? Was the scarf actually necessary?
God claims that somebody has stolen from him, then claims that they must destroy the destructible. Destroy whatever is devoted to destruction? That seems somewhat counter-intuitive…And what does that actually mean? Is the stolen thing destructible? Or is the thief destructible? How did God find out about the theft? This God is clearly not all-knowing. Did he see? Then why did he take so long to react? Was he told? Then by who? And how did they know? God decides that the thief and his family should be burned. Why are people being destroyed with fire? This seems like an unnecessarily painful punishment. The thief, it turns out stole a robe and some money. A robe? He stole a robe? Why does God need a robe? Did he want to wear it? Why were the thief’s children stoned and burned? What did they do?
So far there has been a lot of murder in Joshua. Is killing everybody really necessary?
When the land was being divided up, the Levites were called the descendants of Aaron, but earlier they were discussed as if they were a separate tribe from Aaron’s. They were already large enough to be a clan, and seemed to be made priests as penance. Aaron and his sons were made priests earlier and separately from the Levites. So what are the Levites relations to Aaron?
He also claims that Abraham’s ancestors worshiped gods other than Yahweh. But Abraham was a descendant of Noah, and Noah was saved for being loyal to God. Why would Noah’s descendants worship other gods after what Noah had been through?
After it is finished talking about the battles, it mentions that the Canaanites weren’t completely driven out of the land. God promised Moses that he would drive out the Canaanites so that the Israelites could live in their land, but Judges says that the Canaanites weren’t driven out of the land completely. First God says that he’ll drive them out, then it’s said that the Israelites weren’t able to drive them out. Why are the Israelites to blame when God said that he’d do it?
Earlier, with Moses and Joshua, God tried to ensure that the people would not serve other gods, and the Israelites set up their own protections to ensure the continued worship of Yahweh, but it still only took one generation for people to begin worshiping other gods? They began worshiping Baal and others according to Judges. If Yahweh is so powerful, shouldn’t he have been able to prevent this? Or is Baal more powerful?
If Yahweh is so mad at the Israelites, why does he keep sending them help when they ask? Why not just give up on them? After all, he seems to find something wrong with them fairly regularly, and they clearly frustrate him. If they are such a lost cause, why bother?
One of Gideon’s sons killed all but one of his 70 brothers. He was made king by the people. Wine apparently sways gods and men (according to the man’s remaining brother). This statement sounds very Greek/Roman to me. God made the people act against Abimelech (the man) because he killed his brothers. Why didn’t God just stop Abimelech from killing his brothers?
Samson’s father gives his wife to another man. Samson decides to take revenge on the Philistines because his wife was taken. Since the Philistines didn’t take his wife, how does this make sense?
The man’s response to his raped and tortured concubine who has collapsed outside his host’s house: “come on, let’s go.” How are any of his actions okay? Who would cut up a woman and send the pieces around to the Israelites? Is this man crazy?
Ruth claims that she will make Naomi’s god her own because she wants to stay with her. This makes her belief seems false. If she is willing to change her belief so easily, what will keep her from doing so in the future? Does she actually believe?
When Naomi and Ruth get back to Naomi’s people, Naomi tells the people not to call her Naomi because God has cursed her. Why would God make Naomi’s life miserable? What did she do? Isn’t it more likely that her family simply had some bad luck?
God stood beside Samuel, and spoke to him. Samuel didn’t know what was happening because he haden’t “given himself over to the lord,” so Eli had to explain it to him. Why did God wait for Eli to explain it. Why didn’t God say “it’s not Eli, it’s God” the second time? Or, better yet, tell Samuel what was happening the first time?
God rode the ark of the covenant to the battle field. It said he sat on it. So God has a physical form? Does he look human?
Samuel tells the Israelites to stop serving gods other than Yahweh. Once again, they ask for forgiveness for their sins. Seriously, how does this habit make sense? And, if Israelites are so prone to worshiping other gods, why don’t we see this pattern occurring today?
God told Samuel that he would send someone to be king, that person was Saul, despite God believing that asking for a ruler was a slight against him. Why would God pick someone for the Israelites?
Samuel tells Saul that he is to be the ruler of the Israelites. God claims to have changed Saul’s heart. Doesn’t this suggest that God took Saul’s freewill away? If God changed Saul’s heart, then why is he supposed to be so corrupt? Couldn’t God prevent him from becoming corrupt?
God says he looks at the heart, but Saul was chosen for his height. Is God lying? Or did he purposefully pick someone unsuited to be king because he was mad at the Israelites?
God rides on the Ark of the Covenant again. An ox stumbled, so Uzzah caught the ark. God struck down Uzzah for touching the ark. This seems stupid. Is it better to let the ark hit the ground? If it did, who would pick it up? What would happen to them? What about the ox?
It’s considered worse that he (Amnon) didn’t marry her (Tamar) than it is that he raped her. Isn’t is a sin to marry your sibling? And how would that make the rape okay? Who would want to marry and live with their rapist? Tamar is told to not take it to heart. Her brother raped her. Which part shouldn’t she take to heart? How could she avoid taking it to heart?
Absalom has his servants light Joab’s field on fire because Joab ignores a summons. This seems like a terrible action. Isn’t this sinful? Was he punished for this?
Absalom is told to sleep with his father’s concubines, so he did so in front of all of Israel. God’s promise to David came true: his son raped his wives. So these women were publicly raped as a punishment…to David…because he took too many wives. This is terrible. Why wasn’t David punished for his own actions? Why did these women have to suffer for his crime?
A plague is sent on the people, David offers a sacrifice to God to stop the plague because it was caused by his sins. Why does God punish everyone for David’s sin?