It seems you can’t turn on a television or radio today, without someone talking about being either for or against same sex marriage. If you are for it, then you are arguing basic civil rights. If you are against it, you have an entire mishmash of options to turn to, from religious to natural. I, however, am a Christian. Therefore, I will look to the bible for my guide on what is and is not marriage. It seems the proper thing to do.
I think if we are going to compare modern day marriages to biblical ones, then we should head right to the beginning. Genesis. In fact, let’s get straight to the good book and take a look at the weddings of Jacob. For the purposes of our little discussion, we’ll look at Genesis Chapter 29-30, or there about. Since so many pull a verse out of the air like it’s a piece of everything, and I’m at least using entire chapters for context and clarity, you’ll forgive my lackadaisical citations and go read the good book, chapter 27-31 for the full context. You might be surprised at what all the father of Joseph of the technicolor dream coat had been up to before the musical started.
For those not so inclined to delve into the word of God to such lengths, let me give you the cliff notes version. Jacob was working for a relative, but the relative was kindly and wanted to pay Jacob more than room and board. Jacob had taken a fancy to one of the relative’s daughters named Rachel. Rachel had an older sister named Leah. According to the good book, Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel had the body. Jacob, being a young buck, liked the body more than the eyes. So a deal is struck, Jacob will work for his relative for seven years and then get to marry Rachel. Seven years later, the wedding is held and the magic moment is to arrive. Jacob goes to his wedding tent, consummates the arrangement, and wakes up in the morning to discover he married Leah and not Rachel. Enraged, he confronted his relative only to be given another offer… wait a week, marry Rachel and then work for another seven years. Jacob took the job and the wives, but the book says he preferred Rachel over Leah.
Apparently being sisters and wives isn’t the best thing for sibling rivalry. Leah started having babies and naming them names that made fun of Rachel. Rachel didn’t have any luck getting all laid up with a child, so she sent her handmaiden slave to sleep with her husband so she could claim the baby. As a result, the slave had two children which Rachel promptly named names that make fun of Leah. Leah, worried that she was getting to old to have any more babies followed suit, and sent her handmaiden slave to her husband and got a couple more rug rats to for the rapidly growing brood. Then Leah had a few more of her own, and finally so did Rachel.
Ultimately, Jacob had 12 highly influential children, including Joseph of the famed musical coat. As the Jacob, who later became known as Israel, this influential family should be the placeholder of what the biblical family should be. So, unlike today’s concept of marriage, this biblical standard includes polygamy, forced sex on slaves, stealing babies from their mothers, and trading sex for drugs. Oh yea, I forgot that part in my synopsis. One of Leah’s offsprings, Reuben, found some Mandrake and took it to his mother. Leah traded the mandrake to Rachel for the right to have sex with Jacob. (Depending on exactly what this drug may have been (even Jewish scholars are unsure), it may have either been a drug for infertility or a drug for hallucination.)
So looking at the defacto perfect biblical marriage, one can draw the conclusion that modern marriages are far more constraining and closed minded than what the bible would tell us, I’m having a hard time understanding what the big freaking deal is over two men or two women wanting to spend their lives dedicated to each other in a loving and caring relationship. Seems a might bit better for society than sex slaves, polygamy, sex for drugs, and sleeping with sisters. Really, it’s the sister part that disturbs me most, if I’m honest.