Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bible Quotations, Revisited--A New Look at the Holy Writings

Lines that Changed Jewish (and Sometimes World) History

By David Hartley Mark

1. “What’sss the matter, Lady: don’t you trussst a Ssserpent?”

2. “Noah, since when did you become handy? Building a boat, a big boat? Whatever for? We’re leagues from the ocean. Besides, it hasn’t rained for days, weeks even.”

3. “Abram, listen to me. Who knows you as well as I do, your wife, Sarai? Stop this ridiculous idea. Sit. I’ll make you some nice herbal tea, we’ll talk, and then you can go down to the Shepherds’ Lodge, and play shesh-besh with your friends. Don’t get excited. No one is going anywhere. Here. Sit. Relax. Take these: read your clay tablets and calm down.”

4. “Well, Poppa Lot, if the world is coming to an end here in Sodom and Gomorrah, we’ll certainly need something cool to drink, out there in the desert. I’ll just take these wineskins with us. Sister, can you help me? Mother, what are you staring at? Mother?”

5. “Momma Rebekah, you’re being ridiculous. No; I, Jacob your son, finally stand on my own two feet, and refuse to join in your silly little scheme. Poppa Isaac will recognize me, for certain, even with your absurd goatskins tied on my skinny little arms. And what if Esau walks right in with a dead Bambi on his back, while I’m pretending to be him, armed with my pot of veal chops? If he sees me trying to steal his Blessing, after that bean stew thing when we were kids—well, you know what he’ll do. No: I’m going to go out now, and count the spotted-and-speckled sheep and goats. Don’t I smell your bread burning?”

6. “His name is Joseph, and he did pretty well on the Standardized Test for the Egyptian Civil Service, Lord Sahure. What, a quota? Well, I understand that we would want to keep the fellow out—he IS a mere Hebrew, and they eat goat-meat, while we worship the Goat—filthy people, overall—but I tell you, Sir, the fellow is brilliant! D’you think you could bend the Government Rules a bit, Milord? I tell you, you won’t regret it! Upon my word as the Royal Cup-bearer, Sir, I guarantee you, this fellow is worth his weight in wheat!”

7. “Lord Pharaoh, he says his name’s Moses, and he must see you, right away. Oh, is that embassy from Nubia first in line before him? What a plaguey noise that Hebrew’s making! He can just wait, then….”

8. “I, Moses your leader, am just going to climb up to the mountain-top. Now, everyone, please: just sit quietly, and listen to Aaron, my brother. Don’t make trouble; I’ll be right back, in a couple of days. If it thunders, just gather together and cover up. No need to panic.”

9. “Good morning! We’re the Israelites. We’re just passing through. Lovely walled city you have here. Nice, firm brickwork—three feet thick, I would wager. Jericho, d’you call it? Don’t mind us a bit; we’ll be gone in a minute or two….”

10. “David, if you’re going to visit your brothers on the front lines fighting the Philistines, don’t forget—here’s the bread your mother baked, and the cheeses I prepared. I’m sure the boys will appreciate the food; remind them of Home, it will. Oh, and don’t forget your slingshot; there may be wild beasts on the way. And please, Davey: try not to get your arm all tangled in the leathern straps when you fling the stone, especially if you’re rescuing a fair maiden, or some such. You know how excited you get around the ladies. Now, don’t get all huffy. You know that your Daddy loves you. Give us a kiss. Shalom, now….”

11. “Saul, Majesty, I’m sure that this woman, the Seer of Ein-Dor, will be able to look into the future, and set your mind at ease. She’s been established in this location for years and years. ‘If you’re not satisfied, your money or burnt-offering back in full,’ it says right here, on her business card. What could possibly go wrong?”