God fashions a woman out of one of Adam's ribs. This was necessary since Adam
couldn't find a "help meet" in any of the animals that God made for him.
Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent. 3:12-13
"In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. ... Thy husband ... shall rule over thee."
God punishes Eve, and all women after her, with the pains of childbirth and subjection to
Adam is also punished, although less severely. He now will have to work for a living because he
"hearkened unto the voice" of his wife. 3:17
Lamech is the first of a long line of biblical men with more than one wife. It seems
that God approves of such marriages. 4:19, 23
Finally, sometime in the next 800 years, Adam begat some daughters. These nameless
ones are the first (and nearly the last) girls to be born in the Bible. 5:4
"The male and his female ..." Notice that in the Bible female animals are the property of
male animals, as women are the property of men. 7:2
Abram makes his wife lie for him, by telling the Egyptians that she is his sister. But at
least it was half-true, since she was his half-sister. Such incestuous marriages are condemned
elsewhere in the Bible, but god makes an exception for Abram and Sarai. (See
Genesis 17:15-16 where God blesses their marriage.)
Sarai is the first of a long line of barren women who were desperate for children. (In
the Bible, it is the women who are barren, never the men.) She sends Abram into her
handmaid, Hagar, so that she can "obtain children by her." Abram gladly complies.
Sarah, who is about 90 years old and has gone through menopause, laughs at God
when he tells her that she will have a son. She asks God if she will "have pleasure" with her
"Lord" [Abraham], when both are so very old. God assures her that he will return and
impregnate her at the appointed time. 18:11-14
Lot refuses to give up his angels to the perverted mob, offering his two "virgin daughters"
instead. He tells the bunch of angel rapers to "do unto them [his daughters] as is good in your
eyes." This is the same man that is called "just" and "righteous" in
2 Pet.2:7-8. 19:8
Lot's nameless wife looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt.
Lot and his daughters camp out in a cave for a while. The daughters get their "just
and righteous" father drunk, and have sexual intercourse with him, and each conceives and
bears a son (wouldn't you know it!). Just another wholesome family values Bible story.
Honest Abe does the same "she's my sister" routine again, for the same cowardly reason.
And once again, the king just couldn't resist Sarah -- even though by now she is over 90 years
old. (See Gen.12:13-20 for the first, nearly identical, episode.)
God gets angry with king Abimelech, though the king hasn't even touched Sarah. He
says to the king, "Behold, thou art but a dead man," and threatens to kill him and all of his
people. To compensate for the crime he never committed, Abimelech gives Abraham sheep,
oxen, slaves, silver, and land. Finally, after Abraham "prayed unto God," God lifts his
punishment to Abimelech, "for the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of
Abimelech, because of Sarah." 20:3-18
God "closed all the wombs" because Abimelech believed Abe's lie. 20:18
"And the damsel was fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her." (Oh
Esau, who already had two wives (26:34),
"takes" another. 28:9
Jacob offers to work for seven years to pay for Rachel. As it turns out, he is tricked
into having sex with her sister, Leah, instead, so he has to work for another seven years so in order
to pay for them both. 29:18-30
Jacob is tricked by Laban, the father of Rachel and Leah. Jacob asks for Rachel so
that he can "go in unto her." But Laban gives him Leah instead, and Jacob "went in unto her
[Leah]" by mistake. Jacob was fooled until morning -- apparently he didn't know who he was
going in unto. Finally they worked things out and Jacob got to "go in unto" Rachel, too.
As part of the deal with Jacob, Zilpah and Bilhah (Laban's slaves) are handed
over to Leah and Rachel. 29:24, 29
Since Jacob hated Leah, God decided to "open her womb" and make Rachel barren. (Like he did to Sarah and Rebekah.)
Leah conceives and bears four sons. And it's a good thing, too, since her husband
hated her until then for not giving him any sons. 29:32-34
"Give me children or else I die." Rachel considers herself worthless if she
cannot produce children for her husband. But luckily she has an idea. She says to
Jacob, "Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her." She solved the problem the same way
as did Sarah (16:2). "And Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah
conceived, and bare Jacob a son." (These arrangements rarely produce daughters.)
Leah, not to be outdone, gives Jacob her maid (Zilpah) "to wife." And Zilpah "bare
Jacob a son." 30:9
Leah thinks her husband will honor her now that she has given him six sons. 30:20
And finally, "God remembered Rachel ... and opened her womb. And she conceived
and bare a son [surprise, surprise]." 30:22
"Then Jacob ... set his ... wives upon camels." Jacob had four wives (or two wives and
two concubines -- this distinction is not clear in the Bible): Rachel, Leah, Billah, and Zilpah.
There is no indication that God disapproves of this arrangement. 31:17
Jacob has two wives and two concubines, continuing the biblical tradition of polygamy. 32:22
Laban, Rachel's father, is hunting for the "images" that Rachel had stolen from him.
Rachel sits on the "images" and says to her father, "Let it not displease my lord that I cannot
rise up before thee: for the custom of women is upon me." She knows that no man will come
near her when she is menstruating. 31:34-35
Jacob has two wives and two concubines, continuing the biblical tradition of polygamy.
What did Dinah want? Did she love Shechem?
Did she want to marry him? Or did she want him killed? We'll ever know since it was of no
interest to the biblical author. 34:1-31
Dinah's brothers, to justify the massacre of a town for the rape of their sister, say:
"Should he deal with our sister as with a harlot?" To the author of Genesis, rape is a
crime against the honor of men rather than against a woman. 34:31
Rachel dies in childbirth; but at least she had another son. And in the Bible, a
woman is expected to die happily as long as she has a son. 35:17-18
"Reuben went and lay with his father's concubine."
Esau (Isaac's son) had several wives (continuing the tradition of polygamy, with no
editorial comment from the Bible). 36:2, 6
"And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite ... and he took her, and went
in unto her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and she called his name Er. And she
conceived again [I guess Judah must have went in unto her again] and bare a son; and she
called hi name Onan." (It seems that the probability of having a biblical daughter is
considerably less than 50%.) 38:2-4
After Judah pays Tamar for her services, he is told that she "played the harlot" and "is
with child by whoredom." When Judah hears this, he says, "Bring her forth, and let her be