Patriarchy In Ancient Israel

It’s a question worth exploring, seeing as Israel was both founded by the proverbial Patriarchs and abandoned by God as a blueprint for nation-building and precondition for following Him. The various phases of Israel’s history each have an insight to offer. There are two definitions for patriarchy in the Manosphere today, male leadership of his family and ethno-state building. I use small-P patriarchy for male control of his household and capital-P Patriarchy for running an ethno-state.

The first Patriarch

Abraham’s story of finding a wife for Isaac is heavily misused by Churchians, who teach that Isaac prayed for God to pick out a wife for him. This is what Churchians want the story to be because they dislike the notion that a man should choose a wife for reasons such sexual attractiveness or thinking she’d be a pleasant domestic influence in his house. Marriage should happen whenever she’s ready without the groom having any real choice in the matter, yes? But the actual story makes a joke of that. Heavy paraphrasing of Genesis 24:

“Abraham summoned his chief of staff and said, ‘I will not suffer my son to marry a local. Go to my homeland, purchase the best virgin you can find and bring her back. Here’s a suitcase with $10 million, that should be enough.’

“The chief of staff set out in a small convoy of vehicles for the trip. He arrived and prayed, ‘God, I have no idea how to please my master. Help me out by giving a sign?’ God did. The chief went to her father, asked his leave to take Rebekah as a wife for George Soros’s heir Abraham of Canaan’s heir and offered the suitcase of cash.”

Not at all the traditional church message of “God will provide a hard-ridden carousel veteran when she, er, God is ready, just like He did for Isaac.”

Was this an act of patriarchy? On one hand, Abraham did right by securing a decent wife for Isaac; on the other hand, one wonders how much Isaac was a participant in the process. It certainly was an act of Patriarchy in that Abraham was ethnically intolerant of the very people he lived among. The best tie-breaker for this question is the account of Ishmael.

Genesis 16:1-2: “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.”

Very stupid.

Genesis 21:9-11: “But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son.”

Very stupid. A patriarch in this situation would have directly refused Sarah’s demand instead of being upset that pleasing his wife was now going to cost him his first son. Arguably, Abraham’s stupidity of following his wife’s advice is still causing suffering in the Mideast.

Abraham himself was a Patriarch but not a patriarch. He clearly had little willingness to control his wife.

The other Patriarchs

The pattern of Abraham-Issac-Jacob is one that has frequently repeated itself in the lives of kings everywhere. You have the man who sets things in motion; his son dutifully keeps the machinery going without a lot of insight or risk; and his son’s son is the slacker playboy who burns it all. Isaac is almost a cipher to us. I speculate that God didn’t use Isaac to make the twelve tribes because He thought the deceitful Jacob would be a better symbol of Israel’s perennial creative rebelliousness against Him.

The lesson here is the dangers of thinking one can make himself a Patriarch. Ruling your family well is something all fathers can and should aspire to; creating a longstanding clan is a project that will most likely fizzle out in two generations.

Moses committed murder on behalf of his fellow Jews and when he wasn’t rewarded by them for his loyalty as he expected, he fled the country and lost his claim to the throne of Egypt. Just as well, as things turned out, but this kind of immorality is a classic and systematic problem with Patriarchy. He did go on to be a reasonably strong father-figure, standing against his brother Aaron when the latter tried to cause trouble by denouncing his choice of an Egyptian wife–a case of patriarchy versus Patriarchy. God Himself weighed in on behalf of patriarchy.

The Mosasic Law

Polygamy. The practice is essential to nation-building but destructive of the family, as fathers become so busy supporting a large family (or stealing from other men to support the family) that they don’t have time to be present. That’s manageable if there are alternative social structures to fatherhood and ways to dispose of excess men, typically via constant petty warfare. Of course, “manageable” does not mean “advisable”.

Polygamy in Israel is complicated by the fact that Israel was designed by God to exist in stasis. No allowance for growth was made; Joshua parceled out the exact lands for each tribe to live in. This is confirmed by practices such as the Year of Jubilee, an event in which all debts are canceled and all lands returned to their original tribe of origin. Even the permission to marry your brother’s wife was only to perpetuate your brother’s existence (Deut. 25:5-7). That is not how anybody proposes to use polygamy today.

Small-p patriarchy was facilitated by the Law’s allowance of unilateral male divorce. This is a crude, early method of government using its authority to support male leadership. God hates divorce but, in my opinion, the needs of balancing out the temptations of polygamy required giving men this level of despotism in the home during Moses’ time.

The Judges

The time of the Judges is the one that most closely related to Gentile life. We have no divinely ordained priesthood or ruling elite for the most part and likewise, Israel’s leaders were ordinary men drawn from obscurity to greatness–a short road for the most part but not one that female hypergamy and Pareto principle can tolerate. As God said to Samuel, the people demanding a king to rule over them was a direct rejection of God’s rule over them. Although the Bible doesn’t say so, I firmly believe the motivation for this rejection came from men wanting to please their wives instead of asserting enough authority over them to restrain Original Sin. It’s usually women who don’t like the concept of written rules.

This illustrates how beneficial and pleasing to God middle-class life is, and how alien it is to manginas and the women they can’t be bothered to control. (Samson is the patron saint of white knights.)  God actually gave an example of this during the Exodus with the manna from heaven. Exodus 16:18b, “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” A far cry from the devil’s work of diving humanity into the glutted and the starving.

The Kings

I like how different the Judges are in comparison with how similar the Kings are. Human history would have been far more pleasant had the skill to seize power also been the skill to wield it responsibly.

Once again, we have a direct case of patriarchy vs Patriarchy, this time in the life of famous King David. No man in Scripture is sexier–even Solomon didn’t compare with David’s musical talent–but what many people and all Churchians miss is that David was a miserably bad father. His son Amnon raped his daughter Tamar and David handled the incident so badly that, well:

2 Samuel 13:32:”But Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother, said, “My lord should not think that they killed all the princes; only Amnon is dead. This has been Absalom’s express intention ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar.” David’s advisor knew more about his children than David did.

Joab, another of David’s advisors had to intervene to reconcile Absalom with David. Then Absalom undermined David’s rule in the literal gates to the city and David didn’t notice until it became full rebellion (2 Samuel 15).

David’s son Adonijah also rebelled, mainly a power play to secure his succession to the throne, and David thwarted the attempt by granting succession to the gold-digger’s son, Solomon. Why did David not have a designated successor and why choose the rebellious whore over his many legit wives? That’s how strong of a hold Bathsheba’s crotch had on him even in old age.

Lesson: David’s johnson was thick enough to be Israel’s favored leader but not enough to raise his own kids. I’ve seem semester-long series on how great King David was but hardly a single sermon on what a bad father he was. In the long run, being a good patriarch was more important than being a good Patriarch, as Solomon subsequently proved. Foreign wives led the Wisest Man Ever astray from God while he turned Israel into a despotic nightmare, like his warlord father but on a grander scale. Israel split up immediately upon his death. That’s how bad Solomon was at Patriarchy.

The Prophets

So far as we know from Scripture, God stopped dealing directly with the kings in favor of dealing directly with the prophets. The prophets were neither Patriarchs–they mostly failed to do any lasting service to Israel’s integrity–and as far as we know, not patriarchs. Daniel probably had children, Jeremiah was forbidden to and for the others, if they did then it wasn’t deemed relevant to their work.

The only lesson I draw from here is that being a Patriarch won’t impress God and not being one won’t disappoint Him. Interesting that Original Sin is a relatively moot point when the sexes don’t interact. The Judges were often stupid with women, hello Barak, but the prophets managed to avoid that–example, Elijah and the widow.

Women destroy kings because kings run afoul of Original Sin when pussy enters the picture.

Christ

Christ did away with certificates of divorce and within a generation, polygamy. This created a problem, however. An outright ban on polygamy would require polygamous converts to Christianity to divorce all but one of their wives, and divorce is outlawed. This issue was handled by accepting polygamists on condition they take no more wives and are not considered fit for church leadership (as if they would have time for that anyway).  Many would-be Patriarchs reinterpret this today to be formal legalization of polygamy with a tiny little restriction that won’t ever come up. Catch is, we don’t have a formal priesthood in New Testament times; all of us are to be as good examples and teachers as we can manage. Intentionally ruining our utility to God in order to get lots of “sanctioned” sex completely misses the point of why polygamy isn’t outright banned.

I suppose Jews still practicing Mosaic Law today can still do polygamy but that comes with the entire package of the Mosaic Law. You would be required to live in the correct geographic corner in Israel and in social stasis. If your brother’s wife is a harpy who murders him before spawning a son then you’ll be making conjugal visits to a prison psycho. Hello, Patriarchy!

Today

Israel is one of the purest ethno-states in existence with millennia of genealogical records and preference for in-group loyalty over matters of conscience. One could define all of Hollywood as “the Jews exploited a high-trust population to seize ethnic dominance of culture and then punished the indigents with their own sexual perversions”. Nothing has changed since Abraham sneered at the locals outside his regional headquarters and called for his chief of staff. Nothing has changed since David, either. The ability to create and rule an ethno-state is far less important than the willingness to invest in and raise one’s children to have a conscience. The needs of patriarchy and Patriarchy are often in conflict, which helps explain why Christ did away with genealogies and ethnic loyalties.

Not that ethnic uniformity is a bad idea but shared culture, language and especially religion can tie people together more effectively and morally than ‘demographics is destiny’. Even Patriarchy cannot be achieved until patriarchy is first asserted. Remember Abram knocked up the “differently ethnic” Hagar on Sarai’s orders.

 

6 thoughts on “Patriarchy In Ancient Israel

  1. When it came to the issue of polygamy I found out where it started by accident (by which I mean I wasn’t really looking for it). The first recordings of it actually came from Lamech who was of Cain’s seed.

    ‘Cain had intercourse with his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. Cain also became the founder of a city, which he named after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael; Mehujael became the father of Methusael, and Methusael became the father of Lamech. Lamech took two wives; the name of the first was Adah, and the name of the second Zillah. Gen 4:17-19

    That to me is another sign why polygamy isn’t a good idea.

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  2. ‘ Marriage should happen whenever she’s ready without the groom having any real choice in the matter, yes?’

    Hopefully we’ve learned it is best to actually read the Scriptures for the accounts of what happened as opposed to taking the words of Churchians who are just basically in the woman worship business.

    The other thing about Rebekah, while her beauty and virginity are certainly traits a man should look for…she was only chosen because the servant asked the Lord for a test to see if a particular woman would give him and his camels a drink of water. It was a display of submission…not single grrl empowerment.

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  3. i’m continually amazed at God’s grace and mercy and love for us bumbling humans, esp when you highlight such in a piece like this.

    David’s treatment of his daughter who was raped by her brother, his son, has always angered me. yet God called David a man after His own heart.

    Christ did away with certificates of divorce and within a generation, polygamy.

    curious … where does Jesus do away with polygamy?

    – – –

    Rebekah had her own rebellious thread inside her – she favored one son over the other and instigated his deceit.

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  4. “curious … where does Jesus do away with polygamy?”

    Not Jesus. Paul bans polygamy in 1 Cor. 7:2. “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” That’s a de facto ban because polygamy is one man having four wives and three men having none. No way to avoid fornication there.

    But because polygamists can convert to Christianity without being forced to divorce down to monogamy, various Patriarchy-interested groups want to imagine polygamy is still legal. Their motivation: it’s impossible to build an ethno-state without polygamy because large numbers of disposable men are what makes constant hostility towards outsiders possible.

    “David’s treatment of his daughter who was raped by her brother, his son, has always angered me. yet God called David a man after His own heart.”

    God loved David despite many of the things he did, not because of them. I love to point out that David was the first man in recorded history to give the order “slay the witnesses” (1 Samuel 27:11). But such details get glossed over in the rush to declare David a successful, charismatic Alpha-leader.

    I think of David as the Bible’s Rambo figure, a good man trained to hard violence and sent through so much war that nothing remained but the killing.

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  5. I think of David as the Bible’s Rambo figure, a good man trained to hard violence and sent through so much war that nothing remained but the killing.

    that’s an interesting perspective. i read novels about war from time-to-time, but i have to temper them with ‘fluff’ because it’s just so harsh, so hard. too much. i can’t imagine.

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  6. David was certainly not a perfect King or Patriarch….however it’s not like he didn’t know that. Reading the Psalms he is well aware of what a sinner he is (especially after the Bathsheba episode). However it’s also a great display of the love of God he has too.

    I think what the OT goes to show is that even among the men who were God’s chosen…none of them were perfect. Despite the linage of sin and the fact we are all sinners…God loves us enough to give us His own Son.

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