Wrestling With Grief? Try Camels.

This post is part of a year-long experiment wherein, week-by-week, we write the Bible better than it was in the original.

 

Genesis 23:1 – 25:18

After Sarah dies, Abraham spends an inordinate amount of time haggling over her burial plot. Then he marries Hagar, the slave he had sex with earlier. He calls his servant over.

Abraham: Touch my thigh.
Servant: What?
Abraham: DO IT.
Servant: Fine.
Abraham: My son Isaac has been acting pretty weird since I tried to kill him and his mom died and I married my slave right away.

Isaac sits in a corner crying and cutting himself.

Abraham: I think he needs a distraction. Go off with some camels and find a woman who feels bad for the camels and gives them water. Then take her back to marry Isaac. Okay, you can stop touching my thigh now. You don’t have to though.

So the servant goes off and meets Rebecca, a nice woman into nose rings. She gives the camels water, and the servant gives her some nose rings.

They go back to Rebecca’s place, where they meet her dad.

Servant: Abraham sent me to find a woman who would give my camels water. So I found one, and she brought me to you, and you asked me why I came here. So I told you that Abraham sent me to find a woman who would give my camels water. So I found one, and she brought me to you, and you asked me why I came here. So I told you that Abraham sent me to find a woman who would give my camels water. So I found one, and she brought me to you, and you asked me why I came here. So I told you that —
Rebecca’s Dad: Just take her already.
Rebecca: Isn’t anybody gonna ask ME if I want to go?
Rebecca’s Dad: Do you?
Rebecca: YES!! All I do here is feed camels. I’m literally DYING of boredom. Take me away to marry someone I don’t know. Bring it on.

So the servant gives Rebecca some more nose rings and brings her to Isaac.

Isaac: Hi.
Rebecca: Hi.

Awkward silence.

Isaac: Wanna have sex in my mom’s tent?
Rebecca: YES!!
Isaac: She just died. This is all very Freudian for me.
Rebecca: I already said yes.

Illustration by Dana Lo

What do you think?

About The Author

Ilana Strauss

Ilana E. Strauss is a human-shaped collection of atoms that have written for The Atlantic, Reader's Digest, the Washington Post, Tablet, and the Toast.

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