The Bible’s questions, answered—part 1: Answers to questions in Genesis

The Bible contains a lot of questions, and it doesn’t always provide satisfactory answers. So now I’m going to be answering some of the Bible’s questions myself. You’re welcome.

Pharaoh asks Abraham: Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Answer: Because otherwise, you would have killed him and then taken her anyway.

Abimelek asks God: Will you destroy an innocent nation? Answer: Not sure why you would think he’d do that, since he never said anything about destroying your nation. Sounds like something he would do, though.

Sarah asks: Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Answer: God.

Esau asks: What good is my birthright to me? Answer: You’ll probably need that if you want to get blessed.

Isaac asks Jacob: How did you find this meal of goats for me so quickly? Answer: It’s called agriculture.

Esau asks: Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? Answer: Yes. God doesn’t seem to think so, though.

Isaac asks Esau: What can I possibly do for you, now that I’ve given your blessing to your brother and made you his servant? Answer: I’m sure you could think of something, if you wanted to. You could make his servitude temporary. You could also make sure his brother is a kind and generous master. At the very least, you could refrain from cursing him.

Leah asks Rachel: Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Answer: She did not. You’re still married to him. Not that you were ever supposed to be in the first place.

Leah asks Rachel: Will you take my son’s mandrakes too? Answer: No, she’s just asking for them, not taking them.

Laban asks Jacob: What have you done? (Laban’s self-answer: You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war.) Real answer: No, that’s not what he’s done at all. All he’s done is leave with the daughters who you let him have, and who agreed to go with him.

Laban asks Jacob: Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps? Answer: Because that’s not what you would have done.

Esau asks Jacob: What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met? Answer: They’re a gift for you. You’ve already been told that.

The Egyptians ask: Why should we die? Our money is all gone. Answer: Because your money is all gone.

The Egyptians ask Joseph: Since our money is gone and all our livestock belongs to you now, why should we perish? Answer: Because your money and livestock are all gone.

God’s questions

God asks Cain: Why are you angry? Answer: Because you refused his perfectly good offering, in favor of someone needlessly killing animals.

God asks Cain: If you do what’s right, won’t you be accepted? (Implied answer: Yes.) Real answer: Apparently not. Cain has behaved more ethically than his brother up to this point, and he hasn’t even disobeyed any commands, yet you have not accepted him.

God asks Cain later: What have you done? Answer: He has become a killer, like his brother. That seems to be the only way to make you happy.

God asks: Hagar, slave of Sarai, where did you come from? Answer: She came from Sarai. But you obviously already knew that, so why ask?

God asks: Why did Sarah laugh at the thought of having a child at her age? Answer: How about because some stranger just came along and claimed that she was going to give birth when she was already more than a decade older than the world record?

God asks: Is anything too hard for God? (Implied answer: No.) Alternative biblical answer: Yes, many things. In a future blog post, I will write all about God’s many failures that are documented in the Bible, which show that plenty of things are too hard for God.

God asks: Shall I hide from Abraham what I’m about to do? Answer: Apparently you won’t. Why, did you forget that hiding it from him wasn’t part of your eternal plan?

God hears crying, and sends an angel to ask Hagar: What’s the matter? Answer: Probably something to do with the fact that you just had her and her child sent out into the desert to die.

Abraham’s questions

Abraham asks God: What could you possibly give me, given that I’m childless? Answer: Children. Which God already told you you were going to have, so why do you need to ask this?

Abraham asks God: How can I know I’ll really ever gain possession of this land you promised me? Answer: You can’t, because you won’t. You’re going to die without ever getting what God promised you.

Abraham asks: Will a 100-year-old man have a son? (The Bible’s answer: Yes.) Real answer: Could happen, I suppose. Probably hasn’t yet, though.

Abraham asks God: Will you slaughter the righteous along with the wicked? Answer: Yes, he does that all the time. In this particular case, there were at least three people who God was going to rescue, but then he decided to let them die for no good reason.

Abraham asks: Won’t the judge of all the earth do right? Answer: Ha! Not likely.

Jacob’s questions

Jacob asks Laban: What have you done to me? Answer: Facilitated a rape by deception.

Jacob asks Laban: What is my crime? How have I wronged you? What do I have that belongs to you? Answer: Well, you did trick him into giving you all his best livestock

Jacob asks Joseph: What is this dream you had? Answer: It’s a dream! About astronomical objects! That are capable of bowing down, somehow!

Jacob asks Joseph: Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down before you? (Implied answer for dramatic irony: Yes.) Real answer: No, his mother isn’t even alive anymore, in case you didn’t notice your favorite wife dying.

Jacob asks his sons: Why do you just keep looking at each other? Answer: Because they haven’t heard about the grain in Egypt?

Jacob asks his sons: Why did you tell the man you had another brother? (Their answer: Because the man asked them. Except he hadn’t, actually.) Real biblical answer: Because they were trying (and failing) to think of something to say that would prove they weren’t spies.

Jacob asks: Who are these boys? Answer: Your grandsons. The ones you were claiming as your sons just now.

Joseph’s brothers’ questions

Simeon and Levi ask: Should Shechem have treated our sister like a prostitute? Answer: Yes, offering her something that gives her a reason to agree to have sex would certainly have been an improvement over just raping her. Good idea.

Joseph’s brothers ask him: Do you intend to reign over us? Answer: No, he doesn’t.

Joseph’s brothers ask him: Will you actually rule us? (Implied answer for dramatic irony: Yes.) Real answer: No, he’ll rule Egypt.

Reuben asks his brothers: Didn’t I tell you not to sin against Joseph? Answer: No, you only told them not to kill him.

Joseph’s brothers ask: What is this that God has done to us? Answer: God didn’t do it. Your cruel brother did.

Joseph’s brothers ask: How were we to know the man would say “Bring your brother here”? Answer: Well, he had already expressed skepticism about your story, so you should have expected him to want some proof.

Joseph’s brothers ask the steward who accused them of theft: Why do you say such things? Answer: Because Joseph told him to.

Joseph’s brothers ask Joseph’s steward: Why would we steal silver or gold from your master? Answer: Well, if the silver cup is a divination tool, they might have stolen that so that Joseph wouldn’t be able to find out what happened to the other silver they supposedly stole. It wouldn’t be the first time they stole from him

Judah asks: How can I go back to my father if his favorite remaining son doesn’t go back with me? Bible-based answer: You could try murdering your own children. That would definitely make everything okay! /s

Joseph’s brothers ask: What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him? Answer: Then I guess you’ll become slaves. But it looks like you’ve already decided you’re going to be his slaves, so no big deal, right?

Joseph’s questions

Joseph asks: How could I do such a wicked thing as going to bed with my master’s wife? Answer: Well, you could go into the house to attend to your duties, when none of the household servants are around, and… Oh wait, you weren’t actually asking for advice on doing it, were you?

Joseph asks: Do not interpretations belong to God? (Implied answer: Yes.) Alternative biblical answer: Nah, interpreting omens is for detestable godless heathens.

Joseph sends a steward to ask his brothers: Why have you repaid good with evil? Answer: You haven’t just been doing good, Joseph. You’ve also done plenty of evil things to them.

Joseph asks his brothers: What is this you have done? (Implied answer: They’ve done something wrong.) Real answer: They’ve tried to take some more food to their starving father, and you’ve prevented them.

Joseph asks his brothers: Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination? Answer: If they had known that, that would have been a potential reason for them to want to steal your divination tool, rather than a reason not to steal it.

Joseph asks: Is my father still living? Answer: Yes, obviously. Didn’t you just hear your brother worrying about how his father would react if you made them go back to him without Benjamin?

Joseph asks: Am I in the place of God? Answer: If God is everywhere, then yeah, I guess you must be. Every place is the place of God. Therefore, everyone is in the place of God.

For more answers, see part 2.

Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *