Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Vibe of Joseph and His Brothers

Joseph’s story has a jaunty, almost cocky vibe to it. Jacob has twelve sons and one of them, Joseph, is a special boy able to interpret dreams. His dad gives him special attention and a snazzy coat which makes his brothers mad with jealousy. So mad they bash him up and sell him to slave traders who are on their way to Egypt.

Once sold, Joseph is on even more of a downer – he rebuffs the amorous advances of his new boss’s wife and she gets her own back by saying he tried it on with her. Joseph is sent to jail but the vibe lightens when word spreads that he can understand dreams, especially when the Pharaoh has been having some quite feisty ones. Soon, Joseph is telling Pharaoh what his nocturnal visions mean and as a result, Egypt is warned that a drought is on its way.

The vibe continues to soar as Joseph is not only freed from jail but is made Pharaoh’s right hand man with a specific responsibility for drought management. Jacob and his other eleven sons run out of food and come to Egypt for emergency assistance. Only after he has a bit of fun at their expense do Joseph’s family realise that the main disher-outer of aid at the Egyptian court is their own flesh and blood. Tears, reunions, jobs for everyone and a happy ever after vibe follow.

General vibe of Joseph and his Brothers: Forgiveness.

Factvibe: Some people think that ‘coat of many colours’ was translated wrong and that it actually means ‘coat with long sleeves’.

The vibe of Joseph and his brothers, in a garment.

The Vibe of Jacob

Jacob has a double crossing vibe running through his story. One half of a twin born to Isaac and his wife Rebecca, it’s fair to say he and his brother Esau don’t get on. Things come to a head when Esau comes home hungry from a hunting spree and Jacob makes him swap his birthright for some food.

It also doesn’t help that Jacob is a mummy’s boy and Rebecca will do anything to give him the edge. On his dad’s deathbed, mum tells Jacob to pretend to be his brother, a much hairier man, by wrapping himself in goatskins. Fooled, dad gives everything to Jacob and Esau is left fuming. Karma returns when Jacob tries to get married – his father-in-law makes him work for him for seven years before he can marry the girl of his dreams, then swaps brides at the last moment. Jacob then has to work for the old man for another seven years before he can get the right girl.

Later, Jacob sees a ladder reaching up to Heaven, wrestles with an angel and changes his name to Israel. He has twelve sons and buys a coat of many colours for his favourite, Joseph. Sadly, the coat causes all manner of problems and Joseph ends up being taken as a slave to Egypt.

After a particularly tough famine, Jacob takes his eleven remaining sons toEgypt for a food handout and is surprised to see that his long lost boy, Joseph is the official in charge of famine relief. The family sticks around and Jacob’s sons each start a tribe and settle down in their new homes. A long life of absolute head messing vibes.

General vibe of Jacob: Father of Israel.

Factvibe: Jacob’s new name, ‘Israel’ means ‘God rules’.

Ladders enjoy their first vibe in the story of Jacob.

The Vibe of Sodom and Gomorrah

Due to the miscreant behavior of its inhabitants, God wants to remove the city of Sodom from the face of the earth. However, after some persistent pleading from Abraham he agrees to spare the place if Abraham can find him ten good men. Sadly, there is only one good man, Lot, and even he’s a bit iffy by today’s standards.

After two manly angels come to spend the night with Lot, the men of the town arrive en masse at his house and demand to have a sexy time with them. Being a good host and wanting to protect his guests, Lot refuses but offers the mob his virgin daughters instead. Unimpressed with the offer of ladies, the men persist and the vibe gets ugly.

Just in time, Lot is dragged indoors by his guests who tell him that they have come to Sodom to destroy it completely as a punishment for all the bad things the people have been getting up to. None of Lot’s relatives take him seriously when he passes on the message and while he is dithering about what to do, the angels grab him, his wife and his daughters and help them flee to safety. Their one piece of advice is not to look back and as our heroes run for cover, burning sulphur rains down from the sky and destroys their city.

Sadly, the nosey vibe overcomes Lot’s wife and when she turns around to watch the display, she is turned into a pillar of salt. Curiosity kills not only the cat, it seems.

General vibe of Sodom and Gomorrah: The bad get what they deserve.

Factvibe: The word sodomy comes from the people of Sodom’s ‘alternative’ vibe towards sex.

The vibe of Lot's wife.

The Vibe of the Promised Land

The Promised Land has a kind of secret garden, end of the rainbow vibe. Promised first to Abraham, then his son Isaac, then Jacob, it must have seemed like the vibe would never come to pass. Only after Pharaoh’s vibe towards the Israelites in his own backyard gets somewhat xenophobic does Operation Promised Land get the green light.

Forty more years pass before Joshua and the raggle taggle army that make up the Twelve Tribes of Israel stand on the edge of the land God promised them centuries before. The local Canaanites put up a struggle and have to be subdued by vibes of war but eventually the Israelites settle down and began farming. Sadly, they forget to keep loyal to the God who gave them the land in the first place and as punishment, the Promised Land is carved up and large chunks were given to Israel’s enemies. A finger wagging  ‘that’ll teach you’ vibe.

General vibe of the Promised Land: Home!

Factvibe: Today, the land once promised to the Israelites can be found in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and parts of Western Syria.

The vibe of food options in the Promised Land

The Vibe of Abraham

Abraham’s story is generally one big ‘up’ vibe. God decides that he needs to fill the world with good people. He spots Abraham and packs him off to Canaan where he says he will have more descendents than there are stars in the sky. Abraham finds this surprising as he is no spring chicken, nor is his wife Sarah. Sarah turns the vibe bad by getting Abraham to sleep with her maid so that at least Abraham will have a baby.

The plan works but God is adamant that the happy couple will have kids of their own. Remarkably, he is right and when they are aged around 100, baby Isaac is born, the first of many descendents who would later be known as the Israelites, aka the Chosen People, aka the Jews. The vibe gets very dark when God asks Abraham to sacrifice his child on a fire. Abraham goes along with the idea but at the last minute God lets on that it was just a test which Abraham has passed with distinction. A saved by the bell vibe.

General vibe of Abraham: Trusting God has its benefits.

Factvibe: Through the son he had with the maid, Abraham is also one of the lead vibes in the religion of Islam.

This Jewish man can no doubt trace his vibe all the way back to Abraham.

The Vibe of Noah

The story of Noah is very much bad vibes meet good vibes in a boat. The bad vibes are that people have been getting on with their own thing and leaving God out of the picture. God gets his blackest vibe on and decides to teach them a lesson they won’t forget and sends a flood to end all floods to wipe out every living thing on Earth.

The first faint glimmer of a good vibe appears when God realises that Noah and his family are actually nice people and he tips them off about the impending wet weather. Noah builds the mother of all boats, fills it with beasts and birds and as the rest of humanity swims for it, drifts off in his giant floating zoo. Forty days later, the rain has stopped, the vibe is up, Noah and his family park the boat and life on Earth begins again.

General vibe of Noah: Good things happen to good people.

Factvibe: The ark was twice as long as a tea clipper but only half as long as an ocean liner, or in other words, 450 ft (137m).

The vibe of Noah in a road sign

The Vibe of Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel are Adam and Eve’s sons and their vibe is a troublesome one. Both boys become farmers – Cain does crops and Abel does livestock. When it’s time to show God their love and respect, Abel trumps Cain by offering a more special sacrifice. Cain is consumed with jealous rage and arranges to meet his brother in a field where he kills him.

When God asks where Abel is, Cain is overpowered by a truculent, teenage vibe and mumbles that he has no idea, besides, he’s not responsible for his brother’s whereabouts. God rumbles him however, as God is all seeing and all knowing, and puts a curse on the boy. The land will fail to grow his crops and he will be forced to wander the earth. Cain whinges that people might kill him on his wanderings if God doesn’t protect him and God puts a mark on him so that everyone knows not to touch him. A sad story of greed and jealousy that ends with a lonely, restless, godless vibe. Kids, who’d have them?

General vibe of Cain and Abel: You can run but you can’t hide.

Factvibe: The sulky retort: ‘am I my brother’s keeper?’ comes from this grubby vibe of inter sibling rivalry.

The general vibe of Cain and Abel in a picture

The Vibe of the Devil

The Devil is one hundred per cent bad vibe. There are no good vibes where the Devil is concerned. He likes spoiling all that is good and beautiful. He is the Antigod. What God creates, the Devil likes destroying, like the kid who used to knock down the tower of blocks you made when you were tiny. Also known as Satan, Lucifer and Beelzebub, the Devil likes tempting us and promising us that it will all be alright in the end, and that God doesn’t mind.

In the Bible, the Devil starts work early, showing up in the Garden of Eden as a snake and putting words in Eve’s head. It’s an unpleasant business which ends with her and Adam being forced out of Paradise into the much less pleasant real world. The Devil’s next appearance is to play mind games with Job but happily Job’s vibe is strong and he eventually gets the Devil off his back. Later, the Devil tries to tempt Jesus with all kinds of promises but Jesus sends him packing too.

Finally he persuades Judas to shop Jesus to the authorities in exchange for cash. A win, but a grubby one. The Devil is one to keep an eye on and he’s always ready to spoil things and mess up the good stuff that God has created.Latterly, he has had a reputation of having all the best music and regularly trades guitar skills for the souls of bluesmen at Mississippi crossroads. This is not something to be encouraged. The Devil is all bad.

General vibe of the Devil: Evil.

Factvibe: The first vibes of the devil as a horned, cloven hoofed, goat-like creature appear in twelfth century.

The common goat, an animal whose vibe has been unfairly tarnished by links to the Dark Side

The Vibe of Adam and Eve

To be honest, Adam and Eve starts with a pretty good vibe. Adam is the first man and God makes Eve to keep him company. He then puts them in a nice garden filled with plants and animals and gives them not a care in the world. However, the garden also has two trees growing in the middle of it – the Tree of Life and the snappily named Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam is appointed head gardener and as the garden is the mother of all VIP suites, it is guarded by angels with swords of fire. Adam is given a list of what he can and cannot eat from the garden, which is basically anything not growing on the TOTKOGAE.

However, the vibe begins to wobble when the Devil, disguised as a snake, tells Eve that, despite the embargo, it’s OK if they eat from the TOTKOGAE. The fruit fills Adam and Eve’s heads with information, such as ‘we are naked’ which brings the vibe crashing down on top of them. God is livid and just to make sure they don’t get up to any more mischief, such as eating from the other tree – which would let them live forever – the two shame faced gardeners are evicted. A ‘nice while it lasted’ vibe.

General vibe of Adam and Eve: Paradise Lost.

Factvibe: There is no mention anywhere in the Bible of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil being an apple.

The vibe of Adam and Eve, in a book