Better the Bethel You Know
God appeared to Jacob and told him, ‘Go live in Bethel, and set up an altar to the God who appeared to you when you were running away from Esau like a scared little bitch.’
Jacob replied, ‘Firstly, quit telling me to move house. This is why I have no friends! Secondly, I wasn’t scared, it was a tactical retreat. Thirdly, the God who appeared to me was you!’
‘Okay… One, I’m God. Do what I say or I’ll smite you. Two, you have no friends because you keep lying and cheating everyone you meet. Three, fuck you!’
2 So, Jacob gathered his family together and said, ‘Listen. Wait a minute, where did you get those Star Wars figurines? Are those Laban’s?’
Rachel looked around nervously. Then she said, ‘Erm… I’m on my period?’
3 ‘Eww, gross!’ exclaimed Jacob. ‘Anyway, moving on. God’s ordered me to go to Bethel and build an altar. Pack your shit, and let’s get moving.’
4 So, everyone started packing and gave the Star Wars figurines to Jacob, who buried them under the oak at Shechem. 5 Now, Jacob’s family take kindly to being buried, so they bitched until he dug them back up, and soon they were off on their way to Bethel.
6 When Jacob arrived, 7 he built an altar between the one he’d built earlier and the one his grandfather Abraham had built, and he decided to call the place Bethel even though he’d already named it Bethel in Genesis 28.
8 As soon as he’d finished building the altar, Rebekah’s nurse Deborah, who was travelling with them for some reason, keeled over and died, so Jacob panicked and buried her under a nearby tree. Jacob named it, ‘Alan Baxter’, because that seemed like a good name for a tree.
9 Suddenly, God appeared and blessed Jacob. Then Jacob sneezed, and cried, ‘How did you know?’
10 ‘Your name is Jacob,’ replied God.
‘Yes, I know that.’
‘I’ve decided to call you Israel.’
‘But you already changed my name to Israel!’ objected Jacob.
‘Yeah, but it didn’t take, so I’m trying again.’
‘Oh, okay,’ replied Jacob.
‘See!’ declared God. ‘The author is still referring to you as Jacob, me damn it!’
‘I can’t help that!’ protested Israel.
11 ‘Ah, that’s better. I am God Almighty.’
‘I know who you are,’ sighed Israel.
12 ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’
‘I already have twelve sons!’ snapped Israel. ‘How much more fruitful do you want me to be?’
God ignored him and continued, ‘I gave this land to Abraham and Isaac, and now I’m giving it to you.’
13 Then God disappeared in puff of smoke. 14 So, Jacob built yet another altar, and he poured oil on it. 15 Then he named the place Bethel again. For anyone keeping score, that’s four altars that have been built, and three times the place has been named Bethel.
16 After they’d left Bethel and were drawing near to Ephrath (aka Bethlehem), Rachel went into labour. The birth was difficult, and the force proved too strong.
17 Seeing that she was in great pain, the midwife said to her, ‘That boy is our last hope.’
Rachel replied, ‘No, there is another.’
18 As she breathed her last breath, she named her son Obi-Wan, but his father named him Ben. 19 And Rachel died. 20 Jacob buried her and marked her grave with a pillar, which remains there to this day.
21 Israel left Ephrath and set up camp near to Migdal Eder. 22 While they were living there, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s porcupine, and Israel heard it grunting. The next day, his suspicions were aroused when he overheard Reuben making an appointment to get quills remove from his ball sack.
The sons of Leah were Reuben and Zebulon,
Simeon, Levi, and Judah was another one,
And Issachar, plus a daughter named Dinah,
Though she doesn’t count, ‘cause she had a vagina.
The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
Then she died, and, thus, did not conceive again.
The sons of Bilhah were called Dan and Naphtali.
Rachel was barren, so Jacob screwed her happily.
The sons of Zilpah were Asher and Gad.
Those were twelve the sons that Jacob had.
27 Finally, Jacob arrived home to his father Isaac’s house in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (aka Hebron). 28 When Isaac saw him, his 180-year-old heart gave out, and he stopped breathing, 29 so Jacob and Esau buried him, which was a shame, because he wasn’t actually dead.