YMMV / Book of Genesis

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Lot's rather... questionable offer to the gang rapists at Sodom has some questioning how righteous he really was, though many seem to forget that before he offered them his daughters, the text states he went out and closed the door behind him, thereby leaving himself vulnerable to the rapists while protecting both his daughters and his guests.
    • Shechem: Dinah's rapist, or just her defiler? The Hebrew word that many versions translate as "rape" can actually just mean "defilement" in the sense of "the filthy heathen defiles the girl by having sex with her" in this case. Levi and Simeon's murderously violent reaction to their sister's violation suggests that he did indeed rape her, but Shechem's belief that he could cut a deal with them for her hand in marriage suggests it might have been more in the "defilement" category.
    • Joseph's Restrained Revenge against his brothers may also have been a Secret Test of Character, putting them into a position where they could again sell their half-brother (and their father's favorite) into slavery, as they had done with him years prior.
  • Broken Base: This, alongside the Book of Revelation, is one of the most divisive books of the Bible. Let's just leave it at that.
    • One reason for the debate is that after the nations we know today as Judea and Israel were founded, a system of scribes were set up to preserve the holy books, copying the books EXACTLY as they had been written. This was considered a profession you had to train for, and is one of the reasons the Bible is considered a historical document. Now obviously, the scribe system hadn't been set up until long after Genesis, so the picture isn't going to be as clear. Also, these are very bare-bones accounts up to Abraham's time, which has some scholars contending that they must have originally been preserved only as oral accounts up to then.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Due to Values Dissonance, Lot can come off as this for unbelievers when he offers his daughters to the rapists. Yet he's described as a righteous man in the New Testament.
    • Jacob gets a mild case in the story of Dinah's violation. Shechem violated Dinah and kept her at his home while trying to persuade her brothers to give her to him in marriage. Dinah's brothers objected. They went too far in their revenge, killing people who had nothing to do with it, but one can certainly sympathize with their motives. Does Jacob care that they saved his daughter from being married to the guy who violated her? No, he's worried that they've endangered his whole family by making it "a stench in the nostrils" of the surrounding peoples.
    • Jacob in general, in fact: he swindles his brother Esau out of his blessing, makes a poor husband to his wives with his favoritism to Rachel driving them to vicious sisterly rivalry (dragging their handmaidens into the feud by making them his concubines as well), and does rather poorly as a father as well in view of the murderous envy his favoritism to Joseph stirred up in his other sons. Even so, God continues to favor him to the end.
  • Designated Villain: Dinah's brothers. The narrative takes a dim view of their getting revenge for Dinah's rape.
  • Double Standard: Some people have put the blame of eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge solely on Eve, others on Adam. Others put the blame on both.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The men of Sodom attempt to gang rape a pair of angels to show that they are indeed full of sin.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • For being mentioned in all of one line, Methuselah is the subject of a lot of extra-biblical stuff.
    • Nimrod is amazingly popular in folklore (the Tower of Babel was apparently built on his orders and he tried to have Abraham killed) and pop culture (shares the name as a villain from The X-Men).
  • Values Dissonance: Kill everybody, even the animals! Then kill the whole town. All of them. Let's just say that those moments are a big reason for why there's a massive Broken Base and leave it at that.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: Besides the creation story (no, we are not going to open that can of worms here), there is Melchizedek, the High Priest who gave Abraham and Sarah bread, wine, and a blessing in the name of their God. Some uphold him as a metaphor or foreshadowing of Christ, others just see him as some priest-king-dude who did something nice for Abraham and Sarah.
  • The Woobie:
    • Isaac. His own father almost killed him. Later, his wife Rebecca and son Jacob conspire against him to trick him into giving Jacob the blessing.
    • Hagar becomes Abraham's concubine with his wife Sarah's consent and bears him a much-desired son, Ishmael. Later, once Sarah herself conceives and gives birth to Isaac, she has Abraham evict Hagar and Ishmael, who have to wander around in the wilderness before God intervenes.
    • Joseph. Sold by his brothers to slavery, then wrongly accused of rape. It takes a while before he earns his happy ending.

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