I read with some interest a blog post by Yoseif Bloch in which he explores sibling incest of revered biblical figures. At one point Bloch says:
But maybe it’s a cultural thing; after all, sibling marriages were common in ancient Egypt and other societies.
Common among royalty anyway, which means those who claimed descent from certain specially endowed ancestors, like Noah who was said to be “perfect in his generations”.
Bloch cites the troubling marriage of Abraham to his (half) sister. The biblical genealogy gives Abraham’s pedigree as being patrilineally descended from Noah, meaning that Abe has Noah’s Y chromosome. His half sister’s pedigree is not mentioned, except to suggest that she could have been abducted if the locals learned of her illustrious attributes. Rabbis explain this away by saying she was “very beautiful”, making her a candidate for abduction, while ignoring the pedigree problem. In another story, Avimelech really did abduct her but sent her home after she failed to conceive. And then there is the inexplicable episode of Sarah being drafted into Pharaoh’s harem. Yes, folks, the insinuation is that Sarah was descended matrilineally from Noah also, meaning she had Noah’s X chromosome and making her very desirable as a mother. Putting 2 and 2 together, or rather X and Y, we can deduce that it was thought in many different cultures that the union of these X and Y chromosomes would bring about a divine offspring, the resurrection of Noah, AKA the “Sons of God”.
Bloch then invokes a post by David Benkof, who makes this outlandish point:
The Torah’s initial chapters describe God’s first human creation as two-gendered. Then, thinking it wasn’t good for man to be alone, God split that androgynous creature into two separate beings: one male and one female.
Surely you are ribbing us, David Benkof! Is it possible that the exalted state of gender unity is carried in the lineage of Adam’s (male) descendants as recorded so obsessively in the bible? That the real story is Adam and Eve were really the same person? Certainly the Christians and many other ancient religions made deities out of parthenogenetic virgins, can these legends be based on a long lost fact? Could it be that the Torah is really a remnant of the garbled story of these parthenogenetic creatures, rewritten and redacted by generations of male scribes who not only didn’t get it, but considered any such suggestion to be heresy?
My answer is YES to all these questions. As this blog unfolds I will present continuous and irrefutable evidence that the above thesis is true, and heresy be damned!
I should also say that I hugely enjoy reading the candid and somewhat agonized treatment of these topics as written on this website. As a half-Jew of mongrel genders these issues resonate with me deeply as I struggle to explain the many bizarre stories in Torah. Thank you for reading this.