Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.”

Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day:  Rehoboam & Mahalath & Maacah & others (2 Chronicles 11:18-23).

Rehoboam took as his wife Mahalath daughter of Jerimoth son of David, and of Abihail daughter of Eliab son of Jesse. She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham.

After her he took Maacah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith.

Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines (he took eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters).

Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as chief prince among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. He dealt wisely, and distributed some of his sons through all the districts of Judah and Benjamin, in all the fortified cities; he gave them abundant provisions, and found many wives for them.

  • Hexep

    Now, Fred, I read everything you write, and if you’ve ever written anything that I didn’t *love,* then I can’t immediately recall it, so I’m prolly one of your biggest fans, though I may not always show it. But in fairness, you didn’t really /write/ this one, so much as, well, curate it, so I feel no shame in hijacking it to talk about my own thing, and what I want to talk about, is, Tabletop RPGs, to get the assembly’s opinion on my own conundrum here, because I think this is a topic to which there is, here, some fluency?

    The obscene irony of playing Legend of the Wulin, in China, with a group of (predominantly) (properly) Chinese people does not escape me, and we’re forming a group, there’s the GM and four of us, and the GM has given us a simple rule, which is – each character must be related to at least one other, directly, by blood or marriage.- This is our GM’s first time as a GM, though not her first as a player, and she wanted to make this rule to thicken us, as it were, so that our PCs would really be a family rather than just a group of folks, and that thus we’d have an actual reason to stick together through all hardship rather than just be held together by fiat.

    At first, it was actually going to be blood, and our PCs were all supposed to be siblings, but then one of us – charming young American woman named Samantha – elected that she wanted to be someone’s wife, rather than their sister, (or rather that someone else cease being her brother and start being her husband), because she was interested in exploring this kind of women’s shadow intrigues, and being a “power couple” (or attempting to be, anyway) with another PC, the player of whom had settled on more-or-less a straight-forward heroic, chivalrous character. In any case, she also loves playing competent women in a (lightly) sexist setting, where she can show up the tut-tutting menfolk with her competence and heroism, so there’s that.

    (Take my statements on my own influence with a grain of salt here, but I’m guessing it had something to do with me recently lending her the outstanding book Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, which contains a brilliant description of the cut-throat power-plays and schemes concocted by the wives of his sons to advance the authorities of their husbands and children.)

    Anyway, the group signed off on it – I sure as hell signed off on it – and we did a little perestroika, and now we’re left with that character (Willow Hua), her husband (Falcon Yun), and her younger sister (Plum Hua, who is an intellectual Taoist priest with various sorts of sorcery and divination).

    Anyway, I’m trying to plot who my character should be. The guy who’s playing Falcon Hua has (with my permission,  of course) already scooped my usual milieu, which is playing noblesse-oblige driven warrior-aristocrat social-fighter hybrid characters, so I scheme to branch out – and in any case, in Legend of the Wulin every character is a fighter; you have ‘fighting skills’ on one side of your character sheet and ‘non-fighting skills’ on the other side and you can’t strip one to clothe the other, so that’s not a weakness that needs filling.

    The GM and the two Chinese players are fairly conservative, so they might feel uncomfortable with me playing a woman, which I feel no strong desire to do anyway. So, unless I want to call for expanding our venue even further, I’m either brother of the guy, brother of the two girls, or husband of the younger girl, to say nothing of figuring out what-all my guy’s going to do. Maybe a doctor…

    Choices, choices…

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    Do the relations have to be that close?  I would think you could be a cousin, or an in-law of some sort (e.g. the guy’s sister’s husband’s brother, if the GM is okay with him having an NPC sister with an NPC husband).  From what I’ve read about traditional Chinese culture, their society was largely built around extended families, so you wouldn’t necessarily have to be a sibling or spouse to have a strong bond of loyalty with the other characters.

  • phranckeaufile

    Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines

    Well, she was his first cousin (they were both grandchildren of David), so I guess that makes sense.

  • Lori

    Osama bin Laden had 3 wives living with him when he was in hiding. When they were questioned by the Pakistani authorities after he was killed the middle one indicated that she believed the older one had ratted bin Laden out because she was so pissed about how much he favored the youngest one.

    Everyone involved says that this definitely wasn’t the case and that we didn’t have an in with anyone anywhere near that close to bin Laden, but apparently things were so bad in that house that wife #2 seriously believed that betrayal caused by sister-wife in-fighting was the most logical explanation for them having been found. That’s bad.

    Having multiple spouses and obviously favoring one over the others is a recipe for trouble, is what I’m saying. Rehoboam is lucky he managed to keep everyone well enough placated that he didn’t wind up getting himself killed.

  • flat

    Do you know What God’s punishment against polygamy is?

    He gives a man two wives.

  • ohiolibrarian

    28 sons and 60 daughters, huh. So, about 2 daughters for every son. Not exactly a small sample size, so one wonders why so many daughters? Shouldn’t it be closer to 50-50?

  • ohiolibrarian

     I had always heard that was why 4 wives was considered ideal. Less internal conflict.

  • Lori

     My impression is that an additional wife would not have helped bin Laden’s situation. He really strongly favored the youngest wife. For example, she was the one who actually shared his quarters on the 3rd floor. The other two had separate living spaces on the 2nd floor. He visited them, but he lived with her. I don’t think the presence of a 3rd woman on the 2nd floor would have made the 1st wife any less pissed.

    Based on what I’ve read, the situation in the compound was rather less than pleasant in pretty much every way. It wasn’t prison, and I don’t want anyone to think that I’m saying that bin Laden’s self-created situation was punishment enough or something. However, things were not nearly as good as one might assume based on hearing “living with 3 wives in a quarter million dollar private compound.” The wives were fighting. The kids had to have been bored and restless and you know what bored, restless kids are like. The food was boring and it seems at times not all the plentiful. The house was built wrong, such that the 3rd floor ceilings were quite a bit lower than the other two floors. So the guy who was 6’5″ spent years in rooms that were only a few inches taller than he was. When he went outside to get a break from the claustrophobic conditions he could only pace around in a small covered area of the grounds because they lived in fear of satellites and drones with cameras*.

    He spent his time preaching sermons at his wives and children (literally) and writing letters complaining about people in AQ not doing what he wanted them to do. By the end he was about a half step up from being the Grandpa Simpson of terrorism.

    * With good reason. 1.8 gigapixels. Holy shit!
    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/02/darpas-18-gigapixel-drone-camera-could-see-you-waving-at-it-from-15-000-feet/272796/

  • Daughter

    A Muslim hairdresser I used to go to once told me that the Koran’s provision that a man can have up to four wives is actually a provision against such practices. Here’s why: the Koran says that a man can have up to four wives, as long as he loves them and cares for them and treats them all equally. Since it’s virtually impossible to treat multiple spouses equally, the teaching is essentially saying, “Don’t do it.” Somewhat akin to Jesus saying, “he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Since no one can meet the condition, no one can do the action.

  • Makabit

    It sounds as though the senior wife in the compound really had a thing against the younger woman, from everything I’ve read. I imagine that this kind of thing can get completely out of control when you’re in a situation like that, totally shut off from other family, unable to get out to do anything at all…the rivalries and machinations of the old-school Ottoman court without any of the splendor and luxury.

    Sounds like attempts to interrogate the wives were both futile and completely hilarious, as ranting about what a whore Wife #3 seems to have completely preoccupied everyone.

    I do wonder if he felt a spot of relief when it became clear the Seals had arrived.

  • Lori

    Yet another point of Muslim doctrine about which bin Laden did not get the memo. Color me shocked. Or, you know, not at all.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    From now on, whenever I see a photo of bin Laden, I’m going to hear him talking about wearing an onion on his belt, ’cause that was the style at the time.

  • Lori

    The flippant, snarky part of me can’t help but think that the reason he didn’t put up a fight when the SEALs showed up was that he was over the whole damn PITA and just didn’t have the heart for it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I laughed, but I call sexism.

  • Hexep

    Having mulled it over extensively, I’m going to go with brother to the two girls. (Whether he is their elder or younger brother isn’t really significant; in the olden days of the middle kingdoms, sons came before daughters, and the others in the group are probably conservative enough that this would pass without question.)

    Plus, if there are “intermediaries,” like that, then that builds up more NPCs, and it cuts away from the general ‘us against the world’ timbre that would otherwise be desirable. The idea I’m going to go for (which I’ll pass around to the others for accept/reject this evening) is that the two women and I (the House of Hua) are the three children of high official who had been thrown under the bus, or had uncovered something that should have remained secret, or something, 

    One of the central themes of feudal China fiction is that the son follows the father, which gives me a few good options. On the one hand, I could be the eldest son, which means I would have to be kind of a stern constable (straight Warrior type) or more of a noble scholar/junior minister type (Warrior/Scholar). On the other hand, I could be the second son, with the elder having gone ‘down with the ship,’ so to speak, so now I, having done my own thing for so long while Eldest Brother holds down the family fort, am now forced to give up my dreams and go be the reluctant patriarch.

    Well, we’re sketching this thing in piece-by-piece.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001112204188 Gabe Nichols

     It would depend on the GMs approval and how much intra-party conflict she was willing to accept but how about the younger brother of Falcon Hua who believes in filial duty and his responsibility to the family but also resents the permanent secondary status that assigns him.  Your fighting skills could be a direct attempt to “show up” elder brother in a socially acceptable way


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