Mar 16, 2020
End of Book 2!
"In a large and complicated system there might be various things
that are pleasing in His eyes.
Evening, May 13, 2017
Holy Scripture only mentions vampires once, but once is enough.
The context is Isiaiah 34. God is doing His usual thing where He talks about all of the horrible curses that will befall someone who pissed Him off – in this case the Edomites. He starts with standard fare; everyone will die, the stink of their carcasses shall fill the land, the mountains will be melted with their blood. The stars will fall from the sky like withered leaves on a grapevine, the skies will dissolve, the streams will be filled with burning oil.
Then He gets creative. He starts naming all the horrible animals that will come to dwell in Edom. Exactly which ones depends on your preferred translation. The King James Version translates these as unicorns, satyrs, and screech-owls.
The original Hebrew word translated “screech-owls” is “lilit”, and we may question King James’ judgment. If God starts by promising unicorns and satyrs, screech-owls are going to be something of a let-down. What is being hidden from our tender sensibilities?
We turn to the New International Version, which glosses “lilit” as the more promising “night creatures”. A couple more translations along these lines and we get to the New Revised Standard Version. It translates the same word as “Lilith the Night Monster”, which you have to admit is more interesting than “screech owls”."
This is a serialized story narrated by Matt Arnold with the permission of the author, Scott Alexander. The original text is here:
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