13 December 2011

Phallotomy- Penis as trophy

Following a massacre, it was not uncommon for warriors to
bring back heads or some other bodily part to prove how many
enemies were killed. Sometimes the bodily part would be a scalp,
hand, foot, or ear. But when Saul offered his daughter to David
in exchange for killing one hundred Philistines, the bodily part
he required was none of these. The part Saul required was the

David was to bring back one hundred Philistine "foreskins"
(1 Samuel 18:25). Bergmann, Gesemus, and other scholars have
pointed out that the word translated "foreskins" includes the
entire male member: "basr ha-ghurleh" meaning prepuced penis,
"basr" being euphemistic for the male organ itself and "ghurleh"
being the "sheath" thereof.

"Phallotomy" - cutting off the penises of victims - had long been
considered proof of bravery. Egyptian soldiers exhibited
thousands of penises before Ramses III following the battle of
Khesef-Tamahu. Among the people of Mowat a victor in battle would
wear about him the penis of his conquered enemy; it was
considered good luck to do so. The women of Cush cut off the
penises of wounded or slain men and stuffed them in the mouths of
their enemies. The nomad Danakil who roamed the eastern desert of
Ethiopia were fanatical collectors of phallic trophies. The
Hittites and Arabs did the same. An old Bedouin custom required a
warrior to present his bride or her father with the severed
penises of tribal foes.

It is not a pretty picture. David gets some men together and
heads out toward a Philistine settlement. Coming through the
hills, up ahead they see a group of Philistines - apparently
unable to defend themselves - for none of David's men are killed.
As they move in, a couple men grab a Philistine while David
shoves his sword into his stomach. The man cries for mercy; none
is given. David rips the man's clothes open and grabs his penis,
pulls on it, and cuts it off for his collection. He will need at
least one hundred of these to buy his woman.
Saul had asked for one hundred "foreskins," but we read that
David "slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought
their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the
king" (1 Samuel 18:27). In the excitement did David kill twice as
many as required? Possibly; but usually the number two hundred is
considered a copyist error. Tke other verses that mention the
number all say one hundred (1 Samuel 18:25; 2 3:14).
Whether one hundred or two hundred, these severed penises
were presented to Saul "in full tale," that is, the full count or
tally. One can imagine the scene as Saul and others with glee
counted - 1,2,3,4, and on up to the full count.
Years later, when king Saul was wounded in battle, he asked
his armor bearer to kill him "lest these uncircumcised come and
abuse me " (1 Chronicles 10:4). He may have feared genital
amputation (in retaliation for what he had ordered David to do to
Philistines), or homosexual rape, the word translated "abuse"
being capable of meaning to thrust in.
It was, apparently, sexual abuse that was also feared by
king Zedekiah when he told Jeremiah: "I am afraid of the Jews
that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their
hand, and they mock me" (Jeremiah 38:19). The word that is here.
translated "mock" is the same word that is translated "abuse" in
the case of Saul.

1 comment:

ElmoThePenis said...

Intent. It all revolves around intent. I've met a guy who has decided to donate his big penis and balls to a museum for display, after first being plastinated or preserved.

So not every orphaned penis and balls is a trophy of conquest. They may be like the penis named "Elmo" - donated willingly by a proud owner who wants to insure some kind of immortality and fame for his favorite body parts.