Chapter 38 is called “Sad,” which it is, but the name comes from another of those typos they were too dumb to take out. This time it's the Arabic letter Saad. Another Miracle!! WHOOO-HOO!
The first time I read chapter 38 I thought 'this is totally incoherent.' I thought it might be translation problems. Then I looked everything up, reread it and studied it, and now that I understand it I know it is totally incoherent. It's a lot of bible stories, all reduced down to bare bones, and all the same: a prophet turns up → people don't believe him → god kills everybody. The exception is Solomon. God let him live, and I was all “What? Why aren't you killing him? You don't let people live!” I guess I'm finding the author's mood. When the hero not committing senseless genocide puzzles you, there is something very basically wrong. Counting the verses in this chapter and the next, they devote 4% to heaven, and 50% to damnation. And the stories don't have any logic.
Take David: Two guys ask him to settle an argument and he says “You've got a million sheep and you're taking the only one he's got. It's not fair.” So far so good. The next sentence David is down on his knees begging forgiveness. You see the nice smooth flow of logical narrative there? Or are you like me screaming at the monitor “BEGGING FORGIVENESS FOR WHAT, for God's sakes?
I admit I forgot the bible story about David. OK, I suck. All I remembered was he killed some big dude with a sling. So I reread the bible and remembered that David had some guy killed so he could get his wife Bathsheeba, and god was pissed and sent an angel, who told the sheep story--and then I got it. Sheep = women, the one ewe = Bathsheeba, David = murdering scumbag, NOW it makes sense!! If I hadn't read the Torah's version I never would have got it. So the moral is that without the Torah the koran is useless, but according to moslems all these other scriptures are corrupted and unreliable.
Same thing with the first verses. It gloats vaguely about some unidentified prophet “turning many gods into one” → people don't believe him → god kills everybody. Turns out there are hadith about this that explain it as a garbleation of Mo's meeting with the leaders of his tribe. Once again if all you read is the koran, you have no idea what it's about. It's like telling a punch line without the joke. Or how about Ishmael, Al-Yasa and Dhul-kiffle? Especially that last guy dull kiffle? History has exactly jack and shit to say about him except for two passing mentions in the koran; he “observes patience” (21:85), and he's “among the best” (v48), whoever he is.
So, bottom line, the single book we need to know how to life our lives is completely worthless without a lot of supplementary materials that either don't exist or have been corrupted. Just shoot me.
It's sort of a puzzle why, but twice in this chapter, v65 and 86-7, Mo says he's only a 'warner' and he's not asking any compensation for doing the lord's work. He insists on this in other places too that I'm too lazy to look up. My guess is it's to divorce himself from the priests in the Meccan Megachurch, who would have been milking the people for all they were worth—whereas Mo was poor and selfless, y'unnerstand. Hmf.