Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Quotable Rhett Butler: The Really Pale Woman the Pharisees Took in Adultery

Okay, so we all know that I am not a Bible scholar, right? However, I did know a little about the reference we are featuring today, and probably so do you, because it is connected with a well known and frequently quoted phrase. The wording might be a bit deceiving, but here it is:
"'Wear that,' he said, tossing it on the bed and coming toward her. 'No modest, matronly dove grays and lilacs tonight. Your flag must be nailed to the mast, for obviously you'd run it down if it wasn't. And plenty of rouge. I'm sure the woman the Pharisees took in adultery didn't look half so pale. Turn around.'" 
--Gone with the Wind, Chapter LIII 
The woman the Pharisees took in adultery is actually the one that gives Jesus the occasion to say, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." The story goes, according to  John 8: 11-21, something like this. Jesus was preaching at the temple and the Scribes and Pharisees thought to test him by bringing along a woman caught in adultery and asking him what they were to do with her. According to the old Law, she was to be stoned to death for her deed. But according to the Roman law, no executions could be ordered by anyone other than the Roman Empire through its officials. So they had put Jesus between a rock and a hard place, so to say. If he said that she should be stoned to death, they could report him to the Romans for disregarding their rule. If he said she should be spared, they could  compromise him in front of the crowds by pointing out that he's not upholding the law of Moses. Jesus being Jesus, though, he solved it elegantly with that catch-phrase that, interestingly enough, Rhett omits to mention in his speech: ""Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." 

Now, if Scarlett was more Bible-savvy, which she sadly wasn't, perhaps she could have saved her hide by pointing out the rest of this Biblical story to her husband. After all, if there was one thing he definitely wasn't, then that's sinless...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...