It almost seems that the Torah was written by someone bent on depreciating Jews. They did not descend from firstborns, are weak, idolatrous, and quarrel continually.

Cain, our progenitor, killed his brother Abel, the firstborn. Abraham, we surmise, was not a firstborn since he readily abandoned his father’s estate to go to Canaan: presumably, he was not an heir. Isaac and Jacob were secondary to their brothers Esau and Ishmael. Jewish patriarchs, heads of the tribes, were born in a curious order: the firstborn came from a slave girl while Joseph, Jacob’s most beloved son, was his youngest. On the maternal side, both Rivkah and Rachel weren’t the oldest children in their families. Abraham and Jacob had their first children by slave girls, which also seems to be the case for Isaac, who obviously had some relations before he married Rivkah, well into his adulthood.

The Torah makes a point of the foremothers’ wrong behavior. Sarah’s name meant a shrew, and Rachel was an idolater. Though the sages assert she stole her father’s idols to destroy them, such an explanation does not pass the test of Occam’s razor: a simpler explanation is that she stole the idols to put them to their regular use, worship.

The forefathers’ immorality is also pointed out. Abraham abandoned Sarah to hostile rulers on two occasions, Isaac married Rivkah when she was a child, and Jacob contracted Rachel from Lavan similarly in her childhood. The patriarchs sold their brother into slavery. Moshe, also not a firstborn, married two foreign women and did not circumcise his sons.

Jews as a whole abandoned God for the golden calf just days after miraculous salvation, and continuously leaned toward idolatry. They were ungrateful for being saved from Egypt and doubted divine commands all the way.

The reason for such a clear pattern of denigrating Jews eludes our understanding unless we entertain a revisionist concept that Jews mostly descended from the “mixed multitude” who left Egypt along with the original bearers of Judaism. Indeed, our ancestors in Egypt “did not know God” by his name and apparently did not circumcise as they had to undergo the procedure before crossing Jordan. A pure conjecture, of course.