Humour in the Bible, book 14: 2 Chronicles 18

Not what either Zedekiah the prophet or a real Viking would wear, but it is funny (photo by dionhinchcliffe)

The strange, and strangely disturbing story of Micaiah ben Imlah in 2 Chronicles 18 which repeats very closely its source in 1 Kings 22 1Which may mean this entry is cheating in terms of finding humour in every book of the (Hebrew) Bible, though it does seem to show that the Chronicles was not so humourless as to damage fine humour when he came across it. BTW if anyone has an example of humour in 1 Chronicles, I am still looking and would value your help. Tyler hinted at some killer comedy in Chronicles but so far no one has proposed a good example… it ticks all the boxes as a passage intended to be funny.

And when you read it, it is hilarious. From Jehoshaphat’s gentle resistance through Zedekiah with a “Viking” helmet, and Micaiah telling porkies after swearing the truth, only when caught claiming a Lying spirit from Yahweh tricked him, to Micaiah’s last laugh from prison, the tale is a riot ๐Ÿ™‚

But what is its point?

So, hereโ€™s the link to the audio: Humour in the Bible, book 14: 2 Chronicles 18

Notes   [ + ]

1. Which may mean this entry is cheating in terms of finding humour in every book of the (Hebrew) Bible, though it does seem to show that the Chronicles was not so humourless as to damage fine humour when he came across it. BTW if anyone has an example of humour in 1 Chronicles, I am still looking and would value your help. Tyler hinted at some killer comedy in Chronicles but so far no one has proposed a good example…

5 Comments

  1. This podcast got stuck just after the intro and I can’t hear it. Can you re-post it or something? Thanks

  2. Sorry, I’m not sure what went wrong. (Apart from lax checking on my part – lax checking does not mean long queues like at LAX but careless speed, almost the opposite in my experience ๐Ÿ˜‰ It should be fixed now.

  3. Just found you via your delightful Kipling stories in Librivox. Thanks! Re humor (I’m a Yank) where is Job? One of the funniest stories in literature. Too easy for you?
    I’m a History prof over here, tenured and all.
    Delighted to hear from a Christian in Britain — how’s it going over there?

    1. Author

      Thanks, Susan, I love reading aloud, and our kids are grown up and no grandchildren yet, so Librivox gives me an excuse. My dad used to read the Just So Stories to me when I was small which delighted both of us and gave me a love for Kipling’s language. I’ve just done Job a few days ago, Psalms is next, but it’s the marking season, and so it could be a while ๐Ÿ™

    2. Author

      PS although I grew up in Britain I’ve lived elsewhere for half my life, nearly ten years in Congo/Zaire and nearly twenty here in NZ, where we’ve been citizens for a long time now ๐Ÿ™‚ Christianity here was never an established religion, either in theory (like the UK) or in fact (like the USA) and has been a minority for a long time. It used to be a very influential minority in the pioneer period, but now is stronger among Asian and Polynesian people than among “Europeans”. However, there are signs that some churches are really thinking about mission (in the sense of recognising that Christian culture is different from the surrounding Materialist culture) and doing more than “shout louder evangelism”. So these could be interesting times ๐Ÿ˜‰

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