Yesterday when I posted about the difficulty that I sometimes have in seeing humor in Biblical passages Tim Bulkeley left a comment with a link to several posts that he has done on his 5 minute Bible site. I listened to the post on Esther and Jonah and realized that this is just the kind of stuff that I often miss.
In his post on Esther, Tim also mentions that the humor there is something that he missed for a long time too. But, it took a change of perspective in seeing how someone else, namely children at Purim take the story.
In that spirit, check out Tim’s posts on humor here that will perhaps offer the change of perspective that some of us need to recognize humor in the Hebrew Bible, at least in some places. I don’t want to spoil your listening, but I’d recommend listening to the one called “Jonah: Thoroughly Fishy!”
When reading the Book of Jonah I’ve never really thought about the absolute fast being imposed on the animals and how difficult it would have been to keep a horse from drinking. Or, I’ve never really conjured up a mental image of what it might have looked like for the animals to be strutting around in their sackcloth.
But, after listening to his post, I’m not sure I’ll be able to read those passages in Jonah again without those thoughts coming to mind.