Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice? (Judges 10)

Judges 10 is a short chapter, and one that has few notes. Actually, the two notes given are in the category of Absurdity, and like so many in that category, little explanation is given and I am left wondering what the deal is.

Like a number of the Judges in the book, Tola is one that you might blink and miss. Oops, his story finished while I was writing that last sentence.

Now the judge Jair is someone that the Bible has a little bit more to say about, and so does the SAB. Apparently it's absurd that Jair has 30 sons who ride on donkeys. I'm not sure whether it supposed to be absurd that there are 30 of them (Jair probably was a polygamist like Gideon, although we are not told so) or that they ride on donkeys (a perfectly acceptable form of transportation; even Jesus used it!) I'm left to speculate and frankly have no idea what's odd about the statement. And then Jair's portion of the story is over, and it probably took me more words to describe it than it took to tell it in the first place.

Then, of course, we see a repetition of the same pattern we've seen over and over here. The Israelites turn their back on God, and so God turns His back on them. This time, however, when they get in trouble and call to Him, He refuses to help. Really, it's probably more surprising that this hadn't happened previously. The Israelites' despair will make them turn to another leader who turns out to be a great military commander, but a lousy family man. But that's a story for another day.


Steve Wells said...

Sometimes I mark verses that I think are funny as "absurd", since that seems to be the closest category.

You don't think there's anything funny about this verse:

"And he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities."

My kids often ask me why Far Side comics are funny, and I usually have a hard time explaining them. So I probably won't do much better here. But if I told you that I had thirty sons who drove thirty cars and had thirty cities, wouldn't you think that was strange -- and a little funny?

It might help to look at the Tola and Jair Brick Testament story.

And the idea of God selling the Israelites to the Philistines isn't at all funny to you?

I guess we have different senses of humor?

Brucker said...

I suppose the former is funny to visualize, and the latter is rather ironic. If you're using the "Absurd" label to mark things you think are funny, then I suppose there's a lot of odds and ends I'd mark as well.

Brucker said...

Heh, the Brick Testament version was pretty good, although my favorite was the first picture. "What did he rescue us from?" "I don't know!"

Steve Wells said...

Yeah, I should probably make that more clear at the site. 14 categories just isn't enough! (I started with only four.)