Psalm 2:4

Hebrew Bible

2 The kings of the earth form a united front; the rulers collaborate against the Lord and his anointed king. 3 They say, “Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us. Let’s free ourselves from their ropes.” 4 The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust; the Lord taunts them. 5 Then he angrily speaks to them and terrifies them in his rage, saying, 6 “I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill.”

Psalm 37:13

Hebrew Bible

11 But the oppressed will possess the land and enjoy great prosperity. 12 Evil men plot against the godly and viciously attack them. 13 The Lord laughs in disgust at them, for he knows that their day is coming. 14 Evil men draw their swords and prepare their bows, to bring down the oppressed and needy, and to slaughter those who are godly. 15 Their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

 Notes and References

"... Psalm 2:4 ... oddly there is no humor, no joyous laughter echoing from the heavens, and no image in that mirror of God as a merry old soul. The Romans did imagine Jupiter as a kind of heavenly Old King Cole. In fact the word jovial derives from a form of his name, Jove: “Characterized by hearty mirth, humour, or good fellowship; merry, jolly; convivial” . One looks in vain for friendly laughter or humor in most mythologies or in God’s Book and its Author. Of the thirty-eight occurrences of laugh in the King James Bible, twenty-two describe scornful or derisive laughter. In Proverbs, for instance, Wisdom (a primordial emanation of God) tells the fools who reject her counsel, “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you ... when distress and anguish come upon you” (1:26–27). One hears a sort of divine version of the playground “na, na, na, na!” chanted appropriately with rising and falling intonation. What sort of divine “Wisdom” could take delight or satisfaction in extreme human suffering, however self-inflicted? Or consider the case of Sarah - the ninety-year-old woman who overhears Yahweh tell her husband that she will have a child in the spring. Sarah is sensibly incredulous, thinking perhaps that this is a divine jest: “So Sarah laughed to herself.” One might expect a wise, benevolent deity to laugh with her, but Yahweh is offended, hearing in her laughter a question as to his power: “Why did Sarah laugh ... ? Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Sarah, frightened by God’s reaction, denies laughing, but God accuses, “No, but you did laugh” (Genesis 18:10–15). Most commonly biblical laughter is demeaning: Job decries the fact that he is “mocked of his neighbor,” one who “calleth upon God, and he answered him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn” (Job 12:4). God’s laughter, too, is triumphant and scornful: “But thou, O Lord, dost laugh at them; / thou dost hold all the nations in derision” (Psalm 59:8) ..."

Westbrook, Deeanne Speaking of Gods in Figure and Narrative (pp. 213-214) Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

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