By Athalya Brenner
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Extra resources for Are We Amused?: Humour About Women In the Biblical World (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 383)
48. Fewell and Gunn ('"A Son is Born to Naomi'", p. 236) suggest that Naomi, rather than Boaz, plays a Judah-like role, resistant (at first) to arranging remarriage for her widowed daughter-in-law: 'Might she [Naomi] perhaps be like Judah, not 20 Are We Amused? an amusing example of inelasticity with his insistence on the rigmarole of the strange sandal ceremony with the next-of-kin. It's not clear why this is necessary: Ruth and Boaz are both legally free, it seems, to marry whom they please. Why not embrace the passionate bond struck on the threshing floor?
We may take Bathsheba's silence as consent, if not secret pleasure. She has cleverly manipulated the situation to eliminate a male competitor to her son's throne and a female intruder into her husband's bed. Is this finally sweet revenge for the crimes against her and Uriah? However we might judge the methods, motives and morality of this court intrigue, from a biblical perspective the will of God has been fulfilled. Solomon, alias Jedidiah, 'the beloved of the Lord', is God's choice to extend the Davidic covenant (2 Sam.
Gunn and Fewell (Narrative in the Hebrew Bible, p. 37) are the only other scholars who have noticed the fact that the wording here, 'he was consoled', may not indicate the passing of a time of mourning, but is far more ambiguous than that. Perhaps the phrasing here is another narratorial clue regarding Judah's character. 40 Are We Amused? her face was covered'. 22 As before (v. 11), Judah's thoughts display him jumping to fallacious conclusions. Moreover, the term DO"1, meaning to 'count, reckon, or esteem', is a giveaway for the close reader, revealing that this is assumption rather than fact.