I am a pretty sarcastic person.  I find it to be a very worthwhile humor venture, and I have gotten to the point where it is a natural part of my daily banter.  However, I have been trying to dial it back lately, especially after I realized that other peoples’ opinions of me are important.  And just when I feel that I am getting a grip on my sarcastic tendencies, I run into sarcasm in the one place that I never expected…the Bible.

I am currently reading through the book of 2 Kings in my daily quiet time, and there comes a point every day when I am offended by sarcasm.  It comes in different forms of the same phrase, and it started way back in the beginning of 1 Kings.  I laughed the first time I read it, but I am to the point now where I consider skipping over it to avoid frustration.

As you may know, the books of 1 Kings and 2 Kings cover the chronology of the kings of Israel and Judah.  There are some pretty cool stories of prophets and war in there, as well as the construction of the temple in Jerusalem.  But it all boils down to who was king, for how long, whether or not they obeyed God, and how they died.  And at the end of every king's story comes a variation of the phrase, “As for all the other events of “king so and so ’s” reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?” (NIV)

I realize that not all translations put the phrase that way.  However, the fact that it is presented as a question and it is asked in that way, I find it to be incredibly sarcastic.  Every time I read it, I feel like the author is mocking me and insulting my intelligence.  It’s like he is saying, “Can’t you read?  It’s over in Chronicles, man.  Geez!”

Of course, I am being a bit facetious in saying that the author was being purposefully sarcastic.  However, that was my actual reaction to the phrase when I first read it (and pretty much every time after that).  I am really looking forward to reading the books of 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles so I can look back at this phrase and say, “Yes, it is in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel.  I read about it…in a book.”

Are there any passages of scripture that you find to be troubling or distracting just by the way they are written?




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