Divine Comedy

The intro to the Reading the Bible in 3D seminar mentions the “jokes” in the Bible. In his book Deep Exegesis, Peter Leithart gives us a rundown on what a joke is to justify using the word to describe some of the allusions in Scripture. One of the reasons jokes are funny is their reliance on inside information.

Here’s my all-time favourite joke in the Bible.

Jesus makes it clear that whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. This goes right back to the Garden of Eden. Adam did not humble himself under the Word and repeat it once more as a prophetic legal witness to the serpent and to Eve. In this refusal, he extended the exaltation of the serpent himself against the will of God. So Adam was humbled by God, and, very interestingly, the angel behind the serpent was exalted to a legal role in heaven. The serpent was lifted up, standing at God’s right hand as the accuser of Man.

If Adam had obeyed the Lord, he would have been worthy, as firstfruits of the Land (he was created in the Land and lifted up to the Garden) to “open the scroll,” in this case, the promises of dominion which the Lord had made to him. But the scroll remained closed. It would be a mystery to human eyes for four thousand years.

Joseph was a faithful firstfruits. Unlike Adam, he humbled himself continually and did not hide his relationship to God. This could have cost him his life, but he was eventually lifted up. He “opened the scroll,” the double witness God had sent to the Gentile king in dreams. Once vindicated as faithful and wise, he sat at Pharaoh’s right hand (with Pharaoh’s ring or seal) and became Pharaoh’s “living word.”

Daniel was another firstfruits carried into a Gentile court. He, too, humbled himself, and did not hide his Covenant identity. Again, this could have cost him his life, but he was eventually lifted up. He “opened the scroll,” the fourfold witness God had sent to the Gentile emperor in dreams. He, too, became the top wise man in the royal court, and it seems he may have had a hand in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian armies (under God’s guidance, of course).

James Jordan runs us through these similarites in his lectures, and how they all point to Christ’s faithfulness, His exaltation to the right hand of the power (finally usurping the satan), and His worthiness to “open the scroll” of the New Covenant, and sends out the four gospels (the horsemen of the harvest).

This really unlocks the book of Revelation for us, but the one that made me laugh was the instance in the book of Esther, which is already funny, but becomes hysterical when we have prior knowledge.

Mordecai was the Jew living in a Gentile city. Instead of submitting to authority, he refused to bow. (Bowing to Gentile kings, or any other human being, was not sinful for Jews, only bowing to idols because they are not images of the true God.) Mordecai also told Esther to hide her Covenant identity. As a result, another satan, Haman, usurped the role God had obviously prepared for Mordecai (we know this because of all the previous patterns, and also because Mordecai eventually received this role, a terror to the nations.)

Mordecai thwarts an assassination attempt on the king, which leads us to the divine comedy. Instead of the king receiving dreams from the Most High, he can’t sleep. If we were watching a sitcom with such a well-established pattern, seeing the king tossing and turning would surely justify some laughter from the live audience. He calls for the royal records and discovers Mordecai’s faithfulness (which, in context, we must understand as a submission to authority which God can bless.) He calls the self-righteous Haman in and asks his advice on what to do to glorify a faithful man. Here, Joseph or Daniel would “open the mystery.” Adam would obey and understand God’s intention behind the test. The purpose of the trial was to qualify His right hand Man so that a much greater authority could be conferred upon him and a much greater blessing could be poured out through him. (Notice the correpondence between Joseph’s grain and Jesus’ Pentecostal Spirit! In Daniel’s case it was the conversion of the king, but that would take a little more explaining than is wise at this point.)

Of course, Haman misinterprets the king’s will entirely, which is very funny, and repeats a theme which, as you can see now, unites the entire Bible from the first book to the last. Haman is just like Adam. He has himself become a lying serpent. He desired to exalt himself and he would be humbled. His wisdom was not the wisdom of God. But of course, a much greater humbling for him, and his sons, was to come. The serpent would be lifted up (Garden), along with his sons (Land) and the entire brood gathered in his spirit across the World.

Now, there are many Bible teachers who say that a type is only a type if it is explained explicitly in the text of the Bible. Never read Shakespeare or watch a good movie with, or lend a novel to, such a person. He is in the ranks of the illiterati and must not be permitted anywhere near such exquisite entertainments, especially the Bible.

James Jordan’s lectures are available from www.wordmp3.com

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