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)
So do Gunn and Fewell, Narrative in the Hebrew Bible, p. 39. 23. , Speiser, Genesis,p. 300; Westermann, Genesis 37-50, p. 53; George W. Coats, Genesis (FOIL; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), p. 274; Anthony J. Lambe, 'Genesis 38: Structure and Literary Design', in Philip R. A. ), The World of Genesis: Persons, Places, Perspectives (JSOTSup, 257; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), pp. 102-20 (106); Aaron Wildavsky, 'Survival Must not be Gained through Sin: The Moral of the Joseph Stories Prefigured through Judah and Tamar', JSOT 62 (1994), pp.
C. H. ), Reasoning with the Foxes: Female Wit in a World of Male Power (Semeia, 42; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988), pp. 37-67 (41). 6. Bos, 'Out of the Shadows', p. 46. 7. See pp. 7-30 of the present volume. SHIELDS 'More Righteous than I' 35 of the primary narrative themes and motifs of Genesis noted by traditional scholarship. Instead of an ancestress being endangered by the possibility of intercourse with someone other than the patriarch himself, as in Genesis 12,20 and 26, here we have a story in which men endanger their own line: Er, Onan and ultimately Judah in turn take part in this endangering.
SHIELDS 'More Righteous than I' 33 The humor of the story relies on Judah's ability to see only what he wants to see, on the literary strategy of narrative irony, and on the timeless folk tale form of the comeuppance of the hero (or trickster, as I will argue below). Judah, our hero, is brought up short by his Canaanite and, as he thought, man-killing daughter-in-law. 2 Another factor which almost certainly plays into scholarly lack of focus on the humor in the story is the fact that it is a woman who is the instrument of this comeuppance.