Sometimes God is Funny, or, It’s True that You Should Be Careful about the Movies You See

Last night I was reading Haggai (*really* bad insomnia). I actually woke up my husband with my bed-shaking giggling after I read

“I smote you with blasting and with MILDEW…” (Haggai 1:18)

I just couldn’t help picturing a guy with a bad French accent, yelling from a tower, “I smite you with mildew, you silly Englishman…”

Come to think of it, maybe this suggests that Haggai was actually a woman–after all, men don’t think about mildew, do they? Hmmm–I feel a dissertation coming on!

7 comments for “Sometimes God is Funny, or, It’s True that You Should Be Careful about the Movies You See

  1. September 8, 2004 at 4:36 pm

    Nice post Kristine! That really is funny. I’ll have to share that one with my Mom. She’ll definitely get a kick out of it.

  2. Kevin Barney
    September 8, 2004 at 4:42 pm

    The latest FARMS Review, 16/1, which is hot off the press, serendipitously has several allusions to MPatHG in different essays by different authors.

    I’m a man and I never think about mildew, so your theory sounds promising to me.

  3. Kevin Barney
    September 8, 2004 at 5:02 pm

    I was curious about what the verse is actually saying, so I looked it up (as best I could on the internet without my printed resources from home). The terms “mildew” (HEB *yeraqon*) and “blasting” (HEB *shidaphon*) are usually listed adjacent to one another (due to the paronomasia, or word play in their sounds) in lists of various plagues, as is the case in Haggai 2:17. (Dt. 28:22, 1 Ki. 8:37 and 2 Chr. 6:28 are among the other examples.) Shidaphon is usually understood as a hot wind that damages crops, but, like yeraqon, it appears to be a word used for a particular fungus infection that is a blight upon crops–another reason the two terms are usually paired together. The etymology of yeraqon appears to have to do with the color greenish-yellow, which is why it sometimes (as in Jeremiah) has the connotation “paleness” rather than mildew (IE fungal infection).

  4. Kristine
    September 8, 2004 at 5:03 pm

    OK, Kevin–*you* write the dissertation :)

  5. Kevin Barney
    September 8, 2004 at 5:05 pm

    Ha, sorry Kristine, I let my intellectual curiousity get the better of me. The dissertation is all yours…

  6. September 9, 2004 at 7:39 am

    Kevin beat me to it, but once a crop has been blasted that way, everyone starves. Though Russians were known for eating their Rye crops anyway and just dying of the “death in the rye” or going insane.

  7. greenfrog
    September 10, 2004 at 11:05 am


    Rye ergot…


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