An expression of rejoicing (Ps 126:2), contrasted with weeping (Eccl 3:4; Luke 6:21) or mourning (Jas 4:9) or both (Luke 6:25). Laughter may mean “laughter for pleasure, merrymaking, fun, enjoyment.” The contexts of (Exod 32:6 and 1Sam 18:7) suggest specifically religious celebrations. The reference in (Gen 26:8) seems to be explicitly sexual. Laughter is also used of the play of children (Gen 21:9; Zech 8:5). (Prov 26:19) condemns a deception subsequently claimed to be for a laugh. Laughter may also denote “laughter at, mockery, ridicule, derision.” Job complains that his juniors laugh at him (Job 30:1), and Jerusalem recalls how its enemies laughed at its downfall (Lam 1:7). God, who can see the fate of wrongdoers (Ps 37:13; Ps 52:6), laughs at the futile presumptions of earthly rulers (Ps 2:4). Laughter at God, however, is reprimanded. On the occasion of Abraham’s (Gen 17:17) and Sarah’s (Gen 18:12) laughter God directs them to call the promised son “Isaac,” meaning “He laughs at.” Laughter at threats or dangers is an expression of confidence and security (Job 5:22; Job 39:22; Job 41:29). Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) tends to deprecate laughter (Sir 21:20; Sir 31:10), while recognizing that one’s laughter may reveal one’s character (Sir 19:30). Rarely mentioned in the NT, laughter may express either joy (Luke 6:21) or derision (Matt 9:24).

Ps 126:2

2Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”

Eccl 3:4

4a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Luke 6:21

21Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

Jas 4:9

9Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection.

Luke 6:25

25Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.

Exod 32:6

6They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.

1Sam 18:7

7And the women sang to one another as they made merry,
“Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.”

Gen 26:8

8When Isaac had been there a long time, King Abimelech of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw him fondling his wife Rebekah.

Gen 21:9

9But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac.

Zech 8:5

5And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.

Prov 26:19

19so is one who deceives a neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”

Job 30:1

1“But now they make sport of me,
those who are younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
to set with the dogs of my flock.

Lam 1:7

7Jerusalem remembers,
in the days of her affliction and wandering,
all the precious things
that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into the hand of ... View more

Ps 37:13

13but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that their day is coming.

Ps 52:6

6The righteous will see, and fear,
and will laugh at the evildoer, saying,

Ps 2:4

4He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord has them in derision.

Gen 17:17

17Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, ... View more

Gen 18:12

12So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”

Job 5:22

22At destruction and famine you shall laugh,
and shall not fear the wild animals of the earth.

Job 39:22

22It laughs at fear, and is not dismayed;
it does not turn back from the sword.

Job 41:29

29Clubs are counted as chaff;
it laughs at the rattle of javelins.

Sir 21:20

20A fool raises his voice when he laughs,
but the wise smile quietly.

Sir 31:10

10Who has been tested by it and been found perfect?
Let it be for him a ground for boasting.
Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress,
and to ... View more

Sir 19:30

30A person's attire and hearty laughter,
and the way he walks, show what he is.

Luke 6:21

21Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

Matt 9:24

24he said, “Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him.

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