Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.”—1st Samuel 20:30-31 (ESV)
One the one hand, Saul insults Jonathan's mother:
- "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman"
and on the other he says that Jonathan shames her:
- "you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness"
It seems to me that the insult is incoherent. Is this a literary device intended to show Saul's fury or is this some sort of standard trope in Saul's culture? It seems closely related to the modern maternal insult joke where the truth of the claim is irrelevant and can even harm the effectiveness of the insult. Would this be the way the ancient Hebrews would have understood Saul's words?