He who sits in the heavens laughs . . .

The Hebrew of Psalm 2:4 that reads “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord (or: Lord) scoffs at them” or similar in English is translated in the Judeo-Arabic translation by Saʿadia Gaon (882–942) as “And inhabiting-he heavens causes-laugh people at-them also Allah causes-mock people at-them.” (Literal back-translation)

Judeo-Arabic is the language of Jewish communities in the Arab world, consisting of Arabic with Hebrew and other influences written in Hebrew script. The influential translation by Saʿadia Gaon tends to avoid anthropomorphisms (attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions) as they relate in the original Hebrew text to God and rationalize them. In this verse he “ascribes the actions of laughing and mocking to other people who deride the wicked for their rebellion against Allah and his anointed one. Allah only causes people to mock and laugh at the wicked.” (Source: Sameh Hanna in The Bible Translator 2024, pp. 331ff.)

See also Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Targumim and their treatment of anthropomorphisms.