prelban.gif (4043 bytes)
by Sam Witherup PC


Humor in the Bible

Sir Knights:

          I was challenged by a woman at my church to find any humor in the scriptures. Since the bible is also a history of a human people, it abounds in humor depending upon the type you enjoy. I put together some of my findings for you that I consider humorous. I hope you enjoy it.

          The humor that is present in the bible often alludes us because it was a different time, culture, and values. What I present are several examples of humor that is exhibited within the scriptures.

          God’s sense of humor. For example, Moses, as you know, led his people out from slavery, away from Egypt. As they roamed the dessert, they became hungry.

         Exodus 16 tells us that they complained about starving and said that when they were in Egypt, at least they had enough to eat. So God sent them manna or bread from Heaven. It rained the bread in abundance, so much that the Jewish Nation ate on it for years.

         Now in Numbers 11, the same people who complained about starving were now complaining about how boring it was eating just the manna. The scriptures tell us that some strangers who were traveling with them craved to eat meat. So the craving for meat spread to the Israelites who complained to Moses about just eating bread.

          In Numbers 11, Moses approached God about this new development and God promised meat. He then sent thousands of Quails so that the Israelites gorged themselves on the meat. The scriptures state that there was so much of it that it came out their noses and mouths. You might call this feast or famine.

Humorous sayings:

          Proverbs 27:14 informs us that if we rise early and bless our neighbors loudly enough, it will be construed by them as a curse.

          Proverbs 25: 24 informs us that it is better to live in a small corner of the roof that a house with a contentious woman

          Proverbs 30: 19 the author informs us of four things that remain a mystery to him, the last being the relationship between a man and woman.

          Acts 20:7 - 12 discusses what happens when a lad who was called Eutychus fell asleep in church while Paul was preaching. Haven’t we done that a time or two?

The humor of Jesus

          Luke 18:25 When Jesus was preaching to the crowd, he told them that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than a rich man to enter heaven. The article the (instead of an) is important because He was referring to a special gate in Jerusalem named the "Eye of the Needle" that was used when the city was under attack. This was a very narrow, low thin gate that a camel could only pass through riderless, and without his burden. This prevented enemy soldiers on horse back from raiding the city. Since many members of the crowds that listened to Jesus preach hated the rich, this comment would have drawn a laugh with the people visualizing a rich fat merchant having to dismount from his comfortable perch on a camel’s back, stripping the camel of his burdens, and then coaxing the camel through the small gate.

          The funniest incident (in my opinion) about Jesus involved a humorous mockery of Satan and his powers. We know that the Jewish people were forbidden to eat pork of any type. This was an ancient Law of Moses, practiced by them for thousands of years and still is today. Because of their attitude of pork, the pig, or swine was considered by the Jews to be the lowest of animals.

          As Recorded in Matthew 8:28, the demons inhabited a man who lived in a cemetery. He came out of the cemetery and challenged Jesus. Jesus ordered the demons out of the man and was going to send them out of the country but they begged to be sent into a herd of swine, hoping to stay around and enter another human when Jesus left. When Jesus sent them into the swine, the herd of pigs became so scared that they ran into the sea and drowned. The herdsmen were beside themselves having lost their valuable herd of pigs. They ran into the city and told everyone about the incident. The city fathers came out and asked Jesus to leave their city for they didn’t want their valuable animals to do the same.

          This story is also recorded in Mark 5: 1-20 and Luke 8: 26 - 39 Mark and Luke names the demon as Legion.

          Human nature has not changed since Adam and Eve. There is a lot of humor in the bible, and sometimes what is funny to one, is not to another. But I encourage you to read the scriptures from many perspectives, humor being one of them.

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Sam Witherup
Prelate of Hanselmann Commandery


(c) 2003 Sam Witherup - used by permission

Pulpit Index Page Commander's Corner Drill Team Section Hanselmann Calendar Sign our Guestbook
Send a Comment about this article   Sojourner's Soapbox Main Menu