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Humour in the Bible

Psalm 2:4 (KJV)

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

People seem to get upset when I tell them that there are funny moments in the Bible, as though the very idea of humour is blasphemous. But as this post points out, God definitely has a sense of humour. So why wouldn’t it be included in His Book? The one He inspired. Below are three of my favourite humourous stories in the Bible. Starting with the most well-known.

Samson’s Pun

Samson, who was gifted with incredible strength as long as he never cut his hair, was an enemy of the Philistines. At one point an entire army came to kill him, but he picked up the jaw bone of a donkey and slayed them all. Then he famously said, “With the jaw of a donkey, I have made donkeys of them”. Or as the King James Version says,

Judges 15:15-16 (KJV)

And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

Raiders of the Lost Ark…kind of

This story is actually told in three parts. The Ark of the Covenant was the item the Israelites used to win their battles against their enemies. It was essentially like carrying God around without actually carrying Him around. That’s a bad description, but hopefully you get what I’m saying.

Anyway, during a particularly nasty battle, the Philistines managed to steal the Ark. This seemed like a major victory to them, because the Israelites ended up losing the battle, and some important people ended up dying.

But the Philistines quickly found out that that wasn’t the best idea they could have done. The statue of their god, Dagon, fell over. When they set it up, it fell over again the following morning, and this time the head and hands had cleanly broken off. As you can imagine, the Philistines were afraid and took the Ark out of the city and into the country.

However, that wasn’t enough. The Philistines were hit with plagues. After seven months, they put the Ark on a cart and had it sent back to the Israelites.

Peter’s Ghost

Now one from the New Testament. King Herod set out to kill Peter, as he knew that would please the Jews. So he had Peter captured and held captive for a long time. Meanwhile the Church was praying for his safe return at Mary’s house. One night, while Peter slept in his cell with two guards on watch in front of his cell, an angel woke him up and said to follow. Scripture even says that Peter was hoping that this was really happening and not just a dream.

Acts 12:9 (KJV)

And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.

When he was out of the prison, he went back to Mary’s house. But when he knocked on the door, instead of letting him in immediately, they grew afraid because they thought Peter was dead and that his ghost was at the door. Eventually, of course, they let him in, and he had to explain what happened.

Acts 12:13-16 (KJV)

And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

There are many other funny moments in Scripture, but these are my three favourite ones. If you have a favourite funny verse or biblical story, feel free to share them in the comments.

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