Is there intentional humour in the Bible?

Do you think the Bible tries to be funny at some times? I’m currently reading the Book of Judges, and I’m convinced that it is intended to be read in a light hearted manner to an extent. From the death of Eglon, to Gideon’s dream of barley bread to Samson’s stupidity, the book is full of humour, and that greatly increases my admiration for it.


I’ve never seen [the book of Judges] that way, but perhaps because in my circle, seeing the Bible as funny is to see it as less serious, and taking the Bible seriously is of utmost importance.

Though I do chuckle at Elijah’s mocking of the priests of Baal, asking whether their god might be out taking a leak and can’t hear them. (not quite in those words)


In my very conservative church, it’s usually acknowledged that there is some sarcasm, satire, and humor in the Bible. I think God has a sense of humor. :slight_smile:


For sure there is humor in the bible. Before he became persona non grata Mark Driscoll did a phenomenal on sermon this very question. Worth trying to dig it up if you can.

One of the passages he references is Isaiah 44:14-20. Where the man cuts down a tree and half of it he burns to keep warm and the other half he uses to make an idol. It’s pretty sardonic humour to say the least. Another is Luke 6:41-42, which, if you try to visually imagine it, is a very funny scene. It could almost be a monty python sketch.


This along with Jeramiah 10:1-5 which is humorous, especially Jeremiah 10:4-5.

They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so that it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do not harm, nor can they do any good."


I hope Paul’s comment regarding Cretans was done tongue in cheek, but am not sure, what with him suggesting some castrate themselves.

Yeah the comment about the Cretan’s is a tricky one (Titus 1:12). Not least because of the context and target of the description is not always clear. But Having preached this passage recently I’d argue he is being serious. However I’d also suggest that he takes a general observation about Cretans and applies it to a specific group. Namely, the false teachers galavanting around Crete.

How about these observations from the sages concerning lazy people:

“A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!”” - Proverbs‬ ‭26:13‬

“As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.”‭‭ - Proverbs‬ ‭26:14‬

My personal favourite:

“A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth!”- Proverbs‬ ‭19:24‬

In other words, a sluggard is even too lazy to feed themselves!


The book of Jonah. I think there is a bit of the irony sort of humor. There is humor in Jonah’s reluctance and attempts to run away. Then there is his outrage when God doesn’t carry out the prophesy. In a way, I think the book represents the prophets laughing at themselves.

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Yes, I concur with the scholars who say that the Book of Jonah is satire, and intended to critique the wrathful God often found in the prophets.

I come to a similar conclusion regarding the Book of Judges. I’m convinced it is purposely absurd, to satirise the excessive divine actions of other books in the Bible.

Could this be why Shamgar and Samson end up killing hundreds with non-weapons? Could it be a satire against the excessive miracles in the Tanakh?

Of course, parts of the Book of Judges are not intended to be funny at all, like the rape of the Levite’s concubine.

I would say that Paul pulled out some dark humor in order to make out a point, probably inside jokes of the time and era that pass over our heads, much like how millennial humor/memes would pass over a lot of people’s heads if I were to say some for example.

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I agree with you that there is, a prophet of Yahweh not obeying God, pagan sailors give thanks to God, the prophet has a meltdown when God shows mercy.

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That is a very clever part of the Bible, for it takes Canaanite beliefs and turns them on it’s head. What is lost on modern readers is that the drought in 1 Kings 17 was intended to be ironic, since Baal was the Canaanite rain god. The passage even uses language reminiscent of the Aqhat Epic.


Not fair to scarecrows, who do an important job for farmers.

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My 2 yearold granddaughter even buried her face in the dish. A born sluggard.
But we’d just got back from a long doggy walk, so more likely she was only tired from the walk.


I agree Jonah has humor, and I suspect it may have been meant to be a play.

The livestock covered in sackcloth would have provided comic relief.

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I can see it being a play being set to an outside theater type setting.

I think Jesus was a master of double meanings and humour.
“Those who have ears, let them hear” It is pure genius.
And some of his jibes at the authorities were cleverly veiled so that only those involved really knew what he was talking about. There is no doubt that humour is a great tool and that God would and does use it. Even down to the comments about what seems foolish or wise.


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Job would be interesting as a play also, maybe starting it like the movie “Little Big Man” where Job as aged man begins reflecting on the events of his life.