Special Sub-Topic: Humor in the Bible
|In the days of Israel, a prophet challenged the priests of Baal to a showdown. When Baal did not deliver, which prophet in I Kings 18 suggested that Baal was perhaps "relieving" himself?|
Elijah. Elijah was tired of having the people of Israel torn between the Lord and Baal and so suggested this showdown. Each was to prepare a sacrifice and the true God would set the sacrifice on fire. Elijah offered other theories for Baal's no-show, including musing, being on a journey or being asleep.
|Eutychus is mentioned as being overcome by sleep and falling out a window. Whose talking put the youth to sleep?|
Paul. Pastors and preachers can take to heart that they are not the first to put someone to sleep by their preaching. Paul seemed to have really gotten going on his sermon. Acts 20:7 says, "he prolonged his speech until midnight." No wonder the poor boy fell asleep. He fell to his death, but fortunately Paul stuck around long enough to raise him from the dead with God's intervention.
|Never leave a man to do a woman's job. The book of Judges records a warrior refusing to go fight without Deborah coming along. Which warrior apparently needed to have his hand held?|
Barak. Sisera was the commander of the army that opposed Israel. Deborah, a prophetess and judge in Israel, agreed to go with Barak. However, she told Barak, "the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." True to her word, Jael the wife of Heber drove a tent peg into the sleeping Sisera's head. Who knows whether Barak he would have been the hero of the day had he not wimped out. Still, Judges 4 is a great chapter for women power.
|Which child's birth was apparently so funny that the announcement of his impending birth caused his parents to laugh?|
Isaac. Isaac's name means 'he laughs'. His mother, Sarah, is most famous for laughing as she was ninety at the time she heard Isaac would be born (Genesis 18:12). However, Abraham also let out a chuckle in Genesis 17:17. Joseph was the first son of the previously barren Rachel. John the Baptist's father was so surprised he did not believe the angel. He was struck mute until John's birth. Samuel's mother, Hannah, believed that she was barren and prayed for a child.
|Which apostle's appearance was so surprising that the servant girl forgot to let him in?|
Peter. Peter had been imprisoned by Herod, but an angel rescued him. He went to the home of friends. "And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate." (Acts 12:13-14) Good thing Peter was in a good mood from being released. He might have been insulted and left at that welcoming.
|One likes to put the Bible heroes on pedestals, but one of them was very sensitive about his appearance. Which Old Testament person cursed a couple of boys for teasing him?|
Elisha. Elisha had just succeeded Elijah. On his way, the boys began to tease him by calling him 'baldhead'. After Elisha cursed them, they were attacked by bears. Guess here's a story about either keeping your temper under control or being careful about who you tease. You can find it in II Kings 2.
|Here is another Bible hero with an obvious weakness. Who planted a vineyard and got drunk?|
Noah. His son, Ham, found Noah passed out and naked in his tent. Guess they did not have lampshades back then to dance around in. Ham told his brothers, who covered their father up. When he woke up, Noah cursed Ham and blessed his brothers. This was cited in Genesis 9.
|Let's shift focus to something more odd than humorous. Why was Saul an odd choice to be the first king of Israel?|
He came from the smallest tribe.. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin which was nearly wiped out in the last chapters of Judges. Saul also said he was from the "humblest clan". Saul was described as being very tall, and clearly an Israelite since he was from the tribe of Benjamin. No mention was made of him being a shepherd, but he was trying to find some lost donkeys when Samuel found him. Some say this was God's subtle dig at the Israelites, by saying a man who herded donkeys was qualified to rule Israel. Saul was introduced in I Samuel 9.
|How is this verse completed from Leviticus 14:34 (English Standard Version)? "When you come into the land of Canaan, which I give for you a possession, and I put a case of _______________ in a house in the land of your possession."|
Leprous disease. I did not know that houses could catch leprosy. Different translations call it "mildew" or "fungus". One called it the "mark of leprosy". So obviously it was called a "leprous disease" for the Israelites to identify it. Such detailed regulations must have been quite convenient.
|It is not every day an animal begins to talk. Who actually had an argument with his donkey?|
Balaam. Shrek was not the first person to be badgered by a talking donkey. The Lord was angry with Balaam and sent an angel with a sword to block the path. Only the donkey could see the angel and refused to go. After some attempts to force the donkey through, the Lord "opened the donkey's mouth". They then had an argument about the donkey's obstinacy and Balaam's beating it. Balaam soon learned that his donkey was right. The argument is recorded in Numbers 22.
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