Humour in the Bible: book 27: Daniel

Like Esther, Daniel is set in a foreign court and telling to the trials and triumphs of exiled Judeans and is packed with humour at the expense of the imperial overlords.

In this podcast I’m following an article by Hector Avalos from CBQ and focusing on the repeated lists of Dan 3. For his comparison text Avalos went to the early English Piers Ploughman but I’ll refer to “How the Whale got his throat” from the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (for obvious reasons πŸ˜‰


Avalos, Hector I. β€œThe comedic function of the enumerations of officials and instruments in Daniel 3.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 53, no. 4 (October 1991): 580-9.


  1. Thank you very much for bringing attention to the use of comedic devices in the Bible.

  2. Author

    Thank you for a fine article, which I raided shamefully. (Worse I just spotted I had neglected to give the reference. An oversight that is now corrected.)

  3. When teaching children’s ministry, I think all leaders would agree that it helps if the kids have fun and are able to laugh a little (or a lot). For this reason, I was so excited to stumble upon this blog post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for linking to the audio podcast as well.

    1. Author

      Indeed and hardly a giant in sight πŸ™ Though there are enough other wierd and wonderful things πŸ˜‰

      1. I have to admit that there are other things in the Bible than Giants – not quite as interesting things, of course, but they are there.

  4. This is a real revelation to me! I knew there was humor in Scripture, of course, but never looked for it in the book of Daniel. Thanks for this!

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