Introduction to the Old Testament: Poetic (Wisdom) Books Comunicación y Gerencia Father Luke Wassif Saint Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Atlanta, GA.

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Introduction The Books of Poetry are five. In most translations, they can be found after the Books of History and before the Books of Prophecy. These Books of Poetry are: Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon

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  • 1 Introduction to the Old Testament: Poetic (Wisdom) Books Comunicación y Gerencia Father Luke Wassif Saint Mary Coptic Orthodox Church, Atlanta, GA
  • 2 References Jamieson, Fauset & Brown Commentary on the Bible, ISBN:0-310-26570-3. Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps & Charts, ISBN:0-7852-1154-3 Introduction To The Old Testament by Dr. Waheib Kamel (Arabic).
  • 3 Introduction The Books of Poetry are five. In most translations, they can be found after the Books of History and before the Books of Prophecy. These Books of Poetry are: Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon
  • 4 Introduction (cont.) These books have also been known as the Books of Wisdom. Scholars using Semitic languages to study the Old Testament have called these books “poetic” since they were written as poems using many parallel stichs within the verses as well as short prose and prose-narrative literary styles. These books are fine examples of old Hebrew religious literature.
  • 5 Introduction (cont.) The content of these books, as well as their literature style and themes were without doubt familiar to the inhabitants of the Middle East. However, these writing were different in nature as the Jews knew that they were the result of Divine Inspiration and not the work of a human mind as these writings were very different from Greek philosophy reflected in writings from that period.
  • 6 Introduction (cont.) For the Jews, these books come third in order after the Torah (Books of Moses) and the Nevi’im (The Prophets). These books were part of the Ketuvim (Writings). In the Hebrew books, they are found in the following order: Psalms Proverbs Job Song of Solomon The Book of Ecclesiastes is found after Ruth and the Lamentations of Jeremiah.
  • 7 Introduction (cont.) Their current order comes from the Septuagint and the later translations. The Septuagint also adds two more books to these five: The Wisdom of Joshua son of Sirach The Wisdom of Solomon These poetic writings were not the only one known to the Jews as there were many writings not recorded in the Old Testament but only referred to such as the psalms, proverbs and songs of King Solomon. Those were briefly mentioned in 1 Kings 4:30- 34. The Coptic Orthodox Church uses a great portion of the books in its rites and prayers due to the comforting nature of the writings as well as the presence of explicit prophesies about our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 8 The Book of Job
  • 9 Summary of Job
  • 10 Outline of Job
  • 11 Part I: The Dilemma of Job (1:1-2:13) The Circumstances of Job (1:1-5) The First Assault of Satan (1:6-22) The Second Assault of Satan (2:1-10) The Arrival of Job’s Friends (2:11-13)
  • 12 Part II: The Debates of Job (3:1-37:24) The First Cycle of Debate (3:1-14:22): Job’s First Speech (3:1-26) Eliphaz’s First Speech (4:1-5:27) Job’s Reply to Eliphaz (6:1-7:21) Bildad’s First Speech (8:1-22) Job’s Response to Bildad (9:1-10:22) Zophar’s First Speech (11:1-20) Job’s Response to Zophar (12:1-14:22)
  • 13 Part II: The Debates of Job (3:1-37:24) (cont.) The Second Cycle of Debate (15:1- 21:34): Eliphaz’s Second Speech (15:1-35) Job’s Response to Eliphaz (16:1-17:16) Bildad’s Second Speech (18:1-21) Job’s Response to Bildad (19:1-29) Zophar’s Second Speech (20:1-29) Job’s Response to Zophar (21:1-34)
  • 14 Part II: The Debates of Job (3:1-37:24) (cont.) The Third Cycle of Debate (22:1-26:14): Eliphaz’s Third Speech (22:1-30) Job’s Response to Eliphaz (23:1-24:25) Bildad’s Third Speech (25:1-6) Job’s Response to Bildad (26:1-14)
  • 15 Part II: The Debates of Job (3:1-37:24) (cont.) The Final Defense of Job (27:1-31:40): Job’s First Monologue (27:1-28:28) Job’s Second Monologue (29:1-31:40) The Solution of Elihu (32:1-37:24): Elihu Intervenes in the Debate (32:1-22) Elihu’s First Rebuttal (33:1-33) Elihu’s Second Rebuttal (34:1-37) Elihu’s Third Rebuttal (35:1-16) Elihu’s Conclusion (36:1-37:24)
  • 16 Part III: The Deliverance of Job (38:1-42:17) The First Controversy of God with Job (38:1-40:5): God’s First Challenge to Job (38:1-40:2) Job’s First Answer to God (40:3-5) The Second Controversy of God with Job (40:6-42:6): God’s Second Challenge to Job (40:6-41:34) Job’s Second Answer to God (42:1-6) The Deliverance of Job and His Friends (42:7-17)
  • 17 The Book of Psalms
  • 18 Summary of Psalms
  • 19 Numbering of Psalms
  • 20 Messianic Psalms Many of the psalms specifically anticipate the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, who came centuries later as the promised Messiah. The messianic prophecies in the psalms take a variety of forms and refer to Christ in a variety of ways: Typical Messianic Typical Prophetic Indirectly Messianic Purely Prophetic Enthronement
  • 21 Messianic Psalms (cont.) Typical Messianic Psalms: The subject of these psalms is in some respects a type of Christ (e.g. Pss 34:20; 69:4, 9). Typical Prophetic Psalms: The psalmist uses language to describe his present experience, which points beyond his own life and becomes historically true only of Christ (e.g. Ps 22).
  • 22 Messianic Psalms (cont.) Indirectly Messianic Psalms: At the time of composition, these psalms referred to a king or the house of David in general but awaited final fulfillment in Christ (e.g. Pss 2; 45; 72). Purely Prophetic Psalms: Refer solely to Christ without reference to any other son of David (e.g. Ps 110) Enthronement Psalms: Anticipated the coming of the Lord and the consummation of His kingdom, which will be fulfilled in the person of Christ (e.g. Pss 96-99)
  • 23 Prophecy and Fulfillment in Messianic Psalms
  • 24 Prophecy and Fulfillment in Messianic Psalms (cont.)
  • 25 The Book of Proverbs
  • 26 Summary of Proverbs
  • 27 Outline of Proverbs
  • 28 I. The Purpose of Proverbs (1:1-7)
  • 29 Outline of Proverbs (cont.) II. Proverbs to the Youth (1:8-9:18): Obey Parents (1:8,9) Avoid Bad Company (1:10-19) Seek Wisdom (1:20-2:22) Benefits of Wisdom (3:1-26) Be Kind to Others (3:27-35) Father Says Get Wisdom (4:1-13) Avoid the Wicked (4:14-22) Keep Your Heart (4:23-27) Do Not Commit Adultery (5:1-14) Be Faithful to Your Spouse (5:15-23) Avoid Surety (6:1-5) Do Not Be Lazy (6:6-19) Do Not Commit Adultery (6:20-7:27) Praise of Wisdom (8:1-9:12) Foolish Woman (9:13-18)
  • 30 Outline of Proverbs III. Proverbs of Solomon (10:1-24:34): Proverbs Contrasting the Godly and the Wicked (10:1-15:33) Proverbs Encouraging Godly Lives (16:1- 22:16) Proverbs Concerning Various Situations (22:17-23:34)
  • 31 Outline of Proverbs IV. Proverbs of Solomon Copied by Hezekiah’s Men (25:1-29:27): Proverbs Regulating Relationships with Others (25:1- 26:28) Proverbs Regulating Various Activities (27:1-29:27) V. The Words of Agur (30:1-33) VI. The Words of King Lemuel (21:1-31): Wisdom for Leaders (31:1-9) Wise Woman (31:10-31)
  • 32 Ecclesiastes
  • 33 Summary of Ecclesiastes
  • 34 Outline of Ecclesiastes
  • 35 Part I: The Thesis That “All Is Vanity” (1:1-11) Introduction of Vanity (1:1-3) Illustrations of Vanity (1:4-11)
  • 36 Part II: The Proof That “All Is Vanity” (1:1-11) From Experience (1:12-2:26): Vanity of Striving After Wisdom (1:12-18) Vanity of Striving After Pleasure (2:1-3) Vanity of Great Accomplishments (2:-17) Vanity of Hard Labor (2:18-23) Conclusion: Be Content (2:24-26)
  • 37 Part II: The Proof That “All Is Vanity” (1:1-11) (cont.) From Observation (3:1-6:12): Immutability of God’s Program (3:1-22) Inequalities of Life (4:1-16) Insufficiencies of Human Religion (5:1-7) Insufficiencies of Wealth (5:8-20) Inescapable Vanity of Life (6:1-12)
  • 38 Part III: The Counsel for Living with Vanity (7:1-12:14) Coping in a Wicked World (7:1-9:18): Wisdom and Folly Contrasted (7:1-14) Wisdom of Moderation (7:15-18) Strength of Wisdom (7:19-29) Submit to Authority (8:1-9) Inability to Understand All God’s Doing (8:10-17) Judgment Comes to All Men (9:1-6) Enjoy Life While You Have It (9:7-12) Value of Wisdom (9:13-18)
  • 39 Part III: The Counsel for Living with Vanity (7:1-12:14) (cont.) Counsel for the Uncertainties of Life (10:1-12:8): Wisdom’s Characteristics (10:1-15) Wisdom Related to the King (10:16-20) Wisdom Related to Business (11:1-6) Wisdom Related to the Youth (11:7-12:8)
  • 40 Part III: The Counsel for Living with Vanity (7:1-12:14) (cont.) Conclusion: “Fear God and Keep His Commandments” (12:9-14): The author closes this book by stating that there is a God who will hold us accountable for the deeds of our lives. Life “under the sun” will be judged from a heavenly perspective. Thus the book ends on a positive and encouraging not, because one’s accountability before God means that the course of our lives is of eternal significance. In spite of the frequent observation and experience of life’s apparent futility, the author exhorts his readers to grasp by faith the sovereignty, goodness, and justice of God and to enjoy all the facets of life as His gift.
  • 41 Without God All Is Vanity Godless Learning → Cynicism (1:7,8) Godless Greatness → Sorrow (1:16-18) Godless Pleasure → Disappointment (2:1,2) Godless Labor → Hatred of Life (2:17) Godless Philosophy → Emptiness (3:1-9) Godless Eternity → Unfulfillment (3:11) Godless Life → Depression (4:2,3) Godless Religion → Dread (5:7) Godless Wealth → Trouble (5:12) Godless Existence → Frustration (6:12) Godless Wisdom → Despair (11:1-8) Godly Fear → Fulfillment (12:13,14)
  • 42 Song of Solomon
  • 43 Summary of Song of Solomon
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