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Article 58 - O.T. Survey: Poetry

Survey of the Old Testament
Books of Poetry

Jon Gary Williams


I. Meaning of the name Job

A. The name Job means "perfected"

B. The book is so named because Job is its main character

II. Facts about the book of Job
A. The book of Job deals with the problem of human suffering

B. Job is made up of speeches and dialogue which pertain to Job's circumstances

III. Outline of Job
A. The man Job (1:1-5)

B. Satan allowed to test Job (1:6 - 2:13)

C. Job's complaint (3)

D. The first speech of Eliphaz (4-5)

E. Job's reply (6-7)

F. The first speech of Bildad (8)

G. Job's reply (9-10)

H. The first speech of Zophar (11)

I. Job's reply (12-14)

J. The second speech of Eliphaz (15)

K. Job's reply (16-17)

L. The second speech of Bildad (18)

M. Job's reply (19)

N. The second speech of Zophar (20)

O. Job's reply (21)

P. The third speech of Epiphaz (22)

Q. Job's reply (23-24)

I. Meaning of the name Psalms
A. The name Psalms means "book of praises"

B. It is so named because throughout the book the emphasis is primarily on praise

II. Facts about the book of Psalms
A. To the Jews Psalms was both a hymn book and prayer book

B. Psalms is a collection of songs, praises and prayers written by different people,

principally by David

C. "Praise" (or its equivalent) is found more than 175 times (from halal, or sometimes
hallelujah - "praise Jehovah")

D. "Selah" appears at the end of 71 of the Psalms and was probably a sign of emphasis or
interlude (cf. 3, 9, 24)

E. Fifteen of the Psalms (120-134) are considered songs of decrees - from a word meaning
"ascent" or "going up"

F. The 119th Psalm is evenly divided by the names of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet

III. Outline of Psalms
A. The Jews divided Psalms into five books, each one ending in a doxology - or statement of praise to God

B. The divisions (see American Standard or Revised versions)

1. Book I  (1 - 41)
2. Book II  (42 - 72)
3. Book III  (73 - 89)
4. Book IV  (90 - 106)
5. Books V  (107 - 150)
IV. Titles of the Psalms (found at the head of each Pslam)
A. Indicating types -
"Psalm" "Song" "Maschil" (instructive, Ps. 32); "Michtam" (writing, Ps. 16);
"Prayer" (Ps. 17); "Praise" (Ps. 145); "Shiggaion" (enthusiastic, Ps. 7)

B. Indicating kinds of music - "Neginoth" (stringed, Ps. 4); "Nehiloth (wind, Ps. 5);

"Alamoth" (Soprano voices, Ps. 46); "Gittith (Unknown, named after the Gittites, Ps. 8)

C. Indicating tunes - "Muthlabben" (Ps. 9); "Aijeleth-Shahal" (Ps. 22); "Shoshannim" (Ps.
45); "Mahalath" (Ps. 53); "Jonath-elem-rech-o-kim" (Ps. 56); "Alaschith" (Ps. 57); ShushanEduth" (Ps. 60); "Sho-shann-im-eduth" (Ps. 80); "Mahal-ath Leannoth" (Ps. 88)

D. Indicating people or authors - "David" (73 in all); "Moses" (90); "Solomon " (72, 127);
"Asaph" (50); "Heman" (88); "Ethan" (89); "Sons of Korah" (42); "Chief Musician" (11); "Jeduthun" (62)
V. Classification of Psalms
A. Prayers
1. Penitential (6, 25, 32, 51)
2. Under affliction (7, 10, 13)
3. Trust and assurance (3 - 5, 11, 13)
4. Thanksgiving for God's mercy to Israel (21, 45, 48)
5. To the Psalmist and others (9, 18,
B. Instructional
1. Dealing with the righteous and unrighteous (1, 17)
2. Magnifying the law of God (19, 119)
3. Views of life (14, 39, 49)
C. Praise
1. Extolling the goodness of God (3, 4, 16)
2. Praising the glory and power of God (2, 3, 18, 24)
D. Songs of the sanctuary and public worship (15, 24, 26)
VI. Historical setting
A. Time of Moses (106:7-33; 114; 136:10-15); Time of Judges (106:34-46)

B. The period of David

1. When David was persecuted by Saul (7, 11, 34)
2. During David's reign (24, 30, 55)
C. About Solomon (72)

D. Fall of Jerusalem (74, 79)

E. In Babylon (80, 137)

F. After the captivity (85:1-6 126)

VII. Jesus in Psalms
A. His zeal (69:9)  >>  Jn. 2:17

B. His praise (8:2)
  >>  Matt. 21:16

C. A rejected stone (118:22)
  >>  Matt. 21:42

D. David's son (132:11)
  >>  Matt. 22:42; Acts 2:29-31

E. David's Lord (110:1)
  >>  Matt. 22:43ff

F. His crucifixion

1. Parted garments (22:18)  >>  Jn. 19:23,24
2. Offering vinegar (69:21)  >>  Jn. 19:29
3. Mocked (22:7)  >>  Mk. 15:29
4. "Into thy hands" (31:5)  >>  Lk. 23:46
5. No bones broken (34:20)  >>  Jn. 19:36
6. "My God, my God" (22:1)  >>  Mk. 15:34
7. "He trusted in God" (22:8)  >>  Matt. 27:34
G. His resurrection (16:10)  >>  Acts 2:27

H. His ascension (68:18)
  >>  Eph. 4:8

I. His coronation (45:6,7)
  >>  Heb. 1:8,9

I. Meaning of the name Proverbs
A. The name Proverbs means "a pithy maxim or truth" - it is a short, pointed truth or "a truth couched obscurely"

B. They most often make comparisons or contrasts between things

II. Facts about the book of Proverbs
A. There are several types of arrangements for proverbs
1. Two lines (most frequent) (12:15)
2. Three lines (25:20)
3. Four lines (25:4, 5)
4. Five lines (30:32, 33)
5. Six lines (23:12-14)
6. Seven lines (only one) (23:6-8)
7. Eight lines (23:22-25)
8. Beyond this length the Jews called proverbs "Maschil odes": 11 lines - slothful man (24:3-34); on being industrious (27:23-27); 17 lines - drunkenness (23:29-35); 40 lines - virtuous woman (31:10-31)
B. The overriding theme of Proverbs - wisdom
1. Mentioned repeatedly, inferred often (1:1-6)
2. Is personified in chapters 8 and 9
3. This wisdom is in relation to five things: 1) duty to God; 2) duty to self; 3) duty to neighbor; 4) duty to domestic affairs; 5) duty to civil affairs
C. The broad nature of Proverbs - philosophical and relates to all men, not only Jews
1. No references to Jewish phrases, Jewish ancestry, the Mosaic law or Jewish events (feasts, etc.)
2. The wisdom revealed in Proverbs could have played a role in making Solomon so well known among the other nations (I Kings 10:1-7) (see I Kings 4:32)
D. The purpose of Proverbs
1. Seway: "The subjects of the proverbs are the affairs of the common life of men." Clark: "The principle object Solomon has in view, is to inspire a deep reverfence for God, fear of his judgments and an ardent love for wisdom and virtue."
2. Proverbs teaches us to have the proper attitude in the inner man which will be expressed in the outer man
III. Outline of Proverbs
A. Preface stating the object of the book (1:1-7)

B. Discourses in praise of wisdom (1:8 - 7)

C. Wisdom personified (8 - 9)

D. Proverbs of Solomon (374 in all) (10 - 22:16)

E. Words of the wise (22:17 - 24)

F. Additional proverbs of Solomon (25 -20)

G. The words of Agur (30)

H. The words of Lemual (31:1-9)

I. Solomon's virtuous woman (31:10-31)

I. Meaning of the name Ecclesiastes

A. The title Ecclesiastes I sthe Greek form of the Hebrew word koheleth meaning preacher

B. Preacher (or koheleth) is often the subtitle of the book and also appears in the first verse

II. Fact about Ecclesiastes
A. While the book of Job deals with the problem of suffering, Ecclesiastes deals with the problem of life
B. The theme of the book seems to be "vanity of vanities (1:1 12:8)
C. The book is a commentary dealing with this present life or things "under the sun" - an expression found 29 times
III. Outline of Ecclesiastes
A. The vanity of human wisdom and effort
1. The theme advanced (1:1-3)
2. The theme demonstrated (1:4 - 2:26)
B. The disappointing experience of life
1. The prudent attitude toward life and death (3)
2. The disappointments of earthly life (4)
3. The futility of the self-seeking life (5)
C. The vanity of wealth and honor
1. The frustration of ambition and desire (6)
2. The counsel of prudence in a world corrupted by sin )7)
3. Acceptance of an imperfect world (8)
D. Dependence on God to deal with injustices of life
1. Make the best of this life (9)
2. The uncertainty of life and the effects of folly (10)
3. How to best invest in life (11 - 12:8)
E. Life in light of eternity
1. The preacher's purpose - to teach people wisely about the nature of life (12:9, 10)
2. The value of the wisdom of the wise (12:11, 12)
3. The whole duty of man (12:13,14)

I. Meaning of the name Song of Solomon

A. The book is called Song of Solomon (Song of Songs - v.1) because it is regarded as Solomon's special song

B. It is sometimes called "Canticles," meaning song or hymn

II. Fact about Song of Solomon
A. The overall theme is physical love between husband and wife - and may well represent God's love for his people or (prophetically) Christ's love for his bride, the church

B. The book describes the conversations between Solomon and his bride (4:8) who was
 probably the daughter of Pharaoh (I Kings 3:1; 6:8 - see Song of Solomon 7:1)

C. In this story Solomon uses symbolic figures to describe the loving relationship between
he and his bride

D. The dedication and faithfulness which the king and his bride have for each other is the
key to the book

E. This book is the ideal example of what love should be in the relationship of marriage

III. Outline of the Song of Solomon
A. The introduction or inscription (1:1)

B. The bride's love for her husband and her humility (1:2-7)

C. The husband's love for his bride (1:8-11)

D. They meet - the bride speaks (1:12 - 3)

E. The husband speaks (4:1-15)

F. The bride speaks (4:16)

G. The husband speaks (5:1)

H. The bride speaks (5:2-8)

I. The daughter of Jerusalem (maidens) speak (5:9)

J. The bride speaks (5:10-16)

K. The daughters of Jerusalem speak (6:1)

L. The bride speaks (6:2,3)

M. The husband speaks (6:4-10)

N. The bride speaks (6:11-12)

O. The husband speaks (6:13 - 7:9)

P. The bride speaks (7:10 - 8)