The first five books of the Bible are sometimes called the Pentateuch which means “five books.” They are also known as the books of the law because they contain the laws and instruction given by the Lord through Moses to the people of Israel. These books were written by Moses, except for the last portion of Deuteronomy because it tells about the death of Moses. These five books lay the foundation for the coming of Christ in that here God chooses and brings into being the nation of Israel.
As God’s chosen people, Israel became the custodians of the Old Testament, the recipients of the covenants of promise, and the channel of Messiah (Rom. 3:2; 9:1-5). GENESIS (The Book of Beginnings) Author: Moses Date: 1450-1410 B.C. Name of the Book: The name Genesis is taken from the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Old Testament. Theme and Purpose: Even a casual reading of the Book of Genesis reveals the prominence of the theme of blessing and cursing.
For obedience and faith, there is blessing as in the Garden of Eden, but for disobedience, there is cursing. The entire book turns on this theme and its antithetical opposite, cursing. But perhaps the main theme is the choice of a nation through Abraham and the Abrahamic covenant. Through Abraham God promised to bless the nations (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:1-21). Key Words: “Generations” or “account.
” A key word or phrase is “these are the generations of” or “this is the account of.” It is used some eleven times to introduce the reader to the next section which gives the narrative about what happened in connection with the key events and persons of the book from the creation of the heavens and the earth to all the patriarchs of Israel. Key Idea: Beginnings: Genesis not only means ‘beginning’, but it is the book of beginnings.
The book of Genesis gives us our historical point of reference, from which all subsequent revelation proceeds. In the book of Genesis all the major themes of the Bible have their origin. It is a book of many beginnings: in it we see the beginning of the universe, of man and woman, of human sin and the fall of the race, the beginning of God’s promises of salvation, and the beginning of the nation Israel as the chosen people of God because of God’s special purpose for them as the channel for Messiah and Savior.
In Genesis we learn about Adam and Eve, about Satan the tempter, about Noah, the flood, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph and his brothers. But here we also have the beginning of marriage, family, work, sin, murder, capitol punishment, sacrifice, races, languages, civilization, Sabbath, the first attempt at a united nations, and Babylonianism. The Bible is, through and through, a historical revelation.
It is the account of God’s activity in history. Key Chapters: Since the call of Abraham and the promises of blessing to the nations through his seed is the prominent message of Genesis, the key chapters are those relating to the Abrahamic covenant and its reiteration, 12:1-3; 15:1-21; 17:1-9. Key People: Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Esau, Jacob, Rachel, Joseph. Christ as Seen in Genesis: Prophetically: Immediately after the fall, the promise of salvation is given in the seed of the woman (3:15), but then the Messianic links are made clear throughout Genesis: the line of Seth (4:25), the offspring of Shem (9:26), the family of Abraham (12:3), the seed of Isaac (26:3), the sons of Jacob (46:3), and the tribe of Judah (49:10).
Typologically: There are several key types that portray the Savior in Genesis. (1) Adam is a type of Christ (Rom. 5:14). As Adam is the head of the old creation, so Christ is the head of the new spiritual creation. (2) Abel’s offering of a blood sacrifice points to Christ who would die for us. Abel’s murder by Cain may also illustrate Christ’s death. (3) Melchizedek is also a type of Christ (see Heb.
7:3). (4) Joseph, who was loved dearly by his father, betrayed by his brothers, and yet became the means of their deliverance typifies Christ. Outline: The book easily falls into two major sections: Four Events and Four People I. Four Events (Gen. 1-11). A. The creation of the world and man (1-2) B. The corruption of man, the fall (3-5) C. The destruction of man, the flood (6-9) D. The dispersion of man, the nations (10-11) II.
Four People: the election of a nation and the preparation for the redeemer (Gen. 12-50) A. Abraham (the father of faith and of the nation Israel) (12-23) B. Isaac (the beloved son of promise) (24-26) C. Jacob (scheming and chastening) (27-36) D. Joseph (suffering and glory) (37-50) EXODUS (The Book of Redemption) Author: Moses Date: 1450-1410 B.C. Name of the Book: “Exodus” is a Latin word derived from the Greek exodos, the name given to the book by those who translated it into the Greek Septuagint (LXX).
The word means “exit,” “departure.” Theme and Purpose: Two themes prevail in Exodus: (1) Redemption as pictured in the Passover, and (2) deliverance from the bondage of Egypt as seen in the Exodus out of Egypt and crossing the Red Sea. Key Word: “Redeem,” used nine times (6:6; 13:13; 15:13; 21:8; 34:20). After nearly four hundreds years of growth in Egypt, Exodus continues the history of God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel, and describes their deliverance out of Egypt and their development as a nation, actually, a theocracy under God.
It describes the birth, history, and call of Moses by God to lead the people out of their Egyptian bondage and into the promised land, the land of Canaan. Through the Passover lamb, the sparing of the firstborn, along with the miracles of the ten plagues, and the crossing of the Red Sea, God showed His people that He was not only more powerful than any Egyptian Pharaoh, but was the sovereign Lord, Yahweh, the God of redemption and revelation.
Once the people had crossed the Red Sea and arrived in the wilderness or desert, God gave them His righteous law and declared that they were a treasured possession to Him and were to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation as a testimony to the nations (Ex. 19:4-7). This holy law, including the Ten Commandments, demonstrated God’s holiness, taught them how to love God and one another, but in the process, it also demonstrated how all fall short of the holiness of God and need a way of access to God that provides forgiveness.
This was provided for in the tabernacle, the sacrifices, and the levitical priesthood. Key Chapters: Chapters 12-14 record the redemption of Israel from slavery in fulfillment of God’s promises; delivered from slavery by blood (the Passover lamb) and by power (the parting of the Red Sea). Key Verses: 6:6 Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage.
I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgment’ (see also 20:2). 19:5-6 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel. Key People: Moses, Aaron, Miriam, Pharaoh.
Christ as Seen in Exodus: While Exodus contains no direct prophecy of Christ, there are a number of beautiful types of the Savior. (1) In many ways, Moses is a type of Christ. Deuteronomy 18:15 shows that Moses, as a prophet, anticipates Christ. Both are kinsman-redeemers who were endangered in infancy, renounced their power to serve others, and functioned as mediators, lawgivers, and deliverers.
(2) The Passover is a very specific type of Christ as the sinless Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7). (3) The Seven Feasts, each of which portray some aspect of the Savior. (4) The Exodus, which Paul connects with baptism, pictures our identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 10:1-2; Rom. 6:2-3). (5) The Manna and Water are both portrayed as pictures of Christ (John 6:31-35, 48-63; 1 Cor.
10:3-4). (6) The Tabernacle portrays the Savior in its material, colors, furniture, arrangement, and the offerings sacrificed there (Heb. 9:1-10:18). (7) The High Priest quite clearly foreshadows the person and ministry of Christ (Heb. 4:14-16; 9:11-12, 24-28). Outline: Exodus easily divides into two sections: Redemption and Revelation I. Redemption From Egypt (1-18) A. In Bondage (Subjection) (1-12) B.
Out of Bondage (Redemption by blood and power) (12-14) C. Journeying to Sinai (Education) (15-18) II. Revelation From God (19-40) A. The Giving of the Law (19-24) B. The Institution of the Tabernacle (25-31) C. The Breaking of the Law (32-34) D. The Construction of the Tabernacle (35-40) Figure 12 LEVITICUS (The Book of Holiness) Author: Moses Date: 1450-1410 B.C. Name of the Book: Leviticus receives its name from the Septuagint and means “relating to the Levites.
” The Levites were the priests who were chosen of God to minister to the nation. The book of Leviticus contains many of the laws given by God to direct them in their work as priests for the worship of God. Theme and Purpose: Leviticus 11:45 says, “Be holy, because I am holy.” The directives given in the book of Leviticus showed Israel was to walk before God as a holy people. Leviticus was designed to teach Israel (1) how to worship and walk with God and (2) how the nation was to fulfill its calling as a nation of priests.
The great theme of Leviticus is holiness. A holy God can only be approached on the basis of sacrifice through the mediation of a priest. Key Word: “Holiness.” Key Verses: 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement. 20:7-8 You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.
8 And you shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you (see also 11:45). Key Chapter: Chapter 16 deals with the Day of Atonement, which became the most important day in the Hebrew calendar because it was the only day the high priest was allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies in order to make atonement for the people. “… for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you shall be clean from all your sins before the Lord” (16:30).
Key People: Moses and Aaron. Christ as Seen in Leviticus: Similar to Exodus, a number of types of Christ are evident in Leviticus. (1) The Five Offerings all typify the person and work of Christ in His sinless life, submission to the Father that we might have fellowship with God. (2) The High Priest as mentioned above is a very prominent type of Christ in Leviticus. (3) The Seven Feasts, again, as mentioned, also form a type of the Savior.
Outline: Leviticus falls into two clear divisions: Sacrifice and Sanctification I. Sacrifice (1-17) A. The Laws of Sacrifice for Approach to God (1-7) B. The Laws of the Priests (8-10) C. The Laws Regarding Purity (11-15) D. The Laws of National Atonement (16-17) II. Sanctification (18-27) A. The Laws of Sanctification for God’s People (18-20) B. The Laws of Sanctification for God’s Priests (21-22) C.
The Laws of Sanctification in Worship (23-24) D. The Laws of Sanctification in the Land of Canaan (25-26) E. The Laws of Sanctification and Vows (27) NUMBERS (Wilderness Wanderings) Author: Moses Date: 1450-1410 B.C. Name of the Book: Numbers gets its name from the two accounts in chapters 1 and 26 of the numbering or counting of the people of Israel first at Mount Sinai and second on the plains of Moab.
Theme and Purpose: Though Numbers gets its name from the numbering of the people, it is primarily concerned with nearly 40 years of wandering in the desert. A journey which should have only lasted eleven days became a 38-year agony of defeat simply because of the disbelief and disobedience of the people. Numbers, then, shows the consequence of failing to mix faith with the promises of God (see Heb.
3:16-4:2). Further, Numbers teaches us that while life does have its wilderness experiences, God’s people do not have to stay in those conditions. Joshua will illustrate this later. Another important theme shown throughout the book of Numbers is found in God’s continual care for his people. Over and over again, regardless of their rebellion and unbelief, He miraculously supplied their needs. He provided them with water, manna, and quail.
He continued to love and forgive the people even when they complained, grumbled, and rebelled against Him. Key Word: “Wanderings.” Key Verses: 14:22-23 Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23 shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.
20:12. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” Key Chapters: Chapters 13-14 stand as the key chapters because these chapters record a critical turning point for the nation. Here, at Kadesh-Barnea (32:8), after receiving the evil report from 10 of the 12 spies whom Moses sent to spy out the land, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb Israel focused on the giants in the land, failed to believe God, and refused to enter to possess and conquer the land, a Land that flowed with milk and honey.
Key People: Moses, Aaron, Miriam, Joshua, Caleb, Balak Christ as Seen in Numbers: (1) Perhaps no place is there a clearer portrait of Christ and His crucifixion than in the serpent lifted up on the standard (cf. Num. 21:4-9 with John 3:14). (2) The rock that quenched the thirst of the people is a type of Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). (3) The daily manna pictures Christ as the bread come down from heaven (John 6:31-33).
(4) The pillar of cloud and fire portray the guidance of Christ and the cities of refuge certainly portray Christ as our refuge from judgment. (5) Finally, the red heifer is also a type of Christ (ch. 19). Outline: Numbers divides into three sections: Preparation at Sinai, Failure of the Old Generation, Preparation of the New Generation. I. Preparation at Sinai (Old Generation) (1-10) A. The Position and Numbering of the People (1-4) B.
The Precepts of God and Sanctification of the People (5:1-9:14) C. The Pilgrimage Toward the Promised Land (9:15-10:36) II. Failure of the Old Generation (11-25) A. Discontent Along the Way (11-12) B. Disbelief at Kadesh-Barnea (13-14) C. Discipline from the Lord (15-25) III. Preparation of the New Generation (26-36) A. Reorganization of Israel (26-27) B. Regulation of Offerings and Vows (28-30) C.
Regionalization of the Land (31-36) The figures below illustrate the position of the tribes in camp and on the march: Figure 23 Figure 3 DEUTERONOMY (Reiteration and Reviewing) Author: Moses Date: 1410 B.C. Name of the Book: The English title, which comes from the Septuagint, means “second law-giving” and comes from the mistranslation of 17:18, which actually says “a copy of this law.
” Deuteronomy is a not a second law, but rather a review, expansion, and reiteration of the original law given at Sinai. Theme and Purpose: Watch yourself lest you forget. After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites were on the eve of entering the promised land. Before they did, it was necessary (lest they forget what God had done and who they were) that they be reminded about all that God had done for them and about God’s holy law which was so vital to their ability to remain in the land and function as God’s holy nation and as a kingdom of priests to the nations (Deut.
4:1-8). As a part of this theme or purpose, the book also emphasizes the vital necessity of teaching children to love and obey God. Deuteronomy ends with the renewal of God’s covenant with Israel (chapter 29), Joshua’s appointment as the new leader (chapter 31), and Moses’ death (chapter 34). Key Word: “Covenant” (occurring some 27 times) Key Verses: 4:9, 23 Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.
23 So watch yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the Lord your God has commanded you. 4:31 For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them. 10:12-14 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.
30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.
Key Chapters: Chapter 27 is key because in it there is a formal ratification of Israel’s covenant as Moses and the levitical priests call upon all Israel to take heed and listen, for in verses 9-10 it is declared, “This day you have become a people for the Lord your God. You shall therefore obey the Lord your God, and do His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.” Chapters 28-30 are also key because of the promises regarding Israel’s near and distant future as it pertains to blessing for obedience or cursing for disobedience.
Key People: Moses and Joshua. Christ as Seen in Deuteronomy: The statement about Moses in 18:15 is one of the clearest portraits of Christ. It reads, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.” Further, Moses, as a type of Christ, is the only figure other than Christ to fill all three of the offices of prophet (34:10-12), priest (Ex.
32:31-35), and king (although Moses was not king, he functioned as ruler of Israel; 33:4-5).4 Outline: Deuteronomy divides into three sections: I. Preamble (1:1-5) II. Review of Israel’s Wanderings—Historical (1:6-4:43) III. Rehearsal of Israel’s Law—Legal (4:44-26:19) IV. Ratification of Israel’s Covenant—Motivational (27:1-30:20) V. Conclusion (31:1-34:12) Summary: Key Words and Themes to Remember Genesis Beginnings Election of the nation Exodus Redemption Redemption of the nation Leviticus Holiness Sanctification of the nation Numbers Wandering Direction of the nation Deuteronomy Review Instruction of the Nation 2 Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Ryrie Study Bible, Expanded Edition, Moody Press, Chicago, 1995, electronic edition.
3 Ryrie Study Bible. 4 Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Old Testament, Vol. I, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, p. 39.See Also: American Appliance Water Heater
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Introduction The previous survey of the first seventeen books (Law and History), Genesis through Nehemiah, covered the whole history of the Old Testament. All the remaining books, Poetical and Prophetical, fit somewhere into the history of those seventeen books. The next section to be covered, the Poetical, is a much smaller section consisting of five books—Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
Before examining them, we should note certain characteristics that all of these five books have. The seventeen books which lie behind us are historical. These five poetical books are experiential. The seventeen historical books are concerned with a nation, as such. These five poetical books are concerned with individuals, as such. The seventeen have to do with the Hebrew race. These five have to do with the human heart.
These five so-called “poetical books” are not the only poetry in the Old Testament Scriptures. There are stretches of unexcellable poetry in the writings of the prophets, which we shall come to later … We ought clearly to understand, also, that the term “poetical” refers only to their form. It must not be thought to imply that they are simply the product of human imagination.… These books portray real human experience, and grapple with profound problems, and express big realities.
Especially to they concern themselves with the experiences of the godly, in the varying vicissitudes of this changeful life which is ours under the sun …23 Important Comparisons The Place of the Poetical Books in the Old Testament The Old Testament divides into four major sections which relate to the nation of Israel as God’s chosen people in the following manner from the standpoint of their major characteristics or focus: 1.
The Law—relates to Israel’s moral life. 2. The Historical—relates to Israel’s national development and life. 3. The Poetical—relates to Israel’s spiritual life. 4. The Prophetical—relates to Israel’s future life as fulfilled in the Messiah. The Relation of the Poetical Books to Each Other 1. The Book of Job—Blessing through Suffering. 2. The Psalms—Praise through Prayer. 3. The Proverbs—Prudence through Precept.
4. Ecclesiastes—Verity through Vanity. 5. Song of Solomon—Bliss through Union.24 The Periods of the Poetical in the Old Testament While Hebrew poetry occurred throughout Old Testament history, there were three primary periods of poetic literature. I. The Patriarchal period—Job (c. 2000 B.C.) II. The Davidic period—Psalms (c. 1000 B.C.) III. The Solomonic period A. Song of Solomon—a young man’s love B.
Proverbs—a middle-aged man’s wisdom C. Ecclesiastes—an old man’s sorrow (c. 950 B.C.)25 Christ in the Poetical Books As noted previously, Christ, the Messiah, is the heart of all the Bible. With the two disciples on the Emmaus road who were so saddened and perplexed over the events of the previous days as the crucifixion, death, and reports of the resurrection, the resurrected Savior came along side and explained the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures (Luke 24:27).
Then later when he appeared to the eleven and He said: “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, than all things which are written about Me in the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). With this in mind, before launching into the overview of each of these poetical books, it would be well to get their Christological perspective.
Regarding this element Geisler writes: Whereas the foundation was laid for Christ in the Law and preparation was made for Christ in the books of History, the books of Poetry reveal the aspiration for Christ in the hearts of the people. They aspired to a life fulfilled in Christ in both an explicit and an implicit way, both consciously and unconsciously. The following list will serve as an overall guide to the Christ-centered aspirations of the poetical books: 1.
Job—aspiration for mediation by Christ. 2. Psalms—aspiration for communion with Christ. 3. Proverbs—aspiration for wisdom in Christ. 4. Ecclesiastes—aspiration for ultimate satisfaction. 5. Song of Solomon—aspiration for union in love with Christ.26 Hebrew Poetry The Nature of Hebrew Poetry Hebrew poetry, so characteristic of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon), is unlike English poetry which emphasizes rhyme and meter.
Hebrew poetry relies on other characteristics for its impact. Parallelism is the chief characteristic of biblical poetry, but it has other features that distinguish it from the typical prose or narrative we find in the rest of Scripture. First, there a relatively greater conciseness or terseness of form, and second there is a greater use of certain types of rhetorical devices. These are parallelism, rhythm, a rich use of imagery, and figures of speech.
The Three Kinds of Hebrew Poetry There are three kinds of poetry: (1) lyric poetry, which was originally accompanied by music on the lyre (the Psalms); (2) didactic poetry, which, using maxims, was designed to communicate basic principles of life (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes); (3) dramatic poetry, which used dialog to communicate its message (Job and the Song of Solomon). The Two Key Elements of Hebrew Poetry Parallelism.
In contrast to English verse which manipulates sound and emphasizes rhyme and meter, Hebrew poetry repeats and rearranges thoughts rather than sounds. Parallelism refers “to the practice of balancing one thought or phrase by a corresponding thought or phrase containing approximately the same number of words, or at least a correspondence in ideas.”27 There are several types of parallel arrangement of thoughts, with three being basic.
1. Synonymous--the thought of the first line is basically repeated in different words in the second line (2:4; 3:1; 7:17). 2. Antithetical--the thought of the first line is emphasized by a contrasting thought in the second line (1:6; 34:10). They are often identified with “but.” 3. Synthetic--the second line explains or further develops the idea of the first line (1:3; 95:3). 4. Climactic--The second line repeats with the exception of the last terms (29:1).
5. Emblematic--One line conveys the main point, the second line illuminates it by an image (42:1; 23:1). Figures of Speech. Like the Hebrew language itself, Hebrew poetry uses vivid images, similes, metaphors, and other rhetorical devices to communicate thoughts and feelings. Some of these are as follows: 1. Simile: This is the simplest of all the figures of speech. A simile is a comparison between two things that resemble each other in some way (cf.
Ps. 1:3-4; 5:12; 17:8; 131:2). 2. Metaphor: This is a comparison in which one thing is likened to another without the use of a word of comparison as in “like” or “as.” In Psalm 23:1, David says, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” that is, He is to me like a shepherd is to his sheep (see also 84:11; 91:4). 3. Implication: This occurs when there is only an implied comparison between two things in which the name of one thing is used in place of the other (cf.
Ps. 22:16; Jer. 4:7). 4. Hyperbole: This is the use of exaggeration or over statement to stress a point (Ps. 6:6; 78:27; 107.26). 5. Paronomasia: This refers to the use or repetition of words that are similar in sound, but not necessarily in sense or meaning in order to achieve a certain effect. This can only be observed by those who can read the original Hebrew text. Psalm 96:10 reads, “For all the gods ( kol-elohay) of the nations are idols ( elilim).
This latter word means nothings, or things of naught; so that we might render it, “The gods of the nations or imaginations.”28 (see also Ps. 22:16; Prov. 6:23). 6. Pleonasm: This involves the use of redundancy for the sake of emphasis. This may occur with the use of words or sentences. In Psalm 20:1 we are told, “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!” Here “name” appears to be redundant.
It means God Himself and has more emphasis than if only the term “God” had been used. 7. Rhetorical question: The use of a question to confirm or deny a fact (Ps. 35:10; 56:8; 106.2). 8. Metonymy: This occurs where one noun is used in place of another because of some relationship or type of resemblance that different objects might bear to one another (Ps. 5:9; 18:2; 57:9; 73:9). 9. Anthropomorphism: The assigning of some part of the human anatomy to God’s Person to convey some aspect of God’s being like the eyes or ears (cf.
Ps. 10:11, 14; 11:4; 18:15; 31:2). 10. Zoomorphism: The assigning of some part of an animal to God’s Person to convey certain truths about God (cf. Ps. 17:8; 91:4). JOB (Blessing Through Suffering) Author: While we know the title of this book obviously comes from its main character, Job, and that he was an historical person (Ezek. 14:14, 20; James 5:11), the author is unknown and there are no textual claims as to the author’s identify.
Commentators have suggested Job himself, Elihu, Moses, Solomon, and others. Date: It is important to distinguish between the date of writing and of the events of the book. Regarding the date, Ryrie writes; The date of the events in the book and the date of the writing of the book are two different matters. The events may have taken place in a patriarchal society in the second millennium B.C., around the time of Abraham.
Several facts support this dating: (1) Job lived more than 140 years (42:16), a not uncommon life span during the patriarchal period; (2) the economy of Job’s day, in which wealth was measured in terms of livestock (1:3), was the type that existed in this period; (3) like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Job was the priest of his family (1:5); (4) the absence of any reference to the nation Israel or the Mosaic Law suggests a pre-Mosaic date (before 1500 B.
C.). Three principal views exist concerning the date of writing: (1) in the patriarchal age, shortly after the events happened; (2) in the time of Solomon (950 B.C.); (3) at the time of the Exile or after, though the mention of Job by Ezekiel (Ezek. 14:14) negates such a late date. The detailed report of the speeches of Job and his friends seems to argue for the book’s being written shortly after the events occurred.
On the other hand, the book shares characteristics of other wisdom literature (e.g., Pss. 88, 89) written during the Solomonic age and should be regarded as a dramatic poem describing real events, rather than a verbatim report.29 Title of the Book: Set in the time of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, the Book of Job derives its name from its chief character, a man called Job, who, experiencing extreme suffering (the loss of wealth, family and health), struggles with the question of why? The English name, Job, comes from the Hebrew áIyo‚b.
Some believe it comes from áa„yab, which basically means, “to be hostile to, to be an enemy,” by there is little linguistic evidence to support this.30 But not all agree. Earlier attempts to determine an etymology of the name have given way to evidence from a well-attested west Semitic name in the second millennium found in the Amarna Letters, Egyptian Execration texts, Mari, Alalakh, and Ugaritic documents.
The original form of the name was Ayyabum, which can mean “Where is [my] father?” or possibly “no father.” Either form might suggest an orphan or illegitimacy.31 Theme and Purpose: The book is a theodicy (a vindication of God’s goodness, justice, and sovereign character in the face of the existence of suffering and evil). As such, The book wrestles with the age-old question: Why do righteous men suffer, if God is a God of love and mercy? It clearly teaches the sovereignty of God and the need for man to acknowledge such.
Job’s three friends gave essentially the same answer: All suffering is due to sin. Elihu, however, declared that suffering is often the means of purifying the righteous. God’s purpose, therefore, was to strip away all of Job’s self-righteousness and to bring him to the place of complete trust in Him.32 Gleason Archer gives and excellent summary of the theme: This book deals with the theoretical problem of pain and disaster in the life of the godly.
It undertakes to answer the question, Why do the righteous suffer? This answer comes in a threefold form: (1) God is worthy of love even apart from the blessings He bestows; (2) God may permit suffering as a means of purifying and strengthening the soul in godliness; (3) God’s thoughts and ways are moved by considerations too vast for the puny mind of man to comprehend. Even though man is unable to see the issues of life with the breadth and vision of the Almighty; nevertheless God really knows what is best for His own glory and for our ultimate good.
This answer is given against the background of the stereotyped views of Job’s three “comforters,” Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.33 A further purpose is certainly to demonstrate the conflict of the ages between God and Satan and to show the relationship of suffering to this conflict. In the end, it demonstrates the truth of Romans 8:28. Key Words: The key words are “affliction, misery, hardship, etc.
” (9 times), “righteous” or “righteousness” (20 times), but the key concept is the sovereignty of God. Key Verses: 2:3-6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to ruin him without cause.
” And Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. “However, put forth Your hand, now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.” 13:15 “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.” 42:5-6 “Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.
‘I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.” 42:10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. Key Chapters: Chapters 1-2 are key in that they introduce the reader to the source of Job’s suffering—Satan’s accusations and the affliction that fell upon Job.
Chapters 38-42 While chapters 3-37 record the counsel of Job’s friends who raise the question, “Does God allow the innocent to suffer?” the next key chapters are chapters 38-41, God’s speech and silencing of Job, followed by Job’s repentance and restoration, chapter 42. Key People: Job, a blameless and upright man, Satan, Job’s accusers, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zopher, and Elihu, the younger and wiser of Job’s friend who sought to give Job counsel.
Christ as seen in Job: Christ is seen in several ways in Job. Job acknowledges a Redeemer (19:25-27) and prays for a Mediator (9:33; 33:23). He knows he needs someone who can explain the mystery of “suffering” which is answered only in Christ Who identifies with our suffering and ultimately both answers Satan’s accusations, which are ultimately against God, and defeats him (Heb. 2:14-18; 4:15; Rom.
8:32-34). Outline: I. The Prologue: the Disasters (Afflictions) of Job (1-2) A. His Circumstances and Character (1:1-5) B. His Calamities and their Source—Satan (1:6-2:10) C. His Comforters (2:11-13) II. The Dialogues or False Comfort of the Three Friends (3:1-31:40) A. First cycle of debate (3:1-14:22) 1. Job’s lament (3:1-26) 2. Eliphaz’ reply (4:1-5:27; and Job’s rejoinder, 6:1-7:21) 3.
Bildad’s reply (8:1-22; and Job’s rejoinder, 9:1-10:22) 4. Zophar’s reply (11:1-20; and Job’s rejoinder, 12:1-14:22) B. Second cycle of debate (15:1-21:34) 1. Eliphaz’ reply (15:1-35; and Job’s rejoinder, 16:1-17:16) 2. Bildad’s reply (18:1-21; and Job’s rejoinder, 19:1-29) 3. Zophar’s reply (20:1-29; and Job’s rejoinder, 21:1-34) C. Third cycle of debate (22:1-31:40) 1. Eliphaz’ reply (22:1-30; and Job’s rejoinder, 23:1-24:25) 2.
Bildad’s reply (25:1-6; and Job’s rejoinder, 26:1-31:40) III. The Words of Elihu (32:1-37:24) A. First speech: God’s instruction to man through affliction (32:1-33:33) B. Second speech: God’s justice and prudence vindicated (34:1-37) C. Third speech: the advantages of pure and consistent piety (35:1-16) D. Fourth speech: God’s greatness and Job’s guilt in accusing God of unfairness (36:1-37:24) IV.
God’s Revelation from the Whirlwind (38:1-42:6) A. The First Revelation: God’s omnipotence proclaimed in creation; Job’s self-condemning confession (38:1-40:5) B. The Second Revelation: God’s power and man’s frailty; Job’s humble re-response (40:6-42:6) V. The Epilogue: God’s rebuke of the false comforters; Job’s restoration and reward of a long and blessed life (42:7-17) PSALMS (Praise Through Prayer) Author: The Book of Psalms is not only the largest book of the Bible, but it perhaps the most widely used book in Scripture because of the way it speaks to the human heart in all of our experiences in life.
Again and again sighing is turned into singing through prayer and praise. For the most part, though the texts of the psalms do not designate their authors, the titles do often indicate the author of the various psalms. The following chart designates the authors of these psalms as they are found in the titles:34 Authorship of the Psalms David 73 Book 1, Book 2, 18, Book 3, 1, Book 4, 2; Book 5, 15 Asaph 12 Ps.
50, 73-83 Korahites 12 Ps. 42-49; 84; 86; 87; 88 Solomon 2 Ps. 72, 127 Moses 1 Ps. 90 Ethan 1 Ps. 89 Division and Classification of the Psalms: Divisions of the Psalter The Psalms are really five books in one. Each of the following book division concludes with a doxology while Psalm 150 occupies the place of the doxology and forms an appropriate conclusion to the entire collection.
Epiphanius said, “The Hebrews divided the Psalter into five books so that it would be another Pentateuch.” The Midrash of Psa. 1:1 states, “Moses gave the Israelites the five books of the Law, and to correspond to these David gave to them the Book of the Psalms in five books.”35 This correspondence to the Pentateuch may be seen in the following outline:36 1. Psalms about man and creation (1-41)—corresponds to Genesis.
2. Psalms about Israel and redemption (42-72)—corresponds to Exodus. 3. Psalms about worship and the Temple (73-89)—corresponds to Leviticus. 4. Psalms about our sojourn on the earth (90-106)—corresponds to Numbers. 5. Psalms about praise and the Word of God (107-150)—corresponds to Deuteronomy. Another way of looking at the book divisions: Book Psalms Author General Content Book I Psalms 1-41 David Songs of worship Book II Psalms 42-72 David & Korah Hymns of petition Book III Psalms 73-89 Mainly Asaph Hymns of petition Book IV Psalms 90-106 Mainly Anonymous Anthems of praise Book V Psalms 107-150 David and Anonymous Anthems of praise Categories or Types of Psalms As to their types, the following illustrates a generally agreed upon set of categories: 1.
Lament or Petition, either individual (Ps. 3) or communal (Ps. 44); 2. Thanksgiving or Praise, either individual (Ps. 30) or communal (Ps. 65); 3. Trust in God (Ps. 4); 4. Enthronement hymns of Yahweh: psalms concerning Jerusalem (Ps. 48), and royal psalms (some of which are messianic; Ps. 2, 110); 5. Didactic and Wisdom psalms (Pss. 1, 37, 119). 6. Theme psalms: The psalms may also be classified according to special themes as: creation (Ps.
8, 19), nature psalms (Ps. 19; 104), acrostic or memory device psalms (Ps. 111, 112, 119), the Exodus (Ps. 78), imprecation (Ps. 7), penitence (Ps. 6), pilgrim psalms (Ps. 120), and Messianic psalms, those that include prophecies about Messiah as Psalm 2, 8, 16, 22, 40, 45, 72, 110, 118. Date: With their very broad chronological range, the wide thematic arrangement, and the many different audiences living under a variety of conditions, the psalms reflect a multitude of moods and experiences that make them extremely relevant to the reader regardless of the day in which he lives.
Regarding the date of the various psalms, Archer writes: Of these, the earliest would naturally be Ps. 90, by Moses, presumably composed about 1405 b.c. The Davidic psalms would have originated between 1020 and 975 b.c.; those of Asaph from approximately the same period; Ps. 127 from the period of Solomon’s reign, possibly 950. It is hard to date the descendants of Korah and the two Ezrahites who are mentioned; presumably they were pre-exilic.
Of the psalms not carrying titles, some were undoubtedly Davidic (e.g., 2 and 33) and the others date from later periods all the way up to the return from exile (such as 126 and 137, the latter of which is at least as late as the Exile). No convincing evidence, however, has been offered for the dating of any of the psalms later than approximately 500 b.c.37 Title of the Book: In the Hebrew, The Book of Psalms is titles, Tehillim (praise) or Sepher Tehillim (book of praises).
A shortened form is Tillim. Only one psalm (145) is designated Tehillah (praise), but praise is the heart of the psalms. The Septuagint gives the name Psalmoi (psalms), that is “songs or poems sung with musical accompaniment.” Psalmos comes from psallein, “to pluck a stringed instrument” as an accompaniment to song. Theme and Purpose: The psalms provide us with a message of hope and comfort through the common theme of worship.
They are, in essence, an antidote to fear and complaining. through a personal response to the person and work of God. They are an expression of the worship, faith, and spiritual life of Israel. In the psalms we have a mirror of the heart of God’s people recording the simple, universal human experiences of man in the light of God’s person, promises, plan, and presence. As a collection of a 150 psalms they naturally cover a great variety of feelings, circumstances and themes.
This means it is difficult to make any generalizations about a theme or purpose, but it is safe to say that all the psalms embody a personal response on the part of the believer toward the goodness and grace of God. Often they include a record of the psalmist’s own inner emotions of discouragement, anxiety, or thankfulness even when faced with the opposition of God’s enemies or in view of God’s varied providences.
But whether the psalmist is occupied with a mournful or a joyous theme, he is always expressing himself as in the presence of the living God. There are a few psalms, of course, which mostly contain the thoughts and revelations of God Himself, such as Ps. 2, but these are most exceptional.38 Many of the psalms survey the Word of God, His attributes, and are Messianic in their scope in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
Key Word: In thought, worship, is certainly a key word as expressed in the theme above. In this regard, praise, which occurs some 166 times and some form of the word bless, blessing, bless, occurs over a 100 times in the NASB. Key Verses: How do you list key verses in a book like psalms where nearly everyone is bound to have his or her own special verses that have been dear to their heart, but the following is a suggestion: 1:1-3 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. 19:8-11 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. 145:21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD; And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever. Key Chapters: As with the verses, so we also face difficulty in selecting key chapters, but the following are suggested. Psalm 1, 22, 23, 24; 37; 78; 100; 119; 121, and 150.
Psalm 100 beautifully unites to central themes of praise and worship. Key People: Though the titles to the psalms do sometimes point to the subject or author of the psalm, like David or Korah, the text of the psalms does not. Rather, the focus seems to be more on the people of God in their worship and walk with Lord. Christ as seen in Psalms: Many of the psalms are Messianic and speak of the person and work of Christ.
They fall into falling categories: 1. Typically messianic: These psalms are less obviously messianic. The psalmist in some way is a type of Christ (cf. 34:20; 69:4, 9), but other aspects of the passage do not apply. Perhaps, in this case Jesus and the apostles were applying familiar psalmic expressions to their experiences (e.g., 109:8 in Acts 1:20). 2. Typological-prophetic: though the psalmist describes his own experience, the language is such that points beyond his own life and becomes historically true only in the person of Christ (22).
3. Indirectly messianic: when the psalm was written it referred to the house of David or a specific king, but will find its final and ultimate fulfillment only in the person of Christ (2, 45, 72). 4. Purely prophetic: refers directly to Christ without any reference to any other person or son of David (110). 5. Enthronement or eschatological: these are psalms that anticipate the coming of the Lord and the consummation of His Kingdom as fulfilled in the person of Messiah, Christ (96-99).
Specific Prophetic fulfillments applied to Christ: Prophecy Psalm New Testament Passage 1. Birth 104:4 Heb. 1:7 2. Humiliation 8:4 Heb. 2:6 3. Deity 45:6 Heb. 1:8 4. Ministry 69:9 John 2:17 5. Rejection 118:22 Matt. 21:42 6. Betrayal 41:9 John 13:18 7. Crucifixion events 22 Matt. 27:39, 43, 46; Luke 23:35 8. Resurrection 2 and 16 Acts 2:27 9.
Ascension 68:18 Eph. 4:8 10. Reign 102:26 Heb. 1:11 Outline: Book I: Psalms 1-41 Psalm 1: The Blessed Man: The Two Ways of Life Contrasted: that of Word and the World Psalm 2: The Messiah King: The Confederacy Against God and Christ Psalm 3: Quietness Amid Troubles: Protection in Danger Psalm 4: An Evening Prayer of Trust in God Psalm 5: A Morning Prayer of God’s Confidence in God’s Presence Psalm 6: A Prayer of a Soul in Deep Anguish Psalm 7: A Prayer for Refuge Psalm 8: The Glory of the Creator and Man’s Dignity Psalm 9: A Prayer of Thanksgiving for God’s Justice Psalm 10: A Prayer for the Overthrow of the Wicked Psalm 11: The Lord as a Refuge and Defense Psalm 12: A Prayer for Help Against Lying Tongues Psalm 13: A Prayer for Help in Trouble Psalm 14: A Description of the Folly and Wickedness of Man Psalm 15: A description of the Godly Man Psalm 16: The Lord as the Refuge of the Saints Psalm 17: A Prayer for Deliverance through God’s Justice Psalm 18: A Prayer of Praise for Deliverance Psalm 19: God’s Revelation in His Creation Work and Written Word Psalm 20: Prayer for Victory Over Enemies Psalm 21: The Lord as the Strength of the King Psalm 22: A Portrait of the Cross: a Psalm of Anguish and Praise Psalm 23: A Portrait of the Divine Shepherd: a Psalm of the Goodness of God Psalm 24: A Psalm of the King of Glory Psalm 25: An Acrostic Psalm: a Prayer for Deliverance, Guidance, and Forgiveness Psalm 26: The Plea of Integrity and for Redemption Psalm 27: A Prayer of Fearless Confidence in the Lord Psalm 28: Prayer for Help and Praise for its Answer: the Lord My Strength and My Shield Psalm 29: The Powerful Voice of God Psalm 30: A Prayer of Thankfulness for God’s Faithfulness in a Time of Need Psalm 31: A Prayer of Complaint, Petition, and Praise Psalm 32: The Blessing of Forgiveness and Trust in God Psalm 33: Praise to the Lord as the Creator and Deliverer Psalm 34: Praise to the Lord as the Provider and Deliverer Psalm 35: A Prayer for Vindication and Rescue from Enemies Psalm 36: The Wickedness of Men Contrasted with the Loving Kindness of God Psalm 37: A Plea for Resting in the Lord Psalm 38: A Prayer for Reconciliation Acknowledging the Heavy Burden of Sin Psalm 39: A Prayer Acknowledging the Frailty of Man Psalm 40: Praise for the Joyful Experience and Expectation of Salvation Psalm 41: Praise for God’s Blessings in Adversity Book II: Psalms 42-72 Psalms 42-43: Longing For God and Hoping in the Lord’s Salvation Psalm 44: National Lament and Prayer for Redemption Psalm 45: The Wedding Song of a Son of David Psalm 46: God is Our Refuge and Strength Psalm 47: The Lord Is the Victorious King Psalm 48: Praise for Mount Zion, the Beautiful City Psalm 49: The Emptiness of Riches Without Wisdom Psalm 50: The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving Psalm 51: Confession and the Forgiveness of Sin Psalm 52: The Futility of Boastful Wickedness Psalm 53: A Portrait of the Godless Psalm 54: The Lord as Our Help! Psalm 55: The Lord Sustains the Righteous! Psalm 56: Trust in the Midst of Our Fears Psalm 57: The Exaltation of the Lord in the Midst of Alienation Psalm 58: The Righteous Shall Surely Be Rewarded Psalm 59: Prayer For Deliverance From Enemies Psalm 60: Prayer For Deliverance of the Nation Psalm 61: Prayer From a Fainting Heart Psalm 62: Waiting On the Lord Psalm 63: Thirsting God’s Love Psalm 64: Prayer for Protection Psalm 65: God’s Bounty for Earth and Man Psalm 66:Remember What God Has Done Psalm 67: A Call for All to Praise God Psalm 68: God Is a Father to the Oppressed Psalm 69: Prayer for Deliverance According to God’s Compassion Psalm 70: Prayer for the Poor and Needy Psalm 71: Prayer for the Aged Psalm 72: The Glorious Reign of Messiah Book III: Psalms 73-89 Psalm 73: Prayer for an Eternal Perspective Psalm 74: Plea for Help in a Time of National Adversity Psalm 75: Justice Is the Lord’s Psalm 76: The Victorious Power of the God of Jacob Psalm 77: In the Day of Trouble, Remember God’s Greatness Psalm 78: Lessons From Israel’s History Psalm 79: A Plea for the Lord to Remember the Sheep of His Pasture Psalm 80: Israel’s Plea for God’s Mercy Psalm 81: A Plea for Israel to Listen to the Lord Psalm 82: Unjust Judges Rebuked Psalm 83: Prayer for Judgment on Israel’s Enemies Psalm 84: A Deep Longing for the Presence of God Psalm 85: Prayer for Revival Psalm 86: Prayer for Mercy on the Nation Psalm 87: The Joy of Living in Zion Psalm 88: A Prayer in the Darkness of Despair Psalm 89: Claiming God’s Person and Promises in Affliction Book IV: Psalms 90-106 Psalm 90: Teach Us to Number Our Days Psalm 91: In the Shelter of the Most High Psalm 92: In Praise of the Lord Psalm 93: Yahweh Reigns Gloriously Psalm 94: Yahweh Is the Judge of the Earth: Vengeance is His Psalm 95: Let Us Kneel Before Our Maker: a Call to Worship Psalm 96: Worship the Lord Who Will Judge the World in Righteousness Psalm 97: Rejoice! The Lord Reigns Psalm 98: Sing a New Song to the Lord Psalm 99: Exalt the Lord Who Reigns Psalm 100: Serve the Lord With Gladness: He is the Lord and He is Good Psalm 101: Commitment to a Holy Life Psalm 102: Prayer of a Saint Who is Overwhelmed Psalm 103: Bless the Lord: His Compassions Never Fail! Psalm 104: The Lord’s Care Over All Creation Psalm 105: The Lord’s Faithful Acts in Salvation History Psalm 106: A Remembrance of Yahweh’s Love and Israel’s Disobedience Book V: Psalms 107-150 Psalm 107: Praise for God’s Deliverance from Manifold Troubles Psalm 108: Praise and Prayer for Victory Psalm 109: A Imprecatory Prayer for Vindication and Judgments Against Enemies Psalm 110: Messiah Pictured as the Priest King Warrior Psalm 111: Celebration of God’s Faithfulness Psalm 112: The Triumph of Faith Psalm 113: Praise to the Exalted Lord Who Condescends to the Lowly Psalm 114: Praise for the Exodus Psalm 115: The Impotence of Idols and the Greatness of the Lord Psalm 116: Praise to the Lord for Deliverance Psalm 117: The Praise of All People Psalm 118: Praise for the Lord’s Saving Goodness Psalm 119: In Praise of the Scriptures Psalm 120: Prayer for Deliverance from Slanderers Psalm 121: The Lord is My Guardian Psalm 122: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem! Psalm 123: Plea for Mercy Psalm 124: Our Helper is the Maker of Heaven and Earth! Psalm 125: Peace Be on Israel Psalm 126: Praise for Restoration! Psalm 127: Praise for Children, a Gift from the Lord Psalm 128: The Family Blessed by the Lord Psalm 129: The Prayer of the Persecuted Psalm 130: Waiting for God’s Redemption Psalm 131: Childlike Trust in the Lord Psalm 132: Prayer for the Lord’s Blessing on Zion Psalm 133: The Blessedness of Brotherly Unity Psalm 134: Praise to the Lord in the Night Psalm 135: Praise for the Wondrous Works of God Psalm 136: Praise for God’s Mercy Which Endures Forever Psalm 137: Tears Over Captivity Psalm 138: The Lord Answers Prayer and Delivers the Humble Psalm 139: The Lord Knows Me! Psalm 140: Prayer for Deliverance: You Are My God! Psalm 141: May My Prayer Be Like Incense! Psalm 142: No One Cared but the Lord; He Alone Is My Portion Psalm 143: Prayer for Guidance; Lead Me on Level Ground Psalm 144: The Lord is My Rock and My Warrior Psalm 145: Praise for the Lord’s Greatness and Wonderful Works Psalm 146: Praise to the Lord, an Abundant Helper Psalm 147: Praise to the Lord Who Heals the Brokenhearted Psalm 148: Praise to the Lord, the Wise Creator Psalm 149: Praise to the Lord Who Delights in His People Psalm 150: Praise to the Lord PROVERBS (Wisdom Through Precept) Author: According to 1 Kings 4:32, Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs.
And while he wrote most of proverbs in this book, later chapters indicate that he was not the only author of the book. Three sections of the proverbs are ascribed to Solomon; chapters 1:1-9:18; 10:1-22:16, and 25:1-29:27. However, the proverbs in the latter section (25:1-29:27) were selected from Solomon’s collection by King Hezekiah’s committee (25:1). Proverbs 22:17 refers to the “sayings of the wise,” and 24:23 mentions additional “sayings of the wise.
” Proverbs 22:17-21 serves as an introduction which suggests that these sections stem from a circle of wise men, not from Solomon himself. Chapter 30 is specifically attributed to Agur, son of Jakeh, and 31:1-9 to King Lemuel. Lemuel’s sayings contain several Aramaic spellings that point to a non-Israelite background. Date: 950-700 B.C. As a book of wisdom, Proverbs is not an historical book but rather the product of the school of wisdom in Israel.
Solomon’s proverbs were written before his death in 931 B.C., and those collected by Hezekiah’s scribes probably around 700 B.C. Title of the Book: Proverbs obviously gets it name from its contents—short sayings or maxims that convey truth in a pointed and pithy way. The Hebrew word for proverb (from ma„sŒa„l, “to be like, represent”) means “parallel,” “similar,” or “a comparison.
” It refers to a comparison or simile as underlying the moral maxim. As a pithy saying, a proverb centers in a comparison or an antithesis. The title comes from the fact this writing is a compendium of moral and spiritual instruction designed to enable one to live wisely. Theme and Purpose: As suggested by the title and the meaning of the term proverb, the theme and purpose of the book is wisdom for living through special instruction on every conceivable issue of life: folly, sin, goodness, wealth, poverty, the tongue, pride, humility, justice, family (parents, children, discipline), vengeance, strife, gluttony, love, laziness, friends, life, and death.
No book is more practical in terms of wisdom for daily living than Proverbs. The fundamental theme is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7a). The absence of a fear of God leads to an unbridled and foolish life. To fear the Lord is to stand in awe of His holy character and power. At the same time, Proverbs shows that true wisdom leads to the fear of the Lord (2:1-5). Key Words: The key word is “wisdom,” “wise,” etc.
, occurring some 110 times. Also important and related to wisdom are the terms, “instruction” and “taught, teach,” together occurring some 23 times. Key Verses: 1:5-7 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Key Chapters: There are obviously many sections of proverbs that might be considered as key such as chapter 1:20-33 where wisdom is personified as a woman inviting all to come to her and learn, but the majority refuse to heed her appeal, but perhaps chapter 31 gets the honors as the key chapter.
The last chapter of Proverbs is unique in ancient literature, as it reveals a very high and noble view of women. The woman in these verses is: (1) A good woman (31:13, 15-16, 19, 25); (2) a good wife (31:11-12, 23-24); (3) a good mother (31:14-15, 18, 21, 27); and (4) a good neighbor (31:11-12, 23-24). Her conduct, concern, speech, and life stand in sharp contrast to the woman pictured in chapter 7.
39 Christ as seen in Proverbs: In chapter 8, wisdom is personified and seen in its perfection. It is divine (8:22-31), it is the source of biological and spiritual life (3:18; 8:35-36), it is righteous and moral (8:8-9), and it is available to all who will receive it (8:1-6, 32-35). This wisdom became incarnate in Christ “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30; cf. 1 Cor. 1:22-24).40 Outline: I. Introduction: the Purpose of Proverbs (1:1-7) II. The Precepts of Wisdom: Proverbs to Youth (1:8-9:18) A. Obey Parents (1:8-9) B. Avoid Bad Company (1:10-19) C. Heed Wisdom’s Call and Advice (1:20-33) D. Avoid the Adulteress (2:1-22) E.
Trust and Honor God (3:1-12) F. The Blessings of Wisdom (3:13-20) G. Be Kind and Generous to Others (3:21-35) H. Get Wisdom (4:1-9) I. Avoid Bad Company (4:10-19) J. Above All, Keep Your Heart (4:20-27) K. Do Not Commit Adultery (5:1-14) L. Be Faithful to Your Own Spouse (5:15-23) M. Avoid Surety (6:1-5) N. Shun Laziness (6:6-19) O. Avoid Adultery (6:20-35) P. Avoid the Adulteress (7:1-27) Q. Wisdom and Folly Contrasted (8:1-9:18) III.
The Proverbs of Solomon (10:1-24:34) A. Proverbs Contrasting the Godly and the Wicked (10:1-15:33) B. Proverbs Encouraging Godly Lives (16:1-22:6) C. Proverbs Concerning Various Practices (22:17-23:35) D. Proverbs Concerning Various People (24:1-34) IV. The Proverbs of Solomon Copied by Hezekiah’s Men (25:1-29:27) A. Proverbs Concerning Relationships with Others (25:1-26:28) 1. With kings (25:1-7) 2.
With neighbors (25:8-20) 3. With enemies (25:21-24) 4. With yourself (25:25-26:2) 5. With fools (26:3-12) 6. With sluggards (26:13-16) 7. With gossips (26:17-28) B. Proverbs Concerning Actions (27:1-29:27) 1. In relation to life (27:1-27) 2. In relation to law (28:1-10) 3. In relation to wealth (28:11-28) 4. In relation to stubbornness (29:1-27) V. The Words of Agur (30:1-33) A. Personal Words (30:1-14) B.
Numerical Proverbs (30:15-33) VI. The Words of Lemuel (31:1-9) VII. The Capable Wife (31:10-31) ECCLESIASTES (A Search For Purpose) Author: There are two lines of evidence (external and internal) that point to Solomon as the author of Ecclesiastes. For the external evidence, the Jewish tradition attributes the book to Solomon. Internally, a number of lines of evidence show that Solomon was surely the author.
First, the author identifies himself as “the son of David, king in Jerusalem” (1:1). Then, references in the book to the author’s unrivaled wisdom (1:16), extreme wealth (2:7), opportunities for pleasure (2:3), and extensive building activities (2:4-6) all suggest Solomon as the author. There is simply no other descendant of David who measured up to these descriptions. Date: 931 B.C. According to Jewish tradition, Solomon wrote the Song in his early years, expressing a young man’s love.
He wrote the Proverbs in his mature years, manifesting a middle-aged man’s wisdom. He reportedly wrote Ecclesiastes in his declining years, revealing an old man’s sorrow (cf. 12:1). Perhaps Ecclesiastes is the record of Solomon’s regret for and repentance from his grave moral lapses recorded in 1 Kings 11. The Book of Ecclesiastes, then, would have been written just before Solomon’s death and subsequent division of his kingdom that occurred in 931 B.
C.41 Title of the Book: The name Ecclesiastes stems from the title given in the Greek translation, the Septuagint. Greek term, ecclesiastes, means “assembly” and is derived from the word ekkle„sia, “assembly, church.” “The Hebrew title is Qoheleth, which means “one who convenes and speaks at an assembly,” or “an ecclesiastic” or “preacher.” Theme and Purpose: The basic theme is the futility of life apart from God.
In the development of this theme, four key purposes emerge.42 First, in seeking to demonstrate that life without God has no meaning, Solomon is seeking to demolish confidence in man-based achievements and wisdom; he shows that all of man’s goals or the “way that seems right to man” must of necessity lead to dissatisfaction and emptiness.” Solomon recorded the futility and emptiness of his own experiences to make his readers desperate for God.
He sought to show that their quest for happiness cannot be fulfilled by man himself in the pursuits of this life. Second, Solomon affirms the fact that much in life cannot be fully understood, which means we must live by faith, not by sight. Life is full of unexplained enigmas, unresolved anomalies, and uncorrected injustices. There is much in life that man cannot comprehend nor control, but by faith, we can rest in the sovereign wisdom and work of God.
Much like the Book of Job, Ecclesiastes not only affirms that man is finite, but that he must learn to live with mystery. Life down here on earth, “life under the sun,” cannot provide the key to life itself for our world fallen, bankrupt. In view of this, man must have more than a horizontal outlook; he must have the upward look to God, fearing and trusting Him. Enigmas and injustices must be left in His hands to resolve.
Third, Ecclesiastes presents a realistic view of life that counterbalances the optimism of Proverbs. It shows there are exceptions to the laws and promises of proverbs, at least from the standpoint of this life. Proverbs 10:16 affirms that justice is meted to the righteous and the wicked, but Ecclesiastes 8:14 observes that this is not always the case, at least not in this life. Are these contradictions? No, because Proverbs is noting the general laws of God without noting the exceptions that occur because we live in a fallen, sin-ridden world.
Ecclesiastes points out that while a righteous order exists, as affirmed in Proverbs, it is not always evident to man as he views life “under the sun” from his finite perspective. Fourth, Solomon showed that man, left to his own strategies will always find life empty, frustrating, and mysterious. The book, however, does not mean that life has no answers, that life is totally useless or meaningless.
Meaning and significance can be found, he explained, in fearing God. Frustrations can thus be replaced with contentment through fellowship with God. Key Word: Vanity Key Verses: 1:2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” 2:24 There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen, that it is from the hand of God.
12:13-14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. Key Chapter: At the end of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher looks at life through “binoculars.” On the other hand, from the perspective of the natural man who only sees life “under the sun,” the conclusion is, “all is vanity.
” Life’s every activity, even though pleasant for the moment, becomes purposeless and futile when viewed as an end in itself. The preacher carefully documents the latter view with a long list of his own personal pursuits I life. no amount of activities or possessions has satisfied the craving of his heart. Every earthly prescription for happiness has left the same bitter aftertaste. Only when the Preacher views his life from God’s perspective “above the sun” does it take on meaning as a precious gift “from the hand of God” (2:24).
Chapter 12 resolves the book’s extensive inquiry into the meaning of life with the single conclusion, “Fear God and Keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (12:13).43 Christ as seen in Ecclesiastes: Since Christ alone is man’s means to God where man finds wholeness and satisfaction, or life and life more abundantly (John 10:10; 7:37-38), the futility and perplexity experienced in life can only be removed through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.
Man’s aspiration for significance and satisfaction are found only in the Savior. Outline:44 I. Introduction: The Problem Stated (1:1-3) A. The Problem Demonstrated (1:4-2:26) 1. The Futility of the Cycles of Life (1:4-11) 2. The Futility of Human Wisdom (1:12-18) 3. The Futility of Pleasure and Wealth (2:1-11) 4. The Futility of Materialism (2:12-23) 5. Conclusion: Enjoy and Be Content with the Providences of God (2:24-26) II.
God’s Immutable Plan for Life (3:1-22) A. He Predetermines the Events of Life (3:1-11) B. He Predetermines the Conditions of Life (3:12-13) C. He Judges All (3:14-21) D. Conclusion (3:22) III. The Futility of the Circumstances of Life (4:1-5:20) A. Evil Oppression (4:1-3) B. The Emptiness of Hard Work (4:4-12) C. The Emptiness of Political Success (4:13-16) D. The Emptiness of Human Religion (5:1-7) E.
The Emptiness of Human Riches (5:8-17) F. Conclusion (5:18-20) IV. The Futility of Life as a Whole (6:1-1) A. Wealth Cannot Satisfy (6:1-2) B. Children Cannot Satisfy (6:3-6) C. Labor Cannot Satisfy (6:7-12) V. Counsel for Living With Vanity (7:1-12:8) A. Counsel in View of Man’s Wickedness (7:1-29) B. Counsel in View of God’s Inscrutable Providences (8:1-9:18) C. Counsel in View of the Uncertainties of Life (10:1-20) D.
Counsel in View of the Aging Processes of Life (11:1-12:8) VI. Conclusion (12:9-14) SONG OF SOLOMON (A Royal Wedding) Author: Though some critics reject King Solomon as the author and take 1:1 to mean, “which is about Solomon,” the internal evidence supports the traditional belief that Solomon is its author. The contents of the book agree with all that we know about the abilities and wisdom of Solomon, and there is no compelling reason not to regard him as the author.
45 Solomon is mentioned seven times (1:1, 5; 3:7, 9, 11; 8:11-12), and he is identified as the groom. Verse 1 asserts that Solomon wrote this song as one of many (in fact the best of the many) songs which he wrote (1 Kings 4:32 tells us he composed 1,005 such songs). Note that the text does not simply say, “The Song of Solomon” but “The Song of Songs, which are Solomon’s.” Date: About 965 B.
C. The Song was probably written early in Solomon’s career, about 965. At this point, Solomon had sixty queens and eighty concubines (6:8), but later in his life, he would have seven hundred queens and three thousand concubines (1 Kings 11:3). Title of the Book: Regarding the title of this book Ryrie writes: This book has been titled several ways: the Hebrew title from verse 1, The Song of Songs, which means “the most superlative, or best, of songs”; the English title, also from verse 1, The Song of Solomon, which designates the author; and the Canticles, meaning simply “songs,” derived from the Latin.
46 Theme and Purpose: The Song of Solomon is a love song filled with metaphors and imagery designed to portray God’s view of love and marriage: the beauty of physical love between man and woman. The book which is presented as a drama with several scenes, has three major player: the bride (Shulamite), the king (Solomon), and a chorus (daughters of Jerusalem). The purpose of the book will depend on the viewpoint taken as to the way the book should be interpreted.
The following will illustrate this in the discussion of the three views presented here. In summary, there have been three basic views on the interpretation of this Song of Solomon. (1) Purely an Allegory: Some have regarded it only an allegory portraying fictional characters employed teach the truth of God’s love for His people. Regarding this view, Archer writes: The allegorical interpretation prevailed from ancient times until the rise of modern scholarship.
It identified Solomon with Jehovah (or else, according to the Christians, with Christ) and the Shulamite as Israel (or the Church). The historicity of Solomon’s love affair is of small importance to the exponents of this theory. They tend to interpret each detail in a symbolic manner; thus Solomon’s eighty concubines, according to some, represent the eighty heresies destined to plague the Church… It must be admitted that these passages establish at least a typical relationship between human love and marriage and the covenant relationship between God and His people.
Nevertheless, the allegorical view faces certain difficulties, not the least of which is that the book seems to speak of a historical episode in Solomon’s life and accords well with Solomon’s situation, at least in the earlier part of his reign (judging from the comparatively small number of his concubines).47 (2) The Literal View: Others regard the Song as simply a secular love song not intended to convey a spiritual lesson and expressing human love in a highly romantic way drawn from an historical event in the life of Solomon.
(3) The Literal/Typical View: This view sees a combination a literal historical event portraying the beauties of physical love along with a typical portrait of God’s Love and Christ’s love for the church. Others rightly understand the book to be an historical record of the romance of Solomon with a Shulamite woman. The “snapshots” in the book portray the joys of love in courtship and marriage and counteract both the extremes of asceticism and of lust.
The rightful place of physical love, within marriage only, is clearly established and honored. Within the historical framework, some also see illustrations of the love of God (and Christ) for His people. Obviously Solomon does not furnish the best example of marital devotion, for he had many wives and concubines (140 at this time, 6:8; many more later, 1 Kings 11:3). The experiences recorded in this book may reflect the only (or virtually the only) pure romance he had.
48 This combined perspective is seen in Archers explanation of the theme of Canticles: The theme of Canticles is the love of Solomon for his Shulamite bride and her deep affection for him. This love affair is understood to typify the warm, personal relationship which God desires with His spiritual bride, composed of all redeemed believers who have given their hearts to Him. From the Christian perspective, this points to the mutual commitment between Christ and His church and the fullness of fellowship which ought to subsist between them.
49 Key Word: Love Key Verses: 7:10 “I am my beloved’s, And his desire is for me. Key People: The book has three major player: the bride (Shulamite), the king (Solomon), and a chorus (daughters of Jerusalem). Christ as seen in the Song of Solomon: This book illustrates Christ’s love for the church which is seen as the bride of Christ in the New Testament (cf. 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:23-25; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:9).
Outline: I. Title (1:1) II. Falling in Love (1:2-3:5) III. United in Love (3:6-5:1) IV. Struggling in Love (5:2-7:10) V. Maturing in Love (7:11-8:14)