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BIBL 102 T14b (Fa '14) - OT Poetry

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Hartmut Scherer

on 20 April 2015

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Transcript of BIBL 102 T14b (Fa '14) - OT Poetry

(Adapted from Zondervan Academic Resources for
Grasping God's Word
)
OT Poetry
Introduction
Over one third of the Bible is poetry.
OT poetry
focuses
on our
emotional response
to God.
It connects with us down deep, both in joy and in despair.
Psalms
Song of Songs
Job
Lamentations
Proverbs
Elements of OT poetry
uses few words to enhance their impact and power
Terseness
Show me your ways, O Lord,
Teach me your paths. Ps 25:4
Structure
the most obvious is parallelism where lines represent thought units and are usually grouped in units of two or three lines:
Synonymous
- second line repeats idea of first line
- second line further develops idea
of first line
Developmental
- second line illustrates first line
Illustrative
- second line contrasts with first line
Contrastive
- other types of parallelism not
easily classified
Miscellaneous
Figurative language
OT poetry is more like a painting than an essay
Literal, historical truth is expressed in picture language
Simile
- comparison using
“like” or “as”
- direct comparison
Metaphor
“As the dear pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.”
Psalm 42:1
Indirect analogy
- comparison
without stating it
- exaggeration for
the sake of effect
Hyperbole
“My tears have been my food day and night.” Psalm 42:3
“The Lord is my shepherd.”
Psalm 23:1
“Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.” Psalm 22:13
- attributes to one entity the characteristics
of a totally different entity
Personification/
anthropomorphism/
zoomorphism
“He will cover you with his feathers,
And under his wings you will find refuge.”
Psalm 91:4
Effects and causes
– substitutes the effect
for the cause
“Let me hear joy and gladness.”
Psalm 51:8
Representation
– substitutes a part of an
entity for the whole
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 23:1
Miscellaneous figures of speech:
Apostrophe
– when they address as if present a
person or entity not actually present
“Therefore, you kings, be wise; Be warned, you rulers of the earth.”
Psalm 2:10
Irony
– when the writer says the exact
opposite of what he really means (as
in God’s use of sarcastic irony below)
“Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.
Job 38:18
Wordplays
– when the writer uses variant
possible meanings of a word or
sound similarities.
He hoped for justice [mishpat]
but there is injustice [mispah]
for equity [sedaqah]
but there is outcry [se'aqah].
Isaiah 5:7
Interpreting OT poetry
In your observation, look closely for parallelism. Read the two or three lines of parallelism as
one thought.
As with any text in the OT we need to make the five steps in the Interpretive Journey. Here are a few guidelines for the poetry genre related to Step 1:
Locate and visualize figures of speech. Identify the kind of figure you have in the passage. Also, try to
enter
into the
emotional world
of the image.
Unique aspects of the Psalms
Does not present doctrinal guidelines so much as examples of how to communicate our deepest emotions and needs to God.
When we find ourselves in deep despair or in jubilant celebration, Psalms teaches us to be honest and open with God.
God wants us to pour out our hearts to him and he wants to connect with us in the depths of our emotional being.
Conclusion
In OT poetry we are dealing with

rather than with
Poetry is characterized by terseness, a high degree of structure (parallelism), and figurative language.
OT poetry shows us how to communicate our deepest emotions to God.
Different literary genres of the Bible are like different museums.
Air and Space Museum
Appeals to
logic
, rational arguments are central, analyze grammar and syntax
Appeals to
emotion,
images are central, analyzes figures of speech
Elements of OT poetry
Terseness
Structure
Figurative language
Miscellaneous figures of speech:
Figures of speech involving
substitution:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Eg1ks9CXra8/SX3xwi3tL5I/AAAAAAAAL0c/BxROnxwdXzw/s320/IMG_4546.JPG
© Copyright 2010 Roy Tennant, http://freelargephotos.com/000503_s.jpg
National Gallery of Art
Figures of speech involving
analogy:
“Lift up your heads, O you gates.” Psalm 24:7
“Your face, Lord, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8
Full transcript