Christian Biblical Reflections.21

((Here are pages (521-560) CBR, Chapter III, (Christian Biblical Reflections.21, the 4th submission or installment) of the Poetic Books from Job to Song of Songs, comprising Psalms with Job & Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, & Solomon’s Song of Songs. Christian Biblical Reflections. mjmselim. 2018)) (Here is the PDF of CBR.1-3. Poetic Books of OT: updated and completed and further edited, corrected, and renumbered (pages 1-560)) :CBR.1-3.Aug12,2018.ChristBibReflect.mjmselim.Orgnl.08112018 (2)


     The Poetic Books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & Song of Songs shows human experiences in a fuller way than we have yet seen in the Scriptures. We are brought back to Genesis & Deuteronomy & to the other Books in a special way which may be said is more spiritual & elevated. These Poetical Books are focused on the Divine relations of God & man in wisdom & love with all things divine. Biblical Poetry is like natural poetry in the world which displays human experiences in the languages & tongues of mankind of countless variety & forms. In Genesis we have man’s first venture in poetic expression of music among the Cainites of Enoch City in the Land of East Eden in the family Lamech & his sons: Gen. 4:19-24: Lamech took unto him two wives: Adah & Zillah; Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of tent-dwellers & cattle-folks. His brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all musicians or players of harp & pipe. Zillah, bare Tubal-Cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass & iron: & the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah. And Lamech said unto his wives:

Adah & Zillah hear my voice: Ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech:
For I have slain a man for wounding me: And a young man for bruising me:
If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold: Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

     This development of Poetry & Music would contribute to the world before the Flood, and after the Flood, in the Land of Shinar, later called the Land of Sumer & Accad, it would dominate in the customs & cultures of the earliest Mesopotamians. The earliest civilizations were prolific in their poetic & musical expressions in songs, prayers, chants, melodies, as well as various musical performances in civic or religious observances, and many personal pursuits. The content of their songs & poems were filled with their history & beliefs of every sort from the distant past to their present living, and their future hopes & longings. Basic human experiences found musical expressions in poetic inspiration, as it would eventually be adapted to history & prophecy.
When we turn to the literature of those ancient times, in the translated & interpreted works as Pritchard’s Ancient Near East Texts, Anthology of Texts & Pictures, or Kramer’s Sumerian Literature of Poetry, Myths, History, &c, or Wilfred G. Lambert’s Babylonian Wisdom Literature, or Lukenbill’s Ancient Records of Assyria & Babylonia, or even Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, and a great many other such scholarly works (as Jastrow’s), we are overwhelmed at early man’s poetic & musical constitution. They spoke & prayed, they sang & played of God, & the gods, goddesses, idols, heaven, demons, spirits, powers, nature, creation; they imagined & promoted ideas & beliefs about their origins, their history & life, of their country & people, of kings & priests, of temples & holy places; and countless other things of humanity or divinity. Creation, Judgment, & Salvation were universal themes of their poetry; the Land & the People & the Book was their fascination. Dilmun was their original Paradise & Eden; life, death, good, evil, truth, fiction, righteousness, wickedness, sex, violence, government, and thousands of human experiences are found in their poems & songs, in their psalms & hymns, and in all their literature which survived decay & destruction. The Temple & the Throne were their sacred worship & service in all aspects of life & death. War & peace, love & hate, work & play was universal at all levels & in each person & family.
When we read their poems & songs, the hymns & psalms, we find very primitive & simple poetic forms that were easily performed with simple musical instruments of strings as lyres & harps; of drums of many sorts; and of wind instruments as pipes & flutes; and this besides the sounds generated by the human body of the mouth, hands, & feet; including the bodily movements & dancing. But when we turn to the Bible we read a far better story of man’s poetic heart & mouth. The reason for this is related to truth, which true wisdom must have to elevate man. We may compare the Texts of the ancients in their poetry and we will not find the higher nobler expressions of truth as wisdom. Barron’s Archaeology & the Bible in Two Parts of the Lands & the Documents relating to the Bible, compares analogies to Genesis and the Pentateuch as a whole as history; then he selects the Texts treating from Joshua through Esther. In dealing with the Poetic Books (Part II, Chapters 20-23, he compares the Bible account against “A Babylonian Job” (or Lambert’s ‘Babylonian Pilgrim’s Progress’), and another like poem; then some Psalms & Poetic pieces of Hymns, Songs, and examples of the Books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & the Song of Songs. But after his selections, his comments shows how far apart the Bible Books are to the Babylonian Documents: “…This story has some striking similarities to the book of Job. It presents also some striking dissimilarities…Here the parallelism with the book of Job ends. The two works belong to widely different religious worlds. Job gains relief by a vision of God—an experience which made him able to believe that, though he could not understand the reason for the pain of life or its contradictions and tragedy, God could, and Job now knew God.(See Job 42 : 4-6.) Tabu-utul-Bel, on the other hand, is said to have gained his relief through a magician. We are apparently told by the fragmentary text that at last he found a conjurer who brought a messenger from the god Marduk, who drove away the evil spirits which caused the disease, and so Tabu-utul-BSl was relieved. This difference sets vividly before us the greater religious value and inspiration of the book of Job. It treats the same problem that the Babylonian poet took for his theme, but between the outlook of the poet who composed Job and that of the Babylonian poet there is all the difference between a real experience of God and faith in the black art.”
It is the same with all the other Poetic examples given, and after reading, and in some cases rereading, I fail to appreciate what these scholars admire or esteem in theses comparisons & analogies. Here is Barton again: “Both from Babylonia and from Egypt a large number of hymns and prayers have been recovered. Some of these are beautiful on account of their form of expression, the poetical nature of their thoughts, and the sense of sin which they reveal. Most of them are clearly polytheistic, and it is rare that they rise in the expression of religious emotion to the simple sublimity of the Old Testament Psalms. Such likenesses to the Psalms as they possess only serve to set off in greater relief the rich religious heritage which we have in our Psalter.” And it continues throughout, telling us that these polytheistic inspirations were often beautiful & sublime aspirations of worship. But we sees in Scriptures truth that reveals these errors & conceits. But before we turn to the Book of Job we need to review Lambert’s “The Poem of the Righteous Sufferer (Ludlul Bel Nemeqi, often called the ‘Babylonian Job’). He tells us the Poem of the Sufferer is an Ancient Classic original in 4 or 5 tablets, and some 400-500 lines. He outlines the Plot: [Intro.]; Narrator (Ludlul) forsaken by Marduk (Lord of Wisdom) & Goddess; All forsake him, both Kings & Slaves; Disease & Sickness afflicts him; Promised Deliverance in 3 Dreams; Saved & Healed by Marduk & others (Demons, &c). Lambert does not see or attempt to merge Job & Ludlul, but does deal with the problem: “What solution then can we find? He takes an old theologoumena about the remoteness and inscrutability of the gods, and turns them round to mean that all values must be inverted with the gods, so that what is considered right among men must be wrong with the gods, and vice versa.” Lambert concludes: “… For a long time it has been customary to refer to ‘Ludlul’ as “The Babylonian Job”, and so long as knowledge was restricted to the second tablet such a description was justified. Seen now in a more complete form it will not bear the title so readily. Quantitatively the greater part of the text is taken up with showing how Marduk restores his ruined servant, and only a small part with trying to probe the reason for the suffering of the righteous. In places the writer deliberately sheets away from plainly facing this problem because of its blasphemous implications….The world is ruled by the lord Marduk, from whom justice is expected by his servants. Yet Marduk allows even the most devoted to suffer. The author of ‘Ludlul’ finds no answer adequate to solve this mystery. All he can say is that though it be the lord who has smitten, yet it is the lord who will heal.” And though the examples in the Proverbs & Doctrines & Love Songs of profanity are less frequent, and not as offensive, yet their profundity is more obvious & deficient.
The Society of Biblical Literature tells us, in praise of Lambert’s Works, in their review published by RBL: “Much more might be said about this magnum opus, but suffice it to say in conclusion that just as Prof. Lambert’s Babylonian Wisdom Literature enables a generation of students to understand better the Hebrew books of Job, Proverbs and Qoheleth, so his Babylonian Creation Myths will help future generations of students understand better the creation themed texts in Genesis, Job, the Psalter and the Prophets. Students around the world will find it difficult to measure their depth of gratitude not only for this volume but also that Prof. Lambert lived long enough to complete it.”

     The Book of Job is Hebrew Bible Poetry which serves as an excellent Preface & Introduction to the Psalms & Biblical Poetry. All we know about Job is found only in the Book of Job and outside of the Book he is mentioned only in Ezekiel & James, which tells us that he was righteous as Noah & Daniel, and that he was patient & favored by the Lord. In Genesis 10 Aram benShem had a 5th son named Uz, and Shem is called the Father of the Hebrews (Eberites, Heberites); in Gen. 22 Abraham’s brother Nahor had 8 sons by his wife Milcah: Uz, the 1st, then 2nd Buz, & 3rd Kemuel the abiAram (father of Aram, the Aramaeans); then the 4th-7th, then the 8th was Bethuel abiRebekah (Rebekah’s father, Rebekah was Isaac’s wife); and in Gen. 36 Jacob’s son Esau (Edom) in relations to the Seirites or Horites of Canaan & Edom (7 sons & a daughter named Timna); one of the 7 sons of the Horites of Seir-Edom was Dishan (chief, sheikh), he was abiUz & abiAran of the Land of Edom. These are recorded in the generations & genealogies of 1st Chronicles chapter 1. We learn that Uz is a Semitic-Aramaic-Hebrew-Edomite name. The Land of Uz was in Land of Edom or near its borders of the Edomite Sheiks. The Edomites were mixed with the Canaanites & Hebrews & Ishmaelites quite often, which may be seen by other names recorded in the Book of Job (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, Elihu benBarachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, Sabeans, Chaldeans (Casein), Qedemites (beneyQedemm sons of the East, Easterners, Middle Easterners), Tema, Sheba, desert, wilderness, &c.
The Book reads very simple, the outline is clear: its Beginning & its Ending encloses the Job & Friends in Debate with the Lord & the Adversary as Players. The Discourses or Parables are 20 Speeches in all, and chapter 19 is the hallway point in the debate. The Prologue & Epilogue, the Introduction & Conclusion, determine the nature & verdict of the great debate. The divine test & the human choices are all seen as they unfold as interactions & responses. Job as Man (Adam) is a good man, righteous, upright, God-fearing, sin-hating, honorable, noble, kind, &c. The questions are why, how, & what as to his virtue & relations to God & man. Mankind in the nations, peoples, & families of the earth is also on trial of the same nature & purpose, that is, for the same reason; which in Job is brought out in various ways & words. So far, the Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Assyrian, and all other ancient documents of the Job motif do not even come in as a distant second, no, they cannot be seen on the tract. ( The Greek LXX version & the modern Byzantine Text adds this ancient traditional note (Brenton’s translation): “This man is described in the Syriac book as living in the land of Ausis (Uz, Oz), on the borders of Idumea (Edom) and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab (Yobab, see Gen. 10:29; 36:33; 36:34; Josh. 11:1; & 1st Chron 1 & 8.); and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon. And he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorrha, so that he was the fifth from Abram. And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba: but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job, and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim. And his friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the children of Esau, king of the Thaemanites, Baldad sovereign the Sauchaeans, Sophar king of the Minaeans.”)

     Job begins the debate with his lament & curse of his life at conception & birth, that his birthday & life is a mistake & crime, and all in the eyes & hands of God. This self-judgment of depression & grief is responded to by his Three Friends, in turns, one at a time, to which Job must reply & respond in turn & in cycles or rounds. Job ‘answered and said,’ 9 times in the debate, 2 times Job ‘took up his parable (proverb, mashal)’, before he ends his words in debate; he did not answer or reply to Elihu; and Job answered & replied to the Lord twice. Job ends his 1st speech with his calamity & tragedy which he once feared has now come upon him.
Eliphaz is cautious or hesitant to reply or respond to Job’s lament: Job once was a good man & leader, but now is disturbed & anguished at his misfortunes; as if man does not reap what he sows; or that God treats man unfairly in judgment; even in my dreams God has revealed to me: “Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker?” Man is nothing to God, is less than the angels, a puny creature; man is foolish & wicked, born to trouble & fly as sparks. God to the contrary is fair, great, awesome, gracious, righteous; He saves, blesses, judges, and cares for the poor, needy, orphans, helpless, fearful, & persecuted, &c. Eliphaz concludes: ” Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; Hear it, and know thou it for thy good.”
Poor Job must answer all this in tears and sufferings with now a broken heart, as the Psalmist would say: “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, Who did eat of my bread, Hath lifted up his heel against me.” and “But it was thou, a man mine equal, My companion, and my familiar friend.” Job desires his troubles to be measured & weighed before Shaddai (the Almighty Provider-Nourisher) Who is now against him, and desires that God would just get it over with by killing him; why must He torment me slowly instead of a quick death as if I am able to endure the pain & agony. But should not a doomed man God-forsaken not find a little kindness from his friend (Eliphaz), even if it is true, quote: “Even to him that forsaketh the fear of the Almighty (Shaddai).” Job denounced such ‘friends’ & ‘brethren’ as ‘deceitful brooks’ good only for the ‘caravans of Tema’ and the ‘companies of Sheba’. Job complains to his friends that he has never begged them for bribe or pity, nor for help & protection, and even in this condition he would gladly listen if they had anything true & wise to say; but instead you sell the orphan & your friend, and cannot see his plight & dilemma. Job continues that human experience is a warfare, slavery, misery, with no salvation in sight & no comfort from man. So Job turns to God in prayer & praise, debating with El Shaddai of his life, times, sufferings, conflicts, &c. Job begs God for forgiveness & healing, at least for a brief time before he dies.
Bildad answers Job, like Eliphaz, and the debate heats up against Job. Job answers Bildad in deeper depression & rejection, bewildered at his friends enmity; and his argument turns him to God in prayer & praise. Then its Zophar’s turn to the same effect, and Job’s response in turn & in kind. The 2nd Cycle starts in chapter 15 & ends in 21, with Job in chapter 19 telling us that the speeches, theirs & his, number 10 thus far, and that they have in them only reproached & mistreated him. The 19th chapter is filled with important truth & prophecy, and we cite this passage as example: (19:1-29, ASV 1910)
Then Job answered and said: How long will ye vex my soul, And break me in pieces with words? These ‘ten times’ have ye reproached me: Ye are not ashamed that ye deal hardly with me. And be it indeed that I have erred, Mine error remaineth with myself. If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, And plead against me my reproach; Know now that God hath subverted me [in my cause], And hath compassed me with His net. Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry for help, but there is no justice. He hath walled up my way that I cannot pass, And hath set darkness in my paths. He hath stripped me of my glory, And taken the crown from my head. He hath broken me down on every side, and I am gone; And my hope hath He plucked up like a tree. He hath also kindled His wrath against me, And He counteth me unto Him as [one of] His adversaries. His troops come on together, And cast up their way against me, And encamp round about my tent. He hath put my brethren far from me, And mine acquaintance are wholly estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, And my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in my house, and my maids, count me for a stranger; I am an alien in their sight. I call unto my servant, and he giveth me no answer, [Though] I entreat him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, And my supplication to the children of mine own mother. Even young children despise me; If I arise, they speak against me. All my familiar friends abhor me, And they whom I loved are turned against me. My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, And I am escaped with the skin of my teeth. Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; For the hand of God hath touched me. Why do ye persecute me as God, And are not satisfied with my flesh? Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! That with an iron pen and lead They were graven in the rock forever! But as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth, And at last He will stand up upon the earth: And after my skin, [even] this [body], is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I see God; Whom I, even I, shall see, on my side, And mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger. My heart is consumed within me. If ye say, How we will persecute him! And that the root of the matter is found in me; Be ye afraid of the sword: For wrath [bringeth] the punishments of the sword, That ye may know there is a judgment.”

     We must turn from this type of reflection of the Book of Job, leaving it to the readers to pursue for themselves the entire Book in this way. We have in Job the struggle of human ideas, beliefs, doctrines & the like; the human experiences & expressions becomes the pursuit of wisdom, sophism, and in turn philosophy. The men who endeavored to master human wisdom were called wise men, sages or sophists, and this developed into philosophy of the philosophers. The Art of Wisdom in a global & international way advanced clearly from the Patriarchal times to the times of the Monarchies. The poets & prophets, the seers at first, contributed to the quest for science & wisdom. Within human wisdom was mixed the divine wisdom of historic memories & myths, then experiential & experimental advancement throughout the world, and periodically divine interaction added or modified human knowledge, understanding, & intellect. The wise men became the Counselors among men, especially to the Kings, whether a Balaam or an Ahithophel (of whom it was said: “And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man inquired at the Oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.”). So men like Ahithophel, Hushai the Archite, and thousands of such men, would teach the people in their generations both human & divine wisdom. Solomon would become in Israel the greatest of these wise men. Job was such a man.
In Job we learn that wisdom is not inherited but slowly acquired, and that in animals God has so made them that various degrees of wisdom is seen in their natural instincts, or lack thereof. We learn from created creatures various forms & features of wisdom, and also from all of nature. Divine Wisdom must intervene & interact with man, God must manifest His wisdom within man’s world for man to know, understand, & experience divine things. Job records the human struggle common to all mankind descended from the created pair, and whatever was transmitted from the original beginning, would undergo the changes & adaptations to man’s life & living. Wisdom & all spiritual things related to wisdom are abstractions of truth & reality & life. We learn to understand & to appreciate wisdom by learning from others, at first from parents & family, then the larger circles of life & society. So we return to the Book of Job.
In Job we read of many things of the ancient world of the Middle East, and very detail items of the ancient Semites & Arabs. But it is the knowledge of God and all that relates to Him that makes the Book of utmost value. God is presented as Jehovah, the Lord (Adonai, Adon), & Shaddai, with few occurrences of El, Eloah. God resides in heaven, has a court of angels & sons, including Satan as a visitor, Job was His servant & worshipper; all comes from Him & all is His; He loves the good & hates the evil; He permits sin & evil, but demands & commands goodness, righteousness, holiness, &c; He sets bounds & limits to trials & tests by Satan; He solicits prayer, praise, & sacrifices. God is to be loved & feared, to be obeyed & believed; He is wise & powerful; God responds & replies; He receives & rejects; He creates & makes; He saves & judges; He is to be sought & discovered; He draws & detours men; He reveals & conceals; He has knowledge, understanding, wisdom, counsel, &c. God pursues & captures; He gives hope; He promises eternal life; He judges all men; His Spirit prevails all creation; He favors the poor & needy, but abhors & removes the wicked. The godly seeks God but the wicked will have nothing to do with God; the hypocrite is known to God Who will destroy them; the family of the wicked is contrary to God, but the children of the righteous follow God; nothing is hid from God, He sees all, knows all, always; the godless have no hope with God, He will not listen to their cry or prayer; the godly have God from womb to tomb; God is to be trusted even when it appears that He is destroying; His judgment is kind to His servant; God does whatever He wants without giving account to man; He gives songs in the night, watches over man, works for man’s good; all nature speaks of God & His ways; creation is God’s work; nature reveals Him; God is Elohim, He is Jehovah, He is El Shaddai, He is the Lord , &c &c.
In Job wisdom is related to knowledge, understanding, counsel, insight, &c. It comes from God & leads to God & keeps us with God; wisdom comes with power, might, strength, maturity; it is with the aged & elders; and it is not found with fools & the wicked. Silence is wisdom at times; wisdom seeks man that man May seek wisdom & find God. Wisdom lives with God, resides with Him, and dwells with understanding. The proud & hypocrite & the foolish think & claim to have wisdom but will be found liars. God shows the secrets of wisdom: wisdom is God’s mystery, more valuable than wealth, more precious the gold; better than power & fame; wisdom is the best of the best in life & living. Job concludes his 1st Parable: “And unto man He (God) said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.”
The Book of Job speaks of Wisdom as a Divine Quality, an Attribute of God, His Nature; it is a masculine quality & property, and not yet seen in its feminine character & form as in the Book of Proverbs. Experience, skill, training, discipline, practice, comes from wisdom and leads to wisdom. The wise are full of wisdom but the foolish have little or none. But wisdom comes in two forms, one of nature, the other of God. Divine wisdom is truth in God, and is of His Spirit & Word, it is spiritual leading to eternal life. Job & his companions were wisdom & truth seekers, but at times did not find true wisdom, and often spoke words contrary to truth & wisdom. Wisdom must always be sought related to God, and all things which are removed from God leads away from proper wisdom. Though man must seek wisdom & truth, yet it is God’s works & words that finds man, satisfying his search & need. A cobbler may have wisdom as a master craftsman, an expert of soles & shoes, but this wisdom is merely natural, and of little lasting worth, being of temporal value, not adequate for eternity. This is why Job & his friends were deficient in true wisdom, having not the words of God revealed in a fuller way (and in the words are His commandments, like the Law or Bible). Job in frustration said to his friends that they were the people that only have wisdom, and when they die wisdom will be gone. Elihu complains against Job & his friends for their lack of wisdom, yet they argued against Job or God, and in turn condemned Job or implicated & insinuated that God was a Culprit, mischievous & arbitrary. Elihu cites & quotes their words & charges to expose their ignorance & error; but he cannot reason from the Word, from God’s actual history with man in the generations from Adam to Job. So Elihu also fell short of the true wisdom that ends debates of all types.
But God in Job seeks man, and we in Job are drawn to seek & find God. Mankind is a story of Job, and the Job-story will continue till the end, and the end will also be a happy ending for God & man.

     We move on to the Psalms of David & his House. We have said that Genesis & Deuteronomy, along with the other Books were preparatory to the Poetic Books, and that the Key Book of Poetry is the Book of Psalms of the Writings of Scripture. The poetry of the Psalms are the songs, hymns, & poems coming from human experiences & history. It is a Treasury of David, his House, his People, & his God. Its uniqueness in expression was that of the musical instruments that were used in their composition & performance. They were Psalms because they were sung while the psalms-instrument of the lyre & harp & the like were played along with the voice & words. David as a shepherd boy played & sang the psalms to the Lord God of Israel, often while caring for his father’s sheep, and in time these psalms of songs & hymns became part of his Psalter of Israel and the Church. They were David’s praises & worship, his prayers & loves for God, His people, and all His works & wonders. Thus the Psalter was being formed in David the Shepherd Boy to become the Sweet Psalmist of Israel.

     The Book of Psalms comes to us in 5 Divisions often compared to the Books of Moses. Book I: 1-41; Bk II: 42-72; Bk III: 73-89; Bk IV: 90-106: Bk V: 107-150. We may remember theses 5-fold divisions thus:

Book One with Forty-One: Book Two ends Seventy-Two.
David’s Prayers ends One & Two & Praises starts Three to Five.
Book Three starts Seventy-Three: Book Four Ninety ‘more
Book Five ‘One O Five’ to ‘One Five O’: Thus Five Div’sions go.

The first two divisions (Psalms 1-42-72) are Davidic and we trace David’s earliest experiences from a child to manhood, from shepherd to king. The divisions of Books 3 & 4 shows David’s House, both of the House of Israel & the House of Judah, dealing with the Throne & the Nation as the People of God. It ends with the covenant & promises to Israel & David in the dispensation of the Nation of Israel, and is a hallway marker; and ends with the Psalm to or for Solomon. The 3rd division begins with 9 Psalms of Asaph, few of or for the sons of Korah, 1 of David, and 1 of Ethan the Ezrahite (the same who is compared with Solomon’s wisdom: “For he (Solomon) was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all the nations round about.” Book 4 begins with Moses the Man of God’s Prayer, and it appears & commonly believed that Psalms 91 is also of Moses. The division of Book ends with the review of Israel’s history with God & the Land & the Book. Book 5 like Deuteronomy of Moses is the largest and fullest division of the Psalms with clear focus on the Book or Word, and with the House of Prayer, Praise & Worship. All ends in HalleluYahs.
But the Book of Psalms goes deeper still; and the experiences are not just David’s, but David’s experiences are mixed with those of others. True poetry, both natural & spiritual, is always more than the individual, but the individual is always part of the whole, and connected to others in spirit & life. As we relate to the Psalms, the Psalms relate to others; to the patriarchs of Genesis, to the fathers & elders of Israel, to the Books from Genesis – Job, and to other things, places, & persons in many ways, and for many reasons. Thus it is that Adam as Man with Mankind, with men & women, with Messiah, with David & Israel, and also with us. The Enemy is there as he is here, the Fall is then & now, the type becomes the antitype, the first is with the last, and many such things. The Victims in the Garden are victims in the world, earth a large garden dominated by the serpent against us & against God. Abel is an example that cries out still; the Flood God’s great regret of fallen man; Abram suffers as a stranger in a strange land promised by God as his inheritance, and his people (the Hebrews) must suffer 430 years before salvation comes; Joseph suffers with his brothers & with Egyptians, and we could go on and write another Book of these examples. The Spirit of Inspiration like the Spirit of Prophecy witnesses in a testimony of like experiences & meaning. So we have in one instance or example the case or correspondence of another, taking up points of complements, as well as contrasts. Messiah must in Himself take up all these things, fitted to His experience of the incarnation & divine manifestation, so that our experiences are fulfilled in God in answer to Job’s words, his prayers, and all his longings. Christ must take in all men, and all things, to fulfill salvation, to sheath judgment, and to issue a new creation. David becomes our teacher, example, and our helper in this poetic enterprise of Scripture. David must identify with the shepherd Abel & Joseph, he must fill up & extend the human experience, that is the life lived, then leave us with a way to move forward by his attraction & prediction or advancement as he advertises his spirit & heart. Christ must then make this part of His nature in several ways, so that all men may be drawn to Him, and to God. For this reason prophecy becomes so important to understand, and history so prophetic. But enough of these things for now, we return to the Psalter.

     The Book of Psalms expresses the intimate relationship that exists between God & man, it brings all human concerns & interests as it relates to God, but it is built on the revealed God. The Lord as Jehovah is fully acquainted & involved with His people. In Psalms 1 we read of the blessed one who are not like the ungodly in the various relations of life, but delights in the Lord’s Law daily & always; and as a fruitful Tree well-watered by the Word (the Law) prospers & flourish; but the wicked are blown away in life & sinners fall in judgment: the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked perish. This then is the contents of the Preface Psalm of the Two Ways, of Light & Darkness. The Law of the Lord is the Treasure of Israel to whom that Law was given in covenant. That Law was for man also the Word revealed of God’s thoughts, His likes & dislikes, His permissions & prohibitions for living in many detailed ways. The commandments in the Law as the Word formed & conformed man in God’s image, and in man as a mirror God is reflected, seen & known. With understanding & knowledge the believer & follower of God as the Lord must in wisdom & in beauty find how to express & share this Treasure, this ‘blessedness’ which constitutes the inner man of the psalmist. The Jews are in habit of making their Books by the first word or words of that Book (Sepher, Sefer) rather than the theme or subject content of the Book. The first word of the Book of Psalms is the 1st words of Psalms 1 which is r$A) $yèi)fh-y”r×:$Ûa) (’Ashrey¯¯a’ish Asher = ‘Blessed is the-man who’). There are three Alephs (AAA), the 1st word is Ashrey (Blessed, Blessedness, Happy, &c), which suggest in appearance a-sh’rey which suggest Sher or Shir which means Song, and Sherim is Songs. and Sheri is my Song or Song of… So the Book of Psalms could have been the Book of Blessedness or Blessings, and in turn the Sepher Shirim or the Book of Songs. The Psalms are Songs of the Blessed, and the contents of the Songs the Jews call Tehellim or Praises & Prayers (Tephilloth, Tefillot, see also Tefillah,Tefillin). The Songs of Praises are to be sung with music & dance, in joy or sorrow. In the New Testament when the Lord began His Sermon on the Mount teaching He began with ‘Blessed’ (Ashley in Hebrew; in Aramaic Tubaihon > tuba’ > tob, tov (good). The blessed ones are the ones with goodness, and goodness is the good that comes from God; and the good is opposite the evil and contrary to God. So to conclude Psalm 1 we have the theme for the Book of Psalms in the Contrast between the Good & the Evil, between light & darkness. between the godly & the ungodly, and between saints & sinners.
In Psalms 2 we have the 1st Messianic Song: Why do the Gentiles, the peoples & their leaders, oppose the Lord & His Anointed? The lord laughs at the silly Gentiles; His Anointed King & Son will rule the world, all the nations, with power & judgment; so be warned & wise to fear Him & to kiss Him; and ‘blessed’ are His refugees. David as King in Israel standing for God’s interest on earth, opposed by the nations of the earth, one & all; the Gentiles who seek to David from being God’s King & Christ. David as King represents God as King, God as King governs the world as His creation; man God’s image was defaced, the kingdom blurred, the way corrupted, and God’s purpose seemed thwarted or nullified. But God only laughs at His enemies attempt to negate His will, or obstruct His word. And here also is the 1st of the few times the red, blue or purple must be used:

(Yet I have set My King: Upon My holy hill of Zion.
I will tell of the decree: Jehovah said unto Me, Thou art My Son; This day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I will give [Thee] the nations for Thine inheritance,
And the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.)

     In David this Psalm was to be fulfilled, but not by that David in the flesh; but another David, Beloved, the Beloved Son of God, David’s Son & Seed, is spoken of in this prophetic Psalm. David against Saul, against the Lords of the Philistines, against Egypt, against Assyria, and all others, must find a way to establish God’s Kingdom on earth by building a Home for God in Jerusalem. The House of God , the Temple of the Lord, must be built before David sleeps. This inspiration & aspiration found expression in David’s songs & harp & dance. But the other David, the greater than Solomon must build the House of God, which is the Church of the living God. This House is not of wood & stones but of living trees and living stones, as members of the Body of the Christ. David could not enter in to many of the features of this prophecy, nor could he understand how far off its fulfillment & realization would be; that a thousand years would pass for the thing he was building to vanish, and another 2,000 years to initiate the reality if the new creation. Yet the Psalm speaks of the blessedness of those who know & see these things, and of us who believe, receive, and enjoy these blessings. And what is here understood in Psalm two, is in all the other Psalms just as true. The many details of the Kingdom must all be fulfilled in due course. The spiritual things of which the Spirit speaks in David to us & to all are being worked out in time before our eyes, though we often do not see or hear. It is the Word as His Sword, Rod, Hammer, and all such metaphors, by which Christ the Messiah-King effects all things revealed, sealed, or concealed.
We come some other Psalms as illustrations of the Christ & the Word. We will briefly notice some other psalms to further help our understanding of Biblical Poetry. In Psalm 3 is a Mizmor of David, when he fled from his son Absalom (2nd Sam. 15). David’s son who been exiled for killing his half-brother Amnon, who had raped Absalom’s full sister Tamar, who had been ordered by David to attend to Amnon who pretended to be sick, but was determined to violate his beautiful sister. This rape of incest in David’s House was predicted by Nathan the Prophet at the mouth of the Lord, for the adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and the murder of Uriah by Joab’s (David’s uncle & General) cooperation in battle against the Ammonites, saying: “the sword shall never depart from thy house,…I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house; and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” David already had seen some of these transpire, and now Absalom was the latest & most significant as to the Throne & the Kingdom. David cries out to the Lord because of his many enemies & adversaries; they mock him as a God-forsaken soul like Job experienced; but like Job, David persists in his trust & hope in God as his Shield, Glory, & Uplifter & Savior (Selah!); the Lord sustains him, even in sleep, midst 10,000s of people opposed to him; he bids arise to save, as so often before, destroying his foes; salvation is the Lord’s. His blessings (bir’ka) on His people (Selah!). David is the antitype of Job, and such who suffer persecution by family & friends; he is the type of Messiah Who takes up and takes in what is God’s portion in David. David’s sin, as with Adam & Eve, must be judged, and God vindicated from complicity or as an accomplice. Yet He must bring about all His declared intentions, and ‘devil-be-dammed’ (as the Lord indicated that the Gentiles would by this curse the Lord’s name). But David had come to terms with sin, and in repentance found reform; but now he is learning the cost of the sin, and the price to be paid. So the Lord must enter the world as Man, flesh & blood, and identify as Sin for sinners. He too would be mocked, persecuted, wronged, and suffer at sinners’ hands & mouths; and He would be the Innocent Victim & willing Sacrifice. Messiah as Jehovah incarnate, Emmanu-El, must meet the Devil & Satan, the Ancient Foe, prove God’s love & faithfulness, then meet our need for such a Savior & risen Lord. To the Lord is Salvation & Blessing (Yeshuah & Berakah); as we say LeChaim! L’Elohim!
Psalm 4 is like Psalm 3, but common, and more like Job & Joseph & Messiah. Psalm 5 like Psalms 1-4, like Job, Joseph, Messiah, and so many saints of old and anew. The contrast between to righteous & the righteous. between the goo & the evil, is repeated here also. In Psalms 6 David’s sorrow is severe like Job’s, he is near death in agony & tears; his hope is in God, the Lord will hear & save him though it seems so long in waiting. Psalm 7 is said that David sang this Song because of the words of the Benjamite (ben-Yemini) Cush. (Some think the ‘Benjamite Cush’ was the ‘Benjamite Shimei’, and that he was of the ethnicity of Cush or Ham, that is Africa. But what is recorded of Shimei benGera benBenjamin does not lead us to that interpretation. Shemei was of Saul’s House & Family. But let’s suppose we say that he was the Cushite, then the story & context of 2nd Sam. 16 would describe the Psalm as dealing with the ‘curse’ of Shimei on David & his House in Absalom’s rebellion. But we do not know who the ‘Benjamite Cush’ was from what is recorded. But the Psalm does not suggest a case of a mad-mouth reviler; but rather of a case like in Psalm 3 concerning Absalom’s rebellion. And we find a context of 2nd Sam. 18-19 where Joab (David’s uncle & General) sent a runner named Cushi (> Cush, < ‘Cushite’. see in Ges. Lex.) to tell David ‘what he had seen’, that is of Absalom’s death; and further , before that a certain unnamed soldier, of David’s men under Joab, told Joab that he saw Absalom hanging in an oak-tree by his hair that got caught in the branches as he fled David’s men. Joab was upset that this man did not kill Absalom on the spot, and he would have been rewarded; but he objected that reminded Joab of David’s charge not to harm Absalom; but Joab was disgusted, and quickly got to Absalom, and killed him. When Cushi (a Cushite) came & reported to David after Ahimaaz benZadok outran him, he told David that the Lord had avenged David from the rebels; David asked if Absalom was safe; Cushi answered: “The enemies of my lord the King, and all that rise up against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the King was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! And it was told Joab, Behold, the King weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people; for the people heard say that day, The King grieveth for his son. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people that are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. And the King covered his face, and the King cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” This is a far better context from which issues such an important poetic piece. It is such a context from which the Messiah in David’s experience comes forth, and helps us in future Psalms to more easily & readily identify & interpret the Spirit’s thoughts. The Throne & Kingdom were in peril, but the Lord the Warrior, Judge, Savior, and true King preserved both David & his House for better things, with happier ending.
Psalm 8 is most excellent; it is Messianic to be sure. and important in the Gospels and in the Book of (Epistle to the) Hebrews. The Lord’s Name & Glory is transcendent beyond the heavens, and man & earth are incorporated. The Enemy & Avenger is checked; man & angels are involved; man will be lord of earth as God originally planned. Psalm 9 is like Psalms 1-8, various elements of each forming this inspiration, namely, of ‘Muth-labben’ which in Hebrew is }è”Bal tUÛm:la( (‘al-muth lab-ben’ = on son’s death, Concerning a Son’s Death) which would take us to several places in David’s life. The Psalm is Alphabetic-Acrostic but unusual in form, it goes with Psalm 10. Psalms 11-16 are like Psalms 1-10, and Messiah enters in as did David, before & after. The New Testament cites Psalms 16 in Christ’s resurrection. Psalms 17 & 18 are like Psalms 1-16; Psalms 17 a Prayer-Song; and Psalm 18 very profound of David’s experience dodging death at the hands of his enemies, and at Saul’s insane persecution. Psalm 19 is unique in contemplation of the Divine Works & Word; the starry Heavens, the Earth’s benefit; the Law of God & the Lord’s Servant. Psalms 20 & 21 are precious royal Psalms, and Christ is easily seen in David’s words. Psalm 22 is all Messiah: like Abel, Job, Joseph, and many others, He suffers for God & man; He did His work well, and God heard Him, saved Him , and saves us in Him. Psalm 23 is the best Shepherd Song of David & Messiah. And so goes many of the Psalms (psalms 24-31), each connecting with some of the previous Psalms in experiences & expressions. Some touch Messiah’s place more fully & clearly than others; but all dealing with the same things in the spiritual world as reflected in the natural world. The Great Three Themes are ever there; the Trine Objects & Subjects ever in view; and both Covenants & Dispensations ever intertwined. Psalms 32 is quite instructive in David’s deep turmoil as to his condition, deeds, and his relations to the Lord. Psalms 33-36 like some before and some to follow are filled with various things & ways that are Messianic in part or whole, at different levels. Such is also Psalms 37 which is the context & content of Christ’s Beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount. So too Psalms 38-41, like the Psalms 1-37, each aiding & adding to the fuller experiences & expressions of the Christ. The Messiah will find in the Book, especially the Book of Psalms, all that was useful & necessary to fulfill all things of God for man. We leave David’s Psalter Book I with a selection from Psalms 40 & 41: (ASV 1910) (Compare with John 17)

“I waited patiently for Jehovah; And He inclined unto Me, and heard My cry.
He brought Me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay;
And He set My feet upon a rock, and established My goings.
And He hath put a New Song in My mouth, even Praise unto our God:
Many shall see it, and fear, And shall trust in Jehovah.
Blessed is the Man that maketh Jehovah his trust,
And respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O Jehovah My God, are the wonderful works which Thou hast done,
And Thy thoughts which are to us-ward; They cannot be set in order unto Thee;
If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.
Sacrifice and Offering Thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast Thou opened:
Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast Thou not required.
Then said I, Lo, I am come; In the Roll of the Book it is written of Me:
I delight to do Thy will, O My God; Yea, Thy Law is within My heart.
I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the Great Assembly;
Lo, I will not refrain My lips, O Jehovah, Thou knowest.
I have not hid Thy righteousness within My heart;
I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation;
I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the Great Assembly.
Withhold not Thou Thy tender mercies from Me, O Jehovah;
Let Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth continually preserve Me.
For innumerable evils have compassed Me about;
Mine iniquities have overtaken Me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of My head; And My heart hath failed me.
Be pleased, O Jehovah, to deliver Me: Make haste to help Me, O Jehovah….
Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, From everlasting & to (eternity). Amen, & Amen.”

     The Psalms in Book II follow the Psalms of Book I, but the Monarchy is more prominent, along with the Lord’s House. Psalms 45 is a Song of Loves (Love Song) (Shir Yedidoth > Shir Yadid (Song of my Beloved) > Shir Dawid, Shir Dodh, Shir Dudh: Song of David, Love Song, Lovers Song, Friend’s Song, Song of Friendship, Song of Fellowship, Beloved’s Song, &c. (see Ges.Lex.)) The Love Song is that of the prophetic-Messianic King who is typified by David the Beloved of the Lord, and who named his son Solomon (Peace, as in Jeru-Salem = City of Peace), but the Lord called the child’s name ‘Jedidiah, YedidiYah, and is added ‘for the Lord’s sake, for the Lord’s account; the preposition is very emphatic & used with the conjunction ‘and’ & prefixed with the common prep, ‘be-‘. This teaches us to discern something deeper hidden from immediate sight, a thing stored beneath the appearance. David is the Lord’s Beloved, Solomon is the Lord’s David, the Lord’s Beloved. The Song is of the Beloved, both David & Solomon, because both typifies Christ the Messiah , the true eternal Beloved of the Father, God’s Son. The Psalm therefore is a perfect preface & introduction to the Love Song called Solomon’s Song of Songs of Loves. The prophetic scribe is revealing Messiah as the best Man of mankind, whether Jew or Gentile, a Mighty Warrior perfectly balanced in opposite qualities of truth & humility, of force & mildness, a fierce Lion & gentle Lamb. He is the King; but more, He is God:

“Thy Throne, O God, is forever & ever: A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy Kingdom.
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness:
Therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee With the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.”

The picture that follows is that of the Royal Wedding & Marriage of King & Queen; the picture of God & Man, of the Lord & Israel, & of Christ & the Church. It is the millennial Kingdom & the Eternal Ages to follow. We pass over to Psalms 51 which comes out of Nathan the Prophet coming to David from the Lord concerning his adultery with Bathsheba. We all feel what David felt & expressed in this penitential Song & Prayer. David’s experiences & expressions become extended & enlarged in the Psalms that make up the rest of Book II, Psalms 68 & 69 is most instructive of Messiah, both His corporate history with Israel, and His personal history for the Church (that is the Gentiles, the nations). The last of David’s Psalms is 72 of Book Two, it closes thus:

Blessed be Jehovah God, the God of Israel, Who only doeth wondrous things:
And blessed be His glorious Name forever; & let the whole earth be filled with His Glory.
Amen, & Amen. The Prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

     We will very briefly survey Books III, IV, & V; only considering for a moment certain special Psalms: 78, 110, 119, & 145. Psalms 73-89 are the Asaph’s Psalter, Psalms of Asaph with a few of Korah, David, & of the Sage, Ethan the Ezrahite. The Psalmist enters into the national & corporate experiences of the House & People; even in the individual experience the focus is the Nation in covenant relationship, and all that is implied by that relations enters in; it is predominately the ‘we’ that speaks in the Songs. So in Psalms 78 Messiah enters & shines as the Voice to His people: (I capitalize & italicize to show the emphasis more clearly.)

Give ear, O My people, to My Law: Incline your ears to the Words of My mouth.
I will open My mouth in a Parable; I will utter Dark Sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of Jehovah,
And His strength, and His wondrous works that He hath done.
For He established a Testimony in Jacob, And appointed a Law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know [them], even the children that should be born;
Who should arise and tell [them] to their children,
That they might set their hope in God, And not forget the Works of God,
But keep His Commandments, And might not be as their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that set not their heart aright,
And whose spirit was not stedfast with God….

Psalms 79-89 repeat & extend the former Psalms, and Book III ends: “Blessed be Jehovah for evermore. Amen, & Amen. Psalms 90-90, Moses’ Prayer & Songs brings us to a different experience with a history that goes back to the Exodus from Egypt, it really is a transition & anticipation of the journey’s end to the new land. The desert or wilderness experience is well expressed beginning with Moses looking back to the God of Eternity and consummating in HalleluYahs. The trial & temptation of God’s people have an end with a reward. Book IV ends: “Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to eternity. And let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye Jehovah.” The final division of the Book of Psalms is Book V, which begins with Psalm 107 and ends with 150, 57 Psalms, the longest division, as the 1st division is the 2nd longest with 41 Psalms. It begins in the desert-wilderness experience of the 4th division, the same settings of Psalms 106, but emphasizes deliverance & transition into victorious praise, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness the children of men. Book 5 is elevated & transcendental on many levels & in many of the Songs. We leave the reader, the student, the school at, and all lovers of the Bible & the Book of Psalms to test what has been said & testified; and we must go to Psalm 110. It is all Messiah:

The ‘Lord’ saith unto My Lord:
Sit Thou at My Right Hand, Until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.
The ‘Lord’ will send forth the rod of Thy strength out of Zion:
Rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.
Thy people offer themselves willingly In the day of Thy power, in holy array:
Out of the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.
The ‘Lord’ hath sworn, and will not repent:
Thou art a Priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek.
The Lord at Thy Right Hand Will strike through kings in the day of His wrath.
He will judge among the nations, He will fill [the places] with dead bodies:
He will strike through the head in many countries:
He will drink of the brook in the way: Therefore will He lift up the head.

    We close our reflections on the Book of Psalms with these last comments on Psalms 119, 145, and the HalleluYah Psalms. The 119th Psalm, 118th for Catholics, is a new kind of Psalms, elevated, transcendent, & spiritual, it is all about the Word as expressed in the Law, Commandments, Testimonies, Statutes, Precepts Judgments, and the like. We say it is the Word expressed in the Law, rather the Law expressed in laws, words, commands, &c. The Decalogue was in essence first & foremost 10 Words, and the Words were the Word that came from God’s mouth; just His Name is expressed variously as Jehovah or Shaddai, as Elohim or Adonai, and so forth. The words used in this Great Alphabet Psalm of 22 Hebrew Letters of 8 Verses per Letter are repeated throughout the Letter-stanzas. There are about 10 primary Words & about 20 secondary Words used throughout in a designed or deliberate manner. ‘Word’ or ‘Words’ for Dabar or Debarim, and a few other Hebrew words occurs some 40 times; ‘Law’ (never ‘Laws’) for Torah (except in about 3 cases) occurs some 25 times; 4 words occur a little over 20 times each: commandments, testimonies, precepts, statutes; judgments & righteous-judgments together occurs a total of 20 times (15+5); the rest of the words are very rare, many only once or twice, and many of those dependent on the primary words. Thus we learn that the emphatic word for the revealed will of God is the Word or Words. The Jew have that word in the Law, the Torah; but the Christian have the Word in the Gospel in the person of the incarnate Word.

Psalms 119: 1-8: Aleph (A) 1st Letter :

(A) Blessed are they that are perfect in the Way: Who walk in the Law of Jehovah.
(A) Blessed are they that keep His Testimonies: That seek Him with the whole heart.
(A) Yea, they do no unrighteousness; They walk in His Ways.
(A) Thou hast commanded [us] Thy Precepts: That we should observe them diligently.
(A) Oh that my ways were established: To observe Thy Statutes!
(A) Then shall I not be put to shame: When I have respect unto all Thy Commandments.
(A) I’ll give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart, When I learn Thy Righteous-Judgments.
(A) I will observe Thy Statutes: Oh forsake me not utterly.

Psalms 119: 169-176: Tau (T) 22nd Letter:

(T) Let my cry come near before Thee, Jehovah: Give me understanding according to Thy Word.
(T) Let my supplication come before Thee: Deliver me according to Thy Word.
(T) Let my lips utter praise: For Thou teachest me Thy Statutes.
(T) Let my tongue sing of thy word: For all Thy Commandments are Righteousness.
(T) Let Thy hand be ready to help me: For I have chosen Thy Precepts.
(T) I have longed for Thy salvation, O Jehovah: And Thy Law is my delight.
(T) Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee: And let Thine Ordinances help me.
(T) I’ve gone astray like lost sheep: Seek Thy servant: For I do not forget Thy Commandments.

     The Songs of Degrees, Psalms 120-134, are Songs sung in the journey to the Temple, they are Pilgrims Songs & Hymns, and were used in worship & feasts. These Psalms & the most of the rest echoes the other Psalms, the lead to Praises in Jerusalem & in the Temple. The 7 Psalms 138-144 are special Davidic Psalms. The most exalted of all the Davidic Psalms is 145; the HalleluYah Psalms concludes the Book of Psalms.

Psalms 145:1-21: Aleph – Tau (‘Nun’ absent.) (1-13 = ’Aleph,B,G,D,H, W,Z,Ch,T,Y, K,L,M; 14-22 = S, ‘Ayin, P,Tz, Q, R, Sh, Tau)

David’s Praise (Tehillah leDawid) Beloved’s Praise:
1 I will extol Thee, my God, O King; And I will bless Thy name for ever & ever.
2 Every day will I bless Thee; And I will praise Thy name for ever & ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall laud Thy works to another, And shall declare Thy mighty acts.
5 Of the glorious majesty of Thine honor, And of Thy wondrous works, will I meditate.
6 And men shall speak of the might of Thy terrible acts; And I will declare Thy greatness.
7 They shall utter the memory of Thy great goodness, And shall sing of Thy righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious, and merciful; Slow to anger, and of great lovingkindness.
9 The Lord is good to all; And His tender mercies are over all His works.
10 All Thy works shall give thanks unto Thee, O Lord; And Thy saints shall bless Thee.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, And talk of Thy power;
12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, & glory of the majesty of His kingdom.
13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, & Thy dominion [is] throughout all generations.
14 Jehovah upholdeth all that fall, And raiseth up all those that are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all wait for Thee; And Thou givest them Their food in due season.
16 Thou openest Thy hand, And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways, And gracious in all His works.
18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, To all that call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear Him; He also will hear their cry and will save them.
20 The Lord preserveth all them that love Him; But all the wicked will He destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak Jehovah’s Praise ; & let all flesh bless His holy Name for ever & ever.

The Book of Proverbs of Solomon benDavid, Israel’s King, is the Poetry of Wisdom, of Divine Education & Spiritual Training in accordance to the Word revealed & the Law of God. We read:

“To know Wisdom & Instruction: To discern the Words of Understanding:
To receive Instruction in Wise Dealing: In Righteousness & Justice & Equity:
To give Prudence to the simple: To the young man Knowledge & Discretion:
That the wise man may hear, and increase in Learning:
And that the man of understanding may attain unto Sound Counsels:
To understand a Proverb, and a Figure: The Words of the Wise, and their Dark Sayings.
The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of Knowledge: Fools despise Wisdom & Instruction.

    Solomon continues in Wisdom as a Parent, speaking to children, a son or a daughter, as a Father or Mother in Instruction & Law as adornments to growth. Wisdom says: consent not to sinners’ enticement & temptation to evil; to violence against the innocent; &c. They are like those in the Psalms, & in Job, & in the other Books of Scripture, are in a hurry to their own doom; their lusts, greed, desires, loves, and such will be their own ruin & death. But Lady Wisdom preaches a good sermon to any & all everywhere who will hear & obey: to not love (& therefore to hate) simplicity & naivete, mocking, folly, &c; to turn at Wisdom’s reproof, to get the Spirit of Wisdom & the Words of Wisdom. Wisdom invites, gives counsel & reproof; but if refused & rejected Wisdom laughs at their calamity & mocks their fears, whether storm or whirlwind of anguish & pain. Wisdom refuses & rejects those who turn only after their doom & ruin. Those who hate knowledge & will not fear the Lord, but persist in self-will, pride, rebellion, stubbornness, &c, will eat their fruit, be filled with their own devices; as the simple backsliders are slain, and the careless fools are destroyed. But those who listen to Wisdom are safe & sound from the evil end. And so Lady Wisdom in Solomon’s Proverbs & Parables continues in the Divine Doctrine.

     Wisdom to a Son: receive the words, treasure the commandments, incline to wisdom, pursue understanding; to seek & search the riches of Wisdom in the fear of the Lord & knowledge of God. The Lord gives wisdom, He speaks knowledge & understanding; reserves wisdom for the upright, shields the genuine, guards the paths of justice, & preserves the way of His saints: to understand righteousness, justice, equity, & every good path. Wisdom for the heart, knowledge for the soul, discretion to watch, understanding to keep: to deliver from the evil way, from perverse men of wickedness & darkness, who enjoy evil & perversity, crooked ways, & wayward paths; to deliver from the strange woman, the flatterer of words, the teaser & temptress, who forsakes her childhood friend, & forgets the covenant of God; her house inclines to death, her paths to the dead; those who visit her never return, & never attain the paths of life: walk in the way of the good, in the paths of the righteous; the upright dwells in the land, the perfect remain in it; the wicked shall be cut off. the treacherous rooted out. So Lady Wisdom continues in chapters 3-9. Wisdom is most excellent: wisdom is in the law & commandments, gives days & years & peace, teaches kindness & truth, leads to good understanding with God & man. Trust in the Lord with all the heart, lean not on human understanding, always acknowledge Him, He will direct the paths, be not self-wise & conceited….fear & honor the Lord, despise not His chastening & reproof, the Lord loves to reprove as a Father the son he delights in; happy & blessed to find wisdom & understanding, better than silver & gold, more precious than rubies, nothing compares to Lady Wisdom; she has & she is: length of days , riches & honor, ways of pleasantness & peace, a tree of life, & happy are those who find her. The Lord by Wisdom founded the earth, by understanding established the heavens,…
But Solomon in Wisdom reveals the children’s father: my sons, listen to your father’s instruction & with understanding; I was my father’s son (like David & Solomon & Bathsheba), my mother’s tender & only beloved; he taught me to retain the words, to keep the commandments to live: get wisdom & understanding, never forget or declined from the words; never forsake her, she will preserve; love her, she will keep & protect….Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs teaches concerning life & living, learning & obedience, wickedness & virtue, dangers of evil & avoidance of evil doers, of the righteous & of their ways, of diligence & faithfulness, of the straight & narrow path of the godly, of the crooked & wide way of sinners,….Wisdom teaches of discretion & wisdom in sexual matters, of the strange woman, of attraction & allurement, of seduction & temptation, of lust & forbidden loves, of avoidance of prostitution & immorality, of spending time & money on vice & sex, of the price for vice & the cost for the lost, of evil with the vulgar crowd & the evils among the saints, to be satisfied with what belongs to self & not to seek what is not one’s own, to be satisfied with one’s wife & lover only, to embrace only a wife & avoid other women, the Lord sees & knows man’s ways & levels man’s paths, sexual sins ensnares sinners & vice imprisons the disobedient, ignorance & folly is the end of the wayward & curious….Wisdom teaches against surety & guaranty of others debts & loans & the consequences of defaults & liabilities, of humility in money matters, of business transactions conduct, of avoidance of debts & money promises, of procrastinations & neglect of payments, learn from the birds to fly away from money dangers, from ants in frugality, of laziness & slothfulness, of poverty & lack of funds, perverse talk & vulgar ways, of foolish bodily gestures & perversity in behavior, of the outcome of evil & discord, of the things & ways of the ungodly that the Lord hates as haughtiness, lying, murder, wicked plotters & schemers or scam artists, mischief seekers, false witnesses, & disturbers of peace & makers of discord & divisions of family & friends….Wisdom warns against staying from the right & good paths, of faithfulness to training & discipline, to remember that the commandment is a lamp, the law is light, correction the way of life & living; avoid fornication & adultery, curb lusts & porn, harlotry is a fire in the bosom that consumes the heart & the pocket-book, adultery may lead to death, adultery is like robbery & its penalty is severe & destruction, it sounds & dishonors, it brings shame & reproach, it causes jealousy & vengeance & demands death….Wisdom must ever be sought & loved, wisdom must be a companion & partner, a sister & relative; wisdom protects against sexual temptation & promiscuity, to avoid the house of harlots, to avoid whores, to resists sexual temptations & enticements for it leads to shame & death, to jail & ruin & vengeance; Lady Harlot & Madam Whore resides in the House of Death on the Way to Hell (Sheol) & the Chambers or Cells of the Dead: her many wounded Captives & Prisoners, her Host of the Slain & Conquered.
Wisdom in chapter 8 is Lady Wisdom quite different than the Mistress of Vice & Lust: She also cries & solicits in the streets & market-places with understanding, she visits the city gates & courts & doors, she calls to men, old & young, to the simpletons & fools, to the ignorant & untrained, she speaks of an understanding heart, of excellent things, right things, (orthodoxy), of truth & against wickedness, of righteousness & against perversity, she speaks to those who understand & know, to the reachable & learners & seekers; wisdom is the most valuable of possessions & wealth, nothing compares to Lady Wisdom: (Proverbs 8:12-9:6)

I Wisdom have made Prudence My Dwelling: & find out Knowledge [&] Discretion.
The Fear of Jehovah (the Lord) is to hate evil:
Pride, & arrogancy, & the evil way, & the perverse mouth, do I hate.
Counsel is Mine, & sound knowledge: I am understanding; I have might.
By Me Kings reign, & Princes decree justice.
By Me Princes rule, & Nobles, [even] all the Judges of the earth.
I love them that love Me; & those that seek Me diligently shall find Me.
Riches and honor are with Me: [Yea], durable wealth & righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold: & My revenue than choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness: In the midst of the paths of justice:
To cause those that love Me to inherit substance: & that I may fill their treasuries.
Jehovah possessed Me in the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning: Before the earth was.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth:
When there were no fountains abounding with water:
Before the mountains were settled: Before the hills was I brought forth:
He had not made the earth yet, nor the fields: Nor the beginning of the dust of the world.
When He established the heavens, I was there: When He set a circle on the face of the deep: When He made firm the skies above: When the fountains of the deep became strong:
When He gave to the sea its bound: The waters to not transgress His commandment:
When He marked out the foundations of the earth:
Then I was by Him, [as] a Master Workman; & I was daily [His] delight:
Rejoicing always before Him: Rejoicing in His habitable earth:
& My delight was with the sons of men.
Now therefore, [My] sons, hearken unto Me: For blessed are they that keep My Ways.
Hear instruction, & be wise, & refuse it not: Blessed is the man that heareth Me,
Watching daily at My gates: Waiting at the posts of My doors.
For whoso findeth Me findeth life: & shall obtain favor of Jehovah.
But he that sins against Me wrongs his own soul: All they that hate Me love death.
Wisdom hath builded Her house: She hath hewn out Her seven pillars:
She hath killed Her beasts: She hath mingled Her wine: She hath also furnished Her table:
She hath sent forth Her maidens: She crieth upon the highest places of the city:
Who is simple, let him turn in here: To him that is void of understanding, she saith to him:
Come, eat ye of My bread: & drink of the wine which I have mingled.
Leave off, ye simple ones, and live: & walk in the way of understanding.

     Wisdom continues her speaking, teaching, & preaching to all who will hear, and to those who will come to the Lord for life & living. The Simple Woman is to the contrary: she is ignorant, stupid, naive, foolish, deceives, lies, hellish…. Chapters 10-24 are also additional Proverbs of Solomon which covers a vast range of human experiences & behaviors; contacting the two ways of life & living, between the good & evil, between the right & wrong, between better & best, between light & darkness, between treasure & junk, between healthy & sickness, &c…. Solomon’s Proverbs number into the hundreds, perhaps about 1,000 could be extracted from the Book, and they fall into hundreds of categories & contexts or applications. There is no other Book of the ancient world that has survived that even remotely come close to exhibit wisdom so diverse & comprehensive in such few chapters; and certainly nothing in all the general works of the scholars of the Ancient Near Eastern World. Solomon’s Proverbs focuses or emphasizes the contrast between the wise & the foolish, between wisdom & folly, and from this perspective & viewpoint Proverbs seek to educate Israel & the reader s as to the Divine Doctrine of the revealed Word. It is Divine Philosophy of Psychology, that is Biblical Psychology & Society. It is based on the foundation of the Law, but it is more fundamentally developed on the Word as to human relations to God, and to each other. It deals with the individual as part of the whole, of the family & of the nation. It prepares us for the prophetic word which will in turn be established and extended from the poetic word. Proverbs teaches & develops human conscience by training the mind & heart, the brain & thoughts or thinking, to be conscious of God, of creation, of judgment, of salvation, and of every other divine doctrine important to human survival. Proverbs treats the Man or People with less concern for the Land or the Book, which the prophetic word occupies itself with all three.
Proverbs Chapters 25-29 are said to be additional Proverbs of Solomon copied by the scribes of King Hezekiah of Judah, they treat & cover the same doctrines as the earlier chapters but with their own peculiarities, like the King’s rule & kingdom established by righteousness, versus earlier it was his kindness, favor, and the fear of him.
Proverbs 30 is the prophetic word in poetry: Words of Agur’s benJakeh: The Oracle (Prophecy). The man saith (uttered, prophesied) unto Ithiel, unto Ithiel & Ucal: ([Hebrew text deleted in wordpress, see pdf] = Dibrey ’Agur benYaqeh hammassah Ne’um haggeber):

“Surely I am more brutish than any man: & have not the understanding of man:
& I have not learned wisdom: Neither have I the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who hath ascended up into heaven, & descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in His garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, & what is His Son’s Name, if thou knowest?
Every Word of God is tried: He is a Shield unto them that take refuge in Him.
Add thou not unto His Words: Lest he reprove thee, & thou be found a liar.
Two things have I asked of Thee: Deny me [them] not before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood & lies: Give me neither poverty nor riches:
Feed me with the food that is needful for me:
Lest I be full, and deny [Thee], and say, Who is Jehovah?
Or lest I be poor, & steal: & use profanely the Name of my God.”

     The Poetic Proverbial Parabolic Prophecy continues: warns against slander of servants to their masters; of the 4 depraved generations; of 2 horseleech daughters; of 3 or 4 things never satisfied; of dishonor to parents; of 3 or 4 wonders; of the 3 or 4 unbearable things; of the 4 little creatures but very wise; of the 3 or 4 stately things in their movements; of hasty wrath & thoughts.
Proverbs 31: The Words of King Lemuel; the Oracle which his Mother taught him: (Lemuel = le-mu-’el or lemu-’el (’El)’ and Ges. Lex. says: “(lemo) poetical for (le), found four times in the book of Job”…(Lemu’el) “by God”. Lemu-El = by God, to God, for God, &c; also: if le-mo-el. like in mo-ab. then it means from God, and like lechaim, means to life, that is belonging to & related to life, tha is for life, so to Here perhaps LemoEl, to & from God.)
What, my son? & what, O son of my womb? & what, O son of my vows?
Give not thy strength unto women, Nor thy ways to that which destroyeth Kings.
It is not for Kings, O Lemuel, it is not for Kings to drink wine;
Nor for princes [to say], Where is strong drink?
Lest they drink, & forget the Law, & pervert the justice [due] to any that is afflicted.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, & wine unto the bitter in soul:
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, & remember his misery no more.
Open thy mouth for the dumb: In the cause of all such as are left desolate.
Open thy mouth, judge righteously: & minister justice to the poor & needy.

I have already shared in the Selections from the books & commentaries on the Book of Proverbs my versification of the Worthy Virtuous Woman, so here I only give Scripture in its poetic form:

Worthy Woman: who can find? For her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband trusts in her: & he shall have no lack of gain.
She does him good & not evil all the days of her life.
She seeks wool & flax, & works willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchant-ships: She brings her bread from afar.
She rises also while it is night, & gives food to her household, & their task to her maidens.
She considers a field, & buys it: With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds her loins with strength, & makes strong her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goes not out by night.
She lays her hands to the distaff, & her hands hold the spindle.
She stretches out her hand to the poor: Yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes for herself carpets of tapestry: Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates: When he sits among the Elders of the land.
She makes linen garments & sells them: And delivers girdles unto the merchant.
Strength & dignity are her clothing: & she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom: & the law of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household: & eats not the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up, & call her blessed: Her husband [also], & he praises her, [saying]:
Many daughters have done worthily: But thou excels them all.
Grace is deceitful, & beauty is vain: Woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands: & let her works praise her in the gates.

     We have only a few more matters to share on Proverbs but will include them in the final concluding reflections shortly. We must now turn to the Books of Ecclesiastes & Solomon’s Song of Songs. The Book of Ecclesiastes is also called Sefer Koheleth by the Jews in Hebrew. It is called Ecclesiastes for the Ecclesia or the Church or Assembly. The Preacher was a Churchman, and his Message were Sermons of a peculiar sort of his wisdom. He was like a Pastor or Shepherd, like the Great Shepherd of Whom he refers to at the end of his Book. But he was also a Philosopher of the highest order, taking human experiences, the world of nature & natural things on earth all around him to lead to a spiritual world revealed by God. This & more he tells us plainly in his Book. The Words of the Preacher, Koheleth, who was Solomon benDavid, Jerusalem’s King in Judah of Israel. He summarizes his Message or Sermon or Philosophy thus:

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

     Vanity is made up of vain things, and Vanity is futility, worthlessness, emptiness, false appearances, deceptive adornment, painted faces, masks, and a thousand more descriptions of the world as a Vanity Fair. King Solomon as the Preacher describes humanity in Vanity, their world & our world was & is Vanity & futility, filled with what ought not to be as we try to find what it is. It is the world we are born into, a world of our parents & former generations, but it was also once the world that God created. It is Nature filled with natural wonders of the sun, wind, rivers, seas, &c. Man’s living & labors are repetitious, wearisome, boring, never fully satisfying, it’s the same old-new things, with little remembrance from one age to another generation. For this reason King Solomon, the Preacher, the widest of men, determined to test, prove, experience, try, investigate, &c, in a full & scientific way, with scientific methods & means, to seek & discover Wisdom that God has ordained humanity to live for under heaven. Solomon will not attempt to explore the heavens or beyond, but will restrict his research & experiment to earth, the human world, and ‘common sense’. He tells us after many years he concludes that what he saw & heard, what was & is & what we understand, or experience is all ‘vain’, vanity & wind chasing; as they say, we talk of great theories of what it is to poke holes in the air. We cannot undue what is done, the crooked tree cannot be made straight, the curved rock made flat, what is missing cannot be replaced, as in death or use. the bread eaten cannot be put on the table, not even by vomit. So the Wise Preacher contemplated & reflected within his heart & mind the great questions of how, why, where, who, when, &c in all things he observed & encountered. He expired wisdom & knowledge, madness & folly, mirth & pleasure; he discovered wisdom has grief, knowledge has sorrow, pleasure is vain, laughter is insanity; he added to pleasure & fun wine with wisdom; he made great works, planted & built, had servants & slaves, acquired lands & properties, limitless riches & wealth of gold, silver, &c; singers, musicians, court attendants, a musical world at his disposal; he attained the most, the best, the greatest of all those who were before him, so that few could ever match his attainment in future generations. He refused nothing, he tried everything, anything that might suggest man’s life & living. But after many years he concluded all was Vanity, and endless chasing the wind. He concluded that wisdom was better than insanity & folly as light is better than darkness, yet humanity was all subject to the same fate & doom. Wise or fool, good or evil, sane or insane, rich or poor, great or common, all died the same. The Preacher thus hated life & the human lot or dilemma, he resented that his wealth & possessions would in death all go to those who never earned or labored for it. He painted at those who struggled to get & have then death, sickness, or war takes it all away in a moment. Yet to live & labor & enjoy one’s labor is God’s gift & should be enjoyed. God gives to the good good things, but gives to sinners labor to get only to be taken away and given to the good in God’s sight.
All things have a proper time & season & will not change; God confines man to life’s labor & toil & then to die without ever discovering the eternal secrets of God; man must enjoy his allotted place in creation, content to leave eternal things in God’s heart & hands. The Preacher noticed that righteousness & wickedness often resided at the same place, often were switched, and though God will judge both at the right time & right way, yet man is little better than animals; both die in like manner, & turn to dust. What makes man any better or different? The dead & the unborn are often better off than the oppressed & persecuted living; even success & skill is envied by others to make one’s achievement grief & regret; fools are lazy; vanity to become wealthy without an heir; union is better than a solitary life; a poor wise man better than an old stubborn foolish king; &c &c. The Preacher continued with the many lessons learnt and said this: “Behold, this have I found, saith the Preacher, [laying] one thing to another, to find out the account; which my soul still seeketh, but I have not found: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions…. For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it be love or hatred, man knoweth it not; all is before them….”

We close the Preacher’s Words & Book with these words of his:

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, & let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth,
& walk in the ways of thy heart, & in the sight of thine eyes:
But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, & put away evil from thy flesh;
For youth & the dawn of life are vanity.

Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth:
before evil Days come, & Years draw nigh, & thou shalt say, I’ve no pleasure in them: [old age]
before the sun, light, moon, stars, are Darkened, & the Clouds return after the rain: [vision]
in the day when the Keepers of the House shall tremble: [hands-arms]
& the Strong Men shall bow themselves: [thighs-legs]
& the Grinders cease because they are few: [teeth]
& those that Look Out of the windows shall be Darkened: [eyes]
& the Doors shall be shut in the street: [mouth-lips]
& the Sound of the grinding is low: [ears]
& one shall Rise Up at the voice of a bird: [restless]
& all the Daughters of music shall be Brought Low: [hearing]
& they shall be Afraid of [that which is] High: [fear of falling]
& Terrors [shall be] in the way: [fear-mind]
& the Almond-tree shall Blossom: [grey hairs]
& the Grasshopper shall be a burden: [legs-hips`]
& Desire shall fail: [impotence]
because man goeth to his Everlasting Home: [death]
& the Mourners go about the streets: [funeral]
before the Silver Cord is loosed: [decay]
or the Golden Bowl is broken: [internal organ]
or the Pitcher is broken at the fountain: [internal organ]
or the Wheel broken at the cistern: [internal organ]
& the Dust returneth to the earth as it was: [complete decay]
& the Spirit returneth unto God who gave it: [afterlife]

     Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity. And further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, [and] set in order many Proverbs. The Preacher sought to find out acceptable Words, and that which was Written uprightly, [even] Words of Truth.
The Words of the Wise are as Goads; & as Nails well fastened:
[Words by] the Masters of Assemblies, [which] are given from One Shepherd.
And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many Books there is no end; and much Study is a weariness of the flesh. [This is] the end of the matter; all hath been heard:
Fear God, & keep His commandments; for this is the whole [duty] of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Solomon’s Song of Songs is the final Poetic Book of the Psalms Division of the Old Testament, and prepares us for the Prophetic Division beginning with Isaiah. We have given ample selections of this Book to satisfy our curiosity for the hermeneutics of bygone times. The Hebrew begins: Shir hashShirim ’asher liShlomoh (liSolomon, where ‘li’ or ‘le’ means ‘by’ rather than ‘to’. The Greek LXX: Asma Asmatön, ho estin tö Salömön (Asma > adö > aeidö = sing, make-sound, sweet-song, pleasant-song, love-song (as in sweet-marriage-song, wedding-song), romantic-song, &c). The Latins call the Book Canticle of Canticles, as in the ancient Chants. It begins:

“Let him Kiss me with the Kisses of his mouth: For thy Love is better than wine.”

     (The Song begins with the Love Kiss, and therefore it is a Love-Song. We must read the entire Song or Canticles, the Shir Shirim, with this ever in mind as we seek to interpret the words to determine the meaning, or we will drift from the divine sense of the Text. The Singer is not yet identified, but she longs for Love of her Lover or Beloved in a romantic sense. It continues:)

“Thine oils have a goodly fragrance; Thy Name is [as] oil poured forth;
Therefore do the Virgins Love thee: Draw me; we will run after thee:
The King hath brought me into his Chambers:
We will be glad and rejoice in thee:
We will make mention of thy Love more than of wine:
Rightly do they Love thee.
I am black, but comely: Oh ye Daughters of Jerusalem,
As the Tents of Kedar: As the Curtains of Solomon.
Look not upon me, because I am swarthy: Because the sun hath scorched me.
My Mother’s Sons were incensed against me: They made me Keeper of the Vineyards;
[But] mine own Vineyard have I not kept.”

     (We learn that the Lover (not yet identified) smells her Beloved Name as Fragrant Oils, as she already disclosed his Love is better than Wine. The Virgins also are attracted to him by the fragrance of his Love; and if her Lover invites her, she & the Virgins will pursue him. The King has brought her into his Chamber, his bridal-chamber, and she & the Virgins are in his Harem & Court. The King is either David or Solomon or both; and we must wait to discover what she discloses to identify him. She & the Virgins enjoy the Harem & Court; and talk of the Lover’s Love rather than Wine; she concludes that they rightly Love her Lover or Beloved. But she admits her humble dark complexion, almost black; and she reveals her humble status of her home under her Brothers, as a Vinedresser for them, to the neglect of her own Vineyard. She continues:)

“Tell me, O thou whom my Soul Loveth: Where thou feedest [thy Flock],
Where thou makest [it] to rest at noon:
For why should I be as one that is veiled: Beside the Flocks of thy Companions?”

(The Lover’s Bride seeks her Beloved Shepherd & his Flock; wishes the freedom to not be veiled to protect her honor, to show modesty, & to conceal her beauty & identity; thus to ward off attraction of the wrong sort. She desires to be like Rebekah at well, or as Rachel with her father’s sheep; and to have no worries among the Shepherds, his Friends. She wishes to be free as Ruth in Boaz’s Field; especially at noon in watering the Flocks. Then another speaks to her:)

“If thou know not, O thou Fairest Among Women: Go thy way forth by the footsteps of the Flock: & feed thy Kids beside the Shepherds’ Tents.”

(We are not told who gives her this advice, but it appears to be the Virgins or Friends of the Shepherd. She will certainly find the Beloved Shepherd at eve by the Shepherds Tents, where her Kids will also be safe. Then it continues with another voice:)

I have compared thee, O my Love: To a Steed in Pharaoh’s Chariots.
Thy Cheeks are comely with plaits [of hair]: Thy Neck with strings of jewels.

(The Lover Shepherd compares his Beloved, his Love, to Pharaoh’s Chariots pulled by a Steed of Horses; her Cheeks as beautiful plaited hair; & her Neck as Jewel Necklaces. The Lover sees in his Love the Object of Royalty & Beauty. Then another voice:)

We will make thee plaits of gold: With studs of silver.”

(The voice must be the Virgins wishing to help her adornment; & to please her Beloved.)

“While the King sat at his table: My Spikenard sent forth its Fragrance: My Beloved is unto me [as] a Bundle of Myrrh: That lieth betwixt my Breasts.
My Beloved is unto me [as] a Cluster of Henna-flowers: In the Vineyards of En-gedi.”

(The Royal Banquet of King & Court & Harem is perfumed with her Fragrance of the Nard; her Beloved is as Myrrh between her Breasts, that is on her Chest; & he is as Henna-Flowers. Theses , spices, herbs, & plants are all used for important functions, & are costly. Love seeks in Lovers to not only beautify the Lover for the Beloved, but also to enhance the sweet & pleasant odor of Loves. Solomon as the widest of men, wiser than Ezra the Ezrahite, wiser than Ahithophel the Divine Counselor, wiser than David & Saul, who mastered music & poetry, was surely hiding secrets in this Song of Songs of Love. The expression: ‘My Beloved…That lieth betwixt my Breasts.’ is in Hebrew: (Dodi li ben Shadai yalin) Dodi is the Beloved, David, & Shadai is the Nurturing Breasts as El Shaddai is the Nurturing God for His people. It is a hidden picture of the Beloved Shepherd King, David, resting at her Breasts as He lay dying in his last days, when Abishag the Shunammite (same as Shulammite, from Shulem, Shunem, Salem; see Ges, Lex.) the most beautiful damsel & virgin in Israel in all his borders, and she was brought to King David, who was very old, to attend him, to cherish him, and to rest in his bosom to get heat. Yes David rested at her bosom as she rested at his. But David never had conjugal relations with her; thus she remained a Virgin & a Mystery of the Kingdom. You get the Picture. The Text continues with the last voices of chapter 1:)

Behold, thou art Fair, my Love: Behold thou art Fair: Thine Eyes are [as] Doves.
Behold, thou art Fair, my Beloved, yea, Pleasant: Also our couch is green.
The Beams of our House are Cedars, [&] our Rafters are Firs.

(The Voices are those of both Beloved, both Lovers, the Love & Beloved; both admiring each other; both share the same bed & couch; and both share the same Royal House or Palace of Cedars (for the King of Tyre sent to David cedars to build him a house to dwell therein). The Bride is both a Queen & a Guest or Stranger in the Palace; just Abishag, while David was alive, was as a Queen, though not the Queen Mother, but as a Concubine or Mistress. After David died, she was one of Solomon’s Harem & Court, and with peculiar & mysterious relations & privileges. We will hurry through the rest of the Song, assured that the reader by now has enough of our view & doctrine to reflect in their own consideration of Solomon’s mystery.)

     In chapter 2: The Lovers continue their exchange: “I am a Rose of Sharon: A Lily of the Valleys. As a Lily among Thorns: So is my Love among the Daughters. As the Apple-Tree among the Trees of the Wood: So is my Beloved among the Sons. I sat down under his Shadow with great delight, & his Fruit was sweet to my Taste. He brought me to the Banqueting-House: & his Banner over me was Love. She praises him, & he praises her; both admire each other, with easy & ready pictures. Their relations become confused & complex; they find each other away; they long for each other; the Daughters of Jerusalem are admonish to disturb him or her till they are invited to do so. They are very intimate with each other as Spouses; he is a Shepherd-King, free to move among the valleys & hills, in the fields & on the mountains; their vineyards are now unattended, spoiled by the foxes; her loneliness is tormenting & unbearable; the watchers or guards & Jerusalem’s daughters or virgins are not favorable to her any longer. She is lost in her longing & love for her Beloved; & the Beloved longs for her & their reunion. Solomon & Jerusalem daughters are compared to her & her Beloved. She is his Sister & Bride; he is her Lover & Friend 7 the Chief of Ten Thousand. Both describe each other in excellent romantic poetical figures of speech & metaphors. The language is natural romance, no lust or porn is to be seen, herd, or thought. Her experience is a rich romantic novel of a simple poor, but very attractive virgin given as a wife, a sister & spouse, to a Shepherd King who was the glory of Israel & father of Solomon. She is admired, but teased & taunted, she is praised but pitied. She not only most beautiful, but quite different & unique among the virgins of Jerusalem & the royal harem: “There are 60 queens, and 80 concubines & virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled, is [but] one; She is the only one of her mother; She is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and called her blessed; [Yea], the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.” In her solitary experience & longing of her love-sickness she wanders about in search of him or peace, they in turn say: “Return, return, O Shulammite; Return, return, that we may look upon thee. Why will ye look upon the Shulammite, As upon the dance of Mahanaim?” Here is another mystery, but let reader seek its meaning. We will close this brief look at Solomon’s Song & Poem with his last words of the Songs:

Oh that thou wert as my Brother, That sucked the Breasts of my Mother!
[When] I should find thee without, I would Kiss thee; Yea, and none would despise me.
I would lead thee, [and] bring thee into my Mother’s House: Who would instruct me;
I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine: Of the juice of my pomegranate.
His left hand [should be] under my head, And his right hand should embrace me.
I adjure you, O Daughters of Jerusalem: That ye stir not up, nor awake [my] Love, Until he please.
Who is this that cometh up from the Wilderness: Leaning upon her Beloved?
Under the Apple-tree I awakened thee: There thy Mother was in travail with thee,
There was she in travail that brought thee forth.
Set me as a Seal upon thy heart: As a Seal upon thine arm:
For Love is strong as Death; Jealousy is cruel as Sheol;
The flashes thereof are flashes of fire: A very flame of Jehovah.
Many waters cannot quench Love: Neither can floods drown it:
If a man would give all the substance of his house for Love: He would utterly be contemned.
We have a Little Sister: And she hath no Breasts:
What shall we do for our Sister: In the day when she shall be spoken for?
If she be a Wall: We will build upon her a turret of silver:
And if she be a Door: We will enclose her with boards of cedar.
I am a Wall, and my Breasts like the towers [thereof]
Then was I in his eyes as one that found Peace.
Solomon had a Vineyard at Baal-Hamon: He let out the Vineyard unto keepers;
Every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand [pieces] of silver.
My Vineyard, which is mine, is before me:
Thou, O Solomon, shalt have the thousand: & those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
Thou that dwellest in the Gardens: The Companions hearken for thy Voice: Cause me to hear it: So Make haste, my Beloved:
And be thou like to a Roe or to a Young Hart: Upon the Mountains of Spices.

     (The Shulammite-Shunammite imagines in her Love that her Lover could have been as her brother, her mother’s son, nursed at the paps; no shame or dishonor would be found in her open & public affections for her sibling. As a brother, a young man, she would bring her Lover home to be instructed & guided by her mother about Love relationship. Her Lover would embrace her with his hands, the left & the right, holding her, hugging her in tender 7 shapeless Love. This romantic desire is in the Shunammite is caused by the unfulfilled & unrequited intimacy of her experience with King David, who was too old & too weak to satisfy her female emotions of Love. Her body served her Lover to warm & comfort him, but her soul could not stimulate his soul to Love, nor could his body be aroused to Love. Her need was truly great. This was not her experience with Solomon, whose wife was the Egyptian Princess, Pharaoh’s daughter, and with whom Solomon would live apart from the harem. Many of Solomon’s wives & concubines were queens & princesses, and many of them served & worshipped idols; the vineyards at Baal-Hamon was related to the idol Baal, and the silver pieces were as tribute of conquest. The Shepherd Girl was not like that; she was simple, humble, & in Love with the Shepherd-King. Solomon could have become her Lover, but it would come with shame, incest, and peril to the Throne & ruin to the Kingdom. When David’s 5th son, Solomon’s older brother, Adonijah benHaggith after he failed to usurp the Throne & the Kingdom, he solicited Bathsheba to petition King Solomon to let him marry Abishag the Shunammite, but Solomon in his wisdom, responded but why not ask for the Kingdom also; so that day he put Adonijah the usurper to death. This left the Shunammite with a mystery & history to memorialize in imaginations & reality. The Song tells her Love Story, and honors her Love as a type & picture of that Greater Love between God & creation, the Lord & Israel, and between Christ & the Church. Her relations with the harem maidens, her harem sisters, the Virgin Daughters of Jerusalem is settled, and she warns them not to awaken her Beloved till he arises. She will have her Beloved, her David, as her Brother, Lover, King, Shepherd, and Lord. Her Love will ever abide, and will intensity as she ages, she will yearn & pine for their reunion on that other side beyond this life & beyond death. Nothing will extinguish her Love for the Beloved, it burns as Jehovah’s Flames, as He Who’s Name is Jealous, and hell itself is not to match that jealousy of Love. Her virginity is safe, her body fully developed, her Lover was satisfied unto death, and she is now at Peace. Solomon may attend to his Vineyard, but she will attend to her Vineyard; her Beloved dwells in the Gardens, Paradise, but his Companions & Friends all listen to hear his Voice, she longs to hear his Voice. She bids her Beloved King-Shepherd in his freedom to hasten from the Mountain of Spices & Balsams, from the Mountain in the Heavens. (The Hebrew word for ‘spices’ is ({y×imf&:b = besamim; but without the niqqud vowel-points it is ‘bshmym’, the exact letters for ‘in-the-heavens, in-heaven’, namely ‘bshmym’ which makes us think of the hidden mystery in the Song of Songs by Solomon.)

     We have reached the end of the 5 Poetic Books, and will close our reflections with these final words concerning biblical poetry & spiritual music. The biblical history recorded in the historical books of the Bible is the content & context of the musical poetry, what they call ‘poesy’. It goes back to man’s earliest days on earth; it developed in the patriarchs, and an example is seen the chapters of Genesis in God’s communications with man. beginning with the Creation Week of Genesis 1; it is seen in Gen. 9 in the Covenant after the Flood; in Noah’s Curse & Blessing on his Sons from whom the Nations or Gentiles came. In Gen. 27 we find poetry in the patriarchal blessings of Isaac on Jacob & Esau; it is found in the blessings on virgins & women in marriage; and we have it the blessings of fathers on their sons & children for the future generations. We read it in Jacob-Israel’s blessings on his 12 sons of the 12 Tribes of Israel, Joseph’s portion doubled in his sons Ephraim & Manasseh. We find it in Balaam benBeor in his Prophecy in Parables (Num.23); and in Moses’ final words to Israel in Song & Covenantal-Dispensational Blessings (Deut. 32 & 33). The poetic language is allied to prophecy, and history is interpreted into prophecy, thus personal history, experiences, becomes spiritual expressions of a prophetic nature. When God delivers Israel from Egypt the poetry is expressed in the Song of Moses & Israel to the Lord. (Ex.15) Thereafter it occurs more frequent from one generation to another. The musical development is less visible till we reach the monarchy in Israel, which also is seen in the contemporaneous nations near & far.
Poetry is by nature a method & form by which we express our interpretations, impressions, our interests, our doctrines at different levels. Our ability to uses musical instruments of various sorts helps us in this musical or poetic expression. Our Songs in their many forms define much of our culture. We could easily find thousands & millions of examples in songs, hymns, psalms, poems, & more, which would illustrate all our beliefs & practices both individual & collective. Religious Poetry within the larger general Poetry of a nation or people is also very abundant. It is the favorites & selections of the most popular that allows us to focus & enjoy on certain songs of common interest & taste. Biblical Poetry is even more expressed in regards to Scriptural truth or doctrines. But all songs, especially with any degree of human or divine inspiration will teach us & charm us in both mind & mood. Bible Poetry is built on the Poetic Books of the Old Testament (Pentateuch-Chumash), and Jewish & Christian Poetry are modifications of Bible Poetry. In fact Islam, by the Quran of Muhammad the Prophet & Founder, is also an extension of Bible Poetry, or as they express it the Poetry of the Book.
But the most attractive poetry of any type & people are the love-songs, love-songs of any & every variety & category. These love-songs when performed with great skill & beauty, that is with some perfection, become universally endeared to mankind, and often cross over to all nations. The spiritual meaning & value to religious poetry is often part of non-religious poetry, often hidden at a level just below or beyond the natural sense or words. The sense of love-songs is within the meaning, and the meaning is deeper still; and that is not even taking into account mere application or association. But often our secular & popular songs are misused & misunderstood just like proverbs & parables & we lose the value & truth of the songs; and worse, God is cheated & shorted. We cannot spend a lot of time to enlarge this matter of understanding the love-songs, which could easily become a Book of itself, to be added to the many such books already available, both old & new. We will however select some special songs to help as examples at the close of our comments here.
The wisdom literature of Israel in the Bible and outside at large, interacting with the Gentiles, shows a common development among the nations. As Israel learned Hebrew among the ancient Aramean, and with other cross influences, and as they learned to write Hebrew with the Phoenicians & Egyptians & Canaanites, so too in their poetry & music it was mutual sharing & borrowing. It was always this way, and it’s been that way ever since; and we today see it plainly in plain sight in myriad ways. In the Prophetic Books & the New Testament (of course with the Apocrypha in the transition) we will see the international & global relationship it more clear precise ways.

     Here are some Selections of Jewish & Christian Poetry as related to Biblical Poetry as examples of our reflections.

1: The Hymn Of Glory (Shir haChabod) The Ark is opened. Synagogue Service. (“Shir HaKavod is better known by its opening words, Anim Zemiros (“Sweet Hymns”). The song is popularly attributed to Rav Yehuda HaChasid, though it was more likely composed by his father, Rabbi Shmuel ben Kalonymus HaChasid of Speyer (12th century), who also composed Shir HaYichud (The Song of Unity). Shir HaKavod is a series of couplets (except for the last line) that describe what God metaphorically “looks like.” Accordingly, the song is replete with imagery from the Books of the Prophets.”)

Sweet hymns shall be my chant and woven songs: Thou art all for which my spirit longs
Within the shadow of Thy hand: All Thy mystery to understand.
While Thy glory is upon my tongue: My inmost heart with love of Thee is wrung:
So though Thy mighty marvels I proclaim: Songs of love wherewith I greet Thy name.
I have not seen Thee, yet I tell Thy praise: Nor known Thee, yet I image forth Thy ways.
For by Thy seers’ & servants’ mystic speech: Thou didst Thy sov’ran splendour darkly teach.
& from the grandeur of Thy work they drew: The measure of Thy inner greatness, too.
They told of Thee, but not as Thou must be: Since from Thy work they tried to body Thee:
To countless visions did their pictures run: Behold through all the visions Thou art one.
In Thee old age and youth at once were drawn: The grey of eld, the flowing locks of dawn.
The ancient Judge, the youthful Warrior: The Man of Battles, terrible in war:
The helmet of salvation on His head. And by His hand and arm the triumph led.
His head all shining with the dew of light: His locks all dripping with the drops of night.
I glorify Him, for He joys in me. My crown of beauty He shall ever be!
His head is like pure gold: His forehead’s flame: Is graven glory of His holy name.
& with that lovely diadem ’tis graced: The coronal His people there have placed.
His hair as on the head of youth is twined. In wealth of raven curls it flows behind.
His circlet is the home of righteousness: Ah, may He love His highest rapture less:
& be His treasured people in His hand: A diadem His kingly brow to band.
By Him they were uplifted, carried, crowned. Thus honoured inasmuch as precious found.
His glory is on me, and mine on Him: And when I call He is not far or dim.
Ruddy in red apparel, bright He glows: When He from treading Edom’s wine-press goes.
Phylacteried the vision Moses viewed: The day he gazed on God’s similitude.
He loves His folk; the meek will glorify. And, shrined in prayer, draw their rapt reply.
Truth is Thy primal word; at Thy behest: The generations pass—O aid our quest:
For Thee, and set my host of songs on high. And let my psalmody come very nigh.
My praises as a coronal account. And let my prayer as Thine incense mount.
Deem precious unto Thee the poor man’s song: As those that to Thine altar did belong.
Rise, O my blessing, to the lord of birth: The breeding, quickening, righteous force of earth.
Do Thou receive it with acceptant nod: My choicest incense offered to my God.
And let my meditation grateful be: For all my being is athirst for Thee.

2: (Yigdal = Magnify [the Living God]”, Jewish hymn which shares with Adon ‘Olam the place of honor at the opening of the morning & the close of the evening service. It is based on the 13 Articles of Faith (the 13 Creeds) formulated by Rambam, Moses ben Maimon. This was not the only metrical presentment of the Creeds, but it has outlived all others.)

1. The living God O magnify & bless: Transcending Time & here eternally.
2. One Being, yet unique in unity: A mystery of Oneness measureless.
3. Lo ! form or body He has none, and man: No semblance of His holiness can frame.
4. Before Creation’s dawn He was the same: The first to be, though never He began.
5. He is the world’s & every creature’s Lord: His rule & majesty are manifest:
6. & through His chosen, glorious sons exprest: In prophecies that through their lips are poured.
7. Yet never like to Moses rose a seer. Permitted glimpse behind the veil divine.
8. This faithful prince of God’s prophetic line: Received the Law of Truth for Israel’s ear.
9. The Law God gave He never will amend: Nor ever by another Law replace.
10. Our secret things are spread before His face: In all beginnings He beholds the end.
11. The saint’s reward He measures to his meed: The sinner reaps the harvest of his ways.
12. Messiah He will send at end of days: & all the faithful to salvation lead.
13. God will the dead again to life restore: (In His abundance of almighty love.
(Then blessed be His name, all names above: & let His praise resound for evermore.

3: Praise give to God! Synagogue Service Song & Psalm.

King of the Universe: Potent to free His folk.
Faithful His word to keep. Swift in forgiving sin,
Call His Name gratefully: Praise give to God.
Blest, praised and powerful: Granting His people grace:
He to display His might: Metes in His palm the sea.
Sing to Him, chant to Him: Praise give to God.
Saving His holy folk: Purging to sanctify.
Shrined in His holy house: ‘Mid Abram’s holy seed.
Laud ye His holy Name: Praise give to God.
Hymned in His mighty skies. He yet His folk forgives.
After His mighty word. Wherefore, O congregants.
Seek Him and seek His strength: Praise give to God.
All by His word was made. He alone worked and wrought:
He is your Pardoner. Therefore, O folk that trust.
Ponder His miracles: Praise give to God.
Doing His servant’s word: Glorious in heav’n and earth:
Shriving His worshippers: Called by His high design:
Israel His servant’s seed: Praise give to God.
Lo, He outspread the earth: Thrones on the orb of earth.
Pardons the salt of earth. Call then earth’s Architect:
God throughout all the earth: Praise give to God.
He living high enthroned: Gracious and merciful.
Will to His shrine return. Sons of His covenant:
Heed it eternally. Praise give to God.
Babes of His heritage: Lambs of His private fold.
God will fulfil the word. Pledged in His holy Law,
Vowed unto Abraham: Praise give to God.
God plans salvation and: Life for His followers:
Pardoning sinfulness: Moses this heard and made:
Doctrine in Israel: Praise give to God.
Ruler of all the worlds: Fixed is His word for aye,
Hid is His face from all. Ours but to praise His Name:
Blessed be Israel’s God: Through all eternity
Praise give to God. (Praise give to God!)

4: Lord of the World by Solomon ibn Gabirol. Spain (1021? – 1058). English version by Israel Zangwill from Hebrew. The Shophar is sounded. Synagogue Service Hymn & Creed.

Lord of the world, He reigned alone: While yet the universe was naught.
When by His will all things were wrought: Then first His sov’ran Name was known.
And when the All shall cease to be: In dread lone splendour He shall reign.
He was, He is, He shall remain: In glorious eternity.
For He is one, no second shares His nature or His loneliness:
Unending and beginningless: All strength is His, all sway He bears.
He is the living God to save: My Rock while sorrow’s toils endure
My Banner and my Stronghold sure: The Cup of Life whene’er I crave.
I place my soul within His palm: Before I sleep as when I wake:
And though my body I forsake: Rest in the Lord in fearless calm.

5: SongsExileHebrewPoets.Tr,NinaDavis.Phil.JPSA.1901
(I am the Suppliant: Baruch ben Samuel died in Mayence in 1221. He wrote Talmudical commentaries and works in law, besides many poems for the synagogue. I am the Suppliant is a Sdichaii recited in the Musaf Service of the Day of Atonement. (Baruch ben Samuel (died April 25, 1221), also called Baruch of Mainz to distinguish him from Baruch ben Isaac, was a Talmudist and prolific payyeṭan, who flourished in Mainz at the beginning of the thirteenth century.)
Stanza: 2: line 1, Jeremiah 4:19. St. 7: line 4, Lamentations 1:1. St.13: line 4, Lam. 1:18. St. 15, line 4, Genesis 27:2. St. 16, line 4, Psalm 39:13. St. 17, line 2, Hosea 1:6; line 3, Ps. 17:1. St. 18, line 4, Numbers 11:15. St. 19, line 4, Jonah 2:8. St. 21, line 4, Ps. 30:10. St. 22, line 4, Gen. 37:7. St. 23, line 4, Gen. 48:19. St. 25, line 3, Ps. 119:176. St. 26, line 4, Gen. 44:28. St. 27, line 4, Song of Songs 5:6. St. 30, line 4, Gen. 23:11. St. 31, line 4, Gen. 29:19. St. 32, line 4, Lam. 3:56.)

I am the Suppliant: Baruch benSamuel:
I am the suppliant for my people here: Yea, for the House of Israel, I am he;
I seek my God’s benign and heedful ear: For words that rise from me.
Amid the walls of hearts that stand around: My bitter sighs surge up and mount the sky;
Ah ! how my heart doth pant with ceaseless bound: For God, my Rock on high.
With mighty works & wondrous He hath wrought: Lord of my strength, my God. When me He bade
To make a Sanctuary for Him, I sought: I labored, and ’twas made.
The Lord, my God, He hath fulfilled His word: He ruleth as an all-consuming Fire:
I came with sacrifice, my prayer He heard: Then granted my desire.
My sprinkling He accepted at the dawn: Of this, the holiest day, the chosen one,
When with the daily offering of the morn: The High Priest had begun.
And when the services thereafter came: In glorious order, each a sacred rite,
I, bending low, and calling on the Name: Confessed before His sight.
The holy Priests, the ardent, for their sin: Upon this day made their atonement then,
With blood of bullocks and of goats, within: The city full of men.
The Priest with glowing censer seemed as one: Preparing for the pure a way by fire.
Then with two rams I came, e’en as a son: That cometh to his sire.
The bathings and ablutions, as ’twas meet: Were all performed according to their way;
Then passed before the throne of God complete: The service of the day.
And when sweet strains of praise to glorify: Burst forth in psalmody and songs of love,
Yea, when I heard the voice uplifted high: I raised my hand above.
The rising clouds of incense, mantling o’er:The mercy-seat, lent savor to its grace :
Then glory filled me, and my soul would soar: To yon exalted place.
Of ancient times I dream, of vanished days: Now wild disquiet rageth unrestrained;
Scorned and reproached by all, from godly ways Have I, alas, refrained.
Afar mine eyes have strayed, and I have erred: And deaf I made mine ears, their listening quelled;
And righteous is the Lord, for at His word: I sorely have rebelled.
Perverseness have I loved, and wrongful thought: And hating good, strove righteousness to shun,
And in mine actions foolishness have wrought: Great evil have I done.
Pardon, I pray Thee, our iniquity: O God, from Thine high dwelling, and behold
The souls that in affliction weep to Thee: For lo ! I have grown old.
Work for me, I beseech Thee, marvels now: O Lord of Hosts ! in mercy lull our fears;
Answer with potent signs, and be not Thou: Silent unto my tears.
Open Thine hand exalted, nor revile: The hearts not comforted, but pierced with care,
Praying with fervent lips, that know not guile: O hearken to my prayer !
Look Thou upon my sorrow, I implore: But not upon the sin that laid me low ;
Judge, God, the cause of mine affliction sore: Let me not see my woe.
O Thou, my Maker! I have called on Thee: Pictured my thought to Thee, pronounced my word;
And at the time my spirit failed in me: Remembered I the Lord.
Behold my wound, O Thou Who giv’st relief! Let me Thine ears with voice of weeping win;
Seek in Thy mercy balsam for my grief: But seek not for my sin.
Give ear unto my voice, O list my call! And give me peace, for Thou art great to save.
What profit is there in my blood, my fall: Down low unto the grave?
But I unceasing will declare Thy praise: Grant my atonement, though I sinned so oft.
Bring not my word to nothingness, but raise: My fallen sheaf aloft.
Redeem Thy son, long sold to bondage grim: And on his substance let Thy blessing flow;
How long, O Lord, ere Thou wilt say to him: “I know, my son, I know,”
“I see thee heavy-laden with thy care: With sorrow’s burden greater than thy strength;
I hear thee wailing: yea, but I will spare: And will redeem at length.”
And now, O my Redeemer, lo! behold: The chains that bind me ‘neath their cruel sway,
And seek Thy servant, wandered from the fold: A lost sheep, gone astray.
Beauty’s perfection lieth fallen low: Broken and waste, which stood in majesty;
The glory is gone forth, and fled, for woe! The One went out from me.
My strong bars He hath broken every one: He hath been wroth with me: I am bereft.
For my belov’d hath turned aside and gone: A desert am I left.
My gates are sunken, they that stood so high: My sacred doors are shattered and laid waste;
Lo! they are moved and vanished hence; and I: Am humbled and disgraced.
Dumb are mine advocates in mine appeal: High in their pride my scorners raise their crest;
They quench my light, they darkly do conceal: My welfare and my rest.
O Lord, my God ! all strength doth dwell in Thee: O hear my voice, as humbly here I bow;
And let the sentence of Thy judgment be: “Take thou my blessing now.”
Behold me fallen low from whence I stood: And mine assembly with compassion see;
And this my soul, mine only one, ’tis good: To give it unto Thee.
Take back Thy son once more, and draw him near: Hide not from him the radiance of Thine eye,
Turn not away, but bend a favoring ear: Unto my plaint, my cry.

6: How Great Thou Art. English Translation of Boberg’s Swedish “O Store God” by Stuart K. Hine (1885). (“Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. It was translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. It was translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine, who also added two original verses of his own. The composition was set to a Russian melody. It was popularized by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during the Billy Graham crusades. It was voted the United Kingdom’s favourite hymn by BBC’s Songs of Praise. “How Great Thou Art” was ranked second (after “Amazing Grace”) on a list of the favourite hymns of all time in a survey by Christianity Today magazine in 2001.

O Lord my God: When I in awesome wonder
Consider all: The works Thy Hand hath made:
I see the stars: I hear the (mighty) thunder:
Thy pow’r throughout: The universe displayed,
When through the woods: And forest glades I wander:
I hear the birds: Sing sweetly in the trees:
When I look down: From lofty mountain grandeur:
And hear the brook: And feel the gentle breeze,
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
When Christ shall come: With shouts of acclamation:
And take me home: What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow: In humble adoration
And there proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul: My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

7: Firm Foundation formerly attributed to K. in John Ribbon’s Selections of Hymns in 1787; either George Keith (commonly believed) or more correctly Robert Keene.

How firm a Foundation ye saints of the Lord: Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He has said: To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health: In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home & abroad, on the land, on the sea: As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed: For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strength’n thee, help thee, & cause thee t’stand: Upheld by My righteous, omnipot’nt hand.”
“When through the deep waters I call thee to go: The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
For I will be with thee (thy) trouble to bless: And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.”
“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie: My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design: Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”
“Even down to old age all My people shall prove: My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
& when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn: Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.”
“The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose: I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake: I’ll never, no, never, no never forsake!”
[Thus on God’s Foundation th’saints d’now stand: Awaiting th’Lord, from th’ Father’s right hand;
The (sheep and the Shepherd) are truly now one: In glory forever, while sufferings are done.]

(sts. 1-7 based on Isaiah 40-44-66. stz1= 1 Cor.3:11; st.2= Psalms; st.3= Isa.41:10; st.4-5= Isa.43:2; st.6= Rom.8:35-39, Heb.13:5, Deut.31:6; st.7= Mat.11:28-30, 16:18, 28:18-20; [st.8= Heb.13:8,20-21, 1Pet.5:4, John 10, 17.] (st.8 added in 1975 by mjm)

8: Joys from Fount of Paradise: Fount of Life Eternal. Translation of St. Augustine’s Latin Song. Monastery & Convent Hymn (Augustine’s Song. St, Bishop, of Hippo. 4thc. Latin-English. From The Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. vol 34, Feb 1899, p168, n2. Joys of Paradise or Fount of Life Eternal, or Fount of Paradise. Verses inspired by Scripture: Gen., Psalms, Song of Sol., Rev., &c.)

For the Fount of Life Eternal: Panteth the enamored soul,
From its bonds th’ imprisoned spirit: Seeketh freedom of control,
Exiled here it turns and flutters: Struggling for its native goal.
When ’neath trial and confusion: Pressed by misery and pain,
It beholds its glory clouded: By the breath of deadly bane,
Present evil but enhanceth: Memory of a perished gain.

Who can voice the joy surpassing: Of that endless peace supreme,
Where the living pearls of beauty: In the lofty dwellings gleam,
Where the spacious halls and mansions: With a golden glory stream?
Precious are the gems compacted: In that palace, stone on stone,
Purest gold like unto crystal: Is upon the highway strown:
Free of dust and spotless ever: For no darkening stain is known.

Blighting Winter, burning Summer: There no longer hold their sway,
Spring perpetual bright with roses: Bloometh, knowing no decay:
Lilies glisten, crocus gleameth: Balsam sendeth perfumed spray.
Verdant are the springing meadows: And the honied rivers flow,
Odors breathe their sweet aroma: As the spicy breezes blow,
In the groves, with fruit unfailing: Leafy boughs are bending low.

There no fickle moon appeareth: Nor do planets speed their way,
For the Lamb is light undying: Of that happy land alway,
Night and time are ever banished: For ’tis never ending day.
There the saints in light supernal: As a glorious sun-burst shine,
Crowned triumphant then, exulting: In an ecstacy divine,
They recount their glorious conquests: With the raging foe in line.

Free from stain, their battle over: E’en the flesh is glorified;
Flesh transfigured, with the spirit: Doth in harmony abide,
Peaceful with a holy stillness: Troubled by no sinful tide.
Freed from weight of all mutation: To their Source they swiftly rise,
On the Face of Truth Eternal: Gazing with enraptured eyes,
Thence to draw reviving sweetness: From the Fount of Paradise.

They rejoice in changeless being: Glory in a steadfast will,
Lit with vivifying rapture: Subject to no passing ill,
Sickness flying, health undying: Though eternal, youthful still.
Thus they have perennial being: For transition now is o’er;
Thus they flourish, bloom and flower: Ne’er decaying, as of yore.
Strong with an immortal vigor: Death is conquered evermore.

Knowing Him Who knoweth all things: In all knowledge they delight,
E’en the secret of each bosom: Charmeth now each ravished sight,
One in mind, in will, in spirit: They in all of good unite.
“ Star shall differ,” for the glory: Is apportioned to the pain,
But in bond of sweet communion: Charity doth so ordain,
That the treasure each possesseth: Shall enrich the common gain.

To the body flock the eagles: For the royal feast is spread,
Saints and Angels rest together: On celestial bounty fed;
Citizens of earth and heaven: Seek the One Life-giving Bread.
Famished yet restored with plenty: What they have they yet desire,
Sated, yet they languish never: Nor doth hunger ever tire.
Ever longing they are feasting: Yet to feast they still aspire.

Songs of melody enchanting: Their melodious voices raise,
String and psaltery are mingled: With the jubilee of lays,
Offering to the King Eternal: Homage of the victor’s praise.
Happy soul to whom the vision: Of the Heavenly King is known,
Who hath seen the vast creation: Circling ‘neath His lofty throne,
Sun and moon and sphery splendor: In their varied beauty shown.

Thou, O Christ, the Palm of battle: Lead me to Thy land of rest,
When I shall have loosed the sword-belt: Cast the buckler from my breast,
Make me sharer in the guerdon: Thou bestowest on the blest.
Prove the valor of Thy warrior: When the din of war is rife,
But refuse not sweet refreshment: To the victor after strife,
Be Thyself my Prize Eternal: Thou, my Everlasting Life.

Bridal Love. (The Bride) John 14:3 & Solomon’s Song of Songs. (Individual and Corporate.) (This Hymn and Song has been wrongly attributed to certain others, confused that it was signed by the initials P.G. It is not Unknown, Anonymous, P.G., or Gerhardt. It is Bevan’s rendition of Gerhard Tersteegen (Ter Stegeen) German Hymns and words while she resided at her home at Princes Gate (P.G.): “A favourite device of hers was to use merely the initials of the house where she was staying when she wrote a hymn.” “Another complication was that Mrs. Bevan preferred to convey the general sense of an original rather than to imitate it word for word. Often in the final version there was more of the translator than of the translated. In this she (probably unconsciously) was following the precedent of that first great translator of German hymns into English, John Wesley. It was perhaps significant that she wrote a biography of him.” The Hymn was at times ascribed to the Plymouth Brethren, the group Emma Frances Shuttleworth Bevan and her husband was in fellowship with on a regular basis. But the Hymn was not in the Little Flock Hymns in 1856, and not in Darby’s revision in 1881. But it first occurred in Bevan’s “Service of Song in the House of the Lord” (p33-34), 1884. In several of her works of translations and original songs it is clear that rendition is that of TerSteegen and the other Mystics, especially the Germans, like the Friends of God. Bevan in her own search for an intimate relationship with God in Christ, was drawn to the German Mystics that preceded and prepared for the Reformation. Though a contented married woman, with many children, her ardent fervent zeal and affections were ever drawn to the Bridal Love of Christ and the Church. She found her native High Church Woman experience inadequate to satisfy this intense romantic spiritual tryst. The Plymouth Brethren gave her partial and temporary relief and comfort as she pursued Him Who alone satisfies. In TerSteegen she found great consolation and example, along with those of that way and school; all of which is recorded in several of her books. Tersteegen is one of those Christians whose life exemplifies the spiritual life of inner contemplation and subjective experience of Christ. He and his kind are often labelled mystics of Christian Mysticism. The church has always had many Christians, men and women, sisters and brothers, who have devoted themselves to God and Christ in such a manner that they could not be ignored or impeded. He, like so many, have their own unique story that explains and clarifies their peculiar life. The spiritual believer as a Christian will not easily fit the natural category we often define or identify them by, and thus often be branded and rejected or persecuted. The mystery and ministry of which they occupy themselves are often indescribable and foreign to our senses and culture. They will always exist as a witness and testimony to the mass of mankind. They are subject to all human defects as the rest of us, including depression and insanity. Their love is intense in the spirit as it also is seen in the flesh; they are driven by nature to seek the spirit of life and God. As Christians they are Christ intoxicated and obsessed, for good or ill. Christ’s cross and glory, His passion and incarnation, His relations to God and man, are their only concern in their mortality; and always longing to be at home, or for their Beloved to return. mjm.)

I Individual
’Midst the darkness, storm, and sorrow: One bright gleam I see;
Well I know the blessed morrow: Christ will come for me.
’Midst the peace, the joy, the glory: And the light, God’s own,
Christ for me is watching, waiting: Waiting ’til I come.

Long the blessed Guide has led me: By the desert road;
Now I see the coming splendor: Splendor of my God.
There amidst the love and glory: He is waiting yet;
On His hands a name is graven: He can ne’er forget.

There, amidst the songs of heaven: Sweeter to His ear
Is the footfall through the desert: Ever drawing near.
There, made ready are the mansions: Radiant, still, and fair;
But the Bride the Father gave Him: (Still) is (needed) there.

II Corporate
Who is this, Who comes to meet ‘us’: On the desert way,
As the Morning Star foretelling: God’s unclouded day?
He it is Who came to win ‘us’: On the cross of shame;
In His glory well ‘we’ know Him: Evermore the same.

O the blessed joy of meeting: All the desert past;
O the wondrous words of greeting: He shall speak at last!
He and ‘we’ together ent’ring: The fair realm above;
He and ‘we’ together sharing: All the Father’s love.

Where no shade nor stain can enter: Nor the gold be dim,
In His holiness unsullied: ‘we’ shall walk with Him.
Meet Companion then for Jesus: From Him, for Him, made—
Glory of God’s grace forever: There in ‘us’ displayed.

He who in His hour of sorrow: Bore the curse alone;
‘We’ who through the lonely desert: Trod where He had gone;
He and ‘we’ , in that bright glory: One deep joy shall share—
‘Ours’, to be forever with Him: His, that ‘we’ am there.

The God of Abraham Praise
(Thomas Olivers 1770 based on Jewish Synagogue Piyut (Poem) Yigdal Elohim Chai (Magnify the Living God; Prayer Creed) chanted by Meyer (Meier) Leon (Michael Leoni) in London. Tune or Traditional Melody: Leoni or Yigdal.) (Part I: Individual Call; Part II: Corporate Journey; Part III: Universal End. Also note the use of colon (:) used musically or phonetically to separate lines in a stanza or verse that May be displayed separate as a shorter line. Note that ( ) of a word or few words are notation of alternate words that may be better or preferred substitute; & the use of ‘ ‘ single quote-marks of a word or words for emphasis, such as ‘Jesus’ for ‘Joshua or JehoShua’. Note on verse 12: (host) could be altered to (‘cert) for (concert or c’ncert); the original ‘host’ rhymed with the original ‘Ghost’ in Holy Ghost, inherited from the Germanic or Teutonic Indo-European roots of the English language, but is now almost abandoned in common use except in certain Christian circles whose roots go back a few hundred years or more; the Latin ‘Spirit’ even in the Reformation period was already dominate in English usage which may easily seen in the AKJV of 1611. And finally, the ( ) enclosing the 5 words are the original punctuation of the composer. I have not hesitated to use or altered capitalization to enhance honor and dignity and reverence.)

The God of Abrah’m praise: Who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days: And God of Love;
Jehovah, great I AM! By earth and Heav’n confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred Name: Forever blessed.
The God of Abrah’m praise: At Whose supreme command
From earth I rise—and seek the joys: At His right hand;
I all on earth forsake: Its wisdom, fame, and power;
And Him my only Portion make: My Shield and Tower.
The God of Abrah’m praise: Whose all sufficient grace
Shall guide me all my happy days: In all (my) ways.
He calls a worm His friend: He calls Himself my God!
And He shall save me to the end: Thro’ Jesus’ blood.
He by Himself has sworn; I on His oath depend,
I shall, on eagle wings upborne: To Heav’n ascend.
I shall behold His face; I shall His power adore,
And sing the wonders of His grace: Forevermore.
Tho’ nature’s strength decay: And earth and hell withstand,
To Canaan’s bounds (I) urge (my) way: At His command.
The wat’ry deep (I) pass, With ‘Jesus’ in (my) view;
And thro’ the howling wilderness: (My) way pursue.
The goodly land (I) see, With peace and plenty bless’d;
A land of sacred liberty: And endless rest.
There milk and honey flow: And oil and wine abound,
And trees of life forever grow: With mercy crowned.
There dwells the Lord our King: The Lord our righteousness,
Triumphant o’er the world and sin: The Prince of Peace;
On Sion’s sacred height: His kingdom still maintains,
And glorious with His saints in light: Forever reigns.
He keeps His own secure, He guards them by His side,
Arrays in garments, white and pure: His spotless bride:
With streams of sacred bliss: With groves of living joys—
With all the fruits of Paradise: He still supplies.
Before the great Three-One: They all exulting stand;
And tell the wonders He hath done: Through all their land:
The list’ning spheres attend: And swell the growing fame;
And sing, in songs which never end: The wondrous Name.
The God Who reigns on high: The great archangels (sing),
And “Holy, holy, holy!” cry: “Almighty King!
Who was, and is, the same: And evermore shall be:
Jehovah—Father—Great I AM: We worship Thee!”
Before the Savior’s face: The ransomed nations bow;
O’erwhelmed at His almighty grace: Forever new:
He shows His prints of love: They kindle to a flame!
And sound thro’ all the worlds above: The slaughtered Lamb.
The whole triumphant (host): Give thanks to God on high;
“Hail, Father, Son, and Holy (Spir’t):” They ever cry.
Hail, Abrah’m’s God, and mine! (I join the heav’nly lays,)
All might and majesty are Thine: And endless praise.

(Millenial Praises, Containing a Collection of Gospel Hymns, in Four Parts; adapted to the Day of Christ’s Second Appearing, Composed for the use of His People. Hancock, Printed by Josiah Tallcott. Junior.1813. Part 4, Hymn 17.Adventist. Printed also in The Day Star for 1845 with note that it was used by the Philadelphian Brethren.) (Choice Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Designed to Aid in the Devotions of Prayer, Conference, and Camp-Meetings”, Winsor,VT.Pub. by N.C. Goddard, 1836. Hymn 88.Methodist.)

Israel’s Canaan Journey
The old Israelites knew what it was they must do,
If fair Canaan they would possess,
They must still keep in sight of the pillar of light,
Which led on to the promised rest.
The camps on the road could not be their abode,
But as oft as the trumpet should blow,
They all glad of a chance of a further advance,
Must then take up their baggage and go.

I am thankful indeed for the heavenly Head,
Which before me hath hitherto gone;
For that pillar of love which doth onward still move,
And doth gather our souls into one. –
Now the cross bearing throng are advancing along,
And a closer communion doth flow,
Now all who would stand on the promised land,
Let them take up their crosses and go-

The way is all new, as it opens to view,
And behind is a foaming red sea;
So none now need to speak of the onions and leeks,
Or talk about garlicks to me.
My mind’s in pursuit, I must have the good fruit,
Which on Canaan’s rich vallies doth grow,
Although millions of foes should rise up and oppose,
I will take up my crosses and go.

What tho’some in the rear preach up terror & fear,
And complain of the trials they meet ;
Though the giants before with great fury do roar,
I’m resolved I will never retreat.
We are little, ’tis true, and our numbers are few,
And the sons of old Anak are tall;
But while I see a track I will never give back,
But go on at the risk of my all.

Though while scatter’d around in this wilderness ground,
With good manna a while we’ve been fed;
This will not always do, we must rise and go thro’.
Till we feed on the heavenly bread.
Now the morning doth dawn for the camps to move on,
And the priests with their trumpets do blow;
As the priests give the sound, and the trumpets resound,
All my soul is exulting to go.

On Jordan’s near side I can never abide,
For no place here of refuge I see,
Till I come to the spot, and inherit the lot
Which the Lord God will give unto me.
Now ’tis union I seek with the pure and the meek,
So an end to all discord and strife;
Since I have fix’d mine eyes on the heavenly prize,
I will go, at the risk of my life.

If I am faithful and true, and my journey pursue,
Till I stand on the heavenly shore,
I shall joyfully see what a blessing to me,
Was the mortifying cross which 1 bore.
Since these losses are gain, I will never complain,
But so long as I am able to move,
With the resolute few I’m resolv’d to go through,
Till I reach the fair Canaan above,
All my honors and wealth, all my pleasures and health,
I am willing should now be at stake,
If my Christ I obtain, I shall think it great gain
For the sacrifice which I shall make.
When I all have forsook, like a bubble ’twill look,
From the midst of a glorified throng,
Where all losses are gain, where each sorrow & pain,
Are exchanged for the conqueror’s song.

We may find many more examples in the thousands, millions, and since the beginning of human history, even billions of poetic expressions. We each have favorites, and each drawn to different types of music & poetry. For me certain religious poetry is appealing, and yet others repulse me. Biblical accuracy weigh heavily in the form in songs & poems. In secular music I find the Oldies But Goodies of the 50s- 70s are appealing to me; I am fond of the older Country Music, especially Ballads. I like artists like Marty Robbins, Gene Pitney, Bob Dylan, Jonny Cash, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Harry Bellefonte, Jim Croce, &c. Some of my favorite songs in the secular world are: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; Big Iron, Kingston Town; Coward of the County; El Paso; My Woman, My Woman, My Wife; The Story of My Life; I Need Your Love; She’s Just a Drifter; Devil Woman; The Gambler; You Gave Me a Mountain This Time; &c. I like the music on the soundtracks of some plays & movies, as the Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof, and Sound of Music. There are hundreds & thousands of my favorites, and each one I seek to learn from in accordance to the truth of Scripture. I try to identify with what is good & true with God & Christ. I endeavor to find God & Christ in those songs or poems that are elevated in human experiences. The Lord is easily the Hero & His heart’s desire the heroine, be it mankind, Israel, or the Church. Music & musical instruments unfortunately does not influence me as to my concern in a given poetic piece. Of course I would prefer to cite actual example of the songs, hymns, and poems to illustrate my reflections, but I have no desire to get entangled in copyright laws & rules. I could not find any public domain poetry, especially in love-songs that clearly exemplify the modern experiences of my age & generation. Music & Poetry often are quite restrictive in limits & taste for a certain generation or two. Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah or Broken Hallelujahs is a prime & rare example of a current phenomenon in this regard. Each generation undergo significant changes from the old to the new. Our current generation is shockingly departing for their parents’ paths. The minority groups ever-increasing alienation from the majority in all their culture & customs.
Music & Poetry in songs, poems, verses, lines are a dominate force in our society today, and in truth has always been in several ways. The collective experiences of the national groups or classes have their distinctive expressions & genre. The Black culture in music & poetry is different than White; the Christian is different than non-Christians; the Jewish, Muslim, American Indian, the Hindu, the Buddhist, and the non-religious or secularist, one and all have their own unique musical-poetical properties, and they all share common influences both active & passive. The ever changes of progression from old to new, from the past to the present to the future is a constant consistent feature of poetic expression. A good artist, by voice or acting, by sound or fame, can make even a poor poetic or musical piece, whether songs or poems, into a treasured popular song for the fans. Many are the songs, hymns, ballads, and such like, that the original author or composer never dreamed that he or she was giving birth to a cultural masterpiece.
All this concludes are Chapter III of CBR of the 5 Poetic Books which prepares us for the final Prophetic Books of the Old Testament, namely of the Greater or longer Prophets of Isaiah Jeremiah & Ezekiel; and the Minor or shorter Prophets of Daniel & the 12 Minor Prophets from Hosea to Malachi. These Two Divisions or Parts will be treated in two chapters in the Key Book of Isaiah & of Daniel, both representing the manual symbolic Digits of the 4th & 5th Finger of the Bible Hand of the Divine Word. We have sought to establish the Divine Word is compositionally interconnected & codependent & related as one unit or form like the hands; and that the two hands consists of 10 fingers, digits, and the digital divisions are composed of other books that belong to the key books as essential members or parts. We have journeyed from the origins of all things from the eternal & infinite God to the Foundations of the Word & World, then we arrived at the Law or rather the Second Law which shows the spiritual direction & manner in which the Word would be seen, heard, lived, and fulfilled.
We have arrived to the 3rd station & highest summit of the Old Testament in the Psalms with the other poetic Books of wisdom & truth & love & life. Our hermeneutical skills or training will prepare us to spiritually understand the Prophets, and in turn advance us toward the New Testament.

About mjmselim

Male, 68 in Oct., born in Jamaica, USA since 1961, citizen in 2002; cobbler for 40 plus years, retired, Christian since 1969; married to same wife since 1979; 6 daughters and 2 sons, with 8 grandkids. Slowly adapting to the digital world of computers and internet; hobby in digital editing.
This entry was posted in Bible & Scripture, Bible Reflections, Christian Doctrine, Christian Poetry, Christian Reflections, Psalms Hymns Spiritual Songs, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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