exam 3

The Pentateuch

– First Five Books of the Bible (Genesis – Deuteronomy)

– The Torah (law, teaching, guidance)

– Septuagint (LXX) first called Pentateuch

– Books of Moses

Literary Forms of the Pentateuch

1. Narrative

2. Law & Legal Code

3. Poetry

4. Genealogies & Census

5. Sermon

Old Testament Narratives

Not just stories about people who lived in OT times. 

God is the protagonist!

Not stories or allegories filled with hidden meanings

Don’t answer all our questions about a given issue

Do not always teach directly

Illustrate what is taught elsewhere

Implicit Teaching

Do not always have a moral on its own

Often work in tandem

Interpreting Narratives

Usually does not directly teach a doctrine.

Usually illustrates doctrine propositionally elsewhere.

Record what happened, not always what should have happened.

God is the hero.

Do not always answer all our questions.

Selective and incomplete.

Not always given the evaluation.

People not always to be followed.

Authorship of the Pentateuch

1. Moses as author or primary source

OT and NT make this claim

“Books of Moses”

2. Documentary Hypothesis

Complied from various sources

Julius Wellhausen – 19th century

JEPD Theory

   J – Jahwist or Yahwist

   E – Elohist

   P – Priestly

   D – Deuteronomist

Origins of the Pentateuch

1. Oral History

2. Community Driven

3. Mosaic Influence

4. Gradual Evolution

5. Divine Inspiration

Historical Range of the Pentateuch

– Creation

– Human Kind’s Early History

– Period of the Patriarchs

– Bondage & Deliverance from Egypt

– Rebellion & Wandering

– Arrival at the Land of Promise

Genesis covers a vast period.

Exodus-Deuteronomy covers a period of about 40 years.

Theological Themes of the Pentateuch

The central theological theme of the Pentateuch is God’s covenantal relationship            

with His people.

1. Blessing- “I will make of you a great nation”

2. Relationship – “I will bless you”

3. Gift of a Place (land) – “the land I will show you”

4. Mission – Blessing the world

The Covenant:  A Journey Through Genesis

Graphic Reminder: A big N

KEYWORD:  Beginning

Beginning of:  universe, humanity, sabbath, marriage, sin, sacrifice, salvation, family, civilization, government, nations, Israel, the beginning of the story of faith, and so us

story as well.

Two Divisions in Genesis

1. Primeval: (Chapters 1-11)

Human Race / “Mythical” – Historical

2000 years (4000 – 2166 BC) – Fertile Crescent.

2. Patriarchal: (Chapters 12-50)

Hebrew Race / Biographical

281 years (2166-1885 BC) – Canaan.

81 years (1885-1804 BC) – Egypt.

Four Key Events: (Chapters 1-11)

  Creation (1-2)

  Fall (3-4)

  Flood (5-9)

  Nations (10-11)

Four Key People: (Chapters 12-50)

  Abraham (12-25)

  Isaac (24-26)

  Jacob (27-36)

  Joseph (37-50)

Range:  Creation through Joseph

Genesis: The Account of Creation

I.) Order from Chaos (Gen. 1:1-2:4a)

A.) Six Days of Creation

    Day 1. Light

    Day2. Firmament (dome & waters below)

    Day 3. Land, vegetation

    Day 4. Heavenly bodies

    Day 5. Birds & fish

    Day 6. Animals & humans

    Day 7: God Rested — Sabbath

First three God creates spaces and then fills those spaces

B.) Literary Characteristics:

1. Setting: formless void, God’s Spirit moving over the waters

2. Order: clearly marked days 1-7

3. Portrait of God: orchestrater, designer, architect

4. Climax of the Story:

            Of created things — humans (both male & female)

            Of the creation process — the Sabbath

II.) Creation of Humanity (Gen. 2:4b-25)

A. Setting: Desert/Wilderness — no plants, little water

B. Order:

1. Man only

2. Garden — Trees, Vegetation

3. Animals

4. Woman

C. Portrait of God: Experimentalist, Tinkerer, Works by Trial and Error

D. Climax of the Story: Marriage/Union of Man with Woman

III.) Other Comparisons Between Gen. 1:1-2:4a & 2:4b-25

A.) Basic Literary Differences

1. Setting is watery deep vs Setting is the desert

2. Order of events is precise over 7 days vs Order of events is not precise; on 1 day

3. God is an architect, designer vs God experiments

4. Climax is the Sabbath vs Climax is Marriage

B.) Other Differences

1. Humans can eat from every tree vs Humans can eat from every tree, but one

2. God’s creation is good and blessed vs Potential for evil is built into creation

3. The name for God is usually just Elohim vs the name for God is usually

Yahweh Elohim

IV.) Does Having Two Creation Accounts in the Bible Pose a Problem?

— Not necessarily . . .

A.) What are the biblical creation stories saying about . . . God?

     1. Each account separately does not say enough about God

          a. Gen 1:1-2:4a portrays God as completely transcendent

          b. Gen 2:4b-25 portrays God as intimately involved with his creation

          c. Both are in fact correct

B.) What are the biblical creation stories saying about . . . Humanity?

           a. Gen 1:1-2:4a talks about humans as made in God’s image equally

           b. Gen 2:4b-25 emphasizes the codependence men and women share

           c. Both are in fact correct

C.) What are the biblical creation stories saying about . . . Creation Itself?

          a. Gen 1:1-2:4a affirms unequivocally that the created order as God made it is

very good

          b. Gen 2:4b-25 highlights the dark possibilities that could arise if God’s

instructions for creation are ignored

          c. Both are in fact correct

D.) What are the biblical creation stories saying about . . . God Ordained Human


         a. Gen 1:1-2:4a lifts the Sabbath as the pinnacle of human habits and

practices that show God to be God

         b. Gen 2:4b-25 places the emphasis on marriage as the pinnacle of human

habits and practices that show God to be God

         c. Both are in fact correct

Theological Themes of the Pentateuch

1. The God of Creation

2. The God of Redemption

3. The God of Covenant

4. The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph

“Genesis is preeminently a book of hope because it is the beginning of the story of

redemption.  The God who wrought the mighty works of creation is the same God who

can unshackle the human heart from the bondage of sin.”

The Book of Exodus

Graphic Reminder: Exit Sign


HEBREW TITLE: “And these are the names”

– Exodus is the record of Israel’s birth as a nation.

– 70 people enter Egypt & after 430 years in bondage, 600,000 men leave (12:37)

Range: Birth of Moses / Exodus through Tabernacle (chap 40)

Literary Forms: Narrative, Legal Code, Genealogy, Poetry

Two Divisions In Exodus

1.  Redemption from Egypt.  (1-18)

2.  Revelation from God.  (19-40)

Theological Themes of Exodus

1. The Passover

2. The Power of God / Red Sea

3. The Promise continues (Covenant & Commandments)

4. The Place of the Tabernacle (God’s presence with God’s people)

The Book of Leviticus

Graphic Reminder: “left-foot a kiss”

KEYWORD: Feasts & Offerings

HEBREW TITLE: “And He Called” — at foot of Mt. Sinai

–  From Deliverance to dedication, from redemption to service

– Leviticus – Greek translation, things Levitical or priestly

Range: N/A

Literary Forms: Narrative, Legal Code, Ritual Instruction, Divine speech

Not as commonly read, but . . .

“`Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.  (Lev 19:18)

Outline of Leviticus

1.  Sacrifice.  (1-17)

2.  Sanctification.  (18-27)

Theological Themes of Leviticus

1. Holiness

The Focus Is:  Holiness (purity).

“Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”  (Lev.19:2)

2. Worship

Worship Regulations Key passage: (1-7)

Key Spiritual Truth:  God deserves intentional, focused worship

–  Not casual or haphazard!

– Seven Feasts (23)

3. Offering & Sacrifice

Offering Requirements Key passage:  10

Key Spiritual Truth: Offerings are to be presented to God but not lightly. / Attitude, obedient.

“`When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the LORD, sacrifice it in such a way that it

will be accepted on your behalf.  (Lev 19:5).

4. Atonement (define)

Day of Atonement Key passage:  16

Key Spiritual Truth:  God provides a way for sin to be forgiven & relationships restored.

5. The High Priest Key passage:  11

Key Spiritual Truth: We need a High Priest to intercede for us.

–  Jesus is our Great High Priest.

6. Freedom

Year of Jubilee Key passage:  25

Key Spiritual Truth:  God provides freedom and deliverance.

–  Jesus is the Incarnation of the Year of Jubilee!

The Book of Numbers

Graphic Reminder: Numbers wandering in the wilderness

KEYWORD: Wanderings

HEBREW TITLE: “In the wilderness” — at foot of Mt. Sinai

Range:  First

Census (1) – Second Census (26) There to 36 additional summaries, plains of Moab

Literary Forms: Narrative, Census, Divine Speech, Legal Code, ritual instruction

Three Divisions in Numbers

1.  Old Generation.  (1-10)

2.  Tragic Transition.  (10-25)

3.  New Generation.  (26-36)

Three Passages in Numbers

Canaan Expedition Key passage:  14

Key Spiritual Truth:  Never let fear or human limitations keep you from pursuing what God has for you.

Wilderness Provision Key passage:  11, 20

Key Spiritual Truth:  God always provides!  . . . even in the wilderness

The Suffering Symbol Key passage:  21:4-9

Key Spiritual Truth:  Deliverance was realized through turning to the provision God

provided (the suffering symbol)

Theological Themes of Numbers

1. The Census Key passage:  1-2

Key Spiritual Truth:  God keeps His promises / covenant.

2. The Consequences of breaking covenant

3. The Care of God for God’s people

“The LORD blesses you and keep you; the LORD makes his face shine upon you and be

gracious to you; the LORD turns his face towards you and give you peace.” (Num 6:24-26).

The Book of Deuteronomy

Graphic Reminder: Duet-run-over-me

KEYWORD: Second Law (second hearing of the law) 10 Commandments again!

HEBREW TITLE: “The Words” — “These are the words Moses spoke”

Remember (“Book of Remembrance”)

Range: Preparing to enter the land – death of Moses

Literary Forms: Narrative, Legal Code, Sermon

Three Sermons in Deuteronomy

1.  Sermon One.  (1:1-4:43) What God has done for Israel.

2.  Sermon Two.  (4:44-26:19) What God expects of Israel

3.  Sermon Three.  (27:1-34:12) What God will do for Israel

Deuteronomy and Pentateuch end with this fitting tribute to Moses

10 Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face

to face.

11 He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to

perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land,

12 and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses

performed in the sight of all Israel.

Theological Themes of Deuteronomy

1. The Covenant continues with a new generation.

2. The Call to obey God’s commands as an expression of covenant relationships.

3. The compassion of God, for God, and for Others.

Historical Books

Protestant Bible – Historical Books

Hebrew Bible – Prophets and the Writings

1. Introduction to the Historical Books

 – Joshua (transition between Torah /Deuteronomy

2. Chronology of the Time of the Judges

 – Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel

3. Chronology of Israel’s Monarchy

 – 1 & 2 Kings. I & 2 Chronicles

4. Historic Background of Israel’s Exile and Return

 – Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

The Book of Joshua

Graphic Reminder: General Joshua

KEYWORD: Conquers

HEBREW TITLE: “Hoshea” (Joshua/Salvation)

Range: Death of Moses / Crossing into Canaan through the death of Joshua (settlement)

Covers about 25 years

Literary Forms: Narrative, divine Speech, poetry, historical records (military, land

survey), Sermon

Two Divisions in Joshua

1.  Conquest of Canaan.  (1-13)

2.  Settlement in Canaan.  (13-24)

Theological Themes of Joshua

1. Covenant – The fulfillment of the promised land.

2. Call to Courage

 “Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go!”

3. Victory through faith and obedience

– Walls of Jericho

The Book of Judges

Graphic Reminder: Judge on a motorcycle


HEBREW TITLE: Shophetim (Judges, rulers, delivers, or saviors)

“In those days… everyone did what was right in their own eyes” Judges 21:25

Literary Forms: Narrative

Range: Seven cycles of Deliverance (350 years)

Cycle of Judges

1.  Sin

 – People fall into sin

2. Servitude

 – God disciplines them through foreign oppression

3. Supplication

– People cry out in repentance

4. Salvation

– God raises up a deliverer (judge)

5. Silence

 – Peace is restored

The Book of Ruth

Graphic Reminder: Book as a Roof

KEYWOR: Love Story

Literary Forms: Short story

Heartwarming story of family, loss, warmth, devotion, duty, redemption, and love.

Story of a gentile who ends up playing a huge part in the story of the Children of Israel

Four Key Themes In Ruth

1. Sacrificial Love

Ruth tells her mother-in-law, “Where you go, I will go. Wherever you stay, I will stay.

Your people will be my people and your God, my God.” (1:16)

2. Care for the immigrant/foreigner (widow)

Key Spiritual Truth:  God cares about the outsider and calls us to do the same.

3. Kinsman-Redeemer

(goel) used 13x in this short book

The law called for a family member to care for (redeem) the widow.

The Kinsman-Redeemer Must . . .

    1.)  Be related by blood to those he redeems.

    2.)  Be able to pay the price for redemption.

    3.)  Be willing to pay the price for redemption.

    4.)  Be free himself

4. The Lineage of David (and Jesus)

Ruth marries Boaz and they have a son, Obed, the grandfather of David and thus in the

lineage of Jesus (included in the genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel)

The Book of 1 Samuel

1 & 2 Samuel originally one book in Hebrew Bible (Prophets/Nevi’im)

Graphic Reminder: 1 Sand-Mule / saw


Range: Birth of Samuel – Death of Saul (94-year period)

Literary Forms: Narrative, Poetry (Song of Hannah), Sermon, Prophecy

Key People and Themes of 1 Samuel

    1. The Role of Samuel as Judge/Prophet

    2. The demand for a king and the rise of Saul.

    3. The anointing of David. (David and Goliath, a man after God’s own heart)

Structure of 1 Samuel

    1. Transition of Leadership # 1 (Eli to Samuel) // Judgeship of Samuel

    2. Transition of Leadership # 2 (Samuel to Saul) // Reign of Saul

    3. Transition of Leadership # 3 (Saul to David)

The Book of 2 Samuel

1 & 2 Samuel originally one book in Hebrew Bible (Prophets/Nevi’im)

Graphic Reminder: 2 Sand-Mule / David (harp & sling)


Range: Highlights of David’s 40-year rule

(David’s story begins in 1 Sam 16 and ends in I Kings 2)

Literary Forms: Narrative, Poetry, Lament, Military records)

Structure of 11 Samuel

1. David’s Triumphs (1-10)

2. David’s Transgressions (11) – David & Bathsheba / Adultery & Murder

3. David’s Troubles (12-24) (in his family and his kingdom)

The Book of 1 Kings

Like Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings originally one book in Hebrew Bible


Graphic Reminder:1 King

KEYWORD: Solomon (half-heart)

Hebrew Title: Melechim (King)

Range: Rise of Solomon – Divided Kingdom – Reigns of Jehoshaphat (Judah) and

Ahaziah (Israel) (130-year period)

Literary Forms: Historical-Narrative, political history, architectural plans

Key People and Themes of 1 Kings

1. King Solomon

    A. His Wisdom

    B. His Temple

    C. His wealth

    D. His wives

    E. His fall

2. The division of the Kingdom

Rehoboam in Judah (Southern Kingdom)

Jeroboam I in Israel (Northern Kingdom)

3. The rise of the prophetic voice.

(Elijah, the greatest of the prophets)

Structure of 1 Kings

1. United Kingdom (1-11)

2. Divided Kingdom (12-22)

The Book of 2 Kings

Like Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings originally one book in Hebrew Bible


Graphic Reminder: 2 Kings / X island


Hebrew Title: Melechim (King)

Range: Ministry of Elisha the prophet to the fall of Israel to the fall of Judah

19 consecutive evil kings lead Israel leading to the captivity by the Assyrians. (722 BCE)

A mixed group of kings lead Judah, but still end up being taken into captivity by the

Babylonians.  (586 BCE) Nebuchadnessar

Literary Forms: Narrative, prophecy, miracle stories, political history (reign of the

kings), poetry

Structure of 2 Kings

1. Divided Kingdom (1-17)  (Israel & Judah) – 131 Years

2. Surviving Kingdom (18-25) (Judah) – 155 years

The Book of 1 Chronicles

Like Samuel &1 & 2 Kings originally one book in Hebrew Bible


These books cover the same period of Jewish history as 2 Samuel – 2

Kings, but from a different perspective – a divine editorial

Graphic Reminder: 1 newspaper with David

KEYWORD: Editorial on David

Hebrew Title: The words (accounts, events)

Literary Forms: Narrative, genealogy,

Structure of 1 Chronicles

1. The Royal Line of David (1-9)

2. The Reign of David (10-29)

The Book of 2 Chronicles

Like Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings originally one book in Hebrew Bible


Graphic Reminder: 2 newspapers with Judah

KEYWORD: Editorial on Judah

Hebrew Title: The words (accounts, events)

Literary Forms: Narrative, political history (reign of the kings), architectural plans,


Structure of 2 Chronicles

1. The Reign of Solomon(1-9) – 40 years

– Temple is constructed

– Splendor

2. The Reign of the Kings of Judah (10-36) – 393 years

– Temple is destroyed

– Disaster

The Book of Ezra

Graphic Reminder: S – rah!

KEYWORD: Temple/People

Range: Covers two returns of the people from Babylon

Literary Forms: Narrative, political history, census, lament

Structure of Ezra

1. The Restoration of the Temple (1-6)

– First Return to Jerusalem (Zerubbabel) – 538 BCE

– Construction of the Temple

2. The Reformation of the People (7-10)

– Second Return to Jerusalem (Ezra) – 457 BCE

The Book of Nehemiah

Graphic Reminder: walls are knee high


Range: Covers the final return from captivity and the rebuilding of the walls of


Takes place in Jerusalem over a 19-year period

Account of Nehemiah (first person)

Literary Forms: First-person narrative, memoir, political history, census, rituals

Structure of Nehemiah

1. The Reconstruction of the Wall (1-7)

2. The Restoration of the People (8-13)

The Book of Esther

Graphic Reminder: S stir on Persian Rug / cat

KEYWORD: Queen of Persia

Range:  Fits between chapter 6 & 7 of Ezra between the first and second return from


Account of most Jews who choose to remain rather than return to


Literary Forms: Novel

Story of courage and faith and identity,

God is not mentioned once!  Yet a story of God’s faithfulness to deliver the people

Structure of Esther

1. Threat to the Jews (1-4)

2. Triumph of the Jews (5-10)

Wisdom Literature

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes. Song of Solomon

Protestant Bible – Wisdom Literature

Hebrew Bible – The Writings (Kethuvim)

I.) Introduction to the Wisdom Tradition

A.) What is wisdom?

   1. Gerhard von Rad states that wisdom is “the practical knowledge of the laws

of life and of the world, based on experience”

   2. Wisdom seeks understanding by:

          a. observing the world to find patterns

          b. observing the world to isolate cause and effect

   3. And then puts this understanding into oral and literary forms that:

          a. can be passed down from generation to generation

          b. can be built upon to form logical conclusions despite lack of experience to support it

4. Hebrew wisdom and Torah complement each other

          a. For the most part, wisdom is learned through intuition, experience, and logic as distinct from divine revelation or religious tradition

          b. Yet, Torah is thought to be foundational to wisdom material as God is the Creator of all things, including the ability to reason

5. The primary purpose of wisdom material is to provide guidance on such issues as: how to think, how to cope, and especially how to succeed

B.) Where does one find wisdom material in the Bible?

1. Wisdom Literature include: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job

2. Several psalms are classified as Wisdom Psalms (e.g., Psalm 1)

3. In the OT Apocrypha, there is Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach

4. In the NT, many of Jesus’ teachings classify as wisdom material as does the Book of James

II.) Wisdom and Poetry

A.) Much of the OT Wisdom Literature is in the form of poetry

B.) It is important to note how Hebrew poetry works — Parallelism

   1. Synonymous Parallelism — 2nd or subsequent line repeats or reinforces the sense of the first line —

Proverbs 11:25 & 16:28– Side Note: Zechariah 9:9 vs Matthew 21:1-7

   2. Antithetic Parallelism– 2nd /subsequent line contrasts the thought of the first — Proverbs 10:1 & 4

   3. Acrostic Poems (e.g., Prov. 31:10-31; Psalm 119)

III.) The Book of Proverbs

A.) Opens by setting wisdom within a religious context– wisdom is to be pursued (1:2-6) — but true wisdom begins with the recognition that God is God (1:7) — 1:7 can be viewed as “programmatic” for Proverbs

B.) Wisdom instruction takes a variety of forms

1. Basic Commands

2. Saying or Sentence

    a. Type of wisdom sayings we are most accustomed to — aphorisms

    b. Hebrew patterns include: — Better is . . . than . . . (15:17; 17:1; 19:1; 25:6-7)

— “This is like that” (25:11-14, 18-20)

 — Making lists and numbering them (30:15b-16, 18-19, 21-23)

3. Rhetorical function of the Patterns

 — Reinforce the Authority of the sayings

C.) Main theme: The battle for the minds of people is between two ways of life

1. Both are personified as women

— Wisdom is a respectable and proper woman (1:20-33; 8:1-36; 9:1-6) that will teach all who will listen

— Most important theological reflection on Wisdom is 8:22-31, especially for Christians

 — Wisdom is grounded in creation itself

— Folly is a loose woman that deceives people (esp. young men) with sensuous pleasures that lead to death (7:6-27; 9:13-18)

2. Lady Wisdom is personified in the ideal wife presented in 31:10-31

D.) The black and white presentation of reality in Proverbs leads to teachings similar to Deuteronomy (Proverbs 10:30)

1. The wise are equated with the righteous

— God will always bless those who pursue wisdom (i.e., the righteous)

 2. The foolish are equated with the unrighteous

— God will punish the foolish (i.e., the unrighteous)

3. Proverbs provides the “baseline” for understanding the general tenets of the Wisdom Tradition to which books like Job and Ecclesiastes react Cosby Interpreting the Proverbs, chapter 7 (pg. 135)

IV.) Job: The Limits of Wisdom

A.) Literary structure suggests two interwoven stories

1. The prose narrative about Job (1:1-2:13; 42:7-17)

     a. Theme: Is there disinterested piety (righteousness), or do people

revere God only because it pays?

     b. The Story: God’s divine wager with “the Satan”

     c. Because Job’s suffering is undeserved, two things are learned:

        i. Suffering is test of one’s faithfulness to God

        ii. Faithfulness to God in the midst of undeserved suffering will be rewarded

2. The poetic response of Job (3:1-42:6)

    a. Job does not suffer patiently

 — in fact, he comes dangerously close to not expressing faithfulness to God

     b. Job’s “friends” try to convince Job that his suffering owes to some sin in his life

— Job should repent and seek God’s mercy

— Job rejects their advice and proclaims his innocence before God

    c. Job rejects their help because his lived reality is in conflict with traditional explanations

    d. Job’s honesty about his lived experience will not be swayed by traditional explanations

— It is Job’s integrity that is celebrated at the beginning of the story

    e. Theme: captured in the interlude (ch. 28)

— “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” (28:12)

    f. Theodicy exposes the limits of wisdom

       i. Wisdom cannot explain why there is suffering in the world

       ii. One must accept temporary injustice and trust that divine justice will ultimately prevail

       iii. Rain falls on the just and unjust

       iv. When wisdom fails to make sense of the world, one must have faith in a God who will in his own time show us how it all makes sense

B.) Both stories reinforce each other

1. One level — the response to undeserved suffering is faithfulness

2. Second level — undeserved suffering can cause a crisis of the soul in which one may call upon God to make sense of it all

— though God’s response may only result in more questions, faith is still possible when reason seems lost

V.) Ecclesiastes: The Futility of Wisdom

A.) The teacher seeks the answer to the question: What is the meaning of life?

  1. Wisdom is supposed to answer this question

  2. The teacher after exploring all aspects of life concludes that all life is vanity (emptiness)

— whether one achieves wisdom (1:12-18) or success (2:1-11)

  3. Ultimately all will die and the things that we think matter will all disappear

B.) What is the teacher’s answer?

1. Eat, drink, and find joy in one’s toil (2:24; 9:7-10)

2. This is not the contemporary message: “eat, drink, and be merry because

tomorrow we die”

3. Ecclesiastes provides an honest assessment of what we know to be certain:

— humans are born in suffering

— humans must toil

— humans will die

— humans can find some joy in the midst of this stark reality if one keeps focused on the moment one is in

4. The best we can hope for is enjoyment of the daily routine of life, shared with others. For Ecclesiastes, that is all there is, but, as the gift of God to humankind, it is enough.

I.) General Introduction to the Book of Psalms

A. Collection of prayers, praises, and meditations in ancient Hebrew poetic form

B. In contrast to other OT literature that tells what God has done (narratives) and

what God has said (prophetic writings), the psalms uniquely record how the people

respond to God’s actions and words

C. The psalms have been used devotionally by Jews and Christians alike

II.) Why do we call it the “Book of Psalms”?

A. Influence of the LXX — Greek word psalms                    (ψαλμο’ς) means “song of praise”

B. Some call the Book of Psalms, the “Psalter”

— Derives from some ancient manuscripts of the LXX which refer to the book with the Greek word psaltērion (ψαλτη’ ριον) which is an ancient stringed instrument

III.) Organization of the Psalms

A. Evidence of old collections of psalms within the book as it now stands

1. Possible Collections

    a. Yahwistic Psalms of David (3-41)

— God is called Yahweh more than Elohim (275 to 50)

    b. Psalms of Korah (42-49)

— Korahites were an influential Levitical family in the hierarchy of the Jerusalem Temple; known for their work as singers

   c. Elohistic Psalms of David (51-72)

— God is called Elohim more than Yahweh (about 240 to 43; these numbers include the psalms in the next collection as well)

–compare Psalm 53 with Psalm 14

   d. Psalms of Asaph (73-83)

— family of Levitical musicians that date back to David and Solomon

   e. Psalms of Korah (84-88)

   f. Psalms of Yahweh’s Kingship (93-99)

   g. Hallelujah / Thanksgiving Psalms (111-118)

–includes the phrase “Praise the Lord”

   h. Songs of Ascents (120-134)

–Pilgrimage psalms for those ascending into Jerusalem

   i. Hallelujah Thanksgiving Psalms (146-150)

   j. Torah psalms (1, 19, 119) – latest / organizational purpose

2. While it is apparent that these may have once been old collections of psalms, the current Book of Psalms was created for post-exilic worship in the Second Temple

B. Currently the Book of Psalms is organized into 5 books

— Rabbinic tradition suggests the five is patterned after the Pentateuch

IV.) Types of Psalms (Cosby, pp. 162-165 – Chapter 8)

A. Psalms of Praise

B. Liturgies

C. Songs of Thanksgiving

D. Individual & Community Laments

E. Wisdom Psalms

F. Royal Psalms

G. Songs of Zion – Celebrate Jerusalem

H. Imprecatory Psalms (137)

I. Most Important types: 1. Psalms of Praise

  a. Key Elements

     i. A demand that the Israelite people assemble to praise God

     ii. A statement of the reasons to praise God

  b. Example: Psalm 150

2. Laments

  a. Over one third of all psalms are laments

  b. Key Elements (not all occur in every lament)

     i. A cry to God

     ii. A complaint to God for the horrible state of affairs

     iii. A petition/plea to God for deliverance

     iv. A confession of trust in God (except 88)

v. A statement of assurance that has heard the prayer

vi. Promise/vow to praise God for answering prayer

c. Examples

i. Psalm 3

ii. Rethinking Jesus’ words on the cross — Psalm 22

iii. Laments can express very deep pain — Lamentations 2

iv. Psalms can even express extreme anger — Psalm 137

V.) Suggestions for Interpreting the Psalms

A. Analyze the structure of the psalm.

B. Look for uses of parallelism.

C. Note the form.

D. Ponder the function.

E. Feel the emotions.

F. Avoid theological discussion.

G. Do not try to tame the psalms.