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The Books of Poetry: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs

Old Testament. The Books of Poetry: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. © John Stevenson, 2009. Theme. Question. Job. Why do bad things happen to good people?. Book. Psalms. Prayer & Worship. How do I approach God?. Proverbs. Conduct. How shall I live?. Pain & suffering.

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The Books of Poetry: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs

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  1. Old Testament The Books of Poetry: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs © John Stevenson, 2009

  2. Theme Question Job Why do bad things happen to good people? Book Psalms Prayer & Worship How do I approach God? Proverbs Conduct How shall I live? Pain & suffering Ecclesiastes Meaning & significance Why am I here? Song of Solomon Love How shall I love?


  4. The Book of Wisdom Proverbs

  5. Title of the book The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel (Proverbs 1:1). From the root word lv;m'

  6. Proverbs 1:2-4 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; 4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion,

  7. Proverbs 1:5-6 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles.

  8. Exodus 28:2-3 2 "And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. 3 "And you shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me.

  9. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. • A Fear that Drives Away • A Fear that brings Wonder

  10. Proverbs Book of Wisdom Psalms Speaks to our Spirit Speaks to our Intellect Life in the prayer closet Life out in the street Book of Worship Teach us how to be holy before God Teach us how to practice holiness before men Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind Love your neighbor as yourself

  11. Outline of Proverbs

  12. Themes in the Proverbs • The way of Wisdom 15 Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. (Proverbs 4:15-16). 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. (Proverbs 4:17-19). 13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. 14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not proceed in the way of evil men. (Proverbs 4:13-14). 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their whole body. 23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:22-23). 20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. (Proverbs 4:20-21). 11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble. (Proverbs 4:11-12).

  13. Themes in the Proverbs • The way of Wisdom • Principles of Work He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully. (Proverbs 10:5). Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him.(Proverbs 10:26). 2 Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers from death. 3 The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger, But He will thrust aside the craving of the wicked. 4 Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. (Proverbs 10:2-4). Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men. (Proverbs 10:26).

  14. Themes in the Proverbs • The way of Wisdom • Principles of Work • Skilled work will lead to success • Diligent work will lead to success Go to the ant, O sluggard Observe her ways and be wise, Which, having no chief, Officer, or ruler; Prepares her food in the summer, And gathers her provisions in the harvest. (Proverbs 15:19) The way of the sluggard is as a hedge of thorns, But the path of the upright is a highway. (Proverbs 15:19)

  15. Themes in the Proverbs • The way of Wisdom • Principles of Work • Principles of Business and Finance He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf. (Proverbs 3:27-28). 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it," When you have it with you. (Proverbs 3:27-28).

  16. Themes in the Proverbs • The way of Wisdom • Principles of Work • Principles of Business and Finance • Principles of Spiritual Speech For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. (Proverbs 26:20).

  17. Proverbs 22:10-14 10 Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease. 11 He who loves purity of heart And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend. 12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man. 13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside; I shall be slain in the streets!" 14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; He who is cursed of the LORD will fall into it.

  18. Proverbs 13:1-3 1 A wise son accepts his father's discipline, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. 2 From the fruit of a man's mouth he enjoys good, But the desire of the treacherous is violence. 3 The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

  19. The Excellent WifeProverbs 31:10-31 • She conducts her affairs in such a way as to instill trust on the part of her husband (31:11) • She is both hard-working and efficient • She is not afraid to engage in business • Praise is given both to her husband as well as to her

  20. Lessons from the Proverbs • The Universal need for Wisdom • The Universal Arena of Wisdom • What is Wise is also what is Good • Principles rather than Promises • A real view of the real world • Christians are called to be street-smart

  21. ECCLESIASTES The Question of Life

  22. The Megilloth ("The Scrolls") Note: English equivalent dates are only close approximations

  23. 1-2 3 4-5 6-9 10-12 1st Sermon 2nd Sermon 3rd Sermon 4th Sermon 5th Sermon There is profit in seeing God as the giver of all of the seasons of life Instead of being fearful, enjoy life while it lasts because it is a gift from God Man sees life as a struggle, but God gave life to be enjoyed Because of the emptiness of this life, man ought to fear the Lord and follow His word All of life is emptiness, but man ought to enjoy goodness because it is from God

  24. Solomon’s Diary Emptiness!

  25. Lessons from the Seasons of Life • Life is a gift from God • To everything there is a season • This is a call to live purposefully • We are called to enjoy the journey • Part of this enjoyment is found in the “one another principles”

  26. The Preacher gives four reasons why it is better not to be alone 4:9 4:10 4:11 4:12 Two are better than one because… They have good results in their labor They can pick up one another in trouble They can warm one another in the cold They can hold up one another in adversity Work Falling Cold Adversity

  27. Principles of Priority 11:9 11:10 12:1 Rejoice... in young manhood Remove vexation from your heart pain from your body Remember your Creator in the days of your youth

  28. Remember the Lord because… • You aren’t getting any Younger. • God has designed you to the Empty without Him. • Now is the Time to Prepare for Eternity.

  29. SONG OF SONGS The Love Song of the Scriptures

  30. Interpretations of the Book • Allegorical Interpretation: Entire book is seen as an allegory of the Lord’s love for His people Israel. • Cultic Interpretation: Cultic poems for use in marriage ritual. • Shepherd Interpretation: Views Solomon as the villain. • Typical Interpretation: Type of the church • Natural or Literal Interpretation

  31. Cast of Characters • Solomon: Shelomoh “Peaceful” • Shulamith: Feminine of Shelomoh

  32. Outline of the Book Romance & Honeymoon (Chapters 1-4) Happily ever after (Chapters 7-8) Marital Problems (Chapters 5-6)

  33. The Story behind the Song • The story begins

  34. Song of Songs 1:5 "I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon.

  35. Song of Songs 1:6 "Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, For the sun has burned me. My mother's sons were angry with me; They made me caretaker of the vineyards, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard.”

  36. The Story behind the Song • The story begins • Boy meets girl

  37. Song of Songs 1:7 Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture your flock, Where do you make it lie down at noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?

  38. The Story behind the Song • The story begins • Boy meets girl • He promises to return • He returns, not as a shepherd, but as the reigning king • Solomon takes his bride to Jerusalem • A temporary separation (Chapters 5-6)

  39. Observations from the Book • The name of Yahweh is not mentioned • The book is never quoted in the New Testament • Jews would not permit their young people to read this book

  40. Lessons from the Song of Songs • God is concerned with all of life • God is concerned with our sexuality • All of life reflects our relationship with God • The Scriptures contain love songs • We are a part of a sacred romance

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