Lecture_Readings_5_Psalms_Proverbs_Ecclesiastes_Ezdra_Nehemiah_Ruth

Lecture_Readings_5_Psalms_Proverbs_Ecclesiastes_Ezdra_Nehemiah_Ruth

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Lecture Readings: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Ezdra, Nehemiah, Ruth Psalms comprises a polyphony of voices thought to have been collected by the sages of Israel. Some are traditionally attributed to David, as indicated by superscriptions, however, some redate David and others follow. Regard it as a collection of poems from Israel’s history. In Psalm 8, notice the reference to creation; compare the tone and style to psalms 22-24. What is different here in terms of theme? In Psalm 74, how does the rhetorical question contribute to the overall poem? What is the psalmist’s strategy in his address to God? Study Psalm 121 an 127. How is God presented in each? Notice the symbol of water in Psalm 137. What sort of thematic arc is possible over these three poems? What general assumptions can we make about the psalm as a literary structure? Proverbs is another collection of writings that obeys a particular literary form. Unlike the other narratives that emphasize religious themes and the history behind an evolving theology, Proverbs draws from other sources, making creative use of non-Israelite wisdom tradition. In this way, wisdom is presented as something revealed by human experience, rather than being a direct result of divine intercession. Given the enormous range of experience available to the Israelites, Proverbs reflects a very human reaction to life, from the mundane to the extraordinary. Identify crisp contrasts between opposites. What do the various subjects of proverbs reveal about the people of the time? What experiences might have generated such meditations? The following supplemental information regarding proverbs, in general, is for your information. Characteristics: 1. They have an arresting and individually inspired form (the wit of one). 2. They have a wide appeal and endorsement (of many). 3. Their content comments itself to the hearer as true (wisdom). Three additional common features of proverbs are: 1. They are usually short. 2. They are easy to remember. 3. They are most frequently transmitted orally. Sometimes uniqueness of form is missing, but the content has sufficient appeal to win a wide audience: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
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