Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December 16th, 2011

GO TO PART V

I. Definition of Hebrew poetry

a. It is a more picturesque way of saying things.[1]

b. Sometimes it is best understood in contrast to its opposite: Prose.

i. Prose is not always easy to define either

ii. Prose is saying things with as little as possible.[2]

c. Hebrew poetry can also be defined as having certain elements.

II. Elements to identify Hebrew Poetry

a. Hints of the musical

i. Are there any rhythms of sound in the text?

ii. Is there any reference to music?

1. Does the text explicitly mention words of music?

a. Note: In the Psalms, the lines before the first verse in the English Bible are part of the Canon of Scripture and must be read!

b. Does it have Hebrew words for poetry?

See for instance, what is stated before Psalm 16:1

c. Does the text mention it being a song?

See for instance, what is stated before Psalm 18:1.

d. Does the text mention a choir?

See for instance, what is stated before Psalm 19:1.

e. Does the text mention any musical instrument?

See for instance, the mention of flute before Psalm 5:1.

b. Parallelism

i. Are there any rhythms of thought?[3]

ii. Parallelism is “where two statements are juxtaposed”[4]

iii. Parallelism is the most basic and common characteristic of Hebrew poetry.

III. General Principles in interpreting Hebrew Poetry

a. The vocabulary in poetry is intentionally metaphorical.[5]

i. This is because Hebrew Poetry is by definition picturesque.

ii. Thus there is a need to recognize the intent of the poetry behind the imagery.

b. If the text is within a Psalm, treat the text in light of the entire Psalm.

i. A Psalm is one literary unit.[6]

ii.Each line is purposeful in connection to the whole.

c. Looking for hints by identifying parallelism

i. Since Hebrew poetry uses the literary device of Parallelism, this helps us in interpreting Hebrew Poetry

ii. How does the lines relate to one another? What are the emphasis interpreters should note?

1. Synonymous

a. This means that the second line reiterate the line before it.[7]

b. This symmetry exists in the Hebrew language and also conceptually in thought.

c. The reiteration is for emphasis of the same thought.

d. Examples of this can be seen in Psalm 19:1 and Psalm 18:5.

2. Specifying[8]

a. While the first line is more general, the second is more particular.

b. Example of this can be seen in Psalm 5:12.

3. Complementary[9]

a. This is when the second line is offering a related thought in the vein of the first line

b. It completes the thought

c. Example of this can be seen in Psalm 8:6 and Psalm 4:5

4. Explanatory[10]

a. This is where the second line gives an account for the preceding line

b. This is a great interpretative insight, as the second line is an exposition of the first line.

c. Examples of this can be seen in Psalm 4:8

5. Consequential[11]

a. This is where the second line is making progress either logically or temporally from the preceding line.

b. Examples of this can be seen in Psalm 2:5 and Psalm 4:3.

6. Comparative[12]

a. The second line is comparing the thought in the preceding line to something.

b. Examples of this can be found in Psalm 4:7 and 5:9b.

7. Antithetical[13]

a. The second line is contrastive to the previous line.

b. Exasmples of this can be seen in Proverbs 10:1, Proverbs 12:15.

d. Identify the proper genre of the text, and interpret it accordingly.

The genre of poetry will be discussed in the next several sessions.


[1] This is in the words of Keith Essex, Associate Professor of Bible Exposition in The Master’s Seminary.

[2] This is in the words of Keith Essex, Associate Professor of Bible Exposition in The Master’s Seminary.

[3] Keith Essex, Bible Exposition 502 Syllabus.

[4] Robert Chisholm Jr., Cracking Old Testament Codes, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 142.

[5] Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart., How to Read the Bible for All its Worth, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 190.

[6] Ibid, 192.

[7] Robert Chisholm Jr., From Exegesis to Exposition, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company), 142.

[8] Ibid, 143.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid, 144.

[12] Ibid.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »