Poetic Books (Job-Song of Solomon)

Bible Project

The Book Of Job

The book of Job questions suffering and God's justice. God's response is surprising, pointing to his control over chaos and ultimate goodness.

Explore the difficult question of God's relationship to human suffering.

The book of Job opens on a curious courtroom scene, where the satan, or the accuser, challenges God’s policy of rewarding righteous people like Job. He says that Job is only righteous because God has rewarded him. Let him suffer, he says, then we will see his true character.

The rest of the story is presented through dense Hebrew poetry, where Job, his wife, and his friends speculate on why Job is suffering. Isn’t he a righteous man? Why would God allow this? Job accuses God of being unjust and not operating the world according to principles of justice, and he calls on God to explain himself.

God's Good and Wild World

In response to Job’s plea, God takes him on a tour of the universe, reminding him that the world has order and beauty but it is also wild and dangerous. The problem of human suffering isn’t as simple as reward vs consequence. God’s world is much more complex than that, and he is holding aspects of the universe that we can’t even begin to comprehend. So while we do not always know why we suffer, we can bring our pain and grief to God and trust that he is wise and knows what he's doing.

The book of Job invites us to trust God’s wisdom and character no matter our circumstances.

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The Book of Psalms

The book of Psalms is an intricately designed collection of poetry that recounts Israel's history and God's covenant promises.

The book of Psalms poetically retells the entire biblical story.

Psalms begins with a short introduction that outlines the main themes of the book by reviewing the story of the Torah and the hope of a future Messiah.

The Psalms continue to develop these themes throughout the five sections, called books. The first two sections explore the complicated story of David and his royal family. The third section focuses on the tragedy of Israel’s exile and the downfall of David’s royal line. But the fourth and fifth sections rekindle the hope for the Messiah, a new temple, and God’s Kingdom on the other side of the exile. Finally, the book ends with a five-part conclusion, praising God for his faithfulness.

Joy, pain, and prayer

Through the Psalms, we learn about the importance of prayer and the acknowledgment of pain, as well as the power of praise and fulfillment of prophecy. This book has been designed as a prayer book for God’s people as they wait for the arrival of the Messiah and the fulfillment of God’s promises.

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The Book of Proverbs

The book of Proverbs shares short sayings of God's wisdom. They remind us to fear the Lord and offer practical instructions on how we can live well.

Proverbs invites us to live with wisdom and in the fear of the Lord.

Proverbs is a collection of generations of wisdom. It brilliantly describes God’s wisdom and applies it to life on Earth, warning of what it looks like to live by our own wisdom instead of by God’s. Ultimately, this book is a guide for how to flourish and thrive in God’s world. By allowing the reader to understand the fear of God and how to live by his wisdom, Proverbs shows people from every generation what it looks like to live morally and ethically no matter the situations we may face.

God's Wisdom Personified

Who is Lady Wisdom? Proverbs introduces this fascinating character, who is God’s wisdom personified. She says that she was present with God in the beginning, helping to bring order to chaos and allow a place where humans can flourish. Wisdom is one of God’s attributes, but it’s not an impersonal force. His wisdom still guides us today, showing us the way to a life lived well and offering the choice between living by divine or human wisdom.

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The Book of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes paints a picture of life that can seem bleak. But despite death and injustice, hope can be found in wisdom and fear of the Lord.

Ecclesiastes teaches that life is random and uncontrollable, so how do we live well under these circumstances?

For the author of Ecclesiastes, any attempt to try and control our lives is pointless. But life itself is not. Though life is full of so much hevel, there is joy to be found in enjoying good company and a good meal, in planting gardens and contributing to our communities, and overall, in accepting the hevel and trusting that God is in control of things we can’t begin to understand.

The book of Ecclesiastes is the author’s response to Proverbs. From their perspective, life isn’t so simple as fearing God and choosing wisdom. Life is fleeting and unpredictable and our existence is a blip of time. In their words, “it’s all hevel.” So is there any point at all? Yes, but it may surprise you.

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The Song of Solomon

Song of Songs is Hebrew love poetry that depicts the beauty and mystery of sexual love within the context of marriage, one of God's gifts to humanity.

What is Hebrew love poetry doing in the Bible?

A peculiar book in the Bible, the Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, is not technically a book. It's a love song between two lovers! On its basic level of meaning, this book is racy Hebrew love poetry, but in Proverbs, we see humanity’s pursuit of wisdom portrayed by the symbolism of a man pursuing a woman in a garden. So the song works on two levels—it’s celebrating human’s desire for intimacy and pointing to humanity’s ultimate purpose: to be united with God and his wisdom.

Reunited in a Garden

When you read Song of Songs, you may notice several familiar images from other parts of Scripture. Specifically, it is filled with garden imagery. Allegories of God's love for his people are woven through the poem's tapestry, creating a beautiful picture of what God intended love to be, echoing back to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. The song features this man and woman continually seeking and finding each other, and the song closes with them reunited in a garden, underneath a fruit tree.


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