Understanding The Bible
STUDY REFERENCE
Clarence E. Mason's "OLD TESTAMENT POETIC BOOKS"
The Book of Esther
INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY OUTLINE

 

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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
1970

OLD TESTAMENT POETIC BOOKS
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
PHILADELPHIA COLLEGE OF BIBLE
1970

 

OLD TESTAMENT POETIC BOOKS
The Connecting Link with Old Testament History Course:

The Old Testament may be conveniently divided into any easily remembered combination of 5, 12, 5, 5, 12 as follows:  5 (Pentateuch – “five books” of Moses,) 12 (3-6-3) books of History, 5 books of Poetry, 5 books by Major Prophets, 12 (4-4-4-) books called Minor Prophets because of their size, not because they lack importance.

In the Old Testament History course you traced the dealing of God with men (in general) from the creation, and with Israel (in particular) from Abraham till the return from Babylon Captivity, as recorded in Genesis through Esther.

(Although, strictly speaking, Esther belongs to the books of History, it is sort of a story set apart, worthy of separate exposition, so that its wonderful spiritual applications should not be lost.  An “orphan” book (in this course of Poetic Books) about an orphan, Esther flows with luminous foregleams of Christ and His gospel.)

Our method, both in this course and in later courses in Old Testament Prophetic Books and New Testament Epistles, is to study them in the chronological order of their writing, rather than the order now in our Bibles, so that the student may see each book in its historical surroundings, and also observe the expanding revelation of God.

So, in this course, Esther is followed by the study of Job, probably the first written book in our Bible.  We then do Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs—in that order, placing them against the background of the events of Solomon’s life.  The course is closed by an examination of as many of the psalms as possible, with special emphasis on the Messianic psalms.

Hebrew poetry has great pungency and depth of feeling.  It depends not upon rhyme or rhythm, as our poetry does, but upon parallelism of thought and contrast of thought.  Its various forms are explained on pages 6-7 of the notes.

The amazing doctrinal range and depth of these poetic books will be expounded.  Their sublime faith and salty practical value will be brought to the student’s attention.  But, first, let us look at THE BOOK OF ESTHER.

 

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"Mason's Notes"


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