Thursday, August 07, 2014

Highlighting the Bible, Part XV, Wisdom Books (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon)

A.Hanson, Paris, 2009
The wisdom books include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.  The book of Psalms was already addressed in part VI of this series , so in this post we will explore what portions of the remaining wisdom books appear in the lectionary.  The Christian lectionary picks and chooses portions of these wisdom books that emphasize God's promises or the work of the Spirit of God.

The book of Job is a story of theodicy, or explorations of God's actions in the face of suffering. It can be viewed as a meditation on the problem of underserved suffering. Proverbs provides practical insights and instructions for right living, and the Song of Solomon is about human love, so it often finds it way into the readings at weddings. As in the historical books, much of these wisdom books do not make it into the lectionary, so we will simply note what passages are presented.

A. The following passages from the book of Job are in the lectionary:

Job 19:23-27 ("For I know that my Redeemer lives")

Job 38:1-11 (The LORD answers Job)

B. The following passages from the book of Proverbs appear in the lectionary:

Prov 8:1-4 (The gifts of Wisdom)

Prov 8:22-31 (Wisdom's part in creation)

Prov 9:1-6 (Wisdom's feast)

Prov 25:6-7 ("do not put yourself forward in the King's presence…for it is better to be told 'come up here' than to be put lower in the presence of a noble")

C. The following passages from the book of Ecclesiastes appear in the lectionary:

Ecc 1:2, 12-14 (The futility of seeking wisdom)

Ecc 2:18-23 (Wisdom and joy given to the one who pleases God)

D. No passages from Song of Solomon appear in the lectionary

No comments: