St. Edmund's Church, Crickhowell

Introducing the Book -

Old Testament Poetry & Wisdom


Johnny Tillotson once sang:

Poetry in motion
Walkin' by my side
Her lovely locomotion
Keeps my eyes open wide.

What does this tell us about:
a) Poetry? b) Motion
c) Johnny Tillotson? d) His girlfriend?

Are there any songs from your earlier days which still have a valid message? Any that now make you cringe?

The Books
Song of Solomon

The People

What's so special about poetry anyway?
Read Exodus 14:15-30 and Habakkuk 3:8-15. They both describe the same event, the crossing of the Red Sea but in a completely different way.
Why are they different?
Which makes the greater impact?


  1. Read Psalm 23.

    1. Why does something so simple and so familiar continue to speak so vividly to us?

    2. What picture of God is built up?

    3. Does the translation make much difference? Try reading it in a number of different versions.

    4. This Psalm is very meaningful in our situation where we see and hear sheep every day. Would it mean as much to city-dwellers?

  2. A wife of noble character who can find? Read Proverbs 31:10-31.

    1. The writer recognises that this is an ideal. Is it an ideal that has passed its sell-by date?

    2. What qualities are still worth striving for?

    3. Are there any qualities which are now less important or not important at all?

  3. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-- for your love is more delightful than wine. Song of Solomon 1:2

    1. What is this sexy stuff doing in the Bible?

    2. Read chapter 2 and try to identify the different voices [Your Bible may have already done this but it is only the editor's best guess]

    3. Some scholars through the ages have interpreted this book as a picture of the love between Christ and the Church. Many today would disagree. Read 5:10-16. Does this work for you as a picture of Christ?

  4. I can't get no ... said the Teacher in Ecclesiastes 1:2 or, more accurately, Everything is meaningless.

    1. Read chapter 1:3-10. This seems exactly the sort of thing someone might say to you today. How would you respond?

    2. There is a justly famous passage in 12:1-7. What is its message? Is it valid for us?


When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? [Psalm 8:3&4]

Use the lovely language of the Psalms as a springboard into praise.

Last updated 3/12/2003