The book of Psalms is the longest book in the Bible with 150 chapters, which were written and sung as songs. There are Psalms of praise and thanksgiving, Psalms for learning, and Psalms asking God for help in times of trouble. The shortest chapter, Psalm 117, is a song of praise. “O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. The 8 verse sections are for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet and are about God’s Word, or His law. Many of the Psalms were written by David, such as Psalm 23 which begins, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 as He hung on the cross. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Psalm 100 is a thanksgiving song as we see in verse 4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
Proverbs is a book of wise sayings. Proverbs 9:10 shows the beginning of wisdom. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” To have true wisdom, we must understand that God is a holy God. Chapter 2 tells us to search for wisdom like searching for hidden treasures and God will give us wisdom. We can find help in our lives today and learn from the book of Proverbs. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” If you have trouble understanding the Bible, ask God for wisdom and keep on reading your Bible, and God will teach you from His Word.
The book of Ecclesiastes is another book of wisdom by Solomon. The last chapter seems to show the book was written as he looked back on life with much weariness. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” (Ecclesiastes 12:1) The chapter describes an old man with failing eyesight, shaking knees, few teeth, lost hearing, and a gray head. Chapter 2 told how Solomon sought wisdom and had great riches and tried to find happiness in great works and music, but all was vanity. Chapter 3 tells of the “times” of life. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2) Some of the other times are “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” (verse 4) and “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (verse 8) Solomon saw all these times and in the end he saw that life apart from God was all vanity, or wasted. Here are the last verses of this sad book. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Song of Solomon
This is the last book of poetry and it is a love story between a bride and groom.
“My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,
and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Song of Solomon 2:10-13)
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Old Testament Divisions
Let’s take a short break in our book study and look at the groups of the 39 Bible books in the Old Testament. The first five books are called the Books of Moses, or the Pentateuch. They are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The next twelve books are the Historical Books. They are Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. These give the history of the Israelites. Next, come the five Poetical Books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Now, we have come to the Prophetical Books. The Prophets were sent by God to give a message to the people. The first five are called Major Prophets and the last twelve are called Minor Prophets. The Major Prophets are not more important than the Minor Prophets, but they had a longer message from God. The seventeen books of prophecy are: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
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Isaiah was a prophet sent to Judah and Jerusalem. God wanted His people to come back to Him. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) Isaiah not only told of the judgments of Judah, but also prophecies of the future. Isaiah foretold the coming of the Lord. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Chapter 53 tells of the death of our Lord. “But he was wounded for our transgressioins, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) Isaiah also prophesied of the end of time. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)
Jeremiah was a very young prophet. “But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 1:7-8) One time God sent Jeremiah to the potter’s house and he saw the potter working with the clay and making it into something new after it was messed up. “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? Saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:6) Chapters 37 and 38 tell how the king had Jeremiah put in prison, a deep hole of mud, for many days because he told them that they would go into captivity to Babylon. When there was no more food in the city they lifted Jeremiah out of the deep pit with a cord of old rotten rags and he was kept in the court of the prison until Jerusalem was taken.
Week 4 -- Do You Know???
1. What is the longest book in the Bible? _______________________
2. What is the longest chapter in the Bible? _____________________
3. What is the shortest chapter in the Bible? _____________________
4. Pick one of these Proverbs and tell what you think it means:
A)Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” B)Proverbs 15:3 “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” C)Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
5. Which poetry book is a love story of a bride and groom?
6. Match these “times” of Ecclesiastes chapter 3.
____ A time to be bornA. and a time to laugh ____ A time to break down B. and a time to speak ____ A time to weep C. and a time of peace ____ A time to get D. and a time to die ____ A time to rend (or tear)E. and a time to hate ____ A time to keep silenceF. and a time to build up ____ A time to love G. and a time to sew ____ A time of war H. and a time to lose
7. Which prophet told about the coming of the Lord, his death, and also the new heaven and new earth? ______________________________
8. What did the king do to Jeremiah when he told them Babylon was coming to take them away? _________________________________
____ Psalms A) A love song between a bride and groom ____ Proverbs B) A book of 150 songs ____ Ecclesiastes C) A young prophet who was put in prison
____ Song of Solomon D) A book of wisdom
____ Isaiah E) A life without God is vanity ____ Jeremiah F) He told of judgment on Judah, and of the coming of the Lord and death of the Lord
10. Matching Old Testament Divisions
____ Books of MosesA) Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes ____ Historical BooksB) Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, ____ Poetry Books C) Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther ____ Prophecy BooksD) Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah,