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This shortest of the prophetic books is a single prophecy, the Doom of Edom. The Edomites were a kindred people to Israel, descendants of Esau. The point of the denunciation is their cruelty to Israel in the hour of Israel's affliction.

Passage from the Book of Obadiah

For the violence done to thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem even thou wast as one of them. But look not thou on the day of thy brother in the day of his disaster, and rejoice not over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither speak proudly in the day of distress. Enter not into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, look not thou on their affliction in the day of their calamity, neither lay ye hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. And stand thou not in the crossway, to cut off those of his that escape: and deliver not up those of his that remain in the day of distress. For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy dealing shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and swallow down, and shall be as though they had not been.

But in mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame: and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall burn among them, and devour them: and there shall not be any remaining to the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.


The book consists of a single poem, the Rhapsody of the Locust Plague. It has already appeared (above, page 155) as a illustration of rhapsodic form.




The Book of Psalms


The Song of Songs

The Book of Psalms in the traditional Bible is a miscellaneous collection, without any apparent principle of arrangement. In this work the Psalms are grouped as below. For the significance of the grouping, as well as for the interpretation of particular poems, see the Notes (below, pages 493-502).

National Psalms

***The four National Anthems of Israel, the Sennacherib Psalms, and certain others of these National Psalms, have been transferred to appropriate places in the Historic Outline.

Psalms of Nature

Psalms of Judgment or Providence

Psalms of Religious Experience

Psalms of Prayer, Trust, Consecration


Festal Hymns and Anthems

Lamentations: A Dirge over Fallen Jerusalem

The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's

The Tree and the Chaff

A Prefatory Psalm

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD;

And in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a Tree planted by the streams of water,

That bringeth forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also doth not wither;

And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The wicked are not so;

But are like the Chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgement,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous:
But the way of the wicked shall perish.

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