Today is World Poetry Day! So what are the 5 best poems in the Bible?
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The Bible is an amazing resource for the broken, hungry and thirsty - but it is also a source of education and entertainment.
Happy World Poetry Day!
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Bible is full of beautiful poems. Even university-level literature classes include Bible passages.
So what are the top five?
Some of the best poems can be found in the book of Psalms. After all, the word "psalm" means "a sacred song or hymn."
What are songs? Poems put to music.
So here's Psalm 89:13-17:
"Yours is a strong arm, mighty your hand, your right hand raised high;
Saving Justice and Fair Judgement the foundations of your throne,
Faithful Love and Constancy march before you.
How blessed the nation that learns to acclaim you!
They will live, Lord, in the light of your presence.
In your name they rejoice all day long, by your saving justice they are raised up.
You are the flower of their strength, by your favour our strength is triumphant;"
The Song of Solomon.
King Solomon's Song of Songs are also beautiful poems, many of which are timeless.
Here is Song of Songs 5:1-2:
"LOVER: I come into my garden, my sister, my promised bride,
I pick my myrrh and balsam,
I eat my honey and my honeycomb,
I drink my wine and my milk.
POET: Eat, friends, and drink, drink deep, my dearest friends.
BELOVED: I sleep, but my heart is awake.
I hear my love knocking.
'Open to me, my sister, my beloved, my dove, my perfect one, for my head is wet with dew, my hair with the drops of night.'
The beautiful thing about poetry is it can be read in so many different ways. A fun exercise with poetry is to really punctuate powerful words, or even less powerful ones, to offer an entirely different meaning.
Try it with 2 Corinthians 9:6-8:
"But remember: anyone who sows sparsely will reap sparsely as well -- and anyone who sows generously will reap generously as well.
Each one should give as much as he has decided on his own initiative, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
God is perfectly able to enrich you with every grace, so that you always have enough for every conceivable need, and your resources overflow in all kinds of good work.
As scripture says: To the needy he gave without stint, his uprightness stands firm for ever."
You can also look to the Proverbs. Try going deeper than recognizing the holy scriptures are literal. While many serve dual purposes of being literal and metaphorical, poetry does the same.
Proverbs 2:1-6 reads:
"My child, if you take my words to heart, if you set store by my commandments,
tuning your ear to wisdom, tuning your heart to understanding,
yes, if your plea is for clear perception, if you cry out for understanding,
if you look for it as though for silver, search for it as though for buried treasure,
then you will understand what the fear of the Lord is, and discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord himself is giver of wisdom, from his mouth issue knowledge and understanding."
Isaiah 40:28-31 is a great poem to remind us of God's greatness and the power he has given us:
"Did you not know? Had you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, he created the remotest parts of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary, his understanding is beyond fathoming.
He gives strength to the weary, he strengthens the powerless.
Youths grow tired and weary, the young stumble and fall,
but those who hope in the Lord will regain their strength, they will sprout wings like eagles, though they run they will not grow weary, though they walk they will never tire."
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