The Old Testament

I just finished reading the Old Testament (also called the Tanakh).  Took me about 15 months (between other books).  Wow!  What a journey.   Some of it was powerful.  Some inscrutable.  Some scary and much was encouraging.  I did not come upon any Old Testament comedians though the word “laugh” does appear 96 times in 93 verses. . . .

There was a lot to like in this literary endeavor.  I came across verses that spoke to me or just educated me:

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might.”   Ecclesiastes 9:10.  I keep this on a 3″ x 5″ card.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying ‘who shall I send?  Who will go for us?’ and I said ‘here am I.  Send me.‘”  Isaiah 6:8.  This too. . . .

Isaiah 9:5 and 6 provides the refrain from Handel’s “Messiah.”   And Isaiah 40:1 and 2 gives the opening lines of Handel’s masterpiece.   

Isaiah 40:4 and 5 offer famous lines from Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech.

There is Psalm 17:8 which I quoted in my Father of the Bride speech at my daughter’s wedding:  “She will always be the apple of my eye and in the shadow of my wings.” 

And of course there’s Proverbs 17:28 — “Even a fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise.  And he that shutteth his lips is deemed a man of understanding.”   This passage tracks my father’s frequent though not-entirely-Biblical counsel when I was young “better for you to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and have them know you are one.”