The Old Testament

[A summer repeat – from June 11, 2012]

I just finished reading the Old Testament (also called the Tanakh).  Took me about 15 months (between other books).  What a journey.   Powerful.  Occasionally inscrutable.  Sometime scary. But also 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 relish in this literary endeavor.  Here are a few favorite verses:

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 one 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 not-entirely-Biblical counsel when I was young “better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and have them know you’re a fool.”   

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