[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.”