Cameos of Biblical Poetry

ADAM ‘S SURPRISE

At last!
Bone of my bone,
flesh of my flesh.
Call her
man-ess
because
out of the man
she was brought forth.

(Genesis 2:23)

YAHWEH’S CREATION COVENANT

World without end,

seedtimes and harvests,
cold seasons, hot seasons,
summer months, winter months,
daytimes and night times

never will cease.

(Genesis 8:22)

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR MURDER

Whoever spills a human’s blood
by human hands his blood will flow,
because in likeness of the Lord
has God created humankind.

(Genesis 9:6)

MELCHISEDEK’S BLESSING

Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God the Most High
who delivered enemies into our hands.

(Genesis 14:19)

REBEKAH’S TWINS

Two nations are fighting within your own womb;
two peoples from thence will be parted;
one people becoming the stronger of two,
the older one serving the younger.

(Genesis 25:23)

SUNSTRUCK BY JOSHUA

Mighty sun, stand still
over the town of Gibeon;
silver moon, mark time
over the Vale of Aijalon.
Indeed, the sun did mark time
and the moon postponed her journeying
until the nation avenged itself
on its foes, the midland Canaanites.

(Joshua 10:12-13)

SAMSON’S WEDDING DITTIES

Out of the eater I got something to eat;
out of the strong I brought something sweet.
If you had not used my ox to plough
you would not have cracked my riddle now.

(Judges 14:14, 18)

SAMSON’S BATTLE

With the jawbone of an ass
I’ve made asses of them all;
with the jawbone of an ass
I have made a thousand fall
– drop as dead donkeys.

(Judges 15:16)

PHILISTINE MOCKERY OF SAMSON

Our god delivered the bane
of our lives into our hand,
the one who wasted our land
and multiplied our slain.

(Judges 16:24)

RUTH’S COVENANT VOWS

Do not urge me to turn away,
to leave you or retreat from you.
For where you go I will go too;
and where you live, there will I stay.
Your chosen folk, my folk will be
the God you serve is God for me.
The place you die is where I’ll die;
where you are buried, there I’ll lie.
May God deal judgment upon me
with absolute severity
if anything should drive a wedge
between our hearts, or border’s edge.

(Ruth 1:16-17)

PAUL’S DOXOLOGY

Oh, deep past deep must sink the mine
that hopes to plumb God’s thought and skill
or trace the maze of schemes divine –
Love’s free, glad, all-discerning will!

What human mind could out-wit his,
aspire to offer God advice?
To lend to him for profit is
sick folly of sheer slick device.

For out of God, and via God,
and back to God flows all the story.
Each comma, serif, hyphen, dot
of words of praise must spell his glory –

only, always;
yes! yes!
now, for ever;
so it is!

(Romans 11:33-36)

Hugh Thompson (11 September 1998)

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