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The Wisdom Books

The Wisdom Books

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
(JOB, PROVERBS, ECCLESIASTES)

ALSO

LAMENTATIONS

AND

THE SONG OF SONGS

IN MODERN SPEECH
AND RHYTHMICAL FORM



BY JOHN EDGAR McFADYEN, D.D.
(JOB, PROVERBS, ECCLESIASTES)

ALSO

LAMENTATIONS

AND

THE SONG OF SONGS

IN MODERN SPEECH
AND RHYTHMICAL FORM



BY JOHN EDGAR McFADYEN, D.D.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 21, 2013
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THE WISDOM BOOKS(JOB, PROVERBS, ECCLESIASTES)ALSOLAMETATIOSADTHE SOG OF SOGSI MODER SPEECHAD RHYTHMICAL FORMBY JOH EDGAR McFADYE, D.D.PROFESSOR OF OLD TESTAMET LAGUAGE, LITERATURE,AD THEOLOGYUITED FREE CHURCH COLLEGE, GLASGOWPREFACEThe generous reception accorded to The Psalms inModern Speech and Rhythmical Form leads me to hopethat the translation of other parts of the Old Testament,executed along similar lines, may be not unwelcome.This volume and its predecessor together comprise allthe specifically poetical books of the Old Testament — that is, all the poetry that lies outside the propheticliterature and the sporadic poems or fragments of poemsembedded in the historical books. In this volume, asin the other, I have endeavoured to let the writersspeak to us in the language of to-day, and also withsomething of the music which haunts their words in
 
their original form. Perhaps no translation of a poemcan ever do it adequate justice ; but even approximate justice is impossible where cadence and rhythm and allthat make it a poem are deliberately ignored. For whilethought is as essential to poetry as to prose, these thingsare of its essence too.Two impressions rise upon the mind from this con-spectus of Hebrew poetry. One is that of its astonishingrange and variety. Here, if anywhere, we come uponthe humanism of the Bible ; and here, if anywhere,Hebrew literature challenges comparison with theliteratures of other peoples. These books breathe thespirit of the great world. The pessimism of Ecclesiastesis the voice of the weary souls of a hundred lands. TheBook of Job, with its intense dramatic quality and its7Prefacefierce and resolute wrestlings with the problems that stillbaffle the minds of men ; the love-poetry of the Song of Songs, fragrant with the breath of spring, touched witha passionate appreciation of nature in her every mood,athrill from end to end with the love of man for maidand maid for man : these and other things in this collec-tion are not of yesterday only, but for to-day and forever.The other impression is that of the distance thatseparates the Old Testament from the ew. The chal-lenges of Job, the utilitarianism of Proverbs, the scep-ticism of Ecclesiastes, the romanticism of the Song, themelancholy of Lamentations, are all equally inconceivableon the pages of the ew Testament ; and they help usto feel very vividly the difference that Jesus made.
 
The notes in this volume are more numerous than inthe other, because the text of these books is very fre-quently difficult to the point of desperation, and it isno part of an interpreter's business to create the impres-sion of certainty, where the evidence is inadequate,ambiguous or baffling. But I have reduced the notesto the barest minimum, giving only such as justify thetranslation, explain allusions, or briefly elucidateobscurities : they are in no sense a substitute forexegesis. Commentaries will always be necessar}^ buttoo often they shadow the text instead of illumining it.The ideal commentary would be a perfect translation :for then, without intervening explanation, the ancientwriter would make his own immediate impression, andspeak home to the hearts of his readers as a man speaks tohis friend.John E. McFadyen.COTETSJOBTHE PROLOGUEJob's Piety and Prosperity (i. 1-5)The Heavenly Council. Satanmitted to test the qualityPiety (i. 6-12) ....The Blows Fall (i. 13-22)The Second Council (ii. i-ya)The Second Test (ii. 76-10) .Job's Friends come to comfort him (ii. 11-13)ACT I

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