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The Megilloth (The Scrolls)

Ruth
Esther
Ecclesiastes
Song of Songs
Lamentations
The Hebrew Bible
LAW (TORAH/PENTATEUCH) 5 BOOKS
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
Deuteronomy
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Former Prophets (4 Books)
Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings (Deuteronomic History)
Latter Prophets (4 Books)
Major
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel
Minor
Book of the 12 (Hosea Malachi)

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The Hebrew Bible24 BOOKS
LAW (TORAH/PENTATEUCH) 5 BOOKS
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WRITINGS (KETHUBIM/HAGIOGRAPHA) 11 BOOKS
Job
Psalms
Proverbs
Ezra-Nehemiah
Chronicles
Megilloth or Scrolls Ruth, Esther, Ecclesiastes,
Song of Songs, & Lamentations
Daniel
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The Megilloth or Scrolls were Read at
These Feast/Fast Days
Ruth
Esther
Ecclesiastes

Song of Songs
Lamentations
1. Pentecost
2. Purim
3. Feast of
Tabernacles
4. Passover
5. 9
th
of Ab
SCROLLS
FEASTS/FASTS
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Ruth
A Moabitess
The Wife of Mahlon
Daughter-in-law of Naomi
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Moab
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RUTHA CHIASM
Ruth 1 a death interrupts a genealogy (Mahlon)
Ruth 4 a birth repairs and continues it (Obed)

Ruth 1 relationship between Ruth & Naomi
Ruth 4 relationship between Ruth & Boaz

Ruth 2 Ruth & Boaz meet
during the day in a field
Ruth 3 Ruth & Boaz meet
at night at a threshing floor
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Ruth
Title derives from the main character
3 Fold Purpose of Ruth
To demonstrate the universality of Israels God
To account for a foreigner in the line of David (Mt. 1)
To show Gods gracious guidance in the life of this family
2 Features of the book
Levirate marriage marry kinsman to continue the
family line (cf. Gen. 38)
Kinsmanredeemer of the land-to keep it in the family
Ruths story occurred during the time of Judges
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Ruth Compared to Judges

Shortsighted
selfishness
Frequent turmoil
Isolated leaders
Constant unfaithfulness

Preserving selflessness

Steady tranquility
Individual laypeople
Complete devotion
Judges Ruth
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3 Emphases in Ruth
On the Foreignness of Ruth
Ruth is from Moab, one of Israels enemies
On the Friendship of Ruth and Naomi
Ruth 4:15 more than seven sons
On the Fatherliness of God
unseen but everywhere visible (LHB)
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The Book of Esther
Title derived from the shero of the story
2 Fold purpose of Esther
To explain the celebration of the festival of Purim
To supply the historical context of Purim (the
survival of the Jews in Persia)
4 Themes in Esther
Anti-Semitism, retributive justice, self-defense,
immutability of the Law of the Medes & Persians
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Evidence of Divine Providence
in the Book of Esther
1. Esther becomes queen after Vashti is deposed.
2. Mordecai overhears a conspiracy plan.
3. Mordecai believed that deliverance would come
from another quarter if Esther did not help.
4. Mordecai suggested that Esther becoming queen was
to deliver her people at such a time as this.
5. The night before Mordecai was to be hanged, the
king has a restless night, reads the Book of
Memorable Deeds, and discovers Mordecai had
never been honored for revealing the conspiracy plot
(#2 above).

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Evidence of Divine Providence
in the Book of Esther Continued
6. Haman is forced to honor Mordecai, his enemy.
7. Haman falls, pleading for his life, on the couch of
Esther just as the king returns from the garden.
8. Haman is hanged on the very gallows he had made
for Mordecai
1. Mordecai gets Hamans honor
2. Haman gets Mordecais gallows.
9. Mordecai receives Hamans estate.
10. Anti-Semitism was thwarted by Mordecais rise to
power.
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Ecclesiastes
Hebrew Title: Koheleth or Qoheleth, which
referred to a schoolmaster
Greek/Latin: Ecclesiastes one who
assembles a congregation (apparently for
the purpose of preaching to it)
Author: Solomon (tradition);
but unknown as The Preacher (1:1)
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The Book of Ecclesiastes
Read at the Feast of Tabernacles
Difficulty being accepted into OT Canon
Humanistic, cynical perspective
Apparent contradictions
2 Fold Nature of the Book:
Negative Man is bound by human limitations
and can never break out
Positive Enjoying life as God gives it
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Outline of Ecclesiastes
1:1-2:26 First Discourse: the vanity of
Human Wisdom
3:1-5:20 Second Discourse: the vanity of
Human Experience
6:1-8:17 Third Discourse: the vanity of
wealth and honor
9:1-12:8 Fourth Discourse: the vanity of
chance and circumstance
12:9-14 Conclusion: Fear God and Keep His
Commandments
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Insights Into Life from Ecclesiastes
1. 3:1 There is a time for everything.
2. 5:1 There is an appropriate approach to
God.
3. 7:1 There is a value in a good reputation.
4. 9:1 There is a God who controls all things.
5. 12:1There is a purpose for youth.
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4 Realities that Dominate
Ecclesiastes
1. God is the single indisputable reality.
2. Gods ways are not always understandable
(3:11; 8:17)
3. On the human side, what is done under the
sun doesnt always add up.
4. The great equalizer is death.
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The Song of Songs
According to tradition, Solomon authored
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes & the Song of Songs
This book is part of the Megilloth
This book was read at Passover as an allegory
of Gods love for Israel since Passover
celebrates Gods covenant love.
Theme is in 8:7 Many waters cannot quench
love, neither can floods drown it.
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Approaches Taken to Interpretation of
the Song of Songs Over the Years
1. Allegorical - a figurative story about Gods love for
the covenant community
2. Topical - stresses the themes of love and devotion
which foreshadow the love of Christ
3. Dramatic - views the Song of Songs as a play with
two or three major characters
4. Nuptial Songs - parallels Syrian wedding rites
practiced during a seven day festival
5. Liturgical rites - parallels rites of the cult of Tammuz
in Babylon
6. Love Song - views the book as a poem(s) on the
subject of human love
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The Book of Lamentations
Authorship attributed to Jeremiah (uncertain)
Laments the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
Part of the Megilloth
Read on the Fast day known as the 9
th
of Ab,
the traditional date of Jerusalems fall
Style: acrostic format (lines begin with the
letters of the alphabet) for thoroughness
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Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia : With Westminster Hebrew Morphology. 1996
(electronic ed.) (La 1). Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society; Westminster
Seminary.
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Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia : With Westminster Hebrew Morphology. 1996
(electronic ed.) (La 3). Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society; Westminster
Seminary.
Lessons from Lamentations
No place on earth is inviolable (1:1-2)
God always judges sin! (2:17)
There is always a source of hope and the
source is always God. (3:21-27)
Seek the presence of God, not just the place
of God (Temple in Jerusalem)
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