Poetry and Wisdom Books of the Bible

These books deal with human struggles and experiences

Solomon Before the Ark of the Covenant, 1747 (oil on canvas)
Blaise Nicolas Le Sueur / Getty Images

The writing of the Poetry and Wisdom Books of the Bible spanned from the time of Abraham through the end of the Old Testament period. Possibly the oldest of the books, Job is of unknown authorship. The Psalms have many different writers, King David being the most notable and others remaining anonymous. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs are primarily attributed to Solomon.

Believers seeking advice on everyday questions and choices will find answers in the Wisdom Books of the Bible. Sometimes referred to as "wisdom literature" these five books deal precisely with our human struggles and real-life experiences. The emphasis in this genre is teaching individual readers what things are necessary to gain moral excellence and obtain favor with God.

For instance, the book of Job addresses our questions about suffering, overthrowing the argument that all suffering is a result of sin. The Psalms portray nearly every facet of man’s relationship with God. And the Proverbs cover a wide range of practical topics, all emphasizing man's true source of wisdom—the fear of the Lord.

Being literary in style, the Poetry and Wisdom Books are designed to stimulate the imagination, inform the intellect, capture the emotions, and direct the will, and therefore deserve meaningful reflection and contemplation when read.

Poetry and Wisdom Books of the Bible

  • Job - The book of Job confronts the problem of human suffering and the sovereignty of God. And while suffering is the chief theme of the book, no answer is given. However, in these pages, we learn what God expects from us during suffering. Job is the place to go in times of affliction.
  • Psalms - The book of Psalms is one of the most beautiful collections of poetry in the Bible. Many people find that these verses describe human problems so well that the Psalms often make excellent prayers. Psalms is the place to run when you're hurting.
  • Proverbs - The book of Proverbs is packed full with God's wisdom for living a happy life. It is among the most practical books of the Bible. Proverbs is a good choice when you're looking for timeless truth that is easy to understand and apply to your life.
  • Ecclesiastes - In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon takes a unique approach to the pursuit of meaning. Success in life, we discover, can be found only in a right relationship with God. To find wisdom that will keep you from ruining your life, turn to Ecclesiastes.
  • Song of Songs - The Song of Songs, sometimes called the Song of Solomon, is a touching portrait of love and affection within marriage. Go to Song of Songs to learn about the type of relationship every couple should strive for in marriage.
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Fairchild, Mary. "Poetry and Wisdom Books of the Bible." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, learnreligions.com/poetry-and-wisdom-books-of-the-bible-700273. Fairchild, Mary. (2020, August 27). Poetry and Wisdom Books of the Bible. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/poetry-and-wisdom-books-of-the-bible-700273 Fairchild, Mary. "Poetry and Wisdom Books of the Bible." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/poetry-and-wisdom-books-of-the-bible-700273 (accessed June 10, 2023).