from books of the
Kethuvim
(Writings)

This page:
the Song of Songs
Lamentations
Ecclesiastes
Chronicles

Category:

the Bible

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the Song of Songs

traditionally attributed to King Solomon

For translation and copyright information, see version links in the left column.

JPS 8:6-7

Let me be a seal upon your heart,

Like the seal upon your hand.

For love is fierce as death,

Passion is mighty as Sheol;

Its darts are darts of fire,

A blazing flame.

Vast floods cannot quench love,

Nor rivers drown it.

If a man offered all his wealth for love,

He would be laughed to scorn.

Topic:

Love

text checked (see note) Sep 2009

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Lamentations

traditionally attributed to Jeremiah
subject matter consistent with a date soon after 586 BCE

For translation and copyright information, see version links in the left column.

JPS 3:21-34

But this do I call to mind,

Therefore I have hope:

The kindness of the LORD has not ended,

His mercies are not spent.

They are renewed every morning—

Ample is Your grace!

“The LORD is my portion,” I say with full heart;

Therefore will I hope in Him.

The LORD is good to those who trust in Him,

To the one who seeks Him;

It is good to wait patiently

Till rescue comes from the LORD.

It is good for a man, when young,

To bear a yoke;

Let him sit alone and be patient,

When He has laid it upon him.

Let him put his mouth to the dust—

There may yet be hope.

Let him offer his cheek to the smiter;

Let him be surfeited with mockery.

For the Lord does not

Reject forever,

But first afflicts, then pardons

In His abundant kindness.

For He does not willfully bring grief

Or affliction to man,

Crushing under His feet

All the prisoners of the earth.

Topic:

Hope

text checked (see note) Sep 2009

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Ecclesiastes

author identified as Koheleth (Preacher or Assembler)
traditionally attributed to King Solomon

For translation and copyright information, see version links in the left column.

JPS 1:12-18

I, Koheleth, was king in Jerusalem over Israel. I set my mind to study and to probe with wisdom all that happens under the sun.—An unhappy business, that, which God gave men to be concerned with! I observed all the happenings beneath the sun, and I found that all is futile and pursuit of wind:

A twisted thing that cannot be made straight,

A lack that cannot be made good.

I said to myself: “Here I have grown richer and wiser than any that ruled before me over Jerusalem, and my mind has zealously absorbed wisdom and learning.” And so I set my mind to appraise wisdom and to appraise madness and folly. And I learned—that this too was pursuit of wind:

For as wisdom grows, vexation grows;

To increase learning is to increase heartache.

7:29 But, see, this I did find: God made men plain, for they have engaged in too much reasoning.
9:7-10

Go, eat your bread in gladness, and drink your wine in joy; for your action was long ago approved by God. Let your clothes always be freshly washed, and your head never lack ointment. Enjoy happiness with a woman you love all the fleeting days of life that have been granted to you under the sun—all your fleeting days. For that alone is what you can get out of life and out of the means you acquire under the sun. Whatever it is in your power to do, do with all your might. For there is no action, no reasoning, no learning, no wisdom in Sheol, where you are going.

Topic:

Mortality

KJV 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Modern translation:

George Orwell

text checked (see note) Dec 2006; Sep 2009

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The Books of
Chronicles

I and 2 Chronicles: a single book in Hebrew
Traditionally attributed to Ezra
Probable date: latter half of the fifth century BCE

For translation and copyright information, see version links in the left column.

JPS 2 Chronicles30:17-20 Since many in the congregation had not sanctified themselves, the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the paschal sacrifice for everyone who was not clean, so as to consecrate them to the LORD. For most of the people—many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun—had not purified themselves, yet they ate the paschal sacrifice in violation of what was written. Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “The good LORD will provide atonement for everyone who set his mind on worshipping God, the LORD God of his fathers, even if he is not purified for the sanctuary.” The LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

text checked (see note) Sep 2009

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