The Early Poetry of Israel in Its Physical and Social Origins

By George Adam Smith | Go to book overview

LECTURE III .
SUBSTANCE AND SPIRIT (continued)

IN this lecture I have to show how far the early poetry of Israel reflects the circumstance, movements, and tempers of the life described in last lecture; and how it does so with many resemblances to Arabic poetry, but with these two differences: a sense of Israel's distinction from the other Semitic peoples of the period, and, what is obviously the cause of this, a growing confidence in God and in His guidance of the nation, to which there is no analogy in Arabic poetry before Mohammed.

I shall best accomplish my task by a translation of the poems as full, and as little interrupted by comment, as possible.

For preface I recall what was said about the dates of the poems.1 A chronological arrangement of them is beyond our knowledge, and therefore I shall take them for the most part in the order in which they lie in the Old Testament. Till we get well down the series all dates are impossible. With the exception of the 'Blessing of Jacob',2 parts at least of which reflect the conditions of the tribes of Israel after their settlement in Palestine, none of the poems quoted in the Book of Genesis afford any clear evidence of whether they were composed before that settlement or are later reflections upon traditions from the time to which they are assigned. All we can be sure of is that the verses are earlier than the prose documents which contain them -- earlier, that is, than the ninth or eighth century. Their character is primitive, and except perhaps for the contrast between Israel's and Esau's lands, in Isaac's blessing of his sons, they contain nothing incompatible with a date before the settlement. Significant also is the character of the prose narrative, Genesis iv-xi, in which the first pieces are embedded. The religious spirit of this narrative is an ethical, and, except that it imputes to the Deity a jealousy of human powers and achievements, a lofty one. But this does not hide the original tempers of the traditions which are employed to point the morals. Cultivation is a punishment, and the fertile soil is under a curse; the discovery of wine is hailed as a relief. The progress of civilisation breeds arrogance, ending in disaster. The offering of

____________________
See above, Introduction. 2 Ch. xlix.
Ch. xlix

-43-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Early Poetry of Israel in Its Physical and Social Origins
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • The Early Poetry of Israel in Its Physical and Social Origins 1
  • Lecture II - Substance and Spirit. 26
  • Lecture III - Substance and Spirit (continued) 43
  • Index of Passages 101
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 102

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.