A VAST amount of important work has recently been done on the poetry of the Old Testament. Thus far, however, no attempt has been made to bring home the results, as a unified whole, to the English reader. The present book seeks, within limits, to supply this want. A brief sketch is first offered of the general characteristics of Hebrew poetry. Then the growth of the literature itself is traced from its roots in the old folk-poetry of Israel to its full flower in the Psalter and Wisdom books like Proverbs and Job. The aim has been throughout to catch the heart and spirit of the poetry. Thus questions of Introduction are treated only incidentally, and by way of approach to the centre. Translations are also given of the most characteristic passages, as far as possible in the rhythm of the original.
The scope of the work might, indeed, have been wider. For much of the prophetic literature of the Old Testament is not merely charged with the true passion of poetry, but even falls into the