How does reading the book of Psalms in its ancient context change its meaning? (Supplement to Gospel Doctrine Lesson 25).
More Old Testament Features
N. Eldon Tanner, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency, once said: "It has ever been so, the chosen of the Lord must serve an apprenticeship in suffering even as Job, Paul, and Christ himself." But why is it man must suffer? Why trials, tribulations, and adversity?
One of the most disturbing and incomprehensible accounts in the Old Testament concerns Elisha and the bears who mauled those who jeered at him? What should we make of this strange story? (Supplement to Gospel Doctrine Lesson 29A).
Elisha’s request of Naaman to immerse himself seven times in the Jordan River in order to be healed and his “stretching himself” upon a child to raise him from the dead seem highly unusual. Was there any special meaning to Elisha’s actions? (Supplement to Gospel Doctrine Lesson 29B).
"It is ironic that the profound message of the book of Jonah is often swallowed up in the speculations about the great fish, dwarfed by the debates about the size of Nineveh, ignored because of the image of fasting beasts draped in sackcloth, or diminished by the dramatic growth of a gourd plant." Instead, Dr. Seely recommends that we not let these peripherals interfere with the ultimate and eloquent message.
The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes provide an intriguing variation in our Old Testament study. Not the grand hymnal praises of the preceding Psalms, not the general prose of the Books of Moses, not the historical tomes of the Chronicles, not the highly structured poetry of Isaiah, they offer snippets of thought in the form of a collection that might almost be a Book of Famous Quotations.
In the Near East, the 8th and 7th centuries BCE were much like our own time. In the kingdom of Judah it was a time of "trespass and distress." After nearly two centuries of burgeoning wickedness under worldly leaders, with few exceptions the people had forgotten the Lord.