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The Poet of Poets, Our Creator

(The Exquisite Poetry of Yahweh)
Download the PDF Version

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), an English poetic, defined poetry as, 'the best words in the best order.' He who could accomplish such a task would be the greatest poet of all times. Such a Poet does exist! Yahweh, the Creator of the greatest star and the smallest cell, is also the Creator of Hebrew words, their meanings, their various arrangements and figures of speech. He is a lover of words, the master of meaning, expressing his very thoughts and ideas to us, the hearers. Words and their order are the sacred vehicles that Yahweh chose to communicate himself to the world. His words, in general, as recorded in the Hebrew and Greek text, are presented in poetic form, not necessarily in verse but rather in prose. Prose writing is poetic when the words that are chosen are the best words, arranged in the best order, an example of which is Job 3:3; Job opens his mouth and cursed his day by saying,

Perish, the day wherein I was born,
And the night it was said,
Lo! a manchild!

Do you not feel his agony and despair through the words that were chosen and in what order they have been arranged? Meaning is communicated not only by the words chosen but also by how they are arranged. Words, used by a poet, affect us emotionally as do colors in a painting by Michelangelo or the notes in a Bach concerto. Yahweh, the Poet of all Poets, has composed a masterpiece in prose and verse, presented to those who will transfigure their standard way of reading into a mediatorial way of reading; to those who will become keenly sensitive to the individual words used and not used; to their meanings and to their placements; to those who will open their eyes and hearts to the many beautiful figure of speeches used in his Word. Adonai's words are precious gems that speak a royal language; words which overflow with meaning, full of emotion, transporting us into a living, breathing, heavenly world, where only a very few will visit in its fullness, such as did Isaiah when he declared, "Woe to me!—for I am undone." Yahweh's Word and words are an epic; epic because the Word of Yahweh is a lengthy narrative poem, elevated in language, celebrating the adventures and achievements of legendary heroes.

The definition of drama is, "a composition in prose or verse, adapted to be acted upon a stage, in which a story is related by means of dialogue and action, and is represented with accompanying gesture, costume, and scenery, as in real life." Is not this the very Word of Yahweh? The Word of Yahweh is not just a simple instruction manual for living life; it is not just an epic, as was Homer's Odyssey but rather it is 'The Epic,' the lengthy narrative poem of Creation, Destruction and Redemption; it is not just a Drama, as was Shakespeare's Hamlet but rather it is 'The Drama,' a composition in prose of Life and Death, Love and Hate, a Father and his family presented in all of their grandeur accompanied by eloquent costumes and exotic sceneries. The words of Yahweh are poetry in motion.

E. W. Bullinger wrote, "The Word of Yahweh may, in one respect, be compared to the earth. All things necessary to life and sustenance may be obtained by scratching the surface of the earth: but there are treasures of beauty and wealth to be obtained by digging deeper into it. So it is with the Word of Yahweh, "All things necessary to life and godliness" lie upon its surface for the humblest saint: but, beneath the surface are "great spoils" which are found only by those who seek after them as for "hid treasure." A lover of words is a philologist; philo loving plus logos speech. Two individuals who reverently loved each individual word that came from the lips of our Father, were E. W. Bullinger and Joseph Rotherham. These will be our guides into a world composed of 'Words,' a profound world, created by the Creator. Joseph Rotherham's Bible is the absolute best representation of this world of words, the Hebrew and Greek text being the actual world. He has presented our Father's words in their poetic fashion as they were written in the texts. E. W. Bullinger's book, 'Figures of Speech Used in the Bible,' is a treasure chest of great wealth, which we will open, enabling us to behold the wonder of figures and their meanings. His figures of speech are his way of marking, underlining and highlighting what is important.

A man can stand in wonder gazing at the heavens, which testifies to the Creator but they will not tell us his name. One can hear the song of a bird, which also testifies to the Creator, but it will not tell us of Paradise. One can smell the fragrance of a lily but the lily will not tell us of the Messiah. One can feel the warmth of the sun, from which life issues but the sun will not tell us how it was created, which leads us back to the question, 'What will?' The words of Yahweh will! They are profound, holy, perfect in order and arrangement, words which came forth from the very lips of the Poet or all Poets, our beloved Creator, Adonai Yahweh!

Words
The purpose of language is meaning. John Locke, in the 1700's, wrote on the meaning of words by saying, "Words are sensible signs necessary for communication. Man, though he have great variety of thoughts, and such, from which others, as well as himself, might receive profit and delight; yet they are all within his own breast, invisible, and hidden from others, nor can of themselves be made appear. The comfort, and advantage of society, not being to be had without communication of thoughts, it was necessary, that man should find out some external sensible signs, whereof those invisible ideas, which his thoughts are made up of, might be made known to others. For this purpose, nothing was so fit, either for plenty or quickness, as those articulate sounds, which with so much ease and variety, he found himself able to make. Thus we may conceive how words, which were by nature so well adapted to that purpose, come to be made use of by men, as the signs of their ideas; not by any natural connection, that there is between particular articulate sounds and certain ideas, for then there would be but one language amongst all men; but by a voluntary imposition, whereby such a word is made arbi­trarily the mark of such an idea. The use then of words, is to be sensible marks of ideas; and the ideas they stand for, are their proper and immediate signification.

Words are the sensible signs of his ideas who uses them. The use men have of these marks, being either to record their own thoughts for the assistance of their own memory; or as it were, to bring out their ideas, and lay them before the view of others: words in their primary and immediate signification, stand for nothing, but the ideas in the mind of him that uses them, how imperfectly so ever, or carelessly those ideas are collected from the things, which they are supposed to represent. When a man speaks to another, it is that he may be understood; and the end of speech is, that those sounds, as marks, may make known his ideas to the hearer..."

Another individual stated, "Language is a unified system of symbols that permits the sharing of meaning. A symbol stands for, or represents, something else. Words are symbols, and thus words represent things. Notice the words represent and stand for rather than are. This is a very important distinction. Words stand for, or represent, things but are not the things they stand for. Words are spoken sounds or the written representations of sounds that we have agreed will stand for something else.

The process of communication involves using words to help create meanings and expectations. However, as important as words are in representing and describing objects and ideas, meaning is not stamped on them. Meanings are in people, not in words. Even a common word such as cat can bring to mind meanings ranging from a fluffy Angora to a sleek leopard. Yahweh's goal in communicating with us is to have his and our meanings overlap, so that we can view his masterful painting in its fullness. Thus, to receive communication from Yahweh in its fullness, we must learn the meaning of his words, his arrangement of words and his figures of speech used in his Word."

Whether "sayings" or "words," a revelation, in writing, is impossible apart from words; hence the importance of studying, not merely the Word of Yahweh as a whole, but the actual words and their arrangements, as they were given to us. Hence the importance of our great subject, on how to study the "Words" and their "Arrangements," which come from the very mouth of Yahweh, enabling us to discover the very mind and thoughts of Yahweh, who is revealing Himself in his words and their arrangements.

Special Words
Yahweh has given us words that have only one meaning and he has given words that have multiple meanings. Yahweh gave us the Hebrew noun, shemesh, which means and is translated, sun. This noun has one meaning unless it is used as a figure. Every language has a word for the sun. Yahweh has also given us the noun, 'ruah,' which has been translated into English as, spirit, breathe, wind etc. We should ask ourselves, why didn't Yahweh give us one word for the wind and a different word for breath and a different word for spirit, as we have in the English language. He has the ability to create a word for each noun listed above but chose rather to use his one Hebrew word 'ruah' for all three nouns. Why? What has he communicated to us by doing so? By using one word to express many ideas, he has informed us that all the nouns that are expressed by ruah have something in common. They all are an invisible force or power or air in motion. We must learn this lesson when studying Yahweh's words that have many different usages; nephesh (soul) being another example. The different usages will expose a common thread that ties them all together; a puzzle that must be constructed to view the entire picture. That Yahweh has such words is no accident or oversight but rather he has a designed purpose to teach us his thoughts, fully. Which one of the three English nouns (wind, breath, spirit) best expresses the Hebrew word, 'ruah?' None of them, which is why we must use the Hebrew word, 'ruah' to express 'ruah' in order that we comprehend fully Yahweh's complete meaning! 

Yahweh has also spoken to us in figures of speech, in order for us to obtain additional meaning; figures of speech being the way Yahweh is underlining (highlighting) a part of scripture. For example, Yahweh uses the word, 'Verily,' which is the Greek word, 'Amen.' In the Gospel of John, Yahoshua would begin a sentence by saying, 'Verily, Verily,' which is the figure, Geminatio (Doubling), which means the word is repeated in close and immediate succession. The word 'verily' is also a figure called, Asterismos (Indicating), which means the calling attention to by making a star or mark. Using 'Verily' in a sentence directs our eye and heart to some particular point or subject, such as would the words, 'Lo!' and 'Behold!' Most newer Bible translations have removed, 'Verily, Verily,' thereby omitting Yahweh's figure of speech Doubling, and replaced it with 'I tell you the truth,' writing it only once instead of twice.

Poetry in Words & Word Arrangements
Words are vehicles that transport meaning. For example, the sentence, "I am very afraid" denotes great fear but this sentence presented in a different manner, such as, "Fear has swallowed me," denotes even more meaning, not only by the words selected and the order they have been arranged but also the figure of speech employed. The selection of the words that are used signifies meaning, as well as the arrangement of the selection of words. For example, we will examine the words used and their arrangement in Job 3:3. Rotherham translated this section of scripture as, 'Perish the day wherein I was born, and the night it was said, Lo! a manchild!' which is accurate according to the Hebrew text. In contrast, the NIV Bible paraphrases this line by writing, "May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, ‘A boy is born!" The underlying meaning of this verse is still present in the NIV paraphrase but the full emotion and full meaning is lost by its word usage and rearrangement of the word order, that was placed by Yahweh in the Hebrew text. Yahweh began the verse with the word 'Perish,' which is very emphatic and emotional. And what is to perish but the very day that Job was born and perish also the very night when it was said; what was said? A manchild? No, but rather 'Lo! a manchild.' 'Lo' is  used to direct attention to the presence or approach of something, or to what is about to be said; Lo = Look! See! Behold! The Hebrew words used for man-child are geber  and harah. Geber means, man, strong man, warrior (emphasizing strength or ability to fight) and harah means to conceive, become pregnant. Man-child is a very descriptive translation of geber and harah, which Young's Bible also uses. Most of all the newer Bible translations have translated these two words as 'A boy is born,' or 'A male child is conceived.'  The majority of Bibles have rearranged the Hebrew words, in verse three, thereby losing the full meaning of the verse and it's poetic beauty, making the verse prosaic. 

Poetic changed to Prosaic
The public has encouraged Bible publishers to create new translations, such as the NIV and NLT, that remove a considerable amount of Yahweh's poetry, his arrangement of words and his figures of speech, making it prosaic. Yahweh is the Poet, the master writer and composer of verse and prose. Words are the paint upon his canvas but many people do not like or desire poetry and figures of speech. They prefer prosaic writing.   (Prosaic is an adjective that is defined as lacking poetic beauty, feeling, or imagination; plain, matter-of-fact.) This fact is illustrated by observing how the popular Bible translations, of today, recorded Job 3:3; 

Perish, the day wherein I was born, and the night it was said, Lo! a manchild! (Roth..)

Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was conceived. (NLT)

May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, ‘A boy is born! (NIV)

The changing of Job 3:3 is just an example of what is done throughout the whole Word of Yahweh. The majority of people have paid book publishers to remove Yahweh's poetic expression of words, their spiritual order and his figures of speech; words and orders that resound with emotion, feeling, imagination and meaning into words that are plain, matter-of-fact, placed in a normal everyday order, thereby losing, in part, the fullness of the ideas Yahweh was desiring to communicate to us.   

Verse & Prose
Many of us understand poetry to be verse and not prose, which is incorrect. Owen Barfield, a famous writer discusses this topic in detail by writing, "At the opposite pole to the wide sense in which I have been using the phrase ' poetic diction', stands the narrowest one, according to which it signifies 'language which can be used in verse but not in prose'. This artificial identification of the words poetry and poetic with metrical form is certainly of long standing in popular use; but it has rarely been supported by those who have written on the subject.' As Verse is an excellent word for metrical writing of all kinds, whether poetic or unpoetic, and Prose for un-metrical writing, in this book the formal literary distinction is drawn between verse and prose; whereas that between poetry, poetic on the one hand and prosaic on the other is a spiritual one, not confined to literature. The meanings which I attach to these latter words should already be fairly clear from the foregoing chapters. I will, however, add four definite examples:

On the roof
Of an itinerant vehicle I sate
With vulgar men about me...

is verse, and at the same time prosaic.
The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
Show scarce so gross as beetles; half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!
Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.

is verse and at the same time poetry.

I told the butcher to leave two and a half pounds of best topside.

is prose and at the same time prosaic.

Behold now this vast city, a city of refuge ...

is prose and at the same time poetry or poetic.

 

But if those writers who have seriously set out to discuss and define poetry have very rarely made metre their crite­rion, yet, for historical reasons, most of the poetry with which they have actually had to deal has, in fact, been in metrical form; and it is this, in all probability, which has given rise to the terminological confusion.

All literatures are, in their infancy, metrical, that is to say, based on a more or less regularly recurring rhythm. Thus, unless we wish to indulge all sorts of fanciful and highly logomorphic' notions, we are obliged to assume that the earliest verse-rhythms were 'given' by Nature in the same way as the earliest 'meaning'. And this is com­prehensible enough. Nature herself is perpetually rhyth­mic. Just as the myths still live on in a ghostly life as fables after they have died as real meaning, so the old rhythmic human consciousness of Nature (it should rather be called a participation than a consciousness) lives on as the tradition of metrical form. We can only understand the origin of metre by going back to the ages when men were conscious, not merely in their heads, but in the beating of their hearts' and the pulsing of their blood—when thinking was not merely of Nature, but was Nature herself.

It is only at a later stage that prose (= not-verse) comes naturally into being out of the growth of that rational principle which, with its sense-bound, abstract thoughts, divorces man's consciousness from the life of Nature. In our own language, for example, it is only during the last three centuries that there has grown up any con­siderable body of prose, on which the critic could work. Consequently, the derivation from prose (= not-verse) of the adjective prosaic ( =not-poetic) is not accidental. On the contrary, it is a record of certain historical facts. And yet we are wrong if we deduce from it the apparently logical conclusion that not-verse = not-poetry. Why? The question can only be answered historically, and in con­nection with other questions, such as that which has just been discussed, of the responsibility of individuals for poetic values."

Yahweh's Emphases, Figures of Speech
Yahweh marks (highlights or underlines) his Book with figures of speech. Applied to words, a figure denotes some form which a word or sentence takes, different from its ordinary and natural form. This is always for the purpose of giving additional force, more life, intensified feeling, and greater emphasis. For example, Revelation 5:12 could read, "...Worthy, is Yahoshua that hath been slain, to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honour, and glory, and blessing," but it does not say Yahoshua but rather, 'The Lamb.' Calling Yahoshua, 'The Lamb,' which is the figure, hypocatastasis, brings additional force, intensified feelings with additional meaning; the lamb sacrifice being part of the Passover feast. A figure is always  used to add force to the truth conveyed, emphasis to the statement of it, and depth to the meaning of it. Job 3:1 could have read, "At last Job spoke, and he cursed the day of his birth" (NLT), but it did not. What came from the mouth of Yahweh was, "After this, opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day." Yahweh has emphasized this verse by using the figure, 'opened his mouth' for speaking. This figure is called, 'synechoche,' or 'transfer;' the exchange of one idea for another associated idea. To 'open the mouth' is also an idioma; a Hebraism, used for speaking at length or with great solemnity, liberty, or freedom. The NLT Bible has removed meaning from this verse by removing Yahweh's mark (figure of speech), 'opened Job his mouth.'

"There is much in the Holy Scriptures, which we find hard to understand: nay, much that we seem to understand so fully as to imagine that we have discovered in it some difficulty or inconsistency. Yet the truth is, that passages of this kind are often the very parts of the Bible in which the greatest instruction is to be found: and, more than this, the instruction is to be obtained in the contemplation of the very difficulties by which at first we are startled. This is the intention of these apparent inconsistencies. The expressions are used, in order that we may mark them, dwell upon them, and draw instruction out of them. Things are put to us in a strange way, because, if they were put in a more ordinary way, we should not notice them." (See Appendix A for more information on Figures of Speech.) For example, Yahoshua, in John 6:53, proclaims, "...Verily, verily, I say unto you—Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have not life within yourselves." Is this statement presented in a strange way; did it get our attention? (The book, 'Figures of Speech Used in the Bible' can be freely downloaded at Internet Archive: http://archive.org/details/cu31924029277047)

Conclusion
The purpose of this article is to awaken those who, as Jeremiah, would say,

"Thy words, were found, and I did eat them,
Then became thy words unto me, the joy and gladness of my heart..."
(Jer. 15:16)

Yahweh's words and arrangement of these words and his figures of speech are best preserved in Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, which I will use as our guide. (The software version of the Rotherham Bible is helpful but to observe the greatness of Yahweh's poetry, you must use Rotherham's actual Emphasized Bible, as presented in its poetic format. I have attached two pages from his Bible for your viewing. (See Appendix C) You can download the entire PDF version of his Bible at our website.) A pleasurable exercise would be to go through every book of Yahweh's Word and find for yourself the poetic beauty that breaks forth from its very pages. Stop and meditate upon the words used in a single verse of scripture, study their arrangement and count the many figure of speeches in the verse; observe and study Yahweh's living organisms as one would a garden of living flowers, examining the flowers hue, petals, stames and ovaries, smelling the aroma of life. Our Father's words are held in higher esteem that any flower , which will fade away, because his words will never fade away. His words are living, breathing organisms that penetrate our very thoughts, will and emotions. Our Father will open our understanding to his words of life, when we ask him, when we seek his help, when we humbly receive his words with reverence, curiosity and appetite;

"Be asking, and it shall be given you
Be seeking, and ye shall find,
Be knocking, and it shall be opened unto you.
For, whosoever asketh, receiveth,
And, he that seeketh, findeth,
And, to him that knocketh, shall it be opened.
(Mt. 7:7-8)

(When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew words
Yahoshua (yeh-ho-shoo’- ah) for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and ruah for pneuma (spirit).)

(For footnotes and Appendages, see PDF version)

(For illustrations of the Poetry in our Father's Word, read Part 2.)

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