Parallel Poetry

Parallel Poetry

Here’s a responsive reading that teaches your people about Hebrew poetry while worshipping at the same time.

Pastor:           In synonymous parallelism the second line of a verse expresses similar thoughts and sentiments as the first.

Pastor:           The heavens declare the glory of God;
All:                the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  (Ps 19:1)
Pastor:           Day after day they pour forth speech;
All:                Night after night they display knowledge.  (Ps 19:2)

Pastor:           In antithetic parallelism a thought expressed in one line contrasts in the next line with an opposite truth.

Pastor:           For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
All:                but the way of the wicked will perish.  (Ps 1:6)

Pastor:           My flesh and my heart may fail,
All:                but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Ps 73:26)

Pastor:           In synthetic (or climactic) parallelism subsequent verses build on that which has been stated in previous verses.

Pastor:           When I consider your heavens,
Women:        the work of your fingers,
Men:             the moon and the stars,
Pastor:           which you have set in place,
Men:             what is man that you are mindful of him,
Women:        the son of man that you care for him?  (Ps 8:3,4)

Pastor:           Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?
All:                Who may stand in his holy place?
Pastor:           He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
All:                Who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
(Ps 24:3,4)

Pastor:           Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
All:                Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
Pastor:           Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
All:                yet I will rejoice in the Lord,  will be joyful in God my savior.
(Hab 3:17,18)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society