When it comes to reading and dissecting the Bible, one may come across a plethora of genres. Each chapter or story of the Bible plays an important role in the overall construction of the Bible. The genre may be poetic, a letter, a narrative, a source of instruction or even a proverb, no matter what the genre may be, each genre is distinct in its own way. By looking at multiple pericopes, one can learn to identify the genre and determine if the designation fits the purpose of the passage. Exodus 15: 1-18
When reading through Exodus 15:1-18, a vibe of musical distinction rings through. This pericope contains many characteristics of a hymn. In the first verse of this pericope, the words "Israel sang this song to the LORD" are scribed. Not only are hymns sung to the Lord, but also an entire collection of hymns is placed together within the book of Psalms. A second clue to that this pericope is a hymn is because of the placement in the Bible. Within the text of the Bible, a sub-heading is given to this pericope. The sub-heading is "The Song of Moses and Miriam". The word song within the sub-heading is representing that chanting voices sang the following verses to the Lord, either. Michael McGehee's book, The Bible Doesn't Have to be Hard to Read, "majority of psalms were hymns, which believers chanted or sang as a group" (28). Not only is it Moses lifting these words of praise up, it is the people of Israel joining in with him. McGehee also states that "words, phrases, and ideas in hymns are usually the composition of an individual, and they typically express a particular interpretation of life and faith" (29). McGehee presents two valid ideas. Both of these ideas directly reflect to Moses and the people he is leading, the Israelites. When looking at Exodus 15, Moses and the people of Israel may be inferred as the "believers" and the "group" or individuals that are lifting up this particular hymn. The particular "words, phrases, and ideas" that are expressed through the hymn are that of Moses. Many times within the passage the phrase "I will sing to the Lord" is repeated, this phrase is referring to the words sung by Moses. Moses is using the word "I" in order to accurately represent the faithfulness and overall promise that Yahweh made in Genesis 12. Yahweh will deliver the Israelites out of their present trouble. When studying this particular pericope the genre designation of a hymn, allows a visualization of the Israelites praising the Lord. Not only does Moses have a sense of confidence but he also seems to be full of spirit. Throughout the passage "O LORD" is constantly repeated and sung to Yahweh. The people of Israel show fear and sovereignty to the One above. In a worshipping attitude, not only do the people of Israel seem to find comfort, but also they seem to reestablish a feeling of hope in the promise of Yahweh. If one were to say this pericope was a letter or a source of instruction, the entire interpretation of what was written would be skewed out of context. Moses did not sing to the Lord in order to give instruction to the Israelites, he sang in order to lead his people in a time of praise. Nor does this passage tell a group of people to act in a certain way, as do the letters in the New Testament. Moses brings his people together for a time of worship and outward expression that the LORD is most powerful and in control of the Israelites at all time. Matthew 13: 44-46
The letters of the New Testament are full of parables. Matthew 13: 44-46 is just one of the multiple parables that may be found in the Bible. Not only does this pericope contain two examples of a parable, it provides an illustration for a behavior that needs to be fixed. Jesus spoke in parables in order to relate the problems of society into terms that could be understood by all generations.
The passage is concise and too the point, in which case most parables are. McGehee states that parables are to "help...
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