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By James E. Smith / College Press / 1996
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The poetic books have certain characteristics which set them apart from the other books of the Bible. First, these books are almost entirely written in Hebrew poetry. Second, they are not historically oriented. Except for the Book of Psalms, there are few historically allusions here. Third, these books deal with issues which are of universal concern to mankind. From the dawn of history human minds have grappled with such issues as suffering, love, and the brevity and meaning of human life. Fourth, direct divine speech is rare here. Fifth, in treating these difficult topics these books exhibit boldness and honesty. Thus one could list a courageous spirit as one of the characteristics of this literature.