Old Testament Imagery

Many, if not most, churchgoers struggle reading the Old Testament (OT). It has all kind of strange places, people, customs, rules, worship, etc. While it takes a lot of study to really grasp the OT, one of the things that will help you is to understand the perspective of OT writers. About 2/3 of the OT is written in poetry. While Hebrew poetry was very different from our own, one thing they both have in common is imagery. Poetry is all about creating images with words. When you read the OT, look for the image the writer was trying to describe. That’s why the OT doesn’t tell us God is big, firm, immovable, and trustworthy – it says God is our rock. Rock is an image of big, firm, immovable, and trustworthy. The next time you read the OT, look for the “picture” and it will help you better understand what you are reading.