Didactic or Sapiential or Moral Books
The Wisdom Books
The Bible has several books that contain moral instruction and are commonly known as didactic. The Books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, Wisdom, and Sirach, are all skillful use of Hebrew poetry. With the exception of the Psalms, the majority of which are devotional lyrics, and the Song of Songs, a nuptial hymn, these books belong to the general class of wisdom or instructive literature.Most didactic books of the Old Testament are written as poetry in the original Hebrew. the writer’s thought is expressed not in one sentence, but rather in several, usually two sentences, which work together to develop the idea by comparison, contrast or verification.
The Wisdom Books relate to the human experience as an aid toward understanding and solving the problems of life. They related to such basic and vital problems as man's origin and destiny, his quest for happiness, the problem of suffering, of good and evil in human conduct, of death, and the state beyond the grave. Starting with oral tradition, these formulations found their way into the historical books of the Old Testament in the shape of proverbs, odes, chants, epigrams, and also into those psalms intended for instruction.
The book of Job - Job is to show that earthly happiness does not always correspond to virtuous life. Sometimes misfortunes are allowed to happen in the lives of the righteous in order to strengthen them in being good, to put the devil to shame for his lies, and to glorify the righteousness of God.
Psalms - The Psalms contain many thoughts and words addressed to one’s own soul, words of instruction and of consolation. A book of prayers for every occasion: when in grief, in a hopeless situation or in fear, in distress, in the tears of repentance and in the joy of consolation, in thankfulness and in just praising the Creator.
The book of Proverbs - Full of practical teaching on how to wisely build one’s life on the fear of God, truth, honesty, hard work and self-control.
The book of Ecclesiastes - The main topic of the book of Ecclesiastes is the vanity and emptiness of all earthly things, labor, knowledge, riches, luxury and pleasures without faith in God and life after death. The book teaches about the fear of God and keeping His commandments as the conditions for possibility of happiness in this vain world.
The Song of Songs - Song of Songs takes the form of a drama and consists of conversations between the Lover and his Beloved.
The book of Wisdom of Solomon - The book’s writer shows the advantages of God’s wisdom preserved in the divinely revealed religion of the Jews on one hand, and the meaninglessness of idol worship on the other.
The book of Sirach - The book of describes advantages of God-given wisdom There are also instructions on various virtues: patience in suffering and trust in God, honoring one’s parents and humility, helping the poor and relying on oneself, attitude to learning, attitude to the rich and powerful, attitude to women, avoiding pride, drunkenness, and more. Brief instructions on how to succeed in virtue, how to raise children, and how to exercise self-control. Also includes praises to God’s greatness, so obvious in the harmony and meaning fulness of nature.