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Shavua Tov

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  • Daniel Botkin

The Book of Books


The Bible speaks about the Holy of holies, the Song of songs, the God of gods, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.

In the Tabernacle there were holy items and there was holy space, but the innermost room, the holy of holies, was the holiest of all.

King Solomon wrote 1,005 songs (1 Kings 4:32), but the one song that was preserved and canonized is Solomon’s supreme song above all the other 1,004 songs he wrote.

There are false gods, demons who masquerade as gods, but the LORD (YHWH) is the one true God who reigns over all those gods (Deut. 10:17).

There are earthly kings and earthly lords, but the Messiah Yeshua is the supreme King over all earthly kings, and He is the supreme Lord over all earthly lords (Rev. 19:16).

“The [single noun] of [plural noun]” is a Hebrew literary device that is used to show that the single noun in the phrase is supreme over all the plural nouns in the phrase. This is a way of showing that the single noun is in a unique category all its own. It occupies a position that is not shared with any others. It stands alone, over all the others. It cannot be challenged or even compared to any of the others.

Using this Hebrew literary device, we can say that the Bible is the Book of books. As Divinely-inspired, God-breathed Holy Scripture, the Bible is supreme over all other books. It is in a unique category all its own. As authoritative, canonized Holy Scripture, the Bible occupies a position that is not shared with any other books. The Bible stands alone, above all other books. The Bible cannot be challenged by or even compared to any other books, because it is Divinely-inspired, authoritative, canonized Holy Scripture.

Here is an inspiring tribute to the Bible that I read when I visited the Mount of Olives Bible Center in Jerusalem in 1976. It was written by that famous philosopher Anonymous:

“The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of life, the doom of sinners, the happiness of believers. Read it to be wise; believe it to be safe; practice it to be holy. It gives light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the soldier’s sword, the Christian’s chart. Here Paradise is restored, heaven is opened, and the gates of hell are described. Christ is its theme, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, a river of pleasure, and a garden of flowers. It is given us in life, will be open in judgment, and remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its sacred contents.”


In the summer of 1970, I started reading the Bible. Through reading the words of Jesus in the Gospels, I immediately and intuitively knew that the Bible was the Book of books. I did not use that particular phrase to describe the Bible, but I realized that I was reading Divinely-inspired, authoritative, canonized Scripture. I knew that the Bible was unlike any other book. I knew that it was the Word of God. And I knew that as the Word of God, it was in a category all its own.

After I started reading the Bible, I had very little interest in reading any other books. For about three or four years, I just read the Bible over and over again, and rarely read any other books.

Eventually I started reading other books in addition to the Bible. Since the mid-1970s, I have read hundreds and hundreds of books, most of them Christian, some of them Jewish, a few of them nonreligious. But when reading other books, I always made sure to not neglect my reading of the Bible. I did not want my reading of other books to become a substitute for reading the Book of books.

As I get older, I find myself feeling less and less desire to read other books, and more desire to just read straight Scripture. I still occasionally read other books, but most of my reading time is spent in the Book of books.

For the past several years, I have followed the same general Bible reading routine. In the morning I read one or two chapters in the KJV while I eat my granola. Then I sit down with my cup of hot tea and read one or two chapters from the Old Testament in Hebrew. Depending on how busy I am, I might read more in the Hebrew Bible later in the day. After I eventually read through the entire Old Testament in Hebrew, I will start reading the New Testament in Greek or Hebrew or Aramaic once again.

Even though I enjoy reading the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, I must confess that I feel drawn closer to the Lord when I am reading the KJV than when I read the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. When I read the old, familiar words of the KJV, I feel like I am walking along an old, well-trodden path that I have walked many times over the years. And as I walk this well-trodden path, I always sense the presence of my Friend Yeshua, the One who first showed me these pleasant paths and has always accompanied me on every walk I have taken through the Scriptures.

I suppose this is the main reason I have less interest in reading other books, and prefer reading straight Scripture. No other book affects me like the Book of books does.

I am not discouraging you from reading books other than the Bible. There are lots of good books that can help you better understand the Book of books, and books that can inspire you to seek a closer walk with the Lord. As a matter of fact, I have written a few. I would not write books if I did not want people to read them. So I am not suggesting that you read no books except the Bible. But I am suggesting that you never lose sight of the fact that the Bible is the Book of books, and that you never let your reading of other books become a substitute for reading the Book of books.


| DB

 

Image: My Back Pages by Daniel Botkin. This image is the cover art for Daniel’s autobiography by the same name. Visit Daniel’s SHOP on this website to purchase. This image also appears in his Monochromatic Monotheistic Gallery on his art website, DanielBotkin.com.

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