As I read through the Bible this year, I am writing a nonet poem for each of its sixty-six books. 45 syllables for each of the 66 books of the Bible. These little poems are not intended to summarize these books, but simply to capture the spirit of each book, as it came to me while reading and pondering them this time around. If these little nonets lead anyone to re-read any of these books, they will have done more than I can ask.

To get things started, here are my nonets for the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible.


In the beginning, God created,
And began to weave a story –
Divine blessings, human sin,
Punishment, forgiveness,
And a people called
And blessed to be
A blessing
To our


An exodus to gifted freedom,
To become God’s holy nation,
Moses-led to Mount Sinai,
A covenant entered.
People becoming
More than they were
But not who
They would


With holiness commanded, defined,
Priests offering sacrifices
On behalf of God’s people.
But holiness of life –
Loving your neighbor
As yourself – this
God desires


Wandering, complaining, rebelling,
Learning to trust the Lord their God,
Manna graciously offered
To meet the day’s need,
Unending patience
For God’s chosen
On the


A last address to a nation poised
To enter the land promised them:
Remember the Lord your God,
Obey God’s commandments,
Worship only God,
Walk in God’s ways,
And your days
Shall be

8 thoughts on “Bible Nonets: A Nonet for Each of the First Five Books of the Bible

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