The story of ancient Israel, from the arrival in Canaan to the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah and the Babylonian exile some six centuries later, here is the highly anticipated second volume
in Everett Fox’s landmark translation of the Hebrew Bible.
The personalities who appear in the pages of The Early Prophets, and the political and moral dilemmas their stories illuminate, are part of the living consciousness of the Western world. From Joshua and the tumbling walls of Jericho to Samson and Delilah, the prophet Samuel and the tragic King Saul, David and Goliath, Bathsheba and Absalom, King Solomon’s temple, Elijah and the chariot of fire, Ahab and Jezebel—the stories of these men and women are deeply etched into Western culture because they beautifully encapsulate the human experience. The four books that comprise The Early Prophets look at tribal rivalries, dramatic changes in leadership, and the intrusions of neighboring empires through the prism of the divine-human relationship. Over the centuries, the faithful have read these narratives as demonstrations of the perils of disobeying God’s will, and time and again Jews in exile found that the stories spoke to their own situations of cultural assimilation, destruction, and the reformulation of identity. They have had an equally indelible impact on generations of Christians, who have seen in many of the narratives foreshadowings of the life and death of Jesus, as well as models for their own lives and the careers of their leaders.
But beyond its importance as a foundational religious document, The Early Prophets is a great work of literature, a powerful and distinctive narrative of the past that seeks meaning in the midst of national catastrophe. Accompanied by illuminating commentary, notes, and maps, Everett Fox’s masterly translation of the Hebrew original re-creates the echoes, allusions, alliterations, and wordplays that rhetorically underscore its meaning and are intrinsic to a timeless text meant to be both studied and read aloud.$23.32