The Early Prophets

The Early Prophets

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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 1024 pages
  • 185.42 x 248.92 x 58.42mm | 1,270.05g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0805241817
  • 9780805241815
  • 360,635

Table of contents

Translator’s Preface ix
Acknowledgments xii
On Using This Book xvii
General Introduction xxi
An Approximate Biblical Chronology xxix

Map of the Twelve Tribes of Israel 2
Introduction 3
Part I. Preparations for Conquest (1–5) 13
Part II. Waging War (6–12) 33
Part III. Allotting the Land (13–22) 69
Part IV. Last Words (23–24) 113

Map of Israelite Settlement 126
Introduction 127
Part I. Opening the Bracket (1–3:6) 135
Part IIa. Early Leaders: Israel Delivered (3:7–8:32) 149
Part IIb. Later Leaders: Decline (8:33–16:13) 185
On the Shimshon Cycle 207
Part III. Closing the Bracket (17–21) 233
Appendix: The Sound and Structure of a Biblical Tale 261

Map of the Kingdoms of David and Shelomo 266
Introduction 267
Part I. The Last “Judges”: Eli and Shemuel (I 1–7) 279
Part II. The Requested King (I 8–15) 311 Part III. The Rise of David and the Fall of Sha’ul (I 16–II 1) 351
Part IV. David’s Rule Consolidated (II 2–8) 431
Part V. David in Control and Out of Control (II 9–12) 463
Part VI. The Great Rebellion (II 13–20) 481
Part VII. Final Matters (II 21–24) 527

Map of Israel and Judah 548
Jerusalem in the Times of David, Shelomo, and Hizkiyyahu 549
Map of the Assyrian Empire 550
Introduction 551
The Kings of Israel in the Book of Kings 559
Part I. Shelomo and His Kingdom (I 1–11) 561
On the Temple 563
Part II. The Split: Kings North and South (I 12–16:22) 631
Part III. Omrides and Prophets (I 16:23–II 13) 657
On Eliyyahu and Elisha (I Kings 17–II Kings 13) 659
Part IV. Southern and Northern Kings: Destruction I (II 14–17) 763
Part V. Judah as Vassal and Rebel: Destruction II (II 18–25) 785

On Three Kings of Judah 787

Recurring Names in The Early Prophets 829
Bibliography 835 
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Review quote

"Fox's translation creates a wild reserve where biblical narration roams free. . . . It takes a gutsy translator--especially of the Holy Writ--to countenance mystery, much less messiness. Fox is faithful not only to the text but also to his readers, and he trusts our ability to manage ambiguity. . . . In a field where divinely enabled delusion is an occupational hazard, Fox's unwillingness to polish away jaggedness and doubt, his consciousness of the beautiful human mess involved in producing even a Bible, may be his boldest contribution." --Avi Steinberg, The New Yorker "In this remarkable volume of translation, Everett Fox has invaded our common assumptions about the Bible, extracted accents and cadences, and brought the text home to us in fresh and compelling ways. . . . He offers succinct notes of commentary that are well informed by current scholarship and that consistently take a commonsense, balanced position. His work will provide a lively script for the performance of the text in Jewish and Christian communities of faith. This is an immense accomplishment [and] Fox is to be celebrated for his singular achievement. It is the sound of faith that is knowing, empowering, ironic, and summoning." --Walter Brueggemann, Christian Century Praise for Everett Fox's The Five Books of Moses
"Stunning . . . This refreshing and authoritative new translation makes it possible for us to take up the Scripture as if we had never seen it before, as if we were listening to its being read aloud for the first time." --Edward Hirsch, The New York Times Book Review "Those who have been looking for an English translation of the Hebrew Bible that will, at last, let them glimpse the vitality of the Hebrew text will treasure this new translation and will wait expectantly for more translations from Fox." --Edward Mark, The Boston Globe "Fox's translation has the rare virtue of making constantly visible in English the Hebraic quality of the original, challenging preconceptions of what the Bible is really like. It is a bracing protest against the bland modernity of all the recent English versions of the Bible." --Robert Alter, University of California, Berkeley "No serious Bible reader--whether Jewish, Christian, or secular--can afford to ignore this volume." --Jon D. Levenson, Harvard Divinity School "A remarkable and impressive achievement. Anybody who wants to find out what the Bible really says, instead of merely enjoying a decorous experience, should study this translation and Fox's excellent notes for fresh insights that delight as often as they instruct." --Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God
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About Everett Fox

EVERETT FOX holds the Allen M. Glick Chair in Judaic and Biblical Studies and is a professor in the Department of Language, Literature, and Culture at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the translator of The Five Books of Moses: The Schocken Bible, Volume I, the author of studies on biblical narrative and its translation, and coeditor and cotranslator, with Lawrence Rosenwald, of Scripture and Translation, a collection of essays by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig.
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Rating details

16 ratings
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3 6% (1)
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