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Thus Saith the Lord: The Revolutionary Moral Vision of Isaiah and Jeremiah 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
In reading the book, I see Elijah, Elisha, Jesus, Jeremiah, and two Isaiah's covered in the book. This isn't a bad thing, but it made me step back from the reading to wonder why the author chose to do this. After reading, I am still not sure why.
Setting that aside, I agree with another reviewer that this is a very readable book. Even though Richard Rubenstein has done a lot of research, the narrative flows quite easily. It was easy to get immersed in the text, and for that, I applaud the author.
Rubenstein places the prophets in their historical context, which at first put me off. It made me think that he was minimizing any idea of divine vision. Paying attention to the words, however, showed me that that was not his purpose. He was merely showing the reader the setting in which these prophets lived.
By giving us a firm understanding of the setting, the author then shows us a glimpse of today. At that point, the book suddenly becomes very clear and moving. This book is definitely intended to be taken as a whole. Merely reading chapter by chapter will not show the big picture. The reader has to compare the settings to see the pattern.
I would recommend this to others wanting a historical understanding of the Old Testament as well as people wanting a better perspective on today.
This book brings alive the Bible's portraits of some of humanity's earliest spiritual heroes and invites them into our lives to remind us how we might respond to our central questions. While elsewhere the author has explored how Jesus became God, here Jesus is located within a prophetic tradition driving a moral revolution demanded by a vision of the unity of God that invites us to a human unity as well, through moral unity. Jolting yet breezy in its originality, provocative and compelling, this book brings the eternal resonance of the Prophets through the pages into the reality of our lives and our choices now. Stirring the mind with clear and enjoyable language accessible to all, Thus Saith The Lord echoes the prophetic call, reminding us of our highest hopes and champions of God who challenged us to live and grow in our darkest hours as well as the light.Read more ›
The author begins his book with a reflection on September 11, when he expressed wonderment that believers in one God could be capable of such crimes. So he decided to being an in-depth study the prophets (the nevi'im in the Hebrew bible) to see if they might have anything relevant to say to our post-9/11 world. From there, Rubenstein gives a narrative of 3 prophets- Elijah, Jeremiah, and Isaiah- and of their relationship to Israel. Rubenstein is an excellent storyteller, and his narrative makes history come alive. His basic thesis is that, when Jeremiah and Isaiah upbraid Israel not for failing to observe proper ritual, but for failing to show justice to the marginal of society, they extended the biblical ethic from a tribal to a universal scope. In addition, in portraying the Babylonians and Persians as agents of God's justice, Jeremiah and Isaiah extended the blessing of God from Israel to all humanity. Rubenstein claims that Jeremiah and Isaiah taught the uselessness of imperial power, and the link between local injustice and global catastrophe. The last paragraph in his book sums up how the author applies the prophets to today: "Baal or YHVH. Coercion or Justice. Domination from above or globalization from below. Now, as ever, the choice is ours."
Anyone who wants to understand the prophets from a Jewish perspective would do well to read this book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author brings important bible scenes to life, and brings us into the conflict between practical military, political, and economic concerns in conflict with the moral vision of... Read morePublished 10 months ago by S.W.
Not a perfect exploration of the prophets and issues surrounding the colonization of Israel in First Testament times, but Rubenstein unpacks a lot of the messy social and political... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Suzanne C
It's not only that Richard Rubenstein has done an exhaustive amount of historical, anthropological and social research into the world that the Isaiahs and Jeremiah lived in, which... Read morePublished on March 21, 2009 by James D. Costich
Author Richard Rubenstein has compiled a compelling text that reads like a tale of high adventure worthy of any of today's movie-going audiences. Read morePublished on February 5, 2007 by Armchair Interviews
Thus Saith the Lord is one of the best commentaries on the Bible I have ever read. Professor Rubenstein masterfully reconstructs the original political, social and psychological... Read morePublished on December 17, 2006 by Arthur C. Blecher