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Eighth Century Prophets: A Social Analysis Paperback – December 1, 2003
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Premnath's book is divided into two main sections. He begins with a discussion of the social and economic climate of Israel leading up to and including the eight century B.C. The focus of the first part (chapters 1-3) is upon the land of Israel. Included is a discussion of land ownership, political control, and economic production, most of which is centered in land ownership and land productivity. The second part of the book is an analysis of specific passages from the eighth century prophets (Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah). Short passages are discussed for their contribution to the topic of land development, ownership, and control. Premnath accentuates the tension that grew between the rich and the poor during this time. Some repetition occurs with the first section to the degree that it participates in the broader discussion of the first section.
The author's analysis is interesting, helpful at times, but narrowly focused and shaped by sociological perspectives. While influenced by minimalists like R. B. Coote his own study emphasizes a fair amount of the historical perspective from the eighth century prophets. Where comparative material from archaeology is found the book resembles the work of Philip King's on Amos, Hosea, and Micah.
Premnath's penchant for assuming context that favors his position shows in his comments on various passages. For example, the audience of Amos 4:1-3 is the women of Samaria, who Premnath assumes to be wives of the court officials that are then identified as "wealthy large estate owners, and merchants," 141.Read more ›