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Zephaniah (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) Hardcover – September 1, 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

With keen insight and lucid analysis, Adele Berlin brings the dramatic words of the great prophet Zaphaniah to life. Living under the tumultuous reign of King Josiah of Judah (640-609 BCE), Zephaniah predicted the final day of judgment when God would come to the fate of Israel and other nations. The book of Zephaniah is composed as a charged dialogue between God and the prophet. As their conversation unfolds, we learn of the doomed destiny which are indifferent to the Lord's power and of humans who have become too enthralled worldly riches. As piercing as any modern day social critic, Zephaniah proclaims salvation only for those who lead a life of simplicity, faith, and humility. The new translation by Adele Berlin, a literary as well as biblical scholar, celebrates the vivid and powerful language of this ancient poet. In staccato exclamations, elevated rhetoric, and a rich tapestry of metaphors and similes, Zephaniah paints a world beset by corruption, idolatry, and war. Berlin's contemporary commentary illuminates not only the beauty of Zephaniah's poetry, but also the political meaning behind his anguished verse For the biblical scholar, Berlin draws vital between Zephaniah's references and the rest of the Hebrew Bible. For general readers, Berlin's accessible Zephaniah is an invitation to explore the political and socially turbulent times of this ancient prophet's world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

With keen insight and lucid analysis, Adele Berlin brings the dramatic words of the great prophet Zaphaniah to life. Living under the tumultuous reign of King Josiah of Judah (640-609 BCE), Zephaniah predicted the final day of judgment when God would come to the fate of Israel and other nations. The book of Zephaniah is composed as a charged dialogue between God and the prophet. As their conversation unfolds, we learn of the doomed destiny which are indifferent to the Lord's power and of humans who have become too enthralled worldly riches. As piercing as any modern day social critic, Zephaniah proclaims salvation only for those who lead a life of simplicity, faith, and humility. The new translation by Adele Berlin, a literary as well as biblical scholar, celebrates the vivid and powerful language of this ancient poet. In staccato exclamations, elevated rhetoric, and a rich tapestry of metaphors and similes, Zephaniah paints a world beset by corruption, idolatry, and war. Berlin's contemporary commentary illuminates not only the beauty of Zephaniah's poetry, but also the political meaning behind his anguished verse For the biblical scholar, Berlin draws vital between Zephaniah's references and the rest of the Hebrew Bible. For general readers, Berlin's accessible "Zephaniah is an invitation to explore the political and socially turbulent times of this ancient prophet's world.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300140800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300140804
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #966,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The Good:
-Berlin's commentary on Zephaniah is strong on handling of language. She uses the available space to succinctly sum up many of the translational difficulties and makes the reader available of all the options while stating her own preference. Even in the few verses she claims are "unintelligible," she still manages to give a good explanation of the difficulties involved. Some of her arguments will be difficult to evaluate for those who do not have at least some grasp of Hebrew, but I imagine a series like this assumes exposure to the biblical languages.
-This commentary is thankfully committed to interpreting the text as it stands, something for which conservatives like myself are doubtless appreciative. Berlin is particularly critical of the older tendencies of scholars to dismantle the text at every turn.
-On top of that Berlin takes the time to consider Zephaniah's relationship to other parts of the Bible, something most critical scholars don't give much attention to. Since she is Jewish, she is primarily concerned with OT connections, so those looking for NT application will not find anything here. However, the information in this area was one of the strongest points of the commentary in my opinion.

The Bad:
-Short. The commentary is less than 150 pages long. Almost half of that is devoted to the introduction. (For comparison, the AB volume on Obadiah by Paul Raabe is over 300 pages!) I understand that Zephaniah is not a long book, but I feel that in the context of this particular series, some more space could have been utilized. Not every stone is left "unturned." I would have also appreciated more "big picture" information on Zephaniah, and maybe even some more theology.
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Format: Hardcover
. . .on an important, and much neglected Old Testament book.
The prophet Zephaniah preached during the reign of Josiah -- the greatest reformer of the Southern Kingdom. Yet, we know very little about the man and his life and times. Dr. Berlin's excellent commentary situates Zephaniah in his historical setting, illuminating some of the more difficult statements he made. At the same time, Dr. Berlin does not neglect to address various alternate theories about Zephaniah regarding his person, date, time, and audience.
A worthy addition to an excellent series.
Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
thanks a lot!
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excellent
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