The Ear­ly Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings

  • From the Publisher
May 22, 2014

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: the high­ly antic­i­pat­ed sec­ond vol­ume in Everett Fox’s land­mark trans­la­tion of the Hebrew Bible.

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 a 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 the Jews in exile found that they spoke to their own sit­u­a­tions of cul­tur­al assim­i­la­tion, destruc­tion, and the refor­mu­la­tion of identity.

But beyond its impor­tance as a foun­da­tion­al reli­gious doc­u­ment, The Ear­ly Prophets is a great work of lit­er­a­ture, a pow­er­ful and dis­tinc­tive nar­ra­tive his­to­ry that seeks mean­ing in the midst of nation­al cat­a­stro­phe. Accom­pa­nied by illu­mi­nat­ing com­men­tary, notes, and maps, Everett Fox’s mas­ter­ly trans­la­tion re-cre­ates the echoes, allu­sions, allit­er­a­tions, and word­plays of the Hebrew orig­i­nal that rhetor­i­cal­ly under­score its mean­ing and are intrin­sic to a time­less text meant to be both stud­ied and read aloud.

Discussion Questions