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Berit Olam: Genesis

David W. Cotter, OSB

The central thesis underlying this study of Genesis is that the God who is revealed as a character in Genesis is always a savior. In Genesis, David Cotter, OSB, helps readers discern a structure in the book whereby the least and the weakest are the object of God's saving help. Genesis begins with an introduction to the methodology that is used throughout the book. The introductory essay deals with the theory of Hebrew narrative and the challenges posed to biblical exegesis by contemporary literary theory. The theme of the commentary itself is that the God who is revealed as a character in Genesis is always a savior. This is true in the Stories About Beginnings (Genesis 1-11) and the Stories About the Troubled Family Chosen for Blessing (Genesis 12-50). The Egyptian slave Hagar, not Abraham, is read as the central figure of the family’s first generation and Tamar, the cast-off daughter-in-law as the moral center of the fourth generation. God is savior above all for those whose need is greatest. Chapters in Part One—Stories About Beginnings: Genesis 1-11 are "The Story of the Creation of All That Is: Genesis 1:1-2:3," “The Story of the Creation of Man and Woman, the Paradise in Which They Lived and Which They Chose to Lose. And the Sin That Ensued: Genesis 2-3:4,” “The Story of the Great Flood and the Covenant that Ensued: Genesis 6-9,” and “The Story about Babel: Genesis 11:1-9.” Chapters in Part Two—Stories About the Troubled Family Chosen for Blessing: Genesis 12-50 are “In the Time of the First Generation: Genesis 12-25,” “In the Time of the Second Generation: Genesis 25-28,” “In the Time of the Third Generation: Genesis 28-36,” and “In the Time of the Fourth Generation: Genesis 37-50.” David W. Cotter, OSB, STD, is general editor of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, published by The Liturgical Press.

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Berit Olam: Judges

Tammi J. Schneider

The biblical book of Judges contains culturally familiar stories such as that of Samson and Delilah and Deborah and Baraq. But despite the popularity of these stories, other important stories in Judges such as that of Achsah, the raped pilegesh, and the final civil war are virtually unknown to the average reader. Approaching Judges as a unified literary document, Tammi Schneider shows that the unity of the narrative reveals that when the Israelites adhere to the covenant established with their deity they prosper, but when they stray from it disaster follows. This is true not only in the Deuteronomistic refrains, as is recognized by many scholars, but in the whole book, and is reflected in Israel's worsening situation throughout its narrative time. Schneider also highlights the unifying themes in Judges. She emphasizes the role of gender, family relations, and theology expressed in the biblical narrative, and uses intertextuality to better understand the text of Judges and its context in the Deuteronomistic history and the Hebrew Bible. Tammi J. Schneider is assistant professor in the religion department at Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, California. She received her BA in Hebrew language and literature from the University of Minnesota, and a PhD in ancient history from the University of Pennsylvania. She has excavated at a number of archaeological sites in Israel and is co-director of the excavation of Tel el-Fara' South in Israel. She is project director at the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity in Claremont and area editor for Ancient Near East for Religious Studies Review. Her publications cover topics in Assyriology, ancient Near Eastern history, archaeology, and biblical studies.

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Berit Olam: Psalms

Konrad Schaefer, OSB

The psalms are masterful poems that echo the tenors of community life and worship as they project the scope of the human drama from lament to praise. They chart a profound and vital relationship with God, with all the ups and downs that this relationship implies. Konrad Schaefer's concise commentary on the psalms relates their poetic elements while respecting their historical context and traditional use in the liturgy and, more importantly, their ultimate value as a springboard to private and communal prayer. In Psalms, Schaefer focuses on the structure of each psalm, its dramatic plot, the modes of discourse, the rhetorical features, and the effective use of imagery to portray theology and the spiritual life. Schaefer portrays each poem's inner dynamic to acquaint readers with the poet and the community which prayed and preserved the composition, allowing the believer to transpose it in the contemporary situation. Psalms is for those who would like to pray the psalms with more intensity of meaning; for those willing to touch the biblical world and taste of its fruit in the Word of God; and for devoted readers of the Bible to become more expert as it helps experts become more devoted. Chapters are "Introduction," "Book One (Psalms 1-41)," "Book Two (Psalms 42-72)," "Book Three (Psalms 73-89)," "Book Four (Psalms 90-106)," and "Book Five (Psalms 107-150)." Konrad Schaefer, OSB, SSD, is a monk of Mount Angel Abbey, Oregon. He currently teaches at Our Lady of Angels in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

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Berit Olam: The Twelve Prophets

Volume 1: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah

Marvin A. Sweeney

There is generally no common material that binds together the works of the individual prophets that comprise the Twelve, but through Sweeney's commentary they stand together as a single, clearly defined book among the other prophetic books of the Bible. The Book of the Twelve Prophets is a multifaceted literary composition that functions simultaneously in all Jewish and Christian versions of the Bible as a single prophetic book and as a collection of twelve individual prophetic books. Each of the twelve individual books—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi—begins with its own narrative introduction that identifies the prophet and provides details concerning the historical setting and literary characteristics. In this manner each book is clearly distinguished from the others within the overall framework of the Twelve. By employing a combination of literary methodologies, such as reader response criticism, canonical criticism, and structural form criticism, Sweeney establishes the literary structure of the Book of the Twelve as a whole, and of each book with their respective ideological or theological perspectives. An introductory chapter orients readers to questions posed by reading the Book of the Twelve as a coherent piece of literature and to a literary overview of the Twelve. Sweeney then treats each of the twelve individual prophetic books in the order of the Masoretic canon, providing a discussion of each one's structure, theme, and outlook. This is followed by a detailed literary discussion of the textual units that comprise the book. Marvin A. Sweeney is professor of Hebrew Bible at the school of theology at Claremont and professor of religion at the Claremont Graduate School.

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Berit Olam: Ruth and Esther

Tod Linafelt and Timothy K. Beal

Some ancient works of literature survive in fragments that appear so simple and complete it's hard to imagine them as being part of a larger narrative. Such is the case with Ruth and Esther. On first reading they appear so simple, so whole, and their meanings so completely self-evident. Yet the closer you look, the more perplexing they become. Ruth and Esther offers that close look, enabling readers to discover the uncertainties of the texts and demonstrating how these uncertainties are not problems to be solved, but rather are integral to the narrative art of these texts. In Ruth, the first part of this volume, Tod Linafelt highlights the most unresolved and perplexing aspects of Ruth. In doing so he offers an interpretation he calls "unsettling." Linafelt states that it is unsettling in the sense that he often refuses to “settle” on a single, unequivocal meaning of a particular word, phrase, or theme. Rather he prefers to underscore the dual or even multiple meanings that the narrative so often has. Another way Ruth differs from other interpretations is that Linafelt entertains the possibility that there might be complexity or ambiguity with regard to the various characters’ motivations, the presentation of God, or the book’s purpose. In this commentary, Linafelt explores the ambiguities of meaning built into the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of the story to discover how these ambiguities carry over to the larger interpretive issues of characterization, theology, and purpose. He also lays forth an argument that the book of Ruth is intended to be read as an interlude between Judges and Samuel. The second part of this volume focuses on Esther, a story of anti-Judaism that raises strikingly contemporary questions concerning relations between sexism, ethnocentrism, and national identity. In Esther Timothy Beal guides readers into the meaning of the story using rhetorical criticism. He asks questions without assuming that there must be answers and allows for complexity, perplexity, and the importance of accidents in the text. In essence, Beal emphasizes the particular over the general and the tentative over the continuous; however, he does not altogether dismiss the importance of broader interpretations of Esther, especially those focusing on narrative structure. Chapters in Ruth are “The Bond between Ruth and Naomi,” “Finding Favor in Boaz’s Field,” “An Ambiguous Encounter in the Night,” and “Making It All Legal.” Chapters in Esther are “Beginning with the End of Vashti: Esther 1:1-22,” “Remembering to Forget: Esther 2:1-4,” “New Family Dynamics: Esther 2:5-18,” “Coup: Esther 2:19-23,” “Politics of Anti-Judaism: Esther 3:1-15,” “Another Quarter: Esther 4:1-17,” “Face to Face: Esther 5:1-8,” “Fifty Cubits for Mordecai: Esther 5:9-14,” “Sleep Deserts: Esther 6:1-14,” “Coming Out Party: Esther 7:1- 10,” “Overwriting: Esther 8:1-17,” and “Aftermath: Esther 9:1—10:3.”Tod Linafelt, PhD, teaches biblical studies at Georgetown University. He has published God in the Fray (with Timothy K. Beal), Fortress, 1998. Timothy K. Beal, PhD, is Harkness Associate Professor of Biblical Literature at Case Western Reserve University. He has published Reading Bibles, Writing Bodies (with David M. Gunn), Routledge, 1996, The Book of Hiding, Routledge, 1997, and God in the Fray (with Tod Linafelt), Fortress, 1998.

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Berit Olam: The Twelve Prophets

Volume 2: Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Marvin A. Sweeney

There is generally no common material that binds together the works of the individual prophets that comprise the Twelve, but through Sweeney's commentary they stand together as a single, clearly defined book among the other prophetic books of the Bible. The Book of the Twelve Prophets is a multifaceted literary composition that functions simultaneously in all Jewish and Christian versions of the Bible as a single prophetic book and as a collection of twelve individual prophetic books. Each of the twelve individual books—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi—begins with its own narrative introduction that identifies the prophet and provides details concerning the historical setting and literary characteristics. In this manner each book is clearly distinguished from the others within the overall framework of the Twelve. By employing a combination of literary methodologies, such as reader response criticism, canonical criticism, and structural form criticism, Sweeney establishes the literary structure of the Book of the Twelve as a whole, and of each book with their respective ideological or theological perspectives. An introductory chapter orients readers to questions posed by reading the Book of the Twelve as a coherent piece of literature and to a literary overview of the Twelve. Sweeney then treats each of the twelve individual prophetic books in the order of the Masoretic canon, providing a discussion of each one's structure, theme, and outlook. This is followed by a detailed literary discussion of the textual units that comprise the book. Marvin A. Sweeney is professor of Hebrew Bible at the school of theology at Claremont and professor of religion at the Claremont Graduate School.

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Berit Olam: The Twelve Prophets

Volume 2: Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Marvin A. Sweeney

There is generally no common material that binds together the works of the individual prophets that comprise the Twelve, but through Sweeney's commentary they stand together as a single, clearly defined book among the other prophetic books of the Bible. The Book of the Twelve Prophets is a multifaceted literary composition that functions simultaneously in all Jewish and Christian versions of the Bible as a single prophetic book and as a collection of twelve individual prophetic books. Each of the twelve individual books—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi—begins with its own narrative introduction that identifies the prophet and provides details concerning the historical setting and literary characteristics. In this manner each book is clearly distinguished from the others within the overall framework of the Twelve. By employing a combination of literary methodologies, such as reader response criticism, canonical criticism, and structural form criticism, Sweeney establishes the literary structure of the Book of the Twelve as a whole, and of each book with their respective ideological or theological perspectives. An introductory chapter orients readers to questions posed by reading the Book of the Twelve as a coherent piece of literature and to a literary overview of the Twelve. Sweeney then treats each of the twelve individual prophetic books in the order of the Masoretic canon, providing a discussion of each one's structure, theme, and outlook. This is followed by a detailed literary discussion of the textual units that comprise the book. Marvin A. Sweeney is professor of Hebrew Bible at the school of theology at Claremont and professor of religion at the Claremont Graduate School.

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Berit Olam: Isaiah 56-66

Paul V. NiskanenChris Franke, Editor

The last chapters of the book of Isaiah offer a vision of new hope at the dawn of the postexilic period. The dense and complex imagery of light, espousal, and victory gives expression to the joyful reality of a return to Jerusalem and to the as-yet-unrealized dreams of rebuilding and repopulating what has been laid to waste.Trito-Isaiah's proclamation of God's salvation or victory appears both as a brilliant light and a terrible darkness in these chapters. For while Yahweh's triumph means rejoicing for his righteous servants, it portends unspeakable horror for those who rebel against him.Far from a remotely related appendix tacked on to the prophetic text, Niskanen examines Isaiah 56–66 within the broader context of the entire book of Isaiah, revealing the stylistic and thematic connections between these and earlier chapters and the significance of the poetical structures and imagery employed in Isaiah 56–66.Paul V. Niskanen teaches Old Testament at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. His interests include an exploration of Hebrew poetry, along with prophetic and apocalyptic imagery. He has written a monograph and a commentary on the book of Daniel as well as articles on Daniel, Isaiah, and Genesis for the Catholic Biblical Quarterly and the Journal of Biblical Literature.

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Berit Olam: The Twelve Prophets

Marvin A. Sweeney

There is generally no common material that binds together the works of the individual prophets that comprise the Twelve, but through Sweeney's commentary they stand together as a single, clearly defined book among the other prophetic books of the Bible. The Book of the Twelve Prophets is a multifaceted literary composition that functions simultaneously in all Jewish and Christian versions of the Bible as a single prophetic book and as a collection of twelve individual prophetic books. Each of the twelve individual books—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi—begins with its own narrative introduction that identifies the prophet and provides details concerning the historical setting and literary characteristics. In this manner each book is clearly distinguished from the others within the overall framework of the Twelve. By employing a combination of literary methodologies, such as reader response criticism, canonical criticism, and structural form criticism, Sweeney establishes the literary structure of the Book of the Twelve as a whole, and of each book with their respective ideological or theological perspectives. An introductory chapter orients readers to questions posed by reading the Book of the Twelve as a coherent piece of literature and to a literary overview of the Twelve. Sweeney then treats each of the twelve individual prophetic books in the order of the Masoretic canon, providing a discussion of each one's structure, theme, and outlook. This is followed by a detailed literary discussion of the textual units that comprise the book. Marvin A. Sweeney, Ph.D., is professor of Hebrew Bible at the school of theology at Claremont and professor of religion at the Claremont Graduate School.

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Berit Olam: The Song of Songs

Dianne Bergant, CSA

Among all of the books of the First Testament, the Song of Songs is one of the most intriguing. On the one hand, its unabashed sensuality has captured the imagination and has endeared it to those who appreciate passionate human love. On the other hand, more demure readers have frequently been chagrined by their own fascination with its erotic character and have cloaked their interest under the guise of metaphorical reading. Both interpretations of the Song of Songs have been endorsed. Down through the ages, both Jewish and Christian interpreters have delighted in the exquisite imagery of the book's songs, but they have also frequently reverted to allegory in their interpretations. This commentary views the Song as a collection of love poems and carefully examines features of Hebrew poetry in order to uncover the delicacy of their expression. It is unique not only in the attention that it gives to the obvious feminine perspective of the poems but in their ecosensitive character. Although it is a tribute to mutual love, the principal frame of reference is the amorous disposition of the woman. Her words open and close the Song and her voice is dominant throughout. The imagery that the lovers use is drawn from nature. Whether it is the woman in awe of the strength and splendor of her lover or the man glorifying her physical charms, the descriptions all call on elements from the natural world to characterize the feature being described. Whatever they experience or know or even desire is somehow rooted in the natural world. Chapters are "Superscription," "Mutual Yearning (1:2-2:7)," "An Opportunity Lost, Then Found (2:8-3:5)," "Ravished By Beauty (3:6-5:1)," "One of a Kind (5:2-6:3)," "The Admiration of a Lover (6:4-8:4)," and "Love Affirmed (8:5-8:14)." Dianne Bergant, CSA, is professor of Old Testament studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She is author of the Preaching the New Lectionary series and general editor of The Collegeville Bible Commentary (Old Testament) published by The Liturgical Press. She was also editor of The Bible Today from 1986-1990.

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Berit Olam: 2 Kings

Robert L. Cohn

Opening with the prophet Elijah's ascent into heaven and closing with the people of Judah's descent to Babylonia, 2 Kings charts the story of the two Israelite kingdoms until their destruction. This commentary unfolds the literary dimensions of 2 Kings, analyzes the strategies through which its words create a world of meaning, and examines the book's tales of prophets, political intrigue, royal apostasy, and religious reform as components of larger patterns. 2 Kings pays attention to the writers' methods of representing human character and of twisting chronological time for literary purposes. It also shows how the contests between kings and prophets are mirrored in the competing structures of regnal synchronization and prophecy-fulfillment. Much more than a common chronicle of royal achievements and disasters, 2 Kings emerges as a powerful history that creates memories and forges identities for its Jewish readers. 2 Kings is divided into four parts including Part One "The Story of Elisha: 2 Kings 1:1-8:6"; Part Two "Revolutions in Aram, Israel, and Judah: 2 Kings 8:7-13:25"; Part Three "Turmoil and Tragedy for Israel: 2 Kings 14-17"; and Part Four "Renewal and Catastrophe for Judah: 2 Kings 18-25." Robert L. Cohn is professor of religion and holds the Philip and Muriel Berman Chair in Jewish studies at Lafayette College. Under the auspices of the American Jewish Committee, he lectured on Jewish interpretations of the Bible as the first American Jewish-scholar-in-residence at four Roman Catholic seminaries in Poland.

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Berit Olam: Ruth and Esther

Tod Linafelt and Timothy K. Beal

Some ancient works of literature survive in fragments that appear so simple and complete it's hard to imagine them as being part of a larger narrative. Such is the case with Ruth and Esther. On first reading they appear so simple, so whole, and their meanings so completely self-evident. Yet the closer you look, the more perplexing they become. Ruth and Esther offers that close look, enabling readers to discover the uncertainties of the texts and demonstrating how these uncertainties are not problems to be solved, but rather are integral to the narrative art of these texts. In Ruth, the first part of this volume, Tod Linafelt highlights the most unresolved and perplexing aspects of Ruth. In doing so he offers an interpretation he calls "unsettling." Linafelt states that it is unsettling in the sense that he often refuses to “settle” on a single, unequivocal meaning of a particular word, phrase, or theme. Rather he prefers to underscore the dual or even multiple meanings that the narrative so often has. Another way Ruth differs from other interpretations is that Linafelt entertains the possibility that there might be complexity or ambiguity with regard to the various characters’ motivations, the presentation of God, or the book’s purpose. In this commentary, Linafelt explores the ambiguities of meaning built into the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of the story to discover how these ambiguities carry over to the larger interpretive issues of characterization, theology, and purpose. He also lays forth an argument that the book of Ruth is intended to be read as an interlude between Judges and Samuel. The second part of this volume focuses on Esther, a story of anti-Judaism that raises strikingly contemporary questions concerning relations between sexism, ethnocentrism, and national identity. In Esther Timothy Beal guides readers into the meaning of the story using rhetorical criticism. He asks questions without assuming that there must be answers and allows for complexity, perplexity, and the importance of accidents in the text. In essence, Beal emphasizes the particular over the general and the tentative over the continuous; however, he does not altogether dismiss the importance of broader interpretations of Esther, especially those focusing on narrative structure. Chapters in Ruth are “The Bond between Ruth and Naomi,” “Finding Favor in Boaz’s Field,” “An Ambiguous Encounter in the Night,” and “Making It All Legal.” Chapters in Esther are “Beginning with the End of Vashti: Esther 1:1-22,” “Remembering to Forget: Esther 2:1-4,” “New Family Dynamics: Esther 2:5-18,” “Coup: Esther 2:19-23,” “Politics of Anti-Judaism: Esther 3:1-15,” “Another Quarter: Esther 4:1-17,” “Face to Face: Esther 5:1-8,” “Fifty Cubits for Mordecai: Esther 5:9-14,” “Sleep Deserts: Esther 6:1-14,” “Coming Out Party: Esther 7:1- 10,” “Overwriting: Esther 8:1-17,” and “Aftermath: Esther 9:1—10:3.”Tod Linafelt, PhD, teaches biblical studies at Georgetown University. He has published God in the Fray (with Timothy K. Beal), Fortress, 1998. Timothy K. Beal, PhD, is Harkness Associate Professor of Biblical Literature at Case Western Reserve University. He has published Reading Bibles, Writing Bodies (with David M. Gunn), Routledge, 1996, The Book of Hiding, Routledge, 1997, and God in the Fray (with Tod Linafelt), Fortress, 1998.

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Berit Olam: Genesis

David W. Cotter, OSB

The central thesis underlying this study of Genesis is that the God who is revealed as a character in Genesis is always a savior. In Genesis, David Cotter, OSB, helps readers discern a structure in the book whereby the least and the weakest are the object of God's saving help. Genesis begins with an introduction to the methodology that is used throughout the book. The introductory essay deals with the theory of Hebrew narrative and the challenges posed to biblical exegesis by contemporary literary theory. The theme of the commentary itself is that the God who is revealed as a character in Genesis is always a savior. This is true in the Stories About Beginnings (Genesis 1-11) and the Stories About the Troubled Family Chosen for Blessing (Genesis 12-50). The Egyptian slave Hagar, not Abraham, is read as the central figure of the family’s first generation and Tamar, the cast-off daughter-in-law as the moral center of the fourth generation. God is savior above all for those whose need is greatest. Chapters in Part One—Stories About Beginnings: Genesis 1-11 are "The Story of the Creation of All That Is: Genesis 1:1-2:3," “The Story of the Creation of Man and Woman, the Paradise in Which They Lived and Which They Chose to Lose. And the Sin That Ensued: Genesis 2-3:4,” “The Story of the Great Flood and the Covenant that Ensued: Genesis 6-9,” and “The Story about Babel: Genesis 11:1-9.” Chapters in Part Two—Stories About the Troubled Family Chosen for Blessing: Genesis 12-50 are “In the Time of the First Generation: Genesis 12-25,” “In the Time of the Second Generation: Genesis 25-28,” “In the Time of the Third Generation: Genesis 28-36,” and “In the Time of the Fourth Generation: Genesis 37-50.” David W. Cotter, OSB, STD, is general editor of the Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry series, published by The Liturgical Press.

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Berit Olam: The Twelve Prophets

Volume 1: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah

Marvin A. Sweeney

There is generally no common material that binds together the works of the individual prophets that comprise the Twelve, but through Sweeney's commentary they stand together as a single, clearly defined book among the other prophetic books of the Bible. The Book of the Twelve Prophets is a multifaceted literary composition that functions simultaneously in all Jewish and Christian versions of the Bible as a single prophetic book and as a collection of twelve individual prophetic books. Each of the twelve individual books—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi—begins with its own narrative introduction that identifies the prophet and provides details concerning the historical setting and literary characteristics. In this manner each book is clearly distinguished from the others within the overall framework of the Twelve. By employing a combination of literary methodologies, such as reader response criticism, canonical criticism, and structural form criticism, Sweeney establishes the literary structure of the Book of the Twelve as a whole, and of each book with their respective ideological or theological perspectives. An introductory chapter orients readers to questions posed by reading the Book of the Twelve as a coherent piece of literature and to a literary overview of the Twelve. Sweeney then treats each of the twelve individual prophetic books in the order of the Masoretic canon, providing a discussion of each one's structure, theme, and outlook. This is followed by a detailed literary discussion of the textual units that comprise the book. Marvin A. Sweeney is professor of Hebrew Bible at the school of theology at Claremont and professor of religion at the Claremont Graduate School.

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Berit Olam: 2 Samuel

Craig E. Morrison, OCarm

King David ranks among the most intriguing persons in the Hebrew Bible. The Second Book of Samuel tells the story of David's kingship-his public successes and his private foibles. The narrator's rehearsal of this story, as questioning as it is vivid, glimpses the secrets of David's heart. In this commentary, Craig E. Morrison focuses on the aesthetics of the "art of the telling": how does the narrator succeed in breathing life into his portrait of David? How does he draw the reader into his story? This commentary is intended to accompany the reader's encounter with this ancient masterpiece so that one might cheer with David as he dances before the ark of God and weep with him as he grieves the death of his rebel son Absalom. Morrison's careful reading of 2 Samuel brings the reader face-to-face with David, whose multifaceted character eludes facile labels. Craig E. Morrison, OCarm, teaches Aramaic and biblical exegesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. Among his interests are an appreciation of the art of Hebrew narrative and lectio divina. He has written for The Bible Today, Word Among Us, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and other scholarly journals.

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