Obadiah’s oracle against Edom. Jonah’s mission to the city of Nineveh. Micah’s message to Samaria and Jerusalem. The texts of these minor but important prophets receive a fresh and penetrating analysis in this introduction and commentary. The authors consider each book’s historical setting, composition, structure and authorship, as well as important themes and issues. Each book is then expounded in the concise and informative style that has become the hallmark of the Tyndale series.
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T. Desmond Alexander is director of Christian training at Union Theological College in Belfast, Northern Ireland. From 1980 to 1999, he was lecturer in Semitic studies at the Queen’s University of Belfast. His main field of research is the Pentateuch, about which he has written extensively in academic journals and books. Alexander also has a special interest in the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. He is the author of From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Main Themes of the Pentateuch and Abraham in the Negev, and he is a coeditor (with Brian S. Rosner) of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (IVP, 2000), available from Logos.
David W. Baker is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. He serves as editor for the Evangelical Theological Society Dissertation and Evangelical Theological Society Studies series as well as for Sources for Biblical and Theological Studies (Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake). He is coauthor (with Bill T. Arnold) of The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. In addition, he has written many articles, essays and Commentaries.
Together, T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker edited the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, part of the IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle (2 vols.).
“Whereas in verse 3 he questions God’s right to deliver, here he challenges God’s right to destroy.” (Page 143)
“Throughout the story Jonah does not object to divine mercy or forgiveness as such, but rather to its recipient, the Ninevites; how can God possibly pardon this particular people?” (Page 97)
“Although verses 6 and 7 have almost identical beginnings, they introduce two opposite aspects of God’s nature: his ability to deliver and to destroy.” (Page 142)
“By contrasting Jonah’s attitude to the gourd with his attitude towards the Ninevites, God highlights where the real absurdity lies. Jonah is filled with compassion regarding a mere plant, yet remains hard-hearted towards the entire population of a city. He shows concern for one small item of God’s creation, yet fails to care for a large mass of people, who, like Jonah himself, were made in the divine image. The inconsistency rests not with God but with Jonah.” (Pages 143–144)
“Having passed judgment on God’s handling of these situations, Jonah is now taken to task. God pitied Nineveh, but destroyed the plant. Jonah, on the other hand, pitied the plant, but demanded the destruction of Nineveh. At odds with God, Jonah typifies those who see the divine attributes of justice and mercy as functioning for their own convenience; mercy for themselves, but justice for their enemies. Fortunately, however, these attributes are not directed by human motives or desires. As the book of Jonah makes plainly obvious, God is sovereign, his justice is totally impartial, and his mercy may extend to anyone.” (Page 98)