Noting that the legacy of the prophets remains a powerful element in contemporary society, Jack R. Lundbom explores the contours of prophetic speech in ancient Israel. He surveys the elements of each prophet’s message, describes the characteristics of prophetic rhetoric and symbolic behavior, and discusses the problem of authenticity: how did individuals make the claim to speak as prophets, and how did their audiences recognize their claims? The Hebrew Prophets offers an authoritative introduction to the phenomenon of ancient prophetic speech for the contemporary reader—and hearer.
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“Abusio. One of the harsher tropes is the abusio, which is an implied metaphor. This type of metaphor behaves somewhat extravagantly, in that a word is taken from one usage and put to another. Abusios can be made from either nouns or verbs.” (Page 184)
“Hyperbole. Hyperbole is a deliberate exaggeration of the truth where something is represented as greater or less, better or worse, than is possible. Its purpose is to magnify or minimize before an audience disinclined to listen.” (Page 198)
“Merismus is a form of synecdoche in which a totality is expressed by contrasting parts or extremes.” (Page 187)
“Anaphora. Anaphora is the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of two or more successive colons, lines, or poetic verses. This figure serves to heighten pity, disdain, fear, joyful anticipation, or other emotional state. This type of repetition often creates onomatopoeia.” (Pages 168–169)
“Surrender. ‘Surrender’ (Gk.: epitropē; Lat.: permissio) is a veiled argument in which one yields a matter to the will of another. This argument was commonly used in court cases.” (Page 194)
A fresh look at the Hebrew prophets inspired by the issues of modern times, cast within the prism of Judeo-Christian scholarly traditions, Lundbom’s reassessment of the biblical text represents a critical resource for students of the Bible and laymen alike.
—Seymour Gitin, professor of archaeology, W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem
Already well-respected for his commentary work on Jeremiah, Lundbom now turns his hand, in more introductory fashion, to the whole canon of Hebrew prophets. He asks what they had in common as prophets and what distinguishes them as individuals. This thorough introductory overview draws out the rhetoric, signs, and symbols employed by these ancient forthtellers to express their often startling messages and draws important parallels with modern-day preachers and teachers.
—Katharine Dell, senior university lecturer, St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge
A very useful summary of the Hebrew Bible’s books of the prophets in a clear, reader–friendly form. It is a practical introduction to the prophets and an invitation to delve ever further into their history and their words.
—Richard Elliott Friedman, Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Georgia
Jack R. Lundbom is an internationally respected authority on Jeremiah. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and held visiting appointments at Andover Newton Theological School, Yale Divinity School, The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Uppsala University in Sweden. Lundbom has traveled and lectured widely in Europe, the Near East, Africa, and the United States. He has twice been a Fulbright Professor in Germany, at Universität Marburg in 1988–1989 and Universität Tübingen in 2002. His many publications include Jeremiah: A Study in Ancient Hebrew Rhetoric and The Early Career of the Prophet Jeremiah. He is a life member at Clare Hall, Cambridge University.