in Anchor Yale Bible

by Adele Berlin

4.56 Rank Score: 5.92 from 8 reviews, 6 featured collections, and 6 user libraries
Pages 160
Publisher Yale University Press
Published 1994
ISBN-13 9780300140804
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 book appears in the following featured collections.


Add Your Review

incorporates both modern critical scholarship and pre-modern Jewish interpretation.
capcap capcap July 21, 2014
This is the best overall commentary on Zephaniah. Her understanding of the poetic elements is superb. Though not evangelical, she brings a sensitivity to the subject that evangelicals could appreciate.
Martin Salter Martin Salter May 18, 2009
Berlin is a first rate OT scholar. She provides excellent interaction with Hebrew, displaying a mastery of Hebrew poetry. Particularly stimulating on a narrative reading of Zeph 2.
Adele Berlin's Anchor Bible volume on Zephaniah is by far the best of the mainstream (i.e. non-evangelical) commentaries. Conservative evangelicals will appreciate her theological sensitivity, willingness to treat the text as it stands rather than subdivide it to no end, and commitment to intertextuality (i.e. code for interpreting the Bible in terms of other parts of the Bible among those who don't believe in the Bible as having a divine source; note that she is not Christian but does occasionally bring in Christian interpretation). She spends as much time on linguistic and historical issues as any Bible study leader of preacher will need, but she spends time on things many mainstream commentaries won't even look at, and her perspective is fairly congenial in many ways to what I prefer in a commentator. I'm less tuned in to literary sense, but she gets high marks from all the reviewers I've read on that. [Full Review]
A literary approach to the book. [Full Review]