Micah, Nahum And Obadiah
Publisher T&T Clark
Mason here provides a valuable basic orientation to the modern reading of these short and often difficult prophetic books. By carefully surveying and evaluating the historical critical options that have been proposed during the last century, Mason then outlines the message of these books within a post-exilic, canonical context. In the face of differing critical opinion as to what does, and what does not, come from Micah in the book of Micah, the position taken here is that the book has to be read finally as a coherent postexilic tract which re-interprets the prophet's message in the light of the situation after the exile. For Nahum and Obadiah, which have so often received a bad press because of their theology of apparent hate for the foreigner, it is argued that the function the books were designed to serve in the Book of the Twelve must be taken seriously.
Study of the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible is decidedly richer for the life and work of Rex Mason, retired lecturer and tutor in Old Testament and Hebrew at the University of Oxford. Mason s concentration on the postexilic Minor Prophets, as well as on intertextual relations between prophetic books, has earned him respect in the field. The 1996 volume prepared in his honor, After the Exile: Essays in Honour of Rex Mason (ed. John Barton and David J. Reimer; Mercer University Press, 1996), testifies to his reputation and influence. Any new work by Mason warrants the attention and interest of students of the prophets. But as the back cover of this volume explains, the T&T Clark Study Guide on Micah, Nahum, and Obadiah is not a new offering by Mason but rather a reprint and repackaging of his 1991 commentary of the same name in the Sheffield Old Testament Guides series. The text of the commentary has not changed since 1991, but it now appears in a smaller, 4.5 x 7 inch format, The Sheffield Guides series was/is valuable for general introductory work. [Full Review]