The eloquent and uncompromising calls for social righteousness by some of the Minor Prophets are familiar to many, yet the writings themselves are probably the least studied and least known texts of the Old Testament. Those who are familiar with these books are also aware of the historical and literary problems that plague their study. Drawing on insights from various perspectives — theological, historical, and literary — this commentary on Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah by Leslie Allen carefully and imaginatively reconstructs the stage on which the message of these four books was conveyed to their Hebrew hearers and shows what relevance, in turn, they hold for contemporary Christians.
For each of the books there is a substantial introduction in which the full range of scholarly opinion is presented and assessed, a select bibliography, the author’s own translation of the text — a significant contribution to biblical studies in itself — and an extensive commentary. The commentary on Micah is the basic one of these four in that it treats at greater length some of the same forms and motifs that appear in Joel, Obadiah, and Jonah. The introductory material for Joel includes discussions of canonicity and textual criticism that apply to the entire volume.
About the New International Commentary Old Testament Series
“In the Old Testament we read God’s word as it was spoken to his people Israel. Today, thousands of years later, we hear in these thirty-nine books his inspired and authoritative message for us.”
These twin convictions, shared by all of the contributors to The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, define the goal of this ambitious series of commentaries. For those many modern readers who find the Old Testament to be strange and foreign soil, the NICOT series serves as an authoritative guide bridging the cultural gap between today’s world and the world of ancient Israel. Each NICOT volume aims to help us hear God’s word as clearly as possible.
Scholars, pastors, and serious Bible students will welcome the fresh light that this commentary series casts on ancient yet familiar biblical texts. The contributors apply their proven scholarly expertise and wide experience as teachers to illumine our understanding of the Old Testament. As gifted writers, they present the results of the best recent research in an interesting manner.
Each commentary opens with an introduction to the biblical book, looking especially at questions concerning its background, authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. A select bibliography also points readers to resources for their own study. The author’s own translation from the original Hebrew forms the basis of the commentary proper. Verse-by-verse comments nicely balance in-depth discussions of technical matters — textual criticism, critical problems, and so on — with exposition of the biblical writer’s theology and its implications for the life of faith today.
About the Author
Leslie C. Allen is senior professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. He has also written commentaries on Psalms and Ezekiel for the Word Biblical Commentary and on Chronicles for The New Interpreter’s Bible.
An excellent commentary that provides all the aids to understanding the biblical text for which the reader might wish. . . . The author’s treatment of the problems — literary, historical, and theological — is well informed, fair, and judicious. He demonstrates wide knowledge and fine scholarly judgment.