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"A new kind of epic...A grand achievement...While The Prophets' dreamy realism recalls the work of Toni Morrison...its penetrating focus on social dynamics stands out more singularly." --Entertainment Weekly A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence. Isaiah was Samuel's and Samuel was Isaiah's. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man--a fellow slave--seeks to gain favor by preaching the master's gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel's love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation's harmony. With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries--of ancestors and future generations to come--culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.
'Rarely is a book this finely wrought, the lives and histories it holds so tenderly felt, and rendered unforgettably true' Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly GorgeousIn this blinding debut, Robert Jones Jr. blends the lyricism of Toni Morrison with the vivid prose of Zora Neale Hurston to characterise the forceful, enduring bond of love, and what happens when brutality threatens the purest form of serenity.The Halifax plantation is known as Empty by the slaves who work it under the pitiless gaze of its overseers and its owner, Massa Paul. Two young enslaved men, Samuel and Isaiah dwell among the animals they keep in the barn, helping out in the fields when their day is done. But the barn is their haven, a space of radiance and love - away from the blistering sun and the cruelty of the toubabs - where they can be alone together.But, Amos - a fellow slave - has begun to direct suspicion towards the two men and their refusal to bend. Their flickering glances, unspoken words and wilful intention, revealing a truth that threatens to rock the stability of the plantation. And preaching the words of Massa Paul's gospel, he betrays them.The culminating pages of The Prophets summon a choral voice of those who have suffered in silence, with blistering humanity, as the day of reckoning arrives at the Halifax plantation. Love, in all its permutations, is the discovery at the heart of Robert Jones Jr's breathtaking debut, The Prophets.
The commentary on the Prophets includes the book of Isaiah through the book of Malachi. This volume incorporates outlines, scriptural references, and appropriate articles from the Mercer Dictionary of the Bible for each of the Prophets.
Christians sometimes approach the Old Testament with a mixture of awe and bewilderment, knowing that it contains pearls of wisdom, but unsure how to dive for them ... especially when it comes to the Prophets. In The Message of the Prophets, author J. Daniel Hays offers a scholarly, yet readable and student-friendly survey of the Old Testament prophetic literature that presents the message of each prophet in its historical and its biblical context and then tracks that message through the New Testament to challenge readers with what it means for them today. Hays focuses on synthesizing the message of the prophets, which enables students to grasp the major contours of the prophetic books clearly and concisely. Hundreds of colorful pictures help to illustrate the historical and cultural background of the prophets. After identifying what the message meant for ancient Israel, Hays helps the readers to move toward theological application today, helping readers to gain a better understanding of God and the relationship between God and his people. The Message of the Prophets is essential for professors, students, and others seeking to understand the role that the OT prophets play in the Christian faith.
Combining a remarkable degree of scholarship, theological depth, and readability, these essays from the journal Interpretation will be an up-to-date and valuable resource for teaching and preaching the prophets. Contributors include: Walter Brueggemann; Brevard S. Childs; R.E. Clements; John J. Collins; James L. Crenshaw; Michael Fishbane; John G. Gammie; Moshe Greenberg; William L. Holladay; Klaus Koch; Werner E. Lemke; James Limberg; Carol A. Newsom; Thomas M. Raitt; J. J. M. Roberts; James A. Sanders; David C. Steinmetz; W. Sibley Towner; Gene M. Tucker; Robert R. Wilson; Hans Walter Wolff.
Do the Old Testament prophets have a stake in modern ethics? They had a great impact in shaping Israel's ethics, and they should also have an impact on ours, writes biblical scholar Joseph Jensen. In Ethical Dimensions of the Prophets, Jensen shows us how the prophets never soft-peddled God's message. Jeremiah lashed out against a tyrannical king. Hosea accused Israel of harlotry for worshiping false gods. And Amos railed about the God's wrath because Israel failed to behave compassionately toward the weak and the poor. Jensen wants readers to hear the prophets in their own terms as they addressed their biblical contemporaries. Yet he asserts that the teachings of the prophets contain valuable lessons for us to ponder and apply today, particularly when it comes to social justice. This book is designed for readers eager to move beyond an introductory understanding of the Bible.