The Old Testament books of wisdom and poetry carry themselves differently from those of the Pentateuch, the histories or the prophets. The divine voice does not peal from Sinai, there are no narratives carried along by prophetic interpretation nor are oracles declaimed by a prophet. Here Scripture often speaks in the words of human response to God and God’s world. The hymns, laments and thanksgivings of Israel, the dirge of Lamentations, the questionings of Qohelet, the love poetry of the Song of Songs, the bold drama of Job and the proverbial wisdom of Israel all offer their textures to this great body of biblical literature. Then too there are the finely crafted stories of Ruth and Esther that narrate the silent providence of God in the course of Israelite and Jewish lives.
This third Old Testament volume in InterVarsity Press’s celebrated “Black Dictionary” series offers nearly 150 articles covering all the important aspects of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther. Over ninety contributors, many of them experts in this literature, have contributed to the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry Writings. This volume maintains the quality of scholarship that students, scholars and pastors have come to expect from this series.
Coverage of each biblical book includes an introduction to the book itself as well as separate articles on its ancient Near Eastern background and its history of interpretation. Additional articles amply explore the literary dimensions of Hebrew poetry and prose, including acrostic, ellipsis, inclusion, intertextuality, parallelism and rhyme. And there are well-rounded treatments of Israelite wisdom and wisdom literature, including wisdom poems, sources and theology. In addition, a wide range of interpretive approaches is canvassed in articles on hermeneutics, feminist interpretation, form criticism, historical criticism, rhetorical criticism and social-scientific approaches.
The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry Writings is sure to command shelf space within arm’s reach of any student, teacher or preacher working in this portion of biblical literature.
Tremper Longman III and Peter E. Enns edit this collection of 148 articles by 90 contributors on Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther.