BN.com Gift Guide

Prophets

Overview

Abraham Heschel is a seminal name in religious studies and the author of Man Is Not Alone and God in Search of Man. When The Prophets was first published in 1962, it was immediately recognized as a masterpiece of biblical scholarship.

The Prophets provides a unique opportunity for readers of the Old Testament, both Christian and Jewish, to gain fresh and deep knowledge of Israel's prophetic movement. The author's profound understanding of the prophets also opens the door to new ...

See more details below
Paperback (1ST PERENN)
$15.94
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$19.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (34) from $4.87   
  • New (20) from $8.06   
  • Used (14) from $4.87   
Sending request ...

Overview

Abraham Heschel is a seminal name in religious studies and the author of Man Is Not Alone and God in Search of Man. When The Prophets was first published in 1962, it was immediately recognized as a masterpiece of biblical scholarship.

The Prophets provides a unique opportunity for readers of the Old Testament, both Christian and Jewish, to gain fresh and deep knowledge of Israel's prophetic movement. The author's profound understanding of the prophets also opens the door to new insight into the philosophy of religion.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060936990
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Series: Perennial Classics Series
  • Edition description: 1ST PERENN
  • Pages: 704
  • Sales rank: 229,359
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Abraham J. Heschel (1907-1972), born in Poland, moved to the United States in 1940. A professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Heschel became an active and well-known participant in the Civil Rights movement and the protests against the Vietnam War.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



What Manner of Man Is the Prophet?



Sensitivity to Evil


What manner of man is the prophet? A student of philosophy who turns from the discourses of the great metaphysicians to the orations of the prophets may feel as if he were going from the realm of the sublime to an area of trivialities. Instead of dealing with the timeless issues of being and becoming, of matter and form, of definitions and demonstrations, he is thrown into orations about widows and orphans, about the corruption of judges and affairs of the market place. Instead of showing us a way through the elegant mansions of the mind, the prophets take us to the slums. The world is a proud place, full of beauty, but the prophets are scandalized, and rave as if the whole world were a slum. They make much ado about paltry things, lavishing excessive language upon trifling subjects. What if somewhere in ancient Palestine poor people have not been treated properly by the rich? So what if some old women found pleasure and edification in worshiping "the Queen of Heaven"? Why such immoderate excitement? Why such intense indignation?

The things that horrified the prophets are even now daily occurrences all over the world. There is no society to which Amos' words would not apply.

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy,
And bring the poor of the land to an end,
Saying: When will the new moon be over
That we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
That we may offer wheat for sale,
That we may make the ephahsmall and the shekel great,
And deal deceitfully with false balances,
That we may buy the poor for silver,
And the needy for a pair of sandals,
And sell the refuse of the wheat?

Amos 8:4-6



Indeed, the sort of crimes and even the amount of delinquency that fill the prophets of Israel with dismay do not go beyond that which we regard as normal, as typical ingredients of social dynamics. To us a single act of injustice — cheating in business, exploitation of the poor — is slight; to the prophets, a disaster. To us injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence: to us, an episode; to them, a catastrophe, a threat to the world.

Their breathless impatience with injustice may strike us as hysteria. We ourselves witness continually acts of injustice, manifestations of hypocrisy, falsehood, outrage, misery, but we rarely grow indignant or overly excited. To the prophets even a minor injustice assumes cosmic proportions.

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
Shall not the land tremble on this account,
And every one mourn who dwells in it,
And all of it rise like the Nile,
Be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?

Amos 8:7-8

Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
Be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the Lord.
For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
And hewed out cisterns for themselves,
Broken cisterns,
That can hold no water.

Jeremiah 2:12-13



They speak and act as if the sky were about to collapse because Israel has become unfaithful to God.

Is not the vastness of their indignation and the vastness of God's anger in disproportion to its cause? How should one explain such moral and religious excitability, such extreme impetuosity?

It seems incongruous and absurd that because of some minor acts of injustice inflicted on the insignificant, powerless poor, the glorious city of Jerusalem should be destroyed and the whole nation go to exile. Did not the prophet magnify the guilt?

The prophet's words are outbursts of violent emotions. His rebuke is harsh and relentless. But if such deep sensitivity to evil is to be called hysterical, what name should be given to the abysmal indifference to evil which the prophet bewails?

They drink wine in bowls,
And anoint themselves with the finest oils,
But they are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!

Amos 6:6



The niggardliness of our moral comprehensions, the incapacity to sense the depth of misery caused by our own failures, is a fact which no subterfuge can elude. Our eyes are witness to the callousness and cruelty of man, but our heart tries to obliterate the memories, to calm the nerves, and to silence our conscience.

The prophet is a man who feels fiercely. God has thrust a burden upon his soul, and he is bowed and stunned at man's fierce greed. Frightful is the agony of man; no human voice can convey its full terror. Prophecy is the voice that God has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of God and man. God is raging in the prophet's words.

The Importance of Trivialities


"Human affairs are hardly worth considering in earnest, and yet we must be in earnest about them — a sad necessity constrains us," says Plato in a mood of melancholy. He apologizes later for his "low opinion of mankind" which, he explains, emerged from comparing men with the gods. "Let us grant, if you wish, that the human race is not to be despised, but is worthy of some considerations."

"The gods attend to great matters; they neglect small ones," Cicero maintains. According to Aristotle, the gods are not concerned at all with the dispensation of good and bad fortune or external things. To the prophet, however, no subject is as worthy of consideration as the plight of man. Indeed, God Himself is described as reflecting over the plight of man rather than as contemplating eternal ideas. His mind is preoccupied with man, with the concrete actualities of history rather than with the timeless issues of thought. In the prophet's message...

The Prophets. Copyright © by Abraham J. Heschel. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    Doctrinally sound reasoning

    A must have for any serious student and prophet a help and comfort to those who are going through the same trials as those who have served before them, and an encouraging word that they are not alone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2005

    The Philosophy of God

    I thought this book was unbelievable. Plain and simple. Not many authors and theologians are able to combine true Pure Philosophy and theology together as this book has done. I think all seeking Christians should read this book. It is a wonderful companion to read along with Bible. AWESOME

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2003

    Authoritative masterpiece for both Jew and Christian alike

    Heschel's insight into the prophets is mind-blowing. This book has truly changed the manner in which I view and understand the prophets as well as the old testament. The arguments and ideas, central to which is God's unconditional concern for man, will certainly give the reader a great deal to contemplate.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)