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The Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes: A Translation with Commentary
     

The Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes: A Translation with Commentary

5.0 1
by Robert Alter
 

Here, in Robert Alter’s bold new translation, are some of the most magnificent works in world literature. The astounding poetry in the Book of Job is restored to its powerful ancient meanings and rhythms. The account of creation in its Voice from the Whirlwind is beautiful and incendiary—an unforgettable challenge to the place of man in the universe.

Overview

Here, in Robert Alter’s bold new translation, are some of the most magnificent works in world literature. The astounding poetry in the Book of Job is restored to its powerful ancient meanings and rhythms. The account of creation in its Voice from the Whirlwind is beautiful and incendiary—an unforgettable challenge to the place of man in the universe. The serene fatalism that construes life as ephemeral and without purpose suffuses Ecclesiastes with a quiet beauty. The pithy maxims of Proverbs impart a worldly wisdom that is still sound and satirically shrewd.

Each of these books conveys and undermines the universal wisdom that the righteous thrive and the wicked suffer in a rational moral order; together they are essential to the ancient canon that is the Hebrew Bible. In Alter’s translation they regain the energy and force of the original, enhancing their ongoing relevance to the lives of modern readers.

Editorial Reviews

With The Book of Psalms, The Five Books of Moses, The David Story and now The Wisdom Books, Robert Alter is building piece by piece a stunning body of bold Hebrew Bible translations. This latest volume encompasses The Book of Job, The Book of Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, three works that challenge simplistic notions that the righteous will thrive. The clarity and energy of Alter's renderings give a new force to these masterworks of our spiritual and literary heritage. Editor's recommendation.

Library Journal
The prolific Alter (Hebrew & comparative literature, Univ. of California, Berkeley; The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary) has provided a magnificent work of translation and commentary on the Old Testament books known as wisdom literature. In the books of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, we find evocative poetic statements on the value of life, the role of suffering, and God's place in a moral order that often seems neither just nor ordered. This translation is superb. Alter's literary training gives this rendition a poetic edge over more prosaic translations. In some cases, he keeps previously loved images even when those are perhaps not quite right (the whirlwind in Job 38, for example, more properly translated as "storm"). In other places, he supplies gems, such as translating the names of Job's daughters (Dove, Cinnamon, and Horn of Eyeshade). Of equal importance is the commentary, which is rich in linguistic, historical, and literary insights that immeasurably enrich the reading of these texts. VERDICT Highly recommended for religion and seminary collections.—Sandra Collins, Byzantine Catholic Seminary Lib., Pittsburgh
Philadelphia Inquirer
Masterfully translated.— John Timpane
The New York Times Book Review
A master translator of Hebrew poetry.— Jon Meacham
John Timpane - Philadelphia Inquirer
“Masterfully translated.”
Jon Meacham - The New York Times Book Review
“A master translator of Hebrew poetry.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393068122
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/11/2010
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
710,514
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published many acclaimed works on the Bible, literary modernism, and contemporary Hebrew literature.

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