Imperialism and Biblical Prophecy, 750-500 BCE

David Aberbach

Routledge 1993
A book review by Danny Yee © 1994
The title suggests a dry academic text, but Imperialism and Biblical Prophecy is a readable, almost racy, little book. At its core is a short anthology of poetry from the biblical prophets, in lively new translations; built around that is a historical commentary which sets the poems in the context of successive imperialist conquests. Aberbach argues convincingly that this is essential for any attempt to understand the world of the prophets. No prior historical background is assumed on the part of the reader: the commentary presents a clear and succinct exposition of the relevant political and military history of the Fertile Crescent, from Tiglath Pileser III and Isaiah through to Cyrus and Second Isaiah.

There is just one negative feature to this book, and that is the price: I fear there are few who will be prepared to pay £25 for a 130 page book, even a high quality, illustrated hardcover. Together with the title, this is likely to condemn Imperialism and Biblical Prophecy to the shelves of libraries and biblical scholars — which is a real shame, as it is a perfect book both for those who are interested in the biblical prophets but don't have time to read them in full and for those seeking for information on their historical background. It is to be hoped that Routledge will issue a paperback edition.

August 1994

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%T Imperialism and Biblical Prophecy, 750-500 BCE
%A Aberbach, David
%I Routledge
%D 1993
%O hardcover, bibliography, index, b&w photographs
%G ISBN 041509500X
%P xv,122pp