These six prophets proclaim powerful messages about judgment and the sovereignty of God. Amos challenges hypocrisy and injustice. Hosea's marriage symbolizes the covenant between God and Israel, moving from love to separation and then reunion. Micah, Nahum, and Zephaniah condemn corrupt leadership, injustice to the poor, and worship of false gods. Habakkuk reminds all to rely on God, who will punish the evil and defeat chaos. Flowing through all these calls to be a better people is the unfailing promise of a faithful and forgiving God.
Carol J. Dempsey, OP is professor of biblical studies at the University of Portland, Oregon, with special expertise in Old Testament and prophets. She holds a PhD in biblical studies from The Catholic University of America, and has authored several books including Jeremiah: Preacher of Grace, Poet of Truth (Liturgical Press, 2007) and Reading the Bible, Transforming Conflict.
Dempsey's characterization of each prophet is distinctive, intense, informative. She provides useful outlines and study aids, apt characterization, perceptive commentary, highlighting the specific issues of ethics and worship which kept these preachers awake by night and engaged by day. Bridging the modern reader's unfamiliarity with these ancient texts and our temptation to think these strong words are not for us, Dempsey helps us see the possibility of fruitful consideration of these powerful biblical words.
Barbara Green, OP, Professor of Biblical Studies, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at the Graduate Theological Union
This commentary is a good introductory tool for undergraduate students and lay people to learn about the use and function of biblical commentaries. The author's analysis of the prophetic material educates the readers about the historical and literary components of these texts. Most importantly, Carol Dempsey brings a critical and refreshing theological perspective to the interpretation of the prophetic messages which provides helpful insights to understand their relevance in addressing some contemporary contexts as well.
Ahida E. Pilarski, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Biblical Studies), Theology Department, Saint Anselm College
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