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Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Dimensions: 8.75 X 5.88 (inches)
Series: Old Testament Library
Considered one of the Minor Prophets, the book of Micah contains the famous quote what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). However, many of us do not know the circumstances that led the prophet to these famous words. This serious commentary by Daniel Smith-Christopher analyzes the historical, social, and literary context of the book of Micah. Smith-Christopher presents a challenging perspective on Micah, who is here represented as an angry opposition figure to King Hezekiah and the Jerusalem elite. In Micah, we hear from those Judeans who suffered Assyrian, and later Babylonian, force but who hold Jerusalems military folly to blame as much as the Empires of his day. Smith-Christophers fresh reading of Micah is a stimulating addition to the Old Testament Library that will well serve both the academy and the church.
The Old Testament Library series provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing. The editorial board consists of William P. Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia; Carol A. Newsom, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia; and Brent A. Strawn, Professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Daniel L. Smith-Christopher is Professor of Theological Studies and Director of Peace Studies at Loyola Marymount College. The author of fifteen books and over forty scholarly articles and book chapters, he frequently appears as a guest on national media outlets such as The History Channel, A&E, PBS, and The National Geographic Explorer Channel.
Jimmy ReaganLeesville, SCAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5ProvocativeApril 19, 2017Jimmy ReaganLeesville, SCAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This commentary on the Book of Micah is one of the latest entries in the Old Testament Library (OTL) series. A reviewer that I respect said he found this book to be rich, so I was anxious to dig into it. Daniel L. Smith-Christopher has produced this provocative commentary from the critical side of scholarship and rich is a fair assessment. Though I found many points at which I would disagree with the author, its the quality of writing that makes me rank this volume highly.
Mr. Smith-Christopher provides an introduction that is longer than some of those I have found this series. After a substantial bibliography, he dives into the introduction saying that he proposes reading the book of Micah as an ancient Israelite critical populist, whose attitudes were fueled partially by his location as a lowlander. Though at times he stretches the politics too far and reads too much of a modern take on Micahs day, he does discuss issues that could have been in play in Micahs day that other scholars overlook. His own background with Quakers and Mennonites, and their corresponding hatred of war, contribute to his outlook. Still, he pulls out insights that we can use in developing our own thoughts.
A strength of this commentary is how well he paints the picture of the historical context of Micahs day. Those were turbulent times, and he captures how events help guide the struggle. He does well in viewing history internationally, regionally, and locally. His political take is best described as populism. Again, though that is overdone, some elements of what we call populism may have been in play then. These discussions take up the majority of the introduction. He does end with a discussion of the literary observations of the book of Micah including versions of the text, organization of the book including Micahs coherence, and guiding principles in reading Micah. He summarizes what several other scholars say on those subjects. The last page of the introduction is his warning to remember how trauma affected the people of Micahs day.
The commentary proper is in the OTL style. That includes a translation with plenty of technical discussion and commentary verse by verse. The textual help is first rate. The commentary soars and lags depending on where you are. In Micah 5:2 he never even mentions the possibility of it being a prophecy of Jesus Christ! In other places like the famous Micah 6:8 he was much more helpful. There are also eight excursuses of unexpected subjects along the way.
I consider this one of the best commentaries to own from the critical camp on the book of Micah. Even where you dont agree, you will be challenged. I recommend this volume.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.