The Burden of Prophecy: Poetic Utterance in the Prophets of the Old Testament


Albert Cook examines the fusion of poetic with scriptural thinking in the prophets and wisdom writers of the Old Testament, focusing on the details of their thematic concentrations and on the posture they assume to orient themselves in their prophecies. Most poetry looks toward the past. Keats, Li Po, and Pindar, for example, all offer the profundity of a stocktaking. The poetry of the Hebrew prophet, however, is oriented toward the future. At worst, the prophet's perception and his intent can lead to an informed readiness for the future; at best, they can lead to a restoration of the people's covenant with God; but in any case, they will lead to a future whose features are compassed in the articulated vision. The Burden of Prophecy explores the implications of these conditions, balancing poetic, religious, and anthropological questions as it examines the Old Testament books of the prophets and their successors: Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Daniel, Psalms, and Ecclesiastes.


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