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Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 125 Reviews "Prayer and Sacrifice in Ugarit and Israel"; J. B. van Zijl's "Structural Linguistics and Textual Criticism"; Moshe Weinfeld's "Job and its Mesopotamian Parallels-A Typological Analysis"; Hannes Olivier's "The Periodicity of the M~~arum Again"; Adam S. van der Woude's "Zion as Primeval Stone in Zechariah 3 and 4"; and Siegfried Mittmann's "Die Einheit von Sacharja 8,1-8." AlanJ. Hauser Appalachian Slale University Boone, NC 28608 II KINGS: A NEW TRANSLATION WITH INTRODUCTION AND COMMENTARY. By Mordechai Cogan and Hayim Tadmor. The Anchor Bible 11. pp. xxxv + 371. Garden City: Doubleday, 1988. Cloth. Two Israeli scholars, a professor of biblical history and an eminent Assyriologist, have collaborated to produce this latest volume of the AB series. This is a difficult book to review because it contains some important strengths that are quite praiseworthy, but it also has some rather serious shortcomings. First let me state its strengths. The authors are well known for their expertise in the history of Mesopotamia in the first millennium B.C.E. and bring to bear this knowledge in the study of the book of Kings, covering the years ca. 850-560 B.C.E. The way in which they correlate information from Assyrian and Babylonian sources with the relevant biblical texts in the notes and comments sections of the commentary is very valuable. The discussion of individual historical problems is erudite, balanced, and supported with extensive documentation. To help the lay reader, the commentary also contains seven maps, sixteen pages of photographic illustrations. eight pages of translation of non-biblical historical texts, and several useful chronological charts. All of this is commendable, and the volume's appearance might have been duly celebrated for its importance to biblical scholarship if it were not for some weaknesses that seriously mar its usefulness. It is, first of all, quite extraordinary that the editor of the series would have permitted the authors to begin with the publication of 2 Kings before 1 Kings so that the "Introduction" of the title consists of only nine pages of remarks. The rest Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 126 Reviews is postponed to the other volume. Thus, on the matter of literary criticism, apart from a few remarks in one short paragraph on p. 4 about the Deuteronomistic historian (Dtr), one must read the commentary without any clear idea about how the authors understand the composition of the book. There is little in the body of the commentary to give any further clarity on the subject. The authors also refer, from time to time, to their comments on texts in 1 Kings although these do not yet exist and cannot be consulted. They indicate that the book was virtually completed by 1982 so that they were not obliged to deal with anything after that time even though the book did not appear until 1988. Given this very long production time it is all the more surprising to see how poorly the book is printed. Some pages are lacking punctuation and the dots on the "i"s. The "selected bibliography " is missing so many items cited in the text that it is hard to know on what basis it was compiled. The original purpose of the AB as a "new translation," reflected in the first volumes published in the 1960s, is hardly so pressing now since the appearance of many excellent translations of the Hebrew Bible. Cogan and Tadmor admit as much (p. 10) and offer little new on the subject of translation in their introduction. Nevertheless, the authors bring to their task a wealth of philological materials, especially from Mesopotamian cognates, which they clarify and support in their comment section. On matters of text, however, the authors follow closely the MT and give very little discussion to problems raised by the variants in the versions which is in marked contrast to McCarter's AB volumes on Samuel. By the authors' own admission the commentary "gives priority to historical matters," and all other concerns are subordinated to this purpose. Their interest in history, however, does not include any serious discussion of the historiography of Kings; given their expertise in Mesopotamian materials, this...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 125-130
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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