Clifford differs from other commentators on the Psalms chiefly in his concern with the inner dramatic logic of the Psalms - how they organize the experience and desires of the "pray-er" and bring them to a proper conclusion. His primary concern is to help readers see the pattern and progression within the Psalms, while at the same time attending to the richness of their words and the texture of their imagery.
This second volume completes Richard Clifford's Commentary on the Psalms. The rich imagery of the Psalms has guided and molded pray-ers since ancient times. As we seek to understand the threads and colors of the Psalms, Clifford helps us see their inner dramatic logic, how they organize the experience and desires of the pray-er, and how they seek to move us. His primary concern is to help readers see the pattern and progression within the Psalms, while attending to their complex, evocative nature.
In this volume, Richard J. Clifford seeks to make the biblical wisdom literature intelligible to modern readers. It is easy to quote the occasional proverb, say a few things about "the problem of evil" in Job, or quote "vanity of vanities, " but far more rewarding to read the whole book with an appreciative and informed eye. Opening chapters of The Wisdom Literature comment on the striking similarities between ancient and modern "wisdom literature" and on the comparable literature from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Canaan. Thereafter, a chapter is devoted to each biblical wisdom book (Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Sirach, and Wisdom of Solomon), studying not only its content but also its rhetoric -- how it engages the reader.
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