The Book of the Former Prophets
The Former Prophets of the Hebrew Bible includes the books of Joshua through 2 Kings; it is a narrative of ancient Israel's history of some seven hundred years from the "conquest" of Canaan to the exile, when Israel lost the land. Thomas Mann adopts a critical perspective and incorporates many distinct literary sources from different times into his work. The result is a compelling example of ancient historiography as well as an impressive artistic achievement. The book contains fascinating (and often horrifying) stories of war, religious fanaticism, terror, and disaster, as well as stories of deep personal loyalty, friendship, and faith. Finally, in a deeply thoughtful and constructive way, The Former Prophets addresses perennial questions like, amongst others, "What is the relationship between divine sovereignty and human political institutions?" or "In what sense are historical events the result of human acts and also of divine Providence?"
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