Book: The Prophets: An Introduction — Part I
Author: Abraham J. Heschel
Harper and Row Publishers, NY, pp. 235
Excerpt from Introduction:
This book is about some of the most disturbing people who have ever lived: the men whose inspiration brought the Bible into being — the men whose image is our refuge in distress, and whose voice and vision sustain our faith.
The significance of Israel's prophets lies not only in what they said but also in what they were. We cannot fully understand what they meant to say to us unless we have some degree of awareness of what happened to them. The moments that passed in their lives are not now available and cannot become the object of scientific analysis. All we have is the consciousness of those moments as preserved in words.
My aim therefore is to attain an understanding of the prophets through an analysis and description of his consciousness, to relate what came to pass in his life — facing man, being faced by God — as reflected and affirmed in his mind. By consciousness, in other words, I mean here not only the perception of particular moments of inspiration, but also the totality of impressions, thoughts, and feelings which make up the prophet's being.
Excerpt from Book:
The words of the prophet are stern, sour, stinging. But behind his austerity is love and compassion for mankind. Ezekiel sets forth what all other prophets imply: "Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?"
Indeed, every prediction of disaster is in itself an exhortation to repentance. The prophet is sent not only to upbraid, but also to "strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees." Almost every prophet brings consolation, promise, and the hope of reconciliation along with censure and castigation. He begins with a message of doom; he concludes with a message of hope.
This book is previously owned, but it is good condition. some visible page highlighting, soft cover