The narratives, genealogies, laws, poetry, proverbs and prophecies of the Old Testament are deeply rooted in history. Archaeologists, historians, and social scientists have greatly advanced our knowledge of the ancient world of the Bible. This unique commentary joins The IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament in giving historical, social, and cultural background for each Old Testament passage. From Genesis through Malachi it gathers and condenses an abundance of specialized knowledge and makes it available to ordinary readers of the Old Testament.
How can we account for the "Book of the Law" suddenly being discovered during Josiah's renovation of the temple (2 Chronicles 34:14)? We know from Egypt and Mesopotamia that it was common to seal important documents, including theological documents, in the masonry or foundations of a palace or temple in order to inform a future king who might undertake restoration of the building.
What might the psalmist have had in mind when praising God for removing our transgressions "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalms 103:12)? In an Egyptian hymn to Amun-Re, the deity is praised for his judgment of the guilty. As a result of the God's discernment, the guilty are assigned to the east and the righteous to the west.
Written in a clear, non-technical language, this invaluable aid includes a glossary of historical terms, ancient peoples, texts, and inscriptions; maps and charts of important historical resources; expanded explanations of significant background issues; introductory essays on the background of each book.
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