Jonah
Jonah
Technical
Critical
Jewish

Jonah

in Anchor Yale Bible

by Jack M. Sasson

4.71 Rank Score: 5.81 from 7 reviews, 5 featured collections, and 7 user libraries
Pages 384
Publisher Yale University Press
Published 1990
ISBN-13 9780300139709
Were Jonah's experiences true to the history of ancient Israel? Were they meant to be read comically, philosophically, allegorically, symbolically, or realistically? And is God godly when acting beyond the comprehension of prophets, let alone ordinary human beings?

These issues, and many more, are thoughtfully considered in this meticulously detailed and insightful translation of the original Hebrew text of Jonah as created by Jewish authorities during the second half of the first millennium B.C.E. In these profound and enduring tales, realistic events and miraculous incidents merge, and we never have to wait long to witness the power of God's love or wrath.

One of the twelve prophets, Jonah faced more challenges in a short span of time than any other biblical hero. He went to sea and nearly drowned in the belly of a great fish. On land, Jonah journeyed east to Nineveh, where his mission was to spread the word of God in a city plagued by evil. He was tested by God at every turn. But even during his darkest hours, his faith never wavered and through all the tumult, he always listened for the comforting voice of the Lord.

Author Jack M. Sasson employs the very latest information in biblical scholarship to interpret the many nuances in Jonah's seemingly simple story. Providing Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Aramaic, and, occasionally, Syriac and Arabic translations, this Anchor Bible Commentary volume is an exciting addition to the world-acclaimed series.

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PastorTimothy72 PastorTimothy72 July 27, 2021
I have become a collector of commentaries ever since my seminary days in the 1990s. As such, I am only going to recommend the best overall commentary for each book of the Bible on this site. (Before each minor prophet recommendation, let me first say that every preacher/teacher should have a copy of James Montgomery Boice's two volume set on the Minor Prophets on his/her bookshelf. That's the starting point, in my opinion). For the preacher/teacher on Jonah specifically, I would recommend Sasson. While I agree with one reviewer that this is at times overly technical and not as easy to navigate as other commentaries (that is true of the Anchor Bible series as a whole), if you mine for treasures in Sasson I think you are apt to find them. Yes, it takes a bit more digging, so to speak, but his commentary is worth the effort in my opinion. So while this is the one commentary I would recommend for the pastor's library, it would still actually come in second to Eugene Peterson's book "Under the Unpredictable Plant" (everyone in ministry should own it).
R. Hansen R. Hansen September 13, 2009
Now for an alternate opinion. I got this commentary from the library encouraged by its high ratings here. I was greatly disappointed however. Unlike the comment from an Amazon reviewer, this is not for the casual reader. I consider myself a pretty strong student of Scripture having read hundreds of commentaries. But this one is much more geared for the scholar and it will not hold your interest for long unless you care about tons of textual details. I also personally found that though he gives you massive detail about the text, he does not do so well explaining the text or summarizing its message. There is also little help for pastors or anyone who just wants to get to know the story of Jonah better and how it applies. If you are a scholar writing your own commentary, you probably will want to consult this commentary, but please do not copy the style. Though there is a place for good scholarly work, I am sometimes amazed how one can read a text of Scripture like this and seem like they are unmoved by it. There is life and excitement in the book of Jonah, it is drowned out in this book.
John Glynn John Glynn September 20, 2008
Detailed commentary with attention to literary nuances. [Full Review]
Unnatributed-d Unnatributed-d May 26, 2008