Here’s a fine supplement to your commentaries on the Book of Jeremiah. Philip King has envisioned a true resource that takes archaeology and shines it upon the text with skill. It strikes me that most books of the Bible could benefit from a volume designed as this one.
While Mr. King takes a critical stance (three of his favorite Jeremiah commentators are Robert Carrol, William Holladay, and William McKane), I was pleasantly surprised by many things he had to say. His chronological chart at the beginning of the book is not extreme at all. Though he follows some critical suppositions on sources, he upheld the widely accepted chronology and historical background of Jeremiah in most places.
In a brief introduction, he makes a good case for the value of archaeology and biblical studies. The first chapter gives the background of both the prophet Jeremiah and his book. In relating that history, he shares some pictures and information about archaeological discoveries or key places in the life and Book of Jeremiah. The historical background continued in chapter 2 and looked at superpowers that surrounded and impacted Israel in Jeremiah’s time. Chapter 4 gave a whole chapter to the relationship of Edom and Judah since it’s mentioned in detail in Jeremiah. There’s more great pictures and information throughout that chapter.
Chapter 5 brings us back to the cities of Judah and includes some in-depth information on Jerusalem. Again, pictures, drawings, and descriptions of archaeological digs provide wonderful information to the Bible student. Chapter 6 looks at inscriptions and literacy and everything that has to do with writing. Chapter 7 presents worship and architecture. Chapter 8 explains funeral customs with a good description of tombs. Chapter 9 enlightens agriculture while chapter 10 looks at crafts.
The quality of the archaeological information, pictures, illustrations, and historical insights never flag between the covers of this book. I wasn’t sure what I’d find in this book when I picked it up but I was pleasantly surprised.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.