The Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes: A Translation with Commentary

Robert Alter

 A magnificent new volume in Robert Alter's award-winning, landmark translation of and commentary on the Hebrew Bible.

Here, in Robert Alter's bold new translation, are some of the most magnificent works in world literature.  The astounding poetry in the Book of Job is restored to its powerful ancient meanings and rhythms.  The account of creation in its Voice from the Whirlwind is beautiful and incendiary -- an unforgettable challenge to the place of man in the universe.  The serene fatalism that construes life as ephemeral and without purpose suffuses Ecclesiastes with a quiet beauty.  The pithy maxims of Proverbs impart a worldly wisdom that is still sound and satirically shrewd.

Each of these books conveys and undermines the universal wisdom that the righteous thrive and the wicked suffer in a rational moral order; together they are essential to the ancient canon that is the Hebrew Bible.  In Alter's translation they regain the energy and force of the original, enhancing their ongoing relevance to the lives of modern readers.

Robert Alter was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Lifetime Achievement and the PEN Center Literary Award for Translation.  He is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley and has published many acclaimed works on the Bible, literary modernism, and contemporary Hebrew literature.

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