Aristophanes's Archanians is his third comedy, and his earliest surviving play that has come down to us from antiquity. It won first prize at the Lenaia in 425BC, under the production of Callistratus, as Aristophanes was a young dramatist at the time. Like The Clouds, The Acharnians begins with a lone soliloquy. A rustic arrives very early … Continue reading Treason in the Acharnians
The origin of the term "Hebrew" remains mysterious; the Biblical term Ivri, meaning "to traverse" or "to pass over", is usually rendered as "Hebrew" in English, and it comes down to us from the ancient Greek Ἑβραῖος and the Latin "Hebraeus". The Biblical word Ivri has the plural form Ivrim, or Ibrim. In addition, the word … Continue reading Where Did The Hebrew Bible Come From?
Zechariah prophesies during the reign of Darius, emperor of Persia (after the Babylon was conquered by Persia). God's word comes unto Zechariah, and God blames the people of Israel's fathers for moral transgressions, and He commands the people of Israel to turn back to Him. Zechariah experiences a series of apocalyptic visions from God, with … Continue reading Eight Visions in Zechariah
There are four prophecies contained within the two chapters of the book of Haggai (whose named means something akin to "my holiday" though the root word in Hebrew means something like "to make a pilgrimage"). The text is believed to have been written after the Babylonian exile, during the reign of Darius, the Persian emperor, as … Continue reading Haggai: A Plea To Rebuild the Temple
The Book of Zephaniah clearly states its context: during the reign of Josiah, the son of Amon, King of Judah. It is a short book, containing three chapters, and it expounds upon the "word of the Lord" which comes to Zephaniah (his name means something like "YHWH is hidden"). As with other minor prophets, our knowledge … Continue reading “The Day of the Lord” in Zephaniah
I recently detoured from reading the Pulitzer Prize winning novels to venture into the harsh but pleasantly forgiving fields of Willa Cather's pioneers on the prairie. When Willa Cather was thirty-nine years old she wrote her first novel, Alexander's Bridge, which was published as a serial in McClure's Magazine in 1912. It was a tragic story … Continue reading The Harsh But Forgiving Prairie in O Pioneers!
As announced at the outset of his book, Micah lived during the reign of Hezekiah, making him a contemporary of Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea. He was from a town in southwest Judah. He comes down to us as a rural prophet critiquing the immoral life of the city. The text of Micah echoes the same … Continue reading Notes on Micah
The book of Obadiah is a text that claims to record a vision of Obadiah; a vision of the downfall of Edom (the kingdom that is descended from Esau), a mountainous kingdom located just south of Moab and Israel, or Judah. The book is a single chapter lasting twenty-one verses, and is sometimes written as "Abdias". … Continue reading The Reckoning of Edom in Obadiah
Published in 1917, Ernest Poole's winner of the first ever Pulitzer Prize in 1918, His Family, is a surprisingly delightful read. The book has been largely out of print in recent years, and much like other early winners of the Pulitzer Prize, including Booth Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons, His Family is largely overlooked by modern … Continue reading Thoughts on His Family
The Book of Daniel is an odd book in the Hebrew Bible - it is believed to have been the last or most recent book written that was later included in the Biblical corpus, though its contents take place many hundreds of years earlier during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. In the deutero-canon, … Continue reading Daniel: A Book of Dreams and Dark Prophecy