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Job 1-21
Interpretation and Commentary
C. L. Seow
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HARDCOVER; Published: 7/4/2013
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4895-6
Price: $ 99.99
999 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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The Hebrew book of Job is by all accounts an exquisite piece of literary art that holds its rightful place among the most outstanding compositions in world literature. Yet it is also widely recognized as an immensely difficult text to understand.

In elucidating that ancient text, this inaugural Illuminations commentary by C. L. Seow pays close attention to the reception history of Job, including Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Western secular interpretations as expressed in theological, philosophical, and literary writings and in the visual and performing arts. Seow offers a primarily literary-theological interpretation of Job, a new translation, and detailed commentary.
Biblical Archaeology Society 2015 Publication Awards: Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible
Bulletin for Biblical Research
"Monumental, intellectually inspiring, exegetical and theological exposition on the first 21 chapters of the book of Job."
Alan Cooper
— Jewish Theological Seminary
"The appearance of Leong Seow's marvelous, eclectic commentary on the book of Job is an occasion for celebration. It is the first critical commentary to give proper weight to reception history along with the philological and literary analysis necessary to support judicious interpretation. Seow is a thorough and learned commentator with a keen eye and ear for ambiguity and nuance. In addition, his lucid and elegant writing is a pleasure to read."
J. Gerald Janzen
— Christian Theological Seminary
"As in his masterful commentary on Ecclesiastes, Seow brings to the book of Job a rare combination of historical knowledge, linguistic expertise, patient attention to details, and a sense of existential and theological perspective. . . . The result is a commentary that is bound to become a classic in Job studies."
Patrick D. Miller
— Princeton Theological Seminary
"This is easily the most comprehensive commentary available on the book of Job. From detailed textual analysis to artistic and poetic interpretations, Seow provides a rich avenue into one of our most complex biblical books. The breadth of scholarship is matched by the clarity and attractiveness of presentation. This will be a standard work for a long time to come."
Michael V. Fox
— University of Wisconsin-Madison
"A lucid, extraordinarily erudite commentary."

Thomas Kr�ger
— University of Zurich
"An outstanding masterpiece of philology, exegesis, and theological interpretation."
Michael D. Coogan
— Harvard Divinity School
"One of the very best commentaries in the last hundred years. . . . Much of Seow's work will not need to be redone."
The Christian Century
"If you seek a sustained encounter with a particularly challenging book of the Bible, you'll find Seow's work a treasure. . . . For professional scholars, Seow provides a wonderful entry into the massive literature on Job. For pastors and lay readers, he serves up a nourishing banquet of linguistic insight, historical perspective, and thoughtful theological reflection."
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"While there are numerous excellent commentaries on Job, this is easily among my favorites — and the second half is yet to come. . . . The Commentary sections are gold mines of fine points of grammar and syntax, ANE language and literature connections, data from manuscripts and versions, emendations, ancient and modern commentaries, theological and sociological connections, and intertextual readings. . . . In regard to the history of interpretation, Seow is thoroughly conversant with the communities and their literatures across the centuries. . . . I found myself adding a profusion of notes into my Bible because I want to recall them for my own edification as well as that of my students. I cannot think of a better recommendation."
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures
"Provides a valuable addition to books and commentaries on Job that have tended to be more historical-critical in their emphasis. . . . Seow's translation with extensive notes and his comprehensive survey of the history of consequences make this commentary a helpful contribution to Joban studies."
Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
"A remarkable achievement. For the serious student of Job, it is indispensable."
Reformed Theological Review
"A truly monumental work. . . . Sets a new standard in Old Testament commentary."
Walter Brueggemann
"Seow is arguably the master scholar, researcher, teacher, and interpreter of his generation. In this remarkable book, his singular capacities are fully on exhibit. . . . Mastery of the critical apparatus, attentiveness to rhetorical nuance, theological sensibility, and acuteness concerning the historical spectrum of interpretations. He is able to trace the thickness of interpretation from the oldest translations through the vagaries of the historical process. In the midst of such erudition, his commentary on specific texts is nonetheless cast in an accessible narrative mode. This commentary has a durable quality that will serve us long and well."
Pastoral Review
"A tour de force . . . in admirably clear and non-technical language . . . a splendid piece of work."
James Crenshaw
"One word, MASTERPIECE, best describes this book. Readers are in the presence of greatness — of the biblical text and of the interpreter. What an illustrious beginning for the Illuminations commentaries, and heaven help the author who follows Seow. . . . The emphasis is always on its literary and theological dimensions. . . . Seow's insights into the biblical text itself are legion."
Currents in Theology and Mission
"This commentary, when completed in its second volume, will be the best in the field. . . . If you care at all about suffering and/or the book of Job, you will not want to do without this book."
"The translation Seow provides ranks among the best available. The articulated close reading of the text and the profound theological insight ensure that this commentary is currently unequalled among scholarly enquiry into the text of Job. . . . Sets a standard that is hard to challenge."
The Bible Today
"A masterful work."
"Seow's commentary is a masterful resource that a wide range of people can benefit from — ministers and scholars alike. . . . Highly recommended."
Meridian Magazine
"If Job 1–21: Interpretation and Commentary is any indication of the rest of the series, the subsequent volumes will be pleasures to read and study."
Zwinglius Redivivus
"Professor Seow's contribution to Job-an scholarship has magnificently surpassed all of his predecessors; this is the finest, most thorough, most readable, most informative commentary on the book of Job and I cannot wait, I simply cannot rest, until the second volume is out and I can read it. . . . This is a more than impressive book; it is a marvel."
Theological Book Review
"Scholars, students, and preachers will enjoy reading this monumental commentary."
Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
"Even though it seems generally wise to use superlatives with utmost caution in a review, all words that come to mind after reading this volume fall into that category: this masterful work is an extraordinarily rich treasure trove that displays the author's erudition on almost every page. . . . Seow broadens the perspective of his readers to an extent that few have done before him. His work sets a new standard for biblical commentaries, and raises high expectations for any future volume published in the Illuminations series."
Journal of Ancient Judaism
"This commentary is more than impressive and sets a new standard against which all future commentaries on Job will need to be measured."
"In Seow's hands, the book of Job achieves a truly unsurpassed fullness of meaning. . . . Seow consistently provides reasonable, well-supported, yet fresh perspectives on the most significant issues facing readers of Job."