Biblical Archaeology Review 7:2, March/April 1981

Books in Brief

Pottery, Poetry, and Prophecy: Studies in Early Hebrew Poetry

David Noel Freedman (Eisenbrauns, 1980) 376 pp. $15.00

There is no mystery more resistant to modern scholarship than Biblical poetry. How does it differ from prose? Does it have meter? Or does it have some systematic arrangement outside of meter? Since the rise of modern Biblical scholarship, these questions have been investigated long and hard, but even today the answers are far from certain. Although some of the broad characteristics of Hebrew verse have been identified, there is still no consensus on what governs its form, or even on what parts of the Bible are in fact poetry.

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