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

Robert Alter (Translator)


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 creation account in its Voice from the Whirlwind is beautiful and incendiary. By contrast, a serene fatalism suffuses Ecclesiastes with a quiet beauty, and the pithy maxims of Proverbs impart a worldly wisdom that is satirically shrewd. Each of these books addresses 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.

Product Details

$18.95  $17.43
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
October 03, 2011
5.5 X 1.6 X 8.2 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Robert Alter's translation of the Hebrew Bible, the magnificent capstone to a lifetime of distinguished scholarly work, has won the PEN Center Literary Award for Translation. His immense achievements in scholarship ranging from the eighteenth-century European novel to contemporary Hebrew and American literature earned Alter the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.


Masterfully translated.--John Timpane
A master translator of Hebrew poetry.--Jon Meacham
Masterfully translated. --John Timpane
Magnificent: This translation is superb [and] the commentary is rich in linguistic, historical, and literary insights that immeasurably enrich the reading of these texts. "
Masterfully translated. --John Timpane"
A master translator of Hebrew poetry. --Jon Meacham"