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Genesis: Translation and Commentary, Robert Alter


ISBN: 9780393316704

27 reviews

"[Here is] the Genesis for our generation and beyond."―Robert Fagles

Genesis begins with the making of heaven and earth and all life, and ends with the image of a mummy—Joseph's—in a coffin. In between come many of the primal stories in Western culture: Adam and Eve's expulsion from the garden of Eden, Cain's murder of Abel, Noah and the Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham's binding of Isaac, the covenant of God and Abraham, Isaac's blessing of Jacob in place of Esau, the saga of Joseph and his brothers.

In Robert Alter's brilliant translation, these stories cohere in a powerful narrative of the tortuous relations between fathers and sons, husbands and wives, eldest and younger brothers, God and his chosen people, the people of Israel and their neighbors. Alter's translation honors the meanings and literary strategies of the ancient Hebrew and conveys them in fluent English prose. It recovers a Genesis with the continuity of theme and motif of a wholly conceived and fully realized book. His insightful, fully informed commentary illuminates the book in all its dimensions.

This book is paperback and is recommended reading for Hillsdale's free online course, "The Genesis Story: Reading Biblical Narratives"


"A masterly new translation." —Time

"Here is Genesis in all its power and presence.... Alter offers us an English prose as gravely cadenced as that of the King James Bible, and yet as fresh, precise, and strong as the best contemporary narrative can be." —Robert Fagles, award-winning translator of The Iliad and The Odyssey

"Alter's achievement is immensely impressive.... The illuminating notes alone make this volume indispensable for anyone wanting to do a close reading in English translation and understand all the possibilities of the original Hebrew." —John A. Phillips, Boston Globe

"Genesis remains our best single collection of perennial stories. Alter translates them glowingly, without slickness or archness. His running commentary illuminates the true language of life in both Hebrew and English." —Roger Shattuck

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25 Jan 2023
Alretta T.
United States United States
I recommend this product


I love the information in this book it is so powerful, I can't put it down. God Bless you Mr. Robert Alter!

22 Jan 2023
United States United States
I recommend this product

Genesis commentary

Excellent commentary and I'm looking forward to an extensive study with this book

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Genesis: Translation and Commentary, Robert Alter

Genesis: Translation and Commentary, Robert Alter