Mar 9, 2015 Richard Mansfield

Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries: Minor Prophets

Last Fall, we chose to release the Isaiah – Malachi section of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary even though we did not have the 12 Minor Prophets completely ready yet. If you purchased this module for your Accordance Library, and haven’t done so already, go to Content Updates to download this free update released a couple of weeks ago.

For me, the update with the Minor Prophets was perfect timing. I had just started teaching a survey of the Minor Prophets at church on Sunday. In our first session, I was covering Nahum 1:1-8, which is a fascinating passage concerning the prophesied fall of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.

The first chapter of Nahum wastes no time in describing God’s attitude toward Nineveh with words like jealous (קַנּוֹא/qannoʾ), avenging (נְקָמָה/nᵉqāmāh), and wrathful (חֵמָה/ḥēmāh). While I believe these characteristics are perfectly appropriate considering some of the atrocities committed by the ancient Assyrians, detailing God’s wrath at this level can be difficult for some modern readers to take.

Fortunately, I found the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary on Nahum by Duane Christensen to be quite helpful in explaining the balance of the opening verses of this Minor Prophet with those in vv. 7-8 which describe Yahweh as good (טוֹב/ṭoḇ) and a stronghold (מָעוֹז/māʿoz). Christensen writes,

Though vengeance is a dominant motif in the opening Psalm of Nahum and the book as a whole, that theme is balanced by specific reference to God’s grace. In v 7 we read that YHWH is good, with the emphasis on good. Nahum, at the turbulent end of an era in human history, with armies in conflict and empires tottering on the brink of destruction, affirms the eternal truth “Good is YHWH.”

Nahum gives two reasons to substantiate this claim. In the first place, God is “a stronghold in the day of distress” (v 7b), a mighty fortress so that we need not fear, “though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2). God’s protection is eternal. He provides peace in the midst of the raging storm. Second, God is good because “he knows those who take refuge in him” (v 7c). And that knowledge implies intimacy—tender loving care, like that of a husband for his cherished wife (see the earlier discussion of the term baʿal at 1:2) or of a father for his child. God knows their needs, their wants, their desires, and their sufferings. He cares for his own and sustains them in time of need with his loving presence.

Christensen’s commentary on Nahum in the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary helped me to clearly communicate to a modern audience the distinction between God’s wrath directed at his enemies and his goodness and protection to those who belong to him.

The addition of the Minor Prophets brings commentary and analysis to these biblical texts from world-renown scholars. Here’s the lineup:

  • Hosea (Vol. 24) by Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman (1996)
  • Joel (Vol. 24C) by James L. Crenshaw (1995)
  • Amos (Vol. 24A) by Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman (1989)
  • Obadiah (Vol. 24D) by Paul R. Raabe (1996)
  • Jonah (Vol. 24B) by Jack M. Sasson (1995)
  • Micah (Vol. 24E) by Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman (2006)
  • Nahum (Vol. 24F) by Duane Christensen (2009)
  • Habakkuk (Vol. 25) by Francis I. Andersen (2001)
  • Zephaniah (Vol. 25A) by Adele Berlin (1994)
  • Haggai, Zechariah 1-8 (Vol. 25B) by Carol L. Meyers and Eric M. Meyers (2004)
  • Zechariah 9-14 (Vol. 25C) by Carol L. Meyers and Eric M. Meyers (1998)
  • Malachi (Vol. 25D) by Andrew E. Hill (1998)

In addition, the Isaiah – Malachi module of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary has been carefully analyzed by our developers and tagged according to the following 14 search fields: References, Titles, English Content, Scripture, Greek Content, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Translation, Manuscripts, Bibliography, Authors, Captions, Table Titles, and Page Numbers. This level of content classification allows the user to find very specific information to aid in his or her research or teaching preparation.

AYBC Nahum


Feb 19, 2014 David Lang

Even E-Books Can't Do This

On Monday, I showed you how to display only the captioned images in a tool so you can easily scroll through all the pictures. This trick, which I use often when checking modules just prior to their release, involves searching every word in a field and then choosing to show only the hit paragraphs. As you might have guessed, a trick like this has lots of other potential uses as well.

For example, yesterday Jeremy posted a very helpful introduction to the just-released Pentateuch volumes of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary. Among the features he highlighted is the fact that each commentator provides his or her own translation of the passage under discussion. These translations are, of course, interspersed with the other kinds of content Jeremy mentioned, such as the Textual Notes, the Comment section which treats the passage as a whole, and the Notes section which offers verse-level commentary.

This is, of course, a natural arrangement for a commentary, but what if you wanted to begin your study by reading through the Anchor Bible's translation of an entire passage? With the print commentary, you would have to read the translation for one section, then flip past all the commentary before you could pick up reading the translation of the next section. When viewing the commentary normally in Accordance, you would have to scroll past all the commentary or use the more efficient method of clicking the title of each section in the Table of Contents pane. Yet one of the great advantages of Accordance is that we don't just treat modules like electronic equivalents of a book. On the contrary, we leverage the power of the computer to enable you to access each book in new and powerful ways.

In this case, we can avoid navigating past all the commentary we don't need at the moment so that we can focus exclusively on the translation, and we can do it using the same trick we used for images. Simply choose the Translation field, enter ?* (question mark-asterisk) to search for every word, and hit Return. Then choose Paragraphs from the Show Text As submenu of the gear menu.


Now you can read large portions of the translation even if they are divided among various commentary sections. In the screenshot below, the translations of Genesis 2:1-4a and Genesis 2:4b–24 appear in separate sections, but we have changed the display so that they appear as a continuous text.


While purchasing large commentary sets in Accordance is always much less expensive than purchasing them in print, they still represent a substantial investment. Accordance lets you maximize that investment by offering the flexibility to access content in ways impossible with a print volume or even other electronic formats.