Vast as the Sea: Hebrew Poetry and the Human Condition (Paperback)
The poetry, imagery, speeches, and emotions readers encounter in texts like Job, Psalms, and Jeremiah are abundant resources for articulating the painful experiences of the human condition. These compositions are sacred scripts that normalize and articulate the anxiety, loneliness, and despair that mark life on earth. In Vast as the Sea, Samuel Hildebrandt presents an accessible, exegetical study of these scripts that demonstrates how the Bible's ancient poetry speaks today. In conversation with current psychological research, Hildebrandt's poetic analyses invite readers to discover the personal and expressive contours of the biblical text, as well as its liberating and healing potential.
Vast as the Sea models an approach to the Old Testament that navigates a critical and creative balance between ancient contexts and contemporary life. Hildebrandt joins these two worlds together by maintaining a conscious focus on poetic language. By reflecting on individual words, engaging selected metaphors, and unpacking expressions and their underlying worldviews, Vast as the Sea gifts to its readers a reservoir of language for putting the pain of being human into words. The world, woe, and wonder of Old Testament poetry is a vast yet overlooked resource for readers who are left speechless by the tumults of life and who struggle to reconcile such experiences with their faith. Promoting emotional literacy and wrestling with the tensions between confession and experience, Vast as the Sea will become a long-held, treasured resource for scholars and everyday readers of the Bible, as well as for practitioners in psychology and pastoral counseling.