Lindenberger presents an up-to-date translation of seventy-nine letters and fragments, virtually the complete corpus of surviving letters in Aramaic and Hebrew down to the time of Alexander, omitting only the most fragmentary and the most formulaic. This includes the correspondence from ancient Jewish writers at Yavneh-Yam (seventh century), Arad and Lachish (sixth century), and Elephantine (fifth century). There are also administrative letters from Persian bureaucrats, private commercial and family correspondence from Egypt, and other scattered letters from Assyria, Egypt, Philistia, and Idumaea. Also included are short notes in Edomite, Ammonite, and Phoenician (one in each language). The second edition is supplemented by an additional nine texts, some of them published very recently, not found in the 1994 edition. Translations are now provided with line numbers, and some have been improved in the light of recent studies. Brief introductions set each group of letters into its historical and social context. The arrangement within each language group is roughly chronological.
Lindenberger is in complete command of his material, familiar with the problems of interpreting difficult texts, and possessed of panoramic vision and discrimination of detail.
—Journal of the American Oriental Society
This fine volume belongs in every library devoted to biblical studies and the ancient world.
—Religious Studies Review
James Lindenberger is Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Vancouver School of Theology Department at the University of British Columbia, in Canada. He is the author of The Aramaic Proverbs of Ahiqar.