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HOGLUND, K.G., Achaemenid Imperial Administration in Syria-Palestine and the

Missions of Ezra and Nehemiah (SBLDS, 125; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992),
pp. xii + 275. Cloth, $44.95 ($29.95), ISBN 1-55540-456-1. Paper, $29.95
($19.95), ISBN 1-55540-457-X.
This research constitutes a thorough and generally quite convincing account of
Achaemenid policy towards Yehud, which arose not from the Megabyzus revolt
(which is here dismissed as a non-occurrence) but the Egyptian revolts of 465-460,
which are examined minutely. Also carefully analyzed and explained is the Persian
fortification system established in the mid-5th century. The weakest concerns what
this is the context of, for the missions of Nehemiah and Ezra are much less critically
investigated historically than their context; had H. used his excellent critical skills on
Ezra’s mission, it would surely have gone the same way as the Megabyzus revolt!

FENN, R., The Death of Herod: An Essay in the Sociology of Religion (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. x + 200. Paper, £10.95, $15.95. ISBN
F. uses as a point d’appui for this ’introduction to sociological method’ a particu-
lar event, the death of Herod, and the issue of ’societal self-reproduction’
(’succession management’). The trials and deaths of three of Herod’s sons ’disclose
the erosion of discourse... the divorce of words from deeds’ which pemeate the
whole society (15). Themes such as relations between generations, the power of the
dead, obligation, and, basically, social credit, sociological concepts of role perform-
ance, construction of reality through language, networks, charisma, and approaches
called ’priestly (Durkheim; structural-functional) and ’prophetic’ (dynamic,
Weberian) are all invoked. As a methodological essay it is rather diffuse; its theory
of the social causes of the 66-70 war is more easily grasped, although that relies on
Josephus. Interesting, but for laypersons rather ambitious and as a scholarly thesis
short on factual detail.

HAAK, Robert D., Habakkuk (VTSup, 44; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992). Pp. viii + 177.
100 Glds. ISBN 90-09-09506-3.
This revision of a 1986 University of Chicago Divinity School PhD thesis argues
for a new and creative interpretation of this Minor Prophet. H. analyzes the book as
an expanded individual complaint and defends the essential authenticity and unity of
the work. It is his suggested historical background, however, that proves most inter-
esting (and enterprising). According to H., Habakkuk should be identified as a
supporter of the deposed King Jehoahaz (’the righteous’ one of 1.4, 2.4) and a critic
of the pro-Egyptian Jehoiakim; the Chaldeans of 1.6 are understood in a positive
light as the instruments of Yahweh for the restoration of the rightful monarch. The
commitment to try consistently to correlate the text with that particular setting makes