The historical books of the Old Testament recount the fortunes of the people of Israel from the conquest of the promised land onwards. Those in Joshua-Kings bring the story up to the point when the independent kingdom of Judah was destroyed by foreign invaders and much of the population deported to Babylon.
This is a book about history, but what it deals with particularly is salvation history, it is part of God's revelation to mankind, and therefore is of enduring religious interest. Many of the great names of salvation history, and their exploits, fill the pages of this volume, and with them the Lord God of Israel engages - wooing, commanding, tolerating, and punishing them for breaking the Covenant made with Moses during the exodus from Egypt.
Here we see Joshua leading the people into Canaan and dividing it among the twelve tribes. During the difficult years of settlement, God raises up leaders to act as judges and saviours - Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson, among them. Here too is the delightful story of Ruth the Moabitess, ancestress of David. The prophet Samuel accedes to the people's clamour for a king - anointing, first Saul, then David. The volume reports the reign of Solomon, who built the temple of Jerusalem, and the career of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with the prophets who strove to keep both kings and people loyal to the Law. Eventually Jerusalem falls in the year 587. The monarchy is at an end but the people of God will soon re-emerge from apparent failure, and Jerusalem and the Law will be restored.
Like the other volumes in the standard edition of the Navarre Bible, prepared by Navarre University's theology faculty, this book contains the full biblical text in the Revised Standard Version and the New Vulgate together with extensive comment-aries. The commentaries, or notes, help to explain the doctrinal and practical meaning of the scriptural text, drawing on a rich variety of sources, Church docu-ments, the exegesis of Fathers and Doctors, and the works of prominent spiritual writers, particularly St. Josemaria Escriva, who initiated the Navarre Bible project.