Path of the Prophets


Path of the Prophets

The Ethics-Driven Life

Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz

352 pages


March 2018


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2018


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2018


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Illuminating the ethical legacy of the biblical prophets, Path of the Prophets identifies the prophetic moment in the lives of eighteen biblical figures and demonstrates their compelling relevance to us today.

While the Bible almost exclusively names men as prophets, Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz celebrates heroic, largely unknown biblical women such as Shiphrah, Tirzah, and Hannah. He also deepens readers’ interpretations of more familiar biblical figures not generally thought of as prophets, such as Joseph, Judah, and Caleb.

Schwartz introduces the prophets with creative, first-person retellings of their decisive experiences, followed by key biblical narratives, context, and analysis. He weighs our heroes’ and heroines’ legacies—their obstacles and triumphs—and considers how their ethical examples live on; he guides us on how to integrate biblical-ethical values into our lives; and he challenges each of us to walk the prophetic path today.


Author Bio

​Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz is director of The Jewish Publication Society and rabbi of Congregation Adas Emuno, Leonia, New Jersey. He is the author of Judaism’s Great Debates: Timeless Controversies from Abraham to Herzl (JPS, 2012) and Jewish Heroes, Jewish Values, among other volumes.



"Schwartz's new book works as both an intelligent class textbook, complete with appended study guide, and absorbing personal reading."—Ray Olson, Booklist

"Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz identifies the prophetic moment in the lives of the eighteen biblical figures that we know as the Prophets and he shows us their relevance today in his new book."—Reviews by Amos Lassen

"An enjoyable, thought-provoking, and revelatory book. While the intended audience might be Jewish, I can say, as a Christian pastor, this book will speak important truths to Christians as well. This wonderfully written book explores the ethical implications of the spiritual life in conversation with eighteen persons found in the Hebrew Bible."—Robert Cornwall, Ponderings on a Faith Journal

"This title would be a fine addition to any collection used by adult readers."—Arthur G. Quinn, Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

Path of the Prophets is the most significant new contribution to our understanding of the prophets so far in the twenty-first century—filled with new insights, important for Jewish scholarship, and a joy to read for anyone who has ever grappled with the meaning and contemporary relevance of the Bible.”—Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine

“Rabbi Schwartz brings new life to the men and women of the Bible, ordinary people who did extraordinary things—and challenges us to do the same, to make the most of life’s journey.”—Rabbi Sally J. Priesand, author of Judaism and the New Woman

“The prophets call us passionately to justice—but, alas, the prophetic books are not easy to understand. Schwartz has done the seemingly impossible by delving clearly into the prophets’ ethical dilemmas and urging readers to face those injustices of yesterday and today. As we yearn for religious voices that will challenge entrenched ideologies, this is a desperately needed volume.”—Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president emeritus, Union for Reform Judaism

Table of Contents

About This Book    
Preface: Why the Prophets?
Introduction: The Ethics-Driven Life    

Part 1. To Do Justly
1. Abraham’s Argument: The Path of Protest    
2. Shiphrah’s Defiance: The Path of Civil Disobedience    
3. Moses’ Encounter: The Path of Freedom    
4. Tirzah’s Challenge: The Path of Equality    
5. Samuel’s Warning: The Path of Rebuke    
6. Nathan’s Parable: The Path of Righteousness    

Part 2. To Love Mercy
7. Judah’s Step Forward: The Path of Repentance    
8. Joseph’s Cry: The Path of Forgiveness    
9. Ruth’s Vow: The Path of Kindness    
10. Elisha’s Invitation: The Path of Healing    
11. Jeremiah’s Scroll: The Path of Hope    
12. Jonah’s Lesson: The Path of Compassion    

Part 3. To Walk Humbly
13. Miriam’s Celebration: The Path of Joy    
14. Caleb’s Spirit: The Path of Faith    
15. Hannah’s Prayer: The Path of Prayer    
16. Elijah’s Voice: The Path of Humility    
17. Isaiah’s Vision: The Path of Peace    
18. Ezra’s Torah: The Path of Wisdom    
A Prophetic Glossary    
Study Guide: Living the Bible    

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