22 FEBRUARY 1890, Page 23

The Kings of Israel and Judah. By George Rawlinson. (Nisbet.)

—The author of this book, which belongs to the " Men of the Bible " series, allows, of course, that his chief sources of informa- tion are the Books of Kings and Chronicles and the Prophetical Scriptures. But he has supplemented these with such different authorities as Dean Stanley's " Lectures on the Jewish Church," Kitto's "Biblical Cyelopiedia," and Ewald's "History of the People of Israel," although he is careful to say of the last that it has been sparingly used, " the writer's absolute rejection of the mar- vellous rendering him an untrustworthy commentator on a period of history wherein, according to the original authorities, the miraculous played a prominent part." While in no way rationalising the Biblical history, Professor Rawlinson succeeds by dint of a singularly clear style, and with the help of his great and well-digested knowledge, in giving all the interest of an ordinary secular narrative to his book. His characterisations of various Kings—those of Jeroboam I., Ahab, and Jehu may be singled out—are exceptionally vivid and yet judicious. This is an excellent little text-book of its kind.