Photo courtesy Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

ON THE COVER: An enthroned King David (left) is struck dumb by the accusatory prophet Nathan (center) and then falls to the floor in contrition (lower right) in a full-page illumination from a 10th-century A.D. Byzantine Bible. The figure standing above the prostrate monarch is the personification of Remorse. The scene depicts events from 2 Samuel 12, in which Nathan, using an allegory of a wrongfully killed lamb, verbally scalds David for arranging the death of Uriah the Hittite and for David’s subsequent marriage to Uriah’s widow, Bathsheba.

For centuries, the prophets of the Hebrew Bible delivered their messages—some laden with foreboding and others brimming with hope—to kings and commoner alike. Margaret Parker, in “Exploring Four Persistent Prophetic Images,” examines the storehouse of images to which the Hebrew prophets continually returned to describe a four-act drama between the people of Israel and their God.