By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
The title of Harper Lees new book comes from the Bible
No Caption - photo by Herb Scribner
Last Tuesday, book readers and literature enthusiasts alike celebrated across the country as Go Set a Watchman the sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird hit bookshelves and was made available to the public.

There have been numerous reports about what the book represents. Some say it opens up a conversation about elder abuse, while others say the book talks about taking care of family. There are even some commentaries suggesting the book teaches readers about growing up.

But the title of the book has meaning. Its based off a Bible quote from Isaiah 21:6, that reads, according to the King James Version, For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.

There are a few commentaries on BibleHub describing what the verse means, which differ based on different translations. But most come to the consensus that the quote describes Isaiah receiving a message from God to have someone ascend a watch tower over the city of Babylon before it is destroyed.

The event is not to be immediate, it is to be watched for; and Isaiah is not to watch himself, but to set the watchman, the pulpit commentary reads. Moreover, the watchman waits long before he sees anything (ver. 8). These unusual features of the narrative seem to mark a remote, not a near, accomplishment of the prophecy.

The title, then, makes sense, given the book is about Jean Louise returning home, where she sees the destruction of her childhood memories, as Time magazine reported in its review of the book.

"Jean Louise learns that she cannot write off her father his good and his bad just because of the views hes always held, or because hes a figure from a past thats receding too slowly," Time's review said. "Its only by striving to see him with the eyes of an adult that she can come to understand what she stands for. Painful though it may be, thats the readers task too."
Sign up for our E-Newsletters