Daniel Block’s commentary on Ruth is a prototype commentary in the major exegetical commentary category. Perhaps you are like me, and already loved his commentary on Judges and Ruth in the New American Commentary series. Most reviewers always thought his section on Ruth was not quite as outstanding as the one on Judges. Though I still found it valuable, that was probably a fair assessment. So what did Mr. Block go and do here? He has given us what is likely the best exegetical commentary on the Book of Ruth that we have today.
This book is one of the early volumes in the emerging ZECOT series. The bar remains high for future volumes. It continues the discourse analysis approach, which is merely keeping the narrative flow ever in view.
His Introduction to Ruth was tantalizing. He uncovers things usually overlooked and that provides us great help in our goal of grasping the book of Ruth. For example, I hadn’t thought about the fact that the namesake of the book speaks the least often of the three main characters. These kinds of clues really tell us something. His following of the narrative flow helps bring out wonderfully the structure and literary style of the book. Best of all, his brief overview of the theological message of Ruth was outstanding. I might see more in the messianic significance than he does, but the Introduction is still top-notch.
The commentary itself is all that you could hope for. It follows carefully the ZECOT layout and uses it to the best advantage. In addition, there are some charts along the way that really added something helpful to my comprehension. As a bonus, he provides a dramatic reading of the Book of Ruth in an appendix.
Not only is this an extraordinary commentary, it was enjoyable to read someone who not only loved the book of Ruth, but the God of Ruth as well. Label this one – a must buy!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
8 thoughts on “Ruth (ZECOT) by Daniel Block”
Great recommendation! But I am unfamiliar ZECOT layout. Forgive my ignorance. Mind explaining. Thanks!
Bob, every passage is given a concise main idea, a literary context section to tie into big picture, an outline of the passage, a synopsis of the structure and literary form, an explanation of the text (regular commentary), and ending with canonical and practical significance ( some scholarly observation along with some application). Hope that helps!
Thanks…not sure how I have missed learning that… the acronym just does ring a bell…It just so happens that in our church’s series of Biblical figures the next one on the list is Ruth and I am studying this subject now. I will have to look this book up to help guide me in this sermon! Thanks again!
If you are only ordering one, this is the right one. You might want an expository or devotional one to go with it.
I just ordered it on the German Amazon and found it in English and it will be here tomorrow! Thanks again for the recommendation!
Glad it worked out!
Pingback: Bible Commentaries | The Reagan Review