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.