Careful, detailed, cautious, seasoned, thorough – these are the first words that come to my mind after perusing this latest volume in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series. Mr. Alexander has literally spent his career in the Book of Exodus. Beyond his background in Exodus, the author’s preface states: “I write from a position of believing that the book of Exodus carries an authority that is of divine origin, being more than simply the product of a human author.” In admitting his bias, he makes me feel that I’m in better hands.
For years I’ve been hearing that we should expect a major, conservative exegetical work for Mr. Alexander on Exodus. From what I can see, he has lived up to the hype. It seems that Exodus has been blessed with more pastor-friendly volumes than top exegetical works that the scholars would salivate over. Mr. Alexander has managed to write in the commentary sections material that will please pastors while his lengthy discussions of form and structure on every passage would give the scholars all they could hope for.
I genuinely enjoyed the Introduction. He began with a section on what he called the Exodus Story that exposed the big picture and showed the author particularly adept at theological observation. His discussion of the literary context of Exodus, the relation of Exodus to the rest of the Old Testament, and especially the section on relating Exodus to the New Testament were all brilliant. After that, he got more into the scholarly issues like structure, authorship and date, and criticism. I feel more comfortable with Moses having written Exodus than he does, and can’t be as generous to some critical scholars as he is, but he clearly describes the boundaries of the discussion. He seems to want to date the Exodus in the 15th century BC, but a few arguments that didn’t impress me pushed him into the 13th century BC. His section on the text of Exodus was short as he deals with so many things in the commentary itself.
Mr. Alexander well handles the Apollos commentary framework. Each passage has his own translation that focuses more on pointing out unique things in the text rather than flowing English, appropriate notes on the text, all followed by an extensive form and structure discussion that ranges from worthwhile information to interacting with esoteric, critical viewpoints. Next, we find a commentary section that is of great value followed by a shorter explanation section that is helpful to expositors.
There’s not many reviews out there before mine, so I will venture a prediction that this volume will be highly respected and important for decades to come. I highly recommend it.
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.