Volume 4 of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary EBC) series continues the winning record this revision has had of the popular, much beloved original EBC series. In the revised set, volume 4 covers from Chronicles to Job. In this case, we have two new authors (on Chronicles and Esther) creating completely new works along with two authors (on Ezra and Nehemiah and Job) doing a revision.
The new work on Chronicles was handled by Frederick Mabie. By all accounts this is a thorough, conservative improvement over the older series. He provides a succinct, interesting Introduction to First and Second Chronicles. In addition to great text, he provides a few charts and graphs that greatly enhance the work. He deviates from the usual synoptic approach to Chronicles with Samuel and Kings. That makes this a stronger commentary on the Chronicles itself. I’m particularly glad to have this work.
Edwin Yamauchi revises his work on Ezra and Nehemiah. Immediately I noticed substantial updating in the Introduction in some places. He’s clearly an expert in history and packs an incredible amount of great information into the Introduction. The maps were much improved as well. This is a helpful commentary including textual notes after each commentary.
Elaine Phillips writes on Esther. Not only is this a substantial improvement over the older set, it superior to many other commentaries on Esther available today. For one reason she’s not so skeptical of Esther’s history! She admits the problems, but doesn’t find them insurmountable. The Introduction is brief, but good. I consider this a real asset.
Tremper Longman revised Elmer Smick’s well-received commentary on Job with the goal of updating the scholarship but keeping Smick’s conclusions intact. Since this commentary was well received in the past I think this was an outstanding way to handle Job in this series. There’s conservative conclusions, a fine chart on page 682, followed by good explanation on parallelism. There is good description of the characters and language before we get into the commentary. Again, it’s very helpful.
This would be a great volume for pastors, especially if you consider its great value in covering from Chronicles through Job for a fair price. Don’t miss this one!
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