Volume 7 of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC), Revised Edition, covers from Jeremiah through Ezekiel, and is another successful updating in the beloved series. This volume contains two brand-new authors with new works and one revision by an author from the original series. It uses the helpful format found in the other volumes of the series.
The Book of Jeremiah is tackled by Michael Brown, replacing the respected Charles Feinberg. He begins the Introduction by describing the world of Jeremiah’s day. Next, he describes the uniqueness of the book of Jeremiah, both in its length and in its contrast between despair and hope. He describes how he comments on the final, canonical form rather than drowning in the nebulous world of sources. After that, he discusses date and authorship, stylistic differences, and his own opinions about editorial activity and sources. I found that to be of little value. When he gets back to historical background he is much more effective. The discussion of background is followed by one of literary style where he discusses issues of structure. He ends with a section on texts and versions, followed by a bibliography and outline. The commentary itself follows the normal style of overview, translation, commentary, and notes. He gives solid exegetical help with commentary of sufficient length for the aims of this series.
Lamentations is done by Paul Farris, Jr., replacing H. L. Ellison. I’ve seen some good press on this commentary, and it appears to be well earned. He begins the Outline discussing title, authorship, date, and historical setting. From there he gets into literary setting where he describes the alphabetic acrostic poetry, the voice, the dirge meter, and city laments in the Ancient Near East. After a brief section on liturgy, he has one on theology. Even including the bibliography and outline this is rather brief. The commentary itself follows the same style mentioned above, but is very detailed and helpful.
The work on Ezekiel has been updated by Ralph Alexander. The Introduction has not been majorly updated, but has a much better appearance. It still covers background, unity and authorship, date, place of origin and destination, occasion and purpose, literary form and structure, and theological values. Some reviewers downgrade Mr. Alexander’s commentary merely because he has a pre-millennial viewpoint. Don’t listen to them. This is a commentary of value.
This is another fine volume that bolsters the status of the EBC, revised edition, and I recommend it.
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