Volume 2 in this revised edition of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC) now covers from Numbers through Ruth. It’s a huge volume of over 1300 pages! You will find the same quality commentary throughout that the series is known for. It is a pastor’s favorite for many.
The Book of Numbers has been revised by Ronald Allen. He was given more space in the old set and that continues to be true in the 450 pages of quality commentary we have here. Though there has been some updating, the Introduction is still divided into the same 12 parts. Some of the most provocative are the two sections that outline the problem of the large numbers and the suggestion of a solution. I can’t personally follow his theory there, but appreciate the overall conservative approach. The commentary itself is one of the better available today.
The commentary on Deuteronomy has been replaced with a new one by Michael Grisanti. The Introduction is short, but covers the basis. The bibliography is extensive, and some helpful maps have been added to the commentary. The commentary itself is successful because of its clarity and conservative conclusions.
The commentary on Joshua also has a new author in Helene Dallaire. Though briefer than Numbers and Deuteronomy above, it has still been well received as a mid-length commentary. The Introduction gives an overview of the book, and one of Joshua, followed by a discussion of authorship and composition, literary form, historical background and dating, the people of the land, and theology. There’s also a bibliography and outline. Since the scholarly world is really varied in dating Joshua, the author gives a good synopsis of both conservative and liberal views. There are some helpful charts throughout the commentary too. I would label this commentary as solid and helpful.
The commentary on Judges also has a new author, this time by highly respected Mark Boda. He stays within the confines of the series, which limits page number, but still succeeds in providing a concise, yet penetrating volume. He approaches Introduction by discussing in turn, its canonical forms, its historical contexts, its sociological dynamics, it’s a literary shape, it’s rhetorical purpose, and its theological potential. He also has a nice bibliography and outline. In using it you will easily see the hand of a seasoned commentator.
George Schwab provides a new commentary on the Book of Ruth. I had a lot of trouble agreeing with his conclusions in the Introduction. The chart on page 1308, however, was outstanding. The commentary itself is helpful, but I found a few conclusions in the commentary a little over the top as well. I’m not saying it isn’t worth consulting, just that it wouldn’t be my favorite.
I don’t see how you could go wrong with this thick commentary covering five books of the Old Testament. When you think about what you’re getting, you could even call it an economical value too. This is really a nice one!
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.