Volume 1 of the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC) series in this revised edition covers the books from Genesis to Leviticus. As is common in this series, this volume is a revision of an already valuable commentary. In this case, two authors revise their original work while another is replaced with a new scholar. There’s some great help to be found in this volume.
The Book of Genesis is revised by the original author, John H. Sailhamer, who is known for his writings on the Pentateuch. It appears to me that the earlier part of the Introduction is not majorly revised, but much material is added farther in. He begins with a discussion of the historical background, followed by one on the unity of the book. Next, he discusses authorship, date, and place of origin. In doing so, he reviews both the traditional and critical viewpoints. He expands to discuss the compositional view where he surveys what he calls In-Textuality. He goes on to discuss purpose, literary form including an assessment of structure, and the final shape of the primary history. He also compares it to the Old Testament (Tanak) as a whole. After an outline, he jumps into the commentary and gives an overview, commentary, and textual notes on each passage. I agree with those who rank it highly.
The Book of Exodus is done by prolific scholar Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. I have long had a deep respect for his work. I am aware that some think that his work on Exodus is not long enough while others expressed disappointment that his revision was not more in-depth. Still, his work strikes me as quite helpful in a series with the aims that the EBC has. In the Introduction, Kaiser discusses title and theme, authorship and unity (with conservative conclusions), date of writing, the text of Exodus, the date of Exodus, the route of the Exodus, and a brief discussion of theology. After a brief bibliography and outline, along with a chart about the Tabernacle, he jumps into the commentary proper. It’s in the same style mentioned above and is very well done.
The Book of Leviticus has Richard Hess replacing the work of R. Laird Harris. Mr. Hess has also written a commentary on the Song of Songs that is highly regarded. In his Introduction, he reviews name and text, date and authorship (with a favorable view of Mosaic authorship), scholarship and interpretation, and theology. Most agree that he has turned out a substantial improvement over the old edition. The commentary is outstanding and there are a few charts along the way that greatly help understanding.
This commentary provides great help on Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus. It’s a bargain with its three commentaries for one price deal. Pastors and Bible students will love it!
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