In a surprising development, Ruth is replaced in the NICOT series here. It’s surprising because the replaced commentary was by editor Robert Hubbard and, as it turns out, Hubbard himself enlisted Peter Lau to produce this new volume. While the Hubbard volume was top notch, and will doubtless remain in print as an Eerdman’s Classic Commentary, Hubbard knew what he was doing. This is a dandy commentary. Peter Lau already produced Unceasing Kindness and his expertise on Ruth is now established.
The Introduction is all you could want. Lau is on point as he begins with structure. He wades through the muddy waters of genre of Ruth and comes out on the right bank. On authorship and date he surveys the horizon and picks the spot with the best view. Next, the discussion of purpose raises the standard even higher. He covers canonicity and textual issues but there isn’t much to see there.
To me, the Introduction fully blossoms in the theology section. In what’s really just a continuation he starts covering themes. Don’t miss “applying the law” and “Ruth’s ethnicity and Israelite identity” as you will connect many dots. The latter is not some latter-day political nonsense, but something that really gets at the heart of Ruth.
I loved what I read in the commentary proper. The great ideas introduced in the Introduction infuse the commentary in ways that really help. There is an embarrassment of riches in commentaries on Ruth but you’d better consider this one for your studies.
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