No other reference series gets to the heart of the Old Testament as efficiently as the Holman Old Testament Commentary (HOTC). When a reader’s time allows, the series offers a detailed interpretation based on the popular New International Version text. When time is short, it delivers an essential understanding of the Old Testament with unsurpassed clarity and convenience. This volume on Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther lays out fresh insight into the practical applications of these three books for contemporary pastoral ministry.
“The temple was completed in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius, March 515 B.C., seventy-two years after the destruction of Solomon’s temple: ‘These nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years’ (Jer. 25:11). ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place’ (Jer. 29:10).” (Page 70)
“In order to establish Ezra’s qualifications, a genealogical sketch was amended to the text. Though incomplete compared to 1 Chronicles 6, the genealogy in Ezra is accurate. The main purpose of the record was to establish connecting points of authority, going back to Phinehas … Eleazar … and Aaron the chief priest.” (Page 80)
“Ezra returned, along with a new wave of exiles, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes’s reign. No doubt this disturbed the surrounding neighbors. The letter contained inflammatory language intended to bias the king.” (Page 46)
“True understanding, when it penetrates to the heart, produces genuine joy” (Page 219)
“To purify the altar and atone for sins, the exiles stood as representatives of the nation. Although only members of the tribes of Benjamin, Judah, and Levi were present, they sacrificed on behalf of all the tribes, thereby associating this temple once again with Solomon’s and its jurisdiction over a unified Israel. Completing the dedication was the installation of the priests and Levites according to the Book of Moses.” (Page 71)
Kute Larson was senior pastor of The Chapel in Akron, Ohio, for twenty-five years before his retirement. He serves currently as associate Bible teacher for RBC Ministries, is a consultant for the Evangelical free Church Great Lakes District. He was educated at Grace College (BA), Grace Theological Seminary (M.Div), and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (D.Min).He now serves as a pastoral coach and teacher, drawing on his 41 years of pastoral ministry. He lives by the sand dunes in southwest Michigan with his wife of 56 years, Jeanine, near their two married daughters. Knute has five other books, one on the Epistles from which he coaches pastors and preaches in churches.
Kathy Dahlen is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University. For eight years she served as Director of Communications at The Chapel in Akron, Ohio, a large metropolitan church of over 8,000 members. Kathy is a frelance writer with articles published in numerous Christian publications.