In this work, Daniel Estes introduces you to the Old Testament poetical books—Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Each chapter explores one of the five poetical books. Estes first summarizes some of the book’s key issues. He then devotes the main portion of the chapter to an exposition of the book, interacting with major commentaries and recent studies. Each chapter concludes with an extensive bibliography, allowing for further exploration.
Within his given format Estes approaches the introductory material straightforwardly, while slightly tweaking his expositional format. He provides full treatments of Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon, but changes slightly the presentation of the Psalms and of Proverbs. In Psalms he identifies 10 types of psalms and treats each one according to its form and typical contents. Similarly in Proverbs, Estes identifies topics and synthesizes them into a coherent exposition on the books contents.
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This is an eminently readable and useful book for the study of the wisdom books and Psalms. . . . this work opens up ways of studying and understanding them that will take most Christians much farther in their appreciation of these compositions and of the Psalter in which they are found. Estes also skillfully leads readers into a new appreciation for the wisdom books, which are often misunderstood and underappreciated. Students, pastors, and even highly motivated laypeople will find much to treasure in this book.
—David M. Howard Jr., professor of Old Testament, Bethel Seminary
In this engaging and helpful survey of the types and themes of wisdom literature, Estes . . . provides a generous introduction for readers interested in the interpretation of these books. . . . Estes’ survey represents all major positions on introductory matters in judicious fashion. . . . Estes’ book joins the other volumes in this series in providing significant introductions to the literature of the Old Testament.
Daniel J. Estes (PhD, University of Cambridge) is a distinguished professor of Bible at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, and author of Hear, My Son: Teaching and Learning in Proverbs 1–9.