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The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT) (23 vols.)
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Overview

This collection includes all of the volumes from The New International Commentary on the Old Testament to provide an exposition of Scripture that is thorough and abreast of modern scholarship, yet at the same time loyal to Scripture as the infallible Word of God. This conviction, shared by all contributors to The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, defines the goal of this ambitious series.

This decades-long project has become recognized by scholars, pastors, and serious Bible students as critical yet orthodox commentary marked by solid biblical scholarship within the evangelical Protestant tradition. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament serves as authoritative scriptural guides, bridging the cultural gap between today’s world and the Bible’s. Each volume in the NICOT aims to help us hear God’s word as clearly as possible.

Scholars, pastors, and serious Bible students will welcome the fresh light that this commentary series casts on ancient yet familiar biblical texts. The contributors apply their proven scholarly expertise and wide experience as teachers to illumine our understanding of the Old Testament. Gifted writers, they present the results of the best recent research in an interesting, readable, and thought-provoking manner.

Each commentary opens with an introduction to the biblical book in question, looking especially at questions concerning its background, authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. A select bibliography also points readers to resources for their own study. The author’s own translation from the original Hebrew and Greek texts forms the basis of the commentary proper. Verse-by-verse comments nicely balance the in-depth discussions of technical matters—such as textual criticism and critical problems—with exposition of the biblical writer’s theology and its implications for the life of faith today.

With Logos, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament will integrate into the Passage Guide. Whenever you enter your passage and click go, results from the NICOT will appear on the text you’re studying. This gives you instant access to exactly what you’re looking for—in far less time than it would take you to walk over to the bookshelf and begin flipping through a print volume, let alone find the information you need.

Key Features

  • Verse-by-verse commentary
  • Links to original-language texts and English-language Bible translations
  • In-depth discussion of textual and critical matters
  • Introductions to each book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology
  • Detailed bibliography
  • Links from all words—English, Greek, Hebrew, and other original languages— to lexicons in your digital library

Praise for the Logos Edition

The NIC is an amazing scholarly, protestant, evangelical commentary series. It gives verse-by-verse commentary on almost every book of the Bible, including immensely helpful introductory information. The only thing better than the commentary series itself is being able to have the entire thing with you, on your laptop, wherever you go. The NIC for Logos is a great resource that every seminarian should consider.

—GoingtoSeminary.com review

Individual Titles

The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17

  • Author: Victor P. Hamilton
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 540

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The first volume of Victor P. Hamilton’s two-volume study of Genesis in the NICOT series, this commentary contributes a solid, thorough explication of the wealth and depth of material embedded in Scripture’s foundational book.

Hamilton’s substantive introduction—which serves both this volume and the one covering chapters 18–50—discusses the structure of Genesis and its composition, its theology, the problems involved in its interpretation, its canonicity, and the Hebrew text itself. The commentary proper, based on Hamilton’s own translation, evidences his extensive knowledge of the ancient Near East and of contemporary scholarship, including literary, form, and text criticism. Siding with the arguments in favor of the literary and theological unity of the Genesis text, Hamilton stresses the main theme running throughout the book—God’s gracious promise of blessing and reconciliation in the face of evil and sin.

A unique feature of this book is Hamilton’s emphasis on the reading of Genesis by the New Testament community. Following his commentary on each section of Genesis, he discusses where and how the New Testament appropriated material from that section and incorporated it into the message of the New Covenant.

The best of current evangelical scholarship. Biblical scholars and informed laypersons will find this an excellent resource for the study of Genesis.

Hebrew Studies

Hamilton’s work is a thorough treatment of the meaning of the text. One of the best commentaries on Genesis available for expositors.

Bibliotheca Sacra

A substantial contribution to the study of the first part of Genesis. Its strengths lie in Hamilton’s philological, grammatical, and comparative Semitic work, as well as in his useful synthesis of prior research. It is a work that every researcher in this ancient text will want to consult.

Themelios

Victor P. Hamilton is a professor emeritus of Bible and theology at Asbury College in Wilmore, KY. His other books include the commentary on Genesis 18–50 in this series and Handbook on the Historical Books.

The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18–50

  • Author: Victor P. Hamilton
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1995
  • Pages: 733

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The second volume of Victor P. Hamilton’s two-volume study of Genesis for the NICOT series, this prodigious and scholarly work provides linguistic, literary, and theological commentary on Genesis 18–50. Beginning with Abraham’s reception of the three visitors and his intercession before Yahweh on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18) and continuing through the end of the Joseph story (Gen. 50), the overarching theme of Hamilton’s commentary is Yahweh’s faithfulness to his promised word and his covenant commitments to those whom he has chosen to receive that promised word.

Special features of this commentary include its serious attention to important matters of biblical translation from the Hebrew language into English, copious footnotes that direct readers to further and more extensive sources of information, and frequent references to the New Testament writers’ reading of Genesis. Hamilton’s work will greatly benefit scholars, seminarians, and pastors who seek solid exegesis of the Bible’s foundational book.

A commentary that students of the Bible should read and keep on hand for frequent reference. Hamilton not only explains the biblical text with a balanced survey of the scholarly opinions expressed on it, but often adds his own original views. This book not only informs the reader but also makes him think.

Cyrus H. Gordon

An admirable work. A thorough, dependable, and illuminating exposition. The quality of its research is matched by the clarity of its comments. It is a major addition to the literature on Genesis and should be kept close at hand by all who want to plumb the depths of the Bible’s charter book.

David Allan Hubbard

Users of the NICOT will not be disappointed with this addition to the series.

J. Gerald Janzen, Macallister-Petticrew Emeritus Professor of Old Testament, Christian Theological Seminary

Victor P. Hamilton is a professor emeritus of Bible and theology at Asbury College in Wilmore, KY. His other books include the commentary on Genesis 1–17 in this series and Handbook on the Historical Books.

The Book of Leviticus

  • Author: Gordon J. Wenham
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1979
  • Pages: 375

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Leviticus used to be the first book that Jewish children studied in the synagogue. In the modern church it tends to be the last part of the Bible that anyone looks at seriously. Because Leviticus is largely concerned with subjects that seem incomprehensible and irrelevant today—rituals for sacrifice and regulations concerning uncleanliness—it appears to have nothing to say to twenty-first-century Christians.

In this excellent commentary on Leviticus, Gordon Wenham takes with equal seriousness both the plain original meaning of the text and its abiding theological value. To aid in reconstructing the original meaning of the text, Wenham draws from studies of Old Testament ritual and sacrifice that compare and contrast biblical customs with the practices of other Near Eastern cultures. He also closely examines the work of social anthropologists and expertly uses the methods of literary criticism to bring out the biblical author’s special interests.

In pursuit of his second aim, to illumine the enduring theological value of Leviticus, Wenham discusses at the end of each section how the Old Testament passages relate to the New Testament and to contemporary Christianity. In doing so, he not only shows how pervasive Levitical ideas are in the New Testament but also highlights in very practical ways the enduring claim of God’s call to holiness on the lives of Christians today.

A highly informed, refreshing, stimulating, and rich commentary that will make excellent reading for both scholars and laypersons.

Christianity Today

Wenham’s work is the finest lay commentary on Leviticus to date; scholars too will find it invaluable.

Journal of Biblical Literature

This is an excellent book written in a very readable style. It is the best book written on Leviticus in many years and is a must for both pastor and scholar.

Southwestern Journal of Theology

This outstanding commentary . . . is probably the best introduction to the arcane topics of Leviticus now available.

Interpretation

Gordon J. Wenham is a professor emeritus of Old Testament at the University of Gloucester and Lecturer at Trinity College in Bristol, England. He is the author of the volumes on Genesis 1–15 and Genesis 16–50 in the Word Biblical Commentary and the book He Swore an Oath: Biblical Themes from Genesis 12–50.

The Book of Numbers

  • Author: Timothy R. Ashley
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1993
  • Pages: 683

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The book of Numbers tells a story that has two main characters—God and Israel. The way the story is told sounds odd and often harsh to readers today. In spite of the difficulties imposed by Numbers on today’s readers, the main point of the book is of immense importance for God’s people in any age: exact obedience to God is crucial.

This comprehensive and erudite commentary—resulting from nearly a decade of study of Numbers by Timothy Ashley—presents a thorough explication of this significant Hebrew text. Ashley’s introduction to Numbers discusses such questions as structure, authorship, and theological themes, and it features an extended bibliography of major works on the book of Numbers, concentrating mainly on works in English, French, and German.

Dividing the text of Numbers into five major sections, Ashley’s commentary elucidates the theological themes of obedience and disobedience that run throughout the book’s narrative. His detailed verse-by-verse comments are intended primarily to explain the Hebrew text of Numbers as we have it rather than to speculate on how the book came to be in its present form.

A balanced and sensitive treatment. Highly recommended as a fresh and authoritative approach to this difficult but theologically rich Old Testament book.

Bibliotheca Sacra

A reader of Numbers will find much help in this extensive commentary.

Journal of Religion

An excellent, well-informed treatment of an important and difficult book. It holds many lessons for the pilgrim people of God.

Southwestern Journal of Theology

Timothy R. Ashley is the minister of First Baptist Church in La Crosse, WI. He previously served for more than 20 years as a professor of Biblical studies at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, NS, Canada.

The Book of Deuteronomy

  • Author: Peter C. Craigie
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1976
  • Pages: 424

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Deuteronomy is a book about Israel’s preparation for a new life. Hardship and the wilderness lie behind; the conquest of the promised land lies ahead. What remains at this crucial stage in Israel’s history—the end of the Mosaic Age—is a call for a new commitment to God and a fresh understanding of the nature of the community of God’s people.

Interpreting Deuteronomy from a conservative perspective, Peter C. Craigie highlights the centrality of the book’s theme of covenant commitment while also taking great care to demonstrate how Deuteronomy is a book with considerable contemporary relevance. He uses recent Old Testament research to effectively bridge the gap of more than three thousand years that separates the modern reader from the events described in Deuteronomy, thus clarifying the primary message of the text for the modern reader. In its simplest phrasing, that message is “commit yourself to God wholeheartedly.” Deuteronomy, according to Craigie, provides a paradigm for the kingdom of God in the modern world.

Peter Craigie’s exposition of Deuteronomy is full, accurate, and illuminating. He bears in mind that Deuteronomy is not only a monument of ancient Hebrew literature but a permanent part of Christian Scripture.

F. F. Bruce

Craigie’s work on Deuteronomy meets an obvious need by providing a full-scale exposition of this book of the Pentateuch in light of recent criticism and Near Eastern culture. . . . Craigie’s own translation of the Hebrew text and his uniformly helpful commentary combine to make this a serviceable volume.

Ralph P. Martin, professor emeritus of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

Peter C. Craigie (1938–1985) was a dean of the faculty of humanities at the University of Calgary in AB, Canada. His other scholarly works include Ugarit and the Old Testament and The Problem of War in the Old Testament.

The Book of Joshua

  • Author: Marten H. Woudstra
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1981
  • Pages: 410

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Recognizing that Old Testament studies today are in a state of flux as never before and that the book of Joshua seems to be at the crossroads of this animated discussion, Marten Woudstra here takes into careful account the various views represented by recent scholarship as well as Hebrew usage and text-critical concerns.

Woudstra demonstrates that the central theme in Joshua, to which everything in the book has been made subordinate, is the fulfillment of God’s promise to the patriarchs regarding the promised land. To support his understanding of this central theme, Woudstra emphasizes the nature of the Hebrew narrative as both proleptic, offering provisional summaries of events to be taken up later in considerable detail, and programmatic, indicating that the book was written close to actual events. The excellent introduction and section-by-section commentary are supplemented by an extensive bibliography and seven instructive maps.

This volume must surely be regarded as the finest commentary on the Book of Joshua. . . . Should be a part of the library of any serious student of the Scriptures who anticipates teaching or preaching from this important and colorful Old Testament [book].

Bibliotheca Sacra

This commentary marks a significant advance in Joshua studies and outstrips its competitors by a wide margin.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Woudstra time and again demonstrates his sound exegetical judgment and theological insight in this book. In doing so, he has advanced our overall understanding of the book of Joshua in several positive directions.

Westminster Theological Journal

Well conceived, ably prepared. The translation, comments, and textual apparatus are excellent.

Journal of Biblical Literature

Marten H. Woudstra was a professor of Old Testament studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. A member of the Bible translation committees for The Berkeley Version in Modern English and the New International Version and a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society, he wrote several scholarly books and numerous articles on the Old Testament.

The Book of Ruth

  • Author: Robert L. Hubbard Jr.
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: 331

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The Book of Ruth contains one of the Bible’s best-known and most-loved stories. This major commentary by Robert L. Hubbard shows how the author of Ruth used, with great literary artistry, the story of Ruth and Naomi to convey important theological themes.

In his introduction, Hubbard discusses issues of text, canonicity, literary criticism, authorship and date, purpose, setting, genre, legal background, and themes and theology, and concludes with an outline of the book and a thorough bibliography. The commentary proper is based on Hubbard’s own fresh translation and is accented by copious footnotes on textual, philological, and literary matters.

Gleaning the best from recent research on Ruth, Hubbard gives the story’s rich literary, grammatical, and theological dimensions a careful, rigorous treatment. He allows for the possibility that the anonymous author was a woman and argues that the narrative itself aims to counter opposition to the Davidic monarchy in Israel and Judah during Solomon’s reign. Throughout, Hubbard’s sensitivity to the literary genius of Ruth’s author and his coherent explication of the outworking of the book’s theological themes make this volume an invaluable tool for anyone desiring to explore the beautiful story of Ruth in depth.

It is safe to say that this will remain, for some considerable time to come, one of the most useful and enlightening commentaries available on the lovely little book of Ruth.

Themelios

This commentary is a pleasure to work with. . . . Hubbard gives clarity to this beautiful portion of God’s word, and by so doing strengthens the faith of its user.

Vox Reformata

Robert L. Hubbard Jr. is a professor of Old Testament at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago and replaced the late R. K. Harrison as general editor of the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series. His publications include several articles in leading scholarly journals and in the revised International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. He is also the author of the volume on 1 and 2 Kings in the Everyman’s Bible Commentary series.

The First Book of Samuel

  • Author: David Toshio Tsumura
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 720

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David and Goliath, the call of Samuel, the witch of Endor, David and Bathsheba—such biblical stories are well known. But the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, where they are recorded, are among the most difficult books in the Bible. The Hebrew text is widely considered corrupt and sometimes even unintelligible. The social and religious customs are strange and seem to diverge from the tradition of Moses. In this first part of an ambitious two-volume commentary on the books of Samuel, David Toshio Tsumura sheds considerable light on the background of 1 Samuel, looking carefully at the Philistine and Canaanite cultures, as he untangles the difficult Hebrew text.

David Tsumura’s commentary on 1 Samuel is a major work in an already well-populated field. His specialty in Hebrew language and stylistics enables him to make a unique contribution to the textual study of this biblical book, and he challenges many settled explanations of the text. Tsumura’s engagement with the secondary literature is formidable, and his introduction is unusually informative on a wide range of features relating to the text and its interpretation. This is a notable commentary achievement.

—Robert P. Gordon, regius professor of Hebrew, University of Cambridge

A recognized expert in Ugaritic and modern linguistics, David Tsumura brings the full resources of both to bear in this remarkable commentary based on a new interpretation of the Hebrew text of 1 Samuel. . . . An essential starting point for future study of this biblical book.

Richard S. Hess, Earl S. Kalland Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Denver Seminary

David Tsumura has made his reputation in precise, well-balanced studies of Hebrew poetry and in the language of Ugarit. He applies his wide knowledge of ancient Semitic languages and of modern discourse linguistics to illuminate the biblical text. He clarifies many obscure passages—for example, the ‘golden mice’ of chapter 6. Aware of current fashions in biblical exegesis, Tsumura presents his independent, carefully considered judgments to help readers appreciate the excitement and the value of 1 Samuel.

—Alan Millard, emeritus professor and honorary senior fellow, University of Liverpool

David Toshio Tsumura is a professor of Old Testament at Japan Bible Seminary in Tokyo, chairman of the Tokyo Museum of Biblical Archaeology, and editor of Exegetica: Studies in Biblical Exegesis.

The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah

  • Author: F. Charles Fensham
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1983
  • Pages: 301

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Providing clear exposition based on solid contemporary scholarship, this commentary by F. Charles Fensham examines the books of Ezra and Nehemiah—two books of Scripture that are especially important for understanding the last century of Old Testament Jewish history and for marking the beginnings of Judaism.

A biblical scholar well known for his expertise in ancient Near Eastern studies, especially Ugaritic, Fensham places Ezra and Nehemiah against the ancient Near Eastern environment. In his introduction, Fensham discusses the original unity of the books as well as the problems of authorship. He then treats the historical and religious background of the books, taking special note of the development of a Jewish religious society in postexilic times. Text and language are examined next, followed by a thorough bibliography.

The commentary proper, based on Fensham’s own fresh translation of the biblical texts, is richly documented and displays cautious good judgment, willingness to consider different options, a sensible approach, and keen insight into the religious meaning of these key Hebrew texts.

This is a very useful commentary. The author’s scholarship provides a sound base. His bibliography is inclusive and up to date. He interacts with all important positions on major questions. His view is conservative and clearly reasoned. A commendable work.

Bibliotheca Sacra

Provides Old Testament students with a most excellent tool for the analysis and exegesis of Ezra and Nehemiah. This volume has many strengths and practical suggestions for treating problem passages, and follows a good and logical outline of the combined texts. Ministers as well as scholars will find it useful.

Hebrew Studies

The strengths of this volume are clear. Fensham uses his expertise in Semitic languages to address the many linguistic difficulties which appear in these two biblical books. In addition, his use of ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology is helpful. These elements, plus generous documentation, make this a substantial commentary.

Biblical Theology Bulletin

F. Charles Fensham was a professor of Semitic languages at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Author of several books, including a commentary on Exodus, he also served as the editor of the Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages.

The Book of Job

  • Author: John E. Hartley
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1988
  • Pages: 605

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This commentary on Job follows in the tradition of the NICOT series by providing an up-to-date evangelical commentary based on thorough scholarship. John E. Hartley deals carefully with this book whose language, text, and theology are not only among the most intriguing in the Old Testament but also among the most difficult to grasp.

Hartley begins with a thorough introduction that treats matters of title and place in the canon, text, language, parallel literature in the ancient Near East and Old Testament, author, date, literary features, poetry, structure and genres, and message. In the commentary proper, Hartley uses his knowledge of the cognate ancient Near Eastern languages and displays extensive research in offering a detailed, verse-by-verse exposition that relates each section of the text to the overall message of the book.

Comprehensive, detailed, well-researched, and well-reasoned. An outstanding contribution to studies on the Book of Job.

Bibliotheca Sacra

A very good, solid, traditional commentary on Job in a respected evangelical commentary series. It is another jewel in the crown of NICOT.

Hebrew Studies

One of the most readable serious commentaries on Job to be written in recent years. The depth of scholarship evident in the book and the ability to relate it to the everyday world are delightful indeed.

Southwestern Journal of Theology

John E. Hartley is a distinguished professor of Old Testament at Haggard Graduate School of Theology, Asuza Pacific University, in Asuza, CA.

The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 1–15

  • Author: Bruce K. Waltke
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 729

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Over 25 years in the making, this much-anticipated commentary promises to be the standard study of Proverbs for years to come. Written by eminent Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke, this two-volume commentary is unquestionably the most comprehensive work on Proverbs available.

Grounded in the literary criticism that has so strengthened biblical interpretation, Waltke’s commentary on Proverbs demonstrates the profound, ongoing relevance of this Old Testament book for Christian faith and life. A thorough introduction addresses such issues as text and versions, structure, authorship, and theology. The detailed commentary itself explains and elucidates Proverbs as “theological literature.” Waltke’s highly readable style—evident even in his original translation of the Hebrew text—makes his scholarly work accessible to teachers, pastors, Bible students, and general readers alike.

If serious students of Proverbs had to choose only one resource on the book of Proverbs, they would be wise to choose this magnificent commentary by Bruce K. Waltke.

Criswell Theological Review

Where is wisdom to be found? The book of Proverbs is an obvious answer, yet readers often find it a jumble of disconnected sayings, with little theological value. Having thought long and deeply about Proverbs, Bruce Waltke offers a wonderful guide through the book, elucidating many problems and showing how skillfully the work was composed. He explains each verse with care and authority, dealing with details of the Hebrew but giving pride of place to exegesis and exposition. Here is a realistic, wise, and godly commentary, better than Keil and Delitzsch for the 21st century.

—Richard J. Clifford, S. J., professor of Old Testament, Boston College

Bruce Waltke’s Book of Proverbs is destined to become the outstanding commentary on this book of the Bible. For all who are bored with the apparent ‘stuffiness’ of religion and theology, the analysis of life and living as taught here will restore a good dose of realism all over again.

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., president emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Meticulous, insightful, illuminating, erudite, devotional, rich, thoughtful, and wise. All of these words describe this important commentary. Everyone who seriously studies Proverbs needs to read this work.

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry professor of Biblical studies, Westmont College

Perhaps the most significant exegetical work on the Book of Proverbs in the last one hundred years. A testimony to [Bruce Waltke’s] interpretive insight and skill, and to his vast experience as an educator and preacher.

Bibliotheca Sacra

Bruce K. Waltke is a professor emeritus of Biblical studies at Regent College in Vancouver, BC, and distinguished professor of Old Testament at Knox Theological Seminary, FL. He is co-author of An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax.

The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 15–31

  • Author: Bruce K. Waltke
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 623

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For the modern mind, the book’s cultural setting seems far removed from the 21st century. Proverbs puts a high priority on tradition and age, while the modern mind prizes change and youth. For Christians, Proverbs seems irrelevant. For the translator, Proverbs defies translations.

In the second part of his two-volume commentary, Waltke confronts these exegetical and interpretive challenges head on. This historico-grammatical commentary on Proverbs uncovers the profound philosophical and theological insights of this ancient book. Waltke helps readers understand the poetics used in its composition, and challenges modern prejudices toward the book.

The best overall commentary on Proverbs available at this time. Its two volumes greatly enrich our understanding of an important biblical book.

Interpretation

Waltke brings to bear a lifetime of learning and expertise as a world authority on Hebrew grammar. His theological approach is conservative evangelical and intended to serve the Christian pulpit and laity.

—Raymond C. Van Leeuwen

Bruce K. Waltke is a professor emeritus of Biblical studies at Regent College in Vancouver, BC, and distinguished professor of Old Testament, Knox Theological Seminary, FL. He is co-author of An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax.

The Book of Ecclesiastes

  • Author: Tremper Longman III
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 322

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Ecclesiastes is one of the most fascinating—and hauntingly familiar—books of the Old Testament. The sentiments of the main speaker of the book, a person given the name Qohelet, sound incredibly modern. Expressing the uncertainty and anxieties of our own age, he is driven by the question, “Where can we find meaning in the world?”

But while Qohelet’s question resonates with readers today, his answer is shocking. “Meaningless,” says Qohelet, “everything is meaningless.” How does this pessimistic perspective fit into the rest of biblical revelation? In this commentary, Tremper Longman III addresses this question by taking a canonical-Christocentric approach to the meaning of Ecclesiastes.

Longman first provides an extensive introduction to Ecclesiastes, exploring such background matters as authorship, language, genre, structure, literary style, and the book’s theological message. He argues that the author of Ecclesiastes is not Solomon, as has been traditionally thought, but a writer who adopts a Solomonic persona. In the verse-by-verse commentary that follows, Longman helps clarify the confusing, sometimes contradictory message of Ecclesiastes by showing that the book should be divided into three sections—a prologue (1:1–11), Qohelet’s autobiographical speech (1:12–12:7), and an epilogue (12:8–14)—and that the frame narrative provided by prologue and epilogue is the key to understanding the message of the book as a whole.

An outstanding contribution to studies on Ecclesiastes.

Bibliotheca Sacra

Tremper Longman’s commentary on Ecclesiastes is a welcome addition to the NICOT series and a solid contribution to the elusive field of wisdom in ancient Israel. Longman exhibits his literary and theological sensitivities in a very accessible style.

Journal of Biblical Literature

This commentary goes a long way in solving the riddle that is the book of Ecclesiastes. Will be highly treasured by those who have opportunity to teach and preach the message of Ecclesiastes.

Daniel I. Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College

Longman offers a provocative genre- and structure-based explanation for the divergent perspectives expressed within the book of Ecclesiastes. His thorough exposition of Qohelet’s “meaningless” search for meaning and of the canonical book’s final critique of skepticism ultimately points readers toward Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection have restored meaning to life ‘under the sun.’

—Richard Schultz, Carl Armerding and Hudson T. Armerding Professor of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College

Tremper Longman III is Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and chair of the religious studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. His other books include Introduction to the Old Testament, How to Read the Psalms, Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind, and Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation.

Song of Songs

  • Author: Tremper Longman III
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 254

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Relationships are a wonderful, mysterious, often elusive, and sometimes painful part of the human experience. The most intimate of all human relationships, according to the Bible, is that between a husband and a wife. It is no surprise, therefore, that there is a book of the Bible, the Song of Songs, that focuses on this relationship. What is surprising is how little attention is given to the Song of Songs by scholars, by the church, and by readers of the Bible. With this volume Tremper Longman III unpacks for modern people what this ancient love poem says about the male-female relationship—and, by analogy, about God’s love for his people.

Longman’s superb study begins with a thorough introduction to the Song of Songs and its background. Longman discusses the book’s title, authorship, date, literary style, language, structure, cultural milieu, and theological content. He also canvasses the long history of interpretation of the Song of Songs, a history too often characterized by repression of the text. In the commentary itself, Longman structures the Song of Songs according to its 23 poetic units and explains its message verse by verse. The exposition is made clearer by Longman’s adoption of an anthropological approach to the text and by his frequent comparisons of the Song of Songs with other ancient Near Eastern literature.

Learned yet highly accessible, innovative yet fully informed by past scholarship, this commentary shows the beautiful Song of Songs to be a timeless celebration of human love and sexuality.

One of the most helpful commentaries there is for understanding the details of the text sensitively but with full focus on the physical and sexual aspects of the poetry.

Heythrop Journal

An attractive contribution to the well-established NICOT series. A thorough, accessible commentary of the Song of Songs, giving the novice theological student an introduction to a wide range of scholarly opinion, both ancient and modern.

Themelios

Faithful to the format of this fine series, [Longman’s] extensive introduction treats questions of authorship, literary style, the history of interpretation, and other features that are specific to this particular biblical book. The commentary itself takes the literary characteristics of the book seriously and engages the thinking of other scholars in its explanation. The rich metaphors that fill the poems are carefully examined and their obvious sexual connotations are delicately interpreted. The book is highly recommended.

The Bible Today

Tremper Longman III is Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and chair of the religious studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. His other books include Introduction to the Old Testament, How to Read the Psalms, Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind, and Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation.

The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39

  • Author: John N. Oswalt
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 759

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The first of John N. Oswalt’s two-part study of the book of Isaiah for the NICOT series, this commentary on chapters 1–39 combines theological acumen, literary sensitivity, philological expertise, and historical knowledge to present a faithful and accurate reading of one of the Old Testament’s most important books.

In the introduction to this work, Oswalt considers Isaiah’s background, unity of composition, date and authorship, canonicity, Hebrew text, theology, and problems of interpretation, and he offers a select bibliography for further research. Oswalt also provides substantial discussions of several issues crucial to the book of Isaiah. He notes, for example, that scholars often divide Isaiah into three divisions, with chapters 1–39 addressing Isaiah’s contemporaries in the eighth century BC, chapters 40–55 presupposing the exile of the sixth century, and chapters 56–66 presupposing the eventual return from exile. While taking this scholarship into account Oswalt defends the unity of the prophetic book and argues convincingly that the whole book can be attributed to the Isaiah of the eighth century.

The commentary proper, based on Oswalt’s own translation of the Hebrew text, provides pastors, scholars, and students with a lucid interpretation of the book of Isaiah in its ancient context as well as an exposition of its message for today.

An excellent conservative commentary on the book of Isaiah. Oswalt’s work is a treasure. It provides solid help in understanding the text and message of this Old Testament book.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

This book is a solid piece of scholarship and may be recommended to pastors and teachers alike as an exemplary piece of conservative research and exposition.

Review & Expositor

This commentary will be one of the most widely used and appreciated [in the NICOT series], and perhaps even one of the flagship volumes.

Southwestern Journal of Theology

John N. Oswalt is a visiting distinguished professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. Former president of Asbury College and former professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Asbury Theological Seminary, he also served on the translation team for the New International Version of the Bible.

The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66

  • Author: John N. Oswalt
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 773

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The second of John N. Oswalt’s two-part study of the book of Isaiah for the NICOT series, this commentary provides exegetical and theological exposition on the latter 27 chapters of Isaiah for scholars, pastors, and students who seek to know the perennial meaning of the text in contemporary terms.

Though Oswalt’s main introduction to Isaiah is found in his commentary on chapters 1–39, this second volume opens with an important discussion of scholarly debate over the unity/diversity of Isaiah. In this work Oswalt makes stronger his case for reading the entire book of Isaiah as written by a single author—a position not common in other recent commentaries. Oswalt’s work stands alone, then, as an attempt to take seriously Israel’s historical situation at the time chapters 40–66 were composed while also seeking to understand how these chapters function as a part of Isaiah’s total vision written in the late 700s or early 600s BC.

Assuming the single authorship of Isaiah, the verse-by-verse commentary aims to interpret chapters 40–66 in light of the book as a whole. While not neglecting issues of historical criticism or form criticism, the commentary focuses mainly on the theological meaning of the text as indicated especially by the literary structure. Building on his earlier argument that the central theme of Isaiah is servanthood, Oswalt keeps readers focused on the character of Israel’s sovereign Redeemer God, on the blind servant Israel, and on the ultimate work of the Suffering Servant in whom the world can find its Savior.

This is a commentary in which the meaning of the book of Isaiah for today is taken as seriously as is its meaning for its original readers.

R. N. Whybray

The prophetic book of Isaiah has called for major critical reappraisal in the past two decades with renewed awareness of the significance of its structure as a single complete book. Oswalt’s second volume on Isaiah explores fully the thematic interconnections and developments that lend to the book its essential unity. I feel confident that it will mark a significant turning point in which its combination of critical and evangelical insights will lead to a better understanding of the complex nature of the biblical prophetic writings.

Ronald E. Clements

John N. Oswalt is a visiting distinguished professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. Former president of Asbury College and former professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Asbury Theological Seminary, he also served on the translation team for the New International Version of the Bible.

The Book of Jeremiah

  • Author: J. A. Thompson
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1980
  • Pages: 831

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The Old Testament prophets played a crucial role in the history of Israel. Although there were many prophets who brought the message of God to his people, we have records of only a few. Of these, our knowledge of Jeremiah is probably the most complete. In this commentary, J. A. Thompson examines the book of Jeremiah with its message urging the people of Israel to be true to their covenant Lord and to live in conformity with his covenant requirements.

Thompson begins his study by looking at the role of the prophets in Israel, and Jeremiah’s place among them. He then discusses the historical setting of Jeremiah’s message. From this background, Thompson moves to an examination of the book of Jeremiah itself, focusing on its structure and composition before considering some important issues for exegesis—the date of Jeremiah’s call, the significance of the symbolic actions he used, and the relationship between Jeremiah and Hosea. Lastly, Thompson examines the text and poetic forms of Jeremiah.

This is by far the most comprehensive work that has been done on the prophet Jeremiah. This is an excellent work that is sure to become the classical major study of this prophet. A must for any serious student of the Bible.

Southwestern Journal of Theology

Thompson’s Jeremiah rivals John Bright’s commentary as the best in English on Jeremiah. His highly competent treatment lends itself to use by scholars and teachers as well as for sermon preparation and personal study.

Christianity Today

An outstanding commentary that is bound to become a standard classic for English-speaking students.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

A helpful conservative commentary on Jeremiah for years to come.

Bibliotheca Sacra

J. A. Thompson was a senior lecturer and reader in the department of middle Eastern studies at the University of Melbourne.

The Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 1–24

  • Author: Daniel I. Block
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 908

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To most modern readers the book of Ezekiel is a mystery. Few can handle Ezekiel’s relentless denunciations, his unconventional antics, his repetitive style, and his bewildering array of topics. This excellent commentary by Daniel I. Block makes sense of this obscure and often misunderstood prophet and demonstrates the relevance of Ezekiel’s message for the church today.

An extensive introduction helps to orient readers of Ezekiel’s prophecies to the times, methods, and message of the prophet and to the special literary features of the book. Block then deals successively with each literary/prophetic unit of Ezekiel. The treatment of each unit consists of a fresh translation of the text accompanied by technical textual notes, a discussion of the style and structure of the pericope, a verse-by-verse commentary on the unit, and theological reflections on the significance of the unit. Throughout the commentary special attention is also paid to the rhetorical methods that the prophet employs to get his message across to his original audience.

A worthy addition to the NICOT series, this commentary will fast be recognized as an invaluable tool for the study of the Old Testament. In bringing questions of contemporary importance to the text of this ancient document, Block convincingly demonstrates not only that the message of Ezekiel can be understood but also that its message is desperately needed by the church in the 21st century.

This encyclopedic study of the first half of the book of Ezekiel blends the best exegetical research from all spectrums of the scholarly world. If you want to know just about everything we know about the life, times, and words of Ezekiel, this is the sourcebook.

—Lawrence Boadt

This fine commentary is both lucid and thorough and will be an essential work of reference on the book of Ezekiel.

Gordon J. Wenham

Block’s commentary is the finest work ever produced on the prophetic writing. His volume is a model of solid exegesis, well-informed biblical theology, and engaging pastoral warmth.

David S. Dockery

Daniel I. Block is Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

The Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 25–48

  • Author: Daniel I. Block
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 849

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To many modern readers the prophecies of Ezekiel are a mystery. This commentary by Daniel Block—which completes his two-volume study of the whole book of Ezekiel—seeks to answer the questions that contemporary readers bring to the text by examining the language, the message, and the methods of this obscure and often misunderstood Hebrew prophet. The result of 12 years of study, this volume, like the one on chapters 1–24, provides an excellent discussion of the background of Ezekiel and offers a verse-by-verse exposition of each literary/prophetic unit in Ezekiel 25–48 that not only makes clear the prophet’s message to his original readers but also shows that Ezekiel’s ancient wisdom and vision are still very much needed by the church in the 21st century.

A thorough, meticulous, and information-filled commentary. Readers will find here some of the best, and certainly the most extensive material on a biblical book that may well have particular appeal and relevance in our postmodern age.

Elmer A. Martens, professor emeritus of Old Testament, Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary

Block considers his chief task to be the interpretation of the book of Ezekiel in its canonical form. His philological scrupulousness, which is grounded in familiarity with the latest scholarship, is matched by a concern for the theological issues raised by the book of Ezekiel and for its homiletic potential. Critical judgment and respect for Ezekiel’s sacred status are happily combined.

—Moshe Greenberg

Daniel I. Block is Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois

The Book of Hosea

  • Author: J. Andrew Dearman
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 428

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In this solid theological commentary on the book of Hosea, J. Andrew Dearman considers the prophetic figure’s historical roots in the covenant traditions of ancient Israel, includes his own translation of the biblical text, and masterfully unpacks Hosea’s poetic, metaphorical message of betrayal, judgment, and reconciliation.

This is a welcome addition to the NICOT series on one of the most important prophets of ancient Israel. The introduction is especially helpful on Hosea’s use of metaphors and similes, and readers will not be disappointed by Dearman’s thorough and penetrating exegesis.

Bill T. Arnold, Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary

Hosea’s complexities begin with translation and extend to its rich use of imagery. Andrew Dearman brings his considerable skills as a Hebraist and historian as well as his expert literary and theological sensitivities to bear on the interpretation of this important book. Serious engagement with the book of Hosea now starts with Dearman’s commentary.

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

Dearman’s commentary provides the most recent deep engagement with the ancient text of Hosea the prophet. Dialoguing with the best of scholarship, the commentary offers both detailed exegesis of the text with accompanying translation from the original Hebrew, as well as general overviews at key literary junctures to orient the reader to the progressive development of the book as a whole. Particularly helpful is Dearman’s sensitivity to the social context of ancient Israelite households. He restores the vivid metaphorical colors of the book of Hosea long faded by history. This is a welcome addition to the NICOT series.

Mark J. Boda, professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College, McMaster University

The book of Hosea is pound for pound as difficult a prophetic book as one can find in the Bible, so we appreciate the work of J. Andrew Dearman in this extraordinary commentary. Dearman captures well the metaphorical theology of Hosea, and his thoughtful reflection on the text attends to the various issues of every passage in the book. In his appendices he guides the reader through ten topics that dominate Hosea scholarship. Readers will consistently appreciate Dearman’s clear and succinct writing style. Reading this commentary is a treat.

Stephen Reid, professor of Christian Scriptures, Baylor University

J. Andrew Dearman is a professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary’s regional campus in Houston, Texas. His books include Religion and Culture in Ancient Israel and the New International Version Application Commentary Series volume on Jeremiah and Lamentations.

The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah

  • Author: Leslie C. Allen
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1976
  • Pages: 427

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The eloquent and uncompromising calls for social righteousness by some of the Minor Prophets are familiar to many, yet the writings themselves are probably the least studied and least known texts of the Old Testament. Those who are familiar with these books are also aware of the historical and literary problems that plague their study. Drawing on insights from various perspectives—theological, historical, and literary—Leslie Allen’s commentary on Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah carefully and imaginatively reconstructs the stage on which the message of these four books was conveyed to their Hebrew hearers and shows what relevance, in turn, they hold for contemporary Christians.

For each of the books there is a substantial introduction in which the full range of scholarly opinion is presented and assessed, a select bibliography, the author’s own translation of the text—a significant contribution to biblical studies in itself—and an extensive commentary. The commentary on Micah is foundational for these four books in that it treats at greater length some of the same forms and motifs that appear in Joel, Obadiah, and Jonah. The introductory material for Joel includes discussions of canonicity and textual criticism that apply to the entire volume.

An excellent commentary that provides all the aids to understanding the biblical text for which the reader might wish. The author’s treatment of the problems—literary, historical, and theological—is well informed, fair, and judicious. He demonstrates wide knowledge and fine scholarly judgment.

Journal of Biblical Literature

Among the excellent major commentaries . . . evangelicals will look first to Leslie C. Allen’s Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah.

Christianity Today

Allen should be commended highly for his neat and concise organization of the complex information on these four books of the Minor Prophets.

Choice

Allen’s work is very good, and his commentary should be read by all serious students of these prophets.

Restoration Quarterly

Leslie C. Allen is a senior professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He has also written commentaries on Psalms and Ezekiel for the Word Biblical Commentary and on Chronicles for The New Interpreter’s Bible.

The Books of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah

  • Author: O. Palmer Robertson
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 384

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The close-knit bond between prophecy and history, according to O. Palmer Robertson, becomes particularly clear through the study of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. As the historical context of their messages is explored, it becomes ever more apparent that biblical history—in addition to providing the context for prophecy—actually embodies and functions as prophecy. The events that occurred to Judah and its neighbors spoke in anticipation of world-shaking circumstances that were yet to come.

In this commentary Robertson combines the insights of biblical theology with a keen awareness of the age in which we live. After first dealing with the relevant background issues of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah—redemptive-historical setting, theological perspective, date and authorship, and so on—Robertson applies the care and precision of an exegete and the concern of a pastor to his verse-by-verse exposition of each book. The result is a relevant confrontation with the ancient call to repentance and faith—a confrontation greatly needed in today’s world.

Robertson has produced an outstanding volume that treats three of the lesser-known Old Testament prophecies. He writes in a clear style with an emphasis on the rich theological meaning of these prophets and with a pastor’s insight regarding their relevance to Christians today.

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

O. Palmer Robertson’s work on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah is a first-class theological commentary with unique applications to the present day. His conclusions are balanced and well aimed with regard to the particulars of the immediate historical situation as well as with regard to the overall canonical stance of the ongoing drama of revelation. From these three orphan books of the Old Testament Robertson has crafted a most memorable message for the present-day church.

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., president emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

O. Palmer Robertson is the director and principal of African Bible College in Uganda, and has formerly taught at Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Covenant Theological Seminary. His previous books include The Christ of the Covenants, The Christ of the Prophets, and The Israel of God.

The Books of Haggai and Malachi

  • Author: Pieter A. Verhoef
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 384

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This commentary by Pieter A. Verhoef offers a thorough exegesis and exposition of Haggai and Malachi—two important books of Scripture that, unfortunately, are not only little studied but have sometimes been maligned by contemporary scholarship—and stresses the relevance of these prophets’ messages in terms of continuity and discontinuity for the Christian church.

Verhoef’s introduction to each book elucidates the questions of authorship, style, text, structure, historical background, and message. Making extensive use of structural analysis, Verhoef argues convincingly for the authenticity, unity, and integrity of both books.

Verhoef also brings his knowledge of the ancient Near East, the Old Testament, and past and current biblical scholarship to bear in the commentary proper, and he displays theological acumen and pastoral sensitivity in tailoring his exposition for the student and pastor as well as for the scholar.

Verhoef’s commentary is first-rate. It is replete with compelling insights into the meaning of the biblical text and with clearly stated understandings of the biblical message. Scholars, preachers, and Bible students alike can benefit greatly from this volume.

Restoration Quarterly

Providing a synthesis and analysis of a broad range of scholarship on Haggai and Malachi as well as offering his own insights into major issues, Verhoef contributes to the scholarship of these books. He carefully discerns the major points of difference between scholars and systematically considers translational options. A helpful commentary.

Hebrew Studies

This is an attractive commentary, clear, detailed, with fair treatment of a wide range of interpretations.

The Expositor Times

Readers will enjoy Verhoef’s strong scholarship, his exegetical excellence, his appreciation of these books’ contribution to Old Testament prophecy, and his ability to make these prophecies relevant for today.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Pieter A. Verhoef is a well-known South African Old Testament scholar, and is a professor emeritus of Old Testament at the University of Stellenbosch. He is the author of numerous books and articles in the field of biblical studies.

Product Details

  • Title: The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT)
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Volumes: 23
  • Pages: 12,793