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.
“In disclosing his name Jacob is doing more than sharing information. He is making a confession about the appropriateness of his name. Only now would Jacob agree with Esau that Jacob is the perfect name for him (27:36). The acknowledgment of the old name, and its unfortunate suitability, paves the way for a new name.” (Page 333)
“As Jacob departs Penuel (the more common name for Peniel), he leaves with two things he did not bring with him to the Jabbok River. He has a new name and a new limp. The new name will forever remind Jacob of his new destiny. The new limp will forever remind him that in Elohim Jacob met for the first time one who can overpower him.” (Page 337)
“The text clearly makes the point that what follows is a divine testing, not a demonic temptation.” (Page 101)
“It seems that in Gen. 32 one must interpret Israel as ‘El will rule (or strive),’ or ‘Let El rule,’ rather than as ‘he has striven with El.’ For one thing, it is very unusual for the theophoric element in a personal name to serve as anything but subject. Up to this point in Jacob’s life Jacob may well have been called ‘Israjacob,’ ‘Jacob shall rule’ or ‘let Jacob rule.’ In every confrontation he has emerged as the victor: over Esau, over Isaac, over Laban, and even more startlingly over this ‘man.’ The man says as much to Jacob: ‘you have struggled [śarîṯā] with God, and with men you have succeeded [wattûḵāl].’” (Page 334)
“‘Obscurity is story’s way of telling us the truth about this God with whom we daily have to do, by reminding us of God’s hiddenness, of the concreteness of God’s revelation, and of the impossible possibilities that are open to all who believe.’” (Page 8)
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, former director, Center for Ebla Research, New York University
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, former president emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary
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
With Logos, the NICOT 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.