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Products>The First Book of Samuel (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament | NICOT)

The First Book of Samuel (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament | NICOT)

, 2007
ISBN: 9780802823595

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Print list price: $55.00
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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.

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.

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Key Features

  • Verse-by-verse commentary
  • In-depth discussion of textual and critical matters
  • Introduction to the authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology of 1 Samuel

Top Highlights

“Samuel did not yet know the Lord suggests that Samuel did not yet have the intimate knowledge of personal relationship with the Lord, though he had been ministering to the Lord (v. 1). In this sentence (v. 7), ‘to know the Lord’ is restated by the parallel phrase ‘the word of the Lord is revealed.’ Hence, ‘to know the Lord’ means to know the will of the Lord who reveals himself through his word.” (Page 177)

“This teaches us that regardless of how desperate the situation looks outwardly, God is certainly preparing his chosen individuals in order to fulfill his plan and purpose according to his sovereign will and gracious concern for his people.” (Page 104)

“The people wanted to become like all the other nations, but God had called them uniquely to be his people, under his especial care. But they are exchanging their true glory for status in the eyes of the world. Just as the Israelites were the people of a God who is unique and incomparable with any other god (see on 1 Sam. 2:2); so they were supposedly incomparable with any other nations: that is, ‘a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’ (Exod. 19:6), ‘set apart for service to their divine monarch.’33 So, what they hoped to do was exactly to throw away their special status as the chosen people of God in order to identify themselves with the nations of this world.” (Page 249)

“While Saul was chosen because of the people’s desire for a king (8:5; 10:24), the Lord chooses this king on his own; so I have found … for me.” (Page 415)

“It was common in real life for a well-to-do man to take a second wife if the first did not bear him an heir.” (Page 108)

Praise for the Print Edition

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, University of Liverpool

Product Details

  • Title: The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: The First Book of Samuel
  • Author: David Toshio Tsumura
  • Series: New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT)
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 720

David Toshio Tsumura is professor of Old Testament at Japan Bible Seminary, Tokyo, chairman of the Tokyo Museum of Biblical Archaeology, author of The First Book of Samuel (NICOT), and editor of Exegetica: Studies in Biblical Exegesis. He was also the chairman of the Translation Committee for the New Japanese Bible, Shinkaiyaku 2017.


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Print list price: $55.00
Save $8.01 (14%)