Products>NIV Application Commentary: Old Testament (NIVAC) (14 vols.)

NIV Application Commentary: Old Testament (NIVAC) (14 vols.)

, 1999–2012
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For more from the NIV Application Commentary on the Old Testament, see here.


How can you apply what you learned about Creation, the fall of man, or the nation of Israel to our present day needs? How can you take a message originally spoken in Hebrew and communicate it clearly in our own language? How can you take the eternal truths originally spoken in a different time and culture and apply them to the similar-yet-different needs of our culture? The NIV Application Commentary: Old Testament (14 vols.) shows readers how to bring an ancient message into our postmodern context. It explains not only what the Bible meant, but also how it speaks powerfully today.

This award-winning series helps you understand the original meaning of the biblical text in its original context. All the elements of traditional exegesis—in concise form—are discussed. But the authors don’t stop there—they bridge the gap between the world of the Bible and the world of today, between the original context and the contemporary context, by focusing on both the timely and timeless aspects of the text. The authors dwell on the contemporary significance of the Bible by focusing on contemporary contexts in which the Bible can be applied today. The NIV Application Commentary discusses the Bible in a way that engages contemporary life and culture.

Most Bible commentaries take us on a one-way trip from our world to the world of the Bible. But they leave us there, assuming that we can somehow make the return journey on our own. They focus on the original meaning of the passage but don’t discuss its contemporary application. The information they offer is valuable—but the job is only half done!

The NIV Application Commentary Series helps bring both halves of the interpretive task together. This unique, award-winning series shows readers how to bring an ancient message into our postmodern context. It explains not only what the Bible meant but also how it speaks powerfully today.

  • Three sections for every passage:
    • Original Meaning
    • Bridging Contexts
    • Contemporary Significance
  • Detailed footnotes point toward other scholarly works for reading and research
  • Lengthy bibliography included in each volume
The NIV Application Commentary series doesn’t fool around. It gets right down to business, bringing this ancient and powerful Word of God into the present so that it can be heard and delivered with all the freshness of a new day, with all the immediacy of a friend’s embrace.

Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College

It is encouraging to find a commentary that is not only biblically trustworthy but also contemporary in its application. The NIV Application Commentary will prove to be a helpful tool in the pastor’s sermon preparation. I use it and recommend it.

Charles F. Stanley, Founder and President, In Touch Ministries

The NIV Application Commentary series promises to be of very great service to all who preach and teach the Word of God.

J. I. Packer,, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College

This series promises to become an indispensable tool for every pastor and teacher who seeks to make the Bible's timeless message speak to this generation.

—Billy Graham, American Evangelist

The NIV Application Commentary is an outstanding resource for pastors and anyone else who is serious about developing 'doers of the Word.'

Rick Warren, Pastor, Saddleback Valley Community Church

If you want to avoid hanging applicational elephants from interpretive threads, then the NIV Application Commentary is for you! This series excels at both original meaning and contemporary significance. I support it one hundred percent.

Howard G. Hendricks, Professor, Dallas Theological Seminary

The NIV Application Commentary will be a great help for leaders who want to understand what the Bible means, how it applies, and what they should do in response.

Stuart Briscoe, Pastor, Elmbrook Church

This is the pulpit commentary for the twenty-first century.

—George K. Brushaber, former President, Bethel College and Seminary

The NIV Application Commentary builds bridges that make the Bible come alive with meaning for contemporary life.

Warren W. Wiersbe, General Director, Back to the Bible

The NIV Application Commentary meets the urgent need for an exhaustive and authoritative commentary based on the New International Version. This series will soon be found in libraries and studies throughout the evangelical community.

—D. James Kennedy, Founder, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church

The NIV Application Commentary series helps pastors and other Bible teachers with one of the most neglected elements in good preaching—accurate, useful application. Most commentaries tell you a few things that are helpful and much that you do not need to know. By dealing with the original meaning and contemporary significance of each passage, the NIV Application Commentary series promises to be helpful all the way around.

James Montgomery Boice, former Pastor, Tenth Presbyterian Church

Here, at last, is a commentary that makes the proper circuit from the biblical world to Main Street. The NIV Application Commentary is a magnificent gift to the church!

R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, IL

This series dares to go where few scholars have gone before—into the real world of biblical application faced by pastors and teachers every day. This is everything a good commentary series should be.

Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals

Here at last is a commentary which is not only academically well informed but which helps the contemporary reader hear God’s Word and consider its implications: scholarship in the service of the Church.

—Arthur Rowe, Tutor in New Testament and World Religions, Spurgeon’s College

  • Title: NIV Application Commentary: Old Testament
  • Series: NIV Application Commentary
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Volumes: 14
  • Pages: 9,264

The tools, ideas, and insights contained in these volumes will help preachers communicate God’s Word and understand the Old Testament in the context of contemporary culture, and the exegetical, literary, and grammatical summaries will benefit scholars and students of the Bible. What’s more, with Logos, Scripture passages are linked to Hebrew texts, along with English translations, and the powerful search tools provide instant access to the information you need for research projects, sermon preparation, and personal study.


  • Author: John H. Walton
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 768

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

The Bible begins and ends with a revelation of God that gives redemption its basis. From the first verse of Genesis, the book of origins, we encounter a God of personality, character, purpose, and activity. Only in the light of what He shows us of Himself as the Creator of our world and the Interactor with human history does the salvation story assume its proper context. Genesis sets things in order: God first, then us.

In the words of the general editor’s preface, “Especially after the Tower of Babel it became evident that people had forgotten who God was. They needed reminding. The moves God made were essentially concerned with putting himself in front of the world’s peoples.” Today, perhaps more than ever, we need God to put himself in front of us—to remind us who He is, and that He is.

With characteristic creativity and uncommon depth, John H. Walton demonstrates the timeless relevance of Genesis. Revealing the links between Genesis and our own times, Dr. Walton shows how this mysterious, often baffling book filled with obscure peoples and practices reveals truth to guide our twenty-first-century lives.

John H. Walton (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament, Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context, Covenant: God’s Purpose, God’s Plan, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, and A Survey of the Old Testament.


  • Author: Peter E. Enns
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 624

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Exodus helps readers learn how the message of Exodus can have the same powerful impact today that it did when it was first written.

Dr. Peter E. Enns is a Reformed Evangelical Christian and a biblical scholar. He is a frequent contributor to journals and encyclopedias, and the author of several books, including Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament.

Leviticus, Numbers

  • Author: Roy Gane
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 848

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The books of Leviticus and Numbers spell out God's legal requirements for ancient Israel. But that was over three millennia ago. Now that we're under a new covenant of grace, how do strange laws and obscure, seemingly trifling details regarding everything from temple sacrifice to household mold have any bearing on us today? If the Law was perfectly fulfilled in Jesus, why bother studying arcane regulations that no longer apply?

Because they do apply. Their original contexts may have disappeared, but the principles behind them are fraught with relevance. Moreover, in our individualistic—and selfish—culture, they restore to us a God's eye vision that extends beyond ourselves to the church as community.

Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Roy Gane shares perspectives on Leviticus and Numbers that reveal their enduring relevance for our twenty-first-century lives.

Roy Gane (PhD, University of California, Berkeley) is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Languages at the Theological Seminary of Andrews University. He is author of a number of scholarly articles and several books including God's Faulty Heroes, Altar Call, Ritual Dynamic Structure, and Cult and Character: Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy, as well as the Leviticus portion of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary on the Old Testament.


  • Author: Daniel I. Block
  • Series: The NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC)
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 880

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The theological significance of Deuteronomy cannot be overestimated. Few books in the Bible proclaim such a relevant word of grace and gospel to the church today. At its heart, Deuteronomy records the covenantal relationship between God and his people. God graciously has chosen Israel as his covenant partner and has demonstrated his covenantal commitment to them. Moses challenges the Israelites to respond by declaring that Yahweh alone is their God and by demonstrating unwavering loyalty and total love for him through obedience.

Daniel Block highlights the unity between the God depicted in Deuteronomy and Jesus Christ. Christians who understand the covenantal character of God and who live under the grace of Christ will resist the temptation to retreat into interior and subjective understandings of the life of faith so common in Western Christianity.

Daniel I. Block received his PhD from the University of Liverpool, and is the Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. He is the author of The New Ammerican Commentary: Judges, Ruth, and was a speaker at the Pastorum Live 2012 Conference.


  • Author: Robert L. Hubbard, Jr.
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 656

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Reading Joshua can be, frankly, a jarring experience. Serious, troubling questions about God’s attitude toward his created peoples arise, questions with no easy answer. But the book of Joshua presents itself, warts (and wars!) and all, and asks readers to let it tell its story from its point of view and out of its ancient context. It asks them to give it the benefit of the doubt and permit it to speak to them.

This commentary aims to give its voice a clear hearing—to translate its ancient cultural form in such a way that it freely speaks about the life of faith today. Basically, the book of Joshua tells how biblical Israel navigated a major historical transition early in its national life. The book shows that guiding these changes is Israel’s God, Yahweh, through his chosen servant, Joshua. The introductory sections to follow set the scene for entering the book of Joshua and the ancient world about which it reports. Joshua helps readers learn how the message of Joshua can have the same powerful impact today that it did when it was first written.

Robert L. Hubbard Jr. (PhD, Claremont Graduate School) is Professor of Biblical Literature at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. He also taught at Denver Seminary and served as a chaplain on active duty in the United States Navy and in the United States Naval Reserve. Dr. Hubbard is author of The Book of Ruth: New International Commentary on the Old Testament, which received the Christianity Today Critics Choice Award as the best commentary of 1989. He co-authored Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, with William Klein and Craig Blomberg, and is currently writing commentaries on Esther and Lamentations for the New International Commentary on the Old Testament, a series on which he serves as General Editor.

Judges, Ruth

  • Author: K. Lawson Younger
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 512

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The concept of judgment is at odds with today’s culture, which considers it a sin to suggest there is such a thing as sin. Perhaps that is partly because we have seen all too clearly the fallibility of those who judge. What many of us long for is not judgment but righteousness and deliverance from oppression. That is why the books of Judges and Ruth are so relevant today: Judges, because it reveals a God who employs very human deliverers but refuses to gloss over their sins and the consequences of those sins; and Ruth, because it demonstrates the far-reaching impact of a righteous character. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Dr. K. Lawson Younger Jr. shares literary perspectives on the books of Judges and Ruth that reveal ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.

K. Lawson Younger Jr. (PhD, University of Sheffield) is Professor of Old Testament, Semitic Languages, and Ancient Near Eastern History at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He is the author, associate editor, and coeditor of several books, and has contributed to numerous collections of essays, dictionaries, and periodicals.

1 and 2 Samuel

  • Author: Bill T. Arnold
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 688

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Why do the books of Samuel pack such broad appeal? Taken together as a single narrative, they certainly offer something for everyone: kings and prophets, great battles and greater heroes, action and romance, loyalty and betrayal, the mundane and the miraculous. In Samuel, we meet Saul, David, Goliath, Jonathan, Bathsheba, the witch of Endor, and other unforgettable characters. And we encounter ourselves. For while the culture and conditions of Israel under its first kings is vastly different from our own, the basic issues of humans in relation to God, the Great King, have not changed. Sin, repentance, forgiveness, adversity, prayer, faith, and the promises of God—these continue to play out in our lives today.

Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Bill T. Arnold shares perspectives on 1 and 2 Samuel that reveal ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.

Bill T. Arnold (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is Director of Hebrew Studies and Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of Encountering the Book of Genesis, and coauthor of Encountering the Old Testament and A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax.

1 and 2 Kings

  • Author: August H. Konkel
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 704

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Readers of 1 and 2 Kings commonly approach these books as a straightforward chronology of post-Davidic Israel: the inauguration of Solomon’s reign, the division of the kingdom following his death, and Israel’s and Judah’s ensuing kings, conflicts, captivities, and overarching spiritual decline.

In reality, however, the books of the Kings fall into the collection known as the Former Prophets, and their true story and underlying theme center on such striking personalities as Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, and other divinely appointed spokesmen. It is God’s interaction with his people by way of his prophets and their kings—his pleadings, his warnings, and the fulfillment of his words—that comes across again and again with forcefulness and clarity. God speaks; now will his people hear, believe, and respond?

The question is as relevant for us today as it was for the ancient Israelites. Bridging the centuries, August Konkel connects past context to contemporary circumstances, helping us grasp the meaning and significance of 1 and 2 Kings and take to heart their message for us today.

A. H. Konkel is President of Providence College and Seminary in Otterburne, Manitoba. He obtained the PhD degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1987. He served as a translator for the book of Job in the New Living Translation, and completed a commentary on Job for the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary. He was a contributor to the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis.

1 and 2 Chronicles

  • Author: Andrew E. Hill
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 704

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The Chronicles are more than a history of ancient Israel under the ascent and rule of the Davidic dynasty. They are a story whose grand theme is hope. Great battles are fought, heroes and tyrants vie for power, Israel splits into rival kingdoms, and the soul of God’s holy nation oscillates between faithlessness and revival. Yet above this tossing sea of human events, God’s covenant promises reign untroubled and supreme. First and Second Chronicles are a narrative steeped in the best and worst of the human heart—but they are also a revelation of Yahweh at work, forwarding his purposes in the midst of fallible people. God has a plan to which he is committed.

Today, as then, God redirects our vision from our circumstances in this turbulent world to the surety of his kingdom, and to himself as our source of confidence and peace. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Andrew E. Hill shares perspectives on 1 and 2 Chronicles that reveal ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.

Andrew E. Hill (PhD, University of Michigan) is Professor of Old Testament Studies at Wheaton College in IL. He is the coauthor with John Walton of A Survey of the Old Testament and the author of Malachi in the Anchor Yale Bible commentary series. His articles have appeared in such scholarly publications as Hebrew Annual Review, Journal of Biblical Literature, and Vetus Testamentum.


  • Author: Karen H. Jobes
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 256

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Queen Esther faced and helped avert the potential genocide of her people. She rose to the top of political power without any of the advantages of aristocratic birth, well-placed friends, inherited wealth, or social prestige.

Yet the book of Esther's real story is not found in political intrigue or superior management ideals. It is that God is at the center of it, despite the fact that God is not mentioned anywhere in the book. The great lesson to be learned is that God keeps his promises.

This commentary shows how Esther is perfect guidance for us when we find ourselves in a situation where right and wrong are not so clearly defined and every choice we have seems to be a troubling mixture of good and bad. It is perfect inspiration for us when we find ourselves in situations we never sought, never planned for, and don't think we have the gifts to succeed at.

Karen H. Jobes is Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College. She is the author of many articles and several books, including Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles and 1 Peter in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.


  • Author: John H. Walton
  • Series: The NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC)
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 480

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The title character of the book of Job suffers terribly, but we should not mistakenly think that this book is just about Job. It is about all of us, and ultimately about God.

Many have thought that the book simply restates the perennial questions that plague humankind in a world full of suffering. But often our questions are too limited, and we must learn to ask better questions so that we might find more significant answers. The book of Job answers our original questions obliquely, letting these answers prompt deeper questions, and leading us to discover the wealth that the book has to offer.

A lot of people assume that the book of Job deals with the question of why righteous people suffer. Instead, John Walton suggests that the book is about the nature of righteousness—not the nature of suffering. As we learn to deepen our questions, God will transform how we think about his work in the world and about our responses in times of suffering.

John H. Walton received his PhD from Hebrew Union College and is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. Before teaching at Wheaton, Walton taught at Moody Bible Institute for 20 years. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, and A Survey of the Old Testament. He was also a speaker at the Pastorum Live 2012 Conference.

Psalms, vol. 1

  • Author: Gerald H. Wilson
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 1,024

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Perhaps more clearly than any other part of the biblical canon, the Psalms are human words directed to God. Yet, through the Holy Spirit, these honest, sometimes brutal words return to us as the Word of God. Their agonies and exaltations reflect more than the human condition in which they were created. Within the context of the canonical Psalter, they become the source of divine guidance, challenge, confrontation, and comfort. However, it is possible to misapply them. How can we use the Psalms in a way that faithfully connects God’s meaning in them and his intentions for them with our circumstances today?

Drawing on over twenty years of study in the book of Psalms, Dr. Gerald H. Wilson reveals the links between the Bible and our present times. While he considers each psalm in itself, Wilson goes much further, examining whole groups of psalms and, ultimately, the entire Psalter, its purpose, and its use from the days of Hebrew temple worship onward through church history. In so doing, Wilson opens our eyes to ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.

Gerald H. Wilson (PhD, Yale University) was Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew at Azusa Pacific University. He wrote The Editing of the Hebrew Psalter and has written numerous articles for journals, encyclopedias, and reviews.


  • Author: Paul Koptak
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 720

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What is wisdom? Does occupying the top of life’s heap mean you have it? Does being near the bottom mean you don’t? Wisdom can certainly help you acquire wealth, influence people, or succeed at your career, yet it involves more than knowledge alone. It’s also a matter of understanding God’s perspectives in applying what you know and having the character to act accordingly. That is why true wisdom—the kind that begins with fear of the Lord—frequently runs counter to what our culture values and applauds. This is the wisdom the book of Proverbs teaches.

Proverbs deals with the relationship between heaven and earth on a practical level that covers the broad swath of human activity. We could all use more wisdom in our lives; the book of Proverbs was designed to guide us into it. Proverbs is far from monolithic. It has multiple authors and employs diverse styles. But its goal remains simple: to equip us for living in a way that succeeds first and foremost in God’s eyes. Exploring the links between the Bible and our own times, Paul Koptak shares perspectives on Proverbs that reveal ageless truths for our twenty-first-century lives.

Paul E. Koptak (PhD, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary/Northwestern University) is Paul and Bernice Brandel Professor of Communication and Biblical Interpretation at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.

Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs

  • Author: Iain Provan
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 400

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Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs don't easily fit our preconceptions as Christians. How do we reconcile Ecclesiastes' seemingly hedonistic passages and its broodings on life's futility with Christ's call to self-denial and his revelation of God's profound purpose for our lives? Is the Song of Songs a frank-to-the-point-of-disturbing depiction of erotic love, or is it rather a loose-fitting spiritual allegory for Christ's relationship with the church? Must we choose between the one interpretation and the other?

Most important, what wisdom can these ancient books of the Bible offer us for living out our faith today with integrity, fervor, balance, and devotion?

Revealing the links between the Scriptures and our own times, Ian Provan shows how the wisdom books of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs speak to us today with relevance and conviction.

Iain Provan (PhD, Cambridge University) is Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College. An ordained minister of the Church of Scotland, he is the author of commentaries on Lamentations and 1 and 2 Kings.