This latest volume in the Old Testament for Everyone series offers a fascinating look at the Second Temple period in Israel and commentary on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Goldingay also provides engaging and helpful commentary on the story of Queen Esther, who saved the Jewish people from extermination. Perfect for daily devotions, Sunday school prep, or brief visits with the Bible, this commentary is an excellent resource for the modern lay reader.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
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“Nehemiah knows he needs to recognize is that you can only appeal to these qualities if you are people who dedicate themselves to God (the verb is the one conventionally translated ‘love,’ but it signifies a self-giving loyalty, not merely an emotion) and who keep God’s commands.” (Page 83)
“First there is confession of who God is; that is a common feature of prayer in the Bible.” (Page 83)
“Our congregation’s reaction to Jesus’ Blessings reflected our instinct to want to make our relationship with God depend on what we do. We don’t care for the idea that God blesses us just because we are poor in spirit. The Judahites’ instinct was likewise to assume that their relationship with God depended on what they did by way of living by the Torah. It would be amusing if it were not perilously misguided that Christians often think that this is in fact the regular Jewish view. Ezra knows, and the Old Testament knows that our relationship with God depends first on God’s generosity. Of course living according to the Torah is vital as a response to that generosity. But if we get God’s generosity and our obedience in reverse relationship, we are in trouble.” (Page 125)
“Esther’s hesitation and fear make her faith and courage even more remarkable, and the more real to us. She is not a superhero with special powers but an abused girl put in a horrible position because of what she is, a beautiful Jew. Being beautiful does not mean having overwhelming special advantages because of one’s beauty. Often beauty puts a person in the position of becoming a tragedy (Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana) even while people attribute to them a kind of super-humanity. They were just candles in the wind. Esther illustrates the way that courage and faith are not incompatible with fear and hesitation; indeed, they come into their own in the context of fear and hesitation. If there is none of these latter, who needs faith or courage?” (Page 173)