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Forms of the Old Testament Literature Series: Numbers (FOTL)


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Knierim and Coats make clear what has traditionally been a difficult biblical text, using the exegetical methods of the recently redesigned form-critical approach to Old Testament literature. Following an extensive introduction to the historical and social background of Numbers, the commentary leads readers unit by unit through the text, highlighting the literary development of Numbers and the meaning that it meant to convey to its audience.

Resource Experts

Praise for the Print Edition

This commentary on Numbers is an admirable addition to the FOTL series. Rolf Knierim and George Coats have succeeded in maintaining the delicate balance of the series between the study of literary forms and the description of the author’s social context, which infuses the forms with conceptual and semantic meaning. The result is a commentary both for the literary critic seeking a clear description of the genres in Numbers and for the social historian investigating the cultural forces at work in the formation of the book.

—Thomas B. Dozeman, United Theological Seminary

Knierim and Coats recognize that Numbers is a ‘literary composite’ reflecting ‘the convictions of the many generations’ responsible for it. Aware of these many generations and ‘seemingly incoherent organization of the work,’ they nevertheless pay full attention to the shape and meaning of the present biblical text, the ‘final outcome’ of the long growth process of Numbers. Much will be learned from this commentary.

—Antony F. Campbell, Jesuit Theological College

Product Details

  • Title: Forms of the Old Testament Literature Series: Numbers (FOTL)
  • Authors: Rolf P. Knierim and George W. Coats
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 388

About the Authors

George W. Coats (1936–2006) was professor emeritus of Old Testament at Lexington Theological Seminary, Kentucky. He wrote the commentary on Exodus 1-18 and coauthored Numbers in this series.

Rolf P. Knierim is professor emeritus of Old Testament, Claremont School of Theology, and Avery Professor of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, California. He is the author of The Task of Old Testament Theology: Method and Cases.


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    Digital list price: $49.99
    Save $10.00 (20%)