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1 and 2 Kings based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
I love commentaries. Most people use them for reference, (as I myself do at times), but I especially enjoy reading them cover to cover. Some are more helpful than others, but in the last few years some publishers have worked hard to make commentaries more accessible. No publisher has more effectively accomplished this task than Smith & Helwys with their series of Old and New Testament commentaries. While the scholarship of the contributors is unquestionably of the highest caliber, these volumes are highly accessible to the general reader. The format is simply brilliant with its easy to read print and the numerous and engaging sidebars. There are numerous copies of fine art throughout the commentary that are extremely helpful in conveying the sense of the commentator¿s interest. The binding is of fine quality and the artwork on the dustcover is beautifully done. Smith & Helwys are to be congratulated in choosing Walter Brueggemann to write the commentary on 1 & 2 Kings. Perhaps no other Old Testament scholar is better equipped to offer penetrating and scholarly commentary in a way that the layperson can understand, and to make insightful connections of the text to the world in which we live. This is the beauty of Brueggemann¿s work in this volume. The introduction is brief, yet it cogently encapsulates the movement of the ¿royal history.¿ Brueggemann poignantly reminds us that Kings is not ¿history¿ in the modern sense of the term. In fact, Brueggemann points out: ¿Rather consistently the narrative `footnotes¿ its text in order to alert readers who want detailed `history¿ that they can go to the sources to check out the facts. These `sources¿ ¿ now lost to us ¿ are often specified: The Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah (see 1 Kings 15:7). The Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel (see 1 Kings 16:20).¿ It is important to remember this, especially since so many interpreters have failed in trying to make all of the ¿historical facts¿ work out consistently. Brueggemann invites us to think in terms of a ¿theology of history¿, an ¿interpretive commentary¿ upon the royal history. Brueggemann¿s detailed outline for 1 & 2 Kings is itself a goldmine for the preacher/teacher. There are clever titles that teachers will be tempted to use in their own outlines (e.g., section IX, The Global Economist, 1 Kings 10:1-29). The outline also makes referencing a breeze. The sidebars throughout the commentary marked as ¿culture/context¿ are extremely insightful. For example, in 1 Kings 2 Adonijah is said to have ¿took hold of the horns of the altar.¿ This phrase is found repeatedly in Kings and Brueggemann leaves us without question as to what this means. He even includes a picture of an altar found at Miggido which reveals the ¿horns¿ of each corner of the altar to which one could grab and hold thereby finding safety from the harm of a pursuer who knew better than to violate the holy sanctuary. This kind of help abounds throughout the commentary. Language and word studies are offered in sidebars noted as ¿Alpha & Omega Language.¿ A good example of the way this feature is used is in Brueggemann¿s keen observation in 1 Kings 10 of the Queen of Sheba¿s usage of the word pair ¿justice and righteousness¿ which ¿seems to embody the primary demands of Israel¿s Torah-prophetic traditions.¿ Another interesting example is Brueggemann¿s insight regarding the technical term used for ¿gospel¿ in 2 Kings 7:9 (translated good news in our English Bibles). He points out that this term ¿refers to an actual change of circumstance evoked by Yahweh¿ rather than something understood spiritually. He points us to other texts in Isaiah that use this same term. The ¿Interpretation¿ sidebars offer insightful illumination of the text through the use of historical and contemporary literature and other sources, and the ¿Additional Resources Study¿ sidebars direct the reader to studies by other scholars, journals, websites and more. Smith