Zondervan King James Version Commentary-Old Testament

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Between the sparse information of one-volume commentaries and the information overload of scholarly and expensive multi-volume sets, you’ll find the Zondervan KJV Commentary. Expanding the award-winning notes of the Zondervan KJV Study Bible, this practical and richly informative resource delivers in two volumes all the essential information and practical insights of the study notes … and a whole lot more.


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Between the sparse information of one-volume commentaries and the information overload of scholarly and expensive multi-volume sets, you’ll find the Zondervan KJV Commentary. Expanding the award-winning notes of the Zondervan KJV Study Bible, this practical and richly informative resource delivers in two volumes all the essential information and practical insights of the study notes … and a whole lot more.

Volume 1 covers the entire Old Testament. Features include:
? Expanded study notes from the bestselling Zondervan KJV Study Bible
? New material by top evangelical scholars
? The best in conservative scholarship from a wide range of denominations
? Penetrating verse-by-verse expositions shedding light on the meaning of Scripture
? Nontechnical and jargon free---no need to know Hebrew or Greek

Thorough, balanced, convenient, and designed for accessibility, the Zondervan KJV Commentary is a resource you’ll reach for often.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310251392
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 11/5/2010
  • Pages: 1216
  • Sales rank: 1,436,365
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 2.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Edward Hindson is the assistant chancellor and dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies at Liberty University in Virginia. He has authored twenty books and edited the Gold Medallion Award-winning Knowing Jesus Study Bible. He and his wife reside in Forest, Virginia.

Daniel R. Mitchell (ThM, STM, ThD) is dean and professor of Theological Studies at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Lynchburg, Virginia. He is the author of commentaries on First and Second Corinthians (AMG Publishers), general editor of the King James Study Bible (Thomas Nelson), and consulting editor of the Zondervan KJV Study Bible. He and his wife reside in Forest, Virginia.

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Table of Contents


1 Samuel....................361
2 Samuel....................411
1 Kings....................451
2 Kings....................509
1 Chronicles....................561
2 Chronicles....................595
Song of Solomon....................894
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First Chapter

Zondervan King James Version Commentary-Old Testament


Copyright © 2010 Zondervan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-25139-2

Chapter One




The first phrase in the Hebrew text of 1:1 is bereshith ("In [the] beginning"), which is also the Hebrew title of this book (books in ancient times customarily were named after their first word or two). The English title, Genesis, is Greek in origin and comes from the word geneseos, which appears in the Greek translation (Septuagint) of 2:4 and 5:1. Depending on its context, the word can mean "birth," "genealogy," or "history of origin." In both its Hebrew and Greek forms, then, the title of Genesis appropriately describes its contents, since it is primarily a book of beginnings.


Historically, Jews and Christians alike have held that Moses was the author/compiler of the first five books of the Old Testament. These books, known also as the Pentateuch (meaning "five-volumed book"), were referred to in Jewish tradition as the five-fifths of the law (of Moses). The Bible itself suggests Mosaic authorship of Genesis, since Acts 15:1 refers to circumcision as "the manner of Moses," an allusion to Genesis 17. A certain amount of later editorial updating does appear to be indicated, however (see, e.g., discussions on 14:14; 36:31; 47:11).


The historical period during which Moses lived seems to be fixed with a fair degree of accuracy by 1 Kings, which states that "the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel" was the same as "the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt" (1 Kings 6:1). Since the former was roughly 966 BC, the latter-and thus the date of the exodus-was roughly 1446 BC (assuming that the 480 years in 1 Kings 6:1 is to be taken literally; see Judges, Introduction: "Background"). The forty-year period of Israel's wanderings in the wilderness, which lasted approximately from 1446 to 1406 BC, is the most likely time in which Moses could have written the bulk of what is today known as the Pentateuch.

During the last three centuries, many scholars have claimed to find in the Pentateuch four underlying sources. The presumed documents, allegedly dating from the tenth to the fifth centuries BC, are called J (for Jahweh/Yahweh, the personal name for God in the Old Testament), E (for Elohim, a generic name for God), D (for Deuteronomic), and P (for Priestly). Each of these documents is claimed to have its own characteristics and theology, which often contradict that of the other documents. The Pentateuch is thus depicted as a patchwork of stories, poems, and laws. This view is not supported by conclusive evidence, however, and intensive archaeological and literary research has tended to undercut many of the arguments used to challenge Mosaic authorship.


Chapters 1-38 reflect a great deal of what is known from other sources about ancient Mesopotamian life and culture. Creation, genealogies, destructive floods, geography and mapmaking, construction techniques, migrations of peoples, sale and purchase of land, legal customs and procedures, sheepherding and cattle-raising-all these subjects and many others were matters of vital concern to the peoples of Mesopotamia during this time. They were also of interest to the individuals, families, and tribes whose stories are in the first thirty-eight chapters of Genesis. The author appears to locate Eden, man's first home, in or near Mesopotamia: the Tower of Babel was built there, Abram was born there, Isaac took a wife from there, and Jacob lived there for twenty years. Although these patriarchs settled in Canaan, their original homeland was Mesopotamia.

The closest ancient literary parallels to Genesis 1-38 also come from Mesopotamia. Enuma elish, the story of the god Marduk's rise to supremacy in the Babylonian pantheon, is slightly similar in some respects (though thoroughly mythical and polytheistic) to the Genesis 1 creation account. Some of the features of certain king lists from Sumer bear striking resemblance to the genealogy in Genesis 5. The eleventh tablet of the Gilgamesh epic is quite similar in outline to the flood narrative in Genesis 6-8. Several of the major events of Genesis 1-8 are narrated in the same order as similar events in the Atrahasis epic. In fact, the latter features the same motif -creation, rebellion, flood-found in the biblical account. Clay tablets found recently at the ancient (ca. 2500-2300 BC) site of Ebla (modern Tell Mardikh) in northern Syria may also contain some intriguing parallels (see chart, Zondervan KJV Study Bible, p. xix).

Two other important sets of documents demonstrate the reflection of Mesopotamia in the first thirty-eight chapters of Genesis. The Mari letters (see chart, KJV Study Bible, p. xix), dating from the patriarchal period, reveal that the names of the patriarchs (including especially Abram, Jacob, and Job) were typical of that time. The letters also clearly illustrate the freedom of travel that was possible between various parts of the Amorite world in which the patriarchs lived. The Nuzi tablets (see chart, KJV Study Bible, p. xix), though dating from a few centuries after the patriarchal period, shed light on patriarchal customs, which tended to survive virtually intact for many centuries. The inheritance right of an adopted household member or slave (15:1-4), the obligation of a barren wife to furnish her husband with sons through a servant girl (16:2-4), strictures against expelling such a servant girl and her son (21:10-11), the authority of oral statements in ancient Near Eastern law, such as the deathbed bequest (27:1-4, 22-23, 33)-these and other legal customs, social contracts, and provisions are graphically illustrated in Mesopotamian documents.

As chapters 1-38 are Mesopotamian in character and background, so chapters 39-50 reflect Egyptian influence, though not quite as directly. Examples of such influence are: Egyptian grape cultivation (40:9-11), the riverside scene (chap. 41), Egypt as Canaan's breadbasket (chap. 42), Canaan as the source of numerous products for Egyptian consumption (chap. 43), Egyptian religious and social customs (the end of chaps. 43 and 46), Egyptian administrative procedures (chap. 47), Egyptian funerary practices (chap. 50), and several Egyptian words and names used throughout these chapters. The closest specific literary parallel from Egypt is Tale of Two Brothers, which bears some resemblance to the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife (chap. 39). Egyptian autobiographical narratives (such as the Story of Sinuhe and the Report of Wenamun) and certain historical legends offer more general literary parallels.

Theme and Theological Message

Genesis speaks of beginnings-of the heavens and the earth, of light and darkness, of seas and skies, of land and vegetation, of sun and moon and stars, of sea and air and land animals, of human beings (made in God's own image, the climax of His creative activity), of sin and redemption, of blessing and cursing, of society and civilization, of marriage and family, of art and craft and industry. A key word in Genesis is the Hebrew word for "generations," which also serves to divide the book into its ten major parts (see "Literary Features" and "Literary Outline," below) and which includes such concepts as birth, genealogy, and history.

The book of Genesis is foundational to understanding the rest of the Bible. Its message is rich and complex, and listing its main elements gives a succinct outline of the biblical message as a whole. It is supremely a book of relationships, highlighting those between God and nature, God and man, and man and man. It is thoroughly monotheistic, taking for granted that there is only one God worthy of the name and opposing the ideas that there are many gods (polytheism),that there is no god at all (atheism),and that everything is divine (pantheism). It clearly teaches that the one true God is sovereign over all that exists (His entire creation) and that, through divine election, He often exercises His unlimited freedom to overturn human customs, traditions, and plans. It introduces the way in which God initiates and makes covenants with His chosen people, pledging His love and faithfulness to them and calling them to promise theirs to Him. It establishes sacrifice as the substitution of life for life (chap. 22). It gives the first hint of God's provision for redemption from the forces of evil (compare 3:15 with Rom. 16:17-20) and contains the oldest and most profound definition of faith (15:6). More than half of Hebrews 11-the New Testament roll of the faithful-refers to characters in Genesis.

Literary Features

The message of a book is often enhanced by its literary structure and characteristics. Genesis is divided into ten main sections, which begin with the Hebrew word translated "generation[s]" (see 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12; 25:19; 36:1 [repeated for emphasis at 36:9]; and 37:2). The first five sections can be grouped together and, along with the introduction to the book as a whole (1:1-2:3), can be appropriately called "primeval history" (1:1-11:26), sketching the period from Adam to Abraham. The last five sections constitute a much longer but equally unified account, relating the story of God's dealings with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph and their families, and is often called "patriarchal history" (11:27-50:26). This latter group of sections is in turn composed of three narrative cycles (Abraham-Isaac, 11:27-25:11; Isaac-Jacob, 25:19-35:29; 37:1; and Jacob-Joseph, 37:2-50:26), interspersed by the genealogies of Ishmael (25:12-18) and Esau (chap. 36).

The narrative frequently concentrates on the life of a later son in preference to the firstborn: Seth over Cain, Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Judah and Joseph over their brothers, and Ephraim over Manasseh. Such emphasis on divinely chosen men and their families is perhaps the most obvious literary and theological characteristic of the book of Genesis as a whole. It strikingly underscores the fact that the people of God are not the product of natural human developments but are the result of God's sovereign and gracious intrusion in human history. He brings out of the fallen human race a new humanity consecrated to Himself, called and destined to be the people of His kingdom and the channel of His blessing to the whole earth.

Numbers with symbolic significance figure prominently in Genesis. The number ten, in addition to being the number of sections into which Genesis is divided, is also the number of names appearing in the genealogies of chapters 5 and 11 (see discussion on 5:5). The number seven (and its multiples) also occurs frequently. The Hebrew text of 1:1 consists of exactly seven words, and that of 1:2 of exactly fourteen (twice seven). There are seven days of creation, seven names in the genealogy of chapter 4 (see discussion on 4:17-18; see also 4:15, 24; 5:31), various sevens in the flood story, seventy descendants of Noah's sons (chap. 10), a sevenfold promise to Abram (12:2-3), seven years of abundance and then seven years of famine in Egypt (chap. 41), and seventy descendants of Jacob (chap. 46). Other significant numbers, such as twelve and forty, are used with similar frequency.

The book of Genesis is basically prose narrative, punctuated here and there by brief poems (the longest is the so-called Blessing of Jacob, 49:2-27). Much of the prose has a lyrical quality and uses the full range of figures of speech and other devices that characterize the world's finest epic literature: the vertical and horizontal parallelism between the two sets of three days in the creation account (see discussion on 1:11); the ebb and flow of sin and judgment in chapter 3 (the serpent and woman and man sin successively, God questions them in reverse order, then He judges them in the original order); the powerful monotony of "and he died" in the genealogies in chapter 5; the climactic hinge effect of the phrase "And God remembered Noah" (8:1) at the midpoint of the flood story; the hourglass structure of the account of the Tower of Babel in 11:1-9 (narrative in vv. 1-2, 8-9, discourse in vv. 3-4, 6-7, with v. 5 acting as transition); the macabre pun in 40:19 (see also 40:13); the alternation between brief accounts about firstborn sons and lengthy accounts about younger sons. These and numerous other literary devices add interest to the narrative and provide interpretive signals to which the reader should pay close attention.

It is no coincidence that many of the subjects and themes of the first three chapters of Genesis are reflected in the last three chapters of Revelation. One can only marvel at the superintending influence of the Lord Himself, who assures that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:16) and that "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21).


Literary Outline

I. Introduction (1:1-2:3) II. Body (2:4-50:26) A. "The generations of the heavens and of the earth" (2:4-4:26) B. "The book of the generations of Adam" (5:1-6:8) C. "The generations of Noah" (6:9-9:29) D. "The generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth" (10:1-11:9) E. "The generations of Shem" (11:10-26) F. "The generations of Terah" (11:27-25:11) G. "The generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son" (25:12-18) H. "The generations of Isaac, Abraham's son" (25:19-35:29) I. "The generations of Esau" (36:1-37:1) J. "The generations of Jacob" (37:2-50:26)

Thematic Outline

I. Primeval History (1:1-11:26) A. Creation (1:1-2:3) 1. Introduction (1:1-2) 2. Body (1:3-31) 3. Conclusion (2:1-3) B. Adam and Eve in Eden (2:4-25) C. The Fall and Its Consequences (chap. 3) D. The Rapid "Progress" of Sin (4:1-16) E. Two Genealogies (4:17-5:32) 1. The Genealogy of Pride (4:17-24) 2. The Genealogy of Death (4:25-5:32) F. The Extent of Sin before the Flood (6:1-8) G. The Great Flood (6:9-9:29) 1. Preparing for the Flood (6:9-7:10) 2. Judgment and Redemption (7:11-8:19) a. The Rising of the Waters (7:11-24) b. The Receding of the Waters (8:1-19) 3. The Flood's Aftermath (8:20-9:29) a. A New Promise (8:20-22) b. New Ordinances (9:1-7) c. A New Relationship (9:8-17) d. A New Temptation (9:18-23) e. A Final Word (9:24-29) H. The Spread of the Nations (10:1-11:26) 1. The Diffusion of Nations (chap. 10) 2. The Confusion of Tongues (11:1-9) 3. The First Semitic Genealogy (11:10-26) II. Patriarchal History (11:27-50:26) A. The Life of Abraham (11:27-25:11) 1. Abraham's Background (11:27-32) 2. Abraham's Land (chaps. 12-14) 3. Abraham's People (chaps. 15-24) 4. Abraham's Last Days (25:1-11) B. The Descendants of Ishmael (25:12-18) C. The Life of Jacob (25:19-35:29) 1. Jacob at Home (25:19-27:46) 2. Jacob Abroad (chaps. 28-30) 3. Jacob at Home Again (chaps. 31-35) D. The Descendants of Esau (36:1-37:1) E. The Life of Joseph (37:2-50:26) 1. Joseph's Career (37:2-41:57) 2. Jacob's Migration (chaps. 42-47) 3. Jacob's Last Days (48:1-50:14) 4. Joseph's Last Days (50:15-26)


Excerpted from Zondervan King James Version Commentary-Old Testament Copyright © 2010 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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    A very worth while investment for any serious student of the bible.

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