Commentary :: Ezra to Job

ESV Expository Commentary, Volume IV: Ezra – Job

Editors: Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr., Jay Sklar

Authors: W. Brian Aucker (Ezra and Nehemiah), Eric Ortlund (Esther), Douglas Sean O’Donnell (Job)

Crossway: Wheaton, IL, 2020

Among the several criteria by which I select a commentary is the academic and literary pedigree and track record of the authors and the editors of the commentary. It would be difficult to find a more trustworthy group than the editors behind the ESV Expository Commentary—Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr., and Jay Sklar—and the commentators of this Volume IV —W. Brian Aucker (Ezra/Nehemiah), Eric Ortlund (Esther), and Douglas Sean O’Donnell (Job).

My impression of the ESV Expository Commentary is that it is primarily a preacher’s commentary. (However, the readability will also appeal to lay study.) It does not delve deeply into the critical deliberations of authorship, dating, or such elements that a critical commentary must. While the writers are certainly aware of these matters, and are entirely capable of dealing with them, they simply state their position from which they approach the book and move into dealing with the text. This they do from a historically orthodox, Reformed perspective.

Great effort was taken to relate the Old Testament books to the wider story of the whole Bible and to Christ. This integration provides a rich resource for preaching from these Old Testament books. (It should also prevent misinterpretation and improper manipulation of the text, which seems all too common.)

The authors correlate immediately relevant books of the Bible to the narrative, as well. For instance, in the Ezra-Nehemiah commentary, Aucker places Haggai and Zechariah in their important positions in the storyline.

The writers provide thorough commentary, as well as excellent Section Overviews and Responses in each section. The Response includes highly useful preaching points—emphases, cautions, and guidelines that are insightful. Throughout, they maintain a wonderful, Christocentric emphasis.

Based on my impression of Volume IV: Ezra-Job, I am eager to acquire more volumes in this commentary series. This is soul food.

Thank you to Crossway for providing a complimentary copy of this book through the Blog Review Program.