The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah
The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah

The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah

in New International Commentary on the Old Testament

by Hannah K. Harrington

4.5 Rank Score: 4.76 from 1 reviews, 1 featured collections, and 3 user libraries
Pages 563
Publisher Eerdmans
Published 2022
ISBN-13 9780802825483
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah represent a significant turning point in biblical history. They tell the story not only of the temple in Jerusalem being rebuilt but also of God resurrecting his people from the death of exile. Hannah Harrington thus begins her commentary with an evocative description of these books as “the story of a new Israel forged out of the old” and “the text of a people clinging to their genealogical past and attempting to preserve their heritage while walking forward into uncharted territory.”

Throughout this commentary, Harrington combines analytical research on the language and culture behind the books of Ezra and Nehemiah with challenging thoughts for the Christian church today, bringing to bear a unique perspective on these books not as the end of Old Testament history but as some of the earliest Jewish books written during the Second Temple period. Accordingly, Harrington incorporates a wealth of information from other Jewish literature from this time period to freshly illuminate many of the topics and issues at hand while focusing on the interpretation and use of these books for Christian life today.


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ThomasCreedy ThomasCreedy June 16, 2023
Whilst the interest in/focus on the development of Judaism may slightly reduce this commentary’s utility to the average preacher, I do think that it is a thorough and helpful commentary if read with discernment – not least as Harrington helps notes of God’s sovereignty/intimacy, the importance of prayer/lament/worship/family and other things sing clearly. Unlike some commentaries, it held my attention throughout, whether I agreed or not, and with the expection of the very long excursus noted above, the tangents followed were generally brief and interesting enough to not be too distracting. I will certainly have it to hand when working on Ezra/Nehemiah, and were I to preach on either, this would be quick off the shelf with Kidner and Moore. It almost feels unneccessary to allude to the excellenct production Eerdmans make of these NICOT volumes – but it is a pleasure to use. My concern/quibble at the outset about how high a view of scripture is employed here is worth noting again – not necessarily as a negative, but as an observation that this is a different kind of commentary than many readers of this blog might be looking for. That said, if you want a reasonably technical, well put together, carefully researched and spiritually-engaged commentary on Ezra/Nehemiah, then this is an excellent choice. In going back over my notes whilst writing the review, I was reminded that it was a pleasure to read, opened up these two books of Scripture to me, and that is pretty impressive for a 500+ page commentary! [Full Review]