The Book of Numbers (2nd ed.)
The Book of Numbers (2nd ed.)

The Book of Numbers (2nd ed.)

in New International Commentary on the Old Testament

by Timothy R. Ashley

4.83 Rank Score: 5.25 from 3 reviews, 1 featured collections, and 5 user libraries
Pages 690
Publisher Eerdmans
Published 12/6/2022
ISBN-13 9780802872029
The book of Numbers tells a story that has two main characters—God and Israel. The way the story is told sounds odd and often harsh to readers today. In spite of the difficulties imposed by Numbers on today’s readers, the main point of the book is of immense importance for God’s people in any age: exact obedience to God is crucial.

This comprehensive and erudite commentary presents a thorough explication of this significant Hebrew text. Timothy Ashley’s introduction discusses such questions as structure, authorship, and theological themes, and it features an extended bibliography of major works on the book of Numbers. Then, dividing the text of Numbers into five major sections, Ashley’s commentary elucidates the theological themes of obedience and disobedience that run throughout the book. His detailed verse-by-verse comments are intended primarily to explain the Hebrew text of Numbers as we have it rather than to speculate on how the book came to be in its present form.

This second edition includes revisions that reflect Ashley’s decades of experience with the book of Numbers, as well as updates to the footnotes and bibliography that include many important works published in the last thirty years. With these new features, Ashley’s commentary solidifies its place as the church’s most faithful and definitive reference on the book of Numbers.


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One of the most thorough exegetical treatments of the Hebrew text from an evangelical perspective. Ashley aids readers by interacting well with both the Hebrew text and scholarly debates while remaining true to the book’s divine purpose and authorship. He possesses the unusual ability to engage readers in these areas even when his readers’ language skills are not up to his considerable level. Note that Ashley is less sure of Mosaic authorship in his second edition. [Full Review]
ThomasCreedy ThomasCreedy February 6, 2023
This is a thorough and helpful commentary, which by and large manages to keep moving through the complex and dense book of Numbers. Certainly it held this readers attention – and were I to be preaching Numbers, it would be off the shelf and on the desk pretty quickly. As is ever the case with Eerdmans NICOT/NICNT volumes, this is a beautifully produced hardback that is a pleasure to use. My only negative comment would be that the introduction was perhaps a little cursory – but, as ever, all commentaries are a balancing act. The back matter (indices of Authors/Subjects/Scripture and Other Ancient Texts) is thorough and helpful, and there are two interesting excurses on ‘Large Numbers’ and ‘The Levites in the Book of Numbers’. (the above is part of a longer review on my blog >>) [Full Review]
This work has some of the best resources when it comes to establishing the text. So, if you’re working with textual criticism or translation, this commentary is a great one to open. [Full Review]