Ezra and Nehemiah
Publisher InterVarsity Press
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- Favorite Commentaries for Personal Study by Jeremy Pierce (parableman)
- Ultimate Commentary Collection - OT Expositional by John Glynn
- Essential Commentaries for a Preacher's Library - OT by Derek Thomas
The introduction is brief, but this is because Dr. Kidner chose to address the many controversies that swirl around Ezra and Nehemiah at the end of the commentary rather than the beginning. I think this was a good choice as it let me focus on the text and the great rebuilding projects of the Temple, the Wall and in a sense Judaism itself. The most important parts of the text were the focus with the various name lists of geologies and who was building what part of the wall were given attention only as needed. It was refreshing to have an instructor who knew how to pay attention to the cruxes and inspirational messages of the text. The appendixes were quite interesting for someone how had little previous knowledge of the great debates that have raged over who, when, why and such the two books were written. Dr. Kidner did a nice job of presenting the various ideas, defending his positions and in the final analysis suggesting that if we lay waste to the text we don't really have much of a Bible left to study.
Derek Kidner’s slim commentary is light in weight but not in content. Kidner is an exceptionally skilled writer who is able to say a lot with few words. He covers most of the important historical material that you will find in the longer commentaries by Williamson and Fensham, but he is more theologically insightful. Though I think that Levering has a better explanation of Ezra 3:10-13, Kidner’s commentary is my first choice when studying Ezra and Nehemiah.
Just a few days ago I was reading a commentary by Kidner and remarking on his ability to distill each section of Scripture down to its essence and follow his explanation with useful application. His commentary on Ezra and Nehemiah is necessarily succinct, due to the limitations of the TOTC, but is apparently excellent and the best place to go for an entry-level work suitable for all readers. [Full Review]
Succinct. Helpful appendices on historical matters.
For those seeking a good introductory level commentary on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, I would recommend Derek Kidner's commentary. He is one of those commentators whose work is consistently good. [Full Review]
Evangelical discussion of the theological message of the book. [Full Review]