in Apollos Old Testament Commentary

by T. Desmond Alexander

5 Rank Score: 5.28 from 5 reviews, 0 featured collections, and 5 user libraries
Pages 708
Publisher IVP Academic
Published 7/4/2017
ISBN-13 9780830825028
Recounting the greatest event of divine salvation in the Old Testament, the book of Exodus is not merely a story about the Lord God rescuing enslaved Israelites from the power of a despotic and xenophobic dictator. More importantly, it highlights how a compassionate and justice-seeking God transforms the lives of victimized people so that they may experience life in all its fullness in his holy presence. This transformation involves a unique process that includes redemption, ransoming, cleansing, and consecration. The story of Exodus illustrates an all-important paradigm for understanding the nature and goal of divine salvation, anticipating an even greater exodus that will come through Jesus Christ.

In this Apollos Old Testament Commentary volume, Desmond Alexander grapples with the many and varied complexities of the carefully constructed literary collage of Exodus. As an integral part of the longer narrative that runs from Genesis to 2 Kings, Exodus recounts a dramatic and unified story of how the Israelites come to a deep and close relationship with the Lord God. Narrating past events, Exodus speaks to contemporary society, revealing a God who passionately desires to draw people into an intimate and exclusive relationship with himself. This detailed commentary sheds fresh light on one of the most influential books ever written.


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Alexander unpacks how the book of Exodus provides an important paradigm for understanding God’s work of salvation—salvation with the goal of creating a holy nation. While addressing issues raised by critical scholarship, Alexander’s interest lies in the significance of the text for biblical theology. [Full Review]
ThomasCreedy ThomasCreedy November 8, 2022
A stunning commentary, probably the best single volume available from an evangelical perspective - and biblically-theologically engaged enough to be worth consulting beyond parameters.
Bret Fajmon Bret Fajmon February 10, 2020
Gives a good summary of the historical situation of Exodus and defends the historicity of Exodus. The commentaries in this series weigh their words and use space in a compact way. A good compromise between a technical commentary (notes on the author's translation from Hebrew) and a homiletical commentary (a summary of each section). Notes on form and section in wise manner and high style begun in the Genesis commentary by Matthews in the NAC series - gives different views of sources and then a wise conclusion that many of these theories are not necessary.
N. Roland N. Roland November 13, 2018
T. Desmond Alexander’s Exodus is a landmark new volume in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series. The series “aims to to take with equal seriousness the divine and human aspects of Scripture. It expounds the books of the Old Testament in a scholarly manner accessible to non-experts, and show s the relevance of the Old Testament to modern readers” (from back cover). The format is similar to that of the Word Biblical Commentary series with a translation, notes, form and structure, comment and finally explanation. Alexander’s Introduction at 32 pages is shorter than I expected for a commentary of this size. However, it is a very effective and efficient summary of Alexander’s approach. He takes an agnostic position on authorship, though he argues that a high view of Scripture and taking Jesus’s words at face value do not require holding to Mosaic authorship, only that the Pentateuch is in some way associated with Moses. He also takes a rather skeptical posture towards source criticism. He does not deny that the final author used sources, only that we can delineate those sources with any confidence. His focus in the introduction is on the theological message and historicity of Exodus. Alexander argues that Exodus is primarily about Yahweh inviting Israel into a covenant relationship with himself in order to know him better. This thesis is compelling and makes for a highly coherent and even devotional commentary. He also commits significant space to discussing the archeological evidence of the Exodus. He argues for the historicity of the Exodus and argues ably that a 15th century exodus is not ruled out by the evidence. The commentary section itself is remarkably full. He gives full notes on lexical and textual issues, also remarking on source critical issues while consistently showing how inclusive such studies are. Alexander’s comments are wonderfully insightful, addressing the questions one would hope for with an eye on both the historical situation and contemporary significance. His discussions on the divine name and the ten words will aid the preacher immensely. He is also imminently readable. Despite the deep learning, I found the prose very engaging. In the Explanation section, Alexander summarizes his exegesis helpfully and does some biblical theology with an eye towards New Testament significance. I am always intrigued to see how an Old Testament scholar sees their text in light of the NT. Alexander makes helpful connections without being overly creative or speculative. On the divine name, he points to Jesus’s I AM statements and on the great theophany at Sinai, the greater mountain of Zion pointed to by the author of Hebrews. This commentary is a tremendous accomplishment. It is a delight to read and provides what pastors and scholars need to not only understand Exodus better, but more importantly to come to know the God of Israel better. This is now my #1 commentary on Exodus. IVP provided me with a free copy with no expectation of a favorable review.
Warren Truesdale Warren Truesdale June 9, 2018
T. Desmond Alexander is a favorite Biblical scholar of mine so it’s no surprise I have his new commentary on Exodus at the top of the list (see other blog and book reviews). This is a large technical commentary, but the helpful format also makes devotional reading an option. Every section has (1) a translation by Alexander, (2) notes on the transliterated Hebrew text (I do wish the Hebrew was not transliterated), (3) a substantial discussion about the ‘format and structure’ (discusses literary structure, source criticism, and ANE parallels), (4) detailed commentary on verses, and (5) explanation. If one wanted to read the commentary devotionally or for quick study then you can just skip to the ‘explanation’ section... [Full Review]