Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon are books of Hebrew poetry. They probe deeply into the human condition and the relationship each human has with the Deity. They also are sublimely beautiful in their expression and in their imagery. It stands to reason that something so profound may have things hard to understand. Commentaries can help us to “go deeper” in these seemingly bottomless books. Here and there I have added notes to help you along in your decision-making process. They are all bold and in this navy-blue color. —Steve
Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs: NLT Cornerstone Biblical Commentary
by August Konkel & Tremper Longman III / Tyndale House
The NLT Biblical Commentary series is the product of nearly 40 scholars, many of who participated in the creation of the NLT. The contributors to this series, who are well known and represent a wide spectrum of theological positions within the evangelical community, have built each volume to help pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible understand every thought contained in the Bible. In short, this will be one of the premier resources for those seeking an accessible but fairly high-level discussion of scriptural interpretation.
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture Series by J. Robert Wright, ed. / Inter-varsity Press
Among the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon were all thought by the early church fathers to have derived from the hand of Solomon. To their minds the finest wisdom about the deeper issues of life prior to the time of God’s taking human form in Jesus Christ was to be found in these books. As in all the Old Testament they were quick to find types and intimations of Christ and his church which would make the ancient Word relevant to the Christians of their day.Of extant commentaries on Ecclesiastes few is so profound as the eight homilies of Gregory of Nyssa, even though they cover only the first three chapters of the book. Joining Gregory among those most frequently excerpted in this volume are Augustine, Ambrose, Gregory the Great, Origen, John Cassian, John Chrysostom, Athanasius, Bede the Venerable and Jerome. Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great and Cyril of Jerusalem lead a cast of other less frequently cited fathers, and then there remains a large cast of supporting players, some of whose work is translated here into English for the first time.This volume edited by J. Robert Wright thus offers a rich trove of wisdom on Wisdom for the enrichment of the church today. [TOP]
Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs NIV Application Commentary
by Iain Provan / Zondervan Corp.
The Books of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs present unique difficulties to readers—the challenge of reading the texts in themselves andseeing them as intrinsic parts of Scripture. In this newest volume in The NIV Application Commentary, Iain Provan wrestles honestly with the grammar and syntax issues of Ecclesiastes and the interpretation options of the Song of Songs, portraying both books as deeply relevant to the contemporary church and culture. 432 pages, hardcover, Zondervan.
Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon: Holman Old Testament Commentary Volume 14 by David George Moore / Broadman / Holman
Solomon, tenth son of David and third king of Israel, had a reputation for great wisdom. His name is associated with many of the Proverbs, and he is considered to be the author of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs. Duane Garrett has characterized Ecclesiastes as the Bible’s “resident alien.”Many people even wonder why Ecclesiastes is a part of the Bible. Well-known writes have weighed in with praise for Ecclesiastes. Herman Melville said “the truest of all books is Solomon’s and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered steel of woe.” Thomas Wolfe believes that “Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound.” Most remarkable may be the comments of R.C. Sproul. He says that Ecclesiastes has a fond place in his heart because it was mightily used in his conversion to Christ–the second half of Ecclesiastes 11:3, Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. Hearing this verse, Sproul saw himself “lying on the floor of the forest having fallen…and rotting and disintegrating.”Song of Songs is a love song that clearly celebrates the joy of physical, intimate love within marriage. One of the book’s distinctive messages is that sex is God’s gift, his good gift, and that it should be enjoyed. The Song boldly proclaims the value and beauty of love and devotion between a man and women. The Song of Solomon has a message that all married couples need to hear. It also has a helpful word for those anticipating marriage. The beauty of its language and thoughts=elevate the sexual and physical relationship to a much higher level that does the world. Sexual feelings are accepted and affirmed. They are a part of God’s plan for His people.
The Preacher’s Commentary Vol 16: Ecclesiastes/Song of Solomon
by David Hubbard / Thomas Nelson / W
Book of Job
Job, Holman Old Testament Commentary Volume 10
by Steven Lawson / Broadman / Holman
Job was at once one of the most profound literary and religious documents in the history of civilization. More than that, it is the Word of God. In this document, God graciously hears, through Job, our most vexing questions about the purposes of God and God’s ways with human beings. Dr. Steven Lawson provides a verse-by-verse commentary on this masterpiece, illuminating the connection between various passages within Job and with other parts of Scripture. This commentary will prepare those who teach and preach with salient quotes, compelling illustrations, and suggestions for communicating the profound contents of this book. [TOP]
Job, New International Commentary on the Old Testament
by John Hartley / Eerdmans Publishing Co.This recent volume in the NICOT series deals carefully with the difficult questions of text, language, and theology in the Book of Job. After an extensive introduction, Hartley provides thoroughly researched, detailed, verse-by-verse exegesis and exposition which relates each section to the message of Job. Hardcover from Eerdmans, 576 pages.
The Preacher’s Commentary Volume 12: Job
by David L. McKenna / Thomas Nelson / W
The design for the Preacher’s Commentary gives the reader an overall outline of each book of the Bible. Following the introduction, which reveals the author’s approach and salient background on the book, each chapter of the commentary provides the Scripture to be exposited. The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary because it combines with integrity the beauty of language, underlying Hebrew and Greek textual basis, and thought-flow of the 1611 King James Version, while replacing obsolete verb forms and other archaisms with their everyday contemporary counterparts for greater readability.
Reverence for God is preserved in the capitalization of all pronouns referring to the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. Readers who are more comfortable with another translation can readily find the parallel passage by means of the chapter and verse reference at the end of each passage being exposited. The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.
Job 1-20, Word Biblical Commentary
by David J. A. Clines / Thomas Nelson / W
”An encyclopedia of information on the first half of Job”—America. Each volume features introduction, periscope bibliography, translation, notes, form/structure/setting, comments, explanation, and general bibliography. David J. A. Clines is Professor of Biblical Studies in the University of Sheffield (England), Joint Editor of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, and Editor of The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. He holds the B.A. degree from the University of Sydney (Australia) and the M.A. from Cambridge University. 201 pages, hardcover.
This series is consistently good. Its main value is how comprehensive it is. —Steve
Job 21-37, Word Biblical Commentary
by David J. A. Clines / Thomas Nelson / W’
Each volume features introduction, periscope bibliography, translation, notes, form/structure/setting, comments, explanation, and general bibliography. David J. A. Clines is Professor of Biblical Studies in the University of Sheffield (England), Joint Editor of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, and Editor of The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. He holds the BA degree from the University of Sydney (Australia) and the MA from Cambridge University. 201 pages, hardcover. These two volumes should be among the best on Job available in English. —Steve
Book of Psalms
New International Biblical Commentary (NIBC), Psalms
by Craig Broyles / Hendrickson Publishers
The New International Biblical Commentary offers the best of contemporary scholarship in a format useful for both general readers and serious students. Based on the widely used New International Version translation, the NIBC presents careful section-by-section exposition with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. A separate section of notes at the close of each chapter provides additional textual and technical comments. Each commentary also includes a selected bibliography as well as Scripture and subject indexes.
Parallel Commentary on the Psalms
by C. Spurgeon, J. Calvin & M. Henry, edited by M. Water / Amg Publishers
“Prince of Preachers” Charles Spurgeon, revolutionary reformer John Calvin, and beloved Bible commentator Matthew Henry weigh in on the Psalms! This classic resource features the King James text and Spurgeon’s notes on each left-hand page, with corresponding excerpts from Calvin and Henry on the right. An invaluable 4-in-1 reference for sermon preparation or personal Bible study. 964 pages, hardcover from AMG.
Psalms Volume 1 – NIV Commentary: College Press
by Raymond O. Zorn / College Press Publishng Co
From the Publisher: Years ago a movement was begun with the dream of uniting all Christians on the basis of a common purpose(world evangelism) under a common authority (the Word of God). The College Press NIV Commentary Series is a serious effort to join the scholarship of two branches of this unity movement so as to speak with one voice concerning the Word of God. Our desire is to provide a resource for your study of the New Testament that will benefit you whether you are preparing a Bible School lesson, a sermon, a college course, or your own personal devotions. Today as we survey the wreckage of a broken world, we must turn again to the Lord and his Word, unite his banner and communicate the lifegiving message to those who are in desperate need. This is our purpose. This volume is one of the only sets available written by scholars from within the Restoration Movement. —Steve
The Preacher’s Commentary Vol 13: Psalms 1-72
by Donald M. Williams / Thomas Nelson / W
This is volume one of Donald M. Williams commentary on Psalms featuring the Introduction, critical notes, and bibliography that also apply to volume two. Section-by-section commentary, contemporary illustrations and outlines, and understandable language make this an excellent resource for preachers and teachers. The New King James and the Masoretic text are referred to throughout the study. All Hebrew is transliterated and supplied in parentheses.
Dr. Donald Williams has been a pastor of Mt. Soledad Presbyterian Church and more recently the Cost Vineyard in La Jolla, California. He has been a lecturer in religion at Claremont MacKenna College in California and an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Williams holds degrees from Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary and holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University.
The Preacher’s Commentary series combines historical setting and textual interpretation . with spiritual insights and contemporary illustrations that are specifically designed for those endowed with the privilege of communicating God’s Word. The end result is a commentary by preachers/teachers for other preachers/teachers that is the ultimate resource for sermon and lesson preparation.
The Preacher’s Commentary Vol 14: Psalms 73-150
by Donald M. Williams / Thomas Nelson / W
This is volume two of Donald M. Williams commentary on Psalms. Although this volume can stand alone, it presupposes the Introduction, critical notes, and bibliography that appear in volume 13 of this series,Psalms 1-72.The Preachers Commentary Series combines rich resources of historical setting and textual interpretation with spiritual insights and contemporary illustrations specifically designed for communicators.[TOP]
Psalms 1-50, Second Edition, Word Biblical Commentary
by Peter C. Craigie / Thomas Nelson / W
This work by Craigie on the Psalms has become one of the best known works on the Psalms of the 20th century. Craigie begins with discussions on authorship, poetic structure, setting and the place of the Psalms in modern scholarship. He then discusses each Psalm, drawing out theological and historical meaning as well as how the Psalms may have been used in worship. This commentary is not for the average reader. Dr. Craigie communicates both the emotional and the theological impact of the Psalms as originally experienced by the people of Israel in their public worship and in private devotions. His careful analysis will give the modern reader a new appreciation of the reality that life and faith, history and liturgy, struggle and prayer, are inseparable in the life of the people of God. Dr. Tate brings Craigie’s volume up to date by incorporating references to the very latest in biblical scholarship on the Psalms.
Besides notes on each psalm, Dr. Craigie offers essays on:
- The Origin of Psalmody in Israel
- The Compilation of the Psalter
- The Psalms and the Problems of Authorship
- Theological Perspective in the Book of Psalms
- The Psalms and Recent Research
Craigie is a top-flight evangelical scholar. His two volumes on the Psalms should be among the best available. —Steve
Psalms 51-100, Word Biblical Commentary
by Marvin Tate / Thomas Nelson / W
The Word Biblical Commentaries are scholarly treatments of the scriptures. This volume is the second of three in this series on the Psalms. This work covers Psalms 51-100 and is written by Marvin Tate. The commentary begins with an introductory section which discusses the major elements, themes and historical backgrounds of these Psalms, but he leaves most of the introductory comments to P. Craigie in the first volume of this series (Psalms 1-50). The analysis of these Psalms is based on linguistics, Hebrew poetics and historical analysis. A good scholarly text.
Proverbs NIV Application Commentary
by Paul E. Koptak / Zondervan Corp.
Each passage is treated in three sections: Original Meaning, Bridging Contexts, and Contemporary Significance. The Original Meaning section helps you understand the meaning of the biblical text in its first-century context. Bridging Contexts builds a bridge between the world of the Bible and the world today, between the original context, by focusing on both the timely and timeless
aspects of the text. The Contemporary Significance section allows the biblical message to speak with as much power today as it did when it was first written. Hardcover, 712 pages. Zondervan.
Holman Old Testament Commentary Volume 13: Proverbs
by Max Anders / Broadman / Holman
The Book of Proverbs is one of the most widely read books of the Bible. Many Bible reading plans call for reading one chapter of Proverbs each day. Those who follow such a plan read through Proverbs 12 times a year. Proverbs is a compilation of short sayings or maxims designed to present important truth in memorable form. The Hebrew word for wisdom means “skill in living.” The purpose of Proverbs is to give the reader skill for living life from God’s perspective, and in doing so, give the wise person greater happiness. Wisdom begins with a fear of the Lord (reverence and respect, not terror), and includes knowledge, understanding, direction, discernment, and obedience. Proverbs is to be used to help succeeding generations be successful in life, primarily by contrasting the difference between the wise person and the fool. While there is some general overall organization to the book of Proverbs, the individual proverbs within the book are often arranged randomly. This can present a challenge when studying the book, because it is often helpful to study similar proverbs at the same time. Therefore, this commentary has rearranged all the proverbs into 31 topical studies, rather than going through the proverbs in the order they are found in the Bible.
A Commentary on Proverbs
by Peter A. Steveson / Bob Jones University Press
Daily life and doctrine work together in Scripture’s “Christianity in overalls” book of wisdom. Steveson’s verse-by-verse analysis of Proverbs provides guidance for relationships, finances, speech, and more. Includes practical application outlines; subject studies; a select bibliography; and an index of Hebrew words. An accessible tool for pastoral scholars and laypeople.
Proverbs People’s Bible Commentary
by Roland C. Ehlke / Concordia Publishing House
Proverbs treats the proverbs of Solomon as well as other collections besides those of King Solomon. This commentary shows how Proverbs directs us to live a godly life and breaks the book into six section. This commentary offers easy-to-read commentary that follows the text (NIV) so you learn as you read Scripture and commentary on the same page, Bible text highlighted in bold, explanation of complicated passages, and important facts are identified to expand understanding of Bible times and help apply passages to life today. This series is an excellent companion text for Bible study. [TOP]
The Preacher’s Commentary Vol 15: Proverbs
by David Hubbard / Thomas Nelson / W
Volume 15: Proverbs THE COMMENTARY FOR PREACHERS! For those on the firing line – in pulpits, classes, Bible study programs, and fellowships there is a distinctly different kind of commentary. The Preachers Commentary Series combines rich resources of historical setting and textual interpretation with spiritual insights and contemporary illustrations specifically designed for communicators. The result is a resource by preachers/teachers for preachers/teachers. It is complete with outlines section by section expositions, illustrations and applications This authoritative commentary provides the ultimate resource for sermon and lesson preparations. 501 page softcover from Thomas Nelson.
Dr. David Hubbard, former president and professor of Old Testament ta Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, was a recognized bibical scholar. In addition to ver 30 books, he wrote numerous articles for jornals, periodicals, reference works and was regularly listed in several editions of Who’s Who. Dr. Hubbard traveled throughout six continents and was heard worldwide on ‘The Joyful Sound’ radio program. Dr. Hubbard passed away in 1996.
Proverbs, Interpretation Commentary
by Leo G. Perdue / Westminster / John Knox
Proverbs is part of the Wisdom tradition, and as such is a collection of sayings, poems, and “life’s little” instructions. Exhorting its readers (hearers) to seek the higher ideals–things like knowledge, discipline, piety, morality, and order–Proverbs offer guidance on how to live in harmony with God, with one’s community, and with creation. This section by section commentary divides Proverbs into eight collections and clarifies the major historical, social, literary, theological and ethical elements of the book.
Proverbs, Word Biblical Commentary
by Roland E. Murphy / Thomas Nelson / W
A well-respected Roman Catholic scholar, Murphy has written extensively on wisdom literature. He brings his mature reflections to bear on these oft-quoted passages. Quite conversant with the extensive secondary literature, he also compares Proverbs’ teachings to that of neighboring Near Eastern cultures. 306 pages, hardcover.
Murphy is an outstanding scholar. Any of his commentaries will provide you with careful analysis and Near-eastern cultural background. —Steve
Proverbs 1:1-15:29: New International Commentary on the Old Testamentby Bruce K. Waltke / Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Over twenty-five years in the making, this much-anticipated commentary promises to be the standard study of Proverbs for years to come. Written by eminent biblical scholar Bruce Waltke, this new volume in the NICOT series is unquestionably the most comprehensive work on Proverbs available today.Grounded in the new literary criticism that has so strengthened biblical interpretation of late, Waltke’s commentary on Proverbs demonstrates the profound and ongoing relevance of this Old Testament Scripture for Christian thought and life. A thorough introduction addresses such issues as text and versions, structure, authorship, and theology. The detailed commentary itself explains and elucidates Proverbs as “theological literature.” Waltke’s highly readable style is evident even in his impeccable translation of the Hebrew text makes his work very accessible to teachers, pastors, Bible students, and general readers alike.
Proverbs 15:30-31:31, New International Commentary on the Old Testament by Bruce K. Waltke / Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Over twenty-five years in the making, this much-anticipated commentary promises to be the standard of Proverbs for years to come. These two volumes by eminent Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke are unquestionably the most comprehensive work on Proverbs available. Grounded in the new literary criticism that has so strengthened biblical interpretation of late, Waltke’s commentary explains and elucidates Proverbs as “theological literature” and demonstrates the profound, ongoing relevance of this Old Testament book for Christian faith and life. Waltke’s highly readable style–evident even in his original translation of the Hebrew text–makes his scholarly work accessible to teachers, pastors, Bible students, and general readers alike.
Ecclesiastes, New International Commentary on the Old Testament
by Tremper Longman III / Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Ecclesiastes is one of the most fascinating, and hauntingly familiar, books of the Old Testament. The sentiments of the main speaker of the book, a person given the name Qohelet, sound incredibly modern. Expressing the uncertainty and anxieties of our own age, he is driven by the question, “Where can we find meaning in the world?”But while Qohelet’s question resonates with readers today, his answer is shocking. “Meaningless,”says Qohelet, “everything is meaningless.” How does this pessimistic perspective fit into the rest of biblical revelation?In this commentary Tremper Longman III addresses this question by taking a canonical-Christocentric approach to the meaning of Ecclesiastes.Longman first provides an extensive introduction to Ecclesiastes, exploring such background matters as authorship, language, genre, structure, literary style, and the book’s theological message. He argues that the author of Ecclesiastes is not Solomon, as has been traditionally thought, but a writer who adopts a Solomonic persona. In the verse-by-verse commentary that follows, Longman helps clarify the confusing, sometimes contradictory message of Ecclesiastes by showing that the book should be divided into three sections: a prologue (1:1-11), Qohelet’s autobiographical speech (1:1212:7), and an epilogue (12:8-14) and that the frame narrative provided by prologue and epilogue is the key to understanding the message of the book as a whole. Longman’s approach as briefly described above, seems to be the correct one. So often we ignore the Hebrew background of Old Testament books, because it is so alien to our Western thinking. —Steve [TOP]
Ecclesiastes, Interpretation Commentary
by William P. Brown / Westminster / John Knox
“All is vanity.” So begins Ecclesiastes, considered by some to be the strangest book in the Bible. Solomon’s wisdom defies coherent summarizing, yet Brown successfully discerns truth amid the ambiguity: the outcome of a heightened awareness of the absurdity of life is the freedom to discover grace and redemption in our daily lives. 143 pages, hardcover from Westminster/John Knox.
Ecclesiastes, Anchor Bible Commentary
by Choon-Leong Seow / Random House, Inc
Good advice stands the test of time. And the wisdom of Ecclesiastes is just as relevant today as it was 3,000 years ago. Seow’s fresh translation of this collection of ancient adages will help you deal with the ups and downs of daily living, while pointing you toward the Bible’s answer to the timeless search for meaning. 688 pages, hardcover from Doubleday.
Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs
By Daniel L. Akin / Holman Reference
Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs is one volume in Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series. This series affirms that the Bible is a Christ-centered book, containing a unified story of redemptive history of which Jesus is the hero. It’s presented as sermons, divided into chapters that conclude with a “Reflect & Discuss” section, making this series ideal for small group study, personal devotion, and even sermon preparation. It’s not academic but rather presents an easy-reading, practical and friendly commentary. It is hard to tell from such a brief summary, but if this commentary is taking the “Christian” allegorical approach (the bride is the church, the lover is Christ), it would be leading us in the wrong direction. —Steve
Song of Songs: New International Commentary on the Old Testament [NICOT]
By Tremper Longman III / Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Relationships are a wonderful, mysterious, often elusive, sometimes painful part of the human experience. The most intimate of all human relationships, according to the Bible, is that between a husband and a wife. It is no surprise, therefore, that there is a book of the Bible, the Song of Songs, that focuses on this relationship. What is surprising is how little attention is given to the Song of Songs by scholars, by the church, and by readers of the Bible. With this volume Tremper Longman III unpacks for modern people what this ancient love poem says about the male-female relationship and, by analogy, about God’s love for his people. Longman’s superb study begins with a thorough introduction to the Song of Songs and its background. Longman discusses the book’s title, authorship, date, literary style, language, structure, cultural milieu, and theological content. He also canvasses the long history of interpretation of the Song of Songs, a history too often characterized by repression of the text. In the commentary itself, Longman structures the Song of Songs according to its twenty-three poetic units and explains its message verse by verse. The exposition is made clearer by Longman’s adoption of an anthropological approach to the text and by his frequent comparisons of the Song of Songs with other ancient Near Eastern literature. Learned yet highly accessible, innovative yet fully informed by past scholarship, this commentary shows the beautiful Song of Songs to be a timeless celebration of human love and sexuality. Based on the description above, I want to use this commentary the next time I teach Song of Solomon. Metaphors abound in Song of Solomon for parts of the human body and for intimate interactions between husband and wife. I am convinced that this approach, only reached in the present generation, is definitely the correct one. —Steve
Song of Songs, Wisdom Commentary
By F.Scott Spencer / Michael Glazier
The Wisdom Commentary series is the first scholarly collaboration to offer a detailed feminist interpretation of all the books of the Bible, providing the best of current feminist biblical scholarship available. The commentary addresses not only issues of gender (which are primary in this project) but also those of power, authority, ethnicity, racism, and classism, which all intersect. Song of Songs is included in this volume.
Song of Songs: Anchor Yale Bible Commentary [AYBC]
By Marvin H. Pope / Yale University Press
The Song of Songs has been compared to a lock for which the key was lost. Traditionally ascribed to King Solomon, the book has a sensuous imagery that has been the subject of various allegorical interpretations, chiefly as relating to Yahweh’s love for Israel or Christ’s love for the Church.
Marvin H. Pope suggests that the poem is what it seems, an unabashed celebration of sexual love, both human and divine, rooted in the fertility regions of the ancient Near East, the sacred marriage rite, and the funeral feast. A distinctive feature of this interpretation is the correlation between Love and Death. Also discussed are parallel literatures, possible Indian influences, and the significance of the Song for women’s liberation. Samples of traditional Jewish and Christian allegorical interpretations are cited for each verse.
Numerous photographs and drawings of ancient Near East origin illustrate and authenticate the provocative and controversial interpretation of Solomon’s sublime song.
Song of Songs, Interpretation Commentary
By Robert W. Jenson / Westminster John Knox Press
The final volume in the acclaimed Interpretation Bible Commentary examines how the evocative poetry of the Song of Songs solicits a theological reading. Jenson offers a systematic and scholarly review of this intriguing chapter in the Old Testament, finding in it a story of human love for God. 128 pages, hardcover from Westminster/John Knox.