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Judges, Ruth: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary) Hardcover – September 20, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel I. Block is the Gunther H. Knoedler professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He holds degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and University of Liverpool and has lectured and preached in Russia, Denmark, and China. A prolific writer, Block's previous books include the Judges, Ruth volume of B&H Publishing Group's esteemed New American Commentary series.
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Product Details

  • Series: The New American Commentary (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Holman Reference (September 20, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805401067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805401066
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a particularly fine example of evangelical scholarship which also interacts with both Jewish and liberal scholarship in a significant way to produce a very usable commentary for both the specialist and the informed layman.

His work in the NICOT on Ezekial is heralded by many (Tremper Longman among them) as simply the best OT commentary in print. The constraints in this series might be a bit more restrictive, but Block has managed to produce what is probably the best commentary on Judges available. (Lawson Younger's work in the NIVAC series is good too but the goal of that series is even more modest.)

Block's introductory material is almost worth the price of the book. And the commentary portion, while working verse by verse, includes an awareness of the literary, poetic and narrative concerns. He also shows an awareness of the text-critical issues when appropriate without getting bogged down, he always displays a high view of inspiration, and his footnotes are a wealth of information for the student wishing to go deeper and interact with scholarly sources.

The primary drawback to the commentary is that often after writing a page or two about one particular verse Block often fails to draw some fairly obivious conclusions on what the narrator is actually communicating. For example, he spends nearly 2 pages on the place and person names of 4:2 and suggests various possibilities concerning the issue of how Jabin could oppress the Israelites from Hazor (which had recently been decimated by Joshua), and yet he does not draw any conclusions about the narrator's characterization of Israel's request for the Lord's help being due to political oppression (that is, rather than repentance.)
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Format: Hardcover
It isn't simply that I buy everything Daniel Block publishes. I do. But, apart from the fact that he is a fine scholar, a clear-headed exegete and a solid communicator, this commentary is a must-buy for any student of the OT simply because it represents one of the few works out there on Judges. Until recently, Judges suffered from a drought of commentators. The last thorough treatment on Judges was written by Robert Boling for the Anchor series and that was back in 1975.
Block's commentary gives the reader both balanced and well-informed comments on the text's meaning as well as philological notes on the Hebrew (kept conveniently in the footnotes). It delves deeply for the more scholarly concerns, yet can be accessed by an informed layperson. Block's familiarity and usage of secondary sources, which are also listed in the footnotes, are invaluable for further study. While some quite commendable commentaries on Judges have recently appeared since Block's work, none have come close to eclipsing his fine contribution.
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Format: Hardcover
"No book in the Old Testament offers the modern church as telling a mirror as this book." So ends Daniel Block's New American Commentary on Judges.* One might very well add, "The book is a telling mirror of American society as a whole." Block takes a biblical book describing events that took place 3,000 years ago and shows how relevant they still are through his solid exegesis of the text.

Throughout his commentary, Block reviews and expounds upon the continual decline of Israel after they entered the Promised Land, during the time of the shofetim (traditionally translated "judges," but Block uses the more technically correct term "tribal leaders"). Block traces two main themes of of Judges throughout his commentary. The first is the gradual Canaanization of Israel. In every episode, Israel and her shofetim take on more and more of the characteristics and culture of the surrounding peoples (the Canaanites), which of course is in direct disobedience of God's original command to them to completely and utterly destroy the native peoples. By the end of the book, the only people Israel attempts to destroy in this manner is the tribe of Benjamin--their own brothers and sisters! Block shows that this is the dramatic effect of acquiescence and indeed full acceptance of a sinful culture. The second main theme Block traces throughout the book is God's grace. Israel and her leaders follow and disobey the laws of God in whatever manner is most convenient for them at the moment. Although they cry out to God on multiple occasions, it is always a cry for help and never a cry of repentance. Every judge, save two (Othniel and Deborah), are shown to be poor leaders. And yet God continually saves them from destruction!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finding a commentary that possess a balance of depth and clarity can be a rare occurrence. This commentary is one of those rare commentaries. I started a series of sermons from Judges and had to use three other commentaries for the the first sermon before I purchased this commentary. Once I started studying Judges with this book, I found that this commentary brought out the rich meaning of the passage and clarity that was unmatched by the other three commentaries combined. To understand individual passages and the book as a whole, I felt that this was the only book I needed. However, to move into more specific application, I felt it necessary to seek other sources as well. This commentary presents great general application and theological meaning, but for application that can be presented to a church for the purpose of spurning them to act in a certain way (i.e. "This truth is manifested in your life today by..."), you will have to draw your own conclusions or seek other commentaries for extra help. Still, it is an incredible resource that I highly value. Although I wanted more help with application, it still makes application easy to come to because you will understand the passages so well. Praise the Lord!
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