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If you have used any of Derek Kidner's other commentaries (Psalms, Proverbs, Ezra-Nehemiah, Isaiah in New Bible Commentary), then you know his strengths. His Jeremiah commentary is just as good as his others.
First, he is brief yet profound. I've yet to find another commentator who is quite as good at this. I'm impressed over and over with his ability to get to the heart of a passage in so few words. See his treatment of Zedekiah's ruin on pages 126-127.
Second, he is vivid. His writing is evocative, not drab. He often makes an idea come alive like this: "Prayer is never superfluous to the study of Scripture or the quest for guidance. God is then speaking to an upturned face, not a preoccupied back" (p. 114). Excellent. May we have upturned faces.
Third, he has amazing discrimination in using cross references. Many commentators apparently just consult the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and pile on a few references. Kidner is delightfully judicious, and most of his selections are worthy of deep reflection. Note Kidner's connection of Jeremiah 7:11 not merely with Jesus' quotation of it in Matthew 21:13 but with later references (Matt. 23:38; 24:2).
I have used this book weekly for a year and a half, and I've come to appreciate it more and more. Don't judge it based on short acquaintance. There's depth here that keeps coming out after repeated use, and of course there is more to love in Kidner than the three things I've mentioned.
Gave me extremely good insight on Jeremiah. I am studying this prophet with a group of women and I cannot tell you how informative this book was a resource. It really helped me understand this in-depth, 52-chapter book of the Bible much better than I would have been able to do on my own. It provided historical background and personal information about Jeremiah and it broke down the chapters into sections. Very helpful!!!!
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