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Esther (The NIV Application Commentary) Hardcover – June 7, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Esther's story is without doubt both an inspiration and one of the great teaching resources of the church. But what is the key to unlocking the great lessons of Esther? It is this: Read correctly, the lead character of the book of Esther is not even Esther. The lead character is God. The story of Esther is perfect inspiration for us when we find ourselves in situations we never sought, never planned for, and don't think we have the gifts to succeed in handling. It tells us what to do--trust these situations to the Lord and move on.

From the Author

Karen H. Jobes (Ph.D., Westminster) is assistant professor of New Testament studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, and the author of The Alpha Text of Esther
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Product Details

  • Series: The NIV Application Commentary
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310206723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310206729
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
While preparing to teach an adult Sunday school class on Esther, I bought this book sight-unseen through Amazon (though I had a notion it would be worthwhile, since the publisher is Zondervan and the author went to Westminster Theological Seminary). Now that my study on Esther is finished, I can't think of another tool I relied on more heavily than this one (except for the Bible, of course!); I sometimes felt that I should just stop teaching and buy every person in my class a copy of Jobes's excellent book.
It's extremely well-informed, marshaling a vast assortment of scholarly material from other writers; yet it's also quite contemporary, with extended passages applying the text to modern-day life. Best of all, it's level-headed and perceptive; she really wants to understand the book, and thus brings no particular preconceptions about how this or that event should be interpreted.
One thing I learned in my teaching is that Esther is one of the most cryptic books in the Bible, with many thorny issues about which the Biblical writer himself does not care to editorialize. Jobes brings a refreshingly open-minded approach to these issues, and really makes you think, think, think. Yet she never veers from her obvious conviction that this is the infallible word of God. It's quite exhilarating! I kept reading huge chunks of her analysis aloud in class. One of these days I'll track her down and write a letter expressing my gratitude.
If you're a fan of Esther, and especially if you plan to teach or preach on the book, YOU NEED Jobes's terrific analysis. I found it indispensable.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Jobes' volume on Esther is my favorite in the Old Testament NIVAC series. I completely disagree with the "Not a good commentary" reviewer below, especially the remarks suggesting Dr. Jobes casually dismisses biblical and historical evidence (her dissertation was on the relationship of the LXX Alpha-text of Esther to the MT).

On the contrary, I found the commentary to be loaded with historical and cultural information that is indispensible to a proper understanding of the text as the original audience would have understood it. Also, as another reviewer has already mentioned, Dr. Jobes really makes you think. I particularly enjoyed her discussions on Divine Providence.

The only criticism I have to offer would be that her handling of eschatological topics is very "Reformed", where my preference is for "Progressive Dispensationalism." I wouldn't suggest you not purchase the book because of that though.

All in all, this is a fantastic commentary from a first-rate scholar!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well done. Jobes places us in the Persian palace helping us to understand the strange surroundings. She is forthright in her presentation of the facts and situations, even though the author of Esther is spare with details and explanations.

Jobes cautions the reader not to be hasty in making 21st century moralistic conclusions about Esther and friends, something that I have noticed other commentaries on Esther do not shy away from. She highlights things in the story of Esther that the casual reader as well as other commentators overlook: the reversals of destinies, the fascinating chiastic structure of the book, and relationships between men and women.

Jobes easily and naturally invites you to see the providence of God in a book where His name is not mentioned. And she makes the exciting story of Esther even more so as we see it related to the completed story of salvation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best Esther commentary for preaching/teaching hands down. I'm not sure which commentary the 2 and 1 star raters were reading, but it wasn't what I was reading. Dr. Jobes is clear and careful and absolutely fantastic following the thematic/narrative structure of Esther while paying close attention to the author's intent in constructing the book as he (or she) did-which is crucial to understanding the book. If you buy it and read it you won't be sorry.
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Format: Hardcover
Scholarly commentaries appeal to intellectuals, whereas the NIV Application series enables Pastors and Bible teachers to understand the text and relate it to real people. This volume is one of the best of the series. It explains the unusual story of Esther and why this story matters today. Karen Jobes helps us see that the main character is One who is never mentioned by name--God, who is working behind the scenes, causing His providential plan to work out through His people. I thought this commentary was clear, thorough, and very helpful. I wasn't looking for an analysis of the original Hebrew, because I was preparing sermons, not a new translation of the OT. This is one OT book you don't see a lot written about, which makes this commentary all the more valuable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came across this commentary at the prompt of listening to a well-known pastor's sermon series on Esther. In that series, he mentioned somewhere that "Karen Jobes, who easily probably wrote one of the best commentaries on Esther," and upon remembering that name-drop, I found this commentary for a college-paper I had to write on a passage in Esther.

I was very satisfied. It is indeed, a great commentary, and will hang onto it, if I preach my own series someday (I'm a Pastor) on Esther, I will find this book on my desk as I prep my sermons every week.
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