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Esther and Ruth (Reformed Expository Commentary) Hardcover – November 2, 2005
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"An amazing commentary! Rarely does an expositor demonstrate such virtuosity. But Iain Duguid brings it all together: a specialist's knowledge of the Hebrew text and culture, a preacher's eye for theme and structure, a pastor's skill in nuanced application, a theologian's grasp of Christ-centered theology (that would make Geerhardus Vos smile), and a wordsmith's attention to language and lingering metaphor. Duguid's Esther and Ruth will elevate and inspire generations of readers and preachers." --R. Kent Hughes, Pastor, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois
"This exposition of Esther and Ruth is 'a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.' The author gives us a good dose of healing theology in a most relevant manner. From now on I will require my students to read this engaging commentary for their edification and delight." --Bruce K . Waltke, Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando; Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Regent College
"The authors of the Westminster Confession of Faith advised pastors to speak to both 'the necessities and capacities' of our people. This commentary series, which so well understands God's Word and God's people, greatly aids in that dual task of faithful preachers." --Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary
About the Author
Iain M. Duguid (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He has written numerous works of biblical exposition, including Esther & Ruth and Daniel in the Reformed Expository Commentary series.
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Top Customer Reviews
How you answer those sorts of questions will probably indicate which commentary is right for you.
I was very pleasantly surprised when I got into Iain Duguid's commentary on Esther and Ruth. I sort of expected a technical, heavy-handed type of commentary. I mean, what else would you expect from a "Reformed Expository Commentary"? We tend to major on the obscure and technical (or so it sometimes seems). What I found was an eminently readable book, which balanced the technical aspects with application. I also enjoyed that it was Christ-centered.
The book of Esther exhibits a surprising lack of mention of God. This detail has caused many to question how valid this book is as Scripture. Duguid handles this by explaining how those in Persia were actually still in rebellion against God. They hadn't returned under the decree of Cyrus. Apparently, they were too comfortable and well off under the Persian kings that they didn't want to return to a backwater land where life would be hard. Not too surprising, then, when trouble comes, they fast, mourn, wear sackcloth and ashes, but nobody prays.
While God seems out of the picture, he is still there. The whole story turns on the sleeplessness of the king - all Esther's bravery, all of Mordecai's refusal to bow, all of it turns out in favor for the Jews because the king couldn't sleep.
The book of Ruth also has some interesting turns. Duguid points out that Ruth is just as much about the Moabitess as it is about Naomi. Consistently, the author takes us from Boaz's fields to the house that Ruth and Naomi share. God has not given up on Naomi, no matter how difficult her circumstances seem. He first takes away her fullness in order to bring her back to the Promised Land. Then, through the unwanted concern of Ruth, he fills her back to the brim.
Unfortunately, both Esther and Ruth are relegated to women's Bible studies and aren't areas of study for the majority of the church. This does a disservice on both ends - first, it makes it seem as if these books have nothing to offer the whole congregation. Second, they are often skewed into morality tales for women - be an Esther or be a Ruth - as the principle message of each book. They have so much more to offer and it is my hope that Duguid's exposition will bring more people, both men and women, to these two valuable texts.
The author did a wonderful job ferreting out some of the lesser known themes of these two books. He confidently proclaims aspects of the text that are often overlooked. He was not only able to find them, but, dissect and explain them.
Some readers may enjoy the frequent uses of popular culture the author implements to make points or comparisons. I often found it a little distracting, however, it did not detract from the overall readability of the book.
Duguid reviews both book separately and analyzes them chapter by chapter. He masterfully conveys the larger themes and the nuances. He revealed several concepts that this reader had never heard before. The writing style of Duguid makes this book useful as a study tool. He follows a chronological order and provides many points of discussion.
Duguid scrutinizes both books with an eye focused on reformed theology. He does a wonderful job of drawing on the reformed themes that are throughout the Bible. Sovereignty and grace are abundant in these two books.
This commentary is thorough and relevant for all subsections of the church. Duguid has provided a toll worthy of group study and individual review. Ruth and Esther are often mainstays in women' studies, and for good reason. The author reminds us that these two books are good for the instruction of both genders and all ages.
Soooo, why did I buy another book on Esther and Ruth? That's easy, our senior Pastor is preaching through Esther this summer. He purchased some commentaries on Esther and just to make shipping costs reasonable he had the warehouse throw in this copy of Esther by Iain Duguid. He told me this was the greatest surprise of his life.
He said this book was worth the price of all the others combined. Well, it got my attention because I have never even heard of Iain Duguid.
I previewed the other Pastor's copy and was hooked from the opening chapter. I had to have my own copy. I ordered it and impatiently waited for it to arrive. I devoured the book as soon as I got it. I'm now and Iain Duguid fan.
He took a subject that I am familiar with and gave me new insights, new provoking thoughts to consider and shook some of my beliefs about the books to their roots. I will now be looking over my lesson plans and readdressing some areas, shoring up some thoughts and making huge improvements.
Thank you Iain for a very well done commentary. I enjoyed it so much I eagerly ordered Iain's commentary on Daniel.
If you are going to do a serious study of Esther or Ruth this book IS A MUST!