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Zephaniah (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) Hardcover – September 1, 1994
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-Berlin's commentary on Zephaniah is strong on handling of language. She uses the available space to succinctly sum up many of the translational difficulties and makes the reader available of all the options while stating her own preference. Even in the few verses she claims are "unintelligible," she still manages to give a good explanation of the difficulties involved. Some of her arguments will be difficult to evaluate for those who do not have at least some grasp of Hebrew, but I imagine a series like this assumes exposure to the biblical languages.
-This commentary is thankfully committed to interpreting the text as it stands, something for which conservatives like myself are doubtless appreciative. Berlin is particularly critical of the older tendencies of scholars to dismantle the text at every turn.
-On top of that Berlin takes the time to consider Zephaniah's relationship to other parts of the Bible, something most critical scholars don't give much attention to. Since she is Jewish, she is primarily concerned with OT connections, so those looking for NT application will not find anything here. However, the information in this area was one of the strongest points of the commentary in my opinion.
-Short. The commentary is less than 150 pages long. Almost half of that is devoted to the introduction. (For comparison, the AB volume on Obadiah by Paul Raabe is over 300 pages!) I understand that Zephaniah is not a long book, but I feel that in the context of this particular series, some more space could have been utilized. Not every stone is left "unturned." I would have also appreciated more "big picture" information on Zephaniah, and maybe even some more theology.Read more ›
The prophet Zephaniah preached during the reign of Josiah -- the greatest reformer of the Southern Kingdom. Yet, we know very little about the man and his life and times. Dr. Berlin's excellent commentary situates Zephaniah in his historical setting, illuminating some of the more difficult statements he made. At the same time, Dr. Berlin does not neglect to address various alternate theories about Zephaniah regarding his person, date, time, and audience.
A worthy addition to an excellent series.