A mid-to-upper level critical commentary on the book of Judges suitable for pastors and laity with college or seminary level biblical training, students, and scholars.
The New International Commentary on the Old Testament [NICOT] is one of the most respected commentary series in the world. The volumes in this series deal with multiple aspects of the biblical books including textual integrity, literary structure, and socio-historical background. Current scholarship is also reviewed though technical matters are typically confined to the footnotes.
Barry G. Webb's The Book of Judges is a critical commentary that comprehensively explores the book of Judges and briefly but adequately reviews current scholarship on the ancient document. Webb treats the Judges as a unified book and spends the majority of his time dealing with the text. He is particularly astute at examining literary structure and showing how that structure tells the story of Israel's Judges. Knowledge of Hebrew is, as always, very beneficial for navigating Webb's work but is not required and very little Hebrew actually appears in the text. Where Hebrew words are referenced they appear in transliterated form. Nonetheless, readers should have their grammatical ears ready when reading this commentary.
The historical and sociological context of the book and the difficulties associated with it receive ample attention as does the biblical context of the book situated, as it is, between the Exodus and the emerging monarchy. Theologically, Webb discusses important points such as the violence of the book of Judges, the roles of Women and its relation to the New Testament. But these discussions are restrained to the historical contexts and data from the text and do not directly engage doctrinal theology.
We have been waiting for Barry Webb's commentary a long time. It's here! This volume is the mature fruit of three decades of study and reflection on the book of Judges. Webb combines the best of thorough scholarship with an evangelical passion for readers to grasp the rhetorical agenda and message of the book. Scholars, teachers, and pastors will find this volume to be a worthy addition to the already excellent NICOT series.
-Daniel I. Block
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