I read through this commentary slowly, and in detail since I had to teach for 6 months on Genesis. It clearly shows how Genesis is the foundation of God revealing Himself to mankind. If you are a serious student of Scripture, a Bible teacher, or preacher, I think this book is critical for your library.
Reading this commentary has left me with mixed reactions. It does an excellent job of giving the reader an appreciation of early Jewish culture and the way people of that day viewed the writings of Genesis. Personally, I find this information invaluable. However, I find the book lacking in good solid practical application of the text to the reader in our day and time. At the same time, this volume serves as a very good supplement to the works of other commentaries on the book of Genesis.
For the first time, I am disappointed with a volume in this series. Normally, the NIV Application series can be counted on to help identify the core theological ideas in a passage, and then offer some solid applicational ideas in the "Contemporary Significance" section. But in this volume, although the "Original Meaning" section is solid, I have consistently found Walton's "Bridging Contexts" and "Contemporary Significance" sections to be a stretch. His ideas just don't seem to capture the essense of the passage.
I was extremely disappointed in this commentary. I used it along with 2 others in my recent studies. It gets caught up in creation and eastern gods, and then it flies past Jacob and Joseph. I really got little to nothing from this book. Had this been my first commentary to use studying, I would have never picked up another one.