A biblical scholar well known for his expertise in ancient Near Eastern studies, expecially Ugaritic, author Fensham places Ezra and Nehemiah against the ancient Near East environment. In his introduction, Fensham discusses the original unity of the books, as well as the problems of authorship. He then treats the historical and religious background of the books, taking special note of the development of a Jewish society in postexilic times. Text and language are next, followed by a thorough bibliography. The commentary proper, based on Fensham's own fresh translation of the biblical texts, is richly documented and displays cautious good judgement, sensible approach, willingness to consider different options, and keen insight into the religious meaning of these key Hebrew texts.
Fensham's study on the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah is a contribution to The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Like its companion series on the New Testament, this commentary devotes considerable care to achieving a balance between technical information and homiletic-devotional interpretation.
"This is a very useful commentary. The author's scholarship provides a sound base. His bibliography is inclusive and up to date. He interacts with all important positions on major questions. His view is conservative and clearly reasoned. . . A commendable work."
"Provides Old Testament students with a most excellent tool for the analysis and exegesis of Ezra and Nehemiah. . . This volume has many strengths and practical suggestions for treating problem passages, and follows a good and logical outline of the combined texts. Ministers as well as scholars will find it useful."
Biblical Theology Bulletin
"The strengths of this volume are clear. Fensham uses his expertise in Semitic languages to address the many linguistic difficulties which appear in these two biblical books. In addition, his use of ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology is helpful. These elements, plus generous documentation, make this a substantial commentary."