Noted Biblical and Hebrew scholar Robert B. Chisholm Jr. recently came out with A Commentary on Judges and Ruth as part of the Kregel Exegetical Library. Pulling from years of experience teaching Judges and Ruth at Dallas Theological Seminary, Chisholm wrote this commentary with the goal of making an accessible exegetical work for pastors and teachers.
He sought to interact with many specialized studies on Judges and Ruth to give readers a well-rounded understanding of differing views on special matters of each of these historical books.
While I haven’t read this commentary in depth, reading several sections gave me the following impressions of what you can expect with this commentary:
Chisholm introduces each book with plenty of important information describing the historical setting of each book, the literary structures of the books, helpful thoughts on special issues in the text (for example an interesting section on the role of females in Judges), and introductory material (date, authorship, etc.).
A helpful section includes Chisholm’s view of the chronology around the time of Judges. This will help pastors remind their congregation that of the important fact that historical matters matter to faith (to borrow a book’s title).
Academic, yet helpful for preachers
At the end of each section of text, Chisholm includes a section called “Message and Application,” that shares thematics, theological principles, homiletically trajectories, and preaching ideas for preachers. In addition to great exegesis and explanation of the text, I can see this section being of most value to preachers.
Reading the book makes it clear that Chisholm is an academic–although he does not come off overly-academic, but writes well for preachers wanting a detailed exposition of both Judges and Ruth.
Chisholm did a service by providing a multitude of bibliographical references and suggested works for those wanting a deeper study of Judges. Chisholm interacts with commentaries, academic articles, and shares suggested reading on various topics for those who want further study. This work is not an exhaustive take on Judges and Ruth, but would be a great place for scholars to start for those wanting a deep understanding of these books.
Two things that I would have greatly appreciated that are not in this commentary: more talk of how each book fits into the whole of biblical theology and also an index of Scriptures used.
Overall, I think A Commentary on Judges and Ruth proves a great addition to preachers and teachers looking for exegetical and pastoral help without being overly technical.
If you are looking for a more devotional read on Judges, I would check out Judges for You by Timothy Keller.
Title: A Commentary on Judges and Ruth (Amazon Link)
Author: Robert Chisholm
Publisher: Kregel Academic