When was the last time you read either Joel or Obadiah? Admittedly in my own Bible reading, these two books have largely been ignored outside perhaps of times when Joel was referred to when studying matters of eschatology. These two small yet important books found in the Minor Prophets section of the Old Testament are rich in imagery of God’s judgment on His people and the wicked for disobedience as well as providing a note of redemption should both parties return to their Creator. In his commentary on these two prophetic books called Joel & Obadiah: Disaster and Deliverance, Iwan Rhys Jones provides valuable insight into how to best understand the message God declared through these prophets.
Most commentaries are not meant to be read like a traditional book. After all, commentaries are traditionally more of a resource one refers to when needed in order to understand a portion of Scripture. There is nothing wrong with that given this is the norm for such a tool. With that said, Jones’ commentary is much different than what one experiences a larger commentary series. His focus is not on expounding on every nuance of history, language, or theology although all those areas are addressed. Instead, his approach provides the reader with a readable and highly understandable look at the overarching message, what it meant to the original hearers, and a short yet impactful series of questions at the end of each section to drive home in a personal way the truth of each prophetic book in our lives today.
To be quite honest, I sat down and read this commentary cover to cover in a matter of a couple of hours. This is due not solely to it being a somewhat short book but also due to the fact I found the commentary and insight provided by Jones’ to be salient, well stated, highly informative, and as mentioned before very readable, while maintaining a scholarly approach.
Joel and Obadiah are two very fascinating books that should not be overlooked. If you are in the market for a commentary on either book, I highly recommend Jones’ effort. It is a resource I know I will find useful in years to come and will serve both the seasoned theologian and the layman well in their personal Bible study endeavors.
I received this book for free from Christian Focus Publications and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”