Typically those who utilize commentaries are attracted to volumes that engage with the more shall we say popular books in Scripture such as Romans, the Gospel of John, and perhaps Revelation. Reading a commentary on one of the historical books of the Old Testament is arguably not always at the top of everyone’s list. If true, I find the neglect of books such as 1 & 2 Chronicles to be unfortunate given such a book provides a needed framework for the historical flow of God’s plan, His dealings with His people, and a background for many of the events we read in other sections of Scripture.

Eugene Merrill’s A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles fits the need for a quality and insightful commentary that is biblically sound, scholarly yet easily accessible for the average laymen, and a work that will undoubtedly help the reader better grasp what was taking place in the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles and why we should care.

Any commentary worth its weight necessarily interacts with basic information about the book it discusses. Merrill’s work is no different. He outlines matters of authorship, historical setting, genre, place in the canon, historiography, overall structure and outline, and the major overarching themes found in 1 & 2 Chronicles. Building on that background data, Merrill then works his way through these books, providing salient commentary throughout.

He also provides twelve excurses. These little scholarly interludes if you will help the reader dig deeper into select topics such as the Chronicler’s literary sources, the travel of the Ark of the Covenant, Old Testament historiography, and the rise of empires such as Babylon and Persia. Also of note is the analysis of five important prayers found in 1 & 2 Chronicles as well as nine valuable theological discourses on important topics and themes.

I found the exegesis and interaction with the text by Merrill to be sound. There are also copious footnotes throughout that should not be ignored. Footnotes are often an overlooked element of a commentary and paying attention to these notes by the author are an excellent source for future and even more in-depth study of the text.

This is a commentary I have no problem recommending and when I get to these books this year as part of my yearly Bible reading plan, I will definitely refer to Merrill’s commentary as a helpful source of information.

I received this book for free from Kregel Academic 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.”

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