Merrill, Eugene H. A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2015.
As a pastor, I always appreciate books that combine exegesis, theology and erudition all together. Technical commentaries are always useful, though most of them lack expositional issues. Narrowing the theme even more, exegetical commentaries on 1 & 2 Chronicles are not abundant, even less commentaries that combine exegesis and exposition in a balanced way.
1 & 2 Chronicles by Eugene H. Merrill, from Kregel Exegetical Library, is an excellent resource for pastors and Bible students as it provides the exegetical foundations, theological insights, and expositional tools that we need to combine during the preparation of our sermons or biblical study.
In his book, Merrill covers every indispensable point for the serious student. He combines erudition and conciseness, and the result is an exegetical commentary that will satisfy the needs of every pastor who wants to teach or preach on 1 & 2 Chronicles. Introductory chapters serve the reader in many ways. The author begins by providing a short, though effective, study regarding the name of the book and how the book got the name. Then he moves to historical and cultural issues that surround 1 & 2 Chronicles. Merrill advocates for a post-exilic composition of the book, and sees Ezra as the best positioned figure for its composition and/or compilation. In addition to all the points mentioned before, the author also covers theological issues of the book of 1 & 2 Chronicles, which I found very interesting and thorough.
The commentary section of the book, which occupies the main body of the volume, is worth of reading. Translations from the Hebrew and Greek are Merrill’s own, and the English version used for the commentary is the NIV. Merrill provides text-critical notations, and exegesis and exposition sections in which he develops his commentary of the text. He writes in a prominent and professional way, but he also makes this commentary accessible to every reader. The author includes Hebrew and Greek terms, but he does it in a very meticulous and strategic manner, so those who do not read Hebrew or Greek do not get lost and feel disconnected from the book.
Something noteworthy on this book is the excurses, hymns and prayers, and theological discourses Merrill highlights on his commentary. He includes twelve excurses on themes that are worthy of deeper study and explanation. Merrill offers a bigger perspective on different issues such as the travels of the Ark of the Covenant or the Theology of the Genealogies. These sections are an extra tool that every serious bible student and pastors will appreciate and will find very useful in order to get a better understanding about difficult passages on the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles.
The bibliography Merrill provides at the end of the book is a very generous one. He arranges books by topics (commentaries, backgrounds/history, criticism, and so on).
Summarizing, this is a must have book for every pastor and Bible student. This book is destined to become a point of reference among exegetical commentaries on the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles, and an invaluable resource for preachers, expositors, and instructors.
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