Book Review: Ruth: An Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament

Ruth written by Daniel I. Block, who also serves as the General Editor of the series and published by Zondervan, is part of the Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament Series.  There are many different kinds of commentaries written in different ways and to a variety of different contexts, some are written with the laymen in mind, some with the Bible Student, some with the Pastor.  This commentary is aimed at Pastors., Bible Teachers, and Bible Students.

Unlike many exegetical commentaries Ruth is not as highly technical as it could be, while discussion of the Hebrew is not kept to the footnotes like some other commentaries, the reader does not need to be highly skilled in Hebrew to use this commentary.  With that said, a rudimentary understanding of Hebrew is helpful and good understanding will help even more.

Ruth begins with the typical study into the introductory matters of this book of the Bible, yet while introductions are common; this introduction is atypical of most commentaries. It is not that this work does dive into history and recent scholarship, which The Book of Ruth does a phenomenal job of rather, it is the thoroughness that Block takes with these introductory matters which makes this commentary atypical. In a day where these matters are either glossed over to get to the exegesis of the text or are so cumbersome that they become useless, Block though has found a good balance in being thorough, communicating depth and attention to recent scholarship, without losing the forest in the trees.

In reference to the commentary on the text of this book of history, Block takes painstaking care in carefully showing the original context of passage while sprinkling practical application to the reader throughout the textual commentary. Yet while this commentary can be technical it is not so overtly technical that it obscures the helpfulness of the commentary.

One of the weaknesses of this commentary and the series as a whole is the lack of practical application, while it is scattered throughout the commentary there could be a more substantial section of application for each periscope that Dr. Block breaks the book down into.  In the end I would recommend this book in collaboration with others if one is looking to preach or teach though the book of Ruth in depth.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Zondervan Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

 Ruth: An Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament

© 2015 by Daniel I. Block

Publisher: Zondervan

Page Count: 304 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-0310282983

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