Item description for The Book of Numbers (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Timothy R. Ashley...
Overview The book of Numbers can be complicated and confusing for students, exegetes, and pastors to unravel. Ashley removes much of the confusion by dividing the Hebrew text into five major sections and showing how each section contributes to the entire book's theological themes of obedience and disobedience. His detailed verse-by-verse comments are intended primarily to explain the text rather than to speculate on how the book came to be in its present form. The introduction includes an extended bibliography.
Publishers Description The book of Numbers tells a story that has two main characters -- God and Israel. The way the story is told sounds odd and often harsh to readers today. In spite of the difficulties imposed by Numbers on today's readers, the main point of the book is of immense importance for God's people in any age: exact obedience to God is crucial. This comprehensive and erudite commentary -- resulting from nearly a decade of study of Numbers by Timothy Ashley -- presents a thorough explication of this significant Hebrew text. Ashley's introduction to Numbers discusses such questions as structure, authorship, and theological themes, and it features an extended bibliography of major works on the book of Numbers, concentrating mainly on works in English, French, and German. Dividing the text of Numbers into five major sections, Ashley's commentary elucidates the theological themes of obedience and disobedience that run throughout the book's narrative. His detailed verse-by-verse comments are intended primarily to explain the Hebrew text of Numbers as we have it rather than to speculate on how the book came to be in its present form.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.52" Width: 6.55" Height: 1.59" Weight: 2.42 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 1995
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Series New International Commentary On
ISBN 0802825230 ISBN13 9780802825230
Availability 0 units.
More About Timothy R. Ashley
Timothy R. Ashley is minister of First Baptist Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He previously served for more than twenty years as professor of biblical studies at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Book of Numbers (New International Commentary on the Old Testament)?
The Book of Number (nicot) Jul 20, 2005
The commentary is a good commentary on a difficult Old Testament Book. I found it to be easy reading with good footnotes for more indepth study if needed. A worthy asset to one's library for the Old Testament. The entire nicot series is good but expensive.For the student with a limited budget purchasing the series a volumn at a time, as needed, seems much more practical. I have purchased a couple of the volumns through this site and have found the prices good and the service excellent. Dan T.
Best evangelical commentary on Numbers Nov 18, 2002
This is an excellent book. Ashley is well-informed about what people of differing viewpoints have to say, and this is therefore the most in-depth evangelical commentary on the book of Numbers. He doesn't accept all the conservative positions easily, but he is fairly conservative in the end.
He convincingly argues for the unity of the canonical book and undermines many source-critical "solutions" to some of the problems of interpretation. However, this doesn't mean he thinks the entire book was written by one person or during or immediately after the time of Moses (not least because the Pentateuch never suggests that it was wholly authored by Moses,and nor does any New Testament book, though Jesus does refer to them as the books of Moses the same way he refers to the Psalms as David, who clearly didn't write all of them). Ashley does think much of it goes back to Moses in some form, and he takes its own claims of its origins as genuine. He occasionally gives arguments for this about certain passages. He makes no bones about being an evangelical and seeing scripture as God's word, wholly inspired (and I assume without error in its original form, which we no longer have 100%, though he doesn't focus on the details of his views on inspiration). He doesn't take a view on problems related to large numbers in the Hebrew scriptures, but hardly anyone, evangelical or not, has a satisfying and all-encompassing view about that thorny problem.
Ashley doesn't constantly focus on theology and ties to the New Testament, but he does do a fair amount of excellent reflection on such matters in almost as much detail as his historical, linguistic, and sociological reflection.
For a more mainstream commentary, the best is Jacob Milgrom's JPS Torah commentary (which isn't just the old classic liberal viewpoint but has covered new ground, undermining lots of now-old-fashioned views still taught at the undergraduate level). Ashley had some access to Milgrom's work before revising his manuscript into the final draft, but he had little time to take into account Milgrom's whole commentary. Milgrom's thought has influenced Ashley's from his many papers and earlier books. Gordon Wenham's Tyndale volume is quite good but getting dated, and it's extremely short. Katherine Sakenfeld's International Theological Commentary and Dennis Olson's Interpretation are more recent popular level commentaries, but they're from a more critical direction. R. Dennis Cole's New American Commentary volume is more recent but isn't as detailed as Ashley's. I look forward to John Sailhamer's replacement of the Word Biblical Commentary volume by Philip Budd, but until then Ashley will be the standard for evangelicals at this level of detail. His is the most in-depth of the recent evangelical commentaries on this book, though that doesn't mean these other commentaries wouldn't complement it nicely.
Quick Review Jun 7, 2000
Intermediate to advanced level of study from the NICOT series. This is generally highly recommended for the scholarly content, but yet is not "beyond" the student.