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Favorite Exodus Commentary

As I focused on Exodus all last week I realized even more how much I like James Bruckner’s new Exodus commentary in the NIBC series. I commented positively on this commentary earlier in Preaching Magazine’s Annual Bible and Bible Reference Survey article. As I spent more time in Exodus this week my appreciation of this little commentary just grew. It is now my favorite commentary on Exodus, one that not only helps me in preaching but causes me to long to preach- not a common trait in commentaries.

At just under 350 pages it is short for a commentary on Exodus. It does not deal with all the critical and technical issues. He admirably focuses on the text as we have it. Then in a manner reminiscent of Derek Kidner (see commentaries on Genesis and Psalms especially) Bruckner gets to the theological heart of passages bringing out in striking prose the key concerns.
You will need other commentaries to chase down more detailed items, but for thinking about the message of the book, Bruckner is my choice.

It is hard to get the feel for a commentary just from quotes, but I finally decided to include one to try to give you the flavor. On the difficult passage 4:24-26 Bruckner writes:

“The rhetorical effect of the text is to unsettle the reader. Just when Moses was finally on his way to Egypt (because God told him it was safe), we encounter God’s complete freedom to act in what seems to us a crazy way. If we could edit this account today we would not doubt leave this story out (perhaps also we might like to omit Acts 5:1-11). The text does not apologize, however, nor does it give rationalizations for the Creator’s willingness to take back the life God gives. Even Moses cannot presume upon God.” (54-55)

If you peruse the book I would recommend also reading through the treatment of chapters 32-33. This is soul stirring stuff.

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