A Commentary on Exodus [Kregel Exegetical Library]   -     By: Duane A. Garrett
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A Commentary on Exodus [Kregel Exegetical Library]

Kregel Publications / 2013 / Hardcover

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Offering a thorough exegetical and homiletical analysis of each passage of Exodus, Garrett investigates all the major events mentioned, discussing their significance for the interpretation of the Old Testament as well as their message for today's church. He dispels confusion about chronological questions, explores the author's use of poetry, and more. For scholars and pastors.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 784
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0825425514
ISBN-13: 9780825425516
Availability: In Stock
Series: Kregel Exegetical Library

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Publisher's Description

The true fountainhead of Old Testament theology, Exodus illuminates the significance of the name Yahweh and introduces the title I AM. It tells of Israel's formative historical event, the exodus, as well as the making of the covenant at Sinai. It includes the first code of the Law in the Decalogue and Book of the Covenant. It details Israel's besetting sin in the idolatry of the golden calf episode, but it also describes Moses' intercession and the great revelation of God's mercy. In its display of the Tent of Meeting, it presents the theology of the priesthood, the sacrifices, and the central sanctuary. A Commentary on Exodus explores all of these objects and events with a view toward their significance both for the meaning of the Old Testament and for the message of the Christian church. Exegetically deep enough to satisfy the scholar and logically organized to meet the needs of the pastor, Garret's commentary promises to become standard reference material in Exodus studies.Every verse is given a fresh translation with copious explanatory notes, and particular attention is given to the poetry of Exodus, which the author demonstrates to be more abundant than previously believed.Difficult matters in the Hebrew are explored in footnotes, making technical discussions accessible to readers of Hebrew without interfering with the reading experience of the lay reader. This commentary also gives special attention to the needs of the preacher or Bible teacher; it describes how each section of Exodus relates to the New Testament and the Christian gospel.Garrett helps to dispel much confusion about Exodus by introducing the reader to Egyptian history and by carefully analyzing questions about the date of the exodus and the location of Mount Sinai.

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  1. St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A reliable guide and a catalyst for theologically rich, exegetically informed appreciation of the Biblical text
    February 17, 2015
    Bob Hayton
    St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Duane Garretts Commentary on Exodus is organized in consistent manner which makes it easy to peruse and use as a reference. After the lengthy introduction (145 pages), each section of the text is treated individually, grouped into 7 parts. Garretts own translation of the Hebrew, separated with one line per Hebrew clause begins each section. Included are a host of pertinent linguistic and translational footnotes that often included detailed discussions of difficult terms. For sections of poetry, he provides the Hebrew underneath the English and includes a treatment of how and why that section should be understood to be poetic. The the commentary proper follows and is further divided from the text. Following the commentary secion, is a section labeled: Theological Summary of Key Points. This is the take-home part of the commentary where Garrett draws out the points that a preacher will be able to hone in on, in a message on this text. The commentary doesnt address homiletical strategies, but the big picture that can be drawn from the text at hand. Occasionally an excursus follows this section, and allows for an extended discussion of a particularly thorny aspect of the text, such as how Moses birth story compares with that of Sargons, or how Pauls discussion of Moses veil in 2 Cor. 3 fits in with a proper understanding of Exodus. Throughout the commentary one will find footnotes and tables, but no maps or diagrams or drawings are to be found.

    I absolutely loved this commentary. The introduction should be required reading at any conservative evangelical study as it responds masterfully to the increasingly common tendency to treat the Exodus as pure myth. He also deals with the JEDP documentary hypothesis and lasting versions of that. This also covers many other questions and betrays a wealth of Egyptian background knowledge which adds color to any study of this important book. He gives detailed pros and cons for 4 major Biblical chronologies. While he may lean toward the late Exodus date, ultimately he concludes that there are supporting texts and archeological evidence for each major chronology view, and there are also archeological problems as well. He cautions against getting too hung up on defending any one chronological scheme since the text doesnt refer to specific Pharaohs by name. The minister or Bible teacher, therefore, should refrain from specifying that this or that exodus event took place in the reign of this or that pharaoh (p. 101-102). In short, we havent been given enough information to make a definitive conclusion. But we do have confidence that there is ample evidence to bolster the belief that the Exodus story is historically factual.

    Another discussion in the introduction centered on the route the Israelites took as they left Egypt and crossed the Yam Suph (traditionally translated the Red Sea). This also brings up the question of where on a map we can place the Biblical Mount Sinai. As one who has read several popular accounts which provide compelling reasons for disagreeing with the standard Exodus route that one finds in most study Bibles, I was delighted to find a detailed study into the Bibles record and the archeological testimony to this route. Garrett finds it probable that Sinai was located in Northwest Arabia, across the Gulf of Aqaba, but the exact location of the crossing is likely lost forever. His detailed study is careful to avoid sensationalism, but doesnt discount the insights of other scholars who may not hail from the scholarly guild of biblical studies. He largely agrees with the conclusions of Colin Humphreys (a physicist) with some reservations.

    The translation and discussion of Hebrew terms is second to none. Garrett has a mastery of the language and the relevant literature and his translation deserves to be consulted. He also provides a helpful correction to the translation of 2 Cor. 3, a text that bears on the understanding of Exodus. His excursus on that topic is important and helpful.

    Garrett finds several Hebrew poems placed strategically throughout Exodus, and in some cases this sheds new light on a passage. His treatment of Exodus 6:2-8 is an example. Rather than the text stating that previous generations did not know the name Yahweh, the text is a poetic affirmation to Moses that God will be with him. Garretts discussion of the Hebrew terms used in this passage are extremely helpful and here as in a few other places, my understanding of the meaning of the text has been adjusted for the better.

    Almost all the puzzling questions that Exodus raises are covered. Garrett addresses the problem of Hebrew numbers briefly, and he grapples with the genealogy of Moses. He illuminates obscure customs (such as Zipporahs circumcision of her son), and explains some of the ancient techniques referenced in the Tabernacle instructions.

    Garrett is thoroughly evangelical in his treatment of Exodus, but he doesnt shy away from following clues in the text where warranted. His explanation of the plagues allows for several of them to have natural causes (such as algae causing the Nile to look red), but guided in a supernatural way. Whereas I would have thought such an approach to belie a lack of faith, Garrett shows from the text and archeological history why this may very well be so. But he still holds to the miraculous character of the Exodus as a whole.

    He covers many textual problems and doesnt hesitate to show a Christian application or Christological takeaway from the text. As noted in his treatment of 2 Cor. 3 above, Garrett has a mind for how the later Scriptural authors interact with Exodus. This concern benefits pastors and teachers who necessarily approach the text from a canonical and wholistic framework. At times, however, I wish he would say more, or deal with additional questions, such as the NT book of Hebrews placing the incense altar in the holy of holies, or Acts mentioning Moses eloquence in seeming contrast to the Exodus account. But all in all, this text provides a thorough and up to date, treatment of the book of Exodus that is worthy of close study.

    The book does suffer from a lack of charts, maps and diagrams, however. I guess a commentary cannot be expected to furnish these. But when studying Exodus, in particular, such amenities would prove useful. Still his discussion of the route of the Exodus and the design of the Tabernacle is able to be followed without the help of diagrams.

    I highly recommend this commentary for pastors and teachers everywhere. It will prove to be a reliable guide and a catalyst for theologically rich, exegetically informed appreciation of the Biblical text.

    Disclaimer:

    This book was provided by Kregel Academic. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
  2. West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Commentary
    January 6, 2015
    Jimmy Reagan
    West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Exodus by Duane Garrett, the latest of the emerging Kregel Exegetical Commentary series, is a winner. As pastor-friendly as the earlier volumes, this commentary can stand without embarrassment beside the most scholarly of volumes.

    The Introduction was a joy to read. He approaches the unfortunate waste of time in the study of source criticism and concludes it as having contradictory conclusions and a general lack of clarity. In further discussion of the documentary hypothesis, he speaks of some of the so-called varying sources and says, That path is a dead end. I love his approach!

    He gives good background on Egypt as he feels that is one of the most glaring deficiencies of Bible students today. Finally, he approaches the hotly-debated subject of the date of the Exodus. I appreciate how he fairly represented all sides. He then ventured into the equally controversial discussion of the location of the Red Sea crossing and Mt. Sinai. I dont actually agree with his conclusions, but what a wealth of information he marshals for us to decide for ourselves.

    The commentary is helpful. It is always thought provoking. He seeks out natural explanations for the Plagues (though he believes in a supernatural God) that I feel does not do justice to how supernatural they seemed to Pharaoh himself. Nothing natural could have surprised him.

    Check out the chart and Excurses on The Hardness of Pharaohs Heart. I have never read better.

    All in all, this volume is a great commentary to secure.

    I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
  3. Maricopa, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Worthwhile Commentary
    January 4, 2015
    Pastor Jim
    Maricopa, AZ
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Duane A. Garrett is a Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology, a former Pastor and missionary. He is well versed in the Old Testament and has produced a worthwhile commentary on Exodus. It fills a gap in the lack of recent commentaries on Exodus. It will be a welcome addition to your library. It is reader friendly, yet scholarly in its approach. I would classify it as a practical scholarly work for pastor and student.

    He opens with an Introduction that is extended more than many other commentaries (130 pages). In this, he deals with the major issues that scholars normally deal with, but in a much more approachable way. He is not afraid to criticize scholarly efforts that do little good for the overall understanding of Exodus, such as source criticism which he argues has doubtful value. On the Hebrew text, he points out it is a remarkably clean straightforward text. He places high value on accurate translation, and provides his own translation of the text. He points out that some understanding of the history of Egypt, the land, setting for the Exodus is essential. He therefore, gives extensive time and space to help the reader understand the importance of Egypt to both the ancient world and its influence upon the text (where Egyptian words have made it into the text).

    Key to understanding the history of the Exodus is the date of the event. There has been much debate on the subject. This is a major portion of the introduction (48 pages). In covering the date and its major views, which he breaks down in the late date, the early date, the very early date, and the very late date. In examining the date, he makes clear in spite of recent developments and movement to make this a factual event; he declares The exodus of Israel from Egypt is historical and occurred as described in the book of Exodus (p. 46). He thereby confirms his conservative stance. There can be little question that scholars gravitate around two major datesthe early date (around 1447 BC) and the late date (around 1250 BC). He deals with each side fairly, and in light of important factors as they relate to the date (i.e. Biblical date, Hebiru, the store cities, Raamses, Conquest Archaeology, Jericho, Hyksos, the price for slaves, etc). He warns about trying to come up with a year based strictly on computations of years because of the uncertainly based on being unsure of interpretations that we understand them correctly (see his comments on page 91). After discussing the two main views, he turns to wants the reader to understand that based on Biblical evidence and archaeological evidence it is possible to argue on a very early date (1550 BC) or the very late date (1150 BC). He does not give either date much consideration, pointing out they have serious problems. He then moves on to deal with the reality of the Exodus, and issues of locations. He points out that the student needs to be careful of being too definitive. He states: I do no think it is wise or right to suppose that we can correct what seems to be a deficiency in the Bible and fix a date for the exodus, describe fully the historical setting, or name the pharaoh of the exodus. At the same time, I see nothing that causes me to distrust the biblical account (p. 103).

    Next, the introduction gives an outlined structure of the book of Exodus. He deals with the message of the book in terms of theology, pointing out that in some respects it is foundational for the theology of the Old Testament. It provides the foundation of their identity as the people of God. He sees the narrative in three major movement: the exodus, the journey to Sinai and the giving of the Law (Sinai covenant), and the sin of idolatry and its aftermath, including the building of the Tent of Meeting. He ends his introduction focusing on the God of IsraelYHWH and the man of God leading the exodusMoses. He briefly show Egypt as a symbol of worldly power, and Israel as the people of God. Overall, it is one of the finest introductions I have read, and worth getting the book alone.

    In his commentary, Garrett breaks the text into 7 sections. They are:

    Part 1: Until Moses, 1:1-2:10. This acts as the prologue to the book of Exodus. It also confronts us with a major theological motif of the people of God facing persecution in this world.

    Part 2: An Unlikely Savior, 2:11-7:7. This follows the life of Moses from his youth, call, and coming face to face with Pharaoh.

    Part 3: The Twelve Miracles of the Exodus, 7:8-15:21. This includes the ten plagues along with the commissions of Moses and Aaron, and the hardening of the heart of Pharaoh and the crossing of the red sea. He has twelve miracles in chart form on page 271.

    Part 4: The Journey to God, 15:22-19:25. This is an account of the journey from the red sea to Mt. Sinai. He sees the journey as a series of seven stages, each presenting a problem of crisis of faith, with the seventh breaking the pattern which he maintain is a symbol of entering Gods rest.

    Part 5: The Sinai Covenant, 20:1-24:11. He maintains this is the governing document concerning the relationship between God and his people.

    Part 6: The Worship of God, 24:12-31:18. It centers upon the Tent of Meeting, the shrine that is at the center of Israels worship of YHWH (p. 547).

    Part 7: Sin and Restoration 32:1-40:38. It deals with the Golden calf and its aftermath. It also shows the importance of Moses intervention.

    Each division opens with the authors translation, assigning the technicalities to the footnotes. The structure of the passage under consideration, followed by commentary and theological points. Many include an Excursus about points in the passage, for example the first part has one on the Sargon Story and the Story of Moses. The commentary has an appendix on the Songs of Exodus. He suggests the book contains a number of previously unrecognized songs or poems in the text.

    This commentary will be very helpful to anyone who makes use of it. It will be a delightful addition to your library, a stark contrast to the more critical works of recent years. It is faithful to the text, evangelical in approach, and its content are both understandable and interesting. Garrett has done a great service in this stimulating work. It will make a real contribution to you and your library.

    (I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher Kregal Academic in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.)
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