This review appeared in the Apr-Jun 2004 vol. 161 no. 2 issue of Biblotheca Sacra, DTS’s quarterly academic journal.Subscribe Today
Ecclesiastes, Song of SongsHolman Reference, Nashville July 1, 2003
Reviewed in conjunction with Genesis (Gangel, Bramer) and I and II Kings (Inrig).
These are three more volumes in the Holman Old Testament Commentary series. Twenty volumes are to be published in this series, and twelve volumes in the accompanying New Testament series. These books, edited by Max Anders, provide outstanding tools for Bible expositors. Each chapter, covering one or two Bible chapters, includes helpful comments on the text, along with useful introductory and concluding illustrations, insightful quotations, pointed single-sentence principles and applications, a teaching outline of the passage, discussion of background issues (called “Deeper Discoveries”), and discussion questions. In addition a single-sentence “main idea” summarizes the passage and a single-sentence “supporting idea” summarizes each subpoint. Each volume also concludes with a glossary and a bibliography.
Conservative in approach, the authors affirm the Mosaic authorship of Genesis and the Solomonic authorship of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs. Gangel and Bramer state that “it seems best to take the creation [in Genesis 1] as twenty-four-hour days” (p. 18). In his comments on Ecclesiastes 12:2–8, Moore writes, “I lean toward the idea that these images represent the changing physiology of the old person” (p. 127). And Akin states that the Song of Songs reveals “the nature of genuine human love between a man and a woman, love as God intended it to be” (p. 139), and Solomon “shows the sanctity of the marriage relationship in its beauty and exquisite pleasure” (p. 140). In his Life Application sections Akin includes numerous helpful comments on marital love, including ten differences between love and lust (pp. 241–42), a “lover’s quotient test” (pp. 256–58), “basic needs of men and women” (pp. 299–300), “twelve ways to keep passion alive in your marriage” (pp. 319–20), “the scriptural view of marriage” (pp. 333–36), and many others—all designed to help readers apply the Song of Songs to their own marriages.
These three volumes provide an abundance of resources for preachers and teachers of the Word, books that are storehouses of expository wealth.
—Roy B. Zuck