A Commentary on the Book of the Twelve: The Minor Prophets
Publisher Kregel Academic
The books of the twelve Minor Prophets are some of the least studied by Christians today, but they contain some of the great themes of Scripture, such as God's mercy and judgment, His covenant with Israel, the day of the Lord, and the coming of the Messiah. Arguing for a canonical unity that recognizes the Minor Prophets as one cohesive composition, Michael Shepherd explains the historical meaning of each verse of the twelve books and also provides guidance for application and preaching. Pastors, teachers, and serious students of Scripture will find a wealth of insights for understanding the Minor Prophets.
In preparing to teach through the history of Israel between the dividing of the kingdom and the exile, I have now finished reading the first 9 sections of Shepherd’s commentary on the book of the 12. I throught much of the commentary was very insightful, notably the author’s connections between the various minor prophets, or book of the twelve, in his presentation of the minor prophets as one work. I did not feel that all sections of this work were created equal; I felt that the Hosea, Joel, and Zephaniah portions were excellent while Amos and Micah were a little lacking. But overall this was a good work, although due to the fact that it covers the entirety of the minor prophets, it is not as in depth as other works, though that is not to say that it is not detailed. Make sure your Hebrew is up to snuff or you at least are familiar with similar works. I would say that if your goal is to preach or teach some of the minor prophets in depth, you may want to look elsewhere for a resource that will be more thorough on the prophet that you want to preach. I would recommend this commentary to one who wanted to preach a series on the minor prophets as a whole, with a single message on some of the smaller ones and perhaps multiple messages on others. This is a work on the minor prophets as a whole, and should be used as such. My review is only relevant for Hosea-Zephaniah. I did not read Haggai-Malachi simply because our study is not going that far.
Michael B. Shepherd should be commended for his groundbreaking analysis of the "Minor Prophets" as a single, unified composition. He offers penetrating insight into the "Book of the Twelve" while maintaining lucid brevity. While more in-depth and exhaustive commentaries exist on each of the individual prophets, no other commentary offers such an articulate and compelling case for a compositional approach to this corpus. Legitimate hermeneutical practice requires attention to the context above all else; Shepherd proves that no faithful interpretation of say, Micah, can afford to neglect the surrounding "chapters" within the "Book" of the Twelve and the compositional strategy in which Micah is entrenched. The introduction of this volume alone is worth the price of the book. Overall, this commentary is indispensable for any study and preaching of the books which make up the "Minor Prophets," and also paves the way for further scholarly analysis on the composition of the Twelve.