Publisher Broadman & Holman
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- First Commentary Set by Brian LeStourgeon
- Tremper Longman's 5-Star Commentaries by Tremper Longman III
- Ultimate Commentary Collection: OT Expositional by John Glynn
- Basic Library Booklist by Detriot Baptist Theological Seminary
- Building an OT Commentary Library by Invitation to Biblical Interpretation (Kostenberger & Patterson)
As with several previous books of the Bible, the first choice is quite clear while others are a little more difficult to figure out. Still, the experts regard Cole as an excellent option after Wenham. It is one of the few volumes that receives Tremper Longman’s 5-star rating. He calls it a “substantial, well-written commentary that navigates the scholarly literature well, incorporating what is good and rejecting what is bad, while still keeping its individual contribution.” He says its greatest strength is “in its sensitive theological reading.” That is high praise! [Full Review]
The NAC by R. Dennis Cole (2000) is more recent than Ashley's NICNT, but I've heard more mixed reviews. Cole interacts with the scholarship a little more than some volumes in this series, giving plenty of citations of other authors. He argues that Moses is largely responsible for the book. Cole has received favorable comments from reviewers on his handling of theological issues and his analysis of the unified structure of Numbers despite the variety of material in the book. Some of his critics find him somewhat less helpful in biblical theology and narrative criticism. He sometimes spends time on literary observations without making any connection to the interpretation of the book or its theology. Some reviewers consider Cole a better first-choice evangelical commentary than Ashley. Cole does have some stronger points than Ashley, but Ashley is a bit more detailed (although some might prefer a little less detail). What clinches it for me is that I haven't seen the kinds of complaints about Ashley that I've seen about Cole, and thus Ashley gets the nod for my first choice. [Full Review]
Cole is semi-technical exposition. Ashley (NICOT, 1993) is semi-expositional technical. They are about the same for my use. You would be happy with either one.
The argument could be made that Cole's commentary belongs in the second position before Ashley. Both are very helpful works, and each has its own contribution to make. A pastor or student engaged in serious study of Numbers should consult both. [Full Review]
Evangelical commentary that interacts with realia, historical issues, literary, and theological matters. [Full Review]