Publisher InterVarsity Press
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- John Piper's OT Commentary Recommendations by John Piper (Desiring God)
- Best Expositional Commentaries by Jim Rosscup
- Ultimate Commentary Collection: OT Expositional by John Glynn
- Essential OT Commentaries for a Preacher's Library by Derek W. H. Thomas
- Building an OT Commentary Library by Invitation to Biblical Interpretation (Kostenberger & Patterson)
- Commentaries by Female Scholars by John Dyer
Joyce Baldwin's small volume on Esther frequently makes it to the lists of top commentaries on Esther. Its reputation is well deserved. Baldwin's writing style is readable, clear, succinct and to the point. Despite its modest size, her commentary contains a lot of information. It is particularly strong in helping the reader grasp literary qualities of the book. I also appreciated her excursuses on fasting, vengeance and portions. Baldwin wrote from an evangelical perspective and generally for a broader audience. She comments on Hebrew text but other works should be consulted on linguistic matters. Sadly this commentary is out of print.
A fine short commentary that covers the historicity, literary style and various versions of the book of Esther. As with most of the Tyndale commentary series, the introduction is both easy to understand and informative. I wasn't aware, for instance, of the various editions of the book of Esther that have circulated or that the Old Testament contains a fairly basic version of the book. This is all explained and the additional material that is omitted from our Bibles is added to the end of the commentary which is useful.The idea of the casting of lots and using dice and such and how it relates to the book and the festival of Purim is also covered. The literary ideas of the book along with certain words or concepts that are repeated for effect though the work are explained nicely. For instance the idea of a Portion being an extra special blessing as opposed to just being one portion of an equal amount of food as in a portion of potatoes helped me understand not just the usage here but also elsewhere in Scripture. Overall this was a pleasant learning experience.
Baldwin’s contribution to the TOTC is considered one of the better volumes in the series. It receives Derek Thomas’ highest recommendation. Meanwhile, Tremper Longman says, “Baldwin combines a keen literary and theological sense with a firm and intelligent opinion concerning the book’s historicity. The commentary is well written and based upon thorough research.” The TOTC is a series for pastors and laypersons alike. Unfortunately, this volume is out-of-print so may be difficult to track down. [Full Review]
A short commentary; pays close attention to literary and historical aspects.
Joyce Baldwin was among the most consistent commentators of the previous generation. This commentary on Esther in the Tyndale series is a perfect example of the value of her work. Clear, concise, and to the point -- always an asset in commentaries. [Full Review]
Evangelical with a strong introduction and discussion of the book's contemporary theological relevance. [Full Review]