Song of Songs, Lamentations
Publisher Thomas Nelson
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- First Commentary Set by Brian LeStourgeon
- Ultimate Commentary Collection - OT Technical by John Glynn
- Favorite Advanced Commentaries (OT) by Jeremy Pierce (parableman)
- Essential Commentaries for a Preacher's Library - OT by Derek Thomas
- Basic Library Booklist by Detriot Baptist Theological Seminary
I used this for class, and I found it to be quite remarkably helpful in understanding the wonderful poetry in this book. Lamentations oftentimes feels like an aside for biblical commentators, but this commentary does not do this such thing.
Shop around before using this commentary. Much better commentaries available.
Fantastic detailed introduction. Even where I differ I am engaging with a well thought through well argued case and has left me much richer because of the process.
Structure was my biggest problem (121 page introduction!!!). For months this was my only Song of Songs commentary. Just couldn't take it anymore. Bought several more and now I never use this. Sorry, but it's true.
The WBC always seems to come with a warning about its unfortunate and unhelpful format. Still, many of the volumes are excellent, and the volume on Lamentations is said to be one of them (Garrett prepared the commentary on Song of Songs and House prepared the commentary on Lamentations). Keith Mathison says, “He deals with every aspect of the text and digs into the theology of the book. Although somewhat technical, it is very useful.” This sounds like as good a place to begin as any. [Full Review]
Garrett, along with Murphy, is probably the place to go for detailed discussion of the Hebrew. Garrett approaches the Song as if it actually was just that, a song. He assigns every verse either to the man, the woman, or the chorus and tries to give a picture of how the Song would be performed. I found this interesting. Unfortunately, Garrett also approaches the Song as if it had a plot, that it's telling the story of a couple about to and then actually getting married. Exum provides a good refutation of this approach in her introduction. I also think he strains the evidence at times to make it fit his plot. Also, for lack of a better way to put it, the commentary feels very male. The way he discusses sex sounds very male and I believe he makes assumptions about the way women experience sex that overgeneralizes (I say this with caution, as I too am a male). Even with these caveats, I still found Garrett useful and for the most part careful and fair in his discussions. His writing style is a bit dry but I did enjoy the commentary. [Full Review]
Aside from the standard drawbacks of the WBC format, the commentary by House on the book of Lamentations is the best place to begin. He deals with every aspect of the text and digs into the theology of the book. Although somewhat technical, it is very useful. [Full Review]
Garrett's contribution is outstanding. Engaging, cogent, erudite, technical, expositional, and useful. This should become the commentary of record on Songs. House will tell you everything technical and academic you ever wanted to know about Lamentations, but is not as useful expositionally. Since you will purchase this volume for Song of Songs, use it with a popular commentary like Walter Kaiser’s very good A Biblical Approach to Personal Suffering (Moody, 1982) and you’ll be set.
Thoroughly researched, evenly balanced, and reasonable application of the text by an Evangelical scholar (Garrett writes on the Song) who has produced his second major commentary on this book in eleven years. [Full Review]