Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
WTJ 50:2 (Fall 1988) p. 349
C. Houlman: Exodus I (Exodus 1:1–7:13). (Commentaar op het Oude Testament.) Kampen: Kok, 1986. 504. n.p.
This Dutch commentary series has made a significant contribution to OT studies in the Netherlands and abroad. The contribution by Professor Houtman is a welcome addition to this significant series.
In the Introduction (pp. 21-210!) Houtman considers the usual introductory matters (canonical place. text) as well as broader canonical issues (the place of Exodus in relation to the OT and NT). Moreover. he gives extensive attention to names (deity, persons, and nations), flora and fauna, numbers, and “a few” words used in Exodus (50 pp.!). Houtman excels in bibliographical details and comprehensive listing of the passages in Exodus. Regrettably, he gives little more than a catalogue of information, providing the reader with little insight.
The commentary proper consists of (i) an original translation, (ii) a general introduction (Main lines and Perspectives), (iii) an introduction to the exegesis, (iv) exegesis, and (v) an explanation. The best parts are the introduction and conclusion to each section of the text (Main lines and Perspectives, Explanation). The exegesis is a thorough, word-by-word analysis of the text. Houtman frequently refers back to the Introduction and adds numerous references to the usage elsewhere. On the whole the commentary is for reference purposes, as its reading is tedious and often unproductive. For example, the exegesis on 3:14 is less than three lines and refers back to the Introduction, where he explains that “I am who I am” signifies “what does it matter who I am.” In the exegetical sections he gives extensive explanation on words not listed in the Introduction. However, the interpretation is at a lexical level. He gives the full scope of the use of the words in the OT, without clearly relating the exegetical discussion to the text before him.
On its own this commentary contains a mine of information. The exegete does well in consulting it as the basis for further exegetical work. Houtman’s commentary has all the basic ingredients for a good commentary.
Willem A. Vangemeren
Reformed Theological Seminary
WTJ 50:2 (Fall 1988) p. 350
William H. Brownlee: Ezekiel 1–19. (Word Biblical Commentary 28.) Waco: Word, 1986. 321. $22.95.
Due to the sudden death of Professor Brownlee, this volume is a significantly shorter work than planned (Ezekiel 1–24). The...
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