I need some advice about the Revised Expositor's Bible Commentary

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Felix Brito | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Dec 15 2016 6:43 PM

I have this question, please.

I have some Bible Commentary Series in Logos (WBC, ICC NT, Hermeneia - Continental, NAC, TOTC/TNTC, Understanding the Bible Comm, Cornerstone, and some more). Do you think that I need the Revised Expositor's Bible Commentary?  

Thank you in advance for your advice.

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 16 2016 10:17 AM

Felix Brito:
Do you think that I need the Revised Expositor's Bible Commentary?  

No! But see https://community.logos.com/forums/p/133979/870879.aspx#870879

Dave
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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 16 2016 10:27 AM

The closet comparison to the EBCR in your list are: NAC, Tyndale, and UBC For the most part with all of these series I cannot see EBCR adding a whole lot other than at this time other than you have full Psalms in EBCR and Tyndale is a bit weak and if memory serves NAC volumes are not yet released... The Psalms is one of the strongest sections for the EBCR in my mind.

Here is a sample: Perhaps you can look it over and decided if you need EBCR, I am not saying you will not find other insights in the rest just that you have a fair selection already...

N. Psalm 14: God Deals with Foolish Evildoers

OVERVIEW

This psalm is parallel to Psalm 53. The language is similar except at a few points, which may be explained by the context in which each psalm was finalized. For a discussion of the differences and the specific goal of each, see Overview, Psalm 53.

The genre has been disputed. Because of its affinity with the lament psalms against the wicked, it has been categorized as an individual lament. But the contrast between the fool and the one with understanding is representative of the wisdom psalms (Robert A. Bennet, “Wisdom Motifs in Psalm 14 = 53-nābāl and ʿēṣâ,” BASOR 220 [1975]: 15–21; see Reflections, p. 84, The Ways of Wisdom and Folly). Another representative element is the prophetic motif, incorporated in a liturgical prayer. Among commentators there is no general agreement on the genre. Bellinger, 70–73, concludes in favor of a communal lament in which the wisdom and prophetic style permeate the psalm. Shlomo Weissblueth (“Psalm 14 and Its Parallel-Psalm 53,” Beth Mikra 29 [1983/84]: 133–38 [Heb.]) favors a more philosophical interpretation, namely, the rejection of atheism (cf. 9:17; 10:3–4).

The date and authorship of this psalm are difficult to determine. Those who hold to its Davidic origin often explain v. 7 as a post–Davidic addition. Kidner, 1:80, considers the whole psalm as Davidic. Modern commentators generally posit a postexilic date; however, Craigie, 147, does not find the evidence convincing and believes that a preexilic date is likely. If the psalm is essentially Davidic, its original situation in David’s life cannot be determined with accuracy.

The psalm may be divided into four sections according to the following structure:

A The Fool (v. 1)

B The Lord’s Perspective (vv. 2–3)

The Prophetic Perspective (vv. 4–6)

The Hope of the Righteous (v. 7)

Compositionally, Psalm 14 has a number of links with Psalms 9–13:

14:1: a practical denial of God (9:17; 10:4)

14:1: the ungodly speak to themselves, think or scheme (10:4, 6, 11, 13) [identical expressions in Heb.]

14:1b, 3: the vile acts of the wicked (10:2–11; 11:2–3; 12:2–4)

14:2: God is in heaven and looks at human beings (11:4–5)

14:2: human beings (9:20; 10:18) [identical words are used in 8:4]

14:6: God as the refuge (11:1)

14:7: rejoicing in Yahweh’s salvation (9:14; 13:5)

I suggest that the Psalms 8 and 14 form two bookends, where Psalm 14 closes off the positive expectation of human beings raised in Psalm 8 with a most negative assessment of them (see comments at 8:4).

1. The Fool (14:1)

   

 

For the director of music. Of David.

1 The fool says in his heart,

“There is no God.”

They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;

there is no one who does good.

   

 

COMMENTARY

1 The “fool” (nābāl, GK 5572) is neither ignorant nor an atheist. The word “fool” is synonymous with “wicked” (cf. TWOT 2:547). It reflects the wisdom tradition where the “fool” aggressively and intentionally flouts independence from God and his commandments (cf. 53:1; 74:18, 22). The wicked were fools when they acted corruptly, shamelessly (Dt 32:5–6), and in willful disregard for the ways of God. The opposite of “fool” is “wise”—those who understand (v. 2). A portrayal of the evil nature and practices of the ungodly “fool” is given in Isaiah 32:4–7.

The denial of God is not an absolute denial of his existence. The pagans around Israel believed in many gods, and the impious in Israel did not rationalistically deny the historic and cultural links between the Lord and Israel. In their impudence fools disregard God’s expectations. God is not important in their lives. They shut off the affairs of this world from divine intervention and deny any personal accountability to God for their actions (cf. 10:4; 73:11; Jer 5:12; Zep 1:12; Ro 1:28).

Fools are people of convictions, expressing their innermost being in what they think (“say in their heart”). In their heart they deny the practical import of God’s existence. Within the congregation they may mimic the sounds of faith, but their true self shows disregard for God, his commandments, and his people. They are characterized by an absence of concern or love for others (Craigie, 147), instead being occupied with themselves. They are humanist/secularist, while holding to the vestiges of theism. While they think “there is no God,” they express their impiety by immorality.

Three verbal phrases describe the perniciousness of the wicked. First, “they are corrupt” signifies the ruinous, destructive acts of the wicked (cf. Ge 6:12; Dt 4:16; Isa 1:4). Second, “their deeds are vile” refers to the detestable acts done out of complete disregard for the majesty of God’s kingship and revealed law (cf. Eze 16:49–52). Third, the general summary statement “there is no one who does good” (ṭôb, GK 3202) shows the absence of godliness.

Immorality affects the fabric of any society; but within the covenantal community of Israel it affects all the people of God. In a hyperbolic way the psalmist laments the corruption, vileness, and absence of good (ṭôb) in the land. The corruption of humankind in Noah’s time brought God’s judgment in the form of the flood (Ge 6:12). Now that corruption is prevalent among God’s people, will God not judge? In a climactic way the author has set forth the depravity of humankind. They are “corrupt, … vile; there is no one who does good” (cf. Zep 3:7). The fool ignores accountability to God and the moment of divine judgment (Ro 3:10–12).

Because many in Israel act corruptly, it seems as though the righteous are hidden among the thistles of the wicked (cf. Isa 59:4; 64:7; Jer 8:6). The description of the wicked in Psalm 10:3–11 is a fuller explication of the detestable practices of those who believe that God does not see (10:11).

NOTES

For a discussion of the technical words and phrases in the superscription, see Introduction, pp. 62–67.

1 A foreign nation may be called foolish by its disregard for Israel’s rights, customs, and the revelation of the Lord (cf. Dt 32:21, “a nation that has no understanding”; cf. Ps 74:18). The change from singular (“the fool”) to plural (“They are corrupt, … their deeds”) is not unusual in Hebrew, as the word “fool” is a collective for all who act foolishly.

2. The LORD’s Perspective (14:2–3)

   

 

2 The LORD looks down from heaven

on the sons of men

to see if there are any who understand,

any who seek God.

3 All have turned aside,

they have together become corrupt;

there is no one who does good,

not even one.

   

 

COMMENTARY

2 The Lord sees his creation. The Creator–King looks down on his creatures and observes the affliction of his children (cf. 10:14; 11:4–5; 102:19–20). He “looks down” as witness and judge to observe the actions of humankind (bᵉnê-ʾādām; NIV, “sons of men”; cf. 11:4). The God who saw the corruption of human beings before the flood (Ge 6:5), who came down to see their united rebellion against the Creator–King at Babel (Ge 11:5), and who heard the outcry of evil at Sodom and Gomorrah (Ge 18:21) observes humankind to see whether there are wise people among the fools.

The wise are those “who understand [maśkı̂l, GK 8505] … who seek [dōrēš, GK 2011] God.” The righteous are characterized by their love for God and adherence to his laws. They love to do the will of their covenantal God on earth. The person with understanding (cf. Pr 10:5; 16:20; 21:12) is a sharp contrast to the fool. The wise are people not only of understanding but who also act in accordance with their understanding of the nature and revelation of the Lord (cf. TWOT 1:282–84; 2:877–78). David was such a man (1Sa 13:14; 16:7; 18:14–15). The wise, therefore, “seek God” (cf. 9:10) and live in accordance with God’s absolute standards of holiness, purity, and justice (cf. 24:3–6). But they are often the objects of persecution, abuse, and affliction (vv. 4–6). The Lord graciously looks down to see his children with the intent to deliver them (cf. 102:19; on the problem of evil and theodicy, see Miller, Interpreting the Psalms, 94–99).

3 As God observes humankind, he is overwhelmed by the evil he sees. It seems as though “all have turned aside,” have “become corrupt,” and no one “does good.” Again these are three verbal phrases (cf. v. 1). The verb “turned aside” (sār) is a translation from the MT. Several manuscripts read (with Ps 53:3) “became apostate” (sāg). The verbs are functionally synonymous, and it is impossible to prove which is more original. Briggs, 1:110, suggests that both were in the original and that in time one copyist took one verb and another took the other. The NIV adopts the same translation in 14:3 and in 53:3: “they have together become corrupt.”

It seems as though humankind in totality (“together”), as in the days of Babel (Ge 11:1–9), has “become corrupt” (cf. Job 15:16). The negative picture of the fool (v. 1) is reinforced by the totality of human evil: “all,” “together,” and “no one” (two times). Humankind has become apostate because it has “turned aside” (cf. 53:3). “Become corrupt” (neʾᵉlāḥû) occurs only here, in the parallel passage (53:3), and in Job 15:16. The meaning is derived from Arabic (“to make sour”; cf. KB3, 1:53).

The apostle Paul quoted from vv. 1–3 as one part of a string of OT quotations (Pss 5:9; 140:3; 10:7; Isa 59:7–8; Ps 36:1) to demonstrate that humankind at large is “under sin” (Ro 3:11–18). Several MSS of the LXX add Romans 3:13–18 between vv. 3 and 4. Briggs, 1:104, has correctly explained the addition as a Christian interpolation.

NOTES

3–4 Craigie, 144, sets these lines off with quotation marks as an oracle from God but admits that only v. 4a may be God’s reaction to humankind’s corruption. Such marks are unnecessary if the psalmist takes a prophetic role as he reflects on God’s word (cf. A. A. Anderson, 1:130–31; Bellinger, 70–73).

3. The Prophetic Perspective (14:4–6)

   

 

4 Will evildoers never learn-

those who devour my people as men eat bread

and who do not call on the LORD?

5 There they are, overwhelmed with dread,

for God is present in the company of the righteous.

6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,

but the LORD is their refuge.

   

 

COMMENTARY

4–6 The Lord is the “refuge” (maḥsēh, GK 4726) of the wise (v. 6), who are called “my people” (v. 4), “the company of the righteous” (v. 5), and “the poor” (v. 6). The fools are not numbered among them because they are “evildoers” who do not “know” (yādᵉʿû, GK 3359; NIV, “learn”). They do not know the Lord intimately, nor do they care about his looking down from heaven. They busily pursue their self-interests and in so doing “devour” God’s people. Their hatred of righteousness and the vulnerability of the righteous combine to make the wise easy prey (cf. Isa 3:14–15; Mic 3:1–3). The appetite of the godless is insatiable (cf. Isa 9:20–21). They “devour” the possessions of others and add them to their own, completely disregarding the rights of their subjects (cf. Isa 5:8). The people of Isaiah’s day likewise had no knowledge (NIV, “understanding,” 5:13; cf. 1:3) of God’s judgment to come. They ate and satisfied their appetites for a moment, but they did not return to the Lord. They expressed no remorse, no recognition of his judgment, and no request for mercy.

God’s judgment will come on the wicked suddenly. The power and terrorizing of the wicked will come to an end when the Lord intervenes in behalf of his people (v. 4), who are “the company of the righteous” (dôr ṣaddı̂q, v. 5). Then “dread” will overtake (pāḥᵃdû pāḥad) the fools, while the righteous enjoy the presence of their covenantal God. Yes, the Lord is with his own, even when it seems as though he is far from them. The wicked may for a time heap abuse on “the plans of the poor.” But even in their persecution God is “the refuge” of his children.

NOTES

4 For a refutation of Dahood’s rendering, 1:80, “devour the grain they did not harvest,” see Craigie, 144–45.

5 The particle שָׁם (šām, “there”) at the beginning of v. 5 indicates that an important event is about to take place (cf. 36:12[13], “see”; 66:5Devil, “come”; 68:27[28], “there”). Dahood, 1:81, proposes that šumma (“behold”) in the El Amarna tablets with the meaning “behold” best explains the idiom (cf. Jdg 5:11, untranslated in NIV; 1Sa 4:4, “there”; 7:6, “there”; Ps 66:6, “come”; see Briggs, 1:110).

The word דּוֹר (dôr), usually translated as “generation,” may signify “company” or “assembly” (cf. Frank J. Neuberg, “An Unrecognized Meaning of Hebrew Dôr,” JNES 9 [1950]: 215–17; TDOT 3:169–71; Dahood, 1:82).

6 Emending the MT’s תָּבִישׁוּ (tābı̂šû, “frustrate”) to ‏תּוֹבִישׁוּ tôbı̂šû (“humiliate”), Dahood, 1:80, proposes “The council of the poor will humiliate it.” The NIV adds “evildoers” to make clear that “you” is not mistakenly read as a reference to God. It may be that the word “plans” (‏עֲצַת, ʿᵃṣat, from עֵצָה, ʿēṣâ, GK 6783, “counsel,” “plan”) has the meaning of “worry,” as in 13:3 (NIV, “thoughts”). This supports Eaton’s rendering, 55: “In the anguish of the poor you shall meet your downfall, for the Lord is his refuge.” Delitzsch, 1:202, gave a modal reading: “Would ye bring to shame the counsel of the afflicted!” (so also J. Ridderbos, 1:111). Craigie, 145, proposes a “possible solution, though fairly radical”: “There they caused great fear, but God is in the assembly of the righteous. The counsel of the poor they confounded, but the Lord is his refuge.” On “the poor,” see comments at 9:11–12.

4. The Hope of the Righteous (14:7)

   

 

7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!

When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people,

let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

   

 

COMMENTARY

7 It may be that this verse is an inspired addition to the psalm, a prayer for the redemption of God’s people at a time of national disaster, possibly the exile. The conclusion is a most appropriate prayer for “salvation” (yᵉšûʿâ; see 3:2). The phraseology “restore the fortunes” is characteristic of the prophets as they describe the era of restoration, when Israel, restored to the land, will again enjoy the blessings (“the fortunes”) of God (cf. Eze 16:53; Zep 2:7). When God’s people see the acts of God’s redemption, they rejoice. After the exile, God demonstrated his faithfulness by his blessings, by restoring Israel to the land, and by permitting his temple to be rebuilt. The psalmist anticipates an era when God will vindicate his people and deliver them from the fools who oppress and harass them. In Jesus’ coming, Jews and Gentiles are further assured of God’s concern, vindication, and presence with his people. When the Jews are restored to faith in Jesus the Messiah, they will rejoice and all Christians will join with them in giving praise to God’s faithfulness (cf. Ro 11:33–36). The redemption of Zion is also referred to by Isaiah (59:20) and quoted by Paul (Ro 11:26).

NOTES

7 The phrase בְּשׁוּב שְׁבוּת (bᵉšûb šᵉbût, “when … restores the fortunes”) is an example of a cognate accusative from ‏שׁוּב, šûb (GK 8740)-‏שְׁבוּת, šᵉbût. The word ‏שְׁבוּת, šᵉbût, signifies “restoration” and is not related to the root שׁבה, šbh (“take captive”), as suggested by the NKJV–“when the LORD brings back the captivity of His people” (cf. 85:1; 126:1 [cf. NIV text note]; see Dahood, 3:218; TWOT 2:896; John M. Bracke, “šûb šᵉbût: A Reappraisal,” ZAW 97 [1985]: 233–44). Gray, 110–16, argues in favor of “restoration” as “rehabilitation.”

Willem VanGemeren, Psalms, ed. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, vol. 5 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised Edition. Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), 173-179.

accord://read/EBC-R#55483

 -Dan

Posts 1028
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 16 2016 10:51 AM
I like the Expositor's Bible Commentary Revised, it is solid, but it really depends on your finances mainly...keep in mind Zondervan sales don't come around that often.

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/therealkpang

Posts 163
Felix Brito | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 16 2016 1:31 PM

Thanks Dave, Dan and Keith. I am considering every thing you said. Thank you Dan for the samples.

Blessings and Merry Christmas!

Posts 7750
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 16 2016 1:51 PM

 With everything you already have I don't think you need it.  I, personally, wouldn't buy it since I already own the older edition.  There is no end with commentaries but I will say this: the new two horizon commentaries are the only ones that are giving me something different on the text (at least the pastoral epistles volume) though I don't necessarily agree with them.  Some of the other commentaries  just give me the same thing but worded differently. 

DAL

Ps.  The counterpoint series seemed like a better investment to me,  so I went ahead and got it.  You might want to look into ZECNT,  their formant  is a little different but very useful for sermon preparation.

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