F. Charles Fensham is the author of the Ezra-Nehemiah volume in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.
Providing clear exposition based on solid contemporary scholarship, this commentary by F. Charles Fensham examines the books of Ezra and Nehemiah — two books of Scripture that are especially important for understanding the last century of Old Testament Jewish history and for marking the beginnings of Judaism.
A biblical scholar well known for his expertise in ancient Near Eastern studies, especially Ugaritic, Fensham places Ezra and Nehemiah against the ancient Near Eastern environment.
In his introduction Fensham discusses the original unity of the books as well as the problems of authorship. He believes the Chronicler wrote these books.
He then treats the historical and religious background of the books, taking special note of the development of a Jewish religious society in post-exilic times. Text and language are examined next, followed by a thorough bibliography.
The commentary proper, based on Fensham’s own fresh translation of the biblical texts, is richly documented and displays cautious good judgment, willingness to consider different options, a sensible approach, and keen insight into the religious meaning of these key Hebrew texts. 
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“This is a very useful commentary. The author’s scholarship provides a sound base. His bibliography is inclusive and up to date. He interacts with all important positions on major questions. His view is conservative and clearly reasoned. . . A commendable work.” — Bibliotheca Sacra
“Provides Old Testament students with a most excellent tool for the analysis and exegesis of Ezra and Nehemiah. . . This volume has many strengths and practical suggestions for treating problem passages, and follows a good and logical outline of the combined texts. Ministers as well as scholars will find it useful.” — Hebrew Studies
“The strengths of this volume are clear. Fensham uses his expertise in Semitic languages to address the many linguistic difficulties which appear in these two biblical books. In addition, his use of ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology is helpful. These elements, plus generous documentation, make this a substantial commentary.” — Biblical Theology Bulletin
Someone once said, “The past is another country — they do things differently there.” At times, indeed, the Old Testament resembles another very different country. Maneuvering through levitical laws, bloodshed in Joshua, or Daniel’s apocalyptic visions, sincere readers often wonder what the Old Testament means and how it can be the Word of God. For several decades The New International Commentary on the Old Testament has helped countless people traverse this difficult literary terrain.
This premier commentary series enjoys a worldwide readership of scholars, pastors, priests, rabbis, and serious Bible students. They eagerly consult its high-quality volumes to inform their preaching, teaching, and academic research, and they warmly welcome each newly published volume as they would an encounter with a stimulating new friend. Through the rigorous yet reverent study contained in these commentary volumes, readers hear afresh the voice of the living God speaking his powerful word.
All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow. The commentary itself carefully balances coverage of technical matters with exposition of the biblical text’s theology and implications.
Readers who want to hear God’s voice anew through Scripture will find The New International Commentary on the Old Testament to be a faithful, trustworthy guide for helping them navigate the strange other country we call the Old Testament.
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