Top Commentaries on Ezra

Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of Ezra are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Ezra that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)



Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on Ezra



Ezra-Nehemiah (Word Biblical Commentary) by H. G. M. Williamson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Ezra and Nehemiah

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “comprehensive, scholarly commentary written by a highly competent evangelical scholar…helpful to laypeople as well”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Detailed historical and linguistic analysis, careful exegesis, insightful exposition and application. Less useful than it might be due to awkward format.”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Ezra, “”The best commentaries for those seeking to understand these books are the commentaries by Fensham and Williamson.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.



Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (New American Commentary) by Mervin Breneman


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “a competent and readable commentary”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Insightful application of the books’ message to the contemporary situation.”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Ezra, “for those seeking helpful summaries of the more technical work”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.



Ezra and Nehemiah (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by F. Charles Fensham


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “the emphasis on this volume is on history and culture”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Thorough, conservative, well researched and well organized. Most readable, with useful application of the books’ message to the contemporary situation. Probably the best evangelical commentary currently available.”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Ezra, “The best commentaries for those seeking to understand these books are the commentaries by Fensham and Williamson.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “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.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.



Ezra and Nehemiah (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Derek Kidner


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “easy to read and emphasizes theology and history”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Ezra, “a good introductory level commentary on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.



Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther (The Daily Study Bible Series) by J.G. McConville


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “excellent at both revealing the books’ meaning in their Old Testament context and explaining their relevance for today”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Ezra, “I have benefited from many of McConville’s works, and this brief introductory level commentary is no exception.”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “Invaluable for individual devotional study, for group discussion, and for classroom use, the Daily Study Bible provides a useful, reliable, and eminently readable way to discover what the Scriptures were saying then and what God is saying today.”



Ezra (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by E.M. Yamauchi


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “one cannot find a better historically oriented commentary than this one”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Informative discussion on the contributions of Persian history, language, and biblical archaeology to the understanding of the life, times, and message of Ezra and Nehemiah.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.



Ezra-Nehemiah (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Mark A. Throntveit


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “easy-to-read yet profound”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.” See more about the Interpretation Bible commentary series.



Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther (New Century Bible Commentary) by D.J. Clines


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “carefully and thoroughly researched…scholarly and clear”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Scholarly and comprehensive in scope, The New Century Bible Commentary series has earned wide respect across theological traditions …Based on the Revised Standard Version, the commentaries are at once accessible and informed, containing clear verse-by-verse exposition and reflecting contemporary debate.”



More Expository Commentaries



The Message of Ezra and Haggai (The Bible Speaks Today) by Robert Fyall


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.



Ezra & Nehemiah (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Derek W. H. Thomas


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: The REC series has “four fundamental commitments. First, these commentaries aim to be biblical…Second, these commentaries are unashamedly doctrinal…Third, these commentaries are redemptive-historical…Fourth, these commentaries are practical…” All authors are “pastor-scholars.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



Ezra-Nehemiah (The College Press NIV Commentary) by Keith Schoville


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “College Press NIV Commentary Series is formatted with a verse-by-verse explanation of the text. It was developed for both the scholar and the average Bible student. The College Press NIV Commentary Series is the only full commentary set in print from the Restoration Movement.”



Ezra and Nehemiah (Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary) by David J. Shepherd


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Two features distinguish The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary series: theological exegesis and theological reflection…The result is a paragraph-by-paragraph engagement with the text that is deliberately theological in focus.” See more about the Two Horizons Bible commentary series.



Ezra and Nehemiah (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Matthew Levering


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.” See more about the Brazos Theological Commentary series.



Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Leslie Allen and Timothy S. Laniak


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary series.



Ezra and Nehemiah (Mentor Bible Commentary) by Tiberius Rata


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Mentor books are written at a level suitable for Bible College and seminary students, pastors, and other serious readers.” See more about the Mentor Bible Commentary series.



Ezra and Nehemiah (New Beacon Bible Commentary) by Jim Edlin


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New Beacon Bible Commentary provides 21st-century scholars, pastors, theological students, and laity an academically competent, readable commentary in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Each volume features: Contemporary Scholarship from notable experts in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Convenient introductory material for each book of the Bible, which includes information on authorship, date, history, audience, sociological/cultural issues, purpose, literary features, theological themes, hermeneutical issues, and more.”



Ezra and Nehemiah (Concordia Commentary) by Andrew E. Steinmann


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the biblical text.”



Technical Commentaries



Ezra-Nehemiah (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Jacob M. Meyers


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.



Ezra-Nehemiah (The Old Testament Library) by Joseph Blenkinsopp


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.



Classic Christian Commentaries



Ezra and Nehemiah (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by Marco Conti


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The ACCS is a post-critical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights. The vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating, and introducing it to today’s readers. Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power, and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.”



Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther by H.A. Ironside


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill.



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