Top Commentaries on Numbers

Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of Numbers are listed. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Numbers 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 Numbers



Numbers (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Gordon J. Wenham


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Numbers

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, Wenham makes “this often-neglected book come alive theologically”

John H. Walon and Andrew E. Hill: “Easily the best commentary on the topic. Readable, thoroughly researched, solidly evangelical, insightful exposition, and thoughtful contemporary application.”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Numbers, “Wenham is able to say more of significance in one page than most commentators say in ten pages. Highly recommended.”

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.



Numbers (New American Commentary) by R. Dennis Cole


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out 5 stars, “a substantial, well-written commentary…the book’s real strength is in its sensitive theological reading”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Numbers, “A pastor or student engaged in serious study of Numbers should consult [Cole].”

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.



The Book of Numbers (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Timothy R. Ashley


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “Ashley writes in a very readable style”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Numbers, “[Ashley] very helpfully explores the important theological themes within the book.”

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.



Numbers (The JPS Torah Commentary) by Jacob Milgrom


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “a masterpiece of erudition”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Numbers, “somewhat critical…must be used with great care and discernment”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “The JPS Torah Commentary series guides readers through the words and ideas of the Torah. Each volume is the work of a scholar who stands at the pinnacle of his field. Every page contains the complete traditional Hebrew text, with cantillation notes, the JPS translation of the Holy Scriptures, aliyot breaks, Masoretic notes, and commentary by a distinguished Hebrew Bible scholar, integrating classical and modern sources. Each volume also contains supplementary essays that elaborate upon key words and themes, a glossary of commentators and sources, extensive bibliographic notes, and maps.” See more about the JPS Torah commentary series.



Numbers (Preaching the Word) by Iain M. Duguid


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Numbers, “I have benefited from everything I have read by Iain Duguid. His commentary on Numbers is well-written and aimed specifically at pastors.”

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

Purpose: From the publisher: “For years, Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series has helped pastors, preachers, and anyone who teaches God’s Word to better interpret and apply the message of the Bible. Under the careful editorial oversight of experienced pastor and best-selling author R. Kent Hughes, this series is known for its commitment to biblical authority, its pastoral tone and focus, and its overall accessibility.” See more about the Preaching the Word commentary series.



Leviticus, Numbers (New International Version Application Commentary) by Roy Gane


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “Gane is an expert in ancient Israelite ritual,” and “adept at pointing to the continuing theological relevance of this material”

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

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



The Message of Numbers (The Bible Speaks Today) by Raymond Brown


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “readable and informed”

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.



Numbers 1-20 and 21-36 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Baruch A. Levine


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “all serious students of Numbers must have this book”

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.



Numbers (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Dennis T. Olson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “no one has had a larger influence in recent years on our understanding of the theological theme of the book”

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.



More Expository Commentaries



Leviticus, Numbers (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by W.H. Bellinger Jr.


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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.



Numbers (Evangelical Press Study Commentary) by John D. Currid


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

Purpose: “EP Study Commentaries are invaluable tools for the minister, theologian and serious students of the Scriptures. This series is both readable and user- friendly.”



Numbers (Word Biblical Commentary) by Philip J. Budd


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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.



Numbers (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by Ronald B. Allen


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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.



Numbers (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by David L. Stubbs


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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.



Leviticus (The Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary Series) by R.K. Harrison


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

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written especially for the informed layman, student, and scholar, all exegesis and exposition is based on the original languages of the Bible books. Translations used are those of the author. Textual criticism and word study are included where appropriate. This in-depth commentary also includes extended excursuses on important topics of theological, historical, and archaeological interest. The text is interpreted according to a historical, critical, grammatical hermeneutic and propounds a conservative, evangelical theology. But the reader will not get a narrow view of problem passages. This commentary interacts with a range of major views, both evangelical and non-evangelical.”



Numbers (Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries) by Carolyn Pressler


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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 Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries series offers compact, critical commentaries on all the books of the Old Testament. In addition to providing fundamental information on and insights into Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful, critical exegesis so as to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed engagement of the biblical texts themselves. These commentaries are written with special attention to the needs and interests of theology students, but they will also be useful for students in upper-level college or university settings, as well as for pastors and other church leaders.”



Numbers (Smyth and Helwys Bible Commentary) by Lloyd B. Bailey


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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: “Written by accomplished scholars with all students of Scripture in mind, this innovative new commentary series is designed to make quality Bible study more accessible. Pastors, professors and students of Scripture are discovering that this commentary is a wonderful new tool for enhancing interpretation. All volumes include these features to support interpretation: insightful sidebars in four categories, a wealth of fine art visuals, and a CD-ROM containing all the text and images of the volume in a searchable format.”



Technical Commentaries



Numbers (The Old Testament Library) by Martin Noth


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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.



Numbers (The Forms of the Old Testament Literature) by Rolph P. Knierim and George W. Coats


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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 Forms of the Old Testament Literature (FOTL) is a series of volumes that seeks to present, according to a standard outline and methodology, a form-critical analysis of every book or unit of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). Fundamentally exegetical, each volume examines the structure, genre, setting, and intention of the biblical literature in question. The series also endeavors to study the history behind the form-critical discussion of the material, to bring consistency to the terminology for the genres and formulas of the biblical literature, and to expose the exegetical procedure in such a way as to enable students and pastors to engage in their own analysis and interpretation.”



Numbers (International Critical Commentary) by George Buchanan Gray


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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 ICC series has “sought to bring together all the relevant aids to exegesis, linguistic and textual no less than archaeological, historical, literary and theological to help the reader understand the meaning of the books of the Old and New Testaments…no attempt has been made to secure a uniform theological or critical approach to the biblical text: contributors have been invited for their scholarly distinction, not for their adherence to any one school of thought.”



Classic Christian Commentaries



Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by Joseph T. Leinhard


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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.”