Book Review: A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles by Eugene Merrill

1 Chronicles is too often where read through the Bible plans too often go to die. The chronicle of names in the 1st 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles is often a test of reading perseverance and a sense of gratitude your name didn’t come from that list.

So who would read A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles? I would because 1 & 2 Chronicles gives a sense of who we are as the people of God, and even greater a sense of who God is and who He still desires to make us to be.

In addition since the commentary is part of the Kregel Exegetical Library, I was intrigued to see if the emphasis on exegeting the text and then how to preach the text would work in such a challenging book.

Eugene Merrill gets high marks for his exegetical work. If there was ever a book to get lost and confused in it is this book. I appreciated the numerous charts, the insights and the broad scope that is covered in this volume.  His working through some of the contrasts between “super hero” David in Chronicles, and the David who reveals flaws in Samuel makes this a valuable tool for study.

In my own study of Chronicles I have appreciated the meaning of names in the Bible. Someone should come up with a translation that puts the English meaning by every Hebrew and Greek name. I was hoping to see such study in this commentary, but that would have added even more to its massive length.

My one disappointment in this commentary was the lack of what I have appreciated so much in the other volumes in this series: the commentary in expository form and most specifically message and application sections. With Merrill’s understanding that the Chronicler took a global view of God’s work in the past, but also in the writer’s present. I had hoped to see that fast forward into our present as well.

I give A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles by Eugene Merrill 4 out of 5 stars. For those wanting to dig deeper into a part of the Bible too often skipped, this resource provides good insights. Though it doesn’t have the expository emphasis of the other volumes Merrill provides preaching nuggets for those willing to dig.

My thanks to Kregel Books for a free copy to review. I didn’t’ have to give a positive review, just an honest one.




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