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An insight into the history of Israel under its monarchy
Dale Ralph Davis is Minister in Residence, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina. Prior to that he was pastor of Woodland Presbyterian Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi.
Davis is a helpful guide, not least because he explains the issues with the needs of contemporary Christians in mind. -- The Churchman, Matthew Mason Any commentary by Dale Ralph Davis is now eagerly awaited by many readers and they will not be disappointed with this one, especially if they have read his earlier volume on 1 Kings. As he notes in his preface, this brings to a conclusion his series on the 'Former Prophets' which provide a rich resource for all those who preach on these fascinating but often difficult books. He describes his work as 'expositional commentaries' which shows his desire to be of particular help to the preacher; he is certainly that. The word which comes to mind about this commentary is 'sparkling'; the sheer exuberance of his encounter with the text and the way he shows its living power is a joy to read. This is seen even in his titles for the expositions of particular passages. Here are a few: The peril of church suppers (2 Kings 4:8-37); The lady who saved Christmas (2 Kings 11); Can a Reformation save us? (2 Kings 22:1 - 23:30). Once again he illustrates his expositions with an astonishing variety of stories ranging from Arizona to Aberdeen and the American Civil War to the Scottish Covenanters. None of this should give the idea that this commentary is a piece of lightweight fun. Davis has done his homework, thought deeply through issues, and preached this material himself. Some examples of his acute theological mind and exegetical insights are: the defence of the historicity of Elijah's departure to heaven and its theological implication (2 Kings 2); true and false worship (2 Kings 16); the insightful analysis of the often neglected last section with its hope for the future (2 Kings 25:27-30). He has also delved deeply into the critical issues involved. The footnotes show detailed acquaintance with ancient sources, such as the Assyrian annals as well as contemporary studies. This is seen, for examples, in his comments on the puzzling chronology of Ahaz and Hezekiah and the date of Sennacherib's invasion. These and similar comments are not intrusive but are there to undergird the exposition. Above all 2 Kings is always placed in the flow of the canon as a whole. This is a must for all who want to preach on Old Testament narrative. For students it will provide robust and stimulating material; for preachers it will give a model and a challenge. -- The Rutherford Journal of Church and History ... Davis is a master of variety. There is no dull monotomy in the third expositions found in this work. The outlining at times is descriptive and at other times interpretive. There is also variety in the use of third person and second person in the outlines. Some chapters begin with a lengthy introduction before the exposition and others delve right into an exposition of the text. In each chapter Davis is concerned to communicate what the text of 2 Kings is revealing about the character of God and the necessary response of his people. Many times, there will be an explicit or implicit connection between the OT text and NT revelation concerning Jesus, but some of the expositions are content to remain in the OT and give a Yahweh-centred application to the readers. Today there is a renewed emphasis on the preaching of OT narrative in evangelical circles... The six volumes of Ralph Dale Davis of which 2 Kings: The power and Fury is the culmination are excellent guides for contemporary expositor as he preaches from the "former prophets". Davis has laid an excellent foundation; may many expositors build upon his work as they preach OT narrative. -- The Master's Seminary Journal Today there is a renewed emphasis on the preaching of OT narrative in evangelical circles... The six volumes of Ralph Dale Davis of which 2 Kings: The power and Fury is the culmination are excellent guides for contemporary expositor as he preaches from the "former prophets". Davis has laid an excellent foundation; may many expositors build upon his work as they preach OT narrative. -- The Master's Seminary Reviewed by Keith Essex, Assistant Professor of Bible Exposition