According to WikiSource John James Lias [1834-1923] was Chancellor of Llandaff Cathedral and Hulsean Lecturer in Divinity and Lady Margaret Preacher at the University of Cambridge. This is the full text of his commentary on the Book of Judges. This title is in the public domain.
Contents, Authorship and Date, Genuineness, Canonicity, of the Book of Judges
The Political, Moral, and Religious condition of Israel under the Judges
The Personal character of the Judges
The Song of Deborah
The Chronology of the Period
Texts and Notes
I. Contents. The book of Judges consists of three parts. The first part (ch. i. 1, iii. 7) forms an Introduction, obviously designed to connect the book with the previous narrative in Joshua. We have first a description of the condition of the Israelites immediately after Joshua’s death, and their relations with the Phoenician peoples whom Joshua had left only half subdued (ch. i. i-ii. 10). Then (ch. ii. ii-iii. 7) the writer proceeds to give a brief summary of his history chiefly from a moral and religious point of view, pointing out the cause of national misfortunes, namely the disobedience of the people to the national law, and their apostasy from the national religion. The second part (ch. iii. 8-xvi. 31) contains the history of the Judges. In the third part (ch. xvii. to end) the historian adds two episodes of a more private and personal character… [Continue reading]
A brief commentary on the book of Ruth by G.A. Cooke, who was successively Oriel Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture and Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University. This title is in the public domain.
The ancient narratives of the Book of Judges carry us back to a half-barbarous age of struggle and disorder, memorable chiefly for the deeds of Israel’s heroes: the Book of Ruth, although the scene is laid in the same age, gives us a very different picture. It introduces us to the peaceful life of the home and of the village, with its sorrows and joys, its wholesome industry and kindly virtues; a life which is by no means barren of heroic qualities, but they take the form of unselfish affection and generosity and loyalty to the ties of kindred; a simple community, tenacious of long established customs, and penetrated throughout by a spirit of unaffected piety. No doubt the picture is idealized; but the author, so far from inventing facts which never existed, is evidently describing a life with which he was familiar. [Continue reading]
One of my aims in 2018 is to make available more biblical commentaries. Here are four on the books of first and second Kings; two short, two long. Colour maps are included, enhanced as much as possible to overcome the fading in the originals. All are in the public domain.
The following biblical commentary is now available for free download in PDF:
William Henry Lowe [1848-1947], The Hebrew Student’s Commentary on Zechariah. London: MacMillian & Co., 1882. Hbk. pp.155.
Commentary on Zechariah
Prolegomena to Chapters I.-VIII.
Personal to the Prophet
Of the personal history of the Prophet Zechariah hardly anything is recorded. He styles himself “Zechariah, son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, the prophet,” which certainly implies that he was the grandson of Iddo. But in Ezra v. 1, vi. 14 he is spoken of as “son of Iddo.” This, however, presents no difficulty, for similarly Jehu is mentioned as son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi (2 Kings ix. 14), while(ver. 20) he is called merely son of Nimshi. The father of Zechariah, and the father of Jehu, seem to have been (to use an illustration from modern times) somewhat in the position of Abraham Mendelssohn, they could both boast of being the father and the son of a man of reputation. Knobel’s supposition, then, that “son of Berechiah” (Zech. i. 1, 7) is an interpolation from Is. viii. 2, where Zechariah son of Jeberechiah is mentioned, is unnecessary. In Ezra v. 1, 2 “Zechariah son of lddo” is mentioned as prophesying in conjunction with “Haggai the prophet,” and being instrumental in bringing about the resumption of the work of rebuilding the Temple. We know nothing further for certain about him, except that he prophesied up to the month of Cislev in the 4th year of Darius. Something may, however, be deduced from circumstantial evidence.
Among the Priests and Levites who came up with Zerubbabel is mentioned “Iddo” (Neh. xii. 4), as one of heads of the priestly families (rashe haccohenim) in the days of Jeshua (see p. 32) the High Priest.Again in the days of Joiakim, the son of Jeshua (the High Priest), a Zechariah son of Iddo is mentioned (ver. 10, 12, 16) as one of the heads of families (rashe ha’abhoth), and that evidently among the Priests. From these facts it is deduced by many (and not unreasonably), that Zechariah (like Jeremiah and Ezekiel) was a priest as well as a prophet:and that (supposing the Iddo of Neh. xii. 4, 16 to be the same person that is mentioned in Zech. i. 1), while Zechariah began his ministry during the High-priesthood of Joshua, he was head of his family in the days of Joiakim the son of Joshua. Thus Zechariah’s father, probably died early and never became the head of his family, and Zechariah a young man at the time of the return from the Captivity.