Old Testament Commentary Reviews: The Minor Prophets

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Old Testament Commentary Reviews:

The Minor Prophets

The Old Testament is made up of thirty-nine books that are traditionally divided into five groupings:

  • The Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).
  • The Historical books (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1/2 Samuel, 1/2 Kings, 1/2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther).
  • Poetry & Wisdom writings (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs).
  • The Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel).
  • The Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi).

Thousands of commentaries have been written about these books, and it’s easy to become confused because these resources are written to various audiences. Choosing the “best” will depend upon the kind of analysis you desire. My recommendations are divided into the three most common categories:

  • Devotional/Introductory–the primary focus is application of the Word and growing in Christ. Lots of “how to” questions are answered.
  • Pastoral/Intermediate–these commentaries also contain application but are more information oriented. Some go deep into the history or cultural background of the text, while others pay more attention to linguistics. Lots of “what does it mean” questions are answered. Useful for any Christ follower and especially helpful to those who teach.
  • Technical/Advanced–primary value is to teachers and advanced students. Some technical commentaries focus on textual criticism (the reliability of the text), while others address linguistics (the text itself). Lots of minutiae. These commentaries contain Hebrew text (sometimes transliterated, sometimes not) and require familiarity with Hebrew to extract their full benefit, but even those with no knowledge of the language will find these commentaries useful.

Single Commentaries on the Twelve

There are three good one-volume commentaries on the Minor Prophets–one devotional/introductory, one pastoral/intermediate, and one technical/advanced. Individual commentaries on the Twelve books provide more complete coverage, but many will find that one-volume on the Minor Prophets meets their needs.

Devotional/Introductory: Peter C. Craigie in the Daily Study Bible (two volumes, Westminster John Knox Press, 1984). 512 pp. Short and sweet. Craigie is a master exegete who has written some of the best technical commentaries available (my top recommendations for his analyses of Deuteronomy and Psalms), but here he offers a wonderfully lucid devotional commentary on the Twelve. Well, on the Eleven–I disagree with his view of Jonah as a parable. But Craigie’s commentary (two small paperbacks) is available on the secondary market for less than five dollars and worthy of a place in anyone’s library.

Pastoral/intermediate: Expositor’s Bible Commentary Revised, Vol. 7: Daniel-Malachi (Zondervan, 2008). 864 pp. This updated volume is an improvement on the excellent original (1985). Concise, conservative, and reliable. An ideal choice for pastors and teachers in the early stages of building a library–this one volume will provide quality coverage of all twelve of the Minor Prophets and includes a good commentary on Daniel (although I miss Gleason Archer’s clear premillennial analysis of Daniel in the 1985 EBC).

Technical/advanced: The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 1445 pp. McComiskey was both editor and contributor (Hosea and Zechariah) to this impressive tome. In addition to a fresh translation of the text by each commentator (one of my favorite features), the text is examined pericope by pericope. There is a thorough and reliable exegesis of the Hebrew text running along the top of the page and solid theological exposition on the bottom of the page. Hebrew is used in the exegesis (English translations are provided alongside) but transliterated in the exposition. This is a scholarly commentary with intricate exegesis, so knowledge of Hebrew will enhance its value, but intermediate and advanced students without knowledge of the language will glean a lot from this resource.

Lagniappe: Almost all of the individual commentaries in this volume are stellar and appear in my recommendations below, but this book (originally a three-volume set) has been out of print for years, and I have seen it priced for around a hundred dollars on the secondary market, and I’ve seen it priced at two hundred. Is it worth it? That’s a question only you can answer for yourself, but in my opinion it is a bargain if you can get it for a hundred bucks–twelve excellent technical analyses for less than ten dollars each.

Hosea

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on Hosea is by Derek Kidner in the Bible Speaks Today (IVP, 1991). 142 pp. Engaging and easy to read. This is a wonderful devotional guide to read alongside Hosea, but preachers/teachers will also value the theological insights.

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Hosea is by Duane Garrett in the New American Commentary, Hosea/Joel (Broadman, 1997). 426 pp. (260 pp. are devoted to Hosea). The NAC is one of the finest intermediate commentary sets, and Garrett’s analyses of Hosea and Joel are among the best in the entire series. Good intro that sets the historical context and discusses authorship, challenges with the Hebrew text, literary background, message, and a fascinating structural analysis. Solid exegesis and exposition of the text. This is the first resource I reach for first when I have a question about a passage in Hosea. This volume also includes my top recommendation for an intermediate commentary on Joel.

Also recommended: Gary Smith in the NIV Application Commentary, Hosea/Amos/Micah (Zondervan, 2001). 608 pp. If you are looking for teaching or homiletical help, you will love this book. 180 pp. are devoted to Hosea. Preachers/teachers will also appreciate Smith’s excellent commentaries on Amos and Micah included in this volume.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Hosea is by Douglas Stuart in the Word Biblical Commentary, Hosea/Joel/Amos/Obadiah/Jonah (Nelson, 1987. Published by Zondervan since 2014). 584 pp. Conservative and reliable. These commentaries on the first five Minor Prophets are thirty years old, but they are still invaluable for preachers and teachers, and Stuart’s analysis of Hosea (220 pp.) is perhaps the best of the five. In addition to linguistic support, Stuart provides useful background information. I see this as a “must-buy” because it has five great commentaries in one volume and can be purchased on the secondary market for less than twenty dollars.

Also recommended: Thomas McComiskey in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 234 pp. of 1445 pp. See McComiskey under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. The commentary on Hosea is written by McComiskey, and it’s one of the best of the twelve. If I were limited to one commentary on this prophet, this would be my choice. This volume is listed as an additional recommendation because it is out of print, but this book is worth purchasing on the secondary market.

Joel

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on Joel is by David Prior in the Bible Speaks Today Joel/Micah/Habakkuk (IVP, 1998). 253 pp. Concise, clear, and a joy to read. Prior does a good job of applying the text to today’s world. This would make a great companion when reading Joel.

Also recommended: Another good devotional exposition is by David Hubbard in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Joel/Amos (IVP, 1989). 245 pp. Hubbard’s analysis of Joel is brief (66 pp.) but loaded with theological insights and interesting background information. The primary difference between the commentaries by Hubbard and Prior is that Prior often links the text to life in the 20th century, while Hubbard’s exposition stays within the historical context. Both are worth owning, and Hubbard’s TOTC volume includes a comprehensive commentary on Amos. This book can be purchased on the secondary market for less than two dollars. Deal!

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Joel is by Duane Garrett in the New American Commentary, Hosea/Joel (Broadman, 1997). 426 pp. (180 pp. are devoted to Joel). Conservative, well-researched, and accessible. Excellent introduction that provides a holistic understanding of this controversial book. Solid exegesis and exposition of the text. This is the commentary I reach for first when I have a general question about Joel. Technical comments are assigned to the footnotes. This volume also includes my top recommendation for an intermediate commentary on Hosea.

Also recommended: David Baker in the NIV Application Commentary, Joel/Obadiah/Malachi (Zondervan, 2006). 352 pp. Preachers and teachers will appreciate Baker’s insights and background info. Unlike most entries in this series, Baker is more focused on exegesis and exposition than application.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Joel is by Douglas Stuart in the Word Biblical Commentary, Hosea/Joel/Amos/Obadiah/Jonah (Nelson, 1987; Zondervan, 2014). 584 pp. Conservative and reliable. Stuart’s commentaries on the first five Minor Prophets are a bit dated, but they provide invaluable linguistic support and useful background information for teaching/preaching. His analysis of Joel is brief (52 pp.) but helpful.

Also recommended: Raymond Dillard in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 74 pp. of 1445 pp. See under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. Dillard’s analysis is perhaps the best of the twelve. It is helpful to contrast Dillard’s literal view of the locust with Stuart’s figurative view. If I were limited to one resource on Joel, this would be my choice. This volume is listed as an additional recommendation because it is out of print, but this book is worth searching for in the secondary market.

Amos

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on Amos is by J. Alec Motyer in the Bible Speaks Today (IVP, 1974). 245 pp. A warm and lucid exposition with solid theology and helpful applications. This would make a great devotional companion when reading Amos, and it’s less than three dollars on the secondary market.

Also recommended: Another good introductory commentary is by David Hubbard in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Joel/Amos (IVP, 1989). 245 pp. Larger than most TOTC commentaries (158 pp.), Hubbard’s analysis of Amos is filled with theological insights and interesting background information. This would make a great companion when reading the prophet, and it’s bargain priced on the secondary market.

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Amos is by Gary Smith in the NIV Application Commentary, Hosea/Amos/Micah (Zondervan, 2001). 608 pp. If you are looking for teaching or homiletical help, you will love this book. Smith’s work on Amos is the fullest of the three analyses (216 pp.) and overflowing with insights on the prophet’s message. Preachers/teachers will also appreciate Smith’s excellent commentaries on Hosea and Micah included in this volume.

Lagniappe: Smith also wrote a 307 pp. technical commentary on Amos (Zondervan, 1989) that I have not seen, but it has received positive reviews from scholars.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Amos is by Douglas Stuart in the Word Biblical Commentary, Hosea/Joel/Amos/Obadiah/Jonah (Nelson, 1987. Published by Zondervan since 2014). 584 pp. Conservative and reliable. Stuart’s commentaries on the first five Minor Prophets are a bit dated, but they provide invaluable linguistic support and useful background information for teaching/preaching. His analysis of Amos (128 pp.) is outstanding, and if I were limited to one commentary on Amos, this would be my choice.

Also recommended: Jeffrey Niehaus in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 180 pp. of 1445 pp. See under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. Niehaus is an expert in Ancient Near Eastern studies, and his insightful analysis and background info is exceptional.

Obadiah

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on Obadiah is by David Baker in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Obadiah/Jonah/Micah (IVP, 1988). 207 pp. Three great introductory commentaries. Most people buy this volume for the works by Alexander and Waltke, but Baker’s 28 pp. exposition on Obadiah is also worthwhile. This would make a great devotional companion when reading these three prophets, and it’s less than six dollars on the secondary market. Baker also wrote the best intermediate commentary on this prophet (see below) eighteen years later.

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Obadiah is by David Baker in the NIV Application Commentary, Joel/Obadiah/Malachi (Zondervan, 2006). 352 pp. Preachers and teachers will appreciate Baker’s insights and background info. Unlike most entries in this series, Baker is more focused on exegesis and exposition than application.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Obadiah is by Daniel Block in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament (2015). 128 pp. Block is a top exegete who specializes in the Old Testament, and several of his commentaries are top recommendations (Deuteronomy, Judges, Ruth, and Ezekiel). I can now add Block’s excellent discourse analysis of Obadiah to the list. A scholarly yet lucid examination of the shortest book in the Old Testament. Originally titled The Kingship Belongs to YHWH as part of the now defunct Hearing the Message of Scripture commentary series. Each section includes a look at literary context, the passage’s main idea, a fresh translation of the text, structure and literary form, an exegetical outline, and the passage’s canonical and practical significance. If I were limited to one commentary on Obadiah, this would be my choice. Block answers the linguistic questions most teachers will have, but his explanations are not overly technical because the ZECOT series is written for pastors and teachers–advanced students might want to consider the commentary by Niehaus (below) or Raabe’s comprehensive work (336 pp.) in the Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries.

Also recommended: Jeffrey Niehaus in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 48 pp. of 1445 pp. See under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. Brief but helpful. Niehaus is an expert in Ancient Near Eastern studies, and pastors/teachers will appreciate his insights and background info.

Jonah

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on Jonah is by Desmond Alexander in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Obadiah/Jonah/Micah (IVP, 1988). 207 pp. A concise (88 pp.) but helpful overview that would make a great devotional companion when reading Jonah. Also includes excellent commentaries on Micah and Obadiah.

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Jonah is by Sinclair Ferguson in Man Overboard!: The Story of Jonah (Banner of Truth, 2008). 98 pp. Finding good homiletical help on Jonah is challenging, and pastors/teachers will appreciate Ferguson’s sermonic exposition.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Jonah is by Kevin Youngblood in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament (2015). 192 pp. A conservative and reliable examination of the Hebrew text. Each section includes a look at literary context, the passage’s main idea, a fresh translation of the text, structure and literary form, an exegetical outline, and the passage’s canonical and practical significance. If I were limited to one commentary on Jonah, this would be my choice. Youngblood answers the linguistic questions most teachers will have, but his explanations are not overly technical because the ZECOT series is written for pastors and teachers. Originally released as Jonah: God’s Scandalous Mercy in Zondervan’s now defunct Hearing the Message of Scripture series.

Also recommended: Douglas Stuart in the Word Biblical Commentary, Hosea/Joel/Amos/Obadiah/Jonah (Nelson, 1987. Zondervan, 2014). 584 pp. Conservative and reliable. While Stuart’s commentaries on the first five Minor Prophets are a bit dated, they provide invaluable linguistic support and useful background information for teaching/preaching. His analysis of Jonah (87 pp.) is one of the best of the five.

Micah

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on Micah is by Bruce Waltke in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Obadiah/Jonah/Micah (IVP, 1988). 207 pp. Waltke has written three excellent commentaries on Micah. This 40 pp. devotional work was his first, followed by two technical commentaries (see below). A concise but helpful overview that would make a great devotional companion when reading Micah. Also includes top-rated introductory commentaries on Jonah and Obadiah.

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Micah is by Gary Smith in the NIV Application Commentary, Hosea/Amos/Micah (Zondervan, 2001). 608 pp. Pastors/teachers looking for teaching or homiletical help will love this book. Smith’s analysis of Amos is the fullest of the three, but he does a good job with Micah (178 pp.) and provides useful information and insights for those tasked with teaching Micah. Pastors/teachers will also appreciate Smith’s excellent commentaries on Hosea and Amos included in this volume.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Micah is by Bruce Waltke in A Commentary on Micah (Eerdmans, 2007). 490 pp. An in-depth examination of the Hebrew text by a master Hebraist. Conservative and reliable. This is grammatico-historical exegesis at it’s finest. If I were limited to one commentary on this prophet, this would be my choice.

Also recommended: Bruce Waltke in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 174 pp. of 1445 pp. See McComiskey under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. This commentary was written between his other two (see above), and it falls in the middle in size and usefulness. Most pastors/teachers will feel they have Micah well covered with one of Waltke’s advanced analyses and Smith’s NIVAC.

Nahum / Habakkuk / Zephaniah

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on the books of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah is by David Baker in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Nahum/Habakkuk/Zephaniah (IVP, 1988). 121 pp. Baker provides a concise and thoughtful overview of these three prophets and the world they lived in. Good background info and some occasional theology. Bargain priced on the secondary market.

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah is by Waylon Bailey in the New American Commentary, Micah/Nahum/Habakkuk/Zephaniah (Broadman, 1998). 528 pp. Comprehensive introductions that explain the context of the prophecies. The analyses are full and answer most of my historical, theological, and language questions. This is the first commentary I reach for when I have a question about a passage in Nahum, Habakkuk, or Zephaniah, and if I were limited to one commentary on these three prophets, Bailey’s NAC would be my choice. This volume also includes a dispensational commentary on Micah by Kenneth Barker that has lots of good background information.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah is by O. Palmer Robertson in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament, Nahum/Habakkuk/Zephaniah (Eerdmans, 1990). 490 pp. A bit dated, but conservative and reliable. For many, this has been the “go to” advanced commentary on these prophets for twenty–five years. More helpful with theology than linguistics.

Also recommended: Tremper Longman III on Nahum in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 66 pp. of 1445 pp. See McComiskey under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. Longman did a lot of research on the divine warrior theme, and his analysis of Nahum is one of the best of the twelve. This is my favorite advanced commentary on Nahum, but it is listed as a secondary recommendation because the book is out of print.

Also recommended: J. Alec Motyer on Zephaniah in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 66 pp. of 1445 pp. See McComiskey under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. Motyer is outstanding with prophetic literature, and his commentary on Zephaniah is a perfect compliment to Bailey’s NAC and Robertson’s NICOT.

Haggai

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on Haggai is by Robert Fyall in the Bible Speaks Today Ezra/Haggai (IVP, 2010). 190 pp. Fyall’s warm overview of Haggai is filled with applicable theology and does a great job of connecting the ancient text to today’s world. This would be a great devotional companion when reading Haggai. Pastors and teachers will also appreciate the homiletical helps. This volume also includes a good introductory commentary on Ezra.

Also recommended: Andrew Hill in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Haggai/Zechariah/Malachi (IVP, 2012). 368 pp. Hill’s analysis is larger and more scholarly than most volumes this series. This replaces and surpasses Joyce Baldwin’s older TOTC on Haggai and Malachi (her analysis of Zechariah is my top recommendation for an introductory commentary on that prophet).

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Haggai is by Richard Taylor in the New American Commentary, Haggai/Malachi (Broadman, 2004). 400 pp. (180 pp. devoted to Haggai). Comprehensive introduction with an abundance of helpful background info. This analysis answers most of my historical, theological, and language questions. Technical issues (and this analysis has its share) are kept in the footnotes, making it very accessible. This is the first commentary I reach for when I have a question about a passage in Haggai, and if I were limited to one commentary on this prophet, this would be my choice. This NAC volume also includes my top recommendation for a commentary on Malachi.

Also recommended: Mark Boda in the NIV Application Commentary, Haggai/Zechariah (NIVAC), Zondervan. Boda has done a lot of research on Zechariah, and it receives the lion’s share of attention, but pastors and teachers will also welcome Boda’s helpful examination of Haggai. There are 84 pp. of introductory matters on both prophets, and the commentary on Haggai is 88 pp. Boda’s analysis is more scholarly/technical than most volumes in this series and less focused on application. Get Fyall’s BST (above) for help with that.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Haggai is by Pieter Verhoef in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament, Haggai/Malachi (Eerdmans, 1987). 364 pp. with 150 pp. devoted to Haggai. This commentary celebrated its thirtieth birthday this year, and it is still going strong. One of the fullest analyses of this prophet. Verhoef is not overly technical, and students looking for linguistic help will want to check out the commentaries by Smith, Petterson, Motyer, and Meyers, but Verhoef’s NICOT is invaluable for its pastoral insights. Also includes my top recommendation for a technical commentary on Malachi.

Also recommended: J. Alec Motyer in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1998). 40 pp. of 1445 pp. See McComiskey under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. Motyer, who also wrote the excellent analysis of Zephaniah for this set, is an expert in prophetic literature. Helpful theology and meticulous exegesis of the Hebrew text that is conservative and reliable.

Zechariah

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on Zechariah is by Barry Webb in the Bible Speaks Today (IVP, 2010). 170 pp. Solid exegesis and sound theology in a compact package. This would make an ideal devotional companion when reading this prophet’s message.

Also recommended: Joyce Baldwin in the retired Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Haggai/Zechariah/Malachi (IVP, 1981). 253 pp. I recommend Andrew Hill’s replacement TOTC (IVP, 2012) for Haggai and Malachi, but Baldwin’s analysis/overview of Zechariah is clear, concise, and reliable–a classic and bargain priced these days.

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Zechariah is by Anthony Petterson in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary, Haggai/Zechariah/Malachi (IVP, 2015). 448 pp. 210 pp. devoted to Zechariah. Petterson’s doctoral research was the Davidic hope in Zechariah’s prophecy, and he is very familiar with this prophet. Includes an extensive introduction to all three post-exilic prophets that looks at the historical, canonical, and biblical-theological contexts and considers various methodological approaches. Each prophet also gets a brief intro (12 pp. for Zechariah), followed by a detailed explanation of the text. Pastors and teachers will love this lucid Christ-centered resource with helpful connections to New Testament theology. Also includes excellent analyses of Haggai and Malachi.

Also recommended: Mark Boda in the NIV Application Commentary (Zondervan, 2004). 576 pp. 368 pp. devoted to Zechariah. Boda did his doctoral research on Zechariah, and he is one of the leading authorities on this prophet. More scholarly/technical than most volumes in this series and less focused on application. Compare this to Boda’s recent NICOT (below). I favor a combination of the NICOT and Barry Webb’s BST (above) for teaching/preaching on this prophet.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Zechariah is by Mark Boda in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Eerdmans, 2016). 936 pp. An amazingly exhaustive analysis that answers all of my historical, theological, and language questions. Some will prefer Boda’s more concise and accessible NIVAC (see above), but if you are looking for the ultimate commentary on this prophet, Boda’s NICOT is likely to be it for many years to come. If I were limited to one commentary on Zechariah, this would be my choice.

Also recommended: Thomas McComiskey in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 242 pp. of 1445 pp. See McComiskey under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. McComiskey wrote the commentary on Zechariah, and it is just as good as his work in Hosea in this volume. This was my favorite technical commentary on Zechariah until Boda’s tome appeared. Sound exegesis and reliable theology. And that can be said for all twelve commentaries in this volume. Pick it up on the secondary market if you can find it for a reasonable price.

Malachi

My recommendation for a devotional/introductory commentary on Malachi is by Peter Adam in the Bible Speaks Today (IVP, 2013). 128 pp. A concise sermonic overview that is easy to understand and Christ-centered. This would make an excellent devotional when reading Malachi.

Also recommended: Andrew Hill in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Haggai/Zechariah/Malachi (IVP, 2012). 368 pp. This replaces and surpasses Joyce Baldwin’s older TOTC on Haggai and Malachi (her analysis of Zechariah is my top recommendation for an introductory commentary on that prophet). Hill’s analysis is larger and more scholarly than most volumes this series.

My recommendation for a pastoral/intermediate commentary on Malachi is by Richard Clendenen in the New American Commentary, Haggai/Malachi (Broadman, 2004). 400 pp. (180 pp. devoted to Haggai). Comprehensive introduction with an abundance of helpful background info. The analysis answers most of my historical, theological, and language questions. Technical issues are kept in the footnotes, making it very accessible. This is the first commentary I reach for when I have a question about a passage in Malachi, and if I were limited to one commentary on this prophet, this would be my choice. This NAC volume also includes my top recommendation for a commentary on Haggai.

Also recommended: Anthony Petterson in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary, Haggai/Zechariah/Malachi (IVP, 2015). 448 pp. (85 pp. devoted to Malachi). Includes an extensive introduction to these three post-exilic prophets that looks at the historical, canonical, and biblical-theological contexts and considers various methodological approaches. Each prophet also gets a brief intro (10 pp. for Malachi), followed by a detailed explanation of the text. Petterson’s analysis of Malachi is not as comprehensive as his work on Zechariah, but pastors and teachers will love this well-written and straightforward commentary with helpful links to New Testament theology. Also includes an excellent analysis of Haggai and my top recommendation for an intermediate commentary on Zechariah.

My recommendation for an advanced/technical commentary on Malachi is by Pieter Verhoef in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament, Haggai/Malachi (Eerdmans, 1987). 364 pp. (200 pp. devoted to Haggai). This commentary celebrated its thirtieth birthday this year, and it is still going strong. One of the fullest analyses of this prophet. Verhoef is not overly technical, and students looking for linguistic help will want to check out the commentaries by Hill, Smith, Petterson, and Stuart, but Verhoef’s NICOT is invaluable for its pastoral insights. Also includes my top recommendation for a technical commentary on Haggai.

Also recommended: Douglas Stuart in the The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (ed. T. McComiskey. Baker, 1992). 242 pp. of 1445 pp. See McComiskey under Single Commentaries on the Twelve above. Stuart is a master exegete and wrote the highly recommended WBC volume on the first five Minor Prophets (see above in Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, and Jonah). His analysis Malachi is just as good. One caveat–this commentary is out of print and hard to find on the secondary market at a reasonable price.

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One thought on “Old Testament Commentary Reviews: The Minor Prophets

  1. much thanks and appreciation for the site and sum comments on the available commentaries on the prophets. i am teaching the subject again this time around and found the above briefs helpful. keep up the worthy service