Ezra and Nehemiah
A Pastoral and Contextual Commentary
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah illustrate how leaders of God’s people confronted the challenges facing the Jews during the post-exilic period of Israel. Zerubbabel inspires the people of God to rebuild the temple; Ezra leads them in renewing their faith in God; and Nehemiah rebuilds the wall and, importantly, the people as well. The examples in these books, of leading through challenges and opposition by trusting the Lord and committing to prayer, testify to how God’s gracious hand guides and blesses his people at each step. The careful exposition of these two books provides a valuable model for us to balance prayer and action with contextual application, and how the full obedience of leaders can lead to communities being transformed.
The Asia Bible Commentary series empowers Christian believers in Asia to read the Bible from within their respective contexts. Holistic in its approach to the text, each exposition of the biblical books combines exegesis and application. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the Body of Christ in Asia by providing pastoral and contextual exposition of every book of the Bible.
Who are better equipped than the Shaos, both long-standing faculty of Biblical Seminary of the Philippines (BSOP) since the early eighties, to offer an Asian perspective when expounding the living messages of Ezra-Nehemiah relevant to the Christian churches in the Majority World? Integrating critical scholarship and practical wisdom, this outstanding commentary is a must for consulting alongside Hugh Williamson’s award-winning volume in the Word Biblical Commentary series.
Stephen Lee, PhD
President and Lam Ko Kit Tak Professor of Biblical Studies,
China Graduate School of Theology, Hong Kong
For decades, the ministries of Joseph and Rosa Shao have been much like the work of the protagonists of these biblical books, Ezra and Nehemiah. Like those great leaders of the past, the authors’ devotion to God and their service to God’s people in strengthening the faith of others have been exemplary. This edition of their commentary on these important texts will perpetuate their ministry and it is a welcome contribution to our understanding of Ezra and Nehemiah.
Bill T. Arnold, PhD
Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation,
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, USA
Table of Contents
- Series Preface
- Authors’ Preface
- List of Abbreviations
- Commentary on Ezra
- Commentary on Nehemiah
- Selected Bibliography
- Numbers and Asian Counting: Resolving Inconsistencies in the Text
- Oral and Written History
- Physical or Spiritual Church?
- Facing Opposition
- God’s Word and Life
- God or Human Protection
- Shame and Guilt
- Cognitive Dissonance and Compassion
- Anxiety and Prayer
- True Self
- Asian Family Leadership
- Handling Hostile Situations
- Caring for the Poor
- Honor and Shame
- Leaders and Partners
- Retelling and Memory
- Commitments and Challenges
- Gathering In and Reaching Out