The present volume gives an up-to-date, readable commentary on the book of Numbers. The commentary covers critical issues section by section while emphasizing the larger theological and literary issues in Numbers and illustrating its relevance for modern readers.
In a world where there is a growing tendency to build walls, forging strict in- and outgroups, questions of identity, purity, and holiness are more important than ever in our search for the common good. Carolyn Presslers new commentary on Numbers offers an important challenge to faith communities to consider pertinent questions such as who is excluded from the group and on what grounds, as well as how one today would go about defining purity and just who might get hurt in the process. A combination of sound exegetical analysis and critical theological and ethical reflection, this new commentary on Numbers is highly recommended!
L. Juliana Claassens, Professor of Old Testament, Chair of the Department of Old and New Testament, Head of Gender Unit, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
"Carolyn Pressler is a thoughtful, nuanced, and theologically insightful guide through the sometimes challenging and rocky terrain of the book of Numbers. These subtle and multi-layered interpretations help the reader see the many ways this ancient story of Israels wandering in the wilderness resonates with contested issues of faith, identity, power, and theology today. Highly recommended!"
Dennis T. Olson, Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testmanet Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ
It would seem unlikely that a scholarly commentary could read as smoothly as a novel, but that is what Carolyn Pressler has achieved in this volume. She seamlessly weaves together a narrative that follows tensions within the ancient Israelite community itself and with its neighboring peoples. At the same time, her narrative incorporates exegetical insights, detailed understandings of liturgical and sacrificial systems, and attention to questions raised today from multiple perspectives. Using an approach developed in her earlier works on biblical laws, she offers key insights on their social and economic implications. Overall, Presslers commentary reminds us of the continuing relevance of this foundational story.
Cheryl B. Anderson, Professor of Old Testament, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL