Word Biblical Commentary Volume 18B, Job 38-42 - Book Review

I have often found the Book of Job to be somewhat disturbing and hard to figure out.  Not necessarily the part where God allows Satan to take away everything that Job has – health, wealth, and children in order to show that Job would still be faithful to Him even without all the material blessings. It’s the last few chapters that befuddle me. Job asks questions about justice and why the wicked people get away with their behavior while those who do right are rewarded with suffering.  God answers him, but not with a direct answer to his question. Instead of answering “why”, He illustrates His power as the designer of creation. Job backs down, almost in a way that seems he knows he better just shut up, but he doesn’t apologize for his behavior or attitude in asking. 
When the opportunity to review the Word Biblical Commentary Volume 18B, Job 38-42, I was thrilled to receive this precious resource.  This title is the third volume in the set on the Book of Job, covering the final five and best chapters.  The commentary divides Job 38-42 into 6 parts. Each part contains the following sections: a bibliography, translation, notes on the translation, form/structure, comment, and explanation sections.  But this is only one-third of this volume of the Word Commentary. The remainder contains chapter bibliographies to support all three volumes on the Book of Job. A general bibliography with an outline for topics is the main part of this book with over 250 pages devoted to citing everything ever written about Job from scholarly papers to music and literature. The commentary concludes with a classified index, index of Hebrew words, and an index of authors.
Scholars may find the extensive bibliography to be a thorough and complete resource for everything ever written about Job.  The comments and explanation sections were of particular interest to me and was where I focused my reading of this commentary.  Dr. David Cline performs a magnificent job of portraying the variety of opinions from various scholars on controversial issues throughout the Book of Job, from larger overarching themes down to interpretational issues of a single Hebrew word (which is not transliterated but actually written in Hebrew, something I really appreciate).   
Whether a seminarian, scholar, pastor, Bible teacher, or just a Bible reader trying to gain deeper understanding, there are sections of this commentary for every type of person seeking to understand Job.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Wonderful review! I love the Word Biblical Commentary series! How did you get a copy for review?

  2. Thanks Warren! I love the Word Biblical Commentary series too, though I own only 1 other volume at the moment. I received it from Booksneeze.com, where they post new books for review every Wednesday morning (midnight). I knew this one was coming and got out of bed in the middle of the night to select it before all the copies were gone. It was worth it!!