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series: Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms

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"In his interpretations, Longman presents his own penetrating reflections and gleans rich insights from the vast world of Job commentary. He has a rare, enviable talent for presenting solid scholarship in well-written prose that is eminently understandable and immediately relevant. I highly recommend this volume."--Stephen L. Cook, Virginia Theological Seminary
In this final volume in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series, Tremper Longman offers an accessible commentary on one of Scripture's most intriguing books. With his deft exegetical and expositional skill, the resulting work is full of fresh insight into the meaning of the text.

In addition to the helpful translation and commentary, this volume considers the theological implications of the wisdom texts found in the book of Job as well as their literary, historical, and grammatical dimensions. Footnotes deal with many of the technical matters, allowing readers of varying interest and training levels to read and profit from the commentary and to engage the biblical text at an appropriate level. This built-in versatility has application for both pastors and teachers.

The Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms series is tailored to the distinctions of poetry and Wisdom literature. Features include


"This latest gift from the trusted pen of Tremper Longman evinces the rare combination of stretching the most learned mind and touching the most tender soul. Grappling with the intricacies of this most difficult of biblical texts and the opaqueness of much of its theological argument, Longman offers here a work of inestimable pastoral and practical value."

Eugene H. Merrill, distinguished professor of Old Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

"When a singular biblical text causes an accomplished commentarial hand to tremble in attempting to grasp it, we are struck with respect for both authors. Here a biblicist conversant with Wisdom literature sifts reams of earlier commentary to identify the genius of Job as a pointed poetic challenge to reducing Scripture to 'retribution theology' and thus allows the 'voice from the whirlwind' to move us from expecting answers to responding to an encounter."

David B. Burrell, CSC, professor of comparative theology, Tangaza College, Nairobi; Hesburgh Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

"I have greatly benefited from Longman's excellent new translation and commentary on Job. He masterfully guides the reader through the book's challenging, complex grapplings with the question of undeserved suffering. All this grappling with suffering, he argues, is the means to a greater end: debating and exploring the nature of true wisdom. In his interpretations, Longman presents his own penetrating reflections and gleans rich insights from the vast world of Job commentary. He has a rare, enviable talent for presenting solid scholarship in well-written prose that is eminently understandable and immediately relevant. I highly recommend this volume."

Stephen L. Cook, Catherine N. McBurney Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature, Virginia Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Tremper Longman III

    Tremper Longman III

    Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Westmont College. Before coming to Westmont, he taught at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia for eighteen years. He has served in...

    Continue reading about Tremper Longman III


"[Longman] continue[s] the trend of excellence exhibited in the rest of the series. . . . [This] well-researched and clearly written [volume] offer[s] lucid expositions of Biblical texts based upon solid scholarship. . . . A welcome addition to Wisdom literature. . . . Recommended for large academic and seminary libraries."

Jacqueline Parascandola,

Library Journal

"[Longman's] insights regarding the philology of the Book of Job are useful. . . . Longman's commentary . . . bravely fac[es] the question of how one ought to live boldly when one believes a good God runs the world but sometimes hides his face from us for his own reasons. This commentary is deeply profound and pastoral at certain points, bringing to bear the rich counsel of the book regarding where to find wisdom in the midst of one's suffering."

Michael Collender,

Review of Biblical Literature

"One of the strengths of this volume is the forty-four 'reflective essays' that punctuate the commentary. . . . Besides simply adding some variety to the work, these essays lift the reader out of the minutiae that are necessarily the emphasis of many commentaries and give Longman a chance to situate Joban themes within their larger biblical context. . . . Another strength of the commentary is Longman's judicious discussion of the Hebrew text. . . . Longman does a good job of accounting for his own translation and acknowledging other possibilities. . . . This commentary hits the mark with its intended readership. Ministers and seminary students will find a reliable guide through Job's rich and complex poetry, and the commentary's reflective essays helpfully locate the book's themes within the larger biblical canon."

Andrew R. Davis,

Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"The author's stated hope that this volume would 'stimulate reflection on and passion for this marvelous book' was proven true as I read through these pages during my own study of Job. . . . This volume has much to commend. The binding is strong, the layout is clear, and the type is well-set and pleasant to read. Longman's translation is faithful to the original, with an appropriate amount of linguistic discussion. Both translation and commentary are lucid and well written. . . . The 40+ essays that cover theological implications are a valuable and unique contribution. . . . These essays will be a tremendous help for pastors and teachers to consider the continuing relevance of Job today. . . . Longman has adeptly bridged the technical-expositional divide, successfully producing a work that will be immensely helpful for scholars and pastors."

Brian P. Gault,

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"Longman has produced an important new commentary on one of the most demanding but important books that requires theological and pastoral work from the preacher."

R. Albert Mohler Jr.,

Preaching (Annual Preaching Survey of the Year's Best Books, 2012)

"Since human beings have never adequately resolved the question of innocent suffering, there will always be an interest in a new look at the book of Job. With this particular study, which includes his own translation of the text, Longman completes his impressive four-volume series of commentaries on ancient Israel's Wisdom tradition. . . . The opening phrase of each section identifies the basic content under consideration, thus enabling the reader to focus immediately on its theological message. The commentary is insightful, probing some issues, leaving others unanswered. At the end the reader is left with the same question that so troubled Job: why does an innocent individual suffer? Longman maintains that the answer to that probing question can only be found in profound trust in God."

Dianne Bergant, CSA,

The Bible Today

"[This work] combine[s] interpretive insight with theological acumen to provide the church with invaluable insight into the message(s) of Job and its enduring significance. . . . Longman moves from a fresh, insightful translation of the text under investigation to a clear summary of the unit's content, literary texture, meaning, and theological implications. In so doing, he offers a rich, holistic reading of Job that combines grammatical, historical, literary, and rhetorical concerns with inter-textual, intra-textual, and theological reflections. . . . [This commentary] provide[s] seminary students, ministers, and those within the academy with an invaluable resource. . . . A useful theological commentary on Job."

Christopher B. Ansberry,


"[This book] contains a helpful introduction which summaries [Longman's] understanding of the book as a whole and how it works. This is especially helpful as most preaching of this book will take large portions together."

Ray Van Neste,


"The book is a desirable model of clear organization, not always a feature of Bible commentaries. . . . Forty-four reflective essays throughout the commentary expand Longman's treatment on particular theological difficulties that arise through the Job dialogue. . . . For their range of address, the insights they provide, and the message they convey, Longman's . . . essays surely lend as much value to the book as do the speech-by-speech commentaries. . . . Some scholars hold, with Longman, that Job offers no general explanation for innocent suffering. The book, he knows, is about wisdom, not theodicy. But even the many laypeople and few scholars who disagree may read, with much intellectual and spiritual profit, Longman's insightful treatment of one of Scripture's most challenging and meaningful texts."

Lael O. Ceasar,

Bulletin for Biblical Research

"One of the most instructive aspects of the commentary is the assessment of genre and the influence this has in the interpretation of the whole book. . . . Longman has provided us with a refreshing analysis of the composition of Job in both translation and theological thought. . . . The various analogies from ancient Near Eastern background will prove very informative. The commentary is remarkably succinct in dealing with the complex philological and literary questions of Job, avoiding distracting detail, but thorough enough that it will be one of the most valuable resources a pastor can have in grappling with the message of this profound work."

August H. Konkel,

Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament

"With his usual attention to detail, expertise in the language, and skill in application, Tremper Longman has contributed another excellent volume to the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament. . . . There is much to commend in this volume. Longman asserts that the work is intended for ministers and seminary students and retains the focus throughout. The book is logically arranged and carefully researched as evidenced by the detailed footnotes and comprehensive bibliography. . . . Perhaps the greatest strength of this work is the demonstration throughout the commentary of how the book of Job is relevant today. . . . [Longman] consistently demonstrates that wisdom belongs to and comes from the Lord. . . . Thus, perhaps the contribution that the book of Job makes to theodicy may well be that wisdom is found in trusting in the Lord even in unexplained (or unexplainable) suffering."

Deron J. Biles,

Southwestern Journal of Theology

"Longman . . . is well known for his uncommon insight into the Old Testament. . . . [Job is] not merely concerned with specialized matters, but in understanding the book's message. . . . 44 'Reflective Essays' . . . [are] spread throughout the commentary. . . . Longman uses these 'reflections' as a means to make the story of Job meaningful, emphatic, powerful-personal. The exegetical section largely focuses on technical details, as we might expect. Longman places particular emphasis on word meanings . . . and the role they play in the story. Yet, to no less degree does Longman continue to emphasize the message of the text, weaving his interpretation together as he explains how the exegetical details feed the theological themes in Job."

Matthew Miller,'s Academic Blog