A Look at Books

H. C. Leupold: EXPOSITION OF ISAIAH, Vol. I, 598 pp. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1968.

All the commentaries of Leupold, well-known professor and authority on the Old Testament are familiar to pastors, teachers and Bible study groups in this country. Now in addition to materials on Genesis, the Psalms and a few of the prophets, we are presented with this large volume which deals with the first section of Isaiah (ch. 1 through 39). Although evidencing careful scholarship, this book according to the writer’s own testimony is “a practical commentary that stresses the abiding values of this rich prophetic work.”

The positions taken arc conservative throughout. The Introduction helps us to focus on the turbulent period of Biblical and world history in which Isaiah, the son of Amoz, delivered his messages from God to his people. Helpful, indeed, is the section on “the theology of Isaiah” as reflected in these chapters, since it prepares the student for several of the outstanding themes which are dealt with. The materials are carefully outlined, and the relationships of the several distinct parts to each other arc set forth clearly. For a verse-by-verse commentary this book can be highly recommended. The student who uses it will find his understanding and appreciation of this Old Testament book immeasurably enriched. We eagerly look forward to the second volume which will deal with the last chapters (40 through 66) of Isaiah who has been recognized by the church throughout the ages as “the evangelist of the Old Testament.”


Herman Hoeksema: BEHOLD, HE COMETH! 726 pp. Grand Rapids: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1969.

In our day when the very foundations of the social, ecclesiastical and political orders are being shaken, God’s people should turn time and again to the book of Revelation. Here the Lord Jesus Christ has provided inexhaustible insight and strength for those who love him and look for his appearing in the cataclysmic events of our time. And no one has the right to say that he can’t grasp its message, when so many helpful commentaries are easily available. This last work by the late Rev. H. Hoeksema is one of these which deserves careful reading and reflection by all who seek a deeper understanding of the Scripture.

This volume is a verse-by-verse commentary on the entire book. With painstaking care and in simple, lucid language the author -a preacher and teacher of high repute—explains the message of the glorious and victorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This theme underlies and unites all the visions received by John on the isle of Patmos. The method followed is best explained by the writer himself,

As to the proper method of interpretation, we would rather let the text speak for itself and let it become apparent from our interpretation which method we prefer, instead of announcing such a method beforehand. Several methods have been applied; and the weakness of them all is exactly that they are methods, and that they often have been applied too stringently, so that the contents of the Book of Revelation were forced into their scheme…. What must be considered the correct method of interpretation must be determined by the contents of the book itself, however;…

And with this approach to all of Scripture as well as to the last book which it contains we can only wholeheartedly agree.

Since the writer carefully holds himself to his method, his work can be heartily recommended. Judiciously, and yet with unusual clarity of argumentation and expression, he states his interpretation. Since this material was first presented in a series of sermons and thereafter in articles, its appeal is to the general church public. Time and again there are appropriate homiletical applications which reveal that the writer thought of himself as first and foremost a pastor of the people of God. Thus the message is frequently related to trends in world history which are becoming increasingly manifest in the years wherein we are now living. All this and much else makes this book a “must” for those who desire to taste the rich and rewarding consolations which our Savior-King has provided for us in the book of Revelation. And for those who are cost-conscious in these days of spiraling inflation which has also sent the price of books soaring, a pleasant surprise is in store. The cost is less than ten dollars, barely a penny and a third for each page filled with so much spiritual instruction and inspiration.


C. Th. Rothuizen: LANDSCHAP (een bundel gedachten over de Psalmen) Kampen; J. H. Kok, 1968.

This is the third volume on the Psalms written by one of the Dutch professors. As indicated on the title page it presents his reflections on Psalms 101 through 150. The reader should not expect to find here a verse-by-verse commentary; rather, a series of meditation s or “thoughts” on the central message of these inspired songs which have been preserved for our instruction, encouragement and correction in the faith which is according to godliness. Carefully the author interprets the message for the days in which the psalm was first sung as well as for our times, not hesitating to differ from recognized scholars when he believes they have not done full justice to living faith herein expressed.

For all who can use the Dutch language this volume can be heartily recommended. One does not always have to agree with what is here written, in order to be spiritually enriched. Here is devotional material of a high order.