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An Exegetical Commentary

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"Hamilton's commentary on Exodus contains his own unique, detailed, and constructive translation and interpretations of the texts of Exodus fueled by a wide-ranging dialogue with a wealth of previous scholarship. A rich feast of theologically fruitful insights."--Dennis Olson, Princeton Theological Seminary
Victor Hamilton, a highly regarded Old Testament scholar with over thirty years' experience in the classroom, offers a comprehensive exegesis of the book of Exodus. Written in a clear and accessible style, this major, up-to-date, evangelical, exegetical commentary opens up the riches of the book of Exodus. Hamilton relates Exodus to the rest of Scripture and includes his own translation of the text. This commentary will be valued by professors and students of the Old Testament as well as pastors.
I. Oppression in Egypt (1:1-6:1)
II. Liberation from Egypt (6:2-15:21)
III. Testing Time in the Wilderness (15:22-18:27)
IV. Covenant and Law at Sinai (19:1-24:18)
V. How to Build the Tabernacle (25:1-31:18)
VI. The Gold Calf and Covenant Renewal (32:1-34:35)
VII. Tabernacle Built, God's Glory Fills (35:1-40:38)


"Victor Hamilton's commentary on Exodus contains his own unique, detailed, and constructive translation and interpretations of the texts of Exodus fueled by a wide-ranging dialogue with a wealth of previous scholarship on the book. For Hamilton, Exodus is about the full range of God's relationship with God's people--everything from liberation and covenant making to rebellion and restoration--with the ultimate goal of God's dwelling in the midst of God's people, Israel. All along the way, Hamilton expertly guides readers into the ways in which the book of Exodus intersects with other Old Testament and New Testament texts, offering a rich feast of theologically fruitful insights."

Dennis Olson, Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

"Hamilton offers a clear and concise commentary on the book of Exodus. Perhaps even more important than his interaction with the latest scholarship, he answers the questions that people actually ask when they read the text. While his treatment of alternative viewpoints is always fair, he offers his own mature reflection on each passage with clarity and wit. This is a very fine commentary."

Daniel I. Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College

"Expansive in its coverage, expertly attentive to the Hebrew text, wise in its judgments, and written in a straightforward style, Hamilton's commentary makes sometimes-difficult material accessible and richly rewarding to a variety of readers. The English-speaking world enjoys several good commentaries on Exodus, and this one will rightly take its place among 'best in class.'"

V. Philips Long, professor of Old Testament, Regent College

"Victor Hamilton has produced an excellent commentary on the book of Exodus. It is clearly written as a useful reference for teachers, pastors, and students of the Bible. He provides his own translation and grammatical notes for each section, followed by an extended commentary that draws deeply on the best sources of a rich interpretive tradition. Evangelicals will find his references to related New Testament texts as well as contemporary comparisons to be helpful resources for teaching. This commentary is a valuable addition for anyone seeking to understand the foundational story of the emerging people of God in Scripture."

James K. Bruckner, professor of Old Testament, North Park Theological Seminary

"Victor Hamilton has given to us a full discussion of the archaeological backgrounds, alternative views, and the meaning of the book of Exodus. Students of the Word will be especially helped by his interpretation of the Decalogue and his grammatical and lexical notes on each section of the book of Exodus. This commentary will make a fine contribution to the growing number of excellent works on Exodus."

Walter C. Kaiser Jr., president emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"In an engaging style, Hamilton provides an interpretation of the text that is hermeneutically and theologically sound as well as nuanced. Though he has interacted with the best scholarship on Exodus and the ancient Near East, his explanation of the meaning of the text is consistently accessible. This is a valuable resource for students and pastors or anyone who wants to better understand this important book from a well-grounded, evangelical perspective."

Peter T. Vogt, professor of Old Testament, Bethel Seminary

The Author

  1. Victor P. Hamilton

    Victor P. Hamilton

    Victor P. Hamilton (PhD, Brandeis University), now retired, was professor of Bible and theology at Asbury University for more than thirty-five years. He is the author of Handbook on the Pentateuch and Handbook on the Historical Books and has...

    Continue reading about Victor P. Hamilton


"A thorough linguistic, literary, and theological reading of the book of Exodus. . . . [Hamilton] offers a well-researched and well documented commentary that will find its place within the academy, but he also has produced a work that pastors will find helpful for preparing sermons and lessons on the book of Exodus. As such, Hamilton's Exodus represents evangelical scholarship at its best: aware of historical-critical issues and informed by linguistic matters but equally committed to reflecting deeply on the meaning of the Bible for contemporary communities of faith. . . . Hamilton should be commended for his writing style. He includes a wealth of information but writes clearly and uses as little scholarly jargon as possible. He also takes time to provide illustrations to help modern readers understand the nuances within the text. This makes his work accessible even to readers without a working knowledge of Hebrew or the intricacies of recent hermeneutical debates. . . . Hamilton offers a mature and balanced reading of the book of Exodus. His work contains the exegetical insights from a lifetime of work in the Scriptures. His strength is in linguistic and lexical matters, but he offers a compelling and detailed study of the book of Exodus that will prove especially helpful for students, pastors, and scholars who appreciate an exposition of Scripture rooted in a close and careful reading of the Hebrew text with an eye to its ongoing relevance to the church today. There is much to be learned about the book of Exodus and careful biblical exegesis from Hamilton's Exodus."

Brian D. Russell,

Review of Biblical Literature

"A substantial commentary on the second book of the Bible. Hamilton . . . offers a work that is exegetical and theological. The book bears all the fruit of decades of study invested in the book of Exodus."

R. Albert Mohler Jr.,


"Hamilton's translation is careful and often preserves idiomatic expressions. 'Grammatical and Lexical Notes' [is] a treasure trove of detailed exegetical observations. . . . The 'Commentary' section proceeds verse by verse and offers wit, spiritual sensitivity, and careful interpretation. . . . [Hamilton's] awareness of scholarship, ancient Near Eastern parallels, and of Hebrew vocabulary and syntax . . . makes his work truly informative to read. . . . Hamilton has produced an informed and disciplined commentary on the book of Exodus that emphasizes the historical and linguistic contexts of the ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible, and for these reasons, I recommend it."

John C. Crutchfield,

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"Hamilton's commentary on Exodus is a solid, valuable work of exegesis and theological reflection by a mature scholar that will prove accessible to scholars, pastors, and students. It is well-informed and fair to various points of view. It should therefore find a place in both theological libraries as well as the libraries of pastors and teachers who need a helpful resource for preaching or teaching the book of Exodus."

Joe M. Sprinkle,

Bulletin for Biblical Research

"Imagine a series of portraits constituting the narratives and legal texts of the book of Exodus. Now imagine a commentator leading a tour party through relaxed perusal of each portrait in turn, with a keen eye for detail and resonance with other such renderings, and an occasional warm comment on how such portraits illuminate the life of faith many centuries later. And there you have Victor P. Hamilton's Exodus. . . . Hamilton offers his own translation amidst a wealth of lexical and grammatical data and--his particular penchant it seems--copious cross-referencing to other occurrences of words, phrases, or events. . . . This is a commentary that would serve admirably any student of the text needing clarification of the Hebrew or studies of any words or constructions found therein. . . . An unusually readable commentary."

Richard Briggs,

Expository Times

"Provides close exposition and textual notes with some discussion of NT connection."

Ray Van Neste,


"[Hamilton's] commentary is focused, lucid, engages with the ancient backgrounds of Exodus (as one would expect), and exhibits theological sensitivity and insight. . . . The strengths of the commentary are Hamilton's streamlined, straightforward explanation of each periscope, his deft consideration of connections with the rest of the Old and New Testament canon, his interaction with a wide variety of scholars, and his well-known expertise in ANE parallels and social backgrounds. . . . Pastors and teachers in the church will find this to be an excellent resource. The textual analysis is marked by clear explanation and vivid illustrations. The commentary is thoroughly evangelical and Hamilton takes seriously the Bibles historicity and authority. This work takes its place among the best semi-technical commentaries on the book of Exodus. . . . Hamilton's commentary is a solid contribution that gets right to the meaning of the text and points the way toward insightful application."

Eric J. Tully,

Trinity Journal

"[A] challenging yet accessible commentary. . . . As well as interaction with a range of scholarship on the book, Exodus offers great scope for ministerial application, as Hamilton frequently provides explicitly Christian reflection on individual passages. Hamilton is to be commended for his extensive attention to HB and NT parallels as well as his honesty about those parts of this complex book that still remain unclear to him. Scholars and students will be challenged to look at Exodus afresh, while ministers and Bible study groups will find in Hamilton a clear and helpful companion."

Penelope Barter,

Religious Studies Review

"The strength of the commentary is the interpretation of individual units. . . . The commentary tends to interpret individual verses rather than larger literary units, and thus keeps the focus on the meaning of individual words and motifs. . . . The focus on words and specific stories . . . provides a rich resource for preaching and teaching."

Thomas B. Dozeman,


"Hamilton is a brilliant OT scholar. That is clear from his long and influential teaching career and his prior writings. And there is no question that there are many truly impressive insights in his new Exodus commentary. Moreover, he provides novel translation suggestions and comments, as well as novel grammatical and/or lexical observations at many points that I find both well considered and stimulating. Not only so, but he has produced a lengthy and well-written commentary that is a pleasure to read. . . . He obviously loves the book of Exodus, seeks assiduously to bring out its message as he understands it, and takes very seriously its identity as the very word of the only true and living God. No reader of his commentary can doubt that he has spent endless hours with the text, thinking it through and seeking to understand every part of it. The commentary is also nicely laid out. . . . I am . . . delighted to own it, intend to consult it often, and am pleased to recommend it to scholars, students, and pastors whose Hebrew is strong and whose exegetical skills are active."

Douglas Stuart,

Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament

"This is a best buy for pastors looking for a commentary on Exodus."

John F. Brug,

Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly

"When approaching each section of the text, Hamilton provides his own translation, which contributes greatly to the value of the commentary. The author's skill in the Hebrew language (as well as its cognates) is unquestioned. . . . The translation is readable, helpful, and reliable, and the author is to be commended. Furthermore, the grammatical and lexical notes reveal an author that is highly skilled in all elements of Hebrew grammar and philology. He successfully interacts with the ancient translations and demonstrates his broad knowledge of the Hebrew Bible as a whole. Hamilton also contributes much in his running commentary on the text. Not only does he show proficiency in those areas that are expected of tradition exegetical commentaries (such as interaction with historical, geographical, and Ancient Near Eastern matters), but he also shows that he has thought well about the poetics of biblical narrative, which is a more modern field of study."

Randall L. McKinion,

Southeastern Theological Review

"The value of reading works by Victor Hamilton is his skill at making the complex practical and understandable. In this commentary on the book of Exodus, Hamilton has once again carefully and adeptly addressed the text with clarity and precision and produced a volume that is of value for the church as well as the academy. . . . He has accomplished that with relevant interaction with current scholarship and practical application for the church. While the scholarship of the text will make it useful, its very readable style and functional organization make it attractive. . . . One of the strengths of the work is the frequent drawing of connections to the rest of Scripture. . . . Hamilton demonstrates excellent interaction with the Hebrew in both the notes and commentary sections of the work. He interacts well on most of the critical positions within the book presenting all sides fairly, but offering compelling evidence for the positions he espouses. . . . His unique style and insights will challenge students and pastors as they engage the text of Scripture. Those hungry for a fresh approach to the central story of the Exodus will not leave unsatisfied. It will not gather dust on anyone's bookshelf."

Deron J. Biles,

Southwestern Journal of Theology