Steven L. McKenzie is Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) and an M.Div. from Abilene Christian University and the Th.D. from Harvard University.. He is currently president of the board of governors of the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the University of Memphis. In recent years, the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles have seen an enormous number of commentaries written on a biblical book that has far too often neglected both by commentators as well as by those in congregational ministry. The last decade has given us a spate of commentaries such as those by Martin Selman, William Johnstone, Richard Pratt, J. A. Thompson, Gerald Knoppers, and Andrew Hill. McKenzie writes a worthy volume that is both useful and enlightening, howbeit shorter than these.
According to the forward, the Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries Series "are designed and written to provide compact, critical commentaries on the books of the Old Testament for the use of theological students and pastors." They are also targeted to the upper-level college or university students and to those responsible for teaching in congregational settings. After the forty-page introduction in which McKenzie discusses the standard issues of, contents, canonicity, authorship and other matters of introduction, he goes on to give over 300 pages to the text of 1 and 2 Chronicles. Each section is broken down into three subsections (literary analysis, exegetical analysis, and theological analysis). McKenzie interacts with the standard commentaries of Japhet, Braun, Dillard, Knoppers, Myers, and Williamson. Although the commentary is based upon the New Revised Standard Version, McKenzie has many useful notes on linguistical matters, but writes in such a way that even a non-specialist can follow his arguments. All Hebrew is transliterated so that the discussion may be followed by a non-specialist. He has a fairly detailed discussion of the issue of David's census and its parallel in 2 Samuel. McKenzie's treatment is a good mid-level between the large multi-volume works of Johnstone, Knoppers, Braun, and Dillard and shorter single-volume works like those of McConville and Tuell.
McKenzie has done a remarkable job in giving the reader a great deal of information in such a compact single-volume format. It admirably serves its purpose of giving the theological student and ministers a good compact study which summarizes and synthesizes the work of other scholars. It is a good "first-stop" commentary for anyone interested in these oft-neglected books. It is highly recommended. -- Kevin W. Woodruff, Assistant Professor of Greek and Bible, Tennessee Temple University/Temple Baptist Seminary, Chattanooga, Tennessee