I am becoming a fan of this commentary series. For Hosea we have over 230 pages of technical information well organized for busy pastors, scholars and bible teachers. Let me illustrate what I mean.
Hosea has 14 chapters. He deals with them one at a time. For chapter 12 he starts on page 205 and finishes on 218. So there are 14 pages on this one chapter. But what I like about this commentary is not the volume of information he provides, but the way it is laid out. The material flows along the logical pathway of the exegetical process.
He gives a bibliography related to chapter 12. He gives the text in the left column along with language and textual comments like...
12:1 the inverted sentence order alone with Judah placed first next to the statement about Ephraim in v 1a requires an adversative interpretation. He then talks about how the various original texts handle this and how this is impacted by different variants. He works through significant language and textual variant issues to establish the correct text before he develops any other concepts.
He deals with the key word (treachery) giving translations of any Hebrew or Greek text as he gives the original quotes-and they are in the original language fonts which I personally prefer). The section dealing with the language structure he calls form. So by the time he begins his interpretation section he has already given 4 pages of technical information to help establish the text and it's correct form.
He gives a 'Setting' which concludes that this chapter was probably proclaimed in the Judean border near Bethel or gilgal.
The next section in the commentary is Interpretation: This covers pgs 209-216 with references to many significant Hebrew terms throughout.
Here he deals with the plain in situ meaning of the text. He works through what Hosea is saying in this chapter, bit by bit.
After several crucial pages of information on the meaning of the text in his Interpretation section.
Then he opens up his final section 'Aim'.
In this he explores ideas that Hosea is retelling the Jacob story in some way, but he makes no application to comtemporary life. For a pastor who is developing a sermon on Hosea, this commentary will provide no bridge material to connect with people today. He doesn't draw any links to the NT community of believers. So the entire exercise has a very technical, academic feel to it.
Therefore, I do not recommend this commentary for those who are untrained in how to develop applications from the text. Those looking for inspiration in a commentary will not find the spiritual fire that some commentators provide. But for raw technical information on the text of Hosea, this one is a gold mine.
I recommend this as a textual guide for anyone doing raw exegetical work, during the phases where you are examining the text, it's correct form and clear meaning in the original tongue. Beyond that, it doesn't help. (I used the 1974 edition). I don't think the series was aiming to provide application material, so that is not necessary a negative point, just a fact of this series.
So for what it offers up, I give this commentary a five star.