This is a delightful commentary that covers the first 25 chapters of Jeremiah. Considering the unique background of its development, I am happy to be able to say that.
Peter C. Craigie was commissioned to write the WBC Jeremiah commentary. He had written the introduction and finished the commentary up to Chapter 8, verse 3 when he died in a car accident. The WBC editors then commissioned two other OT scholars to finish this volume: Page H. Kelly covered from Chapter 8, verse 4 to the end of Chapter 16, and Joel F. Drinkard finished the volume.
The resulting commentary is excellent and surprisingly consistent. I knew Craigie's part would be good because I had read his NICOT commentary on Deuteronomy and found that to be superb. After I finished Craigie's part, I continued to read where Kelley took over, and not having read anything by him, didn't know what to expect. However, I found it to be a smooth transition: Kelley was as good as Craigie! The same thing occurred when I moved into Chapter 17, where Drinkard took over; another smooth transition and continuing excellent commentary! The three authors and WBC editors did a superb job of producing a high-quality volume under complex conditions.
The preface states that the WBC's "layout, in clearly defined sections, has been consciously devised to assist readers at different levels." For each Biblical passage (usually from a couple to a dozen verses), there is a bibliography, the author's own translation, notes on the Hebrew text, a form/structure/setting section, a comment section, and an explanation. When properly done, this format works quite well, and Craigie, Kelley, and Drinkard all used the format exceptionally well.
The form/structure/setting section provides the technical organization of the passage, the comment section supplies the verse-by-verse exposition, and the explanation gives a summary or popular exposition of the passage. You can say that the form/structure/setting section is the leaves, the comment section is the trees, and the explanation is the forest--together they fully explain the passage.
I like the theological insights in a technical commentary such as the WBC and this volume on Jeremiah provided many. Following are three examples.
Craigie on child-sacrifice in ancient times: "And if we are horrified by the thought of child-sacrifice in the Valley of Hinnom, we need to ask whether it is so fundamentally different, in the taking of young life, from some of the casual forms of abortion that characterize many sectors of modern society." (p. 128).
Kelley on true greatness: "What is the measure of true greatness? The world today honors its scholars, especially those in the scientific field, its soldiers, its wealthy aristocrats, and its entertainers. Jeremiah regarded Israel's fascination with wisdom, power, and wealth as ludicrous and idolatrous. . . . The godly values--love, justice, and righteousness--put the values of wisdom, power, and riches into proper perspective." (p. 154).
Kelley on the sorrow of God: "This passage [Jer. 12:7-17] gives us a rare glimpse into the consternation and anguish that evil causes God. The anguish is especially acute for Him when His own people are responsible for it. . . . It is amazing to think that evil can cause God the same anguish that it causes man." (p. 185f.).
Although all WBC volumes are not equal in quality, I really like the WBC Series as a whole and the ones that I have read were excellent (Genesis by Wenham; Exodus by Durham; 1 Chronicles by Braun; 2 Chronicles by Dillard). Reading this commentary gave me a greater appreciation of Jeremiah and his ministry and a deeper love for God--time and money well spent.