A Commentary on the Psalms Vol. 3 (90-150) by Allen P. Ross
Anyone who undertakes a commentary series on the Psalms, much less a three volume series on the Psalms should be commended. Allen P. Ross, Professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School has accomplished such a feat, with an admirable amount of focus, vision, and challenge to his readers. This third volume by Kregel Academic focuses on Psalms 90-150. Each psalms begins with an introduction, a section on composition, exegetical analysis, expository commentary, message and applications. The value of this kind of commentary comes in the painstaking exegetical analysis of the Hebrew text and in seeking out each psalm’s main theme.
Ross weaves together insights from other scholars as well as his own interpretation, which comes to the foreground in his analysis of Psalm 103:4b. Ross writes, “The psalmist now declares that God crowns the believers with loyal love and tender compassion. By using “who crowns you”, the psalmist is signifying how God honors his people-he makes them feel like kings, as Anderson paraphrases it (p.713) (234).” Ross goes onto indicate that these attributes of love and compassion were imparted to humans in creation, yet restored in redemption. What is helpful in Ross’ analysis is the pictures that he draws out from the words of the psalmists, and understanding one as kingly is just one of these examples.
In describing the blessings that flow from God to believers in the context of Psalm 112, Ross gives us a healthy dose of realism by stating, “In describing the blessings, however, the psalmist gives some hints that they are not necessarily immediate or untroubled. The psalmist lives in darkness and needs light; he has enemies and needs victory, he hears reports of disaster and must remain steadfast (383).” The blessings of God are not like a coke dispensing machine or a Pez dispenser that immediately pops out one’s favorite drink or candy at the push of a button. No, there is often waiting involved with blessing, and sometimes the blessing is in knowing that you lived a righteous and just life for others. Ross carefully gives us insight that even when blessings are given, “they are obligations for the righteous (383).”
No doubt this is a hefty tome to read through, but it is worth reading to grasp the beauty and wisdom of the last part of the Psalter.
hanks to Kregel Academic for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.