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Book Reviews > Old Testament > The Wisdom and the Folly: An Exposition of the Book of First Kings

Ray VanNeste

Ray VanNeste
Director of the RC Ryan Center for Biblical Studies and Assistant Professor of Christian Studies

The Wisdom and the Folly: An Exposition of the Book of First Kings
Dale Ralph Davis
Details: 2002, Christian Focus Publications, Amazon.comISBN: 1857927036
Posted: November 1, 2002


Dr. Ralph Davis, Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS, has provided yet another fine exposition of an Old Testament book (he has previously published expositions of Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel with the same publisher). Davis describes his work in this way: ‘As with my previous commentaries, I seek to grasp the theological nerve of the text and cast it in expository form, without being allergic to application’ (p.7). It is apparent that Davis is well informed in the scholarly discussion of First Kings, but his purpose is not to display his learning. Rather, based on a full awareness of the issues in the text, he seeks to expound the text properly incorporating some illustrations and application. In this way Davis provides a model for preaching from First Kings- a task which often appears quite daunting. On the one hand he does not get bogged down in details failing to get to what God is saying in the text and what we are to do about it. On the other hand he shows that carefully reading of the text is necessary in order to actually grasp what God is saying rather than reading in whatever we want to find. I especially appreciated his sensitivity to structure and flow of thought as well as his careful connections across the covenants.

I think pastors will find this volume very helpful in the task of preaching (as I have). As always, one should read more than one commentary in sermon preparation. So pick a more technical one to get at some more details and then read this one for help in pulling it all together within a sound theological framework and a heart for God and His people.