See also individual commentaries on the Pentateuch:
Order of Contents 40+ total
The Best Commentaries 7
More Commentaries 16+
The Early Church 1
Jewish Commentaries 3
On the Pentateuch in General 2
Christ in the Pentateuch 2
Expositions of the 10 Commandments
The Judicial Laws
The Ceremonial Laws
Authenticity of the Pentateuch 13+
In Latin 1
The Best Commentaries on the Whole Pentateuch
God Spake by Moses: an Exposition of the Pentateuch Buy 1951 159 pp.
Allis (1880-1973) was one of the great, early Westminster Seminary scholars.
‘The Five Books of Moses’ in The Biblical Expositor: The Living Theme of the Great Book with General and Introductory Essays and Exposition, vol. 1 Buy ed. Carl Henry 1960
This little known commentary set by leading evangelicals (many of which were reformed) is brief (think airplane view) but helpful.
De Graaf, S.G. – Promise and Deliverance, vol. 1 (From Creation to the Conquest)
“De Graaf studies the Old Testament with an eye on the covenant and the kingdom of God. The book is written in an easy-to-undrstand style.” – Tremper Longman III, 4 out of 5 stars
Ainsworth, Henry – Annotations upon the Five Books of Moses, the Book of the Psalms, and Song of Songs, or, Canticles, vols. 1, 2 d. 1622, vol. 1 goes up through Num. 11
*** ‘Thoroughly learned. Though old, not out of date.’ – Spurgeon
‘Ainsworth was a celebrated scholar and an excellent divine. His uncommon skill in Hebrew learning, and his excellent commentaries on the Scripture are held in high reputation to this day.’ – Benjamin Brook, ‘Lives of the Puritans’
Bush was a Biblical scholar, a professor of oriental literature in New York City University, and initially a presbyterian minister.
On Genesis: ** – ‘Bush has in the most barefaced manner taken copious verbatim extracts from Andrew Fuller, without acknowledgement, and he has also plagiarized Lawson on Joseph by wholesale, without even mentioning his name. For such a scholar to be guilty of wholesale plunder is inexcusable. It is one of the worst cases of robbery we have ever met with, and deserves a far stronger denunciation than our gentle pen and slender space will permit.’ – Spurgeon
On Exodus: ** – ‘Of considerable value. We do not know that it is a plagiarism.’
On Leviticus: *** – ‘The author read extensively to produce this volume. In his later years he became a Swedenborgian, but there is no trace of that leaning in this or his other comments. He inserts the notes of the Pictorial Bible, but handsomely acknowledges them.’
On Numbers: *** – ‘Although Bush is indebted to many authors, he is by no means a mere collector; his remarks repay you for consultation, and we hope that in this case they are his own.’
Wright, Abraham – A Practical Commentary or Exposition upon the Pentateuch 1662
** – ‘An extremely rare old book. The style and matter are after the manner of Christopher Ness [see here]. Wright [1611-1690] does not comment upon every verse, but after indicating the run of the chapter gives little sermons upon the more salient points. He is very quaint and pithy.’ – Spurgeon
Keil – Commentary on the Pentateuch
** “A work for the learned. It has received the highest commendations from competent scholars. But it is somewhat dull and formal.” – Spurgeon
More Commentaries on the Pentateuch
Simple, Devotional & Practical
Anonymous- Bible Teachings; or Remarks on Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus 1855 Preface by William B. MacKenzie
** “This book was written by the Three Misses Bird, of Taplow. The remarks are very plain and practical, and a spirit of earnest piety and fervent prayer pervades them throughout.” – Spurgeon
** “See remarks under each separate volume [below]” – Spurgeon
Erdman, Charles – The Pentateuch, a Concise Commentary Buy 1950
Erdman was a conservative liberal, who is known for his opposition to J. Gresham Machen at old Princeton Seminary.
‘A concise commentary incorporating the writer’s previous works on the Pentateuch published between 1949 and 1953. Contains good preaching values.’ – Cyril J. Barber
Meyer, F.B. – The Five Books of Moses: a Devotional Commentary on Each Chapter Buy 1955 189 pp. Includes homiletical outlines
Babington, Gervase – Certain Plain, Brief and Comfortable Notes upon the 5 Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy also in Works, d. 1610
* “Our copy is in the old Black Letter. It contains little to repay the student for toiling through the old-fashioned expressions.” – Spurgeon
Jackson (1593-1666) was a reformed puritan.
‘…which appear to have been the result of his pulpit expositions to his people. Valuable his works would be if there were no better, but they are not comparable to others already and afterwards mentioned. You can do without him, but he is a reputable author.’ – Spurgeon
Gerlach, Otto von – Commentary on the Pentateuch 1860
** “Very different from other German authors. Plain, clear, and instructive. Not choked up with metaphysical bewilderments and long lists of skeptical authors whose names defile the pages which bear them.” – Spurgeon
Kidder, Richard – Commentary on the First Five Books of Moses, vol. 1 (Gen.-Ex.), 2 (Lev.-Dt.)
Kidder (1634-1703) was an Anglican.
Townsend, George – The Pentateuch and the Book of Job, arranged in Chronological Order, with Prayers and Notes, vol. 1, 2 1849
Townsend (1788–1857) was an English priest.
* “A singular combination of family prayers, essays and notes, by an able but singular writer.” – Spurgeon
Barrett, R.A.F. – A Synopsis of Criticisms upon those passages of the Old Testament in which modern commentators have differed from the Authorized Version, vol. 1, pt. 1 (Gen-Lev 6), pt. 2 (Lev 6-Deut), vol. 2, pt. 1 (Josh-2 Sam 3), pt. 2 (2 Sam 3-2 Kings), vol. 3 pt. 1 (Chron-Esth) 1847
The work is mainly involved with textual criticism, but also contains commentary. We generally do not recommend the distinctive readings of the critical texts, which this work is mainly about.
** “The object of this work is to lay before the reader the principal alterations which modern critics have proposed in the Authorized Version, together with the reasons for or against such emendations. Many of the notes are in Latin. Of small use to the average minister.” – Spurgeon
Brightwell, Thomas – Notes Selected from the Exegetical Parts of Rosenmuller’s Scholia, and of Dathe’s Notes to his Latin Version, also from Schrank, Michaelis, Le Clerc, Ainsworth, Poole, and other Authors 1840
** “This writer worked very industriously at the almost impossible task of condensing the twenty-eight volumes of Rosenmuller’s Notes. Besides the remarks from authors mentioned in the text, there are observations from the manuscripts of Joseph Kinghorn, of Norwich. It is not a didactic or spiritual work, but almost entirely explanatory and illustrative.” – Spurgeon
Kalisch, M.M. – Historical and Critical Commentary on the Old Testament, with a New Translation, vol. 1 (Gen), 2 (Ex), 3 (Lev 1-10), 4 (Lev 11-27) 1858
** “Contains a large amount of historical illustration, shedding new light upon the letter of the Word. The author has used the fresh information which has come to us from the Euphrates and the Nile. At the same time he sows skepticisms broadcast, and we cannot recommend him.” – Spurgeon
The Laws of Moses in the Pentateuch
* “However much of learning there may be here, we are not prepared to recommend a work which treats so sacred a subject with levity and coarseness.” – Spurgeon
The Early Church on the Pentateuch
Parker, Jr., Samuel – Bibliotheca Biblica; being a Commentary Gathered out of the Writings of Fathers and Ecclesiastical Historians, etc., vol. 1, pt 2 (Gn 25-50), 2 (Ex), 3 (Lv), 4 (Nm), 5 (Dt) 1720
* “Darling says, that this is ‘a commentary of profound learning and research;’ but it seems to us to be mainly filled with that archaic learning which is now out of date.” – Spurgeon
Jewish Commentaries on the Pentateuch
Hertz, J.H – The Pentateuch and Haftorahs: Hebrew Text English Translation and Commentary Buy 1st ed. 1937
This is a standard, conservative Jewish commentary found in many synagogues, by the influential English, Rabbi Hertz (1872–1946). Every Christian should love the books of Moses, and everything in them. This cheaply priced, but sturdy, commentary will greatly help you toward that end.
The alternate translation readings of the Hebrew are helpful. ‘Haftorahs’ are selected readings from the prophets and other O.T. writings used in the liturgy of the synagogue. The commentary brings out many textual insights in the Biblical narratives that will be profitable to all who treasure the Word of God.
Read the commentary on Dt. 18:18, about the coming prophet that will be greater than Moses, Num. 19 on the sacrifice of the Red Heifer and Num. 21 on the brazen serpent and see the greatest wisdom of the Rabbis admit ignorance on what these mysteries in the Torah mean, though every babe in Christ will readily discern of whom they speak. See the wooden, carnal exegesis of the ceremonial laws and the sterile, short-sighted, nationalist interpretation of the prophets, and your eyes will be opened and greatly confirmed in the faith of our Jewish Savior and the true spirituality of the Torah and the prophets.
A Historic Jewish Commentary
Etheridge, J.W. – The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel on the Pentateuch, with the Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum, vol. 1 (Gn-Ex), vol. 2 (Lv-Dt) 1865
A targum was an Aramaic translation of, and commentary on, the Hebrew scriptures.
* “Comparatively few of our readers will set much store by the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel; but those who desire to read it will find here a good literal version.” – Spurgeon
More Jewish Commentaries
Delgado, Isaac – A New English Translation of the Pentateuch… with a Comment… Buy 1789
* “The author modestly says, that his work is ‘highly useful’. This is another instance of paternal partiality, and of ‘great cry and little wool’.” – Spurgeon
On the Pentateuch in General
Hengstenberg, E.W. – Egypt and the Books of Moses; or the Books of Moses Illustrated by the Monuments of Egypt 1845
** “Dr. Hengstenberg, as Professor at Berlin, had access to the rich collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Museum, and he has made noble use of his advantages.” – Spurgeon
Saurin, Jauques – Dissertations on the Most Memorable Events of the Bible, vol. 1: The Books of Moses d. 1730 This is all that was ever published of the series.
Saurin (1677-1730) was a French preacher.
* “More eloquent than accurate. Florid rather than solid.” – Spurgeon
Christ in the Pentateuch
Law was an evangelical in the Church of England.
*** – ‘Deservedly popular. Simple, instructive, full of Christ. Law abounds in gospel.’
Browne, Robert – Christ in the Law; or the Gospel foreshadowed in the Pentateuch 1872
* “Of the High Church order, and praised by the Saturday Review. What worse need be said? Yet will we add that the savor of Christ in these books saves them from unqualified condemnation.” – Spurgeon
Kingsley, Charles – The Gospel of the Pentateuch, a set of Parish Sermons 18 Sermons 1878
** “A small volume of Kingsley’s usual sort. Not over-freighted with what is usually known as the Gospel; but plain and practical, with common-sense remarks for common people.” – Spurgeon
Morison, James – Introductory Key to the First Four Books of Moses, being an Attempt to show that the Great Design of the Things Recorded Therein was the Sufferings of Christ and the Following Glory 1810
* “Plain, forcible, and instructive remarks, realizing the title–an Introductory Key.” – Spurgeon
Pierce, Samuel – Pentateuch: Discourses on the Several Revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, from the Fall, to Moses, etc. 1815 with a preface by Robert Hawker. Pierce was reformed.
* “Dr. Hawker says, that ‘these Discourses carry with them testimonies of being written under Divine teaching.’ Sweet, but not very expository.” – Spurgeon
Lockyer, Herbert – The Gospel in the Pentateuch Buy 1939 112 pp.
Lockyer was a voluminous author and was associated with Moody Bible Institute.
“Contains an abundance of practical material and aims at expounding Luke 24:27 and its relationship to the Pentateuch. Complete with numerous helpful charts.” – Cyril J. Barber
Expositions of the 10 Commandments
The Judicial Laws
The Ceremonial Laws
The Authenticity and Integrity of the Pentateuch
Green, William H. – Pentateuch Analysis 1888 34 pp.
Green (1825–1900) was an imminent Princeton, Hebrew scholar.
Stuart, Alexander Moody – Israel’s Lawgiver: his Narrative True and his Laws Genuine 1882 203 pp.
Allis, O.T. – The Five Books of Moses: a Reexamination of the Modern Theory that the Pentateuch is a late Compilation from Diverse and Conflicting Sources by Authors and Editors whose Identity is Completely Unknown Buy 1973 344 pp.
Allis (1880-1973) was one of the renowned, conservative scholars of early Westminster Seminary.
Green, William H. – The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch 1895 210 pp.
“A clear, concise refutation of the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis.” – Cyril J. Barber
Hengstenberg, E.W. – Dissertations on the Genuineness of the Pentateuch, vol. 1, 2
** “This great author contends ably for the Pentateuch, but the perusal of his book reminds us of the king who ‘Fought all his battles o’er again, And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain.'” – Spurgeon
Witsius, Herman – The Question ‘Was Moses the Author of the Pentateuch?’ Answered in the Affirmative 33 pp. from A Treatise on Prophets and Prophecy, Translated, Prefaced & Annotated by John Donaldson of the Free Church of Scotland
Green, William H.
Moses and the Prophets 1882 390 pp. This work is composed of Green’s reviews of 3 liberal works
Havernick, H.A. – An Historico-Critical Introduction to the Pentateuch 1850 470 pp.
* “Almost entirely occupied with a discussion upon the genuineness of the Pentateuch. A check to the rationalistic and infidel spirit. Those who have never taken the poison do not need he antidote.” – Spurgeon
** “A full review of the evidence, external and internal, for the genuineness, authenticity, and Divine character of the Pentateuch. Its special attention is devoted to the connection between the Pentateuch and the great scheme of revelation, of which it forms the basis.” – Guardian, as quoted by Spurgeon
** “A very interesting and curious work. Good lectures might be gathered from it for week-night instruction. Not a Commentary.” – Spurgeon
Vos, Geerhardus – The Mosaic Origin of the Pentateuchal Codes 1886 280 pp. with an Introduction by William H. Green
Vos (1862-1949) was one of the last conservative theologians at Old Princeton, and is known as the father of reformed Biblical Theology.
See also works written in response to Bishop Colenso’s The Pentateuch and Joshua Critically Examined (1888) which book argued ‘the unhistorical character, the later origin, and the compound authorship of the five books usually attributed to Moses.’
Delitzsch, Franz – ‘Theses on the Truth of Pentateuchal History’ 7 Theses, 1 page
Delitzsch was a conservative German, Lutheran theologian and Hebraist, known for his contribution to the Keil-Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary. His translation of the N.T. into Hebrew is still considered the standard translation. The Free Churchman, ‘Rabbi’ John Duncan, said that Delitzsch “stood firm in maintenance of the divine authority and inspiration of the whole Old Testament” at a time when many “seemed willing to surrender.”
Here Delitzsch lays out his view of the production of the Pentateuch, which is not entirely recommended, and should be considered with caution. He allows for a ‘successive development’ of the Pentateuch up through the centuries till it was compiled, edited and codified in the 8th century BC at the time of King Josiah’s ‘deuteronomic reformation’, it still retaining ‘the divine character of this law’.
Cyril J. Barber says of his commentary on Genesis that it, ‘holds to the Mosaic authorship of Genesis, but leaves room for final redaction in the post-exilic period. Advocates an early form of the documentary hypothesis, and holds to the ‘long day’ theory of creation.’
A Latin Commentary on the Pentateuch
Robertson, James – Clavis Pentateuchi, or an Analysis of the Hebrew Words in the Pentateuch, with Notes 1770
* “Almost entirely in Latin, and therefore useful only to those who can readily read that language. The work was in good repute in its day.” – Spurgeon