Commentaries on Numbers

On this page you will find Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of Numbers. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Numbers that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the text, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more.



Top Reviewed Commentaries on Numbers



Numbers (TOTC) by Gordon J. Wenham


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Numbers

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, Wenham makes “this often-neglected book come alive theologically”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Numbers, “Wenham is able to say more of significance in one page than most commentators say in ten pages. Highly recommended.”

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.”



Numbers (NAC) by R. Dennis Cole


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out 5 stars, “a substantial, well-written commentary…the book’s real strength is in its sensitive theological reading”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Numbers, “A pastor or student engaged in serious study of Numbers should consult [Cole].”

Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.”



The Book of Numbers (NICOT) by Timothy R. Ashley


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “Ashley writes in a very readable style”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Numbers, “[Ashley] very helpfully explores the important theological themes within the book.”

Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow. The commentary itself carefully balances coverage of technical matters with exposition of the biblical text’s theology and implications.”



Numbers (JPS) by Jacob Milgrom


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “a masterpiece of erudition”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Numbers, “somewhat critical…must be used with great care and discernment”

Best for: pastors trained in the original languages, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “The JPS Torah Commentary series guides readers through the words and ideas of the Torah. Each volume is the work of a scholar who stands at the pinnacle of his field. Every page contains the complete traditional Hebrew text, with cantillation notes, the JPS translation of the Holy Scriptures, aliyot breaks, Masoretic notes, and commentary by a distinguished Hebrew Bible scholar, integrating classical and modern sources. Each volume also contains supplementary essays that elaborate upon key words and themes, a glossary of commentators and sources, extensive bibliographic notes, and maps.”



Numbers (Preaching the Word) by Iain M. Duguid


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Numbers, “I have benefited from everything I have read by Iain Duguid. His commentary on Numbers is well-written and aimed specifically at pastors.”

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “For years, Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series has helped pastors, preachers, and anyone who teaches God’s Word to better interpret and apply the message of the Bible. Under the careful editorial oversight of experienced pastor and best-selling author R. Kent Hughes, this series is known for its commitment to biblical authority, its pastoral tone and focus, and its overall accessibility.”



Leviticus, Numbers (NIVAC) by Roy Gane


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “Gane is an expert in ancient Israelite ritual,” and “adept at pointing to the continuing theological relevance of this material”

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.”



The Message of Numbers (BST) by Raymond Brown


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “readable and informed”

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.”



Numbers (two volumes; AYBC) by Baruch A. Levine


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out 5 stars, “all serious students of Numbers must have this book”

Best for: pastors trained in the original languages, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.”



Numbers (Interpretation) by Dennis T. Olson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “no one has had a larger influence in recent years on our understanding of the theological theme of the book”

Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



Leviticus, Numbers (UBCS) by W.H. Bellinger Jr.


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Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.”



Numbers (EPS) by John D. Currid


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Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: “EP Study Commentaries are invaluable tools for the minister, theologian and serious students of the Scriptures. This series is both readable and user- friendly.”



Numbers (WBC) by Philip J. Budd


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Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.”



Numbers (REBC) by Ronald B. Allen


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Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.”



Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (CBC) by Dale A. Brueggemann


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Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series provides students, pastors, and laypeople with up-to-date, accessible evangelical scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. Presenting the message of each passage, as well as an overview of other issues relevant to the text, each volume equips pastors and Christian leaders with exegetical and theological knowledge so they can better understand and apply God’s Word.”



Numbers by Walter Riggans (DSBS)


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Best for:  Anyone

Purpose: From the publisher: “Invaluable for individual devotional study, for group discussion, and for classroom use, the Daily Study Bible provides a useful, reliable, and eminently readable way to discover what the Scriptures were saying then and what God is saying today.”



Numbers by David L. Stubbs (BTC)


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Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



Leviticus and Numbers (Teach the Text) by Joe M. Sprinkle


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Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: The Teach the Text series utilizes “the best of biblical scholarship” and provides “the information a pastor needs to communicate the text effectively. By keeping the discussion of each carefully selected preaching unit to six pages of focused commentary, the volumes in this series allow pastors to quickly grasp the big idea and key themes of each passage of Scripture. The text and its meaning are made clear, and sections dedicated to effectively teaching and illustrating the text help pastors prepare to preach.”



Numbers (TPC) by James Philip


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Best for: pastors, laypeople with significant biblical and theological knowledge

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary because it combines with integrity the beauty of language, underlying Hebrew and Greek textual basis, and thought-flow of the 1611 King James Version…Readers who are more comfortable with another translation can readily find the parallel passage by means of the chapter and verse reference at the end of each passage being exposited. The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.”



Numbers and Deuteronomy (For Everyone) by John Goldingay


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Best for: Anyone

Purpose: From the publisher: “John Goldingay, an internationally respected Old Testament scholar, authors this ambitious Old Testament for Everyone series. Covering Scripture from Genesis to Malachi, Goldingay addresses the texts in such a way that even the most challenging passages are explained simply. Perfect for daily devotions, Sunday school preparation, or brief visits with the Bible, the Old Testament for Everyone series is an excellent resource for the modern reader.”



Technical, Exegetical, and Critical Commentaries for Research



Numbers (OTL) by Martin Noth


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Best for: pastors, teachers, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.”



Numbers (FOTL) by Rolph P. Knierim


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Best for: pastors trained in the original languages, scholars

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Forms of the Old Testament Literature (FOTL) is a series of volumes that seeks to present, according to a standard outline and methodology, a form-critical analysis of every book or unit of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). Fundamentally exegetical, each volume examines the structure, genre, setting, and intention of the biblical literature in question. The series also endeavors to study the history behind the form-critical discussion of the material, to bring consistency to the terminology for the genres and formulas of the biblical literature, and to expose the exegetical procedure in such a way as to enable students and pastors to engage in their own analysis and interpretation.”



Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



Numbers (Thru the Bible) by J. Vernon McGee


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Best for: Anyone

Purpose: From the publisher: “Radio messages from J. Vernon McGee delighted and enthralled listeners for years with simple, straightforward language and clear understanding of the Scripture. Now enjoy his personable, yet scholarly, style in a 60-volume set of commentaries that takes you from Genesis to Revelation with new understanding and insight.”