A question appeared on a closed social media site about commentaries, or a single commentary, on the Old Testament. No information was given about price range nor what type of commentary was desired, only that the person did not have a lot of money. A one-volume commentary on the OT alone is a challenge.
If the commentary needed is one that expounds the meaning of the text, one might consider something like Paul House’s OT Theology, or even Thomas Olbricht’s He Loves Forever, even though the latter is quite brief.
A number of one-volume Bible commentaries are good, such as the New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, or the New International Bible Commentary, F.F. Bruce, ed. The Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery ed., is so brief in the Psalms as to be useless, but it has some merits.
Older commentaries are not normally recommended, since so many advances in biblical studies have been made in the past century.
Some good study Bibles are out there that provide good textual or historical information, such as the NIV Study Bible and the NET Bible.
Last, there are a number of online volumes by brothers like Gary Hampton, Mark Dunagan, Charles Box, and Burton Coffman on StudyLight.org. Another concise but useful commentary on that site is the Bridgeway commentary by Donald Fleming. Also, check out Peter Pett’s commentary, which is often good, on the same site.
Our readers are welcome to chime in with other good suggestions in the comments area.