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The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy$
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Robert Eisen

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171532.001.0001

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Samuel ibn Tibbon

Samuel ibn Tibbon

Chapter:
(p.79) 4 Samuel ibn Tibbon
Source:
The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Author(s):

Robert Eisen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171532.003.0004

Despite the many difficulties presented by Ibn Tibbon’s discussion of the Book of Job in Ma’amar Yikkavu ha-Mayim, it is argued that with a close reading, his interpretation of Job can be deciphered. This will be the primary challenge of this chapter. Much of the chapter will be spent attempting to discern what Ibn Tibbon says about Job. Only when this is accomplished will it be possible to analyze his reading in accordance with the three interfaces that are the focus of this study. Ibn Tibbon has emerged here as an interpreter who sees himself primarily as a commentator on Maimonides, rather than as an independent thinker in his own right. It is also evident that despite his dependence on Maimonides, Ibn Tibbon sometimes comes up with insights that are very much his own. These include a host of ideas that supplement, but also at times overturn, Maimonides’ understanding of the biblical text. Most significant is Ibn Tibbon’s notion that the Book of Job is designed to teach that providence is to be equated with immortality and that there is no individual providence in this world that guards physical well-being.

Keywords:   Jewish philosophers, exegesis, Ma’amar Yikkavu ha-Mayim, suffering, Elihu, Maimonides, providence, immortality, well-being

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