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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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Zeraḥiah Ḥen

Zeraḥiah Ḥen

Chapter:
(p.111) 5 Zeraḥiah Ḥen
Source:
The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Author(s):

Robert Eisen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171532.003.0005

This discussion of Zerahiah begins by outlining the contents of Zerahiah’s reading of Job, with special attention given to deciphering its esoteric doctrines. It then examines the three interfaces around which this study has been structured. It is shown that Zerahiah presents a reading of Job that is very much in the spirit of Ibn Tibbon’s exegetical enterprise in that he uses Maimonides’ Guide as a resource to produce a comprehensive commentary on the biblical text. Yet, there is also evidence to suggest that some of Zerahiah’s key insights regarding Job are taken directly from Ibn Tibbon himself. It is possible that Zerahiah may be closer to Ibn Tibbon in philosophical orientation than scholars up to now have appreciated. However, in a number of ways Zerahiah goes beyond Ibn Tibbon. He composes an exposition on the entire Book of Job, and this allows him to develop elements of Maimonides’ reading of Job to a much greater extent than Ibn Tibbon did. The most significant example of this tendency is his fascinating discussion of allegory. In addition, Zerahiah’s commentary displays a greater independence from Maimonides than does that of Ibn Tibbon. Most important in this regard is its elitist emphasis.

Keywords:   Maimonides, Judah ben Solomon, Elihu, Ibn Tibbon, exegesis

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