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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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Simon ben Ẓema ḥDuran

Simon ben Ẓema ḥDuran

Chapter:
(p.175) 7 Simon ben Ẓema ḥDuran
Source:
The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Author(s):

Robert Eisen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171532.003.0007

Because Duran presents his systematic views on providence in his introduction to the commentary on Job, this chapter will deal with Duran’s thinking on this issue as part of the summary of the commentary, rather than in a separate section. The analysis as a whole will be aided by the fact that Duran’s philosophical thought is in many respects a reaction against Maimonides, and he therefore does not adopt esoteric discourse. It is shown that Duran’s commentary on Job presents another rich and original interpretation of the book. While his exposition is dependent on previous philosophical readings of Job — particularly Saadiah’s — Duran’s commentary also betrays the strong influence of non-philosophical sources in rabbinic midrash and Kabbalah, and these influences result in a reading of Job that is very conservative in orientation. The traditional turn initiated by Gersonides is completed in Duran. This provides a reading of Job that is “rationalistic” in the broad sense of the term, but one that has abandoned Aristotelianism and its concomitant radicalism.

Keywords:   providence, Maimonides, commentary, exegesis, Elihu, Saadiah, Aristotlelianism

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