This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the fascination with the Book of Job as evidenced by the diverse body of interpretations throughout the ages from religious thinkers in Judaism and Christianity from late antiquity to modern academic scholars. It presents a background of medieval Jewish philosophy, and then reviews the major challenges that interpreters of Job have faced throughout the ages. The present study aims to go beyond providing a description of how medieval Jewish philosophers read the Book of Job by drawing much-needed attention to the exegetical literature in medieval Jewish philosophy in general. By analyzing how medieval Jewish philosophers interpreted the Book of Job, the exegesis of these thinkers is brought to light as an exciting chapter in the history of Jewish thought, which neither scholars of medieval Jewish philosophy nor scholars of medieval Jewish exegesis can afford to ignore. A proper examination of the commentaries chosen and an assessment of their significance both as philosophical and exegetical works require that these be discussed on a number of levels. For each commentary, the discussion will focus on three interfaces: between the commentaries and their antecedent sources, between the commentaries and the biblical text, and between the commentaries and the systematic thought of the medieval Jewish philosophers.
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