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By Michael Wechsler

This quantity includes an version, translated into English and with an intensive creation, of the Arabic translation and observation at the booklet of Esther by means of one of many preeminent litterateurs of the Karaite "Golden Age" (10th-11th centuries), Yefet ben 'Eli ha-Levi. Yefet's textual content represents the 1st thoroughly extant, committed observation on Esther and, for that reason, offers interesting perception into the heritage and improvement of exegetical concept in this booklet, either one of the Karaites in addition to the Rabbanites. a number of aspects of Yefet's exegesis which we discover in our advent comprise his rationalistic strategy, compilatory tendency, courting to the doctrines of the Islamic Mu'tazila, and his effect either through and upon different Jewish exegetes (Karaite and Rabbanite). We additionally examine Yefet's Arabic translation approach and comprise a survey of all extant Karaite commentaries on Esther, either in Arabic in addition to Hebrew.

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The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Yefet ben 'Eli the Karaite on the Book of Esther (Etudes Sur Le Judaisme Medieval) (v. 1)

This quantity involves an version, translated into English and with an intensive creation, of the Arabic translation and remark at the booklet of Esther via one of many preeminent litterateurs of the Karaite "Golden Age" (10th-11th centuries), Yefet ben 'Eli ha-Levi. Yefet's textual content represents the 1st thoroughly extant, dedicated remark on Esther and, for that reason, presents attention-grabbing perception into the heritage and improvement of exegetical suggestion in this publication, either one of the Karaites in addition to the Rabbanites.

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14 that these “wise men” were at the forefront of the Persian-Median nobility and royal administration, 2) the unlikelihood of Jewish men being so intimately acquainted with the Persian úã ïéãå (explained by Yefet as “the judicial process of the Persians, as well as their laws and statutes”28), and 3) the unlikelihood that all the Persian king’s advisors were Jewish—much less from the same Jewish tribe. Further underscoring Yefet’s essentially rationalistic, rather than strictly literalistic, approach to exegesis is his not infrequent recognition of non-literal meaning—in most instances, specifically, idiomatic or figurative language—where the literal meaning would pose a theological or contextual-rational difficulty.

Note also the emphasis upon Esther’s obedience to Mordecai in both targums ad 2:20. 55 Translation, pp. 271–73; text, pp. 44*–45*. ” He then answers, quite resolutely, that the undertaking was on Esther’s own initiative, for “she possessed merit and forethought and had no need for the advice of another,”—though he concedes the possibility that God may have “prompted her” to it in a dream. Yefet goes on to assert that even Esther’s deferment of her request to the second banquet—which is often explained as the result of trepidation of lack of nerve on her part—was premeditated, the novelty of which assertion may be highlighted by juxtaposing Yefet’s words on this topic with those of the great Rabbanite rationalist-exegete Abraham Ibn Ezra in his second commentary on Esther: Yefet Ibn Ezra (Esther’s) words (of petition) are carried over during the deferment of (the banquet) from day to day—that is to say, from the first day to the second day—concerning which we would maintain that she did not consider it proper to present (the king) with two requests in one day.

Ad 4:5–17. Ms. CUL T-S Ar. ), 4:5–5:14. Ms. CUL T-S Ar. , ad 1:1–2. Ms. RNL Yevr. II 700; 2 fols, ad 6:12–13; 8:16–17. Ms. -Arab. I 3866; 3 fols, ad 1:13–19; 2:9–15; 3:6–7. , pericope-by-pericope, rather than, as does Salmon (for the most part), verse-by-verse. In their exegetical method, notwithstanding the incorporation of midrashic tradition by Saadia, both men—as, indeed, the Oriental Jewish exegetes generally—are also akin, though this renders the intriguing question of influence inevitably moot, apart from Yefet’s citation of views clearly attributable (though never, in the present work, attributed) to the prominent Rabbanite exegete.

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