The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy

Hardcover | September 17, 2004

byRobert Eisen

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Medieval Jewish philosophers have been studied extensively by modern scholars, but even though their philosophical thinking was often shaped by their interpretation of the Bible, relatively little attention has been paid to them as biblical interpreters. In this study, Robert Eisen breaks newground by analyzing how six medieval Jewish philosophers approached the Book of Job. These thinkers covered are Saadiah Gaon, Moses Maimonides, Samuel ibn Tibbon, Zerahiah Hen, Gersonides, and Simon ben Zemah Duran. Eisen explores each philosopher's reading of Job on three levels: its relationshipto interpretations of Job by previous Jewish philosophers, the way in which it grapples with the major difficulties in the text, and its interaction with the author's systematic philosophical thought. Eisen also examines the resonance between the readings of Job of medieval Jewish philosophers andthose of modern biblical scholars. What emerges is a portrait of a school of Joban interpretation that was creative, original, and at times surprisingly radical. Eisen thus demonstrates that medieval Jewish philosophers were serious exegetes whom scholars cannot afford to ignore. By bringing apreviously-overlooked aspect of these thinkers' work to light, Eisen adds new depth to our knowledge of both Jewish philosophy and biblical interpretation.

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Medieval Jewish philosophers have been studied extensively by modern scholars, but even though their philosophical thinking was often shaped by their interpretation of the Bible, relatively little attention has been paid to them as biblical interpreters. In this study, Robert Eisen breaks newground by analyzing how six medieval Jewish ...

Robert Eisen is Associate Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Gersonides on Providence, the Covenant, and the Chosen People: A Study in Medieval Jewish Philosophy and Biblical Commentary (1995).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 5.98 × 9.29 × 1.1 inPublished:September 17, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195171535

ISBN - 13:9780195171532

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"Robert Eisen's The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy is the first attempt to evaluate the rich and fascinating tradition of Job exegesis in medieval Jewish philosophy. With clarity and insight, Eisen shows how six Jewish philosophers grappled with the challenging enigmas of the Bookof Job. A learned and thought-provoking book!" -- Warren Zev Harvey, Department of Jewish Thought, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem