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Medieval Rationalist Exegesis and Intertextuality in Samuel Ibn Tibbon’s Ma’amar Yiqqawu ha-Mayim

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Chapter Summary

The author begins the chapter with intertextuality in Chazal exegesis, in order to better evaluate Samuel Ibn Tibbon's contribution and originality on the one hand, as well as his indebtedness to his predecessors on the other hand. He further continues with a short description of the medieval intellectual climate and the challenges it posed to Bible scholars of that period. Finally, he tries to outline Ibn Tibbon's response to these challenges, as expressed in his theory of interpretation, in the hermeneutic principles that guided his exegesis and in the methodical implementation of these guidelines in his reading of Biblical passages. Samuel Ibn Tibbon's approach to Bible interpretation is representative, in many ways, of the rationalistic exegesis that flourished in Spain and southern France during the 11th-15th century. Ibn Tibbon's contribution resides in the extensive and systematic way he implemented this understanding in his exegesis.

Keywords: Chazal exegesis; intertextuality; rationalistic exegesis; Samuel Ibn Tibbon



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