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Full Access The Book of Proverbs between Saadia and Yefet

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The Book of Proverbs between Saadia and Yefet

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Both Yefet ben ʿElī and Saadia Gaon produced new Judeo-Arabic translations and commentaries on the Bible. Their work is a testimony to the literary interaction between them as it includes polemical discourse and refutations of one another. In addition to polemics, Yefet’s familiarity with Saadia’s work is manifested at times in the assimilation of Saadia’s work into his own. Yet, these two exegetes understood the premise of the Book of Proverbs in different ways. While Saadia regarded Proverbs as general instructions for the pursuit of wisdom, Yefet regarded it an excellent source for knowledge and proper conduct. In this article I will examine the nature and extent of the interaction between these two bodies of work as reflected in their translations and commentaries on the Book of Proverbs. I will concentrate on their general understanding of Proverbs, their introductions, their approaches to translation, their classification of the content of the book, their interpretation of the clear meaning (al-ẓāhir) and their ideology concerning matters of gender.

Affiliations: 1: Tel-Aviv University idsasson@gmail.com

10.1163/2212943X-20130107
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Both Yefet ben ʿElī and Saadia Gaon produced new Judeo-Arabic translations and commentaries on the Bible. Their work is a testimony to the literary interaction between them as it includes polemical discourse and refutations of one another. In addition to polemics, Yefet’s familiarity with Saadia’s work is manifested at times in the assimilation of Saadia’s work into his own. Yet, these two exegetes understood the premise of the Book of Proverbs in different ways. While Saadia regarded Proverbs as general instructions for the pursuit of wisdom, Yefet regarded it an excellent source for knowledge and proper conduct. In this article I will examine the nature and extent of the interaction between these two bodies of work as reflected in their translations and commentaries on the Book of Proverbs. I will concentrate on their general understanding of Proverbs, their introductions, their approaches to translation, their classification of the content of the book, their interpretation of the clear meaning (al-ẓāhir) and their ideology concerning matters of gender.

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2013-01-01
2016-12-02

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