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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Yefet ben 'Eli the Karaite on the Book of Esther: Edition, Translation, and Introduction
Wechsler, Michael G., editor

Leiden: Brill, 2008 pp. xx + 444 + xii. $202.00

Series Information
Études sur le Judaïsme médiéval/Karaite Texts and Studies, 36/1

Description: This volume consists of an edition, translated into English and with an extensive introduction, of the Arabic translation and commentary on the book of Esther by one of the preeminent litterateurs of the Karaite “Golden Age” (10th–11th centuries), Yefet ben ‘Eli ha-Levi. Yefet’s text represents the first completely extant, devoted commentary on Esther and, consequently, provides fascinating insight into the history and development of exegetical thought on this book, both among the Karaites as well as the Rabbanites. Various facets of Yefet’s exegesis which we explore in our introduction include his rationalistic method, compilatory tendency, relationship to the doctrines of the Islamic Mu‘tazila, and his influence both by and upon other Jewish exegetes (Karaite and Rabbanite). We also assess Yefet’s Arabic translation technique and include a survey of all extant Karaite commentaries on Esther, both in Arabic as well as Hebrew.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Esther, Literature

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Review by John Kaltner
Published 7/23/2011
Citation: John Kaltner, review of Michael G. Wechsler, ed., The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Yefet ben 'Eli the Karaite on the Book of Esther: Edition, Translation, and Introduction, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2011).

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