Chapter 9 David the Prophet in Saʿadya Gaon’s Commentary on Psalms and Its Syriac and Karaite Contexts

In: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Author: Arye Zoref

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Abstract

The paper analyzes Saʿadya’s Commentary on Psalms against the backdrop of similar commentaries produced by Christian (in Syriac) and Karaite (in Arabic) exegetes. It argues that in an attempt to stress the unity of the book of Psalms and its prophetic nature, the Gaon selectively adopted some concepts from the Syriac commentaries. It demonstrates that he modeled his introduction to the commentary on the introductions of two Syriac commentators and that he adopted the Syriac Nestorian idea that David wrote all the Psalms, but rejected some of the Nestorian interpretative approaches, such as a general disregard for the Psalms’ headings.

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