Salmon b. Yeroham (fl. 930-960) – foundational figure in the Jerusalem school of Karaite exegesis – produced a substantial and influential corpus of polemical writing and biblical interpretation, including commentaries on Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Qohelet, Esther, Ruth, and Daniel. Asceticism, Eschatology, Opposition to Philosophy: The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Salmon ben Yeroham on Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) presents a first critical edition of the Judaeo-Arabic Qohelet commentary together with an annotated English translation. The introduction situates Salmon’s work in the history of Jewish Qohelet exegesis, explains Salmon’s method of translating Qohelet into Arabic, identifies his sources and discusses his method of interpretation. The main themes Salmon finds in “Solomon’s” book of wisdom – central themes in the early Karaite movement in general – will be explored at length, especially asceticism, eschatology, and an uncompromising opposition to reading “foreign books.”
"Robinson’s edition is exemplary...This volume is an important addition to any collection of Karaitica, medieval Jewish biblical exegesis and Judeo-Arabic studies."
Pinchas Roth, Tikvah Scholar at the NYU Tikvah Center
James T. Robinson, PhD (2002) in NELC, Harvard University, is Associate Professor of the History of Judaism at The University of Chicago, The Divinity School. He has published extensively on medieval Jewish philosophy and exegesis, including Samuel ibn Tibbon’s Commentary on Ecclesiastes, The Book of the Soul of Man (Mohr Siebeck, 2007).
PART I: INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: Qohelet in Karaism
Chapter 2: On Salmon’s Arabic Translation of Qohelet
Chapter 3: Sources and Use of Sources
Chapter 4: Methods and Approaches
Chapter 5: Main Themes – Asceticism, Eschatology, Opposition to Philosophy
Chapter 6: Description of the Manuscripts and Method of Editing
Chapter 7: Remarks on the English Translation
PART II: Salmon b. Yeroḥam’s Commentary on Qohelet – Critical Edition and English Translation
All those interested in medieval Jewish philosophy and exegesis, Judaeo-Arabic thought and literature, medieval intellectual history, the wisdom books of the Bible, the Karaites.