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  • Author or Editor: Michael G. Wechsler x
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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.

"At first sight, the book stands out as a model of systematic organization and thoroughness in treatment of detail...Wechsler has given us a detailed survey of the place of Yefet in the history of Karaite exegesis and in the history of Karaite theoretical argument."
- I.R.M. Bóid

"Altogether, this book may be considered an important step forward in the availability of Yefet ben 'Eli's commentaries in critical editions and will serve as a standard for future publications of his vast exegetical oeuvre."
- Ronny Vollandt, University of Cambridge