Yefet ben ‘Eli (fl. 960-1005) was the most prolific and influential biblical exegete in the Karaite tradition. He was possibly the earliest Jew to write a commentary on the entire Hebrew Bible, and his writings were cited and borrowed from by Karaites and Rabbanites alike, from his own time to the early modern period. Despite his importance, however, only a small percentage of his works have been published. The present volume makes available for the first time his commentary on Joshua, which includes an Arabic translation of this difficult book with full Arabic commentary. The story of Rachab, the “second circumcision,” the covenant with the Gibonites, and the Sun standing still are among the things that captured Yefet’s interest, who surveyed different views on these crux passages before presenting his own, very original exposition.
James T. Robinson, PhD (2002), Harvard University, is Associate Professor of the History of Judaism at The University of Chicago. He has published extensively on medieval Jewish philosophy, theology, and biblical exegesis, including
Asceticism, Eschatology, Opposition to Philosophy: The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Salmon b. Yeroham on Qohelet (Ecclesiates) (Brill, Karaite Texts and Studies, 2012).
Table of contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
Yefet Ben ‘Eli on the Book of Joshua: Preliminary Observations
Introduction to the Edition
Appendix: The Eleventh-Century Arabic-Character Fragments (British Library Or. 2547)
Yefet Ben Eli’s Commentary on Joshua – Edition of the Judeo-Arabic Text
Anyone interested in the Bible, the history of biblical exegesis, Jewish history and thought in the medieval period, the Jews in the Muslim world, Islamic exegesis and theology, Jerusalem during the Islamic period, Muslim-Jewish relations, Karaism, Rabbanite-Karaite polemic, the history of heresy and sectarianism.