Chapter

Samuel ibn Tibbon

Robert Eisen

in The Book of Job in Medieval Jewish Philosophy

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195171532
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785162 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171532.003.0004
 Samuel ibn Tibbon

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Despite the many difficulties presented by Ibn Tibbon’s discussion of the Book of Job in Ma’amar Yikkavu ha-Mayim, it is argued that with a close reading, his interpretation of Job can be deciphered. This will be the primary challenge of this chapter. Much of the chapter will be spent attempting to discern what Ibn Tibbon says about Job. Only when this is accomplished will it be possible to analyze his reading in accordance with the three interfaces that are the focus of this study. Ibn Tibbon has emerged here as an interpreter who sees himself primarily as a commentator on Maimonides, rather than as an independent thinker in his own right. It is also evident that despite his dependence on Maimonides, Ibn Tibbon sometimes comes up with insights that are very much his own. These include a host of ideas that supplement, but also at times overturn, Maimonides’ understanding of the biblical text. Most significant is Ibn Tibbon’s notion that the Book of Job is designed to teach that providence is to be equated with immortality and that there is no individual providence in this world that guards physical well-being.

Keywords: Jewish philosophers; exegesis; Ma’amar Yikkavu ha-Mayim; suffering; Elihu; Maimonides; providence; immortality; well-being

Chapter.  16586 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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