Chapter

Simon ben Ẓema ḥDuran

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/9780195171532.003.0007
 Simon ben Ẓema ḥDuran

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Because Duran presents his systematic views on providence in his introduction to the commentary on Job, this chapter will deal with Duran’s thinking on this issue as part of the summary of the commentary, rather than in a separate section. The analysis as a whole will be aided by the fact that Duran’s philosophical thought is in many respects a reaction against Maimonides, and he therefore does not adopt esoteric discourse. It is shown that Duran’s commentary on Job presents another rich and original interpretation of the book. While his exposition is dependent on previous philosophical readings of Job — particularly Saadiah’s — Duran’s commentary also betrays the strong influence of non-philosophical sources in rabbinic midrash and Kabbalah, and these influences result in a reading of Job that is very conservative in orientation. The traditional turn initiated by Gersonides is completed in Duran. This provides a reading of Job that is “rationalistic” in the broad sense of the term, but one that has abandoned Aristotelianism and its concomitant radicalism.

Keywords: providence; Maimonides; commentary; exegesis; Elihu; Saadiah; Aristotlelianism

Chapter.  14874 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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