By Albert van der Heide

This booklet describes how medieval Jewish Bible students sought to respond to the query of what's intended by way of the Angel’s message from God to Abraham: ‘Now I Know’, as written in Genesis 22 verse 12. It examines those students’ reviews at the nineteen verses in Genesis that inform the tale of Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his personal son Isaac, the Aqedat Yiṣḥaq. It explores the solutions they discovered to the query of what, certainly, this tale is attempting to inform us. Is it a drastic technique to condemn the perform of kid sacrifice? Does it demand changing human sacrifices with animal sacrifices? Is it a tribulation wherein the Almighty exams the constancy of 1 of His fans? Or is it His technique to express the area the character of precise belief?

The booklet begins with an advent to familiarize readers with the numerous and sundry manifestations of the Aqedah subject in Jewish tradition and with the advancements of medieval Jewish Bible exegesis commonly. subsequent, it bargains translations and analyses of the classical medieval Jewish Bible commentaries that take care of the exegesis of Genesis 22, exploring the numerous angles from which the Aqedah tale has been understood. at the very least 5 centuries of medieval Aqedah exegesis are reviewed, from Saadya (882-942) to Isaac Abrabanel (1437-1508). those texts from the commentaries are mixed with hermeneutical key passages by way of Moses Maimonides, Joseph Ibn Kaspi, Ḥasdai Crescas, and others, that have been known to the minds of the exegetes, or which, conversely, mirror the influence of biblical Aqedah exegesis on non secular notion. jointly, the passages mentioned illustrate the expansion and improvement of Jewish Bible exegesis in discussion with the rabbinic assets and with many of the developments of inspiration and theology in their instances. The constant specialise in the Aqedah constitutes a unifying subject matter, whereas the insights awarded right here significantly develop our realizing of some of the advancements in medieval Jewish Bible exegesis.

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1160–1235), who was to become the great teacher of the Hebrew language in the medieval West, and long after. Together with Rashi and Ibn Ezra he holds a reputation as one of the classical exegetes of the Jewish Bible. Like his father he combined the two strong points of the Andalusian tradition—linguistically informed peshat ̣ and rationalistic thinking—with the spiritual message of Midrash, but attained a far better mixture of these various strands. His feeling for the stylistic peculiarities of the Hebrew Bible, and his reluctance to accept the rigid allegorizing of philosophical exegesis resulted in a refined and well-balanced notion of the literal meaning of the Scriptures that appealed to many.

27*). A few examples will suffice: R. Ḥanina bar Isaac said: All the days of the year Israel is caught in transgressions and entangled in distress, but on New Year’s day they take the ram’s horn and blow it and in the end they will be redeemed by the horns of a ram, as it is written: “The Lord God will blow the ram’s horn” (Zech. 9, 14). , the Lord of Hosts will protect them” (Zech. 9, 14–15). (GenR 56, 9 (605–606)) When Isaac’s sons will be judged by You on this day (Rosh ha-Shanah)—even if they will have several accusers accusing them—just like I (Abraham) was silent without arguing with You, so You too: don’t pay attention.

Nevertheless, a categorization as the one given here (and recapitulated on different footing below Sect. 17) may help to recognize the core of the various and often amply formulated discourses that we will meet. 1 Choice It is the aim of this book to describe the various ways in which medieval Jewish Bible scholars explained the story of the Aqedah to their respective communities. Exercises of this kind have been undertaken before, be it in ways rather different from the one chosen here. Alexander Even Chen surveyed a range of mystical and philosophical interpretations of the Aqedah and opted for a decidedly theological rather than exegetical approach.

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