The purpose of this article is to analyze Abraham ibn Ezra's and Rashbam's commentaries on the book of Qohelet, and to contrast their respective methodologies. Both commentators use Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew to explain the meaning of the words of Qohelet, but the tendency to refer to Rabbinic Hebrew is more evident in Rashbam. Although both commentators have recourse to philological principles, Abraham ibn Ezra uses them more extensively providing more details and specifications. Both commentators also employ parallelism as an exegetical tool, but there are differences in the extensive use of this method. Differences between both commentaries can be traced in the quotation of interpretations of previous commentators, and specifically of the rabbinic material, and in the utilization of scientific and moralistic explanations. Special attention is paid to differences in their use of terminology. The analysis of these commentaries also implies the contrast of two different traditions: the tradition of the school of Northern France and the tradition of the Spanish school.
Hebrew Studies – National Association of Professors of Hebrew
Published: Oct 5, 2011