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Title: The commentary of Yefet ben 'Eli on the Book of Ruth - studies in translation and exegetical techniques
Author: Blumfield, Fiona Eve.
ISNI:       0000 0000 3928 139X
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2001
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Yefet ben 'Eli was one of the Karaite teachers of Jerusalem in the second half of the tenth century CEo He is thought to have written an Arabic translation and commentary on the entire Hebrew Bible. This study will focus on Yefet's translation and commentary on the Book of Ruth, but will take into account the work of contemporary Karaite scholars, such as Ibn Nii~ and AI-FasI.. My analysis is based on the printed edition of Yefet's translation and commentary on Ruth chapters one and two, edited by Nahum Schorstein [Berlin 1903], which is itself based on three manuscripts, one in Arabic letters [Ms Or 2554, British Library] which lacks most of chapters three and four, and two in Hebrew letters which are complete [Ms Or 2513, British Library, and Zotenberg Catalogue 294, Bibliotheque Nationale]. I have also consulted both the manuscripts in Hebrew letters, which are complete, enabling my thesis to encompass all four chapters of Ruth. In chapter one, I have analysed Yefet's translation techniques in Ruth 1-4, demonstrating both his literal approach and also areas where he overstepped this literal approach. In chapter two, I have analysed Yefet's exegetical methods, demonstrating that they involve several layers of interpretation. In chapter three, I have drawn comparisons and contrasts between Yefet's commentary on Ruth 1-4 and the available contemporary Karaite sources, which include Ibn Nii\l's commentary on the Hagiographa [edited Khan 2000] and the Hebrew-Arabic dictionary of the Bible compiled by David ben Abraham a1-FasI. [edited Skoss 1936-45], known as Kitiib Jiim;' al- 'A1Ji4, as well as a tenth-century Judaeo-Persian fragment of a grammatical commentary on Ruth recently recovered from the Genizah. In chapter four, I have drawn comparisons and contrasts between Yefet' s translation of Ruth 1-4 and Saadiah Gaon's Ta/sir of Ruth 1-4. In chapter five, I have presented a comparison of Rabbinic and medieval Jewish sources with Yefet's translation and commentary on Ruth, demonstrating that despite Yefet's contextual-linguistic approach in his exegesis, nevertheless evidence of Rabbinic sources may be discerned in his commentaries. Overall, some variations between the three manuscript sources were noted, indicating that two or more versions or editions of Yefet' s translation and commentary may have existed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Karaite teachers Philosophy Religion Literature Mass media Performing arts Linguistics