Asceticism, Eschatology, Opposition to Philosophy
James T. Robinson, The University of Chicago, The Divinity School
Salmon b. Yeroham (fl. 930-960) – foundational figure in the Jerusalem school of Karaite exegesis – produced a substantial and influential corpus of polemical writing and biblical interpretation, including commentaries on Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Qohelet, Esther, Ruth, and Daniel. Asceticism, Eschatology, Opposition to Philosophy: The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Salmon ben Yeroham on Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) presents a first critical edition of the Judaeo-Arabic Qohelet commentary together with an annotated English translation. The introduction situates Salmon’s work in the history of Jewish Qohelet exegesis, explains Salmon’s method of translating Qohelet into Arabic, identifies his sources and discusses his method of interpretation. The main themes Salmon finds in “Solomon’s” book of wisdom – central themes in the early Karaite movement in general – will be explored at length, especially asceticism, eschatology, and an uncompromising opposition to reading “foreign books.”
"Robinson’s edition is exemplary...This volume is an important addition to any collection of Karaitica, medieval Jewish biblical exegesis and Judeo-Arabic studies."
Pinchas Roth, Tikvah Scholar at the NYU Tikvah Center