The commentary of Rabbi David Kimhi (1160-1235) on the prophet Isaiah, chapters 1-39, in a Hebrew critical edition, makes up the main portion of this study. Presented with an English introduction by Louis Finkelstein, the commentary also includes a useful biography of Kimhi in English, an introduction to his commentary, and a presentation of a previously unknown treatise on Genesis in Hebrew.
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Rabbi David Kimhi (1160-1235) was well-known for his commentaries on the prophets. His thorough work on the first 39 chapters of the book of Isaiah makes up the main portion of this monograph. Finkelstein has produced here a critical edition of the work of Kimhi, valuable in the ever-present quest to secure an original text of ancient manuscripts. This historical commentary is published here in a Hebrew critical edition, an essential tool for the student of the history of biblical interpretation, especially during the medieval period. In addition to the text of Kimhi’s biblical commentary, Finkelstein has added English introductory material on the life of Rabbi Kimhi, his role as a commentator, and the texts upon which this prophetic commentary is based. As a bonus, Finkelstein also included, in Hebrew, a philosophic treatise on Genesis by Kimhi, a document that had previously been unknown. For the scholar interested in the prophet Isaiah or the practice of medieval Jewish biblical exegesis, this commentary is a special treat.
Louis Finkelstein (1895-1991) was a Rabbi of considerable influence in the areas of Talmudic study and Jewish law. After earning his Ph.D. at Columbia University, he taught for many years at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City and was eventually appointed as Chancellor. He wrote many books on Jewish thought and history. He was a leader in the Conservative Judaism movement.