JPS Bible Commentary: Jonah Page 6...

This fine commentary is based closely on the author's original Hebrew commentary (Am Oved, 1992), with some revision and expansion.

PREFACE Each generation produces its own Bible commentaries, in accordance with what it fi nds perplexing, its exegetical methods, and its emotional and spiritual needs. A generation that shirks its duty of reinterpretation is shutting its ears to the message that the Bible has to offer. The gates of exegesis are not shut and never will be; each generation has its own special key, which corresponds to one of the seventy facets of the Bible. The present commentary has been written under the sign of a dual commitment: academic rigor, which aims at uncovering the original meaning of the Book of Jonah; and a Jewish commitment to Scripture as the taproot of our national existence and wellspring of our religious life. It is a great privilege to have been called upon to forge another link in the long chain of Jew- ish biblical exegesis, which goes back to the ancient versions and midrashim of the sages, passes through the classical exegetes of the Middle Ages, and continues in contemporary research in Israel and the Diaspora. May this commentary be a worthy link in this glorious chain, so that future generations relate to the Book of Jonah through it, just as I have done through the efforts of my predecessors. The cumulative scholarship of the generations passes from commentator to commentator. The latest, who stands on the shoulders of his predecessors, chooses whatever suits the goal he has set himself and the method he has adopted. To cite each and every gloss in the name of its originator would have made the commentary exceedingly unwieldy. Accordingly I have given source references only for those opinions and insights that are clearly the innovations of specifi c scholars. With regard to the abundant material that has passed into the public domain, readers are referred to the bibliography, which includes all the commentaries and studies on which the present commentary is based. The commentary divides the Book of Jonah into seven literary units. Each is prefaced by the “ Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation” ( 1985). In order to eliminate any ten- sion between that translation and the commentary, however, the JPS rendering has been modi- fi ed to match the commentary in those places where the translators understood the Hebrew text differently than I do, where I felt a need to bring out certain idiomatic qualities of the Hebrew original, and where the translators’ elegant variation conceals the repetition of key words in the Hebrew original. I acknowledge that these modifi cations come at the expense of the elegance and contemporary sound of the translation. The commentary printed here is in fact a second, revised and expanded edition of the Hebrew original, which appeared as part of the series Mikra Leyisra’el: A Bible Commentary for Israel ( Je-rusalem and Tel Aviv, 1992). Readers should be aware of the great contribution made by editors of that series, Moshe Greenberg and Shmuel Ahituv, to the present commentary. They sketched out the format, laid down fi rm principles, paid close attention to details great and small, noted omis- sions and superfl uities, and demanded maximum accuracy from the work while recognizing the ultimate responsibility of the author. I would also like to thank my translator, Lenn Schramm, for his faithful and accurate English rendering, as well as for some useful points he raised in the margins of his draft. I dedicate this volume to my wife Shulamit, who helped me adhere to the true purpose of the commentary and not yield to the temptation to run away to Tarshish. Uriel Simon Jerusalem, Sivan 5759/ June 1999 PREFACEvi          C    h  a  p  t e  r   Home  |      T  O   C   

JPS Bible Commentary: Jonah


About Book JPS Bible Commentary: Jonah

FRONT MATTEREDITORSTitle pageCopyright pageTABLE OF CONTENTSPREFACEINTRODUCTIONThe Theme of the Book and the History of Its ExegesisJonah's Place in the Biblical CanonThe Literary GenreThe Narrative ArtThe Literary Function of the Gentiles as Supporting CharactersThe Unity of the Book and the Provenance of the PsalmLinks between Jonah and Other Biblical BooksLanguageDate of CompositionThe TextTHE COMMENTARY TO JONAHBIBLIOGRAPHYMidrashimJewish Commentaries (in chronological order)Modern Commentaries (in chronological order)Scholarly Studies (in alphabetical order)
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