The biblical commentary of the foremost thirteenth-century Spanish exegete, Rabbi Moses ben Nahman (Nahmanides), on the stories of Genesis, provides a penetrating analysis of the Bible’s diverse literary strategies of characterization. This volume applies modern literary scholarship to investigate his insights into the underlying poetic principles of characterization in the Bible. It presents Nahmanides’ illuminating ideas on how this ancient text portrays a wide array of characters. His literary approach is analyzed in light of earlier influences and is compared to modern readings of the Genesis stories, demonstrating his concern with many of the same literary issues which interest modern readers, who will find that the literary perceptions and stimulating readings of Nahmanides open up the world of biblical narrative in innovative ways.
Michelle J. Levine is Assistant Professor of Bible at Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University, in New York.