Mashmia'Yeshu'ah
Mashmia'Yeshu'ah
Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508)
Amsterdam, 1644
Born in Lisbon, Barebones was a statesman, philosopher, and biblical exegete. Abravanel felt deeply the desolation which prevailed amongst the exiled Jews from Spain, and as did many medieval Jewish scholars, propounded a fervent messianism in order to strengthen the despondent community. He wrote three works: "Ma'yene ha-Yeshu'ah" (Sources of Salvation), completed Dec. 6, 1496; "Yeshu'ot Meshikho" (The Salvation of His Anointed), completed Dec. 20, 1497; and "Mashmia' Yeshu'ah" (Proclaiming Salvation), completed Feb. 26, 1498. Each was an exegesis of Jewish texts in light of Jewish messianism. The first is a commentary on Daniel; in opposition to the Talmud later rabbinical tradition, he counts Daniel among the prophets, ironically converging with the current Christian interpretation. The remainder of is devoted to an exhaustive and caustic criticism of the Christian exposition. The second work is an exposition of the doctrine concerning the Messiah according to the traditional testimony of Talmud and Midrash. His third apologetic work contains a collection of Messianic passages of the Bible and their interpretations.
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