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Volume 13, No. 1
Astronomical and Astrological Terms in Ibn Ezra’s Biblical Commentaries: A New Approach
Abraham ibn Ezra (Tudela, 1089/1092-1164/1167) was the most important writer of scientific treatises in Hebrew in the twelfth century; prior to him and his predecessor, Abraham bar Hiyya (d. after 1136), Arabic was the only language of scientific knowledge among Jews. After Ibn Ezra’s work, Hebrew became a language of science, and eventually of research, among the Jews of the Iberia Peninsula and Europe. This fact makes Ibn Ezra’s language, his choice of technical terms, and his linguistic agenda fascinating subjects that deserve more attention than received so far. Our purpose in this article is to distinguish Ibn Ezra’s strategies in coining technical terminology in the context of his biblical commentaries. The presence of astronomy and astrology in religious exegetical texts is not a feature exclusive to Ibn Ezra, but he is surely the most inclined (and effective) to find astronomical and astrological meanings in the biblical words