Malbim's approach to the sins of biblical personages

Amos Frisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article examines one component of the exegetical method of Malbim (1809–1879), an Orthodox rabbi of a strongly conventional bent, and questions the scholarly assumption that he invariably defends outstanding biblical figures. After surveying the accepted scholarly view, I discuss three examples of Malbim’s advocative interpretations, and then seven examples of his critical attitude towards biblical figures (also taken from his commentary on the book of Genesis) as well as two additional examples from his commentary on the Former Prophets. An analysis of the findings reveals five characteristics of his exegetical approach on this question (which at times is comprised of two phases), and suggests that he occupies a middle ground between two of his contemporaries, R. Jacob Zvi Meklenburg and R. Samson Raphael Hirsch.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22 pp
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Hebrew Scriptures
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Appeared also in the journal's print version "Perspectives on Hebrew Scriptures" 10 (2017) 348-370.

RAMBI Publications

  • RAMBI Publications
  • Malbim, Meir Loeb ben Jehiel Michael -- 1809-1879
  • Bible -- Genesis -- XII -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Bible -- Genesis -- XXXVII -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Bible -- Samuel, 2nd -- XI-XII -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Bible -- Kings, 1st -- III, 1 -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Bible -- Kings, 1st -- XI, 1 -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Sin -- Biblical teaching


Dive into the research topics of 'Malbim's approach to the sins of biblical personages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this