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David Kimhi ( , also Kimchi or Qimchi) (1160 – 1235), also known by the Hebrew acronym as the RaDaK ( ), was a medieval rabbi, biblical commentator, philosopher, and grammarian. Born in Narbonnemarker, Provence, he was the son of Rabbi Joseph Kimhi and the brother of Rabbi Moses Kimhi, both biblical commentators and grammarians. Works of the Kimhi family were underwritten by the Ibn Yahya family of Lisbon, Portugal.

David Kimhi is best known today for his commentaries on the books of the Prophets. He also wrote commentaries on the books of Genesis, Psalms, and Chronicles. His work focuses on the language, nikkud (vocalization), rabbinic tradition of the reading, grammar, and literal meaning of the words. He also addresses key issues such as the authorship of the various books and the historical eras in which the prophets were active, as well as other historical and geographical questions.

His commentary on Genesis tends toward the philosophical. He seeks out the ethical underpinnings of the stories, believing that they were not included in the text for purely historical reasons, but rather for their moral message. He makes extensive use of the ancient Targum translation of the text into Aramaic attributed to Jonathan ben Uzziel, commenting on it and bringing variant readings. The commentary also includes a mystical interpretation of the Garden of Eden and the story of Cain and Abel. A similar, mystical interpretation by Kimhi can also be found in his gloss on the first chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, describing the Divine Chariot. When he does not understand a particular text, he follows the example of Rashi and writes, "I did not understand the reason why this story appears in this particular place," or "I did not find a proper reason for it."

Kimhi was also a noted grammarian. His book, Michlol ( ), draws heavily on the earlier works of Rabbi Judah ben David Hayyuj and Rabbi Jonah ibn Janah. He also composed a dictionary of the Hebrew language called Sefer Hashorashim (Book of Roots) ( ).

Kimhi also delved into philosophy and the sciences, and was very much influenced by both Abraham Ibn Ezra and Maimonides. He was a staunch defender of Maimonides in the debates over his writings.


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