Addressing the Reader as an Expression to the Dialogism Theory in Ramban's Commentary on Genesis


  • Elior Babian


Dialogism, Ramban, Nachmanides, Nahmanides, commentaries on the Bible, Hebrew language – Medieval, language – style, argumentative text, grammar – vocative


This paper deals with part of Ramban's commentary on Genesis from the point of view of dialogism theory, examining its linguistic expressions in the commentary with a focus on appealing to the reader. The article begins with a presentation of the dialogism theory and the research literature on dialogism in Hebrew texts, as well as a review of Ramban's language in his commentary on the Torah.
As an expression of dialogism in Ramban's language, three verb forms were examined that may include an addressing to the reader: plural first-person, second person singular, and third person singular. It was found that Ramban employs these verb forms to involve the reader in the interpretation process, to predict his thoughts and reactions, differentiate his own opinions from those of previous commentators, and more. These functions align with the argumentative nature of Ramban's commentary, and it seems that through them he aims to persuade the reader of his interpretative insights. The article concludes with proposed ideas for further research.