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I know that Shadal, David Hoffman, and many others tried very hard to combat the claims of scholars that criticized the Torah (both in terms of Higher and Lower Criticism). Can anyone help me find other modern scholars that did similar work for my Bible class? We are specifically studying the 5 Megillot, and thus we are studying: Solomon's authorship of Kohelet, a literal reading of Shir HaShirim, and more. Therefore I am seeking your help for finding:

1) modern traditionalist scholars that combat Biblical Criticism of the 5 Megillot (it would be great if I could also be pointed to where they talk about this in their works)

2) issues that Biblical Critics deal with in the 5 Megillot

Thanks, Matthew Miller

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2 Answers 2

For Megillas Esther specifically, R. Y.I. Halevi (Doros Harishonim, Tekufas Hamikra, pp. 262ff) offers several proofs that it was indeed written in the Persian era and not later. (He also discusses the relationship of the end of ch. 9, which describes the writing of the Megillah and the establishment of the holiday of Purim, to the rest of the book.)

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Malbim's commentaries on Esther and Shir HaShirim are must-reads. The former was Malbim's first work, and is fairly well-known and straightforward; the latter, more mystical, is of his later works, less popular but absolutely amazing. In general, Malbim is a profound, modern thinker. (He also has commentary on Ruth, but forgive my saying this, it adds to your understanding of the story whereas the other two completely transform it.) I don't know if/where Malbim directly addresses the critics, but my sense is once you've studied the verses his way, a lot of the problems disappear.

Do Bible critics question the chronology or authorship of Ruth, Lamentations, or Esther? I wasn't aware of that.

For Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), a German rabbi wrote a commentary in the early 1900s known as Geresh Yerachim; probably worth a look.

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