The commentary of Yefet ben Eli the Karaite (second half of the
tenth century) on The Song of Songs is example of an exegetical
work obeying two imperatives: The explanation of the divine message
of Salvation mixed with the assiduous Karaite effort to prove wrong
their adversaries, the Rabbanites, with the help of the Bible. In
so doing Yefet ben Eli wrote a thoughtful and original commentary
on the very symbolic Song of Songs. Indeed, according to Yefet ben
Eli nothing in the Book should be taken realistically. The ability
of Yefet to replace symbols by historical events is one of the many
marks that show Yefet's mastery and the originality of his
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