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Spinoza was a profound and erudite student of Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra's Bible Commentaries. Ibn Ezra is without doubt the medieval author who, with the exception of Maimonides, had the greatest influence on the Theological-Political Treatise (TTP). By far the most significant mention of Ibn Ezra in the TTP occurs in Chapter 8 and concerns the "secret of the twelve". Spinoza begins his exposition of Ibn Ezra's esoteric doctrine by examining his comment on Deuteronomy 1:2. One of the most important of the Ibn Ezra supercommentaries is Rabbi Joseph ben Eliezer of Saragossa's Safenat Pa'neah; this work has been lauded by Ibn Ezra scholars. Rabbi Eleazar ben Mattathias's explanation of the "secret of the twelve" is striking in its originality, but unabashedly conjectural. Spinoza's discussion of Ibn Ezra's comments on Deuteronomy 1:2 should be compared also with Hobbes's discussion of the authorship of the Pentateuch in Leviathan, III, 33.
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