Ibn Ezra and the "Secret of the Twelve"

N. B. Highlighting appears on digital verison only (in highlight mode): https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/81190

I. The Secret of the Twelve

Ibn Ezra's mention of the Secret of the Twelve is prompted by Devarim 1:1, which says that Moshe was on the "other side of the Yarden," seemingly implying that the narrator of this statement is on the side to which Moshe did not cross.

(א) אֵ֣לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֤ר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּעֵ֖בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן בַּמִּדְבָּ֡ר בָּֽעֲרָבָה֩ מ֨וֹל ס֜וּף בֵּֽין־פָּארָ֧ן וּבֵֽין־תֹּ֛פֶל וְלָבָ֥ן וַחֲצֵרֹ֖ת וְדִ֥י זָהָֽב׃
(1) These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan.—Through the wilderness, in the Arabah near Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab,

Ibn Ezra does not explicitly treat this problem raised in the text in his comment to 1:1, but rather in his next comment, on Devarim 1:2. It is at the end of that comment that Ibn Ezra's statement about sod ha-sheneim 'asar, the Secret of the Twelve, appears. However, his comments on Dev. 1:1-4 form a larger argument about the context of eleh ha-devarim asher dibber Moshe​​​​​​​, in which he works out the chronological and geographical details of the initial dibbur, and its retelling. As such, the Secret of the Twelve is mentioned in service of explaining the meaning of "the other side of the the Yarden" -- and, more broadly, the process of Moshe's transmission of Torah.

(א) אחד עשר יום. הטעם שדבר אלה הדברים באותם י״‎א יום מחורב. שהלכו מחורב עד קדש ברנע וכבר הגדתי לך כי מקדש ברנע הלכו המרגלי' ואחר שנשבע השם שלא יכנסו לארץ לא התחדש' מצו' רק בשנת הארבעים כי כן מצאנו והעד שאמר באר את התורה הזאת הנה באר התורה שאמר בין פארן ובין תפל כי רוב המצות הם בספר הזה וכן פי' ככל אשר צוה יי אותו אליהם בעבר הירדן במדבר בערבה ואם תבין סוד (השרים) [צ״‎ל השנים] עשר גם ויכתוב משה והכנעני אז בארץ בהר יי יראה גם והנה ערשו ערש ברזל תכיר האמת:
(1) Scripture says eleven days to tell us that Moshe spoke these words during those eleven days wherein they traveled from Ḥorev to Qadesh Barnea. I shall later inform you that the spies started out from Qadesh Barnea [comment on : 3] [see also Numbers 32: 8]; after God swore that they would not enter the land, no new commandments were given until the fortieth year — for so it is written [Bava Batra 121a–121b] [Ta‘anit 30b] [cf . 2: 16–17]. Conclusive evidence is found in the phrase “to expound this Torah” [: 5]: He explained the Torah that he had already spoken between Paran and Tofel. Note that most of the Commandments are repeated in this book. Accordingly, the upcoming phrase “all that God had commanded him concerning them” [: 3] is properly modified by the preceding phrases “across the Jordan” [: 1] and “in the desert wilderness” [: 1]. If you can grasp the mystery behind the following problematic passages: 1) The final twelve verses of this book 2) “Moshe wrote…” [31: 22] 3) “At that time, the Canaanites dwelt in the land” [Genesis 12: 6] 4) “…In the mountain of God , He will appear” [Genesis 22: 14] 5) “behold, his bed is a bed of iron…” [3: 11] you will then understand the truth. There are those who say that the reason for mentioning It is eleven day’s journey from Ḥorev, by way of Mount S̀eir, to Qadesh Barnea is to stress that they wandered in the wilderness for forty years — hence, the contrasting phrase

In order to understand why the text says be-ever la-yarden (Devarim 1:1 [and also Devarim 1:5]), Ibn Ezra says, and become aware of the truth, one must understand the the Secret of the Twelve - the secret pertaining to the last twelve pesuqim of Sefer Devarim (Devarim 34:1-12), as well as four other pesuqim in the Torah, enumerated here (in the following order):

  1. Devarim 31:9
  2. Bereshit 12:6
  3. Bereshit 22:14
  4. Devarim 3:11

1. Devarim 31:9

Here there is explicit reference to Moshe writing and transmitting the Torah, but Ibn Ezra does not deal with it ad loc.

(ט) וַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב מֹשֶׁה֮ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֣ה הַזֹּאת֒ וַֽיִּתְּנָ֗הּ אֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים֙ בְּנֵ֣י לֵוִ֔י הַנֹּ֣שְׂאִ֔ים אֶת־אֲר֖וֹן בְּרִ֣ית יי וְאֶל־כָּל־זִקְנֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
(9) Moses wrote down this Teaching and gave it to the priests, sons of Levi, who carried the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant, and to all the elders of Israel.

2. Bereshit 12:6

Ibn Ezra then references Bereshit 12:6, which contains a chronologically problematic reference to location of the Canaanites - saying that the Canaanites "were then in the land" sounds like the verse is being written after they are no longer there. Note Ibn Ezra's response ad loc.: he suggests a solution, but then says that if it is not so, there is a "great secret" here.

(ו) וַיַּעֲבֹ֤ר אַבְרָם֙ בָּאָ֔רֶץ עַ֚ד מְק֣וֹם שְׁכֶ֔ם עַ֖ד אֵל֣וֹן מוֹרֶ֑ה וְהַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י אָ֥ז בָּאָֽרֶץ׃
(6) Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, at the terebinth of Moreh. The Canaanites were then in the land.
(ד) והכנעני אז בארץ. יתכן שארץ כנען תפשה כנען מיד אחר ואם איננו כן יש לו סוד והמשכיל ידום

3. Bereshit 22:14

The next direct reference Ibn Ezra makes is to Bereshit 22:14, which includes a chronologically problematic statement about Avraham's naming of the future site of the Temple, which he would not have known (it is explained only later in the text, in Parashat Devarim). Here, Ibn Ezra addresses the latter issue ad loc.

(יד) וַיִּקְרָ֧א אַבְרָהָ֛ם שֵֽׁם־הַמָּק֥וֹם הַה֖וּא יי ׀ יִרְאֶ֑ה אֲשֶׁר֙ יֵאָמֵ֣ר הַיּ֔וֹם בְּהַ֥ר יי יֵרָאֶֽה׃
(14) And Abraham named that site Adonai-yireh, whence the present saying, “On the mount of the LORD there is vision.”

(א) וטעם בהר יי יראה. באלה הדברים

4. Devarim 3:14

The final pasuq mentioned by Ibn Ezra in his statement on the Twelve is Devarim 3:11, which makes a chronologically problematic statement about Og, King of Bashan. Moshe had defeated Og at the end of the wilderness years, but this statement is about his massively-proportioned bed, found in the city of Rabbah in Amon, which would not be conquered until the time of David. Ibn Ezra does not deal with this problem ad loc.

(יא) כִּ֣י רַק־ע֞וֹג מֶ֣לֶךְ הַבָּשָׁ֗ן נִשְׁאַר֮ מִיֶּ֣תֶר הָרְפָאִים֒ הִנֵּ֤ה עַרְשׂוֹ֙ עֶ֣רֶשׂ בַּרְזֶ֔ל הֲלֹ֣ה הִ֔וא בְּרַבַּ֖ת בְּנֵ֣י עַמּ֑וֹן תֵּ֧שַׁע אַמּ֣וֹת אָרְכָּ֗הּ וְאַרְבַּ֥ע אַמּ֛וֹת רָחְבָּ֖הּ בְּאַמַּת־אִֽישׁ׃
(11) Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaim. His bedstead, an iron bedstead, is now in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it is nine cubits long and four cubits wide, by the standard cubit!
(א) באמת איש. באמת כל אדם והנה הוא כפול ולא יתכן להיות באמתו כי מה בא הכתוב ללמד ועוד שלא יהיה בצלם אדם כלל:
(1) a man’s cubit i.e., a normal man’s cubit — thus indicating that he was twice an ordinary man’s size (it is implausible that Scripture meant his own cubit, because then Scripture would be telling us nothing about his size — and moreover, it would imply that he was not at all shaped like a human being).

II. Ibn Ezra on the Last Twelve Verses of the Torah

The indication that "the twelve" of the Secret of the Twelve refers to the last twelve pesuqim of Sefer Devarim (the entirety of what we now call pereq 34) derives from Ibn Ezra's comment on Dev. 34:1. In this, he follows but extends the Gemara, which suggests that the last eight verses (Dev. 34:5-12 were not written by Moshe (see below, Part III).

(א) ויעל משה. לפי דעתי כי מזה הפסוק כתב יהושע כי אחר שעלה משה לא כתב ובדרך נבואה כתבו והעד ויראהו יי גם ויאמר יי אליו גם ויקבור:
(1) It is my belief that Joshua wrote from this verse onward, because once Moshe ascended, he wrote nothing further. Joshua must have written prophetically, as evidenced by God showed…, as well as God said to him…, and “He buried…” [: 6].

Other of Ibn Ezra's comments on Deverim 34 also pertain to authorship:

(א) וימת שם משה עבד יי. שאפי' במותו עשה מה שצוהו כעבד: (ב) על פי יי. כי הוא אמר לו עלה ומות וכן ' ' נכתב על אהרן על' פי יי וכן על פי יי יחנו:
(1) There died Moshe, the servant of God Even in his death, he acted as a servant, performing that which he was commanded. (2) by the word of God For He had said to him, “Ascend…and die” [32: 49–50]. It is likewise written concerning Aaron: “by the word of God ” [Numbers 33: 38], and similarly, “by the word of God they encamped” [Numbers 9: 23].
(א) ויקבר אותו. הוא קבר עצמו שנכנס במערה בגיא וכן וירעו הרועים אותם ויראו שוטרי בני ישראל אותם ודע כי הר העברים שהוא הר נבו שהוא צלם ככב הוא בעצמו הגיא שהוא ראש הפסג' שהוא מול בית פעור והעד שאמר הכתוב כי נסע ישראל מבמו' אל הגיא אשר בשדה מואב ראש הפסגה וכתיב ויעל משה מערבות מואב אל הר נבו ראש הפסגה ושם מת ושם קבורתו וכתיב ונשב בגיא מול בית פעור והנה אחר שישבו ישראל בגיא אמר הכתוב ויסעו בני ישראל ויחנו בערבות מואב וכתוב אחר ויחנו בהרי העברים לפני נבו ויסעו מהרי העברים ויחנו בערבות מואב והנה דבר ברור כי במקום שמת משה שם קבודתו: (ב) עד היום הזה. דברי יהושע. ויתכן שכתב זה באחרית ימיו:
(1) He buried him He buried himself (by going into a crypt within the Gai). Compare, “the shepherds tended themselves [literally: the shepherds tended them]” [Ezekiel 34: 8] and “the officers of the Children of Israel saw them” [Exodus 5: 19]. Mount Avarim (also known as Mount Nebo, named for a star) is the same place as the Gai which is at the top of the cliff across from Beth-Peor. This is attested to by Scripture, which states that Israel traveled from Bamoth to “the Gai which is in the field of Moab, by the top of a cliff” [Numbers 21: 20]; Scripture also states that “Moshe ascended from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of the cliff” [: 1], where he died and was buried. Elsewhere Scripture says, “we stayed in the Gai, across Beth-Peor” [3: 29]; and subsequent to their encampment in the Gai, Scripture says that “the Children of Israel marched on and encamped at the plains of Moab” [Numbers 22: 1] [see also 3: 29]. But in another place, Scripture says, “they encamped in the hills of Avarim, in front of Nebo; then they marched from the hills of Avarim , and encamped in the plains of Moab” [Numbers 33: 47–48]. And it is clear that the place where Moshe died would be the place where he was buried. (2) to this day These are Joshua’s words [Bava Batra 15a], who wrote them, most likely, toward the end of his life.

III. The locus classicus of rabbinic discussion of Mosaic authorship: BT Bava Batra 14b-15a (excerpted)

ומי כתבן משה כתב ספרו ופרשת בלעם ואיוב יהושע כתב ספרו ושמונה פסוקים שבתורה שמואל כתב ספרו ושופטים ורות דוד כתב ספר תהלים על ידי עשרה זקנים ע"י אדם הראשון על ידי מלכי צדק ועל ידי אברהם וע"י משה ועל ידי הימן וע"י ידותון ועל ידי אסף
The baraita now considers the authors of the biblical books: And who wrote the books of the Bible? Moses wrote his own book, i.e., the Torah, and the portion of Balaam in the Torah, and the book of Job. Joshua wrote his own book and eight verses in the Torah, which describe the death of Moses. Samuel wrote his own book, the book of Judges, and the book of Ruth. David wrote the book of Psalms by means of ten elders of previous generations, assembling a collection that included compositions of others along with his own. He included psalms authored by Adam the first man, by Melchizedek king of Salem, and by Abraham, and by Moses, and by Heman, and by Jeduthun, and by Asaph,
ועל ידי שלשה בני קרח ירמיה כתב ספרו וספר מלכים וקינות חזקיה וסיעתו כתבו (ימש"ק סימן) ישעיה משלי שיר השירים וקהלת אנשי כנסת הגדולה כתבו (קנד"ג סימן) יחזקאל ושנים עשר דניאל ומגילת אסתר עזרא כתב ספרו ויחס של דברי הימים עד לו מסייעא ליה לרב דאמר רב יהודה אמר רב לא עלה עזרא מבבל עד שיחס עצמו ועלה ומאן אסקיה נחמיה בן חכליה אמר מר יהושע כתב ספרו ושמונה פסוקים שבתורה תניא כמאן דאמר שמונה פסוקים שבתורה יהושע כתבן דתניא (דברים לד, ה) וימת שם משה עבד יי אפשר משה (מת) וכתב וימת שם משה אלא עד כאן כתב משה מכאן ואילך כתב יהושע דברי ר"י ואמרי לה ר' נחמיה אמר לו ר"ש אפשר ס"ת חסר אות אחת וכתיב (דברים לא, כו) לקוח את ספר התורה הזה אלא עד כאן הקב"ה אומר ומשה אומר וכותב מכאן ואילך הקב"ה אומר ומשה כותב בדמע כמו שנאמר להלן (ירמיהו לו, יח) ויאמר להם ברוך מפיו יקרא אלי את כל הדברים האלה ואני כותב על הספר בדיו כמאן אזלא הא דא"ר יהושע בר אבא אמר רב גידל אמר רב שמונה פסוקים שבתורה יחיד קורא אותן לימא (ר"י היא) ודלא כר"ש אפילו תימא ר"ש הואיל ואשתנו אשתנו: יהושע כתב ספרו והכתיב (יהושע כד, כט) וימת יהושע בן נון עבד יי דאסקיה אלעזר והכתיב (יהושע כד, לג) ואלעזר בן אהרן מת דאסקיה פנחס שמואל כתב ספרו והכתיב (שמואל א כח, ג) ושמואל מת דאסקיה גד החוזה ונתן הנביא דוד כתב ספר תהלים על ידי עשרה זקנים וליחשוב נמי איתן האזרחי אמר רב איתן האזרחי זה הוא אברהם כתיב הכא (תהלים פט, א) איתן האזרחי וכתיב התם (ישעיהו מא, ב) מי העיר ממזרח צדק [וגו'] קא חשיב משה וקא חשיב הימן והאמר רב הימן זה משה כתיב הכא הימן וכתיב התם (במדבר יב, ז) בכל ביתי נאמן הוא תרי הימן הוו משה כתב ספרו ופרשת בלעם ואיוב מסייעא ליה לר' לוי בר לחמא דא"ר לוי בר לחמא איוב בימי משה היה כתיב הכא (איוב יט, כג) מי יתן אפוא ויכתבון מלי וכתיב התם (שמות לג, טז) ובמה יודע אפוא ואימא בימי יצחק דכתיב (בראשית כז, לג) מי אפוא הוא הצד ציד ואימא בימי יעקב דכתיב (בראשית מג, יא) אם כן אפוא זאת עשו ואימא בימי יוסף דכתיב (בראשית לז, טז) איפה הם רועים לא ס"ד דכתיב (איוב יט, כג) מי יתן בספר ויוחקו ומשה הוא דאיקרי מחוקק דכתיב (דברים לג, כא) וירא ראשית לו כי שם חלקת מחוקק ספון רבא אמר איוב בימי מרגלים היה כתיב הכא (איוב א, א) איש היה בארץ עוץ איוב שמו וכתיב התם (במדבר יג, כ) היש בה עץ מי דמי הכא עוץ התם עץ הכי קאמר להו משה לישראל ישנו לאותו אדם ששנותיו ארוכות כעץ ומגין על דורו כעץ יתיב ההוא מרבנן קמיה דר' שמואל בר נחמני ויתיב וקאמר איוב לא היה ולא נברא אלא משל היה אמר ליה עליך אמר קרא איש היה בארץ עוץ איוב שמו אלא מעתה (שמואל ב יב, ג) ולרש אין כל כי אם כבשה אחת קטנה אשר קנה ויחיה וגו' מי הוה אלא משל בעלמא הכא נמי משל בעלמא א"כ שמו ושם עירו למה רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר דאמרי תרוייהו איוב מעולי גולה היה ובית מדרשו בטבריא היה מיתיבי ימי שנותיו של איוב משעה שנכנסו ישראל למצרים ועד שיצאו
and by the three sons of Korah. Jeremiah wrote his own book, and the book of Kings, and Lamentations. Hezekiah and his colleagues wrote the following, and a mnemonic to remember which books they wrote is yod, mem, shin, kuf: Isaiah [Yeshaya], Proverbs [Mishlei], Song of Songs [Shir HaShirim], and Ecclesiastes [Kohelet]. The members of the Great Assembly wrote the following, and a mnemonic to remember these books is kuf, nun, dalet, gimmel: Ezekiel [Yeḥezkel ], and the Twelve Prophets [Sheneim Asar], Daniel [Daniel ], and the Scroll of Esther [Megillat Ester]. Ezra wrote his own book and the genealogy of the book of Chronicles until his period. The Gemara comments: This supports Rav, as Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Ezra did not ascend from Babylonia to Eretz Yisrael until he established his own genealogy, and after that he ascended. This genealogy is what is written in the book of Chronicles. And who completed the book of Chronicles for the generations following Ezra? Nehemiah, son of Hacaliah. The Gemara elaborates on the particulars of this baraita: The Master said above that Joshua wrote his own book and eight verses of the Torah. The Gemara comments: This baraita is taught in accordance with the one who says that it was Joshua who wrote the last eight verses in the Torah. This point is subject to a tannaitic dispute, as it is taught in another baraita: “And Moses the servant of the Lord died there” (Deuteronomy 34:5); is it possible that after Moses died, he himself wrote “And Moses died there”? Rather, Moses wrote the entire Torah until this point, and Joshua wrote from this point forward; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. And some say that Rabbi Neḥemya stated this opinion. Rabbi Shimon said to him: Is it possible that the Torah scroll was missing a single letter? But it is written: “Take this Torah scroll” (Deuteronomy 31:26), indicating that the Torah was complete as is and that nothing further would be added to it. Rather, until this point the Holy One, Blessed be He, dictated and Moses repeated after Him and wrote the text. From this point forward, with respect to Moses’ death, the Holy One, Blessed be He, dictated and Moses wrote with tears. The fact that the Torah was written by way of dictation can be seen later, as it is stated concerning the writing of the Prophets: “And Baruch said to them: He dictated all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink in the scroll” (Jeremiah 36:18). The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is that which Rabbi Yehoshua bar Abba says that Rav Giddel says that Rav says: When the Torah is read publicly in the synagogue, one person reads the last eight verses in the Torah, and that section may not be divided between two readers? Shall we say that this is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda and not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, as according to Rabbi Shimon these verses are an integral part of the Torah, written by Moses just like the rest? The Gemara answers: Even if you say that this was said in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, since they differ from the rest of the Torah in one way, as Moses wrote them with tears, they differ from the rest of the Torah in this way as well, i.e., they may not be divided between two readers. It is stated in the baraita that Joshua wrote his own book. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written toward the end of the book: “And Joshua, son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died” (Joshua 24:29)? Is it possible that Joshua wrote this? The Gemara answers: Aaron’s son Eleazar completed it. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it also written: “And Eleazar, son of Aaron, died” (Joshua 24:33)? The Gemara answers: Pinehas completed it. It is also stated in the baraita that Samuel wrote his own book. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written: “And Samuel died” (I Samuel 28:3)? The Gemara answers: Gad the seer and Nathan the prophet finished it. It is further stated that David wrote the book of Psalms by means of ten elders, whom the baraita proceeds to list. The Gemara asks: But then let it also count Ethan the Ezrahite among the contributors to the book of Psalms, as it is he who is credited with Psalms, chapter 89. Rav says: Ethan the Ezrahite is the same person as Abraham. Proof for this is the fact that it is written here: “A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite” (Psalms 89:1), and it is written there: “Who raised up one from the east [mizraḥ], whom righteousness met wherever he set his foot” (Isaiah 41:2). The latter verse is understood as referring to Abraham, who came from the east, and for that reason he is called Ethan the Ezrahite in the former verse. The Gemara asks: The baraita counts Moses among the ten elders whose works are included in the book of Psalms, and it also counts Heman. But doesn’t Rav say: The Heman mentioned in the Bible (I Kings 5:11) is the same person as Moses? This is proven by the fact that it is written here: “Heman” (Psalms 88:1), which is Aramaic for trusted, and it is written there about Moses: “For he is the trusted one in all My house” (Numbers 12:7). The Gemara answers: There were two Hemans, one of whom was Moses, and the other a Temple singer from among the descendants of Samuel. The baraita further states that Moses wrote his own book, i.e., the Torah, the portion of Balaam, and the book of Job. This supports Rabbi Levi bar Laḥma, as Rabbi Levi bar Laḥma says: Job lived in the time of Moses. It is written here with regard to Job: “Oh, that my words were written now [eifo]” (Job 19:23), and it is written there in Moses’ words to God: “For in what shall it be known here [eifo]” (Exodus 33:16). The unusual use of the word eifo in these two places indicates that Job and Moses lived in the same generation. The Gemara comments: But if that is the proof, say that Job lived in the time of Isaac, as it is written in connection with Isaac: “Who then [eifo] is he that has taken venison” (Genesis 27:33). Or say that he lived in the time of Jacob, as it is written with respect to Jacob: “If it must be so now [eifo], do this” (Genesis 43:11). Or say that he lived in the time of Joseph, as it is written with respect to Joseph: “Tell me, I pray you, where [eifo] are they feeding their flocks?” (Genesis 37:16). The Gemara answers: It could not enter your mind to say this, as it is written in the continuation of the previously mentioned verse: “Oh, that my words were inscribed [veyuḥaku] in a book” (Job 19:23), and it is Moses who is called the inscriber, as it is written with regard to him: “And he provided the first part for himself, for there was the inscriber’s [meḥokek] portion reserved” (Deuteronomy 33:21). Rava says: Job lived at the time of the spies whom Moses sent to scout the land of Canaan. This is proven by the fact that it is written here: “There was a man in the land of Utz, whose name was Job” (Job 1:1), and it is written there in the account of the spies: “Whether there are trees [eitz] in it” (Numbers 13:20). The Gemara asks: Is it comparable? Here the word that is used is Utz, whereas there the word is eitz. The Gemara answers: This is what Moses said to Israel, i.e., to the spies: Is that man named Job still alive, he whose years are as long as the years of a tree and who protects his generation like a tree? This is why the allusion to him here is through the word eitz, rather than Utz. The Gemara relates that one of the Sages sat before Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani and he sat and said: Job never existed and was never created; there was never such a person as Job. Rather, his story was a parable. Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said to him: In rebuttal to you, the verse states: “There was a man in the Land of Utz whose name was Job” (Job 1:1), which indicates that such a man did indeed exist. The Gemara asks: But if that is so, that the words “there was” prove that Job existed, what shall we say about the parable that Natan the prophet presented to David: “There were two men in one city; the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing except one little lamb, which he had bought and reared” (II Samuel 12:3)? Was there really such a person? Rather, it was merely a parable; here too it is merely a parable. The Gemara answers: If so, that it is a parable, why state his name and the name of his city? Rather, Job was clearly a real person. The Gemara cites another opinion with regard to the time when Job lived. Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Elazar both say: Job was among those who ascended from the exile to Eretz Yisrael at the start of the Second Temple period, and his house of study was in Tiberias. The Gemara raises an objection from what is taught in a baraita: The days of Job’s life extended from when Israel entered Egypt until they left, indicating that this is the period during which he lived and not, as suggested, in the early days of the Second Temple.

Another important rabbinic statement about the revelatory status of the Torah is found in a beraita cited in BT Sandhedrin 99a.

תניא אידך כי דבר יי בזה זה האומר אין תורה מן השמים ואפילו אמר כל התורה כולה מן השמים חוץ מפסוק זה שלא אמרו הקדוש ברוך הוא אלא משה מפי עצמו זהו כי דבר יי בזה ואפילו אמר כל התורה כולה מן השמים חוץ מדקדוק זה מקל וחומר זה מגזרה שוה זו זה הוא כי דבר יי בזה
It is taught in another baraita: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord”; this is a reference to one who says the Torah did not originate from Heaven. And even if one says the entire Torah originated from Heaven except for this verse, i.e., any one verse, claiming that the Holy One, Blessed be He, did not say it but Moses himself said it on his own, this is included in the category of: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord.” And even if one says the entire Torah originated from Heaven except for this inference inferred by the Sages, or except for this a fortiori inference, or except for this verbal analogy, this is included in the category of: “Because he has despised the word of the Lord.”

Cf. Rambam's Eighth Principle of Faith, from the Siraj (Commentary on the Mishnah), Introduction to Sanhedrin 10 (but note that this postdates Ibn Ezra - and that it requires contextualizing with regards to Rambam's statements elsewhere in his works).

.Rambam, Introduction to Pereq Heleq, Ibn Tibbon trans

והיסוד השמיני הוא תורה מן השמים. והוא, שנאמין שכל התורה הזו הנמצאת בידינו היום הזה היא התורה שניתנה למשה, ושהיא כולה מפי הגבורה, כלומר שהגיעה עליו כולה מאת ה’ הגעה שקורים אותה על דרך ההשאלה דבור, ואין יודע איכות אותה ההגעה אלא הוא עליו השלום אשר הגיעה אליו, ושהוא במעלת לבלר שקורין לפניו והוא כותב כולה תאריכיה וספוריה ומצותיה, וכך נקרא מחוקק. ואין הבדל בין ובני חם כוש ומצרים ופוט וכנען, ושם אשתו מהיטבאל בת מטרד, או אנכי ה’, ושמע ישראל ה’ אלקינו ה’ אחד, הכל מפי הגבורה והכל תורת ה’ תמימה טהורה קדושה אמת… כל אות שבה יש בה חכמות ונפלאות למי שהבינו ה’…

IV. Ibn Ezra's Criticism of Yitzhaqi on Bereshit 36:31

Bereshit 36:31 presents a chronological challenge similar to the pesuqim that Ibn Ezra points out in his comment to Devarim 1:2; however, in Ber. 36:31 Ibn Ezra harmonizes the apparent discrepancy in his reading of the text. Moreover, Ibn Ezra excoriates one Yitzhaqi (not to be confused with Rashi) for reading it as having been written at a later time (post-Mosaic). Elsewhere in his commentary, Ibn Ezra is harshly critical of this Yitzhaqi, about whose identity there is not scholarly consensus.

(לא) וְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ הַמְּלָכִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר מָלְכ֖וּ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ אֱד֑וֹם לִפְנֵ֥י מְלָךְ־מֶ֖לֶךְ לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
(31) These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the Israelites.

ואלה המלכים. יש אומרים כי בדרך נבואה נכתבה זאת הפרשה. ויצחקי אמר בספרו כי בימי יהושפט נכתבה זאת הפרשה (עי' מ"ב ח' כ'). ופי' הדורות כרצונו הכי קרא שמו יצחק כל השומע יצחק לו. כי אמר כי הדד הוא הדד האדומי (מ"א י"א י"ד) ואמר כי מהיטבאל אחות תחפנחם (מ"א י"א י"ט). וחלילה חלילה שהדבר כמו שדבר על ימי יהושפט וספרו ראוי להשרף ולמה תמה על שמנה מלכים שמלכו שהם רבים. והנה מלכי ישראל כפלים במספר. ושני אלה המלכים קרובים לשני מלכי ישראל. גם מלכי יהודה רבים הם ממלכי אדום עד ימי משה והאמת שפי' לפני מלך מלך על משה מלך ישראל וכן כתוב ויהי בישורון מלך

This apparent methodological inconsistently on Ibn Ezra's part is addressed by Yosef ben Eliezer Tov-'Elem (Bonfils) in his 14th-century supercommentary, Tzafnat Pa'ane'ah (ad loc., s.v. וספרו ראוי להשרף):

צפנת פענח, בראשית ל"ו:ל"א

וספרו ראוי להשרף – פירוש, לפי דעתי אמר ככה בעבור כי אם נכתבה בימי יהושפט הנה הוספו על התורה פרשה שלימה, והתורה אמרה “לא תוסיף עליו (דברים ד' ב'). ואם יטעון טוען, הלא ר’ אברהם בעצמו רמז בתחלת ספר אלה הדברים (דברים א' ב') שהוסיפו הנביאים האחרונים מלות גם פסוקים בתורה, התשובה: כי המוסיף מלה או פסוק לפרש מה שכתב משה, להוסיף בו ביאור, אין זה דומה למוסיף פרשה שלימה, כי מלה או פסוק הוא פירוש, אבל פרשה שלמה היא תוספת.

V. Excersus: Spinoza's Reading of Ibn Ezra's "Secret of the Twelve"

Spinoza reads Ibn Ezra's Secret of the Twelve as Ibn Ezra's way of hinting that the entire Torah is not of Mosaic authorship. As well as the verses pointed out in Ibn Ezra to Devarim 1:2, which Spinoza cites verbatim and explicates, Spinoza's understanding of Ibn Ezra's position hinges upon his the idea that "the twelve" of Ibn Ezra's comment pertains to the twelve stones mentioned in Devarim 27:3, which, per the Miqra', had some or all of the Torah written on them (cf. Ramban and Sa'adyah, who maintains that only the 613 mitzvot were recorded on these stones).

Spinoza, Tractatus theologico-politicus, ch. 8

Ut ea autem ordine ostendam, a praejudiciis circa veros Scriptores Sacrorum Librorum incipiam, et primò de scriptore Pentateuchi: quem fere omnes Mosen esse crediderunt, imo adeò pertinaciter defenderunt Pharisaei, ut eum haereticum habuerint, qui aliud visus est sentire, et hac de causa Aben Hezra, liberioris ingenii Vir, et non mediocris eruditionis, et qui primus omnium, quos legi, hoc praejudicium animadvertit, non ausus est mentem suam apertè explicare, sed rem obscurioribus verbis tantum indicare, quae ego hîc clariora reddere non verebor, remque ipsam evidenter ostendere, ...

Notat II., quod totus liber Mosis descriptus fuerit admodum diserte in solo ambitu unius arae (vide Deuter. cap. 27 et Josuae cap. 8 v. 37 etc.), quae ex Rabinorum relatione duodecim tantum lapidibus constabat ; ex quo sequitur librum Mosis longè minoris fuisse molis, quam Pentateuchon : Hoc, inquam, puto authorem hunc significare voluisse per mysterium duodecim ; nisi forte intellexit duodecim illas maledictiones, quae in praedicto cap. Deut. habentur, quas fortasse credidit non fuisse in libro legis descriptas, idque propterea, quod Moses praeter descriptionem legis Levitas insuper recitare illas maledictiones jubet, ut populum jurejurando ad leges descriptas observandum adstringerent. Vel forte ultimum caput Deuteronomii de morte Mosis significare voluit, quod caput duodecim versibus constat. Sed haec et quae praeterea alii hariolantur, non est opus curiosus hîc examinare. ...

His Aben Hezrae sententiam explicuimus, ut et loca Pentateuchi, quae ad eandem confirmandam adfert. Verum enimvero nec omnia, nec praecipua notavit, plura enim in hisce libris et majoris momenti notanda supersunt.

Trans. Samuel Shirley (Brill, 2001)

To treat the matter in logical order, I shall first deal with misconceptions regarding the true authorship of the Sacred Books, beginning with the Pentateuch. The author is almost universally believed to be Moses, a view so obstinantely defended by the Pharisees that they have regarded any other view as heresy. It was for this reason that Ibn Ezra, a man of enlightened mind and considerable learning, who was the first, as far as I know, to call attention to the misconception, did not venture to explain his meaning openly, and expressed himself somewhat obscurely in words which I shall here not hesitate to elucidate, making his meaning quite plain. ...

The Book of Moses was inscribed in its entirety on no more than the circumference of a single altar (Deut. ch. 27 and Joshua ch. 8 v. 30 etc.), and this altar, according to the Rabbis, consisted of only twelve stones. From this it follows that the Book of Moses must have required far less space than the Pentateuch. This, I say, is what our author meant by his reference to "the mystery of the twelve," unless he was referring to the twelve curses in the aforementioned chapter of Deuteronomy. Perhaps he believed these could not have been contained in Moses' Book of the Law, so as to bind the people by oath to observe the recited laws. Or again he may have wished to draw attention to the last chapter of Deuteronomy concerning the death of Moses, a chapter consisting of twelve verses. But there is no need here to give closer scrutiny to these and other conjectures. ...

We have now set forth the view of ibn Ezra, and the passages of the Pentateuch which he cites in support. Yet he did not call attention to all such passages, nor even the principal ones, for there are many other passages in these books, and of great significance, which have yet to be cited."

The verses in question, Devarim 27:2-3

(ב) וְהָיָ֗ה בַּיּוֹם֮ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תַּעַבְר֣וּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן֒ אֶל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יי אֱלֹקֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֣ן לָ֑ךְ וַהֲקֵמֹתָ֤ לְךָ֙ אֲבָנִ֣ים גְּדֹל֔וֹת וְשַׂדְתָּ֥ אֹתָ֖ם בַּשִּֽׂיד׃ (ג) וְכָתַבְתָּ֣ עֲלֵיהֶ֗ן אֶֽת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֛י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בְּעָבְרֶ֑ךָ לְמַ֡עַן אֲשֶׁר֩ תָּבֹ֨א אֶל־הָאָ֜רֶץ אֲ‍ֽשֶׁר־יי אֱלֹקֶ֣יךָ ׀ נֹתֵ֣ן לְךָ֗ אֶ֣רֶץ זָבַ֤ת חָלָב֙ וּדְבַ֔שׁ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֛ר יי אֱלֹהֵֽי־אֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ לָֽךְ׃
(2) As soon as you have crossed the Jordan into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones. Coat them with plaster (3) and inscribe upon them all the words of this Teaching. When you cross over to enter the land that the LORD your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you—

Ibn Ezra does not, however, offer his thoughts about the text recorded on the stones ad. loc.

(א) וטעם בשיד. שיעמדו:
(1) with plaster to preserve the writing.
(א) למען. כי השם יעזרך אם החלות לשמור מצותיו וזאת המצוה הראשונה לביאתם לבנות להם מזבח חדש להודות לשם שהחלו להיותם בארץ:
(1) so that you shall come for God will aid you, if you start by observing His commandments. This was their very first obligation upon entering: to build a new altar, to thank God for the start of their occupation of the land.

But cf. Ramban's statement about the text written on the twelve stones (ad. loc.; note: postdates Ibn Ezra):

(א) וכתבת עליהן את כל דברי התורה הזאת אמר ר"א בשם הגאון שכתבו עליהם מנין המצות כמו הכתובות בהלכות גדולות כעין אזהרות וטעם "באר היטב" (פסוק ח) הכתיבה ורבותינו אמרו (סוטה לב) בשבעים לשון ומצינו בספר תאגי שהיתה כל התורה כתובה בהן מבראשית עד לעיני כל ישראל בתאגיה וזיוניה ומשם נעתקו התאגין בכל התורה ויתכן שהיו האבנים גדולות מאד או שהיה ממעשה הנסים "למען אשר תבא אל הארץ" - אמר רבי אברהם כי השם יעזרך אם החלות לשמור מצותיו כי זאת היא המצוה הראשונה לביאתם לארץ ולפי דעתי "למען אשר תבא" רמז לכל דברי התורה יאמר שתכתוב על האבנים כל דברי התורה הזאת בעברך בירדן מיד למען אשר באת אל הארץ כי בעבור התורה באת שמה וכן למען ינוח עבדך ואמתך כמוך וזכרת כי עבד היית (לעיל ה יד טו) ינוח עבדך ואמתך כמוך למען תזכור כי עבד היית או טעמו תכתוב עליהם את כל דברי התורה הזאת להיות לך לזכרון למען אשר תבא אל הארץ ותכבוש אותה ותירש את כל העמים ההם בהיותך זוכר התורה ושומר כל מצותיה