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THE

JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
N

EW SERIES

EDITED BY

CYRUS ADLER

VOLUME X
1919-1920

PHILADELPHIA THE DROPSIE COLLEGE FOR HEBREW AND COGNATE LEARNING
LONDON MACMILLAN & COMPANY, LTD
:

PRINTED

IN

ENGLAND

AT THE OXFORD UNIVKRSITY PRESS

DS
I0\

35
V.IO

CONTENTS
PAGE
Casanowicz,
I.

M.
:

:

Hopkins's

'

History of Religions

',

.

373

DuscHiNSKY, C.

The Rabbinate
1

of the Great Synagogue,

London, from

756-1842
:

.....
.

445

Friedenwald, Harry

Note on the Importance of the
Mediaeval Medicine
Williams's
. . .

Hebrew Language

in
:

19

Greenstone, Julius H.
tian

'

The Hebrew-Chris.
. .

Messiah'
B.
:

.

.

-153
.

Halper,

A

Dirge on the Death of Daniel
:

Gaon

411
199

Hertz, Joseph H.

An

Explanation of Abot
:

VL

3.

.

HiRSCHFELD, Hartwig
graphy

The Dot

in

Semitic

Palaeo-

159

HoscHANDER, Jacob
of History

The Book Chapter IV
:

of Esther in the Light
.
. . . .

.

81

Macht, David
'Gourds''

I

:

/A Pharmacological Study of

Biblical

.185
:

Mann, Jacob

The Responsa

of the Babylonian
. .

Geonim

as a Source of Jewish History

.121,
. .

309

Marmorstein, a.

:

The Takkanot
:

of Ezra

.

370

Marx, Alexander

Paetow's
.

'Guide to the Study of
.
.

Mediaeval History'

.

1.

.

529

Melamed, Raphael Hai
according to Six
'

The Targum to Yemen MSS. Compared
:

Canticles

with the
.
.

Textus Receptus' (Ed. de Lagarde)
:

.

377

Segal, M. H.
III to

Studies in the Books of Samuel. Chapters
.

V

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

203, 421

IV

CONTENTS
PAGE

Waxman,

Meyer

:

The Philosophy

of
.

Don
.

Hasdai
.

Crescas.

Chapters

V

to
:

VII

.

25, 291

WoLFSON, Harry Austryn
tion of

Time

........
:

Note on Crescas's Definii

Zeitlin,

Solomon

Megillat

Taanit as a Source
in

for

Jewish Chronology and History

the

Hellenistic
.

and Roman Periods.
Zeitlin,

Chapters

IV

to

XII
.

49, 237
.

Solomon

:

The Takkanot

of Ezra

.

367

NOTE ON CRESCAS'S DEFINITION OF TIME
By Harry Austryn Wolfsox, Harvard
In Or Adonai,
definition
I,
ii,

University.

ii, after refuting the Aristotelian
in

of

time

reproduced

INIaimonides'

fifteenth

Proposition, Crescas puts forward a

new

definition of his
'rMr\

own.
niny

It
'ntr

reads as
pna'

follows
ix

:

Nine' nsn'

JCD p23n
-iiyc.
'

n6i

nniion

nyijnn

nipmnn

The term
',

mpmnn
is

generally means 'continuity' and

cohesion

and

contrasted with
'

nmann
',

or mpiDnn, which
as, e. g., in

mean

'disnr^D

creteness

and

'

disjunction
ntD3

the expressions

npaino and miariD

corresponding to the Greek (Tvv^\i^

and

Stcopicr/J.ii'ou

in

Categories, IV.

Taken
to

in this sense,

Crescas's definition of time

would have

be translated as

follows

:

'

.

.

.

.

the measure of the continuity of motion or
'.

of rest between any two instants

To

be

sure, the ex-

pression 'the measure of the continuity of motion or of
rest
'

is

meaningless.

But

it

could be explained with the
in

help of a similar expression which occurs

Gersonides'

discussion of Aristotle's definition of time {Milhauiot, VI,
i,

2i).

Among

the several

tentative

interpretations
is

of

Aristotle's definition discussed

by Gersonides, there

one

which but
is like

for the

absence of the expression 'or of rest'

that proposed here
:

by Crescas.

It

reads somewhat

as follows
instants,

Time

is

the measure of motion between two

mnyn
nyijnn

I'at;'

hd

s'ln

nyi:nn
n\n'

-lyc"'

"I'^'N

p^rn-i:'

-iJSNrL?'

dn

p3

TC-'S

"Viz'n

nM''L"3

uit2^

nn ,nyi:nn ip^n^

irx

onn ninyn.

Now, previous

to his statement of this definiI
1!

VOL. X.

2
tion,

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Gersonides
refers

to
'

the portion of time included

between two instants as a

continuous quantity
"y^
"h
n'ii^"

'

bounded
nnsn

by

instants.

:niN-VDnc

cmv

nnyn-j*

nsno xim
. . .

nnsn P^nn nb^yn Nini ^pmncn
I?2Tnc.

mc^n

rh2:n sin ^nnxni

Accordingly, the expression 'the measure of the
'

continuity of motion

in Crescas's definition

could be taken
',

to

mean

'

the measure of the continuous quantity of motion
ni'"i:nn

the term
njji:nn b'C\

npainn being equivalent

to pnnnr^n nioan

Crescas's definition of motion, therefore, with
'

the exception of the expression
identical with one of

or of rest

'

would thus be

the tentative definitions discarded

by Gersonides.
the definition
is

It is

somewhat

in this sense, in fact,

that

taken by

Eisler in his Vorlcstmgen iiber die
3,

jiidiscJien PJiilosophen

dcs Mittelalters,

p.

144.

'

Die

Zeitdauer wird an der

Ruhe oder an
;

der

Bewegung zwischen
Mass
fiir

zwei Zeiten gemessen

die Zeit

ist

also das
fiir

die

continuirlichen Ouantitaten, wie die Zahl

nicht zusam-

menhangende Quant itaten.'
This interpretation of the definition, however, involves

some
that
raised
if

difficulties.

Were

this

its

meaning,

it

is

strange

Crescas

should

take

no notice

of the

objections

by Gersonides

against this definition.

Furthermore,

that were the

meaning of Crescas's

definition,

he has

failed to

prove his main point, namely, the absolute separa-

tion of time from motion.

His addition of the terms 'or

of rest

'

in
is

the definition does not achieve that purpose,

for rest

merely the negation of motion

—an
it,

objection
is

which, despite Crescas's attempt to explain

insisted

upon, as
It
is

we

shall see,

by one of

his critics.

therefore

necessary that

the

term

nipannn

be

rendered here not by 'continuity', but by 'continuance',
or rather 'duration
'.

The

definition thus translated

assumes

.

CRESCAS

S DEFINITION

OF TIME

— WOLFSON
I

3
shall

an entirely new meaning, the significance of which
point out after a brief discussion of
its

origin.

It

can be

shown

that the term Dipannn was
'

known
and
'

to Crescas to
',

have
in

the two meanings of

cohesion

'

duration

Thus
in

Or Adonai,

I,

i,

13,

he suggests that the term pmnr^

Maiits

monides' thirteenth Proposition should be taken not in

ordinary sense of 'cohesion', but in the sense of 'eternal
duration'.^ ^nvJ Tr^n ^panno n?os'3 nvTJ'ix.
Its

corresponding

Greek term

a-vvey^eia
it

likewise

has these two meanings.
in

Aristotle uses
in
\.\\e

in

both of these meanings
vii,

one passage

Physics, VIII,

§ 3 (260 b, 20-21).

In the

Hebrew
is

translations of the Physics, a-vvexco^ in this passage

in

one case rendered by

n^nvJ

and
in

in

another case by npanJD

The
motion
behind

definition
is
it.

of time

terms of the duration of
It

not original with Crescas.
It

has a long history
in

was of common usage
the

post-Aristotelian

philosophy
latter of

among

Stoics and the Neoplatonists, the
it

whom

tried to identify
Its

with an ancient view of
traces are also found in

some of the Pythagoreans.
the works of

many Arabic and Hebrew authors with which
familiar.

Crescas was
difference

Crescas

saw

clear

through

the

between the Aristotelian and the
utilized
it

later definitions

of time,
is

and has

here for his
his

own

purpose.

It

due to the unoriginality of

definition,

and

to his

reliance

upon the general acquaintance of his contemporaries
necessary to enter into an elaborate explanation

with the nature of that definition, that Crescas did not
think
it

of
^

its

meaning.
is

This

the correct reading of the passage according to the Vienna,

Parma, Munich, Oxford, and Vatican MSS.
as the
*ni'j

The Ferrara

edition as well
^V"1*L^'

Paris

and

Jews' College MSS. read ^p^nn*^ nr:N3

IN

TiDn panne.

B 2

4

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

The

clearest statement of the definition of time in terms
is

of duration

found

in Plotinus.

In the Enneads, III,

7, 6,

he says that among those who define time as a relation
of motion,

some

identify

it

with

5/a(r-7;/za,
is

i.

e.

the interval
SidcrTrjixa

or extension of motion.

What

meant by that

he does not explain.

The Latin

translation, however,
'.

adds
is

the gloss 'sive spatium, sive durationem

This gloss

probably based upon the subsequent discussion of the term
Sida-TTjfia

by Plotinus

himself.

In chapter 7 he raises the

question what that Sida-TTjfxa might mean, in answer to

which he mentions

roaoi'Se,

i.

e.

quantity, and hence space

and avrix^ia,

i.

e.

duration.

Plotinus does not mention the
the
this

name
In

of the author of

un-Aristotelian

definition

of time.

But we gather
one place
in

information from

Simplicius.

his

Commentary on
it
(cf.

the Categories, Simplicius informs us that
as the SLdarrjfia of

is

Zeno who defines time

motion
Eng.

Zeller, S/o/es,

Epicureans and
2).

Sceptics, ch. VIII,
in his

Tr., p. 197,

note

In another place,

Commentary
11 sqq.

on the Physics
libros

(cf.

Simplicius, In Aristotelis PJiysicornm
Diels,
p.

comvientaria, ed.

786,
p.

1.

;

and

Taylor's translation of the Physics,

544).
first

Simplicius

mentions the

fact that

Jamblichus

in

the

book of

his

Commentary on
that
'

the Categories quotes Archytas to the effect

time

...

is

a certain

number of motion, or the
'.

universal

extension of the nature of the universe

A little further in
as the one

the same passage Simplicius mentions Damascius

who interpreted the term 'extension' used by Archytas temporal extension duration To quote or to mean Time is the universal extension of the nature Simplicius
*

',

'

'.

'

:

of the universe, because
motion, but also of
rest.

it

is

not only the extension of
.

.

.

And

as

he proceeds, he

CRESCAS
renders
it

S

DEFINITION OF TIME

—WOLFSON

5

still

clearer, that

he does not define extension
space] but according to the
op.
cit.,

according to magnitude
duration of the ever*.
p.
7^<^^
1^'

[i.e.

Cf.

p.

787,

11.

33-4, and

18-20 KadoXov
ov fxovii^

Se

Sida-Trifia

r^?

tov TrauTot

^iVecoy.

on

Kii^ijadcos

dXXa Kal

rjpefiias

.

.

Kai

TrpoiXOcov iTL

aa(f)e<TT(.pov

kirotrjcr^v,
rrji/

on

ov Kara /liyeOos

a>pia€ TO SidaTTj/jLa,

dXXd Kara

rov del avui^eiaf.
in

Traces of this definition of time are to be found

the

works of Arabic authors.

In the Encyclopedia of the
:
'

Brethren of Purity, we find the following statement
is

Time
of

also said to be the

number

(:>j^)
it

of the movements of the
said

celestial

sphere.
(iSx)

Or, again,

is

to

be a kind

duration

which becomes numerically determined by
of the celestial sphere
'.

the

movement
Dieterici, text,

(Cf.

Die Abhandlungen der Ichwan
p.
'^^
;

Es-Safd,
of

Arabic

German
is

translation,

pp. 14-15
&c.).

Book
these

V of
two

his series

Die PhilosopJde der Araber,
it

Of

definitions,

clear,

the

first

represents the

Aristotelian, or rather the Platonic, view, the second the

un-Aristotelian.

The

un-Aristotelian definition seems to be implied in

Avicenna's discussion of time
pp. 30-31) and also
in

his

Al-Najat (Rome, 1593, Es-Scfd, as may be gathered
in his

from Horten's translation of the

latter

work
2).
is

(cf.

Horten,

Die Metaphysik Avicentias, IV,
used by Avicenna
in the sense of

iii,

ch. 4, §
'

The term
JU-y^l.

'

duration

Following Avicenna, Algazali
definition
in
'

reproduces

a

similar

his
is

Makasid

al-Falasifah, MetapJiysics, IV.

He
that

says,
is

Time

a term signifying the duration of motion,

to say, the extension of

motion

'.

6

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
a copy of 1\IS. Berl. Ouet., No. 59 in the possession

(From

of Professor

Henry
'

Malter.)
'

The terms
consulted.

duration

and

'

extension

'

are differently

rendered in the two

Hebrew

translations

which

I

have

In one (MS.

Cambridge University Library,
is
'

Mm.

(S.

24). 'duration', il^,

rendered by
',

its

Hebrew
niDu'Snn

homophonous term mo, and extension
(nyunn niDi:'snn
b"'\

jlx;*l,

by

nvi^nn

mo^
is

tj^i

fcrn

'•3).

In the other
^\^:u\

(MS.

idid.,

Mm.

6.

30), il-

rendered by ny and

by

i::'on (nyijnn Xi;'Dn?o

^'n nyijnn
is

nyu

n^-^^n

;orn

••3).

The same

definition

also reproduced

by Sharastani,

evidently from the Al-Najat, in his

philosophy (Cureton's edition, p. 401).

summary of Avicenna's 'And so there is
is

here a measure for motions, corresponding to them, and

everything corresponding to motions

something having

duration, which duration implies a continual renewal of
itself.

It is this that

we
L

call
L^I

time.'

J^:l. j^9

^^Sjt^

j^.l!.

JS^

j:lk-

^"^j^

^Iji.

UaU

ills

The term
'

used by Sharastani, which
',

I

have translated by

duration

is Jl^l^)!,

a

word which,
and again,

like the

Hebrew

nip2"tnn,

used
'

in Crescas's definition, is derived
',

from a root meaning

to join

'to cohere',

like the

Hebrew mp^nnn,
But
is

ordinarily
light of

means 'cohesion'

or 'continuity'.

in

the

Avicenna's definition of time which

reproduced

by
of

Algazali, and

by analogy of the Greek
I

avvky^^ia

and the

Hebrew
'

nipannn,
'.

have taken

this

term here
translated

in the sense

duration

Haarbriicker,

who

Sharastani

into

German, seems to have missed
its

this peculiar

meaning

of the term and

significance in the definition of time.
in its

He

consequently takes the term JUiMl

ordinary sense

CRESCAS'S DEFINITION OF TIME
of 'cohesion'

— WOLFSON
attributes

7

{Zusajiimenhang), and thus

to

Sharastani a definition of time as meaningless as would

be that of Crescas,
in his definition

if
'

we were

to translate the
'.

term

mpmnn
in

by cohesion

This un-Aristotelian definition of time occurs also
the works of the early Jewish philosophers.

Saadia defines

time as being

'

nothing but the measure (or extension) of
'

the duration of bodies
^Lo.^1
'^Uu

(cf.

Einnnot,

II, i

J
,

j* Wll

ijlojJl

^jlS.

iXo,

which

in

Judah Ibn Tibbon's Hebrew
••3

trans-

lation reads n"DtJ':n Dvp

m:^ dn

I3i\^< joini).

The
'

essentially

characteristic

word

in this definition is

the term

duration

',

for in another place in his
in his definition of time.

work Saadia uses only that term
(Cf.

Einimot,

I,

4,

'

Its essence,

truly defined,
.

is
sIxj*

the duration of these existent objects, &c.'
^Uu

.

.

uub^ja^l

5^3.

U.jlj.
'Isj

In this case Judah

Ibn

Tibbon
.
.

translates the term

by

nnsL'Ti

and not by Dvp.
this definition

.

n^NH nisvi:Jn nnx-j-n innr:N
is

!?3wX).

Now

of time

evidently not Aristotelian, as has already been
(cf.

pointed out by Guttmann Saadia,
p. 80), for
it

Die

RcligionspJiilosophic des

lacks the

most characteristic expression
its

used in Aristotle's definition of time, namely,

being the
shall

number
see,
is

or measure of motion.

But Guttmann, as we

wide of the mark

in identifying

Saadia's definition

as Platonic.
ficial

He

has been led into this error by a super-

reading of a certain passage of Zeller, which he

mistook to be an exact reproduction of Plato's definition
of time and in which the term
'

Dauer

'

would seem

to

be the most characteristic
2, I, p.

feature.

(Cf. Zeller, P/iil. d.

(7;-.,

521,

'

Aus

diesen

Bewegungen der Himmelskorper
ist,

entspringt die Zeit, welche nichts anderes

als die Dane}'

Hirer Uvildtifc

'.)

Plato, however, has never given a clean',

cut definition of time in which the term 'duration

BLdarrjiia

8

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
It
is

or (rvue)(€ia, forms the most important part.

only

from his discussion

in the
it

Tiuiaciis (37-9)

and from the

doubtful reference to

in

the Physics (IV, x, § 7) that

we may
istic

gather some idea of Plato's conception of time, and
it

from both these sources

appears that the most characteris

feature of his conception of time

its

connexion with
to the nature

the movements of the celestial spheres.
of this connexion, however,
it

As

is

a matter of controversy

among
totle,

the Greek commentators whether Plato, like Aris-

considered time to be the measure of the motion of
or,

the spheres,
itself.

unlike him. he identified
op.
cit.,

it

with the motion
Taylor's

(Cf.

Simplicius,

pp. 700-4, and

translation of the P/iysics, pp. 242-5, n. 4.)

It is therefore

more reasonable
characterized

to

assume that Saadia follows that un-

Aristotelian definition of time which, as

we have
'.

seen,

is

by the use of the term

'

duration

Saadia's definition seems to have been adopted verbally

by Abraham bar Hiyya.
r\'\^'io:ir\

He

defines time as DN
(cf.

^2

MT^fin

mr:yo

[mTN
to

^"33]nn''j:s

Hegyon ha-Nefesh,
the dubious reading
literal

p.

2a, Leipzig, i860).
""zjaJn'T'CK

By changing

of [riT'ON

mD

we have a

Hebrew

trans^la>

lation of Saadia's definition of time, in
is

which the term

rendered by

'I'^ipj;.

Thus Abraham bar Hiyya's

definition

of time cannot be either Aristotelian or Platonic, contrary to a statement of Husik, according to

whom

time

is

defined
(cf.

by Abraham bar Hiyya

as

the

measure of motion
p. 115).

A

History of Mediaeval JeivisJi Philosophy,

We

have thus seen that the essential part
is

in the

un',

Aristotelian definition of time

the term

'

extension

in

the sense of temporal extension, or 'duration'.
the words used are SidaTr^iia and avi/ix^ia.

In Greek

In Arabic for
is

temporal extension Algazali uses
'

'

jIj^I,

which

translated

CRESCAS'S DEFINITION OF TIME
into

—WOLFSON

9

Hebrew by niucsnn and
(i)

^C^D^.
'\ii,

For 'duration' we
used by Saadia, and

have the following terms:
translated
into

Hebrew by DVp and nnN^n (Judah Ibn
TTir^v

Tibbon) or by
in

(Abraham bar Hiyya).

(2)

il-t

,

used

the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity and by

Algazali, and rendered into

Hebrew by

mo

and ny.
is

(3)

JLu^l, used by Sharastani and Avicenna, which

the

exact equivalent of the Greek ai/j/e^em.
for
this
is

The Hebrew
is

nipmnn, and
In

it

is

this

term which

used
as

here

by

Crescas.
seen, the
'

all

these definitions
is

of time,

we have
without

term 'duration'
'

used either together

with the term
it

motion

(Plotinus,

Arabic

authors),

or

(Archytas, Saadia,
',

Abraham
it

bar Hiyya).

The
used

term

'

motion

therefore,

is

not an essential part of this
If
is

un-Aristotelian definition.
for

used at

all,

it

is

some other
'

reason,

and not necessarily to the exclusion

of

rest

',

as will be presently explained.

Thus Crescas
it

significantly says in his definition of time that

is

the

measure of the duration of vwtion or of rest
citation

(cf.

Simplicius's

from Damascius quoted above).
this

Let us now see what the significance of
Aristotelian
definition
is,

un-

and how

it

differs

from the

Aristotelian definition.

To

begin with, these two definitions imply two funda-

mentally different conceptions with regard to the problem
of the reality of time.
Aristotle himself, as
is

well known,

raised the question as to the reality of time.

His own

view on this point amounts to a compromise.
partly real and partly ideal. In so far as
it is

Time

is

it

is

conceived

only

in

connexion with motion

real, for

motion implies

the existence of a moving object and a space medium.

But

in so far as

time

is

not identical with motion,

it

being

:

lO

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
it

only the measure or number of motion,
for the act of

is

conceptual,
(cf.

measuring or numbering

is

mental

Physics,

IV, xv).
tion,

The

implication of the un-Aristotelian definiis

on the other hand,

that time

is

purely ideal.

We

thus find that Crescas. after having stated this definition of time, derives from
'

it

the logical conclusion, as follows

Consequently
is

it

may

be inferred that the existence of
^^*j2 |crn nix^ivo
is

time

only

in

the soul'

nvn hnt

T^h^.

According to

this

view time

absolutely independent of
It

motion, magnitude, and space.
ceived by the
in existence.

could have been con-

mind even had there been no external world

We

thus again find Crescas contending, as

a consequence of his definition of time, that the statement
of R. Judah bar R.

Simon that the order of time had

existed previous to creation {Bcreshit Rabba, ch. Ill) should

be taken
pi' II,

in

its

literal

sense.

-|3

mm'

'i -h:nd

ncNn* nth

mip

CJCT TiD HML" ncio xim idvcdd jio'd

•'ai (cf.

Morch,

XXX).

But time,

in

its

purely ideal nature, when conceived
motion,
is

absolutely apart from

indeterminate and imlimitless duration.
it

measurable.

It

is

an unqualified

It
is

does not become a subject of measurement unless
conceived
in

connexion with an external moving object.
in

For the existence of an object
things:
(i)
;

motion implies three
is

a corporeal magnitude, which
space, which
is

the subject of

motion

(2)

the

medium

of motion and

within which one

may

distinguish the different distances
(3)

traversed by the subject;

the process of motion

itself,

which

is

subject to a variation of velocity.
is

And

thus

when there
the
velocit}-.

an object

in

motion we are able to obtain

a definite portion of

time by dividing the distance
will

by
give

This does not mean that motion

CRESCAS
rise to

S DEFINITION

OF TIME

—WOI.FSON
we

II

time

;

it

only means that through motion

are

enabled to get a part of definite time out of the indefinite
duration which has an independent conceptual existence
of
its

own.
in

Time appears
op.
cit.

to us in

its

definite proportions
(cf.

only

the ratio of distance and velocity
;

Sharastani

and Algazali,

and Altabrizi's commentary on

Maimonides' Twenty-five Propositions, Prop. XV).
Crescas's definition that time
is

Hence

the measure of the duration

of motion or rest between two instants.

This difference between the two definitions
further
stated
in

may

be

the

terms of the mediaeval scholastic

(discussion

whether time was materially or only formally
(cf.

different

from motion
ed.

Suarez, MetapJiysicariim Dispit-

tatiomnn,

1614, part II, p. 473 b

'An tempus
Duns

in

re

distinguatur a

motu

'

;

cf.

also Annotationcs to

Scotus's

Quaestioiies in Libros Pliysicorinn Aristotclis, Ouaestio
ed. Vives, p. 125.
is

XV,

According to Aristotle's
;

definition time

only formally different from motion

materially they
the language of

are

both identical.

Or,

to

put

it

in

Simplicius and Avcrroes, time and motion are according
to Aristotle the

same

in subject

{hiroK^mivc^

=

X'C'ijn)

but

different in definition

{\6ya>=

"i?:x?:3).

Cf. Simplicius, op. cit.
VTTOKeifiil'M TaVTO.
fj,

IV, II,

p. 712,

11.

18-19 OlWcI

KOiV

T(J0

TO) Aoyo) Siafpepei.

Just as five things are in their subject
five

wood, but they arc
motion.

according to number, so are time and
subject
is

Their

common
this

the

moving
its

object.

When we

view

object with reference to

motion

between co-subsistent prior and posterior points
get pure motion.
successive
space,
prior

in

space

we
in

But when we view

it

with reference to

and posterior points which are not

we

get time.

According
other

to the definition

adopted

by

Crescas,

on

the

hand,

time

and

motion arc

:

12

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
In order to exist, time, unlike motion,
Its

materially different.

does not imply the existence of an object in space.
existence
is

purely conceptual.

In order to be measured,

however, this requires the existence of an object moving
in

space

;

for definite time
velocit}'.

is

obtained by the division of

distance

by

That these two

definitions

revolve,

as

I

have been

trying to show% about the problem of the reality of time,
is

clearly brought out in

two passages of Algazali and
already seen, Algazali defines
'.

Averroes.

As we have
'

time

in

terms of

duration

Averroes, of course, follows
ha-Pilusjip/iiiii,
' :

Aristotle.

Now,

in his

Hapalat

I,

Algazali

makes

the following statement

Passing by
is

itself is

time;

passing on account of something else
passes
joTH

motion, for motion
Sin inTOVya *l3iyn
nniyni

by

virtue of the passing of time.'

-inya

nnyn

nnt

'^

^nyi:nn
in

sin

inhn

.prn.
I,

To
as
it

this

Averroes
:

replies

his
is

Hapalat Iia-Hapalah,

follows

'

What he
Certain

says

true enough, and, indeed,

proves the truth of what
of time.
it is,

we have

said about the nature
'

however, that the

before

'

and the

'after' of time include

at once their respective parts of

motion as well as

their respective parts of duration, not

merely their respective parts of duration.
opposition to Algazali
'

This

is

in

(quoted in Narboni's

Commentary
Paris, Bibl.

on Algazali's Kai^-anot, Metaphysics, IV, (MS.
Nationale, Cod. Heb. 901)
n?:N3
nri ,"ir:^;y3 "1x12^:;
\i2]r\

n?:NL" n?

"2 /hz>r\r,

ni'ann n::n

p

icsi

•hhy
nil

p

nnsnr:ni cnipn d:?:ni

.inmsau' nn nnrrx bv T'^^
nr:s'n

.13^ nc'ionn ^^hn

i6 pn^ I'j'cnn "^hn oy nyiinn ^\hn

The
clear.

point at issue between Algazali and Averroes

is

To

the former, time

is

abstract duration, materially

:


I3

CRESCAS'S DEFINITION OF TIME
differing

— WOLFSON
To
It
is

from motion.

Hence

it

is

ideal.

tlie latter,

time

is

materially identical with motion.

therefore
in

in so far real.

In another passage, quoted

by Narboni

his

Commentary on

the

JSIoreli,

Part II, Proposition

XV,

Averroes makes

his point still clearer.

He
'

says that while

time must always involve motion, pure duration, conceived
without motion
nvs''iT2i?

may

be termed
forn

'

eternity

nis"'Vo

T^'rrno nv^^D
^ny"i:nn

wirzh
|r:Tn

nr

,nr-i

\i

iCwSi

nm
ir^s"'

Nin

,nv:m

ny n^x

-i^"')^*"'

n?

ph

^myyijn?2n

ph
'3
;

,myyi:nD

^rhir\

nis*v?.:in
^::

niwX''VD
Di?rs*

Ti^'dhd

n!;^^D

p-iyn

-jt:>r:nn

n'jij

nrnn

nv?:)

nip^ ;DTn
x^nr'

nvi^i .jcn DrN"j* li'sn
sin-j*

sin

nDL'-oni ^nnpi?:
^i:>

nvD .nyunn ^^331 ,nyijnn

myyi^ncn msvj:3n
ums'^:'

hh\2r\ ^prx-in
'3

yyi^ncn tj'n nyijnn TiTcn
!ipv:n
"irj-n

-jan

"inro

iinxx
-jr?:.!

/I'poa

,n

ni:n'j'a

Nini ^uc'sr:! nix''V?2
Tjt::! n"'^n

nrnn nvo

nip^ nvjni
^3
.jrrr

.n:nD'D nix^*f:2
xi?

o's^rj o-hain-j' pao px

nnox

;^\

mm

1B^3 fcrn TC'x nyi:nn ayiur^

px

o

,jr:ij

ixin' x^ ix pnix^^kTo

omx^VD T^x
D3.
is

D^DL"n

Dnvna xin

p^Tnc' -inx

.onix^vc f?2D pxi ,n^

'Said Averroes, and

we quote him verbatim: "Time
Consequently time cannot
Eternity

an appellative term

for the duration of the existence of

such objects as have motion.

be conceived but
daJir in Arabic

in

connexion with motion.

is

an appellation

for the duration of things

that are immovable.

Hence immovable beings are
in time."

said

to have

no existence
is

By

this

he means to say

that time

to be taken with reference to the sjibject of
is

duration, which

motion, and that

it

must be implicated
it

in that motion, with reference to which

is

taken, and the

duration thereof
of the
first

— for

time

is

the duration of the motion
all

movable [sphere] which comprehends
all

other

objects and through which

those objects are moved and
as an object enclosed within

changed

in the

same manner
is

another object

said to

change through the change of

14

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
we do
all

the object enclosing, for

change because we exist
is

within something changing.

Eternity, however,
It

to

be

taken with reference to abstract duration.

has the

semblance of time, but

is

not real time.

Thus while there

can be no doubt that the immaterial intelligences continue
for ever

and have duration, they cannot have the predication

of time, inasmuch as their nature precludes motion with

which time must be
is

related.
in

Their existence therefore
in

not in time, since to be
in

time means to partake

the

motion of the heavens
(Cf. also

which things have their existence.'

De

Boer, Die WidcrsprilcJie der PJiilosopJiie nach

al-Gazzali, pp. 23-5.)

The same
Aristotelian

contrast between the Aristotelian and
of time
is

un-

definition

again brought

out

by

Narboni

in his

Commentary on

the Kazvanot, Metaphysics,

IV, where he compares Avicenna's and Algazali's views

with that of Averroes

:

jT'crn nyijnn nis"!;?: nii2C'2nni
^|tDT

irm
3vj'n^

••a

^nm?:)
-a

ncn

p o
'•a!?

.

n-jn

p
nn

ni^b N^
.

|?:Tn "iiyc"

m*.v
Nin

sine-'
i^nj^s-LT

Nin
|D:n

pn ,|Drn nnJTiS xin

.

.

nyi:nn

idd

pw-i

pc'

"3

'

Algazali and Avicenna, however, do not take the term
Aristotle in the sense of the

"number" used by

number

of

the parts of motion, but as the
is

number

of duration which

of the nature of a primary entelechy.
is

He

thus says that
is

the essence of duration

the essence of time, that

to

say, they have a generic identity without implying a

common

CRESCAS
subject
[i.e.

S

DEFINITION OF TIME

— WOLFSON

15

motion];

and

this follows as a
differs

consequence
from that of

from the view that the nature of time

motion

in expression, i.e. in definition, as well as in subject.

Though motion
of
it.

bears

some

relation to time,

it

is

not part

This

is

in contradistinction to

Averroes's view.

For

while Averroes admits that the duration and extension of
the diurnal motion [of the sphere]
is

the essence of time,

he considers that to be only the form of time but not the
whole
of
it
[i.

e.

they are related

in form,

not in substance].
out,

According to Averroes, as we have pointed
the measure of motion, &c.'

time

is

In

adopting

this

un-Aristotelian

definition

of time

Crescas has therefore attained his main purpose, namely,
the absolute separation of time from motion.

The main
is

characteristic of this definition, as has been shown,
identification of
in

the

time with pure duration.

Motion comes

only as a means of measuring off a definite part of time,
for this rest

and

may do as

well as motion.

The

full signifi-

cance of this definition has not always been fully understood.

Isaac Ibn

Shem-tob

(fifteenth century),

who

like his

nephew Shem-tob ben Joseph Ibn Shem-tob, the well-known
commentator on the
remarks about Crescas
JMorcJi,
in his

makes

several

disparaging

super commentary on Averroes's

Intermediate Physics, missed the main point of this definition.

Taking Crescas's

definition to differ
'

from that of
',

Aristotle only in the addition of the term as follows
:

rest

he argues

Since rest

is

only the negation of motion, by
it

defining time in terms of rest,

still

logically implies the

existence of motion.
plicitly

Isaac Ibn Shem-tob does not exin

mention the name of Crescas

this

particular

instance.

He

refers to

him only
'.

as a

'

certain scholar

from

among

the philosophers

It

is

clear,

however, that he

:

l6

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Crescas, \\hom he

refers there to

names and

criticizes in

other parts of the same work
s'nn p-iD3
-ir:is*

Di^ia'.DDns'j-' -inx":* -ir:svjt

p^Q,^ psoo^ c"
lyc'D prnc'

niyi
nr

H'l HT
-i':x:i
N^*r:2
n\n^'i

nj2b

,rh

men

nyi^ni?

nvva
1200

nni^o!?

ins
no

nmjcm
iJvxc*

nyiinn

"lOons*
ina-j'
. .

m:3
,n''3n
.]

nr^N n^ nr

-inyc pddh

mnna msa
]':p

pson
idt

mnnn
nnns*
3''n* nri:'

.... Tiyn xin nm^r^i
["n*^'03
ir^a

xin |ct"

nm^oa

nnsi

im

ij-ivv

my^'osi

myn^

nyj'D pjpn

myn

TODr

prn

mn

nniirrn

np^nr
-.mpon

"•isi

mn^-j* nr^Nrj* n'"\s'

p

nn onpinn

p

nns ddh

TC'n

The discussion
literature,

of time

in

Arabic and Jewish philosophic

as

here outlined,
In
it

may

prove to be of some
find all the prob-

historical significance.

we already

lems about the nature of time that are discussed at length

by the

later Scholastics
it

— the

problem as to the
in
its

definition
in

of time, whether

should be

terms of motion or
reality,

terms of pure succession, as to
nature of
all
its

and as to the
have seen
is

distinction from motion.

We
It

how

these problems are interdependent.

interesting

to note that

the Scholastics have not always seen this

interdependence of the problems.
definition of time and
light
its

Furthermore, Crescas's

historical

background
of

may throw

upon Spinoza's discussion
is

the

same problem.

Spinoza, as
2

well known, distinguishes between time and
in

From an unpublished work
6. 25.

the Cambridge
to

University Library,

Mm.

This worlc

I

have found

be identical with the anonymous

commentary on Averroes's

Iiitcniiediate Physics in

Munich, Cod. Heb. 45.
evidence.
I

Steinschneider ascribed the latter
§

work

to Isaac

Albalag {Uebcrsetsniigeii,
internal

49\ which can be disproved independently by
I

In

connexion with Isaac Ibn Shem-tob

may

also state that

have proofs

which conclusively show
on the Physics found

that he

is

the author of the three commentaries

in Trinity College,

Cambridge, R.

8. 19,

which are
(cf.
,

described by both Schiller-Szinessy and Steinschneider as anonymous
Uebeyscteitiigcii, §

52

c).

CRESCAS'S DEFINITION OF TIME
'

—WOLFSON
Time
'

17

duration
'

'.

Duration

is

indefinite time.

is

only one

of the modes of thinking, or rather of imagining
sen potius imaginandi,
iiiodos),

{cogitandi^

to measure off a definite

portion of time

(cf.

Epistola, XII, olim

XXIXj.

Without

misprizing the originaUty of Spinoza's conception of time

and eternity

as a whole,

it

can be shown that he

is

freely

operating with terms and ideas of long standing in the

Jewish philosophic
it

literature.

To

students of Bergson, too,

may

perhaps be of some interest to compare his distinc-

tion

between 'pure duration' and 'mixed time' with the

implications of the two contrasting definitions of time which

we have

discussed.

VOL. X.

NOTE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HEBREW LANGUAGE IN MEDIAEVAL MEDICINE
By Harry Friedenwald,
Baltimore,

Md.
practice

The

prominence

of

the Jews

in
is

the
well

of

medicine during the

Middle Ages

known.

As

medical teachers, as translators and as authors, they took

high rank.

Their literary work
'

is

chiefly associated with

the Arabic School.

Yet a

large

part of their medical
or were translated into
is

writings were written in

Hebrew

that language.
in

The
in

best evidence of this
in

to be found

the works of Steinschneider,
the libraries
in

his catalogues of the

Hebrew MSS.

of Berlin,

Munich, and

Oxford, and especially

the chapter on Medicine in his

Hebrdische Uebersetztmgen.

The
in

relatively large

number

of

Hebrew medical
of medical

writings

themselves furnish the proof of the important part which
in

Hebrew played
There
are
in

the
facts,

diffusion

knowledge.
similar

other

however,

which

bear

testimony

a striking manner.

(a)

In his decree published
of Portugal gave

May

30, 1497,

Ki"& Manuel

permission to

Jewish physicians and
certain

surgeons to study
conditions
'
:

Hebrew medical books under
furthermore
it

And

is

our pleasure

that
as

such

physicians

and

surgeons
19

as

have

been

and
c a

20
shall

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
be converted and do not

know

Latin,
;

may keep
this
is

Hebrew books

relating to their profession

and

to

be understood as relating to those who are at present
surgeons and physicians and have not yet become Christians,
but
(to

who

will

become Christians

in

the future and

(it is)

not

be understood as relating) to any others.^

(b)

Another

reference, bearing even

more

striking evidence
is

of the importance of

Hebrew medical

writings

found

in

an address of Peter Schade, otherwise known as Petrus
Mosellanus.

This address was entitled Oratio de variarum
in

linguannn cognitione paranda, and was delivered
in in

Leipzig

August, 1518.
August,
:

The copy

in

my

po*ession was published

1519."-

On

p.

49 there is«he following state-

ment

Nunc
ut est

vero ad salutarem illam et naturae ipsius velut

consiliariam

medendi artem progrediamur.

Haec

professio

omnium

utilissima et mortalibus necessaria, ita tota

ex linguarum cognitione pendet.
^

Nam cum omnium
in full in

gen-

The decree
:

is

to

be found republished

Kayserling's Geschicliie
in

der Jv.den in Portugal, Leipzig, 1867, p. 347.
is

The sentence
fisj'cos,

the original

as follows

'

e asy

mesmo

nos praz que hos

e solorgiaes que ssam
li%'ros

convertidos e sse converterem, e senao ssouberem latim possam ter

de artes

em

ebraico

;

e ysto sse

emtemdera nos que aguora ssao

solorgiaes,

e fisycos amtes de serem convertidos, e sse tornarem chrisptaos, e outros

nenhus
2

nao.'
in

Mosellanus was born

1493

in

Bruttig on the Mosel river.
In 15 17 he

He

studied in Cologne and Erfurt and later in Leipzig.

became

professor of Greek and Latin at the last-named university and subsequently
its

rector.

He was

a prolific writer and must have been a remarkable
in

man

to

have become as distinguished as he was
only thirty-one years of age.
Deutsche Biographie,
vol.

but a few years
life

;

for
is

he died

when

An

account of his

found in

Allgeiit.

XXII,

p. 358.

HEBREW
tium

IN

MEDIAEVAL MEDICINE

— FRIEDENWALD

21

hominibiKs sint

morbi communes, remedia quoque

contra hos pro vario

Hnguaium gcnere
non
?

varie sunt tradita.

Quae
bitur
et

diligenter ubique rimari, an

fuerit

medico gnavo
rimaaliae

iucundissimum, commodissimumque
si

Qui autem
non ut omnes

linguarum

sit

imperitus?

An

haec ars prinium

omnium
?

a ludaeis est percepta et hinc

ludaico sermone conscripta
bibliothecis rei

Latet adeo

in

Hebraeorum
alterius

medicae thesaurus ingens, ut nullius

linguae

libris

aequari posse videatur.
in

Eum

citra

Hebraicae

grammaticae cognitionem

lucem cruere poterit nemo.

Hie mentior,

si

non

et gravissimi

homines

et inter Christia-

nos linguarum peritissimi nostrae sententiae subscribunt
principes ut quisque

ct

maximus

est et cordatissimus,

medicos

quoque ludaeos

sibi asciscunt.

Quis enim

nescit,

Fridericum

Romanorum Imperatorem
quinquaginta vixisse
?

eius nominis tertium, ludaicae
in

medicinae potissimum beneficio

imperio annos supra

Non
Ouin
Pudet

et lulio

Secundo

Pontif.

Max.
ille

vitam ab omnibus pene deploratam, arte sua ludaeus

medicus prorogavit

?

et

hodie non sine Latini imo et
nostris medicis

Christiani nominis infamia,

non raro a

ad

ludaeos provocatur.
spectari

perfecto, pudet a ludaeis ex-

quod

in Christianis desyderetur.

Quo autem modo
suam
ratio-

Christianus. non multis partibus libeiitius valetudinem

credet medico Christiano,

si

modo eandem medendi
?

nem ex ludaeorum
minus
felicis ingenii

fontibus hauserit

Et quid

vetat,

quo

adolescentes Christiani, huic profession!
si

destinati pauculis annis, imo,

adsit discendi ardens libido,
intelligen-

mensibus eam linguam, quatenus ad iudicandum,

dumque

satis est,

condiscate?

Doctissimus

ille

Origenes,
fere

sanctissimus

Hieronymus,

quamquam

iam

decies

veteris instrumenti libris in

Latinum sermonem

conversis,
ille

ad sinceriore,m tamen theologiae cognitionem,

senex,

:

22
hie iuvenis

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
maturus Hebraeorum alphabetum discere nee
viri

erubuerunt,

tanti,

nee desperaverunt natu grandes
in

:

et

nos adolescentes ac pueri quo rem medicam,

qua non

sine vitae periculo aliquid nescitur, synceiius liceat tractare,

idem praestare cunctamur

?

.

.

.

.

Ergo
corum

si

turpe Christiano ludaeis
professionis suae duces

in arte

sua cedere,
si

si

pudendum
in

non

intelligere,

inde-

suo negotio barbarum videri, quid restat optimi

iuvenes,

quotquot

huic ordini

nomen

dedistis;

quin

ad

Hnguarum stadium, quo haec
accingamini
?
^

omnia devitare

poteritis,

This

may
let

be rendered

in

English as follows

Now
the art
herself.

us proceed to that salutary art of medicine,

which, so to speak, acts as advisor

of nature
all,

This profession, as

it

is
it

the most useful of

and necessary to mortals, so

depends entirely on a

knowledge of languages.
to

For, since diseases are

common

men of all nations, remedies for these have been handed down in various fashions according to the different nature
of languages.

And would

it

not be most pleasing and

appropriate for a diligent physician carefully to search
out these things everywhere
?

them out
art, like

if

he

is

unskilled in

who will search languages? Has not this
yet
first

And

all

other,

been learned
in

of

all

by the Jews
?

and thence written down
lies

the Jewish language

There

hidden in the libraries of the Jews a treasure of medical
it

lore so great that

seems incapable of being surpassed by
This (treasure) no one
Marx
for

the books of any other language.
2
I

am

greatly indebted to Professor Alexander

having called

my

attention to this interesting oration and to Professor David S. Blondfor aid in translation.

heim and Mr. C. H. Coffin

HEBREW

IN

MEDIAEVAL MEDICINE

— FRIEDENWALD
if

23

without a knowledge of
into the light.

Hebrew grammar

could bring forth

And
among
all

I

am

mistaken

the most reverend
are most skilled
if

men and
in

those

the Christians
in

who

languages do not concur

my

opinion, and

the chief

men, as they are

very great and very prudent, do not

receive Jewish physicians unto themselves.

Who

is

ignorant

of the fact that Frederick,
third of that

Emperor

of the

Romans, the
fifty

name, ruled the empire more than

years

by

virtue of the service rendered to

him by Jewish medical
his skill,

skill ?

And
to

also that
for

famous Jewish doctor, by
II after people

prolonged

life

Pope Julius

had almost

begun

mourn

for

him

?

Nay, more, not without shame
the Christian name, people
It is

to the Latin and indeed to

appeal to Jews after trying our physicians.

shameful,

indeed shameful, that there should be expected of Jews

what
very

is

lacking in Christians. Wherefore, will not a Christian
willingly entrust his health to a Christian

much more
if

doctor

that doctor has only learned the

same method of
prevents our
are destined

treatment from Jewish sources?

And what
who

Christian youths of quick intelligence,
for this profession,

from learning

this language, in a
for study, in a

few few

years, or

if

they have a burning desire
for

months, up to a point necessary
understanding
it?

comprehending and

That most learned man, Origen, and

the blessed St. Jerome, although the books of the Old

Testament had been translated into Latin some ten times,
nevertheless, for the purpc^se of (acquiring) a better

know-

ledge of Theology, (these two men) the one an old man,
the other a mature

young man, were not ashamed
did these

to learn

the

Hebrew language, nor
do the same thing
in

and we, young men and boys that
to

men despair we are, do we

of

this,

hesitate

order better to carry on the

24
medical

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
art,

in

which no knowledge

is

neglected without

danger? ....
Therefore,
if it
is

base for a Christian to yield prein his

cedence to the Jews

own
in

art, if it is

shameful not
if it

to understand the leaders of his

own
his

profession,

is

unseemly to appear uncouth
remains, oh noble youths, as

own

metier,

what

many

of

you as have dedicated
I

your

lives to this profession,

what remains,

say, but to

devote yourselves to the study of languages by means of

which you

may

avoid

all

those things

?

THE PHILOSOPHY OF DON HASDAI CRESCAS
By Meyer Waxmax, New
York.

CHAPTER V
Providence and Free Will.
Crescas
also to posits that the

providence of
is

God extends
uniform.
is

particulars,

yet

it

not

entirely
It

It

presents rather a kind of graded scale.

in

some

aspects generic and universal, and in

some way

individual.

The

general

is

again subdivided into a more general order
is

where the system
attention
to

natural law without any particular

the perfection

of the species or individual

included, and

into a special
is

kind where
into

the

perfection

of the

unit

in

some way taken

consideration.
in the

Again, the individual providence, though not

form

of natural law and a kind of special, yet admits of division.

There

is

some kind
is

in

which the perfection of the provided

individuals
in

completely taken into view, and some kind
is

which the relation of Providence to the provided

not

so absolute in regard to their perfection.

Crescas goes
is

on to exemplify

his division.

The
its

general Providence

seen in every existing being, in

composition, natural

tendencies, organic functions, mental powers, and so forth.

Although these

forces vary according to the genus

and the

species, they are alike in every individual of the species;

we

see, therefore, that natural

laws are taken
is

in as

a part

of Providence.

The human

species

an example of general

25

26

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
it

and special Providence, since
It is general, for

is

endowed with

reason.
it

every individual participates in
it

alike,

but special at the same time as
alone.

is

only for that species

Thus he goes on

to

unnecessary details.

The
an

particular
spiricual

Providence, in his

conception, consists in the
for the following of

reward and punishment,
religious
is

ethical

and

life

or the

opposite.

This kind of

Providence

in

complete relation to the degrees of per-

fection of the various individuals,

and

it

is

arranged and
observe

determined by God's eternal
already a departure
Aristotelians

will.^^"'

We

here

from

the

theories

of the Jewish

who emphasized

the intellect as a means for

special providence,^'^^

and asserted that the higher

man

ascends

in

the scale of intelligence the greater claim he
Crescas,
ethical

has upon God's special interest.
hand, asserts the practical and
intellectual,^*'^

on the other
over the

value

The problem
by
Crescas.
It

of injustice in this world

is

taken up next
religious
for its

was always a stumbling-block to

thinkers,

and various solutions have been offered

removal.

Of these

Crescas quotes several.

The

first is

the

Maimonidian, which denies the exfstence of the problem
either
is

by doubting the subject, namely, whether the righteous by questioning
is

really righteous or only apparently so, or

the predicate, saying that the evil of the righteous

for

the purpose of the good, and the good of the wicked for the purpose of
^^^

evil.^^^

Both

possibilities are

objected to

nnpn imnn
p.

b2:v2)

n-moo
is

nsrn nnjr-'nn nvn

isud

Nim,

Or Adomit,
destined.
186

35

a.

Dnp

here

to

be taken rather as eternal than pre-

Crescas uses the word often in the sense of eternal.
III.

See above, chapter

Ibn Daud, and cp. also Maimonides on this

point.
'*'''

Or

Adoiiai, p. 35 a.

i'* Ibid., p.

35

b.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
by Ciescas.
evil befalls

— WAXMAN

27

The

fact

is

that

we observe

at times that

the

man when he acts righteously, and again when same man turns to the wrong path he succeeds. This
a
gives

turn of events

the case a problematic
is,

status,

for

whatever the

man

really

not

apparently, the results

ought

at

least to

follow in opposite directions.
is

On

the

other hand, the denial of the predicate
fact, for

contravened by
with

we

find

many

evils that befall the righteous

no purpose

for the

good, and the opposite.

Again, the solution of the quasi-Aristotelians, which
is

rather Neo-Platonic, that evil has
little

its

origin in

matter

and has
simply

to

do with God,
admit
to

is

not satisfactory, for that
of

leads

to

a

shrinkage
this

God's
in

power.

Gersonides
manner.^*^^

tried

solve

question

a peculiar
scale.

Providence follows the intellectual

Man

through his reason and potential unity with the active
reason stands
in

a certain relation to God.

The more man

develops his mental powers the nearer he comes to God,

and so
other
the

is

said to be under special Providence.

On

the
of

hand,

the
is

one

that

neglects

the

cultivation

intellect
is

forsaken.

The purpose
the

of the

special

Providence

to

provide

deserving with

adequate

causes to obtain the good.
rule occur very often,
is

However, exceptions to the

and the cause of these exceptions

the influence of the spheres.

The wicked sometimes
Again,
explained through
spheres,

prosper because of a certain sidereal arrangement.
the suffering of the righteous
other causes also.

may be may

As

for the

influence of the

though
a whole
i«^

in particular cases it
it

be unjust, yet taken as

tends for the good, preservation of the existence,

Crescas refers to Gersonides by the term 1J^D2n

nVpD 'some

of"

our

sages'.

Or

Ado)!ai, p. 2s^-

28

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
In this

and general good.

way they

tried to

solve the

problem of

injustice as well as the question of evil,

how

they can be related to God.
direct connexion with

The

evil is

severed from the

God.

It befalls

man when
or

forsaken
spherical

to

the

natural

order,

caused

by

sidereal

influence."'^

This confused theory
to
it

is

justly rejected, for according
laid

the main emphasis

is

upon contemplation, and

a

man can be
is

as wicked as possible, yet

by

virtue of his

philosophical attainments be entitled to special Providence,

which

contrary to every religious principle.

Again, the

undue influence
providence.
It is

of the spheres causes shrinkage in Divine

Crescas, therefore, propounds his

own

solution.

actuated

by a deep

religious motive, but at the

same
to
is

time by an exalted feeling which
the Kantian theory of
ethical
is

autonom\\

may compare in depth The real good

not the material good, nor

the real bad the material

evil,

but the spiritual.

It

has been evidenced by experience that

practice of virtue brings about the acquisition

by the

soul
this

of a tendency and

inclination
if it

to virtue,

and surely

tendency
a

is

strengthened

was there

before.

The more
when the
for

man

practises virtue

under adverse circumstances the
It

greater his perfection.

follows then

that

righteous suffer

it

is

really for their

own good,
is

by

this

their perfection increases,

and

their inclination

deepened,

which
>»•

is

the real good."'

Crescas does not exclude other
p.

"0 Milhamot, IV, 6; Or Adoiiai.
n:i3n
i:p''

36

a.

mijiyanu'
n''"i:p

m'oixn nonpnn

nnr^snrLi' "ins*
*c'"di

djjdn rcA

lyc^n'' nr^i ;-\222

nm

dx nnix

iptiTL"

c'2n

n^'\2.\>

moi

^y

fjoij

nyob'U njp

~i3d

r\:ir\

i:vdj2 nvoyw'n

dvj'"!

hv^2 nDUDHL^

xbc

n\n

DX1 nin

"•Tir^Nn
•"••Ca^n

bv2in
Xin,

imn t^'c n:in*j' nnx "iv:3
p.

ynn n:n

.t.-i-l:'

i\si

....

imoiju'

niD Nin n:n vx*: aiu in''^3n n\nn

OyAdond.

37

b.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
possibilities

—WAXMAN
forth

29

such as liave

been

put

by previous

thinkers, as evil occurring to the
cestral

righteous through an-

wrongs

^^-

or other causes.

He, however, does not

succeed with the other part of the problem,
prosper.
his

why

the wicked

He

resorts to the

usual methods employed
it

by
is

predecessors.

He

remarks, nevertheless, that
is

possible that the good of the wicked

for the

purpose

of spiritual badness, but
in the first case.

it

does not work out so well as

The
world.

question of the existence of evil in this world
is

is

answered by him, that there

not such a thing in the
all

We
in

must observe here that

these philosophers
evil

have never reflected upon the natural
so

which abounds

much

the external world

;

they concentrate their

discussions upon
arise

human

events,

and though these

may

through natural agencies, yet the question of the

wherefore of such agencies of destruction has never been

taken up, otherwise they would form a better conception
of natural law.

Maimonides makes some remarks on the

subject attributing evil to the imperfection of matter, but

does not treat the problem

sufficiently.

The bad

things

that befall the righteous have been

shown

to be for the

purpose of the good, and as for the sufferings of the wicked
such a phenomenon from the point of justice cannot be
called but good.
It

Crescas here takes up a third question.

has been asked,

How
Is
it

can

we say

that God's providence

extends to

man ?

not a belittling of
in

God

to speak of
this,

Him
*'-

as

being interested

man

?

In

answer to

Such a solution of the question was not unknown

to the ancient
bj'

Greeks.

The whole

trilogy of

Oedipus Rex and Antigone

Sophocles

is

interwoven with that idea.

Oedipus and

his children suffer through no

wrong

of their own, but because of the ancient curse on the house of Laius.

30

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

Crescas brings out an interesting point in his theory.

We
cause

have seen, he says, that God through His

will is the

of the existing things and their continual creation.
there
is
is

But

no

will in

regard to a certain thing unless there

a certain desire or love for the things created
It follows, then, that since there
is

by that

will.

a love of

God

for the created things, that those things should

be provided
is,

no matter what the
mediate or immediate,

actual

causal

relation

whether
is

for the love of
will

God which

strictly
all,

connected with His creative
there
in
is

permeates them

and

no

belittling in

saying that
to

God

takes interest

man.

This love of

God

His created things does not

lay any special emphasis upon the degree of contemplation
the being possesses.^^"

This remark

is

intended against

the Jewish Peripatetics who, as remarked,

made

speculation

an important step

in

the

ladder

of Providence.

The

difference between this kind of love of

God, which

is

ethical,

and that of Spinoza's, which
remarked above. ""^
of
evil,

is

strictly intellectual,

has been

The
in

interesting Spinozistic discussion

which resembles

some

point that of Crescas, will

be discussed with the question of determinism.

POTEN'CE.
Since
it

is

evidenced by experience and reason that
it

incapacity
is

is

a defect in God,
all

follows that God's potence

infinite

in

respects,

in

whatever way reason

may

conceive

its

existence, though experience

borate
in

it.

He

is

om.nipotent, for

one way, then beyond that
is

may not corroHe be limited boundary He would be
would

incapable, and this
iw Oy Adoiiai,
p.

contrary to the conception

we have
II.

38

a.

i" Chapter

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
of God.

—WAXMAN
respects
',

31

When

saying

'

infinite
it

in

all

Crescas

explains that he

means by

the inclusion of several kinds

of

infinite. '^^

There

may

be,

he says, an

infinite in

time

and an
is

infinite in

strength,

and he emphasizes that God
He, however, expresses

said to be infinite in both ways.

himself against a blind and extreme conception of omnipotence.

As

it

was mentioned,

this infinity of

potence

is

bounded by

reason.

We

cannot, therefore, attribute to

God
time.

the accomplishment of a logical impossibility, such as the
existence of two contraries in one thing at the

same

Such a

limitation

is

really

no contradiction to the concept

of omnipotent, for the ability to bring about the existence
of a thing which cannot be conceived by reason
included at
all
is

not

by the word potence, and
is

therefore the lack

of such potence
that

not a defect.
contradict

Likewise,
first

we can

afiirm

God cannot
,

the

axioms, m73::^i»n

ni3"i5J'N"in

for their

annulment would imply a concentration

of the contraries and such things.

He

is,

however, not

bounded by experience
do such things
as are

;

we cannot

assert that

God cannot

impossible according to our exit,

perience, for as long as reason can possibly conceive
it

is

within His sphere of potency.^^''

In connexion with his discussion on potence, Crescas

makes a few remarks on
of

Aristotle's proof of the existence

God and

the conception

of

it.

Aristotle,

he says,

has only proved through the eternity of movements the
existence of an infinite separate force in time but not in
strength.
perfect.
'5»

In other words, the
It
is

God
pmvn
p.

of Aristotle

is

not
is

true that the force

moving the sphere

10J2D rwj'ni 'a )b n"32^•L^•
ijr:Di

nc^

bo
b.

r\"22

inns

dj):ni

prna n"33
196

|DD

r\"22,

OrAdonm,

40

Ibid.

32

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
it

eternal or infinite, but

does not follow that

it

can move
it

the daily sphere in less than twenty-four hours, and

may
is,

be

limited

by impotency.
is

But the right conception

he says, that there
things

no relation between
all

God and

the

acted

upon, for

determination arises from a
that relation

certain relation, but

when doing away with

He

is

necessarily omnipotent.

Crescas goes on to say
is

that the infinite potence in time and strength,
potential but actual.

not only
is

The

attribute of potence
is

inde-

termincd, for the foundation
is

only

will,

and

it is

this that

meant by
^^"^

infinite,

namely, the impossibility of being

determined.

In comparing the Spinozistic theory of potence with
that of Crescas,
in

we

notice a striking resemblance not only
in

conception but also

language.

Spinoza, as well as

Crescas, conceives

God

to be omnipotent,

and understands
as Crescas,

by it,
that

at least in formal language, the
'

same thing

He

decreed things through and

purely from the
of the closing

liberty of

His
of

will

'.^"^^

It

reminds us directly
paragraph,

sentences

the

preceding

where
will

Crescas

emphasizes the relation of potence to
God's
is

and defines
which
will.^^^

infinity to consist in the lack of determination,

exactly what Spinoza means by the

liberty of

His

Spinoza also quotes
things cannot

in several places

the fact that true
It is

become

false

by God's potence.-°°

true

that the contents of the later (especially in the Ethics)
1^"'

Or Adonai,
<

pp. 40

b,

41

a.

198

jvjog

vero qui iam ostendimus omnia a decreto Dei absolute dependere,
esse omnipotentem
;

dicimus

deum

at

postquam intelleximus cum quaedam

decrevit ex

mera

libertate sue voluntatis, ac deinde
II, 9.

eum

esse immutabilem,*

Cogitata Metaph., Part
19^

Ethics, Proposition

XVII.
;

200

Cogitata Metaph., ibid., p. 493

Epistola XLIII.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
Spinozistic
different

— WAXMAN
is

33

conception

of omnipotence

considerably
of
it

from that of Crescas.

The impersonaHty

and

the mechanical interpretation are too patent to ignore,
is

while Crescas's view

surely a personal one.

Crescas

has not discussed the question whether

God

could create

another world or a better one than the present, a question

which

is

discussed

by Spinoza

at great length in scholia to
in his first

propositions

XVII and XXXII
it

book oi Ethics,
;

and to which he gives a negative answer
trend of Crescas's thought

but from the

can be inferred that he would

be forced, following the logic of his reasoning, to assume
a similar view.
If,

as he insists,

God

is

indeterminate and

infinitely perfect,

what then prevented
unless

Him

from creating
to

that

other

world

we should

attribute

Him

imperfection.

But Crescas really never followed the

logical

conclusions to the extreme, but always turned off at an

angle (as has been remarked above
the unity of God).

in

Chapter

II
;

concerning

The same occurred here

he uses his

definition of infinite potence rather to prove the possibility

of miracles and crcatio ex nihilo, which really do not follow
logically.

We

shall return to this subject

once again.

Free Will and Determinism.
Crescas, in discussing the very important question of
free will

and determinism, follows
all

his

usual

method

in

analysing

the

points pro

and contra.

The

possible

(iC'Ssn) exists, for

of causes,

we observe and some of them
it

that things have a

number

are cognizable, others are

wanting, and
possible that

is

possible that all the causes exist and
exist,

some do not

and since the causes are only

possible then the things themselves are also only possible.

VOL. X,

D

34
Again,

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

many
not.

things

are dependent on
is

the

human

will,

and

it

seems that man

master of himself, he can

will

them or
is

Further, in the Physics of Aristotle, there
in
it

a classification of events, and

are included such
accident.
If there

things as happen
is

by chance and by

no existence of the possible, how can we speak of chance
Finally,
if

and accident?
wherefore
displays
in
all

the possible does

not exist,
that
all

the

endeavour

and

diligence

man
the

his

daily occupations, of

what

avail

preparations and studies and the expenditure of energy
in

seeking the right

way

to his welfare? to the

All these things
nature that

seem so natural and common
and

human

a denial of the possible would contradict the fundamental
principle of feeling
perception.-'''

On

the other side, there are

many arguments
It

against
in

the existence of the possible.

was established

the
into

Physics that

all

things which are corruptible
It

come
exist

existence only through four causes.

follows then that,

since their immediate causes exist, they
necessity.

must
is

by

Again, when we say that a thing

possible

of existence,

we mean by

it

that

it

needs a cause to over-

balance the non-existent element.
possible, then,
this cause
is

The

existence of
cause,

any
and

necessitated

by a preceding

was necessitated by another one, and so on,
first

until

we

arrive at the
exist.

cause.

The

possible, therefore,

does not

The
It
is

subject

may

be viewed yet from
is

another aspect.
realized

accepted that whatever
actual

being

from the potential to the
it

needs

some

external cause to produce
to actuality.
It

from the state of potentiality

follows that,
will

when

the

human
state

will

acts

upon something, the

has changed
p.

its

from the

-"1

Or Adonai.

45

b.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
potential to the actual.

—WAXMAN

35

The cause

of this change

must

be external, such as the agreement between the desire

and the imagination which
evident, therefore, that
exists the will
is

is

the cause of the
particular
if

will.

It is

when the
and
the

agreement
searching

necessitated,
for

we go on

we

shall

discover causes

arrangement, and so
that the

further.

On

the other hand,
is

we cannot assume
first,

mover

of the will

the will itself;

that would con-

tradict the principle that a thing being realized

from the
secondly,

potential to the actual needs an external cause

;

the will would require a preceding will as
so on to
infinity.-*^^

its

cause,

and

Finally, the possible does not exist
for
it

on religious ground,
extends to

was accepted that God's science and
if

particulars

;

events

are

possible
for

it

would contradict the concept of prescience,
hardly
occur.
in
call
it

we can
it

knowledge when the contrary

to

may

It follows,

then, that there exists a kind of necessity

the

order of the

world.

These are the arguments

pro and contraP"
Crescas, after reviewing these arguments,

comes

to the
in

conclusion that the possible exists in

some aspects and

some

it

does not exist.

the deterministic side.

He is, however, more inclined to He asserts that the possible exists
In Spinozistic language
it

only in regard to
that
it
is

itself.

means

when attended
a
"jan

to itself as an isolated

phenomenon
to
its

possible
s^^•l^•

event,

but that
Nin

when attended
]'\T\r\

2°2

nnb

pvin

Ninn

yjcr

nin -inNJEr::i
T]^r\

loi'yb y^JD

-imn

iTh-c'

dn wh^u^. i"o nnx nro
p\-i^i ^yisn

Tnn''

nvnn

D''Jiv~i

2''nnM Dnip
p.

nns p^n mipn
46 a.

^s n^n

p
D

inN^vvi

n 33, Or Adonai,
^''S

Ibid., p.

47 a- b.

a

36

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

causes and viewed in the long chain of causality the event
is

necessary.

He
first

proceeds then to refute the arguments
in

produced on behalf of the possible, even
causes.
is

regard to

its
it

The

argument saying that with some things

possible that

all their

causes are found, and possible that
It is just

some do not

exist, is

simply a petitio principii.

the possibility of their causes that

we seek

to establish.

The

second one that appeals to
the fact
is

adduced that

common sense and for which man wills one thing or another,
it

partakes of the same defect, for the theory of necessity
asserts that the will

must have a cause, and

is

one cause
that

that

makes him choose one way, and another cause
will

makes him choose another way, and yet
without
strict

remains will

mechanism,

for the

\vi\\

per

se

would probably
cause pushes

choose either of the
it

possibilities,
still

but

the

in

one direction

;

the will itself does not feel any

necessity.
facts of

The

other argument,

appealing to everyday
testify

endeavour and expenditure of energy, which

to the existence of the possible, proves only the existence

of the possible per

sc,

but not in respect to the causes.

Nay, even these very endeavours and exertions of energy
are causes in the long chain of events that bring about

the state of prosperity of the
for the causes are

man who

displays

them

;

not determined or fixed, but can be

increased or diminished. ^'^^
Similarly, the theory of causal necessity does not find

any objection

from

the

religious

point

question of the superfluity of precepts and
if

of view. The commandments
in

the events are necessitated,
2<x

is

answered

a

manner
following

Or Adonai,

pp. 47 b, 48
y^^T^'j

a.

Crescas sums up his theory
nvr:*k^'

in the

words: niN-iVD

fvyn

ni^yun ^33

px'j*

inuo

sin rvh^

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
resembling the refutation of the

—WAXMAN

37

last speculative

argument.

The

precepts and

commandments

are causes in the long
action.-*'^

chain of events that lead up to a certain

Reward
of

and punishment, however, seem to form quite an obstacle
to

the theory,

for

is

it

reasonable to speak
is

being

punished or rewarded when there
pervading

a kind of necessity
nevertheless
is

human

action

?

Crescas

not

dismayed, and advances a peculiar hypothesis (we shall
find its counterpart in Spinoza)
:

If

we

look upon reward

and punishment as the and
is

effects of
is

observing the precepts
injustice, just as there

their transgressions there
injustice
fire,

no
a

no

in

the fact that

man

is

scorched on

touching

even when that touching

is

accomplished
is

without any

wilful inclination.

In short, there

a strict

cause and effect necessity which brings about that punish-

ment should follow from one or reward from the other with
the same force as any natural
its
cause.-*'*^

phenomenon

follows from

The view
and
free will

of Crescas on the question of determinism
is

already apparent though presented

in

an

indirect way.

To sum
the
other.
to

up, events are possible per sc but
causes,

necessary through
conflict with

their

and the

one

does not

The

potentiality of the primal

matter, according
205 ,,n^

the Aristotelian

conception, serves

^

DH^mao nrnaa CTinci cn'j'SN
vn^3

Dnmn
ibid,

dn ^as

niy^jD

nno

nn

ix^n rS'^rh

^3n*

Th^ib nnnrsni ni^fon

ninon nj-non noiyn

D'^n'^'ss*

nn

-i:^n

nnai^,

D^naiDcn a'^nnn (perhaps nnnyn) nnnyni

ninuyno

a^a^nriD 'lioiym

^N

nmpn
rb'WI
;d

i^iy

uj-'Nc ••m

hy nnrn onn
DNI
s^nC'^C'

idx" n^ njn

nuon
in the

\'o

;\Xir\

inaip

nriM

C^Xn and further
-j'jynu^ vj"'n''

page

nnon
p.

nniocn Tj-nnn nnyno tc'oj

n^i,

OrAdonm,

48 a.

38

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
example
for Crescas.
in INIatter is potential

as an excellent
in

assuming various forms

succession, but, in

regard
is

to the causes of each form being realized, that form

necessary especially after

it

was

realized.
sc

Similarly, in

human actions, each action per
its

might have occurred

or not, but in regard to the causes that brought about

occurrence

it

is

necessary.

However, the publication

of such
in the

a theory would be a rather dangerous

weapon

hands of the wicked who could not see the necessary
evil

consequences entailed by the

acts.

God, therefore,

revealed His precepts and prohibitions in order that they

should become causes and

directors

of

towards the way leading to
tion of free will (for this
is

human

happiness.

human The

actions

founda-

not denied entirely), according

to Crescas, lies in

the fact that

man

is

ignorant of the real

situation or at least does not feel the force of the causal
chain.
It
is

because of this that the
in
is

human

will

and

determination become a factor

the long causal nexus.

On
is
it

the other hand,

when man

self-conscious that he has

done

a certain act against his will, such as

when a man

compelled by external forces to commit a certain crime,
follows that

no punishment should be meted out to him,
freedom

at least

by

legislators, for the self-consciousness of

which

is

a factor in the action,

was

absent.-'''^

A similar
is

theory of freedom as relating to

human

consciousness

advanced by

Kant.-''^

As

for the relation of future events to prescience,

we
in

must admit, says Crescas, that events are not possible
regard to their being
to themselves.
-0^
-*'8

known beforehand but

in

regard

The
p.

science of

God

is

beyond

time, His

Or Adonai,

48 a-b.

Metaphysical Foundations of Ethics, p. 67 and note

ad loaitn.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
knowledge of the future
is

—WAXMAN

39

like

His knowledge of things

existing which does not impart an essential necessity to

them,

for there is still

some room

for

the possible in so far

as endeavours

and attempts are
affect

factors in the decision.

But that docs not

the knowledge
result

of God, for

in

whichever way the event
it

may

He

would have known
this

beforehand. ^'^^

We

have seen

above that

same

remark of God's science being above time was as well
as the last assertions already advanced
originality in

by Saadia.

The

Crescas

consists

in

his

conception of the

nature of events, and in admitting only a partial kind
of freedom, an anticipation which was followed
philosophers.

by

great

Spinoza's view on the question of determinism resembles
that of Crescas in a
stage, for in
his

good many ways, especially
is

in its first

view there
is

to be

noticed a kind of
his earlier

gradation which
writings,

apparent when

we compare
with

the

Cogitata

Metaphysica,

his

Ethics.

Spinoza, more than Crescas, must, by the virtue of his

whole system, viewing things
be a determinist, yet
reconciliation
in

in

a strictly causalistic chain,

his

early

work he attempts a
In Cogitata Meta-

between necessity and liberty which looks
in

almost Crescasian, even
physica he says
in
;'^^'^'
'

language.

If

we attend

to our nature,

we

are free

our actions and deliberate about

sole reason because

we wish

to.

many On the

things for the

other hand,
clearly

if

we attend
20J

to the Divine

nature

wc perceive

and

Or

Adoiiai, p. 48 b.
I,

21°

Cogitata Metapli., Pars

ch. 3

'

Si ad nostratn

naturam attendamus,

nos

in nostris actionibus esse liberos, et

de multis deliberare propter id solum
ut

quod volumus.si etiam ad dei naturam attendamus
et distincte percipimus,

mode ostendimus
nisi

clare

omnia ab ipso pendere, nihilque existere
est ut exislat.'

quod

ab aeterno a

Deo decretum

40

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
depends upon Him, and nothing

distinctly that everything

exists except that

which was eternally decreed by God

that

it

should exist'.

He

expresses, however, his ignorance

to conceive

how both

necessity and liberty are compatible,

and simply says that there are many things that escape

human comprehension.
in spite of his

Again,

in

the same work in the

second part, Spinoza asserts once more the liberty of man,
taking cognizance of the causal force which

impels the mind to affirm or negate.-^^

He does not explain

how

the thing

is

accomplished, but in a previous section

Spinoza again declares his ignorance.^'^
fore, that

We

see, in

there-

Spinoza grapples with the problem

the

same

manner

as Crescas does,
se,

and

like

him assumes

that actions

are possible /^r

and necessary through the causal chain.

But we must admit that Spinoza does not carry that
principle out with the
later

same consistency
entirely,
it

as Crescas,

and

abandons human freedom
in its

and then again

speaks
form.

name

trying to save

at least in a

shadowy

Fischer insists that even in Cogitata MetapJiysica Spinoza
is

already an avowed and thorough determinist, and con-

strues his confession of ignorance in respect to the

way
that

human liberty exists in spite of necessity to mean we conceive that human liberty does not exist.^^"
in reality these

He
said

quotes a number of passages to substantiate his view, but
passages do not add more to what
is

in the

passage quoted where Spinoza makes his confession.
is

All that they show

that Spinoza recognizes the chain

of necessity, and that
is

man

is

a part of nature, but this

also contained in the passage quoted above.
-^^
^i''

On
308.

the

Cogitata Metapli., Pars
Ibid., ch. II, p. 500.

II,

ch. 12, p. 503.
-'3

Spinoza,

p.

::

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS— WAXMAN
other hand, Fischer
fails

4I

to explain a fact which decidedly
in

shows that there are two stages
of freedom.

Spinoza's conception

This

is

the famous example of Buridan's ass.
asserts

In his earlier
that were a

work {Cogitata Mctaphysicd) Spinoza
placed
in

man

such an equilibrium of forces

to die of hunger, he

would not be considered a man but

the most stupid donkey.'-'^
Ethics, the
'

On

the other hand, in the

same example

is

quoted, and Spinoza remarks
in

I

am

quite ready to

admit that a man placed
die

the

equilibrium described would
If I

of hunger

and

thirst.

am
'.2^^

asked whether such a one should not rather be
I

considered an ass than a man,

answer that

I

do not
Spinoza

know
ment.

Ethics, scholium to proposition

XLIX.

agrees with Crescas in the theological question of punish-

The wicked, he
if

says, are

punished by a decree

of God, and

you ask why they should be punished

since they are acting from their

own

nature,

we may

reply,

Why
'

should poisonous snakes be exterminated?-^"^
a more
striking

In his
given

letter to Oldenburg,-^'^

example

is

He who
is

goes

mad from

the bite of a

dog

is

excusable,

yet he

rightly suffocated.'

This

is

exactly the same
fire

as the saying by Crescas that whoever touches

must

be burned.
'^1^

Cogitata Mctaph., Pars II, ch. 11

'Quod autem anima tantem potentiam
enim hominem loco asinae ponamus
re cogitante sed pro turpissimo

habeat quamvis a nuUis rebus externis determinetur commodissime explicari
potest exemplo asinae Buridiani.
in tali aequilibrio positum,

Si

homo non pro
site pereat
'.

asino erit habendus,
"IS
-'6

si

fame et

Ethics, scholium to Proposition

XLIX.
'

Cogitata Meiaph., Pars
si

II,

ch. 8

At respondeo etiam ex decreto divine
nisi

esse ut puniatur et

tantum

illi

quos non

ex libertate fingimus peccare

essent puniendi, cur homines serpentes venonosos exterminare conantur, ex
atura enim propria tantum peccant nee aliud possunt'.
"' Epist.

XLT.

42

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
In the Ethics, Spinoza becomes an absolute determinist.

Man
is

is

viewed as a part of nature subject to

its

laws and

regulations,^^^

and

free will

is

openly denied.

'The mind
on
to

determined to wish this or that by a cause which has

also been
infinity
'.^'^

determined by another cause, and

so

Yet

in

spite

of

all

this,

Spinoza does
maintain
it

not
all

want

to give

up freedom, and

tries to

by

means. The

from that
freedom a

way Spinoza reaches freedom, though different of Crescas who makes man's consciousness of factor in determining human action (a way which
human endeavour human act. Spinoza
his
it is

was followed by Kant, as indicated above), yet retains the
basic Crescasian principle, namely, that
is

a cause

in

the determination of

arrives at the conception of

freedom mainly through
Everything
in so far as

principle of self-preservation.
itself

endeavours to persist
itself
',

in its

own

being, says Spinoza,^^**
fruitful

but the principle
'

would not be

unless

we

emphasize the own
It is true that

namely, the principle of individuality.
a part of nature, but a higher part

man

is

or at least a different part than that of the

animah and as
in

such his essence or his nature must be different

degree

from that of the animal or the stone.
of

The

persistence

man

in his

own being

will also

be different from the
is

persistence of the animal, and this

to be called virtue
it is it

according to the definition
to

:

'

Virtue in so far as

referred

man

is

a man's nature or essence, in so far as
effecting
nature.'

has the

power of
of that

what can only be understood by the laws
'

^^^

This

effort

for

self-preservation
in

is
',

nothing

else

but the essence of the thing
'

question
it

writes Spinoza,
2'8

which

in so far as it exists
219 221

such as

is,

Ethics, IV, p. 4.
I.

Hid.,

II, 48.

22« Ibid., Ill,

Def. VIII,

Book

III.

:

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
is

—WAXMAN

43
^^^

conceived to have force for continuing in existence.'
is

It

clear

from the foregoing that
is

man

does possess a kind

of determination and

not merely mechanically acted

upon.

The

idea of self-preservation carries in itself already
is

the conception of a struggle, there

something external
it

which tends to destroy the individual or to pervert
from developing according to
this
its

own

laws

;

it

is

against

external

force
is

that

the

power of

self-preservation

battles.

This

well recognized

by Spinoza when he
is

says

'The
and

force
is

whereby a man

persists in existing

limited,

infinitely
^^^

surpassed
'

by the power
'

of

external
refer

causes.'

The term

infinitely

may

probably

to
its

physical existence, but not to existence according to

own

laws, for otherwise

it

is

impossible to conceive

how

man

can ever become free even in the Spinozistic fashion.
follows the

Hence

bondage of man, which means

his sub-

jection to emotions
external,

and passions the causes of which are
his nature.

and do not follow from the laws of
is

Where then
simply
to

the

way
of

to

freedom

?

This consists

in positing against

a lower emotion which intends

enslave

the

activities

man

-^*

another one, for an

emotion can only be controlled or destroyed by another

one contrary thereto and with more power.^^^
that knowledge comes in as a potent factor, for
of
his
it

It is

here

by means

man can discern what is useful to own being.^-^ Ascending in the
is

him, and so perceive
scale of knowledge,

we

find that the highest point

to

know God, which
and
its

in

other words means to

know

true nature
It

unfoldings,

man's own powers included.

follows then that
it
224

when
is

man
222
22=

reaches that state or
Ethics, IV, 26,

is

on the path to
""^
22G

that he
/^/^/.^

demon.

Ibid., III.
76/^.^ 20.

IV, 5.

Ibid

,

6.

44

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

said to be free, for viewing things under the species of
reason,^-'

he must necessarily follow the laws of

his

own
in

nature and avoid things which tend to sway him from that
or subject
detail

him to bondage.

Spinoza goes on to show
himself;

the
is

way man

frees

and

his

ethical con-

ception

evolved through that notion of freedom.

But

that does not concern us here.
is

What we

wish to show
it is.

the generation of that freedom, and what
is

To sum

up, Spinoza's freedom

not

a free-willist's

freedom, but

a reasonable intrinsic necessity, subject to immutable laws,
as against a slavish irrational necessity subject to external

causes the results of which tend toward destruction.

This

human freedom corresponds
element consists
it.

exactly to that Divine freedom
first

of which Spinoza speaks in his
in the

book, where the main

absence of external forces coercing

What

interests us

mainly

in the

theory

is

the recogni-

tion of the struggle,

and the consideration of the human
bringing about the result, the same

power as a factor

in

steps which were taken
restore to

by Crescas

to liberate

man and

him

a part of his lost freedom.
evil,

As

regards the question of

Spinoza gives on that

point a clear and more comprehensive explanation than
that of Crescas.
Peripatetics

His view
in evil

is

analogous to that of the

who saw

a kind of imperfection which
to matter.

cannot be attributed to

God but

Spinoza denies
errorj-^*^ for in
is

entirely the positive existence of evil
far as

and
it

so

any

act of evil expresses reality
it

not

evil,

the

badness of

comes only

in

comparison with another act
it

of more perfection,*^"^ and so the whole conception of

is

only human.-^"
"7 Ethics, IV. 67.
"^^

228 230

Epist.

XXIII,

ed. Vloten.
II.

Epist.

XIX.

Cogitata Mctnph..

ch. 8.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS

—WAXMAN

45

To
to

return to Crescas.

he

feels

that the question of
of necessity ought

concih'ating Divine

justice with that

be discussed

more thoroughly.
between

He

endeavoured

to

establish the difference

necessity without
is

man
con-

being conscious of
scious.
It

it,

and that where the subject
since

seems, nevertheless, that

reward

and

punishment are evolved from good and bad acts as
from causes, there
is

effects

really

no reason

for this distinction,

for the cause is a cause just the

same whether accompanied

by consciousness
for

or not.

But then the whole foundation
is

of punishment, whether Divine or human,

undermined,

both assume

this distinction as their basis.^^^

Another
Religion

difificulty is

raised

by the question of dogmas.
with

requires

its

adherents to believe in certain dogmas, but
will

what connexion has

dogma ?

Crescas produces

three arguments against the possibility that will

may

be

a necessary element in belief

First, if will is pre-requisite

to belief, then belief does not possess that kind of truth

which

it

claims to possess, for the nature of will carries
it,

the possible with

either

man

wills

to believe or not,
;

and he
is

may
?

also will contrarily in succession

where then

the truth

Secondly, belief implies that a certain thing

exists outside of the

mind as
it

well as in the mind, and
will,

if

so
if

what dependence can
a certain kind of

have on the
is

especially
?

dogma

necessitated

by

proofs

It is

impossible not to believe

it.

What

foundations have, then,
?^^^

the punitive measures attached to

dogmas

In answer to these questions, Crescas

reiterates

his

doctrine that God's precepts act as causes in determining

human
231

actions.

Divine righteousness aims at the good

Or

Adonai,

p.

49

b.

"2

//^-^r^

46

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
The
good
precepts are instituted

and the perfection of man.

by God

as incitements for

actions,

and the rewards
effects

and punishments really are evolved from them as
from causes.

But as

for the question,

why

is

consciousness

necessary in order to receive reward or punishment for the

committing of a certain

act,

it

will

be answered

upon actions in the light of their intensity.
important ethical quality
in

if we look The most

doing good

is

the joy and

intensity of pleasure experienced while carrying out the

God possesses absolute love and intensity the human intensity would therefore form of doing good It is evident, therelink in the human relation to God. a
will to

do good.
;

fore,

that

when

this

will

and intensity are absent, such
necessity,

as when things are committed from conscious

the actions do not entail either reward
or punishment

when they are good
is

when wrong
it

;

for there

also a kind of

intensity in doing evil as

is

the love and intensity that
the causing of reward and

form important ingredients
punishment.
In the
It is
-^'^

in

same

light

we may

solve the question of dogmas.

true that essentially

dogmas
in

are not related to will,
It
is

but they

may be

connected

some way.

not the

belief in the

dogmas

that counts, but the intensity

and

pleasure which

a religious

man
is

feels at the believing, or in

the endeavour to follow up to the root

of the

matter.

This intensity and pleasure
for a thing
"3

a matter of will and choice,

may

be true and

man may

conceive

it

as such

3vnn
.
,
.

P21 n-i::m Dr.s* "^'nn nSira
-is3n^

3vnn pn ic^s Hann dj^ni

niDipD3

iiy^ nn

"'isnn sin r\:n

mam

d:in3 •ij'nnn

n^'N*

^K^v
nion

'•isn

n\T

nih

2it2n b'w^h
*L:':iyni

iwin

nmy

nhr inn
p.

ijrx'j'

cna

p

22)0^^

7j'?:n3

b'ir^yn

uoo, Or Adonm,

41

h.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
without
experiencing

—WAXMAN
emotion,
as,

47
for

any

particular

instance, the fact that the three angles of a triangle are

equal to two right angles

;

but the knowledge of certain
if

dogmas may be accompanied by the emotion
corresponding exertion.
It
is

there

is

the

from

this

point of view

that reward and punishment are attached to dogmas.^^*
-3*

Ibid., p.

50

a.

(

To be contimied.)

MEGILLAT

A SOURCE FOR JEWISH CHRONOLOGY AND HISTORY IN THE HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN PERIODS
TAANIT
AS
By Solomon Zeitlin, Dropsie
College.

CHAPTER

IV
2.

Contents and Characteristics of Maccabees i and
Besides the seeming chronological
I

differences

between

and 2 Maccabees which we have reconciled above there
two books

exist also chronographical divergences between the

which have to be cleared up before the data
Taanit, which refer to
fixed and dated.

in the Megillat

Maccabean

events, can be properly
reveal the
2

The

following outline will

crucial points of difference

between the two books.

Mac-

cabees generally narrates events undated, and we place

them

parallel to the
i

column where they are described with

dates in

Maccabees.
Maccabees.
2 Maccabees.

I

A. S.

143 Antiochus on his return

from Egypt captures Je-

rusalem

(i.

20-24).

145 (Two years

later)

he again

Antiochus

in

his

second

captures and

kills

Jews (1.39-35).

many On 15th

march from Egypt captures
silver
(5.

Jerusalem,

takes

of Kislev he builds next
to the altar
'

from the Sanctuary
;

the abomi-

1-27)

soon

after,

nation of desolation'.

On
49

he orders the statue of

VOL.

X.

E

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
the 25th day they sacrifice
offerings on

Zeus to be

set

up

(6.

1-3).

the newly-

built altar (i. 59).

146 Mattathias
Judas's

dies

(2.

70).

victories

over

Apollonius
(.3-

and

Seron

10-25).

147 Antiochus crosses the Euphrates on
Persia
(3.

Judas's victories over Nica-

his

way

to

nor and Gorgias.

Judas
(8.

37).

Before

comes to Jerusalem
8-31).

setting out for Persia he

orders Lysias to

make

a

campaign against Judas
(3.

32-5).

Lysias dele-

gates Ptolemy, Nicanor,

and Gorgias to conduct
the

campaign
(3.

against

Judas

38).

Judas's victories over
(4-

them
Antiochus IV dies
28).

14-25).
(9.

i-

I4(S

In the next year Lysias

marches to the south of

Judea

(4. 28).

Judas comes to Jerusalem.

The Jews
ple

cleanse the

Temal-

The Temple
on the
altar

is

cleansed

;

and

sacrifice

on the

the Jews offer sacrifices
(4.

tar (10. 1-5).

AntiochusV
(10. 9, 11).

36-61).

becomes king

War

of Jews with neigh(5. 1-8).

Wars

of

Jews with neigh(10. 15).

bouring nations

bouring countries

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
J

— ZEITLIN

51

49 Antiochus IV dies
16).

(6.

i-

Accession of Antio(6.

chus Eupator

17).

Judas attacks the citadel
of Jerusalem
(6.

18-19).
Lysias's

expedition

and and

treaty (11).

Lysias

Antiochus send

letters of

peace to the Jews (T7-38).

More

about

wars

with
(12.

neighbouring nations
1-45).

150 Lysias's
tion
(6.
;

second

expedi-

149

Second expedition of

peace

with Jews

Lysias and Antiochus

V;

28-54).

peace

made

with

Jews

(13. 1-26).

151 Accession of Demetrius
(7,

I

Accession of Demetrius
(14.

I

1-4).

Alcimus be(7.

1-2).

Alcimus be(14. 3).

comes high-priest
22).

15-

comes high-priest
Nicanor
is

Nicanor

is

killed,

killed,

13th

13th

Adar

(7.

1-50).

Adar
list,

(15. 28-36).

As may be
also
differences

seen from this

there exists not onl\-

a chronological discrepancy between these two books, but

with
i

regard

to

the events

themselves.
of the
.

Thus, according to

Maccabees, the

purifying

sanctuary took place before the death of Antiochus I\
while according to 2 Maccabees
death.
it

took place after his

According to

i

Maccabees, furthermore, Lysias's

expedition followed in the second year after the victory
of Judas over Nicanor
2

and Gorgias, while according to

Maccabees

it

took place after the purification of the E 2

52

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
in

Temple

the days of Antiochus V.
in

It
is

should also be

noted that

2

Maccabees reference

made
find

to letters

which Antiochus sent to the Jews, which
in
I

no mention

Maccabees.

Nevertheless,

it

seems to

me

that not

only are the seeming chronological contradictions reconcilable according to the theory explained above, but these

differences in narration too

may

be satisfactorily explained.

As

will

be shown presently, the two accounts often suppleother, since

ment each
sources,

they are based on independent
in the

and the apparent differences

two narratives

are due to the loose composition of a Maccabees, where

a

number

of passages have been dislocated.
I

In the

fol-

lowing outline

shall

reconstruct the historical

order of

the events narrated in Maccabees which will also
clear the relation

make

between the two sources.
i

We know from
(171-170
B. C. E.)

Mace.

(i.

20-4) that in the }-ear 143 A.S.
his

Antiochus returned from

war with

Egypt, and captured Jerusalem.
the close of the

This took place about
c.

summer

1

70

v>.

Ep

According

to the

same

source, Jerusalem

was again captured by the forces
(i. 29).

of Antiochus

IV two

years later

It is this 2

event

and not the
opens.

first

capture of Jerusalem with which
in

Maccabees

Thus the capture of Jerusalem

this source is

properly connected with Antiochus's return from the second

war with Egypt which took place
"3

i69-i68,'^'^

and therefore

Clinton,

Fas/i

Helleiiici.

Ill,

pp.

318-20.

For renewal of the war

between Antiochus IV and the Kgyjitians in the year 171/70 see Hitzig, Das Buck Daniel, p. 205 Wilckcn in Pauly-Wissowa's Rcal-Enc, II, 2470-6.
;

See above, note
'^

34.
in

Antiochus IV was
17

Egypt

in

169 sec above, note 35
Geschichtc,
III,

-

;

comp. Polyb.,

XXVIII,

and XXIX, 23-6; Niese,
',

pp. 174, 230-1, and

'Die beiden jVIakkabaerbiicher

Hcnties,
;

XXV

^^1900), pp.

502-5
II,

;

Bevan,

The House of Schuais,
above, note 35.

II, p.

172

G. A. Smith, Jerusalem,

1908.

See

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN

53

corresponds correctly with the date assigned for the second
capture of Jerusalem in
I i

Maccabees, 145

a, s.

Following

Maccabees we learn that the erection of the statue of
in

Zeus

the
is

Temple was

carried out in Kislev 145 a.s.

This date
the

inherently impossible, because, according to

same

source, the capture of Jerusalem took place in the
B. c. E.

summer
the

of 145 A. S.-168

Consequently the erection

of the statue of Zeus in Kislev

must

refer to Kislev
is

146

in

autumn of the 168

B. C. E.

This emendation
it

corro-

borated by 2 Maccabees, where

is

stated clearly that

some time elapsed between the capture
the placing of Zeus in the

of Jerusalem and

Temple

(fier

ov ttoXvu \p6vov)?^

"^^

We

are quite safe in emending 145-146.
it

The

error crept in through

the fact that earlier in the chapter

is

stated that after

two

3'ears, i.e.

two

years after 143, Antiochus came and captured Jerusalem.

This was in the

year 145, being, as

we

said above, in the

summer

of 168 B.C.

Now some

scribe thought that the setting up of the image next to the altar belonged to

the
it

two years whereof the author of
in the

i

Maccabees speaks.
to 2

Consequently

must have been

year 145.

But according

Maccabees, there

elapsed considerable time between Antiochus's capture of Jerusalem and his
edict to set

up the statue of Zeus
it

in the

Temple,

/xer'

ov ttoKvv ^(puvov.

was Apollyon who set up the image. See Niese, Geschichtc, III, p. 233 and note), and this should be three years before the cleansing of the Temple, so that the cleansing of the Temple took place in the month of Kislev, 165, and therefore the setting up of the
(According to 2 Maccabees

image took place

in Kislev, 168,

which

is
;

the earlier part of 146 a.s.
it fits

This

number 145 does not belong here read 'two years later', i.e. 145.
whereas our
Maccabees
in

at all

in the verse 29,

where we

In this passage disorder prevails, for
',

text has

'

on the fifteenth of Kislev

the Syriac version of

Codex Ambrosianus reads 'on the twenty-fifth of Kislev', which is certainly correct. Furthermore, the number 145 is represented in the Codex Alexandrinus by 45. All this goes to show that the scribe was
confused, and that the passage cannot be accepted in
it is

its

present state, but
it.

necessary to consider carefully

its

chronologic aspects and revise
i

It

is

interesting to note that Kautzsch t^Apokryplia,
in

Mak.

i.

54) puts the
it

number 145

parenthesis

:

apparently he

is

not convinced that

belonged

to this verse.


;

54

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
In the narrative of
i

Maccabees the revolt of Mattathias

is

now described, and his death is dated 146 (168-167 li.c.E.). The victory of Judas over Apollonius and Seron follows and Antiochus IV, who heard of the defeat of his generals,
in

would have liked

person to proceed to Judea and to

humble Judas, but he needed money, and on that account went to Persia with half of his army the other half being

committed to Lysias with the
surrection
in

command

to quell the in-

in

Judea.

Antiochus crossed the Euphrates
Lysias, however, did not go in

147 (167-166)
to
fight

(3. 37).

person

Judas, but sent Nicanor and Gorgias

evidently in the
1

same

year, 147.

2

Maccabees now joins
over these

Maccabees

in describing Judas's great victory

generals,

though the two accounts show
1

slight variants.

Following again

Maccabees we

note that in the second

year after the expedition of Nicanor and Gorgias Lysias

went
i.

in

person to fight Judas Kal kv

tco

kyoiievca kvLavrS),

e. in

the year 148 (166-165).

Judas defeats Lysias, enters
in

Jerusalem, and cleanses the Sanctuary

148 (166-165).

There follows a series of wars between the neighbouring
nations and finally the death of Antiochus in the year 149

(165-164).
In 2 Maccabees the
order.

same events are narrated

in a different

Immediately

after Judas's victory over

Nicanor

fol-

lows the account of his wars with the neighbouring nations

and the death of Antiochus IV, and then comes the cleansing
of the

Temple by Judas, the succession
finally Lysias's expedition
is

of Antiochus Eupator
nations,

to the throne,

more wars with the neighbouring
and peace.
the

and then

This order

incompatible

with

same

author's

account of the historical events to the extent that
forced to

we

are

assume that we

face here a peculiar dislocation

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
of parts of the narrative, which
loose

— ZEITLIN

55

may
it

be attributed to the
fuller

manner

in

which the author condensed the

account of Jason of Cyrene.

Thus

is

obvious that the

expedition of Lysias could not have been delayed until
after the

death of Antiochus

IV and

after the purification

of the

Temple and the

succession of Antiochus V.

Acat the

cording to what

we have

seen above, Antiochus
in

IV

very time that he proceeded

person to Persia in 167-166

ordered Lysias to take measures to suppress the revolt in
Judea. In accordance with these instructions Lysias, as
seen,

we have
repulsed
it

deputed Nicanor and Gorgias, who were
in

by Judas evidently

the same year 166.

Now
all

is

certainly inconceivable that Lysias

would delay

efforts to suppress the revolt for

an interval of two years,

which

is

implied in the present account of Maccabees, and
their

meanwhile give the Judeans the opportunity to unite
forces,

and

fortify
if

themselves more strongly against Syria,

Furthermore,

this expedition
it

belonged to the period of

Antiochus Eupator,
fails

would be strange that the author
of Antiochus Eupator in this

to mention the

name

connexion, as he does in recording the second campaign.'^

The

reference to Lysias as being in sole control of his
it

expedition can be only explained by assuming that

took

place in the reign of Antiochus IV, while the latter was
in Persia.''^

Finally, and

this

is

most conclusive, the

letter

ot

Antiochus

V

to Lysias ordering

him

to arrange for peace

with Judas announces the recent death of his father Antio''•'

Mer oXiyov
(ttI

Sk

-navreXws

\povicrKov Avaiai fniTpoTros

rod ^aaiXiojs uat

av/yevrjs koi
"^

twv

Trpayfia.ruu (2

Mace.

11. i).

Bevan,

Tfie

House of

Seleitcus, pp.

178-80 and Appendix

J.

See also

Niese, Gescltichte, III, p. 219.

56
chus IV.

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Furthermore, the preceding
letter containing the
is

peace negotiations between Judas and Lysias

definitely

dated 148."^

Consequently the beginning of the expedition
in

took place

the lifetime of Antiochus IV, according to

the very account of 2 Maccabees, while the purification
of the

Temple and the establishment

of peace took place

early in the reign of Antiochus V.
history,

Undoubtedly Jason's

which was the source of 2 Maccabees, properly

fixed the beginning of Lysias'.s expedition in the reign of

Antiochus IV, and the end

in that of

Antiochus V.

The

author of 2 Maccabees, copying the account, misplaced the

beginning of the expedition

in the reign of

Antiochus V,

where he

really found the

end of the expedition recorded.

Thus

reconstructed, the account of 2 Maccabees corrects
i

the narrative of

]\Iaccabees.

For according

to the latter,

the purification of the
of Antiochus

Temple
is

took place before the death

IV.

This

impossible, however, because

Antiochus IV died early
the cleansing of the
165.
is

in

the

autumn

of 165,'^ whereas
till

Temple

did not take place

Kislev

In this respect therefore the account of 2 Maccabees
i

superior to that of

Maccabees.

This

is

to be explained

by the sources which were used by the two

authors.

The

former was based presumably on the accurate account of
Jason
;

while the latter was written in Palestine where,

"

Witli regard to the letters sent by Antiochus

V

to the Jews,

and also

with regard to the embassies sent by
pp. 476-90.

Rome

to the
s.

Jews, see Kiese, Hermes,

The
us.

first letter is

dated 148 a.

(165/4), and in the

month of
is

Dioscorus, on the twentj--fourth thereof.

The month Dioscorus
is

not

known

to

Manj- scholars think this

a

Syro-Macedonian month,

Dius, and this about corresponds with the Jewish

Peshitta has, in the place of Dioscorus,
Tishri of the Syrians.

'

the

Second Tishri
III,

month Ileshvan. The ', the Second

See also Clinton, Fasti Hellenici,
Bevan,
I.e.,

Appendix
J.

4.

"

Niese,

I.e..

pp. 473-6;

p.

180 and Appendix

See

above, p. 83 and note 32.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
owing to the
state of siege, the

— ZEITLIN

57

Jews m;iy not have known
peace was made
purified,
^^

of the death of Antiochus

IV

until after

with Lysias and the

Temple had been
in i

and

this

impression

is

reproduced
that

Maccabees.

The statement
the date of
i

the

purification
in

of the

Temple

occurred in Kislev 165 seems to be

contradiction to

Maccabees according

to

my

theory of this

author's reckoning of the Selcucid era.
is

For the date which
is

assigned for this event

in

i

Maccabees

Kislev 148,

which according to our calculation corresponds to Kislev
166
1!.

c. E.

But

this

could not be correct, as Kislew of

the year 148 (Sel.)

fell in

166

i;.

c. E.

and not

in

165

B. C. E.

However,
crept
in

it

may

be safely assumed that the number 148
error,

through

and

is

to be

emended

into 149.

plainly

Thus the Peshitta Codex Ambrosianus (ed. Ceriani) reads >^]^ ^A2:^»io JUs l^^jji, the }ear one hundred and
forty-nine.

The

error

is

easily explained

on the ground

that the scribe calculated the three jears which, according
to the plain statement of
i

Maccabees, elapsed between

the defiling and the rededication of the altar on the basis
of

what we proved

to

be the

false

reading 145 A.

S.,

and

naturally attained the result 148.^^

'"

It is

quite possible that the death of Aiitioclius IV,

and the

purificae.

tion of the
*^

Temple took place
p. 53,

at the
n. 75.

same time

in the fall of

165 B.C.
(i.

See above,

and

According

to

i

Mace.

54) three

years elapsed between the defiling and the rededication of the Altar.
is

This
I,

also stated

by Josephus. An/. XII,
agreement

7. 6,

but according to Bel. Ind.

4

and V,

9. 4, three
in

years and six months passed.
;

The two statements,
captured
i.e.

however, are

the three years and six months are not from
the

the time of the defiling but from

time

when Antjochus
year of 145
a. s.,

Jerusalem and desolated the sanctuary

in the

in the

summer Temple

of 168

ii.

c.

see above, p. 53).

Until

the rededication of the

there

was

a period of three j-ears and six months.
in

These two

statements are fullv

agreement, Niese and Reinach notwithstanding.

58

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Attention

may
6)
is

here be called to the passage in Josephus

{Ant., XII,

7.

where the purification and dedication
dated
is

of

the

Temple

148 A.

S.,

and

in

addition the

Olympiad date 154
responds to

also given.

As
the

154 Olymp. cordedication
in

July 164-July 160,

of

the

Temple could not have taken
lished date of
65, but

place

Kislev of any

other year than 164, which contradicts not only our estab]

is

opposed to

his

own date

of

148 A.

S.

As

a result, scholars

have not hesitated to emend

the reading of 154 Olymp. to 153-4 Olymp.,'*- while others
place the event of

Hanukkah

in

Kislev

164.*^"

We need not follow, however, either of these two strained
conclusions.

As Unger ^*

has proved conclusively, there

existed two systems of the

Olympiad calendar, the Attic

and the Macedonian
original

respectively.

The former was

the

Olympiad

calendar, 154 Olymp., corresponding to

July 164-July 160.
the other hand,
is

The Macedonian Olympiad

calendar, on

a modified form of the original

Olympiad

calendar which was adopted in the Macedonian period, and

was adopted by them

in

accordance with their established

system of dating the new year. These peoples being accus-

tomed
that
is,

to date the beginning of their year in the autumn,
in the

month of Dius (November), they

also fixed

the

new year

of their

adopted Olympiad calendar according
Local divergences then ensued.
I

to their traditional custom.

In

some

localities,

the beginning of year

Olymp. was shifted
This record
is

back from July 776 to the autumn 777.
See Niese, Ziir Chronologic
*2

pre-

dcs
2.

Josephus.

p.

225

:

see also Wieseler,

Chronologische Synopse, p. 50. n.

Reinach,
12.

(Etivres

completes

de Flavins Josephe,

Aiit..

XII,

4.

6,

p. log, n.
'^^

See also Niese, Ziir Chronologic des Josephus, pp. 224-5.
/.

See Bevan,

c,

Appendix

J.
j).

**

Unger, Die Seleukideiidm der Makkabderbi'tcher. chap. V,

300.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
served
in

—ZEITLIN
On

59
the

Tolybius, as Nissen has already shown. ^^

other hand, records of Castor, Phlegon, Julius, Africanus.
Porphyrius,*^"
localities

and possibly Eusebius,^' show that numerous October 776
as

dated
I

marking the beginning
of the

of year 2 of

Olymp., the fraction

preceding

Olympiad year being reckoned

as a full year.

(Compare

above the similar method which was applied by the Jews
to the Seleucid era.

In this system therefore 154 Olymp.

covers the years October 165-October 161, and the date

given byjosephusin
corresponds to

this

connexion

— Olymp.

154-1— really

Kislev 165

B. c. E.

That Josephus was

acquainted with this form of the Macedonian-Olympian
calendar
is

clearly

shown

in his citation of

Castor in Co7itra

Apionem
fought
in

(I,

22) to the effect that the battle of

Gaza was

the eleventh year after the death of Alexander,

and

in

117 Olympiad.
is

Now
at

the eleventh year after the
B. c. E.^^,

death of Alexander

the latest June 312

whereas 117 Olympiad Attic only began July 312!
sequently
it

Con-

must be assumed that

in this

Olympiad the
2, in

autumn of 776 marked the beginning of year the Olymp. of 117 began in the autumn of 313
It

which

B.C. E.

should be added that in the Antiquities Josephus

uses the

Olympiad nine
it

times, but,

owing

to the composite identify the

nature of his sources,

becomes necessary to

calendar in each reference.^^
Nissen H.,
linger,
/. c.

''*

Rliiiii.

Mttsetim, 1871, p. 242.

**•'

*^

See Unger,
II.

I.e.;

see also Droysen,

Cestliiclitc

des Hellenismiis, III,

Beilage
^'^

Alexander died

May-June 323
II,
;

b. c. e.

Plutarch,

Alexander,

76;

Clinton, F. H., Oxford,
89

pp. 176-8.
(2)

See above.
7.

(i) Ant., XII, 5, 4
4.

XII,

6;

(3) XIII, 8. 2
j6.

;

^4)

XIV,
5.

1.

2

;

(5;

XIV,

3;

i6j

XIV,

14. 5;

f7)

XIV,

4;

^8)

XV,

i;

(9)

6o

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

We may
occurring
in

now complete our

reconstruction of the events

Maccabees and bearing on the Megillat Taanit,

as outhned in the diagram.

That the peace between the
last

Syrians and the Judeans did not

long

is

stated in

both Maccabean Books.

This time Lysias marched with
in
i.

Antiochus Eupator against Judas,
I

what
e.
<S).

is

described

Mace.

(6.

53) as a sabbatical year,

from Tishri 164

to Tishri 163 (see above; see also No.

According to
year, but
after
c. E.).

both books peace was established
this peace

in

the same

was premature, and war broke out again
S.

the accession of Demetrius in 151 A.

(163-162

r..

Nicanor was entrusted with the expedition against Judas,

and he met
death
is

his

death on 13th Adar.

not recorded in either book, but indirectly
it

The year of his we may
first

safely infer that

was the year 152

A. s. or 161 B. C. E., as

Demetrius received the news of

this

defeat in the

month
XVI,

(Nisan) of 152 A.
Comp.

s.,

161

B. C. E.''"

5. I.

S. Zeitlin, JF/ieii

did Jenisaleni surrender

to Aitiiochtts

Sidetes ? Publications of the

American Jewish Historical Society,

vol.

XXVI,

1918, pp. 165-71.
5"

See above, note

27.

CHAPTER V
The Calendar System
As
in

in

Bellum Iudaicum.

the Maccabees so in the works of Josephus the
is

fundamental problem

to determine the

chronology and

calendar which Josephus employed in his narratives.
are confronted with the
in

We

much

discussed problem

^^

whether

Bellum hidaiaun the Syrian names of the months are used to represent the Jewish months, Xanthicus approximately
for

Nisan, Artemisius for lyyar, &c., or whether

they represent the Julian (Solar) calendar proper, in which case Xanthicus corresponds to April, Artemisius is May, &c.

The
hid?'(i)

following

is

an outline of the dated events

in Bell.

The war began

in

the twelfth year of the reign of
in

Nero, and the seventeenth of the reign of Agrippa,

the

month Artemisius
(2)

(II, 14- 4)-

On On

the sixteenth day of the
riots

month Artemisius and
(II, 15. 1).

on the next day
(3)

broke out

in

Jerusalem
of

the fifteenth of the

month

Lous an

assault

was made upon Antonia and the garrison was besieged
(11, 17- 7).
91

See

Ideler,

Handbuch der Chronologie,

I,

400-2

;

Wieseler, Chronol.

{Sitzuttgsberichte der Synapse, p. 448; Unger, 'Die Tagdata des Josephus' Munchener Akademic, philos.-philol. u. hist. CI., 1893 B., II, pp. 453-92)
;

Schiirer, Geschichte,
92

I,

pp. 755-6o.

This outline

was

given by Hofl'mann,

De

imperatoris Titi femporibus
pp. i97-9-

rede definicndis, Marburg, 1883, and

by Niese, Hermes, 1893, 61

62
(4)

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

On

the sixth day of the

month Gorpiaeus the

king's

palaces were captured
(5)

(II, 17. 8).

On
On

the thirtieth day of the
assault

month Hyperberetaeus
(II. 19. 4).

Cestius
(6)

made an

upon Jerusalem

the eighth day of the

month of Dius,

in

the

twelfth year of the reign of Nero, the defeat of Cestius

took place
(7)

(II, 19. 9).

On

the twenty-first day of the

month Artcmisius,

Josephus came from Tiberias, and went into Jotapata
(III, 7. 3)(8)
first

On

the twentieth

day of the month Daesius, the
(III, 7. 29).

assault

was made upon Jotapata

(9)

On

the twenty-fifth day of the
(III, 7. ^^i).

month Daesius Japha

was captured
(10)

On

the t\vent)--seventh day of the
(III, 7. 32).

month Daesius

Gerizim was captured
(ii)

On

the

first

day

of the

thirteenth year of the reign of

month Panemus, in the Nero, Jotapata was taken

by the Romans
(12)

(III, 7. 36).

On

the fourth

day of the month Panemus Vespasian
(III. 9. i).

returned to Ptolemais
(13)

On On
On

the eighth day of the month Gorpiaeus the

prisoners of Tarichea were taken (III, 10. 10).
(14)

the twenty-second day of the
fell

month Hyperi. 9).

beretaeus
(15)

Gamala

before the

Romans

(IV,

the twenty-third day of the

month Hyperfirst

beretaeus

Gamala was

taken, whereas the city had

revolted on the twenty-fourth

day of the month Gorpiaeus

(IV,

I.

10).

(16)

On

the fourth

day of the month Dystrius Vespasian
7. 3).

entered the city of Gadara (IV,

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
(17)

—^ZEITLIN

63

On On

the second

day of the month Daesius Vespasian
8. i).

pitched his
(i8)

camp by
the
fifth

the city Coreai (IV,

day of the month Daesius Vespasian

removed from Caesarea and marched against those places
of Judea which had not yet been subdued (IV,
(19) In the
9. 9).

month Xanthicus

in

the third year of the
9. 12).

war Simon got possession of Jerusalem (IV,
(20)

On

the third day of the

month Apellaeus

Vitellius

was

killed (IV, 11. 4).

(21)

On
On

Passover, the fourteenth

day of the month

Xanthicus, John took possession of the
(22^

Temple

(V,

3. i).

the seventh day of the

month Artemisius the
7. 2).

Romans
(23)

took possession of the First Wall (V,

On

the twelfth

day of the month Artemisius the
against Antonia

Romans began to raise their earthworks and the Temple (V, 11. 4).
(24)
this

On

the twenty-ninth day of the month Artemisius
{ibid.).

was completed
(25)

A

vast

number
to the

of dead bodies were carried out

from one gate of Jerusalem from the fourteenth day of the

month Xanthicus,
(V, 13. 7)(26)

first

day of the month Panemus

On On

the

first

day of the month Panemus the Romans
i. 3).

were attacked by the Jews (VI,
(27)

the third day of the
to

month Panemus
of the

the

Romans attempted
Antonia (VI,
(28)
i. 6).

take possession

tower of

On

the seventeenth day of the

month Panemus
2. i).

the daily sacrifice (ei/SeXexKr/xo^) failed (VI,
(29)

On

the twenty-fourth day of the

month Panemus

the

Romans

set fire to the Cloister (VI, 2. 9).

64
(30)

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

On

the twenty-seventh day of the
all

month Panemus
(VI,
3. i).

the Jews set
(31)

the Western Cloisters on

fire

On

the eighth

day of the month Lous the Romans
i).

had completed
(32)

their earthworks (VI, 4.

On

the tenth day of the
(in
8).

month Lous the Temple
the second year of the

was burned by the Romans
reign of Vespasian) (VI, 4.
{^^)
.',,

On

the eighth

day of the month Xanthicus, when
to the feast of unleavened bread,

the people were

come

signs appeared in Jerusalem.

A

great light shone round

the altar (VI, 5.
(34)

3).

On

the twenty-first day of the
feast,
(ibid.).

month Artemisius,

a

few days after the

a prodigious and incredible

phenomenon appeared
{2,s)

On

the

twentieth

day

of the

month Lous the

raising of earthworks against

the upper city was begun

(VI,

8. I).

(36)

On

the seventh
their

day of the month Gorpiaeus the
8, 4).

Romans brought
{'^j)

machines against the wall (VI,

On

the eighth day of the

month Gorpiaeus,

in the

second year of the reign of Vespasian, Jerusalem was taken

by the Romans
(38)

(VI,

8.

5

;

10. i).

On

the fifteenth

day of the month Xanthicus

(in

the fourth year of the reign of Vespasian)

Masada was

taken (VII,

7. i

;

9. i).
^^

Scaliger^^

and Usher

maintained that Josephus
i.

in

his Bell. hid. used the

Roman,

e.

the Julian calendar,

and that Xanthicus

= April

and Artemisius

=

May.''"'

Ac-

cording to this opinion, Titus's burning of the Temple,
°^ ^*

Joseph Scaliger, 0/m.s de Emendatione
Usher, Annales Veteris
et

tentporiini, lib.

I,
ii.

Genevae, 1629.

Novi

Testantenti, 1654, vol.
/. c.

'^

See further Usher,

/.

c,

and Scaliger,

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
which Josephus
tells

— ZEITLIN

65

us took place on the loth of Lous,

took place on the loth of August.

But since Noris^^ has

shown
have

that in the year 70 c. E. the loth of

Ab
^^

could not

fallen

on the loth of August, Clinton

and Ideler^*

inclined to the view that in Bell. lud. Josephus

makes use
the Jewish

of the

same calendar

as in Antiquities,

i.

e.

Calendar,

only substituting

Syro-Macedonian names of
for

the months for the

Hebrew names, Xanthicus
method of
translating

Nisan^

Artemisius for lyyar, Daesius for Sivan, Lous for Ab, &c.

They

illustrate

this

the

calendar

from Josephus's

fuller

explanation in Antiquities, where
in

he states that Passover was celebrated
the Jews
call

Xanthicus, which

Nisan, and also with regard to Hanukkah,
it

that they celebrate
Kislev.^^

in

Apellaeus, which the Jews call
in

Thus, too, when

Bell. lud.

Josephus states
of Lous, on the
first

that Titus burned the

Temple on the loth

same month and day of the month whereon the
sanctuary had been destroyed by the Babylonians,
to the loth of
it

refers

Ab
it

and corresponds with the statement of
fifth

Jeremiah that

took place on the loth day of the

month,
quoted

i.e.
is

the loth of Ab.^°^

Another proof

frequently-

Josephus's statement that the Wood-Festival was

celebrated

on the 14th day of

Lous,^^'^

which seems to
is

harmonize with the Mishnah.^^- The

Wood -Festival
is
it is

fixed

on the 15th day of Ab.

For though there

a difference recon-

of one day between Josephus and the Mishnah
ciled

by assuming
Annus

that part of the

day before a

Yom Tob
1696.

'^
^'^

Noris,

et

Epoclme Syro-Macedointii),

p. 14, Lipsiae,

H.

Clinton, Fasti Hellenict, III,

Appendix

IV, Oxford, J895.

98 99
101

Ideler,

Handbuch,
5
;

Ibid.
5.

Ant.

Ill, 10,

XII,

4 and

7. 6.
i'2

"" Jer. 52.
Mishnah, Taanit, IV,

12.

Bell. lud. II, 17. 6.

5. 8.

VOL. X.

F

66

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

partakes of the character of

Yom

Tob/°" or by assuming

a scribal error
read instead of

in

Josephus. where 15 of Lous should be

14.^"^

By

similar lines of

argument many

scholars have supported the view that in Bell. hid. Josephus

used the Jewish calendar, merely substituting Syro-Mace-

donian names of months

for the

Jewish names.

This view was opposed by O. A. Hofifmann,^°^
maintained that except
is

who

in a

few cases where the interest

purely Jewish, the months are those of the solar year,

since Josephus lived in the

of these matters as part

Roman environment and treated Hence the of Roman history.
Belliun hidaiciim, as distinct

majority of the months

in

from those given
are

in

connexion with the Jewish holidays,
is

months of the Julian year, though the terminology
Schlatter
^"^^

Syro-Macedonian.

is

particularly favourable

to this view, and adds the further proof that the
in Bell. hid.

months
refers to

have 30 and 31 days, which clearly

the Julian or solar year, for months of the Jewish year

have only 39 and 30 days, never
Niese^°^ agrees with
Bell,

31.

Hoffmann

that the calendar in
is

hid.,

except

where mention

made

of Jewish

festivals, is

not that of the lunar cycle.
10.
,5)

Niese furthermore
writes,

proves from Antiquities (HI,
*

where Josephus

On

the fourteenth day of Xanthicus
'

according to the

lunar calendar

(/cara

aeXrjurji/)

that Josephus

knew of

another Xanthicus according to solar reckoning (Kara Odov).
^O'
i'"*

Schiirer, Gescliiclite, p. 757.

Giaetz,

III, p.

472

;

Derenbourg, Essai,
/.

p. 109, n. 2.

'<J5

Otto A. Hoffmann,
Schlatter,

c, pp, 4-17.

J06 1"'

Zur

Topographie

und

Geschichte Paldstmas, 1893, pp. 360-7.

Niese,

'Zur Chronologic des Josephus;

Ueber den von Josephus

im Bellum ludaicum benutzten Kalender' {Hermes, XXVIII (1893), pp. 197208).

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN

67

But Xicse does not agree with Hoffmann that the months
in

Bell.

Iiid.
it

are

Roman.

For

if

they

months

would be hard

to understand

were Roman why Josephus
proper.

used the Syro-Macedonian instead of

Roman names
Bell. lud.

According to Niese the calendar of

was not

Roman, but
days.

the Tyrian, which was also a solar cycle and
in

which was generally used
Niese
^"^

the Diaspora in Josephus's

in this

connexion borrowed Noris's proof
used
this

that Josephus

must have

calendar when he

recorded Vitellius's death as occurring on the third day
of Apellaeus
;

for

it

is

impossible to reconcile this date
79
f.)

with Tacitus {Hist.

Ill,

that Vitellius died on the
that Josephus's date,

20th December, except

by assuming

3rd of Apellaeus, refers to the Tyrian calendar.
is

For

it

only

in

the Tyrian calendar that the third of Apellaeus
(Julian).^^^

falls

on the 2cth of December

To

the authority

of Niese

may

be added that of Eduard Schwartz,

who

is

one of the few noted scholars who accepted Niese's
cation

identifi-

of Josephus's
is

Tyrian calendars.^^°

The Tyrian

calendar
(i)

herewith subjoined.

Hyperberetaeus

68
(5)

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Peritius

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN
cp.

69

served the original order of the months or to selling and

buying, and other ordinary

affairs.

I, 3.

3

;

Gen.

7.

11,

and Talmud R. ha-Shanah.
(2)

God commanded Moses
a sacrifice

to

tell

the

Hebrews

to

make ready

on the tenth day of the month
;

Xanthicus against the fourteenth
the Egyptians Pharmuthi, and

the
the

month

is

called

by

by

Hebrews Nisan, but
i. 4,

the Macedonians call
12. ^-6.
(3)

it

Xanthicus.

H,

6; cp. Hxod.

They

(the

Hebrews)

left

Egypt

in

the

month

Xanthicus, in the fifteenth day according to the moon.

n,

15. 2

;

cp. above,

No.

2,

and Exod.

12. 1-43.

(4) In the
it,

month Xanthicus,
call
it

as the Macedonians call

but the Hebrews

Nisan, on the

new moon, they
seventh

consecrated the Tabernacle.
(5)

IH,

(S.

4; cp. Exod. 40. 16.

Concerning

the

Festivals:
call

The

month,

which the Macedonians

Hyperberetaeus, on the tenth
in

day of the same lunar
which
is

month
1-6

the

month of Xanthicus,

by us
the

called Xisan,

on the fourteenth day of the
cp.

lunar month.
(6)

HI,

10.

;

Num.
IV,

29. 1-39.

On

first

day of the lunar month Xanthicus
Moses
died.
first

Miriam the
(7)

sister of

4. 6

:

cp.

Num.

20.

1.

Aaron

died on the

day

of the lunar

month

called

by the Athenians Hecatombaeon, by the Macedoby the Hebrews Ab.
IV,
4. 7
;

nians Lous, and

cp. Tal.

Taanit
(8)
is

9.

Moses died on the

first

day of the month, which

called by the Macedonians Dystrus, but by us Adar,
8.

IV,

49

;

cp.
is

Tal. Kiddushin 38, where the tradition of

Moses' death
of Adar.
(9) In

given as having taken place on the seventh

the second

month which the Macedonians

call

70

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Hebrews
3. 1
;

Artemisius, and the
build the Temple.
(jo) In

lyyar,
cp,
i

Solomon began
6. i.

to

VIII,

Kings
is

the

seventh

month which

called

by our

countrymen Tishri, but by the Macedonians Hyperberetaeus,
the Jews assembled together to remove the ark of
to the

God

Temple.

VIII,

4. i

;

cp.

i

Kings

(S.

2.

(11)

On
is

the twenty-third day of the twelfth month,

which

called

by

us

Adar, but by the Macedonians
built.

DystruS; the second temple was
6.

XI,

4.

7

;

cp.

Ezra

15

;

see also below, chap. VIII.

(12)

On

the
is

feast

of unleavened

bread, in

the

first

month, which

called

according
to

to

the
all

Macedonians
the people

Xanthicus, but according
celebrated

us

Nisan,
purified

the

festival,

having

themselves, ac4. 8
;

cording to the law of their country.
6.

XI,

cp.

Ezra

19-22.
(13) All the

Jews of the

tribes of

Judah and Benjamin
on

came together according
to the

to the decision of the Elders,

the twentieth day of the ninth month, which according

Hebrews

is

called

Tebeth [Kislev] and according to
XI,
5.

the Macedonians Apellaeus.
(14) In

4

;

cp,

Ezra

10. 9.

the twelfth
a

month which was
feast for Esther.

called

Adar,
6. 2.

Artaxerxes made
(15)

wedding

XI,

That the Jews may defend themselves the very
violence, namely,
is

same day from unjust
day
of Artaxerxes).
(16)

on the thirteenth
the letter

of the twelfth month, which

Adar (from
8. 12.

XI,

6.

12

;

cp.

Esther

On

the thirteenth

day of the twelfth month, which
is

according to the Hebrews

called

Adar, but according to

the Macedonians Dystrus, they (the Jews) should destroy
their enemies.
(17)

XI,

6.

13

;

cp.

Esther

9.

They

(the Jews)

banded themselves together again

1

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN
1-18.

7

on the fourteenth day of the month Dystrus, and slew their
enemies.
Ibid., cp.

above, 16, and Esther

9.

(18) In the letter

from Antiochus the Great to Ptolemy
for three

he said that he granted a discharge from taxes
years to
to
it

its

present inhabitants, and to such as shall migrate

(Jerusalem) before the

month Hyperberetaeus.
day

XII,

(19)

On

the twenty-fifth

of the month, which

is

called Kislev

by us and by the Macedonians Apellaeus,
altar
;

Antiochus erected an
XII,
5.

on the top of God's
i

altar.

4 and XII,

7.

6

cp.

Mace.

i.

59

;

4. 52.

(20)

On

the twenty-fifth day of the

month

Kislev,

which the Macedonians called Apellaeus, the Jews purified
the Temple.
(31)

XII,

7.

6

;

cp.

i

Mace.

4.

On

the twentieth

day

of that month,

which

is

called

by the Jews Adar, and by the Macedonians Dystrus,
Nicanor took place.
15.
ofi.

the
I

victory over
7.

XII,

10. 5

;

cp.

Mace.

49 and 2 Mace.
it

Furthermore,
exception
occur
in
^^"

must be remembered that with one
mentioned
in

all
first

the dates

the Antiquities

the

Twelve Books, which are directly based
traditions,

on Hebrew documents and

whereas the sources

of Bell. hid. are the contemporary documents of the war-

time which were naturally dated according to the Tyrian
calendar which prevailed universally in Syria.
'^^

This

exception

is

fully

explained

by the

fact

that

his

source

was, as he himself

states,

the letter of Antiochus the Great to Ptolemy,
for giving the

and so there was no occasion
latter

Jewish month.

Also

in the

books (XIV), where he gives the decree of the City of Athens, he
in

uses the months mentioned

that

document.

In

the decrees of the

Romans,

too,

he gives

Roman
drawn

months, April,

February, and October.

Names

of

months

were

from

his

sources.

Comp.

also

Atit.

VIII, 13,2,

72

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Furthermore, the same passage
in Bell. Iiid.

concerning

the death of VitelHus on the third of Apellaeus,^^* which
is

used by Niese to prove that the

Roman

calendar could
conflict with

not have been employed here as
the testimony of Tacitus,

this

would

who

dates his death

December

20,"^ can be used with equal force to prove that the

Hebrew
third

calendar

is

not in consideration here, for Dec. 20, in 69 C.E.

corresponds to Kislev
Kislev.116

19-20, and not to the

of

Finally, the strongest proof advanced

by

Ideler regarding

the

Hebrew
is

character of the nominally Macedonian months,

which

based on the identification of the Wood-Festival
festival

on the 14th of Lous with the
as the 15th of

known
far

to the

Mishnah

Ab. and which has thus

been generally

conceded even by those

who oppose
is

the general inference
criticism.

drawn from
For, as

this

by

Ideler,

open to serious
is

we

shall

show

presently, this festival

none other

than the Wood-Festival of the loth of Elul,
"*
Bell, hid., IV, II. 4-654.

and

if

our

"* Tacitus,
^^*

Hist., Ill, 79.

The

third of Apellaeus
Sacri, p. 354,

was

in

69 c.

e.

close to the twentieth of Kislev.
in

Lewin, Fasti

London, 1900, thinks
Tp'iT-q
^

our texts of jB?//. lud these
it

are scribal errors, and that instead of
AvSivatov, because, according to
Bell. lud.

AweWaiov

should read

K (20)
in
fell

Lewin, the calendar used by Josephus
c. E.

was

the Jewish one, and in 69

the 20th of

December

about 20th Tebet (Ginzel, Haudbtic/i, Tafel IV).
(^Uberden
alt. ji'td.

As Gumpach observes
was a leap year.
believe
that

Kalender, Tabella

I,

Leipzig, 1848), this

But

this
's

year was not a leap jear on account of being a sabbatical year
a sabbatical
is

(68-69

year, see above''.

Those who

the

Calendar

used

in Bell.

lud. according to the Jewish months, see errors

where they do

not exist.

Hence, Lewin

who

claims that for Apellaeus

we

must substitute Audynaeus, as well as those scholars who, because the
changing the 14th of Lous

Mishnah mentions 15th of Ab as a Wood-Festival, are determined on — mentioned in Bell. lud. as a Wood-Festival to

15th of Lous, and thus proving Lous

= Ab,

all

these pervert the chronop. 82.

graphy of

this

work

of Josephus.

See further below, No. XXIII,

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
theory
is

— ZEITLIN
Ab

73

correct the identification of

Lous with

must

be completely abandoned.'^'
"•
It
is

interesting to note that in Bell. lud. Josephus mentions 15th

of Xanthicus

(No. 38) and

makes no reference
in

to its

being Passover.
fall

Apparently
i5th of the

in this year,

72

c. e.,

the 15th of Xanthicus did not

on the
/.

month Nisan.

Masada was captured
I,

72

c. e.,

see Niese,

c,

pp. 211-12; Tillemont, Histoire,

p. 655,

and C. Zumpt, Awialcs veterum

regnorum

et

popitlorum imprimis Romanoriim, Berlin, 1892.

CHAPTER

VI

The Great Revolt against the Romans.
Assuming
in his

that Josephus

employed the Tyrian calendar
it is still

account of the Jewish Revolt,

impracticable

to identify the dates of Megillat Taanit before

we determine
of opinion

the year of the Great Rebellion.
is

The consensus

that the Revolt began in the year 66 c. E."^ Westberg,^^^
67, while Jost^-°

on the other hand, adopts the year
tains that the

main-

war began

in

6^

c. E.

Josephus twice
twelfth year of

refers to the
:

Revolt as beginning

in the

Nero

in

connexion with Cestius's

defeat,^^^

and

in

an earlier passage telling
the

how

the rebellion broke

out against

Romans and

Florus

— on

the

17th

of

Artemisius in the twelfth year of Nero's imperatorship and
in the

17th year of Agrippa.^^-

A

critical

examination

of these

two passages shows that the dates cannot be

placed in one year.
occurred in the

For

if

the outbreak of the Rebellion
of the twelfth year

month of Artemisius

of Nero, then the defeat of Cestius could not have been
in the eighth of

Dius of the same year of Nero

;

for

it

is

known

that

Nero became emperor on the
E.
^-"
;

thirteenth

day

of October 54 c.
11^

and according to no calculation

See

Schiirer,

I,

600

;

Graetz, HI-, 451.
ncufestaineiitlic/u'ii C/iroiiologie,

11^

Friedrich Westberg, Z:tr

Leipzig, 1911,

pp. 14-16.
1^0

Jost, Geschichte des ji'idischen Volkes,
Iitd.
II,

H,

p.

88 and note 31.
ixrjvus

121 Bell.

19,

9 TaZi

fxtv

[touto] ovv enpaxO^ Aiov

oySuji

dajStKarw [eVfi] r^y 'Sepwvos
122

fi~f(fxovias.
123

Bell. Itid. II, 14. 4.

See Tacitus, Ann. XII,

63.

74

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN

75

could Artemisius precede Dius in any one year of Nero's
reign.

For, whether Josephus used the

Roman

calendar,

and Artemisius corresponded to

May and

Dius to November,

or whether he used the Jewish calendar and Artemisius

was lyyar and Dius was Heshvan, or whether was the Tyrian, Artemisius preceded Dius
Nero's reign.
in

his calendar

in the

year of

Therefore the revolt must either have begun
in

Artemisius

the eleventh year of Nero's reign or else
in

the defeat of Cestius occurred not in the twelfth but
thirteenth year of Nero's reign.'-*

the

This seemingl}' insurmountable
solved

difficulty

is

satisfactorily

by

Unger.'^'^

According to him Josephus counted

Nero's imperium not from the day on which he ascended

the throne, but either from the beginning of the calendar

year (January

i),

or from the

day

of the Tribunicia Potestas

(December

10).

This theory finds corroboration elsewhere.
c. E.
is

Thus the date January 60
Potest.

described as Tribun.

VII Imper. Consu.

IV.^-^

Now
p.

the reckoning of

1-^

Niese already

felt

Hernus, 18Q3.

21 1^

this difficulty,

and he

explained that Josephus counts the year of Nero's reign not from the date
of his accession to the throne, but from the
first

day of Nisan, 55
for

c. E.

Thus Artemisius precedes
Nero
fall

Dius, and these months of the 12th year of
it

in

66

c. e.

But Niese hereb}' contradicts himself,
Iiid.
.

is

his

theor\' that in

the Bell.

the calendar of the
if it

months

is

not Jewish

but Tyrian

{I.e.,

202-41

Furthermore,

be assumed that Josephus computation of the years of
c. e.

emploj'ed the Jewish calendrical s^'stem

in his

Nero's reign, then the months of Dius and Artemisius in 66

would be

counted

in

the 13th year of Nero's reign, not the 12th.

For, according to

Jewish calculation, the period from the 13th of October, 54 c. e., when Nero ascended the throne, until Nisan 55 c. e., would be reckoned as a full year.
125

Unger,
11.

'

Zu Josephus
hist. CI.,

',

Sitztiitgsberichte der

Milnchener Akndeitiie,

PItilos.-philoI.
^^^

1896, pp. 383-97.
',

See Henzen, 'Fine neue Arvaltafel
II, p.

Hermes,

II,

1867, pp. 37-55'

Th. Mommsen, Staatsrecht,

755, n.

i.

See

also Stobbe,

Die Tribu-

nenjahre der romischen Kaiser',

Pliilologtts,

XXXll,

1873, pp. 23-9.

76

THE JEWISH QL'ARTERLY REVIEW
when he

Nero's imperial reign was dated from the day

ascended the throne, October

13,

54

c. E.,

then the date

January 60
Imper. VI.

c. E.
If,

could not be described otherwise than

however, we assume that Nero's reign was
C. E.,

dated from the beginning of the calendar year 54
or in other words that the
first

year of

his

reign ended
i,

with the calendar year 54

C. E.,

and hence January
second
year,

^j

C. E.

marked the beginning
if

of the

or,

likewise,

the years of the reign were calculated according

to the Trib. Potest.,

and hence the

first

year of his reign
c. E.

ended Trib. Potest. December
is

10, 54,

then January 60

properly described Imper. VII. ^-^
in

This

is

also borne

out by most of the coins issued

the fourth consulate of

Nero

(60 c. E.)

whereon we

find Tribun. Potest. VII.^-*

According to

this theory, the 17th
in the twelfth

day of Artemisius

and the 8th of Dius

year of Nero's reign
in the

correspond to June 4 and

November 25
is

year 6^

c. E.,

and therefore the revolt
year 6^
c. E.,

to be definitely dated in the

and not 66

c. E.,

as

is

generally assumed, and
in

consequently Vespasian's
in

command

Galilee began not

67
'''"

c. E.

but

in

66

c.E.'^o

-^he date 65 c. e, as the year

See Unger, /. c, "« Cohen. XXXII-XXXIX

;

Eckliel.

Doctrma muuonuu, VI,

p.

264.

Accordingly they calculated the years of Vespasian, not from his ascending
the Emperor's throne, which, according to Tacitus and Suetonius, took
place July 69
c. E.,

but from his irihunkia poicsias

;

see further,

Mommsen,

Siaatsrecht, pp. 752-4.
^'•^

M. Le Nain de Tillemont, Histoiic des

Etnpcrettts,

showing that

Cappel, too, heeds the view that Josephus counted the years of Nero's reign not from the day of his ascending the throne, but according to the jears
of his consulate, and hence that the revolt began, not in 66
c. e.,
I

but in

65

c. E.

As

Louis Cappel's book
:

is

not generally accessible,
dit

quote

Tillemont's excerpt verbatim

'Joseph
[s'il

que

la

guerre des Juifs

commenca

au mois de
quel

May
fut

I'an 12

de Neron

conte ces annees du 13 Octob. 54 auc'estoit

Neron

declare

Empereur,

certainement en 66, mais

il

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
of the revolt
fits

—ZEITLIN

77

in also

with Josephus's remark that

it

occurred

in the

seventeenth year of the reign of Agrippa.

For

it

was

after the death of

Herod

II

(of Chalcis),^"'' in
is

the eighth

year of Claudius,^-^^

that
E.,

at

the close of

48

C. E.

or the beginning of 49 C.

that Claudius decided

to give the

kingdom

to Agrippa,
it

which he did

in

the

following summer.^"- Josephus,

may

be assumed, counted

the reign of Agrippa from the ist of Nisan, as was the

custom of Jewish kings

'•''

(DO^r:!?

r\yc'ri

'ca^

JD^a

nns3,

Rosh ha-Shanah
of Nisan, 50

i),

according to which the interval between

the time of his ascending the throne and the
C. E..

New Moon
so that the
c. E.

constituted year one, &c.^

'*,

seventeenth year of his reign

began with Nisan 65
in

That the

revolt

broke out

65

is

to be seen also from

the chronology of the Seder Olain, which gives the dynasty

of Herod as 103 years {Seder Olani, ch. 30)
D*:b>
E'i'K'i

:

n'3 nni'D

nxQ Dnmn.

The dynasty
rule,
''

of

Herod dated from
B. c. E.,

the beginning of Herod's

early in 37

shortly

after the death of Antigonus.^

which occurred

in

January

37

E. c.

eJ'"''

According

to

Josephus Herod ruled thirtyNovemb. suivant
II

paroist qu'il ne s'attache pas a ce jour] puisque le 8

cstoit

encore selon luy dans

la

12 e annee de ce Prince.

conte done paries
I'a

consulats, depuis le premier Janvier qui a precede le 13 Octob. 54 ou qui
suivi.

Selon

le

premier, la guerre a

commence en 65

et c'est le
(p. 121).

sentiment
Tillemont,

de Luis Cappel dans son abrege de I'histoire des Juifs'
Histoire,

'Notes sur

la

Ruine des
p.

Juifs'.

Note XXII, Paris, 1690.

See

also Scaliger,
13'
I'l

Emend. Temp.,
I
;

468-70.

Bell. Ind.. II, 12,

Tacitus, Atitiales,

XII

(in

the year 49

c.

e).

Ant.,

XX,

5.

2

;

cp. Tacitus, Anitales, XII.
I,

"* Clinton, Fasti Roiiiani,

p.

32

;

Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 48-9.

"* About his similarly computing the years of Herod, see below.
1^*
'32

See Rosh ha-Shanah 2
BaatXfvaas
fxeO'

b.

o

piiv

dvfiKfv

'

AvTiyorov

iTTj

riaaapa kol TpiaKovra,

Ant. XVII, 8. 1. *" See above.

78
four years.

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Herod died
B. C. E.

at the close of

Adar 4

B. C. E.^"^

Now, from 37

to

4

B. c. E. there is

only a period

of thirty-three years.
for the reign of

But doubtless Josephus's chronology
is

Herod

based on the Jewish calendar
is

according to which the month of Nisan
of the regnal year
(cp. above).
B. c. E.

the beginning

Consequently the

New

Moon

of

Nisan 37

marked already the begin-

From the beginning of 37 B. c. E. until the close of the summer or autumn of 6j c. E. when the Jews threw off the Roman yoke, and soon after
ning of the second
year.^^'^

also the
27, 28),

yoke of the Herodian house
is

(see further 25, 26,

a period of 103

years.^''^

By

this

we

are to

understand chronological years, not complete years
terminal fraction of a year being accounted a year.

—the
The

same

is

borne out by another passage of the Seder

Olam

regarding the wars between the

Romans and
n^3n ^i^i ibx
o^rj*

the Jews.

^•j*

D'ln^iD
i""

ny

Dir''D£Ds ^z-

di?o^12?o
Dit2\"5

d"':b'

[y]"2
DVj^p

nrj'

X2^n3
D''j:y

p

r.Dn^ro

ny

Vc did^isdi

i"i

nvnci

\yh^'\ \nc sa'^na

p

[ni^^ro]

ru:n^r:i.

From

the

expedition of Severus (Varus) to the expedition of Vespasian

seventy years elapsed,
'" See below
138
;

i.

e.

from the expedition of Varus
a king

^^"

Schiirer,

I,

pp. 415-18.
if

According to the Talmud,
is

aecends the throne even

in

Adar,

the time until Nisan

accounted a year, and with that Nisan begins his
a).
its total

second year ,R. ha-Shanah 3
189

In regard to the chronology followed by Seder Olant in

of

103 years for the throne of the Hasmonean house, see below in note 235. 140 By emending DII^IIDN, we get the only intelligible reading,
Dl"in
F.
I

7-'

DID/'S

'.the

expedition of Varius)

;

so

all
;

scholars read,

e. g.

Westberg, Ziir neute&tamentlicben Chronologic,
421
;

p. 17

Schiirer, Geschichte,

Derenbourg, Histoiic,
in

p.

194.

G. Volkmar, Handbtich der Eini860,
substitutes DIJ^IDK
for

Icitmtg

die

Apokryphen,

I,

Tiibingen,

DITIIDN, a supposed transliteration of the name
Augustus's legate
in the

of Sabinus

who was

year when Herod died.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
in

—ZEITLIN

79

4

B. C. E.,

shortly after the death of Herod, until the

expedition of Vespasian, which according to our view took
place in the

summer
c, E.,

of 66, there
Similarly,

is

chronologically a period

of seventy years."^

from the expedition of
E.,

Vespasian, 66
there

to the expedition of Quietus, 117 c.

elapsed

chronologically

fifty-two

years,

i.

e.

by

reckoning the terminal fractions of the years 66 and 117 as
full years.^''-

Finally, the interval

between the expedition
'

1^^
/.

In place of

'

eighty' there should be
;

seventy' years.
I.e.,

So Westberg,
That
in this

c.

;

Schiirer, I.e.

Derenbourg,
80 to 70

I.e.

;

Volkmar,

p. 84.

passage

we must emend
at the

we

can see from another source.

When

R. Akiba,

beginning of Hadrian's reign, started his propaganda for
that

revolution, he

demonstrated to the Jews
that the Messianic era
;

now was

the favourable
called

moment

for

it,

was approaching, and

Ben

Kozeba the Messiah
prophecies of Haggai

in this
(2.

connexion also he expounded the Messianic
flS*
.

6-9), (Sanhedrin 97 b
D"'i:n
it

CiyiD
.
.

''JS1

N\"l

DVO
is

ni33 nrn iT'an

ns "ns^m

b
:

nx T.c'yim
'

|nsn nsi
while
',

D'-D^'n.
to

Now
say,

Rabbi Akiba developed

thus

Yet once a

little

that

Haggai prophesied another period of exile of Babj'lon, but
little
e.

it \vill

be

only a
njtJ*,

while,
first

DTitJ'"!

w^^n

H":.'

niD^ci

nitJ>

D'ync' n^iK'Ni niDi?©

i.

the

kingdom or domination of the Romans, extending from
c.) until
is

the expedition of Varus (4 b.

the close of the year of 65

c. e.,

when
and

they threw

off the

Roman

yoke,

a period of seventy chronological years
state,

(though in this period kings of Herodian family maintained royal
in

a slight degree royal prerogative,

possessing hardly a semblance of

power,

— their main object
was from

being to please the Romans, upon whose favour

their position depended).

The second

period of foreign domination evic. e., until

dently

the destruction of the Temple, 70

the time
this

when
in

R. Akiba aroused the people to revolt against the Romans (and
the year 121 c.e.).

was

But

after these tv/o periods of foreign domination
I

continues R. Akiba in his exposition—'

shall

shake

all

the nations and the

House

shall

be

filled

with glory

',

i.

e.

the Messiah shall come.
as referring to his

Rashi did

not understand this

comment of R. Akiba

own

times,

hence he was forced to give a far-fetched explanation.

But see Hiddushe

Aggadot of R. Samuel Eliezer Edels (Maharsha) on
^'*2

this.

This shows clearly that the insurrection at the close of Trajan's reign

included Judea as well as the Diaspora, though Renan, Lcs Evatig., p. 509,

expresses his opinion that

in

these disturbances the

Jews

of Palestine took

8o

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
c. E.,

of Quietus, 117

and the war of Ben Cozeba (Bar
was
chronologically sixteen years.

Cocheba),

132

c. E.,

By

similar calculation the

war of Bar Cocheba continued and lasted altogether three

into the spring of 135

c. E.^*^

and a half years.
no
part.

Why

did Trajan take Quietus, his best general, from the most

hotl3'

contested

war and send him
This
is

to

a peaceful spot?

Evidently the
residents being

insurrection had spread so as to embrace the
affected

Holy Land,

its

thereby.

called

DltD^p

7'"

DtlOPID, the

expedition of

Quietus.

See H.

Schiller, Gescliiclttc dcr romischen Kaiserzat , \l, p.
p.

562

;

Graetz, Geschichte, IV,

406

;

Lipsius, Zeitschr. f. wissensdi.

Tlieol,,

1857.

Graetz,

ibid., finds

a difficulty in the chronology of the Seder Olatn referring

to these expeditions.

He

erringly identifies Polemos shel Aspasianos with
in

the destruction of the

Temple

70

c. e.

(for his

understanding of the

passage the traditional date 68

c. e.

suited better), for his chronological

com-

putation produced neither seventy nor eighty years from the Polemos of

Varus (or as he considered
did
it

it

of

Herod)

to the

Polemos of Vespasian, nor
to

result in fifty-two years from the
in

Polemos of Vespasian

the

Polemos of Quietus

117

c. e.

But when

we
in

regard
c. e.,

Polemos shel
the chronology

Aspasianos as Vespasian's invasion of Galilee
adjusts itself admirably.
1*'

66

See Schilrer,

I,

pp. 668-70.

THE BOOK OF ESTHER
Bv JaCOU Hoschaxder,

IN

THE LIGHT

OF HISTORY
Dropsie College.

CHAPTER
Ahasuerus' identity with Artaxerxes

IV
II,

Mnemon— Plutarch's

Life

of

Artaxerxes

— Plutarch's sources and their reliability — Artaxerxes' character

His relations to the Greeks The Peace of Antalcidas The rebellion of Cyrus the Younger The date of the battle of Cunaxa Artaxerxes' celeHis domestic life — Quarrels between his queen and bration of his victory his mother The rule of the harem The queen's disobedience Her degradation and murder Her name — Artaxerxes' concubines — Artaxerxes' His palace at Susa The name Ahasuerus suspicions against his grandees in the Hebrew version A comparison between Xerxes and Artaxerxes II The resurrection of the Persian empire — The Arsacides alleged descendants

— —

of Artaxerxes

II

— His

proper name

—The

uniformity of the Scriptures

The name Artaxerxes

in the

Greek

version.

The

veracity of a story has to be judged
these
facts

by the

facts

narrated therein, and

on

their

own

merits,

independently of the names of the dramatis pcrsonae, which

may

have been changed

for

some

reason.

The modern

exegetes of the
these premisses.

Book

of Esther evidently do not grant
identified

Having

Ahasuerus with Xerxes^

an identification that etymologically cannot be doubted,

and finding that historically the events of
not have occurred

this

Book could
latter,

under
is

the reign
fictitious.

of the

they
is

conclude that the story
erroneous.

This conclusion

We

readily concede that an assumption that

these

events

actually

happened under Xerxes' reign

is

beyond the

limits of consideration, as

we have shown

in

the preceding chapter.

But

this fact

does not prove that
occurred

these events are unhistorical.

They might have

under a ruler whose name was not Ahasuerus. 8i VOL. X.

We

indeed

^

82

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

contend that the events of our story, being corroborated by
external, non-biblical historical sources, cannot be denied,

and that the navie of the king found
version of the

in the present

Hebrew

Book

of Esther

is

fictitious.

In the course

of our investigation, \vc hope to prove the truth of our
contention.
Historical

events

under the reign of Artaxerxes
for

H

Mnemon
king's

(404/3-359/8 B.C.E.) leave no room

doubt

that the events narrated in our story occurred under that
reign.

The

latter

having played a part

in

the

history of Greece, such as no other Persian king before

or after him,
political affairs,

we have abundant
life,

information about his
in

which can be traced

our story.

But

records about his domestic

written

by various Greek

authors, are scanty and not of a character to be implicitly
relied
fiction.

upon, being

apparently a mixture of truth and

The

writings of the older classical historians

who
with

dealt with this subject, like Ctesias of Cnidus,

Deinon of
lost,

Colophon, Heraclides of Cyme, and others are
the exception of some fragments of Ctesias.'
historians
sources.

All later

who touched upon
first

this subject

drew from these

Plutarch, in his Life of Artaxerxes, relied for the
part of this king's reign chiefly

description of the

upon

Ctesias, for that of the later years chiefly

upon Deinon, but
Ctesias

drew

also

from

Heraclides and

other sources.

could testify as an eye-witness to the events that happened
in

the

first

six years of Artaxerxes' reign, since

he was

physician at the Persian court for about seventeen years
(414-398).

He

wrote his history about 390.

His

testi-

mony
1

ought seemingly to be regarded of prominent value.
historical

For the
pp. 7ff.

sources for this period see

Ed.

Meyer^

Gesch.

Ill,

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

HOSCHANDER
in

83
him,

But Plutarch does not place much confidence
charging that he had
filled

his

books with a number of
Ctesias

extravagant and incredible fables.
in antiquity the not

had indeed
liar

undeserv^ed reputation of a
his history
is

and

forger.

Deinon wrote

towards the end of the

Achaemenian
worthy.
rely

period, and

generally regarded as trustchiefly

For our present investigation, we must But judging by
reliability.

upon Plutarch.

his Artaxcj'xeSy

we

must doubt Deinon's

We

shall

demonstrate by

a few striking examples that this historian does not deserve
great
confidence.
It
is

surprising
Justi,'-

to

see

our

modern

historians, like

Ferdinand

and even Eduard Meyer,
in

the greatest authority on ancient history
implicitly accepting in their Histories

our times,

many
:

statements of
analysis.

Plutarch, without

subjecting

them

to a critical

We

call attention to
(1)

the following points

According to Plutarch, Artaxerxes
years.''

II

reached the

age of ninety-four

Both

Justi*

and Eduard Meyer^
Artaxerxes must

accept this statement.

If this be true,
at the

have been forty-eight

time of

his accession to the

throne, since he reigned from 404/3 to 359/8.
latter

But the

was the son of Darius

II

and Pary satis.

They

had,

according to Plutarch,*^ four children, of

whom

Artaxerxes

was the

eldest,

Cyrus the second, and Ostanes and Oxatres
Darius reigned 424-404.

the two youngest.

As Cyrus
in

claimed the throne on account of having been born

the

purple, he must have been about nineteen years old at the
2

Geschichte des Jlltcn Persicns, Berlin, 1879 (in

Oncken's

'

Allgemeine

Geschichte', part IV).
^ *

Plutarch's Artaxerxes,

XXX,
4*^9.

9.

In his Geschichte, p. 136.

*

In his Foischiingen, p. umlt.

In his Geschichte he says that Artaxerxes
«

was

Ar:axerxcs,

I,

2.

G

2

!

84

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
father.

demise of his

Accordingly Artaxerxes would have

been twenty-nine years older than his second brother.
Parysatis, remarkable
for

her cruelty, would

have been

more remarkable as a natural phenomenon, having borne
three
years."

lusty

sons after

an intermission
fact,

of

twenty-nine

As

a matter of

Artaxerxes was merely a few

years older than his second brother.
at the prime of his
life

He must

have been

at the time of his

campaign against

the Cadusians, about twenty-four years after his accession,
if

he could bear

all

the hardships of the march like the

meanest soldier and show strength and alacrity by marching

two hundred furlongs
ever, Plutarch
is

daily, as Plutarch informs us.^

Howas the

in this case
;

not as

much

to

blame

modern

historians

for

the former gives Artaxerxes a

reign of sixty-two years,'' and thus

Cyrus would have been

only about thirteen years younger than his eldest brother.
If historians

rightly

reject

the statement concerning the

years of his reign

as

unhistorical,

they ought to have

repudiated also that as to Artaxerxes' age
(2)

Plutarch's
is

date

of

Artaxerxes'

reign,

mentioned
is

above,

not a scribal error, as the same date

given by

Sulpicius Severus, and both

drew from the same source,
Ed. Meyer.^''

from
'

Deinon,
is

according

to

The

latter

There

also another chronological improbability.

Artaxerxes

I,

who

was

the younger son of Xerxes,

the latter ascended the

wss undoubtedly born in the purple. As throne 484, and was murdered 465, Artaxerxes could
at the

hardly have been more than eighteen

time of his accession.
king, he

Now

if

was fort3'-eight years been born 452. Then Artaxerxes
Artaxerxes
II

old
I

when he became
p. 2)

must have
at

would have become a grandfather
considers
at
it

the age of
that

thirt}'.

G. Rawlinson [Herod. IV,
a

incredible

Xerxes should have had
ArtaxerxiS,

grown-up son when he was

most thirty-six

j-ears old.
»

XXIV,

11.

^

Ibid.

XXX,

9.

10

ForscliHHgen, p. 489.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY
is

— HOSCHANDER
how such an

85
error

admits that he

unable to explain

could have occurred.

He

evidently overlooked the fact

that this date, giving Artaxerxes the

age of ninety-four
the stories about
It is also possible

years at his death,

is

the basis of

all

Cyrus and Parysatis,

told b}' Plutarch.

to explain the occurrence of this error.

Eusebius gives
Africanus gives

Artaxerxes

II a reign of forty years, while

Artaxerxes III a reign of twenty-two years.

Hence

it

is

very possible that the date given by Plutarch and Severus
include the regnal years of both these kings.
sufficiently

This date

shows how badly Deinon

must

have

been

informed about the Persian history of this period.
(3)

Plutarch

tells

us that Cyrus had a concubine

named

Aspasia,

who had been taken
oldest

prisoner

in

the

battle of

Cunaxa, and afterwards became the concubine of Artaxerxes.

But

his

son Darius, after having been appointed
father
to

successor, requested his

give Aspasia to him.

Artaxerxes complied with

his request, but

soon afterwards

he took her away and made her priestess of Diana of
Ecbatana,

whom

they called Anaitis, that she might pass
life

the remainder of her

in

chastity.^^

Darius, incensed
life

and persuaded by Teribazus, conspired against the
his

of

father

and intended to

assa.ssinate

him

in his

bed-

chamber.^^^

When

these events occurred, Artaxerxes
4.

was

Aitaxcr.xes,
Ibid.

XXVI I,

1-

XXIX.

a Jewish author.
the
difticult

may congratulate himself that he was not The commentators on Esther concern themselves with
Plutarch

question

how

Esther,

who

as cousin of Mordecai must have

been

at least fifty or sixty

years of age, should have been so beautiful as to
Plutarch's tale
is

captivate the

heart of Xer.xes.

more

incredible,

and

nevertheless Justi, Gac/i.,

p. 137,

accepts

it

literally,

without expressing
believe that
in

any doubt
(see

as to

its

historicity'.

Some commentators
harem beauty
Paton,
p.

the

seclusion and care of an Oriental

lasts to

an extreme age
just the

Bertheau-Ryssel,

p.

400, and

170).

However,

86

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
The
that

already far advanced in years, as Plutarch asserts.
fact that

a successor to the throne was appointed shows

that they

happened

in

the last years of his reign.

At

time Aspasia was already an old woman, at the age of
seventy
at
least,
'

according

to

Plutarch's
'

chronology.
'

Accordingl}',

the goddess of beauty

could not have

con-

tributed her share towards persuading Darius b}- putting

him

in

mind

of the loss of Aspasia
tells

'.

(4)

Plutarch further

us that Parysatis was instru-

mental in bringing about the marriage of Artaxerxes to
his

own daughter Atossa, by
without
regarding the

telling

him

to

make

her his
the

wife,

laws and

opinions of

Greeks.^"

This daughter was apparently rather young at
marriage to her

the time of her

own

father, since
is

her

brother Ochus, the youngest son of Artaxerxes,

said to

have promised her

to

make her

his queen, in

case she

would
way.^*

assist

him

in

putting his elder brothers out of the

This occurred at the time of Darius's conspiracy.
to Plutarch, Parysatis
at
least,

But according
years of

must have been

fifty

age

when Artaxerxes ascended

the

throne, and could hardly have been alive towards the end
of his reign.

Historians

attach

too

much importance

to

Persian

harem-stories recorded by Greek authors.

We

ought to

bear

in

mind that the Persian harem was more closely

guarded than the Golden Fleece.
contrary
last
is true.

No
:
'

outsider could
the

know
women

Justi,

/.

c, p. 125, observes

The charms of

seldom more than eight or nine years.
in

The

splendid beauty soon turns

withered, lean, blear-e3ed, and becomes

every respect an ugly woman.

Each year brings
quite obscured'.

a

new

wrinkle, until the former light of the

harem

is

From

this point of view,

we

understand

why

there

were

new gatherings of virgins » Artaxerxes, XXIII,

from time
5.

to time.

Ibid.

XXVI,

3.

:

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER

87

exactly the real happenings there.^'

The

stories are based
dis-

upon rumours which may have been embellished and
torted, not

upon

first-hand information.

It

should also
in

be taken into account that the Greek writers
startling stories about the barbarians,
gallery.

telling

were playing to the

The Greek

physicians at the Persian court were
in the

most

likely better

informed about happenings
Ctesias,

harem.

But with the exception of

who

is

fond of giving

fiction instead of truth, especially

where

his

own ambition
histories.

was concerned, these physicians did not write
There
is

no doubt some truth
it

in

many
life

stories

of

Plutarch's Artaxerxes, but

is

mixed with

fiction.

There

may
some

have been a conspiracy against the

of Artaxerxes

in the first

years of his reign, in which Aspasia played

part.

Who

knows whether she was not involved

in

some conspiracy

to avenge the death of her lover Cyrus,

which the Greek author mixed up with the conspiracy of
Darius that occurred about forty years
later
?

Ed. Meyer,

who

in his

History gave
lost

full

credence to Plutarch's account,
it,

seems to have

faith
in

in

as his description of the

events under discussion,
differs in several points
'

the Encyclop. Brit,

(nth

Edition),
writes

from that of Plutarch.

He

In the last years of his reign, he had sunk into a perfect

dotage.

All his time was spent in the harem, the intrigues

of which were complicated

by marrying

his

own daughter
his father

Atossa.

At

the same time his sons were quarrelling about

his succession.

One

of them,

Ochus, induced

to

condemn
way.
is

to death three of his elder brothers

who

stood

in his

Shortly afterwards Artaxerxes died.'
with Jewish writers, as some of them were

This
in
all

^^

It

different

probabihty eunuchs (see Chapter VII), and therefore were better acquainted

with the secrets of the harem than the average Persians.

:

S8

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

historian evidently does not believe in Plutarch's stories,

that

Darius was found guilty of a conspiracy, that the
suicide,

second brother, Ariaspes, committed
third brother
Ochus.^*^

and that the

was murdered by Harpates
must indeed take these

at the order of

We

stories with a grain

of

salt,

not as did Justi

who

in his

History adheres faithfully

to Plutarch's description in
It is

all its details.
is

noteworthy that there
least

a period of about thirty
first

years at

between the death of the

queen of

Artaxerxes and the alleged marriage to his own daughter
Atossa.

Who

was queen

in the

meantime?

If there

had

been a queen, she would

in all probability
all

have taken part

in the intrigues at the court, as did

the Persian queens,

and Greek
her.

writers would have told us something about
to

There seems

have been a queen who differed from

all her predecessors, in not mixing herself in the intrigues

of the court, and, therefore, Greek writers did not

know

anything about her.
'

Some

historians,

amongst

Now it is true, Plutarch states whom is Heraclides of Cyme,
^"^

affirm that Artaxerxes married not only Atossa, but also

another of his daughters Amestris.'

However, the

latter

marriage could only have preceded that to

Atossa by

a few years

;

for

Plutarch

tells

us that Amestris had been

promised to Teribazus, but Artaxerxes, instead of keeping
his promise, married her himself, promising Teribazus that

he should have

his

youngest daughter Atossa, of whom,

however, he also became enamoured and

whom
by

he married.^^

Moreover, Plutarch's statement that Artaxerxes married his

own

daughters, though generally accepted

all historians,

Artaxerxes,
Ibid

XXX, 28.
7-9.

"

Ibid.

XXIII,

6.

18

XXVII,

ESTHER
is

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER

89

rather doubtful.^^

We

have no similar record of any

other

Persian

king of the Achaemenians, Arsacids and

Sassanids.

Artaxerxes

may have had
by

a queen

whose

name by some was
But the Greek

said to be Atossa,

others, Amestris.
religion

writers,

knowing that the Zoroastrian

considers next-of-kin marriage sacrosanct, and being led

astray

by the queen's names,

identical with those of his
latter.^°

daughters, believed that he married the

Ed. Meyer describes Artaxerxes II as being a goodnatured monarch, but weak, capricious, readily accessible
to personal influences
in

and dependent upon
influence

his favourites

;

his

time

the

baleful

of

the

harem made
as

appalling progress.'-^

The

character

of Ahasuerus,

represented in the

Book

of Esther, could

not

be more

accurately depicted than by this description.

However,

notwithstanding his character, Artaxerxes
exception,

II was, without

the
It
is

greatest

monarch

of

the

Achaemenian

dynasty.
his

true he does not

deserve any credit for
his

power.

His greatness was due neither to
the strength

own

personality nor to

of the Persian empire,

which on the contrary showed "
tells

in all parts

under his reign

Cf.,

however, Ed. Meyer,

Gesclt.,

Einleitung, 1910, pp. 23-32, and

III, p. 41.

He

accepts this statement on Plutarch's authorit}'.

The
:

latter
'

his us in connexion with Artaxerxes' marriage to his own daughter leprosy which affection for Atossa was so strong, that though she had a

spread

itself

over her body, he was not disgusted at
I,

it

'.

This statement

is

not in accord with that of Herodotus. has the leprosy, he
is

139,

who

writes: 'If a Persian

not allowed to enter into a city or to have any dealings

with the other Persians.'
20

It is

rather curious that the

names of Artaxerxes' queen Hadassak

daughters, and Esther should be almost identical with those of his two married. Atossa and Amestris, he is said to have Brit., nth ed., and 21 See his article 'Artaxerxes', in the Encychp.
Ccscliichte,

V,

p. 181.

90

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
and decay, but
Still

visible signs of decline

to the discord

and

corruption of the Greeks.

the Persians must have
for

looked upon him with the greatest admiration
vindicated their honour.

having

Since the days of Marathon and

the humiliating defeats at Salamis, Plataea, and Mycale, the Persians, this proud nation which considered
itself to

be greatly superior

in all

respects to the rest of mankind,-^

could not help admitting the superiority of the Greeks,

by

whom

they had been disgracefully defeated.
:

Ed. Meyer

observes

'

In

many

Persians

may have

been alive the

feeling of disgrace that the great

campaign had ended so

deplorably, that they were even unable to come to the
assistance

of
I,

the

brave

garrisons

in

Thrace.'

'""

Both

Artaxerxes

who was compelled

to recognize the indeII

pendence of the Greeks of Asia Minor, and Darius
only too glad when the Greeks did not interfere

were

in their
II,

own

dominion.'-*

But under the
lift

rule of

Artaxerxes

the Persians could

up

their

heads again and look down

with contempt upon their former arch-enemies, the Greeks.

What

a

spectacle

it

must have been

for the Persians to

see the descendants of the heroes of

many
I

glorious battles

crouching at the feet of their king and paying

him

divine

honours

!

-^

The aim

for

which Darius

and

his successor

Xerxes had
subdued,

striven in vain, the subjection of the Greeks,

was actually attained
and
officially

by Artaxerxes
recognized
this king's

II.

Greece was
suzerainty.

Persia's

There

is

no doubt that

memory was

held

by

the Persians in the greatest esteem and reverence even in

" Herodotus
-*

I,

134.

^
in

Geschicltle, III, p. 585.

Egypt would never have succeeded
Artaxerxes,

freeing

itself

from Persia

without the aid of the Greeks.
25

XXII,

8.

ESTHER
later times.

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER
why Ochus,

9I

Diodorus Siculus informs us
II,

the
:

successor of Artaxerxes

assumed the name Artaxerxes

*Artaxerxes, ruHng the kingdom with great justice and
integrity,

and being a great lover and earnest promoter of
Persians

peace, the

decreed

that
-''

all

succeeding kings
unhistorical

should be called by his name.'
ridiculous legend
at a

Such an

and

must have come from an

oriental source

time when Persian history was no longer known, but

the
it

memory

of Artaxerxes II was

still alive.

We

consider

hardly a coincidence that the founder of the Neo-Persian

empire bore the name of Artaxerxes (Ardashir, Artashatr).^^

Artaxerxes
of Asia.

II

was, like Darius
is

I,

incontestably king

The
(C'lJ

extent of his empire

defined in the
: '

Book
Esther
T. I
;

of Esther by the geographical term

from India unto
of his reign, he
cities

8.

Ethiopia*

nyi nmt:).-*'

was fortunate
Minor
lost

in

At the outset recovering many Greek
The
these
fall

9

of Asia

about eight)' years before his

reign

by

his

great-grandfather Xerxes.

of Athens (402 B.C.E.)

ended

its

hegemony over

cities,

and they became an

easy prey to the Persian empire.

Sparta's plan to continue

Athen's policy and to establish a new hegemony, was
frustrated

by the corruption of Greece.

Plutarch states
every-

that Artaxerxes forced Agesilaus,

who was victorious

where, to leave Asia Minor by sending Hermocrates into

Greece with a great amount of gold, and instructed him to
corrupt with
stir
"•'

it

the leading

men

in

the Greek states and to

up a Grecian war against Sparta.
In his Historical Library,

The most important

XV,

2.

^ See
28

Justi, Gescltichie, p. 177.

There may be some doubt whether such a geographical term includes

Egypt.

The

latter

country was no longer under the Persian rule at the

period of our story.

But we may reasonably assume that
(cf.

its

independence
.

was never recognized by the Persian kings

Chapter

I, n.

5

92
cities

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
formed a league against
it.

Artaxerxcs deprived

Sparta also of the dominion of the sea through the agency
of the Athenian

Conon ^vho acted

in

conjunction with the

Persian satrap Pharnabazus.

After he had won the battle

of Cnidus, he drew almost the whole of Greece into his
interest.

The Peace

of Antalcidas (387 B.C. E.) was entirely

of his

own making.
and
the
to

Sparta, at the advice of Antalcidas,
'

gave up to the Persian king
JMinor,
islands

all

tJic

Greek

cities

of Asia
its

ivJiicJi

are reckoned

among

dependencies^
this Peace.'^

be field as tributaries', as

stipulated

by

It is

noteworthy that both Plutarch and the
in

author of the Book of Esther,

describing the

signal

success of Artaxerxes II, use exactly the
Esther
10.
I.

same expression.

The

passage

'
:

And

the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute on

the land and the

isles

of the sea', undoubtedly refers to the
islands

Greek part of Asia Minor and the
tributary to this king,
It

which became

by

virtue of the Peace of Antalcidas.

was concluded
our story.

five

years

after

the events

narrated

in

Our author does not say
an historian,

that Ahasuerus

came

into the possession of these territories

by means of
Being

conquest.

He was

and knew

that they were

not acquired by force of arms but by diplomacy.

well acquainted with the historical events of that period,
Esther
lO. 2.

he was

justified in saying:

'And

all

the acts of his

power
These

and of

his

might

.

.

.

are they not written in the

book of

the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?'

high terms of praise were well merited, and justly applied
to the political achievements of this king.

Artaxerxes

II

was indeed, from the Persian point of view, as Diodorus
said,

an earnest promoter and great lover of peace.

By
its

his

famous 'Royal Peace', he freed his empire from " Arlaxcixes, XX, XXI, 6.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY— HOSCHANDER

93

hereditary enemies, gained valuable possessions, and deprived

Greece of

its

independence,
left

so that

the

Greeks
for.

themselves had hardly anything

worth fighting

But from a Greek point of view the Greek was right who exclaimed Alas for Greece, when the Lacedae'
:

monians are turning Persians
Darius II died
in

!


'

the spring of 404

iJ.c.E.

He had
This

appointed his eldest son Artaxerxes as his successor.

appointment was not
Darius
I,

in

accord
his

with

the precedent of

who had appointed

younger son Xerxes as
in

his successor, because

he was born

the purple.

According

to this precedent, Cyrus, the second son of Darius 11,

had

a better claim to the throne, having been born after the
latter

had become

king."^

It

was

also well

known
of

that

Parysatis, the

all-powerful

queen,

the

mother
in

both
her

Artaxerxes and Cyrus, was strongly

favour of

younger

son.

Hence Artaxerxes

II,

at the beginning of

his reign, did not feel himself secure in the possession of

the throne.

He may

have well remembered

how Xerxes

II,

after a reign of forty-five days,

had been murdered by

his

brother Sogdianus, and the latter in his turn, after several

months,

at the order of his

fratricide

own father Darius H. Thus was not unusual among the members of his
Cyrus, indeed, at the accession of his brother,

dynasty.

on the occasion of his consecration at Pasargadae, designed
to

murder him. This design was
tears

frustrated

by Tissaphernes.
and he
his

The
sent

and entreaties of

his

mother prevailed with
this crime,
after,
let

Artaxerxes to pardon his brother for

him

back to Lydia."-

Soon

despising

brother for his weakness for having

such a dangerous
conspire
against

enemy
so

escape,

Cyrus again began to
31

Ibid,

xxn,

4.

iiid

II

^_-

32 iii^i iii_

94
him.

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Artaxerxes was well aware of
of
all

his

designs, being

warned
Parysatis
picions.'^"

his
it

movements

by Tissaphernes.

But

made

her business to remove the king's sus-

Meanwhile Cyrus gathered a large army, and
Lacedaemonians
in case in

also wrote to the

for assistance,

making

them great promises

he should achieve his aim.

In this letter he spoke
telling

very high terms of himself,

them that he had a greater and more princely
;

heart than his brother

that he

was the better philosopher,

being instructed

in

the doctrines of the Magi,^^ and that
it

he could drink more wine and carry
TrXdova Koi
ization of
(pepeii')

better {olfou Triveiu

than his brother."'
II

This character-

Artaxerxes

by

his brother

Cyrus

is

of the
of

highest importance for the interpretation of the
Esther.

Book

Artaxerxes was indeed a weak character.
for

He

was not a good Zoroastrian,
strian religion

under his reign the ZoroaFinally, under

was completely corrupted.^"

the influence of wine, he was losing his

senses."''

Having made
designs, Cyrus

all

preparations for
his

carrying out

his

began

march against the king with
thirteen

a

numerous

arm)',

among which were about

thousand Greek mercenaries.
after another for having such
his real designs did

He

found

one pretence
;

an armament on foot

but

not remain long undiscovered.

For

Tissaphernes went

in

person to inform the king of them.^^

Therefore on the march Cyrus openly declared his intentions to overthrow his

brother and to seize the crown.

^'
^*

Artaxerxes, IV,

3.

C3'rus evidently meant to impl^' to the Greeks that the Magi

would

willingly assist
**
''''

him

in his enterprise.
3c 38

Artaxerxes, VI, 3-4.

ggg Chapter VI.
Atiaxerxes, VI,
6.

See Chapter VIII.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER
life.

95
in

This rebellion came to an end at the battle of Cunaxa

which

his

army was

defeated and Cyrus lost his

This

battle occurred in

October 404.
is

Now
latter

it

is

well

known

that the Babylonian chronology

a year behind that of

the Greeks and Egyptians. oi ante -dating, that
is is

The

had the system

to say, the year in

which a king died

reckoned as the
civil

first

year of the succeeding king, and

with the
reign.

New^ Year begins the second year of his
II,

Accordingly Artaxerxes

having ascended the

throne in the year 404, the Greek chronology places the
battle of

Cunaxa

in

the fourth

year of his reign.

The

Babylonians, however, had the system of post-dating, the

year

in

which a king ascends the throne
first

is

given to his
reign begins

predecessor, while the

year of his

own

with the

first

of Nisan, on the

New

Year

festival, in

which

the king had to seize the hand of Bel-Marduk,

in

order to

be recognized as legitimate

king.^^

The Book
in

of Esther

was undoubtedly written

in

Babylonia, and according to

Babylonian chronology, the year 404
ascended
Darius
II,

which Artaxerxes

the

throne
his

was

reckoned to his predecessor
Therefore the
a half after his

and

own

reign began 403.

battle of

Cunaxa occurred two years and
was

accession to the throne.

Cyrus being dead, Artaxerxes
established on his throne.

II

at length firmly

Esther
^*

He

could

now

in perfect security
festivities,

~ ^*

celebrate the long delayed

coronation

and

at

the
in

same time the

victory over his enemy.

It

was done

a magnificent fashion, befitting the rank of the Great
;

King, and the signal occasion
his throne.

he had saved his
is

life

and

The
^^

description of these festivities

therefore

by no means exaggerated,
Cf. Ed.

as

all

modern commentators
437-502.

Meyer,

Foisclntiigeit, pp.

96
contend.*'^

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
This celebration lasted throughout the whole
eighty days.
seen,
in

Winter, one hundred and

The

battle

of

Cunaxa

occurred, as
lasted from

we have

October, and the

festivities

October to April.*^
nobles,

Satraps
parts

and

governors,

grandees and

from

all

of the

empire, not a few from a great distance, arrived daily and

departed

after

a

sojourn

of a

few days.

Many who
have hastened

formerly favoured the claim of Cyrus

may

to the court to assert their loyalty to the victorious king.

Plutarch states

:

'

There were turbulent and factious men

who

represented that the affairs of Persia required a king
spirit,

of such a magnificent

so

able a warrior, and so
;

generous a master as Cyrus was
of so great an empire could

and that the dignity
without
All these

not be supported
*-

a prince of high thoughts and noble ambition.'
guests had to be magnificently entertained.
officials

Besides these

and nobles, the king feasted
'

'

the

army

of Persia

and Media
warriors
It

(nr^i

012
to

b'n),'^'-^

that

is

to say, those loyal

who came

his assistance against his brother.

must have been a very large army, though the number

nine hundred thousand, given

by Xenophon,*^ and

four

hundred thousand, as stated by Ctesias^^ and Diodorus,
is

evidently exaggerated.

After these

festivities

were over,

Artaxerxes gave a special

feast of seven

days to the inhabi-

^^

Paton, p. 73, and numerous oUier exegetes, regard the gathering of
all

nobles from

provinces for a feast of hundred and eighty days as intrinsically'

improbable.
*^

According

to

Xenophon

^Cyropaedia, VIII,

2. 6),

Susa was the winter

residence of the Persian kings.
•-

Artaxerxes, VI, 1-2.
Siegfried, Wildeboer, Paton, Sec. believe that

"
**

we

have

to

read

'•"It^l

nr:i d-is /'n.
Atiabasis,
I,

7.

11-12.

*5

Pgrs. 41

;

Diod.

XIV,

5.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY
is

— HOSCHANDER
day
of the
It

97

tants of the capital, that

to say, each

week

a different part of the population
have been the farewell from Susa, or the
Nisan.
feast

was

invited.

may

before the king's departure
festival
in

New Year

the

month of

On

the seventh day,

when not

in a

sober condition,

the king ordered the eunuchs to bring to the banquet his

queen Vashti to show to the people and the princes her
'

beauty

;

for

she was

fair

to

look on.

But the queen

I.

Esther TO-I3

Vashti refused to come at the king's the eunuchs
'.

commandment by
we again
refer

For the
to Plutarch

interpretation of this incident

who

tells

us

*
:

Artaxerxes married a beautiful
his parents,

and virtuous lady, by order of

and he kept her

when they wanted him
share his
fate.

to put her away.

For the king
mother with

having put her brother to death, designed that she should

But Artaxerxes applied
entreaties, and, with

to his

many
vailed

tears

and

much
life,

difficulty, pre-

upon her not only to spare her
her.' ^^

but to excuse

him from divorcing
is

Plutarch's source for this story
detailed account of this event

Ctesias

who

gives a

more

in telling us that the

whole family of Hydarnes, the father
son of

of Artaxerxes' wife, were put to death with the exception of the
latter,

on

account of Teriteuchmes

the

Hydarnes, who had been found guilty of the crimes of
adultery, incest,

and murder.^^

We

must bear

in

mind,

that

by opposing the

will of his parents,

Artaxerxes might

have easily
claim, as

forfeited his right to the throne, to

which

his

we have
for

seen,

was questionable.
to
let

It

was very

dangerous

Parysatis

a

woman whose whole

family she had destroyed, have the power of a queen, and
she indeed
*^

exerted
II,

all

her influence with the king to

Artaxerxes,

2-3.

"

Pers. 29.

VOL. X.

H

98

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
But Artaxerxes cared more

deprive him of the succession.
for his wife

than for the throne.
tells

Plutarch

us further that this wife of Artaxerxes

was a great favourite with the people:

'What

afforded

the Persians the most pleasing spectacle was the queen
riding in her chariot with the curtains open, and admitting

the

women

of the country to approach and

salute

her.

These things made

his administration popular.'*^

This

queen and her mother-in-law detested each other, and When Cyrus rebelled, the queen quarrelled continually.
openly upbraided her mother-in-law
for her intercession

by which she had saved Cyrus's
favouring the claim
of
cruel

life,

and accused her of

the

latter.^^

When

Par}'satis

executed
king

in a

most

way

the faithful servants of the

who

had killed Cyrus, the queen complained of her
and
cruelty.''^

injustice

'These expostulations fixed

in

the heart of Parysatis,

who was

naturally vindictive

and

barbarous

in

her resentment and revenge, such a hatred
off.

of the queen that she contrived to take her
writes,

Deinon

that

this

cruel

purpose was

put into execution
us,
it

during the war;

but Ctesias assures

was

after

it.

And

it

is

not probable that he,

who was an

eye-witness

to the transactions of that court, could either be ignorant

of the time when the assassination took place, or could

have any reason to misrepresent the date of
he often deviates into
invention
instead
fictitious tales,
truth.'
^^
'

it

;

though

and loves

to give us

of

It

was only from the

hatred and jealousy which Parysatis had entertained of

the queen from the

first,

that she

embarked

in

so cruel

a

design.

She saw that her own power with the king
"
=1

«

Ar/axerxes, V, 6.

/6«^. VI, 6-7.
Ibid. VI, 8-9.

60 Ibid.

XVII,

9.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER
mother
;

99

depended only on

his reverence for her as

whereas

that of the queen was founded in love, and confirmed

by

the greatest confidence in her
to carry

fidelity.

The

point she had
to

was

difficult,

and she resolved
further

make one
that
after

desperate

effort.' ^^

Plutarch

states

Parysatis had
inquired
into

managed
the

to poison the queen,

Artaxerxes
principal

affair,

and

executed

her

attendants

who

assisted her to carry out this design.

But

'as for Parysatis, the king did not reproach her with the

crime, nor punish

her any further than
the place

by sending her

to Babylon, which was
to,

she desired to retire

declaring that he would never visit that city while she

lived.' ^^

However,

'

the king did

not

long retain his

anger, but was reconciled to his mother, and sent for her
to court
;

because he saw she had understanding and
assist in

spirit

enough to

governing the kingdom, and there

now

remained no further cause of suspicions and uneasiness

between them.'

^*

The queen

represented in the

Book

of Esther, her great

beauty of which the king was so proud, her great influence
with the latter that she presumed upon his love to disobey
his behest,

cannot be better depicted than by Plutarch's

description of the queen of Artaxerxes, the daughter of

Hydarnes.

Only a woman

like the latter

would act

like

Vashti, openly daring to disgrace the king in the presence

of the people, presuming upon his love for her to obtain

pardon

for her disobedience.
life

The queen

of Artaxerxes

evidently lost her

shortly after Cyrus's rebellion.

But

Plutarch's description of the
is

method of her

assassination

rather fabulous, and the deed itself seems improbable.

We
"

can hardly imagine that Parysatis should have dared
Ibid.

XIX,

1-2.

63

Ibid.

XIX, 8-10.

64

7^/^,

XXIII,

2.

H

2

lOO
to

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
murder a queen with

whom

the king was so deeply in

love,

and that the

latter

should not have reproached her

with this crime, and should have been reconciled to her
after

a

short

time.

Plutarch himself refuses to accept

Ctesias's account that Parysatis plotted against the

queen

and resolved to carry her

off

by

poison, because at her

own

request the king promised not to put Clearchus to

death, but afterwards, persuaded
all

by the queen, he destroyed
:

the prisoners, except Menon, and observes

'

But

it is

a great absurdity in Ctesias to assign so disproportionate a cause.

Would

Parysatis,

for

the sake of Clearchus,

undertake so horrid and dangerous an enterprise as that
of poisoning the king's
lawful wife,
?
'

by whom he had
Hence,
if

children and an heir to his crown

""^

we should

accept Plutarch's account that Parysatis out of hatred of

the queen did
enterprise
',

undertake

'

so

horrid

and dangerous an

we must assume

that the queen's position
;

had
that

undergone some change, before she was murdered
in the

meantime some incident occurred which

to a certain

degree estranged the king from the queen.

Parysatis,

seeing that the love of the king for his queen was no longer
so strong as before, and being afraid
lest

the latter should

regain her former influence, resolved to murder her.

The

fact that the king, after a short banishment, recalled her,

shows that she had not been wrong
Plutarch further states,
'

in

her reasoning.
to

None had been admitted
;

the king of Persia's table but his mother and his wife

the

former of which sat above him and the latter below him.

Artaxerxes, nevertheless, did that honour to Ostanes and
Oxartes, two of his younger brothers.'
^'^

This statement

shows that
55

it

must have been a very
XYHI,
4-6,

rare privilege to dine
56
/(j,/^.

Artaxerxes,

y,

5.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER
actions

lOI

with the queen.^'
his

A

special feature of his character
credit
for

was

great

vanity, claiming

which he

never did and for qualities which he did not possess.

He

was desirous
killed

of having the world believe that

Cyrus was

by

himself.^*

When

Mithridates, the real slayer of
life

Cyrus, to

whom

Artaxerxes owed his

and throne,

in

an unguarded moment, under the influence of wine, boasted
of his deed, he was put to death in a manner that beggars
description.-^^

Artaxerxes

also

put

many

grandees

to

death, because

'he thought that they despised him for
^^

the ill-success of his campaign.'

For the interpretation
must
"
call

of

the incident of Vashti,

we

attention

also

to

another

point.

We

have

Plutarch's statement that none had been

admitted to the king of
p. 150, as
:

Persia's table but his

mother and

his wife,

is

quoted by Paton,

proof that
'

Stateira

was not Persian custom to seclude the women, in observing was present at the table of Artaxerxes Paten's quotation of
it
'.

Herodotus IX, 110,
present at the
roj-al

in

support of his contention that Persian queens were
is

banquets,

just as incorrect.

Amestris was

at the

birthdaj' feast of Xerxes, but

Herodotus clearly implied that the
incredible that Amestris
'

latter did

not dine with the people, as
'

it is

would have dared
he was
18,

to

weary Xerxes by her importunity
Masistes, his

in

the presence of the people.
at his table, as

Even

own

brother,

was not present
to

afterwards called into his presence.

Paton further quotes Herodotus, V,

where the Persian ambassadors say
the
evident, as G.

Amyntas, king of Macedonia, that
But
it

Persians bring their wives and concubines to the feasts.

is

Rawlinson {ad

locimi) rightly observes,

that

the Persian
in

ambassadors presumed upon the Greek ignorance of Persian customs,
order to amuse themselves with the foreign

women.

They had indeed

to

atone with their lives for their conduct, as Alexander, Amyntas's son, well

knew

the Persian customs, and divined their intentions.
'

Paton and others
are so extremely

overlook what Plutarch says about the Persians that they
jealous of their

women,
to,

that capital

punishment

is inflicted,

not only on the

man who speaks

or touches one of the king's concubines, but on him

who

approaches
i).

or

passes

their

chariots

on

the

road' {Aiiaxcrxes,

XXVII,

e« Ibid.

XIV,

5.

53

Jbi'd.

XV, XVI.

«o

Ibid.

XXV,

3.

102

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

already mentioned that under the reign of Artaxerxes II
the baleful influence of the harem

made

appalling progress.

The

rule of the

harem was indeed the main curse of the

Persian empire.

of his favourite
fell

The king was a mere tool in the hands The most meiitorious grandees wives.

victims to their intrigues.

No
if

Persian could regard

himself for one

moment
him

secure,
ill

one of the favourite wives
his life being

or her family bore
in danger,

will.

Such a man,

was

easily persuaded to conspire against

the

king or join an insurrection.

The

patriotic statesmen

must

have perceived that such a condition was disastrous to the
existence of the empire, and were desirous of eliminating

the influence of the women.

We may

also

reasonably

suppose that the feminine influence at the court set a bad

example

to

all

Persian families.^^
in

These statesmen were
an incurable
evil.

wrong

in

believing

a remedy for

A

man

of

weak

character,

be he king or beggar,

will

always yield to

his wife's influence, for

good or
:

evil.

We

return
seen,

now

to the incident of Vashti
in

The

king, as

we have

was deeply

love

with the queen, and

exceedingly proud of her beauty.
influence of wine
®'

Having been under the
letter to the

— and from Cyrus's
: '

Lacedae-

Paton, p. 162, observes
to

The absurdity
right,
if

of the solemn edict com-

manding the wives

obey their husbands struck even the doctors of the
might have been
in their
is

Talmud
in

'.

The

latter

they had ridiculed the idea
edict.
",

of making the husbands masters

remarking that

'

even the weaver

own houses by a royal master in his own house

But

they were
fact that

decidedly wrong.

However, Paton and the rabbis overlooked the

the royal edict does not say anything about the obedience of the wives to
their husbands, but merely contains the fundamental principle,
'

that

every

man should bear rule in his own house power also over his wife. Such a
ridiculous, since
in
it

',

which of course gives the husband
is

general principle

by no means

formed one of the fundamental

Roman

laws, as set forth

the Twelve Tables, according to which the
in the fathers hand.=.

life

and liberty of children

were

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER

I03

monians we learn that Artaxerxes II did not possess the Persian virtue of being able to consume great quantities
'

'

of wine without becoming intoxicated

—the king commanded
feast, that

the queen to come and partake of the

the guests

might admire her beauty.
*

The queen, however, being
and well
in

a virtuous lady

',

as Plutarch expresses himself,

aware that that request was not

accordance with the

Persian customs, properly inferred that the king in his
right senses

would never have made such a request, and
to

rightly

refused

show

herself

in

the presence

of

an

intoxicated

crowd.

Artaxerxes, exceedingly

vain,

and
his

ashamed
wife,
'

to

admit that he was under the influence of
his

was very wroth and

anger burned

in

him

'.

The

thought might have occurred to him, having no authority
in his

his

own palace, how could he expect the people to obey commands? The queen's disobedience could not pass
Then
the king said to the wise
. .

with impunity.
'

men which knew
.

the

Esther
I.

13-22.

times .... and the next unto him

.

,

the seven princes

of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face and which
sat the
first in

the

kingdom

:

"

What

shall

we do unto the
she

queen Vashti

according to law, because

hath

not

performed the commandment
eunuchs
?

of the king Ahasuerus by the

"

'

The

royal councillors to

whom

this question

was addressed were well acquainted with the weak spots
in

the king's character and with his love for the queen.
in a

This question put them

most embarrassing

situation.

Considering the queen's disobedience from a purely moral
point of view, they could not but admit that under the

circumstances her conduct was justifiable.

Yet

to defend

her action would have been nothing short of high treason.

The

authority of the king was indeed at stake,

if

the queen

I04

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
It

should be acquitted.

was the
if
it

latter's

duty
in

to

comply

with the king's behest, even with the Persian customs.

was not
if

accordance
believe

Besides,

we may

Herodotus, the Persian kings were not bound by customs,
as there

was an ancient law decreeing that the king of Persia might do whatever he pleased.''- Moreover, it was
not for the councillors to decide the guilt of the queen.

The

them was merely concerning the punishment that should be meted out to her. This was a very difficult problem. They did not want to condemn
question put before

her to death,
for his
lost

lest

after a short

time the king's yearning

queen might return, and they would have to
lives for Iheir judgement.*'^
if

atone with their
the same
fate,

They

feared
as

they should propose

her

divorce,

nothing would prevent the king from marrying her again,
if

he

still

loved her, and the queen, after regaining her

power,

in

her resentment against them, might easily bring
If

about their destruction.

they should condemn her to
it

the loss of the rank of a queen,

was probable that she

would soon regain her former influence with the king, without the royal rank, and again would not fail to avenge
herself
evil

upon them.

Yet the

latter course

was the

lesser

and the only way out of

this

dilemma.

Therefore, the

councillors

condemned her
But

to the

punishment of degrada-

tion for her conduct.

this queen, as
It

we have

seen,

was

a great favourite with the people.

was not enough to

hold up the authority of the king, but also to demonstrate
the justice of her punishment.
62

Artaxerxes' administration

Herodotus

III, 31.

The Targumim indeed say that after sleeping off his wine-debauch and having grown sober, Ahasuerus executed the councillors who advised
63

him

to put Vashti to death.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER

105
wisli

was very popular, as we have seen, and they did not
that

by

their advice the king should lose his popularity.

Besides, no king at the beginning of his reign likes to gain

the reputation of a tyrant.

Hence, the councillors repre-

sented the queen's offence as a danger to the well-being
of the empire, saying
*
:

Vashti the queen hath not done

wrong

to the king only, but also to all the princes,

and

to all the people that are in the provinces of the king

Ahasuerus.

For

this

deed of the queen shall come abroad

unto

all

women, so
when

that they shall despise their husbands
shall be reported, the king

in their eyes,

it

Ahasuerus

commanded Vashti
but she came not.

the queen to be brought in before him,

Likewise
all

shall the ladies of Persia

and

Media say
too

this

day unto

the king's princes, which have

heard of the deed of the queen.

Thus

shall there arise

much contempt and
in

wrath.'

The

councillors, therefore,

advised

the king to promulgate the degradation of the

queen by a decree,
there go a royal

proposing

:

If

it

please the king, let

commandment from him, and let it be written
it

among

the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that

be

not altered, that because Vashti

came not

before the king
estate

Ahasuerus, the
another that
is

king shall

give her

royal

unto

better than she.'

Such a decree would

have the

effect

of making the lives of the Persians more

secure at the court and The

more peaceful
is

at home.''^

The
The
have
I,

**

clause IDi?

pCv3

~I3TC1
: '

generally regarded as corrupt.
that
it

rendering of the English version
to the

and

should be published according

language of every people

',

is

of course quite impossible.

We
it,

already mentioned that the Greek version omitted this clause (see Chapter
n. 8).

Bertheau-Ryssel, Wildeboer, Siegfried and others emend

with

Hitzig, to

IGy r\W 72

;'

what

suits him').

These commentators could
this corrupt clause,
if

have saved themselves the trouble of emending

they

had seen how such a corruption might have occurred.

We

may assume

:

:

I06
councillors

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
of course could
not

mention the deplorable

state of harem-rule at the court, but only the latter's effect
'

And when

the king's decree, which he shall make, shall
all

be published throughout
the wives shall give to
great

his empire, for

it

is

great, all

their

husbands honour, both to

and

small

'.

This

affair

undoubtedly caused an

estrangement and a bitter feeling between the king and
Vashti.

The former

could not get out of his mind the

humiliation he suffered in the presence of his subjects, and

the latter was indignant at the injustice of her degradation.
Parysatis, taking advantage of this state of affairs, resolved
that there
lines

were manuscripts

in

which the 'autnifidim ran

in the following

iJiC'i'a

Dyi

Dy ^ni nnn^i

mnoi nono

^n*

.l^DH

n^n ivja

rb^T\

nnmn

ins*
"IJIC^D

We may
or

further

assume that some scribe misspelt the words

DVl
to

made

a blot on them, and not having had the proper

means handy

erase them, wrote the same words again underneath in the following line,
after the

words

"in''32 "T^lti'

C^X

l53

mTIP, as between the
free space.
^53

first

and second

chapters there

was

in all probabilit3' a

Subsequently, some

copyist read "IJIC'^D Dyi in''32 "nil*' 'CiN

passage to mean

:

'

That everj' man should bear rule
its

Dmi), and understood the in his own house, and
But as the passage
in this

every people according to
construction did not

own

language

'.

seem

to give a

proper sense, he

may have changed

the

words

1JVJ'?3

Dyi into "icy Jlt^V^,

and by

way

of interpretation, added

the marginal gloss "l^HDI.

Haupt

(Critical Notes, p. 131), considers the

whole clause a
I.

late gloss, since in
is

Talmud

Babli Megillah 12 b the passage
to this clause.
this passage.

22

is

discussed, but there

no reference

But this

fact is

no proof
discuss
it,

at all that the rabbis did not

know

They

did not

because

it

seemed

to

them incomprehensible.

We

cannot expect

them

to suggest that this clause

was

a gloss or corruption.

Moreover,
the

a suggestion that a gloss

was added

in post-talmudic times,

when

Book
is

of Esther had been already for hundreds of years one of the most esteemed
canonical books, deserves no consideration whatever.
Finally, a gloss
all.

supposed to have some sense, and

this clause

has none at

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY
way,
lest

— HOSCHANDER

I07

to put her out of the

the king might be reconciled
povver.^^

to his wife

and she regain her former

We
is

are well aware of the fact that our interpretation

not in accordance with the text under discussion, which
:

reads

i^DH

|n^

nmsbroi
('

c'mcns i?Dn

^:^b 'n^)

Ninn ab

ntJ'N

njDO nnion nmynb

that Vashti

come no more

before king

Ahasuerus, and the king shall give her royal estate unto
another that
is

better than she

').

Accordingly, the text

was actually divorced and not However, merely degraded from the rank of a queen.
distinctly states that Vashti

by a

critical analysis

of this passage
slightly

we can demonstrate
corrupted.
If the

that the text here

must be

promulgation of Vashti's punishment was intended to have
a salutary effect upon the conduct of the Persian
for all times,

women
'

we

would expect to find

in this edict

written

among

the laws of the Persians and the

Medes

',

the cause

of her punishment.

Furthermore, the second part of this
it

passage
for

is

quite superfluous,

being a matter of course
if

the king to

choose

another queen,

Vashti

was

divorced, and cannot be a part of the edict;

why

should

such

a

trivial

fact

be written among the laws of the
?

Persians and the

Medes

Nor can

it

have been the advice

of the councillors, as this was unnecessary.

The

original
like
{bv)

reading of this passage

may have been something
-jijon

n^cn

jn^

nn«^D

::^m:rnN

>jd^

^^\'C'^

nai ab

na'N

moo

naiDH

nniyn^

'because Vashti came not before the

king Ahasuerus, the king shall give her royal estate unto
another that
is

better than she

'

;

but the original reading

8^

Plutarch's statement that shortly before the murder of Stateira, the

latter

and Parysatis had,
began

in

appearance, forgotten their old suspicions and

animosities, and

to visit

and eat

at

each other's table, implies that

the queen no longer interfered with her mother-in-law {Artaxerxes,

XIX,

5

.

Io8
xian N7
TiTwS

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
could also mean
'

:

because she will not come'.

In

either

case,

the text, according to
effect,

our emendation,
in

would contain both cause and
her rank as queen, but
Artaxerxes.*"^

and be

agreement

with our presentation of that incident.
still

Vashti lost only

remained the lawful wife of

There

is still

another point to be discussed.

The name

of the queen of Artaxerxes II was not Vashti, but Stateira.

Plutarch

is

no doubt right on

this point, as Ctesias

who

lived at the court of

Artaxerxes must have known the

name
are

of that queen.
all

As

far as the

other Greek writers
less

concerned,
Ctesias,

of them are

more or

dependent
this

upon
from

and they took over the name of

queen

the

latter.

The name

of the queen

was indeed

Stateira, but

having been a famous beauty and a great

favourite with the people, she

was styled Vashti, which,
in

as
'

was recognized long
'.

ago,''"

means

the Persian language

beauty

In the

memory
in

of the people, her proper

name

was displaced by
of such a

this epithet.

We
name

have a

classic

example

phenomenon
lived in

the

of the famous Greek

woman who
Her
real

Egypt under

the reign of king Amasis.

name was

DoricJia, yet

Herodotus and other
'

classic writers call her

by her

epithet Rhoddpis,

the rosy-

cheeked

',

though they knew that Sappho mentioned her

by her

real name.^*

Our author may

likewise have

known

that the queen's real
preferred to call her
^^

name was

Stateira,

and nevertheless
epithet Vashti.
15, note, is

by the widely-known

Renan,

in his History of the People of Israel, VIII,

the

only historian

who

conjectured that
'.

'

possibly there

is

some reminiscence of
166; Cassel,

Stateira and Parysatis
'^
/.

Cf.

Richardson's Leber

utorgeiildiidischc Vulker, 1779, p.

f.,

p. 27,

and

Justi, Iran. Nantenb.,
II,

under 'Wasti*.

'*

Herodotus

134-5, and

cf.

G. Rawlinson, n. 2,

ad locum.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY
possibility that

— HOSCHANDER
is

109

However, the

Vashti

a hypocoristicon

of a compounded name ieira, which may mean

Sta-teira
'

Asta-teira

=

Washta',

the beauty of the god Mercury

ought also to be

considered.''^
is

We

have already observed that Plutarch

silent as to

the immediate successor of the assassinated queen.

Ctesias

may have known
«9

nothing about

it,

as he left the court
states

about 398 B.C.E.'"
The name
ter in
is

But the former
is,

a

fact

that

Stateira
sta

according to Justi, Iran. Nameiib.,
teim.

compounded

of the

two elements

and

The

latter

element

is

evidently identical

with

the Persian personal

names

Tenbasiis, Teridates, Teriteiiclmies, &c.,

which
Naba).

generally taken by Justi and others to be the Persian

name of

the

planet Mercury (as god, the scribe of Ahuramazda, and

identical

with

The same
first

divine element

we may

see in the names Aghrimatis

teira, Baeshat-ieira,

and
sia.

Pairish-teira.

Doubtful, however,

the meaning

of the

element

The
the

latter occurs also in

two other Persian names
is,

IjaixivT)^

and

'XrafiaKijs,

meaning of which

according

to

Justi,

doubtful.

We

suggest that the

name

Sta-teira corresponds to the Persian

name
'AffTii'

Vashta-teira.

The name
which the
found also

Vasliii is
first

rendered
is

in the

Greek version

into

and

'Acrri, in
is

radical

represented by a vowel.

The

same rendering
Vindafarna =
'ClUiaos,

in

other Persian names, as Vidarna

=

'iSepvrjs,

'h'Ta(pfpvT]s,

Va/iuk

= '^Hxos,

Vashtak = 'KaraKTOS, Vaumisa

=

&c,

Lucian's rendering of Vashti into

Ovaanv and

that of Josephus

into OvaaT-q are

due to the Hebrew pronunciation of
is

this

Persian name.

Now

the element asta

actually found in several Persian names, as in
22),

'AariPaaas,

'Aaraavqs TAeschylus, Persae
see
in

and

'AffTrjs.

The same
that
find

element

we may
side the

the

name

OuaoTo/SaAoy.

We

further find
;

a vowel at the beginning of a
side

name was regarded
and

as prothetic

so

we

by

names

'Aanaf^iTp-rjs

'Sirafiirprjs, "TaTraffii'rjs

and

^naatvrjs,

Afrndsha and Frudsha, Amirchvand and Mirchvand, Vardaii = 'Po5avT]i and Considering all these points, we may well assume that the 'Op5avT]s.
Persian

name

Vashta-teira
first

was rendered by

the Greeks into Asta-teira, and

by treating the

vowel as prothetic, was also pronounced Sta-teira. The Babylonians, however, shortened this compounded name by omitting the second element and by attaching to the shortened name the Babylonian
hypocoristic termination
''^
;.

His departure from the court may have had some connexion with the

banishment of Parysatis,

who was

a friend of Clearchus

whom

Ctesias so

greatly admired (Plutarch, Artaxer.ves, XVIII).

The

latter

may have been

her protege.

no

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
to corroborate the incident of the second
'
:

somewhat seems

chapter of Esther
sixty

Artaxerxes had three hundred and

concubines,

all

women

of the greatest beauty
for

'.'^^

This reminds us of the gathering of the virgins
selection of a successor of Vashti.

the

Now,

it is

true,

Diodorus

Siculus
all

tells

us exactly the

same about Darius

III."-

And
But

Persian kings had a large

number
royal

of concubines.

the current interpretation

of the

incident of the second

chapter

is

erroneous.

The

harem could not have
it,

been maintained without having taken into

either

by

force or with the consent of their relatives, the daughters

of the subjects.

From

time to time such a harem had to

be replenished and rejuvenated by younger women."^

The

advice about the gathering of the virgins was not an innovation under the reign of Ahasuerus, as such gatherings

were customary

in

the Persian empire.

The author

of

our story merely intends to inform us that on the occasion
of such a gathering Esther became the queen of Ahasuerus.

The

latter,

when

his

wrath was appeased,

*

remembered

Vashti, and what she had done, and
against her
'.

what was decreed

Remembering now

that she

was unjustly
of his harem,

condemned and

publicly disgraced, his love for her revived,
loss.

and he mourned her

Among

the

women

there was none the equal of his lost wife in beauty and

other qualities,

who could

replace her.

Nor was

there

among

the high nobility with

whom

the royal family was
to
efface in the heart

wont to intermarry such a woman

of the king the image of the former queen.

Therefore

" "

Ar/axerxes,

XXVII,

5.

''^

Diodorus XVII,
in

8.

See

n. 12.

Diodorus indeed alludes

to

such gatherings

saying that

these three hundred and sixty

women were

the greatest beauties that could

be found throughout Asia.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER — though the
or
it

III

the courtiers

advised the king that

such a customary

gathering of virgins should be held
of the

now
it,

need

harem may not have required

may

not have

been the usual period for such a gathering
those gathered might be found one
in

— and among woman who would be
It

every respect equal to Vashti.

was by no means

necessary that such a
as queen.

woman

should succeed the latter
it

But from the king's weak character

was a

foregone conclusion that the latter would bestow on her
the highest rank,
in his heart the in
if

she succeeded

in

completely obliterating

memory

of his former wife.

The

courtiers

saying

' :

Let the maiden which pleaseth the king be
',

queen instead of Vashti

may have

alluded to the agree-

ment of Darius

I

with the other conspirators, that the
not

Persian kings should
families,

marry outside of
this

their

own
since

and advised the king to disregard

agreement,
;

which under present circumstances became

invalid

of these noble families there was none worthy of taking
the place of Vashti.

Of
is

further interest for the character of Artaxerxes II

Plutarch's

account of
'
:

his

return from

the campaign

against the Cadusians
capital that he
his horses
;

He

found on his arrival at his
brave men, and almost
for
all

had

lost

many

and imagining that he was despised
ill-success

his

losses

and the

of the expedition,

he became
to

suspicious of his grandees.
ift

Many
'^*

of them he put

death

anger,

and more out of fear'

Though

the expedition

against the Cadusians took place in a later period of his
reign,

and therefore these executions have no connexion

with our story, nevertheless this conduct sheds light upon
this king's

character.
'*

A

king

who
XXV,

puts to death
5.

many

Artaxerxes,

112

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
in anger,

grandees

and more out of

fear,

was quite capable
his

of executing his
partizans, for the
this

prime minister Haman.

sons

and
of

same

reason.

No

less characteristic

king

is

his

treatment of Tissaphernes.
at

The
all

latter

had

saved his

life

Pasargadae and watched

the move-

ments of Cyrus, informing the king of
mentioned.
Plutarch
calls

his designs, as already

him
thus,

'

the

most

implacable

enemy of the
final

Greeks',"''

and

from a Persian point

of view, he must have been the most ardent patriot.

His

reward was to be executed upon charges preferred

against

him

by

his

greatest

enemies,

the

Greeks and

Parysatis.'*^

In support of our contention that Ahasuerus of Esther
is

identical with

Artaxerxcs

the following

fact.

II, we may call attention to The French Archaeologist Dieulafoy

describes the ruins

of Susa, and

demonstrates that the

description of the palace of Ahasuerus in the

Book
to

of

Esther
this

is

absolutely correct."^
refers
II.
is

But the palace
of

which
of
his

scholar

not

that
in

Xerxes

but

that

Artaxerxes

The

palace

which

Xerxes and
fire

successors resided had been destroyed
rebuilt

by a

and was

by Artaxerxes
us."^

II.

as the latter in his inscription of Xerxes,

informs

Who

knows whether the palace
in

dating from
different

an early period, was not
in

many

points

from that given

our story

"^

?

We may
Hebraeus
" "
"* "^

mention also a remarkable statement of Bar
his

in

CJironicles:
i.

'This Artaxerxes (II) the

Artaxerxes, XXIII,
IM.

« m^.,
p. 45.

2.

Dieulafoy, VAcropole de la Susa, 1890.

Die altpersischen Keilmschriften,
Paton,
is

p. 65, also

observes: 'The palace of Xerxes, as described in

Esther,

not unlike the palace of Artaxerxes

Mnemon,

as excavated

by

Dieulafoy at Susa.

'

ESTHER
Hebrews

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY
Ahasuerus
;

— HOSCHANDER

113

call

and therefore Johanan was of

the opinion that the story of Esther occurred in his days

ijfcs^J? U;j», )oo»

wwd^oa^s)?).^**

This plain statement that

Artaxerxes II was by the Hebrews called Ahasuerus must
rest

upon some
(c.

tradition

still

preserved

in

the days of

Bar-Hebraeus

1250

C.E.).

On

the basis of this tradition,

and

for

no other reason, Johanan suggested that the story

of Esther occurred under the reign of Artaxerxes II, seeing
in

this

story a similar

phenomenon
is

that the

Ahasuerus
called

of

the

Hebrew

text

in

the

Greek

version

Artaxerxes.

Having now
described in the

sufficiently

demonstrated that the king

Book

of Esther

was Artaxerxes
text

II,

we
be

have to explain
a
fictitious

why
The

the

Hebrew

should contain

name.

solution of this problem

may

found by a comparison of the political careers of the two
Persian kings Xerxes
into
I

and Artaxerxes
events
in

II.

and by taking

account historical

a later period of the

Persian empire.

No
it

nation cherishes the

was humiliated.

memory of a ruler by whom The memory of Xerxes was no doubt
in

detested

by the Persians

a later period, after the passing
at

of the

Achaemenian dynasty, when they looked back
and could freely express

their glorious past,

their opinions

about the happenings of those times.

After four years

of preparations, with enormous forces at his command,

Xerxes was disgracefully defeated several times by the
comparatively small

army of the Greeks, and
lost

in

conse-

quence of these defeats,
Thrace, and Cyprus.
*"

the Greek

cities

of Asia Minor,

By

these misfortunes Xerxes
p. 32.
I

put

The Chronicles 0/ Bar-Hebraeus,

VOL. X.

114

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

upon the haughty Persians the stigma of cowardice.
later Persians could vindicate the

The

honour of their ancestors
defeats

only

by laying

the blame for these

on Xerxes,

contending that they were not due to any lack of courage
in

the Persian armies, but to the misfortune of having

been under the

command

of an incapable

ruler.

The
in

dis-

paraging description of Xerxes's personality by late classical
writers

may have had

its

source of information
if

the

Orient.

No

Persian would have objected

Xerxes was

represented as a

weak
of

character.

The

condition

the

Persian

empire,

as

far

as

its

foreign relations were concerned, exhibited under the reign

of Artaxerxes II a sharp contrast to that under Xerxes.

The memory

of the former,

who humiliated

the hereditary
its

enemies of the Persian empire and vindicated
could not but be sacred to every Persian.

honour,

The legend menII,

tioned above, that in honour of Artaxerxes

the Persians

decreed

that

all

his

successors
its

should

bear

the

name

Artaxerxes, must have

origin in the Orient in a period

when the
iiucceeded

Persian history of the

Achaemenian empire was no
III,

longer well known.

The names Arses and Darius
III,

who
But

Artaxerxes
II

were sunk

in

oblivion.

Artaxerxes

was a name never to be

forgotten.

The

Persian empire overthrown

by

Alexander the

Great was, after an interruption of about eighty years,
resurrected in the year 248 B.C.
E.,

though under another
empire,

name,

Parthia.

The

founders of the Parthian

Arsaces and Tiridates, and their successors traced their
lineage to Artaxerxes
as
rightful
*^

II,

and based upon

it

their claim

heirs

to

the

empire of the Achaemenians,*^
p.

See
'j

Justi, Iran.

Nameub.,

28.

Ed. Meyer

{Ettcycl.

Brit.,

under

Arsaces

says

:

*

A

later tradition, preserved

by Arrian, derives Arsaces

:

ESTHER
though

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY— HOSCHANDER

II5

this

claim

may have
alleged

no

real

foundation.

The
of

representation

of the

famous ancestor and the
in

the

Parthian kings as a

weak

character,
details

recital

about
sacred*

him

of

uncomplimentary

the

Jewish
in

writings,

was not without danger

for the

Jews

the East,

and may indeed have been the cause of persecutions.

We

must bear
in the

in

mind that the Parthian empire was established

Alexandrian age, when the Jewish writings were

being rendered into Greek.

The

Parthians were somewhat

imbued with Greek
Greek
cities.

culture.

The Arsacids even founded
Mithridates

When
assumed
of the

Arsaces
the

conquered

Babylon,
hostile

he

epithet

Philhellene.^^

The
in the
in the

attitude

Greeks towards the Jews

second century B.C.E. was no doubt just as intense

East under the Arsacids as

in the

West under

the Seleucids.

The presumption

that Greeks actually accused the Jews

of slandering publicly and annually the

memory

of the

famous ancestor of the Parthian kings, whose name ought
to be sacred to everybody,
is

very

likely.

Therefore the

Jews were compelled to choose between two alternatives
either to suppress the

Book

of Esther altogether and at

the
it

same time abolish the
such a

festival of

Purim, or to change

in

way

that

it

might not be offensive to the

national feeling of the inhabitants of the Parthian empire.

They

naturally preferred the latter course, and substituted

and Tiridates from the Achaemenean king Artaxerxes
evidently no historical foundation
'.

II.

But

this

has

This historian

is

no doubt

right, if

he

means

that this tradition

is

without

historical foundation.

But there can

be scarcely any doubt that the Arsacids did claim to be the lineal descendants
of Artaxerxes
II.

Arrian certainly did not invent this tradition.
historical analogy,
if

It

would

have been without

they had not claimed to be the

descendants of an ancient royal family.
^^

See Ed. Meyer

(tbid.)

and Justi,

Geschiclttc, p. 148.
I

2

:

Il6
in

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Book
of Esther, for the

the

name

of Artaxerxes, the

name

of Ahasuerus

(=

Xerxes), which could be used with

impunity.

The
natural.

substitution

names

of

name Ahasuerus was quite Besides, the Jews had no other choice among the Achaemenian kings. Those of Cyrus and Darius
of the

could not be considered for this purpose, as they were
sacred to the Jews, and even more so than to the Persians.

The names of Cambyses and Arses were
the
to

out of the question,
Nevertheless,
is

as these kings did not rule twelve years.

name they

substituted

is

remarkable, as there

reason
II

assume that the proper name of Artaxerxes
If this
in
is

was

Ahasuerus.

true,

it

is

either a coincidence, or the

Jewish leaders

the East, in the second century B.C.E.,

must have known more about Persian history than we are
willing to give

them

credit for.

The name Artaxerxes was
and means
',^^
'

not a

proper name, but a
is

title,

he whose

empire

well fitted, or perfected
I,

which was assumed

by the kings Artaxerxes
the throne.
•in

II, III,

on their accession to

From an

astronomical cuneiform tablet dated

the twenty-sixth year of Arshii,
^*

who

is

Artaxerxes'

{Arshu sha Artakshatsii)
of Artaxerxes
II

wc

learn that the proper

name

was Arshic.

This evidently confirms
Plutarch.

Deinon's statement that his

name was Oarses.

however, does not accept this statement, and observes
'

named Arsicas (or Arsaces), though Deinon asserts that his original name was Oarses. But though Ctesias has filled his books with a number
Artaxerxes
at
first

was

of incredible and extravagant fables,
83

it is

not probable that
Justi,

See Ed. Meyer, Encycl.

Brit.,

under 'Artaxerxes'. and

hav.

Natnenb.
''^

Strassmeier, in Zeilschrift f. Assyriolooie, VII, p. 148.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER

II7

he should be ignorant of the name of a king at whose
court he lived, in quality of physician to him, his wife,
his mother,

and his

children'.*^

But Plutarch did not

know that both names, Oarses and Arsaces, are identical. The name Arshu = Arses = Oarses = man.' The sufifix ke(ka) is a Persian hypocoristic termination.^'*^ Thus Arsaces
'

(Arsicas)

is

a hypocoristicon of Arshu.
as

But hypocoristic
to

terminations,
names.^"'

a

rule,

are

affixed

only

shortened

name

of Artaxerxes

What may have been the original compounded The name Xerxes = Persian Khsha?
Khi-sha-ar-shti
It

;j/arj//<?

=

Babylonian
'.

means *a
like

mighty

man, warrior, hero

was not a

title,

Artaxerxes,

but a proper name.

In antiquity, especially

among
'

the

Aryans, a proper name was the expression of the bearer's
personality,*^

The
its

bearer of a

name Mighty man
'

had

to live

up to

meaning, and could not be a coward.
I

Both Darius

I

and Artaxerxes

gave the name KhshaDarius
II,

ydrsha to the legitimate

heirs of the throne.

though he had not yet been king
son,

at the birth of his eldest

may have

nevertheless imitated their

example and
first

named

his first-born son

Khshaydrsha.

But the
the

royal
fate

bearer of this

name was murdered.
ominous.
Besides,

When
this
this

same
it

happened to the second royal bearer of
have become

name,

may
have

become unpleasant

to the ears of Darius II,
II.

name may who occupied

the place of his murdered brother, Xerxes
«'"

Hence Darius

Artaxerxes,
ibid.

I, 4.

**

Justi, Irati. Natnenb., Einleitung.

" See
was

It is quite

possible that in a later period the
lost its

name Arsaces
But

treated like

a regular name and
is

hypocoristic signification.

the fact that Artaxerxes

called

Arshu

in the

Babylonian document leaves

no doubt that Arsaces was a hypocoristic formation. «« Cf. H. Ranke, Die Personemtamen i. d. Urkimd.
dynastie, 1902, p. 2.

d.

Hammiirabi-

Il8

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
shortened his son's
it

may have
and
in official

name Khshayarsha

to

Arsha
But

affixed to

the hypocoiistic termination ke{ka).
this

documents
suffix.**"

hypocoristic

name was written without the The Jews who had many eunuchs

at the Persian court, of

leaders in Israel,
details
stories

whom some appeared to have been may have been better informed of these
writers.

than the Greek classical

These court

may have

been handed down, so that the original
still

name

of Artaxerxes II was
later.

known
in

in

the second

century B.C.E. and even

Outside of the Parthian empire,

Syria and Palestine,
in

the original name Artaxerxes has been preserved

the

Book

of Esther.

The

rabbis,

who

fixed the Canon, aimed

of course at uniformity of the Scriptures.
in the East could not accept the

But the Jews

there can be no doubt that the

name Artaxerxes. And fixing of the Canon was
this

done with the co-operation and approval of the Eastern
rabbis,

though we have no information whatever how

work was done.

— Therefore

the Western rabbis

had no

other choice but to accept the reading, Ahasuerus.

Hence
But

the Greek version which undoubtedly ante-dates the fixing
of the
Canon,^'^'

has the original

name Artaxerxes.
the

the Lucianic recension

made towards
Josephus

end of the third

century C.E. preferred the reading of the
rendered
it

Hebrew
as

text and

*A(Tvi]pos.

follows

usual

the

"

We

might even suggest that the
in

title

Arsaces of the Parthian rulers
this empire, but to assert
It
is

was not assumed

honour of the founder of

their descent from Artaxerxes

whose proper name was Arsaces.

even possible that the very name of the founder of the Parthian empire

was assumed
land Parthia.
">

in

honour of his alleged ancestor.

The former
it

ruled only

two

years, and his dominion

was

insignificant, as

was

limited to his native

Cf.

Chapter

I, n. 9.

ESTHER

IN

THE LIGHT OF HISTORY

— HOSCHANDER

1

19

Greek Version and has the correct name Artaxerxes, but
identified this
'1

king with Artaxerxes Longimanus.^^
in

Josephus may or may not have known that the name Ahasuerus
text

the

Hebrew

was due

to

'

the correction of the Scribes

'

(D''"1D1D

ppO).

But
is

this question is quite irrelevant, as his

chronology of the Persian period

not to be relied upon.

In presenting Ezra as a contemporary of
text.

Xerxes
is

Josephus follows neither the Hebrew nor the Greek

This error

no

doubt due to his wrong identification of the king of Esther with Artaxerxes

Longimanu?.

The

latter, in

according to Ezra

7,

was very favourably
Therefore
it

inclined

towards the Jews
to

the seventh year of his reign.

seemed
years

Josephus incredible that the same king should have decreed

five

later their destruction,

and he concluded

that the king of

Ezra was Xerxes.

(

To

be continued.)

THE RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM AS A SOURCE OF JEWISH HISTORY*
By Jacob Mann,
II.

Jews' College, London.

The Political Status of the

Jews.

After

having discussed the extent of the influence the
the Jewries of the various countries of

Geonim had over

the diaspora, an attempt will be

made

in this

chapter to
light

describe the political status of the Jews.

In the

of the material the Gaonic

responsa furnish,

we

shall con-

sider in particular the relation of the
authorities

Jews to the secular

and to

their non-Jewish neighbours, their attitude
finally their treatment

towards the non-Jewish courts, and
of their slaves.
(a)
It is

generally assumed that with the advent of the
ecclesiastical authorities,

Arabs to Tr^k (637-43) the Jewish
communities of
appointed

the so-called Bet-Din that existed in most of the Jewish
'Irak,

and the members of which were
Exilarch or by the

either

by the
full

Geonim,

continued to have

autonomy and could

act entirely in

accordance with the Talmudic law.
however,

The Gaonic

responsa,

show

that

the

Muslim conquerors encroached
upon the sphere of
activity

occasionally

more

or

less

assigned to the Jewish courts or the Jewish
leaders.

communal

The

first

innovation the

Geonim had

to

make not

long after the Arab conquest of Trak was

in all

probability

due to such an interference on the part of the Arab
rulers.

Sherira in his Letter
*

(p. '>,^

states that the

Geonim

See

vols. VII,

457-9°, VIII, 339-66, IX, 139-79-

121

122

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Raaba of Pumbedita and Huna
660
C.E.) instituted that a

R.

of Sura (both held

office after

woman, who

defied

her husband and was thus rendered Hable to the charge
of being
a
mi"i)0
(in

the

Talmudic phrase), should be
practice

divorced at once.
the divorce for

The Talmudic

was to defer

twelve months in order that meanwhile

a reconciliation might be brought about between husband

and wife

(see

Ketubot 64

a).

Sherira himself explains in
forced to

a responsum that the

Geonim were
'

make
order

this

innovation because they saw

that the daughters of Israel
in

went and attached themselves to non-Jews

to

obtain a divorce through them from their husbands.

These
'.^^^

had

in

some

cases to grant the divorce under compulsion
("Ti'''Tt,

This statement probably means, as Weiss

IV, 8-9

and note

14) has pointed out, that the

Muslim

authorities

could force the Jews to grant divorce in such cases, and in order to prevent such enforced divorces, which according
to

the Talmudic

law are

null

and void

(niJ'iyD

c:),

the

Geonim ordained
was
also

that in the case of

mTO

the husband
will

should at once divorce his wife by his own free

and

bound

to

pay the amount of the Ketubah.
(Graetz,

The
131)

objections

of Rabbinowitz

Heb.

ed.,

Ill,

against

this
D"'1J3

assumption cannot hold good.
lOVj?
it

The same

phrase

n?n: occurs also in another responsum of

Sherira where

must
or

also

mean

the protection afforded

by a Muslim court

by some
a,

influential

Arabs

to a

Jew

rn,

No. 140 = i*"r, 56

No.

15:

m^hn

^ai^ir n):y^ inie'd

see also p'3, No. 91, by Sherira.

In JTl, No. 89, the reason

is

:

NT'K'

HS
. .

nyi nn"in!p

^NIB''

nm
(

n^ann which amounts
•^JQR., XIV, 515),
II.

to the same.
i ff.

Cp. also
,

Schechter's Saadyana, 147
. . .

U'^yil pB' ^3

n3Kw"i Ki'j^i

n"^'\s

n'^nrtj'

pts^aa

^in\>r:in

id^:n'K' vj'npnJB'.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
against the ruling of the Bet-Din.
see Einleit.^

— MANN

I23

The
a

case (n'V, No. 182, that

21 note) deals with

Jew
for

committed

some
to

transgression

on

the

Sabbath
is

which he was

be flogged, and the fear

expressed that he might

escape and try to obtain the protection of the non-Jewish
court or of
also
d'^IOJ,
'

some

influential

Arab
No.

(''13

T'a

1?D^*y

npfT'l,

see

No. 146, and

a^n,

135).

This decree about

a

'

defiant

wife (miic) which was promulgated soon after

the conquest of Babylon

by 'Omar probably applied

to this

country only.
it

We

have the evidence of Maimonides that
Jews.^^^

was not accepted by the majority of the

A

question that very frequently occupied the Jewish

communities as a whole was the assessment of taxation.
Generally the whole community of a district was
responsible for the entire

made

amount

of taxes that

was imposed

upon

it.

After the conquest of Trak and Syria by the
in

Arabs under 'Omar, the Arab conqueror
the

organizing
(ajJ*-),

new

state fixed a poll-tax for all non- Muslims

certain

burdens

in

connexion

with

the

quartering

of

Muhammedan
see

soldiers,^^^
I,

and a graduated land tax
272).

(^Iji,

Aug.

Miiller, ibid.,

This organization of the
after

state
their

by 'Omar was probably adopted by the Arabs
conquest of North Africa and Spain.

As

regards

Babylon, Graetz assumes that the Exilarchs were responsible for the taxes

which were collected from the Jews

(V^ 131 and 435-6).
that the

But from the responsa

it

appears

Arab
n\

authorities collected the taxes directly from

"« npTnn

tw^\S(.

'n,

4": bxT^^

ann

D^2n3»n onis

itDSi'a

n^ji

nioipon
1**
I.

ana

on^by n'-phn d-^hji D^aii.
to this in a

Probably R. Natronai refers

responsum

in

TtJTl, H, 20,

12:

njDDn -jaD inm

nai'-a

^axo -^rh N'vin^
ibid.,

nnioi, based on

Besah, 21a.

See also Aug. MuUer,

274.

124
the Jews.
Sel.

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW The Gaon R. Sheshna
c.E.) writes in a

of Sura (before
'

looo

=

689

responsum that

if

the ruler or

the tax-collector sends to the community and enjoins the

pronouncing of a ban

in his interest,

and

it

is

impossible

to disobey on account of the compulsion, this tax that

was
they

imposed by means of the ban

is

not binding.

But

if

impose an oath, the community should refuse
the oath
to

to administer

the

person concerned

'.^^*

This responsum

shows that the authorities availed themselves of the coercion practised

by the Bet-Din

for their

own purpose, and

thus

in

order to obtain a true estimate of a man's taxing-

power, they ordered the Jewish courts or the communal
leaders to announce a ban against or impose an oath

upon

a Jew
is

for this purpose.

The Gaon

to

whom

this

responsum

assigned was one of the earliest

Geonim whose sphere

of influence probably did not extend beyond Babylon and
Persia,
refers

and we

may

therefore assume that the responsum

to the conditions

that

existed
is

in

these countries

alone.

The Gaon's

opinion

that

the

enforced

oath

should not be administered by the communal leaders and
that the ban, though announced, would be rendered null

and void,
authorities.

in

order to

counteract the extortions of the

The

tax-collectors mentioned in this respon-

sum were

certainly

non-Jews.

Had

they been

Jews

appointed by the Exilarch, or by the communal leaders,
184 ^5<T

vysni vsns ^^ai^a nnnn^ bnpn pnyj'cc' D3d ^yni ptsban

\b

V2:^rh "iiDN

D30 hv2
Cp. also

IS*

pD^'K''
;

IN
,

"ji^n
I,

]}'2c^u

nvu^ bin
1"a,

'h c^in^

(JT'C, No. 195;

D"n, No. 121
Y'^,

"T'BTl
40.

49, No.

13;

No. 26, and

D"3, No. 26).

No.

This R. Sheshna was certainly the

Gaon and not the
(see also Weiss,

father of the

capacity as a scholar to

Gaon 'Amram (856-74) of whose official whom questions were addressed nothing is known
note 15).

T'm, 9,

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
to collect the taxes, the

— MANN

125

Gaon would

not have decided

against them.^''^

The whole

tone of the responsum shows

that the authorities were extortionate in their coercion of

the Jewish community.

In the

same responsum

is

also

mentioned the case of a Jew
property confiscated.
the Jewish

that

was executed, and

his

Thereupon the

authorities enjoined

communal

leaders to announce a

ban against anyin

body that concealed some money of the criminal
to preserve
it

order

for his heirs, instead of

handing

it

over to
of Sura

the

authorities.

In

the

time of R.

Nahshon

(874-82)

we

learn that the taxes

and impositions weighed

heavily upon the Jews in Babylon.

On

a question, that

came probably from some community abroad, whether the scholars should be asked by the community to contribute
their share to the

amount of the taxes due
'

to the governhis

ment, the Gaon answers that

though the king and

councillors impose taxes without a limit and make the

burden

still

heavier upon the
^^''

community

',

yet the scholars
reflects

should not be taxed.

Probably the Gaon

here

the deplorable state the Jews of Babylon must have been
in,

especially

during

the

period

of

the

decline

of
in

the

'Abbasid
(see

dynasty

after
I,

the death of Mutassim

842

Aug. Muller,

ibid.,

^1^

ff.).

In the communities outside Babylon, in Palestine, North
Africa,

Spain, and

southern France,

we

learn

from the

responsa that fixed amounts were imposed upon whole

communities, and the communal leaders had the task and
^®^

Cp.

J0""ID3,

No. 10

:

when

the community collected the taxes and one

of the
J86

members declared
n":, No. 537:

that he possessed nothing, he

was

adjured.

niirm mt^i

"jbon

p::''b:yD::'

cyxa'

wm

'''^n

,

.

.

,

Dl73- About the great number of taxes that existed under the Abbasid caHphs, cp. Kremer, I.e., I, 278, and II, 488
. . ft".


126

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

the responsibility to assess each
in

member

of their

community

accordance with his economic position.

Thus the people
as

of Tlemsen style their late the community and the

communal
in

leader 'the eye of
afifair

first

every charitable

well as in the taxes and the impositions exacted from the

community '.^^"^
as to

Often disputes arose

in the

communities

or

who should contribute the most, whether the traders the people who owned landed property, as we learn
(see Jo'ic:,

from responsa of French scholars, contemporaries of Sherira

and Hai
it is

Nos. 165 and 205).

In

n'lroj.

No. 165,

also stated that

the community had

to

collect an

amount of money them
of the
authorities

for bribing the officials

not to expose

to extortion and oppression.^*^
in

That the extortions
Kairowan became

the

district

of

intolerable in the time of Sherira and

Hai we can gather
in n":,

from a responsum of theirs preserved
Geon., II,
5).

No. 346

(cp.

A

Jew was much harassed

in his place of

residence by penal impositions, and he could not leave the

town

as his wife

would be arrested instead and treated
Accordingly people advised that Jew

in

a similar way.
write a bogus

to

document of divorce to

his wife, in order

that she should be able to take possession of her husband's

property as being her dowry, and her husband be at liberty
to escape.^^'^
It is

expressly stated that some of the towns-

187

-)"i^n, II, 31, No. 9

=

n^J, No. 37, by R. Hai

:

Ninr Vn^l

.

.

.

hT\\>r\

10

r\i':,:,r\

nosni

B'jiyn

pa npivn pa

im bi?

ptyxm
See

myn

py
:

ti'Jiy,

'fine',

was then the
'J^y

usual expression for tax.

0"1t23,

No. lo

v^y "o^c^vayn^ 01^3
188

ps

~ir:x

"^rh

djd "1:^20 niaab

^i^y\.

Dn^^yo
p-kj»Diri

D3"iNn p^o"? pn^niJ'rD'j'

m^t^'^3 niin'^n^ pi.
ciiyo
r\i'^r\

189

iT-yo

xyi''

T\^r\^y\

p^l^^j-jm

"lyts^-a

^^^ piNi

ms*

"':a

nvpD imvy

e^iiyn

T\'cr\)2

.nnis

pny^'?:'!

icipr^a iriB's

nx

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN

I27

people used to avail themselves of such devices in order That such to escape the impositions of the governor.
devices had
position to

be used

is

sufficiently
districts.

eloquent of the

of the

Jews

in

those

The screw

of

taxation was

made more and more

tight, so that

people

were
case

compelled to leave their places of residence.
is

A similar
No.
7).

reported in another responsum (Ybti,
flee

II, 58,

Jews who had to

from their town, settled

in

another

place where they were taxed by the Jewish community. But now the members of their former community bring

forward claims against them, because they had undertaken In the responin common the responsibility for the taxes.

sum

it is

stated that the authorities

would exact the amount
of the

assessed irrespective of the actual

number

members

of the community.'^^"

In Palestine also, under the rule
of,

of the Egyptian dynasty of the Fatimids, the burden

taxation
to

weighed heavily upon the Jews.
b.

In

a

letter

Ephraim
of

Shemarya, head of the Palestinian synaJewish community
of

gogue

Fustat, the
'

Jerusalem

complain that they
put
all

suffer the

yoke of the non-Jews who

burdens

'

upon them.
c-i

Though

there was a famine
s'^s:*

p
. .

]'\^)v^ i''yn
.

nnix ':2d

.vnnn n^zn^ ^n^a xnn
.

ns

ilD^^BTi

C'JIi/'D

|Di*y riX

n''-\2r\b

This responsum belongs to the
991
c. e.

group of responsa sent to Kairowan
p.

in

(n"3, Nos. 345-50> see

179,

note

i\

It

is

interesting to

note that the authorities did not

man's estate on his departure from the town. Further, the document of divorce, D3, seems to have had legal recognition in the eyes of the authorities, and the v^rife was allowed to take possession of her
confiscate this

former husband's estate in lieu of her dowry (nniHD),
the claims of the authorities.
190 ),ir\'y''

in

precedence to

'hbr]

bv

Sy

pn"'330 jni-po

imn-^ poi on wo^a
is

n^i'ijnB'

1^3 DO

bt3"l31

nniJB'.

This responsum
note

seemingly by R. Hai like the
assigns
it

one preceding

it.

Miiller, EitiUit., 34,

(last line)

without any

proof to R. Isaac the Tosafite.

128

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
the country, the Jewish

in

community had
compatriots in

to

find

the

usual amount of taxes imposed by the government, and

had thus to appeal to
support.^^^

their

Egypt

for

Several responsa deal with confiscation of

money and
cases
it

property belonging to Jews, and with other kinds of interference on the part of the authorities.

In

some

may
(see

have been

due to the punishment

inflicted

upon

individual
v'B',

Jews that transgressed the law
Nos. 9 and 109;
'

of the country
;

34 b, No. 5 and 41b, No. 38 by Saadya
r^"lC3,

i":,

No. 3;

o"3,

No. 189).
a
list

Some

in-

teresting

points

are

contained

in

of headings

of

responsa quoted by Muller {Einleit.,

^'^^

note) from a

Parma

MS. Non-Jews

give evidence against Jewish

young people
upon these

about their indecent behaviour, and the governor appoints
a Jewish official to collect the fines he imposed

young Jews, while granting this
ten per cent.
Informing"
in those times

official

a commission of
evil

amongst Jews was an

rampant

which

often endangered the lives of

many

Jews while causing still further material loss. Accordingly the Bet-Din and the communal leaders dealt very severely
with informers.

Anybody

that suffered from denunciation

could pronounce a ban against those that denounced him
to the authorities (see n":,

No. 333, end, by R. Hai

;

o'lC:,

J91

Geniza Letter i^published by Cowlej-,
,

JQR- XIX,
D"'3t^Vn

pp. 107-8,

and
l"'nX
-i^j,a

also

by Wertheimer, Q^^C^IT njJ

H, 171:

Q^mn
.

DD

D^i:n ^iy

whz^o

ijnjs ntJ'N naix^n naivyn
^d
iji''P''

nyhv^ n^n
.

c'lipn

D^j:inn
nrc'

vn nxrn njc'a
^yhv
"ib'n

ia?o nn^: n^i

,

n->io

b

D-'DCiyi

ba
(r.

t^Jiyn

n^

u

^^•^

vh

im^^'ap -ik'xi

nsDcn uyo
ny

)nK

^32)

b

-i3n
.

Nxoj N^
. ,

2j;-in

nacn

ini^' ij3Ni

-it^'N

n:55>

Dion fo

DnniQ

-uxi n"'2in Q''^jyni

dtib'^s

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN

I29

No. 193, by R. Joseph Ibn Abitur, and No. 195,

end).^^^

One
"2

of 'Omar's

decrees was that a non-Muslim should

No

indication

is

to be found in the

Gaonic Responsa, as
to

far as

they

are extant, that informers

were sentenced
leaders.

death by the Bet-Din in
of the

conjunction with the

communal

The responsa

contemporary
It is

Spanish scholars also show no trace of this penal procedure.

therefore

surprising to find this drastic treatment of informers quite general
the Jewish communities chiefly in Spain.

among

The
(see R.

first

authority mentioned
is

as having inflicted capital punishment on an informer,

R. Joseph Ibn

Migash of Lucena, the

disciple of Alfasi

Juda
'<^br^

b.
"""i

Asher

in

pi3T

mm-'

f.

55

:

n:D''^iNa

nnx noD^

'c^y^D

p
in

bpc^ ^:v^m
in

nWi

ni'^Z

mU'a nVnb bny Si"2nV2\
i.

Maimonides, writing

Egypt,

also refers to this

punishment as quite usual

the 'towns of the

West'

(2"iyDn

^"iy3),

e.

Spain and Morocco, which latter country contained then
{r\p]nn
b.

many Spanish Jews

n% p^DI ^3in

'H, VIII,

i).

Highly important

is

the letter of Solomon

Aderet concerning the case of an informer
ff.,

in

Barcelona (published by Kaufmann, JQR., VIII, 1896, pp. 228

where
nV'K'

he also discusses
pp. 217-28).
K'"N"in,

this question of

Jewish informers

in the

Middle Ages on
in

See further the important responsum of Asheri
I.

XVII,

On

the whole,

the material available tends to

show

that chiefly in Spain informers paid the penalty of death for their denunciations.

There the communities seem

to have

had the permission of the

secular authorities for such a procedure.

Altogether in Spain the communal

leaders

seem

to

have been invested with very great powers, amounting

even

to the right of inflicting capital

punishment

in

some cases

;

a fact that

greatly astonished Asheri
as

when he came from Germany
{y"X^n

to settle in Toledo,
ni"JJ',

he writes

in

the important responsum in

XVII,

8.

Whether
diaspora,
It is is

in the

Gaonic period the Jewish communities anywhere
is

in the

including even Spain, possessed such rights,

very doubtful.

certainly surprising that in the

numerous Gaonic responsa no mention

made of such formidable

authority vested with the

communal

leaders.
*

See further D""»nD

'VJTl, ed. Bloch, p. 208,

No. 137

:

Wl

C"D

nniC^Tl

bin riTDD r\v^2 ab^

Npm

b":
.

on^a
.
.

nr^n
.
.

abi^ pni nu'vo
^;^'i•D

nv^i pa
'in

Dms pmn ps nmoci pmi on^n pnin^ nmo nT-DD nvi^i
nx
n'^or^b -inio nc^'yc
'"in

"inin^

nns' iDist' no

\:>''\

i:-nn!? -lin

iTN-in nSl

nm

pn-^i
in

mo p

^PV
it

mm.
p.

This responsum deals

with conditions

Germany, where

seems informers were removed with
ibid.,

the assistance of non-Jews (cp. further,
In

50, Nos. 313

and 317).

view of the above remarks, the responsum

in JD"j, 182,

D31DD IDlDn

VOL. X.

K

130

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
punishment
in

suffer capital

the case of his having spoken

disparagingly of
Muller,

Muhammed

and

his

religion (see

Aug.
was

ibid.^ I, 273).

A

member

of the Exilarch's family,

who was

to succeed the well-known David b. Zakkai,
in Nisibis for

denounced
penalty.^ ^^

such an offence and suffered the

From

a responsum

we karn

further

that

if

a Jew was converted to Islam and then repented and
returned to his former religion, he had to
flee to

another

place where he would be unknown, else he forfeited his
Hfe.i»*

On
some

the whole

it

may be assumed

that a

Jew found
This was
Christian

protection on the part of the authorities and Courts

against robbery and oppression

by non-Jews.

more or

less the case

both

in

Muhammedan and

countries.

The responsa supply proofs for this assumption. Thus we read in a responsum of R. Semah (probably of
Pumbedita, 872-90) about a Jew that traded
in

Egyptian

towns, and while attempting to ford a river was drowned.

When
living

the relatives searched for the body, the non-Jews

by the

side of the river gave evidence that they
it

had

seen the body floating but they did not pick
-irn

up

for fear

N^
.
. .

r\i'-\r\

D^cya n^jprn

n nnm

N^oniDa T\\:hrh
-iyt:vDi

bxisr""

h^

\s
.

nniD

.

.

hy\v^ no

mo mnb Yj-ti c^n ^np!? ba u min^ -invon p^in
^r^^D'L^'

idiot

ryo n^n

"ij"'n

injnn ^y naiu'n ?n^

xr\Th "inio
likely not
^33

^y ^2n, is very by a Babylonian Gaon but by a Spanish scholar. Report of Nathan the Babylonian (Neub., 11,82-3) jnixn N'i'OJ N^l
"o
:

p^ m^r v^y

px irunn

m

n\it:>

ICl^^
'•'13

''J30

n\Tj' nn^s* c'W*
'h

n^n

:"i nvn^

'ini ^^TJ'

n:i

D^o^n

nns

Dy DDipnjty -im

yi^NC' ny ini^ro^

ip>2Dn

n^i

ptvj2

jinji ^iD2n

nN

'r^V^

vby

iT-yni piB'a.
c. k.
:

iM ^"^.^ 26b, No. 28, by R. Moses of Sura, 832-43

pxi

.

.

.

Dw'^
.
.

inn DNB'
iniN pnin.

\^vi'y\''

^ant:^

inix pn^rc::^ u\\>rh -nrn^

iniwS

pT^ntt

.

RESPONSA or THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
of the governorJ''^
authorities

— MANN
lest

131

Probably they were afraid

the
this

would accuse them of having murdered
regards a
in
d"1!::,

Jew.

As

Christian

countr}-,

we
in

see

that R.

Meshullam

No.

i88,

decided

a case where

non-Jews forcibly deprived Jews of their

estates, fields,

and

vineyards, and afterwards other Jews took over from these

robbers their

spoil, that since

there were non-Jewish courts

and authorities with

whom

the plundered Jews could have

lodged their complaints, they had relinquished their right
of ownership

by not taking

legal proceedings

and allowing

other Jews to recover their property from the robbers.^^®

But frequently

in

disturbed

times

the

authorities

were

powerless or callous about giving protection to Jews against
thefts

and robberies.

Two

responsa supply us with highly

interesting material.

Correspondents from probably some
(v":y,

North African community write to Sherira
No. 30) concerning the case of a Jew that
or other, or
lost

32

a,

something

was

robbed

by non-Jews, and afterwards

another Jew bought
non-Jews, of course

back the stolen goods from these

much below
his

their value.

Now

the

owner claims back

goods and intends paying back
In the long

the other man's outlay.

argument which the owner of the stolen or plundered goods uses, three characteristic

alternatives are

enumerated as to how a Jew of
his loss.

those times could

make good

Either he finds out

the culprits and brings them before the governor or the

non-Jewish courts.
"5

Or he

strikes

a

bargain

with

the

yn,

No. 27

:

DJ1XD )i2)pb "injn

p

inibyn^ ps^riD i^nt bin

'^ b'2p
. .
,

nS

d^ij

b^

niND-iyi

niNnjx n^^nt iva

^^:

Nan

.

.

.

inrO

:^•N''^n:1

n^nj

^•'HN*
ff.).

^hnX.

Cp. also the responsum of Elhanan

b.

Hushiel (above, IX, 171

K

2

132

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

brigands to leturn him at least a part of his belongings.
It is stated in

the responsum that other Jews had to do
third alternative

likewise.

The

would be to parley with

the elders and influential people amongst these brigands

and persuade them by bribes to recover the stolen goods.

Though
stealing

there were prohibitions

by the governors against
as
'

and

robbing

as
'

well

against

buying such

goods,

it

seems that

this

trade

flourished considerably.

The Jewish communities, long before responsum, had to make an institution
to
his

the time of this
that

the

owner

of the lost, stolen, or robbed property should be entitled

recover

it

from the Jewish buyer
This institution was

after

paying back
to
all

expenses.

common

com-

munities
thefts

in that district,

which shows that robberies and
of very frequent
occurrence.^^"

must have
the

been
of

From

answer

the
in

Gaon we
Babylon.
conditions

gather

that

this

institution

was unknown
refers

Accordingly the
outside

responsum
bably
in

to

the

Trak, prothe

some North African
in p":,

district.

In

other

responsum
Miiller,

No. 93 (perhaps by R. MeshuUam, see
25,

Eijilcit.,

note)

we

find

Jewish

business-men

nj p lynuN

ijnj nr

^'•nc^ai

.nunDa pn
i^d^i

n^D-ina pa

on

dv hyi

nuno
nijpn

""T^

pwsm OiTTan po»
also D"3,

onnx

ixn^i djiqd naN"- xbc*

n^^i.— See
niSu'?^

No. 42:

minDn

fD i^^^i'm D-n nvntDC
i-n''''C'

nrsD
NNnn
^c*

nmnoi

ann vni

d'^j'-'^ito

pljd''^

n^^y isx*

is*

•'i:

DiT^m onns ^nic'P nmnon
vj"jy np^i jnrj* nn^nn
?

jnis^ DM:n |niN

nnaoi
c'>

^xi::'^

npi^^ Q^^yan nnb pnn p^
is

m^n

o^^ynn

X?

IX.

This responsum which
11, note
is

assigned in Pardes, end, to Rashi
in

(cp.

Muller, Einlcit.,

quoted

?n"3L'', II,
'•''Xn

§ 148,

fol.

167 a

[Cat. Montefiore Library, 33, No. 128] as
last

px:

i:"'m

nUICTl.

For the

reference

I

am

indebted to Dr. Biichler.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYEONIAN GEONIM
taking the law into their

— MANN

133

own

liands

and paying back

in

the same coin to non-Jewish traders
ted and harrassed them.

who

constantly spolia-

'A Jew

said to a co-religionist,

The people
have robbed

of the town X. have captured our city and
us.

Now

the traders of that city usually go

to the town, wherein
If

you

reside,

for

business

purposes.
rulers of

you can spoliate them by the authority of the
it

your town, do

and

let
I

me have

the spoil.

But the other

Jew answered, Were
penalty,
I

able to
it

make

these traders pay the
I
it

should do

myself, because

have also

lost

a great deal in their town.

At

length

happened that

once these traders came with their goods to the town of
the second Jew, and he, risking his
life,

fleeced

them

after

bribing the authorities of his town.'

^^*

The Jew

seeing

that no redress was to be obtained from the authorities,
especially

when towns were on the warpath
to
risk
his
life

against each
for

other,

had

and procure retribution

himself.

Several responsa
lived

tell

us of towns sacked wherein
exile, either

Jews

and also of cases of

of whole communities

or of individual Jews.

Unfortunately only a few of these

responsa can be adequately identified.
refer

R. Meshullam must

to

some upheaval

in

Lucca and the surrounding

places

when he

writes at the beginning of his responsum
in his great

(P"3,No. 61),
distress
198

'May God

mercy

relieve us in
us,

and put an end to the upheavals among
^j-|.y

our

^>.;j^^^j;.i

^x
ox

vj'n^

^:i^2 "i-y ^*j':x ii^nn^

ion-' bxTj'^ myi
b'c^

cniN
^3"

b'lb'C'h

^3in

."ii^y^

n-nnob
.

\'2b\r\

Tiyn nnis
^iu
bbrz'

pn:nni

Ti'^'n

DN

bid'cf "inis ^b i?:;ni

'b

fni

dhd
onix

"jT'y

"'iw'

n^i

«?i?:?o
c^bb''':"\
.

n?3D

DC'

^mosn

'3N

rL^ novy^

'n''\n
d'j*

i^i^rj*^

iwa

vj-sj

nin* iniN nb'

ninon nnis n:n

la^^nc'ai

.

.

pr:rD3

onn^rc' D^^i:n nprna.

134

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Above

brethren and the children of our congregations.^^^
(VII, 484)

we had

the case of the town of Xefusa that was

sacked and burned by the enemy.
tells

Another responsum

us of an Arabic

commander

of an

army who entered
Jewish and
to be

a town
Jewish.
(o'lOJ,
(p":,

and

captured

many women,
i).^*'"

non-

These capti\cs had afterwards
No. 47, see Muller, note
51,

ransomed

Another responsum
Eitilcit.,

No.

probably by R. Meshullam, see

25,
all

note) tells us further of a

town that was sacked and

the inhabitants were led
tion of one

away

as captives, with the excep-

Jew who escaped.
In

From

the responsum

it

appears that this Jewish community was not long after
reorganized.
n''ir23,

No. 153 (probably by some French
i)

or Italian scholar, see Miiller, note

we

read of the exile

of Jews from a whole

district.

Before the exile a Bet-Din

existed there, and thus there must have been an organized

Jewish community

in that

town.

The

estates of the exiled
it

Jews were not confiscated, and from the lawsuit

appears

that the children of these exiles returned to their former

place of residence and could take possession of these estates.

Perhaps

this

responsum
in

refers to the
c. E. (see

banishment of the

Jews of Limoges

loio

Gr. V^, 380), where the

bishop of the town had Christianit}- preached to the Jews
for a

whole month, and when
exiled.

this

was of no

avail,

had

them

Wc

learn further of

Jews of Tlemsen that
was not confiscated

were exiled to Ashir but their property
See above, VII, 487.
Responsa,

li'^np
2"°

':301.

Asheri,

XXXII,

5.

quotes
"i"n t"

this

responsum as follows

:

-ic^a

'd2

NC'ci'ino

'•i^n

^nidc

iro ynr iin 'on tinvd
Accordingly only one Jewess
is

'\y,

'n'3n n:n3 'mn^l
the captives.

nn;^ nnnn

D'':;'^.

was among

The same reading

often found in the
fol.

Responsa

of R. Moses Alashkar.

nt).

95 (ed. Sabionetta. 1553,

151 b).

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
and
their heirs could
(n":,

— MANN

135

become

the owners of their parents'
?d"v::,

possessions

No. 33 and

No. 133, by R. Hai,

see also above, VII, 4H4}.
(d)

The next

point to be considered

is

the relations

that existed between
It is

Jews and
This

their Gentile neighbours.

only natural to assume that Jews had
is

many

business

connexions with Gentiles.
responsa, as
in
it

corroborated by

many
Thus

will

be shown

in the

next chapter.

many

cases

friendly

relations

must have sprung up
in

between Jews and non-Jews.
is

R. Nahshon,

a responsum,

of the opinion that
()":,

no charity should be accepted from
This responsum shows that there

a non-Jew

No.

26).

must have been sometimes non-Jews that wanted to contribute

to

the charitable needs of Jewish communities.

Some

interesting details about the relations
in

between Jews
in the Judicial

and Christians

Babylon are to be found

Decisions of the Catholici (published
Rechtsbikher, vol.
to
practise
II).

by Sachau,

Syj'ische

The people
Timotheos,

of Hira (Hertha) used
(/. r.,

circumcision according to Jewish rites
§ 27, cp.

Jesubarnum,

§

16).

The

Catholicos

Jesubarnum

118) prohibits both priest and layman to

'eat and drink with Jews and to keep friendship with the

son of the crucifiers

'

{I.e.,

p. 170, U.

13-14:

)»*•** •*j/ \I

l^aii)

i^

yi.iw

isa-).

The same member

Catholicos ordains ex-

communication from the Church on those that
'a heathen, Jew, or a
II, 119).

marry

of another religion' (§§ 10,

These decisions of the Catholici allow us a glimpse
Babylon
in the

of the relations, which appear to have been of a friendly
character,
first

between Jews and Christians

in

half of the ninth century (see also Aptowitzer,

Die

syrischcn Rechtsbncher u.

das Mosaische Rcchi, pp. ^-d, in

136

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften,
life

Sitznngshericlitc dcr
vol.
'i^'^)-

But on the whole the Jew's
have
the

among

his

non-Jewish neighbours must

been

precarious

and

exposed to dangers.

We

find

Geonim adopting the
non-Jew generally

maxim,
is

as found in the
(sin

Talmud,
nd:n
^1:

that 'a

an extortioner'
n":,

DHD p"v2i, No. 101, by
to the

R. 'Amram;
Jews).

No. 242, by Sherira or Hai
is

Kairowan

Characteristic
in

the statement by R. Natronai of

Sura, 853-6 C.E.,
if

a responsum, to the effect that 'generally

non-Jews get hold of a Jew's money they have no
'.-"^

pity

It

must have been sad experience only that made
in

the spiritual leaders of Jewry view the non-Jew

such

a

light.

Thus
Jews

it

is

only natural that the Jews disliked
for

having non-Jews as their nearest neighbours,
violence.

fear

of

preferred to live

by themselves

in special

quarters.

This tendency helped to erect the Ghetti which were made obligatory
that
if

later on, in the times of persecutions,

on the Jews.
his field

The Talmudic law was

a

Jew

sold

or house to a non-Jew, his Jewish

neighbours

could force this Jew to undertake the responsibility for any

harm

their

new non-Jewish neighbour might do them.
find in full practice in the

This law we

Gaonic period as

several responsa
r:":,

show

(cp. v"u',

33

a,

Nos. 21 and 22 (cp.
»"n::,

No. 142), probably by Sherira;
12"\12:,

No.

19,

by

R. Semah to Kairowan;

No. 158, anonymous: a

whole quarter inhabited by Jews).
us of Jews
living

Yet some responsa

tell

promiscuously with non-Jews and knowing

the affairs of each other (see o"ic:. No. 95).

A

responsum

mentions that

all

the inliabitants of a town, including the

Jews, were dressed alike as soldiers (o"ici. No. 69).
201

Another

Pardes 24
i''X

c

:

|V3 ^NTC'^

W'

JICDI

NIH D3N
';cp.

^"13

DHD IDNT pO
117 a).

nyjn Dn^

D^ivn

moix

t'3 bsitr

b.

kamma

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
responsum
tells

— MANN
(jTn)

137

us of a case of a Reader

who was

immoral, and the non-Jews were blaming the Jews for
retaining such a
{r2''v:>i,

man

as their reader

in

the

synagogue
;

No,

17,

probably by R. Joseph Ibn Abitur

see also
in

above, p.

i2<S).

We

find further cases of

Jews who

trying

to exact monetary claims from co-religionists

by violence
their

would hire non-Jews and

instruct

them

to

waylay
(o"ioa,

victims and extort whatever they

demanded

No. 23,

by Saadya
All these
in

;

n"j,

No. 39, to Tlemsen, see Einleit.^

39, note).'^"^

disconnected details scattered here and there
give
us

the

responsa

some glimpse of the mutual
in

relations
{c)

between Jew and non-Jew
is

these times.

A point of much interest

the attitude of the Jews
It is

of the Gaonic period towards the non-Jewish courts.

only natural that a non-Jew when having a claim against
a

Jew would summon him before the non-Jewish
gentile

court.
n"3,

A

generally

distrusted
;

the

Bet-Din

(see

No. 324, by R. Hai to Kabes
rD"itD:,

Vi, No. 40, by R. Hai;
b.

No. 153; No. 204 by Hanok

Moses).

Likewise

a

Jew had to summon a non-Jew before the secular courts. The Bet-Din had certainly no power of coercion over
rD"ic:,

a non-Jew (see, e.g.

No. 102 by Sar Shalom of Sura, But as regards disputes

849-53

C.E.

;

Nos. 201 and 204).

that arose between

Jew and Jew, the Geonim as well as the
any attempt to bring

communal
instead

leaders strongly disliked

these disputes for settlement before the non-Jewish courts

of the Jewish

ecclesiastical
affairs

court,

the so-called

Bet-Din.

There were many

that

could not

be

divulged before courts frequently hostile.
"^ Muller,
Einleit.,
•iN"'i*im

The screw of

53, note, quotes also a

responsum from a Parma

manuscript:

n^H

^STj'"'

c"i2n^

Ti)!?

pH

n"'i3

'{lyv:,^

niiT

138

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

taxation and impositions would have been
if

made

tighter,

the u hole extent of business carried on

by Jews would

have

become known through

such

monetary lawsuits

brought before the courts.
competition, the

Further, for fear of non-Jewish
it

Jew found

inadvisable to reveal the

particulars of his trade. authorities in

Wc find

the Christian ecclesiastical
exhibiting" the

Babylon of the same period

same

dislike of seeing Christians bring their lawsuits before

Muslim

courts.

In the Judicial Decisions of the Catho<Soj)

licos ]\Iar

Timotheos (about

as well as those of the

Catholicos Jesubarum (820-24) Christians are enjoined to

bring their disputes exclusively before Christian

courts.^^''^

The Geonim
cepts.

in

opposing Jewish lawsuits being brought

before the non-Jewish courts followed the Talmudic pre-

Already R. Tarfon (end of
attending

first

century, c. E.)
(see

was
88
b,

against
v.
l.

non-Jewish
n:»'V2

courts

Gittin
'n n'n

R. Meir) nisnixs

nnNC'

y^"i ->r:ix

paiD

N^jm

In a responsum (quoted by

^Miiller, Einleit.^ 54,

note
a

4,

end,

from a

Parma MS.) the Gaon
he

declares that

if

Jew hands

over a co-religionist to a non-Jewish court, even in monetary
affairs,
is

regarded as an informer

("ilDD).-°*

On

the whole Jews acted according to the injunctions
all their

of their spiritual leaders and tried to settle
before the Jewish courts.

disputes

Thus

in the case of the stolen

goods (above, pp. 131-32) we
203

find the claimant arguing to
vol.
II,

See Sa( hau, Syrische
^.t f
.

Rcclitsbiiclicr,

Berlin,

1908,
IkJ

p.

56,

11.

1314:

JJclX
;

<o^

^^

Vm^^ o»A

qX ^^(
/.

oN^vn o
ff.

^aJ^vIK^^O
2"«

-1j«

so

Mar Timotheos;

cp. further, §§

12-13 (PP- 66-8,,
c, 46

and Jesubarnum, §115

(pp. 168-9).
"^''D^

See also Aptowitzer,
^"^P^
'"'-^

VDV

^^ ^^
"•poy

•11'^^

P""^

"'"'''^'^

^^

-IDIC^

'•^

:^"':l

s^ nifs:

by

"nor:;

xnpj p?:d.

See

also n"j.

No. 491, by

Alfasi.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
the defendant that because he must not a non-Jewish court he
is

— MANN

139

summon him
if

before

worse off than

non-Jews had

bought the stolen
several cases
religionists at

goods.-''"'

Yet the responsa mention
against
their co-

of Jews seeking redress

non-Jewish courts.

A

Genizah Fragment

of the year 1016 (pubhshed 171)
tells

by

Poznariski, REjf.,
b.

us of a Jew,
b.

'Amrun

Elijah of Sicily,

XLVIII, who had

Ephraim
officials in

Shemaryah

arrested

by the Muslim court-

Fustat because the latter did not want to appear
to

before a
claims.
IMuslini

Muslim court

answer on the former's monetary

The

arrested

Jew

justifies

himself before
a court of their

the

Judge that as Jews they had

own
Jew
all

for settling their disputes.-""^
b.

In a responsum

R. Moses

Hanok (^*"l", 30 a, No. 9) decides in the who had his co-religionist arrested that he
C"ic:,

case of a

should pay

expenses which his co-religionist incurred through his im-

prisonment (see also

No. 210).

Since Jews frequently

brought their lawsuits before non-Jewish courts, repeated
injunctions

had to be made by the
this

spiritual

leaders of

Jewry against

practice.

In a Cambridge

Genizah

Fragment (published by Dr. Marmorstein,
1906, 599)

JSIonatsschrift^

we

read of an institution

in

a

community

that

any Jew that brings

his lawsuit before a

non-Jewish court

ynr

is*

^i:nu

*i^Da:i i3r2D

nmx it3^i D^byn iNn> N^:^' nnijpi? i:''\-i n^ i-icn-j' nmx pnpih Dsvj'n \s i^cn ^j^^ pin ijn\s* pimni \Th
.nmin ^i^
^^ir,r\

VL"2y "^y nriN nx^'CJi
>:'N

jnis^ .thji
Ty^-r^

ijjiod
\^2

ns
inv

ITa
^vx
,11.

Nin-ja vr'^y |ms* yain
inis*

'•h'-nt

pu
D'
.

i^sl"

xi''mt\

D'ljn
2"6

ynn^

^i3v

17-18; ij-poyn 1XT") nyin^-j'

iy

.

.

.

*j'^i

iJn:N

oninv

140

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
finc.-'^'"

should pay a
(in

In an undated fragment from Fustat
V..

the possession of Mr.
the

X. Adler, M.A., London) we
no Jew should go to a

find

Nagid enjoining

that

non-Jewish court before bringing his case before the Jewish
court of Cairo.-''*

The
V'alue in

question often arose whether deeds of property or

transaction

drawn up

in

non-Jewish courts possessed legal

Jewish courts

The Geonim were
(see n"j,

frequently asked
;

to legalize such

documents

No.

(Ss

r2""i?2J,

Nos. 94

and

199).

Some

responsa by Spanish scholais as well as

by

Hai, throw interesting light on the

way

the Muslim

courts administered justice in Spain and Babylon respectively.

In the former country the Muslim courts seem to
in

have been held
of the tenth

great disrepute

by the Jews

at the

end

and the beginning of the eleventh centuries.
dealing with the case
the

R. Moses
of a

Hanok of Cordova, in Jew who was found guilty by
b.
'

Arab

authorities

on the charge of murder and had
writes that
their justice
is

his property confiscated,

no

justice
less

even when Muslims

only are concerned,
cerned.

how much

when Jews

are con'.^^^

They

also rely on witnesses that are false

The
by

Rabbi

criticizes

the too ready acceptance of witnesses
first

these courts without

ascertaining their veracity.

The
nacn

207

]':j22)

nnna

|":p3 inp^tr njpnn
^s-ic^

b'c^

:6i^n nnci n^
*•»

^y:^•

b'c^
(1.

niNDiyn
fjDD

;?)-ins'

Y'n

bv^

"bv moy::'

b^::'

bnpn

b
xbi

23)
="'«

-i3n \r\"c D^ij.

b^p

D^iyn
^2

mrDixi?

:-idi

nyn
n'^ib

ir:^xi

n^iyn
See

nious^
also 12":
,

:-ir^

.

.

.

nnnsp^N

pmnn?^^^ pn
p-ibi

nnii*n.

No. 166:

.

.

.

D^un pnn i2n bya ny

i^^^ ]'ip2

vbv

bzpr^n.

209

^")j2:, No. 179: is*^ DN1
C'"2i

pn DH^rn ox "i^n
^bi^pi

imn pNC

ii^sn id
\sivj'

^ba-i^'
.
.

ir^vy^
cn'ii

|n

'^sni
-ip*j'

':n

sh

pn Qn«rn px
bv p^r^iDi.

.

NVJ'

131

Tj'X

ny c^d cm cnny

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN
courts

I41

same disparaging opinion about
prevalent
(n"j,

the

Arab

was

among
we

the Jews of Kairowan and North Africa
278,

Nos. 237,

and 324).

A

still

more scathing
note

criticism

find in

another responsum by a Spanish scholar

of that

time

(ry'icj,

No. 199, see

Miiller,

i).

The

Rabbi maintains

that, firstly, the

Arabic documents of the

courts are unreliable because

by adding or omitting one
the Arabic script the whole

dot over or beneath a letter

in

meaning of a sentence can be changed.
courts accept witnesses without

Secondly, the
rely

knowing them, and

on

identifications the

witnesses give about themselves.^^*^
is

Miiller (note 6 to this responsum)

surprised at this prolaw, but

cedure as being against the

Muhammedan

we

shall

see later on that R. Hai in Pumbedita
parts of the

knew

that in

some

Muslim empire such a scandalous administrawas practised
(see also
lo'*^"

tion of justice

MuUer, Die Responsen

dcr spanischcn Lclirer des

Jahrhitndei'ts, p. 6 in the

seventh report of the Berlin LeJiranstalt, 1889),
Entirely different was the state of affairs
in

Babylon.

There a whole system of
brought to a high
level

jurisdiction

was devised and
legal

of efficiency

by the

school

which had as
(d.

its

founder the famous lawyer

Abu

Hanlfa

766

c. E., see

Kremer,

ibid.^ I,

491-7 and 504).

This

high standard seems to have been maintained
centuries.

for several

The Gaon Hai
Bagdad and
their

testifies

that

in

his

time the

courts of
selves
in

of other large cities excelled them-

care

exhibited
in

in

administering

justice.

Great care was shown

accepting witnesses, and therefore

N^N Nin

ij:>n:;'

D"yxi

nan

hv

r?:mm

'ji^s

nn

*ji^s

^jn

noiNi

142

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

deeds of property drawn up at these courts were accepted
as legal

by the court of the Gaon.
'

Yet R. Hai knew that
*,

there were

villages

and distant places

where the courts
and ac-

did not

come up

to that standard of perfection,

cordingly

documents

from

such

courts

found no legal

recognition in the opinion of the Jewish
see the Jewish scholars estimating the

courts.'^^^

We

thus

Muslim courts not

from the point of view of
concerned about
fair

fanatics,

but of lawyers primarily
justice.

and upright administration of

That the Jewish

authorities themselves solicited

the co''2,

operation of the secular authorities, the so-called "ixn
is

apparent from several responsa.

In monetary lawsuits,
leaders

whenever the Bet-Din or the communal

found

that their powers of coercion were inadequate, they used
to secure the help of the secular arm.

Correspondents

from Kairowan
to

("";,

No.

2^^^ in

the collection of responsa
of

Kairowan, Xos. 230-64)

inquire

the

Gaon with

reference to the

Din to pay

to

B

Jew A, who was sentenced by the Beta. sum of money, but does not obey the
Those witnesses that were accepted
by Hai since n"J, No. 239, a similar

ruling of the Bet-Din.
'^'

n"j, No. 278
is

in all probability
:

responsum,

by

him;,

nriDQ
o^i:

VB'JDy IJNtt' b's

nNTH njnnn

''2

D^hn:i
pyiv?:K'i

cnpD any x^s
xvl;*

niKanya 'fiip^ px
N*h
^r:

mm
pNnp:i
t^'^i

WTH

pan
N*\-n

nxi^n IN

nan n^i np-j' nni nao nor b]} n^yn ns'
^ix
i:!:vj*n

p^bv n^y i6iy
p^nyro^x

cn-'j'yi

iba

paa

cma
1121:^

imxn

pjn 'r: i:n

i^n-pi

pbiy

mxaiya nnyn nx m^oi

niancni .dv bzi D^u'y» v'^ay i::n:D pi .ij^vx xin

p
;i'""i

-[2
. .

irny^
.

]'2'^^r]

ci:,-!

n^y^r 'd
b^)
nvj'

jna c* bana-j^ m^in:.!

nnnxn
p:"'i^'D

ip'^

nano

p-j'

nana
frx'j*
p:::

-inrnb

panDi

|ma
jn

jna
.
.

nyn^
.

ni:3T3i

ninp"j>
i;x

x^x in
px
li^x

c^'^moi

d^ddi moipo
p^ci:i.

p'nnD'j' pTU'st:

jn'nvnyD p:n:i
No. 4

Cp. also n"i, Xo. 324, probably written

in
;

1016 by Hai to Kabes, see
i*"^',

Harkavy,

{bid., p.

156, note 8

;

H":, No. 233

84

b,

;

1";,

No. 51.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN

143

by the Jewish court
of the Jewish

will

not be accepted by the Arabic

judges, and the question arises whether influential people

community may go

to the

Muslim court and
by the help

give evidence on the strength of the sentence of the BetDin, in order that justice should be carried out of the secular authorities.
especially
if

The Gaon

allows this procedure,

there are indications that the defendant

B

is

going to escape.

A

similar responsum

we have

in v"c,

84 b, No. 4 (assigned by the 'Ittur to Sherira).

In the

place of the correspondents there was no fixed Bet-Din,

but the

communal

leaders used to settle disputes arising
is

between Jews.

If their ruling

not obeyed, the

Gaon

decides, the help of the secular authorities
cured.-^in

may
we

be pro-

In a Genizah

Fragment (published by Schechter

Berliner's Festschrift,

Hebrew
difficult

Part,

112)

find

the

Dayan
justly
ruler

Elijah

complaining that 'from
it

the majority of

our congregation

is

to recover

anything un-

appropriated,

unless

through

the

power

of

the

'.-^^

This

letter

was hardly sent from Egypt, as
18-19 show that the writer only

Schechter maintains;
passed through Egypt
139,

11.

(cp. also Poznaiiski,
i).

and Babyl. Geon., 99, note

XLVII, Perhaps this Dayan
existed a Karaite

RE J.,

held his office in

Damascus where there
b.

community.

Probably Sahl

Masliah had this practice

of the Rabbanite authorities in
"=^

mind when he accuses them
naiD^
No.
c'^rin

^xi

0^133

ninn
'

pai:

^xiw'^

i^wn

psc'

mp?23i

n^Sn.

Cp. further

Gaonic
S., vol.

Decrees and
IV, p. 27
;

Documents'

(published
:

by
.
.

Aptowitzer, JQR., N.

V (NnamK)

"ID

!?:d1

.

D^iyn.

See also R. Yeruham,
D""):

Dn'.T''?^,

I,

12 (beginning)
bx-iLV'
'•j-'n

imJ-iDTiTC*

nO

Vi\n ID

h^ nisoiyn ix^nn^

^i3^

'•jd!'

xni? 3-id?:;i

"3 imD^j2

mn

nsn n"3 dt' nnn?^ n^n

N'i;in!?jD

Cu'p i3»y *J3

am.

144

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
power
(D^SJnDi D'^n:nDl

of enlisting the help of the secular
LinD:n "D^b^'i)

Dinai

"-n^ja

Dr^'bv

D^i^jnoi, in

Pinsker, 'nip^

nrjitDlp. D^nsDJ, 31. bottom).^^*

From some community

the

complaint came to R. Hai that there were refractory people

who

did

not listen to the Bet-Din and committed
'

evil

deeds, while

the government was a grievous one

'

and

afforded no assistance to the

communal

leaders.-^'

The

whole problem of the power of the Jewish courts and the

communal
but one.
(d)

leaders will be discussed fully in the chapter next

We

shall

now

discuss the

material which the re-

sponsa furnish concerning Jewish masters and their slaves.
It
is

generally assumed that the Jews of the Gaonic period
in

were very active

slave-trade (see
I,

Heyd,

GescJiichte d.

Levante-handels im Mittelalter,

139,

and Dr. Abrahams,
It is

Jewish Life

in the

Middle Ages, 96

ff.).

noteworthy

that of the considerable

number of responsa
R.

that deal with

slaves in the service of Jews, only a few refer to slave-trade as a trade carried on

by Jews.

Nahshon

of

Sura (874-83)
'

was asked by some community about

slave-trade.

In

our place people are used to buy slaves cheaply, and there
is

no better trade than

this.

May we
his

sell

them

at

once

without initiating them into Jewish
out

rites,

because only one
religion,

of a hundred

abide
profit

in

newly accepted
trade ?'^^^
:

and we get great
-'^

from this

The Gaon
X'13''

Yet Benjamin Nahavendi

also advocates this practice

NP DX1

n*j*

pn
.

v^y n^cynb

v^y Dn^yoi

fo'-jn

nst:^,

ed.

Firkovitz,

2a

bottom
216

Tj'ydv, No. 42:

pnaypi nj-t '3^
N\n
r\f:.'\>\

\^r\''^'i

^^

^"ah^ pj n's*

.

.

.

nsyc^
.
. .

NJ^^D^

N^i

r\'\'^

noi^oi Nin ni'p

pn

pc'^n \^^y\-i

iSri inn.

«>6 -iO'c,

26

b,

No. 27

:

pNi bna

onny

nijp^

iJDipm

\h''T\ nn^N'^'in

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
permitted this trade.

— MANN

145

Had
out
to

the Talmudic law
its

(Yebamot
slave-trade

48 b)

been

carried

full

extent,

could not have been carried on by Jews.

This Talmudic

law requires that every Jew should have his male slaves
circumcised and his female slaves initiated into the
of Judaism.
rites

With

their acceptance of

Judaism such slaves

must not be sold any more seem to have been very
R.

to non-Jews.

Some Geonim
Thus

strict

about these laws.

'Amram

{)i"i^,

25

b,

No. 18) does not allow a slave to be
unless this
is

retained even for a

month

slave consents to

become a Jew.
poned
the
for a

Only circumcision
a) a

allowed to be postb).

year (based on Yebam. 48
(Gittin

According to

Talmud

44

Jew who

sold his slaves that
to be fined
slaves.

had accepted Judaism to non-Jews was
Bet-Din ten times the value of the
which was spent on charity we
(v'c',

by the
fine

This

find

imposed by the Geonim

26

a.

No. 19) by R. Kohen-Sedek (either of Sura 845
;

or of Pumbedita 926)
S'ty,

27

b,

No.

37,

by R. Natronai
in

;

see

23

a,

No.

3,

end).

The

Catholici

'Irak

likewise

excommunicated Christian masters that sold
slaves to

their Christian

members of another
§ 77, in

religion (Jesubarnum, § 65,
op.
cit.).

and Timotheos,
that the

Sachau,

But

it

seems

Geonim had
the

difficulties in enforcing all these laws

amongst the people.
times,

Slave-trade was lucrative in those
great.

and

temptation was

Several Jewish

masters disliked to circumcise their slaves, because they

would not be able to
R. Hai
hh:i

sell

them any more

to non-Jews.

in

a responsum wonders that there should be a
pnn pnDiy pxc' nn^s^
lab C^l

Jew
urb

^NiK'''

p^D^

inn nnvo^

n-nno

nnin

mn
;

nSCn nnX N^K.
to

other references
if"ii',

to slave-trade as
;

carried on

by Jews are perhaps
n"J, No. 435.

be found in
'^''^,

8i

b,

No. 17

Geon., II,

150 'p"T\)

See also

27

b,

No. 38, by R. Natronai.

VOL. X.

L

T46

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
desires to

whose slave

become a Jew, but whose master
a,

prevents him (see v"c, 26
note) and Geon., II, 197).
of the

Nos. 20 and 21 {Einleit., 15,
in spite of the opposition

Thus,

Geonim, slave-trade apparently flourished among

Jews.

The Arabic geographer Ibn Kordadbeh,
in his

in

the

middle of the ninth century,
first

famous report (published

by Sprenger, Journal of
519
ff.,

^
1

the Asiatic Society of Bengal,

vol. 14, Part 2, 1H44,
tells

discussed in the next chapter)
that travelled from the country

of Jewish business
F" ranks

men

of the

so far as to China, and

who on

their

way back

used to bring slaves, both male and female, and eunuchs to
the Occident.
It

should be pointed out that Jews them-

selves were prohibited
slaves,

by a Talmudic law

to castrate their

and

this could

be done only by non-Jews, as we

learn from a Gaonic responsum.^^'

In Jewish

households slaves were as frequent as

in

any non-Jewish household.
it

In Arabic-speaking countries

appears that Jews were allowed to keep only Christian
but not

slaves

Muhammedan.

An

interesting

question

from Tlemsen sent to Hai shows us how Jews obtained
slaves for their households.

R. Hai's correspondents write
find

that there are places
slaves for sale.

where Jews
is

only Christian female
:

These a Jew

allowed to acquire legally

Muhammedan
great danger.

slaves he can obtain only secretly

and

at

Now
at

some of these Christian

slave-girls

accept

Judaism

once, others

ask for some time for

consideration, but the majority refuse to accept Judaism.

The

correspondents

describe
is

how

a Jewish

household

without a female slave
2"
.

in great trouble, since the wife
D''12]3

V'.l

,

No. 16

:

n:pN

'•JKl

DD1D

1^

w'^2'

''13^

lOS'J'
a,

^NTJ'"'

.

.

xin

mc:

-)n\-!i

di^jj

^aa pNi iniD ^c».

cp. x"tr, 23

No. 3:

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
or the daughters of the

— MANN

I47

from the

wells,

Jew would have to fetch water wash the linen by the side of the river, and

go to the baker's.

They

will

thus

come

into contact with

non-Jewish and profligate slaves and be exposed to dangers

and

disgrace.

The Gaon permits

these Jews to

retain

their female slaves, in spite of their not accepting the rites

of Judaism.

He

only enjoined the Jewish masters not to

employ

their slaves

on the Sabbath.^^*

This interesting

responsum, besides giving us a glimpse of the social conditions of those times,

shows

in the first instance that

Jews
is

were not allowed to have
further corroborated

Muhammedan

slaves.

This

by

j"n,

Nos. 12 and 13 (probably by

R. Paltoi of Pumbedita, (S42-58) especially according to

Halberstamm's MS.
told his master
'

(see

Einleit.^

27,

note

3).

A

slave

Either liberate

my

son or

I shall

become

a
eo

convert

',

i.

e.

he would become a Muslim and thus
(""J^

ipso liberate himself
\s*l).

ns mn*^ \2rh ncNB' nny

^"-IK'^I

non^^N N7

We
to

learn further from the above question

from

Tlemsen

R.

Hai that even

in

Muhammedan
become
Especially

countries Christian slaves could not be forced to

Jews.

This

is

corroborated by several responsa.
No.

218 >^n.»^

22

b,

6=

n":,

No. 431:

pxi*i?D
jni

D^mnM

pNU' mDipro
ninQ'^:'

Djnn nn^ nniD
N^N ni:p^
iniN*

D-iiani ni''iVD

ijoipna
)*in

nviVD x^n m:p^
fni:pi?

pn^jrD

px

po

b:iN

D"'nri\i

nx

n^jn^

p3-ii*:
jn-'sriD

niDipD trnxn
^y

\''^\-\-^r\

^n-Iw-m

^b

-nrn^ vi^r^ nrx"^
•i::-id:»-''

c'^i

jct nn^
jo

d^o ^^^.rh

in-j's*
D""!:

ix

rni^ai vja

s^c' "im-'a

^NTJ'''

niNvroji
p'^inn

piPDi
as

nina'.:'

oy ^niD^ nsv^i

mr-'yrrn

nj^Oai
"IJ

niXa.
closely

nVli'D
to

in the

bad Salonica print of the ^"^, where
ni''"l2n3.
it

are put so

appear as a O, really stands for
20
b.,

(Examine the word iTTlJO
clearly printed niHifJ.

in 'i"'C\

No.
p.

13).

In i*"ky 2 b, No. 17

is

See further n"3,
11,

224, note 10.

The abbreviated

responsum

in n"3,

No.

has also ni^jfj ninSB'.

L

2

148

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

male slaves could not be forced to become circumcised
even after the lapse of twelve months given
tion (cp. above, p. 145,
for considera-

and

v"u*,

23

a,

No.

i).

But as regards

female slaves

who

required only the ritual bath for their

initiation into the

Jewish

rites

we

find

cases of forcible

action on the part of the Jewish masters.

Sherira

{"i"'^,

25

b,

No.

16, nb^aum

D::ir\b

novy bv

rihip

ab'C^

nnviJ nnz'^

nm:) bv^) decides rightly that such an enforced ritual bath

has no

effect,

and the slave remains a Christian anyhow.
(of Sura.

But Sar Shalom
(sV, 27
a,

849-53)

's

of a different opinion

No. 32=n"'^, No. 255

=

3"n,

No.

16).

It

should

be kept

in

mind that

for a

Jewish household, a slave that

did not accept the Jewish rites was of no use.

The

slave

could neither cook, nor prepare the food, nor touch the Jew's wine, nor perform other domestic duties
23
a.

(see ^"'C,

No. 3

;

n""i:'.

No. 254

=

2"n,

No.

15).

In

some

places

Jewish masters were afraid that slaves,

who

did not accept

Judaism, would be used by their non-Jewish enemies as
a tool for denunciation and slander.-'-'

On
treated

the whole

we may assume
in

that the slaves were

humanely

Jewish households.

The very

fact

that they

became

half-proselytes helped to raise their status
their employers.

and

to elicit

sympathy from

Thus they
In
v"::',

were regarded almost as members of the family.
27
a,

No. 3 (by R. Semah

= 6^r^;/.,
slave,

11.

183,

1.

9)

there
to

is

mentioned the case of a
adopted Judaism,
in

who pretended

have

order not to be sold to non-Jews.

We
=»9

find further cases of masters

having their slaves or the
JD pN-|"nO fHB'

n":. No. 431 .end, and No. ir: WllVil
''Z'pir^b ^n*"ik'^
n'',?^n^r21.

mpD3l

ni33D ''Tb iKU'i Doni db'sj
"Ip^y

mo

"by i<b^ iT-^in^

ab^

^n

fnit< pt^'^pC

pS:- ^Xni

This again shows us the attitude

of the populace in Arabic countries towards the Jews.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN
("i"^,

I49
26 b,
(see

children of their slaves, instructed in the Bible

No.

29,

by Sherira
;

;

27 b, No. ^6,

by R. Nahshon
But
it

Einleit.y 14, note)

Geon., II, 83-4).
practice.

seems that the
slaves

Geonim

disliked

this

Sometimes

were

entrusted with the entire
affairs (see

management
b,

of their masters'
10,

vV, 26

b,

No. 29; 73
No. 79
;

No.

by R. Natronai
which
Mliller,

{Einleit., 14, note)=l"j,

p":,

No.

50,

Einleit., 25, assigns to R.

Meshullam or R. Gershon, hence,

a case of slaves in Christian countries).

The Roman custom
we
find
in

of manumitting a favourite slave before or immediately
after

the death of his master, which

vogue

among

the Jews in the Talmudic times, was also continued

in the period of the Geonim.

learn that the practice

From several responsa we was for a man to liberate before
Likewise the death of her

his death his favourite slave.

mistress

would

result in a female slave regaining her liberty
;

(see v'sy, 27 a,

No. 31

Geon., II, 83).

Female

slaves were

frequently included
their marriage
(v''^',

in

the dowries given to daughters on
b,

45

No.

7,

by Samuel

b.

Hofni

;

5^ b,

No.

8,

probably by Sherira;
the Bet-Din
affording

^"^ci,

No. 320).

Generally
of the
the

we

find

looking after the

interests

slaves

and

them

protection.

Following

Talmudic maxims, the Geonim would

force, for

example,
free

the heirs of a man, that declared his slaves to be
after

his

death,

to

carry out
a,

the will

of the
b,

testator

(see

vV, 26 b, No. 25; 25

No. 14; 27

No. ^6, end).

Once R. Sadok
ICxilarch to

(of Sura, 823-5) even forced the son of the

comply with the Talmudic
to the

rule in such a case,

and grant freedom

slaves of his testator, a late

member
v6

of the Exilarch's family.-^*^
II,

The
]'0

Christian eccle-

"0 Geon..
"Tins::'

83

:

n3

\r\l

irD'iTI

HN-'-tiO

-^3

*7nN3 Ht^VD HNT ^^
"b

"ii^si

•'nny

"di^s

it^Ni

nivi

rwSim nay

vm iNnnB'

150
siastical

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
authorities in

Babylon likewise forced the

heirs,

by excommunicating them from the Church,
had been declared
in

to fulfil the

wishes of their testator and grant freedom to his slaves
that
§

free (so Henaniso.

V
' :

;

Jesubarnum,

66

Sachau,

op. cit.).

Another case R. Nahshon men'i"'^,

tions in a

responsum

in

27 b, No. 33

A

slave swore

not to serve his master.'

Seeing the great binding force

of the oath with Jews, the slave wanted to gain his liberty
in this

manner.

But the Gaon decided to take no heed

of the slave's oath.

On

the other hand

we

find the Bet-

Din imposing
certain people

flagellation
(i"w',

on a slave because he assaulted
4,

29 b, No.

probably by Sar Shalom,

see Einleit., 14, note).

If a slave of a

Jew did not observe

the rites of Judaism into which he was initiated, his master

was allowed to

sell

him

to non-Jews.

We have the evidence
rites

of the responsa that the greatest majority of the slaves in

the service of Jews did not observe the Jewish

(see

^'X 23
431,

a,

No.

3,

but

cf.

d"ic:i,

No. 49;

n"j,
;

Nos. iii and

by Sherira

as regards the

Sabbath

v'V, 27 a,

No. 30,

by R. Semah).

Likewise

if

a Jewish master was discovered
his

committing immorality with

female slave, the master

was severely punished and the
2 b,

slave sold to
15).

non-Jews

{^"^,

No.
All

17, cp.

25

a,

Nos. 13 and

the

responsa discussed

in

this

paragraph,

when

taken together, acquaint us with the position of the slaves
in

the service of Jews.
it

However

great an evil slavery was
in

in those times,

should not be overlooked that

Jewish

nnn

n^yrr-j*

in:n

i-nv^

n''''Q3"i

.

.

.

ps'j

\>v\^

m

nc

i:^j'"y

mso
ia

Nnn'»m

ND^J pn^ ^n^l

Xm^J C^n pnV"T.
ft".

a

similar case

we

have

the Decisions of the Catholicos Henaniso, No. VII (Sachau,

ibid., p. 14).

See Aptowitzer,

ibid.,

12

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
scivice the slaves enjoyed perfect rest on the

— MANN

151

Sabbath and
Further, their

the Jewish Festivals, just as their masters.

having adopted Judaism

made

their

lot

more

tolerable.

They were
?":,

therefore treated with

more

consideration.

In

No. 118, the Rabbi, probably Kalonymos of Lucca,

writes that the well-known prayer for the dead, the Kaddish,

should also be recited for slaves that observed the Jewish
rites

(^np nn»"iN mv^xn nx
{-i"^,

DncK'*:^:'

D-nnyn bv i^^dm).

In

another responsum
a slave

23

b,

No.

5)

we

find the case of

whom

his

Jewish master sold to a non-Jew, and

who on

gaining his freedom from his second master desires
Finally, the Jewish master

to remain henceforth a Jew.

was personally

free

from the blame of the cruelty of
146).^^'^

castrating his slaves (see above, p.
2-1

Yet Dozy

iGeschichie der

Maurcn

in Spanieii,

II,

38) writes, 'The-

Jews,

who

speculated on the miser3^ of the nations, bought children of both

sexes and brought them to ports where Greek and Venetian ships called to transport them to the Saracens. Other slaves, destined for attendance at
the harems,
for

came from France where there existed
'.

large establishments
1877, 219, 4)

eunuchs managed by Jews

As Harkawy (T'JDn^ nsliM,
facts
is

rightly remarks,
tor the

Jew-hatred rather than the actual

the

reason

above statement as well as for the assertion of the Arab writer
al-Mukaddasi al-Bashari that the slaves from the Slav countries

Muhammad

are brought to
486, note 32)

Baganah (near Almeria
inhabitants are

in

southern Spain, see above, VII,
castrate

whose

Jews and who

them

there.

{To be continued.)

152

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

CORRIGENDA
p. 148, note 105, P. 151, note 120,
1.

IN VOL,
Sel. = 998

IX, 139
3I*.

ff.

I.

F(yr Tos, Ber.

316 read

1.

2.

/or 310
1.

rrarf(i) 310 Sel.

= 999

c. E.

Pp. 156,
P. 160,
P. 165,
I.

1.

21,

and 167,

27.

/or part
Joshua.

H

read

Hebrew

part.

9.

Foy Elhananan read Elhanan.

1.

14.

/or Juda
1.

rfrtrf

P. 169, note 163,

3 from the bottom.

Forvfe read were.

Vol. IX, p. 415, note
P. 417, P. 420,
1.

8.

For
in

i

Sam.

4.

3 read ^. 13.

18.
15.

For Suhlan read Sahlan.

1.

/or become

MS. rend

are styled.

WILLIAMS'S THE HEBREW-CHRISTIAN

MESSIAH
The
Hebrew-Christian
Messiah,
or

The

Presentation
St.

of

the

Messiah to the Jews in the Gospel according to
being Twelve
Society

Matthew,

Lectures

delivered

before

the Honourable

of Lincoln's

Inn on the Foundation of Bishop
1911-15.

Warburton

in the years

By A. Lukyn Williams,

D. D., with an Introductory Note by the Bishop of Ely.
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, 1916.
pp. xxii

+ 425.
They
are in the

The

purposes of this volume are clearly set forth by the
first

author in his preface.
interpretation

place to offer an
in

of the leading
their relation to

ideas contained

the book of

Matthew,

in

the ideas current at the time of
secondly, to

the apostle

in

his

Jewish surroundings;

seek

to

apply some of these ideas to the needs and requirements of the
present time; and, thirdly, to offer a clearer and more exact know-

ledge of Jesus as the Messiah to the Jews of to-day.

Matthew

was written primarily
in

for

Jewish Christians, to strengthen them

their

new

faith

and

to provide

them with arguments against

the objections of their Jewish brethren.
well be regarded as a presentation

Hence

the

book might

of the Christ to the Jews,

and by a modern restatement of

its

main ideas

the same purpose for the Je\vs of the present

may also serve time. The author
it

endeavours consciously and conscientiously not to allow the

last

two purposes

to affect the

main aim of the book, which
His piety and

is

exe-

getical in the larger sense.
faith

zeal in behalf of his

and

his loyalty to his particular

denomination cannot but
theme,
is

find an

echo

in his discussion of the various subjects of his

although

it is

his intention to

be purely
153

scientific.

Our author

154

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
own
beliefs

honest, both in his

and

in the appeal that

he wishes

them

to

make

to others,

and

this

honesty of purpose and candid-

ness in the presentation at once attract the sympathetic interest

and regard of the
Christian

reader.

In questions which do not involve a
is

dogma our author

critical

and

exact,

and frequently
back

displays originality of thought

and a

firm grasp of the subject.
is

Where, however. Christian doctrine

concerned he

falls

on

his faith, so that his

arguments have an appeal only to such as

are possessed of a faith like his own.
familiarity with the literature

He

shows a considerable
he
is

on the

subject, although

not

always careful to distinguish the value of the various sources from

which he draws

his information.

The

first

chapter of the book deals with the question of the
first

genealogy of Jesus, his meeting with John, and his
in Galilee.

appearance

The

simple faith of the author
it

is is

indeed appealing,
far

though

his effort to give

a scientific basis

from successful.

The
at

position of the various sects in the Jewish
is

Commonwealth

the time of Jesus

fully discussed

in

the second chapter.

Dr. Williams dismisses the Essenes as being entirely outside of
his inquiry, since their doctrines

had no influence on the early

Christians.

The opinion

of Graetz and other scholars that the

teachings of the Essenes had a decided influence on the develop-

ment of early

Christianity he regards as unproved by any substantial
life

argument (compare the recent presentation of the
story form by George Moore
in his

of Jesus in
it

The Brook Kerith, where

is

made
but

to appear that the Essenes played a very important part in

the mental development of Jesus).
little

The Sadducees

also are given

space in the discussion, since they paid no attention to

the invitation of the Messiah, because of their worldly interests

and lack of

spiritual insight.

The main

interest of our author

centres about the Pharisees and the contradictory estimates of

them

in

the (iospels and in the Jewish sources of the

same

period.

After quoting copiously from

modern Jewish
used
in

authors,

who

present different solutions to this difficulty, the author comes

to the conclusion that the

term
is

'

hypocrite
to

'

connexion

with the Pharisees in

Matthew

be given a more extended

'

WILLIAMS

S

HEBREW-CHRISTIAN MESSIAH
it

— GREENSTONE 155
The
Pharisees were

connotation than the one given to

now.

indeed deeply religious, seeking righteousness and loving God,
but shallow in their religious conceptions and 'lacking submission
to

God and

his

ways of salvation

'.

The

reader cannot help but

sympathize with the author in his
zeal in

difficulty
it,

and appreciate

his

endeavouring to find a solution to

but, after reading
still
'

the lengthy argument which he advances, he
to agree with the verdict given

may

be inclined
if

by Mr. Herford that
inability to

there was

on the part of the Pharisees a complete

comprehend

the religious position of Jesus, there was also on his part an
inability to

comprehend the

religious position of the Pharisees

[^Pharisaism, p. 170).

Our author
to

treads

on more slippery ground when he begins
attributed
to

consider the

miracles

Jesus

in

the Gospels.

Assuming the
our author

truth of the miraculous narratives, not only as they
true,

appeared to the contemporaries of Jesus, but as essentially
still

endeavours to connect the miracles with natural
scientific theories of disease.

phenomena and with
the
miracles,
labels

He

classifies

them

with

modern

designations,

comes

dangerously close to the modern Christian Science theories, and

even endeavours to prove their veracity by actual experiences.
It is futile to

argue about such matters, but to induce a belief in

Jesus as the Christ in a

modern Jew more

substantial proofs than

those based on Jesus as the Healer will be necessary.

In the consideration of Jesus as the Teacher, to which three
chapters are devoted,
it

is

but natural for our author to begin

with a comparison bet\veen Jesus
time.

and the Jewish teachers of
insight,

his

Freely and generously
zeal,

conceding the greatness of the
their pedagogic
still

Rabbis, their religious

and

their

masterful presentation, the author

claims superiority for Jesus,

a superiority which lay mainly in his personality. with
this
'

In connexion
as

several

specific
'

teachings

of Jesus,
',

the

'

Lord's

Prayer

and the dictum

love thy enemies

are taken up and
this consideration

compared with
also

similar Jewish teachings.

In

enters

the

discussion

regarding

the

permanence of the

Jewish

Law

taught by Jesus, which apparently contradicts the

156

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
the
inefficacy

teaching of Paul regarding

of the
is

Law.
given

Here
Jesus

a distinction in the meaning of the term Torah
using the term in
its

broad and
ritual

spiritual significance, while

Paul

was thinking only of the

and

legal aspect of

it.

This leads
it

our author to the discussion of the subject whether
or
desirable
at

is

possible

the

present time to have a Hebrew-Christian
of which

Church,

the

members

should

be adherents of the
at the

orthodox Jewish customs and ceremonies and

same time

good

Christians.

His conclusions are not

in

harmony with the

resolutions adopted recently at the oecumenical conference held
in St. Louis.

The

ethical teachings of the

Sermon on the Mount
that

are then taken up

and discussed

in

comparison with the ethical

teachings of contemporary Judaism.
there was nothing

The author admits
in the exposition

new

or original in the doctrines enunciated,

but that the force of the Sermon lay rather

and
im-

the emphasis placed on certain well-known principles.
practicability of the actual application of
is

The

some

of the formulae

explained on the ground that they were not meant for the

masses, but only for the few select, those
'

who

feel

themselves

poor in

spirit'

and maintain

their

complete dependence on God.
to the

The
in

seventh, eighth,

and ninth chapters are devoted
is

discussion of the three terms by which the Messiah

designated

Matthew

— the Son of
for the

David, the Son of Man, and the Son of

God.

Not content

to take the

term

'

Son of David merely
'

as

a synonym
to

Messiah, Dr. Williams goes into great detail

prove the Davidic descent not only of Joseph but also of
his belief in the

Mary, which he considers necessary because of
virgin birth of Jesus.

In the term

'

the

Son of
first

Man

'

our author
it

sees several distinct connotations.

In the

place,

implies
its

weakness, privation, and suffering, the ideas suggested by
in

use

the

book of

Ezekiel.

On

the other hand,

it

also implies the

idea of the perfection of the
fore receptive of authority

human
on

soul 'akin to

God and

there-

earth,
'

and

to be

made supreme
refuses to see

hereafter

'.

In the

title

'

Son of God our author

a

mere

figure of speech, but, like the truly
is,

orthodox Christian

that he

he takes

it

in its literal sense,

denoting not only a moral

WILLIAMS
and a

S

HEBREW-CHRISTLW MESSIAH — GREENSTONE 157
but also an actual relationship with the divine.

spiritual,

The

incarnation of the divine spirit in

human form
implies
is

is,

according
real

to our author, not only reasonable but necessary,

and the

meaning of such a

belief

and

all

that

it

fully

appreciated

and minutely discussed by him.

The
chapter.

relation

of early Christianity
is

to

the

apocalyptic

and

pseudepigraphic writings

given

full

recognition in a separate
as to

Our author
in

is

perplexed by the problem

the

manner
be
?

which Jesus understood the prophecies about the

Kingdom
to

of God, which form the

main subject of these books,
with his appear-

fulfilled in

him.

Has
in

the
?

Kingdom come
is
it

ance

will

it

come

very soon

or

to
?

be delayed to a remote
Passages are found
in

future,

as

indicated
that

these

books

Matthew

may be

interpreted to prove one or the other of
it is

these suppositions.

While

admissible to presume that Jesus
is
'

was mistaken, although

this

exceedingly improbable

',

he

could not be so blind as to imagine that the whole Jewish nation

would accept him as the Messiah and follow

his teachings.

Jesus

was certain that a long period would pass before

his return

on the

'clouds of heaven', but, because he employed trenchant language
in the picturesque presentation of his hopes, his hearers

supposed

that the time of the

Kingdom would be
is

here very soon.

While
it

the nature of the predicted change
plain that
it

not definitely stated,

is

was not

to

be gradual but rather catastrophic.

Dr. Williams lays the blame for the crucifixion of Jesus both

upon the Jews and the Romans
in

alike.

The Sadducees were then
guilt.

power; hence they are made to bear the burden of the

The

Pharisees, however, as well as the great Jewish masses, were

not only pleased with the execution, but probably also helped and
abetted
it.
'

The shame

is

that the Jews, the

most enlightened

nation of the time, with a knowledge of God, theoretical and
practical,
far

surpassing any other, acted as they did.

.

.

.

Tlie

history of the Passion suggests, not that the

Jews were sinners

above

all

others, but that there

was and

is

something radically
best representatives
love.'

wrong with the whole human
act thus towards the

race,

when
truth

its

embodiment of

and holiness and

;

158
Jews
will

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
be ready
to agree with this last statement,

because of

their bitter experiences, through

many centuries,

with the followers

of Jesus.

The

death of Jesus, however, was not an accident but rather
Jesus died so that he might serve as

a part of the divine plan.

a ransom for the sins of his people.

But only the

sins of those

who

believed in him would be atoned by his death.
to

His advent
in

and death were not

work a mechanical change

the world.
for

The change

of soul that a belief in

him works prepares one

the benefits derived from his death.

Our author does not

shirk

the difficulty of the doctrine of vicarious atonement, but he asserts
his firm belief in
it.

it

and proves

that

Matthew

certainly believed in

Our author

also declares his firm belief in the resurrection of

Jesus, as narrated in
this resurrection

Matthew and

in the other Gospels.

And

was

in the body, although the

body may have
our
the
to

been a kind of refined matter.

Combining sound scholarship with a
author has succeeded in clearing
believing Christian.

fiery religious zeal,

many moot

points

for

His

critical faculty frequently gives

way

his religious enthusiasm,

and
It is

this

should be a merit rather than

a

fault to the believer.

true that his purpose to reach the

intelligent

Jew has not been attained, not so

much because

of

his lack of knowledge of Jewish sources, but rather because of

his

lack of understanding
its

and appreciation of the Jewish soul
sympathy, but not conviction

and

strivings.

His

zeal arouses

his simple faith

and

sincerity call forth admiration, but
will find in this

do not

persuade.

Still,

even the Jewish reader

volume

much

that will

be of value and

interest to him.

Julius H. Greenstone.
Gratz College.

;^7

THE DOT

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

Ry Hartwig Hirschfeld,

Jews' University Colleges,

London.

The

dot

is

the smallest thing seen in any table of
its

Semitic alphabets, yet
well-nigh impossible.

absence would render their study
it

Without

half the characters of

the Arabic alphabet would be meaningless.

Had

an ancient

Arabic poem been handed down to us by the grammarians
without diacritical points,
read
it
it,

wc should have been unable
of ambiguities.
If

to

and even under the most favourable circumstances
full

would have been

the Jewish

Masoretes had not provided the Hebrew Bible with vowel
points,
it

would

for ever
is

have remained a sealed book.

Ample

proof of this

furnished

by the Semitic

inscriptions

which contain a large number of words of which we can
only give an approximate translation without being certain
of
its

correctness.

When

reading

Arabic,

Syriac,
signs,

and

Hebrew

texts unprovided with dots

and reading

we

are only able to do so

by applying what the grammarians
us.
its
it

and Masoretes have taught
carries Semitic philology

The

dot, so to speak,
It is also

on

tiny shoulders.

of psychological interest, as

show^s

contrived with such simple
of words, clauses, periods,
different

means

to

how the human mind mark the division
;

and

sections

to indicate the

sounds
to

appertaining to characters
the variations

of

uniform

shapes

;

characterize

arising

from the

grammatical inflexion of verbs and
assist in the correct reading of

nouns, as well as to
letters of identical

groups of

VOL. X.

159

M

l6o

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
This does not exhaust the functions of the

appearance.
dot.
It

has been employed singly and collectively, occa-

sionally varying in shape, size, and colour,

and has even
It
is

entered fields outside Semitic linguistics.
geration to say that the
writing
is

no exag-

dot

employed
its

in

our present

a direct descendant of

old Semitic ancestor.

I.

The Dot
oldest

Disjunctive.
Semitic inscriptions known,

If

we compare the

viz.

those of Oerdek-Burnu^ and Ba'al Lebanon on one

hand, and the Moabite stone and the inscription of King

KLMU
the
first

on the

other,

we

at

once

perceive

a

marked

difference between both groups.

Whilst the characters of
letters in the

have sharp angles, several

two others

bend
letter.

their tails slightly to the

left, i.e.

towards the next

This

is

obviously an inchoative tendency towards

cursiveness. indicating a later date.
istic

A

common

character-

of these inscriptions

is

that the words are separated
is

by

dots.

Only the Ba'al

Lebanon bowl, which

of metal,

has no dots.

The Moabite

stone even goes further, and
lines.

divides sentences

by perpendicular

From

all

this

we may gather
tions

that the authors of the three stone in.-crip-

just

mentioned

were

so

much imbued with

the

importance of what they wished to convey to posterity
that they insisted on absolute clearness of the text, and

endeavoured to prevent any ambiguity that might
from any
letter

arise

coming

in

contact

with

its

neighbour.

We
tion
viz.

also find dots between the words in the Siloam inscripas well as
in

the

Aramaic

inscriptions

of Zenjirli,
later

Hadad, Panammu, and Bar Rekub.
^

These are of

See Lidzbarski. Epiicnuris,

III,

pp. 192 sqq.

THE DOT

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

— HIRSCHFELD

l6r

date than the first-named group, belonging to the eighth
pre-Christian century.

Being royal inscriptions they were
reason
as

provided with dots for the same

the

others.
is

As

to

the

Siloam inscription, although no sovereign
in
it,

mentioned

it

was of national importance, and carved

on behalf of some high authority, being part of a scheme
of architecture for the public benefit.
It is

probable that
as the

the

work of cutting the

inscription as well

whole

building project was

interrupted

before

it

was

finished,

because

it is

not likely that so telling a communication was
in the

intended to remain hidden
all

bowels of the earth for
in

ages.

Something must have been

contemplation

to

render the inscription accessible to readers, otherwise

there

was no purpose

in

carving

it.

The two Nerab
still

inscriptions

which also belong to the ancient Aramaic
later

group show no dividing dots, but they are of

date and private character, being devoted to the

memory

of priests.

Dotless likewise are the legends on the Babylo-

nian lion weights, but they are of metal, and the words
are separated

by

space.

No

dots are found on the Gezer

calendar"^ which,

though of great antiquity, only represents

the scribbles of a private individual.

The

dots which

separate the words in the

.Aloabite

stone have been used to throw suspicion on the genuineness
of the inscription.^

The

validity of this suspicion has been

disproved by the deliberate opinion of the best authorities
of Semitic

epigraphy.
all

If justified,

the same

suspicion

would apply to

other inscriptions mentioned before.
If so,

Are they

all

falsifications?

we must

also include

the South Arabian inscriptions in which
-

the words are

See Pal. ExpL

F., Jan. 1909, pp.

26 sqq.

3

ZDMG., LIX,

pp. 236 and 744.

M

a

l62

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

separated by perpendicular lines as well as some Carian

ones which show the same
in the JMoabite stone, so far

feature."^

The

lines

and dots

from being a source of doubt,
its

add a fresh argument
It
is

in

favour of

authenticity.

worth while examining the whole question of

dividing dots in other inscriptions, especially Phoenician.

In the

home

country, Carthage and

Marseilles,

no dots

were used.
Cyprus.
word.

The bulk
I,

of dotted inscriptions belongs to
is

In CIS.,

46 and 91, a dot

found after every

In Nos. 11, 92, and the two bilingual ones, viz. 89
in the

and Tamassos,^ dots are frequent both

Phoenician

and Cypriote

texts.

It is,

however, to be noted that they

are missing in set phrases, such as dates and benedictory
conclusions.
dots, or only

In

some

inscriptions there are three or

two

one dot.
is

Others have none.

The employi.e.

ment of dots
kings

in

the main restricted to the period of the
his
If

Malkiyaton and

son

Pumiyaton,

between

the years 391 and 354.

we compare
all this
it,

these dates with
find that the

those of the Phoenician

home country we
although

former are older.

Now

does not permit
are entitled to

us to deduct any definite rule from

we

say that the dots, where found, were not inserted in a

haphazard fashion, but with the
as guides.
It

distinct

purpose of serving

seems that

theii-

gradual disappearance went
in

hand

in

hand with the development

writing towards

cursiveness.

Between the Ba'al Lebanon and the other

Phoenician inscriptions (beginning with that of Byblus)
several centuries elapsed during which, in the Phoenician

coast towns and other centres of Phoenician culture, the
art of reading

and writing had probably become so popular

that no dividing dots were
*

deemed necessary except where
p. 137.
'=

See Sayce, Proc. SBA., IX,

Not

in

CIS.

THE DOT

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY
For

— HIRSCHFELD
I,

163

ambiguity was to be prevented.

this reason the

Latin
143)

text of the Sardinian trih'ngual inscription {CIS.,

has several dots to indicate the missing
words.

letters of
is

abridged

The

intentional

omission

of dots
first

peculiarly

noticeable in

the

double text of the

half
lid

of the of the

Eshmun'azar

inscription, the

two parts on the

sarcophagus being merely divided by the space of the width
of one
letter.''

An

interesting relic of an earlier habit are
I,

the three dots in the Piraeus inscription, CIS.,
its

118,

and

characters are visibly
'

more archaic than those
of Athens, which
is

of the

famous
96
B. C.

wreath
It

'

inscription

dated

may seem

strange that the

Thugga

inscription

has a dot after every word, although
a very advanced state.
for

the writing shows

This may, however, be accounted
language
is

by the

fact that the

a mixture of Punic

and Berber, and a clear division of the words was necessary
in order to assist the reader.

The very obscure Sardinian

inscription, CIS.,

I,

149,' has

many

dots, but they are not

placed regularly, and also here the dots appear to have

been put

in as

guides for the better reading of this very

cursive writing.

Whatever reason the engraver had

to put

the dots
It is

in,

they cannot be regarded as a sign of lateness.

not superfluous, at this juncture, to

make

a brief

diversion into ancient

Greek palaeography which presents

features akin to our subject.
in

We

have seen above that
lines.

some Carian
is
it

inscriptions

words are separated by

This
but
*

also the case with at least one inscription of Thera,**

was

chiefly the dot

which travelled to Greek lands
is

The second

part of this inscription, which
is

not repeated on the back

oi

the sarcophagus,
'

probably of later date.
in the

There are no dots

Phoenician text of this inscription, but in the
letters of abridged
II,

Greek text dots indicate missing
*

words.

See Taylor, The History of the Alphabet,

p 31.


164
in the

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
company
of the Phoenician alphabet.

Double and
and Cypriote
in

single dots are frequent in Carian, Lycian,
inscriptions.

On

the islands of the

Aegean Sea and

Attica we find three and two dots in perpendicular position,
as well as single dots.^

The same
The

practice was observed in

ancient manuscripts.

retention of these dots can only
earlier

have been due to the preservation of an

custom,

as the conversion of the Semitic guttural letters into vowels

made
of

the separating dot really unnecessary.

There
dot,

are,

indeed,

many

old inscriptions without

any

as that
is

Abu

Simbel, several of Thera, and others.

There

no

need to go into this subject exhaustively, especially as
this

would require very far-going investigations, which
left

must be
inferred,

to specialists.

This much can, however, be
dots
in

that the gradual disappearance of the

Greek texts furnishes an interesting

parallel to the

same

phenomenon

in

Semitic palaeography.

The most
punctuation
is

extensive use of the dot for the purpose of

found

in

Syriac manuscripts, either singly to

mark

the end of a clause, or in groups to close a sentence,

paragraph, or section.

This practice arose

in

the sixth

century, and developed later into a complicated system,

a

full

survey of which

is

given

by Duval ^" who, on

the

authority of Barhebraeus, presents no less than forty-six
different groups.

That

this

was

not, however, the beginning
shall see presently.

of the use of the dot in Syriac

we

In Ethiopic, words are separated from each other by

two dots placed one above the
accounted
'•'

other.

This

may

be

for

by two reasons

first,

their being a relic
&c.

See Roehl, Inscriptiones graecae
&c.

antiqitissiiiiac (1882), 2, 31,

;

CIA.,

I,

8, 34, 44,

TraitJ de giatttwaiie syriaqtic, pp. 146 sqq.

THE DOT

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

— HIRSCHFELD

165

of the perpendicular line of the South Arabian inscriptions
as well as in Ethiopic inscriptions of the older style, notably

those discovered

by Rueppell

^^
;

second and chiefly because

the nature of Ethiopic characters with their hooks, strokes,

and ringlets affixed on either
prevent misunderstandings.

side,

made

it

necessary to

This view

may

be supported
inter-

by the

fact that prefixes are

simply added without

vening dots.

Similar reasons are probably responsible for

the dots between the words in Samaritan waiting, which
also

abounds

in

small strokes and points striking out from

the

body

of various consonants.

In Nabataean, Palmyrene,
is

Mandaitic, and Arabic texts this dot
contrary, ligatures are
inscriptions

unknown

;

on the

common.
amount

In Nabataean and Sinaitic

we

find letters of

words often run into the next
of difficulty to the decipherer.

one, causing a certain

This, on the other hand, leads to the conclusion that the

absence of the separating dot, together with cursive writing,

was the
writing,

result of a

widely spread faculty of reading and

and that both engravers and persons on whose

behalf inscriptions were cut had no fear that their legends

would not be read

correctly.
in

Hebrew

differs

this

respect

entirely.

When

the

square characters had been finally developed, any

artificial

means of disconnecting words from each other were unnecessary, because

the

rabbinical

law ordained that the
'iliis

separation should be absolute and clearly visible,

was done

in

order to prevent any possibility of ligatures.

The

practice

became

so strict that

it

was even adopted

for texts of private

nature.

In the two oldest

Hebrew

inscriptions in square characters, viz. those

of the Bene

Hezir and Kafr Bir'im, neither ligatures nor dividing dots
'1

Reisen in Abyssimeu, vol.

II (Atlas).

l66
are
to

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
be found.

The wisdom
of the

of this rule
in

is

seen in

Hebrew manuscripts

Middle Ages,

which the
its
it

cursive writing characteristic of each country with
ligatures causes considerable difficulty, although
in

many
helps

determining the

home and

often the age of the

manu-

script in question. for reading in

In the scrolls of the Pentateuch used
is

synagogues no dot or stroke

permitted.

The words are separated by space or vacant half lines. The division of the verses by double dots was introduced later when biblical books were copied in volume form. The oldest specimen known at present is the famous Codex
PetropoHtanus of the
practice
latter

Prophets dated 916.^-

This

was undoubtedly borrowed from Syriac manuscripts.

As

to Arabic, gilt dots

mark the end of

verses in

many
fre-

manuscript copies of the Ooran, and dots and stars
quently appear
in

the printed editions.

II.

The Dot
made

Diacritical.
first

The

diacritical dot

its

appearance above the
order to distinguish
it

resh in Palmyrene inscriptions

in

from the
dot
use
i.

ddlctJi.

It

is,

however, a notable

fact that this

is

not found

in

the older stones, and did not
of the

come

into

till

the end

second post- Christian century,
first

e.

about two hundred years after the
cut.
all.

inscriptions

had been

In

Nabataean

inscriptions this dot does

not exist at

As

to the origin of the
said,

Palmyrene dot
it

scarcely anything can be

except that

was probably

the outcome of necessity and actual misreading, and born
in

the

brain

of

some

resourceful

person

who found

it

advisable to help the reader in the distinction of these two
letters.
'2

The absence
Dots before
silltiq,

of dots
see Kahle,

in

the preamble
p.

of the

ZDMG., LV,

194 rem.

THE DOT
Palmyrene

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

— HIRSCHFELD
137,

167

tariff,

which dates from the year

must

have caused embarrassment to unskilled readers,
in the first line, dalctJi

as, e. g.

and

rcsli

stand

in close

proximity

looking one exactly like the other.
tion to the dot dividing words, in

Thus

in contradistincit

Palmyrene

assists in

determining approximately the terminus a quo of undated
inscriptions.
Its

employment did

not,

however, become
inscriptions of the

general at once, and there are
third century in

many
is

which

it

is

only sporadically given.
found
in

From

Palmyra

it

wandered to Syria, and

manuscripts
It is absent,

as early as the beginning of the

fifth

century.

however, from
In manuscripts

Syriac
it

inscriptions of the

same

period. ^^

is

also used to

mark

the daletJi^ being

placed either inside or beneath the

letter.

A

double dot

put horizontally above a letter serves to mark the plural.

Even the device
for the

of using these

two dots above the

rcsJi

double purpose of marking the letter and indicating

the plural occurs in the
this contrivance is

same old manuscript.
not known, but
it

To whom To

due

is

was probably

the outcome of the exigencies of teaching the young. the same cause
it is

we may

ascribe the dot
tt.

above 3 whenever

equivalent to Greek

In

Hebrew only one

diacritical point
sliln.
it

is

used, viz. that

which distinguishes sin from

The

period

when

this

was introduced
very early.

is

not known, but

could not have been

The
left

dot

on sin was not from the outset

placed on the
its

side, as in the

Cod. Petropolit.
letter.
it

it

has
the

place over

the

central

head of the
is

In

Moabite stone no difference

made, but

must not be

overlooked that we are not well informed as to any dis'^

The

inscription

published

in

ZDMG., XXXVI,

p.

159,

bears the

date 494.

l68

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

tiiictions

made by

the various

Semitic

nations

in

the

pronunciation of the sibilants, especially as sdviekh also
occurs several times in the

same

inscription.

The same

applies to ancient Aramaic and Phoenician inscriptions.

The dot over
D
^^

sin

was
'^'

in all

probability originally a small

placed above

in

the middle, which d subsequently

shrank to a mere dot.

SJdn with the dot on the right was

evidently an afterthought, and both were placed on the right

and on the

left

respectively for the sake of
is

symmetry.

The
of
is

largest use of the dot diacritical

made

in

Arabic

Moslim

times.

In South Arabian inscriptions no dot

found, neither do Arabic words in Nabataean ones
mark.^"'

show
is

any distinguishing
as

Arabic palaeography
in

not

yet very

far

advanced

spite
still

t'f

the rich material

extant, and

much
later

uncertainty

prevails.

The Arabic
seems
to

text of the trilingual inscription of

Zebed

^'^

have

been added

than the Syriac and Greek legends, since
its

the beginning formula bisniilldh, particularly in

abridged

form, could scarcely have been used prior to Islam.

What

might be taken
line
.^"

for a diacritical point

over

j

in

the second

of the Harran inscription seems to be a small hole

inthe stone

At any

rate the date

can scarcely be 463."*

Thus neither of these inscriptions shows any more trace
1*

See

also Kahle, Die Masoieten dcs Osten<, p. 119.

Nestle in Tiaiis;

actioiis

of the 9th Congress of Orientalists, Semit. section
p. 11.

nth Congress,
'C

The

latter

is

wrong

in
is

i, p 63 and assuming that the dot on

was always placed on
its
15
1" 18

the left side, but

right in
^'.

demanding

that

^

should have
e.g.

place in the dictionaries before
"^

"l''y

= ^.
in
If,

See ZDMG.,
p.

XXXV,

p.

530.

See Schroder

ZDMG., XXXVII,
011

530 rem.

Praetoriub's doubts as to the correctness of this date

{ZDMG., XXXV,

p.

749) are perfectly justified.

the basis of JJs.llj

we assume

the

era of the Martyrs,

we

should gain the year 847.

Several letters bear close

resemblance to the Zebed inscription.

THE DOT

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

— HIRSCHFELD
the other hand

169

of a diacritical point than the inscription of Basra which

dates from the
find dots

tivelftJi

century.^^

On

we
and
is

on gold dinars dating from

A. H. 82

(701)

^^

the next following years.

A

peculiarity of these coins

that double dots are placed one above the other.
earlier stages the
is

In

its

system was

far

from being

fixed.

This
90

confirmed by a document on papyrus dated

a. h.

(709),-^ in

which double dots run

in a slanting direction,

but on the whole dots are employed very sparingly.
in

Also

the well-known Arabic passport dated A. H. 133 (750),^^
all

which was granted to a Copt,
missing.

diacritical
in

points

are

In a genealogical work written
fol.

Cufic characters

(MS.

Berlin,

N.R. 37

a),

dating from the eighth centu'y,

stacks of three small slanting strokes over

d

stand for dots.

In other manuscripts (e.g. Brit. Mus. Or. 1270-3326) the
three dots over

^ are written
known,

in a

row.

As
which
its

is
is

well

in the ]\Iaghribine style of writing,
^-i

a direct descendant from the Cufic writing,

has

dot below >—5, and

j only one

dot above wJ.

In Cufic

manuscripts of the Ooran, coloured or gold dots stand
occasionally
for

Jtamza, jazin, and tammn^-^ but chiefly
shall see later on.

for vowels as

we

In several of these

manuscripts small black strokes take the place of diacritical
points, but they

seem

to have been

added

later. ^^
it

As
is

these specimens are chiefly

known from fragments
Mem.
i

impossible to ascertain their exact dates, but the practice
''

See ZDMG., See

XXXI,

p. 135

;

see also van Berchem, ClAr.

miss.

arch. 18(^4.
''"

St. L. Poole,

The Coins of the Easttiii Khalee/ehs,

I,

p.

sqq.

^^

See Becker, Papynis Schott-Reinhardl.

22

ZDMG., XXXIV,

pp. 685 sqq.

^ See
2^

also Noldeke, Geschichte des Qordn, pp. 326 sqq.

See Molier, Palaeographische Beitrdge aus den herzoglichen Sammhiitgen IV
to VI, XII.

in Gofha, tables

170

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

of using coloured dots seems to have lasted some time,

developing a great variety.

In one specimen the diacritical
lines.^^

points appear as horizontal green
It is

beyond doubt

that the diacritical points in

Arabic

took their origin from Syriac.

This, however, does not

explain everything, especially the three dots over

o

and

^_;i.

As

for

the

latter,

it

may

be suggested with some show

of reason that the three dots which, as
in a straight
line,

we have

seen, stand
C'

represent the three heads of the

in

Nabataean and

Palmyrene, or Hebrew square writing.
b*

We

have also seen that the dot over
B>.

was probably

anterior to that over

As Arabic
vice

^J:>,

as a rule, correfurther

sponds to Hebrew
suggest that
i_p

b',

and

versa,

we might

had

originally

but one dot.
is

In Cufic

Qorans
head,-'^

a small slanting stroke in black

placed over each

whilst cu

is

marked by a group of three black
three dots in the ordinary Naskhi

parallel strokes.

The

are probably the result of analogy, on account of the near
relation of these
fore only

two consonants.

The hard
<_?

lh.-

has there-

two

dots.

The

dots below

were most probably

derived from Syriac.

In every newly introduced system

it

is

the

first

steps
initial

which are uncertain and

tentative.

As

soon as the

stages are overcome, spontaneity has a fair
play.

amount

of free

In the Arabic alphabet

many groups

of consonants

of quite heterogeneous character assumed uniform shapes

by

force

of circumstances
for.

which

—by

the

way — can be
by
this

easily accounted

For the ordinary reader, then, the
were there who could read a Cufic
i,

necessity arose of obviating the difficulty created

uniformit}\

How many
The

Ooran

fluently?

dots over ^,

^,

is>,

^

and under

25 Jbiei.,

table VIII, 3.

"^ Ibid.,

tables

VI and VIII.

THE DOT
tj

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

— HIRSCHFELD

I71

were probably the result of deliberate contrivance by
In secular works the

early copyists and school teachers.

dots were frequently neglected, perhaps with the intention
of putting them
as nearly
all

in

afterwards.

They were

not even missed,

these books were written for educated readers.^"

Authors, therefore, saw themselves frequently compelled,

when quoting names
prevent misreading.
for
is

of persons and places, to give the

full

spelling, including the

numbers and

positions of dots, to

There exists also a special terminology
Sylvestre de Sacy^^
is

letters

with and without dots.

of opinion that the use of diacritical points

posterior

to that of vowel signs.

In Cufic fragments the opposite
anon.

seems to be the

case, but of this

A

calculated

extension of the dot system appears in a large number
of non-Semitic languages which have adopted the Arabic

alphabet

for

such modified
close

sounds as do not exist
prevailing
is

in

Arabic.
diacritical

The

relationship

between the

points of Arabic and Syriac
i.

best

shown

in

Karshuni,

e.

Arabic

in

Syriac characters, but no uniform

system prevails.

Whilst

many
plan.-''

manuscripts simply use the
in
in

Nestorian system, a printed prayer-book
follows a

my

possession

more elaborate

Arabic

Hebrew square

characters, of which there exists a vast literature, has also

introduced several modifications of a simple character.''"
2^

Especially letters

;

see

also

Arabische

Urkundcu, &c., ed. Abel,

Berlin, 1900.
'*

Even
page

in a letter

dated a. h. 300 dots are very sparsely used.
I,

Gyammaire

arabe. 2
is

me

ed.,

pp. 11 sqq.

^^

The

title

massing, but the appearance of the book suggests the

seventeenth century.

The following
1
p.

modifications are in use:

»^^=?--j

J

:zz

Jo

;

o and

0=^^;
I,

= 0;
;

'^^iC'

see also the specimen in

Land, Anecdota Syn'aca,
the British
3"

90 and table XVIH, and the manuscripts of
Or. 5911, &c.
3

Museum Egerton 703

With dot

either above or below

_

3 ==_:.• 5 with or without

dot =r>

—»;

J=c,;

n=o.

172

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
III.

The Dot Vocalic.
by means of the vowel
help for reading

In early Aramaic inscriptions vowels, long or short,
are found graphically expressed
letters
N,
"i,

and v

As
it

this

method was the exception
little

rather than the rule,

afforded

written documents.
felt

Syriac authors and copyists, therefore,
obviating any possible
spelling

the necessity of

ambiguity
of different out
of

arising out of the equal

of words

reading and
difficulty

meaning.

An

ingenious
fifth

way

the

was found as early as the

century by placing
;

a dot above a consonant to indicate the vowels a and o

and below
is

for

r, /.

and

u.

Whence

this idea

was derived

not known, but possibly the vowel letters were in the
stage written bodily above and below, and were sub-

first

sequently reduced to dots.

For quite a number of words
seem
have arisen

of one or two syllables this was sufficient, but was inadequate
for longer words.

Actual

difficulties

to

which called

for

adjustment.

Nestorians not only retained
it

the dot arrangement, but enlarged

to a complete system
latter

comprising

all

vowels, but Jacobites replaced the
five

by

five

vowel signs adapted from the

Greek vowels.

Hencefortli both systems lived side
see the Syriac

by

side.

For

details

grammar books.
mixed system was evolved
There are
in

A
mixed

peculiarly
in

Hebrew,

a double sense.
f>f

in the first instance

the two varieties

the Babylonian system in which real

vowel signs are intermixed with dot vowels.

Exactly the

same

is

the case with the Tiherian systems.
affinity

There exists

another
if it

between both systems, but
;

I
it

am

not aware

has been pointed out before or not

seems to point

to a

common

origin of both.
real

In either system patah and

qdmes are expressed by

vowel

signs, but the other

THE DOT

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

— HIRSCHFELD

173

vowels by dots.

This means that

for short

a and long a

the ancient Syriac dot above was not considered suitable.

As

to the origin of these vowel signs in both systems

opinions vary, but this makes no difference, since whether

they were developed from the Jacobite p'tahd, or from the
Av2ih\c fat ha, they can both be traced back to the N of old.
It

cannot be denied that Arabic influence

is

manifest in

the

names of these vowels, although

their invention

be posterior to that of the vowel signs themselves.
ever this

may Howboth
the

may

be. dots or

groups of dots are used

in

systems

for /dreg, sere,

and toneless

segJiol.

As
first

to

relation of these vowels to the dot

below

in

the

Syriac

system,

it is

too obvious to need any further demonstration.

The double

dot

in sere is

probably a copy of the Nestorian

sign (-^), but placed horizontally.

More

difficult is it to

account for the third dot

in the

Tiberian seghol.
is

In the

superlinear system accentuated seghol

not distinguished

from patah, which

is

probably due to Arabic influence.

The

three-dotted seghol seems to be nothing but sere with

a dot added, primarily for the benefit of school children.

As

to the three slanting dots of qibbus, I consider

them

older than the shureq.

We

see in

it

again the Syriac dot

below with the addition of two more dots, whilst the
slanting direction

was dictated by the necessity of keeping
and shevd.

them

clear of the other vowels

The ivdw has
as viatcr

no room
lectionis
it

for three slanting dots, so

when used

has to be satisfied with one dot.
dots placed

The Tiberian system employs two
above the other to express vowellessness.

one

The
in

late Prof.

Graetz seems to be right in alleging that
century no difference was
of shevd.

the tenth

made between
which

the two kinds

The

precision with

later

grammarians

174

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
unknown

distinguished between both seems to have been
to the earlier ones.

Even medieval Jewish grammarians
This produced an
the

did not recognize the shevd incdiwn.

uncertainty which caused

some

laxity in

treatment

of the syllable, and which was probably the reason

why
by
This

Hebrew

poets

of

the

Middle Ages took

liberties

opening closed syllables and closing open ones.

ambiguity found a

fitting

expression in the use of the

same

sign for both kinds of syllables as well as for the grace

note at the beginning of words.
the Syriac sign for the short c

Its origin

was probably

(^,

but in
prevent
it

Hebrew

the

two dots were placed
taken for
sere.

vertically to

them being
is

At
but
is

the end of the word
in

omitted
it

in
is

the superlinear system, whilst
retained in
scripts.
'H,

the Tiberian style

frequently absent in Qaraite
it

manu-

In the Babylonian system

has the shape of

a horizontal stroke, but in connexion with the two horizontal dots of sere
It
it

stands for shevd compositnm.

does not seem sufficiently realized that a complete
in

system of dot vowels also existed

Arabic, but was

confined to Cufic Qorans in the following manner.
dots above stand for fatha and dainina^ while

Red

the dot

below means kcsra.
the
first
it.

This again

is

quite in accordance with

Syriac system, and was without doubt borrowed

from

New, however,

in this

respect are the two red
for

or green dots placed one above the other to stand

tamvin with dainma or kesra, whilst placed horizontall}they are meant for tamvin with fatha, and occasionally
for kesra.

In

many

instances there appears only one dot,

but

it

should be understood that there are

many fragments

without any dots.

In order to distinguish these dots from

the diacritical points the latter, as mentioned before, appear

THE DOT

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

— HIRSCHFELD
The
size

I75

frequently as slanting strokes in black or green.

These
of the
lines,

strokes are often not larger than dots.

coloured dots, combined with the narrowness of the

make

it

often doubtful to which

word

or letter the dots

belong.

Questions of space occasionally caused the dots to
In some few

be placed horizontally instead of vertically.
cases jazin
is

rendered by a complete green circle below

or above the letter."^
It is

now abundantly clear
all

that there exists an historical

connexion between
beginnings,

these dot systems which, from small
into
it

expanded

manifold ramifications.
also

The

question
alphabet.
far as

is

now whether

embraced the Ethiopic

No

dots are visible in the old inscriptions, as
or in manuscripts of later date.

we know them,

The

Ethiopic alphabet was originally purely consonantic, as
in the other

Semitic languages, but instead of developing

detached vowel signs, the alphabet assumed a syllabic
character, vowels being

marked by small

strokes, hooks,

and small rings attached to the bodies of the consonants."^

Now

the late Prof. Dillmann,"" whilst rejecting

De

Sacy's

opinion that these vowel signs were modelled on Greek
vowels, flatly denied

any foreign

influence, especially

on

the part of the Syrian 'new' system, and
invention a
'

styled
'.

their

deed of the Abyssinian people

He

was
in

also of opinion that the small square

hooks and rings

which many of these vowel signs end were but ornamental,

and that the connecting strokes which often appear as
a mere lengthening of the letter constituted the main

element of the vowel.
51

See Moller, See Taylor,

I.e.,
/.

tables III
I,

and VII.

52

c,

pp. 338 and 349.
p. 20.

3*

Grantmalik der aetluopischen Sprache,

VOL. X.

N

176

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

Now

this

seems to

me

to be contrary to all

we know
the

about the rule of developments.
Ethiopic alphabet
is

As

is

well

known

indirectly

an offspring of ancient

Semitic writing.
in

existence

The Syriac system of dots had long been when Ethiopic began to be written, and since

both Syrians and Ethiopians were Christians, a literary
intercourse between both, at least in matters theological,
is

certain."^

It is also in

probable that the Hebrew vowel

system was

existence

when the Ethiopians began
It is

to

produce a written

literature.

likewise an

acknowledged
notably

fact that in the treatment of certain consonants,

gutturals, as well as in the vocabulary, Ethiopic has
in

much

common

with Hebrew.

It is therefore in

admissible that

the vowel systems prevailing

Syriac and

Hebrew were
by them
as

known
models.
origin

to early

Ethiopic writers, and used

Several of the Ethiopic vowel signs betray their

unmistakably.

The dot below standing
in

for i in

Syriac,

Hebrew, and Cufic Qorans appears

twenty-four
in

out of the twenty-six Ethiopic consonants.
(d

Only

two

and L)

it

turns upwards, but

is

kept at the bottom.

In this

manner

just the little cornery ends,

which Dillmann
whilst

considered

ornamental,

represent the

vowel,

the

small strokes onlj' serve as bridges due to the rapid course
of the pen.

The Ethiopic consonants

are

little

suited to

be equipped with detached dots and vowel

signs.

They
latter

are too curvilinear and bulky to harmonize with small dots

above and below them, and

it

seems natural that the

were attached to the body of the consonant
good.
of
3*

for their

own
The

Some

of the details are, of course, a

mere matter

speculation,
See
sqq.
Fell,

but

this

is

not
in

without a basis.
Siidarabien
',

'Die Christenverfolgung

ZZ)J/G.,

XXXV,

pp.

I

THE DOT

IN

SEMITIC PALAEOGRAPHY
few suggestions.
it.

— HIRSCHFELD

177
letter

following are a
carries plain

The unadorned
its

a with

This possibly dates from a time
natural

when

alf

(/%)

headed the alphabet with a as
to long a
it

vowel.^^

As

is

expressed in the majority of

letters by the lengthening of the right foot.

This looks

like

an absorbed games, but
{ivd)

I

lay stress on the fact that

with T

this

lengthening runs straight

down

in

the
is

middle of the
bent
(at

letter.

In six letters the prolongation
to the
left,

right angles)

simply because more

lengthening would have meant nothing.
in

The
its

sign for u
origin
in

the middle of the letter seems to have
It is

shureq.
left,
is

written on the right side, instead of on the
is

because Ethiopic

written from
little

left

to right.

Long

d

expressed in ten letters by a

ring on the right-hand
left

top corner, corresponding to holeni on the
in

top corner
is

Hebrew.

Now we
u,

must consider that

o in Ethiopic
is

not an original vowel, but, as Dillmann has shown,

either

a modified a or
letters o
is

or the diphthong a-\-n.

In fourteen
left foot,

expressed by the lengthening of the
letter, viz.

but in one

^

(w^), this runs perpendicularly

down near
the

the middle.

We

have seen above that exactly

same

is

the case with T.

The

^ in

^

might therefore

be tantamount to the unadorned

letter

carrying plain a
It

plus the ivdiv attached to the bottom.

was attached

to the left loop, because the protuberance of the right loop

was preserved

for

long

a.

That no fixed system was
from the alphabet
of

employed
Rueppell

originally

we

see

the

inscriptions,^^ the characters of

which hold about

the middle between South Arabian and Ethiopic writing.
^^

In

the

Rueppell

inscriptions

alf strongly

resembles

the

ancient

Canaanite aleph.
^^
I.

c.

;

see also Dillmann,

/.

c, plate A.

N

2

178

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

In these inscriptions ivawe with o has two forms, one with

a small stroke coming out near the bottom on the left-hand
side,

and a small
(h)

circle

on the right-hand top corner.
left foot

Kaf

has in one case the

lengthened, and in

another a small circle at the bottom on the right side,

which shows that convenience was an important factor
the final arrangement of these vowel signs.

in

As
it

to the

small circle for c on the right bottom corner,

is

either

an adoption from the Syriac two dots, or of the Hebrew
sere,

but written

in

one movement of the pen.
{t)

Regarding
to refer

the sign for vowellessness

we may be permitted

to the Nestorian double dots

and the Hebrew shevd, which

as

one solitary dot was attached to any convenient spot
it

of the consonant where

does not interfere with any other

vowel

sign.

Even

if

everything cannot be cleared up on

this question, there can

be

little

doubt that an independent

production of the Ethiopic vowel system should be denied,

and that
languages.

it

falls

into line with the systems of the sister

IV.

The Dot Grammatical.
of dots discussed in the preceding pages

The galaxy
is

still

considerabl}-

augmented, and even
series with

surpassed

in

importance, by a

new

grammatical functions.
first

We

begin again with Syriac, which was probably the

of the Semitic dialects to

mark

the hard pronunciation of

the consonants

with

double

values

by placing a

dot,

generally of somewhat

larger size than the diacritical dot,
soft

above the

letter.

The
In

pronunciation was indicated
especially in texts
in

by a dot below.

some manuscripts,

with Nestorian vowel signs, these dots are written
ink in order to avoid confusion.

red

The two

dots denoting

THE DOT

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

— HIRSCHFELD

179

the plural have been

mentioned before.

Another dot

placed

is

the so-termed

mepJiaggeddnd, which serves to

distinguish the third person singular feminine of the past

tense from the second person singular masculine, and the
fii'st

person.

Also the construct state of nominal forms
is

of feminine gender

often so marked.

The
in

difficulty of

avoiding confusion
scripts the

is

obvious.

Fortunately
is

many manu-

employment of these dots

restricted to cases

of ambiguity.

The Nestorians

neglected the last-named

dot entirely, and distinguished the third person fem. sing,
of the past tense

by two dots standing

for short e

(-r^-).

Finally,

there remains to be mentioned the dot over

ct

{mappiq), which denotes the suffix/^/;/, sing.

This same dot serves

in

Hebrew

as a sign that quiescent

letters are in certain instances

to be

pronounced as

full

consonants.
letter,

Its place is not,

however, at the top of the
its

as

is

found in some manuscripts,^' but within

body, with the exception of n, which has no room for
a dot.
It
is

probable that this practice was likewise

modelled on Syriac precedence, and that the removal of
the dot
inside
its

the

body of the

letter

was

in

order to

prevent

being mistaken for holem.

Now

there are two

other classes of dots which are responsible in a host of rules
differences

Hebrew

for

which are not without ambiguities and

of opinion.

Although these two

classes are

totally different in character, they both share the

name

of ddgcsh.

One
in

of these classes

is

again divided into a
early grammarians,

number
but

of subdivisions,

unknown
mere

to

classified

our

grammar books by
labels

a

list

of Latin

names which

in reality are

and explain nothing.
is

The

general
^^

description

of this ddges/i as 'euphonic'
p. 163.

See Kahle, Die Masorcten des Osiens,

l8o

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
want of

quite inadequate, and has only been chosen for

a better name.

There

is

one consonant which by the
is

orthodox rule of grammar

declared incapable of harviz.
"i.

bouring this euphonic dagesh forte^

Yet
in

there are

about twenty instances
letter is

in the

Old Testament

which

this

marked by a dot

inside,^®

and they form notable
of instances in which
other

exceptions to the

many hundreds

this letter does not

take the dot, and

means are
attempt

resorted to to conform to the rule.
to find a reason for
restrictions.
is

What we must
the cases
first,

the exemption of this letter from
all
:

If

we examine

of ^

we can
n^3

divide

them

into tJiree groups

when preceded by
e. g.

a short, toneless vowel with sharpened syllable,

(Ezek.

i6. 4),

"^^

{ibid.),

ri^iD

(Prov. 14. 10); second, with
^'^-^I'^n
e.

so-called

dagesh diriviens, e.g.

(Judges
g.

20.43);
(Prov.

third, after dagesh forte conjunctivwn,
15. i).
I

'n'!l"'"'?.y'?

am

here chiefly concerned with the

first

group,

because the other two are somewhat doubtful, and not even
recognized
(Norzi).

by some important
I

authorities
in

on

Masorah

Now

venture to suggest that
is

the instances
all,

of the first

group the dot

ab ovo no dagesh at

but

was originally a small n written
that the toneless
first

inside the other to

show

syllable

("I3;

was short and read with
from being
its full

a short vowel

which was to be prevented

spoken long.
nantic
force.
^

The

idea was to allow the
as
is

"i

conso-

Arabic,

well

known,

insists

upon

doubling the

after the definite article.

If the real

nature of the dot in the

"i,

as suggested

abovcj be conceded, that in the other groups can, then,
easily

be explained by the law of analogy.
in

There

is

ample evidence
^^

Semitic languages to show that reading
§

See Gesenius, Hebrezv Grammar,

22

s.

THE DOT

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY

— HIRSCHFELD
Some

l8l

signs had their origin in reduced letters.

instances

have been given before.
wasla, and tashdid have
all

As

to Arabic,

kamza, madda,
In the

a similar origin.

MS.

Cod. Berlin Or. qu. 680 (dating from the eleventh century),
which
is is

provided with superlinear vowel points, ddgesJi

frequently expressed

by a small

j

^^

written above the

letter.

In

other Babylonian

manuscripts, including the
is

famous Cod. Petropolit., ddgesh

a

dot placed

inside

the letter, just as in Tiberian codices.

In a lengthy article the late Prof. Graetz,'*^ discussing

the various aspects of the ddgesh^ justly deprecates the
artificial classification

of the

*

euphonic

'

ddgesh, as digested

in

modern works on Hebrew grammar.
is

Although
it

this

classification

useful for purposes of

method,

does not
Graetz
artificial,

really explain the nature of the various categories.

replaces these

by a number of others not
If

less

but actually larger in number.

Arabic permits the

doubling of any consonant without exception, something
similar

must have existed
this
is

in early
',

Hebrew
is

speech.

Evi-

dence of

the

'

virtualing

which
is

nothing but an

unwritten ddgesh forte, and there
(n)

at least

one guttural

which

in this

emergency

is

considerably strengthened.

So complicated a
It is surely

structure as the theory of the ddgesh

cannot have existed in the minds of the earliest punctuators.

much

sim.pler to

assume that whenever

it

was

feared that the strength of a consonant might be affected,

precautions had to be taken to assist
nature.

it

in

maintaining

its

This was
"1

first

of

all

the case wdth the liquids, and
"i

the soft

'**'

in particular,

and a small

inserted in the latter

Kahle,

/.

c, p. 167, par. 223.
fi'tr

Monatsschrift

Geschichte unci IVisienschaft des

Judenthums, 1887,

pp. 425 sqq.

l82

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
There
it

served the purpose to perfection.
jectionable in the suggestion that

is

nothing ob-

subsequently shrank

to a

mere

dot.

It

is,

then, only one step further to apply

the same theory to b with ddgesJi forte ajfectiiosinn. and the
other liquids marked with the
all

d. f. firmativiLin.

In reality

these are not instances of doubling the letter, but of

protection and preservation.

The

practice of using a reduced
it

specimen of the same consonant once introduced,
be applied to other
letters,

could

and there

is

really

no reason

why

even

the

ddgesh forte necessarmin, as well as the

ddgcsJi lene, should not

owe

their origin to exactly the

same

procedure.

Dr. Kahle styles the ddgesh a degeneration

from
texts,

;.*^

Now

although he only speaks of superlinear

we

are entitled to extend the theory to the Tiberian
it
it

system, whence
It
is

found

its

way

to the eastern

codices.

true that

exists in the

Cod. Petropolitanus, but,
Qaraite manuscripts

on the other hand, there are

many
Some

provided with the Tiberian vowel system, but not showing a single ddgesh of either
class.

of these manuscripts
is

are of comparatively recent date.

It

difficult

to
it

find
so.

a reason for this laxity,

if

we

are entitled to call

As
on

these manuscripts here alluded to contain commentaries
biblical

books by Yepheth

b. Ali,'*^ it

seems probable

that they represent several generations of copies faithfully

following the style of the archetype.
a very prolific writer,

Since Yepheth was

we may
use

infer that at the turn of the

eleventh century the
unsettled condition.
lived
in

of the

ddgesh was

still

in

an

This

is all

the more strange as Yepheth

Jerusalem, and was probably more familiar with

the Tiberian system than with the superlinear one.^^
••]

I

c, p. i68.

*2

^^

See mj- Yepheih b. All's Arabic commentary on Nahum, p. 12. The peculiar employment of dots in the specimens of shorthand

THE DOT The
This

IN SEMITIC

PALAEOGRAPHY
arises

— HIRSCHFELD

183

question

now

why

of all Semitic languages

Hebrew alone developed

so complicated a ddgesh system.
;

may be
Hebrew

accounted for by two reasons

one gram-

matical, taking into consideration the peculiar nature of

the

syllable;

the other,

ritual,

it

having proved

incumbent to train suitable persons

in

the reading of the

Law

during divine worship with minute exactness.

For

Syriac and Ethiopic this necessity did not exist.
the latter,
I

As

to

have to record the exceptional phenomenon

found

in

the manuscript of an Ethiopic-Falasi glossary.*"*

The author of this glossary seems to have been a Falasi who had some knowledge of Hebrew grammar, and perceived the appropriateness of the ddgesh forte to mark
double
dots
in

both

languages.

He
for

placed

his

dots,

however, above the

letters,
is

probably

the reason that

the Ethiopic alphabet

not suitable for the insertion of

dots without causing great inconvenience.
In fifteen passages of the
as well as

Hebrew

Bible single letters

whole words are marked by dots which have
in

none of the functions discussed

the preceding pages.

These dots were placed there by the Masoretes for purposes
of textual criticism.

As

these matters have been dealt
treatises,'*^

with in detail in special
dwell
to

there

is

no need to

on them at any length.
in

Finally,

there remains

be mentioned that

ancient tomb-stones,**' manuscripts,
letters to

and printed books, dots are placed on top of
indicate abridged words, initials,
Bible.
writing (twelfth century), published by Kahle in

and quotations from the

ZAW., XXI,

pp. 273 sqq.,

does not, strictly speaking, touch our subject.
** *^ **

Published in

JRAS., 1919-1920.
sqq.

See Blau, Masoretische Untersuchungen, pp. 62
See Falaeograph. Soc, plate 29, dated 1718.

A PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY OF BIBLICAL
'GOURDS'
By David L Macht, Johns Hopkins
Umversit)^

Two Hebrew
Authorized

words
and

are

rendered
of

'

gourd
are

'

in

the

Version,

both

these

of

great

pharmacological interest from an historical point of view.
In Jonah
4.

6-10 the word

'

kikayon

'

is

translated
is

'

gourd

'.

This word, according to

many
ot

authorities,

the

name

of

Ricinus covimuuis or the castor-oil plant.
the Hebrew word

In 2 Kings 4. 39
'

pakku

'

is

rendered

wild gourds

',

and

this plant

is

of even greater interest

from the pharma-

cological and toxicological points of view.

The
it is

writer has

been interested

in the latter passage,

and has carried out
proposed

some

investigations on the subject, of which

to give a brief outline in this place.

The

particular

passage

to

which we

are

referring

describes the accidental poisoning of a

band

of prophets

and the means employed by
Elisha, in

their

leader, the

prophet
:

combating

it.

The

narrative reads as follows
;

'And Elisha returned
in the

land
;

;

pot,

him and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets." 'And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof pakku'ot his lapful, and came and shred them into the pottage for they knew
before
;
'

to Gilgal and there was a famine and the sons of the prophets were sitting and he said unto his servant, " Set on the large

them not. So they poured

for the

men
185

to eat.

And

it

came

to

l86

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

pass as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out,

and said, " O thou man of God, there is death in the pot!" and they could not eat thereof. But he said, " Then bring meal." And he cast it into the pot; and he said, 'Pour out for the people that they may eat." And there was no harm in the pot.' (2 Kings 4. 38-41.)
*

The
rind
'

points of query suggested
for
;

by

the above passage

calling
'

elucidation are,

first,

what

is

meant by
what

pakku'ot
;

secondly, what are
thirdly, the

its

pharmacological proof
all,

p°rties

and

most

interesting

can we

say of the antidote here employed in the light of
?

modern science
it

In order to shed light on these questions,
sift,

was necessary not only to gather,

and analyse

a good deal of historical, philological, archaeological, and
botanical data, but also to perform a

number of

original
results

pharmacological andtoxicological experiments.
of these inquiries and experiments
describe.

The

we

shall

now proceed

to

On
The

the

Mcajiing of Pakkiiot.
is

Hebrew word 'pakku'ot'
'

rendered

in

the

Authorized Version

wild gourds

',

which, of course
biblical

may
and

mean anything
that the

or

nothing.

All

scholars

students of comparative philology, however, are agreed

word

'

pakku'ot
fruit.

'

must mean

either the colocynth

or the clateriiim

The etymology

of the word, from the

root

'

paka'

',

to burst or to break open,

may

apply appro'

priately to either one.

Ecballmm Elaterium.ox the

squirting
its

cucumber
fruit

',

owes

its

name

to the peculiar character of
ripe, ejecting

which bursts open when

the seeds

mixed
ripe

with a mucilaginous liquid.

The

colocynth fruit,

when

and dry,

is

also easily burst

open

at the slightest touch.

PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY OF GOURDS
'

'

— MACHT
',

187

Professor

Haupt suggests

that the root

'

paka'

to burst or

break through or open,

may

also refer to the drastic effects
is

of the drugs, both of which, as
purgatives and
breche?i,

well

known, are violent

to

may produce vomiting (cf. the German word vomit). The Septuagintal rendering roXvivq
fruit
(cf.
'

refers to the

round

of Citridhis ColocyntJns.

The Vulgate

has Colocynthides

Pliny, xx. 14).

While the term

pakku'ot

'

may

from the etymological

point of view denote equally well the colocynth or elaterium
fruit,

there

is

other evidence, botanical and archaeological,

which seems to point to the colocynth as the correct translation.
is

Ecballiinn Elaterium (in Arabic, kitha el-hiniar)
plant in Mediterranean countries, but
it

a

common

could

not with any propriety, as pointed out by Post,^ be called

a vine, for
it

it is

destitute of tendrils.
vrilles

According to
'

Baillon,

is

'

une herbe couchee sans

—a

decumbent herb,
on the other

without tendrils.hand,
is

The

Citrnllits Colocynthis,

a true vine growing prostrate on the ground, but

trailing

by means of
This plant
is

its

powerful tendrils over shrubs and

herbs.

also

common
for

in

the Jordan Valley,
;

but

is

rare in the hill-country of
it

Ephraim
or

so that the

men

who gathered
family,

mistook

it

another plant of the same
globe

the
in

Qiciunis

PropJietarum,

cucumber,

common
Still

Samaria.
'

further evidence, suggesting that
is

pakku'ot

',

or

wild gourds, denotes the Colocynth,
the

the fact that

we

find

same term applied
18 the

to the architectural

ornaments menIn

tioned in the Bible in connexion with the Temple.
1

Kings

6.

word

'p'ka'im', or colocynths,

is

mentioned
of
a.

as an ornamental design in the interior
^ 2

woodwork
II, p.

King

Post, in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, vol.
Baillon, Dictioiinaire de Botaniqite, 18E6,
t.

250

2, p.

493.

l88

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
;

Solomon's temple

and

in

i

Kings

7.

24 the same word

is

used to designate the ornaments encircling the molten sea
or great brazen cistern in the

Holy Temple.

The

elegant
well

orange-shaped
for

fruit

of the colocynth plant lends

itself

ornamental purposes, whereas the small olive-shaped
of the

fruit

Ecballmm Elaierium
'

is

b}'

no means so beautiful

or attractive.^

What do we know

in

regard to the poisonous properties
?

of either the colocynth or elaterium

Before proceeding to
it

discuss the toxicology of these plants,

may

be well to

describe briefly their physical

and chemical characters.

Pharmacognosy.

Both the colocynth and the elaterium plants belong
the family of the Cucurbitaceae or the

to

pumpkin

famil\-.

The

colocynth

fruit,

FrncUm

Colocyuthidis, or the English
is

bitter apple,

and German Koloqidntc,

the fruit of the

plant Citridlus Colocynthis, a slender scabrous plant with
a perennial root, a native of

warm and dry

regions in the

Old World.

It is

found

in

the IMediterranean regions, in
Islands.
It

Arabia, Syria, and
in
is

some of the Greek

grows

immense
also found

quantities in
in

Upper Egypt and Morocco, and

some

parts of Spain and Portugal.

The

plant bears yellow monoecious flowers, deeply lobed leaves

and

well-

developed tendrils which enable

it

to trail over
in

other

plants.

The

fruit,

which

is

globular

shape,

resembles an

orange and has a smooth, marbled-green
in

surface, being from 5 to 10 cm. or from 2 to 4 inches

diameter.
*
*

For medicinal purposes, the colocynth
vol. Ill, p. 357.
II, p. 42.

fruit

Jewish Encyclopedia,

Nowack, Lehrbtich der hehrdischen Archacologie, 1894,
Benzinger, Archacologie, 1894,
p. 252.

^

PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY OF
is

'

GOURDS
is

'

— MACHT

189

dried in the sun, then peeled, and

sold in this form in

the market.
is

The pulp

is

white, very light

and spongy, and

readily separable longitudinally into three carpels, each
flat,
is

containing numerous
It is

ovate, white or light
its

brown

seeds.

the pulp which

purgative in

nature.

The
in

seeds

are not laxative at all

and are said to be used

some

parts of Africa for food.*'

The
two

active constituents of the
:

colocynth

fruits are at least

one being the glucosid

colocynthin, having the empirical formula, CggHg^Oga, from

which colocynthein
other
is

may

be obtained by hydrolysis

;

the

a closely related

body named

colocynthitin.

Both

of these principles are drastic purgatives.'^

Theelaterium

fruit

comes from

\}!\q

EcballiiLinElatcri2im,

Rich. {Momordica Elateriuin, Z.), a coarse, hispid, fleshy

decumbent plant without
perennial root.
It
is

tendrils,

having a thick white

also

common

throughout the Medi-

terranean region, extending eastward as far as southern

Russia and Persia, and westward to Portugal.
is

The

fruit

ovoid and oblong and nodding, about i'5 to 3 cm. long
in

with numerous short prickles terminating
points.
It
is

white elongated
is

attached

by a long scabrous peduncle,
three-celled and contains

fleshy

and green while young, becoming slightly yellowish
It
is

when matured.
when

numerous

oblong seeds lodged
fruit

in

a very bitter succulent pulp.

The

ripe separates

suddenly from the stalk on the

slightest jarring,

and at the same moment, the seeds and

juice are forcibly expelled from the aperture left

by

the
'.

detached peduncle.

Hence the name

'scjuirting

cucumber

Several active principles have been isolated from the
elateriuni, the
''

principal

one, clatcrin, being a crystalline

Pickering, History of Plants, 1879, p. 249,

"^

Husemann und

Hilger, Pflamenstoffe, Berlin, 1889, p. 1347.

I90

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
a
formula,

body with
described

CjoHggOg.

Other

constituents

are hydroelaterin,

prophetin,

and ecballin or

elateric acid.^

Both the colocynth and elaterium plants

have been known from remote antiquity, and are mentioned

by

ancient writers

— Pliny,

Dioscorides, Theophrastus, and

others.^"^^

Toxicology.

Colycynth and elaterium are well known

in

therapeutics

as powerful or drastic purgatives, and even small doses of

these drugs sonietimes produce great irritation of the intestines.

Slightly larger doses of the crude drugs, as well

as of their active principles, produce a dangerous enteritis,

and

still

larger doses act as violent

poisons, leading to

death.

The poisonous nature of these drugs was well known in C. M. Doughty {Travels in Arabia Dcseria, the Orient.
Cambridge, 1888,
Colocynthis
:

vol.

I,

p.

132) says of
it is

the

Citridlns

'

To human
it

nature

of so mortal bittei'ness
is

that

little

indeed, and even the

leaf,

a most vehement
half-dead, and he

purgative.

They say

will leave a

man

may

only recover his strength by eating flesh meat 'P

Cases of poisoning with these drugs are described by the
present writer elsewhere.^*

Poisoning with
reported
« "

colocynth

has,

on the whole, been
elaterin,

more

frequently

than with

po:5sibly

Husemann und
Fliichiger

Hilger, PJlansenstoffe, Berlin, i888, p, 1350.
PJiariiiacograpliia, 1879.

und Hanbury,

1"
11 '' '^ 1*

Kramer, Pharmacognosy, 191 7.
United States Dispensatory, 1917.

National Dispensatory, 1917.
Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, vol. H,
^l&chi,
p.

286.

Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin, Febiuary, 1919.

PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY OF

'

GOURDS

'

— MACHT

19I

because the bitter apple has been employed to produce
abortion.

The symptoms
elaterium described
chiefly

of poisoning

by both colocynth and
are those arising
canal.

by various authors
of

from

irritation
stools,

the

gastro-intestinal

Vomiting, bloody
vulsions, followed

severe colic, collapse and

con-

by

death, constitute the general course

of the intoxication.

In some cases,

symptoms

referable

to intense irritation of the kidneys are encountered.

The

pathological findings reported describe an intense

congestion of the stomach and intestines with ecchymoses

and bloody serofibrinous

exudates with

adhesions.

In

more protracted
with matting
kidneys,
of the
liver,

cases,

more

or less extensive peritonitis

of

the

intestines

and

congestion

of

the

and spleen, have been noted.

The lumen
by
the

intestines

may

actually

be

obliterated

fibrinous exudate

and adhesions of the

intestinal walls.

Toxicological Experiments.

In

order to study

the

symptoms
in

of colocynth

and

elaterium poisoning more in detail, and in order to visualize

more exactly what took place

the case of poisoning
in order to deterin that case the

which we are discussing, and especially

mine the value of the antidote employed

author has performed a number of toxicological experiments

on dogs.

In

connexion with

these experiments,
is

it

was

interesting to note a toxic

symptom, which

not mentioned
suffi-

by most authors on the subject and not emphasized
ciently

by those who have noted

it,

and which

is

especially

interesting in connexion with the passage before us.

In

my

experiments

I

made

use of infusions of either colocynth

VOL. X.

o

192

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

apples or the crude elaterium which can be bought in the

market.

The drugs were roughly

cut

up or ground up,
in

and infusions were made by boiling them

ordinary tap
little

water in a casserole with or without the addition of a

common

table salt.

This corresponded roughly to the concase of the prophets.

ditions obtained in the

After the

mixture had been
resulting infusion

boiled for half-an-hour or longer, the

was strained through coarse cheese-cloth

and was administered cold to the dogs through a stomachtube.

The symptoms
striking

following the administration

may

be

divided into two groups, the primary and the secondary.

The most
salivation

primary symptom consisted of a profuse
intro-

which occurred even when the drugs were

duced through the stomach-tube, enough of the infusion

coming

in

contact

with the mucous membranes of the
to

mouth when the stomach-tube was withdrawn
this irritation.

produce

foaming at the

The salivation was very intense; the animals mouth more than after a dose of pilocarpin.
little

This primary symptom, so
is

emphasized by other

waiters,

quite sufficient to account for the exclamation of the
'

victims,

There

is

death in the pot

!

'

Vomiting was occa-

sionally noted soon after administration of the infusions of

colocynth.

An

almost precisely similar primary salivation followed

the introduction of an elaterium infusion into the animal's

stomach.

Following the primary salivation and occasional

vomiting, the secondary or later

symptoms
until

of colocynth or

elaterium poisoning did not
later.

come on

an hour or two

These began with
stools, collapse,

violent purging, soon followed

by

bloody

and depression.

After large doses

of cither drug (the quantities described below), the animals

were generally found

dead

on the following day.

At

PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY OF

'

GOURDS
:

— MACHT

193

autopsy, the anatomical findings were
tion

intense inflammaintestines, with
peritonitis,

of the

stomach and

especially the

bloody exudate and adhesions, occasional
intense congestion of the liver

and

and the kidneys.
and destructive lesions

In view of the
just described,
it

marked

irritation

is

especially interesting to turn our atten-

tion

now

to the

most perplexing feature of our narrative,

namely, the antidote administered or employed by the prophet Elisha to antagonize the
effects of the poison.

On Flour

as an Antidote.

In order to ascertain whether the

method employed by

Elisha can be explained on a natural basis, the author in
a purely scientific

and impersonal manner carried out two
In the one
series,

series of experiments.

a

number of dogs
is,

were given colocynth or elaterium infusions straight, that
without the admixture of any other substance.

In the

other series exactly the same quantities of the infusions
in proportion to the animal's

weight or even larger doses

of the poisons were administered after previous admixture

with ordinary corn and wheat

flour.

The

results of these

experiments are very interesting and enlightening and
be best illustrated by the following protocols:

may

Exp. V, October

7.

White dog weighing

7-1 kilos.

cut up and boiled with 750 cc. of tap-water.

Eive colocynth apples, weighing together 40 gm., were The mixture
until the

was boiled

volume was reduced

to

500

cc.

It

was

then strained through coarse cheese-cloth and one-half of the infusion, or 250 cc, were given to the animal through the stomach-tube, about 2 p.m. Immediately after the

O

2

194

1'HE

JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

salivated,

removal of the stomach-tube the dog became most violently foaming and frothing at the mouth so that the

little of the whole cage was bespattered with saliva. Two infusion plus stomach contents was vomited out. hours later, the animal was violently and repeatedly purged, the stools being fluid and tinged with blood. During the

A

and assumed a much more bloody character. On the following morning the animal was found dead. The autopsy revealed a violent
night, the frequent stools continued

congestion of the stomach, especially of the small intestine.

The
some

intestines
places,
liver

The

were filled with a bloody exudate, and, in were stuck together by fibrinous adhesions. also was congested and the kidneys to a very

marked degree.

Exp. VI, October

7.

Brown dog weighing

6 kilos.

Forty grammes of colocynth apples were cut up and mixed with 60 gm. of flour (equal parts of wheat and corn) and 1000 cc. of tap-water. The mixture was boiled until It was then the total volume was reduced to 500 cc. strained, in order to remove the seeds and debris, through a coarse cheese-cloth, and 250 cc. of the broth were administered to the dog through a stomach-tube exactly

On in the preceding experiment, about 2.15 p.m. removal of the stomach-tube, there was no vomiting and About two hours later, practically no salivation noted. animal passed several normal stools, but no blood was the
as

noted

in

them, neither was there any blood noted

in

the

stools passed during the night.

On
still

the 8th, the animal

was lying

slightly depressed
it.

and

had diarrhoea, but ate
in a lively fashion.
it

the food offered

On

the 9th, the animal was apparently

completely recovered, running about

On comparing

the two experiments described above,

will be seen that in the case of the dog to which the pure

infusion of colocynth was administered, both the primary

PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY OF
and the
later

'

GOURDS

'

— MACHT

i

95

symptoms of colocynth poisoning were very
in this respect differed

markedly developed, and

from those
pro-

noted in the other animal.
foundly salivated
;

The white dog was very
after

indeed, the salivation was

more marked

than that noted

by the author

any other poison.
itself

Violent irritation of the bowels very early manifested
as indicated

by

the bloody stool, and

the animal

died

within eighteen hours.
In
the

dog

to

which the infusion of colocynth was
flour,

administered together with
at
all

the

symptoms were not
stools indicate

so

striking.

There was practically no salivation

at

all

and no vomiting, nor did the

any

violent irritation of the intestinal mucosa,

and the animal

recovered completely within two days.

Exactly similar results were noted
elaterium.

in

experiments with

Discussion.

To
in that

the superficial reader of the Bible and to a class of

destructive critics

who

are prone to

condemn any statement
their

Book which does not accord with

own

personal

subjective views, as an impossibility or a figment of the

imagination or as a perversion of the original text, the
results of the

above investigations

and possibly even disappointing.
scientific

may To
does

appear unexpected
the truly unbiased

mind, however, which

not

condemn

or

disbelieve anything, but only

demands

facts

and proofs, the

above experiments are not altogether surprising, and the
biblical narrative
at all improbable.

which we are discussing does not appear
In
fact,

the results of the experiments

just

described well agree with the teachings of modern

chemistry and pharmacology.

Recent advances

in

those

196

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

sciences have revealed the very important role played in the

physiological

economy of animal organisms by the
It

so-called

'colloid' substances.

has been shown that an admixture
inert

of colloidal

and even of non-colloidal but

and inactive

matter to various foods and drugs
their absorption

may

profoundly influence

and their

action.

Thus, for instance, Mendel

and Lewis ^^

in a

paper on 'The Rate of Elimination of

Nitrogen as influenced by Diet and other Factors', have
found that with a definite diet
it

is

always possible to get

a definite typical curve of nitrogen elimination.

On

the

addition, however, of various inert or colloidal substances,

such as

minerals,
&c., to

vaseline,

bone-ash,

filter

paper,

cork,
is

agar-agar,

exactly the same

diet,

the curve

entirely changed,

and the

rate of nitrogen elimination in

such cases

is

greatly delayed.
^'''

Again, F'antus
of kaolin

and others have found that admixture
inert

and other

matter

may

greatly modify the
It
is,

action of strychnin and other poisons.
entirely surprising to find that flour or

therefore, not

meal should pro-

foundly modify the action of the infusions of colocynth
or elaterium and render them innocuous, and the popular
first

aid

maxim

to give flour in

many

cases of poisoning has

a real rational basis.
antagonistic action
several
colloid
factors
is,

What
is

the exact mechanism of this

not quite clear, but undoubtedly
in

are
in
;

involved
first

the

phenomenon.

The

broth,

the

place,

hinders the

absorption

of the

poison

secondly, the flour probably acts as a
to

demulcent and protective
thirdly,
'^

the

intestinal

walls

;

and

this

substance

must also exert some

effect

by
XVI,

Mendel and Lewis, Journal of Biological Chemistry,
Fantus, /oM;-«f7/ A.

1913, vol.

p.

19.
IS

M. A..

1913, vol.

LXVII,

p.

1838.

PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY OF

'

GOURDS

'

— MACHT
be,

197

virtue of its adsorptive properties.^'

Whatever the exact

mechanism of
hardly

flour as

an antidote
as
to

may

there can

be

any

doubt

the

plausibiHty

of

the

bibhcal narrative before us, and in the light

of the ex-

periments performed, the story,

if

not a miraculous one,

certainly attests to the wonderful insight and
practical experience of the seer Elisha.
1''

wisdom and

Bayliss,

General Physiology,

1915 (chapter on

Surface Action and

Colloid Solutions).

'

:

AN EXPLANATION OF ABOT
By Joseph H. Hertz, London.
This passage
is

VI. 3

in

the Baraita rnin

]'':p,

so familiar to us,

on closer examination beset with

difficulties
It

which some

commentators have not

failed to notice.

reads^

'He who
single
rule,

learns from his fellow a single
verse, a

chapter, a

a single

single

expression, or even

ought to pay him honour, for so we find with David, King of Israel, who learnt only two things
a single
letter,

(1272

Dnan

^:y

iSa ^sn^nso

ir^b s'^C')

from Ahitophel, and

yet regarded
friend, as
it is

him
said

as his master, his guide, and his familiar
:

But

it

was thou, a man, mine equal,

my
not

guide, and

my
who

familiar friend (Ps. ^j. 14).
If

Now,

is it

an argument from minor to major?
of Israel,

David, the King

learned only two

things

from Ahitophel,

regarded him as his master, guide, and familiar friend,

how much more
a chapter,
to

c

rule, verse,

ught one who learns from his fellow expression, or even a single letter,

pay him honour?

Now
version,

the chief difficulty in this Baraita,
is

in

the current

that the deducing of the duty of honouring one's

fellow for the instruction

of 'even one letter' from

the

premise of honouring for

'

two things

'.

is
!

called a "iDim 7p.

As the text
is

stands,

it is

really a bp)

"ir^in

Equally puzzling
'

the special and peculiar stress put on

o/ify

two things

'

(13^3

nnan

^r^ aba).
felt

The commentators

this

logical

irregularity

and

incoherence, and tried in different ways to surmount the
*

In the translation of the Authorised Prayer Book, p. 205.

109

200
obstacle.^

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW The
usual

explanation that
his subject

because

David,

though a king, honoured

Ahitophel for two

teachings received at his hand, therefore an ordinary

man

should honour his fellow even for a single letter learned

from him,

is

hardly satisfactory."
it

Too much has

to be

read into the argument as

now

stands, which

by the very

nature of a

"icini

bp

ought to be obvious and

self-ev^ident.

A
me
name
nn>3j'*

simple alteration in the text, which was reported to

years ago in the
I

name

of

some Russian Lamdan, whose
at

cannot

recall,

restores

once the logic of the

whole passage. which

The

original unvowelled text

had

0^1"!?'^

in the course of

time was misread

Q""!?"] Ty'.

Thus David and Ahitophel merely conversed
friends,

as familiar
;

and
the

still

David showed Ahitophel
should
this
!

all

respect

how
one

much

more

be

the

case

when

actually does learn from another
originally lead
' :

Accordingly the Baraita

He who

learns

from

his

fellow

a single chapter, a
'^i5th cent.^
^J?

^

See e.g. the Spanish preacher R.Joseph Jaabez

'3

n"p Y^v
answer

njD

nnx

T\\vh in nns*

im!) ^nx

T'p

"j"

nnx.

His mystical

fails

of course to meet the case.
in his

R. Haj'yim of Walosin.

Abet commentary
^JK'

D''''n iTil,

Wilna, 1858,

remarks

:

fs niiND^ 13^3
bv pnn?.

Dnm

pi ^Din^nxo

'^^d? x^tj'

ino

YpTyo

nnx
'

mX

We

need not follow him

in his Kabbalistic solution

of ihe difficulty.

See especially R. Samuel
l;xic'j'
h'C^

b.

Isaac of

Ufeda

(i6th cent.) in his well-

known
•iM

c-nD
T\'n

a.

I.

vh'Z' '"Qb

nno
yc>-i

V'p

•i:"'"n -]''x
. .

pnnS

[I'l^*] "i"^^
i?:!?

nrn in

iD-iy "j'-iyj tj'xi:;'

ijj'-i''2

n"'"j'n2?:n"i

.

nnx nix x^x
ub xsv
ni

m33

in

:m3

ni >3

oyi

^sin^nxi

i^xTj"*

I'rrDi tj"i ^'^^^

"1123 13

Jinjb T"i^*t^ ^"P

^'^^' '""i^ '^i^'^

'''^nn nciSTi:*
'"^x.

Tiy

i"3i
*

pnnyn i^xo nnij ^nyn pxi nnx nix bv
For
this phrase, cf. Mai. 3. 16.
2,

^inp ^X

:j'\S

n^nj

TX

;

Wekilta Bo,

beginning, ed. Friedmann, p.

^HwD DVj
/j;

1?:y
. .

(n"3pn) innj X^
.

HD

^J£D1

^"inn {n'xu:n ay) oncy -lanr.^ *a

fjx

"irn

-jin.

'

:

AN EXPLANATION OF ABOT
single
rule,

VI.

3

— HERTZ
we

20I

a single verse, a

single

expression, or even
for so

a single letter, ought to pay

him honour,

find with

David King of
nn^n),

Israel, zvJio learnt

nothing frovi AhitopJiel

but merely conversed zvith

him
is

(Q'llll^ ^i'K ^^sn^nxn npb
his master, his guide,
:

^v

and yet regarded him as
it

his familiar friend, as

said

But

it

and was thou, a man,
If

mine

equal,
is
it

my
not

guide, and

my

familiar friend (Ps. ^^. 14).

Now,

an argument from minor to major?
Israel,
luJio

David, the

King of

learned

nothing

from

AJiitophel^ bnt merely conversed ivith him,

regarded him

as his master, guide,

and familiar

friend,

how much more

ought one who does learn from his fellow a chapter, rule, expression, or even a single letter, to pay him honour ?
verse,

Both the suggested
call for
(i)

original reading

and

its

current form

some comment
Ps. ^^. 14, cited in the Baraita,
is

to be taken in

connexion with the following verse (15):

'We

took sweet

counsel together', viz. conversed together as familiar friends.°

This makes the inference
the emphatic 1272 after
intelligible.
(2)

in

our Baraita evident.
J<^N

Also

D'''}3'!3;^

becomes now perfectly

The

usual reading
it

(Q''"!?1

""P.^)

is

very old.

It

is

of

interest to note that

is

older than Raba,
to Kalla,

who
c.

had the
which

reading Qn?"l Tf.
is

The Gemara
Abot,
c.

viii,

identical with

vi.

3,

remarks on the passage
"'ND

in

question f^i

Nm

-i?:s'

?inrj

.Qnzn

^rj'

n^n*.

Thus,

Raba, who flourished

in the first half of

the fourth century,

goes on to determine what these two cases were wherein

David obtained guidance from Ahitophel.
(3)

Our Baraita
vi. 3, is
in

is

anonymous.
b.

Abot
^

by R. Joshua

The previous Agadah, Levi. Though some texts
lias fallen out.

Probably

our text the indication V2T after ^ynV^I

202
read
that
'inD
it

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
-ii^^n

b2^

(instead

of

n?^^n

^d),

which impHes
it

is

the continuation of this Rabbi's saying,
is

is

very doubtful whether he

really
i.

its

author.

Thus Bacher
In ]\Iidrash

{Agada dcr Pal. Ainorder^
it

137) rightly does not include
b.
is

among
c.
-j^

the sayings of R. Joshua
(ed.

Levi.

Ps.

Buber,

p. 146)

there

indeed attributed

to

him an opinion that David
is

called Ahitophel teacher.^

But here too the authorship

problematic, as a comparison
8).

of the parallel texts shows (see Buber's note, no.
(4)

^Moreover, the underlying

Agadah
to

as to the relations
It

of
is

David and Ahitophel seems
anterior to R.

be of an early date.

Yohanan

(died 280 C.E.)

—a
it

contemporary
Sanh. 106
b.

of R. Joshua ben Levi

— who

amplifies

in

Whereas our Baraita only mentions that
Ahitophel

David called

master, guide, and acquaintance, R.

Yohanan

depicts three stages in their intercourse, during which the
prestige of Ahitophel decreased, viz.
first

David regarded
and
finally as his

him

as his master, then as his colleague,

disciple.

This fact furnishes internal evidence for assuming
is

that our Baraita
(5)

of an earlier date.

The

usual

reading, which appears

to

bave been

the current one as far back as the days of Raba, throws

a flashlight on the process of transmission of this Baraita.

Whatever proofs may
canonical

or

may

not be forthcoming that the
orally,
this

^lishna was

tradited
its

uncanonical
Palestine
to

('extraneous')

Mishna found

way from One

Babylon

in

a written form.

Only

in a ivrittcn text

could

a copyist misread cnaT "r^ for

n.n2"i3;j'.

could hardly

account for
*^

it

in

an oral transmission.
nvtc'

^mabnn nx -non

moD

^ii?

p

yj-in' 'i

ics*

.^^^lya

inc

TiD p^nc3 vnn' tj's

td^t

,nnin nc^^^i 'ai

•r:'r:z' 'S'li'X.

STUDIES IX THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
By M. H. Segal,
Ill

Oxford.

Some Notes on the Text.^
I. I. 6.

BUDDE
in ver. 7,

capriciously deletes this verse, and also

n:D''y3n

p

thereby robbing the story of

much

of

its

humaneness and picturesqueness.
provocation by Peninah
is

As

a matter of fact the

intended by the narrator as an

explanation of the excessive grief displayed

by Hannah. The
b.

phraseology of
7.

this verse is referred to

again in ver. 16
is
'

I

would

suggest that
in

nc'y

used
to

here as an
'.

impersonal verb

the sense of n\n

happen

This

would enable us to retain nn?y of the

MT

which rightly

makes both
8.

clauses of the verse refer to
critics

Hannah.

The
. .

accept the addition of
'•jnN
'•Jjn

LXX in the verse
"lOwsni
r\:n.
'

and read
clause
is
.

.

'^nn nc^ n^ ncx""!

"h

The
in

.

.

according to
in his

3, 4, 5, 6, 8,

16 characteristic of the

narrative

'

(Budde

Notes to

his

Polychrome text
"'::n

Haupt's SBOT.,

p. 52).

But the response
3,

is

generally
in

used, as in the examples cited from ch. to a call from
here,

only

answer

some

distance,

and

is

altogether unsuitable

where Elkanah and Hannah
side.

sat at the

same
is

table

and probably side by

The

addition in

LXX

merely

an expansion by the translator similar to the expansion
in vv. 5, 6.

yT

is

certainly correct.
I

Cf. the opposite 2h 31D, 25.
43
ff.

36;

Cf. vol. IX, pp.

203

204

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

II 13. 28, &c.

The
(cf.

reading of

LXX

"^y {jvttt^i ere),
:

which
thou

H.

P.

Smith
?
'

(p. 8) prefers,

can only mean

'why

art

remorseful

24. 6,

and Driver's note

here), viz. for

her

sins,

on account of which God had presumably denied

her children.

But whereas Elkanah could see by her sad

looks that she was grieved at heart,

how

could he have

divined that her grief was due to remorse?
16.

Targum, Rashi, and Kimhi
as*
'

refer

bvbl

T\2

to

Peninah, and interpret |nn

Give

me

not up for a re-

proach

'

(D"'^3n

S7).

But the narrator would no doubt have

expressed the idea rather differently, or would have at least

added the necessary complement
see Driver's note).
18.
^jasni

nD"in^

(cf.

Joel

2.

17

;

and

Budde and
far

others accept the conflate text of
n-j'sn

LXX

:

nnsr^n Nnm nam^

"j^m.

But

if

Hannah went

only as

as the r\2^7, which

must have been attached
it

to the sanctuary, the narrator as HDin^ l^ni
'

would not have described

she went azvay \

For vn

LXX

has avveirea^v, which
4. 5, 6.

is

probably a parain

phrase reminiscent of Gen.

The phrase

MT,

though without

parallel elsewhere,

may

nevertheless be as

genuine a Hebrew idiom as the very rare expression in

Gen.

4.

6.

Klostermann and Budde read

n^"'Sn,

citing

Jer. 3. 12. tive

But there the phrase means

'

to display vindic-

anger against somebody', a sense quite unsuitable here.
22.

The

traditional pointing HNIJi as a NipJial here
this ritual expression occurs, has
ti.

and elsewhere, wherever

been vindicated by Schorr {Hlonatschrift fiir GescJiichte
Wissenschaft
d. Jjidentiims^
is

1909,

p.

438

f.).

The

pointing
fact

of this verb as a kal

here entirely excluded

by the

that the construction
like

demands the perfect consecutive

tense,

the preceding and following verbs.

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
2.

— SEGAL

205

i-io.
1.

The Song of Hannah.
'T'pn,

For ybv Targum has

and

LXX

ia-Tepecodrj,
J'DN*,

and Peshitta ^a.^.

This points

to

an original reading
ybv.

which seems preferable to the
better parallel to ^np non and
in the conclusion of the

MT
'2

For

''lb )'0S'

forms a

nm

than n^

ybv.

Similarly

poem we have

the idea of strength
:

made
^nnD:r

parallel to the exaltation of the horn
''D?

IV jn^l

\\

]'^p

m^i.

Further,
"i::,

|Vy

does not form a logical antecedent to

since the ideas of the
Cf.

two clauses

are practically-

identical.

also

Aptowitzer,
II,

Das

Schriftivort in dcr
ni.T'i

rabbinischen Litcratnr,

4.

For the second

we

should read
Cf.

^^^^*n,

as

in

many MSS.
px
i;d

LXX

and Vulg,

Aptowitzer,
2.

I, '^'].

I

suspect that

"Xthl

is

a gloss.

The

line

is

one word shorter than the other
the statement
if
is

lines of the

poem. Further,

inconsistent with the rest of the verse.
it

For

there

is

no existence besides God,
comparison between

is

impossible to other
beino-.

institute a

Him and any
in ver. i,

Again, with the exception of ^nI;1L^"3
out the

poem spoken

of

in

the third person.

God is throuo-hThe clause
against

must have been originally an ejaculation of some pious
reader,
false

written in the

margin, and

directed

the

inference

which might be

drawn from the

poet's

words that there
a 'rock',
strength as
3.

may

be

in existence a

holy being or

though not of the same exalted holiness or

God Himself. The second r\'?;2i should be
Since

deleted as

a

ditto-

graphy, which renders the
5.
J.

line too long.

Reifman ly has been
line

rightly joined to the

preceding verb, thus giving the

the same

number
is

of

words

as

most other
into nny.

lines of the
I

poem.

This ny

usually

emended

think nyn would be more suitable.

2o6

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
lo. I accept

Budde's excellent emendation of
]vbv.

Q'<r2\:'2

)bv

on:
W^'K)

into
.
.

QVy
.

"C'2

The
i

last

two

lines

of the

poem
by

;n^1

are a later liturgical addition, suggested
lines
(ver,
p.

the

first

two

a

/3 y.-

So already
been

Cheyne,

Origiii

of the Psalier,

57.

The poem, though almost
employed
in

wholly of a didactic nature,

may have

the liturgy at an early period, when a prayer was added
to
it

for the prosperity of the king.

We

are

now

in a position to

determine the form and
consists
first

construction
strophes.

of our poem.
I

The poem
are

of four

Strophe
first

has two verses, the

a tetrastich

of which the

three lines

synonymous, and the

fourth synthetic (ver. i),and the second a distich of synony-

mous
verse

lines (ver. 2).
is

Strophe

II

has three verses.
first

The

first

a tetrastich in which the

line

is

synonymous
to the fourth
first

to the second line, the third line
line,

synonymous

the second couplet being synthetic to the

couplet

(ver. 3).
first

The second
is

verse

is

a tetrastich
line,
first

in

which the

line

antithetical to the second

the third line

antithetical

to

the

fourth

line,

the
(vv.

couplet
a)-

being
third

synonymous to the second couplet
verse
is

4-5

The

a distich of antithetical lines.

Strophe III has

also three verses.

The

first

verse

is

a tetrastich in

which

the

first

line

is

synonymous
the fourth

to the second, and the third
line,

synonymous
synonymous
verse
is

to

the

first

couplet being

to the second couplet (vv. 6-7).

The second
lines,

likewise a tetrastich of
is
is,

synonymous
first

but the

second couplet

synthetic to the

couplet

(ver. 8 a).

The

last

verse

like the last verse in the

two previous

strophes, a distich, the lines of which are,
(ver. 8 b).

however, synthetic
I,

Strophe IV consists, like strophe
2

of but

two

Cf. this

Review,

vol. VI, p.

557

(§ 34).

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
verses, with this difference, that

— SEGAL

207

both verses are

tristichs.

In the
line,

first

verse the

first line is

antithetical to the second
line (ver. 9).

and both are synthetic to the third
first

In

the second verse the
line,

hne
is

is

synonymous

to the second
a).

and the third

h"ne

recapitulatory (ver. 10

The

lines in the

poem

are throughout trimetric with the excep-

tion of the last line in each of the

two verses

in

strophe IV,

which has four

stresses.

We
arranged

will
in

now

set

out

the whole text
:

of the

poem

accordance with this description
III.

I.

n^n':^

nvrrj

r\)r\'

i.

ni,Tn "2^

)*dn*

i.

h

nsyr^ D^PD

2.

_^^^,^

.

„.^^P

.D^nr ni33 xddi

.^nn nn^i^y

nL"^i

(nn3j)

nnx

nmn

innn-PN

r-.

jV.
L 101^ ^:^'^3 "yL-ni

22^3"^

pny

sv

mn^ niyi i's-o
.ni7?y
1:3713
171

.c"N 13:' n^n x^->3

ar.n on^:
nin'
2.

n'^'p

2.

innD inn'

^'^

^"i'!^

D'^"i:'3:i

Dy^' cv:^2 ]vbv

^"^-"^"^

°"^^

°'^'2-"

.ps

'D£N*

pT mn'
ry
'^'[p

.(?)^V1 '^'^^ °'^y^^

i3^D^
.[in"j'D

in'i]

ny^L" nib' nipv 3.n^^?:x d';3

nvi

nam
r

VOL. X.

208
2, 29.

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

LXX
critics

offers
:

no justification
"JT'IV
. .
.

for the curious

reading

of

some
I2^2<i

piyo

ni:an

no^
is

.

The phrase
altogether un-

piyo

has no parallel elsewhere, and

Hebraic.
as in

The
only

original
in

Hebrew
disorder,

of the

LXX

was the same

MT,
;^6.

some

vjynn the translator read

as D*2n,

and pyo For
it

Nl^iv

Ci'C'N*)

as the familiar py "V.

'':n2D

LXX

has Trapdptyjrou, evidently con25,
5),
'

necting

with
'.

n'SD

(Lev.

seed

poured

out

involuntarily
4.
2.

For *C'Dni many moderns read
is

after

LXX

(/c.

e/cXirei/)
it

Dm.

But the expression

not found elsewhere, and

conveys no

intelligible idea.

The

MT

is

no doubt correct.

The verb may,
as suggested

perhaps, be taken in an intransitive sense
in his
' :

by R. Jonah Ibn Janah

Book of Roots
with
para-

(Hebrew
itself

edition
'.

by W. Bacher,
take

p.
it

303)

the battle spread

out

It is better to

in a transitive sense

an

implicit

object,

viz.

the

warriors, as
ic-'^Dixi.

correctly
Cf.

phrased by Targum,

t?n-ip

nny

the passive

and

reflexive applied to warriors in 30. 16,
15. 9

and

H 5.

18,

22

;

Judges
7.

with the

Targum ad
The word

loc.

The

original reading

seems to have been
on^^x

(isa

= )w
of

'en

ks*

nn^^N D^^^vS.

dropped out from

MT

through haplography

(an^^s

=

D^n^s).

The

fear

the Philistines was not due to the mere fact that the Deity

had come

to the scene of battle, but rather to the fact that
Israelites,

the Deity had come to the

and not to them.

The

conflate reading which
:

some moderns derive from
is

LXX

'on

bs*

cn''i?x

isa

chm^n h^n

certainly wrong.

The

question of the Philistines was not
that the answer should be
'

'What

is

the

Ark?'

These are their gods
'

who have
the cause

come unto

them.'
?
'

The

question was,

What

is

of the great shout

(ver. 6 a),

and

to this the}'

have already

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
received an answer in ver. 6 b.
is

— SEGAL
D'n^N as in

209

The reading

MT
in

supported by

ver. 8.

This does not necessarily mean
'

the

mouth of the

a god.
dealing

God but merely Further, we have to remember that we are really with the words of a Hebrew writer, though they
Phih'stines the absolute
',

are ascribed to the Philistines.
is

(6

^eo?) avroov in

LXX, L
is

probably a scribal addition, while npN {ovroi or ovtos)

probably merely a dittography of cn^x.
8.

"imon

is

difficult.

Perhaps the narrator put
Philistines

it

deliberately

into

the

mouth of the

to

show

their ignorance.

The emendation

I3nai cannot be right,
It is

since njo 7D3 includes also 131.

to be noted that
in

R. Isaiah and

Ralbag would read imnaT, as

LXX
'^'h

and Pesh.
13.

The

correct reading
in

is

with

all

moderns
here with

"ly'u'n

Tinn navo as
in

LXX

;

cf.

also

Targum
meant

Targum
P.

II

18.

4.

See Driver's note ad

loc.
is

H.

Smith

{ibid.

35)

asserts that the gate
(cf.

the gate of the
city,

Sanctuary

1.9):

for, if it

was the gate of the

then Eli would have received the tidings before the people
within the city.

But

this

shows a

total

misunderstanding

of our passage.
(N3
.

The

repetition of the verb in this verse

.

.

NT1) indicates that at his entry into the city the

messenger saw Eli sitting and anxiously watching by the
roadside
for

news

(.

.

.

njm

N3'"i).

But

the

messenger

evidently had not the heart to break the sad news to the
old priest, and so he passed
city
(.
, .

him by and went

into the

S3

•c'\xni).

Eli,

however, had not seen the

man

owing

to his blindness (ver. 15).

But when he had inquired

for the cause of the

outcry in the city, then the messenger
It will

hastened back to bring him the tidings.
seen that the parenthetical ver. 15
is

thus be

necessary to the under-

P a

2IO

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
is

standing of the narrative, and
of the text.
1

therefore an original part

6.

Wcllhausen {Compositioir^ 371) thinks that ver.i6a

contains a doublet.

The

truth

is

that the repetition
is

is

an

original part of the narrative,

and

intended to indicate
to repeat his

the great excitement of the speaker,

who had
clear.

words

in

order to

make

his

meaning

This shows the
note further the

consummate

art of our narrator.

We may

wonderful vividness of the whole passage, the nervous and
rapid

movement of

the sentences, the effective use of the

circumstantial clause, the variety and change of the tenses,

and, finally, the artistic gradation of the events, leading

up to a climax
i(S.

at the

end of the passage.

yiani.

This verb seems to be intended to convey

the idea that the birth throes

came on suddenly without

preparation or the aid of a midwife, even like the childbirth

of wild animals
21.

;

cf.

Job

39. 3,
is

The

subject of N'lpm

the mother, as of I'^xm in

the next verse.
hold,

Had
in

the subject been, as the moderns
her, the
4. 1 7 b.

the

women around
Ruth
Smith
(p.

writer

would no doubt
ver.

have said njsipn as
as H. P.

To

argue from

20

b,

36) does, that the
is

mother had already

become unconscious,
narrator.

to misapprehend the
is

meaning of the

What

he means to convey

that the mother

was so overwhelmed by the sense

of Israel's calamity that

even so joyful an event as the birth of a son could not
distract her

mind from the contemplation of the national

catastrophe.
6. 2.

Rashi correctly interprets nD3^pjy
:

nr\sn

'

in

what
If

manner?'; so Vulg.
Philistines

quoinodo?

cf.

Judges

16. 3.

the

had known that they had to send back the Ark
gift,

accompanied with a

and only asked what the

gift

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
should be (n»a

— SEGAL

211

=

'

wherewith

',

as the

moderns explain

it

after Pesh. Jiusas), there

would have been no need on the

part of the priest to say
19.

Dpn

IDN in^C'n ^X (ver. 3).
C^r'rDn

The absence
D''"k:'t:n

of the copula before
t:"'S*

proves

that

C'^N

is

a variant reading of

n^^l^

.

After
^i^s*

this variant

had crept into the

text, a scribe inserted

to give the expression

some

sense, but

luckily failed to

supply also the copula to
express the copula.
Cf. Aptowitzer,
8. 2.
I,

n"'EJ'»n.

So

also in

The Versions, however, some MSS, and old citations.
the
difficulty

42.

The

ancients

already noted

that

Samuel should have placed
frontier

his sons at the

extreme Southern
a,
2.

town of Beersheba.
;

See Babli Shabbat^ 56

and Kimhi here

cf.

also Josephus, Antiquities^ VI, 3.
easily.

But the matter can be explained quite
not resign his office to his sons.

Samuel did

would no doubt have placed them
sanctuary
in the centre of the land.

at

Had he done so, he Ramah or some other

He

appointed his sons
districts, to

only to relieve him of work in the outlying

which he could not attend personally owing to
It

his old agC:

may be
8.

noted in passing that Beersheba was a famous
cf.

sanctuary,

Gen. 46.

1

;

Amos

8.

14.

The moderns,

following

LXX,
is

insert

'h

after
"h

\m
1^

and explain that the comparison
at the end of the verse to deal with
this
is
'

between

this

and

:

As they have been accustomed
also with thee.'

Me, so are they dealing

But

a contradiction of the statement in the last verse

that the people's

demand
in

for a

king
the

is

not a rejection of

Samuel.

It

is

better to
"ji?

retain

reading of
"joy,

MT

and

to take with

Kimhi

the sense of

and to interpret

the comparison as being between the people's conduct in the past and in the present
:

as they have been accustomed

;

212

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Exodus, so ihey are acting now unto

to act ever since the

thee, viz. in thy time.
9. 18.
cf.

Targum
Cf. the

(yisi)

seems to have read ^"2^

for

L*'J'l

25. 20.

remark of R. Tanhum

(ed. Haarbriicker,

Leipzig, 1844) on 25. 14.
20. D"'DM nu'TJ".
n^D'' nt:'^u'.

The
nnrn
is

original reading

was probably

The

n in

a dittography of the n (an error

for n) at the

end of the

last

word, or perhaps a correc-

tion of this n.
24.
"'??f ,

For -ism

read, with

H.

P.

Smith and Nowack,
last

:n

being dittographed from the

word
j

^^^

(

= ?n).
is

Or,

perhaps,

we

should

read

"iL*'2n,

the

being a corD"'w

ruption
passive

of 2 and X inserted
participle

to

make
24. 21.

sense.

a

as

in

Num.

For Dyn

"iCN7

LXX
TJ'N
'

has Trapa rovs aXXov?
'\'C'^
.


is

D"'"'inx7.

Hence

I

propose

to read "inxi for
(cf.

"Tixip

a relative clause without

Gesenius-Kautzsch,
is

Hch.

Gram.,

§

155

f scq^.

Behold the flesh
(this)

set before thee, eat
it

thou

(first),

for

unto

appointed time hath

been reseived for thee,
I

and afterward
these words

the people {whom)
invites Saul,

have

invited.'

In

Samuel

whom
him

he has placed at

the head of the table (ver. 22), to preside at the meal
instead of himself; and he asks
to begin the meal,
:

probably by pronouncing the formal benediction
13
:

cf.

ver.

D^xnpn >,bx'
with Rashi.

p nnx

nnin ina^ xin '3.

See Babli Berakot,

48

b,

10. 12. DB'D is difficult.

LXX

reads

Dnr?.
;

It is
cf.

perhaps
14. 28.
;

better to read Dl'no, mentioned in last verse

For
2

Dn'':}X

Targum
&c.

has

]'^^'y^,

viz. in

a spiritual sense

cf.

Kings

2. 12,

25. T\y?^r\
in relation to

t23"j'D

is

the rights and duties of kingship

the people, which Samuel settled and sealed

before God. thus giving

them the

sanctity

of a

solemn

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
covenant.
Cf. the
5.
3.

— SEGAL
n^ii?*;,"!

2T3

covenant
critics

made by David on
assert

his anoint-

ment, II
is

The

that this

DDC'O

identical with "i^cn dz'^d in 8. 9, \i.

But
the

it

is

incredible

that

Samuel would solemnly

invest

king with pre-

rogatives of such a tyrannical nature as those catalogued
in 8. 11-17.

only intended to frighten

The enumeration of those royal imposts was away the people from the institution
n

of the monarchy; cf R. Judah in Babli Sanhedrin, 20b:
-vhi Dn^^y D'\s^
N'^N
is
r^^i'^ii

mr^sj

si?.

13.3.

MT
;

correct.

Dnayn are the

Israelites

who

had permanently attached themselves as vassals to the
Philistine
in

see 14. 21.
as opposed

This class

is

also referred to

below
also

ver.

7,

to ^X"i-" C"S'

of ver.
p. 6.

6.

Cf.

Sayce, Early History of the Hebrews,
13.

The proposed
b.

pointing of

n!?

as ^_

= ^b (cf. Driver's

note)

is

improbable, as proved
Further,

by

the repetition of the

phrase in ver. 14

it is

not likely that Samuel
the beginning of his

would

fail

to state

categorically at

speech that Saul had broken God's command.
21.
'CiDT? in

nTVEH means sharpening
*

'

or 'filing', parallel to
"ii'3

the last verse.

It is

a verbal noun of
of 'to
file
'.

in its

primary and physical

sense
'

press'
is

(Gen. 19.9),

and hence

'

to sharpen
^pw*

or

'

to

D"'D

an old Hebrew

weight, and like
]\^bp

probably also a Hebrew coin.
ir^^C'l.

For

^b^b) read, with S. Raffaeli, bp'Cn
is

The meaning

of the verse

that the Philistines exacted from the Israelites

the heavy payment of a D^S for the sharpening or filing of

ploughshares and coulters, and a third of a shekel for the

sharpening of axes and for setting the goad.
the
writer's

Cf. further

paper

in

the

Quarterly

Statement
f.,

of the

Palestine Exploration Fund, 19 15, p. 40

with the refer1916, pp. 77
ff-

ences given there
14. 4. njD

;

and E.

J.

Pilcher,

ibid.,

may

be connected with the

name

of the tree

214
n:D.
it

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
TargLim has NJT'DmiD a treading
'

',

possibly connecting

with
5.

*JSD>3

'

boots

'.

pi\'D is

absent from

LXX,
:

hence the moderns omit
in

it

as a dittography of paVD.

This finds some support
N313^*a X''3nDD

the rendering of the
(cf.

Targum
cit.

=

JlSi'D

HDVD

also Aptowitzer, op.
in

21).

On

the other hand, the

omission

LXX
is

rendering of the

may be due Targum may be
not repeated
is

to haplography,

and the

based on a corrupt text.

That the word
meaning,
(p.

in clause b is
X"^

no proof of

its

spurious character, for neither
pVi'n

repeated.

As

for its

may

perhaps be connected, as H. P. Smith
6.

106)

has noted, with the Mishnic pIV {Yoma,

5;

B.

me SI

a, 7. 10).

14.

For

njyro cf.

Mishnah

Ohalot, 17.

i.
^r^T]?].

16. It

would be better

to omit the article in

as

suggested by Smith.

The reading
is

of

LXX

njnton,

which

some moderns adopt,
be noted that
sense.

incorrect, since, as the last verse
It

shows, the panic was not confined to the camp.
;urn is
it

may

used

in ver.

19 in a slightly different
',

Here
'

means 'the crowd

but

in ver.

19

it

means

the

*

tumult

of the crowd.

25-26

a.

The text

is
:

here certainly

in disorder,

but the

emendation of the
is

critics

nm

li'n

or

Vim

ni?n for
it

^21
is

"j^n

much

too ingenious to be correct.

Further,
writer

ex-

ceedingly doubtful whether a

Hebrew

would have

used such an expression.
critics, ver.

I

propose to omit, with the
/'"ixn

25 a as a doublet of ver. 26 a (note also
"ij/"'

in ver.

29a), to insert
b,

— 'honeycomb' — before
in ver.
is

t^m
:

in
Uc'n

ver.

25

and

to point

']bn

26 as a participle
in the
^T'1

'flowing', instead of ^bn

which
:

only found

sense

of guest
'

'

or

'

wayfarer
!?s'

'

m\rr\ "Z^ bv

cm

"ly^

(ver.

25

b).

ran

"iiSn

njm

-ii;\t

nyn nti (ver. 26).

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
47.

— SEGAL
t:'l"

215
or

For

y^:^"!''

vvc

should perhaps read
to

ti'''"}i\

48. IHDu^
S/iassu,

is

a

synonym

Amalek.

It is

the Egyptian
;

the

marauding Bedazvi of the wilderness
pp. 171, 222.

cf.

Sayce,

op. cit..

15. 7. n7"'ino.

There

is

no need to change the

text.

The

frontiers

do not describe the extent of Saul's campaign.
to define the defeated
foe

They

onl}' serve

as one

who

habitually

roamed about

the

vast

area

lying

between

Havilah and Shur.
23.

For the

active form

i^?'!',

we should perhaps
"i^^'^n

point
"i^'r"!^,

the

word

as a passive, either nipJial

or JiopJi al
',

which would mean

to allow oneself to
'

be urged

to be
',

persuaded, and hence
parallel to

to hesitate in obeying, to disobey

no.
ninyo.

32.

We

should

perhaps read nmyr:;n
Isaiah.

'in

chains
of the

;
'

cf.

Kimhi, Ralbag, and R.
been

The omission
of the

5

may have
D.

due

to

haplography

The rendering of LXX rpenoav, according to which many moderns point JTiiiiyip is not in accord with the light-hearted temper of Agag as displayed
graphically similar
,

by

his

contemptuous remark

in clause b.

16. 5.
NniT'Ei'^,

Targum

renders

n^n here and

in

ver.
it

3

by

whereas nnp at the end of this verse

renders

NC^Tip non:^.

This seems to imply that the elders were

invited only to the sacrificial meal, but not to the sacrifice
itself,

which was reserved
plausible.

for

Jesse and his sons.

This
to the

seems very

The

divine revelation
sacrifice,

came

prophet at the performance of the

and

in his fear

of Saul he did not wish strangers to be present

when he

made

the choice of the
II.

new

king.
JdpJiil 3p3
in

2D:

should

be pointed as a

ac-


2l6

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
;

cordance with the Mishnic idiom
6. 7,

cf.

Mishnah Berakot

&c.
12.

See also Driver's note.

The emendation

of

nb]!

for Dy

is

very improbable.
first

For D^y should have preceded also the
'J»1N.

adjective

Further,

it is

not likely that the same scribal error
in 17. 42.
It
is

would have been repeated
that
nn''

more probable

is
;

used in a substantival sense.
the use of n2; in vcr.
7,

So

LXX

/xeToc

KciXXov?

cf.

and Driver's note

here.

Targum
were, as

omits cy both here and

in 17. 42.

17. 19.

This verse

is

an addition by the narrator.
(cf.

If

it

some moderns

Smith, p. 157) assert, part of
to the whereabouts of his
,

Jesse's speech to direct

David

brothers, its

wording would have been

.

.

?31 hxL^'

Dy noni.

Further, the words D^nc'^a oy D^cn?: would be quite superfluous in the

mouth

of Jesse.
in his Notes'-, p.

34. Driver's

remark

144, that the
is

reading

nr for ntr
nT

has no manuscript authority,

incorrect.
(fl.

The reading
1340).
(:iD3

was already before R. Joseph Kaspi
remark:
113^

1280-

Cf.

his

nx^

Ton nr .Tnc

msj invn

''ns, ed. J. Last, p. 20).

40.

The genuineness
by
ver. 49,

of n''yin

hyi

is
is

proved conreferred to as
Dlp7''11
is

clusively
'^DH,

where the receptacle

and not as mp^\

Hence,

I

suspect that

a

gloss.

48. HDiycn

means here not the
fighting lines.

'

battle array

',

but the
its

space occupied by the

Such

is

obviously

meaning

also in ver. 20.

19. 24,
cf.
*

Targum

renders

D"iy

IC"13

=

Ui*,u» 'demented';
D'ly
*

Rashi.
',

Probably the translator pointed

=
'.

Di"'y

prudent

and regarded

it

as a

euphemism

for
:

mad

20. 20.

The emendation, based on

LXX

D^vnn ^h'Z^^
its

'•3X1

nnix

n'ni;

'

And

I

on the third day

will

shoot to

side with

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
arrows
can hardly be right.

—SEGAL

217

',

For apart from the questionof this proposed sentence, the

able character of the

Hebrew
is

statement contained therein
arrows not on
in

not correct. Jonathan shot the
i.

the third but on the fourth day,

e.

including,

accordance with ancient

Hebrew
ver.

usage,

the day on
M''i,

which he was speaking.
third

Cf.

35:

ip22

viz.

the

day of the new moon.
is

As
by

the second day of the
n"7::n,
it

new

moon
third

described in ver. 19

follows that the

day

could not also be designated
better to
retain

by

:;7w'N.

It

is,

therefore,

the

reading of

MT, and
The

to

explain

nni*,

with Rashi and others, as nvp.

accent

should, of course, be shifted backwards to the penultima.
D''Vra

must be taken

literally.

For, as a matter of fact,

Jonathan shot more than one arrow, against
moderns, as
is

LXX

and the
which

proved by the verb
if

Vipb^)

in ver.

3<S,

would not have been used
been picked up.

only one arrow was to have
'':>nn

The form

in vv. ;^6,
D''Vnn,

^y must there-

fore be regarded as a collective

=

or as a contraction

of "vnn.
21. I3np

cannot be addressed to the

lad, as the

moderns

interpret after
flous
after

LXX and Vulg.
,

;

for
.

it

would be quite superAgain,
if

the comm.and
it

.

NVD.

I3np

was

addressed to the lad,

would have been repeated

in the
iJiip

next verse.

We

must, therefore, conclude that

is

addressed to David.
explains, to the lad.

The

suffix refers, as

Kimhi

rightly

If the suffix referred to the arrows,

as Rashi seems to imply, the form

would have been Dnp.

See

last

note.

Further, there

is
'

no reason why David

should be charged to pick up an arrow\

The meaning
the

is

:

You need have no fear to show yourself you may actually come back to me in
the lad.

to anybody, but

company

of

2l8

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
21. 8. D'ynn

cannot be an error

for C'iin, since, as

is

evident from 22. 17, 18,

Doeg

did not belong to that company.

The

use of

T2S

for

1'^'

or w'NI
{viiioov

may
-a?

be of foreign origin like
tj/xlouovs)

Doeg

himself.

LXX

seems to have

read Dnisn nyi.
14.
Ij'J'^i.

The verb

nyj'
'

may, perhaps, be used here
be demented
'.

with the Syriac }uiancc of

to

See above

on

J

9.

24.
I.

22.

The moderns
But
it is

assert

that

myc
in

is

a scribal error

for m!>0.

incredible that this error should have

been repeated

in

II 23. 13

and copied

i

Chron.

11. 15

and

in all

the Ancient Versions.

Xo doubt

nnyo

is

right.

As
The
to

II 23.
latter

14 implies,

mVD

and miv?^ are not synonymous.

seems to include the former.
fort
it

The mViO seems
for

have been a

on the

hill,

which served as a watchthe

tower and also,
captain.

would appear, as a residence

The
Thus

nnyo,

on the other hand, seems to have

served as a storehouse and as a place of retreat in time of

danger.
mTiVr.
all

in

24.

i

we

find

David dwelling

in

the

But when Saul comes

to search for him,.

David and
4).

his

men

are found in the recesses of the n"iyD (24.

On
Cf.

the departure of Saul and the disappearance of the

danger, David and his

men

return to the
nv?.:,

nmVD
270
f.

(24.

23).

R. Jonah Ibn Janah,
23. 6.

op. cit. s.v.

p.

The
is

text of this verse

is difficult.

The rendering
n^"'yp

of

LXX

only an expanded paraphrase to overcome the

difficulty of

MT.
(n'^nx)

The

best solution

is

to omit

as

a doublet from the previous or following verse, and to read

with

Targum
24. JiyD

—nnin

for

it.
for, as is

cannot be right,
to

shown by the next
had arrived
in

verse,

David went

Ma'on only

after Saul

Ziph.

The

reading with

LXX,

in ver. 25, of TJ'S for a'k^M

:

STUDIES IX THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
will not
^'f

—SEGAL

219

remove the

difficult}-.

It

is

better to read here

for

1)]!^.

The

latter

has crept

in

here from ver. 25,

where

it is

found twice.
is

26.

Q'''\'^V

correct.

Cf. the IMidrash cited in
:

Yalkut
"l
"ikdn

and

in

the

Hebrew commentaries
literally in

V7y

'\Zi''pr\

n3S

mt3j?3.

So

Vulg.
is

:

iu

inodum coronac cingebant.
Saul would not have

The emendation on^y
attempted the more
in

unlikely.

difficult

task of crossing the mountain

order to effect the capture of the elusive David and his

band.

Targum

renders
Cf.

P3?^3,

which

may

perhaps point to

a reading

Cnx.

Tanhum's note ad
Notes (second

loc.

24. I. Driver in his

ed., p. 191)

expresses

surprise that David's going from Ziph

(= Ma'on)to 'EngedJ
is

should be described as ^yi, seeing that 'Engedi

situated
is

some 3,560

ft.

below Ziph.

But no doubt the verb nby
or, to

used here idiomatically of going northwards,
precise, in a north-easterly direction

be more

from Ma'on to 'Engedi.

Conv^ersely

Ti""

is

used of going southwards towards the
level of the localities of departure 20,

Negeb, irrespective of the

and

arrival.

Cf.

23.

19,
:

25;

25. i;

26. 2, &c.

Cf.
;

Ibn Ezra. Genesis 38. 2

"iiv Nin \CiTrh

nSy h^ pDV nN2D N3n
'{^\r\r\.

and Exod.
is

-^^i.

i

:

Sin

n^y bxDC^ nsD^

In 27. 8

rh'9

used in a military sense, as in Judges
3.

12. 3,
D"'y7Dn

&c.

Targum seems

to

have read
loc.

(=

n"'D''d)

for

D'^yM.
4.

See also Kimhi ad

The phrase vbn

riN "ion? is

well explained in Babli

Bcrakot, 62 b: hdidd icvy

idd'J'

no^D

nry^^s* "i

ncN.

As

to the

exact meaning of the euphemism, there

is

general agreement

among

the ancients that
;

it

describes the action of ventrevi

purgare; so Vulg.
a-D b^n'on ^21
it
. .

cf.

AlisJina Yoina, 3. 2 (cited

by Kimhi)

.

r^3n

ns*

iDcn

^3.

Kimhi, however, explains

here as

Dv:;

pri'i^'n!?,

connecting IDnp with the root 1D3, and

: ; :

220
vb'jl

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
with
D.T^:-! 'C'C, I

Kings

i8. 27

(Kere).

So Rashi

in

Babli Ycbamot, 103 a s.v. lDn>, but here Rashi gives the
first

and, no doubt, more correct interpretation.

25. 14.
20.

Should we, perhaps, read
~inD2
is

"ly;""!

for

oyi

?

rendered

by Targum

~ii:D3,

no doubt

through assonance.
22.
V*iD yT'
cf.
pn^i'JD

is

rendered

by Targum euphemistically
i.

= any

one with knowledge,
Perhaps,
is

e.

any human being

Rashi

and Kimhi.

however, Jacob
in

Levy

{Chald.

Worterbiich, s.v. VT)
as

right

interpreting the

Targum ic phrase
intercourse.

any grown up male who knows sexual

23-24.
first

.

.

.

^2ni

.

.

.

^Dni

.

Our

text

may

be right
a sign
feet as

she prostrated

herself at

a distance as

of

respect,

and then she threw herself at David's

a

suppliant.
29.
Qi^'l

is

correct.

It is

incorrect to take

it,

as

many

moderns do,

as a conditional,

and to point

Qi?^l

or to read

C^i, since his

being persecuted was not hypothetical, but

a hard
C'TiH in

fact.

For

cns' cf.

24. 10.
. . .

With
r\y^,-^''

n^^nn -in»*

cf.

"12D

Exod.

32. 32,

&c.

may have been
belief.

a

popular imprecation based upon some primitive
y^pn ^3
cf.

For

Rashi here and
is

in

Babli Shabbat, 151a.

26. 20. n:JO
cf.

best

explained as equivalent to pirno
9.

Ps. 38.

12

;

Amos
it

3: 'Far

away from

the Lord's

presence', where

might

not attract His attention to

avenge me.
28. 13.

The

reading

b^i^'y

instead of

b^vc'Z"

found

in

some

MSS.
is

of

LXX

and adopted by a number of moderns,

certainly wrong.

The

narrator would have said

"i^Di,

instead of xim.

Further, Saul's question in the next verse

n'NI ~^

'2

and the woman's answer prove that the woman's

:

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
detection

— SEGAL

221

of

Saul's

identity

was caused by something
Cf. the well-

extraordinary in the appearance of the ghost.

known passage
nh"^

in

TauJuinia on Lev. 21.

i

cited here
61.

by

Rashi and Kimhi.
13.
.
.

See also Aptowitzer,
.

II,

DN"i^N,

cf.

Driver's note.

The

ancient

Rabbis already explained the plural by the supposition that
there appeared

more than one
loc. cit.
I

spirit

;

see Badlt HagigaJi,

4 b,

and Tanhtima,

conjecture that the

woman

used

the plural because she was not a believer in monotheism.

She may have belonged to the aboriginal heathens of Endor,

who

survived the Israelitish conquest;
I.

cf.

Joshua

17.

11-12

;

Judges

27.

30. 5.

Budde
to

eliminates this verse, but without cogent

reason.

The wives
of David's

of David were persons of too great

importance

be lumped

together

with

the

nameless
special

women
(ver.

men.
in

Hence
the
is

they

receive

mention both here and
18).

account of

the

rescue

Further the verse

intended to explain the

cause of the excessive grief which David displayed equally

with his men.

9b-io. The text
of place in ver. 9
;

is

in

disorder,
in
:

inoy onmjni
ver.
ivj'3n

is

out

and the order

10 should have
. . .

been
:r^N

first

clause b and then clause a
. . .

dtind nr^yi
order,

TWi^'O

nn

^nTi,

Budde adopts

this

and

deletes HDJ? DnniJni as a gloss, but he does not explain the
origin

of this

gloss.

It

is
:

possible,

however, that
C'^s

the
fiTT'i

original text ran like this
'131 1-1J3

noy onm^ni
and

mxo

.

.

.

iB'N.

By some

accident nj:y anni^ni got transposed
in

to the end of the previous verse,

order to

make
it

sense the scribe inserted

J^'^s

cnXD

Y\'OVi^\,

as

we have

in

our text.

Or, again,
readinsrs

it is

possible that the scribe

had before

him two

222
)nr:v

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
(i)

Dnn"i:ni
;

•j-'n*

mxD

.

.

.

siiTi (ver. lo)
IVj'an

:

-ivi:'3n

^m

'm

in:3 TJ'N

(ii)

^121

^11')

(ver. to):

^m.
inferior,

The

scribe accepted the second,
it

though

reading

because

specifies clearly the

number

of the laggards, and

relegated n?:y Cinriiim to the margin,

whence

it

eventually-

got into the text at the end of ver.
17.

9.

For DmnJD^ we should read
of the

'mn'^i?, i.e.

on the

morrow
pedition.

day on which he had
:

set

out on his ex-

So Targum
Cf.

^"Innm N0V2

;

and apparently
cif.,

LXX
D
is

and Vulgate.

also Aptowitzer,

<?/.

65.

The

a scribal error for the zvazv at the end of this

word comincnnm.
10. 11)

bined with a dittographed zvazv from the beginning of the

next word
31. II.

(D

=

11).

Cf. 15. 3
''2'^

:

nNT~5nsDinni
(i

= nsi

Instead of

the chronicler

Chron.

has h^.

'•35;'''

must have

fallen out in his text of
'C'ly

Samuel
sense

through haplography of the similar
with the plural verb
II
I. I.
'ii?'^-"'1

To make
is

he inserted ?3. very awkward.
sequence

The

construction of this verse

The

writer evidently wished to

combine

in logical

the three events of the death of Saul, the return of

David

from the expedition against the Amalekites and the arrival
of the bearer of tidings from Gilboa, but he was unequal
to the task.

He,

therefore, felt obliged to
:

have recourse

to the use of a circumstantial clause

'in au' Tni.

That

this
it

clause

is

not a parenthesis

is

shown by the

fact

that
ver.

forms

the

antecedent
(p.

to

the

opening words of

2.

H. P. Smith
verse was:

256)
2'c"')

holds that the original
, .

form of the

'i3l

*in

.

niDHD

nn
is

ap;

nns

^T'^,

and that

the reference to the death of Saul
to the present context.

an

editorial

adaptation

But

it

is

unlikely that the original
this section with a

narrator would have chosen
reference
to

to begin

the

comparatively unimportant episode of

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL

—SEGAL

223

David's fight with the Amalekites, instead of connecting
it

with the big event of Saul's death, an event which forms

the pivot of the whole succeeding narrative.
6.

Wellhausen's explanation

of

D^'tJ'nDn
is

"bv^

is

too

ingenious to be true.
the phrase as Dn^^y

No

doubt Kimhi

right in explaining

D^;i»:?2ni '-•j-isn '•L"xn.

So

LXX i-mroipxaL.
See
h'91

For a

parallel

cf. 33"i ""bya

in

the Zenjirli Inscription.
Insa'iptio7is^
is

G. A. Cooke, North Semitic
with the sense of
^'Ni or
'^L^•

No.

62, 10.

also found
45, 9.
''a
.

in

the Punic

phrase D-|33y
9.

'iTin

^'3. ibid.,

No.

The ungrammatical

expression

.

,

Tiy bn is

most

probably a colloquialism.
12.

The apparent tautology
Isaiah,
^y
is

in b^'-\^^ n^n

bj?l

'n

DV by
'i"Mn,
is

was already noted by R.
meaning that
^NTJ"'

who remarks

:

nin^

nn

epexegetical.
't\

But there

really no difficulty at

all,

for

oy refers to the fighting

men who
Lord
(cf

fell

in

the battle fighting in the cause of the
!"N~lw"'

I 2fj.

28, &c.), while

JT'l

refers to the non-

combatants, particularly
slain

women and

children,

who were
men
?X"iu^''

by

the Philistines in their invasion of the Israelitish
"1).

cities (I 31.

Dy has the meaning of fighting

also
n^a

in vcr. in

4 and frequently elsewhere. For the use of
cf.

this sense

the

comment
:

of Mekilta on

Exod.

19. 3

(cited
2.

by Rashi,
15.

ibid.)

CuOn

i^N apy^ irn.
is

The
The

luaiv in 'C"nvT

a dittography of the prein ver. 31

ceding

final luin.

So

also in

''w:s*3T

below.

16.

critics,

with their usual knack of blundering

over the obvious, are read after

much
or
D''l"ifn.

puzzled over

D''"i2fn.

Some
Others
Others,

LXX
lie
;

Q''1^'l'

But these twenty-four men
//?/;//

did neither

in

zvait

nor

one another.

propose
again,

D"'"ilfn

but there were no besiegers here.

emend

C^V'j,

which they interpret as a play on the

VOL. X.

Q

224

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Our
text
is

preceding nV3, a most insipid derash.
certainly correct.

most
from
but

The
it,

field

was so named
it,

originally

the presence in
after the event

or beside

of certain sharp

flints,

described in the narrative, the

name

D"'"tvri

was connected with the sharp swords of the unfortunate

young men.
23.
n'':nn

Cf.

Rashi and R. Isaiah.
:

The

Versions support the reading of our text
difficulty of the phrase

nnw.
25.

The
"""inNn,

may

be removed

by pointing
most

as in
is

Targum

"'"insa.

nns

nya:

correct.
if

The emendation noN
in

ny3J

is

unlikely.

For
hill

the narrator meant to say that they

stood on the

mentioned
ny3:n.

the

last

verse,

he would

have said simply
3.
"iriw'N
,

Cf. also Driver's note.
later amplification of

.5.

nn

nc'N
I

may

be a

an original

as in
list

Chron.

3. 3.

The names

of other two wives

in

the

which are prefixed with ? are followed by a
In the case of npjy? the writer

descriptive adjective.

was

unable to supply any further description, and he simply

wrote

inc'N,

which a

later scribe

expressed more explicitly

as in our text.
7.
I

conjecture that navi was of non-Israelitish origin.
is

Her name
written
^IV")

connected with the Semitic divinity
cf.

flw'l,

also

;

~|V"impb?ob,

Cooke,

op.

cit.,

pp. 56-7
is

;

and

No. 150,

5.

Further, her father's

name

n'N

only found

among

the Horites,

Gen

36. 24.

5. 6.

For ll'DH Targum has invnysn.
T!''pnn.

Accordingly we
of the 5

may
final

perhaps emend

The omission

may

have been due to haplography of the graphically similar

5 of the preceding word.

6. 3.

The

pointing of vhsi as

vrixi

is

improbable.

The

narrator would surely have been able to add the proper

name

of Uzza's brother.

The name vnx may be

a caritative

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
form of
in-'HS.

— SEGAL
in^'c*^

225
^yac'-

Cf.

re-''

=

"Vl:'^

(I

14. 49)

=

=

=

7. II.

The moderns,
Dvn

following

LXX,

omit the copula
, .

form pb). So already R. Isaiah, who observes
n'l^^)^
^n"'iv

.

"in"'

i"^in

"iB'N

p

)^t^

1^:3

im;y^ n^iy

'•n

id^dv

n^c
from
it

But

this

is

unlikely, since Israel suffered oppression also

before the period of the Judges, viz. in Egypt.
Qlpn
"ncc'l,

And

which

refers to the

conquest of Canaan,

is

obvious that

^Jl:^^s^a

must

refer to the period before

Israel

had acquired a

territory of its
;

own.
cf.

Hence

it

is

necessary

to retain the copula with |D?1 Tjni
^nn^jni
. .

also Rashi's note.

is
.

a perfect consecutive like the preceding verbs
. . .

vnyt::i

^nrotri

.

.

.

^n^B^yi

' :

The Lord make
T'JXi,

will

show thee
modern
an ex-

by

the birth of

Solomon
i

that

He

will

thee a house'."

The reading
emendation

of

Chron.

17.

10:

or

the

T'ici

involves too abrupt a change of tense.

19. niin is

perhaps an error

for nnin
is

:

this,

pression of gratitude

by means
offer to

of words,

all

the thanks

which mortal man can

God

(ver. 20),

but even

my

words of gratitude are superfluous, since Thou,
God, knowest
21.
I

O

Lord
and

Thy

servant and the thoughts of his heart.
for
1"13"I,

The reading pay
19,

as

in

LXX

Chron. 17.

cannot be

right.

Such a claim by David
state-

for himself

would be a flagrant contradiction of the
18 that he
is

ment

in ver.

not worthy of God's favours.
n^i:

23.

The words

vnrsi

seem

to have been lacking inserted
original.
i

in the original text of

Targum, and to have been
the

in

our text of the

Targum from
vnpx
is

Hebrew

Cf.

Kimhi's comment,

lacking also in

Chron.

17. 21.
^

Cf.

the writer's discussion of this passage in this
§ 92).

Review,

vol. IX,

p.

47f

Q3

226
8. I.

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
HDNn should perhaps be pointed ncNH 'the nation
Cf.,
'

(Gen. 25. 16, &c.).

however, Sayce,
explanation

op. cit.^

p.

414,

who

offers

an

excellent

of

the

baffling

phrase.
3.

Targum

(iT'Oinn
IT^

nx::^•x^)

may have
sign.

read ron^ for

TB'n? and interpreted
8.

as a

boundary

The name Tiia may perhaps be connected with Aramaic nn3 = Hebrew 'CV\1. LXX {koI kK Ta)v eKXcKTcou)
connects
it

with the root nna

= mn
P~iN

(cf. I

17. 8
is

:

n2).
It

10. 13.

The emendation

for

ny

unhappy.
for

would have been nothing short of blasphemy
say that they would by their strength save the

Joab to
of God.

Ark

Had
the

the

Ark been

with them in this battle, Joab would
to save the

have looked to the Ark

army

rather than that

army should save
11. 12.

the Ark.
following Lucian and thePeshitta,

The moderns,

connect mnr:D1 with the next verse. Mr. S. A.Cook{A mericaji

Journal of Semitic Languages,

vol.

XVI,

p. 156) actually

makes
For
i.

this

emendation an argument against the integrity But
this

of the text.
if

emendation seems to be quite wrong.
to eat

David

invited

Uriah

and drink before him ninr^D,
from the camp, then

e.

on the third day since

his arrival

Uriah's departure would have been delayed until the fourth
day, or after three nights, whereas David distinctly says
that he
viz.

would send him back on the third day
second night of Uriahs stay

=
in

inpC'N "inai,

after the
fact

Jerusalem.

The
order
in

seems to be that Uriah's carousal at David's
took place
in

(ver. 13)

the evening of his second night
in

Jerusalem, and as even

his state of intoxication his wife,

he

failed to

go home

to

spend the night with
the

David,

frightened that he might learn in
of his wife's visit to the king, sent

king's

household
his fatal

him back on

STUDIES IN THE ROOKS OF SAMUEL

— SEGAL

227

errand immediately on the morning following this second
night
(ver.

14

=

"ip33, viz. "inni

of ver. 12).

12. 6.

The change

of N? into

v

is

bad.

The

fact that

the rich
for

man had

pity on his
i'cn

own cannot be made

a reason

punishing him.
in ver. 4,

may

have been suggested by
it.

bi^m

but

is

not parallel to

31.

Targum

renders p^?03 DHIN Tnyni
it

= NVVJ'3

nnn^ 1^31,

taking p?D in the sense in which
Cf. Driver's note.

is

found
•i''2yni

in Jer. 43. 9.

The emendation

of

for n"'3ym
p. 36)
:

was
CiyDn

already suggested
n''33^

by R. Joseph Kaspi

(oj?. cit.,

nic'y^ nw'i^.

13. 9-10.
culties.

The

critics

have met here with various

diffi-

The hapax Icgomcnon

nTw'Dn has troubled them,
it

and some of them resolved to regard
of nantD.
(Lev.
in
2.

as an old corruption
in

But the occurrence of mi^D
5
;

the

Targumim
Yerushalmi
it

6.

14;

7.

9

;

Kzek.

4.

3

;

i

Chron. 23. 29) and
4.
i
;

Mishnic Hebrew (Mishnah

Hallah

Pesahim 29 b) ought surely to be
against this
JT'.?''Pl'
'

sufficient to protect
ns*

critical

'

scepticism.

The emendation
to see the

xnpni

for mr'r:n

ns* npni is

neither clever nor happy.

The
all

amorous Amnon, who was so eager
the

damsel do

work
an

herself

and

in his presence,

would surely not have
Again, some
critics

allowed the interference of the
see irreconcileable

ni.C'n,

discrepancy between ver.

9

and

ver. 10,

and therefore

adopt the usual remedy

of relegating

the
(cf.

offending ver. 10 to the margin as an

interpolation

They argue, if the food was already why does he ask her to bring it into the chamber ? And how could the sick man move from one room into another ? The answer is, taking the
Smith,
p. 330).

set before

him

(ver. 9 a)

'

'

second question

first,

that

Amnon

had only pretended to
his object

be

sick,

and that having achieved

of getting

228

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
into his power, he

Tamar

had no need to continue further

his dissimulation.

As
as

to the first question,

Amnon
in

asked

her to bring the food into the mne7- chamber,

order to
his

be removed as
attendants,

far

possible

from the hearing of

who were probably standing

just outside (ver. 9).

He

must have expected some opposition on her part, and

therefore hesitated to carry out his design on her in the
large

and accessible room which had
and attendants.
critics
'

just

been emptied of

his friends
18.
'

The

object
'

to

U'h^'a'O

and emend
'

D^Jiyo

from eternity
h^V'O
;

(I),

or D''77iyD
distinct

from babes

(!).

They argue
2cS.

that the

was

from the n^na

(Exod.

4).
it

Exactly so

therefore the narrator has to explain
for her

how

was that Tamar wore

upper garment a n^DD, which
:
'

was usually an under garment

For so the daughters of

the king were used to dress with a D'D2 nins as D^'yc, or

upper garments.'
14. 14. It
is

best to

emend

3"^^''

for

Nw'"'

:

'.

.

.

A.nd we

are like waters poured out to the ground, which cannot be

regathered

;

for

God

will not restore

the soul to the body,
so
as
Cf.

therefore one should

devise plans,
is

not to
^^^^

banish
2'^T\,

from oneself him that
I

banished.'
is
:

u'2J

Kings

17. 31.
life

The meaning
back
so

The dead cannot be
lose

re-

stored to

again,

and no amount of revenge on Absalom
;

will bring

Amnon
?

why

Absalom

also

by

banishment

Zu'ni

refers to

David, as already explained

by Rashi and Kimhi.
be moved forward to
15.
8.
l^'DJ,

The athnah should accordingly
which should be pointed
^t:}^.

The omission

of piann at the end of the verse,
ver.
7,

supplied, however,
rise to

by Lucian from

may have

given
b,

the explanation recorded in Babli Tcimirah, 14

that Absalom's ostensible object in going to

Hebron was

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL

— SEGAL

229

not to sacrifice there, but onl}- to obtain lambs for sacrificing
in

Jerusalem.
12.
It
is

generally
17.

assumed by moderns, and
3

so

already by

Kimhi on

and Ralbag on

16.

23, that

Ahitophel's enmity towards David was inspired by a desire
to

avenge the wrong David had done to Bath-sheba, whose

father

Eliam

(11. 3)

is

supposed to be identical with Eliam
in 23. 34.

son of Ahitophel, mentioned

But

is it

likely that

an unprincipled and ambitious

man

like

Ahitophel would

have hated David
wife in the royal
his enterprise,

for

making

his

granddaughter the favourite
in

harem ?

Moreover, by assisting Absalom

Ahitophel was actually endeavouring to rob

Solomon,

his alleged great-grandson, of the throne of Israel,

the promise of which must by that time have already been

made
that
it

to

him through Bath-sheba.
this

Nay,

it

is

v^ery likely

was

promise to Bath-sheba that drove Absalom
has always seemed strange that Absalom
it

to rebellion.

It

should

have thought

necessary to take

such violent
in

measures for seizing forcibly what would have been

the

natural course of events his rightful due within a few years.

For

it is

evident from David's conduct in this narrative that

the rebellion took place towards the end of

Davids
Seder

reign,
^Olaiii,

when he was already nearing
ch. 14).

his decline

(cf.

Why,

then, this fatal impatience on the part of
his

the

heir-apparent and

friends

?

The

fact

is

that

Absalom's conduct was actuated by the same motives as
that of Adonijah a few years later,
viz.

to prevent the aged

king from making good his promise to
adulterous parveiuie wife.

the

son of his

But the crafty grandfather of

that wife would surely not have taken the leading part in

a conspiracy against her

young

son.

We

must therefore
was
not

conclude that Eliam the father of Bath-sheba

230

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
It
is

Ahitophel's son.

also probable
in

that

the

narrator

would not have stopped short
sheba
at the

the pedigree of Bath-

mention of the comparatively obscure Eliam,
to trace

had he been able

him

further to such a

famous

personality as Ahitophel.
(1905), vol. II, p. 27, note.
p.

Cf

also \V. Jawitz, ?s~i"" nnpin

Wellhausen {Composition^ &c:\
than
'
:

258,

note),

with

more

his

usual

display

of

cynical
I

scepticism, remarks

Dass Davids Versprechen
ist,

K.

I, 13,

17 bisher nicht erwahnt
selber

kann nicht befremdavon weiss.
has overlooked

den.

da
I,

er

und

alle

Welt

nichts
critic

Vgl.
]

14

y~^2.-[

ns

"Tixbcv'

But the
recalls

Kings

I.

30,

where David

his

solemn oath

to

Bath-sheba.

Nathan's promise to corroborate or supplereference to her state-

ment Bath-sheba's words only had

ment about the doings of Adonijah. about which alone

Nathan speaks
no

in vv.

25-7.

There

is

in

Nathan's words

mention whatever of the king's oath to Bath-sheba,
in private.

which no doubt was made
19. I

venture to express the opinion that the
i^s'iicy.

name

TIN

is

a caritative form of n^'x^ parallel to

Similarly

other personal

names ending

in

"'^

may be
'''\r\)2

caritatives of

corresponding longer forms of theophorous names with the

element

n^-,

as

""'in
is

= n-j^in.

parallel to

=
f.)
;

r\^-\ni2

(23. 28).

But
cf.

this latter

more

likely to be connected with "ina 'gift';
cit., p.

the Punic bv^ inc, Cooke, op.
to

108

-nn (23. 9)

=

nnn, akin

innn

=

"innn (2
;

Chron. 20. 37;

cf Lucian,
(i

ibid., AovSiov), and

nnn"

"nn {2^. 29)

=

"an"
;

Chron.

II. 46)

also

^'y

= iT-TT, = ri'"^\
cf
"2B'

parallel to bvil'

and ^yano
in

and, perhaps,
''^, like
"3w'

So

also
2.

names ending
ri'^y^',

(17. 27).

(Ezra

42)=
"^^

parallel to buiv:* (i Chron.
10.

23.

16,

&c.)

;

further

(23. ^6) or ^^^ (Neh.

16)

=

n"J3, parallel to 'n";3

and ^wn\ and

others.

:

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
17.

— SEGAL

23I

14.

bxiL*"'

D'"'X

72)

is

obviously to be distinguished

from

bSTJ-'^ ^:pf

?3 in ver. 4 above.

The mass

of the people

were, like
tive

Absalom

himself, captivated
elders,

by Hushai's decep-

eloquence.

The

however, with their wider

experience and greater intelligence, preferred Ahitophel's
wiser counsel.
after all

Hence Hushai's

fear lest

Absalom should

be persuaded by the elders to adopt Ahitophel's

plan. vv. ij-K^.
16.

Kimhi

confesses

his

inability

to

explain
.

the
also

rendering of y^n^ by

Targum
vb^
in

ND^D^
It

"Jnn''

Noh

Cf.

Levy,
that

CJiald.

Worterbuch, 202 b.
takes
its

seems to the writer
application
'

Targum

ordinary
it

of

swallowing food, and

interprets

figuratively

:

Lest
',

Ahitophel's counsel be tasty and savoury to the king
referring 'V'cb to
19.

Absalom, as does
is

also Rashi.

niD"in

rendered

by Targum p

V

;

similarly

Lucian
niisn
'

and
the

Theodotian naXada?.
'.

Perhaps

they read

fruit

spread out for drying

in the sun.

18. 26.
"lyC'n

Most moderns point with
This
~^V'^'i^

LXX
is

and Peshitta
the narrator

for "lyb'H.

is

certainly
^N*.

wrong;

for

would have said

l^^

Nor

the emendation of

Smith

(p.

36c)

"lyj'n

bv

more happy.
it

For the narrator
"lyw'n

would certainly have expressed
Further,

by

bv

^J^'^*

1^^^^.

why

should this description of the watchman's
his

whereabouts be given here at the fourth mention of

name, and not
the pointing of
the roof

earlier in ver.

25?

There

is

no doubt that

The watchman standing on announced what he saw to the gatekeeper, who
is

MT

correct.

conveyed the news to the king.

This latter operation

is

not mentioned explicitly by the narrator, either because
its
it

performance

is

taken for granted, or more likely because
king himself

was unneccessary, seeing that the

was

232

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
watchman's voice
(ver.

sitting within hearing of the

24

a).

We

must assume that the

first

announcement by the watch-

man (ver. 25) was also made through the gatekeeper. So we also find the four lepers announcing important news to
the gatekeepers of Samaria, 2 Kings
29.
original.
7.

10, 11.

The text is, as already observed by Ehrlich, quite The incoherence of the reply of Ahima'as is a

deliberate artifice of the narrator to exhibit the messenger's

great embarrassment.
19. 10.

There
It

is

no reason to doubt the correctness of
used here alone in a reciprocal sense,
it

the form IHj.

is

but
Cf.

in

a passive sense

is

frequent in Alishnic Hebrew.

Mishna B. Kavinia
:

2.

5

;

Yadaivi
5. 6,

4. 3, particularly

with

a preformative hirek

Sanhedriu

&c.

See the

writer's

remarks
(•

in

this

REVIEW,

First

Series,

XX, 701-702
King of
acts

Mishnaic Hebrew', pp. ^^^ ^6).
23.
Tiyn^ is correct.
I
'

To-day

I feel

again as

Israel,

and

must not mar the joy of the day by
Cf.

of vengeance.'

the similar remark of Saul,
:

I

11, 13.

Many

moderns, following Lucian, read DnyT"
to-day /am king
.
.

Do you
this
it

not

know that

.

and notjjw^
Dvn(''D)
;

?

But

does not
suit the

explain the emphasis laid on

nor does
narrator

exclamation:

I'Di

ncv DIM.
. .

The

would have

made him say simply
32-41. This

.

VX^V N? Dvn.

passage

has given

much

trouble

to

modern
vv.

expositors.

The apparent

discrepancies between

3a

b,

34 b, 37

a,

and 40 have forced them to interpret

"I3y as

'to pass on' in vv. 32, 37 and as 'to cross over'
;

elsewhere in the passage

further to delete

X^'^tx

in ver. 32,

and pTH ns
p"i\n

in

ver.

o^-]

,

or to take

P~M

as

nnTn, and
ni2y

ns as

pTH

^x

;

and, finally, to read with Lucian

for nny in ver. 40.

This obviously does violence to the

STUDIES IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
text,
is

— SEGAL
fact,

233

and

is

altogether unsatisfactory.

The

however,

that, as stated explicitly in ver, 32, Barzillai

did cross

over the Jordan, and his leave-taking of the king must
therefore have taken place on the

Western

side of the river.

The above-mentioned
not
real.

discrepancies are only apparent and
in

Ver. 32

tells

a general

way

that

Barzillai

accompanied the king across the Jordan to take leave of
him, and
detail.

the

following verses
still

describe

the incident
river,

in

While

on the Eastern side of the

and

before the crossing had begun, the king invited Barzillai
to cross the river not for the purpose of leave-taking, but
in

order to go up to Jerusalem, and stay permanently
Barzillai declines to

in

the royal court (ver. 34).

go up to

Jerusalem

(vv.

'3,^^

'3fi),

and only consents just to cross over
(ver.

the river but not to go farther

37

a),

but offers to send

with the king his son

king accepts (ver.

39).

Kimham (ver. 38), which offer the When this conversation was over,
first

the crossing of the river began, and
across,

the people went
in his

and then the king with

Barzillai

company.

The king then took
finished

leave of Barzillai,

and the

latter returned

across the river to his
relating the

home

in

Gilead

(ver. 40).

Having
more

story of the king's leave-taking of
to
relate

Barzillai, the

narrator proceeds

another,

important, incident in connexion with this royal crossing
of the Jordan.

For

this

purpose he repeats the

fact that

the king had crossed over and gone to Gilgal, taking the

opportunity to mention that

in

accordance with the king's

promise to Barzillai
king to Gilgal
;

(ver. 39),

Kimham
relate,

accompanied the
the king had not

but, he goes

on to

waited until the whole of Israel should assemble to escort

him

across the river,

and had gone across with Judah and
(ver. 41).

only a portion of Israel

This disregard of David


234
for

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Israel
in

gave

rise

to an inter-tribal quarrel,

which

cul-

minated
41.

the rebellion of Sheba'. n'^Vl
is

The Kethib
in

probably due to the recur-

rence of this form
(Sia/Saivoi'Te^)

the next verse.

The reading

of
is

LXX
inad-

cnny, which

the moderns adopt,
is

missible.

For since the king

already represented as

being at Gilgal, the act of crossing with the king must

be conceived
20. 3.

as already lying in the past.

The

pointing after
'

LXX

nrn ni^oSx cannot be

right.

'

Living widows

cannot by any stretch of imaginatreated as widows,

tion be identical with

'women
I

whose

husband
is
u'^'T}

is

yet alive
'

'.

conjecture that the right reading

ni:rpl5X

widows
or,

for the
less

whole term of
""n

their

life

'

lifelong
living

widows,
'.

likely,

niJDpX
in

'

widows of a

husband

The

corrupt ending

nvn

may be due
word
niJ?o^N.

to the influence of the ending in the preceding

The whole phrase
often disregarded
8.
ic^'37

is

perhaps an expression of a proverbial
in

and colloquial character,
;

which grammatical niceties are
i.

cf.

note on

9.

I

propose to read

movn
"li^n
is

nin

i^yi

)y2 i^jn

3N"i'i.

is

a gloss on n?^, and

a dittography of

"ii^C,

since

the
is

important

fact

which the narrator wishes to

convey

not that Joab had on him a girdle, but that he
his

had a sword over

military cloak.

The
was

point in this
is

description, as already noted

by Rashi and Ralbag,
in
it

that

the

scabbard with the sword

not,

as

usual,

hanging down
his
loins

at his side vertically, but

was joined across
its

horizontally, so as to facilitate

falling out of

the scabbard at the inclination of the body and thus to give
Joab,

who would
in

quite

naturally

stoop to pick
in

it

up

from the ground,
arousing

a

naked sword

his

hand without

the mind of

Amasa

the least suspicion of foul


STUDIES
piay
with
(ver.

IN

THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL
For
NV' Nini

— SEGAL

235

10

a).

we must,

of course, read

LXX
T'n,

nNNf N^ni, viz.

the sword

from the scabbard,
his
left

which Joab immediately picked

up with
to

hand

(= axv
beard

ver. ic),

so

as

not
for

arouse Amasa's sus-

picions, using his right
(ver. 9 b).

hand

taking hold of Amasa's

12.

I

propose with Budde to delete

'^^m^

.

,

.

nsn

'y:?^-^

as an
Dyn.

expanded doublet of the preceding

^3 n»y

*3 L^'''Nn

NT1

The

original of this latter clause
s'3n

may, perhaps, have
::'\s*n

been as follows: v^y
13.

ayn ^3 noy

"'3

xnM.

Targum
o»i«:s»-

renders n:n by
also
is

n''j2S,

pointing nih^^npin;
active

so Pesh.

LXX
This

takes the verb in an

sense

ecpOacrei/.

also the view of
Isaiah.

Hayyuj and Ibn

Janah

(cited
26.

by Kimhi), and of R.
nx^^

P'or

Targum
with

has
the

yipn

;?^T

nwS-|\s\

thus

identifying
23. 26.

this

N"i^y

one

mentioned below,

It is

possible, as Rashi

and Kimhi remark, that
ns^ with
'yipn
lisr^,

the interpretation

yipn jnn connects

and
the

regards

it

as

synonymous
oil

with

because
is

of

abundance of
in

in

Tekoa, to which reference

made
in

Bad/i Menahot

cSj b.

This, however, shows a confusion that

of the Southern

Tekoa with the town of

name

the North.
23. 32.

The moderns agree

to delete
;

'':a

as a dittography
inJin^

of the end of the preceding word
verse, supplying \1 before notr,
in

to join

to the next
after
6
\^^,

and to

insert

''?12l'

accordance with the reading of Lucian 'leaa-al
'•Jinn

Towi.

for

of

I

Chron.

11.

34.

^Jijn

is

identified
;

with the
26. 48.
all

Naphtalite family mentioned in Gen. 46. 24

Num.

This identification
other heroes are

is,

however, improbable, since

the

drawn from the South, whereas Naphtali
the extreme North.

was

settled

in

Instead of

""JlMn

in

236
Chronicles,

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
I

would read
1

'':"iic:n,

from
28.
all,

iTttJ

near Ajalon on

the border of Philistia,

Chron.
after

18.
r\yi:o

On
in

the
ver.

same
0,6
is

ground

I

doubt

whether,

correct, since

Zobah was
inhabited,

situated in the far North, and in
it

addition

was

would

seem,

exclusively

by

Arameans.

MEGILLAT

A SOURCE FOR JEWISH CHRONOLOGY AND HISTORY IN THE HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN PERIODS
TAANIT
AS
By Solomon Zeitlin, Dropsie
College.

CHAPTER

VII

Megillat Taanit: Text and Translation.^**

ab

^"i

NT?:n Dpins"'

n'-n
fjiD

[n'^jdh

nyi]'*^ p'-^n

xnT

-en ;q

I.

\x:n

amnx'*' xiyn^

ny

[i]'^"

.T3

N^:?:nDi

:[pnn] "^iddjd^

^'''

In editing the text of the

'

Megillah
;

',

I

consulted Neubauer, Medieval

Jeivish Chronicles, II, Oxford, 1895

G. Dalman, Afaindisclie Dialektproben,
sitr
;

Leipzig,
Palestine,
p.

1896

;

Derenbourg,
1867, p.

Essai

Vhistoiie

et

la

geogiaphie de la
2,

&c., Paris,

442

Graetz, Geschichte der Jitden, III,

559

;

M. Schwab, Actes cu onzicnie Cotigres
4"-

ititernaiional des Otientalistes^

Paris, 1897,

section,

p.

199,

and also some notes by Schwab, giving
;

Dr. A.

Marx's views,

in

the Revue des Etudes Jiiivcs, 1900, pp. 266-8

Sedah la-Derek by Menahem ibn Zerah, 247 b-248, and also both the Talmud-Babli (in the Munich MS., and also photographs of MSS. of the
British

Museum and
is

the Bodleian Library) and
in

Talmud Jerushalmi. Mahzor

The
in the

Megillah

mentioned

Halakot Gedolot,

p.

615 (ed. Hildesheimer),

Siddur of Rab
p.
I

Amram Gaon
first

(ed. Hildesheimer, p. 193), in
in its regulations

Vitry,
fasts.

229 ed. Hurvitz), and also in Kol Bo

concerning

The 'Megillah' was
printed
in

Rabba and the Seder 'Olam Zuta and Seder ha-Kabbalah Mantua, 1513. It was again
printed with the Seder '01am

— this time

in

Basle, by Ambroise Troben
in

— in 1580, also in Amsterdam
Emden
;

1711, and in

Hamburg
de

1757, with notes by Jacob Israel
et

Joh.

Meyer,

Tractaius

teinporibtts

festis

diebtts

Hebraeorum,

etc.

Accedit JT'jyn

Tw^O

,

Volumen de

ieiunio,

Amstelaedami, 1724.

Besides

237

238

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
:

nyaiNn

nsDo^ i6

'i

D^K'n^

ivj'

n3i:n n^^xn nyatia"*

II.

TC'y"' nc'ona
p-itj>y2
''^
:

rmv^™ ^n:n m^ns
^l";ni
jxi;*

'voa Tj-y
'^c^jH

nynnsa
Tj-y

'-''^

III.

nnypn

n^a

)b:

.T-n

nnD'ai

nn

[rnsDJD^N^ n]"'^

Nmn:

"i2d

sny nona

[T^ry] nyais'3"'^

IV

this

we have Warsaw and London
in

editions.

Scholars

who have done
IVerth

most work

connexion with our Megillah are Derenbourg, Graetz, Schwab,
;

as mentioned above

J

.

Schmilg, Ucber Entstehiing
;

mid

liistorischen

des Siegeskalcndcys Megillatli Taaniih, Leipzig. 1874
Stclleii.

P. Cassel, Messianische

An
in

English translation of this Megillah
v.
II,

is

given by Edersheim, The
biblioTaaiiit,
I

Life

and limes of Jesus,

pp. 698-700.

See Steinschneider's
iiber

graphy

Gcsclnchtsliteratitr

des Alien

Testaments

Megillatli
I

Berlin, 1885.

A
r

full list

of scholars

whose opinions or views

cite

shall

give wherever

it is

essential.

"5 Parma,
!<"

wynS^.
to

According

the

Jcrushalmi

(Taanit 66 a,:

N?

H

N"'DV

)V''X

'i^r-i

N^oynn!? ah

n

p,nnvpD pnn ^DDD^
in

''^
''*'

Not found
Not found

in

Jerushalmi Megillah 70 c:
;

Jerushalmi Taanit 66
a,

a.

DpnS, Jerushalmi Megillah 70 c
(in parallel) in

Jerushalmi Taanit 66

ipJin.

i'-'

Jerushalmi.
b.
'^i

150 '5^

Not found Not found
]„

in Babli

Taanit 17

p_

>^^pr\ii,

in

Parma MS.
Njn anin^sn DVJ*n n£D»^ abi.
Sedah la-Derek. On 17th of
129
b.

'53
151
ir.o

M. MS.

is t«-yi3'>:'T
;

In P. fifth of lyyar

in

Ij-yar.

Not found

in Babli Hullin

'6 M. adds
1515*'

ny:nn^ n^ti.
Sedah la-Derek, Xip''D.
;

M.
In

i3\S"ipn; in
Isl.

not found
;

in

Sedah la-Derek no mention of
1" M.
:

this day.

150
i«» 162

P. nV2'C'2
P.
-li"
;

M.
-\'y.

-lD"'3"ISn.
r\^2

M.

-iDn^:^'^

na iD''Dn3.
;

Babli Sanhedrin 91 a
:

On

the twenty-fourth of Nisan

Sedah

la-

Derek
le-!

2ist (of Sivan).

P. ii?t:j.

^" P. D-^-jnT |0.
fredah la- Derek has nr::n3 V'2.

165 166

P.

nyaiSn;

In P. not found.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN

239

:ii:yib niin .Ta"^ nyn-iNi'*''
;

nsDob ab

n

'

d^j-it

-ivl."

n3:n [dv]
[ipa:]

""

^i^sn

ny3-i:'n

'"^

VI.

:

D^'iTD

[1

minn:)]'"

won

(•)^''Uins) "'

.Tn

Ti:'y

nyarn

:N"y^L'n abi^pb s'^nn

n-n jnni jnK'yn

jxnuK^
pns^'ya
:

p

wxmDnN'"' n^-D:nx''-' nL"nn xn^nn VII.
nnriDx p'^mna
:

xniry
n^3

p mmo
nyau'i

'••

xn^ni inc'ya VIII.
'"''

xn^D nan

pii^yn

pirx' rn-nr]

nTinx

n-ia

m'r^m
po^r^b

:xn3TO bv
dy]
'"^

n^3 nyac>a

:

xnm p
n]''"'

xnv^^o i^^D^nx '" i^D33 xn^na IX.

pnc'ya

:[nDDot'

x^

nvn: in

di^

n^2

nm^" pncyn
x>:r:ni

:[2D

:nDD?D^ xb
:

n

pr.-)r

x^jrrn
'"-

na^n"' dv

n-n r,c>t:m

x:n ^y

xn-^^'-'ja

[••a]

'^•'

na'-n''

nnoa

pncya X.

n^''U3 n>3 pnni p-itryn
x''juni

:

nao?:^ ab ni au dv onc'a pnna XI.

pna'yD

rnaoo^ xb

n

xi':3''n^

nxn''n^

nx:D "loxn xnT'ny
di^vdjx ^••u:nx .t3

:D^L*"n> [o [xabr:^]"^
n"'3

'iK'y

p-inn
n'-n

:

x-io?2

nynn nv mxa
:

ny:rnai x'-jcnn XII.

nB'Dnni
n'3 TJ'y
!«'
i'58

nc^y nyn-ixa

nijpj

nv

n-n

ncy n^na
xniD
X''i?2n'l.

:

pn'^t:

'^^

di^

""nnc'a :n3D?^^ x^

n

[pyx]'*"

[;rDV]"- n^3 iii'y

Babli Baba batra 115b;

Munich MS. has

Babli Baba batra 155 b,

nn03.
Sedah la-Derek.
P. *.p2J.
1^2
1^'

^''^

In P. ny2"lX3, likewise in

I'O
''s

Not found

in P.

Not found

in P.

Babli R. ha-Shanah i8b, rb'Dl.
In

''*

some

editions

by mistake Xn^lTX.
:

"5 In Sedah la-Derek

'

On

the 22nd

".

^'g i'»

^^t

j^ p.

"
i"3

M.

ny. Babli Yoma 69 a

Not

in P.

:

'On
it

25th' ^of Tebet).
is in

180

Not found

in P., but

Babli

>" Babli Shabbat 21
'*2

b, p3''X
1^3

H'':^n

Yoma n^ljm
c,

69 a
'DIV
'»^

P. X3"'n\
in
in

So

in P.

Not found
Babli
In B.

in P.

^^ So

Jerushalnii

Megillah
this

70

Taanit 66 a;

Taanit r8 b,

Dimija;
"lonnn.
^^^

Sedah la-Derek

day not mentioned.

MS.

it

reads

So

in Babli
in

Taanit 18

b,

Megillah 5 b

;

not in Jerushalmi's parallels.
'^g

1" Not

Jerushalmi,

Md.

p_ {^rTi^'a.

VOL.

X.

R

240

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
:n2D?ri'

lop .T3 -iry"" ny3"j'n

s^

n

nb'^"i-\'

ivj*

n33d^"' vnir

jnt^'ya

:

[pnb nroi

'^^]

Nioob xcy v:v

n^a pnu-ys

:

[t"s-itr' n-'nb '"*]

iDK^*''

[wn

nmp

p^^'] \Tiby ^inn

l-jn

b

|nb

''

[rnsDo!?
200
.

ab
,L^.3

These are the days on which one

is

not allowed to

fast,

and on some
I.

of

them

it is

not permitted to mourn.

(a)

From

the ist until the 8th of Nisan was estab-

lished the Daily offering,
(d)

— mourning

is

forbidden.

From
it is

the 8th thereof until the close of the festival

(of Passover) a holiday (of one

week) was declared during

which
II.

forbidden to mourn.

(a)

On

the 7th of lyyar was the dedication of the
it is

wall of Jerusalem, and
(d)

forbidden to mourn thereon.

On

the 14th thereof (was slaughtered) the Minor
it is

Passover, on which
^*5

forbidden to mourn.
;

So

in

Jerushalmi Taanit 66 a

J.

Megillah 70c.
is

190
'91

Not

in

Jerushalmi Taanit 66

a,

but
;

so in J. Megillah 76

c.

So

in Jerushalmi Megillah 70 c
c.

P.

013^3.

'^ So in Jerushalmi 70

"^ So
*'*
'^5

in

Jerushalmi Taanit 66 a and

J.

Megillah,

ibid.

Not
It is

in P,

nor
in

in

Jerushalmi,

ibid.
d,

found

Jerushalmi Taanit 66

and there we read

NOy bS

ilDX-

^^ P. SlT'l'lN •''r::n£C, so also Munich MS.
19^

Not found
Neither
in

in B. J.

1'*

Taanit

66a nor

in

J.

Megillah 70c

;

see the whole

passage there.
'^9

So

in Jerushalmi, ibid.

"°o

Gaster, in his article,

"An unknown Hebrew Version
the Society

of the History

of Judith' (see Proceedings of

0/ Biblical

A ic/iaeology,

reprinted

March, 1894),

is

of the opinion that the passage in Cod. Heb. Gaster,

No. 82, fragment i72a^i73a, DV
.
. .

"MUl

TJ'y

HJICK'n

.'pai 13n ^Ht^ytt

Nin DIpvD
This
is

n^yj', refers to one of the holidaj'S mentioned in our
not,

Megillah.
is in

however, acceptable.
is

The reference

to this holidaj'

Hebrew, whereas our Megillah

entirely in Aramaic.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
(c)

— ZEITLIN

241

On On

the

23rd thereof the garrison

departed from

Jerusalem.
(d)

the 27th thereof was discontinued

payment of

the tribute (from Judah and Jerusalem).
III. ia)

On

the 14th of Sivan the tower of the Fort

was captured
(l?)

(see

No. XXI).

On

the 15th and i6th thereof the people of Beth-

shean and the valley were exiled.
(c)

On

the 25th thereof the publicans were

removed

from Judah and Jerusalem.
IV.

On
(a)

the 4th (loth) of
it is

Tammuz

the book of decrees

was removed (on which
V.

not allowed to mourn).

On

the 15th of Ab, the

day of Xylophoria,

it

is

forbidden to mourn.
(/;)

On
(a)

the 24th thereof

we returned
on which

to our

Law.

VI.

On

the 7th of Elul was the day of the dedicait

tion of the wall of Jerusalem,

is

forbidden to

mourn.
(^)

On

the 17th thereof the

Romans evacuated Judah

and Jerusalem.
(c)

VII.

On the 22nd thereof we began to slay the wicked. On the 3rd of Tishri were removed the 'mentions
(a)

'

on documents.
VIII.

On

the 23rd of

Heshvan the Sorega was torn

away from the 'Azarah.
{^)

On

the 35th thereof the wall of Samaria was cap-

tured.
{c)

On
(a)

the 27th thereof they began again to bring the

offerings of fine flour

upon the

altar.

IX.

On

the 3rd of Kislev the images were removed

from the Court.
il?)

On

the 7th thereof

(a holiday).

R

2

242
(c)

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

On
it is

the 21st thereof was the

day of Mt. Gerizim (on

which
(d)

not allowed to mourn).

On On
(a)

the 25th thereof

is

the day of

Hanukkah

:

eight

days

it is

forbidden to mourn.
the

X.

28th

of

Tebeth

the

Sanhedrin

sat

in

judgement.
XI.
is

On

the 7th of Shebat

is

a holiday, whereon

it

not allowed to mourn.
(d)

On

the 22nd thereof the
to bring into the

work on what the enemy
;

commanded
(c)

Temple was stopped

not

allowed to mourn.

On

the 2Sth thereof Antiochus (the king) departed

from Jerusalem.
XII.
(a)

The

8th and

9th of

Adar they

supplicated

and sounded
(d)

blasts for rain.
;

No.

On the 12th thereof is the day of Tyrian XXIX. (c) On the 13th thereof is the day of Nicanor. (d) On the 14th and 15th thereof (are the days
it is

see

of)

Purim, on which
(e)

not allowed to mourn.

On

the i6th thereof was begun the building of the
;

wall of Jerusalem

it

is

forbidden to

mourn

thereon.

(/)

On

the 17th thereof the Gentiles arose against the

refugees of Sepphoris in the province of Chalcis and in

Beth Zabdain, but there came salvation

(to the

Jews)

;

see

No.

XXX.
(^)

On

the 20th thereof the people fasted for rain (and

it

descended).
(/i)

On
Law.

the 28th thereof the glad tidings reached the

Jews that they were not to be restrained from the study
of the
It is

not permitted to

mourn

thereon.
is

It is

obvious that the text of the Megillah

arranged

:

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN
in

243

according to the sequence of the months and not
logical order.

chrono-

To

establish the historical relation
in

between

the events
these,
it

commemorated

the Megillah, and to interpret
dates in
is

is

necessary to rearrange the various

a chronological setting.

The

following diagram

an

outline of the events which underlie the celebrations de-

scribed

in

the Megillah, and

which

fall

into

four main

periods

A.
B.
C.

The pre-Hasmonean Period. The Hasmonean Period.

Roman

Period

till

6^.

D. The Great Revolt, 65-66.
E. Miscellaneous.

CHAPTER
A.
I.

VIII

The Pre-Hasmoneax
the

Period.

From

New Moon

of Nisan (until the 8th thereof)

the Tamid was

established.
this holiday

According to the Schoh'ast

commemorates

the triumph of the Pharisees over the Sadducees

when

it

was decided that the daily

offering

(Tamid) should be
for out of

provided at the expense of the community (paid
the
public
treasury),
in

opposition
it

to

the view

of the

Sadducees who maintained that
individuals.
It

should be paid for by

This

is

also the generally accepted view.-°^

does not explain,

however,

why

the
it

fete

should be

protracted over seven days nor docs
the particular selection of the

offer a reason for
ist

week between the
these

and

the 8th of Nisan to

commemorate
passes

that Pharisaic victory.
difficulties

The

Scholiast
t:"r

lightly

over
fnisr',

by

assuming

mSw'y Dinu' Qnrn

that the debates which

ended

in that victory

continued for a week
is

— the

first

in

Nisan, but this explanation
tion.

without support or corrobora-

Dalman
is

^"-

thinks that this holiday

commemorated
Wilderness.
not mentioned

the setting

up of the Tabernacle by Moses

in the
is

This
at all

not acceptable since the Tabernacle

in the Megillah.

In
-'1

my

opinion, this holiday was instituted in
2, n. r.

memory
p.

Graetz, Gescliichte, III,
dit A'/"""

See also Derenbourg, Essai.

444.

Schwab, Actes
Section
!02

Cotigres Intcniaiional des Orieutalistes, Paris, 1897,

4,

pp. 235-6.
p. 32.

Aramdische Dialcktf roben,

244

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
of the dedication of the

— ZEITLIN
is

245

Second Temple when the Jews

returned from Babylon.

The
.

dedication
n-i'-^

described in

Ezra

6.

15

:

':a

iiayi
r\^2

.

.

mx
Nnii>3

nn^n ny
nN-^i'i

nn

nn^n a^^i'm
^wS">*fc:'\

nnna nn nh^n

najn

•'jii

N'^ii^i

s^jna

'And
Adar,

this
.
.

house was finished on the 3rd day of the month
.

And

the children of Israel, the priests and the
rest of the children of the captivity,

Levites,

and the

kept

the dedication of this house of
that the text

God

with joy.'

It is clear

must be emended, the correct reading being,

not the 3rd, but the 23rd of Adar.

The

latter
7. 5,

is

found

in

the Septuagint and also agrees with 3 Ezra

and Antiq.,

XI,

4.

7.-''^

In accordance with the prescribed require39, the following seven

ments of Exod.

days were "'Nl^D

''D^,

days of Consecration.

This

is

also the tradition

of the

Talmud, which
of

further corroborates the reading of the 23rd

Adar

in the biblical text.
'-\

The Talmud Menahot 45 a
ir

reads:
:T\^i2

""DV
'•c^a
'

"b

"lox nw'-in^ i^ny in^^x

n'^na noiN mm'' "n
d\s"i^d.

pnpn-LT tiid K-iiy v^>n
is

'\T'-\'pT\

R. Judah

says

:

This passage

destined to be interpreted

by

Elijah.

R. Jose said unto him:
consecration
in
is

They observed the
referred to

sacrifices of

in

the days of Ezra even as they were observed

the days of Moses.'

The passage

by R. Judah

Ezek. 45.

1

8,

ns'Dm D'Dn ip3

p

id npn cnnb nnxa prN-12

^^npi^n.

What Rabbi Judah

could not understand was the
the New Moon, when the New Moon offering (Num.

sacrificing of a sin-offering un

burnt offering was really the
28. 11).

To

this

R. Jose rejoined that Ezekiel's description

of the sin-offering

had no bearing on the character of the
but to the dedication of the Temple
is

days as

New Moon,

which was celebrated on that day, that

to say, just as in

the days of Moses the seven days following the completion
2<*

Guthe, Gesch.,

p.

248 and also D. C. Siegfried,

ed. D.

W. Nowack.

246

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

of the Tabernacle were days of consecration, after which

the dedication proper was celebrated

;

so in the time of

Ezra the seven days following the completion of the
which, on the ist of Nisan, the Dedication of the

Temple
after

on the 23rd of Adar were days of consecration,

Temple

was duly observed by the
Lev.
9. 2).

sacrifice of the sin-offering (cp.

It

was on

this

day

also that the

Tamid was

sacrificed for the first time, or in the

words of the Megillah

NT'On Dpins, the

Tamid was

established, or re-established,
is,

and

the following week, that

until the <Sth of Nisan,

was

observed as a holiday.
In this connexion, the following passage in Seder
<ch.

Olam
'h^nT\r\

VII)
|D^33.

is

significant: inxai -ns3

^32

D^Ni^?:n ^rs^

'1)

^xh^

One

is

naturally confronted with the question

whence did R.

Jose, the author of the Seder
'

Olam, derive
on the 23rd
explicitly
(cp.

the notion that the Tabernacle was set up

day
^y1r^

of Adar',

when
nx

in

Exodus
cnn^ nnxa

it

is

stated

bnx

p:^'D

D'-pn

iic'snn

cnnn dv3

Exod.
is

40, 2)

and the actual setting up of the Mishkan
in

described

ICxod. 40. 17, n^rj'n nrj-n
nns*a.-°*

pL*\s-in

mn3

Ni^i

The view of R. Jose becomes even more perplexing when it is taken into account that Rabbi Akiba, who was R. Jose's teacher, was of the opinion
pc^on Dpin ^"wb •that the D\si^»
v::"'

began with the

ist of Nisan, in

other

words, that the Tabernacle was completed then and not on
the 23rd of
20'

Adar.-^^"'

If then
;

R. Jose, his pupil, differed
9. i.

Cp. Ibn Ezra on Exod. 40. 38
Sire 68
ij^^'DJ

Lev.

205

ed.

Friedmann

:

Dnx

:;'23i?

D\Xi:D VH IC'N

"':^':N

^l•'^

pno^

in^3Ni 1'^^h \^T.^yc pvi'Ni ^xc'^» -ioik
iriL".

w^y
if

'i

vn >d

nDD

2"iy3

nVn^ Dn^C' ^y^C

This could only be

we

consider

the seven days of dedication as having

commenced on
da^'

the

first

of Nisan and
his sons

continued to the eighth, and that on the eighth

Aaron and

began to

offer their sacrifice

while Nadab and Abihu were burned, and so

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
from
his

— ZEITLIN

247

teacher,

it

is

strdiige

indeed that he nowhere

mentioned the view of
conflict
.-'^^

his teacher with

which he was

in

It is

my

opinion that the passage of Seder Olain here

alhided to was corrupted, and that the writer incorrectly
substituted

Mishkan

for

the Second Temple, for in the

Talmud

the terms

Mishkan and Mikdash are frequently
really finished

interchanged. ^"~

The second Temple was
first

on the 23rd of Adar and the seven days of Milluim connected therewith ended by the
of Nisan. In Seder

Olain this was confused with the ?ilishkan.
early misled the

lliis corruption

Tannaim and Amoraim, who
the view that the

relied

on the
in

Seder Olain,

in

days

of

Milluim

the time of Moses began with the 23rd day of Adar.-*^^
II.

From
it is

the 8th thereof until the close of the festival

(of Passover) a holiday (of one week)

was declared during

which

forbidden to mourn.
Scholiast

The explanation of this holiday according to the
is

that

it

marked the triumph of the Pharisees over the
in

Sadducees,
Pentecost.

the famous controversy regarding the date of
Scholiast does not explain, however,

The

why

this period of

seven days before Passover should have been
It

chosen as a memorial of that Pharisaic victory.
to

appears

me

that these seven days were really an extension of the

the seventh day of the purification of Mishael and Elzaphan,
defiled themselves for the burial of
tlicii

who had
e\'e

two cousins,

fell

on the

of

Passover.
"^"^

That the Sifra Leviticus 9 likewise cxpeiicnccd

difficulty (^Shemijii,
it

IX,

i) is

shown from
T'^ifC

the passage "'rTIK'n
]t2,

UV2
in

\T1, where

says

nnS
made

HT

^T\?
'•^D'.J'n

Q^3nDn

for

the

apparent

simple meaning of this
is

DV

is

the eighth day of Nisan, but

Seder Olain this

to

refer to the eighth
20''

day of Milluim.
:

Shebu'ot 16 b

Erubin 2
44.

a.

2"*

Comp.

Sifre

Numb.

248

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
is

preceding week which

celebrated as a

hoHday following

the dedication of the Second Temple, the motiv^e being
that as the time was close to Passover, the people could be

induced to remain

in

Jerusalem to celebrate Passover by

declaring the intervening period a holiday.-"^
III.

On
:

the 7th (jth) day of lyyar was the dedication

of the wall of Jerusalem

and

it

is

forbidden to

mourn

thereon

The

dedication of the wall of Jerusalem

is

mentioned

twice in the i\Iegillah as the cause of a holiday, viz. in

connexion with the 7th of lyyar and
7th of Elul.

in

connexion with the
in

According to the Scholiast the holiday
in

lyyar goes back to the dedication of the wall
of Nehemiah (Nch.
1

the time

2.

27).

Graetz

-'"

adopts the Scholiast's

view, saying that even though the wall

was

finished

by the

25th of Elul the dedication ceremonies were put off to
the 7th of Iy)"ar

when

the

city

of Jerusalem

was

re-

peopled.^'^
^"^ Ezra 6.
p. 21.

19-22

:

Selcr Mi^wot Gadol, Misvvah 224

;

Dalman,

ibid.,

Dr. Louis Ginzberg suggested to

me

that this

Yom Tob

can be traced

to the

Hasmonean period

:

Before Judas Maccabeus's victor^' over Antiorhus
to

and Lj-sias the Jews were not able
first festival

keep the sabbaths and

festivals.

The

which they were
Kislev

in a position to

keep after the xictorj^and
of
the
to

dedication

in

— Passover— found

many

Judeans
be fought.

unclean

(through contact with a corpse^ as battles continued

Being
the

desirous to offer up the Paschal Lamb, they purified themselves in

seven da\s between the eighth and the fourteenth, and for this cause they

made the whole seven daj-s a Yom Tob — in remembrance of the seven days whereon thej- had purified themselves before the Passover in order to keep
the festival

—a

thing that

tlie3-

had not been able

to

do while Antiochus

ruled over the Jews.

See

Maimonides. Korban Pesasb and Notes of

Rabad and Semag.;
^'O
2''

Graetz, Gescliichte,
Graetz,

III, 2, n. i.

Geicliiclite, III, 2, n. i,

and

II, 2,

pp. 143

o-

CHAPTER
B.

IX

The Period of the Hasmoxeaxs.
the

IV.

On

23rd

(22iid)

day of Heshvan they

tore

away

the Sorega from the 'Azarah.

By

Sorega

-^-

they meant the structure of stones, interaltar,

spaced lattice-work, in the shape of an

which the

Greeks built
sacrifices.

in

the 'Azaiah and on which they offered
this
i

To

Maccabees

(4.

43-6) alludes when,

after describing
it

how Judas
it,

repulsed the Syrians (165 B.C.),

tells

us that before they set about cleansing the Sanctuary

in order to rededicate

they

first

purified the 'Azarah

and

cast out the stones from the

Sanctuary and also tore down

the altar.

The

stones

which they threw out from the
in

Sanctuary were those which the Syrians had built up
the 'Azarah for sacrificial purposes.

Although
what
it

i

Mace,

does not specify the exact date,
that connexion, shows that
(the dedication)
it

still

does say in

was before the 25th of Kislev

and

is

to that extent in agreement with

this interpretation of the Megillah.

To

this the Scholiast
D)pJ2 D'Jl' 1J3C* ''J2D
"i^ina D"'Tdj;d

doubtless refers
D"ix^:>"in]

when he says

:

Vm mryn

;-jo

ini^o: D^SJv::^•^ i'

nspncai ni:nn [r^y]

mu

QY

imx'j'y innnD'j' m\-ii

.... innnm

[nui2.^'^-'

V.

On

the 27th of

Heshvan they began again

to bring

the offering of fine flour upon the altar.

According
212 2'^

to the Scholiast this holiday
s.i;. J-lID-

commemorates

See 'Aruk,

See further

Derenbourg,

pp.

60 2

;

Schwab, Ac/es
4,

dti

Onziane

Congves Inleriialional d(s Orientahstes, section

pp. 213-15.

249

250

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

the victory of the Pharisees over the Sadducees in a controversy concerning the disposition of flour that used to

accompany the animal
it

sacrifices,

the latter contending that

should be burned with the

sacrifice,

the former holding

the view that this meal-offering (nnjc) should be consumed

by the

priest.

The explanations

of the Scholiast, however,

are not generally to be trusted, especially in his references
to Pharisaic victories.

He

follows too freely a tendency to

trace holidays to victories of the Pharisees

when he has no

other explanation at hand.^^^

If the

Pharisaic victories

were celebrated

in

the manner described

by the Scholiast

it

would be strange indeed that no holiday was instituted
honour of the decision with regard
to the

in

Water

Libation,-^''

or of other triumphs which were of far greater import than

the point gained in the matter of the meal -offerings.-^''
In no case have

we

in

the Alegillah a reminiscence of those

debates.

None

of the

holidays there

enumerated comAll

memorate the triumph of one
to the whole nation.

faction over the other.

point to incidents that were a source of comfort and gladness

There must, therefore, be some other

significance to the holiday of the 27th of Heshvan.
I

From

Mace.

4.

42-3 we learn that
for the
officiate.

after

Judas cleansed the

Temple he chose
were qualified to
priests

Temple

service such priests as
6.

According to Lev.
to

13,

the

who were

thus anointed had

offer the

meal-

offering of fine flour.
offer

The High
holida)'

Priest, in particular,

had to

up the meal-offering

daily. -^^

This,

we may assume,

was the cause of the
2H Cp. above, Nos.
^'*
*

on the 27th of Heshvan.

I

and

II,

pp. 244 8.
'

"'^

Sukkah
" ;

48.

E. g. the decision in regard to the question
tent Takkanaot Ezra
',

Dl^

bl3D

see S. Zeitlin,

The
^1^

JOR., N.
14.

S., vol. VIII, pp. 64-6.

Josephta Menahot VII,

1

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
Although
I

— ZEITLIN

25

Mace, makes no mention of the meal-offering
it

of fine flour,
letters

is

possible that this
cites as

is

alluded to in the

which

2

Mace,

having been written to the
(Te/.uSaXii',

Jews of Egypt Kal irpoa-qv^yKafiev 6va(av Kal
2^8

Koi k^rj-^afiiv Tovs Xvyj'ov^ Kal TrpoedrJKaixei' tov^ dprovs
(2

Mace.
VI.

I. 8).

On
:

the 25th day thereof (Kislev)
eight days and
it is

is

the day of

Hanukkah
This
in
I

forbidden to mourn.

is

but a terse
2

way

of putting the information given

and

Maccabees, that after the purification of the

Sanctuary they celebrated the dedication of the Temple
eight days^^' in the 149th year (Kislev 25, 165
i;.

c. E.),

and made
VII.

it

an annual
the 28th

festival.--^

On

day thereof (Adar) the good news
not permitted to

reached the Jews that they were not to be restrained from
the study of the Law.
It is

mourn thereon.

The

Scholiast interprets this passage as

commemorating
have

the end of the Hadrianic oppression through the successful
efforts of

Judah ben Shammua* and

his colleagues to

the former harsh decrees annulled.

Graetz^^^ in this in-

stance accepts the view of the Scholiast, and dates the

event accordingly, 139/40
possible
;

c. E.

This, however, scem.s im-

because such a holiday could
if it

not have

been

instituted so late
in

was recorded

in the Megillah.

Thus
as

Rosh ha-Shanah 19b, R. Meir and R.Jose dispute
in

to whether the festive days mentioned
^'**

the Megillah
Cbcr Mcgillalh

P. Cassel, MessMiiisclie Slcllen des Allen Testatiioiti

:

Taanit, p. iii.
2'9

Josephus {Antiq. XII,

7.

7)

calls this
p.

holiday ^wra

(i.

e.

Feast of
;

Lights).

See, Geiger, Ursclin'Ji,
i

227
;

;

Derenbourg, Essat, pp. 62-3
,

Graetz, Geschichte, III, 2, notes
22"
-2'

and 10

Schi'rer, Gcscli

p. 209.

For the establishment
Graetz,
ibid.,

of this

chronological date sec above, pp. 57-9.

n. t,

and IV, 185.

252
Still

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
enjoyed the same status after the destruction of the

Temple.

Furthermore, two generations

earlier, in

the days

of R. Joshua and R. Eliezer, the provisions of the Megillah

were no longer

in

force, as for instance in

Lydda, where

a fast was decreed on Hanukkah, ni^a nDjnn n^jyn nu"! ntyyn,

and

it

is

therefore inconceivable that a
in

new holiday should
disciple

be added

the times of Judah ben

Shammua*, a

of R. Meir, to a calendar which appears to
lost
its

have already

sanctity.

Derenbourg's

-^-

theory appears more
the

plausible,

that

this

holiday belongs to

Maccabean

period
liberty.

when

Antiochus
epistle,

V

granted

the

Jews religious

The
senate

which Antiochus addressed to the
subject,

Jewish

on

this

was dated the

15th of

Xanthicus of the 148th year.
iavTcou Sairavrjixaa-L kol
II. 31).
v6/j.ois

xprjadaL tov^ 'lovSaiovs T0T9

KaOa kul to irporepov

{1

Mace.

Derenbourg

fails to

explain the identification of

Xanthicus with Adar.
to the Jewish

For, usually, Xanthicus corresponds
If,

month Nisan.

however,

we adopt

the

view of Usher, that at that time the Syro-Macedonians
used the solar reckoning,--^
is
it

becomes possible that what

here called Xanthicus, the 15th, corresponded with the
last (i.e. 28th)

next to the

day of Adar, the month before
the words of the Megillah the

Nisan, the date on which

in

glad tidings reached the Jews that they were not to be
restrained from the study and observance of the
'

Law

'.

This took place
VIII.

in

the year 164

15.

c. E.-^'^

On

the 28th thereof (Shebat) Antiochus departed

from Jerusalem.
"22

Derenbourg, Essai,
Usher,

p. 59.
et

223

De Macedonttm
this

Asiaiioruni anno solan, London, 1648.
Ideler,
Israel,

^2*
I,

About

month Xanthicus, see

Handbuch der
p.

Chroit.,

p.

426; F. Hitzig, Geschichte des Volkes

410; Clinton, Fasti

Hclknici, III,

Appendix IV.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
This
fete

— ZEITLIN

253

day commemorated an

incident recorded of

Antiochus Eupator who had besieged the Temple-mount.--''
Judas and
It

his

army were no longer

able to offer resistance.

was a sabbatic year, and

their

food

supplies

were

exhausted.

They would have been compelled
to capture

to surrender

to Antiochus.

But Antiochus suddenly heard that Philippus
it.

was marching on Antioch

Then

at the advice

of Lysias he m.ade peace with the

Jews.^^*^'

This

is

what

the Megillah alludes to when

it

says,

'

On

the 28th of

Shebat, Antiochus withdrew from Jerusalem.'

Such
refers
it

is

also

the

opinion

of Herzfeld.--'

Graetz'^^^

to the death of Antiochus Epiphanes,
1^

and

inter-

prets the Scholiast's inipon ^221

i^ni niyi niyiJDC' v^'C"\ to

mean

that Antiochus Epiphanes travelled into Persia and
I

died there.

consider Herzfeld's view correct

:

that the

day commemorates the peace made by Antiochus
the Jews.
D^CJ'n"'

V

with

For the text of the Megillah reads
DD'^DiN,

:

^^LDiDJwS*

fO

and

this

fits

in

well with the fact of

Antiochus's leaving Jerusalem after concluding a treaty.

The

Scholiast's observation as to the evil tidings

is

to

be

referred to the reports which reached Antiochus

V
in

conthe

cerning Philip's advance which threatened to result capture
of Antioch.

This fact impelled him to leave

Jerusalem to hasten to the defence of his capital, where

he was killed not long after by Demetrius
holiday dates, therefore,

I.^^^

The
E,,

from

Shebat 28th, 163 B.C.

which was a sabbatical
IX.

year.^-'°
is

On

the 14th thereof (lyyar)

the Minor Passover.

"5
'^^
'^'^^

I

Mace.

6.

28-62

;

2 Mace. 13. 1-26.
p. 63.
^^'^

See Derenbourg, Essai,
Graetz, Geschichte, III,

Herzfeld, Geschichte,
-^^
1

I,

p. 280.

2,

n

i.

Maec.

7.

1-4.

*^'

See about the sabbatical

3'ears chap. IV.

254

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

The commentators
the Pesah
instituted for the

all

agree that this
in

is

identical with

Sheni mentioned
benefit of
',

Num. 9. 2. which was those who were unclean or,
directed to celebrate
It

being

'

on a distant way

could not reach the holy city

by

the 14th of Nisan.

They were

the Passover on the 14th

day of the second month.^'^
was a holiday

seems to

me

that in this connexion Pesah
It

Katan has an
for the

entirely different s'gnificance.

nation, not merely for those individuals

who were debarred
is

through the above-mentioned exceptional circumstances.

The

celebration of the 14th of lyyar

to be connected

with the disturbances caused

by the

wars.

Owing

to the

battles which they fought against the Syrians, the

Hasmothe

neans,

who were

the chief priests, were

away from

Sanctuary durino- the Passover season (most battles were
fought in the spring), and therefore the Paschal lamb could

not be offered up

in its season,

and the Paschal

sacrifices

had
this

therefore to be postponed to the 14th of lyyar.

On
in

account the 14th of the year became a holiday
of the victories over the Syrians.

commemoration
X.

On

the 13th of

Adar

is

the day of Nicanor.
is

The
I

victory of

Judas over Nicanor

mentioned

in

Maccabees
:

as the occasion for

making the 13th of Adar
/car'

a holiday

kul 'iarrjaav tov

dyew

kviavrov rfjv -qfiepav
/.

ravT-qv Tr)v TpLCTKaiSeKaT-qv rod 'ASdp (i Macc.
15. 36).

49

;

2

Mace.

According to the account of

i

Maccabees that

victory

was

in the
;

year

152 A.
it

S.,

corresponding in the

162/1 B. C. E.
in

being in Adar,

must therefore have been

161
-^1

p,.

C.E.-"2
Derenbourg, Essai,

See Graetz, See about

III, 2, n.

i

;

p. 444.

='-

this above, p. 82,

and note 27.
p.

See Derenbourg,

p.

63

;

Schwab,

pp. 219-20; Graetz. Ill, 2

565

;

Cassel, pp. 81-4.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY — ZEITLIN
XI.

255

On

the

14th

^^^^

day

of

Tammuz

the

book of

decrees was removed.

The

origin

of this

also

the

SchoHast seeks
the

in

the

controversies between the Pharisees and
I

Sadducees.

have shown above (No. V) that none of the holidays
in

mentioned

the Megillah are to be traced to this cause.
is

Cassel's view

acceptable, that the event hereby
to the time of Jonathan,

com-

memorated goes back
Alexander Balas

and that

the holiday was instituted because of the concessions which

and

Demetrius
of the

granted to the Jews

whereby
(i

all

the

decrees

Greeks were annulled

Mace.
XII.

io).233

On

the 7th (4th)

of Elul was the day of the

dedication of the wall of Jerusalem.

This gala-day very likely goes back to the time of
Jonathan.

See

i

Mace.

10. 45,

where we are told that
for the rebuilding

Demetrius gave his sanction to Jonathan

of the wall of Jerusalem, and even gave him
his

money from
possibility
is

own
it

treasury for this purpose.
refers

Another

that

to a similar event in the administration of
built
i

Simon, when he actually

the wall of Jerusalem, to

which we find
Tov TeXecraL

this reference in
rei^r]

Mace.

13.

10: kuI erdxvi^e
(o)(vpoocr€i'

ra,

'lepovcraXijfj.,

koI

avrrju

XIII.

On

the 27th of the

month lyyar the

tribute from

Judah and Jerusalem was discontinued.

The word Nvv3
{(TTe(f)avo^),

is

the equivalent of
i

'

crown-money
Jews who

which according to
II in 170 A.
S.

Maccabees was relinquished
c. E.)

by Demetrius

(143 B.

to the

^^^'^

See above,
Cassel,
/.

n. 165.

2^'

c, p. 107.
/.

^^^

See

further, P. Cassel,

c,

p.

104.

VOL. X.

S

256

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
this tribute to the Syrians.

had paid

By

this act the

Jews

were raised to the status of an independent nation, and the

yoke of the Gentiles was removed.-^^

XIV. On

the 23rd thereof (lyyar) the garrison departed

from Jerusalem,

The year and

the day in which the Greeks evacuated
i

the fort are explicitly given in

Mace.

(13. 51)

in

its

account of Simon's

activities.

The 23rd day
B. c. E.).^^^

of the second

month

in the 171st

year (143

XV. On
Mt. Gerizim.

the 21st day thereof (Kislev) was the day of

Josephus speaks twice at
Sanctuary on Mt. Gerizim
Aiitiq.

least of the destruction of the
in Bell. lud. I, 2. 6,

and

in

XIII,

9. I.

In

Talmud

Babli

(Yoma 69 a), and

also in the Scholia to this Megillah the dismantling of the

Temple on Mount Gerizim
Macedon, but
23^

is

attributed to Alexander of

it is

well
170 a.

known
s.

that the
c. e.)

Temple on Gerizim
they began to count the

From

this year,

(144-3 b.

administration of Simon, but not the rule of the

they began two years
it

later,

i.

e. in

the year 172,

Hasmonean dynasty this when in a public assembly
;

was resolved on

to confer

upon Simon and

his descendants the principality
in

of Israel.

This took place on the i8th of Elul
ol 'lovSaioi
'iojs

the year 172 (140 b.

c. e.).

Kat

fvSuKTjaav
(li

Kal

ol

lepeis

tov elvai avruiv Xificova ^yovfitvov Kal

dpxifpfd

rov

alSjva,
i

tov dvaaTfjvat v po(p'fjTr]V Trtarov (i Mace. 14. 41).

This statement of

Maccabees that the Jews accepted Simon as a prince
come, means that they gave the
2.

for ever until a prophet should

office to

Simon and
this

his descendants.
b. c. e.,

(Comp. Ezra

63; Neh.

7. 65.)

And from

year 140

they began to count the dominion of the

dynasty.

To

this allusion is

made by

the editor of Seder

Hasmonean Olam (XXX),
in

when he
of the

says, D"'JB' C^'J'I

HXO

"'^*J10l^'^
;

m3^D,

the

kingdom of the house
140
b. c. e.

Hasmoneans

lasted 103 years

from that public meeting

until the execution of Antigonus, the last ruler of the

in the

beginning of the j'ear 37 b.c. (see above,

p.

Hasmonean dj-nasty 77), was a period of

103 chronological j^ears.
pp. 292-319.
^^®

See Marzbacher,

Zeitsc/irif/Jtir Ntitiiismafi'k, 1878,

See

also Graetz, III, 2, p. 565.
/.

See Graetz,

c.

;

Schwab,

/.

c, p. 222.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
remained intact
128
B. C.
E.23'^

— ZEITLIN
it

257

until

Hyrcanus destroyed

in

the year

XVI. On the 15th and 16th day of Sivan
were deported.

the inhabitants

of Betli-shean (Scythopolis) and of the valley (of Jezreel)

These two consecutive days commemorate the reign of
John Hyrcanus,
his

children

captured Scythopolis

and

devastated the valley of Jezreel as far west as the mountains
of Carmel after a victory over Antiochus IX, Bell. lud.
I, 2.

7

;

Antiq. XIII, 10. 2-3.
in Antiquities, ibid. (282-3), tells of a miracle

Josephus
in

connexion

with

this

victory.

While

the

sons

of

John Hyrcanus were carrying on the war with Antiochus IX, as he offered up their father was officiating in the Temple
;

incense, he heard a voice proceeding from the Holy of

Holies,

'Thy

sons

have conquered Antiochus.'
it

Leaving

the Sanctuary

he told
it

to the people

;

they took note

of the time, and
to

proved to be
tell

true.^^®

This

is

similar
iTC^yo

what the rabbinical sources
.[n-i?:Ni]

us

:

jna

pnr vo^^

Nn:x^ i^Tsn ^^bn invj
,13

D"'^ipn

tj'ipro

nx^fr

hp nn bn:

iTm r\wn nniNi nvn inx nnai

239 [oiavDJS'n]

s^3djn3 snip

^^^

Graetz,

III,

p. 566.

According

to

Josephus the destruction of the
after
it

Temple on Mount Gerizim took place two hundred years

was

built.

Now
built

Josephus

states, Ant., XIII, 9. for

i

and XI,

8. 4, 6,

that the

Temple was

by Sanballat
in the time
is to

the sake of his son-in-law Manasseh.
the Great

And

that

was

when Alexander
b. c. e.
oTt.

was

in Syria,
j-ears.

i.

e.

333-332

b. c. e.,

which
238

128

more than two hundred
Kar' fKeivr]v t^v ^fxepay,

Yaffil'

7ap,

Ka6'

rju

ol

naiSes avrov rai
c.Kov(T(ie (pojvrjs,

Kv^iKr]va> avve0a\ov, aiiTos Iv rai vaSi dv^xiwv fivvos
dis ol iraiSfs

wv apxupivs

avTov vivm-qKarnv dpTiojs rov ^Avrioxov.

Kal tovto irpoiXOwv in tov

vaov iraVTi
239

rqi TrKrjOei (pavipov eTTo'njaev, Kal avvi^-q oxirais yeueaOat.

Here, no doubt,
p. 74.

we

should read

D13"'D:Sa

instead

of N'"3L:JX,

Derenbourg,

S 2

258
nvJ

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
DVn
imNni.21'^

There

is

hardly room for doubt that the

days whereon the sons of John Hyrcanus won their victory
over Antiochus and captured Scythopolis were, respectively,
the 15th and i6th of Sivan, just as our Megillah states.

XVII.
captured.

On

the 25th thereof (Heshvan) Samaria was

After a year's siege, about ic8 B.C.E., John Hyrcanus
captured Samaria.
2. 7,

According to Josephus
10. 3)

{Bell. Iiid.
it

I,

and Antiq. XIII,

he destroyed

at the time

and turned Samaria into a pond.^*^
2^0

Midrash-rabba on Canticles
ibid., 13.

8.

lo

;

also Babli Sotah 33 a

;

Jer., ibid.,

IX, 24 b; Tosefta,
2*1

Schiirer,

I, p.

268, n. 22, and Graetz,

II, 2,

566-7.

CHAPTER X
The Roman
XVIII.
Period.

On

the 3rd of Kislev the images were removed

from the Temple-court.
Nnio^D
is

borrowed from the Greek

a-qfxaiai,

meaning

images.

We

see in this statement a reference to Tiberius's

order to Pilate to set up his statues in

the squares

of

Jerusalem.

TleiKpOels 5e els 'lovSatau kirLTponos vtto Tl^€-

piov UiXdro's fVKTCop KeKaXvixjxevas e/y 'lepocroXv/xa elcrKofJii^€L

Ta9 Kaiaapos elKovas
II, 9. 2).

cct

arjfxaTaL

KaXovvTai

{Bell,

hid.

The
XVIII,

events which led

up to

this

demonstration are

described

by Josephus both
I.

in Bell, hid.^ ibid.,

and Antiq.

3.

When

the

Jews heard of the order of

Tiberius they petitioned Pilate not to set up the images
of Caesar, for according to the Jewish religion
to set
it is

forbidden

up any image.

Pilate

would not

listen to

them and

a few days later he

summoned

the people, to ask them

whether they would consent to the setting up of Caesar's
statues in Jerusalem
Pilate

and the people decried the
the legionaries to
fall

act.

Then

commanded

upon the people

with their swords, but when

the Jews proclaimed once more that they preferred death by the sword to violating

a

command

of their religion, Pilate

weakened

in his resolu-

tion

and ordered the removal of the images from Jerusalem.

vTTip6av\id(Tas Sh 6
kKKOfiia-aL
p-lv

UiXdros rb

ttjs SeicriSai/j.oi'ias

aKparou
KeXevet.

avTLKa ras
;

(rrjfiaLas 'lepocroXv/xoou

{Bell, hid., ibid. 3

Ant., ibid.)

On

that

day the people

259

26o

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
a joyful demonstration,
for,

made
*

as the

Megillah says,
'.-^^

On

the 3rd of Kislev the images were removed
the 22nd of Shebat the

XIX. On
the

work ceased which
Temple.

enemy commanded

to bring into the

This refers to the report of Caligula's death which

meant, among other things, annulment of the edict to put
his statue in the

Temple
is

{Bell.

hid. II, 10.

5).

The exhad with

pression
tion

xmuy

n^'ua

applied to the attempted installaartists

of that

image which the Zidonian

great

pomp

already brought to Sidon (see Philo, Lcgatio ad

Cavivi, ed.

Cahn

et Reiter).

We
of those

know

that

Petronius,

desiring

to

give

Caligula

opportunity to change his mind, put obstacles in the way

who wished
entirely

to set up the statue,

and that the
letter

work was

abandoned when he received a
killed (the assassination

announcing that Caligula was
place on January 24, 41
c. E.j.

took

The

Scholiast,

though

differing slightly in details, sub-

stantially agrees with Josephus.-^^
2*2

He
p. 33.

tells

us

it

was the

G. Dalman, Aramdische Dialektprobeti,
nii'iizu

"3

nnxai byr\2 DT'cyn^ n^c^i'n ns djI'pdj
;n
b'C' \yi'i<-^r\ nit:

n^c'i"

dv

DanyiD

xc'v ^^^'i^ pyct:^ cin^ -ij2N
'•d

dv any
pN-Li'

o^^'c^n-'i'

n''33 ^ny'yy \y\y^ "d

n^ip^ nnyoi^^'j' L''-\y^r^
"]-

b^o nnx

/-inoDa
n*kJ'2

mn
P'2i

ina d^d:

13^

twt

"ini -in
-ir:is

^22 irnias^ d^dj
xin-^:'

n'^w
n^2^

nin

nsiD -T:sn xm^ay nb^cn
.

D^-j'ipn

'••j'np

hp v^^
nsi'^

.

.

vnnr; i^oni d^pdj
.

[i.

Dp-'^i:

dvj] ^"'DPn

rhyrh Nnn!?
vnt:'

D-^

ynirj'2

.

.

on^js^ loipi ixv on^ nf:N pt«3i p:riD'C'»D

(n-k'^) p::nnci D^pyi^'
ni2iz>

ons'i;*

ny nn^

-it:N

n^^-j6

p:jnnf:i

n^pvn
[p^i?]

\vy

.

.

.

D2ns' y^cin^ n^c^'nc' naN-i^N!? ipyn ijjnnn
pK^n
i'y

y^:n ^<^

nasn

^yi

d-pib'I

pi^taiD

rntj'
1^

mx
nN3'i^

"-jn

hni

1*12^

i^D2 n^o vnnr:
31U Qv
in'ii<-j'y
. .

li'DZi
.

i2:^pD:

n^3:^•
.

mjN*
dn.

ny DimjN*^

nvn

iniNi

.

.

n'^rzb'^rt

1

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY— ZEITLIN

26

day whereon the images
tion of
'

sent

by

obpo: (evidently corrupset

Caius Caligula

')

would have been

up

in

the

Temple.

Report

(of the

Emperor's purpose) came to

Jerusalem on the eve of Succoth.
said to them,
'

Simon the Just, however,

Celebrate your feasts joyfully, for none of

these things which you have heard shall

come

to pass.

He

who

caused his divine presence to dwell in this house, just

as he brought to pass miracles for our ancestors in every

generation, so will he do for us likewise.'
voice from the

He

heard a

Holy

of Holies which said that the

work

was stopped which the enemy commanded to bring into the Temple; Gaskolas is killed and his decree is nullified.

And when

he saw that the Romans continued to come to
'

the city he said to the Jews,

Go

out to meet them.'

But

when the Jews learned of the matter
said,

(of the images), they

'We

will die, all
up.'

of us, rather than allow Caesar's

images to be set
legate (Petronius).
fore cry

They

cried

and supplicated the
pray ye unto

Said he (the legate) to them, 'Where(to the legate)

and pray ye

(to me),

your God to save you.'

When
in

the legate reached the city

he saw the people covered
ashes.

the streets in sackcloth and

He had

hardly reached Antipatris when a letter
of Gaskolas

reached him announcing the death

(Caius

Caligula) and his decrees were annulled.

That day they

made

a holiday.-^*

XX. On
The

the i6th of

Adar they began

to build the wall

of Jerusalem.

holidays of lyyar 7th and Elul 7th
exercises
in
this,

commemorate
the
walls

dedicatory

connexion

with

of

Jerusalem, while on
2« Graetz,
III, 2,

the i6th of Adar,
;

we

are told

573 and note 21

Derenbourg,

p. 207, n. i

;

Schwab,

244-6; Schiirer, pp. 495-506.

262
'

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
'.

they began to build the wall of Jerusalem

Graetz sees

therein a reference to the beginning which

was made on

the wall of Jerusalem and

on the fortification of the suburb
B.C.E.^*^

Parva by Agrippa

I in

42-3

He
'

did not complete
to desist

these operations as the

Emperor Claudius bade him
expression,

from the work.
to build the wall
2'«

Hence the
'.2*«

They commenced

Comp. Shebu'oth i6a; Tosefta Sanhedrin,

III

:

b^

nSmn'L^

''3D0

2" See

Bell, hid., II,

n, 6

;

Graetz, III,

2, p.

575.

.

CHAPTER

XI

The Great War against the Romans.
XXI. On
captured.

the 14th of Sivan the tower of the fort was

The
T"

Scholiast thus explains nnc'r
. .

H'n'C^

DHX nn nDp n
j''3

mayj'Di

.

n^JV

"D'-a

nyn

nn''

bsn*^'"^

nnvn s\ti ni/inn

Dvn imNi n^inn
31LD

!?NnE^'
'

u^-j^ini

ac'o ms^^iini Dv^^a^ n''NJv:c'n "jn
is

DV

iniNt^y nVi:a3L:'.

This

Caesarea, daughter of
It

Edom,

dwelling

among

the castles.

was a thorn

in

the side

of Israel in the days of the Greeks,

and when the Hasmoit

neans grew powerful they conquered
population and settled Jews in
its

and deported

its

midst.

The day on
explanation

which Caesarea was conquered they made a holiday.'
Graetz
'-^^

argues against the
until the

Scholiast's

showing that

time of Herod, Caesarea continued

to be inhabited entirely

by Syrians and Greeks.
in

It

was

Herod who

settled

Jews

that city.

Graetz therefore

suggests that this holiday indicated the period of
the Hasmonean.

Simon

In this case, however, the text ought to
i'njn
is

read

"11^*

r\^2

nT'ns and not m^'

It

appears to

me

that this holiday
fact, its

connected with
first

the Revolt, marking in
victory (over Florus).
tells

outbreak, the
(Be/l.

Jewish

As Josephus

hid.

II, 15. 6)

us,

the priests and the people captured the towers
fortress with

of the fortress Antonia which joined that the Sanctuary
;

through their thus establishing themselves
''<'

Graetz, HI, 2, pp. 574-5.

263

264

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

firmly there and thence controlling the whole city, Florus

was compelled

to give

up Jerusalem.^*^

The Antonia was
Josephus often
its

originally called the citadel or tower.
it

calls

Baris

(/Sa/Di?),^*^

phonetically allied to

Hebrew

desig-

nation

nn''3n,25o ^ri(i

Q^ly later
it

when
in

the tower was rebuilt

by Herod, he named
Antony.

Antonia

honour of

his patron

This citadel was situated on the north side of

the Temple, and was originally built by the Hasmoneans."^^^

The

date of the Megillah, the 14th of Sivan, harmonizes

with the date which Josephus assigns to the capture of Antonia, and thus significantly corroborates our interpretation.

Josephus says that on the i6th and 17th of Artemisius

there were riots in Jerusalem, and that the people

swarmed

about the

army

of Florus.^^^

Not long

after,

the priests

and the people succeeded

in driving out the

Romans, and

taking possession of the environs of the Temple.
tore

They
the

down the columns connecting
in

the

Temple and
In 65

Antonia. All this took place

the twelfth year of
this

Emperor
c. E.

Nero, and, as
-•^
c'l

we have proved,
5-6 Oi

was 65

c. E.

See

Bell. lud. II, 15.

Se araaiaaTai

Sdaavres

/xt)

7rdA.1i'

enekOuv

'^Kuipos KpaTTjaj) rov lepov Sid rrjs 'AvTcouias,
ttjv
^

dva^avres

tvOeais ras avvix.^ls

GTodi rov lepov vpos
tSjv

Avrajviav

Stiicotpav.

tovt' tipv^ev rr]v ^Kaipov rrKeovf^iaV

yap tov 6fov Oijaavpuv
cus

e(piefJ.evos

Kol 6id tovto -napiKQeiv tTriBvpiiLv fh ttjv
upjxriv dviTpairr],

'AvTOJviau,

airippa-yqaav al aroai, ttjv
ttji'

Kot ^tTatnixipdixiVos

Tovs re dpxifpfi^ xal
II,

l3ov\fji'

auros

/xtv f^iivai rrjs iroKiws i'Ptj, Bell.

lud.

330-2.

"9 Ant. XV,
250
261

II. 4

;

XVIII,
145.

4.

3

;

Bell. hid.

I,

3-

3

;

5- 4-

See Graetz,

II, 2, p.

Kara

hi

r7]v

fiupuov irKivpav ditpoTToKis (yydivios
ravTTjv
01

eiifpicfjs

(TfTeixiaro

Sidipopos ixvpuTT}Ti.

npu 'HpuuSov tov 'Aaancouaiaiv yivovs l3aaiK(is
.
.

Kal dpx'fpits (pKoSu/xTjoav Kal jSapiv (KaXeaav

.

Tore

5'

ovv u toiv 'lovbaiwv
Itt'

^aaiKei/s 'Hpwbrji Kal TavTTjv rvv 0dpiu uxvpoJTepav KaraOKivdaas
Kal (pvXaKfi TOV Upov, x'^P^i'^f^^^os 'Avtoiviw (pi\cp piev aoTov
trpoarj-^opivaiv 'AvTcoviav
252

dacpaKeia

'PaifJ.a'tQii'

Se dpxovTi

(Ant,

XV,

11. 4).

See

Bell. lud. II, 15. 1-2.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
the 17th of Artemisius (4th of June)
Sivan,^^"
fell

— ZEITLIN

265

on the loth of
of

and according

to Josephus the dismantling
after the

Antonia took place several days
17th of Artemisius, which
is

happenings of the

quite in agreement with the

14th of Sivan in the Megillah.

XXII. On the 25th

(21st) of

Sivan the publicans were

removed from Judah and Jerusalem.

The
the

Scholiast explains this paragraph with an Alexan-

drian legend.

When

the Ishmaelites, the Canaanites, and

Egyptians made

common

cause against

the Jews,

and complained to the Macedonian conqueror that the
birthright belonged to

Ishmael, that the land

belonged

to Canaanites, &c.,

Gebiha ben

Pesisa, with the counsel of

the Sages, controverted

them and, adducing

proofs from

the Torah that the birthright and the land belonged to
Israel,

won

his case,

and that day was immediately deGraetz-^^ has rightly pointed out

clared a

Yom
is

Tob.-^*

that the \S]Dinn were the

Roman

publicans or tax-farmers.

The holiday

to be explained from the fact that after the

defeat of Florus and his retreat from the city the people

ceased to pay tribute to Caesar.

This fact

is

mentioned

by Josephus
-^*

;

namely, that when Agrippa spoke to the
der uiathematischen utid technischen Chronologic^
of the

Ginzel, Handhiich

Tafel III.

The beginning

after the re-birth of the

Moon, according

month was sometimes observed two days to a statement in Rosh ha-Shanah
p.

20-21 b

;

see also Wieseler, Chronologische Synopse,

444.

(^<^••3:)

nrb iCiS onoy jnn
.

i!?^ '•d
.
.

nox
[mc^n

nn^^oi D^^:y33

myn
.

ninacro
nd'-dd

onTin) in^jn

.

.

nnny

jnN'i

.

h

i:in]

D^oan^

.

.

p

31D uv nrn ims*
2^5

"ic'yi

nn\n

t\''V^2^ ^^'^

nnix ....
Derenbourg,
p. 46, n.

Graetz, III,

2,

pp. 573-4.

See

also

2

;

Schwab,

pp. 246-7.

266

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

people in favour of peace he reproved them for having
ceased to pay tribute to

Caesar:

dXXa

to.

t/jya,

ecp-n,

'Pa>/jiaioi9 rjSrj TToXe/xovurcoi^ icTTtu'

ovre

yap KaiaapL
are
rrjs

SeSco-

Kare rov
[Bell. lud.

(jiopov

Kal

tcc?

aroa?

0.77 eKoyjr

Ap'tooulus
in

II,

16. 5).
it

Comparing the two items
was only shortly

the

Megillah,

we

see that

after the defeat

of Florus on the 14th of Sivan that the people ceased to

pay

tribute to Caesar, on the 25th

day

thereof.

XXIII. On the 17th of Elul the Romans evacuated
Jerusalem.

Graetz

-'''^

rightly

connects this celebration

with the

Great Revolt.

But he

errs in identifying this holiday with

the request of the
peacefully to

Roman army

to the

Jews to allow them
hid.
II,

evacuate the forts

{Bell.

17.

lo).

According
Metillius,

to

Josephus none of the Romans (excepting
his
life

who saved

by becoming a Jew)

left

Jerusalem, for when they
them.^^"^
D^*k^^TD,

left

the forts the Jews killed
distinctly "'Nr:n lp2J

Our Megillah, however, says
8-10) did
not

besides which the incident just cited (according
ibid.,

to Josephus,

take place
this

until

after

Gorpiaeus 6th or September 24th, which
Tishri.^''*

year

fell

on

Graetz

fell

into error

through assuming that Loiis and
in

Gorpiaeus were Jewish months clothed

Syro-Macedonian
latter

names, the former being

Ab

and the
in

Elul.

This
II,

view seemed to find support
17. 6-7) relation of the Jews'

Josephus's {Bell. hid.

triumph over Agrippa's army
:

after the wood-festival of the 14th Loiis

r?7S TCi>v ^vXocpopicoi/

256

Graetz, p. 574.

"^^

01

;x(v

ovv ouToi?

dificvs

dTiefTtpayrjcrav airavTev ttA^j/

M(Ti\iov, tovtov yap

iKiTcuaavTa koX ftfXP^
258

TrtpiTOfirjs iovSatafiv inroaxofj-fvoi'

diiawaav novov.

See below,

XXV,

p. 269.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
iopTTJ^
.
.

— ZEITLIN
rji/

267

.

rfj

8'

6^779,
is

TTCi'TeKaiSeKarr] 8'

Acoov

yU7;i'o?.

This wood-festival
that of the J5th of

assumed to have been
is

identical with

Ab, which

mentioned

in

the Mishnah

(Taanit 26 a) and in the Megillah.
that in our copies

Graetz even suggests

of Josephus, 15th of Lolis should be

read for the I4th.^^^
identification,

There
is

is

no valid proof for
less justification

this this

and there

even

for

forced emendation.
in

In fact there were nine times appointed

the year which were
a,
ny::'n

known
in

as wood-festivals.

Thus

Taanit 26

n'^n^n) cyn 'tj JCT.

As

I

have demon-

strated above, the

months

Bell. htd.

were not Jewish

months, but the months of Tyre, which were used in Syria
(see above).

The month

of Lolis therefore

(in Bell,

htd)

might be either

Ab

or Elul, and the wood-festival
all

men-

tioned in Bell. hid. consequently need not at

be that

of the 15th of Ab.

We

may, however,
fell

infer that in the

year 6^

B. c. E.

the 14th of Loiis

on September 2^^^

and
is

this coincides significantly

with the loth of Elul, which
in

one of the wood-festivals mentioned
of the 17th of Elul, which
is

the Mishnah.''^^^
in

The event

mentioned

the

Megillah, therefore took place about a

week

after the 14th

of Lolis, which was none other than the defeat which the

Jews

inflicted

on the army of Agrippa and the army of

the Romans, according to Josephus, a few days after the

15th of Loiis.

On

this

occasion

Agrippa's army was

forced to capitulate in order to secure safe egress from

the city, which the Jews allowed, and they departed {Bell.
hid., ibid. 8)
*'^
:

oi 8\ '4v8o0ei> rrpos re
;

tou Mavdrjfj.ov kol tovs
n. 2.

Graetz,
et
;

pp. 460, 572

Derenbourg, pp. 109-10,
I,

See Noris,

Annus
p.

epochae Syro-Maccdontun,
I, p.

p. 51

;

Wieseler, Chronol. Synopse,

448
260

Schiirer,

757.

See below. No.
According
to

XXV,

p. 269.

261

Munich MS. and

also British

Museum MS.

26S

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
rfj^

k^dp\ovTas
(TTTOvSoL,

ardaeco^
fJ.6l/OL9

'iir^inrov,

d^Lovi/re?

e^eXOew

viro-

KOi SoOev

TOt^ BaCTlXlKol^ Kal TOLS €7nX(OpLOL9
is

ol

fxev

e^fieaau.
it

This, then,
'

what the Megillah

refers

to

when

says,
'

On the

1

7th of Ekil the

Romans evacuated

Jerusalem

(Agrippa's troops).
the 22nd day thereof they began again to

XXIV. On
slay the wicked.

Graetz and Derenbourg

-'^-

understand the Scholiast to

refer the origin of this holiday to the

Hasmonean

era. It

is

doubtful, however, whether this
Scholiast.

was the meaning

of the

These are

his

words

:

Q-'iT^'^^^^ [D''1J] D''J"iV vn:^' '•JSD

DU-.m.

'While the Greeks

(gentiles)

were staying

in

Judea,

the Jews could not punish the wicked

among them.

After

they departed, however, the Jews waited three days for the

wicked to show repentance.

When

they did not repent,

judgement was passed upon them and they were executed.'
In

any event

this interpretation of the Scholiast

is

not

acceptable.

The
'

incident here depicted

happened

less

than

a week after Agrippa's departure from Jerusalem.
refusal of the

The

wicked

'

describes the attitude of the

Roman

soldiers

who

would not surrender and give up their weapons

to the Jews.

The Jews
still

waited until the 22nd of Elul, but

the

Romans were

defiant and the

Jews again attacked
dOv/xLa
Se

the stronghold and killed
'Pcoixatov9

the

Romans,

tovs

KaraXeccpdii'Ta^

fxovovs

vneXa^^v

ovre

yap

(BidaacrOaL Toaovrov ttXtjOos eSvuai/ro Kal to Se^tdv airelv

ovetdos VTTiXdjx^avov,

irpo's rco [to] p.r]8k

Tno-reveiu el SlSoito.

KaraXiTroyre?
2^2
S63

Sr)

to

o-TpaTOTreSoi'

co?

evdXooTOV

kirl

tovs

Graetz,

/.

c, p. 566

;

Derenbourg,

/.

c, p. 69.

Accordine: to

Parma MS.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY
^a(nXiK0V9 dv€(f)vyov nvpyovs, rov re

— ZEITLIN

269

'Ittttikov

KaXovjx^vov
8).

Kal Tov ^aa-drjXov Kal rov Mapidfz/xrjv {Bell. hid. II, 17.

XXV. On
ing
'

the 3rd of Tishri was removed the

'

mention-

from documents.
this

According to the Scholiast

item belongs to the

Hasmonean
mentioned

period.

When

the

Hasmoneans conquered

the Greeks they decreed that the Divine
in public
'

Name

should be

documents, that

all

documents should

bear the formula
priest to the

in

such and such a year of Johanan, high
',

most high God

&c.

Subsequently the sages

annulled the decree on the ground that after the expiration
of the deed the
written thereon
bill

would be discarded and thus the name
indignity.
in

would be exposed to

Graetz^^'* thinks that this

goes back to the time

Simon's administration when
era and

they abolished the Seleucid

began to count the years from the date of the

regained independence.
It is

my

belief,

however, that this holiday can safely be

assigned to the Revolutionary period.
victory over Agrippa's

After the Judean

the incidents of
pelled to flee

army on the 17th of Elul and after Elul 22nd, when the Romans were comfind refuge in the fortresses of the king,

and

the Jews succeeded on the 3rd of Tishri in capturing and
setting fire to the royal palaces

and

in

exterminating the
off the

enemy.
of the
It

Thereby the Jews completely threw
as well as their allegiance to

yoke

Romans

King Agrippa.
Until then
'

then became natural to remove the names of Caesar and
coins.

Agrippa from the public documents and
it

had been customary

to write in all

documents,

in

such

and such a year of the imperium of such and such a Caesar
^•'^

Graetz,

III, 2, p.

572

;

Schwab, pp. 228-9; see

also Geiger, Urschrift,

p. 34, n. I.

270
at

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
'.

Rome

Now, however, when they had won a

victory

over the

Romans and had burned Agrippa's
It is quite likely that

palace, they

ceased writing in documents the number of the year of the
reigning emperor.

about the same
njvj\s~in ny^^r)

time new coins were issued with the legend
biir^'y

nhsJ^

.

The symbol thereon

was, in consonance with

the character of the approaching
in

festival,

the four species

the Lulab, while on reverse was the representation of

a Sukkah.2G5

That our

identification

is

correct

is

seen from Josephus

who

dates the above event definitely on the 6th of Gorpiaeus
(S).

{Bell. lud. II, 17.

OL Se

nepl rov IVLavd-qfiov eicnr^crovT^s

oOev ol (TTparLcoraL 8Le(f>vyov ocrovs re avrcov KaTeXd/xfSai'ov
fif]

(f)6dcravTas

eKSpa/xeli^

8ie(f)6eLpav,

Koi

ras

dnoaKeva^

SLaprrdaavres
eKTT]

kviTTpr^aav to arparoTreSoi'.
firjvbs

ravra pkv ovv

TopinaLov

errpd^Oj],

The

6th of Gorpiaeus
Tishri.^^*^

(24th September) in 6^ C. E. was the 3rd of

Thus, too, this paragraph of the Megillah harmonizes
with what

we have shown above independently,
is

that the

14th of LoUs to the 6th of Gorpiaeus

23 days (174-6),
is

while from loth of Elul to the 3rd of Tishri
(204-3).

also 23

days

In this connexion

it

may

further be pointed out

that
265
•260

all

these victories were the
III,

work of Menahem,^''^ son

Graetz,
-ji-^Q

pp. 469-70 and note 30.
in the

beginning of the month Tishri

year 65

c. e.

was 22nd

of

September, see F. K. Ginzel, Handbuch der niathematischen und technischen
Chronologie,
-5''

II,

Tafel III-IV, Leipzig, 1911.

See above, note 253.

may have been due to the popularity of this man Menahem who threw off the yoke of Rome and the Herodian dynasty from the Jews that they gave the name Menahem to the Messiah, or it is even possible that
It

they called him Messiah.

The Talmud says
ICJ' H^pTH
also
it

the

name

of Messiah
b,

is

Menahem, son
in Midrash

of Hezekiah,
(to

p

DIIJD,

Sanhedrin 98

and

Rabba

Lam.

i)
is

is

stated that his

name
Jer.

is

Menahem
5.

and the name of his father

Hezekiah.

Comp.

also

Berakot

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN

27I

of the well-known scribe Judas the Galilean, the o-o0(crr^f
B^Lvoraros
point,

whose party seceded from the Pharisees on one
to recognize the
Sva-i^iKrjTo?

namely by refusing

rule

of any

person or king other than God.
depov epcoy karlv avrols fiofov
Oebu
v7reiXr](p6(ni/
. .

Se rov (X^v-

rjye/j.6i'a
rfj,

kuI

SeaTTorrjv

rov

.

dvota re

ei'Tevdei'
rji',

ijp^aTO iwcreir
rfj

TO eOi^o?

TecrcTLov

^Xdopov, 09

ifyeixoov

e^ovcrta rov

v^pL^eiv dnovorjcravTO^ avrov^

aTroa-rfji'ai

'Pcofiaicov

(Aut.

XVIII,

]. 6).

Judas

had

in

time

of

Ouirinus
of
the

taunted

the

Jews
the

because of

their

recognition

authority

of

Romans, whereas according
of right subject to

to

his

view the Jews were
<S,

God

alone

{Bell. I/id. II,

i).

So now

on the 3rd of Tishri {6^
son

C.E.) the

opportunity c.Tme to his
i.

Menahem
to

to put into practice his father's theory,

e.

to throw off the }-oke of

Rome

and, consistently with the

programme,

abolish

the

mention of the year of the
This

Emperor
issue
is

or of the Herodian ruler on the documents.
his party
(

which divided Judas and

from the Pharisees

alluded to in an obscure Mishnah
clear.
Dnx'L:'

YadaiDiy IV, 8) which

now becomes

D^cns

D2''H' ^*x

^mp

-'''^

'h'hi

"i?^n*

•hhi T^^y i:n n-^n-.p D^u'na on'ois

=*'''d:3

orn oy

^L-v^n

D-nmn

Menahem
Hezekiah.

in

Josephus's

record was

the

son of Judas and grandson of
S,

See more about Menahem,

Zeitlin,

'The

last

da3's

of

Jerusalem', Jewish Fornni, April, 1918.
**^

In copies of the
it

Talmud

the reading varies, ^pHi* and ^b^7j.

Here,

certainly, either

was Judah himself or one

of his party that disputed with
;

the Pharisees.
p. 161.
^69

See also Geiger,

Urschrift, pp. 35, 146

Derenbourg, Essai,

All editions of the

Talmud now extant have DJ2

7\'\l"t2

UV
If

^L,"1Cn

,

but that there were copies with DBTl
Tosafists (Baba batra 162 a),
'

DV

7t^"lJ2^ is

borne out by the

and

this is the correct reading.

we

read

the ruler with

Moses

',

then the answer of the Pharisees to their opponent
thej- write
'

becomes

illogical, as

he asked them wh^'

the ruler with

Moses

',

VOL. X.

T

272
t]n2

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
.

.

.

D'Li'n'oy b::>)K>n riN
'

pania cnxK'.

Thus

said

[Judas]

the Galilean,

I

protest against you,

O

Pharisees, because
ruler,

you

inscribe

in

the

documents the name of the

together with the Divine

Name,

i.

e.

by dating the docuHerodian

ments according
dynasty, you

to the reign of Caesar or the

recognize the suzerainty of a power other

than God.'
thee,

The

Pharisees replied,

'

We

protest against

O

Judas, for ye, too, write the
tlie

name

of the ruler on

the same page with
scroll of the

Divine Name,

i.e.

when

in

the

Law

}'ou write

Pharaoh king of Egypt, by the

side of the Divine Name."

XXVI. The
reason for this

7th day thereof (Kislev)
in

is

a holiday.

The Megillah
commemorated
tion

this

instance does not indicate

the
it

holiday.

The

Scholiast explains that
(I).

the death of

Herod

A critical examinabe untenable.

shows
it

this conjecture of the Scholiast to
clearl}^ that

For

can be proved

the 7th of Kislev was not

the date of

King Herod's

death.

From
it

Antiq. XVII,

8. 3. 9. 3,

and

Bell. hid.

II, i.

1-3,

is

plainly to be inferred that
It is

Herod died not long before

Passover.

stated there that Archelaus, after the seven

days of mourning and seclusion, repaired to the Temple
about the time when the people flocked to Jerusalem to
celebrate Passover.

The

7th of Kislev

is

seventeen weeks

before the Nisan festival.
transfers
tlie

Graetz

in

defence of the Scholiast

expression 'thereon died Herod' to the corin

and they answer that

the Torah they have precedent for writing the

the ruler with the Divine

Name.

'the ruler witli the Name', and the
into an error,

The original reading must have been word t33 led the compilers and others
it

whereby they considered
reading in the
t23

equivalent to a writ of divorce,
(see Tosaphot,
j'6j«^.
,

containing the formula i^XIf'T ^t^'D
fore they thought
ri-'O

m3

and there-

the

Mishnah Yadaim IV, 8 must be

Dy

^l^'1JD^.

But here

connotes any and every kind of document.

MEGILLAT TAAXIT AND JF.WISH HISTORY
responding gloss
also
for
in

— ZEITLIN
^"^^

273
is

the

second of Shebat
]\Iegillah
in
iiz

which

designated

the

DV

without

other

qualification,
'

and he substitutes

our passage the gloss
is

thereon died (Alexander) Jannai the king' which
present scholia for the 2nd of Shebat.
is

found

in the

This substiis

tution

not of

much

avail, for the

2nd of Shebat

fully

ten weeks before Passover and therefore does not harmonize

with the above cited passage of Josephus.
Antiq. XV'II,
6, 4,

Moreover from
Herod's

we

learn

that not long before

death there was an eclipse of the moon,-''^ and we know
that in 4
];.c. E.

the moon's eclipse was on
fell

March

12-13.^"^

In that year Passover
conclusively that

on April
in the

iith.^"'

This proves

Herod died

end of Adar and not
Shebat.^"^*

on the 7th of Kislev, or on the 2nd of
270
2^2

Graetz,

/.

c, p. 571.

^71

See Josephus, Ant. XVII,

6, 4.

Ginzel, Specieller Kaiioii der Soniieit- niid Mondfinstentissc, Berlin,

1899, PP- 195-6.

-^ Ginzel,

ibid.

See also

Schlirer, Geschiclite,
is

I,

p. 416.

-" Fixing the date of Herod's death

not only important

in

itself,

but has additional interest for those
of Nazareth,

who

believe in the historicity of Jesus

whom
said,

Matt.

(2.

i) states to

have been born

in

Herod's reign.

As we have
witnessed
in

Herod died a short time

after the eclipse of the
.\.

moon

Jerusalem
;

i2-i3th March, 750

u. c.

(4 b. c. e)

according

to these scholars

consequently Jesus must have been born before Nisan
This chronology reckoned from his birth
is

750

A. u.

c, 4

c. E.

at

least

four years behind.

Some

scholars perceive a difficulty arising from another statement of
8. i.

Josephus, Ant. XVII,

Bell. hid.

I,

33. 8, that
;

Herod

ruled
b. c. to

thirty-

four j'ears de facto after his capture of Jerusalem

but from 37

4

b. c.

would make only

thirty-three 3'ears.

Schiirer expresses the opinion that

Josephus habitually adds one year, and that he deduces from Josephus's
statement that the interval between Pompey's capture of Jerusalem and by

Herod's was twenty-seven years, whereas
(from 63B.C.E. to 37
B. c. E.j.

it

was only twenty-six years

But

I

have shown that Josephus counted

not mathematical years, but chronological years
of a year as a whole.

i.

e.

he counted fractions

Thus the number

of the years of Herod's reign will

be thirty-four j'ears

— he

having become king shortly after the capture of

T

2

274

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

To

pioperl}- identify this
first

holiday,
in

it

is

necessary to

consider

why

in this

and

one other instance, the

chronicler

of the IMegillah

refrained

from

making any
Undoubtis

explanation regarding the cause of the holiday.

edly the chronicler's silence

in

these instances

due

to

their being recentl}^ instituted holida}-s pj'o tempore.

The
to

incidents being well

known

to

all,

it

was not necessary

add any explanations.

The
first

contemporaries, at the time
up, found
it

when the Megillah was
to receive

drawn

unnecessary
It certainly

any explanations of these
to

incidents.

was not the purpose
ben Garon and

present a historical survey for

coming generations of Eleazar ben Hanina ben Hezekiah
his associates.

Now

these

men were

con-

nected with the Judean

revolt against

Rome.-''^

Their

activity falls in the few years preceding the destruction of

the Temple.

We

should naturally look to that uprising to

find the important event that signalized the 7th of Kislev,

and thus indeed the event
Josephus, in Bell.

may

be readily identified.
describes the victory of
<Sth

Iiid. II, 19,

the Jews over Cestius which took place on the
in the

of Dius

12th year of

Emperor

Nero.^"^

This was the year

65

C.

E.^"

Now

the Hth of Dius corresponds to Nov. 25th

which

in that

year was co-incident with the 7th of Kislev.-"*
fell

Jerusalem
until the

— which

on the loth of Tebet, 37
b. c.

b.

c, and continued to reign
Ill,

end of Adar 4

See further above, chap.

and also chap. VI.

(About the chronology- of Archelaus, see Appendix.
-^5

About the
tru

activity of Eleazar see Derenbourg, Essai, chap.
fjitv

XVII.

*^®

TdSe [Taura]
(^Bell.

ovf

tvpa-)(6r]

Atov

ni-jvus uySoT],

dcuSfKarq} rrj; 'Sefwvos

f^yefiovias
"^"^

Ind.

II, 19.

9.
see also note 253.

See above, chap. VI,

p. 74.
;

2'*

Ginzel, Handbucli, Tafel III

From
25

the sixth of are sixty-

Gorpiaeus

— Sept.

24

— to

the

eighth of Dius
"•"ItJ'n

— Nov.

— there

three days; while from the third of

to the seventh of

17D3 there are

now

sixtj'-four days.

This discrepancy

is

explained by the circumstance

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY— ZEITLIN
Thu.s,

275

the

apparently

enigmatical

reference
is

of the

chronicler to the holiday of the 7th of Kislev,
to saying,
"

tantamount

The

victory over Cestius

is

quite fresh in your

minds.'

The above explanation
final link in

of the seventh of Kislev

is

the

the chain of evidence which

we adduced from

the ]\Iegillah to support the general thesis of Niesc that
virtually
all

of the dates regarding the events of the Great
in

Revolt which occur
calendar.
ho'.vever,

Bell.

hid.

belong to the Tyrian
is

This particular date which
has been utilized

the 8th of Dius.

by

others to prove that the
in

non-Hebrew names of the months
the

Bel. I?id. are only

Roman

equivalents for the actual

Hebrew

calendar,

and that the Jewish victory over Cestius on the 8th of Dius
corresponded
in

fact to

the Nth of Marheshvan.

For

in

describing Cestius's arrival at Lydda, Josephus states that
the city was denuded of

men owing

to their having

gone

to

Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

Now

the

defeat of Cestius took place nine days after his arrival in

Jerusalem.

If the date of this event
it is

be accepted as the

7th of Kislev, then
interval

impossible to account for the long
arrival in

between the known period of Cestius's
the inferred date of his

Lydda and

coming

to Jerusalem.-'^

It is therefore

argued that the Syro-AIacedonian names of

the months which occur in Bel. Ind. are really the equivalents
of the corresponding months in the Jewish calendar, that

the

name Dius

is

employed

to designate the
is

Hebrew month

Heshvan, and that the 8th of Dius
Heshvan.
that in those days both

therefore the 8th of

H-Tl and

pt^TI

were defective months (nj^n was,

then, alwa3's defective, comp. Jer. Sanh. 18

d.

2^ Westberg, Zur

iicittestanienilichcii Cliroiologie.

276

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW The
chief

argument on which For

this theory

is

based does
not at

not hold water.
all

Cestius's arrival in

Lydda need
to

be fixed as prior to or during the Feast of Tabernacles.
the contrar}-, he nnay well have
last

On

come

Lydda

in

the

beginning of the
the place

quarter of Heshvan and yet found

empty

of men.

For the people who went

to

Jerusalem to celebrate Succoth, seeing that the war had
begun, might and naturally

would prefer
in

to

remain

in

Jerusalem

in

order to engage

defeni>ive

and offensive

operations against the
r]$r]

Romans.

01

Se 'lovSacot KariSoi'Te^

TT\rj(TLd(ovTa

rfj

fir]Tp07r6XeL tov iroXe^ov, dcpi/xeuoi ttju

ioprrji/ iy^copovv Inl

rd onXa, Kal /leya T(p7rXy]6ei Oappovvre^
€^€Trr]Scou iirl rrji' pLa^rjv iir]8e ttjs
2j.-^°

draKTOL Kal fierd Kpavyrj?

dpyrjs e^Sofj.dSo9 'ii'voLav XajSoure? {Bell. hid. II, 19.

Of

the Jewish victories over Florus and Cestius
in

we have

a reminiscence

Aboth

di

R. Nathan, chap. IV.

When
tells

Vespasian came to destroy Jerusalem, the Hagadah
us,

he said to the Jews,

'

Ye

are fools,

why

will ye bring

about the destruction of

this city

and

this sanctuary

— what
go

do

I

ask of you but a

bow and arrow
;

(evidently a sign of

subjection and obedience)

send

it

to

me, and

I

shall

The Jews replied to him, 'As we vanquished the two generals who preceded thee and killed them, so will we go out against thee and kill thee.' The
away from
you.'

two former generals were undoubtedly Florus and
280

Cestius.^*^

As

to the

general support of our assumption of the Syrian character

of the calendar in Bel. Zed., see above, chap. V.

nn ns
nnN
I'n

fiiTj6
is

D':ypac dhni nsrs
n-:*p
^>

niyn

ns annn^
'C'\>i^2

o'L-par:
n?2 '21

dhn

nnx
XV^

nrj-nL"

wV^wS

djc

^:wX

-jnpi:.!

i:"in:"l '\'hv

P

m:;ini y^lh.

See also Derenbourg, Essai,

p. 284.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIX

277

XXVII. On
sat in

the 2(Sth of the

month Tcbet

the Saiihedrhi

judgement.
used
in

The word Kenishta,
of Ezra, or

the Aramaic, appHcs to
in

the Keneset-ha-gedolah, which came into being
to the Sanhedrin

the days

(Beth-din ha-gadol)

which

met

in the

Chamber

of

Hewn

Stones.

This hoHday serves

to perpetuate an event that

took place not long after that

victory over Cestius on the 7th of Kisle\'.

According to
Sanctuary to

Josephus,

leading

men assembled
at the

in

the

choose generals to conduct the war against the Romans,

and we cannot doubt that
to set

same time
in

the\'

proceeded

up a republican government

place of the regime

that had

ceased since the 3rd of Tishri (sec above. No.

XXV).
were

Kal avvad poiaOkvTes ^Is to

Upov

err part]-/ ovs uTreS^L-

Ki'vaav Tov TToXi/xov nXeioi/a^
at that time

{^Bell. Iiui. II,

20. 3).

There

two men chosen
priest) as
official

(Jose|)h.
tlic

son of Gorion,
administration

and Anan the high
at

heads of
action
is

Jerusalem.

This

evidence that the

Sanhedrin which, according to the Talmud, had been compelled to

abandon the Chamber of

Hewn

Stones (Lishkat

ha-Gazit) forty years before the destruction of the Temple,

and to meet

in

a

niJn,-*^^

was now able
over Cestius.
'^^'^

to take

up
is

its

old

abode

after the victory

And
that

it

there

whence Jewish law should proceed
-*2

we
ny

find

them

nnnn
a,

htj"!

pmn;D rnb
8 a.

rr-an

mn
;

^:>*

r\vz-

D'yais,

Shabbat 15
•-83

Abodah zarah

D"iy^-\^^

ni3nO (R. ha-Shanah 31

a

Derenbourg, Essai. pp. 277-8.
in

Now we
Mishnah
i)

can understand a certain Mishnah
'•SIT

Sanhedrin
.TJ'i'?:).

chap. V,

which states- n''JNn ^i'pyn
in

p

pini

The Talmud
examine

goes to some length
teacher
the

explaining this

I\Iishiiah, to

the effect that the great

was very
the

careful in a case involving capital punishment, to
all

witnesses in

minuteness

;

when

the

fig

tree

under which they
the

testified

man had been

killed

was mentioned he asked whether

:

27B

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
making provisions
in all

in session again

matters pertaining

to the law

and the people.

There being no other authority
full

or governing body besides them, the Sanhedrin had
power, and
all

things were done

by

their

command.-^*
in

There seems to be another reference
the same event
'

the iMegillah to

On

the

24th
It

day thereof (Ab) we again rendered
is

judgements.'

more than probable

that through a

copyist's error two dates are assigned for the celebration

of this noteworthy event.

This

is

suggested by a comits

parison of the
in

Scholion to this passage with
(Bab. bat. 115
b).

parallel

the

Talmud

In both sources, the

holiday of the 24th of

Ab

is

explained as commemorating

a Pharisaic victory

in

the laws of inheritance.

The manuin

script readings of the

Talmud, however, show a striking
reads the 28th of

variant.

MS. Munich

Ab

place of

the 24th.

The

reading of the famous commentator R.

Samuel
thereof

b.

Meir (RaShBalNI) furthermore reads the 24th day

(.T3),

and supplies the month of Tebet.
tb.c

Evidently,

then, according to him,

event which

in

our text of the
is

Megiilah
stems were

is

connected with the 24th of
white or black.

Ab

to be ascribed

fine or thick,

perplexed by

this

;

they could not help wondering
in a session of the

The Amoraim were somewhat how Rabban Johanan
Sanhedrin
is

ben Zaccai could have presided

when

forty

years before the destruction of the Temple the Sanhedrin

said to have

been banished and deprived of

its

jurisdiction '^see tbid. 41 a).

Hut now as
(i. e.

we

realize that several years before the destruction of the

Temple

in

the beginning of 66 c.E.)

the

Sanhedrin again returned to the
it

Hewn

Stone Chamber and assumed jurisdiction,
Zaccai took part
in

is intelligible

that

Johanan ben
Indeed, after

the

proceedings of the

Sanhedrin.
all

Vespasian captured Galilee,

when

the Zealots had wrested

power from

the Sanhedrin, they had to gather a tribunal of seventy to judge and sentence a certain Zachariah ben Baruch to death
28*

Bell. Ltd.,

IV,

5. 4).

Bed.

Ittd. II, 20,

3-4

;

see Derenbourg, Essai, 262-88.

MEGILLAT TAAMT AND JEWISH HISTORY
to the 24th of Tebet.

— ZEITLIN
it

2/9

As

the

same event could not be
must be

celebrated on two days which are so far apart,

assumed that an error crept into the text of the Talmud
which influenced
the

copyist

to

corrupt
If our

the

talmudic

passage and hence the Megillah.
is

interpretation

correct then the original text of the Megillah did not

contain any reference to the 24th of Ah.

R. Samuel

b.

Meir

evidently had the original text before him.

Thus,

too,

we

explain the fact that the Jerusalem

Talmud which

records

the Pharisaic victor)' and the entire discussion connected
therewith, does not assign

any particular day

to the event
-^^

and makes no mention of any ensuing holiday.'

XXVIII. The 2nd

of Shebat
(p.

is

Yom

Tob.

As was
285

suggested above

274) the bareness of the

With reference

to the

word n^2

Dr. Malter suggests

tlie

following:
'

If the

Rashbam had

in his version of the

Megillah, the reading
it

on the

24th thereof in connexion with the month of Ab,

is

difficult to

see

what
This

has forced him to interpret
is

W2

in

the

Talmud

as referring to Tebet.

the

more surprising
it

as the

word rf^ can only be used when
explicitly
is

the

month
e. g.

to in

which

is to

refer

had been mentioned before

by name,

connexion with the 24th of

Ab (where may

the

name Ab
in

given in the

immediately preceding 'on the 15th of Ab") but not
the event on the 24th or, as the case

connexion with

be, 28th of Tebet,

which

is

not

preceded by any other incident credited

to that

month.

We

must therefore

assume that

in the Megillah of R. S. the incident

was recorded only under
in

the 28th of Tebet (not

under Ab) and reading

the Talmud, like the

Munich MS.,
the

n^3

^<''JJ^J^*

DH-T^,

he

felt

it

necessar3' to explain that

word

n"'3,

right or

wrong, must refer

to

Tebet as there was no other
It is

month

in the

Megillah to which the incident could be referred.

true

that R. S. quotes

ny^lNI D^Tw^v^, but
to

this reading

may be due
the

to copyists

or editors,
coarse,

who wished

harmonize

his text

with that of the Talmud.

Of
n"'3

all this

does not remove the

difficult^'

why

Talmud quotes

instead of

HDm. We

must either say that

it is

an inaccuracy, or that

in

the Megillah of the Talmudists there

was

still

another incident recorded
'

under Tebet prior
Pharisiens,' /?£/.,

to the 28th thereof.
v. 63,

See A. Schwarz,

La Victoire des

pp. 51-6.

28o
Statement
so well
is

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
an indication that the cause of the holiday was
as to require
that

known

no

specification,

and that

it

marked an event

was contemporary with the time

when

the Megillah was compiled, namely, the period of the
It

great Revolt.

may

be assumed that the event which

was celebrated on the 2nd of Shebat took place within
a few days after the public assembly {iHih Tebet) above

mentioned, which met to regulate matters and to dispel
the chaos prevailing since the 3rd of Tishri (see above,

XXV). Xo striking events are known to have occurred then. It may be conjectured, therefore, that the day marked It is also possibly the inauguration of the new officers.
No.
possible that the
as to

day commemorated the reaching a decision
('jnp

what books were Canonical

nsD) and what were

extra-Canonical ("JiV'n Qn2D.)"''' Josephus's ignoring such
incidents
is

quite in line with his tendency to disparage

the leaders of the insurrection

who

figured therein.

Here

the Megillah supplies what he omits.

XXIX. On
The
narrative
:

the 12th of

Adar

is

the

Day

of Tyrion.

Scholiast accounts for this holiday

by the following
ddh-j'

:

^"'p'Tii'a

vns D12D nsi D^yb'h nx
ons*

Dirnu dv
dx icx
t^is n^D
bi^'C"i2

n^ra h'T) ni^nba xt
r\'::n
{"?

mivi ^s-j^d

n-'jjn

b'c

"cyj^

nt:x
r,M

ivn3U3
\):r\

T12 nnryi ^xu"'d

n^jjn^

^^.tj'

HM

^',xm

•]b^2

T»n2u:"i

vn

p-i'j'3

]'P'>n'^

nniyi
bv d:
pn-'^n

bv 02 nv^'vb "ixn pxi nnx yjn
^n)pi2b
:;"•

-i^?j

nnx bin

,-\t

nrj'j;^

D'':"i'n

r]2'\ri
):'j-\',r\

i::-i',n

nr.x

px nxi nn'D
lyj^-L.

i:xi

it

yan^
25«

"r]2pr\

tdv

nnx DXi /^a
n:^:n

.

.

D'an

r]2~tr]

x^?o^x:r

irDL" n^-5in

p

[p
;

n:>^xi

j

3ic^

rwn
p.

'.mx -nir Q-ia
It
is

^XPTn^ ">BD

T333

X'.n

;Shabbat

13b

Dercnbourg,

295.

even

possible that the decrees of the house of

Shammai and
n31?;{J',
'

the house of Hillel,

known
and
to

to us as

DV2

U

HTJ "13T 1*"y See
S.
Zcitlin.

also belong to this season

this

tribunal.

Les

Dix-huit

Mesures

'.

R£J.,

1914, pp. 22-36.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY— ZEITLIX
ns
lyvai '•on ^c*

281

rbzvi

pi'y nsa:;'

ny D'Co vdj n^

n»s

in^o iroi

nvvp331

pnmn

imiD.

The Day

of Tryanos;
in

he captured
Said he to

Lulianus and his brother Pappus

Laodicea.

them

'
:

If

ye be of the people of Hananiah, Mishael, and

Azariah, your
as

God

will

come and save you from my hands

he saved Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah from the

hands of Nebuchadnezzar.'

They

replied:

'Hananiah,

Mishael, and Azariah were righteous and pious

men and

Nebuchadnezzar a noble monarch who was worthy that
a miracle should be wrought through him, whilst thou art

a wicked king and not

fit

that a miracle be performed
if

through thee.
slay us,
kill

We
.

deserve death, and

thou wilt not

us,

God hath many other agencies through which to many bears but if thou killest us the Lord will
. .

demand our blood of thy
had
from
hardl}'

hand.'

The

story

is

told that he

moved from
and they

the spot

when a

rescript-'^'

came

Rome

killed him.
in

This story occurs also
Zutarta to P.

the

Talmud

Babli,

and Pesikta

Emor

(p. 62).

In these parallels, however,
is

the death of Lulianus and Pappus

recorded as having

actually taken place prior to the arrival of the
resc.ript.^^'^

Roman

It

is

generally
in

assumed that the Scholiast
the year 117
c. E.

refers to

Trajan who died

and that

this represents the

proper historical interpretation of this

holiday.^^^

The
Trajan
death.

version

of the

Scholiast

cannot be applied to

^^^

for the latter, as is well

known, died a natural
in

Nor can

the 12th of

Adar

any event signalize

the death of Trajan, for the event took place in the
287
'*''*

month

Or

dinXfj

=

SiTrXaijxa.

See

also

Semahot,

8.

2***

Graetz, IV,
;

p.

411.

289

See Dalman, Aratnaische Dialekipyobcn.

p.

34

also Schiirer, p. 668.


282
of

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
August,
after

Trajan's

return

from

the

Parthian

War.^^*^

The
the
1

suggestion which has been

made

tliat

it

was the

death of Trajan's general Ouiotus, which was celebrated on
2th of Adar,-''^ and that the

name

of Quietus was con-

fused with that of his Emperor,
this

is

unacceptable.

For while
in

confusion
in

in

names

is

possibly conceivable

the

Scholium or

the

Talmud where

the motive was to explain
is

a text which was no longer intelligible to them, there

no

justification for

assuming such a confusion

in

the text

proper.

The

Scholiast puts in the
yii*"!

mouths of Lulianus and
'

Pappus the expression
king'.

I^D nnx

Thou

art

a wicked

Quietus, of course, w^as not a king.

Quietus was

too well-known a

name

to be lightly confused with Trajan.
it

Cp. DiD'p
killed

7'l:'

DIDPIS.

I'inally.

is

known
in

that Quietus

was

late

in

the

summer

or

early

the

autumn of

118 c.E.-»2
P. Cassel
-'•'

thinks that

jn'-O

QV should be read ilTD DV,

and would see therein a reminder of Judas Maccabees'
victory over Seron the Syrian

commander.

Were
is

this so,

however, then 2 Macc^ one of whose objects
holidays that originated
the
^s'*

to indicate

in

the

Hasmonean
failed

struggle against

Seleucids,

would not have
68, 33. 3
I,
;

to record the

day

Comp. Dio

Cliroii.

Pasc/i., p.

253

:

see Schiller, Gcschichte
I,

der romisclien Kaiserseit,
2'"

2, p. 502,

and Clinton, Fasti Rontaiii,

p.

102.

Graetz, IV, pp. 411-16.

Sec also Volkmar, Handbticli der Eiiileiiung

ill

die
-^-

Apokryphen,

I,

pp. 90-100.

Hadrian, on hearing that Publilius Celsus and Aoidius Nigrinus and
kill

others had formed a conspiracy to

him, marched from

Pannonia to
Reisen

Rome, and
this

this

was about

the beginning of August 118

c. e. (Diirr,

des Kaisers Hadrian, p. 21).

At

that time Lucius Quietus also

was

killed

was

in the

beginning of autumn riB according to Dio Cassias (Schiller,
I,

Gescliichte der
2»3

romischen Kaiserseit,

2,

pp. 615-16).
Taanit, pp. 84-6.

p, Cassel,

Anmerktinqcn

sit Megillatli

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORV--ZEITLIX

283

commemorating

the defeat of

vSeron.^'-'''

We

must therefore

seek for something more plausible.

This memorial day appears to have originated

in

the

war against Rome.

])'^'^D

in

Aramaic means military

recruit,

as in Syriac ho-^, in Greek TtpcavP^

When
for

the

government

was organized and they prepared

war against the

Romans, many

of the Jewish
service,-^''

youth quite naturally volundrilling of these
:

teered for military

— the

young

men Josephus mentions

in these

words
rjv

Trpoy drccKTOi? Se
II,

yv/xvaaiai? to roov vkoov jrXfjdo^

[Bell. Ind.

22.

1).

This holiday of pTD DV was

instituted,

then,

either

in

honour of the

soldiers^

somewhat

as

they had annual

military festivities

honour
in

of those

among the Romans,-''' or, perhaps, in warriors who followed Josephus to Galilee
it

;

the latter case

would furnish a near date

for Josephus's

setting out for northern Palestine.-'-'^
2'*
"^^^

See also Ratner

in

^DITI "12D of SoUolow,
p.

p.

500.

See Thesaurus Syriacus,

1517

;

Krauss, Griechischc und lateinische
II,
p.

Lehnworter im Talmud, Midrascli und Targitm,
sense of a

265.

JII'D in the
:

new and
^^^

inexperienced
n::'n
to
h>v

man

is

found

in the

Midrash
i.

T^liZ'^

HNinn
•i96

nt^'D

jiT't:

"napn

rbi^\y (Exod.
latter

i)

'

when

the

Holy One revealed Himself
See also Graetz,
J.
298
25''

Moses, the

was new

in

prophec3\'

III, 2, p. 470.

Marquardt and T. Mommsen, Romische Staatsverivaltuiig, V.
I

'What

have said about
is

this

holida3r originating in the great
It
is

war

against
in the

Rome

only a suggestion.
is

indeed possible that the reading

Babylonian Talmud
is

more

correct,

DU^'IID DT', and that

D13'''''TlD

,

meaning 'king',

a transliteration oi rvpavvis

=

rvpawia.

In that case the

holiday dates from the

Roman

period, from the reign of
in
'

Herod the Great,
an anniversary of

the day on which he became de facto sovereign, and

which the Temple was dedicated by him.
states that the

Josephus

Antiq.

XV,

11. 6)

Temple was consecrated on

the anniversary of the day on
:

which Herod received the kingdom, and so the holiday became great
avvfKwtnTWKfi yap t^ irpoOtaixia tov wepl riv vaov tpyov Kal
rfjy fifxipav

rai

^aatXu

rrjs dpxyj^,

'fjy

«£ e^oi/s twpra^ov

h
11,

ravTov (\Oelv, Hal TttpiarjuoTaT-qv «£

ap.<poiv rfju

(opTTjv yeviaOai

{Ant.

XV,

6\

As we have

said above, he

284

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

XXX. On

the 17th of Adar, the Gentiles arose against

the refugees of Sepphoris in the province of Chalcis and in

Beth Zabdai, but there came salvation
All the critics

(to the Jews).

who have commented on
na^o
inin n"'CDnn

this
is

Megillah
contained
nT:r3
labni

have accepted the view of the Scholiast which
in the following :-^^
103301

ns* i^-^rh -]br:n \s*y
itj'i

(M. O.
v'f

Dip

"b?)

Dip^^Dip n:n?:2

sniob

nr\b

^n:
c-^'
i?3i

ona lyvm nnn^ on^^y nvi
nni n*3^
i3^ni

Dipro

)nMi2y

nr^^bv

d^^inh
idhi

i3C"i

nu^^a cnn

n\s"L:'ni
''3-1

nm

nrn onn

nns3 nrh

n\n nvj'p did
ni:'

nois min^

D'k^•r^

in-121 nDC'nc'

ny
"•»

HD'^'n

iy incM niH'
iniN'j'y

pn'j*

ni:nD3 (oion ns) mix
d::'d

nxn

Nine'

31U Dv

D:^•c

innnr nvn insi Nai

mini.
kill

When Alexander
fled

Jannaeus descended to

the Sages,
in

they

from him, turned to Syria and dwelt
Their enemies
in

the

province of Chalcis.

that part of the

country attacked them mm'derously, caused much depredation

among them and smote them
of

grievously, and there

was and
says

left

them a remnant.

These went to Beth Zabdai

tarried there until dark,
: '

and then they

fled.'

R. Judah

They had

a horse tied at the front of their house and
it

whosoever saw

inferred that there
is

was no Jew

within.

(Obviously reference

had

here to the sabbath

would have no occasion

for a horse.j

Jew Thus they remained
a

when

there until dark and then fled thence.

That day on which
holiday.'
is

they
It

made

their escape

was declared a
•'"'

has been suggested

that this incident
of Januaiy
;

alluded to

captured Jerusalem in the month

loth of

Tebeth\ which

makes

it

quite possible that he assumed the functions of ro3'alty on the

i2th of Adar, and
its

made

that

day a

holidaj'.

Some

years

later,

to insure

being kept, he held the dedication exercises of the Temple on that day.
D13"'''"11D

The name
the

was given
In

to this holiday, as the

Jews were not fond
this

of

name Herod.
299

Sedah la-Derek, by Menahem ben Zerah,
^°"

day

of memorial is not found.

See Graetz,

III, 2. n. i. pp.

570-71.

See Graetz,

ibid.

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JFAVISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN
night,

285

by Josephus {Ant., XIII, 14. 2) when he narrates thousand men of war fled from Judea in one
in exile until

that eight

by

reason of their fear of Alexander Jannaeus, and remained

he died.

This view

is

not acceptable, for the

Megillah

itself specifies

that the persecution was inaugurated
is

by

N^s:cy (Gentiles)
It
is

and no mention

made

of a Jewish

king.

clear that

the Scholiast was misled
(i.e.

by the
Sages)

word

N"'"i£D

which currently means the Scribes

and hence the writer associated the persecution of the snnD
with the persecution of the Sages by Alexander Jannaeus.
I

venture to suggest that N^DD

in this

instance

is

the

name
the

of the well-known city Sepphoris and N"'12D the
refugees
as of

novS
occurs

indicates
in

Sepphoris.
in

The name
oMJaS,,

Talmud

X^niSV,-'*^^

Syriac

and

in

Aramaic

xni£D 123

in

the Jerushalmi (Kiddushin 67 d)
to

is

taken

by many geographers

be

the city

of

Sepphoris.^^^

As
is

for its

being situated

in the

province of

Chalcis,^*^* this

what the Romans knew as Chalcis ad Libanum, and
C. E.

from 44
it

Jewish princes reigned there.

Claudius gave
I,

as a present to

Herod, brother of Agrippa
of Chalcis.""^

whence he

derived the

name Herod
11.^"^

He

was succeeded
in

by Agrippa
^'"

Bet Zabdanai was situated
b/)(75s/»M.
^^^

the Lebanon
3436,

Jerus and Terumah 48

77;fsrt/<n<s S)r/na<s, p.
p.

303

Neubauer, La Gcograpliie dn Talmud,
1894, p. 241.
it

195

;

Baedeker, Palestine

and Syria,
^''*

Sepphoris,

is

true,

was

in the province of Galilee, but

owing

to

the fact that Agrippa the Second,

which he received

who from Nero Au/iq. XX,
<

\vas king
8. 4),

of a
at the

part of Galilee,

was

same time king

of Chalcis, which he had from Claudius after the death of Herod, king of

Chalcis
in the
3«5

(J5f//.

lud., II, 12.

i

',

the Megillah speaks of Sepphoris as a city

kingdom of Chalcis.
^Mtiq.

XIX,

8. 8.

I
I
:

;

XX,

I. 3.

306

Jutiq.

XX,

Beil. lud. II, 12. 8.

:

;

286

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

on the road to Damascus north-cast of the province of
Chalcis."""

We
It

are

now

in

a

position

to

identify this

holiday.

clearly

belongs to the period

of the

Great Revolt.

In

consequence of the Jewish

victor}-

over Cestius, the

Gentiles throughout Syria, to prove their devotion to
rose

Rome,

against

the Jews

{Bell,

hid.,

II,

XX,

2

;

Vita, 6).

In

all

the cities of Galilee the Jews suffered greatly' and

especially in Sepphoris where
to the peace part}-,

most of the

citizens

belonged
in

and where those who believed
killed or

war

against

Rome

were

reduced to

slaver}'.
;

A

change

took place when Josephus came to Galilee
Syria and Sepphoris escaped to the
controlled. Quite
in cities

the Jews of

which Josephus
is

harmony with

this interpretation

the

expression

ip"l2

mm which intimates safet}'ratherthan victor}'.

This

is

quite in line with what Josephus himself says
jxrji/

"flpfirjai ye

'IcocrrjTTO?

knl

rrji'

ttoXlv

(Sepphoris)

aiprjcr^LV kXTriaas rju

avros npiv

(XTroa-rrivaL

TaXiXaiccv erei-

wLa^v

el)?

Kol

'^Pco/jiaLois

SvadXcorop eluat.

Sib kol ttjs eXwiSos

d(prjfiapTei'

rov re ^id^ecrOaL Koi rov fieruTreiOeiv ^en^O)evpedei^.

pixa^

do-devicrrepo?
kirl

Trapco^vfef

Se

/j.dXXoi'

rov

TToXip-OV
opyfj rfj?
ireSia

rrjv )(^d)pai', kol ovre vvKTCop

ovre fied'

i-jp.kpau

eni^ovXrj^

oi 'Poofiaioi SieXLirov Sr^ovvres avrciiv to.

Kal Siapird^ovTes rd knl rfj^ \d)pa9 KTrj/xara.
fxkv

kol

Kreivovres

del to
rj

/xd^^^Lnoi^,

di'SpaTToSL^o/xei'Oi

Se

tov9

dadeyei?

nvpl 8e

FaXiXaia Kal

al'/xaTi neTrXij pcoro irdcra,

Trd6ov9 T€ ovSepbs

rj

av/x^opd^ aTreipaTo^ -qv
'

fxia

yap Kara-

(Pvyrj 8L<oKop.evoLS at vtto

tou IcoaiJTrov TeL\La6e'iaaL noXei?

rja-av {Bell.
SO'

hid. Ill, 4.
7.
i
;

i).

Bell.

hid. VII,

sec

Schiirer,

I,

Beilage

I,

pp.

722-5, and

Marquardt
Neubauer,

and
p.

Mommsen.
;

Rbiiiisclie
p. 337.

Sfaafsve>walttiiig,

IV, pp.

400-1

295

Baedeker,

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY

— ZEITLIN

287

The

date of the

1

7th of

Adar furthermore agrees with
This was the
last

the period

of Josephus's arrival in Galilee, which took
c. E.

place in the spring of 66

memorial

day associated with the Judean war against the Romans. For this Josephus was the man to whom the eyes of all
Israel turned with the

hope that he would prove a great
in his

source of strength to the Jews
in Galilee,

conduct of the war

but Galilee was lost to the Jews, and as a result

the Sanhedrin lost prestige and power, and the Zealots,
split

into parties,

were the source of destructive anarchy,
later,

and the outcome, a few years
independence.

was

loss of national

VOL, X.

U

CHAPTER

XII

Miscellaneous.

XXXI. On
of the priests
(i.

the 15th of
e.

Ab

is

the season of the

wood

that the priests brought).

In the Mishnah (Taanit 26 a)

we

learn of nine periods

during the year when the people and the priests brought

wood

for

the altar of the Temples.

In the Jerushalim
takes upon himself
fast

(Megillah 70c) 'any and every
to bring

man who

wood

for the altar

is

forbidden to mourn, to
is

or to

do any work on that day, which
According to
for the altar

to

him a

Yom

Tob.'

this version, therefore, the bringing
is

of
to

wood

made a

general rule, and applies
times.
It
is

any of these nine appointed

therefore

necessary to understand
stress on the 15th of

why

the Megillah lays particular
it

Ab — making

a general holiday.

This

is

possibly to be explained by the supposition that

the other dates were assigned to well-defined classes or
shifts,

who were

to furnish fuel on dates especially assigned

to them, but the 15th of

Ab

was the time when

all

those

who had not joined the group to which they belonged,
or

who had

neglected to bring their wood-offering to the
for their remissness."°^
all

altar,

would atone

In time

it

came

to be recognized

by

Jews
the

as a great holiday, so that

the

Mishnah

states
'

in

name

of

Rabbi Simon ben

Gamaliel that

Israel

enjoyed no holiday greater than the
SO"

Taanit, IV, 26

a.

288

MEGILLAT TAANIT AND JEWISH HISTORY - ZEITLIN
15th of
given
in

289

Ab
the

and the

Day
as to

of

Atonement

'.•''°'

The answers

Talmud

so distinguished a

why the fifteenth of Ab became Yom Tob are of late origin, and possess
8th and the 9th of

no

historical value."^"

XXXII, XXXIII, XXXIV. The
Adar were days
two
of

solemn prayer

for rain.

The Scholiast explains that these two days commemorate
distinct events of like character

which occurred

in

different

years.

For to say that these two days comand sounding the Shofar on

memorate one and the same event would be equivalent
to stating that after praying

the eighth

day they confirmed or renewed these exercises
This would be making a
fast

on the following day.

of

two days, which
'ytrni

is

not allowed.

In the Scholiast's words,

nns
nyi:'D.

nr.:'o

•'J-'DB'

x^n

"y^c'na

lynnn

r\):h

^t'O'ci

lynnn
in

dn*

n~inN

This

is

indeed logical.

The
^DV),

expression

the

Megillah, NIDD

nynn DV (and not

proves, too, that

these two days belonged originally to different years.

The Megillah makes mention
day whereon they prayed
This
is

of another memorable

for

rain

— the

20th of Adar.
:

explained by the Scholiast as follows
in Palestine
in

there had

been a famine and drought

for

three years.

As no

rain

appeared even

the third year the people
his

begged Honi ha-m'aggel to intercede, and furthermore
prayer was answered by the downpour of rain.

Cp. Taanit
nyat'.

23

a,

^jycn

"'jini?

\xh^ xi^^om

n-i"

xh

i-in
2.
1),

nn xr nnx
states that

Similarly, Josephus

{Antiq.

XIV,

once

there was a famine
rain came."^^^
309

in

Judea, and Onias prayed to

God and
VH N^
b.

Taanit, IV, 26 b:
Dr:Dl.
ibid.

2X3

"IC^y

Htt'Dna ^XTJ'''!?
310

CaiD
pp.

D^D"

OniDDn

See Taanit 30
1

3" Graetz,

(See

further

Derenbourg,

ibid.,

12-13,

and

P. Cassel, ibid., pp. 111-19.)

U

2

'

290

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

XXXV. On
of Esther.

the 14th and 15th arc the days of Purim.
is

In regard to these holidays there

extant the scroll

There

(9.

17-19)

we

are told that the
holida}',

Jews of

Susa kept the 15th day of Adar as a

whereas the

Jews
there

in unfortified cities
is

kept the 14th.

In 2 Maccabees

undoubted reference to the
is

feast of

Purim

in

the

statement that the day of Nicanor
*

on the 13th of Adar,
'

one day before the day

of Mordecai

(Trpo

//my

rjfxipa?

rijs Map8o)(al'KTJ9 qfiepa^).^^'^
'1*

I

Maccabees,

when

it

speaks of the holiday, 13th of Adar, comallusion to Purim.
i

memorating the victory of Nicanor, makes no
caused

This fact
in

many

hypotheses.

Some

think that

Maccabees was written

Palestine, and that in Palestine the festival

was

not thus observed, being

introduced later from the Diaspora.

However,

as

I

demonstrated above, Nicanor was

killed in the ist

Adar

in

the j'ear 152 a.s. (161 b.c.e.)

— this year
is

being leap year, and this explains
it

why

the day of Purim

is

not mentioned, as

was

celebrated in

Adar

2.

In 2 Maccabees,

where the material

dra-wn from the books of Jason of
'

Cyrene, written

in the Diaspora, the

statement

before the day of Mordecai

may
ist

be due to unconsciousness of the fact that Nicanor

was

killed in the

Adar.

Confusion could have arisen from the
fall

fact that in short j'ears

these festivals

on consecutive days.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF DON HASDAI CRESCAS
By Meyer Waxman, New
York.

CHAPTER

VI

Teleology and Ethics.

There
of

are four possible ends which
Hfe,
(a)

may

be the goal
is,

human

either the practical-ethical, that

the

perfection of morals, [d) or contemplation, or happiness,

which
is,

may
all
is

be

(c)

material, or (d) spiritual.
is

The

object

then, to determine which of these

the final end, for
final

while

may be

mediate ends, there must be a
all.

one

which

the highest of

Crescas proceeds then to

eliminate some.

Material happiness cannot be thought
in

of as a

final

end

view of the fact that we posited as

a possible end also spiritual happiness.
eo ipso be the highest
;

A

final

end must

but material happiness, no matter

how

great,

is

only temporal, while spiritual, meaning the

happiness of the soul,
the balance
is

may be
it

eternal.

It

follows that

on the side of soul happiness.
is

As

for the

perfection of morals, though
it

undoubtedly a great end,
It
is

cannot be viewed as a

final

end.

the

means

to

purify the soul and

overcome the passions that prevent
It also

the soul from reaching the desired perfection.
to bring out the latent qualities

helps

and develop the powers
It is rather

of the soul, and as such

it is

a subsidiary one.

curious to hear such an opinion from Crescas,

who showed
spirit,

himself several times

endowed with a true ethical 291

292

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
to

and giving an autonomous basis

good deeds,

to speak of

morality as preparatory to development of contemplative
^"^ power, the very idea which he immediately combats.

It

may be

explained that even Crescas had to pay his

toll

to the spirit of the age.

Crescas devotes some attention to the discussion of the
perfection of thought

and contemplation

as a final end.

Some

(most likely he refers to Gersonides), he says, have
It
is

developed such a theory.

known

that
it

the mind
perceives.

becomes assimilated with

the

conceptions

In other words, the substance of the mind increases by

means

of the

conceptions,
(njpjnbDC)

and so we have
is

finally

an

acquired
different

mind

which

to

a certain degree
Aristotle called
is
it,

from the potential mind,

or, as

the passive mind.^^''

Since this acquired mind
in

different

from the potential

so far as the last

is

only potence,
calls

Gersonides as well as
hiiulian,

Crescas
i'A?/,

in

exposition

that
It
is

after

analogy of
of being
it

matter, potential.
it

eternal in spite

generated, for

has no cause

of destruction since

does not contain anything material.
in

Eternal happiness will therefore consist

contemplation

and reason,

for

it

is

this

only that gives immortality.^^''
greater

The
'33

higher the conception, the
nnixi c'DJn
nivjni

the

degree
nioi^'w'
n:i2t:>

of

^nn
'•ud!?

JT'Dvy

nna nvn nna px nnon
n:i'npnn't

d^ixi
-idhi

nn'c^

nsjpn nvNno

mxonro
p.

nns!?]!

nr

h^ IK'N

miN

(perhaps

nnth n3::m manpo)
52 a-h.

nnnpn nuD

nn ni^jaricn
-3^

r\v)in,

Or Ado7tai,

This idea of an acquired 'nous' was already taught by Alexander,

from

whom

the mediaeval philosophers borrowed
71//7/;rt;;io/

it.

See

Zeller,
i, 2.

Greek

Philosophy, p. 296; also

by Gersonides,

sect, i, chs.

DDW3

W'lp'^

"ini'',

Or A dona

I,

p.

52 b; also Milhaiuot,

sect, i, chs. 7-14.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS— WAXMAN
eternity

293
Hfe

and

that

of

happiness.

Even during

we

experience pleasure
after

from thinking, and so much more
freed

death, when,

from hindrances, the acquired
(Trotr/TiKo?

reason unites with the active reason
the

rods)

and

range of conception

is

increased,

and

in

the

same
that

degree also that

of the intellectual pleasure. to

In

theory
a

there

are

be

distinguished
religious.

two

tendencies,

more

rationalistic

and a

The

first

says that

happiness increases with the number of ideas, of whatever
character these ideas

may

be,

whether of the physical or
itself

the spiritual world, for the active reason contains in
the order of
all

existing things, and so the larger the scope

of ideas the nearer the approach to the active reason on

the part of the acquired.

The second emphasizes God and

the

necessit}' of acquiring true ideas of

the spiritual

world.

Against

this

theory Crescas directs his criticism.

If,

as the intellectualistic theory asserts, the acquired reason
is

a separate thing, and remains eternal while the body
is

as well as the soul, that
is

the perceptive one, perishes,

it

impossible that this perfection should be the end of

life.

Otherwise,
of a

we should have the anomalous phenomenon being striving for an end which is really not its own
which
is

perfection, but of another being

quite distinguished

from

itself.

It

does not agree with reason nor with Divine

justice that the

reward and punishment should be meted
little

out to a being which really has very

to

do with the
them.^^^

one who

followed the precepts or transgressed
is

Besides, the theory />er se

full

of contradictions, since
hiiulian,

the acquired reason
that
is

is

something different from the
it

the ordinary perceptive, mind, then
238

has no subject

Qy jldonai,

p.

53

a.

294

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
it

out of which

is

generated

;

it

follows, then, that
is

it

is

generated out of nothing, which
principles.

contradictory to

all

Again, there

is

a contradiction in terms in the
its

dictum that reason acquires
ceptions.

essence through the con?

Which
?

reason
its

is

meant here
is

Shall
it

we say
given
;

the hiiulian

But

essence

not acquired,
is

is

and the essence acquired through conceptions
different.
It

something
;

must then be the acquired reason
it

but

it

is

impossible to speak of
as yet.^^^
It
is

as reason since

it

does not exist
in-

evident from the foregoing that the
is

tellectualistic

theory

untenable.
shall

It

remains

for us to

find

a tertiiun qtnd which

serve

as the final end

leading to spiritual happiness and eternity.
finds in the love of God.-^'^
It is

This Crescas

not an intellectual concept
the Peripatetic

by

all

means, and widely different from

notion as well as the Spinozistic, though the intellect

may
and

be a useful ingredient

in

it.

It

is

best understood

conceived after the consideration
First, that the
is

of
is

three

propositions.

human

soul which

the form of the body

a spiritual being and potential in regard to conception.
second, that the perfect being
loves the
its

The
is

good and
intensity

perfection,

and

that desire for

it

as well as

proportional to the degree of perfection the said being

possesses.

Third, that love

and intensity of desire

for

a thing are not related to the intellectual vigour employed
in

conceiving that thing.^"
is

The

establishment of these
first

three propositions
239

very interesting, for the
^:1^t^'D

proposi-

^^y^»2i2

Dvynro b^^prc

^2

"ic-'dj

iniD

r\'\r\

-i^ndhc' dhci

/n33 niin -133 Qvynn*c

h-2\:'rvy

nn

^'^hvp.n b:i'n ia

niinn pN

r\^r]

invr

mip svdj
53
b.

\r\

2"" Ibid., p.

n^n: "122 vjcir: t^ona, o^-^^/o^rt/, -" Ibid., 54 a.

p.

53a.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS

— WAXMAN

295

tion contains in a short form the psychology of Crescas,

while the other two relate to the foundation of his ethical
theory.

The

soul

is

the form of the body, for

we

sec that

on

its

departure the body becomes corrupted just as do

things without form.

Again,

it

is

spiritual, for

it

possesses

powers which are not dependent on the senses, such as
imagination,

memory, and
it

reason.
is

It is potential of
it is

con-

ception or reasoning, for

evident that
is

the subject

of the reasoning power, since that one

related to the

body by means

of the soul.

Crescas
is

then

endeavours

to prove his statement that the soul
potentiality.
is

the subject of the
the
soul

But as

it

is

objected that since

a form

it

cannot be a subject, for forms are not subjects
therefore suppose that this
is

for other forms,

we must done through the medium
is
it

of the body.^'*-

This theory

primarily Aristotelean
differs in the

in its

main concepts, except that

concept of immortality.
proposition treating of perfection and the love
:

The second
of good
is

evidenced from the following
all

God, who

is

the

source and fountain of

perfection, loves the good, for this

can be seen through his causing general existence of beings

and the continual creation
of the dictum,
'

— here we
good
',

see already the origin
will

reality

is

which

play an imis

portant part later

— and

since the causality

all

through
is

His

will, it is

necessitated that the love of the

good

an

essential conception

of His perfection.

It follows,

then,

that the higher the perfection the stronger the love

and

the intensity of the desire to do good, for

God

possesses strongest

the highest perfection and at the
will to

2's

same time the
creation.^*^

do good as evidenced from
Aristotelean.

The

third

It is all

yuDi

-iipo

Tinn"'

D'l^'n'c

im*'

Nine

'^b

p

nr^xr.n 'an

DvSI

296

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
intensity of desire
is

one, asserting that

independent of
Will
is

reasoning,

is

proved by definition of the terms.

a

relation

between the appetitive and the

imaginative

powers, and according to the degree of relation will be
the intensity of the desire.

Reason, on the other hand,

depends on concepts and principles, both of which reside
in

the reasoning faculty, and that faculty
It is

is

different

from

the imaginative and appetitive.
of desire
is

evident that intensity

independent of reason. After establishing these
theory of imof the

three propositions, Crescas formulates his

mortality and
premises.
that the
after
its

purpose, which follow as a result
it

Since
soul
is

has been proved

in
it

the

first

proposition

a spiritual being,

may
it

be

immortal

departure from the body, for

has no factors of

corruption.
love of the

The second
good
is

proposition showed us that the

proportional to the degree of the per;

fection of the soul

the converse follows that the higher
It is

the good loved, the higher the perfection.
therefore, that the
is

evident,

love

of God,

who

is

infinitely

good,
the

necessary for the perfection of the soul.
this love of

As

for

independence of
exercise,
it

contemplation and intellectual

was established by the third proposition.-^*
the essential thing for the perfection

It is seen, then, that

of the soul

is

something independent of contemplation,
love of

and that
there
is

is

the

God.

Since

we have seen
soul,

that

nothing lasting about

man

except his

and

nno nvj'nm imrDnni b^22 niN^VDn
imD^'i:'^ i?Dvy ycft^

nsvoni vnibiysD nsiJK' no^
r\>r\

^li^n

nans

msnn

ur^f^n i^ivna D3t:N nn.

Or Acionai,

p.

54

b.

nanxn

Nini

n^acnn nhr -im sin

c^a^n r\)Db'C'b,

ibid., p.

55

a.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS— WAXMAN
that the perfection of the soul consists in the love of

297

God

and the intensity of that and purpose of human

love,

it

follows that this

is

the end

life.

In positing the love of

God

as an end of

human

life

Crescas laid the foundation of a high ethical system, for
the love of

God
its

is

urged not on religious mystical ground,

as the Neo-Platonists used to speak of a longing of the soul
to return to
is

source, but mainly because the love of

God

really the love of good.

The

centre of ethical virtue

is

transferred from the

mind

to the heart, from the cold
feeling of

logical syllogisms to the

warm
is

man.

It

is

not

the contemplative

side that

emphasized, as has been

done continually from Aristotle down, but the practical
side.

This part, however, would not speak so much
it

for

Crescas's originality, for

simply keeps
is

in line

with the
is

pure Jewish

ethics,

but what

interesting in Crescas

that he raises the ethical principle to a cosmic one, since

he sees

in

it

the basis of creation, as follows.
final

There are two
contradictory at

ends
it

;

though

this

statement seems
consistent.

first,

yet

can be

made

The

word
in

'final'

must be viewed under two

different aspects,
in

respect to

human

life

and action, and

respect to

God.^'*^

end

is.

As As

for the

first,

we have

already seen what that
it

regards the Divine purpose,

must be the
of does not

distribution of good.
refer

only to the

The final end spoken human genus, but to the
a manifest purpose
in
it,

universe as
in

a whole.

There

is

spite of

the prevailing necessity of natural law, and the purpose

nrnani nnnxn xin p-inxn n''^3nn

niii*on

nrnnn

r\:r\

^2

nis^nriD

mon nspn

nih

pinxn

n'-^ann n^^-on,

OrAdoum,

p.

s6h.

298
is

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
really

one

in

genus

in

regard

to

man and

the

universe."^^

But

in order to conceive this

'

purpose

'

clearly, a little
is

more discussion
necessary.
It is

as regards the

becoming of the world
its

accepted

tliat

the universe in

manifoldits

ness presents a certain unity and an interdependence of
parts.

This unity would lead us to accept the unity of
itself to us.

purpose, but here a problem presents

It is

known

that from the simple arises the simple,

and since

God

is

the
of

absolute

simplest

being,

whence then the
various

multitude

composite

beings?

The

answers

proposed to that problem are

insufficient.

The theory
inadequate,

of emanations, which sees in existence a gradual descend-

ing scale from pure spirituality to materiality,
for the

is

problem

is still

there.

Whence

the matter? Another

explanation, saying that the caused beings
that
ness,
is,

by being caused,
emanations
it

by being

possible of existence, acquire compositein the scale of

and the lower the being

the greater the compositeness, for the cause of
possible, since
it

is

also
also

is

the third or fourth emanation,

is

weak.

A thing

may

be composite
regard
to

in

regard to

its

existoffers,

ence, but simple in

essence.

Crescas
if

therefore, his solution.

It is true

that

the process of

causation were a mechanical one there would be no place
for composition, but the fact
It
it
is

is

that

it

is

a voluntary one.
all

the will of

God

that

is

the cause of

beings, and

is

through

it

that they arise.

But here the question
will
?

arises.

How

can a simple being have more than one

for in the positing of the manifold,

we

shall

have to see

'

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
a manifold expression of
tiie will.

—WAXMAN
The

299

To

this Ciescas replies
will

that the unity of the will consists in goodness.
to

do good and distributing

it is

the predominant feature^*"

(the real question of will as creative cause will be discussed
later in chapter
It
is
is

VII,

it

is

only brought

in

here casually).

already manifest that the purpose in the universe
It is creative,

one.

not as an end to be realized, but as
it,

a cause.

The conception of

according to Crescas,
will

is

best put in syllogistic form.
to

The
is

of

God

is

the will

do good.

Existence or reality
its

goodness.
within

Hence the
it.

existing universe carries

own purpose

In comparing the Spinozistic conception of the love
of

God

(of

= for)

with that of Crescas,

we cannot
is

help
a vast

noticing the striking similarity in form, yet there
difference as
to contents.

There
assert

is

much
that

discussion on
in

the

subject,

by those who
of
his

Spinoza

this

important

teaching

was

greatly

influenced

by

Maimonides and Crescas,

his predecessors,
first,

and those who
is

deny such
Joel,

influence.

Of the

the most vigorous

who

ventured to go as far as to assert that Spinoza's

expression,

'The

intellectual love
'

of God',
*

is

borrowed

from two sources, the love from Crescas, and
'

intellectual
in his
is

from Maimonides.^^^
sertion,

That Joel went too

far

as-

and that
strict

his conclusions are unjustifiable,

evident
investi-

from a

comparison.

However, a thorough

gation of the theory and that of Maimonides would be

beyond the

limits of our

work

;

we

shall, therefore, limit

ourselves to Crescas.

— niu
jnnn''
^^^

niN^VD

b

nvn^i— nauna nm
p.

p^iin

nnnN* nnxn''

r\:n

p

d:

ban nnoni? hm, Or Adouai,

60

a.

Joel, Sptnosa's Tlieologisch-Politischcr Tractat, Vorwort,

X.

300

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW The conception
of the love of

God

in

Spinoza forms

an integral part of his system, as any of his fundamental
ideas.
It
is

strictly

connected with his conception

of

freedom, as well as with his psychology.
of Spinoza, as seen,-^^
is

The freedom

freedom from emotions, and doing

such things as follow from the very essence of
tend to self-preservation.

man and

This freedom can be obtained
of controlling idea or
is

by

inculcating in the

mind a kind

power.
to

But

in

proportion as a mental image
it is

referred

more

objects, so

more frequent

or

more

often vivid,

and occupies the mind more.-^'
idea of God, which
really

It follows, then,

that the

means the comprehension of

the exact order of the universe, and through which conceives himself clearl}- and distinctly ,^^^
is

man

such an idea

which

may

control the mind,-^^
it.

and therefore occupy the
^^^

chief place in

This endeavour to reach the heights
is

of understanding

termed

love, for love

is

by

definition

pleasure accompanied with the idea of an external cause.

In this conception of
is

God we have

pleasure, for pleasure

defined as a transition from lesser to greater perfection,
in

and

conceiving the idea of
is,

God we
reality

are acquiring greater
truth.

perfection, that

more of
in
its

and

Again, we
the

conceive the causality

fullest aspect.

It is also

highest virtue of the mind, for virtue in the Spinozistic

conception

is

power or mans

essence.-^*

This love arises

only through the third kind of knowledge, or intuition, ^^^

namely, the possession of an adequate idea of the absolute
essence of

God which

is

eternal, for

God

is

eternal,

hence

*'''

Cp. above, chapter VI.

^^" Ethics,
'^^ Ibid.,

V, proposition XI.

2" Ibid., proposition
253
^''

XV.
6, II.

proposition XVI.
def.VIII,
4, p. 28.

Definition of Emotions,

^5^

Etltics, III,

Scholium

to proposition

XLI, Book

II, p. 32.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
also the

— WAXMAN
is

301

knowledge of
through

Him
it

;

it

follows also that the love
It

which

arises

is

eternal.

the quality of
love of God,

eternity which Spinoza connects with

the

that supplies a basis to the doctrine of immortality.
is

There
there

something eternal

in

the

human mind,

for in

God

is

something that expresses the essence of the body and
eternal.'-^''

the mind, that essence must therefore be
eternity

The

increases the

more the mind conceives things
this
is

under the form of eternity ,2'' and

accomplished
the
it

by the knowledge of God. mind which possesses the more of
is

It follows therefore that

love of

God
and

is

blessed, for
it

attains to acquiescence of mind,^^^
reality that
it

perfect, since
eternal.-^^

is

conceives,

and

Such

Spinoza's conception of the love of God.

From the foregoing it is evident that there is very little common between the Crescasian and the Spinozistic love of God as far as the contents are concerned, and that
in

Joel can hardly be justified in saying that Spinoza borrow^ed

a part of

it

from

Crescas.

The
is

first

is

voluntaristic,

emotional, and special emphasis

laid

upon the degree
is

and intensity of the
and causal.
Yet, as

love.

The second

intellectualistic

we remarked on previous
for their basis.

occasions,

in spite of their

divergence there are some points of contact.
Crescas as
is

Both systems have perfection

well as Spinoza asserts that the love of

God

intimately

connected with perfection, and the more
is

perfect a

man

the higher the love of

God

;

and, moreover, perfection
of
reality.

in

both

systems has a background

Again,
a

according to both of them, the love of
to obtain immortality, the
first

God
it

is

means

reaching

by

a religious

"6 V,

p. 23.

=>"

V, p. 39.

258

p_ 28.

-•'

p. 39.

302
ethical

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
}eaining,

the

second

by

a

kind

of

thought

absorption.

Looking upon those two kinds of the love

of

God from

an ethical point of view, namely, valuing them as ethical
factors
in

human
is

life,

the preference ought to be given
is

to that of Crescas.
force.
It

His love of God

a glowing emotional
for the sake of

a strong desire to do

good

God,

for this is the

way

to perfection, while that of Spinoza,
;

though serene and sublime, yet breathes cold
fate of necessity

there

is

the

hanging over

it.

and while

it

may endow
self-sacrifice,

a
it

man

with a brave stoicism and a kind of asceticism, yet

can hardly arouse emotions of altruism and
it is

for

more

of a negative than positive character.
is

That there

no purpose

in

nature follows from the
sees everything stib

whole system of Spinoza.
specie

He who

necessitatis

and eternal law. must perforce be a
of teleolog}-.
his

stringent

antagonist
in

Spinoza

accordingly

expresses himself

scholium to the First Book

of

Ethics deploringly of those
world, or that

who
is

posit final causes in the

God works

for a certain end.

Such a con-

ception, according to him,

a lowering of the notion of

God, and he says that
imagination.

it

arose

merely through human wholly

He

is.

therefore, at the first glance,

contradictory to Crescas, for the latter speaks of a purpose

on the part of God

in

creating the world, yet, as has been
is

already pointed out, the purpose of Crescas
ethical one,

merel}- an

and

is

not an end but a cause of beginning.
against teleology
fall

As

such

all
it.

Spinozistic arguments

short of

Crescas, strengthened

by the theory

of purpose,

makes
ciple.

his ethical view, the will to

do good, a cosmic prinif

The purpose
*

'

of Crescas,

examined thoroughly,

amounts almost to the necessity of Spinoza, but this will
be brought out
in

the next chapter.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS

—WAXMAN

303

CHAPTER

VII

Divine Will and Creation.
Crescas,
in basing
hi.s

theory of creation, begins with

a long polemical essay against those

who maintain

the

eternity of the world, as well as against

Maimonides and

Gersonides, examining the physical arguments of the former,

and proving the insufficiency of the defence of creation by
the
latter.

We
of

thought

it

necessary to
are

omit

all

these

arguments, as most of them
antique
Crescas's

based on a
limit

false

and
to

view

nature.

We

shall

ourselves

own

view, and select

those

points which have

philosophical value.

In

introducing

his

view, Crescas

produces a general

argument against those who posited the co-eternity of
matter

— the
God

Peripatetics

— Gentile
latter.

as
If.

well

as

Jewish,

Gersonides representing the
proved,
is

he sa}s, as we have
is

to

be conceived as the only being who
it

necessary of existence,

follows that

all

other beings,

whether

spiritual or material, are possible of existence

and

related to

God

as a fact to cause in

some way.

We cannot

speak, therefore, of matter as co-existing, but as sub-existing.
It is

brought about by God, and
is

it

does not matter whether
free will.

that bringing about

by necessity or

Crescas

here makes a peculiar use of the term creation.

He

does

not endeavour to prove the novelty as against the eternity
of the world in the Maimonidian sense, but o^eatio ex nihilo
to

him means that everything was caused by God, and
VOL. X.

X

304
outside

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

Him

nothing

exists.^''"

There

is,

however, a great

difference whether
for in the first case
in the other finite.

we assume

the world eternal or novel, the potence of

we assume

God

infinite,
is

Moreover, since God's potence
is

also

eternal,

it

follows that existence

produced by God always

and

necessarily.^^^

However, existence may be caused by God
way, either through emanation, where the
the

in

a two- fold

effect flows
will.

from

cause

in

a natural

way, or through

Crescas

assumes that although the existence of the universe
be necessary, yet
will.
it

may

is

not thiough emanation but through
as a thinking being,
it

Since

we conceive God

follows

that together with the bringing about of existing things

there ought to be a conception or presentation
existence.

of that
desires,

Again, a thinking principle wills what
will.

it

we

therefore conceive creation as through

Moreover,

the theory of emanation will always have to grapple with
the problem of the manifold and the one.
established that

Since

we have

God

is

the sole principle of existence, the
is

question of the existence of the composite
one.

a menacing

We
will.

must therefore have recourse
Existence as a whole
it is

to the

theory of

the

good, and from this side
It
is

as far as
it

is

good

it

is

simple.
it

true that viewing

from a different angle

is

manifold, but the goodness
in

and perfection of existence consist
one. one,

the manifold being

It is evident, therefore, that since reality is

good and

God

in so far as

He

is

good

must necessarily create,
will.^^'^

hence the necessity of existence through

DTip Nvro: NL"i:

^b,

Or.idoum,

p.

69

a.

262

Fiirtiier

iNUt:

n':"j-'

nu'1

.

.

.

oVw'2

npN 2M2

xin'c' nr:a aii:n n^ni

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
It

— WAXMAN
and
in

305

must be admitted that Crescas has not made philo-

sophically clear
relation
it

how matter was

created,

what

stands to God.

While he combats vigorously

the co-existence of matter and

makes

it

dependent upon
it

God, he does not point out
about.

in

what way

was brought

To

all

difficulties

arising from the manifold and

one, or the generation of matter from form, he answers
that the fact that creation
difficulty.^''
'

was through
in

will

meets the
expressed

But how and

what way the
is

will

itself

so as to produce a world of matter

not explained.
itself in

To one form
who
is

of the problem which expresses

the

objection that since like produces like,

how then could God
unlike, he answers

form produce matter which

is

that since existence arose through the goodness of
rule holds true
:

God

the

God
the

is

good, reality

is

good, so the like

produced a like
the
question,
for

result.

This, however, does not answer
difficulty
fall

how matter

arose

still

remains.

He

seems to

back evidently on the

religious

conception that

God

as omnipotent can

do everything.

A

stronger relapse from his strictly logical principles into
is

the upholding of a religious doctrine, which

absolutely
is

contradictory to Crecas's whole trend of thought,
in his asserting

noticed
his

the novelty of the world.
it

According to
follows, since

remarks, in refuting some arguments,
stands in no relation to time, and
to
all

God

times are the same
is

Him and
;

the more, since the world
will
is

dependent on His
is

will

and that

eternal, that the creation
at his

eternal.

Yet he seems to be frightened
^nj

own

conclusions, and
ruD^^'j'

nnv

sin

pi-i3

in^ys'>c3

aiun bv^'^'2

3iDn

iJDvyn
ps*^

2vn irnmno::' iNizn
pvin
""2

injn
'

Nip

p^n

nbira

in^ys'^c'D

niyc

li"

^y

n'^n-'B'

n"'nn^
a.

:ki'o

niN^von, OrAdona2\p.6ga.

Or

Adoiiai, p. 70

X

2

306

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
:

turns around and says

'

After

all,

the real truth

is

as

it

is

handed over

in

tradition, that

the world was created at

a certain time.'
at
its

He

hesitates,

however, at accepting
it

it

surface value, and attempts to say that

is

possible

that tliere are series of worlds continually being created

and destroyed, and that the novelty expressed
refers

in tradition

only to the present world.
it

At any

rate,

he does not
all

consider

a

dogma

of faith.

Crescas here, like

such

theological thinkers, pays the price of stopping short of his

own

logical conclusions

by being

inconsistent.^"*

In comparing Spinoza's view of creation with that of
Crescas,

we

see, as usual, points

of likeness and disagreein

ment.

Spinoza defines creation as an operation

which

there are no other causes but the efficient one. or that

created

things

are

such to whose existence nothing

is

presupposed but
definition
is

God.-''"'

What Spinoza
in

intends

by

this

to exclude not only a material cause but also

a
It

final,
is

as he

himself explains

the same

chapter.^'''''

exactly in the same spirit that Crescas

conceives

creation, as

has been shown.
'

Crescas's whole tractate,
',

though named
tries

Concerning the Novelty of the World

only to prove that the world was created ex
as

niJiilo,

and,
exists

has

been

shown,

in

the

sense
is

that

nothing

outside

God and
construe

that

matter

not

co-existing,

Spinoza says that he omitted the words ex
those

niJiilo

because

who

use

it

it

as

if

the

niJiil is

a subject out
strain writes

of which things were created.^"'
2"< Ibid. ""5

In the

same

'Creationem esse operationem
ilia

in

qua nullae causae praeter efficientem
nihil praeter

concurrant. sive res creata est

quae ad existendum
II,

Deum

praesupponit, dicimus igitur' Cogilaia Melaph., Pars
26" 26"

X.

Ibid., p. 495Ibid., p.

494 'Quin

illi

to nihil

non

ut

negationem oinnes

realitates

consideraverunt, sed aliquid reale esse finxerunt aut imaginale fuerunt'.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF CRESCAS
Crescas, that his rx niJiilo does not

— WAXMAN
that nihil

307
is

mean

a

subject, but simply that there was no other outside subject

co-existing with God.

The

fact that

Crescas sees an end in

the creation of the world, while Spinoza's definition aims to

exclude

it,

does not destroy the similarity, for the end that
is

Spinoza combats
is

an external one, but that of Crescas
differs

in the essence of

God, as has been shown, and

but

little

from Spinoza's necessity according to

his nature.

Spinoza, like Crescas, comes to the conclusion that the
basis for an eternal world
is

the conception of the infinite
in

potence of God.-"^

Spinoza,

his first attempts,

was not
as
is

so eager to establish the eternity of the world as

the continuity of creation, for since the will
eternal, creation
in
is

much of God
is

eternal.

'-'^^

The same thought

found
is

Crescas, as was

shown above.

Again, a similarity

also found in the conception of the will

and intelligence

of

God

as a creative power.

It

has been already remarked

above

^'^

that such a similarity exists, yet to reiterate in

passing, Spinoza as well as Crescas sees in creation a kind

of reasonable act.
in

In his scholium to proposition
of Ethics,

XXXII

the First

Book

Spinoza definitely says that

God

necessarily understands what

He

wishes, and so things

could not be different from what they are, for then God's

understanding ought to be different.

As

for the divergences,

very

little

ought to be

said, for

they are patent.
tirely different

Spinoza's term of creation conveys an enof Crescas.
it

meaning from that
it

It is

only a

convenient word, but in reality

carries with

a necessity,

such a necessity as Crescas sought to escape, namely, an
26H
i

j^Qg illam

durationem non ex sola contemplatione creatarum rerum
2"o

sed ex contemplatione infinitae Dei potentiae ad creandum intellegere.'
-«»

Epist.

LVIII.

Chapter IV.

3o8

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
one.

immanent
no room
just this

God
is,

acts according to
is

His nature, but whatis

ever that nature
in
it

there

only one thing clear that there
in

for voluntary actions

the usual sense.

It is

element that Crescas introduces by his voluntary
It is true that

creations.

Crescas proves the necessity of

creation

by

asserting that

does not conceive of the

God is essentially good, and that he will of God in the way that we speak
is

of that of man's, but there
to
it,

the personal element attached

from which Spinoza

tries to escape.

The

fact

is

that

the immutability of things, which forms a very important part
in

Spinoza's system, for

it

is

intimately connected

with his principle that things flow from

God

in

the same

way
two

as the equality of the three angles of the triangle to right angles,

was wholly missed by Crescas.
he makes use of

He, like

Spinoza, speaks of continual creation but with an entire!}'
different

meaning,

for

it

to prove the

possibility of miracles.

Up

to a certain point these

two

thinkers go together, but later they part company.
It is difficult to

describe definitely the extent of influence

an

earlier thinker

may

exert upon a latter, especially
the
first,

when

the latter does not

name
we

but comparing the ideas

expressed

in

Cogitata MetapJiysica, chapterX/
find

De Creatione
similar,

',

and those
it

of Crescas,

them decidedly

and

is

a

possibility that

the latter took his cue from the

former.

THE RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM AS A SOURCE OF JEWISH HISTOEY*
Bv Jacob Mann, London.

III.

The Economic

Coni:>]tions of thi: Jews.
full

The Geonim
the

did not intend to give a
of the

account of

occupations

Jews of

their

time.

Yet from
religious

occasional questions addressed to

them concerning
good idea of the

problems, e.g. the Sabbath, and
civil

concerning the Jewish
activities

law

it

is

possible to form a
in

of the

Jews both

agriculture and in commerce.
till

This

material has been entirely overlooked

now, so that our

knowledge of the economic position of the Jews in the
Orient and in Spain under Arab rule was declared to be

very scanty (see Caro, Social- nnd WirtschaftsgescJiicJite
der Judeu
iin Mittelalter,

Leipzig, 1908. p. 469; notes to

pp. 124-7).^--

^^^

^"^y reference to Jews themselves culti-

vating their fields Caro could find was in 'Anan's arrange-

ment of the Karaite calendar
Heyd,

{ibid., p.

469).

In four pages

(124-7) Caro disposes of the economic position of the Jews
of that period.
GcscJiichte

dcs

LevanteJiandcls,

I,

138-42, characterizes the Jews in the early Middle Ages as
'

fast ansschlies slick

dtn Handelsgeschaften lebend
fact

'.

But the Gaonic Responsa establish the

beyond the

shadow of a doubt that
*
222

to a very large extent the occupa-

See

vols. VII,

About the occupations of the Jews

457-90; VIII, 339-66, IX, 139-79, X, 121-51. in the Byzantine Empire, see

now

Krauss, Stiidien zur Byzant.-Ji'id. Geschichte, Vienna, 1914, 70-76.

3IO
tion of the

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Jews of that period consisted
fields,

of agriculture.

A

great

number of Jews possessed

gardens, and,

especially in Spain and southern France, vineyards which

they frequently cultivated
tenants
It
is

themselves

or

by means
in

of

(D'cns)

as

was especially the case

Babylon.

only towards the end of the Gaonic period, when

persecutions

became frequent

in

France and Germany, that

the Jews were graduall}- compelled to gain a livelihood
entirely

by commerce and money-lending.

On the other hand,
particularly in

from the Responsa we learn of the considerable trade, both
inland and

maritime, carried on

by Jews

the North African ports.
period

The

part that the Jews of that

played
as

in

the

Levantine trade must have been
evidence
of

considerable,

the

the

Responsa proves.

Heyd,
regards

ibid.,

not

taking this material into consideration,
of

the

participation

the Jews

in

the Le\antine

trade as problematic.

{a)

Agriadtiire.

I.

In the second half of the eighth century the

Geonim
conjunc-

of the

two Academies of Sura and Pumbedita

in

tion

with the

Exilarch abrogated a Talmudic law and

instituted that debts from orphans should be exacted also

from

movable property, whereas before that time only

landed property could be claimed by the creditors of the
deceased parent of the orphans.--"
institution
is

The

reason for this

clearly given in a
C. E.)

responsum of the Gaon

R. ]\Ioses (832
223

who
11.

held office fort\-five years after
"Q X3in
1~\
"IJD

Sherira

(Z-f/Z^r, p. 36,

9-10) states:

nnrO
-12
""i^n

Dpi

;?2

nainDi n"j;3
"'Cn"'

"-arci?

irpn n^ovm i"v njtrn
11.

pn:^''

no

no
1098

vt2?t20?D
Sel.

',cp.

p. 37,

lo-ii;.

The

institution

was made
end.

in

=

787,

c. L.,

according to Isaac Albarceloni,

nii"l3ii' ''"lyC,

.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
its

MANN

3II

introduction, and must have

known
this

well

the motives

and the conditions that occasioned

institution.

The

Gaon
a

states that

the scholars instituted the exacting of
as well as other debts from
in

woman's dowry,

movable

property belonging to orphans, because

the districts

around the academies most people had no
in other places

fields,

whereas
fields,

where the majority of people have
only
partially.--*

this institution applies

We

thus see that
in 'Irak

a

change

in the

economic conditions of the Jews

necessitated an institution which

must have been the

result
in

of a long development.
762, which soon

Perhaps the building of Bagdad
large commercial centre
ff.),

became a

and

attracted

many

Jews (cp. above, VII, 465

contributed to

a considerable extent to the necessity of this institution.

But to conclude from
over
the

this that

under the Caliphs the Jews
agriculture
196),

whole

Moslem Empire abandoned

and devoted themselves to commerce, as Graetz (V^
does,
is

entirely erroneous as the responsum of the Gaon
It is true that

R. Moses, cited above, clearly shows.
decree of this institution, signed

the

with the seals of the
all

Exilarch and the two academies, was sent to

Jewish

communities
the author

in the

diaspora for practical application, as
'Ittur
(ed.

of the

Venet. 20
all

a,

77 b)

states.

But
i^*

this

does not imply that
No. 65
:

over the diaspora the

yn,

''bi^burzjD '•ex
.

n"y3i n^'x nnin^ "n^n^j
])rh n^b

pm irpn

.

.

"oyu nD3 bv pr^cDsi

.

,

"•ypipo

xo^n Nnn x^m
'^d^do
to

dvj'?3

^yp-ipo pn^ n^x ^r-rxi
xi^x
«
.

xnm
p^a:

nv:ipD nxEi^n ^3x pj^cnsb

ncDx ahi
x^
^x

n"y3i

ncx nmn^

i6 ^nicni

"•'nn

p::n2?D

t

'V'plpOD.

This responsum was probably sent

some North-African
seems
to

comniunit}', since the group of responsa consisting of Nos. 62-7

have been sent
pri/XU*

to

one and the same community (notice the beginnings
in

2in% and

No. 63 the correspondents write

:

p2p"lD Pj"I3D

312

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
existed.

same conditions

Certainly
its

if

a

Talmudic law was
all

changed by the Geonim,
had to be enjoined
in

acceptance by

the Jews
in Israel.

order not to create divisions
in 'Irak

Anyhow, we see that more to commerce than

proper the Jews turned

to

agriculture.

The

latter

was

often found unprofitable since the country

was frequently

devastated by the wars between the opposing forces amongst
the Arabic conquerors.
reign of the

In particular, during the whole
till

Omeyade dynasty

it

was supplanted by

the 'Abbasids (661-749), 'Irak was the hotbed of opposition against the ruling dynasty.
/lardj,

In addition the land-tax,

which 'Omar imposed at the conquest of Babylon, was

fixed in accordance with the extent of the estate without

any regard

to

its

real

produce.

All this contributed to
in

the pauperization of the peasant-class

'Irak.
fifty

In the

time of 'Abdulmalik (6H5-705),

i.

e.

about
fell

years after

the conquest, the revenue of the 'Irak
million

from 100 to 40
of Meso-

Dirhems per

year.
its

The whole canal-system
agriculture so greatly

potamia, on which

depended,

was much

neglected

during

these

fifty

years.

Some
of

improvements were made by
'Abdulmalik
in 'Irak,

Hajjaj,

the

governor

but special attention to the improve-

ment

of agriculture in 'Irak

was only paid

after the accession

of the 'Abbasids.

The
first

/lardj- system

was also changed
But even
this

into a tax on the produce of the estates.

was very high,
fifths.--^

at

half the produce, later on twoin 'Irak

We

can

now understand why most Jews
institution of the

gave up agriculture and occupied themselves with commerce

and trade as the above
year 787 shows.
225

Geonim

in

the

Cp. Aug. Muller,
also

ibic/.,
I,

I,
ft".

pp. 272, 281 (bottom;, and 282, 395. and

467

;

Kremer,

il>id..

276

,

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEOMM

MANN

313

Yet there must have been a considerable number of Jews in 'Irak who possessed landed property even after 787.
imposing oaths connexion with claims put forward on estates and fields though the Talmudic law, as laid down in the Mishna
in

We

find the

Gaon R. Sadok

(of Sura, 823)

(Shebuot

6^), is

that in such lawsuits

no oaths are imposed.--^

As the Geonim were very careful not to change a Talmudic law unless the requirements of the time were pressing, we
may assume that lawsuits about estates and fields amongst Jews were frequent, and the Geonim found out that people
took dishonest advantage of the fact that no oaths were

imposed

in

such lawsuits, and therefore the

Gaon R. Sadok
(cp. also

boldly put an end to this state of affairs
VL'nni

Weiss,

in

-in,

IV, 38-9).

We

see thus that fields in the
.

possession of the Jews in Babylon must have been quite a common occurrence even in later times. In an appeal
for the
it is

support of his academy

made

b\^

a

Gaon

in in

953
need

stated that the scholars of the
lost their

academy were

because they had

landed property.^^^

Very

likely

these scholars did not cultivate their fields themselves, but

only through tenants

who took

a third or a fourth of the

produce as

it

was the custom with Babylonian Jews centuries
times (cp. Funk, Die Juden in
further corroborated

before in the Talmudic

Babylon,

I,

15).

This

is

by a question

sent to R. Hai, the last of the

Geonim

(998-1038), which
state
.

probably came from Babylon.^^s
226

The correspondents
i:o?^
r\i'^^^-

y'n,

No. 22

(cp.

\>"i,

No. 43j:

^loan

mbpi

.

.

xh

^^D^DD3

^v^'\^'o i?y

NmT2 ^^sW? nn^-^
VII, 486:

^jiK'n

nn

ijhjt (sc.

\>\'\'i

'n

"7 Cp. the

letter cited above,

irniypnpi ij^2DD
p.

1DDX

i3^!?y

nny^'

Uin ^h Vnr myplpH D31 mynn n^r.-n \t\^^i hdni KiUid.,
onm
i'di-idi

403,
'-'«

fol, 42).

y'l, No. 65

=

-i"::'n

ii.

57,

no. 3:

no:

ui?

^> ijx

:

314

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
community have gardens
as well

that the people in their
as other estates
like,

which some

may

irrigate

whenever they

while other people

may do

that only on Sabbaths
fields

according to an ancient usage.

These owners of the
fifth

have non-Jewish tenants who receive a

of the produce

and do
part
in

all

the required work,, while the owners take no
of their estates.

the cultivation

This probably

refers to the
it

system of irrigation by means of canals as
in

was practised

Bab}'lon where the fields adjacent the

canals would be irrigated in turns according to a fixed
order.

On
refer to

the

other hand, there are several
their fields

responsa

that
their

Jews cultivating

and especially
tell

vineyards.

The

responsa unfortunately do not

us to

which country they were addressed.

In the case of re-

sponsa that deal with the cultivation of vineyards

we may
in

assume that most

likely they

were sent to Jews
refer

Spain

and southern France.

They cannot
in that

to

Babylon
But some

because wine-growing was rare

country.

of the other responsa that deal with the cultivation of fields

probably refer to Babylonian conditions. So
deal

many
in

responsa

with cases of landed property that the conclusion

forces itself
sion of

upon one that landed property
thing.-'-^

the posses-

Jews was the most usual

A

poor Jew

n'';'i?2npn

''»"'d

mar sh
]''?^D

pn nn^rn nvi n^n •nipc'n^ pin
;u c'lDin

nr\b
ij^
11,

ps*

no
22

b
ff.

pc'iyi

tm nn^^n

pnpi^tr

D""i:

pd^n

-c)
263,

noixD
1.

D?:y

yT"

ab nn^bvi
a

''^1n^-1

n*>nL".

Cp. also Ceon..

229

The following

is

list

of responsa referring to landed property,

excluding those discussed

in this
a, b,

chapter
10.

R. Natronai
R. Sheshna

:

Jf"t^',

46
46

Nos. 9 and

:

)S"l^,

No.

14.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
as soon as he acquired
fields
(:"n,

— MANN
it

-^l^

some mone}-. had

invested in

No.

13CS,

by R. Hai).
(v"*^,

These were given as
;

62 a, No. 35, by Saadya 67 a, No. ss, by R. 'Amram -|":;'n, 11, 28, No. 5 = n"lD:, No. 138; d"icj, No. 87) and were inherited from generation
;

dowry

to daughters

to generation.

A

dowry
tronai

in

fields

newly married couple would invest their (d"ioj, No. 91). A responsum by R. Naof the

tells

us

majority of a

whole community

gaining a livelihood only from their vineyards which they
cultivated

themselves.^^o

Many Jews

were occupied
in

in

gathering the grapes and treading them
since according to the

the wine-presses,

Talmudic law

this

could not be

done by non-Jews. -^'^
2.

Some

of the responsa referred to above might have
in

been sent to the communities

North Africa.

But even

those responsa, exprcssl}' stated

as having been sent to

these Jewish communities, testify that Jews generally
fields

owned

and orchards, and probably the small holders them-

selves cultivated tlieir fields.
in

Thus we

find

landed property

the possession of Jews of Tlemsen

(o"ij:j,

No. 133 and

n":,

Nos. 38-9, by Sherira or by

Hai), of
(v"tt^,

Kabes
-6
a,

(n":,

Nos. 318, 322, 324, and 342-3), of Nefusa,

Nos. t6

and

17, cp.

above, VII, 484), and chiefly of Kairowan.

An

interesting

responsum describes the devices Jewish moneyII,

R. Nahshon: Y'^JTl,
^"o-

30, No. 8; p":\, No. 7 (probablyl

;

^'L", 53 a.

53
:

(cp. Muller, Eiiileif., 14.

note

.

R. Sam.

b. Ilofni

i*":;',

45

b.

No.

7

;

48

a,

No. 24.

R. Hai: V'n, No. 135.

Anonymous

:

^"'C%

39

a,

No. 14

;

39

b,

No. 15

;

46

a,

No. 21.
vj>jx
f;.^

^'^rj'^^y, No. 86:

N'^N

inx

;v:d

nrh pN Dipcn
n'"^, No. 211

p^^.^,

'^'

^":, No.

6,

by R.

Paltoi ,842-58

;

=

D"n, No. 156, by

Sar Shalom,

cp. further, Geon., II, 153

(T'Vpn).

3l6
lenders

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
used to

employ

in

order

to

evade the law of
mortgage.^"^
for

usury when they advanced money on

fields in

Yet

in

Kairowan people frequently required money

investing in

commerce which
and

flourished there.

Kairowan

was an important

station on the caravan-route from Spain
close

to Eg}'pt and farther,

by there were important

ports for the maritime trade with the above two countries.

Thus
no

it

resulted that already in the period of the earlier

Geonim
fields.

a considerable

number

of Jews there possessed
(nxc^in
"iD't^),

When

a

power of attorney

which

according to Talmudic law required the possession of at
least four cubits of

ground, was drawn up, recourse had to

be taken to a device to rely on the four cubits of ground

which every Jew was suppossed to possess
a national heritage though at present occupied

in Palestine as

by usurpers.^"^

That such

a

device had to be found shows clearly that

a considerable

number
but

of Jews in

Kairowan possessed no
solely

landed

property

occupied

themselves

with

commerce and
3.

trade.

Above

(p.

314)

it

was pointed out that the responsa
that deal with the cultivation

of the

Bab\-lonian
36

Geonim

i32

^"2',

a,

No. 12 probably by Hai,

cp. Einleit., 14, note)

:

2nj?0

n\'i

vpnpn
nrh
.
.

p-iaiu'

vni

niypipn

hv niyo
nr

c^i^o

d^*j':s

vnij'

isn^p^sa

ncN"")

nij'npn
^\>'\'^t\

xnTnr^o

hv nnnni

mc

N^^ky n?:rD

mnsa

,

niyca
,-]//•
^

•-'S3

nrni n"'m pns Niny'. Nos. 199-200, by R. Hai. The correspondents from Kairowan
io?^!?

state:

^2)2^ \T\T\ .Tm v?'V QH^ pxK^ D^iTivni ni:ncn 'hvy:^ ncai

nnx b^^' ypnp niCN
'bii.'Z"y

ymx

bv

nny

nj?i

Ciic^x-in
ir:3

D^c^n
;'nN3

|niN»

D^:vj'xnn

c'r.xjn

nnvwyna isvcc^

i"N"iD"

nnxi

y"3 ;iS3 \^!'^n "lO JO Dn\inN. According to this statement this legal device goes back to the time of R. Hilai (either the Gaon of Sura
. .

.

in

792-801 or his namesake
p.

in

825-9
p. 90.

.

^P- ^'^o Pardes, D'Clp^i' 24

a.

and

Harkavy, H"",

359, note to

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

MANN

317

of vineyards were most likely sent to communities in Spain
is a collection of responsa by Spanish and French scholars, contemporaries of Sherira and Hai, which throw much light on the question

or southern France.

In addition there

we

are dealing with here.

We

find again landed

property
It

the most

common

possession in the hands of Jews.
fields,

appears that Jews as owners of
vineyards, were
in

and particularly of
in

more frequent

in

Spain and

France than

North Africa or Babylon.

Vineyards as a part of
usual
thing.

a

woman's dowry were

the

So we

find

R. Meshullam in a responsum which was probably sent to southern France dealing with the case of a man who married three wives in succession and each had vineyards
for her

dowry

(p":,

No.

132). -3*

It

seems as

if

the only

possession of the middle-class people amongst the Jews

were these vineyards.

A Jew having to
another case a
to

pay an imposition
No. 201, anonyin

of the governor, sells his vine)-ard

(?^"lD3,

mous).
obtain

Likewise

in

woman
debt
to

trying to

money

in

order
{ibid.,

pay

a

a

non-Jew,

pledges her vineyard
cases the

No. 204, by R. Hanokj. In many
their estates,

Jews themselves probably cultivated

especially as the last stages of gathering the grapes

and

producing the wine had to be done by Jews

only.-'^^

A

responsum
^3<

states that the majority of the

Jews of a comall

As regards Spain,
of Cordova).

cp. 0'"1?^J,

Nos. 175-6, 202, 203, and 206

by

R.

Hanok

"5 Cp. 0"1DJ, No. 202, by R. Enoch: p^aN*
D'JD3i
nnilJ'D

HN

ly^'D

D^J3n

I^JnrC'D

m:^^N
D-13

p

n2^ yuj

nnix

lyDJi

nx^

^^^'i^rvc m:.'n
to

nx m;i
fields

n\-|B'

IV.

For further responsa referring
p'O.

and

vineyards, see by R.
(cp. above, p. 314),

Meshullam:

No. 139; ?D"lO:, Nos. 173, 188
i)
;

189 (probably, cp. Muller, note
:

^"Z\ 40
i), 197,

b,

No. 23

;

by Spanish scholars
(by R. iMoses
b.

D'")1D3,
,

Nos. 196 ^cp. Muller, note

200, and 210

Hanok

207, 208-9 and 211 (by R, Hanok).

3l8

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
asses,

munity possessed oxen, horses and
for the cultivation of fields

animals required

and

vineyards.-"*^

This naust

have been the case

in

other communities as well.
till

We

see thus that
in

the beginning of the
in

eleventh

century both

Spain and

France the Jews occupied
particularly

themselves

much

with agriculture, and

with

the cultivation of vineyards (see also Mullcr, Die Responsen

der spanischen

LeJircr

dcs lo.

JaJirhnndcrts,

pp.

6-7).
fre-

Only when the persecutions became more and more
quent
in

Germany

(cp. Gr., V^*,

384-7) and

in

France, and

frequent expulsions of Jews from certain towns and districts

took place, did the Jew
in

find

it

safer to invest his

money

commerce

or in money-lending in order to be able to

convert his belongings into cash the more easily in time
of need.

This development of the economic conditions of
in

the Jews

France

is

best illustrated

by the change that
in

took place

in the

method of taxation

use amongst the

Jewish communities.
the tax evenly

The

earlier

custom was to distribute
re-

for

which the whole community was

sponsible
fields in

to

the

government

— on

the Jewish owners of

the adjacent \"illages and on the business men, as

we

learn from the evidence of
No. 92
Eiiikit.,

two responsa.^
note to

'"

But

in

the

23"^

[?";.

(,cp.

25,

No. 93):

l?X"^t^"'

n^SiJ'B'l

y\r\:h>

"luvn

3n

pi^i^'

j\si

in^n

ima

i:n3*j'

iV3

\r\b

iiDNiji
(.see

D^ai^
Mailer,

.

.

.

IZnrn nnan^w'
21. note;
\2t"\Cl,

IM

"|1D\X 13.

.Cp. n"L",

No. 214

Eiiileil,
237

and No. 221).
probably- to a French

Dnaan

W
,

No. 165

community)
ni'iD

:

iblpf
bT\\>r',

\\'2

.

.

.

nynan bh-zrh Dna^n

••bya \hb2y\

^jn

urvhv

-Tn-j'nn nv.n-j-n^ pi vniypip
.
.

mo

"ib "1221

~\il2

b
note

^y

b''urb'\

d^o

.

DH'^yo Diixn p^oi? fn\Tw'Cw'.
No. 205 i^seemingly by R. Nathan the Bab^-lonian of Narbonne,
b.

C'lCJ

a contemporar\' of R. Moses

Hanok. see

Miiller.

i)

:

13^31

.

.

.

.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
middle of the eleventh century the tax on
longer continued and the traders, the majority
in

— MANN
fields

319

was no

who must have formed
by the comR. Joseph
a

the communities, were asked

munal leaders
Ronfils,

to contribute the

whole amount.
scholar,
in

a

well-known

French

responsum

to the

Jews of Troyes

in justifying this
in

change explains

that

the possession of fields

his

time by Jews was
to
let

entirely unprofitable,

because they used

them

to

tenants

who took

half the produce, and there

v.-ere

other

expenses that caused the profit accruing from the cultivation

of fields to dwindle.

Whereas money invested
and could
easily
in their

in

commerce brought great

profits

be

witli-

drawn, a quality very essential to the Jews
position of uncertainty

peculiar

and threatening persecutions. ^^^ This

important responsum helps us to understand the gradual

change

in the

economic position of the Jews so that they

became exclusively a commercial people estranged from
the
soil.

:niDo
. . .

ir^r^

ba nninon D^3inr pnd

ib r-'C' no in

v?i?2 nrn hnd

"b

D^JVj'x-in.

"^^

This responsum

is

quoted by R. Meir of Rothenburg
i,

{Q"~\T\J2

nmCTl,
liKl

ed. Prague,
b]}

No. 941 = ""JTlD to Baba batra, ch.
''J3^

§

481): ^n^N"l

DD b'^rh 'i^pi^ trinu

anac
^ivd

d^j?

2M2 ^idv iran nniBTi

a^cni N''ncp-iDi niyoi

nnin

-ISC'

bv v:3 niL"n
-^ycn

m^

ns^

b'C'

n^oian

nm: n^t
-pns-in

N-Drrp-ia

n^b '•nay 'B'^nt

nninon b^i pNl^• nin lozn x^a tcdn t2 imicn ix iddji nnb)iD)
pi n'lii vod

nD3 n^y[i] .nvno bpzn
^^Dn IX nnnx

ono
-ix'jo

N^yan xy-ix vis^s^ x-i"'D1d
nr*'

iK'sx

"INI

^U'Dm
.
.

Diyno ix

2n
i^

ix

ncn

nn k2
x^nnn^

Dn^bv n'2Dr\b px
.
.

.

ni?3

p^ ppn p DXT

.

i^toy

[nif:-j']

nit'yh

x^Drrpnsj ixi-^

VOL. X.

;

320

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Commerce and Trade.

(b)

With the wonderful expansion of the MusHm Empire
large possibilities were opened up for the

commerce from
Caravans could

the Orient to the Occident and vice versa.

traverse the great distance from India to Spain passing

through the provinces of one and the same empire.

Like-

wise the greatest part of the coastline of the Mediterranean

was

in

the

possession

of the

Arabs, and thus a large

maritime trade could spring up (see especially Kremer,
Culturgeschichte des Orients, II, 273
It
ff.:

Handel

u.

Gewerbe).

was

strictly

prohibited

to

impose customs on goods

transported

from one province of the state to another
457).

(Kremer,

ibid., I,

Only

later

on

in

the period of the
split

decline of the Califate,
several semi-dependent

when the empire was
states,

up into

was

this

freedom of trade

greatly restricted (Kremer,

ibid., II, 494).

That the Jews
is

availed themselves of these opportunities
especially those
like

only natural

Jews that

lived in large

commercial centres

Bagdad and

Basra, Fust^t, Kairowan, and Tlemsen,

and the Spanish towns situated along the eastern coast of
Spain.

Above

(VII, 465

ff.)

we have

seen

how

in

Bagdad there
to

grew up a large Jewish community owing
siderable trade that flourished there.

the con-

In Babylon the Jews

possessed mills, inns, public baths and, particularly, olive
presses."^^

Often they

let

these to non-Jews

who could

carry

on business even on Sabbaths. The same applies
"9 Cp. ^'3, No. 64

also to the

by R. Hai)

:

'J'^r

^332

pLITJ

DV

^2

D^li'^DI

jTl, No. lo (either by R.

Paltoi

or by R.
164.

Natronaij

;

D"1C:, No. 15

(anonymous).

See

also

)2)"'\'Cl,

No.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
Jews outside Babylon who owned
(^J"ilS,

— MANN
;

32I

in addition public

ovens
J2")i2:,

cp.

p":,

Nos. 62 and 123, by R. Meshullam

No.
the

no

by R. 'Amram).

There were certain trades

like

preparation

of wine, butter, and cheese, and parch-

ment, which on religious grounds Jews had to conduct

by themselves
show
that

;

thus

we

find the

Geonim having

a

good

knowledge of how parchment was
Jews frequently

made.-*'^

Several responsa

travelled

on the large navigable

rivers like the Tigris, Euphrates,

and Nile, and traversed

the Mediterranean in pursuit of a livelihood.

The Geonim

were consulted as to the observance of the Sabbath on
board
ship.^*^

Similar

questions

were asked
in

how

the

Sabbath should be kept while travelling
No. 155, by Sherira;
Muller, Einleit., 14,
fo"iDJ,

caravans (D"n,
a,

No. 27
In

;

^"B',

12

No.

11, see

note).

one responsum Sherira

mentions that Jews from the west (probably from Spain
or Morocco) would

come
in

in

caravans to Egypt traversing
land.^'*-

a great distance through desert
travel far

Jews used

to

and wide

their

business

enterprises,

which
v''^',

often kept

them away from
;

their
P":,

homes
17).

for years (see

76b, No. 26
2*"

;"n,

No. 49;

No.

This must have

See 0"10J. No. 155; yn, Nos. 113-17; P"3, Nos. 33 and 46;
, ^

n":, No. 5 (to Kairowan); p"3 No. 127, by R. Meshullam; T\"^ No. 33a. 2" \>"l, No. 61 (.probably to Egypt by R. Hai) HT JHJO l\\\h lilD
:

>j3i

....
sh

Dn-iD

h'^}

Di^':i
'^iv,^:

n-121

n^n
T\yo

Dni'B'

Di^-n nion

-iid^x
ijyo*;:'

vn nna^i
.

(probably Fustat)

pw mhn: nnnn nnvo
ns^*^ x^r\'0'o vni
^n-j'.

'»2n?D
.
. .

irni2N0

^
(p.

lis

.

.

myn

n-isn x^i irpnnn n^
,

nnnja

nij^son iz'^h n^n.T.r n^ niTU'^
and
18 a by R. Jehudai,

See further: 7"J
y'n, No. 31
'^^

No. 45

17 b

760-64);

i,by

R. Semah) and 43 (by R. Nahshon).
-ied, ed. Schorr, 76
:

In

cnyn

^'i'T

pw
"-n

N^ntT Nj^i
pi
. . .

H^j? i5':^•n^x

Nini5

p:ni:B'

anyo on p:3 Tita

i^'nc'

xhdij xin

in

Y 2

322

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

happened very frequently so that the Bet- Din had to
take the matter in hand, since
for
it

entailed

many

hardships

women who were
warn and
to

left

without their husbands for years.

R. Natronai (of Sura, 853-6) states that the Bet-Din used
to

enjoin those that

left

their

homes

for

business purposes not to stay

away

too long, especially

when

their wives objected to their

husbands taking long

and dangerous journeys."^^

From

the

responsa

we

learn further of

partnerships

between Jews who

lived in different countries,

and that

in

many

cases the goods had to be sent

by ship from
:i"L'>,

the place
8,

of one partner to that of the other (see

78 b, No.
13,

by Saadya; 40b, No. 24 = "iVn,

II, 34,

No.

by Hai).

One responsum speaks
874-82).

of partners that lived apart a dis-

tance of two months' journey (3"n, No. 42, by R. Nahshon,
In particular there must have been a brisk inter-

change of goods between the North African ports and the
Spanish coast towns (see
one living
to
in
f:)"Ki

No. ig by R. Semah
in

;

partners,

Kairowan and the other
No. 9

Spain

;

n"j,

No. 59,

Kabes

;

i"£rn, II, 31,

=
It

n":,

No. ^j, question came
in :"n,

from Tlemsen).

Probably R. Nahshon's responsum
speaks of a Jew

No. 49,

refers also to Spain.

who came

to Ifrikiya
2"

and entered there into partnership with another
jn^niB'j

yn,

No. 8r:
i6'C'

nv-'nn

dn
. . .

^1^n1:^•J

^irsD

in^-'B'

din
n""'a

-:n

Y'2
"l1Tn? to a

jnvc-12

iNv^
^531

DN bin
p^nzb
also
2f"CJ',

|nn

ninroi?

I'H'cn

pN

m-'nob frpDjn^ pc'
in2 p''^nDT.

iitni?

\n'bv
:

ninh
a

See

9

b,

No. 2

ninc^ pxcn Jew, who was betrothed
jna

woman,

left for

abroad where he was held up and forced to sign a

document of divorce.
No.
I^Din
. . .

Probably this refers to the Bet- Din there
left

who
n'^J,

forced him to divorce his betrothed because he

her.

Cp. further,

163: IV in^3n ^rx

1n'.^'K

ii?

n-iDXi

Sn:n n*3 c^na^

L"pn"j'

*a

ims Nnn ab
trnanN.

di^'J'i

on

dn:^

ynp

pib

c:

^b

ainantr

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
Jew, and then he
left for

— MANN

323

abroad

(D'n nnyp),

where he traded

with the goods from town to town.
(tD"n:j,

Another responsum
left

No. 192) speaks of a Jew who

Spain

for

some

Christian country for business purposes and stayed there
for six years (cp. also
rD"it::,

No. 224;

)i"u,

93

a,

No.

i

;

P":,

No.

51).

On
all

these journeys Jews frequently encountered

dangers on account of robbers and brigands, and had to
give up
their

money

in

order to save their

lives.^^*

Various must have been the experiences of such Jewish
travellers
;

frequently they were exposed to chicanery on

the part of the various authorities of the

many towns and

municipalities through which they passed, and this constant

struggling of the

Jew with the circumstances around him
and able to help himself
legal
in

made him
emergency.
the

versatile

every
of

Responsa containing the

decisions

Geonim about monetary
life
;

disputes amongst Jews are

only a reflex of real

the preponderant part of com-

mercial dealings amongst people are settled without the
necessity of bringing
so,

them before the
like

courts.

Yet even

some responsa preserved read

fragments of the
In addition to

history of the time of their composition.

the responsa discussed above (pp. 131-3) two interesting

responsa will serve as examples of the vicissitudes Jewish
''•iCp. n"3, No.

426 from Tlemsen

;

Geoii.,

II,

150 (3"pn)

;

Y'i, No.

7

and 0"3, No. 94

:

these responsa deal with the dangers that
;

were lurking were captured
their
;

on the road to Egypt

JD"1W

,

No. 213

:

Jews while

travelling

by Arabs who brought them
co-religionists; p"J
Y'i, No. 41.
,

to Spain,

where they were redeemed by
;

No. 66 by R. Meshullam

yn,

No. 27 by R.

Semah

Cp. further, Bodl. 2876^^, containing an undated

letter,

in

Arabic,

from ^)bn

pD^H

to

DHinN 13 pnX\
ff.)

He went

from D^^nOX^N

(Andalusia) to Alexandria on business.
Dr. Hirschfeld, y^/?.,

—A Cambridge fragment (published by
us of a family from

XVI, 573

tells

Kabes whose

members

lived in Sicily, Marseilles,

Kairowan,

Tripoli, Alexandria, Fustat,

and 'Akko.

324

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

merchants passed through on their journeys.

One

respon-

sum

in c"i?r3,

No. 216,

tells

us

how

B

used to travel to

maritime countries and
porting the goods.

A

would be

his assistant in trans-

Once they agreed

to share the profits

of a certain kind of goods, and they travelled together

because they were acquainted with the authorities of the
route they took.

On

the way, while staying in a certain
to bribe

town.

A

had a mishap and had

an

official.

At
they
for

the port of embarkation they had to leave their money,

which was confiscated by the authorities.
arrived at the port of destination,

When

B

had to go back

the

money which he

could obtain only after bribing the
v"l",

officials-^^""

The
after

other responsum in

93

a,

No.

i,

tells

us
left

how A,
for a

having concluded a partnership with B,
for

maritime country where he traded

several
at

years with
last,

much

success.

Wanting

to

return

home

he took a boat with other Jews, but

this

soon foundered

in a storm,

and the passengers had to escape half-naked

to the shore of the sea, leaving all their fortune behind.

There
^*^

this

Jew

A

carried on business (to his discredit even

The responsum, which

is

fragmentary and obscure, runs as follows
'^p'h
h^y-\

:

•{ph

imino

fpriD

n\T
\T\'h

pixm dm nnc^
i^k*

.TnL-

\'\')i\y:}

pipe*

mnn
nr

^3

h

icy n:nn pyoc' nyn yi^ ~\^'^y\ d^po

ims^

1N1T1 xh^z'

luy
oy

nxjpc' po^

N^DDpnan i^n

'h n^^jpn

D^pcn

h

Dprnnnai
-iB'^

nr iniSM "i-n inix
pyr^-^:'

nB' Dn^^o vncr -d^
"i^y^

x^'^'^^

Q^^JK'

-iyn 'n -nj

nyn ^i'\ nnx

n:3D piNii? jonra
.12:30

Tna
nnx

in'in
DJir20

DM nsc
"iny
1^5

^y nn^^t:•
ivy^nj

nnx
dc^

i^y^

Dsn^i

nnix2

di^'^c

"j^'-b

Dnvnai

dm

nr-io^ o^ni
in^

d:idd

dc

no

iiK'yi

pyDc6

"idni

n^son

^:stD

na^^

mn^d n^
pyoti^

f3iN-ii

nrno nniN
. . .

ddioi na> pya

ponn xvm
poo ^y

i^ni ^3inc>

'^

JT'B'yB' ni33i

mnn
to

nny

n^ pn:

^i?

y^joB'

oaon

^3.

It

seems

that they

had

pay customs for coins that were exported from the

country to a foreign

state.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN

325

with blackmail), was successful, then lost his money, and
then was again successful.

Such responsa give us an inkling

of the extensive trade carried on by Jews in that period.

Of
Jews

great furtherance for the expansion of the Jewish

trade must have been the solidarity that existed
all

among

over the diaspora.
in

Jewish business
all

men could
the diiTerent

always find

the various communities of

countries friends

among

their brethren

who

could supply

them with information about markets and other business
concerns.

Further, a

Jew from whatever country when
would always
of
find

trading
tection

with his

co-religionist

pro-

and redress

at

the

hands

the

Bet-Din

or

of the
visited

communal
on

leaders of the dififerent communities he

his travels far

and wide.

The Talmudic law
in

by which the Jews of the Gaonic period were guided
all

their

affairs

knows no
;

difference
is

between

Jews of

different countries
right.

every Israelite
(o"iDJ,

entitled to the

same

In a responsum
:
'

No. 195, end) the Rabbi

indignantly writes

If a stranger
?

comes
it

to a

town do we
!

deprive him of his

money

Far be
! '

from that

Such

a thing shall never be in Israel

'^^

In addition, the fact

that generally, with small exceptions, the

Jews of that
development

period could write and thus transmit their thoughts in
writing,

must have contributed much

to the

of the Jewish trade.

The

religious

duty of teaching every

Jew the Law was
had the
script.

practised from times of yore, and this

result that almost every

Jew could read Hebrew
No. 231,
p. 109)

Thus
states

in

a responsum

(n"j,

the

Gaon

that 'as

a rule a Jew knows the Hebrewi^ax
. .

script' (nny
'*^

ana pynn ^xnc'' nprn

.).

From being
S3i"

rfr\n

xb

mb^bn

?i3"ido

nxi

imx pncpD

-\^vb

wd3K

;

326
able
to

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
read to the ability of writing
is

down

the

same

letters

only

a

small

step,

and probably the large

majority of Jews could write in the

Hebrew

script.

Thus

whatever vernaculars the Jews of the different countries

might have spoken, be
express their thoughts
of the

it

Arabic or French, they could
their

in

own language by means
in

Hebrew
script
is

script.

That the Jews wrote Arabic

Hebrew
Jews
of

well known.
in

This was the case with the
(cp, Gr..

Arabia even

pre-Muhammedan times
number of by
later

V*, 77

f.).

There

exist also a large

responsa,
origi-

both by

earlier as well as

Geonim, written

nally in Arabic in the
18,

Hebrew

script (cp. e.g. n"3, pp.

305-

339-41 ).

According]}- business correspondence could be

carried on quite easily, and the other activities pertaining
to clerkship performed in a time

when the preponderant
Several responsa

majority of non-Jews were analphabets.
tell

us of proper business accounts kept in writing and of

correspondence going on between partners
in different places.

who

lived apart

This must have been quite the general
traders.

custom amongst Jewish
No.
13,

A

responsum

(v"r,

74

b,

probably by Saadya)

tells

us of a

Jew who
ask

died

and

his heirs

produce ledgers and accounts and have them

audited by reliable Jewish merchants.

They
'

now

their

opponent to produce counter-accounts
the usage of business

in

accordance with

men

'

(onniDn

:n:K:2 inj3S^ r\J2nn x^vin^i

2*"

See

further, n"J
i)
:

,

No. 59 = Geou., H, 284 (written

in

1015 to Kabes.

cp. n"J, p. 32, note
carrj'

two partners who

lived in different countries

would
.
.

on their business by means of correspondence (pIXI
n'n
Djnj?:"!

Vnc

]V2

.

Tn3^y'!3"kJ'
.

,

.

131133

pyJO'J'

continuation
.

of this

ba r.r pama*.;' nn:''N3 p:niJi ps'j^i: py?:tyi |n^ -Q1 nrb pyr:B' ba pIS^; see especially the responsum from a Bodl. MS. (in JQR., VI, 24)
n]
:

,

.

p3K'm HNV^n

i^^i?

h

u'M

M^'D

''3wS

b^

T\\vc:c'n

12d nni

.

.

.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN

327

All these factors enabled the Jew to travel far and wide
in

his

business

enterprises

and to maintain commercial

relations with the remotest countries.

Thus we can underthe

stand

how Jewish
the

business

men

could travel from

country of

Franks to China as the well-informed
in

Arabic geographer, Ibn-Kordadbeh,

the middle of the

ninth century reports (see above, p. 146).

Jewish merchants,

Ibn-Kordadbeh
Persian,

writes,

called

Radanites,^*^

who speak

Rumish (Byzantine Greek), Arabic, Spanish, and
would
travel

Sicilian (Italian)

from the land of the Franks
at

by boat
their

to

Egypt, where they landed

Farama, loaded
for five

goods on animals, and would travel
(Suez).

days to

Kulzum

Once

arrived there, they took the boat

again and travelled along the

Red

Sea, stopping at al-Jar,
till

the port of Medina, and at Jidda, the port of Mecca,

they reached the Indian Ocean.

Another route these

merchants chose was to land at the estuary of the Orontes

and travel via Antioch, Aleppo, to the Euphrates, and
then

downwards

this

stream to

Bagdad, whence they

would pass on through a canal
and the Indian Ocean.
estuaries of the Indus,

to the Tigris, Persian Gulf,

Their ultimate goal would be the

and the coasts of India and China.

On

their return they used to take the

same

route.

But

some

of these merchants would go to Constantinople to

dispose of their goods while others went directly back
to the land of the Franks.

When

they preferred a land-

route to a trip over the Mediterranean, they would travel

n"3, Nos. 5 and 423

;

Geott.,

II,

151,

1.

2

ff.

;

tbtd.,

iT'pn

;

p"3, No. 146,
,

by R. Meshullam; ?2"1DJ, No. 4 = b"i. No. 5; ID"1t3J, No. 2; 12" i No. 3B '^^ Perhaps these Jews were from the district of the Rhone, so that their
proper name would be
to p. 203).
'

Rhodanici

'

(see Eppenstein in Gr. V*. 556, note

328
in

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

caravans along France, Spain, Gibraltar, the whole of

North Africa, Syria, Babylon, the southern provinces of
Persia,

Farsistan, and

Kerman, and thence
take

to India

and
via

China.^*^

Some merchants would
to the

their

way

Germany, the Slav countries
Itil

town of the Chazars,

(above the estuary of the Volga), then traverse the

Caspian Sea, reach Balk, Transoxania, and the countries
of Tagazgaz.

These Jewish merchants would bring from

the Occident to the Orient eunuchs, slaves, both male and
female, silk, swords, and furs.

Whereas from the Orient

they would return with musk, aloe, camphor, cinnamon,

and the

like products.

This remarkable report of Ibnlight

Kordadbeh throws much
what

on the commercial

activities

of the West-European Jews of those times, and

shows

spirit of enterprise they possessed to undertake such

journeys from the Frankish Empire to

China, journeys

which must have taken them years to accomplish.

Many

of the goods mentioned in this report in which

the Jews traded are also mentioned in the Gaonic responsa.

In France we find Jewish

women making
money was
cp.

expensive gloves,

embroidered with gold, and similar expensive garments.

When
in
silk

these were sold the

invested in expensive

furs {?":,

No. 66, by R. Meshullam).
(TD-|3,

Likewise Jews traded

wares

p"j.

No. 150,

Rapoport, Introd. to

?":,

7 b).

In the time of R. Meshullam money-lending
in

began to be a favourite occupation of the Jews
(cp. P"J,

France

No.

141).

In spite of
find a

all

the prohibitions of the

Church Councils we
of

Jew

in the service of

the Bishop

Narbonne acting

as his banker and the administrator of

2" The responsum of Sherira quoted above
to these long

in

note 242 probably refers

caravan journeys.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
his financial concerns.-^"

— MANN
When

329

We

learn further of a Jewish

banker
latter

in

the service of the

Duke

of Anjou.

the

captured the

Duke

of Aquitania

and received a large

ransom

for his release,

he ordered his Jewish banker to

carry out the required transaction of money-exchange."^^
In money-lending a special kind of business developed

amongst the Jews
p"i,

in
;

France and Spain, called N^siyn

-'-'-

(cp.

No. 151

a.

49

n"ir:j,

No.

174).

Jewish bankers would

each have a number of Gentile clients
all

whom

they advanced
prohibited

the

money they

required.

The Bet-Din

any Jew from taking away a
^Bo

client

belonging to another
fiyt:^' ns*

p"3, No. 140

:

... NJUijatj' x^Jii^^nn

imo

ymriw*

pisn

D^ijD

n3L"

Die ^d: dn IX r^nv

n'"»:pn

p^::nn

"-pD^yn
is*

-i3n:i'j

dn

"ipv2 i3nn 1DD3 eii^^n IN 13 njnji
.
.
.

rr-mi poc
iJir:^
sii^^n

n'hn

^bu D^poyo

ipv3 iTDym
pDjn

hn

ann ^D2
Tj^f/ztui',

dn

is

hrn iTcyni.
banker of the
expression in

This defines the scope of the transactions carried out
bishop.
(originall^'

b}' this

leader)

was

the

Hebrew

those times for a bishop.

2" }z"Mo:, No. 152: liTy pD^L"

Tn

nsiv

b'c

oian ocra^'a

.

.

.

wnc'
.
, .

^'3B>3 \)nb^n

(r.

>y) 1^

nivi 13vid3 pr^n

nn

):^i2 p^i^r'n i^np

p?:?3

imN ^3p^

ini^DINn

nnO.

This event probably refers to the
b^'

capture of either

WiUiam
41.

VI, Duite of Aquitania,

Geoflrey of Anjou in

1037, or of his son, William VII, by the

same

in 1045,

when Tours was
||P>; '^^^^

taken (see Muller, note
252

j^ia-iyo

seems

to

me

to

be connected with the Syriac
11. 15:
16, but

a money-changer, cp. Pesh.

Mark

)l3;^"iO» ]»61i^ •^oto.

See

Rapoport, Introd. to p"3,

7 b, §

N^DiyO

is

never mentioned by

Babylonian Geonim, only by Spanish and French scholars (see also Muller,
DiD''j"i!?p

'1

nuieri, pp. 2-3, tdi^i nsii'

•'Jinj
.

ninvw'n,

xxxvii}.

n"?OJ"l also uses this

expression (see REJ., LVII, 198"
i

Rapoport connects

this

word with the Arabic
gives no
III, tD"3,

s^c,

to be acquainted with, or to define, but

this
i"-,N,

proper meaning.
§

— The

nature of
t"-!

N^D^yO

is

explained

in

28: MJ b^'^Z'h iS

\a\"'S}h

DM^DC
b'^yyi?

niNiSn iniNi

i^^nn^
r\i'-\m
.
.

-ins*

b^-^^h

h

-11DN 130D r\\'hb
i!?^*s*

nnn
^'nn

h^

^''liy^Vi^

nns m:^ niiSn^ h^^ nnc*
p11^ D^13.

^NnL'-^D

ip^oh i^^n

.

'n'':3C'

See also f"3Sn, No. 104.

33°
Jew's firm.

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Sometimes
this prohibition

was strengthened

by a ban
rnxn
|niN*

(cp. »"io3,
b'^'

No. 174; (?) nnapn n-^n ann yjn:iy niyi nanyc^ d'^n di:3^ abz', see Muller, note 6).

Above

(p.

317)

we have

seen that

and Spain possessed vineyards.
were wine merchants.

many Jews in France As a result many Jews

Ah-eady Agobard, the notorious

Bishop of Lyons, attacked the Jews on the ground that
they sold adulterated wine (about 829
c. E., cp. Gr.,V'*. 241).

The

responsa also refer to this wine-business
(cp. t;"UD3,

in

the hands

of Jews

Nos. 155 and 205).

Coming back
we
Babylon and
in a
in

to the responsa of the Babylonian

Geonim,
in

find references to several trades practised

by Jews

the North-African communities. R. Natronai
(:"n,

responsum

Xo. 82) makes mention of Jews who
in bullion (D"'33iN
~i?::»

traded in expensive clothes and
anr
is*

''1:2

D^hy?D

cnjn

ix).
it

In
is

another responsum
: '

(o"i?r:,

No.

149,

by R.

Paltoi)

stated

Germans

(?)

usually

come
the

to us with goods mostly in the
winter.

summer and

rarel>' in

Usually they would bargain over our cloths and

depreciate their value.

But when they hear
if

of another

caravan coming behind them, or

they have suddenly to

depart, they would hurriedly sell and
goods.'

buy

all

the required

Further, large business used to be carried on in

silk-wares.

Saadya

in

a responsum
large

(n";,

Xo. 556) mentions
in silk (Nn~i:n

two partners investing

sums of money

DVJ'naiiT, cp. n"3, p. 277, note 2).

One
(a

partner contributed

about a thousand gold Dinars
large

Dinar

=

about

^os.),

a

sum

in

those days (see also ^"^^i, No. 135, from

Tlemsen).-^^
^*'

From Kairowan
silk trade

a business transaction
p.

is

About the

see also above,

328, and further, Geoit..
Brit.

II,

65

:

(n"ip): n^^p^D

^ND

^C'rO

'CC Cy

nj-'-J*

pISI.
DliS*

Mus. Add. 27.181
''\Sn

(cp. above, note 7), fol

16 a ^Xo. 6I;

:

iJ3

bv

bi

''21

bii'>^':^

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM— MANN

331

reported of a Jew selling to another Jew a large quantity of pepper on board ship (nc^tr n^np, ed. Wertheimer, 71 a, 'n). We find further casual references to trading in wheat
animals, and property

R. Nahshon).

(v"l", 77 b and 78 a, Nos. ^-j, by Several responsa deal with cases of Jews

coined.

buying bullion which they used to give to the mint to be In those times no standard and uniform coinage

For example, the various provinces of the Muslim Empire had different standards. The Dinar of Yemen was
existed.

much
about

inferior in value to the

Dinar of
the

'Irak.

This brought
different
is

exchange-business

in

coins

of the

countries.2'-i

In an Arabic question to Sherira there

mentioned the case of a Jew who possessed a grindstone for grinding the dust of gold and silver (n":, Xos. 370-1).

Many
business

responsa referred to above show that very close
relations

existed

between Jews

and non-Jews.

Especially in such undertakings as mills, inns, public baths,

and landed property which required to be carried on also on the Sabbath, Jews would enter into partnership
lan^ n:pn
'lai
"^*

with

tr\i

>'sj2

-j-nv^

niJp>N ini-

^i:yi

DT,in

nup^
n:Dinn

p^j^n vns?

nb)vb xn

ab-c^

nm
316

n^po

mx
,

px nn^bv pyu^
a,

b^v ab^.
Harkavy

Cp. n"J, Nos. 386 and 424
ff.)
;

written in Arabic, translated by

into Hebreu-, n":, p.
14,

^'^

34

No.

4,

by Sar Shalom

(cp. Em/eif.,

note)

:

credit;

r^*, 34a, No. 3

those

who

from B, the banker, on a month's No. 52: the Gaon Sar Shalom is against lend defective coins and ask in return coins of full weight,
bullion
-_

A

bought gold

in

V':,

lend

silver in bullion

and ask back coined

silver,

because this

is

usury

;

Q":, No. 165

:

a

possessing silver in bullion and being afraid that the coinage at the mint would be delayed, asks another Jew who was held in
great honour
in his
in

Jew

by the master of the mint to give the bullion to the mint Mu.addasi ^boni at Jerusalem in 946, began his work

name.—

985) writes:

' In the province of Syria also, for the most part, the assayers of coin, the dyers, bankers and tanners are Jews, while it is most usual for the physicians and the scribes to be Christians (cited by Le Strange, Palestine
'

under the Moslems, 22

.

;

332

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

non-Jews who could thus conduct the business on the
Jewish
festivals (cp.
iD")J2i,

Xos. ^^ and 5j;
1.

"i"c>n,

11,57,
;

No. 5
196,
1.

;

Geon., II, i86, 3
II
ff.;

;

194,

9

ff.

;

195 top and bottom

s"n.

Xo.

10).

Other cases of Jews forwarding
purposes are mentioned
in

money

to

non-Jews
b":,

for business

the responsa

Nos. 67 and 68.

All this will show that
^^^^ "^ J^^^
(o'lOJ,

the prohibition of R. Sar

Shalom (849-53)
^NlC'^i'
-iidni)

should enter into partnership with a non-Jew
102,
'"i:n

N^o.

nv n^^nvy
life.

^•J'y''*L^'

was never carried
and French

out in actual

The responsa

of the Spanish

scholars referred to above (pp. 318-19, 328-9) prove that at

the close of the Gaonic period the Jews in France occupied

themselves more and more with money-lending to non-

Jews on

interest;

no permission was any longer required
from a non-Jew.
b,

for taking interest

Characteristic

is

the

question in

)i"'",

^q

Xo.

7

(anonymous) from some correinterest

spondent, whether a Jew who takes

from a non-Jew
in the

should be excommunicated.

This shows that

place

of that correspondent money-lending was quite unusual,

but from the responsum
it

it is

impossible to gather whence

was

sent.

From

the

responsa

we

learn

further

of

various combinations of partnership?, especially in cases

where one partner was the
salesman.

capitalist

and the other the
(^'"c,

Saadya,

in

a

responsum

96

b,

Xo. 12)

mentions a typical example of such a partnership.

Two

Jews invested 5,000 Dinars, a large sum of money

in those

days, in a banking business and in the sale of property,

the proportion of the

money

invested

by the two partners

being 6 to
business
to
7.'^^

4,

but since the second partner was the active
the profits were fixed in the proportion of 5
is
b,

man

Reference
2f"tJ',

also

made

in a

responsum to the
;

^^ Cp. further

93

Nos 2 and 5 (by Sherira)

No.

3,

by Nalronai

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

MANN

333

way poor Jewish
Africa),

pedlars used to

carry on their barter

trade in the small towns and villages (probably in North

They used

to obtain loans from well-to-do
flax,

Jews
wool,

which enabled them to buy cheap crockery,

and

spices.

These they would barter
articles.
fix

for wheat, barley,

wax, and other

When

advancing the money,

the creditors would

with the pedlars the prices of

wheat and the other

articles

which the
of
their

latter

would bring

them
it

later

on

in

payment

debts.

At

times

would happen that the prices of these
before the

articles

would
to

rise

money was

due, so that

it

amounted

usury on the part of the lenders.^^^
All these casual and scattered references in the Gaonic

responsa to the occupations and the economic position of
the Jews which were discussed in this chapter, are only the
reflex of the actual conditions.

Only when disputes arose
accordance with the
in

were they brought to the notice of the Geonim, who were
asked to give their legal decision
in

Talmudic

civil

law.

But even these casual references

the responsa allow us to form an idea of the extent and the

way Jews took
mention
is

part both in agriculture and trade in the In conclusion of this chapter,

countries of their diaspora.

made

of the interesting

responsum

in

Arabic

D"103, No. 90, by Saadya
>f"{J',

;

n'O

,

No. 235, from Kairowan

;

V'3,

No. 43

;

98

b,

No. 21, by Saadya, translated from the Arabic.
II

See

also

Jfty,

96a, No.

by Saadya: two Jewish partners
to

travel twice

by ship

with goods to 7>22, which probably refers
«« GeoH., r^Di2i
II,

Bagdad.

80-81

:

niNDn:

p-i^iDi

nnsDm nniyn
^^-^np^)
^"iv^'

p-imo nnniD
nm*i
|n::'2"i

Dnm

nxiyi myj-i Dnu'::^i r'on

D^nL"3i

D^rsp 131 ID cHDy PPD1D1 Dmy^i'i pt:n bv)
pnM-ioi ;n^
No. 120.

bv ^^'yno

p»D

pnaioi

nr

npo

pjipi

ptro pbuiji nrnn.

Cp. also d":,

334

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

concerning money-orders from one country to another.^^^

The Gaon maintains that according to the principles of the Talmud ic civil law no legal claim can be brought forward should money sent in this way be lost in transmission.
However, the Bet-Din began to deal with such claims
because they saw that
orders,
in

many

people sent such money-

and the Bet-Din did not want to place obstacles

the

way

of

commercial relations between people.
p.

"" n"J, No. 423 (Hebrew translation by Harkavy on

316)

:

U'NI

"JD

.

.

.

Dn:nn

t:2i"t:D

na

])ib i:^3pi

D^i^JNn pn

nnnacn.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN

335

IV.

The Power of the Blt-Din and the Organization OF THE Communities.
I.

In the preceding chapters we have seen how the

spiritual leaders of

Jewry greatly opposed the practice of
non-Jewish

Jews submitting
courts.

their disputes to the decision of
it

On

the whole
followed

may be assumed
injunction
settle their

that the bulk

of the people
leaders,

the

of their spiritual

and preferred to

cases before Jewish

judges

;

both on religious and political grounds, the proin

cedure of the secular courts found no favour
of the Jews.
of the Jews,

the eyes

We

have also discussed the occupations

and have seen to what extent the Jews

of those times occupied themselves both with agriculture

and commerce.

Thus

for

the

common
real

welfare

of the
efficient

Jewish communities there was a
Bet-Din.

need of an

hand with the
as

The Jewish judges usually worked hand in elders of the community (l^yn ""JpT), who,
responsible
for

we have seen above, were
or the

the

taxes.

Whenever the Bet-Din
that their ruling
religionists,

communal

leaders found
their co-

was flouted or disobeyed by

they used to avail themselves of the power of

coercion with which the secular authorities were invested.

But the secular authorities could lend

their assistance in
ff.).

monetary disputes only
affairs,

(see above,

p.

142

In religious

however, and on the whole the only coercive means

at the disposal of the

Bet-Din was the ban.

It is true

that

VOL. X.

z

336

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
by the Jewish

flogging (nip^o) was the punishment inflicted
courts for several transgressions.

dergo

this

Jew refused to unpunishment, he could only be coerced by means
if

But

a

of excommunication
It
is

fcp.

also

above,

p.

129, note

192).

no wonder therefore that the Geonim were anxious
this

to

make

only means of coercion as effective as possible.

The

welfare of the communities, both as regards morality
effec-

and honest dealing, demanded that the ban should
tively take the place of imprisonment,

and the other ways
It

of coercion at the disposal of the non-Jewish courts.

must be admitted that the ban was a
use
of,

little

too freely

made

especially in the case of small

transgressions in

religious matters (to a great extent due to the opposition

against the Karaites).

Moreover, the Exilarchs frequently
for their

handled

this social

weapon

own

purposes, either

to extort taxes or to impose their will on the

Geonim

(as

the quarrel between David b. Zakkai and Saadya shows).

Yet a

strict

enforcement of the ban was on the whole

necessary when
bilities

we review

in

general the great responsi-

that rested

on the Bet-Din to ensure the peace

and the good name of the Jewish communities.

We

find

that the spiritual head of the Christians in Babylon, the

Catholicos,

could

enforce
of

his

will

on his co-religionists

only by

means

excommunication from the Church,
and prohibition of intercourse with

refusal of sacraments,

Christians, just in the
its ruling.

same way

as the Bet- Din enforced

The

legal decisions of the Catholici

Hen^nisho

(686-701), Timotheos (780-823), and Jesubarnum (820-4)
(published by Sachau, Syrisdie Rechtsbiicher, vol.
II),

show

us several parallels between the methods of the Catholici

and

their

subordinate

local

ecclesiastical

courts on one

hand, and of the Geonim and the local Jewish courts on

RESrt)NSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
the Other,
in

— MANN
13
:

337

enforcing their ruh'ng on their respective co(See, e.g. Henanisho, Nos. 5,
in
8, 9, 11,

religionists.

the

ban was announced
on
festivals;

the churches of the respective district
is

14: the coercion

to

be carried out also
in

with the help of the secular authorities,
astical authority
is

case the ecclesi9,

Timotheos, §§ 2.5 Jesubarnum, §§ 34, 36-9, 65-6, 115, and 125.)
;

disobeyed

;

13-14;

2.

The

chief source of information about the organiza-

tion

of the Jewish courts in
II,

Babylon

is

to

be found

in

Nathan's report (Neub.,

85-6).

The responsa supply
communities that

several supplementary details.

In Babylon the exilarchs
for the

were entitled to appoint judges

were within their sphere of influence.

The Geonim

also

undoubtedly possessed the same right

in the districts

under

the jurisdiction of their respective academies (see Xeub.,
II,

81

and
S.,

83,

beginning, and 86, and also Aptowitzer,
31).^^^

JQR.^ N.
is

IV,
in

The diploma

given to such judges

preserved

a Gaonic responsum, according to which

they were

invested with the authorit}^ of settling legal
all ritual

disputes and of supervising the practice of

comSuch
distant

mandments,
-58

religious

laws,

and moral conduct.^^^
nominee as Dayan of the
u. Mitteilungen, V, 207,
^^n*

It is b.

of interest to learn that Saadya's rival to the Gaonate of Sura. Sarjado,

Khalaf

could appoint his

community of Mossul (see Harkavy, Studien

11.

9-1 1

:

p

fj^i)

r\yii

np n!rN n^dct [p]

onss*

na ^nv

-pry

^jei

"5^ ibid.,

n'O, No. 180
76,

probably by Hai to Kairowan, written in lorr, see
^733

note 4):

pjXn p^DD
nvi:n

JH

b^n
'

T"2L" ^333
'h

in:^)^^^

''3

iT'onN
N3X''n
'h'"C)

\ych2
•'Ji^D

invs
-i3

pN-iipi

m:s* ;xn^
p-j-iDD

i''3m3i

1^21 iSd

^ji^D^

n"'j''3D

NjnjNi

pi

xnijxm Npna
•'Ji^a

b
}D

^y nNTnn\xh

^n
bi
^3

p^'^^
,^•^oi^'

Nnicn

n^^

N:3^T'^

N-invS'3

bv

N:n bpro

xh

jn»

n^irm

NTnm

N-no^Nm

Nns'ivrri
n^-j-aj.

'K^r^-L^

3^^m pis^n

nm
T\"'C,

\xd

np layo^

xnVkj'-i n^^

n\s

(See also 2"n, No. 156, and

No. 217).

Z 2

338

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
new
place of activity,

a judge, on his arrival at his
select

had to

two assessors from amongst the respected members
community,
in

of the

the

first

instance in order to constileast

tute a proper Bet-Din

which had to consist of at
for

three

members, but

chiefly

the

purpose

of

being

informed of the
long standing.

affairs

of the
elders

community by members of
of

The
the

the communities would

supervise the activities of the respective judges, and could

demand from
the

Exilarch, or the

Geonim

respectively,

deposal

of

unworthy judges.

The
Bagdad

Exilarch

had

a high-court situated at his place of residence, which, as

we have

seen above (¥11,469), was

since the times
is

of MansLir.
in
n":,

This high-court, or xnilDT X2xa,
sTin?2T
^tibr2^

mentioned

Xo. 555:' in

x3Nai p>D2n*sn N:n p'ca ans
|:n

N3N3^ wcn?^ P2:

nu

D'^n

xan^n

.

.

.

sni^:

t^xi

nnyo
to

mm "mon wn
it

n''2^
is

snaTiron.

If the

Exilarch happened

be a scholar,

only natural that he would preside

over the high-court.

Thus

in

n"3,

No.

5,55,

we

find the

expression

that

'

the

Exilarch

(David

b.

Zakkai)

gave

judgement based on substantial Halakot and
ments' (NnNixa: xriNs^n
•""inn *Dyt:i).-^''^

clear argut^'N-l

p

xjn xacm nno3

nhi^j

pdsi

But since most of the Exilarchs were not
their exalted position

learned and

owed

merely to their

descent from the Davidic family, they usually had a pro-

minent

sch^)lar

presiding

over their

High Court.

We

possess a responsum by a president of this

High Court,
have attained

R. Semah, sent to Kairowan.-^^
260

He must
b.

About the learned Exilarch Solomon

Hisdai, see Halevy,

nHH

Q-'JVJ'Nin, III, 213-14.
281

Dukes

in H^:!!! ]2, IV.

141-2 prints from an Oxford MS.
'':"'n

:

DD1C HT
ravc'nrt

xnib "cn \snDn nniNnon saan

•li'n

nov 21

I'^'cn-c

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
considerable reputation
that

— MANN

339

such a distant community
matters.

asked
local

for his opinion in religious

Probably the

judges

in

the

communities under the Exilarch's
in
difficult

jurisdiction

consulted the High Court

cases.

Moreover, one of the parties concerned

in a lawsuit

could

refuse to submit to the decision of the local judge

and

demand
Court.
witzer,

that the dispute should be settled

by

the

High

From

a

Gaonic Document, published by AptoS.,

JQR., N.

IV, 25, No.

1,^62

we know

that this

was the case as regards the High Courts of the Academies.
In
all

probability the

same procedure was

in force at the

Exilarch's High Court.

The High Court
presided over

of each of the

two Academies was

also

by an eminent
This

scholar, the so-called pi n^a 3N or xnan NJ''n (see Ginzberg,
Geo>i.,
I,

II,

note 4;

Aptowitzer,

ibid.,

35-8).

president of the
in

High Court of the Academy was second
appears that the decisions rendered by the
to be
ratified

rank to the Gaon, the supreme authority (but see above,
ff.).

VII, 468

It

Exilarch's

High Court had

by the High
in n"3,

Courts of both Academies, as the responsum

No. ^jj,
it is

quoted above,

p.

338, clearly shows.

Moreover,
b.

well

known

that the

quarrel

between David

Zakkai and
docu-

Saadya arose because the

latter refused to ratify a
D''nx

xpnDS njnca isiTpa
See also n"3,
the
(cp.
p. 389.

amn

inb't

D"':pii

D^o:3n

on^oijn.

This R. Semah seems to have been identical with

pf

N3'n mentioned by R. 'Amram at the beginning of his Siddur y^, No. 56). In 'i"^ 3 a, No. 17, there is mentioned "W^n 21 10 N221 XJXn who after the death of Bustanai issued a deed of freedom
,

N3n

to the exilarch's

widow, the daughter of the Persian king Khusrau,
in

in

order that her children, the sons of Bustanai, should be

the status of

freedmen.
2«-

Cp. Eppenstein, Monatssclirift, 1908, 336

7.

ny pnnvpn imo") ynn3

%h

ynin ^a

pan

'^^122

i^^y

.

.

.

NnnTiroi xnan sjonp

v'0\:?^'^

Ti^n yan;.

cp.,

/6k/., p.

32.

340

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
issued

ment

by the

former's

High Court, whereas Kohen
(see

Sedek complied with the request of the Exilarch
Nathan's report
In
in

Xeub.,

II,

80-8 j).

Babylon the judge of a community

had

fixed

emoluments from every
documents
which

member
also
his
II,

of his

community above
all

the age of twenty, and he

took fees for
scribe

legal

none but
in

was allowed to

draw up (Nathan

Neub.,

85-6)

As

regards the
that
in

communities outside Babylon, we

may assume
under

Egypt the Nagid generally had the power of appointing judges over the communities
his jurisdiction.

But

in

other
its

countries

each community

used to elect

a judge of

own

accord.

We

find references to

com-

munities that possessed no permanent Bet-Din.
cases

In such
settle

the

elders

of the

community used
amongst Jews.

to

by
re-

arbitration disputes arising

Thus the

sponsum

in )i"^,

84 b,

No.

4,

speaks of a community which
but

has no permanent Bet-Din,
disciples,
'

where the

elders,

the

and the respected members of the congregation

settle all disputes arising
v"6J',

amongst the Jews

'.^""

Likewise

in

90

a,

No.

29, the

Gaon mentions

'

the people that

are

fit

to settle disputes

amongst the members of a com'

munity that has no permanent Bet-Din
niicro i"'!

(D"'J3i!3C'

D''trJNn

pxc

n'\pJ22

nyn pa DDcb).
to

On
b,

the other hand,

several

responsa

refer

communities with permanent
v"t^,

courts (cp. n":. No. 180 and

90

No.

^;^).

The Geonim

were careful
-''3

in

recognizing the authority of such judges
'h

nsi^n iT'nn ^vn
T-yn
'•aiDi

u"c' vd

ksnc"o
ijsb

c^i yinp

pn

pNc-* aipron

u^''m
.

Dnn:)S-)m

n^jptn

i^Dni

r\i^')i'

in
:

'f^ipEn

in
.

.

.

\'in |D
'•3:

vbv

^''C

no

)b

]r\^^ iniN.

Cp. also n"j, No. 233

'N1

.

.

D'jpr
.
. .

ND^''^

N-n3n"'Nn

y'yx an^rn

n-'D^n n^i

n^t

'a

ayb

D^ai^^'n.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN

34!

who had not

their authorization

in

communities abroad-

R. Hai was consulted by his correspondents in Kairowan
as to the case of a
local

Jew who swore not to attend at the Bet-Din, though the members of the community
disputes to
decision.

established a permanent Bet-Din, and undertook to submit
all their
its

The Gaon

in his

answer

draws the distinction between a judge appointed by the

High Court of the Academy and one
authorization.

that had no such

In the case of the former, any person that

pronounced such an oath would be forced to appear before
the Bet-Din and would be flogged (nipbc) for his oath.

Whereas

in the case of
(n"3,

the

latter,

such a procedure cannot
there

be enforced

No.

180).

From some community

came the complaint
poor, as well

to R.

Hai about the scandalous proallow the beds of the

cedure of the local judges

who would

as their other belongings, to

be taken as
(n"::',

pledges, in contradiction to the

Tahnudic law

No. 86).

The Gaon
to

rightly gives vent to his indignation at such

proceedings, and strongly urges upon his correspondents

do everything

in

their

power

in

order to bring about
refer to

the deposal of such judges.

This can only
since in

some

community outside Babylon,
Court of the
judges.
in

Babylon the High

Academy had
outside

the authority to remove such
of such

All that the

Geonim demand
is

courts

countries

Babylon

that

they should

be

eminent and
definition of

command
21•L^'^
"i""'n

the respect of everybody (see the

in n":,

No. 240, and

cp. n"3,

No, 14

=

No. 255, end).
the public

Each community probably provided from
for
l"3,

funds
in

the

maintenance

of

its

Bet-Din.

A

responsum

No.

82, mentions the case of a Jew

who bequeathed
synagogue.

the rental of his house for the use of the
leaders,

The communal

however, used the

342

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
community
,

rent for the salary of the judge of their
D3-iQn"'C nc?o "h pNC'
3.

("'CT

Dn^jnn poyncc, see also d":

No.

7).

On

the whole, the Talmudic law was the guide of

the Jewish judges in their dispensation of justice.
religious transgressions, flagellation in various degrees
inflicted,

For

was

whereas

in in

monetary lawsuits oaths would be
order to enforce
its

administered.

But

ruling, the Bet-

Din

in

the Gaonic times, as well as long afterwards, had
its

only one means at
this

disposal,

and that was the ban.
times.

All

was

in

use in Talmudic

From

the

Gaonic

responsa, however,

we obtain

a detailed account of the

procedure of the Bet -Din.
(a)

Corporal P?iinshincnt.

There were two grades of

flagellation, the so-called

nip^D for transgressions against
for acting contrary
9).

Biblical

commandments, and nn~iD n^D
{T\"'^,

to the prohibitions of the Rabbis as
is

No.

The

former,

well

known, consisted of thirty-nine

stripes.

But there

are conflicting statements as regards the latter.
states in
cp.
T\"'\y,

R. Natronai
2"n,

a

responsum

(^"\y,

91b, No. 39

=

No. 89;
n^o had
till

No. 181) that the so-called
in his time,

flagellation

of mp^o was

no longer practised

whereas the

niTiJO

no fixed number of

stripes,

but was continued

the

person concerned submitted to the decision of the BetDin.^®*

But from responsa by Sherira and Hai

it

is

evident that flagellation, consisting of thirty-nine stripes,

was
''^

in practice still

in their

time (see

n":,

No. 440 (sent
sTi^msn

n-in naci ,nn-iD n^D n^x dvh N:n:
^3p^c
-iy

x!?

r.ipt^Di

ny

"IS

mix poain n^n p
in

nj^x

nnno

n^Di

/n*

ncn

'o

Iti'DJ

Nifnti'.

In this connexion cp. the statement of Samuel ha-Nagid in a

responsum (quoted

DTllTl "12D, ed. Schorr, 267) concerning people

who
:

were suspected of heresy and whom the

early Spanish authorities had flogged
d^-j'^n

nxpbn i"inD inoi T\'\\h^b dhcn-^'

jhd ip^n ir:i?onpi.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM— MANN
to

343

Kairowan
6).

in
It

41, No.

997 cp. ibid., p. 235, note 2) = seems that this punishment was
;

-i"cTi, II,

inflicted

for transgressions that could not

be repaired,

e. g.

desecra-

tion of the Sabbath. Whereas for the purpose of enforcing the ruling of the Bet-Din, the flagellation went on till the
culprit acquiesced.

However,

fUC'n

xb nmo
;

n^'r

is

men-

tioned by R. Ychudai (760-4) for transgressions that could not be repaired (cp. -^''^r^, I, 39, and TI, 18 see also n"c^,

During the flagellation corresponding verses from the Bible were recited, and the
1.5,

No.

and

Einleit., 20, note).-^'^

culprit

had to make confession and ask

for divine forgive6).

ness (n'X No. 44o
that the culprit

= n":^•n,

II,

41,

No.

It

seems'aLso

No.
note
=«»

7,

was adjured not to repeat his sin (n>, and the responsum quoted by Miiller, Einleit.,
6,

4).

Quite a

new

distinction

between

DIp^^JD

m

and niTlD

n30

is

introduced'

D'i?nj
p.

yy ira
67,

'D {Ja hrb. 20):

d.

Jnd-Lite,-. Ges ellschaft, Frankfurt, V,

Hebrew
mpf^D

part,

No

,pD-inncni

pjji^TM^p-i^j^ 'o

mp^o

nr

As the responsa of the Babylonian Geonim, which we have know of this distinction, the above summary
the Palestinian
(in

discussed, do not rather represents the views of

Jahrbuch,

vol.

summary of

Geonim than those of the Babylonian scholars. J. N. Epstein VHI, 450; could not find what was 'obscure' in the

D^^JH:

yy

1C'3 'D

But his references

to 'similar'

responsa

by Natronai and Hai
to the point in

(^'B'. V, 7 (91 b)

No
to a

39,

and n"B', No.

15

are hardly
(cited

question.—According

responsum by Saadya

by

Poznariski,/0/?., N. S., HI, 427; nmtD HDO consisted of thirteen stripes for the transgression of a traditional precept, such as hair-cutting on \:>"rm or wearing shoes during the days of mourning. This must have been the lenient side of DDO for slight transgressions. This number of thirteen stripes is also ordained by R. Hai, unnoticed by Poznanski (in a

'

nmo

responsum cited by Muller,

Einldt., 6, note,

from i?n"a5r,

11, §

150),

nan nip^n^

ijnji

.

.

.

nmo

niDD \n^ f> invx r?"^^

^K rem oic-D
.
.

.

344

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
For certain transgressions,
flagellation

was accompanied

by shaving the

culprit's

head and beard.

Thus

in

^i"^,

25a, No. 13 (anonymous; in 3"n, No. 94, by R. Natronai),

we read
his hair

that

if

a

Jew be found

guilty of having

committed

adultery with his female slave, he should be flogged and

shaved

ofl".

Likewise, in the case of adultery with
culprits
I,

a married

woman, both
off (i"c'n,

were flogged and had their

hair shaved

29,

among

the nuivp ni3^n of

R. Yehudai

=

^''c'n,

of R. Natronai),

II, 18, 1, 11, among the responsa The same punishment was inflicted for
("1"^^!,

desecrating the

Sabbath

II,

20).

This strange
is

punishment, which, as

far as

my

knowledge goes,

not

found

in the

Talmud,^"^ must have been borrowed by the
authorities.

Jews from the secular

This punishment was

practised in Spain under the Visigoths.
of

One

of the decrees

King Erwich, 680-7,
had not

^^'^s

that the

Jews who within

a year from the publication of the decree, were not themselves or
their children baptized, should

be punished

by a hundred

stripes, cutting

of the hair of the head, banish(cp.

ment, and confiscation of property
WirtschaftsgescJiichte
of shaving the hair

CarO; Social-

ti,

der Juden,

73).

This punishment
in

must have been usual

the Middle
'

Ages

in

many
(in

countries.

Cp. further Dr. Biichler,

Das

Schneiden des Haares
Semiten
'

als Strafe der

Ehebrecher bei den

Wiener Zeitschrift
91
ff.).

filr die

Kunde

des

Mor-

genlandes,

XIX,

It

seems that there existed a kind

of communal
266

prison for the internment of culprits pending
to

Perhaps a reference
1

this kind of

punishment
supposed
v;h
V''T\

is

to

be found in

Sanh.

10 a top,
:

where the wife of Korah
''3

is

to

have said to her
'

husband

N*n213
all

l^!?

i^^JDMOl

'l3''^irD^

myi

he (Moses)
the stocks'

shaved you
(to

over and sports with you as (with a prisoner:
s.

in

XnSO,

cp. also Jastrow, Dictionary,

NDEID).

Rashi, however, gives

a different explanation.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
their
trial

MANN

345

at

the Bet-Din.

Thus,

if

a

Jew committed
for that

some transgression on the Sabbath

or on the Festivals,

when he could not be
day,
in
;

flogged, he

was imprisoned
(r^"vr:.

order to prevent his escape
ri"L",

No. 146, by
Paltoi of

Sherira

No.

iJSi,
-.

and

2"n,

No.

135,

by R.

Pumbedita, 842 -5S
as
it

n"L",

No.

1S2, cannot be
it

by Sherira,

contradicts d"1d:, No. 146, whereas

agrees with £"n,

No. 135)tioned the

In

all

these responsa there

is

expressly men-

communal
it

prison

("iriDn

n"'3).

Likewise, in the

Prankish Empire

seems that the Jewish authorities had

the right of imprisoning a Jewish culprit.
A'Car

Thus
his

in

the

576

C. E.,

we

are told, St.

Germanus on
the

journey
in

irom Tours to Severiacus

found

Jew Amantius

chains and led by Jews, because he refused to obey the

Jewish

laws (see Aronius, Regesten
iin

ziir

Geschichte dcr

Juden

frdnkischen and

detitschen Reiche, p. 13, to the
in a prison for a certain

year 576).

However, confinement

period as a punishment for transgressions was imposed

by

Jewish law only
n2''D7

in a

very few cases

(cp.

Sanh.

9^,

pD^jnn

iniN, as

regards a homicide against

whom

there are
in

no witnesses, and also as regards a culprit who persists
his transgression for

which he had received already twice

flagellation,

see Frankel,
in

Der

gerichtliche Beweis, p. 167.
p. '^^,

and the instructive note
{b)

Lewy, Abba Smil,
oath, which

note 85).

Oath.

The proper

was accompanied

by the laying of the hand on a scroll of the

Law

(n~iin nSD),

was abolished by the Gaon R. Sadok, 823-5.
for this abolition

The

reason

was because people were ready

to take

the oath without

much
No.

consideration,

and the Geonim

were afraid of the serious Divine punishment consequent

upon perjury

(j"n,

22,

by R. Natronai
73a, No.
9,

op. Gcoji.. II, 154 (l"2pn),

'^"^y,

P":, No. 43 by R. Hai). This
;

=

346

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

change introduced by R. Sadok spread only gradually.
In the time of R. Paltoi we find judges
still

continuing to
i?":,

adjure people with the proper oath, nTinn nync' (cp.

No.

lo).

As

a substitute for the proper oath, curses used
false

to be
in

pronounced against any one who gave
lawsuits.

evidence

monetary

In order to

make

these curses,
in

called sm"'!:, effective, they

were pronounced

the synafind

gogue accompanied by a solemn ceremony, which we
fully described
in

two respoiisa
76
a,

{?":,

No.

lo,

by

Paltoi,

842-58, and
the

-^"ly,

No.

22,

by R. Hai).

The

scroll of

Law was

taken out from the ark, while the person
in

concerned was familiarized with the curses that occur
the Bible.

A
feet

bier

was brought

to the synagogue,

and

on

it

lay the

shroud of the dead.
of

Ashes were strewn
inflated

under

the

the

person

concerned, and

bladders as well as a cock were brought to the synagogue.

The

candles were

lighted

and the school-children were

present.

Then
of the

to

the

accompaniment

of

horns,

the

delegate

Bet-Din pronounced against the person
fulfilled, in

concerned curses which would be

case he

was

making
so

false

statements.

All the details of this ceremony,
as

strange

and

gruesome

they appear

to

us,

had

symbolical

meanings, and were meant to impress upon

the adjured the responsibility he undertook in

making

his

statements before the court.
-" b"y, No. 10:

"'''

Generally, this ceremony

iN>:^'r
iN'-n-'i

"iH'i^i'rh

nn

ps'i^'irw"

hdd

nncpm mina nmnrn
n^non bv
\"^"\)z

^J;o•L^•

nia ynnJD^'Z)
ij^^"-!

.

.

ni^^pn hv ims*
nn'^

n^'o
dtiid

b^' nipirni nnsjitr ix"'vvi

D^b

ri>bv

vj-i-:''')

i"'2 nros-'i

nt2r:n ':^b

in

s ^yb"") o'nisi nnx: is^nn nD:3n

nn

»"Nn ns ;nv^y?:i
.
.
.

-i^x

pN^n?2i

nn;

pp'-hci
n'''>nnru'.

pi'i:Jnn

pN^3»i "bbn

nnavw'n pypini ienh bv nyni**

Some

of these details

;

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
used
to

— MANN

347

take place

in

the synagogue on

Mondays and

Thursdays

after the morning- service, whilst all the worfr':,

shippers were present

No.
to

9,

probably by R. Hai).
cere-

Even married women had

go through the same
No.

mony

in

public

()l"^,

69

a,

No.

72,

by Natronai, which agrees
9,

with the responsum quoted in

b":,

in the

name

of

R. Semah).
married

Later Geonim, however, seem to have spared
this

women

publicity,

and allowed them to be

in the presence of three Jews p":, No. 9). Another kind of adjuration was administered in cases of suspicion. For example, if a Jew suspected another Jew

adjured privately

of having stolen something from his house or of having

denounced him to the secular

authorities,

he could,

after

having substantiated his suspicions, obtain from the BetDin the permission of having a ban or curses announced
in

the synagogue anonymously against

him harm.
(n":,

anybody that caused This permission, which was called xnsiD^T NpriD
and
:^$^),

Nos.

i

was, however, not accompanied by

the

ceremony described above

?2"iUJ,

(cp. fn, No. i;^'j, by R. Hai No. 193, by R. Joseph Ibn Abitur of Cordova; p":,

No.

13).

The same
demand

permission was granted by the Betof one of the parties concerned
in

Din, on the

a lawsuit, against any person that refrained from coming
to the Bet-Din

and giving

his

evidence (see the Gaonic
S.,

Document published by Aptowitzer, 3^QR., N.
No. VII).

IV, 28,

R. Hai, as well as his predecessors, were ver}c.

are found in Lev. R.

6

:

"ISOn

DlUn
Pes.

pyn'.^'n

HD

'•JDD

U"X

3"!

"lOS

]b:>D

p-l

Nin VC'^yl nv:Vyi

;

R.

c.

22 (ed. Fnedmann,

1

13 b ;

:

nipn on
VD33 ^30

i>c^3yi

nrovyi pn^j
121D

ps-^?:)

m

hnnjc

nr^i^

nnaicn o^ypim

Dpn nsv^

n^n^

']p'c^r\

bv vy^'rc ^d

b p

oh:)-.

348

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
and they

careful in giving such a permission to claimants,

would grant

it

only on the demand of orphans or their

guardians to be used against anybody that concealed
entrusted to him by their
(c)

money
and

father.^''®

Excoinmunication.
all

To

enforce

obedience to

acquiescence in
the ban at
its

their decisions, the

Bet-Din had only

disposal,

by means

of

which the culprit was

The Geonim, as the spiritual leaders of Jewry, were anxious to make the ban as effective as possible. The ban announced against
entirely separated from Jewish society.

some Jew used
district or the

to be sent to all the communities of the

country wherein the person concerned resided.

In this way, the effectiveness of the excommunication was
to be secured.

The

utter separation from all intercourse

with his co-religionists must have weighed heavily upon the

excommunicated, especially
almost exclusively moved

in
in

those times

when a Jew

Jewish society.
is

A

full

de-

scription of the extent of the ban

given in a responsum

by R.
in

Paltoi,
7,5 a,

842-58

(^'J,

No.

10,

and with some changes

V"r^,

No.

14).--'^

There was a milder degree of
irnuN*
"h

=68

^"j, No. 22:

fn''^

\h'''r\

nS i^mN
-idx^i
1J^?

ps:^•

pynr iim

.

.

.

Dnnn^ h uni xniiD^ xpns
'{^^'\T\

lana

Nn^c no h'h mc'i
is

nn
ij^pi

yn^ dis* ynin nns*
no?o
D^i^yDH

ns*

nnnis'

n^n "luvn ono
x^
dn^
^3n*

iniN
•n?2Ni

^y
in

pi in^na

nns mon
iN3*ir

ns^rn
,i:i:i"i3

nn^c^

oisnosN
22, end,

an njyoa

xi^'owc

Cp. D"11DJ, No.
263

by Saadya.
is

The
in

text in

y'J

more

correct.

Thus the
parallel to

terrible

phrase llpyi
\2T\T\.

VniJTO
y'l,

\"^

reads

in \>"l

:—inmO npyi

Vm^i'

With
No. IV.
(flSti'D

agrees the Gaonic Document published by Aptowitzer,
Karaite ban

ibid.,

26,

The

was

likewise stringent.

See Benjamin Nahavendi

in"'3a, 2 a bottom)

-ipm nny mis*

\'hh\>i:i

[T"'a^ T'ynn] nu"" vh dni
'

xh

i?o"ibcQ

^Ntt'3

N^ loy

D^:n^: ^^;

riv^2

nninn n"y d^d'

'i

n"a3

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEOxNIM— MANN
excommunication, called >nj or
people to keep aloof from
iini2^,

349

which enjoined the

the

excommunicated.

The
this

document
effect,

called

Nn^ns,

issued

by the Bet-Din

to

was

valid for thirty days (cp. n"L", Nos. 41-2,

by

R. Hai;

n"j.

No. 182, and
Ill,

p.

3^? "ote to

p.

84; Gaonic
ibid.,

Document, No.
If

published by Aptowitzer,

26).

the

excommunicated

remained

obstinate,

the

more

severe form of excommunication, the so-called Nnro-inx or
Din,

was used.
if

The

effect
in

of this ban
all
its

must have been
In
all

crushing,

carried

out

severity.

the

synagogues of the neighbouring communities the ban was announced, declaring the food and drink of the

culprit to

be like that of a non-Jew and forbidding, under penalty of excommunication, any Jew from keeping company with
the excommunicated person, or to circumcise his son, or to teach his children in the public schools, or,
finally, to assist

'

at the burial

on the death of a member of his household. Sometimes the ban went so far as to declare those who

ventured to talk to the person under the ban, a^ being eo ipso in his position (n>. No. 42, by R. Hai, and t"v::,

No. 217).
It

would be unjust

to attack

R. Paltoi
IV,
p.

for this frightful-

ness of the ban (as Weiss,
p. 116, does), since

V'm,

15 top, note 10, and

R. Paltoi was not the inventor of this form of excommunication. It must have been in practice

him (see also Gr. V^ 139, note 4). The ban was handled with as much severity also by the contemporary Christian ecclesiastical authorities in Babylon.
fact,
it

long before

In

was

in the

general

way

of coercion in that period,

nm

-im non pnn bp>i Ynb

ai^u^

ny noj in^r-mi i:on.

35°

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY RKVJEW
for

and one person ought not to be blamed
above and beyond
his time.

not being

In the time of R. Hai, the

grim severity of the ban was somewhat relaxed.

The

Gaon
the

is

of the opinion that the new-born son of the exalso

communicated should be circumcised, and

that

if

man

died during the term of his excommunication, he
(ri"c^,

should be buried
those affected
weight.

No.

41).

It

must be admitted that
its

by the ban
strict

suffered considerably under

However, a

handling of the ban, as the only

means of coercion
the

at the disposal of the Bet-Din, or of

communal

leaders,

was on the whole necessary
prestige

for the

preservation

of

the

of

the

authorities.

This
ends

becomes evident when we consider
which the ban served to
4.

in particular the

attain.

The
in

duties which were entrusted to the care of the

Bet-Din

every community can be divided into two

chief branches.
justice in

The one

consisted in the dispensation of

monetary

lawsuits,

while the other comprised

the supervision of the practice of morality and religion the masses.

by

In carrying out their duties in both these
courts

spheres of activity, the Jewish

must have made

frequent use of the ban, in order to bring pressure to bear

upon

refractory people.

(a)

Monetary

Affairs.

The procedure
fully
a,

of the Bet-Din
in

in

helping a creditor to recover his
declared
his

money
No.
15.

case the
in

debtor

insolvency
in in
^''c',

is

described

a

responsum by R. Natronai
the

86

Naturally,
as

procedure described
for

the
in

Talmud

served

an

example
nowhere

the

Bet-Din
is

the

Gaonic period.

But

in the

Talmud

there to be found such detailed

descriptions of the procedure of the Bet-Din as in the

Gaonic responsa.

To

take the case of insolvency, the creditor

1

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
was
entitled to recover his

— MANN

35

money from

all

those people

who bought property from
loan.

the debtor after the date of his

To

this

effect

the

Bet-Din would issue to the
"inc,

creditor a

document of exactment, KSTD

while destroyIn case the

ing his original bond issued by the debtor.

people

who bought

the debtor's property refused to

pay

to

the creditor his due, the milder form of the ban would be
declared against
after this

them

to be in effect for thirty days.

If
in

time the excommunicated persons persisted

their obstinacy, the severer

form of the ban, the so-called

NntDins, was brought to bear upon

them

to last for the
effect,

same time
Bet-Din

of thirty days.

If

this

had no
to

the

finally

allowed

the

creditor

enter

perforce

the property of the buyers, and to appropriate with the

help of the surveyors appointed by the Bet-Din, a part
of the property covering the
effect,

amount

of his loan.

To

this
~id::'

the creditor received
Finally,

Nnsmx

nt2'j'

while his ndt'O

was destroyed.

when already
of the

in possession of the

property, the creditor received a deed of property signed

by the Bet-Din
procedure was
in

in lieu

sn^itx

lo::'.

The same

use in the case of a debtor refusing to
if

appear before the court, or

he

left

the country after an

adverse decision of the Bet-Din (see the Gaonic Decrees

and Dociunents published by Aptowitzer, JQR., N. S., IV-VL 25-8; n"3, No. 234, by R. Hai). Several other
instances of coercion

by means
84

of the

ban

in civil lawsuits
;

are discussed in several responsa (cp. n"3, Nos. 184 and 233
V'B',

77

a,

No. 32;

b,

No.

4,

and 87
to

a,

No.

17).

In
just

short,

the

Bet-Din endeavoured

safeguard

the

claims of people and to forestall any dishonest dealings.

An

interesting case

is

reported in Geon.,

II,

154,

1.

i

ff.,

about a debtor who tried to avoid paying VOL. X.

his debts

by
.

A a

352

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

attempting to give a bogus document of divorce to his
wife,

who

in

her turn would claim

all

the property of her

iiusband
creditors.

for

her Ketubah and
this

in

this

way

outwit

the
for

In

case

again,

the

ban was useful

bringing pressure to bear upon the debtor.-""

Of

special

importance was the duty of safeguarding the interests of
orphans.

The Bet-Din

is

styled

'

the father of orphans

'.

Thus the Jewish
accounts as to

court had to

demand from

the guardians

how they managed
n":,

the affairs of orphans

entrusted to them (see

No. 178

= nV3,

No.

5,

n"j,

No. 324, and

r^")^:,

No. 217).

No

guardian could relegate

his charge to other people without the permission of the

Bet-Uin {Geon.,
trustee

II,

loi (VIIIj).
the

In case there was no the

appointed

b}-

testator,

Bet-Din

would

appoint a respectable and worthy person to act as such
(cp.

the

Gaonic
ibid.,

Document Nsnt22N
29.

"IDD",

published

by

Aptowitzer,

No.

IX).

The Bet-Din
If a

further

watched carefully over the

credibility

of witnesses

who

gave evidence before Jewish courts.

witness was

found out as having given false evidence, he was excommunicated, flogged, and publicly declared
witness (see
'i"\L\

to

be a

false
;

Ci"ij:3,

No.
87

88,

end

;

p"j.
;

No.
b,

3,

by R. Nahshon
;

85

b,

No. 13
;

;

a,

No. 16
45).

88

No. 22

89

a,

No. 25

;

92

a,

No. 42

92

b,

No.

In

all

cases such as discussed

above, a firm handling of the ban was undoubtedly essential
in order to secure

honest dealing and general peace

in

the

communities.
^,b)

Religious

and Moral Supervision.

In this sphere

of activity

we

shall find instances of coercion

by the Bet-

Din which appear excessively harsh to modern people.
^^°

'na

!?:!a

t:"vm mn2*^3

-ipui

any ms^'C'n

D-inn''^i

n^rrj^^i

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN

353

We

shall,

however, see that some of these cases were due
Religious practices, by

to the opposition of the Karaites.

themselves of minor or of no importance,
battle-cry of the

became the
and

two opposing

parties of Rabbinites

Karaites.

The

practice of quite an insignificant custom

became the

criterion o£ a

man's adherence to the one or

the other party.
partisans

Accordingly, the Geonim acted as only
act,

could

and proceeded with great severity
slightest sign of disloyalty

against those that

showed the

to Rabbinism, as conceived

by the heads of the Academies.
it

As

regards matters of public morality,

is

well

known

that from times of yore the spiritual leaders of

Jewry were

very anxious to maintain the standard of purity of the
Jewish

home

as high as possible.

Accordingly, the Geonim
offspring of

were relentless
illegal

in their severity against the

marriages, in order to prevent their mixing with the

bulk of the people.

These

offspring

were entirely excluded

from the society of Jews, and were regarded as the outcasts
of

humanity

(see the important
b,

responsum of R. Natronai

in v'V,

24 a and

Nos.

7

and

10, concerning the children

of Jewish sectarians

who

desired to rejoin the general

body
have

of conforming Jews; n"j, No. 535, p. 264 top).

We
1.

seen above

(p.

344) what a severe punishment was meted
(cp. also Geon., II, 155,

out

in cases

of adultery

29).

On

the other hand, the Bet-Din was very careful in accepting

any evidence which would
of any Jew.

cast a slur

on the respectability

No

investigation

was ordered by the Betrumours about a Jew's
the case of evil rumours
nT3 "13"I3 lyjIOTp I^X^fn

Din unless there were
moral behaviour,-"^
271

persistent
in

Sometimes,
:

^"K^, 27 b,

No. 38, by Natronai

D^H
.

r."IK'3
.
.

inpTnc' "o by p-ipin vn^y ijnvd
. . .

i:nix i:pTnn
7.

nn^-j-yDm

nS D'-aiLD ]yii'^> onnia pjno vbv pjno Dyn rn xi't^a Ti:'^ a^nuA
a 2

Cp. n"B', No.

354

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW

persistently recurring about certain people, the Bel-Din

would

act according to the

Talmudic principle of

bv ppPD
in

nyictrn naio ab.

But the Bet-Din was very judicious

such matters.

Under no circumstances would
in

this principle

be applied to a woman,
children (see
n"::',

order not to cast a slur on her
94,

No, 179; D"n, No.

by R. Natronai

;

Pardes, 35

b).

In order to put a stop to rumours which

malicious

people were ready to invent and spread, the

Bet-Din would order that flogging should be meted out
to
in

anybody

that

came

singl}'

with evidence against people
(ri"c^',

matters of morality and religion

No.

8).

According

to Jewish law, the guilt of a

man

could not be established
testi-

unless on the evidence of

two people, whereas the

mony

of one witness would serve no other purpose but to

spread unsubstantiated rumours about innocent people.

The

religious supervision of the

Bet-Din was variegated

and many-sided.

Sherira reports that already from early

times the Bet-Din used to have a kind of secret police,

who

searched

whether

people
[Y^n)

did

not

hide
the

an}thing
festival

containing
Passover.-"^

leavened

bread

during

of

Owing

to the opposition against the Karaites,

the

Geonim adopted

a strict attitude in the case of

some
inter-

minor transgressions.

Thus

for

doing work on the
Pinj,

mediate days of the Festivals (^y10n
as

excommunication
culprit. ^^^

well as flagellation

were meted out to the

272

j^"-c',

No. 270, end:

'JH

]''12vb

nbl NIH N-llD\Nn Itn^N

"j^^H

fNO -in3N ipnm n>j^o id'Tsi

ininr^-c

nsinn
isriwxic^-i

'nbm
273

"'DiDtJ'

nn*c6

pi^^n

x^cnp pon

on tzvi |N'di bi N'jnjxn on T'^yn
-ina

n"t^»j

No. 216, probably R. Natronai,
Nos. 213-20, belongs:

to

whom
niN

probably the whole
DlplD
t'JI
.

group of responsa,
D):pb iB'DN ^Nt'

"It^SN

^NSJ'

»

«

Dnns^ h^n^d

ptj'iy

nnr*

ix t^-^n

pw

D):pb

.

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM

— MANN

355

The same punishment was
on a Festival or on
his hair
iyi?:n

inflicted

on one that married

hn

{t\"^.

No. 218, end), or had

cut

on

o"nin, or
^

wore shoes during the seven
such length did this opposition

days of mourning.^"

To

against the Karaites go, that R, Natronai in a responsum
enjoins that a

Jew who does not
in

eat

warm

food on the
njJDDn,

Sabbath, prepared

the traditional

manner of

should be excommunicated from the Jewish community.^"^

This

Gaon was
the

particularly

vehement

in

his

opposition
in
i;"nD
his

against
(ed.

Karaites.
b),

In a passage
find

preserved

Warsaw, 37

we

R. Natronai giving vent to

strong feelings as regards those people

who

shorten the

reading of the

Hagada

of Passover
so,

by leaving out the

Agadic

portions.

By

doing
is

they were held to betray

Karaite leanings, since, as

well known, the Karaites were

opposed to the Talmud as a whole.
the traditional text was
in

Whoever changed
Gaon
a heretic

the eyes of the

who should be excommunicated.-'^

.

.

.

Njn

iT^y b2\»yi ly.
p.
:

-'^

See above,
n"):;',

343, note 265. end

:

D^JD

mpxH^
"in

i:nJ1
'>»

.

,

.

-"5

No. 34

imx

"st?
tr"

na.-a pen

bus

irxw-

b

-ja^n

.

.

.

br\p}2 v^''-i3n^ i^i'i
. .
.

n

nijno

inm

nih ^nj

(i.

e. r]:i]2\2n)

^mn
n^s
nnni

"innx

p'^\>-h

'\-b

-c'^i

^xn*ii'"'

-'«

V'tzn n3"i3
"i^^nDn^i

-12131

N'n 2b pi^m

Nin p2
ivoirni

p

rrj'n'C'

hr\\>i2

inn:^
pj^i

m^npn

b

pn^^ni
t;'^c'

nju*'D
^^"i^-ini
.

b nm
. .

nm
n:h

-101^

pvn

nih pi^m

annb
pj^c

xro
s^n
I'-nN

^nt^^

n^D^m

y'rn

nm

prni

i-rybi

i^^n
V:^'

.

.

.

nin^ni nrii'D
"iD't:^

nr^NC' ni3V03i y-^nn ti'^vj'r^n Din
rwi'^^
•':ni

^n^jt

'':3n

ap-c py

mobm

r\TZ'i2

nm
.

u^y vins*
.
.

Q"'Jirni

cyinn
•'^•l^'d

b^

bsnn?
.
.
.

s'b'::'

onnj^ panv

i^^'^yi

QniyL23

jn

pnyi

mroi^n

Oi'nan/l nD33n n'^an ^Nn:i>^ Oy.
I.

Cp. Schorr, Hchalm, XIII. 49,

note

;

356

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
Apart from the
zeal

of the partisan, intolerance was
all

rampant

in

those times within

religious

communities.
foible.

Even

the

Geonim were not

free

from

this general

On

the whole, the Bet-Din acted with strictness in cases

of transgressions against important laws.

For desecrating

the Sabbath, which in olden times entailed capital punish-

ment, the Geonim imposed the punishment of flagellation,

and the
cp.
^*"c',

culprit

was publicly abused
38),

(n"::',

No.

45,

by Hai

91b, No.

Similar was the case with a priest
of the class of
i(So,

(fnr)

who married one
in
b.

women

prohibited to
;

him

the Bible (cp. n"c, No.

by Sherira
11.

2"n,

No.

(S8,

by R. Samuel
the
priest

Hofni

;

"i"c'n,

II, 7,

11-15).

Even

if

renounced
until

his

priesthood,

he would remain
R. Hai's responsum

under the ban
in
n"'C',

he repented.

From
in

No. 231, we gather that
priests

his

time there were

many

who married

illegall}-

and disobeyed the
in
'o")'D:.

warnings of the Bet-Din.-"'

From

a responsum
in
n":^',

No. 103
b":,

(this detail is

missing both

No. 142, and

in

No.

^6),

it

seems that the ban could be extended even
in

to a

non-Jew

case he blasphemed the

name of God.
For further
:"n,
;

This ban was probably intended to prohibit Jews from
having intercourse with the offending non-Jew.
details about the use of the

ban by the Bet-Din, see
30
ff.,

No.
2"n,

15,

by R. Natronai
26.

=

Gcoii., II,
;

by R.
II,

Semah
(II),

No.

by R. 'Amram

and Gcon.,

26

by

^''^

Surprising

is

the statement of R. Semah. in n"J', No. 177, and D'^H,

No. 84, concerning a priest

who

married a

woman

that

had been divorced

:

.

.

.

iTT'

DnS'-i?

N^n ^^D1D

nu

pynpl nTiynVS.

Had

the Bet-Din in

those times the power of inflicting such punishment?

,

RESPONSA OF THE BABYLONIAN GEONIM
R. Nahshon.

— MANN
Geonim

357
in

The

general attitude of the
is

matters of religion and morality
Sherira (o"io:, No. 44

well
:

summed up by
mr::' Nin njiONi

=

Geon., II, 206-7)

5.

Another important branch

relating to the welfare of

the communities, and which the Bet-Din had to attend
to,

was the maintenance of public
fights arising
"'jn,

order.

Cases of insults
in

and

between people, included

the Talmudic

term of niDJp
settled only
cp. ^"'^,
affairs

could, according to an old custom, be
in

by Jewish courts
a,

Palestine (Baba

kamma

84

;

29

Nos.

I

and

2).

However, such a

state of

became dangerous
in

to the peace of the communities

in

Babylon as well as

other countries outside Palestine

since

by being

scot-free, violent

people would frequently Accordingly, the

take recourse to insults and

violence.

Geonim had
rule of hill

to find

some device of overriding the Talmudic
pnu
|\y.

n"iD:p ''Jn

This they did by simply
of the ban, to conciliate his

forcing the culprit,
victim.

by means

of the Talmudic law referred
culprit to

The Bet-Din could not impose the fine on account to. Thus they left it to the
come
to an

agreement with the person

whom
The

he made
agreed
first

to suffer.

As

long as no such settlement was

to,

the culprit would remain under the ban

to introduce this device for the sake of public order
(cp.
^»"c',

and safety was R. Sadok of Sura, B23-5
No.
2,

29

a,

by R. Natronai

;

:"n,

No.

60,

and \\\ 31
882-7).

a.

No.

14,

by R. Semah, probably
practice

of Sura,

^- Sadok's

was followed by

his successors.

Several responsa,
injur\-,

dealing with cases of insults and personal
clearly the practice

show us
(D^n

of the

Geonim

after R.

Sadok

No. 94, by R. Natronai; Pardes, 24 d and 25a
R.

top,

by

Amram,

856-74, and R. Mattithiah, S61 9

;

v"C',

2ya^

:

358

THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW
3.

Xo.

by Sar Shalom, 849-33

;

cp. i*V, 29 b,
"'J^l

Xo.

4).-'*

In

Palestine, however, these niDJp

were attended to by the

Bet-Din even

in

the time of the Geonim.
fix

The Jewish
of

judges used actually to
injuries.^"-'

the fine for insults and personal

From

responsa by R.

MeshuUam

Lucca we
to

learn the interesting fact that in Italy

and France,

which

countries R.

Meshullam

in all probability sent his responsa,
fix

the Jewish judges used to
It

the fines just as in Palestine.

seems that
of
'7222

in

these countries they took the Talmudic
"^^
P^i^i
i"'^<

maxim

niDp

to refer only to Babylon,
;

but not to the other countries of the diaspora
the Babylonian
'

whereas

Geonim understood
and
Thus,
in

it

to include
'

Babylon
pc' 72^,

and how much more the other countries
29
a,

(nivnx

"^N*;:'

V'B',

Xos.

I

3).

Italy

and

in

France,

they had no need of taking recourse to the device intro-

duced by R. Sadok.
insults.

There used

to

be fixed

fines for

However, when the

insult

and

damage were

outrageous, the Bet-Din would considerably- augment the
fixed fine.^^°

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