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570 The Jetcish Quarterly Review. 

that language at all, will find here the essence of M. Kokoftsof's 
Russian monograph. It is scarcely necessary to mention that the 
text taken from unique fragments often requires emendations ; these 
are, however, duly indicated in the notes : here we find also the refer- 
ences to Biblical passages explained by ibn B irftn. We hope that our 
young and able Semitist and excellent grammarian will give us soon, 
in the second part of this collection, other unique texts, grammatical 
as well as lexicographical, which are abundant in the second Fir- 
kowitz collection. 

Another important essay on the well-known grammarian and 
commentator, Judah ben Balam (a predecessor of ibn Barua, who 
quotes him), by Dr. Solomon Fuchs, the able editor of the Hebrew 
monthly with the title of "Ipinn, has appeared (Studien iiber Abu 
Zakaria Jahja (R, Jehuda) ibn Balam ; Berlin, 1893 ; Part I.). We 
have already noticed Dr. Fuchs' just remark that many of Judah's 
treatises on the Particles were inscribed by a copyist into Abul 
Walid's lexicon (ha-Hoqer I., p. 121, sqq.). When the present essay is 
completed we shall gladly lay the result before our readers. At 
present we may only mention that Dr. Fuchs is one of the growing 
authorities in Hebrew- Arabic literature, and, above all, a great en- 
thusiast for this branch of Jewish learning ; he certainly deserves 
the attention of the Jewish public, who should try to help him to 
continue his monthly, to which eminent men like A. Epstein, 
Dr. Harkavy, Herr Halberstam, Professor Kaufmann, and others 
contribute. 

A. Neubauer. 



Two Monographs by Dr. M. Oaster. 

I. WDKTI '33 JT?30 The Scroll of the Hasmonceans. (Extract from 
the Transactions of the Oriental Congress, London, 1891, vol. ii.) 

Besides the first and second books of the Maccabees, which are now 
accessible only in Greek, there exists a small chronicle in later 
Hebrew, usually entitled the Scroll of Antiochos (D31UMN | n^JO). 

That this Hebrew text is based upon an original written in 
Aramaic, was long suspected ; and although existing in many MSS., 
this text was not published before 1851, from a MS. in the British 
Museum. It was followed by another edition from a MS. in the Town 
Library of Leipzig, in 1874 ; and a third appeared in 1877, by Dr. 
Jellinek, from a MS. in his possession. We have now before us a fourth 



Critical Notices. 571 

issue by the Rev. Dr. Gaster, a most critical edition, founded on the 
collection of many MS., and more especially some written in Yemen. 

In these last MSS., the title of our chronicle is WOBTI 03 rfolD, 
divided into verses, of which the number varies in the MSS. The first 
mention of such a kind of chronicle is to be found in the Halakhoih 
Gedoloth (about 850 a.d.), and as it is known that this work is an 
amplification of the Halakhoih, attributed to Yehudai Gaon, who 
flourished about 750, Simeon Kayara might have found the quo- 
tation of our Chronicle in the work compiled about 750. Here 
the title is given ♦KJDBTI TV3 rfoo, "Scroll of the Family 
of the Hasmonaeans," and it is said that it was written by the 
elder of the schools of Hillel and Shammai ; but it passed not on to 
the generations (i.e., it was not received with the same authority) as 
the five other scrolls. So Rapoport ; Dr. Gaster translates, " Until 
now, it has not become (canonical, for all times), till there will be 
again a priest who would consult the Oorim and Toomim." 1 According 
to Zunz (Gott, Vortraege, p. 131, note 2 of the new edition), it means 
that the scroll written 100 years B.C., was considered lost 800 years 
later. From the words in the Halakhoih Gedoloth, however, it does 
not result that the scroll was lost at the time. Was this scroll 
written in Aramaic, and was it identical with our present text ? We 
cannot say for certain, but it is most likely the case, although there 
is a slight difference in the title, %£., JV3 for *03. About a century 
later, we find R. Saadiah Gaon speaking of a " Scroll of the Sons of 
the Hasmonasans," written in Aramaic with vowel-points and accents, 
and divided into verses, from which he gives quotations found in our 
present text. Fortunately, nearly the whole of Saadiah's text is 
preserved partly in the Bodleian library, and partly in the Imperial 
Library of St. Petersburg, as we shall see later on. 

It has been pointed out in the edition of 1851, and it is now made 
much clearer by Dr. Gaster, that our scroll is not derived from 
either of the books of the Maccabees, and that Judah is scarcely 
mentioned in Jewish sources ; moreover, the records concerning 
Antiochus and his generals are passed in silence by the Talmud and 
Midrashim. On the other hand, the miracle concerning the flask of 
oil which lasted for eight days, which is mentioned in the Talmudic 
literature, occurs only in our scroll, and not at all in the two books of 
the Maccabees. Dr. Gaster says rightly as follows : " There must, 
therefore, be a good reason for this paucity of records, and for the 
complete ignoring of Judah and his brethren in a piece that was to 
form part of the Liturgy. The events of the past must either have 

1 Compare Nehemiah, vii. 65. 



572 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

become obscured through causes which we have to find, or their 
record must have been purposely preserved in a form greatly at 
variance with that of the books of the Makkabseans." The real cause 
of neglecting the glorification of the Maccabsean heroes, is, according 
to Dr. Caster, the hatred of the Pharisees for the Maccabsean family 
who usurped the royal title whilst being priests. He says : " Con- 
sidering that the Pharisee was the popular party, and that the legal 
prescriptions, liturgical forms, and ceremonies are mostly institutions 
formed by them, one part of the mystery was cleared up. The 
staunch upholders of the Law would not canonise, if I may use that 
word, men like Alexander Jannai, and others whose death they 
celebrated as a festival, or introduce the name and memory of the 
Makkabfflans, as they called themselves, in the history or in the 
liturgy of the nation. That explains to a certain extent, why the 
allusions to the Makkabseans are so scarce in the Talmud and the 
Midrash. This literature is that of the Pharisees, and the Makka- 
bseins were their bitterest foes. The deliverance was due to divine 
intervention ; but the persons chosen proved afterwards unworthy of 
the mission intrusted to them. The result of this feeling was, that 
instead of having an exact record of those remarkable times, all that 
we have is, but with one exception (1 Makkabees), a mixture of 
truth and fiction." 

Does Dr. Gaster mean that the liturgy beginning with D^MD Vj?, 
where there is such a meagre record of the heroic deeds of the 
Maccabseans, was composed by the Pharisees before the Aramaic 
Chronicle, which he ascribes, according to the passage of the 
Halakhoth Gedoloth, to the beginning of the common era ; and 
according to him, that must be the case with the passages found 
in the Talmud and the Midrashim concerning the wonderful Mac- 
cabsean battles? That is scarcely admissible. There seems to me 
some contradiction in Dr. (Master's reasoning as to the date of the 
composition of our Chronicle by the elder of the schools of Hillel and 
Shammai. At this time, he says, " when the Hasmonseans belonged 
to the past, and their glorification could only tell against Herod, 
hated by all alike. It is to that period that I ascribe now the only 
connected description of the rise of the Hasmonseans, of the dedication 
of their Temple which has survived in its primitive Semitic form." 
Why then did the Pharisees not give a full account of the Maccabtean 
heroic deeds, since the hatred against them was forgotten ? And why 
is our Chronicle not mentioned in the Talmud and Midrashim, if it 
had existed as early as the schools of Hillel and Shammai ? It would 
seem that this date was given by Simeon Kayara in connection with 
the disDute between Hillel and Shammai concerning the lighting of 



Critical Notices. 573 

the Hanukah lights (Bab. T., Sabbath, fol. 21«), where Shammai 
begins with eight lights and descends to one, and Hillel begins with one 
and ascends to eight, and here the expression H3Jn is already mentioned 
That it is not mentioned in our Chronicle is therefore accidental, 
since the school at the time knew of this name for the Maccabaean 
feast. If the omission of this term in our Chronicle is an argument 
for its early date, then we shall have to accept Saadiah's view, who 
says that it was written by the Maccabees in Aramaic ; and if the 
original of our Scroll was in this dialect, it proves its late date, for 
the early Apocrypha in general, written in a Semitic dialect, were 
written in a kind of Hebrew. Jerome knows of a Hebrew text of 
1 Maccabees, and the enigmatic title of it mentioned by Origen 
seems to be composed of later Hebrew words (J. Derenbourg, Essai 
sur VHistoire . . . de la Palestine, 1. 1., p. 450). It is true that Dr. 
Gaster inclines to uphold, against the general opinion, that the I. 
Maccabees was written originally in Aramaic, adding " of Tobith and 
Judith there can be no doubt that they were written in that dialect '' ; 
and he refers to the Oxford edition of Tobit (1878), and to a quota- 
tion of Nahmanides. The Oxford Tobit, however, is not the original 
of the Apocryphon, but the original on which Jerome based his Latin 
translation ; and, on the other hand, the Aramaic texts mentioned 
by Nahmanides, are nothing else but a transcription of the Syriac, 
as can be seen from Bel and the Dragon quoted in a Midrash (Tobit, 
Oxford, p. xviii.). At tbe time of Nahmanides Syriac texts, 
probably transcribed into Hebrew characters, were brought to Europe 
and more especially to Catalonia; and this dialect was then considered 
as holy, and that may be a reason why the Zohar was composed in 
Aramaic about that time. Besides, there is a kind of date at the end 
of our Scroll which would show that it was composed after the 
destruction of the Temple. It is said (v. 74 in Dr. Gaster's edition) : 
" The sons of Hasmoni kept the kingdom, they and their sons and 
their sons' sons, from that time until the second destruction of the 
house of God for 206 years." To this Dr. Gaster makes the follow- 
ing remarks : " Exactly the same number of years is assigned to the 
Hasmonseans and Herodians in the Seder Olam and in the Talmud. 
This absolute identity of dates goes far to prove the antiquity and 
authority of our Scroll. These dates must undoubtedly have been 
taken from the Scroll as the Chronicle of that period. It is difficult 
to decide whether the last verses, with the date of the Hasmonasan 
Kingdom, belonged originally to the text of the Scroll or were after- 
wards added. If we admit them to have belonged to it, it would 
settle at once also the question of the age of the Scroll ; but it seems 
that they have been added later on, as the oldest MSS. available do 



574 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

not have these concluding verses. They may have been added soon after 
the destruction of the Temple, for it is to be noted that not a single 
■word about the Romans is to be found in the Scroll, not even an 
allusion." In my opinion the fact that the date agrees with the 
Seder Olam would rather prove that oar Chronicle is contemporary 
with it or even later, for otherwise allusion would be made to it in the 
Seder Olam. As to the addition of the last verses or not, there is no 
decisive fact to guide us concerning it. I can only add that the St. 
Petersburg MS. with vowel-points and accents has the last verses. In 
the Bodleian Library MS. No. 2,333 has not these verses ; in No. 2,498 
they are found with the following introductory words : D'plDBn K¥D3 
NnnN NHDM "b&r\. Both MSS. come from Yemen. The Western 
MSS., viz., Nos. 30, 32, 174, and 2,305, have the verses without any 
remark.i It is worth while considering that the MS. of St. Peters- 
burg, which is provided with vowel-points and accents, and divided 
into verses, as Saadiah described it, has the last verses ; on the other 
hand, would Saadiah have attributed our Scroll to the children of the 
Hasmonseans, if the destruction of the Temple had occurred in it ? 
The fact that the Romans are not even alluded to in our Scroll may 
suggest a very early date or a late, when the Romans had already 
disappeared. The following words are the description which Dr. 
Gaster gives of the sources of the Scroll. He says : " The relation 
between the Scroll and the first Book of the Makkabees may be said 
to be akin to that of Hagada and simple text. Legendary embellish- 
ment can be traced already in the second Book of Makkabees, and 
still more in the Syriac translation of it. It is the same spirit, 
though not exactly the same tendency, in the Scroll as in the second 
Book of Makkabees. In the contents the Scroll approaches also more 
the second book than the first book, and uses often the same expressions 
as the Syriac paraphrase. The compiler of the second book mentions 
Jason of Cyrene as the author of the work from which he drew 
the materials for his own compilation. It is still doubtful whether 
Jason's work was written in Greek, or possibly in Hebrew or 
Aramaic. Should this latter have been the case, we could see in that 
work the remote source of our Scroll. It is safer, however, to 
consider oral tradition as the foundation of this narrative of the 
Scroll, which serve! also to embellish the narrative of the second 
book and the Syriac translation or paraphrase." We agree with this 
last hypothesis, by which the arbitrary mention of the chief Dramatis 

1 Dr. Gaster gives the Bodleian MSS. 30, 32, 174, and 2,305, under the 
rubric of the Hebrew texts of our Scroll ; that is, I am sorry to say, my 
fault, and I ought to have stated in the catalogue that they contain 
the Aramaic text. 



Critical Notices. 575 

persona, and of the most impressive facts will be explained, for, as 
we hare said, the Pharisees could not have influenced the redaction 
of the Scroll written after Hillel. To me it seems that the legends 
found in the Talmud aud Midrashim are embodied in the Scroll and 
not vice versa, for such an important document, composed in the 
most important school, could not have escaped the later schools, when 
mentioning the miraculous story of the Maccabaean deeds. And 
most likely our Scroll was composed in Babylonia at the time when 
Karaism began, and its adherents rejected the feast of Hanukah, for 
the purpose of inculcating the observance of this feast by reading 
privately, and perhaps even publicly, the Scroll, where this feast is 
mentioned with glorification. Hence the accents, which are found 
in copies not only coming from Egypt, which we know already 
from Saadiah, but also in copies inserted amongst the twenty-four 
books of Scripture, as is the case with the MS. in Paris, No. 47, 
according to M. Israel Levi's communication. In Yemen MSS. our 
Scroll is found in the prayer-books as a part belonging to the ritual 
of Hanukah. We know from R. Nisim ben Jacob of Kairowan 
(beginning of the eleventh century) that our Scroll was known (in 
Hebrew or Aramaic) to everybody ; ' it was perhaps introduced here 
also against Karaism which had taken root in Africa. Prom here 
our Scroll came to Spain, Italy, and finally to France and Germany ; 
in these last countries the Hebrew text was predominant. But the 
Hebrew translation might have been made, as Dr. Gaster rightly 
says, when the knowledge of Aramaic declined, and the reading of 
the Targum began to be discontinued. And this was even the fact 
in the African congregations, as we see from the letter of Judah 
ben Qoreish 2 to that effect. Of course, in the eighth century, when 
our Scroll was composed, the Romans could not be mentioned. 

After having amply discussed the epoch and tendency of our 
Scroll, Dr. Gaster gives * full bibliographical account of both 
texts, Aramaic and Hebrew MS. as well as editions. He also 
adds an account of translations of it in non-Semitic languages, 
viz., into Latin, German, Spanish and Persian. Next comes the 
literature concerning our Scroll ; both are exhaustive. For 
completeness' sake I may mention that Herzfeld (Geschichte des 
Volkes Israel II. p. 446), says that the statement of the Hala- 
khoth Oedoloth is nuauthentic (unverburgf), without any reason. 
The same is the case with M. J. Derenbourg's statement (Essai, 
etc., p. 57), that our Scroll, in spite of its pure language and 
division into verses, is a modern (what age?) composition, and 

1 Harkavy, Saadia 6am, p. 208. * ili'ND'l, ed., Barges, Paris, 1857. 



576 The Jemsh Quarterly Review, 

has for object to instruct the Jews concerning the sign of the 
feast, which was celebrated since the time of the Maccabees. The 
interesting monograph finishes with the Aramaic text of tha Scroll 
according to the Eastern (Yemenistic) MSS., with variations from 
Western MSS. and Jellinek's edition. There are unfortunately some 
typographical mistakes at the very beginning, V3T3 for ^01*3, 
D3VDJN for D3VI33K. The vowel-points are given according to the 
Eastern MSS., but expressed in the western vowel-points. The 
variations contain also differences as to vowel-points. Finally, the 
English translation is given with the references to parallel passages 
in the Bible and in the two books of the Maccabees. To the 
passage (v. 3) "He (Antiochus) built a mighty town close to the 
shore of the sea, and he called it Antiochia after his own name," 
Dr. Gaster says in a note : " Probably Charax-Spasina, at the 
mouth of the Harum, mentioned by Pliny." This note is super- 
fluous, since there is no reality ; every great conqueror in olden 
time built a town after his name ; the writer does not care whether 
it is really so or not. Besides Charax is not on or near the sea. 
"Why does Dr. Gaster not give the name of the town which Bagras 
or Bagris (Bacchides) built opposite Antiochia (v. 4) after his name ? 
Both statements are equally unhistorical, but the writer of the 
Scroll is far from being an historian. 

Dr. Gaster's monograph will not reach many Jews, exeept those 
who were members of the Congress, and a few chosen whom our 
author will be good enough to remember, for the number of the 
extracts at his disposal are limited. There will come a time sooner 
or later when Dr. Gaster will be pressed for a second edition, and 
then he will be able to refute his critics, amongst whom I shall 
no doubt fall a victim. For a second edition I should advise him 
to take as basis the fragments of the text which were at Saadiah's 
disposal, of which the Bodleian Library possesses verses 25 to 35, and 
48 to 66 ; and St. Petersburg vv. 10 to 29, and 67 to end ; of the last 
I have the variations from Dr. Jellinek's text, sent to me by my 
friend Dr. Harkavy, which I shall be happy to put at Dr. Gaster's 
disposal. Of the Western MSS. the No. 1747, in the Bodleian Library, 
is an excellent one, more especially as concerning the vocalisation ; 
it has for instance n'nriD and WIDBT1. 

II. Hebrew Visions of Hell and Paradise (extract from the 
Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1893, pp. 571 to 611). 
These are faithful translations of Revelations, extracted from the 
Talmud, Midrashim (earlier and later), and late Agadic works. 
" They all," says Dr. Gaster, " go back to the pre-Christian age, as 
is shown by the existence of those Christian visions almost verbally 



Critical Notices. 577 

identical with the Hebrew. On the other hand, one cannot doubt that 
they underwent some changes in the course of ages. The substance 
remained intact, but many passages were interpolated or omitted.'' 
There is again disputable matter concerning the age of these 
extracts. Dr. Gaster is perhaps inclined by nature to make every- 
thing old, more especially if it is introduced as old by an old formula 
or by an early name. That is no doubt awkward for comparative 
matter, but as everybody can form his opinion by critical method, the 
extract will always have its value either as original or as borrowed, 
for Dr. Gaster makes no mystery of the sources, and does not force a 
date upon the reader. Moreover, his notes give a comparative 
bibliography of items and parallels concerning Apocrypha. The 
contents are the following : — The Revelation of Moses, according 
to two recensions. 2. The Revelation of Joshua ben Levi, in many 
recensions also. Now if we accept even the personality of R. Joshua 
ben Levi as the hero of the Revelations, they could not be pre-Chris- 
tian, since Joshua lived in the third century ; and of such kind of 
apocryphal pieces Dr. Gaster says that they must have served as 
sources to that of Peter, then to that of Paul and others. There 
are only two ways for such communication : either to give a 
translation without any prefatory words except as concerning the 
bibliography and the parallel passages, or to prove by unquestion- 
able data that one text of a Revelation must have preceded another. 
The general reader has no leisure, and not sufficient knowledge, for 
forming a clear opinion, unless he is guided by sound data. A hasty 
and vague opinion is more damaging than ignorance. 

A. Neubauer. 



D^B» DJ WUnn (New, ako Old), page 3. By Dr. A. Harkavy. 
(Extract from a weekly, without indication of place or of date.) 

The first two numbers of this collection have appeared in the 
periodical with the title of nSXOn, Warsaw, 1886 ; and a fourth will 
follow in the sixth volume of the yearly called EpDKH. The present 
fasciculus contains, 1. Poetical pieces by the old Spanish poets, viz., 
those by Abraham ibn Ezra, which are incompletely given in the 
edition of the Diwan, by the late Dr. Egers ; 2. Additions to our 
author's edition of the poem of Samuel the Prince (see above, page 568) ; 
3. Unknown poems by the famous Salomon ben Gabirol, two of 
which refer to the death of R. Haya Gaon ; this makes, with the two