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NOTES. MISCELLANEA 133 



NOTES. MISCELLANEA. 



NAAMAH THE SHUNAMMITE. 

Since writing the note on the text of Cant. vii. 3, 5-7 (Jewish 
Quarterly Review, XI, 404-407), I have made, as I almost venture 
to think, a discovery. Budde's theory that the bride in Canticles is 
called "the Shulammite" (or, rather, following LXX, "the Shunam- 
mite "), because the " companion " of David's old age was the typical 
Israelitish beauty, is highly plausible ; but the reference to " the 
Shulammite " coming so soon after Cant. vi. 8, 9, where the bride is 
contrasted with Solomon's crowd of women, we should naturally 
expect "the Shulammite" to be Solomon's chief wife. This, 
"Abishag" has never yet been supposed to have been. I am 
pretty confident, however, that " Abishag " really was this, and that 
1 Kings i-iii originally stated the fact. It is most probably quite 
a mistake that the Shunammite damsel referred to in 1 Kings i was 
named Abishag. 3tS"3N , to which the Anglo-American Lexicon gives 
the scarcely possible meaning, " my father is a wanderer," has arisen 
by transposition of letters and corruption of a letter from C?JT3, 
" concubine '' ; it is no real objection to this that the text of 1 Kings 
i. 3, ii. 17-22, in its present form, assumes that "Abishag" represent? 
a proper name, for we have before us a very early corruption. The 
damsel's real name was Naamah, and she was the mother of'Rehoboam 
(1 Kings xiv. 21, 31) ; JV31»y is corrupted from )VB^K>. Does any one 
really think it likely that Solomon married an Ammonitess, and made 
her his chief wife ? It is much more likely that he did what Ado- 
nijah tried in vain to do, and married the 1*02*0 °^ his father. The 
wife who was next in rank would be the Musrite princess (see Jewish 
Quarterly Review, XI, 554 if.), but the child of the Shunammite 
had the birthright. And it is probably not once only that the word 
'• Shunammite " occurs in Canticles. In vi. 12 (intermediate corrected 
text) and vii. 2 the expressions "VO 'DJ 4 D3 and 2'"I3 T13, and in vii. 7 
D'JIjyrO, should, as I now think, rather be /VETO* 113, "0 Shunammite 
maiden" (in vi. 12 an interpolation). The alternative would be to 
suppose that JVDJIty in Canticles has taken the place of JTOiey, 
"Ammonites," and to correct vi. 12, vii. 2, vii. 7 accordingly. But 
in spite of the friendly feeling towards Moabites in the Book of Ruth 



134 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

I cannot think it likely that marriage-songs would be devoted to the 
implied glorification of an Ammonitish queen. It is true that Heshb on 
is referred to in Cant. vii. 6 ; but the passage seems to be corrupt. 
One would certainly be glad to think that Rehoboam's mother was 
not an Ammonitess, though the Chronicler (i Chron. xii. 13, 14) 
was probably glad to account for Rehoboam's "evil-doing" by his 
Ammonitish descent. 

T. K. Cheyne. 



AEABIC RESPONSES OF MAIMONIDES. 

In the last number of the Jewish Qtjabtebly Review (XI, 
533-50) Mr. G. Margoliouth has published twelve Arabic Responses 
of Maimonides. The two responses described as autograph were 
hitherto quite unknown; but as for the ten others, a part of a 
greater collection, they are also found in the famous MS., brought 
from Africa to Europe by Rabbi Jacob Sasportas, translated in part 
by Mordecai Tama, afterwards used by Geiger, Munk, Derenbourg, 
Goldziher, and others, and now, after the death of the Chief Rabbi 
Bernstein ' at Hague, in my possession 2 . My copy is quite legible, 
but not correct. I am therefore most thankful for the communication 
made by Mr. Margoliouth as a help for the critical control of ten 
responses. The ten published numbers are in my copy nos. 17-26, 
and they form a part (nos. 9-18) of the thirty-two answers sent from 
Maimonides to the scholars of Tyre, the pupils of R. Ephraim. 
Tama has omitted some of these responses, and dispersed the rest all 
over his book. 

As the last of the responses is incomplete in the copy of the 
British Museum, I shall now complete both the small lacunae 
and the missing end, and forward some variations of readings 
found in my MS. I omit a number of insignificant variations 
and faults, but as the contents of the responsum is interesting 8 , 
I shall add a paraphrase of it in the English language. It will be 
seen that Tama's translation is not at all trustworthy. " MS. B. M." 
will designate the text published by Mr. Margoliouth, "MS. S." 
my copy. 

1 Not Dr. Ferrares, as Mr. Margoliouth says (p. 534). 

8 In Brody's Zeitschrift fUr hebr. Bibliographie, II, 151-3, I have corrected 
the superscription found in "inn ind. 

3 Low, Graphische Requisiten, I, 157, 6, and notes at the end of the volume, 
and Steinschneider, Vorlesungen uber die Kunde hebraisclier Handschriften, p. 23.