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July, 1905 


Iisr addition to the treasures drawn out from the Cairo 
Genizah, there are a few other MSS. to be found in that 
city which do not seem to be so well known, and yet 
deserve some attention. Eeference has been made to them 
by various travellers, but no one, to my knowledge, has 
]ooked at them with some care. I have gone to the 
trouble of making a short list of these MSS., if only with 
the result of bringing them to the ken of scholars. To 
describe them accurately would have occupied more of my 
leisure than I was able to give to such work : it would have 
been attended with peculiar and almost insurmountable 
difficulties. Persuasion, bakshish and limitless time are 
needed to overcome the peculiar circumstances attending 
upon such a labour in Egypt. I found this to be especially 
true among the Jews. I continually encountered a dead- 
weight, against which everything seemed powerless except 
one or more of these forces. In most cases I had to work 
with a motley horde of sluttish, unkempt, and unwashed 
men, women, and children peering over my shoulders and 
into my face. My haste to get away may have been 
indelicate — but very necessary in view of my natural wish 
to carry away no more than I had brought. And for such 
a work books of reference are needed, not a single one of 
which was to be found in the whole city. Not even news 

VOL. XVII. s s 

*f>*nj^ mv '* ir r^r**** i *™ 

ikd^t^ ^?3^ tor 

MJJP-jWV*^ *3 *!■> 

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1 * tV^K^H^ t 

^^y^ i, w) 

U 4* " ' 

*^ n *^" r ^/2 to3 *• *4 iww ^<jn Tar Mit/j> ^ \j**^, ^mlV ^r*n ■>»■*•• T*»«* HP* 



of the Jewish Encyclopedia had reached the banks of the 

I have added a description of two MSS. in Alexandria 
and of one in Jerusalem : it will be seen that they belong, 
with a certain right, within the scope of the present 

The only MSS. in the following list that seem to be 
of real value are the Biblical codices: the holy books 
preserved with especial reverence in the synagogues. The 
Jews call them min nm " Crown of the Law " in Hebrew ; 
fjn^D (pi. ^nxVD) in Arabic — following the usual designation 
of the Koran copy by the Mohammedans. In Syria, Meso- 
potamia and Arabia, where a similar custom prevails, the 
name given is ixn (a " crown ") x . Among the Rabbanite 
Jews these, volumes are usually wrapped in from six to ten 
different covers, each presented by some pious worshipper 
for this very purpose. In some cases they are stored on 
a shelf placed in the Ark itself ; in others, a special cup- 
board is affixed to the wall by the side of the Ark, and the 
MSS. are laid in it. I have not heard that they are ever 
used or opened during the service : but on Simhat Torah 
they are carried around in company with the Sefarim. 
In only one or two cases is an intelligent care taken of the 
MSS. — in the Zaradel Synagogue at Alexandria and in the 
Rambam Synagogue at Cairo. For the rest, they are looked 
upon with great awe and with an intense superstition. 
They are regarded as amulets ; but their real value is not 
appreciated. In the worst possible state are the MSS. kept 
in the Ark and in the two side-cupboards of the Karaite 
Synagogue at Cairo. The only one that is preserved with 
a little care is the Codex of Moses ben Asher. A wooden 
box with a glass cover has been provided ; into this the 
pages of the MS. have been stuffed : the word is no exag- 
geration ; the box is not large enough, and the pages must 
be fitted to its size! The others are tied up in bandana 

1 For similar volumes at Aleppo and Kutais in the Caucasus, see 
E. N. Adler, Jews in Many Lands, pp. 163, 181. 


handkerchiefs, or rags of equal cleanliness, and stuffed into 
the cupboards. Their resting-place touches a wall, through 
which water seems to percolate, in such manner that damp 
and mould are gradually eating their way into the parch- 
ments. Pages that fifteen or twenty years ago must have 
been quite legible are becoming a mass of pulp. And yet, 
on Saturday mornings, these " Keters " are covered in their 
repose with gold-embroidered velvet drapings and reve- 
rently kissed by the worshippers! I made very strong 
remonstrances to my good friend the venerable Hakam 
Bashi of the Karaites — "Cheleby E. Mangouby, Grand 
Rabbin Israelite Caraime," as his visiting-card runs. 
Some one must have done the same a year or two ago, 
for the MSS. have at least been separated, and the subject- 
matter and date (ta'arikh) written upon the outside. This 
is the work of the Grand Eabbi himself. 

One need not be a bookworm to develop enthusiasm for 
these Bible codices. They are magnificent in their grandeur, 
veritable chefs-d'oeuvre of the scribal art. One stands 
before some of these venerable monuments with feelings 
not unlike awe ; immense masses of parchment, the pages 
ranging from twenty to fifty centimetres in height. Think 
of the love, the veneration, the piety, the sacredness that 
are here embodied ; the amount of money spent, the effort 
expended, and the care with which the finished volumes 
were prized. First there was the getting of the skins ; 
then they were prepared and cut and deeply ruled with 
a stylus. After this, the writer set to work — and one wonders 
with what sort of a pen or stylus (or, perhaps, was it 
a brush?) he formed these huge characters, that sometimes 
reach a centimetre and a quarter in height. And when he 
was done, it was the turn of the Nakdan or punctuator, 
who added the signs of the vowels and the symbols of the 
accentuation. Then came the Masorite to revise it, and to 
see that the minutiae of the text-tradition were all there, 
and to write the small Masora in between the columns and 
the large Masora on the top and the bottom of the page ; 

s s % 


or, perchance, this last was done by a professional also, for 
he cou]d show his taste for ornamentation in allowing the 
Masora Magna to develop into embellishing lines of em- 
broidery, festoons, garlands, animals, and what not in order to 
enliven the pages of stiff and unbending columns of square 
characters (No. 68). At the end there were still further 
Masoretic notes to be added— as to the number of letters 
and words, and where the middle of the book is to be 
found and such like conceits. If the Masorite was a 
learned man he joined on some Masoretic treatise ; if 
a poetaster, he drove forward in rime and metre (Nos. 2 
and 14), or perpetuated the eternal differences between 
Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali (Nos. 17, 69). In some 
cases one and the same scribe wrote (sro), punctuated 
(ipj), and Masorated ("iDD) the volume (Nos. 13, 14, 27) K 
In other cases the offices — and the honours — were divided, 
but both the writer and the punctuator might be known 
to fame, as in the codex mentioned in No. 63, where the 
scribe was no less a person than Solomon ben Yeruham 
and the Masorite, Aaron ben Moses ben Asher. 

Yet not all was finished. The chapter on Jewish art 
in Hebrew MSS. has not yet been written — not even 
attempted. It is a much longer chapter than one would 
imagine. It was not only in the extravagances of the 
Passover Haggadah and the more simple illustrations of 
the Fables that the scribe passed into the illuminator ; nor 
was the theological bias against the pictorial art as pro- 
nounced as is generally imagined. Jewish tombstones in 
Amsterdam, Hamburg, Florence, Rome, Pisa, Leghorn, and 
even Prague, are faithful witnesses to the contrary. And so 
are the Hebrew Bibles. After the scribe and the Masorite 
came the illuminator. Sometimes he contented himself with 
headings only or with initials (No. 25) ; these were usually 
in gold upon a coloured background, though at times 

1 Sometimes he also corrected it, and then he wrote mit ppjp 11 fnra ^>* 
\Tum ^morn »mpai Tortt. See Bodl. Hebrew MS. No. 2322 (Catalogue, 
col. 808). 


enlivened by examples from the animal world (No. 62). 
The next step taken was to furnish borders for special 
portions of the text (Nos. 16, 17, 37), notably the song 
of Deborah, the blessing of Moses, the song of Hannah, and 
the like. Then came full-page ornamentation, often only 
in gold, consisting of circles and ovals and various kinds 
of linear and geometric figures, plaits and interlacements : 
of such kind are the few pages of introductory ornamenta- 
tion in the Moses ben Asher codex (No. 34), the only 
illustration allowed being that of the altars and vessels 
of the tabernacles (ibid. ; also No. 16). At the last, the 
work of the illuminator and ornamenter was combined 
with that of the illustrator. A few attempts at pictorial 
embellishments in ink (No. iti) must have preceded the 
freer use of colours. No. 7 is a splendid example of the 
art of illustrating and beautifying MSS. as understood by 
these Jewish painters * ; not so much for the value of the 
pictures themselves and the subjects, as for the extreme 
delicacy of the drawing and colouring of the borders. 
But in the justly celebrated Bible in the Casa di Alba at 
Madrid, done by the Kabbi Moses Arragel and his associates 2 , 
the reverse seems to be the case, and the subjects of the 
many illustrations very justly to deserve the praise that 
is poured upon them. 

No wonder that such codices were highly prized ; not 
many of our rich men would put their wealth into these 
books as rich Jews did in former times. Few of these MSS. 
even are to-day in Jewish hands. Ten magnificent Bible 
MSS. are in the possession of the Jewish community of 
Rome 3 ; two superb codices were in the possession of the late 
Mr. Henriques de Castro (I admired them in Amsterdam 
some few years ago, but I do not know where they now 
are) : Dr. Gaster has some fragments 4 . In former times 

1 See Appendix II. 2 See Jewish Encycl., s.v. Arragel. 

* I shall publish a short catalogue of these in the Zeitschrift fur Hebraische 

5 A note has gone through the press concerning an illuminated MS. of 


they were perhaps the only fortune that a man left to his 
son : " I, Jacob Meborak, have bought this Bible for Isaac 
my son ... I give it to him as an absolute present : he 
shall neither sell it nor exchange it" (No. 25). "These 
first four books of the prophets have been acquired by 
Ha-Kohen ben David . . . and he has given them to his 
son David ha-Kohen . . . they shall be for ever to him 
alone and to his seed after him. May God in his mercy 
open for him the gates of understanding! . . ." Some- 
times the name only of the Maecenas for whom the MS. 
was written is mentioned (Nos. 13, 14). But another one 
is most careful to give the exact persons who should take 
charge of the precious volumes: "It is holy to the Lord ; 
it shall not be sold or exchanged, in order that it pass not 
out of the possession of the two great princes (Nasi) . . . 
Josaiah . . . and Hezekiah, the sons of the Nasi Solomon 
ben David ben Boaz, &c, &c." (No. 63). When the volumes 
passed in a commercial way from one owner to another it 
was not out of order to write the bill of sale on a fly-leaf 
of a volume, and to have it properly attested by the sub- 
scribing witnesses (No. 12); or the fact of its having been 
bought is simply recorded (No. 6). 

I see little reason to doubt the data here given. In some 
cases there is, however, room for suspicion, and I am afraid 
that perfervid zeal has run away with the morals of the 
scribe. At least, I should consider it somewhat dangerous 
to follow his lead in ascribing No. % to Natronai Gaon. 
That Jacob Aboab wrote No. 3 I should not care to affirm : 
the real superscription of the scribe has been quite obli- 
terated, and one must pause in the face of such evidence 
as that 1 . 

the Bible presented to the Stadtbibliothek in Frankfurt on the Main by 
the Baroness de Rothschild. 

1 According to Montfaucon, a Bible MS. in Bologna has the following 
superscription : ididh nto nrtt itt?« ntDO mm idd r\\ ; but it is of the twelfth 
or thirteenth centuries. See Gataloghi dei Codici Orientali, p. 323. It is 
probable that the confusion has arisen through confusion with the name 
of some scribe who had written a model codex. See e. g. the Spanish 


The sanctity attached to such Bible codices was perforce 
fervent. They were often model-codices and used to correct 
the ordinary copies that were current. They were therefore 
called at times rf» BHpD 1 (twice in Nos. 3 and 63), and it 
was said of them : rrenp n m& "p* (No. 2) ; n^np tt jrui 
mnDi (No. 3); mrv!> PTip (Nos. 17, 18). The abbreviation 
Y^n is not yet used; in its place we find bOpD (No. 14), 
WID (No. 34) 2 , the Persian nna'H (ibid., and No. 14); and 
the Arabic *jn¥D (ibid.). But there is an unpleasant side 
to this sanctity ; the frequent imprecations upon those that 
remove the volume from the place in which it has been 
set : " And every one that steals it, or sells it, or removes 
it, or takes it away from Jerusalem, the Holy City, may 
God not be willing to forgive such an one ; for then 
may the wrath of God burn and his zeal; and may God 

Codex written in 1396 by Ezra b. Jacob b. Adret (Ginsburg, Introduction, 
p. 494). The so-called Ezra-scroll in the Fostat Synagogue is, of course, 
only a pious superstition. 

1 Codex Ginsburg i (Avignon, 1419) has (!) rmmnpor? rm mros, and MS. 
Ginsberg 3 rp"ttnpr) wm i"n ttnprr yy Dtorva mra nir« M-ipor? jq pn?n no?« 
mnp: Dim. Does this refer to the model tl Codex Jerusalem," which was 
for many years in Saragossa and was used by Abu al-Walid ? The MS. 
belonged at one time to the rrnn TObn min in Barcelona, an interesting 
reference. See Ginsburg, Introduction, pp. 741, 748 ; Zedner, Catalogue, 
p. 97. and Margoliouth, Catalogue of Hebrew and Samar. MSS., I, p. 27. A 
Massoretic Pentateuch, written 1289 in Barcelona, is in a Synagogue of 
Magnesia (E. N. Adler, Jews in Many Lands, p. 154). 

A more unusual expression is mmp, which I have found in only two 
cases : in a MS. belonging to the Jewish community in Rome containing 
the Prophetical books rwnp *sn m TOm ; and in Codex Vatican xi 
{Catalogue, p. 13) vnotom nwrr nanpn Taro nYiV/n to^Dp-in rpv in omiN >:« 
pn2p '-\ inDDH cnrr TDbnrr ■?« ir-vran rrva^ 'in'n'n rail) i« xomi -pirv bah nmn 
i^pi wrr "Q. This last codex was written in Soria (cf. the illuminated 
Bible also written in Soria, Neubauer, Catalogue, No. 2323, col. 810), and 
not in Syria, as Assemani translates. In Codex xii of the same collec- 
tion is a copy of the Psalms written for the same Isaac b. Joshua b. 
Shabbethai of Calo (p. 13). n«np is, of course, only a variant of the word 
Nipo, which is quite common. A Bill of Sale, dated 1462, at the end of 
a Bible MS. in the Laurentiana at Florence has aipo N-iprirr *i£trr (cf. 
Bisconi, Bibl. Mediceo- Laurentiana, p. 24). See below, No. 14. 

8 A German MS. of the year 1309 is called Thno, Ginsburg, Introduction, 
p. 564. One of the model codices is cited as an *rmno. 


separate him from all the tribes of Israel, so that evil 
come to him. And may all the curses mentioned in the 
Law, the Prophets, and the Holy writings cleave to him. 
Amen! " (No. 18) ; or, " And any one that changes a word 
in this Mahzor or this writing, obliterates one letter of it, 
or tears out of it a leaf — without having carefully studied 
and found out that in which we have erred, in the conso- 
nants or the vocalization, or the Masora, or in regard to 
a letter intentionally either omitted or added — may there 
be to such an one neither forgiveness nor pardon ; may he 
not see the bounty of God, nor look upon the goodness 
treasured up for them that fear him : but be like an unclean 
woman and like a leper put away, so that his limbs break 
and the strength of his might (metaphor !) be shattered, his 
flesh wither away so that it be not seen, and his bones be 
cast away so that they be not noticed. Amen! " (No. 34). 
It is the reverse side of the medal ! 

There are some further points even in these few codices 
which the student will be able to value. Thus, the list of 
apocryphal books (No. 62) is not without its interest. Jews 
did not generally take an interest in the Gentile Bible 1 . 
But then we may add to this the marginal notes (No. 7) in 
regard to the division of the Books of Samuel, Kings, 
Ezra, and Nehemiah " according to the Gentiles/' In this 
same codex the Book of Esther is simply called " Ahasuerus." 
I have no means of telling if this occurs in other MSS. 2 
That the Antiochus Megillah should be added as if a part 
of the Bible (No. 15) shows the deep interest that attached 
to that record 3 . In Syriac Bible MSS. this has happened to 
the story of Eleazar and of the Mother and her Seven Sons. 

1 MS. Brit. Mus. Or. 2626 (Sefardic) has a list of eighteen passages in 
which the translators of the LXX are said to have altered the text. 

2 But see Bodl. Library, Hebrew MSS. No. 4 (Neubauer, Catalogue, col. 2). 

3 I have since found the Megillah in the Vatican Codex xxvi of the 
Ketubim (year 1438). See Assemani's Catalogue, p. 22 ; in Codex Plut. i. 
Hi of the Laurentiana at Florence (Job, Ezra, Megillat Antiochus ; small 
4to, 2 columns), and in Bodleian MSS. No. 30 (year 1480), 31 (year 1483, 
Pent. Haft. Megill. Ant.), see Catalogue, col. 7. 


Some of the MSS. belonged to Persians or Bocharists 
settled in Jerusalem (Nos. 18, 27). 

And, finally, of more than ordinary interest is the 
mention of the name "Hilleli'' or " Hillali." Unfortu- 
nately the colophon in No. iq, is almost completely worn 
away, so that only portions can now be rescued from 
oblivion. But there is evidently a name "... ben 
Mordecai . . . el-Hillali ", and in another place it is 
directly stated, " This is the book called el-Hillali." Is 
this then the codex that is known, from other citations, to 
have existed? But in No. 18 we have a Masorite who 
corrects the volume, who is known by the name " Michael 
ben Uzziel ben Joseph ben Hilleli." Do these data throw 
any light upon the mystery, or do these Hillelites still 
remain in the clouds of speculation 1 ? 

Note. — The photographic reproductions of the Moses ben Asher 
codex have very kindly been made for me by Mr. Jacques Galitzen- 
stein, of Cairo. They have been so successfully done that the text 
that shows through the page containing the superscription can be 
read if held before a looking-glass. 

I have in most cases hesitated to attach a date where no 
indications are at hand, and both Hebrew bibliography and 
paleography are sciences entirely unknown in Cairo. 

1. In the Synagogue Rabbi Hayyim Capusi (whose grave is in 
the Hosh Menasce of the old cemetery) situate in the 'Atfet 
R. Hayyim, a part of the Darb al-Nasir ; MS. in square characters 
on parchment, containing the last half of the Bible from Psalms 

1 Hilleli or Hillali variants are usually found in Sefardic MSS. See 
Ginsburg, Introduction, pp. 567, 590, 775. In two instances the codex is 
cited as ]vb bw *%n (ibid., p. 432), which agrees with the statement of 
Zacuto (Yuhasin, ed. Filipowski, p. 220) that the original MS. was taken 
from the province of Leon at the time of a severe persecution. According 
to Zacuto, it had been written by one Hillel b. Moses b. Hillel. The 
many variants cited in the Masora have been collected by Ginsburg in 
his Massora, III, pp. 106 et seq. Cf. also Ibn Saphir, II, 192-213. The 
interesting incunable discovered by Freimann in the Laurentiana purports 
to have been collated with a Hillali codex ^ru ruio (Z. E.B., VIII, 144). 
Upon the Hilleli codices mentioned in this article I hope to write on 
another occasion. 


to the end of Chronicles; two columns to the page, complete 
Masora, square folio. Seems to be of the thirteenth or fourteenth 

2. In the Synagogue of Eabbi David ben Abraham Abi Zimra 
(RaDBAZ). MS. in all respects similar to the preceding; parch- 
ment, two columns to the page, complete Masora, containing the 
Bible from Joshua to the end of Kings. It is evident that originally 
this whole Bible was written in three parts or volumes ; of which 
the Pentateuch only is missing. On the frontispiece a later hand 
has written: ^'Y'r |1W WntD 3n NJDTl MID V MVD IBDH fit 
DnBD Y'3 Kim nWlp U y\n& T^ B>ttp Kim. We need the 
credulity of the worshippers in the Eadbaz Synagogue to believe 
this; but it at least assures us that at the time it was written 
the Bible was complete. At the end, after some Masoretic remarks, 
we read the following : — 

2 pnvi nnn *aa p*Q3 nr nao 1 

nvmi ni3»p wnwn no^ 

nDn ^3 ppni norn n^dii 

*n»v dwddi 4 mob pawn 8 5 

wud mo W> nvnw mpa 5 

nnnm u ma n*w b ppro 

rrm&y Drrms rvmn nvnwi 6 

rnjnp:i I3m3 myan^ nuii>B T 

8 DWjn 3D , »D3 twprn nDKM ro 

na&y wara nan pw pnna 

nrn^ r6w nnnp b*k -nrwD 9 

ins* d^jdiw pn 10 t^ tnao i>y nr naoi 

1 Iq the Earl of Leicester's Codex (Sefardic c. 1250), a similar set of 
verses is found. Tho variants are taken from Ginsburg's Introduction, p. 733. 

2 L. adds m> xcov Ti*o rmoo pnra. 3 L. verse wanting. 

4 Evidently a mistake. It makes no sense, and does not agree with 
the second half. A passive participle of some verb ending in 1 is required. 

5 L. in place of this nmoa pawn anno: 07, ids. 6 L. verse wanting. 
7 L. for this rnonna wi rnonoi rnmns. 8 L. dwjh. 

9 L. verse wanting. 10 Written above the line ; wanting in L. 


which verses say no more than that the MS. has been carefully 
written, with all the Masoretic paraphernalia that is needed ; and 
that the differences between Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali have 
been noted. 

3. In the Radbaz Synagogue: small folio MS. on parchment, 
the whole Bible in Spanish cursive script, fully vocalized and 
provided with accents. Not old. On the title-page the following : 

idd bm 3fTQN sips* nnM bmn mn rco-n wid iniK nro ison m 
n aim* bxw *o b p b mnai nmp o ami nwEn mun 

DnaD Y'D Kim mntai fflPVIp. Probably the reference here is to 
the rabbi at Venice who lived towards the end of the seventeenth 
century. At the end there is a complete " Ta'arikh " signed by 
Aboab ; but, for a reason that is not apparent, it has been 
obliterated by means of red paint, of which I was unable to 
scrape off sufficient to see what was beneath. The learning of 
the scribe who wrote the above quotation is sufficiently exhibited 
by his adscription of the Menorat Ha-lTa'or to " Jacob " Aboab \ 

4. In the Radbaz Synagogue: octavo volume on parchment of 
some 300 leaves, containing a cabbalistic commentary on the 
Pentateuch. The "learned men" of the Synagogue supposed it 
to be the work of Abi Zimra himself. It appears to me to be 
a copy of the Zohar. Oriental script. 

5. In the Egyptian Synagogue (jV*MD^ p"p) in the Darb el- 
Mizriyim. Immense folio of a portion of the Pentateuch, from 
the words naBO DJjn bJ? O Mini nan (Num. xv. 26) to the end; 
parchment, 49x49 cm., three columns to the page, full Masora. 
On the last page and in the same hand as the body : ni D71TO *0tf 

p v"&> 2 nn 'i conn np^ nrn n-nnn idd *roro ision ditib 
66phfti wshx D*jnnK hjp i^dd nnn v: *7\tfow 'n tonn p:un 
11 rmnb mm* oipon khd wwi |K3 troio ukp poob d^w nxnni? 
•oni 'riDi Nip Dna d^i nnnn ^ pjid ny ijn? jnn win Kin 

'1D1 ^ nDK DD1N WO HKT. According to this note, the MS. was 
written in Gerona in the year 4949, i.e. 11 89 c.e., in the month 
of Kislev by one David ben Solomon. On the following page and 
in a later hand occurs the note : TH ?nbi>K |tt TJJD fnbfo nnflBta 

1^01 ^ai i\ni Kin o nnpi> Dnrjp obti n»?k> dr6 *p:n nbV *n 

1 A scroll written by Isaac Aboab is said to be in Safed. See Jewish 
Encyclopedia, s. v. Safed. 2 In later hand. 


D'YK nnnn bl ^ID iy : i.e. the Kohen Said bought it from the 
afore-mentioned (?) David ben Solomon. They both appear to me 
to have been Karaites. This is not the volume mentioned by Ibn 
Saphir in his account of the Egyptian Synagogue. 

6. In the Egyptian Synagogue : portion of the Pentateuch in 
heroic folio; parchment, 49 x49 cm., three columns to the page, 
full Masora, magnificent scribal work, the letters being fully 
1 £ cm. high, vocalized, but without accents. The text finishes : 

bJ? rho:) onxw by mrp v&b onaDrn mn^ rtm. wnnp n« win 

13^1 btolW i)2 my (Num. xv. 26), and is complete up to this 
point. A peculiar feature of the MS. is the occasional arrange- 
ment of the text in funnel-shaped form, evidently in order that 
the page shall end at a certain point. This is notably the case on 
the last page, which brings the text down to the point where MS. 5 
commences 1 . The two were wrapped up in one and the same 

1 This is not an unknown procedure in Bible MSS., especially if the 
scribe wishes to begin the text of a book or a poetical extract at the top of 
a page, or within a certain number of leaves. Another way was to diminish 
the number of columns to the page (Ginsburg, Introduction, p. 531). Some 
of the early Hebrew prints follow the MSS. in this also : e. g. the apparently 
unique copy of the Pentateuch and Haftarot in the Laurentiana 
(Freimann in Z. H. B., VIII, 145). Usually this has two columns to the 
page ; but, in order that the Song of Moses shall commence a fresh folio, 
the page preceding has only one column. For the same reason, the page 
preceding Miriam's Song is in the form of an inverted spiral. The letters 
are exceedingly primitive : the alignment wretched— especially in the 
poetical portions, where the lines are quite rickety. The Parashiyyot 
have been marked in ink on the margin by the letters stid ; but in every 
case the u) is curtailed of its last shaft : a peculiarity I have seen in MSS. 
Some attempt at punctuation has been made by hand, and there are 
various Judaeo-German glosses (p3V pn=nra H^ ; to«Q = p02?; n:^ = y-isrr). 
The only colophon is in rpD, and in one place ^bn ruin. Dr. Freimann 
believes this to be a u Tikkun." I venture, however, to suggest that the 
intention was to provide it with vowels and accents by hand. The very 
primitive character of the mechanical work shows that the printers either 
lacked the proper implements or were quite new at their business. I take 
it that they did not yet know how to print the vowels. Exactly the same 
kind of print is to be found in the unique copy of the Tur Orah Hayylm 
belonging to the British Museum : the water-mark of the paper is the 
same in both — an outstretched hand supporting a crown. Freimann 
records a similar water-mark in the Naples Hobat ha-Lebabot of 1489. We 
have here an interesting bibliographic conundrum. 

That vowels and accents were at times added by hand can be seen in 


collection of rags, and were evidently intended to form a complete 
copy of the Pentateuch, despite the difference in size and the 
difference in the character of the script. Was No. 6 written with 
the express purpose to complete No. 5 ? I could find no trace that 
the last page had been added at a later date. 

7. In the Egyptian Synagogue : the Old Testament ; parchment, 
small folio, 26x22 cm., two columns to the page, in Spanish- 
Oriental Rabbinic script, provided with vowel-signs and accents; 
a beautifully illuminated codex. The greater part of Genesis is 
missing, and at the end from the middle of 1 Chron. viii, having 
evidently been sold to some private or public collection. The 
codex commences now with chap, xxxix. 16. The illumination is 
done in very delicate work, evidently by a master hand. This 
is especially true of the borders. The first words of each Parashah 
are in red ink encircled with various designs, the numbering of the 
chapters is also in red. At the end of the Parashah the number of 
verses is given, e. g. na^ f^DI n"¥ ^DS ID. The MS. is evidently 
the work of Spanish- Jewish artists. In contradistinction to the 
illustrations, the text is poorly written and without much care, 
whole series of verses being at times omitted, A later hand has 
made the necessary corrections in the margin. The MS. is undated. 
At the end of the Book of Ezra there is the remark : nWIK TW 
¥"^ Dn^yi HIND £Wl D^N; but this is not in the original 
hand, and the ink is darker than in the body of the codex. The 
date, 4520, i.e. 760 c. e., is, of course, impossible in view of the 
script. A Bible MS. of so early a date would have been written 
in square characters. 

The illuminations and illustrations are exceedingly well pre- 
served. The codex must, originally, have contained as many as 
sixty ; now only forty-five remain. These are : — 

(1) At the beginning of Deuteronomy, full-page illustration : 
water issuing from the rock; name all in gold; beautiful border 
of conventional foliage, in which human figures are to be seen. 

another rare parchment print of the Pentateuch, with Haftarot and 
Megillot, also in the Laurentiana, and which de Rossi (Annates, I, No. 27) 
assigns to c. 1490- 1495. The whole has been carefully punctuated and 
some Masoretic notes added. An attempt has been made to print a few 
borders and some initials. One notices here, also, the mechanical un- 


(2) Moses receiving the staff from heaven. 

(3) Moses, with the staff, standing before Pharaoh. 

(4) Moses before Pharaoh. 

(5) Moses stretches out his hand over the waters. 

(6) Pharaoh begs Moses to intercede with God. 

(7) Aaron stretches out his rod to smite the dust of Egypt. 

(8) The plague of flies comes over Egypt. 

(9) Moses prays once more to God. 

(10) The cattle of Egypt die. 

(11) "And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven," Exod. 
ix. 23. Full-page illustration. 

(12) Moses "spreads abroad his hands unto the Lord," Exod. 
ix. 33. The whole background of the picture is in gold. 

(13) Moses brings the locusts over the land of Egypt. 

(14) Second picture on the same subject. 

(15) Moses "entreats the Lord," Exod. x. 18. 

(16) Darkness comes over the land of Egypt: half-page picture. 

(17) Death of the first-born: full-page. 

(18) Spoiling the Egyptians : three-quarters of a page. 

(19) The bones of Joseph are carried up out of Egypt: one- 
quarter page. 

(20) The Egyptians pursuing the Israelites : three-quarters of 
a page. 

(21) The Israelites cross the Eed Sea: one-quarter of a page. 

(22) Deborah chanting her song of triumph: almost full-page. 
The background is made up of dark trees ; six figures and a small 
child are seen in the foreground. The top of the page is beautifully 
ornamented with foliage. 

[Part of the Ten Commandments is written in red ink.] 

(23) The beginning of Leviticus has two full-page illustrations, 
gold on a dark-blue background. The first contains the Menorah 
and other sacrificial utensils; the second, utensils, the sacrificial 
altar, and the table of shew-bread. 

(24) At the beginning of Leviticus, the words b# fcOpM are written 
in gold, surrounded by a border of flowers and human masks ; in 
the corner of the page a man on his knees is seen praying to the 
angels ; the faces, however, are not visible. 

(25) At the beginning of Numbers, a picture, somewhat faded, of 
a man in the field, sowing. 


(26) At the beginning of Deuteronomy, the words dHTin n?tf in 
gold, surrounded by a delicate border of flowers. At the bottom of 
the page, picture of Moses instructing a group of men. 

(27) Joshua receives the staff from God; but only the hand of 
the Almighty is seen reaching down from heaven. Space is left 
for another picture, which has, however, not been executed. 

(28) At the beginning of Judges, a warrior on horseback, with 
raised sword, going out to battle: in gold and various colours; 
surrounded by a delicate border. 

(29) At the beginning of Samuel, picture of Elkanah offering 
a lamb upon the altar. Opposite to 1 Sam. xxxi (D^Drta D*W^B1 
^n^n) there is in red : im* ISO Dnan & W \tiO *iy $"b ; and 
opposite to 2 Sam. i, in red : QW W *1SD \ 

(30) At the beginning of Kings, David on his sick bed: half- 
page illustration. At the beginning of 2 Kings, on the margin, in 
red: &)&> W nBD. 

(31) At the beginning of Isaiah, Isaiah preaching before a number 
of men : half-page illustration in beautiful border. 

(32) At the beginning of Jeremiah, the prophet preaching to the 
people, in border. 

(33) At the beginning of Ezekiel, the vision of the prophet, in 
which four figures are seen; the first has beard and wings, the 
second has a female face, the third the head of an eagle, the 
fourth the head of a bird. In the beautiful border the figure 
of a peacock. 

(34) At the beginning of Hosea, the prophet preaching to the 
people, who are seated around him. The " Twelve Prophets " are 
treated as one single book. 

(35) The first page of the Book of Psalms (DvH) is encased in 
a beautiful border of twigs and branches. There are two panels 
on the page. At the top of one, in large letters of gold, are the 
words £*NH "HEW, on a background of blue and red, in which are 
interspersed fleurs-de-lys. The second panel contains an illustration 
of the royal singer at his harp. 

(36) At the beginning of Proverbs, a somewhat crude illustra- 

1 There was an evident intent in writing these remarks in red ; i. e. 
DY1N « Christian. This is sometimes done when the chapters and verses 
are noted on the margin. Ginsburg, Introduction, p. 516 MS. Ginsburg 3 
(Franco-Italian hand) has the Christian chapters marked on the margin. 


tion of Solomon, sitting before a desk and expounding wisdom : 
seemingly unfinished. 

(37) At the beginning of Job the word t^N in large gold letters. 
Running along the left side of the page is a sort of pillar, on the 
top of which Satan is seated, as if he had just come down from 
heaven. Lower down is a picture of Satan falling from the skies. 
It is impossible to make out what is above Satan. At first sight 
it looks like a round red point, out of which things are spouting. 
Upon closer investigation one discovers hands upon each side. 
I hazard the suggestion that originally we had here the figure 
of the Deity resting upon the clouds. But the face and the upper 
parts have been wilfully disfigured. 

(38) At the beginning of Ecclesiastes, the right-hand edge of the 
page is ornamented with a tree, the upmost branch of which ends 
in a human head clothed in a wisdom cap. In the tree itself 
a pelican is seen. 

(39) The Book of Esther is called in the headings tyniBTIN. At 
the beginning, a three-quarter-page picture of the king sitting in 
state, holding in his hand the staff of office. 

(40) At the beginning of Canticles the word *W in large gold 
letters upon a light green background. Along the right-hand side 
of the page is pictured a beautiful lectern in blue, red, and green, 
with an open music-book on the stand and a burning candle above 
it. Along the lower edge of the page there are some bars of music 
intertwining a staff and three portraits : a king, a shepherd, and 
a bearded man. Scrolls for the names are placed underneath the 
first two, but the finishing touches do not seem to have been given. 
The pictures are excellently executed. 

(41) The first page of Lamentations is in two columns, as is the 
rest of the book, but so arranged as to form the inside of a castle. 
On either side is a large turret, a smaller one in the middle. 
The turrets are connected by a bridge, under which water flows. 
The painting (which is not quite finished) seem to represent the 
walls of Jerusalem. 

(42) At the beginning of Ruth, and occupying one half of the 
border, is a picture of the heroine, seated and sad. 

(43) At the beginning of Daniel, a picture of the hero, seated ; 
some golden vessels are placed before him, containing food; one 
quarter-page illustration. 


(44) At the beginning of Ezra, along the left-hand side, beautiful 
foliage-work, and, coming out of the tree, the figure of the scribe 
teaching. Below the tree is a griffin. Nehemiah is part of Ezra ; 
but on the margin, in red : W *UDD. 

(45) At the beginning of Chronicles, on the right-hand side of 
the page, a scribe seated before a table, with pen and other 
instruments near by. 

8. In the Synagogue Babbi Jacob Abu Sha'rah in the Darb 
al-Dahhan : old MS. ; paper, portion of the commentary of Isaac 
Abravanel to the Pentateuch (TD?3B> DTipl nman Tltfa thm JfcCDI 

r^innn ♦mnen n«r pjn nnx hdd w nmn n^Dn irfcjnnn 

')y\ iWN-jn). Incomplete at the beginning and at the end; com- 
mencing near the beginning of Parashah Sheminl (Lev. ix), and 
ending at the beginning of Parashah Mattot (Num. xxxix. 2). 

[9. In the Synagogue Babbi Jacob Abu Sha'rah : two volumes of 
the Bomberg Bible of the year 15 18. On frontispiece the following 
remark: "Este Libro es de Jeuda Jarm Cassutto Liu a di 18 
tammuz ano 5452," i.e. Livorno, 1692.] 

[10. In the Synagogue Ba'al ha-Nes in the Darb ai-Sakalbah: 
portion of the Lisbon ed. of the Bible, printed on parchment, with 
the commentaries of Bedak and Kalbag; .containing Joshua and 
Judges ; in good state of preservation.] 

11. In the Turkish Synagogue in the Harat Sakalbah: MS. of 
the Mishnah on paper ; large folio, two columns to the page. It 
seems to contain the greater part of the text: no commentary. 
A few pages at the beginning are missing. Ends in the ninth 
chapter of Mishpatim D^jnan HK *D1Dn. 

12. In the Synagogue of Bambam in the 'Atfet El-Hammamlm: 
complete copy of the Pentateuch, each verse followed by the 
Targum; 2 vols., 43^X34 cm., parchment, three columns to the 
page, Franco- German script, full punctuation and full Masora 
on the margins and between the columns. The pages were all 
formerly loose, but they have been mended and the volumes have 
been bound. Vol. I commences with Gen. i. 3 and ends with Lev. 
xxvii. 29 ; vol. II commences in the middle of Num. i. 33 and 
goes to the end of Deuteronomy. Then come the Haftarot without 
any Masora. There are a few attempts at illumination in ink. 
At the end of Deuteronomy, the word htiTlW is written in tremen- 
dous letters, artistically drawn, the final lamed running up the 



whole left side of the page to the upper margin. At the beginning 
of each Parashah, the first word is slightly ornamented, while the 
letter D on the margin is always enclosed in the same line orna- 
mentation. At the end of the Pentateuch the following bill of 
sale has been written in a later hand : HDD ''Dinn DHy UK Wish 

nbvw nno» 13 ww nrn nson union iron ins 3n3 3pir» 'n nso 
w tm m pny uni? *"b ^p3 mjnrn pica ^pny Pidbi nnaani 
nnuD Dwnia dwiki ns^on w i>3pB> nnini p^noi norn vbo n 
n^ra nor nw n f3n spy 'n^> n«* uh) wn tw «b mwa 
n^in tid^i 13 wnph mnm mm nwvh nsnn pron n"3 nprra 
«b nu m^ynh 'ran naon np^ rorv d[n] r*:n pntf n"n3 n 
namn fan prrc* ni> fan 3py n"3 i>roi n^jn chn di^d[ ] nwny 
nipny fei S5in njn ^y jmTy to hoai nurn» wo b 5>ib[d] 
naipn T3 rrojn worni laus i*£y vpbo* d^jd din aura ann? 
Dwro D'twdi D s ata n&wi iw jvd ^nn pan ^^ diu m mm 

D^pi nnp bm anv» [na] nnnrf> t^ni 
^UaI j^* *^b> Dnn3« un3 naion jru 

^iaa ircw [i^jvn] 

According to this bill, R. Jacob b. 'Abod ha-Kohen of the 
Maghreb (West Coast of Africa) sold the volume or volumes to 
R. Isaac l"n3 for 45 kronen. The transaction seems to have 
taken place in old Cairo (DHVD) in the year 1495. The witnesses 
who attest the sale are the scribe Nathan b. Abraham Shinzi, 
Joshua Paji, or Faji, and Moses Isaias (1). 

At the beginning of the second volume is a frontispiece, or 
perhaps a title-page, very poorly done in ink, and not by the same 
hand as the body of the MS. An attempt at ornamentation is 
badly made. Only about a quarter of the page is still legible; 
the rest having suffered from wet. ^N^nta aopJn EHIpn naon n? 

[13 m *|!?p3] Dinrn pioa [ 2 .,,piDa] nnaani rhm nniDD 

ymi .jawon jnj?«w a ^awn vjwra na*3 ♦ . ♦ norn t6o 

*vpzbx .\vb (it) }«n»un inn^5i .pnnin nnnii 

K(?)nn *ni>«3 ♦ ♦ ♦ pnap an , „ # S>Va ^nta ♦ ♦ ♦ *ann» p 

♦ ♦ . . n:y jnn rcwi 

1 Orn:5?? 2 my. 


At bottom of the page in large letters, as if giving the date 



and down the right-hand side of these letters I read : I^HK T\T\T\ 
lm y p^1¥ phtf l^DH. The letter n which I have regarded as 
part of 1W may be the last letter of J"6&TOD and have its proper 
place after the word DPin. The date must be incomplete, as it 
makes 1422, which is manifestly too early. 

At the end of the second volume, in varied ornamentation, are 
the words: fTw!? Ynm D*E&K njD"lK TUBO, i.e. 4620 = 860 c.E. 
This is followed by 'OTTO MTiy (see above), and by a design 

through the middle of which run the words: NIp^H IDDH fit 
vK^fPN. Inside the two lines are the following words: Dn p 

rnvno inid p roKrota inn dnWw dp po dkhd^ni mil dkw 

♦nan^a nwo* p jn-fon 

The first part of this inscription is said to be an oft-cited verse 
attributed to the Khalifah 'Umar ibn al-Khattab 2 , with DK£>1"6k 
in place of DkWk. 

The second part seems to say that one-quarter of the work on the 
codex was done with the consent (or money) of the Maecenas that 
ordered it, and one-quarter at the risk of the scribe. What 
became of the other half remains in absolute doubt — as does also 
my interpretation of the words in question. 

13. In the Karaite Synagogue: part of a large square folio 
Bible MS., from Chronicles to end of Ezra and Nehemiah, which 
last two are considered as one book (at end, 1&01 D^plDDn fOD 
flPOm D'OIW) DW n&'D fcnty); parchment, 36J x 33 cm., 
three columns to the page, eighteen lines to the column, letters 
each 1 cm. in height. Masora on top and bottom of the 

1 \yvsn d*]y. 2 I have not been able to verify this statement. 

T t % 


page and between the lines. At end, the following colophon 

is found: py pa inu myD pND hotan py *na naion mar ^K 
ansa* m aian nnan pw nt& ataman m *w mrya wipai 'nana 
rui»#i awwi rowa jdbi a^iw nyanx ru&a 2 Kaa ndid pian 

D7IJ? n'Ha?, i.e. the scribe Zechariah, son of Anan, from the 
Maghreb (Spain or North Africa?), wrote the codex for Isaac, 
son of Efraim the priest, in the year 4788, i.e. 1028 c.e. Upon 
the following page the exact day of the month is given : 8th of 
Tammuz. The inscriptions there read — 

(1) In the middle: 'OH D^M fi*anK fi w m nana }D*D1 aiD J»*D 

pny i-itb two*? vn*i rmb\v wa mo^ tMTia niMn awn avia 
itayDi tea iwoi uiddd anai rcsn na ksdi vtind ba n^n pan 
p nry iwk jdi iiw m S>a pi nw p» naaai inniy* a^niwn 
iinn Kin 1a tmnjbi nur6 mar a^an a6 'bid pan ansa kdto 
nam 'ai t»qd nrn minn nao bid* ^ 'aa ♦nnn nyana mgrn 
>a 'ai tott S>m rb api tok nrani ^n^ by obv y*J? avia 
l»*t i? lew ai^i a^n nwi a^ tin. 

(2) Down the right-hand side: TOBWD DWB n*Dr£ TOna 

nwm 5>a *rbx ^ Tna n ^E>n 1^ ajmah. 

(3) Down the left-hand side : nmwa TOn BHina *W nityi TO:tf 

jdk nana }d*d inw (sic!) nb$ 1a a^. 

It is evident that the persons concerned are Karaites: the 
proper name Anan, the expressions pan, &c, are quite charac- 

Upon the fly-leaf there are a number of partly illegible inscrip- 
tions : e.g. (1) m^an ♦ . . rmn rbvn *naa naon nr rupp .to 

nfon^npia na pan maw ♦ ♦ ♦ 'p 'a *ma na y^ pan .maiy ail to 
♦dYk ia nnpi> qto3 *oai an'oai an anap ♦ ♦ tf iw y3 pan n^o 

1 Is "rate a distinctively Karaite designation ? It is interesting to come 
across here a Spanish Karaite. See Ibn Hazm, Kitab al-Milal wal-Nahal, 
1899, 1900, vol. I, pp. 98-224. Ben Asher is also called Vii^n into, 
Margoliouth, Cat, of Hebrew Brit, Mus. } p. 38 ; Ginsburg, Introduction, 
p. 469. 

2 If Prof. Bacher is right (R. &, J., XLIX, 301) that the abbreviation 
'b'd denotes only aitQ p^D, the resolution of the letters into 2Y2J 1£1D must 
be very old, and not merely present-day Moroccan. 


According to this, the MS. came by purchase into the possession 
of Obadiah ha-Kohen son of Obadiah ha-Kohen son of Moses 
ha-Kohen. The collocation of letters HIDIW ilpja = nhtl TD3 
'iai DBTIp- The letters ♦ ♦ V V^ ought to contain the words 

mans iW. 

(2) ♦ ♦ . . nwnp nhna *naa n^p n^n o*ainan, the rest is 


(3) Arabic mjn 'd^k ^d jd ynpta rprwiw irata Dana bro«, 

i.e. it was bought in a legal way from the property of S[a e id] 
Da c ud. 

At the end of the volume are six leaves of Masoretic notes of 
the usual kind. 

14. In the Karaite Synagogue: large square folio copy of the 
Pentateuch; parchment, 42x38 cm., three columns to the page, 
Masora at bottom and between the columns. The first page 
contains beautifully interlaced illumination in gold and red, 
oriental style; the back of the first page and the five following 
ones are similarly illuminated, the interlacing being composed 
of selected scriptural passages. Some pages of the text have 
gilded borders. Exod. xv, Deut. xxxii and xxxiii, i.e. the poetical 
passages, are encased in beautiful gilt work in the form of a scroll. 
At the end are fourteen pages of Masora, in part tastefully 
illuminated. No animal or vegetable forms are used. At the 
end, in tremendous letters, ij cm. high, is the following: — 

vnayn tobw *bvb rrm 

*nwn m»na *np»n Twy 

Tmy , ♦ ♦ rhvJ? poid*o 

vnaai . . . wia xb *b 

•>nrw viiwm wy nw 

"nana apy }a bww ^n 

p|nron nr vnoDi "»mp:n 

ii>n nyiB* ja th urn •n&$> 

mnnNi arc *po ibid jrv 

• naia nnn« 

D^a •oai D^a n*m n^p^i nan iw n tnpDn rapi nar n^xai 
Ttdk nnn 'atr anpD i^y ttpni D^ainaai owa»i mvn mm 


pNil f>M Dn^ IDD^Jl T^ W. On the last page are the 
names W p nn and "Oa TH p ]W in encrmous characters, 
each letter made up of a Bible verse. From this we learn that 
the Bible had been written for David son of Jeshua ha-Levi, and 
had been also in the possession of his son Jeshua ben David, The 
scribe's name was Samuel son of Jacob; he also punctuated it 
and added the Masora. No date is given, but it is certainly 
as old as the preceding MS. (No. 13), if not still older. It is 
interesting to see that the word P)TOD is already used for Penta- 
teuch or Bible copies not in roll-form. 

On the fly-leaf there was an older account of purchase or 
donation. This has been erased, and over it has been written: 

mm nm mow xipv •oa my by btr\w v£k ov£k wh trip 
an 6n w 'pYa wipn 5>n-»b* $>a "na piarn a"n nnnxpiw no:^> 
nn nn in an on w ni nn p'ia p d"d ^n nn in fin nn nn in 
inaipi lajw naiD nn« py fa ^n $w> in fn d *n n fin in 
jon Ion p* ia Nnipm n»iB> Tnai in^np ^bmo), i.e. it was 

presented to the Cairo Karaite community by the above-mentioned 
David ben Jeshua. 

15. In the Karaite Synagogue: complete MS. of the whole 
Bible in square characters ; parchment, 29 J x 24 cm., three columns 
to the page, provided with punctuation, accents, and slight Masora. 
Is old, but no date is attached. At the end are two pages 
containing the Megillat Antiochus (DWDJN ^3 W), fully 
punctuated, but without accents. It looks as if this last were part 
of the Bible. 

16. In the Karaite Synagogue: large folio MS. of the whole 
Bible; richly illuminated, 34x28 cm., parchment, three columns 
to the page, complete, fully punctuated, and provided with Masora 
on top and bottom of page and between the columns. David 
ben Joseph Kimhi's " Miklol" is attached to the work in a peculiar 
manner \ It is contained in twelve pages at the beginning, nineteen 
pages at the end, two pages after the Pentateuch, and two pages 
after the Prophetical Books. The text of the " Miklol " is enclosed 

1 The Vatican MS. Ebr. viii (Catalogue, p. 8) has the Shorashim of 
Kimhi before the Biblical text. In MS. Bodl. Hebr. 2322 the O.T. is 
preceded by Kimhi's Miklol, the text being continued at the end, as in 
the case above. See Neubauer, Catalogue, col. 808. 


in beautiful gold and coloured scroll-work ; sometimes in its place 
appear oriental windows. In the text itself there are occasional 
illuminations and beautiful corner pieces. There are, also, whole 
pages containing representations of altars and of instruments used 
in the Sanctuary. Initials are to be found scattered throughout 
the Bible text : all the illuminations being heavily overladen with 
highly burnished gold. At the end, following Kimhi's treatise, 
are four pages of the usual Masoretic notes. The only extra- 
textual note found is on the fly-leaf, to the effect that the codex 
was given #1pD "02 DD'OS^ by Moses ben Solomon ben Moses, 
known as Ben Phiruz. This is repeated at the end. On the whole 
a magnificent bit of calligraphy ! 

17. In the Karaite Synagogue : complete MS. of the Pentateuch ; 
well bound, heroic folio, 45^ x 36^ cm., size of letters 1 cm., two 
columns to a page, gilded and painted initials, Masora above and 
between the columns. The parchment was originally larger in 
size, but it has been cut down by the binder. At the beginning, 
four pages enclosed in coloured columns containing: p2 flpvllD 
vHB3 p p31 "IBW p (variant readings according to these chief 
Masorites). On the back of the first page of the text we read : 

rrnnn m nrpm owp ittwd san pbj raw mints no^n m»T min 
tnw dv»n mw tnpD m my by bx*w v£n &nb& nwb enip 
in row* jnvd vnrh nrom *jr»m ciw j^m rnn nroD n*n noi£ 
Nan njn^ p Nan jtc^k x in yn ,n in 1 * tddi. The Muzhaf was 

given to the Karaite Synagogue by one Elisha the Physician, 
son of Jeshua* the Physician. The date, however, occasions 
a difficulty. The year 455 is the common year 1695. This, of 
course, cannot be the date at which the MS. itself was written, 
as it is in every respect very old. It must be the date at which 
the MS. was presented to the Karaite community in " Dar 
Simian." I do not know where this place is, and I have no 
works of reference at hand. The Karaite authorities told me that 
it was in Syria (i.e. Damascus). I examined the inscription 
a second time : it cannot be in the hand of the original scribe ; 
the writing is more carelessly done and the ink is much blacker 
than that of the text. 

18. In the Karaite Synagogue : complete MS. of the Pentateuch; 
1 i. e. Y2?2?m wn. 


huge parchment, square folio, 40^x44! cm., three columns to the 
page, was originally larger, as the pages have been cut by the 
binder ; the letters are 1^ cm. high ; there is full Masora on 
the top and bottom of the page and between the columns ; rather 
crude illuminations at the beginning of some of the parashiyyot 
and between the individual verses in the Shirat ha- Yam (Exod. xv). 
The last pages have been wrongly bound. A most superb MS., 
on magnificent parchment. At the end, but in a later hand, the 
following : — 

bw rmnn nxr mpna fbbn p pjdt» p bwn P 5>nb*» mk 
mi?x ww jnan rxbm v> by ibx wwv ninaa p nvn vnp 
imoi asm nxa nnna mtoao wm .paa nw jnan nofen 5>no p 
cwi D^yj cw n^vD mw hoi> pw roata p*n w :pina 
nix*6 nan ma npah •»"•» oyja nwib nan wyoa n^vi mib 
Ja nam aman xnpn vi>y D^pM in &wn wa \o 

On the fly-leaf, and in an old script, is the following : — 

p *w mix t^npn .^rrc* m^x mn^ tmp .nmn laon nr 
♦px ni>o D^>iy ny n:»ia* d^x trrpn t» D^m unaiw j^ia 
mix aiw *» bi .5nu* xh iaD , » xi> wn *oai na i>y mix B*npn 
x!> tnpn t» d^itd mix xw ix mix toiajr ix mix iiaD 1 * ix 
i>3D nynb m,T ii>nam mxjpi ** ejx }W rx ^a )b r\)bo ™ nax* 
ipaT d^amaai cwajai mma nniDxn txbbpn bi /ui b&w *aap 

♦jdx ia 
iBon b nw ^ inwD enp*i jxWa p *dj hivd niww na bi 

/diji pxa n^x* inmi now [?™]i>xin Tna mn 
♦ jdx 13 ipaT D^amaai Dwam mma rvniDxn manan [b] 
(sic !) rib* p bno t ^y nxrn mmn ba jx^d p *dj mix Tpam 
D^iyn p xvi nWm oxi ,D^m mim w bz it nnn r\vrh 
ohyn jo roa ixv dxi 1a nun^ wa ay nvni> nrn naon air» 
x!>i "laD* x^> d^nu i^x xnpan ^ya5> nrn naon nw D^a xi?a 

♦ px imip inxi naiD nnx ^ 
xh naD* x5> ^ ^np neno mm nao .wn ia ^ ^roan nr 
invn^ traa nw wa fx^ia p xd^ mix pnpn n^x Day xh i?«r 
enpn ^y D^Ta Dna^i cj^i m^a ^jxi vnx bv Dnvna noyo 


nr itfm na on-v tfrbtsn .nDtyh n ntirA nnpn pinm man 
nap nma w» ay iwpi won i?y iedi vnuij6 rfco^ hrw 
'wn i^y ci^i ♦ion ny "n^ n^n }>y nnn py pa i:hfid r\mb 
bi) 1 Tjn rf>iyi> D'omnn own *pm»i y^p-m ima )inv trb^mm 
Nin nn« iffayn in rao in win nsu in nin tnpn hn Syrian 
mini nniDNn ro&pn ksi ♦D'annn w b*r\w v6n man* & ••an 
iniN to !>ni ii> ni>D « roN* ah 13 ipnT nuirmi bwimi 
nm minn nao hn idiot hi :rap thni nmD iiin d^wtb 
ni> n\btm> i!> pvi piyi tobw NDn ho v6nn dt&n imw 
r\vr\b na ^"n ^ n ^ npi ion iwm nan nipd vby wpm 
own nitrr? nan niwvn o^ni? Miron ttTDnro n^pnvn Dy ip^>n 
nw n:ro im^i dwh jd mm rM>rn oni ♦}&« i^nn npnh " 
rnnni> mTi m&on nnjnon na DnaiOT tbwv \£ip Kipvn ^bvJ? 
ids *rra pnph iotpd nnai> n^n bJ? ninnn t6n *pp^ iy in 
W3 CPpI 1W n: ppD dT&N " dnj 5d pNH rnaiD ynnND 
ri!?y rwn "n yw *>Nn&* niton man nm ^nib* py h ^m 
♦|dn jdn n^yi> * Tnn(n)^n£» vn:)(n)nWv (??)n yyynh 

Along the left edge of the preceding text has been written : — 

(n?)N3Dn ttpnn ro tt^rv nt^N b iiin dt nnn nw 

These long colophons are not without interest. They contain 
a bit of " Kultur-geschichte " which deserves further study. It 
is interesting to see that all the curses have not prevented the 
removal of the volume from its original resting-place ! The history 
of this beautiful MS. seems to be that it was written for one 
Nissi ibn Padlan al-Kharaji in Jerusalem (in one place he is 
called Nissa ibn Fadlan Kharaji) and given over into the keeping 
of Sahl ibn Masliah (MS. has rb)S only), in whose family it is 
to remain for ever. Should the male descent be interrupted, 
it is to become the property of the Karaites (NIpD vyn) in the 
Holy City. These Karaites are called in one place, "those who 
observe the festivals according to the appearance of the Moon," 
and not according to a fixed calendar — an appellation that I have 
found often in Karaite books. At a later date, and at the instance 
of Masliah ha-Kohen ibn Sahl ha-Kohen — perhaps a son of the 
original donor — it was corrected by Mishael ben Uzziel ben Joseph 


ben Hilleli. I am puzzled by the expression iTIFDa p *WI. 
Does it mean that the owner lived in " the Court (IK*]) of lbn 
Bokhtwai or Bokhtoi * " 1 The Persian name is interesting : as 
is that of "Bundar" — if it be a proper name — mentioned further 
on 2 . Mishael ben Hilleli, as a Masorite, naturally causes one to 
think of the famous Codex Hilleli. 

19. In the Karaite Synagogue: part of a Bible MS. on parch- 
ment; 24 J x 19 cm., square characters, two columns to the page, 
fully punctuated, and provided with Masora; in all 77 pp. con- 
taining the Haftarot (but incomplete at the beginning), Psalms 
(complete), Proverbs, and part of Job. Seemingly of the fourteenth 
or fifteenth century. 

20. In the Karaite Synagogue : convolute containing a portion 
of a MS. of the Pentateuch, from the middle of Parashat Wa-Yikra 
up to the middle of Parashat f Ekeb ; on parchment, three columns 
to the page, 37x33 cm., characters about f cm. high, Masora 
above, below, and between the columns. The MS. is going to 
pieces on account of dampness which is eating the parchment 
away. In addition : 

(a) One leaf of Masoretic notes. 

(b) One leaf of a MS. of the Pentateuch, parchment, 25x22! 
cm., two columns to the page, full Masora ; contains a portion of 

(c) 1 1 pp. of a Bible MS., parchment, two columns to the page, 
not old. 

(d) One leaf, parchment, three columns to the page, no Masora ; 
containing the beginning of the book of Joshua. 

(e) One leaf of the book of Samuel, parchment, two columns to 
the page, square characters, punctuated. 

(/) One leaf of a Pentateuch MS., parchment, Oriental rabbinical 
script, fully punctuated ; containing portion of Gen. xli. 1 et seq. 

(g) Two leaves of a Haftarot MS., parchment, punctuated, small 
fol. ; not old. 

21. In the Karaite Synagogue: portion of a Pentateuch MS. 
from the middle of Parashat Lek Leka to the end of Parashat 

1 Cf. such names as Bokht-isho\ 

2 Or simply a common noun, "this rich dealer in slaves or horses," i.e. 
Nissi ibn Fadlan. See Johnson's Dictionary, s.v., Vullers, i. 266 b, and Justi, 
Jranisches Namenbuch, p. 72. 


Ke'eh ; 39 X 35 cm., parchment, three columns to the page, letters 
each 1 cm. in height, scanty Masora; in miserable condition and 
going to pieces. Curiously the ink on the flesh- side of the 
parchment is faded throughout ; but not on the hair-side ! 

22. In the Karaite Synagogue : portion of a Bible MS. ; huge 
folio, 47 x 39 1 cm., characters 1 cm. in height, Masora on the sides 
and at top and bottom of the pages. Occasionally erasures and 
corrections have been made; contains part of Samuel, Kings, 
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and part of the minor Prophets ; was evidently 
a Wakf, as here and there the remark is written in large 
characters: {w tib 15W fe6 T\)T\h BHp. This beautiful MS. is 
gradually going to pieces, many of its pages sticking together 
on account of the dampness. 

23. In the Karaite Synagogue : portion of a Bible MS.; parch- 
ment, 29x24 \ cm., punctuated, square characters, full Masora; 
contains portions of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Gradually disinte- 
grating because of dampness. 

24. In the Karaite Synagogue : portion of a Bible MS. ; 
3ofX2 5-|cm., parchment, two columns to the page, punctuated, 
full Masora. Contains Joshua (a few pages missing), Judges 
(a few pages missing), Samuel (incomplete), 1 Kings (only a few 
pages), and 2 Kings (complete). 

25. In the Karaite Synagogue: part of aBible MS.; 4oJx36cm., 
parchment, two columns to the page, punctuated, full Masora. 
There is an attempt at ornamentation at the beginning of each 
book. Some letters are done in red, with a little frame around 
them ; one side of the cover is made up of paper fragments 
containing Talmudic writings. The MS. contains Isaiah, Jeremiah, 
Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets. At the end of Ezekiel, and in 
a later hand, the following : ipjp OX DTMp BWU nymtf *"1DD m 

jwi rpn vrropeoi ninth Sipn jwd dwik vit m prxxh inino 
isw fc6 mia* ronon ii? imnrui &c, &c. xipo in d*p*i ro ibpn 

yiVT\ bx f&NI p?n WW W *6). In quite a modern hand: 
XlpD 01 my by btr\W t6k >"h Wlp, &c. The colophon is not 
quite clear. Jacob Meborakh bought the book for his son Isaac. 
But the words 'mi TWD D"OnK 1W are not intelligible. The 
first date 5126=1366; the second 5134=1374; if the letters 
na form part of the Ta'rikh it would be 141 = 1381. They may, 


however, represent some such expressions as Nin TH3 or D^H "pin. 
The MS. itself must be older than this by several hundred years. 

26. In the Karaite Synagogue: part of a Bible MS.; 43^X36^0111., 
parchment, three columns to the page, fully punctuated, and with 
copious Masora ; from Joshua to the end of Chronicles, some pages 
missing in the middle. The last page is taken up with the words 

65j* iruipi i*didi nam nnx bxiw *rbx dt^k *vb vnp, which are 

written in tremendous letters, and quite fill up the whole page. 

27. In the Karaite Synagogue: part of a Bible MS.; 43 x 38^ cm., 
parchment, magnificently written in beautiful characters, three 
columns to the page, plentiful Masora ; containing Joshua, Judges, 
Samuel, and Kings complete ; going to pieces because of dampness, 
the last pages look like a mass of Genizah ruin. On the outside 
page are the words DinJ p Dn*"DN7 in square ancient characters, 
as old as the text itself. In a much later hand is the following : 
\>fn &W3J *irttD S» '■DID *|D1* *£n *p niJtfD^K, the Arabic of which 
I do not understand, except that it seems to indicate one Joseph 
[ibn] Musa as owner of the codex. At the end is the following 

colophon: (?) nvp np»* p rw n»!? D^Kjnn awn^n n»nn« rtt 
vniwi man w yiw) mvn bm in!>nro inwi imw ^w t£k 
mix wo nttr *oki ninns? «np» vS>y a^i wsn, &c, &c. On 

the last page, in very large letters: VDfnn] 3p]P p f>K1»B> W 

dw nn Dwm ownan n»niN m wddi vnpai 

The rest is quite illegible, the parchment being turned to pulp. 
After this follow a few pages containing Masoretic notes. There 
are attached to the volume a few loose leaves which seem originally 
to have been at the beginning. On the outside of the first one is 
the following: mW flD DW3J b& DWKVI D^DDH DyilX I^K 

ornna p mbw p th p iron lyraa N3 nnam vonn niton fprn 
rupi p» pn Dm: n^Tonn ownn '•mm p prna p -rcnw p 
nni> mam nnwm mm pwm na* pyn uihdi dvi^k m&D dhik 
iw bJ? (sic!) mnnn \-6k id&w biow vita iinni? unh ipm5> 
Nnpo vi?y o*p*i ipnv ptra iroorw imwi imm*i in nuni> iniK ror 

DnDon nynna m froi wan >ni &6d* invy i?ni innb ^ jni mnw 
umni mi? nnnn pnam conn Tonn fnnn *rn i^ni? Dwxnn 
rono nxr 133 jnnn w bp vdi tfipo jno bbw njn nn»D warn 


mm }v^b) mb tbvfo )b n»* pi inv^-ni vra rpm bx irvrp innwD 
p^y iw vdu pap* io»i wini rcra nj?E> £ nna* worna ttniwi 
nnann id^i jinan ii> ww foui jw» pnato run* ♦ ♦ ♦ vepa ^d 
mainam nmoNn nwwm nianan bi pn? m rrap tikis noio 
vbv o*p*i mm ijnr i>w v6y i^nn^i iSw Dnao Dnw nymaa 
Tnai it n^D bai T»DD«n na-nn n« in« mrp w 'na^ kipd 
n^D mo jdk jdk ^ jro t^k nw -raw paa. On the back of 

this page are some Bible verses in letters of heroic size and in 
golden rims. On one of the other pages, also in gold borders, 

the following: *oa*n wid tup® no dwann tanao nyaiN ita 
'mi 'no ntnp nhj *naa na paam oann npri -wr? ^n ^an 
•kib* *nbt& n^ioa wn^ inrvon ^ rm npvi nt^n ^n pD'oa &c, &c. 

The names, however, appear to have been erased and rewritten, 
or others substituted in their place. On the back of this page, 

but in a later hand : ia na bit £&sn Wttwin Dnaon niaiK pro: 
^n pD^a ani nn £np aa p npTi jprn ^n i>*«n ni in npnp 
wtod map j?5 npn n^n ^n nt$&K ni -to ja naaan fprn &c, which 

is followed by some benedictions. 

The MS. is very ancient. From the various colophons we learn 
that the scribe and Masorite was Samuel ben Jacob ; and that the 
four books were not part of a whole Bible, but were intended to be 
a volume by themselves. The original possessor seems to have 
been Yahyah ben Jacob. It then passed into the hands of a 
priestly family : Ha-kohen ben David b. Solomon b. Abraham 
b. Shahriyar b. Abzon b. Bazarjwai 1 , who gave it to his son 
David ha-Kohen. We have here, as in a previous case, Persian 
names. Was the MS. written in Persia? The last, and late 
owner was one Raphael b. Benjamin b. Eleazar ha-Levi, who 
has not scrupled to insert his name in an older Ta'rikh. 

28. In the Karaite Synagogue : copy of the Pentateuch ; 
27 X 24 J cm., parchment, two columns to the page, fine characters, 
full Masora; two pages missing at the beginning; ends in the 
middle of Ha'azlnu (Deut. xxxii). 

1 Or Buzurjwai, or better Buzurjoi (see Brockelmann in Z. D.M.G., LIX, 
179). On the name see Justi, Iranisches Nameribuch, p. 359 (of. p. 66, Bazroe 
or Bezruyeh). For Abzon or Abzan, see ibid., p. 2. 


29. In the Karaite Synagogue: part of a copy of the Bible; 
39 J X 3oJcm., parchment, two columns to the page, sparse Masora, 
not very old ; contains the prophetical books ; was originally two 
volumes, the first commencing with Joshua, the second with Isaiah. 
A number of leaves are missing in the middle. 

30. In the Karaite Synagogue : portion of a Bible MS. ; 
28fX22cm., parchment, two columns to the page, no Masora, 
only a few Keres noted ; occasional notes on the margin, e. g. to 
the verse PTT PTT DKBnn 1W HK1 we read HUTD fTOnn *sn 
1 J&OD BH11 J*OD vm. Contains the Pentateuch from Parashah 
j? j? to the end of ro*WI fiKt, Haftarot according to Rabbanites, 
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Minor Prophets (incomplete), Esther (incom- 
plete). Not very old, but mouldering away in different places. 

31. In the Karaite Synagogue: portion of a Bible MS. con- 
taining Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 
Minor Prophets (but all more or less incomplete) ; 30 x 23J cm., 
parchment, three columns to the page, full Masora at the top and 
bottom of the page and between the columns, rather pretty small 
script. Some of the headings are done in red ink, as are the 
markings of the Haftarot, which, placed on the side of the page, 
are encircled in delicate ornamentation. A few pages are in 
a different hand. Mouldering away in various places. 

32. In the Karaite Synagogue: portion of a Bible MS. con- 
taining Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Minor Prophets (but very 
incomplete); 33^x26 cm., two columns to the page, no Masora. 
Mouldering away from one end to the other. 

33. In the Karaite Synagogue: portion of a Bible MS. con- 
taining the historical books from 2 Sam. vii. 24 on, the greater 
part of the prophetical books and of the hagiographa ; 30 \ x 24 cm., 
parchment, two columns to the page, pretty script, the letters of 
which are written closely together, full Masora. Mouldering away. 

Together with this are portions of other Bible MSS., same size, 
two columns to the page, parchment. Also a part of Ezekiel and 
the Minor Prophets, with a commentary written on the margin 
between the columns. Specimen from Jonah : fcnpl JW JIKUJ 

1 Comp. MS. Brit. Mus. Add. 9400 (German, 1250) izm mrm mwrr nsn 
WQ TDvn «^Q, Ginsburg, Introduction, p. 541. MS. Florence Laurentiana 
Plut. 3. Cod. 10 : rwv wvn «m rrtcrc rpo tirn nmn to rvu»n ^n. 


'dn p&& rmn kth win W£> d^ nswnn ntonpn h& rrbx 
prnirc> ^ b* napmbi* ♦ pn*6 n*ma nni£> rww pap d^ nnaa 
nawn •anp man '»« nw:£ ^ mn *6p iW nan n»i na ma 
nw tan&* nx n^ro tikem nn^nnn iaip*i Dni> Ka:>K dn on 

34. In the Karaite Synagogue : a part of the Masoretic Bible 
of Moses ben Asher; three columns to the page, parchment, 
42 x 39 J cm.; containing the portion from Joshua to Malachi, 
though the beginning is not complete ; full Masora, careful 
punctuation and accentuation. Most of the leaves are loose, 
and the whole has been placed in a wooden box which is just 
a little too small, with a glass top. There are a number of pages 
which formed either the beginning or end of the codex, and which 
are filled with illustrations of a geometrical character painted in 
gold : one page contains representations of the altars and utensils 
used in the tabernacle. The colophon reads * : — 

v&k to *a by anpo bw mm^n nr -nana nsw p nwr> w 
mnw r\hh)r\n Tjm mao nnyo n^nm at^.n naa ^y natD.n 
en^wm nnnw b D^aon wniw wip ^ mna Dwaa nny 
nrh jnw add nan nrva xb hjbk hsok pnvn *^t* nran n^D 
Dn^y 'pan i^naro iD*©rn &r6 noow no ^y noxo woin n^i 
pino Tna man ewaa bap napaa Dn^osa Dino^n nnao nyan^i 
innina uai> rm w»y n\w inw "os&o pxn w no^o wa 
aria^ ♦ p« fonts* W>1 nvan pawi d^ al>a wyh no&i noM> 
no&w wn wan pmni> &w ya^n nnwt nx? niK» ruiDP ppi> 
paa nanai maoi nnpx "oa^a iroan D^nna i^y ai^n niDtw nw 
nDfo&i niny^ prw «h onw *6i £W n5>^ paa D*npD paa d^ 

1 See also I6n Saphir, I, 14 et seq. ; II, 186 ; Ginsburg, Introduction, 
p. 241. Part of the colophon as given in E. N. Adler, Jews m Ifany 
Lands (Phil. 1905), p. 23, is wrongly given. The MS. is not a *ai h® "Vnro 
rr\pv but a wipe bxo *mrra ; and was not written in mTp (which is not the 
manner in which Cairo is spelt in Hebrew MSS.) but in Tiberias. It is 
not probable that Maimonides refers to this codex as the model which he 
followed : the Ben Asher whom he mentions is Aaron ben Moses b. Asher, 
whose codex was also in Egypt. See Levita, Massoret ha Massoret, ed. 
Ginsburg, p. 114, and below, No. 70. 


•nrron p rumn by\ ♦ i&N tan&* b ^ai «w mnaa mbw 
*p wdo imp iK din w»d pniD in na*? nrn prison }d in nrn 
in iipm in anaa ia ww -ia*i in sw ym pa* p dn *6k 
nm* i>Ni nn^D *6i rr^nD xb )b w i>N -irra in idi-q in mooa 
•hdid jmroai rra WNa nwi iwr!? pavn 3103 nan* n^i ^ dim 
n^ ythdsp roa^h i*n» n^a mi?ah i?y pw mas^i mas* nnai> 

♦ jdn int 
♦ di^ ^ac» nNnm pa* ytm-n yw N-npn 

On another loose page is the following superscription : HfiSHn PIT 

)hnvn ia nur^ iovyi> miN wyi fc>a:> rp ^aan noi?^ p pay* nan? nn 

!>NW V^N TOa^ ISN nyW PSa yW) &c., &c. On a third page, 
and in a careless handwriting: p pay* ^IpH I^N nnfiHfl n? 
BHpn Ty D^n^a pNnp^ n©^ ; which is followed by a number 
of maledictions upon the person removing it from its place. This 
latter is again repeated upon another page. Upon the same page 
as this last, but in a later hand, is written : T\)tpft i"6a f]n¥E>n n? 

my np s n jpm p *&n nry^N •nwn wn praa irnpmi ynp^i vioa 
^aa* dv^nh iibm ropa in^n inwi> nana fina n-unn n^N *£n 

ina^. Upon another page, but in a still later hand: (!)naDH n? 

i>ran n&yn irtato nriN iniN wipn fe* ttpn dv6n *i^ «np owaw 
■ndu u DNnp^ nipd *oa my iw *naaD^N naj na* fman npn p th 
'lai b»n in Nin dni a"rn a"n mnacpiw no^aa nwynm nina^n, 

upon which follow the various maledictions. 

There is absolutely no reason to doubt the data here given. 
The codex was written in the city of Tiberias by the well-known 
Masorite, Moses ben Asher (ninth century), in the year 897 1 ; it is, 
therefore, one of the oldest dated MSS. of the Bible. Originally 
it must have been complete, and it is possible that the missing 
parts are in some collection. Curious is the extravagant manner 
in which Moses seems to refer to the Masorites, " the company of 
prophets, chosen of the Lord, holy ones of our God, who under- 

1 It is strange to read in Ginsburg, Introduction, p. 475, that " the 
St. Petersburg Codex is the oldest dated MS. of any portion of the 
Hebrew Scriptures which has as yet come to light," The subscription 
of this Moses ben Asher Codex has been known for very many years — 
and Dr. Ginsburg cites Ibn Saphir's book. 



* -i 


1 ^*WhWWro ! ^p?!8Spt 
u*r w my ***£ uttt ygto 

I I 

ITOO rrnvn vifof "fob aS|^ 






Colophon of the Masoretic Codex of Moses Ben Asher (897 C. £.) 


stand all secret things, and who disclose the secret of wisdom, the 
righteous and faithful ones, who have not left out one word of that 
which was handed down to them, nor have added one word to that 
which was bequeathed to them/' &c, &c, reminding one of the 
equally extravagant praise in the interesting Genizah fragment 
published by Dr. Schechter some years ago. But perhaps the 
Karaites are intended ! The second colophon is of peculiar 
interest, as it bears upon the question whether or no Moses 
ben Asher was a Karaite: it seems to be cotemporaneous with 
the codex itself. I understand it to mean that the MS. was 
written at the request of one Ya'bez ben Solomon, the Babylonian, 
for his own personal use. We know that there were Karaites in 
Babylonia, e. g. in Hit on the Euphrates, from which place codex 
No. 57 (see below, p. 644) came. At a later time he donated it 
to the Karaite community in Jerusalem, according to the third 
colophon. The codex, having suffered from use or from want, 
needed repairing. It was re-bound at the expense of Eliezer ha- 
Levi ben 'Adiyah ha-Levi in the year 1684, according to the fourth 
colophon. How it came into the possession of David ben Jepheth 
who presented it to the Karaites in Cairo is not stated ; he left it 
to the community after his death (? IfihfcO 'HnK). There is 
a further difficulty in the fifth colophon. David is said to have 
been the grandson of TQ5E?K. What these letters mean passes 
my understanding. 

The following MSS. are part of the collection of books stored in 
the Sefardic Rabbinate. I have omitted to take note of a few 
modern ones. 

35. E>N"nn mniOTl, the Responsa of Rosh: large square MS., 
paper, Spanish rabbinic script, incomplete ; the last responsum is 
numbered 425. 

36. Responsa of Moses b. Maimon: small quarto volume in 
different scripts ; according to the list at the beginning, the MS. 
contains 288 responsa. 

37. J1D31D &nmD nniBTl, the Responsa of R. Abraham Monson : 
square MS. of 435 pp. At the beginning occurs the following: 

rDTDD pnjnm wan bxi Tjren •ok *mare> rmiwi niW nao rrt 
DSnn rw spo ■^m *npnyn r\thw\ nrvro d*idid 1 *v by n* 
p« nnnn onao nnnh nwfo imini wy w rftw pnnto nirvb 



Tin yv ^ Q *&& TlNnpl ♦ jidjid DmnN }nn W p fp, i.e. this 
copy was made for the author and signed by him in the year 1739. 
He gave his responsa the title *i*jn f*y HD. 

38. fWVT, or Sermons of K. Nissim Gerondi (RaN); paper, 
8vo, of some age, but incomplete both at the beginning and 
the end. 

39. min njfl? 'D, a collection of Derashot by pr *VrOD: small 4to 
MS., not very old. 

40. Spy* ^HN 'D, by Jacob Castro: large 8vo MS. in modern 
hand. On the first page is the following note : 4 # nipDJ) Dm^N^ 

:nni> n^i p un rra»i vinawD 'wn nso *r»i> ♦ ♦ n^ oviiwni 
]ft prw vta:D d"d niD^p DrrDK nw» *on '?jn m"bi naron 
Hn -pron inn apjp tvtom nr&r pw nrEba ♦ i>"r sjw TinnM 

NJM. The note tells that the MS. was in the possession of 
a direct descendant of the author: Abraham, son of Isaac, son 
of Joseph, son of Isaac, son of Jacob Castro. 

41. p*1JKP NUD 'D: Cabbalistic MS. in a modern Oriental 

42. A short dictionary of rabbinical terms and expressions 
arranged in alphabetic order. The modern title HD^DN, "Col- 
lectanea/' given by the binder of the volume, has no warrant 
in the text itself. 

43. jm pN 'D of Kalonymus b. Kalonymus: modern Oriental 
hand; incomplete both at the beginning and at the end. 

44. hl^Tian 'D of Abraham ibn Ezra, followed by a letter-book 
giving formulae for correspondence. 

45. Dr6 "py, the Shulhan 'Aruk, Hoshen Mishpat, together 
with the Pp"nniB ninan; quarto; at the end bv mvbt>n tb&tW 
pnQ 3pJP "D *VKD '103 *T, i. e. Meir b. Jacob Prince. 

46. A commentary on the Pentateuch : parchment, good 
Spanish-Oriental hand; based entirely upon the Talmud and 
Midrash ; incomplete, commencing with the beginning of Leviticus 
and continuing to Deut. xxxiii. Specimen : — 

natb )h nvi ♦ mrnDD ran^o nhao nroin nai» Dnnnn rfoc 'd 
T\rbww n^K ♦ mrnDD ran«D th\xo nana rait: i« mrnDD nnainn 
hbwi Trioa rrvaj/n nwyw mayn ^p nnain ♦ ♦ ♦ jmni> *a n'y 
no iw? i^n d^b wa irroirfc toidS* *itn p ioa "o k"m ^aa 


TMtob ii> pNi arrugni *taa piM in nw nv-nn •om vfan nw 

jm Dinn nnn« tfDya inwi> innpw • ♦ ♦ yn ma^ «h w v6y 

♦ 'iai vi>y ntD^ iiwid wa qk wm i»vy d^i idv^ n^pni 

47. Part of the commentary of David Maimonides on the 
Pentateuch, from the middle of Parashah IV to the middle of 
jniVD: Arabic in Hebrew characters; small 8vo, paper, com- 
mencing with the folio numbered 17. In the same volume there 
is a portion of a commentary on Proverbs, partly on paper and 
partly on parchment; Oriental script; imperfect both at the 
beginning and the end. Specimen: — 

pnih htM w-\*h Nn^ *\wm ddii np-r> dwi '■bi pnv m^h rrona 
pajo wnytb ivw 5>nn pyi> inron npy nvn dy doti ♦ wr£ pjjn 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ocrn nrwn p:yn -nap dyai ♦ T»apy iddiij nniwn lb 
roDDm nn^n i>y inmn npy wn Dy ••imi nea ♦ ♦♦♦:) DDrr ♦ idd 
iek dyai pi?p nrai dmrtND •ok nMon nzhyn p^ya d^ys^ now 
hmd n«b> ny pnnn n« d'wtaw 61b d^ddd d^ trM vfco pajn 
roanap iTrorn ♦ jrcnn •© k^ D»rop i>"n ddhi ♦ jnn 11 naT «i>B> iy 
*a tt6ty dnwi nnwm rkbp) vropTC hna *tcd pnvn p*ni> inw 

48. A casuistic work arranged alphabetically. Its name is 
possibly D'Oan dn?. In different hands. 

49. IWW n"»TiD lY'l^, Eesponsa of E. J. Siyyah (?) : incomplete, 
ending in the middle of No. 614. Each responsum is called 
an TDK. 

50. TD p PYfTDi? d^nn, Discourses of R. Samuel ibn Sid: 
modern Oriental hand, paper. Note: ^D^D tifvb P TD } bwBW 

'r6r piw TfnM pin diwi danni? p »a wid fna rm&n paai 
hr"> t»d } brow ^YnM ^an fcnpon ?in tbwn daring p. 

The genealogy of the author is given as Samuel son of Mordecai, 
son of Isaac, son of Samuel ibn Sid. 

51. pD wr& wep Ml *£>DW, Tosafot of Eabbenu Perez to 
Baba Kamma: folio, old Syrian script, paper, incomplete at 
the end. 

52. The ?v3D of David Kimhi: 4 to, paper, incomplete; com- 
mences about half a page before d^yan lyt?, and ends in the 
middle of d^DH *W, 



53. *]tti>D7N 3 WD: Arabic in Hebrew characters, cabbalistic, 
folio. At the end a peculiar secret script, similar to that found 
in de Pomis' grammar, and in Syriac and Arabic MSS. On the 
title-page is the following remark : n^fcC DTK fcOUK 3Kn3 m$n 
1*6® b$ btm*\ & 13TnK, " This is the Book of our Father Adam, 
given to him by Eaziel the Angel." 

54. Commentary on the Pentateuch by Shem Tob ben Isaac 
ben Shaprut: well written in Oriental Eabbinical script, paper, 
small 8vo, incomplete, commencing in the middle of Parashat 
Bereshit, and ending Deut. xxxii. Many passages are introduced 
with the words Ittl'Or] 31D tiW nON, e.g.: — 

•*& n? pn ixmn ma tw no« wunnn iodi cyan pnn«i nana 
irroatp tn)p !rn wiv ywm nan 'idn n? dmpi pawn py $>y p|did W 
wk *3 nrain wrc y&w nai now Torn *rc*a *3 * wh *nannn 
noN rttBraap ^ • nniy^l? ri^nan nw nwDD Dyac? ^"-1 osoy tup 
♦ 'tti dddj? nnyi? pnnn td^ jm *idn wv jbw n*o 

At the end of the book is the following note : — 

in? anas? p Yi prw 'n m:o p 3ia de> -iK3»n hian nnn n&K 
mnn onwnn *3« nnn n^K minn msA niK*3 Bwns "my *wn 
awn tm ytt i«3e> ^"rn nnan nvp iw:d ^r anry p Drrax 'n 
nuk dj Diara K/i vwtsq h"t Dann dtfom Dnnroi Deploy on:ni> 
♦mtrcn £»rani> wn &6p oto iwnbD nvp 5>y twraDD aniaa nvp 
ny w*n «te> dtoi 'ovs n&» k!> Da *mpn i>y muyn rann p 
itch n?y &>pik niD'&yn b jwn ^moi nuran n^hpn nn« 

55. DHWDH W, the name of the author is not given : small 
8vo of 20 folios in a beautiful Spanish-Oriental script. A treatise 
on Morals containing twenty chapters (D*p1£>), i.e. HpTX, fDI&WI, 

n-v)nniDi>n, trim n£na, dki 3k *iinD, M3 ^tj, ownn, oysn 

TOnni, D^3n n3TIK, &c, &c. After which come 5^ folios with the 
commentary of Abraham ibn Ezra on Canticles. 

56. TWTOn 1W 'd, 240 fols., square 4to, in modern Oriental 

57. min^n 'D of Abraham ibn Ezra ; modern hand. 

58. ant *msn 'D of Joseph ben Emanu-El Ergas (pfetiTN): 


2411)0, 93 Ms. Commences with some verses of Gikatillia (H"nD 
N^Bpu). A treatise on morals: n&OTl *W, nanKil W, "W 


59. D^rUD" 'D, 24mo, incomplete at the beginning; contains 
a large number of wonderful tales (D^Di) and stories (fiWyo), 
very often in a cabalistic sense ; also a large number of Piyyutim, 
of which there is a list at the beginning. 

60. D'HQID ppTI 'D, complete in ninety numbers; gives the 
formulas for writing Hebrew documents ; Oriental modern hand. 

61. Controversial work against Christianity, incomplete at the 
beginning and at the end, small 8vo, in two parts. The second 

commences : h)®2 namna kw -laon ma 'an p^nn ainai> bm nnyi 
j«jen nny jnnp *nni Timpna *njrr waa ^"kh -ama nioytD 
jwd mm jnn«n p*ny&n anaeno DnDwon i*>« ana *npnyw 
p"rn *£« iwa ^"n m Djym onwf> rookran pTiyn ipk 2 Tna 
ws^ new o^p^nyopiD npnre invn anaon nmi a^t& a"yi. The 

author must, accordingly, have lived shortly after the year 1572. 

62. WW m»n 'Oft r\)b%r\ Wpll, cabalistic: small 8vo, Oriental 
hand, incomplete. 

63. DWtt, Sermons by an unknown author: large 8vo, modern 

64. In the Karaite Kabbinate : 4to volume, the pages of which 
are all separate and sadly mixed, brought there by a Karaite from 
Hit on the Euphrates ; paper, MS., Arabic in Hebrew characters. It 
contains : 

(a) A portion of the HNlDnpD of Samuel ben Moses al-Mughrabi : 
a commentary upon the Pentateuch pericopes in the form of 
" Questions and Answers/' One part is entitled: r\W~)& tVW 
aNV^NI rhttht* npno ^y man. I was unable to tell whether 
the whole or how much of the commentary is extant in the MS. 

(6) A portion of the THD or JWD *1QD of Isaiah ben Uzzia 
Kohen, called "Mu'allim Fadil." The title-page of the second 

part runs as follows : ^6rriDfc6fcO yn n&* nanyo Vn H^N i>WK 

1 i. e. Evangelion. 

2 The reference must be to Francois Boderius, or Francois de la Boderie, 
one of the Editors of the Antwerp Polyglott. I owe this identification to 
the kindness of Professor Eberhard Nestle. 


^INyi^N p why in ne ^yi nnanyo ^y. Then follows: anai 
no p pn« nw wi mpon nnn i?a^n ntun bin in yn mis 
naviri *W>«y p yuan in^K ^ani no p yi nw \rvi; i.e. the 

scribe's name is Aaron ben Moses ben Elijah, called Ben Ghaluli \ 
On another page the following superscription is found: ffcOl 

nan nnp ;d haiw n^N n^y *b axnaiw nnn epiwn jd hafo 
haon pa nxva haD*> aiftro row t&iyn n&ona^ isnn «w naiaon 
'iai tfnro ntw£ atbrina rwi niins D^yn ruonai?. This gives 

the date on which the work was finished as Tishri 1, 5286 = 
1526 C.E., which date is certified in various ways (=3632 of the 
Flood, = 2842 of the Exodus, &c, &c). The use of the word 
fjvXn would seem to refer the date to the composition of the 
book, though this hardly seems to agree with other data that 
would place the date of Moses al-Maghrabi about a whole century 

The second work is preceded by an index, of which a specimen 
is here attached: — 


fuo *iia^>xi yri nnaroi njvaiam yn rbhx Ynm >d .&& hvskx 

♦iw inan^ dipd^ dn« pap nivo wm 
jymd pjn^i n&Ks&m •oDniw p^a^aa p^5n^>x ■»& .:&« ^vd^k 

♦mrfc nn« pap 
.D^jmiw paaipi nnynp 6Bn p dpi^ m» *b ♦&« hrs&tt 

^>nyrD pyi>« i?nytD nb!>k hr\yn ^r n»^» hp spnyn ^ .t^k htaiw 

n»*w ncwi npi nisi n»i -am am naaiD ppi> *>a .rK>« bvib* 
hy\ hh) m m w m \n ;n phd nh *itoa n»h 
nwi ^oa yrhwo nam spro iai *ja sjj> *£ 

♦my ms 
npajv kbi pjkvdi ni>Di *p«i nasal nana nnyta ^ ♦&"£« *>»!>« 

.tpna^K nny jd ih 
♦&npD^ }d ibdi ibd 5>a ana toa^ta jo in }p spun ■»£> .aiw bva^K 

1 Dr. S. Poznanski, who has kindly identified this MS. for me, suggests 
the reading 'Vijrw p, from a place, " Akul," near to Baghdad. 



rrcna mi tfd mi epn mi nd^3 mi pidb *n mi 
b fftD mi nw t& rnro} wy nivo mra mi 
xntti ny nw ^tot^N ^y nxai s b ibdi nao 
roM rninn nn»i chn ^« nanaa &«w ny '•sin 

♦1^ awn xnpD m nmD ^y wb> 
••bi nw t6 nwoi tow nwD ••a nap nnmp *a ♦nifw htaiw 

Dm piw Km Nia^ Tny '•a vrtw niw nurnpiw s a .^n Swata 

*nn aw ^ D^yn nam jd nm yan^ 7nan '•a .tiH* S>*s&k 

65. In the possession of Mr. Arbib is a MS. which was reported 
to me as " a work on Medicine by Maimonides." It turned out 
to be the Hebrew translation of the " Canon " of Avicenna. The 
MS. is incomplete, containing portions of what were originally 
two volumes : five leaves containing a part of the table of contents 
of the second volume, plus 149 leaves; parchment, 26^ x 24^ cm., 
two columns to the page, in a small, somewhat cursive Oriental 
script. A large part has been collated with another text : a later 
hand has noted the variants (introduced by 5 or ND) on the margin. 
The MS. must originally have been a work of some art, the initials 
of the chapters are illuminated in a sober manner becoming a 
work on medicine. 

66. In the possession of Dr. B. Moritz, Librarian of the Khe- 
devial Library at Cairo, ten leaves of a Hebrew Bible in Arabic 
characters and with Arabic vocalization, containing part of Daniel, 
Each Hebrew verse followed by its Arabic translation and a sort 
of Arabic commentary. I suppose that this is part of the British 
Museum MS. edited some years ago by Dr. Hoernle. In spite 
of much persuasion I was unable to get sight of these ten leaves, 
Dr. Moritz alleging one reason after another for his refusal. 

67. In the possession of Mr. Scialom Levy : DHVD rhm : a copy 
of the so-called Cairo Megillah, made by Mr. Levy's father who 


had found an old copy which he afterwards threw away (into the 
Genizah?). This occurred about the year 1844. Mr. Scialom 
Levy has the privilege of reading the Megillah in the Synagogue 
on the appropriate day — 28th Adar. 


68. In the Zaradel Synagogue, Alexandria: MS. of the whole 
Bible ; in square characters, parchment, 24^ x 19 cm., two columns 
to the page, Masora beautifully arranged in varying devices at 
the top and bottom of the pages; the headings of the various 
books are in gold and colours; eight pages of Masora at the 
beginning and four at the end in gold, blue, and green framework : 
altogether, calligraphically a work of art. At the end there is 
the following subscription: ]nn "in ^JWI f»N mit^ Vliw *nar 
n^H n"n ta'pn JW PWBIp JPT, i.e. "Kemember me for good, 
O my God, Amen! David the priest [who is] known [by the 
name] Coutinho, Rosh Hodesh Tishri 5127." One would expect 
irWDIp if my transcription of the name is correct. The year 
5127 = 1367, and the provenance of the MS. would be the 
Spanish Peninsula. Although the colophon is not in the same 
handwriting as the text, it can well be of the same epoch. Was 
David the scribe or the owner ? The MS. is well preserved and 
well taken care of. The authorities of the Synagogue seem to 
be aware of its value : it is kept in a tastefully made cupboard near 
the Ark. 

69. In the Zaradel Synagogue, Alexandria: first volume of 
a codex of the Bible from Genesis to the end of Kings; parch- 
ment, 30 x 23^ cm., two columns to the page, very full Masora 
at the top and bottom of the pages and between the columns; 
a few headings of the books are illuminated, especially that of 
Genesis, in which animals and birds predominate. Before the 
commencement of the texts are the <c Different readings of Ben 
Asher and Ben Naphtali." No subscription or date is to be 
found in the whole volume; though it looks older than the pre- 
ceding. On one of the blank pages is the following note in regard 
to the extra-canonical books : — 


♦D'nwi nynixn tmh w& to jvdt 

.*chw bnw romaa p«p to Dnh? 

♦?ww udd wop to b tod inn nao oni> b* nwp nao nn« 

♦ Dnao 'a nni? ^ &wr nao nn« 

•dtdwmk Dni> b* *3«te nao nnK 

ip"^ peBwi^pi rrcne ->aD Dnao 'a nrh b* Dn^n -top nn« 

•wn i^a inw nwn naoi 
♦uh? vmat uw iron: iao Dr6 b* m?y h? jw*n nao nnx 

Our learned man has been in part misinformed. The book 
of " Baruch " does not contain " all that is written about him in 
Jeremia," but a good deal more. The two books " after the Book 
of Daniel " are probably Bel and the Dragon. He does not seem 
even to have heard their name. The book of " Antiochus," after 
Malachi, must be the Books of the Maccabees. He then mentions 
Tobit, " Ecclesiasticus by Jesus" and " Wisdom," which he ascribes 
to Philo, an ascription which I believe I have seen in Syriac MSS. 
The "Book of Nehemiah" must refer to the apocryphal Ezra, 
which he confounds with the canonical "Nehemiah" of the 

70. In the Karaite Synagogue at Jerusalem: complete codex 
of the Bible in two volumes ; parchment, 34 \ x 27 cm., two columns 
to the page, vowels and accents, full Masora. The first volume is 
in a modern binding ; the second in a peculiar box binding made 
of iron. Only the first volume is kept in the Synagogue ; the 
second in the dwelling upstairs, because of the intense dampness 
in the subterranean synagogue (21x15 feet), which makes all the 
books kept there positively mouldy. At the end of the second 
volume is the following subscription : tWlttiwi QIT3D *D TWO [*J«] 

*d "stod 'n nm^ iwnpn a[npjn] naon m widdi varo rfrbt 
crow rw fvo rm Mtiddi f*u poiaBH \sn rnxsm n"rbi prw 
jnn ijnn wn u mrh iron tftpon ♦ wn *|[^ [hkdi] owi 

'ttl \m nnnn b pip lynt] . In deciphering this inscription 
I had the help of my learned friend Mr. David Yellin. Though 
the reading is certain, the proper names are not quite intelligible. 
The codex was finished in the month Sivan, 5182 = 1422, and 

1 Later hand has added a Yod above the o . 


was written and punctuated by one Moses ben Menachem of 
BOIU/tf . I, at first, thought of Burgos : but the nun is certain, 
and the addition of the Arabic article would be surprising. But 
some place in Spain is evidently intended, as is seen by the name 
of the Maecenas for whom the codex was prepared : Mordechai 
ben Isaac, who was known as Don pJIDKH. "Don" with an 
alef in place of a waw is itself peculiar, and the proper name 
passes my knowledge of Spanish. 

On a fly-leaf at the end of the second volume, and in a modern 
hand, is the following : — 

n^mpo xipm npn *p"nr! ppDD mpn n&vn p^nyrb ••mDK 
tFimh v^p)nw tbw^'n ana xipin -isdd n npnyjn tbwm ••aaina 
snap onsD i"a bw nbvn *irre»n m D^nvi noaa^ 

inw "iddi i\») n^n wan ibdh onrv p m&y ni nts vm 
B*ni D*»ann *aw anaion rna pa^n &ann i>ran to^h a&\n n«a 
no p pn« no vnnna Trrn i^yaoa paon wy»a ttoh nn^n 
inw pnpn ^TDnro ttp^nrm owajn ay rfa^jn np« in p my» 
Dann *>n*ib* b maon ^-ib* «ot «n» Taxn -nxn bran th 
r^^DD w "va:n nn pw tan 'n on* a^jn i^n Tonn jrum 
Ty &iwi^ n"n dnaN i no p myo no p nrw no p msa 
D*»a»n ninao jnon *6ya jniB* my apy» ntap i>*w» y-ir i>y ^npn 
*6i -dd'' vb fb anp ^nbo ohy ny naia* d^n p*t inn D^awn 
mm *nn p"jd D^ran dwbw w n* nnno k*» vbw rro by btw 
p w nwh p noi^ *wan p":ia •oa wprrp awm inw &wjn 
D^nn py nnn py pa D*nn nnva mnv &b>bj ann twa awn 
D^n phsa wpn ^yaty n£np[n 5>>i mapicn bx imanw 'na 

1 Such model codices are mentioned in the Masora, either in a general 
way e. g. np»no *npm (Ginsburg, 1. c, p. 469), p"rra in« icon (ib., p. 518), 
in** pnyro (ib., p. 483) ; or they have place-names hidden 'd or HtEDrr 
(Spain), otorv 'd (Jerusalem), wd (Sinai) ; or, again, they were written 
by some noted teacher and called after his name : y*q ,m \ 'd ; owia 'i 'd ; 
tybrr 'd. Codices were written by (Master) R. Meir of Speyer and R. Meir 
Abulafia (see Monatsschrift, XL VIII, p. 607). Cod* Vatican xiv (complete 
Pentateuch) was written by Elijah, son of Berechiah ha-Nakdan, in 1299 
(Assemani, Catalogue, p. 15). A twelfth-century codex is even assigned to 
Rabbenu Tarn (Grinsburg, Introduction, p. 524). The expression ruio 'd is 
still a riddle. 


-no^i pnnnh 11 n*npi> nwon aroi nijnapn aroi nwon ana 
an D^vun cmwn w rhx i«v» qni ♦nnni ubw n^x b udd 
w n^n irm hpew ddti nwi^ nn^n T-m rv imjwi irrw 
Wi rora *&oip dek wk dn^k •wn* dwi bwaai cp^v dwn 
biz D^nnno rwan ^md ^b* jnr Jod b*k pan 1 * &ki .DnMra 
ik ^ip ik aina w non ik nrp nm u nan nw6 jwh m»» 
b^mb) rx\mb vb& vtikw itan ewdto &»b us nine in dihd 
b*k in p»S> mar tab) nnwi icnpob imnw t&nnS rmpi> pnnh 
^Nn^ no ^y nana d"d vtik d^ i>&w t6k nn ♦rm^a in pa 
toi n»v ^ qijo p^a V3 p po v6j? t^pm iwK^ b bjn ijn? i>jn 
b i>m wn hn y»i>jj man tarn wi^ nmna nniBKn nianan ^1 
nS niwn D*»nana npjn a^pn pm*i yww *d b i>jn i^jj nn^n 
♦jdni }£« t&j6 'n ina D^hj) *&h»h t&wi> qtw «i?i D£^rr» 

As this has reference to the " muster-codex 1 " of the Masorite 
Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, I have thought it worth while to 
give the note complete. It purports to be a copy of the subscrip- 
tion of a MS. of the Bible (called also here " Mikdash-Yah," as 
in No. 3) belonging to the Karaites at Jerusalem, which itself 
was a copy of one known as &7&Wn ana, and which w r as pre- 
sented to the Karaite Synagogue in Cairo. " Yerushalayim " 
seems to stand in place of the later expression u Abhele Yerusha- 
layim 2 ." The original MS. was written by no less a personage 
than Solomon ben Yeruham 3 , but punctuated and " Masorated " by 
Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, to whom the title " Head of the 
Yeshibah" is given — whether in reality or only in an honorific 
manner I shall not attempt to decide. It was evidently written 
for one Israel ben Simhah ben Sa'adyah ben Ephraim of Bassora 
and presented by him to the Karaite community in Jerusalem, 

1 Compare the extravagant expressions above in No. 34. 

2 Or does this refer to the model " Sefer Yerushalayim," so often referred 
to in Masoretic notes ? 

3 Ginsburg, Introduction, p. 242, makes out of him "R. Solomon b. 
Bevich," basing his description upon an article in Ha-Zofah y 1857, Nos. 47, 
48. See also, Ibn Sapkir, I, 12, 13. Relying upon a further subscription 
Ginsburg says that it was transferred " to the community in Egypt for 
the Jerusalem Synagogue." There was no such synagogue. The reference 
is simply to the Karaites in Cairo. Two further subscriptions are given 
in Adler, Jews in Many Lands, p. 163. 


and was to be in the especial keeping of the Nasi Josaiah and 
the Nasi Hezekiah, the sons of the Nasi Solomon ben David ben 
Boaz. The two keepers of the precious volume were to take 
it out and show it to the various companies and gatherings on 
the three great festivals ("Regalim"): and if for any reason 
they are called away from Jerusalem, they are to entrust it to 
the care of two other men of probity. Interesting is the additional 
permission given to show it to learned Babbanites whenever they 
want to know any of the minutiae of the Masoretic text, " plene 
or defective, Ketibh or Ker§ (note the passive 'Karuy'), open 
[parashah] or closed, or the accentuation," as well as the prohibi- 
tion against showing it to non-Jews (" men in whom is no faith"). 


The very short chapter devoted by Kaufmann to illuminated 
Bibles in Midler and Schlosser's Sarajevo-Haggadah (p. 261) is 
quite insufficient. The subject deserves a special and a thorough 
treatment. To this must be added the description of a British 
Museum MS. of the thirteenth century with thirty-nine illumina- 
tions, of which thirty-six are full-paged (see G. Margoliouth in 
J.Q.R., XVII, 193). Since writing the above I have had the 
chance to examine two more illuminated Hebrew Bibles. MS. 
Casanatense, No. 283, has been, I believe, cursorily described by 
Dr. Berliner and by Sacerdote {Gataloghi, &c, p. 486). The 
script is Babbinic, as in No. 7 above ; evidently the stress was to 
be laid upon the illumination, rather than upon the text — as was 
not uncommon in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Un- 
fortunately only the first two pages (ff. 1 b and 2 a) have been 
treated ; though the proper spaces for the full-page illustrations, 
for the initials and borders have been carefully left. The frontis- 
piece contains a full-page illustration of Adam and Eve on either 
side of the tree, along the trunk of which the serpent is coiled. 
The serpent has, in uncomplimentary manner, a female head with 
long golden hair; this is found in Christian MSS. also, e. g. in the 
fifteenth-century MS. of Nicholas de Lyra in the Laurentiana at 
Florence. The background is blue and hills are to be seen in the 
distance. A roe and a squirrel crouch on the ground. Adam 


holds an apple in one hand : Eye, what seems to be an opened 
fruit. The figures are excellently drawn and delicately painted — 
but with a sexual realism that is quite unwonted. 

The border has four medallions: (1) containing the sun as a 
human face ; (2) an idyllic scene, in which a hocking man, resting 
his hands upon what seems to be a club, turns a frightened look 
towards an admonishing figure, youngish in appearance, whose 
face is crowned with an aureola, from which the rays of the sun 
stream. I take this to represent the Almighty chiding Cain; 
(3 and 4) are heraldic devices, which are fully explained by 
Sacerdote. The first page of the text has the letter Beth in gold 
upon a red background. The border has also four medallions : 
(1) the moon; (2) a landscape with two trees and what looks like 
a grasshopper in front ; (3) a burning furnace out of which fire 
issues; (4) a medallion, upheld by angels, containing three bee- 
hives, above which is a dove with an olive-branch in its mouth : 
the heraldic device, if I am not mistaken, of one of the great 
Italian families. At the right-hand corner of the right-hand 
column is a medallion in the form of a standard, containing the 
letters KHQ (i.e. HEHa). The MS. was written in Florence in 


Of special interest is the representation of God, if my identifica- 
tion is correct. I believe that there was originally another one in 
the thirty-seventh picture of the Cairo MS. This must be taken 
as a possible commentary on what Mr. I. Abrahams has to say 
upon the subject in the Jewish Chronicle for April 21, 1905. 

I have also examined MS. Plut. 3. Cod. 10 in the Laurentiana 
at Florence: 4to MS. on parchment, containing the Pentateuch, 
Haftarot and Megillot with Targum and Rashi. The Megillot are 
in the order : Canticles, Kuth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther. 
Then comes D^ID D^DI 7WT\ b& WBnD &K, divided off for the 
various persons who are to be " called up." The Targum is added 
for the days of Passover, and for the first and second days of 
Shebuot. At the end of the Haftarot is the superscription 

rbyw ly tbyh xb) nvn xh ♦ pv vb nsnon fro pmr prnrm pm 

d^1D3 *Dtf fBKp* I have no books at hand to verify this variant 
of the famous saying. The writing is German, square in character ; 
the Targum in smaller square script, the Masora in very minute 
square, Rashi in Rashi script. The Masora all over the page is 


very full. Elongated letters are sparingly used; letters being 
added to fill out the lines. When the Tetragrammaton is 
written h^_, it is written out on the margin. There are many 
corrections. The illuminations are: — 

i. The first word of each Parashah has a coloured background 
and border. 

2. Beginning of Genesis, a half-page: gold flower-work very 
delicately done upon a red background. The word 1WN*"0 in dark 

3. Pen and ink sketch of Jacob's dream: Jacob asleep, one 
angel going up, one coming down the ladder. By the side a 
mediaeval castle. 

4. At the end of Genesis, the Masora is worked into beautiful 
interlacings of green, red and gold. 

5. Beginning of Exodus : branches and leaves encircling the 
whole page. The Rashi heading is also illuminated. 

6. In the appropriate place, pictures of the appurtenances of the 
Tabernacle — altars, menorah, &c, somewhat crudely executed. 

7. At the beginning of Numbers, half-page of Masoretic notes 
in a circular illuminated setting: but the work is crude. Here 
and there an attempt is made to draw a griffin. 

8. To Numbers xiii (sending forth of the spies), there are 
illustrations at the top and bottom of the page, showing the 
position of ftfD pK and DV7K ptf. The first is surrounded by 
castles ; the second has as a prominent feature some hills, on the 
top of each of which is a castle. But the hills quake and are 

9. Jericho and its seven walls : quite primitive. 

10. Deuteronomy: beautiful three-quarter page illumination in 
red, blue, green, and gold. The Masora is also illuminated. 

Among the Masoretic notes in the MS. the following may be 
mentioned. To the word *IBJ&YD there is the gloss: i>6 i^n 
pDB> W3 IfWpDg&j ^fcttYQ is written as one word; there is no 
break in Gen, iv. 8. At the end of Genesis is the note : "ISD pa 

ra d^bw na# *o{> <bp i mrb in* naoi. At the end of 

Leviticus, the words "nfe IZbb *}SD pa pbn ?W i rtonb T*» 
*hwrw fflK. Various model codices are mentioned: to nopal 


Gen. xix. 23 Vin N"a <pa % ^tDBDKl. Again fcOBBDKai ''baa p; 

niann nDBDKa; jjith jpt iD 611 bhh nana p. To Gen. l. 24 
aits * inn wi ymn ib&DKai S^n anaon 5>aai . d^vdd n"d p«o 
p«D kw *6aan ^>y Y»yn. To Exod. xv. 5 ^ai rrani n^oa 'nao 

nihflDl K"D1 r&MDl, or simply rTOID &DH1 PW3 p; V7M p or 
<hD K'D. To the passage sjrjSD Kin "P DM1 is the note TO1D 'nana 
7|D n^K !JD &PD. To 13DD D*11 ^ D}> is added: 'n nSDl am 
poblNa unD 1W p rvOW nnBDm BIUB. In another place 
WIT) 6a pi hom 'JIBM or to Esther i. 5. Joseph Tob Elem is 
again mentioned : luteal fo&E>N Wa IN D$>5J ait) *|D1* Vm na p 
^a pna "Hp 'fcfl fia. A codex, by name JWp, occurs very often 

e.g. ny qd Sol <$ wa wn qd na:ii p^pai v^n. i$n *dbdki }pn 
^ jwpai jnte; or to Eccl. xii. 14 p^pa nai> nbp„ ppan nron ba. 

Among the illuminated Bible MSS. are the following, partially 
described by Ginsburg, 1. c. : — 

MS. Brit. Mus. Harley 5710-11, thirteenth century, splendidly 
illuminated (p. 478). 

MS. Brit. Mus. Add. 19776 (p. 616). 

MS. Brit. Mus. Add. 21 160, c. 1300, with Masora elaborated 
into human figures (p. 625). 

MS. Brit. Mus. Or. 2091, Germany, c. 1300, with Masora in the 
form of grotesque animals (p. 663). 

MS. Brit. Mus. Or. 2201, Toledo 1246, has Song and Blessing 
of Moses in illuminated borders (p. 668). 

MS. Brit. Mus. Or. 2348, Yemen 1469, has oriental designs in 
colours (p. 683). 

MS. Brit. Mus. Or. 2626-28, Lisbon 1483, richly illuminated, 
with ninety borders (p. 708). 

MS. Brit. Mus. Or. 2696, Germany 1300; letters in gold and 
illuminated borders (p. 719). 

Codex Ginsburg i, Avignon 1419, illuminated initials (p. 740). 

Caiko, February } 1905.