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NOTE ON "A MOSES LEGEND" BY PROFESSOR 
KRAUSS 

In his article on "A Moses Legend" UQR-, N. S., II, 339 ff.). 
Professor Krauss deals at very great length with a set of stories 
in which Moses is made to perceive the just, though outwardly 
incomprehensible ways of Providence. These stories have no doubt 
their original source in the Jewish haggadah, but Professor Krauss 
is right in pointing out that the form in which they appear in later 
Hebrew literature goes back to an Arabic medium. As far as the 
story discussed on p. 350 ff. is concerned, I am able to supply the 
missing link. The Arabic writer Kazwini (died 1283) of Kazwin 
in Persia narrates in the preface to his cosmography {'ajtfib al- 
makhlilkat, ed. Wtistenfeld, I, 4) the following story which is 
piactically identical with the version quoted on p. 355. "One day 
Moses passed a well on the slope of a mountain. He made his 
religious ablutions in it and then ascended the mountain to pray 
Suddenly a horseman approached who drank from the well and 
dropped near it a purse full of dirhems. A shepherd who came 
after him saw the purse, took it and went. Then there came a 
poor old man carrying a bundle of wood and, having thrown down 
the bundle, lay down to rest. After a short while the horseman 
returned, looking for his purse. Not having found it, he went up 
to the old man, demanding from him his purse, and finally began 
to beat him till he killed him." When Moses, who witnessed this 
scene, marveled at the injustice implied in the incident, he received 
the explanation that the old man had killed the father of the 
horseman, who at the same time owed the father of the shepherd 
exactly the same amount which was picked up by the shepherd. — 
The story is narrated by Kazwini in an incidental manner and is 
introduced by him in a way which suggests that it was well known. 
Kazwini lived two centuries before the Persian poet Jami (died 

179 



l8o THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

1493) whom Professor Krauss quotes as the earliest source of this 
story. But there is no doubt that Kazwini took it from a much 
older source. It is in all probability derived from one of the 
numerous collections of "prophetic stories" which are almost en- 
tirely based on the Jewish haggadah. 

As for the well-known Koran story discussed by Professor 
Krauss on p. 356 f., neither the analysis nor the deductions from 
it can be accepted. Verses 59-63 have nothing to do with the story 
contained in verses 64-81. I have dealt with this Koran passage 
and its presumably Jewish source in the Archiv fur Religiouswis- 
senschaft, XIII (1910), p. 98 f. and 221 ff., to which the reader is 
herewith referred. 

Finally I should like to add to Professor Krauss' remarks that 
the "speaking birds" (p. 344 f.) appear frequently in the 
Alexander legend, not only in the Greek recension (the so-called 
Pseudo-Callisthenes, ed. Mtiller, II, c 40, 41, and elsewhere), but 
also in Josippon (c. 10), and in many other Oriental versions. 

Jewish Theological Seminary Israei, FriEdlaender 

of America