Hillel Manuscript

Hillel Manuscript Of the ancient Hebrew MSS., now no more extant, the most famous is the codex Hillel. As to this name there is a difference of opinion. From Jewish history we know that there were. two rabbis by the name of Hillel, one who lived in the first century before Christ, called Hillel I, the Great, the other who lived in the fourth century after Christ, called Hillel II. Some, as Schickhard (Jus Regium Hebracorum, ed. Carpzov, Leipsic. 1674, p. 39) and Cuneus (De Republ. Hebr. page 159), attributed this codex to the older Hillel; others, as David Gans, in his Tzemnach David, Buxtorf, in Tractatus de Punctorum Vocalium, etc. (Basle, 1648), page 353, attributed it to the younger Hillel. A third opinion is that this codex derives its name from the fact that it was written at Hilla. a town built near the ruins of ancient Babylon, so Furst (Gesch. ces Karcierthums, page 22 sq., 138, note 14), and Ginsburg (Levita's Massoreth ha-Massoreth, page 260, note 40). But none of these opinions seems to be correct. Against the first two we have the express testimony of Abraham ben-Samuel Sakkuto (q.v.), who, in his Book of Genealogies, entitled Sepher Yuchasin, says that when he saw the remainder of the codex (circa A.D. 1500) it was 900 years old. His words are these: "In the year 4956, on the 28th day of Ab (i.e., in 1196, better 1197), there was a great persecution of the Jews in the kingdom of Leon from the two kingdoms which came to besiege it. It was then that the twenty-four sacred books, which were written long ago, about the year 600, by rabbi Moses ben-Hillel, in an exceedingly correct manner, and after which all copies were corrected, were taken away. I saw the remaining two portions of the same, viz. the earlier prophets (i.e., Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings), and the later prophets (i.e., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets), written in large and beautiful characters, which were brought to Portugal and sold in Africa, where they still are, having been written 900 years ago." Kimchi, in his grammar on Nu 15:4, says that the Pentateuch of this codex was extant in Toletola (בטוליטולה, Yuchasin, ed. Filipowski, Lond. 1857, page 220, col. 2). From this statement it may be deduced that this codex was written about the 7th century. As to the third opinion, deriving the name from Hilla, a town near Babel, ve may dismiss it as merely ingenious. A better opinion seems to be that of Strack (Prolegomena, page 16), who says, "Fortasse tamen recte cogitabis eum e numero τῶν סופרים in Hispania fuisse," This is also the opinion of the famous critic Jedidja Norzi (q.v.), who remarks, on Ge 1:5: "He was a very good Masoretic scholar, and a scribe in the city of Toletola." Whatever uncertainty may be about the derivation of its name, certain it is that this codex is very important for the criticism of the Old Test. Hebrew text, as the many quotations which we find in Norzi's critical commentary, entitled מנחת שי, published at Mantua, 1742-44, Vienna, 1813, Warsaw, 1860-66, and in Lonzano's critical work, entitled אור תורת, indicate. In the 12th century this codex was perused by the Jewish grammarian, Jacob ben-Eleazar, as David Kimchi testifies in his grammatical work, Mi'chlul (ed. Furth, 1793, fol. 78, col. 2), and rabbi Jacob ben-Eleazar writes that in the codex Hillel, which is at Toletola, he found that the daleth in תַּדַרוּ was raphe (De 12:1); and fol. 127, col. 2, in fine, he writes: "In the codex Hillel, which is at Toletola, the word תאפה (Le 6:10) is written with a tsere, תֵאָפֵה, and not תֵאָפֶה, as our present text has." We subjoin some readings of the codex Hillel:

Ge 4:8: In some editions of the Old Test. there is a space left between אחיו and ויַהי, and is marked in the margin by פסקא, i.e., space. The LXX., Samuel, Syr., Vul., and Jerus. Targum add, "let us go into the field." The space we have referred to is found in the editions of Buxtorf, Menasseh ben-Israel, Walton, Nissel, Hutter, Clodius, Van der Hooght. But, says Lonzano, the piska is a mistake of the printer, for in the MSS. which he consulted, and in codex Hillel, there is no space. The addition "let us go into the field," is not found by Symmachus, Theodotion, and Oukelos. Even Origen remarks δίέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πέδιον ἐν τῷ ῾Εβραϊκῷ οὐ γέγραπται (tom. 2:30).

Ge 9:29: A great many codd. and edd. read ויהיו but codex Hillel ויהי.

Ge 19:16: וִיַּתמִהַמִהּ here Lonzano remarks that the second mem is written with kanets in codd. and in cod. Hillel. In the edition of Bar and Delitzsch the word is thus written, וִיַּתמִהמָהּ.

Ge 19:20: אַמָּלטָה גָּא. Lonzano says that נא is raphe, but in cod. Hillel it is written with a dagesh. In Bar and Delitzsch's Genesis it is written raphe.

Ge 27:25: וִיָּבֵא לוֹ. In cod. Hillel, says Lonzano, the accent darga is in the yod. In our editions it is in, or'rather under, the beth; Bar and Delitzsch follow the cod. Hillel, and write וִיָּבֵא.

Genesis 39: מִראֶה. Norzi remarks that the codex Hillel writes with tsere מִראֵה.

Ge 42:16: הֵאָסרוּ. In the margin of an old codex, belonging nlowv to Dr. S. Bar; the editor of the new edition of the Old Test., in connection with professor Delitzsch, it is written בהלל האסרו, i.e., in the codex Hillel, the reading is with segol, הֶאסרי.

Ge 46:13: וּפֻיָּה. On this word Lonzano remarks that in Hillel and other codd. the vav is raphe, i.e., וּפֻוָה.

Ex 10:9: וּבזַקנֵנוּ Hillel, remarks Lonzano, is written מלא יודi.e., plene ובזקנינו -

Ex 37:8: כרוּב. In Hillel and in some other codd., remarks Lonzano, it is written with a makkeph.

Jos 21:35-36: Cod. Kennic. No. 357, reads in the margin לא מצינו אלו השני פסוקים בהללי, i.e., these two verses are not found in the codex Hillel. Similar is the remark in a MSS. formerly belonging to H. Lotze, of Leipsic. Pr 8:16: A great many codd., editions, and ancient versions, as Syrizac, Vulgate, Targum, and even the Grsecus Venetus, read here שפטי צרק, while the Complutensian text and other codd. read שפטי ארוֹ, which is also supported by codex Hillel, and is adopted in Bar's ed. of Proverbs.

These few examples will show the importance of the codex Hillel for the text of the Old Test. (B.P.)

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