Megerlin, David Friedrich

Megerlin, David Friedrich a noted German Orientalist and mystic, was born at Stuttgard near the opening of the 18th century. After holding for some time a professorship at the gymnasium at Montbelliard, he preached at Laubach, whence, in 1769, he removed to Frankfort-on-the-Main to continue in the pastorate. He died in August, 1769. Megerlin took a lively interest in the welfare of the Jews, and labored earnestly for their conversion. In 1756 he gained great notoriety by his public intercession in behalf of rabbi Eibeschiitz, who had published a cabalistic work containing many points to which his brethren had taken decided exception, particularly the favorable allusions to Sabbathai Zewi (q.v.). The Jews were greatly provoked with Eibeschiitz because they had found him a believer in the messiahship of the pretender Sabbathai, but Megerlin insisted that Eibeschutz had been misinterpreted, and that the rabbi was a believer in Jesus Christ. He made these views public in his Geheime Zeugnisse fir die Wahrheit der christlichen Religion (Leipsic, 1756, 4to); and in Neue Erweckung der Zerstreuten Judenschaft (1756), and Christlicher Zuruf an die Rabbinen (1757). His other valuable works are, De scriptis et collegiis orientalibus; item Observationes critico-theologicce (Tubing. 1729, 4to) :-Hexas orientalium. collegiorum philologicorum (1729, 4to) :-De Bibliis Latinis Moguntice primo impressis 1450-1462 (1750, 4to); and a translation of the Koran into German. See Meusel, Gelehrten-Lexikon, s.v.; Gratz, Gesch. der Juden, 10:416.

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