Midraish (Heb. מַדרָשׁ) is a word applied to the oldest Jewish exposition of the Scriptures-a peculiar, somewhat wild mode of interpretation, which appeals more to the feelings than to the reason.
I. Title and its Signification, etc. — The term מדרש, which is strangely rendered in the text of the A.V. by story (2Ch 13:22; 2Ch 24:27), is derived from the root דרש, to search into, to examine, to -investigate, to explain, and primarily denotes the study, the exposition of Holy Scripture, in the abstract and general sense. Thus it is said, "Not the study of it (המדרש), but the doing of the law is the chief thing" (Aboth, 1:17). The study or exposition of Holy Writ (מדרש) was effected in earlier times through public discourses, delivered on Sabbaths, festivals, and days of assembly, by the priests, Levites, elders of Israel, and prophets. During the period of the second Temple, when the canonical books and the written discourses 'of the older prophets became unintelligible to the mass of the' people, who spoke Hebraized Aramaic, these public expositions became more formal, and were delivered on a large scale by the lawyers, or Scribes (סופרים), as they are called in the N.T., the directors of schools (רברנן), graduated rabbins (רבות, only with suff. רבותינו), or learned men in general and members of societies (הברים).
II. Design and Classification. — The design of the Midrash or exposition varied according to circumstances. Sometimes the lecturer (דורש דרשן)
confined himself to giving a running paraphrase (מתורגמן) into the vulgar Aramaic, or the other dialects of the country, of the lessons from the Law and Prophets which were read in Hebrew, see HAPHTARAH, thus gradually giving rise to the Chaldee, Syriac, and Greek versions, so that these Targumim may be regarded as being the result, or forming part of the Midrash. The chief design of the Midrash, however, was to propound the Scriptures either logically or homiletically. Hence obtained that twofold mode of expression called the legal or Halachic exegesis, and the homiletic or Hagadic exegesis, and their respective literatures.
1. The Legal or Halachic Exegesis. — The object of this branch of exposition is to ascertain, by analogy, combination, or otherwise, the meaning of the law respecting exceptional cases about which there is no direct enactment in the Mosaic code, as it was the only rule of practice in the political and religious government of the Jews under all vicissitudes of the commonwealth, and as the motto of the expositors and administrators of it was " Turn it (i.e. the inspired code) over and over again, for everything is in it, and will be discovered therein" (Aboth, 5:22). The laws thus obtained, either by deduction from the text or introduction into it, are called Halachoth (הלכות, sing. הלכה, from ִהל, to go), the rule by which to go, the binding precept, the authoritative law, being equivalent to the Hebrew word משפטים (comp. Chaldee Paraphrase on Ex 21:9), and this mode of exposition, which is chiefly confined to the Pentateuch as the legal part of the O.T., is termed Halachic exegesis. These Halachoth (הלכות), some, of which are coeval with the enactments in the Pentateuch itself (De 17:11), while some are the labors of the Great Synagogue or the Sopherim = Scribes — beginning with Ezra, and terminating with Simon the Just — were for centuries transmitted orally, and hence are also called Shematha (שמעתא),i.e., that which was heard, or that which was- received by members of the chain of tradition. Those prohibitory laws or fences (גדר סיג, later גזרה) which the Sopherim were obliged to make on their own account in consequence of the new wants of the times, without being indicated in the Pentateuch, and which are called Sopheric precepts (דברי סופרים), and in the N.T. Tradition of the Elders (παράδοσις τῶν πρεσβυτέρων, Mt 15:2; Mr 7:3), are distinguished from the traditional laws which are deduced from the Bible. The latter are designated Deductions from the Laig (דאורייתא עקר), and are of equal authority with the Biblical precepts. The few learned men who during the period of the Sopherim (B.C. 450-300) wrote down some of these laws, or indicated them by certain signs (סמנים) or hints (רמזים) in their scrolls of the Pentateuch, only did so to assist their memory, and the documents are called Secret Scrolls (מגלות סתרים). These marginal glosses in the MSS. of the Law became the basis of the Masorah (q.v.). Gradually, however, these Halachoth were fully written down, and are embodied in the following works.
(1.) It was not till the period of the Tanaim (an honorable appellation given to those doctors who transmitted the oral law), B.C. 220-A.D. 220, that the fixing, collecting, and final redaction of the Halachah — this mass of juridico-political and religious practice, or doctrine of human and divine law (humani et divinijuris) — took place. The first attempt at a compilation' and rubrification of it was made by Hillel I (B.C. 75-A.D. 8), who classified and arranged the diverse laws under six sedarim (סדרים) or orders. In this he was followed by Akiba (A.D. 20-120), and Simon III b.-Gamaliel II, who was the president of the Sanhedrim A.D. 140-163, and whose son R. Jehudah I the Holy, called Rabbi κατ᾿ ἐξοχήν (died A.D. cir. 193), completed the final redaction of the code called Mishna (q.v.).
(2.) The Mishna, however, like the Pentateuch, soon became the subject of discussion or study, as many of its expositions and enactments are not only couched in obscure language, but are derived from antagonistic sources. Hence. like the divine code of the law, which it both supplements and expounds, the Mishna itself was expounded during the period of the Amoraim. or expositors; an appellation given to the public expositors of the oral law (הלכות), recorded by the Tanaim, A.D. 220-540, both in Jerusalem and Babylon. The result of these expositions is the two Talmuds, or more properly Gemaras, viz. the Jerusalem and the Babylon. SEE TALMUD.
(3.) Prior in point of age to the compilation of the Mishna is the commentary on Exodus, called Mechilta. which is composed of nine Tractates (מסיכתות), subdivided into sections (פרשיות), and treating on select sections of Exodus in the following order: The first tract treats on Ex 12:1-13:6, in eighteen sections; the second is on Ex 13:7-14:31, in six sections; the third is on Ex 15:1-21, in ten sections; the fourth is on Ex 15:22-17:7, in seven sections; the fifth
is on Ex 17:8-18:27, in four sections; the sixth is on Ex 19:1-20:22, in eleven sections; the seventh is on Ex 21:1-22:22, in eight sections; the eighth is on Ex 22:23-23:19, in two sections; and the ninth tract is on Ex 29:12-17; Ex 35:1-3, in two sections. The first compilation of the Mechilta was most probably made under the influence of R. Ishmael b.-Elisa, A.D. cir. 90, see ISHMAEL SEE ELISA, which accounts for the many maxims contained in it, and not to be found elsewhere. It was re-edited afterwards, and greatly altered (comp. Geiger, Urschrift, p. 434 sq.). It was printed at Constantinople in 1515; then again at Venice in 1545; then, with a commentary and revised text by M. Frankfurter (Amst.), in 1712; but the best edition is that by Landau (Vilna), in 1844. A Latin translation of it by Ugolino is given in his Thesaursus Antiquitatum Sacrum, volume 14 (Venice, 1752).
(4.) Commentary on Leviticus, called Siphraa, Sifra (ספרא), the Book; also Siphra D'be Rab (רב ספרא דבי), Siphra of the school of Rab, because Rab=Abba Areka, the first of the Amosraim, and founder of the celebrated school at Sora, of which he was president twenty-eight years (A.D. 219-247), is its author; and by some it is denominated Borsaitha shel Torath Cohanim '(בריתא של תורת כהנים), because the book of Leviticus which it expounds is called by the Jews the Code of the Priests (תורת כהנים, Jebamoth, 72 b; Rashi, on Levit. 9:23). The Siphra is divided into treatises (דיבורים), which are subdvided into sections (פרשות), and these again into chapters (פרקים). The first edition of it appeared, together with the Mechilta and Siphri, at Constantinople in 1515; then at Venice in 1545; and, with a very extensive commentary by Ibn Chajim, at Venice in 1609-11; with the commentary Ha-Tora Veha- Mitzva, by M.L. Malbim, at Bucharest in 1860. The best edition, however, is that by Schlossberg, with the commentary of Abraham b.-David, and the Massoreth Ha-Talmud of Weiss (Vienna, 1862). A Latin translation of it by Ugolino is given in his Thesaurus 'Antiquitatum Sacrumn (Venice, 1752), volume 14.
(5.) Commentary on Numbers and Deuteronomy, called Siphrae or Siphri (ספרי), the Books, also Siphre D'be Rab (ספרי דבי רב), because Rab, the author of the preceding work, is also the author of this commentary, and Vishallechu (וישלחו), because it begins with Numbers v, 2, where this word occurs. The commentary on Numbers is divided into one hundred and sixty-one chapters, and that on Deuteronomy into three hundred and fifty-seven. The Siphre first appeared with the Mechilta and Siphra at Constantinople in 1515; at Venice in 1545. The best edition of it is in two volumes, with the extensive commentary by Lichtstein (volume 1, Dyrhenfort, 1810; volume 2, Radvill, 1819). A Latin translation of it by Ugolino is given in his Thesaurus Antiquitatum Sacrum (Venice, 1753), volume 15.
2. The Homiletic or Hagadic Exegesis. — The design of this branch of the Midrash or exposition is to edify the people of Israel in their most holy faith, to encourage them to obedience, to commend to them the paths of virtue and morality, to stimulate them to all good works, and to comfort them in tribulation by setting before them the marvellous dealings of Providence with the children of man, the illustrious examples of the holy patriarchs, and the signal punishment of evil-doers from by-gone history — investing each character, and every event, with the halo or contumely, the poetry or the legend, which the fertile genius of the Hebrew nation and the creative power of tradition had called into existence in the course of-time. This branch of exposition extends over the whole Hebrew Scriptures, while the Halachic interpretation, as we have seen, is chiefly confined to the Pentateuch, which is the civil and legal portion of the Bible. It is also called Hagadah (הגדה; Chaldee אגדה, from נגד, to say), said, reported, on it, without its having any binding authority, in contradistinction to the Halachah, which is authoritative law. When it is stated that this department of Biblical exegesis is interspersed with homiletics, the beautiful maxims and ethical sayings of illustrious men, attractive mystical expositions about angels and demons, paradise and hell, Messiah and the Prince of Darkness; poetical allegories, symbolical interpretations of all the feasts and fasts, charming parables, witty epithalamiums, touching funeral orations, amazing legends, biographical and characteristic sketches of Biblical persons and national heroes; popular narratives, and historical notices of men, women, and events of by-gone days; philosophical disquisitions, satirical assaults on the heathen and their rites, able defences of Judaism, etc., etc., it will be readily understood why the Jewish nation gradually transferred to this storehouse" of Biblical arid national lore the name Midrash the exposition, κατ᾿ ἐξοχήν. This branch of public and popular exposition, in which the public at large naturally felt far more interest than in the dry disquisitions about legal enactments, being thus called by them The Midrash, the collection of works which contain this sacred and national lore obtained the name Midrashim (מדרשים), Commentaries, in the sense of Caesar's Commentaries. Hence the term Midrashic or Hagadic exegesis, so commonly used in Jewish writings, by which is meant an interpretation effected in the spirit of those national and traditional views. The following are the principal Mlidrashim, or commentaries, in the more restricted sense of the word, which contain the ancient Hagadic expositions. (It must here be remarked that as this branch of the Midrash embraces the whole cycle of ethics. metaphysics, history, theosophy, etc., as well as Biblical exposition, it has been divided into-1, General Hagadah or Hagadah Midrash, in its wider sense, treating almost exclusively on morals, history, etc.; and, 2, into Special Hagadah or Hagadah Midrash,-in its narrower, and Midrash in its narrowed sense, occupying itself almost entirely with Biblical exposition, and making the elements of the general Hagada subservient to its purpose. It would be foreign to the design of this article were we to discuss anything more than the Midrash in its narrowest sense.)
(1.) Midra-sh Rabboth (מדרש רבות), or simply Rabboth (רבות), which is ascribed to Oshaja b.-Nachmani (fl. A.D. 278), and derives its name from the fact that this collection begins with a Hagadah of Oshaja Rabba, contains ten Midrashim, which bears the respective names of —
1. Bereshith Rabba (בראשית רבא), abbreviated from Bereshith d'Rabbi Oshaja Rabba (דבי אושעיא רבא בראשית), on Genesis, divided into a hundred sections (פרשות).
2. Shemoth Rabbah (יבה שמות), on Exodus, in fifty-two sections.
3. Va-jikra Rabbah (ויקרא רבה), on Leviticus, in thirty-seven sections.
4. Ba-midbar Rabbah (במדבר רבה), on Numbers, in twenty-three sections.
5. Debarim Rabbah (דברים רבה), on Deuteronomy, in eleven sections.
6. Shir Ha-Shirimn Rabbah (שיר השירים רבה), also called Agadath Chasith (אגדת חזית), because the text begins with the word Chasith, on the Song of Songs.
7. Midrash Ruth Rabbah (מדרש רות רבה), on Ruth.
8. Midrash Eichah Rabbathi (איכה רבתי), on Lamentations.
9. Midrash Coheleth (מדרש קהלת), on Ecclesiastes.
10. Midrash Megillath Esther (אסתר מדרש מגילת, also called Hagadath Megillah (הגדת מגלה), on Esther.
This entire collection, which was first published at Venice in 1545, has been reprinted many times since (best edition by Schrentzel, with the different commentaries, Stettin, 1863, 2 volumes). Excerpts of the Midrash on Ruth, Esther, and Lamentations have been published in Latin by Schnell (Altdorf, 1650). The age of the compilation of the separate Midrashim constituting this collection is critically and elaborately discussed by Zunz, Die Gottesdienstlichen Vortrage der Juden, pages 174-184, 263 sq...
(2.) Pesikta (פסיקתא), compiled by Cahana or Kahana ben-Tachlifa, who was born about A.D. 330, and died in 411. This Midrash, which comprises a complete cycle of lectures on the Pericopes of the feasts and fasts, see HAPHTARAH, and which was lost for several centuries, has been restored by an anonymous writer about the year A.D. 846, and edited under the name Pesita Rabbathi (פסיקתא רבתי), intermixing it, however, with portions from the Midrash Jelammedenu. In this new form the Pesikta was first published by Isaac ben-Chajim Ha-Cohen (Prague, 1655). An excellent edition, entitled פסקתא רבתי עם הגדות ופרוש, with divisions into paragraphs, an emended text, extensive references, and a critical commentary and indices by Seeb (Wolf) ben-Israel Isser, was published in Breslau in 1831. The nature and date of this Midrash are discussed in a most masterly manner by Zunz, Die Gottesdienstlichen Vortraige, pages 185-226, 239-251: Rapaport, Erech Millin, page 171.
(3.) Midrash Tanchuma (מדרש תנחומא), i.e., the Midrash compiled by Tanchuma ben-Abba (flourished cir. A.D. 440), also called Midrash Jelammedenu (ילמדנו מדרש), from the fact that eighty-two sections begin with the formula ילמדנו, it will teach us. This Midrash extends over the whole Pentateuch, and consists of 140 sections. It contains extracts from the Mechilta, Siphre, Va-Ikra Rabba, Pesikta, and Boraitha de Rabbi Eliezer. and was first published after a redaction of the first Geonim period, when a great deal of it was lost, altered, and interpolated by Joseph ben-
Shoshan. (Constantinople, 1520; also Venice, 1545; Mantua, 1563; Salonica, 1578; with corrections after two MSS. and additions, Verona, 1595; and at different other places); the best edition is that with the twofold commentary by Chan. Sandel ben-Joseph (Vilna, 1833). For a thorough analysis of this Midrash we must refer to Zunz, Die Gottesdienstlichen Vortrage, pages 226-238.
(4.) Pirke Rabbi Eliezer (פרקי רבי אליעזר ), also called Boraitha or Agada de Rabbi Eliezer (ברייתא דרבי אליעזר אגדא או), because Eliezer ben-Hyrcanus (flourished cir. A.D. 70) is its reputed author. This Midrash, which discusses the principal events recorded in the Pentateuch, consists of fifty-four sections, treating respectively on the following important subjects: the life of R. Eliezer (sections 1 and 2); the creation (6); new moon (7); intercalary year (8); the fifth day's creation (9); the flight of Jonah, and his abode in the fish (10); the sixth day's creation (11); Adam, paradise, and the creation of the plants (12); the fall (13); the curse (14); paradise and hell (15); Isaac and Rebecca (16); the offices to be performed to bridal pairs and mourners (17);,the creation (18); the ten things created on the eve of the sixth creation day (19); the expulsion from paradise (20); Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel (21); the degeneracy of Cain's descendants and the flood (22);the ark and its occupants (23); the descendants of Noah, the tower of Babel (24); Sodom, Lot, and his wife (25); the ten temptations of Abraham (26); his rescuing Lot (27); God's covenant with Abraham (28); his circumcision (29); the sending away of Hagar and Ishmael, the condition of the Jews in the days of Messiah (30); Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac (31); Isaac bestowing the blessing on Jacob (32); the resurrection (33); future state (34); Jacob's dream (35); his sojourn with Laban (36); his wrestling with the angel (37); the selling of Joseph (38); Jacob's sojourn in Egypt (39); God's manifestation in the bush (40): the giving of the law (41); the exodus (42); the power of repentance (43); the conflict of Moses with Amalek (44); the golden calf. (45); the tables of stone and the atonement (46); the exploit of Phineas (47); the birth of Moses and the redemption from Egypt (48); Samuel, Saul, Agag,. Haman, Mordecai, Titus, Nebuchadnezzar. Ahasuerus, Vashti, and Esther (49, 50); the new creation (51); the seven wonders of the world (52); the punishment of calumny, Absalom and David (53); and the leprosy of Miriam (54). This Midrash, which is chiefly written in pure and easy Hebrew, was first published at Constantinople in 1514, and has since been reprinted numerous times; but the best edition is with the critical commentary called the Great Edifice (בית הגדול), emended text and references to Talmud and Midrashim by Broda (Vilna, 1838; a more convenient edition of it, Lemberg, 1858). A Latin translation by Vorst was published under the title Capitula R. Eliezeris continentia imprimis succinctam historiae sacrae recensionens, etc., cum vett. Rabb. Commentariis (Leyden, 1644). The composition and age of this Midrash are discussed by Zunz, Die Gottesdienstlichen Vortrage, pages 271-278.
(5.) Midrash on Samuel, called (רבתא מדרש שמואל]) Midrash Shemuel [Rabbatha], divided into thirty-two sections (פרשות), twenty-four of which are devoted to 1 Samuel and eight to 2 Samuel It is chiefly made up of excerpts from older works, and the compiler is supposed to have lived about the beginning of the 11th century. Rashi is the first who quotes this Midrash (Comment. on Chronicles 10:13). It was first published at Constantinople in 1517, and has since been frequently reprinted with the Midrash described below. The best editions of it are the one with the twofold commentary Ez Joseph and Anaph Joseph, references to the parallel passages in the Talmud and Midrashim, etc., by Schrentzel (Stettin, 1860); and the other published together with the Midrash on Proverbs and the commentary of Isaac Cohen (Lemberg, 1861).
(6.) Midrash on the Psalms, called (רבתא מדרש תלים) Midrash Tillim [Rabbatha], Hagadath Tillim (הגדת תלים), or Shochar Tob (שחר טוב), after the words with which it commences. With the exceptions of seven psalms — viz. 42, 96, 97, 98, 115, 123, and 131 — this Midrash extends over the whole Psalter. As it contains extracts from the Babylonian Talmud, the Pesikta, Boraitha of R. Eliezer, Tanchuma, and Pesikta Rabbathi, it must have been compiled about the end of the 10th century, most probably in Italy. It was first published at Constantinople in 1512. The portion on Psalm 119, which extends to the first verses of the letter ק, is called Midrash Alpha Betha (מדרש אלפא ביתא), from the fact that this is an alphabetic psalm; it has been published separately (Salonica, 1515). The Midrash on the Psalms has frequently been published together with the Midrash on Samuel, under the title Midrash Shochar Tob (טוב שוחר), which properly belongs only to that on the Psalms.
(7.) Midrash on Proverbs, called (רבתא מדרש משלי]) Midrash Mishle [Rabbatha], consists of a compilation of those maxims and expositions from former works which are best calculated to illustrate and explain the import of the book of Proverbs. The compiler, who lived about the middle of the 11th century, omits all the references to the original sources, discards the form of lectures, and assumes that of a commentary. The first edition of this Midrash appeared at Constantinople in 1512-17, with the commentary Sera Abraham (Vilna, 1834), and the commentary of Isaac Cohen (Stettin, 1861).
(8.) Midrash Jalkut (מדרש ילקוט), or Jalkut Shimoni (ילקוט שמעוני), i.e., the collection or compilation of Simeon, who flourished in the 11th century. This Midrash, which extends over the whole Hebrew Scriptures, is described in the article CARA SEE CARA in this Cyclopaedia.
III. Method and Plan of the Midrash. — In discussing its method and plan; it must be borne in mind that the Midrash first developed itself in public lectures and homilies; that the ancient fragments of these discourses became afterwards literary commodities, serving frequently as the groundwork of literary productions; and that the Midrashic writers or compilers mixed up other matters and pieces of their own composition with the remnants of expository lectures. The ancient relics, however, are easily discernible by their dialect, diction, etc., and by the authority to whom they are ascribed. That there was a method in them has been shown by the erudite and indefatigable Jellinek, than whom there is no greater authority on the subject. He points out the following plan as gathered from the ancient fragments:
1. The lecturer first set forth the theme of his discourse in a passage of Scripture enunciating the particular truth which he wished to unfold, and then illustrated it by a parable, and enforced it by a saying which was popular in the mouth of the people. This rule is given in the Midrash itself (comp. מקרא ויש להם משל ויש להם מליצה יש להן וכולהון, Midrash on the Song of Solomon, 1a).
2. The attention of the audience was roused and the discourse was enlivened by the lecturer using a foreign word instead of a well-known expression, or by employing a Greek, Latin, Aramaic, or Persian term in addition to the Hebrew (comp. Aruch, s.v. אדודקי). This accounts for the striking fact that so many foreign words occur in the Midrash to express things for which the Hebrew has expressions, and that both Hebrew and foreign words, expressing the same idea, stand side by side (comp.
מחדר לחדר ומקיטון לקיטון Midrash Rabbah on Genesis, c. 7; בת טובים ובת גינוסין, Midrash on the Song of Solomon, 1a).
3. The lecturer increased the beauty of his discourse by trying to discover analogies between numbers and persons related to each other — e.g. between David and Solomon. Comp. Midrash on the Song of Songs, ibid.
4. The lecture was also rendered more attractive by being interspersed with plays upon words, which were not intended to explain or corroborate a statement, but were simply meant to create a pleasant feeling in the audience. Hence, to judge of the frequent plays upon words by the rules of hermeneutics is to misunderstand the esthetics of the Hagadah.
5. It was considered as ornamenting the discourse, and pleasing to the audience, when single words were reduced to their numerical value in order to put a certain point of the lecture in a clearer light. Thus, e.g., the lecturer speaking of Eliezer, Abraham's faithful servant, and being desirous to show that he alone was worth a host of servants, remarked that Eliezer (אליעזר, 1+30+10+70+7+200=318) is exactly as much as the three hundred and eighteen young men mentioned in Ge 14:14. Comp. Midrash Rabboth on Genesis, chapter 42. When it is remembered that the Hebrew letters were commonly used as numbers, it will be easily understood how the audience would be rejoiced to see a word converted so dexterously into figures.
6. To relieve the discourse of its monotony, the lecturer resolved a long word into several little words, or formed new words by taking away a letter or two from the preceding and following words in the same sentence.
"If the Midrash is read with the guidance of these nesthetical canons," continues Dr. Jellinek, "we shall find in it less arbitrariness and more order. We shall, moreover, understand its method and plan, and often be put in a position to distinguish the original discourse from the literary element of a later date, as well as from interpolations. For the confirmation of our aesthetical canons, let the reader compare and analyze chapters 2, 3, and 5 of Midrash Rabboth on Genesis" (Ben Chanamja, 4:383 sq.).
IV. Halachic and Hagadic Rules of Interpretation. — The preceding exposition of the method and plan of the Midrash has prepared us to enter upon the Halachic wand Hagadic rules of interpretation which were collected and systematized by Elieser ben-Jose the Galilaean (יוסי הגלילי), one of the principal interpreters of the Pentateuch in the 2d century of the Christian era. According to this celebrated doctor, whose sayings are so, frequently recorded in the Talmud and the Siphri, there are thirty-two rules (שלשים ושתים מדות) whereby the Bible is to be interpreted, which are as follows:
1. By the superfluous use of the three particles גם את, and אŠ, the Scriptures indicate in a threefold manner, that something more is included in the text than the apparent declaration would seem to imply. Thus, e.g., when it is said, Ge 21:1, "And the Lord visited (שרה את) Sarah; the superfluous את, which sometimes denotes with, is used to indicate that with Sarah the Lord also visited other barren women. The second, גם, is used superfluously in the passage "take also your herds, and also (גם) your flocks" (Ex 12:32), to indicate that Pharaoh also gave the Israelites sheep and oxen, in order to corroborate the declaration made in Ex 10:25; while the superfluous אŠ, 2Ki 2:14, "He also (אŠ) had smitten the waters," indicates that more wonders were shown to Elisha at the Jordan than to Elijah, as it is declared in 2Ki 2:9. This rule is called ריבוי, inclusion, more being meant than said.
2. By the superfluous use of the three particles ִרק א, and מן, the Scriptures point out something which is to be excluded. Thus, e.g., ִא in Ge 7:23, "And Noah only (ִא) remained," shows that even Noah was near death, thus indicating exclusion. The superfluous רק in "Only (רק) the fear of God is not in this place" (Ge 20:11), shows that the inhabitants were not altogether godless; while מן in Ex 18:13, "And the people stood by Moses from (מן) the morning unto the evening," indicates that it did not last all day, but only six hours (Sabbath, 10a). This rule is called מיעוט, diminution, exclusion.
3. If words denoting inclusion follow each other, several things are included. Thus in 1Sa 17:36, "Thy servant slew also (גם את) the lion, also (גם) the bear," three superfluous expressions follow each other, to show that he slew three other animals besides the two expressly mentioned in the text. This rule is called אחר ריבוי ריבוי, inclusion after inclusion.
4. If words denoting exclusion follow each other, several things are excluded. Thus in Nu 12:2, "Hath the Lord indeed only spoken to Moses? hath he not also spoken to us?" the superfluous expressions רקand ִא which follow each other denote that the Lord spoke to Aaron and Miriam before he spoke to Moses, thus not only without the lawgiver being present to it, but before God spoke to him, and not only did he speak to Aaron, but also to Miriam, so that there is here a twofold exclusion. If two or more inclusive words follow each other, and do not admit of being explained as indicative of inclusion, they denote exclusion. Thus, e.g., if the first word include the whole, while the second only includes a part, the first inclusion is modified and diminished by the second. If, on the contrary, two or more exclusive words follow each other, and do not admit of being explained as indicative of exclusion, they denote inclusion. Thus, e.g., if the first exclude four, while the second only excludes two, two only remain included, so that the second exclusive expression serves to include or increase. This rule is called מיעוט מיעוט אחר, exclusion after exclusion, and the two exceptions are respectively denominated ריבוי אלא למעט אין ייבוי אחר, inclusion after inclusion effecting diminution, and אין מיעוט אחר מיעוט אלא לרבות. exclusion after exclusion effecting increase (comp. Pessachimn, 23a; Joma, 43a; Megilla, 23b; Kiddushin, 21b; Baba-Kama, 45b; Sanhedrin, 15a; with Menachoth, 34a).
5. Expressed inference from the minor to the major, called קל וחומר מפורש. An example of this rule is to be found in Jer 12:5, "If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, [inference] then how canst thou contend with horses?"
6. Implied inference fromn the minor to the major, calledקל וחומר סתום. This is found in Ps 15:4: "He sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not," hence how much less if he swear to his advantage (comp. Maccoth, 24a).
7. Inference from analogy or parallels, called שוה גזרה. Thus it is said of Samuel, that " there shall no razor come upon his head" (1Sa 1:11), and the same language is used with respect to Samson — "No razor shall come on his head" (Jg 13:5); whereupon is based the deduction from analogy, that just as Samson was a Nazarite, so also Samuel (Nasir, 66a).
8. Building of the father (בנין אב) is the property of any subject which is made the starting-point, and to constitute a rule (אב, a father) for all similar subjects. Thus, e.g.; in Ex 3:4, it is stated, "God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses;" hence it concludes that whenever God spoke to Moses, he addressed him in the same manner. SEE HILLEL and SEE ISMAEL BEN-ELISA.
9. Brachylogy (דר ִקגרה). The Scriptures sometimes express themselves briefly, and words must be supplied. Thus, e.g. ותכל דוד, where it ought to be ותכל נפש דוד, and David's soul was consumed, נפש being omitted; again, 1Ch 17:5, where מאוהל אל אוהל ומֹמשכן ואהוה ought to be ִמאוהל אל אוהל וממשכן למשכן ואהיה מתהל, "And I went from tent to tent, and from tabernacle to tabernacle," the words ִמתהל and למשכן being omitted.
10. Repetition (דבר שהוא שנוי). The Scriptures repeat a thing in order to indicate thereby something special. Thus it is said in Jer 7:4, "Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord;" the last phrase is repeated three times, to indicate that though his people Israel celebrate feasts in the temple three times in the year, the Lord will not regard it because they do not amend their ways.
11. The separation and order of the verses (שנחלק סדור) are designed to convey some explanation. Thus verses 18 and 19 of 2 Chronicles 30 ought to be differently placed (comp. Rashi, ad loc.).
12. A subject often explains itself while it imparts information on other subjects (למד דבר שבא ללמד ונמצא). Thus, "Its cry, it shall arise like that of a serpent" (Jer 46:22), indicates that the serpent must have raised a tremendous cry after the curse which the Lord pronounced against it, since we are nowhere else told that there was any occasion on which it cried; and that Egypt raises an equally loud cry — thus serving to give information upon another subject, and at the same time explaining itself (comp. Sofa, 9b).
13. A general statement is made first, and is followed by a single remark, which is simply to particularize the general. This rule is called אלא פרטו של ראשון בלל שאחריו מעשה ואינו, and is illustrated by Ge 1:27, where the creation of man is recorded in general terms "Male and female created he them;" while Ge 2:7, which describes the creation of Adam, and Ge 2:21, which speaks of the creation of Eve, are simply the particulars of Ge 1:27, and not another record or contradiction.
14. A great and incomprehensible thing is represented by something small to render it intelligible. This rule is called ִשהיא שומעת דבר גדול שנתלה בקטן להשכיע האוזן כדר, and is illustrated by De 32:2 "My doctrine shall drop as the rain;" where the great doctrines of revelation are compared with the less significant rain, in order to make them comprehensible to man; and by Am 3:8 — "When the lion roareth, who doth not fear? the Lord speaketh," etc.; where the lion is compared with the Deity, to give man an intelligible idea of the power of God.
15. When two Scriptures seem to contradict each other, a third Scripture will reconcile them ויכריַע ביניהים המכחישים את את זה עד שיבא הכתוב השלישי שני כתובים. Thus it is said in 2Sa 24:9, "There were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men," in contradiction to 1Ch 21:5, where "a thousand thousand and a hundred thousand men that drew sword" — three hundred: thousand more are said to have been among all Israel. The apparent contradiction is reconciled by 27:1, where it is said, "The children of Israel after their number; to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers who served the king in all matters of the courses, who came in and went out, was, month by month, through all the months of the year, twenty-four thousand in each course." From this it is evident that the number of these servants for twelve months amounted to two hundred and eighty-eight thousand, and as the chief fathers of Israel consisted of twelve .thousand, we obtain the three hundred thousand who were noted in the registers of the king, and therefore are not mentioned in 2Sa 24:9. Thus the two apparently contradictory Scriptures are reconciled by a third Scripture. It deserves to be noticed that this ancient interpretation is now generally followed, and that it is espoused by Dr. Davidson, Sacred Hermeneutics (Edinb. 1843), page 546, etc.
16. An expression used for the first time is explained by the passage in which it occurs (דבר מיוחד במקומו). Thus, e.g., Hanuah is the first who in her prayer addresses God as "Lord of Hosts; whence it is concluded that the superfluous expression hosts indicates that she must have argued to this effect — "Lord of the universe, thou hast erected two worlds (צבאות); if I belong to the nether world I ought to be fruitful, and if to the upper I ought to live forever." Hence the expression is designed for this passage (Berachoth, 31b).,
17. A circumstance is not fully described in the passage in which it first occurs, but is explained elsewhere (דבר שאינו מתפרש במקומו ומתפרש במקום אחר). Thus it is stated in Ge 2:8, where the garden. of Eden is first mentioned, that there were in it all manner of fruit; but it is not to be gathered from this passage that there was anything else in the garden; while from Eze 28:13, where this passage is further explained, it is evident that there were also precious stones in Paradise.
18. Athing is named in part, but comprises the whole (דבר שנאמר במקצת והוא נוהג בכל). Thus in Ex 22:30 it is forbidden to eat flesh "torn of beasts in the field;" and in Le 22:8, it is said, "That which is torn he shall not eat," here also forbidding that which is torn in the city. The use of the expression field in the first passage is owing to the fact that beasts are far more frequently torn in it than in the city; and the Scriptures mention the common and not the uncommon occurrences. Hence in the expression field everything is comprised — city, country, forest, mountain, valley, etc.
19. The respective predicates of two subjects in the same passages may refer to both alike (וה ה לחבירו דבר שנאמר בזה). Thus, "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart" (Ps 97:11), does not imply that the former is without gladness and the latter without light, but what is predicated of one also belongs to the other (comp. Taanith, 15a).
20. The predicate of a subject may not refer to it at all, but to the one next to it (ענין לו והוא ענין לחבירו דבר שנאמר בזה ואינו). Thus there mark, "This to Judah" (De 33:7), does not refer to Judah, since it is said further on, "And he said, Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah," but to Simeon, whom Moses hereby blesses after Reuben.
21. When a subject is compared with two things, it is to receive the best attributes of both (מדות ואתה נותן לו כח היפה שבשתיהן דבר שהוקש לשתי). Thus, "The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like a cedar in Lebanon" (Ps 92:12) the comparison is with the best qualities of both (comp Taanith, 25a).
22. The first clause explains by its parallelism the second, to which it refers (דבר שחירו מויח עלּיו). Thus, "A gift in secret pacifieth anger," in the first hemistich signifying the anger of God, shows that "and a reward in the bosom strong wrath" (Pr 21:14), in the second hemistich, refers to the strong wrath of God (comp. Baba Bathra, 9b).
23. The second clause in parallelism explains the first hemistich, to which it refers (חבירו דבר שהוא מוכיח). Thus, "The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness; the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh" (Ps 29:8). Here Kadesh, though comprised in the expression wilderness of the first clause, is used in the second clause to heighten the strength of the first hemistich, by showing that the wilderness must have been shaken exceedingly, since Kadesh, the great wilderness, was shaken (comp. De 1:16).
24. A subject included in a general description is excepted from it to convey a special lesson (בכלל ויצא מן הכלל ללמד על עצמו יצא דבר שהיה). Thus, "Joshua, the son of Nun, sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go, view the land, and Jericho" (Jos 2:1). Here Jericho is superfluous; since it is comprised in the general term land, but it is especially mentioned to indicate that Jericho by itself was equal in power and strength to the whole country. Hence that which is excepted teaches something special about itself.
25. A. subject included in a general description is excepted from it to teach something special about another subject (חבירו דבר שהיה בכלל ויצא מן הכלל ללמד על). Thus the command, "Ye shall take no redemption-price for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death" (Nu 35:31), is entirely superfluous, since it is included in the declaration already made "As he hath done, so shall it be done to him" (Le 24:19). It is, however, mentioned especially to be a guide for other punishments, since it is concluded from it that it is only for murderers that no redemption-price is to be taken, but that satisfaction may be taken in case of one knocking out his neighbor's tooth or eye (comp. Kethuboth, 37b, 38a).
26. Parable (משל). Thus, "The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them, and they said unto the olive-tree, Reign thou over us" (Jg 9:8), where it is the Israelites and not the trees who said to Othniel, son of Kenaz, Deborah and Gideon reign over us. So also the remark, "And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city" (De 22:17), is parabolic, meaning that they should make their testimony as clear as the cloth (comp. Kethuboth, 46a).
27. The preceding often explains what follows (שדורשין ממעל בהגדה מנין). Thus, "And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well, executing that which is right in mine eyes... thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel" (2Ki 10:30), is to be explained by what precede, Because Jehu destroyed four generations of the house of Ahab-viz. Omri, Ahab, Joram, and his sons, as is stated (comp. verse 13) — therefore shall four generations of his house remain on the throne.
28. Antithetic sentences often explain each other by their parallelism (מנין שדורשין טנגר בהגדה). Thus in Isa 30:16, "But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee, and ride upon rapid runners; therefore shall your pursuers run;" the words wherewith they have sinned are put in parallelism with the words of punishment, couched in the same language and in similar expressions.
29. Explanations are. obtained by reducing the letters of a word to their numerical value (גמטריא בהגדה מנין שדורשים), and substituting for it another word or phrase of the same value, or by transposing the letters (חלוŠ אותיות). For an instance of the first we must refer to the reduction of אליעזר to 318, given in the preceding section. The second part of this rule is illustrated by examples which show that several modes of transposing the letters were resorted to. Thus ִשש, Sheshach, is explained by בבל, Babel (Jer 25:26; Jer 51:41), and לב קמי by כשדים (ibid. 51:1), by taking the letters of the alphabet in their inverse order; א, the first letter, is expressed by ת, the last letter of the alphabet; ב, the second letter, by ש, the last but one; ג by ר; ד by ק; ה by צ, and so on. This principle of commutation is called Atbash (את בש), from the first two specimen pairs of letters which indicate the interchange. Or the commutation is effected by bending the alphabet exactly in the middle, and putting one-half over the other, and the interchange is א for ל, ב for מ, ג for נ. This mode is termed Albam (אל ב ם), from the first two specimen pairs of letters which indicate the interchange (comp. Nedarim, 32a; Sanhedrin, 22a).
30. An explanation is to be obtained by either dividing a word into several words, or into syllables, and transposing these syllables, or into letters, and taking each letter as an initial or abbreviation of a word. This rule is termed מנין שדורשין נוטריקון בהגדה, and is illustrated by the word אברהם being divided into המון גוים אב, the father of many nations; by כרמל being divided into מל and כר, and the latter transposed into ִר, viz. soft and grindable; and by every letter of נמרצת (1Ki 2:8) being taken as standing for a word, viz.: נואŠ נ, adulterer; מואבי מ, Moabite; רוצח ר, murderer; צורר צ, apostate; and תועבה ת, abhorred (comp. Sabbath, 105a).
31. Words and sentences are sometimes transposed (מוקדם שהוא מאוחר בענין). Thus 1Sa 3:3, "And ere the lamp of God went out, and Samuel was lying in the temple of the Lord," the words בהיכל יהוה, in the temple of the Lord, which are placed later in the sentence, evidently belong to יכבה, went out, since no one was allowed to sit down in the Temple except the kings of the house of David, much less to lie down. So also in Psalm 34 where verse 18 must be taken up to verse 16 (comp. Kiddushin, 78 b; Baba Kama, 106).
32. Whole sentences are sometimes transposed (מאוחר שהוא בפרשות מוקדם). Thus, e.g. the record, "And he said unto him, Take me a heifer of three years old," etc. (Ge 15:9, etc.), ought properly to precede ch. 14, inasmuch as it is anterior in point of time. This reversed order is owing to the fact that the Scriptures for some reason put certain events which occurred earlier in time after later occurrences (comp. Berachoth, 7b, with Pessachim, 6 b).
Besides these thirty-two rules, the following laws of interpretations must be mentioned:
i. Deduction from Juxtaposition. — When two laws immediately follow each other, it is inferred that they are similar in consequences. Thus it is said in Ex 22:18-19, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death;" whence it is inferred that these two enactments are placed close to each other to indicate the manner of death a witch is to suffer, which the Scriptures nowhere define. Now, as he who cohabits with an animal is, according to the Halachah based upon Leviticus 20 to be stoned to death, hence it is concluded that a witch is to die in the same manner.
ii. All repetitions of words, as well as the construction of the finite verb with the infinite, e.g. תשיב העבט תעביטנו השב, have a peculiar signification, and must be explained. Some, however, maintain that the Bible, being written in human language, employs these repetitions (דיברה תורה כלשון בני אדם) in accordance with the usus loquendi (Mishna Baba Mezia, 2:9; 12:3; Gemara, ibid. 31; Jerusalem Nedarin, 1:1; Kethuboth, 77b; Berachoth, 31b).
iii. Letters are to be taken from one word andjoined to another, orformed into new words. Thus, e.g. את נחלתו לשארו ונתתמ, "Then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman" (Nu 27:11), is explained by ונתתם את נחלת שאר לו, "And ye shall give the inheritance of his wife to him," i.e., the husband, by taking away the ו from נחלתו and the ל from לשארו, thus obtaining the word לו; and it is deduced therefrom that a man inherits the property of his (שאר) wife (comp. Baba Bathra, 3:6; Menachoth, 74a). This rule is called גורעין ומוסיפין ודורשין.
iv. A word is to be explained both with the preceding and following words. Thus, ילדה לו ולה שפחה מצרית ושמה הגר ושרי אשת אברם לא, "And Sarai, Abraham's wife, bare him no children; and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar" (Ge 16:1), is explained, "And Sarai, Abraham's wife, bare no children to him and to herself" (לו ולה); and then again, to him (i.e., Abraham) and to her (i.e., Sarai) there was a handmaid (לו ולה שפכה). This rule is called מקרא נדרש לפניי ולאחריו, and is not admitted by some (comp. Sabbath, 32 b; Menachoth, 19a).
v. The letters of a word are sometimes transposed. Thus עמלנו, "our labor" (De 25:7), is made to mean our children, עלמנו, by transposing the מ and the ל.
vi. Letters resembling each other in sound or appearance, or belonging to the same organ of speech, are interchanged. Thus יעקב תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהלת, "Moses commanded us the law, an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob" (De 33:4), is explained, "The law which Moses has given us, is the BETROTHED or WIFE (מאֹרָשָׂה) of the congregation of Jacob," by changing the ו in מורשה for א, and שׁ for שׂ.
The alteration produced by rules 5 and 6 and which are in the Talmudic and post-Talmudic period generally introduced by the remark ִאל תקרי כ ִאלא כ, Read not so and so, but so and so, must not be taken for emendations of the text of various readings, but are simply another mode of obtaining an additional meaning of the text. It was argued that as the literal and limited sense of the Bible, read in the stereotyped order, could not yield sufficiently the divine and inexhaustible mind couched in those letters, every transposition, commutation, etc., ought to be resorted to in order to obtain as much as possible of the infinite idea; especially as every such effort yielded that sense and meaning thoroughly in harmony with what might justly be expected from Holy Scripture. It was therefore regarded as probable that the Bible designed to indicate it in addition to what the regular order and reading of the words conveyed. It must also be remembered that some of these rules, especially those which involved an alteration of the text and a departure from the literal meaning, were not used in Halachic exegesis, and that the Hagadic exegesis employs many more than those we have specified. In fact, anything and everything is resorted to which can make the text speak comfort and consolation in every time of need, or connect the legends about Scriptural characters with the Biblical record. The puerility and extravagance of many of the rules are obvious, while others are of acknowledged value. SEE CABALA.
V. Importance of the Halachic and Blagadic Exegesis. — When it is borne in mind that the annotators and punctuators of the Hebrew text, and the translators of the ancient versions, were Jews impregnated with the theological opinions of the nation, and prosecuted their Biblical labors in harmony with these opinions, and the above-named exegetical rules, the importance of the Halachic and Hagadic exegesis to the criticism of the Hebrew text, and to a right understanding of the Greek, Chaldee, Syriac, and other versions, as well as of the quotations of the O.T. in the N.T., can hardly be overrated. If it be true and few will question the fact that every successive English version, either preceding or following the Reformation, reflects the peculiar notions about theology, Church government, and politics of each period and of every dominant party; and that even the most literal translation of modern days is, in a certain sense, a commentary of the translator; we ought to regard it as natural that the Jews, without intending to deceive, or wilfully to alter the text, should by the process of the Midrash introduce or indicate, in their Biblical labors, the various opinions to which shifting circumstances gave rise. Let a few specimens from the Hebrew text, and the ancient versions, suffice to illustrate the Midrashic process, and its paramount importance to Biblical criticism.
1. The Hebrew Text and the Masorah. — The influence of the Halachic and Hagadic exegesis on the formation of the Hebrew text and the Masorah is far greater than has hitherto been imagined, though the limits of this article only admit of a few examples. Thus, e.g., the question put by Isaiah to Hezekiah, "The shadow has gone forward (הָלִך) ten degrees; shall it go back ten degrees?" (2Ki 20:9) as the Hebrew text has it, is not only grammatically incorrect, inasmuch as the repetition of the ten degrees a second time requires the article, but is at variance with the king's reply given in verse 10, from which it is evident that the prophet asked him whether the shadow should go forwards OR backwards ten degrees, that Hezekiah chose the latter because it was more difficult and wonderful, and that the original reading was הֲיֵלֵך, instead of הָלִך; and, indeed, this reading is still preserved by the Chaldee, the Syriac, the Vulgate, etc.; is followed by Luther and the Zurich version, whence it found its way into Coverdale, the Bishop's Bible, and has finally got into the A.V. The mystery about the origin of the present textual reading is solved when we bear in mind the Hagadic explanation of the parallel passage in Isa 38:8. Now, tradition based upon this passage tells us that the shadow or the sun had gone ten degrees forwards at the death of Ahaz, and the day was thus shortened to two hours (אותו היום שמת בו אחז שתי שעות היה, Sanhedrin, 96a), in order that his burial might be hasty and without royal honors, and that now these ten degrees went backwards. Hence the present reading, which was effected by the trifling alteration of ִהיל into
ִהל, i.e., "the shadow," the prophet is made to say to the king, "Has once gone forward ten degrees" (i.e., at the death of Ahaz); "shall it now go backward ten degrees?" Thus the Midrashic exposition of Isa 38:8, it may be supposed, gave rise to the textual reading of 2Ki 20:9. For the influence of the Halachic and Hagadic exegesis on the Masorah and the various readings, we must refer to Krochmal, More Neboche Ha-Jeman (Lemberg, 1851), page 169 sq. SEE KERI AND KETHIB; SEE NETHINIM.
2. The Greek Versions. — That the Septuagint is pervaded by the Halachic and Hagadic exegesis may almost be seen on every page of this version. A few examples must suffice. Thus, e.g., the Septuagint rendering of חיה by ζωογονοῦντων, in Le 11:47, is only to be explained when it is borne in mind that, according to the Halachah, the prohibition respecting טרפה (Ex 22:30, etc.) does not simply refer to animals torn by wild beasts, but to every animal which is sickly and maimed, though belonging to the clean animals allowed to be eaten in Leviticus 11; and that one of the sure tests whether an animal is healthy, and hence eatable, is when it bears young ones; barrenness is an infallible sign of its sickly condition (comp. Chulin, 24 with 58; Salomon ben-Adereth, Respons. 108; Torath Cohanim, 124) hence the Septuagint rendering, "Between those which bear young ones and [for this reason] may be eaten, and those which bear young ones and may not be eaten," because they belong to the animals proscribed. Again, the rendering of Jos 13:22, הרגו בחרב ואת בלעם, by καὶ τὸν Βαλαὰμ... ἀπέκτειναν... ἐν ῥοπῇ, which has caused such perplexity to commentators and given rise to diverse emendations (e.g. προνομῇ, Oxf.; ἐν ῥομφαια ἐν τροπῇ, Ald. and Complut.), is at once explicable when reference is made to the Hagadah, which is quoted in Jonathan ben-Uzziel's Chaldee Paraphrase of Nu 31:6, and is as follows: "Balaam flew into the air by his magic arts, and Phinehas threw him down;" so that ἐν ῥοπῇ means in the fall (comp. also Rashi on Nu 31:6).
Symmachus, too, cannot be understood in many of his translations without reference to the Halachic and Hagadic exegesis. Thus the apparently strange rendering of לא תבשׁל גדי בחלב אמו by οὐ σκευάσεις ἔριφον διὰ γάλακτος μητρὸς αὐτοῦ (Ex 23:19) becomes intelligible when it is remembered that the Halachah not only prohibits the cooking, but the mixing and eating of animal meat and milk in any form (comp. Mechilta, ad loc.; Cholin, 115). Hence the rendering of תבשׁל by σκευάσεις. The rendering of ויואל משׁה by ὥρκισε δὲ Μωϋσήν (Ex 1:21), which has been thought very extraordinary and inexplicable, becomes perfectly plain when the Hagadah on this passage is consulted, which tells us that Jethro demanded of Moses to swear that he would devote to idolatry his first-begotten son by Zipporah, and that Moses consented to it; and remarks further, Then said Jethro, Swear, and Moses swore to him, as it is written, ויואל משׁה. Now אלה denotes to swear, as in 1Sa 14:24, and 2Ki 5:23 (comp. Mechilta, sec. Jethro, beginning quoted in Jalkut, ad loc.; Nedarim, 65a).
These few specimens must suffice, for, greatly important as the subject is, the limits of this article prevent us from giving illustrations of the influence which the Halachic and Hagadic exegesis exercised upon the other Greek versions, as well as upon the Chaldee paraphrases, the Syriac version, the Vulgate, the Arabic, and the expositions of the early fathers.
VI. Literature. — Zunz, Die gottesdienstlichen Vortrage der Juden (Berlin, 1832), page 35 sq.; Hirschfeld, Halachische Exegese (Berlin, 1840); by the same author, Die hagadische Exegese (Berlin, 1847); Sachs, Die religiose Poesie der Juden in Spanien (Berlin,. 1845), page 141 sq.; Rapaport, Erech Millin (Prague, 1852), art. Agada, page 6 sq.; Frankel, Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta (Leipsic, 1841), page 179 sq.; by the same author, Ueber den Einfluss der palastinischen Exegese auf die alexandrinische Hermeneutik (Leipsic, 1851); and Programm zur Eroffnung des judisch-theologischen Seminars zu Breslau (Breslau, 1854); Luzzatto, Oheb. Ger. (Vienna, 1831); Pinner, Vorstudien zum Talmud (Berlin, 1831); Geiger, Urschrift und Uebersetzung der Bibel (Breslau, 1857); Steinschneider, Jewish Literature (London, 1857), page 5 sq.; Deutsch, in Lond. Quarterly Review, April 1867 sq., art. on Talmud; Ginsburg, Historical and Critical Commentary on Ecclesiastes (London, 1861), page 30 sq., 455 sq.; and the literature there referred to.