Moses Ben-shesheth

Moses ben-Shesheth a Jewish interpreter of the Bible, who deserves to be ranked among the ablest exegetists of his people, flourished during the 12th century in Spain and Italy. But little is accessible regarding his personal history. His works, however, remain, and they are masterpieces, whether treating of Hebrew grammar, Old-Testament lexicography, or the Jewish Scriptures. His ablest and most valuable work, A Commentary upon the Books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, was recently brought out in England from a Bodleian MS., with an English translation and notes by S.R. Driver (Lond. 1872, cr. 8vo). In this work Moses ben-Shesheth confines himself almost exclusively to the discussion of grammatical and lexicographical difficulties, and avoids all haggadic exposition. His interpretations are mostly rational, sometimes novel, and show throughout the independent thinker, guided only by grammatical rules. The great value of such old grammarians is now more and more appreciated; and the remark of Munk, "that the profound works of Gesenius and Ewald may still be improved by the dicta of such a man as Ibn-Ganach," may be applied also to our author. The work before us consists rather of notes on the prophets, and seems to have been originally an extra-commentary to another more extended one, as many difficult passages and words in Jeremiah and Ezekiel are passed over without any remark, which could not have escaped the attention of rabbi Moses. The author knew the works of Ibn-Ganach, R. Jehudah Chayug, and Moses Kimchi, whom he often quotes; but he never alludes to R. David Kimchi, more celebrated than his brother Moses, nor to Rashi, although he frequently agrees with them. It is to be hoped that Mr. Driver will continue the good work begun thus auspiciously, and give us any other of rabbi Moses's works now buried in MS. form in the Bodleian Library. A sketch of his life also will be appreciated.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.