Rhenferd, Jakob

Rhenferd, Jakob, a German Orientalist, was born at Mühlheim, in the duchy of Berg, Aug. 15, 1654. The son of a Protestant minister, he studied theology at Ham, Groningen, and at Amsterdam. From 1678 to 1680 he was rector of the gymnasium at Franeker, and then returned to Amsterdam to perfect his knowledge of Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian. In 1683 he became professor of Oriental languages at Franeker, which position he held during the remainder of his life. He was a man of great penetration, sound judgment, and possessed a great memory. Rhenferd died Oct. 7, 1712. Of his works we mention, De Antiquitate Literarum Judaicarum (Franeker, 1694): — Observationes ad Loca Hebroea Novi Testamenti (ibid. 1705-7): — De Arabarchis Ethnarchis Judoeorum (ibid. 1702): — Rudimenta Grammaticoe Harmonicoe Linguarum Hebroeoe, Chaldaicoe, Syriacoe, et Arabicoe (ibid. 1706). — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Générale, s.v. Besides editing a Syntagma of dissertations by different writers, De Stylo Novi Testamenti (1701, 4to), he published several learned dissertations. These have been collected and issued in one vol. 4to, with a preface by D. Mill, and an "Oratio Funebris" by professor Andala, under the title Jac. Rhenferdi Opera Philologica, Dissertationibus Exquisitissimi Argumenti Constantia (Traj. Rhen. 1722). Besides discussing such Biblical subjects as the style of the Apocalypse, the meaning of the phrase ὁ αἰὼν ὁ μέλλων in the New Test., the meaning of several passages in the same, the author treats largely on points of Jewish literature and archaeology, and takes up the subject of the Palmyrene and Phoenician dialects, and other points of interest to Oriental scholars.

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