Early Editions of The Hebrew Bible - Portions of The Bible

Portions of The Bible

Prior to this, portions of the Bible were printed at Naples: Proverbs, with a commentary of Immanuel ben Solomon, by Hayyim ben Isaac ha-Levi the German (1486); and in the same year (September 8) Job with the commentary of Levi ben Gerson, Lamentations with that of Joseph Kara, and the rest of the Hagiographa with Rashi. The editor of this last edition was Samuel ben Samuel Romano. This edition was completed with the Psalms (March 28, 1487) with Kimhi's commentary, edited by Joseph ben Jacob the German, and corrected by Jacob Baruch ben Judah Landau. In 1487 (June 30) an edition of the Pentateuch without commentary appeared at Faro in Portugal, upon the basis of Spanish manuscripts, in Spanish-Hebrew characters, with vowel-points—at times incorrectly applied—and with no accents. The expenses for the edition were paid by Don Samuel Gacon. The only copy known is printed on vellum.

In 1490 an edition of the Pentateuch without vowel-points or accents was published by Abraham ben Isaac ben David at Ixar (Hijar) in Spain, together with the Targum Onkelos in small square type and Rashi in Spanish-Rabbinic type; and one of the Psalms was issued at Naples (December 12), together with Proverbs and Job Another copy of the Pentateuch seems to have been issued at Ixar between 1490 and 1495, together with the Haftarot and the Five Scrolls. It is said by De Rossi to contain the printer's mark of a lion rampant, such as is seen in the other Ixar prints. The printer was Eliezer ben Abraham Alantansi, and it is spoken of as "elegantissima editio". In the year 1491 two editions of the Pentateuch left the press: one at Naples (Soncino), with vowel-points and accents together with Rashi, the Five Scrolls, and the scroll of Antiochus; the other at Lisbon (July–August ), with Onkelos and Rashi. The Lisbon copy was edited by David ben Joseph ibn Yahya and Joseph Calphon. It is declared by Le Long and De Rossi, to be the most celebrated and beautiful Hebrew print of the 15th century. The elegant characters are provided with vowels and accents even in the Onkelos, and the raphe-signs are used throughout. It was published in two volumes, probably at the same press from which came the editions of Isaiah and Jeremiah with Kimhi's commentary (1492) and Proverbs with the commentary of David b. Solomon ibn Yahya (c. 1492). From another press in Portugal, at Leiria, were issued, July 25, 1492, Proverbs with Targum and the commentaries of Levi ben Gerson and Menahem Meïri (printed by Samuel d'Ortas), and in 1494 the Former Prophets with Targum and commentaries of Kimhi and Levi b. Gerson.

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