1902 Encyclopedia > Midrash

Midrash




MIDRASH. Like all nouns of a similar form Midrash is the equivalent of the Niph'al participle,1 and as such yields as many modified meanings as the root Darosh C?TJ), to search, &c, itself has. The practical significa-tions, however, of Midrash, taken in historical order, are as follows:—(1) a book of records; (2) a recension of olden, especially historical, materials; (3) search in and explanation of the Scriptures, notably the Pentateuch (in which case the plural is invariably Midrashoth); (4) theory as distinguished from practice; (5) a college for study and teaching; (6) an Agadic (that is, a free) explanation, in contradistinction to an Halakhic one ; (7) a collection of such free explanations (in which case the plural is Midrashim and occasionally also Midrashoth). Of these seven significations (1) and (2) are to be found in the Bible, (3) and (4) are mentioned for the first time in the Mish-nah, (5) is to be met with in the Midrash,* while (6) and {7) are to be found in early Rabbinic writings.
The subject of this article will be—(1) the nature of Midrash in the sense of Agadah, to the exclusion of Halakhah (for which see MISHNAH), and (2) the develop-ment of this Midrash Agadah into books (Midrashim).

The thinking reader of the Scriptures cannot have failed to observe that by the side of their ceremonial element, be it negative or affirmative, permissive or jussive, there is also often to be met with (and sometimes so as to be insepar-able from it) a spiritual element. This spiritual element rests chiefly on feeling or emotion, and produces pious works only indirectly. Now the explanation or application of this element, either by the Scriptures themselves or by the rabbis, is traditionally called Midrash Haggadah (recitation, preaching) or Midrash Agadah (binding the soul to God and all that is godly).

This Haggadah or Agadah varies considerably both in nature and form. In its nature it sometimes humours, at other times threatens; it alternately promises and admon-ishes, persuades and rebukes, encourages and deters. In the end it always consoles, and throughout it instructs and elevates. In form it is legendary, historical, exegetic, didactic, theosophic, epigrammatic; but throughout it is ethical.

And varied as was and is the Midrash Agadah, so varied have been its fortunes. Whilst at times it stood very high in the estimation both of the teachers and the con-gregations in Israel, it sank at other times very low indeed. Nay, at one and the same time, whilst some rabbis exalted it to the skies, other rabbis treated it with hatred,10 or, worse still, with contempt. There have actually been teachers whose treatment of it differed with the difference of the occasion.12 The fact is the Jews liked or disliked the Midrash Agadah according to their political condition on the one hand and their proximity to Jewish professors of Christianity on the other. In the hour of prosperity the Jews preferred the Halakhah;13 in that of adversity they ran to hear the consoling words of the Agadah. * When near Judaso-Christians, whose religious strength and argument chiefly rested on Agadah,15 the Jews disliked it; when among themselves, or when dwelling among Gentiles (heathen or Christian), they showed their wonted partiality for it.

But, whatever were the likings or dislikings of the Jews for the Midrashoth, it is certain that these traditions were early16 committed to writing, and formed into special volumes, known as " Books of Agadah." 17 Such were first some of the Targumim and then the Midrashim. Against writing down the traditional explanations of the Mosaic ceremonial there existed a distinct law,18 which was observed down to near the end of the 6th century. At an earlier period isolated disciples only, in order to refresh their memory, wrote down short Halakhic notes, which, how-ever, they kept in secret.19 The Targumim and Midrashim, on the other hand, were composed very early and were numerous, while their extensive contents were circulated in public.

The Midrash, from whatever point of view it may be regarded, is of the highest value. It is of the highest value, of course, to the Jew as Jew first, inasmuch as he finds there recorded the noblest ideas, sayings, and teach-ings of his venerable sages of early times. In the next place it has value to the Christian as Christian, since only by these ideas, teachings, reasonings, and descriptions can the beautiful sayings of the Founder of Christianity, the reasonings of the apostles, and the imagery of the sublime but enigmatic Apocalypse be rightly understood. But its importance appeals also to the general scholar, because of the inexhaustible mines of information of all kinds it con-tains. The philologist will find here numerous hints on lexi-cography and grammar, chiefly, of course, of the Semitic languages, but also of other tongues, notably Greek and Latin. The historian will gather here a rich harvest on geography, chorography, topography, chronology, numis-matics, &c. The philosopher will find here abundant and valuable notices on logic, psychology, metaphysics, theo-logy, theosophy, yjsthetics, rhetoric, poetry, mathematics, geometry, astronomy, zoology, botany, biology, morphology, chemistry, medicine, physics, &c. The statesman—parti-cularly if he be inclined to follow the Psalmist's advice— "from the ancients I gather understanding" (cxix. 100)— will find here valuable information on ancient ethnography in the full sense of the term—politics, political economy, law, military science, naval affairs, &c. The true scholar will find out by the study of the Agadah that many a dis-covery thought to belong to a recent age was well known to these ancient doctors.
The sources of the Agadah are five :—(1) the Targumim and especially those on the Prophets and Hagiographa; (2) the non-canonical Mishnah (Mathnitho Boraitho; see MISHNAH), which contains many valuable pieces, the age of which is often anterior, in essence if not in form, not only to those contained in the canonical Mishnah, but also to the sayings of the New Testament; (3) the canonical (officially recognized) Mishnah, which contains several entire treatises of an Agadic nature, as Aboth, Middoth, &c., and numerous pieces scattered here and there among the Halakhah; (4) both Talmudim (the Palestinian and Babylonian), which have thousands of Agadic notices interspersed in their Halakhoth; and (5) the Midrashim, ___ efox^v. It is of the last alone, as represented by their principal collections, that we give an historical enumeration here :—

(1) Megillath Ta'anith is an historical Midrash consisting of twelve Perakim, and is called so on the principle of Incus a ___ hwendo, seeing that in it are enumerated the days of the year on which a Jew must not fast. The Aramaic part of it alone consti-tutes the real Megillah, and belongs to the beginning of the 2d Christian century. The editio prineeps came out at Mantua, 1513, 4to ; but cheap editions have been printed at "Warsaw and elsewhere.

(2) Sepher Yezirah is a philosophico-cabbalistic Midrash divided into six Perakim, which, in their turn, are subdivided into Mishniyyoth. It is variously ascribed to the patriarch Abraham and to R. 'Akibah, the illustrious teacher, who suffered martyrdom under Hadrian. To this rabbi the book, no doubt, belongs both in substance and form. It has gone through numerous editions, the ed. prine. being of 1562 (Mantua, 4to), and has been translated into Latin, German, and English (New York, 1877).

(3) Othiyyoth de-Rabbi 'Akibah is a (7Kasi'-cabbalistic Midrash on the alphabet, belonging, in essence if not in form, to the aforesaid teacher and martyr. Ed. 'prine., Constantinople, 1520, 4to.

(4) Massekheth Hekhaloth is an astronomico-eabbalistic Midrash in seven Perakim. It is ascribed to R. Yishmaol the high priest.

Judging from internal evidence on the one hand, and from what is known of R. Yishma'el in the Talmudim and Midrashim (Babli Berakhoth, 7a and elsewhere) on the other hand, there seems to be no valid reason for doubting that he is the author of this small but sublime book. This Midrash is printed in the collection Areze Lebanon (Venice, 1601, 4to) under the title of "PirekeHekhaloth" and " Massekheth Hekhaloth," and a MS. of it is preserved in the University Library of Cambridge (Dd. 10. 11. 7. 2). The work, however, called "The Greater and the Lesser Hekhaloth," in thirty Perakim, printed in this century, somewhere in Poland, contains, besides the ancient literature, a good deal of matter which is of much later date.

(5) Seder 'Olam (the Greater and the Lesser) are two historical Midrashim, the former of which belongs to the 2d century, whilst the latter (which is a mere extract of the former) belongs to a late age indeed (the Gaonaic). They have been repeatedly printed, always together, the ed. prine. being Mantua, 1513, 4to.

(6) Haggadah shel Pesah is a liturgical Midrash of the middle of the 2d century, as far as its main portions go. It exists now in three principal and several minor recensions in accordance with the various rituals (see MAHZOK), and is recited at the domestic service of the first two Passover evenings. The editions are too numerous to be mentioned, the ed. prine. being Constantinople, 1505, folio.

(7) Megillath Antiokhos treats ostensibly, as its name indicates, of the sufferings of the Jews under Antiochus Epiphanes, and their deliverance from his tyranny, but in reality of their sufferings under Hadrian and their deliverance under Antoninus Pius. The Aramaic text, with the exception of a few interpolations, belongs to the middle of the 2d century. This little '' roll" was for the first time published by Filipowsky (London, 1851, 32mo). A MS. copy of the Hebrew is preserved in the University Library of Cambridge (Dd. 8. 34).





(8) Zohar (Midrash Hazzohar, Midrasho shel Rabbi Shim'eon b. Yohai, Midrash Yehi Or, &c.) is a cabbalistic Midrash on the Pen-tateuch, Canticles, Ruth, and part of Lamentations. It is variously ascribed to the famous R. Shim'eon (disciple of R. Akibah, &c.) anil to R. Mosheh b. Shemtob of Leon (a second-rate cabbalist of the time of Nahmanides and Ibn Addereth). The Zohar belongs, strictly speaking, to neither of these, whilst, in a certain sense, it belongs to both. The fact is—the nucleus of the book is of Mishnic times, and R. Shim'eon b. Yohai was the author of the Zolmr in the same sense that R. Yohanan was the author of the Palestinian Talmud, i.e., he gave the first impulse to the composi-tion of the book. But R. Mosheh of Leon, on the other hand, was the first not only to copy and disseminate the Zohar in Europe, but also to disfigure it by sundry explanatory interpolations. For more details see Lumby, "Introduction to the Epistle of Jude," in the Spieaker's Commentary, vol. iv. p. 388. The first two editions of the Zohar on the Pentateuch came out simultaneously (Mantua, 1558-60, 4to, and Cremona, 1558, folio), and the ed. prine. on Canticles, Ruth, and part of Lamentations came out at Salonika (1597, 4to). The best, though by no means critical, edition on the Pentateuch is that of Brody, 1873, 8vo. Of translations, such as they are, there exist those of Knorr v. Rosenroth, Kabbala denudata. (vol. i., Sulzbach, 1677, and vol. ii., Frankfort, 1684, 4to), and Tholuck, Wiehtige Stellen, &c. (Berlin, 1824, 8vo), &c.

(9) Pesilcotho (commonly, but by mistake, called Pesikta) derab Kohano is a homiletic Midrash consisting of thirty-two Pesiktoth for the principal festivals and fasts, and the historically noted sabbaths and other days. It is of the end of the 3d or the beginning of the 4th century. Having been but rarely quoted since the 12th century, so that most scholars knew of it only indirectly, it was long considered lost, till, in 1868, Salomon Buber of Lemberg, a man of learning, wealth, and love for the ancient literature of his nation, edited it from four MSS., one of which (formerly in possession of Carmoly) is now preserved in the Uni-versity Library of Cambridge (Add. 1497). The printed edition appeared at Lyck, 8vo.
on the Pentateuch and Megilloth, the one at Bombergi's house and the

(10) I'esikto Rabbathi, consisting in the latest edition of eighty-four Piskoth, is a Midrash of the same nature, and, in its main part, almost of the same date, as (9). Both drew from the same sources. This Midrash has been edited five times,—the latest, best, and cheapest edition being that of Friedmann (Vienna, 1880, 8vo).

(11) Tanna debc Eliyyahu consists of two parts, the Greater (Rabbc) and the Lesser (Zutto),—the former in thirty-one and the latter in twenty-five Perakim. It is an exegetical Midrash, the name of which is already known to the Bereshith Rabbah (c. liv.) and the Babylonian Talmud (Kethuboth, 106a). It is only un-critical criticism that can declare it a Gaonaic work, although, like all other old books of the Jews, it is not without iater additions. Ed. princ, Venice, 1598, 4to. There are modern and cheap Polish editions.

(12) Midrash Babbah (i"U"l) or Babboth (11131) is chiefly an exegetical and homiletical Midrash on the Pentateuch and the "Five Rolls" (Hamesh Megilloth, i.e., Canticles, Ruth, Lamenta-tions, Ecclesiastes, and Esther). It is called Babbah either from the third (the first distinctive) word of its beginning (''PB'in '3") _ • • H131) or from its being the most voluminous Midrash; hence also Rabbo (X31). The Midrash on Canticles (and Ecclesiastes) is now and then also called Midrash Hazitha (from the first distinc-tive word of the beginning ITHl). These ten Midrashim are, certainly, of various styles and ages ; yet none of them is, inter-polation excepted, later than the beginning of the 5th century. It is remarkable that, although the Megilloth themselves had been early attached to the Pentateuch (since they were long before the 10th century, and still are, read through the synagogal year, even as was and still is the Pentateuch itself), the Rabboth had no common editio prineeps —that on the Pentateuch appearing for the first time in 1512 (Constantinople, folio), and that on the Megilloth in

(somewhere in Italy, nS^Q'X J13H03. also in folio). The latest and best edition is that of Yilna, 1880, folio. A translation in German is now coming out at Leipsic, by Dr A. Wunsehe.
other at Giustiniani's. These two editions differ in nothing but in the title-pages, &c, and the vignettes of the various books. The former edition is in possession of Dr W. Aldis Wright, and the latter in that of Dr C. Taylor. The fact of these editions having appeared simultaneously is, apparently, unknown to the bibliographers.

4 It is noteworthy that in this edition Aliashverosh, i.e., Esther, stands between Lamentations and Ecclesiastes, with which latter the Midrash on the Megilloth ends.
5 We may mention here the ed. princ. of three cabbalistic-Midrashic collections which go under the name of Yalkut:—(1) Yalkut Hadash, Lublin, 1648, 4to ; (2) Yalkut Reubeni Hakkatan, Prague, 1660,

(13) Pireke de-Rabbi Eliczer (also called Boraitho de-Rabbi Eliezcr) is an astronomico-theosophical Midrash consisting of fifty-four Perakim. It goes through the so-called " eighteen bene-dictions," the signs of the zodiac, &c, but is unfinished. It belongs, no doubt, to the 5th century. The fact that the name '' Fatima " occurs in it is no proof whatever that the book is post-Mohammedan, as that name must have been already known to the idolatrous Arabs. Ed. vrin., Constantinople, 1514, and with a Latin translation, Leyden, 1644, both editions being in 4to. There are also now to be found cheap editions (Lemberg, Warsaw).

(14) Tanlyama is an exegetical and homiletical Midrash on the wdiole Pentateuch. It is quoted according to the Parshiyyoth of the week. Although originally of the end of the 5th or the beginning of the 6th century, it has now two principal additions, wdiich form part of the book :—(1) several of the Sheetloth of Bab Ahai Gaon (of the 8th century), and (2) several pieces of the Yesod of R. Mosheh Haddarshan, of Narbonne (of the 11th century). On its relation to the " Yelammedenu" (often quoted in the 11th century, but supposed to be lost) light will soon be thrown by the before-mentioned Salomon Buber, who is now preparing a critical edition of it. The ed. princ. of the Tanlyama is Constantinople, 1522, folio ; and a very valuable MS. copy of it is in the Cam-bridge University Library (Add. 1212).

(15) Bahir is a small cabbalistic Midrash ascribed to the pre-Mishnic teacher, E. Nehunyah b. Hakkanah,—no doubt from its beginning with the words _ • - - mpri ' J3 iTOim '31 1DX-Nahmauides (ob. c. 1268) quotes this book often in his commentary on the Pentateuch, under the names of Sepher Habbahir, or of Midrasho shel Rabbi Nehunyah b. Hakkanah. Some have pro-nounced this work a late fabrication, but others, who have thoroughly studied it, justly describe it as " old in substance if not inform." Ed.princ, Amsterdam, 1651, 4to. A cheapedition appeared at Lemberg (1865, 8vo), and a MS. of this work is pre-served in the University Library of Cambridge (Dd. 10. 11. 4).

(16) Yalkut is the only existing systematic if not exhaustive collection of the Agadoth on the whole Bible. Its author drew not only from most of the Midrashim named in this article, but also from the Boraithoth (see MISHNAII), both Talmudim, and the Midrashic works now lost (as the Abkhir, Hasshckhem, or Hashkem, &c.). This fact constitutes one of the principal points of its value. The author was R. Shim'eon, brother (and not son) of R. Helbo, and father of the distinguished grammarian, critic, and divine R. Yoseph Kara. He lived somewhere in the north of France in the 11th century. The ed. princ of the Yalkut on Ezra, Nehemiah, and the books of Chronicles came out at Yenice, 1517, folio (in the first Rabbinic Bible); that on the Prophets and Hagiographa in 1521, and published, with a critical commentary, at Vilna, by Salomon Buber (1880, 8vo), where also simultaneously a third edition of this Midrash on the last three books of Moses, with a short commentary on it, came out by Aharon Mosheh Padova, of Carlin. The Lekah Tob on the five MegiUoth is as yet unpublished ; there exist, how-ever, several good MSS. of it, both in public and private libraries, the finest copy in every respect being that preserved in the Uni-versity Library, Cambridge (Add. 378. 1).

(18) Menorath Hammaor is a scientific, though incomplete, collection of the principal Agadoth of the Talmudim and Midrashim, byR. Yizhak Abohab the elder( flourished 13th century). The editions, with and without translations, are very numerous,— the ed. princ. being Constantinople, 1514, folio. There are trans-lations in Spanish, Judfeo-German, and German, but not in English.

We append two specimens of Midrashim,—the first from Pesikotho, leaf 1276, and the second from Midrash Shemoth Rabbah, cap. ii.

FIRST SPECIMEN.— The Holy One (blessed be He!) said to the Prophets,i Go ye and comfort ye Jerusalem!

Then went HOSEA to comfort her and said, The Holy One (blessed be He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said, What hast thou in thine hand to comfort me? The Prophet said (xiv. 6 [5]), '*I will be as the dew unto Israel! " But Jerusalem said to him, Only yesterday thou toldest me (ix. 16), " Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb!" and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the second prophecy ?

Then went JOEL to comfort her and said, The Holy One (blessed be He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said to him, What hast thou in thine hand to comfort me? The Prophet said (iv. 18), "And it shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, &c! " But Jerusalem said to him, Only yesterday thou toldest me (i. 5), •' Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth! " and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the second prophecy?

Then went AMOS to comfort her and said, The Holy One (blessed be He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said to htm, What hast thou in thine hand to comfort me? The Prophet said (ix. 11), " In that day will I raise up the taber-nacle of David that is fallen ! " But Jerusalem said to him, Only yesterday thou toldest me (v. 2), " The Virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise!" and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the second prophecy ?

Then went MICAH 2 to comfort her and said, The Holy One ("blessed he He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said to him, What hast thou in thine hand to comfort me? The Prophet said (vii. 18), L'Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?" But Jerusalem said to him, Only yesterday thou toldest me (i. 5), " For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel, Ac!" and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the second prophecy?

Then went KAHUM to comfort her and said, The Holy One (blessed be He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said to him, What hast thou in thine hand to comfort me? The Prophet said (ii. 1 [i. 15]), " For the wicked shall no more pass through thee!" But Jerusalem said to him, Only yesterday thou toldest me (i. 11), " There is one come out of thee that imagineth evil against the Lord, a wicked counsellor!" and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the second prophecy ?

Then went HABAKKUK to comfort her and said, The Holy One (blessed be He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said to him, What hast thou in thine hand to comfort me? The Prophet said (hi. 13), '* Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for the salvation with Thine Anointed One! " But Jerusalem said to him, Only yesterday thou toldest me (i. 2), " 0 Lord, how long shall I cry and Thou wilt not hear, even cry out unto Thee of violence and Thou wilt not save! " and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the second prophecy?

Then went ZEPHANIAH to comfort her and said, The Holy One (blessed be He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said to him, What hast thou in thine hand ro comfort me ? The Prophet said (i. 12), " And it shall come to pass at that time that I shall search Jerusalem with lights!" But Jerusalem said to him, Only yesterday thou toldest me (i. 15),41A day of darkness and gloominess! " and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the second prophecy ?

Then went HAGGAI to comfort her and said, The Holy One (blessed be He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said to him, What hast thou in thine hand to comfort me? The Prophet said (ii. 19), "Is the seed yet in the barn! Yea, as yet the vine and the fig tree and the pomegranate and the olive tree hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you!" But Jerusalem said to him, Only yesterday thou toldest me (i. 6), " Ye have sown much and bring in little, &c!" and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the second prophecy.

Then went ZECHAKIAH to comfort her and said, The Holy One (blessed he He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said to him, What hast thou in thine hand to comfort me? The Prophet said (i. 15), "And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease : for I was but a little displeased and they helped forward the affliction ! " But Jerusalem said to him. Only yesterday thou toldest me (i. 2), " The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers! " and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the last prophecy?

Then went MALACHI to comfort her and said, The Holy One (blessed be He!) sent me to thee to comfort thee. She said to him, What hast thou in thine hand to comfort me? The Prophet said (iii. 12), - And all nations shall call you blessed : for ye shall be a delightsome land ! " But Jerusalem said to him, Only yesterday thou toldest me (i. 10), "I have no delight in you!" and now thou speakest to me thus. Which shall we believe, the first or the last prophecy?

2 See Pesikto Rabbathi (ed. Friedmann, leaf 13S&), where it says (before the paragraph on Nahum), " 'Obadyah prophesied forEdom, and Youah for Nineveh." This, it is true, is a mere gloss; but it is the true reason why these two prophets are left out.
;i There is a play here upon the meaning of the Hebrew which may be read either 'Ammi (" my people ") or 'Immi (" with me ").





Then went all the Prophets to the Holy One (blessed be He!) saying to Him, Lord of the Universe, Jerusalem will not accept consolation at our hands. Then the Holy One (blessed be He!) said to them, "I and you will together go to comfort her; and this is why it says (Isaiah xl. 1), Comfort ye, comfort ye MY PEOPLE, comfort her WITH ME.3 Comfort her, ye celestial ones! comfort her, ye . terrestrial ones! Comfort her, ye living ones! comfort her, ye dead ones! Comfort her in this world! comfort her in the world to come !

SECOND SPECIMEN.— And whom does He try? The righteous one; for it says (Ps. xi. 5), " The Lord trieth the righteous." And by what does He try him? B.v the feeding of sheep. David He tried by sheep and found him a good shepherd, for it says(Ps. lxxviii. 70), " And He took him from the 'restraints of sheep." What is the meaning of Mimmikhleoth ?' The root is the same as that of 'vayyik- kale [haggeshem] (Gen. viii. 2), "And the rain was restrained." David restrained the big sheep in favour of the small ones. He brought out first the young ones, so that they should feed on the tender herbs; then he brought out the old ones that they should feed on the less tender herbs; and, finally, he brought out the strong sheep that they should feed on the coarser herbs. Upon this the Holy One (blessed be He!) said, He who understandeth to feed sheep according to their strength, let him come and feed My people! And this it is what is written (Ps. lxxviii. 71), " From following the ewes great with young He brought him to feed Jacob His people! " And the same was the case as regards Moses, whom the Holy One (blessed be He!) tried by sheep. Our rabbis say, When Moses our teacher (peace be upon him!) was feeding the sheep of Jethro in the wilderness, a kid ran away from him, and Moses ran after it till they came to a mountain-hollow. When it had reached the mountain-hollow there was a pool of water, and the kid stood still in order to drink. When Moses reached the kid he said to it, I did not know that thou didst run away from me because thou wast thirsty and faint. Thereupon he put it on his shoulders and walked back with it to the flock. Then said the Holy One (blessed be He!), Thou art compassionate in the feeding of sheep belonging to mere flesh and blood (man); as thou livest, thou shalt feed My flock, even Israel! Behold, this it is that is written (Exod. iii. 1), "And Moses was feeding the flock, ttec." (S. M. S.-S.)



Footnotes

1 Comp. Nehem. viii. 8, where fc^pDS evidently stands for N"lpJ3.
3 See Nedarim, iv. 3, and Aboth, i. 17. tit
4 BeresHth Kabbah, c. lxiii. (on Gen. xxv. 22): D3?n X? SOill • • • "OSK1 DB>) b& lBHIO^ X^X- Midrash is used in the East to this day for Beth Hammidrash. See MS. Oo. 6, 63 (of the University Library, Cambridge), leaf 135a, lower margin (lEJ>"no^> BHp Dill _• • D52> ?B>).

9 Ibid.: " Then said to him R. Bo bar [son of] Kohano, Why dost thou tease them ? Ask, and they will surely answer thee !"
10 T. Y., Shabbath, xvi. 1: " He who holds it forth becomes burned
by it ; he who listens to it gets no reward."
11 Ibid.: "I never in my life looked into Agadic books."
12 Ibid.: "Let the hand of him who wrote it be cutoff"; and com-
pare with this T. B., Bobo Bathro, 1236: "goodly pearl."
13 Beginning of Pesikotho Bahodesh llasshelishi: " First when the
money was at hand one desired to hear the word of the Mishnah and
the word of the Talmud. ..."
14 Ibid.: " Now, however, when the money is not to be got, and,
moreover, wdien we are sick in consequence of the (treatment by the)
government, one pines for the word of the Bible and for the word of
the Agadah."
15 T. Y., Shabbath, xvi. 1, and T. B., Shabbath, 116a : " The Evan-
gelia and other Christian writings."
16 See Tosephto Shabbath, xiv.: " I remember that one brought before
Rabban Gamliel the elder [St Paul's teacher] the book of Job (in the)
Chaldaic paraphrase"; and T. Y., Kilayim, ix. 4: "At that time I
ran (my) eyes through the whole Book of the Psalms (in the form) of
the Haggadah [Agadah of the Psalms]." R. Hiyya Rubboh belonged
to the middle of the 2d Christian century.
17 NrnJNT nSD- See T. B., Berakhoth, 23a, Temurah, lib, and
the Talmudim, passim.
13 T. B., Gittin, 606: "In the college of R. Yishm'ael it was taught,

A valuable edition of this treatise (in Hebrew and English) has been published by Dr C. Taylor, Cambridge, 1878.
To these we may add, for the sake of convenience, although they do not, strictly speaking, belong to the canonical Mishnah, the Perek Rabbi Meir and the Agadic parts of the Massekhtoth Ketannoth.
Two collections of Tahnudie Agadoth were made early in the 16th century:—(1) HaygadMh Hattalmud, Constantinople, 1511, folio, of which apparently only five copies are in existence, the finest of these being preserved in the University Library of Cambridge ; and (2) 'En Ya'akob (or 'En Yisrael), of which numerous and cheap editions exist, the ed. prine. being that of Salonika, 1516-22.
Almost all that the latest critics have said concerning the age of the various Targumim and Midrashim will have to be unsaid. Not only are negative statements difficult of proof; in this case they are absolutely incorrect. We shall only give two examples. The state-ment '' Vayyikra Rdbbah cannot be early, as Rashi did not know of it, since he nowhere mentions it," is doubly incorrect: Rashi does quote it (e.g., on Haggai i. 1). Again the statement "We must not omit to observe that no early Jewish commentator—Rashi, Ibn Ezra, &c.— mentions the Targum either to Proverbs or to Job and Psalms; Nathan ben Jechiel (12th century) is the first who quotes it," contains a re-ductio ad absurdum in itself. Eor Nathan b. Yehiel was, as is well known, a somewhat older contemporary of Rashi (ob. 1105), and lived full a hundred years before Ibn 'Ezra!
See _. B., Synhedrin, 65b and 676. In the former place it distinctly speaks of the Sepher Yezirah (__1^ 13D), and, although in the
latter place it speaks of the Ililelchoth Yezirah (__,¥'1 ), there
cannot be a doubt that Seplier (12D) and Ililelchoth (_1_7_) are
there identical. Moreover, Mishniyyoth and Halakhoth are, in a cer-tain sense, convertible terms (see MISHNAH) ; and our book (as
remarked above) consists of Mishniyyoth.

6 R. Mosheh of Leon is a fair sample of the mediocrity of his time in cabbalistic lore, and combined, as is usual, with his mediocrity an illimitable vanity; see MS. Dd. 11. 22 (Cambridge University Library), leaf 2a: " And I adjure every one who should deeply study this book, or who should copy it, or read it, that he do not blot out my name from my property (inheritance), for I have composed it. . . ." This statement alone would suffice to prove that R. Mosheh of Leon could never have ascribed a book composed by himself to anybody else.
7 The Zohar, cleared of the main works by which it is surrounded, and of the interpolations by which it has been disfigured both by its first European copyist and by others down even to our own days, was begun in Palestine late in the 2d or early in the 3d century, and finished, at the latest, in the 6th or 7th century. It is impossible that it should have been composed after that time and before the Renaissance, as both language and contents clearly show.
8 Whilst the principal editions of the many textual extracts made from the Zohar (as the Idderoth, &c.) need not be specified here, those of the following supplementary and kindred works ought to be men-tioned:—(1) Tikkune Hazzohar (ed. prine. Mantua, 1557, 4to), and (2) Zohar Hadash (ed. prine. Craeow, 1603). Nor should the Kontres missepher Hazzohar, JHibburo Tiuyono (by the otherwise very learned Yitshak b. Mosheh of Satanow) be passed over. It is a mere imitation of the Zohar,—an imposition of a kind which is a disgrace to literature.
9 For the three Midrashim—Mekhilto, Siphro, and Siphere—see under MISHNAH.

The Rabbah on Genesis has 100 Parshiyyoth, that on Exodus 52, that on Leviticus 37, that on Numbers 23, and that on Deuteronomy 11. These five Midrashim are quoted according to their chapters. The Rabbah on Canticles accommodates itself to the sacred text, and is quoted accordingly. Buth has 8 Parshiyyoth, and is quoted according to these. Lamentations has 1 chapter consisting of 33 introductions [Pethihotho Dehakkime), accommodating itself, for the rest, to the sacred text. Ecclesiastes has 3 Sedarim, and Esther has 6 Parshiyyoth. At various times various modes of quoting these Midrashim are current,—the most common and most expedient, however, being that of quoting them according to the verses of the Bible.
Here might with advantage he mentioned some pieces of literature wdiich are kindred in nature, although some of them are of much earlier date, whilst others are much later, than the ten Midrashim just mentioned:—(1) Agadath Bereshith on Genesis, in eighty-three chapters,—edited for the first time by B. Menahem de Lonsano in his Shete Yadoth, Venice, 1618, 4to; (2) Midrash Vayyisa'u on Genesis xxxv. 5, in one chapter,—to be found in Jellinek's Bet ha-Midrasch, Leipsic, 1855, 8vo ; (3) amplifications of chapter lxx. of our Midrash Rabbah, on Genesis xxviii. 22, by the incorporation of the whole Apocryphon Tobit in Aramaic, &c. (see The Book of Tdbit, &c., Oxford, 1878, 8vo); (4) Midrash Vayyosha on Exodus xiv. 30, xv. 1-18,—printed at Constantinople, 1519, 4to; a MS. of this Midrash is preserved in the University Library, Cambridge (Add. 854) ; (5) Midrash Aserelh Haddibberoth on Exodus xx.,—printed in Jellinek's Bet ha-Midrasch, Leipsic, 1853, 8vo ; (6) Midrash Petirath Aharon on Numbers xx. 23-29; (7) Midrash Petirath Mosheh on Deuteronomy xxxiv.; (8) Midrash Abbo Gorion on Esther ; the last three are to be found in the before-mentioned Bet ha-Midrasch; (9) Midrash Shemuel, also called, from its beginning, 'Eth laasoth Ladonai, Constantinople, 1517, folio; (10) Midrash Yonah, Prague, 1595, 4to; (11) Midrash Tillim (Tehillim), 1512; (12) Midrash Mishele, 1517; the last two are printed at Constantinople, and in folio ; (13) Sepher Ilayyashar (in which a good many old traditions are preserved, although it is, of course, not the one mentioned in various books of the Bible), Venice, 1625, 4to; (14) Dibere Hayyamim shel Mosheh, Constanti-nople, 1516, 4to ; a fragment of this is to be found in MS. Add. 532. 4 in the University Library of Cambridge ; (15) Yosephon (or Josippon), various works of Flavins Josephus worked up rather freely, Mantua, 1480, folio,—translated into Latin (German and Spanish) several times ; (16) Zerubbabel, Constantinople, 1519, 8vo ; (17) Elleh Ezkerah on the " Ten Martyrs." For several other smaller Midrashim see Jellinek's Bet ha-Midrasch, i. and ii., 1853, iii., 1855, iv., 1S57, all at Leipsic; v., 1873, and vi., 1877, both at Vienna ; and comp. also Horowitz, Sammlung Kleiner Midraschim, i., ii., Frankfort, 1881-82. The Midrashim on Isaiah and on Job seem now irretriev-ably lost.

As if to compensate for this drawback, the well-known Cornelio
Adelkind brought out at Venice, in 1545, two editions of the Rabboth
4to ; and (3) Yalkut Reubeni Haggadol Wilhermsdorf, 1681, folio.

other at Giustiniani's. These two editions differ in nothing but in the title-pages, &c, and the vignettes of the various books. The former edition is in possession of Dr W. Aldis Wright, and the latter in that of Dr C. Taylor. The fact of these editions having appeared simultaneously is, apparently, unknown to the bibliographers.
4 It is noteworthy that in this edition Aliashverosh, i.e., Esther, stands between Lamentations and Ecclesiastes, with which latter the Midrash on the Megilloth ends.
5 We may mention here the ed. princ. of three cabbalistic-Midrashic collections which go under the name of Yalkut:—(1) Yalkut Hadash, Lublin, 1648, 4to ; (2) Yalkut Reubeni Hakkatan, Prague, 1660,

Comp. Perikto Rabbathi, ed. Friedmann, leaf 138&.
Comp. Perikto Rabbathi, ed. Friedmann, leaf 138&.
Who, on readme this, does not think of such passages in the New Testament as Matt, xviii. 12, xxv. 21, and John x. 14?




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