Sepher HaShorashim [“Book of Roots”: a Biblical lexicon and grammar].

AUCTION 61 | Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic Art and Ceremonial Objects

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Lot 171

Sepher HaShorashim [“Book of Roots”: a Biblical lexicon and grammar].

Third edition. ff. 165 (of 168). First and final leaf and f. 165 provided in facsimile. Expert paper repairs with many leaves laid to size (some loss provided in facsimile on few leaves), variously stained, some trace worming, few leaves shorter, corners rounded. Modern blind-tooled calf. Folio. Vinograd, Naples 19; Offenberg 106; Goff Heb. 40; Freimann-Marx, Thesaurus A-69; Wineman Cat. 43.

Naples: Joshua Solomon Soncino 1491

Est: $10,000 - $12,000
<<THE MOST INFLUENTIAL LEXICOGRAPHICAL WORK FOR THE STUDY OF HEBREW.>> The formation of Hebrew grammatical rules was essential to facilitate the study and understanding of the Bible. Kimchi’s Shorashim with it’s “very rich collection of lexicographic material…increased the knowledge of the Hebrew language. This he accomplished with numerous new etymologies as well as new comparisons with post-Biblical Hebrew.” (Bloch). The popularity of the work is evidenced from the fact that two editions appeared in Naples within a period of five months. The present 1491 edition was not censored unlike that of 1490, where blank spaces were left rather than include Kimchi’s comments that seek to disprove the Christian mistranslation of Isaiah 7:14 and its related Christological reference. See G. Cohen, Hebrew Incunabula in the Library of Yeshiva University (1984) p. 87. The 15th-century Hebrew Press at Naples had a short but distinguished existence. See D.W. Amram, The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1963) pp. 63-9; J. Bloch, Hebrew Printing in Naples, in: Hebrew Printing and Bibliography (1976) pp. 111-38.