38 47 (HAGADAH) Zevach Pesach. With commentary by Isaac Abrabanel. FIRST EDITION. Initial text page with a poem by the Author’s eldest son, philosopher Judah Abrabanel (Leone Ebreo) enclosed by a metalcut, white-on-black historiated border of animals designed by the Marrano, Alfonso de Cordoba. ff. (40). Stained in places, expert marginal repairs. Modern gilt-tooled emerald crushed morocco. Sm. folio. [Yudlov, Hagadah 5; Yaari, Hagadah 3; Vinograd, Const. 3] Constantinople, David & Samuel ibn Nahmias,1505. $10,000 - $15,000 ❧ “THE FIRST EDITION OF THE HAGADAH TO BE PUBLISHED WITH A COMMENTARY OF ANY KIND” Yerushalmi 5. Don Isaac Abrabanel (1437-1508) was the former treasurer to King Alfonso V of Portugal, later he served King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, and lastly King Ferrante I and his son Alfonso II of Naples. Abrabanel was well known for the anti-monarchist sentiment voiced in his commentary to the Bible, where he downplayed the commandment of the Torah to appoint a king. This is to be expected when one considers Abrabanel’s bitter experience, especially with João II of Portugal, during whose reign the former treasurer was sentenced to death in absentia. However, in the commentary to the Passover Hagadah, Don Isaac actually points out the nobility of character of the king as opposed to the whimsical nature of the common Egyptian. Witness the following statement: “The service of the king (Pharaoh) was orderly and just, for ‘a king establishes the land through justice’ (Proverbs 29:4) whereas regarding the common folk, each pressed Jews into his private service resulting in truly hard, backbreaking labor” (f. 20v). Evidently Abrabanel’s sanguine experience with the benevolent rulers of Naples softened his stance on the monarchy. According to the colophon the author completed his commentary to the Hagadah in the city of Monopoli (Apulia), Italy, on the Eve of Passover in the year 1496.