Aben-Ezra

, Aven-Hezer, or Ben-Meir, (Abra­Ham), a celebrated Rabbi, born at Toledo, in Spain, in 1099, called by the Jews, the wise, great, and admirable doctor, was a very able interpreter of the Holy Scriptures, and was well skilled in grammar, poetry, philosophy, astronomy, and in medicine. He was also a perfect master of the Arabic. His style is in general clear, elegant, concise, and much like that of the Holy Scriptures; he almost always adheres to the literal sense, and everywhere gives proofs of his genius and good sense: he however advances some erroneous sentiments, and his conciseness sometimes makes his style obscure. He travelled in most parts of Europe, visiting England, France, Italy, Greece, &c. for the purpose of acquiring knowledge, and far surpassed his brethren both in sacred and profane learning. He wrote theological, grammatical, and astronomical works, many of which remain in manuscript, but the following have been published: 1. “Perus a l’Altora,” or a commentary on the Law, fol. Constantinople, 5262 (1552), a very rare edition. There is likewise another edition printed at Venice, 1576, fol. 2. “Jesod Mora,” intended as an exhortation to the study of the Talmud, Constantinople, 8vo. 1530, by far the most scarce of all his works. 3. “Elegantiæ Grammaticæ,Venice, 1546, 8vo. 4. “De Luminaribus et Diebus criticis liber,Leyden, 1496, 4to. of which there have been three editions. 5. “De Nativitatibus,Venice, 1485, 4to, republished by John Dryander, Col. 1537, 4to. He died in 1174 at the island of Rhodes, in the 75th year of his age, but some have placed his death in 1165. 1