Bologna: Al Yede Ha-Shutafim, 1538. First edition. Hardcover. Large quarto. 121 leaves. Tan calf over brown leather boards, with blind-stamped ruling. Brown label with handwritten lettering in ink on the spine. The work serves as Ibn Yahya's commentary on the Five Scrolls and the other Hagiographa of the Hebrew bible (Old Testament). It is one of only known two surviving works by Ibn Yahya, the other being "Torah Or" on Jewish theology and eschatology. The layout is in a two column format in Rashi script, and includes decorative woodblock initials at the beginning of each of the sections. Text in Hebrew.
Binding with rubbing, bumping and chipping to extremities, including the head and tail of the spine. Abrasions and scratches to the covers and spine. Front cover loose but attached. Boards bowed. The interior front and back cover contains with copious multi-lingual notes Hebrew and various European languages from numerous previous owners of the book. Some additional notes in ink on the title page and along the top margin of the following page. Sporadic water staining and foxing throughout. Sporadic minor worming to the margins of a few pages. Binding in poor, interior in good- overall. poor to g-. Item #43801
Joseph Ben David Ibn Yahya (1494-1534) was an Italian Jewish biblical commentator and philosopher, born in Florence. He was a member of a prominent family of Italian Jewish scholars of Portuguese origin. His father was the prominent Rabbi, grammarian and philosopher David ben Joseph Ibn Yahya (1465-1543) who was born in Lisbon, and fled with his family to Italy in the wake of the Inquisition. His son was the most notable in the family, Gedaliah ben Joseph Ibn Yahya (1515-1587) who wrote many important works of Jewish thought and religious tradition, including most famously "Shalshelet Ha-kabbalah" (1587).