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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Ibn Malkah, Judah Ben Nissim

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Spanish philosopher flourished either in Spain or in Africa in the middle of the fourteenth century. He was imbued with Neoplatonic ideas, and he wrote from that standpoint an important philosophical work in Arabic in three parts. Of these the first, entitled "Uns al-Gharib," is an introduction to the "Sefer Yeẓ irah," arranged in the form of dialogues between the author and his soul and between a pupil and his master. Appended are ten chapters on man's acquirement of perfect bliss. The second part, "Tafsir Yeẓ irah," is a philosophical commentary on the same work and the third part, "Tafsir Pirḳ e R. Eli' ezer," is a commentary on the Pirḳ e R. Eli' ezer, finished Feb. 8, 1365. He also cites a work, "Al-Miftaḥ ," and a commentary on the prayers, "Tafsir al-Ṣ alawat," written by himself, but now lost.

Ibn Malkah's commentary on the "Sefer Yeẓ irah" is quoted by Samuel Motot in his commentary on Ibn Ezra (according to Dukes, the commentator who quotes Ibn Malkah is Joseph ha-Sefardi). Ibn Malkah's theory of the "active intellect" ("sekel ha-po' el") is similar to that of Ibn Gabirol but there is no evidence of his having known the latter's "Fons Vitæ ."

Bibliography : Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. 3:753b, 4:762c Munk, Mé langes , pp. 301, 302 idem, in Geiger's Wiss. Zeit. Jü d. Theol. 2:158, 5:442 Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. pp. 405-406 idem, Cat. Bodl. cols. 1244, 2455 idem, Die Arabische Litteratur der Juden , § 134 Dukes, Philosophisches aus dem Zehnten Jahrhundert , p. 96 idem, in Orient, Lit. 9:572, note 15 Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael , pp. 412-413 R. E. J. xl. 69. G. M. Sel.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Ibn Malkah, Judah Ben Nissim'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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