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Collection of the Abbreviations commonly used

in Rabbinical Writings.. HEBREW Text.

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ENGLISH TRANSLATION.
On the Deity and the Angels ..

71 On the Orbs, Planets, and the Four Elements ...

94 On Prophecy, the Qualifications of Prophets,

the various Degrees of Prophets, the Su-
periority of Moses, as a Prophet, and of his
Prophecy, the Immutability of the Mosaic

Law, and the Criterion of a true Prophet. 111
On Ethics.....

149 On the Origin of Idolatry, and the Conversion of Abraham

201 On Confession, Repentance, Sin, and the

Causes which prevent men from becoming
Penitents....

210 On Free-will, Predestination, God's harden

ing the heart of Pharaoh, and His pre-
venting sinners from becoming Penitents
in cases of very aggravated sins

262

209

261

283

PRE FACE.

The following Selections will, it is humbly hoped, go far to supply the Biblical student with the means, at present scarcely within his reach, of acquiring an accurate knowledge of Rabbinical Hebrew. They are chiefly intended, however, to make the English reader acquainted, at a comparatively trifling expense of time and labour, with the sentiments of Maimonides respecting some of the most interesting and important questions in Theology, (such, for example, as regard the Deity, the Angels, Prophecy, Sin, Repentance, Free-will, Predestination, &c.), which are discussed by him in his justly celebrated work the Yad Hachazakah*; a work,

* NPIT T The mighty Hand. This name, which denotes the grandeur and importance of the work, and also alludes to the fourteen Books, or head divisions, of which it is composed, (the numerical amount of the word to being 14.), is

the

recognized by the Jews, even at the present day, as an admirable exposition of their law and of the main principles of their creed.

As the translator is not aware that he has ever been anticipated in his object by any other English work of the same tendency, he hopes that this first attempt will meet with that indulgence, which is rarely denied to a work of a new character, and which he craves, in the present instance, with the greater earnestness, since he here ventures to address the English public in a language which is not his own. Should the acknowledged deficiencies of this work give rise to the wish, on the part of the English reader, of seeing the subject taken up and improved by one of the learned men of his own country, he may rest assured that the translator most cordially joins in this wish. Until however this wish shall be realised, the following pages, notwithstanding the imperfect state in which they make their appearance, may still be of use to those who wish to make themselves acquainted with the language of the

the name by which this work is commonly called, though the title originally given to it by the Author was 1771 17wo The double law, or The two-fold law; the work comprising the whole of the na Syau izin verbal or oral law, by which the anglu nin written law, is defined and determined.

Rabbins, and not without interest to those who wish to know how some of the most important questions in Theology were treated by one of the most celebrated amongst them, in the twelfth century.

The translator moreover trusts that English critics will be too

generous to think of putting to the test of severe criticism the English of a foreigner, who came

to this country but a very few years ago, at a period of life not the most favorable for acquiring a new language, and destitute even of the slightest acquaintance with the English tongue. Any remarks which they may condescend to make, tending either to set him right respecting any particular passages in which he may not have hit upon the precise meaning of his Author, or to point out to him any additional means by which these Selections may be made to answer more completely the purpose for which they are intended, will be received with sincere thanks, acknowledged in the most unequivocal manner, and, if found just, duly noticed in any future edition.

The rule by which the translator was guided in the choice of his Selections, having been to insert those chapters only of the first Book of the Yad Hachazakah, which relate to Theology

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