Ibn Ezra's Torah Commentary


Unique Aspects of the AlHaTorah.org Edition

AlHaTorah.org's edition of Ibn Ezra's initial Torah commentary (authored in Italy, c.1145, and sometimes referred to as "Ibn Ezra's Short Commentary") is unique in that it utilizes many manuscripts (primarily, though not exclusively) of Byzantine provenance,1 and particularly MS Paris 177, to present a more complete and accurate version of the commentary than previous editions. This new edition is now available in AlHaTorah.org's online Mikraot Gedolot, and it includes:

Evidence for Ibn Ezra's Updates

In order to establish that the 700 passages (or at least the vast majority of them) found in these manuscripts are, in fact, Ibn Ezra's updates to his commentary, we must demonstrate both that:

The evidence for the passages being insertions rather than omissions consists of several factors:8

The evidence for these passages being Ibn Ezra's own updates also combines a number of factors:13

Some Characteristics of the Additions

Below are some of the salient features of the updates to Ibn Ezra's commentary, almost all of which are consistent with the traits of the original layer of the commentary:

Manuscripts Utilized

AlHaTorah.org's edition of Ibn Ezra's initial Torah commentary utilizes MS Paris 17743 as its base text for the books of Bereshit, Vayikra, Bemidbar, and Devarim.44 For the book of Shemot, though, MS Paris 177 contains Ibn Ezra's second commentary (written in France, and commonly referred to as "Ibn Ezra's Long Commentary"), and it thus could not serve as our base text. Additionally, most manuscripts of Ibn Ezra's first Shemot commentary which contain his additions and updates are either very fragmentary or hybrids which conflate the first and second commentaries. Thus, for the book of Shemot, our edition uses MS Paris 182 (the oldest extant textual witness of the commentary) as a base, and supplements it with Ibn Ezra's updates cobbled together from what has survived in various other manuscripts.45

The following is a list of the manuscripts utilized in this edition. We gratefully acknowledge the libraries which house them for preserving these texts of Ibn Ezra for posterity:

We also express our appreciation to the staff of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts for all of their assistance.