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Bidding Information
Lot #    14339
Auction End Date    4/25/2006 1:19:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Die Psalmen
Title (Hebrew)    Neu uebersetzt und erklaert
Author    [Only Ed. - Bible] Arnold B. Ehrlich
City    Berlin
Publisher    M. Poppelauer
Publication Date    1905
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. vi, 438 pp., 238:155 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in the original cloth boards, split.
   Full translation of the Psalms with extensive notes and commentary by Arnold Bogumil Ehrlich (18481919), biblical exegete. Ehrlich was born in Wlodawa in Russian Poland. Little is known about his early life. He married at an early age and had two daughters. In 1865 he went to Germany, and worked as a librarian in the Semitics department of the Berlin Royal Library. At the age of 30 he migrated to the U.S. where he lived under difficult conditions, engaging in business and teaching Hebrew. In Leipzig he became associated with the German scholar Franz Delitzsch and even assisted him in his Hebrew translation of the New Testament (1877). According to Richard J. H. Gottheil, when Ehrlich reached New York in 1876 he called on Rabbi R. Gustav Gottheil of Temple Emmanu-El (Richard's father), confessed that he had been converted to Christianity at the age of 23 when he was working for Delitzsch, and expressed a desire to be reaccepted formally into the Jewish faith. He accordingly appeared before a bet din on March 7, 1876, and was readmitted after making the necessary declarations (which are quoted by Richard in his biography of his father). The proceedings were duly recorded. In 1884 he published a chrestomathy containing selections from the Talmud and the Midrashim, "for youths and students." His main work, however, was devoted to biblical exegesis. From 1899 to 1901 his Hebrew commentary on the Bible Mikra ki-Feshuto was published in Berlin in three volumes (of the four he planned; repr. 1969). He subscribed the title page with the pseudonym "Shabbetai b. Yom Tov ibn Boded." In the introduction he explained that he had written the commentary in Hebrew so that the Hebrew reader would study his words and comments. His book, however, received only scant attention. The Jewish press on the whole reacted to the book with exceptionally sharp criticism (also because of his skeptical attitude to tradition and his attacks on the medieval commentators), and the Christian scholars, who did not study Hebrew, almost completely disregarded the commentary. The publication of his German commentary on the Book of Psalms (1905), which included a new translation, was a turning point in his life. It served as an introduction to his German commentary on the Bible, which like his Hebrew one consists of notes on the Bible, Randglossen zur hebraeischen Bibel (7 vols., 190814). Ehrlich included part of the material from his Hebrew commentary, but in an expanded form, as well as new interpretations arrived at since its publication; many of his earlier opinions are changed here. Only rarely does he comment on aspects dealt with by the "higher criticism." He concentrates on textual criticism and reconstructions, and his very numerous emendations (especially in his German commentary) are at times conjectural (such as: haplography or dittography, letters having a similar appearance in the ancient or in the square script, the use of abbreviations, glosses, etc.), and in most cases are not even based on ancient translations. His comments, which are distinguished by their originality, at times have the quality of homiletics and are derived from Ehrlich's innovating spirit; yet through his sound linguistic instinct and fine linguistic differentiations he succeeded in illuminating and explaining, with great acumen and profundity, many verses and linguistic usages. Ehrlich's exegetical work is an important contribution to modern biblical exegesis.
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
Bible:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    German
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica