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The printer of this edition, Menasseh ben Israel was born in 1604 on the Portuguese Island of Madeira. Born into a Marrano family, he was baptized as Manuel Dias Soeiro. In his childhood his family immigrated to Amsterdam and openly returned to Judaism, and thereafter his name was changed to Menasseh ben Israel. As a young boy he studied at the Yeshiva of the Portuguese community in the city and when he reached the age of 18 was appointed preacher in the Neveh Shalom community in place of the deceased Rabbi Isaac Uziel. His wide secular education and his command of many languages won him a reputation among Christian scholars, who considered him the greatest Jewish scholar of his generation. He wrote books in Spanish and Latin on theological and philosophical subjects and even wrote several works in Hebrew. His lengthy work reconciling discordant passages of the Bible brought him fame among Jews and Christians. In 1626 Menasseh ben Israel established the first Hebrew printing press in Holland. Between 1646 and 1652 his sons Joseph and Samuel managed the press. In 1655, towards the end of his life, Menasseh ben Israel was invited to England, where, supported by Cromwell, he presented his request to the Parliament. Unsuccessful at first, he finally won a partial victory, and Jews were thenceforth allowed, with some restrictions, to settle in England and were granted civil and religious freedom. Menasseh ben Israel died in 1657 and was buried in the Portuguese cemetery in Ouderkerk.