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There are two main branches: one in Constantino-
ple, and the other in Jerusalem. The name "Miz-
rahi " signifies "an Oriental," and is used as a sur-
name by man}' Persian Jews who have settled in
Turkey.

Abraham ben Baruch Mizralji ; Shohet at
Jerusalem in the .seventeenth and eighteenth cen-
turies. He was tlie author of "Zikkaron li-Bene
Yisrael," containing laws pertaining to ritual slaugh-
tering. It was printed with Moses Ventura's " Ye-
min Moslieh," Amsterdam, 1718.

Bibliography: Fiirst, Dihl. Jiut. ii. 381; Steinschneider, Cat.
BikU. col. 702.

Absalom ben Moses Mizrahi : Oriental scholar
of the fourteentli century. Abraham de Balmes
in his "Mikneh Abraham" (in the chapter on
prosod}') quotes a work by Mizrahi entitled "Inire
Shefer." This work was published by Carmoly,
under the title "Kabbalah *al Melekct ha-Shir"
(Paris, 1841), from a Paris manuscript, in which it
is indicated that it was composed in 1391. Among
the models which jVIizralii gives is the letter of Ibii
Pulgar to Abner of Burgos, which Mizrahi styles
"shir mej'uhas" (noble poem, that is, a poem ar-
ranged in Mosaic style).

Bibliography: L. Dukes, in Orient, Lit. iv. 435, vii. 808;
Fuenn, Kene^et Yisrael, P- "": Steinschneider, Jewifli Lit-
erature, p. 177.

Elijah ben Abraham (Re'em), Mizrahi:
Turkish rabbi and mathematician ; born at Con-
stantinople about 1455; died there 1525 or 1526.
Mizrahi was a pupil in Talmud and rabbinics of
Elijah ha-Levi, who was known for his mild atti-
tude toward the Karaites, whom he taught the Tal-
mud (Mizrahi, Responsa, Nos. 41, 57). But it ap-
pears from a letter of Elijah Capsali (see Grjttz,
"Gesch." 3d ed., viii. 448) that Mizrahi studied also
under Judah Minz of Padua, who warned him not
to throw himself headlong into the quarrel between
Joseph Colon and Moses Capsali. From this letter
it is evident also that Elijah Mizrahi is not to be
identified, as he is by Conforte (" Koie ha-Dorot,"
p. 29a) and A'^ilai (" Shem ha-Gedolim," i. 22), with
Elijah Parnes, wiio is mentioned in Colon's responsa,
and who is called by Elijah Capsali a corrupt forger
(comp. Zunz's notes to tlie "Itinerary " of Benjamin
of Tiidela, ed. Asher, ii. 40).





B

X



►J .s

u 3
a. S



Mizrahi
Mnemonics



THE .JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



630



While still n young iiiau, 'jlizrahi distinguished
himself as a Talinudist aud as an authority in rah-
biuical matters, on which he was consulted by many
rabbis even in the lifetime of Moses Capsali. Al-
though he was very religious, yet he devoted a part
of his time to tlie study of the secular sciences, par-
ticularly to mathematics and astronomy, which he
studied under Mordecai Comtino (see
Studies letter of Delmedigo in Geiger, "Melo
Mathe- ilofuayim," |). 12). Mizrahi for some
matics. time earned a livelihood by teaching
Talmud, mathematics, astronomy, and
other sciences; but owing to his weak constitu-
tion the work proved too hard for him (Mizrahi,
Kesi>onsa, No. 56). Though it woukl appear from
his mathematical works that he read the Greek au-
tliors, it can not be said with certainty whether lie
read them in thecjrigiual or in an Arabic translation.
It is evident, however, that he was master of at
least one, if not both, of these two languages. At
the death of Moses Capsali ('■. 1495), Mizrahi suc-
ceeded him as grand rabbi or Iiakam bashi of the
Ottoman empire, which office he held till his death.
Like his pre(leces.sor, Mizrahi had a seat in the
divan assigned to him by the sultan beside the mufti
and above th(! patriarch of the Christians. The
work "Me'ora'ot '01am" (Constantinople, 1756) con-
tains several legends in connection with Mizrahi
and the sidtan (Nepi-Ghirondi, "Toledot Gedole
Yisrael,"p. 267),

Mizrahi, who had previously written against the
Karaites and who had entered into polemics with Eli-
jah Bashyazi (comp. the introduction to the hitter's
"Addercl Eliyahu"), changed his attitude toward
them after he had become hakain bashi. Like his
master, Elijah ha-Levi, he favored the idea of teach-
ing the Talmud to the Karaites, provided the latter
would abstain from reviling it. When the zealots,
aiming at the destruction of every means of recon-
ciliation between the Kabbinites and the Karaites,
made so many restrictions witli regard to the latter
and threatened with excommunication those who
would not observe them, Mizrahi was not in Con-
stantinople. When he returned he was indignant
at the restrictions; he declared that it was the
duty of the Rabbinites to consider the Karaites
as Jews, and that Elijah ha-Levi and Eliezer Cap-
sali, whose piety nobody doubted, were of the
same opinion (Mizrahi, Hesponsa, No. 57). He was
opposed also to certain innovations of the caba
lists with regard to the interpretation of the Bible
(//>. No. 1).

The following are Mizrahi 's rabbinical and exe-
getical works: "Tosefe Semag " (Constantinople,
1520), novelhe on Mo.ses of Coucy's "Sefer Mizwot
Gadol," afterward published with the text under
the title -'Hiddushim" (ih. 1541): "Sefer ha-Miz
rahi" (Venice, 1527), a su|)ercominentary on liashi's
commentary on the Pentati'uch; "She'elot u-Te-
shubot," a collection of responsa in
His two parts: part i., containing 100 re

Works. sponsa (Constantinople, 1546); partii..
containing 159 resi)onsa, printed with
the responsa of Elijah ii)n Ilayyim under the title
"Mayim Amukkim " (Venice, 1647). Mizrahi him
self considered his commentary on Rasjii the most



important of his works (Responsa, Nos. 5, 78).
Besides showing Rashi's Talmudic and midrashic
sources, he endefivors to elucidate all obscure pas-
sages, thus tie fending him from the strictures of the
later coninientators. particularly Nahmanides. The
work was i)ublislied after Mizrahi 's death by his sou
Israel, a fact which makes it possible to fix the ap-
proximate date of the author's death ; for iu Jan.,
1525, he was still alive (comp. Benjamin Zeeb, Re-
sponsa, No. 284). A compendium made by Jacob
Marcaria (V) was published under the title "Kizzur
Mizrahi" (Riva di Trenta, 1561), and later one by
Isaac lia-Kohen of Ostrog, entitled " Mattcnat 'Aui "
or " Kizzur Mizrahi " (Prague, 1604-9). Many com-
mentaries and strictures were written on Mizrahi's
commentary, among the former being: "To'afot
Re'em," by Mordecai Carvallo, aud "Hayye Yiz-
hak," by his son Isaac Carvallo (printed together,
Leghorn, 1761) ; Eliakim Gatigno's " To'afot Re'em "
(Smyrna, 1766); Isaac Haddad's "Karue Re'em"
(Leghorn, 1768); Joseph of Milhau's (Muscat's)
" Ozerot Y'osef " (//;. 1783); and Moses Toledano's
" Meleket ha-Kodesli " (ib. 1803). Among the critics
were Samuel Edels ("Hiddushe Maharsha," Hanau,
1716) and Samuel Zarfati ("'Nimmuke Sheniu'el,"
Amsterdam, 1718).

Mizrahi's mathematical works are "Sefer ha-Mis-
par" (Constantinople, 1534), on arithmetic, and a
commentary to Ptolemy's "Almagest" (no longer
extant), of which Mizrahi was very proud, uo com-
mentary having been previously wril-
Mathe- ten on that work. He says (Responsa,
matical No. 5) that, owing to the importance
Works. of the science of astronomy, the study
of which is considered as a "miz-
wah "' (good deed), he occupies himself daily with
writing a commentary on the " Almagest. " Accord -
iug to Dehuedigo (I.e.), Mizrahi wrote also a com-
mentary on Euclid's "Elements." The "Sefer ha-
Mispar" is in three books, divided into "gates"
("she'arim"), which are subdivided into chapters.
Book i. consists of three gates, treating respectively
of the four functions in (1) whole numbers, (3) frac-
tious, and (3) mixed numbers. Book ii., also of three
gates, treats of (1) the four functions in astronom-
ical fractions, (2) the extraction of the sqtiare and
cube roots, and (3) proportion. Book iii. is divided
into two parts, the first containing arithmetical and
the second geometrical problems. Each series of
problems consists of two clas.ses treated in two
chapters, the first being problems that are solved
with, and the second those that are solved without,
the help of the rule of three. In the introduction,
Mizrahi speaks of the relation between theology,
mathematics, and the natural sciences, remark-
ing that, while theology is iu no sense concrete,
the other two sciences are. He says also tiiat
mathematics is like a bridge by which one may
pass from one science to the other, and that there-
fore special attention shoidd be paid to it. Mizrahi
based this work mainly on Ibn Ezra's "Sefer ha-
Mispar"; and twenty-one out of the 100 y)roblem3
which it contains are almost literally copi(fd from
the latter. He employed Greek and Arabic works
also, often (luoting Nicomarhus of Gerasa, Euclid,
and Heron of Alexandria. From the Arabs he took



631



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Mizrahi
Mnemonics



material for his observations on fractious, extrac-
tion of the square root, and (Hiadratie equations.

An abridgment of Mi/rahi's work and of Abra-
liani b. Hiyya's "ISefcr Zurat lia-Arez " was made
by Sebastian Minister, to be useci as a text-book by
his j_nipils. This abridgment was i)ublislied with
a ivatin translation by Sclireekenfuehs (Basel, 154G),
tlirongh Avliich Mizrahi came to the knowledge of
European scholars, his original work having become
rare. A similar work attributed to Mizrahi was
published at Lemberg (1807) under the title "Mele-
kct ha-Mispar. " It contains at the end lessons in
chess. In answer to a (juestion by Count Boncom-
pagni of Home as to whether a Jewisii writer would
occupy himself witli the summation of the series
n |-3°-f8^4- . . . -f-n", Steinschneider trans-
lated into Italian the parts of the "Sefer ha-Mispar "
relating to the question, together with the introduc-
tion ("Brani dell' Aritmetica d'Elia Misraclii," pp.
43-67, Kome, 1866). According to Delambre ("Ilis-
toire de rAstronomie du Moyen-Age," p. 213, Paris,
1819), Mizrahi was the first to treat of the extraction
of the cube root. It is true that Delambre ascribed
to him a much earlier epoch than that in wdiich he
lived ; for, considering Mizrahi as later than Ibn
Yunus (d. 1008), he placed him in the twelfth cen-
tury.

BiBi.iocRAPiiY : Couforte, Knre ha-DoroU p. 31a; Fueun,
Keneset YUraeU p. ll(i; idem, in Ha-Karrml, iv. 314 et
!<eq.; Furst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 381 et seq.; Gratz, Gesch. 3d ed.,
ix. 30 et xeq.; Steinschneider, Cat. Bndl. cols. 946 et seq.:
idem. Jcwbfh Literature, pp. 118, 121, 189; idem, Hel)r.
Uchrm. pp. 508, 524; idem, in Ahhandluufien zur Gesch.
dcr Mathematih. ix. 477, Leipsic, 1899: G. Wertheim, Die
Arithinctik (?e,s Elia Misi-achi, Brunswick, 1896.

Israel ben Elijah Mizra]tii : Turkish Talmud-
ist ; lived at Constantinople in the sixteenth centur}'.
He edited his father's "Sefer ha-Mizrahi " (Venice,
1527), adding to it a preface in which he asked the
readers, in case they were unable to understand cer-
tain passages, not to criticize his father, but to apply
to him (Israel) for explanation. A responsum of
Mizrahi's is found in "Abkat Rokel " (No. 180).
He corresponded with Abraham Treves, the author
of "Birkat Abraham."



Bibliography: .\zulai, Shcin ha-GcdoUm. i. 115;
Keneset Yifirael, p. 698.



Fuenn,



Israel Meir ben Joseph Mizrahi : Palestinian
rabbi ; head of theyeshibah of Jerusalem in the first
half of the eighteenth century. He distinguished
himself as a rabbinical scholar at an early age, and
although he died when still young, he left impor-
tant works. In 1727 he was sent to Constantinople
to collect alms; and there he published his responsa
collection " Peri ha-Arez," followed by a " Kontres "
containing novelhe to Maimonides' "Yad"and its
commentaries. He wrote also "Ner Mizrahi," a
commentary on Elijah Mizrahi's novellre to the "' Sc-
mag," and "Tif'eret Yisrael," sermons. Both of
these works remain unpublished.

Bibliography: Vuenn, Knieset Ti'^raeJ, p. 699; Furst, BiW.
Jud. ii. 382 ; Steinschneider, Cat. Bndl. col. 1168.

R. C. M. Sel.

Raphael Abraham Shalom Mizrahi (better
known as Rab Sharabi) : Kabbi in Jerusalem ;
born at Yemen ; died in 1777. He enjoyed the rep-
utation of being the most learned cabalist of his
time, while his fervent piety, which, according to



the historians, recalled that of the famous Isaac
Luria of Safed and which has become proverbial,
secured for him the position of president of the
yeshibah Kalial Kadosh Hasidim,

Of Sharabi's writings on the Cabala the principal
ones are •' Kehobot ha-Nahar " and " Derek Shalonj."

Sharabi's son Isaac Mizrahi Sharabi (d. at
Jerusalem in 1803) bore the same liigii reputation
for piety as his father, whom he succeeded at the
yeshibah.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Azulai, Shnii hd-Grdniini. s.v.; Hazan. /fa-
Ma'alot U-Sliclomtili, pp. 20, 47, 93, 103.
**. s. M. Fk.

Reuben ben Hananiah Mizrahi : Babbi of
Constantinoi)le in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries; a descendant of Elijah Mizrahi. He was
the author of "Ma'yan Ganniin " (Constantinople,
1721), a work containing decisions upon ritual mat-
ters and homilies on the Pentateuch, with a preface
by Aaron Ilamon. In the preface are mentioned the
following works by Mizrahi, which are still unpub-
lished : "Be'er Mayim Hayyim," commentary on
the Zohar; "Nozelim Min Lebanon," commentary
on the "Tikkunim " ; " Peri 'Ez Hayyim," commen-
tary on Maimonides' "Yad"; •' Kappot Temarim,"
commentary on JMidrash Kabbah; "'Arbe Nahal,"
commentary on Pirke Abot and Esther; " 'Ez
Abot," responsa; " Ketem Paz," commentary on
the Turim Orah Hayyim and Eben ha-'Ezer; and
novell.'C on the Talmud.

Bibliography : Benjacob, Oznr ha-Scforim, p. 350, No. 1706 ;
Fiirst, BihT. Jud. ii. 382; Nepi-Ghirondi,To/cdo( Gednle Yia-
rael, pp. 312-314; Steinschneider, Cat. Bndl. col. 2139.

K. c. M. Sel.

MIZRAIM. See Egypt.

MIZWAH. See Command.ment.

MNEMONICS (Hebrew, "simaninr'= "signs"):
Certain sentences, words, or letters used to assist the
memory. Such aids are employed in the Mishnah,
in both Talmuds, and in the Masorah, as well as by
the Geouim and by the teachers of the Law during
the Middle Ages. In this article only the Talmudic
mnemonics will be discussed, together with those
emploj'ed by the later teachers of the Law. For
Masoretic signs and their use see M.\soiiah. The
mnemonics einplo)^ed in the Talmud may be divided
into the following two groups:

(1) Mnemonics which are formed from a Scrip-
tural passage, a mishnah, a halakic sentence, or a
proverb or maxim taken from life or
Formed of from jiature. These simanim, which
Sentences, are introduced by the word " we-sima-
nak " (= " and let thy sign be "), stand
invariably after the halakic sentences for which
they serve as signs; and it is usually stated who
invented and used them. Many originated with
the Babylonian amora K. Nahman b. Isaac, who
employed them with special frequency. They oc-
cur very often in 'Abodah Zarah, Hullin, and Sliab-
bat, as well as in Bekorot, 'Erubiu, Yebamot, Ta'a-
nit, and the remaining treatises. Mnemonics are used
to prevent confusion where for any reason it might
easily occur. Thus Ps. cxxxix. 5a ("Thou hast set
me behind and before ") is emploj^ed as a mnemon-
ic for 'Ab. Zarah 8a, to show that in the enumera-
tion of heathen feasts the Mishnah " goes from the



Mnemonics
Hoab



THE JEWISH EXCYCLOPEDIA



632



end toward the beginning," and that the feasts
which were celebrated later are mentioned first;
it might be supposed that the Mishnah had followed
the order of the seasons in which the several festi-
vals occurred. In like manner, when there is a dif-
ference between two things which are apparently
alike, a sign is employed to avoid possible confu-
sion (see several examples in Hul. 62b-63a). These
simanim are used especially to keep the authors of
divergent teachings distinct. Thus, for example, in
Hul. 46a, where it is said that R. Hiyya used to
throw away the liver, while R. Simon, the son of
R. Judah ha-Nasi, used to eat it, the saying "ashirim
mekammezin " {— " the rich are economical ") is em-
ployed, inasmuch as the rich R. Simon b. R. Judah
was frugal and did not wish to throw away the
liver. If two or more scholars bear the same name,
a sign is used to show which one of them is meant.

Thus in Pes. 114a, where it is said

To Distin- that the R. Isaac who in halakic sen-

guish Au- tences is called "Shema'ata" is R.

thorship. Isaac b. Aha, the phrase "shema'uni

ahai " (I Chron. xxviii. 2) is used as a
sign, i.e., the son of Alia is one of the Shema'ata
to whom halakic sentences belong.

(2) A wholly different kind of sign, found in the
mnemonic sentences which ai'e composed of single
words each of which is a catchword for a halakic
sentence, a teaching, or an opinion ; or of the names
of the authors and together with words made up of
single letters either of the authors' names or of the
catchwords characteristic of the sentences, or again
of both. There are only a few examples of these
sentences which have any meaning, most of them ma-
king no sense. With one exception (Zeb. 7b), they all
stand before the sentences which they are to impress
on the memory, and are never introduced by "we-
simanak," but by "siman," which word stands some-
times before and sometimes after the mnemonic term.

Mnemonics, however, are often found
Single without the word " siman " to desig-
Words. nate their character (e. 5^., Shebu. 35a;

Sanh. 83a), and have thus sometimes
been wrongly considered as parts of the halakic
sentences, as in Meg. 31a (comp. N. Briill in his
" Jahrb." ii. 119). On the other hand, there is a case
(B. B. 113) where the mnemonic term was lost, and
the introductory word "siman" was then supposed
to be the name of an amora (comp. J. Brtill, "Die
Mnemotechnikdes Talmuds," p. 18).

Tliese mnemonics, which are nearly all anony-
mous, designate the order of succession of the sen-
tences which are to follow, or of the transmitters
of the sentence about to be given, or even how many
times and in wliat passages the name of the same
transmitter occurs in the treatise under discussion.
A few examples maybe given. In Hul. 4a the say-
ings of R. Manasseh which occur in the treatise are
comprised in a single sentence which itself contiiins
a regulation concerning circumci.sion. In Hnl. 11a
different amoraim of various periods give different
reasons for one fundamental law. Out of single
letters taken from the names of the.se authors is
formed the mnemonic sentence " zeman shebah me-
kannesh," denoting that time collects that which is
good ; i.e., in this case time has not caused the excel-



lent sayings of the amoraim of different times to be
forgotten. Occasionally these mnemonics show that
something is missing in the Talmud (comp. Tos.,
Men. 20a, s.v. "Sheken"). With the exception of
'Arakin, Bezah. Hagigah, Me'ilah, Rosh ha-Shanah,
Sukkah, Tamid, and Temurah, such simanim are
found in all the treatises of the Babylonian Talmud.
It is probable, however, that in the treatises just
cited there were likewise simanim which were after-
ward lost, especially since many mnemonics are
missing in the present editions of the Talmud which
were to be found in earlier copies (comp. N. BrliU,
I.e. ii. 62 et seq.). These mnemonics

Means of were used by students as early as the
Preserving period in which the Halakah was still

Halakot. handed down only orally. The pro-
hibition against committing halakot to
writing did not apply to these simanim ; and they
thus furnished aids to the memory.

Most of the mnemonics, however, appear to have
originated after the Talmud had been collected and
arranged, but was not yet reduced to writing.
Many of them presuppose the order of succession of
the sentences, and contain the entire Talmud in
stenographic signs. When the Talmud was written
down these mnemonic notes were used as a basis for
the work. After its completion the signs were re-
tained, since they were of great assistance to many
pupils who still had to memorize the Talmud, ow-
ing to the lack of written copies. They were inserted
in the text likewise because they were very
useful as superscriptions and indexes, since a pas-
sage in the Talmud could be more precisely referred
to by means of them (comp. N. Briill, I.e. ii. 61).
Similarly the Geonim and the teachers of the Law
during the Middle Ages employed such sentences to
formulate their legal decisions (comp. Briill, I.e. p.
66, note 105). Mnemonics were also invented to in-
dicate the order of succession of the treatises, or of
the chapters of individual tractates, as well as of
the weekly readings from the Pentateuch (see R.
Bezaleel Ashkenazi at the end of the "Shittah Me-
kubbezet " on Men., and Judah of Modena in "Leb
ha-Aryeh," ii. 2). Such is the sign "zeman nakat,"
emplo5'ed by Maimonides in his introduction to the
Mishnah to indicate the sequence of the six mishnaic
orders, and which means "time has preserved," i.e.,
"has preserved the literary products of ancient
times. " Furthermore, each letter of these two words
indicates the name of an order of the Mishnah and the
place of such order among its fellows; thus, "za-
yin"=i"Zera'im"; "mem" = "Mo'ed"; "nim" =
" Nashim " ; etc. See also Abbreviations.

Bibliography : S. J. Rapoport, in Kerem Hemed, vl. 2.52 et
seq.; J. Briill, Die Mnemntechnik des falmxidx, Vienna,
1864 ; N. Bran, in bis Jahrh. il. 59-67, Frankfort-on-the-
Main, 1876.

T. J. Z. L.

MOAB (HebrcAV, nXIO; LXX. Mwa/3; Assyrian,
" Muaba," "Ma'ba," " Ma'ab" ; Egyptian, " Muab ") :
District and nation of Palestine. The etymology of
the word is very uncertain. The earliest gloss is
found in the Septuagiut, Gen. xix. 37, which ex-
plains the name, in obvious allusion to the account
of .Moab's parentage, as f« tov narpd^ fiov. Other
etymologies which have been proposed regard it as



633



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Mnemonics
Moab



a corruption of 3N 'D = "seed of a father," or as a
participial form from 3S" — "to desire," thus con-
noting "the desirable (land)." The latest explana-
tion is by Hommel (" Verliaudluugen des Zwolften
Internationalen Orientalisteu - Congresses," p. 261,
Leyden, 1904), who regards "Moab " as an abbrevia-
tion of " Immo-ab " = " his mother is his father. "

According to Gen. xix. 80-38, Moab was the son
of Lot by his elder daughter, while Ammon was
Moab's half-brother by a similar union of Lot with
his younger child. The close ethnological affinity
of Moab and Ammon which is thus attested (comp.
also Judges iii. 13; II Chron. xx. 22; Isa. xi. 14;
Jer. xxvi. 21) is confirmed by their subsequent his-
tory, while their kinship with the Hebrews is
equally certain, and is borne out by the linguistic
evidence of the Moabite Stone. The)' are also
mentioned in close connection with the Amalekites
(Judges iii. 13), the inhabitants of Mount Seir (II
Chron. xx. 22; Ezek. xxv. 8), the Edomites (Ex.
XV. 15; Ps. Ix. 10 [A. V. 8]; Isa. xi. 14; Jer. xxv.
21), the Canaanites (Ex. xv. 15), the Sethites (Num.
xxiv. 17), and the Philistines (Ps. Ix. 10 [A. V. 8] ;
Isa. xi. 14).

Moab occupied a plateau about 3,000 feet above
the level of the Mediterranean, or 4,300 feet above
the Dead Sea, and rising gradually from north to
south. It was bounded on the west by the Dead
Sea and the southern section of the Jordan; on the
east by Ammon and the Arabian desert, from which
it was separated by low, rolling hills; and on the
south by Edom. The northern boundary varied,
but in general it may be said to have

Geogra- been represented by a line drawn some
phy. miles above the northern extremity of
the Dead Sea. In Ezek. xxv. 9 the
boundaries are given as being marked by Beth-
jeshimoth (north), Baal-meon (east), and Kiriathaim
(south). That these limits were not fixed, however, is
plain from the lists of cities given in Isa. xv.-xvi. and
Jer. xlviii., where Heshbon, Elealeh, and Jazer are
mentioned to the north of Beth-jcshimoth; Medeba,
Beth-gamul, and Mephaath to the east of Baal-
meon ; and Dibon, Aroer, Bezer, Jahaz, and Kir-
hareseth to the south of Kiriathaim. The principal
rivers of Moab mentioned in the Bible are the Arnon,
the Dimon or Dibon, and the Nimrim. The lime-
stone hills which form the almost treeless plateau
are generally steep but fertile. In the spring they
are covered with grass; and the table-land itself pro-
duces grain. In the north are a number of long,
deep ravines, and Mount Nebo, famous as the scene
of the death of Moses (Deut. xxxiv. 1-8). The rain-
fall is fairly plentiful; and the climate, despite the
hot summer, is cooler than that of western Palestine,
snow falling frequently in winter and in spring. The
plateau is dotted with hundreds of rude dolmens,



Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) → online text (page 156 of 169)