Moses Mordecai Büdinger.

Derekh emunah = The way of faith; or, The abridged Bible : containing selections from all the books of Holy Writ online

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JntenBeli for tje use of Jetoisij Schools anC JFamilfcs.

' Grass withereth, the flower fadeth.
But the word of our God endureth for ever."

Isaiah xl.





IloXXai fiei' OjT)TOts r\a>TTat, fiia S'A.Oava.TOKnv.




The connection which exists between the volumes containinL'
the Divine Revelation and the Jewish religion, is as manifold,
essential, and decided, as the influence of religion itself is on
the higher destiny of man. Hence revealed religion and reason
assert an equal authority and an equal right in promoting the
spiritual welfare of the Israelite. Wliile reason seeks, revelation
shows him the way to happiness, and enlightens the path with
the light of faith. Though the free spirit of inquiry penetrates
even into this sanctuary (revelation), removing, with a pre-
sumptuous hand, the holy veil from consecrated monuments,
for the purpose of bringing to light sterile probabilities, which
can at best but imperfectly satisfy the understanding, and leave
the heart cold ; yet it behoves, and is incumbent on the Israelite,
to believe in the word of God,^ as it behoves, and is incumbent
on him, as a rational being, to obey the moral law.

These sacred volumes, however, have, for a considerable
time, been sealed up as it were to Jewish females, especially to

' It is well known that (strictly speaking) the dogmas of the Jewish religion
may be reduced to three heads, or principles of faith, whence the rest are derived:
they are — 1. The belief in God, as the only Creator, Benefactor, and Preserver of
all things. 2. The belief in divine revelation: and 3. The belief in divine reward
and punishment. Compare on this subject the book " Ikarim," by B. Isaac Albo.



the youthful portion of them. This is owing partly to the
difficulty of making them understand the original language of
the text, and partly to other circumstances, which cannot here
be detailed. But if we consider the important functions which
woman exercises in human society, as wife, mother, and (first
and best) instructor of her childi-en, and, on the other hand,
the decided effect of religion, or rather, of religious training,
on this latter calling, and on the obhgations with which it is
coupled ; if we further consider, how much depends on the
first education man receives from his mother ; what power a
pious-minded, religious mother, who is well versed in the
Bible, has over the moral disposition and sentiments of her
children ; and how, on the contrary, a neglected and vicious
education, in our earliest infancy, produces the most unhappy
results, and how deeply these good or evil consequences
afiect social hfe, and whole generations ; we certainly must
allow a knowledge of the Bible to be as necessary and im-
portant to Jewish females, as revelation is to rehgion itself.
This argument acquires still greater force, when we bear in
mind, that the life of the Jew, religiously speaking, is
entirely interwoven with the Bible. It not only contains
the history of the origin of his nation ; but, moreover, his
religious ceremonies, his private and public worship of God,
his festivals and fasts, and his prayers, — all these are founded
on, and stand in the closest relation to. Holy Writ, including
all the books that are comprised in the term. And do not all
the precepts and doctrines of the moral law flow from that salu-
tary source ? And are not those doctrines tantamount to divine
laws, enjoined on man by revelation ? And of all this, the
daughters of IsraeP should be allowed to know but little or

' It cannot surely be maintained that the divine law excludes them, for it is
therein said (Deut. xxxi. 12), " Gather the people together, men, and women,


nothing, as if, forsootli, they had but little or nothing to do with
religion, and had no right to happiness here and hereafter ; or
should be obliged to continue strangers in the house, to which
they legitimately belong ? . . . . But I should be transgressing
the limits of a preface, were I to treat, in its full extent,
so important a subject, as that of the religious education and
training of the female sex of the Israehtes. These few pre-
liminary remarks are intended merely to point out what im-
provement is needed, and in how far it may be carried out.
Our immediate object, however, does not require of us that we
should furnish the whole of the contents of the divine books ;
for, in their totality and original language, they should be
reserved for the more serious study of the adult, while for the
religious culture of the juvenile members of our community,
especially of the female portion, a suitable selection from those
sacred volumes is sufficient. That such culture will prove the
more successful the earlier it is begun, needs scarcely to be
mentioned ; nor can it be doubted, that a selection such as is
here offered will be found a most useful and necessary auxiliary,
if it is considered, how the sublime and unaffected narrative of
the Bible is so well adapted to the simplicity, innocence, and
tenderness of the infant mind. But hitherto we have strongly
felt the want of such an auxiHary. And yet, how is it possible
religious doctrines should be retained on the minds of the
young, and benefit them, when they hardly know the name, and
much less tfie value and the contents, of these sacred volumes,
whence all those doctrines are derived ? Let faith first be
strengthened by the word of God ; let the youthful mind first
acquire a knowledge of God, and a love for the good, by an

aud children, aud thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and
that they may learn to fear the Lord your God, and strictly to observe the words
of this law."



intimate acquaintance with the bibUcal facts, descriptions, and
characters ; then only, and not until then, let a systematic
instruction in religion succeed, and it shall prove as salutary
as a vernal shower upon the young grass. To supply so urgent
a want, and to point out to my coreligionists generally, and
to my sisters of the house of Jacob particularly, the way to the
faith of our fathers, were the motives which induced me to
undertake this task. That such a work really is an urgent
want, will be acknowledged by every one who holds the word
of God sacred, and who does not wish to exclude the Jewish
females from the pale of rehgion, in its more limited sense.
How far I have succeeded in accomplishing the object I had
in view, it is for those to judge who know the difficulties of
such a task, and who will, for this reason, treat me with in-

As regards the manner of execution, I have retained the
unaffected biblical form, having been convinced by experience,
that this is the best, and the most suitable for my purpose.
.... The notes, which are partly of a didactic, and partly of
an exegetical nature, are intended to illustrate to the adult
female reader, the sense of difficult passages, and to facilitate
instruction to the teacher. AYant of space would not admit of
longer and more frequent notes. In the headings of the
chapters, I have endeavoured to indicate the religious and
moral lessons that may be deduced therefrom. That I may
have been too circumstantial in some parts, and too concise in
others, — that I should have omitted here, and added there, —
is, after all, perhaps, mere matter of opinion ; and here I would
beg it to be remembered, for what public, and for what portion

of the public, the work is more immediately intended

In the arrangement of the Proverbs of Solomon, I have not
regarded the succession of the chapters, but the contents ; and


as to the Psalms, I have selected those which are less famihar
to the yovmg, not being contained in the Daily Prayers.

In conclusion, may I be permitted to add a few observations
on the use of this book.

To you, my dear sisters in the faith, who are well educated,
I have but little to say on this head. I only beg of you to
read it, and would simply advise you to look upon this short
Bible, wliich contains the word of God, as a prayer-book.
A quarter of an hour — for one chapter — may easily be found
every day ; while on Sabbath, perhaps, two or more chapters
might be perused. Your rehgious feeling, in course of time,
probably made the way to faith more agreeable to you, and so
you have more frequently walked it.' And if the mother
thus lead the way, the good daughter will certainly not fail to
follow her.

For the faithful teacher, whether male or female, a few hints
will sufl&ce. Let your pupils read but little at a time, and
exhaust that little by repetition and interrogation. The notes
and headings will guide you in your task. The Scriptural
verses, frequently quoted at the commencement of a new
chapter, may be used both as a means to illustrate the purport
of the chapter and as moral apothegms in themselves, fit to
be committed to memory. Thus, for instance, the quotation
(ch. 11), " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," &c. having

' It need scarcely to be mentioned, that there is a great difference between
edifying or devotional works and every other kind of books. The latter, especially
books of mere amusement, if once perused, have attained their aim ; but with the
former the case is quite the contrary. What are they, but means to strengthen
the soul in morality and religion, — therefore prayer, or worship of God in a wider
sense. That which is most familiar to us is here frequently the most efficacious,
the most edifying portion. And looked at from this point of view, the reading
of the Bible undoubtedly asserts the first rank in the education of man.



been read by the pupils, tlie teaclier should put the question
to them, How is this love to be exercised ? What is meant by
" with all thy soul ?" Again, the pupils having read or recited
the verse, " He sent deliverance," &c., the teacher should ask,
In what connection does this verse stand with the contents of
the succeeding chapter ? Who was the deliverer ? Again,
" The slanderer," &c. Who was the slanderer ? What is
meant by slander ? Used in such a manner, and economically
proceeded with, this short Bible will, for a considerable period,
prove an entertaining and instructive class book. It is par-
ticularly adapted for girls, from nine to fourteen years of age ;
but it will also be found highly useful in schools and in private
families for those boys who, from their or their parents' position,
cannot enjoy the advantages of a thorough instruction in the
Bible, in the original language of the holy text.

In conclusion, may I be permitted to express the wish, that
my labour may be blessed with the salutary results of faith and
virtue, for the sake of which I undertook, and, with the assist-
ance of the Almighty, have completed my task.


Stuttgard, ill the Autumn of the Year 5583.






Eecommendation is no longer needed for a work which has,
in a short period, not only called for a fifth edition in Germany,
but which the Rev. Dr. Adler, Chief Rabbi of the Jews in the
British Empire, has even thought deserving a translation into
the English language, for the purpose of being introduced into
the schools under his superintendence. I shall, therelbre,
content myself with simply expressing my sincere wish, that
the pious spirit of its author may find an entrance into the
hearts of the children who shall be instructed in this book, so
that they, Hke him, may, by an assiduous study of its contents,
acquire the knowledge of the way of the Lord ; and still, like
him, pursue that way by a constant and unremitting discharge
of their duties. If docile youths would but imbibe the lessons


of lioly scripture, with all that vigour of heart and mind which
the author exerted in teaching it, the great task which he
imposed on himself during life would be performed, liis object
would be accompUshed, and the fear of the Lord would pre-
serve the young in the covenant, into which they have been


Principal of an Educational Establishment
for Young Ladies.

CaSSEL, April, 5607.


After the elaborate preface of tlie aiitlior, it would be super-
fluous in me to oifer any fuitlier explanation on the nature,
design, and utility of tlie volume, which is here presented to
the Jewish public ; all I have to add to Dr. Budinger's re-
marks is, that whatever he has stated relative to the want of
such a work among his German coreligionists, applies with
much greater force to my English brethren in the faith, who
have as yet no version of their own of the sacred scriptures
to place in the hands of their children. Having myself been
engaged, for a series of years, in the capacity of teacher and
manager in some of our national schools in this country, I
have more pecuHarly felt the absence of a work, which should
form an antechamber, as it were, to tlie sacred and lofty halls
of the doctrinal portion of our holy religion, which should
prepare the young for the reception of the more abstract truths
revealed to us on Sinai, and which, by making the young
student acquainted with the great and worthy characters of
the Bible, with the leading facts recorded therein, and with
some of the sublime effusions of the Prophets and inspired
writers, preserved in that Book of books, should gradually
lead them on the vmy to faith. Dr. Budinger's short Bible
appeared to me to supply this desideratum ; and encouraged
by the Revereiad the Chief Rabbi, who shortly after his arrival
in this country, recommended this book to my attention, I at
once undertook the task of translating it, having previously
obtained the permission of the respected widow of the author,
as testified by the brief, yet masculine and spirited, preface
which she kindly forwarded to the Rev. Dr. Adler, for the
express purpose of its preceding my translation.

Under such favourable auspices (to use a current phrase), 1
proceeded to the execution of my task, cheerful and replete

xii THE translator's PREFACE.

with hope, yet, not without apprehension ; for, besides labour-
ing under the disadvantage of writing in a foreign language, I
had to contend against difTiculties of no ordinary kind. The
authorised version is, in this country, the standard translation
of the Bible ; its phraseology is as familiar to an Englishman as
the voice of a dear friend ; the least departure from it is offensive,
and startles from its novelty ; and yet, great as is the merit
of this very scrupulous version, it was impossible for me to
adopt its renderings in every instance, since I found, that
wherever the text presented any difficulty, the translators,
perhaps most wisely and judiciously for their purpose, literally
adhered to the original.^ On the other hand, Dr. Bildinger, in
his version, has followed the renderings of Mendelssohn,
Euchel, Wolfssohn, J. Levi, J. Wolf, Dr. C. W. Justi, and
Friedlander ; not, however, without regard to his immediate
and primary object, and hence occasionally differing from his
models in their construction of the text. Thus fettered,
havinsf had to consult both the Eno-lish version and the
Hebrew text, I determined, in the narrative portion of the
work, to adopt, with but slight deviations, the language of the
former, and to retain the spirit of the latter. A greater license,
however, was required for the just rendering of the poetical
passages which occur throughout the work, and more particularly
in the Prophets and the book of Job, not from any arbitrary
inclination or novelty-hunting propensity of my own, but
because it appeared to me, and indeed it must be admitted by
all who are conversant with the Hebrew language and its
spirit, that the authorised English version, though even here
scrupulously literal, has sometimes mistaken the sense of the text,
or from that very close adherence to it left it unintelligible.
This observation likewise applies to the Preacher, the Proverbs
of Solomon, and the Book of Sirach, where the immediate
object of this work frequently required a paraphrase, rather

' In some few instancss they have even departed from the Masoretic reading
of the text.


than a translation ; the text being, in many instances, so
obscure as to admit of a variety of constructions, nay, even to
defy all attempts at a satisfactory elucidation ; and, finally, to
the Psalms, which present equally numerous and great difficul-
ties. In all those instances, therefore, I deemed it the safest
course for me to be guided by my author, and to imitate his
arrangement of the verses, without, however, intending them
to be metrical ; and although I may not have always agreed
with him in his interpretation of the text, not much would
have been gained by my departure from his translation, since
in differences of this nature, in the conflict of opinions of even
acknowledged authorities, it is impossible for the ablest, and
would have been presumptuous in me, to pronounce the de-

These few explanatory remarks I have felt it incumbent on
me to make, lest I should incur the severity of critics. Yet I
would by no means be understood to deprecate criticism alto-
gether ; on the contrary, any real improvement that may be
suggested will be thankfully received, and treated with due
attention in a future edition of the work. This much only I
would beg to have borne in mind, by those who shall sit in
judgment upon me, that I did not for a moment contemplate
producing a standard Jewish version of the Bible, — such a
design would have been incompatible with a mere abridgment,
— ^but a useful class-book, comprising select portions from the
Scriptures, and pointing out to the young the beauties and the
holiness of that Book of books. With regard to the notes,
I frequently, in the course of writing, felt an inclination to
enlarge them ; on a more mature consideration, however, it
appeared to me unadvisable to make such an addition, as the
teacher ought to have an opportunity left him of making his
own comments on the chapter read by his pupils, and of orally
conveying to them the moral lessons to be deduced therefrom,
the living voice possessing so superior a power to, and being so
much better calculated than, any other medium, for impressing
on the mind that which is intended to be inculcated.

xiv THE translator's PREFACE.

Before conclu(Iini2: I must not omit to state, that, in the Book
of Genesis, 1 took the liberty of following, in most instances, the
translation pubHshed some time ago by the Kevds. D. A.De Sola,
I. L. Lindcnthal, and Dr. ]\I. J. Kaphall, who had endeavoured
in their performance, to combine correctness with taste.'

I also take this opportunity of gratefully acknowledging the
valuable contributions of Messrs. Sampson Samuel, and M.
Angel, Head-Master of the Jews' Free School ; the former of
whom kindly furnished me with a metrical translation of the
loth and 84th Psalms, and the latter with that of the 1st, 8th,
and 139th Psalms.

With these prefatory remarks I send this volume forth to
the world ; and although I only appear before the public in the
capacity of translator, I believe I have stated sufficient to con-
vince the reader that my task was not one of the easiest ; and,
tremblingly aUve as I am to my own deficiencies, I should cer-
tainly have shrunk from performing it, had I not been upheld
by the consciousness, that though I might fail in doing entire
justice to this divine book, its contents may be outwardly dis-
figured, but can never be stripped of their intrinsic beauty and
subhmity. May I, therefore, in conclusion, express the hope,
that my coreligionists, appreciating my humble intention of
serving them, and evincing their sense of the Chief Eabbi's
zeal in the cause of education, will accord this book a favourable
reception ; and that parents, and mothers especially, will lend
their powerful aid in instilhng into the minds of their children
those excellent lessons of piety and morality which are here
afforded to them, and which alone can render them happy here
below, and ensure their felicity in the life to come.

London, Teheth, 5608.

' This translation is on sale by tlie publishers of this work.



From the Creation
of the World.

The Death of Adam 930

Noah and the Deluge 1655

The Building of the Tower, Origin of Languages . . 1990

Abraham commences to propagate the Knowledge of the

true God 2022

Isaac about to be sacrificed by his father .... 2074

Birth of Jacob and Esau 2108

Jacob removes to Haran . . . . . . .2185

Joseph is sold ........ 2216

Jacob removes with his family to Egypt .... 2238

Death of Jacob ........ 2255

Death of Joseph 2309

Birth of Moses 2368

Departure of the Israelites from Egjrpt, and Revelation on

Sinai 2449

Joshua brings the Israelites into the land of Canaan . 2488

Deborah, Judge in Israel ...... 2636

Jephtha, Boaz, and Ruth ...... 2780

Samson 2811

Samuel, Judge and Prophet ..... 2870

Saul, King of Israel 2882

David, King of all Israel 2892

Solomon, Kingr 2924

Tf Yi From the Creation

of the World.

Deatlv of Solomon, and division of the kingdom into the
house of Judah and of Israel, Jeroboam and Rehoboam
being Kings ....... 2964

Achab, Elijah . 3026

Elisha, Jonah, Jehu, Athaliah ..... 3059

Hosea, the last king in Israel, Salmanasser . . .3190

Hezckiah, Sennacherib, Isaiah, Amos, Micah . . 3218

The pious King Josiah, Jeremiah, the Prophetess Shildah,

Judith 3290

Destruction of Jerusalem and the (first) temple by Nebu-
chadnezzar. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel . . 3338
Cyrus, Zcrubbabel. Termination of the Babylonian Captivity.

Haggai, Zechariah ....... 3390

The History of Esther 3400

Ezra and Nehemiah go to Jerusalem. Consecration of the

newly built temple . . . . . . .3412

Victory over the Syrians and Inauguration of the Temple by

the Maccabees. Antiochus Epiphanes . . 3622

This work not being intended for a history of the Jews, the chronological
table here given will be sufficient for immediate purposes. The dates adopted
are those of Ral)bi David Ganz, in his Chronological Manual, and differ, as is well
known, from those generally accepted; this circumstance, however, is of little
importance to the object here in view.





" Ah, Lord God ! behold thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great
power and out-stretched arm, and nothing is too hard for thee." Jer. xxxii. 17.

In tlie beginning God created tlie heaven and the earth, and
every thing contained therein, in six days. But the earth was
without form, and a confused mass, and all was darkness.
Then God said. Let light be: and light was. And God
divided the light from the darkness; he called the light, Day,
and the darkness he called Night. Then God made the ex-
panse of heaven, and gathered together the waters under the
heaven, so that they became sea, and the dry land was
separated therefrom. God bade the earth bring forth all kinds
of herbs and trees. In the expanse of heaven he placed the
two great lights and the stars, to divide the day from the
night, the hght from the darkness, and to give light upon
the earth ; and that they might also be for .signs and for
seasons, for days and for years. God then bade the waters
teem with all kinds of animated creatures, and created the
fowl to fly under the heaven. He also bade the earth bring
forth cattle and the various beasts of the land, each after its
kind. And on the sixth day God created man out of the dust
of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.'

Online LibraryMoses Mordecai BüdingerDerekh emunah = The way of faith; or, The abridged Bible : containing selections from all the books of Holy Writ → online text (page 1 of 37)