Cambridge fragments found in Genizah of Ben Ezra Synagogue, Fostat, Egypt. Cambridge fragment taken to Cambridge by S. Schechter, 1896–97.


Part of a commentary on the First Book of Kings, in Hebrew with some Greek glosses. The surviving text extends from 1 Kings 7:25 to 10:21. The work is apparently a compendium from various sources, not always coherently woven together. There are various indications that the writer was an Arabic-speaker writing for Greek-speakers. Such commentaries are particularly associated with Byzantine Karaites, such as Tobias ben Moses and Jacob ben Reuben. The comments do not cover every single verse, but in places they are quite discursive, and attention is paid to the parallel passages in the Second Book of Chronicles. The author's concern is to explain difficulties in the text, and occasionally to point out discrepancies with other biblical passages; Greek glosses are used very occasionally. This copy contains many scribal errors, some but by no means all of which ahve been corrected by the copyist.


Eight leaves (four sheets) of parchment from the same quire, giving a continuous text (It is possible that a fifth sheet completed the quire on the outside.) There are holes from the stitching. Traces of pricking can be seen on the outer edge of fols 4, 5 and 7, and the parchment is ruled with a hard point across the sheet. T-S C6.133(part) (folios 1, 3–6, 8): Six leaves of parchment, conjoined in pairs. Generally well preserved, but mutilated in places, and particularly at the top of each sheet, round the central fold. Several lines are missing a the top of fol. 1; otherwise the text is essentially intact. Dimensions overall: 16.8–18.2 cm. x 23.5–30 cm. The width of each leaf from the central fold to the edge is +/- 15 cm., with the exception of fol. 1, which is exceptionally narrow, only 9 cm. Written space: 11.7–13.2 cm. x 9.5–10.5 cm. (between vertical rulings), except for fol. 1, which is exceptionally narrow, only 9 cm. Written space: 11.7–13.2 cm. x 9.5–10.5 cm (between vertical rulings), except for fol. 1: 5-5.5 cm. Oxford, Bodley Heb.d.43 fol. 25-25 (folios 2 and 7): Two leaves of parchment, conjoined. Stained and extensively mutilated at the top centre, but the text is virtually intact and generally well preserved. Dimensions overall: 18.4 x 29.5 cm. Written space: 14.7 x 10.2 cm. (between vertical rulings).


The ink is brown. The writing is generally careful, if uneven, and somewhat ornamental. Pointing is used occasionally, for Greek and Hebrew words. Ligatures are rare. Abbreviations are mainly conventional, and marked by dots or curved lines over the letters, or by a broken letter. Deletions are marked by crossing out or overlining. (The text has evidently been copied from another written text.) Adonai is represented by two yods with a curved line over; Elohim by אלים. Punctuation: a single point on the upper line. On fol. 4r there is an illustration of the two columns of 1 Kings 7:21; it is a vignette, bearing no direct relation to the adjacent text (which is the end of chapter 7), and is accompanied by captions. There is some attempt to achieve a straight left margin, by the use of stretched letters and sometimes by compressing words or by using the beginning of a word as a filler, but the result is not very successful, and many lines run over the ruled margin.


de Lange, Nicholas, Greek Jewish texts from the Cairo Geniza, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, 1996.