Old Testament commentary of David ben Joseph Kimchi, 1519

Scope and Content

'A Commentary on the Laws, the Prophets and the Hagiographia' by David ben Joseph Kimchi, translated into Latin by an unknown authority, for Giles of Viterbo, Cardinal of St Matthew in urbe, papal legate in Spain. An explanation of Hebrew words from Old Testament texts has been added with the Hebrew word given in the margin, the commentary in the body of the text. Additional occasional marginal annotations. Index.

Administrative / Biographical History

David ben Joseph Kimchi (c.1160-1235), usually known as Redak, was from a family of Jewish scholars originally of Spanish descent who moved to Narbonne (France), where David was born; his father Joseph and elder brother Moses were also well known for their works on Hebrew grammar and commentaries on the Old Testament. His commentaries criticised Christian misunderstandings of the scriptures. He was well known for his defence of MaimonidesÂ’ Guide for the perplexed, a philosophic statement of Judaism. His works were much copied, often with Latin translations.

Giles of Viterbo (1465-1532), an Augustinian canon and cardinal, was an outstanding scholar of Hebrew. His greatest works were on the Hebrew cabala and rabbinic literature, which he used as a historical tool for the interpretation of the Scriptures. He believed that each letter of the Hebrew alphabet concealed deep theological mysteries and so would have studied the cabalistic mysticism of Jewish commentators on the Old Testament. He was made prior general of the Augustinian Order in 1506 by Julius II, acted as papal legate and served at the Fifth Lateran Council in 1512, was bishop of Viterbo from 1523 until his death, and was deeply committed to reform of the Order.


Single item

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

From the University Muniment Room.


Call number used to be ms236

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Binding: calf, three line fillet. Spine carries title, faded. Paper: 20x13.5cm. Space for two illuminated capitals.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.