Page 86 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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name is also given differently as Mordekhai Nathan, though it is
now generally considered that not only the introduction but the
entire work was written by Yitshaq Nathan (who may also have
had the forename Mordekhai). Other titles were sometimes also
appended to the work which went through several editions. The
second edition, printed in Basel in 1556,29 had a parallel Latin
translation by Anton Reuchlin, a professor of Hebrew in
Strassburg, but was marred by many omissions and misprints.
(Compare, e.g. the first heading “Ot ha-alef’ in the original edi­
tion (Figure 1) and in the translation (Figure 2) where the final
is printed as a
many other Hebrew words are also mis­
M e’ir nativ
listed only verbs, nouns and adjectives without
distinguishing between different grammatical forms, with loca­
tors* in the order of their appearance in the Vulgate, and brief
citations. Particles and pronouns were omitted because, as Na­
than remarked in his introduction, these
have no independent meaning and occur very frequently in
the Scriptures . . . I regret that I have not included these
also, but my object was to complete what was essential as
speedily as possible, and for the sake of this I left out what
was not essential, though I saw that in the Latin concord­
ances not a single word was omitted. They even include
proper names, because the intention of the compilers was to
make it easy for their readers, who had but scant knowledge
of the Holy Scriptures . . .
Nathan also omitted all Aramaic words which occur mainly in the
books of Daniel and Ezra. Despite all these omissions and many
errors, many of which were caused by the fact that Nathan em­
ployed several scribes to lessen the work load and to speed up the
completion of the work (which nevertheless took five years), the
M e’ir nativ
became the basis for all subsequent concordances to
Concordantiarum hebraicarum capita, quae sunt de vocum
expositionibus, a . . . Mardochai Nathan, ante CIX annos conscripta, nunc vero. . . ad
verbum translata,
per M. Antonium Reuchlinum . . . Basileae: per Hericum
Petri, 1556. 10 p., 980 columns. 2nd ed. Basel: Froben, 1591.
* The term
will be used in the following for the indication of book,
chapter, and verse (e.g., Gen. 1:3), while
will refer to the listing of a
verse or part of it.