1787 LONDON PRINTING OF THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES, WITH PARALLEL HEBREW AND ENGLISH TEXT AS TRANSLATED BY DAVID LEVI, "THE MOST AUTHORITATIVE SPOKESPERSON FOR JUDAISM" OF HIS TIME
(HEBREW BIBLE). [The Five Books of Moses] in Hebrew, with the English Translation on the Opposite Page, With Notes… by Lion Soesmans. Corrected, and translated, by David Levi. London: Lion Soesmans, 1787. Five volumes. Octavo, contemporary full brown tree calf rebacked with original gilt-decorated spines and spine labels neatly laid down, marbled endpapers.
1787 Hebrew Bible, containing parallel pages of the English and Hebrew text as translated by respected Jewish scholar David Levi, with notes and engraved frontispiece plates by printer Lion Soesmans in each volume.
Appearing within decades of the first publication of a separate Hebrew Bible in England, this printing of the Pentateuch—with parallel texts in Hebrew and English—proved an important event for both Jews and Christians in 18th-century England. With handsome engraved frontispiece plates and Haftorah text in each volume, this edition features a translation by David Levi, "a self-taught English Jew… regarded as the most authoritative spokesperson for Judaism in the English-speaking world. Christian writers on Judaism such as Hannah Adams in America and the abbe Henri Gregoire in France relied on Levi's works for information about Jewish religion and practices… Since the English Jewish community of the time knew little or no Hebrew, Levi translated the Sephardic and Ashkenazi prayers books, and produced expositions and translations of much Jewish lore about ritual and practice. His texts were used by Jewish and Christian writers well into the 19th century" (Popkin, "David Levi," Jewish Quarterly Review). Scarce first edition, with Hebrew and English text; each volume with engraved frontispiece by Lion Soesmans and Haphtorah readings at rear. Herbert, 302. Roth, 306. Not in Darlow & Moule. Bookseller stamp to upper margin of frontispiece plate in Numbers.
Light scattered foxing, expert restoration to extremities of contemporary tree calf. A nicely refurbished copy.