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“ am unworthy ? for what am I, and what is my
life, or what is the righteous and upright work “ of mine hands, that I should come and intrude myself to ask from before the face of
my lord, a “small or a great thing?' But the man said unto
me, · Fear not, peace be unto thee, my son; “ask of me, and I shall give it*, for therefore am “ I come.' And I bowed down and worshipped “ with my face toward the ground. And I said,
* To-day thy servant knoweth that I have found “ favor in the sight of my lord; I pray, let my lord
speak in the ears of his servantt, and tell me the judgment of the nation, among whom I was
upon the bridge.' And he answered and said “ unto me, “ This is the book in which is written “ what shall happen in time to come, because of all “ the evil which is done. Speak unto the old
man, and he will tell it unto thee.' And he
gave the book into the hand of the old man, and “ who would give that I had permission to write “ the vision of that book! And he read therein, “and he gave it back unto the man, and the man “ said unto him, “Go, and tell the young man " who is with thee what thou hast read.' And “ he took me by the hand, and said, “Let us go
* Ps. ii. 8.
+ Gen. xliv. 18.
LETTER OF SOLOMON MOLCHO.
" It was
upon tables; but I have not yet seen them, And he preached to many at Bologna and in other places; and many ran after him to hear his wisdom, and to prove him with riddles*. And Solomon told them all their words: there was nothing hid from him which he told them not; and when they saw the wisdom of Solomon, they said, a true report which we heard concerning thee, and thou hast gained wisdom exceeding the fame which we heardt.” And many clothed themselves with envy against him ; but they could cast no evil upon him in Italy, for he was beloved in the sight of the nobles : and he united himself with David, and they were as one in those days.
826. And Solomon wrote unto the wise men, words of
and truth, saying :827. “Ye great mountains, ye pillars of the captivitył, knowing science, and understanding
knowledge, a goodly sight before the face of “ Him who dwelleth in the holy habitation, in “ whom is power to stand in the temple of the “ Holy King, and who are bound up in the
bundles of the seventy faces of the tree of * 1 Kings, x. i., and 2 Chron. ix. 1. + 1 Kings, X., and 2 Chron. ix.
I i. e. The Jewish communion ; which being dispersed among the Gentiles, is considered to be in a state of captivity.
§ 1 Sam. xxv. 29.
# There are, according to the rabbies seventy manners of interpreting the law which are called the Seventy Faces,
LETTER OF SOLOMON MOLCHO.
righteous life, to be a strong wall and a high “ bulwark round the destroyed city. May we
live to see its rebuilding! And much peace “ the throne of the King Messiah. These* are the “ seed blessed by God from heaven.
828. “ Incline your ear to hear the words of a worm and no mant, a rod out of the stem of the children of our captivity}, which came forth from
lands of our adversaries, sitting in a forest and in a desert, in a place of thorns, thistles, and “ briers ; there he fed, and there he lay down; “ for his father and his mother forsook him| ; he “ walked in darkness and had no lights, medi
tating in the night upon his couch**, by what
way the light is partedtt, that he might know “ the place of the dawn, to keep himself from the
ways of the violent, that he might walk in the
paths of God to seek wisdom of him, and to hear “ the words of truth. And He put in his heart
anxiety and trouble at all times, to save his “ soul from destruction, to shine in the light of
life, that he might hold fast unto the right hand of God, and cast from him the leftft; in his distress sages addressed in this letter.
† Ps. xxii. 7. # Comp. Isaiah xi. 1. $ Portugal. || Ps. xxvii. 10. TIs. 1. 10. ** Canticles iii. 1. ++ Job. xxxviii. 24.
II baov, i. e. What is not right; an allusion also to the name of the devil. SNOD, Sammael, angelus malignus, et princeps mortis.-Buxtorf.
“ he lifted up his voice unto Him, even unto the
Head and said, “Holy, make the tabernacle of
peace.' For it is better to trust in the Lord, than " to put confidence in princes* (because they are
dragonst, and will be destroyed); He shall “ stand for ever: see ye, and hearken unto this,
give glory unto our Godt.
829. “ In the twelfth month in the year “ OMRIM ( When I heard D'70X THEM SAYŞ, “Let us goll,) he went to supplicate the face of the · Lord, and to seek the Lord of Hosts; I also “ went into the palace of strangers in the great
city, which is destined to become desolate, and
* Ps. cxviii. 9.
+ Dan, belluæ marinæ, pisces ingentes, Gr. KITO, Gen. i. 21, dracones, serpentes. Gesenius, Lex. Manuale.
I Deut. xxxii. iii.
40 2= 200
291 291 + 5000 = A. M. 5291, or A.D. 1530. || The passage between parentheses has no connexion with the sense of Molcho's letter; and is merely cited, according to the custom of the Rabbies, because it contains in the word Onox the date of the year. There occur subsequently similar instances of this practice.
| i. e. Rome.
• whose land will be burning pitch : there came “ thither the messenger of your highnesses, and in “ his hand a roll of a book ; and he spread it out “ before
me, and it was full of pleasant and tender “ words, and it was in my mouth like honey for
sweetness* *; when I read therein with understanding eyes, I thought to return unto your
highnesses an answer briefly. It is already “ known unto the honor of your learning, con
cerning the vision which I wrote from the city Monasteriot unto our master, the revered Joseph Titsaf (may his Rock and Redeemer
preserve him !). For when I was there, he " asked of me to make known unto him my journey
from Portugal, in what manner it was; and “ I wrote to him every thing after its order; and I “ vowed to write also all which should in future
happen unto me in the kingdom of Edom|l; and “ in that vision your highnesses will see what came
upon me during my coming from Portugal and
Turkey unto the land of Edom, wherein I am “ now a prisoner by the hand of the king over
kings of kings, the holy ONE (holy and blessed “ is He!), by the hand of his servant, my master,
* Ezek. jii. 3.
+ . . $ , a . ll i. e. The European states, but especially Italy.
.מונישטיריאו + .ישמרהו צורו וגואלו a contraction for ,יצ"ו 8