Abba Guryon of Sidon

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ABBA GURYON OF SIDON (second century), talmudic sage. Only two of his statements, both quoted in the name of other sages, have been preserved. One (Kid. 4:14) is "a man should not teach his son the occupation of an ass driver, camel driver, barber, sailor, shepherd, or tavern keeper, these being the trades of robbers." The second is contained in the introduction (ix) to a late Midrash on Esther known as Midrash Abba Guryon (ed. by S. Buber, 1886), taken apparently from Esther Rabbah. "With the increase of false judges, false witnesses increased; of informers, the wealth of violent men increased; of impudence, respect for human beings ceased; when the beloved children provoked their heavenly Father to anger, He set an arbitrary king over them." The "arbitrary king" is probably Domitian (89–96 c.e.) and the reference to "informers" may be reflected in the coin struck by his successor Nerva to commemorate the abolition of the calumny connected with the Jewish tax.


S. Klein (ed.), Sefer ha-Yishuv, 1 (1939), 129; Hyman, Toledot, 302.

[Bialik Myron Lerner]