Arragel (Al-Ragil), Moses

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ARRAGEL (Al-Ragil ), MOSES (15th century), Spanish scholar of Guadalajara. In 1422 he settled in Maqueda and there Don Luis de Guzmán, grand master of the order of Calatrava invited him to translate the Bible into Spanish with a commentary. At first, he declined the offer, stating that a translation and commentary by a Jew would not be acceptable to Christian believers. His objections were finally overridden; and Arias de Enciena, custos of the Franciscan Order in Toledo, was attached as consultant. Moses completed the translation and commentary in 1433. His translation followed the *Vulgate version except where it departed from the Hebrew original. His commentaries show close knowledge of Jewish exegesis and familiarity with classical and Christian Latin literature. At times he emphasizes that in certain matters the Jewish version is different from the Christian. The correspondence between him, Don Guzmán, and other Franciscan scholars, concerning their common undertaking, precedes the translation. In these letters he lauded the superiority of Spanish Jews over all their brethren in "lineage, wealth, virtues, and wisdom." The original manuscript includes many illuminations. These come from Christian sources but often betray midrashic elements.


Baer, Spain, 2 (1966), 251 ff.; M. Golde, in: jjlg, 27 (1926), 9–33; Salvany, in: Revista Española de Estudios Bíblicos, 2 (1927), 139 46; D.S. Blondheim, Gleanings from the Bible of Alva (1927), 11, extract from Medieval Studies… G.S. Loomis; C.O. Nordström, The Duke of Alba's Castilian Bible (1967).