Ben Zuta (ben Zita), Abu al-Surrī

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BEN ZUTA (Ben Zita), ABU AL-SURRĪ (tenth century), Karaite exegete. A number of his explanations of the Scripture are sarcastically dismissed by Abraham *Ibn Ezra in his commentary on the Pentateuch (e.g., on Ex. 20:23; 21:35; 22:28) and his Sefer ha-Ibbur. In the absence of corroboration from Karaite sources, Ibn Ezra's citations remain a principal source for particulars about Ben Zuta's life. A passage in an anonymous Arabic commentary on Samuel suggests, however, that Ben Zuta lived in Jerusalem and at a somewhat later period than had been conjectured. Judah *Ibn Bal'am also mentions Ben Zuta and cites his objection to an interpretation of Anan b. David, the founder of Karaism, to Ezra 18:6.


M. Friedlaender, Essays on the Writings of Abraham Ibn Ezra, 4 (1877), 70 (Heb. appendix); J. Israelsohn, in: rej, 23 (1891), 132–3; S. Poznański, in: mgwj, 41 (1897), 203–12; Mann, Texts, index, s.v.Alī Surri Hakkohen b. Zuta.