Skip to main content

David ben Boaz


DAVID BEN BOAZ (also called David ha-Nasi or Abu Sa ʿīd David ben Boaz ; 10th–11th centuries), Karaite scholar. According to Karaite tradition, David was a fifth generation removed from *Anan b. David b. Boaz. It is reported that his father died a martyr. One tradition relates that David and his brother Josiah took part in the polemic between *Saadiah Gaon and *David b. Zakkai (930–37). However another source places his activity half a century later. Possibly the reports are not contradictory, David living to a very old age. He was the head of the Karaites in Jerusalem, a position which he inherited from his father and grandfather and bequeathed to his son Solomon (who is known to have been living in 1016). His works, written in Arabic, include (1) a translation of the Pentateuch with a commentary of which only portions on Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy have been preserved (British Museum, Ms. Or. 2403, 2561, et al.; Ms. Leningrad); in this commentary David opposes certain opinions of Saadiah Gaon, but in a restrained manner; he also appends citations from the Talmud, explanatory notes to the biblical translations, and grammatical glosses; (2) a commentary on Ecclesiastes (British Museum, Ms. Or. 2552). A work on the tenets of faith (Kitāb-al-Uṣūl), no longer extant, has been attributed to David. His opinions and information about him are noted by many Karaite scholars. David is said to have been the first to reject the so-called catenary theory of forbidden marriages (rikkub) advocated by all his predecessors. He is thus the originator of the reform in this law which was effected by *Jeshua b. Judah in the 11th century.


S. Pinsker, Likkutei Kadmoniyyot, 2 vols. (1860), index; S. Poznański, Karaite Literary Opponents of Saadiah Gaon (1908), 18–20; Mann, Egypt, index; Mann, Texts, index; L. Nemoy (ed.), Karaite Anthology (1952), 123, 231, 374; Z. Ankori, Karaites in Byzantium (1959), index.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"David ben Boaz." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 17 Feb. 2019 <>.

"David ben Boaz." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (February 17, 2019).

"David ben Boaz." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.