David ben Joshua Maimuni

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DAVID BEN JOSHUA MAIMUNI (14th–15th centuries), *nagid of Egyptian Jewry. David was the last of *Maimonides' descendants to occupy the position of nagid. He was a bibliophile who acquired a large library, and he encouraged the literary activity of others. It was under R. David's inspiration that R. Joseph Bonfils wrote his supercommentary Ẓafenat Paʿne'aḥ ("Revealer of Secrets") to the commentary of R. Abraham *Ibn Ezra on the Torah. R. David wrote an essay in Arabic on the weights and measures of the Bible. For reasons so far unknown R. David was compelled to leave for Syria in the 1370s, writing a farewell letter to the Egyptian communities, which is still extant. He lived in *Aleppo, Syria, in 1375 and 1379, and also probably for some time in *Damascus. During his absence from Egypt, the position of nagid was occupied by R. Amram, who is mentioned in 1377 and 1380. At the beginning of the 15th century, R. David returned to Egypt and resumed office as nagid, as is learned from a document of 1409.


Ashtor, Toledot, 1 (1944), 300–02; 2 (1951), 26–30; A.H. Freimann, in: Minḥah li-Yhudah … [Zlotnick] (1950), 175–8.

[Eliyahu Ashtor]