Skip to main content

Joshua ibn Nun


JOSHUA IBN NUN (second half of the 16th century), Safed scholar, kabbalist, and rosh yeshivah. Joshua was one of the leaders of the Safed community. He was in charge of the local charities, and from his own considerable means supported the scholars and the poor of Safed. He became attracted to the teaching of Isaac *Luria and implored Ḥayyim Vital to reveal to him Luria's esoteric doctrines. Vital, however, refused to comply though Joshua, according to one report, humbled himself before him, following him wherever he went, even to Jerusalem and to Egypt. According to that report, which is substantially correct, Vital became ill in 1587, whereupon Joshua bribed Moses, the brother of Ḥayyim, with 50 gold pieces, to copy Luria's writing that his brother had recorded. Moses hired scribes who copied the writings in three days and from then they became available to a select coterie in Israel. Joshua endorsed many of the rulings of Yom Tov *Ẓahalon. According to Ḥ.J.D. Azulai, some of his responsa are to be found in the responsa Zera Anashim (Mss.). The date of his death is usually given as 1587 but if reliance is to be placed on a recently discovered document he was no longer alive in 1585. In that case the above-mentioned incident must have occurred some years earlier than was previously thought.


Frumkin-Rivlin, 1 (1929), 131; Rosanes, Togarmah, 3 (1938), 293; Scholem, in Zion, 5 (1940), 138–40; M. Benayahu, Sefer Toledot ha-Ari (1967), 74–76; D. Tamar, Mehkarim be-Toledot ha-Yehudim be-Ereẓ Yisrael u-ve-Italyah (1970).

[David Tamar]

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Joshua ibn Nun." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 26 May. 2019 <>.

"Joshua ibn Nun." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (May 26, 2019).

"Joshua ibn Nun." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved May 26, 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.