Jewish Commentaries


The Whole Old Testament

Elias Levita – The Massoreth Ha-Massoreth of Elias Levita: being an exposition of the Massoretic Notes on the Hebrew Bible, or the ancient critical apparatus of the Old Testament in Hebrew  d. 1549  Translated, and with an 84 page introduction, by Ginsburg, 1867. 

Masoreth means ‘to bind’ or ‘fix’, that is, it was the Jewish commentary on the scribal reproduction of the Hebrew scriptures during the first millennium of the Christian era, meant to ‘fix’ and preserve the Hebrew text indefinitely.  For a helpful summary of the Masorah and its significance, see the reliable McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia.

Levita’s title connotates something to the effect of ‘a binding commentary on the Masorah’, that is, to shore up and confirm the validity and usefulness of the Masorah.  Ginsburg was a leading Hebraicist of the 1800’s.  In the very valuable introduction he says:

‘ The work now submitted to the public in the original Hebrew, with an English translation, is an explanation of the origin and import of the Massorah.  Those who are acquainted with the fact that our Hebrew Bibles abound with marginal and textual glosses… and who know that there is no guide in our [English] language to these enigmatical notes, will welcome this Treatise, written first, and almost the only, Massoretic exposition.’  

Rashi – Commentary on the Whole Old Testament  d.  1106  After you click on a book of the Bible, note that you have to click on ‘Show’ Rashi’s commentary for it to appear, otherwise it will only show the selected passage of scripture.

‘Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzchak) is the most influential Jewish exegete of all time…  Rashi says ‘I, however, am only concerned with the plain sense of Scripture and with such Aggadot [exegetical notes] that explain the words of Scripture in a manner that fits in with them” – Wiki




Kimchi, David  (1160-1235)

The Longer Commentary of Rabbi David Kimhi on the First Book of Psalms (1-10, 15-17, 19, 22, 24)




Ibn Ezra, Abraham  (1089-1164)

The Commentary of Ibn Ezra on Isaiah, vols. 1 (Whole Commentary), 2 (Translation of Isaiah), 3 (Dictionary)




Kimchi, David  (1160-1235)

Commentary on the Prophecies of Zechariah, with notes and observations on the passages relating to the Messiah





Related Pages

Bible Commentaries

Whole Bible Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries

Old Testament Commentaries