||Only edition of this version of the commentary of the ibn Ezra on Proverbs with annotations by R. Hayyim Meir Horowitz ha-Levi. Ibn Ezra, among the greatest biblical commentator’s, is included in the rabbinic Bible, Mikra’ot Gedolot. The commentary published here, taken from a manuscript, varies from the printed version in the Mikra’ot Gedolot. The volume has a second German title page as well as a half-title page and an introduction from the publisher. It is bound with the original wrappers which, on the front cover have a list of other titles for sale from R. Horoiwitz.
R. Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra (1089–1164) was a poet, grammarian, biblical commentator, philosopher, astronomer, and physician. Ibn Ezra was born in Tudela, Spain, and his life falls into two distinct periods. During the first he lived in Spain, though it is possible that during this period he visited North Africa including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia (the city of Gabes), and perhaps also Egypt. Wherever he traveled he sought the company of scholars. He established a particularly close relationship with R. Judah Halevi who, like him, was born in Tudela and lived for a time in Lucena and Cordova, and whom he accompanied on one of his journeys to North Africa. According to legend Ibn Ezra married the daughter of Judah Halevi, who agreed to marry him despite his straitened circumstances. Little is known of his family life. He alludes to five of his sons in his poem Govhei Shehakim el Hadom Nikbe'u. Only one of them, Isaac, is known by name, and there is reason to believe that the other four died in their youth. The second period of Ibn Ezra's life is from 1140 until his death. In the former year, as he states, he left Spain for Rome "in a troubled spirit" and it is probable that the reason for that "troubled spirit" and the restless wandering which resulted from it, was due to the real, or alleged, conversion to Islam of his only surviving son (see Ibn Ezra, Isaac). Henceforth Ibn Ezra lived the life of a wandering scholar, and it is during this period that most of his works were written. He gives the places where he wrote his various works, and from them one learns the extent of his wanderings.
Ibn Ezra began his exegetical activity in Rome in 1140, and continued in it during the more than two decades of his wanderings. It is probable that he wrote commentaries on all the books of the Bible, although those to the Early Prophets, Chronicles, Proverbs, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Ezra and Nehemiah are not extant. In his introduction to the commentary on the Pentateuch, he enumerates various types of commentators: those who interweave their expositions with discussions unrelated to the text; the anti-traditionalists who believe that they can dispense with the explanations of the rabbis and feel free to interpret them according to their own reasoning; those who believe that the Bible is entirely allegory and mysteries; and those who follow the Midrashim without regard to the plain meaning of the text. Ibn Ezra rejects all four tendencies and states his intention of establishing independently the literal meaning of the text, but following the explanation of the talmudic sages in interpreting the legislative part of the Pentateuch. Etymological and grammatical explanations are major features of Ibn Ezra's commentary. He quotes earlier authorities either to approve of their views or to refute them, which he often does with sharp satire. He takes issue at times with midrashic explanations, and unsparingly attacks Karaite views and interpretations. The commentary reveals Ibn Ezra's fine feeling for the Hebrew language, his free and independent spirit, and his deep insight into human nature.