Milhamoth ha-Shem

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Milhamoth ha-Shem (Hebrew: מלחמות השם) or Milhamoth Adonai (Wars of the Lord) is the title of several Hebrew polemical texts. The phrase is taken from the Book of the Wars of the Lord referenced in Numbers 21:14–15.

Among these the most notable are:

Milhamoth ha-Shem of Salmon ben Jeroham, 10th century[edit]

Solomon ben Jeroham's The Book of the Wars of the Lord (also Milhamoth Adonai מלחמות אדוני), is a refutation of Saadya Gaon.[1][2]

Milhamoth ha-Shem of Jacob ben Reuben, 12th century[edit]

The Milhamoth ha-Shem of Jacob ben Reuben, is a 12th-century Jewish apologia against conversion by Christians, consisting of questions and answers from selected texts of Gospel of Matthew, including Matt. 1:1-16, 3:13-17, 4:1-11, 5:33-40, 11:25-27, 12:1-8, 26:36-39, 28:16-20.[3] It served as a precedent for the full Hebrew translation and interspersed commentary on Matthew found in Ibn Shaprut's Touchstone c. 1385.[4]

Milhamoth ha-Shem of Abraham, son of Maimonides, 13th century[edit]

Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon's Wars of the Lord is a treatise defending his father Maimonides against slander.[5][6]

Milhamoth ha-Shem of Nachmanides, 13th century[edit]

Nachmanides's Wars of the Lord is a Halakhic treatise attacking Zerahiah ha-Levi's commentary on Alfasi. The treatise goes in great detail on the piece of Talmud at hand.[7]

Milhamoth ha-Shem of Levi ben Gershom, 14th century[edit]

The Wars of the Lord, also Milhamoth Adonai (מלחמות אדוני), of Levi ben Gershom, or Gersonides, or "RaLBaG", (1288–1344) is a religious, astronomical and philosophical treatise.[8]

Milhamoth ha-Shem of Abner of Burgos (Alfonso of Valladolid), 14th century.[edit]

Abner of Burgos (ca1260-ca1347) was a convert to Christianity who wrote polemical works in Hebrew between 1320-1340. This text is Hebrew anti-Jewish polemic that is now lost but quotations of it survive in the Latin writing of the fifteenth-century convert Paul of Burgos (Scrutinium Scripturarum) and the polemicist Alonso de Espina (Fortalitium fidei). It served as a template for Abner's later work ʾMoreh Zedek, which now survives in a Castilian translation as Mostrador de justicia and much material from the Sefer is repeated there. Abner translated the work into Castilian himself at the behest of Blanca, Lady of Las Huelgas in Burgos around the year 1320, and a copy of this translation was seen by traveller Ambrosio de Morales in Valladolid in the 16th century.[9]

Milhamoth ha-Shem of Yiḥyeh Qafeḥ, 1931[edit]

The seminal work composed by Yiḥyeh Qafeḥ (Hebrew: רבי יחיא בן שלמה קאפח), Chief Rabbi of Sana'a, Yemen and protagonist of the Dor Deah movement in Orthodox Judaism. Qafeḥ's Milḥamot HaShem (1931), which he began to write in 1914,[10] argues that the Zohar is not authentic.


  1. ^ Milhamoth ha-Shem of Salmon ben Jeroham, Davidson 1934
  2. ^ The Jewish quarterly review 1937 "It is, therefore, with great joy that students of early Karaism will receive the first complete edition of Salmon's main polemical work, the Sifer Milhamoth ha-Shem, recently published by Prof. Davidson"
  3. ^ William Horbury Hebrew study from Ezra to Ben-Yehuda 1999 128
  4. ^ J. Rosenthal (ed.), Jacob b. Reuben, Milhamoth ha-Shem (Jerusalem, 1963), pp. 141-52
  5. ^ Jacob Israel Dienstag, Fred Rosner Abraham Maimonides' Wars of the Lord and the Maimonidean controversy 2000 - 207 "The name of the work, Milchamot Hashem, literally "The Wars of the Lord," seems to indicate that Abraham Maimonides considered it to be a divine duty to defend his father's works against the slanderers and liars..."
  6. ^ Milchamot Hashem of Rabbi Avraham ben HaRambam With comments and explanations by Rabbi Reuven Margaliot. Publisher: Mossad HaRav Kook
  7. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia on Nachmanides
  8. ^ Levi ben Gershom Wars of the Lord translated into English by Seymour Feldman in 3 volumes (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1984, 1987, 1999) "As Gersonides tells us in his Introduction to the Wars of the Lord, he will consider in this treatise only those topics that were not adequately or completely treated by his predecessors, especially Maimonides."
  9. ^
  10. ^