Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


A celebrated Spanish Rabbi, born at Toledo in 1092; died on his journey from Rome, or Rodez, to his native land, 23 January, 1167.

He excelled in philosophy, astronomy, medicine, poetry, linguistics, and exegesis. He was called the Wise, the Great, the Admirable Doctor. Having to leave his native city on account of the vexations inflicted on the Jews, he travelled through a great part of Europe, through Egypt and Palestine. Rome, London, Narbonne, Mantua, Verona, and Rodez are some of the places he visited. His chief work is his commentary on the Sacred Books , which is nearly complete, the Books of Paralipomenon being the only ones missing. His commentary on the Pentateuch appeared in several revisions. In his commentary Aben-Ezra adheres to the literal sense of the Sacred Books , avoiding Rabbinic allegories and Cabbalistic extravagances, though he remains faithful to the Jewish traditions. This does not prevent him from exercising an independent criticism, which, according to some writers, even borders on rationalism.

But in his other works he follows the Cabbalistic views. The Book of the Secrets of the Law , The Mystery of the Form of the Letters , The Enigma of the Quiescent Letters , The Book of the Name , The Book of the Balance of the Sacred Language , The Book of Purity [of the Language] are perhaps the most important of his works of this kind. They were written during his life of travel, and they reflect the unsteadiness of his outward circumstances. Taking Aben-Ezra's work as a whole, it consists rather in popularizing Rabbinic Andalusian ideas on Latin and Saxon soil than in producing original thought.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Andrew: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • GRAPHIC IMAGES: Islamic extremist shown being BLOWN UP while making ...
  • Daily Readings for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • MIRACLES DO HAPPEN: Days-old baby girl buried alive pulled to safety ...
  • CRYBABY KILLER: Islamist State fighter breaks down in tears after ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More