Thursday, January 28, 2016

Samuel ben Jacob and the Leningrad Codex

In January's Cairo Genizah fragment of the month, Ben Outhwaite highlights a contract from 1021 CE between the scribe Samuel ben Jacob and a patron to copy and supply with Masorah a codex of the prophets and writings. Samuel is to be paid the handsome sum of 25 dinars for his labor. But what is particularly interesting is that Samuel is also the scribe of the famous Leningrad Codex of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, which he probably finished in 1008 or 1009 CE. This small fragment from the Cairo Genizah, therefore, gives us insight into the life of a skilled scribe whose influence on the text of the HB/OT probably extends far beyond what he ever could have imagined.

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