MENASSEH, Ben Israel; VEDELIUS, Nicolaus

1. MENASSEH, Ben Israel. De resurrectione mortuorum libri III. Quibus animae immortalitas & corporis resurrectio contra Zaducaeos comprobatur: caussae item miraculosae resurrectionis exponuntur: deque judicio extremo, & mundi instauratione agitur.

Amsterdam: the author, 1636.



2. VEDELIUS, Nicolaus, De Deo Synagogae libri duo contra Casparem Barlaeam et eius vindicias…

Hardervici: Nicolai à Wieringen, 1637




£ 6,000




Two works in one volume. FIRST EDITION of both. 8° (14.5 x 10 cm); 1: [i], ‡8 †4 A-H8, [iv], I-Y8, pp. 346. 2: [i], †8 ††8 A-R8, pp. 260. 1: Title page with printer’s device (Emeth Meerets Titsma`h); dedicatory letter by the author; index. Pen inscription on title page. Roman letters, occasional Italic type and Hebrew letters. Floriated initials. Very small wormhole on bottom right corner, not affecting the text. 2: Title page with printer’s device (CERTA BONUM CERTAMEN FIDEI); dedicatory letter by the author; index and Errata Typographica. Roman letters, occasional Italic type. Floriated initials. Corner of N1 torn off; worm-track on bottom right corner, not affecting the text. Contemporary vellum; title of 1 inscribed on spine. Fine copy.



1. Ben Israel Menasseh (1604-1657) was a Portuguese rabbi, kabbalist, writer, printer and publisher. In 1626 he founded the first Hebrew printing press in Amsterdam which was named Emeth Meerets Titsma`h. The Printer’s device in the form of magical square in Hebrew on the title page spells out the name of the printing press he founded, which means ‘Truth springeth out of the earth’ (Pslams 85:12). Menasshe was the author of many works on Hebrew theology, including the Nishmat Hayim, on the reincarnation of the soul, and The Conciliator, which was written to reconcile the contradictions in passages throughout the Bible. In 1655 Menasseh travelled to London, where he published his Humble Addresses to the Lord Protector (Cromwell), and where he stayed for two years. During his time in England he tried to obtain permission for the Hews to resettle in the country, but without success. The De resurrectione mortuorum libri III was originally written in Spanish and subsequently translated into Latin, most likely for a Christian audience. This work was written in response to the writings and challenges of Uriel Acosta, a sceptic philosopher who suggested that rabbis were the descendants of the Pharisees and who had also questioned the idea of the immortality of the soul.



2. Nicolaus Vedelius (1596-1642) was professor of philosophy and theology at University of Geneva (1618-1630), Deventer (1630-1639) and Franeker (1639-1642). He was in favour of a middle way between the Roman, Lutheran, Armenian and Anabaptist theories. The De Deo Synagogae libri duo was written in response to the work of Caspar Barlaeus (1584-1648), professor of logic at the University of Leiden and subsequently, in 1631, of philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Only 3 copies of this text: Amsterdam University Library, Cambridge University Library and London, British Library.


Bibliography: Menasseh: Fuks & Fuks-Mansfeld, pp. 99-135; NNBW X, cols. 604-613. De resurrectione mortuorum libri III: STCN 084840250. Vedelius: Rogge II, 1, 60; STCN 054385318