YALKUT (HA-) MAKHIRI


YALKUT (HA-) MAKHIRI (Heb. יַלְקוּט הַמָּכִירִי), an anthology of aggadic Midrashim by Machir (Makhir) b. Abba Mari, on the lines of the *Yalkut Shimoni but more limited in scope. The following extant portions have been published: Isaiah (1893) by J.Z. Kahana-Spira; Hosea (in: JQR, 15 (1924/25), 141–212) by A.J. Greenup; the rest of the Minor Prophets (1909–13) also by Greenup; additional fragments of Hosea and Micah in the Gaster Anniversary Volume (1936), 385–73) by J. Lauterbach; Psalms (1900) by S. Buber; Proverbs, chapters 2–4 (1927) by J.M. Badhab; Proverbs 18–31 (1902); and fragments of Proverbs 2, 3, 13, and 14 (in: E. Gruenhut, Sefer ha-Likkutim, 6 (1903) by E. Gruenhut. In the extant introductions at the beginning of Isaiah and Psalms, Machir mentions a Yalkut to the "Prophets, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel." In view of this separate mention of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Greenup assumes that "Prophets" refers to the Early Prophets and that the author intended to cover all the books of the Bible, excluding those covered by the Midrash Rabbah. This, however, is doubtful; the "Prophets" may refer to the later prophets and the Hagiographa. It is certain, however, that only part of the original Yalkut has been preserved.

The Yalkut includes quotations from many sources: the tannaitic and amoraic literature and many of the homiletical Midrashim. The sources are usually given, though sometimes merely "Midrash" or "Midrash Aggadah" is stated; also, the quotations are not always to be found in the existing editions of the sources indicated. Machir is usually exact in giving the actual language of his sources, and as he had many manuscripts (apparently of Sephardi origin) before him, his work is often a basis for restoring the correct reading. There is no information about Machir or the period when the Yalkut was compiled. The author traces his ancestry back six generations, but these ancestors cannot be identified. The colophon to the Leiden manuscript states that it was sold in 1415, thus determining the latest possible date the work was compiled. Most scholars attribute it to the 14th century, but Gaster was of the opinion that it was compiled in the 12th century, apparently in Spain, and assumed that the author of part two of the Yalkut Shimoni, who according to Gaster lived in the 14th century in Spain, made use of the Yalkut (ha-) Makhiri, abridging and summarizing it. This theory has, however, been disproved by Epstein. Both Epstein and Buber claim correctly that neither anthologist knew the other and point out that they differ in their method of citing sources, that each of them cites Midrashim unknown to the other, and that certain Midrashim were known to them under different names. That it was compiled in Provence, the generally accepted opinion, merely because the name Machir was known there, is not supported by internal evidence or by the local dialects. On the contrary, Machir's use of a Deuteronomy Rabbah (published by S. Lieberman, 1940, 19652) which was known only in Spain and the statement of Shabbetai Bass in the Siftei Yeshenim (Amsterdam, 1680, 29, no. 42) possibly relying upon a tradition that "the Yalkut (ha-) Makhiri was compiled before the Spanish expulsion" (Kunteres Aḥaron,) at least tends to support the assumption that Machir came from Spain.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

S. Buber, in: Ha-Ḥoker, 2 (1894), 88–96; J. Piumer, in: Me'assef, 2 (1902), 37–43; M. Gaster, in: REJ, 25 (1892), 44–64 (= Studies and Texts, 3 (1925–28), 57–68): idem, Exempla of the Rabbis (1924), 35–39; A. Epstein, in: REJ, 26 (1893), 75–82: Zunz-Albeck, Derashot, 415.

[Jacob Elbaum]


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