Kimhi (kĭmˈhē) [key] or Kimchi kĭmˈkhē, family of Jewish scholars and grammarians in Spain and France. Joseph ben Isaac Kimhi, c.1105–c.1170, besides writing a Bible commentary, making numerous translations, and writing poems of merit, introduced the long and short divisions of Hebrew vowels (increasing their number from 7 to 10) and elaborated the passive verb forms. He is the author of what may be the first European Jewish anti-Christian polemic, Sefer Ha-Berit. Moses Kimhi, d. c.1190, son of Joseph, wrote The Paths of Knowledge, a grammatical textbook that is a mine of philological information and was heavily used by the 16th cent. Christian Hebraists. David Kimhi, known as Redak, c.1160–c.1235, another son, wrote Mikhlol [completeness], long the leading Hebrew grammar, The Book of Roots, a dictionary of the Bible, and The Pen of the Scribe, a manual of punctuation. Standard editions of the Hebrew Bible frequently included his learned and lucid commentaries; in Latin translation they greatly influenced Christian translators of the Bible.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.