Kimhi kĭm´hē [key] or Kimchi kĭm´khē [key], 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.
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