ABEN EZRA (Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra): Jewish poet, grammarian, and commentator; b. in Toledo, Spain, 1092; d. Jan.23, 1167. He left Toledo about 1138 and is known to have visited Bagdad, Rome (1140), Mantua and Lucca (1145), Dreux (45 m. w.s.w. of Paris; 1155-57), and London (1158); in 1166 he was in southern France. His poems show a mastery of the metrical art but have no inspiration, his grammatical works are not logically arranged, and his commentaries lack religious feeling. His exegetical principle was to follow the grammatical sense rather than the allegorical method of the Church; yet he resorts to figurative interpretation when the literal meaning is repugnant to reason. His critical insight is shown by hints that the Pentateuch and Isaiah contain interpolations (cf. H. Holzinger, Einleitung in den Hexateuch, Freiburg. 1893, pp. 28 sqq.; J. Furst, Der Kanon des Alten Testaments, Leipsic, 1868, p.16), though he lacked the courage to say so openly. His chief importance is that he made the grammatical and religio-philosophical works of the Spanish Jews, written in Arabic, known outside of Spain. His commentaries (on the Pentateuch, Isaiah, the Minor Prophets, Job, Psalms. the five Megilloth, and Daniel) are usually found in rabbinic Bibles. His introduction to the Pentateuch has been edited by W. Bacher (Vienna, 1876); the commentary on Isaiah, with Eng. trans. and two volumes of Essays on the Writings of Abraham ibn Ezra, by M. Friedlander (4 vols., London, 1873-77). His poems have been published by D. Rosin (4 parts, Breslau, 1885-91) and J. Egers (Berlin, 1886). (G. DALMAN.)