Abrabanel, Isaac ben-Judah

   Portuguese financier and scholar. Isaac’s grandfather, who lived in Seville, converted to Christianity during the wave of anti-Jewish riots which swept the country in 1391. Taking the name of Juan Sanchez, he became royal treasurer of Andalusia. However, in 1397 he moved to Lisbon and practised Judaism openly. Isaac’s father was an even more prominent financial figure, in the service of the Infante Ferdinand of Portugal. Isaac himself, a wealthy trader, was treasurer to King Alfonso v of Portugal. He was respected in Jewish circles, and had friends among Christian humanist scholars. On King Alfonso’s death in 1481, the new ruler, John II, accused him of being implicated in a plot, thus forcing him to move to Spain. He was sentenced to death in absentia in 1485.
   Isaac stayed at first in Castile, in a small town near the Portuguese border, and devoted himself to scholarly works. After completing his commentaries on Joshua, Judges and Samuel, he took service in 1484 with FERDINAND and ISABELLA, the Catholic monarchs of Spain. He became the most skilful diplomat and financier at the court, while amassing a huge personal fortune. He used his influence in an effort to avert Ferdinand and Isabella’s decision to expel the Jews in 1492.
   Having failed, Isaac left the country with his co-religionists in 1492 and sailed for Naples. There he took up his biblical studies once more and completed his commentary on the Book of Kings. Soon after, he was appointed treasurer by King Ferrante, retaining this post under Ferrante’s son Alfonso II. During the French invasion of 1494, Don Isaac’s home was looted and he himself fled once more, this time to Messina with the royal family. He returned to the Kingdom of Naples when the French troops withdrew in 1496, and in 1503 settled in Venice, where he remained until his death.
   As well as commentaries on the major and minor prophets, Isaac wrote three messianic works (called Migdal Yes-hu’ot, ‘Tower of Salvation’), reflecting the not uncommon belief of Spanish Jews of that period that the Messiah would come in their lifetime.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ABRABANEL, ISAAC BEN JUDAH — (1437–1508), statesman, biblical exegete, and theologian. Offshoot of a distinguished Ibero Jewish family, Abrabanel (the family name also appears as Abravanel, Abarbanel, Bravanel, etc.) spent 45 years in Portugal, then passed the nine years… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abravanel(Abrabanel), Isaac ben Judah — (1437 1508)    Portuguese biblical exegete and statesman. He was treasurer to Alfonso V of Portugal and served King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Castile. His writings include a commentary on the Bible, philosophical studies of an anti… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • GABIROL, SOLOMON BEN JUDAH, IBN — (c. 1021–c. 1057; Ar. Abu Ayyub Sulayman ibn Yahya ibn Gabirul; Lat. Avicebron), Spanish poet and philosopher. His Life The main source of information on Ibn Gabirol s life is his poems, although frequently they offer no more than hints. A number …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • CRESCAS (or Cresques), ḤASDAI BEN JUDAH — (c. 1340–winter 1410–11), Catalonian rabbi, philosopher, and statesman. Crescas was born into an old Barcelonan family of rabbis and merchants. He studied Talmud and philosophy there under Rabbi nissim b. reuben gerondi (c. 1310–1376) and… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • NAGARI (NAʿARI), MOSES BEN JUDAH — (14th century), philosopher. Nagari probably lived in Rome around 1300. He is the author of Ma amar ba Ma arekhet, an index to Maimonides Guide of the Perplexed, which also contains explanations of philosophical terms. This work was printed… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • LEON, MESSER DAVID BEN JUDAH — (1470/72?–1526?), rabbi and religious philosopher. Born in Mantua, Italy, Leon studied in his father s yeshivah in Naples, where he was ordained at the age of 18 by French and German rabbis. He then went to the yeshivah of Judah Minz in Padua. In …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Judah Leon Abravanel — (or Abrabanel, otherwise known as: in Latin, Leo Hebraeus ; in Portuguese, Leão Hebreu ; in Spanish, León Hebreo ; in Italian, Leone Ebreo ; in English, Leo the Hebrew ; and in Hebrew, יהודה בן יצחק אברבנאל [ Yehuda ben Yitzhak Abravanel ] ) (c.… …   Wikipedia

  • Isaac Abrabanel — Don Isaac Abrabanel Born 1437 Lisbon, Portugal Died 1508 Venice, Italy …   Wikipedia

  • ABRABANEL — ABRABANEL, family in Italy. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, the three brothers, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, founders of the Italian family, settled in the kingdom of Naples. The family tree shows the relationships of the Italian… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • JUDAH HALEVI — (before 1075–1141), Hebrew poet, philosopher, and physician. Halevi was one of the most distinguished and emblematic medieval intellectuals, perhaps the most mature and representative model of Jewish culture in al Andalus; he was deeply involved… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.