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MEGILLAT YUḤASIN (= "Scroll of Genealogies"):

A lost work to which several references are made in the Talmud and Mishnah. In Yeb. 49b Ben 'Azzai, in support of a point in law, says: "I found a 'Megillat Yuḥasin' in Jerusalem wherein it was written that . . . is a bastard born of a married woman." On the same page two other citations from the "Megillat Yuḥasin" occur: "The Mishnah of Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob comprises but a cab, but it is clear"; and "Manasseh killed Isaiah." In Yer.Ta'an. iv. 2 and in Yeb. ii. the following occurs: "They found a 'Megillat Yuḥasin' in Jerusalem, and therein it is written, 'Hillel was a descendant of David; Yannai, of Eli.'" From these allusions it seems that the "Megillat Yuḥasin" was a record of principal events, of genealogies, and of facts pertaining to the Law, haggadic and halakic. Pes. 62b mentions a "Sefer Yuḥasin," which may be identical with the "Megillat Yuḥasin." It must have been a secret book that was still extant at the beginning of the third century, for R. Johanan bar Nappaḥa refused to teach it to R. Simlai: "We do not teach it to the people of Lydda and Nehardea." Later in the same century it became lost, and Rab laments the fact with the words (Pes. 62b): "Since the 'Sefer Yuḥasin' has been lost the strength of the sages has been weakened and the light of their eyes dimmed."

Rashi says the "Sefer Yuḥasin" was a history, but if it was the same as the "Megillat Yuḥasin," it must have contained laws and family records also. Eliakim Milzahagi, the author of "Sefer Rabiah," proposes the explanation that the "Megillat Yuḥasin" contained genealogies, and the "Sefer Yuḥasin" history and laws, but the exact nature of the work, lost even in Talmudic times, can not now be ascertained.

Bibliography:
  • Kohut, Aruch Completum, iv. 125, v. 76;
  • Levy, Neuhebr. Wörterb. ii. 237, iii. 17;
  • Hamburger, R. B. T. ii. 291;
  • Benjacob, Oẓar ha-Sefarim, p. 216, No. 113;
  • Zunz, G. V. p. 135;
  • Eliakim Milzahagi, Sefer Rabiah, viii. 123.
E. C. S. J. L.
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