Dutch Orientalist; born at Gröningen Aug. 23, 1686; died Jan. 26, 1756. He studied Arabic at Leyden under Van Til, and at Utrecht under Reland. He took his degree (Doctor of Theology) at Gröningen in 1709; became teacher of Hebrew at Franeker in 1713; and ultimately settled at Leyden as curator of the manuscripts of the Warner Oriental collection. He was the first in modern times to make scientific use of Arabic for the elucidation of Hebrew, and he has been called "the father of modern Hebrew grammar." His most important treatises on this subject are: "Institutiones" (Leyden, 1737); "Vetus et Regia Via Hebraizandi" (ib. 1738).
His chief works of interest to Hebrew students are an elaborate edition of Job in two quarto volumes (ib. 1737), which was translated into German (1748), and by Richard Gray into English, and an edition of Proverbs (ib. 1748). In reply to criticisms of his Job and Proverbs he wrote two letters to Mencken in defense of his exegetical method (ib. 1749).
- Van der Aa, Biographisch Woordenboek;
- Herzog-Hauck, Real-Encyc.