Tanna of the early post-Hadrianic period (2d cent. C.E.); a halakic exegete whose Biblical exegesis mostly belongs to the Mekilta and the Sifre. In the Tosefta he transmits sayings in the name of Eliezer ben Hyrcanus (Ter. i. 1, 15; ii. 5). He was a disciple of Ishmael, but associated also with the pupils of Akiba, with one of whom, named Nathan, he originated a halakah (Mek., Ex. xii. 2). He was also intimate with Jonathan and with the proselyte sons of Judah in the yeshibah of Simeon ben Yoḥai (Gen. R. xxxv.; M. Ḳ. 9a; Pesiḳ. 87b). Of his non-halakic exegeses may be mentioned: on Ex. xii. 7: "The blood upon the doors at Passover shall serve the Egyptians as tortures for their souls" (Mek.); on Ex. xx. 9: "Count the days of the week after the Sabbath" (l.c.); on Deut. xiv. 11: "Unclean birds are called , while clean are called either or " (Sifre); on Ezek, i.: "The paragraph treating of the chariot of God extends to the word only" (Ḥag. 13a). Another of his sayings is: "The prayer in need is adapted to all occasions" (R. H. 18a).
Bibliography:J. S. O.
- Bacher, Ag. Tan. ii. 387-399;
- Weiss, Einleitung zur Mekilta, p. 33, Vienna, 1865;
- Frankel, Hodegetica in Mischnam, p. 203, note 3.