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ABICHT, JOHANN GEORG:

Christian Hebraist; born 1672 at Königsee, in the principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt; died 1740. He studied first at Jena and afterward at Leipsic. On the completion of his university course he became instructor in Oriental languages at the University of Jena (1702). In 1707 he went to Danzig, where he became rector of the gymnasium, holding simultaneously the pastorate at the Church of the Holy Trinity. In 1729 he was called to Wittenberg to fill the offices of general superintendent and chief professor of theology at the university, as well as that of pastor at the city church.

Abicht excelled in Oriental languages and Hebrew archeology. His scholarly interests embraced both the history and the literature of the Jews. The rabbinic commentaries, in particular, claimed his attention; and he showed his partiality for them by translating selections into Latin. These translations, among which may be mentioned selections from the commentaries of Rashi, Abravanel, and Ibn Ezra, which appeared under the title "Selecta Rabbinica" (Leipsic, 1703), and a rendering of Isaiah di Trani's commentary upon the Book of Joshua, form but part of his publications. In the "Selecta Rabbinica" are contained, also, fragments from the theology of Maimonides; while under the title "Porta Accentuum" he produced in a Latin garb Moses Naḳdan's book on Hebrew accentuation, "Sha'ar ha-Neginot" (Leipsic, 1715). He also wrote in Latin a dissertation on "Sefer ha-Yashar" (Leipsic, 1732), an anonymous work on Jewish history. Among his numerous productions his "Methodus Linguæ Sanctæ" (Leipsic, 1718) is the one most generally known.

Bibliography:
  • Jöcher, Gelchrten-Lexicon, cols. 23f et seq. and supplement, ed. Adelung, i. col. 53, Leipsic, 1787;
  • Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, i. 20;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 662;
  • idem, Christliche Hebraisten, in Zeit. f. Hebr. Bibl. i. 112;
  • Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. ii. 1438;
  • Ranft, Leben Sächsischer Gottesgelehrten, i. 1;
  • idem, Unparteiische Kirchenhistorie, iii. 327;
  • McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia, xi. 13.
H. G. E.
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