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JOSHUA (HA-KOHEN) BEN NEHEMIAH:

Palestinian amora of the fourth century. He seems to have devoted himself almost entirely to the Haggadah, for no halakic opinion of his is known. In the Talmud he is mentioned in one passage only (Sheḳ. ii. 4), but his name occurs frequently in midrashic literature. Many of his haggadic sayings have been preserved. Joshua frequently made use of parables. "A king was angry with his queen. The king nevertheless went to a goldsmith and purchased for her an ornament. He did thus after she had angered him; what would he have done had she not angered him! In like manner God wrought miracles for Israel, even though he (Israel) had angered Him by saying, 'Is the Lord among us, or not?' [Ex. xvii. 7, 12-16]. How much more would God have blessed him had he done according to His will!" (Pesiḳ. R. No. 12 [ed. Friedmann, p. 50b]). Some of Joshua's haggadic interpretations are based on the symbolism of numbers (see Tan., Yitro, 19). In addition to his own haggadot he transmitted those of others, especially Eleazar II., Samuel b. Isaac, Ḥanina b. Isaac, and Aḥa.

Bibliography:
  • Bacher, Ag. Pal. Amor. iii. 303-309.
S. J. Z. L.
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