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PROVERBS – Wise, witty, and pithy maxims or aphorisms. Jewish proverbs are derived from the following sources: (1) Biblical collections, included in the canon; (2) Apocryphal collections, not included in the canon; (3) the Talmud; (4)...
PROVERBS, BOOK OF – Title and Divisions. One of the Ketubim, or Hagiographa, belonging to the group of "Ḥokmah," or "Wisdom" books. The Masoretic superscription to the first and twenty-fifth chapters is "Proverbs of Solomon" ("Mishle Shelomoh"; and...
PROVERBS, MIDRASH TO – Haggadic midrash to Proverbs, first mentioned, under the title "Midrash Mishle," by R. Hananeel b. Ḥushiel (first half of the 11th cent.) as quoted in "Mordekai" on B. M. iii. 293. Nathan of Rome calls this midrash "Agadat...
PROVIDENCE – Two Senses of the Term. The term occurs only in the Apocryphal books (Wisdom xiv. 3, xvii. 2), and has no equivalent in Biblical Hebrew, the later philosophical writers employing "hashgaḥah" as a translation for the Arabic...
PROVIDENCE – See Rhode Island.
PROVINS – French town, in the department of Seine-et-Marne. Jews were settled there as early as the twelfth century. Thibaut, Count of Champagne, made an agreement with Provins in 1230 in which he reserved to himself all rights over the...
PRUSSIA – The Expansion of Prussia. Kingdom and the largest unit of the German empire. The kingdom of Prussia grew out of the margravate of Brandenburg, which in 1415 was given to a prince of the Hohenzollern family. A member of this...
PRUZHANY – Russian town in the government of Grodno. It had a Jewish community at the end of the sixteenth century, when Joel Sirkes held his first rabbinate there. The community is first mentioned in Russian documents in 1583 ("Regesty i...
PRZEMYSL – City of Galicia; once the capital of Red Russia. While Przemysl is referred toby the Russian chronicler Nestor in the year 981, no mention of Jews in the city occurs until 1437 ("Akta Grodzkie," xiii., No. 682), and even then...
PSALMOMANCY – The employment of the Psalms in incantations. The general use of the Bible for magic purposes has been discussed under Bibliomancy. Inasmuch as the employment of the Psalms is mentioned there, a brief summary, together with...
PSALMS – Name derived from the Greek ψαλμός (plural ψαλμοί), which signifies primarily playing on a stringed instrument, and secondarily the composition played or the song accompanied on such an instrument. In the Septuagint (Codex...
PSALMS, MIDRASH TO (Midrash Tehillim) – Haggadic midrash, known since the eleventh century, when it was quoted by Nathan of Rome in his "'Aruk" (s.v. ), by R. Isaac b. Judah ibn Ghayyat in his "Halakot" (1b), and by Rashi in his commentary on I Sam. xvii. 49, and on...
PSALMS OF SOLOMON, THE – Pseudepigraphic work not contained in the Septuagint (and therefore not included in the Apocrypha). At present it exists only in Greek and in translations made from the Greek; but it is probable that it was written originally in...
PSALTERY – See Harp and Lyre.
PSANTIR, JACOB BEN ZELIG – Rumanian historical writer; born at Botoshani June 6, 1820; died in Bucharest March 22, 1901. From his childhood he devoted himself to the study of music, and at an early age he became conductor of a band of traveling Gipsy...
PSEUDEPIGRAPHA – Literally "books having false titles," fraudulently or erroneously ascribed to the authors whose names they bear. "Thus Dionysius of Halicarnassus speaks of "pseudepigraphic orations" of Demosthenes; that is, orations commonly...
PSEUDO-ARTAPANUS – See Artapanus.
PSEUDO-MESSIAHS – Two Messiahs. Persons who claim to be the deliverers of Israel divinely appointed to bring about the establishment of the promised Messianic kingdom. Some of the pseudo-Messiahs who have arisen at various epochs were impostors...
PSEUDO-PHOCYLIDES – A Judæo-Hellenistic poet and the author of a didactic poem in epic style of 250 verses. He assumed the name of the ancient gnomic bard Phocylides of Miletus; and medieval scholars, regardless of criticism, accepted his...
PSEUDONYMOUS LITERATURE AND WRITERS – The habit of adopting literary disguises is a very old one in Hebrew literature. According to the views of higher criticism, there are a large number of books of the Old Testament which might be included under the foregoing...
PTOLEMY – 1. Prince (tetrarch) of Iturea and Chalcis from about 85 to 40 B.C., in which year he died; son of Mennæus. He tried to extend his kingdom by warlike expeditions (Strabo, xvi. 2, § 10); and ruled the Lebanon, threatened...
PTOLEMY I – At first satrap (322-307 B.C.), then king (305-285), of Egypt. He founded the dynasty of the Ptolemies, which, from his father's name, is also called that of the Lagi. Λαγώς means "hare"; and a rabbinical tradition relates that...
PTOLEMY II – King of Egypt from 285 to 247 B.C. He continued the struggle for Cœle-Syria and Palestine and established himself permanently in possession of those countries about 274. Like all Diadochi, he took, pleasure in building cities;...
PTOLEMY III – King of Egypt from 247 to 222 B.C.; referred to in Dan. xi. 7-9. According to that passage, the Egyptian king made great conquests in Syria, which statement is confirmed by external authorities. The idols of the conquered,...
PTOLEMY IV – King of Egypt from 222 to 205 B.C.; hero of the events described in Dan. xi. 11-12. The passage in question refers to battles between him and Antiochus the Great, more especially the decisive battle at Raphia (217 B.C.), in...