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Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer (Researcher: Philip Alexander):
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1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

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1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

1.1.5 Important text witnesses attest to a heading which is not integrated with the body of the text or with any introductory frame, implying one or more of the kinds of information under 1.1.1–4. The two main titles are: (1) Pirqei (de)Rabbi Eliezer, and (2) Baraita deRabbi Eliezer. Neither is informative generically speaking (in the sense of 1.1.1) or suggests the boundedness of the text. "Chapters" is particularly vague. The only parallel I can think of to this is Pirqei Avot. "Baraita" simply records the view that PRE contains material attributed to a Tanna (Rabbi Eliezer) which is not recorded in Mishnah (or other Tannaitic sources).

1.6 The approximate word count or other indication of comparative size is: 41,000 words in Hebrew counted from the Davka software.

1.7 The text’s Inventory profile should be seen in the light of the following further information on completeness, thematic progression, aesthetic effects, etc. PRE does not present itself strongly as a bounded text. It rather peters out towards the end. The bulk of it is structured on Gen. 1 to Exod. 32 (see 5.5 below) which covers the biblical narrative from the creation to the giving of the Torah on Sinai. But there are in many text-witnesses some rather desultory chapters added at the end which spoil the sense of closure. And the failure to complete the schema of the Ten Descents and the Berakhot of the Amidah (see 5.5) has been taken to indicate that the text is incomplete. However against this it should be noted that the opening is quite strongly marked: It introduces Rabbi Eliezer in chaps 1-2, and then chap. 3 begins with, "Rabbi Eliezer b. Hyrcanus opened ...". And chap. 51 on the new heavens and the new earth provides an inclusio with the opening chapters on the first heavens and the first earth. The contents of the work are broadly similar in the various text-witnesses, and not the scribal conclusion (not part of the text!): "It is finished, praised be to God!".

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2.1 The information conveyed in the text defines the perspective of the governing voice in the following way. N.B.: Despite the fact that the traditional form of PRE appears to distinguish clearly between an anonymous framing voice, and a majority voice (identified as that of Rabbi Eliezer) who says the vast bulk of the text, this distinction is not strongly sustained, and in consequence the profile identifies in the PRE only a single anonymous governing voice who says the whole of the text. See further 2.1.9.

2.1.1 The text does not thematize how the governing voice comes to know the text’s contents (or its right to command obedience from the addressee), but suggests that its knowledge (or authority) is unlimited. In narrative, the governing voice’s perspective tacitly is that of someone “present” at all events equally, regardless of their time, place, or nature (e.g. thoughts or private utterances of characters). Applies to the narrative sections of PRE, but the text is not predominantly a narrative. See under 4. The text is not narrative but the governing voice refers to utterances on the basis of unexplained knowledge of speech events of diverse periods and places. This obviously applies to the quoted dicta of Rabbis of different periods. The text’s governing voice speaks from the perspective of unmediated access to all levels and parts of some projected reality. Applies to PRE chapters 6-8, which contain cosmological/astronomical traditions, including calculations.

2.1.7 The governing voice (whether first or third person) is anonymous, that is, is not presented as tied to a specific personal identity (or to personhood in general).

2.1.8 The governing voice speaks at no point in the first person (except for any and all persons/objects are mentioned from a third-person perspective.

2.1.9 An anonymous voice repeatedly reports the direct speech of a character whose speeches account for the bulk of the text (but not continuously). For those forms of PRE which contain chaps 1-2, this point arguably applies. The anonymous voice, having introduced Rabbi Eliezer, then assigns the rest of the text to his voice. This appears to be the meaning of the opening statement of chap. 3, "Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus opened" (on the use of patah here see 8.2.6 below). Indeed, the opening story apparently does more: it identifies the precise setting in which Rabbi Eliezer uttered his discourse: it was the famous occasion when, at the behest of his teacher Yohanan ben Zakkai, he expounded Torah in the presence of his father, who had come to the schoolhouse to disinherit him (see further below). In the body of the text Rabbi Eliezer is quoted a number of times under the rubric: "Rabbi Eliezer said". Friedlander (PRE p. 1, fn 2) claims chaps 3-54 "contain about twenty dicta attributed to Rabbi Eliezer", though in some cases there are variant readings which attribute the sayings to other sages. The dicta are well distributed through the book, and could, theoretically, be taken as the anonymous voice of the opening two chapters breaking in again periodically to remind the reader that Rabbi Eliezer is the speaker. But the fiction of Eliezer's authorship is not strongly sustained. There are numerous other Rabbis quoted in the body of the text under the formula: "Rabbi X said". The fiction would suggest that these would have to have be read as quoted by Rabbi Eliezer -- a conclusion not suggested by the positioning and manner in which the Rabbi Eliezer quotations are introduced. These are often simply juxtaposed with short quotes from other Rabbis, presented in the same form, with no indication that the Eliezer quotes "govern" them. The possibility that Rabbi Eliezer could be quoting himself in the third person (cf. 2.2.5) cannot be ruled out, but it feels decidedly forced, and the illusion of Eliezer's authorship is shattered if the reader spots that Eliezer is apparently quoting authorities who lived well after his time, or that the quotations of Rabbinic authorities (including those of Eliezer!)are pseudepigraphic, or that even some of the authorities are fictional. The fact is that, although the attribution of the text to Rabbi Eliezer served the "author" of PRE's purpose, as did the fictional occasion on which it was supposedly uttered ( below), the reader quickly loses sight of Eliezer's role after chap. 3 and no serious attempt is made to remind him of it. See further 2.1.

2.4 The governing voice defines a horizon of knowledge as shared with the projected addressee by taking for granted the following linguistic usages or references (in selection):

2.4.1 Persons or unique objects referred to by proper name or by technical expression: for persons mentioned or presented in narrative usage; as characters; or topics, for example: (1) Biblical figures: e.g. Jonah, Abraham, Moses etc., etc.; (2) Rabbinic figures: e.g. Rabbi Eliezer, Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai, Resh Laqish etc., etc.; (3) Non-biblical figures: e.g. Alexander of Macedon. for persons quoted with direct speech in a non-narrative co-text, for example: Rabbaiu Zadoq; Rabbi Ishmael etc., etc. for Gods/mythical figures/supernatural beings, etc., for example: God, the Holy One blessed be he, Bat Qol, angels (Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gallizur, Sammael. for locations, for example: Jerusalem, Israel, Egypt, Garden of Eden, Sodom, Nineveh, Sinai. for times or calendar dates (specific to a language or culture), for example: Seven Planets (Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus), the twelve constellations; solstices and equinoxes; Shabbat, Yom Kippur, Pesah. for documents, texts, books, etc. (identified through being referred to or quoted), for example: Miqra, Mishnah.

2.4.2 circumlocutions, names or descriptions employed as “code” names. E.g. Ishmaelites = Arabs; Edomites = Christians; Edom = Roman empire/Christendom.

2.4.3 The text as a whole routinely employs the following language(s), knowledge of which is taken for granted: Hebrew and Aramaic.

2.4.4 Special linguistic usages occur pervasively or prominently: she-ne'emar; mashal (mashelu mashal le-mah ha-davar domeh etc.) Technical expressions for a particular subject matter. E.g. Ma'aseh Bere'shit, Ma'aseh Merkavah.

2.6 [The text presents itself as speaking to certain persons, groups or entities, explicitly projecting a certain image of its addressee. The text is addressed to talmidei hakhamim through the Beit Midrash setting of the opening framing narrative.]

2.6.2 [The projected addressee is characterized as having a certain moral or epistemic stance, or as standing in contrast to another group’s moral or epistemic stance. PRE presupposes that its audience will have a knowledge of two grand narratives: (a) the grand narrative of biblical history (particularly that part of it recounted in Genesis and Exodus); and (b) the grand narrative of Rabbinic history implicit in classic Rabbinic literature. The expectation that the reader will know these narratives is nowhere made explicit: hence 2.6 dubiously applies in its present formulation; but it is strongly implicit, in that PRE cannot be understood without it, and so this fact needs to be recorded. Diachronically speaking the fact that the Rabbinic grand narrative is treated in the same way as the biblical grand narrative, is a function of the lateness of PRE, and the "canonisation" of classic Rabbinic literature. See further under 7.1 and 7.2.]

2.7 The epistemic stance, knowledge horizon, moral stance and identity of the governing voice, and of the projected addressee, do not become thematic in the text.

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4.1 [The text narrates events which are strongly emplotted, making reference to interlocking happenings, characters, motivations, causes, times or locations. There is a considerable amount of narrative in PRE. The two main narratives are (1) the Jonah Midrash; and (2) the Eliezer narrative that introduces the text. But also (3) other narratives: mini-narratives in thematic setting, mainly exempla.]

4.1.2 [All subordinate events are presented as preparing one crisis and its solution, or as addressing one unified timespan/location, or as telling the fate of one character or a group of characters. True for Midrash Jonah (PRE 10) and Midrash Eliezer (PRE 1-2).] [The narrative builds up one central narrative tension as having special intrinsic interest, or unites in some other way a number of narrative strands.] [The action pivots around one character or a small set of inter-connected characters.] [The narrative emphasizes personal, private or domestic aspects of lives.]

4.1.3 [The narrative provides a clear closure, or dwells on the closure.]

4.7 Within a thematic (non-narrative) framework the text contains extensive telling of continuous and detailed events.

4.7.1 This narrative material is explicitly subservient to and integrated into a thematic discourse or thematic description (see under 5). This is the main point under 4. See under 5.5.

4.9 [There is prominent or sustained characterization of key figures in the narrative. The figures of Jonah, and Eliezer, Yohanan and Eliezer's father are well characterized.]

4.9.2 [All characterization is achieved only through reporting the actions, speech or thoughts of the characters ("dramatic").]

4.9.4 [A figure is characterized by her or his intellectual gifts or understanding. E.g Eliezer and Jonah.]

4.10 [A character’s relations to her/his community are foregrounded, including any two-fold social environment (e.g. a diaspora setting). E.g. Jonah's relation to his fellow Israelites and to the gentiles (sailors and Ninevites.]

4.11 [Supernatural characters appear in the narrative, whether introduced casually, or accounted for elaborately.]

4.12 [The narrative pace is slowed down or changed by the occasional or regular occurrence of extended descriptions.]

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5.1 The bulk of the text is constituted by thematic discourse/description, albeit presented as speech/wording quoted from a narrative setting: See 2.1.9.

5.1.1 The discursive or descriptive treatment of themes is presented as one character’s continuous speech or wording in a unique narrative situation. The bulk of the work, i.e. PRE 3-54, is presented as a discourse delivered by Rabbi Eliezer in the Beit Midrash of Yohanan ben Zakkai.

5.5 The text’s sequence of sub-topics (discursive or narrative) mirrors a temporal or spatial order, but without narrative emplotment between the sub-topics. Or it mirrors the sequence of units of meaning in another text (from single words to whole books), while not reproducing the relationships between those parts, not using quotations from it as lemmatic progression (i.e., no 6.1), and not creating narrative emplotment. The order of topics mirrors selectively that found in the biblical Genesis and Exodus.

5.5.1 This order includes all parts of the text (excepting any frames), as follows: An order of units of meaning in another text (from words to whole books) provides the sequence for the text’s themes (including any normative themes). From PRE 3 to 47 the order of topics follows the order of the biblical text from Gen. 1:1 to Exod. 32, but highly selectively, and there are occasional analepses. E.g., having by the end of chap. 25 reached Gen. 19, the text, in a section structured by the ten trials of Abraham, jumps back to Gen. 11:27, the first trial (PRE 26) but continues forward to the end of Gen. 22, the tenth trial (PRE 31). It then proceeds, again selectively, in biblical order from the death of Sarah in Gen. 23 (PRE 32) to the giving of the Torah at Sinai in Exod. 20 (PRE 41). Then there is another analepsis in which the text jumps back to Exod. 13 (Exodus) (PRE 42), and continues forward to the episode of the Golden Calf in Exod. 32 (PRE 47). The remaining material in PRE (chaps. 48-53) is basically thematic and does not obviously follow any biblical order, though chap. 48 does deal (again) with aspects of the Egyptian bondage, and chap. 51 looks forward to the new heavens and the new earth. It should be stressed that the extreme selectivity of PRE eith regard to the biblical text means, in effect, that it loses the narrative element in the Bible and treats the biblical text simply as a repository of themes. There are several other principles of ordering evident in PRE: (1) Chaps 14 to 53 are explicitly structured at the opening of chap 14 in terms of ten, listed, descents upon earth made by the Holy One, blessed be he. The opening schema is not fully realised, since the 9th and 10th descents are not picked up in the subsequent text. This schema relies on the ordering of the biblical text, and so can be considered as subordinate to the biblical ordering described above. (2) Chaps 3-21 are structured explicitly according to the seven days of creation, but again since this order is clearly dependent on the Bible, the biblical order can be deemed to have priority. (3) Chaps 26-31 are explicitly structured according to the ten trials of Abraham. Chap. 26 opens: “our father Abraham was tried with ten trials, and he stood firm in them all”, but, unlike the ten descents, the trials are not summarily listed at the outset. However, in the subsequent text ten trials are clearly identified. Although the ten trials are not enumerated in the biblical text, they follow the order of events as recounted in the bible, and so this structure too can be seen as subordinate to the biblical order. (4) The first five Berakhot of the Amidah are quoted in order in PRE from chaps. 27 to 43, but they only weakly structure the text, if at all. See further under 7.2.

5.5.2 This order defines only a continuous substantial part of the text, as follows: An order of units of meaning in another text (from words to whole books) provides the sequence for a continuous substantial part of the text’s themes (including any normative themes). The biblical order ( accounts for the whole of PRE with the exception of chaps 1-3 and 48-53.

5.9 The text’s governing voice projects the accuracy or validity of its statements as:

5.9.3 Pervasively in need of support by arguments, or open to discussion. The text explicitly and regularly cites Scripture and rabbinic opinion to justify its statements.

5.9.4 The following argument types occur: Predominantly or exclusively arguments from the quoted wording of another text (e.g. paraphrases, interpretation units, proof-texts).

5.10 The governing voice ascribes statements about the text’s thematic substance pervasively or prominently to speaker characters as utterances.

5.10.1 Isolated utterances (or dialogues) are presented without a unifying emplotment, but tacitly presuppose a unified grid of story/history. The persons, groups or generic figures indicated as speakers tend to be only minimally identified or contextualized. Rabbinic authorities are quoted regularly by name, but no contextualiztion is provided. It is assumed the reader will know who they are.

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7.1 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between a non-biblical text and one or more biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive.

7.1.3 There is prominent use of explicit quotations of biblical wording, whether in non-narrative or in narrative (but not in biblical commentary, for which see section 6).

7.1.8 The non-narrative text pervasively or prominently presupposes the narrative fabric of biblical events/reported speech, beyond the contents of any specific biblical quotations that may occur. The text presupposing biblical narrative fabric has a thematic structure of discourse or description.

7.2 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between the non-biblical text under discussion and other non-biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive.

7.2.2 The overall chronological and spatial framework of the narrative, as well as certain events, are substantially or prominently co-extensive with that of a non-biblical narrative or with some extended part of it. The narrative is located at a particular point (“niche”) in a chronological-spatial framework also known from another non-biblical text, but there is no overlap in the narrative substance. This point applies after a fashion to PRE. The textus receptus of PRE presents itself as reporting the discourse which Rabbi Eliezer was supposed to have delivered in the school of Yohanan ben Zakkai in pre-destruction Jerusalem on an occasion when Eliezer's father came to the schoolhouse to disinherit him because he was spending his time studying Torah rather than doing the chores around the family farm. This story is well-known from other Rabbinic texts (see 7.2.6 below). It constitutes an episode in the grand narrative of Rabbinic history --a narrative which is not recounted continuously anywhere in classic Rabbinic literature, but which is presupposed by it, and was finally formally extracted from it in the Gaonic era in works such as Sherira Gaon's Iggeret and Avraham ibn Daud's Sefer ha-Qabbalah. The "author" of PRE is banking on his audience knowing this narrative, because it serves to validate what he is saying, by attributing it to a famous earlier authority and locating it at a well-known point in time. A niche is created by the fact that earlier accounts of the episode never gave the contents of Eliezer's famous discourse. PRE is, in effect, saying, "Here it is!" This is a well-known strategy of pseudepigraphy, and it is a moot point whether or not the author of PRE was using it "tongue-in-cheek" and expecting the readers to pick it up -- something which has implications for the epistemic horizon of the implied audience (cf. 2.4 above). There are other possible pseudepigraphic elements in PRE. Though it quotes Rabbis who are known actors in Rabbinic history, and attributes to them words which are attributed to them in other Rabbinic texts, in some cases it attributes to them dicta which are not paralleled anywhere else, and which may, therefore, be deliberately pseudepigraphic, and it cites Rabbinic authorities who are not known from elsewhere and may be totally fictitious. This latter phenomenon is in some ways parallel to introduction of fictitious characters into biblical niche narratives (cf. 7.1.9). The historical setting in which the author of PRE has placed the work has been chosen with some care. E.g., its interest in Ma'aseh Merkavah would be consonant with a setting in the school of Yohanan ben Zakkai, who is well-known from Rabbinic literature as an authority on this subject. See further 2.6.2.

7.2.6 There is extensive tacit overlap with the wording of a non-biblical partner text, whether in narrative or in non-narrative texts.(1) The story of how Rabbi Eliezer came to study Torah (PRE chaps 1-2) is paralleled ARN A6 and B13, and Gen.R. 42. The wording is close to some, but not identical with any of the other sources. On the role this story plays in contextualizing PRE, see 7.2.2 and 2.1.9 above.(2) Chap. 10, the Story of Jonah, is paralleled in Midrash Jonah (Yalqut) and similar texts. Here the wording is very close. The link between the Jonah story and the fifth day of creation in PRE is tenuous: it is forged through connecting the "great fish" with Leviathan, who was supposedly created on the fifth day. This might suggest, from a diachronic perspective, that this material has been taken over into PRE from elsewhere. However, it is not thematically out of place in PRE, since its theme of repentance is one of the major themes of the book. (3) There are numerous other less substantial overlaps both in theme and wording with classic Rabbinic literature. (4) There are parallels with Pseudo-Jonathan, (5) with Piyyut, and (6) with Pseudepigrapha. In no case, however, is the parallel acknowledged nor another text explicitly highlighted as a source. The only textual source directly quoted in PRE is Bible (see 7.1.3). The extensive wording overlap takes place across language boundaries. In the case of overlaps between PRE and the Targumim, esp. Pseudo-Jonathan, different languages -- Hebrew and Aramaic -- are involved. See 7.2.6 above.

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8.1 Standard forms or contents formulated in set phrases, set sentence formats, or clauses in a standard syntactic connection.

8.1.4 Unit of a biblical quotation together with a hermeneutically dependent formulation; midrashic unit: Several cases, e.g. PRE 21, 221/9-223/8 (Gen 3:3).

8.1.10 List sentence enumerating items by words or phrases: E.g. PRE 3,19/16-21, 8 Things Created on the First Day; PRE 30, 349/4, 15 Things that the Sons of Ishmael will do in the Future.

8.1.11 List enumerating items by whole sentences/interpretation units: E.g. PRE 14, 141/7-15, Ten Descents of God to Earth; PRE 26, 283 -- 31, 367, 10 Trials of Abraham.

8.1.16 Descriptive sentence of a static (ocular) structure or "scientific" descriptive sentence: Frequent descriptions of astronomical phenomena in PRE 6-8, e.g. the waxing and waning of the moon.

8.2 Non-narrative small literary forms that impose on their components a standard functional relationship to each other, while grammar and syntax may vary:

8.2.3 Self-contained question-answer unit in discourse concerning the meaning of an earlier word/words in the same text. Occasional examples, e.g. PRE 37, 465/8-11, meaning of "lion" and "bear" in Amos 5:19.

8.2.5 The summary exposition, in a number of sentences, of theological ideas. There are numerous ethical statements in the section PRE 15-17, as well as theological statements about resurrection and other eschatological matters (e.g. PRE 43).

8.2.6 [A Petichah or Petichah-like unit, which uses the wording of a general biblical verse to introduce by way of a hermeneutic link the main theme/event of another verse, usually quoted at the end of the unit. There are no classic examples of the Petichah form in PRE. The verb patah is used only twice, and then in the general sense of begin a discourse.]

8.3.1 [A ma'aseh or pared-down narrative of a unique event with normative-probative function: There is only one ma'aseh proper in PRE: the framing story about Eliezer's discourse in the Beit Midrash of Yohanan is introduced with ma'aseh be-.]

8.3.2 A mashal or other minimal (two-stage) narrative employed to model the emplotment of a biblical or other event: 8 meshalim are found in PRE (e.g. PRE 3, 13/14-15/3), but not all of them correspond to the classic form. One mashal, found in the Friedlander ms (PRE 34, Friedlander p. 254, is simply a simile dressed up as a Mashal.

8.3.3 A narrative unit which is not integrated into a larger chronological framework constituted by the co-text: Fairly long narratives (e.g. PRE 10, Jonah and the Big Fish, and PRE 33, Elisha and the Shunnamite Woman) occasionally stand outside the basic time-line (creation to the giving of the Torah on Sinai).

8.3.6 The narrative motif of humanized animals or animals as agents: In PRE 10, Jonah and the Big Fish, the fish and Leviathan are humanized.

8.3.7 The narrative motif of the fantastic, grotesque, or gross: PRE 10, JOnah and the Big Fish, has several fantastic elements.

8.3.8 A narrative motif that can be interpreted as humorous or ironic: PRE 10, Jonah and the Big Fish, has several humorous elements, e.g. the successive dunkings of Jonah, and his flashing of the sign of the covenant at Leviathan.

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9.3 An extended passage consists in the elaboration of one by one the items of an initial list, making each list item the topic of one or more sentences, usually re-introduced by quoting the item or by a question. Several lists in PRE are extended in this way, e.g. the Six Days of Creation, the Ten Trials of Abraham, the Ten Descents of God. See 8.1.10.

9.6 An extended portion or substantial proportion of the text continuously explicates local thematic transitions, by means of:

9.6.2 Use of announcement of themes for text parts, full-sentence headings or summaries. Chapters occasional open with statements of the theme of the chapter. E.g. PRE 16, "On three things the world stands: On Torah, on divine service, and on the doing of kindnesses" (an unacknowledged quote from m.Pirqei Avot 1.2).

9.6.5 Use of ordinal or cardinal numbers to designate themes in text sequence (e.g., “first generation”). Used in the Six Days of Creation and the Ten Descents sequences ("on the first day" ... "the first descent was ...").

9.11 An extended part of the thematic text (or a part-text in the sense of section 10) is structured by an extra-thematic principle of order, as follows:

9.11.3 The sequence of text sections of Scripture. Apart from the macro-structuring of PRE as a whole on Genesis and Exodus, several other sections shadow Bible, e.g. PRE 19 is structured largely on Psalm 92:1-16

9.12 Important manuscripts divide the text explicitly into parts by the use of single words or incomplete sentences which constitute sub-headings. The majority of mss of PRE divide the text into numbered peraqim. These divisions are so constant (with the exception of the occasional switching of chapters 18 and 19) that they must be very old if not original.

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11.1 The non-narrative text projects its thematic concern as being mainly one or more of the following:

11.1.1 Description of a reality, including a physical reality. This applies to the astronomical sections and the Hexaemeron in general.

11.1.2 Moral values or value judgments, including practical instructions on proper behaviour or self-preservation. Derekh eretz is a major theme of PRE.

11.1.3 Law, commandments or norms of behaviour. Derekh eretz is a major concern of PRE.

11.1.5 The meaning of another text. Scripture is pervasively explained by paraphrase and commentary.

11.1.6 Reports of the speech of named characters. Speech reports in the name of rabbinic authorities are frequent, but are not explained, simply quoted.

11.1.7 Future events or future reward and punishment. Extensive sections in PRE deal with the messianic age, and future rewards and punishments.

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12.1 Sampling of genre labels applied to the text in secondary literature: Midrash, Rewritten Bible, Narrative Midrash, Late Midrash.

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Editions: PRE was a popular work: it is extant in numerous mss and printed editions, and attracted numerous traditional commentaries, the most influential of which was by the Radal: see Dagmar Boerner-Klein, Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer: nach der Edition Venedig 1544 unter Beruecksichtigung der Edition Warschau 1852 (Studia Judaica 26; de Gruyter: Berlin/New York, 2004), introduction; further: H.M. Haag, Pirqe DeRabbi Eli'ezer 43: Aufbau und traditionsgeschichtliche Analyse (MA dissertation, Universitaet Koeln, 1978);  Lewis M. Barth, "Is Every Medieval Manuscript a New Composition? The Case of Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer",; E. Treitel, Ede ha-nusach shel Pirqe de-R. Eliezer -- Miyun muqdam (MA dissertation, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 2002); Treitel (PhD dissertation, Hebrew University Jerusalem, 2010). There is as yet no critical edition. C.M. Horowitz, Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. A complete critical edition as prepared by C.M. Horowitz, but never published. Facsimile edition of [the] editor's original MS (Makor: Jerusalem, 1972) gives the Venice 1544 edition, with Horowitz's handwritten notes. It is very hard to use. The text underlying Friedlander's English translation (see below) is good, but the ms on which it was based is now lost. The text of PRE differs considerably between the various text-witnesses. The Inventory  profile is based on the Venice 1544 edition, which is available in Horowitz in facsimile and in Boerner-Klein in transcription. Based on the editio princeps, Constantinople 1514, which is available online at Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer: Electronic Text Editing Project (, the Venice 1544 ed. was in turn the basis of the later prints, such as Warsaw 1852. The  Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer: Electronic Text Editing Project has also digitized images of the Hebrew Union College mss 75 and 2043. The textus receptus has 54 chapters. Friedlander's translation (see below) has 53, because it runs together chaps 53 and 54. PRE lacks a proper referencing system. For detailed references the profile cites the (traditional) chapter number followed in brackets by the page and line number in Boerner-Klein: so 20 (86/10) means: chapter 20 in the textus receptus, Boerner-Klein edition p. 86, line 10.

Translations: English: Gerald Friedlander, Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer (The Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer the Great): According to the Text of the Manuscript belonging to Abraham Epstein of Vienna (1916, repr. Hermon Press: new York, 1965). Spanish: Miguel Perez Fernandez, Los Capitulos de Rabbi Eliezer (Valencia, 1984). French: M.-A. Ouaknin, E. Smilevitch, P.H. Salfati, Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer (Traduction annotee) (Paris, 1984). German: Boerner-Klein, Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer.

Studies: Rachel Adelman, The Poetics of Time and Space in the Midrashic Narrative -- The case of Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer (PhD dissertation, Hebrew University, 2008); Adelman, "Midrash, Myth, and Bakhtin's Chronotope: the itinerant well and the foundation stone in 'Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer'," Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 17 (2009), pp. 143-176; Carol Bakhos, "Abraham visits Ishmael: A revisit", JSJ 38 (2007), pp. 553-580; Bakhos, Ishmael on the Border: Rabbinic Portrayals of the First Arab (SUNY Judaica, Hermeneutics, Mysticism and Religion; SUNY Press: Albany, 2006); Lewis M. Barth, "Is Every Medieval Manuscript a New Composition? The Case of Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer",; Barth, "The Ban and the 'Golden Plate': Interpretation in 'Pirqe d'Rabbi Eliezer' 38", in: Craig A. Evans and Shemaryahu Talmon (eds), The Quest for Context and Meaning: Studies in Biblical Intertextuality in Honor of James A. Sanders (Biblical Interpretation 28; Brill: Leiden, 1997), pp. 625-640; Ute Brohmeier, Exegetische Methodik in Pirke de-Rabbi Elieser, Kapitel 1-24 nach der Edition Venedig 1544, unter Beruecksichtigung der Edition Warschau 1852 (Peter Lang: Frankfurt aM, 2008); Jacob Elbaum, "Messianism in Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer: Apocalypse and Midrash", Teudah 11 (1996), pp. 245-266 [Heb.]; Elbaum, "Rhetoric, Motif and Subject-Matter  -- Towards an Analysis of Narrative Technique in Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer", Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore 13-14 (1991-1992), pp. 99-126 [Heb.]; Robert Hayward, "Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan", JJS 42 (1991), pp. 219-246; Hayward, "Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and Anti-Islamic Polemic", JSS 34 (1989), pp. 77-93; Joseph Heinemann, "Ibbude aggadot qedumot beruach ha-zeman be-Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer", in: B. Shakhevitch and M. Peri (eds), Simon Halkin Jubilee Volume (Jerusalem, 1975), pp. 321-343; B. Heller, "Muhammedanisches und Antimuhammedanisches in den Pirke R. Eliezer", MGWJ 69 (1925), pp. 47-54; I. Levy, "Elements chretiens dans le Pirke Rabbi Eliezer", REJ 18 (1969), pp. 86-89; M. Ohana, "La polemique judeo-islamique et l'image d'Ismael dans Targum Pseudo-Jonathan et dans Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer", Augustinianum 15 (1975), pp. 367-387; Miguel Perez Fernandez, "Sobre los textos mesianicos del targum Psudo-Jonathan y del Midras Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer", Estudios Biblicos 45 (1987), pp. 39-55; Perez Fernandez, "Targum y Midras sobre Gn 1:26-27, 2:7, 3:7, 21: la creacion de Adam en el Targum de Pseudo-Jonatan y en Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer", in: D. Munoz Leon (ed.) Salvacion en la palabra: Targum -- Derash -- Berith: En memoria del Professor Alejandro Diez Macho (Madrid, 1986), pp. 471-88; Annette Yoshiko Reed, "From 'Pre-Emptive Exegesis' to 'Pre-Emptive Speculation'? Ma'aseh Bereshit in Genesis Rabbah and Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer", in: Daphna V. Arbel, Andrei A. Orlov and Rachel Elior (eds), With Letters of Light: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Early Jewish Apocalypticism, Magic and Mysticism (de Gruyter: Berlin/New York, 2010), pp. 115-132; Reed, "'Who can recount the mighty acts of the Lord?': Cosmology and Authority in Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer 1-3", HUCA (forthcoming); Steven Daniel Sacks, Midrash and Multiplicity: Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer and the Renewal of Rabbinic Interpretive Culture (Studia Judaica 48; de Gruyter: Berlin/New York, 2009); Avigdor Shinan, "The Relationship between Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and Midrash Pirqe deRabbi Eliezer", Teuda 11 (1996), pp 231-243 [Heb.]; Helen Spurling and Emmananouela Grypeou, "Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer and Eastern Christian Exegesis", Collectanea Christiana Orientalia 4 (2008), pp. 217-243; Dina Stein, Folklore Elements in Late Midrash: A Folkloristic Perspective on Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer (PhD dissertation, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1998); Stein, Meimra, Magia, Mitos: Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer le-'or ha-sifrut ha-'amamit (Maxims, Magic, Myth: A Folkloristic Perspective on Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer) (Magnes Press: Jerusalem, 2004) [Heb.];  Anna Urowitz-Freudenstein, "Pseudepigraphic Support of Pseudepigrpahical Sources: The Case of 'Pirqei de Rabbi Eliezer'", in : John C. Reeves (ed.), Tracing the Threads: Studies in the Vitality of Jewish Pseudepigrapha (Society of Biblical Literature, Early Judaism and its Literature Series 6; Scholars Press: Atlanta, 1994), pp. 35-53.

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