Hiwi al-Balkhi

Chiwi al - Balkhi (Hebrew חיוי אל - בלכי ) was - according to the research opinion - Jewish or Gnostic- Christian exegete and biblical critics in Balch ( Persia ), probably towards the end of the 9th century AD.


He put it ( the original not complete, only about half, surviving or reconstructed ) 200 formulated in rhyme objections against the divine origin of the Bible. His work has been described as the first known example of non-liturgical medieval Hebrew poetry. It is recorded a Hebrew, rhyming fragment from the Cairo Geniza. The work is written in Arabic but in Hebrew, have been likewise accessible to Islamic theologians. The work was widely and provoked the ire of both rabbis as Karaites. Balkhis " questions " beat for example, prior interpretations of "miracles" in phenomena on the basis of natural phenomena. The content is through various refutations, inter alia, also Abū ʿ Imraan al - Tiflisi, Salmon b. Yeruḥim, Samuel ben Chofni, deducible. Saadiah b. Joseph Gaon replied even in a separate pamphlet. Chiwis epithet was reformed by Ibn Ezra in contempt in al - Kalbi ( " Hiwi the dog ").

Furthermore, fragments of other works are known.

Literature (selection )

  • Israel Davidson: Saadia 's polemic against al - Balkhi Student Research, New York, 1915.
  • Henry Malter: Saadia Gaon, his life and works, Morris Loeb Series, Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia 1921 ( various reprints, including Hildesheim 1978), pp. 384ff et passim.
  • Isaac Markon: Article Chiwi ALBACHI, in: Jewish Encyclopedia, Berlin 1927, vol 1
  • Judah Rosenthal: Hiwi al - Balkhi. A Comparative Study, in: The Jewish Quarterly Review ( New Series ) 38 ( 1947-48 ), p 317-341.419-430; 39 ( 1948-49 ), 79-94.
  • Solomon Schechter: The oldest collection of bible difficulties, by a Jew. In: The Jewish Quarterly Review. 13, 1901, pp. 345-374 ..
  • David E. Sklare: Samuel ben Hophni Gaon and his cultural world. Texts and studies, Leiden, Brill 1996 S.V.
  • Sarah Stroumsa: Freethinkers of medieval Islam, Leiden, Brill 1999, sv
  • Dominique Urvoy: Les Penseurs libres de l' islam classique, L' interrogation sur la religion dans l' Islam classique, Paris 1996, sv
  • Georges Vajda: À propos de l' attitude religieuse de Hivi al - Balkhi, in: Revue des études juives 99 (1934 ), pp. 81-91.
  • Josef van Ess: theology and society in the 2nd and 3rd century Hijri, Vol 4, de Gruyter, Berlin 1997, p 339346-348.