The book in question, on my purse of many colours.

My newest acquisition! Bible Tales in Arab Folk-Lore by Joseph Meyouhas, translated from Hebrew by Victor N. Levi.

Once again, it is quotation time and once again, there is some disturbingly racist material in the introduction:

The modern Syrian Arabs are descended in unbroken, if not in racially pure, lineage from the Philistines, Canaanites and Amalekites, as the modern Jews are direct ‘children’ of the ancient Israelites. But the Arabs have allowed the centuries to flow past them; they have taken no part, for a thousand years, in the fret and enterprise, in the research and mastery of nature that we know as Progress. They have shepherded and tilled, bartered and believed as their ancestors, and they preserve to this day their primitive social customs and simple philosophic outlook.

Palestine is still peopled with the folk of the Bible, but they are passing.

Joseph Meyouhas, 1928

It goes on in this fashion: on the one hand asserting the indigeneity and historic continuity of the Palestinains (albeit in an Orientalist framing), and on the other lamenting the way these “folk of the Bible” are now driving trucks and wearing suits, and are soon to lose their ties to the Philistines et al. He would have found my grandfather alarming in the extreme.

Part I

  • The Creation
  • The Creation of Adam
  • Noah, the Prophet
  • Job and His Household
  • Lukman the Wise (A Kinsman of Job)
  • Ibrahim Khalil Allah (Abraham The Friend of God)
  • Ibrahim and Nimrod
  • Ibrahim in Hebron
  • The Last Days of Ibrahim
  • Lot
  • The Patience of Lot
  • Isaac and Yakub
  • Yusef the Righteous
  • Yusef in Egypt
  • The Meeting of Yusef with His Brethren
  • The Death of Yusef
  • Moussa
  • The Miracles that Moussa Did in His Childhood
  • Moussa in Midian
  • Zipporah Bears a Child
  • Moussa in Egypt
  • The Mission of Moussa to Pharaoh
  • The Nine Plagues
  • The Flight of the Beni Israel Out of Egypt
  • The Giving of the Law
  • The Death of Aaron
  • The Inheritance of the Land
  • The Last Days of Moussa

Part II

  • Joshua
  • Samuel
  • Taluth (Saul)
  • The Battle of Taluth and J’Aluth (Saul and Goliath)
  • Daoud and J’Aluth
  • The Last Days of Taluth
  • The Cunning of Daoud
  • The Kingdom of Daoud
  • Daoud and Uriah
  • The Last Days of Daoud
  • The Kingdom of Suleiman
  • The Wealth of Suleiman
  • Suleiman and the Woman of Sidon
  • Suleiman and Bulkeis, Queen of Sheba
  • The Last Days of Suleiman
  • Alhadr (Elijah)
  • Isaiah, the Prophet
  • The Prophet of Uzair (Jeremiah)
  • Yunes Ibn Matta (Jonah)

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