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Talmudic literature

Jerusalem TalmudBabylonian Talmud
Minor tractates

Halakhic Midrash

Mekhilta de-Rabbi Yishmael (Exodus)
Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon (Exodus)
Sifra (Leviticus)
Sifre (Numbers & Deuteronomy)
Sifre Zutta (Numbers)
Mekhilta le-Sefer Devarim (Deuteronomy)
Baraita of Rabbi Ishmael

Aggadic Midrash

—— Tannaitic ——
Seder Olam Rabbah
Alphabet of Akiba ben Joseph
Baraita of the Forty-nine Rules
Baraita on the Thirty-two Rules
Baraita on Tabernacle Construction
—— 400–600 ——
Genesis RabbahEichah Rabbah
Pesikta de-Rav Kahana
Esther RabbahMidrash Iyyov
Leviticus RabbahSeder Olam Zutta
Midrash TanhumaMegillat Antiochus
—— 650–900 ——
Avot of Rabbi Natan
Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer
Tanna Devei Eliyahu
Alphabet of Ben-Sira
Kohelet RabbahCanticles Rabbah
Devarim RabbahDevarim Zutta
Pesikta RabbatiMidrash Samuel
Midrash ProverbsRuth Rabbah
Baraita of SamuelTargum sheni
—— 900–1000 ——
Ruth ZutaEichah Zuta
Midrash TehillimMidrash Hashkem
Exodus RabbahCanticles Zutta
—— 1000–1200 ——
Midrash TadsheSefer ha-Yashar
—— Later ——
Yalkut ShimoniYalkut Makiri
Midrash JonahEin Yaakov
Midrash ha-GadolNumbers Rabbah
Smaller midrashim

Rabbinic Targum

—— Torah ——
Targum Onkelos
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
Fragment TargumTargum Neofiti

—— Nevi'im ——
Targum Jonathan

—— Ketuvim ——
Targum TehillimTargum Mishlei
Targum Iyyov
Targum to the Five Megillot
Targum Sheni to Esther
Targum to Chronicles

Midrash Samuel (Hebrew: מדרש שמואל), a haggadic midrash on the books of Samuel, is quoted for the first time by Rashi in his commentary on I Sam. ii. 30. In his Ha-Pardes (ed. Constantinople, p. 24b) Rashi again quotes from this midrash (xvii. 1; ed. S. Buber, p. 48a), saying that it is entitled "'Et la-'Asot la-Adonai"; it probably derived this name from Ps. cxix. 126, with which it begins. The midrash is entitled also "Agadat Shemu'el (Rashi, in his commentary on Sukkah 53b, s.v. "Ahaspa"; Tos. Soṭah 42b, s.v. "Me'ah"; et al.), and the name "Shoḥer Ṭob" has been erroneously given to it (in the editions of Zolkiev, 1800, and Lemberg, 1808 and 1850); the error is because in the Venice edition of 1546 the midrash was printed together with the midrash on the Psalms, the title of the latter, "Shoḥer Ṭob," being taken to refer to both.

Contents of the Midrash

The midrash contains haggadic interpretations and homilies on the books of Samuel, each homily being prefaced and introduced by a verse taken from some other book of the Bible. It resembles most of the other haggadic midrashim both in diction and in style; in fact, it is a collection of sentences found in such midrashim and referring to the books of Samuel. The editor arranged the sentences in the sequence of the Scripture passages to which they refer. The midrash, however, does not entirely cover the Biblical books; but as it contains all the passages quoted from it by other authorities, it may be assumed that, with the exceptions mentioned in the following sentence, it never contained any more than it does now and that its present form is that into which it was cast by its compiler. In two places only have passages been added by later copyists: ch. iv. 1 (ed. S. Buber, p. 27b; comp. note 7) and ch. xxxii. 3 et seq. (comp. ed. Buber, notes 9, 17, 19).

Rabbinical Eras

The midrash is divided into 32 chapters. Ch. i.-xxiv. contain interpretations and homilies on the First, and ch. xxv.-xxxii. on the Second, Book of Samuel. The author has collected these sentences from the Mishnah, Tosefta, Mekilta, Sifre, Yerushalmi, Bereshit Rabbah, Wayiḳra Rabbah, Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah, Ḳohelet Rabbah, Ekah Rabbah, Ruth Rabbah, Midrash Esther, Midrash on the Psalms, Pesiḳta de-Rab Kahana, Pesiḳta Rabbati, and Tanḥuma. Only once (x. 10 [ed. Buber, p. 26a]) does he quote a sentence from Babli (Er. 64a), which he introduces with the words "Taman amrin" (They say there; comp. Buber, Einleitung, p. 4a, note 1). This, as well as the fact that all the amoraim mentioned in this midrash resided in the Land of Israel, justifies the assumption that its compiler resided there as well. His name and the time at which he lived can not be definitely determined. Zunz assigns him to the first half of the 11th century, although the reasons which he gives for this assumption have been refuted by S. Buber (Einleitung, p. 4b). Strack & Stemberger (1991) indicate that the work was composed much earlier than the 11th century (although later revised), since it is cited by Samuel ben Hofni, Nissim Gaon, and other early sources.


A manuscript of this midrash is in the Parma Library (Codex De Rossi, No. 563). The first printed edition of the work appeared at Constantinople in 1517 or 1522; the Hebrew date is not fully legible, but it undoubtedly refers to one of these years. It was printed again at Venice in 1546, and subsequently at various places and times. The latest and best edition prior to 1900 was that by Solomon Buber, with introduction and notes (Cracow, 1893).


  • This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain.. The JE cites the following works:
    • Zunz, G. V. pp. 269-270;
    • Weiss, Dor, iii. 276;
    • S. Buber, preface to his edition of the midrash.
  • Strack, H.L. & G. Stemberger (1991), written at Edinburgh, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, T&T Clark

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