The book of P. K. Kokovtsov, “On the History of Medieval Hebrew Philology and Hebrew -Arabic Literature” is a scientific publication of the book “A Book of Comparison of the Hebrew with Arabic” by Abu Ibrahim (Isaac) Ibn Barun, a Spanish Jew of the late 11th and early 12th centuries. Kokovtsov publishes an essay by Ibn Barun from the manuscript of the collection of A. Firkovich from the collection of the Imperial Public Library. In addition to the scientific publication of the text of the Book of Comparisons, Kokovtsov’s work contains an essay on Ibn Barun himself and the study of the place that he occupied in Spanish-Hebrew and Hebrew-Arabic literature.
For a historian of religion, this book is interesting, first of all, because Ibn Barun was among the Hebrew-Arabic philologists and grammarians who successfully used comparative material in the Arabic language to interpret the philologically difficult places of Tanakh. Although the work of Ibn Barun is not the first experience of this kind, P.K. Kokovtsov convincingly shows that his author, relying on his predecessors, created the most important and fundamental example of the use of Arabic parallels in the interpretation of the Hebrew text.