Abu Ibrahaim Yitzhak ben Yaʿḳōb ibn Ezra

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Abu Ibrahaim Yitzhak ben Yaʿḳōb ibn Ezra

Birthplace: Granada, Granada, Andalucía, Spain
Immediate Family:

Son of Ya'kub ben Abraham ibn Ezra and unknown bat haLevi
Husband of Qasmūna bat Ismā‛īl HaLevi HaNagid
Father of unknown bat Abu Ibrahim Yitzhak ben Ya'qob ibn Ezra
Brother of Yehoseph ben Yaʿḳōb ibn Ezra and Abū Hārūn Mōs̲h̲ē ben Yaʿḳōb ibn ʿEzra,

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About Abu Ibrahaim Yitzhak ben Yaʿḳōb ibn Ezra

Born around 1045, Isaac (Abū Ibrāhῑm) ibn Ezra was the older brother of Moses ibn Ezra . He lived in Granada quite probably until the arrival of the Almoravids in 1090, when he had to leave for Lucena. He may have been married to a daughter of Samuel ibn Naghrella, according to the heading of a poem (Shire ha-Ḥol, vol. 1, pp. 184 ff.). Another heading indicates that Moses ibn Ezra dedicated an elegy to Isaac’s daughter on her death in Cordova in 1114 (ibid., vol. 1, p. 204). Moses ibn Ezra’s ars poetica, Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa ʾl-Mudhākara (Halkin ed., p. 76), describes Isaac as an able poet and a connoisseur of Arabic culture. According to this passage, he died in Lucena in 1121.

Isaac is also mentioned in several poems by his famous brother, whose elegies in his honor are notable for their personal touches. He was, as well, the recipient of several compositions by Judah ha-Levi specifically dedicated to him or to him along with his brother. A lengthy panegyric in praise of both Ibn Ezra brothers (Dīwān, vol. 2, p. 278) belongs to the period when Ha-Levi was still living in Granada, as do two other poems: a muwashshaḥ (strophic poem) in which ha-Levi bemoans his separation from them after leaving the city (ibid., vol. 1, p. 91) and a poem of friendship wherein he gives thanks for some verses they have sent (ibid., vol. 2, p. 243). There is also a later muwashshaḥ that he sent to Isaac and Moses, the former still in al-Andalus and the latter at this point in the Christian north (ibid., vol. 1, p. 178). Around the same time he wrote another poem to Isaac lamenting the departure of Moses Ibn Ezra and Joseph ibn Ezra (ibid., p. 26). Upon Isaac’s death, he dedicated an elegy to him (ibid., vol. 2, p. 111).

Although nothing is preserved of Isaac ibn Ezra’s work, one of ha-Levi’s panegyrics (Dīwān, vol. 1, p. 178) alludes to a letter or poem written by him.

Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio


Ibn Ezra, Moses. Shire ha- Ḥ ol, ed. Ḥayyim Brody (Berlin: Schocken, 1934/35–1977).

Judah ha-Levi. Dîwân des Abû‑l‑Hasan Jehuda ha‑Levi. Diwan ve‑Hu Sefer Kolel Shire Avir ha‑Meshorerim Yehuda ben Shemuʾel ha‑Levi, ed. Ḥayyim Brody, 4 vols. (Berlin. 1894–30; repr. A. M. Habermann, England, 1971).

Sáenz-Badillos, Ángel, and Judit Targarona Borrás. Diccionario de autores judíos (Sefarad. Siglos X–XV) (Cordova: El Almendro, 1988).

———. “Yehudah ha-Levi y los Ibn Ezra de Granada,” Miscelánea de Estudios Árabes y Hebraicos 37, no. 2 (1988): 325–343.

Schirmann, Ḥayyim. The History of Hebrew Poetry in Muslim Spain, ed., suppl., and annot. Ezra Fleischer (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1995), pp. 384 ff. [Hebrew].

———. Studies in the History of Hebrew Poetry and Drama (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1979) [Hebrew].

Aurora Salvatierra Ossorio. " Ibn Ezra, Isaac (Abū Ibrāhῑm)." Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Brill Online , 2012. Reference. Jim Harlow. 09 July 2012 <http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/encyclopedia-of-jews-in-the-islamic-world/ibn-ezra-isaac-abu-ibrahm-SIM_0010520>

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