I.The Arabic Text.—The editio princeps, the only edition of the original text of the Guide (in Arabic, Dĕlil, or Dalalat a1-hairin), was undertaken and executed by the late S. Munk. Its title is: Le Guide des Egaris, traite de Theologie et de Philosophic par Moite ben Maimon, publie pour la premiere fois dans l'original Arabe, et accompagne d'une traduction Francaise et di note: critiques, litteraires et explicatives, par S. Munk (Paris, 1850-1866). The plan was published, 1833, in Reflexions cur le culte des anciens Hebreux (La Bible, par S. Cahen, vol. iv.), with a specimen of two chapters of the Third Part. The text adopted has been selected from the several MSS. at his disposal with great care and judgment. Two Leyden MSS. (cod. 18 and 221), various MSS. of the Bibliothique Nationale (No. 760, very old; 761 and 758, written by R. Saadia Ibn Danan), and some MSS. of the Bodleian Library were consulted. In the notes which accompany the French translation, the various readings of the different MSS. are fully discussed. At the end of the third volume a list is added of "Variantes des Manuscrits Arabes et des deux Versions HebraIques."
The library of the British Museum possesses two copies of the Arabic text; the one Or. 5423 is complete, beautifully written, with explanatory notes in the margin and between the lines. The name of the copyist is not mentioned, nor the date when it has been written. The volume has in the beginning an incomplete index to the Scriptural passages referred to in the Guide, and at the end fragments of Psalm cxli. in Arabic and of astronomical tables.
The second copy of the Dalalat al-halirin is contained in the MS. Or. 2423, written in large Yemen Rabbinic characters. It is very fragmentary. The first fragment begins with the last paragraph of the introduction; there are a few marginal notes in Hebrew. In the Bodleian Library there are the following copies of the Dalalat alhalirin according to the Catal, of Hebr. MSS. by Dr. A. Neubauer:--
No. 1236. The text is preceded by Jehudah al-Charizi's index of the contents of the chapters, and by an index of Biblical quotstions. In the margin there are notes, containing omissions, by different hands, two in Arabic characters. The volume was written 1473.
No. 1237. The Arabic text, with a few marginal notes containing various readings the text is preceded by three Hebrew poems, beginning, De'i holek, Bi-sedeh tebunot; and Binu be-dat Mosheh. Fol. 212 contains a fragment of the book (III., xxix.).
No. 1238. Text with a few marginal notes.