Codex Sassoon – the earliest and most complete book of Jewish scriptures

Codex Sassoon

Codex Sassoon, the earliest and most complete book of Jewish scriptures, has arrived on permanent display at the “ANU” museum in Tel Aviv.

The codex contains all 24 books of the Bible along with notes on the tradition of writing and reading the Torah. All of these are copied in the form of a book, a codex in Latin, and not in continuous sheets as the Torah scrolls are written in the past and even nowadays. The manuscript includes 792 pages written in ink on parchment and bound in leather and weighs about 12 kilograms.

The Shema: “Hear O’ Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.” In transliteration: “She-ma Yisrael, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad” (starts at the 6th line from the bottom)

The Sassoon Codex has been dated to the beginning of the tenth century AD through an analysis of the characteristics of the writing and a carbon 14 test. The codex was created in the area of ​​Israel and Syria and was kept in this area in the first centuries after its creation.
Allelpo Codex was considered the complete book of the Hebrew Bible until Codex Sassoon was revealed. Both were written around the same time, the beginning of the tenth century AD. Allelpo Codex lost about 40% of the text, and most of the Pentateuch is missing.
In contrast, Codex Sassoon contains 92% of the biblical text.
Being the most complete ancient book of the Bible, the Sassoon Codex is a rare and valuable testimony to the history of the biblical text.

The Ten Commandments (on the right row)
The Ten Commandments (on the right row)

The codex was kept in private collections for centuries. In 2023, the codex was purchased by Alfred H. Moses from the USA for about 38 million dollars.
Since it was important to him that the codex is in Jewish hands and presented to the public in the land of the Bible – the book was donated by him to ANU – the Museum of the Jewish People, as a vigil for the entire Jewish people.

You are invited to write what's on your mind...


Shai Shvalb

Shai Shvalb

Shalom! My name is Shai Shvalb, and I am a professional private tour guide, and the owner of Know the Land. As a storyteller, I love to lead and guide my guests using my private car in the Land of Israel. I am especially enthusiastic about guiding those interested in history and archaeology, interfaith dialogue and comparison, the Bible, Israeli society, and, of course, Israeli food and markets. I guide in a deep and meaningful way, seasoned with a sense of humor.

More Posts

The Knesset – Israel’s parliament

The Knesset – Israel’s parliament A visit to the Knesset can be a fascinating and educational experience for anyone interested in Israeli politics, history, and

Send us a Message

We are surfeited with sights. The sights are too many. They swarm about you at every step.

Mark Twain

Skip to content