The system of transliteration used here generally follows that of Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1972), with the following variations and clarifications:

1. The guttural het is written as ch instead of h with a dot under it;

2. Tzaddi is tz instead of z with a dot under it;

3. An apostrophe is used to separate a she'va from the major part of the word that follows;

4. A hyphen separates a full vowel from the major part of the word that follows;

5. Biblical names and place names are rendered according to the Bible translation of the Jewish Publication Society of America (1917).

This book is intended for both scholars and laymen. Because the profusion of superscript numbers can be distracting to the general reader, an unusual system of notation is employed here. Those who wish to read the notes will find them immediately following the text itself, identified by page and line number. Sources frequently cited are abbreviated in the notes; the Bibliography provides full source information and an explanation of abbreviations.