Saul Levi Mortera (1596–1660) was a senior Amsterdam rabbi, a famed preacher, and a teacher at Keter Torah. In 1656 he chaired the tribunal that excommunicated his former pupil Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677).
The 50 sermons by Mortera in this volume (Roth Collection 704) were published by his students, who selected them from among a corpus of 500.
The printer of this work was Immanuel Benvenisti, who was Menasseh ben Israel's most formidable competitor in the Hebrew printing business. Between 1641 and 1660, the Benvenisti press produced prayer-books, an edition of the Midrash Rabbah, and Alfasi's law code and the Shulchan Arukh: the two foremost Sephardi codifications of Jewish law.
The woodcut title pages incorporated Benvenisti's printer's mark as a coat of arms displaying a castle and lion surmounted by a star. This may have been meant to represent the Spanish kingdom of Castile and Leon. The title pages’ designs were widely imitated in Hebrew printing across Europe.