TARGUM (UiJn.Fl) in its concrete sense signifies the paraphrastic translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, or parts thereof, into the Aramaic tongue. It has, however, three other meanings:(1) a translation from any language into another; (2) an interpretation in any language; and (3) the Aramaic portions of certain books of the Bible (notably Daniel and Ezra).
The word is not itself found in the Bible; but the participle rneihurgam (D|"|r)P) occurs in Ezr. iv. 7. The noun Targum, a form similar to TALMUD (q.v.), occurs for the first time in the Mishnah, both canonical and non-canonical, -the latter being apparently the older source.
Origin.Although none of the Targums now in our hands are as old as the SEPTUAGINT (q.v.), the public use of Targums on Sabbaths, festivals, &c, is very ancient, and indeed their language was for several hundreds of years the sole one understood by the majority of the Jews in Palestine and Babylonia. How the Hebrew people of Judsea came so entirely to unlearn their own Hebrew tongue as to stand in need of an Aramaic translation of their Scriptures need not be dwelt on here (see vol. xi. p. 597 and vol. xxi. p. 648). But an important contrast between the Aramaic and Greek versions deserves particular notice. The use of the Septuagint by the Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria, Asia Minor, and elsewhere caused those who adopted it to forget entirely their own Hebrew tongue. The Aramaic version (Targum), however, spring-ing from a religious necessity, was the cause of revival of the knowledge of Hebrew, which had been nigh forgotten. It is therefore easy to understand why the Jews in general have shown comparatively little attachment to the Septua-gint, whilst they ever ardently revered the Aramaic version, even after the institution of publicly reciting it had ceased. To this day pious Jews privately prepare themselves every Friday for the lessons of the coming Sabbath by reading the weekly portion twice in the sacred text and once in the Targum (Dinn "iriNI KlpO D»2E>).
Former Use of the Targum in Public.The following rules had to be observed in the reading of the Scriptures at the synagogal service :
the Targum on the Prophets, a small remnant of the congregations
following the rite of Borne (i.e., the so-called Italiani) continue it
to this day on the festival of Passover. For the use of the Targum
on Pentecost, see Responsa, by B. Meir of Bothenburg (BOSH, q.v.
footnote 3), No. 59-
"Let not the Aramaic be lightly esteemed by thee," says the Jerusalem Talmud, " seeing that the Holy One (blessed be He !) has given honour to it in the Pentateuch (Gen. xxxi. 47), in the Prophets (Jer. x. 11), and in the Hagiographa (Dan. ii. 4)," ISotah, vii. 2). Instead of "Arammi" (Aramaic) the Midrash Rabbah on Genesis reads "Parsi" (Persian); the reading here is " Sursi" (Syriac).
See MISHNAH, vol. xvi. p. 503.
This was done to prevent its being thought that the Targum
(the exponent of the oral Law) was to be found in writing in the
Pentateuch (the exponent of the written Law).
5 Siphere (see vol. xvi. p. 507) on Deuteronomy (Pericope Shophetim), Pisko 161.
I. As regards the Law (Pentateuch). (1) The private person called to the Law (which chiefly contains halakhic matter) read one verse of it, which the official methurgeman or turgeman (trans-lator) immediately paraphrased ; (2) whilst the reader of the Law was not allowed to take his eye off the written scroll, the methurge-man was forbidden, not merely to read out of a written Targum, but even to look into the sacred text; (3) each of these had to wait till the other had quite finished the reading and translation respectively; (4) one was not allowed to raise his voice in a louder key than the other; (5) a certain number of passages, although allowed to be read, were not allowed to bo translated; these were
(a) such as might reflect unfavourably on a father of a tribe, or on an eminent teacher(T. B., Megill., 25b, Tosaph., catchword ilBtyO);
(b) such as might encourage the ignorant to think that there was some truth in idolatry; (c) such as might offend decency (Mishnah, Megillah, iv. .10; Tosephto, ibid, 35, 37; T. Yer., ibid., iv. 10; and T. B., ibid., leaf 256); (d) such as were fixed by the Lord Himself to be read in Hebrew only (as the sacerdotal benediction, Num. vi. 24-26); (6) the translator was neither allowed to give a literal translation nor to add anything that had no foundation in the Divine word ; he had to give the spirit of the letter.
II. As regards the Prophets. (1) The person called to read the
Prophets (which chiefly contain agadic matter ") might read three
verses, of which the translator, who might be the reader himself,12
sought to render the meaning to the best of his ability ; (2) the
translator was allowed both to read out of a Targum volume and
to look also into the book containing the prophetic text; (3) if
reader and translator were two different persons they observed the
third rule given above for the case of reading the Law; (4) here
also certain passages were not allowed to be translated :(a) such
as reflected on great men of the Israelite nation; (b) such as offend
decency ; (5) any one sufficiently intelligent might read, and of
course paraphrase, the portion from the Prophets.
III. As regards the Hagiographa. The widest range of liberty
must have been granted both to reciters and translators, as very
scanty mention of any particular provision concerning it is to be
found in the Talmuds. The Psalms and the book of Esther are
classed together in so far as they may be read and paraphrased even
by ten persons (T. B., Meg., 216). For Job and Lamentations,
Duration of this Practice.The practice of publicly reciting the Targum continued somewhat later than the last of the geonim. Within the last 400 years of that period, however, the power of this ancient institution began to fluctuate, gradually declined, and finally almost but not entirely 13died out. The causes of this were twofold. One was, that after the Mohammedan conquests Arabic supplanted Aramaic as the vernacular, and the Targums thus became unintelligible to the mass (see Seder Rab 'Amram, i., Warsaw, 1863, leaf 29a), even as was already the case in the Western world. A second and more important cause, however, was the spread of Karaism, whose criticism of the Babbinic contents of the Targums provoked the Babbanites to pay more attention to the etymology and grammar of the Hebrew text of the Bible. Thus the Targums, both in their periods of vigour and decay, exercised, directly and indirectly, a salutary influence. In each case the knowledge of Hebrew was promoted; and it advanced so much, that by 1000 A.D. the Jews of Irak, like those of the rest of the world then, and as in our own days, certainly knew the pure Hebrew better than the Aramaic idiom. The same was the case in other Arabic-speaking parts, as Spain, Africa, &c,Yemen then and still forming a solitary exception.
Authorship and Age of the Various Targums.The Targums on the various books of the Bible are not merely by various authors, but also of various ages. They have only one thing in common,all of them rest on oral traditions, which are hundreds of years older than the earliest form of the written Targums now in our hands. We enumerate them according to Biblical order, although that is not necessarily the chronological order in which they were either composed or committed to writing.
I. The Pentateuch.(a) There is a complete Targum known as
Onkelos (DlbpHIK, ____, DlbpJX. Dl^pJIK). The person and even the name of Onkelos have been for the last three hundred years a crux criticorum.
According to the Babylonian Talmud, Megil., Sa, " Onkelos (son of Calonicus, Gitt., 566, or of Calonymus, 'Ah. Zar., 11a), the pro-selyte, composed the Targum on the Pentateuch (i"IDX) out of the mouth of R. Eli'ezer and R. Yehoshua'," who taught in the 1st and 2d centuries. In the Jerusalem Talmud, ___., i. 9, the same thing is related on the same authorities, and almost in the same words, of the proselyte Aquila (Akylas) of Pontus, who^e Greek version of the Bible was much used by Greek-speaking Jews down to the time of Justinian (Nov., cxlvi. cap. I). There are other parallels between what Tosephto and the Babylonian Talmud tell of Onkelos and what the Jerusalem Talmud and the Midrash tell of Aquila. Both throw their idolatrous inheritance into the Bead Sea (Tos., Demai, vi. 12 ; T. Y., Demai, vi. 10), and both have connexions with Roman emperors, Onkelos being sister's son of Titus (Gittin, 566), and Aquila of Hadrian (Miclr. Tanh., Mishpatim; see, also, for Onkelos, 'Ab. Z., 11a, and for Aquila's connexion with Hadrian, T. Y., ___., ii. 1; Shem. Eab., xxx.; Epiphanius, De Mens. etPoncl,, xiv. sq.). From these facts some (see N. Adler, Nethinah lagcjer, in the Vilna Pent., 1874, Introd.) still argue that Onkelos is but another name for Aquila, and that the Greek translator also wrote our Targum. This view was long ago refuted by R. 'Azaryah de' Rossi, and is quite untenable. It is incredible that Aquila or any other Greek could have had the mastery of Aramaic and of tradi-tional lore as well as of Hebrew which the Targum displays; and the phrase of T. Y., Megil., i. 9, " an untutored person picked out for them Aramaic from the Greek," is quite inapplicable to Onkelos, and ought to be taken as referring to the Peshito Syriac, which is admittedly dependent on the LXX. In a Jewish writing "for them"set absolutelymeans "for the Christians." The view now accepted by most critics is that the word Onkelos is a Babylonian corruption of Akylas, but that the name " Targum Onkelos " originally meant no more than " Targum in the style of Aquila," i.e., bearing to the freer Palestinian Targums a similar relation to that of Aquila's version to the Septuagint. On this view there never was a real person called Onkelos. But how Akylas
(DVpy; in Per. Rab., i. middle, Dl^pK or p4>K, i.e., f^pX) could be corrupted into Onkelos has not been satisfactorily ex-plained ; and, besides the traditions about Onkelos which resemble what is known about Aquila, there are others, and these older than either Gemara, which have no such resemblance, and assign to him an earlier date, associating him with R. Gamliel the elder, the teacher of St Paul (Tosephto, Shab., vii. [viii.] 18; Hag., iii. 2, 3; Eel. Bab. Bath., ii. 4; Mikv., vi. 3; Talmud _., 'Ab. Zar., 11a; Mas. Semah., viii. init.). The Zohar (iii. leaf 73a of the small ed.) ascribes his being circumcised to Hillel (R. Gamliel's grandfather) and Shammai. These notices, it is true, do not speak of Onkelos as a targumist; and, indeed, the Targum being a representative piece of the oral law was certainly not written down, private notes (megil-loth setharim) excepted, before the Mishnah, Tosephto, &c., i.e., till about the end of the 6th or the beginning of the 7th century. But in the opinion of the present writer this need not prevent us from recognizing Onkelos as a corrector and compiler of oral Targum in the 1st century. As regards the name, it may be suggested that Onkelos is a deliberate perversion of Evangelus, a Greek proper name which exactly translates the Jewish (and especially Babylon-ian-Jewish) name Mebasser. As the Christian writings are called Aven (iniquity, idolatry), and as the pre-Mishnic teacher R. Meir calls the gospel (evangelion) ongillayon (iniquity of the roll; _. _., Shab., leaf 116, Amst. ed. of 1645), or, by inversion, gilyon-aven (roll of iniquity), the name Evangelus, which suggested associations with the gospel, might be perverted into Onkelos quasi On-keles (iniquity of disgrace). And, while a Babylonian Jew coming to Palestine might find it convenient to translate his Hebrewname into Evangelus, this good Greek name was enough to suggest in after times that he was of heathen origin and so to facilitate the con-fusion with Aquila. The idiom of the Targum Onkelos, which is held to be Palestinian with some Babylonian features, points to Babylonia as the country of its final redactor, if to Palestine as its source. It must be remembered that Hillel and other great fountains of Palestinian learning were of Babylonian origin.
5 Bibliography of the Targum Dl^pJIX.(A) There are very fine MSS. of this Targum at Parma, Oxford, Cambridge (Dd. 11, 26, Add. 446, 1053), the British Museum, Kissingen (Rabbin Bamberger), &c. (B) A Massoreth on our Targum by an anonymous author, who must have lived in or before the 12th century, has been pub-lished(1) by Luzzatto (Osar Nehmad, iv.); (2) by Adler (Vilna edition of the Pentateuch of 1874) ; and (3) by Berliner (with a German translation, &c, Leipsic, 1877, 8vo). (C) Leading editions: (1) Bologna, 1482, editio princeps, without vowel-points ; (2) the Complutensian polyglott; (3) the Bomberg Rabbinic Bible of 1517; (4) Sabbioneta, 1557, 16mo (reprinted, not without mistakes, at Berlin, 1884, imp. 8vo) ; and (5) Vilna edition of the Pentateuch of 1874, the Targum being pointed according to a Bodleian MS. (Canon. Orient. 91). (D) Translations :(a) into Latin(1) by Alphonsus Zamorensis (Polygl., 1517, &c); (2) by P. Fagius (Strasburg, 1546, folio); (6) into English by Etheridge (Targums, London, 1862-65, 8vo). (E) Commentaries, all in Hebrew:(1) Pathshegen, by an anonymous Provencal rabbi of the 12th century (see MAHZOR), in the Vilna Pentateuch of 1874; (2) by R. Mordekhai b. Naphtali (Amsterdam, 1671-77, fol.); (3) Lehem Vesimlah (double commentary) by R. Bensiyyon Berkowitz (Vilna, 1846-56); (4) by Dr Nathan M. Adler (Vilna Pentateuch of 1874, ut supra). (F) Other litera-ture (also for the other Targums):(a) in HebrewMeor 'Enayim, by R. 'Azaryah m. Haadummim (cheapest and best edition, Vilna, 1863; Mine Targumo, by R. Y. Berlin or Pick (Breslau, 1851, 4to); Oheb Ger, by S. D. Luzzatto (Vienna, 1830); 'Oteh Or, by the before-named B. Berkowitz (Vilna, 1843) ; Iggereth Bikkoreth, by R. Z. H. Hayyuth (C'hajes), ed. Briill, Presburg (1853, 8vo); Rapoport, 'Erekh Millin, (Prague, 1852, 4to); Lowy, Bikkoreth Haltalmud, i. (Vienna, 1863, 8vo); (6) in LatinMoriuus, Exercitationes, ii. viii. 6 (Paris, 1660); Winer, De Onkeloso (Leipsic, 1820, 4to); R. Anger, De Onkelo (Leipsic, 1845-46) ; (c) in GermanZunz, Gottesd. Yortrdge (Berlin, 1832); Geiger, TJrschriH (Breslau, 1857); Hamburger, Real-Ency-klopddie; Targum Onkelos, by Dr A. Berliner (Berlin, 1884, imp. 8vo). On this work, see Noldeke, in Zarncke's Centralbl., 1884, No. 39, and Lagarde in Gtitt. Gel. Anzeig., November 1886 (No. 22); (d) in English : E. Deutsch, in his Literary Remainsto be used with caution. (G) Lexicons to this and other Targums :(1) as for the Talmuds and Midrashim, so also for the Targum, R. Nathan b. Yehiel's 'Arukh (see TALMUD, p. 37, note 7) stands first; (2) next to it is Elias Levita's Methurgeman (Isny, 1541, fob); (3) Buxtorf's Lexicon Chaldaicum, Talmudicum, et Rabbinicum (cheap and new, though by no means best, edition, Leipsic, 1869-75); (4) Levy's Chald. Worterb. (1866-68) ; (5) Jastrow's Dictionary, i. (New York, 1886). (H) Grammars:(1) Juda Jeitteles's MeboHallashon (Prague, 1813, 4to); (2) Bliicher's Marpe Leshon Arammi (Vienna, 1838); (3) Fiirst's Lehrgeb. d. Aram. Idiome (Leipsic, 1855); (4) Lerner's Dikduk Lashon Arammith (Warsaw, 1875) ; all in 8vo.
(0) Certain Targumic fragments on the Pentateuch go under the name of Targum Yerushalmi, or, rather, Palestinian Targum. These are the remains of a much larger Jerusalem Targum, once current in Palestine. But, the Palestinian rabbis not having approved of it, perhaps because it accorded in various of its interpretations and phrases with interpretations and phrases to
__ found in the Gospels, it gradually lost its authority and the greater portion of its original matter, and is now in our hands what it is. It certainly never was part of the T. Onkelos, nor was the T. Onkelos part of it, though the two are closely related. As regards its age, several of the pieces formerly found in it (now in T. Yonathaii) were in the 2d and 3d centuries distinctly quoted with disapprobation. But like Onkelos it cannot have been written down before the Mislmah and other parts of the oral Law.
(y) The Targum Yonathan, or T. of Jonathan, on the Pentateuch is also Palestinian. This Targum was no doubt undertaken, as Dr Bacher has shown (Z.D.M. 67., xxviii. p. 69), to combine the finest parts of what early T. Onkelos and T. Yerushalmi contained. This attempt could not have been made without both these Targums lying in writing before the compiler of the third Targum. The Targum Yonathan on the Pentateuch is a product, at the earliest, of the 7th century, to which conclusion internal evidence also points. The author is, of course, not the Yonathan b. 'Uzziel, principal of the eighty disciples of Hillel (_. _., Sukkah, 28a), who, according to T. Bab., Megill., 3a, composed a Targum on the Prophets from the traditions of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
5 Bibliography.(A) There certainly exists, somewhere in Italy, a MS. of this Targum, although the owner is at present unknown. (B) This Targum appeared for the first time in the Pentateuch edition of Venice (1590-91, 8vo). (C) Translations :(a) Latin by Chevalier (London, 1653-57); (6) in English by Etheridge (op. cit). (D) Com-mentaries:(1) by R. David b. Ya'akob (Prague, 1609, 4to); (2) by R.-Mordekhai b. Naphtali (Amst., 1671-77, fob); (3) by an anony-mous author in the Warsaw edition.
II. Targum Yonathan on the Prophets.It has been known from early quotations, as from RASHI (q.v.) and others, but notably from KIMHI (q.v.), that, in addition to the complete extant Targum on the Prophets, there existed other Targums or fragments of them. These are now known from the marginal additions to the Reuch-linian Codex of the Targum on the Prophets published by Lagarde (Leipsic, 1872), and have been discussed by Bacher (ut sup.). As regards the complete Targum on the Prophets, no mistake can be greater than to believe that Rab Yoseph, a teacher of the 3d and 4th centuries, and head of the academy of Pumbaditha (see RABBAH), w as the author of this Targum in whole or in part. This mistake has its origin in the repeated phrase of the Babylonian Tal-mud, flDI' 34 ______ (" as Rab Yoseph targumizes"); but then a similar phrase exists with regard to Rab Shesheth, ___}' 31 _______ (" as Rab Shesheth targumizes "). And in like manner the expres-sion p*D3"iriD43 ("as we targumize ") is of frequent occurrence. In this last instance the words mean "as we are in the habit of translating certain passages in Holy Writ according to a Targum we have received." As applied to Rab Yoseph and Rab Shesheth the phrase may certainly mean more and yet not imply that these teachers were in any way authors of the Targum on the Law, the Prophets, or Hagiographa. Rab Yoseph and Bab Shesheth were both blind, and as such were not allowed to quote in extenso the written word of the Law, which it was forbidden to recite orally. They therefore committed to memory the oral Targum, and so were, of course, appealed to as Targumic authorities, &c. That Rab Yoseph was not the author of the Targum on the Prophets will be clearly seen from the following Talmudic passage (_., Megillah, 3a; Mo'ed Katan, 286) :"Were it not for the Targum of that verse [Zechar. xii. 11] I should not know the meaning of the prophet." This verse is from the last but one of all the Prophets; and we see that Rab Yoseph must have had the Targum on the Prophets before him. In the opinion of the present writer this Targum was composed by Yonathan ; and, not being on books of the Law, there was no reason why it should not have been there and then written
22 Bibliography. (A) There are MSS. of the Targum(1) on the
Psalms, in Parma (De-Rossi, 31, 32, 732) and Paris (110); (2) on
Proverbs, in Parma (31, 32) and Paris (as before) ; (3) on Job, in
Parma (31, 32) and Paris (as before) ; (4) on the Five Megilloth,
in the Court Library of Vienna (xxix.), Parma (31, 32), the Bod-
leian (Uri 1, 44), Cambridge (Add., 436); and (5) on Chronicles in
the Vatican (Urb. i.), the Erfurt ministerial library, Cambridge (E
5, 9), and the Bodleian (Uri 35, 36). (B) The earliest editions of the
Targum on the Hagiographa (except on Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and
Chronicles) are the Rabbinic Bibles, and on Chronicles those of 1680-83
by Beck and 1714 by Wilkins. (C) Translations :(a) in Hebrew
the Targum Sheni(1) Leshon Zahab (Const., 1732), and (2) Path-
shegen hakkethab (Amst., 1770, repr. at Czernowitz, 1838),all 8vo;
(6) in Latin(1) on the Psalms, by Aug. Justinianus, and again by
Arias Montanus ; (2) on Proverbs, by Alphonsus Zamorensis; (3) on
Job, by the same; (4) on Canticles, by the same, and again by
Schreckenfuchs (Basel, 1553, 8vo); (5) on Ruth, by Arias Montanus,
down. Although the traditions it embodies came originally from Babylonia and returned to Babylonia, its language has yet a more marked colouring of the Palestinian idiom than that of Onkelos, because it was not studied so much and therefore not so much modified and interpolated. Some of the Agadoth occurring in this Targum are ascribed in the Talmud and Midrash to later men, but this is no conclusive argument against an early date. It can be shown that many laws and sayings supposed to be of the 2d, 3d, and 4th centuries of the Christian era are actually of pre-Christian times, and, indeed, certain explanations, figures of speech, &c, had been, so to say, floating in the air for centuries. Certain passages in the Septuagint contain Agadoth which re-appear, seemingly for the first time, in the Talmudic literature. The Prophets themselves knew Agadoth which only reappear in what are believed to be late Midrashim (comp., e.g., Isaiah xxix. 22 with T. B., Synh., 195 ; Isa. xxx. 26 with Targum on Judges v. 31, Ber. Bab., xii.; Ezek. xxii. 24, &c, with Ber. Bab., xxxiii.).10 III. Targum on the Hagiographa. No author's name is attached to this Targum in wdiole or in part. The Psalms must have had one11 or two12 Targnms ; the book of Proverbs at least two ;13 the book of Job at least three.14 There must have been two Targums on Canticles,15 Ruth,16 Ecclesiastes,17 and Esther,18 and probably theee on Lamentations,19 the earliest of which was, no doubt, simultane-ously coming into existence with the earliest on the book of Job. For Ezra-Nehemiah no Targum exists. Daniel only in part wanted a Targum, and it is supposed to have had one ;20 and the books (or rather the book) of Chronicles have a by no means late
down. Although the traditions it embodies came originally from Babylonia and returned to Babylonia, its language has yet a more marked colouring of the Palestinian idiom than that of Onkelos, because it was not studied so much and therefore not so much modified and interpolated. Some of the Agadoth occurring in this Targum are ascribed in the Talmud and Midrash to later men, but this is no conclusive argument against an early date. It can be shown that many laws and sayings supposed to be of the 2d, 3d, and 4th centuries of the Christian era are actually of pre-Christian times, and, indeed, certain explanations, figures of speech, &c, had been, so to say, floating in the air for centuries. Certain passages in the Septuagint contain Agadoth which re-appear, seemingly for the first time, in the Talmudic literature. The Prophets themselves knew Agadoth which only reappear in what are believed to be late Midrashim (comp., e.g., Isaiah xxix. 22 with T. B., Synh., 195 ; Isa. xxx. 26 with Targum on Judges v. 31, Ber. Bab., xii.; Ezek. xxii. 24, &c, with Ber. Bab., xxxiii.).10 III. Targum on the Hagiographa. No author's name is attached to this Targum in wdiole or in part. The Psalms must have had one11 or two12 Targnms ; the book of Proverbs at least two ;13 the book of Job at least three.14 There must have been two Targums on Canticles,15 Ruth,16 Ecclesiastes,17 and Esther,18 and probably theee on Lamentations,19 the earliest of which was, no doubt, simultane-ously coming into existence with the earliest on the book of Job. For Ezra-Nehemiah no Targum exists. Daniel only in part wanted a Targum, and it is supposed to have had one ;20 and the books (or rather the book) of Chronicles have a by no means late one,21 although it is not by Rab Yoseph, of the 4th century.22
State of Text.The Targtlm text is, taken as a whole, in a very corrupt state. The causes of this corruption are many, but chiefly the following:(1) mistakes ordinarily made by scribes through carelessness, or ignorance, or both ; (2) the Targums had passed from century to century and from country to country without having been written down ; (3) when written down they were prob-ably not provided with vowel-points at once ; (4) when provided with vowel-points most of them were first provided with Babylonian (or Assyrian), which afterwards were changed into Palestinian ones ; this change was a fertile source of fresh mistakes ; (5) the loss of the general knowledge of the Targumic idiom contingent on the decline and final fall of the institution of publicly reciting the Targum was an additional source from which mistakes arose ; (6) conjectural emendations contributed their quota to the corruption of the text; (7) Buxtorf's emendations founded on the diction of the Biblical Targum (as suggested in the Methurgeman) are a gross mistake, inasmuch as they lack the criticism of history; (8) printers' mistakes, increasing in every new edition, have all but ruined the text. The remedies for this corruption are :(1) good Targum MSS. in private hands and public libraries, notably in Italy, Germany, and England ; (2) Targum MSS , according to the Babylonico-Assyrian system of punctuation, chiefly preserved in South Arabia, Russia, and England ; (3) some early and com-paratively good printed editions ; (4) the Massoreth of the Targum.
Value of the Targums.The idea so long entertained, even by
the learned, that these old versions were valuable chiefly as guides
to the original readings of the sacred text must be given up. All
of them contain more or less, whether visible at first sight or not,
certain paraphrastic elements, which give no absolute security for
the exact reading of the pristine Hebrew text But besides their
importance as linguistic monuments they have the highest value
as historical records(1) of the exegesis which obtained at the
time of their composition, and (2) of the then current manners,
thoughts, and aspirations both of the Jews and of the surrounding
nations. (8. M. S.-S.)
1 Hence 'rJOSÍ'X (German translation), &c.
2 When the word is used in either of these two senses the language into which the translation is made, or in which an interpretation is given, must be specified, or otherwise indicated,, e.g., Dljnn (Greek translation), D»JÜt?n DUIFI (Septuagint), DTpV Oilil (Aquila translated), except when it is Aramaic, in which case the language maybe named (as in Ezra iv. 7) or not (Tosephto, Shabbath, xiii. [xiv.]2).
3 Compare Mishnah, Yadayim, iv. 5. 4 See last note.
9 The Babylonian Talmud (Megillah, 25b) says that the priestly benediction was not to be recited in Aramaic on account of the phrase "the LOED shall lift up His countenance upon thee," which would appear as if the Lord had been a respecter of persons. In Talmudic times they had apparently, in Babylonia, lost the real reason of the Mishnic prohibition, which is that this benediction is doubly, yea, trebly Divine, being framed in its every word by God Himself, and can thus only be recited in those very words (¡13, thus; Num. vi. 23). See Mishnah, Sotah, vii. 2 ; T. Yerushalmi, ibid., and Megillah, iv. 11, and, finally, Bemidbar Rabbah, cap. xi. in medio.
10 See Tosephto, Megillah, iv. in fine.
11 See MIDRASH, vol. xvi. p. 285.
12 Thus Jesus (Luke iv. 16-27) no doubt read the Haphtarah (pro-
phetic portion) himself, and paraphrased it himself. From this custom
of reading and paraphrasing by one and the same person the sermon
(flBm) sprang. The passage in question (Isa. lxi. 1, &c.) was read
on the Sabbath before the New Year (day of memorial).
13 Long after the institution of publicly reciting the Targum on the
Law had generally declined, it was yet retained in Germany and Italy
on certain days of the three high festivals, viz., (a) the seventh day of
Passover, (b) the first day of Pentecost, and (c) the last day attached
to the festival of Tabernacles (i.e., miD nnDK>). The passages so
recited were(a) parts of the lesson for the daythe song of Moses
and the children of Israel, with the introduction; (b) the Decalogue
in Exodus; (e) the last portion of Deuteronomy. In the first case the
paraphrase was from the three Targums mixed, in the second from
the Targum Yonathan with deviations, in the last from the Targum
Onkelos. (These pieces are interspersed with sundry bits of poetry;
see'Camb. MS. Add. 374, leaves 169a-1716, 199a-203a, 4236-4276.)
Towards the end of the 14th century, as regards Passover and Pentecost,
the custom fell into desuetude, but down to our own days some of
the congregations of Italy continue the usage of reciting the Targum
Onkelos in connexion with the narration of the death of Moses. This
custom, however, is now rapidly dying out. As regards the recitation
In Yemen the Targum is publicly recited to this day, and, strange to say, by boys of nine years of age or so in turn. See J. Saphir, Eben Sappir, i. (Lyck, 1866, 8vo) leaves 536, 61a. Saphir once told the present writer that a youth, eighteen years of age (ut supra, 616), who carried his travelling-bag and served as his guide over the mountains, Said, i.e., Se'adyah, by name and a shoemaker by trade, could translate to him in Aramaic from memory any passage Saphir recited in Hebrew.
For the connexion of Aquila with B. Eli'ezer and R. Yehoshua', see also Beresh. Rab., lxx.; Bemidb. Rab., viii. end; Kohel. Rab., vii. 8.
I.e., "min Haadummim." The Adummim are supposed to be one of the four noble families carried to Rome by Titus.
The Jerusalem Talmud repeatedly cites Aquila's renderings and never names Onkelos. But it does show acquaintance with renderings found in Onkelos (e.g., Megil., iv. 11 ; cf. Onk. on Exod. xxxii. 35).
9 See, however, vol. xxi. p. 648.
10 Bibliography.(A) There are MSS. of the Targum on the Prophets
in the Bodleian (Opp. Add., 4to, 75 and 76, Uri 4 and Kennicott
5). (B) The earliest edition is in the Rabbinic Bible of 1517. (C)
Translations ;(a) in Latin(1) by Alphonsus Zamorensis (revised by
Arias Montanus and afterwards by Clericus); (2) Jeremiah, by
Ghislerus, 1623; (3) Minor Prophets, by Mercerus, 1559, Tremellius,
1567, and Figueiro, 1615; (4) Hosea, Joel, and Amos, by Quinquar-
boreus, 1556; (5) Obadiah, by Bedwell, 1601, and Leusden, 1656 ;
(5) in EnglishIsaiah, by Pauli (London, 1871, 8vo). (D) Besides
the general literature mentioned under "Onkelos" (in fine), we must
mention Frankel, Zurn Targum der IJropheten (Breslau, 1872, 4to),
which must be used with caution.
11 See T. B., Megillah, 21a, and also Rashi on T. B., Tdanith, leaf
18a. Zunz is greatly mistaken when he says (Oott. Vortr., p. 64) that
the Targums on Psalms, Job, and Proverbs have one and the same
linguistic character. The Targum on Proverbs is almost pure Syriac.
12 See the Targum itself on Psalm Ixxvi. 11.
13 There, no doubt, existed another Targum on this book, older than
that now in our hands; see Ber. Bab., xciii.
14 See the extant Targum on Job xxiv. 19, and.comp. note 19 infra.
15 SeeR. Nathan b. Yehiel's 'Arukh, s.v. KWS. A "Yerushalmi
Targum " presupposes at least one other.
16 The Targum on the Five Megilloth has all one character, and is
therefore wholly Yerushalmi.
17 The Targum itself repeatedly quotes another Targum.
18 See Rashi on T. B., Megillah, leaf 136, catchword H3t. We
have still two Targums on.Esther. It ought to be mentioned here
that in the post-Talmudic Massekheth Sophervm, xiii. 6, an Aramaic
translation of Esther iii. 1 is given with the introductory words :
03"in flDV 31 ("Rab Yoseph targumized "). This somewhat lengthy
translation is found (the quotation from the Targum on Proverbs
excepted) almost verbatim in the Targum Sheni in loc.
19 The book of Lamentations, and consequently a Targum thereon,
was no doubt used along with the book of Job and the Targum
thereon, by mourners. See Schiller-Szinessy, Catalogue, i. p. 27.
20 See Munk, " Notice sur Saadia " (Cahen, La Bible: Isale, Paris,
1838), p. 159. His ingenious remarks are scarcely borne out by fact.
21 From a late name occurring in a book no conclusions must be
drawn, as isolated words may be a mere interpolation. The internal
character of a work must decide the age in which it was composed.
See our Targum on Gen. xxi. 21, where Mohammed's first wife (Khadidja) and their youngest daughter (Fatima) are mentioned by name.
In the editions before us (T. B., Sotah, 486) Yoseph stands on the margin instead of Shesheth ; but in the edition before R. 'Azaryah m. Haadummim the reading was absolutely Shesheth ; see Meor 'Enayim, cap. xlv.
See Tosapholh on B. Kam., leaf 3a, catchword D3inD13,
In the editions before us (T. B., Sotah, 486) Yoseph stands on the margin instead of Shesheth ; but in the edition before R. 'Azaryah m. Haadummim the reading was absolutely Shesheth ; see Meor 'Enayim, cap. xlv.
See Tosapholh on B. Kam., leaf 3a, catchword D3inD13,
This is by no means an isolated phrase ; in T. B., Synhedrin, 946,
a similar one occurs, referring to Isa. viii. 6.
(2) on Esther alone, by R. Shemuel Makshan (Prague, 1601, 4to);
(3) on the same Targum, by R. David b. Yehudah Melammed (Cracow,
1644, 4to) ; on the Targum Sheni, by R. David b. Ya'akob (Prague,
1609, 4to); (6) in Spanishon Canticles, by R. Mosheh Laniado
(Venice, 1619, 4to).
1 R. Yehudah Ibn Koreish fully understood the value of the Targums. See his interesting epistle, addressed to the Jewish com-munity of Fez, published at Paris (1857, 8vo), under the name of Epistola de Studii Targum Utihtate. A translation of the intro-ductory part (by Wetzstein) is given in the L. B. O., iii. col. 22 (reprinted by Dr Berliner, T. O., p. 168 sq.). Ibn Koreish belonged to the 9th century, and not, as Berliner says, to the 10th or 11th; nor was he a Karaite as Graetz (v. p. 293) half believes.