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The targumim (singular: "targum", Hebrew: תרגום‬) were spoken paraphrases, explanations and expansions of the Jewish scriptures (also called the Tanakh) that a rabbi would give in the common language of the listeners, which was then often Aramaic. That had become necessary near the end of the 1st century BCE, as the common language was in transition and Hebrew was used for little more than schooling and worship.[1] The noun "Targum" is derived from the early semitic quadriliteral root trgm, and the Akkadian term targummanu refers to "translator, interpreter".[2] It occurs in the Hebrew Bible in Ezra 4:7 "... and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue and interpreted (tirgam) in the Syrian tongue." Besides denoting the translations of the Bible, the term Targum
Targum
also denote the oral rendering of Bible
Bible
lections in synagogue,[2] while the translator of the Bible
Bible
was simply called hammeturgem (he who translates). Other than the meaning "translate" the verb Tirgem also means "to explain".[2] The word Targum
Targum
refers to "translation" and argumentation or "explanation".[2] Writing down the targum was prohibited; nevertheless, some targumatic writings appeared as early as the middle of the first century CE.[1] They were then not recognized as authoritative by the religious leaders, however.[3] Some subsequent Jewish traditions (beginning with the Babylonian Jews) accepted the written targumim as authoritative, and eventually, it became a matter of debate. Today, only Jews
Jews
from the republic of Yemen continue to use the targumim liturgically. As translations, the targumim largely reflect midrashic interpretation of the Tanakh
Tanakh
from the time they were written and are notable for eschewing anthropomorphisms in favor of allegorical readings.[4] (Maimonides, for one, notes this often in The Guide for the Perplexed.) That is true both for those targumim that are fairly literal as well as for those that contain many midrashic expansions. In 1541, Elia Levita
Elia Levita
wrote and published Sefer Meturgeman, explaining all the Aramaic words found in the Targum.[5][6] An Aramaic Bible
Bible
is also used in the Syriac Church (see Peshitta). In addition, targumim are used today as sources in text-critical editions of the Bible
Bible
(BHS refers to them with the abbreviation 𝔗).

Contents

1 Two major genres 2 Targum
Targum
Ketuvim 3 Other Targumim on the Torah 4 Peshitta 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

7.1 English translations of Targum 7.2 Other sources on Targum

Two major genres[edit]

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The two most important targumim for liturgical purposes are:[7]

Targum Onkelos
Targum Onkelos
on the Torah
Torah
(Written Law) Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel on the Nevi'im
Nevi'im
(Prophets)

These two targumim are mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud
Talmud
as targum dilan ("our Targum"), giving them official status. In the synagogues of talmudic times, Targum Onkelos
Targum Onkelos
was read alternately with the Torah, verse by verse, and Targum Jonathan was read alternately with the selection from Nevi'im
Nevi'im
(i.e., the Haftarah). This custom continues today in Yemenite Jewish synagogues. The Yemenite Jews
Yemenite Jews
are the only Jewish community to continue the use of Targum
Targum
as liturgical text, as well as to preserve a living tradition of pronunciation for the Aramaic of the targumim (according to a Babylonian dialect). Besides its public function in the synagogue, the Babylonian Talmud also mentions targum in the context of a personal study requirement: "A person should always review his portions of scripture along with the community, reading the scripture twice and the targum once" (Berakhot 8a–b). This too refers to Targum Onkelos
Targum Onkelos
on the public Torah
Torah
reading and to Targum Jonathan on the haftarot from Nevi'im. Medieval biblical manuscripts of the Tiberian mesorah sometimes contain the Hebrew text interpolated, verse-by-verse, with the targumim. This scribal practice has its roots both in the public reading of the Targum
Targum
and in the private study requirement. The two "official" targumim are considered eastern (Babylonian). Nevertheless, scholars believe they too originated in the Land of Israel because of a strong linguistic substratum of western Aramaic. Though these targumim were later "orientalised", the substratum belying their origins still remains. In post-talmudic times, when most Jewish communities had ceased speaking Aramaic, the public reading of Targum
Targum
along with the Torah and Haftarah
Haftarah
was abandoned in most communities, Yemen being a well-known exception. The private study requirement to review the Targum
Targum
was never entirely relaxed, even when Jewish communities had largely ceased speaking Aramaic, and the Targum
Targum
never ceased to be a major source for Jewish exegesis. For instance, it serves as a major source in the Torah commentary of Shlomo Yitzhaki, "Rashi", and therefore has always been the standard fare for Ashkenazi (French, central European, and German) Jews. For these reasons, Jewish editions of the Tanakh
Tanakh
which include commentaries still almost always print the Targum
Targum
alongside the text, in all Jewish communities. Nevertheless, later halakhic authorities argued that the requirement to privately review the targum might also be met by reading a translation in the current vernacular in place of the official Targum, or else by studying an important commentary containing midrashic interpretation (especially that of Rashi). Targum
Targum
Ketuvim[edit] The Talmud
Talmud
explicitly states that no official targumim were composed besides these two on Torah
Torah
and Nevi'im
Nevi'im
alone, and that there is no official targum to Ketuvim
Ketuvim
("The Writings"). An official targum was in fact unnecessary for Ketuvim
Ketuvim
because its books played no fixed liturgical role. The Talmud
Talmud
(Megilah 3a) states The Targum
Targum
of the Pentateuch was composed by Onkelos the proselyte from the mouths of R. Eleazar and R. Joshua. The Targum
Targum
of the Prophets was composed by Jonathan ben Uzziel
Jonathan ben Uzziel
under the guidance of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi (Jonathan b. Uzziel was a disciple of Hillel, so he had traditions handed down from them-Maharsha), and the land of Israel [thereupon] quaked over an area of four hundred parasangs by four hundred parasangs, and a Bath Kol (heavenly voice) came forth and exclaimed, Who is this that has revealed My secrets to mankind? Jonathan b. Uzziel thereupon arose and said, It is I who have revealed Thy secrets to mankind. It is fully known to Thee that I have not done this for my own honour or for the honour of my father's house, but for Thy honour l have done it, that dissension may not increase in Israel. He further sought to reveal [by] a targum [the inner meaning] of the Hagiographa, but a Bath Kol went forth and said, Enough! What was the reason? Because the date of the Messiah is foretold in it". [A possible reference to the end of the book of Daniel.] But did Onkelos the proselyte compose the targum to the Pentateuch? Has not R. Ika said, in the name of R. Hananel who had it from Rab: What is meant by the text, Neh. VIII,8 "And they read in the book, in the law of God, with an interpretation. and they gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading? And they read in the book, in the law of God: this indicates the [Hebrew] text; with an interpretation: this indicates the targum,..." (which shows that the targum dates back to the time of Ezra). Nevertheless, most books of Ketuvim
Ketuvim
(with the exceptions of Daniel and Ezra-Nehemiah, which both contain Aramaic portions) have targumim, whose origin is mostly western (Land of Israel) rather than eastern (Babylonia). But for lack of a fixed place in the liturgy, they were poorly preserved and less well known. From Palestine, the tradition of targum to Ketuvim
Ketuvim
made its way to Italy, and from there to medieval Ashkenaz
Ashkenaz
and Sepharad. The targumim of Psalms, Proverbs, and Job are generally treated as a unit, as are the targumim of the five scrolls (Esther has a longer "Second Targum" as well.) The targum of Chronicles is quite late, possibly medieval, and is attributed to a Rabbi
Rabbi
Joseph. Other Targumim on the Torah[edit] There are also a variety of western targumim on the Torah, each of which was traditionally called Targum
Targum
Yerushalmi ("Jerusalem Targum"). An important one of these was mistakenly labeled " Targum
Targum
Jonathan" in later printed versions (though all medieval authorities refer to it by its correct name). The error crept in because of an abbreviation: the printer interpreted the abbreviation T Y (ת"י) to stand for Targum Yonathan (תרגום יונתן) instead of the correct Targum Yerushalmi (תרגום ירושלמי). Scholars refer to this targum as Targum
Targum
Pseudo-Jonathan. To attribute this targum to Jonathan ben Uzziel flatly contradicts the talmudic tradition (Megillah 3a), which quite clearly attributes the targum to Nevi'im
Nevi'im
alone to him, while stating that there is no official targum to Ketuvim. In the same printed versions, a similar fragment targum is correctly labeled as Targum
Targum
Yerushalmi. The Western Targumim on the Torah, or Palestinian Targumim as they are also called, consist of three manuscript groups: Targum Neofiti I, Fragment Targums, and Cairo Geniza Fragment Targums. Of these Targum Neofiti I is by far the largest. It consist of 450 folios covering all books of the Pentateuch, with only a few damaged verses. The history of the manuscript begins 1587 when the censor Andrea de Monte (d. 1587) bequeathed it to Ugo Boncompagni—which presents an oddity, since Boncompagni, better known as Pope Gregory XIII, died in 1585. The route of transmission may instead be by a certain "Giovan Paolo Eustachio romano neophito."[8] Before this de Monte had censored it by deleting most references to idolatry. In 1602 Boncompagni's estate gave it to the Collegium Ecclesiasticum Adolescentium Neophytorum (or Pia Domus Neophytorum, a college for converts from Judaism and Islam) until 1886, when the Vatican bought it along with other manuscripts when the Collegium closed (which is the reason for the manuscripts name and its designation). Unfortunately, it was then mistitled as a manuscript of Targum
Targum
Onkelos until 1949, when Alejandro Díez Macho noticed that it differed significantly from Targum
Targum
Onkelos. It was translated and published during 1968–79, and has since been considered the most important of the Palestinian Targumim, as it is by far the most complete and, apparently, the earliest as well.[9][10] The Fragment Targums (formerly known as Targum
Targum
Yerushalmi II) consist of a large number of fragments that have been divided into ten manuscripts. Of these P, V and L were first published in 1899 by M Ginsburger, A, B, C, D, F and G in 1930 by P Kahle and E in 1955 by A Díez Macho. Unfortunately, these manuscripts are all too fragmented to confirm what their purpose were, but they seem to be either the remains of a single complete targum or short variant readings of another targum. As a group, they often share theological views and with Targum
Targum
Neofiti, which has led to the belief that they could be variant readings of that targum.[9][10] The Cairo Genizah Fragment Targums originate from the Ben-Ezra Synagogues genizah in Cairo. They share similarities with The Fragment Targums in that they consist of a large number of fragmented manuscripts that have been collected in one targum-group. The manuscripts A and E are the oldest among the Palestinian Targum
Targum
and have been dated to around the seventh century. Manuscripts C, E, H and Z contain only passages from Genesis, A from Exodus while MS B contain verses from both as well as from Deuteronomium.[9][10] The Samaritan community has their own Targum
Targum
to their text of the Torah. Other Targumim were also discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls.[11] Peshitta[edit] Main article: Peshitta The Peshitta
Peshitta
is the traditional Bible
Bible
of Syriac-speaking Christians (who speak several different dialects of Aramaic). Many scholars[who?] believe that its Old Testament
Old Testament
is based on rabbinic targumim, although influenced by the Septuagint, and the translation of the Peshitta
Peshitta
is usually thought to be between 1 and 300 CE.[12] See also[edit]

Aaron ben Mordecai of Rödelheim

References[edit]

^ a b Schühlein, Franz (1912). Targum. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ a b c d Philip S. Alexander, (1992) "Targum, Targumim," in The Anchor Bible
Bible
Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday), 6:320–31 ^ Schühlein, Franz (1912). Targum. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Oesterley, WOE; Box, GH (1920). A Short Survey of the Literature of Rabbinical and Mediæval Judaism. New York: Burt Franklin.  ^ Jewish "Levita, Elijah", in the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia. ^ Levita, Elijah (17 March 2018). "Sefer meturgeman". Retrieved 17 March 2018 – via Google Books.  ^ Ellis R. Brotzman; Eric J. Tully (19 July 2016). Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction. Baker Publishing Group. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-4934-0475-9.  ^ Studi di biblioteconomia e storia del libro in onore di Francesco Barberi, ed. Giorgio De Gregori, Maria Valenti – 1976 "(42) Trascrivo una supplica dell'Eustachio al Sirleto : « Giovan Paolo Eustachio romano neophito devotissimo servidor di... (44) « Die 22 mensis augusti 1602. Inventarium factum in domo illustrissimi domini Ugonis Boncompagni posita". ^ a b c McNamara, M. (1972) Targum
Targum
and Testament. Shannon, Irish University Press. ^ a b c Sysling, H. (1996) Tehiyyat Ha-Metim. Tübingen, JCB Mohr. ^ "The Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls
- Browse Manuscripts". www.deadseascrolls.org.il. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ For the date of translation, see Peter J. Williams (2001). Studies in the Syntax of the Peshitta
Peshitta
of 1 Kings. BRILL. p. 2. ISBN 90-04-11978-7. 

Tadmor, H., 1991. "On the role of Aramaic in the Assyrian empire", in M. Mori, H. Ogawa and M. Yoshikawa (eds.), Near Eastern Studies Dedicated to H.I.H. Prince Takahito Mikasa on the Occasion of his Seventy-Fifth Birthday, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp. 419–426 External links[edit] English translations of Targum[edit]

Ecclesiastes
Ecclesiastes
in The Song of Songs
Song of Songs
and Coheleth, Christian David Ginsburg (1857) pages 503-519. Etheridge, John Wesley. " Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
and Targum
Targum
Onkelos". Newsletter for Targumic and Cognate
Cognate
Studies.  Cook, Edward M. "The Aramaic Targum
Targum
to Psalms". Targum.info. Archived from the original on 2017-12-11.  Treat, Jay C. "The Aramaic Targum
Targum
to the Song of Songs
Song of Songs
(Shir HaShirim)". University of Pennsylvania.  Levey, Samson H. "The Aramaic Targum
Targum
to Ruth". Targum.info.  Brady, Christian 'Chris' MM. " Targum
Targum
Ruth in English". Targuman.  ————————. "The Aramaic Targum
Targum
to Lamentations". Targum.info.  Aramaic Targums—The Aramaic text of Targum Onkelos
Targum Onkelos
and Samaritan Targum
Targum
with a new English translation for each version and critical apparatus.

Other sources on Targum[edit]

"Targum". The Jewish Encyclopedia.  "The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon". HUC. —contains critical editions of all the targumim along with lexical tools and grammatical analysis. "Targum". Catholic Encyclopedia. New Advent.  Faur, Jose. "The Targumim and Halakha" (article). Derushah. , analyzing the status of the Targumim in Jewish law  "Targum". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. 

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