Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(תִּרְגּוּם, i.e. translation, interpretation) is the name given to a Chaldee version or paraphrase of the Old Test., of which there are several extant.
I. Origin of the Targums. — The origin of the Chaldee paraphrase may be traced back to the time of Ezra. After the exile it became the practice to read the law in public to the people, with the addition of an oral paraphrase in the Chaldee dialect. Thus we read in Nehemiah 8:8, מפורש ושום שכל ויקראו בספר בתורת האלהים, which expression the Talmud, Bab. Megillah, fol. 3, Colossians 1, explains מפורש זו תרגום, i.e. "to explain means Targum." This ecclesiastical usage, rendered necessary by the change of language consequent on the captivity, was undoubtedly continued in aftertimes. It rose in importance, especially when the synagogues and public. schools began to flourish, the chief subject of occupation in which was the exposition of the Thorah. The office of the interpreter (מתורגמן, תורגמן, אמורא, less frequently דרשן, comp. Zunz, Die gottesd. Vortrage, p. 332) thus became one of the most important, and the canon of the Talmud, that as the law was given by a mediator, so it can be read and expounded only by a mediator, became paramount (Jerus. Megillah, fol. 74). The Talmud contains, even in its oldest portions, precise injunctions concerning the manner of conducting these expository prelections. Thus, "Neither the reader nor the interpreter is to raise his voice one above the other;" "They have to wait for each other until each have finished his verse;"
"The methurgeman is not to lean against a pillar or a beam, but to stand with fear and with reverence;" "He is not to use a written Targum, but he is to deliver his translation viva voce;" "No more than one verse in the Pentateuch and three in the prophets shall be read or translated at a time;" "That there should be not more than one reader and one interpreter for the law; while for the prophets one reader and one interpreter, or two interpreters, are allowed" (Mishna, Megillah, 4:5, 10; Sopherinm, 11:1). Again (Megillah, ibid., and Tosiphta, c. 3), certain passages liable to give offence to the multitude are specified, which may be read in the synagogue and translated; others which may be read but not translated; others, again, which may neither be read nor translated. To the first class belong the account of the creation— a subject not to be discussed publicly on account of its most vital bearing upon the relation between the Creator, and the Cosmos, and the nature of both; the deed of Lot and his two daughters (Genesis 19:31); of Judah and Tamar (ch. 38); the first account of the making of the golden calf (Exodus 32); all the curses in the law; the deed of Amunon and Tamar (2 Samuel 13); of Absalom with his father's concubines (2 Samuel 16:22); the story of the woman of Gibeah (Judges 19). These are to be read and translated, or נקדאין ומתרגמין . To be read but not translated, נקראין ולא מתרגמין, are the deed of Reuben with his father's concubine (Genesis 25:22); the latter portion of the story of the golden calf (Exodus 32); and the deed of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:12).
At what time these paraphrases were written down we cannot state; but it must certainly have been at an early period. Bearing in mind that the Hellenistic Jews had for a long time been in possession of the law translated into their language, and that in the 2nd century not only had the Jews themselves issued Greek versions in opposition to the Alexandrian version, which were received with decided approbation even by the Talmudists, as the repeated and honorable mention of Aquila in the Talmud proves, but that also the Syrians had been prompted to translate the Holy Scriptures, it would indeed be strange had not the Jews familiar with the Aramsean dialect also followed the practice at that time universally prevalent, and sought to profit by it. We have, in point of fact, certain traces of written Targums extant at least in the time of Christ. For even the Mishna seems ‘ to imply this in Yadacim, 4:5, where the subject treated is the language and style of character to be used in writing the Targums. Further, the Talmud, Shabbaih, fol. 115, Colossians 1, mentions a written Targum on Job of the middle of the 1st century (in the time of Gamaliel I), which incurred the disapprobation of Gamaliel. Zunz here justly remarks, "Since it is not likely that a beginning should have been made with Job, a still higher antiquity as very probably belonging to the first renderings of the law may be assumed" (loc. cit. p. 62). Gritz, in his Monatsschrift, 1877, p. 84, believes that this Targum of Job, mentioned four times in the Talmud, can only refer to a Greek translation of that book, and Derenbourg, in his Essai sur l' Histoire et la Geographie de la Palestine, p. 242, accounts for the action of Gamaliel, because it was written avec des caracteres non- hebraiques. But as Delitzsch, in Ioorne lebr. et Talmucd. (Zeitschrift fü r die luth. Theologieu. Kirche [Leips. 1878], p. 211), remarks," תרגום כתב means ‘ in Targum,' i.e. written in the Aramaean and refers not to the characters with which, but to the language in which, it was written. Gamaliel acted according to old principle, דברים שבעל פה אי אתה רשאי לכותכן, i.e. all that belongs to oral tradition was not to appear in written form. This principle included also the Targum, but it was not strictly observed, and, like the Mishna, so, also, Targums were clandestinely circulated in single copies. That this was the case we see from the fact that Gamaliel of Jabneh, the grandson of Gamaliel I or elder, having been found reading the Targum on Job, was reminded of the procedure of his grandfather, who had the copy of the Job Targum, which was brought to him while standing on the mountain of the Temple, immured in order to prevent its further use. Dr. Frarikl, in Die. Zusdtze in der Sept. zu Hiob (in Grlitz, Monatsschrift,. 1872, p. 313), says, "There is no doubt that the additions in the Sept. were made according to an old Aramaean Targum," and in corroboration of his statement he quotes Tosiphta Shabbath, c. 14; Shabbath, fol. 115, Colossians 1; Jerus. Shabbath, 16, 1; Sopherin, v, 1.5. We are thus obliged to assume an early origin for the Targums, a fact which will be corroborated further on, in spite of the many objections raised, the chief of which, adduced by Eichhorn, being the silence of the Christian fathers, of whom none, not even Epiphanius or Jerome, mention the subject. But this silence is of little weight, because the fathers generally were ignorant of Hebrew and of Hebrew literature. Nor was any importance attached to them in comparison with Greek translations. Besides, in truth, the assertion in question is not even supported by the facts of the case; for Ephraem Syrus, e.g., made use of the Targums (comp. Lengerke, De Ephraemi S. Arte Hermeneut. p. 14 sq.; Assemani, Bibl. Orient. 1, 66).
II. The Targum of Onkelos. — There is a Targum of Onkelos on the Pentateuch which has always been highly valued by the Jews.
1. Authorship. — In regard to the author, the notices of him are meagre and uncertain. We now approach one of the most mooted questions as to the identity of Onkelos with Akilas or Aquila; but before solving it we must hear the different witnesses. The first mention of Onkelos is found in the Tosipohta, a work drawn up shortly after the Mishna. From this we learn:
a. That Onkelos the Proselyte (אנקלוס הגר ) was so serious in his adherence to the newly adopted (Jewish) faith that he threw his share of his paternal inheritance into the Dead Sea, הולי ִחלקו לים המל (ִ Tos. Demci', 6:9).
b. At the funeral of Gamaliel the elder he burned more than seventy mince worth of spices in his honor (Tos. Shabbath, 100. 8; the same story is repeated with variations Semchoth 100. 8, and Talm. Aboda Zarah, fol. 11, Colossians 1).
c. He is finally mentioned, by way of corroboration to different Halachas, in connection with Gamaliel in- three more places, viz. Chagigah, 3, 1; Mikvaoth, 6:1; Kelim, 3, 2,2. In the Babylonian. Talmud, Onkelos is mentioned in the following passages:
(1.) Gittin, fol. 56, Colossians 2; fol. 57, Colossians 1, where we read, "onkelos the Proselyte, the son of Kalonikos (Callinicus or Cleonicus?), the son of Titus's sister, who, intending to become a convert, conjured up the ghosts of Titus, Balaam, and Jesus [the latter name is omitted in later editions, for which, as in the copy before us, is substituted פושע ישראל, but not in Bomberg's and the Cracow editions], in order to ask them what nation was considered the first in the other world. Their answer that Israel was the favored one decided him."
(2.) Aboda Zarah, fol. 11, col. I, here called the son of Kalonymos (Cleonymos?); and we also read in this place that the emperor sent three Roman cohorts to capture him, and that he converted them all.
(3.) Baba Bathra, fol. 99, coil. 1, where Onkelos the Proselyte is quoted as an authority on the question of the form of the cherubim (comp. 2 Chronicles 3:10).
(4.) Megillah, fol. 3, Colossians 1, where we read, "II Jeremiah, or, according to others, 1t. Chia bar-Abba, said the ‘ Targum, on the Pentateuch was made by the proselyte Onkelos; from the mouth of R. Eliezer and R. Jehoshna; the Targum on the prophets was made by Jonathan ben-Uziel from the month of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.... But have we not been taught that the Targum existed from the time of Ezra?... Only it was forgotten and Ollelos restored it. In the Miidrash Tanichuma, section ל ִל iִ n (Genesis 28:20), we read, "Onkelos the Proselyte asked an old man whether that was all the love God bore towards a proselyte, that he promised to give him bread and a garment? The old man replied that this was all for which the patriarch Jacob prayed." In the book of, Zohar, section אחרי מות (Leviticus 18:4), Onkelos is represented as a disciple of Hillel and Shammai. Finally a MS. in the library of the Leipsic Senate (B. H.) relates that Onkelos, the nephew of the wicked Titus (נכדו של טיטוס הרשע ), asked the emperor's advice as to what merchandise he thought it was profitable to trade in. Titus told him that that should be bought which was cheap in the market, since it was sure to rise in price. Onkelos went to Jerusalem and studied the law under R. Eliezer and R. Jehoshua, and his face became wan (והיו פניו עהובות ). When he returned to Titus, one of the courtiers observed the pallor of his countenance, and said to Titus, "Onkelos appears to have studied the law." Interrogated by Titus, he admitted the fact, adding that he had done it by his advice. No nation had ever been so exalted, and none was now held cheaper among the nations than Israel; "therefore," he said, "I concluded that in the end none would be of higher price" (comp. Anger, De Onkelo, pt. 2 [Lips. 1846], p. 12, where the whole passage in the original is copied). In all these passages the name of Onkelos is given. But there are many passages in. which the version of Akilas (תרגם עקילס ) is mentioned, and the notices concerning Akilas bear considerable likeness to those of Onkelos. Akilas is mentioned in Siphra (Leviticus 25:7), and in Jerus. Talmud, Demai, 27 d, as having been born in Pontus; that, after having embraced the Jewish faith, he threw his paternal inheritance into an asphalt lake (Jerus. Demaz, 25 d); that he translated the Torah before R. Eliezer and R. Jehoshua, who praised him (וקילסו אותו ) and said to him, "Thou art fairer than the sons of men" (יפיפית מבני אדם ); or, according to the other accounts, before R. Akiba (comp. Jerus. Kiddushin, 1, 11, etc.; Jerus. Megillah, 1, 9; Babyl. Megillah, fol. 3, Colossians 1). We learn,. further, that he lived in the time of Hadrian (Chag. 2, 1), that he was the son of the emperor's sister (Tanchun, ed. Prague, fol. 34, Colossians 2), that he became a convert against the emperor's will (ibid. and Shemoth Rabbah, fol. 146 c), and that he consulted Eliezer and Jehoshua about his conversion (Bereshith Rabba, fol. 78 d; comp. Midrash Coheleth, fol. 102 b).
That Akilas is no other than Aquila (Ἀκύλας ), the well-known Greek translator of the Old Test., we need hardly add. He was a native of Pontus (Iren. Adv. Haer. 3,24; Jerome, De Vir. Ill. c. 54; Philbstr. De Icer. § 90). He lived under Hadrian (Epiph. De Pond. et Mens. § 12). He is called the πενθερίδες (Chronicles Alex. πενθερός ) of the emperor (ibid. § 14), becomes a convert to Judaism (§ 15), whence he is called the Proselyte (Iren. loc. cit.; Jerome to Jeremiah 8:14, etc.), and receives instructions from Akiba (Jerome, loc. cit.). He translated the Old Test., and his version was considered of the highest import and authority among the Jews, especially those unacquainted with the Hebrew language (Euseb. Praep. Evang. loc. cit.; Augustine, De Civ. Dei, 15:23; Philostr. De Her. § 90; Justin, Novell. 146). Thirteen distinct quotations from this version are preserved in the Talmud and Midrash; and we may classify the whole as follows:
Greek Quotations. Genesis 17:1, in Beresh. Rab. 51 b; Leviticus 23:40, Jelrs. Sukkah, 3, 5, fol. 53 d (comp. Iaj. Rab. 200 d); Isaiah 3, 20, Jerns. Shabb. 6, 4, fol. 8 b; Ezekiel 16:10, Mid. Thren. 58, 100; Ezekiel 23:43, Vaj. Rab. 203 d: Psalms 48, 15 (Masor. text 47, according to the Sept.), Jers. Meg. 2, 3, fol. 73 b; Proverbs 18:21, Vaj. Rab. fol. 203 b; Esther 1:6, Midr. Esth. 120 d; Daniel 5, 5, Jerns. Yoma, 3, 8, fol. 41 a.
Hebrew Quotations (retranslated from the Greek). — Leviticus 19:20, Jerus. Kid. 1, 1, fol. 59 a; Daniel 8:13, Beresh. Rab. 24 c.
Chaldee Quotations. — Proverbs 25:11, Beresh. Rab. 104 b; Isaiah 5, 6, Midr. Coh. 113 c, d.
All these quotations are treated at: length by Anger, De Onkelo, 1, 13, sq., and the variations adduced there show how carefully they have to be perused, and the more so since we have as yet no critical edition of the Talmud.
The identity of Akilas and Aquila having been ascertained, it was also argued that, according to the parallel accounts of Onkelos and Aquila, Onkelos and Aquila must be one and the same person, since it was unlikely that the circumstances and facts narrated could have belonged to two different individuals. But who will warrant that the statements are correct? There are chronological differences which cannot be reconciled, unless we have recourse to such means as the Jewish historian Dr. Gratz, who renders ר 8 8ג הזקן (i.e. R. Gamaliel I, or elder) "Gamaliel II." Is it not surprising that on one and the same page Onkelos is once spoken of as "Onkelos the Proselyte," and "Onkelos the son of Kalonymos became a convert" (Aboda Zarah, fol. 11, Colossians 1)? It has also been stated that Onkelos was neither the author of the Targum nor a historical person, but that Targum Onkelos means simply a version made after the manner of Akils, the Greek translator. Aquila's translation was a special favorite with the Jews, because it was both literal and accurate. Being highly valued, it was considered a model or type after which the new Chaldee one was named, in commendation, perhaps, of its like excellences. This view is very ingenious, but it is hardly probable. Now the question arises, how is it ‘ that there is only a version of Onkelos on the Pentateuch, while Aquila translated the whole Old Test.? If Onkelos's Targum was really made after the manner of Aquila, how is it that the latter is so slavishly literal, translating even the את, sign of the accusative, or, as Jerome states (De Opt. Genesis Interpret.), "Non solum verba sed et etymologias verborum transferre conatus est... Quod Hebrsei non solum habent ἄρθρα sed et πρόαρθρα, ille κακοζήλως et syllabas interpretetur et litteras, dictatque σ ὺ ν τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ σ ὺ ν τὴν γῆν quod Graeca et Latina lingua non recipit," while Onkelos is freer, adding sometimes here and there a word or phrase for the better understanding?
That the Targum Onkelos cannot mean a Targum after the manner of Aquila is also evident from the fact that while Aquila made a recension of the then existing Sept., nothing of the kind can be said of Onkelos. The latter wrote for the people in a language which it understood better than the original Hebrew; the former wrote for polemical purposes, to counterbalance the arguments of the Christians, who made use of the Alexandrian version against the Jews. That the author of the Chaldee paraphrase was not a proselyte, but a native Jew, is sufficiently proved from the excellence and accuracy of his work; for without having been bred up from his birth in the Jewish religion and learning, and long exercised in all the rites and doctrines thereof, and being also thoroughly skilled in both the Hebrew and Chaldee languages, as far as a native Jew could be, he could scarcely be thought thoroughly adequate to that work which he performed. The representing of Onkelos as having been a proselyte seems to have proceeded from the error of taking him to have been the same with Aquila of Pontus, who was indeed a Jewish proselyte. A comparison of both versions must show the superiority of Onkelos's over that of Aquila. The latter, on account of his literal adherence to the original, makes his version often nonsensical and unintelligible, and less useful than the former, as the following will show:
Genesis 2:6. ואיד — Aq. ἐπιφλυγμός; Onk. יעננאּ .
Genesis 2:7. נשמת -Aq. ἀναπνοή; Onk. נשמתא .
Genesis 6:4. הנפילים -Aq. ἐπιπίπτοντες; Onk. גבוריא .
Genesis 6:16. צוהר — Aq. μεσημβρινόν; Olk. ניהור .
Genesis 8:1. וישבו — Aq. καὶ ἐστάλησαν; Onk. ונחו
Genesis 12:8. ויעתק -Aq. μετῆρε Onk. ואסתלק .
Genesis 15:2. ובן משק -Aq. υἱὸς τοῦ ποτίσοντος; Onk. פרנסא ובַר .
Genesis 18:12. בקרבה — Aq. κατ᾿ αὐτῆς; Onk. במעהא . בלותי -Aq. κατατριβῆναι; Onk. דסיבית .
Genesis 22:2. אר המוריה -Aq. τὴν γῆν τὴν καταφανῆ; Onk. לארעא פולחנא .
Genesis 22:13. בסב —ִ Aq. ἐν συχνῷ; Onk. באאּלנא .
Genesis 26:33. באר שבע -Aq. Φρέαρ πλησμονῆς; Onk. שבע באר . Genesis 30:8. נפתולי אלהים נפתלתי -Aq. συνέστρεψέν με ό Θεός; Onk. קבלח בעותו .
Genesis 26:11. בגד (Keri בא גד )-Aq. ηλθεν ἡ ζῶσις; Onk. אתא גד .
Genesis 32:25. ויאבק -Aq. ἐκυλίετο; Onk. λδτ v ας .
Genesis 34:21. שלמים -Aq. • πηρτισμένοι; Onk. שלמין .
Genesis 35:16. כברת אר -Aq. καθ᾿ ὅδον τῆς γῆς; Onk. כרוב ארעא .
Genesis 36:24. את הימים — Aq. τοὺς Ι᾿αμεῖν; Onk. גבריא ית .
Genesis 37:27. מה בצע -Aq. τὶ πλεονέκτημα; Onk. נתהני לנא מה ממון .
Genesis 38:18. ופתיל -ִ Aq. στρεπτόν; Onk. שישיפא .
Genesis 42:4. אסון — Aq. σύμπτωμα; Onk. מותא .
Exodus 1:9. ועצום — Aq. ὀστοῖνον (id. Deuteronomy 9:1); Onk. תקיפין .
Exodus 1:11. ערי מסכנות -Aq. πόλεις σκηνωμάτων; Onk. קרוי בית אוצרא .
Exodus 1:13. בפר -ִ Aq. ἐν τρυφήματι; Onk. בקשיו .
Exodus 4:12. והורותי -ִ Aq. φωτίσω σε (id. Exodus 4:15; Exodus 24:12 always φωτίζειν, taken from אור ); Onk. אלפינ (ִ id. Exodus 4:15; Exodus 24:12).
Exodus 8:12. הערוב -Aq. παμμυῖαν; Onk. עירובין . Exodus 14:27. לאיתנו - Aq. εἰς ἀρχαῖον αὐτοῦ; Onk. לתוקפיה .
Exodus 15:8. נערמו — Aq. ἐσωρεύθη; Onk. חכימא .
Exodus 24:6. באגנות -Aq. ἐν προθύμασιν; Onk. במזרקיא .
Exodus 28:8. שני -Aq. διάφορον (id. Exodus 35:22; Exodus 35:35); Onk. זהורי .
Exodus 29:6. נזר -Aq. τὸ πέταλον; Onk. כלילא . 36. על כפורים וחטאת -Aq. ἐξιλασμοῦ περὶ ἁμαρτίας; Onk. על כפוריא ותדכי .
Exodus 30:12. כופר — Aq. ἐξίλασμα; Onk. פדרקן .
Exodus 30:35. פרוע הוא כי פועה — Aq. ἀποπετασμένος αὐτὸς ὁτι; Onk. בטיל הוא . Aq. ἀπεπέτασεν αὐτόν; Onk. אריאבטליניה .
Exodus 34:24. שלוש פעמים — Aq. τρεῖς καθόδονς; Onk. תלת זמנין .
Leviticus 3:1. שלמים -Aq. εἰρηνικῶς; Onk. נכסת קידשׁא .
Leviticus 13:6. פשה תפשה -Aq. ἐπιδώση ἐπίδομα; Ouk. אוספא תוסי .
Leviticus 17:7. לשעירים -Aq. τοῖς τριχιοῦσιν (id. Isaiah 13:21); Onk. לשידין .
Leviticus 25:33. ואשר יגאל -Aq. ὅς ἄν ἐγγίζων ἐστιν; Onk. ודי יפרוק .
Leviticus 27:2. יפליא — Aq. θανμαστώση; Onk. יפרש .
Numbers 1:47. למטה -Aq. εἰς ῥάβδον; Onk. לשבטא .
Numbers 11:8. לשד השמן — Aq. τοῦ μαστοῦ ἐλαίου; Onk. דליש במשחא .
Numbers 23:12. הפסגה — Aq. λαξευτήν; Onk. רמתא .
Deuteronomy 1:40. פנו לכם — Aq. νεύσατε αὐτοῖς; Onk. אתפנו לכון . Deuteronomy 22:9. כלאים — Aq. ἀνομοιόμενος; Onk. עיריבין . שעטנז — Aq. ἀντιδιακείμενον; Onk. שעטנזא .
Deuteronomy 23:15. ולתת אויכי ִלפני -ִ Aq. τοῦ δοῦναι τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου εἰς πρόσωπόν σου; Onk. בעלי דבב ִקדמ ִולממסר .
Deuteronomy 28:20. את המארה ואת המהומה — Aq. σπανὴ καὶ φαγέδαινα; Onk. שגושיא ית מאירתא וית .
It has been urged that while Akilas's version is always cited in the Talmud by the name of its author, תרגום עקילס, the Targum of Onkelos is never quoted with his name, but introduced with כד מתרגמינן, "as we translate," or תרגום דדן, "our Targum," or כתרגומו, "as the Targum has it;" but this only shows the high' esteem in which Onkelos's Targum stood. And as to the quotations of Aquila, almost all which are cited are on the prophets and Hagiographa, while Onkelos's Targum is only on the law; and a close examination of the sources themselves shows that what is said there has reference only to the Greek version, which is fully expressed in the praise of R. Eliezer.and R. Jehoshua when saying יפיפית מבני אדם, "Thou art fairer than the sons of men," thereby alluding to Genesis 9:27, where it is said that Japheth (i.e. the Greek language) should one day dwell in the tents of Shem (i.e. Israel) (Megillah, 1, 11, 71 b and c; Bereshith Rabba, 40 b).
There is another very important point, which has been overlooked by all favoring the identity of Akilas with Onkelos, and thus putting the origin of the Targum of Onkelos at a late date, viz. the use of the mentra = λόγος by Onkelos; and this peculiarity of the Targum shows that its origin belongs to the time of Philo and the New Test. period. It is not unlikely that, in this respect, Onkelos was followed by the other Targumists, and that his intention was to reconcile Alexandrian with Palestinian theology. John's doctrine of the Logos would be without any foundation or point of departure if we could not suppose that at the time of Jesus a similar doctrine concerning the Word of God, as it can be deduced from the Targum, was known among the Palestinian Jews. That later Judaism has put aside this important moment of older theology must be explained from its opposition to Christianity. In the Targum of Onkelos we find not the least indication that it was made after the destruction of Jerusalem; we find neither the least trace of hostility to the Romans nor of opposition to Christianity. The Temple is regarded as still standing, the festive days are still celebrated, the Jews are still a nation which never ceases to resist its enemies. This may be seen from the prophetic passages, as Genesis 49; Numbers 24; Deuteronomy 33; the explanation of which, as given by Onkelos, could have hardly originated after A.D. 70.
Onkelos uses for Argob (Deuteronomy 3, 4, 14; so also Jonathan, 1 Kings 4:13) the name Trachona (טְרָכוֹנָא )=Trachonitis (Luke 3:1); Josephus writes Τραχωνίτις, sometimes ὁ Τράχων (Ant. 15:10, 1 and 3; 18:4, 6; 20:7, 1). The Peshito of the Pentateuch did not follow this explanation (Luke 3, 1, אתרא דטרכונא ), probably because the division of Palestine at the time of Jesus did not exist in the Syrian translator's days, or it was unintelligible to him (among the rabbins טרכונא is used in the sense of "palace," פלטין [Buxtorf, Lex. p. 913 sq.]). All this indicates, or rather confirms, the supposition that this Targum belongs to the time of Jesus. There is a similar indication in Onkelos's rendering of Bashan by מתנן (Syr. מתנין ), Batansea (see Gesenius, Comm. zu Jes. 2, 13); ים כנרת, by Gennesaret, גינוסר . This reminds one of the language of the New Test.; so also ממונא (Mammon), "the injustice with the Mammon" (בישין בממונּה ון; it is said, in Genesis 13:13, of the Sodomites). When Paul speaks of that "spiritual rock" that followed the children of Israel in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:3), he undoubtedly refers to the tradition preserved by Onkelos (also by Pseudo Jonathan), "The well which the princes digged, the chiefs of the people cut it, the scribes with their staves; it was given to them in the wilderness. And from [the time] that it was given to them it descended with them to the rivers, and from the rivers it went up with them to the height, and from the height to the vale which is in the field of Moab" (Numbers 21:18 sq.). Hence the expression of the apostle, "spiritual, following rock." The Syriac retains the proper names of the Hebrew text. After what has been said, we believe the Targum of Onkelos originated about the time of Philo-an opinion which is also held by Zunz (Gottesd. Vortrige, p. 62). This being true, Onkelos and Akilas (or Aquila) are not one and the same person-a view also expressed by Frankel (Zudem Targum dera Propheten [Breslau, 1872.] p. 6); and the Talmudic notices concerning Onkelos, the disciple of Gamaliel I (or elder), the teacher of the apostle Paul, are corroborated by our argument, minus the notice that Onkelos was a proselyte, as we have already stated above. For with the identity of Onkelos with Akilas (or Aquila), it is hardly conceivable that a man like Aquila, who, from a Christian, became a Jew, and such a zealous one that he prepared another Greek version for polemical purposes against the Christians, should have spent so much money at the death of Gamaliel I, whose liberal and friendly attitude towards Christianity was known, and who is even said to have become a Christian, as a tombstone covering his remains in a church at Pisa indicates:
"Hoc in sarcophago requiescunt corpora sacra Sanctorumn... Sainctus Gamaliel. Gamaliel divi Patuli didascalus olim, Doctor et excellens Israelita fuit, Concilii mnagui fideique per omnia cultor." We now come to the work itself.
2. Style, etc. — The language of Onkelos greatly approaches the Biblical Chaldee, i.e. it has still much of Hebrew coloring, though in a less degree than the other. It also avoids many Aramaisms (such as the contraction of nouns), which at a later period became prevalent, and comprises a comparatively small number of Greek words, and of Latin words none whatever. Of Greek words we mention, Exodus 28:25, ברלא = βήρυλλος; Exodus 28:11, גל= γλυφή; Genesis 28:17, הדיוט = ἰδιώτης; Leviticus 11:30, חלטתא = κωλώτης; Exodus 28:19, טרקיא = θρακίας (Pliny, 37:68); 39:11, כרכדינא = καρχηδόνιοι; Deuteronomy 20:20, כרכום = χαράκωμα; Exodus 28:20, כרום = χρῶμα; Numbers 15:38, Deuteronomy 22:12, כרוספדא = κράσπεδον; Exodus 30:34, כשת = κἰσιος; Genesis 37:28, לטום = λῆδον; Exodus 24:16, פרסא = φάρσος; Exodus 26:6, פורפא = πόρπη; Genesis 6:14, קדרוס = κέδρος; Exodus 28:19, קנכרי = κέγχρος (Pliny, 37:14). There are, besides, some obscure expressions which were partly unintelligible to the Talmudists, as םסגונא for תחש, etc., in Exodus 35:23; Exodus 28:4, מרמצא for תשב; Exodus 28:17, ירקן for פטדה; Exodus 28:18, קנכירי for לשם; Leviticus 22:20, חילין בעיניה for בעיניו תבלל, etc.
The translation of Onkelos is, on the whole, very simple and exact. It is obvious from the character of the work that the author was in possession of a rich exegetical tradition; hence we never find him omitting any passage of the original. His elucidations of difficult and obscure passages and expressions, perhaps less satisfactory, are commonly those most accredited by internal evidence, and in this particular he is worthy of a more careful regard and assent than have usually fallen to his lot. Genesis 3:15 he translates מה דעבת ליה מלקדמין ואת תהינטר ליה הוא יהי דכיר לסופא ל,ִ i.e. "he shall remember thee what thou hast done to him from the beginning, and thou shalt watch him unto the end;" Genesis 4:7 he translates עובד ִישתנק ל ִואם לא תיטב עובד ִליום הלא אם תיטב דינא חטא ִנטיר ודעתיד לאתפרעא מנ ִוכ 8, ".shall not pardon be given to thee if thou doest well; but if thou doest not well, thy sin shall be preserved till the day of judgment, when it will be exacted of thee," etc. Here שאת is taken from נשא, in the sense of tollere peccata. i.e. "taking- away of sin," and not in the sense of "lifting-up of the countenance." Onkelos did not understand the meaning of the verse, but- (says Winer) "sensum hujus loci prudentissimos etiam interpretes mirifice vexavit." Genesis 6:3, Onkelos, like the Sept., Syr., Saad., and many
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Targum'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/t/targum.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.