Alternative Targum Traditions: The Use of Variant Readings by Alberdina Houtman

By Alberdina Houtman

This research explores the opportunity of utilizing version readings of the Targum of the Prophets to recover perception into the starting place and heritage of Targum Jonathan. The booklet turns out to be useful for the research of the genesis of Targum Jonathan and its later advancements.

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Additional resources for Alternative Targum Traditions: The Use of Variant Readings for the Study in Origin and History of Targum Jonathan

Example text

In the version of Targum Jonathan this verse may be translated as: And Samuel said, “Were you not from your beginning despised and weak in your own eyes? But the merit of the tribe of Benjamin your father brought it about for you, because he tried to cross the sea before the [other] sons of Israel. ” The Hebrew text contrasts Saul’s own initial perception of his status (cf. 1 Sam 9:21) with the status God awarded to him as head of the tribes of Israel. The Targum tries to find a reason for this apparent contradiction in an aggadic tradition about Benjamin who was the first to enter the sea.

The second kind is the study of scholars in the Beit Midrash who studied Targum as part of the Oral Torah. This may be illustrated by a famous saying of Rav Joseph that was uttered in response to a question about Sennacherib’s claim that he had God’s orders to destroy Jerusalem,130 R. Joseph said: But for the Targum of this verse, I would not know its meaning: Because this people have wearied of the Davidic dynasty, which rules them with gentleness like the waters of Shiloah which flow tranquilly, and have set their desire upon Rezin and the son of Ramaliah.

8 Luzzatto, ‘Nachträgliches’, 132: ‘… die Sprache dieser Zusäße stimmt mit der des babylonischen Thalm. 11 These marginal readings are indicated by various introductions, such as ‫תרגום‬ ‫ירושלמי‬, ‫ספר אחר‬, 12 ‫פליג‬, ‫לישנא אחרינא‬, and ‫ואית דמתרגמין‬. 14 On the basis of his findings, Bacher postulated a Palestinian Targum of the Prophets by analogy with the Palestinian Targums of the Pentateuch. Pinkhos Churgin, in his classic study on Targum Jonathan,15 criticised the work of Bacher. 16 Neither 9 Z.

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