The Targums of
Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel
on the Pentateuch;
with the fragments of the
from the ChaldeeJ. W. Etheridge, MA
[The original title of the book is as stated above but whether it refers to Jonathan or Pseudo-Jonathan is subject to debate (for example, please see b. Megillah 3a which states Jonathan ben Uzziel composed the Targum of the Prophets not of the Pentateuch).
“For this Law is our Inheritance, not only as a lesson of memory, but as a means of knowing the Commandment which the Lord our God hath commanded us, to learn and to teach, to keep and to perform, for this will be our life, and the prolongment of our days.” Mendelssohn”This provision, (the Paraphrase,) made by men, was directed by the Ruler of Providence, in His love for the remnant of His people, to afford us stay and staff in His Torah, His laws and precepts, till the time of the Redemption shall arrive, when He will raise from the dust the fallen tabernacle of David, and say to the daughter of Zion, Awake, arise.” Mendelssohn
|Onkelos||Jonathan Ben Uzziel/Palestinianwith Jerusalem fragments||Comparison of Jewish Publication Society 1917 Pentateuch with Targums|
PREFACE Among the relics of ancient Jewish literature, the Aramaic paraphrases on the Books of the Old Testament have a peculiar value; and yet, though long esteemed by the most learned divines, both Israelite and Christian, they have never been made accessible to the English reader, by a translation into our own language. This defect it is attempted to remedy, at least so far as relates to the writings of Moses, in the work now submitted. The translation, made directly from the Chaldee, is strictly ad literam, and preserves the idiomatic characteristics of the original. The Targum of Onkelos possesses an intrinsic philological and critical worth, from its close adherence to the Hebrew text, and as being a voucher for the condition of that text as extant in the first century; while the more diffuse paraphrase of the Jonathan or Palestinian Targum, variegated with the picturesque traditions of the Jews, will give it an attraction to the general reader.
In a previous work* I have endeavoured to give an idea of the affluence and value of the treasures of Hebrew learning. That book, too, was undertaken because at the time nothing of the kind was to be obtained in English. Not long after its publication, however, appeared the erudite production of Herr Steinschneider,—”Jewish Literature, from the Eighth to the Eighteenth Century.” Yet, (not to speak of the greater chronological range of my own work,) such is the difference in the cast and complexion of the two books, that they in nowise interfere with each other. If it be too much for me to say that my volume may be accepted as a companion to that of the learned German, I will at least express the hope that it may serve as an humble attendant.
* “Jerusalem and Tiberias; Sora and Cordova: a Survey of the Religious and Scholastic Learning of the Jews. Designed as an Introduction to the Study of Hebrew Literature.” Longman and Co.
The present opportunity is taken of mentioning my regret, that in the account of Jewish Commentaries on the Scriptures, I omitted those of M. Cahen, of Paris, in fourteen volumes, which comprise the Hebrew text, and a new French translation, with notes, philologic, geographical, and literary. I have the pleasure, also, of adding to the list of this class of works the more recently published commentaries of Dr. M. Kalisch, on the Books of Genesis and Exodus,—rich in learning, and beautiful in style. It may be acceptable also to mention, that an excellent edition of the Machsor, the entire Ritual for the festivals of the Hebrew year, has been lately published by Mr. Valentine, of London, in six portable volumes. It has the Hebrew text, well printed, with an English translation under the care of the Rev. D. A. De Sola, Minister of the Spanish Synagogue in the Metropolis. That eminent Jewish scholar, Herr Leopold Dukes, has also increased our obligations to his laborious pen, by his German Disquisition on the ethical works of Salomo ben Gabirol, as well as his edition of the Shiri Shelomo of the same author; and hisNachal Kedumim, or Collection of choice Specimens of the Ancient and Mediaeval Hebrew Poets. Nor, in reference to the metaphysics of Gabirol, must I omit to point out to the attention of the student the recent profound and learned “Melanges de Philosophic Juive et Arabe” of the Jewish professor, S. Munk, of Paris.*
* Gabirol’s Mibchar Happeninim, or, “Selection of Pearls,” (a catena of moral proverbs,) has been rendered into English by Mr. Asher.
More akin to the work now in hand, is a translation of the Hebrew Bible into English, for the use of Jewish schools and families, by Dr. Benisch, of London, carried on, as we understand, under the supervision of the Chief Rabbi, the Rev. Dr. Adler; and another of the same character, in the German language, by Dr. Ludwig Philippson, with the original text and illustrations, in four volumes. I make a special note also of a beautiful edition of the Hebrew Bible, lately published at Wilna and Petersburg, with the German translation begun by Mendelssohn, and completed by his continuators. This noble edition is in sixteen volumes, large octavo; the original text being accompanied by the Chaldee Targums, the commentary of Rashi, (R. Sal. Izhaki,) and a condensed commentary gathered from Eben Ezra, Levi ben Gershom, David Kimchi, and other eminent expositors. The Bible text only has the German version; the Targums and commentaries are untranslated. The octavo size of the work makes it much more convenient than the unwieldy folios of the Polyglots and the other Rabbinical Bibles.Such works as these, and I have mentioned but a few, out of many which have appeared within the last seven years, give plain indication that the revival of Hebrew learning, in the present century, is still acquiring strength; and that the Jewish literati especially, by their noble enterprises for the advancement of the study of their glorious language, and of the Holy Writings delivered in it to mankind, are doing a great work, and are worthy of the gratitude and honour of all who revere the Word of God.
In the ensuing Translation I have followed, upon Onkelos, the Aramaic text of Walton, carefully collated with the last edition of the Targums, published at Wilna, under the care of an association of learned Jews. The principal variations are noted in our margin, along with the more remarkable readings of the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch. Between Onkelos and the Palestinian Targum there is a great difference of manner, the paraphrase in the latter being largely interspersed with hagadistic or legendary illustrations; some of which, when explained on the principle laid down in the Introduction, are good enough, though for others of them, as unworthy of the solemn majesty of Holy Scripture, I have no apology. In fact, these paraphrases contain two elements: the sacred, in the true representation of the Word of God; and the merely human, with its infirmity and folly. Each must have its proper judgment.
The perusal of these Targums will have one good result, if it lead to a renewed examination and study of the Pentateuch: a Record sacred in every sense; ever and for evermore the subject of reverential affection to the Believer, as being the foundation of all literature, the origines of all authentic history, the shrine of the primaeval revelation, the register of the eternal covenant of grace, and the panorama of those sacrosanct emblems which shadow out the Redeeming Work accomplished in the fulness of time by Him, of whom Moses, in the Law, and the prophets did write.
St. Austell, October 24th, 1862.
|TABLE OF SCRIPTURAL READINGS|
|Onkelos||Jonathan Ben Uzziel/Palestinian
with Jerusalem fragments
|Bereshith/Genesis||Bereshith Bara Elohim(In the beginning)||1.1-6.8||Berashith|
|Eleh Toledoth Noach(Noah [rest])||6.9-11.32||Toledoth|
|Lech Lecha(Go forth, yourself!)||12.1-17.27||Lech Lecha|
|Vaiyera(And He appeared)||18.1-22.24||Vayera|
|Chaiyey Sarah(Life of Sarah)||23.1-25.18||Chaiyey Sarah|
|Vayetse Yaakov(And he went out)||28.10-32.3||Vayetse|
|Vayishlach(And he sent)||32.4-36.43||Vayishlach|
|Vayeshev(And he settled)||37.1-40.23||Vayeshev|
|Vayehi Mekets(At the end of)||41.1-44.17||Vayehi Mekets|
|Vayiggash Alaif Yehudah(And he drew near)||44.18-47.27||Vayiggash|
|Vayechi(And he lived)||47.28-50.26||Vayechi|
|Vaera(And I appeared)||6.2-9.35||Vaera|
|Bo El Pharoh(Enter!)||10.1-13.16||Bo El Pharoh|
|Beshallach(When he let go)||13.17-17.16||Beshalach|
|Tetsavveh(You shall command)||27.20-30.10||Tetsavveh|
|Ki Thissa(When you elevate)||30.11-34.35||Ki Thissa|
|Vayakehel(And he assembled)||35.1-38.20||Vaiyakhel|
|Vaiyikra/Leviticus||Vaiyikra(And He called)||1.1-5.26||Vaiyikra|
|Vaiyikra Tsav(Command!)||6.1-8.36||Vaiyikra Tsav|
|Tazria(She bears seed)||12.1-13.59||Tazria|
|Acharey(After the death)||16.1-18.30||Acharey Moth|
|Behar Sinai(On the Mount)||25.1-26.2||Behar Sinai|
|Bechukkothai(In My statutes)||26.3-27.34||Bechukkothai|
|Bemidbar/Numbers||Bemidbar(In the wilderness)||1.1-4.20||Bemidbar|
|Behaalotheca(In your making go up)||8.1-12.16||Behaalotheca|
|Shelach(Send for yourself)||13.1-15.41||Shalach|
|Vaethchannan(And I besought)||3.23-7.11||Vaethchanan|
|Titse(When you go out)||21.10-25.19||Titse|
|Thabo(When you come in)||26.1-29.8||Thabo|
|Vezoth Habberakah(And this the blessing)||33.1-34.12||Vezoth Habberakah|