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A TARGUM MS. IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM 167 



A NOTEWORTHY TAEGUM MS. IN THE BRITISH 

MUSEUM. 

MSS. of the Targum are not scarce in the British Museum, in fact, 
they may be enumerated by scores. Many are of extreme interest and 
of far-reaching importance. Such is conspicuously the case with those 
splendid specimens which were brought from Southern Arabia, and are 
punctuated with the superlinear vowel-signs. Prof. Dalman has recently 
published the first volume of his Aramaic and New-Hebrew Dictionary, 
and has based his readings, wherever possible, upon one or another of 
these clear and beautifully preserved texts. His examples from the 
former prophets are founded upon the readings from the British 
Museum MS. Oriental 2210; for the latter prophets he has used 
Or. 221 1, and for the five "scrolls" Or. 2375. These MSS. are 
invaluable for the reconstruction of the Targum editions, which have 
become very corrupt, in the course of time, by the mistakes of suc- 
cessive generations of copyists, who erred either through ignorance 
or carelessness. 

But of far greater importance is the unique MS. of the Targum 
Jerushalmi I (Add. 27031). As far as I know, it is the only MS. of 
this Targum — the Pseudo-Jonathan— in existence. And, strange to 
say, it appears to have been overlooked by the keen German scholars. 
In the year 1884 Dr. Berliner wrote : " Unfortunately a critical 
edition of the two Jerusalem Targums must be indefinitely post- 
poned until we obtain a MS. upon which to base our text. In the 
meantime we are perforce compelled to rely upon the faulty editions, 
in which different readings are frequently confused, since for the 
Pseudo-Jonathan no MS. has hitherto been found " (Berliner, Targum 
Onkelos, II, p. 123, Berlin, 1884). Dr. Berliner's remark was repeated 
as recently as last year by Dr. Grinsburg. The following is a quota- 
tion from an article in the Monatsschriftfiir Geschichte und Wissenschafi 
des Jttdenthutns, by Prof. Dalman : " He (Dr. Ginsburg) says that 
MSS. of the Pseudo-Jonathan are not to be found, and refers to 
a communication from Mr. Margoliouth of London, according to 



l68 THE JEWISH QUABTERLY REVIEW 

whom the MS. of the Pseudo-Jonathan in the British Museum is 
an abstract from the Walton Polyglot." That such a source for 
this MS. is impossible is pointed out by Prof. Dalman, with whom 
Mr. Margoliouth is in full accord, for the Polyglot did not appear 
until 1657, whilst the censor's mark in the MS. bears the date 1593 (or 
1 598). Two MSS. of this Targum were known to Azaria de Bossi, and 
are quoted by him in his Meor Enajim, ch. ix. De Rossi wrote his 
great work in 1570. He says: minn bv D^D^'B' D'Dinn '2 "TT'NT 

viiiBa ainai vno nsia ^32 Dvs'cjn t3 'nh n^on n^D d^dh nb 
naicjoa d^dp hvw^ Y'ln T-a 'sni bwy$ p |n:v Dunn Nine' 
»h rcB'Nin Dwin D''^''nnD dhob' ''■obmy omn inaa^ ■\'hwy\ 

N?11X jD N7X NnD3n3. "I have seen two complete Targums upon 
the Pentateuch, agreeing literally with each other; one is in the 
possession of the noble Foa family; on the fly-leaf this Targum 
is called the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel ; the other belongs 
to R. Samuel Kasis of Mantua, but its title is Targum Jerushalmi. 
Both render the word ' Bereshit ' by ' from the beginning,' and not 
by 'in wisdom.' " Now we know that the British Museum MS. is not 
identical with that which Foa possessed, because the latter served as 
basis to the text of the first edition which appeared in Venice in the 
year 1591. In Asher Forin's introduction to that edition he states 
that the text is based upon a MS. which came from the library of 
Isaac Foa (ilNia pnV ?B> IBmD rCJO), and was then in the possession 
of Foa's sons. Add. 27031 differs in many respects from the editio 
pHnceps. This is most noticeable in the case of those verses which 
have been omitted, either accidentally or designedly, from the 1591 
edition. Prof. Dalman mentions upwards of a dozen in his Dialekt- 
proben (Leipzig, 1896, p. 35). On the other hand, Leviticus xxiv. 31 
occurs in the edition, but is wanting in the MS. Add. 27031 cannot 
then be identified with the one seen by De Rossi, which was the 
property of the Foa family. The other MS. which De Rossi saw 
belonged to R. Samuel Kasis (D'Dp), and was called 'Dbm' DU"in. 
Now on the fly-leaf of our MS. the following inscription occurs : 
"CDpnia nOJS 'JN NXIDS i^J '•aoa ]^:p "The purchase of my 
money, without grudging, I, Santa, son of R. Kasis." I read the last 
last word ''l?''PP'l^?, i.e. O^Dp Ul p. The characters are similar 
to those used in the body of the work, but the ink is a little blacker. 
Whilst I am fairly confident of the correctness of my identification, 
it must be pointed out that two objections may be raised. In the first 
place the MS. in the British Museum is called ^NTiy p |nJ1^ DUin, 
whereas the copy which De Rossi saw bore the inscription DlJin 
''U7V\y. Again, De Rossi states that the two MSS. which he saw were 



A TAEGUM MS. IN THE BKITISH MUSEUM 169 

practically identical, which is not the case with Add. 27031 and the 
firat edition, which was based upon Foa's MS. If the British Museum 
really possesses the MS. which De Rossi saw, then Add. 27031 is not 
only of literary, but also of historical, value. The MS. itself is 
remarkably well preserved. It contains 231 folios, pajjer. Although 
with a little practice, it is on the whole not difficult to read, still, in 
many cases, the letters N and D, V and D are scarcely distinguishable. 
It is entirely unpunctuated, and is written in the peculiar and 
characteristic Italian hand. By the censor's mark on folio 231 b we 
may see that it is a product of the sixteenth century. Its variations 
from the first edition, although not numerous, are occasionally 
important. For a new edition both sources would have to be used, 
for obvious mistakes do occasionally occur which could be rectified 
by reference to the 1591 edition. We should also have to use 
a beautifully preserved fourteenth- century MS. (Add. 21 160), in 
which a few readings from the Targum Jerushalmi occur which do 
not always agree with those in Add. 27031, In the latter MS. the 
custos occurs at the foot of every page, and occasionally marginal 
notes or variant readings are added. Scribes' errors are rare ; when 
they do occur, we usually find them corrected on the margin by 
a later hand. It must be conceded that the censor has exercised his 
prerogative very sparingly. He has scribbled his signature at the 
end of the work, but the decipherment is entirely beyond me. 
Mr. Margoliouth reads it Dominico Ferosol, while Prof. Dalman 
thinks it is Dominico Jerosolomitano, who is known as the author of 
the Canon Expurgationis (1596J. He has tampered with the Targum 
to Numbers xxiv. 19. The Hebrew of this verse runs ^PKIP '^111 
TiyiO nnb* T'^Nm, which the Revised Version renders, "And out of 
Jacob shall one have dominion, and shall destroy the remnant from 
the city." The prophecies of Balaam, with their forecasts of the 
future, naturally lend themselves admirably to Midrashic paraphrase, 
and the Targums usually have recourse to Hagadic amplification in 
all such poetical passages. Yet even here Onkelos is literal. " One 
will descend from the house of Jacob, who will destroy him who 
escapes from the city of the nations," a rendering which is perhaps 
preferable to that of the R. V. Onkelos takes the word 'ni'l from 
the root nT", whilst the R. V. finds the root in mi. The Pseudo- 
Jonathan, according to our MS., paraphrases: "And a ruler shall 
arise from the house of Jacob, and will destroy and annihilate [the 
remnant which has escaped from Constantinople, the guilty city, and 
will lay waste and desolate the rebellious city, even Rome] and 
Caesarea, the strong cities of the nations." I have indicated by 
brackets the portion deleted by the censor; the words are thickly 



170 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

scratched out, but can just be deciphered. The two words ^Dll K^H, 
" even Rome," do not occur in the editio princeps. Caesarea, founded 
by King Herod, became the metropolis of Palestine after the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, and was known as Roma Minor. The fragmentary 
Targum Jerushalmi II thus renders our verse, "A king will arise 
from the house of Jacob, and will destroy what will remain of the 
strong city." 

I hope to be able to publish this MS., and compare its readings with 
those of the first edition. My efforts would be confined to establishing 
a correct, critical, consonantal text, similar to De Lagarde's edition of 
the Targum of the Prophets. No vowel- signs would be added. Such 
a work appears to be a desideratum, if only to dispel the illusions 
which still exist upon the subject. This Targum for centuries bore 
the honoured name of Jonathan ben Uzziel, the author of the Targum 
of the Prophets. It redounds to the eternal honour of that greatest 
of critics, Zunz, that he finally and authoritatively gave the quietus 
to this mistake. With a critical acumen, which has rarely been 
equalled and never surpassed, he conclusively proved that the so- 
called Targum Jonathan was merely another and fuller recension of 
the fragmentary Targum Jerushalmi II. As is now well known, the 
blunder originated in mistaking the initials ''"n for irUV DIJin, 
whereas they really stand for WE'll'' DOin. He goes on to point 
out that our Targum is of comparatively late origin, being more 
recent than the name Constantinople, than the final casting of the 
Jewish Calendar, than the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and 
than the Babylonian Talmud. All these facts tend to show that its 
date is approximately about the second half of the seventh century 
(Zunz, GottesdiemtUche Vortrdge, pp. 75-76). That the dialect in 
which it is written is most puzzling, and occasionally corrupt, need 
not discourage the student, as many of the difficulties are the result 
of the barbarous vocalization, and disappear with an improved text. 
Prof. Dalman places the language of this Targum under the column 
headed "Mixed Aramaic," since both "Judaean" and "Galilean" 
forms occur in it. At the same time it must be clearly understood 
that, as an exegetical aid, it is practically valueless. As Havernick 
says : " The fewer the exegetical facilities, accordingly, which this 
paraphrase offers for the understanding of the Old Testament, the 
more important it is as being replete with examples of the mode of 
interpreting, and of the theological doctrines in vogue among the 
Jews of a later period. The more so because the traditions peculiar 
to it were derived not only from the Talmud, but also from older 
Targums written in a freer style, their higher antiquity being some- 
times confirmed by the New Testament " (Havernick : Introduction to 



A TARGUM MS. IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM 17I 

the Old Testament, translated by Alexander, Edinburgh, 1872, p. 337). 
As an instance he mentions 2 Timothy iii. 8 : " Now as Jannes and 
Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth." Jannes 
and Jambres occur nowhere in the Bible, but appear in this Targum 
to Exodus vii. 11, as the names of those of Pharaoh's wise men and 
sorcerers, who, by their enchantments, were able to equal Moses' 
wonderful actions. This Targum teems with hundreds of similar 
peculiar and interesting Midrashim, which frequently throw much 
light upon the contemporary literature. 

H. Barnstein.