Exegetical Similarities and the Liturgical Use of the Targumim of the Megilloth

in Aramaic Studies
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It has long been noted that the relatively expansive Targumim of the Five Scrolls share a number of ‘significant affinities’. These similarities, the expansive nature and structure, the admonition to study Torah and continue to perform good deeds, and the expectation of the coming Messianic era, suggest that they are part of a larger agenda to remind their audiences of God’s guiding hand in Israel’s history and to promote piety. Possibly receiving their final form in the same period and in the same contexts, it seems that the festal use of the biblical texts led to their rather unique formation.




See G. Stemberger, ‘Die Megillot als Festlesungen der jüdischen Liturgie’, Jahrbuch für biblische Theologie 18 (2003), pp. 261–276; and I. Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History (New York: Jewish Publication Society, 1993).


É. Levine, The Aramaic Version of Ruth (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1973) pp. 3–5.


A. Shinan, Aggadah in the Aramaic Targums to the Pentateuch (Jerusalem: Makor, 1979) pp. 30–38.


Alexander, Targum of Canticles, p. 13.


Brady, ‘Targum Lamentations’, pp. 182–183.


B. Ego, ‘God as the Ruler of History: Main Thematic Motifs of the Interpretation of Megillat Esther in TgEstII’, JAB 2 (2000), pp. 189–201 (189).


Alexander, Targum of Canticles, pp. 13–26. ‘History for [the Targumist of TgShir] is both cyclical and climactic. Certain patterns recur, but nevertheless history is moving forward purposefully toward an eschaton—the Messianic Age’, p. 23.


C.M.M. Brady, ‘The Conversion of Ruth in Targum Ruth’, Review of Rabbinic Judaism 16 (2013), pp. 133–146.


Knobel, Targum of Qohelet, pp. 26–27.


Knobel, Targum of Qohelet, p. 2.


See Ego, ‘God as the Ruler of History’, pp. 191–193.


Alexander, Targum of Canticles, p. 23.


Alexander, Targum of Canticles, p. 23.


Alexander, Targum of Canticles, pp. 55–57.


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