Targumim (or: Targums) are translations of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic. They were translated and used when Jewish congregations increasingly could not understand the biblical Hebrew anymore. Targum Onqelos (also: Onkelos) is the name of the Aramaic translation of the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) probably composed in Israel/Palestine in the 1st or 2nd century CE and later edited in Babylon in the 4th or 5th century, making it reflect Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. It is the most famous Aramaic translation and was widely used throughout the Jewish communities.

In many, but not all, cases the translation of Targum Onqelos avoids anthropomorphisms (attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions) as they relate in the original Hebrew text to God.

The Hebrew of Exodus 15:3 that is translated in English as “warrior” or “man of war” is translated in Targum Onqelos as “the Lord of victory in battles.” (Source: Klein 2011, p. 62)

In the Ancient Greek Septuagint, it is rendered as “(The Lord, when) he shatters wars” (κύριος συντρίβων πολέμους). (Source: Law 2013, p. 170)

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments