Targum Onkelos, Bible, Old Testament -- Criticism, interpretation, Jewish, Jewish theology, Rabbinic literature
This article focuses on the Targum Onqelos (TO), and its rendering of Gn 4:7b. What is the origin of TO’s rendering of v. 7b? The Targumin in general, as the remaining rabbinic literature, is their haggadah of a given text from the Hebrew Bible draw upon other texts. From the formal place of view, TO is an overall quite literary translation of the biblical text. Yet, TO contains exegesis in condensed form, and has its own exegetical methodology. The exegesis tends to reflect the rabbinical tradition, especially as represented by the earliest Midrashim. The investigation confirms the impression that TO in general tends to integrate traditions found elsewhere in the rabbinic literature, traditions which this literature associates with Gn 4:7 and/or the figure of Cain. TP’s rendering is consistent, as the Targum’s rendering of GN 4:b is well in tune with other, relevant Targum texts, both on Gn 4, and on other biblical texts. Associative translation of different targumic texts , as well as analogy with the Septuagint, may have been of some consequence. The Targum may also have connected its interpretation of Gn 4:7 with the conception of “the Gate of Repentance”. But in particular TO’s rendering of v. 7b may be a result of a text-immanent reading of the Hebrew Bible text, using texts that have a similar literary structure, and/or identical phrases, or containing the same motif. All things considered, the investigation has confirmed the overall picture of Targum Onqelos as a typical representative of rabbinic exegesis, concerning both content and exegetical methodology.