Both midrash and targum, to one degree or another, interpret the biblical text; however, there are substantive differences between them. Sometimes we find a mixture of the two genres in a single composition. This article examines two compositions based upon the same biblical text, the First and Second Targums of Esther (Tg. Esther I and Tg. Esther II). In both compositions the generic mixing is widespread and substantial. The First Targum of Esther, sometimes relying upon midrashic-aggadic traditions, embodies within itself a basic commentary on the Bible. Not always literal, the targum is oftentimes paraphrastic. The aggadic expansions are woven carefully into the sequence of the literal translation so that the sequence is preserved. This targum successfully maintains its generic framework. In contrast, the Second Targum of Esther clearly demonstrates the signs of being an artificial amalgamation of two strata: the literal translation stratum and the aggadic expansion stratum. In Tg. Esther II, the boundaries of the targum genre have been breached. The composer of Tg. Esther II did not feel obligated by the generic constraints of the targum genre. He viewed Tg. Esther II as simply a convenient framework for storing midrashim.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Hebrew Union College Annual|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 2009|