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The Messiah “That Leadeth Upon A Cloud,” In The Fragment-Targum To The Pentateuch?

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Chapter Summary

The image of the Messiah arriving with the clouds of heaven is not uncommon in rabbinic literature, and can be traced directly to Dan 7:13–14. It was not considered at all unusual to find an apparent reference to this well-attested messianic image in one of the Palestinian Fragment-Targums of the Pentateuch. In fact, that source was considered so well founded in the tradition that other differing Palestinian Targums were often “corrected” on its authority. When M. Ginsburger published another recension of the Fragment-Targum, according to MS Paris-Bibliothèque nationale Hébr. 110, he added the “preferred variant reading” in square brackets. In conclusion, although the image of the Messiah arriving with/on a cloud is widely attested in rabbinic literature, there is absolutely no such imagery to be found in any of the presently known Pentateuchal targums.

Keywords: Fragment-Targum; Messiah; Palestinian Targums; Pentateuch



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