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Converse Translation: A Targumic Technique

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Chapter Summary

The non-literal aggadic interpretation is to be found in all of the targumim. The impression imparted by the descriptions of M. McNamara is that the targumic aggadah is additive and interpretative of the original Hebrew text, but not contradictive of it. This chapter demonstrates that the contradictive rendition is not uncommon in the various targumim to the Pentateuch. In fact, its occurrence is frequent enough for it to be considered among the commonly acknowledged targumic techniques, and not merely as an anomalous phenomenon. The most patent examples of converse translation in the targumim are those in which the targumist adds a negative particle לית, לא or לית אפשר to an otherwise positive statement, or where he deletes the particle from an negative statement. Another method employed by the targumim in order to produce a converse translation is the replacement of the original Biblical verb with another verb of opposite meaning.

Keywords: converse translation; Hebrew text; non-literal aggadic interpretation; targumic technique



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