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The Samaritan Targum of the Pentateuch

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Chapter Summary

The Samaritan Targum of the Pentateuch arose, much like other targumim, as a response to the linguistic changes which took place in Palestine during the last centuries B.C. and the first centuries C.E. Compared to the Jewish targumim, which are very often paraphrastic, the Samaritan Targum appears to be a word-for-word translation. The harmonization sought by the Samaritan Targum is by no means limited to the character and behaviour of the personages of the Pentateuch. It is important to emphasize the fact that the Samaritan Targum is based on the Hebrew text of the Pentateuch, but was amended to incorporate and reflect the Samaritan tradition which differs in many cases from the Jewish masoretic text. Some of these differences are of a hermeneutic nature as are their translation into Aramaic. The existence of a Samaritan halakha is also attested by several manuscripts of the Samaritan Targum.

Keywords: Aramaic language; Hebrew text; Pentateuch; Samaritan halakha; Samaritan Targum



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