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A Targumic Interpretation in the Mishnah? Or a Case of Mistaken Identity?

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‭Interpretations of Exod. 17.11 and Num. 21.9 juxtaposed in Mishnah Rosh Ha-Shanah 3.8 bear strong resemblances to the Fragment Targum of these verses, while exhibiting certain marked differences. The Mekhilta also juxtaposes these verses using language close to that of mRH 3.6 without, however, employing terminology common to Targum and Mishnah. The same verses are explicated in tandem by the early Christian writers ‘Barnabas’ and Justin Martyr. The article explores pre-Christian interpretations of these verses and examines the wording of the Mishnah and the Targum, concluding that these texts can be regarded as extended ‘conversations’ between exegetes of different persuasions.‬

Affiliations: 1: University of Durham, UK


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