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T A R G U M I C JJT^RATURE
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T E S T A M E N T ^ E R P R E T A T I O N [^^

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In a previous article^ we have presented a survey of presentday Targumic research. We mentioned there that the revival of
the Targumic studies can be explained in part by the renewed
interest the exegetes show in the Targum for the interpretation
of the New Testament. This is true even if such a use of the
Targum presents problems, mainly on account of the sources
themselves, which are late (Qumran excepted), poorly transmitted, and unequal in value.
But the Qumran discoveries have now confirmed the existence of written Targums in the beginning of the Christian era.
Besides, since the study is of analogous traditions and identical
phraseology, it is profitable to utilize even texts redacted later
whose contents go bock, in all probability, to a period older than
the literary formulation and the language of their redaction. In
any case, it is always useful to study the course often complicated
of the traditions before their fixation in the Jewish writings or
in the New Testament.
Between an uncritical confidence and a total scepticism there
is therefore room for a prudent and fruitful use of the Targumic
literature for NT exegesis. Predictably for a long time still the
1 < The Current State of Targumlo Studies >, BlbTB 4 (1974) 3-32.
In this article can be found also the main bibliographical retere^nces on
the various targimiic recensdons and their problems. Add to this the
lm(portaint conclusions of S.K. Kaufman (JAOS 93, 1973, 217-327) on
the date of Onkelos and the Targum to the Prophets. It seems that
research should continue along the lines h e indicates, by extending
the field at llngulstio investigation to the study of the traditions. A
Newsletter for Targumic SttiOies is now published by W^.E. Aufrecht
(Dept. of Near Eastern Studies, Victoria College, Toronto, Oht. M5S
1K6, Canada). These are our Sigia: MT (Masoretic text), T (Targum),
PT (Palestinian Targum = the exegetiaal traditions as a whole preserved
in several recensions), Tj I (Jerusalem T.I, also called of PseudoJonathan), Tj II (Jerusalem Targum II, also called Fragment Targum);
TC (Cadro fragments of the PT; see P. Kahle, Masoreten des Westens II.
Stuttgart 1930), N (Codex Neofiti 1 of the Vatican Ubrary), N ^
(marginal variant readings of N), O (Targum of Onkelos), DSS ( D e ^
Sea ScroUs).

<

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proposed comparisons w i l l remain hypothetical: i n many cases,


however, they appear at least as worthy as many others, especially i f we accept to take seriously the original links of Christ i a n i t y w i t h the Palestinian
Jewish world. The exegetes have
neglected too long the intermediating role of ancient Jewish
hermeneutic when they studied the use of the Old Testament
i n the New^.
Rather t h a n an analysis, presumably too technical, of a few
examples, we believe i t w i l l appear more convincing to give a
long list of these, from which should emerge the usefulness of
the Targums to clarify some NT problems and the marked interest
showed i n them by a growing number of exegetes. Each of these
examples should be further examined w i t h the help of the
studies indicated, which professedly underline the value of the
Targumic traditions, especially their antiquity. B u t as the Targum
represents the first l i n k between Scripture and its interpretation
(its Tradition, i n the broad sense), i t can be supposed t h a t i n
many cases i t was through the Aramaic paraphrases proclaimed
i n the synagogues t h a t the Jewish people remained i n touch w i t h
the traditional developments, about the biblical texts. I t was on
these paraphrases t h a t the Jews relied for their imderstanding of
the sacred text: the Targum was, so to say, the Bible of the
Jewish people, for the Targumist conveyed the traditional i n terpretation of his time, as found i n his ambient. As these texts
belonged to the Haggadah (illustrative material), they have suffered less from censorship t h a n those pertaining to the Halakhah
(regulative material). Even though these texts have been transmitted by the rabbinical Judaism they are not necessarily the
exclusive product of the Pharisaic tendency. Wfe do not wish
to explicitate this point: but i t is possible to consider the Tar2 Cf. R. L e D6aut ,La traxMtion ivive ancleiuiB et I'ex^gfese
dhretlenne prtmltive >, RHPR 51 (1971) 31-50; M.P. Miller, < Targum,
Midrash and the Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament >.
Journal for the Studiy of Judcdsm 2 (1971) 29-82; A.T. Hanson, StiDdies
in Paid's Technique and Theology (London 1974). For a method of
dating see R. Le D6aut I L T 149-181. On the use of the argumentation
based on the halakhah of the Targum see now M. Ohana, < Agneau
pascal et drconcdsion: L e problfeme de la halakha pr6mishnalque danS
le Targiun palestlnlen >, VT 23 (1973) 385-399; J . Heinemann, < Early
Halakhah in the Palestinian Targum*, Journal of Jewish Studies 25
(1974) 114-122.

TARGUMIC L I T E R A T U R E AND NT

INTERPRETATION

245

mic traditions taken globally each case has to be verified


the common good of the 1st century allgemeines
Judentum,
opposed to the sectarian)) movements, while the Bible
ained the principal ground common to all the tendencies.
We shall first draw attention to some examples relevant
the Synoptic gospels and other NT books, then dwell longer
material related to the Johannine gospel.
Bibliography

( w i t h abbreviations to be used)

tina, S., < Aportaclcwies reclentes die los targumlm a la interpretacidn


neotestamentaria >, E s t E 39 (1964) 361-376 (Bartina).
, M., An Ararriaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (3d ed., Oxford
1967) (AAGA).
wker, J . , The Targums and Rabbinic Literature (Cambridge 1969).
z Maciho, A., < The Recently Discovered Palestinlaai Targum: Its
Antiquity and Relationship with the other Targums >, Suppl.
to VT. V n (1960) 222-245;
, < Targum y Nuevo Testamento > in M&larvges Eu^6ne Tisserant (Citta del Vaticano 1964) 153-184 (TNT);
, < Le Targum palestlnlen >, RSR 47 (1973) 169-231;
, Introdiiictions to the edition of Targum Neofiti 1 (Genesis
1968; Exodus 1970; Leviticus 1971; Numbers 1974).
s, R., < Traces of Targumism in the New Testament >, ExpT 32
(1920-21) 373-376.
Ddaut, R., La nuit pasoale (Romie 1963) ( N P ) ;
, Liturgie jxMve et Nouveau Testcanent (LJNT);
, Introduction it Ta litt^rature targimtque (Rome 1966) ( I L T ) .
a, B.J., The Paiesttnian Marma TraOiUon (Leiden 1968) (Malina).
amiara, M., The Hetu Testament and the Palestinian Targum to the
Pentateuch (Rome 1966) (NTPT);
, Targum attd Testamemt (Shannon 1972) ( T T ) .
els. P., Targum and New Testamemt. A Bibttographiyi. together with
a New Testament Index (Rome 1967).
J., La fete jiMve de la Pentecdte (Paris 1971) (Pottn).
k, H.L. - BUlerbeck, P., Kommentar zum Neuen Testamemt aais
Talmud und Midrasch. 4 vols (Munich 1922-1928) (SB),
erary, Henry St. John, The Relation of St. PaUi to Contemporary
Jewish Thought (London 1900).
es, G., Scripture and Tradition in JudJaism (Leiden 1961; reprint
1973) (STJ).
, A., The Targums and the New Testament >, Journal of Religion 24 (1944) 89-95.

TARGUMIC LITERATURE AND NT INTERPRETATION

245
gumic traditions taken globally each, case has to be verified
as the common good of the 1st century allgemeines Judentum,
as opposed to the sectarian movements, while the Bible
remained the principal ground common to all the tendencies.
We shall first draw attention to some examples relevant
for the Synoptic gospels and other NT books, then dwell loiter
on material related to the Johannine gospel.
Bibliography (with abbreviations to be used)
X

Bartina, S., < Aportaciones recientes die los targumlm a la Interpretacifin


neotestamentarla >, EstE 39 (1964) 361-376 (Bartina).
Black, M., An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (3d ed., Oxfoi^
1967) (AAGA).
Bowker, J., The Targums and Rabbinic Literature (Cambridge 1969).
Dlez MacJio, A., < The Recently Dlscwered Palestinian Targum: Its
Antiquity and Relationship with the other Targums >, Suxppl.
to VT, VII (1960) 222-245;
, < Targum y N u e w Testamento > in M&laviges Eugdne Tisserant (CittA del Vaticano 1964) 153-184 (TNT);
, < Le Targtmi palesttnien >, RSR 47 (1973) 169-231;
, Infradmctions to the edition of Targum Neoflti 1 (Genesis
1968; Exodus 1970; LeviticMs 1971; Numbers 1974).
Harris, R., < Traces of Targumism in the New Testament >, ExpT 32
(1920-21) 373-376.
Le D6aut, R., La rtuit pasoale (Rome 1963) (NP);
, Liturgie jtUve et Nouveau Testament (LJNT);
, Introduction ti la litt6rature targurndqtte (Rome 1966) (ILT).
Mahna, B.J., The Palestinian Mamia TradHtion (Leiden 1968) (MaUna).
McNamara, M., The New Testament and the PdlesUnHan Targum to the
Pentateuch (Romie 1966) (NTPT);
, Targum arid Testament (Shannon 1972) (TT).
Nickels, P., Targum and New Testament. A Bibliography, together with
a New Testament Index (Rome 1967).
Potin J., La f&te juive de la Pentecdte (Paris 1971) (Potln).
Strack, H.L. - BiUerbeck, P., Kommentar zwm Neuen Testament aus
Talmud urvd Midrasch, 4 vols (Munich 1922-1928) (SB).
Thackerary, Henry St. John, The Relation of St. PaM to Contemporary
Jewish Thought (London 1900).
Vermes, G., Scripture amA Tradition in JudJaism (Leiden 1961; reprint
1973) (STJ).
W^fcgren, A., The Targimas and the New Testament, Journal of ReUgion 24 (1944) 89-95.

246

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The Synoptk Gospels

I n a commentary on Jacob's blessing we read i n the Targum


(Tj I - T j I I and N ) : Blessed are the breasts from whdch you
sucked and the uiomb within which you lay\e similarity
w i t h L k 11:27 is so s t r i k i n g t h a t one would t h i n k of a gospel
quotation i f this were not entirely improbable. The parallel of
TLev 22:28 (Tj I ) to L k 6:36 is also well known: M y people,
children of Israel, as our Father is merciful in heaven, so shall
you be merciful on earth n. This paraphrase is ancient since
i t is quoted, and criticized as a faulty translation, i n two passages of the Jerusalem Talmud". The famous saying:
The
measure w i t h which you measure w i l l be used to measure you
(Mt 7:2; M k 4:24; L k 6:38) is well attested i n the Targum (e.g
Gen 38:26; Lev 26:43)=.
I n addition to these formulas there are contacts i n the
vocabulary. The idea of forgiveness is regularly expressed i n the
PT by the hendiadys sheri/shebaq
( l i t . to remit, to loose and
forgive), which, i t has been proposed, may explain the different formulations of M t 16:19 (to b i n d / t o loose) and of Jn
20:23 (to forgive/to b i n d ) , both renderings perhaps of a single
primitive logion i n Aramaic^
A n expression like t o taste the cup of death)), which
among the ancient Jewish sources occurs only i n the PT (Gen
40:23; Deut 32:1), explicitates texts like M t 20:22f, where the
cup which Christ and the disciples w i l l have to d r i n k is that
of suffering and of death (20:28;26:28; cf. also 26:39 and Jn
18:11). When he invites the Apostles to drink t h e cup of the
' AAGA 309; NP 51; NTPT 131. G. Dalraan had also Indicated the
paraUel iGrammaCih des iildisch-paiasttnischen AramUisch, Leipzig 1905,
245), as well as SB II 187.
* Megillah IV,9,75c and Berakoth V,3,9c. Cf AAGA 309 and NP 51.
McNamara has shown that this paraphrase, attested today in Tj I only,
was found previously also in the other recensions: NTPT 138, TT 118.
We usually use McNamara's translation, with occasional modifications.
^
SB I 445; NTPT 138; H.P. RUger, < Mit welchem Mass Ihr messt,
wird euoh gemessen werden >, ZNW 60 (1969) 174-182.
TNT 163; TT 129. It should be noted, however, that the Targum
on Job of Qumran (llQTgJob 42:9) expresses the idea of forgiveness
with the sole verb shebaq.

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

AND NT

INTERPRETATION

247

covenant i n my blood (Lk 22:20) i t is also to a particition i n his death t h a t Jesus invites them'.
The figure of speech used by Jesus: Simon, Simon! Reember that Satan has asked for you, to sift you all like wheat))
k 22:31), for which P. Billerbeck (11^258) has no parallel to
opose from Jewish literature, occurs i n N (Deut 33:8): Y o u
ve invested Aaron w i t h the T h u m m i m and the U r l m , the
ous man you have tested^, and who stood f i r m i n the trial...
Another passage of N. (Ex 22:30) gives the proper dimension
Jesus' answer to the Canaanite woman ( M t 15:26): he only
peats, without sanctioning i t , a traditional expression of the
tempt w i t h which i n the Jewish ambient the pagans were
-ked upon: You shall not eat flesh t o r n by a w i l d beast... You
11 throw i t to the dogs, or you shall throw i t to the gentile
ranger, who is likened to the dogn)^
Recourse t o the ancient exegetical techniques can help to
derstand the f u l l meaning of the parallel formulas i n M k 13:
29: Y o u know t h a t summer is near... You w i l l know t h a t
is near, even at the door. What is near is end-time, as
arly indicate the words telos, synteleia, kairos of the context
d of the parallel passages. The logion is b u i l t on the homhony between qayis, summer)), and qes, a technical term
ich designates i n the OT and at Qumran the time of eschaiogical sklvation'". Amos had already drawn upon this simi'ty, even the consonantal identity i n Hebrew, of the two terms
: l - 2 ) . B u t the Targum to Jeremiah (8:20) shows t h a t i t was
rsible to transpose directly qayis (summer)) i n Heb.) into
?a' (end-time)) i n Aramaic): T h e time has passed; the
' AAGA 298; R. Le D^aut, Bib 43 (1962) 82-86; S. Speier, V T 13
963) 344-345.
8 Lit. < passed through die sieve > (npyt, from the verb np': to fan,
imow sift, which corresponds exactly to the Greek siniadzd). Cf. A.
ez Madho, edition of N (vol. V, ad l o c ) . In Amos 9:9 the idea is
erent and the Hebrew verb comes from another root.
9 TNT 184. Add this reference' to other less explicit ones given by
1 724. The equation is even clearer in Ngl: c ... you shaU give it to
e gentile > (MT: dog).
10 NP 274. Cf. T Gen 49,1 (TT 140). I t should be noted that theros
mmer) occurs only in Mk 13:28 (and par.) i n the NT.

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appointed time (qysa'; M t : qays) is accomplished and we are


not yet saved
To solve the known problem (cf. Jerome i n PL 26,173) raised
by M t 23:35, Zechariah son of Berachiah
whom you murdered
between the temple building and the a l t a r s , M . McNamara'^
has correctly referred to the Targum of Lamentations 2:20.
Zechariah the prophet son of Berechiah, son of Iddon
(Zech
1:1), is not the Zechariah s o n of Jehoiada who was stoned
i n the court of the temple, according to 2 Chr 24:21. B u t we
must remember t h a t popular tradition had identified the two
figures, as i t very often does. This is the text of T Lam 2:20:
Is it proper to kill in the Tempi of the Lord a priest
and a prophet as you killed Zechariah bar Iddo the High
Priest and the faithful prophet in the Temple of tihe
Lord on the Day of Atonement because he admonished
you not to do what was evil before the Lord.

Even though the extant text of the Targum Lam. is of a posttalmudical period, i t may constitute an example of an ancient
tradition preserved only i n a document of a late period".
The targumic development of Is 6:3, Holy in the highest
heavens... holy upon earth... holy for endless agesn, certainly is
to be related, directly or indirectly, to L k 2:14. I f D. Flusser's
conclusions are exact'^ the t r i p a r t i t e form would have to be
restored to the Gloria, by reading w i t h a large number of
witnesses: ... and among men divine benevolence en anthrOpois eudokia, instead of eudokias.
The formula of L k 9:29, describing the transfiguration of
" Cf. N. P6rez Femtodez, < Prope est aestas (Mk 13:28; Mt 24:32;
Lk 21:29) >, VD 46 (1968) 361-369. F o r a more technical discussion
see A Dlez Madho, Neophyti 1. vol. IV, 52.
12 NTPT 160. SB I 941 also mentioned tMs parallel.
1^ See an example of tiiis type in D. Daube, The New Testament
and Rabbiriic Judaism (London 1956) 190.
" < Sanktus imd Gloria >, in Abraham vtnser Voter, Fest. fiir O.
Michel (Leldlen/KOln 1963) 129-152. Flusser has recently summarized
the content of tliis article: < Elsewhere I have tried to show that Luke
2:14... reflects a hypothetical Aramaic Targum of the threefold < Holy >
of Is 6:3 (very similar to the existent Targfum) whose wording was
approximately: <Eotv in the highest heavens his Glory, Hoty upon
the earth his peace, Hoty toward man his good wiU > >, Immcmuet n3 (Winter 1973-74) 38.

TARGUMIC LITERATURE AND

NT I N T E R P R E T A T I O N

249

Jesus, the appearance of his face changed egeneto... to eidos


ton prosopou autou heteronn
( l i t . became different), has been
w i t h reason compared w i t h Genesis Apocryphon
2:12: My expression had changed ' stny 'npy^\t TGen 4:5,6 is s t i l l
closer to the Lucan formulation since a noun precedes the verb:
.The aspect of his face (Cain's) became different
w'ystny
gywwhiim d' pwy .
I n connection w i t h the absolute usage of kyrios, which raised
'ifficulties, J.A. Fitzmyer observes that mare' (absolute) turns
-p as a t i t l e for God i n l l Q T g J o b 24:7 ( = H e b . 34:12) i n paralelism w i t h ' elaha'... The pun i n Ps 110:11 (cf. L k 20:42) is now
possible i n Aramaic: ' amar marS' lemari, teb leyammini;
The
r d said to my Lord: Sit at my r i g h t h a n d " .
What God has joined

(Mt

19:6)

I n the context of the famous discussion about divorce i n M t


):6 ( = M k 10:9), a few targumic texts deserve to be examined,
connexion w i t h Jesus' answer, Therefore, let no man sepals J.A. Fitzmyer, The Genesis Apiocryphon of Qumran Cave I
Second edition, Roanie 1971). p. 88. He also quotes Dan 3:19;5:6. Accorto Traduction Oecktminigue de Ta BiMe (Paris 1972) < L k avoids
Greek word metaphorphdsis (Mt 17:2; Mk 9:2), which for his
Brs sounded pagan >. Actually dt>es he not return to a more
Imitive formulation of tradition?
We have here a typical case of an hypothetic utilization of a
gumlc expression to Uluminate the NT being verified by the dlsery of a surely ancient text. In a lecture given at Louvaln (1972)
tzirtyier, apropos of < Mistranislations of Aramaic Substratum > proas examine Mt 7:6: < Do not give what is holy to dogs... >, where
parallelism with < pearls > would csfll for a term designating some
t of jewel (of. AAGA 200). A word like gecMs = ring, read in the
arguta on Job of Qumran (42:11) may have been misunderstood as
sa' = to hOgion. Note that the term qds' is also found in the classic
rgum of Job, known for long. This word is also often used by
PT (Gen 24:22;35:4; Num 31:50...). It is strange that the scribe of
has written qwds at Gen 24:22 and that the recensions often write
'ys ( = holy), making the same confusion as the hypothetic translator
ad have Ertadie in Mt 7:6 (Of. Num 31:50 in Tj I and N).
18 We quote the summary of a lecture given in 1973 at SouthJiiPton (at the SNTS Congress). We are grateful to the author for
ving sent it to us. TWs lecture is now published in NTS 20 (1974)
2-407: < The Contribution of Qumran Aramaic to the Study of the
e w Testament >.

250

R.

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rate what God has joined synedseuxen


(from the Greek
dzeugos = yoke) , P. Billerbeck ( I , 803) quotes only quite late
rabbinical texts about God u n i t i n g m a n and woman and the
difficulty to do so i n a satisfactory manner. The Targum is not
cited. D. Daube" has r i g h t l y noted t h a t also the Targum
mentions this divine activity. He quotes Deut 34:6 (Tj I ) :
(God)
taught us to m a r r y bridegrooms and brides by his
m a r r y i n g zavncegh, f r o m dzeugos Eve t o Adama. I t is
also possible to quote a l l the PT recensions of Deut 32:4 which
show the Most H i g h dividing his day i n t o three parts and
devoting three hours t o m a k i n g marriage bonds mzitmg
zwgyn between m a n and womann (N). Daube comments:
Significantly, the Rabbinic ziwwegh or zawwegh, which goes
back to the Greek dzeugos, while i t may mean < to j o i n together
two things > i n any way, is often used of God's < joining together
husband and wife > and, i n the form 'izdavmagh,
means < to
m a r r y >." The Aramaic verb is therefore related, according
to sense and even etymologically, to the Greek
syn-dzeugnymi
of M t 19:6.
Another targumic passage, attested i n at least three of the
PT recensions (TC, N, and T j I I ) , also cites the divine example
as founding the d u t y t o bless the spouses from Adam and his
mate mn 'dm wzwgyh . The second t e r m is a simple
transposition into Palestinian Aramaic of the Greek dzeugos
(=yoke).
Note carefully t h a t the first text quoted by Christ i n M t 19
is Gen 1:27: ((Male and female he created t h e m . This passage
is quoted i n the Damascus Document (4:21), certainly to exclude
polygamy, perhaps also divorce:^^ I t is zanuth (whoredom) ((to
m a r r y two women i n their (masc.)
lifetime, although the
" Op. at. 74 and 368.
^ Ibid. 368.
*8 On the various interpretations of the text see the latest presentation by G. Vermes, < Sectarian Matrimonial Halalchah i n the Damascus
Rule >, Journal orf Jewish Studies 25 (1974) 197-202. Note that the Datnascm Document (5:1) quotes also Gen 7:9: < Two and two they went
into the aric >.

TARGUMIC L I T E R A T U R E AND NT

INTERPRETATION

251

inciple of creation is: a male and a female... ^. Long ago A.


armorstein has observed t h a t this quotation proved only i f
n 1:27 was understood as i n the PT.^' He referred t o the way
e Cairo fragments translate ((male and female of the flood
itive: udkr wzwgyh a male and his mute v. B u t now we
ve the testimony of N, which confirms the translation adopted
T j I I for Gen 1:27: male and his mate (partner) zwgyh
he created them .
'
I f this Palestinian interpretation of Gen 1:27 forms the
ckground of M t 19, then the force of the argumentation
.^pears even more clearly: the i n s t i t u t i o n of the couple
(in
reek kata dzeugos means <( i n pairs), the union of one m a n
d of one woman corresponds to the intentions of the Creator
d, i n addition, for each marriage i t is God himself who i n rvenes for the formation of this new couple.
This is my Blood of the Covenants

(Mk

14:24)

Grammatically the formula, <( This is TTZ^/ blood of the


venant to haima mou tes diathekes (Mk 14:24), which is
good Greek, was formerly considered impossible i n Hebrew
i n Aramaic, since i n these languages i t is not permissible
. introduce a possessive suffix between the nomen regens and
e nomen rectum.
Now i t appears t h a t t h i s is possible i n
"^amaic. J.A. Emerton has produced examples of this usage";
t least one of them is indisputable: Your people of the house
1 Israel)) (T Ps 110:3). A. Diez Macho^^ refers also to D n 2:34:
His feet of i r o n raglohi di parzelay> and, above all, to a
-ies of examples i n N : Gen 49:1,2; Ex 20:6; Deut 6:4;5:10
a his commandments of my Law))). These cases show i t is
sible to have i n Aramaic a noun w i t h a personal suffix
^0 For the use of tliis text in the interpretation of porneHa (Mt 19:9)
L., Ramarbson, < Une nouvelle interpretation de la olausule de Mt
:9 >, S E 23 (1971) 247-251.
" ZNW 49 (1931) 240.
22 < Mark XIV.24 and the Targum to the Psalter >. I T S 15 (1964)
-59.
23 L e Targ\m pal^tlnien >, 209-210; T T 127-128. On this problem
the position of J. Jeremias, Die Abendmahlsworte
Jesu (4th e d ,
Sttingen 1967) 186.

R. L E

252

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followed by a genitive which does not refer to the suffix. J.E.


D a v i d " * has given examples drawn from Ugaritic, Phoenician,
and Hebrew: for four out of seven biblical examples mentioned
the same construction is used by the Targum. There exists ample
evidence then to show t h a t it did not sound strange to
Semitic ears .
B u t an observation of much greater importance can be
made i n this context of the bl(5od of the covenant)).The NT
formula certainly refers to Ex 24:8. To understand better i n
what sense the N T uses this text it should be remembered t h a t
the meaning of the covenant sacrifice had known a development.
I n O (and T j I ) it is explicitly stated t h a t the blood had expiatory value: Moses took the blood and sprinkled (it) upon
the altar to make atonement (Ikpf)
for the people)). This is
also meaningful for what follows i n M t 26:28: ... (the blood)
to be poured out i n behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins,
and particularly for Heb 9:18-22 which clearly underline the
expiatory character of the Sinai rite. Some N T texts continue
to speak of the sprinkling of Jesus' blood (rantismos):
1 Pt
1:2; Heb 12:24^^

2.

Pauline Writings

The relevance of some targumic traditions for illustrating


several passages of the Pauline corpus has been noted for long^'.
Thus the two characters, Jannes and Jambres (2 T i m 3:8), who
((opposed Moses)), are named in T j I of Ex 1:15 and 7:11 in a
role which suits quite well the Pauline allusion^'.
Bib 48 (1967) 292.
NP 28; TT 76.129. Dlez MactoJo believes that the addition of O an<3
Tj I is intentional, to excludte here the idea of a Conuminlon sacrifice
{NeophyU 1. Vol. II 156); N, whidh translates literally, would be more
m-imittve. A. Bertlner (Targum Onkelos 27 and 164) observes that the
exjpression < to mlake atonement for the people > is absent from certain
mtauuscripts of Onkelos. S. Aalen also has shown the interest of these
targumtfc texts for the NT (in Charis hai Sophia, Fest. K.H. Rengstorf,
Leiden 1964, 150), as well as J . Jeremias, op. cit. 218. F o r the comparison
between E x 24:8 and Is 52:8 and Is 52:15 cf. A. Feuillet, SDB IV 71325 Cf. Henry St. John Thackeray, The Relation: R. L e D6aut, < Traditions targumiques dans le Corpus pauilnlen? >, Bib 42 (1961) 28-48.
2 NTPT 82-96; see also K. Koch, ZNW 57 (1966) 79-93.

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

AND NT

INTERPRETATION

253

I n Eph 4:8 the quotation of Ps 68:19 understands the M T


reverse: ((You have ascended on H i g h , taken captives,recefwed
en as gifts)). Applying the whole psalm to Moses and t o the
f t of the Torah the Targum translates: ((You have ascended
e firmament, prophet Moses; you took captivity captive, you
rned the words of the Law, you gave them as gifts to the sons
man^'. I t cannot be proved t h a t this targumic interpreton was traditional at the time of Paul and t h a t he has used
I t may be a case of a common t r a d i t i o n one only has to
spose the root consonants of the Heb. Iqh to get the meaning
the Aramaic hlq, to distribute/to give))'' , or of one
ntical original Hebrew already containing the verb give'^^.
any case, the comparison between the Targum and Eph 4:8
striking.
Rom 10:6-8 represents another application of the typology
bses/Jesus. Paul applies to the situation of the Christian w i t h
pect to Christ what the Targum of D t 30:12-14 (Tj I I and N)
d of Moses and the Law:**
The L a w is not i n heaven that one may say: WoUM
that we had one like the prophet Moses who would
ascend to heaven and fetch it for us and make us hear
the oommandments that we might do them. Neither is
the L a w beyond the Great Sea that one may say: Would
that we had one like the prophet Jonah who would
descend into the depths of the Great Sea and bring it
up for us and make us hear the oommandnients that
we might do them.

e course of the Pauline thought, difficult to follow i n Rom 10,


uld he illuminated by a t r a d i t i o n similar to t h a t preserved i n

"

2J On the manuscript tradition see S. Speier, Bib 48 (1967) 504.


28 NTPT 80; J. Potin, L a fSte juive de la PentecOte 196. A.M. Harmon
s more sceptical about the possible connexions with the Targum
'estminster Theological Journal 32, 1969, 6ff).
29 This is what the interpretation of the Testament of Dan (5:10-11)
t suggest; cf. J. Danl^lou, ThAologie du }Ud6o-christianisme (Parisumal 1958) 265.
S. Lyonnet, < Saint Paul et I'exi^g^se juive de son temps >, in
^amges bibliques... A. Robert (Paris 1959) 494-506; NTPT 70-78; LJNT
; A. Jaubert, RSR 47 (1973) 379.

254

R.

L E DEAUT

the targumic paraphrase:" i n his discussion on the relations


between the Law and Christ (see v. 4), i t reminded the Apostle,
apropos of a famous text o n the Law, the figures of Moses
and of Jonas, types of Christ (Mt 12:40), and allowed h i m to
apply to the incarnate Word, henceforth very close to all believers, what Deuteronomy said of the Torah.
The argumentation of Paul i n Gal 4:29-30 can be paralleled
w i t h a targumic presentation of the story on Isaac and Ishmael
to which S. Jerome probably alludes i n his commentary of this
passage {PL 26,419): the persecution mentioned i n the epistle
would be i n fact an argument between the two brothers on the
rights of the firstborn, on their inheritance, and on their respective merits w i t h regard to circumcision. ALL these themes, as
Jerome well perceived, f o r m the background of Gal 4.^^ We read
i n T Gen 22:1 (Tj I ) :
< And it came to pass after these things, thiat Isaac and Islmnaiel were
disputing. Ishmael said: < It is right for me to be the heir, of my father,
since 1 am the first-bom son >. But Isaac said: < It is right for me
to be the heir of my father, since I am tlie son of Sarah his wife,
whereas you are the son of Haigar, the handmaid of my mother >.
Ishmael answered and said: < I am more righteous than you because
I was circumcdsed when thirteent years old; and if it had been my
wish to refuse I would not liave handled myself over to be drcumcised >. Isaac answered and said: < Behold, I am now thirty-seven
years old. If the Holy One, blessed be He, demanded all my vmembers^J
i E . Kftsemiann (Perspectives oh Paul, Philadelphia 1971,161) quotes
the Targum, but considers that Bar 3:9 is more illuminating for the
understanding of Paul's argumentation (cf. A.T. Hanson, op. cit. 294).
For A.M. Goldberg ( c Torah aus der Unterwelt? >, BZ 14, 1970, 127-131)
Paul would not depend on liie text of the Targum, but c es ist diagegen
setor wahrschedrilloh, dass er die Vorstedlimgen und Meinungen kaimte,
die dtem Targum zugnmdeliegen > (p. 127). It can be objected against
the utilization of the Targum text that Paul insists on abyss, a term
which cannot be equated with < depths of the Great Sea > (J.A. Fitzmyer,
TS 29, 1968, 325). On the other hand, if Paul has in mind the tradition
of Jonas, the appearance of the term abyssos is easily explained by the
iafluence of the MT and the Greek versions of ttie book of Jonas.
R. L e D^aut, < Traditions targumiques... > 37-43.
33 The Aramaic term \jBed here has the same double sense as the
Latin membrum. There is therefore an expUdt allusion to the partial
sacrifice which cdroumcislon represents. This conception can serve to
illustrate Jn 7:23 (< curing a whole man on the sabbath > cf. SB H

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

AND NT

INTERPRETATION

256

would not refuse >. Immediately, these words were heard be.fore the
rd of the imlverse, and immediately, the W^ord (Memra) of the
rd tested Abraham... >

is connexion between Isaac's spontaneous offering and the


" r y of his sacrifice which follows i n Gen 22 has to be noted:
represents only one out of many targumic contributions which
ust be studied to value correctly the role of the typology of
and of his sacrifice (for the earliest tradition i t look place
Passover) i n N T theology'*. I t is difficult to say i n what
easure Paul had similar traditions i n m i n d when he wrote
4. I t is at least certain t h a t he was not the first to
julate (see v. 24) on these two themes: the free woman
ife i n the proper sense) and the servant (or slave), the child
r n according to the flesh and the son of the promise.
Wishing to express the idea t h a t the Hebrews left l ^ p t
ted from their oppressing slavery, the PT says t h a t they
t out beresh gelt, with head uncovered)), as free men do
en 40:18; Ex 14:8; Lev 26:13; N m 33:3)! This formula has
en used to explain the passage on the veil of women, sign
their subordination to their husband, i n 1 Cor 11:4.6,^' and
jcially the difficult midrash on the veil of Moses i n 2 Cor 3'.
I n Phil 4:18 Paul describes the gifts which the Philippians
i t h i m as fragrant offering osmen euddias , a sacrifice
ceptable thysian dekten , and pleasing to God euare: to theo. I n this list of expressions predicating a sacrifice
first is well known i n the OT (Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18);
leasing (to God))) occurs also i n ROm 12:2, and acceptable
God) )) is found i n 1 Pet 2:5 (euprosdektous).
I n his com) anjd Col 2:11 in contexts dteaUng with cdrcumicision (see the BJ
ad loc). F o r the opposition between a member of the body and the
'le body see also MekhlUa E x 31:12; SavShedrin 89b.
* Being unable to discuss this problem here, even briefly, w e
to STJ 193-227; NP 131-212; NTPT 164-168. See also A. Jaubert,
abodes et figures ohristologiquea dans le judaisme >, RSR 47 (1973)
85; N.A. Dalhl, < The Atonement an Adequate Reward for the
ah? (Rom 8:32) >, in Neotestatnenttca et Semtitica, Studies... M. Black
'nburgh 1969) 15-29. The best study of the J e w i ^ sources is that
5. Spiegel, The Last Trial (New York 1967).
" TNT 183.
36 NTPT 168-177.

256

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

tiEAUT

mentary P. Billerbeck ( I I I , 625)


refers t o Eph 5:2 (iWd. 605)
for the expression osme eu6<ii^^
^.^ Targumlm
meiden den Ausdruck beim Qp^
ubersetzen zB Ex 29,18:
E m Brandopfer ist es vor Jahve,
^.^ Wohlgefallen aufgenommen zu werden. This is i n
^^^^g
O and T j i .
B u t N translates: I t is a holocaust to the mime of the Lord
for a pleasing odour; i t is a n offering before the L o r d . , . B u t
It IS particularly interesting t o
^^^^
the predicates used
by Paul are equivalently found i j , T Lev ( N ) i n connection w i t h
the sacrifices. Their origin is p e r h a p s traceable to a. traditional
hst of epithets. Thus do we r e a d i n Lev 1:9,13.17;2:9;3:5 etc.:
A b u r n t offering an offering
(qorban/LXX: thysia) acceptable
(dmtqU)
as an odour of gooa ^^^^^
^^^yf, dr^vf/LKX:
osme
euodms) before the LordD.
i
.
/
.Flesh,

in the

PauUne

We w i l l close this section


^^^^ ^
Targums of Gen 6 since t h e i ^ ^ ^ ^ J
^ v a n t l y illustrate the theology
became classic,^- W.D. Davies ^Vfote-

Writings
attention to the
^
^.^

^ ^^^^

^^^^

< The use that Paul mlakes of tK-.


^
^
plained as an accentuation of
^ adequately ex7^r.^^^,r
4 ^
, 7 r
ethical connotation that the term
aOready had in certain late docuitv^^^ , ^,
^
^
f
4
_ ^
^
* ^ i i t s in the Old Testament and his
contrast between flesh and Sjsirit j j ,
^
,
,
...
^,,^
r,ir>
loft
,
a natural evolution of the anthropology of the latter. Can we also
T ,
4 .
^
in Ms thought at tMs point? O r ^ ^
^ ^ ^ ^ ^f''^"*^
'T^uZ
Judaism did not. a did Paul, t a k e \ * * ^ "
^^^"^^^
Testament to express that side a j ' " ^ ^ ' ' ^
""""Z
n . to
moral weakness... The evidence ^ ^
T
t
T.
conclusive that the RabWs did n o t ^ ^ ^
Strack-Binerbeck) gjve Is
M . a r had i n the Old T e s t a m e n t ' .
^ ^ " ' ^ connotation that

I t is interesting to register t h ^ successive retractationes


of Professor Davies. in an Additional ^^^^
^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^
9^5)
he underlines the decisive cont^^^^^.^^
^^^^
S,,^ll3
to the meaning of the t e r ^ ^ a ^ a : i n ancient Judaism: The
significant factor is t h a t the P ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
of < flesh > could be
native to Palestiman J u d a i s m . ,
3^3^
^^^^^^^^ ^j^^pt,r
" Pawl arid Babhinic ludOisrn.
revised edit., New York 1967) 1 ^

,r

iQRi=i-

AND

NT I N T E R P R E T A T I O N

257

Christian Origins and Judaism (London 1962) is devoted to


's problem: Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Before underk i n g the study of the Qumran texts he refers again to the
bbinical literature and to what he had w r i t t e n previously:
Perhaps I then dismissed the rabbinic source too categorically
. 148). He then quotes a text, hardly convincing, from Mishnah
both 2,7, then a passage from PT Gen 40:23^'. This is the
snsion of N :
Joseph forsook the favour that is from above and the
favour that is from below... and he trusted in the
ciiief butler, in flesh that passes, i n flesh that tastes
the cup of death. And he did not remember*" the
Scripture, for it is written in the book of the L a w of
the Lord... (Jer 17,5).

vies writes t h a t this text might also perhaps be taken to


ply t h a t the flesh is prone t o sin... A t least i t has the contation of untrustworthiness. I n fact the two underlined
sages do show t h a t the purpose of the text is to remind
at all flesh i n mortal, according to the divine sentence of Gen
3. Davies r i g h t l y therefore admits: T h e examples we have
oted are not numerous or entirely unambiguous)) (p. 149).
B u t does not T Gen 6:3 represent precisely a t r a d i t i o n i n
ich the ethical connotation of the term sarx/basar
is as
2nt as i n Paul? The M T is obscure: M y spirit shall not
' See the recent study of W.H. Brownlee, < Anthropology and
teriology in the DSS and the NT >, in The Use of the Old Testament
the New and Other Essays, Studies... W . F . Stinespring (Durham,
., 1972) 210-240.
39 Correct the reference 40:3 of the text. We quote N, because the
sion of TjII which Davies quotes is corrupt and Etheridge's
slation he transcribes contains several mistranslations, as is often
case.
* This mention of this fact, < to remember > or < not to remem> Scripture, is to be compared with Jn 2:22 and 12:16. Also the
Idas c the favour from above... from below > could be compared
th the Johannine vocabulary (cf. D. Mollat, < Remarques sur le
abulaire spatial dU 4e 6vangtle >, Sttidia Evangelica I, TU 73, Berlin
59, 321-328).

256

B.

LE

DEAUT

TARGUMIC L I T E R A T U R E AND NT

mentary P. Billerbeck ( I I I , 625) only refers t o Eph 5:2 (fbid. 605)


for the expression osme euddias. He writes: Die Targumlm
meiden den Ausdruck beim Opfer; sie ubersetzen zB Ex 29,18:
E i n Brandopfer ist es vor Jahve, u m m i t Wohlgefallen aufgenommen zu werden. This is i n fact the readng of O and T j I .
B u t N translates: I t is a holocaust to the nam^ of the Lord
for a pleasing odour; i t is an offering before the L o r d n . But
i t is particularly interesting to note t h a t all the predicates used
by Paul are equivalently found i n T Lev (N) i n connection w i t h
the sacrifices. Their origin is perhaps traceable to a, traditional
list of epithets. Thus do we read i n Lev 1:9,13,17;2:9;3:5 etc.:
A b u r n t offering, an offering (qorban/LXX: thysia) acceptable
(dmtqbi)
as an odour of good pleasure (Iryh dr^uf/lXX: osm
euddias) before the Lord.

Flesh in the Pauline

Writings

W)e w i l l close this section on Paul by calling attention to the


Targums of Gen 6, since their content, i n our view, may relevantly illustrate the theology of Rom 7-8. I n a work which
became classic," W.D. Davies wrote:
< The use that Paul mlakes of the term sarx can be adequately explained as an aicoentuation of the ethical connotation that the term
ailready had In certain late documents in the Old Testament and his
contrast between flesh and sipirit is a natural evolution of the anthropology of the latter. Can we also trace a strictly RabMnic influence
in Ms thouSbtt at tMs point? One thing is perfectly dear. Rabbinic
Judaism did not, as did Paul, take over the term bflsflr from the Old
Testament to express that side of human nature w U c h is prone to
mora! weakness... The evidence they (viz. Strack-BUlerbeck) gjive is
conclusive that the Rabbis did not develop the etMcal connotation that
bAsdr had i n the Old Testament >.

I t is interesting to register the successive retractationes


of Professor Davies. I n an Additional Note of the second edition (1965)
he underlines the decisive contribution of the Dead Sea Scrolls
to the meaning of the term sarx i n ancient Judaism: The
significant factor is t h a t the Pauline concept of < flesh > could be
native to Palestinian Judaisms (p. 353). A n excellent chapter
3' Paul arid Rabbinic Judaism (London 1948;
revised edit.. New York 1967) 19-20.

second edit. 1955;

INTERPRETATION

257

of Christian Origins and Judaism (London 1962) is devoted to


is problem: Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Before undering the study of the Qumran texts he refers again to the
bbinical literature and to what he had w r i t t e n previously:
Perhaps I then dismissed the rabbinic source too categorically
148). He then quotes a text, hardly convincing, from Mishnah
both 2,7, then a passage from PT Gen 40:23^. This is the
cension of N :
Joseph forsook the favour that is from above and the
favour that is from below... and he trusted in the
chief butler, in flesh that passes, in flesh that tastes
the cup of death. And he did not remember^o the
Scripture, for it is written in the book of the L a w of
the Lord... (Jer 17,5).

-vies writes t h a t this text might also perhaps be taken to


ply t h a t the flesh is prone to sin... A t least i t has the contation of untrustworthiness. I n fact the two underlined
ssages do show t h a t the purpose of the text is to remind
at all flesh i n mortal, according to the divine sentence of Gen
3. Davies r i g h t l y therefore admits: T h e examples we have
oted are not numerous or entirely unambiguous)) (p. 149).
B u t does not T Gen 6:3 represent precisely a t r a d i t i o n i n
i c h the ethical connotation of the term sarx/basar
is as
3nt as i n Paul? The M T is obscure: M y spirit shall not
See the recent study of W.H. Brownlee, < Anthropology and
teriology i n the DSS and the NT >, in The Use of the Old Testament
the New attd Other Essays, Studies... W . F . Stinespring (Durham,
r., 1972) 210-240.
39 Correct the reference 40:3 of the text. We quote N, because the
iion of TjII wMch Davies quotes is corrupt and Etheridge's
islation he transcribes contains several mistranslations, as is often
case.
*" This mention of tMs fact, < to remember > or < not to remem> Scripture, is to be compared with Jn 2:22 and 12:16. Also the
lulas < the favour from above... from below > could be compared
the Johannine vocabulary (cf. D. Mollat, < Remarques sur le
abulaire spatial dn 4e 6vangile >, StuOia Evangelica I, TU 73, Berlin
59, 321-328).

258

R.

LE

DEAUT

remain i n man for ever, since lie is but flesh (NABy\e now
give the main targumic recensions of this passage:
0

This evil generation w i l l not stand before me for ever,


because they are flesh and their works (are) eyil.

Behold I have given m y spirit i n the sons of m a n because


they are flesh and their works (are) eviP.

Tj

I - Have I not p u t my holy spirit {rmh gdstf) i n them i n


order t h a t they may do good works? But, behold their
works are evil.

T j I I - Have I not p u t my spirit i n the sons of man i n order


t h a t they may do good works? But, because they are
flesh (w'd d'ynwn Mr), their works (are) evil.
We have quoted for T j I I the manuscript Hebr 110 of the Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris, because the other recensions are
corrupt. A marginal variant reading of N is remarkable: Have
1 not given my spirit i n the sons of man i n order t h a t they
may do good works, since they are flesh of evil works "d dhnwn
b^r'wMyn
bysyu)).
I f this reading were genuine" i t would
constitute a s t r i k i n g parallel w i t h the idea expressed i n Rom
8:3: ( ( S i n f u l flesh ( l i t . flesh of sin) sarx
hamartiasrt.
Even though the transmission of the targumic recensions
of Gen 6:3 is uncertain, the same basic ideas are found i n a l l
of them: the spirit of God is given t o do good works; but man
is inclined to sin because he is flesh, a conception which pervades
all the themes developed i n Rom 7-8: life according to the flesh
and life i n the Spirit. This conception of the gift of the Spin*
i n view of the good works disagrees w i t h the rabbinic tradition
*^ The New English Bible: < My llfe-givtng spirit shall not remain
in man for ever; he for his part is m o r t ^ flesh: he shall live for a
hundred and twenty years >.
2 The end of th verse coincides with O, where the (intentional?)
absence of any mention of the spirit of God has to be noted.
We believe there is an haplography here (of. Tj 11), the word
cwbch/hwn (thedr works) having been omitted after 6sr: < Since they
are flesh their works (are) evil works >. A reading like Tj II can even
simply be assumed, by supposing that <^wbdyn (works) had been
written instead of <^wbdyhwn (their works).

TARGUMIC LITERATURE AND NT

INTERPRETATION

259

a whole, for which i t is the good works t h a t make possible


gift of the S p i r i t " .

3.

Other Books of the New Testament

WIe shall l i m i t ourselves to some of the material relevant


r illustrating a few passages of Acts and of the Johannine
pocalypse.
The Book of

Acts

Numerous passages of Acts have been studied i n the l i g h t


the targumic literature*'. We draw attention especially to
hat the Targums of Ex 19-20 have to say about the gift of
e Law; their paraphrases explicitate the signification of the
wish Pentecost and illuminate several aspects of the narrative
Acts 2: the scenario itself, a reminder of the Sinai theophany,
-e new ekklesia, the union of hearts, the speaking i n tongues**,
l y points of contact w i t h the targumic literature allow us
** p. Schafer, Die Vorstelltmg vom Heiligen Geist in der rabschen Literatur (Munich 1972) 129-132. He has correctly noted that
Gen 6:3 canit extra Chorum, and this he finds so strange as not to
dude a possible Christian influence (p. 148, n. 100). He refers to
I, where the full expression < holy spirit > is read; but, without the
ceotive holy, the recensions of Tj II and the variant reading of N say
same thing. Cf. also V T 20 1(970) 311.
It is continually appealed to by M. WUcox, The Semitisms of
ts (Oxford 1965). Add, by the same author: < The Judas-Tradition
Acts I. 15-26 , NTS 19 (1973) 438-452: the phraseology of v. 17 is
"t of T Gen 44:18: < (Benjamin) who was numbered with us among
tribes... and wUl receive a portion (lot) and share with us in the
"vision of the land >.
48 J. Potin, La fSte jUive de la Pentecdte 299-314: The narrative of
Christian Pentecost in the light of the Jewish tradition; R. Le
aut, PentecOte et tradition poive >, i n Assemblies du Seigneur, N.
1,22-28 (= Doctrine and Life 20, 1970, 257-267); A. O'Hagan, < The
st Christian Pentecost >, Studii Biblici Franoiscani Liber Annuus 23
1973) 50-66; O. Betz, < Zungenreden und siisser Wein >, in Bibel unit
iron (Berlin 1968) 20-36. G. Vermes (Jesus the Jew, London 1973,
) compares the sort of supernatural esperanto attributed to the
postles with < the prophetic message of the two elders, colleagues of
ses >, Eldad and Medad, who seized by the holy spirit speak a sort

260

R.

LE

DEAUT

to believe that the apostles and the first Christians understood


Pentecost as the inauguration of the new covenant, as the
promulgation of the new Law announced by the Prophets, as
the inauguration of the eschatological community of which the
ekklesia of the desert period was the figure, an inauguration
proclaimed before the representatives of all mankind. The three
thousand converts are also, so to say, the first-fruits of the great
eschatological harvest. Zion-Jerusalem is the Sinai of the NT
(cf. Is 2:3); Jesus is the new Moses who, having ascended to
God, sends us his Spirit, according to a typology we have
already found i n Eph 4:8.
Besides these general themes there is a minor parallel to
point out: the expression tongues of fire (2:3, glossai
...pyros)
is also attested i n the Qumran targum to Job (41:11), ((torches
flame out of his mouth... like tongues of fire blsny 'sh ".
Apropos of Acts 15:14, ((God first concerned himself w i t h
taking from the Gentiles a people for his namen, J. Dupont had
first proposed t h a t this last expression (unknown to the MT)
could be explained by the LXX**', but he subsequently adopted
the explanation of N.A. Dahl who identified i t as a fixed PT
formula meaning ((for h i m s e l f A t Ex 19':5 all the PT recensions render (( You shall be m y special possession)) by ((...for my
Name a people . On the other hand, O (which here has i n f l u enced T j I ) translates: ((You shall be before me more beloved
t h a n all peoples)), one of the current manners i n the Targum
to avoid an anthropomorphism. N (and TC) offers the following
paraphrase: ((And now, i f you hearken to the voice of m y Word
of < sabir > composed of Aramaic and Greek: < The Lord ( K i n s ) is
present (etimos = hetoimos) to them in the moment of distress {aniki
= ananke) > (T Num 11:26 = T j l ) . < In fact a mixture of Aramaic and
Greek would have been more or less Intelligible to most Jews in the
first century AD >.
*' J.P.M. van der Ploeg - A.S. van der Woude, Le Targum de Job
de la grotte XI de Qumr&n (Leiden 1971) 62 mention the parallel. A
similar formula was known from the Targum II of Esther: lysnf dnwr'
(6:13). The expression < tongue of fire > of Is 5:24 is rendered by the
generic term fire >.
*8 NTS 3 (1956-57) 47-50 (=Etudes sur les Actes des Apdtres, Paris
1967, 361-365, with an additional note on Dahl's article).
*9 A People for His Name >, NTS 4 (1957-58) 319-327.

TARGUMIC L I T E R A T U R E AND NT

INTERPRETATION

261

(Memra) and keep my covenant, you shall be for my Name a


beloved people... and you shall be for my Name kings and priests
and a holy nation
There remains to account for ((laon ex ethnon (n a people
from the Gentiles). P. W i n t e r " has proposed an explanation
based on the Hebrew text of D t 26:18-19, but this does not satisfy
Dahl and Dupont. This last author would like a precise text,
t h a t would have influenced Acts, not simply a current formula.
He proposes T Zech 2:5: ((Numerous peoples w i l l be added to
the people of Y h w h i n these days, and they shall be before me
a people))''. We t h i n k t h a t T Lev 20:26 (N and margin) should
also be considered: (( And you shall be holy for my Name (margin
adds: a [ holy ']people), for I , the Lord, am holy and I separated
you from the nations, t h a t you should be for m y Name".
The

Apocalypse

For what regards the Apocalypse, M . McNamara" has shown


t h a t numerous passages may be related i n some way to popular
5" See NTP 227-250 and TT 148-159 for the rendering of < kingdom
priests > by kings and priests > and for the comparison with Apoc
i:6;5:10, where three privileges are also mentioned. For the formula
a people for his Name >, see also Deut 4:20 (N); 26:18 (N and Tj
I ) ; 76 (N).
51 E v T 17 (1957) 399-404.
" Etudes... 365. Dupont adds: < The same idea would be rendered
ery normally in Aramaic: < and they will be a people for my name > .
xcellent conjecture: we have seen that the reading < you shall be
efore me > at E x 19:5 is proper to Onkelos. There is no groimd for
ise to see the Targum to the Prophets, of the same tradition as
, foOow an identical lesson. Unfortunately, we do not have, for this
ssage, a PaJestiniam targum to the Prophets, which would make it
:ssible to restore with certainty the reading < for your Name > of
PT.
53 Here again O (foUowed by Tj I) transforms the formula: < ...that
u may worship before me >. The interpretation of T Lev 20:26 is
nflrmed by the midrash Sifra (ad loc, fol., 93d): c If you are
arated from the nations then you (belong) to my Name >. The
gumic phraseology mlakes us think that Acts 15:14 draws from a
Trent formula, used by the author to summarize the theme of the
-tation from Amos which follows (especially v. 17, where the words
te, nations >, and onoma. < name >, are read).
54 NTPT 189-237. See also in P. Nickels' bibliography the numerous
dies which have underlined these relations. The importance of the

262

R.

L E DEAUT

traditions preserved i n the PT. The symbolism of the seven


lampstands and of the seven stars (1:12,16,20) is illuminated
by a paraphrase of T j I of Ex 39i:37 and 40:4 where we are
told t h a t the seven lamps of the lamp>stand represent the seven
planets, which -in their t u r n represent the just who w i l l shine
like stars for eternity (cf. Dan 12:3).
The expression t h e second death)) occurs four times i n
the book (2:11;20:6,14;21:8) b u t nowhere else i n the NT. On
the other hand, i n Jewish literature, the corresponding Aramaic
formula is found only i n the T a r g u m (cf. SB I I I 830). Second
death may signify either the exclusion f r o m the resurrection,
or eternal damnation, the meaning i n the Apocalypse. For this
second sense T Deut 33:6 can be mentioned: L e t Reuben live
i n this world, nor die the second death w h i c h death t h e wicked
die i n the world t o come". For Apoc 20:14 and 21:8 even an exact
parallel can be cited f r o m T a r g u m Is 65:5-6:
Their punishnaent shall be I n Gehlnnam where the fire
bums all the dlay... I will not give them respite diurlng
their life, but I will render to them the punishment of
their transgressions and wiU deJiver their bodies to
the second death.
The passage on the hidden manna (2:17) recalls a t r a d i t i o n
attested by T j I on Ex 16: I w i l l send down for you the bread
f r o m heaven which has been hidden aioay for you f r o m the
beginning)) (v. 4; same expression i n v. 15)'.
Uturgioal background of the Apocalypse Is also well presented in the
fine study of P. Prigent, ApooaHypse et liturgie (Neuchatel 1964). This
background allows to account for the utilization of the themes which
are found in the targinnic literatvire, which also is linked to the
synagogal liturgy.
55 NTPT 120. Contrarily to what McNamara affirms, P. Billerbeck
does quote this text (as well as Num 31:50; Is 22:14;65:6,15) for the
meaning of damnation (SB III 831).
58 Malina 56. The manna is one of the ten things created by God
in advance. Another is the animal (lamb or ram according to the traditions) which would be sacrificed in Isaac's place. This tradition is
to be compared with a formula like < lamb chosen amnou proegnosmenou before the world's foundation > (1 Pet 1:20) in the
light of the Targums of Gen 22:8 ( c God himself will provide.... ). CfR. L e D6aut, < L e Targum de Gen 22,8 et 1 Pt. 1,20 > RecSR 49 (1961)
103-106.

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

AND NT INTERPRETATION

263

The Targums of Gen 3:15 are h a b i t u a l l y quoted t o illustrate


>c 12, the vision of the Wtoman and t h e ancient serpent
own as the devil or Satan)) 12:9;20:2)". The text is interpreted
ssianically ' which is no longer done i n the posterior rab"cal texts on the basis of the root "qh, w h i c h may signify
or final period, end of days. I t should be noted t h a t the
ssianic interpretation is not based on the t e r m seed and t h a t
individual messianic interpretation of the woman's seed is
be found t h e r e " . This is the recension of N :
1 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between
sons and her sons'*. And it shall be when her sons observe the
they wUl aim at you and smite you on the head and Mil you.
when they forsake the precepts of the L a w you shall aim at
1) and bite him on his heel and wound him. F o r her sons"",
*wever, there will be a remedy, but for you, serpent, there will be
remedy, for they will make i>eace (?) in the future, i n the day
King Messiah >.
the commentaries of N u m 21:4r9, the episode of the bronze
rpent, a l l the targumic recensions agree t o recognize i n the
Bnts (or the serpent) which bite the Hebrews the serpent
57 NTPT 217-222; LJNT 56.
8 Correct in this sense LJNT 56, according to the suggestions O f
cNamara (Bib 47, 1966, 467f), accepted by E . Lipinskl, < Etudes sur
s textes < messiainiques > de I'AT >, Semitica 20 (1970) 48. In our
V, neither can the end of the paraphrase of N be applied to the
<It is you (serpent) who will raise thyself, bite her (ytylt)
the heel, and woimd her (ytyh) > (p. 50). The suffix ytyh can only
masculine i n targumic Aramlaic. The tradition of a collective
-sculine is clearly attested by O: < He wUl remember you and what
u have done to him (lyti) from the beginning and you will watch
him (lyh) at the end > (cf. G. Vermes in JSS 8, 1963, p. 165). The
dc tradition is therefore uncertain and reworked; but in what
'9 Substituting hnh for bnuh, as i n the next phrase. Note, however,
t the plural suffix is often written without yod in the manuscripts
the Targum: hence it is possible to translate < her sons > without
rrecting.
69 Reading Ibnyh instead of Ibryh. Lipinskl (art. cit. 50) translates:
They are assured of finding relief at the end, in the days of the
esslah >, a version inspired by the parallel text of T j I. Cf. Gen RaVba
:5 (at 3:14): < In the Messianic age ajl wlU be healed save the
t and the Glbeonlte >.

264

R.

L E DEAU'l'

TARGUMIC L I T E R A T U R E AND NT

INTERPRETATION

265

of the origins. According to the Book of Wisdom (16:6-14) the


bite of the serpents had been allowed by God to b r i n g back the
Israelites to the Law. Another t r a i t is common to the Targum
and to Wisdom: the Israelites were saved for having turned their
eyes not simply towards the bronze serpent, which was only a
symbolon ... soterias,
a sign of salvation, but towards God,
the universal Savior ( w . 6-7)

i n its present Babylonian form revised, has preserved traces of


this Palestinian paraphrase:

Almost all the messianic and eschatological texts of the


Apocalypse would have to be mentioned^^. We shall l i m i t
ourselves to the description of the Word of God and of the
eschatological battle of ch. 19. Verses 13 and 15 ( H e is clad
i n a robe dipped i n blood... He w i l l tread the winepress of the
f u r y of the w r a t h of God the Almighty))) suppose a messianic
exegesis of Is 63:1-6. B u t this is not attested i n Jewish literature outside the Targum. This text is applied to the warring
Messiah i n the m a i n recensions of T Gen 49:11**. Thus we read
in N:

I t is not very likely t h a t the targumist was directly influenced


by the Targum of Genesis. Rather we have here, as Grelot
r i g h t l y suggests, a remainder of the Palestinian Targum to the
Prophets, precious witness to a messianic interpretation which
was then obliterated. I t is known t h a t the representation of a
warring Messiah is ancient. I t is also understandable t h a t i t
has little by little disappeared f r o m the ancient Jewish literature and even from the Christian writings, excepting a work
like the Apocalypse because its distinctive literary genre would
preclude an erroneous interpretation^'.

How beautiful is King Messiah who is going to rise from


among those of the house of Judiah. He girds his loins
and goes forth to battle against those that hate him. He
kills kings with rulers, and makes the mountains red
from the blood of their slain and makes the valleys
white \vith the fat of their warriors. His garments are
r^oUed in blood. He is like a presser Of grapes.

The reference is easily seen to be to Is 63:3. But i t goes to


the credit of P. Grelot to have shown t h a t the Targum of Isaiah,
81 LJNT 56. TjII: < His face was upUfted in prayer unto Ms Father
who is in heaven >; Tj I: < If Ms heart be directed to the Name of the
Memra (W^ord) of the Lord > (N is here Uteral). Jn 3:14 should also be
read in the light of these traditions. Cf. M.E. Boismard i n RB 66
(1959) 378.
82 Thus Apoc 20:8fr (God and Magog): NTPT 233-237; SB III 831840. To the targumic texts (e.g. Num 11:26) should be added the
strange ocaiurence of Gog in the Septuagint of Num 24:7 (presumably
also 24:23), a text which has a clear messianic significance both in
the L X X and in the Targum. Cf. F . F . Bruce, c The Earliest OT Interpretation >, OTS 17 (1972) 41.
03 NTPT 230-233. For a detailed study see P. Grelot In RB 70
(1963) 371-380.

Why then are the mountains red with the blood of the
slain, and why do the plains flow forth like wine in
the press? (63:2)... I wUl slay the peoples i n my anger
... and cast to the lowest parts of the earth the slain
of their mighty men (v. 6)8*.

4.

The Johannine Gospel

The discoveries of Qumran and the affinities its writings


reveal w i t h those of John^" have brought the exegetes to pay
greater attention to the Palestinian background of the F o u r t h
Gospel, more precisely to its connections w i t h the various tendencies of Judaism, even the pharisaic and rabbinical currents8'.
W i t h no intention of i n f l a t i n g the contribution of the Targums
i n this area we would like to bring out some points of contact
which have been recently studied**.
8'* J.F. Stenndng, The Targum of Isaiah (Oxford 1949) 208.
65 NTPT 233.
88 John and Qumran, ed. by J.H. Chartesworth (London 1972); R.
Schnackenburg, c Zur Herkunft des Johannesevangeliums >, BZ 14
(1970) 1-23.
8' R. Schnackenburg, The Gospel According to St John, vol. I (New
York 1968) 126ff. The material coUected by P. Billerbeck (SB II)
testifles to this.
68 See especSaUy TT 142-148; Bartina 370-372.

266

R. L E D E A U T

Logos and

Memra

About the problem so m u c h discussed of the structure of


the Johannine Prologue i t can be recalled t h a t P. Borgen has
referred to an analogous construction i n T Gen 3:24 (a + b + c
followed by a' + b' + c'), w h i c h would explain w h y the appearance of Jesus Christ is referred to three times (v. 9, v. 11,
and V. 14), and (the present analysis) makes possible a fresh
approach to other aspects of the Prologue s*^. Apart f r o m this
particular point i t is certain t h a t the Logos theme of the Prologue
requires a comparison w i t h the targumic Memra (Word)'". We
refer the reader here to the abundant material collected by
Domiiigo Mufioz Le<3n: he believes t h a t the Palestinian Memra
is not an automatic substitute of the divine name ( Y h w h ) : i t
appears i n the PT i n very specific contexts, t o designate God
as creator, revealer, and savior. I t is the Memra w h i c h creates,
which is l i g h t and which illumines (TEx 12:42) and which
saves, as many functions w h i c h John attributes t o the Logos.
I n 0, on the contrary, this triple function does not pertain to
the Memra; i t seems t h a t this official Babylonian recension (its
"9 < Observations on the Targumic Character of the Prologue of
John >, NTS 16 (1969-70) 288-295. Considering the history of the
transmission of the targiunlc texts, whose content remains identical
vmder constant form variations, no argumentation of this type, even
though snggestive, can fuUy convince. S.A. PanimoUe, n dono della
Legcfe e la gratia della veritd (Gv 1,17), Rome 1973, pip. 84ff, makes
the observation that N (Gen 3,24) presents another schema: a b c /
b' C a'.
^9 There exists an abundant literatvire on this subject: SB II 302333; V . Hamp, Der Begriff < Wort > in den aramHischen BibelUbersetztat^
gen (Mimich 1938); M. McNamara, < Logos in the Fourth Gospel and
Memra of the Palestinian Targlum ( E x 12:42) >, ExpT 79 (1968) 115117; TT 101-105; NP 215; D. Mufioz Letfn, Dios PaXabra, Vol. 1 (Granadb.
1974): a summary of his thesis can be read i n the edition of Neophifti 1,
vol. I l l (Madrld-Barcelonia 1971) 70-83, and the objections presented by
V. Hamp in BZ 17 (1973) 309-310.
P. Borgen, in his study < Logos was the True Ught >, NT 14 (1972)
115-130, has not mlaxle sufficient use of the theme Memra-Llght.
We wish to note it is not possible to develop this point here
that when the NT speaks of God it uses expressions and paraphraises
well attested i n the targumic phraseology: passive form, before
(endpion) etc. See R. Harris, < Traces of Targumism... >; A Dlez Macho,
< Le Targum paiestinlen >, 202; Neophyte 1, vol. IV, 53.

TARGUMIC LITERATURE AND NT INTERPRETATION

267

' f i n a l Palestinian f o r m goes back to the 1st century C.E.)"


^represents on this point the result of a systematic correction,
'which, however, has left traces of the ancient Palestinian usage
isubsist". T Ex 12:42 (N) presents as follows the n i g h t of
ireation:
The first night (was) when the Lord was revealed
above the world to create I t " . The world was void and
empty and darkness was spread over the face of the
abyss. And the Memra of the Lord tvas the light and it
shone''*.
?The problem about Memra is double: the a n t i q u i t y of its use,
;and its interpretation. R.E. Brown, i n our opinion, has sum'marised the question w e l l " :
: < This is not a personification, but the use of Memra serves as a buffer
for divine transcendence. If the Aramaic expression for < word > was
u ^ d i n the Targums as a paraphrase for God i n His dealings with
men the author of the Prologue hymn may have seen fit to use this
title for Jesus who pre-eminently incorporated God's presence among
men... I n sum, it seems that the Prologue's description of the Word
is far closer to biblical and Jewish strains of thought than it is to
anything purely Hellenistic >.
As for the a n t i q u i t y of the use, i t should be noted t h a t Memra
occurs twice i n the Qumran T a r g u m of Job (36:32;39:27), once
" Cf. S.A. Kaufman in JAOS 93 (1973) 327.
This points to a problem for which further investigation would
be necessary: w h y have so many examples of Memra subsisted in the
Targum to the Prophets (Babylonian recension) and relatively so few
in O? StiU some manuscripts of O hlave retained a larger number than
others (see Y . Komlosh, The Bible in the Light of the Aramaic
Translations, Tel-Aviv 1973, p. 147).
" The reading at Gn 1:1 in N should certainly be: < From the
beginning the Memra of the Lord with wisdom created... >. It should
be noted that for Gen 1-2 Memra is never found in O and Tj I. Cf.
TT 102.
" Cf. NP 215. But see the reservations of N. S6d on this reading
of N (Revue des Etudes juives 3, 1964, 532): there is a waw before the
verb to be (< and was the light >>. Is this warn a scribal error (cf. a similar
ntstake at Gen 4:12), a pleonastic waw (cf. L . Koehler-W. Baumgartner, Hebraisohes und AramOisChes LeXikon... 1967, p. 248), or is it
only an allusion to Gen 1:3?
" The Gospel AccorcUng to John l-XIl (New York 1966) 524. Cf.
Also A. Feuillet, L e Prologue du quatridme ivan^le (Paris 1968) 246248 ( = SDB VIII 623-688); and a very balanced survey of the results
by J . Starcky In SDB V 466-472.

268

R.

L E DEAUT

i n the general sense of by his order, and another time apparently i n order to avoid speaking of the mouth of God ( M T ) .
B u t nowhere i n the t a r g u m is the < buffer > usage found ( i n
contrast to later, classical t a r g u m s ) I t is easy t o see, however,
how easily the l i t u r g i c a l use" of the Memra as the privileged
substitute for the divine Name could develop, on axicount also
of the biblical utilizations of Word (dabar) of God (Ps 33:6)
B u t i t is obvious t h a t the fact of the personification represents
a subsequent development of Christian theology. I t is on the
level of the vocabulary t h a t the relations of Memra t o Logos
have t o be studied.
Besides, other frequent expressions i n the Targum, used
i n connection w i t h or i n substitution t o the divine Name, have
probably influenced the Christian terminology: thus the Holy
Spirit'^, the Glory (Iqar),
the Shekinah (Presence). G. Dalman
'6 J.A. Fitzmyer (lecture at Southampton). Cf. 42:9-11 where it
is ' Ih ' (God) whdch replaces Y h w h .
" I n order to draw from it general conclusions on the Targum it
would be necessary to have more secure information on the exact
nature of the Qumran Targum, on its origin and its destination. Neither
does The Genesis Apocryphon
supply any example of Memra. We
sftiU beUeve (cf. Bib 48, 1967, 143) that the liturgical usage of Memra
can be explained by an implicit 'at Uqrey (the divine name was autoraatioally replaced in the reading), the various formulas of substitution
having been incorporated in the texts only later. This hlypothesis in
no way requires a PT redaction of the same period as the DSS (cf.
J.A. Fitzmyer, The Genesis Apocryphon 39 and H. Bardtke i n Bibliothecn
OrientcUis 30, 1973, 90), bnt rather points to a later date, although
the content may be notably more ancient ttian the last written
redaction.
'8 According to D. Mufioz (Neophyti 1. vol. I l l , 82) certain expressions of IV Esdras, 11 Baruch and I Henoch seem to have retained
echoes of an exegesis of Gen 1 which assigned a function to the Word
Of Yahweh. This track would deserve to be followed further. Let us
mention in the Liber Anfiiqtiitatum bHUicarum of Ps-Philo significant
formulas like verbum tuum (21:4) or < et derelinquam eos sicut testatus sum in sermone meo ad Moysen > (21:1), which seem modelled
on the targumic use of Memra.
^' A. Dlez Macho, < L e Targum paiestinlen >, 206; < Ei Logos y el
Esplritu Santo > Atldntida 1 (1963) 381-396; P. Schafer, Die Vorstellung
23-26; TT 107-114 (The Holy Spirit). F o r the exlpression < Father in
Heaven >, attested thdrteen times in the PT, see ibid. 115-119.
80 TT 98-101; A.M. Goldberg, Untersuchungen Uber die Vorstellung
von der SchekhimOi in der friihen rabbinischen Literatur (Berlin 1969).

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

AND NT INTERPRETATION

269

has a long time ago d r a w n a t t e n t i o n t o this fact, and h a d even


observed t h a t one verse of J n l : 1 4 had combined, t o a f f i r m the
fundamental mystery of the Incarnation, the three appellatives
the T a r g u m uses the most to speak of the d i v i n i t y : A n d the
Word was made flesh, and placed his Dwelling among us and
we saw his Glory;
0 logos ist Memra,
eskendsen
vertritt
shekinta, doxa steht f i i r yeqarav.
He added w i t h reason t h a t
the terms were thus reutilized w i t h a meaning contradicting
their original sense^^.
Many have explained the inaugural week of Jesus' m i n i s t r y
(Jn 1:19 - 2:12) as an intentional replica of the seven days
of the creation of the world^ Others have suggested t h a t this
week should rather be set i n relation t o t h e week of preparation
which, according t o the Jewish t r a d i t i o n , has preceded the g i f t
of the Law at S i n a i ' l T j I (Ex 19) even enumerates the events
of the week, like the Gospel of John: i n both cases the principal
' manifestation (gift of the Torah, glorification of Jesus) is placed
*on a ((third d a y s . Jesus would appear as a new Moses, i n i t i a t i n g
a new economy w h i c h the miraculous wine symbolizes. He m a nifests his Glory and the disciples believe i n h i m , exactly as the
Hebrews h a d believed i n Moses (Ex 19:9; J n 2:11).
See also the Index (Shekhinah) of J . Luzarraga, Las traidiciones de la
rtube en la Biblia y en el Juaaismo primitivo (Rome 1973). F o r dating
the term Shekinah this author has rightly drawn attention (p. 155) to
2 Maoh 14:35: naos tes ses skenoseos a temple for your dwelling
place >.
81 Die Worte Jesu (Leipzig 1898) 189. Concerning the occurrence
of Father, Word, and Holy Spirit in the Targum, one may speak of
huellas trinitarias, < Trinitarian traces > (Bartina 256), but if the
vocabulary has prepared the Trinitarian formulation, the personification
an innovation of Christian theology.
82 M.E. Boismard, Du bapt&me d Cana (Paris 1956).
83 This explaniation has been proposed independently by J . Potin,
Xff fSte juive de la Pentek:6te 314-315 and by A. Serra < Le tradizioni
deHa teofanla sinaitica nel Targum deUo pseudo-Ponathan E s . 19:24 e
Giov. 1,19-2,12 >, Marianum 33 (1971) 1-39. Serra's theses are sunatlarized by R. Laurentin In RSPT 58 (1974) 71-73. These comparisons
Interesting but remain very hypothetical by reason of the vmcertajn
dating of the chronology proposed by Tj I.
Because of the importance of the theme of the Lmv In John one
It take into account also the evidence of the Targums: see a good
sional synthesis of M. Maher, < Some Aspects Of Torah in
Udaism>, IrTQ 38 (1971) 310-325.

270

R.

LE

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

DEAUT

The Lamb of

God

I t is known t h a t Jn 1:29, ((Look! There is the Lamb of


God who takes away the sin of the world, is a classical crux
interpretum^\n allusion t o the paschal lamb (cf. 19:36) and
especially to Is 53:7 does not exclude other themes which would
clarify better some details. This fusion of themes is a constant
phenomenon i n Jewish t r a d i t i o n " and for the ancients every
allusion raised echoes which must be heard again i f we wish
to understand them completely. W h y is the discourse here on
the lamb of God ? How to account for <( who takes away the
sin of the world? .
G. Vermes** proposes to take i n t o consideration a paraphrase of T j I at Ex 1:15:
Pharaoh said that while he slept he saw a dream; and
behold, the whole land of Egypt was In one scale of a
balance and a lamb (talya)... uxis in the other scale,
and th scale holding the lamb weighed down. Immediately he sent to oaU aU the maglclanB of Egypt,
and repeated to them his dream. Immediately Yanis
and Yimbres, the cMef magicians, opened their mouths
and said to Pharaoh: A son (har) is about to be bom
in the congregation of Israel, by whose hand the whole
land of Egypt vs'ill be rmned.

We have to remember t h a t the term talya has the double meaning of ((Son and of (dambw (cf. English ((kid))*'). This text,
which preserves a t r a d i t i o n attested i n Josephus (Antiq. I I 205),
84 Brief outUne of the problems: STJ 224; NP 158. ExceUent" panorama by E . Cothenet in SDB VIII 1255-57.
We have seen above that In the commentaries of Nvmi 21:4-9
the serpents become one serpent, that of Genesis (exegesis authorized
by the presence of the same words serpent and food in both contexts).
TMs samie fusion of themes occurs about the water and the weUs in
the OT, as we shall see.
* Whose translation we quote: STJ 93-94; R. BlOch i n RecSR 43
(1955) 217-227; TNT 159. Cf. also K. Koch, < Das Lamm, das Aegypten
vemlchtet>, ZNW 57 (1966) 79-93 and the rectifications of C. BurchBrd
(iUd. 219-228) and of J . Jeremias (iUd. 216-219).
It should be noted, however, that the examples for the meaning
Idrrib are very rare In the targumic literature (NP 159). At 42:11 the
Qumram Targum of Job has the usual Targum word ' mr'.

AND NT

INTERPRETATION

271

transmits one example of a savior symbolized by a lamb, a conception which is sometimes represented as unknown to later
Judaism**. The typology Moses/Jesus would f i n d here a new
illustration**. I n addition, because of the possibly double meaning
of tal^^a, Vermes believes t h a t the Baptist's saying could be
translated: ((Behold the Son of God who forgives the sin of
the world)).
B u t G. Vermes appropriately does not confine himself to
this debated text. He also refers to the ancient conception of
the sacrifice of Isaac (called Akedah), and specifically to the
frequent equation Isaac-lamb: ((For the Palestinian Jew, a l l
lamb sacrifice, and especially the Passover lamb and the Tamid
offering, was a memorial of the Akedah w i t h its effects of deliverance, forgiveness of sin and messianic salvation))'". The
Targum of Gen 22:8 (N) reads: ((From before the Lord a lamb
,has been prepared". I f not, you are the lamb of the holocaust)).
I t is not only said t h a t Isaac was offered like a lamb (cf. T Lev
9:3;22:27) but t h a t he is the lamb of sacrifice, the lamb prepared
by God, therefore i n a way the lamb of God.
Tradition w i l l insist on the perfect dispositions of the two
protagonists of the Akedah, some targumic recensions of Lev
/22:27 even noting t h a t Isaac tied himself to the altar. I f one
bears i n m i n d the popularity of the Akedah i n the ancient
iJewish tradition, the fact t h a t the episode was formerly con88 J . Jeremias in TWNT V (1954) 700. We have already drawn
attention to the Vulgate of Is 16:1: < Emltte affrmm dominatorem
terrae >, and a variant reading of Theodotion, in LJNT 71.
89 In the context of L k 22:27 (par. Jn 13:4-15) it would be worth
studying also T E x 18:12 (Tj I) where Moses is represented, during
the famous meal with Jethro, standing and ministering (msms =
diakon) before them >. SB II 257 cites only the parallel passage of the
MekMlta (even omitting the words (nceming Moses!).
90 STJ 225. For an illustration of these affirmations cf. NP 131-212;
S. Spiegel, The Last Trial; A. Jaubert, Symboles et figures... > 380-385
(she proposes to see an intentional allusion to the Akedah, < binding >,
of Isaac in Jn 18:12,24); J.E. Wood, < Isaac Typology in the NT >, NTS
14 (1968) 583-589. S. Thomas also mentions Gen 22:8 in Ms Comm. in
Jo. 1:29. For E . Cothenet it is the Isaac typology wMch should be considered in first place (SDB VIII 1257).
91 On tMs translation see NP 158. Cf. G. Kretschmar, < Christliches
Passa Im 2.JahrhUndert und die Ausbildung der christUchen Theologie >,
RecSR 60 (1972) 295.

272

R.

L E DEAUT

nected w i t h the Passover (this we know from Jubilees 17-18)


and t h a t a meritorious and expiatory value for Israel had been
recognized to i t (T Gen 22; Lev 22:27), i t should not be difficult
to admit t h a t the NT authors have had recourse to this t y pology", and t h a t i t represents something more t h a n a parallel
development.
According to G. Vermes, the fullest Johannine expression
of the Christian Akedah appears i n John i n . 1 6 : For God so loved
the world t h a t He gave His only Son...))". The mention of the
a only son)) is an allusion to Gen 22:2,16. John uses the term
monogene; this should be compared w i t h agapetos (beloved),
which occurs three times i n the Septuagint text of Gen 22*\o
perceive allusions of this k i n d i t is necessary to keep i n m i n d
the popular elaboration of the biblical narrative made richer
w i t h new conceptions on the relations between m a n and God
and on the nature of true sacrifice. I t is not always possible to
determine w i t h certainty to what extent the N T authors have
utilized, besides Scripture, the Tradition attached to i t , t h a t is
its l i v i n g interpretation. When their earliest date can be established the targumic traditions offer the advantage of presenting
the closest l i n k w i t h the text (its paraphrased version), which
often explains the subsequent developments of the midrash.
2 NP 200.
3 STJ 193-227; NP 202-212; R. L e D6aut, < L a presentation targnmlque du sacrifice dlsaac et la sot^rlologie paulinienne >, in Stud. Paulinorum Congressus Intern. CathoUcus. An. Biblica 17-18, vol. II (Rome
(1963) 563-574. The accentuation of the meritorious value of the
Akedah could exiJlain that Paul has used the theme only discreetly
(hut see Rom 8:32); it was seen too niuch as a work. Cf. A.T. Hanson,
Studies 79-86. When utilizing the Jewish texts on the Akedah it is
necessary to bear in mind the new conceptions of sacrifice which
must haye been developed after the destruction of the Temple, as
J. Bowker rightly indicates (The Targumus 233). But there exist a
sufficient number of pre-70 texts to warrant considering the Akedah
theme for a comparison with the NT (cf. Bib 51, 1970, 421).
9* STJ 225.
" Cf. F . Buchsel TWNT IV 745-750. The L X X translates the Hebrew
ydliid by monogenes or by agapetos: note that, in this last case, the
death of an only chUd is always involved (Gen 22:2,12,16; Jgs 11:34;
Zech 12:10; Jer 6:26, Amos 8:10.

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

The Glory

AND

NT I N T E R P R E T A T I O N

of the

273

Lord

Since a long time the exegetes have referred to the Jewish


traditions connected w i t h Gen 28:10-17 i n order to illuminate the
allusion to Jacob's ladder i n J n 1:51**. But the interpretation
of the texts is difficult. M.E. Boismard'' adduces the reading
f O ( i n V . 13): And behold, the Glory of the Lord stood above
im..., but he errs i n translating and behold, the glory of
Yahweh stood upon i t (the ladder) )), and i n making the divine
lory the object of the celestial vision: i n this verse the word
glory is only a substitute for Y h w h (which N preserves, while
Jhe marginal rcension proposes: A n angel of mercy from before
he Lord...) i n rendering the banal phrase: And the Lord was
Standing beside h i m (Jacob) and he said...)). I n this case therefore appealing to the Targum is deceiving, and even perilous.
On the other hand, another occurrence of glory i n John seems
to reflect targumic usage.
The F o u r t h Gospel knows the doctrine of the Old Testament
according to which nobody can see God (Jn 1:18). Yet the
disciples of Jesus could contemplate his glory (1:14;2:11) and
the glory of Jesus was seen by the prophet Isaiah (Jn 12:41,
;Isaiah uttered these words because he had seen Jesus' glory)))
; i n his famous vision i n the Temple (6:1-4). Was i t simply a
prophetic vision of the glory of Christ, or does John, w i t h the
Targtun phraseology i n mind, also a f f i r m the d i v i n i t y of Jesus?
Oompare the M T and the Targum:
The prophet said: < I saw the glory of the Lord (MT: I
saw the Lord) sitting upon a throne... and the temple
was filled with the brightness of his glory... The glory
of the Shekinah of the King of ages, the Lord of hosts,
have mine eyes seen >.
99 R . E . Brown, op. cit. 90.
9' Du baptSnte H Cana 126. See the detailed study of the targumic
recensions of Gen 28:12 in F . Lentzen-Deis, Die Taufe Jesu nach den
Synoptikem
(Frankfurt am Main 1970) 214-227. F o r an excellent
comparison (useful for dating) of targumic evidence with the
iconography of Jacob's ladder see G. Stemberger, < Die Patriarchenbilder
der Katakombe in der Via Latina im Uchte der jUdlschen Tradition >,
Kairos 16 (1974) 19-78.

274

R.

LE

DEAUT

I n Jn 12:41, the glory of Yahweh ( = Yahweh) contemplated


the prophet becomes the glory of the Logos'*.
Living

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

by

Water

The OT theme of water and wells, as developed i n the


targumic paraphrases, has been utilized t o illustrate various
passages of the Johannine gospel, i n particular Jn 4 and 7:38;
19:34.
For her comment on the scene of J n 4, which takes place
near Jacob's well, A. Jaubert has drawn from a collection of
targumic legends having to do w i t h the marvellous well of
Harran (Gen 28:2-3), a well of overflowing waters, which our
father Jacob dispensed to the shepherds of his uncle Laban''.
The targumic developments on the well of N u m 21:16-18 which
followed the Hebrews up h i l l and down dale illustrates the
utilization by Paul of a similar t r a d i t i o n i n 1 Cor 10:4*", B u t
88 Cf. R . E . Brown, op. cit. 486-87; R. Schnackenburg, Das JohannesevangeUum II (Freiburg 1971) 520; R. Harris, art. cit. 375; F.M.
Braun, Jean le TMologien. vol. I l l (Paris 1966) 200. For the utilization
of the PT i n the explanations of the double meaning of hypsoo
(dieath-exaltation) in Jn 8:28, cf. NTPT 146-149. McNamara proposes
examples in whlcih the verb slq in the pasEsive can signify to be lifted
tip = to die (add T Deut 32:1). Other explanations in R . E . Brown, op.
dt. 146.
89 < L a symboUque d!u puits de Jacob >, i n L'homme devam Dieu,
Melanges... H. de Lubac, I (Paris 1964) 63-73; J . Ramidn Diaz, < PT and
the NT>, NT 6 (1963) 76-77; S.A. Panlmolle, op. dit. 214-222; N.R.
Bonneau, < The Woman at the Well. John 4 and Genesis 24 >, The
Bible Today, Oct. 1973, 1252-59: Jn 4 would be a sort of commentary
of Gen 24 and E x 2. This last text is also drawn \3p0n by A. Jaubert
(RSR 47, 1973, 378) who also quotes a text of Josephus which is
surprisingly close to Jn 4:5-6 (Antiq. 11,11,1 257).
loo Thackeray, The Relation 204-212. T J I specifies that the well
offered to drink to < every one at the door of his tent >, a scene
represented i n a fresco of the synagogue of Doura-Em-opos (dating
from 245 C . E . ) , now i n the National Museum, Damascus. In the
utilization of these traditions their avatars must be reckoned with: thus
the well has been equated with the water of the rock, with the
water of Marah (Ps-Philo 10:7). This weU had been given on the
nnerlt of Miryam and disappears at her death. On the importance of
this targumic tradition to illustrate Jn 2 and 19, of. R. L e D6aut, Bib
45 (1964) 198-219.

AND NT

INTERPRETATION

275

also know through the Damascus Document (CD 6:2-4) t h a t


is well was identified w i t h the Law (see also 3:12-17). This
nation does evidently not lack interest for the study of the
lieme of water, new Law, and Spirit i n Saint John,
f
The quotation of J n 7:38, fruitlessly sought i n Scripture,
been compared w i t h T Ps 78: le^". This solution has been
ntested'"^, but the hypothesis of an aramaism, i n the strange
ula, ((from his belly {ek koilias) rivers of living water
1 flow, is entirely plausible i n the l i g h t of the common
gumic expression mn gw/mn gwh, which can mean ((from
interior of a t h i n g s or of ((something)), nothing more
nwwah = belly, innermost). So the meaning would be: ((From
rivers....
To explain these ((living waters P. Grelot retains t h a t the
uotation comes from a Targum. B u t we do not have as yet
y targumic text which associates, as John does, the water of
e desert and the eschatological source of the Temple (according
Zech 14:8), i n conjunction w i t h the liturgical background of
i feast of Tabernacles^"', w i t h which J n 7 is associated. P.
relot quotes a series of rabbinic texts on the r i t u a l of the feast
above a l l Tosefta Sukkah 3:3-18). We can retain the interesting
usion to Is 12:3 referred to the water and the spirit"*. B u t
regards the expression (diving waters)), which he links w i t h
ech 14:8 i t provides i n fact a good context ; we draw
ttention to T Cant 4:15"^ on the waters of Shiloah (Is 8:6)
1"* M.E. Boismard, c De son ventre oouleront des fleuves d'eau
^Jo., VII, 38) >, RB 65 (1958) 522-546.
P. Grelot, RB 66 (1959) 369-374. See the answer of Boismard,
Les citations targumiques dans le quatrifeme dvangile >, ibid. 374-378.
'e aaso proiwses to consider a Targum like N at Deut 18:19 to illustrate
" n 12:48-49: As for the man who will not listen to these words
.l.e. of the prophet like Moses) wMch he wlU utter i n the name of my
ifemra (word), I, through my Memra, will take revenge on hlm>.
Boismard concludes: < In the Targum, as in John, the punishment
the unbeliever is carried out by the Memra, by the Word > (378).
argumentation is summarized by Bartina 371.
Jean, VII, 38: eau du rocher ou source du temple? >, RB 70
(1963) 43-51.
18* P. 45, note 11 (quotation of the Talmud of Jerusalem, Sukkah
V , l , tr. of M. Schwab, vol. 4, 41).
105 The dating of this Targum involves m'any problems: <yf. I L T
a40; R. Loewe, < Apologetic Motifs i n the Targum to the Song of

276

R.

L E DEAUT

which were so central i n the l i t u r g y of Tabernacles. We note


i n passing t h a t the interpreters generally refer to Is 8:6 when
they comment upon Jn 9:7. Here is the paraphrase of T Cant
4:15:
The waters of Shiloah flowing gently, with the other
waters which spring from Lebanon to water the land
of Israel. For they (the Jews) busy themselves with
the words of th Torali which are comparable to a
well of living water, and because of the povulng of
water which they pour upon the altar in the Temple
whloh is built in Jerusalem (and) is called Lebanon.

The mention of
lestinian origin,
paraphrases on
logically Nahaliel
the well of v. 16
sion of N :

the well of l i v i n g water, i n this text of Paseems to refer not to Gen 26:19 but to the
the desert well. The PT, interpreting etymo( = rivers of God) of N u m 21:19, transforms
into impetuous torrents. This is the recen-

And from there the well was given to them (v. 16)...
And after the well was given to them as a gift ( = Mattanah), it beoame for them strong overflowing streams
nhlyn mtgbryn (v. 19).

The well, which evidently gives living water the Targum does
not say so explicitlyi"", becomes rivers (of l i v i n g waters)... I f
Songs >, in Biblioal Motifs (Harvard 1966) 159-197 (ed. by A. Altmann).
Loewe has in mind an origin in Palestine, after the Arab conquest. T
Cant 4:15 deserves a special studiy: we have here an additional attestation of the well-Torah symbolism, an allusion to the libations of the
feast of Tabernacles and an equation Lebanon = Temple (cf. STJ
26-39). If the first mention of Lebanon (which comes from the MT)
already has the symbolic sense of temple, then we would be in the
presence of the description of Ez 47:11-12 (cf. Grelot in RB 70, 1963,
46). T Cant 4:15 is quoted in SB II 434 about Jn 4:10. The expression
living waters of Gen 26:19 is not rendered literally in the PT nor in
O. The L X X has Mydatos dzdntos. On the formula cf. J . Danl^Iou, Le
symbolisme d I'eau vlve , RSR (1958) 335-346; A. Vanhoye, Bib 43
(1962) 471.
N (Num 21:16) does not speak of tiie living well: see the
retractation of P. Grelot in RB 67 (1960) 224 and the edition of Dlez
Macho (1974). But shotild we disclaim any explicit mention of the
theme of the living water > (Grelot) in the Targums of Niun 21? Tj I
actually reads living well (hy') in the editio princeps, and this reading

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

AND NT

INTERPRETATION

277

it: relot is right, as we t h i n k , i n supposing t h a t the quotation of


'^n 7:38 is composite, we have here a t r a d i t i o n apt to clarify
is passage: i t would represent a new example of a fusion of
traditions. I n this case Cant 4:15 should not be left aside: the
Targum seems to connect the verse w i t h Tabernacles and the
(also the LXX) already contains the imagery of a spring
f r u n n i n g water pouring down from Lebanon. B u t there is
o noun there corresponding to the rivers (potamoi) of John
and a quotation ad litteram is hardly probable.
W i t h respect to Jn 19:34 (((immediately blood and water
lowed o u t ) one has to mention a strange text of T j I at N u m
20:11: ((And Moses raised his a r m and struck the rock w i t h the
twice: the first time i t dripped blood, and the second time
lentiful waters flowed forth.... B u t the connexions of this
radition almost ignored by the midrash > w i t h the F o u r t h
spel cannot be determined without difficulty^".
The Manna

Theme

John 6, which the evangelist places i n a paschal context


(v. 4) and presents as ((a synagogue instruction at Capernaum
'((V. 59), seems to refer, beyond the literal sense of the Scriptures,
midrashic traditions of which some at least are preserved i n
5the Targum. Thus, i t is possible t h a t the manna theme, so
closely related to the themes of Passover and of Exodus, was
confirmed biy the Ms ad. 27031 of the British Museum, the only
>wn one. M. Glnsburger, in his edition of this manuscript (Berlin
903) has transcribed the lectio facilior: hy' (< It is the well of
Which... >). Thackeray, The Relation... quotes the translation of
tlieridl@e: < And from thence was given to them the living well, the
ell concerning which... > (p. 206). We have not found elsewhere the
spresslon living well. But it was no more unexpected than fons vivus,
ad could be drawn easily from Gen 26:19 or Cant 4:15.
1 " NP 332; F.M. Braun, Jean le Th4ologien II 187ff. M.E. Boismard
(RB 66,1958, 539-40) finds here traces of anti-Christian polemic and
Ises it is the Targum that depends on the Gospel. We would
ather think of an eslplloitation of midrashic elements (e.g. Num Rabba
ad loc: E x Rabab at 4:9), which dte here Ps 78:20 and refer to tlie
ascharge of blood of Lev 15:19ff (because of the presence of the same
yerb wyzwbw: waters gushed forth). Perhaps shotild we also reckon
!Wlth traditions like those of Ps-Philo 35:6-7 and Or. Sib. I l l 803.

278

R.

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

L E DEAUT

represented i n the synagogal reading of the period i n which


John places the discourse of Jesus; the evangelist may have
been influenced by this context"*. Others have referred to other
Targums, like t h a t of Joshua 5 where occur the motifs of Passover, of the death of the desert generation (cf. Jn 6:49 58), and
of the manna"". I t is the only biblical passage which speaks
of the manna i n conjunction w i t h the death of the rebels of
the desert, and we know t h a t Jos 5 was the public reading for
the first day of Passover: but we do not know since what period.
The Targum has also developed the theme of the
complaints
of the Hebrews about the manna (Num 1:6-7), and we t h i n k
t h a t traditions of this sort are echoed i n J n 6:41,61"".
Abraham

and

Cain

The importance of the Abraham cycle i n the Gospel of John,


i n particular for ch. 8, has been recently underlined again by
" 8 Cf. A. Gulldtog, The Fourth Gospel etna Jewish Worship (Oxford 1960). But only conjectures can be mlade with regard to the cycle
and the order of the readings, which were probably not firmly fixed
before the 2nd cent. C.E. Certain fusions of Mbiical themes can be
explained by the Jewish exegesis of the time and db not necessarily
postulate a concurrence of the synagogal readings; cf. L . Crockett,
Journal of Jewish Studies 17 (1966) 13-46.
lofl poj. aiji analysis of the texts and a bibliograpWy cf. B.J. Malina,
The Palestinian MannSa Tradition. On Jos 5 cf. R. L e D6aAit, < Premifere
Paque en Terre promise (Jos 5) , Assemblies du Seigneur n. 17
(11969) 52-57.
" 0 <Une aggadah targumique et les < murmiu-es > de Jean 6 >,
Bib 51 (1970) 80-83. The Targum liisists on the scandalous aspect of
the complaints with respect to such a great gift of God. G. Vermes has
drawn attention to a text of N (Ex 16:15) which would identify Moses
and the manna: < He is the Bread >, in Neotestamentica et Semitica
(Edinburgh 1969) 256-263. He sOiows well that the rabbinical parallels
and those of Hellenistic Judaism make this interpretation plausible. It
is accepted by A. Dlez Macho i n Neofihyti 1, vol. II, 59 (but see also
Le Targum paiestinlen > 209, where he speaks of < scribal error >)
This elaboration could be illuminating for Jn 6:35: <I myself am the
bread of life >. But we deem it more probable that the repetition of
Moses' name, c .... for they did not know Moses. And Moses said: He is
(=1 am, according to Vermes) the bread... >, is a dittograpby. On
mlust read: < They did not know what it was. And Moses said: It is

AND

NT

INTERPRETATION

279

Fr. J . Leenhardt'". We have already pointed out some possible


allusions to the narrative of Gn 22.
A reference to Gen 17:17, read as interpreted by the t r a dition, is i l l u m i n a t i n g for Jn 8:56: Your father Abraham rejoiced t h a t he m i g h t see my day. He saw i t and was glad^^.
This alludes to a vision of Abraham during his lifetime, and the
interpreters generally refer to Gen 15^". The mention of the
joy of Abraham directs u s " ' to the announcement of the b i r t h
of Isaac i n Gen 17. I t is true t h a t the M T says t h a t the patriarch
laughed as he said to himself: Can a child be b o m to a man
who is a hundred years o l d ? . B u t the Jewish tradition had
tried to obliterate what could perhaps have been interpreted as
a lack of f a i t h on the part of h i m who never questioned or
doubted God's promises (Rom 4:20). I t should be noted t h a t
Flavins Josephus makes only a discrete allusion to the laugh
of Sarah {Antiq. I , 198) and does not mention at a l l Abraham's
doubt (191). On the other hand, the Booh of Jubilees
refers
several times to the joy of the patriarch: And Abraham rejoiced... and he believed t h a t he would have seed (14:21)... And
Abraham fell on his face and rejoiced and said i n his heart:
Shall a son be born to h i m t h a t is a hundred years old? (15:
17; see also 16:18ff). I n this case we f i n d t h a t the Onkelos
Targum is the closest to this t r a d i t i o n and to John ( Abraham
fell on his face and rejoiced wahedin),
while the PT uses
the verb tamah: to wonder, to be astonished"*.
bread... >. In the editio princeps of N, correct my translation from
< Est-oe 1^ la Manme? > to < Qu'est-ce que c'est? >.
It is worth recalUng that the Jewish tradition expected from the
new Moses that he would also call down manna (cf. R. Bloch in
Motse. l'homme de I'alliance. Paris 1955, 158). In the typology of the
New Testament we always have to deal with fulfilment, not with
simple repetition (cf. Acts 5:36 mentioning Theudas who, according to
Josephus lAntiq. X X 97] had promised his foUowers he would make
them cross the Jordan on dry ground).
" I RHPR (1973) 331-351.
112 SB 11 525; NTPT 241; A. GuUdlng (op. dt. 109) suggests an
influence of the hapflitarah of Is 43:8-13, where the Targum sees an
allusion to Abraham (< I declared to A. what was about to come... >).
" 8 R . E . Brown, op. dt. 360.
1 " A.T. Hanson, Studies 57, does not mention this text. Taking into
aciount this paraphrase of O, a retroversion of Jn 8:56 in Aramaic

280

R.

LE

DEAUT

The long discussion of Jesus w i t h the Jews about the true


children of Abraham (8:37-45) can also be illustrated by t a r gumic t r a d i t i o n s " ' . Jesus said:
I realize you are of Abraham's stoclc. Nonetheless, you
are trying to Idll me... You do what you have heard
from your father... Were God your Father you would
love me... The father you spring from is the devil, and
willingly you carry out his wishes. He was a murderer
from the beginming.

The First Epistle of John is even more explicit (3:8-12):


The man who sins belongs to the devil... No one
btegottem of God acts sinfully because he remains of
God's stock (sperma); he cannot sin because he Is
begotten of God. That is the way to see who are God's
children and who are the dJevil's... We should not
follow the example of Cain; who belonged to the eVU
one andii8 killed Ms brother.

I n the Jewish tradition Cain is the villain par


excellence^",
and above all, to use Leon Bloy's expression le patrlarche des
tueurs (the patriarch of the killers). B u t the Targum of Gen
5:3 does not say t h a t Cain was Adam's son; he was Eve's: F o r
before t h a t time. Eve had borne Cain who was not from him
(Adam) and d i d not resemble h i m ; and Abel was killed at the
hands of Cains. I n what follows i t is even said explicitly t h a t
Cain is not considered as being of Adam's lineage. A t Gen 4:1
gives a sentence having a perfectly S e m i t i c structure, with two successive paronomasias: ethehamed...yihema'. ..hama' ...eth^hadi (according to M.E. Boismard in L'Evanffile de Jean, Recherches bibUques III,
1958, 49; Cf. R. L e D6aut, Bib 49, 1968, 397).
"5 R . E . Brown, ap. dt. 358; LJNT 59-61; J. RamiOn DIalz in NT
6 (1963) 79-80 ( = E s t B 22, 1962, 337-342); above all, N.A. DaM, < Der
Ertsgeborene Satans imd der Vater des Teufels (Polyk. 7,1 und Joh
8,44) >, in Apophoreta, Fest. E . Haenchen (Berlin 1964) 70-84.
" 6 M. Zerwlck, Analysis pMloloffica NT graed (Rome 1953) 557
observes correctly that the hai, t and >, has to be Interpreted as
introdtioing a subordinate clause: < ... qui cum ex Maligno esset
oocidit... .
1 " Cf. the Targums of Gen 4: R. Le Dfeut, Bib 42 (1961) 30-36;
G. Vermes, Annual of Leeds Univ. Or. Sodety, vol. I l l (Leiden 1963)
81-114; P. Grelot, Semitica 9 (1959) 59-88; Sh. Isenberg. HarvTR 63
(1970) 433-444; J. Bowker, The Targums 132-141.

TARGUMIC L I T E R A T U R E AND NT

INTERPRETATION

281

T j I reads: And Adam knew Eve his wife who had desired the
angel; and she conceived and bore Cains. This is the current
reading of T j I since the editio princeps of Venice (1591). The
only manuscript of T j I from the British Museum (Add. 27031)
is even more precise: Adam knew his wife who had conceived
from Sammael, the angel of Gods. This Sammael, also called
angel of deaths, intervenes i n the scene of the temptation of
Eve (T Gen 3:6; see also T Job 28:7) and w i l l be explicitly
identified w i t h Satan i n the later Jewish t r a d i t i o n " * . I f a t r a dition of this type lies behind J n 8:44 one readily understands
t h a t Jesus can state t h a t the devil is the father of the Jewss,
precisely because they wish to k i l l h i m , exactly as Cain, the
devil's son, had killed his brother (T Gen 5:1).
High Priest

That

Year

We would like to terminate by drawing attention to a t a r gumic paraphrase which could perhaps account for an expression
which recurs several times i n the F o u r t h Gospel and is found
difficult by some exegetes: Caiphas, who was high priest that
year....
(11:49; cf. also 11:51;18:13). We present only suggestions, for further study. This is R.E. Brown's comment:
< TMs formula... has been used by many scholars (e.g. Bultmann) to
show that the author did not know P^estinian customs, for they i n terpret it to imply a belief that the Mgh priest was changed each year,
as were the pagan Mgh priests in Asia Minor. Actually the Jewish high
pirtest traditionally held office for Ufe (Num X X X V 25), although in
Jesus' time the term of office depended on Roman favor

We believe t h a t Brown, who follows a suggestion made by


Bernard (as old as Origen: PG 14,708), proposes the r i g h t solution for a pseudo-problem: the expression signifies not / o r
t h a t years, but i n t h a t years. T h e idea, then, would be t h a t
On a similar Samaritan tradition see J . Bowman, The Gospel
of Mark (Leiden 1965) 45,179. J . Bowker (op. dt. 132,134) mistranslates
in the following way: < Adam was aware that Eve his wife had
conceived >.
118 Op. cit. 439. According to M. Stem, Herod < abolished the
practice whereby the Mgh priest continued i n office till Ms death >
(in The Jewish People in the First Century, Assen 1974, 250).
128 Ibid. 440. f That year: emphasizes the conjtmction of the office
and the y e a r * (Tfw New American Bible).

282

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he was h i g h priest t h a t fatefiU year i n w i c h Jesus died -


John is underlining not the l i m i t of the t e r m b u t its synchronism))*^". I t should be noted t h a t i n the three occurrences John
seems to suggest t h a t the h i g h priest does this or t h a t because
his fmiction requires i t : i t is his concern to speak before the council
of the Jewish leaders and i t is said explicitly t h a t he prophesied
as h i g h priest'". Jesus is led first to Annas for the apparent
reason t h a t the latter was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, t h a t
is, of the h i g h priest of that year)). The formula, then, simply
designates the h i g h priest i n fimction)).
This conception of the responsibility of the h i g h priest i n
function this or t h a t year is also found i n T N u m 351:25 '(Tj I ) .
I t is i n a paraphrase of the law which disposes t h a t the invol u n t a r y manslayer should remain i n his city of refuge until
the death of the high priest who has been anointed w i t h sacred
oil)). The Targum looks for and of course finds a reason
' for this mention of the death of the h i g h priest i n connexion
w i t h a murder: i t is because, that year, on the day of Kippur,
he has not prayed t h a t i n Israel none of the three capital
sins be committed: idolatry, incest, and homicide:
(He shall die) because he did not pray on the Day of
Atonenaent in tlie Holy of Holies concerning t3xe three
great transgressions... when it was in his power to
annul them by his prayer, and he did not pray. Therefore has he been condemned to die in that year^^.
On the relation between temple, high priest, and hOly Spirit (or
Spirit of prophecy), see P. Schafer, Die Vorstellttng 135-139. Targumic
formulas prove that it was said < Spirit of holiness > ( = holy spirit,
nvh gwdi') or < spirit of the sanctuary > (rtvh byt qtvds'). P. Schafer
(and J. Hednemann, Kyrtath Sepher 48, 1973, 434-37) says w r o i ^ y
that nvh byt qwds' (spirit of the sanctuary) can only be found in the
printed editions of Tj I I : following Glnsburger he nbtes that neither
the Paris manuscript (110), nor that of the Vatican Ubrary (440), nor
that of Leipzig (1) have this reading. It is unforttmate that he could
not consult the editio princeps of Venice (1517-18), or at least Walton's
Polyglotta, which follows the tradition of manuscript 1 of Nuremberg,
where one reads: brwlit byt qwdsl' ] . Therefore this reading, of which
Schafer correctly underlines the Interest, is better attested thatn is
apparent. Remarkably, the Qumran Targum to Leviticus (4QTgLev) has
a byt qwds' in substitute for ha-qodes (MT, Lev. 16:20). Cf. A. DieZ
Macho, El Targum 75.
On this text, cf. R. L e D6aut, Journal for the Study of Judaism
1 (1970) 46. It would be possible to paraphrase: < As he was high

TARGUMIC L I T E R A T U R E AND NT

INTERPRETATION

283

That the attention of the people would be drawn to the h i g h


priest of this or that year independently of any juridical
consideration on the length of his mandate can result from
the fact t h a t he functioned eminently as h i g h priest omy on
privileged occasion, like the day of Kippur,'^* when he made
atonement for the whole people (Lev 16:24; Sir 45:16), a n
annual manifestation of an office which was permanent i n
principle. I f the office was no longer permanent de facto i t is
still more easily understood t h a t an author would mention
specifically the name of the h i g h priest that year)), entrusted
w i t h his privileges and duties, i n contrast w i t h others not or no
longer endowed w i t h the attributes of the office"*.

5.

General Themes: Brief Survey

After having dealt w i t h particular texts of the New Testament i n their connexion w i t h the targumic traditions we wish
to conclude by pointing out more general aspects of the relation
between Old and New Testaments. They are important, but an
adequate treatment of them cannot of course be presented i n
priest that year he had to die >. At a seminar at the University of Hull
(England) Prof. R.N. Whybray suggested to us to compare also this
text with the words of Caiaphas: < It is more to your interest that
one man should die for the people... > (Jn 11:51). We would then be
In presence of this tragic irony of a high priest who recommends the
miirder of an innocent for the whole people, whereas, according to
the tradition, any murder in Israel should entail his own death!
The uncertain dating of the tradition of Tj I does not allow us to gp
beyond siippositions. There are few rabbinic parallels: one only
(Makkoth 11a) seems, in our view, to summarize the same tradition in
a context significant for Jn 11:51, and perhaps also for Heb 9:lift
(atoning death of the high priest).
Sir 50; Heb 9; cf. the various treatises Yoma in the Mishnah
and ttie Talmuds.
124 We wisfli to mention also the utilization of the TargMms (Lev
24:12; Ninn 9:8;15: 34;27:5, where the judges are asked to be slow
in executing capital sentences) made by A. Jaubert to support the
l^ypothesls of a long chronology of the Passion: < Les stances diu
sanh6drin et les r6clts de la passion , RHR 166 (1964) 143-169; 167
(1967) 1-33; also < The Calendar of Qumran and the Passion Narrative
in John >, in John and Qumran 62-75.

284

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one article. We shall content ourselves w i t h referring to some


specialized works. This wider view is necessary for an adequate
evaluation of the importance of the T a r g u m for the interpretation of the NT'^'.
Recourse to a broader background is particularly indispensable when the New Testament, w i t h o u t referring to a definite
text, utilizes over again, and reelaborates OT themes and conceptions.
This is certainly the case where the theology of the Jewish
feasts is involved, like Passover, i n w h i c h the ideas of creation,
of eschatological and messianic redemption, and the memory
of Isaac's Akedah'^* are combined, and also like Pentecost'", of
w h i c h we have already spoken. Let us not forget t h a t the NT
has inherited a Bible, not only translated (the Septuagint), but
also interpreted by a long t r a d i t i o n . Hence the necessity of t a k i n g
i n t o account the reinterpretation of some biblical episodes: the
Sinaitical covenant sacrifice (Ex 24) had been made richer w i t h
an expiatory significance'^* and the versions of Ex 4 show t h a t
circumcision had also acquired this character'^'.
It is to these general themes that apply best Mus well-grounded
observations programmatic in fact of W.O.E. Oesterley - G.H.
Box: < The midrashic literature is thus of the highest importance folelucidating the exegeticfd tradition. This is a matter which the' New
Testament student cannot afford to Ignore. For it is a fact that the
New Testament writers in the use they make of the ancient Scriptures,
do not usually depend immediately upon the Old Testament text. Their
employment of Old Testament texts is often conditioned by the
influence of later Jewish exegesis > (The Reliffion and Worship of The
Synagoffue, London 1907, 94).
R. L e D6aut, La mUt pascaie Essai sut la ^gnification de la
PAque juive h partir du Targum d'Exode XII 42 (Rome 1963); summarized in BiVC 62 (1965) 14-26 and in Studies in the Jewish Background of the NT. ed. O. Michel et al. (Assen 1969) 22-43. The ancient
commentaries of the Akedah, we recall, also reveal a distinctive
theology of sacrifice.
127 j _ Potin, La f&te juive de la PentecOte (Paris 1971). C Bemas
is about to finish a similar study on the feast of Kippur.
Cf. note 24.
G. Vermes STJ 178-192; Bartina 374. The Targum wUl associate
the blood of droumfcislon with that of the pascal lamb in numerous
texts (Ex 12:13; Ez 16:16; Cant 2:9). The paschal liberation wiU often
be attributed to the merit of the blood of the Passover and of

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

AND

NT

INTERPRETATION

285

I f we consider the figures


of the Old Testament w h i c h
appear i n the New i t is evident t h a t t h e i r utilization can only
be properly assessed i f they are seen as they appeared then,
often i n a l i g h t w h i c h is quite different f r o m t h a t provided by
the OT narratives. How did the Jewish t r a d i t i o n see i n the first
century C.E. figures like Moses"" or Abraham w h i c h are
so
prominent i n the NT? How should we represent Thamar or Rahab
of M t 1, according to the Bible or according to the t r a d i t i o n
which exalted t h e m ? " ' When James writes (5:11): Y o u have
heard of the steadfastness ' hypomonen of Job)), does he
simply refer to Job 42:10-17, or to the touched up figure of
the LXX, or even to the sectarian)) p o r t r a i t of l l Q T g J o b , " 2 or
circumcision (and, of course, of th Akedah) .In the NT, baptism is
related to circumcision (Col 2:11) and to the paschal mystery of
Christ (Rom 6:3). On the Unk Passover-drcumcision see M. Ohana in
VT 23 (1973) 385-399.
180 Cf. R. Bloch, in Moise, l'homme de I'aHliance 92-167; G. Vermes,
iVid. 63-92; LJNT 51. Note t h i a t the Moses of Acts 7 is no longer the
stammering and fearful Moses of the Exodns narratives.
181 R. Bloch, < Juidas engendra Pharfes et Zara, de Thanaar Matth.
1,3 >, in M6tanges... A. Robert 381-389. The PT very expliciUy justifies
Thamar's action (Gen 38). Is it correct then to say that if Matthew
names her it is to signify that Jesus has come to save the sinners (a
common opdnion since Jerome) The mention of Thamar in Ruth 4:12
reveals perhaps already a development i n ttie imderstanding of her.
In any case, is there a justification for writing: < The argument was
noticed by the author of Mt 1. 3 and 5, who used the examples of
both these ladies ( = Thamar and Ruth) to excuse the irregularity in
Jesus' pedigree > (M. Smith, Palestiman Parties and Politics that Shaped
the Old Testament, New York/London 1971, 266)? In contrast with the
story of Ruben (Gen 35:22), the Mishnah (MegiUah 4:10) permits to
read and commient in the synagogue that of Thamar. The antiquity and
the extent of her < rehabilitation > can be judged by this text oi Phllo
(who makes of her also a model for the proselytes): < She nevertheless
kept her own life stainless and was able to win the good report which
belongs to the good and to become the original source to which the
nobility of all who followed her can be traced > (De Virtutibus 222; tr.
F.H. ColSon in The Loeb Classical U b r a r y ) . See the exhaustive study
of H. Stegemann, < < Die des Uria > Zur Bedeutung der Frauennamen
in der Genealogie von Matthaus 1,1-17 >, in TradHtion und Glaube,
Festgable fiir K.G. Kuhn (GOttin^n 1971) 246-276.
182 According to E.W^. Tuinstra, Hermeneutische Aspecten van de
Tar^wm van Job udt Grot XI van Qwmr&n (Diss. Gronlngen 1970) the
Teacher of Righteousness served as the model for the figure of Job
in the Targum.

286

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again t h a t of the Testament of Job? The sister of Moses, M i f y a m


also the name of Jesus' mother was considered (as i n d i cated i n M i 6:4) as one of the leaders of the exodus and as
ancestress of David, therefore of the Messiah.^a The controversial figure of Balaam an opponent of Israel who was
constrained to prophesy its future greatness has given rise
to numerous speculations."* I n addition to being identified w i t h
Laban (T N u m 22:5;31:8),"' he is implicitly accused by the
Targum of cupidity and avarice, a t r a i t not forgotten i n the
presentation of h i m by 2 Pet 2:15 and Jude 11.
On essential points like messianism
and eschatology i t has
been pointed out t h a t the latter-day Judaism as well as
Christianity did not evolve from the religion of Israel i n the Old
Testament, but from the Jewish religiosity t h a t flourished d u r i n g
the intertestamental period. This type of religiosity is no longer
identical w i t h the creed reflected i n the Old Testament))"'.
After the failure of the two revolts of 70 and of 135 Judaism
developed understandable reservations w i t h regard to messianic
speculations, not only i n line w i t h the anti-Christian polemic,
but also for political reasons. Those, rather ntmierous, preserved
i n the Targum, are very likely ancient, especially i f confirmed
by other texts (as the LXX for N u m 2 4 ) B u t important texts
like T Gen 49 and N u m 24, as well as many others, need to be
further studied before they can be situated exactly i n the
complex development of Jewish Messianism. We shall cite only
this beautiful text which looks like a replica of the Nunc
Dimittis
(Lk 2:25) and illustrates the messianic expectation of the OT
1 " Cf. Bib 45 (1964) 198-219.
1 " STJ 127-177; TNT 160.
On this type of Identifications cf. R. L e D6aut, Bib 52 (1971)
516.

i8 D. Flusser in HarvTR 61 (1968) 109.


13" The messianic significance of the star (Nimi 24:17) is attested
in the Targima, the L X X , and Qumran (even in ths niamiei of Bai'
kochba, < son of the star >) and can be used for the interpretation of
Mt. See A. Paul, L'ivangtle de I'enfance selon saint Matthieu (Paris
1968) 100-115; P. Grelot, < L e Messie dans les Apocryphes de I'AT >, in
La Venue du Messie. Recherches Bibllques VI, 1962, 19-50; NTPT 238252. To quote again Oesterley-Box: < The Targums are hnportant not
only for the Ught they throw on Jewls*i theology, but also, especially,
as a Thesaurus at ancient Jewish exegesis; in this way they frequently

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

AND NT

INTERPRETATION

287

ijust, to whom the N T occasionally alludes ( M t 13:17; J n 8:56;


[jHeb 11:13)"'. We quote the Neofiti recension (of Gen 49:18):
f<Our father Jacob s ^ d : Not for the redemption of Gideon, son of
l l o a s h , does my soul wait, which Is the redemption of an hour; nor
Sfor the redemption of Samson, son of Manoah, does my soul wait,
I'^hlch is a transient redemption. But for the redemption of him does
[Sny soul wait that you have said to bring to your people, the house
Kbf Israel. F o r you, for your redem5)tlon do I wait, O Lord (margin:
^for your redemption is an eternal redemption) >.

For What regards eschatology, the popular conceptions found


j j n the NT are analogous to those attested i n the targumic
{literature, on the world to come, the great judgment, the struggle
[against Gog and Magog, retribution, the Gehenna, and the resSiirrection. This last belief is professed, w i t h the Pharisaic t r a Jdition as a whole, i n N at Gen 19:26, and more particularly
3:19: From the dust you are to r e t u r n and arise ( = r i s e
ftgain) and shall give an account and a reckoning of all you
'lave done))"'.

Conclusion
This long list of examples confronting Targum and N T preented an account of the research being conducted rather t h a n of
Bfinitely acquired results. B u t this at least seems established:
It is possible and necessary to utilize the targumic literature i n
interpretation, under certain conditions which must be clearly
iefined and w i t h methods which have still to be perfected.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have supplied a large number of

ex-

Bfer matter of interest in relation to the Old and New Testament


Itings; in particular It can be shown that the New Testament often
with ttie ancient Synagogue in interprettnig certain passages
Bssianically which later were exjpounded differently in orthodox
ciroles> (op. oit. 50). The more regrettaWle is it therefore
at only Insignificant fragments are extant from the old Palestinian
rargum to the Prophets, and a recension, difficult do date, of the
nm to the Psalms, while these books are oontlniuaUy utiUzed in
NT.
" 8 AAGA 308; NTPT 240-245; TT 139f.
139 xNT 175-181; TT 133-137.

288

R.

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amples, especially the biblical commentaries, showing t h a t to


understand the use t h a t was made of a text i t is first necessary
to accept to read i t the way i t was understood by the ancient
interpreters, often w i t h a bias, for us mistakenly"". When the NT
presents us w i t h a perplexing exegesis of the OT, the biblical
versions which are actually the earliest interpretations of
Scripture may sometimes suggest what was the perspective of
the Christian author, intent on finding i n i t a sense allowing h i m
to re-read the Bible i n the l i g h t of its fulfilment.
Ancient Jewish exegesis already had associated traditionally
certain texts; the NT also, at times, proceeds from analogous
regroupings'". The quotation of Ez 47:12 i n Apoc 22:2 is not a
literal quotation: there is a reference to the tree of life which is
found in the middle of the garden of Eden. I t is usual to t h i n k
immediately of Gen 2:9;3:22"^ B u t i t must be noted t h a t the
Targum had already used Ezekiel to paraphrase Genesis: at Gen
3:6, i t is true, apropos of the tree of knowledge found in the
middle of paradise (3:3): The woman... knew t h a t the tree was
good for food and t h a t i t was a remedy 'asU ' " . The allusion
to Ez 47:12 is easily recognized. A similar t r a d i t i o n on the tree
of life may have served as intermediary between Ezekiel and the
author of Apocalypse who would have borrowed also f r o m other
texts, like Zech 14:8 (for the expression living
vxders).

TARGUMIC LITERATURE

AND NT

INTERPRETATION

289

The Targum appears especially useful by reason of the exegetical methods i t employs i n its approach to Scripture"^ The
phenomenon of targumism can illuminate similar cases i n the
NT, on the level of oral t r a d i t i o n as well as of the redaction and
the subsequent transmission of the t e x t s ' " .
;
The utilization of the Aramaic texts of Qumran has proved
I particularly f r u i t f u l for the understanding of the NT. The same
i k i n d of work should be resumed, on a new basis, for what regards
the Targum, although of course under more difficult and more
insecure conditions, by reason of the state of the texts we have
and of their uncertain date. But i f the investigation is made w i t h
the properly critical approach quite solid results can be expected,
i f the conclusions do not extend beyond the obtained evidence.
I n any case, i t is often possible to illustrate similar facts, which
is not a negligible outcome: the problems of dependence, already
arduous i n the case of the DSS, can often be approached only i n
conjectural terms. I t is already a progress t o pose them, while
expecting new evidence which one day perhaps w i l l provide the
solution.
,
u
Roger Le D 6 a u t j
Via d i S.'dfiiara", 42
00186 Rome

This is not t o say t h a t the Targum should become the


infallible panacea. We believe though t h a t i t should be granted
a greater share i n exegesis t h a n i n the past, and this without
yielding to the temptation of pan-targumism"*, the way the
enthusiasm over the discovery of the DSS has produced, during a
certain period, a sort of
pan-Qumranism.
i Cf. G. Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English (1962) 17.
1*1 We do not raise here the problem of the Testimonia, which
perhaps constitutes only a particular aspect of the more general fact
We are evoking. The paired Pauline quotation of faith (Gen 15:6 and
Hab 2:4) can be found i n MekMlta E x 14:31 i n a beautiful collection
of quotations on faith.
" 2 A. Vanhoye, < L'utMsation du Uvre d'Ez6cMel dans 1'Apocalypse >, Bib 43 (1962) 459 and 471.
The same expression is found in T E z 47:12. The eis therapeiam
( L X X : hygieian) of Apoc. is dose to the MT and to the Targmn.
1 " NP 375.

It can be said of the Targums what M. Gertner stated about the


DSS: < Clearly parallel sayings or similar conceptions are not so much
to be sought as similarity in iMdrasMc techniques and methods and
identical ways of scriptural interpretation*, JSS 7 (1962) 292.
" 9 <Un phenomfene spontan6 de rherm]6nutique juive ancienne:
le targunrisme*, Bib 52 (1971) 525. On the < synoptic problem* of the
Targums, see NTPT 142-145.