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Targum Canticles (Researcher: Philip Alexander):
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1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

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1.1 The text refers to itself as verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries).

1.1.1 The text refers to itself using a genre term, speech act term, verb or other term implying verbal constitution: TgCant 1:1 refers to its contents as "songs and praises" (shirin ve-tushbehan). The first term reflects the underlying biblical shir(im), the second is an explanatory addition.

1.1.4 The text introduces the governing voice, thereby indirectly marking its own boundedness: TgCant 1:1 defines itself as a song of Solomon. This seems to designate Solomon as in some sense responsible for the songs cited in the body of the text that follows, but he is not the sole speaker of these songs, some of which are in a female voice, others in a male voice: the female sometimes addresses the male as dodi, and the female as ra'yati, and Solomon himself is introduced in the third person (TgCant 1:17; 2:8; 3:7-9,11; 4:1) in some cases following the biblical text.

1.1.5 Important text witnesses attest to a heading which is not integrated with the body of the text or with any introductory frame, implying one or more of the kinds of information under 1.1.1–4: The text is found under the title "Targum Shir ha-Shirim" in the First Rabbinic Bible (Bomberg, Venice, 1517), and in a number of medieval mss (note especially BN Heb. 110, "I will begin Targum Shir ha-Shirim with the help of the Creator of things created and the Helper of the righteous and upright"), and it is referred to as "Targum Shir ha-Shirim" in works such as the Arukh of Nathan ben Yehiel and Elias Levita's Meturgeman.

1.2 The text presents its internal sequence of sentences (or larger parts) as mirroring the objective relationships of components in the projected world (an objective order), or projects its subject matter as self-limiting (5.3): TgCant reads BibCant as an allegorical account of the relationship between God and Israel from the Exodus from Egypt to the coming of the Messiah. The unidentified female voice in the Bible (sometimes addressed at ra'yati) is identified with the Congregation of Israel, the unidentified male voice (sometimes addressed as dodi) is, for the most part, identified with God. The pattern of estrangement and reconciliation between the two dramatis personae in the underlying biblical text is mapped onto the history of God's relationship with Israel as follows: 1:3-5:1, from the exile of Egypt to the time of King Solomon; 5:2-7:11, from the exile of Babylon to the Hasmoneans; 7:12-8:12, from the exile of Edom (Christendom) to the coming of the Messiah (see Alexander, Targum Canticles, pp. 13-18). See further under 4, 5.2–5 or 6.

1.6 The approximate word count or other indication of comparative size is: 5,600 words, based on the text Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon database counted as Word document.

1.7 The text’s Inventory profile should be seen in the light of the following further information on completeness, thematic progression, aesthetic effects, etc.: The beginning of TgCant is strongly marked not only by the opening framing statement, "Songs and praises which Solomon, the prophet, the King of Israel, recited in the holy spirit before the Sovereign of all the World, the Lord", but also by a version of the Midrash of the Ten Songs, which serves to set out the programme for the historical reading of Canticles which follows, though it spans history from the creation to the consummation, and not just from the Exodus from Egypt to the consummation, which is the time-frame of the main body of the text. In addition TgCant marks its opening with a benediction (1:2): "Solomon the prophet said: 'Blessed be the name of the Lord who gave us the Torah at the hands of Moses, the Great Scribe, [both the Torah] written on the two tablets of stone, and the Six Orders of the Mishnah and Talmud by oral tradition, and [who] spoke with us face to face as a man kisses his friend, out of the abundance of the love wherewith he loved us more than the seventy nations." The text also strongly marks its close by (1) a plea by Solomon to Israel "at the end of days" (8:13), and (2) a concluding prayer by the elders of the Assembly of Israel to God (8:14). All in all, then, TgCant presents itself as a coherently structured, strongly bounded text, more so than the Biblical Song of Songs. The boundedness of TgCant does not rely on the reader's knowledge of the limits of the biblical text.

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2.1 The information conveyed in the text defines the perspective of the governing voice in the following way:

2.1.1 The text does not thematize how the governing voice comes to know the text’s contents (or its right to command obedience from the addressee), but suggests that its knowledge (or authority) is unlimited: This is true at the level of the anonymous framing voice, but this voice claims that Solomon, to whom it attributed the bulk of the text, spoke through "prophecy" (e.g. TgCant 1:1-2). In narrative, the governing voice’s perspective tacitly is that of someone “present” at all events equally, regardless of their time, place, or nature (e.g. thoughts or private utterances of characters): This certainly applies to the knowledge of Solomon's acts of speech. It may also apply to other events or speech events, namely at points in the text where the reporting has reverted to the anonymous voice after a direct speech by Solomon has tacitly come to an end. See 2.1.7.

2.1.7 The governing voice (whether first or third person) is anonymous, that is, is not presented as tied to a specific personal identity (or to personhood in general): The perspective of TgCant is problematic. In BibCant an anonymous voice introduces Solomon as the author of the songs that follow, even though this involves him occasionally referring to himself in the third person. In TgCant the Solomonic authorship of the songs is accepted but historical contexts are provided for the various songs, contexts which proceed broadly chronologically from the Exodus from Egypt to the days of the Messiah (see 1.2 above). Reading TgCant on its own, it is natural to assume that these framing narratives are said in the same voice as made the opening statement that identifies the author of the songs as Solomon. In other words the governing voice in TgCant provides a more extensive framework for the direct speech than is provided by the governing voice in BibCant, even though in both cases the songs themselves are regarded as authored by Solomon, though he is by no means the "I" of all the songs. The governing voice of TgCant enjoys an epistemic horizon beyond that displayed by the governing voice of BibCant, in the sense that he seems to know of persons, objects and events that lay beyond the time of Solomon or the putative framer of the biblical text (see 2.4 below). He thus presents himself as an extension of the persona of the original framer. He implies that Solomon could have been speaking of events beyond his time because he was a prophet: note the important references to "songs and praises which Solomon, the prophet ... recited in the holy spirit" at 1:1, and "Solomon the prophet said at the end of his prophecy" at 8:13, where Solomon appears to address the Assembly of Israel across time "at the end of days". Though the perspective of both BibCant and TgCant can be accommodated under 2.1.7, the persona projected in each case is not identical since the epistemic horizons are different. The persona of TgCant is an extension of the persona of BibCant, the persona of the Targumist himself interpreting Solomon's songs.

2.1.8 The governing voice speaks at no point in the first person (except for any and all persons/objects are mentioned from a third-person perspective: In TgCant the governing (= framing) voice regularly quotes speech in the first person, but never itself speaks in the first person. Its function is to provide third-person framing narratives which identify who said the speech reported in BibCant and when. Even Solomon, to whom the framing voice attributes the bulk of the text (see 2.1.9 below), only refers to himself in the first person once (TgCant 3:7).

2.1.9 An anonymous voice repeatedly reports the direct speech of a character whose speeches account for the bulk of the text (but not continuously): The framing voice of TgCant constantly identifies Solomon as the speaker of the bulk of the text, including those sections of it which refer to him in the third person (e.g. TgCant 3:11; 4:1; 8:12): see 1:1,2,17; 2:8; 7:2; 8:5; 8:13. It is unclear whether it means to imply by this that the framing narratives for the reported speech should also be regarded as said by Solomon, or are said by the framing voice. This ambiguity, which has the effect of blending the voices of the framer and of Solomon, may be deliberate.

2.4 The governing voice defines a horizon of knowledge as shared with the projected addressee by taking for granted the following linguistic usages or references (in selection):

2.4.1 Persons or unique objects referred to by proper name or by technical expression. Two things are noteworthy about these names in TgCant: (1) The sheer number of them, which is especially striking because the vast majority are not found in BibCant. (2) Many of the names lie beyond the epistemic horizon of the biblical text. They certainly lie beyond the epistemic horizon of Solomon, in the sense that they denote entities that only came into existence after his time, though he could theoretically have known of them through prophetic revelation. And it is reasonable to assume that they also lie beyond the the time of the original collector/framer of Solomon's songs, though it is not clear when he was supposed to have lived. Certainly he makes no reference to any of them. Those items which can reasonably be deemed to lie beyond the epistemic horizon of Solomon/the governing voice of BibCant are marked with an * below. (For the implications of this see 2.1.7 above.) for persons mentioned or presented in narrative usage; as characters; or topics, for example: Solomon (1:1; 2:8; 3:7,9,11, and frequently); the Children of Israel/Assembly of Israel/Congregation of Israel (1:1,5,6,14,15,16; 2:1,4,6,7,9,10,13,14, and frequently); Joshua the son of Nun (1:1; 2:16; 3:4,6); Barak and Deborah (1:1); Hannah (1:1); David, King of Israel (1:1,8; 4:5; 7:5); the King Messiah (1:8,17; 4:5; 7:4,14; 8:1,2,4); Pharaoh (1:9; 2:14); Abraham (1:9,13; 2:11,12,17; 3:6,8; 6:12; 7:6,9,10); Isaac (1:9,13; 2:17; 3:6; 7:6); Jacob (1:9; 2:15,17; 3:6; 4:1,2; 5:14; 6:6; 7:6); Aaron (2:5,12; 4:5; 7:3,4); the sons of Ephraim (2:7); the Philistines (2:7); the Egyptians (2:8,10); the Patriarchs (2:8); the Matriarchs (2:8); Amalek (2:15,16); the tribe of Dan (2:15); *Micah (2:15); the Levites (3:3); the seven nations (3:5); Miriam (4:5); *Nebuchadnezzar (5:2); the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (5:3); *Sennacherib (5:4); *the Medes (5:4); Jeroboam (5:4); *Pekah son of Ramaliah (5:4); the Chaldeans (5:7); *Zedekiah (5:7); *the people of Babylon (5:7); *the Sages (5:13); the twelve tribes of Israel (5:14, enumerated by name); *the Sanhedrin of His Sages (6:2); Cyrus (6:2,11); *Ezra (6:2; 7:3); *Nehemiah (6:2; 7:3); *Zerubbabel (6:2; 7:3); *the Sages of the Great Assembly (6:5); *the Hasmoneans (6:7,9); *Mattathias the High Priest (6:7,9); *the Greeks (6:8); *wicked Alexander (8:8; v.l. *Antiochus); Bezaleel (7:3); *seventy Sages (7:3); *the Men of the Great Assembly (7:3); *Jeshua (7:3); *Mordechai Bilshan (7:3,6); *Daniel (7:6,9,10); *Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah (7:9); Elijah and Elisha (7:10); *Ezekiel the son of Buzi (7:10); *the Sages of the generation (7:14); *the hosts of Gog and Magog (8:4,7,8); Jeroboam the son of Nebat (8:11,12); Ahijah (8:11,12); Rehoboam (8:12); *the members of the Sanhedrin (8:13); *the elders of the Assembly of Israel (8:14). for Gods/mythical figures/supernatural beings, etc., for example: Lord of the World/Sovereign of the World/Master of the World (1:1,6), and other names of God are very frequent: striking because the name of God is not mentioned in BibCant; Shekhinah (1:4,13,16; 2:12; 4:6, and frequently); bat qol (4:1); Michael, Prince of Israel (8:9). for locations, for example: Red Sea (1:1; 2:13); Gibeon (1:1); Egypt (1:4,9; 2:9, and frequently); Cush (1:5); Qedar (1:5); the Temple (1:2; 2:4; 3:11, and frequently); the Wilderness (1:10,14; 2:6; 3:6); Mount Moriah (1:13; 2:17; 4:6); En Gedi (1:14); the Garden of Eden (1:17; 2:1; 4:13; 7:3,9); Mount Sinai (2:3,4); the land of Canaan (2:7); Gath (2:7); Mount Horeb (2:8); the Mountain of Frankincense (3:6); Lebanon (3:9; 4:14); Jerusalem (3:10, and frequently); Zion (3:11); Mount Gilead (4;1; 6:5); the brook Jabbok (4:2; 6:6); the Mountain of Snow (4:8); Hermon (4:8); the River Amana (4:8); Shiloah (4:14); Babylon (5:2,7; 6:2; 7:6); the Jordan (5:4); Lahlah (5:4); Habor (5:4); the River of Gozan (5:4); Leshem of Dan, which is called *Pamias (5:4); Riblah (5:7); Mount Carmel (7:6); Shushan (7:6); the Plain of Dura (7:10); the Land of Seir (7:12); the Mount of Anointing (8:5); Shiloh (8:11,12). for times or calendar dates (specific to a language or culture), for example: Passover (1:1; 2:9); the Festival of Tabernacles (3:11); the Day of Atonement (4:3); allusion to the three Pilgrim Festivals (7:2). for documents, texts, books, etc. (identified through being referred to or quoted), for example: Torah (1:2; 2:5; 7:13, and frequently); *the Six Orders of the Mishnah (1:2; 5:10); *the Talmud (1:2); the Two Tablets of Stone (3:10; 5:13); *the Twenty-Four Books [comprising] the Torah, the words of the Prophets, and the Writings (5:10).

2.4.2 circumlocutions, names or descriptions employed as “code” names: At 1:7 *Esau seems to be code-name for Christianity, whereas at 6:8, because of the chronology, it seems to be a code-name for the pre-Christian Roman Empire. At 17 *Ishmael seems to be a code-name for the Muslim Arabs, whereas at 6:8, because of the chronology, it seems to be a code-word for the pre-Islamic Arabs. *Edom = Christendom occurs at 7:12.

2.4.3 The text as a whole routinely employs the following language(s), knowledge of which is taken for granted: Aramaic, specifically the Late Literary Jewish dialect.

2.4.4 Special linguistic usages occur pervasively or prominently: Technical expressions for the meta-linguistic presentation of another text (see 6.9.4): The series of biblical quotations in the version of the Midrash of the Ten Songs which TgCant inserts at 1:1 are regularly introduced by the citation formula de-hakhi ketiv, but the verses are translated into Aramaic! Other special linguistic usages: The Aramaic of TgCant contains loanwords from Greek, the most striking being numphe = Heb. kallah, "bride" (4:8,9,10,11,12; 5:1), when the more obvious Aramaic kalleta' was available. There are also several Latin loanwords, possibly mediated through Greek (e.g., dux [6:8] and familia [1:15]). Persian loanwords: e.g., pitgam (2:5; 5:2), already in the Imperial Aramaic lexicon; za'afaran (5:14), possibly mediated through Arabic. Arabic loanwords: attested in the Western recension of the list of precious stones on the High Priest's breastplate in 5:14. Hebrew loanwords: for ritual objects or technical terms (e.g., mezuzah [8:3]; milah [3:8]; aron [1:14; 3:4,10]; nevu'ah [1:1; 5:10; 7:1,2]; Mishnah [1:2; 5:10]. In general the vocabulary of TgCant is immensely rich and projects a very knowledgeable audience.

2.4.5 The meaning of some linguistic usage or reference is addressed explicitly, marking it as not being part of the shared horizon of knowledge: One possible case of this in TgCant is the identification of Leshem of Dan as Pamias at 5:4. But this does not distance the audience from the governing voice, since the reference to Pamias is highly learned, and could itself have done with glossing (see Alexander, Targum Canticles, p. 150, note 20).

2.6 The text presents itself as speaking to certain persons, groups or entities, explicitly projecting a certain image of its addressee.

2.6.1 The governing voice uses apostrophe, second-person grammatical forms or first-person exclusive or inclusive “we”: One clear case of this is at 1:2 where, by the use of the first person plural, Solomon implicitly includes himself in the House of Israel, and identifies it as his audience.

2.7 The epistemic stance, knowledge horizon, moral stance and identity of the governing voice, and of the projected addressee, do not become thematic in the text.

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4.2 The event sequence is projected as related to the sequence of text parts as follows:

4.2.1 The report sequence mirrors the projected chronological sequence of events mostly or wholly, not precluding 4.2.2–5.

4.2.2 There is use of prolepsis or analepsis. See 4.5.

4.5 The narrative progression is schematic and not mediated through the interlinking of specific events, while the events are not described in detail.

4.5.1 The schematic telling of events is presented as conforming to an explicit overarching schema of chronology/periodization: TgCant presents itself as a series of episodes in the ongoing relationship between its two main characters, God and the people of Israel. Each episode is a mini-narrative which may involve dramatic interaction and dialogue between the main characters and other secondary dramatis personae (e.g., the nations of the world), but the links between the episodes are only minimally managed, if at all (note, e.g., "after all these things" at 5:2). What structures the overall narrative is (a) the episodes are arranged according to a chronological sequence which stretches from the exile in Egypt to the coming of the Messiah, divided into three main periods, not explicitly marked, but perceived in retrospect by the attentive reader: (i) from the exile in Egypt to the time of Solomon; (ii) from the Babylonian exile to the Hasmoneans; (iii) from the exile under Rome/Christianity to the time of the Messiah (see 1.2 above). (b) Each period and the episodes within it manifest a recurrent pattern of communion, estrangement, reconciliation and re-establishment of communion, which mirrors the basic dramatic pattern of the underlying biblical text. The narrative is unusual in that it spans a huge range of time, and for this reason leaves little or no room for characterisation and emplotment (contrast 4.1). It is highly schematized, a summary statement of the Heilsgeschicte (see and 11.2.1 below). From within the specific periods there are "flashes forward" (prolepsis) and "flashes back" (analepsis), which serve to link the various periods together. For example, at 4:5, within the first period, there is a "flash-forward" to the days of the Messiah in the last period, and at 8:11-12, there is a "flash-back" to the division of the kingdom after the death of Solomon, in the second period.

4.11 Supernatural characters appear in the narrative, whether introduced casually, or accounted for elaborately. See

4.13 The narrative pace is slowed down or changed by frequent or prominent quotation of speech, thought or text.

4.13.2 Quoted speech/thought provides a comment on the events (4.13.1 does not apply): Much of the biblical contents of Canticles, Targumically transformed, becomes an evaluation or interpretation of events not so much told as summarized in the speech reports supplied by the Targum's governing voice. See 2.1.7.

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5.5 The text’s sequence of sub-topics (discursive or narrative) mirrors a temporal or spatial order, but without narrative emplotment between the sub-topics. Or it mirrors the sequence of units of meaning in another text (from single words to whole books), while not reproducing the relationships between those parts, not using quotations from it as lemmatic progression (i.e., no 6.1), and not creating narrative emplotment.

5.5.1 This order includes all parts of the text (excepting frames), as follows: An order of units of meaning in another text (from words to whole books) provides the sequence for the text’s themes (including any normative themes): The sequence of verses in biblical Canticles is tacitly used as a unifying thematic-narrative agenda, which the Targumic text acknowledges partly by not providing any other comprehensive principle of unity, while not reproducing the thematic interrelationships which characterizes the biblical sentences. This is in addition to the hermeneutic and translational dependency described in 6.13. See also under 4.5.

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6.10 Comment statements reveal hermeneutic attitudes towards the base text as follows:

6.10.4 The text implies or explicates a hermeneutic stance concerning the accuracy of the base text: The base text wording is tacitly or explicitly treated under the assumption that it cannot be inaccurate/insincere/invalid.

6.13 The text constitutes a complete and sequential representation, in another language and in object-oriented perspective, of the perceived meaning of all or almost all verbal matter of a complete set of base text segments. See also 6.12.

6.13.1 The statements of the text are displayed in manuscripts as alternating in mere juxtaposition with segments of verbal matter from the base text (without linking quotation formulae): The majority of the mss of TgCant present the text verse-by-verse first in Hebrew and then in the Targum, either quoting the Hebrew in full, or identifying it by a lemma. The Masoretic verse-divisions of the Hebrew map exactly on to the Aramaic, which, despite its narrative, paraphrastic character, does not attempt to create any enjambement or syntactic run-on between verses, and the Targum can, therefore, be read verse-by-verse against the Hebrew.

6.13.2 The text’s governing voice is almost always identical with, or a consistent extension of, the persona projected by the governing voice of the base text: The governing voice of TgCant identifies the speakers of the unrubricated speeches of BibCant, and the settings or occasions on which the speeches were made. In this activity it should be seen as an extension of the govening voice of BibCant, which, by attributing at the beginning of the biblical book authorship of what follows to Solomon provides an historical setting for Canticles as a whole. However, though technically these opening words are in the governing voice, that voice projects almost nothing by way of persona: it simply tells us that everything else in Canticles was authored by Solomon, though he is by no means the speaker of every speech. The governing voice of TgCant is more an extension of the persona biblical Solomon in that the settings and speakers identified by the governing voice of the Targum are often apparently deduced from textual clues within the speeches which Solomon composed: TgCant creates co-text by deduction from the speeches themselves, and it regards that co-text as implicit or latent within Solomon's text. Though the governing voice of TgCant can be seen as a legitimate extension of the governing voices (the framer + Solomon) of BibCant, it is not identical with them, as one might expect in a simple translation, and this point is reinforced by the fact that TgCant projects an epistemic horizon way beyond, both in space and time, that projected by BibCant. See 2.4.1 above.

6.13.3 The text tends to use the sentence structure of the base text to accommodate any additional or modified object information: This phenomenon, so common in Onqelos, is present only for short sections of TgCant, in which the biblical text is translated one-to-one (e.g. 4:7: "All of you is beautiful, Assembly of Israel, and there is no defect in you", where the translation is literal, save for the replacement of the Hebrew, "my love" (ra'yati) with its identification "Assembly of Israel").

6.13.4 The text creates new syntactic structures within which the words of the base text can be recognized: This is the normal mode of representing the base-text in TgCant (e.g. 4:3: "The LIPS of the High Priest were making intercession in prayer before the Lord on the Day of Atonement, and his WORDS were turning back the SINS OF ISRAEL, which are like a THREAD OF SCARLET, and making them white as CLEAN wool. And the King, who was their HEAD, was full of PRECEPTS as a POMEGRANATE, NOT TO MENTION the COUNCILLORS AND MAGISTRATES who were close to the King, who were righteous, and in whom is no iniquity"). The words in capitals here can be related directly to the underlying Hebrew, and, for the most part, occur in the same order as the base-text. However, it is impossible to reconstitute the syntax of the base-text from the Targum. Some of the equivalents in the Targum are more or less literal translations. Others offer equivalents which "cash in" the perceived metaphorical or symbolic value of the original word. So "Counsellors and Magistrates" identifies the perceived symbolic meaning of "veil" in the original. In one case here, and frequently else where in TgCant, the link between the symbol and its literal referent is explicitly made: "the sins of Israel, which are like a thread of scarlet". Here "thread of scarlet" is the original biblical wording, and "sins of Israel" what the Targumist thinks it refers to symbolically. TgCant is careful to carry over from the biblical text a sufficient number of literal translations to allow the reader to correlate the Targum with the base-text in detail, and if there is any danger that this will become a problem, it resorts to the "X which is like Y" construction.

6.13.5 The text places sentences which have no corresponding wording in the base text at all alongside sentences which do: This is frequent in TgCant. These additional sentences occur at the beginnings of speeches and identify their speakers and the occasions on which they were said (e.g. 4:1: "ON THE DAY THAT KING SOLOMON OFFERED UP A THOUSAND BURNT OFFERINGS ON THE ALTAR, AND HIS OFFERING WAS ACCEPTED WITH FAVOUR BEFORE THE LORD, A BAT QOL WENT FORTH FROM THE HEAVENS AND SAID: 'How beautiful are you, Assembly of Israel, etc.'" Capitals here = additional co-text).

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7.1 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between a non-biblical text and one or more biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive.

7.1.2 Chronology, physical setting or emplotment correspond between the non-biblical narrative and the narrative of a biblical text or texts: The narrative’s chronological and spatial framework, as well as certain events, are co-extensive with that of a biblical partner text, or with some extended part of it: This applies to the Targum's use of the overall narrative arc of the Hebrew Bible, not to its use of the text of BibCant, its base-text. The chronological progression created in TgCant reflects the overall scheme of the Heilsgeschichte which can be deduced, for the most part, from the Hebrew Bible. See 4.5 and 11.2.1.

7.1.3 There is prominent use of explicit quotations of biblical wording, whether in non-narrative or in narrative (but not in biblical commentary, for which see section 6): In the Midrash of the Ten Songs (TgCant 1:1) nine biblical verses are quoted (Ps 92:1; Exod 15:1; Num 21:1; Deut 32:1; Josh 10:12; Judg 5:1; 1 Sam 2:1; 2 Sam 22:1; Isa 30:29), introduced by explicit citation formulae. This phenomenon is found nowhere else in TgCant, but is noteworthy because it seems to violate the translational character of Targum. The violation is somewhat mitigated by the fact that it occurs in frame-position, before the biblical text really begins, and is, in effect, an implicit exegesis of the phrase "song of songs", taken as an allusion to a plurality of songs of which Canticles is one. The Midrash of the Ten Songs identifies those songs and the place of Solomon's song within them. The violation is also mitigated by the fact that the biblical verses are quoted in Aramaic, not Hebrew, thus maintaining the linguistic integrity of the Targum. These Aramaic versions do not always correspond to those of the known Targumim of the verses quoted. This lack of correspondence is found also elsewhere in TgCant where there are short, unacknowledged verbal overlaps with other parts of the Bible, notably the account of the Exodus. But in fact, strictly speaking, whether or not the governing voice steps out of character by quoting explicitly verses of Scripture at TgCant 1:1 depends on whether or not he lived in the time of Isaiah or later, since the latest quotation he cites is from the Book of Isaiah.

7.2 Narrative or thematic correspondences, or overlap of specific wording, occur between the non-biblical text under discussion and other non-biblical texts in a manner that is prominent or pervasive.

7.2.4 The wording or specific theme of self-contained thematic units is occasionally identical to those of another non-biblical text (or part-text), without being marked as quotations from that other text (does not apply if 7.2.6, 7.2.8 or 7.2.9 applies; not applied to Mishnah/Tosefta Tractates): There are substantial parallels to works of rabbinic Midrash and other rabbinic texts, for which see Alexander, Targum Canticles, notes, passim.

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8.1 Standard forms or contents formulated in set phrases, set sentence formats, or clauses in a standard syntactic connection.

8.1.4 Unit of a biblical quotation together with a hermeneutically dependent formulation; midrashic unit: only in TgCant 1:1: see 7.1.3.

8.1.5 [Simile used in hermeneutic function: Common in TgCant, e.g. 2:11: "For the time of servitude, which is likened to winter, has ended ... and the tyranny of the Egyptians, which is compared to the [period of] incessant rain has passed and gone". See 6.13.4 above. However, since the biblical wording is not quoted but integrated, this hermeneutic use of the simile is implicit.]

8.1.6 Speech report: The bulk of BibCant consists of unrubricated speech. TgCant turnes this into reported speech by providing framing narratives which identify who uttered the speech and when. The speeches themselves, as in the biblical text, include: 8.1.13, Declamatory sentence, confession, proclamation, or affirmation (e.g. 1:10, 1:15); 8.1.14, Prayer, doxology, valediction or blessing (e.g. 1:2); and 8.1.15, Wish sentence (e.g. 4:16, 8:1, 8:14).

8.1.11 List enumerating items by whole sentences/interpretation units: There are two of these in TgCant, the list of Songs in the Midrash of the Ten Songs at 1:1, and the list of stones on the High Priest's breastplate at 5:14. The former is certainly in the governing voice of TgCant. In the case of the latter the situation is not clear. The list occurs as part of a long speech put, implicitly by Solomon, in the mouth of Israel. The voice could, therefore, be Solomon's, but the list is introduced very abruptly, and it could be read as an interruption by the governing (= framing) voice. At this point, however, it matters little to the reader whether or not it is the governing, framing voice, or the voice of Solomon.

8.1.13 Declamatory sentence, confession, proclamation or affirmation: see 8.1.6 above.

8.1.14 Prayer, doxology, valediction or blessing: see 8.1.6 above.

8.1.15 Wish sentence: see 8.1.6 above.

8.1.18 Sentence making a prediction of a future event: occasional (see especially TgCant 8).

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11.2 The text is dominated by the reporting of emplotted events, whether or not in an overarching narrative format (as profiled in section 4).

11.2.1 The reported events are those of a biblical past, or of a biblically foretold future: TgCant reports a series of episodes in chronological order belonging to the grand narrative of the Heilsgeschicte, from the Exodus from Egypt to the coming of the Messiah. The Targumist would regard that narrative as being implicit in Tanakh, either in the form of narratives relating to the past, or predictions regarding the future. See 4.5 above.

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12.1 Sampling of genre labels applied to the text in secondary literature: Targum; Targum and Midrash completely fused together; paraphrase.

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R.H. Melamed, The Targum to Canticles according to six Yemen MSS, compared with the "Textus Receptus" (Ed. de Lagarde) (Philadelphia: Dropsie College, 1922; reprinted from JQR n.s. 10 [1919-1920], pp. 377-410; 11 [1920-1921], pp. 1-20; 12 [1921-1922], pp. 57-117). This uses the Yemenite ms BL Or 1302 as the base text, and variants from five other Yemenite mss are cited in the apparatus. Divergences from P. de Lagarde, Hagiographa Chaldaice (Leipzig: Teubner, 1873), which reproduces the text of the first Rabbinic Bible of Felix Pratensis, published by Daniel Bomberg (Venice, 1517), a standard Western text of TgCant, are also noted. Carlos Alonso Fontela, El Targum al Cantar de los Cantares (Edicion Critica) (Coleccion Tesis Doctorales, No. 92/87; Madrid: Editorial de la Universidad Complutense de Madrird, 1987). The Western ms BN Heb. 110 is used as the base text, with variants from 8 other Western mss and 2 Yemenite mss (both used also by Melamed) in the apparatus. Isaac Jerusalmi, The Song of Songs in the Targumic Tradition: Vocalized Text with Facing English Translation and Ladino Versions (Cincinnati: Ladino Books, 1993): an eclectic text based on both Western and Yemenite mss. The edition of A. Sperber, the Bible in Aramaic, Vol. 4A: The Hagiographa (Leiden: Brill, 1968), pp. 127-41, basically a transcription of the Yemenite ms BL Or 2375, is problematic. Though, as in the case of the other Targums of the Hagiographa, both Western and Yemenite texts are extant, the differences between the two recensions in TgCant are minimal, and basically confined to the identification of the stones on the High Priest's breastplate.


English: P.S. Alexander, The Targum of Canticles: Translated with a Critical Introduction, Apparatus, and Notes (The Aramaic Bible, 17A; Collegeville, MN: LIturgical Press, 2003); Jerusalmi, The Song of Songs in the Targumic Tradition. Spanish: Alonso Fontela, Edicion Critica.

Selected Studies:

Alexander, Targum Canticles; Esther Menn, "Targum Song of Songs and the Dynamics of Historical Allegory", in: Craig A. Evans (ed.), The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity: Studies in Language and Tradition (Sheffield Academic Press: Sheffield, 2000), pp. 423-445; Menn, "Thwarted Metaphors: Complicating the Language of Desire in the Targum of the Song of Songs," Journal for the Study of Judaism 34 (2003), pp. 237-273; Penelope R. Junkermann, The Relationship between Targum Song of Song and Midrash Rabbah Song of Songs (PhD, University of Manchester, 2010).

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