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Targum Qohelet (Researcher: Philip Alexander):
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1.1 The text refers to itself as a verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries): TgQoh 1:1 designates its contents as "words of prophecy", and reinforces this designation at regular intervals within the text (for example, 4:14). At the end (12:9) it refers to its content, indirectly, as "proverbs" and wisdom.

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1.1 The text refers to itself as a verbal entity (with implied or explicit boundaries): TgQoh 1:1 designates its contents as "words of prophecy", and reinforces this designation at regular intervals within the text (for example, 4:14). At the end (12:9) it refers to its content, indirectly, as "proverbs" and wisdom.

1.1.1 The text refers to itself using a genre term, speech act term, verb or other term implying verbal constitution: TgQoh 1:1 designates its contents as "words of prophecy", and reinforces this designation at regular intervals within the text (for example, 4:14). At the end (12:9) it refers to its contents, indirectly as "proverbs" and wisdom.

1.1.4 The text introduces the governing voice, thereby indirectly marking its own boundedness: TgQoh identifies the speaker of the vast bulk of the text as Solomon. Though not the governing voice (in the sense of the voice that provides the narrative framework), Solomon speaks most of the text and makes the most significant statements.

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: TgQoh is found under the title "Targum Qohelet" in the first Rabbinic Bible (Venice: Bomberg, 1517), and in a number of medieval mss, and is referred to as a Targum in works such as the Arukh of Nathan ben Yehiel and Elias Levita's Meturgeman. At 2:20, 5:8, 7:7, 7:19, and 11:10, a number of text witnesses introduce alternative versions under the rubric "Targum Aher", thus implying that the main text is "Targum".

1.6 The approximate word count or other indication of comparative size is: 7,100 words, created by copying the text from the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon database and counting it in a 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 TgQoh is marked by an opening statement summarizing its contents: "The words of prophecy which Qohelet, that is Solomon, the son of David, the king who was in Jerusalem, prophesied". The ending is signalled by an inclusio which picks up the opening statement of Solomon, "vanity of vanities" (cf. 12:9 with 1:2), and by a valedictory exhortation addressed to "my son", which refers to the Day of Judgement (12:12-14), and includes the phrase, "the end of the matter".

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2.1 The information conveyed in the text defines the perspective of the governing voice in the following way: [NB for the purposes of the present inventory profile the governing voice of TgQoh is identified with the highest level of discourse within the text, the narrative frame which introduces the discourses of Solomon. In biblical Qohelet the narrative frame is minimal and comprises only the heading at 1:1 and the coda at 12:9-14. In TgQoh this framework is "beefed up", with the framing voice intruding at regular intervals into Solomon's discourses, and sometimes providing substantial information as to the occasion on which he uttered a particular discourse (see, for example, 1:2, and especially the mini-narrative at 1:12; further 2.1.8 below). But the vast bulk of the text is said in Solomon's voice, and significant text-linguistic features would be lost from the profile if it were described solely at the level of the governing (i.e., framing) voice. For the purposes of profiling the governing voice is regarded as normally embracing that of Solomon, on the grounds that it quotes Solomon, and so knows what he said, but on those occasions where the profile would significantly differ depending on whether or not the description is at the level of the framing voice, or the level of Solomon, the difference is noted.]

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. The text is not narrative but the governing voice refers to utterances on the basis of unexplained knowledge of speech events of diverse periods and places: TgQoh's governing voice [here = its framing voice] does not explain how it comes to know the speeches of Solomon it reports, or how it knows, in certain cases, when and why he made those utterances. Contrast the analysis at the level of Solomon's voice in 2.1.2 below.

2.1.2 The governing voice thematizes how it comes to know the text’s contents or its right to command obedience from the text’s addressee. Its perspective is presented as limited, referring either to evidence, or to personal experience (mere human knowledge): [Governing voice here = Solomon's voice]. In TgQoh Solomon repeatedly claims to know what he knows through revelation and through the holy spirit, and these claims are reinforced by the framing voice, which often refers to him as a prophet, but the framing voice itself does not thematize how it comes to know what it knows (see above). Solomon also thematizes on what basis he can promulgate norms of behaviour, both by claiming to be a prophet and a king, claims repeated again by the framing voice, but other than by quoting the authoritative Solomon the framing voice does not claim any authority for itself. Solomon also claims authority on the basis of personal experience (see below). The governing voice presents or discusses norms whose commanding force is unlimited, but speaks from a perspective clearly distinguished from that of the ultimate lawgiver: Though Solomon enunciates norms of behaviour (see 8.1.2), TgQoh constantly implies that God and the Torah are the ultimate moral authority: see e.g. 12:10. The governing voice suggests its information or advice is based on his or her own experiences, or on other knowledge filtered by reflections on personal experience: Both the framing voice and Solomon indicate that Solomon's knowledge is based on personal experience: see, e.g., 1:12-18 and 2:1-11.

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): This is true both of biblical Qohelet and TgQoh, but the anonymous governing (i.e. framing) voice in TgQoh says more than in biblical Qohelet and presupposes a somewhat wider epistemic horizon than that presupposed in biblical Qohelet. See 2.4 and 6.13.2 below.

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: The activity of the governing (i.e. framing) voice in TgQoh is to provide a third-person framing narrative for the speeches of Solomon. However, on at least one occasion (10:9) the narrative frame provided by the governing voice does contain first person statements, but the first person in this case is not that of the framing voice, but of Solomon, whose persona the framing voice has momentarily appropriated.

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): TgQoh presents itself as almost totally made up of first-person speeches by Solomon. All the speeches quoted in TgQoh are said to be by the same person, Solomon. Biblical Qohelet 1:1 identifies the content of the book as "words of Qohelet, son of David, king in Jerusalem." TgQoh carries this frame across but expands it, identifying Qohelet by name as Solomon, and claiming he spoke as a prophet. The same voice then intrudes itself at a number of points into the first-person utterances of Solomon which constitute the bulk of the rest of the text by repeatedly restating the opening frame and reminding the reader that Solomon is still the speaker (1:4,12; 3:11,12; 4:15; 7:27; 9:7,11,13; 10:7,9). There is considerable variation in the wording of these frame-statements, but all identify Solomon as the speaker, and most state that he is speaking through prophecy (though only in a few cases does this entail a foreseeing of the future). The distribution of these frame-statements throughout the Targum does not appear to be structural, that is to say, they do not delimit sections within the text , but appear to function solely to remind the reader that Solomon is the "I" of the text. The governing (i.e., framing) voice also at a number of points, in a manner reminiscent of TgCant, identifies the contexts or settings in his life at which Solomon said a particular utterance: e.g. at 1:2, 1:12, and strikingly at the end of 12:8, where TgQoh strengthens the inclusio in the biblical text involving the reference back to opening "vanity of vanities". The third-person framing narrative in 12:9-10 is significantly expanded in TgQoh, and the Targum, like the biblical text, leaves it unclear who says 12:11-14. TgQoh could easily have resolved the issue by another insertion of "Solomon the King of Israel said", but chose not to do so. The effect is to merge the framing voice with that of Solomon. See above under 2.1.8 and below under 5.1.

2.2 A first-person voice imposes its perspective on all (or almost all) knowledge or norms conveyed in the text: The bulk of the text in TgQoh is said by Solomon in the first person.

2.2.1 The first-person governing voice is identified by an anonymous voice through a proper name or unique description. Points–3 are devoted to the anonymous voice; all other points presuppose the knowledge horizon of the first-person voice, unless otherwise indicated: The introductions of the governing voice are repeated, and sometimes involve specific occasions of speaking, sometimes not (so that the dichotomy between and does not apply). The discourses of Solomon, which make up the bulk of the text, have a testamentary feel to them, and might be read as having been uttered at the end of his life, and represent the summation of his Wisdom, but 12:9 could imply that they were delivered over a life-time of teaching, and at least 1:2ff is contextualized to a specific, if undated, occasion. Cf. 5.1.2. The introduction of the first-person governing voice of the text has the following characteristics (also applies to self-identification 2.2.2): It contextualizes the person, or the person together with a unique occasion of speaking: The speaker is Solomon, son of David, the king who ruled in Jerusalem, well known from biblical history. It is found both at the beginning and at the end of the text: and also in between, see 2.1.9.

2.2.2 The first person voice identifies itself by name or uniquely identifying expression (once or repeatedly): So, probably, at TgQoh 1:12, "I am Qohelet, who was previously called Solomon. I was king in Jerusalem."

2.2.4 The number and gender of the first-person governing voice are as follows: The first person singular is used.

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): [governing voice here = framing voice + Solomon].

2.4.1 Persons or unique objects referred to by proper name or by technical expression: for persons mentioned or presented in narrative usage; as characters; or topics, for example: Solomon (1:1 and very frequently); Rehoboam (1:2; 4:15,16); Jeroboam the son of Nebat (1:2; 3:11; 4:15,16); King David (1:2); the King Messsiah (1:11; 7;24); the Rabbis of the Sanhedrin (2:4,10; 12:11); the children of Ham (2:7); the Levites (2:8); King Saul (2:15); Amalek (2:15); Sheba the son of Bichri (3:11); Abraham (4:13; 7:28); Nimrod (4:13); the tribes of Benjamin and Judah (4:15); the House of Israel (4:16); Adam (6:10, adam qadma'ah; 7:28); the sons of Jacob (7:19); Joseph (7:19); Eve (7:29); Manasseh (10:9); Hezekiah the son of Ahaz (10:9,17); the King of Assyria (10:9); Rabshakeh (10:9); the ark of acacia wood (10:9); Elijah the High Priest (10:20); Moses the prophet (12:11). for persons quoted with direct speech in a non-narrative co-text (see also 5), for example: the Attribute of Justice, quoted in TgQoh 10:8 is the only example. for Gods/mythical figures/supernatural beings, etc., for example: God is mentioned frequently in TgQoh (more frequently than in biblical Qohelet), principally under the titles of "the Lord" (1:18; 3:11,18, etc.) and "Master of the World" (1:3; 4:13; 5:11, etc.). The variation in the divine titles appears to be purely stylistic. Memra (1:12; 2:15; 4:6; 6:7,10; 8:2,3; 10:8), the Shekhinah (7:3; 11:7), the Attribute of Justice (10:8), and possibly also the holy spirit (12:10), are spoken of in terms implying personification. Other supernatural beings: Ashmedai, king of demons (1:12), mazziqei and telanei (two kinds of demon) (2:5); the Angel of the Lord (10:9); the angel Raziel (11:7). for locations, for example: Jerusalem (1:2,16; 2:4,15, and frequently); the Temple (1:2; 3:11; 4:17, and frequently); Gibeon (1:13); the Garden of Eden (1:15; 6:8; 9:7); Yavneh (2:5); waters of Shiloah (2:5); Beth El (3:11); Dan (3:11); the land of Canaan (4:14); Gehenna (6:7; 8:10; 9:14,15; 10:11; 11:10); Shechem (7:19); the Tower of Babel (7:28); Mount Horeb (10:20). for times or calendar dates (specific to a language or culture), for example: The following months are mentioned by name: Nisan (1:6); Tammuz (1:6); Tishri (11;12); Marcheshvan (11:2). for documents, texts, books, etc. (identified through being referred to or quoted), for example: Torah is mentioned frequently, and, at least in some instances, is seen as a book (for example, 10:9 and 12:10, where a verse "written in Torah is quoted). 12:9 refers vaguely to books of wisdom.

2.4.2 circumlocutions, names or descriptions employed as “code” names: It is fairly clear from the context that "Edom" at 10:6 is a code-name for the Christian Roman empire, a common usage in Rabbinic texts.

2.4.3 The text as a whole routinely employs the following language(s), knowledge of which is taken for granted: TgQoh is in Late Literary Jewish Aramaic. The quotation from Deuteronomy 19:15 at 12:10 is in Aramaic, either to preserve the linguistic integrity of the Targum, or because the Targumist thought the readers would not understand Hebrew.

2.4.4 Special linguistic usages occur pervasively or prominently: Technical expressions for a particular subject matter: Halakhah and Midrash (= Aggadah) are introduced at 12:11.

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: No attempt is made in TgQoh to explain the names it introduces. The one possible exception is the identification of Ashmedai at 1:12 as "king of the demons".

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”: Exhortations, use of "you" forms and imperatives are pervasive in TgQoh (e.g., 4;17; 5:1; 7:16; 11:1-2; 12:1,12).

2.6.2 The projected addressee is characterized as having a certain moral or epistemic stance, or as standing in contrast to another group’s moral or epistemic stance: the addressees qualities are implicitly presented as those of the righteous or persons subscribing to the correct values. The addressees qualities are implicitly presented in TgQoh as those of the righteous or persons subscribing to correct values.

2.6.3 The governing voice uses verbs of epistemic or moral exhortation or employs a “focus marker": For example, 7:13, 29; 12:12.

2.6.4 The governing voice directs questions at the projected addressee which are marked as rhetorical or as suggesting the audience assume a particular epistemic or moral stance: For example, 1:3; 2:19.

2.6.5 The governing voice employs exclamatory or declamatory modes of speech (cf. 8.1.13): For example, 8:17.

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5.1 The bulk of the text is constituted by thematic discourse/description, albeit presented as speech/wording quoted from a narrative setting: TgQoh is a series of Wisdom discourses put in a narrative framework which identifies the speaker as Solomon, and in some cases, describes the occasion on which he supposedly uttered them. See also 2.1.9 and 2.2.1.

5.1.2 [The discursive or descriptive treatment of themes is presented as constituted by speeches uttered on separate but mutually emplotted occasions (one or more speakers): The narrative frame of TgQoh is unclear as to whether the discourses of Solomon were uttered on one occasion or several. No grand occasion is identified at which he delivered them all, and the impression given is that they were given over a lifetime of teaching (see 12:9), but TgQoh creates separate narrative occasions only for some of them.] The separate speeches in sequence constitute a juxtaposition of themes/propositions (see further 5.7): the "speeches" here can be interpreted as single sayings. The overall theme of TgQoh is clearly stated at 1:2-3, and pursued consistently to the end. See 9.4.3 below.

5.7 Adjacent text parts constituting themes are merely juxtaposed or weakly conjoined, while there is no indication of an overall objective relationship (so no 5.6, 5.2.1, 5.3.1, 5.4.1 or–3).

5.7.6 The juxtaposed thematic units are concerned with universal claims to accuracy/validity and thereby tacitly project an objective interrelatedness, as parts of a unified projected world.

5.8 The bulk of the text consists of small forms and patterns drawn from a limited set of formats for thematic articulation or for discussion (further section 8): single sentences or connected clauses can form self-contained sayings, although the "proverb" form of biblical Qohelet is usually dissolved in the Targumic version by additional verbal matter.

5.9 The text’s governing voice projects the accuracy or validity of its statements as: [governing voice = framing voice + Solomon].

5.9.2 Admitting discussion or disagreement, or the need for argument and evidence in principle: TgQoh presents the evidential basis of Solomon's wisdom as residing in observation of the world and in experimentation (for example, 1:5-7; 2:1-11), which implies that it needs evidence and is open to discussion and disagreement. But it also calls it "prophecy", which suggests the contrary.

5.10 The governing voice ascribes statements about the text’s thematic substance pervasively or prominently to speaker characters as utterances.

5.10.3 The governing voice quotes a character with a direct speech of such length that it constitutes a significant proportion of the text overall: [governing voice here = framing voice] TgQoh attributes all the discourses in its text to Solomon, and these constitute the bulk of the text.

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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: TgQoh designates biblical Qohelet as "prophecy", "spoken by the holy spirit", and "revelation" from God (e.g., 1:2,4; 8:12). But the stress in TgQoh on the primacy of Torah as the source of knowledge (note the designation of the words of Deuteronomy 19:15 as "firm and trustworthy" at 12:10) may be intended as a corrective of Biblical Qohelet's implicit elevation of observation as the source of Solomon's wisdom.]

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: TgQoh represents almost every word of biblical Qohelet in the same sequence as in the original.

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): In the medieval mss of TgQoh the base text is either quoted in full, veres-by-verse, with the Targum interwoven, or identified by a lemma indicating the beginning of the verse. TgQoh always respects the verse-divisions of the base text, creating no syntactic run-ons between verses. It can, therefore, despite its paraphrastic character, be read verse-by-verse against the base-text.

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 TgQoh [here = the framing voice: see 2.1 above] is certainly consonant with that of biblical Qohelet, and performs the same basic function of contextualizing the speeches of the base text, but it has greatly expanded this role and invokes an epistemic horizon beyond that demanded in the original. It should, therefore, be seen as an extension of the persona of the governing voice of the base text.

6.13.3 The text tends to use the sentence structure of the base text to accommodate any additional or modified object information: In TgQoh additional information is normally provided in the form of short explanatory additions to the base text which respect its syntax, and which can be bracketed out, leaving behind a viable one-to-one translation of the original, or which can be made into such a translation with very minor linguistic adjustments. For example, "I acquired male and female slaves FROM THE CHILDREN OF HAM AND OTHER FOREIGN PEOPLES. And I had stewards WHO WERE APPOINTED OVER THE FOOD FOR MY HOUSEHOLD, TO PROVISION ME AND THE PEOPLE OF MY HOUSE, TWELVE FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS OF THE YEAR, AND ONE FOR MY PROVISIONING IN THE INTERCALATED MONTH. Also I had possessions of oxen and sheep more than all THE GENERATIONS who proceeded me in Jerusalem" (capitals = Targumic additions).

6.13.4 The text creates new syntactic structures within which the words of the base text can be recognized: This happens only occasionally in TgQoh: for example, 10:20, "Also do not curse the king in your thought, IN THE SECRET PLACES OF YOUR HEART. And do not curse THE SAGE in your bedroom, for the angel Raziel PROCLAIMS EVERY DAY FROM the heavens UPON MOUNT HOREB AND causes a voice to go THROUGH THE WHOLE WORLD, and Elijah, THE HIGH PRIEST goes flying through THE AIR OF HEAVEN LIKE AN EAGLE HOVERING, AND declares matters THAT ARE DONE IN SECRET TO ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH." The point at issue here is not the identification of the of and the ba'al kenafim of the original with Raziel and Elijah respectively: such non-literal equivalents can be found in one-to-one Targum. It is the loss of the original syntax, and the impossibility of extracting from this passage a one-to-one translation. A longer and more striking example of this phenomenon can be found at 3:11, where elements of the base text seem to have disappeared. 6.13.4 is common in TgCant, but is not used either as frequently or as exuberantly in TgQoh.

6.13.5 The text places sentences which have no corresponding wording in the base text at all alongside sentences which do.: For example, 1:4, "KING SOLOMON SAID THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, 'The GOOD generation OF THE RIGHTEOUS goes FROM THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THE SINS OF THE EVIL generation OF THE WICKED WHO WILL come after them.'" The opening sentence here has absolutely no equivalent in the base text. Here the added sentence serves solely to identify the speaker of what follows. Sometimes it is used further to identify the events, either in Solomon's life or even after his death (events he foresaw through prophecy), which give the context of the utterance, and explain, to some degree, its content. For example, the opening statement (1:2) "vanity of vanities" is contextualized by TgQoh as Solomon's response to the revelation by the holy spirit that his kingdom would be divided after his death, and that all that he and his father had built up would be lost. Sometimes this additional scene-setting is put in Solomon's voice (for example, 1:9). Additional sentences do not occur only at the beginning of verses, but can be found intruded into the body of the base-text verses (for example, 3:11).

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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.

7.1.3 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): There is a quotation of Bible in TgQoh, at 12:10, "Therefore, it was told him [Solomon] by the spirit of prophecy from before the Lord, 'Already it has been written in the Torah of Moses the teacher of Israel (firm and trustworthy are the words!), By the word of witnesses shall the matter be established'". The quotation is from Deuteronomy 19:15, and it is in Aramaic, thus preserving the linguistic integrity of the Targum, though the Aramaic wording does not agree exactly with that of any of the known Targumin to the Torah verse. This is the only marked quotation from Bible in TgQoh, but it is noteworthy: such quotations are very rare in the Targums as a whole, because, probably, their presence was perceived in some way to violate the Targum genre.

7.1.5 The projected persona of the governing voice of the text, whether a narrative or not, is also known from a biblical text, or the governing voice assumes an epistemic stance similar to that of a biblical text: TgQoh introduces Solomon as the speaker of the discourses of Qohelet. He is not named as such in Biblical Qohelet, though it was widely assumed (an assumption by no means inevitable), that the description of Qohelet as "son of David" in 1:1 pointed to that identification. Solomon's relationship to David is known from other parts of the Bible. [NB on the definition of "governing voice" for the purposes of this profile see under 2.1 above.] The projected first-person persona of the governing voice is presented as identical with, or as an extension of, the persona of the governing voice of a biblical text: The Solomon of TgQoh can be seen as an extension of the persona of Qohelet in the biblical book Qohelet. He is not identical since he enjoys an epistemic horizon wider than that attributed to biblical Qohelet, which includes knowldege of events long after his death (e.g., 10:9 refers to events in the reign of Manasseh son of Hezekiah, though pointedly this knowledge is said to come through revelation). [NB the persona of the anonymous thrid-person framing voice can also be seen as an extension of the persona of the framing voice in biblical Qohelet: see 2.1.7 above.] The epistemic stance of the governing voice (narrative or not, first person or not) can be interpreted as falling into the same generic category as one of the following stances also adopted in biblical texts: The conveyance of wisdom on the basis of personal experience or learning, as in Proverbs, Qohelet: The content of TgQoh can be classified totally as "wisdom", and the targum states the experiental and even experimental basis of Solomon's wisdom: see, e.g., 2:1-11.

7.1.8 The non-narrative text pervasively or prominently presupposes the narrative fabric of biblical events/reported speech, beyond the contents of any specific biblical quotations that may occur. The text presupposing biblical narrative fabric has a thematic structure of discourse or description: TgQoh, though predominantly non-narrative discourse, embeds the discourse more fully than biblical Qohelet in the narrative of the Bible, not only by identifying the speaker as Solomon, and relating the discourses to events in his life, known from the historical books of the Bible, but by referring to other events in Israel's history, e.g. in the time of Menasseh and Hezekiah.

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 between TgQoh and rabbinic Midrash (especially Qohelet Rabba) and other rabbinic texts: e.g., TgQoh 15 is paralleled in Qohelet Rabba 9.15 #8, b.Ned. 32b, and Qohelet Zuta (ed. Buber, p. 150), and TgQoh 12:1-6 is paralleled in Qohelet Rabba 12.2 #1-12.6 #1, bSanh. 151b, and Leviticus Rabba 18.1. See further Knobel, the Targum of Qohelet, notes, passim. In no case of parallelism are the wording and ideas so close as to suggest implicit quotation of one text by another.

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8.1 [NB Throughout section 8 "governing voice" is taken as Solomon's voice, except for 8.1.6. For explanation see under 2.1 above.] Standard forms or contents formulated in set phrases, set sentence formats, or clauses in a standard syntactic connection.

8.1.2 Unconditional norm: Unconditional norms are frequent in TgQoh, but they are moral or behavioural, rather than strictly legal in character. For example, 5:1,3,5; 7:13,16,21; 11:1-2; 12:1.

8.1.3 Sentence with theme anticipated to the beginning and repeated in a pronoun or by ellipsis: occasional, e.g., 7:21, "Also, as for all the words which the wicked speak to you, do not pay attention to them". See also 6:7.

8.1.4 Unit of a biblical quotation together with a hermeneutically dependent formulation; midrashic unit: the nearest TgQoh comes to this is at 12:10 which implies that Deuteronomy 19:15 means that a judge should not rely on his perception of the psychology of the plaintives in the absence of witnesses.

8.1.5 [Simile used in hermeneutic function: occasional, for example, 9:14. The hermeneutic function of the mashal here in TgQoh, comparing a city to a human body, is implicit, since the mashal explicates the reference in the underlying biblical text to a city.]

8.1.6 Speech report: at the level of the framing voice, the content of TgQoh is presented as reported speech of Solomon (see 9.4.3 below).

8.1.8 Reason clause: frequent, for example, 5:5, "For on the great judgement day you cannot say before the severe angel who rules over you that it is an error". See also 4:17; 5:2; 6:8 11,12; 7:2; 9:1, 9.12.

8.1.10 List sentence enumerating items by words or phrases: occasional, for example, 3:1-8.

8.1.13 Declamatory sentence, confession, proclamation or affirmation: pervasive, for example, 1:9, "What was previously will be afterwards, and what happened previously will happen till the end of all generations of the world." See also 1:18; 2:2; 8:17.

8.1.19 Prediction of reward or punishment of behaviour in a “wisdom” or similar formulation: occasional, for example, 11:10 (Targum Aher), "Remove anger from your heart, for anger kills people, and, furthermore, it brings many to Gehenna"; 6:8, "And what does that poor man have to do but to occupy himself with the Torah of the Lord, so that he will know how to walk in the presence of the Lord in the Garden of Eden?"

8.1.20 Recommendation of a particular behaviour or statement of an ideal type of person in a “wisdom” or similar formulation: occasional, usually in the formulation, "Better is x than y", for example, 7:5, "It is better to sit and study in the house of learning listening to the rebuke of a man wise in the Torah than to be a man who goes to hear the sound of the music of fools."

8.1.21 Statement describing a reality (nature, creation, human nature) in a “wisdom” or similar formulation: occsional, for example, 1:5-7, description of the path of the sun through the heavens, and the flow of the rivers into the ocean, to illustrate the unchanging rhythms of nature.

8.1.22 Statement praising Torah in a “wisdom” or similar formulation: Though there are no extended statements as such, the authority and importance of Torah is implied throughout TgQoh (for example, 1:3; 12:10).

8.2 Non-narrative small literary forms that impose on their components a standard functional relationship to each other, while grammar and syntax may vary:

8.2.2 Self-contained question-answer unit in anonymous discourse: The closest TgQoh comes to this is the answer of the Attribute of Justice at 10:8 to the implicit question of Solomon as to why the people who were enslaved formerly to Israel now lord it over Israel.

8.4 [Small poetic form:

8.4.1 [Occurrence of a song, poetic piece, rhythmic unit: biblical Qohelet contains a number of extended poetical passages and short poetic sayings (for example, 1:2-9,15,18; 2:2, 13-14; 3:1-8; 9:11,16; 10:18, 20; 12:3-8,12). Despite 6.13 above, TgQoh, through the addition of explanatory material, has almost totally destroyed the poetry of the original.]

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9.4 For an extended passage there is a juxtaposition of thematic units (sentences or groups of sentences) capable of being interpreted in the following manner:

9.4.3 Repetitions as markers of architecture: There is a repetition of words marking out as coordinated passages that deal with contrastive sub-topics of the same superordinate theme, usually unnamed: The overarching theme of TgQoh is stated in its opening "motto" about the vanity of the world (1:2-3). The rest of the text presents itself as an extended meditation on this proposition, indicated, in part, by repetitions of key words or phrases from the motto ("vanity", "beneath the sun") at a number of points in the body of the text, for example, 1:17, 2:23, 4:7, 6:1, 9:13, 10:5, and in an inclusio at 12:8 at the end. Other repetitions which create text-architecture are: (a) variations of the phrase "Solomon said" (for example, 1:4; 3:11,12; 4:15; 9:7,11,13; 10:7,9; 12:10); and (b) variations of the formula "I said in the thoughts of my heart", "I saw" (for example, 1:16; 2:1; 3:17,18; 4:1,4). None of these markers, however, delineates consistently what might be seen as major sections of the text.

9.6 An extended portion or substantial proportion of the text continuously explicates local thematic transitions, by means of:

9.6.1 [Use of conjunctions: In TgQoh., as in biblical Qohelet, asyndeton is common. This is characteristic of the discursive style of Wisdom literature as a whole, which can be composed (in contrast to biblical narrative) of simple affirmative statements, imperative sentences, and gnomai, often not linked by any conjunctions. Note, for example, the lack of conjunctions at 1:10, 3:1, 5:1, and 10:1, but, by way of contrast, the "and" (vav) at 4:4, 8:15, and 12:1. "Af" also occurs as a conjunction (for example, 7:21).]

9.6.2 Use of announcement of themes for text parts, full-sentence headings or summaries: Thematically speaking, in TgQoh the only real heading is at 1:2-3, which serves to state the theme of the whole book (9.4.3). Occasionally, however, questions pose a theme for discussion: see 9.6.6.

9.6.3 Use of explicit reference to the textual position or sequence of information, articulating the passage as having coordinated parts: e.g., "again I saw" (4:1,7). See also under 9.6.5.

9.6.4 Use of discourse deixis (e.g., “below”, “following”) which indicate parts, or of cross-references: e.g., "also this" (1:17; 2:23; 7:6; 9:13); "all this" (8:9); "and more than these" (12:12).

9.6.6 Use of questions to articulate parts within a passage or functioning as headings: e.g., 2:15,19,22; 3:9; 8:1.

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11.1 The non-narrative text projects its thematic concern as being mainly one or more of the following:

11.1.2 Moral values or value judgments, including practical instructions on proper behaviour or self-preservation: TgQoh, like biblical Qohelet, consists of large numbers of statements of a moral/wisdom type, and instructions which implicitly or explicitly indicate how to live one's life well.

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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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Editions: The best text of TgQoh, as for the other Targums of the Writings, is that found in the Western ms., Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale Heb. 110. It is available in a transcription entered by E.G. Clarke into the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon database, corrected from microfilm by J. Lund. This text forms the basis of the following profile. The Western text is found also in the first Biblia Rabbinica, published by Bomberg (Venice, 1517), reprinted, minus the vowels, by P. de Lagarde, in Hagiographa Chaldaice (Leipzig: Teubner, 1873). Other Western mss: Codex Urbinas 1, E. Levine, The Aramaic Version of Qohelet (New York: Sepher-Hermon Press, 1978); Luis Diez Merino, "Targum de Qohelet: Ms Urbinati 1, Roma, Biblioteca Vaticana", Annuario di Filologia 20 (1997), pp. 45-66; Salamanca M-2, M. Tadarach and J. Ferrer, Un targum de Qohelet: Ms M-2 de Salamanca, Editio princeps: Texte aramaeen, traduction et commentaire critique (Le Monde de la Bible; Labor et Fides: Geneva, 1998). Yemenite mss form the basis of A. Levy, Das Targum zu Koheleth nach suedarabischen handscriften herausgegeben (Breslau: H. Fleischmann, 1905). A. Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic, vol. IVA: The Hagiographa (Leiden: Brill, 1968), is based on the Yemenite ms, British Library 2375. The differences between the Western and Yemenite recensions of TgQoh are nowhere near as great as in TgLam, and apparently not significiant for the profile.

Translations: English: The most serviceable English translation is P.S. Knobel, The Targum of Qohelet (The Aramaic Bible 15; Liturgical Press: Collegeville, Minnesota, 1991), based on an eclectic text using eleven mss, both Western and Yemenite. Earlier English versions may be found in: C.D. Ginsburg, Coheleth, commonly called the Book of Ecclesiastes (London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1961), based on the Biblia Rabbinica; A.D. Corre, The Sources of Targum Qohelet (MA thesis, Manchester University, 1953), based on BL 1302; and Levine, The Aramaic Version of Qohelet, based on Codex Urbinas 1. French: Tadarach and Ferrer, Un targum de Qohelet; F. Manns, "Le Targum de Qohelet -- manuscrit Urbinati 1: traduction et commentaire", Liber Annuus 42 (1992), pp. 145-198; Diez Merino, "Targum de Qohelet".

Selected Studies: Knobel. The Targum of Qohelet summarizes much of the content of his doctoral thesis Targum Qohelet: A Linguistic and Exegetical Inquiry (PhD dissertation, Yale Universiy, 1976); Tadarach and Ferrer, Un targum de Qohelet; C. Mangan, "Some Similarities between Targum Job and Targum Qohelet", in: D.R.G. Beattie and M.J. McNamara (eds), The Aramaic Bible: Targums in their Historical Context (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1994), pp. 349-353; R.A. Salters, "Observations on the Targum to Qoheleth", JNSL 24 (1999), pp. 13-24; P.V.M. Flesher, "The Wisdom of the Sages: Rabbinic Rewriting of Qohelet", in: E.M. Myers and P.V.M. Flesher (eds), Aramaic in Postbiblical Judaism and Early Christianity (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2010), pp. 267-279.

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