Targum Onqelos on Genesis 2:5

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Michael W Abernathy
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Targum Onqelos on Genesis 2:5

Postby Michael W Abernathy » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:07 pm

I was looking at the Targum Onqelos to Genesis 2:5. I know my Aramaic isn’t very good, but this is how I translated it.
וְכֹל אִילָנֵי חַקלָא עַד לָא הֲוֹו בְאַרעָא וְכָל עִסבָא
And the Lord God had not caused every tree of the field was not yet in the earth and every herb
דְחַקלָא עַד לָא צְמַח אֲרֵי לָא אַחֵית יוי אֲלֹהִים מִטרָא

of the field was not caused to sprout since the LORD GOD had not made rain
ייי אלהא ‭ ‬ עַל אַרעָא וַאֲנָש לֵית לְמִפלַח יָת אֲדַמתָא ׃
and there was no man to work the land.


Hopefully, I didn’t screw it up too badly. What I noticed was how the Targum changed the word shrub to the word for tree. In this context would a tree of the field be a wild tree or a cultivated tree?

R.J. Furuli
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Re: Targum Onqelos on Genesis 2:5

Postby R.J. Furuli » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:07 am

Dear Michael,

Your translation is very literal but understandable.

your rendering "not caused" two times is not necessary, because both verbs are peal perfect, corresponding to qal. But your rendering "not made" is fine, because the verb is afel perfect, corresponding to hifil.

The clauses can be translated in different ways. My translation is:
"And any tree in the field was not yet, and any grass had not yet sprouted in the earth, because ywy God had not brought down rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate (work) the ground."

The Gramcord/Accordance translation is:
"And when all the trees of the field had not yet existed on the earth, and when all the plants of the field had not yet sprouted up, for the Lord God had not brought down rain on the earth, and there was no man to work the ground,"

As you know, Semitic words often have a wider semantic range that Indo-European words. Therefore, we cannot pinpoint a particular kind of tree to which אִילָנֵי refers. The word must be viewed as a generic count-noun that can refer to any kind of trees.


Best regards,

Rolf


Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

Isaac Fried
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Re: Targum Onqelos on Genesis 2:5

Postby Isaac Fried » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:32 pm

The fraction אִיל IL of אִילָן indicates elevation, loftiness, while the ending אַן AN is possibly a personal pronoun as in אָנִי, ANIY, 'I', namely, "I am tall, I am high, I reach up", methinks.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
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Re: Targum Onqelos on Genesis 2:5

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:49 pm

The ending אן AN is commonly used now in spoken Hebrew to assign a property, say, רחמן = רחם-אן, 'compassionate', (see also Lamentations 4:10), and then, רחמנוּת = רחמן-הוּא-את, 'mercifulness, pity'.
The English equivalent seems to be the ending -ist = is-it, as in Talmudist = Talmud-is-it.
In the HB we find further the designation חָשְמָן = חשם-אן, from the root חשם, 'big', as in Ps. 68:32(31)
יֶאֱתָיוּ חַשְׁמַנִּים מִנִּי מִצְרָיִם
KJV: "Princes shall come out of Egypt"

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
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Re: Targum Onqelos on Genesis 2:5

Postby Isaac Fried » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:50 pm

The letter (actually the uniliteral Hebrew root of loftiness) ל L appears in the words עֲלֵה ALEH, 'leaf', as in Gen. 3:7 and 8:11. Also in the tree, אילן, names אֵלָה ELAH, and אַלּוֹן ALON (notice the dagesh in the letter ל following the patax under the letter א), as in Gen. 35:4-8.
The tree name אֵשֶׁל is interesting as it appears to contain the two theophoric names אִיש + אֵל, and hence possibly the reverence of Gen. 21:33
וַיִּטַּע אֵשֶׁל בִּבְאֵר שָׁבַע וַיִּקְרָא שָׁם בְּשֵׁם יהוה אֵל עוֹלָם
KJV: "And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God."
NIV: "Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God."

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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SteveMiller
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Re: Targum Onqelos on Genesis 2:5

Postby SteveMiller » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:44 pm

Michael,
I don't think the tree or shrub is a matter of cultivated or uncultivated, but where they grew.
At this time there were only plants along the fountain that watered the whole land mass.
There were no plants in the field because there was not yet rain nor man.
Either one, rain falling on the field or man irrigating the field, would have enabled plants to grow in the field.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)


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