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Targum E translation of Leviticus 6:11

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#1 Gordon



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Posted 13 March 2014 - 11:35 AM

Lev. 6:11 Only the males among Aaron’s descendants may eat of it, as their due for all time throughout the ages from the LORD’s offerings by fire. Anything that touches these shall become holy (YIKDASH)



The English Onkelos Targum translates: 

Lev. 6:11 Every male of the sons of Aaron may eat it. It is an eternal covenant for your generations from the offerings of the Lord. All who touch them should be holy.’”


The Onkelos Hebrew reads: YITKADASH  which would seem to me to agree with the JPSS.


There is a debate among scholars both contemporary and ancient (see for example the JPS Commentary on this verse) as to the exact meaning of the Hebrew word YIKDASH in this context;however, the text of Onkelos clearly seems to side with the traditional translation, since YITKADASH would seem to mean "shall become holy" and not "should be holy".

I am wondering on what basis the translator of Onkelos for Targum module for Accordance translated "should be holy" implying that the one who handles the offerings should be a holy person ie, a priest (which is of course one of the possible meanings of the verse but doesn't seem to be what Onkelos Targum has translated!)


‏ כִּ֤י לֶ֣קַח ט֭וֹב נָתַ֣תִּי לָכֶ֑ם תּֽ֝וֹרָתִ֗י אַֽל־תַּעֲזֹֽבוּ׃

#2 Helen Brown

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 01:20 AM

We will pass this on to the translator for his comments.

Helen Brown
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#3 Eldon Clem

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 04:26 AM

The imperfect in Aramaic, as well as in Hebrew, can express a modal sense, as well as a present/future. One who touches a holy offering does not thereby become holy. But he had better be in a holy state before he touches it. I hope that helps.


Dr. Eldon Clem

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#4 Gordon



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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:41 AM

Dr. Clem is undoubtedly correct about how the Targum understood the meaning of YIQDASH:  "be in a holy state"


As Jacob Milgrom points out:



yiqdāš. The qal of qādaš means “become holy.” This is its unquestioned meaning elsewhere in Scripture (e.g., Exod 29:21; Num 17:2, 3; Deut 22:9; 1 Sam 21:6). Yet in our formula this meaning has been disputed.
(1) The Targums consistently render it yitqaddaš ‘will purify himself’, as Pseudo-Jonathan (on Exod 29:37) makes clear: “whoever of the sons of Aaron touches the altar must purify himself; however, it is not possible for the rest of the people to touch (it) lest they be consumed by the flashing fire that emanates from the sancta.” This [ie, the Targum's] interpretation of yiqdāš, however, cannot be correct because it is limited to the piʿel and hithpaʿel stems (e.g., Exod 19:10, 14; Num 11:18; Josh 7:13; 1 Sam 16:5; 2 Sam 11:4; Isa 66:17) but is never found in the qal.
Jacob Milgrom, LEVITICUS 1–16 (The Anchor Yale Bible; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974), 445.
Milgrom thus confirms Dr. Clem's translation of the Targum

‏ כִּ֤י לֶ֣קַח ט֭וֹב נָתַ֣תִּי לָכֶ֑ם תּֽ֝וֹרָתִ֗י אַֽל־תַּעֲזֹֽבוּ׃

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