While any translation of the Scriptures may in Hebrew be called a targum, the word is used especially for a translation of a book of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic. Before the Christian era, Aramaic had in good part replaced Hebrew in Palestine as the vernacular of the Jews. It continued as their vernacular for centuries later and remained in part as the language of the schools after Aramaic itself had been replaced as the vernacular.
What is called the Magillat Esther (“Scroll of Esther”) is part of the biblical group of books in the Hagiographa known as the “Five Megillot,” designating Esther, the Scrolls of Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes. These five scrolls play an integral part in Jewish liturgy next to the Pentateuch; and yet Esther (as well as others of these five) had difficulty being included in the Hebrew canon as sacred Scripture.
Grossfeld provides a straightforward, idiomatic translation of the original Aramaic for the Targum Rishon and the Targum Sheni, with comments on the so-called “Third Esther Targum.”
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
The Aramaic Bible series, under McNamara’s able leadership, has brought the difficult world of Targum to a larger audience of biblical scholars.
—Gary A. Rendsburg, Blanche and Irving Laurie Chair in Jewish History, Cornell University
Bernard Grossfeld served for many years as the chair of Hebrew studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He received his PhD from John Hopkins University and is one of the world’s leading authorities on Aramaic. He is currently an adjunct professor of Hebrew and Rabbinics at Spertus College of Judaica in Chicago.