Wednesday, October 25, 2006

parshat Noach: "Thus did Noach" - Different Girsa or Harmonization? -- text only

An interesting Targumic feature may betray a different available girsa of a pasuk in parshat Noach. The last pasuk of perek 6:

כב וַיַּעַשׂ, נֹחַ: כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֹתוֹ, אֱלֹהִים--כֵּן עָשָׂה. 22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
I might have translated it as "Thus did Noah according to all that God commanded him; so did he do." However, the translation above accords to the trup.

Tg Onkelos on this pasuk:
ו,כב וַיַּעַשׂ, נֹחַ: כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֹתוֹ, אֱלֹהִים--כֵּן עָשָׂה. וַעֲבַד, נוֹחַ: כְּכֹל דְּפַקֵּיד יָתֵיהּ, יְיָ--כֵּין עֲבַד.
However, Tg. Pseudo-Yonatan omits the translation of the end - כֵּין עֲבַד! Does this mean that Tg Yonatan did not have this end of the pasuk?

I don't think so. Rather, I believe that accidental harmonization is in play. A pasuk a bit later, in the 7'th perek, with the Tg Onkelos:

ז,ה וַיַּעַשׂ, נֹחַ, כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּהוּ, ה. וַעֲבַד, נוֹחַ, כְּכֹל דְּפַקְּדֵיהּ, יְיָ.
The Tg Yonatan to this pasuk is identical - simply because both YKVK and Elokim map to yud yud in the Targumim. I think there was therefore accidental transference of the Targum from the later to the earlier pasuk, or omission of the end because indeed the end is missing in the Targum to the later verse.

One must always be aware of this trend towards harmonization, and view harmonizing alternate girsaot with the appropriate suspicion as it is due.

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