Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Targum on נִסְעָה

Summary: Presenting Shadal, from Ohev Ger, on the Targum to this phrase. Do Onkelos and Rashi agree or disagree?

Post: In the middle of parashat Vayishlach, we encounter the following pasuk and Rashi:

12. Thereupon, he said, "Travel and we will go, and I will go alongside you."יב. וַיֹּאמֶר נִסְעָה וְנֵלֵכָה וְאֵלְכָה לְנֶגְדֶּךָ:
Travel: Heb. נִסְעָה, similar to:“hear (שְׁמָעָה), forgive (סְלָחָה)” (Dan. 9:19), like שְׁמַע, סְלַח. Here, too, נִסְעָה is like נְסַע, and the“nun” is part of the radical. Therefore, Onkelos renders: טוּל וּנְה‏ַ. Esau said to Jacob, “[You] travel from here and we will go.”נסעה: כמו (תהלים קל ב) שמעה, שהוא כמו שמע, אף כאן נסעה כמו נסע, והנו"ן יסוד בתיבה. ותרגומו טול ונהך, עשו אמר ליעקב נסע מכאן ונלך:

How shall we translate נִסְעָה? Let us look to Onkelos, based on the text from the Teimanim over at Mechon-Mamre:

לג,יב וַיֹּאמֶר, נִסְעָה וְנֵלֵכָה; וְאֵלְכָה, לְנֶגְדֶּךָ.וַאֲמַר, נִטּוֹל וּנְהָךְ; וַאֲהָךְ, לְקִבְלָךְ

Can you spot the difference between the Teimani version of the text and the text quoted in our Rashi, from Judaica Press? While as in our Rashi we have טול ונהך, with the first verb being singular and the second being plural, in Onkelos from mechon mamre we have נִטּוֹל וּנְהָךְ, which would appear to be plural.

If we look in our Mikraos Gedolos we do not find such a discrepancy. Rather, there, Onkelos states טול. However, I would point out that in Targum Pseudo-Yonatan, it does have נטייל ונהך, which would be the plural.

Shadal, in Ohev Ger, points to this version of Onkelos and analyzes Rashi as well. He asserts that Rashi is not citing Onkelos as agreeing with him, but rather as disagreeing. Then, because scribes misunderstood this, they emended Rashi and Onkelos. Here is Shadal saying this:

He speaks of how Onkelos and Rashi were 'corrected', and offered various proofs. (The bit about comparison with Targum Yonasan is my own.)

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