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BIBLE, Exodus, in Hebrew with the Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch, Targum Onkelos, interlined verse by verse, manuscript on vellum [near East, 10th or first half 11th century]
BIBLE, Exodus, in Hebrew with the Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch, Targum Onkelos, interlined verse by verse, manuscript on vellum [near East, 10th or first half 11th century]
BIBLE, Exodus, in Hebrew with the Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch, Targum Onkelos, interlined verse by verse, manuscript on vellum [near East, 10th or first half 11th century]
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BIBLE, Exodus, in Hebrew with the Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch, Targum Onkelos, interlined verse by verse, manuscript on vellum [near East, 10th or first half 11th century]
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BIBLE, Exodus, in Hebrew with the Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch, Targum Onkelos, interlined verse by verse, manuscript on vellum [near East, 10th or first half 11th century]

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BIBLE, Exodus, in Hebrew with the Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch, Targum Onkelos, interlined verse by verse, manuscript on vellum [near East, 10th or first half 11th century]

Among the earliest group of surviving Hebrew Bible manuscripts, with the Targum, in codex form.

8 consecutive leaves, each 390 x 330mm, blind-ruled for two columns of 23 lines written in black ink in a large fine Eastern Hebrew square script, fully vocalised and with accents, ruled space 250 x 250mm, preserving pinholes in outer margins (some marginal staining and fraying, but generally in excellent condition). Fitted folding box.


Provenance:
(1) According to Prof. Malachi Beit-Arié of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the scribe of the present manuscript may have originated from north Africa, although he sees the fragments as Oriental. In a note by Bernard Rosenthal that accompanies the documentation of the lot, Rosenthal notes that 'Dr Lutzky, of the Bodleian Library, held a slightly different view, and expressed the opinion that the fragments come from Babylonia, and may date as far back as the 10th or 11th century'.

(2) Acquired from the Genizah of a Jewish Community in Kurdistan between 1950 and 1959 by:


(3) Walter Joseph Fischel (1902-1973), scholar and collector whose main fields of research and publication centred around two major topics: the history of Jewish communities in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian sub-continent and Islamic history and civilization.


(4) Bernard Rosenthal, February 1989, sold to:


(5) Schøyen Collection, MS 206.


Text:
The leaves contain the text of Exodus 10:15-14:21. Of the many Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible, there are three principle ones: Targum Onkelos, Targum Jonathon and the Peshitta. Targum Onkelos is a translation of the Pentateuch and was written in the 1st century by Onkelos, a Roman convert to Judaism. Important examples of Hebrew Bibles containing this late antique Aramaic translation include Codex Valmadonna I (now at the Museum of the Bible, Washington DC), and Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat. ebr. 482. Various sources from medieval France and Germany show that the Targum was part of the educational curriculum and that it played a role in Jewish liturgy. Its role in the learning curriculum may explain why European Jewish communities continued to produce bilingual Hebrew-Aramaic Bibles even though Aramaic was not an essential part of the liturgy. As in Valmadonna I, the layout of the present fragment shows the Targum alternating verse by verse with the Hebrew text. There are no graphic differences between Hebrew and Aramaic: the characters are written in the same style of script, of the same dimensions, and they are both vocalised with Tiberian vowels.


Bibliography:
J. Olszowy-Schlanger, 'Hebrew Books', The European Book in the Twelfth Century, Cambridge, 2018, p.167.


Exhibited:
XVI Congress of the International Organization for the study of the Old Testament. Library of Law Faculty, University of Oslo, 29 July - 7 August 1998.
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Eugenio Donadoni
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