This book uses the multiple Aramaic translations of Exodus to reveal important similarities and differences between five Aramaic dialects in the use of genitive constructions: the Syriac Peshitta, Targum Onkelos, three corpora of the Palestinian Targum, the Samaritan Targum, and fragments of a Christian Palestinian Aramaic translation of Exodus.
7 x 10
The purpose of this book is to “mine the gold” in multiple Aramaic translations of the biblical book of Exodus. The pages within reveal important similarities and differences between five Aramaic dialects in the use of genitive constructions: the Syriac Peshitta, Targum Onkelos, three corpora of the Palestinian Targum, the Samaritan Targum, and fragments of a Christian Palestinian Aramaic translation of Exodus.
The book argues that there are three primary Aramaic genitive constructions that translate the construct phrase in Hebrew: the construct phrase, the genitive adjunct phrase with d-, and the genitive phrase with d- anticipated by a possessive suffix on the head noun (cataphoric construction). One important finding is that all the Aramaic dialects, except Samaritan Aramaic, use the adjunct genitive construction when the second member denotes the material composition of the first member.
It appears that the percentage of adjunct genitive constructions and cataphoric genitive constructions increased over time, with the highest percentage occurring in the latest writings. Regarding geography, since Peshitta has the lowest percentage of construct genitive constructions (with the exception of Christian Palestinian Aramaic), this research confirms that a tendency to use adjunct genitive constructions and cataphoric genitive constructions developed to a greater extent in Eastern Aramaic than in Western Aramaic. The evidence of the Aramaic dockets on Assyrian tablets from the 7th century B.C.E. supports the conclusion that the use of adjunct genitive constructions and cataphoric genitive constructions in Aramaic spread throughout time, especially east of Palestine, influenced by the use of ša in Akkadian.
Mark R. Meyer (B.S.E.E., North Carolina State University; M.S.E.E., The John Hopkins University; M.Div., Capital Bible Seminary; M.A., Ph.D., The Catholic University of America) is Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Maryland, where he has been teaching since 1993. He is conversant in the Semitic languages and has taught nearly all of them throughout his tenure at the seminary. Dr. Meyer is also an ordained minister who has served as pastor in three different churches and also served on the top leadership team of two other churches. He is currently translating the biblical book of Exodus from the Syriac Peshitta into English for the Antioch Bible project.