TgOnk Gen. 37-40
THE TARGUM OF ONKELOS
ON
THE BOOK BERESHITH OR
GENESIS 37-40.

SECTION IX.

VAYESHEV.

 

XXXVII. AND Jakob dwelt in the land of the habitation of his father, in the land of Kenaan. These are the generations of Jakob. Joseph was a son of seventeen years; he kept the flock with his brothers; and he had been brought up with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpha, the wives of his father; and Joseph brought their evil report to his father. But Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he had in him a wise son, and he made him a variegated robe.[1] And his brothers saw that their father loved him better than all his brethren, and they hated him, and were not willing to speak with him peaceably. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and showed it to his brothers, and they hated him the more.[2] And he said to them, Hear now this dream which I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field, and lo! my sheaf arose and became upright, and, behold, your sheaves stood around and worshipped my sheaf. And his brothers said to him, Is it thy fancy reigning to reign over us? or a shultan, dost thou think to govern us? And they added yet to hate him for his dreams and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and described it to his brothers, saying, Behold, I have dreamed a dream again; and lo, the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars worshipped me. And he described it to his father and to his brethren; and his father rebuked him[3] and said to him, What dream is this that thou hast dreamed? Am I and thy mother and thy brothers to come and worship thee on the earth? And his brothers envied him; but his father kept the word. And his brothers went to tend the flock of their father in Shekem. And Israel said to Joseph, Do not thy brothers tend the flock in Shekem? Come, I will send thee to them. And he said. Behold me. And he said to him, Go now, and see the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock, and return me word. And he sent him from the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shekem. And a man found him, and, behold, he wandered in the field. And the man inquired of him, saying, Whom seekest thou? And he said, I look for my brothers: show me, I beseech thee, where they feed. And the man said, They have gone hence; for I heard them say, We will go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And they saw him from afar; and before he came nigh, they devised against him to kill him. And they said, a man to his brother, Behold, this master of dreams cometh. And now, come, we will kill him, and cast him into one of the pits; and will say an evil beast hath devoured him, and we shall see what will be the end of his dreams. And Reuben heard, and delivered him out of their hands, and said, Let us not slay his life. And Reuben said, Do not shed blood; cast him into this pit in the wilderness, but stretch not forth a hand against him,‑that he might deliver him from their hands to bring him back to his father. And it was when Joseph had come to his brethren that they took off his robe, the variegated robe which was upon him, and they took him and cast him into the pit; but the pit was empty, no water was in it. And they reclined to eat bread. And they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a band of Arabaee[4] were coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing spices,[5] and resin,[6] and myrrh,[7] to go down to Mizraim. And Jehuda said to his brethren, What gain[8] should we have by killing our brother and covering his blood? Come, and we will sell him to the Arabaee, and our hand shall not be upon him; for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brethren hearkened to him. And there passed by Midianite men, (gabree Mid‑ya‑naee,) merchants, and they drew and lifted up Joseph from the pit, and sold Joseph to the Arabaee for twenty of silver; and they brought Joseph into Mizraim. And Reuben returned to the pit, and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit. And he rent his clothes, and returned to his brethren, and said, The youth is not; and I, whither shall I go? But they took Joseph's robe, and killed a kid of the goats, and dabbled the robe in the blood. And they sent the variegated robe, and they brought to their father, and said, This have we found; know now whether it is the robe of thy son, or not. And he knew it, and said, It is my son's robe; an evil beast hath devoured him: slain, slain is Joseph! And Jakob rent his clothes, and wrapped sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons, and all his house, arose to comfort him; but he refused to take comfort, and said, For I will go down unto my son, mourning into Sheol. And his father wept for him. And the Midianites sold him in Mizraim to Potiphar, a prince of Pharoh, chief of the killers.

 

XXXVIII. And it was at that time that Jehuda went down from his brethren, and turned aside to an Adulamite man whose name was Hira. And Jehuda saw there the daughter of a merchant man whose name was Shuva, and he took her and went in with her; and she conceived and bare a son, and he called his name Her; and she conceived again, and bare a son, and called his name Onan. And she added again, and bare a son, and called his name Shelah; and he was in Kezib when she bare him. And Jehuda took a wife for Her his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. And Her the firstborn of Jehuda was evil before the Lord, and the Lord caused him to die. And Jehuda said to Onan, Go in with the wife of thy brother, and associate with her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that after his name the seed would not be called; and it was that when he went in with the wife of his brother, he corrupted his way upon the earth that he might not raise up seed unto his brother; and what he did was evil before the Lord, and he caused him also to die. And Jehuda said to Tamar his daughter‑in‑law, Remain a widow in thy father's house until Shelah my son be grown up. For he said, Lest he also die like his brothers: and Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house. And after many days the daughter of Shuva, Jehuda's wife, died: and Jehuda was comforted; and he went up to the shearers of his sheep, he and Hira the Adulamite his friend unto Timnath. And it was shown to Tamar, saying, Behold, thy father‑in‑law cometh to Timnath to shear his sheep. And she laid aside the dress of her widowhood, and covered herself with a mantle (or a large veil), and adorned herself,[9] and sat in the dividing of Aynin[10] which is in the way to Timnath. For she saw that Shelah had grown up, and she had not been given to him for a wife. And Jehuda saw her, and thought that she was an outcast, because she had covered her face. And he declined to her by the way, and said, Give me now to go in unto thee; for he did not know that she was his daughter‑in‑law. And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come to me? And he said, I will send thee a kid of the goats from the flock. And she said, If thou wilt give me a pledge until thou send. And he said, What is the pledge that I shall give thee? And she said, Thy seal‑ring, and thy scarf,[11] and thy staff that is in thy hand. And he gave to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him. And she arose, and went, and put off the veil from her, and dressed herself in the dress of her widowhood. And Jehuda sent the kid of the goats, by the hand of his friend the Adulamite, to receive the pledge from the hand of the woman; but he could not find her. And he inquired of the men of the place, saying, Where is the harlot who was in Aynin upon the way? And they said to him, There is no harlot here. And he returned to Jehuda, and said, I could not find her; the men of the place also said there is no harlot there. And Jehuda said, Let her take it to her, lest we be in contempt: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her. And it was three months, and it was showed to Jehuda, saying, Tamar thy daughter‑in‑law hath committed fornication, and, behold, she is with child by fornication. And Jehuda said, Bring her out, and let her be burned. And she was brought out. And she sent to her father‑in‑law, saying, By the man to whom these belong I am with child. And she said, Acknowledge now, whose are these, the seal, the scarf, and the staff? And Jehuda acknowledged and said, She is justified in having conceived from me, because I have not given her Shelah my son. And he added not again to know her. And it was the time of her giving birth, and, behold, twins were in her womb. And it was in giving birth that one of them put forth a hand; and the midwife took and tied scarlet upon his hand, saying, This came the first. And it was when he had drawn back his hand that his brother came forth: and she said, How much greater strength is with thee, that thou hast prevailed! And she called his name Pharets. And afterwards came forth his brother who had the crimson on his hand, and she called his name Zarah.

 

XXXIX. But Joseph was brought down into Mizraim, and Potiphar, a chief of Pharoh, a chief of the killers, a Mizraite man, bought him from the hand of the Arabaee who had brought him down thither. And the Word of the Lord was the helper of Joseph, and he became a prosperous man, and was in the house of his Mizraite master. And his master saw that the Word of the Lord was his helper, and that all that he did the Lord prospered in his hand. And Joseph found favour in his eyes, and he served him. And he appointed him over his house, and all that he had he delivered into his hand. And it was from the time that he appointed him over his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the house of the Mizraite for Joseph's sake, and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had, in the house and in the field. And he left all that belonged to him in the hand of Joseph; and he knew of nothing that was with him, except the bread whcih he ate. Now Joseph was of goodly appearance, beautiful in aspect. And it was after these things that the wife of his master lifted up her eyes to Joseph, and said, Lie with me. But be refused, and said to his master's wife, Behold, my master knoweth not what is with me in the house, and all that he hath he hath delivered unto my hand; there is no one in this housegreater than I, and be hath not prohibited anything from me but thyself, because thou art his wife: and how can I do this great wickedness and become guilty before the Lord? And it was when she spake with Joseph daily that he would not hearken to her to lie with her, or be with her. And it was about this day that he came into the house to examine the writings of his affairs, and no man of the men of the house was there in the house. And she laid hold of his garments, saying, Lie with me. But he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and went forth into the street. And she called to the men of her house, and spake to them, saying, See, he brought us a Hebrew man to mock at us. He came in to me to lie with me; and I cried with a high voice. And it was when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his robe with me, and fled and went forth into the street. And she let his robe remain with her until his master came into his house. And she spake with him these words, saying, The Hebrew servant whom thou broughtest us came in to me to mock at me. And it was when I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his robe with me and fled into the street. And when his master heard the words of his wife which she spake with him, saying, According to these things hath thy servant done to me, his anger waxed strong, and his master took Joseph, and delivered him to the house of the bound, where the prisoners of the king were bound; and he was there in the house of the bound. But the Word of the Lord was the helper of Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the eyes of the captain of the prison. And the captain of the prison gave into the hand of Joseph all the prisoners who were in the house of the bound, and all that they did there was done according to his word. The captain of the prison saw no fault in his hand, because the Word of the Lord was his helper, and that which he did the Lord made to prosper.

 

XL. And after these things the cup‑bearer and the baker of the king of Mizraim offended their master, the king of Mizraim. And Pharoh was angry with two of his chiefs, with the chief of the cupbearers and with the chief of the bakers. And he gave them into ward in the house of the captain of the executioners (killers) in the house of the prison, the place where Joseph was confined. And the captain of the executioners appointed Joseph with them, and he ministered to them, and they were certain days in ward. And they dreamed a dream, both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Mizraim, who were confined in the house of the bound. And Joseph came to them in the morning, and saw them, and, behold, they were melancholy. And he asked the chiefs of Pharoh who were with him in ward, in his master's house, saying, Why are your faces evil to‑day? And they said to him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said to them, Are not interpretations from before the Lord? Relate it now to me. And the chief of the cupbearers related his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me, and in the vine were three branches: and it was, as it sprouted, it produced buds, and, having flowered, ripened clusters of grapes. And the cup of Pharoh was in my hand; and I took grapes and expressed them into Pharohs cup, and gave the cup into Pharoh's hand. And Joseph said to him, This is the interpretation: the three branches are three days. At the end of three days, Pharoh will remember thee[12] and restore thee to thy service, and thou wilt give the cup into Pharoh's hand, according to thy former custom when thou wast cupbearer to him. But let remembrance of me be with thee when it shall be well with thee, and do me favour, I beseech thee, and remember me before Pharoh, and deliver me from this prison. For I was verily taken by fraud from the land of the Hivraee, and here have I done nothing evil that I should be imprisoned. And when the master of the bakers saw that he had interpreted pleasantly, he said to Joseph, I also (was) in my dream, and, behold, three baskets of confectionery[13] were upon my head, and in the upper basket were all (sorts of) food for Pharoh, the work of the baker; and the birds ate them from the basket that was on my head. And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days; at the end of three days will Pharoh remove thy head from off thee, and will hang thee upon a gibbet, and the birds will eat thy flesh from off thee. And it was on the third day, the day of the nativity of Pharoh, that he made a feast for all his servants and he took the, head[14] of the chief cupbearer and the head[15] of the chief of the bakers in the midst of his servants. And he restored the cupbearer to his office, and he gave the cup into Pharoh's hand. And the chief of the bakers he hanged, as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him,



[1] Or, (Kitona da-passei,) "a robe of pieces," i.e. coloured ones. Hebrew, Ketonath passim. In the treatise Negaim xi. 7, we have pispesin, "small pieces." Castel defined the Chaldee root pesa, "to expand," and the Hebrew noun pisyona, "extension." Hence, some would render Kitona da-passei, "a long robe;" or, as Gesenius does the Hebrew, "a garment reaching down to the extremities." Compare Jonathan and the Jerusalem Targum on the verse. The Samaritan reads as the Hebrew. The Peschito has Kutino da pedyotha, "a fringed garment;" the LXX. "a various robe."

[2] "Added to hate him."

[3] Sam. Vers. "was angry with him."

[4] Heb and Sam. "Ishmaelites."

[5] Sheaph, "balsam." Heb. and Sam. nekoth, "spicery." LXX. "perfumery." Aquila, storax.

[6] Quetaph, "gum." Heb. tsere, probably opobalsamum.

[7] Letom. Heb. lot, "the gum of the cistus." LXX. stacte.

[8] Lit. "What mammon?"

[9] Sam. Vers. "changed herself."

[10] B'pharashoth Aynin, "in a conspicuous (?) branching of the road." The Sam. Vers. has "in the gate of Chasbim."

[11] Shosheph, "a handerchief," sudarium.

[12] Sam. Vers. "will take up thy reckoning, or account."

[13] Cheiru, (Heb. chori,) "white bread."

[14] Sam. Vers. "the account."

[15] Sam. Vers. "the account."