Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why Does Onkolus Translate "god" As "dachalan"?

It's interesting that the four letter name of G-d and the name with the shoresh alef, lamed, hei both used as Hashem's name in Hebrew and that Onkolus's Aramaic translation uses those same words/shorashim in
his translation.

However when the Torah uses the same shoresh, alef, lamed, hei to describe a false god, "eileh elohecha Yisroel, Onkolus doesn't stick with the Torah's secular usage of alef, lamed, hei. Instead, he uses the word "dachalan," which can be translated as "fear causer."

I'm not sure why he doesn't use the secular usage of alef, lamed, hei like the torah does to describe a "god."

Any ideas?

2 comments:

micha said...

Unquilas also strays from the literal to avoid anthropomorphications. E.g. Shemos 9:3.

Original: הִנֵּה יַד-ה' הוֹיָה, בְּמִקְנְךָ אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׂדֶה... (Behold the "Hand" of G-d manifest in your flock which is in the field.)

Targum: הָא מַחָא מִן קֳדָם ה' הָוְיָא, בִּבְעִירָךְ דִּבְחַקְלָא... (Here a rebuke from before G-d will be manifest in your flock which is in the field...)

It would seem that Unquilas -- unlike the original Author -- is concerned with how someone might choose to misunderstand the verse. And if so, that would explain his refusal to call their false gods "gods".

-micha

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Reb Micha,

I hear what you're saying. I've seen that in other places in Onkolus too. That does make sense and would appear to be k'darko.