The Jewish Eye
Onkelos on the Torah
Onkelos on the Torah: Exodus
Understanding the Bible Text
By Israel Drazin and Stanely M. Wagner
Gefen Publishing House: Jerusalem and New York, (2006)
Reviewed by Simone Bonim - February 12, 2007
Onkelos on the Torah: Exodus contains the complete text of Exodus (Sefer Shemos), along with the various Haftarot for the weekly Torah portion and for special occasions. This volume includes the text of Onkelos' Aramaic translation of the book of Exodus, as well as the text in vowelized Hebrew and in English translation. Also included are Rashi's commentaries (in Hebrew) along with a wealth of commentaries in English. As a point of trivia: The book of Exodus (Sefer Shemos), which is technically the second book in the Onkelos on the Torah: Understanding the Bible Text series, was actually the first book in this five-volume series to be written.
Targum Onkelos is the preeminent, interpretive, translation of the Hebrew Torah (Chumash) into Aramaic and it is used by scholars and those interested in studying the Torah to gain a greater understanding the literal meaning of the various words, phrases, and points delineated within the scope of the Pentateuch (Five Books of Moses). This volume includes not only Onkelos' translation (in Aramaic), but also Rashi's commentary (in Rashi script), the Torah text in vowelized Hebrew, and an accessible English translation of the text. As important, if not more so for English readers, this text also includes extensive commentaries, in English, from a variety of source, both ancient and modern.
In addition to the main body of the text, the authors have also included a wealth of supplemental material, including concise overviews of each Torah portion, introductions to this volume, and the series in general, a detailed survey on the history and importance of the Targum Onkelos and how it differs from the Hebrew version of Sefer Shemos. Supplemental commentaries and information are contained in the volume's appendixes, along with brief descriptions of the works, commentators, and personalities cited throughout the text.
Onkelos on the Torah: Understanding the Bible Text: Exodus is a phenomenal study aid for anyone interested in the literal meaning of the Bible, and for those seeking a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Torah. Israel Drazin and Stanely M. Wagner have included a wide range of commentaries, which provides the reader with a broad range of ideas and opinions on the text. They have also included highlights on each chapter and sections called Beyond the Text that explore a diverse range of topics in greater detail and which pose thought-provoking questions that enhance your understanding of the text and which will enliven your study of the material.
As with the other volumes in this series, this volume features a brownish-red cover with gold lettering and a raised design. The paper used in the text is cream colored and the print is dark and clear. The pages have wide margins, the text is well organized and the various translations and commentaries are intuitively laid out.
This volume is not only a practical study tool, but it will also grace your bookshelf when not in use!
All five volumes in the Onkelos On the Torah: Understanding the Bible Text series are now available and they can be purchased individually or as a boxed set via the following links:
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