Targum Questions: Genesis 49:10


shalom aleichem dear rabbi

in “targum jerusalem and targum jonathan on genesis 49: 10” we read:

“nor sapherim teaching the law from his children’s children,”

“nor sapherim teaching the law from his seed,”

first question: What does this phrase mean? “sapherim teaching the law”

i’m confused!

second question: What does this word “sapherim” mean?

third question: what does (גֶּ֣זַע) mean?

at last: why are these targums like each other?

best Wishe

, 3 years


  1. I do not know what the word “sapherim” means. The original words in the Aramaic translations are either “safrin” or “sabarin”. I assume the word “sapherim” is a form of an anglicized transliteration.

    In all events, both the words used mean “Rabbis” or Teachers”, and the Aramaic translation reads that the Rabbis teach the law.

    The word “geza” means to emerge or to sprout (from the earth). Depending on the context it could mean a tree trunk or a family tree.

    The Aramaic translations are often very similar with each other because they are translating the Hebrew words into Aramaic. It is true that they also sometimes weave a subtle commentary within their words, but, in general, they are simply translating.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

  2. shalom aleichem dear rabbi

    in isaiah 11: 1 we read: וְיָצָ֥א חֹ֖טֶר מִגֵּ֣זַע יִשָׁ֑י וְנֵ֖צֶר מִשָּׁרָשָׁ֥יו יִפְרֶֽה׃

    is this word (יָצָ֥א) in future mode?

    best Wishes