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25, Knudtzon, 154), with the meaning "interpreter." It may, none the less, be of Aramaic origin.
The word turgamanu is found, e.g., in the Tell el-Amarna Letters (Berlin edition, 21, 1.
Further, the intensive construction of infinitive with finite sense, so frequent in Hebrew, though little used in ordinary Aramaic, appears in the Targums wherever it occurs in the Hebrew text.
As a negative characteristic there is to be noted the comparative rarity with which the emphatic repetition of the personal pronoun, so frequent in ordinary Aramaic, occurs in the Targumic. Mode in Which the Targums Were Given: The account given in Nehemiah (8:8) of the reading of the Law to the people not only mentions that Ezra's helpers read "distinctly" (mephorash), but "gave the sense" (som sekhel) "and caused them to understand the reading," the King James Version (wayyabhinu ba-miqra').
Although it is not recorded, it is not impossible that following the example of the Assyrians, Nebuchadnezzar may have sent into Judea compulsory colonists from other parts of his empire.In the family they might retain their mother tongue for a time, but this would yield at length to continuous pressure from without.In Palestine a similar process had been going on in the absence of the captives.Though some form of synagogue worship was known in the times preceding the captivity under the direction probably of the prophets (2 Kings ), it must have become weak and ineffective.
With the arrival of Ezra there was a revival of the study of the Law, and with that the necessity for the interpretation of it in language which the people could understand. Language of the Targums: From the facts above narrated, this language was of necessity Aramaic.The Talmudists were particular that the reader should keep his eye on the roll from which he read, and that the meturgheman should always recite his version without looking at any writing, so that a distinction should be kept between the sacred word and the version.