They belonged to the class of traditional literature which it was forbidden to write down, and, so long at least as the Targum tradition remained active, there would be little temptation to commit it to writing.
His work constitutes an enlarged targum on these books, and its object is to prove the everlasting validity of the law, which, though revealed in time, was superior to time.
The language employed in the Targum of Onkelos is, admittedly, Palestinian or Judaean, and since language and thought are ever closely allied, we may conjecture that the current Judaean exegesis, which, in part at least, must go back to the 2nd century A.D., was not without its influence on the Babylonian translation.
Parallel to Onkelos was another Targum on the Law, generally called pseudoJonathan, which was edited in the 7th century in Palestine, and is based on the same system of interpretation but is fuller and closer to the original tradition.
The prophecy must, therefore, be regarded as anonymous; the title was added by the compiler 1 A Hebrew tradition given in the Targum of Jonathan, and approved by Jerome, identifies Malachi with Ezra the priest and scribe.
It is not, however, a revision of the Fragmentary Targum - for it is clearly independent of that version - but is rather a parallel, if somewhat later, production, in which the text of Onkelos is already combined with a number of variants and additions.
There is also a fragmentary Targum (Palestinian) the relation of which to the others is obscure.
DRAGOMAN (from the Arabic terjuman, an interpreter or translator; the same root occurs in the Hebrew word targum signifying translation, the title of the Chaldaean translation of the Bible), a comprehensive designation applied to all who act as intermediaries between Europeans and Orientals, from the hotel tout or travellers' guide, hired at a few shillings a day, to the chief dragoman of a foreign embassy whose functions include the carrying on of the most important political negotiations with the Ottoman government, or the dragoman of the imperial divan (the grand master of the ceremonies).
The method, by which the text was thus utilized as a vehicle for conveying homiletic discourses, traditional sayings, legends and allegories, is abundantly illustrated by the Palestinian and later Targums, as opposed to the more sober translations of Onkelos and the Targum to the Prophets.
But though the existence of an older Targum Jerushalmi cannot be denied, it is clear that the form in which it was utilized by the two Palestinian Targums cannot be of an early date, for many of the latest elements in the Fragmentary and pseudo-Jonathan Targums were undoubtedly derived from their common source.