Minor Prophets with Rabbinic Commentary

Collection ID



Printed Book




Geneva, (Switzerland)


Hebrew and Aramaic


Printed on Paper


9 × 6 × 1 in. (22.8 × 15.2 × 2.5 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

This early printed text is a first edition copy of the book of Hosea in Hebrew with targum and was published in 1556 by the well-known printer and Reformer Robert Estienne (Robertus Stephanus). The word targum refers to the Aramaic translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible that was developed in the early centuries AD to be read aloud in the synagogue, since Aramaic had become by that time the more commonly spoken language of the Jewish people. Targum Jonathan has traditionally been recognized as the official targum of the Prophets since the third century.

Printed in 1556 in Geneva by Robert Estienne (Robertus Stephanus).[1] Acquired by Professor John Hawthorne;[2] Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] There is some debate over whether this text was printed in Geneva in 1556, or if it was printed by Estienne’s son in Paris in 1566. The following publications indicate, however, that this particular text was printed in 1556 in Geneva (Switzerland): Eveline van Staalduine-Sulman, Justifying Christian Aramaism: Editions and Translation of the Targums from the Complutensian to the London Polyglot Bible (1517–1657) (Boston: Brill Publishing, 2017), 96–98; Antonius Birrius, ed., Roberti Stephani lexicographorum principis thesaurus linguæ latinæ in iv. tomos divisus (Basel: E. & J. R. Thurnisiorum Fratr., 1740), 36. Note also that this text does not appear in the following publication: Andrew Petigree and Malcolm Walsby, eds., French Books III & IV (FB) (2 vols.): Books published in France before 1601 in Latin and Languages other than French (Boston: Brill Publishing, 2012). [2] The museum currently has no additional provenance information for this book prior to its purchase from Professor John Hawthorne in 2010. Research is ongoing.

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