The targumim were spoken translations of the Jewish scriptures that a meturgeman would give in the common language of the listeners when, not Hebrew. This had become necessary near the end of the 1st century BCE, as the common language was Aramaic and Hebrew was used for little more than schooling and worship; the meturgeman expanded his translation with paraphrases and examples so that it became a kind of sermon. Writing down the targum was prohibited, they were not recognized as authoritative by the religious leaders. Some subsequent Jewish traditions accepted the written targumim as authoritative translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Aramaic. Today, the common meaning of targum is a written Aramaic translation of the Bible. Only Yemenite Jews continue to use the targumim liturgically; as translations, the targumim reflect midrashic interpretation of the Tanakh from the time they were written and are notable for eschewing anthropomorphisms in favor of allegorical readings. That is true both for those targumim that are literal as well as for those that contain many midrashic expansions.
In 1541, Elia Levita wrote and published Sefer Meturgeman, explaining all the Aramaic words found in the Targum. Targumim are used today as sources in text-critical editions of the Bible; the noun "Targum" is derived from the early semitic quadriliteral root trgm, the Akkadian term targummanu refers to "translator, interpreter". It occurs in the Hebrew Bible in Ezra 4:7 "... and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue and interpreted in the Syrian tongue." Besides denoting the translations of the Bible, the term Targum denote the oral rendering of Bible lections in synagogue, while the translator of the Bible was called hammeturgem. Other than the meaning "translate" the verb Tirgem means "to explain"; the word Targum refers to "translation" and argumentation or "explanation". The two most important targumim for liturgical purposes are: Targum Onkelos on the Torah Targum Jonathan on the Nevi'im These two targumim are mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud as targum dilan, giving them official status.
In the synagogues of talmudic times, Targum Onkelos was read alternately with the Torah, verse by verse, Targum Jonathan was read alternately with the selection from Nevi'im. This custom continues today in Yemenite Jewish synagogues; the Yemenite Jews are the only Jewish community to continue the use of Targum as liturgical text, as well as to preserve a living tradition of pronunciation for the Aramaic of the targumim. Besides its public function in the synagogue, the Babylonian Talmud mentions targum in the context of a personal study requirement: "A person should always review his portions of scripture along with the community, reading the scripture twice and the targum once"; this too refers to Targum Onkelos on the public Torah reading and to Targum Jonathan on the haftarot from Nevi'im. Medieval biblical manuscripts of the Tiberian mesorah sometimes contain the Hebrew text interpolated, verse-by-verse, with the targumim; this scribal practice has its roots both in the public reading of the Targum and in the private study requirement.
The two "official" targumim are considered eastern. Scholars believe they too originated in the Land of Israel because of a strong linguistic substratum of Western Aramaic. Though these targumim were "orientalised", the substratum belying their origins still remains; when most Jewish communities had ceased speaking Aramaic, in the 10th century CE, the public reading of Targum along with the Torah and Haftarah was abandoned in most communities, Yemen being a well-known exception. The private study requirement to review the Targum was never relaxed when Jewish communities had ceased speaking Aramaic, the Targum never ceased to be a major source for Jewish exegesis. For instance, it serves as a major source in the Torah commentary of Shlomo Yitzhaki, "Rashi", has always been the standard fare for Ashkenazi Jews onward. For these reasons, Jewish editions of the Tanakh which include commentaries still always print the Targum alongside the text, in all Jewish communities. Halakhic authorities argued that the requirement to review the targum might be met by reading a translation in the current vernacular in place of the official Targum, or else by studying an important commentary containing midrashic interpretation.
The Talmud explicitly states that no official targumim were composed besides these two on Torah and Nevi'im alone, that there is no official targum to Ketuvim. An official targum was in fact unnecessary for Ketuvim because its books played no fixed liturgical role; the Talmud states The Targum of the Pentateuch was composed by Onkelos the proselyte from the mouths of R. Eleazar and R. Joshua; the Targum of the Prophets was composed by Jonathan ben Uzziel under the guidance of Haggai and Malachi, the land of Israel quaked over an area of four hundred parasangs by four hundred parasangs, a Bath Kol came forth and exclaimed, Who is this
Abraham Adolf Behrman was a painter of interwar Poland best known for his outdoor paintings of Jewish shtetl life as well as landscapes and group portraits. He spent most of his life in Łódź and died during the liquidation of the Białystok Ghetto in the Holocaust. Behrman's place of birth is uncertain, he was born either in the town of Tukkum near Mitawa, or in Riga, the son of Róża and Markus Behrman, who arrived in Łódź sometime before the end of the century. Adolf studied art under Jakub Kacenbogen at his private Drawing School in Łódź before the 1900s, he continued his studies in Munich in 1900–1904, first then at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich under Gabriel von Hackl. His paintings inspired the art critic Zygmunt Bomberg-Batowski to write: "Their diverse themes, the depiction - those are always picturesque; this modest artist always and lovingly considers any issues brought by a particular theme, in order to best solve the problem of their presentation." A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Behrman's first commercial success was the selling of a series of paintings and drawings to an arts' collector in Łódź in 1905 which enabled him to travel to Paris.
He lived there, worked for the next five years. From 1924 to 1927, Behrman traveled to Palestine and Morocco, his landscapes originating from that period have become the most known part of his work. Behrman's palette became brighter in that period with the introduction of impressionist tones. In the 1930s, he went to Kazimierz Dolny for the first time. There, he created Interior of the Synagogue in Kazimierz Dolny. Behrman was a painter of scenes from views of Jewish quarters, his 1914 painting The Jewish Bride was used for the cover of the book The Stories Our Parents Found Too Painful to Tell a memoir written in Yiddish titled The Annihilation of Bialystok Jewry, by Rafael Rajzner and Henry R. Lew, his last major exhibit took place in 1935 in Łódź. After the Nazi German and Soviet invasion of Poland, Behrman escaped to Białystok in the Russian zone of occupation, he was killed in 1943 by the Nazis in the Białystok Ghetto around the time of the perilous Białystok Ghetto Uprising. Many of Behrman's paintings were destroyed in World War II.
Some of his paintings can be found at the Łódź Museum. Dr. Waldemar Odorowski, In Kazimierz the Vistula River spoke to them in Yiddish...: Jewish painters in the art colony of Kazimierz Dolny, published by Muzeum Nadwislanskie, Kazimierz Dolny, Poland 2008 Official site of artist and Jewish-life chronicler Chaim Goldberg Artfact, Auction house listing Findartinfo, Art auction result for Adolf Abraham Behrmann Artnet.com, Abraham Behrmann: Past Auction Results Behrman's works in Central Jewish Library
Targum Onkelos, תרגום אונקלוס, is the Jewish Babylonian Aramaic targum of the Torah. However, its early origins may have been Western, in Israel, its authorship is attributed to Onkelos, a famous convert to Judaism in Tannaic times. According to Jewish tradition, the content of Targum Onkelos was conveyed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai. However, it was forgotten by the masses, rerecorded by Onkelos; some identify this translation as the work of Aquila of Sinope in an Aramaic translation, or believe that the name "Onkelos" referred to Aquila but was applied in error to the Aramaic instead of the Greek translation. In Talmudic times, readings from the Torah within the synagogues were rendered, verse-by-verse, into an Aramaic translation. To this day, the oldest surviving custom with respect to the Yemenite Jewish prayer-rite is the reading of the Torah and the Haftara with the Aramaic translation; the Talmud states that "a person should complete his portions of scripture along with the community, reading the scripture twice and the targum once."
This passage is taken by many to refer to Targum Onkelos. The directive to read Targum Onkelos on the weekly portion is codified in Jewish Law. Onkelos' Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch is entirely a word-by-word, literal translation of the Hebrew Masoretic Text, with little supplemental material in the form of aggadic paraphrase. However, where there are found difficult biblical passages, Onkelos seeks to minimize ambiguities and obscurities, he sometimes employs non-literal aggadic interpretations or expansions in his translated text in those places where the original Hebrew is marked either by a Hebrew idiom, a homonym, or a metaphor, could not be understood otherwise. The translator is unique in that he avoids any type of personification, or corporeality, with God replacing "human-like" characteristics representing God in the original Hebrew with words that convey a more remote and impersonal sense. For example, "my face" is replaced by "from before me", while "beneath his feet" is replaced by "under his throne of glory", "The Lord came down upon Mount Sinai" by "The Lord manifested himself upon Mount Sinai".
Samuel David Luzzatto suggests that the translation was meant for the "simple people". This view was rebutted by Nathan Marcus Adler in his introduction to his commentary to Targum Onkelos Netinah La-Ger, he updates the names of biblical nations and historical sites to the names known in his own post-biblical era. In matters of Halakha, the targum agrees with Rabbi Akiva's opinions; some authors suggest. Some of the more salient changes made by Onkelos in his Aramaic translation for purposes of elucidation are as follows:, instead of "...and man became a living soul.", instead of "...and you shall be like gods.", instead of "...and he stood by them under the tree, etc.", instead of "...and he said,'She has been more righteous than I', etc.", instead of "And there arose a new king in Egypt who knew not Joseph.", instead of "…and she said,'Surely a bloody husband are you to me'.", instead of "...and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.", instead of "... You shall not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.", instead of "...and for the stranger that sojourns with you.", instead of "...spoke out against Moses concerning the Ethiopian woman whom he had married, etc."
Torah has a range of meanings. It can most mean the first five books of the 24 books of the Tanakh, it is printed with the rabbinic commentaries, it can mean the continued narrative from the Book of Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, it can mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice, whether derived from biblical texts or rabbinic writings. Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the origin of Jewish peoplehood: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of moral and religious obligations and civil laws. In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both the Oral Torah; the Oral Torah consists of interpretations and amplifications which according to rabbinic tradition have been handed down from generation to generation and are now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash. According to rabbinic tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God through the prophet Moses, some at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah that exists today.
According to the Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, was used as the blueprint for Creation. The majority of Biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian captivity, based on earlier written sources and oral traditions, that it was completed during the period of Achaemenid rule. Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a scribe in Hebrew. A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of a congregation. Reading the Torah publicly is one of the bases of Jewish communal life; the word "Torah" in Hebrew is derived from the root ירה, which in the hif'il conjugation means'to guide' or'to teach'. The meaning of the word is therefore "teaching", "doctrine", or "instruction"; the Alexandrian Jews who translated the Septuagint used the Greek word nomos, meaning norm, doctrine, "law". Greek and Latin Bibles began the custom of calling the Pentateuch The Law. Other translational contexts in the English language include custom, guidance, or system.
The term "Torah" is used in the general sense to include both Rabbinic Judaism's written law and Oral Law, serving to encompass the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Midrash and more, the inaccurate rendering of "Torah" as "Law" may be an obstacle to understanding the ideal, summed up in the term talmud torah. The earliest name for the first part of the Bible seems to have been "The Torah of Moses"; this title, however, is found neither in the Torah itself, nor in the works of the pre-Exilic literary prophets. It appears in Joshua and Kings. In contrast, there is every likelihood that its use in the post-Exilic works was intended to be comprehensive. Other early titles were "The Book of Moses" and "The Book of the Torah", which seems to be a contraction of a fuller name, "The Book of the Torah of God". Christian scholars refer to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible as the'Pentateuch', a term first used in the Hellenistic Judaism of Alexandria.
The Torah starts from the beginning of God's creating the world, through the beginnings of the people of Israel, their descent into Egypt, the giving of the Torah at biblical Mount Sinai. It ends with the death of Moses, just before the people of Israel cross to the promised land of Canaan. Interspersed in the narrative are the specific teachings given explicitly or implicitly embedded in the narrative. In Hebrew, the five books of the Torah are identified by the incipits in each book, it is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history. The primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God; the Ancestral history tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people
Midrash HaGadol or The Great Midrash was written by Rabbi David Adani of Yemen compilation of aggadic midrashim on the Pentateuch taken from the two Talmuds and earlier Midrashim of Yemenite provenance. In addition, it borrows quotations from the Targums, Maimonides and Kabbalistic writings, in this aspect is unique among the various midrashic collections; this important work—the largest of the midrashic collections—came to popular attention only recently through the efforts of Jacob Saphir, Solomon Schecter, David Zvi Hoffmann. In addition to containing midrashic material, not found elsewhere, such as the Mekhilta of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the Midrash HaGadol contains what are considered to be more correct versions of known Talmudic and Midrashic passages; the existence of the Midrash HaGadol was first brought to the attention of Jewish scholarship by Jacob Sapir, who in his Even Sapir reports seeing a manuscript of the work in the possession of the Chief Rabbi of Yemen. His remarks about the "discovery" are reproduced in Fish, where he describes a work on the entire Pentateuch containing "twice as much as our Midrash Rabbah".
The first manuscript was brought from Yemen to Jerusalem and to Berlin in 1878 by a certain Mr. Shapira, this Midrash subsequently became the subject of much scholarly attention. There are approximately two hundred manuscripts of this work residing in various public and private Hebraica collections, according to the catalog of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts; the Midrash HaGadol on Genesis was first published by Solomon Schecter in 1902. A large portion of Midrash HaGadol on Exodus was published by David Zvi Hoffmann in 1913. Midrash HaGadol on Book of Numbers was published by S. Fisch in 1940 in a more accessible style than the previous efforts, which were principally arranged for a scholarly audience. More recent editions listed by Strack & Stemberger are those on Genesis and Exodus by M. Margulies, on Leviticus by E. N. Rabinowitz and A. Steinsalz, on Numbers by E. N. Rabinowitz, on Deuteronomy by S. Fish; the Mossad HaRav Kook Institute in Jerusalem has published a five-volume edition.
According to Higger, the work dates to the late 14th century. A discussion of its authorship is provided in Fish, wherein he reviews the evidence in favor of the three then-prevailing opinions regarding authorship of the Midrash HaGadol, variously that it is the work of Rambam, his son Abraham ben Rambam, the author according to Maharitz, or David bar Amram al-Adeni. After discounting Rambam as a possible author, reviewing some compelling factors in favor of the other two possible authors, Fish offers the conciliatory hypothesis that the work was composed in the Arabic language by Abraham ben Rambam, translated into Hebrew by David al-Adeni. While Dr. Fish offers possible explanations for how the work—if indeed authored by Abraham ben Rambam in Egypt—came first to be "lost" and to be rediscovered in Yemen, Strack & Stemberger find the attribution to Abraham ben Rambam "only weakly attested," and report that modern scholars uniformly attribute the work in its entirety to David bar Amram al-Adeni.
S. Fish concedes this as well in his Encyclopedia Judaica article on the topic; the Midrash HaGadol contains material from Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon, Sifre Zutta, Mekhilta on Deuteronomy, Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael and other unknown midrashic sources. In addition, the midrash makes use of the work of Rambam and Alfasi, as well as many geonic writings, but the sources are never cited—a unique characteristic of this midrash. All these various sources are fused in such a way that the product is a new literary creation in which the original ingredients can not be unambiguously discriminated. A "Midrash HaGadol, brought from Aden" is cited by Joseph Shalit Riqueti in Sefer Chochmat HaMishkan, but it is not known whether this is the same as the work under consideration here. Fish, Midrash Haggadol on the Pentateuch: Numbers, London: HaChinuch. Fish, S. Midrash Haggadol on the Pentateuch: Numbers, London: Manchester University Press. Higger, Michael, "The Midrash ha-Gadol to Leviticus", Jewish Quarterly Review, 25: 161–170.
Oesterley, W. O. E.. A Short Survey of the Literature of Rabbinical and Mediæval Judaism, New York: Burt Franklin. Strack, H. L.. Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, ISBN 978-0-8006-2524-5. Midrash HaGadol, Berlin 1914 Midrash HaGadol, Manchester 1940
Alphabet of Sirach
The Alphabet of ben Sirach is an anonymous medieval text inspired by the Wisdom of Sirach. It is dated to anywhere between 700 and 1000 CE, it is a compilation of two lists of proverbs, 22 in Aramaic and 22 in Hebrew, both arranged as alphabetic acrostics. Each proverb is followed by an Haggadic commentary; the work has been characterized as satirical, it contains references to masturbation and flatulence. The text has been translated into Latin, Judeo-Spanish and German. A partial English translation appeared in Mirsky; the Aramaic proverbs are the far older part of the book. Five of them can be traced to Talmudic-Midrashic literature; the Hebrew commentary, illustrating the proverbs with fables, is much younger. In the reading of Ginzberg: "Honor the Ethiop before thou hast need of him", "If a son do not conduct himself like a son, let him float on the water." "Gnaw the bone that falls to thy lot whether it be good or bad." "Gold must be hammered, the child must be beaten." "Be good and refuse not thy portion of good."
"Woe to the wicked man and woe to his companions." "Cast thy bread upon the waters and upon the land, for thou shalt find it after many days" "Hast thou seen a black ass? it was neither black nor white." "Bestow no good upon that, evil, no evil will befall thee." "Restrain not thy hand from doing good." "The bride enters the bridal chamber and knows not what will befall her." "A nod to the wise is sufficient. "He who honors them that despise him is like an ass." "A fire, when it is kindled, burns many sheaves" "An old woman in the house is a good omen in the house" "Even a good surety has to be applied to for a hundred morrows. "Rise from the table and thou wilt avoid disputes." "In thy business deal only with the upright." "If the goods are near at hand, the owner consumes them. "Do not disavow an old friend." "Thou mayest have sixty counselors, but do not give up thy own opinion" "He, first satisfied and hungry will offer thee his hand. The 22 Hebrew proverbs are quite different in character from the Aramaic ones, much more recent.
Half of the proverbs are borrowed from the Talmud, are only a pretext for the presentation of a number of legends surrounding Ben Sira. Ben Sira is presented as the son of Jeremiah. Ben Sira's fame reached Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar sets forth various ordeals for Ben Sira; some of the fables of the collection are indebted to Christian legend, to the Indian Panchatantra. The text is best known because of its reference to Lilith, it is the fifth of Ben Sira's responses to King Nebuchadnezzar, it is reproduced here in its entirety: Soon afterward the young son of the king took ill. Said Nebuchadnezzar, "Heal my son. If you don't, I will kill you." Ben Sira sat down and wrote an amulet with the Holy Name, he inscribed on it the angels in charge of medicine by their names and images, by their wings and feet. Nebuchadnezzar looked at the amulet. "Who are these?" "The angels who are in charge of medicine: Snvi and Smnglof. While God created Adam, alone, He said,'It is not good for man to be alone', he created a woman, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, called her Lilith.
Adam and Lilith began to fight. She said,'I will not lie below,' and he said,'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded,'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she flew away into the air. Adam stood in prayer before his Creator:'Sovereign of the universe!' he said,'the woman you gave me has run away.' At once, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angels to bring her back."Said the Holy One to Adam,'If she agrees to come back, what is made is good. If not, she must permit one hundred of her children to die every day.' The angels left God and pursued Lilith, whom they overtook in the midst of the sea, in the mighty waters wherein the Egyptians were destined to drown. They told her God's word; the angels said,'We shall drown you in the sea.'"'Leave me!' she said.'I was created only to cause sickness to infants.
If the infant is male, I have dominion over him for eight days after his birth, if female, for twenty days.'"When the angels heard Lilith's words, they insisted she go back. But she swore to them by the name of the living and eternal God:'Whenever I see you or your names or your forms in an amulet, I will have no power over that infant.' She agreed to have one hundred of her children die every day. Accordingly, every day one hundred demons perish, for the same reason, we write the angels' names on the amulets of young children; when Lilith sees their names, she remembers her oath, the child recovers."Some Jewish feminists have written arguments urging for Lilith's depiction in The Alphabet of Ben Sira to be reevaluated, based on the fact that this text was written as a work of satire. Although the negativity surrounding Lilith's character as a demoness was taken with a varying degree of superstition within Judaism, it should not go unrecognized that much of th
Ecclesiastes Rabbah or Kohelet Rabbah is an haggadic commentary on Ecclesiastes, included in the collection of the Midrash Rabbot. It follows the Biblical book verse by verse, only a few verses remaining without comment. In the list of the old sedarim for the Bible four sedarim are assigned to Ecclesiastes, namely, to i. 1, iii. 13, vii. 1, ix. 7. This appears from the phrase "Sidra tinyana" inserted between the comments to Eccl. vi. 12 and to vii. 1, the phrase "Sidra telita'a" between the comments to Eccl. ix. 6 and to ix. 7. These phrases occur at the end of the second and third midrash sections, in the same way that "Seliḳ sidra" indicates the end of sections in Ruth R. and Esth. R. in the earlier editions. The commentary to iii. 12 having been lost, the exposition of the conclusion of the first section is missing. Nothing remains to indicate where one section ends and another begins, as there is no introductory remark to the comment on ii. 13. But an introduction is lacking to the comment on vii. 1 and ix. 7.
The author confined himself chiefly to collecting and editing, did not compose new introductions to the sections. He, dated between the sixth and eight centuries however, used to a great extent the introductions which he found either in the earlier midrashim—Bereshit Rabbah, Pesiḳta, Ekah Rabbati, Wayiḳra Rabbah, Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah—or in the collections from which those midrashim were compiled; this shows the important part which the introductions to the earlier midrashim played in the midrashim, in that they served either as sources or as component parts of the latter. For introductions to commentaries on the Bible text and for homilies on the sedarim and Pesiḳta cycle, it was customary to choose texts occurring not in the Pentateuch, but chiefly in the Hagiographa, including Ecclesiastes; this in early times, gave rise to a haggadic treatment of numerous passages in Ecclesiastes, which in turn furnished rich material for the compilation of the Midrash Ḳohelet. The longest passages in the Midrash Ḳohelet are the introductions to Pesiḳta and Wayiḳra Rabbah, all of which the author used.
Some introductions were abbreviated, introductions from different midrashim were combined in a comment on one passage of Ecclesiastes. For instance, the long passage on Eccl. xii. 1–7 is a combination of the introduction to Wayiḳra Rabbah xviii. 1 and the twenty-third introduction in Ekah Rabbati. Of the 96 columns which the Midrash Ḳohelet contains in the Venice edition, nearly twenty are occupied by expositions which the author took from introductions in Bereshit Rabbah, Pesiḳta, Wayiḳra Rabbah, Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah. 1, 3, 5, 18. 2, 12b, 21, 23. 1, 11, 15, 16. 14, 23 et seq.. 1. 2, 15. 2, 6. 1–7. Many other passages besides the introductions have been transferred from those sources to the Midrash Ḳohelet. Moreover, it contains several passages in common with Ruth R.. Abuya, with Ruth Rabbah vi. with which it agrees verbatim. In this case the story was not taken direct from its source in Yer. Ḥag. ii. 77b, c. The author of the Midrash Ḳohelet of course consulted the aggadah of the Jerusalem Talmud. At the same time, it may be assumed that various passages were taken directly from the Babylonian Talmud.
5a, must be considered as an addition. A further characteristic indication of the late composition of the work is the fact that in the comments on Eccl. v. 5 and vii. 11 passages from Pirḳe Abot are quoted, with a reference to this treatise, in the comment on v. 8 several smaller treatises are mentioned. In the same comment on v. 8, at the beginning of a proem in Wayiḳra Rabbah xxii. A modification of the passage in the latter is made which gives ample proof that the Midrash Ḳohelet was written at a time than the other midrashic works mentioned. In Wayiḳra Rabbah the passage reads: "is a part of the whole. In the Midrash Ḳohelet it reads: "The things which thou regardest as superfluous to the Torah, as the tosafot of Rebbi's school and those of R. Nathan and the treatise on proselytes and slaves, they were revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai, treatises like'Hilkot Ẓiẓit Tefillin u-Mezuzot' belong to the sum total of the Torah." As Zunz assumes, the Midrash Ḳohelet belongs to the time of the middle midrashim.
On the other hand, the author of Midrash Ḳohelet must not be charged with "proceeding in the spirit of compilers" because, in connection with certain Bible texts, he repeats accepted or approved passages which were written upon the same or similar texts. Such repetitions are found in the earlier midrashim. In Midrash Ḳohelet the same comments are found on Eccl. i. 2 as on vi. 12. Verses ii. 24, iii. 13, v. 17, viii. 15 receive the same explanation.