A targum (Hebrew: תרגום, plural: targumim) is an Aramaic translation (and interpretation / paraphrase) of the Old Testament that was compiled in Palestine or Babylonia from between around 500 BC until the around 1000 AD. Targum also means translation or interpretation.
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Aramaic was the dominant language (or lingua franca) for hundreds of years in the major Jewish communities of the Palestine and Babylonia, following the invasion and exile of Israel and Judah by the Assyrians and Babylonians. To facilitate the study of Tanakh and make its public reading understood, translations into Aramaic were required.