B. The Greek Equivalents of Tekhelet and Argaman Respectively in Aquilas, Symmachus and Theodotion

Aquilas, Symmachus and Theodotion follow the LXX

Aquilas: Exodus, 35, 23, 25; Ezekiel, 27, 24.

Symmachus: Ex. 35, 23 (Ezek. 23, 6 תכלית = תכלת)

Theodotion: Ex. 28,6; 35,23; Jer. 10,9 (Ezek. 23,6 תכלית for תכלת as Symmachus).

The Aruch s.v. איירינון quotes Midrash Rabbah Esther I, 6

חור כרפס ותכלת תרגם עקילס איירינון קרפסיגון טיגון 

Benjamin Musaphia (ib.) observes that טיגון tinon must be a corruption of יקיגטיגון = Iakinthinon. Sachs1 next suggests that the correct reading is ינטינון Ianthinon. The corruption of ינטינון Ianthinon into טיגון being more likely than that of יקיגטינון Iakinthinon into טיגון. Were we to admit the correctness of Sachs’ emendation we would have to cast about for an explanation why in Esther I, 6 Aquilas rendered Tekhelet by Ianthina. Were Iakinthina and Ianthina synonymous in contemporary usage?2

The Midrashic passage is, however, not quoted in full in the Aruch. The complete text reads:

 חור כרפס תכלת תרגם עקילם אייריון קרפסינון ר׳ ביבי אמר טינון וכו׳

  1. Bibi evidently does not intend טינון (tinon) as a rendering of Tekhelet‘, nowhere in Talmudic, Midrashic or Targumic literature is Tekhelet represented otherwise than by tekelta, or tikla\ תכלא ,תכלתא: there could have been no occasion for citing Aquilas in explanation of so ordinary a word: if indeed recourse to Aquilas were necessary, it would hardly have been deferred in the Midrash until Esther I, 6 was reached. Again Tekhelet-shel-tzitzit being still in vogue, the meaning of the word must have been clear to everybody in R. Bibi’s time.

In all probability therefore טינון is given as an alternative rendering to that of Aquilas for either חור or כרפס. From the context it is clear, I think, that טינון = Thinon refers to חור. It is probably a corruption of אטוגון = Othonion.3



  1.  Sachs, Michael, Beiträge. Berlin (1852), p. 131.
  2.  The LXX, on the other hand, with its Olorporphyron in v.7, disturbs the harmony.
  3.  Fine muslin-like linen. Cf. Proverbs, VII: אסון מצרים