Targum on Esther identifies Memuchan as Haman (in 1:16):

ממוכן הוא המן

Memuchan, who is Haman

Yet on 4:5, when he identifies Hasach as Daniel, he switches the order:

דניאל דמתקרי התך

Daniel, who is called Hasach

(In the subsequent verses in each part of the Megillah, the Targum consistently uses the names in the Megillah.)

Why is it that in 1:16, he starts off with the name used in the Megillah and identifies who it is only after, while in 4:5, he gives the character's actual name and then refers to him as the Megillah does? Why not, in 4:5, say התך הוא דניאל, or in 1:16 המן דמתקרי ממוכן?

  • Maybe memuchan was never called that, but rather the Megillah calls him that for a drash. Daniel on the other hand went by hasach – robev Mar 1 '18 at 21:45
  • @robev You mean that nobody ever called him Memuchan besides for the Anshei Kenesses HaGedolah? Interesting. If that can be sourced, it would explain why the Targum doesn't use המן דמתקרי ממוכן, but why doesn't it say התך הוא דניאל? – DonielF Mar 1 '18 at 22:00
  • Possibly The first time we meet Daniel he is called Daniel; The first time we meet Homon he is called Memuchan- i.e. at the point the midrash is telling us that it is Homon, we haven't really met him to say 'Homon, who is called Memuchan' – user15253 Mar 2 '18 at 12:33
  • @Orangesandlemons Targum still could have said התך הוא דניאל – DonielF Mar 2 '18 at 14:52
  • Note another Targum there: ואמר ממוכן דהוא דניאל – רבות מחשבות Aug 2 '19 at 21:27


Daniel really should be written in the Megilla but we can’t (due to gimatria of Haman ) so “we call him hasach

Haman we call a negative name when we can because ................ We do that to all avoda zoro

  • I’m not asking why Haman is mentioned explicitly but Daniel is mentioned obliquely, but rather why the Targum switches the order in which he presents their identities. – DonielF Aug 2 '19 at 19:57
  • This does not answer the question. Possibly the reason is the same as the use of Naval and the way the good and the bad are referenced. – sabbahillel Aug 2 '19 at 21:22

Perhaps since Memuchan and Haman are both in the Megillah, we identify one as the other "Memuchan hu Haman".

However, when we want to identify Hasach as Daniel, who doesn't appear elsewhere in the Megillah, we note that Daniel is called Hasach, but we can't say that Hasach is Daniel, because Daniel is not present in the Megillah, so it would be awkward to say Hasach hu Daniel. ??


IMHO, The first name is the main name, the second is a nickname.

With Daniel, it's obvious.

With Haman, it seems that researchers believe that "Haman" is some kind of title or virtue's that is attached to the person.

Especially I remember scholar saying that Haman means "(owner of) good thoughts", which make the verse

וּבְבֹאָהּ֮ לִפְנֵ֣י הַמֶּלֶךְ֒ אָמַ֣ר עִם־הַסֵּ֔פֶר יָשׁ֞וּב מַחֲשַׁבְתּ֧וֹ הָרָעָ֛ה אֲשֶׁר־חָשַׁ֥ב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִ֖ים עַל־רֹאשׁ֑וֹ וְתָל֥וּ אֹת֛וֹ וְאֶת־בָּנָ֖יו עַל־הָעֵֽץ׃

"When she (Ester) came before the king, [he] said with the book, the bad thought he thought upon the Jews will return on his head, and they hang him and his sons"

Especially ironic

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