Megillah, Chapter 2, Mishnah 1
Megillah, Chapter Two, Mishnah One
The Mishnah now begins to talk about how the Megillah is actually read.
1) If one reads the Megillah out of order, he has not fulfilled his obligation.
2) If he reads it by heart, if he reads it in a translation [targum], or in any other language, he has not fulfilled his obligation.
3) But they may read it to those who do not understand Hebrew in a language other than Hebrew.
a) One who doesnt understand Hebrew who heard it in Assyrian [Hebrew], has fulfilled his obligation.
Section one: The Megillah must be read in order. One cannot skip around and then go back.
Section two: The Megillah must be read from a scroll. Despite its brevity, it, like other Torah readings, may not be read by memory.
It also may not be read using a translation or in any other language, even if it is written in that language. This section refers to a person who understands Hebrew. Such a person who hears in another language has not fulfilled his obligation.
Section three: In contrast, somebody who doesnt understand Hebrew may fulfill his obligation by hearing the Megillah in a language other than Hebrew. Nevertheless, if a person hears it in Hebrew he has fulfilled his obligation even if he doesnt understand it. In this aspect Hebrew is greater than the other languagesother languages need to be understood while Hebrew does not.
Hebrew is referred to as Assyrian because it is written using the Assyrian alphabet.