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Re: pNahum

> According to Vemes p. 337, the text commenting on "Whither the lion's den and
> the cave of the young lions?" reads as follows:
>      [Interpreted this concerns Deme]trius king of Greece who sought, on the
> counsel of those who seek smooth things, to enter Jerusalem. [But God did not
> permit the city to be delivered] into the hands of the kings of Greece, from
> the time of Antiochus until the coming of the rulers of the Kittim. But then
> she shall be trampled under her feet...
>      My Master's thesis, From Tennes to Leontopolis, I believe provides a
> perfect explanation to this. I argue that the Hasmoneans were supported by
> Rome from the start. Their opponents would have viewed them as connected to
> the Romans. Hence, calling them "Rulers of the Kittim" makes perfect sense.
> Assuming that this is correct, then the narrative simply describes the events
> 164-159 BCE and does this in detail. In 164 BCE Antiochus did indeed sack
> Jerusalem. Demetrius, who took over soon afterword, supported Alcimus and
> does not appear to have sacked Jerusalem. However, in 159 BCE, when Alcimus
> died, the "Rulers of the Kittim," the Hasmoneans, took control of Jerusalem
> and entered the Temple. They certainly trampled both Jerusalem and their
> opponents under their feet. This, at least in my mind, easily explains this
> passage in Nahum . . . (snip)
> Just a few thoughts, 
> -David Jay Kaufman > HUC-JIR Jerusalem
> Rabbinical Student

There are some things that are appealing about this and
I don't disagree with everything (in fact I'm completing
a dissertation on pNah which will prove favorable to 
the Demetrius I case).  But let me comment on what I see 
as the vulnerable points in your particular construction.

First, the idea that Hasmoneans are the "rulers of the 
Kittim".  But the same expression, "rulers of the Kittim",
is used in pHabakkuk (and only in pHab beside pNah so far 
as I know).  Are the "rulers of the Kittim" in pHab
Hasmoneans too in your view?        

Second, you have an assumption here that the texts are
anti-Hasmonean.  But again, notwithstanding the proverbial
ton of secondary literature assuring us that this is a
fact (with all sorts of unverified assertions such 
as that the Hasmoneans were not considered 
zadokites, etc etc), there is nothing in a Qumran text or any
other source yet published which testifies to this or 
establishes this.  There are some texts at Qumran which can be 
understood in such a light if you assume the anti-
hasmonean scenario to begin with, but the problem 
is it requires an unverified scenario as a premise.  Do you 
have reasons for this assumption that derive from evidence
other than an argument from scenario?  

Third, you say that Jonathan and the Hasmoneans trampled
Jerusalem in 159 (or thereabouts).  A violent conquest of
Jerusalem by Jonathan might be imagined in the absence of
historical evidence but there is nothing in I-II Macc or
any other source about this and it is not obvious that
a violent conquest should be assumed.  In any case it is
not clear that pNah refers to an historical conquest of
anything in the "trampling" phrase, since in form it 
appears to be cast as a future imprecation and there 
is no clear evidence that it is anything other than that.

I realize you may have discussed these matters in more
detail in your thesis--

Greg Doudna    gd@teol.ku.dk   

"Announcement to list: Call for evidence to move the 'a quo' 
of latest deposit of scrolls into the Qumran caves forward 
from 62 BCE.  Post now to Orion and avoid the rush!"