[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
AW: orion Word "KITTIM"
Mr. Harrison wrote:
>The word "Kittim" was first used as a reference to the Greeks and only
later to the Romans. It would be more accurate to say that the word
refers to peoples of Aegean origins.
***Agreed. In Genesis 10:4 they are among the nations on the northern
shores of the Mediterranean, and associated with the Greeks (Jawan).
It seems that also in other OT verses, the term is used rather broadly
(like 'Northern Mediterraneans') . Only in Daniel it is perhaps used
quite specifically (below).
>There is a Greek archaeologists that argues that the word "Kittim" was
for the Cypriotic city of Kition.I will try to get the reference later.
***This in fact goes back to Josephus, who links the Kittim with
Cyprus, a guess (IMO on sound-resemblance only) that is alas
followed by many modern scholars. I say 'alas' and 'guess' as I think it
was only the latter, and without good grounds IMHO. F.e. (1) Cyprus is
already represented in Gen.10 (Elisha/Alashiya); (2) The city of Kition was
a Phoenician foundation, not a Greek one, and was called Carthago (New City)
- under which name it also is mentionned in the famous Cyprian list of
Esarhaddon (680-669 BC). So it must have gotten the name Kition/Citium
much later; there was also a city Kition/Citium in Macedonia (would
be nice to know which city wore the name first); (3) Nobody before
Josephus makes this mistake (below), and also he himself
admits (Ant 1,6,1) that the Hebrews used the term for "all islands
and coastal places" - the broad 'Northern Mediterraneans' I used above.
In the book of the Maccabeans, Kittim most definitely refers to the
Macedonians (1 Mac 1:1, 8:1-16). I've read, but cannot refind the
reference, that in some DSS material is spoken of "the Kittim of Assyria
and the Kittim of Egypt", being the Seleucids and Ptolemaeans of course.
In other DSS material, Kittim is no doubt used for Romans. Also in
Daniel 11:30 it refers to the Romans (in the Septuaginta 'Romans' even
is used here). And in the Aramean Targum, the Kittim of Num. 24:24 are
explained as Romans.
I would like to add that one may NOT conclude from all the above, that
the term was an invention of the Hellenistic period. For the Kittim are
mentioned outside the OT, as mercenaries guarding the southern Judean
border, on the Tel 'Arad Ostraca, ca. 605 BC! Which exact Aegean origin
these mercenaries had we will likely never know. (Cf. the Ionian and Carian
mercenaries of pharaoh Psammetichus 664-610 BC around the same time!)
What the ultimate origin/etymology of the term Kittim was (it IMO *not* being
'people of Kition', like explained above) I therefore could not say.