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RE: orion Word "KITTIM"
>The gentilic "kittim" and the common noun "kittah, kittot", sects are
>homonyms but not related. "kittah" derives from, the pll root "ktt", to
>cut into little pieces", which makes good sense for "sect".
>Cf. "zimmah" < "zmm"
> "'illah" < "'ll"
> "tippah" < "tpp" (with a teth)
>Jonathan D. Safren
>Beit Berl college
Yes, and the reason ktt "makes good sense" for sect is that both Heb.
k-t-t and Latin sect have the same basic meaning, to " break up into
smaller pieces" That's why in modern Hebrew kittah means class. One
divides a "population" into categories or subscategories. Whether we call
them classes or sects depends on the nature of the original population and
the purporse of the subdivisiion. One can divide the entire population of
a country into classes, just as one can the entire enrolment of a school;
and one can divide the entire spectrum of religious opinions within a given
religion into sects.
As for the discussion of yewanim vs. kittim as Greeks and Romans
respectively , Yawan is the same word as Ionia, so does mean approximatley
Greeks -- though in hellenistic times it came to be used for gentiles in
general (i.e. "culturally Greek") -- exactly as Paul uses Hellen as
counterpoint to Ioudaios in Gal. 3:28.
As for Kittim, it is obvious that in the HB the reference is not to Romans,
and there may be some room for argument as to which group it signifies, but
it's also clear that, like Yawan, Kittim comes to be a metaphor for the
Romans in, for instance, Targ. Onqelos. This is quite a common phenomenon
-- for instance, take Ashkenaz and Sepharad, whose biblical referents are
unclear but no one supposes that they actually signified to the regions
of geographic and cultural Jewrythat they came to connote in later rabbinic
Judith Romney Wegner