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Re: orion Code Words in Scrolls??

>Kittim is in all likelihood a code word (for Romans in my opinion) rather
>than referring to the literal Cypriots.  The use of code names, sobriquets,
>etc. throughout the pesharim and other docs would seem to indicate that they
>were composed during a period of political tension (invading or occupying
>foreign troops, perhaps???) as there is an obvious effort to conceal
>identitites of personalities and sects on all sides of the conflicts and
>debates described in the scrolls.  Is this effort attributed to the basic
>esoteric nature of the Yahad or can this line of thought be used to provide
>a context for dating composition?
>Best Regards,
>Vernon Chadwick
>Charlotte, NC

I wonder if "code word" is really what is being used here with "kittim".
Does not the possibility exist that "kittim" simply meant "westerner" like
"coke" means any soft drink and like "xerox" means any kind of copying
activity (I.e., I am going to xerox this page...).  Or like "kleenex" means
any kind of facial tissue.

How is the word used in other contexts.  The idea that sectarian jews (if
that is what the authors of the pesharim were) were afraid to name names
seems a little difficult (though I do not believe this presupposition has
been debated much).


Jim West
Adjunct Professor of Bible
Quartz Hill School of Theology