[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: orion-list Kittim in Dan 11:30?

Dear Marcus Wood,

    To clarify some of my earlier comments, yes, of course the Kittim 
originally referred to Kition on Cyprus.  And it is easy to understand why 
Greek-occupied Kittim=Cyprus would be associated with Yavan=Ionia, i.e. the 
Greeks of Asia Minor.  One can also understand why Yavan might be applied to 
Greece as a whole due to the identity of language and to a large extent 
culture between the Ionians and mainland Greece.  Again, one can understand 
why Yavan would be applied to the Seleucid Greek realm.
    What requires more of an explanation is that the term *Kittim* is 
sporadically applied in various sources to locales other than Cyprus, namely 
Macedonia, Seleucid Syria, and Rome.  Also, there appears to be no explicit 
references to mainland Greece as the Kittim.
    The commentaries often refer to the fact that the reference to the "ships 
of the Chittim" in Dan. 11:30 is actually a quote from Num. 24:24, "And ships 
shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall 
afflict Eber, and he [Asshur?  Eber?] also shall perish for ever."  That is, 
the author of Daniel took the arrival of Popilius Laenas at Egypt in 168 BCE 
to fulfill Num. 24:24 (whether he interpreted the Chittim to refer to Rome or 
as you suggest the Aegean).
    Now as I read it, and taking into account the whole geographical scope of 
Num. 24:20-24, Num. 24:24 probably originally referred to the presence of 
Kittim mercenaries in the Negev (as documented in the ostracon of Arad, 
etc.).  It appears to envision the (defensive?) use of these Kittim 
mercenaries against the Assyrians (cf. Sennacherib's southern against the 
Negev as documented by the pottery with lamelek seal impressions found in ash 
layers in Dead Sea area fortifications).   
    But I can well imagine that in later times the crossing of the Hellespont 
into Asia Minor by Alexander's Macedonian forces could have been interpreted 
as a fulfillment of this prophecy of the "ships of Kittim", especially in 
light of his subsequent conquest of Syria and Mesopotamia (i.e. the Eber and 
Asshur of Num. 24:24).  [I believe that Walter Mattfeld 
(mattfeld@mail.pjsnet.com), a talented non-academic in Germany, once proposed 
Num. 24:24 originally referred to Alexander, but I may be mistaken - you 
might contact him for biblio.]  This would also explain the application of 
the term Kittim to the Seleucid realm in the Qumran scrolls.  I would suggest 
that the absence of a tradition specifically linking mainland Greece with the 
Kittim is due to the historical conquest of Syria/Mesopotamia by Macedonia, 
not Greece.  
    As for your research on 1QpHab, I look forward to it.

    Best regards,
    Russell Gmirkin

For private reply, e-mail to RGmyrken@aol.com
To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to majordomo@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il with
the message: "unsubscribe Orion." For more information on the Orion Center
or for Orion archives, visit our web site http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il.