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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
(firstname.lastname@example.org), 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,
As for your research on 1QpHab, I look forward to it.
For private reply, e-mail to RGmyrken@aol.com
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