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

Re: orion-list Kittim in Num 24.24

I've lost track since this thread began; has anyone mentioned the 
rendering of Kittim/Kettians in Num 24.24 by Kupriwn (Cypriots, Cyprus)
in MS F\b/ (medieval corrections, mostly marginal, to the text of F;
included among the "later translations" in the lower apparatus of Wevers'
Goettingen edition)? And Latin vulgate MSS here have "Italy," while
Onkelos Aramaic apparently has "Romans." Daniel 11.30 apparently doesn't
bear all the weight of the interpretative textual struggles. 

Bob Kraft
> Dear Orion list members,
> I have recently been working on the background and origins of the term
> 'Kittim' in the Hebrew bible and other literature, especially as
> background for the term in the pesharim, and in particular the whole
> Greeks or Romans debate. Much of the literary evidence perhaps points to
> an identification with the Seleucid Greeks, esp I Macc 1:1, 8:5, Jub.
> 24, 37 and, thanks to Russell Gmirkin's recent articles, the War Scroll
> as well. Nevertheless, the Roman identification is often cited with
> reference to the allusion to 'ships of Kittim' in Dan. 11:30 (and the
> versions) and the clear parallel to Popilius Laenas's intervention
> described in several classical sources, incl. Livy, Poybius and Diodorus
> Siculus. I wonder whether this is necessarily the case?
> While I do not disagree with the overall impression of the text
> referring to Popilius I do question whether Kittim in this context
> refers to Rome herself. The text on which Dan 11:30 is based, Num 24:24,
> states that 'ships came from the land of Kittim' and while the Daniel
> reference is itself difficult (a simple plural 'ships' followed by
> 'Kittim'), if we explore the classical sources, and esp. Livy, it
> emerges that Popilius's ships were diverted to Delos to protect
> Macedonian shipping before carrying out the task in Egypt (persuading
> Antiochus Epiphanes to depart). Thus 'ships from the land of Kittim'
> might refer to the fact that the Roman ships came from Delos, one of the
> Greek islands. On this interpretation, Kittim fits into the Old
> Testament model of Kittim as referring to the coastline of ancient
> Greece and Macedonia (I Macc 1:1). In other words, Roman ships came from
> Kittim/Greece!
> It is easy to see how the LXX and Vulgate translators might have
> misunderstood the reference in Daniel and thus the translation 'Romans'
> slipping in to these texts, but is this an accurate reflection of the
> meaning of Kittim in Dan. 11:30?
> I invite thoughts and comments on this topic. Is there mileage in
> pursuing this reading?
> Marcus Wood
> Department of Theology
> University of Durham
> For private reply, e-mail to Marcus Wood <M.E.M.Wood@durham.ac.uk>

Robert A. Kraft, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
227 Logan Hall (Philadelphia PA 19104-6304); tel. 215 898-5827
For private reply, e-mail to kraft@ccat.sas.upenn.edu (Robert Kraft)
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.