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-----Messaggio originale-----
Da: Michael Banyai [mailto:Banyai at]
Inviato: sabato 14 dicembre 2002 1.43
A: Biblical Hebrew
Oggetto: [b-hebrew] Balaam's Kittim Oracle

I am returning to a discussion on this list I brought to a sudden end, as
soon as I got the impression, that a dispassionate analysis of the case I
made for a reattribution of Balaams´ prophecies to Samuel was impossible.

I completed the file for everybody to get an idea about the merits of this

The synchronism for Samuel is offered by the so-called blessings of Balaam,
Num. 24. This is an obviously misattributed text which could best fit the
period and person of Samuel. Thus we have in Num. 24: 7 Agag, named as king
of the Amalekites paralleling the mention of an identical king in 1 Sam. 15.
The Kenites, mentioned in Num. 24:21 by the side of the Amalekites, parallel
the Kenites mentioned by 1 Sam 15:6 as allies of the Amalekites.

The mention of Eber in Num. 24:24 finds by the way its last parallel in the
biblical books of history just within 1 Sam. 4:6-9, 1 Sam. 13:7-19, and some
other points in 1 Samuel, till its very late singular resurgence in Jer.
34:9. But at this late time point was the name Hebrew so definitively out of
fashion, that Jer. 34:9,

Ian: You assume, as usual, what you cannot show, ie the
temporal relationship between the texts.

no living use of the term but only the strict quote of a Deuteronomic law,
needs to explain the use of the name Hebrew for his listeners by the more
fashionable Judean: "each man should set free his male servant and each man
his female servant, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman; so that no one should
keep them, a Judean his brother, in bondage."

There is a further most fascinating detail in both 1 Sam. 9:10 and Num. 24.
The prophecies incorporated under Num. 24 are introduced by a particular
formula "oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is
open" (this translation is confirmed by Num. 22:31). The equivalent of this
old-fashioned introduction in the Balaam text from Deir 'Allaalso sounds:
"Inscription of Balaam son of Beor, the seer-man of the gods."This
particular formulation is explained by 1 Sam. 9:10 as designating in Israel
at the time of Samuel a prophet, name which at the time point 1 Sam. was
redacted wasn't anymore current language: "for the one who is now called a
prophet was formerly called a seer (ro'-eh)", 1 Sam. 9:10. The title is
little used after Samuel's time.

Ian: Again, you assume, as usual, what you cannot show,
ie the temporal relationship between the texts.

Only a similar title, "chozeh", is attested till into the times of Josaphat,
so one should take the use of this title for a prophet as time-limit for
dating Num.24.

Ian: And when was the time of the writing of the material
regarding Josaphat -- working from the texts?

The reason for the false label on the prophecies may be the exaltation of
the Israelite king in Num. 24:7 (thus probably of Saul) maybe through the
mouth of Samuel. This might have appeared inopportune for the rival
David-Dynasty, who looked back too on an alleged legitimation through
Samuel, but wasn't able to produce similar formidable documents.

A synchronism is provided by the mention of Assur in Num. 24:23-24 as
underlying in a (naval?) clash with ships of Kittim. We know from the
Assyrian chronicles, that the Assyrian kings Tiglath-pileser I (1115-1076)
and his successor Ashur-Bel-Kala (1074-1057 conventional dates) campaigned
in the Levante and even boasted to have made naval expeditions along the
Levantine coast (maybe demonstrating the ability to bypass any resistance in
inland Syria on a march southwards - we may see as a direct result of this
défilée along the Levantine coast the presents sent by the king of Musri).

Ian: This is creative history to say the least.
By "Levante" here I gather you mean Syria, for the furthest
south clearly recorded in the annals was Mount lebanon, where
he marched without any notable resistence. The boat trips
need to be seen in context. Arvad (modern Arad) is an island,
so to get there one needs boats. T.P.1 received tribute from
the island and went out to it. The sea is choppy (there is
almost always a strong wind), so it was an effort worthy of
remembering along with the extension to Samuru. While at sea,
he killed a "sea-horse". Does this sound like an engagement
with any enemy? For anyone interested here is the passage
from A.K.Grayson, "Assyrian Royal Inscriptions: Part 2", p23:

"I marched to Mount Lebanon. I cut down, carried off cedar
beams for the temple of the gods An and Adad, the great gods
my lords. I continued to the land of Amurru, conquered the
entire land Amurru. I received tribute from the lands Byblos,
Sidon, Arvad. I rode in boats of the city of Arvad of the
land Amurru, travelled successfully a distance of three
double hours from the city Arvad, an island, to the city
Samuru which is in the land Amurru. I killed at sea a naxiru,
which is called a sea-horse."

(The following paragraph goes on to talk about lands further
to the north -- the old Hatti-lands. There is no connection
whatsoever with T.P.1's expedition against Musru.)

In another treatment of the same event, it is certainly the
naxiru which is what captured his interest, as he later made
basalt replicas of it and doesn't bother mentioning anything
else including Arvad (AKG, ARI 2, pp28-9). There is nothing
to make one think that this boating event was perceived as
anything other than what T.P.1 describes it to be.

It is this event that you would like anyone to believe is a
clash with your Kittim. As I present the basic source text
for your opinion, I think people can judge for themselves.

Michael, it should be clear to you now that this event is
what it claims to be several times, providing nothing in its
telling to make one think any differently.

The nearing Assyrians may have nurtured political hopes in Israel by the
time of Samuel and a political contact between the Assyrians and the
Israelite state in spe is imaginable.

Ian: I guess anything is possible which is not literally
contradicted, but what would make you think the above?

Num.24:23-24 is thus just a political review of the younger past.

Ian: I don't see where this idea springs from, ie it
doesn't follow, to me.

We thus have to synchronise Samuel at least with the last of the Assyrian
campaigns in the Levante, which ceased, due to some military set-back
(suggested by Num. 24:23-24?), with Ashur-Bel-Kala at the latest of course
1057 BCE.

Ian: We thus have nothing of the sort. This is mere
conjecture on a hypothesis.

The campaigns of Tiglat-pileser I, mentioning his conflict with Musri and
Kumanu, belong into the first 5 years of his reign, describing thus a new
political constellation in the Levante introduced after 1111 BCE . They
mention his widening the borders of Assyria till to "Great sea of the west",
the Mediterranean, and bringing Kanish-oak from the conquered lands. A
localisation of Musri and Kamanu East of Assyria (as usually made) would
leave one without an explanation for this pretence of Tiglat-pileser I. All
the cities mentioned by Tigl. I as pertaining to Kamanu are well known as
belonging to the Anatolian Komana (former part of Kizzuwadna till to the
Sunassura treaty).


AKG ARI 2, p14:

"The god Ashur, the lord, commanded me to conquer the
land Musri and I took the way between Mounts Elamuni,
Tala, and Harusa. I conquered all the land Musri, laid
low their warriors. I burnt, razed, destroyed the
cities. The troops of the Qumanu came to the aid of
the land Musri. I fought them in the mountains, brought
about their defeat. I confined them to one city, the
city Arinu which is at the foot of Mount Aisa. They
submitted to me, I spared that city. I imposed upon
them hostages, tribute, impost."

Obviously this Musri is smaller than Qumanu, reached
via mountains, and when Qumanu came to help, TP1 fought
them in the mountains. Plainly we are not dealing with
Egypt: the topography here is mountainous and Musri is
inferior in strength to Qumanu. TP1 conquered all the
land of Musri.

Musri is apparently given as Mehru, p21, in a similar
context after dealing with the Ahlamu, as is the case
of the passage cited above about Musri. Also, an
inscription of Adad-Nirari II, p86, mentions both
Qumanu and Mehru along with Uratru (the northern realm).

Mehru had previously been mentioned by Tukulti-Ninurta I
along with others including Uqumanu, presumably the
later Qumanu (ARI 1, p108) and Qutu. And Shalmaneser I
calls himself "subduer of Musri" and "conqueror of
Qutu" (ARI 1, p93). Plainly this Musri is not Egypt.

Both Qutu and Uratru are northern locations. It
should follow that so are (U)qumanu and Musri/Mehru.

If Qumanu is as you claim part of Kizzuwatna -- seems to
have been equated with the city of Kummanni at times in
Hittite texts -- then there is nothing strange about our
Musri/Mehru being basically where it is indicated, ie in
the north which would perhaps put it contiguous with the
part of Kizzuwatna concerned. In fact that is where
Liverani puts it in his Antico Oriente, 1988, p579, close
to the source of the Tigris, which is consistent with the
ancient sources.

The identification of this Musri with Egypt (the standard identification of
Musri), here apparently the state dominating the region of Amurru and even
deeper into the south the Levantine coast according to these Assyrian texts,
is difficult since falling in a period where an Egyptian presence in the
Levante and Syria is hardly imaginable, this is during the period of the
last Pharaohs of the 20 th dynasty, Ramses X and XI, and of the still weaker
21 st dynasty, with a Smendes and Psusennes I (the Wenamun story introduces
us to this period of notorious Egyptian weakness). According to W.Helck the
Egyptian presence in Palestine ceased with Ramses III (a Ramses IV statuette
found at Megiddo out of stratigraphical context is not accepted by him as
testimony of an Egyptian presence). Musri is a name shared both by Egypt and
Amalek (and maybe by some east-Tigride petty kingdom), so, if last
identification should make the case, a reference to Musri in the
contemporary Assyrian text could explain the Num. 24:20 mention of Amalek as
first among the nations.

(Ian: This seems mostly to be speculation without any
evidence behind it. Helck's welcome to his opinion: as
I gather he doesn't explain the *Ramses VI* statue
base's presence any other way, the most logical
conclusion was that it got there through normal means,
ie the Egyptians put it there. There is nothing strange
about the Egyptians having lost total control of the
coast to the sea people, yet maintaining control over
the inland areas. In the south tombs at Tell Farah
feature scarabs from the reigns of Ramses III and IV.
Timna` was worked at least until the reign of Ramses V.
A Ramses VI statue is not in situ. It was probably
buried on withdrawal, as they probably couldn't take it
with them.)

I am dealing at large with this identification in my paper "The Arab
Fringe". A short summary of the arguments would have to refer to following:
Name Mishor/Musri is of Semitic provenience. Mishor name given to the plain
country south of Gilead. Called by Asarhaddon Musri, the same way as a
couple of lines later Egypt.

Ian: You need to deal with the context in which TP1's
Musri is found.

Also preserved in the name of the "river of Musri", Besor, border river
between Judah and Amalek in the Negev. See Hagar´s and Ishmael´s connection
to Misraim. See stele Sfire I (KAI 222), containing agreement between
Matiilu of Arpad and Bargaia of KTK over TL´IM (maybe biblical Tellaim -
starting point of Saul´s campaign against Amalek) arbitrated by whole of
Aram on one side and MsR on the other.

Ian: More argument based on solely linguistic

This forces an identication of Sfire itself with TL´IM,

Ian: "force"?

and a search for MsR, south of Bit-Agusi, thus in the Syrian desert. See the
identification Musur = Meluhha in Asarhaddon §76, Fragment F 6 ff. See
Assurbanipal´s list of insurgent countries on the side of
Shamash-shum-ukin: - Akkad, Chaldea, the Arameans, the Sea-land - Elam,
Gutium - Amurru and Meluhha - while the campaigns of Assurbanipal in the
following of the insurgency lead him against: Akkad, Chaldea, the Arameans,
the Sea-land (6 th campaign), Elam (7 th and 8 th campaign), Amurru and
Arabia (9 th campaign). See the Arabic traditions linking Amalek with the
Hyksos, and the late Roman name of the aloe (imported from Arabia) "Ammos
Hiksoitike". Compare name of the last Amalekite king es-Someida with that of
the last Hyksos H3mwdj (h being rendered by Manetho regularly as s). See the
Malichae in Claudius Ptolemeus, the Baramalacum in Plinius, as dwellers of
Arabia. See the road of Meluhha in the geography of Sargon, identifying it
with the king´s road.

   " The city Arinu, the well founded holy city at the base of the
mountains, which had previously rebelled.that city I captured, destroyed and
sowed kudimmus over it. At that time I subdued all of the land of Musri at
the feet of Ashur, my lord."

Ian: This, for those interested, is a statement by
Shalmaneser I (ARI 1, pp81-2), circa 1250 BCE. What
it's doing here is not quite so easy to discover.

Arinu did later become as Arne the first capital of the Aramean state of
Bit-Agusi. A treaty found in Sfire between KTK belonging to the Musri
confederation and Bit-Agusi confirmed much later this border shift. Arne is
identified at cca. 10 Km north of Sfire, the border contention between the
MsR state KTK and Bit-Agusi.

The reference to the Kittim in the text could of course be attached to the
Cypriote Kition, following on the suggestion of Josephus, but Kittim is not
clearly located by the text. There are however also better alternatives to

Ian: A population which called itself kty, you know,
just like the Hebrew ktyym. The Hebrews wrote about
ktyym at Arad, circa 600 BCE, and there is the
presence of Cypriot and eastern Greek pottery in the
zone at the time (A.Mazar, Archaeology..., p441).
There is of course more evidence, but I would like
to see just one piece that would make anyone want to
consider the existence of Kittim before the tenth
century. Just one, otherwise all of this stuff can
be written off as wishful thinking.

However ambiguous the archaeological finds at Kition, showing a short
abandonment of the site in some areas between 1000 BC and the end of 9 th
century, one should not overstate this case. There is obvious archaeological
continuity, for example in the zone of temple I or the temple of Ashtart,
throughout the 13 th to 10 th century BC and throughout all 1 st millennium
BC till into the Roman times according to Vassos Karageorghis himself. Such
a continuity of traditions and culture (the Phoenicians arrived sometime
later after the recolonisation in the 9th century) on the site would make
sure that, should the name of Kition be older than the 5 th century BC (as
it is for the first time attested in this form) it would have passed from
the old city to the new one at the same site.

Ian: This is an interesting repackaging of the

An identity between Kittim and Kition would thus not create problems since
the identification of biblical Kittim is not the same with the issue of its
Phoenician colonisation or the date of late antique Kition.

Ian: Of course it doesn't create any problems. You
have shown no reason to believe that the Hebrew
term Kittim refers to anything else.

The problem is different: the tradition identifying Kition with Kittim
begins just by Josephus, and there is no idea how old the name Kition really
is. Esarhaddon (680-669 BC) calls the city still just by its Phoenician
name, Karthadasht.

Ian: Karthadasht is not a name. It is a description.

All mentions of the name Kition are of later date.

Ian: All datable references to Kittim are of a later

Besides, should Kition be Kittim, this would mean that Cyprus would appear
in Gen. 10 twice, once under Elisha/Alashiya and than under Kittim (not even
by the side of Elisha in Gen. 10). Peculiarly embarrassing looks Ez. 27:6,7,
offering the isles (or coasts) of Kittim side by side with the isles (or
coasts) of Elisha.

Ian: Embarrassing for you perhaps. At the time when
Kition was at its height the island of Cyprus was
divided between Phoenicians centred in Kition and
Greeks. Gen 10 probably represents this situation.
The Ezekiel passage is also late. Yet you should be
interested in the anachronistic use of Elishah in
these passages. The Kittim reference is quite
reasonable in the context of those passages.

A similar name to that of Kition and thus also a Kittim candidate, being
given also to neighbour Anatolian coastal state Kizzuwadna, Kataonie by its
Greek name, maybe to be identified with the Qdj of Egyptian sources (contra
M.Astour but with W.Helck in Ägäische Bronzezeit, Hrsg. H.Buchholz , pp.
224, Darmstadt, 1989). An identification of Kittim with Kition would leave
the important Kizzuwadnan state entirely unrepresented in the table of the

There are further Aegean names not necessarily our biblical Kittim but
linguistically close to it, attested unlike Kition (beginning just by 500
BC) already at an earlier time point, than Kition: ku-tu-na-ja (Kydonia on
Crete), ku-ti-ra (Kytera) mentioned by the time of Amenophis III (Helck).
Amusing is the coincidence given by Eusebius making Cydon (Kydonia) rule
over Crete during the reign of Amenophis IV, but this remains for us without

Ian: The only thing I see is desperate attempts to
find some other source for Kittim based on merely
linguistic appearances for tendentious reasons. At
least work on the root which is applicable: kty.
None of your candidates are at all reasonable even
on strict linguistic appearances.

I am actually sorry I mentioned the strangeness of
Num 24:24. I had hoped for a ideas based on textual
evidence, Not the misguided conversion of a pleasure
trip by TP1 -- of which he was so impressed by the
sea animal he killed -- into a conflict with your
supposed Kittim.

I really don't understand what has caused you to
deal with the verse so creatively. It seems like
you've made a hellovan effort for such poor results.


Ian Hutchesson

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