Num 24:24

Banyai Michael banyai at
Thu Sep 26 16:09:15 EDT 2002

Please guys don´t blame me for the drolly fonts. It is some problem with
the Lyris server, who regularly sends me an unsubcribe message to each
message I send to the list (some virus wants me out) and an apparent
incompatibility in the last period between Lyris and my mail program. Whe
I send the same messages thru Internet they at least don´t display this
curious typography.

I´ll repeat my previous message, for the ones still willing to read it.



Dear all, 

first of all to Ian´s objections: 

> Would you like to reinvent the significance of "Kittim"? Before 
> you do have a good look at the prophecies against Tyre in Isa 23 
> and Eze 27 in which the only possibility I can see is that the 
> coasts of the Kittim is located approximately where Kition is. 
> Perhaps you can think of some other wood provider that the Kittim 
> could represent. Perhaps you could also note the geographical 
> indication of Gen 10:4. Perhaps you could also note that kty is 
> a gentilic which matches that produced by the Phoenician name. 
> The only conclusion I can draw is that anyone wanting to think 
> that Kittim refers to other than Kition in a pre-DSS period is 
> doing so based on no evidence whatsoever. 

The question is more complicated, since the indications from the bible are
neither perfectly concludent, nor precise, nor in any way to be said to
pertain to the same period and same situation as in "Bileams" blessing.

Kittim experienced many reinterpretations during the late antique, as
designating anything from from Cyprus and Greek till Rome.

We not always have to accept the opinion of Flavius Josephus for example,
his identification of Kaphtor with Katpatuka/Kappadokia, or have we? Where
he relyed on good informations he was able to transmit us valuable tips,
but he wasn´t infailible.

I think that Gen. 10:4 is rather a powerful argument against the
identification of Cyprus with Kitim, than the other way round.

We know that Cyprus was ruled during the Bronze age from Alashia. This is
the Elisha running a couple of names before Kittim in Gen. 10:4. Thus we
have: Elisha (kingdom of Cyprus), Tarshish (Tarsus staying for the
Danuna/Adana kingdom), Kittim, Rodanim ( seen as Rhodos). Kittim could
thus be either Kizzuwadna/Qode, or something else on the Anatolian coast.
Quite improbable on Cyprus.

These are all independent coastal Anatolian kingdoms during end Late
Bronze age, the rest of the coast was directly ruled by the Hethites. This
attributions make therefore much sense as a political map of South-Western
Anatolian coast.

By the way Tiglatpileser I seems to have bordered on the height of his
expansion with his conquests on Kizzuwadna, since he mentions Kumani in
the North of it, and Amurru in its South (Ugarit, the puffer-state between
Amurru and Kizzuwatna had long since vanished). The two states ought have
met one another thus on a not too friendly basis.

Don´t forget the late Assyrian name for Cyprus, Iadnana - the isle of
Danuna (not of The Greeks, since Greek is Iaman/Iawan) . A similar lexical
construct like the biblical the isle of the Kittim. Both times perhaps
alluding to some kind of influence of a coastal Anatolian state over

On the other hand I feel attracted indeed by an identification with
Cyprus, even if it could be also some other location on the Anatolian

I know about the archaelogical surveys on Cyprus, but they are somewhat
inconcludent for the question of the city name of Kition. Of course
Karageorgis has dug up Kitions ruins, but who says that before the 10th
century BC there was no city with the name Kition at a site nearby. Capua
antica lies also a couple of miles away from medieval to modern Capua,
this hasn´t so far stimulated anybody to try to highdate the Spartacus
revolt into the middle ages. Cities are abandoned sometimes on various
reasons and rebuilt at a new site not far away with the same name.

So let please the argument about Kittim to be what it is, an unidentified
location with many favorits, not peculiarly relevant to our subject.

Now to the other questionmarks raised by Yigal: 

"It's difficult for me to see how you get from an royal fishing expedition
to a naval battle. In any case, both Tiglath-Pileser I and Ashur-Bel-Kala
were very much "masters of a land-locked country". Their expidition to
Amurru (that is, the Levant) were no more than anecdotes, one-time marches
that had no lasting effect on anything except later Assyrian royal
propaganda. Tyre, for instance, didn't even bother to pay tribute to
Tiglath-Pileser I as he was sailing by (actually he sailed to the north,
from Arvad to Byblos, but Sidon did pay). And I very much doubt that the
Israelites of the time (c. 1100 BCE) were even aware of these events. "

It belongs the eyes of a modern reader to read into a naval demostration
of royal power, menacing at any time to overrun by by-passing by the way
of the coast (in the manner of Tuthmosis IIIs naval desant at Joppe) the
defence lines of the Syrians a simple fishing expedition.

We could than recall the elephant hunt at Nija of the Pharaoh, paralleling
Tiglatpilesers impertinent demonstration of power before the coasts of the
enemy. the real purpose of his presence in full force in this region of
Syria. Or Thutmosis IIIs 20 or so expeditions to the Levante, anecdotes
and one-time marches, as Tiglatpilesers 14 expeditions leading him over
the Euphrates.

They all pretended to govern the Levante but this was no more than
Egyptian or Assyrian propaganda. This we may prove for Thutmosis too,
since one or other Syrian city declined too, at first to pay tribute, in
the manner Tyrus did with Tiglatpileser I (but also with many other
Assyrian kings).

Concerning the ignorant Israelites not knowing what happens some 40
kilometers from their borders (Tiglatpileser I reached Sidon): I can not
understand your argument or if this is indeed an argument or just a

Should it be last variant, I couldn´t argue against.

All the best, 

Bányai Michael 

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