Balaam's Kittim Oracle

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sat Sep 28 17:11:51 EDT 2002

>I don´t think it to be relevant what you say about Togarma. This is
>Neo-Assyrian Till-garimu but Hethite Tegaramma/Tacharama. It is nice that
>you point on the name of Ethiopian king similar to that of a land in
>Genesis, nation´s table, but where does this list offer us kings´names
>else as expresis verbis? This is simply accidental since you have also
>other similar names pertaining to Kush: Seba, Sabtah, Sabteka. Are these
>too names of Ethiopian kings? I surmise not. Than is Havilah too a

Well contorted!

First, forget Tubal, then hide the separate
Bit-Togarmah, and attempt to trivialise the
obvious Nubian king in the list of Cush

>> >In the table of the nations is Kittim side by side with several
>> >identifiable peoples, among other Tarshish (Tarsus)capital of Danuna
>> >looking back on a much older period as Iron age,
>> This is of course not so transparent. The
>> first notice of the name Tarsisi was from
>> Esarhaddon. There were other forms of the
>> name previously, but not close enough to
>> Tarshish to justify the Hebrew form.
>This is quite irelevant, even if one would accept (I don´t mean one
>should) your difference between Tarsisi and Tarsa, it is perfectly trivial
>that the name of a city would be written according to the current

We are not dealing with modern forms of
names, Michael. You for some reason
make a connection between Tarshish and
Tarsa/Tarzi/etc, but you don't give a date
for the form you are trying to use.

>All German classics are now being published in Germany
>according to the modern orthography ( this is going so far that the
>publishers announce on the book cover "according to the orthographic
>reform"). Nobody means this would be a legity, but it is everyday

So in the end, you can't really say anything
because your linguistic appearances will
disappear in modern scholars' rationalising

>> >Elisha (Alasia) a city
>> >which has been the capital city of Cyprus during Late Bronze age, and
>> >later lost significance.
>> However, names have the ability to last
>> longer than what they refer to, as in the
>> case of Hatti, Mitanni, Assyria, Babylon,
>> etc. Edwin Bevyn even cites a Phoenician
>> coin of the epoch of Antiochus IV which
>> mentions Kition despite the fact that
>> that city had been destroyed a hundred
>> years previously.
>This is wonderful. And being this are you sure this makes this exception
>to a rule we have to follow?

Yours is a contorted conclusion, Michael.
You are trying to give a terminus post quem
when obviously you can't.

>> >It doesn´t make sense to assume with Kittim a
>> >second Cypriotic place name since the list involves the names of
>> >independent states or of capitals of states along the Anatolian coast,
>> >while those of lands inside Anatolia appear in a separate branch of
>> >the list.
>This is what I call liberalism. Kittim is not even side by side with

And you are trying to make coherence out
of the table of nations by your own flavour
of guesswork. You don't know how the
writer put his table together, although there
is a connection between the four, because
they are sons of Yavan. Read what Javan's
portion is in Jubilees 9:10.

>> >Besides is this list relevant only for a much older period as your
>> >Alasia gives us a terminus ante quem, and this is Late Bronze age.
>> This terminus ante quem is simply *wrong*,
>> otherwise we have to start imagining Hatti
>> lasted into the first millenium.
>Don´t get your argument.

It is a repeat of the assumption that
because a name is used late it must
have been current for the location --
which a first century Hatti shows is
absurd. You have no terminus post
quem without such "conclusions".

>> There is no substantial reason to assume
>> that, unless one needs to postulate some
>> extremely vague reminiscence to order to
>> fit one's theories, when there is a nice
>> same-name place that already fits the
>> bill. Kition is in the right place. It
>> is across the sea from Tyre which it is
>> closely related to and to which one could
>> conceivably escape to as seen in
>> Isa 23:12.
>Where is the problem? Isa. 23 speaks of Tarshish ships making their way to

That's not what Isaiah 23:12 talks about.

>Assuming Kittim to be different of the region about Tarshish
>(Danuna has ceased to exist exactly at the time point of Isaiahs´prophecy
>cca 701

(Crystal ball gazing for dates again.
It gets pretty hopeless trying to get
a reasoned discussion when you
pop dates out of the box without
being able to check them.)

>and have fallen by grace of the Assyrians to the neighbouring
>kingdom from which later emerged the 4th nomos, Syenesis´ kingdom of
>Kilikia), we are maybe without necessity introducing a 3rd term (Cyprus)
>into the equation.
>In fact it is said that the ships of Tarshish coming from Kittim found
>Sydon destroyed, so that they return crossing over to Tarshish. This makes
>rather an identity between Tarshish and Kittim by the time of Isaiah, 701,
>because of the new Assyrian reorganisation of the provinces after the fall
>of Danuna.

What text are you reading???

>> And while Cyprus was richly wooded as to
>> make sense in Eze 27 (another passage
>> which relates the Kittim to the Phoenican
>> world), neither the Cilician coast nor
>> the north Syrian coast offered a source
>> of wood. Hence the following guess is
>> merely wishful thinking:
>What makes you think of the coast?

The text talks of coasts, not of places

>Is the Amanus, the "cedar forest" not
>good enough as source of wood for you? It is one of the most famous wood

But irrelevant, unless you feel like
rewriting the documentary source
to suit your theories. (Besides, the
wood is called "boxwood" or "pine",
found on Cyprus.)

>while Cyprus is in the ANE quite unknown as a wood exporter.

I talked to Kuniholm once about Cyprus
as an exporter of wood. He didn't have
any problem with that idea. But then,
that's his field, ancient wood.

>> You should read the literature on Qode/Que
>> first, as you apparently haven't. The
>> linguistics of the name points elsewhere.
>Than you should read besides also the literature relating to the Greek
>name for the region of Kizzuwadna, namely Kataonia. If you sense here a
>big linguistic difference to Kition, which you admit as source for Kittim,
>than I can not help myself.

The two ethnicons are exactly the same.
You know, kty and kty.

>Since Kataonia is derived either from
>Kizzuwadna ( luwitic wadna= heth. udne= land) or a common precursor of
>both names, we may assume a shift to t from z or z to t (from some commin
>source) on account of the t>z shift in the semitical languages.
>> >existing much before the apparition of
>> >Greeks in the region, so as Elisha or Tarshish were. Elisha and
>> >Tarshish are sure identifications. Kittim is not.
>> The only reason why it seems not to be sure
>> is that biblical scholars have tended not to
>> look at the evidence, of which there is quite
>> a lot. A historical approach to the use of
>> the term Kittim will reveal that it is quite
>> coherent. (In fact, it was only around the
>> time of the Hellenistic crisis that the term
>> started to take on a wider meaning.)
>We might however accept without evidence the possibility of some
>difference between the "isles of Kittim"

"coasts of the Kittim".

>and Kittim as is existing between
>Iadnana (Assyrian name of Cyprus usualy translated as the isle of Danuna)
>and Danuna,

This is Astour and who in the field supports it?

Umm, you. Because it's convenient.

The Kittim

>Anatolian coastal state encompassing Adana, Tarsus,
>> Isaiah and Ezekiel all place the Kittim
>> in the Phoenician world in the vicinity of
>> Cyprus -- you have to cross over to it (as
>> Jeremiah also indicates), you can't simply
>> go along the coast. It is seen as a place
>> of refuge in Isaiah and not a nice town on
>> the coast within easy reach of those nasty
>> Assyrians.
>Vide supra. Till 701 Tarsus (thus Danuna) and Cyprus (Iadnana) seemed to
>form according to the Assyrians a political unit.

Again, this is only Astour's construction, trying
to make sense of the linguistic data. Not a
strong argument for anything, but it sounds

The prophecy has no interest in your fancied
big Danuna realm, but in the dire situation
Tyre was in. Kition of course was a
Phoenician city.

>The flight 701 of the
>Sydonian king Luli to the Danunans may have led to the decision of the
>Assyrians to attack this Anatolian kingdom. Fact is: the destruction of
>Danuna ensued on the flight of Luli.
>> The reason why I mentioned Num 24:24 is
>> that it deals with the Kittim, but unlike
>> the other references this is quite opaque
>> in significance. Perhaps I'm being obtuse
>> but I am none the wiser regarding the
>> verse!
>OK, Ian. We all may be more sensible on one side, and I appreciate this
>conciliative tone from you. Num. 24:24 as the whole Num. 24 is quite
>difficult to be understood on assumption Kittim=Kition.

As most of the rest are easy to understand
with the Kittim from Kition, I'll stick with it
and find Num 24:24 a difficulty.

>Since 90% is to be
>brought clearly in connection with events attributed by 1 Samuel to the
>period of Saul. Nobody could offer a model how such a text could be
>created, landing little later under the false label of Balaam under the
>assumption Kittim=Kition, because of Kitions founding at a late date.

My bet is that we are dealing with an
extremely late text. As is so frustratingly
frequent, the text is not available from
Qumran, so we can't say how late it is.
But when Syria is called Assyria then
Assyria is on the coast, and Syria gets
called Assyria in late times. You don't
need to turn landlocked Assyria into a
sea-side nation just because a king
or two went joy-riding on the big sea.

>Maybe we could agree with the possibility, that Kittim was a toponym
>preceding in Cyprus the founding of Kition, going later over onto this

Simple possibilities are not what you write
history about. Nor are attempts to retroject
a thousand years from the time of the text
we have of Genesis to the period you want
it to relate to.


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