[b-hebrew] Aegean Ethnic determinatives onPhilistineguardsofJudean kings in Kings and Samuel?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Jan 27 01:51:35 EST 2004

It is often assumed that PLTY "Pelethites" is a scribal error for PL<$>TY
"Philistines", and that KRTY "Cherethites" are "Cretens" (from the island of
Crete, which would fit the Philistines' "Sea Peoples" Aegean origin). The
theory is, that David would have been connected to these people diring his
stay at Ziklag as a mercenary of Achish of Gath, and brought some over with
him when he assumed the kingship of Judah, still with the Philistines'
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dora Smith" <villandra at austin.rr.com>
To: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>; "Hebrew"
<b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 5:56 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Aegean Ethnic determinatives
onPhilistineguardsofJudean kings in Kings and Samuel?

Judah is NOT part of the Negev (or Negeb). The noun "Negev" means "wiped
(dry)" and is used as the desert area adjacent to a settled area. As a
proper noun, it refers to the Beer-sheva - Arad valley, which is the
southern fringe of permanent settlement in Judah (NOT the whole south of
modern Israel all the way to Eilat - this is a modern usage). In 1 Sam.
17:10, David tells Achish that he raided "The Negev of Judah, the Negev of
Jerahmeel and the Negev of the Kenites" - three Israelite-allied tribes -
while he REALLY raided the Geshurites, Gerzites and Amalekites, leaving no
survivors to tell the truth. (Look for my upcoming article in the next issue
of "Maarav".) When Judah eventually became a territorial state, "The Negev"
(Hannegev) was the southern part of that state (cf. Josh 15).

In what I think is later usage (though I have no proof!), "Negev" came also
to be used as a word for "south" in general. Thus the descriptions of the
Sanctuary and of the Israelite camp in the Torah use "Negev" for "south",
even though they were SOUTH of THE Negev.

As for the rest of Halpern's theories....


> I found my photocopies of part of Baruch Halpern's book on King David.   I
> don't have and did not read the part where David picks up his 600 characte
> to begin with.   That could shed light on what he thought to be their
> origins.
> In the research I did on the web, I learned that "Cherethites" were a
> of the central Negev associated with the Philistines in some unknown way,
> and "Pelethites" were some group always mentioned in conjunction with
> "Cherethites" that may mean something to do with soldier.   And they're
> linked with Edom, and a couple of other places in the Negev associated
> the development of Yahweh.
> I also learned that Judah itself was part of teh Negev - atleast
> technically.
> Baruch Halpern argues that David's roots were in the central Negev - and
> Philistine, and with the Gibeonites, whose rotos are also southern.   He
> confusingly argues that some of David's iconography, as with the ark of
> covenant, is Egyptian - but I think it was simply a variety of Canaanite,
> maybe of a Negev stripe instead of a coastal plains Canaanite cult stripe,
> but that's probably debatable.     Halpern argues that David actually
> conquered Israel as an outsider, Philistine or even Edomite, and imposed
> religious system of his own roots and his allies on the people of Israel.
> He argues that the slaughter at Shiloh was partly about a religious
> between the Gibeonites and the Benjamites or Saul's tribe.  He argues that
> Israelite religion was traditionally Canaanite, adn this is why when
> broke away from Davidic control after
> teh reign of Solomon, it installed golden calf iconography.   Halpern
> that if the ark of the covenant had been integral to Israelite cult, Saul
> would ahve actively sought it and David would have brought it out much
> sooner, instead of leaving it at the houses of Gibeonite and Philistine
> priests.
> I suspect that actually the term "Philistine" is a red herring here.   It
> may ahve been inserted deliberately.  The last thing the authors of Samuel
> wanted was for people to realize that David didn't represent Israel!
> all Philistines, these people, to whatever degree they ever were
> ahd assimilated.  Except that this bunch appears to have assimilated into
> the Yahwistic culture of the Negev.   Wahtever Philistine identity they
> ever had was relevant only inasmuch as it admits to David's ties.
> Yours,
> Dora Smith
> Austin, Texas
> villandra at austin.rr.com
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> To: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 1:27 AM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Aegean Ethnic determinatives on
> PhilistineguardsofJudean kings in Kings and Samuel?
> > Dora:
> >
> > I noticed that these terms were used exclusively to refer to soldiers.
> What made me suspect that it may refer to classes of professional soldiers
> was the realization that the PLTY is always written with a definite
> prefix in Tanakh, which would have had a pronunciation of "hapeleti". This
> sounds awfully similar to a class of soldiers among the Greeks, who had
> imported a lot of their culture along with their alphabet from Semitic
> sources.
> >
> > The terms, as well as the weaponry, may have been Philistine, but in the
> list of David's top soldiers, almost all of them were native Israelis (2
> Samuel 23).
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Dora Smith" <villandra at austin.rr.com>
> >
> > > 2 Samuel 20:23.  Now Joab was in command of all the army of Israel;
> Benaiah
> > > son of Jehoiada was in command of the Cherethites and the Pelethites;
> > >
> > <snip>
> > >
> > > What sense do you make of this?  Do you think David recruited his
> bodyguard
> > > selectively from faraway places, or is the text trying to tell us that
> > > Israel cared in the time of the monarchy what Aegean nations the
> > > Philistines, whose culture had long become completely Canaanite,
> originally
> > > came from 200 years ago?
> > >
> > <snip>
> > >
> > > Can anyone tell me more about the identity and history of David's
> guards?
> > >
> >
> > --
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