[b-hebrew] The islands

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Jun 7 16:13:12 EDT 2004

On 07/06/2004 12:39, VC wrote:

>Dear Listmembers,
>Just wanted to share a thought. What always puzzled me in the Tanakh - and this turn is most often encountered in Isaiah - is the reference to certain islands. They are clearly hostile to the Jews, ...

Where does it say this?

>... and yet wait for the teaching of the messiah.
>These islands are usually brushed away as a reference to scattered small nations, but this is ludicrous, since they are several times called, islands of the sea.
>Of course, there are no significant islands near Israel. The closest ones are on the Red Sea, far from the ancient sphere of Israeli influence and concern. Greek islanders were too far away to mount military offensive deep inland. In fact, it is hard to imagine any sea nation threatening landlocked Jerusalem. Maritime warfare is not an issue even for the present-day Israel.
>I don't have any idea what are these islands.Perhaps anyone would venture a suggestion?

Well, the Philistines were said to have come from islands like Crete and 
Cyprus which are rather large islands. The Philistines were certainly a 
threat to Israel at one time. But the whole point about the islands, in 
context in Isaiah etc, is that they seem to have been at the remotest 
ends of the earth. I have heard a plausible argument that these islands 
are in fact my home country, the British Isles, for these islands were 
visited by the Phoenicians and are likely to have been the most remote 
country which the ancient Israelites knew anything about. (And the army 
of these islands captured Jerusalem in 1917, so your appeal to modern 
warfare doesn't work.)

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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