[b-hebrew] The islands

Reinier de Blois r.de.blois at solcon.nl
Tue Jun 8 03:43:54 EDT 2004

Let us not be misled by the term "islands". The Hebrew word probably has
a wider meaning than that. Coastland may be a much better translation.
Think of Isa. 20:6, for example, which probably refers to Philistea,
Tyrus, or Sidon, some place near Israel. In the later chapters of Isaiah
it may refer to all kinds of Greek and/or Phoenician colonies in the

Let us not forget that we have good maps these days. For us the
distinction between islands, peninsulas, and coastlands is relevant. I
doubt whether it had the same relevance for the writer of

Best wishes,

Reinier de Blois

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org 
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Noam Eitan
> Sent: dinsdag 8 juni 2004 1:09
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] The islands
> Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org> wrote: 
> 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?
> Many of the 36 references to Islands in the Tanakh are 
> hostile, particularly in the prophets. But it's not so much 
> that there is any evidence they were hostile to the Judeans, 
> but rather that the prophets were hostile to them, and even 
> this hostility was not specific but often part of a 
> generalized Yahwistic hostility to other nations who will be 
> taught a lesson one day about Yahweh's superiority. I think 
> Jeremiah 31:10 is emblematic - 'Islands' stand for the 
> remotest corners of the earth (and Yahweh's message and score 
> settling will reach EVEN as far as the islands.) - Noam 
> Eitan, Brooklyn, NY
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