Three of the Twelve Tribes are described as seafaring people in early biblical times. Judges 5:17 chides Dan for dwelling in ships, and Asher for its maritime habitat. Genesis 49:13 depicts Zebulun as nautical in Sidonian style. To be sure, Israel was destined to become less sea-minded as time went on (with notable exceptions such as Solomon’s reign), but 25 per cent of the Tribes were sea people according to the biblical text itself.
For reasons that we need not delve into now, scholarship tends to be geared to the tacit assumption that Old Testament Palestine (unlike Roman Palestine) was not a Mediterranean country. Yet the Mediterranean factor in the Old Testament is comparable in magnitude with the Mesopotamian and Egyptian factors. Therein lies the most important aspect of Old Testament research in the foreseeable future.
The only way I know to pursue biblical studies is to take the text on its own terms against the background of authentic collateral information from the world of the Bible. I am not in the least concerned with schools of thought or with the theories of influential scholars.
Genesis 10 charts for us the geographic and ethnic horizons of the Hebrews. In addition to the Asiatic and African Near East, it definitely includes the Aegean and the Greek world. The islanders embrace the Caphtorim of Crete and the Kittim of Cyprus.
The Caphtorians of Palestine include the Philistines (e.g., Amos 9:7) who appear in the Bible as linguistically Semitized. In fact the distinct implication of Scripture is that even the earliest waves of Philistines (to say nothing of the last large wave around 1200 B.C.) were already Semitized. The Philistine King of Gerar in the days of Abraham and Isaac bears the pure Hebrew name of ...1
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