Monday, March 19, 2012

Samaritans and Kenites

Samaritan Aramaic, or Samaritan, is the dialect of Aramaic used by the Samaritans in their sacred and scholarly literature. This should not be confused with the Samaritan Hebrew language of the Scriptures. It ceased to be a spoken language some time between the 10th and the 12th centuries. In form it resembles the Aramaic of the Targumim, the Aramaic word for "interpretation" or "paraphrase", and is written in the Samaritan alphabet. Important works written in Samaritan include the Samaritan translation of the Samaritan Hebrew Pentateuch in the form of the targum paraphrased version. There are also legal, exegetical and liturgical texts, though later works of the same kind were often written in Arabic.

Exodus XX.1-6:

  1. Umellel Elâ'e yet kel milleyya aalen elmimar.
  2. Ana Šema Eluek deppiqtek men ara Mişrem mibbet awadem.
  3. La ya'i lak ela'en uranem al eppi.
  4. La tewed lak efsel ukel demu debšumeyya millel wedbaraa millera wedbameyya millera laraa.
  5. La tisgad lon ula tešememminon ala anaki Šema elaak el qana fuqed ob awaan al banem wel telitaem wel rewi'a'em elsenai.
  6. Wabed esed lalafem elra'emi welnateri fiqqudi.

Notice the similarities with Judeo-Aramaic as found in Targum Onqelos to this same passage (some expressions below are paraphrased, not literally translated):

  1. וּמַלֵּיל יְיָ יָת כָּל פִּתְגָמַיָּא הָאִלֵּין לְמֵימַר
  2. אֲנָא יְיָ אֱלָהָךְ דְּאַפֵּיקְתָּךְ מֵאַרְעָא דְּמִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עַבְדוּתָא
  3. לָא יִהְוֵי לָךְ אֱלָהּ אָחֳרָן, בָּר מִנִּי
  4. לָא תַּעֲבֵיד לָךְ צֵילַם וְכָל דְּמוּ דְּבִשְׁמַיָּא מִלְּעֵילָא וְדִבְאַרְעָא מִלְּרַע וְדִבְמַיָּא מִלְּרַע לְאַרְעָא
  5. לָא תִּסְגּוֹד לְהוֹן וְלָא תִּפְלְחִנִּין אֲרֵי אֲנָא יְיָ אֱלָהָךְ אֵל קַנָּא מַסְעַר חוֹבֵי אֲבָהָן עַל בְּנִין מָרָדִין עַל דָּר תְּלִיתַאי וְעַל דָּר רְבִיעַאי לְסָנְאָי כַּד מַשְׁלְמִין בְּנַיָּא לְמִחְטֵי בָּתַר אֲבָהָתְהוֹן
  6. וְעָבֵיד טֵיבוּ לְאַלְפֵי דָּרִין לְרָחֲמַי וּלְנָטְרֵי פִּקּוֹדָי

(NOTE: NEW BOOK ON TARGUM AVAILABLE "THE TARGUM: A CRITICAL INTRODCUTION" BY BRUCE CHILTON)

The Samaritans (Hebrew: שומרונים‎ Shomronim, Arabic: السامريونas-Sāmariyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously the Samaritans are adherents of Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion brought back by those returning from exile. Ancestrally, Samaritans claim descent from a group of Israelite inhabitants from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (the two sons of Joseph) as well as some descendants from the priestly tribe of Levi,[4] who have connections to ancient Samaria from the period of their entry into the land of Canaan, while some suggest that it was from the beginning of the Babylonian Exile up to the Samaritan Kingdom of Baba Rabba. The Samaritans, however, derive their name not from this geographical designation, but rather from the Hebrew term Shamerim שַמֶרִים, "Keepers [of the Law]"[5]In the Talmud, a central post-exilic religious text of Judaism, Samaritan claim of ancestral origin is disputed, and in those texts they are called Cutheans (Hebrew: כותים‎, Kuthim), allegedly from the ancient city of Cuthah (Kutha), geographically located in what is today Iraq. Modern genetics has suggested some truth to both the claims of the Samaritans and the mainstream Jewish accounts in the Talmud.[6]
Historically, Samaritans were a large community — up to more than a million in late Roman times, but were then gradually reduced to several tens of thousands a few centuries ago — their unprecedented demographic shrinkage has been a result of various historical events, including, most notably, the bloody suppression of the Third Samaritan Revolt (529 AD) against the Byzantine
Christian rulers, and the mass expulsions and conversions to Islam in the Early Muslim period of Palestine.[7][8] According to their tally, there were 745[1] Samaritans as of November 30, 2011, living exclusively in two localities, one in Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim near the city of Nablus in the West Bank, and the other in the Israeli city of Holon.[9] Also eight families in Gaza City were found to be Samaritans. There are followers of various backgrounds adhering to Samaritan traditions outside of Israel, especially in the United States. With the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language by Jews in Israel, and its growth and officialization following the establishment of the state, most Samaritans in Israel today speak Modern Hebrew. The most recent spoken mother tongue of the Samaritans was Arabic, as it is for those in the West Bank city of Nablus. For liturgical purposes, Samaritan Hebrew, Samaritan Aramaic, and Samaritan Arabic are used, all of which are written in the Samaritan alphabet, a variant of the Old Hebrew alphabet, distinct from the so-called square script "Hebrew alphabet" of Jews and Judaism, which is a stylized form of the Aramaic alphabet.[10] Hebrew, and later, Aramaic, were languages in use by the Jewish and Samaritan inhabitants of Judea prior to the Roman exile.[11]
According to Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim was the original Holy Place of the Israelites from the time that Joshua conquered Canaan and the tribes of Israel settled the land. The reference to Mount Gerizim derives from the biblical story of Moses ordering Joshua to take the Twelve Tribes of Israel, (the number of which did not include the priestly tribe of Levi) to the mountains by Nablus and place half of the tribes, six in number, on the top of Mount Gerizim, the Mount of the Blessing, and the other half in Mount Ebal, the Mount of the Curse. The two mountains were used to symbolize the significance of the commandments and serve as a warning to whoever disobeyed them (Deut. 11:29; 27:12; Josh. 8:33). The Samaritans have insisted that they are direct descendants of the Northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who survived the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BC. The inscription of Sargon II records the deportation of a relatively small proportion of the Israelites from Samaria (27,290, according to the annals),[12] so it is quite possible that a sizable population remained[13] that could identify themselves as Israelites, the term that the Samaritans prefer for themselves. Samaritan historiography would place the basic schism from the remaining part of Israel after the tribes of Israel conquered and returned to the land of Canaan, led by Joshua. After Joshua's death, Eli the priest left the tabernacle which Moses erected in the desert and established on Mount Gerizim, and built another one under his own rule in the hills of Shiloh. Thus, he established both an illegitimate priesthood and an illegitimate place of worship. Abu l-Fath, who in the 14th century AD wrote a major work of Samaritan history, comments on Samaritan origins as follows:[14]
A terrible civil war broke out between Eli son of Yafni, of the line of Ithamar, and the sons of Pincus (Phinehas), because Eli son of Yafni resolved to usurp the High Priesthood from the descendants of Pincus. He used to offer sacrifices on an altar of stones. He was 50 years old, endowed with wealth and in charge of the treasury of the children of Israel...He offered a sacrifice on the altar, but without salt, as if he were inattentive. When the Great High Priest Ozzi learned of this, and found the sacrifice was not accepted, he thoroughly disowned him; and it is (even) said that he rebuked him. Thereupon he and the group that sympathized with him, rose in revolt and at once he and his followers and his beasts set off for Shiloh. Thus Israel split in factions. He sent to their leaders saying to them, Anyone who would like to see wonderful things, let him come to me. Then he assembled a large group around him in Shiloh, and built a Temple for himself there; he constructed a place like the Temple (on Mount Gerizim). He built an altar, omitting no detail — it all corresponded to the original, piece by piece. At this time the Children of Israel split into three factions. A loyal faction on Mount Gerizim; a heretical faction that followed false gods; and the faction that followed Eli son of Yafni on Shiloh. Further, the Samaritan Chronicle Adler, or New Chronicle, believed to have been composed in the 18th century AD using earlier chronicles as sources states: And the children of Israel in his days divided into three groups. One did according to the abominations of the Gentiles and served other gods; another followed Eli the son of Yafni, although many of them turned away from him after he had revealed his intentions; and a third remained with the High Priest Uzzi ben Bukki, the chosen place.

Assyrian account of the conquest and settlement of Samaria

However, the following account of the Assyrian kings, which was among the archaeological discoveries in Babylon, differs from the Samaritan and Jewish Biblical accounts:

[the Samar]ians [who had agreed with a hostile king]...I fought with them and decisively defeated them]....carried off as spoil. 50 chariots for my royal force ...[the rest of them I settled in the midst of Assyria]....The Tamudi, Ibadidi, Marsimani and Hayappa, who live in distant Arabia, in the desert, who knew neither overseer nor commander, who never brought tribute to any king--with the help of Ashshur my lord, I defeated them. I deported the rest of them. I settled them in Samaria/Samerina.(Sargon II Inscriptions, COS 2.118A, p. 293) Also, The inhabitants of Samaria/Samerina, who agreed [and plotted] with a king [hostile to] me, not to do service and not to bring tribute [to Ashshur] and who did battle, I fought against them with the power of the great gods, my lords. I counted as spoil 27,280 people, together with their chariots, and gods, in which they trusted. I formed a unit with 200 of [their] chariots for my royal force. I settled the rest of them in the midst of Assyria. I repopulated Samaria/Samerina more than before. I brought into it people from countries conquered by my hands. I appointed my eunuch as governor over them. And I counted them as Assyrians.(Nimrud Prisms, COS 2.118D, pp. 295-296)

The Samaritan religion is based on some of the same books used as the basis of mainstream Judaism, but differs from the latter. Samaritan scriptures include the Samaritan version of the Torah, the Memar Markah, the Samaritan liturgy, and Samaritan law codes and biblical commentaries. Samaritans appear to have texts of the Torah as old as the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint; scholars have various theories concerning the actual relationships between these three texts.

Religious beliefs

The Samaritans retained the Ancient Hebrew script, the high priesthood, animal sacrifices, the eating of lambs at Passover, and the celebration of Aviv in spring as the New Year. Yom Teruah (the biblical name for Rosh Hashanah), at the beginning of Tishrei, is not considered a new year as it is in Judaism. Their main Torah text differs from the Masoretic Text, as well. Some differences are doctrinal: for example, their Torah explicitly states that Mount Gerizim is "the place that God has chosen" for the Temple, as opposed to the Jewish Torah that refers to "the place that God will choose". Other differences are minor and seem more or less accidental.

Relationship to mainstream Judaism Samaritans refer to themselves as Bene Yisrael ("Children of Israel") which is a term used by all Jewish denominations as a name for the Jewish people as a whole. They however do not refer to themselves as Yehudim (Judeans), the standard Hebrew name for Jews, considering the latter to denote only mainstream Jews. The Talmudic attitude expressed in tractate Kutim is that they are to be treated as Jews in matters where their practice coincides with the mainstream but are treated as non-Jews where their practice differs. Since the 19th century, mainstream Judaism has regarded the Samaritans as a Jewish sect and the term Samaritan Jews has been used for them.[40]

Religious texts Samaritan law is not the same as halakha (Rabbinical Jewish law). The Samaritans have several groups of religious texts, which correspond to Jewish halakhah. A few examples of such texts are:

    • Samaritan Pentateuch: only inspired text. (Contains about 6,000 variations from the Masoretic text. Most are minor.)
  • Historical writings
    • Samaritan Halakhic Text, The Hillukh (Code of halakhah, marriage, circumcision, etc.)
    • Samaritan Halakhic Text, the Kitab at-Tabbah (Halacha and interpretation of some verses and chapters from the Torah, written by Abu Al Hassan 12th century CE)
    • Samaritan Halakhic Text, the Kitab al-Kafi (Book of Halakhah, written by Yosef Al Ascar 14th century CE)
    • Al-Asatir—legendary Aramaic texts form 11th 12th centuries, containing:
      • Haggadic Midrash, Abu'l Hasan al-Suri
      • Haggadic Midrash, Memar Markah—3rd or 4th century theological treaties attributed to Hakkam Markha
      • Haggadic Midrash, Pinkhas on the Taheb
      • Haggadic Midrash, Molad Maseh (On the birth of Moses)
  • Defter, prayer book of psalms and hymns.[41]

Kenites (Jewish Encyclopedia.com) —Biblical Data: A tribe of Palestine, mentioned in the time of Abraham as possessing a part of the promised land (Gen. xv. 19). At the Exodus it inhabited the vicinity of Sinai and Horeb; and to it belonged Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses (Judges i. 16). In Ex. iii. 1 Jethro is said to have been "priest of Midian" and a Midianite (Num. iv. 29); hence the conclusion seems justified that the Midianites and Kenites are identical. The Kenites journeyed with the Israelites to Palestine (Judges i. 16); and their encampment, apart from the latter's, was noticed by Balaam (Num. xxiv. 21-22). At a later period some of the Kenites separated from their brethren in the south, and went to northern Palestine (Judges iv. 11), where they existed in the time of Saul. The kindness which they had shown to Israel in the wilderness was gratefully remembered. "Ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt," said Saul to them (I Sam. xv. 6); and so not only were they spared by him, but David allowed them to share in the spoil that he took from the Amalekites (ib. xxx. 29).

E. G. H. B. P.—Critical View: According to the critical interpretation of the Biblical data, the Kenites were a clan settled on the southern border of Judah, originally more advanced in arts than the Hebrews, and from whom the latter learned much. In the time of David the Kenites were finally incorporated into the tribe of Judah (I Sam. xxx. 29; comp. ib. xxvii. 10). Their eponymous ancestor was Cain (Kain), to whose descendants J in Gen. iv. attributes the invention of the art of working bronze and iron, the use of instruments of music, etc. Sayce has inferred (in Hastings, "Dict. Bible," s.v.) that the Kenites were a tribe of smiths—a view to which J's statements would lend support. Jethro, priest of Midian, and father-in-law of Moses, is said (Judges i. 16) to have been a Kenite.This indicates that the Kenites originally formed part of the Midianite tribe or tribes. In Ex. xviii. 12 et seq., according to E, Jethro initiates Moses and Aaron into the worship of Yhwh. Several modern scholars believe, in consequence of this statement, that Yhwh was a Kenite deity, and that from the Kenites through the agency of Moses his worship passed to the Israelites. This view, first proposed by Ghillany, afterward independently by Tiele, and more fully by Stade, has been more completely worked out by Budde; and is accepted by Guthe, Wildeboer, H. P. Smith, and Barton. The Kenites, then, were a nomadic tribe, more advanced in the arts of life than Israel. Their habitat, according to the first Biblical reference to them, was in the Sinaitic peninsula (unless Horeb is to be sought in Edom), and a part of them, viz., Jethro and his family (Num. x. 29-32; Judges l.c.), migrated with the Israelites to the neighborhood of Jericho, afterward settled in the south of Judah, and were finally absorbed by that tribe.

Bibliography:

(The below is from the Jewish Virtual Library and Encyclopedia Judaica)

KENITE (Heb. קֵינִי), a large group of nomadic clans engaged chiefly in metal working. The root qyn has the same meaning in cognate Semitic languages, e.g., in Arabic qayna, "tinsmith," "craftsman"; in Syriac and Aramaic qyn'h, qyny, "metalsmith." In the Bible the word kayin (qayin) also means a weapon made of metal, probably a spear (II Sam. 21:16); and the proper noun "Tubal-Cain, who forged all the implements of copper and iron" (Gen. 4:22) is a compound name in which the second noun indicates the trade. There is a connection between this trade and the story of *Cain who wandered from place to place and was protected by a special sign: "Therefore, if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold vengeance shall be taken on him" (Gen. 4:15). Among primitive tribes to the present day there are clans of coppersmiths and tinsmiths whom it is considered a grave offense to harm.

The Kenites came from the south: Midian, Edom, and the Arabah. Hobab (*Jethro), son of Reuel the Midianite, who aided the Israelites in the desert and served as their pathfinder (Num. 10:29–32), was also known as the Kenite (Judg. 1:16; 4:11). Enoch, son of Cain (Gen. 4:17), is also mentioned among the Midianites (Gen. 25:4; I Chron. 1:33). Balaam's prophecy about the Kenites, "Though your abode be secure, and your nest be set among cliffs" (Num. 24:21) appears to be a reference to the mountains of Midian and Edom (cf. Obad. 3–4), and Sela ("cliffs") designates perhaps the Edomite mountain-fortress Sela (today al-Saʿl near Baṣrah) around which rich copper deposits were located. The house of Rechab, which had preserved traditions of the time of the Exodus, was related to the Kenites (I Chron. 2:55), and apparently also to Ir-Nahash and Ge-Harashim (I Chron. 4:12–14), modern Khirbet Naḥās ("copper ruin," or "ruin of the copper city") in the Arabah, a copper mining center.

The Kenites were enumerated among the early peoples of Canaan, together with the Kenizzites and the Kadmonites (Gen. 15:19). Relations between the Israelites and the Kenites were good, but B. Stade and others argued for Kenite influence on Moses and the religion of Israel. This "Kenite hypothesis" (updated by Halpern and by van der Toorn) holds that YHWH was not originally the God of the Hebrews and was not even known to the Hebrews. He was originally a Kenite tribal god who became known to Moses through his Kenite father-in-law, Jethro. Moses then made YHWH known to the Hebrews, who accepted Him as their God. As observed by van der Toorn, the Kenite hypothesis nicely accounts for the absence of Yahweh from earlier pantheons, Yahweh's link with Edom (Deut. 33:2), the Kenite connection of Moses, and the Bible's positive attitude to Kenites. The major problem comes from the current scholarly view that the majority of Israelites originated in Canaan and did not trek through the desert encountering Kenites all the way as the Bible would have it. The historical role of Moses is likewise problematic. Nonetheless, the important role of the Kenites in early Israelite worship has been emphasized by the discovery of an Israelite sanctuary at *Arad. This explains the note of Judges 1:16 about the Kenite family related to Moses (according to the Septuagint descendants, this venerated family served as priests in the sanctuary). They entered the region from the "city of palm trees," which cannot here indicate Jericho, but more likely refers to Zoar or Tamar in the northern part of the Arabah. Also, Heber, the Kenite husband or clan of Jael, who was at the time of the Deborah battle in northern Ereẓ Israel near Mount Tabor belonged to the Hobab family (Judg. 4:11). It is hardly incidental that they pitched their tent at the oak (Heb. eʾlon) in Zaanaim or Zaananim, evidently a holy tree. Their connection with early Yahwistic worship does not exclude the assumption that for a good part they made their livelihood as metal craftsmen (Judg. 5:26).

Other Kenite families evidently occupied the region in the south, centering around Arad. This is the Negev of the Kenites and the cities of the Kenites referred to in the stories from the time of David (I Sam. 27:10; 30:29). These settlements apparently included Kinah near Arad (Josh. 15:22), and possibly Kain on the border of the wilderness of Judah (15:57). In the same region were also found the Amalekites, who wandered in Edom, Sinai, and the Negev, and among whom the Kenites lived. According to the Septuagint, Judges 1:16 should read "and dwelt among the Amalekites" (MT, "among the people (ʿam)"). In view of the kindness the Kenites had shown to Israel during the Exodus (I Sam. 15:6), Saul gave them friendly warning before attacking the Amalekites.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Abel, Geog, 1 (1933), 273; W.J.T. Phythian-Adams, Israel in the Araba (1934); Th. J. Meek, Hebrew Origins (1936), 93ff; S. Abramsky, in: Eretz Israel, 3 (1954), 116–24; W.F. Albright, in: CBQ, 25 (1963), 3–9 (incl. bibl.); idem, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan (1968), 33–37; Aharoni, in: Land, 185, 198, 259, 298; B. Mazar, in: JNES, 24 (1965), 297–303; R. De Vaux, in: Ereẓ Israel, 9 (1969),

3 comments:

Peter Ginahfjhd said...

Kenites were not Midianites , they were Horite possible mixed with Amorites. They were Descendants of Qen priest in Egypt .

Peter Ginahfjhd said...

Rechabites became Levites they mixed with Aronite clans ,today Descendants of Rechabites from Samaria are Roma / Gypsies . Dom Domari are Amalekites .

Peter Ginahfjhd said...

Horites were Indo- Aryans , Abraham came from this race ,yes he was Indo-Aryan.