Casluhim – hopes of life, Casluhites, Philistines

Casluhim – hopes of life

The Casluhim or Casluhites were an ancient Egyptian people mentioned in the Bible and related literature. According to Genesis 10:14 and 1 Chronicles 1:12, they were descendants of Mizraim (Egypt) son of Ham, out of whom originated the Philistines.

The Egyptian form of their name is preserved in the inscriptions of the Temple of Kom Ombo as the region name Kasluḥet. Tradition preserved by Saadia Gaon placed the land of the Casluhim in the northern Sa’id region. In the Aramaic Targums their region is called Pentpolitai understood to be derived from the Greek Pentapolis which more precisely locates the area as the northwest. Another name for their region is Pekosim used in Bereshit Rabbah 37.

 

The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple in the town of Kom Ombo in Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt. It was constructed during the Ptolemaic dynasty, 180-47 BC. Some additions to it were later made during the Roman period. The building is unique because its ‘double’ design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world with Hathor and Khonsu. Meanwhile, the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Haroeris, also known as Horus the Elder, along “with Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister, a special form of Hathor or Tefnet/Tefnut and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands).” The temple is atypical because everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis.

Rabbi Sa’adiah ben Yosef Gaon was a prominent rabbi, Jewish philosopher, and exegete of the Geonic period. The first important rabbinic figure to write extensively in Arabic, he is considered the founder of Judeo-Arabic literature. Known for his works on Hebrew linguistics, Halakha, and Jewish philosophy, he was one of the more sophisticated practitioners of the philosophical school known as the “Jewish Kalam” (Stroumsa 2003). In this capacity, his philosophical work Emunoth ve-Deoth represents the first systematic attempt to integrate Jewish theology with components of Greek philosophy. Saadia was also very active in opposition to Karaism, in defense of rabbinic Judaism.

The targumim were spoken paraphrases, explanations and expansions of the Jewish scriptures that a Rabbi would give in the common language of the listeners, which was then often Aramaic. That had become necessary near the end of the 1st century BCE, as the common language was in transition and Hebrew was used for little more than schooling and worship. Eventually, it became necessary to give explanations and paraphrases in the common language after the Hebrew scripture was read. The noun Targum is derived from early semitic quadriliteral root ‘trgm’, and the Akkadian term ‘targummanu’ refers to “translator, interpreter”. It occurs in the Hebrew Bible in Ezra 4:18 “The document which you sent us has been read in translation (Aramaic ‘mepares’) before me”. Besides denoting the translations of the Bible, the term Targum also denote the oral rendering of Bible lections in synagogue, while the translator of the Bible was simply called as hammeturgem (he who translates). Other than the meaning “translate” the verb Tirgem also means “to explain”. The word Targum refers to “translation” and argumentation or “explanation”.

Their original seat was probably somewhere in Lower Egypt, along the sea-coast to the south border of Palestine.

Josephus mentions the Casluhim in his Jewish Antiquities I, vi, 2 as one of the Egyptian peoples whose cities were destroyed during the Ethiopic War

Under Senacherib, Philistia was again the scene of important operations. The Assyrian supremacy was restored by Esarhaddon, and it seems probable that the Assyrians retained their hold on Ashdod until its capture, after a long siege, by Psammetichus. It was about this time that Philistia was traversed by vast Scythian horde on their way to Egypt.

Babylonish captivity, (Ezekiel 25:15-17) but on the return this was somewhat abated, for some of the Jews married Philistine women, to the great scandal of their rulers.

And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said to him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said to his father, Get her for me; for she pleases me well.

Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelled in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon to the entering in of Hamath. And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. And the children of Israel dwelled among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.

Gaza. Gaza, a city of great antiquity, was situated between Raphia and Askelon, twenty-two miles north of the former, and sixteen south of of the latter, according to the Antonine Itinerary; three miles from the sea, according to Adrian, and thirty-four from Ashdod or Azotus, according to Diodorus Siculus. It was a place of great strength and importance; and successively belonged to the Philistines, Hebrews, Chaldeans, and Persians; which latter defended it for two months against Alexander the great, who finally took and destroyed it. It was afterwards rebuilt, and alternately possessed by the Egyptians, Syrians, and Jews. The present town, which the Arabs call Razza, is situated on an eminence, and is rendered picturesque by the number of fine minarets which rise majestically above the buildings, with beautiful date threes interspersed.

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