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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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CAPHTOR . The region whence the Philistines came to Palestine ( Amos 9:7 , Jeremiah 47:4 ). Hence in Deuteronomy 2:23 Caphtorim means the Philistines. In Genesis 10:14 Caphtorim is used of the country itself in place of Caphtor; it should be placed in the text immediately after Casluhim. Many identifications of Caphtor have been attempted. The favourite theory has been that it means the island of Crete (cf. Cherethites). Next in favour is the view that Caphtor was the coast of the Egyptian Delta. It has also been identified with Cyprus. The correct theory is suggested by inscriptions of Ramses III. of Egypt ( c [Note: circa, about.] . b.c. 1200), who tells of his having repelled a great invasion by enemies who had entered Syria and Palestine from the north. The leaders of these barbarians were called Purusati , which (Egyp. r being Sem. l ) is equivalent to the Heh. Pelishtî . Connecting these facts with the circumstance that the southern coast of Asia Minor, more especially Cilicia, was called Kefto or Kafto in the Egyptian inscriptions, it appears very probable that this Kafto and Caphtor are identical. The further conjecture might be hazarded that the writing of the Hebrew waw as a vowel-letter in an original Kafto gave rise to the additional rçsh . Compare the similar case Ashkenaz.

J. F. McCurdy.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Caphtor'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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Sunday, October 25th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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