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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Hebrew, Kuth, כּוּת, signif. unknown; Sept. Χούθ, 2 Kings 17:30) or Cu'thah (Heb. Kuthah',, כּוּתָה, fem. of same; Sept. Χουθά, 2 Kings 17:24), one of the districts in Asia whence Shalmaneser transplanted certain colonists into the land of Israel, which he had desolated. (See SAMARIA). From the intermixture of these colonists with the remaining natives sprung the Samaritans (q.v.), who are called Cuthites (כּוּתִים ) in the Chaldee and the Talmud (see Buxtorf, Lexo Tahn. col. 1027), and for the same reason a number of non-Shemitic words which occur in the Samaritan dialect are called Cuthian (compare Χουθαῖοι, Josephus, Ant. 9:14, 3; comp. 13:9,1). Josephus places Cuthah in central Persia (comp. Zonar. i, p. 77), and finds there a river of the same name (Χούθος, Ant. 9:14, 3; 10:9, 7). Rosenmü ller and others inclined to seek it in the Arabian Irak, where Abulfeda and other Arabic and Persian writers place a town of the name of Kutha, in the tract near the Nahr-Malka, or royal canal (the fourth in Xenophon, Anab. 1:7), which connected the Euphrates and Tigris to the south of the present Bagdad. The site has been identified with the ruins of Towibah, immediately adjacent to Babylon (Ainsworth's Assyria, p. 165; Knobel, Volkertafel, p. 252); the canal may be the river to which Josephus refers. Others prefer the conjecture of Stephen Morin (in Ugolini Thes. vii) and Le Clerc, which identifies the Cuthites with the Cosscei in Susiana (Arrian, Indic. xl; Plin. Hist. Nat. 6:31; Diod. Sic. 17:11; Mannert, 2:493), a warlike tribe who occupied the mountain ranges dividing those two countries, and whose lawless habits made them a terror even to the Persian emperors (Strab. 11:524; 16:744). They were never wholly subdued until Alexander's expedition, and it therefore appears doubtful whether Shalmaneser could have gained sufficient authority over them to effect the removal of any considerable number; their habits would have made such a step highly expedient, if practicable. Furst (Heb. Handwort. s.v.) identifies this district with the modern Khusistan of Susiana, the province Jutija of the cuneiform inscriptions of Behistun (Benfey, Die Pers. Keilinzschr. p. 18, 32). All these conjectures refer essentially to the same quarter, and any of them is preferable to the one suggested by Michaelis (Spicil. 1:104), that the Cuthites a were Phoenicians from the neighborhood of Sidon; founding it upon the connection between the Samaritans and the Sidonians, as stated in their letter to Alexander the Great (Joseph. Ant. 8, 6; 12:5, 5), and between the Sidonians and the Cuthaeans, as expressed in the version of the Chaldee Paraphrast Pseudo-Jonathan in Geno 10:19, who substitutes כותניים for צדון, and in the Targum, 1 Chronicles 1:13, where a similar change is made; this is without doubt to be referred to the traditional belief that the original seat of the Phoenicians was on the shores of the Persian Gulf (Herod. 1:1). Rawlinson is confident that the ancient Cuth is identical with the modern ruined site Ibrahim, about twelve miles from Babylon (Herod. 1:243, 515; Hist. Ev. p. 340 sq.). (See NERGAL). After all, it is possible that there is some historical and etymological connection (ש changed to ת ) between Cuth and the Cush of Genesis 2:13, which must have lain somewhere in the same quarter. (See CUSH).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Cuth'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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