- Feb 2013
- Coastal Florida
See this map.Well, whether the Biblical Hittites were connected to the Hittites of the powerful Empire or not, the point is that the Bible definitely places Hitties in the vicinity of Canaan, meaning that the ‘Hatti-land’ of the chronicles could easily be referring to this area, not Anatolia.
It's a representation of the Neo-Hittite kingdoms I mentioned. Note the proximity to Israel at the bottom of the map. Note also the difference between this map and the one posted earlier. Here, the Hittites are centered on the bend of the Mediterranean Sea where the Levant ends and Anatolia begins. On the other map, this is merely the extreme southern portion of the land occupied by the earlier Hittite Empire. Hence, the Hatti-Land known to Nebuchadnezzar II was merely a shadow of it's former self and much smaller. He was also already there when he got to the northern Levant and he never had to campaign into the depths of Anatolia.
This rationalization is unsound. Fortunately, we have extensive archaeology from the Phillistine Pentapolis as these sites have been under excavation for many years. We don't have to rely on the monumental reliefs carved on the outer wall of Medinet Habu to know they arrived in the 12th century. We can actually see their arrival empirically in the stratrigraphy of the sites they occupied. There is a clear cultural break at these sites. Also, the pottery assemblage shows they brought foreign pottery with them but soon started making the same style of pottery from local fabric. Considering the extent of the evidence, I don't believe it's reasonable to accept an earlier arrival for this group. As for the claimed large increase in Aegean trade going back to 2000BC spoken of in the quote, it's rather vague so I'm not sure what they're referring to.Regarding Abraham’s interaction with the Philistines, perhaps you’ll find this quote from a reference work to be of interest:
Some object to the Genesis references to Philistine residence in Canaan, arguing that the Philistines did not settle there until the 12th century B.C.E. But this objection does not rest on a solid basis. The New Bible Dictionary edited by J. Douglas (1985, p. 933) observes: “Since the Philistines are not named in extra-biblical inscriptions until the 12th century BC, and the archaeological remains associated with them do not appear before this time, many commentators reject references to them in the patriarchal period as anachronistic.” However, in showing why such a position is not sound, mention is made of the evidence of a major expansion of Aegean trade reaching back to about the 20th century B.C.E. It is pointed out that a particular group’s not being prominent enough to be mentioned in the inscriptions of other nations does not prove that the group did not exist. The conclusion reached in that New Bible Dictionary is: “There is no reason why small groups of Philistines could not have been among the early Aegean traders, not prominent enough to be noticed by the larger states.”
Crucial to understanding the logic there is the fact that the Bible (and extra-Biblical evidence, I believe) locates the home of the Philistines as being Crete, in the Aegean.