Why did the Philistines lose their name in the Septuagint? DE TERM ἀλλόφυλος in the Greek texts, in the papyri and in the Septuagint
This paper guides the reader through the meaning of the term allophylos in ancient Greek texts, papyrology and the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. It focuses on the evolution of the word throughout the ages and compares various written sources both with each other and with the archaeological evidence.
Chapter One, on the Greek authors, demonstrates the parallel growth of the word allophylos and the Greek Empire. While the Greeks lived in their poleis, all those from beyond the city walls were thought of as aliens or allophyloi. During the Hellenistic period, however, everybody could be considered Greek. Only those deemed to be morally wicked were still referred to as allophylos.
Chaper Two discusses the papyrological documentary texts. Here, the original meaning of the term, alien, is still in use, but allophylos also occurs in counting lists for taxes, such as the salt tax, and in occupational lists, among brewers and carpenters.
Chapter Three follows the term allophylos in the Septuagint where it loses its original meaning and becomes a name for the Philistines. While the LXX-Torah, the Pentateuch, transliterated the name into Fulistiim, the post-Pentateuch translations favour the term allophyloi. The kaige-Th revision from the first century BCE changes allophyloi back to Fulistiim. This switching of the term - already mentioned by de Vaux in 1972 - provides us with a precise period in which allophylos was used as name for the Philistines: after the Torah-translation (250BCE) and before the year 132 BCE, when the grandson of Ben Sirah refers to the existence of the post-Pentateuch LXX. De Vaux invited us to examine further this strange translation. That is why this essay analyses all the Bible verses in which the term allophylos occurs.
Why did the transliterated term for the Philistines disappear? Chapter Four examines this question and provides several possible answers. Anti-Judaism began to grow from the third century BCE onwards, resulting in a marked fanaticism among the Jews, which spilled over into the Maccabean War in the second century BCE. In the books of Maccabees, the term allophylismos appears in the central discourse about Channouka, the festival for the re-dedication of the Jerusalem Temple. Allophylismos contrasted with ioudaismos, a term denoting everything that stood for the pious Jew.
The author of this paper brings together ancient authors, papyrology, Bible texts, history and archaeology and puts forward several hypotheses. Perhaps the most important of these hypotheses is that Jewish authors wished to distinguish themselves clearly from Syrian non-Jews as there was significant confusion among the Alexandrians about the ethnicity of the country of Syria. With the word allophylos, the Jewish translators created a damnatio memoriae. The Septuagint-translators, meanwhile, did their utmost to prevent the rulers of the Levant from using the name Filistia to refer to the Holy Land.
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