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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422

Herv. teol. stud. vol.64 n.3 Pretoria Jul./Sep. 2008

 

Om die religieuse aard van die seksuele te ontwikkel en te ontgin, kan sekere houdings ingeneem word en handelinge met simboliese waarde met vrug gebruik word. Die volgende is voorstelle wat 'n mens se seksuele en godsdienstige ervaring tot groter hoogtes kan voer en uiters dankbaar kan maak vir die voorreg om te kan lewe. Hierdie ontginning staan nie teenoor die proses van heiligmaking nie, maar vorm 'n integrale deel daarvan. Enige siening van heiligmaking wat die seksuele verontagsaam, is ook ten diepste eensydig en gebrekkig.7

• Die skaamtelose erkenning en aanvaarding van die eie seksualiteit. Net soos mens nie skaam vir jou religieuse aard en opvattinge hoef te wees nie, so eer mens ook God deur jou eie seksuele aard te erken en dankbaar te aanvaar.
• Seksuele omgang in die vrye natuur (bv in die berge, bos, langs die see of onder 'n waterval) kan byvoorbeeld die dimensie onderstreep dat mens in die beoefening van die seksuele deel is van God se mooiste skepping, vry en taboeloos. So teken Hooglied dit telkemale en so was dit Adam en Eva se geluk in die Paradys. Dis betekenisvol dat in die Genesisverhaal sonde juis plaasvind wanneer dit nie meer so gesien word nie; wanneer ander selfsugtige a-religeuse en nie-seksuele optrede die kaarte deurmekaar krap.
• Die bed as altaar. Die seksuele daad se religeuse aard word verhoog indien dit met rituele gepaard gaan. 'n Bed of tafel kan speels maar heel ernstig ingerig word as 'n altaar met byvoorbeeld kerse en wierrook wat gebrand word. Om dit te doen is alles behalwe godslasterlik, maar word juis gedoen om God te eer deur die religieuse aard van die seksuele te erken.
• Ontginning van die seksuele as 'n vorm van aanbidding. Dit kan gedoen word deur seksuele posisies te eksploreer wat met gebedshoudings ooreenstem, en dit as sodanig te waardeer. So gesien is cunnilingus en fellatio op hulle beste vorme van aanbidding.
• Volgehoue seksuele meditasie. Seksuele gedagtes en denke as deel van die liefde moenie vermy of probeeer onderdruk word nie, maar vrye teuels gegee word. Omdat laasgenoemde in die westerse Christendom so onderdruk is, kan ander godsdienstige tradisies (bv die Kamma Sutra van die Hindoeïsme, die Tantra Boeddhisme en die Yin en Yang van die Toaïsme) met vrug ondersoek word om hierdie dimensies vir die Christendom terug te wen (vgl Wik & Wik 2005:113-130; LaChapelle 1999:110-161). Die gesamentlike bestudering van gepaste literatuur oor seksuele tegnieke fasiliteer ook die denke oor die seksuele (vgl bv Westheimer 1994; Boteach 1999; Pauli 2002; Gray 1996; Van de Velde 1967; Copelan 1972).
• Die beoefening van die seksuele spel deur klassieke, veral religieuse musiek as agtergrond te speel (bv die Messias van Händel en Beethoven se Ode aan die vreugde en vele ander). So word die seksueel-religieuse ervaring gevoer tot groter spirituele hoogtes.
• Soms kan dit pornografies wees om te sê pornografie is pornografie. Daar bestaan 'n gesonde stimulering van die seksuele as religieuse deur gepaste erotika en die kunste (skilderkuns, letterkunde en film). Dit kan beteken die waardering van naakte skilderye, erotiese verhale, asook erotiese films.8
• Die aktiewe deelname aan die seksualisering van die samelewing beteken om nie die seksuele in isolasie te sien nie, maar God te dien deur die samelewing deur die seksuele te dien. Hierdie aspek is uiters belangrik en word derhalwe onder 'n aparte volgende hofie bespreek.

 

5. DIE SEKSUALISERING VAN DIE SAMELEWING

Die erotiese liefde vir die geliefde moet uitkring na liefde vir die samelewing, die land, die aarde en die kosmos. Die seksualisering van die samelewing beteken dat die samelewing weer waardes sal ontwikkel en sal begin besef waarom dit eintlik in die lewe gaan. Volgens Fromm (1957:72-89) behoort mens nie slegs op egoïstiese wyse op die geliefde alleen te fokus nie maar moet mens die mensdom deur die geliefde liefhê. Dit beteken die bevordering en deursuring van die samelewing met deernis, barmhartigheid, sorg en liefde wat veral deur die beklemtoning en die religieuse viering van die erotiese teweeggebring word. Die regte religieuse siening en bevordering van die erotiese help as 'n teenmiddel teen verdraaide waardes in ons sogenaamde beskawing waar tegnologiese vooruitgang, rykdom, politieke magsug, konflik en die wenmotief die botoon voer (vgl Marcuse 1972:142-157).

Die religieuse belewenis van die seksuele is so groots, aangenaam en kongruent dat indien mense daaraan deel het, hulle besef dat die waardes van die moderne samelewing verdraaid is en die mensdom groot pyn en leed verskaf. Die religieuse belewenis van die seksuele ontmasker die rigtingloosheid van die moderne samelewing as 'n gejaag na wind en die besef van die sinloosheid daarvan dryf die mens terug na die erotiese om laasgenoemde op steeds hoër hoogtes religieus te vier.

Hoe word sodanige seksualisering van die samelewing bewerkstellig? Slegs enkele aspekte word hier genoem.

• Stry vir vrouens en ander onderdruktes. Die intense emosionele gevoel wat deel uitmaak van ware seksualiteit, moet oorgaan na die gevoel van empatie of medelye wat dade van solidariteit en barmhartigheid ten grondslag lê. Nooit behoort gevoelens van solidariteit egter oor te gaan in geweld nie, want geweld staan lynreg teenoor die seksuele.
• Die onselfsugtige beoefening van mededeelsaamheid, veral van besittings. Dat seks naak beoefen word het hier 'n ongekende simboliese waarde. Dit beklemtoon die heiligheid daarvan en is 'n aanduiding dat om te wees (bestaan, lewe, vgl Fromm 1979) veel belangriker is as om te besit. Baie keer waarborg die rykdom van rykes stres en seksloosheid. Aan die ander kant maak die seksuele belewenisse van armes dikwels hul armoede 'n ligter las en daarop is die rykes eindeloos jaloers.
• Bevordering van deernis, begrip en liefde wat op die kontinuum van die seksuele daad behoort te lê. Konkrete dade van barmhartigheid na seksuele omgang kan gedoen word uit dankbaarheid vir die wonderlike belewenis van die seksuele en onderstreep dat die seksuele aktiwiteit self liefde is (deur bv direk na die liefdesspel iemand wat eensaam is te bel, of te besoek).9
• Die keersy van bogenoemde is die openlike afkeer van ongekontroleerde ambisie, magsug, geweld en oorlog (vgl die moontlikhede wat Chopra 2005 noem in hierdie verband). Magsug, geweld en oorlog funksioneer dikwels as 'n substituut vir 'n onvervulde sekslewe en moet as sulks ontmasker word.
• As jy na jou kinders kyk, dink terug aan en koester die dag toe hulle verwek is. Positiewe ouerlike seksuele voorligting is broodnodig. In plaas daarvan om kinders voortdurend teen die seksuele te waarsku, moet hulle eerder daarop gewys word dat die seksuele 'n religieuse dimensie het: indien dit ingeboet word, verloor die seksuele en die lewe as sodanig sy kwaliteit.
• Grootouers het ook 'n belangrike rol te speel in die huwelike van hulle kinders wat self kinders het. Hulle kan hulle kinders aanmoedig om tye weg te gaan en hulle seksuele verhouding te ontgin. Hulle kan help deur byvoorbeeld die kleinkinders (wat dikwels figureer as jakkalsies wat die wingerd verniel) op te pas. Vriende en kennisse kan mekaar ook so help. Laasgenoemde is die beste teenmiddel teen gebroke huwelike wat families uitmekaar ruk en die samelewing benadeel.

Kortom: om die seksuele te bevorder en religieus te dui is om hierdie wêreld 'n beter plek te maak en sodoende God se wil te laat triomfeer.

 

6. TEN SLOTTE

Wat hierbo gesê is verteenwoordig maar 'n fraksie van wat ten opsigte van hierdie onderwerp moontlik is. Dit is as blote akademiese diskoers sinloos indien dit nie in die praktyk nagestreef word nie. As die groot kriterium van die liefde geld is die moontlikhede vir kreatiwiteit eindeloos.

Mense dink nie heeltemal dieselfde oor die seksuele nie en hoef ook nie. Dit sou uiters vervelig wees en opsigself onseksueel. Wat gesê is, is wel bedoel as 'n uitnodiging aan die leser om seksueel en religieus bevry te word, of die reeds verworwe vryheid te koester en tot groter hoogtes te voer. Want vryheid is iets wat verloor kan word. Mag verdere lees en denke, liewe leser, dus nie 'n terugkeer wees na moralisering nie, maar lei tot die nog wyer oopmaak van die horisonne. Ubi caritas et amor, ibi Deus est. Waar liefde is, is God.

 

Literatuurverwysings

Bataille, G 1962. Eroticism. London: Penguin Books.         [ Links ]

Berkouwer, G C 1949. Geloof en heiliging. Kampen: Kok.         [ Links ]

Berkouwer, G C 1957. Die mens het beeld Gods. Kampen: Kok.         [ Links ]

Bonhoeffer, D 1995. Een woord voor elke dag. Ten Have: Baarn.         [ Links ]

Boteach, S 1999. The Jewish guide to adultery: How to turn your marriage into a delicious affair. London: Hodder & Stoughton.         [ Links ]

Brown, D 2003. The Da Vinci code. London: Corgi Books.         [ Links ]

Breytenbach, B 2000. Lady one (99 liefdesgedigte). Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.         [ Links ]

Brink, A 1975. Aspekte van die nuwe prosa. Pretoria: Academica.         [ Links ]

Carr, D 2003. The erotic word: Sexuality, spirituality and the Bible. Oxford: Oxford University Press.         [ Links ]

Chopra, D 2005. Peace is the way: Bringing war and violence to an end. London: Rider.         [ Links ]

Clines, D J 1995. Interested parties: The ideology of writers and readers of the Hebrew Bible. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.         [ Links ]

Copelan, Rachel 1972. The sexually fulfilled man: 5 sensual steps to becoming her greatest lover. New York: New American Library.         [ Links ]

Dorey, P J 2003. Genesis 2:24 - Locus classicus vir monogamie?: 'n Literêr-historiese ondersoek na perspektiewe op poligamie in die Ou Testament. PhD-proefskrif, Universiteit van Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Du Toit, A B 2007. Maar die grootste hiervan is die liefde - oor homoseksualiteit in Romeine 1, in Vos & Human 2007:161-171.         [ Links ]

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Freud, S [1905] 1961. Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag.         [ Links ]

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Fromm, E 1979. Haben oder sein: Die seelische Grundlagen einer neuen Gesellschaft. Munchen: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.         [ Links ]

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Otto, E 2007. Homoseksualiteit in die Ou Nabye-Ooste en Ou Testament, in Vos & Human 2007:58-66.         [ Links ]

Pauli, M 2002. Spiritual sex. London: MQ Publications.         [ Links ]

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Phipps, W 1973. The sexuality of Jesus. New York: Harper & Row.         [ Links ]

Pope, M 1977. Song of songs: A new translation with introduction and commentary. New York: Doubleday.         [ Links ]

Schaberg, J 1987. The illegitimacy of Jesus: A feminist theological interpretation of the infancy narratives. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.         [ Links ]

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Wik, M & Wik, S 2005. Beyond Tantra: Healing through Taoist sacred sex. Findhorn: Findhorn Press.         [ Links ]

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1 Opgedra aan Otto.
Watter kaart of watter ster sal ek jou wys
om veilig deur die grysland heen te reis?
Sal ek van 'n God praat wat verdoem,
van Christus, en die Tien Gebooie noem?
Voorlopig dan, maar onthou altyd
aan jou dade grens 'n ewigheid;
gee sin aan voorgeslagte deur die eeue heen,
besef jy is 'n vegter weer van die begin, alleen;
en mag die Suiderkruis en Negesterre witter
as die stedeligte in jou siel bly skitter.

D J Opperman
2 Terwyl die resente publikasie van Vos & Human (2007:89-204) verskeie relevante bydraes bevat waarin verskeie aspekte van seksualiteit positief in die lig van die Bybel beoordeel word, bevat die bundel ongelukkig geen bydra wat die wesenlike eenheid tussen godsdiens en seksualiteit ontgin nie.
3 Die 1983-vertaling "en hulle sal een wees" is duidelik eufemisties en 'n verkapte ontkenning van die seksuele eksplisietheid van Genesis 2:24.
4 'n Brandende vraagstuk vandag is die debat rondom homoseksualiteit waarop daar nie hier gefokus word nie (vgl die positiewe bydraes van Kretzschmar 2001:108-135; Otto 2007:58-66; Du Toit 2007:161-171 en Steyn 2007:172-204). Wat poligamie en poliandrie betref, vgl die insiggewende proefskrif van Dorey (2003).
5 Weliswaar is hierdie idee sekerlik nie sekere feministe (wie God as uitsluitlik vroulik wil sien uit reaksie teen jarelange manlike onderdrukking) se droom nie, maar dit is moontlik wel 'n vrugbare gedagte vir mans en vrouens wat saam by feminisme en patriargalisme verby is (vgl in hierdie verband die insiggewende boek van Landman 1999:23-26)
6 In ou vertalings (ongelukkig ook die NAB) is die tekste oor die dogters van Jerusalem (wat dan nie die liefde "moet opwek voor dit die liefde behaag nie", of "moet wakker maak en aanvuur voor die tyd daarvoor ryp is nie", Hgl 2:7;3:5) verkeerd vertaal om 'n dempende invloed op die seksuele uit te oefen. Die teendeel is waar: hulle word opgeroep om nie spelbrekers te wees in die minnaars se liefdesspel nie. Meer korrek is die Good News-vertaling: "I am weak from passion. Promise me, women of Jerusalem, swear by the swift deer and the gazelles that you will not interrupt our love."
7 So byvoorbeeld bespreek die boek van Berhouwer, Geloof en heiliging (1949), glad nie die seksuele nie en word die indruk gewek dat dit aangeleenthede behels wat teenoor mekaar staan. Dieselfde geld vir sy boek, Die mens het beeld Gods (1957), ten opsigte van die imago Dei (vgl hierbo).
8 Wat pornografie is en wat nie, is 'n uiters subjektiewe saak en lê inderdaad "within the eye of the beholder". Wat wel gesê kan word is dat pornografie niks met naaktheid te doen het nie (om naaktheid te degradeer is eerder pornografies). Pornografie het (in die lig van ons tema) eerder te make met die skeiding van die seksuele en die religieuse. D H Lawrence (aangehaal in Brink 1975:119) druk dit as volg uit: "Genuine pornography is almost always underground, it doesn't come into the open. In the second place, you can recognize it by the insult it offer, invariably, to sex, and to the human spirit. As soon as there is sex excitement with a desire to spite sexual feeling, to humiliate it, and degrade it the element of pornography enters." Vir my persoonlik is die uitbeelding van Amerikaanse rofstoei op televisie 'n blatante voorbeeld van ongewenste pornografie.
9 Sommige jong getroude pare wat nog nie kinders het nie neem byvoorbeeld pleegkinders uit kinderhuise elke tweede naweek in. Mag sulke pare se sekslewe tot op hul oudag floreer!

^rND^sDu Toit^nA B^rND^sHaspel^nM^rND^sMüller^nJ C^rND^sOtto^nE^rND^sSteyn^nG J^rND^1A01^nMarkus^sCromhout^rND^1A01^nMarkus^sCromhout^rND^1A01^nMarkus^sCromhout

Were the Galileans"religious Jews" or "ethnic Judeans?"

 

 

Markus Cromhout (Johannesburg)1

Research Associate: Faculty of Theology. University of Pretoria

 

 


ABSTRACT

This article focuses on an investigation into the ethnic identity of first-century Galileans. Its aim is to argue that the Galileans were not descendents of northern Israelites but were mostly descendents of "Jews" who came to live in the region during the Hasmonean expansion. The article demonstrates that this thesis is supported by Josephus and also by archaeological evidence. From the perspective of this thesis, the article contends that the term "Jew" does not apply to Galileans. First-century Galileans should rather be understood as "ethnic Judeans".


 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

Who were the Galileans in the first century CE? The nature of their identity, needless to say, is important to various aspects of New Testament scholarship. Galilee was the heartbeat of Jesus' ministry, and many, if not most of his initial followers, came from this region. What is important therefore is how the people of Galilee related to Judeans/"Jews" and Jerusalem in the south; was their culture similar or different? Was the culture from Judea a foreign import, or was it part of their cultural heritage? Were they descendents of Northern Israelites, a hybrid of various peoples, "Jews", or perhaps, more accurately, Judeans (in the ethnic-cultural sense)?

It can be mentioned that the situation of Galilee was very different in the early history of Israel. Originally it was the territory of the tribes of Naphtali, Zebulun and probably Issachar as well (Jdg 5:7-21). In time they became subordinated to the monarchy and Temple in Jerusalem, and after Solomon's death (931 BCE), became part of the northern kingdom of Israel (1 Ki 12), although there was persistent rebellion against kingly rule (Horsley 1995:23-25). What is of critical importance is what happened to these tribes after the conquest of the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser in 733/2 BCE. Did many of these Israelites remain behind and survive across the generations until the first century CE?

Two main streams of scholarship will be investigated here. On the one hand there is the view that Galileans were descendents of northern Israelites. A recent advocate of this view is Richard Horsley and we will interact with his work on this perspective. On the other hand, there is the view that the Galileans were "Jews", being descendents of those who came to live in the region during the Hasmonean expansion to the north. Working our way through these two approaches, it will become clear that the second view is better supported, by both Josephus and archaeological evidence, in that the Galileans - at least the vast majority of them - were descendents of people who relocated to Galilee from Judea. The second view also has a weakness however. It will be argued that the implication of the second view is that Galileans should no longer be refered to or be understood as (religious) "Jews", but rather as (ethnic) Judeans. Following recent voices on this issue and on the proper translation of we should discard the terms "Jews" (and "Judaism") with regards to the people of Judea, the Diaspora, and Galilee as well, since these terms are anachronistic and misleading for the historical situation in question. Understanding Galileans therefore as ethnic Judeans would be an important analytical adjustment in more ways than one. But let us first turn our attention to the argument in favour of Galileans being descendents of northern Israelites.

 

2. THE GALILEANS AS DESCENDANTS OF NORTHERN ISRAELITES

Horsley (1995, 1996) is one scholar in particular who understands the people of Galilee in our period as descendants of northern Israelites. He is aware of surface surveys (see further below) that seem to demonstrate that after the campaigns of Tiglath-pileser III, Lower Galilee was devastated and that virtually the entire population was deported. "Yet continuity of the Israelite population seems far more likely, despite the fragmentary evidence and often inferential interpretation on which the hypothesis is based" (Horsley 1995:26).

Horsley argues that the Assyrians primarily deported skilled scribes, artisans and military, as well as the ruling families and/or royal officers of a given region. The majority of the peasant population was normally left behind. The same would have occurred in Galilee. Horsley goes further, however, and suggests the people deported from Galilee would have been Syrian officers and their dependents, as Galilee and much of Israel was under Syrian control (cf 1 Ki 15:17-21; 2 Ki 10:32-33; 13:3, 7, 22). So Horsley argues that the vast majority of the (northern-) Israelite peasantry would have been left behind.

Horsley continues by constructing a picture of a separate historical development of Galilee from Judeans in the south and Israelites in the central hill country until it came to be part of the Hasmonean, and eventually Roman political system (Horsley 1995:27-157). Throughout this period, so Horsley suggests, the Israelites of Galilee would have cultivated their own oral traditions. Josephus also ordinarily distinguishes between "the Galileans" and "the Judeans", and in certain instances he even indicates that the Galileans were a separate ethnos from the Judeans (War 2.510; 4.105).2 In the time of the Hasmonean expansion, they were subjected "to the laws of the Judeans", but even long after this annexation there is evidence that the distinctive Galilean traditions and customs continued. But kinship and shared traditions would have been factors in the incorporation of Galileans under the Hasmonean-Judean Temple state. Horsley (1995:50-51) argues that as

descendants of northern Israelite tribes the inhabitants of Galilee would have shared with the Judean temple-state traditions such as the exodus story, the Mosaic covenant (including the sabbath), stories of independent early Israel prior to the Solomonic monarchy and its temple, and certain traditions akin to some of those subsumed in the Judean Torah and early sections of the Deuteronomic history (including circumcision, ancestor legends, victory songs) ... Nevertheless, even as descendants of Israelites, the Galileans would have found "the laws of the Judeans" different from their own indigenous customs and traditions ... [T]hey had undergone more than eight centuries of separate development.

So the Judean Temple, its dues, and the role of the high priest was something foreign to the Galileans and was superimposed on their own customs. This means that for the Galileans to have been incorporated into the Judean Temple-state, it would have required an intense program of social engineering. "For that to have happened, the officers or retainers of the Hasmonean government ... would have had to undertake a program of resocialization of the Galileans into the Judean laws as well as a detailed application of the Judean laws to local community life".

But Horsley continues. "A survey of the subsequent history of the Hasmonean regime and its governing activities suggests that little such effort could have been made in Galilee" (Horsley 1995:51, 52). Indeed, even the period after Hasmonean rule would not have been conducive for "the law of the Judeans" to take a firm hold over Galileans. The Galileans continued to assert their independence from the principal institutions of Jerusalem rule such as the revolt that occurred after Herod's death. Even during the Great Revolt, high priestly-Pharisaic council in Jerusalem through Josephus commanded little authority in Galilee. Horsley (1995:156) basically concluded that there is little evidence to indicate that either the Judean Temple-state, or the Temple and Torah "established a defining importance for life in Galilee during the time of Jerusalem rule."

 

3. GALILEE AFTER THE ASSYRIAN CONQUEST

The critical issue is what happened in Galilee after the campaigns of the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III in 733-32 BCE. Were there indeed some northern Israelites that continued living in the area, as Horsley suggests? 2 Kings 15 claims that Tiglath-pileser III conquered Hazor, as well as Gilead, Galilee and the land of Naphtali, and led the population into exile in Assyria (2 Ki 15:29). Fragmentary Assyrian texts offer the complete names of Hannathon and Merom, and give four numbers of people being exiled from Galilee (625, 650, 656, and 13 520) (Reed 2000:28). This evidence in itself is ambiguous, but a recent surface survey of Lower Galilee, "when coupled with the results of stratigraphic excavations in Upper and Lower Galilee, paint a picture of a totally devastated and depopulated Galilee in the wake of the Assyrian campaigns of 733/732 BCE" (Reed 2000:29; cf 1999:90-95). The survey of Lower Galilee found no evidence of occupation from the seventh to sixth centuries (Iron Age III) at any of the eighty or so sites inspected.3

Surveys also illustrate that even Upper Galilee was not spared by the Assyrians. This leads to the conclusion that Galilee was depopulated in the wake of the Assyrian conquest. This appears to be the assumption of Josephus as well (Ant 9.235), yet the Tanak does suggest that some people did remain behind. It is said in 2 Chr 30:10-11 that in the time of Hezekiah (ca 727-699 BCE), members of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. Horsley's (1996:23) objection that the sites where the surface surveys have been conducted were not subjected to systematic excavations is legitimate, although other stratigraphic excavations conducted appear to confirm that Galilee was abandoned in the seventh and sixth centuries. Conflagration layers dated to the end of the eighth century are found at many sites in and around Galilee. A few sherds have been found at Gush Halav, otherwise the evidence is limited to a few structures in Hazor (the Huleh Valley) and Tel Chinnereth (north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee) which were probably Assyrian military or administrative buildings. But there is no evidence for a surrounding population (Reed 2000:30-31).

An Assyrian-style decorated bronze cup further points to an Assyrian presence in Kefar Kanna (Chancey 2002:33). Generally, however, Reed (2000:32) explains there

was simply an insufficient amount of material culture in Galilee following the campaigns of Tiglath-pileser III for serious consideration of any cultural continuity between the Iron Age and subsequent periods ... There are no villages, no hamlets, no farmsteads, nothing at all indicative of a population that could harvest the Galilean valleys for the Assyrian stores, much less sustained cultural and religious traditions through the centuries.

In contrast with the view of Horsley, Reed argues that the above picture is in keeping with Assyrian policy which often deported all classes of people to Assyria or other regions for agricultural labour. Reed (2000:34) concludes that the position of Horsley that an Israelite village culture spanned the Iron Age to Roman periods "must be abandoned". Chancey (2002:34) refers to various texts that assume the presence of Israelites in Galilee (2 Chr 30:10-11; 34:6; 2 Ki 21:19; 23:36) in addition to the archaeological evidence for Assyrians, but he too concludes that for the most part Galilee was unpopulated. Claims of a continuity between the pre-Assyrian conquest and the Second Temple population "are difficult to maintain" (Chancey 2002:34). Archaeological evidence further illustrates that Galilee was resettled during the Persian and Early Hellenistic periods, but even here the evidence is limited and the ethnic identity of the people is difficult to determine (Reed 2000:35-39). Josephus' description of John Hyrcanus' (134-104 BCE) defeat of Scythopolis may suggest that Galilee was open for resettlement, which implies that no other major defensible Gentile sites were present in Galilee, or alternatively, that it had a small population (Ant 13.275-81; War 1.64-66). Chancey (2002:36) similarly argues that the interior of Galilee "was still relatively sparsely populated on the eve of the Maccabean campaigns."

 

4. THE SETTLEMENT OF GALILEE IN THE LATE HELLENISTIC PERIOD

We now move ahead to the history of Galilee during the Late Hellenistic period, particularly to that of the Maccabean military campaigns. According to 1 Maccabees, news came from Galilee that Galilean Israelites were persecuted by people from Ptolemais, Tyre, Sidon and , "all Galilee of the foreigners" (1 Mac 5:14-22).4 It is said that the Judeans deliberated on how they should help "their brothers" ( toi/j avdelfoi/j auvtw/n; 1 Mac 5:16). 1 Maccabees explains that Judas sent Simon to help these Galileans and defeated the Gentiles with three thousand men. The people of Galilee, but evidently not all of them (cf Chancey 2002:41), were brought back to Judea (1 Mac 5:23), although Horsley (1995:40; but see 243) expresses doubt as to the historical veracity of this incident.

Josephus in describing this incident actually writes that Judas sent Simon to go and help the in Galilee (Ant 12.332, 334). Around the same time it is said that the on the borders of Gilead fled into cities of Galilee (Ant 12.336), suggesting Galilee could function as a safe refuge.

It could well be that these Galileans helped by Simon settled in the area sometime after the Babylonian exile. Gamla, located in the Golan Heights, was resettled in 150 BCE after being uninhabited for centuries. Syon (1992) conjectures that the settlers of Gamla were "Jews" from Babylon and we may infer a similar situation for the people of Galilee (Josephus, however, speaks of Gamla's conquest by Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 BCE); (War 1.103-5; Ant 13.393-97).

1 Maccabees 11:63-74 and Josephus (Ant 13.158-62) relate that later on Demetrius III encamped at Kedesh in the western part of Upper Galilee (ca 144 BCE). Josephus (Ant 13.154) specifically says that it was Demetrius' intention to draw Jonathan to Galilee, as the latter would not allow the Galileans, "who were his own people, to be attacked". Jonathan in response attacked the forces of Demetrius twice; once in the plain of Hazor in Upper Galilee pursuing them back to Kedesh, and at Hammath in Lebanon (1 Mac 11:24ff). If these sources are trustworthy, not all the people of Galilee were evacuated by Simon. And Josephus, when you look at his overall descriptions of the Maccabeans and their activities in this region, appears to have understood the Galileans to be of similar ethnic stock to those living in Judea.

It was much later when the Hasmoneans took actual control of northern Palestine, especially referring here to their campaign against the Itureans. Horsley (1995:36) explains that the Itureans, who were also in the process of expanding their territory, extended their control over much of Galilee, Gaulanitis, Auranitis, and Batanea towards the latter part of the second century BCE. It is said that Aristobulus I (104-103 BCE) "made war on the Itureans and acquired a good deal of their territory for Judea and compelled the inhabitants, if they wished to remain in the country, to be circumcised and to live in accordance with the law of the Judeans." Josephus here is also informed by Strabo (who follows Timagenes), who says that Aristobulus "brought over to [the Judeans] a portion of the Iturean nation" (Ant 13.318-19). According to Horsley (1995:41), the "territory acquired for Judea" must have been (part of) Galilee. But were there Itureans based in northern Galilee? Josephus does not specify Galilee as the locale and the archaeological evidence does not support the presence of Itureans in Upper Galilee, their settlements being limited to the Hermon Range and the Lebanon Range and the northern Golan. According to Reed (2000:38-39, 54) this means that the conversion of the Itureans is not an important factor for assessing the ethnicity of the Galileans.

In this scenario Horsley suggests an alternative interpretation, however, in that Josephus might be "correcting" his source(s) Strabo-Timagenes who assumed that Galilee was Iturean because it was ruled by Itureans. "Josephus' `correction' distinguishes between `the inhabitants ... in the land' (chora) and their previous rulers, `the Itureans,' on whom Aristobulus made war and from whom he wrested territory for Judea" (Horsley 1995:41). Building on the supposition that the Galileans were basically descendents of northern Israelites, Horsley subsequently understands the passage of Josephus (Ant 13.318-19) in that the Galileans were "subjected" in a political-economic-religious sense to the Hasmonean high priesthood in Jerusalem. The requirement of "(re-)circumcision" - what this means is not clear - for Galileans "is comprehensible as a sign of being joined to the [Judean] `body-politic'" and so the Hasmoneans "were now requiring peoples of subjected areas to accept new laws, the laws of the Judeans" (Horsley 1995:48, 49).

It is hard to detect any "correction" on the part of Josephus to his source(s). If this passage is relevant to a Hasmonean takeover of Galilee it might well be that it was relevant to some Gentiles that lived in Galilee (cf Horsley 1995:243-44). Chancey (2002:43-44, 47), who states that no archaeological finds indicate a massive influx of Itureans into Galilee, suggests that the Galilean population was a matrix of some Itureans, Phoenicians, and "Jews" (be they northern Israelites or more recent immigrants). Based on his analysis, it is possible that the already circumcised Itureans who chose to remain behind subjected themselves to Hasmonean rule. Phoenicians and peoples of other Gentile stock were compelled to undergo circumcision, though many, based on the archaeological evidence chose to leave. The "Jews" presumably welcomed Hasmonean rule.

Yet, the question must remain: Did the campaign against the Itureans have anything to do with Galilean territory? Josephus speaks of Hyrcanus (134-104 BCE) allowing Alexander (Jannaeus) to be brought up in Galilee (Ant 13.322) to supposedly prevent him from becoming the future heir. Does this suggest that Galilee was already under the control of the Hasmoneans? According to Freyne (1999:52-53) Josephus does not give information on the Hasmonean expansion into Galilee, and the "Judaization" of Itureans used to account for the event has no adequate basis in either the literary or archaeological evidence.

The above text of Josephus and the various interpretations that are offered are inconclusive in of themselves. Simplifying matters is that who the original population was in Galilee is probably not that important as what occurred when the Hasmoneans took over the region. As already mentioned, investigations of Galilee suggest that the area was thinly resettled during the Persian and Early Hellenistic periods, after the bulk or all of the inhabitants had been deported by the Assyrians. The archaeological evidence for the Late Hellenistic and Early Roman periods, however, paint a different picture. It would appear that during the period of Hasmonean expansion the region began to experience an increase in sites and overall population. According to Reed (2000:40-41):

The vast majority of stratigraphically excavated sites from the Roman-Byzantine Period contain their earliest recoverable strata, that is to say the earliest architecture and first significant pottery assemblage, from the Late Hellenistic Period or first century BCE. This is the case at Capernaum, Hammath Tiberias, Horvat Arbel, Yodefat, Khirbet Shema, Meiron, Nazareth, and Sepphoris ... The population of Galilee continued to increase through the Early Roman period, and several stratigraphically excavated sites reveal initial settlement around the turn of the millennium or in the first century C.E. This is the case at Beth Shearim, Nabratein, Chorazin, and of course, Herod Antipas's Tiberias.

The numismatic evidence is also quite instructive in that beginning in the early first century BCE, a significant amount of Hasmonean, particularly Jannaean, coins were used by the people of Galilee, in addition to Tyrian coinage. This means that Galilee was economically and politically orientated towards Judea and that Galilee's population growth was connected to Hasmonean policies (Reed 2000:41-43; Chancey 2002:46).

Overall, the Hasmonean expansion northwards to Galilee must have been part of restoration hopes and the "greater Israel" ideology as encountered in Ezekiel 40-48. The Tanak relates that the northern tribes failed to occupy the territories allotted to them (Jos 13:4-5; 11:8; cf Jdg 3:3). When Jonathan campaigned in the north against Demetrius, he went as far as Hammath, situated on the ideal border of the "greater Israel". Freyne (2004:79) explains: "What the northern tribes had failed to accomplish, Jonathan, like a new Joshua, was achieving by military prowess in the name of reclaiming the allotted land". Eupolemus, akin to Ezekiel, held hopes for an enlarged land. Combined with the military exploits of the Maccabeans as set out in 1 Maccabees, Freyne (2004:79) argues that these samples of writers "indicate that the notion of `the land remaining' was highly pertinent to the thinking and ideological legitimation of the Hasmonean expansion ...".

The Phoenicians to the north, and Rome's advance in the east, however, made it impossible to realise the ideal boundaries as articulated by Ezekiel (Freyne 2001:301; 2004:80). But this land ideology, combined with the archaeological evidence for a depopulated Galilee, has led Freyne (2004:62; 1990:73-74) himself to abandon his earlier position (Freyne 1988:170) of a continued northern Israelite presence in Galilee, and says that by

the first century CE the successors of these Hasmonean settlers constituted the bulk of Galilean Jews, even if other elements, Jewish and non-Jewish, had entered the mix as a result of the conquests and rule of Herod the Great and his son, Antipas. It is important to acknowledge, therefore, contrary to several modern claims about Galilean opposition to Jerusalem, that there was a strong attachment to the mother-city, its temple and customs, among Galilean Jews of Jesus' day.

(Freyne 2004:82)

 

5. THE CULTURAL CONTINUITY BETWEEN JUDEA AND GALILEE

What do the archaeological excavations in Galilee tell us about its people's ethnic identity in the Early Roman period? Importantly, the "Galilean's ethnic identity in the first century can be best determined by examining the material culture inside domestic or private space, since it indicates the populace's behavior and selection of artefacts". Reed (2000:44) continues by saying that the "archaeological artifacts found in Galilean domestic space are remarkably similar to those of Judea". Indeed there are four indicators pointing to a "Jewish" religious identity: 1) the chalk or soft limestone vessels, 2) stepped pools or miqva'ot, 3) secondary burial with ossuaries in loculi tombs, and 4) bone profiles that lack pork (Reed 2000:44-51; 1999:95-102). The stone vessels indicate a concern for purity as the Mishnah prescribes that vessels made of stone can not contract impurity (m.Kel 10:1). Stone vessels are ubiquitous in Jerusalem and Judea, in Galilee and the Golan.

Reina, a village north of Galilee, has also been identified as a centre of production for limestone measuring cups and other vessels (Chancey 2002:68). The stepped pools similarly indicate a concern for ritual purity.5 Ofthe 300 plus miqva'ot discovered so far in Palestine (Sanders 1992:222-229), they are most frequent in Judea, Galilee and Golan, but only a few have been found along the coast and are basically absent in Samaria. These two indicators, along with secondary burial in kokhim or loculi tombs were distinctively "Jewish". The absence of pork in the bone profile is not evidence for "Jewish/Judean" (as opposed to northern Israelite) ethnicity in itself, but when combined with the other indicators they form strong evidence for cultural continuity between Judea and Galilee. The archaeological profile of private space of sites outside Galilee and Golan also lack the four religious-ethnic indicators discussed above. The conclusions for the ethnic identity of Galileans seem to be self-explanatory. So the settlement of Galilee during the Hasmonean period in the first century BCE and the Galilean material culture which match that of Judea, Reed (2000:53) explains

essentially rules out the possibility that Galileans were descendants of either [northern] Israelites or Itureans. Because of the evidence within domestic space, Hasmonean rule in Galilee should not be construed as a political-economic or administrative veneer over an indigenous Galilean population; wherever archaeologists have excavated, Jewish religious indicators permeate Galilean domestic space in the Early Roman period.

This archaeological profile corroborates the understanding that it is more likely that Judeans colonised the Galilee during the Hasmonean expansion (cf Freyne 2001:299) and/or overwhelmed the few prior inhabitants, regardless of who they were, but the point is that Galilee's population "adhered to or adopted patterns of behavior in private space that is also found in Jerusalem and Judea, so that in terms of ethnicity, the Galileans should be considered Jewish" (Reed 2000:53). Also the view that Galilee had many Gentiles (e. g. Fitzmyer 1992) must be abandoned. Any significant Gentile presence in the first century is not attested by the archaeological record. This stands in glaring contrast to the surrounding regions which were predominantly Gentile, although which also had "Jewish" minorities (Chancey 2002:117-19, 165).

Overall, the archaeological evidence combines to suggest that from the Hasmonean annexation of the territory, "Jews" dominated the region (Chancey 2002:62). "Galilean Jews had a different social, economic and political matrix than Jews living in Judea or the Diaspora ... but they all were Jewish" (Reed 2000:55). This also means that they lived according to the broader pattern of "common Judaism", and along with other "Jews" lived out their identity as a form of protest against foreign cultural influences (Richardson 2004:20-21, 71, 73).6

Horsley (1995:87-88) places great stock in the fact that the Galileans were continuously suspicious of Josephus and that the high priestly-Pharisaic council in Jerusalem could not assert their authority in Galilee during the Great Revolt. This can not be used as evidence, however, that the Galileans were not Judeans/"Jews" and were striving for independence. Even those of Judea were suspicious of some of their priests in Jerusalem and even killed them. It is also noticeable that nowhere are there reports in Josephus' accounts that "the Galileans" attacked any local "Judeans". They attacked the Greeks in Tiberias and also participated in conflicts with Gentiles in the regions surrounding Galilee (Chancey 2002:56, 132). After Galilee was taken by the Romans, some Galileans even went to Jerusalem to join the resistance there. Before the Great Revolt, the Galileans were also involved in conflict with the Samaritans7 at times (Ant 20.118; War 2.232), as one of more of them were killed while going to Jerusalem. Nowhere do our sources suggest that Galileans and Samaritans ever made common cause against a common ideological enemy, namely, the "Judeans". The hostility between Galileans and Samaritans is better explained if cultural and ethnic continuity existed between Judea and Galilee. Josephus' description of the Galileans also contrast with that of the Idumeans who were forcefully converted during the Maccabean campaigns (Ant 13.257-58; cf War 1.63). Their "conversion", however, is doubtful, as the appointed governor of Idumea, Costobar, in the time of Herod refused for the Idumeans to adopt the customs of the Judeans (Ant 15.253-55). Nothing like this is said of Galileans. When seen in conjunction with the archaeological evidence, it is difficult to accept that there was any attempt by Galileans to assert independence from Jerusalem or "the laws of the Judeans".

 

6. WERE THE GALILEANS RELIGIOUS "JEWS" OR ETHNIC JUDEANS?

If the Galileans were of the same ethnic stock as those of Judea, that is, they were (singular ), we also need to take into consideration recent arguments on the proper translation and content of the term. As we saw above, Freyne, Reed and Chancey support the view that the inhabitants of Galilee were not descendents of northern Israelites and they refer to the people in question as "Jews" or "Jewish". Freyne (1999:50-51) also critisizes Horsley's narrowing of the term "the Judeans" (oi` ) as a "geographico-political reference to the Judean temple-state and does not acknowledge its more extended, religious significance in terms of a worshipper at the Jerusalem Temple, irrespective of place of origin." Associated with this is the acceptance of the customs, rituals and practices with this worship. So Freyne understands as having religious significance; the Galileans as are sharing in the religious customs relating to the worship in the Temple in Jerusalem (cf 1999:54); that is why Freyne (1999:55) can also speak of a "Jewish Galilee", "Galilean Jews", and "Jewish practices" found in the Gospels (as sources for reconstructing Galilean life in the first century). As we saw above, Reed speaks of "religious indicators" or of "Jewish religious identity" being found in Galilee; the Galileans were "Jewish". These approaches have affinity with the arguments of Cohen (1999:70-136; cf 1990:204-23) who stated that prior to the Hasmonean period should always be translated "Judean", never as "Jew". But there was a shift from purely an ethno-geographical term to one of a more "religious" significance, first evident in 2 Maccabees 6:6 and 9:17. Here for the first time can be properly translated as "Jew". In Greco-Roman writers was first used as a religious term at the end of the first century. Dunn (2003:262-263), who follows Cohen, also sees "ambivalence" between the ethno-geographical identity and religious identity by the use of the term . He argues this ambivalence and shift to a more religious significance allowed for non-Judeans to become (religious) "Jews", such as in the case of Izates, king of Adiabene, without the need for circumcision (Ant 20.38-46).

There are two problems with the views outlined here. First, Freyne is right to say oi` has extended significance, but it is not so much "religious" as it is ethnic. Similarly, Reed's "religious indicators" is better described as "ethnic indicators". As Esler (2006:27) has argued, "to focus on `Jews' as representatives of a religion `Judaism' is both anachronistic and grossly reductionist and does little justice to the identity of first century Judeans." The point is, it is more appropriate to understand (and the singular ) as an ethnic term with ethnic content rather than a religious term with religious content.

The first problem is naturally related to the second, where "Jew(s)/Jewish" is used as the preferred translation. The term Judean ( ) of course begins as a way to identify someone from Judea ( ) (Ant 11.173). But Cohen's argument for a switch from "Judean" to "Jew" based on a so-called shift to a more "religious" significance is highly questionable. His argument cannot be accepted since for first century Judean ethnicity - here particularly ethno-geographical identity - was inseparable from religious identity. These various elements of Judean identity were always part and parcel of the same "system". This is something which Dunn himself also suggests since he refers to Judea as a Temple state. Esler also points out, however, that in antiquity it was common practice to name ethnic groups in relation to the territory from which they came. Speaking of the Greeks and Romans he writes that one "would expect them to connect [ ] with the territory called that this people inhabited, and that is what we usually find" (Esler 2003:63).

The attachment between the people and the land is even closer in Judean sources (cf Esler 2003:64-65). Dunn (2003:262-263) himself admits that "even in later usage, referring, for example, to Jews long settled in the diaspora, the basic sense of `the Jews' as the nation or people identified with the territory of Judea is still present". Esler (2003:70) also states that Cohen "seems to assume that from the first century BCE onward it is possible to speak of `religion' existing as a realm of human experience distinct from other realms such as kinship, politics, and economics in a manner similar to modern understandings of religion", but "in the Mediterranean world of the first century ce the features that we refer to as `religious' ideas and institutions were primarily embodied in structures of the political and domestic realms." It must be said, however, that Cohen does appreciate the "Jews" as constituting an ethnos, and that religion is but one of several aspects that make a cultural group distinctive (Cohen 1999:7-9, 137). It is therefore unfortunate that he emphasizes the "religious" import of , and that it somehow justifies translating it as "Jew".8

What particularly convinced Esler to translate as "Judeans" is a passage from Josephus (War 2.43ff; cf Ant 17.254), which describes that "the people", that is Galileans, Idumeans and Pereans, and people from Judea itself came to Jerusalem in response to the actions of Sabinus, the Roman procurator of Syria, an event dated to 4 bce. Esler (2003:67) argues that the "critical point in this passage is that the existence of a segment of this people who lived in Judea itself was irrelevant to the fact that all those of its members who came to Jerusalem were ". Josephus, Esler (2003:72) suggests, distinguishes this group of Judeans from others with the use of a periphrastic explanation, literally "the people by physical descent from Judea itself" although Esler prefers to translate it as "the membership of the people from Judea itself".

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