I have finally started to read your series of books on the tribes of Israel. I just finished the 2nd chapter of the 1st book and have learned much already. Thanks for doing all the hard work/research for all of us.
I have one question/suggestion to make about the Phoenicians. I think it is possible that the Greek word Phoenicia could be related to the Greek word for the “goddess of victory”…nike. In ‘The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found!’ on page 55 you referenced the first mention of the word “Phoinike” was by Homer. If he was writing in the 8th century B.C. as you already know many have suggested he would most likely have know of at least two-hundred years worth of “victories” that the Israelite/Tyre/Sidon/Egypt alliance had produced. I know next to nothing about Greek but I believe an alternate translation of nike is “conquer”. I have no suggestion as to what the “Pho” part of the name is.
My Holman Bible Dictionary says that Phoenicia means “purple” or “crimson” saying that it is simply a translation of the word Canaan or “land of purple”. It doesn’t seem to me that it is a translation of Canaan that will give you the same literal meaning in Greek so much as it is a completely different name with a different literal meaning for an area and people (the Israelites and their allies) given by the Greeks.
I guess I am just contacting you to see if you already know what the literal translation for the meaning of the word Phoenicia is. If you think it might have to do with conquering that would be interesting to me as it would be more proof of the fact that the alliance was feared and respected by the rest of the world/region.
If you have any hard-facts or suggestions as to the literal meaning of Phoenicia of Phoinike I would like to see them.
thanks a bunch,
I’m glad you are starting to read my book series and are benefiting from it. The entire subject of history will make much more sense to you when you have finished the books.
Regarding the etymology of the word “Phoenicia,” there is widespread agreement that the name was originally a Greek term for the people who lived along the Mediterranean coastland south of modern Turkey and north of modern Egypt. You can check Wikipedia’s definition for a discussion of the various options for the origin of the term “Phoenicia.” The proposals include “Syrian people,” or various references to purple dyes or their origin in Tyre. Pages 229-230 of my book, The Origins and Empire of Ancient Israel, include a discussion of Homer and the origin of the term “Phoenicia.” My book cites the Encyclopedia Judaica as asserting that “Phoenicia…is clearly the Greek equivalent of Canaan.” A number of historical sources place Homer’s lifetime in the 12th or 11th centuries BC, while others date his life to the 9th century BC. The region of “Canaan” was the home of the tribes of Israel during any of these dates attributed to Homer’s lifetime, so the term “Phoenicia” has to include the tribes of Israel during these centuries.
The Wikipedia commentary (and other encyclopedias as well) miss the major role in the Phoenician alliance played by the tribes of Israel. Secular encyclopedias generally ignore the tribes of Israel in all period of history so they leave out a lot of “the pieces of the puzzle” when discussing history. However, the Bible’s discussion of the alliance between Kings David and Solomon with King Hiram of Tyre (and the other allied city states along the modern coast of Lebanon) explains why the “Phoenicians” were so powerful between roughly 1100-800 BC. Their ranks included the tribes of Israel! When the tribes of Israel went into exile from that region, the power of the “Phoenicians” quickly waned as only the city states like Tyre and Sidon were left. It is vital to realize that the people in the “Phoenician” alliance never called themselves by that name. They would have used names like “Danites,” “Israelites”, “Sidonians,” etc. to describe themselves.