Monday, June 07, 2010

Was the Flotilla Incident Predicted?

Devorah sent me a forwarded email that wants to prove that the flotilla incident was predicted.

The verse in Balak (Bemidbar 24:24) says:
וְצִים מִיַּד כִּתִּים, וְעִנּוּ אַשּׁוּר וְעִנּוּ-עֵבֶר; וְגַם-הוּא, עֲדֵי אֹבֵד.

But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, and they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall come to destruction.

Now, this verse is the very last verse of prophecy said by Bil'am Harasha in a prophecy laden with End of Days topics. Verse 14 says explicitly that we're dealing with the End of Days.

Targum Yonatan on this verse is extremely interesting:

וציצין יצטרחן במני זיינא ויפקון באכלוסין סגיאין מן למברניא ומארע אטליא ויצטרפון בלגיונין דיפקון מן קוסטנטיני ויצערון לאתוראי וישעבדון כל בנוי דעבר ברם סופהון דאיליין ואליין למיפל ביד מלכא משיחא ויהוון עד עלמא לאובדנא

Translation #1 - following the פירוש יונתן:
And wings of a navy will be called together with weapons, and they will go out with a great population with big ships from the land of Italy of Greece [from Edom], and they will join in with the army legions that will come from Constantinople [Istanbul - from Yishmael] and they will give pain to many places Assyrians and will subjugate all the children of Ever [the Jewish people]. However, the eventual ending of these [those who come from Edom] and those [those who come from Yishmael] will be to fall in the hand of the King Mashiah, and they will be destroyed forever.

Peirush Yonatan explains למברניא to mean big ships, like the Targum Yonatan on וצי אדיר being ובורני רבתא.

Translation #2 - following Jastrow's entry on לברניא
And wings of an army will be called together with weapons, and they will go out with a great population from Liburnia [in modern-day Croatia] and from the land of Italy and they will join in with the army legions that will come from Constantinople [Istanbul - from Yishmael] and they will give pain to many places Assyrians and will subjugate all the children of Ever [the Jewish people]. However, the eventual ending of these [those who come from Edom] and those [those who come from Yishmael] will be to fall in the hand of the King Mashiah, and they will be destroyed forever.


Note that the Targum Yonatan on verse 19 also talks about a war against the remnants of Constantinople and that the Jewish people will destroy it.

I believe that the Targums on verse 19 and verse 24 prompt Peirush Yonatan on verse 24 to quote the Zohar that says that there will be 3 wars with Yishmael - 1 on sea, 1 on land, and 1 near Yerushalayim.

Getting back to the 2 translations, the ערך חיים on entry כתים is more in favor of translation #2. As proof, he says that Rav Saadia Gaon explains ציים כתים from Daniel 11:30 by saying that "tziyim" refers to the לונגברדיים and "Kittim" refers to the Romans.
The ערך חיים continues and says that he believes that the Targum Yonatan wants Kittim to refer to the Greek empire - like the Ibn Ezra says - and not Rome. (The Targum Yerushalmi, on the other hand, says that it refers to Rome.) Rashi on Yeshaya 11:11 seems to say that Kittim are Greek islands.

A Sefer called מקור ברוך by ברוך פרידנברג says that both למברניא and לונגברדיים refer to the Italian region of Lombardy (which is land-locked). He seems to also agree with Translation #2, while replacing Liburnia with Lombardy.

So, after all this, if we use Translation #2, the flotilla has very little to do with this verse.
However, using Translation #1, which seems to focus on ships, we can possibly understand it as follows:

2 ships will go out from (Italy or) Greece and will be met with ships from Turkey. They will cause anguish to places and subjugate all the people of Israel. However, all ships will fall to Mashiah in the end.

As much as I want it to fit, it's still extremely Doheik.

6 Comments:

At Tue Jun 08, 05:46:00 AM 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Devorah has a point here because there is no way a few ships could physically subjugate the State of Israel. The prophecy must be referring more to a diplomatic state of subjugation where the Israeli government does not know how to free itself from international pressure.
This is a good omen for the future where the prophecized war of Gog and Magog may also turn out to be only a diplomatic war.

 
At Tue Jun 08, 09:33:00 AM 2010, Blogger Vilnagaon said...

We must stay more united than ever and be VERY confident in Hashem BH in these days just because all the reshaim-nazis,ultraleftists,jihadis,ultranationalists,atheists,idol worshipers of all kind-are united against us and very fourious.

 
At Tue Jun 08, 08:26:00 PM 2010, Blogger Neshama said...

Turkey, Iran and ?? are not Yishmaelim.
Turkey is considered closer to Europe than ME, and we know that Persia is not part of the Arab nation.

Great post.

 
At Wed Jun 09, 04:02:00 PM 2010, Blogger Devorah said...

If you take a look at Turkey's flag.... how can you say they are not Yishmaelim ????

 
At Mon Jun 14, 03:46:00 PM 2010, Blogger Milhouse said...

לאתוראי does not mean "to many places"; it means "to the Assyrians". Now how a Mediterranean naval force reaches the Assyrian lands in northern Iraq I cannot say, but that is what both the pasuk and pseudo-Yonasan say.

Neshama, all Moslems are Yishme'elim, just as all Christians are Edomim. Nobody claims that Yishmael's physical descendants ended up in Arabia, any more than that Edom's physical descendants ended up in Italy. On the contrary, Edom's physical descendants were forcibly converted and assimilated into ourselves, while Yishmael's descendants were one of the mass of middle-easterners who can no longer be distinguished from each other.

 
At Mon Jun 14, 03:59:00 PM 2010, Blogger yaak said...

Milhouse, you are correct on both counts.
I corrected the post, and you ask a good question.

 

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