Jews Are Further West than Carthage

Source: CARTHAGE (Jewish Encyclopedia) 1906 A.D.

From the source, “

 The city, called 


 (“New City”) in native inscriptions (Lidzbarski, “Nordsemitische Epigraphik,” i. 365), is mentioned in Jewish writings since Talmudic times only as 


 (“Ḳarthigini”), a name equivalent to the Byzantine form Kαρϑαγένη and in agreement with the Syriac (Payne Smith, “Thes. Syr.” cols. 3744, 3765), the Greek form Kαρχηδών being found with the latter. Notwithstanding the peculiar form, perhaps chosen with reference to the founder Dido (


+ γυνή, “Woman-City”), the Hebrew word certainly designates Carthage in Africa, not Cartagena in Spain

Although Carthage is not mentioned in the Bible, modern scholars are inclined to identify the Biblical Tarshish with Carthage, since it is thus translated in the Septuagint, the Targum, and the Vulgate, Ezek. xxvii. 12. A unique statement in the Talmud, based probably on the legend of the emigration of the Girgashites, identifies Kenizzi (Gen. xv. 19) with Carthage (Yer. Sheb. 36b; Yer. Ḳid. 61d; Gen. R. xliv. 23). But a wide-spread rabbinical legend identifies the land of the Amazons with Carthage (Lev. R. xxvii. 1), or with Africa (Tamid 32b), in both instances agreeing with classical tradition. Carthage was considered one of the four largest cities of the Roman empire (Sifre, Num. 131; p. 47b, ed. Friedmann). An amora of the third century has the following curious sentence: “From Tyrus to Carthage Israel and his ‘Father in heaven’ are known; from Tyrus to the west and from Carthage to the east Israel and his God are not known” (Men. 110a); which is probably meant to indicate the extent of the Semitic race…

It is evident from the introduction to the work “Adversum Judæos,” ascribed to Tertullian, that Jews were living in Carthage; and they are found still further west (Schürer, “Gesch.” 3d ed., iii. 26, note 64). Münter (“Primordia Eccl. Afric.” p. 165, Copenhagen, 1829) mentions a certain R. Jisschak (the one in the Talmud?). The Jews of Africa (see Africa) are often referred to in the correspondence between Jerome and Augustine; and in recent times there has been found in Gamart, near the city of Carthage, a great Jewish necropolis with many inscriptions in Latin (see Catacombs).”

This source provides more commentary on the Shemitic presence in ancient Africa.

By Truth Ministries

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