« Capers, Ellison Caphtor Capistrano, Giovanni di »


CAPHTOR, caf´ter: A locality provisionally identified with Crete, though the question can not be regarded as settled. According to Amos ix. 7 it was the original home of the Philistines; Jer. xlvii. 4 (Masoretic text) makes of it an island or coast-land; Deut. ii. 23 and Gen. x. 14 use the term "Caphtorim" of the inhabitants. The early tradition is indicated by the fact that the Septuagint, Vulgate, Peshito, and Targums use "Cappadocia" and "Cappadocians" in Amos ix. 7 and Deut. ii. 23; this was based, however, on a misunderstanding. Attempts to find the meaning have been made by investigating the word "Cherethites" (I Sam. xxx. 14–16; Zeph. ii. 5; Ezek. xxv. 16), used of a people in the Philistine region and of Philistine stock. The transliterations of the Hebrew in the Septuagint show that the latter did not understand the meaning. In the prophetical books the form Krētes is used by the Septuagint, implying immigration from Crete; but how far this rested upon data known to the interpreters is indeterminable.

On Egyptian monuments of the time of Thothmes III. appears mention of a land the name of which takes a form corresponding to "Caphtor" minus the final consonant (Kefti ). Ebers explained this by "Phenicians," only to have the explanation shown untenable by W. Max Müller. According to G. Steindorff, the Egyptian word connotes "islands of the Ægean"; and the same authority notes among the representations of tribute to Thothmes III. from the Kefti vessels of the Mycenæan type of about 1450–1250 B.C. The Kefti must have been within the sphere of influence of Mycenæan culture. But Müller connects them with Cilicia. Evans in his investigations in Crete has discovered numerous evidences of the existence there of Mycenæan culture, thus bringing Crete within the sphere of influence of that civilization. Alongside of them are articles of Egyptian workmanship, showing exchange of commodities between Egypt and Crete. Steindorff puts the two facts together, and equates Crete and the Egyptian Kefti. But this may prove superfluous provided success is attained in geographically defining the word kptar recently found at Ombos, a word which closely corresponds with the Hebrew Caphtor. The equation Kefti = kptar is not fully proved.

(H. Guthe.)

Bibliography: W. M. Müller, Asien und Europa, pp. 337 sqq., Leipsic, 1893; idem, in Mittheilungen der vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft, i. 1 sqq., 1900 (places Caphtor on the Lycian or Carian coast); G. Ebers, Aegypten und die Bücker Mosis, p. 130, Leipsic, 1868; G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, p. 171, London, 1897; DB, i. 351–352; EB, i. 698–700; JE, iii. 553–554.

« Capers, Ellison Caphtor Capistrano, Giovanni di »
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