The Greeks appear under the name “Yavan,” who is a son of Yaphet. Yavan is parallel with the Greek word, “Ionia,” the Greek region of Asia Minor; “Yaphet” is parallel with the Greek word, “Iapetus,” who is the mythological father of Prometheus in Greek legend. Two other Greek nations appear in the table: Rhodes (Rodanim) and Cyprus (Kittim and Elishah). The sons of Shem, brother to Yaphet, are the Semitic (named after Shem) nations, including the Hebrews. Imagine, if you will, the Hebrew vision of history. At some point, in the dim recesses of time, after the world had been destroyed by flood, the nations of the earth were all contained in the three sons of Noah. Their sons and grandsons all knew one another, spoke the same language, ate the same mails, worshipped the same god. How odd and unmeasurably strange it must have been, then, when after an infinite multitude of generations and millennia of separation, the descendants of Yavan moved among the descendants of Shem!
The Hebrews bitterly resented the Greeks. They were more foreign than any group they had ever seen. In a state founded on maintaining the purity of the Hebrew religion, the gods of the Greeks seemed wildly offensive. In a society rigidly opposed to the exposure of the body, the Greek practice of wrestling in the nude and deliberately dressing light must have been appalling! In a religion that specifically singles out homosexuality as a crime against Yahweh, the Greek attitude and even preference for homosexuality must have been incomprehensible.
In general, though, the Greeks left the Hebrews alone; adopting Cyrus’s policy, they allowed the Hebrews to run their own country, declared that the law of Judah was the Torah, and attempted to preserve Hebrew religion. When the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, desecrated the Temple in 168 BCE, he touched off a Hebrew revolt under the Maccabees; for a brief time, Judah became an independent state again.
Scriptures to Reference
|Acts 17:20||Acts 17:1||Matthew 23:15|
|For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.
|When Paul and Silas had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica. There was a Jew synagogue in Thessalonica.||Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves|
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