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2:23 This was also true of the Avvim who lived from Chatzerim to Gazza; the Kaftorim came from Kaftor and defeated them, occupying their territories.
Veha'Avi'im hayoshvim baChatserim ad-Azah Kaftorim hayots'im miKaftor hishmidum vayeshvu tachtam.


  Some say that they were a Canaanite tribe (Targum Yonathan) and hence identify them with the Chivites (Genesis 10:17; Baaley Tosafoth; Ramban). They are said to be related to the Rephaim (Bereshith Rabbah 26:16), who in turn may have been descendants of the Nefilim (Ramban).

Others, however, maintain that the Avvim were a Philistine tribe (Chullin 60b; Rashi) since the Avvim were later found to be one of the divisions of the Philistines (Joshua 13:3). However, if the Kaftorim (see next note) were a Philistine tribe, they might have taken the name of the Avvim from their geographic location. Indeed, there is a city in Benjamin by the name of Avvim, (Joshua 18:23), possibly identified with Ai. There was also Avith in Edom (Genesis 36:36), and Avvah (2 Kings 17:24).

  Asedoth in the Septuagint, identified with Dafiach (Targum) or Rafiach (Saadia), the modern Rafah, some 16 miles southwest of Gazza on the Mediterranean coast. This was the southernmost border town in the Holy Land (cf. Tosefta, Shevi'ith 4:5. However, there was also a Rafiach to the south of the Dead Sea (Targum Yerushalmi on Numbers 34:15). Other sources, however, translate chatzerim as 'courtyards' or, 'open villages' (Targum Yonathan; Ramban; Paaneach Razah). See Leviticus 15:31, Genesis 25:16.

  Azza in Hebrew. This was originally Canaanite territory (Genesis 10:19). In Abraham's time, Gerar, which was between Rafah (Chatzerim) and Gazza was a Philistine capital (Genesis 20:2), although it was also originally a Canaanite city (Genesis 10:19).

  These were a Philistine people (Genesis 10:14). Some of them may have taken the name Avvim from the previous dwellers of their area (Joshua 13:3, see previous note on Avvim). Some identify the Kaftorim with the Capacodians (Targum; Septuagint). Others identify them with the Demiatim (Saadia), the group living in Demat on the eastern delta of the Nile, near El Arish and west of the modern Port Said. Still other sources state that their place of origin was Cyprus or Crete.

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