Talk:Simon bar Kokhba

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Text from 2001[edit]

Cochba or Kokhba? Transliteration is already a beeeeeg problem here (go look at Yahweh talk). I've always read 'K' rather than 'C'. --MichaelTinkler

Well, I've seen both. A google search for Cochba gives 350 pages, while Kokhba finds 3030, so maybe Kokhba is more common. I think Simon bar Cochba is an anglicised form, while Simeon bar Kokhba is closer to the original Hebrew. If someone wants to change it to Kokhba, go ahead. (Maybe we need some standard transliteration for these things?) -- Simon J Kissane

I'd love to see a standard transliteration table for Greek/Hebrew/Cyrillic for wikipedia, but so far I haven't come across one. It wouldn't do us much good anyway for any name in common use in English -- I'm teaching the Iliad in a course this fall and am despairing over how to make handouts when the translation we're using uses "Akhilleus" and the secondary book uses "Achilles" and so on and so on. Very tiresome. --Michael Tinkler

Reworded article[edit]

I have reworded this article to remove the simplistic conflation of events. Bar Kochbas initial revolt in 132 was successful not unsuccessful it was a major military defeat of the Romans and led to the establishment of an independent Israel with Bar Kochba ruling as Prince. This state knew only 1 year of peace and was then attacked by the Romans who only managed to conquer it in 135. The original wording of the article shows bias towards views of history that deliberately downplay Jewish independence in the Holy Land because of modern political conditions. Kuratowski's Ghost 10:02, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • I agree with this view also if this is the case REFERENCES need to be shown to the entire subject especially the name of the Palestine.. it seems to be racist in nature. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 3 May 2006.

AD vs. CE[edit]

This should be a fairly non-controversial edit, and fully within Wikipedia style guidelines. Is there some issue here? Jayjg (talk) 22:59, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Like I told Jayjg, my revert in this article was just to show him how annoying his behaviour is. Jayjg is following me at EN.wikipedia and reverting my edits, all of them. Reading his talkpage, I read several complaints of users with who he does the same. I'm a normal Wikipedian, not a vandal. Jcbos 23:11, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've responded on my Talk: page. Regarding the specific issue of AD vs CE, as you'll note from the latest edit on this article, clearly there are other editors here who agree with my edit. Jayjg (talk) 23:14, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Jcbos: "my revert in this article was just to show him how annoying his behaviour is" shows a lack of good faith that violates our policies. Edits should be with an eye towards improving an article. If this is not your intention, do not edit. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:26, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Indeed. WP:POINT. Jayjg (talk) 15:33, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This article[edit]

What is this article? It reads like an op-ed and refers to itself as an essay. Is it a copyvio from somewhere? --Zero 14:04, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

I couldn't find an on-line source, but it appears to be someone's essay on the subject. Jayjg (talk) 20:15, 16 May 2005 (UTC)


Why is "bar" lower case in the title and first sentence of the article, but upper case in the rest of the article? Badagnani 00:50, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Both are generally acceptable; I'd usually use the lowercase; I'm sure there is no good reason for the inconsistency; I have no idea whether somewhere in the MoS is a style for this, but if it bothers you, you could look. - Jmabel | Talk 05:35, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Weasel Words[edit]

Let's avoid "some believe," or "some argue," please. Who are these mysterious "some," and why should they be taken seriously? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15 May 2006.

Bibliography added[edit]

As one can see, this section now has sources, and primarily contemporary historiographical ones at that. Accordingly, I have removed the Please Cite Sources header. Any comments? User Calibanu 13:54, 29 May 2006

Good job, thank you. ←Humus sapiens ну? 05:40, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

"Fringe" groups[edit]

"This background gives understanding to Rabbi Hirsch's and other Orthodox leaders' pre-WWII (and some fringe groups today) anti-Zionist stance." In what respect are the Satmars "fringe" (other than a cheap joke about the talis)? - Jmabel | Talk 03:32, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Since no one has commented, I have removed. - Jmabel | Talk 23:03, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Messianic claim[edit]

The article asserts: "This was the first introduction of the concept of a Messiah in Judaism". But Peter the fisherman's words "You are the Messiah" to Yeshua [Jesus] of Nazareth (New Testament, Matthew 16:16) show that the concept was familiar in Judaism at least a century earlier. It derived from the still older Hebrew scriptures, in particular Daniel 9:25,26. Many Jews at Yeshua's time supposed it meant a military leader who would throw the occupying Romans out. - AG, Stockport. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12 September 2006.

The source for this assertation apparently links to nowhere. I'm not sure how the source links work (as I've been using wikipedia for years and have made numerous minor edits, but have only today actually gotten an account and done something on a discussion page), but when I click on it it goes nowhere. Does anyone have any idea where this source link is supposed to go? Or is it totally unsubstantiated (as per Matthew 16:16, stated above)? -Fivestones 03:59, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Welcome, Fivestones. I fixed some links but did not find a non-working one. Which one does not work for you? ←Humus sapiens ну? 08:20, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Disputed tag[edit]

The Rabbis never declared him a false messiah because of his failure of the revolt. They rejected him because he did not meet critera. See San. 93B. Also he isn't a false messiah. He is a failed messiah. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:27, 24 January 2007 (UTC).

Disputed tag[edit]

The Rabbis never declared him a false messiah because of his failure of the revolt. They rejected him because he did not meet critera. See San. 93B. Also he isn't a false messiah. He is a failed messiah. 16:27, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

The article's statement about the name "Palestine" is absurdly inaccurate[edit]

The article says: "Emperor Hadrian renamed the province of Judaea as Syria Palaestina, named for the Philistines, in order to humiliate the Jewish population by naming it after their ancient enemies. The name persists to this day as Palestine".

This rather implies that the Romans invented the name Palestine on the spur of the moment. Actually, Palaistina or Syria Palaistina (whence Palestine) had been the common name of the country in Greek and Latin for centuries, being used six times by Herodotus in his Histories. The great Jewish philosopher, theologian and historian Philo of Alexandria, writing in Greek long before the time of Bar Kochba, always calls it Palaistina, noting that it "is more anciently called Canaan". And indeed, in Hebrew and Aramaic the country continued to be called Canaan, not Palaistina. (Judaea in Greek and Latin, or Yehud in Hebrew and Aramaic, denoted the part of the country corresponding to the area constituting the Hasmonean state, and indeed the word Judea has this meeting in modern Israeli parlance.) The Roman name-change had much more to do with the fact that Judaea was being joined with other parts of the country, to form a larger unit, than with a program to "humiliate the Jewish population."

Romans frequently changed the names of provinces and other administrative areas, just as they frequently changed their boundaries, particularly after they themselves had caused political or military upheavals in the regions concerned. In this case, Rome was merely using the name that had become familiar to Greek and Roman alike over the past several centuries. The change from "Judaea" to "Palestine" wouldn't have had the effect of humiliating Jews, for they attached no particularly negative connotations to it; they themselves called the country Palestina when they communicated in Greek or Latin--just as a German or Greek or Japanese, if communicating in English, will speak of Germany or Greece or Japan, not Deutschland or Hellas or Nippon.

The revised provincial structure of Hadrian set up three divisions, namely Palaestina Prima, Palaestina Secunda, and Palaestina Tertia (First, Second and Third Palestine), and as both the Talmud and the Roman historians make clear, it comprised the whole of what is now called Palestine. Previously, the area had been divided into several political units, but that didn't keep people from referring to the whole area as Palaistina--any more than similar political fragmentation kept people from speaking of Italy or Germany or Greece, or acknowledging that each of the peoples of those countries constituted a nationality, prior to their political unifications in the nineteenth century.

The idea that there is something illegitimate about the word Palestine originated in modern times, and it has a rather unsavory aspect. This idea is quite often employed as part of a political agenda aimed at derogating Palestinian nationality, or implying that modern Palestinians are not legitimately a people because of the alleged origin of their name in a gesture of Roman anti-judaism. This is not the case. The Romans resolutely, and indeeed brutally, suppressed the national aspirations of its subject populations, but they cannot truly be said to have persecuted Jews qua Jews until Rome became Christian, whereupon anti-judaism became almost a State policy for thelogical reasons. Pagan Rome had no such agenda.

It would be best for the author of this article to remove this misleading statement. Tom129.93.17.174 03:36, 7 March 2007 (UTC) Tom129.93.17.174 03:27, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

You are correct that the statement is unacceptable, but your time would be better spent by suggesting a replacement. --Zerotalk 09:28, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with your points about the imperial Rome's brutality. Re: Palestine: Hellenists (including Hellenized Jews) did all kinds of things. Somehow I do not believe that after the war with the Philistines the Israelites decided to name the area Palestine, instead of Eretz Israel. Is there a Judaic source for that? ←Humus sapiens ну? 09:59, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I've heard of such examples, but I don't have any handy and I don't think they were common. Most canonical Judaic sources, eg. Talmuds, do not have examples. A few occur in Midrash Rabbah though. The Jewish Encyclopedia mentions this practice (see "as well as by the Jewish writers" at the end of the first paragraph). But these are fringe phenomena. The main problem in the existing text is the claim of a particular Roman motive; I believe the statement "in order to humiliate the Jewish population by naming it after their ancient enemies" is stronger than the evidence allows, even though it is a popular belief. --Zerotalk 11:38, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
That's easily fixed by shortening the sentence.... Calbaer 19:15, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
But you didn't fix it. As Tom correctly noted, it was a pre-existing name. The Romans didn't name it after the Philistines, they adopted an existing name. --Zerotalk 09:09, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
... which is derived from the Philistines, the bitter enemies of the Jews. ←Humus sapiens ну? 09:41, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
... which is true, but the text at the moment says the Romans named it after the Philistines. It was someone earlier (the Greeks?) who did that. Also the fact that the Jews and the Philistines were enemies is rather tenuously connected to this article. --Zerotalk 12:27, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Considering that Hadrian renamed the province after Israelites' mortal enemies at the same time as he was turning the ruins of Jerusalem into Aelia Capitolina, and Shechem into Neapolis, his choice of toponyms seems like a part of an effort to wipe the Jews off the map. See also Ten Martyrs, etc. Of course today we can only guess, but a source for such view can be easily found. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:37, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I suggest that Humus Sapiens' responses to my points (which I expressed in the opening paragraphs of this section) may have been written before reading my statement carefully. Many of the common names of foreign countries derive from the name of one of the ancient tribes or peoples that happened to impress the foreigner or was the first bunch the foreigner encountered--e.g., the Greci were only one of the tribes that inhabited what we call Greece, and the Persae were only one of many little nations that inhabited Persia, which for sure were "mortal enemies" of other peoples who lived in the same area. This article makes far too much of the fact that Palestine was so named because of a very common and very widely parellelled historical accident. To repeat, if the name Palestine had been meant to "humiliate the Jewish people" it would have failed in that purpose, because the term had no anti-Jewish connotation whatsoever.

Another bone of contention which I must pick is this: the article says that some have suggested the Roman response to the Bar Kochba revolt is the origin of the Jewish diaspora. That is a wildly inaccurate suggestion, since the diaspora dates from well before the Roman takeover of Palestine. Strabo is among the ancient authorities who attest to the fact that Jews had spread to very corner of the Mediterranean centuries earlier. Philo and Josephus make it very clear that by the time of the Jewish War of 70-74 the majority of Jews lived outside Palestine.

Jews continued to live in Galilee and Judaea after the Bar Kochba revolt. The center of Jewish life--and the sanhedrin, not to mention the office of Nasi or Prince (Patriarch) if the Jews, shifted to Galilee, but there remained major Jewish houses of learning in Judaea also. There has been a continuous and very well-established Jewish presence in Palestine over the past two thousand years. The country has NEVER lacked a Jewish population. Jewish attachment to Palestine has been extremely persistent.

Did Hadrian really issue a decree against circumcision? This is unproven, and in my opinion very unlikely as tending to encourage more rebellions. There are instances of such prohibitions on a local or provincial basis, or issuing from this or that king, but in every instance we know of, populations with a long established custom of circumcision (such as Jews and Egyptians) were specifically exempted. Tom206.222.198.12 21:27, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Response to Humus Sapiens' post of 9:59 7 March: Sorry if I wasn't clear. Israelites and everybody else who spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, and other closely allied languages referred to the country as Canaan, both before and after Israel's wars with the Philistines, up thru the Second Commonwealth period and beyond. In most other languages, it was called Palaestina. As for calling the country Eretz Israel, the Talmud is almost the first literary source to do so. (I say "almost" because the Greek equivalent of the phrase does occur in verses 20 and 21 of the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. This, as we all know, is a book of the Christian New Testament, written most probably by a Christian Jew of the Diaspora, shortly after the destruction of the Temple.) The books of Samuel and Joshua use the phrase Eretz Israel once apiece, but in both cases it refers to the part of the country that is occupied by the Israelites as opposed to the other peoples in that country. And the one reference to Eretz Israel in Ezekiel refers to the area of the (Northern) Kingdom of Israel and doesn't include Judaea. One suspects, however, partly because the phrase does occur in two verses of the New Testament, that the term Land of Israel was in use among Jews long before the Talmud was written.

One must note that, whatever the origin of the name Palestine, it was and has been used by Jews ancient and modern; for example, the Zionist Congresses never called it anything but Palestine. I am afraid that the modern hostility toward that name, manifested by Israelis and their supporters, has a lot to do with a desire to question the Palestinians' right to exist as a nationality. I don't like that fact any more than you do, but the fact is so. Tom129.93.17.213 19:16, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure your "fact" is inaccurate. Israelis have no problem referring to their pre-1948 land as "Palestine." And, indeed, most Israelis want the Palestinians to have their own independent state, which would be located mostly in the West Bank. What Israelis and their supporters resent is the fact that much of the world refuses to call Israel by its proper name, instead referring to it as "Palestine." It would be like if someone insisted on calling the United States "the colonies," or on calling Mexico "New Spain." Saying that disliking such an action is due to questioning the right for a nationality to exist is the exact opposite of the truth. It's disliked because it questions the right of Israel to exist. Your opinion to the contrary reveals the reliability and point of view of your unsourced claims. Calbaer 20:36, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

You're wrong. Some Israeli political leaders, espeically Golda Meir and David Ben Gurion, have said repeatedly that the Palestinian nationality does not exist. This is too well-known, in my opinion, to require proof, although I'll supply quotes if you insist. Of course even those who deny that there is such a nationality are willing to refer to the region (prior to 1948) as Palestine, but this is often accompanied by an implication that the word Palestine originated in an anti-Jewish slur by Romans. One should not object to calling the region Palestine as opposed to Israel--Palestine is the name of the country or region itself, and Israel is the name of a state located in that region. The fact that a majority of Israelis support a Palestinian state is not relevant to my point--I certainly never said anything to the contrary--any more than the non-recognition of Israel is relevant to my point. I am merely saying that the idea that the name Palestine originated in anti-judaism is part of a prejudicial attitude toward Palestinians, which does exist. I didn't attribvute that notion to the Israeli population--although that notion HAS been expressed by some of the leaders of Israel. Tom206.222.198.12 01:36, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

When you say "manifested by Israelis and their supporters," without any qualifiers, it sounds like you are talking about the Israeli population. Your words misrepresented not only what you meant, but truth as well, so I'm glad you clarified. Nationalities and ethnicities are sticky things, and I am familiar with the view you present (and oppose): that 80 years ago, few people would have called themselves "Palestinian" first, instead of "Arab" or "Muslim" or "resident of [insert town here]." Anyway, that's not what this article should be about, thus my softening of the language. And if you have reliable sources relevant to the ancient events, that would certainly be more relevant here than the views of Golda Meir. Calbaer 07:04, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I will stand by my statement: There exists a point of view to the effect that Palestine and Palestinian are illegimiate concepts, that there exists no Palestinian people, and that the word Palestine originated as an anti-Jewish slur. This misconception arose from an anti-palestinian attitude which is unfortunately very popular in Israel and among supporters of Israel. I don't like this fact any more than you do, but it is a fact. Calbaer challenged me on that fact and said it was "unsourced." So I didn't have much choice other than to cite examples of that viewpoint, and influential ones at that. David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir, both of whom were very prominent Israeli leaders, stated famously and influentially that there exists no Palestinian people and that the name Palestine is illegitimate as a name for the country because it originated as an anti-Jewish slur during the time of Hadrian. Partly as a result of those statements, these unfortunate notions have become very popular in Israel and in Zionist circles, whence their occurence in the Wikipedia article we are discussing. So the fact that such a viewpoint is frequently expressed by leaders and spokespeople of the State of Israel is in fact extremely relevant to the point I was challenged on.

Calbaer concludes, "And if you have reliable sources relevant to the ancient events, that would certainly be more relevant here that the views of Golda Meir." Actually, the views of prominent Israeli spokespeople and leaders is considerably more relevant (relevant to the point I was challenged on, that is) than sources for ancient events would be. Of course, in regard to other aspects of the question I'm discussing, such as the factuality of these notions about the origin of the name Palestine, ancient sources ARE relevant. That's why 've already cited ancient sources, namely Herodotus and Philo. I could also have cited Josephus and I could have cited any Greek or Roman geographer.

As Calbaer points out, Palestinian leaders have expressed attitudes about the Palestine/Israel problem that are every bit as unfortunate. I never wished to get into the subject of the various hostile remarks and allegations that get hurled around by peoples in conflict with each other (including Israelis and Palestinians), but only to point out that the article is wrong when it implies that the name Palestine was originated in the time of Hadrian and that its use at that time as a provinicial name was an anti-Jewish act. That idea originates from the very unfortunate modern notion I mentioned. Tom129.93.17.135 21:57, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I believe you are confusing several related but distinct matters, which is why I requested sources for your claims. For such sources, it would help if you gave the actual resource where the viewpoint was stated and perhaps an actual quote; the name of a person you believe said something you're paraphrasing is not a citation. In addition, your contention that a certain viewpoint is "very popular" is a vague one: Do you mean that it's held by 50% of the population? 10%? 1%? What I object to is taking the view of a small minority, modifying it, presenting it in a negative light, and claiming that it represents a widespread view. In any event, if you have reliable sources as to the origin of the word "Palestine" as a synonym for "Canaan," and how widespread its use was during or before Bar Kokhba's time, please add them into the article and modify accordingly. Actually, while you're at it, modify Palestine, since that too seems to indicate that using "Palestine" to refer to the former and future Jewish homeland began with Hadrian. Calbaer 00:09, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

And I believe YOU'RE confused. If you're not aware of how popular that point of view is in Zionist circles (=that Palestinians aren't a people and that Palestine is an illegitimate name for the country in question), and if you're not aware that Meir and Ben Gurion, among others, have put themselves on record as having said precisely that, then you're not well informed. Where do you think the author of this article came up with such an erroneous notion, which is repeated in several other Wikipedia articles relevant to Palestine? Tom129.93.17.135 20:43, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

How can I refute such vague claims? You've never given a percentage or even an exact quote from either of the (long-dead) people you've cited as evidence that the view is currently popular! (This is an example of the "confusion" I mean; the opinion of leaders who died in the 70s is not evidence of the popularity of views in the late 00s.) Anyway, the article never said that "Palestine" was an illegitimate name, just an insult to ancient Jews. (Again, confusion....) Calbaer 21:12, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

You know perfectly well that the incorrect notions about the origins of the name Palestine that occur in the article are popular ideas among supporters of Israel. And you know perfectly well that some of the most influential molders of Israeli public opinion have made statements to exactly the same effect. I have no intention of continuing a dialog with someone who can be this disingenuous. My aim was to help improve the article by pointing out something that is seriously wrong with it. Deny what you know to be the case if you wish. Tom206.222.198.12 22:34, 17 March 2007 (UTC).

You call me disingenuous, then (assuming you are in fact both and, edit the comments I responded to to make it look like I responded to something different? I will let those actions speak for themselves. Calbaer 22:47, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I edited my comments for style, I didn't change the content. If you think you were made to look like you responded to something you didn't respond to, then by all means reply again to the supposed changes in content. I said disingenuous because you you know that the incorrect statements in this article are standard anti-Palestinian propaganda. I repeat, if you think my editing for style (NOT content) misrepresents you, feel free to reply again.

One more matter. A paragraph of my last post seems to have been removed somehow or other (perhaps because it cited an external web location), so I'll restate it without the reference. Golda Meir's infamous statment that there are no Palestinians, that Palestine does not exist as a country, and that both names originate from an anti-Jewish slur in the time of Hadrian, have been cited over and over again by Israeli leaders and by spokespeople of Zionist organizations as authority for that position. If anyone doubts that for a moment, all he needs to do is to run an internet search on "Golda Meir" and "Palestinians", and he will find more statements and arguments to that effect than he'll know what to do with. And I'm talking about material that dates from the present decade, showing that these views are still alive and kicking in both Israel and America.

My motive here is to correct a most serious error in the article. Hopefully that may help to educate people about the reality of Palestinian history, and perhaps even help in its small way to de-escalate the serious misunderstandings and hostilities that exist between Palestinians and Israelis. If so, that will be a positive good in itself. Tom129.93.17.63 19:56, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that you're replacing one "error" with many. You claim that: (1) Hadrian consolidated three provinces into one (as opposed to renaming one that had been previously consolidated) and (2) gave it a name that was already used for the general region (as opposed to the coastline area), and (3), that furthermore "Canaan" was the common term used by the locals in the 2nd century. Please cite your sources. Wikipedia policy is that any "fact" that is doubtful needs to be properly cited or removed, and, though I'm no expert on ancient history, I've been through enough historical maps and writings to suspect that the revisions are, at least partially if not in total, wrong. (Regarding your historical revisionism on the talk page, you did add sentences to material I responded to, making it look like I had responded to them. Such deceptive behavior will not de-escalate any misunderstandings or hostilities.) Calbaer 19:59, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I made no such additions. Secondly, if you aren't aware that (a) Canaan was the standard Hebrew and Aramaic name for the country in question, (b) the Roman jurisdiction of Judaea corresponded to the area of the Hasmonean kingdom, not the whole of what we now call Palestine or Eretz Israel, (c) the Roman jurisdiction of Palaestina, consisting of Palaestina Prima, P. Secunda, and P. Tertia, corresponded to the area between the area known at that time as Arabia and the area we call Syria (in other words, essentially Palestine), then for heaven's sake consult a work of reference. This information is so elementary that questioning it is like questioning my views on what country Paris is the capital of. This is not revisionism in the slightest. Look it up! And while you're at it, consult the myriad Zionist websites that quote Meir's and Ben Gurion's bigoted remarks about Palestinians and trumpet them as facts.

You're wasting my time. This is my final post. Tom129.93.17.63

Judea not "Israel"[edit]

The introduction of the article says Bar Kokhba was the last "King of Israel". Even dating back to the time of Saul and David, the Bible refers to the northern land of the ten tribes as "Israel" (from Jerusalem north to Hamath, in Syria); and the southern part was called from Jerusalem to the Red Sea as "Judea". In Roman times the province with Jerusalem was called Judea, and I believe that was the name of the province at the time of Simon bar Kokhba's war of independence.

The ten tribes called "Israel" were conquered by Assyria and deported to Asia in the time of King Josiah. Though Jews are descended from Jacob ("Israel"), they have not called their nation or province whose capital is Jerusalem "Israel" from the time of Solomon until the nation formed in 1948.

Unless you can cite a historical source that shows Simon bar Kokhba called himself "King of Israel", then I think the use of the term "Israel" there is erroneous. Judea or Judah would be more accurate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cadwallader (talkcontribs) 16:59, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

there are letters from Bar Kochba signed nasi of israel, and coinage minted with that title also. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Nasi doesn't mean King. And Bar Kochba's Israel is a people, not a country.[edit]

"King" is a very imprecise rendering of Nasi, which is traditionally translated as "prince" or "leader"; it implied sovereignty but was not as exalted a title as "king" would have been. The Hebrew word for king is Melech. The problem for Bar Kochba, if he had called himself Melech (=King) of Israel, would have been that the phrase "King of Israel" had assumed theological connotations by the time of Bar Kochba, and such a presumption would have annoyed the Jewish spiritual leadership. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Nasi is a ruler, or president, NOT prince, since prince is, at least in hebrew, unrelated to ruling and is just stating a fact you are the son of a king. Therefore price should be either president or ruler, and NOT prince. If you want/need any evidence please look it up in the Eben Shoshan dictionary which states the "Mikray" (bible meaning) of Nasi is ruler. A referrence to Non-Hebrew speaking (yet opinion making ;) people could be found here, this is _the_ authority on hebrew dictionaries —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:32, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

On calling one another Bob and other titles: now tell me what kind of word "prince" is exactly in ancient Hebrew... "פרנס"? I know in German it only means the son of a king, but in English (we're not writing this in Ivrit), it is also a slightly archaic name for "ruler", yes. Usually for one who was elected neither by parliamentary nor by popular vote. Unless you want to argue that the people of Israel had a choice between several candidates, whose names they could scratch into ostraka, let us please not call him a "president" (and yes, I know of the nasi of the synedrion, and yes, president is not a very fitting translation for the title in that context, either). Ruler is fine with me, let's leave it at that. Trigaranus (talk) 00:12, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

A president is not always elected. Look at all the secular Arab dictatorships for example. The word פרנס isn't from ancient Hebrew but rather Mishnaic Hebrew, and is probably of Greek origin. TFighterPilot (talk) 15:49, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Section removed from article for discussion[edit]

This section is removed for discussion:

The Kawazba clan, a Palestinian Muslim clan whose members reside in the southern West Bank, trace their descent to Simon bar Kokhba.[1] The Kawazba claim that they were originally Jews and were forced to convert to Islam more than a century ago, giving their original name as Kosiba.[2] Until several decades ago, the clan lived in the village of Kafr Kawizba, north of Sa'ir, and its homes and caves are still used today, when they are working in their original fields in the village. Some families from the clan live in the Kafr Al-Miniya village, which is located in the south of Tekoa. The Kawazba have strictly avoided inter-marriage over the years and many members of the clan now wish to return to practicing Judaism.[3][2]
  1. ^ Palestinians of Jewish Origin -
  2. ^ a b Brother shall not lift his sword against Brother, Tsvi Misinai, Liad publishing, 2007, p. 285
  3. ^ Forced to be Muslims - August 5, 2009, Mishpacha

I cannot see any sources matching the requirements here. Youtube videos are definitely not reliable sources, nor are articles in the Haredi magazine Mispacha by "retired engineers". The only other source here is another amateur researcher Tsvi Misinai. All this is very unsatisfactory; where are the expert reports, verification ny professional historians, or even investigations by the mainstream press? Zerotalk 12:44, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Improper translation of KZBA[edit]

I'm new so to the whole wiki thing so please forgive any formalities I'm not aware of but when I read this artice something really wrong hit me. The rabbinic changing of Simon bar kosiba's name to bar kozeba does NOT mean son of disappointment. The Hebrew word KZV כָּזָב means lies, or deception, or illusion. It alludes to his false proclamation of himself as the messiah. Son of disappointment would seem to indicate the rabbis, who gave him this name, had hoped optimistically he was the messiah but except for Rabbi Akiba that was generally not the case. This is evidenced by the way the rabbis in the babylonian talmud and the midrash on lamentations speak of him especially regarding his cruelty towards Rabbi Eliezer of modi'in (whom he killed) and towards his troops (whose fingers he supposedly cut off). In truth it was a pejorative pun on his name. Additionally from whence do we know that Rabbi Akiba was the one who gave him the title of Bar Kokhba (son of the star)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:11, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I see originally the article had a correct translation and then was changed without a peep.. i think it's significant in the fact that it portrays the rabbis view of him in a very different light! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:16, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

The above editor is correct; the translation of ‘Bar Kozeba’ as “Son of Disappointment” in this article cannot be supported from Hebrew or Aramaic lexicons. The editor responsible for this mistranslation apparently was not familiar with Aramaic or Hebrew. The word means ‘lie’ or ‘deception’ in both languages, never ‘disappointment.’ It also has the Aramaic definite article suffix, which is not shown in the article. A correction should be made to reflect what Rabbi Yose in the Seder ’Olam and later rabbinic sources in the Talmud intended as their estimation of Simon Bar Koseba when they renamed him as Bar Kozeba, ‘Son of the Lie’. Chronic2 (talk) 16:47, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

The root means 'not to be permanent', like in "naharot kozvim", streams that do not have water in them at all times. The meaning "to disappoint" is more common in modern Hebrew. I won't take sides in the question, since in my opinion both translations are valid. Debresser (talk) 20:55, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your opinion, and your apparent agreement that what we should be concerned with, and therefore translating, is the root meaning. It is therefore important to determine what the root meaning of kazab is in Biblical Hebrew (and Aramaic), not what it might or might not mean in some modern Hebrew idiom. We can therefore consult the lexicons:
Gesenius: "To LIE (capitals in original), Job 6:28; 34:6; Prov. 14:5 . . . to lie to any one to deceive him".
Harkavy: Qal: "to lie, to speak falsehood." Piel: "to lie, to deceive, to be false".
Harris, Archer, and Waltke, Theol. Wordbook of the OT: "This root and its derivatives occur forty-nine times in the Old Testament. The basic meaning is to speak that which is untrue and therefore false to reality . . . In distinction from words translated "deceive, lie," etc., kāzab stresses the actual act of lying. The cognate is found in Aramaic, Arabic, and Akkadian." Chronic2 (talk) 02:37, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Jastrow has a wider definition, that starts with
" to fail, dry up (of watercourses); to be false, to lie; to flatter. (p. 627-8).
For the very name Koz'ba he has a neutral definition,
" pr. n. m. Ben-(Bar-)Koz'ba; name of the leader of the Jewish uprising against Hadrian, usually named בר כוכבא Bar-Kokhba." (p. 618): [1].
It's primarily a Talmud dictionary, which is the relevant source, not the OT. What is Harkavy's?trespassers william (talk) 03:32, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
   I agree with what you say: the proper resource in these discussions would be Jastrow's lexicon of words in the Mishna, Gemara, and Talmud. I wasn't aware that there was such a work, so thanks for pointing it out. I was able to find it in the local seminary library, along with some other dictionaries that are useful that bear on the question under discussion.
   As you point out, Jastrow says that the normal meaning of kazab is to lie or deceive. He gives one example of a slightly different meaning, namely to fail, an example that it seems is always applied to the failure of a source of water. The original source of this idea is most likely Jeremiah 15:18, which uses the metaphor of a "deceitful brook." This powerful image is apparently the source for the meaning behind the interpretation of "to fail" cited in Jastrow. Notice that every other instance he gives for the verb expresses the meaning of lying or deceiving. This by itself should be determinative of how the word should be translated into English. In my copy of The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text of the Jewish Publication Society, the word kazab is translated "deceitful brook" in this verse, as it is in other English translations I checked. This is significant because the translators of the JPS were familiar with both modern and ancient Hebrew. In the traditional "KJV" English translation of the Tanakh, all of the 49 forms of the basic root are translated as some form of "lie" or "deceive." That apparently is true of the JPS translation, although I don't have a concordance to that version. Nowhere in the Tanakh did I find any other meaning for the word, certainly not "disappoint."
   But back to Jastrow. What is important for the present discussion is the noun, which Jastrow gives right after the verbal form. This should have been mentioned, since it is the noun koziba that is used by Rabbi Yose and later Tannaim in referring to bar-Kosiba, down to the time of the compilation of the Talmud. And it is an Aramaic word that these early writers used, not Hebrew, as shown by the definite article suffix. Jastrow's complete definition of the Aramaic noun is given in just one word: "falsehood." He gives no other meaning, but illustrates it with several example texts, all expressing falsehood, lying, or deceit.
   In my trip to the library I also found out why this erroneous translation of bar-Koziba arose. A dictionary of modern Hebrew says that "disappoint" is one of the meanings of kazab in modern Hebrew. Someone who knew modern Hebrew therefore projected this meaning back onto the Aramaic word. This is one of the dangers that philologists always warn about: projecting a meaning from one language onto another because of similarity in sound. The person that rendered bar-Kosiba as "son of [the] disappointment" fell into this trap.
   All of this discussion is really not necessary. All we need to be aware of is that, according to the respected authority Jastrow, Koziba means "the lie, the deceit" and nothing else. To try to make it mean anything else would be deceptive about what Rabbi Yose and rabbinical scholarship for several centuries after him thought of Simon bar Kosiba. The earlier entry today (Nov. 16) does nothing to correct this error.
Chronic2 (talk) 23:12, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Your dedication is a challenge. I think that ultimately we (and the rest of the world) are in no position to know for sure what does the name mean. You try to derive it all from one dictionary, that does not indicate any opinion regarding the name directly: see p. 618. Usuually when the modern literature presents the idea that "Ben Koziba" is a derogatory name, it does so somewhat cautiously. For example the Encyclopedia Judaica writes:
"The disappointment that followed in the wake of the defeat (and perhaps even at the height of the revolt) may have led the people to give a derogatory turn to his original name of Bar Koseva by altering it to Bar Kozivah (בר כוזיבה) in a punning allusion to “a lie” (kazav). Even the homiletical interpretation of “a star out of Jacob” quoted by R. *Akiva was from then on interpreted ambiguously, as evidenced by R. *Simeon b. Yoḥai’s statement: “‘ᅰere shall stepforth a star out of Jacob’ – Kozeva stepped forth out of Jacob” (TJ, loc cit.). Similarly, in talmudic sources Bar Kokhba coins are referred to..." (my emphasis; btw I don't get their point about the coins)
In hewiki it is claimed that linguistically , KUZIBA can be a trivial variation of KUSIBA. Indeed there are more positive mentions that use the form KUZIBA, plus there are placenames of the same root, so it can be simply authentic and neutral.
If it isn't, we don't have a satisfactory means to pinpoint the connotations. For one, what make you certain it derives from the noun? Can't an infinitive or Participle be definite? Can't a definite Aleph be used to make up a personal name? I don't know Aramaic grammar. What does the U vowel has to do with the noun KAZAV? My gut feeling is it has something to do with past or passive form.
What make you think it derives from Aramaic? of both the verb and noun, KAZAV, Jastrow writes b. h. = biblical Hebrew. If the expression was used in the time of the war, isn't this a period when the Hebrew background is as relevant as the Aramaic?
What make you prefer a literal reading. As you say, the "deceitful brook" is a powerful image. I would go as far as suggesting an association to retreat, or surrender, is easily invoked by the brook metaphor (Which is so fitting for the Judean desert). Note also Jastrow gives one citation where the verb is used specifically to conduct in war, and throws around ancient words he translates as "to shrink, to be shy, bashful", "flatter" and "reduced (died)". And that sounds very much like the thick (obnoxious) wit of the Talmud.
We still have an array of possibilities for what is alluded: some rabbis objected and some supported; rabbis supported and were disillusioned by his personal conducts; were, by is first failures and started objecting; came up with the insults in the aftermath of the war; believed he lied to them outright about being a messiah; believing he honstly thought himself of messiah but was wrong; beleiving he was unsane; accused only Akiva of false prophecy; believed he was a messiah and then denied it after the fall; tried who can defame him the most, adding layers upon the word; etc etc.
At the bottom line. I suggest we cite Jastrow as bringing up more than one meaning: lie, deceit; falsehood; failure. I think the long note you inserted is not too suitable to Wikipedia: we say what sources we use, not that they are standard or definitive. The side note about modern Hebrew is to sidey and polemical. Modern literary usage too has measures of all the above meanings. trespassers william (talk) 01:09, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Add after a shower: a. Aramaic language says there is no definite article in that language?
b. Thought of a more vicious interpretation of the term "ben kuziba": the son who failed (his father) . As in Jastrow, the sons of Abimelech who reduced his lineage, so our Simon, reduced his father's line by waging a futile war, which got him nothing but his own beriefment. Just as he (almost) wasted the entire people , by decimating so many sons. trespassers william (talk) 02:48, 30 November 2014 (UTC)