Crete (Kreet; Caphtor in the OT)

The fifth largest Mediterranean island, 152 miles long from west to east and 7.5 to 35 miles wide. Crete forms the southern boundary of the Aegean Sea. Biblical references to Caphtor or Crete are few. The Israelites, who played no active role at all on the Mediterranean Sea, knew the remote island chiefly as the home of the Philistines (Deut 2:23; Jer 47:4; Amos 9:7; Gen 10:14; 1Chr 1:12), part of the great movement of the “Sea Peoples.” The Letter to Titus speaks of a visit to Crete by the apostle Paul. Titus is said to have been left in Crete “to amend what was defective and appoint elders” (Titus 1:5). A derogatory quotation about the Cretans being “always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (Titus 1:10) comes from the same poem of the Cretan poet Epimenides that Paul had quoted in Athens (Acts 17:28).

Deut 2:23

23As for the Avvim, who had lived in settlements in the vicinity of Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and settled in their place.)

Jer 47:4

4because of the day that is coming
to destroy all the Philistines,
to cut off from Tyre and Sidon
every helper that remains.
For the Lord is destroying the Phil ... View more

Amos 9:7

7Are you not like the Ethiopians to me,
O people of Israel? says the Lord.
Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt,
and the Philistines from Caphtor an ... View more

Gen 10:14

14Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, from which the Philistines come.

1Chr 1:12

12Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, from whom the Philistines come.

Titus 1:5

Titus in Crete
5I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, a ... View more

Titus 1:10

10There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision;

Acts 17:28

28For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.