Sunday, April 21, 2019


Glossary of Anthropological Terms

Affinity (Marriage) Bond: The type of kinship bond that links husband or wife, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law.

Ambilineal Descent: A form of cognatic descent in which individuals can select to trace descent either matrilineally or patrilineally. The decision may be made each generation based on the relative wealth and/or importance of the father's and the mother's family lines. Illustrated in this diagram:

Anthroponyms: personal names, some of which are actually titles, such as Lamech, Terah, and Enoch.

Apical Maternal Ancestors: Women founders of clans or tribes though they may not be biological ancestors to all the people in the clan/tribe. Sarah and Oholibamah are examples. See A Coptic Monk Reflects on Genesis.

Autochthonous: Referring to the earth origin of humans, as found in the myths of many cultures. The autochthomous origin of humans speaks of humans coming from or being made of the soil (humus), as in Genesis 2.

Avuncular: The term comes from the Latin avunculus, meaning "maternal uncle." The term describes the relationship between an uncle and his sister's son. Among the biblical Hebrew the maternal uncle sometimes exercised authority of his nephew. Jacob was sent to his mother's brother Laban when it looked as if his life might be in danger. In some case, the maternal uncle could deny marriage to his sister's daughters if the proposed marriage compromised inheritance or provoked violent reactions among the Hebrew clans.

Binary Oppositions: (also called “binary distinctions” or “binary sets") These are perceived in the order of nature and are inseparable and complementary, such as heaven/earth, east/west, life/death, male/female, night/day, hot/cold, etc. In the binary worldview of the Bible one entity in the set is superior to the other - the sun is greater than the moon; life is greater than death, the male is larger and stronger than the female, etc. Not all opposites are binary sets. See The Importance of Binary Distinctions

Binary Worldview: The worldview of the Afro-Arabians and therefore of Abraham's people is binary. They perceive in the order of nature binary oppositions which are inseparable and complementary, such as heaven/earth, life/death, male/female, etc. See Levi-Strauss and Jacques Derrida on Binary Oppositions

Blood anxiety:  Anthropologists have found in every primitive society that has been studied the belief that here is power in blood and this power is potentially dangerous. This anxiety about shed blood is universal (widely diffused), evidence that it is very old and one explanation for the development of the office of priest. See The Origins of the Priesthood.

Brachycephalic: Refers to broad-headed skulls, as contrasted with round "mesocephalic", and elongated "dolichocephalic" skulls.

Caste System:  Strict social stratification made it impossible to change one’s status in the ancient world. We see this in one of the oldest established religions, Hinduism. Castes were viewed as having been established by God in the beginning. In the Bhagavad Gita, a first century A.D. Hindu text, Krishna declares that he has become incarnate yet he was being in the beginning because he also declares “The four castes were created by me.” In the Rig Veda, dating to about 3000 years ago, four castes are mentioned. The most prestigious are the Brahmans (priestly and intellectual class); then the Kshatriyas (ruler and warrior class); then the Vaisyas (farmers and artisans) and the lowest caste are the Sudras (the “untouchables” whose ancestors came from Sudan.) In the Laws of Manu (about 250 B.C.) these castes are elaborated as the primeval divine creation. Many sub-castes exist under these, making it difficult to know who is one’s equal or one superior.

Circumcision: Removal of flesh from the foremost part of the penis or from the clitoris. Female circumcision parallels male circumcision and emphasizes the binary distinction between females and males. The practice reflects the binary worldview of the Afro-Asiatics and originated in west central Africa before the time of Abraham. Circumcision is seen as an enhancement of the woman’s femininity by the removal of what appears to be a male organ. It is also believed to enhance female fertility and purity. Likewise, male circumcision is believed to enhance maleness by removing the soft folding tissues that appear like the female organ. It is also believed to enhance male fertility and purity. The complement to the circumcised male is the circumcised female. See Circumcision and Binary Distinctions. Note: Trees are described as "uncircumcised" until the fourth year of their fruit bearing in Leviticus 19:33.

Concubine: A royal consort whose firstborn son could under limited circumstances ascend to the throne of his ruler father.  Concubinage historically pertains to African, Afro-Arabian, and Asian rulers. It was common in China under the Zhou Dynasty. This practice, and castration of husbands guilty of adultery, may have been introduced there by the Afro-Asiatics who made and used iron tools.

Consanguine Bond: The type of kinship bond that links people through socially recognized biological ties, such as mother, father, grandparents, children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and cousins.

Cosmology: The study of the origin and structure of the universe, its parts, elements, and laws. Among biblical populations, the arrangement of a home and/or a village often expressed that community's cosmological understanding. For example, the place of priority often was at the sacred center which is where the ruler would be seated or the ruler's house would be built. Temples were built with entrances facing the East because the Sun was the symbol of the Rising God. Temples were built with many pillars which were perceived to connect Heaven and Earth. See Cosmologies of the ancient Near East.

Cousin Bride’s Naming Prerogative: The ruler-priests of Abraham’s people married two wives. One was a cousin. The cousin bride was usually the second wife and she often named her first-born son after her father. So we find Lamech the Elder (Gen. 4), father of Naamah, and Lamech the Younger (Gen.5), son of Naamah. The cousin bride’s naming prerogative makes it possible to trace descent through the maternal line in the Bible. See Methuselah's Wife.

Diffusion: The process by which a cultural trait, material object, idea, or behavior pattern is spread from one society to another, often traceable to a central point. A principle of anthropology states that the wider the diffusion of a culture trait, the older the trait.

Dolichocephalic: Skulls that have been elongated such as this skull found in Russia. The dolichocephalic skull has an index of between 70-5.

Double descent: Descent traced according to tradition through both the patrilineal and the matrilineal group with attendant rights and obligations. Among the biblical Hebrew descent was double unilineal descent, which recognizes both the patrilineage and the matrilineage, though with each there are different expectations. For example, the inheritance of land and the right to rule may pertain only to the patrilineage, while the matrilineage controls the inheritance of moveable objects such as livestock.

Egalitarianism: Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people. The ancient world of the women we are studying was decidedly NOT egalitarian. It was characterized by a caste system. The highest social caste consisted of rulers and their priests. Most of the women we read about in the Bible are the daughters or wives of rulers or priests and are therefore women of high social standing.

Ethnonyms: names of ethnic groups, clans, biblical populations or tribes.

Endogamous Marriage: Marriage to people within one’s family or clan structure. This practice is characteristic of castes such as the Horite ruler-priest caste. Almost without exception, the women named in the Bible married according to this pattern. See The Marriage and Ascendancy Pattern of Abraham's People

Exogamous Marriage: Marriage to people outside one’s clan structure. Exogamous marriage is extremely rare among the people mentioned in the Bible.

Feminist Hermeneutic: How Feminists interpret texts, generally through a Marxist lens. Feminist interpretations assume that men are responsible for the abuse and oppression of women worldwide. See The Paradox of Feminism.

Fictive Bond:  The type of bond between persons who are neither related by blood nor marriage, but whose relationship is arranged. Concubines were not regarded as wives.  Their bond to their masters was fictive and therefore more easily broken, as in the case of Hagar.

Haplogroup: A haplogroup is a genetic population of people who share a common paternal or maternal ancestor. Haplogroups are assigned letters of the alphabet, and additional number and letter combinations that represent slight mutations within the larger population group. All the peoples named in Genesis are in Y-chromosome Haplogroup R which includes Proto-Saharans, Nilotes, Middle Eastern, and Southern European populations.

Henotheism: Belief in one supreme creator with lesser assisting authorities or powers (baals). This "divine council" was reflected in the hierarchy of ruler-priests with the king or pharaoh as the supreme representative of God on earth. See Why Does Genesis Speak of Gods?

Holy Tradition: The dogma received from the Elders and faithfully passed from generation to generation concerning Jesus Messiah whose suffering and ultimate victory over sin and death was foretold. This dogma represents Reality centered in the divine person of Jesus Christ. Scripture and Holy Tradition agree that nothing exists outside of Christ. See What is Holy Tradition? 

Horites: Josephus calls the descendants of Abraham by Keturah "Horites" and quoting another ancient historian, speaks of them as "conquerors of Egypt and founders of the Assyrian Empire." Abraham's people were a Horite caste of Hebrew ruler-priests. They originated in the Nile Valley. The Horite Hebrew were devotees of Horus or Enki), called the "son of God" as he was conceived when his mother was divinely overshadowed (See Luke 1). The sun was the symbol of the Creator God among the biblical Horites. Some of their rulers are named in Genesis 36. The Horus name appears on Egyptian hieroglyphs at the beginning of dynastic civilization (c. 3300 BC). The oldest known Horite Hebrew shrine is Nekhen (3800 BC) on the Nile, across from its twin city Nekheb. Jews call their ancestors Horim, which is rendered "Horite" in English.

Isomorphism: An isomorphism is a map that shows a relationship between two properties, objects, operations, structures, or patterns. If isomorphism exists between two structures or entities, we call the two structures or entities isomorphic. Isomorphic entities are identical in the way they preserve properties. The term applies to patterns found in the Bible, especially to doublets with the same moral message: Noah as a drunken father who curses his offspring/descendant has an isomorphic relationship to Lot as a drunken father who becomes a cause of the curse of his descendants the Moabites and the Ammonites.

Levirate marriage:  Levirate marriage is extremely ancient practice in which the widow of the deceased brother marries one of his brothers. Levirate marriage is practiced by societies with a strong clan and caste structures in which exogamous marriage is forbidden. The practice is found among the cattle-herding Nuer and Dinka of the Nile. It also is found among the Igbo of southeastern Nigeria, and in the Punjab-Haryana region of Pakistan, and among peoples of Central Asia such as the Saka and Kushan. Such a marriage arrangement is intended to preserve the deceased husband's lineage and inheritance.

Marginalization:  The social process of becoming marginal to a group or being relegated to an unimportant or powerless position within a society. In the ancient world the caste system meant that most people had a sense of belonging and empowerment, at least within their caste. Among biblical populations marginalized people were mainly diseased (lepers), poor foreigners, or the mentally ill.

Matriarchy:  A social organization in which a female is the family or clan head with final say about family matters. In a true matriarchy, line of descent and rights of inheritance also must be traced through the female line. No true matriarchies are known to exist.

Matrilineal Descent:  Line of descent traced through mothers.

Matrimonial Moeity:  Exclusive marriage between two lines of descent, such as between the royal lines of Ham and Shem. Also probably between the royal red and black Nubians.

Matronym: A matronym is a component of a personal name that indicates maternal lineage.  An exaxmple is Jesus son of Mary. In Hebrew this is Y'shua ben Miriam, and in Arabic it is `Isa ibn Maryam. Another example is the matronymic name Hor, son of the virgin Hat-hor in Horite mythology.

Moiety: Referring to each of two social or ritual groups into which a people is divided, especially among Australian Aborigines, some American Indians, and the ancient red and black Nubians.

Moral Absolutism: The view that some actions are always morally wrong when judged against moral standards that are universally accepted. Universally, murder is regarded as morally wrong.

Moral Relativism: The claim that there are not universal standards whereby one can judge right and wrong, but instead one's judgment of right and wrong is relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances.

Mudras: Gestures that convey specific meanings within Buddhist and Hindu culture. They are used in daily life and, in a very stylized form, in temple dancing. This is a photo of a Hindu temple dancer taken around 1956. Her hands say, "My heart is aflame."

Necromancy: The occult practice of consulting the spirits of the dead through a medium.  King Saul tragically consulted the medium at Endor to communicate with the spirit of the deceased prophet Samuel.  See Anglicanism and Spiritualism.

Onomastics: The study of names, involving three areas of investigation: toponyms or place names; anthroponyms or personal names and titles, and ethnonyms or names of ethnic groups, clans or tribes.

Panmictic: Refers to unstructured (random-mating) populations.

Paternal Ancestors: Men regarded as the founders of clans or tribes even though they may not be biological ancestors to all the people in the clan/ tribe. Noah and Abraham are examples.

Patronym: A patronym is a component of a personal name based on the name of one's father, grandfather or a male ancestor. An example, found in Genesis 22:24, is the name of Nahor's son G-Ham (Gaham).  The G prefix indicates that this name is patronymic, meaning "a descendant of Ham."

Patriarchy: A social organization in which a ruling male is the family or clan head with final say about family matters. In a true patriarchy, line of descent and inheritance also must also be traced through the male line. Few true patriarchies are known to exist. Most are modified patriarchies. See The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew.

Patrilineal Descent: Line of descent traced through fathers. (Y-DNA)

Patrilineal Parallel Cousin:  First cousins who have related parents of the same sex; in other words, their mothers are sisters or their fathers are brothers. The rulers among Abraham’s people had two wives. One was a patrilineal parallel cousin and the other was commonly a half-sister. Keturah was Abraham's patrilineal cousin bride.

Phatic function: A phatic expression in linguistics is one whose only function is to perform a social task, as opposed to conveying information. The term was coined by anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski in 1900s. An example from the Bible is Ruth 2:6 where Boaz greets his workers with this phatic expression: "The Lord be with you."  The expression formalizes priest-initiated prayer in the Latin liturgy with the celebrant saying "The Lord be with you."  The phatic response of the congregants is traditionally "And with your spirit" to which the celebrant responds, "Let us pray."

Platonism: The philosophical view that abstract concepts exist independent of their names. The philosophy attributed to Plato that asserts ideal forms as an absolute and eternal reality of which earthly entities are mere reflections.  Plato may have borrowed this idea from the ancient Egyptians.  See Plato's Debt to Ancient Egypt

Polygyny: The practice of having more than one wife, originally the prerogative of rulers only. Later, men who aspired to high rank took more than one wife to show that they were wealthy, since only the wealthy could afford multiple wives. Many of the ruler-priests in the Bible married only two wives. One was a half-sister and the other was a cousin. Sarah was Abraham's half-sister, and Keturah was his patrilineal cousin wife.

Primogeniture: Among the biblical Hebrew the rights of primogeniture applied only to the first-born son of the first wife, the half-sister bride. This son assumed the rule of his father's territory and control of all property. Because the biblical Hebrew had a pattern of double unilineal descent, this son's wives and their servants were responsible for flocks, herds, tents, and other movable property while the ruler and his men controlled the territorial boundaries, enforced treaty agreements and secured their water rights.

Sororate marriage:  A custom in which a man marries his wife's sister(s).

Toponyms: Place names

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Received Tradition vs Special Revelation

Alice C. Linsley

Religious belief is conditioned by the faith tradition which we receive from our parents, grandparents and, if we believe Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious, from our archaic ancestors. If Jung is right, those who embrace atheism must experience an inner struggle against the affirmations of God's Presence that their ancestors experienced.

I'm thinking of the Logical Positivists, who drawing on Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, were concerned exclusively with “atomic” facts that can be verified using strict logic and mathematical analysis. They rejected all truth claims that could not be reduced to atomic facts, and pushed aside ethics as a waste of intellectual energy. Most Logical Positivists were atheists, and sadly, many ended their own lives.

Ironically, the Messianic Faith has much more in common with prehistoric practices that are labeled "pagan." This may be an expression of the collective unconscious, since the farther back in history we go, the more likely we are to find common ancestors. Those ancestors received a religious tradition that involved hope of life after death and animal sacrifice.

The Häme region of Finland is known for its pagan history. It is reported that after being baptized by Catholic missionaries, some of the people there later repented of their baptism and washed it off in a lake where the shamans sacrificed animals. One wonders if the Catholic priests failed in their catechesis to point out that baptism into Jesus Messiah involves both water and blood, the two substances recognized as purifying agents by pagans.

Paul writes that we who are baptized into Christ "have been brought near in the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). We enter with boldness into the Most Holy Place "by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is His body..." (Hebrews 10:19, 20)

The Finnish writer, Jaakko Olkinuora, reports: "In western Finland, the Catholic Church was very strong before the Reformation, as was Lutheranism afterwards. Our region, however, still has its native pagan place names and stories about spirits and demons of the lakes. When I was a child my mother had a book of Finnish stories collected from the old people. They were all pagan: demons of the lake, demons of the forest. My father has two Finnish names, Seppo and Tapio, both names of Finnish gods." (Road to Emmaus, Vol. IX, No. 4, p. 33)

The familial tradition is so strong that elements of paganism continue for generations long after families convert to Christianity.

Americans are notorious consumers of religion and quickly embrace innovations.Yet we too are influenced by familial traditions. When asked about our church affiliation, especially if we are complacent about religion, we may say that we are Baptist, or Presbyterian, or Lutheran simply because our parents were. Or, we may say we are agnostics in reaction to religious parents whose devotion we reject. Either way, familial tradition exercises no small influence on our lives.

It seems that the tradition of our biological ancestors may predispose us to certain avenues and not to others. My family on both sides are mostly English and Scots. The religious milieu that I embrace is high-church Anglicanism, of a sort that someone raised in the Baptist Church or a Greek Orthodox family would not find comfortable.

We are not inclined to worship God in the same way. Nor are we inclined to agree on every point of theology. Nevertheless, there is an overarching Tradition upon which all who follow Jesus Messiah agree: that God has self-revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world to save sinners. This is the unique claim of Christianity. To it we must add that this Tradition is received, not invented. The Messianic Faith has roots deep in the religious yearnings of archaic populations.

Traditional societies which revere the wisdom of the ancestors do not produce synthetic religions such as we find in Western societies. Synthetic religions are inventions that center on an individual's claim to special revelation. Consider the examples of L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith. Scientology and the Mormons have cobbled together fantastic histories and seductive notions to establish new familial traditions that do not develop organically from the great religions of the world.

If we go back far in time, we find two religious traditions: one involving priests and the other involving shamans. While priests and shamans serve similar functions as mediators in their communities, they represent different and opposing worldviews. Underlying shamanism is the belief that powerful spirits cause imbalance and disharmony in the world. The shaman’s role is to determine which spirits are at work and to find ways to appease the spirits. This may or may not involve blood sacrifice.

Underlying the priesthood is belief in a God whose Spirit never lies. In this view, the world is held in balance by a Supreme Creator, and it is human actions that cause disharmony. The ancient laws governing priestly ceremonies, sacrifices, and ritual purity clarify the role of the priest as one who offers sacrifice according to sacred law. These laws are part of a received tradition preserved through the Habiru (Hebrew) priestly lines which extend deep into antiquity.

The Habiru looked for a Righteous Ruler who would overcome death and lead His people to immortality, and they did not look in vain. As Jesus told the religious leaders in Jerusalem, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." (John 8:56)

In the Anglican Way, Article XI reminds us: “Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises.” Indeed, the Fathers looked for the fulfillment of an expectation that their great grandfathers yearned to see fulfilled. They did not put their hope in a special revelation separated from the received Tradition.

Related reading: The Religious Impulse Among Archaic Populations; The Ra-Horus-Hathor Narrative; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; The Priesthood is About the Blood

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Cosmologies of the Ancient Near East

Great Hypostyle Hall within the Karnak temple complex

Alice C. Linsley

I am often asked to offer an opinion on the popular work of Dr. John Walton (Wheaton College) and will do so briefly in this post.

The Bible does not explicitly state how the biblical populations conceived of the cosmos. Indeed, there were various conceptions because there were many biblical populations ranging from Africa to Anatolia.

Additionally, scholars recognize that the conception of the cosmos changed over time. The one consistent theme is that heaven and earth are connected. This connection is expressed in the story of Jacob's ladder and Paul’s mystical experience of being taken to the third heaven. By Paul's time Jewish thinkers conceived of heaven as having seven tiers similar to the stepped temples of Babylon. Dr. Walton interprets the seven days of creation in this light. He focuses on this cultural context, which is not the context of Abraham and his ancestors.

Abraham's ancestors came from the Nile Valley where they held a different view of the cosmos. They conceived of the earth as a great pyramid shape mound (volcano?) that arose from the primordial sea. It was called Tatjanun. This refers to twin pillars TT in the water (nun). "For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s and he had set the world upon them." (I Samuel 2:8) In the Ugaritic creation story the two mounds are likewise indicated by the sign T. The mountains Trgzz and Trmg emerged from a universal ocean and held up the firmament.

It is misleading to generalize the cosmology of the Ancient Near East based on a single period and cultural context. Not all biblical populations viewed the earth as flat with a bowl like dome (raqiya or rakiya) above and another bowl beneath the earth (sheol, the pit).

I do a not believe that Abraham thought of the earth as flat. It is more likely that he was influenced by the Nilotic cosmology in which the Sun's east-west arc plays a central role. Among the Horite Hebrew (Abraham's people) the sun was the emblem of the Creator (Ra/Ani) and his son (Horus/Enki). The sun was believed to inseminate the earth and to overshadow those divinely appointed to rule. It rose and set, making a circuit.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows forth his handywork...Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." Psalm 19:1-6

The temples that Abraham knew were pillared Sun Temples.

Also, in the Nilotic context sheol is not a spatial concept, such as the underworld, the pit, or hell, but a shadowy existence. The word sheol is derived from the ancient Egyptian word Sheut (šwt), meaning shadow. The Egyptians believed that something of the dead person continues as a shadow beyond the grave. Small statues or figurines of ancestors and deified rulers were painted black to portray their continued existence as shadows.

While I disagree with John Walton's conclusion that Genesis 1 reflects a seven-tiered Babylonian ziggurat, I believe his understanding of the cosmos as a celestial temple is correct. However, the temples that Abraham knew were pillared high places known as Sun Temples. These were the pattern for the temples built by the Horite Hebrew at Nekhen on the Nile (4000 BC) and the temple built by Solomon (c. 950 BC).

The twin pillars at the entrance to Solomon's temple (shown above) cast back to the Nilotic conception of the Earth (ki in Akkadian) as a pillared temple for the Sun. It may be that "ra-ki-ya" refers to the place above earth were the Creator Ra was thought to dwell. It certainly is related to the concept of vastness or an expanse (Ancient Egyptian rahbo - vast; Akkadian rabum, great, vast).

It was common for pillars to be inscribed in memory of righteous rulers and holy ancestors as stained glass windows in churches are dedicated to royal patrons and "pillars" of the congregation. The entrance pillars of Solomon's temple were called Boaz and Joktan. Boaz was Solomon's holy ancestor on his father's side and Joktan was a holy ancestor on his mother's side.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Hagar's Conversion

Painting of Hagar in the wilderness by Giovanni Lanfranco. It hangs in the Musée du Louvre.

Alice C. Linsley

Hagar was the Egyptian handmaiden to Sarah, Abraham’s sister wife. She was also one of Abraham’s concubines. Though she is presented as a downtrodden slave, it is likely that Hagar was highly cultured and moved comfortably in the circle of nobles.

As the Horite Hebrew clans practiced endogamy, it is likely that Hagar was the daughter of a Horite Hebrew priest, and as such, she would have been a skilled attendant to Sarah, and even as a concubine, she would have been a woman of high social status.

Sarah’s resentment toward Hagar appears to have had a long history. Some of the resentment may have been cultural. Sarah was from the region of Aram in Mesopotamia while Hagar is identified as an Egyptian. Sarah's resentment toward Hagar became blind jealousy after Isaac was weaned, when Ishmael was about 15 years old.

Genesis portrays Hagar as having a complex personality. In later life she is a strong and independent woman, contracting marriage for her son and apparently producing other offspring known as the Hagarites. They are mentioned in Psalm 83:6. The core of this psalm is believed to pre-date David. The Hagarites are distinct from the Ishmaelites in the Psalm 83 listing of allies, so it is apparent that Hagar (like Anah and Oholibamah) was regarded as a clan chief.

This picture of Hagar as a mature clan chief differs from the picture presented in Genesis 16:5 where we are told that Hagar acted tactlessly toward her childless mistress. Sarah blamed Abraham for this and Abraham said to Sarah: “Your slave-girl is at your disposal. Treat her as you think fit” (Genesis 16:6). Sarah then abused Hagar who fled to a spring where Abraham had lived for a time (Genesis 20:1). The Angel of the Lord found her at the spring and prophesied concerning her son that his name should be Ishmael meaning God Hearkens, for God heard the cry of Hagar's affliction.

This story portrays Hagar as a tactless, abused runaway, but note how she has a personal encounter with the Lord at the water shrine! She knows that she has encountered the all-Seeing God because she declares that she has gone on seeing, even as she is seen (Genesis 16:14). The Angel of the Lord speaks in the first-person, and in verse 13 Hagar identifies the visitor as God. To me, this sounds like a conversion story.

Given the times in which Hagar lived, she would have run to a place where she felt she could provide for her son. She traveled to a shrine half way between Kadesh and Bered (Genesis 16:14). In Genesis, when a water system is identified as being along a road between two towns, it is a shrine to which a priest is attached. It is likely that Hagar had family there. Since this was Horite Hebrew territory, an Egyptian priest (Harwa) at a water shrine would have been a Horite priest.

Horite territory extended north-south at least between Mount Hor (above Kadesh-barnea) and Mt. Harun or Hor south of Oboth. According to Genesis 14: 6, Horite territory extended as far south as the wilderness of Paran (see map).

A temple dedicated to Hathor, the mother of Horus was discovered at the southwestern edge of Mt. Timna by Professor Beno Rothenberg of Hebrew University. This is the site of some of the world's oldest copper mines.

Horite priests were devotees of Horus, who was called “Son of God.” From ancient Egyptian texts we gather that Horus is equal to the Father in nature and glory. The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts and Pyramid Texts provide a great deal of information about Horus, the divine son of Ra. This is expressed in the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. In the priest's prayer to the King, he says, "Horus is a soul and he recognizes his Father in you..." (Utterance 423).

In these texts Horus is described as the one who unites the peoples (the Upper and Lower Nile). This is symbolized by the double crown. The rulers of the two regions wore different crowns, but Horus was called "Horus of the Two Crowns" because he wore both. This is what stands behind the account of Yeshua/Joshua, the priest, receiving the "crowns" in Zechariah 6:11: "Take the silver and gold, and make crowns, and set it upon the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest..."

A reference to the third day resurrection is found in the Pyramid Texts: "Oh Horus, this hour of the morning, of this third day is come, when thou surely passeth on to heaven, together with the stars, the imperishable stars." (Utterance 667)

Consider how Horus describes himself in the Coffin Texts (148):
I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of ‘Red Cloak’.

This text is about 1000 years older than the words of Psalm 110:1, a clear messianic reference: The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."

Horus was expected to trample down the serpent. This expectation is expressed int he Pyramid Texts:
"Horus has shattered (tbb, crushed) the mouth of the serpent with the sole of his foot (tbw)" Utterance 388 (681).

This reference dates to about 800 years before Psalm 91: ""They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down."

Horus gives himself as mystic food of immortality. In The Pyramid Texts, dating from the beginning of the 4th Dynasty, we read: "O Hunger, do not come for me; go to the Abyss, depart to the flood! I am satisfied, I am not hungry because of this kmhw-bread of Horus which I have eaten." (Utterance 338) The Egyptian word km means to bring to an end, to complete, or fulfill, and hw refers to the heavenly temple or mansion of the firmament above.

It appears that the "kmhw-bread of Horus" is what the Church Fathers call "the bread of immortality." Concerning himself, Jesus said that "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:53-54).

These are key elements of the Messianic Faith by which Messiah is identified.

Jesus Messiah is sometimes called “the Angel of the Lord.” Perhaps he met Hagar’s when she fled to the Horite shrine. Might Hagar's conversion be due to a personal encounter with the pre-incarnate Christ? 

This is how some Church Fathers see Hagar's visitation. He who is of one essence with the Father, “for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9) came into the world to save sinners like Hagar... like me.

Related reading: The Ra, Horus, Hathor Narrative; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; Hagar's Journeys

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Abraham's Horite Hebrew Ancestors

This diagram shows how the Hebrew lines of Ham and Shem intermarried. Note also that Nimrod's wife named her first born son Asshur, after her father, indicating that she was his cousin bride. This is called the "cousin bride's naming prerogative."

Alice C. Linsley

Abraham is a pivotal figure in the Bible. He is the father of many peoples, the icon of faith, and a sent away son to whom God delivered a kingdom.The Bible designates Abraham a Hebrew, but clearly he was not the first.

"Hebrew" is the English form of an ancient word Habiru, or Hapiru, or 'Apiru. The words Habiru and 'Apiru are found in Akkadian cuneiform texts before Abraham's time. The corresponding word in the Egyptian is pr - house or temple; pr-nfr - good house or house of rejuvenation; pr pn - this house, and prw - houses (cf. Dravidian Opiru - Sun House, shrine, or temple; Ugaritic upr - house; an pero - house, royal granary in the Apatani language of Pradesh, India).

After Abraham's time, the Harris Papyrus speaks of the 'Apriu of Re at Heliopolis (biblical On). Jacob's son Joseph married into this Horite Hebrew line.

The number seven was a sacred number for the Habiru and there may be a connection to the Nilotic Luo word for seven, which is abiriyo

The Horite Hebrew of Nekhen offered salutations to the rising Sun at their Sun piru/house. The Arabic yakburu means “he is getting big” and with the intensive active prefix: yukabbiru which means "he is enlarging." The Arabic expresses a linguistic relationship between the house/temple and the rising Sun.

The anthropological evidence suggests that the Hebrew were caste of priests who served the archaic kingdom builders, like the Kushite ruler Nimrod (Gen. 10). They served in the royal temples and shrines, held strictly to moral codes similar to the Decalogue, maintained ritual purity, practiced circumcision, and animal sacrifice on stone altars.

The Hebrew priest lines intermarried (endogamy). This preserved their blood lines and guarded their secrets. They were skilled in astronomy, medicine, stone work, metal work, and funerary practices such as mummification.

Before Abraham's time, the Hebrew priests had dispersed in the service of kingdom builders. The data of Genesis 4-12 presents the dispersion of the early kingdom builders out of Africa. Nimrod, an ancestor of Abraham, is an example. Genesis 10 tells us that he was a Kushite kingdom builder. The religion observed in the territories of the Kushite rulers would have been the religion of their ancestors, their Horim. Most, if not all, the dispersed Kushite rulers had Horite Hebrew in their service. The Horite Hebrew were a very prestigious ruler-priest caste. Thus, it appears that the ancient Horim/Horites were the first missionaries of the Messianic Faith. This happens thousands of years after the Earth was already populated, just as Messiah's appearing comes thousands of years after the earliest Messianic expectation. Apparently, the Eternal One does not rush matters.

The High God is sometimes shown with horns and a solar halo in images found from the Nile to the Kushan territories and as far as Northwestern France and Ireland.

Among the biblical Horite Hebrew the archetype of Messiah was Horus or Enki, the son of God who was said to rise from the dead on the third day.

Among the Celts he was recast as Crom Dubh, and among the Serbs as Hromi Daba or Hrom Div. He was regarded as the "Giving God."

Etruscan image, 520 BC

At Nile shrines Horus appears as man with a falcon's head. His mother,Hathor, wears the long horns of the bull in the shape of a Y that cradles the Sun. This Y shape is a solar cradle indicating divine appointment. The Canaanite Y designates a Horite Hebrew ruler. Note that many names have the initial Y. Some examples include Yaqtan (Joktan), Yacob (Jacob), Yistzak (Isaac),Yosef (Joseph) Yetro (Jethro), Yishai (Jesse), and Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus). The Y was a solar cradle that indicated a Horite Hebrew ruler-priest in Canaan.

Sargon I is said to have been of a virgin queen who was overshadowed by the High God. He was born in an O-piru. His home city was called Azu-piranu, meaning "House of the God Anu" In Akkadian, the High God was called Anu  and his so was called Enki.

Here is a sign post pointing to the origins of Messianic expectation, concerning the divine appointment of a virgin who is to bring forth the "seed" of God (Gen. 3:15). We recall the angel Gabriel's reply to Mary's question, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" The angel explained, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore the Holy One which shall be born of thee shall be called the "Son of God." (Luke 1:34, 35)

The image of Hathor shows her overshadowed by the Sun. The Sun rests in the horns of a cow, a solar cradle (Y). An ancient Egyptian ritual involved placing a male baby before the image of Hathor and the priests placed gifts before the "divine son."

Hathor overshadowed

The cultural context of the Horite Hebrew in Canaan is Kushite. "Kushite" is a general term for people who lived in the region of Kush along the Nile between about 2000 BC and 500 BC. Before the time of the Kushites.

The Kushite king Menes was the first to unite the Upper and Lower Nile and the Kushite influence is seen on the earliest dynasties of Egypt.

Abraham's Horim

Abraham's ruler-priest ancestors are listed in Genesis 4, 5, 11 and 36. Apparently, they had a distinctive reddish (ruddy) skin tone. They are called Horites in Genesis 36 because they were devotees of Horus, who was regarded as the "son" of the Creator.

The oldest known center of Horite Hebrew worship is Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) on the Nile. Votive offerings at the Nekhen temple were ten times larger than the normal mace heads and bowls found elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine. Horite priests placed invocations to Horus at the summit of the fortress as the sun rose. This is the origin of the morning ritual of devout Hindus (Agnihotra) and the Jewish Sun Blessing ritual (Birkat Hachama) that is performed every 28 years.

The Kushite peoples are descendants of Kush and Kush's sons Ramah and Nimrod. Kush is listed in Genesis 10 as one of Noah's grandsons. Kush was the father of Nimrod.

About 5200 years ago, Nimrod established a kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. His name is of Nilotic origin, and he was a Kushite kingdom builder.The language of his kingdom was Akkadian and it shares roots with the languages of the biblical populations of the Nile, Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia.

Nimrod married a patrilineal cousin, the daughter of Asshur, and she named their first born son after her father. This is consistent with the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Horite Hebrew rulers.

Here is an image of an ancient image of a priest from the Upper Nile. Priests were called "tera" and Abraham's father held this title (Gen. 11:24-28). 

Abraham's Annu ancestors knew the holy Name YHWH. Moses knew that Name because his father Amram was Horite Habiru and Moses' half-sister wife was Kushite.

Genesis 6 speaks of "the mighty men of old," the earliest kingdom builders who constructed cities, temples, and fortified high places. They controlled commerce on the major water systems of the ancient world. They migrated out of the Upper Nile Valley in different directions, and they were served by a prestigious caste of Horite Hebrew priests.

Migrations out of the Upper Nile traced genetically 

DNA evidence confirms the Kushite migration out of the Nile Valley. There were many migrations out of Africa. The first took place about 120,000 years ago and the second about 70,000 years ago. About 18,000 years ago the distinction between R1 and R1b was evident.

About 70% of men in Britain, Scotland and Ireland are in Haplogroup R1b.  The most recent expansion out of Africa is the Kushite expansion about 5500 years ago. This appears to have spread the Horite Hebrew religion and carried the Messianic expectation to distant lands.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

A Woman at a Well

Alice C. Linsley

Archaeologists have found many images of women at wells in Palestine and Syria. Below is a detail of the baptistery painting form Deir ex-Zor in Syria. Some believe that this may be an image of the Virgin Mary. However, it more likely is an image of Photini, the Samaritan woman who Jesus spoke to at Jacob's well.

Photini was and is esteemed among Christians. She was the first evangelist and tradition holds that she and her children were martyred in Carthage. In the Eastern Church, Photini is regarded as "equal to the Apostles."

Credit: Tony De Camillo/Yale University Art Gallery

In the Bible brides are often met at wells. In this sense, Photini represents the Bride of Christ, the Church and points to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb when Christ returns.

Many biblical figures met their future wives at wells. Abraham met Keturah, his cousin wife, at the Well of Sheba, where she resided. Moses met his cousin wife Zipporah at a well in Midian. 

Likewise, Abraham's servant found Isaac a wife at a well. Caesarius of Arles spoke of this in one of his sermons. 
“Therefore blessed Jacob, as you have heard, went into Mesopotamia to take a wife. When he had come to a certain well, he saw Rachel coming with her father's sheep - after he recognized her as his cousin, he kissed her as soon as the flock was supplied with water. If you notice carefully, brothers, you can recognize that it was not without reason that the holy patriarchs found their wives at wells or fountains. If this had happened only once, someone might say it was accidental and not for some definite reason. Blessed Rebekah who was to be united to blessed Isaac was found at the well; Rachel whom blessed Jacob was to marry was recognized at the well; Zipporah who was joined to Moses was found at the well.” (Sermon 88:1)

The list of ruler-priests daughters who were first approached at wells includes:  Keturah, Rebekah, Rachel and Zipporah, Asenath, and Tamar. All these women grew up around shrines where their fathers served as priests. Asenath’s father was a priest of the Egyptian shrine at Heliopolis on the Nile. Zipporah’s father was a priest of a shrine in the Negev. Tamar’s father is identified in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan as the priest Shem of Melchizedek. This explains why Tamar was to be stoned to death. According to Leviticus 21:9, a priest's daughter guilty of prostitution or adultery was to be executed by this means.

These daughters of priests were women of high rank but they did not live pampered lives. Zipporah was drawing water for her father’s livestock when she met Moses. Rebekah was likewise engaged when Abraham’s servant arrived to contract a marriage between her and Isaac.

Note that most of these priestly daughters had two sons:

Rebekah - Esau (oldest) and Jacob (youngest)
Rachel - Joseph (oldest) and Benjamin (youngest)
Zipporah - Gershom (oldest) and Eliezer (youngest)
Asenath - Manasseh (oldest) and Ephraim (youngest)
Tamar - Zerah (oldest) and Perez (youngest)

Often the younger son receives a position of priority or a familial blessing. Both sons are ancestors of Messiah, however, since the Horite Hebrew lines intermarried. We find this preference for the youngest son in the stories of Abraham and David. Both were Horite Hebrew rulers.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these women.

Keturah, Abraham’s Cousin Wife
Keturah resided at the Well of Sheba (Beersheba) where Abraham went to take her as his cousin wife. She was the daughter of the priest Joktan. According to the cousin bride’s naming prerogative, she named their first-born son Joktan after her father. She bore Abraham six sons. Her son Midian is the ancestor of Zipporah who married Moses.

Rebekah, Isaac’s Cousin Wife

Rebekah's father was Bethuel. Bethuel was Abraham’s nephew, the son of his brother Nahor who ruled over Terah’s territory called Aramea. His name means "House of God" and likely refers to his shrine. Bethuel of Paddan-Aram or Aramathea was a "brother" of the tribal unit designated Huz, Uz, Buz. According to Genesis 22:20-22, Buz was one of Abraham’s nephews. Job was a “son” of Uz (Job 1:1).

Rachel, Jacob’s Cousin Wife

Rachel was Jacob's cousin wife.She was of the clan of Laban. It is likely that she and Leah were half-sisters. Jacob met her while she was drawing water at the well. She bore him two sons, both of whom are significant ancestors of Jesus Messiah. The oldest son, Joseph, married Asenath, the daughter of a priest of Heliopolis, the most prestigious shrine city on the Nile at that time.

Asenath, Joseph’s Egyptian wife

Asenath bore Joseph two sons: Manasseh and Ephraim. Ephraim, the younger son, was tagged as an ancestor of the Jesus, God’s Son. Asenath's name means “holy to Anath”. Anath was an Afro-Asiatic goddess who was sometimes called Mari-Anath, the consort of the high God. Many water shrines were dedicated to her and women came to these shrines to ask the Deity for children or to ask for healing (compare to John 5).

Zipporah, Moses’ Midianite Wife

Zipporah was Moses’ wife and a daughter of Jethro, Priest of Midian. Her name is derived from the word ציפור (tsipor, meaning “bird”). Moses met her at a well where she and the other women were being harassed by Egyptians. She bore Moses two sons: Gershom and Eliezer. The younger son was Eliezer, whose name means "God is my help”, is tagged as the ancestor of Jesus, the Son of God. Jacob gives the blessing reserved for the firstborn to Ephraim (Gen 48). Ephraim's descendants inhabited the principal Canaanite settlements, including Baal-shalisha which means the Three-God or the God associated with the number three.

In 1 Chronicles 23:17, we read about Eliezer’s descendants: "Rehabiah was the first. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.” Note that the name of Eliezer's only son is a variant of the name Rehab. Rehab, who dwelt in Jericho, was another ancestor of Jesus Christ.

In 1 Chronicles 23:17, we read about Eliezer’s descendants: "Rehabiah was the first. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.” Note that the name of Eliezer's only son is a variant of the name Rehab. Rehab, who dwelt in Jericho, was another ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Rahab helped Joshua and Caleb to capture the city of Jericho. She lowered the spies from a window and tied a scarlet cord from the window to protect her household when the Israelites attacked. The scarlet cord, like the blood of the lamb on the doorposts in Egypt, is a sign of the Blood of Jesus.

Tamar, Mother of Twins

Tamar was Judah’s daughter-in-law who bore him twin sons after he had intercourse with her at a shrine. Possibly this was the shrine of her "father's house" to which she was sent by Judah when he refused to provide her another of his sons as levir. [2]

Tamar's name means date nut palm. The tamar was a symbol of fertility. Judah praised Tamar as "more righteous” than himself (Gen. 38:26) because she found fulfilled the levirate law when he failed to do so. The younger of Tamar's two sons was Perez, is tagged as an ancestor of Jesus Christ. The book of Ruth tells us that King David is a descendant of Abraham through Perez.

The Pattern in the New Testament

In the New Testament, we find the pattern with Photini, the Samaritan Woman at Jacob’s well. According to Tradition her name is Photini and she symbolizes the Church, the "Bride of Christ". The well represents refreshment and a place of ritual cleansing, like baptism. Caesarius of Arles explains that Isaac, Jacob and Moses are types of Jesus Christ, "for this reason they found their wives at wells, because Christ was to find His church at the waters of baptism."

Mary's father was Joachim and tradition tells us that he was both a priest and a shepherd. This meant that he would have needed a well or river to water his flocks. Mary's husband was Joseph of Bethlehem [3], the city of David. According to 2 Samuel 24, David built an altar at the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. Here the shepherd David is shown as a priest, the dual roles that characterize the ruler-priests whose patrilineal lines intermarried, bringing us to the house of Joachim, Mary's father, who was both priest and shepherd.

Widows attached themselves to shrines and temples once their husbands have died. This is what happened in the case of the Prophetess Anna (Luke 2:36-38). She had been living in the temple precincts for many years when Mary brought Jesus to the temple. She beheld the Christ child and proclaimed to all the appearing of Messiah.

The Pattern Observed Today

Priest daughters, widows and indentured virgins lived at temples and shrines throughout the Afro-Asiatic Dominion. The custom is observed even today in Africa and in India, the western and eastern ends of the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion. To understand Canaanite shrines, we do well to investigate its counterparts in West Africa and India.

Osofo Ahadzi explains that women consult deities at the water shrines in order to have children. These children are often pledged to the shrine or to the deity (as Hannah pledged Samuel to God in return for blessing her with a child). Ahadzi says that people who fail to redeem such pledges eventually lose those children.

The same practice is evident at Hindu temples. Dr. Shabhash C. Sharma writes, "Regarding the treatment of people (including the young girls and widows) in shelters, temples and orphanages, Hinduism is quite emphatic in its opposition to any abuse and exploitation at the hands of those in positions of power and authority: 'He, who betrays one who has sought refuge, will meet destruction. The very earth will not let the seed that he sows, sprout.' The Mahabarata (1, p. 181).

Dr. Sharma further explains: "Sometimes even if the parents of a young girl or boy are alive, they might not be in a good socio-economic condition to take care of their kid and thus could decide to send her/him to live in a temple thinking that the temple would do a better job in raising their child. Thus the temple might be considered by some people an ideal place to raise their child where free room, board and education (in spirituality, arts, music, dancing etc.) are available, perhaps in return for a small or light physical (manual) service (work) to the temple."

Dr Sharma explains: "The same type of consideration, as indicated above for young girls, is generally applicable to adult women, especially the widows, when they decide to live in temples and religious places like Vrindavan. Note that even though the widows living in such places (temples etc.) might number in several thousand they still represent an extremely small minority relative to millions of Indian widows..."


1. While it seems that most of the stories of conflict between brothers involve two brothers, there is always the larger picture to consider which often involves a third brother.  For example:  Abel is killed and Seth is his replacement. Abraham's older brother Haran is said to have died in Ur. Usually one of the three sons is less well known, dies, or even hidden in the text. This is the case with the three brothers Magog, Og and Gog. We have to hunt to find Og, because this third brother is hidden in the text. We note the persistence of the pattern of three sons here:

Gen. 4 - Cain, Abel, Seth
Gen. 4 - Jubal, Jabal, Tubal
Gen. 7 - Ham, Shem, Japheth
Gen. 11 - Haran, Nahor, Abraham
Gen. 46 - Jimnah, Jishvah, Jishvi

Moses was one of three sons. His brothers Aaron and Korah were both priests. Korah was a direct descendant of Seir the Horite Hebrew ruler of Edom (Gen. 36)

It appears that the three sons formed a three-clan confederation. The same trait is found among the extant Jebusites. While there are two Jebu provinces, there are three brothers: Yoruba, Egba and Ketu. We find this same two kingdoms-three brother pattern in Genesis.

2. The practice of levirate marriage is very ancient. The term is derived from the Latin word levir, meaning "husband's brother". When a man died without a man heir, his widow was married to the next oldest son whose duty it was to produce a son for his dead brother.

3. Bethlehem was a Horite Hebrew town and the Horites and Jebusites shared common ancestors. I Chronicles 4:4 lists Hur (Hor) as the "father of Bethlehem".

Related reading: Wells and Brides; Where Abraham Spent His Old Age; The Daughters of Priests; The Two Brides of Christ; Three-Clan Confederations to Twelve Tribes

Friday, December 28, 2018

Horite Hebrew Expectation and the Star of Bethlehem

Alice C. Linsley

Sidereal astronomy is real science based on observation of the arrangement and movement of the fixed stars and planets. This science originated among Abraham's Nilotic (Kushite) ancestors who had recorded information about the fixed stars and clock-like motion of the planets and constellations for thousands of years. By 4245 BC, the priests of the Upper Nile had established a calendar based on the appearance of the star Sirius. Apparently, Nilotes had been tracking this star and connecting it to seasonal changes and agriculture for thousands of years. This is verified by the Priest Manetho who reported in his history (241 BC) that Nilotic Africans had been “star-gazing” as early as 40,000 years ago. Plato, who studied in Egypt, claimed that the Africans had been tracking the heavens for 10,000 years.

The ancient Egyptians shared the knowledge with the ancient Greeks. Plato claimed that the Africans had been tracking the heavens for 10,000 years. Plato studied with an Egyptian priest for 13 years and knew about Earth's Great Year, also called the "Platonic Year." This is the time of between 25,000 and 28,000 years that it takes for Earth to complete the cycle of axial precession. This precession was known to Plato who defined the "perfect year" as the return of the celestial bodies (planets) and the diurnal rotation of the fixed stars to their original positions.

The ancients were motivated to understand the celestial pattern because they believed that the order in creation was fixed by the Creator and they were concerned about trespassing boundaries or violating the order in creation. They believed "As in the heavens, so on earth."

Attorney Rick Larson spent many years researching the Star of Bethlehem and discovered that sidereal astronomy is real science, based on observation of the arrangement and movement of the fixed stars and planets. Watch Rick Larson's Star of Bethlehem as a Christmas treat to you and your family.

For the ancient Nilo-Saharans and Egyptians the stars in the constellation of Leo were especially important because the Nile rose when the Sun passed through the constellation of Leo. Therefore, they associated the arousal of the Lion with the arousal of the waters. The lion was the totem of the tribe of Judah. In Genesis 1, we read that the Spirit of God hovered over the watery deep at the beginning. In John's Gospel we are reminded that the Son was with the Father and the Spirit before the world was made and that all things were made through Him.

The Magi were sidereal astronomers who lived east of Israel, likely in Babylon or Persia. They were heirs of the same astronomical knowledge as the ancient Egyptians because they were from Judah, like Daniel and the others from Judah (Jews) who served as advisers to King Nebuchadnezzar. The people of Judah knew of the ancient Horite Hebrew prophecy concerning a Woman of their people who would bring forth the Seed/Son (Gen. 3:15). They also believed Messiah would be born of the royal house of David.

When the Magi appeared before Herod they were told that the King of the Jews was to be born in David's city, Bethlehem. I Chronicles 4:4 claims that Bethlehem was a Horite Hebrew town. Abraham and David were of the Horite Hebrew ruler-priest lines. Joseph and Mary, both descendants of Abraham and David, went there to register for the census.

The Magi were aware of God's promise concerning a King whose kingdom would endure through all the ages because reference to the Messianic promise of Psalm 145:13 is found repeatedly in Daniel. It punctuates the rise and fall of kingdoms and proclaims the coming of an eternal kingdom. As astronomers, the Magi recognized the singular event of Jupiter's triple spiral that brought it in close proximity to Regulus in the constellation Leo, the Lion. The Babylonians called Regulus Sharu, which means king. The word is related to the Persian word Shir, meaning lion.

In his translation of the eighth-century AD Syriac manuscript "The Revelation of the Magi," Brent Landau describes the Magi as those who “pray in silence,” and he proposes that they were a small group of monk-like mystics from a mythical land called Shir. However, there is no such place. Shir refers to the lion, the totem for the Horite Hebrew clans that resided in Judah. The Magi are the descendants of those who were deported. They held the received tradition concerning the coming of Messiah. This explains their recognition of the Messianic symbolism of the alignment of the King Planet and the King Star.

Using Starry Night, a software program that tracks celestial events at any time in history, Larson discovered that Jupiter, the King Planet met Regulus, the King Star at the beginning of the Jewish New Year in 3 BC. The conjunction of the King Planet and the King Star produced the appearance of an extraordinarily bright star. Larson believes this is when Gabriel announced to Mary that she was chosen to bear the Son of God. 

When Mary asked how this could be, the Angel explained that she would be "overshadowed," the very expression used by the Horite Hebrew to speak of conception of the divine Son by Hathor, the mother of Horus (Enki). She was believed to conceive by the overshadowing of the Sun, the symbol of the Creator. In Christian iconography, the Sun is usually replaced by the image of a dove hovering over Mary.

The Horite Hebrew commemorated the death and resurrection of Horus in a 5-day festival. As Plutarch noted in Isis and Osiris, 69, the first 3 days were marked by solemnity and mourning for the death of Horus. His death was commemorated by the planting of seeds of grain. On the third day, the 19th of Athyr, there was a joyful celebration of Horus’ rising to life. Jesus' third-day resurrection fulfilled that Horite Hebrew expectation.

Skeptics claim that Christians based the story of Jesus on the ancient myth of Horus. Christians have done a poor job of answering this ridiculous claim. It takes more faith to believe that Christianity is the Horus myth reworked than to accept that Abraham's ancestors were Horite Hebrew. This is why the Jews call their ancestors "Horim"  and this is what is revealed by analysis of the Genesis King Lists. The Horite Hebrew believed the promise made to their Edenic ancestors (Gen. 3:15) that a woman of their ruler-priest lines would bring forth the Son of God, the Messiah. This is the origin of Messianic expectation.

Related reading:  Ancient Wisdom, Science and Technology; Who Were the Wise Men?Mary's Ruler-Priest Lineage; Joseph's Relationship to Mary; Jesus Fulfills the Horus MythThe Christ in Nilotic Mythology; Frank Moore Cross: Israel's God is the God of the Horites