Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What the Bible Says About Eden


Alice C. Linsley

The Eden described in the Bible was a vast well-watered region that extended from the source of the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates (Genesis 2). The biblical description comes from writers who lived long after the time that this region (shown in red) was wet.




Rock paintings of boats, people fishing and herding cattle have been found around the Sahara. These tell the story of life during the African Humid Period (the Aqualithic) when the wet Sahara sustained large herds.

Memory of Eden is preserved in Akkadian documents and ancient Egyptian texts. According to Genesis 13:10, the Garden of the Lord which was well watered, like “the land of Egypt.” The Afro-Asiatic word for garden or virgin forest is egan, and the Hebrew word gan for garden, is cleared related. In Akkadian, the region is called Edinu and the word is derived from the Akkadian word edû - flow, spring (a Sumerian loan word). E. A. Speiser believed that the Sumerian word eden refers to a plain or a steppe (The Anchor Bible, Genesis, p. 16). However, the biblical description is of a flood plain, not an arid plain.

The Paradise of Eden is described as a well-watered garden. This was not a small garden that could be managed by a single gardener. It was God's garden. Today the region shown on the map is one of the driest on Earth.

If you are a gardener (as I am), you recognize the value of water, especially in hot weather. The text says that springs came up from the earth. This suggests that the biblical writer is making a play of words Eden = edû , meaning "flow" or "spring."

Genesis 2 gives the account of 4 major rivers: the Gihon and the Pishon in Africa, and the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia. The Ethiopians identify the Gihon with the Abay River, which circles the former African kingdom of Gojjam. Genesis 2:13 states that the Gihon "winds through all the land of Kush." The Pishon "winds through the whole land of Havilah" (Gen. 2:11). Havilah is both a place name and the name of one of Kush's sons (Gen. 10:7). This identifies the Gihon and Pishon with the Upper Nile region.

This ancient paradise supported forests (Gen. 2:9). Some believe that the earliest of Abraham’s ancestors were forest dwellers. This pushes those ancestors to a time before memory, and yet the Paradise they enjoyed is remembered. Jung might suggest that the Paradise of Genesis reflects the collective memory of Abraham’s Proto-Saharan ancestors.

Many discoveries, such as the 8000 year Dufuna boat, ancient petroglyphs of boats and cows in the  Sahara, and 9000-10,000 year burial sites provide evidence of extensive water systems and human populations. The paleoanthropologist, Paul Sereno, unearthed 9,700 year skeletons at Gobero in Niger. These were buried on the edge of a paleolake on the northwestern rim of the Chad Basin. The Gobero site is the earliest known cemetery in the Sahara and the skeletons found there indicated that some of the people were at least 6 feet tall.


Gobero skeleton (G3B8) measures 6 feet, 6 inches
Photo: Mike Hettwer, courtesy Project Exploration

At the time of the Gobero population, humans were dispersed globally, and during the time of Noah these populations were not destroyed. 

Many peoples have their point of origin in archaic Eden. This is the point of origin of the biblical Hebrew clans. The oldest identified Horite Hebrew shrine cities were Nekhen and Nekheb on the Nile. These twin cities date to 3,800 BC.


Painted tomb at Nekhen


The rulers of Tyre, an ancient seat of wisdom, are traced back to Eden. "Son of Man, raise a lament over the king of Tyre and say to him: Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and flawless beauty. You were in Eden, in the Garden of God; every precious stone was your adornment... and gold beautifully wrought for you, mined for you, prepared the day you were created." (Ezekiel 28:11-18)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sara's Laughter


Alice C. Linsley

Abraham's half-sister was also his wife. Her name was Sarah or Sarai, both names being derived from the Akkadian word for queenšarratum. Sarah was a wealthy, high-born woman with many servants, craftsmen, herdsmen, shepherds and warriors to supervise in the absence of her husband.

Sarah resided in the region of Hebron, at the northern boundary of Abraham's territory in Edom. Abraham's other wife, Keturah, resided in the region of Beersheba at the southern boundary of Abraham's territory.





Abraham's territory extended between the settlements of his two wives and was entirely in the region the Greeks called Idumea, meaning "land of red people."

In the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Horite Hebrew rulers, the proper heir to the father's territory was the first born son of the first wife, the half-sister wife. As Sarah was barren, Abraham had no proper heir. Eliezer, the son of the concubine Masek, was chosen to be the steward of the household, not the heir. Abraham took up his complaint with the LORD and was assured that one day Sarah would bring forth the proper heir (There is Messianic foreshadowing here).

Abraham's complaint that he had no proper heir was one the Lord God understood, seeing that Abraham was a ruler and the matter of heirs is especially important for those who rule. Having a proper heir would not be so important were Abraham and Sarah commoners. They were of the ruling class. 

Sarah had everything, except the one thing she needed to fulfill her role as the wife of a ruler. Her resentment of Hagar and Ishmael reveals the growing bitterness she had. She likely scoffed and laughed from a spirit of grief and bitterness. It is easy to judge Sarah who laughed when she heard that she would bring forth a son in her old age. Her laughter seems to be out of shock and disbelief, a natural response for a woman past child bearing years (Gen. 18:13). Yet, Abraham laughed also.
Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born to man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear a child? (Gen. 17:17).
When confronted, Sarah denied laughing. She would not have wanted to insult her guests. At first, Sara and Abraham were not aware of the identity of their visitors. The meal they provided was one of hospitality, not a great feast. It suggests that Abraham was unsure about the 3 strangers, but anxious to provide an adequate meal. The guests are described simply as three men, but when Abraham talks to them, they respond as one ("they said"). We are told that "the Lord appeared to Abraham," but when he looks, he sees three men. Three men speaking as one suggest the Triune God. At other times, only one of the angels speaks to Abraham and he is referred to as "Lord." Only after Abraham is assured of the long-yearned for son (messianic foreshadowing), does he recognize that he is speaking to the Lord. Then he begins to intercede for Lot and Sodom.

Sara apparently did not know that she was hearing a divine announcement, certainly not in the way that the Virgin Mary knew at the Annunciation that she was hearing a word directly from God. Unlike Mary, Sara was not the direct recipient of the message.

When Isaac was born, Sara laughed again (Gen. 21:6). The Hebrew verb  “to laugh" has the initial צְחֹק (in a rare participial form). It refers to Sara's joyful laughter upon giving birth to a son. This suggests that the name Sara is also related to the African word saran, meaning joy. The word saran also is found in Hindi and refers to refugeThe child is named Isaac (Yitzak) which is related to the word for laughter. The Proto-Semitic root for laughter is dh.kh.k. The Ugaritic word for laughter is tzakhak.

Genesis 26:8 says that Yitzak was caressing his wife Rebecca. The word "caressing" is the Piel/intensive form of the word "laugh" so the verse suggests laughter upon laughter. "He laughs, was laughing intensively with his wife." Hebrew scholars suggest that this is a euphemism for having sex. That is a possible interpretation, yet the structure of laughter upon laughter suggests a connection to a source of joy beyond the physical pleasure of sex.


Related reading:  False Correlations; The Barren and Grieving Rejoice; The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 1); Abraham's Concubines

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

An Invitation



Readers of JUST GENESIS are invited to join the Facebook group The Bible and Anthropology where we discuss many of the topics found here in great detail. This is more interactive than a blog can be.

The Bible and Anthropology is an international forum that helps the members gain a better understanding of the Bible through guided application of cultural anthropology. We investigate the biblical texts for anthropologically significant information that clarifies the context of biblical peoples. 

Members recommend topics for discussion, pose questions, post news, make thoughtful comments and observations, and provide links to pertinent material.

Biblical Anthropology is a science. It requires that assertions be backed up with hard data. Here we investigate the biblical texts, seeking anthropologically significant data. We identify the data and explore correlations to the findings of other sciences: linguistics, DNA studies, recorded climate changes, archaeology, migration studies, etc.

This new branch of anthropology is especially relevant to Christians as it helps us to understand the antecedents of our Messianic Faith and reinforced our conviction that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah.




Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Proto-Saharan Rulers Cain and Seth


Alice C. Linsley


The social structure of the biblical Hebrew is explored in detail in a 7-part series. The first in the series is here.

In this post, we investigate the earliest Proto-Saharan rulers named in Genesis. These rulers had two wives, as did their descendants Terah, Abraham, Jacob, Amram, Moses, and Samuel's father, Elkanah.

© 2010 Alice C. Linsley
Segment I: The Half-Sister Bride and the ruler Enoch/Enosh/Enos

The ruler first bride was his half sister, as Sarah was to Abraham. The half-sister’s first-born son rules in place of his father. Thus Isaac was Abraham's proper heir and ruled over Abraham's territory in Edom. Likewise, Enoch ruled over the territory of his father Seth.


        Enoch  ∆  =  O  Half-sister bride
___|___
                        Kain   ∆         O  =   ∆   Seth   Gen. 5
                     |
                                                                 ∆  Enosh/Enoch the Younger




Segment II: The Cousin Bride’s Naming Prerogative and the ruler Seth/Seti

The ruler's second wife, taken later in life, was a patrilineal cousin bride. The cousin bride’s first-born son became a high official (vizier) in the kingdom of his maternal grandfather. So Seth was a ruler-priest in the territory of Seth the Elder, a Proto-Saharan Nilote. 

These ancestors are often called "Kushites," though the name Kush/Cush does not appear in the Genesis King Lists until Genesis 10:6-9, where we are told that one of Cush's sons was Nimrod, a Kushite kingdom builder in Mesopotamia.



    Seth/Seti, the Elder
 ∆
 |
                                       O  =   ∆  Enoch the Elder
                            |                                      
                          Seth the Younger  ∆   Gen. 5                                    
                                   


The pattern is evidence in this diagram. Lamech the Elder (Gen. 4) has a grandson named Lamech. Lamech the Younger is listed in Genesis 5 as the son of Methusaleh by his cousin bride, Naamah.





The Kushite movement out of Africa has been verified by genetic studies. Research verifying the Genesis record of Kushite migration from Africa into Eurasia can be found here: http://maxwellsci.com/print/crjbs/v2-294-299.pdf

Current Research Journal of Biological Sciences 2(5): 294-299, 2010
ISSN: 2041-0778© Maxwell Scientific Organization, 2010

The Kushite Spread of Haplogroup R1*-M173 from Africa to Eurasia
Clyde A. Winters, Ph.D

The marriage and ascendancy pattern of these early Proto-Saharan rulers drove their movement out of Africa. As the younger son of Kush, Nimrod was probably a "sent away son" who was expected to establish a kingdom of his own. Kingdom building brought honor to their fathers and extended their influence, including the spread of their religious beliefs and practices.

In Genesis 25:1-7 we read that Abraham gave gifts to all his sons and sent them away from Isaac who became the ruler over Abraham's territory in Edom

Likewise, Kush gave gifts to Nimrod and sent him away from his older brother Ramah who ruled a Kushite territory. (Ramah, between Bethel and Jerusalem, is also the name of Samuel's hometown.)

The sent-away sons named in the Bible faced struggle and hardship, but ultimately they prospered with God's help. Nimrod’s territory extended the length of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, and within this territory the principal cities of Erech and Akkad (Gen.10:10) became famous urban centers. The script used in Nimrod’s kingdom was “Akkadian” and it preserves many of the roots and phonemes found in the Nilo-Saharan languages.

In Nigerian lore, Nimrod is known as Sharru-Kin which means “the righteous king.” Nimrod's Akkadian name was Šarru-kīnu, which is usually translated “the true king.”



Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 6)


All rights reserved. If you borrow, please cite this page. This information represents 35 years of research.

Alice C. Linsley

Part 1 of this series addresses the Feminist claim that the biblical Hebrew had a patriarchal social structure. This unfounded assumption is the basis for attempts to justify the innovation of women priests. Since women were denied the opportunity to serve as priests among the patriarchal Hebrew the Church should ordain women to correct that social injustice.

It should be noted that arguments in favor of women priests come primarily from New Testament professors whose focus precludes a wider investigation into the historic roots of the Church's priesthood among Abraham's Hebrew people. Among them are William Witt and N.T. Wright.

The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) noted in a recent statement that women's ordination is an innovation without sufficient Scriptural warrant to make it a normative practice. This was the conclusion of the ACNA house of bishops after consideration of a 5-year study of the question. Dr. William Witt served as one of the advisers to the study group. He argues that women were denied the opportunity to serve as priests among the Hebrew because of patriarchy, and to correct that social injustice the Church should ordain women.

However, examination of the social structure of the biblical Hebrew reveals that the argument has no basis in fact. The social structure of the biblical Hebrew is not patriarchal because it is not characterized by these 6 conditions of absolute patriarchy:

1. descent is traced through the paternal line only (Part 2)
2. inheritance rights come through the father's lineage only (Part 3)
3. right to rule is vested with males only (Part 4)
4. patrilocal residence; that is the bride lives with or near the groom's clan/family (Part 5)
5. governed by a council of all males
6. ultimate authority rests with a male figure such as a patriarch, chief or king.

In this article we explore the claim that the social structure of the biblical Hebrew was characterized by the governance of males exclusively.

One of Dr. Witt's arguments is that the contemporary view of male "headship" (complementarianism) is not the biblical view of the relationship of male and female. I agree with him. The headship argument acknowledges the equality of men and women and also asserts a permanent hierarchy with men in authority over women. This does not describe the social structure of the biblical Hebrew. There are examples of women serving in roles of authority over men. 

Refutation of this misguided headship view does not support women's ordination because, after all is said, not a single women served as a priest among the biblical Hebrew, nor can one be found in the Bible.

It is also a fact that the Hebrew priests were not the final decision makers in ancient Hebrew society. These priests were under rulers who were not priests. Of the 24 priestly divisions, none was assigned to David's own Bethlehem because his sons served as the rulers over all the priestly divisions (2 Sam. 8:18).

Further, final decisions concerning governance were made by kings and queens. The Hebrew priests were in the service of these rulers. A Judean queen named Salome Alexandra ruled from BC 76-67. She was one of two women to exercise sole rule over Judea. Archaeologists have uncovered her palace in Jericho. Salome is the only woman mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some of the religious reforms that shaped second-Temple Judaism were implemented under her rule.

Wise women were consulted by kings. Huldah is an example. She lived in Jerusalem with her husband, Shallum, who was in charge of the priestly vestments. The narrative in 2 Kings 22 reveals the high esteem with which she was regarded by the king and the people.

Deborah ruled as a judge in Israel (Judges 4). She was the fourth to rule after the death of Joshua. Her husband was named Lapidoth, a variant of Lapidos. It is likely that he was of the ruler-priest caste as his name has a Sumerian/Akkadian root that refers to a box or arc (pid). Deborah's place of judgement was marked by a large date nut palm between the settlements of Ramah and Bethel. This means that people had to go out to her for counsel, just as people had to travel to John the Baptist in the wilderness.

Women ruled over their clans. Among them were Anah and Oholibamah. Anah is called a "chief" in Genesis 36. The wives of Hebrew priests ruled their households and exercised considerable influence in their social circles.

The first born son of the ruler-priest's second wife became a high ranking official in the territory of his maternal grandfather. This son was named after his maternal grandfather. This explains why there are two named Esau, Enoch, Lamech, Nahor, Joktan, etc. This is the "cousin bride's naming prerogative" and it is a distinctive feature of the social pattern of the biblical Hebrew. Here we have a glimpse of the powerful influence of the mother. Such power is portrayed in the story of Bathsheba appearing before King Solomon. 
When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat down at his right hand. (1 Kings 2:19)

In the final segment of this 7-part series, we will explore the nature of ultimate authority and whether this is exclusively vested with male biblical figures.


Related reading: Dr. William Witt's Response; Jesus of Nazareth, Son of David; The Priesthood is About the Blood; Why Women Were Never Priests; Denying Marriage: A cunning royal strategy


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Greek Linear Logic vs. Hebrew Step Logic


What follows is an excerpt from an excellent article written by Jeff A. Benner, Director of the Ancient Hebrew Research Center.  Here he touches on some of reasons western readers have a difficult time understanding the creation accounts in Genesis.

The Hebrew stressed the concreteness of God's work. They do not spiritualized the material as the Greeks tend to do. Benner cites Exodus 7:12 as an example of concrete thinking.
But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. (ESV, Exodus 17:12)
Benner writes, "In this passage we can see many concrete words including hands, stone, sat, side, steady and sun. In addition, the entire sentence creates a visual scene that we can easily picture in our mind.'


Jeff Benner

The Greek thinker uses a linear logic that flows in steps from a beginning to an end. Each step is linked closely to the next in a coherent and rational fashion. In contrast to this, the Hebrew thinker uses block logic, which groups things together according to their similarities. Because of these differences, Western readers of the Bible, who are reading the Bible from a linear perspective, read the creation account in Genesis as if it was written in chronological order, but this was not how the narrative was written; the different events of the creation account are recorded in blocks of related events.

The first three days of creation are related to separation.
Day 1 – Separating light from darkness
Day 2 – Separating the water from the sky
Day 3 – Separating the land from the water

The next three days of creation are related to the filling of the creation.
Day 4 – Filling the light with the sun and the dark with the moon
Day 5 – Filling the water fish and the sky with birds
Day 6 – Filling the land with animals and man

The record of events for the first six days of creation, are written in blocks of parallels, a form of Hebrew poetry, and can be written like this;

1 – Separating light from darkness

2 – Separating the water from the sky

3 – Separating the land from the water

4 – Filling the light with the sun and the dark with the moon

5 – Filling up the water with fish and the sky with birds

6 – Filling up the land with animals

Days 1 and 4 are paralleled with each other and are recording the same event as we can see from the following verses.

And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. (ESV, Genesis 1:4)

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night … and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good." (ESV, Genesis 1:14a, 18b)

Verse 4 occurs on the first day and is describing the action of God separating light and darkness, but in verse 14, which is day four, we have God again separating light and darkness. There are only two possible explanations for this. Either the separation of light and darkness on the first day disappeared and had to be separated again on the fourth day, or the first and fourth days are recording the same event. In addition, days 2 and 5 are recording the same event, as are days 3 and 6.


Conclusion

Throughout the world, past and present, there are two major forms of philosophy, Western and Eastern and these two forms of philosophy are very different from each other.

The Bible was written by Hebrews in a culture that was predominately Eastern in its philosophy, while we, the readers of the Bible, live in a culture that is predominately Western in its philosophy. Eastern philosophy is the form of philosophy of all ancient cultures (as well as all primitive cultures that still exist today). Western philosophy was developed in the Greek culture by its ancient philosophers about 3,000 years ago. When we read the Bible, which was written from an ancient Eastern Hebrew perspective, we will frequently misinterpret the text because we are reading it from a Western Greek perspective.

When it comes to reading the Bible in its proper perspective, the five major differences between Hebrew and Greek thought must be kept in mind; concrete vs. abstract thinking, passive vs. active descriptions, impersonal vs. personal relationships and linear vs. block logic.
It is hard for our Western minds to grasp these very different perspectives of thought, but if we do not accept the fact that the Bible was written from a perspective that is very different from our own, we will continue to misinterpret it.

.
Jeff & Denise Benner
Ancient Hebrew Research Center


Related reading: The Binary Worldview of the Bible


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Did Abraham Intend to Sacrifice Isaac?


Caravaggio, 1598

Alice C. Linsley

Jews speak of the sacrifice of Isaac as the "binding of Isaac" (Akeidat Yitzchak).  Most Jews do not believe that Abraham intended to sacrifice his son. In The Binding of Isaac, Religious Murders and Kabbalah, Lippman Bodoff argues that Abraham never intended to sacrifice his son. Rather, he had faith that God had no intention that he should do so.

Genesis Rabbah holds that God "never considered telling Abraham to slaughter Isaac. Rabbi Yona Ibn Janach wrote that this story is about a symbolic sacrifice. Rabbi Yosef Ibn Caspi maintained that Abraham's "imagination" led him astray. Ibn Caspi wrote, "How could God command such a revolting thing?"

Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz maintains that child sacrifice was "rife among the Semitic peoples," and finds it "astounding that Abraham's God should have interposed to prevent the sacrifice, not that He should have asked for it." Hertz's interpretation of Genesis 22 is that God was correcting the practice of human sacrifice among Abraham’s people. Unfortunately, there is little anthropological and archaeological support for this view. The is no evidence that the Horites practiced human sacrifice.

Jacques Kinnaer reports, "The earliest known example of human sacrifice may perhaps be found in Predynastic burials in the south of Egypt, dated to the Naqada II Period. One of the discovered bodies showed marks on the throat from having been cut before having been decapitated."-- Human Sacrifice, Jacques Kinnaer

Kinnaer also provides two definitions of human sacrifice:
  • "The ritual killing of human beings as part of the offerings presented to the gods on a regular basis, or on special occasions."
  • "Retainer sacrifice, or the killing of domestic servants to bury them along with their master."

For the first definition there is no evidence among Abraham's ancestors, and regarding the second definition, there is dispute among Egyptologists. Caroline Seawright has written, "Human sacrifice is not generally connected with ancient Egypt. There is little evidence of human sacrifice during most of the dynastic period of ancient Egypt... but there is some evidence that it may have been practiced in the Nile Valley during the 1st Dynasty and possibly also Predynastic Egypt.

Seawright is referring to subsidiary graves at Abydos, the burial place for the first kings of a unified Egypt. These were Kushite rulers. However, these were the graves of domestics and officials who probably died naturally, not the graves of servants who were sacrificed to serve the ruler in the afterlife. Even the most provocative National Geographic report has to admit that this is probable, lacking hard evidence that the ancient Nilotic peoples sacrificed humans.

The "binding of Isaac" involves a promise. The promise is understood in the exchange of the lamb Issac asked his father about, for the ram that God provides. For the Horite Hebrew this speaks of the Creator's son, Horus, who was said to rise with the sun as a lamb and set with the sun as a ram in its full strength. That being the case, this story is about God providing His own sacrifice, but in the future (symbolized by the west). The text supports this interpretation.
"Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, 'In the mount of the LORD it will be provided." (Gen. 22:14, 15)
It is apparent that Abraham intended that Isaac should be offered to God, perhaps dedicated to God's service, as Samuel was dedicated to serve in the temple? Genesis tells us that Abraham expected to return with Isaac to his men waiting at the base of the mountain. Abraham, the Horite Hebrew, expected resurrection and he told the men that both he and Isaac would return (Genesis 22:5).

Abraham knew to expect a son who would overcome death. He likely believed that Isaac would be raised to life after the sacrifice. In other words, he acted by faith. By provision of the ram on Mount Moriah, a site that was sacred to the Horites, Abraham received confirmation that his offering was accepted, and he also discovered that Isaac was not the anticipated Ruler foretold in Eden (Gen. 3:15). That one would be revealed in the future.

Paul and James are perceived to be in conflict on the question of justification, yet they both argue based on this story of Abraham and Isaac. There is no conflict in their understandings of this event if they understood that Abraham trusted God to confirm the truth to him. This is the man who posed the great question: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25) This same Abraham believed God's promise concerning the appointed Son on a deep level.

What Abraham discovered on Mount Moriah is that Isaac was not the long-awaited Messiah who would overcome death and lead the people to immortality. That Lamb of God was yet to be born, and He would die a ram (in full strength of manhood) in the future. James tells us that Abraham discovered justification through acting on his Messianic faith... that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only (James 2:21-24).

The Jews call their ancestors "Horim" because they recognize the Horite Hebrew identity of Abraham and his ancestors. The Horites believed in the resurrection, but this fact has been suppressed by rabbinic teaching.

The Horites anticipated that a woman of their ruler-priest lines would miraculously conceive by the overshadowing of God and bring for the Son of God. This explains why their lines intermarried exclusively, as analysis of their marriage and ascendancy pattern shows. Both Joseph and Mary are descendants of the Horite ruler-priest lines. This is attested by the fact that Joseph had to register for the census in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a Horite town. I Chronicles 4:4 lists Hor as the "father" of Bethlehem.

The Nilotic Horites held an annual a 5-day festival in which they mourned the death of the son of God. He is called Horus, from which come the terms "Horite" or "Hurrian." On the third day, the priests lead the people to the fields where they planted seeds of grain to symbolize his rising to life. This was a custom among Abraham's Nilotic ancestors who hung their hopes on the resurrection of the Righteous Ruler.

Genesis 3:15 speaks of how the Woman would bring for the Seed who would crush the serpent's head. Jesus claimed to be that Seed when He spoke to his disciples about his impending death. He explained: "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24)

The rabbis do not agree on the meaning of the binding of Isaac, but one thing is certain: the Horite Hebrew did not practice human sacrifice. The biblical evidence indicates that child sacrifice among the Semites developed after Abraham's time because God condemns it between the 8th and 7th centuries BC, about 1200 years after Abraham.

There is little evidence of human sacrifice among biblical peoples. This narrative of Abraham with Isaac isn't about human sacrifice. It is about Messianic expectation of the dying and rising son. The narrative concerning Jephath's sacrifice of his daughter is a moral lesson about not swearing rash oaths (compare James 5:12), and a critique of Canaanite practices surrounding war.


Related reading: Ram Symbolism in the Ancient WorldJesus: From Lamb to Ram; What Abraham Discovered on Mount Moriah;  Genesis and the True Meaning of Christmas