Friday, April 13, 2018

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Rulers of the Ancient World



Alice C. Linsley

The entire scope of biblical history reveals that God is eager to reveal His divine nature and eternal power to us (Romans 1:20). This eagerness is an expression of His infinite love for the whole creation and especially for humanity.

In Genesis, the Creator communes with the humans in the Garden in the cool of the day. This is a picture of Paradise, a Paradise that was lost when sin and death entered the world. However, God did not give up on His creation. He began to show humans His thoughts and plans. He appointed rulers who would listen to Him. He called forth prophets who would declare His Word. He anointed priests to serve the needs of His people.

The focus of this post is the biblical data about the archaic rulers who are listed in Genesis 4, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 36. They were the rulers over the peoples listed in the so-called "Table of Nations," which is a misnomer since during the period in question - 6000 -2000 BC - there were no nations as we define that term today.

A detailed study of the peoples listed in the Table of Nations reveals that these peoples have a linguistic relationship. All the peoples spoke languages with common roots found in the oldest known language group: the Afro-Asiatic Family. The common roots [radicals] are usually biconsonantal, such as NS, NT, TR, JB, GG, GB, etc.

The rulers of these peoples appear to have common religious practices. They built east-facing temples and shrines. They retained royal priests to serve in their temples. They offered blood sacrifice for sin and oblations of oil, wine, and wheat. They drafted and ratified royal treaties in a similar way. Ancient paintings reveal a common solar symbolism as well.

We note a familial relationship between clans that share certain radicals and sounds [phonemes]. Note the “le” prefix in these clan names: Le’hab, Le’sha, Le’tushim and Le’ummim (Gen. 25:3). The Semitic languages typically have particles that begin with L (le, lu or la). Le is a Hebrew prefix, but it appears in older languages such as Akkadian. (La’baru - pertains to granting long life and is related to the Akkadian word la’biru, meaning old.) There is also linguistic evidence of 3-clan confederations, such as Jubal, Jabal and Tubal, and Og, Gog and Magog.

The society of these ancient populations was hierarchical and highly structured. There were high kings (suzerain), lesser kings (vassals or viziers), clan chiefs, and castes of craftsmen. This was a period of early kingdom building. The Bible provides a great deal of information about the high kings. In Genesis 6:1-4 they are described as the “mighty men of old, as “heroes” and “men of renown.” They constructed temples, palaces, fortified shrine cities ("high places"), great stone monuments, and pyramids.

Genesis 6 also describes them as gibboriym, meaning “powerful ones.” Nimrod is an example. Genesis 10:8 tells us that he was a Kushite kingdom builder.

Genesis also associates the mighty rulers of the archaic world with the Anakim. The Anakim are the people of Anak and his father Arba. Anak and the Anakim dwelt in the region of Hebron, which was called Kiriath-Arba. This is where Sarah resided. Hebron was at the northern most boundary of the ancient kingdom of Edom. The Greeks called this Idumea, which means “land of red people.” Esau of Edom is described as red and hairy in Genesis 25:25.



The Anakim are associated with the Nephilim in Number 13:33. Unfortunately, many Bibles render the meaning of nephilim as “giants” when it should read “great ones.” Nephilim comes from the same root as the Aramaic npyl (nephil) which means giant as in great. This is equivalent to the Arabic nfy, meaning hunter. It is said concerning Nimrod that he was a “mighty hunter” or a “mighty man” before the Lord.

The archaic kingdom builders, like Nimrod, forged the archaic kingdoms of the Afro-Asiatic world which extended from Nigeria to India and from the Nile to the Orontes River in Turkey. In Genesis, these rulers are described as “men of renown” and “heroes.”



The anthropological study of early biblical populations indicates that God has been working with humans from the beginning to prepare them for the coming of Jesus Messiah. This is evident in the way that God called forth a royal priesthood to serve at the Sun temples that were built by the high kings. These temples are identified in ancient texts as O-piru. The O is a solar image or pictograph, and piru is an ancient word meaning house or temple. In Sumerian and Akkadian texts the royal priests who served at the “sun temples” are called ‘Apiru, Hapiru, or Habiru. The Akkadian word Habiru appears in English as “Hebrew.”

The Habiru were unique among other priests in that they believed in a supreme Creator God who has a son. The Hebrew priests of the Nile called the creator Ra, and his son was called Horus. The Hebrew priests of Mesopotamia called the Creator Anu and his son was called Enki, which means “Lord over all the earth” in Akkadian. Given that many ancient populations believed in multiple gods, the Father-Son belief of the Hebrew priests is truly remarkable.

The wisdom of the Nilotic priests was so extensive that it was unrivaled in the ancient world. Much of the wisdom ascribed to the ancient Greeks was borrowed from the Nilotic Hebrew priests. Plato studied for 13 years with the priest Sechnuphis at the temple in Memphis. He reported that the ancient Nilotes had been keeping records of astronomical events for 10,000 years.

Genesis 36 lists some of the Horite Hebrew rulers of Edom. The prophet Jeremiah refers to Edom and Teman of Edom as seats of wisdom. "Concerning Edom: This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Is there no longer wisdom in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom decayed?" (Jeremiah 49:7)

The Hebrew royal priests practiced endogamy, which is to say they married only within their priestly families. We will examine this more next week. Because the lines of ruler-priests married only within their group, geneticists are able to identify the priest gene among 90% of men who self-identify as having Jewish priests as ancestors. This is called the Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH). These men carry a characteristic Y chromosome associated with Hebrew priests.

This CMH genetic marker also appears in men with no Cohen/Jewish ancestry. That is because the priesthood of Aaron was inherited from his ancestors long before there was a religion known as Judaism. Jesus is associated with the older priesthood in Hebrews 7:1-21, where we read concerning our Lord, "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

The priesthood of Judaism emerged from the Horite Hebrew priesthood. The word “Horite” appears numerous places in the Bible. I Chronicles 4:4 claims that Bethlehem was a Horite town. The Horite chief Salmon is called the "father of Bethlehem" in 1 Chronicles 2:54. Some of the Horite Hebrew rulers are listed in Genesis 36 (diagrammed below). In Hebrew Bibles the word “Horite” appears as “Horim,” which is what Jews call their ancestors.




The oldest known site of Horite Hebrew worship is at the royal city of Nekhen on the Nile (3800 BC). Archaeologists working at Nekhen discovered a temple with huge pillars made of cedar. Later Hebrew temples are patterned on the temple of Nekhen (Hierakonpolis).




Archaeologists describe the offerings at the Nekhen temple as “ten times larger” than the typical mace heads and bowls offered elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine.

Nekhen had a twin city on the opposite side of the Nile. That sister city was Nekheb (Elkab). The royal tomb of Horemkhawef in Nekhen and the tomb of Sobeknakht in Nekheb were painted by the same artist. Further, Hormose, the chief priest of Nekhen, was able to request material goods from the temple at Elkab for use at the temple at Nekhen.

One of the more intriguing discoveries at Nekhen was the recovery of an almost complete beard in association with the redheaded man in Burial no. 79. The facial hair of the man in Burial no. 79 had been trimmed with a sharp blade. The presence of long wavy natural red hair and a full beard illustrates the genetic diversity that existed in Africa thousands of years ago. The Nekhen News (p. 7) reports, "The vast majority of hair samples discovered at Nekhen were cynotrichous (Caucasian) in type as opposed to heliotrichous (Negroid)."

By 3200 BC, Nekhen had a population estimated at 10,000 inhabitants and was the most important settlement along the Nile. The city stretched for over two miles along the edge of the floodplain and was an important commercial center. There were stone masons, weavers, potters, and beer brewers. Metal workers crafted sacred objects of gold and copper. The earliest preserved house in Egypt (3600 BC) was the house of a Nekhen potter. It was preserved when he accidentally burned it down while firing a load of pots.


Related reading: Sun Cities of the Ancient World; Who Were the Horites?; Twin Cities of the Ancient World; An Akkadian Lexicon; Hebrew, Israelite, Jew; Royal Treaties


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 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