Alice C. Linsley
My sister recently took a course in Anthropology which exposed her to the discipline of kinship analysis. On the final exam 25% of the questions dealt with kinship. This question in particular posed a real challenge: “The biblical pattern of tracing genealogy is patrilineal.” The answer that the professor wanted was “True.” Since my sister has followed my Genesis research for many years she knew that this statement is only true in part. In fact, the biblical Hebrew had a pattern of double unilineal descent pattern, in which both the patrilineage and the matrilineage are recognized and honored, but in different ways.
Analysis of the structure of the Genesis "begats" reveals that lineage was traced through both the father and the mother (double descent). The double descent pattern is evident in the cousin bride's naming prerogative.
All the rulers of Genesis had two wives. One was a half-sister (as was Sarah to Abraham) and the other was a patrilineal cousin (as was Keturah to Abraham). The first wife was the sister bride, married at a fairly young age. She was the wife of the man's youth. The second wife was taken close to the time of the man's ascent to the throne.
The firstborn son of the sister wife ascended to the throne of his biological father. So Isaac ruled over Abraham's territory. The firstborn son of the cousin wife served the throne of his maternal grandfather, after whom he was named. So Abraham's son Joktan (Yaqtan) ascended to the throne of his maternal grandfather. Likewise, Lamech the Younger served in the court of his maternal grandfather, Lamech the Elder.
Lamech the Younger is named in Genesis 5:26. He was the son of Methuselah by his cousin wife, Naamah, the daughter of Lamech the Elder (Gen. 4:20-22). The pattern is shown in this diagram.
The line of the cousin wife is traced through the cousin bride’s naming prerogative. For example: Irad’s daughter married her patrilineal cousin and named their first born son Jarad after her father. Irad and Jarad are linguistically equivalent names. Irad/Yrd is mentioned in Genesis 4:18 and Jarad/Yrd is mentioned in Genesis 5:15.
The pattern continues to the time of Jesus Messiah. Lamech had two wives: Adah and Zillah. Abraham had two wives: Sarah and Keturah. Jacob had two wives: Rachel and Leah. Moses's father had two wives: Jochebed and Izhar. Moses had two wives: the "Kushite" bride and the Midianite bride, Zipporah. Samuel's father Elkanah had two wives: Penninah and Hannah. This was the pattern for the Horite Hebrew rulers who practiced endogamy.
Amram's cousin wife was Ishar/Izhar. She named their firstborn son Korah after her father. Korah the Younger ascended to the throne of his maternal grandfather. This means that Jochebed was Amram's half-sister wife. All of the people in this diagram are descendants of or kin to Seir the Horite (Gen. 36).
Note that there are two named Esau in the diagram above. This suggests that Esau the Elder's daughter married Isaac and named their firstborn son after her father, according to the cousin-bride's naming prerogative. This would mean that Esau was not a twin to Jacob, but his half-brother. As such they would not have been in competition to rule over Isaac's territory. As Isaac's firstborn son by his cousin wife, Esau would rule over the territory of his maternal grandfather in the hill country of Seir/Edom (which is what he did). Jacob would have been sent away from Esau to rule in another place, which is what happened.
The Cousin/Niece Naming Prerogative
The cousin/niece bride's naming prerogative pertained to noble wives, not to concubines. Each ruler had two concubines. These were handmaids to his wives. So Jacob had two wives: Rachel and Leah and two concubines: Bilhah and Zilpah. Bilhah was Rachel's maid and Zilpah was Leah's maid. Likewise, Abraham had two concubines: Hagar (Sarah's maid) and Masek (Keturah's maid).
Only the firstborn sons ascended to rule over the maternal and paternal thrones. This is a Kushite marriage pattern and is found among the Kushite pharaohs. For example, the Kushite ruler Amenhotep III was the father of Akhenaten the Younger who was named by Amenhotep's cousin wife after her father. This means that Akhenaten the Younger ascended to the throne of his maternal grandfather, after whom he was named. Egypt under the Kushites always had two thrones and Horus who was called the "son of God" was said to be the one who united the peoples.
The firstborn son of the half-sister wife ascended to the throne of his biological father. So Isaac was Abraham's heir. The firstborn son of the cousin/niece wife ascended to the throne of his maternal grandfather. So Joktan, Abraham's son by Keturah, ascended to the throne of Joktan the Elder, after whom he was named. Other sons were given gifts and sent away to establish territories of their own. Many of the Bible's greatest figures were sent-away sons. This marriage and ascendency pattern drove Kushite expansion and has been confirmed by DNA studies.
The Anthropolgical Evidence
The “begets” of Genesis 4 and 5 present a very old kinship pattern which I have diagrammed and analyzed using E.L. Schusky’s Manual for Kinship Analysis, one of the most important books of the 20th century because it presents a method for understanding ancient kinship patterns such as described in the Bible. Kinship patterns are like cultural signatures. Once a pattern is identified, it can be used to trace the original homeland of a people or peoples. This means that analysis of the kinship pattern presented in Genesis 4 and 5 can direct us to the homeland of Abraham’s ancestors. Although Abraham never lived in Africa, his ancestors did. They were ethnically Kushite and the antecedants of the Abrahamic faith are found in ancient Kush.
Analysis of the pattern shows that Cain and Seth married the daughters of a Kushite chief named Enoch. These brides named their first-born sons after their father. So it is that Cain's firstborn son is Enoch and Seth's firstborn son is Enosh. The names are linguistically equivalent and derived from the Kushitic root NK, not from Hebrew. Nok's territory was in west central Africa which was part of the ancient Afro-Asiaric Dominion referred to in Genesis 11:1.
|The Afro-Asiatic Dominion as established by Genetic Analysis|
Before a man could become chief in his father's place, he had to have 2 wives. The wives maintained separate households on a north-south axis. Their households marked the boundaries of the chief’s territory.
The wives were placed on a north-south axis rather than on an east-west axis because these chiefs, with the exception of Lamech the Elder, did not want to set themselves up as God, whose emblem was the sun which makes a daily journey from east to west. Lamech's wives were Adah (dawn) and t-Zillah (dusk), suggesting that he regarded himself as equal to God.
Where does one find this kinship pattern today? The pattern is found among Nilotic and Kushitic rulers and metal working chiefs in Niger, Sudan, Nigeria, Horn of Africa and Arabia. Emmanuel Kenshu Vubo, of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Buea, Cameroon, has done a good deal of research on this among the peoples of Cameroon.
Related reading: Moses's Horite Hebrew Family; The Afro-Asiatic Dominion; Sent-Away Sons; Kushite Brides; The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 1 of a 7-part series)