Alice C. Linsley
Analysis of the Genesis King Lists makes it clear that the Horites - Abraham's ruler-priest caste - observed a unique and distinctive marriage and ascendancy pattern from Predynastic times to the time of Jesus.
Analysis of this pattern reveals intermarriage between ruling lines (endogamy). Horite sons married Horite daughters. The ruler had two wives. The bride of his youth was his half-sister and the second wife was a patrilineal cousin or niece. So Abraham's first wife was his half-sister Sarah and his second wife was his patrilineal cousin Keturah.
It is possible to trace these lines because the cousin bride's naming prerogative. The cousin brides named their firstborn sons after their fathers. So Lamech, son of Methuselah, was named by his mother, Methuselah's cousin, after her father, Lamech the Elder. Esau the Younger was named after his maternal grandfather, Esau the Elder, a contemporary of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36). The firstborn sons of cousin brides served as advisers to their maternal uncles when they came to rule over the territories of their fathers.
This pattern is found as early as Cain and Seth who married the daughters of Enoch (Nok). Their firstborn sons were named after their wives' father (Gen. 4:17 and Gen 5:6). All of these men were ruler-priests, as this pattern pertained only to ruler-priests. Enoch is a royal title.
The Antiquity of the Horite Priesthood
This means that the priesthood of Israel did not begin with Aaron. There were Horite priests in all the shrine cities of the ancient world, from the Chad Basin to the Indus River Valley. When the Horites came out of Egypt under Moses, they attacked Horites. This is certainly the most obvious explanation for the destruction of Hazor, for example.
Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy structure of Moses' family reveals the distinctive pattern of the Horite ruler-priest caste. Moses had two wives. His Kushite wife was his half-sister, as was Sarah to Abraham. The pattern of Moses' family is identical to that of the rulers listed in Genesis 4, 5 and 11 and to that of Abraham's father Terah and Samuel's father Elkanah." It appears that all of these great men of the Bible were Horites.
Jesus our Great High Priest
Jesus' priesthood is "in the order of Melchizedek" and that is said to be an eternal priesthood. Through Melchizedek, the priesthood of God is associated with the Jebusite settlement of Jerusalem. Abdi-hepa was a Jebusite king who ruled Jerusalem three centuries before its conquest by David. This distinguishes the priesthood of God from other priesthoods that do not recognize the ancient prophecies concerning Mount Zion and the House of David. Interestingly, according to 2 Samuel 24, David built a fire altar at the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. Here David is shown as a ruler-priest and shepherd, the very 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.
David's priestly lineage comes through both Judah and Tamar. He was descended from Tamar, the daughter of a priest who, according to Jewish tradition, was called Melchizedek-Shem. Tamar's punishment, as demanded by Judah, was that set in Lev. 21:9 for a priest's daughter found guilty of prostitution.
David was also of the priestly line of Ram (Ruth 4:19). Ram is a common name among the priestly lines. One of Shem's sons was named A'ram (Gen. 10:22) and the priestly lines of Aaron and Korah are traced through their father Am'ram.
There are 2 main priestly lines from Genesis through the Exodus and these lines intermarried. The lines are those of Cain and Seth, Ham and Shem, Sheba and Joktan, Levi and Judah, and Korah and his half-brother Aaron. Moses' father had 2 wives (see diagram). By Ishar, he had Korah whose name means 'shaved one' and designates a priest of Egypt. By Jochebed, he had Moses and Aaron. So we see 2 lines of priests from Genesis to Exodus.
In the time of David this was the case also. David was consecrated king by Samuel, the son of the priest Elkanah. Elkanah had 2 wives, Hannah and Peninnah (1 Samuel 1:2). We aren't told the identity of Peninnah's first born son, but we can assume that he would have been in line to serve as priest. Since Samuel was Elkanah's only son by Hannah, Samuel was a priest as well as a prophet. That is why he offered blood sacrifice and burnt offerings. But Elkanah's line (through 2 first born sons) was not the only line of priests during David's time. There was also the priest Eli, whose 2 sons acted as priests at Shiloh (1 Samuel 1:3) at the time Elkanah served as priest.
Mary and Joseph, both Horites
Marriage and ascendancy patterns are highly resistant to change. If the pattern survived Egyptian captivity and deportation to Babylon, it surely continued afterwards. In fact, it appears to have continued to the time of Jesus and then stopped, as if the pattern had fulfilled its purpose once Messiah was born.
Applied to Mary and Joseph, this kinship pattern indicates that they were cousins and both of priestly lines. These lines had been intermarrying from before Abraham's time and continued to intermarry up to the birth of Jesus Christ. Joseph's family lived in Nazareth which was the home of the eighteenth division of priests, that of Happizzez (1 Chronicles 24:15).
Jesus' mother's name was named Miriam daughter of Joachim Son of Pntjr (Panther) Priests of Nathan of Beth Lehem. From predynastic times, ntjr designated the ruler among the Kushites. The name Panther or p-ntjr meant "God is King."
It is certain that Mary was of the ruler-priest caste because even those who hated her admit this. Sanhedrin 106a says: “She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters.”
Abraham's people traced bloodline through the mother but social status and occupation was inherited through the father. So Joseph was a carpenter like his father. This continued to New Testament times as we see in the case of St. Paul who was a tent maker like his father.
Jesus was the Son of God, born to "the Woman" according to the ancient expectation (Gen. 3:15). Mary was the proper bride for Joseph since she was of a priestly line. He too was of a priestly line descending from Judah and Ram, David's ancestors. Joseph of Nazareth married the daughter of a priest as did Joseph in Egypt and Moses in Midian.
Why did Abraham's people preserve this unique pattern of intermarriage between priestly lines? The only explanation is that they really did believe that the expected Messiah would be born of their bloodline. This is what Jesus indicated when he said to the Jewish authorities, "Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad." (John 8:56)
Likewise, John the Forerunner's testimony concerning Jesus as "the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) springs from direct knowledge of the tradition of his Horim (Horites) that the Son of God was coming into the world to save sinners.
Related reading: Jesus' Horite Ancestry; The Blessed Woman of Genesis 3:15