|Bronze bull head|
Alice C. Linsley
The Peshitta is a version of the entire Bible read by Syrian Christians. This is the Bible that St. Ephrem the Syrian knew. In the Peshitta, Genesis 8:4 says that Noah's Ark landed in the “mountains of Quardu.” Quardu is an Akkadian word formed of kur - land of /controlled by + dû - hill, and the term refers to warlike hill people, like the Scythians. (See The Origin of Kurds, p. 77.)
(Note the similarity to the Arabic Đū Shará (ذو شرى) which means "Lord/King of the Mountain.")
These people of Quardu are related to or associated with the Jats of Punjab and the Gutians (bull people). The horns of the bull were a solar cradle that indicated divine appointment by overshadowing. Images of Hathor, the mother of Horus, show her overshadowed by the Sun resting in the long horns of a bull. Divine appointment of the Horite Hebrew ruler was indicated by the solar cradle Y at the beginning of the ruler's name: Yishmael, Yitzak, Yacob, Yeshua, etc. and by the ili/itti suffix in the Akkadian and Nilotic languages. Akkadian is the language of Nimrud's territory and he was a Kushite kingdom builder (Gen. 10:8).
The rulers of Quardu (Kardu) are known to have had red hair, like the Horites of the hill country of Edom. Esau, the Red, lived in the hill country of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36). Archaic populations lived along the ridges in rock shelters (kar or kur) and later in fortified shrine cities called "high places" in the Bible. These mountain peoples were in the R1b Haplogroup, the same genetic group as Noah and his sons.
|The dark red spot in Central Africa is Noah's homeland.|
This is the region of Lake Chad.
The Peshitta appears to have preserved the connection between the R1b peoples who had dispersed into Turkey and Iran. This represents the eastern tradition of the older African account of Noah, a ruler in the region of Lake Chad.
There appears to be traces of the older account in Arabic also. The identification of Noah's Ark with Ararat probably represents a misreading of the Arabic word herarat - حرار - which means vehemence. Har-arat, better translated, would mean Mountain of Vehemence. This fits the story of divine wrath expressed in extensive catastrophic flooding.
Noah's ark is often linked to Armenia, but Armenia is likely a corruption of Har Meni, Mount Meni. This coupled with the data of the Genesis king lists and the DNA studies supports the theory that Noah lived in central Africa. One of his grandsons was Kush, the father of Nimrod, the sent-away kingdom builder (Gen. 10:8). Another red spot on the map above shows the homeland of Kush in the Upper Nile.
There is the parallel between har-meni and har-arat. The conjunction "meni" in the Afro-Asiatic languages means "then, after that" and may refer to a time after the flood's devastation or to continuing turbulence in nature. Har-meni (mountain of "then, after that") and Har-arat (mountain of vehemence) convey the concept of a prolonged and intense encounter with God's visible power.
The word "meni" appears only once in the Bible, in Isaiah 65:11, where it is paralleled with the word gad, meaning good fortune. This suggests a connection between meni and encounters with God on mountain tops because where the word gad appears there is often a contextual reference to sacrifice offered on mountains. We recall that Noah offered burnt sacrifice on the mountain in thanksgiving for his deliverance (Gen. 8:20) and that God established a covenant with Noah and his descendants.
The Gikuyu of East Africa tell this story of the experience of their first parents, Gikuyu and Mumbi:
There was wind and rain. And there was also thunder and terrible lightening. The earth and the forest around Mount Kerinyaga shook. The animals in the forest whom the Creator had recently put there were afraid. There was no sunlight. This went on for many days so that the whole land was in darkness. Because the animals could not move, they sat and moaned with the wind. The plants and trees remained dumb.
It was, our elders tell us, all dead except for the thunder, a violence that seemed to strangle life. It was this dark night whose depth you could not measure, not you nor I can conceive of its solid blackness, which would not let the sun pierce through it.The wording is like that of an Akkadian flood. The 1646 to 1626 BC account begins with the creation of man and quickly moves to the flood. The saga gives this description: "The flood roared like a bull, Like a wild ass screaming, the winds howled.The darkness was total, there was no sun."
The Gikuyu story continues:
But in the darkness, at the foot of Mount Kerinyaga, a tree rose. At first it was a small tree and it grew up, finding a way even through the darkness. It wanted to reach the light and the sun. This tree had Life. It went up, sending forth the rich warmth of a blossoming tree - you know, a holy tree in the dark night of thunder and moaning. This was Mukuyu, God's tree.
Now you know that at the beginning of things there was only one man (Gikuyu) and one woman (Mumbi). It was under this Mukuyu that He first put them. And immediately the sun rose and the dark night melted away. The sun shone with a warmth that gave life and activity to all things. The wind and the lightening and thunder stopped. The animals stopped moaning and moved, giving homage to the Creator and to Gikuyu and Mumbi. And the Creator, who is also called Murungu, took Gikuyu and Mumbi from his holy mountain to the country of the ridges near Siriana and there stood them on a big ridge.
Here we have language reminiscent of Abraham's encounter on a wild and windy mountain where salvation through the promised Son was revealed to him. William H. Willimon wrote: "The sky darkens, the wind howls and a young man walks up another Moriah, driven by a God who demands everything and who stops at nothing. He carries a cross on his back rather than sticks for a fire, but like Abraham, he is obedient to a wild and restless God who is determined to have his way with us, no matter what the cost."
Related reading: Africa in the Days of Noah; Peaks and Valleys; Sacred Mountains and Pillars; The Animals on Noah's Ark; The Historicity of Noah's Flood; What Abraham Discovered on Mt. Moriah