Abraham, Moses, Samuel and David were all Horite (Horim) as evidenced by the common marriage and ascendancy pattern of their fathers. Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy structure of their families reveals the distinctive pattern of the Horite ruler-priest caste.
The pattern of Moses' family is identical to that of the proto-Saharan rulers listed in Genesis 4, 5 and 11 and to that of Abraham's father Terah and Samuel's father Elkanah." David's father was a ruler-priest of the horite city of Bethlehem. It appears that all of these great men were Horites.
Alice C. Linsley
As an anthropologist, I find the Bible to be a useful resource for understanding the people from whom we receive Holy Tradition concerning the Son or "Seed" of God (Gen. 3:15). I read the Bible differently than a pastor or a theologian would read it. I collect data and correlate what I collect with findings in archaeology, anthropology and linguistics. This approach to the Bible has persuaded me of the reliability of the Biblical record, especially when it comes to the kinship data concerning Abraham and his Horite people.
The Horites are the direct ancestors of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1-17) and understanding their way of life and religious beliefs helps us to understand who Jesus is.
When someone asks about the ethnicity of a Biblical figure, they usually want to know about that person's appearance. The Bible tells us very little about the physical appearance of most Biblical persons. This is probably because people were less concerned about what we call "racial" distinctions. The genetic mix of the inhabitants of the ancient Afro-Asiatic world was extremely varied. There were black and red Nubians.
|Red and black Nubians|
The Egyptians were reddish-brown, dark brown and black. The Edomites were lighter with dark wavy hair and a reddish skin tone. David is described as having a red skin tone, reflecting his connection to the Horites of Edom (Gen. 36). The Ainu (Hannu) were lighter with a reddish tone and some had green eyes. Ainu rulers wore beards.
Although both Abraham and David are portrayed in films and images as European or Middle Eastern Jews, neither was Jewish. Both lived before a people called "Jews" can be identified. Abraham lived between 980-1200 years before David and about 2200-2400 years before Jesus. (See Thoughts on Calculating the Dates of the Patriarchs.)
This Jewish writer, when asked if David was Jewish, defines Jewishness and then evades the question that must be answered. One is a Jew if his mother is Jewish or if he properly converts to Judaism. So, David was a Jew if his mother was, and his mother was not. Neither was Abraham's mother a Jew. She was a Horite.
Seeing this is difficult because there are discrepancies in ethnic labels surrounding this caste of ruler-priests who originated in the Nile valley. For example, it is likely that Horites and Hurrians are the same people. The Hebrew root is hr. Hur was Moses' brother-in-law. Moses' family was also Horite, as evidenced by his father's marriage and ascendancy pattern. The name takes many forms including Na-hor, Hur, Haran, Harun (Aaron), and Harwa. The Horites were a caste, which means that they exclusively intermarried, a trait of all castes. It is called endogamy. The Edomites were Horites and one of their principal cities Petra reflects Horite beliefs.
The Bible does not explicity state the ethnicity of the mothers of Abraham and David. However, analysis of the genealogial data clarifies that they were both ancestors of Jesus Christ. Their people lived in expectation of the appearing of the Son of God, according to the promise that was made to their ancestors in Eden (Gen. 3:15). This points to the core family around which the tradition and expectation of the Son of God developed. Research on their identity makes it fairly certain that both women were of the Horite ruler-priest caste. Horite priests married the chaste daughters of Horite priests who maintained shrines along rivers or at wells. This is why so many of the leading figures of the Bible meet their wives at wells.
Horites Were Ethnically Kushite
Kushite wives are found among the Horite clans and many of the greatest figures of Biblical history married Kushite brides. Abraham and Moses did. Moses' Kushite wife was his first bride and his half-sister. Zipporah was his second wife and his patrilineal cousin. Abraham had two Kushite wives: Sa-ra and Ketu-ra. Their names represent two Horite clans, as evidenced by the Horite name for the Supreme God: Ra.
The ruler-priests of Abraham's people maintained their two wives in separate households on a north-south axis. This is what is revealed by analysis of the kinship pattern of Genesis 4-5 and Genesis 11. I Chronicles 2:13-16 lists David’s siblings, but doesn’t mention that some of these children may be the offspring of Jesse by two wives. Jesse of Bethlehem was a typical Horite shepherd-priest, and Bethlehem was a Horite settlement.
David of the Horite Settlement of Bethlehem
David was born about 1040 B.C. He was the eighth and youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem, a Horite shepherd-priest. The settlement was originally known for the sacrifice of sheep and rams. The meat was distributed to the poor, which is why the settlement was originally called "House of Meat." This meaning is retained in the Arabic name for the town: . There is no record of David's mother's name. His father Jesse was likely a priest and shepherd and he probably had two wives. One wife (David's mother) was in Bethlehem and the other wife was probably in Hebron. This would explain why David was anointed first in Bethlehem and later anointed as king of Judah in Hebron (II Samuel 2:1-4).
We note also that before being anointed as the ruler, David had married two wives following the custom of his ruler-priest ancestors. This parallels Isaac's story, in which Abraham must find his son a second wife (Rebecca) before he dies so that Isaac may become the ruler over his territory. Rebecca was Isaac's cousin bride. Isaac's half-sister bride would have been living in Beersheba, which is where the servant brings Rebecca to wed Isaac.
David's first two wives are likely a half-sister and a patrilineal cousin. Ahinoam of Jezreel would have been his cousin bride, as Jezreel is just north of Hebron. Abigail of Carmel was probably his half-sister bride, as Carmel is south of Hebron.  She is probably the Abigail named as David's sister in I chronicles 2:16. She had married Nabal who refused to help David when he needed provisions for his men.
Now the question arises as to the identity of David’s mother. What should this matter? Because according to the custom of Abraham’s people, ethnicity or bloodline is traced matrilineally. Even today Jewish Law defines a Jew as one of three things:
• Someone who is matrilineally descended from Jacob (Israel) by any of his wives
• Someone who has properly converted
• Someone who is matrilineally descended from a proper convert.
The first is the only definition that can be applied to Abraham and David since both men lived before the Babylonian Captivity which marks the beginning of Jewish identity, and among their people ethnicity was traced through the mothers. This being the case, the critical question is what was the ethnic identity of David's mother?
According to the Talmud (a later source than the Bible) David's mother was called Nitzevet (tractate Bava Batra 91a). Her father was Adael. Adael is the masculine equivalent of the name Adah. Adah was the wife of Lamech the Elder, and the mother of Jubal and Jabal (Gen. 4). This is also the name of one of Esau the Elder’s wives. So Adah and Adael is a family name traced back to the lines of Cain and Seth (which intermarried). Both versions of the name are traceable to the Kenites, the descendents of Cain who intermarried with Seth's line. So David is kin to the Kenites. This explains why David sent the spoils of war to the cities of Judah and to the Kenites (1Samuel 30:29).
We are familiar of the story of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, who killed Sissera by driving a tent peg through his temple while he slept (Judges 4:21). Here we find a connection between the Kenites and the Hebrews. Heber means friend in Hebrew. It was given to Abraham, the friend of God.
David's ancestry is traced through the following women: Tamar, the daughter of a priest. Tamar, the Righteous, tricked Judah into impregnating her. When Judah discovered that she was pregnant, he ordered that she be burned to death. This was the sentence for daughters of priests who committed adultery or harlotry. The Horites, called Khar by the Egyptians, were ruler-priests who married chaste daughters of priests who ruled over water shrines.
Rahab of Jericho was the wife of Salmon the Horite, the Son of Hur (Hor). Salmon is called the "father of Bethlehem" in 1 Chronicles 2:54. Rahab became the grandmother of Boaz who married Ruth. Salmon (also Salma or Solomon) is a Horite name and is associated with Bethlehem (1 Chronicles 2:51). The evidence concerning David's ethnicity points to Kenites and Horites who intermarried.
Abraham's Horite Mother
Abraham’s mother is not named in the Bible, but according to tradition she was the daughter of a priest associated with the Horite shrine of Karnach in ancient Nubia (Upper Nile). This is evident from the name of her father, called "Karnevo" in the Babylonian Talmud. Karnevo would have been a Horite since the shrine of Karnach was dedicated to Horus, called the “son of God”.
The Genesis genealogical information indicates that her father was Na’Hor. We are able to determine this because she named her first born son Na'Hor, according to the cousin bride's naming prerogative. Na' Hor is a Horite name, which means that Abraham's mother was Horite. That means that Abraham was Horite and David is a direct descendant of Abraham and his Horite kin, David also had Horite blood. This explains also why all of David's sons are called "priests" in II Samuel.
Related reading: Endogamy and Jewish Identity; The Nilotic Origin of the Ainu; Kushite Diversity and Unity; Who Were the Horites?; Abraham's Horite Mother Challenge to Shaye Cohen's Portrayal of Abraham; Moses' Wives and Brothers