Thursday, July 22, 2010

Features of Horite Religion


Alice C. Linsley


Ancient world societies were characterized by a structure that resembles a caste system with hierarchy of  rulers, priests, scribes and warriors raniked at the top. These societies were centered around the major water systems: great rivers, troughs and large lakes, which were controlled by the rulers.

The rulers were served by priests who stood as intermediaries between God and the people. They were called sarki, a word of African origin. Among the ancient Egyptians the word meant priest. In Hausa sarki is the word for king (See Charles Henry Robinson, Dictionary of Hausa, XXIV Preface). Auran saraki refers to the king's minister and is usually rendered chief.

Horite ruler-priests were also called Ha-biru which is the English word Hebrew. In the Dravidian they were called O-piru. These priests served at the river shrines and temples and are largely responsible for the diffusion of the Afro-Asiatic religious life that took root around the major water systems from west central Africa to the Indus River Valley. This religious life shares distinctive features, all of which are found in the Bible. These features include:

Hereditary priesthood and hereditary kingship: Originally the ruler and the priest were either the same person or the ruler had his own priest, who would have been a member of his family. The royal and priestly lines intermarried to preserve their bloodlines. These ruler-priests, whose lines intermarried, influenced the spread of their religious worldview from west central Africa to Nepal and Cambodia.

Shrines and temples along rivers, or near springs, well or oases: The Afro-Asiatic ruler-priests controlled the ancient water ways. This is why they build their shrines and temples near water. This also explains why Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses all met their wives at wells. These women were the daughters of ruler-priests. About 75% of the women named in the Old Testament are the daughters of priests.  The ancient Kushite rulers made coronation journeys between 3 shrines on the Nile: the temples of Pnubs, Napata (Gebel Barkal) and Gematon (Kawa).

Binary distinctions: The observation of universal opposites in nature such as night-day, male-female, heaven-earth characterized teh ancient Afro-Asiatic worldview. This is quite different from Asian dualism in which teh opposites are of equal value or strength. Among the ancient Afro-Asiatics, one of the two was regarded as superior in some way to the other. The Sun is greater than the Moon which merely reflects ths Sun's light.  Males are bigger and stronger than females.  Heaven is more glorious than Earth, etc. This enabled prophets to discern God’s will by reading the signs in creation and directing the people toward the superior sign. The binary distinctions are observable as the pattern of nature and have been the basis for Law and Ethics for about 12,000 years.

The biblical worldview involves binary opposites and supplementary. Supplementary is about meaning. That is to say that meaning is derived from the relationship of the binary opposites. Supplementary is what makes a relationship meaningful. In fact, meaning is derived from the supplementary nature of two things. I experience hateful acts as evil because I have experience of loving acts and know them to be good. The reverse is also true. The male-female relationship has meaning because of the supplementary nature of male-female. Supplementary doesn’t mean equal, since one of the opposites is perceived as greater in some way. This is how the biblical worldview avoids the dualism.

Fixed order of creation: God created the world and established a predictable fixed order to His creation (Genesis 1; Psalm 104:19-20, Jeremiah 33:19-36). This predictable order is referred to as ‘RTA’ in Hinduism. It is an order which we perceive foremost as having binary opposites: God-Man; Heaven-Earth; Male-Female; Sun-Moon; Night-Day, etc. Because the order is fixed, entities can only be what they were created (as Aristotle recognized in his teleological conversations). What we often call 'change' or evolution is fluctuation in outward form but not change in essence. So water is always water (H2O) though its form fluctuates between liquid, vapor, and ice. This is where the biblical worldview and convergence evolution knock heads. By fixed order the Bible means that God established the order of creation with flexible but fixed boundaries. This means that there is change within species but not macro-evolution from one species to a totally different species, as implied by Darwinians.

Referring to Proverbs 8:33, Ibn Erza holds that the phrase al-tifra-u means something like "don't change the order." The verse says: "Listen to my instruction and become wise. Don't change the order."

The Horites were devotees of Horus and Ra. Horus was regarded as the Deity who established the order in creation and none were to attempt to change that order. Horus set the boundaries of the horizons, the directions of the winds, and the currents of the seas. Horos (oros in Greek) refers to the boundaries of an area, or a landmark, or a term. From horos come the words hour, horizon, horoscope and Horologion (both the book and the wind tower). The association of Horus with the horizon is seen in the word Har-ma-khet, meaning Horus of the Horizon. The association of Horus with the wind is seen in the word Har-mat-tan, referring to the dry wind that seasonally blows across the Sahara.The word horotely describes the rate and boundaries of evolutionary change for a given group of plants or animals.

This Horite understanding of the fixed order of creation is fundamental to their religion and is foundational to a Biblical worldview. Saint Paul spoke of how God has made his eternal nature and divine power known in the order of creation which none can change. The Qur’an does not contain any creation stories such as those found in Genesis. However, Islam recognizes that what God has established is visible in the order of creation. The Qur’an teaches, Verily in the heavens and the earth are signs for those who believe. And in the creation of yourselves, and the fact that animals are scattered (through the earth), are signs for those of assured faith. And in the alternation of night and day, and that fact that Allah sends down sustenance from the sky, and revives therewith the earth after its death, and in the change of the winds, are signs for those who are wise. (45:3-5).

Likewise Romans 1:20 tell us that since the beginning of the world, God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - are clearly perceived by means of that which God created, so that everyone is without excuse.  Paul is not advocated a touchy-feely, smell-a-flower-and-commune-with-Jesus theology. He is expressing the ancient belief that prolonged estudious observation of the fixed and binary order of creation will serve those who seek God to know what God has revealed.


Related reading:  Solar Symbols that Speak of God; Spread of the Afro-Asiatic Worldview; Who Were the Horites?; The Christ in Nilotic Mythology; The Substance of Abraham's Faith; The Nilotic Origin of the Ainu; The Horite Ancestry of Jesus Christ


 

5 comments:

Ron said...

Doesn't the binary distinction/fixed boundary between Uncreated Creator and Creation permit macro-evolution while preserving the essence of creatures as creatures?

Alice C. Linsley said...

The binary distictions observed universally appear to be fixed by the Creator. Meaning is derived through contemplation of the relationship of the binary opposites. For example, we understand supplementarity by observing the relationship of male-female. Theology is the contemplation of the relationship between Creator and creation, between God and Humankind. The theory of macro-evolution is predicated on an ideology that rejects the fixed boundaries of the Bible. In fact, it finds the idea of fixed boundaries to be ridiculous. This ideology and the biblical worldview are not reconcilable.

The ancient Greek philosophers observed the binary distinctions and what appeared to be evolution of a species was called "flux". Flux, unlike macro-evolution, is evident in Nature. Water fluctuates between gas, liquid, solid and vapor but remains in its essence H2O. Is that which Macro-Evolutionists claim to be change across the boundaries flux or change in essence? If there is essential change, then the ancients were wrong in assuming that the order of creation is fixed. What do you think?

Ron said...

Is that which Macro-Evolutionists claim to be change across the boundaries flux or change in essence?

That's the question, isn't it? I don't know the answer. It depends on how they define "essence."

But let me turn the question around. Genesis 1 makes much of the boundaries ("according to their kinds"), but Genesis 2 describes significant changes that may cross boundaries. Is that which Genesis describes as change flux or change in essence?

Man is part of creation because "God formed the man from the dust of the ground." But Man's life derives from God in a way that sets him apart from the rest of Creation because God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

Does Man's formation from dust represent flux or essential change? Genesis 3 suggests it is flux ("dust thou art"). If the change from dust to Man is not essential, what does that say about macro-evolution?

Does Man becoming a living being represent flux or essential change? This would seem to be an essential change denoted by "became" as opposed to "formed." (You'll have to confirm the accuracy of the English translation. I don't read Hebrew.)

Your posts are always thought-provoking. Thank you.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Ron, You make an excellent observation concerning the difference between the 2 creation stories. Genesis 1 presents binary distinctions: dark-light; dry land-seas; heaven-earth. It is cosmological in nature and presents a pyramid or hierarchy of creation with plants at the bottom and humans at the top. This sets the framework for Eve's sin (Genesis 3). She was the last to be created - the crown of creation - yet she subjected her dignity to the serpent, a creature well below her on the hierarchy. (This is also why bestiality was forbidden among the ancient Afro-Asiatics.)

The Genesis 1 creation story appears to be influenced by Bablyonian thought. The Genesis 2-3story is more African. Here we have a localized account within a large well-watered garden with a tree of life marking the sacred center. The man is made from the dust and the woman receives her life from the man. The man receives life from the breath/wind/spirit (Hebrew: ruach) of God. The woman is of the same essence as the man. Both are "of the dust/earth" (not of the Heavens) yet they are animated by the Heavenly Spirit of God. This is what humans are in essence according to the biblical view. This essence is unchanging as long as this world and the present order of creation exists.

I don't see change in essence in either creation story.

The ethical implications of the biblical worldview are huge. I teach my students that Ethics is the study of boundaries and how by recognizing and honoring boundaries humans can enjoy justice.

Joseph Messner said...

Though I don't understand the far ranging implications of your hypotheses, they certainly give me a lot to think about. Thanks for your posts!!