Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Substance of Abraham's Faith

Abraham's territory in Edom between Hebron and Beersheba and Engedi and Gerar.
Aaron was buried in Edom.

Alice C. Linsley

Abraham is the central figure of the book of Genesis. He is presented as a man of faith who acted on his faith and was justified by faith.
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (James 2:21-24)

But what was the substance of Abraham's faith?  That important question can be answered by investigation of Abraham's cultural context using Genesis and extra-biblical sources of information such as linguistics, kinship analysis, archaeology, anthropology and DNA studies. When we bring together the evidence of these disciplines we draw the following conclusions:

Abraham's people originated in Eden

Abraham's people originated in the Upper Nile region which includes western Sudan, southern Ethiopia and northern Somalia. This is the region of ancient Eden (eden is related to the Nilo-Saharan word egan, meaning garden). It was here that the first Bible promise was made to Abraham's ancestors. The Edenic Promise of Genesis 3:15 foretells how the Woman would bring forth a son who would crush the serpent's head and restore paradise.

This Horite Hebrew expectation was expressed about 1000 years before Psalm 91 in the Pyramid Texts. "Horus has shattered (tbb, crushed) the mouth of the serpent with the sole of his foot (tbw)" (Utterance 388)

As the sun was the symbol of the Creator and his Son, divine appointment was expressed by overshadowing. When the Virgin Mary asked how she was to become the mother of the Messiah, The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)

The region of Eden is where we find the oldest agricultural practices, metal-working, circumcision of priests, and the oldest Hebrew (Habiru) temples and shrines.

The Genesis king lists indicate that Abraham's ancestors migrated from ancient Kush to Mesopotamia. Nimrod, the son of Kush (Gen. 10:8), built a vast kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley. This Kushite migration has been confirmed by DNA studies. Nimrod's brother was Ramaah who settled to the southeast of Dedan in northern Arabia.

Abraham's people were Horite Hebrew

The term "Horite" pertains to Horus, who the Horite Hebrew regarded as the "son" of God. This God Father-God Son relationship is central to the Messianic Faith of Abraham and his Horite Hebrew caste of ruler-priests. At Hierakonpolis (Nekhen) on the Nile the Horite Hebrew established the oldest known Horus shrine (c. 3800 B.C.). The Horite priesthood of Abraham's ancestors was dedicated to a Divine Triad of the Creator God and his Uniquely Begotten Son by a Chosen Woman and the Generative Word. That sounds very much like the Holy Trinity!

Abraham's people believed in a supreme creator God with lesser assisting semi-divine powers in a hierarchical ranking, like a pyramid. This is called henotheism. Each clan was headed by a hereditary ritual leader and had guardians from among the lesser powers (along the idea of guardian angels). In ancient Egypt these powers were represented by animals totems. Only one power was represented as a man - Horus - God's uniquely begotten son. The biblical priesthood and the Messianic Faith originate among the devotees of Horus. The Horite Hebrew priesthood was restricted to males and was concerned with ritual purity, especially the avoidance of blood guilt.

Abraham's people hoped for a Righteous Ruler

The Horite Hebrew anticipated a Righteous Ruler to be born of their caste. His identity would be confirmed by his third day resurrection. The Horite Hebrew expectation that the Righteous Son would not remain in the grave is expressed in Psalm 16:10: "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."

The New Testament speaks about Jesus as the ruler-priest. He is the firstborn from the grave and by his resurrection He delivers to the Father a "peculiar people." He leads us in the ascent to the Father where we receive heavenly recognition because we belong to Him.

Heavenly recognition for the Horites was never an individual prospect. Heavenly recognition came to the people through the righteousness of their ruler-priest. Horite Hebrew rulers took this seriously, some more than others. The best were heavenly minded and the worst were so earthy minded that they shed much blood enlarging their territories. All failed to be the Ruler-Priest who rose from the dead. Therefore, none have the power to deliver captives from the grave and to lead them to the throne of heaven (Ps. 68:18; Ps. 7:7; Eph. 4:8). That one true ruler-priest is Jesus, the Son of God.

Abraham's people trace their lineage from two founders

Genesis presents two founding ancestors for Abraham's people. One is Adam, the archetypal first Man and the other is the historical patriarch Enoch. Adam and Eve are etymological, not proper names.  "Adam" is traceable to "dam" in the Chadic and Kushitic languages, which means red and refers to the earth which the ancient Kushites believed was the source of blood. So we are told that the first man was made from the red earth. The first historical persons in Genesis are Kain, Seth and their wives, the daughters of a chief named Enoch. The name Enoch is probably the name Nok which pertains to a region west of Lake Chad as well as to an historical individual.

Genesis poses Adam as the first man and Enoch as the first ancestor of the historical persons listed in Genesis 4, 5 and 11.  The biblical writers understood this because the names Adam and Enoch are parallel in Psalm 8, verse 4:

What is man (Enoch) that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man (ben adam) that you care for him?

Here we see that the historical first ancestor Enoch is paralled with the archetypal first man Adam. This means that the author of the Psalm understood the difference between the two figures, and we should as well, if we want to understand Genesis.

The Horite ruler-priests are Jesus Christ's ancestors

Analysis of the king lists of Genesis 4, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 36 reveals a distinctive marriage and ascendancy pattern that is unique to the Horite Hebrew ruler-priest caste. The pattern involves two wives, as with Lamech (Genesis 4); Abraham, Jacob and Elkanah.

The wife of the ruler-priest's youth was his half-sister. Before ascending to rule over his clan, tehre is a second marriage to a patrilineal cousin. The first-born son of the first wife is the proper heir of his father. The first-born son of the cousin wife served as a vizier in the territory of his maternal grandfather, after whom he was named. This is called the "cousin-wife's naming prerogative." This hints at a pattern that will be fulfilled when Jesus Messiah takes His second wife, the Church.

The origins of the faith of Messiah (Christ), the Son of God, came to Abraham, not as special revelation, but as a tradition received from his forefathers. The distinctive traits of this tradition align remarkable well with the key features of catholic (universal) faith and practice, suggesting that Christianity is one one true Messianic Faith:

  • All-male ruler-priests who were mediators between God and the defiled
  • A binary (versus dualistic) worldview
  • Blood sacrifice at altars whereby sin was propitiated
  • Expectation of the appearing of the Son of God in the flesh
  • God's will on earth as in heaven - interpreted by morehs (prophets)
  • Belief in an eternal and undivided Kingdom delivered by the Father to the Son.

Because of God's promise in Eden, Abraham and his ancestors lived in expectation of the Son of God and taught their children to do so. Their priestly lines intermarried exclusively in expectation that the Seed of the Woman would come of their priestly lines. The Edenic Promise was a central belief of the Horite Hebrew tradition. They believed that the son would be born of the Woman of Genesis 3:15.  She would conceive by being "overshadowed" just as was announced to Mary by the angel (Luke 1:35).

The Virgin Birth is one of many signs that the One born to Mary is the Son of God. This is not about the birth of the Sun at the winter solstice. This is not a reworking of the Egyptian tale of Horus. The Horus archetype provides the pattern whereby Abraham's descendants would recognize Messiah. It points us to the Virgin who gave birth to the Son of God under humble circumstances. In the Horus myth, Hathor gives birth in a cave. In Orthodoxy, icons of the Nativity show the Theotokos with the newly born Christ in a cave.

Christianity is an organic religion that emerges out of a belief that God made a promise in Eden and that He has been busy fulfilling that promise in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The core of Christianity can be traced to the beliefs of Abraham and his ancestors. It predates all the great world religions. Christianity isn't original, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in great antiquity, and herein rests its authority.

Related reading: The Ra-Horus-Hathor NarrativeArchaic Rulers, Ascendancy and the Foreshadowing of ChristTwo Named Esau; Jesus: From Lamb to Ram; Ram Symbolism in the Ancient World; Did Abraham Believe Isaac Could be the Messiah?; The Calling of Abraham

No comments: