Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Ruler Seth

Alice C. Linsley


Late Neolithic period (ca. 4000-3000 B.C.)
          - Nilotic pastoralists who were sedentary for part of the year
          - Dead buried with their faces toward the rising sun
          - Hierakonpolis, the most ancient Nilotic temple; dedicated to Horus. Here a 4000 B.C. tomb painting of two red ochre men. They carry crooked staffs and flails, suggesting that they are pre-dynastic ruler-priests.
          - Wine making equipment found in the tomb of the Scorpion I (c. 3150 B.C.)

Noah was drunk with wine on at least one occasion and the outcome wasn't good. Likewise, Lot's drunken stupor led to unfortunate events. Genesis is critical of excessive wine consumption.

The Saharan Wet Period (c. 4000-2000 B.C.)
          - Noah (ca. 2490-2415 B.C.)  Saharan Late Holocene (Karl W. Butzer 1966)
          - The Great Pyramid, aligned to the Dragon Star on the Vernal Equinox in 2141 B.C.
          - Lake Chad was much deeper and covered an much larger area
          - The Nile waters flooded more widely, with drainage channels extending west into the desert
          - Stronger monsoonal circulation throughout sub-tropical regions increased rain in Sudan

Analysis of deposited sediments in the Nile delta shows this period had a higher proportion of sediments coming from the Blue Nile, due to higher rainfall also in the Ethiopian Highlands.

Kingdom of Kush (ca. 2000-1500 B.C.)
          - Kushite rulers built pyramids for elite burials and ruled Egypt as its 25th Dynasty
          - Pan Grave burials of Nubia and Egypt of the Medjay/Beja people, about 1700 B.C
          - King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep (c. 2043-1992 BC) married Ashait, a Medjay princess

The Napatan Period (ca. 1575-525 B.C.)
          - King Kasta ("the Kushite")
          - King Piye named his firstborn son Hor (Horus)
          - King Sheba-qo 

Origin of the Name Seth

Seti was a royal name among the Nilotic peoples.  The name is associated with the territory of Ta-Seti, meaning the "Land of Set." Set and the biblical word Seth are cognates. Ta-Seti is also translated as "Land of the Bow" and attests to the skill of the Nubian archers, a skill for which the later Kushites were also famous.

I Chronicles 1:50 mentions an important Horite bride - Matred. Her name is related to Menmaatre, the throne name of Seti I. Seti is a name associated with Piye, which is identified with the "city of Pai" in I Chronicles 1:50. Queen Piye was a Nubian queen.

The great Nubian king Piye (780 B.C.) installed a black granite falcon head image of Horus in Napata, his capital.  Piye's brother and successor, Sheba-qo, moved the royal residence to Memphis. Sheba-qo (716-702 B.C.) and his successors Shebit-qo (702-690 B.C.) and Tahar-qo (690-664 B.C.) thought of themselves as God's earthly representatives and it was probably during their time that the rulers came to wear the double crown of Horus.

The biblical Seth lived before the emergence of the Kushite Kingdom, probably around 3000 B.C. He was an ancestor of Noah and Noah's son Kush. Director of museum of the University of Chicago Oriental Institute, Geoff Emberling reports that excavations at Kerma and the Fourth Cataract, "suggest that the early Kingdom of Kush was larger than previously believed, and that its raids into Egypt in about 1650 B.C. were a serious threat to the capital at Thebes. Compared with other civilizations of the region, such as Mesopotamia, early Kush controlled a vast area and was able to amass significant military power."

Thirty Palaeolithic sites were discovered in the region by a team of archaeologists led by Henryk Paner between 1996-2003.  At seven Mesolithic site shards of wavy line and dotted wavy line pottery were found. Paner believes that these reflect an older decorative tradition. He reports, "The Neolithic witnessed a boom in settlement evidence. Of the total number of 711 sites recorded over 240 yielded ceramic, stone and flint artefacts dating from this period. Some Neolithic settlements tended to be located on higher terrain within natural hollows. Oval and circular stone structures up to 1.5m in diameter probably represent hearths. Larger concentrations of stones (also circular in plan but with larger diameters) may possibly mark the remains of dwellings which were made from organic materials.Querns and grinders were also found at these sites. Agate was among the raw materials used for making tools, with white quartz becoming increasingly popular on late Neolithic sites." (From here.)

At Hosh el-Guruf in Sudan, Emberling's team found a Kushite gold-processing center along the middle Nile. Gold was processed here between 2000 and 1500 B.C. This may be the biblical land of Havilah (Gen. 2:11), known for gold. The Gihon wound through the entire land of Kush (Gen. 2:13) and was connected to the Pishon which wound through the entire land of Havilah. The identification of this area with the Nile is further supported by the claim that aromatic resin (amber) is found there (Gen. 2:12).  The Gihon and Pishon appear to be sections of the Nile, probably between the 4th and 6th cataracts.  As Northern Sudan is tectonically active, the Nubian Swell has diverted the Nile's course to the west, making it difficult to definitively locate these waterways of Eden.

The Biblical Seth

Having established that the name Seth comes from the Nile region of ancient Nubia and Kush,we must now explore the biblical information that sheds light on this royal person.

Genesis tells us that Seth was Cain's younger brother. (Cain is also spelled Kenan, Qayan, Canaan).  According to Genesis 5:6, Seth's firstborn son was Enosh. There has been some debate as to whether Enosh is equivalent to Enoch, the name of Cain's firstborn son (Gen. 4:17). I believe that both names are derived from the Nilotic or Proto-Saharan word anochie, meaning "one who is to follow" as heir to the throne. The word anochie is found among peoples who migrated westward from the Nile, such as the Ashante. Among the Igbo, anochie means “a replacer” or “to replace.” A Nigerian biblical anthropologist reports that "Anochie also means 'direct heir to a throne'."  The biblical word Enoch is clearly a royal name or title, as is the name Seth.

Genesis provides more detailed information about Cain's line (Gen. 4) than about Seth's line (Gen. 5). Likely this is because the Canaanites, Cain's descendants, were the dominant people in the land where Abraham became established as a ruler. It is possible that the majority of Seth's descendants remained in the area of Nubia, though the lines of Cain and Seth continued to intermarry, as is common among royalty. The women of these royal lines married their patrilineal cousins or uncles and named their firstborn sons after their fathers.  Naamah, the daughter of Lamech, is an example.

© 1995 Alice C. Linsley

Another royal title of Nubian origin is Terah, the name of Abraham's father. It means "devotee" and is found on the Tera-neter tile, shown below.

Tera-ntr was a ruler of the Anu people, pre-dynastic inhabitants of Egypt. Abraham’s father, Terah, is named after this line that comes out of the Nile Valley. They are the earliest known to worship Horus, the prefigurement of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The original name for Heliopolis is "Annu" (called "Onn" in Gen. 41:50).  Joseph married a daughter of the high priest of Onn.


Wading Across said...

Alice, on a tangential note, what are your thoughts about Enoch's "removal". I've been perusing your site and I don't see it as having been covered before - not to say it hasn't (I just don't find it if it has).

Gen. 5:24 "and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."

I realize you deal with data, facts and research, extrapolating from there, but this would certainly seem to be an intriguing passage, yes?

The common interpretation is that Enoch was translated into heaven/paradise like Elijah. Certainly, in the genealogical listings of early Genesis, Enoch's life stands out.

Sure, they're pointing out his strong faith and relationship with God, but his "death" or "end of life" is put differently than the other ancestors. Is this because his faith and walk with God was that set apart, or do you accept the interpretation that he was indeed "translated" in some fashion and this was the early author's way of trying to grasp/understand it and relate it for posterity?


Anonymous said...

"Kenite" or "Kainite" Strong's #7014, #7017 (use Older Strong's Concordance) derives from the Hebrew Kainim.

The name "Kenite or "Kainite" Strong's #7014, #7017 (use Older Strong's Concordance) may be derived from the name of someone named Cain, or vice versa (see Cain and Abel).

Alternatively, the name may be derived from the name of Kenan (Cainan), the son of Enos (and thus the grandson of Seth and the great-grandson of Adam), appears in the newer Strong's Concordance not in the original.

Margaret said...

You've probably seen the Nov. 29 BAR History Daily, "Bible Scholar Brent Landau Asks, "Who were the Magi?" The article centers on an 8th century Syrian manuscript that he refers to as the 'Revelation of the Magi.'

The article says,

"Rather from Brent Landau's translation it is cear the magi (defined in this text as those who "pray in silence" [hysechasts?] are a group -- numbering as few as 12 and as many as several score -- of monk-like mystics from a far-off, mythical land called Shir, possibly China. They are descendants of Seth, the righteous third son of Adam, and the guardians of an age-old prophecy tht a star of indescribable brightness would someday appear "heralding the birth of God in human form."

Alice C. Linsley said...

Anonymous, Kenan is the linguistic equivalent of Kain/Cain. Kenan was Kain's grandson by one of his daughters. He was Seth's grandson by one of Seth's sons. Kenan's mother was a cousin to her husband. Cousin brides named their firstborn sons after their fathers. See the diagram.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Margaret, I haven't had a chance to read that BAR article. I saw the headline.

Admittedly, I don't give much credence to many of the articles that appear at BAR, though some of the details/facts in that publication are of interest. BAR touts the Jesus Christ-rejecting rabbinic views when it comes to Judaism and when it comes to Christianity, the articles tend to be about the gnostic or pagan roots of our Faith, never about how Christianity is the fulfillment of the faith of Abraham and his Horite ancestors. In other words, BAR's credibility should be questioned.

As for the 8th century manuscript, this is too recent to be of much help in answering the question "Who were the Magi?" There is much more reason to believe that the Magi were descendants of the noblemen of Judah who had been taken into Babylonian captivity. As with Daniel, these men were wise in sidereal astronomy and in the traditional wisdom of their Horite ancestors. They were awaiting the fulfillment of the Edenic Promise (Gen. 3:15)concerning the Seed who would be the eternal King. You might find this interesting:

You will note that "shir" and "shiru" are cognates, meaning king. In Persian (Farsi) shir also means lion, the totem of the tribe of Judah.

DDeden said...

Just a note: Per 'Road to Ubar' Idris map showed "Sihr" in Oman, which is 'magic' in Arabic, a cave there in Dophar Mtns. has an ancient drawing which shows 3 "kings" on camels surrounded by flocks & men, note especially that Frankincense & Myrrh were grown there and transported in caravans & round skin boats to Persia/Ubaid/Babylon/Egypt/Israel. "Ubar" or Iram was the old name for the Shisur Oasis fort, the inland point of departure for caravans, while the oasis of Ain Humran (red spring, possibly related to Qumran of Red Sea) was the coastal port, both were operated by the 'Ad people (Ch'AdIramotae? Iobaritae?) who crafted unique orange-glaze pottery and probably domesticated the (A)dromedary camel.