Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just Genesis: Answers to Your Questions

Alice C. Linsley


People around the world are asking questions about Genesis. Some questions are emailed to me, and some appear in the comments. Most of the questions that follow appeared as search words that brought people to Just Genesis.

Sometimes the questions reveal a sophisticated understanding of the Genesis material. These are usually asked by people doing research. Other questions indicate a profound ignorance of people, events and chronology. Others reveal commendable curiosity. In at least once case there was a wager placed and the questioner hoped to win the bet! I'm not sure if he won or not.


Here are some questions people have asked:

Did Solomon live before Abraham?
No. Solomon was David’s son by Bathsheba.


Was David Moses’ father?
No. Moses’ father was Amram. Amram had 2 wives. Moses had two brothers and a sister. Korah was his half-brother.


Did the Afro-Arabians invent the compass?
It is very likely. The Arabic word for compass is al-konbas, a compound of kon and bas. Kon means universe and bas refers to home, which was the place of the Sun’s rising. The ancient Afro-Arabians were aware of the magnetic properties of meteoric iron and iron filings since they were famous metalworkers. They were able to use these filings to determine true north, but their key point of reference or “orientation” was east.


How did Abraham abuse Hagar?
There is no record of Abraham abusing Hagar. Genesis tells us that Hagar was mistreated by Sarah.


How many concubines did Abraham have?
He apparently had two, as did Jacob. One was the servant of Sarah: Hagar the Egyptian.  The other was the servant of Keturah: Masek, according to the Septuagint.


How widespread was the use of Aramaic?
Geoffrey W. Bromiley, in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (p. 231), states that Aramaic inscriptions have been found from “Greece to Pakistan, and from the Ural Mountains to Arabia.” Aramaic was the lingua franca of the Near East, Palestine and the Levant in the 7th and 6th centuries BC. Aramaic used the Phoenician script which largely replaced the cuneiform of Babylon and Persia.


Had Isaac another wife beside Rebecca?
It is very likely that Isaac had two wives, as did all his ruler ancestors. By his other wife, a half-sister, he had a son named Yisbak. Analysis of the Genesis genealogies indicates that Isaac had three first-born sons. 


Who were the ancient African Hindus?
This person probably is seeking information about the Sudra/Sudanese and their relationship to the Dravidian populations in gold-rich Africa. Sudra means Sudanese. They were a Nilotic people who spread across the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion. Dravidians are classified as Sudroid. Nilotic religion is older than Hinduism.


Are Nubians Nilotic people?
Yes. The Nile, with its many inlets and tributaries, was the center of daily life in ancient Nubia. Its waters provided food and water and a means of transportation and commerce. The Nubians were known to be great boat builders.  They also influenced Egyptian architecture. The Egyptian rock cut temple (speos) was of Nubian origin. The earliest example was the cave sanctuary at Sayala, a Nubian site just north of Abu Simbel on the west bank of the Nile River. This site is dated to 3700-3250 B.C. This Nubian architecture was adopted by the Egyptians of the New Kingdom, whose pharaohs commissioned several temples in Upper Egypt and in Nubia.

Was Lilith Adam’s first wife?
There is no mention of Lilith in Genesis. She is a figure from the Babylonian pantheon and does not reflect Nilotic culture.


Was Moses married when he lived in Egypt?
Exodus doesn’t tell us. Moses had 2 wives. One was Midianite and the other was Kushite. Both were related to him by blood and marriage.


What is the Hebrew name for a boat builder?
The Hebrews weren’t famous for being a seafaring people. The Afro-Arabians were and Arabic is older than Hebrew. The Arabic for a place where boats and ships are built is dar al-sina’a. The Hebrew word for boat work or navel workmanship is בונה ספינות. The Hebrew ספינות means to go over water, as in a drawbridge. עברית is the Hebrew word naval, an adjective.


What do the names Og and Magog mean?
The meaning of the names is uncertain. These names are related to a third name: Gog. The names Og, Magog and Gog appear to represent a 3-clan confederation of Horite ruler-priests.


Was Keturah a wife or a concubine?
Keturah was Abraham's patrilineal cousin wife.  Genesis 25:1 describes Keturah as Abraham’s wife. The word here in Hebrew is ishshah, which means woman or wife.


What happened to Keturah’s children?
Keturah had 6 sons and probably some daughters, though daughters are not named in Genesis, since they didn’t rule among the Afro-Arabians. Keturah’s sons became the chiefs of Arabian tribes. These tribes are referred to as the “Joktanite Tribes.” Joktan probably was Abraham’s first-born son by Keturah. As Keturah was Abraham's cousin bride, her first-born son ascended to the throne of her father, Joktan the Elder.


Are the Genesis origin stories like the Akan origin stories?
They are closer to the Gikuyu origin stories as Abraham’s ancestors came from the Nile region, not from West Africa. The Akan live primarily in Ghana and the Gikuyu live primarily in Kenya.


Related reading:  Common Questions About Genesis; Some Extraordinary Questions; Moses' Wives and Brothers; The Genesis Creation/Origins Stories; The Christ in Nilotic Mythology

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ms. Linsley, interesting summary. Thanks for the Q&A. Best, Brent

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks, Brent. It is good to hear from you and I hope all is well.