Alice C. Linsley
That Er's line continued is evident from the appearance of his name. One of Joshua's sons was a descendant of Er by Joshua's cousin-wife.
Onan's motivation in not impregnating Tamar appears to be the security of his heir by his sister-wife. Tamar was his cousin/niece wife and her firstborn son would ascend to the throne of her father, who isn't named in the Biblical text. Apparently, Onan's spilling of his seed was motivated by fear of a son who might rule in competition to his heir. At this time Horite land holdings were smaller than those of the great Kushite kingdom builders such as Nimrod (Sargon the Great). Evidently, there was greater competition between ruling sons.
Onan's denial of a son to Tamar was serious because the anticipated "Seed" of Genesis 3:15 might come by a cousin/niece wife. Indeed David's ancestry is traced to Tamar and Judah as is that of the Son of God.
The key to understanding this story lies with the identity of Tamar's father. He appears to have been connected to the shrine of Hathor at Timnah. Hathor was the virgin mother of Horus who was called "son of God.' Here is a celestial archetype to make note of because it is the pattern whereby Abraham's Jewish descendants would come to recognize the identity of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God who was born of the virgin Mary.
Hathor was the patroness of metal workers. Timnah was famous for its copper mines. It was at the entrance to this shrine that Judah had intercourse with Tamar (Gen. 38:12-30). This strongly suggests that Tamar was the daughter of the Horite ruler-priest at Timnah. This suggestion is strengthened by what happened after Judah discovered that Tamar was pregnant. He called for her execution according to the law pertaining to the daughters of priests (Lev. 21:9). She was to be burned alive.
Judah is not presented in a positive light in this story, but Tamar is. Judah ends up praising her initiative whereby she fulfilled the requirement of the law. Judah says about her "She was more righteous than I." (Gen. 38:26)
The Horite Shrine at Timnah
Timnah is the site of the world's oldest copper mines. The mines are at least 6,000 years old and there are newer ones as well, totaling about 10,000 shafts. The oldest mines were worked almost continuously by Kushite and Horite metal working clans until the Roman Period. There are ancient rock carvings showing Kushite warriors in chariots, holding axes and shields. A temple dedicated to Hathor was discovered at the southwestern edge of Mt. Timnah by Professor Beno Rothenberg of Hebrew University.
|The highlighted circle marks the location of the Hathor Shrine.|
The Chalcolithic metal works at Timnah were found at the Wadi Nehushtan in the foothills along the western fringe of the southern Arabah Valley. The smelting works, slag and flints at this site were found to be identical to those discovered near Beersheba where Abraham spent much of his time. The metal workers of Timnah and the metal workers of Beersheba were kin and the patroness of their mining and smelting operations was the mother of Horus who was venerated or worshipped by the Horites. In other words, these were Horite metal workers. In his book Timna, Rothenberg concluded that the peoples living in the area were "partners not only in the work but in the worship of Hathor." (Timna, p. 183)
So it appears that Judah brought forth twin sons by the daughter of the priest of Timnah, one of the oldest Horite shrines known to exist outside of Kush. She was a woman of high social rank whose people patterned every aspect of their lives on the celestial archetype of Horus, the son of God. They believed that Horus was born at the winter solstice because from that day forward the Sun grows in strength. The ancient Egyptian ritual involved placing a male baby before the image of Hathor (Isis) and the "divine son" was presented with gifts by the priests.
The Horites observed the death of Horus in a 5-day festival. The first 3 days were marked by solemnity (as Plutarch noted in Isis and Osiris, 69). The last 2 days were a time of feasting and rejoicing. Horus is said to have died on the 17th of Athyr. His death was commemorated by the planting of grain. On the third day, the 19th of Athyr, there was a celebration of Horus’ rising. It is no coincidence that Jesus alludes to the Horite narrative when describing his passion and resurrection. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24) He identifies himself as the "Seed" of Genesis 3:15.
The Horites believed in the "second death" (Rev. 21:8) and prayed that this would be avoided. They offered sacrifice for and prepared the bodies of their dead in the hope that their bodies might rise to life at a future time.
Related reading: Timna Valley Mines Linked to House of David; The Afro-Asiatic Metalworkers; The Peoples of Canaan; The Bosom of Abraham; Nilotic-Kushitic Celestial Archetypes; The Ra-Horus-Hathor Narrative