Alice C. Linsley
A great deal of speculation surrounds the biblical figure of Eber (Heber in the Septuagint). Eber was the father of two firstborn sons by his two wives. Joktan was the son of his cousin wife and the heir to the throne of Eber's father-in-law in Southern Arabia. Joktan was the founder of the Joktanite clans of Arabia and Abraham's firstborn son was named Joktan after this famous ancestor.
Peleg, in whose time the "earth" was divided, was the heir to Eber's throne in Northern Arabia and probably ruled part of Mesopotamia. He was the son of Eber's half-sister wife. This aligns with the marriage and ascendancy structure of Abraham's Kushite ancestors.
Eber's sons became the founding patriarchs of two linguistically distinct Afro-Asiatic groups: the Afro-Arabians and the Afro-Asians. Apparently, the Kushites became divided linguistically after the time of Eber's death around 2303 BC.
According to the Hebrew Bible, Eber died at the age of 464 (Gen. 11:14-17). In the Septuagint, Heber is said to have lived to an age of 404 years. The Hebrew Calendar places Eber's death at 1817 BC, which is unlikely since Abraham lived about 2100 BC.
Genesis 10:21 lists Shem as Eber's ancestor, but Eber is also a descendant of Kush as the royal descendants of Ham and Shem intermarried. That Eber was a great ruler is attested in the pre-canonical Girgam (Diwan) where his name appears as Abir and he is designated Amir, the Arabic word for commander or ruler.
Does the word Hebrew come from Eber?
In 93 AD, Josephus wrote that the Hebrews were called after Eber (Ant I, 6:4). However, this view of Eber as the eponymous ancestor of the Hebrews is problematic since the Genesis genealogical material makes it clear that Eber is a descendant of both Ham and Shem and the father of both Afro-Arabians and Afro-Asians.
It is more likely that the designation Hebrew refers to the Habiru or äapiru, a caste of ruler-priests who dominated the Afro-Asiatic Dominion. The Habiru served at the Sun Temples (O-piru) which they constructed from the Nile to Cambodia. Abraham's people were Habiru. The word Hebrew (hbr) comes from the word Habiru (hbr), not from Eber.
Hapiru (Akkadian) and Habiru (Kushitic) are related to the Arabic yakburu, meaning “he is getting big” and with the intensive active prefix: yukabbiru means "he is enlarging." This is a reference to the morning ritual of the Horite priests who greeted the rising sun and watched as it expanded across the horizon.
The Egyptians called the temple attendants ˁpr.w, the w being the plural suffix. The Horite east-facing temple was termed O-piru, meaning Sun House.
|As the Kushite ruling lines intermarried exclusively, Eber was a descendant of both Ham and Shem.|
The Genesis genealogical material indicates that Eber married the daughter of Joktan the Elder. She was his cousin bride and named their firstborn son Joktan, after her father, according to the cousin bride's naming prerogative. Joktan is Yaqtan in Arabic.
Related reading: The Habiru Were Devotees of Horus; Frank Moore Cross: Israel's God is the God of the Horites; Abraham's Kushite Ancestors; Peleg: Time of Division