Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kushite Diversity and Unity


Alice C. Linsley


The Kushite rulers held a theology that Biblical Anthropologists recognize. This can be determined from artifacts such as the Sheba-qo Stone which describes the theology that held sway at Heliopolis (Biblical On) and Memphis. The Stone dates to the Nubian Dynasty or the Kushite Empire, but the theology is much older. According to this theology the Creator is the great Craftsman who gives wisdom and skill to the King and his craftsmen. This is expressed in Proverbs 25:2 - "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter."

The royal craftsmen worked with visible things such as tools of stone and metal. The Creator, on the other hand, works with what is concealed and mysterious like the wind or breath (ruach). The breath of the Creator went forth at the beginning of creation and things were created out of His mouth/word, and not from a pre-existing substance. He crafted the heavens above and the earth below, and separated the light from darkness. This theology is expressed in Genesis 1 and in the Wisdom Tradition that regards God as the architect whose wisdom is evident in the order of creation.

The seats of wisdom that have been indentified in the Bible include Tema, Edom and Tyre, all of which have a history of metal work and connection to the Horite ruler-priests.

The Feminine Principle (Heb: hokma, Gr: sophia) is described in language that identifies her with the ruach of God. She says, “I came forth from the mouth of the Most High and covered the earth like a mist… I walk in the depth of the abyss.” (Wisdom of Ben Sirach 24:3,5) Here we have echoes of Genesis 1 where we are told that the Spirit of God went forth over the chaotic waters and brought order, separating the waters above (firmament) from the waters below, and the seas from the day land. This ordering Principle is sometimes called Tehut, and the oldest known moral code is the Law of Tehut.

Tehut is sometimes likened to the Egyptian Ma'at, but there is a significant difference. Ma'at was created whereas Tehut appears to be the generative and uncreated Word of God (logos). Proverbs 8:22-31 and 9:1-6 appear to be about Ma'at. She says that "Yahweh created me, first-fruits of his fashioning, before the oldest of his works... the deep was not, when I was born..." Whether Proverbs is attributed to Solomon or to a time well after Solomon, the theology concerning Ma'at comes from a period much later than Abraham's Kushite ancestors.


The Kushites reflect the genetic diversity of Africa

Among the Kushites are the dark skinned Dravidians, the Sudra, who established their religious practices in southern Pakistan and India. This is called the Harappa culture. Har-appa is Dravidian for "Horus is Father". The Dravidians have much in common with the Nilotic people living in the Horn of Africa.

"Kushite" is a general term that includes many people groups who lived along the Nile and in the Chadic Basin. Some were light skinned, some black, some reddish, some reddish-brown, and some were brown. To this day Africa has the greatest genetic diversity of any place in the world.


Ancient Nilotic cattle herders (Nubians)


Among the Kushites we find Nubians, Beja, Copts, Egyptians, Proto-Saharans, Horites, and their kinsmen who were living on the western and southern coast of Arabia.

DNA studies of the Sudan show "genetic unity and linkage" between the Sudanic, Egyptian, Nubian and other Nilotic peoples, as well as some populations of the Horn of Africa (Yurco (1996), Keita (1993, 2004, 2005) Lovell (1999), Zakrewski (2003, 2007).  Genetic and lingistic research indicates that the Copts are one of the oldest Egyptian populations. This is based on the relatively high frequency of the B-M60 marker, indicating early pre-dynastic colonization of Egypt by Upper Nilotes.

From the University of Khartoum we have this report:

The area known today as Sudan may have been the scene of pivotal human evolutionary events, both as a corridor for ancient and modern migrations, as well as the venue of crucial past cultural evolution. Several questions pertaining to the pattern of succession of the different groups in early Sudan have been raised. To shed light on these aspects, ancient DNA (aDNA) and present DNA collection were made and studied using Y-chromosome markers for aDNA, and Y-chromosome and mtDNA markers for present DNA. Bone samples from different skeletal elements of burial sites from Neolithic, Meroitic, Post-Meroitic and Christian periods in Sudan were collected from Sudan National Museum. aDNA extraction was successful in 35 out of 76 samples, PCR was performed for
sex determination using Amelogenin marker. Fourteen samples were females and19 were males. To generate Y-chromosome specific haplogroups A-M13, B-M60, F-M89 and Y Alu Polymorphism(YAP) markers, which define the deep ancestral haplotypes in the phylogenetic tree of Y-chromosome were used. Haplogroups A-M13 was found at high frequencies among Neolithic samples. Haplogroup F-M89 and YAP appeared to be more frequent among Meroitic, Post-Meroitic and Christian periods. Haplogroup B-M60 was not observed in the sample analyzed.

For extant DNA, Y-chromosome and mtDNA haplogroup variations were studied in 15 Sudanese populations representing the three linguistic families in Sudan by typing the major Y haplogroups in 445 unrelated males, and 404 unrelated individuals were sequenced for the mitochondrial hypervariable region.

Y-chromosome analysis shows Sudanese populations falling into haplogroups A, B, E, F, I, J, K, and R in frequencies of 16.9, 8.1, 34.2, 3.1, 1.3, 22.5, 0.9, and 13% respectively. Haplogroups A, B, and E occur mainly in Nilo-Saharan speaking groups including Nilotics, Fur, Borgu, and Masalit; whereas haplogroups F, I, J, K, and R are more frequent among Afro-Asiatic speaking groups including Arabs, Beja, Copts, and Hausa, and Niger-Congo speakers from the Fulani ethnic group.

Accordingly, though limited on number of aDNA samples, there is enough data to suggest and to tally with the historical evidence of the dominance by Nilotic elements during the early state formation in the Nile Valley, and as the states thrived there was a dominance by other elements particularly Nuba/Nubians."


Correlating the data with the Bible

It is difficult to correlate the Kushites with the peoples living in Arabia and the coast lands who are listed in Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy and Joshua. It is evident that Canaan, Phoenicia and greater Arabia were populated by many peoples, including Amorites, Dedanites, Horites, Jebusites and Kenites. The tent-dwelling Kenites were in Canaan during Saul's reign, as evidenced by I Samuel 15:6 - "Saul sent this warning to the Kenites: 'Move away from where the Amalekites live, or you will die with them. For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up from Egypt.' So the Kenites packed up and left."

The Kenites were itinerant metal workers and probably related to the metal working Nes of Anatolia. In ancient Egypt the term Nesu biti refered to the ruler of a united Upper Nile and the Lower Nile. Nesu biti contains the signs for papyrus sedge and bee. Sedge symbolized the Upper Nile and the bee was the symbol of the Lower Nile.

Genesis 10:15-19, traces the Canaanite peoples to an otherwise unknown descendant of Noah: "Canaan fathered Sidon his first-born, then Heth, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later Canaanite clans spread out. The Canaanite frontier stretched from Sidon all the way to Gerar near Gaza and all the way to Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim near Lehsa."

The root of the names Arkite and Arvadite is AR and its origin is likely Proto-Saharan. Among the Igbo of Nigeria, the scribe clans were called Ar or Aro. The ancient Egyptian Asa-ar means the Serpent of Asa (Deity). The peoples living in Arvad, Tyre and Sidon employed serpent imagery in their temples and shrines. 

A Jebusite ruler called Araunah sold King David a threshing floor upon which David constructed an altar. Araunah means "the lord".

In II Chronicles and I Kings 9:20 only the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites are identified as living in the land.

Exodus 3:8 provides this list: "The Canaanite, and Hethite, and Amorite and Perizzite, and Hivite, and Jebusite."
Joshua 12:8 provides this list of peoples living in Canaan in the hill country, the western foothills, the Jordan Valley, the mountain slopes, the Judean wilderness, and the Negev: the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Another list appears in Deuteronomy. "When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you..." (Deut. 7:1)

Genesis 15:19-21 lists "the Kenites, the Kenizzites, Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Raphaim, the Amorites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites."

Some names are descriptive. Perizzites, for example, means "scattered people." The Hivites are connected to the Hittites. These were metal workers who introduced iron work to Anatolia. They called themselves the Nes (NS) and their language was called Nesli.

The proto-root for vein, river, tongue, sinew, lightening and serpent was NS. The S originally would have been a pictograph representing a serpent or anything serpentine. It also indicates "great" and can mean "Man" (Egyptian - sa), and throne (Proto-Saharan es or is). NS suggests connection between heaven and earth, and between deity and man. The serpent was a sacred symbol to the Kushites, especially to the metalworking clans, such as the Hittites.

The names Hittite and Hivite share the root HT (same as the name Het or Heth). Genesis 10 tells us that these two clans form a Heth confederation. HT in the Hebrew and Arabic refers to copper - nahas-het. Nahash means serpent. As an adjective it means shining bright, like burnished copper. So the evidence suggests that the clans of HT were Bronze Age coppersmiths. The serpent image was sacred for them, as it was for Moses and the people in the wilderness.

We note that the Horites do not appear in any of these lists. That is because they were not a people, but rather a caste of ruler-priests who lived dispersed among the peoples from the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates (cf. Gen. 15:18). The Septuagint incorrectly identified the Horites (“Choraios”) with the Hittites.

The only peoples that appear in all these lists are the Amorites and the Jebusites. The Biblical writers are in agreement that these two peoples inhabited Canaan from very early. They are probably related clans, not different ethnic groups.


Who were the Amorites?

The Amorites, also called the Amurru, lived in ancient Egypt  and are shown on tomb as light skinned with reddish brown hair.  This has been confirmed by Flinders Petrie and Archibald Sayce. According to Sayce, "The Amorites… were a tall, handsome people, with white skins, blue eyes and reddish hair, all the characteristics, in fact, of the white race." (The Hittites, 1889)

The Amorites are represented on the Egyptian monuments with fair skins, light hair, blue eyes, and pointed beards. Tomb No. 34 at Thebes (18th Dynasty, c. 1550-c. 1292), shows a bearded Amorite chief with white skin and red-brown hair. Henry George Tomkins (1897), a member of the Royal Archaeological Institute, also concluded that the Amorites were fair haired with blue eyes.


Who were the Jebusites?

The Jebusites likely ranged from reddish-brown to black with dark hair and dark eyes. Some may have had green eyes. Prince Rotimi Obadofin believes that “perhaps the Jebusites, that is the original inhabitants of Jerusalem were Ijebu people of today, since Oke-Eri is owned and inhabited by Ijebu people.” Eri is connected with the huge archaeological monument of Eredo. Eridu is also the name of the oldest known Sumerian city.

The Jebusites may indeed be the Ijebu who are an extant people and related to the modern day Edomites who are called "Edo." Both peoples live in Nigeria and Benin. The Jebusites had close connections with the Horites of Edom. Melchizedek, the Priest-King of Jerusalem (Jebu/Yebu), was Jebusite and a kinsman to Abraham. Melchizedek was probably the brother-in-law of Joktan, Abraham's father-in-law.


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