Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Re-Horus-Hathor Narrative

The following is a conversation I had with a friend and a reader of Just Genesis. I provide a conclusion at the end which summaries some of the key ideas. There are related articles linked at the bottom also.

David Dickens: I was going to ask you about non-Biblical Horite/Proto-Saharan texts. You've talked about a lot of how Genesis lines up with the culture and some of archaeological work in Africa, but I was wondering if there are other sources of narrative. I'm looking for the Nilo-Saharan equivalent of Beowulf, I suppose.

Alice Linsley: The Horus-Set narrative is much older, of course. Horus, as the son of the Creator, comes to vanquish Set and sames the kingdom for the Creator God/High King. Not quite the same elements as in Beowulf. Set means bow (as in bow and arrows), and the land of Nubia was called Ta-Seti, the "land of the bow." This narrative dates to around 5000 BC.

David:  At least that gives me a good place to start. I've seen a lot of anti-Horus propaganda lately whereas I'm perfectly happy with a typological interpretation of the Horus myths. (But then I'm no expert so my opinion is no better than most of the critics.)

Alice: There is much ignorance about Horus. Also, a great deal of nonsense on the internet about ancient Egyptian beliefs and magic. You might find this piece helpful: Ha'piru, Ha'biru, 'Apiru or Hebrew?

David: There's certainly all the pieces there, but the narrative is missing. I can read the first few chapters of Genesis, Ramayana, Epic of Gilgamesh, legends of the Eight Immortals, Beowulf... there are so many ancient stories (some with meticulous detail, but all with unifying themes) but there doesn't seem to be one for Horus or the Ha'biru peoples. It seems almost all we have is archeological evidence and some descriptions from ancient historians.

Alice:  The Bible is the narrative of the Ha'biru. It is the only consistent source of the Righteous Ruler narrative. Unfortunately, the last editorial hand - the Deuteronomist Historian - marred the narrative by imposing post-exilic Zionism on the older narrative.

David:  So nothing extra-Biblical remains of the myths and legends of a people who touched three continents, spanned thousands of years and had a hand in every ancient civilization in the eastern hemisphere? I just doesn't sound right.

I'm not saying the Bible isn't the bees-knees, I'm just surprised that its all that remains (besides a few hieroglyphs on some temple wall).

Alice: Oh, there is much that pertains to the narrative outside the Bible. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts provide a great deal of information about Horus, the son of Re. The righteous rulers who were buried in the half dozen pyramids in question hoped for bodily resurrection and their hope rested in Horus who was pierced in the side, died, and risen from the dead on the third day.

David: I'll have to hunt them down then. I've never seen that sort of collection.

Alice. I own the Faulkner volume and make reference to it often. As an anthropologist I am aware of the dangers of constructing parallels without substantial evidence from all of these disciplines. I have no interest in exaggerating trifling resemblances. My first impulse is to regard the apparent similarities between Horus and Jesus Christ as yet another example of parallelomania. This is the initial reaction of most Christians until the evidence is set before them that Horus is very likely the basis of Messianic expectation.

The Horite expectation that the Righteous Son would not remain in the grave is expressed in Psalm 16:10: For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

My assertion that the Ra-Horus-Hathor story from the ancient Nile Valley is a form of the Proto-Gospel has been labeled as an example of parallelomania. Such a claim reveals ignorance of what I have written. The Christ is not a human invention patterned on the Horus myth. Horus is the pattern by which the Horites came to expect a divine Son who would rule (a Messiah), and Jesus Christ is the only figure of history who fits the pattern.

Further, Jesus is a direct descendant of the Horite ruler-priests, some of whom lived in Bethlehem and others of whom lived in Nazareth.  Jesus' Horite ancestry is demonstrated by the distinctive Horite marriage and ascendancy pattern as evident in scientific analysis of the Genesis King Lists. He is the "Seed" of the Woman, the long-expected Immortal Mortal who tramples down death and receives the eternal kingdom.

Hathor conceived Horus by divine overshadowing of the Sun, the emblem of Re.
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

Hathor is shown at the Dendura Temple holding her newborn son in a manger or stable. The stable was constructed by the Horite priest Har-si-Atef. Atef was the crown worn by deified rulers. The Arabic word atef or atif means “kind.” The ruler who wore the atef crown was to embody kindness and he was to unite the peoples, as Horus unites the peoples of the Upper and Lower Nile. The rulers of the two regions wore different crown, but Horus was called "Horus of the Two Crowns" because he wore both.  This is what stands behind the account of Yeshua/Joshua, the priest, receiving the "crowns" in Zechariah 6:11: "Take the silver and gold, and make crowns, and set it upon the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest..." Of course, "Yeshua" is the Hebrew for Jesus. Horus is the only mythological figure in ancient Egypt who was understood to be a man, and as a man he wears the two crowns.

Christianity is not an invented religion based on the Horus myth. It is a faith which receives the most ancient tradition known among humans, that which hopes for life beyond death through the agency of a divine ruler who overcomes the grave and leads his people to abundant life. The details of the narrative are extremely important. One such detail is the third-day resurrection described in Pyramid Texts Utterance 667: Oh Horus, this hour of the morning, of this third day is come, when thou surely passeth on to heaven, together with the stars, the imperishable stars.

Consider how Horus describes himself in the Coffin Texts (148):

I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of ‘Red Cloak’. (Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt by R.T. Rundle Clark, p. 216)

Here we find the words of Psalm 110:1, a clear messianic reference: The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”


The expectation of a Righteous Ruler who would overcome death and lead his people to immortality has been found to be a wide spread and extremely ancient. Certainly, there are messianic elements to Beowulf narrative. In Hrothgar's view Beowulf is divinely appointed to save his people and he "was led like a lamb to the slaughter" (Is. 53), being betrayed by one of his own inner circle. There are other messiah-like figures in history and literature. The American mythologist, Joseph Campbell, called this the "Monomyth." In his fourth "Eclogue" (written between 42 and 27 BC) Virgil prophesied that a child would be born who would bring peace to the whole world.

Messianic expectation predates Abraham and appears to have originated among the priest caste that served in the temples and shrines of archaic Eden which stretched from ancient Nubia to Syria. Some of these priests were Horites.

The Horus narrative is a form of the Proto-Gospel. Jesus’ Horite ancestry has been demonstrated through scientific analysis of the Horite marriage and ascendancy pattern. We are not speaking here of trifling resemblances between the myth of Horus and the historic Jesus. Scripture itself which indicates that Abraham and his people were a caste of ruler-priest devotees of Horus. Some of the Horite rulers are listed in Genesis 36. They ruled in Edom, the same territory that God gave to Abraham. The cultural context of the Horites was Kushite and Afro-Arabian and they expected a woman of their blood lines to bring forth the "Seed" of God in accordance with the first Biblical promise in Genesis 3:15. Compare another Messianic passage that speaks trampling the serpent: "They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra,The young lion and the serpent you will trample down." (Psalm 91:12,13)

Messianic expectation involves the crushing of cosmic forces that oppose the Creator. He who crushes receives in His divine and sinless person the suffering that sinners deserve. He was pierced, scourged, and crowned with thorns. Four centuries before Jesus was born, Plato describes an ancient belief concerned the "Just One"who would be "scourged, bound and crucified." (Republic ii, Chapters 4 and 5). He did not learn this from the Jews. Rather it was an expectation held among the Horite priests of the Nile, one of which was Sechnuphis, under whom Plato studied for 13 years at Memphis.

The ancient accounts surrounding Horus have many striking parallels to the story of Jesus. Some skeptics claim that the early Christians borrowed the idea of a dying-rising deity from the ancient Egyptians or from the Roman Dionysus cult. That claim has no historical substantiation, however. It fails to take into consideration that the New Testament writers were biological descendants of and the heirs of the Horites, and they saw Jesus as the fulfillment and embodiment of the descriptions of the long-expected Son of the Creator, born miraculously of Hathor, by divine overshadowing (Luke 1:35).

Though the main library in Alexandria was destroyed, ancient scholars were still able to access a "daughter library" at the Serapis temple located in another part of the city. Around AD 197, Tertullian wrote: "To this day, at the temple of Serapis, the libraries of Ptolemy are to be seen, with the identical Hebrew originals [the Septuagint] in them" (Apology, XVIII).

The word “Serapis” is a fusion of the names Osiris/Horus and the long-horn Apis bull. The Apis cow was the totem of Hathor, Horus’ mother. Her crown of horns cradles the sun as a sign of her appointment by divine overshadowing.

In a 134 AD letter to his brother-in-law, Emperor Hadrian wrote, “Egypt, which you commended to me, my dearest Servianus, I have found to be wholly fickle and inconsistent, and continually wafted about by every breath of fame. The worshipers of Serapis (here) are called Christians, and those who are devoted to the god Serapis, call themselves Bishops of Christ.” It is evident that the early Nilotic Christians recognized the Messianic symbolism of the Ra-Horus-Hathor narrative.

Related reading: Who is Jesus?; The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y; Fundamentalism and Syncretism in Hebrew History; Ha'piru, Ha'biru, 'Apiru or Hebrew?; The Priests of Nazareth; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; The Virgin Mary's Horite Ancestry


John Ogutu said...

In Dholuo bow and arrow= a'ser or a'sere

Alice Linsley said...

Greetings, John. Nyasaye ogwedhi.

The ancient Greeks were fascinated by the narrative. I wonder if a'ser or a'sere is the origin of the Greek Osiris?

Quiet said...

Hello Alice,

I don't remember how I came across your website (Google syndrome).

I've been reading a lot of the things you have put down and find a lot of both good and not so good things... :-)

I love that you are realistic about where Abraham et al originated but that is about all for me.

There is very little similarity between Horus and Christ. Unfortunately you have to place all the different myths of Horus together to create the image that he and Christ are the same.

I am not sure where you are coming from so I will try to remain neutral and not judge you as a person. I feel you are a well meaning individual who seems genuinely invested in aligning the Bible with physical evidence. You do an excellent job at that! You have a great breadth of things to consider.

I think you're correct in stating that Christianity grew from the beliefs and convenants God established with us from the beginning of time. It appears that long ago the Messiah was already known - this was the reason Abel brought the land, the Seed of the Woman in the garden...

But I feel stepping into the Horus territory is dangerous...

There are way too many branches of the Horus myth and you have to basically cherry pick each one to get the impression Horus was a messiah/savior figure borne of a Virgin. He wasn't. This is one part of many myths which have grown over time.

Christianity may not be "original", depending on what one defines as "original". I think the greatest thing we forget is that there is One True God. He is the Father, the Word, the Logos, Love, the Holy Spirit. I AM. At the end of the day, we must remember who came first. God, our Father, my Father, and yours. Long ago He spoke to our ancestors and told them I shall send My only Son to save you. This was a promise He and Christ made even before the world was even conceived.

Reading the Bible proves this. Christ is not Horus, and Horus is not Christ. No matter what anyone says.

I feel frustrated as I think so many are looking for something in God that is not there. God will tell you what is needed to be said and known.

Like I said earlier, I don't know where you're coming from. I believe we all have different reasons for the things we do, say, and believe.

It is impossible to try and prove God in this world. God does not need proving to be believed in. We end up undermining faith when we try to satisfy others who demand physical evidence for God's existence.

Trying to parallel Horus to Christ negates the importance of Christ's ministry. It subtly presents Him as less than divine, a man who became a God. Christ has and always will be. He is the Word, the Logos. He was not something created from dust or myths or sub-Saharan dreams. He is God, was God, and always will be God. The Messiah was distinct from Horus. Horus is an idol, an image, a crack god who morphed over time to suit the needs of the dynasties and beliefs of the times. Christ has not changed, morphed, been added to or taken away. The Bible presents this in a simple way. The Word is not about man looking for God but God reaching out to mankind, searching for Him. The most prevalent theme of the Word is salvation, redemption, and justification. Horus cannot do this, never had, and never will.

I used to be like you. I tried to fit God into science. It's impossible. I tried to look for physical proof of my God. It's complicated, messy, subjective - time is the mist cruel mistress as she distorts and erases memories, words, and truths. At the end of the day the most important fact is that we must love God the Father with all our hearts, minds, and souls. We must have faith and obey Him, believing He will come again. All else fails.

Alice Linsley said...

Greetings, Quiet.

Horus and Jesus Christ are not the same. However, the ancient devotees of Horus are Abraham's ancestors, what Jews call their "Horim" or ancestors/parents. Horim is "Horite" in English Bibles. Jesus perfectly fulfills the Messianic expectation that originated among the Horite ruler-priests to whom the Creator revealed a plan in Eden about a Righteous Ruler who would be born of their lines and who would overcome death on the third day.

See this: http://biblicalanthropology.blogspot.com/2013/10/who-is-jesus.html

Also this: http://biblicalanthropology.blogspot.com/2012/02/righteous-rulers-and-resurrection.html

Christianity is not an invented religion. It develops out of the revelation that God first gave in Eden that is summed up in Genesis 3:15 - the woman shall bring forth the Seed that will crush the serpent's head.

Thanks for keeping an open mind. God bless you!

Alice Linsley said...

I also recommend this article: