Monday, January 30, 2023

Cousin Brides Among the Hebrew


The Virgin Mary with a spindle. The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew describes how Mary and the other Temple virgins were spinning purple thread in the Women's compound when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her.

Alice C. Linsley

Cousin brides played a significant role in the building up of the early Hebrew clans. There are numerous references to cousin brides in the Bible. Keturah was Abraham's patrilineal cousin. ("Patrilineal" means they have a common male ancestor.) Zipporah was Moses's patrilineal cousin, and Hannah was Elkanah's cousin. The Virgin Mary was Joseph's cousin bride.

Eleazar’s daughters married their cousins, the sons of Kish (1 Chron. 23:22). Other cousin brides include Naamah, Mahalath, Rebekah, and the five daughters of Zelophehad who married the "sons of their father's brothers" (Num. 36:11).

The maternal ancestry of the Hebrew rulers is traced mainly through the cousin brides. The pattern is found among the early Hebrew rulers listed in Genesis chapters 4 and 5 and is evident in the diagram below.

Lamech’s daughter Naamah (Gen. 4) married her patrilineal cousin Methuselah (Gen. 5) and named their first-born son Lamech after her father. This is called the "cousin bride's naming prerogative". The cousin-bride’s naming prerogative is a distinctive feature of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the biblical Hebrew. This custom necessitates speaking of two different individuals named Lamech: Lamech the Elder and Lamech the Younger.

The pattern is shown in this diagram. The daughter of Lamech the Elder (Gen. 4) married her patrilineal cousin Methuselah (Gen. 5) and named their first-born son "Lamech" after her father. This is called the "cousin bride's naming prerogative". These individuals are designated as "Lamech the Elder" and "Lamech the Younger". They are different individuals, contrary to the opinion of Robert R. Wilson (Yale University Divinity School).

The naming custom suggests that Cain and his brother Seth married cousins since their first-borns sons appear to be named after Enoch/Enosh/Enos, a contemporary of Adam.

As Joseph's cousin bride, Mary had the prerogative to name her only son after her priest father, Joachim. However, her angelic visitor had given her instruction concerning his name. According to Luke, Gabriel told Mary, “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus."

Whose Household?

In 1949, Claude Levi-Strauss recognized from his study of tribal peoples that mother and son do not always belong to the same household. This is the case with the biblical Hebrew. The first-born son of the cousin bride belonged to the household of his maternal grandfather after whom he was named or titled. 

This sheds light on why Zipporah, rather than Moses, circumcised their first-born son. Zipporah was Moses's second wife, and a Midianite. His first was a Kushite bride. The Midianite clans were descendants of Abraham by his cousin wife Keturah (Genesis 25). The son who was circumcised by Zipporah did not belong to the household of Moses. He belonged to the household of his maternal grandfather, Jethro, the priest of Midian. That son should have been circumcised by his maternal grandfather. For some reason this did not happen, and Zipporah was not happy about the situation.

First and Second Brides

Typically, high ranking Hebrew rulers had two wives. The wives resided in separate settlements that marked the ruler's territorial boundaries. The Hebrew ruler-priest was wedded to his first wife while he was still young, probably around the age 18. His second wife was taken as he approached ascendancy to rule over his father’s territory, probably no younger than 40. This means that the children born to the first wife were considerably older than the children born to the second wife.

Sarah and Abraham were married while they still lived in the territory of their father Terah. Sarah’s barren state delayed the birth of Abraham’s proper heir, Isaac. This meant that the children born to Keturah were older than Isaac. However, none of the six sons born to Keturah (Gen. 25) were regarded as Abraham’s proper heir according to the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the early Hebrew. The proper heir was the first-born son of the first wife. 

The first wife was usually as half-sister, as was Sarah to Abraham (Gen. 20:1-16). This was the bride of the man's youth. The first-born son of this wife was the man’s proper heir. As the heir approached ascendancy to his father's territory, he took a second wife. Typically, this bride was a patrilineal cousin, as was Rebekah to Isaac.

It appears that two wives were an essential part of establishing and maintaining territorial boundaries among royal persons. That this practice pertained to exceptionally high-status persons is evident in that the pattern is associated only with rulers such as Abraham, or ruling families such as that of Jesse, the father of King David and the grandfather of King Solomon.

Consider the Song of Songs which speaks of two royal brides. One bride is described as “dark as the tents of Kedar” (1:5) and the other is described as “fair as the moon” (6:10). This is typical of the territorial claims of high kings in the Ancient Near East. The brides represent the east and the west, the territorial boundaries observed by the solar arc, the symbol of the God’s High rule over the Earth. This was a way of identifying the authority of the high king with the authority of the High God.

The names of Lamech’s two wives Adah and Tzillah are another example. Theodore H. Gaster noted that the east-west arrangement is suggested by the names Adah (dawn) and Tzillah (dusk).

The Importance of the Cousin Brides

The ascendant ruler’s second wife was a patrilineal cousin. This marriage came much later than the first marriage to the half-sister bride. This explains Abraham’s urgency, as he faced death, that a cousin bride should be found for Isaac (Gen. 24). Isaac’s marriage to Rebekah would have come late in his life. The bride of his youth would have been a half-sister, the daughter of Abraham and Keturah.

The Bible does not identify Isaac’s first wife. Her presence is suggested by the fact that Isaac was living near Beersheba when Abraham’s servant arrived from Padan-Aram with Rebekah. Beersheba was where Keturah resided with her children.

It has been noted that the twin boys assigned to Rebekah may have been the first-born sons of Isaac’s two wives. This aligns with the social structure of the early Hebrew. Since Esau was Isaac’s proper heir, he would have been the first-born son of Isaac and his half-sister bride. Rebekah would be the mother of Jacob, a sent-away son. This also aligns with the social structure of the early Hebrew, as the son of the cousin bride belonged to the household of his maternal grandfather and would reside there after coming of age. This occurred with Jacob who went to live with his maternal uncle (avuncular residence).

Related reading: The Hierarchy of Hebrew Sons; Terah's Two Wives; Royal Sons and Their Maternal Uncles; Hebrew Rulers with Two Wives; Sovereignty and Two Wives

Monday, January 16, 2023

Religious and Cultural Exchanges Between Africa and India

The facial features of this Mohenjo-daro terracotta resemble the later Nok figurines of Nigeria.

Alice C. Linsley

Long before Judaism the early Hebrew dispersed out of the Nile Valley into Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and the Indus River Valley. This explains why there are similarities between religious beliefs of primitive Hinduism and the early Hebrew. One of those beliefs involves fire altars in the shape of a falcon, the totem of HR, the son of God to whom the Horite Hebrew were devoted. This is why the Shulba Sutras state that "he who desires heaven is to construct a fire-altar in the form of a falcon."

The Hebrew were a ruler-priest caste with a moiety system. The two ritual groups were the Horites and the Sethites.

The early Hebrew in Mesopotamia spoke Akkadian, the language of the territory of Nimrod, a Kushite kingdom builder (Gen. 10). The Indian scholar Malati J. Shendge has concluded that the language of the Harappans of the Indus Valley was Akkadian. (Read more here.)

The Indian linguist Ajay Pratap Singh explains, "Comparisons of Akkadian and Sanskrit words yielded at least 400 words in both languages with comparable phonetic and semantic similarities. Thus Sanskrit has, in fact, descended from Akkadian."

The early Hebrew ruler-priest caste had a moiety social structure. The two ritual groups that comprised the caste were the Horites and the Sethites. The Horite Hebrew were also known as Hurrians. Tablets from c.1500 BC found in Syria were etched in a language called Hurrian. Some claim these to be written in Sanskrit. The documents refer to a treaty signed by the kings of the ‘Mitanni’ Kingdom that lasted for just 200 years in Syria.

In Srimad Bhagavatam 10:16 we find a parallel to Genesis 3:15 where we are told that the serpent's head will be crushed under the feet of the Woman's Son/Seed. The Hindu text reads: "The Ancient Man danced on the serpent, who still spewed poison from his eyes and hissed loudly in his anger, and he trampled down with his feet whatever head the serpent raised, subduing him calmly..." (Cited in Andrew Wilson, Ed. World Scriptures, p. 449.)

The same Messianic idea is found in Psalm 91:12-13 - "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."

This expectation was expressed about 1000 years before Psalm 91 in the Pyramid Texts. "Horus has shattered (tbb, crushed) the mouth of the serpent with the sole of his foot (tbw)". (Utterance 388)

Scholars from India acknowledge the very early Nile-Indus connections. The Indian archaeologist, B. B. Lal contends that the Dravidians came from the Upper Nile (Nubia/Kush). Lal writes: "At Timos the Indian team dug up several megalithic sites of ancient Nubians which bear an uncanny resemblance to the cemeteries of early Dravidians which are found all over Western India from Kathiawar to Cape Comorin. The intriguing similarity extends from the subterranean structure found near them. Even the earthenware ring-stands used by the Dravidians and Nubians to hold pots were identical."

Michael Petraglia and his team found stone tools at Jwalapuram in Andhra Pradesh in southern India. These were above and below a thick layer of ash from the Toba super eruption (74,000 years ago). Petraglia noted that the tools found in southern India are like those from the African Middle Stone Age about 100,000 years ago. He states, “Whoever was living in India was doing things identical to modern humans living in Africa.”

This bronze statuette dubbed the "Dancing Girl" is about 4,500 years old. It was found in 'HR area' of Mohenjo-daro in 1926. She resembles Nubian dancing girls.

Further evidence of the connection between the Nile and Indus Valley is demonstrated by comparing early Egyptian and Indus pottery inscriptions. Note that 17 figures under the headings "Indus Valley" and "Egyptian" (two columns on left) are almost identical.

Out of Africa

Y-DNA haplogroup R has three branches: R1b, R1a, and R2. The sub-haplogroup of R2 is present in Mongolic-speaking Buryats and Kalmyks and has a predominant distribution in India and Pakistan. It is also found in China (Uygurs, Han, and Hui) and in Central Asia (Tajiks and Kyrgyz) and in some Siberian populations. 

Y-DNA R1b, R1a and R2 descended from the same common ancestor, but these made a "home" in different areas of the world since branching. The red areas on this map show the areas in Africa and Europe with the highest density of Y-DNA haplogroup R1b. About 70% of native British men have R1b ancestry.

Descendants of that original Haplogroup R ancestor migrated, and accrued additional mutations that formed the major sub-branches: R1a and R1b, around 20,000 years ago. The movement is out of Africa.

According to this report, the third-most abundant haplogroup found in India is R, accounting for an average frequency of 15.7%. The high incidence of this haplogroup is restricted to the Indo-European and Dravidian-speaking groups. Within these populations, Indo-European-speakers exhibit an average frequency of 29.5% of R1a1, whereas Dravidian-speakers account for 22.6% of R2 sub-haplogroup.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Early Smiths and Masons


Bronze figure of a smith (900-800 BC) was discovered in Vranište, Serbia.

The ancient rulers were served by expert stone masons and metal workers. The stone masons built the great temples and tombs, and the metal workers fashioned weapons, sacred vessels, and symbols of authority. These early smiths and masons were not slaves. They were respected because of their sophisticated skills.

These craftsmen were specialists who kept their skills secret to protect their position in society. One way they preserved their secrets was through endogamy. They took as their wives only women from their caste, and over time their descendants developed distinctive physical traits.

It appears that one distinctive trait of the early metal workers was mandibular prognathism, or an unusually prominent or protruding chin. Mandibular prognathism is a well-known example of an inherited facial trait in humans. However, it is not apparent in archaic humans. According to Emes, Aybar and Yalcin, "A protruding chin was absent in archaic humans and Neanderthals." (2011 "Report of the Evolution of Human Jaws and Teeth", Bulletin of the International Association of Paleodontology, p. 40.)

Prehistoric Smiths

Blacksmiths living in what is today Serbia knew the secret of transforming copper ore into metal copper. Miljana Radivojević has shown that the metal workers of the 7000-year-old Vinča culture were expert smiths.

As metal work requires water sources, it was done near springs and rivers. Many mines and smithing sites are found in the Carpathian Basin with its abundant water sources. This map shows copper smelting sites (red) and iron smelting sites (black) in the Carpathian Basin. Note the abundance of rivers.

Prehistoric Masons

In southern Anatolia stone masons built Catalhoyuk beginning in 7500 BC. The Turkish word catal means fork and hoyuk means mound. This was a settlement built on two mounds (east and west) and a channel of the Çarşamba River once flowed between them. It appears to be one of the earliest examples of twin settlements on opposite sides of the river.

The houses excavated in Catalhoyuk date between 6800-5700 B.C. Recent excavations have identified a shrine or small temple on the eastern side. 

At Horoztepe, in northern Anatolia, masons built royal tombs dating from 2400–2200 BC, the time of Abraham. The burial goods in these tombs are the products of smiths who crafted fine artifacts in copper, bronze, gold, and silver.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Is it Possible to Speak of the Proto-Gospel?

Dr. Alice C. Linsley

Just Genesis presents an "anthropological sleuthing of pre-Abrahamic origins." I have identified the marriage and ascendency pattern of Abraham's Hebrew caste and have demonstrated that this pattern drove the early Hebrew into distant lands where they established territories as early as 4000 BC. The dispersal of the early Hebrew kingdom builders was driven by the practice of sending away sons.

The early Hebrew believed in God Father and God Son and anticipated the incarnation of the Son by divine overshadowing of a virgin of their ruler-priest caste (Luke 1). This expectation is expressed in the first Messianic promise of Scripture - Genesis 3:15 - given to Abraham's ancestors. Some of those ancestors are named in the King Lists of Genesis 4, 5, 10 and 11.

I want to thank the faithful readers of Just Genesis. You have been an excellent sounding board as I have pursued the research on Abraham and the Horim/Horite Hebrew ancestors. I appreciate that you recognize the unique nature of this blog. Just Genesis is unique in these aspects:

  • takes an anthropological approach to the study of Genesis
  • acknowledges the great age of the earth and of human existence
  • rejects aspects of Darwinian theory that lack material evidence
  • asserts that Genesis interprets itself on questions of origins
  • shows that the first verifiably historical persons in Genesis are kings listed in Genesis 4 and 5
  • examines the material in its original cultural context, that of ancient Nilotic peoples
  • argues that Genesis isn't about human origins as much as it is about the origin of Messianic expectation among Abraham's ancestors
All the articles at Just Genesis are listed by topic alphabetically in the INDEX. Articles on Biblical Anthropology can be found at my other blog by that name.

About one-quarter of Genesis is the story of God’s dealings with Abraham and his ancestors (chapters 1-12). The other chapters deal with Abraham's descendants before the establishment of Israel. Because this is so, we recognize that the promise concerning the coming of the Seed of God by the Woman (Gen. 3:15) does not originate with the Jews. It is much older. We may speak of it as the "Proto-Gospel" because the Horite and Sethite Hebrew believed that the Son of God would be miraculously conceived, and that in his repose he would proclaim glad tidings to those in Hades. A Horite Hebrew song found at the royal complex at Ugarit speaks of Horus (HR) who descends to the place of the dead "to announce good tidings." 

The Seed of God was expected to crush the serpent's head. This early Hebrew expectation was expressed in the Pyramid Texts, dating to 2400 BC. "Horus has shattered (tbb, crushed) the mouth of the serpent with the sole of his foot (tbw)" (Utterance 388).

They believed that the Son of God would rise on the third day. A reference to the third day resurrection is found in the Pyramid Texts: "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." (Utterance 667) Jesus' third-day resurrection fulfilled that Horite Hebrew expectation in every detail.

The Messianic reference in Psalm 110:1 - The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." - is expressed 1000 years earlier in the Coffin Texts (Passage 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)

Jesus subdues the Father's enemies so that God's children might live and prosper. This is expressed in Psalm 2:12: "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him."

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Horus is called the "advocate of his father" (cf. 1 John 2:1).

The expectation of the coming of the Son of God was preserved by Abraham's ancestors to whom the promise was first made in Eden, a well-watered region that extended from the sources of the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.

The oldest known site of Horite Hebrew worship is at Nekhen on the Nile. The Hebrew ruler-priests served at many of the ancient Sun Cities. They gave the world the earliest known resurrection texts.

Waiting for the Eternal King 

The Genesis King Lists help us to understand the Bible's purpose and what we might call the "proto-Gospel" or the pattern upon which the prophets reflected and whereby Jesus Messiah would be identified as the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15. 

From beginning to end, the Bible is about the royal ancestry of Jesus Christ. It is possible to trace His ancestry because of the cousin bride's naming prerogative, whereby the cousin bride named her first-born son after her father. This is why there are two named Enoch, two named Lamech, two named Nahor, two named Esau, etc. Lamech the Elder (Gen. 4) bragged to his two wives, and his daughter Naamah gave birth to Lamech the Younger (Gen. 5). Naamah named her first-born son after her father. This is one of many examples in the Old Testament of the cousin bride's naming prerogative.

The cousin-bride's naming prerogative is found from Genesis 4 to Numbers and beyond, so it is not coincidental. Rather it is a feature of the unique marriage pattern of the early Hebrew. Many scholars (Noth, Albright, Speiser, etc.) concluded that Genesis 4 and Genesis 5 represent different oral or textual traditions of the same ruling line. This is NOT what the Bible claims, however, and I take the Bible's claims very seriously. Genesis claims that the rulers listed in Genesis 4 are the descendants of Cain and those listed in Genesis 5 are the descendants of Seth. The correspondence of names (Enoch/Enosh, Kain/Kenan, Irad/Jared, Lamech/Lamech, etc.) between the two lists has to do with the cousin-bride's naming prerogative, something that I discovered about 20 years ago using kinship analysis, a tool of anthropology. 

The kinship pattern of these early Hebrew rulers reflects characteristics typical of ancient castes. One of those characteristics is caste endogamy. The high-ranking rulers practiced bride exchange to strengthen the caste bonds.

All of the men listed in Genesis chapters 4 and 5 are rulers with two wives. One wife was a half-sister (as was Sarah to Abraham) and the other was either a patrilineal niece or a cousin (as was Keturah to Abraham). The cousin bride named her first-born son after her father because this son would serve as a high official in the territory of his maternal grandfather. Lamech's daughter, Naamah, married her patrilineal cousin, Methuselah, and named their first-born son Lamech. This son of Methuselah would serve in Lamech the Elder's territory as he belonged to the household of Lamech. 

Jesus Messiah is a direct descendant of the early Hebrew ruler-priests. As they regarded the Sun as the symbol of the Creator, divine appointment was expressed by overshadowing. Hathor, the mother of Horus, is consistently shown in ancient iconography as divinely overshadowed. The Greek word Horus is derived from the ancient Egyptian HR, meaning Most High One.

When the Virgin Mary asked how she was to become the mother of the Messiah, 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)

Friday, November 11, 2022

Abraham's Proper Heir

Dr. Alice C. Linsley

The Hebrew inheritance laws are complex because high-ranking rulers such as Abraham had two first-born sons. Abraham's first-borns sons were Joktan (born of Keturah, Gen. 25) and Ishmael, but neither of these sons were Abraham's proper heir. 

Among the early Hebrew the proper heir was the first-born son of the first wife, usually a half-sister, as was Sarah to Abraham (Gen. 20:12). This explains the deep sorrow of Abraham and Sarah that she was unable to bear children. It also sheds light on the story of Hagar and Ishmael’s banishment. Having provided a proper heir for Abraham after years of barrenness, Sarah became angry when she thought that Abraham’s love for both Ishmael and Isaac might lead him to divide his territory between them, as Eber did for his sons Peleg and Joktan.

Genesis 10:25 reports: “To Eber were born two sons: the first was called Peleg, because it was in his time that the earth [eretz] was divided, and his brother was called Joktan.”

The word eretz has multiple meanings: earth, land, soil, and territory. Since this passage deals with royal sons, the most appropriate word choice in this context is “territory”. It the appears that Eber divided his territory into two, assigning separate regions to each royal son. Peleg ruled over one territory and Joktan over the other. Abraham was a descendant of Peleg, and his half-brother Haran likely was a descendant of Joktan.

The clan of Jacob (Israel) went into Egypt, but they were not the only Hebrew clan. Clearly, some Hebrew were never in Egypt. The story of the Exodus does not apply to them. It is also likely that some Hebrew people remained in Egypt as they had deep roots in the Nile Valley.

In the Hebrew social structure, provision was made for the sons of high-ranking rulers to receive an inheritance, and grants were made to the sons of concubines. The value of the grants likely depended on the dowery of high-status concubines and on the generosity of the patriarch. Grants included land, servants, herds, camels, linen, leather goods, and articles of gold, copper, silver, and bronze.

However, only one son could assume control over the territory of his father and that was the first-born son of the principal wife. In Abraham's case, that was Isaac. He received the bulk of Abraham's wealth and assumed control over Abraham's territory which extended between Hebron and Beersheba. Abraham’s other sons received gifts and were sent away from Isaac (Gen. 25:6). The gifts helped the sent-away sons to become established in their own territories. This practice preserved Abraham’s territory intact and led to the wide dispersion of the Hebrew ruler-priests even before Abraham's time.

The Hebrew practice of endogamy played a role in amassing and preserving wealth. Their distinctive marriage and ascendancy pattern allowed for a smooth transition of power among the ruler-priests. It also made it possible to keep territories intact and to preserve wealth. Wealth among the early Hebrew involved herds, servants, gold, copper, and water resources. Some Hebrew controlled commerce on the rivers and major water systems. This provided income from cargo taxes. A major trade route between Egypt and Mesopotamia ran through part of Abraham’s territory and this likely provided him with a source of income. He also held the water rights to wells he dug in Gerar (Gen. 26:15).

It is evident from the biblical data that Abraham's clan observed an ancient code or tradition that pertained to rights of inheritance. His authority was attached to the ruler-priest caste into which he was born and was reinforced by his observation of this code. The early Hebrew believed that the tradition received from their ancestors was not to be changed. They preserved their religion heritage, ethnic identity, and wealth by marrying exclusively within their caste (endogamy).

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Adam and Eve of History


Sethite Hebrew priest of Nekheb on the Nile with authority over the palace.

Dr. Alice C. Linsley

Taken together, the biblical data indicates that Adam and Eve were historical persons. Their descendants listed in Genesis chapters 4, 5, 10, 11, 25, and 36 are the early Hebrew organized into two ritual groups (moieties): the Horites and the Sethites. The biblical data, and existing texts written by the early Hebrew, provide a great deal of information about the Hebrew ruler-priest caste.

As Adam is the founding father of the early Hebrew, so Eve is their founding mother. The term “Hebrew” comes from the ancient Akkadian word for priest – Abru. (Akkadian is the oldest known Semitic language.) The Hebrew ruler-priest caste was called Abrutu in Akkadian.

Adam is the father of Cain and Seth. Cain is described as an early “city” builder, and Seth is the founding father of the Sethite Hebrew who are mentioned in texts from as early as 2600 B.C. This means that the historical Adam lived before 4500 B.C.
The historicity of Adam is demonstrated by analysis of the kinship data found in the king lists of Genesis chapters 4 and 5. Adam’s sons Cain and Seth married their cousins, the daughters of Enoch, a contemporary of Adam. Enoch/Enosh/Enos is a royal title derived from the ancient Akkadian first-person pronoun: anāku. Likely, this is a reference to the royal first person.

Among the Igbo of Nigeria, anochie means “a replacer” or “to replace”, and among the Ashante of Ghana ano kyi means "Ano Junior." Here we find the idea of succession, suggesting royal lineages. A Nigerian philologist friend reports that anochie also means "direct heir to a throne." Therefore, the biblical name "Enoch" is associated with royal ascendancy among the early Hebrew. This may explain why the words enoch and adam are paralleled in Psalm 8:4.

“What is man [enosh] that you are mindful of him,

the son of man [ben adam] that you care for him?”

The diagram below shows the practice of “bride exchange” between the clans of Cain and Seth. The diagram shows Cain’s line on the left. This data is found in Genesis 4. Seth’s line is found in Genesis 5. Circles represent females. Triangles represent males. This symbol = represents the marriage bond.

Chapters 4 and 5 should be studied together to understand the marriage and ascendancy pattern of these early Hebrew rulers. Analysis of the king lists reveals that the early Hebrew practiced endogamy, that is, they married exclusively within their ruler-priest caste.

The wives of Cain and Seth were the daughters of Enoch. They named their first-born sons after their father. This custom is called the “cousin bride’s naming prerogative” and the pattern is consistent throughout the diagram. Kenan is named after Kain. Jared is named after Irad, and Lamech the Younger is named after his maternal grandfather Lamech the Elder.

The first-born sons of the early Hebrew ruled over territories in the region of Lake Chad, the Nile Valley, Canaan, Mesopotamia, and Southern Turkey. Eve’s first-born son was called Cain/Kain which refers to a ruler. Variants of the word include king, khan, kenan, and qayin. 

Cain’s brother was Seth (Genesis 5) who ruled in the “Land of Seti” in the Nile Valley. Genesis 4 states that Cain was banished from his homeland and that he went east of the Nile. We find his descendants the Kenites living in the land of Canaan. The word “Canaan” is related to the word Cain. The Kenites were itinerant metal workers. In Genesis 4, metal work is mentioned in association with Tubal-Cain.

Eve’s status among the early Hebrew is evident in her exclamation upon giving birth to her first-born son, Cain. In Genesis 4:1, she claims to have acquired a man, or more accurately a ruler with God's help. She declares “qanitti”. Note the royal affix -itti that appears in rulers’ names and in reference to kings. For example, the Akkadian itti šarrim means "with the king." Itti appears in royal names such as Nefertitti. Even today among the Oromo of East Africa the affix designates persons of high social standing: Kaartuumitti, Finfinneetti and Dimashqitti.

It appears that Cain's mother believed that she gave birth to a ruler. Indeed, Cain is the archetypal earthly ruler throughout the Bible. The Book of Jude warns those who might fall prey to false teachers that God punishes those who rebel against Him. He uses these examples: Cain the ruler, Balaam the prophet, and Korah the priest.

The Virgin Mary and Jesus Among Eve's Descendants

One of Eve’s descendants is the Virgin Mary, who according to Tradition, had been dedicated to the Temple. Her father was Joachim, a priest. Mary is among the Hebrew wives and daughters of social influence, prestige, and wealth. Some of their names are preserved in the Hebrew matronymics.

A matronymic (or matronym) is a personal name based on the given name of one's mother, grandmother, or a female ancestor. Female ancestors of especially high social standing were remembered through matronymics. Matronyms are not as common among the Hebrew as patronyms, but they do appear in the cases of high-status Hebrew women.

The Virgin Mary’s full name was "Miriam Daughter of Joachim, Son of Pntjr". Pntjr or Pa-Netjer refers to Joachim’s mother. She must have been of high social status for a matronymic to be employed. That Panetjer is a matronymic is evident from a limestone stela (1539-1291 B.C.) at the Brooklyn Museum bearing the names of Governor Pekhty-nisu and his wife Panetjer. It is certain that Mary’s ancestors were high ranking ruler-priests because even those who hated her admit this in the Talmud which claims: “She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters.” (Sanhedrin 106a)

Some editions of the Jerusalem Talmud specifically name Jesus as the son of Pandera/Panther. In this case "son" would mean descendant.

Long before Judaism emerged, the Hebrew believed in God Father, God Son, and the Spirit of God that generates life. They expected a woman of their ruler-priest caste to conceive the Son of God by divine overshadowing (cf. Luke 1). Hathor, the mother of Horus, is the archetype. Ancient images show her overshadowed by the Sun.

This expectation of the incarnation of the Son of God was fulfilled when the Virgin Mary brought forth Jesus, a direct descendant through his mother of the early Hebrew ruler-priests. In Christian iconography Mary is often shown overshadowed by a dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Culpability of Adam and Eve

The Risen Christ raises Adam and Eve from the tombs.

Alice C. Linsley

The Bible presents Adam and Eve in at least three ways: mythical, historical, and analogical. The mythical Adam and Eve present a theological understanding of estrangement from God. We first encounter figures called “Adam” and "Eve" in Genesis chapters 2, 3 and 4. The Adam and Eve of Genesis chapters2 and 3 are associated with the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life, and the Serpent who tempted Eve. Adam and Eve are blamed for humanity’s “Fall” from the state of grace enjoyed in the Garden.

Genesis chapters 4 and 5 indicate that Adam and Eve were the historical parents of Cain and Seth and the progenitors of the early Hebrew ruler-priests. The early Hebrew believed in God Father and God Son, and this belief is still found among African populations in connection with the theme of estrangement.

While studying tribal peoples in Nigeria, the anthropologist Charles Kraft asked a clan chief, "What did your people believe about God before the missionaries came?" In response, an old chief told this story:

“Once God and his son lived close to us. They walked, talked, ate, and slept among us. All was well then. There was no thievery or fighting or running off with another man's wife like there is now. But one day God's son ate in the home of a careless woman. She had not cleaned her dishes properly. God's son ate from a dirty dish, got sick, and died. This, of course, made God very angry. He left in a huff and hasn't been heard from since." (Charles Kraft, Christianity in Culture, Orbis Books, 1990, p. 153)

Another African story tells how "in the beginning death had not yet entered the world. There was plenty to eat, but a woman became greedy and tried to pound more grain than she was allotted. This required using a longer pestle. When she raised it to pound the grain, it struck the sky and God became angry and withdrew far into the heavens. Since then, people must toil the earth, death and disease trouble the people and it is no longer easy to reach God." (Richard Bush, ed. The Religious World, MacMillan Publishers, 1982, p. 38).

In these stories the female ancestor is responsible for the estrangement. However, in the Book of Romans, Paul holds Adam responsible for the Fall.

“Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people” (Rom. 5:12).

“Death reigned from the time of Adam . . . even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam” (Rom. 5:14).

“Many died by the trespass of the one man” (Rom. 5:15).

“By the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man” (Rom. 5:17).

“Through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners” (Rom. 5:19).

Genesis presents both Adam and Eve as culpable. This binary balance between male and female ancestors is characteristic of African stories. Likewise, many biblical narratives involving male heroes have female counterparts.

Though Eve is the serpent’s primary target, both Adam and Eve are held responsible. This binary balance between male and female is characteristic of the social structure of the early Hebrew and is reflected in biblical narratives.

There are many examples: the distinct duties/responsibilities of the mother's house versus the father's house; male prophets-female prophets; male rulers-female rulers; inheritance by male heirs-inheritance by female heirs, patrilocal residence-matrilocal residence; Hebrew patronymics-Hebrew matronymics; and in the Hebrew double unilineal descent pattern, both the patrilineage and the matrilineage are recognized and honored, but in different ways.

The blood symbolism of the Passover associated with Moses has a parallel in the blood symbolism of the scarlet cord associated with Rahab.

The abusive behavior of drunken Noah toward his sons has a parallel in the abusive behavior of drunken Lot toward his daughters.

This male-female binary balance is found in New Testament narratives also. Jesus restored the widow of Nain's deceased son to his mother (Luke 7:11-17). Jesus restored Jairus' deceased daughter to her father (Mark 5:21-43).

Adam and Eve serve as examples of estrangement from God. The estrangement results from disobedience and listening to appealing lies. Such “sinful” behaviors are found among all humans, so this narrative reflects a universal truth. Similar ideas of estrangement from the Creator are found in the myths of many cultures. However, it can be fairly argued that the Messianic Faith we call “Christianity” provides a unique answer to the problem of sin and death.

The theme of estrangement has deep roots among the early Hebrew whose point of origin was Africa. Prayers and songs written by the Hebrew priests of the Nile Valley are available to read in the Ancient Pyramid Texts. Some of these texts date to 2600 B.C. and speak of the bodily resurrection of a priest-king who would lead his people to immortality. Paul’s statement in Ephesians 4:8 reflects this early belief: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." The same belief is expressed in Psalm 68:18: “When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train…”

If you wish to comment on this post, please respond to these questions.

In what ways do we as Christians overcome estrangement from God?

In what ways do we celebrate God’s answer to sin and death?

Related reading: Adam and Estrangement from God; Male and Female are Primary in the Hebrew Scriptures; The Hebrew Were a Caste; Horite and Sethite Mounds; An Anthropologist Look at Genesis 4; An Anthropologist Looks at Genesis 5; Ancient Edom