Followers

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Cleromancy



Alice C. Linsley


Cleromancy refers to various methods of sorting for the purpose of making a decision. It has been used (and is still used) to eliminate potential marriage partners, to decide about business deals, and to establish the most propitious day for weddings and festivals that are not fixed.

The idea that a message might be received from God on a matter of human concern is very ancient. In early Egypt a person might sleep in the temple in the hope of receiving a message from the resident god. This is called incubation.

The casting of lots, the reading of the entrails of animals, cleromancy using astragali, and the use of occult objects were common practices in the ancient world. Casting lots was used by the sailors to determine that Jonah’s disobedience was somehow responsible for the perilous storm. The disciples determined who was to replace Judas by casting lots (Acts 1:21-26). In Luke 1:9, the priest Zacharias is selected by lot to burn incense at the veil of the temple. The high priest was selected by lots at the time of David (1 Chron. 24:31). Lots were cast to determine assignments of the Hebrew clans. We don’t understand how this worked, but it was a widespread decision-making method in the ancient Near East.

Genesis 12:6 suggests that Abraham consulted a seer when he came to Shechem. The seer is called a "moreh" and, as was often the case with those who gave advise, he sat under tree (Deborah sat under a tamar between Ramah and Bethel, Judges 4:5). The moreh's tree was an oak between Ai and Bethel. The term "moreh" refers to one who throws from the hand. Did the moreh cast lots or employ a method similar to the Urim and Thummin?

The High Priest’s use of the Urim and the Thummin is not a good example of cleromancy. The practice was directed by God in Exodus 28:30: “Also put the Urim and the Thummin in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the Lord. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.”

It appears that the Urim and Thummin were used to determine a yes-no answer to specific inquiries made by the High Priest. They represented a binary set, and each entity of the set had layers of associations. The priest was trained to recognize the greater over the lesser. We note many examples of binary thinking in the Old Testament: The Creator is greater than the creature; the Sun is greater than the Moon; males are larger and stronger than females, life is better than death, etc. Guidance involved pursuing the greater as it is reflected in the order of creation. (Romans 1:20 - "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.")

In dualism, the entities of the binary set are regarded as equal (Yin Yang). Yin Yang seeks to find balance and avoid extremes in decisions and implementation. However, in the ancient Hebrew way of thinking, one entity of the binary set is recognized as superior in some evident way to the other entity, and this guided decision making.

Jacques Derrida, the French-speaking Jew from North Africa, speaks of dominant and subordinate voices in literary texts. He explores the interplay of these voices. The Structuralist anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss observed the binary logic of primitive tribes that he studied (The Raw and The Cooked). The Deconstructionist philosopher Derrida could not escape the binary reality either. Levi-Strauss based his conclusions on empirical observation of humans; Derrida on analysis of human language. 


Monday, May 10, 2021

The Faith of the Early Hebrew Delivered to Us

 

This green malachite stone, a gift from the Egyptian king with whom the Hittites signed a treaty in 1258 BC, was at the center of a shrine in the Hittite capital of Hattusa (in Çorum Province in Turkey). Green malachite represented new life and the hope of resurrection among the Horite Hebrew devotees of God Father and God Son. The land of the blessed dead was described as the "field of malachite."

Green stones were associated with Horus or HR in ancient Egyptian, meaning Most High One. The Book of the Dead speaks of how the deceased will become a falcon "whose wings are of green stone" (chapter 77). The Eye of Horus amulet was made of green stone. The Pyramid Texts (ca. 2400 BC) speak of Horus as the "Lord of the green stone" (Utterance 301).



The oldest known site of Horite Hebrew worship is Nekhen on the Nile (4000 BC). It was at a high elevation (mound) to protect it from the annual floods. The Horite Hebrew were very familiar with floods.

The flood that Noah experienced in Central Africa (ca. 4000 BC) was remembered by his children Ham, Shem, and Japheth, and their descendants: Cush, Nimrod, Peleg, Terah, Abraham (ca. 2100 BC).... long before the time of Moses (ca. 1500 BC).

All these men are members of the same Horite Hebrew ruler-priest caste, as has been demonstrated by analysis of their distinctive kinship pattern. That's science!

This suggests that all the narratives in Genesis 1-12 come from the same people group, and that these details are part of a received tradition extending back at least 6000 years.

After 40 years of methodical research, God-dropped hints, the right people crossing my path at the right moment, countless pages of reading and note taking, 13 years of blogging, public speaking, etc... I have scratched the surface of what the Bible has to tell us about Jesus Messiah, the Son of God, whose expectant ancestors were justified because they believed in Him before the Incarnation. His identity was confirmed by His resurrection which they had hoped to see.


Alice C. Linsley

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Biblical Symbolism of the Pomegranate






The pomegranate symbolized the hope for immortality among the ancient Egyptians. Pomegranates appear on the walls of Egyptian tombs and temples. The pomegranate tree is mentioned in several ancient Egyptian poems and in the funerary texts of Tuthmose I.

This is an image of Amenemhet carrying pomegranates. He was an official of Thutmose III (1481-1425 BC). Credit: The Yorck Project




It is likely that the pomegranate was a similiar sacred symbol of the biblical Hebrew. The hem of the High Priest’s robe had a row of pomegranates and gold bells. 

"And on the skirts thereof thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, round about the skirts thereof; and bells of gold between them round about." (Exodus 28:33. Also see Exodus 39:24-26).





The Tyrian master craftsmen Hiram carved pomegranates onto the capitals of the pillars at the entrance to the Holy of Holies.

"He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital." (1 Kings 7:18)

The presence of clay pomegranates in Iron Age graves indicates its symbolic association with the hope of immortality.  

Pomegranates have been found in some of the Iron Age graves at Wadi Fidan (Southern Jordan). This cemetery appears to be a burial site of ancient Edomites, Israelites, and Midianites.

The pomegranate was first cultivated in Mesopotamia and spread throughout the Levant. Carbonised remains of pomegranate peels have been found from the Early Bronze Age in Jericho and Arad. 
Bronze Age in Jericho and Arad as well as in Iraq, Lebanon, Greece and Spain
(Nigro and Spagnoli 2018: 51).



Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Father of Adam and Eve

 


Alice C. Linsley


In Genesis, Adam's wife is called Hava (חוה) which is descriptive of her role as the birther (Gen. 3:20). Just as Abraham left his father's house to gain a kingdom which required that Sarah give birth to his proper heir, so Adam was to leave his father and mother and cleave to Eve (Gen. 2:24) that he might establish a line of descendants. His descendants include Ammonites, Canaanites, Edomites, Hittites, Kushites, Midianites, and Moabites.

Who might Adam’s father be in the original context of the Genesis 2-3 narrative? I my view, the Adam and Eve story speaks of African riverine populations of the middle Neolithic Period (6000-3800 BC). In that context God is their father.

Adam describes Eve as bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, suggesting that she and he may have the same father, as did Sarah and Abraham. As Adam's half-sister, she would have produced Adam's heir, which is Cain as the first-born son. This may explain the royal affix -itti- in Genesis 4: I, where Eve claims to have acquired a man or a ruler with God's help. E. A. Speiser (Anchor Bible Commentary on Genesis, p. 30) believes that the Hebrew qaniti (Gen. 4:1) is in assonance with "Cain" (Qayin). However, the word that appears here is Akkadian, not Hebrew. Iti or itti is an affix that appears with rulers’ names, and in reference to deities. For example, itti šarrim means "with the king." Another example: itti-Bel-balatu means "with Bel there is life." Itti appears in royal names such as Nefertitti. Even today among the Oromo of the Horn of 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.


Circles represent the wives of Cain and Seth. 

Explanation of Diagram: The left side is Cain's line (Gen. 4) and the right side is Seth's line (Gen. 5). The analysis reveals the early Hebrew kinship feature of the cousin bride's naming prerogative. The cousin bride named her first-born son after her father. Kain's unnamed daughter married her cousin Enosh and named their first-born son Kenan/Kain after her father. Irad's unnamed daughter married her cousin Mahalalel and named their first-born sons Jared/Yared/Irad after her father. Lammech the Elder's daughter Naamah married Methuselah and named their first-born son Lamech. 


Adam, Eve, Kain, Seth and all their descendants listed in Genesis 4 and 5 are rulers. Their marriage and ascendancy pattern involved marriage to half-sisters and patrilineal cousins. According to the Genesis 4 and 5 kinship analysis (see diagram above), Kain and Seth married the daughters of a ruler named Enoch/Enosh/Enos, and their brides named their first-born sons after their father. Enoch/Enosh is a royal title referring to succession. Enoch is derived from the Ancient Egyptian anochi which is the royal first-person pronoun.

Among the Igbo, anochie means “a replacer” or “to replace” and among the Ashante the word ano kyi means "Ano Junior." In these cases, 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. That may explain why the words Enoch and adam are paralleled in Psalm 8:4. Their royal lines intermarried.


"What is man (Enoch) that you are mindful of him,

or the son of man (ben adam) that you care for him?”


If Adam and Eve were half-siblings and first parents of the Hebrew clans, then God is their father. The idea of the Creator being Father to the first parents is found in the stories of many pre-literate societies.

Perhaps Adam and Eve lived in close communion with the Creator for eons before Satan tempted Eve. We tend to think of Adam and Eve as callow youth. Perhaps they did not age physically, but they matured experientially. Why couldn’t they have lived for eons before the fall?

This is a fascinating aspect of the meta-historical view of Adam and Eve. In this view, they are above time and ageless. The Bible presents at least 3 portraits of Adam and this is one of them. It is less about an event in history than it is about an understanding of God that is typically African.

The late Dr. Abraham Akrong, formerly at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, explains: "God in Africa is a relational being who is known through various levels of relationship with creation. In relationship to humanity, God is the great ancestor of the human race. Therefore, all over Africa God is portrayed more in terms of a parent than as sovereign."


Related reading: Three Portraits of Adam; Adam Was a Red Man; The Historical Adam; When is the Evidence Sufficient?; The Science of Biblical Anthropology


Sunday, April 11, 2021

False Correlations Based on Homophonic Resemblances

 

Tungus shaman with mask and drum.


Alice C.Linsley


The term shaman (šaman) comes from the Manchu-Tungus verb ša, 'to know'. The shaman is consulted to determine the cause of trouble that comes upon a family of community. The shaman consults spirits in a trace state. His or her knowing is of an occult nature. In the shaman’s worldview, trouble, disaster, sickness, and war result when the spirits are offended and/or the spirit world is in disharmony. The shaman’s tools are usually a drum, a medicine bag, amulets, fetishes, masks, fire, and smoke.

The Hebrew words shemen (Strong's #8081) and shamen (Strong's #8082) refer to oil. The verb form is שמן (shaman, Strong's #8080) and means “to be fat.”

There is no relation between the Tungus term shaman and the Hebrew terms shamen/shaman. As Calvin Steck has written, “Homophonic resemblances occur regularly across languages, and there is no significance other than curious amusement. Consider the Hebrew student’s gag line/ mi מי is who, hu הוא is he, hi היא is she, and shi שּׁי is that.”

The terms šaman (Tungus) and shamen/shaman (Hebrew) have totally different cultural contexts. The two languages are not related. Hebrew is a Semitic language in the Afro-Asiatic family. Tungusic (Manchu-Tungus) languages belong to the Altaic family with the Turkic and Mongolian language groups.

In the Hebrew worldview the priest is forbidden to consult spirits, and troubles are largely the consequence of violating divine Law. 





Wednesday, March 31, 2021

An Invitation to Readers of Just Genesis

 


Many of the topics explored at Just Genesis are also discussed in the international Facebook forum The Bible and Anthropology. Those discussions are lively and informative. 

That forum is not for theological conversation. Rather, we identify and discuss anthropologically significant data in the canonical texts. The purpose of the group is to advance the science of Biblical Anthropology.


These are a few of the topics we consider at that forum:

  • The social structure of the biblical Hebrew
  • Kinship analysis
  • Ancient biblical populations
  • Burial practices and grave goods of biblical populations
  • Artifacts and dating
  • Solar symbolism
  • Origins of the Messianic Faith (before Judaism)
  • The dispersion of the Horite Hebrew ruler-priest caste
  • Linguistic connections between Sumerian, Akkadian, and other Semitic languages
  • DNA studies that pertain to biblical populations

If you enjoy reading the posts at Just Genesis, you will enjoy the discussions at The Bible and Anthropology. The members come from around the globe and represent different religions, including Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. We even have a few agnostics! Consider joining the forum. 

Alice C. Linsley


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Failed Parallels, Confused People


Alice C. Linsley

In historical analysis, literary criticism, and comparative mythology "parallelomania" refers to works that stress apparent similarities and construct parallels and analogies without historical basis. Without historical basis, the parallel is considered false and unfounded. There are many examples of parallelomania and false correlations circulating on the Internet. Here is an example:

  • Abraham is a variant of Brahma.
  • Sara is a variant of Sarawati.
  • Brahma and his wife Saraswati are the founders of the worlds.
  • Abraham is said to be the father of many nations.
  • Abraham and Sara represent a parallel to the Hindu myth.

The mythical Brahma and Sarawati are posed as a parallel to the historical Abraham and Sarah, but the historical evidence that links the two couples is never provided. There are linguistic connections between the ancient languages spoken by Abraham's ancestors and the Dravoid peoples. They share ancient Akkadian roots, as has been recognized by Hindu scholars. However, no logical conclusions can be drawn simply on the basis of the resemblance of names. Sarawati refers to a river and a sub-caste of Hindu Brahman society. 

This is not to dismiss the importance of myth as it reflects the beliefs of a given people in a given time and place. Myths speak in symbols and Jung discovered that discrete symbols emerged in the dreams of people with common ancestors. He called this the "collective unconscious." Mythic symbols and narratives must be investigated using the same test: Is there sufficient historical basis for drawing the parallel?

This raises a question about the proper boundaries of historical investigation. None would question the value of referring to the writings of ancient historians to better understand their contexts. Ancient sacred texts are useful for historical investigation also. However, secularists tend to regard religious documents as questionable historical evidence. 

As an anthropologist, I am aware of the dangers of constructing parallels without substantial evidence. I have no interest in exaggerating trifling resemblances. The apparent similarities between Horus and the biblical account of Jesus Christ are not an example of parallelomania. Instead, the evidence suggests that the Horite Hebrew belief in Horus as the son of God is the basis of Messianic expectation. 

A close reading of Genesis reveals that Abraham's ancestors came out of the Nile Valley. His cultural context was Kushite. Abraham's father Terah was a Horite Hebrew priest, and the Horite Hebrew were devotees of Re, Hathor and Horus. That has been confirmed by archaeology, anthropology, DNA studies, ancient texts, and migration studies. 

Abraham and his people held Hathor as a sacred archetype. She conceived Horus by divine overshadowing. She points to the Virgin Mary, who by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, brought forth the "Seed" of God in accordance with Genesis 3:15. The message of Christianity is that Jesus fulfilled the expectation of a Righteous Ruler who would trample down death by his death and lead his people to immortality.

The Ra-Horus-Hathor narrative is a form of the Proto-Gospel. To pose Christianity and the faith of the Horite Hebrew as an example of parallelomania is nonsense! The Horite Hebrew believed in God Father and God Son. Horus is the pattern upon which Messianic expectation developed. Jesus is the only figure of history who fits the pattern, and He is a descendant of the Horite ruler-priests, as I have demonstrated through scientific analysis of the Horite marriage and ascendancy pattern

Christianity is not an invented religion based on the Horus myth. It is a faith with deep roots, a received tradition concerning a unique hope for life beyond death. That life is given through the 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."

The Horite expectation that the Divine One 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.

Consider how Horus, the archetype of Christ, describes himself 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)

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

It has been argued that the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection are based on the Horus myth, and that Christianity is a copy-cat religion. This argument has no basis in facts, and has been proven false.

The core of Christianity concerns the expectation of a Divine Son or the "Seed"of God. This is called “Messianic Expectation” and is attributed to the Jews. However, it existed long before there was a "Jewish" ethnicity. It is attributed to the ancient Hebrew.

This expectation can be traced to Abraham’s Horite ancestors. They believed that one of their virgins would miraculously conceive and bring forth the Son/Seed of God. This was a central belief of Abraham’s Horite ancestors

Why would the Horite Hebrew believe this? What was the basis for their hope?  The answer appears to be found in Genesis 3:15. Abraham’s ancestors received a promise that a “Woman” of their ruler-priest lines would bring forth the Seed who would crush the serpent’s head and restore paradise.

The myth of Horus 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. Their cultural context was Kushite and they expected a woman of their blood lines to bring forth the "Seed" of God in accordance with the first biblical promise (Gen. 3:15). This is the origin of Messianic expectation, and clearly it did not originate with the Jews who reject belief in God Son. (See Trinitarian Correspondances Between Mesopotamia and the Nile.)

Because the myth of Horus has striking parallels to the story of Jesus, some claim that Christians borrowed the idea of a dying-rising deity from the ancient Egyptians. That claim fails to take into consideration that the New Testament writers were heirs of the Horite Hebrew religion and they saw Jesus as the fulfillment of the ancient hope for a ruler-priest who would overcome death.




This statute of the Kushite-Nubian Pharaoh Taharqa shows him holding two orbs and kneeling before the falcon totem of Horus. The two orbs are the Upper and Lower Nile regions which were first united by the Kushite-Nubian kings before the first Egyptian dynasties. Apparently, the inscription states that Taharka is offering "wine to the little-known Egyptian falcon-god Hemen." Inscriptions are not reliable because sometimes they are written long after the statue was created or are changed to honor the current ruler and the current ruler's favorite deity.

We have reason to doubt that Taharqa is venerating Hemen as Hemen's totem was a hippopotamus. The falcon is the totem of Horus. At Nekhen, the oldest known site of the Horite Hebrew, Hemen was associated with Horus, the Son of  the High God Ra. 

One ancient Nilotic text says, "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’.”

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

A reference to Horus' resurrection on the third day is found 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." (1941b)

The Horite Hebrew expectation that the Divine One 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." However, it was expressed almost 1000 years earlier in the Pyramid Texts.