Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kushite Wives

Alice C. Linsley

Abraham's ancestors were ethnically Nilo-Kushitic. Their royal lines intermarried, so that the rulers are often associated with Kushite wives.  Kushite wives are found among the Horite clans and many of the greatest figures of Biblical history married Kushite brides. The names of these wives often represent the Kushite clans to which they belonged. Abraham had two Kushite wives: Sara and Keturah. Their names represent two Horite clans: the Sa-ra and the Ketu-ra.

Judah had two Kushite wives. One was named Shua and she was Judah's half-sister. (Genesis actually names two daughters of Jacob: Dinah and Shua.) By his two wives Judah had two firstborn sons: Er and Onan. Their names represent two Horite territories. Er (Ur) is the eastern territory of the Asiatic Horites in Ur, and Onan (Onn) is the western Horite territory centered at Heliopolis on the Nile. All of these Horites were ethnically Kushite.

Er would have been Judah’s firstborn son by his “Canaanite” wife, the daughter of Shua. Shua is a woman’s name and related to the word Y’shua, meaning salvation. The first Shua is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 7:32 as the daughter of Eber. She lived seven generations before Judah in the land of Canaan. Evidently one of her descendants married Judah.

Moses also married a Kushite wife, his half-sister.  Moses' father and mother were Kushites. His father's name was Amram which designates a ruler among Abraham's Horite people. This is the origin of the word Aramean, which also refers to the language spoken by the Asiatic Horites who lived in the territory of Aram, the son of Shem (Gen. 10:22). He is the first Aram mentioned in the Bible. That his throne continued is evident from the fact that he had a descendant named Aram. Aram the Younger was the son of Kemuel, Abraham's nephew (Gen. 22:21). Rebecca was Aram's niece.

Aram the Elder apparently had two wives.  One resided in Aram and the other in Paddan-Aram.  Rebecca lived in Paddan-Aram.

Abraham’s Two Wives Were Ethnically Kushites

Let us consider the case of Abraham’s two wives, Sa-ra and Ketu-ra. Both are named for Kushitic clans and were the daughters of Horite rulers, as evidenced by the name of their God, Ra. Sara was the daughter of Terah who controlled the Euphrates between Ur and Haran. After Abraham settled in Canaan, she resided at Hebron. She was Abraham's wife and his half-sister. They had the same father, but different mothers (Gen. 20:12). In other words, their father Terah had two wives.

This information is consistent with the kinship pattern of Kushite rulers who maintained two wives in separate households on a north-south axis. One wife was a half-sister and the other was a patrilineal cousin or niece.

The Sara constitute the largest population group in Chad. Sara society is organized by patrilineal descent from a common male ancestor. There is a 3-clan confederation such as characterizes Abraham's people. The qir ka are the eastern Sara, the qin ka are those living in central Chad, and the qel ka are the western groups. According to legend, there were giants among them. (The Sara make up to 30% of Chad's population. About a sixth are Christians and live in southern Chad. The Sara people include the Ngambaye, Mbaye, and Goulaye.)

Sara’s name is associated with laughter twice in Genesis. She laughed when she heard that she would have a son (Gen. 18:13) and she laughed when her son was born (Gen. 21:6). Here we have recognition of a linguistic connect to Abraham’s Kushite ancestors. The initial צְחֹק (in a rare participial form) refers to Sara's joyful laughter upon giving birth to a son. This relates the name Sara is derived to the Kushite word saran, meaning joy. The final N enhances laughter to joy. The word saran is also found in Hindi and is usually translated refuge. The word was probably introduced into India by the ancient Sudra (Sudanese) who established the Har-appa civilization. (Har-appa means Horus is Father.)

Genesis tells us that the name of Sara's son is also associated with laughter. The name Isaac is Yitzak in Hebrew. Here we see the root zak which means laughter in Amharic.

The association of laughter with the name Sara is suggested by the Hausa verb to laugh which is dara. Dara and Sara may be regarded as cognates since the letters d and s are interchangeable in the Proto-Saharan languages spoken by Abraham’s Kushite ancestors.

Ketu-ra was named for the Ketu-Jebu, a branch of the biblical Jebusites. She was the daughter of Joktan who controlled the well and the metalworking industry at Beer-Sheba and its surrounding area. These wives marked the northern and southern boundaries of Abraham’s territory.

Two Wives Represent Two Thrones

Sarah was Abraham's sister wife and Keturah was Abraham's cousin wife. The cousin wives named their firstborn sons after their fathers, a pattern that makes it possible to trace their family lines. As Levi-Strauss noted in 1949, in a patrilineal system the mother and son do not belong to the same clan. In Genesis we have evidence that the firstborn of the cousin bride belonged to the bride's father's house, not to her husband's house. So Keturah's firstborn ascended to the throne of his maternal grandfather, after whom he was named. The firstborn of the sister-wife ascended to the throne of his biological father. So Issac ruled after Abraham while Joktan, Keturah's firstborn son, ruled after Joktan the Elder. He is the progenitor of the Joktanite clans of Arabia.

Sarah's brother was Haran, a name connected to Harun which is the Arabic form of the name Aaron. Aaron's father was Amram. (Ran is the linguistic equivalent to ram, meaning exalted or ruler.) Abraham and his two wives belonged to the great ruling clans of the Afro-Asiatic Dominion. They controlled the major water systems from the Nile to the great rivers of Pakistan and India.

Har-ran means "mountain of Ran/chief" just as har-meni means "mountain of Meni."  Mount Meni is the likely location of Noah's Ark. Today is is called is "Mount Kenya" in East Africa, but the assumption persists that the ark landed in the Ararat mountains of (H)Ar-menia. Ararat is the Arabic word for vehemence.

Since ran is the equivalent of ram, Ha-ram would then be equivalent to (H)Aram. This refers to the Aramaean kingdom (see map). Aram and Paddan-Aram were two settlement in this kingdom.  Rebekah came from Paddan-Aram ("field belonging to Aram") to marry Isaac in Beersheba. Aram means "exalted."  The name can be traced from Shem to one of Nahor the Elder's grandsons. It is the same root as Amram, the name of Moses' father. He too was a Kushite ruler-priest with two wives. Ishar was his cousin/niece wife and Jochebed was his half-sister wife.

Now it makes sense that Moses married a Kushite wife (Numbers 12:1). She would have been his half-sister and the wife of his youth. Zipporah was his patrilineal cousin or niece who he married later. This is the marriage and asendancy pattern unique to the Kushite rulers who were devotees of Horus who was called "son of God."

This also explains why Korah resisted Moses' leadership. As the firstborn of Amram by his cousin-wife, and Moses' elder brother, Korah's right to rule was supported by a long-standing tradition of primogeniture (right of the firstborn son). This pattern was often over-ruled by God who came to the aid of sent-away sons to whom He delivered a kingdom. Many of the Bible's greatest figures were sent-away sons. These include Abraham, Ishmael, Jacob, Moses, and David. The eternal Christ was sent-away in the sense that He left His preincarnate glory with the Father before all the worlds were created to come to this earth, sent by the Father for the redemption of sinners.

Related reading: The Pattern of Two Wives; Who Were the Kushites?; Who Were the Horites?; Sarah's Laughter; The Nigerian Boundary of the Jebu-Sheba-Joktan Confederation


Anonymous said...

I find your writings and interpretations interesting. Would you mind telling us where you get your information? For instance, if you reference something from the Bible, would you tell us where? And if it isn't, the same?

Alice C. Linsley said...

I will try to be more diligent about citing biblical references. Thanks.

The genealogical segments appear in diagram form at this blog and they involve mutiple verses in more than one chapter. For example the Genesis 4 and 5 king lists, as here:

Anonymous said...

Hi Alice,

I often wondered what was so significant about Sarah, Rebekah and Leah and Raquel lineages that the promised sons had to come from their wombs and could not come from any other women, outside of their blood line? If the man carries the seed was it not enough for Abraham to have children with any woman and be accepted?

Does tribal lineage come from the mother or the father. This is an ongoing debate between Orthodox Jews and Karites.



Alice C. Linsley said...


Shalom! I recommend reading this 7-part series on The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew.

Orthodox Jews take their information from the Talmud. The Talmud often contradicts the data of the Hebrew Bible. I have come to be rather suspicious of Orthodox Jewish interpretation of their history. This explains why:

The Karite history includes sources of important information that the rabbis ignore.