Sunday, March 10, 2013

History Channel's Bible Series: Episode 2

Alice C. Linsley

The second episode of the History Channel's Bible series is likely to have as many viewers as the first episode, which broke all 2013 records for cable programs with 13.1 million viewers.

The second segment covers the "tribes of Israel" returning to the "homeland" under the leadership of Joshua (Yeshua/Jesus). These Israelites were Horites and they were fighting other Horites to gain control of important cities in Canaan. The Horites (Horim in Hebrew) were a caste of ruler-priests who were in charge of the shrines in Canaan. These shrines were in the important cities that the warriors of Joshua attacked.


The Samson segment pointed out that some Horites took Nazarite vows to refrain from wine and beer and to leave their hair uncut. In some African languages "delila" means troublesome flirt. This story highlights the conflict with the Philistines, but belongs in the category of nationalistic literature, not history. Other stories in this category include the heroines Susanna and Esther. The Samson story sets up the story of David as a warrior who is victorious over the Philistine giant Goliath.

The Judges

Life under the "judges" (morehs) is passed over as the story moves to Saul and David. This was another missed opportunity, as here we might have learned about the authority of women in the ancient world. The judges included women such as Deborah. Judges 4:4-6 tells us, “Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment." Deborah is associated with a tamar at the sacred center between the important shrines of Ramah to the south and Bethel to the north. Ramah was the hometown of the prophet Samuel.

Abraham consulted the moreh at the oak tree in Shechem (Gen. 12:6) and likely consulted another between the shrines of Bethel to the west and Ai the the east (Gen. 12:8).

There continued to be judges after the establishment of the monarchy. Huldah is an example. She lived approximately 655 years after Deborah. We read in 2 Kings 22:14 that King Asaiah sent his priests to consult the “prophetess” Huldah. She was living in Jerusalem, in the new section. Her name indicates that she belonged to the Horite clan of Hul, a son of Aram (Gen. 10:23).

From the information available, it appears that the judges were good regional rulers. People traveled great distances to confer with them in matters pertaining to marriage, sickness, and fertility. The rulers especially relied on them in making decisions about war and alliances.The judges, unlike the ruler-priests, resided at water sources located midway between the shrine cities. This "between" position marked a sacred center, just as the tree of life was in the middle of the garden.

Missing the Horites in front of our faces

The History Channel's first episode (which I reviewed here) missed the Nilotic cultural context of Abraham and his Horite ancestors, and the second episode also fails to tell the story of the Horites. Both Abraham and Moses were Horites, as has been definitively demonstrated in analysis of the common marriage and ascendancy pattern of their ruler-priest fathers Terah and Amram.

The Horites originated in ancient Kush so Moses' marriage to a Kushite woman was consistent with the endogamous marriage pattern of the Horite rulers. The lines of Cain and Seth intermarried, as did the lines of Ham and Shem, and the lines of Abraham and Na-Hor (Horus is exalted). The marriage and ascendancy pattern of these lines remained unchanged from the earliest days of Horite rule to the time of Jesus (The Horite Ancestry of Jesus Christ).

Anthropological analysis demonstrates that Moses was indeed a direct descendant of Terah through the line of Nahor and his younger brother Abraham. The following diagram, based on biblical data, shows that Moses' father was a descendant of Seir the Horite who is named in Genesis 36.

Seir's Horite clan resided in the area of Edom. Petra was an Edomite shrine city and rivaled Jerusalem in grandeur, size and importance. It had underground water systems similar to those under Jerusalem.

The Edomites, to whom David was related, were said to have a reddish skin tone. (Edom, edo, odum, and ido are variations of Nilo-Saharan and Akkadian words for red.) 1 Samuel 17:42 describes David as ruddy or red-skinned. He is one of the descendants of the red Nubian Horites.

Red and black Nubians
reflect the great genetic diversity of Africa

Seir the Horite was the son of Dishan and the brother-in-law of Esau the Younger. Uz the Younger was Seir's grandson.

Two of Abraham's nephews were Huz and Buz (Gen. 22:20). Uz the Elder is mentioned in Genesis 10:23. His grandson, Uz the Younger, is shown in the diagram above. He is the son of Dishan (I Chron. 1:42). These are the sons and grandsons of Abraham's older brother Na-Hor. Nahor inherited Terah's kingdom in the region of the Tigris-Euphrates. 

According to I Chronicles 5:14 Buz had a son named Jahdo, and Jahdo's son was Yeshishai, the Aramaic form of Joshua (Yeshua/Jesus). This connects the name Jesus with the Horites. 

The entire Bible is about Jesus and his Horite ancestors

From Genesis to Revelation we have one story. It is about Jesus, the Seed of God first promised in Genesis 3:15, and his Horite people. The prominence of the Horites is attested by the detail provided in Genesis 36 and I Chronicles. Bethlehem, Jesus' birth place, was a Horite settlement.

Before the Exodus Horites were dispersed throughout Canaan. They served at shrines and temples throughout the ancient Afro-Asiatic dominion which extended from the Lake Chad Basin to the Indus River Valley.

The Horites are ignored in the History Channel's Bible series, and regarded as distantly related to Abraham in Bible commentaries, when in fact they are Abraham's people. Even today Jews call their ancestors "Horim".

Horite men married the daughters of Horite priests whose shrines were at rivers, oases, and wells. This is why there are many stories about men meeting their future wives at wells. Isaac and Jacob married Horite brides. Genesis 36 tells us that Esau the Younger married a Oholibamah, another Horite bride. (Oholibamah means most high tent or tabernacle, and she is a type of the Virgin Mary.) Joseph married Asenath, the daughter of a Horite priest of the Nile shrine city at Onn (Heliopolis), to which the great pyramids were aligned.

From study of the Heliopolitan cosmogony expressed in the Pyramid and Coffin texts, it is apparent that Heliopolis was both the city of the Sun and the sacred center of the primeval ocean which was called Nun. The many pillars that comprised the temple complex symbolized the connection between the waters below and the waters above (Gen. 1:7). Joshua, son (bin) of Nun, was of a ruler-priest family associated with this prestigious complex. This connection to Egypt is evident in the fact that Joshua is the only spy in Numbers 14:4-16 for whom the Arabic bin is used instead of the Hebrew ben.

Horites fighting Horites in Canaan

The Hebrews who came out of Egypt are called "Israelites" because they are descendants of Jacob who was called Israel. Jacob and his descendants were Horites. The word "Hebrew" comes from the word Ha-biru. The word also appears in ancient records as Ha-piru and O-piru. In all the texts it refers to shrine priests and temple attendants. The Hebrews who came out of Egypt were not the only Hebrews. Habiru were living dispersed among the Canaanites before the time of the Exodus. They were the priests, warriors and metalworkers who enjoyed relatively high status in the Canaanite shrine settlements.

The shrine cities in which Horites lived included Hazor, Ramah, Bethel, Jerusalem, Hebron and Beersheba. They were built on high ground and are therefore called "mound settlements" or tells. They had good water sources and were organized with separate neighborhoods for the ruling class and the commoners. Extended families lived in close proximity, usually with a common courtyard. The ruler's complex was on higher ground and included quarters for residential staff such as cooks, craftsmen, warriors and priests. The most holy shrine or small temple was often within the royal complex. The Habiru coming out of Egypt sought to displace their Habiru brethren from these cities

Joshua bin Nun led bands of Horites in forays against towns and cities in Canaan. Probably the first to be attacked was Hazor, the administrative center of an ancient territory. This is attested in Joshua 11:10: "Hazor in olden days was the capital of all these kingdoms."

Grain and other commodities were brought as tribute to Hazor and were stored there. Excavations have uncovered huge storage facilities there. These and tunnels to the subterranean water pits testify to the importance of the city.

Hazor is mentioned in 14th century BC diplomatic correspondence between the Egyptian administration and its representatives in Canaan and Amurru (Amorites) during the New Kingdom. These are called the Amarna Letters. Hazor is also mentioned in earlier Execration texts, and in 18th century BC documents found in Mari on the Euphrates River.

From the Upper Egyptian Amarna letters come evidence that the king of Hazor was under the rule of the Egyptian Pharaoh. Other rulers mentioned in the Letters include Lib'ayu of the shrine city of Shechem and Abdi-Heba who ruled in the shrine city of Jerusalem in the mid-1330s BC. Abdi-Heba hired some Apiru/Habiru (Hebrew) to serve as mercenaries. Among the Habiru were clans known for their skill in spying and combat. Others were known for their skill in metal work some of which was done at the shrine cities since these had sufficient water, and metal articles such as jewelry, mirrors, tools, weapons and sacred vessels were crafted for the rulers.

It is possible that Hazor was burned by the Egyptians with the help of Horite warriors such as Joshua and Caleb. Seti I claimed to have destroyed Hazor in a military campaign around 1300 BC. It is plausible that Horite warriors were among Seti's destroyers of Hazor and that event is remembered in the Hebrew Bible.

Archaeologists know that Hazor was destroyed by a large fire between 1400 and 1100 BC, but they do not agree on the cause of the fire. Israeli Archaeologist Amnon Tor-Ben believes that the Israelites conquered Hazor and burned it as described in Joshua 11:11- "None of the cities that stood on mounds did Israel burn, except Hazor only; that Joshua burned."  Joshua 8:28 contradicts this, reporting that Joshua also burned Ai, which was a Horite shrine in Abraham's time. Joshua 6:24 further reports that Joshua burned Jericho.

Jericho is where a second passover took place, the symbol of which is the scarlet cord. The scarlet cord is used in a priestly ritual to restore people to the community (Lev. 14:4-6; 49-52). Rahab and her household were passed over when the Horites attacked Jericho. She tied a scarlet cord outside her house so that she and all her family would be saved when the Israelites swept through that city. God redeemed their lives from destruction, and from Rahab and Salman came King David and a greater king - Jesus.

Concerning Rahab, St. Ambrose wrote that she "uplifted a sign of her faith and the banner of the Lord's Passion; so that the likeness of the mystic blood, which should redeem the world, might be in memory. So, outside, the name of Joshua [Jesus] was a sign of victory to those who fought; and inside, the likeness of the Lord's passion was a sign of salvation to those in danger." (On the Christian Faith, Book V, no. 127)

Caleb, another Horite warrior

Another great Horite leader who waged war against Canaanite cities was Caleb son of Jephunneh. Jephunneh was a descendant of Kain which is why he was called a ‘Kenizzite’ הַקְּנִזּי haKenizi (cf. Gen. 15:19). The Kenizzites were a Horite clan according to Gen. 36:11 - "And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.” Caleb's connection to the Kenites is made explict in 1 Chronicles 2:55 which says that Caleb's sons were Kenites. Kenaz was a son of Eliphaz by Timna, daughter of Seir the Horite (See green diagram above).

One of Caleb's grandsons was named Korah (I Chron. 2:43), which refers to the Horite priesthood. Moses' half-brother was Korah. The name means "shaved one" as Horite priests shaved their bodies before their terms of service.

From this information we may infer that Caleb also was associated with the Horites. His family settled in Bethlehem, a Horite settlement. Caleb's son Salma is designated the "founder" of Bethlehem in I Chronicles 2:51.

Better the rule of judges than the rule of Saul

Saul was from Giba (Gibeah), where they raped the Horite priest's concubine and practiced homosex. The Priest cut his concubine's body into pieces and sent pieces to the tribes saying, "Never has such a thing [homosex] been known among the Israelites." (Judges 19:30)

God told Samuel to go along with the elders' wish to have a king, but Saul was a disaster. The judges showed greater wisdom and righteousness than Saul. Saul practiced shamanic religion in that he prophesied in a frenzied state (1 Sam. 10). This is attributed to an evil spirit in 1 Sam. 18:10 - "The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house...".  Horite prophets (morehs/judges) were forbidden to prophesy in trace states. Saul also consulted mediums (1 Sam. 28:4-25), another practice forbidden to Horites.

Saul was the son of Kish/Kush (1 Sam. 14:51) and a descendant of Abraham through Jacob, Rachel and Benjamin. In Judges 1:21, we read that the men of Benjamin did not force the Jebusites out of Jerusalem. The Jebusites were their kinsmen, both being sons of Kish (Kushites). The Jebusites eventually accepted David as the new ruler in Jerusalem, and with the consecration of David of Bethlehem there was a renaissance of Horite wisdom. Much of this wisdom was consolidated and codified and is reflected in the Psalms, the Proverbs and the book of Job the Horite.

Horite Wisdom 

The wisdom of the Horites extended to medicine, astronomy, writing, commerce, navigation, natural sciences, and architecture. They were the inventors of the earliest known writing systems. They were the early scribes and wise men or prophets. 

The wisdom of the Horites was so extensive that it was unrivaled in the ancient world before the rise of Greece and much of the wisdom ascribed to the ancient Greeks was borrowed from the Horites. Iamblichus wrote that Thales of Miletus insisted that Pythagoras go to Memphis to study because the priests there were esteemed for their knowledge and wisdom. Plato studied for 13 years in Egypt under the priest Sechnuphis and his conception of the eternal Forms was based on Horite metaphysics.

The Greek word for boundaries in creation is oros or horos, a reference to the celestial archetype of Horus who was said to be the marker of boundaries. Horus was born of Ra by the Virgin Queen Hathor-Meri who became pregnant when overshadowed by the Sun, the emblem of the Creator. Hathor's totem was a cow and temple images show her holding her son in a manger. This is an early expression of Messianic expectation and it is based upon the Edenic promise that a Woman of the Horite lines would bring forth the "Seed" who would crush the serpent's head and restore Paradise (Gen. 3:15). Jesus identified Himself as that Seed in John 12:24 when he told his disciples, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

In the works of Plato and Aristotle horos or horismos refers to landmarks, boundaries and categorical limits. From Horus come the words hour, horoscope, horologion, horotely and horizon. The association of Horus with the horizon is evident in Har-ma-khet, meaning "Horus of the Horizon". Horus was said to control the winds and to establish the cardinal points. The stars, planets and constellations were fixed in place by Horus, and as Ben Sira reminds us, not one of the heavenly bodies "has ever got in the way of another, and they will never disobey his word." (Ecclesiaticus 16:24)

Horus shrines and temples were located at major water systems and Horus ruled the waters. This is why the Horus name appears in the word for river in Hebrew and Arabic (nahar/nahr) and in Aramaic (nehar). Abraham’s older brother controlled commerce on the Tigris River between Ur and Haran. His Horus name is Na-Hor (Gen. 22:20).

1 comment:

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