Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Gold of Ophir

Alice C. Linsley

The Bible names two sites from which massive amounts of gold were exported: Havilah and Ophir. Havilah was in Africa (Gen. 2:11) and Ophir was in southwest Arabia, probably Yemen (Biblical Sheba and Ramah). It appears that both mining regions were under Horite control. The peoples of the east African seaboard and Yemen have been linked by archaeologists.

In 2007, archaeologists from the Oriental Institute discovered a 4000 year gold-processing center along the middle Nile in the Sudan. The site is called Hosh el-Guruf and is located about 225 miles from Khartoum. More than 55 grinding stones made of granite-like gneiss were found at the site. The ore was ground to recover the gold and the water was used to separate the flakes from the particle residue. Similar grinding stones have been found in Egypt and at Timnah in southern Israel.The oldest mines at Timnah are at least 6,000 years old and the patron of the miners was Hathor-Meri, the mother of Horus. Her totem was a cow and she is shown at Nile shrines holding her offspring in a manger.

In 1939, the American mining engineer Karl Twitchell led an exploration in southern Arabia where he discovered a mining site of several square miles. Arabs call the place Mahd adh Dhahab, "Cradle of Gold." Between 1934 and 1954, a British company extracted substantial amounts of gold from that site and also discovered fifty-five other ancient mines in the area.

In 1946 an inscribed pottery shard was found at Tell Qasile (Tel Aviv) dating to the eight century BC. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription says, "gold of Ophir for Beth-Horon [...] 30 shekels." This, and other such finds, confirm that gold was exported from Ophir and that it was connected to Horus, the Golden One.

The Horites and Gold

Gold was associated with the sun, the Creator's emblem and with Horus to whom the Horites were devoted.This meant that gold served as a symbol of Horite belief in Ra and Horus.
Horus the Golden

Every three years Solomon received tribute of gold, silver, sandalwood, precious stones, ivory, apes and baboons (some say peacocks) from Ophir. Solomon's navy traveled to Ophir, taking "four hundred and twenty talents of gold from there" (1 Kin. 9:26-28; 22:48; 2 Chr. 8:17-18; 9:10). This gold probably came from the Dedanite and Joktanite tribes of southern Arabia.

I Kings 10:18,19 tells of a great ivory throne with two lions standing beside the arm rests. Golden lions were a common motif found on royal thrones. Even today, the throne of the Coptic Pope retains this symbolism. Often the back of the ancient thrones was an ivory and gold inlay with an image of Horus the Golden.

Ophir of the Jokanites

Ophir is a variant of O-pir. The O-piru are known in biblical and extra-biblical texts as Ha-piru and Ha-biru. The English for Habiru is Hebrew. O-piru and Ha-biru are Horites. Even today Jews refer to their distinguished ancestors as Horim and the Joktanites refer to their distinguished ancestors as Houris.

The homeland of the Dedanites extended the length of the Red Sea to the northern boundary of Ophir. The word Dedan means red and is a cognate to the Egyptian didi (red fruit) and the Yoruba diden (red). The Dedanites probably had a reddish skin tone like their Horite kinsmen the Edomites (Gen. 36).

The homeland of the Joktanites includes Yemen and southern Arabia. Abraham's firstborn son was named Joktan (Yaqtan) after his maternal grandfather, Joktan the Elder.

Horites were dispersed throughout all of Arabia and served as priests at water shrines and shrine cities such as Hazor, Jerusalem and Petra. The Horites were devotees of Horus, after whom they take their name.

Horite Beliefs

The Horites believed that the "Seed" of God would be born of their blood because of a promise the Creator made to their Edenic forefathers (Gen. 3:15). They expected a woman of their Horite caste to be overshadowed by the Sun, the Creator's emblem, and to thereby conceive. This is why the wived of Horite ruler-priests word a solar image on their foreheads. The mark is called a tikla. From this Hindu women developed the custom of the bindi. Here we glimpse the solar imagery of the Proto-Gospel.

The oldest evidence of this is found on the mummy of Amunet, devotee of Hathor-Meri (2160-1994 BC). Hathor-Meri was the virgin mother of Horus. As Abraham and Sarah were Horites, it is likely that the mark on Sarah's forehead in the recent Bible mini-series was like that of Amunet. This mark on Sarah, their Horite beliefs, and the miraculous events surrounding Isaac's birth, suggest that Abraham may have believed Isaac to be the promised Seed.

Christians believed that the Edenic Promise has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Seed/Son of God. He alone fulfills the pattern of Horus, to whom the Horites were devoted.  Jesus' true identity was recognized, not in Jerusalem, but rather in Tyre (Matt. 15:21-28; Mark 7: 24). In Tyre, Jesus "could not pass unrecognized" because the Horus myth was still remembered there.

The rulers of Tyre were kinsmen of David and Solomon. King Hiram and David had a common Horite ancestry, as analysis of the Genesis king lists indicates. This Horite lineage can be traced back to Eden. Hiram (Huram /Horam) sent skilled artisans to help David build a palace in Jerusalem. Hiram is a variation of the names Hur or Hor, and refers to Horus.

According to Midrashic tradition, Hur was Moses’ brother-in-law. Hur’s grandson was one of the builders of the Tabernacle. I Chronicles 4:4 lists Hur as the "father of Bethlehem", David's city. It was a Horite shrine long before it was taken by the Horite warrior Caleb. I Chronicles 2:51 gives Caleb's son Salma as the founder of Bethlehem. 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 time of service.

The Horites were devotees of Horus and his mother Hathor-Meri who conceived miraculously by the overshadowing of the Sun. Horus is the archetype by which Abraham's descendants would recognize Jesus as the promised Seed of the Woman (Gen. 3:15). His authentication was His rising from the dead on the third day, in accordance with Horite expectation. Abraham's ancestors believed in the resurrection of the body and awaited a deified king who would rise from the grave and deliver his people from death.

Related reading: Kushite Gold; The Afro-Arabian Dedanites; Afro-Asiatic Metal Workers; Who Were the Horites?; The Shock of Mohammad Atta's Afterlife


AlDahir said...

Ophir: (Gen 10:29 & 1Kings 9:28) Awphiyr (Hebrew)/Awfr (Arabic). According to Strong’s, this word is of uncertain derivation. However, in Arabic, awfr is derived from the root wfr which means to abound, be abundant, be ample, be plentiful. Awfr is the intensive form of wfr and means superabundance. Since Ophir is connected with Joktan (Ophir is Joktan’s 11th son) and Joktan is the Hebrew version of Qahtan, then Ophir is located on the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in what is now Yemen and Oman; the land of Frankincense, Myrrh, Gold, Copper and the ancient Qahtan Arabs.

Havilah (Hebrew)/Hafala (Arabic): Havilah means circle in Hebrew, which makes no sense in the context in which it is used. However, Havilah or Hafala in Arabic means superabundance and, like Ophir, refers to the incense producing regions on the southern coast of Arabia.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Ha-vilah means circle, crescent or valley. This could just as easily apply to the Upper Nile Valley since the peoples living there were related to the peoples living along the southwestern coast of Arabia.

AlDahir said...


Both Ophir (اوفر)and Havilah (حفل)- pronounced 'hafala' in Arabic are Arabic words. In Gen 10:29, both Ophir and Havilah are the sons of Joktan or Qahtan. According to the Wiki article,, "The terms Qahtanite and Qahtani (Arabic: قَحْطَانِي‎; transliterated: Qahtani) refers to Arabs who originate from the southern region of the Arabian Peninsula, especially from Yemen."
In Arabic, there is no 'v' and there is no 'v' in ancient Hebrew either. The 'v' becomes an 'f' in Arabic. And since Strong's insists that Ophir has no meaning in Hebrew, you can be sure that 'havilah' also has no comparable meaning in Hebrew. Havilah or hafala is another Arabic word that Judean authors tried to morph into a Hebrew word just as they did Sarai, Hagar, Abram etc. etc. These are all Sayhadic names which is why they don't make any sense in Hebrew.

Alice C. Linsley said...

The V is found in the Nilotic languages, however, similar to Luo, and the Nile Valley is the original cultural context of Abraham's Horim. Kar is a word of Nilotic origin. In Luo, for example, Kar is a noun that refers to a place that bestrides certain boundaries. It is also a verb meaning to bestride or straddle. Kar is one's stake with boundaries. Khar was a unit of measurement used in trade in the Egyptian inscriptions (See James Orr, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, page 1421.) It appears to be associated with the ancient Horite traders.

Kar-nak was a Horite temple along the Nile and it may be that Abraham's maternal grandfather was a priest of this temple. "Kar" means place and "nak" refers to the ritual removal of six front teeth, a practice found among the Nilotic Luo and the ancient Natufians whose sacred mountain was Carmel in Palestine. According to my Luo informant, Nak refers to rituals in general so "kar-nak" would mean a place of rituals, and in the ancient world these were water shrines.

Kar is a very ancient lexeme, as is true of most ancient Arabic and Hebrew words. Lexemes are words that represent a whole complex of related ideas. Ki-kar refers to a circle as in Exodus 25:11: ki-kar za-hav ta-hor, meaning "circle of pure gold." In the Anchor Bible Commentary on Genesis, E.A. Speiser recognizes that kikar refers to a circle.

Alice C. Linsley said...

AlDahir, This may be of interest to you:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating info, I had never heard of the Dedanites

lizh said...

Quite often v became b the word for serpent is opis and ophis the serpent is a Ray of the sun .

Anonymous said...

Possibly a Cradle of Gold. ✌️

Alice C. Linsley said...

One of many so-called "cradles of gold". Gold is fairly evenly dispersed globally. Some ancient world deposits are found in present day Hungary, Germany, the Ural Mountains of Russia, northern Spain, northern India, Ceylon, Senegal, the area around the Second Cataract of the Nile, the western coast of Africa and the shores of the Arabian Sea. Places without native gold include the Tigris/Euphrates Valley, Cyprus (rich in copper), and Mesopotamia.

Goldsmithing began as early as 4500 BCE.