Saturday, April 27, 2013

Answers to More Questions

Alice C. Linsley

I receive many questions about Genesis. Here are some commonly asked questions that are easy to answer.

Who lived first Moses or Abraham?
Abraham lived before Moses. Here is an approximate chronology:

B.C. 2112-2037 - Nahor the Elder
B.C. 2091-2016 - Terah
B.C. 2039-1964 - Abraham
These three patriarchs correspond to the Egyptian 11th Dynasty between 2160-2000 B.C. 

B.C. 1987-1912 - Yaqtan or Joktan (Abraham's firstborn son by Keturah)
Joktan, Jacob, Esau, and Joseph correspond to the 12th Dynasty between 2000-1788 B.C.

Amram, Aaron, Korah, and Moses correspond to the 13th Dynasty between 1802-1649 B.C.

How many wives did Moses have?
Moses had two wives, as was the custom of Horite rulers. Moses' family was in the Horite caste. He was a descendant of Seir the Horite who is named in Genesis 36 (See diagram). The Horites originated in ancient Kush so Moses' marriage to a Kushite woman was consistent with the endogamous marriage pattern of the Horite rulers. Oholibamah was a high ranking Horite princess and an archetype of the Virgin Mary.

What was the birth order for Abraham and his siblings?
Abraham had two older brothers: Nahor and Haran. Haran died in Ur and Nahor inherited the territory of their father Terah. Haran was Abraham's half-brother. They had the same father, but different mothers.

Who was Abraham's first born son?
Abraham had nine sons. The firstborn was probably Yaqtan (Joktan) who was born to Abraham's cousin wife, Keturah. Joktan the Younger would rule in the territory of his maternal grandfather, after whom he was named. The Joktanite Tribes inhabit southern Arabia and Yemen.

Was Ishmael supposed to be Abraham's heir?
No. The proper heir according to the Horite marriage and ascendancy pattern was the first born son of the half-sister wife. In Abraham's case, that would be Isaac. Sarah was Abraham's half-sister (Gen. 20:2). They had the same father, but different mothers.

Related reading: Answers to Your Questions; Commonly Asked Questions About Genesis; Extraordinary Questions; Answers to Students' Questions About the Flood; Questions Students Ask About Genesis


BibleGeorge said...

Hi Alice,
I'm hoping you can clear this up for me. Moses and Aaron are known as Levites (the book of Leviticus is named after Aaron and his sons). Most would assume that 'Levites' would be from the Israelite tribe of Levi. But you have Moses and Aaron as coming from the line of Esau. Who then are all the Levites in the Pentateuch? Are any of them from Levi?

Alice C. Linsley said...

Bible George, you always ask great questions!

The book of Leviticus is literally "book of the Levites," from Greek to Leuitikon biblion. Greek, because the Greek Septuagint was available before the Hebrew Old Testament (Masoretic Text). Note that the Greek word has the very ancient lexeme "leu" as in these clans: Leummim (Gen. 25:3). Leummim is a variant of Levites. Some of Abraham's descendants by Keturah were Levites and this is before the time of Moses. They are associated with the Dedanites.

Genesis 10:7 tell us that Dedan the Elder was a grandson of Kush by his son Raamah. Raamah was Nimrod's brother. (Ramah is the Prophet Samuel's home, and his father Elkanah was a Horite.) Raamah settled in the region to the southeast of Dedan while Nimrod built a kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley.

Also keep in mind that Leviticus comes from a much later time. It reflects the entrenched Jerusalem priesthood shortly before they were taken to Babylon and their temple was destroyed. These priests could feel the disintegration of the moral fiber of the people and doubtless, some contributed to it.