Friday, May 29, 2015

Royal Names in Genesis

Alice C. Linsley

A reader has asked if Enoch is the founder of the sciences. He cites this:

"Sages affirm that all antediluvian sciences originate with the Egyptian Hermes [Tehuti], in Upper Egypt (namely Khmunu (Hermopolis). The Jews call him Enoch and the Moslems Idris. He was the first who spoke of the material of the superior world and of planetary movements...Medicine and poetry were his functions... [as well as] the sciences, including alchemy and magic." [Cf. Asin Palacios, Ibn Masarra, p. 13]

Sufficient historical, anthropological, and archaeological evidence exists to justify the hypothesis that astronomy, mathematics, binary thought, triangulation (pyramids), metal work, stonework, animal husbandry, cultivation, the earliest priestly writings, and the earliest known trade records are found among the Proto-Saharans of the Upper Nile. However, these cannot be identified with any one figure of history. Instead, these sciences and technologies are identified with a group of rulers identified as the "mighty men of old" in Genesis. Enoch/Anoch is a royal title found among these Proto-Saharan and Saharo-Nubian rulers.

Enoch is related to the word Anoch, a royal name found among Abraham's cattle-herding ancestors. The people of Anoch are called "Anakim" in the Bible. The Anakim were organized into three-clan confederations, as were many other groups living in Canaan. The three Anakim clans were named for the three highest ranked sons of Anak whose names are Sheshai (Shasu), Ahiman and Talmai (Josh.15:14). The Shasu are found in ancient Nubia and among the Horites of Edom.

Two hieroglyphic references dating to the New Kingdom period refer to “the land of the Shasu of YHW.” These are the oldest references to YHWH outside the Bible. The "Shasu of YHW" is found on inscriptions from the Nubian temples of Soleb and Amara West, and corresponds to the tetragrammaton.

Anochi refers to the royal first-person pronoun and is derived from the Akkadian first person pronoun anāku. It is likely that Anoch, Enoch, and Hanock (Reuben's first-born son) are variant spellings of the same word, and all refer to rulers.

The word anochi is also found among peoples who migrated from the Nile westward, such as the Igbo and the Ashante. Among the Igbo, anochie means “a replacer” or “to replace” and among the Ashante the word anokyi means "Ano Junior" or the "Ano who follows his father." In both cases, one finds the idea of succession from father to son, suggesting a line of descent. A Nigerian friend reports that anochie also means "direct heir to a throne."

The name Enoch is clearly associated with royal ascendancy. It means "one who ascends after his father" and there are several who hold this title in the Genesis King Lists. Masarra does not specify which Enoch is identified as Hermes/Tehuti. However, he is correct in the association of the royal name with Tehut. The oldest known code is the Law of Tehut which dates to about 3200 B.C. It is associated with Menes who made Memphis the capital of a united Nile Valley. He issued edicts that were designed to improve food production and distribution, guard the rights of ruling families, improve education, and enhance knowledge of the natural world through geometry and astronomy.

The first Enoch of the Bible is not easily identified because his royal name must be reconstructed using the marriage and ascendancy pattern of these archaic rulers. He is the father-in-law of Kain and Seth. His daughters named their first born sons Enoch (Kain's son) and Enosh (Seth's son) after their father. The names Enoch and Enosh are linguistically equivalent. This feature of the marriage and ascendancy pattern is called "the cousin bride's naming prerogative" and the practice continued among the ruler-priests to the time of Jesus Christ.

The cousin bride's naming prerogative is evident in analysis of this Lamech segment. We note that Naamah named her fist born son Lamech, after her father.

In addition to Enoch, the son of Kain (Gen. 4:17-18), there is also Enoch, the father of Methuselah (Gen. 5:21-13). He was a contemporary of Lamech the Elder who bragged to his two wives.

Lamech is another royal name. It is related to the Hebrew melech, which means king. According to Umberto Cassuto, Lamech is related to the Mesopotamian word lumakku, meaning “priest.” (Commentary on Genesis, Vol. 1, p. 233). Two named Lamech appear in the Genesis King Lists. There is Lamech the Elder (Gen. 4:18-24) and Lamech the Younger (Gen. 5:26-31). Likewise there are two ruler-priests named Esau.

Esau is a royal name associated with the Horites of Edom. There is Esau the Elder and Esau the Younger. The Horite rulers of Edom/Edo/Idu are listed in Genesis 36.

To further complicate matters, we have seemingly conflicting claims about these great clan chiefs who built great territories in the ancient world. Consider the case of Irad, Kain's grandson (Gen. 4:18). The name has these variants: Jared (Gen. 5:18-20) and Yared. Yared is the best rendering of the ruler's name as it has the initial Y - a solar cradle - indicating divine appointment by the overshadowing of the Sun, the Creator's emblem. This Y symbol is found among the Canaanite rulers before the development of Hebrew: Yitzak, Yishmael, Yacob; Yaqtan, Yosef, Yared, etc.

The Igbo identify Yared as the founder of their writing system. He is among numerous archaic rulers identified with Biblical figures by the Igbo who originated in the Nile Valley. According to the Igbo apologist, Dr. Catherine Acholonu:

Sumerian texts say that the first city built by the gods on earth was called Eridu. There they placed the members of Adam’s family. Adam’s great grandson was named Yared, meaning ‘He of Eridu’, ‘person from Eridu’. Its Igbo equivalent, with the same meaning, is Oye Eridu. The father of Yared was Enosh/Enu-Esh. His name meant ‘Master of humankind’, for the first people were called Esh, Adam too was called Esh in vernacular Hebrew. In Sumerian this sacred word Esh means ‘Righteous Shepherd’. All Sumerian kings bore the title Esh. Equally in Igbo land Esh/Eshi/Nshi is a sacred word implying divine origins of the first people, who indeed were wielders of supernatural powers.

The Sumerians and the Igbo have a common point of origin in the Nile Valley thousands of years before either group emerged as a separate ethnicity. Eridu is also spelled Eredo and simply means "Ur of the Idu/Edo" and there were two places with this name. One was in Mesopotamia and the other in what is today Nigeria.

The Eredo of Nigeria (shown above) has 70-foot high ramparts that extend for 100 miles. This Eredo is associated with the royal House of Sheba, to which Abraham's cousin wife, Keturah, belonged. She is the mother of another great ruler, Yaqtan (Joktan) who she named after her father, Yaqtan the Elder. These are the ruling peoples of the Joktanite clans of Southern Arabia and the royal ancestors of Mohammed, the founder of Islam.

These rulers evidently dispersed very widely in the ancient world because Edo/Idu was the Ainu name for the capital of Japan. The original name of Tokyo was Edo.

Related reading: Edom and the Horites; Who Laid the Foundations of Science and Technology?; Ancient Moral Codes; The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y; Cousin Brides and their Ruler Sons; The Genesis King Lists; The Nubian Context of YHWH; Two Named Esau; Andrei A. Orlov, Enoch as the Heavenly Priest


J Eppinga said...

Since Cain is Neolithic, it seems to me that both he and his progeny are recipients of Neolithic technologies rather than "pioneers" in the most narrow sense of the word. Could the lists of "first pioneers," (e.g., Jubal & harp players) refer to patronage of these arts rather than inventing the same? Sort of the same way that the City of Vienna has promoted Classical Music, and the Medici's have been at promoting Renaissance art?

On the other hand, Cain might have created an empire whose society promoted invention, in which case the lists of pioneers (e.g., Jubal) might have originated their particular arts.

I'm guessing that the oldest -invented- musical instrument is some form of the Helmholtz Resonator. Maybe a gourd with a hole in it.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Cain and "his progeny are recipients of Neolithic technologies rather than "pioneers" in the most narrow sense of the word."

That is an excellent observation, Jay, and one supported by Genesis. Cain's father-in-law is the historical Enoch whose counterpart would be the meta-historical "son" of Adam. That is why the two are paralleled in Psalm 8:4:

What is man (enoch) that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man (ben adam) that you care for him?

These rulers are remembered because they advanced technologies that their ancestors had pioneered long before them.

Alice C. Linsley said...

See the 1981 diagram here:

It shows the reconstruction of the first Enoch of the Bible.