Saturday, February 22, 2020

Criticism of the Elamites

The Tower of Babel story criticizes the Asiatics of Shinar, probably the Elamites. The criticism evidently came from a non-Elamite source, and likely a latter source such as the Deuteronomist Historian (700-500 BC). The Elamites would not have criticized themselves for building a tower “whose top may reach unto heaven.” (Gen. 11:4)  

The tower served as a place for astronomical observations, and there may be a subtle criticism of the Elamite veneration of the Moon as the equal to the Sun. This would go against the Horite Hebrew view that the Sun was the emblem of the Creator and superior to the Moon in size and strength (Gen. 1:16). The Moon reflects the light of the greater entity in the binary set of Sun-Moon. This is one example of how the binary worldview of the Horite Hebrew was distinct from the dualism of the Asiatics among whom the dualistic religions of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism later developed.

This criticism is like that launched against Terah, Abraham’s father in Joshua 24:2: “In olden times, your forefathers – Terah, father of Abraham and father of Nahor – lived beyond the Euphrates and worshiped other gods.” Terah was accused of false worship because he ruled the territory of Ur and Haran where people regarded the Moon as the Sun's equal. We have no evidence anywhere else in the Bible that Terah worshiped the Moon god Napir, but in Joshua he is criticized presumably for having association with that cult.

Genesis 11:2 says that the Asiatics who built the tower came from the east of Shinar. This suggests that they were Elamites. Václav Blažek suggests that Elamite is related to the Afro-Asiatic languages whereas David McAlpin finds a genetic relation between Elamite and Dravidian languages. Both are correct. All are languages of the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion which extended from the Nile to the Ganges, and from Southern Arabia to Anatolia and ancient Bactria.

Here are some examples of the linguistic connections between these languages. The Hebrew word for salvation - yasuah - corresponds to the Sanskrit words asvah, asuah and yasuah, all meaning salvation. The Sanskrit word for heaven - svah - corresponds to the Semitic svam and to the Proto-Dravidian van. The Hebrew root thr, to be pure, corresponds to the Hausa/Hahm toro, meaning clean, and to the Tamil tiru, meaning holy. All are related to tor, the Proto-Dravidian word for blood.

The Elamite word for king is sunki, a cognate of the Hahm/Hamitic sarki, meaning king. The Sarki are found in Orisha, Nigeria and in Orissa, India. They are also in Nepal and parts of South Asia (see map.) 

The conquest of the Sumerian city states by Kushites rulers is well-documented. Sargon I conquered Nippur in 2340 B.C. and established his capital in Akkad. Sar-gon I is the name by which Nimrod of the Bible is remembered in history. Sar-gon is a title meaning High King or King of Kings. The Elamite word for king is sunki, a cognate of the Hahm/Hamitic sarki, meaning king. The Sumerian word for king is sar and the Chadic word for ruler - gon.

When Kain was born his mother declared kan-itti. E.A. Speiser noted that Qany(ty) or Qan itti shows close affinity to the Akkadian itti, as in itti šarrim, which means "with the king". Akkadian was the language of the empire during Nimrod's time (c. 2400-2300 BC). Genesis 10 tells us that Nimrod was a Kushite, so it is not surprising to find that Akkadian shares many words with Nilotic languages. Among the Oromo of Ethiopia and Somalia, itti is attached to names. Examples include Kaartuumitti, Finfinneetti and Dimashqitti. That itti is associated with Nilotic rulers is evident in the name Nefertitti.

Dr. Catherine Acholonu reports that in Nigerian lore Nimrod is known as Sharru-Kin which is interpreted to mean "righteous King." Nimrod's Akkadian name was Šarru-kīnu, which is usually translated "the true king."

Many of the place names of Sargon’s kingdom match place names in ancient Kush. For example, Accad is Agade, which is the original name of a river settlement in Odukpani, Nigeria. (Its geographical coordinates are 5° 29' 0" North, 7° 58' 0" East.) Sargon’s territory was called Kish, which is Kush. One of the cities of his territory was Mari which is the Egyptian word for Mary. A seventh-century Assyrian text says that his city on the bank of the Euphrates was called Azu-piranu. It was a Horite shrine as evidenced by the word piranu, meaning house. The Hapiru devotees of Horus called their temples O-piru, meanings House of the Sun. Azu is the East African name for God - Asa. So Azu-piranu means the House of God and is equivalent to the Hebrew word Beth-el.

The Ashante of Ghana were Kushites. Nte means "people of" and Asha is a proper name. The Ashante are the people of Asha. Either Asha was a Kushite ruler who established a kingdom in West Africa or the word Asha means God and is a cognate to the East Africa word for God – Asa, and the Akkadian word for God – Azu.

Asha, Asah or Asa is a priestly name in the Bible. A Jerusalem priest was named Am-ashai (Neh. 11:13). One of Jesse's grandsons was named Asah-el. This suggests that the origin of the priesthood of Israel is to be traced to the older Kushite civilization. This is implied by the story of the Tower which was built in the very territory that was conquered by the Kushite kingdom-builder Nimrod.

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