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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Did Abraham Intend to Sacrifice Isaac?

Caravaggio, 1598

Alice C. Linsley

Jews speak of the sacrifice of Isaac as the "binding of Isaac" (Akeidat Yitzchak).  Most Jews do not believe that Abraham intended to sacrifice his son. In The Binding of Isaac, Religious Murders and Kabbalah, Lippman Bodoff argues that Abraham never intended to sacrifice his son. Rather, he had faith that God had no intention that he should do so.

Genesis Rabbah holds that God "never considered telling Abraham to slaughter Isaac. Rabbi Yona Ibn Janach wrote that this story is about a symbolic sacrifice. Rabbi Yosef Ibn Caspi maintained that Abraham's "imagination" led him astray. Ibn Caspi wrote, "How could God command such a revolting thing?"

Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz maintains that child sacrifice was "rife among the Semitic peoples," and finds it "astounding that Abraham's God should have interposed to prevent the sacrifice, not that He should have asked for it." Hertz's interpretation of Genesis 22 is that God was correcting the practice of human sacrifice among Abraham’s people. Unfortunately, there is little anthropological and archaeological support for this view. The is no evidence that the Horites practiced human sacrifice.

Jacques Kinnaer reports, "The earliest known example of human sacrifice may perhaps be found in Predynastic burials in the south of Egypt, dated to the Naqada II Period. One of the discovered bodies showed marks on the throat from having been cut before having been decapitated."-- Human Sacrifice, Jacques Kinnaer

Kinnaer also provides two definitions of human sacrifice:
  • "The ritual killing of human beings as part of the offerings presented to the gods on a regular basis, or on special occasions."
  • "Retainer sacrifice, or the killing of domestic servants to bury them along with their master."

For the first definition there is no evidence among Abraham's ancestors, and regarding the second definition, there is dispute among Egyptologists. Caroline Seawright has written, "Human sacrifice is not generally connected with ancient Egypt. There is little evidence of human sacrifice during most of the dynastic period of ancient Egypt... but there is some evidence that it may have been practiced in the Nile Valley during the 1st Dynasty and possibly also Predynastic Egypt.

Seawright is referring to subsidiary graves at Abydos, the burial place for the first kings of a unified Egypt. These were Kushite rulers. However, these were the graves of domestics and officials who probably died naturally, not the graves of servants who were sacrificed to serve the ruler in the afterlife. Even the most provocative National Geographic report has to admit that this is probable, lacking hard evidence that the ancient Nilotic peoples sacrificed humans.

It is apparent that Abraham intended that Isaac should be offered to God as a sacrifice of some sort. Genesis tells us that Abraham fully expected to return with Isaac to his men waiting at the base of the mountain. Abraham, the Horite Hebrew, expected resurrection and he told the men that both he and Isaac would return (Genesis 22:5).

Abraham knew to expect a son who would overcome death. He likely believed that Isaac would be raised to life after the sacrifice. In other words, he acted by faith. By provision of the ram on Mount Moriah, a site that was sacred to the Horites, Abraham received confirmation that his offering was accepted, and he also discovered that Isaac was not the anticipated Ruler foretold in Eden (Gen. 3:15). That one would be revealed in the future.

Paul and James are perceived to be in conflict on the question of justification, yet they both argue based on this story of Abraham and Isaac. There is no conflict in their understandings of this event if they understood that Abraham trusted God to confirm the truth to him. This is the man who posed the great question: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25) This same Abraham believed God's promise concerning the appointed Son on a deep level.

What Abraham discovered on Mount Moriah is that Isaac was not the long-awaited Messiah who would overcome death and lead the people to immortality. That Lamb of God was yet to be born, and He would die a ram (in full strength of manhood) in the future. James tells us that Abraham discovered justification through acting on his Messianic faith... that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only (James 2:21-24).

The Jews call their ancestors "Horim" because they recognize the Horite Hebrew identity of Abraham and his ancestors. The Horites believed in the resurrection, but this fact has been suppressed by rabbinic teaching.

The Horites anticipated that a woman of their ruler-priest lines would miraculously conceive by the overshadowing of God and bring for the Son of God. This explains why their lines intermarried exclusively, as analysis of their marriage and ascendancy pattern shows. Both Joseph and Mary are descendants of the Horite ruler-priest lines. This is attested by the fact that Joseph had to register for the census in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a Horite town. I Chronicles 4:4 lists Hor as the "father" of Bethlehem.

The Nilotic Horites held an annual a 5-day festival in which they mourned the death of the son of God. He is called Horus, from which come the terms "Horite" or "Hurrian." On the third day, the priests lead the people to the fields where they planted seeds of grain to symbolize his rising to life. This was a custom among Abraham's Nilotic ancestors who hung their hopes on the resurrection of the Righteous Ruler.

Genesis 3:15 speaks of how the Woman would bring for the Seed who would crush the serpent's head. Jesus claimed to be that Seed when He spoke to his disciples about his impending death. He explained: "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24)

The rabbis do not agree on the meaning of the binding of Isaac, but one thing is certain: the Horite Hebrew did not practice human sacrifice. The biblical evidence indicates that child sacrifice among the Semites developed after Abraham's time because God condemns it between the 8th and 7th centuries BC, about 1200 years after Abraham.

There is little evidence of human sacrifice among biblical peoples. This narrative of Abraham with Isaac isn't about human sacrifice. It is about Messianic expectation of the dying and rising son. The narrative concerning Jephath's sacrifice of his daughter is a moral lesson about not swearing rash oaths (compare James 5:12), and a critique of Canaanite practices surrounding war.

Related reading: Ram Symbolism in the Ancient WorldJesus: From Lamb to Ram; What Abraham Discovered on Mount Moriah;  Genesis and the True Meaning of Christmas

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Messiah's Sign in Creation

Alice C. Linsley

Stat Crux Dum Volvitur Orbis. The Cross remains constant while the world turns. Those are the words of Pope John Paul II (Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 60) in a chapter addressing suffering. Often our suffering draws our focus from the Cross to ourselves and we forget that the Cross redeems all suffering ultimately.

It seems to me that the cross shape is Messiah's sign in creation because it is found everywhere. The intersecting lines between the cardinal points form a cross. The cross-shaped laminin (shown right) holds the body together (cell adhesion). The beta and alpha chains of laminin "influence pre-synaptic and post-synaptic development, thus providing a way to coordinate maturation of the sending and receiving sides of the synapse." Referring to Jesus Messiah, Paul wrote, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)

Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri

Before he died at age 108,  Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri left a signed note indicating Messiah's identity: Yeshua - Jesus. A few months before, Kaduri had surprised his followers when he told them that he met the Messiah in dreams and visions. Kaduri gave a message in his synagogue on Yom Kippur, teaching how to recognize the Messiah. Kaduri's manuscripts, written in his own hand, have cross-symbols painted all over the pages.

Many attempt to explain the crosses by arguing that the great Rabbi Kaduri was not a Christian. We have no reason to believe he was. Instead, it appears that he was a Jew who accepted Jesus as Messiah. Only God knows. This we may safely assume: Rabbi Kaduri was wise and prayerful, and he knew the tradition of his Hebrew ancestors. Perhaps this led him to Jesus, the Son of God, at the sacred center of our cross-shaped reality.

His ancestors were Horite Hebrew. For them the sun and the cross spoke of the Creator who had a son. The son is called Horus (Enki in Akkadian). Horus was the archetype of Jesus, the son of God. Both the sun and the cross are found on stone reliefs at the Temple of Horus in Edfu (shown below). The relief also shows the sun resting over the banks of the Nile (directly below the bird). A variation of this image is the Hebrew horned altar, an apophatic solar image. The sun resting over a place or person represents divine appointment and blessing. The Canaanite Y is another example.

Photo: Maureen Palmer

Horus was called "lord of the sky" in hieroglyphs at the beginning of dynastic Egypt (c. 3000 BC). His priest devotees were called Horites (Gen. 36) and one of the terriotries they controlled was ancient Edom, known as a seat of wisdom.

This Egyptian temple of Horus closely resembles the pillared architecture of Petra. The ancient temples of the Sun cities had many pillars, typically at least 25. Entrance pillars were often named for righteous ancestors. The entrance pillars of Solomon's temple were named from his maternal and paternal great great grandfathers.

Vertical pillars and horizontal entrance beams/stones form a cross, and as the entrances to the ancient temples faced east, the sunlight came into the sacred space through the cross.

The Horite Hebrew regarded the sun as the symbol or emblem of the Creator. They are called Ha'biru in ancient Akkadian. The word is related to the Arabic yakburu, meaning “he is getting big” and to the intensive active prefix: yukabbiru, meaning "he is enlarging." This is a reference to the morning ritual of Horite Hebrew priests who greeted the rising sun with prayers and watched as it expanded across the horizon. This is the origin of the morning ritual whereby the sun is blessed daily in every devout Hindu home (Agnihotra) and the Jewish Sun Blessing ritual (Birkat Hachama) that is performed every 28 years.

Aspects of the solar symbolism are found in the Bible and in historical texts. Psalm 92:2 describes the Lord as “a sun and a shield.” The Victory Tablet of Amenhotep III describes Horus as “The Good God, Golden [Horus], Shining in the chariot, like the rising of the sun; great in strength, strong in might…” (Tablet of Victory of Amenhotep III, J.H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Two, p. 854). At the oldest known Horite Hebrew fortress at Nekhen on the Nile, the priests greeted the rising sun and placed prayers in the crevices of the rock.

Consider how the boundary markers of Abraham's territory suggest intersecting lines that form a cross. First, the placement of his wives in separate households on a north-south axis. These settlements marked the northern and southern boundaries of the his territory. Sarah resided in Hebron and Keturah in Beersheba. For Abraham, the east-west boundaries were marked by water sources: Engedi to the east, and wells in Gerar to the west.

Our experience of earth and the heavens suggests a geometrical quality of lines, angles and boundaries. The boundaries fixed by the Creator can be observed in genetics (horotely), climate cycles, and in time and space. Abraham's people respected the boundaries since they perceived of them as having been established by the Creator. Their religious and social practices reflect concern to distinguish the values of entities in the binary sets of Heaven-Earth; God-Man, Pure-Defiled, and Life-Death, and to serve the greater value.

Consider how the residences of the prophets reveal the vertical and horizontal lines that form a cross. Abraham visited the prophet (moreh) at a great oak half way between the cities of Ai and Bethel (east-west axis). Deborah judged from her nut palm tree halfway between the cities of Bethel and Ramah (north-south axis).

In our cross-shaped reality, there is always a sacred center. In the ancient world the sacred center of a territory was usually the shrine city, an elevated fortification near a water source. For the ancient Nilotes the sacred center was depicted in this image of the lions and the sun. 

We also may speak of a metaphysical sacred center. After his many years of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida concluded that there is a center and that there is a "presence" at the center. He claimed that throughout the history of philosophy this metaphysical presence is called by different names, including God. Materialists are baffled and perhaps frightened by this metaphysical presence since it must be of greater power and authority than they. There is existential angst about the possibility that expressions of authority depend on God's existence (Romans 13:1). A Facebook friend recently wrote that there are many ways to kill people, but the most certain way is to persuade them that there is no God, no Truth, and no morality. 

Pope John Paul II said that "the Cross remains constant while the world turns." Were we to investigate with seeking hearts, we would see Messiah's sign everywhere.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Priesthood is About the Blood

Alice C. Linsley

Speaking from the perspective of Biblical Anthropology, the priesthood of the Church stands in continuity with the Hebrew priesthood that was known to Abraham and his ancestors. The priest's office is unique, very ancient, and stands as an ensign of the hope for immortality.

Melchizedek attended to Abraham's spiritual needs after the battle of the kings (Genesis 14). It appears that he performed a cleansing ritual to diminish Abraham's blood guilt. After that, there was a communion of bread and wine.

The priesthood has always been about the Blood. Priests sacrificed animals because blood is the sign of the Covenant. Jesus exhorts His own to drink His blood in the Sacrament. The priest stands at altar as a divinely appointed agent of that Blood. Life is in the Blood!

Redemption and eternal life require that we have that Blood as our "covering" just as the skins of rams dyed red formed the covering over the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 26:14).

The Hebrew priests kept sheep and cattle to offer as sacrifices. These were often kept in a stone sheep cote (naveh) that had a beehive shape. The sheep cotes were sacred places. With the exception of red heifers, rarely were the females sacrificed. The sacrifice of the red heifer was to be a perpetual sacrifice for Israel (Numbers 19:9). It was for cleansing. 

The earliest ritual burials suggest a priestly office associated with blood. The burial of nobles in red ochre (a blood symbol) was the custom among Abraham's R1b people for at least 40,000 years. It expressed the hope of life after death through the blood.

In the ancient world the community was represented by its chief or ruler. Hope of life after death was pinned on the ruler. If the ruler rose from the grave he would lead his people to immortality. This royal procession language is found more than once in the Bible. Psalm 68:18 says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” (Also Ephesians 4:8; Colossians 2:15) Messiah Jesus leads the royal procession to the Father from Calvary's bloody hill.

Paul writes that we who are baptized into Christ "have been brought near in the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). We enter with boldness into the Most Holy Place "by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is His body..." (Hebrews 10:19, 20)

In this we follow Jesus, our great High Priest, who "did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood..." (Hebrews 9:12)

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth." (Ephesians 1:7-10)

This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is to be signified by every priest of the Church whether at the altar or in the confessional.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 5)

All rights reserved. If you borrow, please cite this page. This information represents 35 years of research.

Alice C. Linsley

Part 1 of this series addresses the Feminist claim that the biblical Hebrew had a patriarchal social structure. This argument is used to support the ordination of women to the priesthood among Anglicans. The argument maintains that women were denied the opportunity to serve as priests among the Hebrew because of patriarchy and to correct that social injustice the Church should ordain women.

A detailed examination of the social structure of the biblical Hebrew reveals that the argument has no basis in fact. The social structure of the biblical Hebrew is not patriarchal because it is not characterized by these 6 conditions of absolute patriarchy:

1. descent is traced through the paternal line only (Part 2)
2. inheritance rights come through the father's lineage only (Part 3)
3. right to rule is vested with males only (Part 4)
4. patrilocal residence; that is the bride lives with or near the groom's clan/family
5. governed by a council of all males
6. ultimate authority rests with a male figure such as a patriarch, chief or king.

In this article we explore the claim that the biblical Hebrew practiced patrilocal residence (point #4 above). Patrilocal residence or patrilocality refers to a system in which a married couple resides with or near the husband's parents. In other words, the bride leaves her family or clan. However, this is not a characteristic of the biblical Hebrew because they practiced endogamy which means the bride and groom are close kin. As half-siblings (Abraham and Sarah) or patrilineal parallel cousins (Jacob and Leah) the bride and groom have the same relatives in their extended families.

The clan to which the individual belonged did not depend on where the person resided. It depended on the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Hebrew people. For example, upon her marriage to Methuselah, Naamah belonged to her husband's clan, but her first born son Lamech the Younger belonged to the clan of Naamah's father, Lamech the Elder.

Further, the evidence of Scripture indicates that the biblical Hebrew had at least four residential arrangements: patrilocal, matrilocal, neolocal, and avunculocal. The residence of married couples depended on the social position of the groom. The residence of widows depended on their eligibility to remarry.

Patrilocal residence

Among the biblical Hebrew it was customary for the first born son of the principal wife to ascend to the throne of his father and to reside in the territory over which he ruled. This meant maintaining two separate households, one for the principal wife and another for the second wife. Abraham's territory extended on a north-south axis between Sarah's residence in Hebron and Keturah's residence in Beersheba. As the proper heir to Abraham's holdings, Isaac ruled over Abraham's territory and resided at both settlements. When he first met Rebekah, he was residing in Beersheba. This would have been where his first wife was living. She was Isaac's half-sister (as was Sarah to Abraham). This is also where Abraham spent the last years of his life.

Edom (Idumea) extended between Hebron and Beersheba.

As Abraham approached his death, Isaac had not taken his second wife, a prerequisite for ascension to his father's throne. According to a long observed Hebrew custom, the heir's second wife was a patrilateral cousin. Therefore, Abraham enjoined his servant to seek a wife for Isaac among his Aramean kin in the territory of Abraham's older brother Nahor.

Abraham's servant asked what he is to do if the woman refused to come back to Beersheba with him. Abraham answered: "If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there." (Gen. 24:8) As the proper heir to Abraham's territory, Isaac was not to leave Abraham's territory in Edom. Upon marriage, Rebekah was to reside with her husband in his father's territory (patrilocal residence). Patrilocal residence applied to the proper heir and his wives, but not to all married couples.

Widows who were not eligible to remarry lived with or near their fathers. This is why Judah told Tamar to return to her father's house. "Judah then said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, 'Live as a widow in your father's household..." (Gen. 38:11)

Some widows resided in the Temple precincts or at shrines. Anna is an example. She was a widow for 84 years. "She never left the temple, but continued to worship there night and day with times of fasting and prayer." (Luke 2:36-38)

In the ancient world, some women attached themselves to shrines or temples once their husbands died. This is still a custom in Africa and India. The Hindu scholar, Dr. Shubhash C. Sharma, explains: "The same type of consideration, as … for young girls, is generally applicable to adult women, especially the widows, when they decide to live in temples and religious places... Note that even though the widows living in such places (temples etc.) might number in several thousand they still represent an extremely small minority relative to millions of Indian widows."

Matrilocal residence

Widows who were eligible to remarry went to live with or near their mothers. This is why Naomi told her daughters-in-law to return to their mothers. "Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, 'Go back, each of you, to your mother's home." (Ruth 1:8)

Neolocal residence

The first biblical reference to residence is found in Genesis 2:24. "Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife." The context is a garden in Eden from which the man and the woman are sent away.

Likewise, Cain was sent away and he built a city named Enoch, in honor of his son Enoch. This city was away from his natal home and appears to be an example of neolocal residence. Neolocal residence pertains to sent-away sons. These are the sons who venture from their homes to gain a territory of their own, often with the help of kinsmen living in the region.

Most of the heroes of the Bible were in similar circumstances: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and David. Abraham moved to Hebron where he had familial contacts. Jacob moved to Paddan-Aram where he initially had familial support. Moses moved to Midian where he had a kinsmen in Jethro, and David sought refuge for his parents with the king of Moab, who was a royal kinsmen.

Before he died, Abraham gave grants to all his sons and sent them away from Isaac, his heir. These sent-away sons had establish neolocal residences in places where they could maintain their households.

In some instances, the sent-away sons received assistance from their maternal uncles. If they take up residence with or near their maternal uncles, it is called avunculocal residence. Avunculocal residence is common in matrilineal societies, as it brings the adult males of a matrilineage together as a single residential unit.

Avunculocal residence

Upon the death of Terah, Abraham's older brother ruled over Terah's holdings in Mesopotamia. Abraham became a sent-away son. Sent-away sons, like Abraham and Jacob, often lived with or near their maternal uncles. This is called "avunculocal residence" and Abraham's visit to the prophet at Mamre may have been directed by his maternal uncle who was a ruler in that territory. Abraham's mother was said to be the daughter of a Hebrew ruler of Nebo. He is called Kar-Nevo/Nebo in the Talmud. Kar/Har Nebo refers to Mount Nebo. From Mount Nebo sentries would have been able to survey all of Palestine.

Likewise, Jacob was sent away to live with his maternal uncle Laban. There he gained the wealth and wives he needed to establish himself in another place (neolocal residence). He set out for his natal home in Edom, but after making peace with his estranged brother Esau, he finally settled in the area of Shechem. Shechem later became the first capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Related reading: Abraham's Maternal Line; Isaac's Second Marriage; Jacob's Journeys; Where Abraham Spent His Old Age; The Bible and Anthropology FB Forum

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Abraham's Maternal Line

Alice C. Linsley

Abraham's mother is not identified in the Bible. This seems a strange oversight since Jewish identity is traced through the mother. Perhaps the final editor of Genesis (the Deuteronomist Historian) found this problematic because Abraham's mother was not a Jew, and therefore, Abraham was not the first Jew, as is often claimed. This is one of the many questions that reveals contextual incongruities in the book of Genesis.

Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham's Horite Hebrew people indicates that Abraham's mother was his father's half-sister. This means she was Terah's first wife, the wife of his youth. According to Jasher 7:50 her name was Amsalai. This name suggests her high rank. It means the "sweet fragrance of the people." Am refers to people, and salai refers to frankincense derived from the Boswellia serrata, a deciduous tree that grows in dry, mountainous areas. Her people are often referred to as the "hill people" and known by various names: Amurru/Amorite, Edomite/Seir, and Horite.

During the time of Abraham, the Amurru controlled a territory from Mount Hermon to Beersheba in the south, and from Engedi to Gerar in the west.

Jasher 7:50 states, "Terah took a wife and her name was Amsalai, the daughter of Karnevo; and the wife of Terah conceived and bare him a son in those days." Kar refers to a high place or a mountain. Nevo is a variant of Nebo, so it appears that Abraham's maternal grandfather ruled a territory from near Kar-Nebo or Mount Nebo, which is הַר נְבוֹ‎ (Har Nevo) in Hebrew. The oldest known settlement in this area is Jericho which had ramparts as early as 4000 BC. The name Jericho is related to the name Jerah, a son of Joktan. Jerah was a grandson of Eber (Genesis 10:26).

Amsalai gave birth to Nahor and Abraham. Abraham was the younger and therefore, not the proper heir to his Terah's throne. He was a sent-away son to whom God gave a kingdom between Hebron and Beersheba, in the ancient land of Edom. The Greeks called this land Idumea, meaning "land of red people."

Note that both Hebron (where Sarah lived) and Beersheba (where Keturah lived) are in Edom. Abraham's territory extended on a north-south axis between the settlements of his two wives and was entirely in Edom.

When Abraham arrived from Mesopotamia he likely visited his maternal uncle and went from there to consult the prophet (moreh) at the great Oak at Mamre, near Hebron. Hebron is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Mount Nebo. Mount Nebo and Edom are in the modern state of Jordan. 

This was the land of the Horite Ha'biru (Hebrew) rulers who are listed in Genesis 36. Abraham's mother and father were kin to these rulers. Among Abraham's Horite ancestors (called "Horim" by Jews) ancestry was traced by double descent, along both the maternal and paternal lines. However, the ethnicity of a son depended on the clan of his mother. This is still true for Jews today. One is a Jew by two means: either by proper conversion, or if one's mother is Jewish.

Amsalai and Terah had the same father, Nahor the Elder. Nahor was a ruler in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. He was ethnically Kushite, a descendant of Nimrod, the son of Kush (Gen. 10:8) As the Horite Hebrew practice endogamy, we may assume that they shared this Kushite ethnicity.

Suggestion of avunculocal residence

Abraham's older brother ruled over Paddan-Aram upon the death of Terah. This was the pattern among the Horite Hebrew. The first born son of the half-sister bride was the proper heir. Other sons born to that bride were sent away either to serve in the realms of their maternal uncles, or to establish their own kingdoms. Sent-away sons, like Abraham and Jacob, often lived with or near their maternal uncles. This is called "avunculocal residence" and it appears that Abraham's trip to Mamre and Hebron was directed by his maternal uncle who ruled that territory. From Mount Nebo his sentries would have been able to survey all of Palestine.

A distinctive pattern of marriage and ascendancy

Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham's people indicates that his mother was his father's half-sister (as was Sarah to Abraham). She was of the Horite ruler caste. These rulers have the Canaanite Y, a solar symbol, at the beginning of their names: Yitzak, Yaqtan, Yisbak, Yishmael, Yacob, and Yosef are examples. This solar cradle indicated divine appointment by overshadowing.

These ruler-priests clans intermarried. The women named in Genesis are Horite brides who married Horite rulers. Abraham's father's name was Terah which means "priest" among his Nilotic ancestors. The daughters of priests married the sons of priests, and all are descended from the same rulers named in the Genesis King Lists.

The Horites were  associated with the rulers of Nubia, Kush, Egypt and Edom. Joseph married Asenath, the daughter of the priest of On or Onn (OXO, Iunu, city of the High God Anu), where the tera ruled. Heliopolis (biblical On) was a very prestigious shrine city in the ancient world.

In the ancient world these ruler-priests were called Ha'piru, Ha'biru or A'piru. They served at the temples in the ancient sun cities. The temples were called O'piru, meaning sun houses. The O symbolizing the sun. My Luo friend and language consultant, John Ogutu, noted a fascinating correspondence with his Luo language. He wrote, "O'mbiru, obiru refers to a small house built like a shrine or as a symbol among the Luo. A man who died before he could build his house would have the mourners erect one before his burial."

Many Hebrew words have a linguistic connection to Luo and other Nilotic languages. We would expect there to be linguistic connections, seeing that Abraham's ancestors were Nilotic ruler-priests.

Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Horite Hebrew indicates that Abraham’s mother was a daughter of Terah, a ruler-priest of Kushite ancestry. It is likely that Amsalai was the sister of Keturah's mother who was of the royal house of Sheba (see diagram). This connects Abraham's mother to the line of Sheba. Terah and Keturah's father, Joktan the Younger, appear to have married sisters, a common pattern with among the Horite Hebrew ruler-priest caste.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Artifacts of Great Antiquity

Alice C. Linsley

The age of the earth and archaic human populations continues to be debated among Young Earth Creationists in their attempts to prove evolution wrong. Evolution stands on four main pillars: mutation, adaptation, natural selection, and common ancestry of apes and humans. Mutation and adaptation are facts. There is evidence for natural selection, but not sufficient evidence to hold this model as a law of biology. The pillar that should be questioned is common ancestry of apes and humans, for which there is no physical evidence. Even evolutionary paleontologists are having doubts about common ancestry.

From the perspective of anthropology, the deep time record of human activity is evident in the vast number of objects made and used by humans. Here is a short list. Note the 40 thousand+ custom of burial in red ochre.

2.5-3.4 million
Butchering flints found in Dikika, Ethiopia. This bone shows evidence of butchering.

Evidence of meat consumption 3 million years ago.

A large assemblage of handaxes excavated at Stratum 4a and 4b at the Kathu complex in South Africa. Large mammal remains have been identified at both strata.

Engraved shell found in Java

Earliest known use of red ochre at site GnJh-03 in the Kapthurin Formation of East Africa, and at Twin Rivers in Zambia.

Heat-treated silicrete stone tools at Pinnacle Cave in South Africa.

More than 69 000 Stone Age implements have been found at Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains.

Thomas Strasser and his team found hundreds of stone tools on Crete dating to between 100,000 and 130,000 years.


Incised red ochre stone found at Blombos Cave, Western Cape, South Africa

African projectiles

Barbed harpoon points (right) were used to spear catfish in Central Africa. Hundreds of bone harpoons have been found at the lake site of Ishango.

Mattress of reed and rushes

Engraved stone from the Blombos Cave in Southern Africa (below).

Python stone in Botswana

A small boy buried with a seashell pendant and covered in red ochre

A man buried at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in southern France in red ochre

Lebombo bone found at Border Cave in Natal

Flour processing plant
Four bodies buried in red ochre at Sungir in Russia.

The "Fox Lady" of Doini Vestonice, Czechoslovakia, buried in red ochre

A thirty-year-old man buried in Bavaria surrounded by mammoth tusks and submerged in red ochre.

Australian burial sites dating to about 20,000 years reveal pink staining of the soil around the skeleton, indicating that red ochre had been sprinkled over the body. The remains of an adult male found at Lake Mungo in southeastern Australia were copiously sprinkled with red ochre.

The oldest copper artifacts

Two skeletons buried in red ochre found at La Braña-Arintero cave in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain

Two flexed burials were found in Mehrgarh, Pakistan with a covering of red ochre on the bodies

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 4)

All rights reserved. If you borrow, please cite this page. This information represents 35 years of research.

Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram (seated at center), with his chiefs. 
They are holding knob sticks or rods as the sign of their rank.
Also shown US Army officer and some visiting Muslims.
Photo taken in Mindanao c. 1899-1901

Alice C. Linsley

In seeking to understand the social structure of the biblical Hebrew, we must investigate numerous features such as descent, inheritance, right of rule, residence, form of government, and ultimate authority for decisions. 

Feminists claim that the biblical Hebrew had a patriarchal social structure, but they are unable to prove this. In feminist and gender studies, patriarchy refers to the universal oppression of females in male-dominated societies. This is an ideological definition, and one which lacks empirical evidence.

In The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (Part 1), we saw that for the feminist claim to be true, the social structure of the biblical Hebrew would be characterized by these 6 conditions:

1. descent is traced through the paternal line only
2. inheritance rights come through the father's lineage only
3. right to rule is vested with males only
4. patrilocal residence; that is the bride lives with the groom's clan/family (Part 5)
5. governed by a council of all males
6. ultimate authority rests with a male figure such as a patriarch, a chief or a king.

In Part 2 (Descent), we investigated whether the Hebrew social structure traces descent through the paternal line only and discovered that this is not the case.

In Part 3 (Inheritance), we investigated the claim that only men were permitted to inherit among the biblical Hebrew. We found that the inheritance laws among the biblical Hebrew are more complex because the ruler had two first born sons. Provision was made for both sons to receive an inheritance. Additionally, grants were made to the sent-away sons of concubines. Daughters could petition to receive inheritance. By levirate marriage a widow was able to preserve her deceased husband's holdings for his son. In an extremely archaic practice, inheritance rights were attached to whoever had possession of the clan ancestor figurines. These were stolen by Rachel who knew that her husband Jacob (Israel) had no inheritance.

Having found that the feminist claim of patriarchy does not apply to the Hebrew patterns of descent and inheritance, we move to the question of the right to rule among the biblical Hebrew to see if it fits the pattern of absolute patriarchy.


Among the biblical Hebrew the first born son of the principal wife ruled over his father's territory upon the death of the father. These were regional kings, not high kings whose territories we would consider empires. Abraham is an example. These rulers carried rods as a sign of their rank. Below is the image of a ruler-priest (tera-neter) holding a rod (Petrie 1939). This ruler-priest served the Creator, the High God, who was called Anu in Akkadian (the equivalent of El Elyon in Hebrew).

Annu refers top "those of royal blood"
according to Gwendolyn Leick
(Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology, 1998, p. 7)
The first born son of the second wife, a patrilineal cousin, served as a vizier in the court of his maternal grandfather's territory. Abraham's first born son, Joktan, is an example.

Other sons and the sons of concubines received grants which enabled them to become chiefs in areas where they did not pose a threat to the first born sons. Ishmael is an example.

Some of these sent-away sons ruled over kingdoms that they gained by conquest, negotiation, and marriage. This was the case with Nimrod, a Kushite kingdom builder (Gen. 10:8).

Some sent-away sons are noted for being city builders. The Hebrew phrase וַיְהִי בֹּנֶה עִיר may be translated as [Cain] "he existed as a builder of a city" or "he existed, building a city." He named his city Enoch, after his father-in-law and the first born son of his cousin wife (Gen. 4:17). Nimrod, the son of Kush (Gen. 10:8) built the cities of Erech and Accad (Gen. 10:10).

The most protected and most desired lands were areas where copper and gold were collected. If these were acquired, the son's right to rule was established by virtue of wealth and power to control much desired commodities. It is significant that the oldest chacolithic sites are places where the Horite Hebrew rulers were established: Predynastic Lower Nile and the shrine city of Jericho (9000 BC). The next oldest sites are in Mesopotamia: Harran, Eridu, Lagash, Mari, Nippur and Ur (5000-4000 BC). Abraham's father, Tera, controlled a territory between Harran and Ur.

Among the Horite Hebrew one woman was especially honored: Hathor. Her image and name appear at many ancient shrines and temples. She is the foreshadowing of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, who is venerated by Christians.

Hebrew women ruled their households and exercised considerable influence in their social circles as the wives of ruler-priests. Some women ruled in Israel as judges and queens.

Now we will look more closely at each of these situations.

Right to rule of the first born son of the first wife

Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the biblical Hebrew refers that the Hebrew ruler-priests maintained two wives in separate households. The principal wife was the bride of the man's youth and his half-sister. Sarah is an example. The first born son of the half-sister wife was the ruler's proper heir. Sarah's inability to have a son posed a serious problem for Abraham. When Isaac was born, Abraham rejoiced to have a proper heir. Isaac ruled after Abraham's death and his territory extended on a north-south axis between Hebron and Beersheba and on an east-west axis between Engedi and Gerar. Isaac was a ruler of prestige and great wealth.

Keep in mind that "These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the children of Israel.” (Genesis 36:31) Their smiths were among the most elite metal workers of the ancient world. Edom was rich in copper and the patroness of their mines and smelting operations was Hathor. She is the overshadowed one (Luke 1:35) who brings forth the son of God, Horus, from whom the Horite Hebrew or Horim are named. A temple dedicated to Hathor was discovered at the southwestern edge of Mt. Timna by Professor Beno Rothenberg of Hebrew University.

There is little doubt that Hathor was venerated among the Horite Hebrew. The Chalcolithic works at Timna in the foothills along the western fringe of the southern Arabah Valley include smelting works, slag, and flints found to be identical to those discovered near Beersheba where Abraham spent much of his time. The metal workers of Timnah and Beersheba were kin, and the patroness of their mining and smelting operations was the mother of Horus. Rothenberg concluded that the peoples living in the area were "partners not only in the work but in the worship of Hathor." (Timna, p. 183)

Right to serve as a chief (vizier) in the territory of the maternal grandfather

The first born son of the second wife became a high ranking official in the territory of his maternal grandfather. He was named after that ruler. This explains why there are two named Esau, Enoch, Lamech, Nahor, Joktan, etc. This is the "cousin bride's naming prerogative" and it is a distinctive feature of the social pattern of the biblical Hebrew.

An example is Joktan. He had a right to rule as an official in his maternal grandfather's territory. He was Abraham's first born son by his cousin wife, Keturah. 

Right to rule by conquest, negotiation, and marriage

Royal sons who were not first born received grants and were sent away to gain territories of their own. Abraham is an example. He was the youngest son of Terah. When Terah died, Abraham's older brother Nahor ascended to the throne.

Abraham left Haran in search of a territory of his own and, following God's leading, he gained a territory in Edom between Hebron and Beersheba. This involved marriage to Keturah, a descendant of Sheba, and aligning with some regional chiefs who were kinsmen: Mamre, Eschol and Aner (Gen. 14:13). They are called "Amorites" in Genesis 14:13.

The word is Am-urru refers to people of the high places. Urusalem (Jerusalem) means high place of peace. Ur-shu is the ancient Egyptian word for a sentry posted at a high place. These "high place" allies joined their forces with Abraham's army of 318 trained warriors (Gen. 14:14). This confederation of about 1300 warriors raided the contingent of Elamites who had taken Abraham's nephew captive. Abraham relinquished his share of the booty to his allies (Gen. 14:24) and received the cleansing rite after combat from Melchizedek, the high priest of Jerusalem.

Genesis 6 speaks of Hebron, where Sarah resided, as a holding of Anak. Anak's father was Arba and Hebron was called Kiriah-Arba (Gen. 23:2). This is likely related to the Akkadian kiprat arba, meaning four regions/four peoples. In addition to Anakim, this same region was populated and controlled by Hittites, Horites, and Jebusites. The clan of Het lived in Kiriath-Arba (Gen. 23:3,7) and the sons of Het are designated as Hittites in Genesis 23:2-11. The Hittites recognized Abraham the Horite ruler of Edom as a great prince among them (Gen. 23:6). Indeed, Genesis 13:2 describes Abraham as very wealthy.

Most of the heroes of the Bible were sent-away sons to whom God delivered a kingdom. These speak of the Son who was sent by the Father to transfer us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Col. 1:12-14)

Just as Abraham established his kingdom through marriage to Keturah, so Jesus Christ will come as the Divine bridegroom (Mat. 9:15, 25:6), and this time of fasting will become the time of feasting at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:6-9).

The Rule of Women
Examination of the biblical data reveals that Hebrew women ruled their households and exercised considerable influence in their social circles as the wives and daughter of high ranking priests.

The responsibilities of the Hebrew ruler's wife are described in Proverbs 31. This woman is the wife of a city elder (like Ruth) and a respected figure in her own right. She is the mistress of her house and a decision maker. She buys and sells merchandise, and “makes herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.”

Feminists insist that the Hebrew woman's condition under Patriarchy is one of subjugation. Instead, we find strong, dignified, multi-talented, caring women who make a mark for themselves in the world. They invest wisely, oversee servants, and manage real estate. Some are so important that they are named in the Genesis king lists: Naamah, Anah and Oholibamah, are examples. Anah is called a "chief" in Genesis 36.

Some women are consulted by priests and kings as in the case of Huldah. Deborah judged in Israel from her tamar between Bethel and Ramah. No telling how often wives saved their husband’s estates from destruction, as did Abigail. The Wise Woman of Abel Beth-Macaah is praised for saving her entire city.

Women also ruled as queens. The August 2008 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) reports on a Judean queen named Salome Alexandra who ruled alone from BC 76-67. Archaeologists have uncovered her palace in Jericho. She was so admired that generations of mothers named their daughters Salome in her honor. Salome was the only woman to govern Judea as its sole ruler, ad she is the only woman mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls. She is responsible for some of the religious reforms that shaped second-Temple Judaism, and her reign is viewed as a golden age in the Talmud.