Thursday, April 20, 2017

Evidence of the Cousin Bride's Naming Prerogative

Inscribed Phiale, ca. 410 B.C.E. Silver, 7/8 x Diam. 6 1/4 in. (2.3 x 15.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 54.50.34. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 54.50.34_SL1.jpg)

Geshem (Gashmu) the Arabian (450–430 BC) is mentioned in Nehemiah 2:10 and in an Aramaic inscription on a silver libation bowl discovered at the Nile shrine of Tell el-Maskhuta, in the eastern delta. The bowl, dating to the Persion Period, is inscirbed "Ilwhat Qainu son of Geshem, King of Qedar, brought in offering to Han-Ilat" and refers to Qainu, the royal son and apparent heir of King Geshem of Qedar.

See William J. Dumbrell, “The Tell el-Maskhuta Bowls and the ‘Kingdom’ of Qedar in the Persian Period,” BASOR 203 (October 1971): pp. 35–44; OROT, pp. 74–75, 518 n. 26; Raging Torrent, p. 55.

Qedar was a kingdom in northwest Arabia. The royal name Qainu is a variant of Kaynau, Qaynu, Kayan, Qayan, Qaniti, Khan, and Kain. The Qainu bowl is evidence of the continuation of the royal name Kain, which means king. Geshem is named king and apparently his son Qainu (Kain) ascended to his throne (430–410 BC). The rulers of Qedar intermarried with the other royal lines of Arabia, including the houses of Nabataea and Dedan. The cousin brides named their first born sons after their fathers and this explains how royal names such as Kain, Enoch, Lamech, Terah, Nahor, Joktan and Esau appear repeatedly in these royal lineages.

Lamech Segment Analysis
© 1998 Alice C. Linsley

Lamech the Elder had a daughter, Naamah. She married her patrilineal cousin, Methuselah, and named their first born son Lamech, after her father.

The biblical name Geshem is also rendered Gashm or Jasm, and is identified as a son of the Dedanite ruler Shahr. See Frederick V. Winnett and William L. Reed, Ancient Records from North Arabia (University of Toronto Press, 1970), pp. 115–117.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Celebrating today!

The average lifespan of U.S. blogs is 33.8 months according to this 2006 report. JUST GENESIS began on March 22, 2007 and has run for 10 years as of today.

I want to thank faithful readers in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington, and to regular readers in Albania, Australia, Canada, Dubai, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Uganda, and the United Kingdom.

Also I want to thank and welcome new readers.

May God bless all of you!

Related reading: INDEX; Alice C. Linsley's Research on Genesis; Join The Bible and Anthropology

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Relationship of John the Baptist and Jesus Messiah

Alice C. Linsley

Kinship analysis provide insight into the relationship of John the Forerunner and Jesus Messiah. It helps us to identify the relationship between of the priestly lines from which both are descended. Understanding how Jesus and John were related helps us to grasp more fully John's testimony concerning Jesus Messiah.

There have been many attempts to reconcile the genealogical information given in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. These lists are used by the writers for different narrative purposes. Nevertheless, once we understand the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Horite Hebrews we can recognize the historical validity of the biblical claim that John and Jesus were blood relatives and both of the Horite Hebrew priestly lines.

A fruitful approach to investigating the relationship of Jesus and John is to look for the repetition of patterns such as two wives, three sons, the cousin-bride's naming prerogative, etc. The first step to understanding the marriage and ascendancy pattern of John and Jesus is to diagram the Biblical data, such as I have done in the diagram of Moses's ancestry.

John and Jesus come from the priestly lines that descend from Amram. One line is traced through Aaron, Moses's full-brother, and the other is traced through Korah, Moses' half-brother. According to Numbers 26, Korah's claim to be priest was supported by the Hanochites (descendants of Jacob's first born son, Reuben). Korah the younger is named by his mother Ishar after her father, according tot he cousin-bride's naming prerogative. Ishar is derived from the Hebrew isha, meaning "woman." Women are sometimes listed as "sons" in Genesis and Exodus if the ruling line is traced through them, which is the case with Ishar (Ex 6:17), and Anah and Oholibamah (Gen. 36). The last two women are Horites of Edom, of the house of "Seir the Horite."

The priestly lines of Aaron and Korah were ruler-priest clans before they became divisions. One division, the line of Matthew (Mattai/Mattan) resided in Bethlehem. Joseph of Ari-mathea was in the priestly line, something that qualified him to be a member of the Sanhedrin.

Following the kinship pattern of his ruler-priest forefathers, Amram had two wives. One was a half-sister, as was Sarah to Abraham, and the other was a patrilineal cousin, as was Keturah to Abraham. Ishar was Amram's cousin bride, and Jochebed was his half-sister.

According to Holy Tradition, John was a cousin of Jesus through his mother Elizabeth who was sister to Ana (Anah). Ana was Christ's maternal grandmother (as the Anah shown in the diagram was Korah's maternal grandmother). In the relationship of John and Jesus, we find intermarriage between lines of priests according to the ancient pattern of their ruler-priests forefathers. John’s mother Elizabeth was of the “daughters of Aaron,” meaning that she was the daughter of a priest. According to Holy Tradition, Mary was also a daughter of the priest, Joachim. According to the custom of the Horite Hebrew ruler-priests, she married into a priestly line when she married Joseph, grandson of Mattenai (Matthew 1:16).

John's father was a priest of the division of Abijah (Luke 1:5, 8). Abijah's was the eight division of priests which apparently resided in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a Horite settlement according to I Chronicles 4:4 which names Hur (Horite) as the "father of Bethlehem" and Rahab's husband Salmon, the son of Hur is called the "father of Bethlehem" in 1 Chronicles 2:54. Nazareth was also a Horite Hebrew settlement.
The eighteenth division of ruler-priests, called ha·pi·TSETS (Happizzez), resided in Nazareth. In 1962 excavators discovered a small piece of a list of the twenty-four priestly divisions. This third to fourth-century marble fragment is inscribed with the names of the places where four of the divisions resided, including Nazareth, the residence of Happizzez. The name of the division is of Nilotic origin. Happizzez is related to the ancient Egyptian word for the life-sustaining Nile which was Happi.

John's mother, Elizabeth, married into the priestly line of Amram when she married Zechariah, a descendant of Abijah. Mary married into the line of Amram/Korah when she married Joseph, son of Asaph. I Chronicles 26:4-8 tells us that among "Korah's descendants there were Obed Edom's sons Shemaiah (the firstborn), Jehozabad (the second), Joah (the third), Sachar (the fourth), Nethanel (the fifth), Ammiel (the sixth), Issachar (the seventh), and Peullethai (the eighth). God had blessed Obed of Edom. His son Shemaiah had sons who ruled their families because they were soldiers. Shemaiah's sons were Othni, and Othni's skilled brothers Rephael, Obed, Elzabad, as well as Elihu and Semachiah. All of these people were Obed Edom's descendants. They, their sons, and their relatives were skilled and had the ability to perform the service. Obed Edom's family included 62 men."

"Obed-Edom" refers Korah's descendants who were rulers in Edom. These Horite Hebrew rulers are listed in Genesis 36. Seir the Horite ruled in the territory where Abraham lived between Hebron and Beersheba. Seir's granddaughter is Anah, the maternal grandmother of Korah the Elder, whose daughter Ishar married her patrilineal cousin Amram, the father of Moses, Aaron, Miriam and Korah.

There were twenty-four priestly divisions after the construction of the Second Temple. Nineteen of these divisions are listed in Nehemiah 12:10-22. In this list we find these names of particular interest: Eber, Joachim, Joseph, Abijah, and Mattenai. These are the names of priests who married the daughters of priests and from these lines came John the Baptist, Joseph, Mary and Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God.

John the Forerunner's testimony concerning Jesus as "the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) springs from direct knowledge of the tradition of his Horite Hebrew forebearers among whom Messianic expectation originated.

Related reading: Edom and the HoritesWho Were the Horites?; The Genesis Record of Horite Rule; Matthew's Testimony Concerning the Empty Tomb; The Cousin Bride's Naming Prerogative; Samuel's Horite Hebrew Family

Friday, March 10, 2017

Welcome to New Readers of JUST GENESIS

Join the new Facebook group, The Bible and Anthropology.

This month Just Genesis celebrates 10 years! Over the years there have been many readers, some regular, and some who have come and gone. I hope those who have gone were not offended by what they read here. To those who have stayed, I say a hearty "Thank you!"

To the newer readers, this background would be helpful.

The science of archaeology in the Bible lands is called "Biblical Archaeology" and the science of anthropology pertaining to Biblical populations is Biblical Anthropology. The 66 canonical books of the Bible are the primary resource used by Biblical anthropologists, but we also look at other books of importance such as Baruch, Esdras, and the Wisdom of Ben Sira (Sirach). These contain significant anthropological information.

David Noel Freedman has said: “The Hebrew Bible is the one artifact from antiquity that not only maintained its integrity but continues to have a vital, powerful effect thousands of years later.” Both anthropologists and archaeologists turn to the Bible for clues and data. Very often this has led to wonderful discoveries!

Anthropologists are interested in material culture. We want to know what people made, what materials they used, and how they produced the things they used in daily life. What tools did they use? How did they bury their dead? What did they believe about the creation of the world? How did they organize for war? Where did the rulers derive their authority?

A central task of Biblical Anthropology is to uncover cultural antecedents, such as the origin of messianic expectation. Culture traits, ceremonies, rituals, and religious beliefs do not spring suddenly into existence. They develop organically over time from traditions received from the ancestors. Biblical anthropology provides tested methods and tools to push back the veil of time, to uncover anthropologically significant data that clarifies precedents, etiology, and context. The discoveries made in Biblical Anthropology prove helpful to students, pastors and academics.

The Bible is the primary source of information about the Horite Hebrew, especially the book of Genesis. Scholars have written about the Horites based on extra-Biblical information and often they have reached dubious conclusions. Had they considered the Biblical data they would have gained a more accurate picture of this very ancient caste of ruler-priests. Much of the research at JUST GENESIS focuses on the Horite Hebrew (Habiru) because they are the ones to whom the Creator first revealed the plan of salvation, and they are the kinsmen of Messiah.

The so-called "genealogies" are actually lists of Horite Hebrew rulers. Their lines intermarried. They had a distinctive marriage and ascendancy pattern which can be traced from Genesis 4 to the genealogical information in the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke.

People often say “I read the Bible, but I don’t understand it.” It is important to pray for wisdom before reading the Bible, seeking the Spirit’s guidance to understand and not misrepresent Scripture. People who insist on using Bible verses as ammunition in disagreements are not under the Spirit’s guidance.  They are attempting to co-opt Scripture to serve their agenda.

Understanding the Bible requires looking at the material with fresh eyes. If you are attempting to force the material into a pre-conceived idea, you will never see the big picture. Outdated and erroneous interpretations are set aside when fresh eyes investigate the Scriptures. Biblical Anthropology is simply another tool to help us better understand God's plan for humanity as it is revealed in the Bible. Biblical Anthropology does not rely on a single discipline, but rather seeks to understand by looking at how Biblical data aligns with findings in multiple sciences, including linguistics, DNA studies, anthropology, archaeology, and climate studies.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Facebook Group Discusses Genesis

Learn to read the Bible through the lens of cultural anthropology and you will never read it the same way again.

The book of Genesis is one of the topics being discussed at a new Facebook group, The Bible and Anthropology. This international forum shares ideas, insights, discoveries, images, and documents that help the members gain a deeper understanding of the Bible through application of cultural anthropology. Anthropology degrees are not a prerequisite for participation!

Consider joining the group. Share what you experience where you live and how the experience relates to Scripture. Help advance the scientific field of Biblical Anthropology. The objective is to share and learn from each other.

Related reading: Support Biblical Anthropology ResearchWhy Biblical Anthropology?; Haplogroups of Interest to Biblical Anthropologists; Biblical Anthropology, the Science...not speculative theology; Using the Bible to Test Hypotheses; Contextual Incongruities in Genesis

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Yes, Abraham Had Camels

Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and set out, taking with him all the bounty of his master; and he made his way to Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor.  (Genesis 24:10)

Alice C. Linsley

Some maintain that the mention of camels in Genesis 24 is an anachronism because camels were not domesticated at the time Abraham lived. However, camels are listed as domesticated animals in a Sumerian Lexical Text from Ugarit (1950-1600 B.C.) and reference to camel’s milk appears in another Old Babylonian text. Pierre Montet found a 2nd millennium stone container in the form of a camel in Egypt. Parrot uncovered a picture of the hindquarters of a camel on a jar at Mari (2000 B.C.) and found camel bones dating from about 2400 B.C.

Many images of camels appear on rock art in Saudi Arabia. Among the thousands of camel figures carved in rocks throughout the Arabian Peninsula, the ones at Jubbah are believed to be the oldest. They date back to the beginning of the Bronze Age, about 4000 years.

In August 2008, a very old camel jawbone was unearthed in Syria. According to Heba al-Sakhel, head of the Syrian National Museum, the fossil is one million years old.

Paleontologists have evidence that members of the camel family thrived in North America about 40 million years ago. The American Arctic camel, which went extinct at the end of the last ice age, once roamed alongside woolly mammoths, dire wolves, sabertooths, and giant ground sloths.

During the Pliocene warm period, 3 million years ago, camels ranged more widely. Mummified camel bones have been found as far north as Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Tundra.

Camels developed into distinct species before the Ice Age and moved westward across Alaska into western Asia. The two kinds of camels known today likely emerged in Asia. Smaller members of the camel family include alpacas, guanacos, llamas, and vicunas.

Today wild camels still roam parts of Mongolia. Though wild herds no longer are found in Arabia, there would have been wild Arabian camels in Abraham's day. Camels are milked at a camel dairy in Dubai and the vitamin C rich milk is being exported to Europe.

Beja of Sudan with their camels

The total worldwide population of camels is thought to be about 18 million. The camel population is divided into 2 categories: approximately 16 million Dromedary (1 hump) and 2 million Bactrian (2 humps). Hybrids of the two species were once found in Asia. These crossbred camels had one extra-long hump and were larger and stronger than either of their parents.

Camels are the perfect pack animals for treks through deserts and arid regions since they can go up to 12 days without any water. They pick their own leader and always follow the "alpha camel" and they always file in the same order. 

A Dromedary camel's fur is short and protects its body from the heat. The longer fur of the Bactrian camel may grow to about 10 inches (approx. 25 centimetres) on the animal's head, neck, and humps. All camels lose their fur in spring and grow a new coat. Without its fur the camel looks slender but a thick coat of new fur grows by autumn.

We do not know if Abraham's camels were Dromedary or Bactrian, but it is likely that they were Dromedary camels as this is the breed of the Arabian Peninsula. It is interesting that Abraham sent ten camels. The number 1 was a reference to the Creator among Abraham's Horite people. The O was a solar symbol, as was the Canaanite Y (a solar cradle). The number 10 represents a new rising of the sun and the ascendancy of a "son" of God, in this case Yitzak (Isaac). Yitzak's taking of his second wife marked his rising to power. He would rule in Abraham's place over a territory that extended from Hebron to Beersheba. This explains Abraham's urgency that Isaac should have a second wife and that she should be brought back to Canaan (Gen. 24:1-9).

The Kushan likely used Bactrian camels. Domesticated Bactrian camels had spread into southern Russia by 1700 B.C. and were used in Western Siberia by the 10th century B.C.

Camel teams consisting of approximately 70 camels are able to travel between 20 to 25 miles (about 40 kilometres) a day in desert environments. They move at a speed of about 3 miles (5 kilometres) per hour. Teams carry up to 20 tons on their backs. A large bull camel can carry up to 1323 pounds (600 kg) and smaller camels up to 882 pounds (400 kg).

Given this information, we can estimate the weight of the "bounty" carried by Abraham's camels to Padan-Aram. If all ten camels were mature bulls carrying maximum loads, the total weight of the goods delivered would have been about 13,230 pounds or 6000 kilograms.

Related reading:  Archaeology and the Patriarchs; The Beja Metalworkers; Trees in Genesis, Noah's Birds; Arctic Camels Clue to Climate Change?The Pattern of Two Wives; The Latest Challenge to the Bible: Abraham's Camel's an Anachronism; The Arabian Rock Art Heritage