Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Lion and Ancient Rulers

Alice C. Linsley


The twin lions face east and west on the banks of the Nile. The Sun rests at high noon over the life-giving waters. This is the time of no shadows when the earth is divinely overshadowed (James 1:17). Reflecting on the fact that the Sun was the emblem of the Creator and his son Horus, this is a Proto-Eucharistic image.

Rulers in the ancient world were identified with the lion. The lion was the animal totem of the ruling caste that are identified in Genesis as the "mighty men of old." Thus many rulers named in the Bible have the AR affix, signifying both the lion and the ruler. Ari was used in Hebrew as an honorific for a man if distinction and power.

The Hebrew Ari or Aryeh is cognate with Akkadian aria, Aramaic arya, and the Sanskrit aryeh means "noble."

Arpacshad is one of the rulers named in Genesis with the AR affix. He was the son by Asshur's daughter. His name means "happy ruler" or "happy lion." He ruled during the time of the 7th- 10th Egyptian Dynasties (2445–2160 BC).

Two royal scribe castes are listed in Genesis 10: the Arvadites and the Arkaites. The Igbo of Nigeria call their scribes the Ar or Aro. The late Dr. Catherine Acholonu explained, "In Nigeria the caste under reference is the Ar/Aro caste of Igbo Eri priest-kings, who were highly militarized in their philosophy."

The association of the name Ar with the royal scribal caste is further demonstrated by the discovery of Aramaic scrolls written by the satrap Arsames to his Egyptian administrator Psamshek and to an Egyptian ruler named Nekht-hor. 

Another Bible name with the honorific title is Arba, the son of Anak. Hebron was called Kiriath-Arba.

In Genesis 49:9, Jacob refers to his son Judah as Gur Aryeh גּוּר אַרְיֵה יְהוּדָה, a "young lion."

The totem of Shobal's clan was the lion fierce in it youthful strength. Shobal was one of the Horite Habiru kings named in the Genesis 36 ruler list.

Other names include Aroch (1 Chr 7:39, Ezr 2:5, Neh 6:18, Neh 7:10) and Ariel (Ezr 8:16, Isa 29:1, Isa 29:1, Isa 29:2, Isa 29:2, Isa 29:7). ) High ranking officials and rulers with the AR title include Arshem, Artix, and Araxes, all named in historical texts.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Does the Bible Advocate Genocide?

Alice C. Linsley

Some people have observed that God's willingness to use Israel to destroy its enemies is not unlike the ambitions of radicalized Muslims to destroy Jews and Christians. The pertinent passages are found in Leviticus and Joshua. Scholars have noted that the book of Joshua shares the theology of the Deuteronomist. This is evident in comparing the lists of people to be driven out of Canaan by Joshua's army.

In Joshua the people to be driven out are listed in chapter 3 and chapter 24.

Joshua 3:10: This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites.

In Joshua 24:11 we find the same names in a different order: Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands.

The Joshua lists parallel the list of Israel's enemies in Deuteronomy 7:1-3:
When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, [and] utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

This list comes from a time long after Abraham and prohibits intermarriage between these peoples, yet the rulers of most of these peoples were related. The Jebusites were a Kushite people with whom Abraham had close interaction. They appear to have had common ancestry.

These passages are the work of the Deuteronomist Historian (DH) whose objective was to secure Judea as a unique place for Jews who returned from Babylon. The Deuteronomist Historian was not advocating the elimination of all non-Jews globally, as are some radical Jihadists. Consider these words of the Islamic theologian Syed Abul A’ala Maududi:
“Islam wishes to destroy all states and government anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and program.”

It was not the objective of the Deuteronomist Historian to destroy all who did not adhere to the Jewish/Hebrew faith. Rather the objective was to secure centralized worship at the Jerusalem temple, and to reshape national observances such as the Passover and Tabernacles.

The Deuteronomist Historian's concern is theological, religious and Zionist. The DH stresses rejection of images, exclusive devotion to the God called Yahweh, and obedience to his prophet Moses (Deut. 18:18; cf. Mark 6:125; Matt. 16:13-20; John 1:21). The DH also places emphasis on Jewish racial purity.

The DH is the final hand on the Genesis. This perspective represents fundamentalism and iconoclasm and attempts to recast Hebrew history away from the religious practices of Abraham and his ancestors who lived long before the  period of the Deuteronomist Historian  (Neo-Babylonian Period, about 700-300 BC). Abraham and his ancestors were not Jews and they maintained many shrines and called the Creator by many names.

Further, Abraham's territory was not in Judea. He ruled in Edom (called Idumea by the Greeks) and was related to the Edomite rulers listed in Genesis 36. His half-sister wife Sarah resided in Hebron and this patrilineal cousin wife Keturah resided in Beersheba (note the north-south axis of the wives). Abraham's watering rights extended from Engedi to Gezer (note the east-west axis of his water rights).

At the time of Abraham, Jerusalem was under Jebusite ruler and its ruler-priest, Melchizedek, was a kinsman of Abraham. This is why the high place there was called Yebu/Jebu. In Genesis 21:14 we read that "Abraham called that place...Yiru" and this is significant because the Y is a Canaanite sign that indicated divine appointment and the Ru is probably a reference to the Horite Habiru name for the Creator. Genesis 21:14 identifies Melchizedek as the "King" of Salem. He may have been the maternal uncle of Abraham's wife Keturah.

The DH is not advocating genocide of all non-Jews worldwide. There is not reason to link the Bible to Islamic radicalism.  Instead, we are to accept the whole canon as inspired and superintended by the Holy Spirit. We must use our God-given intelligence to sort through the Biblical material, context by context, to discover the various concerns of the Biblical writers.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Racism of Young-Earth Creationists

Alice C. Linsley

At the back of Young Earth Creationist books such as Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth by Terry Mortenson one finds the 12 Affirmations and Denials. Affirmation XII claims that the diversity of languages and skin color came about as a result of divine judgment at the Tower of Babel.

XII. We affirm that all people living and dead are descended from Adam and Eve...and that the various people groups (with their various languages, cultures, and distinctive physical characteristics, including skin color) arose as a result of God's supernatural judgment at the Tower of Babel..."

This is the easiest of the Young Earth Creationist claims to refute since the evidence of many languages and skin colors before the time of the Tower of Babel is overwhelming and cannot be denied by reasonable persons. The spread of the early written marks is an example. Other examples involve the dispersion of peoples out of Africa and studies of phoneme variance among them. A recent phoneme study has identified the Nile Valley as the point of origin of modern languages. These dispersed peoples had a range of skin color and languages and they were already widely dispersed before the time of Noah and his 3 sons.

Tera means priest in the ancient Egyptian (and in Japan). Abraham's father was Terah (Tera). This is a title, as is evident from the Petrie image above which gives tera-neter as "one devoted to God." Tera is a title associated with the Ainu, the builders of the shrine city of On (Heliopolis) on the Nile. The Harris papyrus speaks of 'apiru (Hebrew) of Re at Heliopolis. Joseph married into this royal priest line when he took Asenath as his wife. She was a daughter of the priest of On, also known as Iunu, meaning "place of pillars."

The Horite priests of Heliopolis were known for their meticulous devotion to the Creator and his son, and for their sobriety and purity of life. Plutarch wrote that the “priests of the Sun at Heliopolis never carry wine into their temples, for they regard it as indecent for those who are devoted to the service of any god to indulge in the drinking of wine whilst they are under the immediate inspection of their Lord and King. The priests of the other deities are not so scrupulous in this respect, for they use it, though sparingly.” 

The Nilotic Ainu had a reddish-brown skin tone and their elders wore beards, moustaches and caps with frontal knobs, just as do the Ainu elders of Japan and Eastern Canada. The Ainu spread from the Nile to Japan and to Northeastern Canada via Scandinavia. In Canada they are known as the MicmaqThey came in two waves from the Middle East to Scandinavia, then to Greenland and to the Hudson Bay area of Eastern Canada. They are in haplogroup X2b5, which is traced by maternal line and dates to about 1,550 B.C.
There is evidence that the early written signs of the Nilotic Ainu may have become the basis for the Ainu script of Japan. It is perhaps the most lasting heritage of the Ainu of whom only about 300 pure-blooded remain. This explains why the Hebrew and Japanese alphabets are so similar.

Migrations Out of Africa

The negrito Andaman and Nicobar Islanders migrated between 70,000 and 50,000 years ago from Africa and Arabia along the coastlines, and eventually crossing the seas.  The Onges and Jarawas of Andaman and Nicobar belong to Haplotype D, a subtype of Haplogroup C, which is also common in Tibet and Japan. The Ainu aboriginal people of Japan are in haplotype D (Y-chromosome) and haplogroup X (mitochondrial chromosome).

Michael Petraglia, from the University of Cambridge, found stone tools at Jwalapuram in Andhra Pradesh, in southern India that were remarkably similar to those found in the African Middle Stone Age about 100,000 years ago. He states, “Whoever was living in India was doing things identical to modern humans living in Africa.”

Thomas Strasser and his team found hundreds of tools of African origin on Crete dating to between 100,000 and 130,000 years. Others have been found on the Iranian plateaus. Ancient African artifacts have even been found in China. There is considerable tool and pottery evidence indicating prehistoric movements out of the Nile Valley.

The 20,000 year old human skeletons found at Lake Mungo in New South Wales are likely descendants of early peoples who migrated from Africa, if we follow the red ochre trail. The Lake Mungo population buried its rulers in red ochre, derived from hematite (Fe2O3). This appears to have been a common practices among ancient peoples who dispersed out of Africa. The earliest known use of red ochre powder (300,000 years) is at the site GnJh-03 in the Kapthurin Formation of East Africa, and at Twin Rivers in Zambia.

The Kushite movement out of the Nile Valley is a more recent exodus. The Kushites went as far east as the Philippine Islands. (See Kushites in Mindanao.)

The Proto-Saharans (ca. 10,000-3000 BC)

Between 10,000-3000 years ago the Sahara was much wetter. Seasonal rainfall turned the Sahara into a fertile savannah with sedentary populations. The oldest known cemetery in the Sahara (ca. 7500 B.C.) reveals "The burial density, tool kit, ceramics, and midden fauna suggest a largely sedentary population with a subsistence economy based on fishing and on hunting of a range of savanna vertebrates." The discovery was made by National Geographic photographer Mike Hettwer in 2000.

Proto-Saharan peoples fished and hunted. Ancient Sudan rock paintings show fishing nets. The much older Khormusan sites of ancient Nubia (65,000 and 55,000 years) also reveal evidence of fishing and hunting.

The Proto-Saharans navigated the interconnected rivers which were their highways and trade routes. Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, and Niger had rivers and lakes that connected to major water systems that are identifiable today, such as the Niger, the Benue, Lake Chad and the Nile. The 8000 year old Dufuna boat, a fishing dugout, was found buried in the Sahara.

The cave paintings at Gilf Kebir in the Sahara date to about 6000 BC. At that time a sizeable community lived on this vast sandstone plateau near the Egyptian-Libyan border, about 400 miles from the Nile.

The Proto-Saharans raised cattle in the Lake Chad region which was a much larger lake. They venerated cattle and left behind engravings of bulls and cows with solar disc between their horns. This image was associated with Hathor, the Virgin Queen whose son was Horus. They built the oldest known fortress city dedicated to Horus and Hathor at Nekhen (4000 BC). At archaeologists have discovered a temple, elaborate burial sites, and evidence of animal sacrifice. The rulers of Nekhen had access to sub-Saharan mineral resources of the eastern desert. The high quality of the gold work at Nekhen is evidenced by the discovery of this gold plumed falcon representing Horus.

Proto-Saharan peoples moved into the Nile Valley as the Sahara began to dry. Some would later be called "Kushites." Some crossed the Indian Ocean from East Africa and settled in southern India. These are the Dravidians. There is a close linguistic and religious connection between the Kushites and the Dravidians. The Africanist Geoffrey Parrinder has noted that at least twenty-five tribes in East Africa worship Murungu as the Supreme God, and like the Dravidian god Murugan, the African Murungu self-reveals on sacred mountains.

The Kushite Expansion (ca. 3500-1500 BC)

Genetic research indicates that the term "Kushite" embraces a wide range of peoples. Some of Abraham's ancestors came out of the Nile Valley and are referred to as Kushites in Genesis 10:6-12. Kushite in the Bible refers to the descendants of Noah by his grandson Kush. However, the term includes many people of different skin tones and languages. The Amratian "Kushites" lived about 4000-3500 BC, before the time of Noah.

The Kushites included red and black Nubians, reddish Ainu, red, white and black Canaanites, red, black and yellow Nilotes, red-brown, light brown, black and yellow Egyptians, red-brown and black Sudra, and red, white and brown Mesopotamians. The variety of skin tones is evident on ancient monument paintings in Egypt, Sudan and in the Middle East and Turkey.

Red and black Nubian captives
(Detail from Ippolito Rosellini's drawing from the 1828 Franco-Tuscan expedition to Egypt)

Genesis 10 speaks of the migration of the Kushites into Mesopotamia. The Kushite migration has been confirmed by DNA studies. The Kushites were great pyramid builders and the ziggurats were a type of stepped pyramid similar to that of Djoser at Saqqara constructed between 2667–2648 BC. No pyramids had yet been built in Sumer/Kish. The ziggurats date to the Akkadian period, about 2334–2218 BC. The earliest monarch of Sumer whose historical existence has been independently attested through archaeological inscription ruled Kish about 2700–2600 BC.

Amenhotep III ruled between about 1382 and 1350 B.C. His name means "peace of Amen" and indicates a date when Amen, a name for God was favored over the name Set, which was favored in the Delta. It was during the 18th dynasty that the title 'King's Son of Kush' was first used. The earlier known Kushite ruler was called Kashta which means "The Throne of Kush." This is about 1000 years after the construction of ziggurats, so the Kushite expansion out of Africa is one of the most recent movements out of Africa.

The Kushite expansion out of the Nile Valley is one of the later migrations out of Africa, between about 3500 and 1500 B.C. The Kushites represent a highly organized people, consisting of numerous clans and castes. Their rulers controlled the major water systems and founded early mining industries along the Nile and in southern Israel. Nimrod was a Kushite kingdom builder. He and his brother Ramah were the sons of Kush (Gen. 10:6-12).

The Biblical term "Kushite" refers to peoples, castes and specific culture traits that emerged from the archaic Proto-Saharans. This would include Canaanites, Hittites, Sumerians, Elamites, and the Horite Hebrew/Habiru. Among these peoples there was a wide range of skin color and a great diversity of languages. To this day, the greatest linguistic and genetic diversity exists in Africa, from which the ancestors of these peoples spread along the coastlines and by sea around 70,000 years ago.

Linguistic Diversity

There are hundreds of language families in the world. Each subdivides into hundreds of languages, dialects and sub-dialects. The most diverse of the language groups is the oldest group, the Afro-Asiatic language family. This includes Chadic, Kushitic, Ugaritic, Elamite, Semitic, Hausa, Amharic, Ethiopic, Magyar, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Babylonian, etc. There is also a linguistic connection to Dravidian and Yoruba.

All the peoples and rulers mentioned in Genesis 10 can be placed linguistically within this language family. The Bible is their story. It tells how God fulfilled the promise of the Son that was made to their ancestors in Eden (Gen. 3:15). These peoples exhibit a range of physical features so that it is impossible to speak of a "race" - a term that does not appear in the Bible. It is ignorant and groundless to assert that skin color is the result of God's judgment.

I agree with Dr. Joshua Zorn, a former young-earth creationist, who said: "The worst aspect of YECS teaching is that it creates a nearly insurmountable barrier between the educated world and the church."

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Theological and Scientific Conversation about Humans

A reader has asked: "What about the idea that the evolution of the human physical body from other primates is a possibility, as long as the soul is believed to have been directly created by God?"

Response from a Roman Catholic friend:

That is not an historic Christian view. St. Paul and Thomas Aquinas make it clear that the human is not human without the body.

Aquinas believed that the soul is the form of the body, as Aristotle said, and gives it life and energy. But against Neo-Platonism, he taught that the soul and body are inextricably linked and that the soul this declared dogma by the ecumenical Council of Vienne in 1312, which the Catholic Church consider binding. So the question arises: how can the Catholic Church teach that the soul is created immediately (i.e., without secondary efficient causes) by God at the moment of conception? That teaching of the Church is reaffirmed at CCC §366.

Both body and soul are essential to the individual human's being. God creates the soul ex nihilo, and the parents generate from gametes the body that the soul informs and vivifies, thus enjoying the privilege of co-creating with God.

Well, there is no reason to suppose that the two teachings are mutually inconsistent. By generating the body of their child, and thus acting as efficient causes of their child, parents only produce the material cause, not the formal cause, of the entire person who is their child. The soul does not come into being without the body and the body does not come into being without the soul. Yet the body is that of a human person, from the moment of conception, only in virtue of God's infusing it with a spiritual soul.

The soul need not, therefore, be itself produced by the parents in order to be the form of the body. And so the dogma that the soul is the form of the body offers no support for traducianism, which some but not all Church Fathers held. Aquinas even argued: The process of spiritual generation is impossible; since the soul is immaterial and indivisible, no spiritual germ can be detached from the parental soul (cf. St. Thomas, Summa Contra Gentiles II, 86; Summa Theologiae I:90:2, I:98:2, etc.).

Response from JandyonGenesis:  Archaic humans were fully human. The essence of the human is Trinitarian: body, mind and soul (anima). There is no substantial evidence that archaic humans lacked this essence. In fact, to argue such is to assert that such creatures are not human.

We must begin by identifying the 4 keys ideas of evolution and examining the evidence for each:
1. mutation
2. adaptation
3. natural selection
4. common ancestry or common descent
Touching on the first point there is no doubt that mutation is a reality. Living organisms under go mutation both gradually over long periods of time and sometimes rather quickly. However, there appears to be a boundary to mutations in a given class of organisms. This is referred to as horotely, a Greek word that is a reference to horos - limit or boundary, and to the word horizon. The term is likely related to Horus, the "son" of the Creator who was said to be the fixer of boundaries.

Adaptation is also a reality. God created organisms with the ability to adapt to their changing environments. It appears that organisms gradually "accumulate" certain physiological, behavioral, and structural traits that aid their ability to survive and reproduce under existing environmental conditions. Those that are unable to adapt become extinct.

Natural selection takes place.  The theory of evolution by natural selection does not attempt to explain how life first began or why living things are on Earth. Rather, the theory of natural selection explains the observable processes that change the physical characteristics of living things through time. That said, we are still speaking of the theoretical rather than a law of nature, since some poorly adapted organisms nevertheless thrive in their environments. If we are honest, we must admit that there are factors in survival that we do not understand, and which may pertain to supernatural oversight, something beyond the realm of science.

Common ancestry or common descent of all living organisms is a hypothesis proposed by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species.  He believed that it is likely that all currently living organisms on Earth share a common genetic heritage with each being the descendant from a single original species. He wrote, "There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one."

The common descent hypothesis is suggested by developments in the Cambrian explosion and later, but anthropologically speaking, there is no physical evidence to permit us to state as fact that humans and apes have a common ancestor. Molecular genetics has not proven this, but it has provided a model for how this might be so. We must accept that common ancestry is quite contrary to what Genesis asserts about humans as a special creation. As Christians who take Scripture as a first/primary authority, we cannot gloss over this or assume that this view represents ignorance on the part of the ancient Biblical writers.

The Rising Star Expedition in Southern Africa has retrieved and cataloged over 1000 hominid fossils, and large numbers of fossils remain at the underground site to be retrieved in future expeditions. The findings of this expedition are forcing paleontologists to rethink the evolutionary model. First, these archaic humans practiced ritual burial. Second, these fossil remains reveal a wide range of physical features. The features that have been identified are found in modern humans. One feature that has been shown in various images is of a skull with a protruding chin (projecting jaw). This same feature is found in R1b lineages from Africa to Serbia to Ireland, and most commonly among the metal working castes (who intermarried) and who dispersed widely in service of ancient rulers.

My concern is that we not allow labels to skew our interpretation of the data. When we look at the labels attached to various remains we find see that these are not very helpful. Neanderthals were fully human. The features associated with them have been found very widely, well beyond the Neander Valley of Germany.

A. Afarensis also had human dentition which is quite easily distinguished from that of apes. In humans, the back teeth are larger than the front teeth (not so with apes), and the canines are not pointed. Humans also lack the characteristic diastema or tooth gap found in apes.

Mary Leakey’s 1979 discoveries in Tanzania added to the evidence that humans walked the earth about over 3 million years ago. At Laetoli, about 25 miles south of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, Leakey discovered footprints of a man, woman and child created about 3.6 million years ago and preserved under falling ash from the nearby Sadiman volcano. The raised arch and rounded heel of the footprints showed that whoever left these footprints walked as humans today. Unfortunately, Donald C. Johanson had already announced to the world that the finds were apes, though Mary Leakey would have classified her Laetoli finds as Homo/human. She expressed her regret that “the Laetoli fellow is now doomed to be called Australopithecus afarensis.”

Johanson and Mary Leakey were scheduled to speak at a Nobel Symposium in Sweden in May 1978. The conference honored Mary Leakey, who received a medal from the King of Sweden for her scientific investigations. Mary Leakey received the Golden Linnaean Medal, but also was very embarrassed when Johanson announced the new name - Australopithecus afarensis - for his Afar Triangle finds and included Mary Leakey's 4 million year old Laetoli specimen (jaw bone LH4) from Tanzania as an exhibit. Johanson, who was scheduled to speak before Mary Leakey, scooped Mary's speech. She was angry that Johanson had named her discoveries, using a designation that was totally at odds with what she believed to be the evidence. Johanson's name stuck though today, based on more recent discoveries, he doubts the accuracy of the ape designation.

Based on years of teaching students, I have found that labels such as Neanderthal and Australopithecus tend to cause confusion. Among these groups the range of physical traits is the same as the range of traits found in modern human populations. So much so, that it is more helpful and more accurate to speak simply of archaic humans and modern humans. This is one reason I believe that the earliest humans appeared on Earth about 4 million years ago, and although they show archaic anatomical features, they were created fully human with the potential to develop (evolve) into modern humans.

Cranial capacity is not an indication of complexity of thought. The bicameral brain and the binary feature in the order of creation are what trigger complexity of thought and innovation. This binary pattern in the order of creation and among living organisms is found in Genesis, but has been largely overlooked by Bible commentators.

Related reading:  Fully Human From the Beginning; Binary Feature Triggered Greater Diversity;  Questioning the Common Ancestry Hypothesis

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Animals on Noah's Ark

Alice C. Linsley

The historicity of Noah’s concern for animals is supported by the discovery that Proto-Saharan rulers kept royal menageries of exotic animals. The oldest known zoological collection was found during the 2009 excavations at Nekhen on the Nile. The royal menagerie dates to about 3500 BC and included hippos, elephants, baboons and wildcats. Noah would have known about the shrine city of Nekhen. It was one of the earliest worship centers for the Horite Hebrew.

This Nekhen tomb painting shows a sickle boat
in what is today the Sahara.

During a period of flooding in the Chad Basin Noah preserved his animals by putting them on a ship. These prehistoric rock paintings found in the Sudan show the boats and cows of Proto-Saharans. Clearly moving animals by boat was a common practice.

The boats were made mainly of large bundles of reeds bound together over a wood frame. Boat types have been identified as sickle, incurved sickle, square, incurved square and flared boat. These images were found on rock surfaces in the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt. (Read more here: Boat Petroglyphs in Egypt's Central Eastern Desert)

Nilo-Saharan rulers built large boats out of גפר (gofer/gopher), as described in Genesis 6:4. The word gofer refers to reeds and is used in reference to the basket made for the baby Moses (Exodus 2:3). The Schocken Bible reads: "Make yourself an Ark of gofer wood, with reeds make the Ark...", Vol. I, p. 35. Noah's ark likely looked like the boat shown below.

Noah was a ruler in the region of Lake Chad. He was one of the "might men of old" mentioned in Genesis 6. These archaic rulers dispersed out of Africa into Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Southern Europe. Nimrod was one of Noah's descendants. He built his kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. These great rulers were known as sar, meaning king. The word corresponds to the Sanskrit śāri and the Nilo-Saharan and Hausa word sarki. The Sumerian word for king is sar and the Chadic word for ruler is gon, so Sar-gon means "High King" or "King of Kings." The Elamite word for king was sunki, a variant of sarki. Another variant is the word šarka, found in the Lithuanian language.

Climate studies reveal that the Lake Chad Basin held much more water in Noah's time. Noah lived between 2490-2415 BC, when the Sahara experienced the Gurian Wet Period (also known as the Aqualithic or the African Humid Period). His reign coincided with the Old Kingdom, a time of great cultural and technological achievement in Egypt. This places Noah and his sons in relatively recent history, not at the dawn of human existence. They ruled over territories during the 7th, 8th and 9th Dynasties in Egypt.

DNA studies indicate that Noah's R1b peoples dispersed from Africa. The dispersion of the R1b group is shown on the map below. Note the bright red mark in central Africa. This is the region of Lake Chad, Noah's homeland.

The dark red spot in Central Africa is the Lake Chad Basin.

Related reading: Noah's Birds; Noah's Flood; When the Sahara Was Wet; Boats and Cows of the Proto-Saharans

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Archaic Nes Peoples

Alice C. Linsley

Much research needs to be done to gain a better understanding of the ancient Nes peoples who appear to have dispersed widely. Likely these were a caste of metal workers in the service of rulers and chiefs. One of their totems was the serpent and its signs were NS and HT.

The words Hittite and Het share the same primitive root HT. HT is the Hebrew and Arabic root for copper - nahas-het. As an adjective, HT means shining bright, like burnished copper. Nahash (NS) refers to a serpent. The HT copper smiths ranged from Timnah to Anatolia. The serpent image was sacred for them, just as it was for Moses the Horite ruler who fashioned a bronze serpent and set it on the standard (Numbers 21:9).

The root NS appears in the variants: Nes, Neshi, Nehesi, Nesli, and Nuzi. Nuzi was a Horite administrative center on the Tigris. The Horites were devotees of Horus and his mother Hathor, the patroness of metal workers. Documents from the household of a Nuzi official named Tehiptilla record grants of food, clothing, and shelter to a number of Habiru in his service. One who likely served in a military role received a horse.

Nehesi is a name found in ancient Nubia. Hesi is a variant of Hathor, and she was the patroness of metal workers in the archaic world. The metal workers of Anatolia (modern Turkey) called themselves the Nes (NS) and their language was called Nesli. They are referred to as Hittites or Hivites (likely related clans) in II Chronicles and I Kings 9:20. The Nes/Neshi/Nehesi appear to be in the same R1b haplogroup as Abraham. This haplogroup is both European and African.

These ancient stone masons built palaces, tombs and temples, and the metal workers fashioned weapons and symbols of royal authority. Many magnificent artifacts have been recovered from these tombs, including this magnificent sun disk from Alaca Hüyük.

In southern Anatolia royal stone masons built Catalhoyuk beginning in 7500 BC. (The Turkish words catal means fork and hoyuk means mound.) This was a settlement built on two mounds (east and west) and a channel of the Çarşamba River once flowed between them. The houses excavated in Catalhoyuk date between 6800-5700 B.C. Recent excavations have identified a shrine or small temple on the eastern side. At Horoztepe, in northern Anatolia, they built royal tombs dating from 2400–2200 BC. These are richly furnished with finely crafted artifacts in bronze, gold, and silver.

Related reading: The Nuzi Tablets; Abraham and the Hittites; Hittite Religion

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Noah's Birds

Alice C. Linsley

The historicity of Noah’s great flood is supported by findings in many disciplines. The key to the alignment of the data of the Bible and science is placing Noah in the correct location. He was a ruler in the region of Lake Chad in central Africa. Climate studies reveal that the location of Lake Chad was much wetter in Noah's time than it is today. Noah lived between 2490-2415 BC, when the Sahara experienced a wet period (called the Gurian Wet Period, or the Aqualithic, or the African Humid Period). He was a Proto-Saharan ruler whose reign coincided with the Old Kingdom, a time of great cultural and technological achievement in Egypt. This places Noah and his sons in relatively recent history, not at the dawn of human existence. They ruled over territories during the 7th, 8th and 9th Dynasties in Egypt.

Noah was one of the "might men of old" mentioned in Genesis 6. These rulers of the archaic period dispersed out of Africa into Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Southern Europe. Nimrod was one of the rulers who descended from Noah. He built his kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. These great rulers were known as sar, meaning king. The word corresponds to the Sanskrit śāri and the Nilo-Saharan and Hausa word sarki. The Sumerian word for king is sar and the Chadic word for ruler is gon, so Sar-gon means "High King" or "King of Kings." The Elamite word for king was sunki, a variant of sarki. Another variant is the word šarka, found in the Lithuanian language.

DNA studies that show that Noah's R1b peoples dispersed from Africa. The dispersion of the R1b group is shown on the map below. Note the bright red mark in central Africa. This is the region of Lake Chad, Noah's homeland.

In the story of Noah's ark, the Bible recounts how Noah released two birds after the rain stopped: a dove and a raven. In Africa the dove is a symbol of prophetic discernment so sending out a dove was Noah’s way of seeking guidance. Knowing the location of Noah's homeland helps us to narrow the species of doves and ravens.

The most common dove in the part of Africa where the flood occurred is the Pink-bellied Dove. This species is abundant near water sources and and was associated with shrines located at rivers, springs and wells, so the idea of the Spirit hovering like a dove over the waters at the beginning of creation is consistent with empirical observation of these doves. The pink belly is suggestive of blood sacrifice which made peace between the penitent and God. This peace is symbolized by the olive branch which the dove brought to Noah.

The raven mentioned in Genesis is probably the Fan-tailed Raven, in the crow family. Its habitat extends across North Africa, Arabia, Sudan and Kenya. It also ranges across the Air Massif in Niger where it nests in crags. The red area shows the Fan-Tailed Raven’s habitat. This is the location of ancient Eden described in Genesis. Noah's descendants were rulers and priests in this red shaded area.

This is the natural habitat of both the Pink-bellied Dove and the Fan-tailed Raven, the birds that Noah might have released.

The raven was a symbol of the Creator and his son Horus. The root of the word is ḱoro- and koro is a variant of Horo or Horus. Koro is also an ancient term for war, suggesting a scavenger bird, similar to the falcon (Horus' totem) and the Egyptian vulture, both significant birds in the Bible.

The vulture, scorpion, horse and lion are found on stone pillars at the Gobekli Tepe site in Turkey which dates to about 9000 B.C. Here they appear to correspond to constellations at a time when Thuban was the pole star and they are likely clan totems. These creatures are commonly found on African images, which suggests that the structure at Gobekli Tepe was influenced by priests whose origins were in Africa. The vulture is especially important totem among the Nubians among whom the name for God was Yah.