Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Professor James Barr on Genesis

Alice C. Linsley

Professor James Barr (1924-2006) was an influential Bible scholar of the late 20th century. His most influential work was The Semantics of Biblical Language (1961) in which he exposed problems with interpreting Hebrew based on questionable etymologies or theological bias. Specifically, he criticized the practice of attributing new meanings to Hebrew words by comparing them to words in other Semitic languages. In this he was quite right. The roots of many Hebrew words in the Old Testament are not found in the Semitic languages, but in languages of Paleolithic peoples long before the time of the emergence of Semitic languages.

Many of the symbols found in these proto-languages can be traced back to symbols found in archaic rock shelters

The root of the word Hebrew is older even than the ancient Egyptian and Ugaritic languages in which the word piru meant house, shrine or temple. The O'piru were the Sun temples of the ancient world found from Africa to Anatolia and Anatolia to paleolithic Gaul. The Sun was the emblem of the Creator among Abraham's R1b people, and the servants of the Sun temples were called ha'piru, 'apiru or ha'biru, which is "Hebrew" in English Bibles.

Barr also criticized the Christian fundamentalist approach to Biblical interpretation as irresponsible. He came to the conclusion, based on his study of the Bible, that God is knowable to humans through the created world (cf. Rom. 1:20).

Given what we know about Professor James Barr's views and high scholarship, it is important to place his work in the proper perspective. Barr's approach is linguistic and in that sense, scientific. That is what brought the following quote to the attention of the peddlers of young-Earth creationism. However, they do the man a great injustice.

Here is the quote that is popular among young-earth creationists:
Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience. (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.

Note that Barr is simply saying that the writer of Genesis 1 meant "days" as human experience them in the region of the Middle East.  He is not insisting that the days of creation were six 24-hour days. That may be true, but there is no reason to insist on this since there is a gap of millions of years between Genesis 4:1 and Genesis 4:17.

Barr also believes that the Genesis writer believed that the people named in Genesis 4 and 5 were the first human on earth. He does not insist, however, that these men and women named in the genealogies provide by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to the time of Abraham. He recognized the similarities of the Sumerian and babylonian regnal lists. These are not genealogies. Rather the so-called "begats" are king lists and pertain to the Neolithic period. These men are not the first humans on earth, but rulers of the Afro-Asiatic Dominion. They were kingdom builders, like Nimrod the Kushite (Gen. 10:8). This was a time of law codes such at the Law of Tehut, warriors, weapons, shrine cities or high places such as Nekhen in Sudan, and numerous technologies associated with the Neolithic Period. These earliest rulers of Genesis lived between 6000 and 3000 B.C., millions of years after the appearance of the first archaic humans in Africa.

Further, human populations were already widely dispersed globally by around 35,000 years ago, long before the 6-10,000 age of the Earth held by young Earthers. DNA studies confirm that the Neolithic R1b cattle-herding peoples had already dispersed across Africa, the Levant, Anatolia, and the Black Sea area by 20,000 year ago. Expansion of humans into the Arctic regions is evidenced by sites in Russian high latitudes dating between 31,000 and 34,000 years. The more recent Kushite migration mentioned in Genesis has also been confirmed by molecular genetics.

Barr also insisted that Noah's flood was portrayed as universal by the Genesis writer for theological reasons. This voice in Genesis comes from a time after Abraham and poses God's wrath as the reason for the destruction of all human and animal life except for what was preserved on the ark. Note that Barr is not saying that this actually happened.

Consider the following population estimates by urban center between 2400 and 2200 BC, the time when Noah's flood would have occurred:

Memphis, Egypt - 32,000 inhabitants

Lagash, Iraq - 60,000 inhabitants

Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan - 40,000 inhabitants

Mari, Syria -50,000 inhabitants

Baodun settlements, China - Baodun is the largest settlement, covering an area of about 373 miles. There is no evidence of destruction by flooding though all six Baodun settlements straddled the Min River in central Sichuan province. The Min is a tributary of the upper Yangtze River.

There is no evidence that any of these peoples were wiped out by a worldwide flood. The evidence simply does not support the interpretation that all the peoples of the earth were destroyed in a catastrophic global flood and that the earth was repopulated by Noah's descendants.

As a fascinating side note, the oldest known zoological collection was discovered during excavations at Hierakonpolis or Nekhen in Sudan in 2009. This royal menagerie that dates to ca. 3500 BC and included hippos, hartebeest,elephants, baboons and wildcats. The story of Noah preserving a collection of animals is based on historical reality.

Related reading: Was the Earth Repopulated After Noah's Flood?; The Genesis King Lists; YEC Dogma is NOT Biblical; Bishop Ussher Goofed

Monday, February 8, 2016

God's Mercy and Cain's Demise

Alice C. Linsley

This Biblical Archaeology Society article asks "Did Lamech kill Cain?" Genesis does not tell us how any of the rulers listed in Genesis 4 and 5 died. It does reveal that the lines of Cain and Seth intermarried as has been demonstrated through scientific analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of these rulers. This means that Cain is one of Jesus Christ's ancestors!

The diagram below shows how this "Lamech the Elder" named had two wives. His daughter Naamah married her patrilineal cousin Methuselah and named their first born son Lamech after her father. 

John Byron, professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary, ponders Cain's demise in “Did Cain Get Away with Murder?” which appeared in the May/June 2014 issue of BAR. "Byron explains that ancient interpreters were not afraid to change the story of Cain in the Bible to fit with their sense of justice, ensuring that he was adequately punished for killing his brother Abel."

One interpretation, found in 12th-century France, credits Lamech with killing Cain. However, the first Lamech named in Genesis lived four generations after Cain.

St. John Chrysostom held a very different view and one that is more consistent with the overarching emphasis of divine mercy shown to sinners like Cain, Moses and David, all murderers.

Cain murdered and tried to hide his crime from God. He deserved death, yet God showed him mercy by sparing his life. Cain was sent away from his people and God showed him grace by placing a mark on him as a protecting sign. Reflecting on this great mercy shown to his ancestor, Lamech challenges God to show him greater mercy. If grace was shown to Cain (7), then Lamech, the Elder, by confessing his sin, claims a double measure of grace (77). He claims to be avenged by God "seventy and sevenfold." His grandson Lamech, the Younger is assigned a triple measure of grace because he is said to have lived 777 years (Gen. 5:31). "And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy seven years."

John Chrysostom commented on the unfathomable grace expressed through the story of the Elder Lamech. He wrote: “By confessing his sins to his wives, Lamech brings to light what Cain tried to hide from God and by comparing what he has done to the crimes committed by Cain he limited the punishment coming to Him.” (St. John Chrysostom’s Homilies on Genesis, Vol. 74, p.39. The Catholic University Press of America, 1999.)

Chrysostom’s interpretation is consistent with what is communicated throughout the Bible about God’s love and mercy, yet his view is not referenced in any Bibles. Instead, most Bible footnotes stress that God wiped out Cain’s line in the flood, a view which is not supported by the regnal information in Genesis 4 and 5 which reveals that the lines of Cain and Seth intermarried. Scientific analysis of the king lists supports Chrysostom's interpretation, as shown by tracing the increase from the number 7 assigned to Cain to the number 777 assigned to Lamech the Younger.

St. John Chrysostom recognized that the story of the Lamech the Elder and Lamech the Younger is about God’s mercy shown to sinners. He placed the emphasis exactly where it should be.

Related reading: The Life Spans of Methuselah and Lamech; The Pattern of Two Wives; Cain as Ruler; The Genesis King ListsEnoch: Angelic Being of Deified Ruler; Sent-Away Sons; Genesis in Anthropological Perspective; Decoding the Genesis King Lists

Friday, February 5, 2016

Enoch: Angelic Being or Deified Ruler?

Alice C. Linsley

There is much interest and speculation concerning "the Watchers" mentioned in the books of Enoch and Daniel. Are these angels or are these robed elders (deified rulers/"sons" of God) who appear in Revelation 19?

The oldest section of I Enoch - "The Watchers" - dates only to about 300 BC. Here we read:
"And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all, and to destroy all the ungodly: and to convict all flesh of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." (1 En 60:8). Compare to Deuteronomy 33:2, also a later source.
In the Book of Daniel the Aramaic term that denotes angels is "watchers" (`îrîn). Each is called "watcher and holy one" (`îr weqadîsh). The term "watcher" implies that angels act as God's sentinels, watching and guarding, as in the case of the angels appointed to guard the entrance to Eden.

Watchers appear in literature that post-dates the earliest material in Genesis. They are mentioned in Vedic (Sanskrit) texts that speak of gods begetting children with humans. They appear in the Gilgamesh Epic, in the Lamech scrolls, and in the Book of Enoch which states that 200 "Watchers" descended to earth in the time of Jared, son of Mahalalel, and instructed men in the arts and sciences.

The term "watchers" appears in the book of Daniel which has a Babylonian context with its emphasis on the sacred number seven. This tradition is later than the material found in the parts of Genesis that emphasize the binary feature: male-female (Gen. 2), "two of every sort" (Gen. 6).

Is Enoch, who did not taste death, a deified elder or an angel? If it can be proven that the deified elders and angels alike were understood to be watching the activities of humans, the confusion can be resolved very nicely. A deified ruler is regarded as an angelic being.

Enoch and Adam

Analysis of the kinship pattern of the Genesis king lists points to an older, less mystical, tradition that places Adam and Enoch in the same generation as founding "fathers" of the ruler-priest lines (Habiru/Hebrew). This is evident in Psalm 8:4 which parallels Enoch and Adam:

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

The question is which Enoch? Because this Enoch is poses as a contemporary of Adam, it is likely that this Enoch is the unmentioned father-in-law of Cain and Seth who married their cousins. As has been confirmed through analysis of the kinship pattern of the Genesis kings, the cousin bride named her first born son after her father. This is shown in the diagram below.

Lamech Segment Analysis: Genesis 4 and Genesis 5
© 1998 Alice C. Linsley

Explanation of Symbols
O Female
Δ Male
= Marriage
/ Line of descent
_ Siblings

Note that Lamech's daughter Naamah married her patrilineal cousin Methuselah and named their first born son Lamech, after her father. This is called the "cousin bride's naming prerogative." This feature identifies the ruler-priests lines of the Bible, making it possible to trace the ancestry of Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David and Jesus back to these earliest Biblical rulers. The number seven is associated with the priesthood in the Babylonian tradition. Enoch as the "heavenly priest" is the topic of this paper by Andrei A. Orlov, Enoch as the Heavenly Priest.

Enoch is a royal title that means "heir to the throne." Cain married into a royal house, a family to which he was related. Adam is the representative of the whole of created humanity in the analogical framework of the Apostle Paul, but Enoch is the representative of the oldest known line of king-priests in the Bible. That is the likely explanation for the Psalm 8:4 parallelism: What is enoch that you spare a thought for him, or ben' adam that you care for him?

Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Genesis rulers indicates that Cain and Seth married the daughters of a ruler named Enoch/Enosh. These wives named their first born sons after their father. Kain's first born son and heir is Enoch (Gen. 4:17). Seth's first born son and heir is named Enos or Enosh (Gen. 5:6), the linguistic equivalent of Enoch. This places the hidden or unmentioned Enoch as the patriarch of the ruler-priest lines of Cain and Seth. These lines intermarried (endogamy). If we read Adam as the father of the red R1b peoples, not as the first human created, the hidden Enoch would be Adam's contemporary (in the same generation).

There are questions to consider when approaching the figure of Enoch. As there are 3 men with that title, which Enoch is the focus of the Babylonian myth?  If we recognize that the name of Seth's successor Enos or Enosh is the linguistic equivalent of Enoch, there are 3 who hold this title: The sons of Cain and Seth and the son of Jared (Irad). The Enoch under consideration is Enoch, the seventh from Adam, who was taken (translated) to heaven according to Genesis 5:24. His name, which comes from anochi, has a double meaning. It means one who ascends to the throne and the one who is heir. Enoch ascended to the throne of his father Lamech who lived 777 years, and he ascended to heaven where he offers prayers with incense. He represents the righteous elders who constitute the heavenly council.

There are problems also with the mystical symbolism surrounding Enoch. Emphasis is placed on the number seven in association with Enoch. However, it is Lamech to whom the most sacred number is applied: 777.  Genesis 5 presents this information:

Seth – 912 years
Jared – 962 years
Kenan – 910 years
Methuselah – 969 years
Lamech the Younger, Methuselah's son and heir – 777 years (The grandson of Lamech the Elder whose conversation with his 2 wives is described in Genesis 4:22-24.)

The different numbers pertaining to Lamech the Younger are (Septuagint) 753, (Samaritan) 653, and (Masoretic) 777. No other man in the Genesis king lists has such a discrepancy in the total number of years. Again, Lamech, not Enoch, is the lightening rod who draws our attention and provokes questions. Blessed saint John of the Golden Tongue noticed this.

Lamech is a variant of the Akkadian and Egyptian word la-melech, meaning "priest of the King."The word la-melech has been found inscribed on hundreds of seals. La-melech seals typically had the image of a scarab (dung beetle) or a sun disc. Both were emblems of the Creator. The sun disc and scarab were used as a royal seal by the Kings of Judah. Hezekiah's seal is an example.

Lamech the Younger and a message of hope

Lamech the Younger, the father of Noah, is assigned 777 years in Genesis 531: "And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy seven years." Here we have a message of hope.

The number 7 represents new life, mercy and renewal. Cain murdered and tried to hide his crime from God. Cain deserved death, yet God showed him mercy by sparing his life. Cain was exiled from his people and God showed him grace by placing a mark on him as a protecting sign. Reflecting on this great mercy shown to his ancestor, Lamech challenges God to show him greater mercy. If grace was shown to Cain (7), then Lamech, the Elder, by confessing his sin, claims a double measure of grace (77). He claims that God avenges him "seventy and sevenfold" (Gen. 4:24). Lamech, the Younger is assigned a triple measure of grace because he is said to have lived 777 years.

John Chrysostom commented on the unfathomable grace expressed through the story of the Elder Lamech. Here is what he said: “By confessing his sins to his wives, Lamech brings to light what Cain tried to hide from God and by comparing what he has done to the crimes committed by Cain he limited the punishment coming to Him.” (St. John Chrysostom’s Homilies on Genesis, Vol. 74, p.39. The Catholic University Press of America, 1999.)

Chrysostom’s interpretation is consistent with what is communicated throughout the Bible about God’s love and mercy, yet his view is not referenced in any Bibles. Instead, most Bible footnotes stress that God wiped out Cain’s line in the flood, a view which is not supported by the regnal information in Genesis 4 and 5 which reveals that the lines of Cain and Seth intermarried. Scientific analysis of the king lists supports Chrysostom's interpretation, as shown by tracing the increase from the number 7 assigned to Cain to the number 777 assigned to Lamech the Younger.

St. John Chrysostom recognized that the story of the Lamech the Elder and Lamech the Younger is about God’s mercy shown to sinners. He placed the emphasis exactly where it should be.

Related reading: God's Mercy and Cain's DemiseThe Life Spans of Methuselah and Lamech; Who Were the Watchers?; The Mighty Men of Old; The Seventh Seal and Silence in Heaven; Does the Binary Feature Signal Greater Complexity?; Number Symbolism and the Bible; The Pattern of Two Wives; Adam Was a Red Man; INDEX of Topics at Just Genesis

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Monuments of the Ancient Kushites

Alice C. Linsley

The King Lists of Genesis tell a fascinating story of the succession of rulers from their Proto-Saharan ancestors to the time of Abraham. The marriage and ascendancy pattern of these ruling families drove dispersion into Syria, Anatolia, India and beyond. Some sons were sent away to establish territories of their own. These rulers are ethnically Kushite.

The connection of these rulers to ancient Kush is confirmed by Genesis 10:6-8 which tells us that Ham's son Kush had two first-born sons: Ramah and Nimrod. Ramah's territory was in Arabia. His two first-born sons were Dedan and Sheba. These ruling houses intermarried. The ruling houses of Dedan and Sheba were aligned with the Horite rulers of Edom. The Dedanite and Edomite ruling lines intermarried.

Nimrod's territory was in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. His first-born son by his cousin bride was Asshur the Younger, named after Shem's son, Asshur the Elder. To understand how Abraham is a descendant of Nimrod, study the diagram below.

Nimrod is a Nilotic title. It means "ruler over all the waters." His Akkadian name was Šarru-kīnu, which is usually translated “the true king.” He is described as a warrior-hunter or a mighty hunter. The term is related to the Hausa sarkin maharba, meaning chief or lead hunter. Sar means king in Sumerian. Sar-gon means high king or king of kings.  In the Targum nah shirkan refers to a great hunter.

The "mighty men of old" (Gen. 6:4) are called "nephilim" which comes from npyl in Aramaic, meaning "great one" and is equivalent to nfy in Arabic, meaning hunter.

The archaic rulers controlled the major water systems such as Lake Chad, the Nile and the Tigris and Euphrates. A shrine associated with Seth (Kain's brother) called Ka-ta-seti (Sanam) connected Gebel Barkal and Meroe, and was one of the important ports of the river trade that extended from ancient Nubia to the Orontes in Turkey. That is why there are two sites named "Meroe." The best known is Meroe of Nubia. The lesser known was built on the precipice of Mt. Silpius. This is Meroe overlooking the Orontes.

Genesis refers to these rulers as the "mighty men of old" because they controlled the major water systems and the high places. They dispersed into Southern Europe and the Hindu Kush, a melting pot of ancient peoples. They likely controlled commerce through the Pamir Junction. These were aggressive kingdom builders who regarded themselves as divinely appointed to disperse and subdue the earth. Later rulers, such as Alexander the Great, sought the same divine legitimacy.

Alexander the Great sought such validation for this conquests from the oracle of Amun-Ra at the Siwa shrine in the Libyan Desert. This coin shows his image with the ram horns associated with Amun-Ra.

Monuments and pyramids

The archaic rulers built monuments throughout the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion like these at Jebel Barkal in ancient Nubia (Upper Nile Valley). 

Standing stones at the temple of Amun at Mount Barkal

The ancient Nilo-Saharan kings built fortified shrine cities and pyramids. Pyramids built near the city of Karima in Sudan date to the eighth century BC.  The word "Karima" refers to a rock shelter or fortified elevated shrine city. Likewise, the word "Karnak" (spelled "Carnak" in Brittany) refers to a rock shelter or enclosure of standing stones where religious rites were performed such as circumcision and the removal of teeth - naak. Similar standing stones have been found in the Judean higher elevations.

At Mount Barkal the rulers constructed a shrine city with a temple dedicated to the Creator Amun-Ra. Other Amun sanctuaries were constructed at Kawa (Gematen) and at Sanam.

Relief of Amun-Ra, temple of Amun at Kawa, in Ancient Nubia

Amun-Ra is the Creator whose solar emblem rises and sets each day. This speaks of the resurrection of the dead ruler, an expectation of Abraham's Habiru (Hebrew) people. This is the meaning behind the narrative of Abraham with his son on Mount Moriah. The son of Ra was Horus. Horus was called the Lamb in his weaker (kenotic) existence and he was called the Ram in his glorified strength. Both lamb and ram are associated with the resurrection symbolism of the vernal equinox.

The oldest known temple (c. 5000 BC) to have association with Abraham's ancestors is the predynastic temple at Nekhen (Greek Hierakonpolis). The temple was located on the Nile, making it easier for temple officials to weigh and measure goods and assess tolls on the vessels that docked there. Many artifacts of great importance have been found at Nekhen. These include funeral masks, statues, jewelry, beer vats, large flint knives, and the pillared halls characteristic of later Egyptian monuments and temples. Nekhen is where the oldest life-sized human statue was found: a priest from the temple of Horus, c.3000 BC.

An intriguing discovery at Nekhen involves the recovery of a beard associated with the redheaded man in Burial no. 79. The presence of long wavy natural red hair and a full beard suggests that this ruler was in Haplogroup R1b. It appears that the "red" features were found widely among archaic rulers. The Bible associates the red feature with the Horite rulers of Edom, like Esau, and with David who had Edomite blood.

Noah controlled the region around Lake Chad - the "Land of Noah" or "Bor-no" - which is also one of the hot spots of the R1b rulers as shown on this map at the southernmost dark red dot.

The ancient stone monuments and sacred circles of the British Isles were likely the work of the R1b stone workers and mining experts who arrived there between 8000 and 4000 BC.  Genetic research indicates that about 70% of British men are in Haplogroup R1b.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Number Symbolism and the Bible

Alice C. Linsley

St. Augustine (A.D. 354-430) wrote: “Numbers are the universal language offered by the Deity to humans as confirmation of the truth.”

St. Augustine is not saying that numbers tell us truth, only that God uses numbers symbolically to confirm the truth. This is what St. Augustine argues against the Donatist, Tichonius, observing that "if Tichonius had said that these mystical rules open out some of the hidden recesses of the law, instead of saying that they reveal all the mysteries of the law, he would have spoken truth" (De Doctrina Christiana, III, xlii).

The Church Fathers condemned magical use of numbers in occult practices such as divination, but recognized the numerical symbolism of Scripture.

St. Ambrose, commenting on the days of creation and the Sabbath, explained: "The number seven is good, but we do not explain it after the doctrine of Pythagoras and the other philosophers, but rather according to the manifestation and division of the grace of the Spirit; for the prophet Isaias has enumerated the principal gifts of the Holy Spirit as seven.”

We see in Ambrose’ view a consideration of the consistency of biblical symbolism. The Church Fathers were not interested in philosophical speculation about numbers. Nor was the Apostle Paul. Risto Santala, the Finnish Bible scholar and expert on Paul, wrote, "The esoteric Qabbalah wandered off the right track in creating a very extensive literature on doctrines of angels and mysteries relating to God's being (razei El). Only those over the age of forty were allowed to study them. The angel RAZIEL, whose numeric value in gematria is 248 and who thus knew the inner secrets of the two hundred and forty-eight 'do'- commandments, gave Adam the 'Sefer Raziel', that is, 'the Book of Raziel', an esoteric source. The enormous literature of the Qabbalah is occupied with these imaginary conjectures. They indeed have 'an appearance of wisdom,' but both Jesus and Paul entirely renounced them."

Numbers, Gender, and the Cardinal Points

The number symbolism of the Bible emerges out of the far more ancient Afro-Asiatic cosmology which assigned numbers and gender virtues to the north, south, east and west. Thus the number one is assigned to north, and north is associated with the heavens, God’s eternal throne. The number six is assigned to south, the earth and all fleshly concerns. The number nine represents the west, the future, and the bridal chamber.

When the number 3 is associated with south it signifies peace on earth or "thy kingdom come". This is evident in the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation. The city has twelve gates and sits on twelve foundation stones (Rev. 21:12-14). Three face east, three face north, three face south, and three face west. We may illustrate this as follows

3→ 3↑ 3↓ 3← Notice that the third position faces south.

Compare this to the “bronze sea” in Solomon’s temple that rested on twelve oxen (1 Kings 7:23-26).

3→ 3↑ 3↓ 3← Notice that they coincide.

Number symbolism among the ancients

Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors were deeply spiritual and regarded both the body and the spirit/soul as sacred and intended for immortality. The "second death" came when the two became separated at death. This explains why they took great pain to ritually bury their loved ones, and especially their rulers. They expected a Righteous Ruler to appear who would defeat death and lead his people to immortality. This is the origin of Messianic expectation.

Their worldview was binary in that it involved binary sets such as life-death, night-day, male-female, heaven-earth, etc. Gender dimorphism, the vertical and horizontal alignments of the cardinal points, and observation of fixed celestial patterns led to theological reflections such as those found in the Kabbalah.

Kabbalah is not the source of the number symbolism of Abraham's people. The symbolism is much older than Kabbalah, as Assyriologist Dr. Simo Parpola has shown in his treatment of this topic. (See Parpola's “The Assyrian Tree of Life: Tracing the Origins of Jewish Monotheism and Greek Philosophy”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 52, July 1993.)

The term Kabbalah is derived from the ancient Egyptian words ka and ba, which speak of the body and soul. These were to be kept together or one would not taste immortality. That is why Christianity stresses the value of the body and the necessity of the physical resurrection of Jesus, the "first born from the dead." He is the one who leads us to immortality.

The Ten Sefirot or the "Tree of Life" (shown right) is used to explain the mystical number symbolism of Kabbalah. The ten Sefirot are: 

1. Keter Elyon - the "supreme crown" of God
2. Hokmah - the "wisdom" of God
3. Binah - the "intelligence" of God
4. Hesed - the "greatness" or "love" of God
5. Din (Gevurah) - the "power" or "judgment" of God 
6. Rahamim (Tifaret) - the "compassion" or "beauty" of God
7. Netzah - the "lasting endurance" of God
8. Hod - the "majesty" of God
9. Tzaddik (Yesod Olam) - the "righteous one" or "foundation of the world"
10. Malkut - the "kingdom" of God 

[Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, p.213; and Kabbalah, p.106]

The notion here is that of a shuttle moving back and forth. The weave requires redoubling to make the fabric or the web strong. The English word web is likely derived from the word keb or kab. Kab pertains to weaving with a shuttle. Weavers are called the ka, those who kab. Ka also refers to the the body which is "knit" in the womb. Ka-ba refers to the relationship of body and soul. Kab also implies a doubling or redoubling to strengthen.

This movement between points corresponds to the ancients' observations of the stars and constellations. They were adept at sidereal astronomy. Horus of the two horizons (east-west, dawn-dust) and Horus of the two crowns (north-south, Lower Nile-Upper Nile) are examples of how meaning is derived by holding 2 points in view. We see this in the Passover sacrifice at twilight, what is called in Hebrew ben ha-'arbayim, meaning "between the two settings." Rabbinic sources take this to mean "from noon on." According to Radak, the first "setting" occurs when the sun passes its zenith at noon and the shadows begin to lengthen, and the second "setting" is the actual sunset (p. 55, vol. 2, The Jewish Publication Society Torah Commentary, "Exodus").

The number symbolism of the Bible reveals influences from ancient Afro-Arabian mystical number symbolism and parallels are found in Kabbalah. It is difficult to say whether or not the numerological meanings were also held among Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors who spread over the Arabian Peninsula and into India and beyond. Much of the number symbolism of the Bible is based on astronomical observation. According to Plato, the Nilotes had been star gazing and keeping records of astronomical events for 10,000 years. The numbers 7 and 72 especially related to astronomical observations. There are 7 visible planets (bowls) and this included the Sun.

The number 72 represents the number of years it takes for the constellations to move one degree due to precession. The Great Pyramid and Angkor Wat are nearly 72° apart. It has been noted also that Angkor Wat is located 72° of longitude east of the Pyramids of Giza. The name Angkor correlates with the ancient Egyptian Anhk-Hor, meaning "Long live Horus." Images of Horus, Re's solar boat, and sacred cattle have been found there.

The Kabbalah speaks of seventy-two names of God, derived from Exodus 14:19-21, where each verse numbers seventy-two letters. In some folklore it is said that there were originally 72 peoples inhabiting the earth, all descendants of Noah.  The Igbo claim that these seventy-two peoples of the Earth match the seventy-two priest-kings of Edda in Igboland. Edda consists of 72 sub-villages, presumed to have descended from seventy-two priestly families of the distant past. The Qur'an speak of 72 Houris. The Houris are Horite beings of distinction or deified ruler-priests, Jesus Christ sent out 72 disciples, symbolic of the universal spread of His Gospel.

Besides astronomical observation, the ancient number symbolism involves the cardinal points in their binary sets: North-South and East-West. True south is assigned the number 6 and is associated with mortality, fleshly desires, the way of all flesh, marriage, and reproduction/fertility. North and East is associated with divine power, authority, judgement and renewal.

North is always the position of priority and is assigned the number 1, symbolizing the Uncreated One who Creates, the Cause of all Causes, Hidden God, I AM WHO I AM. Originally, the number 1 was attached to symbols/glyphs that have become letters: Y and O, both solar symbols. Among Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors the sun was the emblem of the Creator and all other symbols were relative to that complex conception. For example, the Horite rulers were of the priestly caste devoted to Horus, the son of God. Their divine appointment was indicated by the solar cradle which represents the overshadowing of the Creator. So it is that these Horite rulers names begin with Y: Yaqtan (Joktan); Yisbak; Yishmael (Ishmael); Yitzak (Isaac); Yacob (Jacob); Yosef (Jospeh); Yeshai (Jesse); and Yetro (Jethro).

Praying toward the East symbolizes right “orientation” (orient = east) toward God. That is why the priest faces east and church altars are on the east wall. Respecting the male and the female aspects of life (male and female principles) is one way we show respect for one another. In this binary system, males and females are complementary and supplementary.

West is assigned the numbers 3, 9 and 10. The number 10 is actually the beginning of a new sequence as the Afro-Arabian number system was based on 9. The number 3 symbolizes the Spirit moving. The number 9 symbolizes the Bridegroom, and 10 symbolizes the birth of a New Reality or a New World.

East is assigned the numbers 7 and 8. These symbolize the Risen One/the One who Ascends/the Promised Royal Son who is often associated with David or David's Horite line from which Messiah is expected to come (and did come!) The word sheba (sheva) means seven and likely derives from the priestly clan of Sheba (kinsmen of  Dedan, Ramah, Ophir, and Joktan/Yaqtan). Their ancestors came from the Nile Valley and among them were the earliest known astronomers who noted seven visible planets/stars and thought of them as bowls in the heavens.

Beer-sheba can mean the "well of seven" or the "well of Sheba" and most likely means the latter. Abraham met and married his cousin wife Keturah in Beersheba. It was the southern most point of Abraham's territory in the land of Edom. David's claim to the throne was challenged by a ruler named Sheba. Sheba was a royal house with ties to the ancient Nubians.

The number 4 symbolizes God's tender love, grace and mercy shown to the four corners of the earth. Halfway between west and south is the number 5. Kabbalah teaches that 5 may go to 1. The person who is not consumed by the things of this world may go to God. The number 5 symbolizes judgment, strength and determination. The virtues of 4 and 5 are generally associated with the opposite gender to which they are assigned on the Ten Sefirot. Usually judgment, strength and determination are associated with the male principle and tender love, grace, mercy and with the female principle. But here we have a reversal. Reversals speak of supplementarity and meaning is mediated through the relationship of the opposites. Unlike Western metaphysics, which grants privilege to one side of an opposition and marginalizes the opposition (Jacques Derrida), the biblical system maintains the male and female principles as inseparable and supplementary, and derives meaning from their relationship.

While North is assigned the number one and priority, it necessary is followed by the number two which resides half way between 1 and 7/8, or halfway between north and east. Two is Logos, Generative Word that comes from the Father in a kenotic act. Christians will be reminded of Genesis 1 and of John’s Prologue: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…”

Rabbi Kaduri upon his death at age 108, left a signed note indicating Messiah's identity: Yeshua - Jesus. His manuscripts, written in his own hand, have cross-symbols painted all over the pages. Many Jews have attempted to explain away the crosses, arguing that the great Rabbi Kaduri was not a Christian. Whether or not he believed in the Incarnate Son who died on the Cross to save sinners, only God knows. As one of the world's authorities on Jewish mysticism, Rabbi Kaduri knew the tradition of Abraham's people expressed in symbols and numbers and, as St. Augustine reminds us, those confirm truth.

The ancient symbolism points to Jesus Christ, The Logos of God (2) who by the Spirit (3) became incarnate of the Virgin Mary (5), lived on earth among men and died (6) but rose from the dead, showing great mercy to all the world (4) and ascended as the Royal Son of God (7) who becomes the Royal Bridegroom (8) who enters the bridal chamber to consummate the marriage to his pure and spotless Bride, the Church (9) and from that union will be born a new reality, a new world (10).

Monday, January 25, 2016

Abraham and the Hittites

Alice C. Linsley

Genesis 23 recounts how Abraham the Habiru (Hebrew) ruler of Edo/Edom, the land of the Red People, did business with Hittites. The Hittites are designated the "sons" of Heth/Het (Gen. 23:2-11) and one of the clans of Canaan (Gen. 10:15). They recognize Abraham as their kinsmen. They speak of him as "a great prince among us" (Gen. 23:6).

The clan of Het lived near Kirtiath-Arba or Hebron (Genesis 23:3,7), the northern boundary of Abraham's territory and the location of Sarah's settlement. It was here that Abraham purchased a cave tomb for Sarah's burial. Typically, such cave tombs were a chamber reached through a vertical shaft which could be sealed by a stone slab, as shown in the image below.

It is likely that the deed to the cave with these tombs was part of the property that Abraham passed to his son Isaac (Gen. 25:5–6). According to Genesis 49:29, the cave tombs that Abraham bought with the field of Ephron were used to bury Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah.

The term "Hittite" in reference to Abraham is an anachronism. Abraham lived before the time of the ascendancy of the Hittites in Anatolia and Northern Syria around BC 1800. There is evidence of their existence as early as BC 1900, which places them closer to the time of Abraham (BC 2039-1964).

As with all the archaic rulers, the Hittite rulers were known for their stone work and metal work. Royal tombs made of stone have been discovered in Alaca Hüyük and Horoztepe in Anatolia, dating to c. 2400–2200. The word tepe means hill in Turkish. This can be a reference to the kar of the ancient rulers. "Horoz-tepe" is a reference to the Horite ruler-priests living in Anatolia. They were devotees of Horus and his mother Hathor/Hesi. Since these fortified hills were places of burnt offerings, the term kar is often associated with charcoal and soot. The Turkish kara means "black." In Magyar, korom refers to soot, as does the Korean word kurim. Among the Nilotic Luo, kar specifies a place with boundaries.

They are referenced in ancient texts as the Nes. In addition to stone work, they were smiths who introduced iron work to Anatolia. They called themselves the Nes, Neshi or Nehesi (NS) and their language was called Nesli. These ancient stone masons built 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 (modern Turkey) 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.

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 Neshi appear to be in the same R1b haplogroup as Abraham. Their point of origin is not the Black Sea region, as often speculated, but the region of the Upper Nile Valley and Paleo-Lake Chad, shown on the map below. At one time these water system were interconnected. The Neshi still function as priests in Igboland (Nigeria).

Nehesi means "one who serves Hesi." Hesi was another name for Hathor, Horus' mother. Throughout the ancient world fortified mounds with water sources known (the ancient kar) were dedicated to both Horus and Hathor. Tell-Hesi, a 25-acre archaeological site in Israel, is an example. It was the first major site excavated in Palestine, first by Flinders Petrie in 1890 and later by Frederick Jones Bliss in 1891 and 1892.

Hathor was regarded as the patroness of metal workers. A temple dedicated to Hathor was discovered at the southwestern edge of Mt. Timnah by Professor Beno Rothenberg of Hebrew University. Timnah is the site of some of world's oldest copper mines. The oldest mines - about 6000 years - were worked almost continuously until the Roman Period. Ancient rock carvings have been found here showing warriors in chariots, holding stone axes and metal shields.

Hittite writings

For a long time, little was known about the Hittites other than what could be gathered from the Bible. In 1834, archeologist Charles Texier stumbled upon the ruins of Hattusha (Hattusa), a principal Hittite settlement in modern-day Boğazköy (Boghazkoy). In 1884 William Wright discovered a script that speaks of a "people of Hattusa." For the large part, Hittite court records were written using Akkadian cuneiform, the script of Nimrod's territory. Nimrod was a Kushite ruler. Nimrod was known as Sharru-Kin which means “the righteous king.” His Akkadian name Šarru-kīnu is usually translated “the true king.”

In 1915 the Czech linguist, Bedřich Hrozný announced the results of his study of the Hittite language in a lecture at the Near Eastern Society of Berlin. His book, The Language of the Hittites; Its Structure and Its Membership in the Indo-European Linguistic Family, begins with: "The present work undertakes to establish the nature and structure of the hitherto mysterious language of the Hittites, and to decipher this language [...] It will be shown that Hittite is in the main an Indo-European language."

There are many connections between ancient Nilotic words and those found in Anatolia, Northern India and Serbia were the Kushite Saka ruled for many thousands of years. Vad means “to speak” in Sanskrit. The root VD also refers to seeing. In Ancient Egyptian vidjet refers to the Eye of Horus, the son of the Creator. In Serbian, vidjet means "to see."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dispersion of the Ruler-Priests

Father of Jose Calcis Bulang of Bohol, the Philippines

What follows is a recent communication with Mr. Jose C. Bulang who has been following my research for several years and using it to trace his ancestry.

My name is Jose Calsis Bulang. I keep on reading historical materials which may help me trace my descent both from my mother and father side.

One entry that kept me wondering is about King Herod Agrippa II which can be read in the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 24: verse 24. In a Cebuano translated Bible of the New Covenant version there was an entry in the Glossary which said: "Agrippa II - Son of the grandson of Herod the Great. King of Calsis, a small nation north (Amihanan) of Palestine. He ruled also the adjacent lands. It was before Agrippa II and his sister Berenice that Paul defended himself Acts 24:24)"

In that same book it said that Drusila, the wife of Roman Governor Felix who ruled Judea from 50-62 A. D. was King Agrippa II sister and she was Jewish. It was before Roman Governor Felix of Judea that Apostle Paul defended himself concerning the faith in Christ.

I wonder now why my mother's family have carried the family name Calsis, which according to glossary in that New Covenant Bible translated from Greek version in 1935 was a "small nation north of Palestine" and ruled by a Jewish King Agrippa II in the period estimated from 50-62+ A.D. Can it be possible that my mother's bloodline was Jewish?

Was there really such nation Calsis that existed that time, madame? Anyway, I hope I am not disturbing you and taking much of your time.

Thank you and may God Bless always.

Very sincerely yours,


Greetings, Mr. Bulang.

This is very exciting news! Josephus reports that Emperor Claudius gave Herod of Chalcis the Syrian kingdom of Chalcis at the foot of Mt. Hermon in the Lebanese mountains (ca. 42 CE). Though he never ruled Judea, Herod was granted authority over the temple with the hereditary right to appoint high priests. With that authority he would certainly be regarded as an appropriate dignitary for the installation of a king.

The DNA Profile you sent me traces your Y-chromosome ancestry, or your patrilineal ancestry. The profile indicates that your male ancestors did not originate in East Asia. The primitive Iberian ancestry is really Paleo-North African. This might include ancient Nilo-Saharan peoples, some of whom went to Palestine, Syria and India.

Is it possible that your family name was originally Calsi? The name Calsi is found in Spain, Italy and other parts of Europe, but the name appears to have originated in Palestine and the region of the Nile Valley. Originally, it was probably spelled Kalsi. That spelling is found among Indian traders in Egypt. There is a region of India called Kalsi-Chakrata. Here is a video about one of the Kalsi Rock Edicts of the ruler Ashoka.

Ashoka was the third monarch of the Mauryan dynasty in India, reigning from around 269 BC. His rock edicts were a way to reform the abuses of Hinduism. King Ahoka wanted to eliminate the excessive sacrifice of animals which benefited the Hindu priests financially and made it possible for the people to eat lots of curried meat.

The name Amihanan is found in the Philippines. There is a lake area by this name on Malalison Island. The place name may be related to the word for the northeast monsoon which is "amihan."

Here is a photo of a coin of Herod of Chalsis. It shows Herod with his brother Agrippa of Judaea crowning Roman Emperor Claudius I.

Coin showing Herod of Chalcis with brother Agrippa of Judaea
crowning Roman Emperor Claudius I.
This indicates that Herod of Chalsis was indeed a very important man. Jewish identity is traced through the mother, so it appears that your mother's family might be Jewish, or at least related to the Herodians, who were Horites. The Herodians were originally from the kingdom of Edom. They ruled after the time of Abraham, one of the earlier ruler of Edom. The Edomite rulers were famous for their water works, temples, rock shelters and tombs.

Herod the Great's father was Antipater, was an Edomite of great influence and wealth who increased both by marrying the daughter of a noble from Petra. At that time Petra was the capital of the rising Nabataean kingdom. The Nabataeans were related to the Red Nubians, who long before the time of Herod the Great, had dispersed widely. Some were called Saka. They ruler in northern India and dispersed widely.

I have written about the Edomites in these articles:

Edo, Edom, Idumea
Petra Reflects Horite Belief
The Edomites and the Color Red

Best wishes to you.

Alice C. Linsley

Madame Linsley,

My observation concerns the grandson of Herod the Great, Herod V or Herod of Chalcis, who held the office of priestly line of the house of Herod consistent with the Nilotic family practice of appointing the eldest as the kingly line thus sending them away to established kingdom while the younger stays as the priestly line to minister the kingdom of her mother, am I correct in this? Thus, Herod of Chalcis as the highest priest of the family of Herod the Great installed emperor Claudius, using the installation ceremony on "raising from the dead" to become king, which installation ritual for a king started with king Sargon who was rose from the dead to become king of kings thus SARGON. Am I correct on this, Madame?

Very sincerely yours,


Mr. Bulang,

The priestly caste that we are considering had a unique and distinctive kinship and marriage and ascendancy pattern that involved two wives. Only the first born son of the first wife – usually a half-sister – ruled over his father’s territory. That is why Isaac, born to Abraham's half-sister Sarah, ruled over Abraham's territory, though he was not the first son to be born to Abraham.

Herod of Chalcis does not fit this pattern, as far as I can tell. As the grandson who is named after his maternal grandfather, he fits the pattern of the first born son of the second wife – usually a cousin or a patrilineal niece. This son served as a high official in the kingdom of his maternal grandfather, or as a representative of that royal house. If this is the case, Herod of Chalcis would not have acted as his grandfather's representative at the installation of Claudius I because Herod died in 4 BC and Claudius I reigned from 41-54 A.D.  Herod's kingdom was divided as follows:

  Tetrarchy (Judea) under Herod Archelaus, also ruled Edom from 4 BC to 6 AD 
  Territory under Herod Antipas
  Territory under Herod Philip II
  Salome I (cities of Jabneh, Azotas, Phaesalis)
  Autonomous cities (Decapolis)

It is possible that Herod of Chalcis is a reference to Herod of the Ar clans, that is, the ruling clans of the ancient world. Archelaus means "master of the people" in Greek. Perhaps Chalcis is derived from the Greek word Ar-chelaus?  I am speculating here. The Ar/Aro caste of priest-kings were highly militarized and dispersed widely.

Many ancient Hebrew are associated by their names with the Ar patrimony. Two examples are 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). Ariel means “Scribe/Messenger of God.” It appears that the Ar clans were known as royal scribes, messengers or prophets. This is further suggested by the name Ar-vad. Vad means “to speak” in Sanskrit. The root is vd, which also refers to seeing. In Ancient Egyptian vidjet refers to the Eye of Horus, the son of the Creator. In Serbian, vidjet means "to see." There are many connections between ancient Nilotic words and those found in Serbia and Northern India were the Kushite Saka ruled for many thousands of years.

The association of the name Ar with the scribal caste is further demonstrated by the discovery of Aramaic scrolls from Arsames, the satrap, who wrote to his Egyptian administrator Psamshek, and to an Egyptian ruler named Nekht-Hor. (A.T. Olmstead, History of the Persian Empire, Chicago, 1948, pp.116-117) Numerous historical persons are identified as Ar: Ar-Shem, Arsames, Artix, Araxes, and a Jebusite ruler called Araunah who sold King David a threshing floor upon which David constructed an altar. One of Jesus' close kinsmen was Joseph Ar-Mathea. He was of the Matthean ruling line.

Priests certainly were involved in the installation of kings and emperors. Often more than one. This practice goes back to before the time of the Pharaohs.

Sargon means “King of Kings” or “Most High King” and is a title that applied to more than one person. It is difficult to connect Sargon the Great with the house of Chalcis. However, since rulers tend to marry persons of royal birth, it would not be surprising to find a connection.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones in the New Year!

Alice C. Linsley

Related reading: Sun Symbolism and Blood GuiltKushites in Mindanao; Pythons Used for Sea Navigation; More on Mr. Bulang's Family Research; Kushite Shrines; Joseph of Arimathea: Fact and Fiction; Religion of the Archaic Rulers; Was Constantine a Saka Ruler?; Solving the Ainu Mystery; The Kushite-Kushan Connection; Royal Names in Genesis; Genesis on the Ancient Kingdom Builders; INDEX of Topics at Just Genesis