Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Virgin Mary's Ancestry


Alice C. Linsley

Mary is the most honored woman of the Bible and in the Church. She is called "Theotokos" which means God-Bearer because she brought forth Jesus who Christians worship as the promised Son of God. His mission, as God in the flesh, was and is to save sinners, to make void the curse of death, to destroy the powers of darkness, to make dead men live, and to restore Paradise.

Through Mary the promise of Genesis 3:15 came to be fulfilled. The Seed of the Woman crushed the serpent's head and death has been overcome. The ancient expectation of a divine royal son who would overcome death is found only among the Horite priests, the Virgin Mary's ancestors. Nekhen in Sudan is the oldest known Horite temple (3600 BC). Here is where we find the beginnings of Messianic expectation.



Such religious expectation would have been preserved through the generations by priests and prophets. In the Genesis story of the Woman and the Serpent we have a type of the Theotokos through whom Eve's disobedience is reversed. Satan is defeated by the Woman’s Seed (Gen. 3:15). Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, as the Angel Gabriel declared.

The expectation of Messiah was preserved through a priestly lineage that was carefully guarded by upholding the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham’s Nilo-Saharan (Kushite) ancestors. Priests married the daughters of priest. The priestly lines intermarried. This is what is alluded to in Mishna Taanith: “Four-score pair of brethren-priests took to wife fourscore pair of sister-priestesses in Gophne, all in one night.”

The Horites took great care in the selection of wives for their priests since the offspring would trace their blood lines through their mothers. This kinship pattern enables us to understand the relationship of Mary and Joseph, both of priestly lines. Mary's father was a priest, as was the father of Mary's mother. Joseph was her patrilineal cousin.


Mary’s Lineage

Mary’s parents were Joachim and Anne. Joachim was a shepherd-priest and his wife Anne was a daughter of a priest. Hippolytus of Thebes records that Mary’s mother was one of three daughters of a priest named Matthan (Matthias), probably of Bethlehem of Galilee. The eldest sister, Mary, was the mother of Salome; the second sister, Sobe, married a Levite and was mother of Elizabeth; the third sister was Anne, Mary’s mother. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist. Elizabeth and Mary were cousins, and both daughters of priestly houses.

Herod had removed a High Priest named Matthias. He was the 61st High Priest and a descendant of David. The ancestral family of Jacob ben Mattat, once a favorite of Herod the Great, came to have limited political influence with the House of Zadok, as this lineage of King David’s descendants appears to have been ostracized from Jewish political life.

It is certain that Mary was of the ruler-priest class because even those who hated her admit this. Sanhedrin 106a says: “She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters.” It is said that she was so despised that some Jews tried to prevent the Apostles from burying her body.

Mary is said to have been born in the grotto under the Church of St. Anne which would have been adjacent to the Temple, in an area where the Temple priests lived.

Mary's full name would be "Miriam Daughter of Joachim Son of Pntjr (Panther) Priest of Nathan of Bethlehem." From the earliest pre-dynastic times among the Egyptian Horites, ntjr designated the king. The name Panther or p-ntjr meant "God is King." I Chronicles 4:4 lists Hur (Hor) as the "father of Bethlehem." The author of Chronicles knew that Bethlehem was originally a Horite settlement in the heart of Horite territory. The prophets foretold Bethlehem as the birth place of the Son of God.

Before his marriage to Mary, Joseph was either an elderly widower with children of his own or Mary was his second wife. The latter is the more likely since Mary was Joseph's cousin and the second wife was almost always a patrilineal cousin (as was Keturah to Abraham).

Joseph’s father was Heli (also spelled Eli), and he was a priest. Joseph's family lived in Nazareth which was the home of the eighteenth division of priests, that of Happizzez (1 Chron. 24:15). The words happi and ntjr originate in the Nile Valley, as do the names of many of the ruler-priests listed by Luke and Matthew. Melchi, a name that appears twice in Mary's ancestry, means "my image" in Amharic, a language spoken in the Upper Nile.


The New Testament Priest Lists

The expectation of Messiah, preserved through thousands of years by the Horites, focuses on the line of Judah. Matthew 1:1–6 and Luke 3:32–34 are in agreement on that.

Abraham
Isaac
Jacob
Judah
Perez – son of Tamar by Judah
Hezron
Ram (Aram)
Amminadab
Nahshon
Salma (or Salmon), married Rahab
Boaz, married Ruth
Obed
Jesse
David

Luke 3:23–31 continues the list as follows (notice the recurrence of names, marked with an asterisk).

David
Nathan
Mattatha *
Menna
Melea
Eliakim
Jonam
Joseph *
Judah – father of Er                                                          
Simeon
Levi
Matthat *
Jorim
Eliezer
Joshua
Er – descendant of Er
Elmadam
Cosam
Addi
Melki
Neri
Shealtiel
Zerubbabel – who returned to Judah from Babylonian captivity with Mordecai
Rhesa
Joanan
Joda
Josech
Semein
Mattathias *
Maath*
Naggae
Esli
Nahum
Amos
Mattathias *
Joseph *
Jannai
Melchi
Levi
Matthat *
Heli
Joseph *
Jesus

The name Matthan/Mattai and its variants appear 6 times in Luke’s list. The name derives from the word “gift” and can also refer to the “giving’ of Torah. Mattaniah means “gift of God” and is a name found among priests in I Chronicles.

Note the recurrence of names, suggesting cousin brides who named their first-born sons after their fathers. The name Er appears in the 7th generation from Judah. This suggests that Judah's son Er, who married Tamar, had another wife besides Tamar. This would be consistent the with Horite ruler-priest marriage pattern. This might explain Er's refusal to produce an heir by Tamar for his deceased brother (levirate marriage). Tamar must have been Er’s patrilineal cousin. The firstborn son of the cousin bride could potentially become a very powerful leader in the territory of his maternal grandfather.

The Protoevangelium of James says that Mary’s father had flocks. This is a characteristic of priests in the Bible. They kept cattle, sheep and goats. Moses tended the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. A common image of God in the Old Testament is as the Shepherd (Psalm 80:1) and the priests of Israel are referred to as “shepherds” who have a responsibility to tend the flock of Israel. What could be more natural than for priests to maintain herds of animals for sacrifice? They learned to be good priests by learning the skills of a good shepherd. A good shepherd must:

- watch for those who prey on the sheep

- defend the sheep from attackers

- heal the wounded and sick sheep

- find and save lost or trapped sheep

- call them by name and know their individual quirks

- and earn their trust

This is why Jesus is referred to as Good Shepherd, High Priest and “the Anointed [Messiah] of God”, the term applied to David, a king-shepherd who, according to 2 Samuel 24, offered acceptable burnt sacrifice at the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite.

Through Mary the first Biblical promise is fulfilled (Gen. 3:15). The promise was made to Abraham's royal Nilo-Saharan ancestors. They priests were devotees of Hathor-Meri and her son Horus, the son of the Creator God. They are called "Horites" and they expected a woman of their ruler-priests lines to conceived by the overshadowing of the Creator whose emblem was the Sun. Mary is the woman appointed by God to bring forth Jesus, the High Priest, the Good Shepherd, the Messiah, the Eternal King, and the Son of God. Is it any wonder that the Blessed Virgin Mary deserves the Church's veneration?

Related reading: Who is Jesus?The Ark Rested in BethlehemJoseph's Relationship to Mary; Mount Mary and the Origins of Life; God's Word Never Fails, The Daughters of Horite Priests; The Significance of Galilee in Matthew's Gospel; Matthew's Testimony Concerning the Empty Tomb; The Pattern of Two Wives; Joseph's Relationship to Mary

6 comments:

DDeden said...

Are there any shepherd cultures anywhere that did not have dogs? I think dogs were the teachers of the shepherds.

Alice Linsley said...

Dogs were kept by the Nilotic rulers for hunting and likely they were used for herding as well.

Anonymous said...

After 3.8 million years of human existence, Mary, the most pure person/woman ever in creation, consented to give flesh to a little child, God from all eternity.

Alice Linsley said...

She is the New Eve, as Christ is the New Adam.

James E. Snapp, Jr. said...

Alice,

The Hippolytus who reports about Mary's extended family is not the Hippolytus who wrote in the early 200's; it is Hippolytus of Thebes, who wrote in the 600's or 700's.

James Snapp, Jr.

Alice Linsley said...

Thanks, James, for that clarification. I will address this in the article.