Monday, April 21, 2014

Yahu Seals

Alice C. Linsley

Ancient clay seals were used to secure documents by the personal authority of an official or a king. These bullae were created by the impression of a signet on a lump of clay. A rolled papyrus or parchment document was tied with a cord and the cord was sealed with the piece of clay.

Ancient seals testify to trade relations between peoples living a great distance apart. There is a similarity in the seals of the Indus, Mesopotamian and Nile civilizations. In fact, linguistic study of ancient seals and ostracon suggest a vast Afro-Asiatic Dominion before the rise of kingdoms like Babylon, Assyria and Persia. Contemporaneous seal inscriptions are sufficiently analogical as to be read and understood. The seals contain proper names and attributes such a pure. Often there are titles such as servant, priest or judge. Proper names were mostly theophoric, i.e. they contained divine names. In the case of the priest caste, the seals indicates the deity served by the priest. This is the case in the Har-appa and Mohenjo-daro civilization also. Harappa means "Horus is Father" in Dravidian.

Numerous ancient seals name the owner and include the holy name YHWH or the theophoric element Yahu, often found in ancient names in Judah. Here are seven seals that bear such inscriptions.

#1 Clay seal been found in the area of King David's Palace
Another found there bears the name of l'galyahu [ben] immer'

Here the divine name is Yehu, and resembles the name Yeha preserved on a sacrificial altar with a royal Dedanite inscription found in Ethiopia

These names are found in Jeremiah 38:1: "Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying ..."  Yehuchal is the same as Jucal with the theophoric yahu embedded in the name.

#2  This seal says "Belonging to Ahaz (son of) Yehotam, King of Judah." 
In cuneiform, Ahaz is written Yeho-ahaz. It appears in the annals of the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BCE), who received tribute from Ahaz. Yehotam appears 19 times in the Bible, but it is spelled Yotam.

#3  Seal found in Samaria bearing the words Oniyahu, son of Merav

This refers to an individual, but could also refer to a ship dedicated to YHWH. Oniah is the Hebrew word for ship. Two High Priests were named Onias: the 44th and the 61st. Oni or Onias/Ananias might also refer to On or Anu. The Anu/Ainu were a sea-faring people who originated in the Nile Valley. The Ainu and Hebrew scripts are virtually identical.

#4  Lower portion reads "Belonging to Mashe-yahu, the Judge"
Mashe is a variant of the name Moses.

#5  Seal of Paltayahu or Palta, official in time of King Zedekiah of Judah (Ezekiel 11:1,13)
Zedekiah was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar II in 597 BC at the age of twenty-one.

#6  Belonging to Shebnayahu, servant of the King

This seal appeared on the lintel of a tomb at Siloam in Jerusalem. Shebna-yahu may have been the High Priest Shebna. Another seal from the 7th century B.C. names Hanan, son of Hilqiyahu, the priest. Hilqiyahu is better known as Hilkiah the High Priest during the reign of Josiah. 

#7  Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads "Belonging to Asayahu, servant of the king" 

Dates to the 7th century B.C.

Related reading:  The Nubian Context of YHWH; Biblical Sheba and Nubians Linked; Purity Seal From Herod's Temple; What We Learn From King Ahaz's Seal; A List of Seal Impressions and Ostracon

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Are Rabbinic Interpretations of the Bible Accurate?

Alice C. Linsley

A great deal of misunderstanding can result from the mechanical reproduction of previously published ideas either because those ideas are taken out of context or because they are based on factual errors. The manner in which authors sort and select data, without verifying the source or checking the facts, can lead to distorted interpretations. This problem must be anticipated in Bible interpretation where it is common to rely on what the rabbis have written.

As the Bible is viewed as a Jewish religious text, it is natural to seek rabbinic guidance. American Christians tend to read the Old Testament through rabbinic sources. Many seminaries and pastors use commentaries written by non-believing Jews. This is especially true among American Evangelicals. They appear to be unaware of the antecedents of Messianic expectation among Abraham's Nilo-Saharan and Saharo-Nubian ancestors. They also are generally unaware that Hebrew is an African Language.

Rabbinic interpretations have influenced how Christians read the Old Testament from the beginning of the Church. Sometimes the early Christians agreed with the rabbis' interpretations, but often they did not. The Church Fathers condemned Jewish attempts to discredit the testimony of the Apostles and many others. They also attempted, some more successfully than others, to refute rabbinic interpretations of the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, and rabbinic interpretations of Messianic passages, such as Psalm 101:1

The Lord says to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”

And Psalm 110: 4. The Rabbinic community has made many inflammatory accusations against the Christian interpretation of this verse.

The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

Some rabbis insist that Christians tampered with the passage. One contemporary Rabbi has written: “Psalm 110 represents one of the New Testaments’s most stunning, yet clever mistranslations of the Jewish scriptures. Moreover, the confusion created by the Christianization of this verse was further perpetuated and promulgated by numerous Christian translators of the Bible as well…The story of the church’s tampering with Psalm 110 is so old that it begins in the Christian canon itself.” (The treatise on Jewish Objections vol.111)

Rabbi Singer said, “No Jew who had even a superficial knowledge of the Jewish scriptures would have ever found Jesus’ argument compelling, let alone a conversation stopper.”

But if David wrote the psalm, then Jesus' question is well considered: If the Messiah is merely David’s son, as was universally agreed, how can David call him his Lord? If David wrote this, what was his source? He believed in the coming of Messiah based on his Edomite heritage. Edom was where the Horite kings ruled and where Abraham's territory extended between Hebron and Beersheba. The Horites had long expected a Righteous Ruler to overcome death and lead His people to immortality. They were a caste of ruler-priests who were devotees of Horus and his mother Hathor-Meri, the patroness of Horite metalworkers.

It appears that David drew on Horite tradition. His father was a great Horite ruler whose territory extended from Bethlehem in Galilee to Ramah. Ramah was the home of Samuel's Horite father. It was Samuel who anointed David in Bethlehem and for a time the Ark rested in Bethlehem. The Bethlehem of Obed, Jesse and David is specifically associated with the Horites in I Chronicles 4:4 which names Hur (Hor) as the "father of Bethlehem." David's sons are called "priests" in II Samuel because they were of the Horite ruler-priest bloodline. This is Jesus' bloodline through Mary.

It was universally agreed that the Messiah was the "son" or descendant of David, and according to the prophet Micah He would come from Bethlehem, David's royal city. Bethlehem of Galilee was known as a fruitful place and therefore called Bethlehem "Ephratha." This is the Bethlehem of David's ancestors Ruth and Boaz. It was a region known for fruit and grain. It was connected to the royal house of Tyre. Tyre was one of the ancient seats of wisdom. Hiram I of Tyre helped David build his palace. Tyrian craftsmen also helped Solomon build the temple. The rulers of Tyre were considered to have roots in ancient Eden.

The prophet Ezekiel traces the rulers of Tyre back to Eden. "Son of Man, raise a lament over the king of Tyre and say to him: Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and flawless beauty. You were in Eden, in the Garden of God; every precious stone was your adornment... and gold beautifully wrought for you, mined for you, prepared the day you were created." (Ezekiel 28:11-18)

Jesus went to Tyre and there His true identity was recognized, according to Mark's Gospel (cf. Matt. 15:21). Hiram I, David and Jesus share a common Horite ancestry that extends back to Eden. The Horites believed that the promised Seed of the Woman would be born of their ruler-priest lines and they expected Him to visit them. In Mark 7:24, this expectation was fulfilled when the Son of God visited Tyre. Mark explains that there Jesus “could not pass unrecognized.”

The Riddle Jesus Posed to the Jews

Then He said to them, "How is it that they say the Christ is David's son? For David himself says in the book of Psalms, 'The LORD said to my LORD, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."  (Luke 20:40042; Mark 12:35,36)

How can David's son/descendant also be called David's Lord? This was the riddle that Jesus posed to his disclaimers.

“Psalm 110 represents one of the New Testament’s most stunning, yet clever mistranslations of the Jewish scriptures. Moreover, the confusion created by the Christianization of this verse was further perpetuated and promulgated by numerous Christian translators of the Bible as well…The story of the church’s tampering with Psalm 110 is so old that it begins in the Christian canon itself.” (From here.)

The ruling Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah and the division took place when our Lord was manifested at His Baptism, in His Galilean ministry, and during His passion. He fulfilled all the signs of Messiah: feeding the people, calming wind and waves, healing the lame, giving sight to the blind and raising the dead, yet the ruling Jews refused to believe. They rejected the tradition of their own Horim (Horite ancestors) who knew that the ultimate sign of Messiah's identity would be an empty tomb. This is why Abraham's ancestors were buried with such care and their tombs sealed. They believed that the salvation of the people depended on a Righteous Ruler, who having overcome death, could led his people to immortality. The third-day resurrection was regarded as the most definitive sign whereby Messiah would be identified. The Jews knew this and therefore took great precaution to see that Rome sealed the tomb and posted a guard.

The Jews have spun a myth that Abraham was the first Jew. This is historically, anthropologically and linguistically inaccurate. Even Shaye Cohen, the leading Jewish scholar at Harvard, admits this in his interview with NOVA. To avoid the reality of Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors, the rabbis begin Jewish history with the calling of Abraham. But it just doesn't work. Since Abraham was Habiru (Hebrew) and not a Jew, the central narrative of Judaism shifted to Moses and we came to think of Israel as having two different origins. However, Moses' family was Horite. That has been confirmed through analysis of Amram's marriage and ascendancy, which is distinctively Horite.

The prophets were right to condemn Egyptian polytheism. The Horites were not polytheistic. They believed in a single Creator whose son was Horus and they spoke of the Father and Son as equals. So it is that Christianity emerges from a tradition much older than Judaism. In this sense, the core of the Christian faith is the oldest known religion. It took the Apostles a while to sort this out since they were brought up in post-exilic Judaism which is very far from the faith of Abraham and his Habiru ancestors. However, after the Resurrection, the Apostles recognized Jesus as Messiah and began to insist that unless one believed that He is the Son of God one cannot be saved. From that point, the division of Christianity and Judaism was inevitable. Rabbinic animosity toward followers of the Christ intensified after the destruction of the Temple, for which Christians were blamed. The Sanhedrin relocated to Jamnia and from there the campaign to paint Jesus as a fraud began in earnest.

When we consider the Horite beliefs concerning the Righteous Ruler we find close parallels. His mother was to be overshadowed. Because her animal totem was the cow she is shown in Nile temples holding her infant child in a stable. A Horite ceremony involved the priests bringing gifts and setting them before the Child. Another ceremony involved two days of mourning for the death of Horus and on the third day the priests cast grain into the fields as a sign of new life. When telling his disciples of His impending death, Jesus identified Himself as Seed or fallen grain in John 12:24: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

As for Jesus' I Am designation, consider how Horus describes himself in the Coffin texts (passage 148): "I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of 'Red Cloak'." (Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt by R.T. Rundle Clark, p. 216)

Here we find the words of David in Psalm 110:1 - The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."

Ultimately, the great divide centers on the question Who is Jesus? The rabbis have not been open-minded on this question. They have given ignominious names to Mary and her Son. In the Talmud Mary is called "Charia" which means dung or excrement. Yet they grant that she was of the ruler-priest lines. Sanhedrin 106a say, “She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters.” Jesus is called "Jeschu" which means May his name and memory be blotted out. His Hebrew name is Yeshua, which means Salvation. Sanhedrin 43a says that Jesus the Nazarene was executed because he practiced sorcery.

Related reading: The Nubian Context of YHWY; The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y; Destruction of the Temple: Rabbinic Interpretations; Messianic Jews and the Antecedents of Judaism; Abraham's Kushite AncestorsWho Were the Levites?; The Talmud Versus the Doctrine of the Lord; Answering Rabbis Objections to Yeshua


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Who Were the Levites?

Nubian priest of the Nilotic Ainu. Abraham's father was also Tera, meaning priest

Alice C. Linsley

The Levites have a bloody heritage. According to Exodus 32, they are rewarded with priestly rights for killing thousands of their kinsmen and according to Genesis 49, they are accursed and punished for their treacherous attack on Shechem. They were adept at killing and probably were trained warriors.

Levi's descendants intermarried with other Ha'biru clans and were dispersed throughout the ancient shrine cities where they offered sacrifices. After the 7th century B.C. they are closely associated with the royal court of Jerusalem and the centralization of sacrifice at the Temple. Clearly, the Levites are portrayed quite differently depending on the period and the social context of the writer.

Source critics attribute the diverse portrayals to different sources D (Deuteronomist), J (Jahwist) and P (Priestly). Here are the reasons given by each source for the priestly prerogative being assigned to the Levites:

D = investiture as priests is commanded by YHWY

J = priestly duties are assigned as a result of Levites killing their own people (Ex. 32:26-29)

P = Installation of Levites as priests part of the instructions given at Sinai and they are set apart as redemption for the first born (Lev. 3: 11-13)

The Levites and the Ha'biru

Traditionally, the term "Levite" refers to a descendant of Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah, and to the "tribe"of Levi. These were in the service of the sanctuary, in various orders. According to Leviticus and Numbers the house of Aaron alone constituted the priesthood, and the remainder of the Levites performed the more menial duties. However, Aaron's father was a priest as was Aaron's half-brother Korah. They were heirs to an ancient received priestly tradition among the Ha'biru (Hebrew).

This is the general conception of the Levites, but it does take into consideration the question of their antecedents. Practices associated with the Levites - priestly ritual, circumcision, animal sacrifice, and the Holy Name YHWY - existed among Abraham's Horim or Horite ancestors.

The "book of the Levites" (Leviticus) comes from the Greek Leuitikon biblion. Because the Greek Septuagint was available before the Hebrew Old Testament (Masoretic Text) we do well to investigate the word Leuitikon. Note that the Greek word has as its root "leu" as in Leummim (Gen. 25:3).  It appears that Leummim is a variant of Levites. Leu is likely a Nilotic word. Abraham's ancestors were Nilo-Saharans and Saharo-Nubians.

Before the time of Moses, some of Abraham's descendants were priests associated with the Afro-Arabian Dedanites. Genesis 10:7 tell us that Dedan the Elder was a grandson of Kush by his son Ramah. Ramah was Nimrod's brother. Ramah is Samuel's home, and his father Elkanah was a Horite. Ramah settled in the region to the southeast of Dedan while Nimrod built a kingdom in the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley.

During the time of the Judges there is virtually no mention of the Levites. According to accounts in Samuel and Kings, they served as priests under David and Solomon, yet so did David's sons (II Sam. 8:18). According to accounts in Samuel and Kings the Levites were not the only men to exercise the priestly functions. The prophet Samuel, whose father was a Horite priest, offer sacrifices (I Sam. 9:13).

David's sons offered sacrifices. They are called "priests" in II Samuel. David town of Bethlehem was a Horite shrine where the ark once rested. It is specifically associated with the Horites in I Chronicles 4:4 which names Hur (Hor) as the "father of Bethlehem."

In my view, the assertion by later writers that God appointed the Levites exclusively to exercise priestly function represents an attempt to distance Israel's history from the history of their Ha'biru (Hebrew) ancestors who were a caste of royal priests.

Related reading: Samuel's Horite Family; The Afro-Arabian Dedanites; Moses' Wives and Brothers; The Nubian Context of YHWY; The Nile-Japan Ainu Connection; Etymology of the Word Horite; The Royal Priest Lines of Matthew; Destruction of the Temple: Rabbinic Interpretations; Why Women Were Never Priests

Friday, March 7, 2014

Thomas Headland is Not an Oxymoron

Dr. Headland lecturing on kinship in 1995

Thomas Headland is a Senior Anthropology Consultant with SIL International, in Dallas, Texas. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Hawaii. He has published twelve books and over 100 scholarly articles. His latest articles were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on December 12, 2011, (second author Harry Greene) and in Science on March 11, 2011 (lead author Kim Hill).

He is the world’s expert on indigenous hunter-gatherer populations in the Philippines.

Headland's major publication, compiled with his wife Janet Headland, was published online in version 2.0 in January, 2011. Titled Agta Demographic Database: Chronicle of a Hunter-Gatherer Community in Transition, it contains a mammoth 4,000-page population chronicle of all members of an Agta Negrito people in the Philippines. In addition, data tables are available that can be downloaded without charge. This compilation is based on the Headlands' more than 48 years of demographic research on the Agta people, and they consider the sharing of these data their most significant contribution to science.

Headland's specialties are hunter-gatherer societies, tropical forest human ecology, and Philippine Negritos. From 1962 to 1986 he and his wife, Janet Headland, served under SIL in the Philippines, where their three children were born and raised. Janet collaborates with Tom in all of his research. Janet and Tom continue to make field research trips among the Agta Negritos in the Philippines including trips in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010.

Dr. Headland has been an elected Fellow of the American Anthropological Association since 1993. He has loved anthropology passionately since a child. While anthropologists and some Christians see him as an oxymoron, he claims he has never had a minute of conflict between his love of anthropology and his Christian faith.

Dr. Headland was asked to investigate charges of professional misconduct by a prominent anthropologist who had been particularly vocal in opposition to missionary work in general and the Summer Institute of Linguistics in particular. One charge involved the introduction of smallpox to an indigenous Amazon population. Tom’s investigation showed the smallpox had been introduced through a child of missionaries rather than by the anthropologists. Tom’s integrity in clearing the name of his vocal critic earned him respect from many secular anthropologists. Tom stressed the importance of quality and integrity as professional scientists in our calling as Christians in science. More details on Tom’s work can be found on his website.

Related reading: Dr. Charles Kraft, Why Few Christians Are Cultural Anthropologists; Talking on Facebook About Biblical Anthropology; Biblical Anthropologists Discuss Darwin

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Goats: In Memory of Ellen and Gordon Hatcher

Alice C. Linsley

Cashmere goat
My last living aunt, Ellen Hatcher, died in December at the age of 97. I was not able to attend her memorial at Berkeley Friends Church on January 18, but I purchased a goat through Heifer International in her memory.

Aunt Ellen was fond of goats and her veterinarian husband certainly treated many of them in his years of practice. They were Quaker relief workers who served in Arkansas, Bolivia, Honduras and Cambodia. Ellen and Gordon Hatcher loved animals and they loved people. This brief piece on goats is dedicated to their memory.

Goats and Antiquity

The oldest goat fossils fossils date to about 1.8 million years old and are held at the Archaeological Museum of Cartagena in Spain. Other ancient goat fossils were found at in Ganj Dareh which was part of the ancient water system of the Tigris-Euphrates.

In the ancient world goats were kept for milk, meat, their hides and for religious sacrifice. Goat milk was regarded as a symbol of life. The ancient Hebrew were forbidden to boil a kid in its mother's goat because this blurred the distinction between life and death.

Irish goat
The Nubian goat is one of the oldest known species of goat. It has been herded by Nilotic peoples for thousands of years. It is characterized by the long drooping (lop) ears, as also found in the Zaraibi of Egypt and Sinai. Similar type of goats are heavily represented in the atlas region of north Africa, western Mediterranean region as well as in Syria, Iraq and India. The occasional occurrence of homonymous screw-like horns in Zaraibi bucks suggests that this goat type evolved from the screw-horned goats common throughout the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion. The breed is believed to have originated in the Upper Nile Valley and is the progenitor of the Anglo-Nubian goat of the United Kingdom.

Nubian goat

Breeds are classified according to their primary use, though there are several breeds which are multi-purpose. They are raised for their fiber, meat, dairy products and skin. Dairy goats are some of the oldest defined animal breeds for which breed standards and production records have been kept.

Goat Milk

Goat milk is more easily tolerated by children than cow's milk. An estimated 20 to 50 percent of all infants tested with cow's milk protein intolerance reacted adversely to soy proteins (Lothe et al., 1982), yet 40 percent tolerated goat milk proteins (Brenneman, 1978; Zeman, 1982).

Swedish studies have shown that cow milk was a major cause of colic in 12 to 30 percent formula-fed, less than 3-month-old infants (Lothe et al., 1982). In breast-fed infants, colic was related to the mother's consumption of cow milk (Baldo, 1984; Cant et al., 1985; Host et al., 1988). In older infants, the incidence of cow milk protein intolerance was approximately 20 percent (Nestle, 1987).

Goat milk fat normally has 35 percent of medium chain fatty acids (C6-C14) compared to cow milk fat 17 percent. Three are named after goats: Caproic (C6), caprylic (C8), capric (C10), totaling 15 percent in goat milk fat vs. only 5 percent in cow milk fat (See Table 1 here).

Capric, caprylic and other medium chain fatty acids are used to treat malabsorption syndrome, intestinal disorders, coronary diseases, pre-mature infant nutrition, cystic fibrosis, and gallstones. They provide energy and lower, inhibit and dissolve cholesterol deposits (Schwabe et al., 1964; Greenberger and Skillman, 1969; Kalser, 1971; Tantibhedhyangkul and Hashim, 1975, 1978).

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gobekli Tepe's T-Shaped Pillars

Alice C. Linsley

Pre-Pottery Neolithic Site

Göbekli Tepe predates the oldest temple known to have been built by Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors in Sudan at Nekhen by about 3000 years.

It predates the Great Pyramids of Giza by about 7000 years. It is the oldest known temple or shrine, and it remains shrouded in mystery.

Göbekli Tepe is classified as a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site (PPN). It is designated PPNA (ca 10,500 to 9,500 BC) which puts it in the same class as Jericho, Netiv Hagdud, Nahul Oren, Gesher, Dhar', Jerf al Ahmar, Chogha Golan and Abu Hureyra.

This site is located in what is today Turkey. The "land between the rivers" was an ancient crossroads for peoples migrating between the Nile Valley and the Near East.

Göbekli figures
Credit: National Geographic

Nate Ramsayer has made an excellent case for his view that the monolithic stone pillars are totems of individual people. As he states, "This interpretation fits well with the emerging concept of social stratification that can be seen in Anatolia during the PPN at sites like Çayönü and Neval Çori."

Nilotic craftsmen moved into the Tigris-Euphrates region and then into Anatolia. They were called the Nes and their animal totem was the serpent. The word Nes is associated with the rulers of the Nile. In ancient Egypt Nesu biti referred to the ruler of a united Upper and Lower Nile.

It is thought that the Hittites introduced iron work to Anatolia, but the term "Hittite" is an anachronism. They called themselves Nes, or Nus (Nuzi), and their language was called Nesli. They were Afro-Asiatic metal workers and the root of their original name is NS, a symbol for the serpent.

Abraham interacted with the Hittite clans of Het who are listed in Genesis 10. HT is the Hebrew and Arabic root for copper - nahas-het. Nahash means serpent. As an adjective it means shining bright, like burnished copper. The clans of HeT were Bronze Age copper smiths who ranged from Timnah to Anatolia. The serpent image was sacred for them, just as it was for Moses and the people of Israel in the wilderness.

T-shaped Pillars

One of the mysteries that archaeologists and anthropologist hope to unravel surrounds the T-shaped monoliths that stand at the perimeter of the sacred mounds at Göbekli Tepe, of which there are about 20. The pattern resembles Stone Hedge with rings of pillars. At the center are twin pillars. The twin pillars and most of the pillars at the periphery are carved to form bas-reliefs of various animals, anthropomorphic figures, and human-animal creatures.

The vulture, scorpion, horse and lion are found on the stone pillars and they appear to correspond to constellations at a time when Thuban was the pole star. These creatures are commonly found on African images, which suggests that the structure at Gobekli Tepe may have been influenced by priests whose origins were in Africa. The vulture is an important totem among the ancient Nubians.

T-shaped pillar 

The earliest pillars are the biggest and most sophisticated in construction and artistry. The later pillars are smaller, less intricate in design and mounted with less precision.

The T-shaped pillars represent human beings, probably rulers, high ranked priests, or the heads of clans. It may be that clan leaders intended to have stone pillars with the clan's animal totem as a display of wealth or power. Or it may be that the 16-ton limestone pillars represent deified rulers who were venerated as ancestors. Each pillar served as the ruler's presence by which he also represented his clan, before the deity.

The T is a very ancient lexeme that represented a complex of ideas including man and blood. Another ancient expression of the lexeme is the Tyet, a T or ankh with a human form (shown right).

Mystery surrounds how the huge pillars were transported from the quarry. Were  hundreds of beasts of burden used? If so, why do these animals not appear on the carvings? The animals carved on the pillars include bulls, cranes, ostriches, vultures, lions, serpents and crocodiles, all animals sacred to Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors.

Another mystery surrounds the twin pillars at the center of the shrine. They are superior in quality to the perimeter stones. Tatiana V. Kornienko (Cult Buildings of Northern Mesopotamia) sees the placement of pairs of stones as an important aspect of early cosmology:

The worship of pairs of central objects in ancient sanctuaries or temples is a characteristic feature of a number of early Near Eastern cultures. Such symbolism represents the binary basis and dualism of people’s mythological perception of natural phenomena.

(Note that Kornienko fails to make a distinction between the binary and dualistic worldviews, a distinction that needs to be clarified to correctly trace origins and antecedents.)

Related reading: The Ostrich in Biblical Symbolism; Megalithic Totemism of the Individual: A new Analysis of Gobekli Tepe's Monumental Pillars; Ethics and Religious Practices of the Afro-Asiatics

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mother and Son Pierced: Image of Intimacy

But he was pierced [sti] for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; Yes, a sword shall pierce [τρύπημα στο- puncture] your own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:34,35).

Alice C. Linsley

An exploration of the theme of being pierced reveals the spiritual and emotional connection between Mary and Jesus. On the cross, His side was pierced, and at His Presentation in the Temple the aged priest Simeon told Mary that her mother's heart would be pierced by sorrow.

The oldest Hebrew copy of the Psalms from the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to the century before Christ reads the verb in this verse as ka’aru. The Hebrew ka'aru may be related to the Saravati/Meluhha word tavar, meaning to bore a hole. So the meaning is not to bruise (a more superficial wound), but to pierce.

The term is a lexeme that relates to the metal workers and leather workers (tahash) who bore holes in their materials. They are called karmaara, a word related to the Hindi lohakara, meaning smith. Here we find a linguistic connection to the Hebrew word ka-aru. The word is of Nilotic origin. Among the Luo of the Upper Nile ka-Aru means "the place of the one who pierces."

These craftsmen were sea-faring merchants and who moved out of the Nile Valley in a rather militant fashion and founded the maritime civilization of Southern India (Sarasvati civilization). What we seem to have here is language related to the tools of trade of the ancient Horite metal workers. These were the ancestors of Jesus and Mary.

Egyptian boring a hole

In Isaiah 1:6 the King James Version has the word "bruises" using chabbarah. Chabbarah is linguistically related to the Luo chaddho, meaning to cut out, to pluck out, or to bruise the skin. A wound of this type is called chaddhoreh in Luo.
In Isaiah 53:5, "He was bruised [dakha'] for our iniquities" repeats the use of dakah/daqah in Isaiah 28:28. But the piercing of Mother and Son is a different word and the difference is significant.

In the ancient Egyptian the verb to pierce/kill is an interesting reduplication: bbbb, suggesting a set that is intimately related. (Reduplication serves to enhance the meaning.) There is an Egyptian story that treats this in the context of the struggle between Horus and Seth. Horus agreed to do battle, but his mother Hathor-Meri fell to the ground and wept, fearing that her son would be killed. In combat, both Horus and Seth fell into the depths of the Nile and the battle raged for days. The mother's heart suffered bitterly until she could no longer stand by without acting. She made a harpoon from twine and copper and threw the weapon into the water. The harpoon struck her son's side. He surfaced and roared, "Mother! Thy spear hath pierced me!"

Abraham's ancestors who mined copper at Timnah regarded Hathor as their patroness. A temple dedicated to Hathor was discovered at the southwestern edge of Mt. Timnah by Professor Beno Rothenberg of Hebrew University.

The relationship between Mary and her divine Son was and is intimate. The piercing correspondence expresses one aspect of that intimacy. Jesus wants us to honor his blessed mother. Mary wants us to honor and worship the Son of God.

Related reading: Who is Jesus?; The Virgin Mary's Horite Ancestry; The Urheimat of the Canaanite Y; The Ancient Afro-Asiatic Metal Workers; Is Hebrew an African Language?; The Afro-Asiatic Dominion