Sunday, June 5, 2011

Moses's Horite Hebrew Family

Serpent in shape of the sun, an archaic symbol of the Creator among Moses's Horite Hebrew people. Did his rod look like this bishop's crozier?

Alice C. Linsley

The Horite Hebrew were part of the larger archaic Kushite civilization that extended from Lake Chad to India and from southern Arabia to ancient Bactria and Anatolia. The Kushite territories are called Kush and Kish, and included the Upper Nile Valley and archaic settlements of the Kushan.

Beginning in Nubia about 10,000 years ago, the Kushites spread into the interior of Africa along the Shari and the Benue rivers, establishing kingdoms and chieftains as far at Lagos in Nigeria and into the southern Kordafan. They also went west. The Ashante of Ghana were Kushites. Nte means "people of" and Asha is a proper name. The Ashante are the people of Asha, a Kushite ruler who established a kingdom in West Africa. Asha is also an ancient name for their God.

Variant spellings of Asha include Ashai, Asi and Asa. It is a priestly name in the Bible. One of Jesse's grandsons was named Asahel, which means "made by God." The priest Elkanah had a son named Am-asi (I Chron. 2:25, 35), and a Jerusalem priest was named Am-ashai (Neh. 11:13). This suggests that the priesthood of Israel is linked to the Horite Hebrew who Jews claim as their ancestors. They call these ancestors "Horim," which is rendered Horite in English Bibles.

The Horites Hebrew originated in the NIle Valley, ancient Kush so Moses's marriage to a Kushite woman was consistent with the endogamous marriage pattern of the Horite Hebrew rulers. His second wife, Zipporah, was a cousin. She was the daughter of the priest of Midian. The Midianites were descendants of Abraham by his cousin wife, Keturah.

Abraham and his people were Horite Hebrew (Abru/Habiru), a caste of ruler-priests who were devotees of the Creator and his son "Horus of the Two Crowns." The Horite conception of the priesthood is the antecedent of the Jewish and Christian conceptions of the sacrificing priesthood. The Horite worldview is distinctly Nilotic, though the Horites spread across the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion in the service of the kingdom building "mighty men of old." 

The men named in Genesis 4, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 36 are Horite Hebrew rulers. As has been the custom among royal families, these biblical rulers married within their ruler-priest clans (endogamy). Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of these rulers indicates that two wives. The first wife was a half-sister and the second was a patrilineal cousin. There are numerous examples of this pattern in Genesis and Exodus. This is the pattern of Abraham's family, Moses’s family, and Samuel's family, suggesting continuity of the practice over a very long period.

Moses’s Family

Amram, Moses's father, had two wives, following the pattern of his Horite Hebrew forefathers. By Jochebed he had Moses, Aaron and presumably Miriam. Exodus 6:20 indicates that Jochebed was probably his patrilineal cousin, that is the daughter of his paternal uncle. The Hebrew דדתו dodatho in Exodus 6:20 is sometimes translated "his father's sister." That is how they perceived the relationship, since father could also be the father's brother, and sister could also apply to a patrilineal cousin. Anthropologically, dodatho is more accurately defined as a "patrilineal cousin."

In 1 Samuel 10:14 and Leviticus 10:4, דוד dod signifies an uncle. It can also signify an uncle's son: compare Jeremiah 32:8 with Exodus 6:12, where the Vulgate renders דדי dodi as patruelis mei, my paternal cousin. In Amos 6:10, for דודו dodo, the Targum has קריביה karibiah, meaning a near relation. The evidence supports the view that Jochebed was Amram's patrilineal cousin, and not his aunt. Her name is sometimes spelled Jacquebeth which refers to a homeland in Africa, probably ancient Kush. She was Amram's first wife and also a Kushite bride.

Amram's second wife was Ishar/Izhar (Is-Har/Horus). Her name is related to Isis and Hathor, the mother of Horus who was called "son of God" in the ancient Coffin Texts and Pyramid Texts. Korah son of Izhar, is mentioned in Numbers 16:1. It is generally held that Ishar is a male, but the name indicates a female as it is related to the Hebrew isha, meaning "woman." Other females are listed as clan chiefs in the Old Testament. An example is Anah in Genesis 36 (shown on the diagram below).

Ishar was a descendant of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36). By Ishar, Moses had Korah the Younger (Numbers 26:59). Korah the Younger opposed Moses' authority in the wilderness. Korah's claim to be the rightful ruler was supported by the Hanochites (descendants of Hanock, the first-born son of Jacob's first-born son, Reuben). As the first-born son of the cousin bride Korah was to rule in the territory of his maternal grandfather. That territory was in the region of Edom, Abraham's territory.

“Korah” means shaved head, a custom for priests preparing for their terms of service in the temples. (See Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2007, p.37.)

Amram's cousin wife is Ishar, a Horite Hebrew bride. Isaac's son Esau also married a Horite Hebrew bride, Oholibamah (meaning "most high tabernacle"). Since ethnicity was traced through the mother, it is evident that Moses' half brother Korah was also Horite. Here is a diagram of the pertinent segment of Seir's genealogy from Genesis 36:

Moses and his family were ethically Kushite and were Horite Hebrew who practiced endogamy. (For more on the "The Social Structure of the Biblical Hebrew" see the 7-part series, beginning here.

The Pattern of Two Wives

Following the custom of his Horite Hebrew ancestors, Moses had two wives. The first wife would have been a half-sister, the wife of Moses' youth. It is likely that he married her while in Egypt. She is said to be Kushite (Numbers 12) and for some reason Moses' siblings didn't approve of the marriage, although the marriage was likely arranged by Amram.

Criticism of Moses's marriage to the first wife appears to be based on political objections. This marriage appears to have positioned Moses to become the chief of the clans.
“When they were in Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Kushite woman he had married: “He married a Kushite woman!” They said, “Has the Lord God spoken only through Moses? Has God not spoken through us as well?” (Numbers 11:35-12:2)
The name of "Kushite wife" is not found in the Bible, but she would have been a woman of high rank, a member of the upper classes in Egypt. If Moses married according to the Horite Hebrew custom, she would have been his half-sister. That would make her the sister of Korah. Moses may have had children by his first wife when he fled to Midian. In Midian he contacted Yetro (Jethro), a patrilineal uncle Jethro and it was arranged for Moses to marry Zipporah, his patrilineal cousin bride.

Zipporah is mentioned in Exodus 2:15-16 and Exodus 18:1-6. Moses met her while she at a well where she was drawing water for her father’s flocks. Many of the brides of Genesis and Exodus were met at wells. Priests, like Jethro, maintained shrines near wells, springs, or other permanent bodies of water. Zipporah was one of Jethro's daughters. He was the "priest of Midian."

Moses’s siblings may have been angry that he asserted authority over them by marrying Korah's sister and then marrying a Midianite wife. His marriage to Korah's sister strengthened the alliance with the Kushites in Egypt and his marriage to Zipporah strengthened the alliance with the Horite Hebrew of Midian. This led to a powerful alliance of clans related by blood and marriage, and it strengthened Moses's position as ruler.

Related reading: Moses's Wives and Brothers; Samuel's Horite FamilyHebrew, Israelite or Jew?; Who were the Horites?; Who Were the Kushites?; Jesus Christ's Kushite Ancestors; The Serpent of Moses's Staff


  1. I just don't get it. Josephus talks about Tharbis as a Princess-why doesn't the bible discuss this critical marriage and instead discuss Zipporah's marriage in more detail???

  2. Chelsea, the Bible gives details that can be verified by the sciences. Tharbis (Adonia) is of Talmudic origin and much in the Talmud has not historical basis.

  3. Does anyone know why his wife's name wasn't mentioned in exodus 12:2? Or why it was mentioned period?

  4. Abraham's mother's name wasn't mentioned either. Alice mentioned the political reasons behind that. The Bible is known to follow patterns. So Moses' wife's name not being mentioned is most likely for similar political reasons.

    1. Remember that the material we have in Genesis was written down after the events described. For the people living those events certain things were not mentioned because they were obvious to them. They passed along the pertinent information that Moses's first wife was a Kushite. That would have been his half-sister.

  5. Alice
    Please give the biblical reason/verse for your comment "Amram's sister-wife is Ishar"
    I can not believe your statement otherwise.

    Thank you

  6. Toshio, I appreciate your respect for the Biblical text and the authority of Scripture. I share this with you. I have responded to your concern here:

  7. In this survey of women in Genesis there are 4 categories. These categories apply to all the books of the Bible. Category 1: women who are named. Named women are those of high rank. They are often the bridge between ruler-priest lines that intermarry. Such is the case with Naamah, daughter of Lamech, wife of Methuselah. Category 2: women named but who are voiceless; Category 3: women named and who have a voice (they speak); Category 4: Women who are not named and have no voice.

  8. Dr Bernard LeemanMay 2, 2015 at 3:02 AM

    I agree that Moses was from Nubia/Kush in Sudan but his "Kushite" wife was from northern Yemen next to the mountain named after her father, Jethro, - Jabal an-Nabi Shu'ayb.

  9. So Hor being the son of God means God is the father of Hor i.e. Asar/Osiris. Not sure how well the idea that Moses was a Horite/Horim corresponds to Scripture. The Horites were giants that Edomites displaced from the land of Seir. So God is the God of the Nephillim and Moses and the Israelites are Nephillim (aka "Mighty men of old"). Hmmmmm

  10. The ancient Egyptian word HR refers to the Most High One. There is no evidence that the Horites of Edom were giants. The Mighty Men of Old in Genesis were kingdom builders, like Nimrod, the son of Kush.


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