Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Clans of Ar

Alice C. Linsley

Hebrews were migrants who moved out of Africa. They were a caste of ruler-priests known as Ha-biru (Ha-piru and O-piru). Catherine Acholonu explains, "In Nigeria the caste under reference is the Ar/Aro caste of Igbo Eri priest-kings, who were highly militarized in their philosophy."

These were the royal scribes who served the great kingdom-builders of Genesis 10. The Nsibidi script, said to be the oldest script of Africa, contains may Sumerian and Egyptian hieroglyphs. Likewise the Akkadian reflects the movement of royal scribes from the greater Chad basin along a west-east corridor.

The rulers were highly effective warriors who were served by metal workers who fashioned their weapons and symbols of authority such as iron beads and crooked staffs. These are called the Nes, Neshi or Nehesi. The metal-working Nes of Anatolia are their kin. The Neshi still function as priests in Igboland.

The Nes were a caste of smiths who venerated the cosmic serpent, the totem of their people. The ancient Egyptian Asa-ar means the Serpent of Asa (Deity). The peoples living in Arvad, Tyre and Sidon employed serpent imagery in their temples and shrines. The serpent was venerated among the Kushite ruler-priests of Israel. Aaron forged a bronze serpent on a rod which Moses raised over the people. All who looked upon it were saved from death.

Nehesi and the Biblical name Nahor share a common NH root. Na-Hor means the Na of Horus, that is to say "One who serves Horus." In Akkadian (Afro-Sumerian), Na is a modal prefix indicating service to, affirmation, or affiliation. Nahor was apparently a Horite ruler-priest, as was his father Terah. Terah means priest. It is evident that Terah and Nahor are titles.

Nehesi means "One who serves Hesi." Hesi was another name for Hathor-Meri, Horus' mother. Throughout the ancient Afro-Asiatic world shrines were dedicated to both Horus and Hathor. These were mound cities with water sources. Tell-Hesi is an example. Other mound shrines included Hazor and Beersheba.

The Ar of Genesis 10

Genesis 10 speaks of the Ar who controlled the Red Sea and the Mediterranean kingdoms of Tyre and Arvad. This appears to be a 3-clan confederation, consisting of Ar, Arvd and Arkt. The last two clans are called “Arvadites” and “Arkites” in Genesis 10:15-18. They are the peoples of Sidon and Heth (Canaanite rulers), who are classified with other clans under the general label “Canaanite.” They spread eastward with the Kushite expansion. Their Mesopotamian kin are called "Arameans" in the Bible.

The word “Arvadite” refers to residents of the Mediterranean island-city of Arvad (Arpah or Arphad in other ancient sources). Arvad is an extremely ancient city. Before the Phoenicians, it was populated seasonally by peoples passing from North Africa to Asia. Some of these were Netufians. Deuteronomy 2:9 states that Ar was given to the Moabites, the descendants of Lot. These people were kin to Lot's people in Haran (Syria).

The Philistines invaded the territory of the Ar clans from the north (probably Greece) and established themselves as a thorn in the side of Abraham’s descendants.  Later an Aramean king attempted to up-root them in aid of Lot’s descendants, the Ammonites. However, David was not about to allow the Philistines on the west and the Ammonite-Aramean coalition on the east to threaten his kingdom. Having dealt with the Philistines, he engaged Shoboch, the Aramean general, and defeated him. (II Sam.10:18)

The Arvadites had close ties to the Egyptians and paid tribute to the Kushite Pharaohs for protection from the Assyrians. The Kushite Pharaoh Tahar-ko called the land of Canaan and Syria “Khor” which is a compound of K for Kush and Hor for Horus. Kash, Kwash, Akwanski and Kush are cognates referring to the First People who were considered deified ancestors. Horus was their divine protector.The oldest shrine dedicated to Horus is in Sudan at Nekhen. It dates to between 4000 and 3600 BC.

Derek Welsby, who has been directing excavations in ancient Kush since 1982, reports that one of the earliest known Kushite kings was called K-ash-ta. (Derek A. Welsby, The Kingdom of Kush: the Napatan and Meroitic Empires, Markus Weiner Publisher, p. 7). The consonant K refers to Kush and ta is a common suffix in Proto-Saharan meaning for. So K-ash-ta is not a proper name. Instead it means something like “the Throne of Kush.”  In a message sent from Tahar-ko to the King of Tyre, Tahar-ko wrote, “Oh Amun, what I did in the land of Nubia, let [  … … ], let me do it with your tribute of Khor (Syria-Palestine) which has been turned aside from you.”

The Arabic word for throne is aarsh and likely related to the scribal function associated with kings. The root AR appears to be Proto-Saharan. Among the Igbo of Nigeria, the scribe clans were called Ar or Aro. The word Arab means “Ar people" or "Ar tribe.” The earliest known written communications originated in Africa among the Proto-Saharan rulers.

There are Israelites who were associated by their names with the Ar patrimony. They 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.” So it appears that the Ar clans were royal scribes or messengers attached to the Horites ruler-priests. This is further suggested by the name Ar-vad. Vad means “to speak” in Sanskrit. The association of the name Ar with the scribal caste is further demonstrated by the discovery of Aramaic scrolls from Arsames, the satrap, 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)

More and more the so-called “Pre-history” of Genesis is confirmed by historical records. Should anyone doubt it, let him pursue references to the Ar clans in ancient texts. The Ar reference is found in the names of these historical persons: Ar-Shem, Arsames, Artix, Araxes, and a Jebusite ruler called Araunah who sold King David a threshing floor upon which David constructed an altar.

Related reading: The Great Kingdom Builders of Genesis 10Who Were the Canaanites?Canaanite Origins of the Alphabet; The World's Oldest Books

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