Friday, April 13, 2012

The Nilotic Substrata of Genesis 1

The chaotic waters were put in order by the Divine Word
Te-hut overcomes Te-hom

Alice C. Linsley

Analysis of the Genesis 1-3 narratives reveals that the closest thematic parallels are found in African origin stories. These themes include the concept of a beginning, the primal waters, the generative power of the Word that goes forth, and the distinction between heaven and earth.

Genesis 1 describes the beginning, when God ordered the work of creation.  The Biblical narrative uses the words tohu (formless or confused) and bohu (empty or void). The Hebrew phrase "formless and void" (Gen. 1: 2) is tohu wa-bohu and is of Nilotic origin. The word tohu in Isaiah 34:11 means "confused" so it appears that Genesis 1 refers to matter in a confused or chaotic state before God set things in order.

In Nilotic mythology chaos or disorder preceded creation. The Egyptians believed that chaos (tehom) dwelt south of Yebu (Elephantine Island) as a great river serpent between the Nile's east (bahku) and west (manu) banks. Tehom was overthrown by Tehut, divine Wisdom.

The oldest known moral code was the Law of Tehut and dates to about 5800 years ago. It was established by King Menés who made Memphis the capital after uniting the Upper and Lower Nile. From there, he administered justice and issued edicts which were designed to improve food production and distribution, guard the rights of ruling families, improve education, and enhance knowledge of the natural world through geometry and astronomy.

The Nile flows north between mountains that form the east and west banks of the river. The mythical mountain that flanked the Nile on the east was called bahku. The word bohu is likely a reference to Bahku, the mountain from which the Sun rose and filled the valley with divine light. (And God said, "Let there be light and there was light.")  The mountain on the western horizon was called Manu, a name also associated with Menés, the ruler who united the Nilotes.

In Abraham's time, Bahku and Manu were expressions for the extreme east and west. The two peaks were guarded by twin lions called Aker.  To this day, twin lions flank the throne of the Patriarch of the Coptic Church. The lion is also the totem of St. Mark, the Evangelist, whose Gospel reveals strong Egyptian influence.

In the Egyptian concept of creation, the first place in the world was a mound emerging from the cosmic waters. The mound was called Tatjenen, and is related to Tjenu, the name of Menés' kingdom in the Upper Nile. Tjenu is likely related to Tehenu (Thnw), a people living in the northern Nile valley of Lybia and Sudan. Tehenu rulers wore pointed beards and were referred to as pale-skinned and red-headed, like the Ainu (ha-Annu) rulers, to whom they were related. They also were related to the Nehesi (Nhsj) of the Upper Nile, who according to Cheikh Anta Diop were black or dark-skinned.

Ancient images show both red and black skinned Nilotes.

Red and black Nubian captives

Menés united these peoples through a combination of war, diplomacy and marriage. Some believe that Menés was Ahauiti on the basis of an ivory tablet engraved for a ruler whose Horus name was Ahauiti, the Warlike. However, the name that appears on the tablet is actually Manu, perhaps a reference to the ruler's place of origin.

The earliest evidence of the kingdom of Tjenu dates to 4000 B.C. and is contemporaneous with the thriving citadel of Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) in Sudan. Nekhen is the oldest known center of Horite worship. Votive offerings at the temple were ten times larger than the normal mace heads and bowls found elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine city. Horite priests placed invocations to Horus at the summit of the fortress as the sun rose.



2 comments:

  1. The evidence that there lived a Aniu people related to the Anius of the Japan family sound convincing and would be if not for one flaw. Your post states that the Aniu were white and red skinned. And, lived in modern day Sudan and Libya. Now, unless this white skin refers to they as albinos and the sunburns from living in Sudan or Lydia resulted in they having red skin. Then you can't possibly know much about the history of the Anius. And, the irony to your post is that you admit that the Aniu are related to the Nehesis which according to you were black. Possibly you are saying they were not white as in the race but describing their appearance excluding race. Thus, your post becomes misleading to the average reader. And, you may need to define this issue in detail.

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  2. I said that the Ainu had a red skin tone. The Nilotic peoples varied in physical appearance according to ancient records and archaeological finds. A red-skin tone goes with white, brown, and dark brown skin color. The ancient Kushites, for example, ranged from black Nubians to red-toned brown Sudanese, to fairer Lybians. They were all Kushites under the unified rule of Menes and their ruling famiies inter-married.

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