Thursday, February 12, 2015

Blood Guilt and Christ's Priesthood

Alice C. Linsley

Based on their experience and observation, early humans came to think of blood as the substance of life. Life required blood. This is what stands behind Leviticus 17:11: "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life."

The earliest humans noted that animals and humans bled when wounded. If a human bled out, he/she died. The spirit left them. There was anxiety that the one who killed would be haunted by that spirit. This is why humans felt anxiety about shedding blood. They regarded blood as having supernatural power. You will recall that the blood of Abel cried to the Creator from the ground.

There is evidence in Genesis that a very early designation for the human was the word blood. Adam is likely derived from ha-dam, meaning "the blood."

The one who shed the blood of another human carried blood guilt. They knew it deep inside and it troubled them. They needed a mediator to stand between them and the Creator to restore them by ritual absolution of the blood guilt. This is the likely origin of the priesthood. You will recall that after combat, Abraham received the ministry of the ruler-priest Melchizedek. This ritual most certainly involved water purification, but it definitely involved bread and wine. Here we have the signs of the two great sacraments given by Christ to his church: Baptism and Eucharist.

Cain, Nimrod, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David were men with blood on their hands. Cain killed Abel. Nimrod was a mighty hunter and a kingdom builder who forged his territory through conquest. Abraham killed in combat. Moses took the life of an Egyptian slave driver. David killed Goliath and arranged for the death of Uriah, Bathsheba's husband. The Bible does not sanitize the lives of these men. They bore blood guilt and they acutely felt the necessity of priestly absolution.

Hebrews 10:4 says, "It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." The Horite ruler priests of Onn and Nekhen would have understood this. They recognized that the blood sacrifice had to be offered again and again. It did not serve once and for all, as does the blood of the Lamb of God. They lived in expectation of the reveling of the Lamb of God, and John the Baptist announced His appearing: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)

The Horim who lived in Palestine tended sheep because the terrain is less hospitable to cattle that the wide grasslands of the wet Sahara. So the Christ is called "Lamb' of God. However, their Nilo-Saharan ancestors were cattle herders, and for them the image of the divine sacrifice was the "Calf" of God. This is the meaning behind the account of the Golden Horus Calf fabricated by Aaron (Ex. 32).

The calf is suggestive of Horus as a child. Horus' anthropomorphic form is either as a adult male who is the patron of kings, or as a boy wearing the sidelock typical of royal Egyptian youth. As a youth he represents the heir to the kingdom who is innocent of blood guilt. He represents both purity and power to subdue. Horus as a child is often shown on cippi dominating crocodiles and serpents. Consider this in light of the Woman, the Child, and the Dragon in Revelation 12. Consider also the red cow of Numbers 19 that stands as a perpetual symbol of Israel's need for cleansing. The cow is sacrificed and burned outside the camp and the ashes used for "water of lustration." (Num. 19:9) Consider this: Jesus, as with his ancestors Adam, Esau, David, and the Horites of Edom, had a distinctive red skin tone. He was sacrificed outside the camp, and through His blood we are washed clean.

Among Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors, the Calf's mother was called Hathor. Her animal totem was the long-horned cow and she was depicted with a crown of horns in which the sun rests, as a sign of her divine appointment. This is fulfilled in Mary. The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)

Hathor appears on monument walls at Dendera holding her calf child in a manger.

The Proto-Gospel involves other details that have been specifically fulfilled in Mary and Jesus. One is the ancient Horite belief that Horus would rise on the third day. This was ritualized by the priests blessing grain sowed in the fields on the third day after 2 days of mourning the death of Horus at the hands of his own brother. This is what stand behind Jesus explanation to his disciples about HIS impending death: "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." (John 12:24)

Related reading: Who is Jesus?; Fundamentalism and Syncretism in Hebrew History; Boats and Cows of the Proto-Saharans; Adam Was a Red Man; The Edomites and the Color Red; Blood and Binary Distinctions; Ethical Concerns of Archaic Communities


  1. Hi Alice, I have been researching blood lately but have not been able to get any insights at all. The temple as a footstool is called "hadom" which may be a clue. The primary attribute of a stool is 3 legs. I am reading whatever I can find to try and get understanding as to why the temple is a footstool. Blood comes from the mother and it is interesting that "dame" and "dam" are the exact same phoneme.

  2. And women gave birth on stools! The footstool might represent a birthing stool so that the altar is a place where life is taken and life given.

    This in turn may connect to the prophesy concerning His enemies becoming His footstool. Lots to ponder here! You always stimulate my thinking. Thanks, Susan.

  3. I forgot to mention that the dust from which Adam was created was from the Foundation Stone in the Holy of Holies. Dalet mem.

  4. The Rabbis used to explain the revival of truth in connection to the earth, saying "truth shall grow from the ground." Only Man has the capacity to "know" truth. We are wired for epistemological investigation. So we often use the phrase "to be grounded" in truth.


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