Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The Obed-Edom Connection


These Egyptian winnowing shovels date to 1300-1200 BC (roughly the time of Boaz), making them a good indication of the tools he might have used at his threshing floor in Bethlehem.

Alice C. Linsley

John the Forerunner’s father, Zechariah, was a priest of the division of Abijah (Luke 1:5, 8). Abijah's was the eight division of priests. John’s mother, Elizabeth, was also of the Hebrew ruler-priest caste. Hebrew priests only married the daughters of Hebrew priests (caste endogamy).

There are at least four men named Zechariah or Zecharias among the temple gatekeepers in 1 Chronicles 26 which also mentions that "God had blessed Obed of Edom." These Hebrew men are called "porters" (2 Chron. 23:4) or "keepers of the threshold" of the temple (2 Sam 18:26; 2 Ki 7:10,11). Psalm 84:10 speaks of the preference to be a "doorkeeper in the house of the Lord" rather than to "dwell in the tents of the wicked." Besides opening and closing the doors, they were responsible for the care of the sacred vessels (2 Ki 12:9; 22:4; 23:4). Their clan chiefs drew lots for which gates they would guard.

Ruth was the mother of Obed, a name associated with the early Horite Hebrew of Edom. Details about the clan of Seir the Horite are found in Genesis 36. 

Korah refers to a priest who has ritually shaved before serving in the temple. Korah's descendants are praised in 1 Chronicles 26, where they are grouped with the gatekeepers of Obed-Edom. Obed was the father of Jesse, the father of David. We note that David’s sons are identified as priests in 2 Samuel 8:18.

Naomi and Ruth were the wives of Hebrew priests who were living in Moab. When Ruth returned to Bethlehem with Naomi, she became the wife of Boaz, a ruler of Bethlehem. Boaz fathered Obed, but by levirate marriage law Obed was the heir of Ruth's late husband.

Ruth’s great grandson was David of Bethlehem. He had royal kin in Moab which explains why he sent his parents to the citadel of the king of Moab for protection while he was being pursued by Saul (1 Sam. 22:3).

According to I Chronicles 2:54 and I Chronicles 4:4, Bethlehem was a Hebrew settlement associated with Hur (HR/Hor/Horite). The priests who resided there believed in God Father and made grain offerings to the High God and his son, HR ("Horus" in Greek). Horus names are found among the early Hebrew. In ancient Egyptian HR means "Most High".

After David became king, he brought the Ark "from the house of Abinadab, that was in Gibeah” (Saul's hometown) to Jerusalem (II Sam. 6:1-12). However, for three months the Ark rested in David’s hometown of Bethlehem on the property of Obed-Edom. 

Genesis 36:31 states that there were kings in Edom long before there was a king in Israel. This suggests the antiquity of David's royal lineage. That lineage is traced back to Abraham whose territory was entirely in ancient Edom, and Edom is where Aaron was buried.

Edom was called Idumea by the Greeks, meaning "land of red people". Esau of Edom is described as red (Gen. 25), and David is described as red (1 Sam. 16:12). Given that the Hebrew married only within their caste, we should expect certain physical traits to consistently appear among them.

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