Alice C. Linsley
In assessing the literature that pertains to the Genesis Prehistory, it is evident that most scholars have missed the African cultural context of this material. Lacking this perspective, it is difficult to resolve some questions consistent with findings in archaeology, linguistics, migration studies, climate studies and molecular genetics. However, when we place the Genesis "prehistory" in its proper Nilo-Saharan context, textual questions can be resolved quite satisfactorily. This is my field of expertise and why I have labeled my work "Biblical Anthropology."
My disclaimers say that the cultural context of Abraham's people is Mesopotamian and therefore Near Eastern. These people clearly do not understand my 35 years of research. Africa is not the Near East.
The cultural context of Abraham's Mesopotamian ancestors is Nilo-Saharan and usually referred to as "Kushite." Analysis of the kinship and ascendancy pattern of the Genesis kings reveals that Abraham is a direct descendant of Nimrod, a Kushite ruler. Genesis 10 explicitly states that Nimrod was the son of Kush. The language of Nimrod's kingdom was Akkadian, and Akkadian cuneiform is essentially a Nilo-Saharan script/language.
Genesis 4 and 5 tell us about Abraham's Nilo-Saharan ancestors who are the "mighty men of old." They were the rulers of the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion. They were city builders, and the archaeological evidence indicates that their cities were shrine centers with sophisticated Neolithic technologies. They were not the first people of earth.
When we place this material in the Nilo-Saharan context we are able to resolve a key question concerning Kain. Eve represents the first Mother, but there is a huge gap of time between the historical Eve and Kain of Gen. 4.
The text does not say that Eve gave birth to Kain. Here is what it states:
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have gotten/gained (qa-nithi) a man with the help of the Lord." Gen. 4:1, The Hebrew Study Bible
The human knew Havva his wife, she became pregnant and bore Kayin. She said: Kaniti (Qanithi)/ I have gotten a man, as has YHWH. Gen. 4:1, The Schocken Bible, Vol. 1
Qany(ty) or Qan-itti comes from Nilo-Saharan languages similar to Oromo and ancient Egyptian. These languages share many phonemes with ancient Akkadian. The Akkadian itti, as in itti šarrim, means "with the king" or "for the king." It is attached to the names of royalty. Even today the Oromo of Ethiopia and Somalia attach itti to names: Kaartuumitti, Finfinneetti and Dimashqitti. That itti is associated with Nilotic rulers is evident in the name of the great Egyptian queen Nefertitti.
Based on this information, the best interpretation of Gen. 4:1 is that the first mother knew that she was the founder of a line of rulers. This suggests a very early belief among Abraham's African ancestors that humans are uniquely equipped to "have dominion" over the earth and other creatures, a belief expressed in Gen. 1:28.
This idea is linked to another belief of Abraham's African ancestors: the idea that humans reflect the image of the Creator, the Ruler of the Cosmos. We are meant to be rulers. Abraham's ancestors took this seriously and dispersed along the ancient water systems. The Nilo-Saharan or "Kushite" dispersion out of Africa has been confirmed by DNA studies.
They also believed that there would come a ruler whose kingdom would be eternal because he would defeat death. That is why the ancient Nilo-Saharan rulers were buried with extreme care. This is the origin of Messianic expectation.
Related reading: The African Context of Biblical Material; Recovering the African Background of Genesis; Adam and Eve: The Blood and the Birther; Horite Temples; The Kushite Marriage Pattern Drove the Kushite Expansion Out of Africa; DNA Research Confirms the Kushite Migration; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; On Gaps and Overlaps