Friday, May 17, 2019

The Horite High Places

Alice C. Linsley

The mysterious 'Apiru were also known as the Habiru. Habiru is rendered "Hebrew" in English Bibles. In the Akkadian language this caste royal priests was called Abrutu. In the Pyramid Texts (2400 BC), the deceased king is urged to rise to life and to visit the Horite "great houses" or temples. (Utterance 665) The Horites and the Sethites maintained separate high places or "mounds" but they served the same God and the same king.

Another term for was Hapiru. The term piru refers to a house or temple. A temple was the mansion (hâît) or the house (pirû) of the god. The ancient Dravidians referred to their East-oriented temples as Opiru, meaning "Sun House."

In the ancient Egyptian language nibit piru means "lady of the house" or the lady of the temple. This would refer to the mistress of a royal household and to the royal daughter who was in charge of a temple. During his reign (c. 2334–2284 BC) Sargon appointed his daughter Heduanna as the En of the temple at Ur. The Akkadian term En means lord, master, royal official, priest or priestess. En-Heduanna served the High God Anu and his son En-Ki (Lord of the Earth) at the House (pr) of Anu.

In Akkadian the word for priest was abru, and the priesthood or a caste of priests was called abrutu. In the ancient world, there were many castes of priests. They were identified by the deity they served, and it was believed that deity appointed the ruler in whose realm the priests served. The religion of the territory was the religion of the ruler and the priest caste that served the ruler.

The Horite Hebrew priests were unique among the priest castes of the ancient world and greatly respected for their purity and sobriety. Plutarch wrote that the “priests of the Sun at Heliopolis never carry wine into their temples, for they regard it as indecent for those who are devoted to the service of any god to indulge in the drinking of wine whilst they are under the immediate inspection of their Lord and King. The priests of the other deities are not so scrupulous in this respect, for they use it, though sparingly.” Due to their prestige, the Horite Hebrew were sought as servants of the high kings who constructed palaces and royal temple complexes at the "high places." Their association with elevated sites may be why the Horite Hebrew are sometimes described as cave dwellers.

Heliopolis (Sun City) was known by the natives as Iunu, meaning place of pillars. (Likewise, the royal complex of Dendera was known as Iunet. The I represents a pillar.) Iunu was one of the most prestigious Horite high places. The Harris papyrus speaks of the 'Apriu of Ra at Heliopolis (biblical On), as do the Coffin Texts and the Pyramid Texts. Joseph married Asenath, the daughter of the priest of On. Other ancient texts that speak of Horite high places (mounds) include Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform tablets and the Amarna Letters, a collection of 14th century B.C. letters.

The Horite Hebrew served kings throughout the ancient world. Among the Nilotes, they served Re, which simply means "father of..." in ancient Egyptian. Re is the father of Horus whose mother Hathor conceived him by divine overshadowing (cf. Luke 1). The name Horus is derived from the root HR, which means the "One on high." Related Egyptian words include her, meaning over or above; horiwo - head, and hir - praise. Horus and Hathor are often shown on ancient Egyptian monuments as the father and mother of the dead kings, but whom the deceased hope to rise from the grave.

Among the Mesopotamians, the Horite Hebrew served Anu, the father of Enki. Wherever the Horite Hebrew became established there was a belief that the High God has a son. This is a central belief of the Messianic Faith called "Christianity."

Evidence of the Horite Hebrew can be found at many of the oldest high-elevation temples. This green malachite stone, a gift from the Egyptian king with whom the Hittites signed a treaty in BC 1258, was at the center of a Horite shrine in the Hittite capital of Hattusa (in Çorum Province in Turkey). Among the ancient Nilotes green malachite represented new life and the hope of resurrection. The land of the blessed dead was described as the "field of malachite."

Green stones were associated with Horus, whose animal totem was the falcon. The Book of the Dead speaks of how the deceased will become a falcon "whose wings are of green stone" (chapter 77). The protective Eye of Horus amulet was made of green stone. The Ancient Pyramid Texts speak of Horus as the "Lord of the green stone" (Utterance 301).

Horite Pillars, Pyramids, and Mounds

For the Horites the mound or high place represented the primeval creation. The first land to rise from the primordial flood was called TaTJaNuN by the ancient Egyptians. In the Ugaritic creation story the two mounds are likewise indicated by the sign T. The mounds Trgzz and Trmg emerged from a universal ocean and held up the firmament. They also marked the entrance to the Netherworld, so the phrase pillars refer to the Creator's work whereby the heavens and the earth are connected.

The Pyramid Texts [hereafter PT] describe the four cardinal points as "four pillars" (Utterance 217). The pillars connect heaven and earth, as Dr. Zahi Hawass notes:
"The true pyramid, while retaining its meaning as primeval mound and stairway to the stars, also represents the rays of the sun as they stream down to earth. It echoes the benben, a pointed stone that was the solar symbol par excellence." (Hawass, Mountains of the Pharaohs, p. 34)

The first mound of God is found in the mythology of the Horite settlements at On and Memphis. Their mounds, pyramids, and sacred stone pillars called benben represent the first land that rose from the chaotic waters. In the On myth, Atum-Re arose from the primeval mound and created the first two humans as deities. In the Memphis narrative, Ptah rose from the primeval mound and gave order to the world through his word/speech. The ancient Egyptians called the sacred mound mer, which is also the Egyptian word for love.

The idea of the earth resting on pillars is found in I Samuel 2:8 - "For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s and he had set the world upon them." This idea is also found in Psalm 75:3: "It is I who have firmly set its pillars." These are the pillars described in Job 9:6 - "Who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble."

Nubian captives

The Horite Mounds and the Sethite Mounds

It appears from the Pyramid Texts that the Horites and the Sethites maintained separate settlements. Utterance 308 addresses them as separate entities: "Hail to you, Horus in the Horite Mounds! Hail to you, Horus in the Sethite Mounds!"

PT Utterance 470 contrasts the Horite mounds with the mounds of Seth, designating the Horite Mounds "the High Mounds."

The two groups appear to be separate yet related, suggesting a moiety, such as that of the Red and Black Nubians. The term moiety refers to two social or ritual groups into which a people is divided. The distinction between the two groups is evident in PT Utterance 424: "O King, a boon which the King grants, that you occupy the Mounds of Horus, that you travel about the Mounds of Seth..." Here we find a suggestion that the Horite Hebrew were named for their devotion to Horus.

PT Utterance 424 continues, "that you [King] sit on your iron throne and judge their affairs at the head of the Great Ennead which is in On." Though separate, the Horites and the Sethites are judged by a common king.

That both groups serve the same king is evident from PT Utterance 213: "O King, you have not departed dead, you have departed alive...The Mounds of Horus serve you, the Mounds of Seth serve you."

The extent of the King's reign is considerable. In his resurrection body he is to "traverse the Mound of Horus of the Southerners" and "traverse the Mound of Horus of the Northerners." (PT Utterances 536 and 553) The risen king restores his settlements and cities, and opens doors to the Westerners, Easterners, Northerners and Southerners (Pt Utterance 587). He is to "betake himself to the Mansion of Horus which is in the firmament" (PT Utterance 539).

The risen king unites the peoples, restores the former state of blessedness, and unites heaven and earth. When seen from this perspective, the Horite religion appears to be the foundation of the Messianic hope that is fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.

Related reading: Horite Temples; The Pillars of the Earth; The High Places: The Symbolism of the Eye of Horus in the Pyramid Texts; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; Horus of the Two Crowns; The Ra-Horus-Hathor Narrative; Blood and the Impulse to Immortality; Aaron Was Buried in Edom

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome. Please stay on topic and provide examples to support your point.