Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Survey: Americans don't know much about religion
By RACHEL ZOLL, Associated Press Religion Writer Tue Sep 28, 3:42 pm ET
A new survey of Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths.
Forty-five percent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn't know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.
More than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the person who inspired the Protestant Reformation. And about four in 10 Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the greatest rabbis and intellectuals in history, was Jewish.
[Related: Texas resolution on Islam]
The survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge, including understanding of the Bible, core teachings of different faiths and major figures in religious history. The U.S. is one of the most religious countries in the developed world, especially compared to largely secular Western Europe, but faith leaders and educators have long lamented that Americans still know relatively little about religion.
Respondents to the survey were asked 32 questions with a range of difficulty, including whether they could name the Islamic holy book and the first book of the Bible, or say what century the Mormon religion was founded. On average, participants in the survey answered correctly overall for half of the survey questions.
Atheists and agnostics scored highest, with an average of 21 correct answers, while Jews and Mormons followed with about 20 accurate responses. Protestants overall averaged 16 correct answers, while Catholics followed with a score of about 15.
Not surprisingly, those who said they attended worship at least once a week and considered religion important in their lives often performed better on the overall survey. However, level of education was the best predictor of religious knowledge. The top-performing groups on the survey still came out ahead even when controlling for how much schooling they had completed.
[Related: Marriages in '09 at record low]
On questions about Christianity, Mormons scored the highest, with an average of about eight correct answers out of 12, followed by white evangelicals, with an average of just over seven correct answers. Jews, along with atheists and agnostics, knew the most about other faiths, such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. Less than half of Americans know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist, and less than four in 10 know that Vishnu and Shiva are part of Hinduism.
The study also found that many Americans don't understand constitutional restrictions on religion in public schools. While a majority know that public school teachers cannot lead classes in prayer, less than a quarter know that the U.S. Supreme Court has clearly stated that teachers can read from the Bible as an example of literature. (my emphasis)
"Many Americans think the constitutional restrictions on religion in public schools are tighter than they really are," Pew researchers wrote. (my emphasis)
The survey of 3,412 people, conducted between May and June of this year, had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, while the margins of error for individual religious groups was higher.
Copyright © 2010 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
This seems as good a time as any to give you an inner circle of American colleges and universities. The sanctum of social power is found at these schools:
10) University of Virginia
11) University of Michigan
12) University of California (Berkeley)
13) University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
15) University of Pennsylvania
20) and a tie between Boston College and Boston University.
There are other knots of power, but if training of national leadership is the relevant issue, not the training of minds willing to serve as instruments of a national leadership, then the twenty I’ve taken are the heart of the heart of caste in America...
Editor's Note: It's about Bloodlines with these people. Read the following Addendum:
As late as 1929, even with Mein Kampf in bookstalls telling the story of Aryans past and present, David Starr Jordan, president of Stanford, published his own guide to good blood, Your Family Tree. It provided in painstaking detail the descent of America’s new industrial aristocracy, from monarchs of great Aryan houses.
Abe Lincoln, Grover Cleveland, and John D. Rockefeller, said Jordan, came out of the house of Henry I of France; Ulysses S. Grant was in a line from William the Conqueror; Coolidge and Shakespeare descended from Charlemagne. William Howard Taft, J.P. Morgan, and Jordan himself from King David of Scotland! So it went.
Was this all just simple amusement or did the game have some implications for the rest of us not so blue-blooded? Who were these fabulous Aryans the scholars were talking about? What was this "Great Race"? The answers were to prove both fabulous and chilling.
This material was gathered from John Taylor Gatto's phenomenal book The Underground History of American Education, pp. 243-244.
Here's a video capturing the position of this author:
Monday, September 20, 2010
"The Origin of Races and Color" by Martin R. Delany
Of the books authored by Martin R. Delany (1812-1885), The Origin of Races and Color is perhaps the most obscure. Out-of-print until now, it has been available to the public only through select libraries. At the time of its publication in 1879, this valuable resource presented a bold challenge to racist views of African inferiority. Delany wrote in opposition to a developing oppressive intellectualism that used Darwin's thesis, "the survival of the fittest," to support its demented theories of Black inferiority.
Skillfully blending biblical history, archaeology and anthropology, Delany offered evidence to the "serious inquirer" suggesting the first humans were African, and that these Africans were ". . . builders of the pyramids, sculptors of the sphinxes, and original god-kings. . . ." With such radical assertions, Delany advanced a model of ancient history that contradicted the very foundation of intellectual racism. He believed knowledge of one's past was essential, and that it could provide Black people with the regenerative force necessary to inspire their self-improvement. Were he alive today, Delany would certainly feel at home with the present generation of Africancentrists, especially since he developed and articulated so many of their arguments more than a century ago.
Paperback: 95 pages
Publisher: Black Classic Press (January 10, 1997)
Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
Editor's Note: Though this is a Amazon listing, I discovered this book at Lushena Books and purchased it from them.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
One of the most amazing documentaries I have seen, a must watch, a real eye opener. Editor's Note: What is ultimately brought out in this video is that 9-11 was a mega-ritual AND that 9-11 is the numerological challenge to the Most High by the world Elite, whose religious philosophy is grounded in occult science.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
A Brief Introduction to the Israelites
Editor's Assertion: I will continue to proclaim the Israelite truth. This is NOT "anti-Semitic" but pro-Biblical. The Most High is a God of truth. It is by truth, that every man's work shall be judged. As a disciple of Christ, I am admonished, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)
Editor's Assertion: I will continue to proclaim the Israelite truth. This is NOT "anti-Semitic" but pro-Biblical. The Most High is a God of truth. It is by truth, that every man's work shall be judged. As a disciple of Christ, I am admonished, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I am a denier of the official 9/11 story proposed by the United States government and its officials. We have been lied to and the lies continue to perpetuate 9 years later. There are five clues, amongst many others, that prove to me that there are immense discrepancies in the "official story":
1) The Five Dancing Israelis found in NJ high-fiving as the Towers were coming down.
2) The so-called "terrorists'" evasion of America's most sophisticated air defense sytem.
3) Amidst the rubble, the infamous Passport was found intact along with the Note, "Death to America---Allah lives" in a plastic bag.
4) Eyewitness accounts of hearing explosives (including NYC firemen) at the bottom of both Towers.
5) The mysterious collapse of Building 7 at 5:21 pm. This one was not brought down by planes, but apparently by demolition.
It is quite evident that something is being suppressed here...the criminals still remain at large and have yet to be brought to justice. The Islamaphobia that is being propagated by the international Zionist mediaplex is atrocious. What the oligarchs are seeking to do is deny a religious group of their human rights. This too is a bestial travesty. I may not agree with an individual's religious philosophy, but I would never seek to deny someone their human rights. I couldn't even do it to the Zionist thugs.
On that note, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the families who lost loved ones on that fateful day of September 11, 2001. My prayers are with you. May you find strength during this very tragic time.
Friday, September 10, 2010
"The main part of Jewry was never in Judea and had never come out of Judea." (H.G. Wells, Outline of History, p. 494) This is a video showing different sources that state that the Ashkenazi Jews are not in any way descendents of the Biblical Israelites.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Old Testament Life and Literature (1968)
Gerald A. Larue
Chapter 8 — Who Were the Hebrews?
ACCORDING to biblical tradition, the Hebrews are peoples descended from Shem, one of Noah's sons, through Eber, the eponymous ancestor, and Abraham. Gen. 7:22 f., reports that the flood destroyed all life except that in Noah's ark; consequently, the whole human family descended from Noah and his sons: Japheth, Ham and Shem. As yet, not all of the names of eponymous ancestors in the family lines can be identified,1 but some probabilities are listed in Chart 6.
From Shem, through Arpachshad and Shelah came Eber, the eponymous ancestor of the Hebrews, and from his descendants through Peleg, Reu, Sereg and Nahor came Terah, the father of Abram and his brothers Nahor and Haran. It becomes clear that if "Hebrews" are descendants of Eber, then others besides those of Abraham's line would be included (see Gen. 10:25-27).
Read Gen. 12-25
With Abraham the story of the Hebrews begins, and it is clearly stated that Hebrew origins lay outside Canaan. The summons to leave his ancestral home and journey to Canaan is accompanied by a promise (Gen. 12:2) that becomes a submotif in patriarchal accounts, re-appearing again and again (cf. Gen. 13:14 f., 15:5 f., 18:10, 22:17, 26:24, 28:13 f., 32:12 f., 35:9 ff., 48:16), finally taking covenantal form (Gen. 17:14 ff.). The promise has two parts: nationhood and divine blessing or protection. The precise location of the nation-to-be is not specified but was, of course, known to those hearing or reading the account. The promise of blessing signified the unique and particularistic bond between Yahweh and his followers, so that the enemies of Abraham or the nation were enemies of Yahweh, and those befriending Abraham and/or the nation would be blessed. With this assurance, Abraham journeyed to Canaan, Egypt, the Negeb, Hebron, Gezer, Beer-sheba and back to Hebron where he and his wife Sarah died.
The descriptions of Abraham are not uniform: at times he appears as a lonely migrant, at others as a chieftain, head of a large family, or as a warrior. Factual details about the patriarch are difficult to establish, for his real significance lies in what is often called "inner history," through which those who looked to Abraham as a forefather gained understanding of themselves as "people of the promise" and attained, a sense of destiny and an appreciation of their particular relationship to their deity. We have noted earlier that some Abrahamic traditions coincide with information coming from Nuzi, which would place Abraham in the Middle Bronze era.
We read that Abraham, in response to a divine summons, left Mesopotamia and journeyed to Canaan with his wife, Sarah, and nephew, Lot. It is clear that the people were meant to recognize themselves as a community originating in a commission from God and in the unwavering, unquestioning obedience of Abraham. The journey itself was more than a pilgrimage, for it constituted the starting point of a continuing adventure in nationhood. Nor are the travelers without vicissitudes, but throughout famine, earthquake, fire and war, they are protected by Yahweh.
Gen. 14, in which Abraham is called a "Hebrew" for the first time, records a battle between the patriarch and kings of countries or areas as yet unidentified for certain and associates him with the Canaanite king of Jerusalem. It is possible that reliable historical data are preserved here.2 The account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah may also rest in some memory of a shift in the earth's crust that destroyed the cities of the plain. Tradition associates Abraham with Hebron, and if Jebel er-Rumeide is the site of this ancient city, it is evident that a powerful city was located here in the Middle Bronze period.3
Abraham's adventures in the Negeb, the problems of grazing and watering rights, and the digging of a well at Beer-sheba4 echo genuine problems of the shepherd. The episode involving Sarah and King Abimelech (a doublet of Gen. 12:10 ff.) introduces Sarah's relationship to Abraham as both wife and sister, a relationship which in Hurrian society provided the wife with privileged social standing. It may also be interpreted as an historic link with the cultures of the upper Euphrates.5
The close relationship between the Hebrews and the people of the desert and steppes is recognized in the story of Ishmael, the nomadic first son of Abraham; but it is through Isaac, the second son about whom so very little is recorded, that the Hebrews trace their own family line. Both Isaac and his son Jacob maintain a separateness from the people among whom they dwell, taking wives from among their own kin in Haran (Gen. 24; 28). The story of Jacob, who becomes Israel, and his twin brother Esau, who becomes Edom, is colored with rivalry, trickery and bitter misundertanding but also contains echoes of Hurrian custom. In Hurrian law, birthright could be purchased, and some of the terminology associated with Isaac's blessing of his sons reflects Hurrian patterns.6
The stories about Jacob also accord with Nuzi (Hurrian) law for it is recorded that a man may labor for his wife.7 In dealing with his uncle Laban, Jacob's trickery was matched by his uncle's deceptive acts. There is no condemnation of chicanery but, rather, the attitude that to best a man in a business contract revealed cleverness. When Jacob's hopes to inherit his uncle's estate were dashed by the birth of male heirs, he broke contract and fled, and it was only when a new contract was made that relationships were healed. The account of Jacob's night wrestling with an angelic visitor has probably come down to us through various recensions, for it now contains two aetiological explanations: one concerning the name "Jacob-Israel" and the other giving the reason why the ischiatic sinew is not eaten by Hebrews. Other traditions associate Jacob with Bethel and Shechem.
Joseph, the son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by jealous brothers and rose to high office in Egypt. When his father and brothers migrated to Egypt to escape famine, they were regally received and encouraged to settle. Documents attesting to the custom of admitting nomadic groups into the country in time of famine are known from Egypt, and the Joseph stories reflect many accurate details about Egyptian life and may be derived in part from Egyptian tales, as we shall see. The pharaoh under whom Joseph rose to power is not identified.
It is quite possible, as A. Alt has argued, that the patriarchs were founders of separate cults or clans in which distinctive names for the deity were compounded with patriarchal names.8 Hence, the deity was known as "the Shield of Abraham" (Gen. 15:1), "the Fear of Isaac" (Gen. 31:42, 53), and "the Mighty One of Jacob" (Gen. 49:24). Individual representations were later fused and equated with Yahweh, and individual clan heroes were placed in an historical sequence and made part of a single family line from Abraham to Jacob (Israel).
Read Exod. 1-6
After what appears to be an extended period of time, the Hebrews increased in numbers and became a mighty multitude, and a pharaoh who was indifferent to the Joseph traditions inherited the throne and persecuted the Hebrews, pressing them into virtual enslavement. Moses, a desert refugee from Egyptian justice, became associated with the Kenite people. On the slopes of Mount Sinai in a dramatic encounter with Yahweh, he was commissioned to act as deliverer of the Hebrews. In the clash with Pharaoh, the god-king's power was overshadowed by Yahweh through a series of horrendous events in which the Nile was turned to blood and plagues involving frogs, gnats, flies, cattle, boils, hail, locusts and darkness are ultimately climaxed by the death of all the first-born children of Egypt (Read Exod. 7-11). This final act, associated in tradition with the Passover festival, persuaded Pharaoh to release the Hebrews. Shortly after the Hebrews departed, Pharaoh changed his mind and pursued them. At the Sea of Reeds, Yahweh permitted the Hebrews to pass through the waters unscathed but overwhelmed the Egyptians. The Hebrews pressed into the wilderness to Mount Sinai where the law was given and there they entered a covenant with Yahweh (Read Num. 14:39f.). After an abortive attempt to seize Canaan by penetrating from the south, they moved eastward and, after many setbacks, took up a position on the eastern side of the Jordan, just north of the Salt Sea. Here Moses died, and under his successor, Joshua, the attacks on Canaan were launched.
PROBLEMS WITH DATES AND PLACES
Efforts to date the patriarchal period have not been particularly rewarding, for biblical chronology is complex. In the P source, 215 years pass between the time of Abraham's journey to Canaan and Jacob's migration to Egypt (see Gen. 12:4b, 21:5, 25:26, 47:9), and the period spent in Egypt is given as 430 years (Exod. 12:40 f.), making a total of 645 years before the Exodus. As we shall see, most scholars date the Exodus near the middle of the thirteenth century, so that Abraham would leave Mesopotamia at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and Jacob's journey to Egypt would occur about 1700 B.C. Unfortunately, date variations occur in some manuscripts. In the LXX, Exod. 12:40 includes time spent in both Egypt and Canaan in the 430-year period (some manuscripts read 435 years). According to this reckoning, Abraham's journey would fall in the seventeenth century and Jacob's in the fifteenth century.
The early nineteenth century date for Abraham places his departure from Mesopotamia at the time of the Elamite and Amorite invasion. It harmonizes with the conclusions of Nelson Glueck, who found that between the twenty-first and nineteenth centuries B.C. the Negeb was dotted with hamlets where inhabitants, having learned how to hoard water, engaged in agriculture and tended small flocks. Such settlements would provide stopping places for Abraham and his retinue.9 The seventeenth century date for Jacob's settlement in Egypt coincides with the Hyksos invasion of Egypt, lending support to Josephus' hypothesis, for Hebrews may have been part of this movement.
The second pattern of dating would place Abraham in the time of Hammurabi of Babylon and would give strength to the argument that the mention of King Amraphel of Shinar in Gen. 14:1 is a Hebraized reference to Hammurabi. Abraham would, therefore, be in Canaan during the Hyksos period, and Joseph would have risen to power in the Amarna age. The close of the Amarna period brought to power leaders hostile to Akhenaton and possibly also to those he had favored.
Whatever the correct date for Abraham may be, he represents the beginning of the nation to the Hebrews. Yahweh's promise to the patriarch and his successors is considered to be the guarantee of national existence (Num. 32:11). There are no references to Abraham in the writings of the eighth century prophets, for then stress was laid on the Exodus as the starting point of the nation. In the seventh and sixth centuries, and in the post-Exilic period, the Abrahamic tradition came to the fore once again.
MIDDLE BRONZE AGE POTTERY FROM THE EXCAVATION OF HEBRON. If Abraham went to Hebron during the time of the Hyksos, he would have found a city surrounded by a massive stone wall with huge reenforcing towers. Graceful clay jugs, bowls, and juglets, like those pictured here, would be in common use.
Efforts to determine the date and route of the Exodus have been disappointing. Josephus placed the Exodus at the time of the overthrow of the Hyksos by Ahmose in the sixteenth century, a date that is far too early. Biblical evidence is limited. I Kings 6:1 reports that Solomon began building the temple in the fourth year of his reign, 480 years after the Exodus. Solomon's rule is believed to have begun near the middle of the tenth century, possibly about 960 B.c. Thus, the date of the Exodus would be: 960 minus 4 (4th year of reign) plus 480, or 1436. In that case, Thutmose III would be the pharaoh of the oppression, and his mother, Hatshepsut, might be identified as the rescuer of the infant Moses. The Hebrew invasion of Canaan, taking place forty years later or about 1400 B.C., might be identified with the coming of the 'apiru.10
Another theory is based on the reference to the building of Pithom and Raamses in Exod. 1:11. It was noted earlier that both Seti I and Rameses II worked at the rebuilding of these cities, and that Rameses is the best candidate for the Pharaoh of the Exodus (1290-1224 B.C.). If the Exodus took place between 1265 and 1255, the invasion of Canaan would occur in Mernephtah's reign, and some encounter between Egyptians and Hebrews would be the basis for his boast of annihilating Israel.
Attempts to chart the course followed by the fleeing Hebrews is equally frustrating. No one knows for sure the location of Mount Sinai, and the site chosen for the holy mountain determines, in part, the route suggested. Attempts have been made to identify stopping places mentioned in Num. 33:1-37,11 but the identifications can be no more than conjectures, for biblical descriptions are vague without distinctive landmarks.12
The traditional site of Sinai, Jebel Musa, near the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula, has been widely accepted since the fourth and fifth centuries A.D., although there was some confusion over which mountain in the cluster of peaks was Sinai. The traditional route to Jebel Musa begins in Egypt, crosses the Sea of Reeds (identified either at the tip of the Red Sea in the Gulf of Heroonpolis [Gulf of Suez] or as one of the papyrus swamps above the gulf), and goes southward along the western edge of the Sinai peninsula before turning inland to Jebel Musa. From Sinai, the Hebrews would move to the north along the Gulf of Aqabah toward Ezion Geber and Kadesti Barnea.
Sinai has also been identified as Jebel Helal, located in the northern part of the peninsula. The route to this mountain goes from Egypt across the marshy swamp area and follows the Way of Shur, one of the major trade routes of the ancient world, to Jebel Helal and Kadesh Barnea. Another route to this same mountain goes over the land strip of Lake Sirbonis (which becomes the Sea of Reeds), northward along the Way of the Philistines, the coastal route, then southward to Kadesh Barnea and Jebel Helal.
Some have insisted that the descriptions in Exod. 19:16 suggest volcanic disturbances and that Sinai must be sought among volcanic mountains, probably those in the Midianite areas on the eastern side of the Gulf of Aqabah. One choice among these mountains is El Khrob which preserves the name Horeb. The Exodus route would then follow the Way of Shur to Kadesh Barnea and Ezion Geber and down the coast to El Khrob. Sinai has also been located in Edomite territory, for Judg. 5:4 and Deut. 33:2 locate the mountain in Seir. Jebel Faran on the west side of the Wadi Arabah has been suggested as a possible choice, and mountains in the Petra area have also been suggested. In this case the Hebrews would have traveled along the Way of Shur, by way of Ezion Geber, into Edomite territory.13
Although, for the scholar, there are innumerable problems associated with the Exodus tradition, this memorable event became a central factor in the interpretation of the Hebrew faith. Here Yahweh had demonstrated his loyal, redeeming love to the people whom he had chosen as his own. In the darkest days of the Exilic period, the memory of the Exodus event became a source of hope, for it was believed that Yahweh would deliver his people from bondage in Babylon even as he had rescued them from Egypt.
A somewhat different tradition of Hebrew beginnings is reflected in Ezek. (16:3 ff.), where mixed ancestry — Amorite, Hittite and Canaanite — is attributed to the Jerusalemites. But here we have a unique situation, for Jerusalem was a Jebusite stronghold which did not become a Hebrew city until the time of David (II Sam. 5). The firstfruits liturgy (Deut. 26:5) traces Hebrew ancestry to the Aramaeans, but the designation appears to be used in a broad rather than a specific sense.
Etymological analyses of the term "Hebrew" ( 'ibri) have given little help to the study of origins. The term has been related to a root, meaning "to go over" or "to go across"; hence, a "Hebrew" would be one who crossed over or one who went from place to place, a nomad, a wanderer, a designation that would fit some aspects of patriarchal behavior. A similar term, habiru, is found in cuneiform documents from the twentieth to the eleventh centuries, often used interchangeably with another word, SA.GAZ. At times the Habiru appear to be settled in specific locations; at times they serve in the army as mercenaries, or are bound to masters as servants. The El Amarna tablets refer to invaders of Palestine as 'apiru, a word bearing close relationship to the terms habiru and "Hebrew."14 Extensive research has led many scholars to the conclusion that the term "Hebrew" was first used as an appellative to describe foreigners who crossed into settled areas and referred not to a specific group but to a social caste. If the word "Hebrew" parallels habiru or 'apiru, we know that these people on occasion were employed, at times created settlements of their own, and at other times attacked established communities. The suggestion that the terms 'apiru, habiru and "Hebrew" relate to those who have renounced a relationship to an existing society, who have by a deliberate action withdrawn from some organization or rejected some authority, and who have become through this action freebooters, slaves, employees or mercenaries presents real possibilities.15 In the Bible the word Hebrew becomes an ethnic term used interchangeably with "Israelite."16
Perhaps the best that can be said is that the Hebrews of the Bible appear to be one branch of the Northwest Semitic group, related linguistically to Canaanites, Edomites and Moabites, who moved from a semi-nomadic existence to settled life in the Bronze Age.
A SACRED PILLAR OF WHITE LIMESTONE from what is believed to have been the temple of El (Ba'al) Berith at Shechem. There is no way of determining the original height of the stone. It has been restored to what the excavators believe was its original position.
It is clear from biblical tradition that, at the beginning of their history, the semi-nomadic Hebrews with flocks of sheep and goats were at the point of moving into a settled way of life. The patriarchs are chiefs of large families or clans living, for the most part, in peace among their neighbors with whom they enter covenants. From family and clan beginnings came tribes linked to one another by ancestral blood ties. Bonds between clans or tribes were so strong that the group might be described as having an existence of its own, a personality embodying the corporate membership. This phenomenon of psychic unity, labeled "corporate personality" by H. Wheeler Robinson,17 placed particular responsibilities upon each member of the group. Because group life was a unity, injury to a single member was injury to all demanding repayment by the next of kin, the go'el.18 Blood shed was tribal blood requiring redemption by the next of kin. Should a man die without offspring, his next of kin had to bring the widow to fruition, and the child born to her became the child of the dead man, the one carrying his name (Ruth 4:4-10). As the father was at the head of the family, so the tribal chief and elders led the larger group, seeking the well-being, peace and psychic health of the members. The corporate nature of the group afforded great protection, for wherever a member went, he was backed by the strength of the tribe to which he belonged. Fear of reprisal tended to be — but was not always — a restraining factor in violation of social mores (Judg. 19-20). When the head of the household died, the widow and orphan were cared for by the next of kin and ultimately by the total group.
Tribal and family religion centered in holy places where a local priesthood tended shrines, kept altar fires burning, and shared in offerings (I Sam. 2:12-17). The father seems to have acted as ministrant on behalf of the family (I Sam. 1). Offerings were made and a meal shared through which the participants were bound more firmly together. There is no evidence that the deity was believed to participate in the meal. Agreements made at holy places were witnessed by the deity who guaranteed fulfillment of terms (Gen. 31:51 ff.). The shrine of Ba'al-berith (Judg. 9:4) or El-berith (Judg. 9:46), the "covenant god" at Shechem, may have been a holy place where covenants were made in the presence of the god.
An important custom in Hebrew society was the practice of hospitality. A guest was honored and entertained, even at considerable expense to the host (Gen. 18:1-8, 24:28-32). Once under the host's roof, or having shared food, the guest was guaranteed protection (Gen. 19, Judg. 19). Should a stranger settle in the community, he enjoyed most of the rights and responsibilities.
From time to time new groups were grafted into the family tree of Hebrew tribes, and the heritage of the larger group became that of the adopted ones, as when the Calebites united with the tribe of Judah (Josh. 14:6-15, 15:13). When confronted by common problems or enemies, tribal federations were formed (see Judg. 4-5). On the other hand, when a famine or food shortage occurred, one group might leave to seek new territory (Gen. 13). Tribal activity in Canaan is portrayed as a twelve-tribe federation19 often called an amphictyony, after Greek tribal federations.20 However, clear distinctions between Greek and Hebrew patterns must be recognized. Greek cities united in an amphictyony centered about a shrine where peoples from the surrounding cities worshiped and where decisions affecting the participating members were made. The Hebrew amphictyony was centered in the Ark of Yahweh, a moveable shrine. Some scholars have argued that a primitive amphictyonic ritual was observed at the shrine at Sliechem,21 but the hypothesis rests only upon probabilities. A six-tribe federation, which preceded the twelve-tribe grouping, has also been postulated involving the Leah tribes: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, udah, Zebulun and Issachar.22
CHART VII. Sometimes the tribes are listed genealogically (Gen. 35:23; I Chron. 2:1-2) sometimes in cultic formation (Num. 2-3; Deut. 27:12); and sometimes geographically (Num. 34:14-28; I Chron. 6:54 ff.; Ezek. 48:1 ff.). Usually twelve tribes are mentioned, but the identification of the tribes varies: in one Dinah is listed in place of Benjamin (Gen. 29-30), and in Chronicles both halves of the tribe of Manasseh are counted (I Chron. 2-3; 6:54-80). Some lists mention only ten tribes (Deut. 33:6 ff.; II Sam. 19:43); one gives eleven tribes (I King 11:31); and in Gen. 46:48 ff. there are thirteen.
G. von Rad, Genesis, trans. by John H. Marks (Philadelphia: Westrninster Press, 1961), pp. 142 f.
E. A. Speiser, Genesis, The Anchor Bible (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1964), pp. 105 ff.
Gerald A. Larue, "The American Expedition to Hebron, 1965," The Journal of Bible and Religion, XXXIII (1965), 337 ff.
Possibly located at Tell Sheba, an unexcavated mound just east of the modern town.
Speiser, Genesis, pp. 91 ff.
Ibid., pp. 212 f.
Cf. G. Cornfeld (ed.), Adam to Daniel (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1961), p. 85.
A. Alt, Kleine Schriften zur Geschichte des Volkes Israel (Munich: C. H. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1953), I. See also J. Bright, op. cit., pp. 88 ff.
Nelson Gltieck, Rivers in the Desert, pp. 68 ff.
Jack Finegan, Light From the Ancient Past, pp. 118 ff.
G. E. Wright, Biblical Archaeology, p. 64; C. Kraeling, Bible Atlas, pp. 107 ff.
Y. Aharoni, "Kadesh Bamea and Mount Sinai," God's Wilderness (New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1962), p. 118.
For a detailed statement of conjectures on Sinai and the Exodus route, cf. Kraeling, op. cit., chap. 6.
Cf. T. J. Meek, Hebrew Origins, chap. 1. For the suggestion that the term 'apiru means "donkey driver, caravaneer" cf. Wm. F. Albright, "Abram the Hebrew: A New Archaeological Interpretation," Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (henceforth BASOR), No. 163 (1961) 36-54.
E. F. Campbell, "The Amarna Letters and the Amarna Period," BA XXIII (1960), 15; G. E. Mendenhall, "The Hebrew Conquest of Palestine," BA XXV (1962), 71 f.
For an extended discussion of the 'Apiru-Habiru-Hebrew problem, cf. Mary F. Gray, "The Habiru-Hebrew Problem in the Light of Source Material Available at Present," Hebrew Union College Annual, XXIX (1958), pp. 135-202; Moshe Greenberg, The Hab/piru, American Oriental Series, XXXIX (New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1955).
H. Wheeler Robinson, "The Hebrew Conception of Corporate Personality," Werden und Wesen des Alten Testaments, J. Hempel (ed.), B.Z.A.W. LXVI, 1936, pp. 49ff. See also J. Pedersen, Israel: Its Life and Culture (Copenhagen: Povl Branner, 1926), Vols. I-II; Aubrey R. Johnson, The One and the Many in the Israelite Conception of God, 2nd ed. (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1961) ; and Aubrey R. Johnson, The Vitality of the Individual in the Thought of Ancient Israel, 2nd ed. (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1964).
Go'el comes from a root meaning "to recover" or "buy back" or "redeem," and thus means "redeemer," "restorer" and, in a sense, "protector." For a brief discussion, cf. Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel, Its Life and Institutions, John McHugh, trans. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1961), pp. 21 f.
The scheme develops out of the twelve sons of Jacob — six from Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun; two from Zilpah: Gad and Asher; two from Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; and two from Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali (cf. Gen. 29:16-30:24; 35:16-20). The final grouping for division of the land includes: Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Judah, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon and ZebuIun. More than twenty variant lists occur within the Bible.
Martin Noth, The History of Israel, pp. 87 ff.; John Bright, A History of Israel, pp. 142 f.; Murray Newman, The People of the Covenant (New York: Abingdon Press, 1962), pp. 102 ff.
Cf. Noth, op. cit., pp. 92 f.; Newman, op. cit., pp. 108 ff.
Cf. Noth, op. cit., pp. 88 f.; Newman, op. cit., p. 102.
Old Testament Life and Literature is copyright © 1968, 1997 by Gerald A. Larue. All rights reserved.
The electronic version is copyright © 1997 by Internet Infidels with the written permission of Gerald A. Larue.
Opening Photo: Israelites: Captives of the Assyrians. From the palace of Sennacherib, approx. 701 BCE (ref. 2Kings 18:13-14).
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
A proverbial heritage
For 50 years, scholarship has tended to play down the interrelations between Ancient Egyptian culture and the religion of the biblical Hebrews. Jill Kamil argues it is time to re-open investigations.
Egypt is indisputably a part of the Biblical tradition. This much is clear, not only from the role the country plays in providing the setting for certain famous episodes in both Old and New Testaments, but in the contribution made to the Hebrew worldview by its language, culture and thought.
This legacy was a subject of great interest to European and American scholars during the first three decades of the 19th century. Linguists of various nationalities produced a plethora of articles on the subject, as well as books in several languages. Among the latter, perhaps the most influential was James Breasted's popular and widely- distributed A History of Egypt, first published in 1905, followed by a new edition in 1909, and no fewer than 14 reprints up to 1939.
Not long after the end of the World War II, however -- commencing in 1946 to be exact -- Hebrew links with Ancient Egypt were struck from the historical record almost overnight. Breasted's work was removed from the list of recommended reading in departments of Oriental Studies in Western universities, where its place was taken by a publication entitled The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man, written by three scholars from the Oriental Institute of Chicago. The authors of the new work were Dutch Egyptologist and orientalist Henri Frankfurt, who was previously professor of pre-classical antiquity at the University of London, American Egyptologist John Wilson, and Danish cuneiformist Thorkild Jacobsen.
Earlier studies had sought to illuminate the interpenetration of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations whose material remains and spiritual heritages had long occupied a central role in educational curricula and museum displays. However, just at the moment when the Hebrews as God's chosen people (Deut. 14: 1-2) became the focus of their own history, literary and intellectual parallels began to be disregarded. Fields of specialisation multiplied, and as the number of "oriental" departments and archaeological institutions increased, contrasts in the "world outlook" of different cultures was stressed, rather than their similarities. As a result, many theories and interpretations which had previously been considered mainstream now fell out of favour.
Yet, can there be any doubt that it was Pharaoh Akhenaten's Hymn to the Aten, written in the 14th century BC, that inspired Psalms 104:24 in the Old Testament?
"How manifold are all thy works! They are hidden from before us, O thou sole god, whose powers no other possesseth. Though didst create the earth according to thy desire [...] all cattle large and small; all that are upon the earth" (Akhenaten's hymn)
"O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom has thou made them all; The earth is full of thy creatures" (Psalm 104)
Breasted pointed out the marked similarity in thought and sequence between these two passages. He observed that the Egyptian Pharaoh "grasped the idea of a world-dominator, as the creator of nature, in which the king saw revealed the creator's purpose for all his creatures, even the meanest... He based the universal sway of God upon his fatherly care of all men alike, irrespective of race or nationality, and to the proud and exclusive Egyptian he pointed to an all-embracing bounty of the common father of humanity, even placing Syria and Nubia before Egypt in his enumeration."
Other similar examples abound. "Yahweh [Jehovah] weigheth the hearts," it is written in Proverbs 21:2. The only previous instance of a god who makes a practice of weighing up human hearts is in Egyptian mortuary literature, where this method of judgement is exercised at the court of Osiris in the underworld. We could also cite the biblical description of men being fashioned out of clay by Yahweh: "The potter of the same clay he maketh both the vessels that serve for clean uses, and likewise also all such as serve to the contrary" (Book of Wisdom, 15:7). This image is essentially identical with the Ancient Egyptian image of men being fashioned on a potter's wheel out of the clay of the river Nile by the ram-headed god Khnum, one of the great gods of Egypt. In this connection, it is worthy of note that a Jewish temple was built on Elephantine Island in the sixth century BC, immediately behind the great Temple of Khnum: indeed, archaeologists have shown that the two places of worship were at different strata.
Chapter Six of the Book of Proverbs deals with the issue of justice. The commandment, "Do not move the boundary-stone nor shift the surveyor's rope, do not tamper with the widow's land-bounds", clearly reflects precepts to be found in Egyptian "instruction literature", as do passages in Chapter 11 on coveting: "Covet not the poor farmer's property nor hunger after his bread: the peasant's morsel will gag in the throat and revolt in the gullet".
Such striking similarities between the Instruction Literature of an Egyptian sage called Amenemope and the Book of Proverbs cannot easily be dismissed. In Proverbs Chapter 13 on morals and neighbourly love, we read: "It is better to be praised for neighbourly love than have riches in the storeroom; better to enjoy your bread with a good conscience than to have wealth weighed down by reproaches." This does little more than repeat almost word for word a verse in Amenemope's Instruction Literature, as does Chapter 27 on consideration towards the afflicted: "Mock not the blind nor deride the dwarf, nor block a cripple's path".
Borrowing by one culture from another is a natural part of intellectual growth, and the fact that the process works both ways only serves to emphasise its fundamental truth. Egyptian words and metaphors translated into Hebrew can be paralleled by influences operating in reverse -- Hebrew words and names which have passed into the Ancient Egyptian language. However, by far the largest and most persuasive mass of evidence clearly indicates the primacy of the longer and more enduring civilisation of Egypt.
There were contacts between Egypt and the Syria-Palestine region as early as the Middle Kingdom, around 2000 BC, when Egypt exercised economic, if not political, domination over the Levant. It is in this period that the migration of the Hebrew patriarchs to and from Egypt belong (Gen. 12:10ff). Contacts increased during the New Kingdom, especially following the conquests of Thutmose III, the creator of a vast Egyptian empire. Thutmose went to war regularly every summer and returned to Egypt around the end of September. The "Annals of Thutmose III" which are inscribed on the outer wall of the sanctuary at Karnak give details of the cities and tribes subdued in the course of his military campaigns.
Thutmose was no warmonger, and never appointed Egyptian governors to rule over conquered territories. Instead he gave power to local chieftains and sought to kick-start cultural relations by bringing the sons of foreign tribal chiefs to Egypt. Here they would study and absorb Egyptian culture, ideology and religion, before returning to their homelands. Egypt's possessions in the Syria-Palestine region were lost during the time of Akhenaten (c. 1403- 1348), but there is evidence from nearly 400 clay tablets discovered at the Pharaoh's capital of Tel Al-Amarna (written in Akkadian, the lingua franca of the time) of letters from the rulers of the city-states of the Levant, which were under Egyptian control, and copies of the replies. From them we learn that one of the royal scribes of the ruler of Tyre was an Egyptian.
Contacts between Egypt and the Hebrew people increased during the so-called Period of Decline that followed the New Kingdom. David, a member of the Edomite royal house, fled to Egypt and was given political asylum by an unnamed Pharaoh (1 Kings 11: 14-22). Solomon married an Egyptian princess (1 Kings 3:1) and the palace he constructed for her was of Egyptian design; he also patterned his scribal schools on those of Egypt. No wonder that such a large number of Egyptian loan words, phrases and intellectual ideas should be preserved in the Old Testament, along with a large number of idiomatic expressions, and two Egyptian units of measure.
Late in the seventh century BC, a colony of Jewish mercenary soldiers was established on the island of Elephantine at Aswan. From this, and other sites such as Saqqara, Edfu and Hermopolis Magna (today's Ashmunein), have come a great horde of letters and business and legal documents, written in Aramaic on papyrus, ostraca, and leather. These texts contain evidence of Egyptian influences, especially in regard to names and religious practices. One particularly eloquent example survives in a papyrus that reads, "I bless you by Yahweh (Jehova) and Khnum".
The fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC was followed by large-scale emigration to Egypt (Jer. 41:16ff). Here the immigrants joined the already substantial Hebrew colonies, whose existence is recorded by the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 14:8; 44:1) and confirmed by archaeological evidence in the Delta, at Memphis (capital of Egypt for about 1,000 years, and an important religious and commercial centre throughout the 3,000 years of the country's ancient history), and in Middle and Upper Egypt.
The "wisdom literature" of Amenemope is a key piece in this complex puzzle. It consists of some 30 sayings written in demotic on a papyrus now in the British Museum, and is generally assigned by scholars to the Ramasside period between 1320 and 1080 BC. It was part of a written record that would traditionally have been passed down from father to son, and which school children would have copied from generation to generation as sample texts on which to practise their handwriting.
Miriam Lichtheim, author of Ancient Egyptian Literature, writes that the Book of Proverbs resembles Amenemope's text, not least in being a carefully composed and unified work. She refers particularly to the final statement of Proverbs: "Have I not written for you thirty sayings of admonition and knowledge", adding: "It can hardly be doubted that the Jewish author of [the Book of] Proverbs was acquainted with the Egyptian work and borrowed from it."
In his chapter on "Egypt and Israel" in The Legacy of Egypt (Second Edition), Ronald William cites a passage in which Amenemope admonishes resoluteness of mind in the following terms: "Keep your intellect steadfast; do not steer with your tongue, a person's tongue is the steering-oar of a boat." William points out that this image survived into the Bible in the following form: "Look at ships... though they are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder... so also the tongue is a little member and yet makes the most boasts".
For generations, scholarly debate has raged over the question of monotheism in Egypt -- whether the Ancient Egyptians believed in one supreme god who evolved into a celestial reflection of the earthly sovereign (i.e. who was made in the likeness, and with the qualities, of earthly kingship), alongside the provincial gods depicted in tomb and temple relief.
For Egyptologist Gaston Maspero and the authors of The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man, the Egyptians were primarily polytheists. However, the contrary opinion prevailed among earlier experts. The French scholar Emmanuel de Rougé (1868) was convinced that the Ancient Egyptian religion was originally and fundamentally monotheistic, and he was followed in this, with certain reservations, by the British Egyptologist and historian of religion Peter le Page Renouf, who published his Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion 10 years later. Among researchers of the next generation, Heinrich Brugsch collected striking passages from a wide range of texts to support his conviction that the Ancient Egyptian religion was a pure form of monotheism; Paul Pieret found clear evidence in these texts that the Ancient Egyptians believed in One Infinite and Eternal God; and Auguste Mariette shared this interpretation, as did James Breasted.
These days, there is a tendency to turn back to the excavations and studies of early scholars, to reassess their work in the light of objects and archaeological evidence which they might have overlooked, and to re-evaluate their conclusions. Perhaps the time is also ripe to re-open the case of how much ancient Hebrew doctrine may owe to Egyptian sources.
© Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved
Photo: The Hieroglyphic Alphabet. Egyptian is the parent stock of the Hebrew language. A simple comparison of both alphabets will bear this out. The "Egyptian" I am referring to here is NOT the Arabic dialect spoken in Egypt today BUT to the language of Ancient Egypt which was (is) an independent Afroasiatic language.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Is Christianity an Offshoot of the Egyptian Mystery System?
by Ghelawdewos Araia
April 7, 2007
Over the last two decades I was engaged in extensive research in African and international studies, which are in effect the domain of my specialization and vocation. My research particularly focused on African cosmology, ontology, and epistemology. In due course of my investigative inquiry, I have encountered fascinating similarities in cultures and belief systems and hence this title for our present discussion.
In 1996 in one of my articles entitled What is Wrong with Afrocentrism? I argued the following, “There is no doubt that the mythology of Osiris and Isis is the foundation for the Judeo-Christian tradition: The concept of metempsychosis [the transmigration of the soul after death], the myth of the jealous brother who kills his twin (Set kills Osiris), the idea of resurrection (Osiris came back to life), the last judgment (Osiris presides over the Last Judgment), the first Madonna (Isis).”1
The ancient Egyptians virtually gave us all major attributes of civilization: agriculture (irrigation), architecture (pyramids, obelisks, temples etc), mathematics (numerical and standard measures), medicine (Imhotep’s legacy –he is the first physician, not Hippocrates-, herbal pharmacology, anatomy, mummification etc), art of government (Egypt is the first nation), and collection of wealth. These magnificent Egyptian contributions are manifestations of ancient African philosophy, ontology, and cosmology. In brief, Kemetic (Kemet is ancient Egypt) philosophy was not simply an abstraction of primordial wisdom but a specification of conceptualization, a body of formally represented knowledge, and a systematic account of life experience. The latter, in effect, was systematically woven into the Egyptian cosmology of spatio-temporal relations of the universe, and this ultimately led the Egyptians to their mystery system (theology) in general and the creation theories in particular.
With respect to the creation of the universe, there are two important Egyptian documents, namely the On (Ani) or Heliopolis Creation Narrative and the Memphite Declaration of Deities. In both narratives, the Spoken Word was central to the creation of all beings, animate and inanimate. As per the On account, “all things are brought into existence through the spoken word; nothing that exists is without the word being spoken…” Similarly, in the Memphite Declaration, “Ptah taught that aspects of himself are manifested in all nature, in the mouth of all gods, and in every human, and in animals, plants and all other living beings. Thus, whatever Ptah conceived came into being through utterance…and the nine deities of Ptah came forth from the teeth and lips in his mouth which pronounced the name of everything, from which Shu and Tefnut also came forth.”2
The spoken word of Egyptian theology, the On and Memphite, were documented during the Sixth Dynasty (2300-2150 B. C. ) and the Tenth Dynasty (2135-2133 B. C. ) respectively. Later on, it was adopted by the Judeo-Christian tradition in Genesis: At the beginning there was word! And it is in Genesis that we encounter the creation of all universe and all living beings including Adam and Eve. And on the Seventh day, God rested. As we shall see later, ‘seven’ (7) for the Egyptians signified ‘completion’.
Long before Adam and Eve, however, the first humans were Shu, Tefnut, Osiris and Isis and as noted above, Osiris (Ausar) was killed by his brother Set but he was resurrected to life. This story (or mythology if you will) is replicated by the Abel and Cain story in the Bible. In both instances, we have now witnessed the first murder incident among humans.
The creation of Adam also finds antecedence in many African creation theories, most notably the Yoruba mythology in which Olorun (the Sky God) fashioned Odudwa (the founding father of Oyo) out of dirt, breath unto him and gave him life. However, unlike Odudwa and Adam, who were essentially human and down-to-earth, Osiris was elevated to the stature of the gods. Thus, according to Ani the Scribe, hymn to Osiris goes as follows: “Praise be unto Osiris Un-Nefer, the great god who dwelleth in Abtu, king of eternity, lord of everlastingness, who passes through millions of years in his existence. He is the firstborn son.”3
As we shall see below in some detail, Osiris, the son-of-god (and in a different context god himself) is very much like Jesus Christ. “There is nothing in the texts which justifies the assumption that Osiris knew,” says Wallis Budge, “that he would rise from the dead and that he would become the king and judge of the dead, or that the Egyptians believed that Osiris died on their behalf and rose again in order that they also might rise from the dead. But from first to last the resurrection of Osiris is the great and distinguishing feature of the Egyptian religion, for Osiris was the first fruits of the dead, and every worshipper of Osiris based his own hope of resurrection and immortality upon the fundamental fact of the resurrection of Osiris.” 4
For Ethiopians of Orthodox Christian faith, Easter or Fasika, more than Christmas, is ‘the great and distinguishing feature of their religion.’ Fasika for Ethiopians is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection and a grand holiday after the long lent. However, pre-Christian Ethiopians may have also celebrated Osiris’ triumph, for the ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris traveled to Ethiopia and took his son Horus (Apollo in Greek), Anubis, Macedo, Pan and other talented individuals. During his stay in Ethiopia, he taught the Ethiopians the art of farming and husbandry, art of government, and the construction of canals to control the flow of the Nile.
Osiris was also the first to make and drink wine and he taught the Egyptians how to manage a vineyard as well as process and preserve wine. It is common knowledge to all people of (the) Christian faith that Christ not only enjoyed drinking wine but he also blessed it as his attribute to his own blood.
In the Book of the Dead Osiris declares, “I am the Great One, son of the Great One… I am Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow…I am the Soul, which is god. I am the Souls of everlastingness, and my body is eternity. My form is everlastingness.” This is incredibly similar to what Jesus Christ preached to the Jews and Gentiles or believers and non-believers alike.
Isis like her brother and husband Osiris is invoked in Christian theology as Eve or as Mary. In fact the first Christian hermits in Egypt were compelled to associate St. Mary with Isis and Jesus with Horus (the son of Osiris) and their rationale is justified because Isis claims that she is the divine among women and she ‘burdened women with the newborn babe in the tenth month’, ‘ordained that parents should be beloved by their children’ and she would ‘inflict retribution on those that feel no love for their parents’. Above all, Isis claims that she is ‘the eldest daughter of Keb (Earth-god), and for this apparent reason, now historians (especially Afrocentrists) depict Isis as the first Madonna.
What I personally found an interesting commonality between Isis and the Ethiopian Christian tradition is the fact that Isis is credited for establishing lent and instructing the ancient Egyptians to fast from meat and fish and to observe celibacy during the entire period of lent. Isis may have not traveled to Ethiopia as her husband did, but it looks that she had a profound clout on the Ethiopian Christian doctrine in whatever form the latter is incorporated into the dogma of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Beyond Egypt, Osiris and Isis were worshipped in the Aegean, Crete, Greece, Italy, and other neighboring countries such as Nubia, Ethiopia, and Libya. In point of fact, around 80 B. C. the Italians founded an institute by the name College of the Servants of Isis in Rome and by 44 B. C. the Italians had affixed festival dates for Isis and Osiris in their official calendar.
There is no doubt that Isis may have existed conceptually among Ethiopians although there is no credible evidence documented in Ethiopian historiography (at least for now), but some Ethiopian names are similar to Isis’ (Aset or Eset in Egyptian). Moreover, even if we cannot prove the existence of Isis in pre-Christian Ethiopia, the similarities between St. Mary and Isis indeed makes the latter the first Madonna as stated earlier, and this is why: “Egyptian inscriptions do not mention any tomb of Isis. Whether the Egyptians believed that she passed from this world to the Other World unchanged in respect to her body cannot be said, but there is little doubt that, at least in the latest days of her cult in Egypt, it was her immunity from death which most impressed the Egyptians and the nations around and made them to exalt her powers over those of Osiris.”5 The ascension of Mary (and Elijah before her) clearly corroborates the Egyptian mythology of the powers to negate death.
Going back to Osiris again, we find the most fascinating similarities between himself and Christ in the second coming and the Day of Judgment. In Judgment Day the dead will face the presiding judge Osiris and make confessions as follows:
I never took away anything by force from any man
I never did an act of oppression to any man
I was beloved by my father, praised by my mother, well disposed toward my brother, sweet-tempered with my sister
I never spake evil of any kind
I gave bread to the hungry man and clothes to the naked
I never gave a verdict in a case between two brothers
The confession and the judgment takes place in the Hall of the Two Maat (Truth and Justice) whereby Goddesses are seated by the doors and holding the scepter of ‘serenity’ in the right hand and ‘ankh’ (life) in the left. Also in the Hall is present the symbolic scale of Maat and two-and-forty gods (42 gods) or spirits to whom the confessor declares his innocence. Incidentally, the 42 gods could find parallel to 44 spirit saints in the Ethiopian context. Gonder, for instance, is famous for its forty-four Adbarat (abode of the spirits).
The Declaration of Innocence (aka "The Negative Confessions"), as documented in the Papyrus of Ani or the Book of the Dead (18th Dynasty, 1550-1305 B. C.) is an elaborate version of the confessions enumerated above and sequentially runs as follows:
1)I have not done iniquity
2)I have not robbed with violence
3)I have not stolen
4)I have done no murder
5)I have not defrauded offerings
6)I have not diminished oblations
7)I have not plundered the gods
8)I have spoken no lies
9)I have not snatched away food
10)I have not caused pain
11)I have not committed fornication
12)I have not caused shedding of tears
13)I have not dealt deceitfully
14)I have not transgressed
15)I have not acted guilefully
16)I have not laid waste the ploughed land
17)I have not been an eavesdropper
18)I have not set my lips in motion against any man
19)I have not been angry and wrathful except for a just cause
20)I have not defiled the wife of any man
21)I have not defiled the wife of any man*
22)I have not polluted myself
23)I have not caused terror
24)I have not transgressed**
25)I have not burned with rage
26)I have not stopped my ears against the words of Right and Truth
27)I have not worked grief
28)I have not acted with insolence
29)I have not stirred up strife
30)I have not judged hastily
31)I have not been (a) eavesdropper***
32)I have not multiplied words exceedingly
33)I have done neither harm nor ill
34)I have never cursed the king
35)I have not worked treason
36)I have never befouled the water
37)I have not spoken scornfully
38)I have not cursed God
39)I have not acted with arrogance
40)I have not been overweeningly proud
41)I have never magnified my condition beyond what was fitting
42)I have never slighted the god in my town.6
Any intelligent person who reads the Bible in general and the Ten Commandments in particular could be perplexed by the input of Egyptian theology in Christian dogma although believers generally tend to deny any plausible logical deduction that may unseat the foundation of their respective religions. The fact, however, remains steadfast. After all Moses was Egyptian and the disciple of Amenhotep (Akhenaten) who popularized (not invented) monotheism in Egypt. Although the Egyptian mystery system was predominantly polytheistic, early on during the course of the Egyptian civilization monotheism was pretty much established with a low profile. Thus, the Jews, Christians and Moslems borrowed the idea of one god from the Egyptians. (emphasis mine)
On top of the many similarities and shared dogmas between Egyptian theology and Christianity, the two belief systems are allegorically connected. For instance, Egyptian magical numbers such as 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, and 12 do not only represent simple computation but they also symbolically reflect philosophy, ontology and cosmology as related to human nature and truth. For example 3 represents the manifestation of Osiris-Harmachis-Temu, a triad (3) representing the morning sun, the evening sun, and the night sun. The triad manifestations in Christianity, of course, are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost that constitute the Trinity. Christians believe that Christ rose from the dead three days after he was dead and buried. In many traditional African societies, the accused or the sickly invokes the name of God three times in order to absolve him or herself from his/her crime or be cured from ill health. Among the Yoruba a nursing mother and child pass three times through [sacred] dripping water poured on top of the thatched roof of their house. In Ethiopia, especially in the areas of Tigrigna and Amharic speakers, if a female baby is born the women gathered to celebrate and welcome the newly born ululate three times.
Four (4) represents the four sons of Horus or the grandsons of Osiris, and in turn, the four cardinal points of East, West, North, and South. Depicted like the pharaohs, Osiris holds in his hands four symbols of stability, life, serenity, and power (dominion). “Moreover, in Egyptian astrology, we encounter the four gods of Amset (man), Hapi (ape), Tuamutef (jackal) and Gebhsennuf (hawk) which became the Four Beasts of lion, calf, man, and eagle in Christianity (Book of Revelation).” 7 Egyptian mythologies further symbolize plethora of ideas such as the Four Rejoicing Ones, Four Nemset Vases, Four Faces, Four gods etc. In many traditional African societies the Four Elements that characterize human nature are the body, the soul, the double, and the shadow.
The number 5 was associated with sacrifice. According to Plutarch and other classical historians Osiris was born on the first of the five epagomenal days of the Egyptian year and as per Biblical prophesy Christ was to be born five and half days (interpreted as 5,500 years) after Adam and was to be sacrificed in order to cleanse humanity from its sins, very much like the role of Osiris. The five times of incense in Christian orthodoxy refer to 1) Abel, Genesis 4:24; 2) Noah, Genesis 8:20; 3) Melkhizedek, Genesis 14:18; 4) Aaron in Leviticus, 9, and 5) Zacharia in Luke 1:8, and these Biblical personas are men who offered accepted sacrifices by the Lord. In praise of these altruistic men, the priest and the deacon burn incense and go around the altar three (3) times. The five pillars and five prayers per day of Islam most likely correspond to the incense ritual of Christianity.
As has already been stated seven (7) represents completion for the Egyptians. After a child was born, it was in the Egyptian tradition to wash the baby with water or oil and the latter signifies the Seven Holy Oils used in the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony. Likewise after a male child is born in Ethiopia (especially in the central and northern regions) the women ululate seven times. The nursing Yoruba woman that we encountered earlier would perform the three times walk seven days after her child is born. In the Book of Gates of the Egyptians, there are the symbolic seven stands for seven gods. Moreover, in Egyptian theology we come across the Seven Hathors, the Seven Arits, the Seven Cows, the Seven Uraei, the Seven Spirits, and the Seven-headed Serpent. In almost similar fashion, seven is prefixed with either animals or spirits in the Book of Revelation. Nowadays, humanity in general is stuck in the number 7 even if the subject does not logically represent seven: the seven wonders of the world, the seven seas, the Group of Seven etc or in more practical terms the seven days of the week or the seven sounds (vowels) of each Ethiopian character of the alphabet. The pious Muslims during pilgrimage walk seven times around the Kaaba and the Luminaries, by the same token, believe in the Seven Chakras (Sanskrit) or energy points of the human body and they assemble in Egypt and walk around the pyramid seven times.
Nine (9) also represents completeness and finality in Egyptian philosophy. The company of the Gods contained nine members and during judgment day, thus, Osiris was accompanied by nine gods who stand on the nine steps that lead to the pedestal where Osiris is seated on a chair. Moreover, we have Nine Mourners, Nine Watchers, Nine Task-masters, and Nine Holders of the Rope for measuring land. In most African societies nine symbolizes sacredness and to be sure there are the most revered Nine Saints in Ethiopia.
Twelve was essentially the 12 points of the Zodiac in Egyptian astronomy but later the Egyptians calculated the revolution of our planet earth after studying the lunar movements. Hence 12x30= 360 plus 5 days for harvest would be 365 days, the calendar that all of us use to this day. In fact, like the Egyptian or Coptic calendar, the Ethiopian Calendar has 12x30 days plus five or epagomenal days. By the same token, the Jewish calendar known as sod ha-ibbur is a derivation of the Egyptian system of intercalating the solar and lunar cycles. In the Book Am-Tuat the Egyptians have illustrations of 12 serpents. Christians then took the Egyptian 12 to mean the twelve Apostles as astronomers did for 12 months. In most African societies the kings council or judges were 12 in number.
There is no doubt that Judaism evolved out of Egyptian polytheism, and Christianity and Islam followed suit. Where else could their origin be? (emphasis mine)
1)Ghelawdewos Araia, “What is Wrong With Afrocentrism?” African Link, Vol. 5, No. 5, 1996
2)Molefi Kete Asante and Abu S. Abarry (editors), African Intellectual Heritage, Temple University Press, 1996, pp. 12-16
3)E. A. Wallis Budge, OSIRIS & The Egyptian Resurrection, Vol. II, Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1973, p. 66
4)Wallis Budge, Vol. I, pp. 312-313
5)Wallis Budge, Vol. II, p. 280
6)Asante and Abarry, pp. ibid, 73-74
7)Ghelawdewos Araia, ibid
#21 is repeated because it is addressed specifically to the two-headed serpent
#24 is repeated because it is addressed to the ‘Destroyer’
#31 is repeated because it is addressed to Sekherui
Copyright © IDEA, Inc. April 7, 2007. Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia can be contacted for educational and constructive feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's Note: There are many who would like to take (and have taken) the information contained in this piece, and similar pieces, to discredit the authority of the Bible. I am NOT one of those people. Those who do so are FALSE TEACHERS! In fact, I believe the Egyptian influences on Christianity and Judaism, in particular, confirm the truth of the Bible. I have no problem accepting the Egyptian prefigurations of Christ, in particular, and of the Bible in general. As Biblicists, we must understand that it was the sons of Ham that were first endowed with the wires of the revelation of God after the flood. The sons of Ham were Cush (Ethiopia/Nubia), Mizraim (Egypt), Phut, and Canaan (Phoenicia, Palestine). And from Cush, Nimrod was born. The mainstays of Nimrod's kingdom were Babel (Babylon), Erech, Accad, Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From Babylon came the Hammurabi's law, which was in place approximately 1,000 years before the Mosaic law . The Egyptian Negative Confessions, as shared in this article predated the Mosaic law, at least 1500 years. So what is my point? God had been speaking to mankind, long before the coming of the Hebrews, whom I acknowledge as my ancestors, by the way. In fact, it was out of Ham's son Canaan, that a land space was promised to Israel. The Most High later transmitted the knowledge of Himself to Israel (sons of Shem, Eber is actually the progenitor of the Hebrew nation, NOT Abraham), whom he chose to be his corporate prophet on earth. As the fullness of the Gentiles (Japheth) draws to a close, Israel shall reclaim her glorious destiny and rule the world, alongside her Messiah Jesus Christ, or whatever Hebrew designation you choose to call him by (Yeshua, Yehoshua, Yahshua, Yahushua, Yahawashi, etc.) Shalom.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
"But did they also influence Christianity?"
BY SARAH BLASKOVICH
We know they invented...
•the concept of modern time
The Egyptians invented the 365 day calendar, which they split up into 12 months. They also invented the sundial, which helped them to break down the day into morning, afternoon and night.
•grooming instruments and hand tools
The Egyptians are credited with inventing scissors, hair combs, the toothbrush and toothpaste, and cosmetics. Other tools include the lock and key, the loom, oil lamps and the drum.
The Egyptians created board games for recreation. The most popular were Senet and Jackals, each player receiving 5 or more pawns, similar to checkers. They also invented the Ouija board, used to tell the future.
The Egyptians developed an advanced math and organized science system. They invented math to measure time, count money, and to build the pyramids. Some classifications they invented include geometry, calculus, astronomy and botany.
But did they also influence Christianity? (emphasis mine)
A long time ago, a man was born of a virgin in the likeness of God. After spreading messages of love and peace in his early life, he was betrayed by his friends and slain on a slab of wood. He was then resurrected on Earth before returning to heaven.
The man’s name isn’t Jesus. It’s Osiris, the god-man of ancient Egypt.
Didn’t hear this in Bible study? No wonder; Osiris is thought to have lived a good 2,500 years before Jesus’ birth. Although the significance of Osiris, who was considered “god of the dead,” paled in comparison to that of Christ’s, the two men’s stories are strikingly similar.
It’s not by accident, said Lisa Ann Bargeman, author of a new book, “The Egyptian Origins of Christianity.”
Bargeman asserts that many Christian rituals and beliefs, specifically Roman Catholic ones, may have come from ancient Egyptian tradition. Her book juxtaposes the Bible with the Egyptian sacred text, The Book of the Dead, using specific themes and ceremonial practices to argue that Christianity directly evolved from the Egyptians.
One telling piece of evidence, Bargeman says, is the Christian use of the word “Amen,” which is a derivative of Amon, the Egyptian god of reproduction and life.
“For literally an eternity, human beings have been addressing their gods in the same way,” Bargeman said via e-mail.
Although others, most notably the religious scholar and theological historian Martin A. Larson, have made the same connection between Christianity and ancient Egyptian myths, most Christians are unaware of the similarities. While there are many clues to suggest Christianity’s roots can be traced to Greek, or Hellenic times, which began about 300 years before Christ’s birth during the development of Judaism, stories about Egyptian influences and other perceived “pagan” legends make some Christians uneasy.
“The reason for such denial is that Christianity is always presented as the only true religion, the only way to salvation, and as such, it could not have borrowed anything from a religion they have dubbed heathen or pagan,” Harrison Ola Akingbade, an Anglican Christian himself, wrote in the foreword of Bargeman’s book.
Bargeman first recognized the correlation between Christendom and Egyptian history when she heard a college professor suggest that Christianity was rooted in a ritual more ancient than popular culture believed. The story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace, for example, has correlations to the Egyptian legend of Re and Sekhmet, another couple prideful in the face of God who punished them for their sins.
Other links between Egyptian religious practice and Christianity include the Trinity. When Christians say “In the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” they mean, according to Bargeman, “in the name of Khnum-Atum/Aten-Re-Ptah, Osiris-Horus, and of Min/Amen.”
Not quite as catchy, but the ancient Egyptian gods assumed the same identities — father, son and spirit — that Christians worship.
Akingbade, an African scholar who discussed the Egyptian and Christian correlations as an undergraduate student in Nigeria, said among scholars, these similarities are nothing new.
“We’ve been talking about this forever,” he said. “Instead of talking about it in classes like I did, [Bargeman] made sense of it.”
Others, however, argue that not even the Greeks and Romans had much influence on Christianity, and that an attempt to bring the ancient Egyptian into the discussion is misguided. Larry Hurtado, professor of the New Testament at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, considers the Egyptian influence on Christianity trifling.
“The most immediate culture or matrix is that of Palestinian-Jewish people of that time and setting,” Hurtado said in an e-mail. “Identifiably Egyptian influence is negligible.”
Bargeman’s thesis has already been exhausted, Hurtado said.
“This is actually quite a tiresome aspect of being a scholar in my field, that books keep appearing with the author and uninformed readers breathlessly announcing its radicality and novelty, when time after time it is simply a re-tread of an idea or claim refuted long ago,” Hurtado said.
But despite the challenges from some historians, including those who take issue with Bargeman’s interpretations of some Egyptian symbols, she said she has received little criticism from Christians themselves.
“If you are a firm believer in Christ, then use the Egyptian religion as a modifier for what you currently believe,” she said. “Perhaps you can use the story of the eternal regeneration of Khepri — a baby and a god in one unified state of constant reawakening — at Christmas, and relate it to your Christian ceremonies. Or you can watch a beautiful heron, lake side, fly up to the sky, carrying with it the wistful idea of our soul-ba as Benu-bird, the heron-esque spirit.”
Although Bargeman’s thesis has been debated by Egyptologists for some time now, Akingbade said Bargeman’s book is important to understanding and acknowledging Egyptian history. He has purchased several copies for his Christian friends in Africa.
“Most of my friends said it was really good,” Akingbade said. “It’s a contribution to scholarship.”
Original Post Date: Sunday, April 23, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:05 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is not for the faint of heart. After researching this topic, I see strong parallels between Ancient Egyptian religious philosophy and Christianity. I would even further suggest that the former has heavily influenced the latter in terms of doctrine. Being a "Christian" myself, I don't see this understanding as an assault upon my faith in Christ but a confirmation of it. It must be understood that the wirings of the revelation of God were initially given to the sons of Ham and later transmitted to the sons of Shem, namely the Israelites. This is borne out by Scripture in the Genesis account. Lastly, the Scriptures did not evolve in an exclusive religious vacuum, but to the contrary, flourished in an intriguing historical diversity.
Photo: Akhenaten. This pharaoh popularized monotheism in ancient Egypt. He ruled circa 1380-1362 BC. Akhenaten was the predecessor of Tutankamen, and husband of Nefertiti. His radical revision of Egyptian polytheism to monothesim temporarily ushered in a period of artistic freedom an innovation in Egypt known as Amarna Art. Amana art was a departure from the rigid portraitures of pharaonic rulers into more soft and naturalistic ones, as the one shown above.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
What Happened to the Marranos, the Black Moorish Jews of Spain?
Beginning in 1478, in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, no less than 13,000 Marranos (Black Jews) were executed by the Inquisition. At the same time, the monarchs continued to employ Jewish functionaries – such as Don Isaac Abravanel – in their court. Luis de Torres another Spanish black Jew played a pivotal role in Christoph Colon’s (Cristobal Colon, or Christopher Columbus) first journey to North America.
In 1480s the Spanish inquisition was launched, and hundreds of thousands of jews and muslims were hounded, persecuted, jailed, slaved and deported.
On March 31, 1492 the Edict of Expulsion was signed, resulting in 300,000 Marranos Black Jews to the coast of Benin/Guinea in West Africa. Sao Tome, Principe, Cabo Verde were some of the places that they were first sent. Their cemetries, and descendants still exist today on those Islands to verify this account.
The last Jews left on August 2, 1492, the day before Columbus sailed. The first words Columbus wrote in his log were: “After you expelled the Jews your majesties sent me with a fleet.”
That was also the traditional day of mourning (9th of Av) for the destruction of the First and Second Temples.
In 1694, the 17th Council of Toledo made all Spanish Jews slaves. They were shipped to the Island of Jamaica and Hispaniola. Others went to Sao Tome, Cabo Verde, and Mauritius. Many of them escaped the Spanish jurisdiction and began independent communes in the hinterlands or the mountains. The Spanish word “Marroons” is a play on their Spanish ethnic designation the “Marranos” (rather than “cimarron” root the conventionally accepted root).
Marranos (means Moorish Jews in Spanish) were the black Jews of Spain who ruled that country for 700 years with the black Muslims of Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria.
Extracted from the article, "The Marranos: The Black Moorish Jews of Spain and Benin (Guinean) Coast-Part 1" by Oguejiofo Annu.
Photo: Map of Spain 910-1492, posted at EmersonKent.com, originally from Cambridge University Press.
Friday, September 3, 2010
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post is an expansion upon the "Who Are the Gentiles?" article posted on September 2, 2010.
What color are the Israelites?
Let's begin this study in Genesis 10 . Here we see that everyone on earth descended from the three sons of Noah. Noah, his wife, their sons, and their son's wives were saved by Yahweh from the Great Flood that Yahweh brought upon the earth, killing all of Adam's seed except for Seth. There is not a descendent of Cain, or Abel, alive today. Noah descended from Seth.
Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. The sons of JAPHETH; GOMER, and Magog, and Madai, and JAVAN, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of GOMER; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of JAVAN; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
An in-depth Bible Encyclopedia shows that Magog is Russia today, Javan are the Greeks, and ALL the seed of Japheth are the EUROPEAN people. Let's see what the biblical name of the Europeans are.
By THESE (sons of Japheth) were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; everyone after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
The word "Gentile" ALWAYS begin with a capital "G," as opposed
to "nations," "heathens," "maritime peoples," and "coastland peoples." It may be quite obvious to many of you that I'm not a scholar in English usage, but one thing I do know is that you can't properly substitute an improper noun for a proper noun. First of all, Shem and Ham begat nations also, and wherever the sons of Ham and Shem lived they had water (maritime), a coast (coastland), and they were heathens also. So why do these other Bible translations use those deceitful, and meaningless terms in Genesis 10:5 instead of "the isle of the GENTILES?" I guess I've answered my own question.
Check your Bible version. If it uses any of those phrases above which are listed in Genesis 10:5, then now you know how it is supposed to read.
Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles. All of these that he wrote, the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Thessalonians, except for his own kinsmen, the Hebrews, were European/Gentiles. This is why you don't see a book for the Ethiopians, the Egyptians, and the Assyrians, because these nations had already had converts, and knew of the Elohim of Israel. The Gentiles did not. The prophets, at various times were sent preaching to Hamitic and Shemitic nations throughout the Old Testament period. One example is when Jonah was sent to the Assyrians, and the king and nation repented. Israel had always been a mixed-multitude, but the Gentiles were never a part of the congregation of Israel. We will read this point later.
Now though, let's note that according to the last passage we read, we were separated according to the tongue Yah gave our ancestors that lived during the building of the Tower of Babel as recorded in Genesis 11. We were NOT separated according to the color of our skin. This is why there are many nationalities of the same skin complexion. Using skin color as a means of division or identification is confusion. Another fallacy that we are all victims of is the notion that the union of two people of various nationalities produced "mixed children." This is incorrect. The lineage goes according to what your father is. You are what HE is. He planted the seed, just as an apple seed is planted in the ground. What comes up is what was planted. This is why, regardless of what nationality the women ancestry that Yahshua had was, he was an Israelite according to his fathers (patriarchal) lineage. Somebody tell me where does modern-day "Judaism" get the notion that you are a Jew according to your matriarchal lineage. EDITOR'S DISCLAIMER: THE BIBLE CLEARLY STATES THAT CHRIST WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN...AND THAT THE MOST HIGH IS HIS FATHER. IT WAS A MIRACULOUS BIRTH, INDEED. GOD IS NOT AN ISRAELITE OR ANY NATIONALITY FOR THAT MATTER. IT WAS THROUGH THE LINEAGE OF MARY THAT JESUS OBTAINED HIS ISRAELITE IDENTITY AND NATIONALITY.
And the sons of HAM; Cush, Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
These four sons are the "progenitors of the "African" peoples. "African" is really an inaccurate name for these people, reason being, the word "Africa" derived from an Italian General named Scipio Africanus. He conquered that land mass called Africa for the Italians. Africa, the land mass, does not extend east of Egypt. Africa ends at the man-made Suez canal which was built to separate Africa from the "Middle East". Geographically, the land of Ham extends far beyond the Suez Canal. The land of Canaan (the fourth son of Ham) is located east of the Suez Canal. The Hittites, which descended from Canaan, dwelled even further north.
Let's see who descended out of these four sons of Ham. The Cushites name were changed by the Greeks to "Ethiopia," which is translated from the word "Athiop" which means "burnt-faced." Mizraim's name was changed by the Greeks also to Egypt. Egypt means "black." Present day Egypt have been comprised of mostly Arabs since they conquered the land in the sixth century. This is how the Hamites (African people) became (converted to) Islam. Most black Muslims refuse to accept this fact. The descendents of Phut are the ancient Libyans. Libya now is also an Arab-dominated land. The Caananites' land is the Promised Land given to the Israelites.
And Cush begat Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth...And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel.
Yahweh has given the seed of each of the three sons of Noah, a time to rule. The Hamites ruled first, beginning with the Ethiopians. Nimrod, as stated earlier, was an Ethiopian.
Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber,...
(Why was Eber, the great grandson of Shem, singled out here?)
...the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
The children of Shem;...
(ALL of the descendents of Shem are called SEMITIC.)
...Elam, and Asshur, (the father of the Assyrians) and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram...
...And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber. And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in HIS DAYS WAS THE EARTH DIVIDED; and his brother's name was Joktan.
Now we see the significance of Eber. Eber was alive during the scattering of the nations at the Tower of Babel. The name "Eber" means "to pass over" and it is translated to "Hebrew." Eber is the father of the Hebrews, not Abraham, as many people think. God gave Eber the tongue that was spoken by his descendents, and that is the Hebrew tongue. In Genesis 11 we see that Abraham descended from Eber. Abraham's seed includes the Ishmaelites, the Midianites, the Edomites, and the Israelites.
Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat twins Jacob (Israel) and Esau. The birth of the twins were on "this wise." (I always wanted to say that)
Genesis 25:21-26 And Isaac intreated Yahweh for his wife, because she was barren: and Yahweh was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of Yahweh. And YAHWEH said unto her, TWO NATIONS are in thy womb, and TWO MANNER OF PEOPLE shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
Now remember, Elohim told Rebekah that there were two nations and two manner of people in her womb. We are about to read the first difference between these twins.
And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel;...
Esau looked different from the rest of Isaac's family. We know this because Jacob's features were not described. And for him to be the first-born, Esau had to have been a sight for him to have had to be described. At this time, I won't get into what went on between Jacob and Esau, and their eternal battle, but I will sum it up to present day.
The Edomites, (descendents of Esau) converted to Judaism in 125 BC by the Maccabees. They eventually formed their own religious sect called the Herodians. The Pharisees (to their own destruction) conspired with the Herodians regularly, to tempt Yahshuah. (Mark 12:13) At that time, the region of Judaea was ruled (thanks to the Romans) by the Herods. When the Romans laid seige to Jerusalem in 67-70 AD, King Herod Agrippa II, and his kinsmen, the Edomites (Idumeans), no longer called themselves by their name. They have been known as the Jews, since. But now that we see that Israel looked totally different from Esau, lets see if we can see who the Israelites looked like. In Exodus we read about the time when Pharaoh commanded that all newborn male Israelites be cast into the river. One Levite (a tribe of Israel) woman bore a son and she hid him as long as she could until she eventually obeyed Pharoah. She put her son in the river, but she put him in an ark first. This child was put in the river among flags so that it wouldn't move so that Miriam, his sister, could see what would become of him.
Pharoah's daughter found him where Miriam put him among the flags and SHE called his name MOSES, and she raised him as her own son. Moses lived as an Egyptian until he killed an Egyptian and fled Egypt. He came to a well in Midian, and defended the daughters of Reuel, the priest of Midian. When Reuel asked his daughters how they happened to water the flock so soon.
Exodus 2:19 And they said, An EGYPTIAN delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds,...
Now if Moses was white, or any other color than black, would Reuel's daughters thought that Moses was an Egyptian?
Of course not.
Now after Yahweh instructs Moses concerning his mission to deliver Israel out of Egypt, YAHWEH give Moses powerful signs whereby he would cause the Israelites to believe that Yahweh sent him. One of the two signs was featured in the movie "The Ten Commandments." The greater of the two signs was not.
Exodus 4:2-3,6-8 And Yahweh said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, a rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent... (This sign was in the movie(s), the next sign was not)
...And Yahweh said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thine bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold his hand was leprous as snow.
Now why didn't Charlton Heston perform THIS sign?
And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again...and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.
So neither Jacob, nor Joseph, nor Moses, looked "red" like the Jewish (Edomites) people, or white like the Gentiles, they were all black like the Egyptians.
Moses sister, Miriam, spoke out against Moses because he had married an ETHIOPIAN woman. This is what Yahweh did to Miriam.
Numbers 12:10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow...
Now if Miriam was white or "red," why did he turn her white. Why not turn her the same color as the Ethiopian woman since she made herself to be better than her. Miriam was ALREADY the same color of the Ethiopian woman, so he turned her white instead. Leviticus 13, mentions two kinds of leprosy, clean and unclean. Leprosy, is a skin disease, and the unclean leprosy is when blotches appear on the skin. Clean leprosy is when your skin turns white. On this note, I have to ask the Mormons, how in the world can Israelites, like the so-called Lamanites could have been cursed with dark skin when the only skin color curse that any Israelites experienced according to the Bible, was the turning of their skin white? Joseph Smith had a WILD imagination!
In Matthew 2, Joseph, Miriam, and Yahshua, fled from Herod, the Edomite king of Judaea and hid in Egypt among other black people, just as Moses "hid" from death in Egypt. Even the apostle Paul was mistaken for an Egyptian. An Israelite have never been mistaken for any other nationality that wasn't black.
Acts 21:37-39 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?
ART NOT THOU THAT EGYPTIAN, which before...But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew...
When the evil and diabolical Hitler had the "jewish" people in the concentration camps, many of them were in a famine. Their skin was a pale white. When the Babylonians laid seige against Israel, the Israelites were also in a famine. This is how the prophet Jeremiah described it.
Lamentations 5:9-10 We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness. OUR SKIN WAS BLACK LIKE AN OVEN BECAUSE OF THE TERRIBLE FAMINE.
When brown or black people get sick, or don't eat for a long time, they get darker. When white or "red" people get sick or don't eat... they get pale.
This chapter, as well as the entire book was not meant to offend anyone and I'm sorry if it does. This chapter's only purpose was to help shed light on a subject that have been a subject of debate in these modern times. Now that we know that the Israelites are black, lets find out how we can identify them.
See you in the next chapter.
Grace & Peace in Yahshua
EDITOR'S NOTE: People will become infuriated over the discussion of the ethnicity and "color" of the Israelites because it DEFIES conventional paradigms of how we view the Biblical peoples, particularly the children of Israel.