Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Mark of Cain




Alice C. Linsley

There has been much speculation about the mark of Cain (Genesis 4:15). What was the mark that the Creator placed on him as a protective sign? To answer this question, more information about Cain's context is needed. The Bible tells us that Cain was a city builder and a ruler. He was one of the "mighty men of old." His descendants were craftsmen, some of whom worked metal (Genesis 4). This places Cain in the Neolithic Period, between B.C. 4000 and 3000.

Genesis presents contradictory views about Cain's father. In one view, Cain is Adam's son, born of Eve. Genesis 4:1 says, "Adam knew/lay (yadah) with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain." It should be noted that the Hebrew and the Greek versions do not explicitly name Adam in this verse. Instead they read, "The man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain." Contrast this with Genesis 4:25 which says "Adam knew his wife again, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Seth." Why is Adam not named as Cain's father in Genesis 4:1 while Adam is explicitly named as Seth's father in Genesis 4:25?

Genesis explicitly states that Eve gave birth to the ruler whose royal line is listed in Genesis 4. When Eve gives birth in Genesis 4:2 she declares kan-itti. The Bible scholar E.A. Speiser noted that Qany(ty) or Qanitti is related to the Akkadian itti, as in itti Å¡arrim, which means "with the king." Akkadian was the language of Nimrod's territory (c. BC 2290-2215) and according to Genesis 10 Nimrod was a Kushite ruler.  It is not surprising then to find that Akkadian shares many roots and words with Nilotic languages. Among the Oromo of Ethiopia and Somalia, itti is attached to names. Examples include Kaartuumitti, Finfinneetti, and Dimashqitti. That itti is associated with Nilotic rulers is evident in the name of the famous queen Nefertitti.

Having established a cultural context for Cain, we must explore the marks on the body made by peoples of the Nile Valley. These include tattoos and scarification. It is evident that this was practiced by some among Abraham's ancestors because the Deuteronomist (writing about 1500 years after Abraham) attempted to ban the practice. 

“You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:28

Both tattoos and scarification are very ancient practices and might pertain to the mark of Cain. Tattooes were a sign of status and bodily decoration. Many peoples of Africa decorate their bodies by puncturing the skin to insert a small amount of dye. Among the Nilotic peoples scarification was used to beautify; the more intricate the pattern, the more beautiful the woman. Aboriginal populations paint their bodies for ceremonies and dances.

Facial scarification (ichi scarification) indicates that the person has been initiated into nobility. It is a status symbol. It is possible that the mark on Cain refers to the scars specific to archaic rulers. Throughout the Bible Cain is the archetype of the earthly ruler. By the time that Jude wrote his epistle (c. 68 AD), Cain was solidly established as the ruler archetype. Jude warns those who might abandon Christ that God punishes those who rebel against Him. He uses three men as examples: Cain the ruler, Balaam the prophet, and Korah the priest.

Scarification is often a sign of mourning or grief. The Aborigines of Australia mourn the loss of their loved one with physical cuts on their bodies. They represent one of the oldest living cultures in the world. According to 1 Kings 18:28, the prophets of Baal cut themselves with knives when their god did not answer them. This scarification is an example of self-mortification.  Did God cut Cain's flesh or does the mark of Cain have a more spiritual meaning?

In Isaiah 44:5, we read that writing God's name on the hand marks one as God's servant:
This one will say, “I am the LORD’s,”
another will be called by the name of Jacob,
yet another will write on the hand, “The LORD’s,”
and adopt the name of Israel.

By writing God’s name on his hand, the convert to Judaism made it evident that he has chosen to serve the Lord. This appears to have been acceptable to the rabbis, though it seems to be contrary to the Leviticus 19:28 prohibition. The Leviticus prohibition, however, seems to pertain to people marking themselves, not to God marking us.

The mark put on Cain expresses an act of grace. Cain deserved to die for killing his brother, but the Lord placed a mark of protection on him so that his exile would not result in immediate death. Cain’s just punishment was death, yet God showed him grace by sparing his life. Instead Cain was to be exiled from his people. Even then God shows Cain grace by placing a mark on him, not a brand of shame, but a mark of protection.

Reflecting on this great grace shown to his ancestor, Lamech the Elder challenges God to show him greater grace In Genesis 4. If grace was shown to Cain (7), then Lamech, by confessing his sin to his wives, claims a greater measure of grace (77). Lamech, the Younger is assigned even greater grace because he is said to have lived 777 years. Lamech the Younger is the son of Methuselah and Naamah, and he became the father of righteous Noah.




St. John Chrysostom recognized that the story of Lamech is about God’s mercy shown to sinners. He placed the emphasis exactly where it should be. Other interpretations reflect spiritual pride.

The Jewish Study Bible claims that the “poem of Lamech” [Genesis 4: 23,24] attests to the violence associated with Lamech and Cain, and “to the increasing evil of the human race.” Apparently the interpreters exclude themselves from the human race because they go on to state: “The people of Israel will emerge from the lineage of the younger son’s replacement [that is from Seth], not from that of the murderous first born [that is Cain].” (The Jewish Study Bible, p. 20. Brackets mine.)

How easy it is to take the attitude that Cain and his descendants were sinners, but Seth’s descendants were righteous. Yet the lines of Cain and Seth intermarried and God showed grace to both, even allowing Lamech’s daughter, Naamah, to bear the righteous Lamech, the father of Noah and the ancestor of Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus Messiah.


Monday, May 8, 2017

What Abraham Discovered on Mt. Moriah


Alice C. Linsley

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  (James 2:21-24)

Abraham was a Horite Hebrew, a devotee of Horus who was called the "son" of the Creator Ra. The Horites were a ruler-priest caste that originated in the Nile Valley when the Sahara was wetter. The oldest site known where Horites practiced their religion is Nekhen, a major city that stretched for 2 miles along the flood plain. Votive offerings at the temple of Horus were up to ten times larger than the normal mace heads and bowls found elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine. Horite priests placed invocations to Horus at the summit of the fortress as the sun rose.

By all appearances, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Horite expectation of the Divine Seed who would overcome death. The Horites believed that Ra would bring forth His Son by the overshadowing of one of their virgin daughters. They lived in expectation of the fulfillment of a promise made to their Edenic ancestors that a Son (Seed) would be born who would be their Savior (Gen. 3:15).
"For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that He would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith." (Rom. 4:13)

As Abraham and Isaac ascended Mount Moriah, Isaac asked his father "where is the lamb for the sacrifice? Abraham replied that God would provide the lamb. However, that is not what God did. As the story goes, God provided a ram caught in the thicket. To understand what this would have meant to Abraham, we must be aware of his Horite Hebrew beliefs concerning the expected Righteous Ruler who would die and overcome death by his death.

God provided a ram instead. For Abraham the Horite, the lamb was associated with the east and the rising of the sun. The ram was associated with the west, the setting sun, and the future. This belief emerged from the solar imagery of the Proto-Gospel. Horus, the son of Ra was depicted as being one with the Father. He rode with the Father on the solar boat. The boat of the morning hours was called Mandjet and the boat of the evening hours was called Mesektet. While Horus was on the Mesektet, he was in his ram-headed form.

The ram symbolized God's acceptance of Abraham's offering at that moment (justification now) and God's acceptance of Abraham at the eschaton (future justification). The ram caught on Mount Moriah symbolized to Abraham that his offering had been accepted, because the lamb had become the ram, in mature strength. Horus was the Lamb in his weaker (kenotic) existence and he was the Ram in his glorified strength. Both are associated with the death and resurrection symbolism of the vernal equinox and with the Messianic expectation of the Horite Hebrew.

It appears that Abraham believed Isaac was the appointed son whose death would be overcome. but Isaac was spared when God provided his own sacrifice. Abraham likely believed Isaac to be the son of promise since circumstances surrounding Isaac's birth align with the ancient Horus myth.

Consider why Abraham the Horite might have believed he was to offer up Isaac:

1. Isaac was born miraculously (Gen. 21:5) as was Horus, who was said to have been conceived of a virgin when she was divinely overshadowed. Compare the Angel's words to Mary in Luke 1:35.

2. As Abraham's heir, Isaac was honored as being one with his father. From pre-dynastic times, the Creator was said to have a son, Horus. The Father and the Son are inseparable and of one essence in the theology of Abraham's Horim. Horus knows the Father and the Father knows the Son.

3. God named Isaac as the son by whom Abraham's seed would be called (Gen. 21:12). His brother Ishmael was banished. Horus was exalted after being abused by his brother who was banished.

4. Isaac was sacrificed by the father (by faith) and restored to life (Gen. 22:2-9), since to Abraham he was already given up (holocaust). Horus was restored to life. This is why many ancient Egyptian funerary amulets were made in the shape of the Eye of Horus.

5. Isaac received the kingdom from his father (Gen. 25:25).  Horus receives a kingdom from Ra. In Horite belief, Horus and Ra are frequently interchangeable - "I and my Father are one", as Jesus explained (John 10:30). The Father and the Son are inseparable and of one essence in the theology of Abraham's Horim. Horus knows the Father and the Father knows the Son. This is expressed in the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. In the priest's prayer to the King, he says, "Horus is a soul and he recognizes his father in you..." (Utterance 423)

6. Isaac had two wives who lived in separate settlements with separate flocks. Together these constituted his kingdom.  There were practical reasons for this practice.  In the event of attack, Isaac's line was more likely to survive if divided into two camps.  This fear motivated Jacob to separate his two wives and their people into two groups when returning to Canaan (Gen. 32). Likewise, Horus is said to have two land holdings, as evidenced by one of his titles Har-pa-Neb-Taui, which means "Horus of the two lands." The Horus narrative speaks of how he unites the peoples of the Upper and Lower Nile into one people.

7. The association of sheep with the Son of God is found in the Old and New Testaments. Horite priests kept herds from which they took the best to offer as sacrifices. Jesus comes from a long line of shepherds of the priestly lines, on Joseph's side and Mary's side. Keeping sheep was not their only occupation, however. Some were metal workers, others were carpenters, but all were skilled in various enterprises. The rulers of Egypt kept flocks and acknowledged that Jacob's people were especially skilled shepherds.This is why Pharaoh asked Joseph to put the best of shepherd of Jacob's clan in charge of the royal flocks (Gen. 47:6).

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, speaks of having other sheep in another fold (John 10:16). Often the two folds are cast as dispensations: one consisting of those who lived in faithful expectation of the Son of God and the other being the witnesses of His resurrection (the Church). Together these comprise the Kingdom of God. They might also be seen as the two wives of Christ. The second wife was taken shortly before the ruler ascended to the throne. This puts the marriage feast of the Lamb in a new light.

8. The ruler-priests among Abraham's people were shepherds. The signs of their authority were the shepherd's crook and the flail. These emblems of royal authority have been found in pre-Dynastic wall paintings. Nekhen is the site of the most ancient Horite temple and city in Egypt (c. 4000 B.C.). Of particular interest is the tomb painting of two men who carry crooked staffs with objects that look like flails, suggesting that they might be ruler-priests.

In God's economy, which always gets the order of things right, it was the shepherds of Bethlehem, a Horite settlement, who were the first to receive the news of the birth of the Son of God!

9. Jesus is often portrayed as the Lamb, a tender image. In His resurrection victory He is better portrayed as a ram, mighty in strength, mature, and ready to defend his flock. In the story of the binding of Isaac, the ram speaks of God's self-sacrifice and would have been confirmation for Abraham that his offering was accepted. The acceptance was justification of Abraham by faith in what he expected God to do in the future.

10. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts provide a great deal of information about Horus, the son of Ra. The righteous rulers who were buried in the half dozen pyramids in question hoped for bodily resurrection and their hope rested in Horus who was pierced in the side, died, and risen from the dead on the third day. The expectation that the Righteous Son would not remain in the grave is expressed in Psalm 16:10: For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. The final enemy is death. Psalm 110: The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."

In the Coffin Texts, funerary prayers dating to about 1000 years before Psalm 110, we read in passage 148:
"I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of 'Red Cloak'."

Abraham knew to expect a son who would overcome death. He likely believed that Isaac would be raised to life after the sacrifice. In other words, he acted by faith. By provision of the ram on Mount Moriah, a site that was sacred to the Horites, Abraham received confirmation that his offering was accepted, and he also discovered that Isaac was not the anticipated Ruler foretold in Eden (Gen. 3:15). That one would be revealed in the future.

Paul and James are perceived to be in conflict on the question of justification, yet they both argue based on this story of Abraham and Isaac. There is no conflict in their understandings of this event if they understood that Abraham trusted God to confirm the truth to him. This is the man who posed the great question:  "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25) This same Abraham believed God on a very deep level.

"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James 2:21-24


Related reading:  Jesus: From Lamb to Ram; The Question of ImmortalityThe Ra-Horus-Hathor NarrativeThe Horite Ancestry of Jesus Christ; Why Nekhen is Anthropologically Significant; Did Abraham Intend to Sacrifice Isaac?; William H. Willimon, On a Wild and Windy Mountain; Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; Genesis on Sons and The Son; Ram Symbolism in the Ancient World

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Unveiling of Joseph


Alice C. Linsley

Joseph's rise to power came when he was recognized as a seer, that is, one who opens dreams and visions. In Genesis we find he is called abrikku; which is related to the Akkadian abarakku, which means grand vizier (Delitzsch, Hebrew Language Viewed in the Light of Assyrian Research, p. 26). There is a relationship to the Sumerian abrilc (seer) and the Latin aperire (to open).

In ancient Egypt, dream interpretation was the domain of priests who trained in this "science" in order to gain advancement in the priestly ranks. Seer-priests studied manuals of hundreds of dream interpretations. This was a way for priests to increase their incomes, and this probably motivated many to excel in dream interpretation. Apparently, many of the royal seers were not very good at it. Genesis 41:8 tells us that they failed to interpret the dream that Pharaoh had repeatedly. That is how Joseph came to prominence.

Joseph's wisdom comes from his reliance on the Lord's revelation of the meaning. When asked by Pharaoh if he can explain the meaning of the ruler's dream, Joseph answered the Pharaoh: "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer." (Gen. 41:16)

Given that only circumcised men were permitted an audience with Pharaoh, it is likely that Pharaoh was already well aware that Joseph as a Hebrew of the Horite ruler-priest caste. This explains the ruler's great favor toward Joseph and his rapid elevation to abrikku/abarakku.

In ancient Egypt the high ranking rulers were not seen without their royal garb and instruments of authority. Joseph's appearance as "lord" of all of Pharaoh's house and "a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt" (grand vizier) would have been such that his brothers would not have recognized him. Joseph was clean-shaven, whereas his Horite Hebrew brothers had long hair and beards. His head was shaved as a "korah" or ruler-priest. He wore the signet ring given him by Pharaoh, a gold chain, and a garment of fine linen with fringes, such as those worn by the ruler=priest caste.

The narrative in Genesis 45:1-8 is touching and intimate.

Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Make everyone go out from me!” So no one stood with him while Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard it.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Only the personal servant of the ruler knew intimate details of the ruler's daily ablutions. This servant helped the ruler to dress in elaborate style consistent with the ruler's rank. The lower ranking officials wore loincloths. Gold discs were worn on the chest and attached in the back. The men wore a nemes, a blue and gold stripped head-cloth falling down both sides of the head, the front of each shoulder and the back. Another headdress worn by royal officials was the khat (shown below).




The royal-priests wore leopard skins as a sign of their royal priesthood.

Joseph married Asenath, daughter of the "priest of On" on the Lower Nile (Gen. 41:45).  On was also called "Heliopolis" or City of the Sun. The people who lived in Heliopolis called the shrine city Iunu, which means place of pillars.

Asenath's father was Putiphar or Potiphera. This is a title composed of the words pu and tifra. Putifra in ancient Egyptian means "this order" and likely relates to the order of Horite priests. The stela of Putiphar speaks of Putiphar as the "son of Horus, may He live forever."

Asenath was raised at Heliopolis. Likely, she was Joseph's patrilineal cousin. Her first born son belonged to the Heliopolis shrine, whereas Ephraim, her younger son belonged to the House of Jacob. This explains why Jacob gave him the blessing that pertained to the first born (Gen. 48:14).


Related reading: Joseph and Judah as Instruments of Deliverance; The Enigma of Joseph; Archaic and Ancient Symbols of Authority; The Cousin Bride's Naming Prerogative; Evidence of the Cousin Bride's Naming Prerogative; Sun Cities of the Ancient World

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Evidence of the Cousin Bride's Naming Prerogative



Inscribed Phiale, ca. 410 B.C.E. Silver, 7/8 x Diam. 6 1/4 in. (2.3 x 15.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 54.50.34. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 54.50.34_SL1.jpg)


Geshem (Gashmu) the Arabian (450–430 BC) is mentioned in Nehemiah 2:10 and in an Aramaic inscription on a silver libation bowl discovered at the Nile shrine of Tell el-Maskhuta, in the eastern delta. The bowl, dating to the Persion Period, is inscirbed "Ilwhat Qainu son of Geshem, King of Qedar, brought in offering to Han-Ilat" and refers to Qainu, the royal son and apparent heir of King Geshem of Qedar.

See William J. Dumbrell, “The Tell el-Maskhuta Bowls and the ‘Kingdom’ of Qedar in the Persian Period,” BASOR 203 (October 1971): pp. 35–44; OROT, pp. 74–75, 518 n. 26; Raging Torrent, p. 55.

Qedar was a kingdom in northwest Arabia. The royal name Qainu is a variant of Kaynau, Qaynu, Kayan, Qayan, Qaniti, Khan, and Kain. The Qainu bowl is evidence of the continuation of the royal name Kain, which means king. Geshem is named king and apparently his son Qainu (Kain) ascended to his throne (430–410 BC). The rulers of Qedar intermarried with the other royal lines of Arabia, including the houses of Nabataea and Dedan. The cousin brides named their first born sons after their fathers and this explains how royal names such as Kain, Enoch, Lamech, Terah, Nahor, Joktan and Esau appear repeatedly in these royal lineages.




Lamech Segment Analysis
© 1998 Alice C. Linsley


Lamech the Elder had a daughter, Naamah. She married her patrilineal cousin, Methuselah, and named their first born son Lamech, after her father.

The biblical name Geshem is also rendered Gashm or Jasm, and is identified as a son of the Dedanite ruler Shahr. See Frederick V. Winnett and William L. Reed, Ancient Records from North Arabia (University of Toronto Press, 1970), pp. 115–117.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Celebrating today!



The average lifespan of U.S. blogs is 33.8 months according to this 2006 report. JUST GENESIS began on March 22, 2007 and has run for 10 years as of today.

I want to thank faithful readers in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington, and to regular readers in Albania, Australia, Canada, Dubai, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Uganda, and the United Kingdom.

Also I want to thank and welcome new readers.

May God bless all of you!


Related reading: INDEX; Alice C. Linsley's Research on Genesis; Join The Bible and Anthropology








Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Relationship of John the Baptist and Jesus Messiah


Alice C. Linsley

Kinship analysis provide insight into the relationship of John the Forerunner and Jesus Messiah. It helps us to identify the relationship between of the priestly lines from which both are descended. Understanding how Jesus and John were related helps us to grasp more fully John's testimony concerning Jesus Messiah.

There have been many attempts to reconcile the genealogical information given in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. These lists are used by the writers for different narrative purposes. Nevertheless, once we understand the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Horite Hebrews we can recognize the historical validity of the biblical claim that John and Jesus were blood relatives and both of the Horite Hebrew priestly lines.

A fruitful approach to investigating the relationship of Jesus and John is to look for the repetition of patterns such as two wives, three sons, the cousin-bride's naming prerogative, etc. The first step to understanding the marriage and ascendancy pattern of John and Jesus is to diagram the Biblical data, such as I have done in the diagram of Moses's ancestry.

John and Jesus come from the priestly lines that descend from Amram. One line is traced through Aaron, Moses's full-brother, and the other is traced through Korah, Moses' half-brother. According to Numbers 26, Korah's claim to be priest was supported by the Hanochites (descendants of Jacob's first born son, Reuben). Korah the younger is named by his mother Ishar after her father, according tot he cousin-bride's naming prerogative. Ishar is derived from the Hebrew isha, meaning "woman." Women are sometimes listed as "sons" in Genesis and Exodus if the ruling line is traced through them, which is the case with Ishar (Ex 6:17), and Anah and Oholibamah (Gen. 36). The last two women are Horites of Edom, of the house of "Seir the Horite."

The priestly lines of Aaron and Korah were ruler-priest clans before they became divisions. One division, the line of Matthew (Mattai/Mattan) resided in Bethlehem. Joseph of Ari-mathea was in the priestly line, something that qualified him to be a member of the Sanhedrin.

Following the kinship pattern of his ruler-priest forefathers, Amram had two wives. One was a half-sister, as was Sarah to Abraham, and the other was a patrilineal cousin, as was Keturah to Abraham. Ishar was Amram's cousin bride, and Jochebed was his half-sister.

According to Holy Tradition, John was a cousin of Jesus through his mother Elizabeth who was sister to Ana (Anah). Ana was Christ's maternal grandmother (as the Anah shown in the diagram was Korah's maternal grandmother). In the relationship of John and Jesus, we find intermarriage between lines of priests according to the ancient pattern of their ruler-priests forefathers. John’s mother Elizabeth was of the “daughters of Aaron,” meaning that she was the daughter of a priest. According to Holy Tradition, Mary was also a daughter of the priest, Joachim. According to the custom of the Horite Hebrew ruler-priests, she married into a priestly line when she married Joseph, grandson of Mattenai (Matthew 1:16).

John's father was a priest of the division of Abijah (Luke 1:5, 8). Abijah's was the eight division of priests which apparently resided in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a Horite settlement according to I Chronicles 4:4 which names Hur (Horite) as the "father of Bethlehem" and Rahab's husband Salmon, the son of Hur is called the "father of Bethlehem" in 1 Chronicles 2:54. Nazareth was also a Horite Hebrew settlement.
The eighteenth division of ruler-priests, called ha·pi·TSETS (Happizzez), resided in Nazareth. In 1962 excavators discovered a small piece of a list of the twenty-four priestly divisions. This third to fourth-century marble fragment is inscribed with the names of the places where four of the divisions resided, including Nazareth, the residence of Happizzez. The name of the division is of Nilotic origin. Happizzez is related to the ancient Egyptian word for the life-sustaining Nile which was Happi.

John's mother, Elizabeth, married into the priestly line of Amram when she married Zechariah, a descendant of Abijah. Mary married into the line of Amram/Korah when she married Joseph, son of Asaph. I Chronicles 26:4-8 tells us that among "Korah's descendants there were Obed Edom's sons Shemaiah (the firstborn), Jehozabad (the second), Joah (the third), Sachar (the fourth), Nethanel (the fifth), Ammiel (the sixth), Issachar (the seventh), and Peullethai (the eighth). God had blessed Obed of Edom. His son Shemaiah had sons who ruled their families because they were soldiers. Shemaiah's sons were Othni, and Othni's skilled brothers Rephael, Obed, Elzabad, as well as Elihu and Semachiah. All of these people were Obed Edom's descendants. They, their sons, and their relatives were skilled and had the ability to perform the service. Obed Edom's family included 62 men."




"Obed-Edom" refers Korah's descendants who were rulers in Edom. These Horite Hebrew rulers are listed in Genesis 36. Seir the Horite ruled in the territory where Abraham lived between Hebron and Beersheba. Seir's granddaughter is Anah, the maternal grandmother of Korah the Elder, whose daughter Ishar married her patrilineal cousin Amram, the father of Moses, Aaron, Miriam and Korah.

There were twenty-four priestly divisions after the construction of the Second Temple. Nineteen of these divisions are listed in Nehemiah 12:10-22. In this list we find these names of particular interest: Eber, Joachim, Joseph, Abijah, and Mattenai. These are the names of priests who married the daughters of priests and from these lines came John the Baptist, Joseph, Mary and Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God.

John the Forerunner's testimony concerning Jesus as "the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) springs from direct knowledge of the tradition of his Horite Hebrew forebearers among whom Messianic expectation originated.


Related reading: Edom and the HoritesWho Were the Horites?; The Genesis Record of Horite Rule; Matthew's Testimony Concerning the Empty Tomb; The Cousin Bride's Naming Prerogative; Samuel's Horite Hebrew Family