"Contending with the Almighty"
(The Fall of 1st Dynasty Babylon and Rise of the Egyptian New Kingdom)
|Biblical Name(s)||Egyptian Name(s)|
|Nahor I||Obed, Zeror||Sobekemsaf II|
|Amraphel, Zalmunneh||(Babylon: Ammi-saduqa)|
|(Kassite: Agum II/Kakrime)|
|Terah||Jehiel, Jesse, Shua, Shinab||Senakhtenre Tao I, Apophis I|
|Abiel, Jeiel, Job||(Babylon: Samsu-ditana)|
|Joash, Ner, Tou/Toi|
|Abram||Abraham, Shemeber Abdon, Eliab||Djehuty(mes), Teti, Ibrim|
|Mamre||Baal, Jerub-Baal, Bela||Sequenenre Tao II, Apophis II|
|Aner||Purah/Phurah, Birsha||Amenhotep I|
|Eshcol||Bera, Abimelech||Thutmose I|
|Nahor II||Zur, Caleb II||King of Mitanni
(King of Aram Naharaim)
|Haran||Kish, Kenaz, Achish||Chieftain of Kush|
|Jether||(Son of Gideon)||Apophis III?|
|Eliezer||(Steward of Abram)||Unattested|
Egyptologists have pieced together a fuzzy picture of early New Kingdom Egypt (late 17th Dynasty, early 18th Dynasty) from a handful of inscriptions and other very meager archaeological evidence. The succession of rulers, the lengths of their reigns, and the extent of blood relation, rivalry and alliance between these kings is not well understood. In Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times, Donald Redford states, "the publication of a new stela often changes the picture completely, or appears to do so." However, the most extensive records of the early New Kingdom have been completely overlooked, that being the account of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 11-26; the accounts of Gideon and Abimelech in Judges 6-9; and the story of King David in the "later" books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. With a new understanding of these records, the early New Kingdom is no longer a shadowy transitional time of anarchy, but becomes one of the most liberally documented periods of antiquity.
It was shown in Chapter 8 that Joshua was one and the same as the Patriarch Reu in the Genesis narrative. Therefore, the Books of Joshua, Judges and 1 Samuel parallel the Genesis narrative from the time of Patriarch Reu. A massive number of synchronisms become evident when the books of the Old Testament are aligned with one another based on this association (See Charts 1, 9 & 10). For example, Genesis 14 and Judges 6-8 turn out to be highly complementary passages that describe the war of independence fought by the displaced sons of Terah against a coalition of four kings of Mesopotamia. These same kings had previously forced Terah's retreat from Babylon to his minor kingdoms of the West, including Canaan and Egypt. The four Mesopotamian kings are considered to be rulers of new "Kassite" and "Hurrian" dynasties in Babylon and Assyria. They were in fact led by family rivals of the Biblical Terah, and were headed by Ammi-saduqa, the father of Terah himself. The overthrow of Samsu-ditana (Terah) is thought to be the end of the line of Hammurabi in Babylon (1st Dynasty). However, this is not at all the case. Later kings of both Babylon and Assyria claimed Hammurabi and the other kings of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon as their ancestors. The kingly line of Terah endured and continued to rule Egypt and Canaan after he was dethroned in Babylon. Mesopotamia was itself split up into the separate empires of Babylon and Assyria, which were ruled by collateral lines descending from Terah's father Nahor (Ammi-saduqa).
The abandonment of Babylon by Terah and his court was a second example of exodus, followed by a time of warfare and re-stabilizing of the ousted branch of the Patriarchal royal line. As discussed in Chapters 7 & 8, this was not the first exodus of that line, nor would it be the last (See Chapter 16). The Biblical Eber was earlier forced to abandon his titles in Egypt, and to re-establish his throne in Babylon. Conversely, the exodus of Terah was from Mesopotamia back to Canaan and Egypt. It will be shown in this chapter that the account of Abram son of Terah and his ally Mamre found in Genesis 14 mirrors the exploits of "Gideon and the Lord" in Judges 6-8. Genesis 14 provides the perspective of Abram in this epic confrontation with powerful family rivals hailing from the land of Midian, i.e., Mesopotamia. Judges 6-8 is the record of the same conflict told from the perspective of Abram's ally Mamre, who is named in Judges as Gideon. In Genesis, Abram and Mamre divide a company of 318 men, attack the enemy by night, and drive the armies of the East out of Palestine. In Judges, the Lord (Abram) and Gideon (Mamre) also divide a company of 300 men and throw the armies of the East into a panic at night.
It will be shown below that the epic war between the new imperialists of Mesopotamia and the recuperating old line of Babylon has a sound historical basis, and that it precipitated a brutal struggle between the sons and grandsons of Terah (Tao I) for the throne of a revived Egypt. The scope of this chapter is restricted to the account of Gideon in Judges 6-8. However, to provide context, the champions of Judges 1-5 are re-identified in Note 1. In a broader sense, the stories of Judges complement the Genesis narrative in detailing the heroic age during which the Patriarchal line ruled most if not all of the ancient Near East. The equivalence of the Biblical character Abimelech of Genesis 20-26 and the Abimelech of Judges 9 will be demonstrated in the next chapter, and further confirms that the reassessment of Judges is necessary.
Babylon is Fallen!
The defining moment leading to the establishment of the Egyptian New Kingdom can now be recognized as the war of "Four Kings against Five" described in Genesis 14 and Judges 6-8. The four invading kings of Genesis 14 can be strongly associated linguistically and archaeologically to the four invading kings of Judges 6-8, and to four contemporary historical kings of the ancient Near East. Moreover, they were also all close family relations of Terah and Abraham.
|Archaeology||Genesis 14||Origin||Judges 6-8||Origin|
|Kak-rime / Agum II||Amraphel||Shinar
1) Biblical Arioch, king of Ellasar corresponds to the historical king of Assyria, Arik-den-ili. Arioch is an adaptation of the Hebrew words ari, meaning "lion," and yereq, meaning "yellowish green." The name given to this king in Judges is Zeeb meaning, "to be yellow" or "a wolf."
2) Biblical Tidal corresponds to the historical Hittite king Tudhaliyas. Tidal ("fearfulness") and Tudhaliyas are variants of Tudiya (Inyotef), founder of the Babylonian and Assyrian line of kings. Tidal is further designated as the king of Goiim, meaning "the Horde." The name given to Tudhaliyas in Judges is Oreb, meaning "Swarm."
3) Biblical Amraphel corresponds to the historical Kassite king Agum II/Kakrime. The Hebrew root amar/omar is similar in meaning to the Indo-European root rime, "to encircle, border, bind." The root kak is also Indo-European (Sanskrit) in origin, and means "to help or enable." Kakrime connotes "strengthening bonds," or "strong binder." The name Kak-rime is also synonymous with Agum, "to collect," i.e., bind together. However, the Judges nickname Zalmunnah ("removing bonds, covenant") is the antonym of Kakrime. The Judges account accuses Kakrime of double-dealing. Kakrime did "strengthen bonds" between three other younger sons. However, the pejorative epithet Zalmunnah reveals that Kakrime broke a binding covenant with his eldest son and erstwhile heir Samsu-ditana (Terah).
4) Biblical Khedor-laomer is the Hebrew adaptation of a historical Elamite king named Kidinu. The second portion of the name "la-omer," means "belonging to the binder," and designates him as the son and vassal of Kakrime (Amraphel/Zalmunnah. This name is also a further indication that "binder" is the proper interpretation of -rime (in the name Kak-rime). In Judges, Kindinu is called Zebah, meaning "slaughter" or "sacrifice." Zebah may be a word play with the name Eber, meaning "from the east, beyond, opposite or across." Khedor-la-omer of Elam was the easternmost king listed in the Genesis 14 alliance. Although Amraphel is the senior member of the alliance, it is to Khedor-laomer that tribute was due. This indicates that he was the beneficiary of the transferred birthright. It is also Khedorlaomer that takes the initiative when tribute is withheld by the clan of Terah.
(Expanded etymologies of these four Biblical/historical kings are found in Note 2.)
The above associations lead to the very surprising conclusion that the Kassite rulers of Babylon did not represent a foreign line at all. Instead, the Kassite king-list is a Sanskrit version of the Babylonian king-list (See Chart 5a and Chart 5b). The first Kassite king Gandas would therefore be Sumu-abum, founder of 1st Dynasty Babylon itself. The 10th king of the Kassite list can now be fixed as Agum (II) / Kakrime. He, in turn, corresponds to Ammi-saduqa, the 10th king of 1st Dynasty Babylon. Agum is not Sanskrit, but a Babylonian name. Kakrime is a Kassite (Sanskrit) adaptation of Agum. Ammi-saduqa is thought to only have reigned for about 20 years in Babylon. His successor Samsu-ditana is known to have reigned for 31 years. However, Ammi-saduqa was still living at the end of Samsu-ditana's reign, and was primarily responsible for his son's overthrow.
The rule of Ammi-saduqa was then obviously much longer than 20 years. It is evident that he abandoned his Babylonian throne name of Ammi-daduqa in favor of the Sanskrit king name of Kakrime. The "center of gravity" of the empire was shifting to the east. Not long after his Year 20, Ammi-saduqa would also demote Samsu-ditana and demand that he pay tribute to a new most-favored son, Kidinu, ruling in Elam (proto-Persia). Samsu-ditana complied for a number of years, but then "rebelled." With the blessing, support and direction of Ammi-saduqa, Kidinu brought an army against Samsu-ditana in order to bring him back into submission by force.
The book of Judges identifies all four invading kings as being of "Midianite" origin. Midian (Heb. Midyan) means "Land of Strife." It is a word play on other language roots, such as the Indo-European midjo, the Latin medius, and the Greek mesos, all of which signify "middle." Therefore, Midian, as its name also connotes in English, is the "Middle Land," a rich land that was perennially contested through intrigue and warfare. During the Hyksos Period and earlier, Midian most certainly referred to Mesopotamia. The name Mesopotamia literally means the "middle country between the two rivers," and corresponds to the Hebrew Naharaim, "(land between) the two rivers." The two rivers are of course the Tigris and Euphrates. Mesopotamia is the first of at least three Biblical "Midians." The last and latest Biblical Midian was in the Trans-jordan, and this is now considered the traditional site. However, the application of Midian to the Trans-jordan would not have predated the Egyptian New Kingdom.
The origins of the Kassite and Hurrian peoples are unknown. However, it is now clear from this study that neither the Hurrians nor Kassites came into Mesopotamia as conquerors. Their rulers as listed in Genesis 14 and Judges 6-8 were all members of the Patriarchal family. These Kassite and Hurrian subjects were therefore resettled from other regions under the Patriarchal family's sphere of influence.2 After withholding tribute, Kidinu and Kakrime augmented their combined armies with Hurrian and Kassite conscripts in order to punish the rebellious Samsu-ditana and reconfirm the "new world order." Samsu-ditana was forced to retreat to Canaan and Egypt. It was there that he and his sons made their desperate defense. Through a clever ruse, the "volunteer" troops of Kidinu and Kakrime were thrown into a panic. Kakrime himself was captured and put to death. Three other leading sons of Kakrime were also killed.
The vast domain of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon extended as far as India to the east, Greece in the west, and Egypt to the south. It is possible that an attempt had been made to establish other courts in Spain and even China. The demise of the "Binder" Ammi-saduqa led to the collapse of this steadily expanding empire. As a result, smaller independent kingdoms arose in Asia Minor (Hatti), Assyria, Babylon and Egypt. In this time of division, the descendants of Samsu-ditana in Egypt naturally looked to the princes of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom for inspiration, and were confident that the world would be theirs for the retaking. History was on their side. Nevertheless, it would be another 400 years before these regions would again be reunited under a single king. And it would not be a king of Egypt, but one from Babylon who managed to achieve it. The second Sojourn of the Patriarchs in Egypt ended in defeat.
Founding a New Kingdom in Egypt
After the clan of Samsu-ditana (Terah) won their independence from Babylon, the struggle was far from over. The sons and grandsons of Samsu-ditana vied with each other to win the fallen king's favor, to secure a new kingdom in Egypt, and to begin preparations for the re-conquest of Mesopotamia. The chronology of this period is presented in Chart 16. The last three pharaohs of the Egyptian 17th Dynasty are considered by Egyptologists to be Tao I (praenomen Senakhtenre), Tao II (praenomen Sequenenre) and Kamose (praenomen Wadjkheperre). These three pharaohs can be shown by linguistic, archaeological and textual proofs to be the father, half-brother and nephew of Egyptian nobleman Djehuty, the Biblical Abram/Abraham (see below and Chapters 11-13). In Genesis 11, the name of Abram's father is given as Terah, which is identified here as a hypocorism (shortened/informal form) of Senakhtenre Tao I.3 It will also be shown that Sequenenre Tao II is the half-brother of Abraham, and the faithful partner named as Mamre in Genesis and Gideon in Judges. The name of the Egyptian pharaoh Kamose translates into Hebrew as Iscah.4 The Biblical Iscah was the grandson of Terah by his son Haran, and is named as the nephew of Abram in Genesis 11:29.
The 17th Dynasty pharaoh Tao I and the 15th Dynasty Hyksos king Apophis I are considered fully contemporary and had nearly identical praenumina. However Egyptologists presently maintain that they were separate individuals. Nevertheless, with a little help from the Bible, it can easily be demonstrated that they were indeed one and the same person. The term Hyksos meant "ruler of a foreign land."5 For most of his reign, Terah (Tao I/Apophis I) was largely an absentee landlord in Egypt. His primary court was in Babylon. It was not until his overthrow in Babylon and loss of the greater kingdom that Terah (Tao I) and his descendants became proactive in building up an impoverished Egypt. This marked the end of what is known as the 2nd Intermediate Period and beginning of New Kingdom Egypt. And what a sudden and spectacular rebirth the resulting Egyptian New Kingdom was!
Prior to the great battle of Genesis 14, we find Abram "criss-crossing" the land of Canaan and Egypt, and calling upon the name of the Lord. This is an obvious allusion to the earlier "evangelist" Nabu-Thoth who traveled "throughout the lands" garnering support for his exiled father Marduk-Re. Senakht-en-Re (Terah), the father of Abram had also been banished. His loyal son Abram hoped to rally the Israelites of Canaan behind him. Zecharia Sitchin writes, "Nabu had the same meaning and came from the same verb by which the Bible called a true prophet: Nabi, one who receives the divine words and signs and in turn expresses them to the people."a The Hebew word for prophet used in Judges and in Genesis is nabiy (naw-bee').
The first stop of the evangelist Abram is at Shechem were "the Lord" appears to him. This was not a spiritual visitation of Yahweh to Abram. It was instead a purely physical encounter of Abram with his half-brother, the Lord Tao II. Prior to Terah's disgrace, Abram was heir apparent with respect to the greater throne of Babylon. His half-brother had already been named as a pharaoh in the lesser kingdom of Egypt. The place of meeting is named as the "great tree of Moreh" (cf Mamre) in Genesis. A highly complementary account of this same meeting is found in Judges 6. In Judges, the meeting place is named as the "oak in Ophrah." There the Bible states that God sent a "prophet" to the Abiezrites, i.e., the Israelites.6
This sending of a prophet is another direct allusion, this time in Judges, to the divine prophet and messenger ("angel") Nabu. It is not Nabu/Thoth himself who has returned, but a royal person assuming his identity. In Chapter 13 it will be shown that the assumed Egyptian name of Abram was Thoth (Egy. Djehuty). In the Judges narrative, Abram is called "Prophet," "Angel of the Lord" and "Lord of Peace." These were all epithets of Thoth, and Abram adopted both the name and role of Thoth. It is the Lord Abram (in the guise of the god Thoth) who speaks face-to-face with Gideon and who has been sent to deliver the Israelites. This appearance of Djehuty to Tao II in Judges 6 is mirrored by the Genesis 12 account in which the "Sovereign Lord" Tao II appears to Djehuty! Abram's designation as "prophet" is confirmed in Genesis 20:7 as part of the subsequent story of Abimelech (discussed in full as part of Chapter 12). The word prophet (Hebrew nabiy) is only used once in Genesis and once in Judges. Both instances refer to Abram.
In Judges, Gideon (Mamre/Tao II) sacrifices a seven-yearb old bull and calls Abram "The Lord of Peace." This title reflects Abram's quiet confidence and understated nobility. Conversely, in Genesis, Abram offers sacrifices and calls Tao II "Sovereign Lord." When the two accounts are combined, one can discern a stirring example of ancient chivalry between Abram and Mamre/Gideon (Tao II). Each defers to the other as being the greater. However, this custom was also self-serving. The practice of honoring another royal person as a "Sovereign Lord" and even "God" reinforced the image that these persons wanted to project to commoners. It was not necessarily intended to be a statement of theology. Abram and Tao II were part of the "Lord's Club." It served both of their interests to honor one another as divine persons. However, the Bible carefully separates the God-like roles of Mamre/Gideon (Tao II) and Abram from their very much human nature. By the time these stories were compiled, this former practice of the Patriarchs was considered idolatrous.
Fire of Jehovah!
In Judges, the Lord (Abram) commands Gideon to "tear down your father's altar to Baal."c Gideon does as he is instructed, and the next day the angry townspeople go to Gideon's father Joash ("Fire of Jehovah") to demand his punishment. To the great surprise of Shechem's angry Baal worshipers, Terah stands up for Gideon (Tao II), and even launches into a diatribe against Baal. Even so, the nickname of Joash would have been applied to Tao I with considerable sarcasm. The Biblical account indicates that it was Terah's sons Abram and Mamre who were primarily responsible for initiating the change in emphasis from Seth/Baal to Amen/Yahweh, which would have been more "politically correct" in ancient Egypt. It would have also been done in emulation of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs who initially reverenced Seth/Baal/Montu, but then elevated the cult of Amen as supreme after ties with Babylon were severed.
Abram (Djehuty), the eldest son of Terah (Tao I) was due to inherit the superior kingdom in Babylon. Possibly, he had already been named as crown prince and king in Ur. Gideon (Tao II), who was a younger son of Terah by his wife "Maaca" (see below), was heir to the lesser Egyptian/Canaanite kingdom. Together, Abram and Gideon took the lead in stopping the advance and devastation of the four kings from Mesopotamia (Midian) that had earlier forced the family's retreat from Babylon. These four kings set on the thrones of four new dynasties in Babylon, Assyria, Turkey (Hurrian Hittite Empire) and Elam. In Genesis Chapter 14, Tao II is identified as Mamre, the foremost ally of Abraham. The name Mamre may be an adaptation of Sequenenre, the praenomen (throne name) of Tao II.
A direct linguistic or phonetic association between "mamre" and "nenre" is unlikely, however the meaning and crude phonic similarity of the colloquial name Mamre make it a suitable hypocorism (informal short form, nickname) of the formal throne name. Mamre in Hebrew lends the direct meaning of "ambitious, vigorous and lusty, and also corresponds to an epithet of Sequenenre, i.e., "the Brave." The name Mamre is derived from the Hebrew word mara, which means to "lift up oneself," and to "whip" or "lash." This connotation of the name Mamre connects more directly to the praenomen Sequenenre itself, which means, "Who Strikes Like Re."d In Judges 6:16 (NIV), Gideon is told by the Lord (Abram), "you shall strike down the Midianites as though they were but one man."
Mamre also connotes "rebellious," "bitter," and "domineering, a master or lord." Related Hebrew words are mareh, marah, mered and morah. Related names are Plain/Hill of Moreh, Miriam, Merari, Mardock, Merodach, and the "waters of Meribah." Therefore, the colloquial name Mamre fits Tao II quite well. Abram was typecast as Thoth. Mamre points back to the god-king Sargon the Great, known as Maru-Yamina. The nickname Mamre connects to the chosen throne name of Tao II. It further reflects his rebellion against foreign oppressors, his personal ambition to consolidate Egypt, his lordly standing, his terrifying struggle against powerful family rivals and his bitter death. His mummy shows deep head wounds from an assortment of weapons thought to have been inflicted in battle. In Chapter 11, it will be shown that Tao II was actually captured and executed by members of his own immediate family.
Gideon, meaning "Warrior," is a symbolic name and does not appear elsewhere in the Bible or in any Biblical genealogy. However, from a second nickname ascribed to this hero in Judges we can infer his given name. In other words, this second nickname was a word play on his given name. That nickname was Jerub-baal, meaning "Contends with Baal." Gideon's given name was simply Baal. The Egyptian version of this name is Tao. Both names, Tao and Baal, mean "the Lord" or "Master."e By direction of "the Lord," Gideon (Tao II) tore down the altar of his namesake god Baal, and earned the ironic pseudonym of Jerub-baal. Gideon was also famous for his indecisiveness. Gideon asked "the Lord" to first make a piece of lamb fleece wet and the ground dry. Then, he changed his mind and asked that the fleece be kept dry and the ground made wet (Judges 6:36-40). This tendency to vacillate was a trait that he shared with his father and namesake Tao I. In the Kings narrative (2 Sam. 8:9-10), the name Tao is modified to Toi, which has the meaning in Hebrew of "The Wavering One."
The Father of Intervention
In both the Genesis and Judges accounts, four great kings hailing from the east overwhelmed the region of Israel. As demonstrated above, the armies were largely made up of "eastern people," namely Kassites and Hurrians. However, the kings who commanded them were of Patriarchal stock. In the Genesis account, the four invading kings are opposed by a coalition of five Canaanite kings. Shemeber of Zeboiim (Memphis) is the only one of the five Canaanite king names that has an entirely positive meaning.7 Shemeber was allied with Bera and Birsha of "Sodom and Gomorrah" in order to deal with a common threat. However, the Canaanite alliance is routed by Khedorlaomer and his allies. Only then does the account of Genesis 14 say that Abram intervened along with 318 of his "household servants" in order to organize a counter attack.
The numerical value of the name Eliezer is 318.f However, Eliezer is not introduced in the narrative until Genesis 15:2 (KJV), where Abram calls him "the steward of my house." The New Internation Version (NIV) translates this Hebrew phrase as "the heir of my estate." This is one legitimate example of Kaballah style symbolism. The account of Abram's victory over Khedorlaomer does not mention Eliezer by name, only by "number." This is a strong indication that there is something more to the relationship between Abram and Eliezer than is being made explicit in the narrative. Despite his designation as a servant of Abram, Genesis 14:14 implies that Eliezer was also considered his legal heir. In Genesis 15:2 we learn that Eliezer of Damascus is due to inherit his estate.g Of course, Abraham eventually does gain two more prominent sons, namely Ishmael and Isaac. For this reason, the role of the initial heir Eliezer is handled with great subtlety. It seems that he was later rejected or demoted by Abram in favor of Ishmael and then Isaac.
Considering the desperate circumstances, Eliezer ("God of Help") is an appropriate pseudonym for one of the key actors. Eliezer is essentially the same name as Abiezra ("Father of Help"). As noted above, the account of Gideon in Judges does not call the beleaguered citizens by the name of Israelites, but as Abiezrites. With Eliezer ("God of Help") at the side of Abram, it is a sign that the tide is about to turn to the side of the displaced clan of Terah. This is a family feud. Among the four invading kings is Terah's own father Nahor/Amraphel. In Ruth he is called Obed, meaning "keep in bondage." The five kings that resist him are his own son and grandsons. In confusion and defeat, Terah and his princes are given pseudonyms that disguise their identity. Shinab is Terah; Shemeber is Abram; Bela is Mamre (Baal/Gideon); Birsha is Aner (Phurah); and Bera is Eschol (Abimelech). (See Note 7) In victory, the five kings are called by their more common and recognizable names. When the four sons of Terah return triumphantly, Terah/Joash himself goes out to bless them, and especially their leader Abram. Terah is in this capacity called Melchizedek, meaning, "a king (has) turned to righteousness." Earlier in the passage he is called Shinab, which means, "a father has turned (to iniquity)." The priest-king Tao I does not bless in the name of his own god Baal, but in the god of Abram for saving his line from certain destruction.
By Hook or Shepherd's Crook
The Genesis account emphasizes the cowardice of the armies of Sodom and Gomorrah. This helps to set the stage for their destruction a few chapters later. The Judges account calls the place of their encampment Harod, literally the "fountain of trembling." The fear of the men is duly noted, however flight in the face of battle is not mentioned. Instead, the "terrified" troops are directed by the Lord (Abram) to return to their homes. Through the use of an ancient I.Q. test, the Lord (Abram) further reduces the size of the force to only 300 men. Gideon (Mamre) and Purah/Phurah then slip into the Midianite camp as spies and gain confidence that Abram's plan will work. Purah corresponds to Abram's ally Aner of the Genesis account, and to the future pharaoh Amenhotep I.8 The identity of Abram's third ally Eshcol as Thutmose I is addressed in the next chapter. The espionage of Gideon and Purah suggests that Sequenenre and Amenhotep understood the language of at least one contingent of the invaders as a result of the family's roots in Babylonia. Judges states that the enemy coalition included Amalekites and Ishmaelites, some of whom may have acted as informants. The Ishmaelites were later honored as the namesake of Abram's son by Hagar. One of Terah's own royal daughters was also married to an Ishmaelite.h
Abram's "intelligence officers" would have learned that the camp of the "Midianites" was on edge. An army formed from Hurrians, Kassites, Ishmaelites and other rival ethnic groups would have been prone to fracturing. Despite their victory and spoils, the army was far from home and supplies would have been in short supply if not completely exhausted. This would have only served to increase tension in the camp. Panic and even infighting among the invading forces could be triggered with a clever ruse. The conscripts that were brought into Canaan by Kakrime were great in number but not in experience. The terrain of this region would also have been alien and daunting to involuntary soldiers from the eastern flat lands, if not to their Patriarchal commanders. In their haste to get back to Mesopotamia, the departing kings may not have chosen an ideal campsite or properly guarded their position. It appears to have been in the midst of steep and rocky embankments. Rather than being sheltered, they were actually somewhat vulnerable from above.
The three hundred men were broken up into three groups, logically led by Abram's three allies Mamre, Aner and Eshcol. It is recorded in Genesis 14:15 (KJV) that Abram "divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them." According to the Judges account, the small contingent climbed above the restless invaders and startled them with the breaking of clay pots, raising of torches, and blowing of trumpets. Possibly they also rolled boulders down the hillsides upon them as well, which would have had a fearsome effect at night. Judges 7:13 (KJV) reads: "a cake of barley bread tumbled in to the host of Midian, and came unto a tent and smote it." However, the Hebrew of this verse can alternatively be translated as "an advancing shadow (or idol) of terrifying destruction overthrew the army of Midian, and came unto a tabernacle and smote it." The word translated by the KJV as "bread" is lechem, which is a play on Lemech (Thoth), god of the moon and of measuring shadows. It seems that the primary weapon used by Abraham was an imaginary one. The patron god or symbol of one ethnic group was made to creep down slowly as a shadow over their side of the camp. It then "invaded" the side of the rival ethnic group encamped below them. The shadow settled over their shrine and appeared to be flattening it.
In the chaos that ensued, the four Midianite kings separated from their hordes, and were pursued. The Judges account chooses to emphasize the capture and execution of the four invading kings. The Genesis author mentions the "slaughter" of Khedorlaomer and his allies in passing, but omits the graphic details of their ignominious death. In Judges 8:20, Gideon offers to his firstborn son Jether ("Excellency") the "honor" of killing Zalmunneh (Kakrime, the "Covenant Breaker") and his newly appointed successor Zebah (Kidinu, "the Slaughterer"). Kakrime would have been the youth's great-grandfather! Jether is too afraid to kill his elders, so Gideon performs the execution himself. Joash (Terah/Tao I) would later sentence Gideon (Tao II) to the same fate (see next chapter). Regardless of Kakrime's actions, he was still "God." In his anger and haste, Tao II did not seize the opportunity to impose a return to the former unity and world order under his father Tao I. Instead, he irreparably divided the body of Kakrime and his kingdom.
In both the Genesis and Judges accounts, Gideon (Mamre) receives spoils from the victory. There is no mention in Judges of offerings being made to "the Lord," i.e., to Abram. In Genesis 14, Abram is honored by his father Melchizedek, "King and Priest" of Salem. However, he refuses any reward or "spoils of the victory" as compensation for his actions. He had no need for either. As royalty of the "highest order," he addressed great kings as equals, and was a "mighty prince" (Genesis 23:6) in his own right. He was the eldest son of Terah, and the leader of the victorious campaign. He accepted his father's blessing. However, he refused payment from "Bera, king of Sodom" (i.e., his younger brother Eschol/Thutmose I). To have done so would have been tantamount to compromising his birth right.
Judges 8:23 (NIV) records that the people offer Gideon (Tao II) kingship, however he declares that neither he nor his son would accept this honor, but that "the Lord [Abram] will rule over you." Consistent with this, Genesis 12:7 (NIV) preserves that Tao II vowed to Abram, "To your offspring I will give this land." The hero of the Genesis account is clearly Abram, however credit is nobly shared with Mamre and his "brothers" Aner and Eschol. Conversely, Gideon (Mamre) is the champion in the Judges account. The Judges author humbly defers to "the Lord" as the greater, but conveniently neglects to tell us the Lord's name (or possibly it was edited out). The difference in perspectives is quite clear, however the overall story line is the same. It is actually the differences in the two accounts that lend an element of credibility to them. However, one must keep in mind that the rulers of the Egyptian New Kingdom were notorious for their brazen use of hyperbole and propaganda.
The Impatience of Job
If the book of Job is based on any historical person, it would have to have been Tao I. Job is described as "the greatest man among all the people of the east."i The Karnak inscription quoted above mirrors Job's concern and continual sacrifices on the behalf of his children. Despite Job's devotion to his God, Chaldean and Sabean marauders destroyed everything Job possessed. The Sabeans are generally associated with Kush and Ethiopia, however in this context they are revealed as family rivals of Terah. (The Patriarch Shem was the Babylonian king Sabium and "father" of the Sabeans.) These rivals attacked his holdings in Mesopotamia and possibly also raided his kingdom in Upper Egypt. In a spiritual sense, the Bible portrays Baal/Seth (Biblical Satan) as destroying everything, including Job's health. However, he recovered and became a devotee of Yahweh. Job is said to have "contended with the almighty," that is Yahweh (Job 40:2). After being humbled and converted (Job 42:6), Job prospered once again, and became even greater than he had been before. The "moral" of the Book of Job was not that a sinner learned the error of his ways and had been restored, but that a righteous king discovered that in his ignorance he was revering the wrong god. This was the only "sin" of Job. However, the "Quarrel of Seqnen-Re and Apophis" quoted above indicates that Samsu-ditana turned to Baal worship once again at the end of his life.
The real life king Samsu-ditana suffered a surprise attack early in his reign. The "Hittite" king Mur-shili (Mursilis I) sacked Babylon and carried off the statue of Marduk to his capital in Asia Minor. The Hittite Old Kingdom would also have been from Patriarchal stock. The name of the founder, Labarnas I, is the same as the Patriarch Arphaxad (also known as Libni/Laban). The name of the second ruler, Hattu-shili (Hattusilis I), is a variant of the Patriarch Shelah/Salah. There is a gap between the time of Arphaxad (Shilli-Adad/Sin-Muballit) and Terah (Samsu-ditana), therefore the exact relationship between Mur-shili and the Patriarchal line is not clear. However, based on the similarity of names, Mur-shili must have been a close relation of Samsu-ditana (Terah). In concert with the attack of Mur-shili, Chaldean peoples invaded from the south (Sealand). However, Samsu-ditana recovered fully from this setback and reigned in Babylon for at least 10 more years before being disinherited by his father. After 24 years in exile, the "kidnapped" statue of Marduk was recovered not by Samsu-ditana, but by his father Ammi-saduqa (Agum II/Kakrime). Samsu-ditana once again survived humiliation, but was apparently not able to reclaim the throne in Babylon a second time.
The name Job means, "persecuted, hated," and is probably a contracted from of the name Jashub, "he shall retreat, return, convert." Job is said to have had three daughters and seven sons. Three sons of the retreating Terah are named in Genesis 11:26 as Abram, Nahor and Haran. A more complete list of sons is found in the two variants of the Benjamitej genealogy of 1 Chronicles 8 & 9. In 1 Chronicles 8:29-31, Terah is named as Jeiel, which has the symbolic meaning "carried away by the Lord." According to the Genesis account, Terah was "carried away by the Lord" from Ur to the city of Haran in NW Mesopotamia. In the duplicate genealogy of 1 Chronicles 9:35-37, Terah is not named as Jeiel, but by the variant Jehiel, which has the meaning of "God will live/revive." In the Kings narrative, Tao I is called Jesse, which means, "existing," i.e., surviving. Earlier in his reign, Terah had managed another miraculous escape from certain death at the hands of Mirsilis.
Combining 1 Chronicles 8:29-31 with 1 Chronicles 9:35-37 renders:
"[Jeiel/Jehiel/Ner] the father of Gibeon lived in Gibeon. His wife's name was Maacah, and his firstborn son was Abdon, followed by Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, Zeker/Zechariah and Mikloth."
The first three sons of the Chronicles genealogy, viz., Abdon, Zur and Kish correspond to Abram, Nahor and Haran, the three sons of Terah provided in Genesis. Abdon means "worshipper," and is highly descriptive of Abram/Abraham. (Abdon should not be confused with the name Abaddon, which derives from a different Hebrew root.) The names Abdon and Abram further correspond to Eliab, the firstborn son of Jesse. The Chronicles genealogy of Jehiel/Jeiel implies that a single woman Maaca was the mother of all of Terah's prominent sons. Maaca is a generic title for "Queen." Tao I has at least three royal wives, i.e., three Maaca's.
The first "Maaca" of Tao I is known from archaeology to be Tetisheri, who was the daughter of the "Judge" Tjenna and the Lady Neferu.k This Maaca was the mother of Abram, Nahor and Kish. Another Maaca was the mother of Tao II, who is named as the fourth son, Baal (Gideon/Mamre), in the Jehiel/Jeiel genealogy. In Greek tradition "Belos" (Baal/Tao II) is considered to be a relation of "Epaphos" (Apophis/Tao I).l In fact, they were father and son. There are ten sons listed in the Chronicles genealogy instead of the expected seven. Jesse had either seven or eight sons, depending upon whether one goes by the narrative of 1 Samuel 16 or the genealogy of Jesse given in 1 Chronicles 2:13-15. The Jeiel/Jehiel genealogy may have redundancy or include prominent grandsons in the list.9 Alternatively, it may be including the sons of another royal wife that is not recognized in other genealogies. In Genesis, only the sons of one wife are mentioned.
It is common in Chronicles to find important ancestors in a genealogical sequence whether they technically belonged there or not. Biblical genealogies can serve more as political commentaries rather than purely familial records. Political "sons" are often listed alongside biological sons. Moreover, the standing of a particular prince varies as a function of family or regional bias. The process of resolving individual differences in order to develop a unified "family tree" was partially accomplished. More radical harmonizing would have been clearly impossible without enormous argument. A rich diversity of overlapping genealogies was thankfully preserved. By arbitrarily eliminating discrepancies, a tremendous amount of information would have been destroyed. Fortunately, it was not, and it is now possible to tease out the actual relationships with the help of archaeology.
In Canaan, Terah presided at Shechem/Gibeah, where he earned the nickname Joash. Biblical Gibeah (variously spelled Gibeon/Gibea/Geba) was a region in the tribal territory of Benjamin (Inyotef II) and would have been but one of several royal residences of a king of Senakhtenre Tao I's magnitude. Through integration of the two Biblical narratives (Genesis 14 and Judges 6-8), we can glean that Senakhtenre Tao I had at least four homes, not counting the ones he lost in Mesopotamia (Babylon, Ur, etc.). He held court in the Egyptian Delta under the names of Apophis I and Apepi I. The Greek prefix "apo" means "off or away." The Greek word apophuge means "to escape." Therefore, the alias Apophis strongly relates to Terah's nickname Jeiel, "carried away by the Lord." Other nicknames of Tao I that have similar meanings are Jephunneh (II) and Jered, "brought/came down." As noted above, the name Job has the meaning "he will retreat, return."
The name Apepi contains the root "pep," which means to "invigorate," i.e., "revive." This name relates to Terah's nickname Jehiel, meaning, "God will live/revive." In Thebes of Upper Egypt, Terah was known as Tao I and by the throne name Sa-nakht-en-re ("Perpetuated like Re").m The meaning of this throne name also relates strongly to Jehiel, to Jesse, which means "existing," and to Shua (a man of "riches", who was "humbled," but "saved"). Finally, the royal harem is revealed in Judges as being in Tabor, a region or city of Phoenicia such as Byblos, or possibly Damascus in Syria. Abram's "servant" Eliezer is said to have been "of Damascus." That is, he had perhaps been born at the royal nursery in Damascus/Tabor. Phoenicia and Syria were especially valued possessions of the Hyksos kings, because of their role in international trade.
- Zecharia Sitchin, When Time Began, p 324.
- It was shown in Chapter 3 that seven was the number of Thoth.
- Judges 6:25 (NIV)
- Peter Clayton, Chronicles of the Pharaohs, p 94.
- Compare the related words Taoism and dowager.
- David Kahn, The Code Breakers, p 92.
- Abram's "servant" Eliezer is possibly one and the same as Gideon's youthful son Jether ("Excellency") in Judges 8:20. This could have been a son produced for Gideon by Abram.
- 1 Chron. 2:17)
- Job 1:3 (NIV)
- In Chapter 8, it was demonstrated that the genealogy of Benjamin was not that of the son of Patriarch Jacob (Amenhotep II of the Egyptian New Kingdom), but that of Inyotef A (Sargon) and Inyotef II (Gudea) of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom.
- Aidan Dodson, Monarchs of the Nile, 1995, Rubicon Press, p72.
- Martin Bernal, Black Athena, Vol I, p 95.
- Peter Clayton, Chronicles of the Pharoahs, p 94.
-Joshua was identified in Chapter 8 as the Babylonian prince Ibal-pi-el, who assumed the Babylonian throne name of Abi-eshuuh (Biblical Hoshea/Joshua). He was also known as the Hyksos king Salitis.
-Caleb was the son of Jephunneh and grandson of Jether/Jethro (the father-in-law of Hammurabi/Moses). The account of Caleb states that he was kept alive for an additional 45 years in order to receive his promised inheritance. The "inheritance" of the original Caleb was claimed by Abraham's aggressive brother Nahor ("snorter"). The name Caleb means "dog-like." The two Caleb's were combined as one. It appears that the latter Caleb (Nahor) may have actually had a role in the coup that forced his father Terah and brother Abram out of Babylon. Regardless, Nahor did not become king of Babylon, but relocated in the Biblical land of Aram Naharaim (Judges 3:8). This region was called Nahrin and Mitanni in New Kingdom Egypt. Mitanni/Nahrin was a power ONLY during the late 17th Dynasty and 18th Dynasty of New Kingdom Egypt. The Mitanni were overthrown by the Hittite (Hurrian) Empire prior to the end of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty, and were no longer a factor by the time of the Exodus of Moses (Akhenaten). Nahor was the father of Biblical Thahash/Nahash (Egyptian pharaoh Ahmose) and Biblical Ephron/Perez (Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose II).
-Othniel ("Force of God") the son of Kenez ("Hunter") in Judges 3 corresponds to Abram and Nahor's nephew Iscah (Gen. 11:29), the son of Haran/Kish ("Bow"). The Hebrew name Iscah translates directly to the Egyptian name Kamose. (See Note 7) "Mighty Kamose," the last Pharaoh of the 17th Dynasty, is therefore Othniel.
-Ehud son of Gera, also found in Judges 3, was identified in Chapter 7. He belongs to a much earlier time period, and was a hero of the Egyptian 11th Dynasty
- A version of the story of Heber and his victory over the king of Hamath in Judges 4-5 is also told in the book of Joshua, Chapter 11.
The following word study demonstrates the linguistic associations between the king names provided in Genesis and Judges, and their counterparts from archaeology.
The name or title Kakrime conforms to a common royal type. Kakrime would have had the direct meaning of "strong seizer (binder)" and therefore, would be a Kassite rendition of the Biblical name Nimrod. Gen 10:8-11 defines the name Nimrod as "mighty hunter/warrior (strong seizer) before the Lord." Nimrod was one of the first great kings of Mesopotamia, and would have continued to be a popular king name or kingly epithet. From the The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Indo-European Roots: "kak-1 To enable, help. Sanskrit saknoti, he is able, he is strong: Shakti, Sikh." The Sanskrit kak is equivalent to the Hebrew azar, meaning "to succor, strengthen." Nimrod founded one of the greatest dynasties of Mesopotamia, and would have been a popular kingly name or epithet in many languages.
The following is a quote from: "Dating the Fall of Babylon," by H. Gasche, J.A. Armstrong, S.W. Cole and V.G. Gurzadyan, University of Ghent and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Publisher, 1998. Available through Eisenbrauns Publishers (www.eisenbrauns.com)
"Remembering that the Babylon year formulae in the documents from Tell Muhammad cluster between 36 and 41 years after "Babylon was resettled," we see a new significance in the epithets claimed by Agum-kakrime:
'(I am) king of the Kassites and the Akkadians, king of the broad land of Babylon, the one who (re)settled the land of Eshnunna with an extensive population, king of Padan and Alman, king of the Gutians...' "
The Kassites were first subjugated by Suma-abum (Gandes/Senusret III), founder of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon.
Another interpretation of rime is as a reference to the Hindu god Rama. Kakrime would then mean, "Rama Strengthens." Rama is "any of three incarnations of Vishnu, regarded as heroes. [From Sanskrit Rama, dark-colored, black]" The American Heritage Dictionary The Sanskrit Rama probably corresponds to the Biblical Baal (Ram/Aram), a god shrouded in the mountain clouds. (Yahweh-Amen was not a god of the mountains, but is also said to dwell in "thick darkness," Heb. araphel). Ram was written as Rim in Babylonian, which is almost identical to Rime. A notable Babylonian king of the period was known as Rim-Sin (Patriarch Shelah). Rime might also connect with the Hebrew ramah/remah, (7411/7412) which means to "cast down." A connotation of Kakrime might then be, "casting down the strong," specifically his own son Terah. Like the name Tudhaliyas, Kakrime recalls a Patriarchal founder, Montuhotep (Seth/Aram/Ram). Amraphel might also elicit the connotation of Am-araphel, King of "Dark People," i.e., people of India. (However, the Hebrew word for people (am) is not the same spelling as in Amraphel.)
Amraphel, King of Shinar = Kakrime, Kassite King of Babylon = Zalmunnah
The root -rime has been equated by the Judges author to the Hebrew word amar.
amar (559) to declare, challenge
amar (6014) to heap; figuratively to chastise (as if piling blows); specifically (as demonstrative from omer (a sheaf) to gather grain:-bind sheaves of grain.
The two Hebrew words rendered "amar" in English have a slightly different spelling and pronunciation in Hebrew.
omer (562) promise, word
imriy (566) wordy [from (559)]
omer (6016) a heap, i.e., a sheaf
aphel (6075) to swell; fig. be elated:- be lifted up, presume.
ophel (6075) a turior; also a mound, i.e. fortress, a ridge in Jerusalem
aphel (651) to set as the sun; dusky:- very dark
ophel (652) dusk:- darkness, obscurity, privily
araphel (6205) thick darkness
Strong's Concordance states that Amraphel is of uncertain derivation.
It seems that the form of the name was deliberately made ambiguous in order to allow many interpretations. For example:
Imriy-phel = "wordy divider," i.e., covenant breaker
from pala (6381) to separate, be great, difficult, hidden, too high
Cf Palluw (6396) distinguished
Am(a)r-aphel = "lofty talker," i.e., strong words, big talker
Am(a)r-rapha-el = "wordiness of God is cured"
from raphah (7495) cure; rapha ( 7496) dead
The name Amraphel is then a more liberal or sarcastic translation of Kakrime. The similar sets of roots amar/omer (559/562) and amar/omer (6014/6016) allowed the Genesis author to create a suitable Hebrew nickname for Kakrime that emphasized his verbosity. It characterizes Kakrime as a man of lofty words rather than faithful action, at least with respect to his dealings with Samsu-ditana (Terah). In Judges 8:21, the wordy one Kakrime (Amraphel) remained in character even when facing execution at the hands of his grandson Tao II (Gideon). Tao II later suffered a similar fate. See Chapter 11.
On the basis of chronological and linguistic comparisons, Amraphel is therefore securely identified as the historical Kassite king Kakrime (Agum II). However, it must be said that there is not necessarily a single correct meaning for the name Kakrime (or Amraphel). As we have seen in the previous chapters,names were often carefully chosen in order to express multiple levels of meaning, and also to carry useful meanings in multiple languages. The Patriarchal line was an international ruling elite. They were conversant in many languages, and comfortable in many geographic and cultural settings. They were the original "culture vultures." The Patriarchal king Agum II became the king of an Indian (Sanskrit) speaking people. He not only assumed a Sanskrit name, Kakrime, but an identity that was meaningful (as well as intimidating) to this new group of subjects.
Zalmunnah means, "withheld/removed covering/protection/covenant/bonds/binding," i.e., covenant breaker.
alummah (485) = "sheaf, bind"
salma/salmon = "covering"
Zalmunnah is derived from the Hebrew words alummah, meaning "sheaf, bind," and salma/salmon, meaning a "covering." As noted previously, the name Salmon was a nickname of Joshua and signifies "mantle," birthright and kingly succession. Hammurabi removed salmon from Elishama/Joktan and gave it to Joshua son of Nun (Reu son of Peleg). Late in life, the father of Terah likewise decided to strip him of his mantle and give it to another one of his son's. He considered the holdings of Samsu-ditana (Terah) in Babylon to be expendable and facilitated his overthrow. What Terah may have done to provoke this action on the part of his father is not made known in the Bible. The name Agum is related to the Hebrew agam, to collect. The Hebrew word aguddah means "to bind, band, bundle." The Biblical name Agur means "gathered," and was a nickname of Solomon. Solomon also called one of his two famous pillars Obed, apparently after himself and his great ancestor Kakrime. The father of Terah (Jesse) was also called Obed, which means "keep in bondage." In the genealogy of King Saul (1 Sam 9:1), Terah/Jesse is called by yet another alias. He is named there as Abiel ("Father of God"). The father of Abiel is in turned named as Zeror. Zeror means "a package, e.g. of grain" and is derived from the verb tsarar, "to cramp, oppress."
Khedorlaomer, King of Elam = Kidinu, King of Elam = Zebah
Khedor ~ Kidinu
omer = "sheaf, to bind"
-la-omer = "belonging to the sheaf/binder," or freely translated "son/vassal of Zalmunnah"
Cf lael (3815) = "belonging to God" ; laanah (3939) = "to curse, poisonous" ;
laeg (3934) = "foreign buffoon" ; laaz (3937) = "foreign tongue"
Cf omer ("bind") and omar ("speak")
-laomer/laomar is a play on words having the double entendre of "son of the wordy one," and "son of the binder." Therefore, Khedorlaomer = "Kidinu, son of the binder/wordy one," or more specifically, son of the one who spoke empty words and broke binding agreements (Biblical Zalmunnah/Amraphel).
Zebah = "slaughter, sacrifice"
Possibly Zebah is also a play on Eber meaning "from the east, beyond, opposite or across."
Arioch, King of Ellasar = Arik-den-ili, King of Assyria = Zeeb
ari = lion cf ocher = yellow
Arioch = "yellow lion?"
yeraqraq = "yellowishness" See Psalm 68:13, "yellow gold"
from (3418) yereq = "pallor," "sickly, yellowish green"
from (3417) yaraq = "spit"
Zeeb ("to be yellow," "a wolf")
Cf The ancient Assyrian city of Nimrod on the River Zabus (Great Zab)
Cf Hebrew yareach (3394) the moon
Tidal, King of Goiim = Hittite (Hurrian) King Tudhaliyas = Oreb
Tidal = "fearfulness"
Goiim = "horde"
Oreb = "swarm"
Senakhtenre = Se-nakht (renewed) + en (like/as) + Re (the sun god)
The Biblical name Terah has no Hebrew etymology and was probably formed from his Egyptian throne names Senakhtenre. Terah may "derive" from the final phonic (sound) of the praenomen, i.e., "Tenre." The Egyptian "n" was possibly dropped in the colloquial Hebrew. Also, "n's" and "r's" are frequently interchangeable in Biblical names. Example: Achan/Achar. A related Biblical name, Serach, may derive from the first part of Senakhtenre. Senakhtenre Tao I was known as Apophis I in Lower Egypt. Au-ser-re, the throne name of Apophis also bears a resemblance to the Biblical name Terah, and means, "Great and Powerful like Re."
Mose, meaning son, is roughly equivalent to the Hebrew/Chaldean roots Esh/Ish connoting "issue" or "seed." Cah is a transliteration of the Egyptian word Ka, meaning "spirit" or "soul."
Chaldean, Kah (3541) signifying presence, heaviness/weightiness
According to Strong's concordance, the Hebrew/Chaldean word kah is formed by the prefix k, and hiy (1931) signifying the self.
Therefore, Ka-mose is equivalent to Is(h)-kah with the roots transposed. Transposition of words, roots, and especially individual letters is extremely common when translating ancient and modern languages. Examples: Egyptian Hopte becomes Anglicized as Hotep. The ancient city of Ebla is as frequently written as Elba. Standardized spelling is largely a modern phenomenon "deriving" from Webster and his dictionary.
Chaldean, Kahen (3541) a priest (modern day Jewish surname of Cohen/Kahn/Kuhn)
Chaldean, Kowkab (3556) "a prince"
Iscah cannot be Sarah as Strong's Concordance suggests, because Sarah is said to be the half-sister and not the niece of Abram.
A comprehensive treatment of the Hyksos is found in Donald Redford's book, "Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times."
As a sample of the widely varying perspectives on the significance of the Hyksos see:
"The Angel of the Lord" is actually sent to the "Abiezrites." The terms "Abiezrites" and "Israelites" are used interchangeably in Judges. The name Abiezrite literally means "father of help" (Heb. Ezra/Azar, "to help, succor.") The Israelites could expect deliverance, because they belonged to the "Father of Help." Azarah was also the Mesopotamian name of the Patriarch Lamech. The "father of Azarah" (Abiezra), was the Patriarch Methuseleh. Methuseleh corresponds to the Babylonian king Suma-abum, founder of 1st Dynasty Babylon. The suffix -abum also means "father." Suma is perhaps related to the Hebrew words shama/shema, meaning "to hear," and figuratively to help or deliver. Cf suma and the English word summon ("to send for") Quite probably, Abiezrite is then a title that connects the Israelites of the book of Judges to the Patriarch Methuseleh ("man of war"), who was known in Babylon as the "great father (of help)," Suma-abum, and in Egypt as Senusret (Sesostris) III.
Alternatively, David Rohl proposes that Abiezrite can be interpreted as "follower of Osiris" (Legend, p 415-416). Rohl's etymology of Mizraim (the Biblical name of Egypt) is m-izr (followers of Osiris). Abiezrite would therefore relate to the descendants or adherents of one Izr/Azar/Osir(is), or the father thereof. In Egyptian tradition, the father of Osiris was the god Ra/Re. Egypt revered Osiris and his son Horus. Seth/Baal was considered the brother and murderer of Osiris. Rohl's idenitfication would also appear to be more reasonable in light of Abraham's association with Osiris (See Chapter 13).
Bela, King of Zoar
Bela is a pseudonym for Abram's main ally Mamre, who is called Gideon and Jerub-baal in Judges. His given name was Baal (Tao II), a variant of Bela.
Bela (1104, 1105) = "to make away with (spec. by swallowing); generally to destroy:-cover, destroy, devour, eat up, be at end, spend up, swallow down (up),"
"destruction:-devouring, that which he hath swallowed up"
Hebrew baal (1166) "to be master"
* In Greek tradition "Belos" is considered to be a relation of "Epaphos" (Apophis). See "Black Athena" by Martin Bernal, Vol 1, p 95. More specifically, Belos (Tao II/Apophis II) was the son of Epaphos (Tao I/Apophis I).
Shemeber, King of Zeboiim
Zeboiim means "twin cities," and corresponds to Memphis. The Greeks called Memphis by the name of Delphi. Both Memphis and Delphi mean "city of the oracle." However, Delphi also connotes "twins." See "Black Athena" by Martin Bernal, p 68.
Shemeber means "name of pinion," i.e., the "Illustrious." However, Shem-eber is also a compound name corresponding to Abram. Abram was a "wise man" of the order of the Patriarch Shem (King Sabium). He was also a notable "Eber," i.e., one who "crossed over," in the manner of the Patriarch Eber. Abram is type-cast as a repetition of Amenemhet IV/Sabium and Wahibre/Hammurabi/Moses. In addition to the god Thoth, the archetypes for the New Kingdom Patriarch Abram (Abraham) are the sage Shem (Amenemhet IV/Sabium) and the stilted prince Eber (Wahibre/Hammurabi).
The Torah is a legacy of the ancient wisdom cult. Abraham/Djehuty epitomized that tradition, and is therefore the central figure of the Genesis narrative. Abraham alone is righteous. His four royal allies are given symbolic king names that indicate their inferiority to Abraham. The Torah is strongly pro-Abraham in its bias. Abraham must not only devise a plan to rescue his nephew Lot, but must overcome the inadequacies of his "fickle" father and "boorish" brothers. With brains rather than brawn, Abraham rebels against oppressors and repels their great army.
Bera, King of Sodom
According to Strong's Concordance, Bera is of uncertain derivation.
Related words are:
Bara (1254) "to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes:- choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat)
Baara (female name) brutish, stupid, consume (by fire or by eating), bring/put/take away, burn, waste"
Beriah (Jah has created/cut down, derives from the name Bara), son of Ephraim.
Berith (1285, 1286) A Shechemite deity and a type of fire offering (Gen 15:9-18)
Bera is a pseudonym for Eschol (Thutmose I) of Genesis 14.
Connotations of the root Esh/Ish/Ash are: "out pour" (793), "to flow out" (7640), to "grow out" (7641, 7644), to "branch out from" (7640), "foundation" (787, 803), "sacrifice" (801), step forth/out (838), "split into a forked tongue as a flame" (7632), "seventh" (7637), "black" (Ashur), and "burning, fiery, flaming, hot" (esh) (784).
The names Eshcol and Bera connect in the sense of "consuming fire." Also, Bera may be a play on Beera ("a well"), as in Beer Sheba, which is the well of Thutmose and Abraham (See Chapter 12) Also in Chapters 11 & 12, we shall see that Thumose later "cut down" his royal rivals and "burned up" the Sodomites for failing to fight for him in the war with the "Midianites." Thutmose was also associated with Shechem and Berith.
Birsha, King of Gomorrah
Birsha ("with wickedness"), probably from rasha (7561) "to be wrong"
Birsha is a pseudonym of Abram's ally Aner (Amenhotep I) of Genesis 14.
The Hebrew B'ratsah would mean "with favour," from ratsah (7521)
An alternate Biblical form of the name Amenhotep is Hanan, meaning "favor." (See Chapter 11)
Also compare the Hebrew word rishyown (7558) "to have leave, a permit:-grant," i.e., favor.
Shinab, King of Admah
Shinab, possibly meaning "a father has turned," is a pseudonym for Terah.
Compare the name Jephunneh (3312) based on the verb panah (6437) "to turn:- cast out, go away, (re)turn, turn (aside, away, back)" Also compare Job/Jashub, "he shall return, convert."
Tao I (Terah/Job) was king of Adam's dominion, but was rejected and turned away. In the troubles of his later years, Tao I also turned back to Baal. However, after the victory of his sons over the Midianites, it seems the heart of the father Job "converted" once again to the faith of his Yahwist son.
Compare Admah with Adamah (from the name Adam, "red"). This particular Edom would have to be in or near the "Red Land" of Egypt. Based on the geographical progression of cities, it may have been in the eastern Delta in the vicinity of Bubastis between Avaris and Memphis. Besides the Edom of the Sinai/Trans-Jordan, there was also a region known as Edom-Shamash in NW Mesopotamia (Aram Naharaim). However, the title "King of Admah" may have been purely symbolic of Tao's kingship over all of the realm of Adam.
Later in victory, Shinab, "a father has turned (to wickedness)" is instead called Melchizekek ("a king (turned) to righteousness"). Even though Terah was certainly a divine priest-king and even considered to be a living god, he is depicted in Scripture as an idolatrous and fickle father. He refused to reinstate Abram's kingship, but appointed other sons instead. Consistent with this, Melchizekek does not offer Abram the kingly spoils of the victory, but only presents the bread and wine - gifts more worthy of a priest. Although slighted, Abram is depicted as unwavering, especially in his devotion to the "true god" Jehovah. The Old Testament passage does not say that Melchizedek was an Eternal Being. However, over the centuries the context of the passage was lost and Melchizedek took on a mysterious, otherworldly aspect. Through archaeology, we can now strip away the mystique and actually appreciate the humor that the Biblical author employed when telling his story.
Terah may have ultimately died in Haran, but he remained quite active throughout Canaan and Egypt after he was deposed in Babylon. This city of Haran was a favorite halfway house for royal refugees. The tradition began with the rebellious moon god Sin, who was patron deity of both Ur and Haran. Zecharia Sitchin writes in The 12th Planet (p113-114), "Both Sumerian texts, as well as achaeological evidence, indicate that Sin and his spouse fled to Haran. Though Ur remained for all time a city dedicated to Nanna/Sin, Haran must have been his residence for a very long time, for it was made to resemble Ur - its temples, buildings, and streets - almost exactly." Long after the time of Terah and Abram, the last ruler of Assyria, Assur-uballit II, also fled to Haran to escape the combined armies of Babylon and the Medes. The mentioning of Haran in the text of Genesis is a clue to the kingly status of Terah and Abram, and more importantly that they were deposed rulers. Terah, we are told, died in Haran. Certainly, his role as living god over the four quarters of the Middle Eastern "world" died there. However, he lived on for some time in his fallen state. Abram also was not able to recover his lost inheritance, but the grace with which he endured the indignity was not forgotten. See Chapters 11-13.
The thrust of Mesopotamian kings into India and even China began with Suma-abum, founder of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon. In more eastern climes, Suma-abum was known variously as Gandash, Gungunum and Kun (China). Kun was the "father" of Yu, the first Emperor of China. The kings of 1st Dynasty Babylon left records of the placement of foreign peoples according to their edicts (see Note 1, above). Resettlement/deportation (called "Exile" in the Bible) became a highly effective form of population control, and continued to be employed by imperialists long after the 1st Dynasty of Babylon collapsed. The ruling class of a newly conquered region was relocated to another home within the empire where their talents could be better exploited, and where they would not have a population base with which to revolt against their new masters. It was the common practice of these kings to adopt regional identities in order to be better accepted by the local peoples. They also sometimes exchanged elements of culture between the various regional capitals. Interestingly, Terah, the father of Abram, assumed the very oriental throne name of Tao in Upper Egypt. Terah assumed the Kassite/Sanskrit throne name of Burna-buriash in India. In the Book of Judges, this name is shortened to "Jo-ash." He was also remembered in India as Melik-Sadaksina (Melchizedek). He and Brahma (Abram) are associated with the founding of the Hindu religion in India! The young prince Abram, heir to the throne of this vast empire, would have spent a great deal of time in India, learned eastern philosophy and meditation, and was later remembered as a native of India. From Egypt, Abram also sent some of his sons "to the east," which now appears to have been India. This would have also served to make his memory permanent there. See the very interesting article by Gene Matlock at: www.viewzone.com/abraham.html
Aner is a form/variant of the Egyptian name Amen/Amun. The "Hidden" God Amun had become the predominant deity of Thebes in Egypt by the 18th Dynasty. In Hebrew Aner signifies a boy, child, youth, indicating that he was very much the junior member of the alliance. The fact that he was quite young indicates his stature is due to his royalty and not his accomplishments as a warrior. The name Aner and related Hebrew words also connote "hidden" or "secret." This is the salient characteristic of the Egyptian god Amun. Therefore, Abram's great ally Aner is likely Amenhotep I ("Amen is satisfied"), by may not yet have been considered a pharaoh at the time of the battle. Amenhotep I is generally considered to be the son of Ahmose. This is confirmed in the Kings narrative where Ahmose is called Nahash, and his son is Hanun. which is a variant of Amen/Aner (See next chapter.) Therefore, Amenhotep would have been a great-grandson of Tao I.
That Amenhotep could have been old enough to have a significant role in the events of Genesis 14 is surprising. However, Amenhotep may have been favored as a result of being Tao's first great-grandson. Crown princes began producing heirs of their own upon reaching puberty. Sixteen years or even less between firstborn sons is not unreasonable. Conceivably, Tao became a great-grandfather by his mid-forties. Tao's own father, Ammi-saduqa/Kakrime, was also still very much alive, and would have been in his sixties. If Tao had been appointed successor at the age of 16, then he would have been 47 years old when deposed in Babylon after a reign of 31 years. The battle of "four kings against five" took place after 7 years of oppression according to Judges, and after 14 years according to Genesis. However, it is not clear how these dates are referenced to the coup d'etat that forced Tao out of Babylon. Logically, the coup and the battle of Genesis 14 took place only a short time after Tao attempted to throw off the heavy tribute being placed upon him by his aging father Kakrime. If he was the true son of Ahmose (Nahash/Thahash), then Amenhotep (Aner) would have been exceptionally young at the time of the confrontation, probably less than ten years of age.
It should be noted that another prominent prince of the day is named Abner in the Kings narrative. Abner would have been a brother or half-brother of Abraham, Gideon and Abimelech (David). Abner was Saul's army commander, but sided with David after Saul's death. He was later killed by David's nephew and general Joab. Hanun was also killed by Joab, but evidently at a much later date and under different circumstances. However, it is at least possible that the Aner of Genesis 14 and Phurah of Judges 6-8 was not Hanun (Amenhotep I), but the prince Abner.
Aner (6063) from naar (5288) lad, boy, child, etc.
anan (6049-6051) cloud, covering, hiding
Amun associated with the Ram
ram = high (as are the concealing clouds and sky)
Cf Aner, Aram and Abram ("Exalted Father")
Cf Amorite, Amun-ite, and Ammon-ite
anah/anab/anav/anvah/anavah/enuwth/oniy/aniy/unniy (6030/1, 6033, 6035, 6037-6042) collectively having meanings of: misery, afflicted, troubled, humble, meek
anayah/anah 6043, 6030-6032 answer
amam (6004) hide, overshadow, become dim
Anamim (6047) a son of Mizraim ("father of Egypt")
Anammelek (6048) Assyrian deity
Anunnaki, Mesopotamian equivalent of the Biblical Elohim
Aram, "highland," grandson of Nahor (Gen 22:21)
Anen/Aanen/Amon, eldest son of Yuya and priest of On
amen (543) true, so be it; the ending of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim prayers
anem (6046) two fountains
Purah/Phurah (6513) "foliage," connoting its hiding property and green-ness (youthfulness)
from (6288) purah, "foliage (including the limbs)"
from (6286) paar, "to gleam, embellish, boast, beautify, glorify (self), vaunt self"
Pharaoh (6547), "Phurah" is a play on words to symbolize Aner's status as (future) Pharaoh Amenhotep I.
Jeiel and the variant Jeuel mean "carried away by God," and are derived from yaah (3261) "to brush aside:- sweep away." Tao I was swept aside by his father Kakrime (Obed/Zeror).
The variant Jehiel means "God will live." Tao I survived being disowned by his father, and an earlier attack by a close relation Mur-shili (Mursilis I).
While the genealogies of Terah found in Chronicles are more complete, there is some variation between the Greek and Hebrew Bible versions of this genealogy. In 1 Chronicles 8, some Septuagint manuscripts provide the names Jeiel and Ner. The Hebrew text does not. The climax of the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 8 & 9 is the family history of King Saul. However, the genealogy given for Saul in the Samuel 9:1 does not seem to agree with the ones provided in Chronicles 8 & 9. In both Samuel and Chronicles, Saul is the son of Kish. However, in Chronicles, he is the grandson of Ner, while in Samuel he is the grandson of Abiel. Abiel means "father of the God," and is a generic title for the king or king-elect. This name is not very helpful, and can only be associated with Tao by its relative position in the list. On the other hand, Ner, meaning "lamp" or "fire" is a variant of the name Joash, "fire of Jehovah." Joash is the name given to Tao I is Judges. Therefore, Ner and Abiel are yet more names for Tao I (Terah). Abner son of Ner was a general of Saul, and later of David. However, it is not clear to which son of Jeiel/Abiel/Jesse he corresponds.
The genealogy of Jeiel lists half-brothers as though they were full brothers (from the same mother).
Abdon (Abram), Zur (Nahor) and Kish (Haran) are full brothers by one royal wife (Maaca #1).
The fourth son of Terah/Jeiel in the Chronicles list is Baal, which corresponds to Gideon's given name Tao (II).
The fifth son Ner is not found in the Hebrew text. Ner, as noted above, is an alias of Jeiel himself. Ner possibly should have been written as Abner. A prominent grandson of Jeiel (Terah) through Zur (Nahor) was Aner (Egy. Amenhotep I)
The sixth son Nadab likely corresponds to David. He is listed as the seventh son of Jesse. The order of sons in any given genealogy depended on the "ranking" of their mothers, and that varied with geographical location.
The Biblical Job is said to have had seven sons. The genealogies of 1 Chron 8 and 1 Chron 9 list nine and ten sons, respectively. Jesse had either seven or eight sons, depending upon whether one goes by the narrative of 1 Samuel 16 or the genealogy of Jesse given in 1 Chronicles 2:13-15. If Job, Jeiel, Jesse and Terah are different nicknames of the same king, then three sons in the Chronicles genealogy of Jeiel/Jehiel are either redundant, represent grandsons rather than sons of Terah, or were sired through one or more other royal wives (Maaca's). Possibly, Tao II is listed twice in this genealogy, once as Baal and again as Gedor, who fills the favored seventh position. The name Gedor is a close variant of Gideon. Gedor means "enclosure" and may also be symbolic of the strategy Gideon and Abram used to encircle and incite the Midianites to riot. If so, this name is redundant with Baal. Earlier in the same chapter of Chronicles (8, verses 1-5), we are told that Bela had two sons by the name of Gera! Better to list twice than to risk leaving out a prominent ancestor!
A transmission error in the Chronicles genealogy is also evident. The Chronicles passage begins with, "Jeiel the father of Gibeon lived in Gibeon." The original name of Gideon was replaced by Gibeon." The passage probably originally read, "Jeiel the father of Gideon lived in Gibeon."