Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pharoah’s Priesthood Claim

Critics have a difficult time with the view that Ham’s descendants carried the mark of the black skin through the Flood and continued the Lord’s curse on certain people. It is certainly not a politically correct attitude today; however, it would seem that the Lord is not a politically correct God. He does what he does, and people can either accept His will, or not, according to their pleasure. But rejection does not mean that it is not His will.
In the case of Cain’s curse and mark, which was carried beyond the Flood, the problem surrounds the holding of the Priesthood, a divine injunction that allows man to act in the name of God in the carrying out of His work. Whether man agrees with God in His rules for this priesthood matters littler.
First of all, we need to understand that all of Noah’s sons, including Ham, were  honorable men who walked with God (Moses 8:27), and was favored by Him along with Noah, who was not only a just man, but perfect in his generation (Genesis 6:9). However, Ham made the decision to marry outside the favored lineage, and as a result, became one of the sons of God (those holding the priesthood) that saw the daughters of men (those not holding the priesthood) and they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose (Genesis 6:1). And the Lord was not pleased, saying “My spirit shall not always strive with man” for the children of such marriages became wicked and evil continually (Genesis 6:5), which grieved Noah and the Lord said he would destroy man and all living things (Genesis 6:7).
Unfortunately, there are many people who do not really understand about the Priesthood (Exodus 40:15; Numbers 25:13; Hebrews 24; I Peter 2:5) that was held by Noah’s sons and why the curse of Cain continued through Ham’s children. Obviously, the problem was not with Ham, for he was a just man, but rather because the priesthood was claimed by his sons through the wrong line, "that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood" (Abraham 1:27).
What was wrong with it? Simply this: It was not the patriarchal but the matriarchal line he was following. Even while "seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations [what the Egyptians called the pawt], in the days of the first patriarchal reign" (Abraham 1:26), he nonetheless traced his descent and his throne to "a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, the daughter of Egyptus" (Abraham 1:23); this woman "discovered the land" and "settled her sons in it" (Abraham 1:24). Her eldest son, named Pharoah, who became the first ruler or king "after the manner" of the patriarchal order (Abraham 1:25), which the king sought earnestly to "imitate."
Pharoah was a righteous man during his entire reign, but he did not hold the Priesthood. Though Pharaoh was Egypt's first King, Egypt would likely have been separated into two Egypts before the birth of Mizraim, because his name means “two lands,” which stands for Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. This might well mean that Egyptus founded Egypt, and before the birth of her brother, Mizraim, the land became divided. Pharaoh possibly then became king of one of these lands before Mizraim reunited these lands to form one Egypt. However it is also possible that Pharaoh reunited the country and later the land became divided again. In either situation Mizraim is bound to have done something of greater importance than his nephew, in order for the land to end up bearing his name. There is no doubt however that Pharaoh, and his mother, were great rulers, as the term for king, Pharaoh, is named after him.
Thus, initially the government of Egypt was carried on under the fiction of being patriarchal while the actual line was matriarchal, the queen being "the wife of the God and bearer of the royal lineage." But however noble it may be, a matriarchal line cannot claim patriarchal authority, even though all the parties concerned are sympathetically portrayed. In all of which there is no mention of race, though enemies of the church have declared with shock and outrage that these passages are proof that Mormons discrimination against blacks.
In fact, the tension between patriarchal and matriarchal authority meets us at every step in the royal inscriptions as one of the dominant notes in Egyptian civilization. The old matriarchal tradition is clearly announced in Facsimile 3 by the presence of Hathor (figure 2) in her usual position immediately behind the throne. She is Ht-hr, the "house" (womb) from which Horus, the legitimate heir to the throne, must emerge; she is "both the King's mother, his wife [as such called his sister] . . . par excellence the goddess of the Kingship." Her horned headdress with the sun's disk—the new king appearing between the horns of the mother cow—appears all the way from prehistoric glyphs on canyon walls down to paintings on the walls of Christian Coptic monasteries.
The same crown may be worn by any goddess functioning in her capacity, for as the old Mediterranean Mother-goddess, to whom kings were merely consorts, she has countless ways of appearing. "It was quite impossible," wrote E. A. Wallis Budge, "for any worshipper of Hathor, however devout, to enumerate all the forms of the goddess which existed." She is the heavenly cow, the mother of the sun-god himself, and also his daughter; she is Nut the Sky-goddess and also the daughter of Nut. She has things both ways: She is the ruler and the ruled, with alternating assertions of patriarchal and matriarchal priority. Acting in her capacity of Queen Mother as the oldest daughter of Geb, she is the regent with full right to the title of Rpʿt. Indeed, it is her throne upon which the king sits by her favor as Lady of the Mysteries; no one enters the pharaoh's presence without her approval; it is she "according to whose plans the royal office is passed on," and "he is chosen whom her heart desireth to sit upon the throne!"
In her special capacity as the one closest and dearest to the king, Hathor is identified with Isis, who is "the divine mother and princess, . . . the female Sun." Like Hathor, Isis commands the throne, for in the words of Siegfried Morenz, "She is the embodiment of the Throne…is the Egyptian Kingship itself, which is embodied in the living King Horus, at whose death it enters into Osiris." With the idea of the Great Lady actually "embodying" the king, the incongruity of figure 2 as "King Pharaoh" begins to dissolve. "The throne 'makes' the king," wrote Frankfort; "the term occurs in Egyptian texts—and so the throne, Isis, is the 'mother' of the king. This expression might be viewed as a metaphor, but the evidence shows that it was not." To the king she says: "I reward thee with my throne as king of all the lands…I give to thee the office of Atum on the throne of Shu." True, the son must succeed his father, but who knows who his father really is? It is the mother alone who holds the sure keys to that all-important legitimacy on which patriarchal succession depends; it is Isis "the Lady of Life" who represents and guarantees the continuity of the line; only when Mother Hathor greets the new king as Horus at the coronation is "the king acknowledged as legitimate and is free to receive the crown." As the king rows his mother in a boat at the feast of Opet (Abraham 1:24), she reminds him that she is his mother, and that all the power and authority he possesses comes from her. If only because it is the mother who has the last word in matters of legitimacy, divine authority is transferred by women rather than men in Egypt.
Thus, the Priesthood under this Egyptian manner of government, would have to come through the female lineage, which it cannot rightly pass, thus the Priesthood of Ham ended with him and all his posterity, beginning with Pharoah, are not able to receive or hold it. It is not a matter of discrimination, but a matter of proper authority.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this very detailed explanation, I have never heard this before.I have learned a lot. My one question is, why was it assumed that African American's were descendants of Ham. Was this just another way to discriminate against them? Did anyone have any proof of genealogy? Another question, since Ham and his posterity are "lost" without the proper priesthood, does God have a plan of reconciliation with this people?

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  2. Probably because Ham's daughter, Egyptus (a descendent through her mother of the Cain-Canaan lineage), settled in Egypt (Africa), and the curse & mark of the black skin continued through her lineage. The term African American is a very recent term for those whose genealogy emanated in Africa. God has a plan for everything and everybody. We don't always know what that plan is, but we do know that the saving ordinances now performed in the temples will continue through the millennium and that we will busy doing the work for the dead throughout that period of time.

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