Monday, January 26, 2015

Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part III

Continuing from the last two posts regarding the two important issues involved in the Lord’s statement: “that quarter where there never had man been.” Below is a continuation of the spread of Noah’s sixteen grandsons and their impact on the Jaredite travel and why the quarter the Lord speaks of is not between Mesopotamia and China. 
    These are Noah’s grandchildren through Ham, who lived mainly in southwest Asia and Africa, the latter often referred to in the Bible as the Land of Ham (Psalms 105:23, 27).
Ham’s descendants settled in Canaan (Palestine), and northern Africa
    Cush. This is the Hebrew word for old Ethiopia (from Aswan south to Khartoum). Without exception, the word Ethiopia in the English Bible is always a translation of the Hebrew word Cush. Josephus rendered the name as Chus, and says that the Ethiopians “are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Chusites.”
    Mizraim. This is the Hebrew word for Egypt, which appears hundreds of times in the Old Testament and (with one exception) is always a translation of the word Mizraim. As an example, at the burial of Jacob, the Canaanites observed the mourning of the Egyptians and so called the place Abel Mizraim (Genesis 50:11).
    Phut. This is the Hebrew name for Libya, and is so translated three times in the Old Testament. The ancient river Phut was in Libya, but by Daniel’s day, the name Phut had been changed to Libya (Daniel 11:43). Josephus states that “Phut also was the founder of Libia, and called the inhabitants Phutites, from himself.”
    Canaan. This is the Hebrew name for the general region of Palestine and Jordan, which the Romans later called Palestine—modern Israel and Jordan. Some of Ham’s descendants were 1) Philistim, the ancestor of the Philistines, giving rise to the name Palestine; Sidon, the founder of the ancient city that bears his name; Heth, the patriarch of the ancient Hittite empire, and the ancestor of the Jebusites (Genesis 10:15-18), with Jebus the ancient name for Jerusalem (Judges 19:10). The Amorites, Girgasites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites were all ancient peoples who lived in the land of Canaan.
Artist’s reconstruction of Nimrod’s city of Nimrud (Calah) which became an important city in Iraq, showing Tiglath-illeser III’s palace 7th century B.C.
    Nimrod. The most prominent descendant, he was the founder of Babel (Babylon), as well as of Erech, Accad and Calneh in Shinar (Babylonia)—which may be from the Hebrew Shene neharot, meaning “two rivers,” or Shene arim, meaning “two cities” or Akkadian Sumeru—and spread throughout Mesopotamia with his descendants.
    Next is Noah’s grandchildren through Shem.
    Elam. This is the ancient name for Persia, which is the ancient name of Modern day Iran. Until the time of Cyrus the people here were called Elamites, and they were still often called that even in New Testament times. Persians were present at Pentecost and called Elamites (Acts 2:9). The Persians are thus descended from both Elam, the son of Shem, and from Madai, the son of Japheth. Since the 1930s they have called their country Iran. It might be of interest to know that the word “Aryan,” which fascinated Adolf Hitler, is a form of the word “Iran,” thus Hitler wanted to produce a “pure Aryan race of supermen,” but the very term “Aryan” signifies a mixed line of Semites and Japhethites!
    Asshur. This is the Hebrew word for Assyria, one of the great ancient empires. Every time the words Assyria or Assyrian appears in the Old Testament, it is a translation of the word Asshur, who was worshipped by his descendants. In fact, as long as Assyria lasted (until 612 B.C.) accounts of battles, diplomatic affairs and foreign bulletins were daily read out to Asshur’s image; and every Assyrian king held that he wore the crown only with the express permission of Asshur’s deified ghost.
Chaldea, along the southern edge of Mesopotamia, was settled by Arphaxad, which center later was the home of Abraham
    Arphaxad (Arpachshad). He was the progenitor of the Chaldeans, which is confirmed by the Hurrian (Nuzi) tablets that render the name as Arip-hurra—the founder of Chaldea.  His descendant, Eber, gave his name to the Hebrew people via the line of Eber-Peleg-Reu-Serug-Nahor-Terah-Abram (Genesis 11:16-26), which Eber was also the father of Joktan, who had thirteen sons (Genesis 10:26-30), which settled in Arabia.
    Lud. He was the ancestor of the Lydians, which area of Lydia was in the present area of Western Turkey. Their capital was Sardis—where one of the seven churches of Asia was located (Revelation 3:1).
    Aram. This is the Hebrew word for Syria. Whenever the word Syria appears in the Old Testament it is a translation of the word Aram. The Syrians call themselves Arameans, and their language is called Aramaic. Before the spread of the Greek Empire, Aramaic was the international language (2 Kings 18:26). On the cross, when Jesus cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” (Mark 15:34), he was speaking Aramaic, the language of the common people.
    Obviously, this is only a very brief glance at Noah’s sixteen grandsons, but enough is evident to show how this second generation after the Flood (probably through about 2300 B.C.) spread over the land, outward in every direction from Mesopotamia. The Jaredites would not come on the scene in Mesopotamia for at least another hundred years or more.
    The great empires of the past: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Persia all have strong historical links to the Biblical figures connected with the sons of Noah—all got started before the Jaredites existed. Over the centuries nearly all, if not all, tribes and nations can be traced to these sixteen grandsons through their descendants within a generation or two from the Flood.
As an example, the first recorded dynasty of China began in 2256 B.C., approximately 100 years after the flood, and at least 50 to 100 years before the Jaredites. This record appears in the Shu Jing (Book of History), compiled by Confucius who recorded the life of Emperor Shun of this dynasty, who called the Creator of the World ShangDi (Heavenly Ruler) in his language, and his annual prayer to the Spiritual Sovereign reads a lot like the opening chapter of Genesis (James Legge, The Notions of the Chinese Concerning God and Spirits, Hong Kong Register Office, p28, 1852). It is also likely an earlier Emperor existed by the name of Yao (2300 to 2256 B.C.), showing an even earlier post-Flood occupation of China (Dorothy Perkins, Encyclopedia of China: History and Culture, “Shu-ching,” Rutledge, 2013).
    Once again, these sixteen grandsons of Noah spread throughout the Mediterranean World and all the way to China before the Jaredites entered the scene and before Nimrod built his Tower. The latter, of course, was the son of Cush, grandson of Ham and great-grandson of Noah, of which there would have been a great many of Noah’s descendants in Nimrod’s generation. According to Josephus and the Talmud, it was Nimrod who began the building of Babel and its tower in the land of Shinar (Sennaar), which word is used eight times in the Bible and is always translated as Babylonia. The date of the tower would probably fall sometime in the early twenty-second century, B.C.
    Assuming that Jared and his brother were among the thirteen sons of Joktan the son of Eber (see the book Who Really Settled Mesoamerica for Jared and Moriancumer's genealogy), the Jaredites would have been six generations from Noah (Noah, Shem, Araphaxad, Salah, Eber, Joktan, Jared), and two generations later than Nimrod. According to the Genesis account, Araphaxad (Noah’s grandson through Shem) was born two years after the Flood (Genesis 11:10), which would have been in the year 2341 B.C. Araphaxad was 35 years old when his son, Salah, was born in the year 2306 B.C. Salah was thirty when Eber was born in the year 2276 B.C. While Eber was 34 when Peleg was born (2242 B.C.), and assuming Joktan was a younger brother, which his name implies (lesser, smaller, little or unimportant), his birth would have been around 2240 B.C. And using these dates of offspring in the early thirties, that would mean that Joktan’s fourth son, Jerah (Jared), would have been born somewhere around 2200 B.C. If this is the case, then Joktan’s eleventh son, Ophir—the brother of Jared—would have been born somewhere around 2185 to 2180 B.C.
    While these dates after Peleg, as well as the placement of Jared and his brother, are speculative, they would come fairly close to the birthdates of Jerah and Ophir, Joktan’s fourth and eleventh sons. If we scatter in some daughters born to Joktan during this time, the dates of Jared and his brother could be as much as ten or more years later (2190 and 2175/2170 B.C.)
(See the next post, “Into that Quarter Where Never Had Man Been – Part IV,” for additional information on Noah’s early descendants and how they filled up the land prior to the time of the Jaredites)

No comments:

Post a Comment