Dear AG, you may read here Dr Alice Linsley’ article and follow my interliniar comments in red.
Ur and Harran are cities in Mesopotamia. Abraham’s father Terah was a ruler-priest with holdings in both cities [This is speculation without any basis; Genesis indicates that he left Ur to reach Canaan, but he finally settled in Harran and died there. Gn 11:31; 12:1,5]. This is why Abraham is associated with both locations. One of Terah’s wives lived in Ur and the other lived in Harran [another supposition, without any basis]. The normal arrangements for priests of Terah’s Horite Hebrew caste [There is no connection between the Hebrew (Eberite) Terah and the Horite people, except the matrimonial connections of Esau, who finally subjected the Horites. This combination explains why are the Horites so important in the genealogy of Esau’s descendants] was to maintain two wives in separate settlements on a north-south axis [absolute phantasy!]. The pattern is first found in Genesis 4 and 5 with Lamech [There is no pattern there. Lamech took a second wife, presumably much younger, after he killed her husband. But they lived together in the same place, as Sara with Hagar, Lea with Rachel, Hanna with Pennina etc.]. Abraham’s marriages reflect this pattern also. His first wife, Sarah, resided in Hebron [How Alice knows that Sarah resided in Hebron, if Genesis shows that she followed her husband everywhere?] at the northern boundary of ancient Edom (Idumea) [Actually the old kingdom of Edom was located basically south-east of the Dead Sea, while in the postexilic times, the Edomites, dislocated by Nabataeans, moved to the Southern territories of Judah, and the name Idumea is late Hellenistic and Roman], and this second wife, Keturah [Abraham took Keturah after the death of Sarah, cf. Gen 24:67; 25:1. She is called also pillégesh = ”concubine”, because she must have had a low social status, like Hagar: Gen 25:6], lived in Beersheba [I can’t see any stable connection between Keturah and Beersheba], at the southern boundary of Edom [Linsley confounds again Edom and Idumea]. These settlements marked the northern and southern boundaries of Abraham’s territory.
Terah died in Harran and Nahor inherited his holdings. From Harran, Abraham departed to Canaan as a sent-away son [Sorry, Abraham was not a sent-away son. He departed for Canaan, after his father’s death, in order to fulfill the initial plan of his father: Gen 11:31-32; 12:1, 5]. He settled in the region of Edom [Actually he moved to various locations: Shechem, Bethel, Egypt, Mamre, Kadesh, Gerar, Beer-Sheba, Hebron] where the Horite ruler-priests had long been established. Some of their kings are listed in Genesis 36. This is the clan of Seir, the Horite [The Horites were probably a tribe of cave-dwellers, as Greek historians called them troglodytes (see also the description of Job 30:1-14. Remember, Job is from the Edomite land of ‘Utz (Job 1:1; Lam 4:21), a Horite-Edomite descendent of ‘Utz (Gn 36:20, 28). The alternate identification of the Horites is that they might have been Hurrians, a northern people who invaded the Ancient Middle East. In any case, there is no basis for the proposal that Horites were a priestly caste!].
When we first meet Abraham he is living in Ur in southern Mesopotamia (Sumer). This is because he is a descendant of Nimrod, the Kushite kingdom builder [How is possible to draw such conclusion? Abraham from Nimrod? When I was a child, I have read a Communist book where Abraham and Sara were traced to India, identified with Brahman and Sarasvati! But please, reread Genesis 11:10, 14-17, 24-27]. Genesis 10:8 states that Kush begat Nimrod. The ruler-priests of antiquity were known as ‘apiru or ha’piru or ha’biru [There is no evidence that hapiru were ruler-priests. They were known as nomadic, marauders, outlaw invaders in all the ANE, and is a generic name, since they were of different languages. The term is nowhere spelled with the /’/ sign]. The words piru and biru refer to a house of worship [In what language? In Gibberish? The term hapiru is not compund from ha and piru]. They became widely dispersed in the service of the „mighty men of old” who established kingdoms from Central Africa to India [When? And who were those “mighty men”(a phrase extrapolated from Genesis 6:4c)?]. Terah and Abraham were Ha’biru [The statement should be thoroughly proved], which is rendered Hebrew in English Bibles [Actually, Hebrew (‘ibri), is derived from the name of ‘Eber (‘ibru), a prominent ancestor of Abraham and of all Terachides and Arabs: Gn 10:21; 11:14-17; Nu 24:24].
[Playing freely with Biblical genealogies!
There is no evidence that Arpakshad was related to Nimrod.]
The Royal Shrine City of Ur
Some scholars speculate that the Genesis narrative is mistaken about Abraham being in Ur. Joshua J. Mark writes in the Ancient History Encyclopedia that some scholars „believe that Abraham’s home was further north in Mesopotamia in a place called Ura, near the city of Harran, and that the writers of the biblical narrative in the Book of Genesis confused the two.” However, there is no reason to doubt the Genesis account. It aligns perfectly with what we know [my emphasis] about the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Horite Hebrew ruler-priests [What can we know, when we ignore both Biblical and historical evidence?]. Terah’s territory (his priestly cure) extended between Harran in the north and Ur in the south along the Tigris river [Pure phantasy!].
There were many locations called Ur or Er. This term simply designates a shrine city built at a high elevation [True, in Sumerian.]. These were royal cities with a central temple and palace. Some shrine cities are known as Eridu and Eredo. These words are related to the Magyar word erdő, meaning forest [Speculation again!]. The earliest shrine cities were built in virgin forests. Eridu is a Sumerian place name and Eredo is a Nigerian place name [Such linguistic leaps are completely unwarranted].
The Ur mentioned in Genesis is in modern Iraq. It was a Sumerian settlement as early as 5000 BC, and it was continually inhabited until 450 BC. Ur’s location on the Persian Gulf helped it to grow into a thriving port by 3000 BC. Due to the silting of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, biblical Ur is now much further inland than it was in Abraham’s time. The same thing happened with Nekhen, an ancient Horite [????] shrine city on the Nile. Today the ruins of Nekhen are found far from the Nile.
In 1922, Sir Leonard Wooley excavated a burial complex in Ur and discovered royal tombs. Among the royal names found on grave artifacts was the name Mesannepadda, a First Dynasty king, also known through the Sumerian King List. As Abraham’s father was a high ranking ruler-priest his ancestors are likewise remembered in the Genesis King Lists.
Mesopotamia was ruled by Sargon of Akkad between 2334-2218 BC. His territory is sometimes called „Kish” a variant of the word Kush. The script of his empire is called Akkadian. Sargon the Great claimed to have been conceived when his mother was overshadowed by the Sun while praying in the east-facing O’piru, or sun temple. Archaic rulers were believed to be appointed to rule if they could prove virginal conception by solar overshadowing. They thought of the Sun as the emblem of the Creator who ruled over all the earth. Solar overshadowing indicated persons divinely appointed to rule (deified sons of God).
The Harris papyrus speaks of the ‘apriu [sic] of Re at the shrine city of Heliopolis (biblical On). Joseph married Asenath, the daughter of the priest of On. In Hebrew, Joseph’s name is Yosef. It has the initial Canaanite Y, a solar symbol [Actually, all Hebrew names that have been formed as verbs imperfective, 3rd person, begin with Y. There is nothing mystical in this fact.]. Many of the Horite Hebrew have the Canaanite Y in their names. In ancient images the Y is a headdress of bull horns in which the solar orb is cradled. Consider these Hebrew names: Yaqtan (Joktan); Yishmael (Ishmael); Yishbak; Yitzak (Isaac); Yacob (Jacob); Yosef (Jospeh); Yetro (Jethro); Yeshai (Jesse) and Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus). [Actually, the form of Y (yod) was not similar to a headdress of bull horns. It was first similar to a hand / arm, then evolved into forms quite different, but not sembling to horns. Look at the historical forms of Yod:]
The Other section shows the corresponding Archaic Greek, Modern Greek, Etruscan, and Latin letters. [Actually, only the forms of Waw, or rather Aleph (“ox”) had “horns”; but these characters cannot be the initial of the names mentioned above. See below:]
According to legend, Sargon was born in Azu-piranu, meaning House of God [”Azupiranu” is a Babylonian word related to a garden plant used as a spice or medicine. The Sargon’s birthplace is said to mean “the city of saffron”, though we are not sure of the identity of the plant involved]. God has many names in the archaic world. One was Azu (Akkadian) [No evidence in the Akkadian dictionaries!]. Variant spellings include Asa in Chadic [?], Asha in Kushitic [?], and Ashai in Hebrew [No way! There is no word ASHAI in Hebrew!]. In Nehemiah 11:13, we read of a Jerusalem priest named Am-ashai [This is actually Amash-saay, and is believed to be a textual error for Ma‘asaay. Rather one may refer to the Etruscan AIS (God) etc.].
Some speculate that Sargon is biblical Nimrod, Abraham’s ancestor. The terms sar and gon both refer to a king. Sargon likely means „most high king” or „king of kings.” Sargon’s Akkadian name was Šarru-kīnu, which is usually translated “the true king.” [Only this second translation is true].
Whether Nimrod is Sargon or not, the prestigious caste of ruler-priests who served in his Akkadian empire appear to have shared the notion of kingship as divine appointment by overshadowing. We find among them early expressions the Messianic expectation/hope concerning a righteous ruler who would be conceived virginally by his mother through divine overshadowing [Evidence?].
Christians believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of that ancient hope. We believe Jesus is the incarnate Son of God who was conceived exactly as expected. When the Virgin Mary asked how she would conceive, seeing she „knew” no man, the angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 2)
[Conclusion: The article of Dr Linsley does not support her original ideas about Abraham and the other patriarchs, by any evidence.]