Draft Day!

I know; it is a corney joke. That day has actually already come and gone, but it’s true: I’m done with the draft! yes indeed, the draft of my book is complete. Well, rough draft. And there is an intro and conclusion I need to write, but I cannot do that until I get past the rough draft stage. One of the best pieces of advice I received in college was that you can’t write the introduction until the conclusion has been written, and you can’t write the conclusion until the middle is done. But to get to the point, I’m done!

Now the last chapter went by rather swiftly. This was accomplished due to two reasons: one was that the information was relatively easy to find, the other was that there was little to find. While Aram, his people, and his territory is easily identifiable, his sons were less so. The two older, Uz and Gether, could be found to the around the area of Damascus. Josephs records that Uz founded two cities: Damascus and Trachonitis. So while Uz himself is not named specifically, the city he founded remained as a center of Aram’s kingdom. Gether became more than a tribe and, in fact, became the small kingdom of Geshur, and his people called Geshurites. They encountered the Israelites on many occasions, most notably during the time of David. He married Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur whose father was Ammihud. When Absolam fled from his father, he went to his maternal grandfather’s kingdom. While this kingdom eventually became part of the greater territory of Aram, the cities or archaeological sites can be found to this day.

But all of that can be discussed, or read in said book, later. For now, I am taking a short break. This won’t last forever, but taking a short break is nice. For one, I finally finished If on a winter’s night a traveler. I’m hoping to write a little something about it, so perhaps keep an eye out for that.

Anyway, those are all the updates that I have right now. I’m looking forward to getting into the editing process and assessing what I have written. But first, a bit of a break. Thanks to those who read this far. If nothing else, this is keeping me committed to writing consistently.

Blessings to you and yours,

~Rose

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Arphaxad and Aram

Within the past month, I have finally finished my chapter on Arphaxad and his descendants. I never anticipated how long this would take, but that had in large part to do with my lack of knowledge on who or how many those descendants were! There were truly a great number of them. While the Scriptures focus mainly on the line of Shem to Abraham and so forth, there are so many other people who descended from the line of Shem, and namely Arphaxad, who are mentioned in the Scriptures. Some are discussed to a greater extent than others, but they are included nonetheless.

Though all the sons of Shem are those who populated what is now known as the Middle East, it was mostly Arphaxad’s line that dominated. There are the people who mixed in Assyria and Aram who descended from Terah, including Haran and Nahor. Of course, their more famous brother, Abraham, gave rise to many more nations than the two generally discussed. From The Israelites and, partially, the Samaritans arose from Isaac. From Ishmael, the many nations of Arabs, as they were sometimes called, grew to a great power. They were known by many names and many people who lived long after those names were lost seem to have been related to them. These are such as the Ishmaelites, the Hagrites, and even some such as the Nabateans have been conjecture to be related. As discussed before, the Midianites and their brothers also came from Abraham. These were the nations that lived from the western parts of Mesopotamia down through Canaan and even to the southern western parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

Many doubt the presence of Israel and the house of David as having existed when and where they did. Yet the Israelites, those called Iudea, or Omri-land, or Samaria, or the House of David are mentioned all throughout archaeology. They were known by the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Moabites, the Arameans, and the Greeks and Romans. Their presence and place in history was made clear in the Scriptures, but it was also made known again by the artifacts.

Additionally, the people of Lot, who was nephew of Abraham, gave rise to two great nations, one of which left behind a name that remains today in Jordan: Amman. Though Jacob’s line is the better known of Isaac’s two sons, Edom also gave rise to a great nation that often dwelled alongside the Midianites and the Ishmaelites. Their land stretched from the south-east part of Israel, to the Sinai peninsula, down to the southern reaches of Arabia. In fact, they were so close that they often intermarried. Additionally, one of the sons of Edom gave rise to nations known by names other than Edom, such as the Amalekites and Temanites, known elsewhere in Scripture either for good or evil. These people were known then and they are known now by what and whom they have left in each of the regions they settled in.

And after finishing with Arphaxad, I continued with Aram, and it is he whom I have been working on for the last week and a half. His people were in many ways quite simple as compared to some of the rest. Like Israel, they were and still are a well-known nation, though under slightly different names, purposes, and governance now than they were originally. In fact, like Israel, much about who governed them is known because of what is found in the Scriptures. Aram became what is today known as Syria. While this land shares part of its history with Assyria, Babylon, Phoenicia, and some other countries, its people, name, and much of its language can be traced back to this son of Shem. Their leaders are named as far back as the time of the Judges, and their last days are a “superpower”, if you will, are recorded in Kings portions of Scripture as well as in Assyrian annals. Though they were conquered and scattered, their people and language remained, even overcoming the language utilized by Assyria and becoming the lingua franca on a near equal-standing with Greek.

Though many of these names and nations may seem insignificant to the people’s dwelling in these lands now, they are the lands and the people who exist in those lands today. Though many have been scattered, many remained in their homelands and continued on into the present, becoming the people that we know in that land to this day. Many of the Jordanians are descended from Lot. Those in Israel are, and most famously perhaps, descended from Jacob. Those in Syria share their roots with a multitude of people, but still hail to their roots in Asshur, Aram, or another brother or tribe. The people of the Middle East share a history in war, location, and culture. They have interacted with each other, intermarried, and dwelled together for centuries. And as they were brothers then, they are still so now. Each of these nations from Arphaxad and each place they settled in are essentially unchanged unto today.

Just as I hope for the rest of the world, perhaps one day these brothers may see themselves as such and live in peace with other another.

Blessings to you and yours,

~Rose

 

 

The People of Lot

While the story surrounding Lot and his wife is among the lesser of the well-known accounts in Scripture, the story of the people who came from him is almost overlooked entirely. When people talk about Lot, in my experience at least, they talk only about two things: he was Abraham’s nephew and his wife turned into a pillar of salt. Sometimes they talk about how he separated from Abraham, as that is how he and his family eventually ended up in Sodom. But few talk about the circumstances surrounding his daughters and their sons. Though having children by their father was not right, God still provided for them after the Exodus and during the conquest of Canaan, telling the Israelites that He had given the sons of Lot an inheritance in the land (Deut. 2:9, 19, & 37, Jdg. 11:15). But what is specifically fascinating about Moab and Ben-Ammiy is in their names.

Moab will come first as his was the older of the sons. His name is מוֹאָב comes from the Hebrew word אָב which means father and sometimes as a forefather (Strong’s “4124.”, “1.”). Thus, Moab or מוֹאָב means “from the father” or “of the father”. In other languages, however, while the basic form of the name remains the same, some of the meaning is lost. In Assyrian records, Moab’s name is rendered as both “Ma’abaya” and “mat Mua’aba-a-a“. In Egypt, the name is “mwib“. The Mesha Stele renders the name Moab similarly to Hebrew, Canaanite, and Egyptian, appearing something like “mab”. Thus, in many languages and lands, Moab’s name survived essentially untouched.

Ben-Ammiy, or Ammon, also survived the test of time, not only in apparent spelling but also in meaning. While most call the land of Ben-Ammiy Ammon, the proper rendering of his name is Ben-Ammiy. The name Ben-Ammiy is בֶּן־עַמִּי in Hebrew, coming from בֵּן or “ben” meaning son and עַם or “am” meaning nation, people, or tribe (Strong’s “1151.”, “1121.”, “5971.”). Thus, Ben-Ammiy literally means “son of my people”. In Ammonite territory, an osctraca was found with “bn ‘m[n]“, which translate to “the people of Ammon”. In Ugaritic inscriptions, the name for Ammon was either “‘my” or “bn’myn“, similar to Ben-Ammiy and meaning essentially the same as the Hebrew. The Assyrian name for Ben-Ammiy is even more akin to the original name than even what they gave to Moab, calling the Ammonites “matBit-Am-man-na-a-a” a name translated as either Beth or Bit-Ammon. This much more similar to the original name. Finally, Ammon currently remains in the name of the capital of Jordan: Amman. In the past, the name of this city has been Philadelphia, Rabbah, and Rabbath Ammon. When Rabbath Ammon is literally translated, it means “the capital of Ammon’s sons”. In truth, this is how the beth, bit, bath, or ben is translated in most cases – as son.

Even to this day the sons of Ben-Ammiy and Moab are found in this region of Jordan. Although many other people have moved and left this area, including Esau’s, Ishmael’s, Ashur’s, and many other’s sons, it was Moab and Ben-Ammiy who left their names so strongly on this part of the land for so many generations. And all of these children of Lot and Abraham, who both come from Arphaxad, along with their brother’s have grown up and remained in this land and peopled it to this day. Perhaps one day others, in seeing their neighbor as a brother, will grow to them as such.

Blessings,

~Rose

 

Book Update, the Middle East, and the World

Well, it has been over a month since the last time I have given any sort of update on my book. This is much longer than I would have hopped to go, but alas that is how things are. I have yet to finish this section, but hopefully that will happen soon so I can begin work on Aram and start editing! I would thought I would be less surprised about how long this section is taking, but I suppose I never really considered just how many people are connected to Arphaxad. I would think that just about everyone knows that the Israelites, Ishmaelites, and Edomites come from his line, namely that of Abraham, but there are frankly just so many more, more than I initially even planned for.

Some who may have written this book, and as I have seen those who have written similar books do, would have probably skipped over some of these people. They do not seeem important enough to the greater scope of history. Why bother to write about Abram’s brothers? Why worry about the descendants of Lot? Do the Edomites actually matter to the rest of Scripture, let alone world history? How do other people mentioned in the Bible, like the Amalekites, actually play in? The Midianites? The book of Job?

Believe it or not, a lot of them do.

To begin, Edom had more people come from him than just the Edomites. The Amalekites and the Temanites also come from him. And while they may not seem all that important, the Amalekites were one of the most infamous enemies of the Israelites and may have been a thorn in their side possibly to the time of Esther. And many people may have not have heard of the Temanites, but the only other Eliphaz mentioned in the Bible – for their were only two – was a friend of Job, descended from Eliphaz, son of Edom and father of Teman. And while we are on the subject of Job, another of his friends, a Shuhite, was descended from a son of Abraham named Shuah. This helps locate Job, the man from, Uz, where and when he might have been located, probably east of Israel in Edom, and why he is so closely connected to the Scriptures at all. Additionally, Midian, a sometimes ally/sometimes foe of Israel, was in fact a people who were in large part descended from Abraham from his wife Keturah. They made up many different groups of nomads throughout the southeastern part of Saudi Arabia. Did you know that Abraham actually has eight sons, not just two? Most do not and I plainly forgot, let alone knew the implications of each people. This is not even to mention the Moabites and Ammonites, though I have yet to research these “sons” of Lot.

While most consider the Arabs to be this “single group” in regards to “ethnicity”, this is not necessarily so. In the north many are from Asshur, Nahor and his family, Aram, Nimrod, and even Arphaxad. In the south, many are actually descended from Cush, Joktan, and others. In the middle, there is Madai and Elam on one side, and Edom, Moab, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, and so many more, not to even the aforementioned Canaanites. These people are a diverse group, and their connection to Abraham through Ishmael and Keturah has only just begun to be uncovered. It is amazing and overwhelming. There is so much history, so much genealogy to be found in the Middle East. It is little wonder why Mesopotamia is referred to as the Cradle of Civilization.

All of this is to make a partial point that I have been wanting to make with these posts and my book on a large-scale. Each of these groups in the Middle East, on the level that I am discussing them on, could be divided into different people groups. Yet even that can be difficult as they intermarried so often. For example, Edom had two Canaanite wives and one who was daughter to Ishmael. Boaz, of the line of Judah and Christ, married a Moabitess. This is not to mention all of the intermarrying before that – from Midianite Zaporah to different Canaanite women during the Judges. And this is just for Israel. The list could go on, but the point I make is this: while thier “nationality” is often called different, for most of these people groups, their parentage is the same. As I mentioned at the beginning, why bother to account for all of these groups? Because at the end of this, they are one of the many that made up what is today largely known as the Middle East. While the land is under different names today, all those people are basically descended from those original settlers in one way or another. Moreover, all of them are still traced back to these three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. In fact, I’ve mentioned descendants from all three of these sons in this post as all leaving descendants in the Middle East.

We are all of one blood, and that is something that not only should be remembered but also repeated in daily life. There is so much strife in the world over race and whatnot, yet this is strife among brothers, among siblings. No matter where you go, especially today, it is difficult to find a group that is not of “mixed heritage”. And while it is good to be interested or proud of where your family came from,  everyone in the world is related through these three sons of Noah, and in turn, we are all children of Adam and Eve. This should be our focus: to remember that we are all of one blood and because of that we should treat, think of, and love each other as such.

God’s blessings, my family,

~Rose

Woe to Those Who Call Evil Good

 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

~ Isaiah 5:20 ~

I do not agree with everything in this podcast, for there a few parts that support Darwinian evolution which is inherently wrong and is not endorsed on this page, but I found the first 25 minutes or so pivotal to society today, mainly in the U. S.

How is it that we live in a society where in the schools it’s ok to teach kids, without parental permission, that a boy can change into a girl because he “decided” that he was, and yet a football coach cannot pray a short prayer of thankfulness at the end of a game? Moreover, that kids and parents that joined must be forbidden from doing so?

When did we as a culture decide to pervert the truth? People literally call evil good and good evil: Abortion is good, morality unjust, sexual delusion encouraged as good, marriage between a man and a woman for life is bad, Prayer is indoctrination but forcing a perverse ideology on children is promoting diversity.

What is wrong with our nation? I have little to say. I am disgusted and disheartened. My hope is that by sharing this podcast others may see the hypocrisy that has been infused in our culture. Hypocrisy might not even be the correct word. Confusion, perverseness, relative morality, or something of the like perhaps would be better. It is as though morality is being turned inside out or tossed away. Like saying a Picasso is just as accurate of a depiction of the human form as a Rockwell or a Michelangelo. A literal denying of reality is what I see in today’s culture, and it pains me.

As I said before, I do not endorse everything said in this podcast, but I hope some light is shed on the state of our nation thorough listening to this piece.

Blessings to you,

~Rose
Podcast: Ep. 370 – The War On Children – Ben Shapiro

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ben-shapiro-show/id1047335260?mt=2#episodeGuid=tag%3Asoundcloud%2C2010%3Atracks%2F339489609

Manliness in Euripides’ “Medea”

After finishing Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, I decided to begin reading a series of smaller plays, books, and poems from various points in history. I began this “quest” with reading Medea. I have read a handful of Greek plays and various peices of Greek literature in the past, but it was not until researching the history of Madai that I stumbled upon this Greek play and the one written before it. But while reading the story, I focused less on the hate, the passion, the despair, the women, and the murder, but instead on the state of the men in the story.

~

The story of Medea focuses much on the circumstances surrounding the marriage of Medea and Jason. He, the conqueror and adventurer; she, the sorceress, betrayer, and passionate lover. Her love, devotion, and passion for her husband and self is evident throughout the play as well as the fact that women are considered the weaker sex. ye the women are the greatest players and focus of the play. Medea is constantly called clever, her femininity often noted, and women are the singers of the chorus. Even a woman, the nurse, opens the play. Seemingly, the men are the cause of the pain, yet the men are given little focus throughout the play. The reason why? Simply put, the men are cowards, or rather, they lack manliness.

It is this lack of manliness, the cowardice, the failure to put on the mantle of a man and fulfill his duty as husband – protector, provider, and procreator – that results with the tragedy of the play. Indeed, it is Medea who is described as a true women, both in passion and performance. She is described as thus, “For the wife not to stand apart from the husband” (l. 455). And despite all she had done, though in truth much of it lacked femininity, she was faithful to her husband. Yet for wealth, status, and lust he married again, and only after learning of her despair allowed for her to be provided for, though she was still a foreigner and friendless woman now exiled (l. 448-52). But in order to understand the severity of his actions and the lack of masculinity of Jason, the reader must understand the basis for manhood. There are three things that a man, or specifically a husband, needs to be in order to fulfill his duties as a man: provide, protect, and procreate.

The first duty Jason failed in was his job as husband and procreator. This involves both sex and fatherly duties to both wife and children. Clearly, he and Medea have produced children, two boys, but she has to come back begging him, pretending acceptance of her cruel fate, pleading that he not treat his children as bastards rather than his own flesh and blood (ll. 845-881, 1279). Though he was party to the making of the children, he cared nothing for their welfare once he saw the profitable opportunity for status and wealth through the marriage of the princess (l. 478). He further shames his duty by wishing their was a way to children and prosperity without women (ll. 561-63). When Medea plans to murder their children, she notes that this will ruin “the whole of Jason’s house,” for children are those who continue a father’s legacy, his “house” (ll. 778, 1361). Indeed, he was “a coward” because he married behind her back instead of being up front with his actions; he was not even man enough to be honest about his intentions (ll. 574-75). He broke the “eternal promise” “they made to each other” and destroyed their “married love” (ll. 21-22, 477, 971, 1365-66). In this way he violated his duties as husband and failed to achieve true manliness.

While Jason is known for his adventurous heart, and may have gained much cleos by his many travels and even victories, he failed to accomplish the second and third duties as a man, which are to provide for and protect his family, especially for his wife. As mentioned before, he tried to explain that by abandoning his wife for another was actually to her benefit; yet this was merely a sham to excuse his wrongdoings (ll. 602-3). Another man who was a coward was her friend Aigeus, who was willing to provide sanctuary for her where her husband would not, but only once she found the means to escape; he was unwilling to lift a finger to help her in that regard (ll. 690-92, 713-14). When Kreon exiled her, Jason should have been the first to provide shelter and money. But it is not until after he hears of her distress that he offers some support but no shelter from her exile. Thus, he failed in his duties as provider and protector.

Though it has a little less to do with what a man should be, Medea makes it clear of what she thinks of his new wife. She frequently refers to her as a girl. To the chorus as women, but to her husbands new wife as a girl (ll. 260, 371, 772). And this can only be an additional reflection on his character and lack of manliness (l. 455). He does not see her as a woman, clever, of passion and duty as she sees fit, but a child for her unmanly husband to marry and feel as though he has achieved power. In some small way, because of his actions – his failure to be husband, father, protector, and provider – she sees her love Jason as nothing more than a boy-child who has yet to grow up.

Unfortunately for them all, Medea, to save face in her own twisted way, shows Jason his folly by killing his new girl love, the sons he should have loved, his new father, who should have been an example of manhood, and effectively destroys his house. She takes from him everything he thought made him a man and what truly did, including herself, from his life, leaving him alone to wallow in his misery. Of course, this is not to excuse Medea for her sins. She has as many if not more to atone for than Jason. Yet the heart of his faults are not truly looked at. The faults themselves are easily observed as well as the results of them, but not what the actual core of the matter is. But from what I have read, I truly think that Jason’s problem, in spite of all the daring deeds he had done, was that he was not truly a man.

~

Translation of Euripides’ Medea” by Rex Warner found in The Norton Anthology of World Literature Vol. 1.

The themes on manliness comes from a book called Man Up! The Quest for Masculinity by Jeffrey Hemmer. I have not read it, but my husband has informed me most thoroughly that I feel confident in recommending it, especially if someone wants to know my foundation for the above themes.

~Rose

On the Seven Churches of Asia

As unsurprising as it should be, in my search for the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth I have discovered a greater connection to the early church beyond Acts 2.

It has been a little while since I have given an update on my book, and much has happened in between then and now. I have traveled across state back and forth twice, visited new coasts, picked blueberries, and begun packing to move. And while that has slowed progress on my book, I have not stopped writing completely. For the last three weeks I have been working on Arphaxad, third son of Shem. But I had to pause my work. He left more than one line, much like Gomer, and fathered a people beyond the line of Abraham. Because of that, I am still not done with his descendants chapter and will have to update you all of their story later.

But in order to save my sanity – for three weeks of searching for a name can wear on a gal – I worked on and finished Lud, the fourth son of Shem. He is what brings this post to the churches of Asia.

Lud and his people were not easy to find. In fact, I went searching for one word in any text for three days before I found it. In some ways, he and his people disappeared from much of history (and this is after the Hittites, who are simple by comparison). This is mainly because they separated from the rest of the world that, frankly, kept tabs on the people around them. People like the Assyrians, Babylonians, Medians, and of course the Israelites. Israel, their cousins so to speak basically only recorded their existence in prophecy, seeming to have little if any contact with them. Later, the Greeks and Romans kept records of them, even arriving at a mythology loosely based on truth, but such records are posthumous, if you will. Yet in the midst of those records, Lud and his people were found. At the end of it all, I found that they were the Lydians in south-west of Anatolia.

Originally, they were called the Lud or Luddu. While they were descended from Shem, in later times the people appeared more like the sons of Japheth rather than of Shem. For instance, their language was similar to those which came from Javan and their location on the coast probably led to Phoenician influence. Because of these factors and others, Lud was very hard to trace. There are only a handful of references to them in the Scriptures. Also, many confuse them with Mizraim’s son’s people the Luddim, who became the Lybians. But one reference is that the Gospel would be shared with them, and shared with them it was.

While Paul and Silas were on their journey through Anatolia, they stopped at a river and met a group of women there, one of them named Lydia. She dealt in purple cloth, making one wonder about the Phoenician influence. More importantly, she and her family became Christians, and though Paul met her outside of her hometown, she was from a city called Thyatira. This city happens to be one once held by the Lydians. And not only was the city once of Lydia, it was also one of the seven churches written to in the book of Revelation.

In fact, Ephesus, Thyatira, Smyrna, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Sardis were all cities housing churches which were written to in the book of Revelation. All were also found in Lydia. Ephesus even had an epistle written to it, and there was possibly even a letter written to Laodicea. Thus, the prophecy, found in the book of Isaiah, that those in Lud would hear the Word of the Lord was fulfilled.

While very little was known or written about the Lydians, especially their origins in secular history, they were not forgotten regarding the Gospel. Not only was the Gospel sent to them, they were centers of the early christian Church, receiving praise and warning in the book of Revelation. Though their genetic and historical legacy is vague at best, despite that what I can find shows they are in fact descended from Lud, they were not forgotten in the spiritual inheritance as sons. And this lineage is more important than even my task at hand – to find the genealogical lineage of the nations. For in truth, though the nations were separated at Babel and we are of one blood, in Christ, we are all of one body, joined in the inheritance of Christ and united in one family: His Church.

Blessings to you and yours,

~Rose