Sunday, November 3, 2013


 Rediscovering Ethiopian "Solymi", "Shalmai" or Soleym Settlements of the Levant, Mediterranean and Aegean: Roots of Ancient Israel  by Dana W. Reynolds

   (Parts I, II and III  of King Solomon's Miners were especially inspired by and are now dedicated to the memory and works of two early African American griots way ahead of their time, William Leo Hansberry and Drusilla Dunjee Houston, as well as Martin Gardiner Bernal and Kamal Suleiman Salibi, two wise men never straying from the right path.) 

 “But at that moment, the mighty Earthshaker, returning from the Ethiopians, saw him from the distant mountains of the Solymi. Poseidon watched Odysseus sailing and his spirit grew enraged.” (Homer, The Odyssey, translated by Ian Johnston, 2007, p 105)

 Cheorilus’s description of the Solymi (quoted in Josephus, Against Apion I.173) accords with the account in the catalogue of Xerxes’ army (Herodotuss 7.70) of the Eastern Ethiopians; both Choerilus’s Solymi and Herodotus’s Eastern Ethiopians, strikingly, wear on their heads hides of horse heads.” (Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World: Attitudes and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian   1996, Louis H. Feldman, p. 192)

“The Cilicians and Solymi, as well as the as the kindred Pisidians and Isaurians, were peoples of the Semitic race; who entering Asia Minor by the pass round the Gulf of Issus, overspread the sea-board beneath the chain of Taurus, and occupied its slopes and heights.” (The Ancient history of the East from the Earliest Times to the Conquest  Philip Smith. p 474). 

Modern view of the ancient world

“The ethnic character of the Solymi depends mainly upon the assertion of Chaerilus that they spoke a Phoenician dialect. It is confirmed by their name which connects them very remarkably with the Hebrew… Salem and Jerusalem, by their habit of shaving the head with the exception of a tuff, by their special worship of Saturn, and by the occurrence of a number of Phoenician words in their country. If we regard the Solymi as Semitic on this evidence, we must suppose an early Semitic occupation of the whole southern coast of Asia Minor, followed by an Indo-European invasion before which the primitive inhabitants yielded losing the more desirable territory and only maintaintng themselves in the mountains” (Rawlinson, G. 1862, The History of Herodotus, p. 540).

The 18th and 19th century Discovery of the Solymi  

       In this post will be discussed the connection of modern Afro-semitic peoples of Arabia with the medieval tribes of Harrah named Sulaym or Soleym and their likely connection with the "Solymi" of Josephus and earlier writers. It will be shown that once again, earlier Western scholars came closer to exposing the facts about “Ethiopic” civilization in the Levant and Mediterranean, than some of our modern “Biblical Archaeologists” are able to do. For example, although some of these modern scholars have tried to malign the theoretical foundations of Martin Bernal’s Black Athena volumes, and suggestions that ancient “dark-skinned” “Ethiopians” and Egyptians must have had some substantial influence on these regions, Bernal was in fact far from the first, nor even the most prolific on the subject.  Similar suggestions, and in many cases, assertions, were in fact directly made by a number of Orientalist historians as well as the ancient Greeks and Romans, themselves.
       One encyclopedia in the last century makes note of the comments of a  Greek historian living near the end of the 5th century, “According to Hesychius, the Island of Lesbos was anciently called Ethiopia, and its people Ethiopes; having been colonized, perhaps from the Syrian coast. The Leuco-Syri, or White Syrians seem to have received the name as a distinctive term by which any confusion between them and their darker neighbours to the South might be avoided” (This appeared in, Encyclopedia Metropolitana edited by Smedley, Rose and Rose in  1945, p. 642. See also Ralph Griffiths, Sept. 1774, “The Monthly Review”).
     Furthermore, Cheikh Anta Diop and Bernal and more recent authors had only been pointing out and throwing light on what was expressly and consistently repeated by the ancient Greeks themselves - Strabo, Pliny, Hesychius, and many others. To pretend that there is something radical, politically-motivated and/or “Afro-centric” about the suggestion that ancient black Africans or affiliated peoples once inhabited and significantly influenced these regions has gone on unwarrantedly, at the expense of not only the reputations of these scholars, but of the study of world history.   
      From the time of Homer until the period of Strabo, “Ethiopians”, or “black peoples” from the coasts of north Africa and the Levant (Syro –Arabia) were considered by the Greeks to have at one time occupied other coasts of the Mediterranean and the Aegean, including such regions as Crete, Lycia, the Taurus, Pisidia and Cilicia, before the coming of their own ancestors. Cheikh Anta Diop thus, rightly, remarked that earlier scholars had previously found that Boeotia, Cilicia, Lesbos, Lemnos, Lycia, Euboea and other countries of the coastal Mediterranean and Aegean had once been classified by the ancient Greeks as formerly “Ethiopian”. 
       Josephus living in Strabo's era probably referred to these Ethiopians when mentioning "the children of Ham" and his "Ethiopic wars" -

 "The children of Ham possessed the land of Syria and Amanus, and the mountains of Libanus; seizing upon all that was on its sea-coasts, and as far as the ocean, and keeping it as their own.  Some indeed of its names are utterly vanished away; others of them being changed, and another sound given them, are hardly to be cdiscovered; yet a few there are which have kept their denominations entire."  ( Josephus' 1st century, Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 6 )  

     Greek geographers like Strabo still considered the remnants of the Solymi living in the Taurus mountains and a few other places as descendants of early or proto-Greek populations of Lycia and Cilicia encompassing part of coastal Anatolia and northern Syria. These were the very same places the Greeks themselves said were once designated Ethiopia by their own ancestors.
       In the 18th century, Jacob Bryant, another early specialist on ancient myth makes reference to ancient commentators’ remarks about Cassius and Belos, whose sons Aigyptos (the “goat-footed”) and Danaus, came to rule Egypt and Greece respectively. Josephus claimed the people of Tyre in Phoenicia were ruled by Belus. The latter deity was in fact called “king of Sidon”. 
       The connection of Jupiter or Jove to the semites is also illuminated in these myths. The author of Primitive History, from the Creation to Cadmus, wrote in 1789,  Diodorus Siculus (from Euhemerus) says that ‘Jove was entertained by Belus at Babylon; when Cassius, whose name Mount Cassius bears, ruled Syria, and Cilix, Cilicia’” (William, W., 1789, p. 234).
     The mythological name of Cassius was connected to a deity named Zeus Hyksius or Jupiter Casius. Ptolemy wrote the name of the place where this Cassius was venerated as Kassion and Kassiotis. It was situated between the city of Pelusium a locale at the eastern extremity of the Nile Delta and a lake named Sirbonis.

      Bryant in 1776 wrote, I have observed that the sons of  Chus are said to have come under the titles of  Casus and Belus into Syria and Phenicia”. And a little further he adds,  
 “in the account of the Cadmians who are styled Arabians… I have shewn that Eubeoea was the place to which they first came and here was an Ethiopium.( Strabo, lib. 10)  Samothrace was called Ethiopia. (Hesych.) Lesbos had the name of Ethiopa and Macaria. (Plin. Lib. 5.c. 31.).  The extreme settlement of this people was in Spain, upon the Baetis, near Tartessus and Gades: and the account given by the natives according to the historian Ephorus was that colonies of Ethiopians traversed a great part of Africa; some of which came and settled near Tartessus; and others got possession of different parts of the sea-coast. (Strabo lib.)  They lived near the Island of Erythrea which they held (Dionys. Perieg. V. 558)(Bryant, J., 1776, p. 183).
     Tartessos was located in Spain only two days distant from Gibraltar. Rightly or wrongly, the above author relates the name of Casus to Kush and then proceeds to relate these Ethiopic colonizers of Syria and the Aegean with peoples who ended up settling North Africa. He quotes Strabo as saying, “It is on this account that we find some of the same family on the opposite coast of Mauritania. Who are represented as a people of great stature.”
      He then translates Strabo’s words as follows with regard to Mauritania or northwest Africa across from Spain – “the people of this country are Ethiopic and they are the largest of any stature with which we are acquainted’ (Bryant, 1776,. p. 138)
      There are two people once known to have dwelt in this “Mauretanian” region – coastal northwest Africa that were black or considered “Ethiopians” and whose least modified descendants not infrequently still reach or surpass heights of up 7 feet.  One of them are the Woodabe or that original group of Fulani or Peul who now inhabit mainly the region of Sahel. The other are the veiled Tuareg, once described by some colonialists as “giants of the Sahara”, who were still claiming descent from the “Phoenicians”. Their. indigo-colored dress or coverings, like those of certain Yemenites (Mahra) and the ancient Arabs, are likely what the Greeks referred to as “Tyrian” or “Phoenician purple”. 
      Philip Smith wrote:
 Strabo regards both the Milyans and Cabalians – another mountain-tribe of Northern Lycia – as Solymi; and he considers that a people of this name had once held the heights of Taurus from Lycia to Pisidia. The Pisidians are also represented by other writers as being Solymi.  It is clear that the Solymi were driven back into the mountains by the entrance of a new race, whose long and arduous struggles with the old inhabitants are indicated by the conflicts of Bellerophon and other mythical heroes with the Solymi…. (Smith, 1871, p. 432).

      Thus, the Cabalians or “Cabalian Maeoneans” of Herodotus were considered a remnant of the Solymi that had as well once occupied Lydial. At a certain point these populations are considered to have entered North Africa where they are mentioned on the coast. (The word Cabali is said to derive from qabila (and its variants) simply meaning tribe in the semitic or African-Asiatic dialects. Others relate the name to Kybele, a mother goddess venerated in associated with Attys or Attis another deity of Lydia).
       According to legend, Solymus, ancestor of the Solymi was son of the nymph “Chaldene”, a “daughter of Pisidus”. His sister and wife was named “Milyas”. Early on, the Solymians occupied a place called Termessos. Pisidia was a little north of Lycia in Anatolia and corresponding also to the area of Sagalassos and Termessos, two affiliated towns in the region. Thus, Strabo notes that the mountain at the foot of Termessos was in his day called Mt. Solymos, where there was also a cult called Zeus Solymos.
    The presence of the Solymi in this region might explain why certain specialists studying the ancient town of Sagalassos have noted an ancient "affinity of the Sagalassos population with the sub-Saharan populations from Gabon and Somalia" (Ricaut, F.X. and Waelkens, M., 2008, p. 555). 

        Matthew Gonzales in his article on the cult of Ares writes:  “‘Indeed, in the land of the Termessians one could be shown the former camp of Bellerophon and the tomb of his son, cut down by the hand of Ares (Strab. 13. 4.16), who was the father of the Solymoi in some traditions (Etym. Magn. …). (Gonzales, p. 269 )
     Ares was also known as Aretas the name of the deity Hareth related to the name Erithrea. The Axumite and other peoples of the Horn were well known to have worshipped Ares also under the name of Mahrem (Phillipson, D.W., 2012, pp.95-96).   
       Philip Smith in his Ancient History of the East also noted the Solymian historical connection to the original semitic inhabitants of Cilicia:  The Cilicians and Solymi, as well as the kindred Pisidians and Isaurians, were peoples of the Semitic race; who entering Asia Minor by the pass round the Gulf of Issus, overspread the sea-board beneath the chain of Taurus, and occupied its slopes and heights.”
       Josephus identified the founders of Lydia with the “Lud” of Genesis 10 :22 ( Gmirkin, 2001, p. 142, fn. 15). The biblical Lud in Arabic is Al-Aoud or Wadd signifying “the lion’s whelp”, a name of more than one famed ancient Arabian chief. Not surprisingly, Herodotus relates that the original “Lydians”  were named from one of their ancient kings. 
      The Cabali or Maonians of Lydia also were known to have worshiped “Atys” or “Attis”, a God whose associated mythos bears similarities to that of the deity Ad, Hadad or Adad of Babylonia and Arabia on the one hand, and Adonis, “Lord” of the Phoenicians, on the other. Hesiod in fact said Adonis was “son of Phoenix” (Evelyn-White, H., 1914, p. 171).
       Atys is a God who underwent crucifixion and “resurrection”, like Adonis. Atys came to be venerated by the royal families of early Phrygia as well. Attis and other deities of apparent “semitic” origin are most probably testimony to a legacy of an “Afro-semitic” i.e. Ethiopic presence in Anatolia.

Afro-Semites in Greek Mythology: Minaean Connections to the Solymi of  the Levant and Aegean

From the Lud, Maon, and Maacath settled round Palestine, came the Ludoi, Maones and Makedones of Lydia.” (Origines Celticae 1883, p. 408 by Edward Guest, William Stubbs and Cecil Deeds)

“According to Hesychius, the Island of Lesbos was anciently called Ethiopia, and its people Ethiopes; having been colonized, perhaps  from the Syrian coast. The Leuco-Syri, or White Syrians seem to have received the name as a distinctive term by which any confusion between them and their darker neighbours to the South might be avoided.” ( Encyclopædia Metropolitana; or, Universal Dictionary of Knowledge, 1845, p. 642)

Agenor sent his sons Phenix, Celix, and Cadmus to find Europa: they failed but founded the Phoenician, Cilician, and Boeotian (Theban) peoples.” (Cited in the book of writings by Gabrielle Suchon: A Woman Who Defends All Persons of Her Sex, p. 301.)

       In our past posts we discussed the archaeological and linguistic evidence connecting the Minim or Minaeans with the Levites, or priestly caste of the Yehudim (Judaeans). The apparent connection of the Maonians with the Solymi is perhaps more testimony that the Solymi were, in fact, Soleym. In the Bible, the Arabian name of the Ma’an, Ma’in or Minaean, is also sometimes translated as “Maonian”.   A place called Ma’on is in fact called a city of Judah (See I Sam. 25:2, 3, Smith, Hackett, Abbott, 1877, p. 1875).
       It is thought that the word Lud in the Bible had connection to Lydia.. As the book, Origines Celticae, pointed out in the 19th century, Abulfeda is one of the Arab writers who identify Lud as the ancestor of the Amalekites, “and many hints, gathered both from Scriptural and classical sources, lead us to the conclusion that several races, Amalek, Maon, and, claiming Lud for their ancestor, dwelt south of Palestine.  The Hebrew word rendered Mehunim in 2 Chron. 26.7 is merely the plural form of the word Maon, which appears in Judges 10. 12; and therefore the same people must be alluded to in both passages…The Septuagint renders the Mehunim of 2 Chron. By the term Minaioi, …” From the book (Origins Celticae, 1883, p. 178)
      Thus, whatever might be said of the ethnicity and dialect of the inhabitants of Lydia in the time of Strabo, it is highly likely the proto-Lydians of the region, and probably the name of Lydia itself, originated amongst the descendants of the Afro-Semitic people the Greeks considered of Phoenician i.e. Canaanite, affiliation. Later, European- speaking Greek invaders settled in the region amalgamating with the Maonians, while the name of Lydia or Lud, descendant of "Belos" and “Ninos” was retained for the people of that country..
       When all is said and done, to conceive of the Solymi of the Taurus and Aegean as “semitic” is not as far-fetched as certain modern scholars have tried to make it appear. The ancient mythos surrounding the Solymi and Ogygia and Gyges appears to relate them to the Amalekites, “the Phoenician shepherds” of Joseophus and the names of two of their kings -  "Agag".

It is hard to to unravel these obscure mythi, but the marriage of the mythical Tremilos with Ogygia seems to show that the people whom the Termilai subdued were Agagi or Amalekites, and therefore that the Solumoi were a branch of this people – a conclusion to which we have been already brought by other considerations” (Guest et al., 1883, p. 239).

      According to Greek mythology the son of the Phoenician Agenor, “King of Tyre”, is Cadmus. Agenor sent his son to search out his sister in Boeotia in Greece. Cadmus is considered the founder of Thebes. He is in fact called the father of Ogygia in one tradition and in another, he is his son. Pausanius of the 2nd century A,D, claimed “The first to occupy the land of Thebes are said to have been the Ectenes, whose king was Ogygus, an aboriginal”. (Pausanius 9 .5.1.) Aeschylus who lived in the 6th – 5th century B.C. also makes reference to Thebes as “the Ogygian Thebes”.
      The names of Gyges and Ogyia occur, not surprisingly, in both Lycia and Lydia. Apparently a lake in Lydia was named Gygia named for a nymph that inhabited it. Ogygos is called “King of the Titans” in one tradition and he had at one time fled to Tartessus a(mentioned above) after his defeat by Zeus. According to Stephen of Byzantium the early Lydians themselves were called Ogygioi (Fontenrose, 1959, p. 237, fn. 27).         The history of settlement of peoples in Egypt and the Nilo-Saharan affiliation of peoples in the Mediterranean is also captured, or represented in the many myths surrounding the legendary figure of king Minos and his family. And the original proto-Minoan people of Garamantian (Nilo-Saharan) affiliation seem to have settled in the Mediterranean along with the Ethiopic semitic-speaking peoples that came by way of the Levant or Aegean to Libya. The daughter of Minos named Akakallis (sometimes called a nymph) is supposed to have had a son named Garamas (otherwise called Amphithemis), ancestor of the Garamantes (Green, P., 2007, p. 348) - i.e., inhabitants of Garama or Djerma in Libya.
       It was said that “Nasamon”, another son of “Amphithemis”, was ancestor of the Nasamonians, a people whom we have discussed in earlier posts that possessed similar customs and with obvious links to the Tuareg.  These myths all seem to suggest that African-Semitic” populations of the Levant (Solymi, Cabali-Maonians) had met and intermingled with other African people in the Mediterranean, Aegean and in North Africa or “Libyan” landscape, giving rise to early populations there.
     Minos, himself, was son of the Phoenician princess "Europa" and thus a considered colonizer of Egypt.

"The Lycians were from Crete in ancient times (for in the past none that lived on Crete were Greek). Now there was a dispute in Crete about the royal power between Sarpedon and Minos, sons of Europa; Minos prevailed in this dispute and drove out Sarpedon and his partisans; who, after being driven out, came to the Milyan land in Asia. What is now possessed by the Lycians was in the past Milyan, and the Milyans were then called Solymi. 1.173.3 For a while Sarpedon ruled them, and the people were called Termilae, which was the name that they had brought with them …” ( Herodotus: The Histories)
       The people ruled by Minos may have been the Carians or Garamantes, while Sarpedon appears to have come to rule over the original Milyans “then called Solymi”.  Although there was conflict between them early on, these peoples of Minos and Sarpedon, two sons of Europa, appear to have been viewed as affiliated with the Levant.
      Later of course, the descendants of classical Greeks were to claim descent from all of these earlier “Pelasgic” peoples, though Pelasgians were said to have been a dark-skinned race or "melanthes…genus". Herodotus did maintain the belief that almost all of the names of the Gods had come to Greece from Egypt by way of the Pelasgians to the Greeks.
       Another early 19th century text entitled, A Geographical and Historical Description of Asia Minor, reads as follows:

 Next to the Pelasgic migrations, we must place the settlements formed by Minos, who seems to have reigned, not only over Crete and the Cyclades, but to have had possessions on the coast of Caria and Lycia.  In the former country, Sarpedon, his brother, is said to have founded Miletus; in the latter the same chief established his Cretan bands, named Termilae, after having driven from the coasts or exterminated the Milyae and Solymi, the first possessors of the country, and descended, as appears most probable from the Syrians or Phoenicians”. (Cramer, p. 24)
      The 19th century historian unabashedly recognized that the ancient Greeks considered there to be a close ethnic connection between the Solymi and the original Phoenician inhabitants of Cilicia.

“Strabo speaking of the small district Cabalis, which must certainly be referred to this people, remarks, that many authors looked upon it as the seat of the ancient Solymi of Homer, who were doubtless of Phoenician origin… their arms and accoutrements were precisely those of the Cilicians.” (Herod. VII.77.) ( Cramer,  p.  421)

     The appearance of Afrosemitic people in the Aegean is likely linked to the rise of the "Hyksos" and their appearance in the Syria, the Aegean and Egypt. An artistic style associated with the flying gallop appears deep within the Sahara in the Ahaggar and Tassili regions around the same time it does in the Mediterranean and Aegean. In the Sahara it is found at a certain period in association with Tuareg inscriptions called Tifinagh.  
     The representations recall the Mycenaean and Cretan models, rather than the Egyptian type according to the author of An Early History of Horsemanship (1985). "The style "seems to have dominated the art of the Sahara for few centuries starting roughly 1000 B.C."  Also of note are the similarities in chariot styles associated with the art. Two-shafted chariots similar to those from the eastern Mediterranean appear among those of the Fezzan (Azarolli, A. 1985, p. 59).  
         Evidently, the "great route" of the Garamantes from the Mediterranean coast to the Adrar region of the Iforas is also marked with rock paintings of flying gallop representations (Azzarolli, A.,1985, p. 61).
     Martin Bernal offerred the following with regards to the inhabitants of Thera. 
     "The presence of both the griffin an its flying gallop is fascinating.  As argued in the last chapter and above both the mythical animal and its motion appear to have been hallmarks of the Hyksos princes in Syria and the Aegean"  (Bernal, 1987, p. 388).       

"FLYING GALLOP" representation of stags on ancient fresco from the isle of Thera in the Mediterranean
      Greek archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos wrote of the above art found on Thera that this "'African" fresco "should be assigned for preference to the turbulent Hyskos period with which some scholars have connected the legend of Danaus and Aigyptos.'" (Bernal, p. 388).

Man of Mycenae (mainland Greece) dated to the 12th century B.C.


The popular flying gallop representations in "Caballine" (horseman) rock art of  the Tassili region of Sahara. 

     Although the Greeks seem to have implied the Solymi were semites, i.e. Phoenicians, it was Homer that appears to have first implied that the Solymi or Phoenicians were an “Ethiopic” population. Alluding to the trident-bearing Neptune or Poseidon, the author of the Odyssey writes “Now the lord, the shaker of the earth, on his way from the Ethiopians espied him afar off from the mountains of the Solymi: even thence he saw Odysseus as he sailed over the deep; and he was mightily angered in spirit, and shaking his head he communed with his own heart. ‘Lo now, it must be that the gods at the last have changed their purpose concerning Odysseus, while I was away among the Ethiopians” (Book V, The Odyssey).
        Homer, however, wasn’t the only author whose writings suggest that the Solymi were ancestral “Ethiopians”.  The Solymi are implied to be “Ethiopians” in the writings of Cheorilus as well.  Feldman noted both the Solymi of Choerilus writings and the Eastern Ethiopians wore said to have worn horse hides on their heads (Feldman, L,  1996, p. 192). John Kenrick in his book, Phoenicia, also notes this:

The epic poet Cheoerilus, contemporary with Herodotus, describing the armies of Xerxes, says, ‘Behind these came a race of men wonderful to behold, speaking the Phoenician tongue; they dwelt on the Solymian mountains, beside the broad lake. With squalid heads, shaven round, and above they wore the stripped-off skins of horses’ heads, hardened in the smoke (Kenrick, pp. 86-87).

        Some have tried to dismiss the obvious connection the ancients were making between the Aegean Solymians, the Ethiopians, and founders of Jerusalem.

Choerilus says that they wore helmets of hide, made out of horses’ heads. That is the distinctive badge of the eastern Ethiopian levies in Herodotus [7.70]; and Homer [Od. 5.283] provides the link between Solymi and Ethiopians – when Poseidon paused and surveyed the seas from the vantage-point on the Solyma mountains he was returning from Ethiopian festivies. Choerilus must be abandoned, though not without reluctance (Syme Anatolica 189). 

      Smith in his Ancient History of the East also notes that the description of the way the Solymi shaved their hair was typically Arabian, and adds.

     All this agrees with the theory that the Solymi were a semitic people, perhaps of that ancient type which is blended with Hamitic characters.  The chief direct testimony to this effect is that of Choerilus of Samos, the contemporary of Herodotus, who wrote a poem on the Persian War, in which he mentions the Solymi as serving in the army of Xerxes, and says that their language was Phoenician.  This statement is confirmed by their habit of shaving the head with the exception of a tuft – a custom ascribed by Herodotus to the Arabians, and mentioned in Scripture as practiced by the Edomites, Moabites and Ammonites…” (Philip Smith 1881, p. 433)

        While the contention that these Dead Sea Solymi of the time of Josephus had "Ethiopic" or “Eastern Ethiopian” connections can hardly be doubted, more recent observers have been hesitant in making the same connection. Ancient historians saw the Solymi as peoples settled centuries earlier amongst populations in Lycia in Anataolia, a long way off from Israel and the Dead Sea.  Historians of  "the classics" and biblical archaeologists view this as “problematic”  – as usual - even though Strabo in the 1st century cites Ephorus of the 4th century B.C. as claiming that the southern seaboards or southern coasts of Asia (which includes Asia Minor) were once occupied in their entirety by “Ethiopians”, i.e. black populations.
       By the time of Strabo, however, the Solymi had for the most part disappeared from many of their coastal habitats in Anatolia and the Aegean.  According to Book V of Pliny Natural History (1st c. A.D.), the Greek Erastosthenes of the 3rd century B. C. of Cyrene stated that "the nations of the Solymi, Leleges, Bebrices, Colycantii, and Trepsedores, are utterly perished from Asia." 
      Still long after the coming of the Hellenic Greeks, Josephus had made the claim that the Solymi were connected to the Dead Sea region and were responsible for the foundations of a town called Jerusalem.      



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Sunday, June 30, 2013

CANAANITES IN THEIR LANDS Part 2 Afro-Asiatic Israel and Aram

CANAANITES IN THEIR LANDS Part II     Afro-Asiatic Israel and Aram by Dana W. Reynolds

A young man walks in Saudi Arabia's  Rub al-Khali (meaning "Empty Quarter") Desert  in the south central area of the Arabian peninsula.

Pictured here are said to be some early "Amurru" at a town called Mari. Traditionally known as  "Ad", "Aram" and "Akkad" the earliest Amurru moved early on from southern Arabia (Al-Yaman) to Syria and Mesopotamia where the Akkadian language developed and where they absorbed non-Afro-Asiatic, Syrian people. Since the chronology of the ancient Near East is largely dependent on the ancient Egyptian one (believed by some archaeologists to be greatly distorted), archaeologists are in truth not certain as to what period this painting and the Akkadian civilization belongs.: ) 
Modern man of the Sana'a in the Yemen - original home of the semilegendary Muzaikiyya of Marib (Meribah - Exodus 17; Numbers 20:14; Psalm 81:7) and "the Rephaim Amorites" of Rephidim. Here the original Israelites once fought against their Amorite brethren. And "...Moses struck the rock as was told and water gushed out as the elders of Israel looked on. And he named the place Massah and Meribah because the children of Israel quarreled with Moses and tested the Lord saying 'is the Lord among us or not'". Exodus 17:6-7).

The tribe of Ad was descended from Ad, the son of Aws, the son of Aram, the son of Sem the son of Noah  who after the confusion of tongues, settled in al Ahkaf or the winding sands in the province of Hadramaut, where his posterity greatly multiplied. Their first king was Shedad the son of Ad of whom the eastern writers  deliver many fabulous things…” From The Koran, translation and notes by George Sale,” 1890, p.5.

 Joseph and Asenath, and the Solymi Connection

      Here might be good point to speak of the story of Yusuf or Joseph, son of Jacob mentioned by Ibn Abd Rabbih. This Yusuf or Asaf as he is also named in Arabic tales was in the biblical story a man who lived in Canaan, where his grandfather was from. His brothers had thrown him into a well and then some “Midianites”, whom the Bible also calls “Ismailites” or children of Ishmael, came along and lifted him from the well and then sold him to an important person  of  a place called “Mitzraim”.  As Salibi points out this Mizraim or Mitzraim has been misinterpreted in western translations of the Bible as the modern Egypt, when in fact it was likely an area in southwest Arabia either the Misramah of the Asir region or some where else where the Azd tribes of Kahlan lived and lived.  
        Asaf was associated with “Asiyyah” (meaning wild antelope or cow) who in Arab tradition is called “the Israelite woman”. She is sometimes called Asiyya bayt Muzahhim. But her traditional lineage or genealogy appears to makes her a descendant of the Sulaim bin Mansur, a tribe of Qays Ailan ultimately from the Azd in Hijaz and Central Arabia.  And it was from Banu Sulaim the son of  Mansur that descended “Ra’l, Zakwan, ‘Asiyyah ibn Khuyfaf ibn Imri’ Al- Qais ibn Buhthah ibn Sulaim and Za’b ibn Malik ibn Khufaf ibn Imri’ Al- Qais ibn Buhthah ibn Sulaim”  (Abdul Wahab, 2006; Phillips, R., p. 65).
       Thus, the 11th c. Cordoban Ibn Abd Rabbih wrote that the Banu Sulaym: were represented by “Dhakwan, Bahz and Buhtha” ( Abd Rabbih, p. 261) (Dhakwan is also written Zakwan or Zaakwan.)
       This posting is to show that the Sulaym group just mentioned are often connected with names that are Arabized forms of the individuals surrounding the biblical Joseph and his son Jacob in ancient Hebraic stories. They include aside from Assiyya or Asenath, Potiphar – her father, Joseph's mother Rachel (Jacob’s favorite wife), and brother Benjamin, Bahila (Rachel’s handmaid who then marries Jacob), the sons of Bahila, or Ghuni, Sallum, Suham, Jahzi’el, and Jeser or Jezer, the sons of Zilpah daughter of Laban -Gad and Asher, and Yissachar, the son of Leah (who was Jacob’s wife and Rachel’s younger sister), Manasseh, Ephraim, Levi, Gershon, Arodi son of Gad, Naaman, Rosh and Elon to name but a few of Jacob's "posterity". In other words, "the Israelites".
        But, in addition, closely connected with Sulaym are found names of a few Edomite or Horite tribes or “dukes” mentioned in Genesis 36 – including Zubyan or Zibeon and son Aja/Aia or Ashja’a, Zakwan or Zaavan and Yaakan or Akan, sons of Ezer (Assir). In the Bible they are said to be Hivite and Horite chiefs, children of Canaan and Edom.
       Middle Eastern folk traditions or mythos surrrounding Moses and Josephus make these people mostly "Amalekite" rulers of a locale called “Misra”. (Josephus in fact divided the peoples of Edom into Amalekites and "Gebalites".) (Hebbe, p. 401).
        Al-Tabari and Kahb al- Ahbar for example mentioned that the brother of the king of “Misra” that ruled in the time of Joseph and drowned in the Red Sea was Qabus, a descendant of Faran the Amalekite (See Part I)  Al Tabari calls him “Qabus b. Mus'ab b. Mu'awiyah b. Numayr b. al-Salwas b. Faran b. Amr b. Amalek” ( Prophets and Patriarchs, p. 154)
        Tabari wrote concerning Qabus and his brother Walid a text translated as follows:
“Moses was born to Amran and his mother was Jochebed, and some say that her name was Anahid.  His wife was Zipporah bt. Jethro, who is Shu’ayb the prophet.  Moses begat Gershom and Eliezer.  He left for Midian out of fear when he was forty-one years old and called people to the religion of Abraham.  God appeared to him at Mt. Sinai, when he was eighty years old.  The pharaoh of Egypt in his days was Qabus b. Mus’ab b. Mu’awiyah the second master of Joseph.   His wife was Asiyah bt. Muzahim b. Ubayd b. al-Rayyan b. Al Walid the first pharaoh of Joseph. When Moses was called he was informed that Qabus b. Mus’ab had died and that his brother, al-Walid b. Mus’ab had taken his place…It was said the al-Walid married Asiyah bt. Muzahim after his brother.” From the Ta'rīkh al-rusul wa'l-mulūk “Prophets and Kings” (Brinner, 1991, pp. 30-31)
        Now it is said Walid, brother of Kabus was the ruler who drowned in the Red Sea. Of Walid it has been written “Walid, the brother of Kabus, is generally supposed to be that king of Egypt with whom Moses had to do, and who was drowned in the Red Sea. Most of the commentators on the Koran tell us this prince was an Arab of the tribe of Ad, or, as others say, of Amalek, who were also Arabians, though some pretend he was of Koptic descent (Fielden, J.L., 1876,  p.24-25).  What’s more, Tabari and Ibn Kathir wrote when Joseph was purchased, “the Amalekite” named Al –Rayyan or Riyan son of al-Walid was in charge of Misr .   Tabari also wrote as follows with regards to Joseph and Potiphar:
 “Joseph was sold for twenty dirhams by his brother…As for the man who bought Joseph from Malik b. Da’ar in Egypt and who said to his wife ‘Receive him honorably’, Ibn Abbas reports that his name was Qittin. According to Muhammed b. Sa’d…Ibn Abbas:  the name of the one who bought him was Qatafir(Potiphar), and it is said that his name was Itfir b. Rawhib and that he was ruler and in charge of the Egyptian Treasury. At that time the King was al Rayyan b. Al-Walid a man of Amalekite stock…” (Brinner, p. 153).
      Of Walid it is said that he is the first to be called “pharaoh” and he was “of the tribe of Ad although others say that of Amlak, i.e. an Amalekite” (1747, p. 117) “Another account gives the full name of the king and Pharaoh of Egypt at that time as al-Rayyan b. Al-Walid b. Tharwan b. Arashah b. Qaran b. ‘Amr b. Imlaq b. Lud b. Shem b. Noah”  (Brinner, p. 153)   Another version says that Daluka ruled after Walid.  She is sometimes said to be his daughter or a distant relation of his (1747, p. 118).

Daluka, surnamed Al Ajuz, or the Old Woman of the royal blood, succeed the pharoah who drowned in the Red Sea. This queen is said to have been the most expert woman of her time in  magic. Shelived a hundred years, and encompassed the city of Mesr with walls…I quote this account for what it is worth. So far, it confirms the statement of other authors, that aboutor in the time of Joseph and the sojourn of the Israelites, Egypt was ruled by Pharaohs or kings of Esau's race, when they threw off the yoke of Jacob (Fielden,  p. 25). 
      Josephus divided the land of Edomites into Amalekites and Gebalites (Hebbe, 1848, p. 401). Although authors sometimes use or translate the name Misra or Kipti as the modern country of "Egypt", in the usage of the early Arab writers these names often refer to Amalekite peoples rather than the country of Egypt they are said to have conquered. After Daluka daughter of "the Amalekite", the ruler who succeeds her is called Darkun, son of Malthus or Baltus (Crosthwaite, 1839, p.234; Sale, 1747, p. 118).  This name sounds like another name for an ancient "Himyarite " king Dhu Tarkun.
     Then came Thardan king of the Amalekites. one version says that Walid was his son. Thardan was son of Amalek son of Eliphaz son of Esau - "Jacob's twin brother" (Fielden, p. 91). Scholars now consider that this name of Daluka ,daughter of Zabba (also called Zaffan), to be in fact “Zuleika” of other Arab tradition (El Daly, 2005, p. 133). And, this Zabba may be Za'b ibn Malik a tribe of Khufaf mentioned above. He is perhaps Zebah (also spelt Zeeb or Zebab) the biblical Midianite ruler, if not "Zephon" son of Gad son of Zilpah.
       It is very possible then that the name of  “Zilpah” is related to "Zuleikha" in the way the name "Tarikha", wife of Moses is also spelt "Zarifah" (biblical Zipphorah). Zilpah’s sister is according to Rabbinic sources is Bilha and both “Bilha” and  “Rachel” are names closely related to that confederation of tribes in Hijaz and Central Arabia known as Ghatafan and Banu Sulaym.  Otherwise Zuleika also has the same role as Asenath in the Bible. And most scholars consider her to be Asenath. Zuleika of the Quran is the seducer of Joseph and wife of Potiphar.  Some sources refer to Potiphar’s wife as Ra’il rather than Zuleika. Ra’il, Ra'la or Rahil in English is "Rachel", who is wife of Jacob. (See Genesis 29) 


       The genealogy for the tribe of Sulaym is Sulaym. b. Mansur b. 'Ikrima son of  Khasafa (Khanam, p. 720). The latter’s brother was Ghatafan and they were sons of Qays Ailan, “son of Mudar”.  Thus writes the author of the recent compilation The Sealed Nectar, “Of Qais 'Ailan were the Banu Saleem, Banu Hawazin, and Banu Ghatafan of whom descended 'Abs, Zubyan, Ashja' and Ghani bin A'sur…” (al-Mubarakpuri, 2002, p. 11).
     Referring to the confederation of tribes called Mudar or Muzar another writer notes, “The two main branches of the north Arabs descend through Mudar and Rabi’a. From the former, through Qays Aylan, spring Bahila, Hawazin and Ghatafan. Thaqif are descended from Hawazin, and 'Abs and Dhubyan from Ghatafan.” (Meisami and Starkey, 1998, p. 780).
     The clans of ‘Abs and “Ghutayf” are mentioned as batun or clans of the Murad tribe of the Maddhij in Yemen in early Islamic sources as well (Mad’aj, 1988, p. 91).
       It is known that the Ghatafan were bedouins that in early Islamic times that “lived between Medina and Kheibar, the main Jewish oasis to the north of Medina. The Beni Sulaym lived to the south of Medina, astride the main caravan route from Mecca”(Gabriel, 2011, p. 109).  However before settling in Medina they were a people which included the Ghutayf of the Tayyi who belonged to a clan called Murad. Both the Tayyi and the Murad were of the Arabian group called Maddhij (or Maddhig). The southern Arabian genealogical tradition asserts that the Bahila, Ghani Bin Asur, Ghutayf and Ghatafan and Abs and Ashja’ of North Arabia were originally Yemenite tribes of Kahlan belonging to Banu Maddhij and Azd of Saba.
      The 9th c. Ibn Jahiz lists Ghutayf and Ghatafan together in his Book of Misers together noting – “the Tayy, Ghutayf and Ghatafan tribes”  summoned “one another to war with the braying sound of a donkey” - as is still done in Arabia. The commentator of this book correctly notes that Ghutayf b. Harithah was a clan that was head of Ghatafan and as “a tribe of Tayyi… in the Mountain of Tayyi area” ( Sergeant, Book of Misers p. 201  fn. 1001)
     The Tayyi were a people of Yemen related to the Banu Madhhij. The mountains of Tayyi mentioned are located in north central Arabia. Early in pre-Islamic times the Tayyi had settled in Iraq so that these Arabs were the people who were most often met with in Persia during the Sassanid era, and the land of “Tajikistan” is actually derived from their name as well as the Chinese word “Dashi’ for Arabs (Park, H. 2012, 203).

Shammar men of the Banu Tayyi Arabs in Arabia. Photo dated 1932 from Bertram Thomas's work, Arabia Felix, Across the Empty Quarter
       The original "children of Noah" such as the Tayyi, like the rest of the early Arabs including the Solymi were an Ethiopic people. “The home of the Tayyi, Shammar, consisted of two parallel ranges called Aja and Salma…” (Shahid, 2002, p. 251). Ibn Mandour in the 14th century wrote "the predominant complexion of the Arabs is dark brownish black and that of the non-Arabs is white."  Lisaan al-Arab IV:209.  Unlike the Syrian-originated tribes also called Shammar in Arabia today, the true Arab Shammar Tayyi from Arabia still wear the customary Saracen attire described by ancient writers.
        The name of the Shammar is supposed to be linked to that of the semilegendary figure, King Shammar of Yemen, who lived in the reign of Kai Kaus or Kabus of Persia thousands of years ago. The names Shammar, Tayy or Taj and Murad also figure in the legends and folklore of the ancient world and the allegories surrounding them are based partly on astronomical mythology.
      Tayyi is mentioned as a “son of Maddhij” by Ibn abd Rabbih  referencing the 9th century  Ibn Kalbi, and by others he is considered a brother (Abd Rabbih, p. 294). In the early Islamic period in Yemen the Ghutayf are designated a “batn” or clan of Murad branch of the Maddhij (Mad’aj, 1988, p. 91.) Rabbih writes “in the clan of Najiya ibn Murad are the Banu Ghutayf ibn Abd Allah ibn Najiya , and it is said they are Azdites”(Rabbih, 2012, p. 294).
     The ‘Abs and Dhubyan (also written Zubyan or Thibyaan, are named clans of the Murad and Madhhij in Yemenite early Islamic Yemenite texts (Maddh’aj, p. 91). While in the north they are considered tribes of Ghatafan from Qays AilanAbs a batn of the Murad (Mad’aj, p. 91) belonging to Maddhij were at one time “the most powerful element” in Ghatafan. (Kennedy, 2005, p. 252).
       The Sulaym are well known in Arab texts of Ibn Athir circa 11th c. and Jahiz (9th c.) as a very black –skinned population living in the harrat region of Medina.  Like the Sulaym, the Abs are according to Ibn Abd Rabbih the 6th volume of  The Unique Necklace said to have been described by an eyewitness “black-skinned men shaking their spears”.  And the photos of the Tayyi and Madhij above speak for themselves.
         This name of Ghutayf or Ghatafan may very well have some connection with the Near East or Muslim stories of Qittifin, Itfin, Itfir, or “ Kitfir” known in the west as Potiphar.  Notes one interpretor of Tabari’s book, Prophets and Patriarchs.The biblical name Potiphar appears in a variety of forms in Arabic sources, among them Qittin, Qittifin, Qutifar, Qitfir, Itfir, and Itfin.  See Shorter Encyc., 647, s.v. Yusuf b. Ya’kub.” ( Brinner, W. 1987, p. 153, fn. 362.)
        In the Ethiopic version of the story of Joseph as well apparently, an individual named “Qatifan” is said to be the adopted parent of Joseph. Tabari says that this individual was also known as Potiphar whose wife asked of Joseph “an evil act”. In the Torah or western Bible Joseph is a slave whom Potiphar’s wife attempts to seduce  Genesis 39:7-8 reads, "And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, lie with me, but he refused..."
         Richard Burton in his Arabian Knights writes Kitfir or Itfir (Potiphar)… his wife (Rail or Zulaykha) charged Joseph with attempting her chastity …” (Burton, 2009, fn. 210; parentheses are Burton’s). Thus, sometimes the woman in Arab tales is called Ra’il or Rahil, which is the name  Rachel, though she is made the mother of Joseph in the biblical version.
      According to Tabari, Potiphar’s wife was Ra’il, while the name of the man who bought Joseph was Qittin or “Qatafir (Potiphar), and it is said that his name was Itfir b. Rawhib.” (Brinner, p. 154.) Thus though Rachel is Joseph’s mother in the Western tradition, and Joseph’s seducer in traditions of the Middle East.
      Through Asenath, Joseph (also called Zaphnath) had two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. Tabari speaks of Asenath as  Asiyya “the Israelite woman”.  Names of the closely related group of tribes Rahil or Ra’la, or Rachel, Qitifan, and Assiyya (who was Asenath) were undoubtedly brought to Syria and the Hijaz from the area of  the Yemen. The name Manasseh likely corresponds to the name Mansour father of Soleym, recorded as Manasseir further south or "Manuchehr" in Iranian. The name Faran was identified as Ephraim his brother by Salibi.
       Soleym or Sulaym bin Mansur tribe of the Harra was in fact maternally derived from the Ateek and other Azd in Arab genealogy. Tabari writes of “the first of the Atikahs of the tribe of Quraysh who were female ancestors of the Messenger of God” (Watt, p 27). Thus, the Prophet of Islam always traced his maternal lineage from women named Ateek of the Sulaym tribe. According to one author the “ Prophet was wont to say 'I am the son of the El Awatek from the tribe of Solayem, [Atika, daughter of Hilal, Atika, daughter of Mora and Atika, daughter of El Awkass from the tribe of Sulaym…]” (El-Saadawi, 2007, p. 189).
        In the south among the Azd descended Dawasir, the tribe appears to be referred to as Suwelayim or Salaiyim (Lorimer, 1908, p. 394). The first Atikah was said to be the grandaughter of Nadr bin Kinanah (see part I) and mother of Lua’ay who was father of the clan of Ka’b bin Lu’ayy.
      By the period of the 9th century BC, it is quite probable Greeks like Homer knew them as the Solymi of Pisidia and Lycia and Asphalitis (the Dead Sea) in Israel and Jordan who they relate to Eastern Ethiopians and whose language they also categorize as a Phoenician type dialect. Ronald Syme noted “Choerilus says that they wore helmets of hide, made out of horses’heads. That is the distinctive badge of the eastern Ethiopian levies in Herodotus (7.70)   He adds Homer in Odysseus  5.283 “provides the link between Solymi and Ethiopians-when Poseidon paused and surveyed the seas from the vantage-point on the Solyma moyuntains he was returning from Ethiopian festivities.” (Gonzales, M. 2005, 261-282) (The matter of the Sulayim and Amluk as Meluchha and Mlecchas and “Ethiopians” of Arabia and Asia is to be discussed in Part III.)
       Here we can note however that this Lu’ayy of the Azd was in fact the same name as “Levi” of the Bible and his ancestor El-Yas was the biblical or Hebrew Elias “the Levite”, otherwise known as Elijah. It will be shown how these groups originated as people of the Azd of southern Arabia or Canaanites and moved into the region of Hijaz before entering Syria and the rest of the ancient world. 

Early depiction by non-Arabs of Elias (El-Yas) "the Priest"
       In Part I the relationship of some of ancient Afro-Arabians with the original Hebraic peoples featured in the Torah or Bible as addressed by ancient and Middle Eastern documenters was discussed.  It was noted the early Arabic writings refer to the south Arabian people of chapter 25 of Genesis the children of Keturah (still known as Bait Kathir), Udad (Yudadas or Dedan), Al-Tawsim (Letushim), Ashurim, Luqaym/Lakhm (Lehummim), Ghassan (Jokshan), the Afran/Afras (Afras or Aphren), and Myda’an  or Maadi’an  (Midian or Midianites), as a closely related people of “Ad” and “Azd” i.e. Amalekite/Melukhha ancestry originating in the Yemen. These were at one time the confederation of camel-owning incense traders of  “Qeturah”, which leaving the Yemen had settled in Hijaz and in the “troglodyte” regions of Africa.  We are told by Josephus the Jewish Roman historian that these same people came to settle in “western Ethiopia” or further west in Africa and had conquered the north African coastal regions under Cathim, “Herakles” and “Didorus”-  who are the folk ancestors Katam, (Gibb, 1954, p. 540) Herak, Herik and Daris in the genealogies of the Tuareg and other remnants of the original “Libyo-Berbers”  (MacMichael, 1922, 202).
        We have also seen that contrary to what is found in modern or biblical tradition, such Midianite or Israelite leaders, Moses, Solomon, Barak, Jephunah, Lokman/Baalam and Amram/Amran (relative of Moses) figure regularly in various early Arabian, and Middle Eastern texts in general as individuals of the “Imlaq”, “Amluq” or Amalekites of southern and western Arabia otherwise designated by the names of A’ad (Adites), Aus (Uz) and  Azd. It is not hard to see that those called in south Arabian folk history the Ufayr b. Luqaym (or Lakhm) and named the “‘chiefs of the last Ad” in Yemeni or south Arabian folk history (Crosby, 2007, p. 130) are the same as the Aphren of the Genesis, brother of “Lehumim” both children of Qeturah and Abraham.
       These tribes and clans of the Afro-Arabian peoples - an extension of Neolithic and Bronze Age peoples of the Nile, east Africa and Nubia who’d been in Arabia for thousands of years are those who moved north into Syria, Mesopotamia and Anatolia carrying their names i.e. Soleymi or Solymi and Masikha or Meshech.  These “children of Noah” who expanded further abroad are known in the Bible as children of Japhet or Iapetos, also called Jupiter.
        But, as a result of the misplaced territories of the biblical Israelites and Mizraim and/or Misra in western tradition, many modern archaeologists and other scholars rightfully doubt the historicity of the Torah or Bible and especially its late interpretations of ancient Egyptian/Israelite relations.  
     As noted in Thomas Cheyne’s 1902, Encyclopedia Biblica, under the heading Mizraim, “The connection of Solomon, however, with Egypt is very disputable; it was probably with the N. Arabian Musri that he was connected by marriage”  (Cheyne, 1902, p. 129).
       The 5th century AD Armenian, St. Moses of Khorene refers to Mizraim as son of Kush, and it appears that the ancient and modern Arabian confederation of Musra or Musri (modern Masruh or Musruh) were in fact the most common Misra referred to in the Bible. The names Kipti and Keftiu also appear to have been related to and originally referred to peoples and places unrelated to modern Egypt, which in truth had its own name of Khamit until a late period. The Qahtan confederation still called Musruh or Masruh, located in the same region as the ancient Musri even in the 20th century includes names strikingly similar to those designated children of Misrah son of Ham in the Bible (to be discussed in Part 3).


        Azd tribes and followers of Muzaikiyya that had moved northward are often referred to as Adnanites or Ishmaelites, but we will see their names are clearly connected to those of the biblical Israelites as well.  It will be shown that these Arabian Masruh comprising groups of people that came to be known as “the northern Arabs” in contrast to “the southern Arabs”, are in fact among those designated “the peoples of Judah” and Israel in the western Bible, but were for the most part originally “Yemenites” as well.
        Here is one small example of what I mean. Tabari wrote – “it has been said the Banu Ma’n of the Azd are called the Bahilah” (Blankenship, 1989, p. 11).  Now, historically, the Azd-descended Bahila after leaving the Marib area were known to have pastured their flocks in a region called  Sawd or Sud Bahila (Sud or Sawad signifies black, rich and cultivated soil) where large quantities of silver and brass were reportedly mined in pre-Islamic times (this is the southern region of the Yemamah mines in the area of the Nejd in south Central Arabia). This district was or is filled with gold and silver mines which have been worked from ancient times.
      Bahila had come to settle in the part of Yemama called Irid or Irdh (the same word as biblical Arodh meaning donkey) or Irdh Shamam. In this area is the town of Hafir with mines called after the Al-Hufaira tribe. This name is not improbably the same as the famed Ophir, a locale of the book of Job in the Bible where Solomon mined gold. It is associated associated with a major center called Juzaila or Djazala in the Ird (Al Askar, 2002,  pp. 49-50).  The Bahila are also early on mentioned with a tribe called Jasr or Jasir in the Bisha (or Bisah) region in Asir (Khanam, p. 92). 
      Other branches of the tribe of Bahila that were well-known in Arab genealogy include the Ghani also translated Ghunay or Ghaniyy living also in the Bisha region, also the Suhm or Sahm (Ibn Abd Rabbih, 2012, vol. 3 p. 269) and Ya’sur or A’sur.  Thus one author wrote, “Among the ancient poets is Munabbih A’sur ibn Sa’d the progenitor of Bahila, Ghani and At-Tufawa” (Howell, 1883,  M. p. 525)  According to one encyclopedia on the Middle East, Bahila was the mother of Malik bin Asur …the brothers that came to make up the Bahila bin Y’asur or Asur. Bahila, are thus called “ Bahila b. A'sur, brothers of the Ghani" (R. Khanam  2005 p. 92).  This may be the Munabbih, who were a sub-tribe of the Yemenite Madhhij from the tribe of Banu Hamdan (Kays, p. 339).
                Now all of this is mentioned because according to the Bible in1 Chronicles 7:13 and Genesis 46:25 one of Jacob’s concubines is named ‘Bilhah” the niece of Isaac’s wife “Rebecca”  according to Rabbinic sources.  Bilha’s sons were Dan and Naphtali whose children are mentioned in  Numbers 26:48-50, which reads, “The descendants of Naphtali by their clans were: through Jahzeel, the Jahzeelite clan; through Guni, the Gunite clan;  through Jezer, the Jezerite clan;  through Shillem, the Shillemite clan.  These were the clans of Naphtali; those numbered were 45,400.”  This Jahzeel, Guni and Jezer of Bilha are seemingly the names of Azd clans of Bahila of the Asir (Bisha region) with her offshoots of Ghunay/Ghani (Ghuni) and Jasr/Jasir (Jezer), along with  Juzaila or Jazila (Jahzi’el/Jahzeel)(Khanam, p. 92). Abd Ibn Rabbihu also writes “Lakhm begat Jazila”. (p. 296). See below and Part I on the Azd tribe of Lakhm and Ma’n.
       Furthermore, Bahila traditionally has a clan called Banu Suhm or Sahm, whose genealogy is Suhm b. Amr b. Thalabah B. b. Ghanm b. Qutayba b. Ma’n b. Malik b. Asur (Landau- Tasseron, 1998, p. 84). Ibn Abd Rabbih thus wrote that the clan of “Sahm was in Bahila” (Rabbih, 2012, p. 269).  Thus it is not coincidence that in the Bible book of Numbers 26:42 says of Bahila’s son Dan - “These were the descendants of Dan by their clans: through Suham, the Suhamite clan. These were the clans of Dan: All of them were Suhamite clans; and those numbered were 64,400.
       According to an early Arab source, "originally Bahila was the name of a woman of Hamdan who was [married] to Ma'an".

      The Habbaniyya or Habban of Hadramaut claim they are of the clan of Dan children of "Bilha". Not surprisingly, Arab sources make them a clan of "Bahila" as well.

             The Arab text transcribed by Harold MacMichaels also states the "Habbani'a are the descendants of Habban, son of el Kulus, son of Amr, son of Kays, a sub-tribe of Bahila" (MacMichaels,  1922, p. 186).
         The tribe of Dan from which the Arabian Habbani claim descent according to the book of Judges of the Bible lived between the region of Zorah and Eshtaol which Salibi identified with the modern al-Zarah and al-Ishta in the Zahran region of the Asir, former homeland of the Zahran tribe of the Azd (Zahran is the name of a Dawasir clan and tribal ancestor) (Salibi, 1985, p. 162). The book of Judges 18:8 reads, “When they returned to Zorah and Eshtaol, their fellow Danites asked them, ‘How did you find things?’" (New International Bible, 2011 translation). Thus, names of the Azd tribe of Ma’n bin Malik bin Ya’sur are seemingly related to the names of the ancient Israelite homelands. Bilha of the biblical land of Israel is unquestionably the Bahila of the highlands Asir Tihama and south Ird in Central Arabia.
       Not surprisingly the site of the ancient Israelite Eshtaol has yet to be decided upon by modern scholars. The modern town called Eshtaol in Israel was only founded in 1949. Says one recent specialist, “The location of biblical Eshtaol has been greatly disputed over the years. Scholars have agreed on a general location for the city, but not on the actual site” (Chestnut, 2008, p. 3) This name of Dan corresponds to that of the Azd or Dawasir tribe Duwaniyyah or Dhuwayyin and Dandan in the Asir region both being probably plural for Dan as suggested by Salibi.
        Though difficult to believe it is fascinating to discover that in fact the Azd of the region of Asir, the Yemen and south Central Arabia were the people that appear to have figured in the early Hebrew texts as “children of Israel” or “Yisra’el” through various concubines of Jacob. It will be shown that the Bahilah clans that were kinsmen to Banu Ma’n bin Malik b. Y’asur, originated from the Ma’an, i.e. Minaeans or Me’unim who had also lived in both Yemen and Hadramaut and traded with the Phoenician town of Tyre (Sur - which Salibi identifies as a town in the Yemen, not Lebanon).  In fact a town of Faniqa -  probably named for the latter population - still lies in the Wadi Bisha region not far from the Eritrean Sea where Herodotus claimed the Phoenicians originated (Salibi, 2007,  p. 159). The name of this town can obviously be related to that of the Fenkhu - the ancient Egyptian word for  “Phoenician”..

        The earliest mention of the Ma’an or Ma’n of the Azd is in the western region of Hadramaut (south central part of al-Yaman or theYemen), and they appear to be called Ma’onites or Me’unim in the Bible. And, they are the historical Ma’in or Minaeans of modern archaeologists. By the 4th century, inscriptions mention Minaean caravans at Dedan in the northern region of the Hijaz (Negev and Gibson, 2001, p. 137). From inscriptions it is also known that they worshipped a deity known Yasurbaal or Yasrabel which some believe to be “Baal Sur” of the Canaanites of Tyre (or Sur).  Baal Sur was called Melkarth (a name to which is related that of the hero “Heracles”).   
        Scholars don’t look at the Mineans as the Phoenicians and are not clear on when the Minaean culture originated. “Having some time ago discarded the old chronological scheme supported by Glaser and partly based on Arabic sources, according to which the origin of the Minaean Kingdom dated back to the beginning to the second millennium B.C. scholars have been trying to clarify the chronology of the South Arabian Kingdoms, on the additional basis of the data obtained from excavations …”  (Costa, 1978,pp. 11-12)   
       Most interestingly it had been noticed by some that the name of Levi and the Levites - who were the Israelite priests - is found in Minean inscriptions (Cohu, John R., p. 18, fn. ) Bible dictionaries also make the name “Meunim”, that of a Levite”;  and “head of a group of temple servants in Ezra's time.” The author of Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, the Dominican priest Roland de Vaux, mentioned the association of the Minaeans with the Levitic traditions of the Israelites, but dismissed in a round-about way the Minean connection to the origins of this priestly caste.
      De Vaux wrote “some writers have concluded that the Israelites adopted the institution of Levites from those early Arabs with whom they had been in contact at Sinai.”  But he argued the words lw and lw’t were found only in Minaean inscriptions from Northern Arabia, at Dedan, and never in those from the South, nor in any other South Arabian dialect. And thus he proposed that the Minaeans may have borrowed the word from a colony of Babylonians installed in Dedan where there were also presumably Jews (de Vaux, 1997, p. 369) and then he suggests theformer “modified the sense of the term and gave it a feminine which did not exist in Hebrew.”
      Lawy or Lowi is often found in medieval Arab genealogies as the name Lu’ayy. Tabari claimed that one tradition was that the mother of Lu’ayy, Atikah, was from the tribe of Kinanah and a descendant of an individual named Luhay. One tradition says she was called “Salma” granddaughter of Luhay who was a great grandson of Amr Muzaikiyya (Moses) grandson of Khuza’a.  Thus an encyclopaedia reference regarding the Khuza’a clan of the Azd reads.    

KHUZA  b. Amr, name of a South-Arabian tribe, a branch of the large tribe of Azd. The genealogists with few exceptions are unanimous in tracing their pedigree through ‘Amr, surnamed  Luhay b. Rabi’a b. Haritha b. Muzaikiya and they agree further that they, together with the other branches of the Azd, left South Arabia at a remote time and wandered with them to the North. When they reached the territory of Mekka, most of their kinsmen continued their journey, the Ghassan to Syria, Azd Sanua to Oman, but Luhay remained with his clan near Mekka” (Krenkow, 2013).    

     These children of Luhay from the tribe of Khuza or Khaza’a came to be called Laheyan or “Lihyanites”, a people historically affiliated with the Minaeans. Retso notes Dedan was taken over by a new tribe or dynasty, Lihyan. We also find the presence of another new entity there, namely the Minaeans who came from South Arabia and set up a colony in Dedan obviously in cooperation with Lihyan.” According to one source however,The Lihyanite dialect not only resembles the Minaean dialect of the South Arabians, but appears to have been derived from it” (Agwan and Singh, 2006, p. 714).
     Descendants of these Lihyanites are in fact called Lahiyan today, a large clan of the Banu Hudhail b. Mudrika (also written Hudhal, Huthayl or Hatheyl) still dwelling not far from Mecca -  a kind of “tropical Arabs” with "shining", "black" skins according to Charles Doughty. “A nomad family met us (of Hatheyl or Koreysh) removing upward: they were slight bodies and blackish, a kind of tropical Arabs …” (Doughty, 1888, p. 528 and 535).

      The name of “Luhay” appears in ancient Sabaean inscriptions (Schiettecatte, 2012, p. 50). And for good reason  - the name is thought to be Lehi of the Bible. 

"The Lihyanites were originally named the Dedanites after the Grandson of Abraham; however, they changed their name to the People of Lihy around 550BC,  shortly after Lehi and his family would have been traveling down the Frankincense Trail.”
         Hudhayl was the uncle of Kinanah b. Khuzaimah according to Arab tradition.  Hudhayl’s brother is Khuzaimah bin Mudrika. In fact, Arab genealogists make Khuza’a -  ancestor of Luhay - and the Lakhmids, Ghassan and Ma’n all one people who left with others from Marib - their ancestors being the followers of a “Muzaikiyya” once subject to the Himyarite chiefs (in that time the A’ad or Amalekites/Midianites) there in Yemen and Marib (Meribah –Exodus 17). The tribes of Kinanah and Luhayan or Lahiyan who moved north capturing various sites from earlier owners are maternal descendants of  Azd and Himyarite women named Atika, Kaylah and Salma.
     The 9th century historian Asma'i summarized the settling of the Lakhmids of the Azd in the early Christian era.
‘They (the southern Arabs) did not enter a land without robbing its people of it. Khuza’a wrested Mecca from Jurhum; Aws and Khazraj wrested Medina from the Jews; the clan of Mundhir  seized Iraq from its people; the clan of Jafna  seized Syria from its people and ruled it; and the progeny of ‘Imran ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Amir [of al-As/zd] seized Oman from its people. Up till then all of these (southern tribes) had been in obedience to the kings of Himyar.’(Cotton, H., 2009, p. 388)  The parentheses here are the author's.
      This Asma’i, a historian from the tribe of Bahilah, likely knew that the Lakhmids and Khuza’a were  branches of Ghassan also known as “the house of Jafnah” (Jephuneh).  In fact the Jews of Medina and Khaibar were descendants of the Judham who were closely related to the Lakhm and Ma’n tribes of Azd (Gil, p. 19).
       Just previous to the birth of the Muslim Prophet in the 7th century, Banu Judham (or Gudham) were found north of the Hijaz in Palestine. Moshe Gil in his text, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, talks about the tribe of Judham belonging to the Lakhm tribe in the Islamic period there:
“Lakhm, as the Judham was to be found on the Palestinian border before the advent of Islam…The Banu Lakhm, whose major strength was centred in the region of the northern Euphrates, but who also had branches within Palestinian territory… According to tribal genealogical records, Lakhm were the brothers of Judham. From the Arab sources, we get the impression that these tribes, allies of the Byzantines on the eve of the Islamic conquests, roved about the Palestinian border lands and concentrated in Arabia, that is Provincia Arabia,…” (p. 19).
     And in a footnote 10 on the same page Gil adds,According to certain Arab sources, the Banu Nadir and the Banu Qurayza, the major Jewish tribes in Medina, Khaibar and Hijaz, were considered descendants of the Banu Judham” (Gil, p. 19, fn. 10). What’s more, the Banu Nadir and Qurayza of Hijaz were considered Kahanim or Jewish priests (Stillman, p. 9; Zeitlin, 2007, Chapter 5 ) As we see in the paragraph below the Banu Judham in turn were the “Midianites”.

"The principal tribe occupying the desert area south of Palestine was that of the Banu Judham. According to Arab sources, their land was called Madyan…Antoninus Placentinus of Piacenza, Italy) who visited the region in ca. 570, mentions Arabs whom he calls Midianites, encountered in Eilat en route to Sinai... According to him they claimed descent from Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, as it is also said, in Arab traditions of the Banu Judham, that they were the kinsfolk of Shu’ayb, whom some sources identify with Jethro. An important branch of this tribe were the Banu Wa’il… a certain part of which was inclined towards Judaism, as were other clans of the Banu Judham.” ( p. 18)

       Gil also notes that the Baghdad born al-Masudi (9th century) said of the Nadir (Jews of Medina) that they were offspring of  Judham, and that the Qurayza claimed priestly descent from Shu’aib, in particular prophet of Madyan (Midian) in particular who was of the Banu Judham (Azd) people (Gil, 2004, p. 11)  But as mentioned in Part I one Arab tradition makes Shu’ayb fourth in descent from Madyan. (Madyan was not just the name of a tribe, but a city near a town called Ma’an according to Tafsir of Ibn Kathir)
      Some sources in fact mention Judham as offspring of A’sar, or Ya’fur son of Madyan b. Ibrahim (Gil, 2004, p. 14, fn. 12), which is said to be the origin of Shu’ayb. Gil in fact speaks of many of the traditions connecting the Judham and Shu’ayb, but nevertheless manages, as do most scholars on ancient Israel, to avoid noting the most uniform or consistently expounded tradition concerning their origins. Shuayb and the Midianites, Judham, Jafnah (Jephuneh), Ghassan and related tribes are all people said to have come from the dispersal of the Azd confederation of the Yemen. The ancient Azd-related Judham, Ghassan, Jazila, Bahila and Lakhm and descendants in Hijaz and Africa and elsewhere obviously didn’t know that 3,000 years after their dam in Marib broke in Sana’a foreign peoples in the northwest and northeast would adopt their genealogies and make them into “Mesopotamians” stretching unto Turkey, before finally accusing true peoples of “Shem”, “Ham” and “Japhet” of adopting “the religion of Abraham”.
       The genealogy of Arab writers frequently makes mention of the tribe of  Banu Yashkur as a branch of the Azd tribe of Jazila ibn Lakhm.  Abd Rabbih writes, “In Jazila ibn Lakhm, there are many clans. Of them are Irash, Hujr, Yashkur Ghanim and Jadis a large clan”. As Salibi and others have pointed out, the name of Yashkur is actually the name Yissakhar or “Issachar” of the Bible – and not surprisingly, another name of one of the children of Israel (Jacob/Ya’qub was father of Issachar)
      MacMichael’s, History of the Arabs in the Sudan reads “The rule of Lakhm at Hira ended with the rise of Islam. At the conquest of Egypt the Yashkur section of the tribe established themselves upon the hill called after them…” (MacMichael,   pp. 140 – 141).   Another source says, “The Banū al-Hārith ibn-Yashkur ibn-Mubashshir of the Azd had an idol called Dū Sharā”  Hisham al-Kalbi. (Kitab al-Asnām). Healey ,2001, 106).
       In Part I we saw how Jadis, Al-Tawsim and Lakhim are connected in Arab genealogy, and that they are identified as ancestral Amalekites or al-Amluq, Letusim, and Lehumim. The Ghanm mentioned by abd Rabbih above appear to be the Ghanim of the Azd whose descendants the Ghanm or Ghunnam still live today in Wadi Liyyah (Leah) in the Asir Tihamah next to the Wadi Ta’Ashar.
      Now immediately after mentioning the clan of Yashkur ibn Jazilah ibn Lakhm and Jadis.  Ibn Abd Rabbih mentions something else. He notes that the clan of "Jadas" bin Jazila bin Lakhm were among those clans and one of their tribal members brought Joseph out of the well. If the clan of Yashkur is Issachar, son of Jacob and Leah, is this clan of “Jadas” not also that of "Gad" another of Jacob’s sons.
      The Torah/Bible says, “The sons of Zilpah, Leah's servant, were Gad and Asher” Genesis 35:26. It is not that much of a mental jump to see that Jadas is perhaps “Gad”. Gad's 6thson in Numbers 23:17 is incidentally named Arodh whose name is also mentioned above. At the same time the tribe of Asher and Gad may very possibly be the Ash'ar and their clan of "Judda" mentioned by Ibn Abd Rabih and others (Ibn Abd Rabbih, 2012, p. 295)..
         One Arab genealogy says Yashkur was the son of Rahm (or Ruhm) son of b. Basr b. Uqba, in other words a great grandson or descendant of a man named “Uqba”. The name Uqba like Jacob means "heel". This genealogy is thus likely reference to the Banu Uqba of the modern region of Midian (Madyan of northern Hijaz) mentioned by Orientalist historian Richard Francis Burton who writes in his book Land of Midian, that Al Kalkashendi  in the fifteenth century makes the Uqba tribe descendants of the Gudham (Judham) of the Kahtaniyyah (Qahtan) of the Yemen. (From the looks of things one should be wondering about the etymological roots of this interesting name of "Judham" as well. After all, This is after all a tribe of Yehud (Jews)of "Kahanim" (priestly) stock who were living in a land called Musra (Misra) and traditionally living amongst and descended from Mady'an (Midian) : )
      The name of Wady Madian was called Wadi Makn’a or Makkan (Magan), an area mentioned by the Assyrians by the 8th c. B.C. near a people and region otherwise called Melukha or Misra (Musri). The region of Makkan/Magan was also called Kush in Assyrian texts, and we have already identified Kush as derived from the name of Banu Gassan or Kassan. (See Part I and previous posts).
     In Land of Midian, Richard Burton also identified the Uqba with remnant Midianites. He wrote:

the Beni ‘Ukbah, as will be seen, once occupied the whole of Midian Proper, and extended through south Midian as far as the Wady Damah…According to our friend Furayj, the name means “Sons of the Heel” (‘Akab)…at first called “El-Musalimah,” they were lords of all the broad lands extending southward between Shamah to the Wady Damah, below the port of Ziba Al Hamdany stated Uqbah was the son of Moghrabi son of Heram (Burton, p. 260).
     This "Heram" is mentioned by the Arab authors as a tribe to which Ghatafan was related.  As ibn Abd Rabbih notes “in Haram ibn Judham are the Bani Ghatafan and Afsa…” (Abd Rabbih, 2012, p. 296).
      Thus, if we are to follow the Arab genealogists the Ma’an, Magan and Gassan, Bani Nadir, or Judham, Uqbah, and Liyhan, Khuza’a, Aus and Khazraj were in fact the earliest Israelites, or followers of Moses and the Midianites. The speculation that Minaeans adopted the priestly Levitical traditions from suspected Jews returning from Babylon is unnecessary with the realization of the Arabian tradition that the original Jewish priests of Midian WERE, IN FACT, the historical Minaeans. The Azd clans of Ma’an, Judham, Lakhmids, or “Midianites”, were brothers to the Banu Gassan (Jokshan) Aus (Uz), Khazraj (Jazar/Gezer), and other Yemenite populations.  From them thus came the “Israelite” clans and tribes of Banu Yashkur (Issachar), Banu Bahila (Bilha), Banu Ghani (Ghuni son of Bilha and Naphtali), Jasir (Jezer son of Bilha) and Banu Jazila bin Lakhm of Abd Rabbih (Jahzeel son of Bilha) who are Issachar, Bilha, Ghuni, son of Naphtali and Bilha, Jezer and Jazilah sons of Bilhah and Naphtali, Gad, and son Arodh.
     It was in fact the great grandson of this Jazila bin Lakhm who according to Ibn abd Rabbih “ brought out Yusuf ibn Ya’qub, God’s blessings and peace be upon him from the well” (Rabbih, 2012, p. 296). Or, as the first book of the Torah/Bible says of Jacob’s (Israel’s) son Joseph, “Now some Midianite merchants were passing, and they pulled Joseph out of the well.” (Genesis 37:28.)
       One can only conclude that all the above named were in fact at one time at least according to Arab tradition of the same African affiliated Arab people as now inhabitat parts of the Hadramaut, Central Arabia and Yemenite/Tihama region – the people who once dominated the peninsula. Not only were they the early Levitical peoples, but they were unquestionably the first fishermen who first brought the religion now known as Christianity to Syria, and then Islam to the Middle East. 
       Having an understanding of the Azd or Asir and Sabaean roots of these people i.e. the Canaanites and  Israelites we can thus better comprehend such assertions in the Hebrew texts that make the Meunim or Minaean  tribes of Hadramaut and Yemen a people living next door to such people as the  Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines and Israelites.  


Modern Huwayt'at of northern Arabia.  - Speaking of the Wadi Damah in Jordan Burton talks of, “its present Huwayti owners, the Sulaymiyyin, the Sulaymat, the Jerafin, …”  Volume 2 of the Land of Midian.

A Last Word on the Enigmatic Minaeans, i.e. MIDIANITES

       The origins of the Minaeans have baffled scholars due to the fact that they are known from texts and archaelogy as a people based in southern Arabia and yet are consistently mentioned in league with Canaanite peoples and their affiliates. We find the following passages about them in the Bible
      “And the Zidonians, and Amalek, and Meunim have oppressed you, and ye cry unto Me, and I delivered you from their hands  Judges 10 :12. In the Septuagint version of the Bible, the Meunites or Maonites are simply referred to as “the Midianites”. Confirming again that kinship of the Ma’an with Lakhm and Gassan who we have already identified in Part I as the “Ethiopic” peoples or Lehumim and Jokshan brothers of  of Midian and Asshur, dwellers of Asir Tihama and Marib in the Yemen.
       In the biblical book  2 Chronicles 20:1 "After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle."
           In Chronicles 4 a man named Naaman is an Israelite king of Aram. He is said to be of the family of Benjamin. He is said to be the son Benjamin or of Benjamin’s son Bela, and head of the family of the Naamites or Naamathites and friend of Job of the land of Uz. The Septuagint in Job 2:11 renders a Zophar the Naamathite, as “king of the Minaeans”.
       At the time of Uzziah king of Judah, the Minaeans are in fact alliance with the Philistines. One of the places of these Me’unim, Gur Baal, is named right after the Gerar of the Philistines which Salibi identified with Qararah in Yemen. They are the people destroyed by the posterity of Simeon 1 Chronicles 4:41: These were the names of some of the leaders of Simeon’s wealthy clans. Their families grew, and they traveled to the region of Gerar, during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah, these leaders of Simeon invaded the region and completely destroyed the homes of the descendants of Ham and of the Meunites. No trace of them remains today.”
        Simcox writes that the Minaeans are the people of Gur Baal next to the Philistines saying “the Mehunims also read Meunites, are bracketed with the Arabians of Gur baal (Petra?) and the Philistines of Uzziah.” (Gur Baal of the Minaeans as we have shown was not in modern Petra).  Meanwhile the Targum uses the word “Edomites” for the Me’unites in 2 Chronicles 20:1. Sometimes especially in the Septuagint version of the Bible the name Meunim is replaced by Ammonite and in fact at other times simply as the people of Ham. (Simcox, 1897, p. 499) Thus we know they lived near the Philistines and other “children of Ham”.
      Now in Arabian tradition the famous king named Numan of the Yemenite region of Zuphar is said to have lived before the time of Lokman a descendant of Ad who in legend is associated with the dam at Ma’rib, sometimes said to be its builder. (In Part I of this blog Lokman was identified as Bil’am or Balaam). Al -Numan al’Ma’afir is by tradition the son of Yafar or Yafir son of Sacsac son of Wathil or Wa’il son of Himyar, a chief of the Sabaeans who lived near the time of the Himyarite (Sabaean) chief Dhu’l Ra’ish or Riyash (Crosby, p. 29; Miles, p. 7)
      Legend has it that the town of Zuphar (from Dthawi or Dhu Far) was founded by Shammar Harish sometimes called “son of Alamluk” (or son of the Amalekite), a descendant of Yafar who lived as we have seen a few thousands of years ago. Al Maqadisi or Muqadassi of the 10th century lists the names of the districts Al Umluk (Amluk), Mazra  and Dhu Makharim next to each other in the Yemen (Collins,  2001, p. 79).
     The matter of the Meunim or “Maonites” (who we have seen were Lakhm and Judham) settled in Judaea in the period of the exile has proven disconcerting since the south Arabian Minaeans would have had to have been in the region of Jordan and Syria in the time of early Israel. Scholars admit the Meunites or Maonites of1 Chronicles 4:41 and 20:7 are identical with the south Arabian Minaeans”, but then question where the Gur Baal mentioned was (Retso, pp. 141-142). Interestingly according to Burckhardt in Hijaz - “The Bedouins give the name of El Ghor, or the low-land, to the whole province westward of the mountains from Mekka up to Beder and Yembo” (Burkhardt 1826/2009, p. xiii). Most of the bedouin of el Ghor are Harb who are connected to the populations of Hijaz who came in the early Muslim conquests. They are also of Beliyy/Balawne and Maddhij (Zubayd) extraction who started emigrating in the Nabataean area northward from Arabia.

The three photos below of peoples of the Ghor a region extending from near the Mecca region to near the Dead Sea were added on July 23, 2018 because unfortunately I didn't know that these populations still existed. 

Ghor Safieh in the Ghor region of Jordan. Idrisi, Yakut and Maqrizi mention the people of al-Ghawr as dark brown and  near black with "woolly hair".  Most clans of the Ghawr include the Arabian people noted as Ishmaelites, Israelites and Nabataeans in biblical texts. This also including the Ken'aan - the true people who named Canaan - a lowland area originally south of Mecca. : )
Woman of Ghor Feifa. Famous regions of the Ghor (the Jordan Valley) include Ariha (Jericho), Baisan (Bayt Shean), the Yarmouk river basin and the Golan Heights to name a few.

Among the inhabitants of the Ghor are the many ancient tribes named throughout history including the Ken'aan. The people who named Canaan - an area originally south of Mecca. Idrisi, Yakut and Maqrizi mention the people of al-Ghawr as near black with woolly hair.  Yes the Canaanites are still in their lands. : ) 

     But even more interestingly up until the 11th century the land of Hadramaut in its entirety was supposedly still in the hands of Banu’ Ma’n, and a small group of them still live in a town called Al-Ghur in the Rizah region of Yemen.

     The Harper Collins Bible Dictionary summarizes the challenge posed to Biblical specialists.

“The Meunim are referred to in 1 Chron. 4:41; Ezra 2:50; and Neh. 7:52.  The same people (apparently) are referred to as the Meunites in 2 Chron. 20:1; 26:7. Both Meunim and Meunites are sometimes identified with the people known elsewhere in history as Minaeans, who occupied the region of Main in modern North Yemen….The Meunim of 1 Chron. 4:41 and the Meunites of 2 Chron. 26:7 are explicityly identified as Minaeans in the Greek LXX translation of the Bible, as are the Ammonites in 2 Chron. 20:1 and 26:8 and Zophar in Job 2:11. Such identifications are problematic, however, and may have resulted from the substitution of a more familiar name for a less familiar one. In Ezra 2:50 (cf. Neh. 7:52), the Meunim are temple servants.”

     Edith Simcox speculated that the writers of the Bible confused the time period in which the Minaeans lived noting that there were no mention of them in Assyrian inscriptions. She wrote in her Primitive Civilizations,
     “Another negative argument is supplied by the silence of the genealogical table in the tenth chapter of Genesis, where Saba is, and Ma’in is not mentioned, so that the latter was presumably not known in Palestine, either when the passage was first written or when the book was last edited.”
       But the truth is neither Sabaeans nor Minaeans are mentioned by the Assyrians in Palestine as these Meunim were known historically by names like Magan and Kush in Assyrian times. They are Khaza’a or Khuza’a who had branched off with Aus and Khazras from the Azd confederation, like Ghassan (Jokshan/Kushan), like Lakhm (Lehummim) and Judham.  They are thus probably mentioned under the name Hazu off southwest Arabia which has been identified  as the biblical Hazo, brother of Uz (Ephal, 1982, p. 133; Goodspeed, 1902, p. 295) and listed in Assyrian inscriptions with Dedan during the time of the Assyrian ruler, Esarhaddon. Salibi identifies the locale with Hazati of the Amarna letters and the Hazaataa of the topographical list of Sargon II of Assyria (Salibi, p. 72 and 74).
     Another brother of Uz and Hazo is Bethuel or Betawil in Arabic who bore Tebah, Gaham and Tahash or Thahash and Maacah through a concubine. "Dahash" is another Dawasir tribe still living in the Nejd (Lorimer, p. 394). 
      Still another brother of Uz (Aus) and Hazo (Khaza'a) is Kemuel. One finds Tabari referencing the Kemuel or Qamwal of Genesis as one who “lived in the time of Suleiman ibn Dawud” (King Solomon, son of David). And a closer look at traditional Islamic genealogies of the Prophet’s lineage shows that he is in fact Qama’ah mentioned with Tabikhah as “full-blooded” brothers of  Kinanah’s grandfather of Mudrikah.
     Tabari wrote of Nadr bin Kinana that al-Nadr’s mother is said to be from the tribe of Tabikha. In the same book he mentions the Hebraic genealogy stating that the name of Tahba or Tabakh was Tahab (for the biblical Tebah above) and he writes Gaham or Jaham as Jahma. Tabikha and Banu Juhma or Jumah are two historically documented clans of the Kinana (of Hijaz and Asir) who are clans among the Dawasir as much as they are a part of the Qays Ailan.
     Tabari states that Maacah was Ma’jalah in Arabic and the latter is today the name of a village in Yemen. He says that Tahab b. Jahma was the son of “Mahsha” whom he says was "Tahash".  But these names are too similar or even identical to the names of the Dawasir and sub-tribes of Kinanah, Qama’ah, Juhma and Dahash to be coincidental. Even today the Dawasir in the Wadi Dawasir region of Nejd live next to the people known both as Tebah and 'Uteibah" though they are also traditional enemies (Kupershoek, p. 59) Ibn Abd Rabbih links them closely to the Jodham saying "of the Beni Hishm ibn Jodham are the Benu Utayb ibn 'Aslam ibn Khalid ibn Shanu'a ibn Tadil ibn Hishm ibn Judham" (Rabbih, p. 296).  (Al-Qahma’a is apparently also a name of a tribe among the modern Mahra another people said to have branched off from Hamdan of Kahlan at a very early period and fled to the east.) 
     Uteibah or Tebah are considered part of the Hawazin from Qays Ailan in most of the genealogies. James Hamilton wrote about them a century ago, “they wore their hair in long curly plaits” and their skin was “a dark brown”(Bentley, R., 1857, pp. 129-130). 

Published 6/29/2013  6:29 PM    


See Part 3 of CANAANITES IN THEIR LANDS for the bibliography

Below:  Some of the Afro-Arabian tribes originally from southwest Arabia designated as "Joseph's Posterity" in the Book of Jasher (Yasher) as they are known  historically and today.  

Leah (Liyyah), Reuben (Rubanniyya), Levi (Lu'ayy), Issachar (Ushayqir/Ishkaran), Rachel (Rakhala Rahil), Benjamin (Yam), Zilpah (Zilfi), Gad (Judda),  Haggi (Hijji), Asher (Ash'ar), Bilha (Bahila), Zohar (Zahran), Gershom (Jursham), Perez (Faras or Farasan), Elon (Ailan), Chamul (Hawamil), Sered (Surayda), Dan (Dhanawiyyen?),  Jahzeel ( Jazila), Guni (Ghani/Ghunay), Jezer (Jasir), Shellam (Salim), Zephon (Zaffan), Serach (Shuraykha/Shuraikah),  Bela (Bela/ Beli), Naaman (Numan), Rosh (Ra'ish)

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