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Eber (Hebrew: עבר, ʻĒḇer; Greek: Ἔβερ, Eber; Arabic: هود, Hud; "Name means::from the other side," "Name means::he who passed over") (Born::Tammuz 1723 AM-Died::Tammuz 2187 AM) is the named son of son of::Salah and the eponymous ancestor of the Hebrews.

He was born in 1723 AM. When he was age of parenthood::34 years old, he had the first of his named sons, father of::Peleg. He lived for another 430 years and had other sons and daughters, among them father of::Joktan (Genesis 11:16-17 ). His total life span was life span::464 years, longer than that of any other post-Flood man of his line.



Main Article: Hebrews

The Hebrews (Hebrew: עברים, ʻIḇrīm; Greek: Ἑβραῖοί, Hebraīoi; Latin: Hebræi; "Name means::ones from beyond") are descendants of Biblical patriarch Eber, the great-grandson of Shem, son of Noah (Genesis 11:10-14 ).[1] The ethnonym "Hebrew" thus is derived from the name "Eber" which means, "to traverse or cross over." The Biblical word ʻIḇrī (Hebrew: עברי)—the plural form is ʻIḇrīm (עברים)—is usually rendered as Hebrew in English, from the ancient Greek Ἑβραῖος (Hebraīos) and Latin Hebræus and is intended to denote the people who came "from the other side of the river" (i.e. the Euphrates) from the region of Haran (Genesis 11:31 ). In Canaan, Abraham was known to the inhabitants of the land as the stranger from beyond the river (Genesis 14:13 ). "Hebrew" means, simply, an "Eberite," a "descendant of Eber."

Israelites are defined as the descendants of Jacob, son of Isaac, grandson of Abraham. Eber was a direct ancestor of Abraham (Genesis 11:16-27 ). Eber is a distant ancestor of many peoples, including the Israelites, Ishmaelites, Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, Midianites, and Joktanites. The name "Hebrew" is found in Genesis and Exodus more than in all the other Books of the Bible, for it was the international name linking Jacob's descendants with the other nations; Israel is the name that separates them from the nations. After the constitution of Israelites as a separate people usage of "Hebrew" rarely occurs; in the national poetry and in the prophets the name does not occur as a designation among themselves.


The details of how the Hyksos came to power in Egypt are debated amongst scholars, however they all agree that they usurped power sometime suring the Second Intermediate Period.

Around 1750 BC, the Babylonians overthrew the Kingdom of Mari (i.e., the Aramaeans—sometimes incorrectly labeled as "Amorites" by historians). Many of the tribes under Mari control migrated westwards and infiltrated into the Goshen, or Nile Delta, region of northern Egypt. The Egyptians called them Hikau-khasut or Hyksos. "Hyksos" means "rulers of foreign countries" or "Shepherd Kings."[2] David Rohl, in his A Test of Time, has very interesting explanation:

"There is one possible biblical reference to Egypt's Hyksos oppressors and this occurs in the Pslams. 'He [i.e., God] loosed the full heat of his anger, fury, rage, and destruction by sending 'evil angels' against them [i.e., the Egyptians].' [Psalm 78:49-50] ... The correct Hebrew for 'evil angels' is malakhim-roim ... The phrase 'king-shepherds' in Biblical Hebrew is malakhei-roim!"[3]

In "Act of God," Graham Phillips nice summarizes the research into this matter:

"Hikau khasut seems to have been the term the Egyptians used for the chieftains of the city states which the migrant Mari people had established in Canaan ... There is even evidence of a people who may actually have been the Israelites being prominent among the Hyksos slaves. They are specifically referred to as Apiru — also rendered as Hapiru or Habiru by some translators — a name which some scholars believe to have been the origin of the word Hebrew ... In fact the word Apiru almost certainly refers to a specific Hyksos tribe."[4]

After infiltrating and settling in the delta area over a long period of time, they eventually became powerful enough to take over the northern part of Egypt where they reigned for about 150 years — c. 1720-1570 BC. It is therefore possible that Jacob and his family had entered Egypt during this period of Hyksos control.[5] The Israelites multiplied in the Nile Delta where the Hyksos were centered (see Genesis 47:6 ; Genesis 47:11 ; Exodus 12:37 ).[6]

The Hyksos have also been identified with Kasdim (Kassites) and Midianites, Hurrians (sometimes mistakenly identified with the Horites), and especially the Aramaeans (Mar.Tu or Amurru) whose major city was Mari, Canaanites, and Amorites. They adopted much of the culture of Egypt but, ruled only the northern part of Egypt whilst the south remained under the control of the native rulers. In their religious worship they showed preference to certain deities such as Set, but they did not suppress the worship of others. The title given to Joseph's father-in-law, Potipherah—the priest of On—is interesting. His daughter, Asenath, was given in marriage to Joseph, and became the mother of Ephraim and Manasseh. Potiphera's name is interpreted to mean "he whom Ra has given." He was from the city of On, better known as the city of Heliopolis in Greek (meaning the "city of the sun") which was the center of the worship of the sun diety Ra.[7] This was in northern Egypt, and the ruins are located nowadays in the suburbs of modern Cairo. Since the Hyksos and other Hebrews already worshipped idols, including the worship of the deity called Set, and practiced divination and astrology, it is most likely that Potiphera was a pagan priest from one of these invading Hebrew tribes, rather than a former Egyptian priest. Whether this priest was a priest of Ra or the preferred Hyksos diety, Set, is not known.

It may have been a Hyksos monarch whom Joseph became an interpreter of dreams (Genesis 41:14-37 ) and who ceded land to Joseph in Goshen (Genesis 47:6 ). As such, the new king mentioned in Exodus 1:8 would have been a native Egyptian monarch of the New Kingdom. He would have reversed the validity of any land claims by the Israelites and others.

Customs of Joseph's experiences are related to the Hyksos: e.g., the chariot (unknown in Egypt until the appearance of these Asiatics, the ring and the way of treating the Pharaoh are Hyksos customs.[8] (The term used for "overseers" that Joseph uses when talking to Pharaoh is an Aramaic title). The Hyksos peoples, from all accounts, were very innovative — these innovations were to prove very useful later on in Egyptian history. The Atlas of Ancient Egypt summarizes these:

"Until this time Egypt had been technologically backward in comparison to the Near East ... Among the new techniques were bronzeworking ... an improved potters wheel and the vertical loom; hump-hacked cattle (zebu) and new vegetable and fruit crops; the horse and chariot, composite bows, and new shapes of scimitar and other weapons ... new musical intrusments ... and ... dances."[9]

Ian Wilson explains:

"While the Egyptians had old-fashioned solid wood bows, and had been somewhat backward in metallurgy for the manufacture of battle-axes and the like, the Hyksos had not only much more powerful composite bow but also better designed weapons of close combat and a revolutionary innovation for striking terror into enemy foot-soldiers, the horse-drawn chariot."[10]

According to The Pentateuch in Its Cultural Environment:

"The Hyksos conquered Egypt about 1720 BC. They soon put Semites in official positions and seemed to have some kind of relationship with the Habiru, or Apiru/Aperu in the Egyptian language. Two of the Hyksos leaders had the names Jacob-el and Jacob-baal. Joseph and the migration of Jacob's family to Egypt may have taken place early during the Hyksos rule of Egypt."[11][12]

Other scholars not that Jaqob-bar (a name akin to Jacob) was a fairly common name of the Hyksos period[13] which gives further credence to the relationship between the Israelites and Aramaeans.

Cyrus Gordon in The Ancient Near East:

"The Hyksos hordes included Indo-European warriors [an Aryan ethnic group which included "Hittites" (Nesites) and Mitanni in the Near East]. With the Indo-Europeans the horse effectively used for pulling the war chariot, entered the Near East and revolutionized the art of warfare. The Iranian plateau was to become a great stamping ground of the Aryans (as we may call the segment of the Indo-Europeans to which the Iranians belong."[14]

So from this this we may deduce that the ruling class and many of the peoples comprising the Hyksos were Europid in racial stock (i.e., called "Indo-Europeans" or "Aryans" by historians).

Because they were unable to quell Egyptian nationalistic feelings, the Hyksos formed an alliance with the Nubian Kingdom of Kush to contain the Egyptians. Even so, the city of Thebes in southern Egypt commenced a war which resulted in the expulsion of the Hyksos by Ahmose I.[15]


The Bible and secular history both make mention of make mention of a people known as the Apiru, Khabiru, Hapiru, or Hebrews who were in the Middle East prior to the Exodus. Let us first notice the pertinent scriptures:

"Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time ... turned to be with the Israelites."1_Samuel 14:21

"And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet, throughout all the land, saying, 'Let the Hebrews hear' ... — 1_Samuel 13:3

"And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead."1_Samuel 13:7

These are not Israelite Hebrews, but different Hebrews altogether[16][17] who descend from Eber, grandson of Arpachshad.[18][19][20][21]

They are first mentioned c. 2000 BC where they are found wandering all over the Near East. Alakh, Amarna, Boğazkale, Babylon, Larsa, Mari, Nuri, Ugarit, and Palestine. The Khabiru appear to have been mercenaries fighting for the Hittites and Hurrians.[22][23] There was even a valley of Habur between the Euphrates and the Tigris. Ethnically, they were Indo-European of the same stock as the Nesian "Hittites" and Hurrians.[24] apparently, they were concentrated in the general area from where Abraham came[25]—northern Syria-northern Iraq.[26][27] Many of their names are Hurrian (Indo-European), and being with the Hurrians may be the reason for Palestine being known as "the land of Huru." Later, many of them were allies of the Aramaeans and helped them rule northern Egypt as we have seen.

"And Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.'"Genesis 41:44

"And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah. And he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On, as a wife. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt."Genesis 41:45

"And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On, bore to him."Genesis 41:50

See also Genesis 46:20 ; Genesis 46:29-34 .

The word On signifies the sun, and is derived from the Hebrew אן, Ōn or און, Āven which, itself, is derived from the same root-word as and are cognate with the Egyptian Ǎnnū, Assyrian Anu, Akkadian Aunu, Celtic On, and the Greek Ὂν, Ón. The ancient Celtic poet, Taliesin, is quoted in Davies' "British Druids" as saying, "Even the sovereign On, the ancient, the generous feeder."[28] Historian George Rawlinson states, "Aunu signified 'the god', and was no doubt in use among the primitive Babylonians from the very earliest times."[29]

Samuel Lysons states:

"That Aven and On were the same, is shown by the Greek translation of Beth-Aven as 'the house of On.' Heliopolis, Egypt was at different periods called Ain, Aven, and On ... Possibly our word Evening, Dutch Avond, and German Abend, may represent Aven, as the declining sun."[30]

British place-names showing early sun-worship include Ansley, Anston, Anslow, Ancoats, Ancaster (Caer An), Ancroft, Anford, Anwick, Avon, Avening, Arran, and many others. Concerning this last location, a circle of Druidic stones with a cromlech in the centre of the Isle of Arran in Scotland indicates sun worship. It is from this word, On, that we derive the Latin annus, meaning a year, from the annual solar revolution, and the English "annual."

Who was this "Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, the priest of On," whom the Biblical patriarch Joseph married? It is commonly assumed today that because Asenath dwelt in Egypt, that therefore Joseph married an Hamitic Egyptian. But, it does not state that the she was an Egyptian at all. The fact that her family were sunworshippers who worshiped On, the Semitic sun-diety, is proof positive of a Shemitic identity.

The name Asenath is of Hebrew origin—"Such names are well attested in the Hyksos period of Egyptian history, corresponding to the age of the Patriarchs and Joseph."[31] Now, given that On was in the Goshen area where the Hyksos and their aristocracy settled, it is reasonable to conclude that he married into that stock as the Egyptians proper were driven southwards.

The Aramaeans were closely akin to the Hebrews. Aram was a son of Shem (Genesis 10:22 ). The Israelites were even taught to say, "My father was a wandering Arameaan and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous." (Deuteronomy 26:5 ). In Genesis 24 and 29, we find that the kinship of the Hebrews and Aramaeans was cemented by the marriage Isaac and Rebekah, the Aramaean, Laban; and later Jacob with his daughters. In 1_Chronicles 7:14 it is recorded that the Israelite Manasseh, the son of Joseph, begat Machir, the father of Gilead, whom his Aramaean concubine bore. This demonstrates the ethnic closeness of the Arpachshad, through the generations to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with the descendants of Aram.

As we have seen, there were Hyksos and Aramaeans (sometimes translated as Syrians) living at the edge of Goshen, where the Israelites were later to dwell. After they were expelled, the Egyptians turned on Israel. See Deuteronomy 26:4-8 where Jacob is called an Aramaean because of the close association with them (and the Hyksos).

Why did Israel live in the area of Goshen and not further south?

"But I have said to you, 'You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.' I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the nations."Leviticus 20:24

"And [God] hath made of one, all mankind, to dwell upon the whole face of the earth, determining appointed times, and the limits of their habitation."Acts 17:26

It was under the Hyksos, ethnically related to Joseph, that he rose to prominence and his wife must have been of this stock (Genesis 46:20 ). After the Hyksos were overthrown and expelled from Egypt, Israel fell from favor and was enslaved. After the Hyksos kings were overthrown by Egyptians from the Southern kingdom and expelled from Egypt, the Hebrews who had been living comfortably in the land of Goshen, on the Nile Delta, fell from favor and was enslaved, until, after a sojourn of 400 years, they rebelled against their rulers, and departed for the wilderness of Sinai and the Promised Land. Their leader was Moses, who had been reared in the royal palace.

See Also

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  1. Grant, AC (1915). "Eber." The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Accessed July 21, 2012.
  2. Rohl, D (1995). A Test of Time, Random House, London: p. 288.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Phillips, G (1998). Act of God, Pan Books, London: pp. 190, 199, 200.
  5. Harrison, RK (1970). Old Testament Times. William B. Eerdmans Pub. House, Grand Rapids: p. 114.
  6. Roux, G (1982). Ancient Iraq. Penguin, Harmondsworth: p. 248.
  7. Aling, CF (1981). Egypt and Bible History. From Earliest Times to 1000 B.C. Baker Book House, Michigan: p. 46.
  8. Livingston, GH (1974). The Pentateuch In Its Cultural Environment. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan: p. 153.
  9. Baines, J & Malek, J (1984). Atlas of Ancient Egypt. Phaiden Press, Oxford: p. 42.
  10. Wilson, I (1985). The Exodus Enigma. George Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London.
  11. Livingston, GH (1974). The Pentateuch In Its Cultural Environment. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan: p. 26.
  12. Hallo, WW & Simpson, WK (1971). The Ancient Near East. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, San Diego: p. 251.
  13. Wilson, I (1985). The Exodus Enigma. George Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London: p. 64.
  14. Gordon, C (1965). The Ancient Near East. WW Norton & Co., New York: p. 280.
  15. Stump, KW (1988). "Pharaohs of the Time of the Exodus," Good News, March-April: pp. 14-17
  16. Roux, G (1982). Ancient Iraq. Penguin, Harmondsworth: p. 221.
  17. Pfeiffer, CF (1966). The Biblical World. Pickering & Inglis, London: p. 223
  18. Noorbergen, R (1978) Secrets of the Lost Races, New English Library, London: 81
  19. Wiseman, DJ (1973). Peoples of Old Testament Times. Oxford University Publishers: XVIII
  20. Gayre, R (1973). The Syro-Mesopotamian Ethnology As Revealed In Genesis X. The Armorial, Edinburgh, Scotland: p. 26
  21. Cottrell, L (1975). The Concise Encyclopedia Of Archaeology. Hutchins of London: p. 165
  22. Wiseman, DJ (1973). Peoples of Old Testament Times. Oxford University Publishers: pp. 8-9.
  23. Gayre, R (1973). The Syro-Mesopotamian Ethnology As Revealed In Genesis X. The Armorial, Edinburgh, Scotland: p. 26.
  24. Douglas, J (Ed), et al. (1972). The New Bible Dictionary. Inter-Varsity Press, London: p. 511.
  25. Roux, G (1982). Ancient Iraq. Penguin, Harmondsworth: p. 221.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Gayre, R (1973). The Syro-Mesopotamian Ethnology As Revealed In Genesis X. The Armorial, Edinburgh, Scotland: p. 26.
  28. Davies, E & et. all (1809). The Mythology and Rites of the British Druids, Duke-Street, Portland-Place, London: p. 527.
  29. Rawlinson, G (1858). Herodotus, Essay X, Vol. 1, Harper & Bros., New York and London: p. 591.
  30. Ibid., pp. 238-239
  31. Douglas, J (Ed), et al. (1972). The New Bible Dictionary. Inter-Varsity Press, London: p. 94.

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