CHAPTER 33

SOME PRACTICAL REALITIES

In our attempt to understand the social and cultural processes which unfolded with the people of Israel, their descendants, and those of us living today who may have Abraham as our ancient grandfather, we must face certain realities. The notion of a special people dedicated to God, who went astray, and were scattered among the nations, has been buried in myth equal in unreality to the pagan gods of yesteryear. From the foolish notions of Anglo-Israelism, to the idea that the ancient Welsh language was a near replica of Hebrew, to the purity of blood running in the veins of the nobility of Europe, we find gross distortions.
 

When Joseph went to Egypt he did so because the people were having difficulty finding food. There was famine in the land. The great grandchildren of Abraham had now grown to a sizeable social group; if they were to preserve themselves as an integral unit, they could not merely marry into surrounding tribes. To maintain their blood cohesiveness they had to stick together or marry among equal genetic stock. The evidence of Terah's family suggests that mate selection was practiced by all the Iberi. The ease with which the Pharaohs greeted Abraham, and the special role of Joseph as an Egyptian administrator, shows that the Egyptians recognized, and related to, those people on a level that was more than economic. The Abrahamites were not merely slave rabble. Abraham had earlier been welcomed into Egypt for reasons which also were more than satisfaction of mere want. If his family practiced close inbreeding, and the Egyptian Pharaohs did the same, we cannot reject the possibility that they may have been related by superior blood stock. The reason the Abrahamites had such proclivity for Egypt in time of need was centered in some connection other than physical convenience.
 

Joseph negotiated for physical help; in return he promised physical assistance to the Pharaohs. The Hebrew people indentured themselves, and thereby created a social situation from which they could not easily withdraw. The Pharaoh was not a fool.
 

Many persons date Joseph in Egypt about the mid-nineteenth century BC, perhaps 1850. Issachar was a brother. Two of his sons, Tola and Pua, were nephews to Joseph. When Moses and Eleazar took a census of the people of Israel on the banks of the Jordan, the various groups were already identified by tribal names. In our Bible translations we read the Punites for the family of Pua, but in Hebrew they were ha Puni, Num 26:23.
 

The Romans later knew the western Canaanites as Puni. The Greeks, with their habitual use of "s" or "x" endings, transformed this name into Poenix, and thus the modern word Phoenician. Our witless scholars take this anglicized word and subject it to contorted logic to find the origins of the Phoenician name, when the simplicity of it stares them in the face.
 

Van der Broek, in his book The Myth of the PhoenixMOP, recognized that the Puni were a Hebrew tribe descended from Pua, a son of Issachar. He also emphasized the curious fact that Tola had a name which indicated "red dye stuff," or "crimson," while Pua's name meant "madder."
 

It is to say the least remarkable that two sons of Issachar, whose tribe lived in the northern part of Palestine, had names indicating a red dye. And the family name Puni is particularly striking, because it is so strongly reminiscent of the Latin name for the Phoenician colonists in Carthage, Poeni or Puni.

 

Unfortunately Van der Broek, in pursuit of the reason the "Phoenicians" had a name which meant "purple" or "red," could not take this crucial information and build his reasoning around it. Some strange inhibition in his mind refused to let him proceed further.
 

Maria Aubet, in The Phoenicians and the WestTPAW, also strains over the origin of the name.
 

The original name phoinix and its derivatives, . . ., are a Greek invention and nobody but the Greeks used the term to designate this eastern people and certain cultural features connected with them. . . . The root of phoinix is neither "Phoenician" nor Semitic, and at present the linguistic problem of the origin of the Greek word has not been solved.


In light of the information available to us this remark is most extraordinary. From her discussions she seems unaware of the Hebrew (Ibri) Puni and application of that name by the Romans to the western "Phoenicians." Again it is natural to ask why modern minds are plagued by such blindness.
 

These examples illustrate how godless minds refuse to acknowledge the religious and spiritual forces which shape our world. All social phenomena are interpreted on purely mechanistic or economic grounds, with occasional concession to "gods," "temples," and "cults."
 

In following discussions I shall engage in certain practices to simplify my presentation. The western "Phoenicians" I shall identify by the name assigned to them by the Romans, the Puni. The eastern Phoenicians, before contact with the Hebrew tribes, I shall identify as Canaanites, their original name before it came under the influence of the Puni. The Cimmerians I shall call the Kimmerians, to avoid the later English shift from "K" to the soft "C." Since the tribal name Kimmeri derives from the more basic Semitic root, I shall use Kimri, not Cymry. Similarly with Kelts for Celts.
 

If the Puni had decided to seek economic advantage along the Mediterranean coast, in the region assigned to Asher, traditionally recognized as Phoenician, they may have quickly adapted to the local religious customs, reverting to the pagan gods, and to Baal. If they were blending with surrounding people, not maintaining strict blood allegiance, they may not have felt a cohesive loyalty to their brothers and cousins in the hinterlands.
 

The proclivity of the tribes to chase after pagan gods, Baal and the Ashteroth, is condemned time and again. See Judg 2:11-16. They "served" the gods of all the surrounding people, including the Philistines, the Ammonites, Moab, Syria, and Sidon ("Phoenicia"), Judg 10:6. Their proclivity to marry among other people is also condemned in Josh 23:12. Even Moses married a Cushite woman, Num 12:1. The biblical evidence speaks strongly for foreign marriage, worship of pagan gods, and acquisition by Hebrew people of lands along the coast around Tyre. They were extremely adaptable people, easily blending with surrounding cultures who had close genetic affinities.
 

The infiltration of the Puni along the coast was with a people who never developed a national identity. The Canaanites, up and down the eastern Mediterranean, were a people with a common culture, but without an organized state, or political unity. They simply did not aspire to political power. The various cities and trading posts were mutually independent, without subservience to a common king or country. Only the later Carthaginian Puni along the coast of North Africa developed a recognizable territorial identity and political force.
 

Throughout their history, from the earliest identifiable culture circa 3,000 BC, to their later infiltration by the Puni, they were recognized as kinnahu. The Akkadian name identified red-skinned brothers who were described by physical attribute rather than tribal identity. All red-skinned people of that genetic strain would have been kinnahu. These early Habiru-Iberi tribes then became identified in historical times with this appellative -- which we know as Canaan. But in blood strain they were nearly equal to the Hebrew Iberi. The Hebrew tribes felt at ease blending with them because of this blood affinity. They were blood brothers. The difference was in their religious devotions; Abraham was selected because of his desire for a true God, rather than debased pagan gods. But some of his children could not avoid relapse to that easier religious allegiance.
 

These conditions permitted Puni people to infiltrate and absorb the Canaanite culture, modify their goals, and place their name upon them.
 

The earliest documentary evidence of Canaanite existence is found in a damaged relief at Memphis which shows the Pharaoh Sahure, circa 2500 BC, receiving a Princess to be his bride, in a fleet of sea-going ships, manned by an Asiatic crew. This type of ship was known to the Egyptians as "Byblos ships." The relief provides evidence of the blood ties between the Egyptian ruling class and Semitic stocks coming from Mediterranean lands occupied by Iberi. Around 2150 BC invading Amorite Semite people destroyed and rebuilt Byblos but continued close ties with Egypt. Other disruptions followed, but the Canaanites began trading with other people farther north along the coast, building temples at Ugarit which date between 2,000 to 1800 BC. Archeological evidence shows non-Canaanite ruling classes intermixing with the Canaanites, a common cross-breeding practice of Iberi-Semitic people throughout the Levant.

In the latter part of the 13th century, when the Hebrews were settling down to a stable existence in the hill country south of the Canaanites, a flood of land and sea raiders came pouring down upon settlements and cities all along the eastern Mediterranean. They brought the knowledge of iron-working with them -- to completely alter the course of history. Ugarit, Byblos, and Sidon were destroyed. Thereafter Tyre came under the cultural and biological influence of the Hebrew tribes, as attested by the tribal allotments in Josh 19:17-31. It became the effective cultural center of the Puni. This is the time of the actual beginning of the Puni influence.

 

Because of the genetic affinities between the kinnahu, the Habiru-Iberi, the Hebrew-Ibri, and the Puni branch, their mixing created great confusion in our understanding of the origin of the "Phoenician" people. We cannot rightly speak of "Phoenician" without regard for these genetic and cultural factors.
 

The Roman author Velleius Paterculus stated that Carthage (modern Tunis) was founded by the Puni after they founded Utica (modern Medjerda) and Gadir (Cadiz) in southern Spain, about 1100 BC. The Sicilian historian Timaeus gave the founding of Carthage at 814 BC. Virgil's Aeneid tells of the founding of the city by the princess Dido, who fled from her brother Pygmalion, an historical Tyrian king. However, archeological excavations date the first Mediterranean settlements between 750 and 700 BC, about the time that the Assyrians were deporting the northern ten tribes, and taking control of the Puni coast. These dates mark the beginning of the Puni push across the western Mediterranean.
 

The Puni became aggressive in establishing trading centers along the coasts of Tunisia, Morocco, and in Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, and Spain. These centers all date from 700 BC or later. Great scholarly debate rages over the motivating forces which led to the founding of those centers. Were they colonizing, as the Greeks obviously did? Did they establish ports of trade for strictly economic reasons? Or were they reacting to the Assyrian conquest of their home land? We do not know; there may have been a complex of motivations which are now not easily discernible to us. Regardless of the causes, this movement of people had one significant benefit to the Mediterranean regions: the spread of Iberi and Abrahamic blood.
 

The cities founded by the Puni became independent enterprises, not feeling allegiance to the mother country, but maintaining the same pagan culture and religious beliefs. The language also was preserved through the following centuries, little changed from its close Hebrew affinities. Although the script showed some evolution in the form of the letters, later western Mediterranean inscriptions can easily be read from classical Hebrew. Remnants of the Mediterranean Puni colonies, and even those along the west coast of Africa, continued to exist for centuries into the modern era, with the same Semitic tongue.
 

Again, modern godless scholars would magnify the differences among language "dialects" and cultural variations in order to classify the different groups. In doing so they suppress the common religious and social elements which motivated those people.
 

To demonstrate the antiquity of the Semitic tongue, and to show how scholarship exaggerates the differences among groups consider the remarks by Maria AubetTPAW.
 

. . . The discoveries at Ebla and Ugarit demonstrate that the Canaanite language, already documented during the third millennium, forms part of a group of languages called 'Semitic of the northeast', (sic = northwest), quite distinct from other more eastern groups such as Akkadian and Babylonian, which presents a host of dialects and local variants from at least the second millennium. The "Phoenician" language of the first millennium is nothing more than a direct descendant of this common Canaanite stem and in its turns shows a diversity of dialectal variants -- Giblitic, Tyrian, and so on.


Scholarly erudition is thus magnified by such classifications.
 

Although modern studies are careful to distinguish between the mother Canaanites, and the later Puni people scattered across the Mediterranean, the cultural and language differences were minor. The most remarkable aspect of that Semitic language group was the conservative structure. Canaanite/Hebrew was maintained as nearly the same language for three thousand years. Texts at Ugarit had morphology and vocabulary as easily identified as those from texts in the western Mediterranean two thousand years later.
 

In our attempts to grasp the cross fertilization from one blood stock to another, or one culture to another, we lead ourselves into serious errors by assuming that the various cultures can be rigidly distinguished and classified. Great cultural ferment and commercial exchange were underway in the Mediterranean in the years following the 8th century BC.
 

In reading statements by various researchers one finds phrases like "orientalizing influence." This means that artifacts found in ancient sites show a cross-cultural exchange. This "orientalizing" influence is noted for Greek, Etruscan, Iberian, and other centers. The different people were not shunning each other in this commercial and cultural exchange. By definition, they must have had intimate association with one another. By magnifying differences, or assigning the associations as exclusively economic, modern scholarship has lost sight of reality.
 

In this great heterogeneous mix we cannot easily distinguish between blood influence and culture. Should we expect that a Puni commercial trader was not attracted to a beautiful Greek woman, and did not desire to take her in marriage? Or should we reject the idea that some young Puni sailor, unloading ships in some Iberian port, did not feel a desire for some pretty Iberian girl?
 

While the Greeks may have shown a proclivity toward certain artistic values, and thus are clearly identified in archeology, can we say they did not mix in marriage with the Puni, or the Etruscans who displayed different tastes? If the Greeks avoided foreign marriage because of their social codes, can we say the eastern Semites had the same social constraints? Does the evidence not speak to great cross-culture blending by the red-skinned kinnahu?
 

In earlier chapters I showed how the Greeks took certain titles and names directly out of Northwest Semitic, whether we call it Canaanite, "Phoenician," or Hebrew. The god Adonis was one example. He was a major Greek god. Why did he receive the Semitic title of Adon unless the Greeks held him in high esteem from his Semitic origins? (With the habitual "s" ending.) The name of the Roman goddess Diane is directly out of a Semitic verb root which we recognize so easily in Hebrew. Can we find the path by which this Hebrew word became the name for a Roman goddess?
 

Consider our modern alphabet. It came into Europe via the Greeks and Romans. But where did they get it? Scholarship recognizes that the origins are in that peculiar Canaanite land, with the first recognizable alphabetic script, circa 1500 BC. The impact of this script on the western world was profound, and conditions our lives yet today. Are we to deny the power of this Semitic/Puni/Hebrew cultural influence upon the world, and its impact upon the Greek, Iberian, Etruscan and Roman people?
 

I grew up in a Pennsylvania Dutch environment. I did not know until I was eighteen years of age and had left home that one does not say, in good English, "outen the light." Although these habits are rapidly disappearing, the Pennsylvania Dutch were long an amusement to others for their peculiar way of twisting the order of their sentences. "Lizzy went the hill over" was not uncommon among those people who were contemporary with my generation.
 

Yiddish is another example of how languages violate rigid classifications. Yiddish is a High German dialect, with mixed Hebrew and Slavic words. It is the product of an Indo-European mix with Semitic.
 

This linguistic phenomenon is not mentioned by modern scholars, yet is highly important to understanding the cross-influence which affected the Mediterranean, and European hinterlands, of those days.
 

When two people of different languages and cultures mix in intimate association, through marriages and daily economic transactions, they easily mix their vocabularies, inflections, and morphology. When scholars attempt to translate the strange Etruscan inscriptions they do not give credit to the possibility that they may be facing a peculiar mixture of Semitic and Indo-European words and inflections. In their rigid classifications they unconsciously reject this fluid state of affairs, and they lose valuable insights into our planetary past.