Home > E. Religion: palimpsest & reconstruction, EE. The Bible & the Z Revolution, FF. The Re-emergence of the Goddess > The Camel and the Sistrum (The Bible & the Z Revolution, Sidebar)

The Camel and the Sistrum (The Bible & the Z Revolution, Sidebar)

Reconstructing the stories behind the Bible isn’t always a matter of incredibly patient work–the Novgorod Codex and the Elohist notwithstanding; sometimes it’s a matter of fact checking, as in discovering the role that camels have played in the history of desert places.

To begin with, camels weren’t domesticated until the 12th Century B.C. (the age of the oldest camel saddles discovered so far). So when a biblical passage mentions camels–such as the Ishmaelite caravan that Joseph’s brothers sold him to in Genesis 37:27, we know that that part of the story (as it turns out, part of the “J” text) can be no earlier than the late 2nd millenium.

Perhaps more important, the domestic camel opened up desert terrain to human settlement. Not only did the animal offer transportation across the desert, but its milk is a whole food that can sustain people for months. When we think of this development and the appearance of the Israelite sourthern tribes in the late 2nd millenium (and the rise of Judah), it seems clear that the camel at a minimum facilitated the lifestyle of the southerners.

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About sistrums: they are not rattles (precussion instruments that have a hollow body filled with small objects such as beads or sand); rather, sistrums are made of a handle attached to a U-shaped frame that holds several crossbars; the small rings suspended from the crossbars, when shaken, produce a clanking that can vary from soft to strident.

The sistrum was used during sacred rituals and dancing in Ancient Egypt, and was especially associated with the worship of Hathor, the Cow-Goddess.

Now the sistrum is particularly interesting because it was the instrument used by Miriam and her followers to celebrate the drowning of Pharoah’s army in the Red Sea, and it is known that the sistrum was used in rituals to prevent the flooding of the Nile River. Could Miriam have been a priestess of Hathor? And how would her role affect events during the Exodus?

Dale R. Broadhurst has been considering these questions for some time. I highly recommend his web page, the Sistrum in the Sinai.

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Images: 1) Camel Corps at Magdhaba; Source: Wikipedia, Camell; Licence: Public Domain. 2) Mosta Olerie, Sistrum; Wikipedia, CC 3.0 Unported; author: Lalupa.

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  1. August 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

    MOST POWERFUL ANIMALS
    TO CARRIED GOODS IN THE DESSERT WAS ARABIAN CAMELS

    MOST FASTER SPEEDY RUN ANIMALS IN THE DESSERT WAS ARABIAN HORSES

    THOSE ANIMALS MENTIONED ABOVE WERE USED BY

    ALL PROPHETS OF ALLAH TO SPREAD ALLAH’S LAWS SINCE FIRST OF HUMAN COUPLE
    PROPHETS ADAM & HIS WIVE EVA ( HAWA ) WHO BURRIED IN ARAB SAUDI

    UNTIL

    MUHAMMAD AS THE LAST PROPHET OF ALLAH ABOUT 1400 YEARS AGO
    BEFORE ALLAH MADE HIM AS THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH “HE USED TO TRAVELLED
    SO FAR AWAY FROM HIS HOME TOWN IN MAKKAH BY CAMEL & HORSES AS SUCCESSFUL TRADER

    FOR MORE STORY ABOUT
    LIFE up to DEATH
    MUHAMMAD THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH
    ALLAH HAS DESCRIBED CLEARLY ALL ABOUT MUHAMMAD IN AL’QURAN

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