I had absolutely no intention of writing anything for today’s daily prompt, but I accidentally stumbled upon a historical controversy while reading my book. I love a good controversy, brought to you by history.
The section of the book I’m currently reading is dealing with the ancient history of Yemen. It’s really fascinating to read because we’re all connected. Many of the names brought up on only a couple pages of this book are names many Christians would recognize too.
“There exists a far more ancient and more wonderful history, of which, unhappily we know as yet but little, but which, should it even be possible to make thorough examination of its monuments and records, may prove that many of the existing civilizations sprang from the Yemen and Hadramaut, and that the ancient Egyptians themselves, owed the foundations of their arts and learning to the inhabitants of Southern Arabia.”
Not only did Yemen have ties to ancient Egypt, but also Jewish scriptures. Noah? Abraham? Ishmael? Any of these ringing any bells? The book divides Yemen into two groups.
“The Yemenite nation are the direct descendants of Kahtan, generally identified with Joktan of the Jewish Scriptures, of the line of Shem, the son of Noah, another of whose descendants, Hazarmaveth, gave his name to what is to-day known as Hadramaut.”
I don’t think I need to say much about Noah. Most people are familiar with Noah’s Ark. THAT Noah. The same one is connected to the ancient history of Yemen. And now more of the family tree….
The name Hazarmaveth comes up in Genesis 10:26. Hazarmaveth is the 3rd son of Joktan and it means court of death. Yemen has also claimed the ancient biblical kingdom of Sheba, known in Yemen as Saba, which is connected to the Queen of Sheba. In Yemen, they call her Bilqis. There is some controversy over this among historians who disagree over the timing of the kingdom and whether or not it even existed in Yemen.
I wrote some more about the Queen of Sheba a few days ago in my post The Abstract Reality of Ancient Yemen. As of right now, that is where the controversy in this post ends.
Next, here is the second group described in the book:
“The second great division into which the inhabitants of the Yemen may be divided are the descendants of Adnan, who was the family of Ishmael, son of Abraham. This Adnan is said to have been the contemporary of Bukht Nasser, in other words Nebuchadnezzar; and it was the fierce wars waged by this monarch, tradition relates, that drove the Ishmaelite tribes to seek refuge amongst the Yemenite peoples.”
Nebuchadnezzar is famous for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and, of course, the king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who set out on a conquest for Jerusalem and Egypt. His kingdom was quite large. Yemen was not part of this kingdom, but apparently people fled to Yemen from the conflicts created by Nebuchadnezzar.
I wish I had more to say on this topic, but I’ve already spent two hours reading up on ancient history brought up in two pages of a book I’m reading. I wanted to read more today, but didn’t get past those two pages. My comments on the book’s preface.