Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Moral Code of Ani

The Code of Ani is a negatively worded moral code, like the Ten Commandments. It dates to c. 2500 B.C. It has 42 confessions and appears to have a chiastic structure.

The text is Akkadian and the authority of the code is derived from the Father God Anu/Anum, whose divine son was called Enki, meaning "Lord over the Earth." Among the Nilotic peoples, God Father was called Ra and God son was called Horus.

It appears that the moral codes found in Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Leviticus derive from an earlier tradition. The Code of Ani shows evidence of influence from the Law of Tehut which dates to c.3200 BC. Parallels can be found to later Nilotic writings, such as Utterance 125 in the Egyptian Book of the Dead (c.1500 BC) which speaks of the heart of the dead king being weighed.

The word Ani is related to the Akkadian word anaku - the royal First Person. It is related also to the Anu priests who served at the most prestigious shrines throughout the ancient world. This image shows a tera (priest) of Seth in service to the God of Seth at a HT temple of the Anu people.

The temples of the ancient world were located on mounds which is why they are often labeled as "high places." The Horite mounds and the Sethite mounds were sacred Hebrew shrines. Though separate, they shared common religious practices and beliefs.

It is clear in the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (2400 BC) that the Horites and the Sethites maintained separate settlements. Utterance 308 addresses them as separate entities: "Hail to you, Horus in the Horite Mounds! Hail to you, Horus in the Sethite Mounds!"

PT Utterance 470 contrasts the Horite mounds with the mounds of Seth, designating the Horite Mounds "the High Mounds."

The AN root appears in variants such as Anoch/Enoch; Anakim; Ana; Annas; Ananus; Ananias and Hannah. The three Anakim clans were named for the three highest ranked sons of Anak whose names were Sheshai (Shasu), Ahiman, and Talmai (Josh.15:14).

The Shasu are mentioned in ancient texts as the "Shasu of YHWH." Two hieroglyphic references dating to the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC) refer to “the land of the Shasu of YHWH” in reference to ancient Edom. These inscriptions are found on the Nubian temples of Soleb and Amara West, and are the oldest references to YHWH outside the Bible.

Many priests are named for the High God Anu/Ani. The High Priest Ananus was appointed by Herod the Great. Ananus served as the High Priest of Edom/Idumea from 6-15 AD. Edom was home of some of the greatest Horite Hebrew rulers, and all of Abraham's territory was in the region of Edom. Edom was known as one of the ancient seats of wisdom.

The moral Code of Ani (below) represents ancient wisdom which would have been used to instruct sons, as in Proverbs.

I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not slain men and women.
I have not stolen grain.
I have not purloined offerings.
I have not stolen the property of the gods.
I have not uttered lies.
I have not carried away food.
I have not uttered curses.
I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.
I have made none to weep.
I have not eaten the heart.
I have not attacked any man.
I am not a man of deceit.
I have not stolen cultivated land.
I have not been an eavesdropper.
I have slandered [no man].
I have not been angry without just cause.
I have not debauched the wife of any man. (This repeats.) I have not debauched the wife of [any] man.
I have not polluted myself.  (This is the center of what appears to be a chiasm about purity.)
I have terrorized none.
I have not transgressed [the Law].
I have not been wroth.
I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
I have not blasphemed.
I am not a man of violence.
I am not a stirrer up of strife (disturber of the peace).
I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.
I have not pried into matters.
I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
I have not worked witchcraft against the King (or blasphemed against the King).
I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).
I have not cursed God.
I have not acted with evil rage.
I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the spirits of the dead. (cf. Ps.106:28)
I have not snatched the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.

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