Swedenborg Study.com

Books, articles, sermons and blogs online, based on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg
 

Previous: Chapter VII. The Aborigines of the Land. Up: Canaan Next: Chapter IX. The Canaanites.

Chapter VIII. The Hittites and the Hivites.

76. The good remnant of the Most Ancient Church. Besides the direful tribes generally known as "Nephilim," there was in the land of Canaan another and very different class of aborigines, —the two more or less scattered nations known as "Hittites" and "Hivites." While these, in the letter of the Word, are generally classed as "Canaanites," as in the oft-repeated lists of "the Jebusites, and the Perizzites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Kenites, and the Girgashites," etc., the Hittites and the Hivites must be considered separately from the rest because of their distinct origin, history, character, and spiritual representation.

The meaning of the names of these two nations is still wrapped in obscurity. The Hittites, (Chitti, or more usually, Chit- tim), are also known as B'ni Cheth, sons of Cheth, but the root- meaning of "Cheth" is not known. The name "Hivites," (Chevvi), is of equally obscure etymology; it may possibly be connected with the root, Chava, "to live,"—this tribe being among the last "living" remnants of the Most Ancient Church, in the midst of their spiritually dead neighbors,—the Nephilim.

Both the Hittites and the Hivites are said in the tenth chapter of Genesis to be of the sons of Canaan, and according to the letter of this genealogical table they must therefore be considered of Hamitic origin, like the rest of the nations of Canaan. But it is to be remembered that the family-trees of Genesis X. refer to the spiritual rather than the natural descent of nations and races. Shem, Ham, and Japheth were not actually the sons of Noah, but were Gentile nations converted by the Church Noah to the doctrines of the Ancient Church. Asshur, or Assyria, which in Gen. 10:22 is described as a son of Shem, in verse 11 of the same chapter is mentioned as if of Hamitic origin, and this because,— as is known to history,—the original Semitic Assyrians, after their conquest of Babylon, accepted the corrupt Hamitic religion of the conquered Chaldeans. And so also the Hittites and the Hivites are classed among the descendants of Canaan,—although from the Divine Revelation to the New Church we know them to be direct remnants of the Most Ancient Church,—because after the Hamitic conquest of Canaan they gradually accepted the idolatrous religion of the Canaanites.

Thus in the light of the New Church alone can a solution be found of the question which is still puzzling the archaeologists: the question as to the origin of the Hittites and the Hivites. "The Hittites seem to have been included among the Canaanites by a mistake," says the Rev. T. K. Cheyne in the Encyclopedia Britannica; and nearly all the modern authorities admit that these nations were neither of a Semitic, nor Hamitic, nor Indo-European, i. e., Japhetic stock. Whence, then, did they come? The Writings of the New Church answer: from a stock far more ancient than all these!

77. The Southern Hittites and Hivites. Most certainly they were of a race quite foreign to the Hebrews. Abraham tells them that he is a stranger in their land; and Isaac and Rebekkah view with displeasure the marriage of their son Esau with the Hittite women "Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibama, the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon, the Hivite," (Gen. 36:2),—and this in spite of the very friendly relations maintained between these people and the early Hebrew patriarchs. While the Hittite names mentioned above, and all other Hittite and Hivite names occurring in the Bible, (—Zohar, Ephron, Judith, Beeri, Bashemath, Hamor, Shechem, Abimelech, Uriah—), are all Hebrew names, yet this does not prove that the Hittites and Hivites were of Semitic stock. For the names of the Nephilim, and the names of all the other races inhabiting Canaan, are all capable of an Hebrew interpretation, and this because the foreign invaders who successively conquered Canaan all in their turn accepted the vernacular of the land, a Hebrew far more ancient than the tongue of Eber or Abraham,—an original Semitic which was the language of the Most Ancient Church in the land of Canaan.

The Hittites as well as the Hivites, at the time they appear in the Scriptures, were each divided into a southern and a northern branch, inhabiting widely distant territories. The southern Hittites in the time of Abraham inhabited the mountainous country which in later times belonged to the tribe of Judah, making their, headquarters at Kiriath-Arba, whence they had driven out the Anakim and re-named the city, Hebron. In this region they also possessed another town known by the significant name of Kiriath-Sepher, (city of Books), which was another name for Kiriath Sannah, (city of Instruction),'—names suggesting the existence of some most ancient university where the sacred books of the Ancient Word were once preserved and studied. In the times of Joshua these southern Hittites had been crowded out of Hebron by the Anakim, and had withdrawn to the more mountainous country further north. In Numbers 13:29, we learn that "the Hittites dwell in the mountains," while the Amalekites dwelt in the south, and the Canaanites dwelt "by the sea."

The northern Hittites, on the other hand, constituted a great empire of confederated states, occupying the whole of northern Syria, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Euphrates, extending also, as we shall see, over the whole of Asia Minor, from Armenia to the Aegean Sea. But of them later.

The Hivites were likewise divided into two great branches, the southern and smaller division inhabiting the towns of Shechem and Gibeon and the territory afterwards occupied by the tribe of Ephraim. But the main body of the Hivites dwelt in the north, "under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh," (Josh. 9:3), and in "Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-Hermon to the entering in of Hamath," (Judges 3:3), that is, the ranges of Lebanon and the intervening valley of Coeli-Syria. Here, according to some ethnologists, their descendants still dwell under the modern name of Druses.

Prior to the Revelation given through Swedenborg nothing was known in the Christian world concerning these two nations, beyond the meager details given in the letter of the Word. But in the Writings of the New Church a new and unexpected light was shed upon the ancient Hittites and Hivites, as a part of the grand new revelation concerning the Ancient and the Most Ancient Church. In these Writings we are first of all told that

The Hittites were among the better ones in the land of Canaan, as is evident from this that Abraham dwelt among them, and afterwards Isaac and Jacob, and that they had their graves with them; also that the Hittites behaved courteously towards Abraham, as is manifest from the things recorded in Genesis XXIII.(AC 2913.)

The Hittites were among the more upright of the nations in Canaan, and by them is represented a spiritual church among the Gentiles. (AC 3470.)

The Hittites were of the Church of the Gentiles in Canaan, and were not so much in falsity and evil as the other nations there. (AC 3686.)

78. Their gentle disposition. The twenty-third chapter of Genesis presents a truly pleasing record of the courtesy and kindliness prevailing among gentlemen of antiquity, before the charity of the Ancient Church had yet passed into oblivion. Sarah had died in Hebron, and Abraham came unto the sons of Heth to buy from them the cave of Machpelah as a burying place for his beloved dead. And the children of Heth answered him, saying: "Hear us, my lord; thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mightest bury thy dead." And when Abraham offered them money, Ephron the Hittite answered him, saying: "Nay, my lord, hear me; the field I give thee, and the cave that is therein I give thee; in the presence of the sons of my people I give it to thee; bury thy dead." Finally, however, Ephron was prevailed upon to accept the price: "four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchants."

And the Hivites under their princes Hamor and Shechem, in their treatment of Jacob, rivalled the courtesy and generosity of the Hittites: "Ye shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein." A simple-minded, warm-hearted, credulous people, these Hivites were no match for the cruel craftiness of the sons of Jacob, who persuaded them to accept the rite of circumcision as a pledge of their alliance; and then, while the Hivites were still sick on account of the operation, the treacherous Hebrews fell upon them and slew all the males, and despoiled the city, to avenge the honor of Dinah.

79. The "Church with the Ancients." Treating of this incident Swedenborg reveals a distinction, (hitherto but little noticed), between "the Church with the Ancients," on the one hand, and "the Ancient Church" on the other.

By the Church with the Ancients is meant a Church derived from the Most Ancient Church which was before the Flood; and by the Ancient Church is meant the Church which was after the Flood. ... The former was celestial, the latter spiritual. (A. C. 4447.)

And the same number thus continues:

The remains of the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial, were still in the land of Canaan, especially with those who were called Hittites and Hivites.... Hamor, the father of Shechem, represented the remains of the Most Ancient Church, and hence by him is signified the good of the Church with the Ancients, and thence the origin of interior truth from a Divine stock.

The spiritual reason for the destruction of the Hivites is found in their willingness to accept the rite of circumcision at the demands of the sons of Jacob: "Their words were good in the eyes of Hamor and Shechem." (Gen. 34:18). Concerning this we are told that

The goods and truths of the Most Ancient Church, which still remained in part with Hamor and Shechem and their families, agreed with the goods and truths which from the Ancient Church were among the posterity of Jacob.... But Hamor and Shechem sinned enormously in receiving circumcision, for they were of a genius and nature altogether different from the men of the Ancient Church. Hence they could not draw near to external things and accept those which were among the sons of Jacob, without closing their internals; and if these had been closed they would have perished to eternity. This is the hidden reason why they were slain. (AC 4489, 4493.)

80. Their signification. Being thus the direct descendants of the celestial men of the Most Ancient Church, we may see the reason why by the Hittites are signified "the exterior cognitions of celestial things, that is, such as have reference to love, thus life,"(AC 1203). For while, in the course of time, they became gentilized through their contact with the idolatrous Canaanites, yet there lingered amongst them remains and traditions of the most ancient doctrine, the celestial doctrine of life, as is evident, indeed, from their charitable treatment of the Hebrew patriarchs. These exterior, more or less obscured traditions and cognitions of celestial things, agreed with the goods and truths which were represented, though not cherished, by the Hebrew patriarchs, and it was on account of this agreement and correspondence that the latter were buried amongst the Hittites and Hivites. In "the field of Machpelah which is before Mamre" they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekkah his wife and there they buried Leah and long afterwards Jacob, (Gen. 49:31), and, finally, the Israelites buried the bones of Joseph, which they had brought with them out of Egypt, in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob had bought of the sons of Hamor (Joshua 24:32).

But though the Hittites and the Hivites were and therefore signified the celestial remains of the Most Ancient Church, they nevertheless at last became "sons of Canaan" and partakers of the idolatrous and polytheistic religion of the other Canaanites, (see Deut. 20:17), and they then came to represent the falsities opposite to the cognitions of celestial things: "the Hivites signify falsity from lighter evils; the Canaanites falsity from more grievous evils; and the Hittites, falsity from the most grievous evil." (AC 9332.) It is in this evil sense that the Hittites are mentioned in the reproach which the prophet Ezechiel raised against the Old Jerusalem: "Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Ammorite, and thy mother an Hittite," (Ezech. 16:3, 45),—signifying that the perverted Church, (Christian as well as Jewish), originated from the conjunction of the evil represented by the Ammorites, with the falsity represented by the Hittites. (AC 289, 2913.)

81. Their extermination by the Israelites. Being idolaters, the Hittites and the Hivites were included in the general command given to the Israelites to utterly destroy all the pagan nations in Canaan, "that they teach you not to do after all their abominations which they have done unto their gods." (Deut. 20:17.) The Hittites, indeed, now exhibited some of the military spirit which had always animated their kinsmen in the north of Syria, and joined with the other Canaanitish tribes in their unsuccessful effort to check the victorious approach of Joshua and his invading hosts. They were overwhelmed, indeed, on that memorable day when Joshua commanded the sun to stand still upon Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon. (Josh. 10:12.) The great majority of the southern Hittites were exterminated in this and subsequent battles, but some submitted and were spared, on condition of tributary service in the Tabernacle, as "hewers of wood and drawers of water'' in the service of Jehovah.

82. The Hivites dwelling in Gibeon saved themselves by a memorable and decidedly humorous trick. Sending ambassadors to Joshua, they fixed them up with "old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old and rent, and bound up; and shoes old and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them, and bread dry and mouldy." (Josh. 9:4-5.) Pretending that they had come from "a very far country,"—so far away that all their dilapidated old things had been new when they first set out on their journey, they completely deceived Joshua, and induced him to make peace with them by a solemn oath. Three days afterwards the trick was found out; the Gibeonites were found to be near neighbors and as such intended for extermination; but because of Joshua's oath they were permitted to live, but conditioned to servitude as the hewers of wood and drawers of water. The real reason for their preservation was the fact that "Hivites from ancient time signified interior truth, and because they were among the more upright nations, in whom iniquity was not so much consummated,—i. e., the truth of the Church not so much extinguished; and therefore the Hivite Gibeonites were preserved by the Providence of the Lord." (AC 4431.)

83. The last remnants. They were thus absorbed by the Israelitish nation and became members of their Church, but still for ages they remained a distinct race in the land. That some of them attained places of trust and honor is evident from the fact that Ahimelech the Hittite was one of David's most trusted companions, while Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba, was one of the king's body-guard. In his unsuspecting loyalty and bravery he is a worthy representative of the Hittite character,—a simple-hearted, honorable descendant of the most ancient celestial race.

Under Solomon the remnant of the Hittites were subjected to the same tribute of bond-service as the other remains of the Canaanites, (1. Kings 9:20). Solomon also formed an alliance with the "kings of the Hittites," (1 Kings 9:29), but these were evidently chieftains of the northern Hittites, from whose families, also, he took some of his numerous wives. (1 Kings 9:1.) Even after the Jews had returned from the Babylonish captivity, there were still Hittites in Palestine, existing as a distinct people, and they are named among those alien tribes with whom the returning Israelites contracted those marriages which Ezra forbade and Nehemiah dissolved. (Ezra 9:1; Nehemiah 13:23-28.) The last of the southern Hittites were probably absorbed by the Samaritans. Unlike their greater northern kinsmen they left no monuments or inscriptions wherewith to puzzle modern archaeologists.

84. The Northern Hittites. Modern scholars are doubting whether the great Syrian nation known as Hittites really were of the same general stock as the southern Hittites so frequently mentioned in the Bible, and this because the names of the latter are all of Semitic origin, while those of the northern Hittites, as preserved in the Egyptian and Assyrian records, are on the whole strikingly non-Semitic. This, however, proves nothing, for on the one hand, the Assyrians and Egyptians were as careless about foreign names as were afterwards the Greeks and in modern times the English. And on the other hand, the northern Hittites, while of the same general race and stock as the southern, were undoubtedly of a different branch, with a different historic development. In the Word, certainly, the northern branch is called Hittites, just as the southern, and no apparent distinction is observed.

The "ships from the coast of the Hittites," mentioned in Numbers 24:24, clearly refers to the northern Hittites dwelling by the Syrian coast, for the southern Hittite had no sea-ports or ships. The Writings of the New Church tell us that by these "ships of the Hittites" are signified "the cognitions of truth and good which had been possessed by those of the Ancient Church." (AE 514.) Thus the northern Hittites, like the southern, signify "cognitions." In Joshua 1:4 we read of a land extending "from the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites." This describes exactly the boundaries of the great northern empire which the Assyrians called the land of the "Khatti," and the Egyptians the land of the "Cheta." And in the second book of Kings, 7:6, it is said that the great siege of Samaria was raised when the Syrians of Hamath heard a supernatural noise "as if the king of Israel had hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt, to come upon us,"—thus associating the Hittites as allies of the Egyptians, just as the Cheta sometimes actually were.

There is no reasonable cause, therefore, to doubt the identity of the northern Hittites with the Cheta or Khatti of the Egyptian and Assyrian monuments,—that great, warlike, well organized, highly civilized nation, which in most recent times has, as if by a miracle, risen out of their forgotten graves to reveal the existence of an ancient Empire which for thousands of years has remained totally unknown, but which for ages rivalled Egypt and Assyria in power, influence, and civilization.

85. Their historic resurrection. From time to time travellers have brought home from Syria and Asia Minor copies of hieroglyphic inscriptions, of a character very different from those of Egypt. The first of these were found in 1736 and the collection has since been steadily augmented. Some were found as far west as Smyrna and Sardis, some in the depth of Asia Minor, some in Armenia, and some in Coeli-Syria. They have been found even among the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon,—covering thus a vast extent of territory, and dating, apparently, from untold antiquity down to about 500 B. C. Within the last few years, especially, whole libraries of these inscriptions have been discovered, and ruined palaces covered with bas-reliefs and intaglios representing a race of people who, in features and garments, were totally different from any of the other nations of antiquity. For years the learned were totally unable to "place" these people, until, as late as 1878, the two great archeologists, Wright and Sayce, identified them with the Cheta of the Egyptians, the Khatti of the Assyrians, and the Hittites of the Bible. Then, quickly, the brand-new science of "Hittitology" sprang into existence.

One learned work after another appeared, reproducing the inscriptions and the bas-reliefs, and attempting to decipher the strange hieroglyphics. Theories and systems of interpretation rapidly replaced one another, but thus far no system has been generally accepted as correct and proven.

86. Their writing and language. The writing of these Hittites is a kind of picture-writing, hieroglyphics which to some small extent resemble those of Egypt, but the figures are more rounded, free, and unconventional. Sometimes the pictures are fully drawn, and at other times only suggested. There are all kinds of animal heads, hands with swords, feet with shoes turned up at the tips, crowns, tiaras, pointed caps, thrones, serpents, beside various abbreviated figures and signs. More than two hundred of these have already been listed and their number is constantly increasing. Most of them are of the same rounded type, reminding us of the curved writing of the most ancient people of which Swedenborg speaks. Following the direction in which the faces are turned, it has been established that the writing runs from right to left in the first line of the inscription, then, from left to right in the second line, from right to left in the third line, and so on,—quite different from the Hebrew which always runs from right to left, or the Assyrian which always runs from left to right, or the Old Babylonian and Egyptian, which runs from top to bottom. This alone shows that the Hittites were of a genius very distinct from that of any of their ancient neighbors. As to their language, something may be known from the Hittite names mentioned in the Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions, and also from the Hittite inscriptions in cuneiform character which have been found in Armenia. Thus far, however, there is no consensus whatever among the learned as to the nature of the Hittite language: some claim it is akin to the modern Armenian tongue, which is supposed to be of Indo-Germanic origin, but all the theories appear like guess-work.

87. Their personal characteristics and national costume are as distinctive as their mode of writing. In general their heads are strikingly short, their eyes and hair dark, and their noses remarkably large and curved. On the Egyptian monuments the Cheta are represented with long, slender noses, slightly curved, decidedly receding foreheads, prominent cheek-bones, short, round, beardless chins, and fair complexion. On the Hittite monuments, however, many of the men are bearded. The hair is long and thick and falls on the shoulder in a braided queue.

The national dress consists chiefly of a short coat with half- sleeves, a long, pointed, sugar-loaf hat, with the lower rim turned upwards. This hat is especially characteristic of the Hittites, as is also the shoe which is always turned upward at the toes. The turned-up tips are accounted for by the fact that the Hittites lived in mountainous districts ; it is found among many other mountain- tribes because it protects the toe better than the straight shoe or sandal.

88. As to their Religion but little is definitely known. Originally, of course, they were monotheists, but in course of time, like the southern Hittites, they became idolators and polytheists. If, as has been surmised, the ancient Hyksos or Shepherd-kings, who at one time overran Egypt, were Hittites, then the latter at that time were probably worshippers of one only God, whom they named Sutekh, for it is known that Apepi, the last of the Shepherd-kings in Egypt, (who is supposed to have been the Pharaoh of Joseph's time), "chose the good Sutekh as his Lord, and did not serve any other god in the whole land." (Lenormant, Ancient History of the East. Vol. I., p. 223.)

According to the monuments and inscriptions of the Hittites themselves, (and according to Prof. Jensen who claims to have deciphered them), this people placed at the head of their Pantheon "the Lord of the heavens, the god of the sky, the dispenser of the blessings of the fields; he is called 'the Lord,' or 'the supreme one,' 'the great Papa or baba,' i. e., of course, 'father,'—compare the Phrygian Zeus Papas,—also the 'lord of Khate-Hati,' etc. His consort is 'the great Ma'a' that is, of course, 'mother,' also called 'the great goddess.' " (Hilprecht, Explor. in Bible Lands, p. 788.) The worship of this "great mother," who is always adorned with the mural crown, spread from the Hittites throughout Asia Minor, to Phrygia, and thence into Greece, where she became known as Cybele. The great Papa,—the Zeus pater or Jupiter,—was variously represented; sometimes armed with the forked lightning and the battle ax; at other times depicted as the god of fertility, holding in one hand a great vine with many clusters of grapes, and in the other a cornucopia whence streams of water are issuing.

The subjects of the Hittite sculptors are chiefly religious. Great processions of gods and goddesses are represented, also winged, human headed, or double headed sphinxes, and other emblems, among these the "double eagle" which is never seen in Egypt or Assyria. It is said that the early Turks adopted this emblem from the Hittite monuments, and then, in turn, passed it on to the Austrian and German Empires! Their art, though possessing many features in common with that of Egypt on the one hand, and of Assyria on the other, is nevertheless very original and distinctive on the whole. Though somewhat rude, stiff, and childish, lacking in the elements of proportion and perspective, it still has a certain grace and dignity of its own, and the conviction seems to be growing that it had a very important influence upon early Greek art through the mediating hands of Phrygians and Lydians. While the Greeks undoubtedly received the alphabet and writing from the Phoenicians, they certainly did not learn their art from this source, for the Phoenicians simply had no art, except the art of money-making. Hellenic art, no less than Hellenic Religion, had its cradle in Asia Minor.

89. The Hittite Empire. The chief seats of the Hittites, in historic times, were the city of Kadesh on the Orontes, and the city of Carchemish on the northern Euphrates. The former, known to the Egyptians as "Ketesh, on the river Arunata," was situated not far from Hamath or Baalbek, where many Hittite inscriptions have been found. The name is a Hebrew one, and indicates that the place was considered a "holy" city. The latter, known at present as Jerabis or Jereblis, (from the Greek Hieropolis), was also a "sacred city" and for more than a thousand years was the real capital of the Hittite Empire. Here, at Carchemish, important ruins have been uncovered and great masses of inscriptions found by Prof. Winkler, of the German Exploration Expedition, within the last two years, but as yet these literary treasures have refused to yield up their real secrets. Nor is it known how far to the north and west the Hittite Empire actually extended. It seems to have been a great federation of allied states, bound together by the bonds of common blood, religion, and civilization, each with its own king, rather than one great monarchy under a central head, (except, perhaps, in times of great national danger). Hittite inscriptions and monuments have been found throughout Asia Minor. The proto-Armenians were certainly of this stock, as were also, perhaps, the original inhabitants of Pontus, Cappodocia, Cilicia, Phrygia, Lydia, and the Troad. The "liberty-cap" of the ancient Phrygians is now regarded as a survival of the conical hat of the Hittites; Gyges, the fabled founder of the Lydian kingdom, is now supposed to have been an Hittite adventurer; and the great Trojan War is regarded as a contest between the degenerated Hittite descendants of the Ancient Church and the rising youthful power of the Ionians, [—Hebrew Javan, Assyrian Javnanu, Latin juvenes, English young ones.] Whether the Hittites were at all connected with the Hyksos or Shepherd-kings is, at least, questionable. Some believe the Hyksos were Hebrews; others maintain they were Philistines. Who knows? According to the Egyptian monuments the Hittites first appear in history in the time of Thothmes III., (about 1450 B. C.), who in a great battle at Megiddo defeated the confederated Cheta and laid them under tribute. Whence they had come, or how long they had possessed Syria and Mesopotamia, is not known for certain. Archeologists surmise that they had advanced from the highlands of Armenia sometime between 3-4000 B. C.

In the time of Ramses I., (after the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt), the Hittites had again become dangerous rivals of Egypt and united under a single monarch. Ramses I. therefore led his army into Canaan and Coeli-Syria, the war finally ending by a treaty between the Egyptian king and Sephal, the king of the Hittites. Seti I., the son of Ramses, renewed the war, and after long and desperate struggles captured Kadesh, the key to the whole of Coeli-Syria. The reserve power of the Hittites was so great, however, that Seti soon afterwards restored his conquests to the Hittite king, Mautnur, and a new treaty was drawn up, which the Hittites, at least, faithfully observed.

Peace was again broken by Ramses II., the son of Seti, "le grand monarch," the Louis XIV of Egypt. Invading Canaan in the fifth year of his reign, he met with but indifferent success, but is represented as having won the day at Kadesh more through his own personal bravery (and divine intercessions) than through the greater prowess of his army. No material advantages accrued to Egypt through the war, but a new treaty of peace was drawn up. Khetsera, the king of the Hittites, arrived in Thebes with a splendid retinue. The articles of peace were drawn up on a great tablet of silver. Everything was left in statu quo ante, and the peace was celebrated by the marriage of the Egyptian monarch with a daughter of the Hittite king. The campaign and the treaty form the subject of the great Egyptian national epic by the poet Pentaur,—the first epic in the history of Literature,—which to this clay is to be read in magnificent hieroglyphics on the temple walls of Karnak.

In the Assyrian inscriptions the Hittites are mentioned quite as frequently as in those of Egypt. From the line of Tiglath Pileser I., (about noo B. C.), to that of Sargon, (722-705 B. C.), there was almost constant warfare between the Khatti and the Assyrians who contested with them the possession of Mesopotamia. Sargon finally put an end to the Hittite rule over the country east of the Taurus, and they remained subject to Assyria until the fall of Nineveh, after which the eastern Hittites fell first under the dominion of Media and then of Persia, and gradually pass out of history. In Asia Minor, however, they remained independent for a long time, especially in the kingdom of Cilicia, and later on in Armenia, but in the former they gradually adopted the civilization of Greece, and in Armenia they seem to have amalgamated with various mountain tribes of uncertain race. Some of the learned think that the Georgians of Caucasus are direct descendants of the Hittites.

90. The Hittites, direct descendants of Noah. Now, as to the origin of these Hittites and Hivites, who were of neither Semitic, Hamitic, or Japhetic stock, but direct descendants of the Most Ancient Church, I would venture to offer an hypothesis, which, though not yet proved either from Revelation or Science, still suggests itself from the Writings of the New Church. At the time of the Great Flood, i. e., at the time of the destruction of the Most Ancient Church, the inhabitants of the land of Canaan were divided into two general and very different classes of people. The first, who constituted the vast majority, were the antediluvians, the monstrous Nephilim, the perverted celestial men who had become the worst people this earth has ever seen. Most of these perished through the clogging up of their channels of internal respiration, but some survived,—the horrible tribes known as Rephaim, Anakim, Horim, Avim, Emim, Zuzim, and Zamzummin.

The other class, a small nucleus, was the remnant of simple good people, collectively called Noah, who were saved from destruction by a new Divine Revelation, (the Ancient Word), the seed of a new church. Between these and the Nephilim there could be no friendship, no modus vivendi; there must have been direful persecutions and wars of extermination, and the Noachites as a whole undoubtedly had to flee for their lives. Is it not significant that Noah found refuge on Mt. Ararat, in Armenia? Why is Ararat mentioned,—a mountain so far from the centre of Canaan,—unless there is some substratum of historical truth in the Biblical account of the Flood? To me it seems evident that the people called Noah actually fled from Canaan and "planted a vineyard" in Ararat, in other words, founded a colony in the highlands of Armenia. From this region, as a basis, they sent forth missionaries preaching the spiritual truths of the Ancient Church to various gentile nations who thus became "the sons," the converts, of Noah, and in time became the ancestors of the Semitic, Hamitic, and Japhetic races. The Church and nation called Noah in the meantime remained in their mountainous homes in Armenia, until, after many ages, they became a strong nation which finally pressed forward and took possession of Asia Minor and Syria. These, then, were the "northern Hittites," known in history only after the Ancient Church had become corrupted amongst them.

But who were the southern Hittites and Hivites, the celestial remnants in the mountains of Canaan itself? May not they have descended from families of Noachites who did not emigrate with the rest, but found refuge in the mountains nearer home? We are informed in the Arcana Coelestia 640 that "besides the Church Noah there were also others at that time, [i. e., other salvable remnants of the Most Ancient Church], such as that which is called 'Enoch,' and others also, of whom no such mention and description are extant." From some of these, or from remaining Noachites, the southern Hittites and Hivites must have come, known by the same national names as that of their northern, more numerous, and warlike brethren.

It is to be added that the modern Armenians, (who are supposed to be descendants of the Hittites), claim to be the most ancient people in the world, and their language the original speech of mankind. The same claim was made by the ancient Phrygians, who were clearly an Hittite nation, (see Encyclop Brit., vol. 18, p. 849).

One more consideration: Why is it that Syria everywhere in the Word signifies cognitions, that is, knowledges of spiritual things? The "wise men from the East" who came to worship the newborn Lord, were "Syrians," we are told in the Writings, "for in Syria were the last remains of the Ancient Church, and therefore in that land the cognitions of good and truth were still preserved, as is evident from Balaam," who knew. Jehovah and quoted directly from the Ancient Word,(AC 3249). Was it not because Syria was occupied mainly by the Hittites, who, as the immediate descendants of Noah, preserved among themselves the traditions of the Ancient and Most Ancient Churches, in greater fulness than could be found with other nations?


Previous: Chapter VII. The Aborigines of the Land. Up: Canaan Next: Chapter IX. The Canaanites.

Up

Crown of Revelations
Rebirth, Reincarnation
Correspondency
The Holy Center
Salvation in the Gospels
Psychology of Marriage
Precious Stones
The Human Mind
The Moral Life
Saul, David & Solomon
Bible Lost & Found
The Human Soul
Genesis and Exodus
City of God
Swedenborg Cosmology
Ultimate Reality
The Pattern of Time
Means of Salvation
AIM
NC: Sex and Marriage
Book with Seven Seals
My Lord and My God
Philosopher, Metaphysician
Inspiration of Genesis
Words In Swedenborg
Missionary Talks
Tabernacle of Israel
Canaan
A Brief View of the Heavenly Doctrines
Ancient Mythology
Odhner: Creation
Ten Commandments
Christ and The Trinity
Discrete Degrees
Body Correspondences
Language of Parable
The Ten Blessings
Creation in Genesis
The Third Source
Noble's "Appeal"
Life After Death

• Back • Home • Up • Next •

SwedenborgStudy.com

Hittites and Hivites.

Webmaster: IJT@swedenborgstudy.com