Saturday, February 14, 2009


Horites (Egyptian Khar) were cave-dwellers mentioned in the Torah (Genesis 14:6, 36:20, Deuteronomy 2:12) inhabiting areas around Petra. They have been identified with Egyptian references to Khar which concern a southern region of Canaan. This location and the similarity of the biblical term Hori to the Egyptian term Khar, formerly translated as Harri, has connected the Biblical Horites. Their most famous ancestor is called Seir but no genealogy is given for him. Despite the widespread sphere of Hurrian influence these might not be synonymous. While in history Hurrians had close relations with so-called Hattians, biblical Horites are closely associated, through Seir's son Zibeon, with the Hivites. It may be that rather than being a nation, the biblical term Hori may simply refer to a lifestyle common among Hivites which if a meaning is derived from their name makes them a "cave-dwelling" people. They were infiltrated by the Edomites and subsequently assimilated.