I had been suspecting since February or March this year that the Igbos are the biblical Horites of Genesis 14:6, 36:20 and Deuteronomy 2:12, rather than descendants of Ẹdo (Esau) as I had previously thought. Consequently, I had considered reviewing this essay. Now I have decided to start the review.
One reason for this Igbo-Horite connection hypothesis is the similar history of expulsion. When the Ẹdo people led by their progenitor left Canaan (Genesis 36:1-8) for their inheritance called Mount Seir (Deuteronomy 2:12, 22), they met the Horites already there. For a while these Horites ruled over them as dukes/chiefs until some generations later when the Ẹdo people overpowered and expelled them and took full control of that land. This was in the 4th age. In the present (6th) age, the Igbos were (finally) expelled from the land known today as Ẹdo c. mid 18th century CE but have claimed, especially those from Onitsha, to be descendants of Edo royalty. An Ẹdo historian called Jacob Egharevba even noted that the Ẹdos met some people already living on the land known today as Benin.
The present Ẹdo royal dynasty was founded sometime during the 12th century CE by Ọranmiyan (the latest incarnation) and an Ẹdo princess known as Erimwinde and the rulers bear the title Ọba. The Ẹdos say the rulers of the previous dynasty bore the title Ogiso (Hyksos according to the Greeks) of whom one of them was known as Ogiso Ere. The name appears to be a cognate of Eri, the name of the ancestor of the Igbos. If Eri is Ogiso Ere, the claim of the Igbos of being of Ẹdo royalty would be accurate and imply that the Igbos once dominated and ruled over the Ẹdos.
Going further, the names Eri and Ere appear to be the source of the biblical Horite, the -ite suffix is an Indo-European lexical device to indicate that the word is a noun referring to a group of people or that a person(s) belongs to a particular group e.g. Levite from Levi, Nigerien from Niger, etc. Thus, Horite is very likely derived from the suffixation of -ite to Hori.
- Eri > (H)ori
Also, the transition from the Ogiso dynasty to the Ọba dynasty was not smooth as two camps allegedly emerged. One was in favour of having kings rule over them while the other was in favour of a republican system which would involve being ruled by chiefs. The second camp was just like what the Ẹdo people had to deal with during the 4th age as recorded in the bible. In this 6th age Igbos have been known to be republicans and not to have kings. Therefore, they would have been of the second camp which is similar to that of the biblical Horites. All these similarities cannot be denied and indicate clearly that the Igbos are the biblical Horites. Additionally, they suggest that the Igbos are not descendants of the Ẹdos, but they do indicate that they have been intermarrying for a long time. This would account for cultural similarities like a strong preference for the red colour and a strong desire to convince themselves that they are senior to the Aku people (Ọmọ Oduduwa). Perhaps the descendants of Eri appropriated Ẹdo traditions as their own.