HORITE, HORIM (hō'rīt, hō'rĭm). A people found in Mount Seir as early as the time of Abraham and conquered by Kedorlaomer and his allies (Gen.14.6); the early inhabitants, before the Edomites dispossessed them and intermarried with them (Gen.36.20-Gen.36.30; Deut.2.12, Deut.2.22). Esau married the daughter of one of their chieftains, also called a Hivite (Gen.36.2). The Hivites are thought to be identical with, or else confused with, the Horites (Gen.34.2; Josh.9.7), in which case the Horites lived as far north as Gibeon and Shechem in the time of Jacob’s sons and until the conquest under Joshua. The LXX makes this identification. The Horites are now commonly thought to be Hurrians, from the highlands of Media, who before the middle of the second millennium b.c. overspread the region from Media to the Mediterranean, forming, or being merged in, the kingdom of Mitanni, subsequently destroyed by the Hittites. The Horites of Palestine, then, would be enclaves of this once-conquering race left behind when their empire receded before the Hittite advance. The Hurrian nobles appear to have been Aryans, the peasants non-Aryans; whether they were Semites or other, perhaps Armenoids, is not settled. The Hurrian language is in the process of being deciphered, so that further investigation should clear up a picture that is confused at present.——ER


E. Meyer, Die Israeliten und deren Nachbarstämme (1906); E. A. Speiser, AASOR, XIII (1933), 26-31; I. J. Gelb, Hurrians and Subarians (1944); Speiser, JAOS, LXVIII (1948), 1-13; H. G. Guterbock, Journal of World History, II (1954), 383-394; Speiser in IDB (E-J) s.v. Horite.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)