Were the Israelites Black?
According to the blessings in the Bible, the races and where they migrated to, the description of the Israelites and the Semites in the Bible, one can only come to the conclusion that the Israelites are of the white race and not black.
by Peter Salemi
Time and time again we have proved that the Israelites of the Bible are the modern day peoples of the USA, British, Scandinavian, Celtic peoples. Of course many are not convinced of this. There are wild theories and speculations about what race the Israelites belonged to. One such theory is that the Israelites were black. Some try to prove it in the Bible. Let's examine these theories.
Races in the Old Testament
All Caucasian peoples on earth today have descended from Noah's three sons -- Shem, Ham and Japheth -- as recorded in Genesis 10 when correctly understood.
In the Encyclopedia Americana, we find the following typical statements: "Most physical anthropologists accept modern man as one genus, and one species; Reginald R. Gates, alone, suggests that there are five species. The majority viewpoint recognizes THREE MAJOR “DIVISIONS” or “stocks” which taxonomically occupy the level of sub-races. These groups are CAUCASOID or “white,” MONGOLOID or “yellow,” and NEGROID or “black.” (1960 ed., Vol. II, p. 20d).
However, in reality, the tenth chapter of Genesis describes tribes of ONE RACIAL STOCK settling in various geographical locations only. It DOES NOT describe any manner of a creation of races by the division of one stock into three.
The concept that all nations and races descended from Noah's sons did not originate with the early Christian church! When Georges Cuvier devised his classification of races in 1790, he listed three types: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid, who he likened after Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. As racial distinctions became more evident and debated, the churches and literalists picked up on Cuvier's classification and molded it into a new and erroneous religious doctrine.
So, in the conventional understanding, Ham is touted as the father of the Negroids -- the darker-skinned peoples who inhabited Africa, India, and, anciently, certain eastern Mediterranean countries like Canaan. However, while many claim that the name "Ham" means "burnt" or "black," the Hebrew meaning of the word does not allow for a dark skin color at all. The name that occurs in the English Bible as Ham is, in reality, two completely different Hebrew names; one which is pronounced "Cham" (חם), and the other "Ham" (הם). They have two completely different meanings. The first one is identical to the adjective חם (ham), meaning "WARM," and also to the noun חם (ham), meaning "FATHER-IN-LAW."
Earliest depictions of Nimrod show decidedly Caucasian features.
The second one, which is spelled הם and pro- nounced as "Ham," de- notes a once-mentioned town where kings Amraphel, Arioch, Chedorlaomer and Tidal defeated the Zuzim during the war of four against five kings (Genesis 14:5). Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names derives this Ham from the verb המה (hama), meaning "CRY ALOUD" and renders the name as "NOISY."
Now Cush, who was the father of Nimrod, has also been touted to be black and hence used to further the conception that the line from Ham was black -- including Nimrod. Hislop, in his book The Two Babylons, attempts to show that Nimrod was black, however reality also shoots this down.
The origin of the name Cush is irretrievably obscure, and none of the translators have more to say about it than that it is related to Ethiopia and to perhaps having a dark countenance. The prophet Jeremiah rhetorically asks, "Can the Cushite change his skin?" (Jeremiah 13:23), which may or may not suggest that the Cushites were known for being black. Still, this says very little about the meaning of the name Cush.
However, the Hebrew word for black is שחר (sahar). The heth and rosh in this word are so dominant that the name Cush can hardly have come from it. Allowing this would link Cush to pretty much any other word that contains a shin. Like the word ישש (yshsh; weak, impotent, aged) for instance, which makes a far more plausible candidate as a repeated letter often falls away and the yod alternates with the vav. In concert with the common Hebrew particle כ (ke; as if, like), the name would mean "As If He Were Weak."
And then there is the root ישה (yshh; meaning uncertain), which yields the noun תושה (tushiya), meaning wisdom, sound knowledge, which would yield the meaning of Cush as "As If He Were Getting Smarter."
Still -- and for no apparent reason other than a rusty tradition that cost a lot of people their lives and dignity -- Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads "A Black Countenance, Full Of Darkness," but also submits the calmly clarifying afterthought, "the etymology is most uncertain"!
So we see that there is nothing in the names of Ham and Cush to indicate that they were of black skin and Negroid.
Now according to Fasold, the ancient Greeks recognized Shem as Typhon of Egypt and it was also recognized a such by Herodotus (485-425 B.C.) and Plutarch (46 B.C.).
Now let us notice some quotations from Plutarch which show that Shem (the father of a major part of the Caucasians) was a fair person with a red complexion. “TYPHON HAD RED HAIR.” (ibid., p. 73). (Only fair-skinned people are truly “red in complexion”). Shem (Typhon -- a derogatory name applied to him by the Egyptians) “was red in complexion” and “had red hair.”
For a further account of Nimrod’s death at the hands of Shem (Typhon) see Diodorus of Sicily, Vol. I, Book 1, para. 21, and para. 88. Notice the following interesting quote: “RED oxen, however, may be sacrificed, because it is thought that this was the colour of TYPHON (Shem), who plotted against Osiris [another name for Nimrod] and was then punished by Isis [Semiramis] for the death of her husband. Men also, if they were of the same colour as Typhon, were sacrificed, they say, in ancient times by the kings at the tomb of Osiris; however, only a few Egyptians are now found RED in colour, but the majority of such are non-Eqyptians….” (Diodorus of Sicily, Book I, para. 88).
Author and scholar David Rohl notes that both the Egyptian god Osiris and the Assyrian god Asshur originated with the historical King Nimrod, whose origins can be traced back to Eridu (the original Babel) where he became worshiped as the god Asar. This being the case -- how was Osiris depicted in the statuary and wall paintings of ancient Egypt? Notice what E.A. Wallis Budge, in his definitive work on Osiris, has to say: "Osiris was white and was the personification of good..." (Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, p. xxiv).
To the Egyptians Nimrod was known as Osiris and also as Khons, God of the Hunt. He was depicted as a massive black, white or green skinned man -- often wearing leopard skins and a crown with bull horns. However, the color black represented death and the afterlife to the ancient Egyptians. Osiris was given the epithet "the black one" because he was the king of the netherworld and both he and Anubis (the god of embalming) were portrayed with black faces.
The Egyptians also associated black with fertility and resurrection because much of their agriculture was dependant on the rich dark silt deposited on the river banks by the Nile during the inundation. When used to represent resurrection, black and green were interchangeable. As a result, the gods Osiris and Geb were depicted with black or green skin to emphasize their connection with fertility. Egypt was known as Kemet, "the black land" and this was a reference to the Nile -- not a description of ethnicity.
The statuary and wall paintings of Egypt show Osiris (Nimrod) to be decidedly non-black in features -- as the pictures above show.
Thus we can clearly see that earliest secular history shows Nimrod and his forebears were NOT black or Negroid men, and Shem (Typhon) was a person with a ruddy complexion, having red hair! These historical accounts show that those Nimrod was descended from were Caucasian and that Shem’s descendants were fair with “red” or ruddy complexions!
Also, in the conventional understanding, Japheth is considered the father of the Mongoloids -- the yellow and brown peoples of Asia and the native Indian tribes of North, Central and South America. Many of the olive-skinned peoples who inhabited the countries of the northern rim of the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. Greeks) are also touted to be descendants of Japheth and his sons.
Likewise, Shem is considered the father of the Caucasoids -- the fair-skinned blonds, red-heads and brunets who are often called the "white" peoples. "... the Semites, they were a Caucasian people...," (An Anthropologist Looks at the Judeo-Christian Scripture). Shem as noted above is ruddy with fair skin and red hair. "Ruddy: red; reddish; of the colour of healthy skin in white-skinned peoples" (Chambers Concise Dictionary, 1988, p. 932). The term "melanchroes," is used to describe the ancient Greeks as one who has "flushed cheeks" describing a healthy color as opposed to a pale face.
Notice Homer’s Odyssey, "With this, Athena touched him [Odysseus] with her golden wand. A well-washed cloak and a tunic she first of all cast about his breast, and she increased his stature and his youthful bloom. Once more he grew dark of color [melanchroiês], and his cheeks filled out, and dark grew the beard about his chin." This episode Odysseus would "no more eaten and drunk as before, nor overseen the fields, but with groaning and wailing he sits and weeps, and the flesh wastes from off his bones." (Book. 16, 135-185). He deprived himself of food that would make anyone pale. "To Hippocrates the Phasians of Colchis were sallow (ochros) (Aer 15) whilst the complexions of the modern-day Georgian population have been described as ‘fair, sallow or ruddy’ (Lang the Georgians, p.19)" (Herodotus Book Commentary by Alan B. Loyd, p. 22, emphasis added).
The ancient Greeks are also described as having wooly hair. The woolly hair, the term "ulotrichous" meant curly hair. The same commentary says, "Despite the efforts of Armayor and English, there is no linguistic justification for relating this term to Negros" (ibid. p. 22, emphasis added). Many white people have curly as well as straight hair.
Most likely it means "bushy" hair like Solomon, "His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven" (Song 5:11). Many British people have bushy black hair like a raven with blue eyes and a ruddy rosy cheek complexion.
Some, though, have argued that Noah's descendants -- including Abraham's descendants (Genesis 11:21-32) -- are not white. Yet the Bible clearly describes Abraham and Sarah's descendants as "fair" (Heb. Yapheh -- Genesis 12:11; 24:16; 26:7; Esther 2:7 KJV). It is from a Hebrew root meaning “to be bright.” The context shows that this word refers to the physical appearance, and is not here associated with mental aptitudes. There is every reason to believe that this word is to be understood according to its literal sense in regard to Sarah. Gill's Commentary says about Sarah, "...she would be reckoned so among the Egyptians, whose women were of a blackish, sallow, swarthy complexion."
There is a description of Sarah in the seventh Dead Sea Scroll. Whoever wrote this extolled Sarah's perfection from head to foot and while it was written in prose poem, the description as it appeared in the news media was as follows:
"Her skin was pure white;
"She had long lovely hair;
"Her limbs were smooth and rounded (her thighs were shapely;
"She had slender legs and small feet;
"Her hands were slim and long and so were her fingers.'
"Unfortunately as far as is known, no description of Abraham appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls, but as Sarah's description is that of her racial attributes, one can only conclude that Abraham [being a relative of Sarah, see Genesis 20:12] would be identical" (R. Weliland, God's Covenant People, p.340, emphasis added).
Just before Abraham died, he told his trusted servant to go to the city of Nahor to get a wife for his son, Isaac (Genesis 24:1-10). “And he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor” (ibid., v. 10).
Isaac did the same -- before he died!
“And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, ‘Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, [the plain of Syria] to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of LABAN thy mother’s brother’“ (Genesis 28:1,2). If one will read the rest of the 28th chapter of Genesis, and also the 29th and 30th chapters, he will see that Jacob obeyed his father, Isaac, and went to Padan-aram, “the plain of Syria,” to the home of his uncle, Laban. Here he met and married Leah and Rachel, two of Laban’s daughters.
But what does the name “Laban” signify? In the Hebrew language in which the Old Testament was written, “Laban” means “white.” (Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, under “Laban”).
Any good Bible dictionary will show that the word “Laban” means “white” and comes from the same Hebrew stem as does the word “Lebanon” -- meaning “white.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines the word “Lebanon” in the Hebrew as “(the) white mountain (from its snow).” So we see that the Lebanon Mountain was named Lebanon because it was a white mountain.
Why, then, would Laban have been called “white” unless he was a fair, light-skinned or “white“ person? He must have been a very fair person in order to have been called by this name, Laban. Judging from his modern descendants, one would conclude the same thing. See Genesis 49:12, “teeth ‘white’ with milk,” and Numbers 12:10, where we read that Miriam became “white as snow.” The word “white” in both of the references just cited is the same word in the Hebrew as the name translated “Laban.”
Jacob, also called Israel, went to the plain of Syria (Padam-aram) and married into his own family. He married two of his own cousins, Leah and Rachel. It was quite customary in Patriarchal times to marry a close relative. Even Abraham married his half-sister (Genesis 20:12).
Since Laban was a fair or “white” person, his two daughters, Leah and Rachel, whom Jacob married must have also been very fair; and since Jacob was their cousin, he must have had some of the blond, “Syrian” features of his uncle, Laban. This is also borne out by the modern-day descendants of Jacob, who have many blonds among them.
So Abraham, Isaac, Jacob-Israel were of the Semitic white race of peoples. So how does the bible describe the Israelites?
As a youth, King David (a Judahite) was "ruddy and of a fair countenance" (1 Samuel 17:42 KJV). The word translated “fair” in this verse is the same word as was used in regard to Sarah. We have already noticed that this word in the Hebrew means “to be bright.” It undoubtedly refers to the complexion of the individual.
The Hebrew word from which the English word “ruddy” is “admoniy” and it means “reddish.” It is the same word as is used in Genesis 25:25. “And the first [Esau] came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.” The word here translated as “red” is the same as is found in I Samuel 16:12, which is translated as “ruddy.” “Now he [David] was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to.”
Israel's Nazarites are described as being "purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies" (Lamentations 4:7 KJV). What peoples might have "ruby-red cheeks"? These are words that could never apply to darker-skinned peoples. Black, brown, yellow or even olive-skinned Mediterranean-type people could never be called "ruddy in body."
This word “ruddy” is from the Hebrew word “awdome” and means “rosy.” It is the same word used in The Song of Solomon 5:10 and Isaiah 1:18 (“red like crimson”). There can be no doubt that this word means ruddy, reddish, or rosy. This is another definite statement from YEHOVAH God’s inspired Word proving that the Israelites were a fair-skinned, ruddy complexioned type of people.
This author also says: "The Old Testament book The Song of Solomon appears to confirm this description of Yeshua the Messiah. Many theologians are convinced that the 'Husband' in this book has a dual fulfillment in both Solomon and, prophetically, in the Messiah: 'My beloved [husband] is white and ruddy...(Song of Solomon 5:10 KJV)''' (R. Weiland, p. 342, emphasis theirs). This is the same description of David. And since the Messiah is a descendant of David and Solomon, its only logical that Yeshua looks or resembles David.
In the Messiah’s day, a large segment of the Judahite population was Greek-speaking and Hellenistic in outlook. (See John 12:20; Acts 6:1.). The Greek Hellenistic style for men was to wear the hair short (Cornfeld, pp. 15, 146). On page 146 of Daniel to Paul is a picture of a “marble statuette of an unidentified man of the Hellenistic period -- a time of close contacts between the Jewish and Hellenistic civilizations in thought, art, and everyday life. Whether Jewish or Gentile, he evokes his age and environment.” Notice that the author, a learned historian and archaeologist, COULD NOT TELL whether the man was Gentile or Jewish (Judahite). Why? Both races are white! In the days of the Messiah the Judahites were white!
Job also was undoubtedly a descendant of Issachar a son of Israel (see Genesis 46:13). “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job” (Job 1:1). JOB WAS THE CHEOPS WHO BUILT THE GREAT PYRAMID. Cheops was the same person as Khufu, and Khufu, according to the Egyptian Manetho, “was of a different race” from the true Egyptians (Wathen, Arts and Antiquities of Egypt).
Now let us examine a very interesting quotation concerning Cheops proving that he was not of the dark-skinned, dark-haired Egyptian type.
“The pigmentation of the Egyptians was usually a brunette white; in the conventional figures the men are represented as red, the women often as lighter, and even white. Although the hair is almost inevitably black or dark brown, and the eyes brown, Queen Hetep-Heres II, of the fourth dynasty, the daughter of Cheops, the builder of the great pyramid, is shown in the coloured bas reliefs of her tomb to have been a definite blonde. Her hair is painted a bright yellow stippled with fine red horizontal lines, and her skin is white. This is the earliest known evidence of blondism in the world” (Coon, The Races of Europe, p. 98). [Emphasis is mine].
These ancient Egyptian paintings show Israelite men wearing plaid kilts like the Celts and Scots. Note the fringes or tsitsith (Numbers 15:38).
One such source, C. F. Parker in Israel's Migrations, states, "The most concrete evidence as to the ethnological characteristics of the true Israelites is to be found in the period c.1400-900 B.C., and when they had been in occupation of the Promised Land for over 500 years. This evidence shows conclusively that the Israelites were of the Nordic type, a fact which has taken the scholarly world completely by surprise...It is evident that to the element of surprise, not a little confusion has been added, in that the predominating and almost sole type to be found in the lands of Israel's settlement was Nordic, but has wrongly been called 'Amorite' by even the highest authorities on the subject" (p. 9, emphasis added).
These Israelites were, as Parker states, "Nordic people [erroneously called 'Amorite'] who occupied exactly the territory of Israel, even to that [portion of land] on the east of [the] Jordan [River] -- a fact which further confirms their identity as Israelites." As we have seen, Sayce identifies these people as similar to the "fair Kelts of an Irish village"; but he also traces them into Britain and Ireland! There is no break in the chain of evidence, and the accuracy of his identification is further established when he remarks: [from The Hittites; p. 16ff., emphasis added].
The Table of Nations in the Bible (Genesis 10) is NOT indicating that all people present on the earth today can trace themselves back to Noah's sons. This Table does not mention certain nations that were known to Israel at the time of its writing, or North Africa, or nations in the Far East (India and eastward). This would be odd if it's supposed to explain where those nations came from.
Creationists would have us believe that eight white people -- Noah and his family -- that existed after the Flood, somehow changed into different racial types almost instantaneously. Why is it that this type of drastic evolutionary change has never occurred since? If we can believe that such a racial transformation occurred, then there should be no reason not to believe any manner of evolution occurring over tens of millions of years -- for the latter is more believable than the former!
The science of ethnology and anthropology have shown that every single racial type that existed prior to the Flood existed after it. This, of course, proves that the Flood was confined to a specific geographical location. ALL people on earth were NOT destroyed by the Flood as creationists would have us believe. It cannot be supported by any rational or biblical means that all races were destroyed by a flood and then instantaneously reappeared or were formed thereafter. All the races on this planet were separately created by YEHOVAH God and they each survived the Flood -- as did numerous other life forms -- by being outside its realm and geographical influence.
The Table of Nations tells us where the white nations descended from Noah's sons dispersed to after the Flood, and does NOT mention all the other nations that came through the Flood.
Bible Proof Texts
Now let's examine some of the so called "proof texts" that some use to prove that the Israelites were black.
Job 30:30 says, "My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat." By itself people tend to say this proves the Israelites were black; but of course people forget the context. Verse 28 says, "I went mourning without the sun:" or as it should read "I go about blackened, but not by the sun." (Pulpit Commentary) which means "Grief and suffering, according to Oriental notions," (ibid.). So first of all he is black but not by the sun but by grief and suffering. So if the sun can turn him black, then he must be white! And what did Job suffer from? By the burning ulcers and black scabs with which he was covered, (Job 2:7-8) this is why his skin was black!
In lamentations 5:10 it says, "Our skin was black like an oven." Many forget to quote the rest of the verse that says their skin was black "because of the terrible famine." Hunger dries up the pores so that the skin becomes like as if it were scorched by the sun. This proves they were white. The same is the context in Job 30:30.
Jeremiah 8:21 says, "For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me." Many miss the context of the verse. Jeremiah is not talking about his skin color but how he feels inside. Mourning and grief “The root means rather 'foulness' or 'squalor' than 'blackness' (comp. Job 6:16,)" (Pulpit Commentary). He is sad in visage with grief (Joel 2:6), nothing to do with the color of his skin.
In the Song of Solomon many quote chapter 5 verse 11 that says, "His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven." Yet never quote Verse 10 that says, “My beloved is WHITE and RUDDY, the chiefest among ten thousand." The raven-blackness of the hair contrasts with the whiteness and redness of the countenance, which shines forth as from a dark ground, from a black border. You know there are many English and Irish people that have white skin blue eyes and black bushy hair. This proves the Israelites were and are Caucasian.
Daniel 7:9 says, "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire." Again the context must be understood. His garment was white as snow. His hair “like” pure wool. Not the texture but the whiteness. “That is, for whiteness -- a characteristic of venerable age. Compare the notes at Revelation 1:14. The image here set before us is that of one venerable by years and wisdom.” (Barnes).
Revelation 1:14 the same depiction is given, "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;" It is not speaking of the texture of his hair but the color of his hair was white "like" wool.
What about his feet? The Bible says, "And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace;" Does this prove that the Messiah was black? The Ellicott Commentary explains, "The exact meaning of this word (used only here) is not certain. The most trustworthy authors incline to take it as a hybrid word, half Greek, half Hebrew -- chalcos, brass, and labân, white, to whiten -- and understand it to signify brass which has attained in the furnace a white heat." (emphasis added).
White heat means, "a temperature (as for copper and iron from 1500° to 1600° C) which is higher than red heat and at which a body becomes brightly incandescent" (Merriam Webster under "white heat" emphasis added). His feet were like metal burning so hot they were burning bright, "brightly incandescent" meaning "white, glowing, or luminous with intense heat" (ibid., under "incandescent" emphasis added). So there is no proof of the Messiah being black in this scripture either.
Acts 13:1 is another proof text, it says, "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul." Simeon was called "Niger" which means "Black." Many say that this means they called him "Niger" because he was black. Now nothing more is known of him, but his surname "Niger" was common in the Roman world, as the People's New Testament says, "As Niger means 'black,' some have fancied that he was an African, but Niger was as common a Roman surname as Black is now." (emphasis added). Some speculate that it could mean that he was black but that is what it is -- pure speculation!
Joseph the Egyptian
Some people claim that the Israelites were of the Egyptian race because the Canaanites called them, "Egyptians" (Genesis 50:11). Since the Egyptians are from Noah's son Ham, they claim that the Israelites are therefore of the black race. Is this true?
The Egyptians themselves called Joseph a "Hebrew" (Genesis 39:14, 17; 41:12). So the Egyptians themselves knew the difference between them and the Hebrews. They even called Canaan the "land of the Hebrews" (Genesis 40:15).
When Joseph found favor in Pharaoh’s sight, he dressed him in Egyptian apparel and jewelry (Genesis 41:42), riding Egyptian vehicles (Genesis 41:43). Then gave him an Egyptian name, "And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah;" (Genesis 41:45). Now if the Canaanites see people dressed in Egyptian clothing, and jewels, and drive Egyptian vehicles, obviously they are going to call them "Egyptians" even though racially they are not. In Exodus 2:16-19 Moses was called an Egyptian as well. So ethnically Joseph was NOT an Egyptian.
What of Joseph’s wife? Many believe he married an Egyptian; therefore their sons were of Egyptian ethnicity as well. "…he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On" (Genesis 41:45). It does not state that she was an Egyptian at all. Now, given that "On" was in the Goshen area where many Arameans and their aristocracy settled, it is reasonable to assume that he married into that stock for the Egyptians proper were driven southwards. White says, "Around 1750 BC the Babylonians overthrew the Kingdom of Mari (i.e., the Aramaeans -- sometimes incorrectly labeled as Amorites by historians). Many of the tribes under Mari control migrated westwards and infiltrated into the Goshen or delta region of northern Egypt" (A Note on the Hyskos and Joseph’s Marriage, p.1). This is why Pharaoh told the Israelites to dwell in Goshen so they can dwell with their own people who were also shepherds (Genesis 46:34).
"For every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians" (Genesis 46:34). If they were such an abomination to the Egyptians what reason would they have to intermarry with them?
The Arameans were of the same stock as Israel (Genesis 10:22). Although her name is Egyptian, remember that most Black Americans, for example, have names of Whites, so a name itself is not proof for her being a Black Egyptian.
The Aramaeans were closely akin to the Hebrews. Aram is a son of Shem (Genesis 10:22). The Israelites were even taught to say "A Syrian (Aramaean) ready to perish was my father" (Deuteronomy 26:5). In Genesis 24 and 29 we find that the kinship of the Hebrews and Arameans was cemented by the marriage of Isaac with Rebekah, the sister Aramaean, Laban; and later of Jacob with his daughters. In I Chronicles 7:14 the Israelite Manasseh marries an Aramaean woman. This demonstrates the ethnic closeness of the descendants of Arphaxad through the generations to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with the descendants of Aram.
|Cult statue of Joseph found in Avaris and reconstructed. He has flaming red hair and white skin.|
It has also been stated in Egypt that the Tribes tended to marry only within themselves and thus physical differences between different tribes were emphasized (Rabbi Avigdor Miller, A Nation is Born, Parshat Beshelach, Exodus 15; 27). So Joseph's wife was of the same race as Joseph -- Aramean.
Moses the Egyptian
As noted above Moses was called an "Egyptian." Others outside of Egypt would of called him an Egyptian because of his dress, but racially he was not an Egyptian. The Egyptians themselves knew the difference between them and the Israelites.
Moses was of the tribe of Levi (Exodus 2:1). When Moses was found in the river, the Egyptian daughter of Pharaoh herself said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." (Exodus 2:6). Even she knew the difference between the Egyptians and the Hebrews. At that time there were many non-Egyptians in Egypt. The Israelites were now enslaved in Egypt but not necessarily that distinguishable in dress, etc, from the others. This would apply especially to Moses who had been raised by Egyptians in the Egyptian manner.
Judging by archaeological remains, the ancient Egyptians were, on the whole, not black but rather mainly of Mediterranean type. Egypt is on the fringe of Africa passing into Asia. Due to climate AND environment the further south you go in Egypt the darker the people become. Some of the Egyptians could be quite fair, others very dark. This applies today and it applied then even though the racial stock may have changed somewhat.
You will note most have dark hair; some are darkish, some of brown or yellowish complexion, others light skinned. There are a few women of blondish and light brown-haired appearance, etc, and these may have been of foreign origin or not. Blondish types elsewhere, without outside admixture, account for ca.15% of the Mediterranean physical type. Also, amongst the Ancient Libyans, and the modern Hamitic Berbers both of whom were close of kin to the Ancient Egyptians blondish types are found.
It is admitted that most Ancient Egyptians where darkish when compared to modern Westerners. Some more fair haired types however were also present. These too, in the eyes of outsiders, would have been considered Egyptian. So when the daughters of Jethro saw Moses, they knew he was Egyptian, not by race, but more by appearance, since the overall racial features of Egyptians were somewhat dark, there were also light colored Egyptians as well.
A Midrash says that albino blond and red-haired types ("Bohakanim") were common amongst the Tribes of Simeon and Levi. One relatively recent and somewhat obscure commentator (Etz Yoseph, ca. 1845, on Midrash Tanchuma) opines that most of the high Priests had red or golden hair. At all events red-hair is fairly common amongst the Israelites. It could be that those who are Levites may have a slightly higher percentage of red-heads amongst them. Most likely Moses was a red head.
What of Moses' wife. The Bible says, "for he had married an Ethiopian woman" (Numbers 12:1). Was she black?
Moses fled to Midian (Exodus 2:15), and met Jethro or Reuel (Exodus 2:18), and married “Zipporah his daughter” (Exodus 2:21). These were also called the Kenites. Judges 1:16 says, “And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law.” And Moses father in-law was, “Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law” (Numbers 10:29). The Hebrew word for Ethiopian is “kûshı̂yth” (Strong’s #3571). A Cushite.
In Habakkuk 3 it says, “I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.” (v.7). Cushan (kûshân Strong’s #3572), is the same word as Cushite.
Gill’s Commentary writes, “The same with Cush or Ethiopia; hence the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it, ‘the tents of the Ethiopians’; and these are the same with ‘the curtains of Midian’ in the next clause, tents being made of curtains, and the Ethiopians and Midianites the same people; so the daughter of the priest of Midian, whom Moses married, is called an Ethiopian woman, Exodus 2:21” (Emphasis added).
The JFB Commentary says the same thing, “the same as Cush; made “Cush-an” to harmonize with “Midi-an” in the parallel clause. So Lotan is found in the Hebrew of Genesis for Lot. Bochart therefore considers it equivalent to Midian, or a part of Arabia. So in Num 12:1, Moses’ Midianite wife is called an Ethiopian (Hebrew, Cushite).” (Emphasis theirs and mine).
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia under “Cushan” writes, “‘the tents of Cushan’ are mentioned in an individualizing description of the effects of a theophany. Parallel is the phrase ‘the curtains of the land of Midian.’ Septuagint renders Cushan, כּוּשׁן, kūshān, by Αἰθιόπων, Aithiópōn, reading perhaps כּוּשׁים, kūshı̄m, or כּוּשׁין, kūshı̄n (כּוּשׁן, kūshin). The context indicates that the same land or people is intended…” (emphasis added). So Cushan and Midian is one and the same people. But why are they called “Cushan”? Some seem to think its Cush of the black races because they are predisposed to think that Cush was black, but clearly Midian is meant, who are Semitic in the conventional understanding. The Midianites are descendant of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:1-2).The answer lies in the Bible.
In Judges 3 the Israelites were oppressed by a power in Syria, where the Midianites dwelt at that time! It was headed by “Chushan-rishathaim.” He was “King of Mesopotamia.” (v.8). “or Aramnaharaim; that is, Syria, between the two rivers, which were Tigris and Euphrates; hence the Greek name of this place is as here called Mesopotamia” (Gill’s Commentary).
This name “Cushan” was “analogous to other Oriental titles of royalty” (JFB Commentary) like “Hur” or the Hurranians, the warrior class of the Midiantes. Since Jethro was a priest Of Midian, Cushan was one of the titles he also had since he was a man of importance. Hence Moses’ wife was called a “Cushite.” Also, however, because Cush was white and of the same stock as his father Noah, Moses did not marry a black woman but the Midianite Zipporah who was also of Noah's white stock.
Yeshua the Messiah
Since the Messiah is a descendant of David and Solomon, its only logical that Yeshua looks or resembles David.
Publius Lentrelus, a resident of Judea in the Messiah’s time, wrote about the Messiah and said that he had "...eyes bright blue..." (Weiland., p. 341). Just like David! The Messiah most likely had reddish or blond Hair, Maybe even freckles? Many writers like the letter to Caesar himself by Pontius Pilate, and "Gamaliel's interview," about the Messiah all describe him with light colored hair and eyes, see ibid., pp. 340-341.
Some argue that the Messiah went to Egypt (Matthew 2:14) when he was a boy because he would blend in with the other Egyptians because he was the same color as them. Again this is pure speculation and not based on the facts. In fact the reason Egypt would of been a great place for them to flee is because "Mary and Joseph's flight to Egypt was not an odd move. Eighty-five percent of all Israelites lived outside of Israel, and Alexandria, Egypt, contained a large and old Israelite population. Joseph and Mary may have had friends or relatives there" (McDowell He Walked Among Us, p.199, emphasis mine). That's why they went to Egypt not because he looked Egyptian, but because he was AN ISRAELITE! (John 4:9).
Some say that the reason why Simon the Cyrene was called to carry the cross piece for the Messiah (Matthew 27:32) is because he was of Cyrene. "Cyrene was a city of Libya, in Africa, lying west of Egypt." (Barnes Commentary). However at the time Cyrene was a Phoenician colony
"where Jews and Phoenicians and their descendants had been working together for centuries [see Acts 11:19-26]...Large populations of our race [meaning Phoenicians] permanently settled in Africa, in Egypt and other parts about Cyrene...both Crete and Cyrene had a large Jewish population... " (Coming of the Saints, John Taylor, pp. 16, 49, 52).
They also had a large Israelite population as well. Most likely Simon was an Israelite since he was in Palestine for the Passover. Barnes even admits, "There were many Jews there [in Cyrene], and they were in the habit, like others, of going frequently to Jerusalem."
What of the scriptures in the book of Revelation? The description of Yeshua the Messiah in the book of Revelation has been misquoted by many to suit their ideas about the Messiah. Many believe that these scriptures prove that Yeshua was black. But does it really?
Notice, "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow;" (Revelation 1:14). The scriptures here are not speaking of the texture of his hair, as some claim -- and the reason they claim this is because they misquote the scriptures -- it is speaking of the color of his hair and head. His hair was WHITE "LIKE" WOOL, not the texture of wool as some claim and say that his hair was like the hair of a black man. But instead it says that the Messiah’s head and hair were "white."
The same description is given in Daniel 7:9, "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire." Like the pure wool again the context is NOT the texture but the color like his garment was white as snow so was his hair, "That is, for whiteness -- a characteristic of venerable age. Compare the notes at Rev 1:14. The image here set before us is that of one venerable by years and wisdom" (Barnes Notes, emphasis added).
The next scripture says, "And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace;" His feet were "like" fine brass. What color would that be? Barnes Notes,
"The word used here -- χαλκολιβάνω chalkolibanō -- occurs in the New Testament only here and in Revelation 2:18. It is not found in the Septuagint. The word properly means 'white brass' (probably compounded of χαλκός chalkos, brass, and λίβανος libanos, whiteness, from the Hebrew לבן laban, white). Others regard it as from χαλκός chalkos, brass, and λιπαρόν liparon, clear. The metal referred to was undoubtedly a species of brass distinguished for its clearness or whiteness. Brass is a compound metal, composed of copper and zinc. The color varies much according to the different proportions of the various ingredients. The Vulgate here renders the word 'aurichalcum,' a mixture of gold and of brass -- perhaps the same as the ἠλεκτρον ēlektron -- the electrum of the ancients, composed of gold and of silver, usually in the proportion of four parts gold and one part silver, and distinguished for its brilliancy. See Robinson, Lexicon, and Wetstein, in loco. The kind of metal here referred to, however, would seem to be some compound of brass -- of a whitish and brilliant color" (emphasis added).
The Popular New Testament also translates it "white brass."
Notice the rest of the description "as if they burned in a furnace" The JFB Commentary states, "having in the furnace reached a white heat:" The heat so intense he was glowing white, as the Dictionary.com defines white heat as,"an intense heat at which a substance glows with white light." (White Heat, emphasis added). Remember the Messiah’s feet were "like" white brass, the same color as white heat glowing in a brilliant white light.
Now if the Israelites were black, why is it that the black nations DO NOT have the blessings of Israel? They are NOT a nation and a company of nations (Genesis 35:10-11; 48 and 49).
They are NOT the leader nations of the world (Jeremiah 31:7).
YEHOVAH God said that after the deportations into captivity seven times would pass, and then the Israelites would receive their blessings. 2520 years passed, which comes to 1800 A.D. and who became a nation and a company of nations? The British and American peoples -- NOT the black Africans!
The Israelites would also administer justice and judgment around the world (Genesis 18:19). They would be YEHOVAH's battle axe against tyrants and dictators (Jeremiah 51:20). They would a have strong global military (Genesis 49:23-24; Micah 5:7-15). These blessings all belong to the British and American peoples.
They would also be Christian nations (Genesis 49:24).
In fact there is a prophecy that the black people would go to them and become part of their country, and convert because they know YEHOVAH God is with them, and that the Israelites would set them free from slavery, "Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God" (Isaiah 45:14).
The verse itself speaks of an ultimate acknowledgement of the God of Israel by the captives. According to our understanding of the Prophet Isaiah (43:3 and 45:14 and the verses around them) it was predicted that the Lost Ten Tribes would rule over India, Egypt and much of Africa. The trade with India would be theirs, the recompense arriving (via the Suez Canal) at Egypt would be theirs, and they would transport Africans (many of whom were large-bodied) across the seas. Notice it says, "in chains they shall come over." The black slaves were brought to them in chains by the Muslim masters who controlled the slave trade at the time.
The British ruled India. Economically they gained very much from trade with India, they ruled Egypt and controlled the Suez Canal linking the Mediterranean Sea with the East. They also controlled much of Africa and the Negro slaves in chains were sent by them and others acting on their behalf across the Sea to North America and to the West Indies.
During that time of great colonization, Israel was, "to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;" (Isaiah 49:8). The prophecy says, "That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places" (Isaiah 49:9). The British let the prisoners go in North America and the West indies, as well as Australia in the colonies, and they became part of the citizens of America, Canada and Australia and became Christian in religion.
The British and American possess the "gates of their enemies" (Genesis 24:60). During the last of the nineteenth century and much of the twentieth, Britain had possessions all over the globe! Here are some of them: Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Gibraltar, Malta, Crete, the Suez Canal, The Khyber Pass, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Ceylon, Rhodesia, Kenya, and Tanganyika; Singapore and the Straits of Malacca; Hong Kong, Brunei, the Gilberts and Solomons, New Georgia and New Guinea; Santa Cruz. In the Atlantic, Britain controlled the Hebrides, the Falklands, Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbuda, Antigua, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and British Honduras, as well as British Guiana.
The major sea and land gates of the world were possessed almost entirely by the British and the United States.
For our own part, the strategic location of the United States itself, protected from Europe's wars by the vast Atlantic and Pacific oceans, has played a vital role in the preservation of freedom in America. We possessed vitally important sea gates and strategic island defenses in the Panama Canal; Guantanamo on Cuba, the Hawaiian Islands; Midway, Guam, and Wake. We possessed the frigid island chain of the Aleutians with Dutch Harbor. Only a cursory knowledge of history would serve to impress upon anyone the vital, all-important strategic value of these areas.
Britain possessed Gibraltar and Suez, thereby bottling up the Mediterranean, and with Malta, Crete and Cyprus available as naval bases, not to mention Alexandria, in Egypt, as well as the Bosporus-Dardanelles between European Turkey and the Anatolian Peninsula, bottling up the Black Sea. Britain stood astride the most vital sea lanes in the world.
Add to this the huge naval base at Singapore and the Straits of Malacca, Hong Kong on the Chinese littoral, together with Brunei, and one gets a picture of how and why Britain was able, together with the Dutch (who are the descendants of Zebulon, another of the so-called "lost ten tribes") who possessed the East Indies, to maintain a powerful naval and military presence in the Far East. What about the possession between those two SAXON BROTHERS, the Great Company of Nations of Britain, and America, a great single powerful nation "Possessing the Gates of their enemies." THE STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF ALL OF THOSE AREAS, IS IMPOSSIBLE TO OVER EMPHASIZE!
Israel were also to be a missionary people. YEHOVAH God says, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen" (Isaiah 43:10). Britain and America, involved in the great missionary movements of the 17th to the 20th centuries that converted many peoples to Christianity -- including the Black Africans -- is unprecedented. Missionaries gave their lives to delivering the Gospel to the heathen. The colonial charters of the American colonies specifically say that the colonies were created for the spreading of the Gospel to the heathen. Only the British, Americans, and other Northwestern Europeans can make this claim -- while the Black Africans were still lost in heathenism.
In conclusion, according to the blessings in the Bible, the races and where they migrated to, the description of the Israelites and the Semites in the Bible, one can only come to the conclusion that the Israelites are of the white race and NOT black.
-- Edited by John D. Keyser.
Hope of Israel Ministries – Courage for the Sake of Truth is Far better Than Silence for the Sake of Unity!
|Scan with your