What makes one heirs of Yahweh’s earthly promise and citizens of His eternal kingdom? Is it their parentage, geographic place of birth, colour or other criteria? Is it reserved for descendants of Israel or all humans and if the former, who are real Israelites? There is a lot of theoretical answers to these questions by various groups. Some are claiming that they are the real Jews or Israelites and others are imposters or gentiles. Even causing hostility, anger or resentment of other groups. So at the end of the study we can ask the real Jew to please stand up and others to sit down.
As bible believers who desire to be part of the titled group let us see what the source of our faith says on the criteria to be of the group. Whether it matters if we are part of that Israelite group or is it a divisive deceit of the devil in order to gather armies to fight God’s people in the Revelation battle of Armageddon or make claim to the earthly land of Israel.
As we study, bear in mind God created all humans, what he desires for them and the way He has gone about it setting up one nation as a light to the other nations. Bear in mind 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
I have in the past done a presentation titled “My People”, the term used by God for His group. I have also done one called “Spirit of the Torah”. Then d one going through many of the bible verses some groups use to substantiate their claim of being the real Israelites. I do not intend to duplicate any of those points here; but suggest you listen to those studies to add to this one. What I am aiming to do in this study is trace the formation and composition of “Israel” before they went into Egypt, when they came out, if they changed during the years until the Messiah came and stop at to where they possibly dispersed in AD 70 at the time of the temple’s destruction. To follow my evidence you first need to understand the difference between “Israel the nation” and a “Hebrew”. The latter is by birth or bloodline and the former is an amalgamation of various individuals or group. For example, in England we have the “English” by birth or bloodline and we have the “English or British” made up of various residents in England. If a war occurred in England not only the English by birth would flee or fight and if conquered, not only the English by birth would be subjected to the rules of the conqueror. “2Co 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I”. One can be a man; but not necessarily a husband or father”.
The Bible says the Israelites and other nations were descendants of Noah and his sons after the flood Gen 10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. Gen 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. It then gives a genealogy of each son’s descendants with Abraham (formerly Abram) descending from Shem.
From son Ham, came the people of Canaan whose land God took away and gave to the seed of Abraham of Shem because of their wickedness. Yet Ham was the ancestor of Nineveh, via Cush and Nimrod (book of Jonah). Nineveh earned God’s favour when repented of their sins. I mention this as we know Nimrod and Nineveh were sinners, yet God sent Jonah to inform Nineveh how to be pardoned by Him, they heeded to the information and were pardoned for their repentance. Simply, some descendants of Ham were punished for wickedness and others were pardoned for turning from that wickedness; showing it is not about one’s genealogy; but repented state as explained in Eze 3:16+. Sodom and Gomorrah also came from Ham via Canaan and God told Abraham in Gen 19 if ten righteous were found in that city He would pardoned the whole city.
Terah, Abram’s father was from the land of Ur of the Chaldees (Gen 11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees). From there they went and lived in the land of Canaan (Gen 11:32). From there God called Abram and told him to go to another foreign nation where he would receive God’s blessing and through him all the families of the earth will be blessed (Gen 12:3; 22:18; 28:14). So everyone, regardless of heritage, location or colour have access to this promise of God.
Gen 12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. Haran being the name of his Abram’s brother (11:26) and also the name of the land of their nativity in Ur of the Chaldees from where they went into Canaan with all their servants (Gen 12:5). The point to note is where the master goes his servants go too as part of his household. We will see this again when Jacob goes into Egypt with 70 souls from his loins; but also with numerous servants and in Ezra 2:64-65 which reads Ezr 2:64 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
Ezr 2:65 Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven:. It is this Canaan land, the second place of Abraham’s habitation, that God promises him (Gen 12:7). He continues his journey towards the south. Note there were mountains in that land (Gen 12:8). This will be relevant in A.D. 70. After residing in the south, a famine came causing him to go into Egypt to escape it (12:10). After the lying incident in Egypt of calling Sarai his sister he goes back through the south, again taking all his servants (13:1, 7) and end up where he was prior in Canaan (Gen 13:3, 12:6-7). Here Abraham gets a second promise, different to the one of the whole earth being blessed through him. It relates to his seed being given the lands to the north, south, east and west of Canaan. Being from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates (13:15; 15:18). One of the conditions and signs of that promise is the circumcision covenant of all male descendants on the 8th day not 9th 10th or future (Gen 17:8,10). So to clarify, as Paul spoke in the New Testament, circumcision is neither a law nor a salvation issue; but one of land. We see the stranger living among Israel the nation was to be circumcised (v12) and later also got allotment of land (Josh 20:9). Again we see in 17:27 all Abraham’s servants are treated as his household. Two of the same blood line get circumcised, him and Ishmael and at least 318 male servants. God’s laws were always for Jew and non Jew Ex 12:29, Lev 25:23, Num 15:16.
Israel the nation really starts with God’s promise to Abraham. When Abraham moves from place to place he takes all his servants. When he dies, his children inherit the servants and their offspring. Gen 12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. Gen 12:16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. Gen 13:1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. Gen 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. Gen 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. Gen 17:12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. Gen 17:26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. Gen 17:27 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him. Gen 25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
In Gen 14:14 we see the ratio of Abraham’s direct family, him and Sarai, to his household is say 318 men to him only. Later, when Isaac is born the ratio may remain as his servants would also have had children. Lastly for this section, God tells him his descendants will go into Egypt and come out four generations later (Gen 15:13).
In Genesis 24, Isaac is born, Abraham sends his eldest servant to get a wife for Isaac from his kindred rather than from among the Canaanites (v3). That city being of his brother Nahor in Mesopotamia (24:10). So Isaac marries Rebekah of the same blood line. She has a brother Laban whose two daughters will later marry Jacob, Abraham’s grandson. Abraham marries again (25:1) and has many other sons via concubines. All of whom would adopt the tradition of circumcision and may or may not continue it. He sends those sons away to the east (v6) with whom the nation of Israel would later fight (Judges 6:3). So now we have numerous people with the custom of circumcision albeit starting off living in Abraham’s and his sons’ household; inclusive of Ishmael. I point this out to show it is possible for other nations to have the same customs as the Israelites / Jews, yet not be Jews i.e. Ruth who married into the family, custom and God. See also Esther 1.1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:) and Acts 8.
Scripture does not say whether Isaac was a Syrian like his father Abraham; nor whether it is another name for his place of birth in Ur of the Chaldees from Gen 11:28 or one got from a place to which he later moved. However, Rebekah his wife is also said to be a Syrian (25:20) as is her brother Laban. Later, for example in 1 Chron 19:10, we see Israel fighting the Syrians showing ancestral origins did not prevent wars. Rebekah has two sons which God says represents two nations; Esau the first born and Jacob. A famine arises and Isaac, like his father Abraham travels to the land of the Philistines, Gerar. God tells him not to go down to the land of the Egyptians; but to remain there. God repeats the promise given to Abraham regarding the land to him. Like his father prospered in Egypt, Isaac prospers in Gerar and comes out with many servants.
Esau marries outside his blood line; Canaan women and of Ishmael’s daughters; but Jacob runs away and marries his uncle’s two daughters Leah and Rachael. He has six of the twelve sons via Leah, two each from each of the daughters’ maids and two via Rachael of whom the eleventh was Joseph. The one who was sold into Egypt. Thus the twelve sons and tribes of Israel. It is most likely the maids were non blood line to Abraham and Laban as scriptures seems to say when they are i.e. in Gen 11:29 regarding Sarah and 29:16 regarding Leah and Rachel. If that is correct, four of the sons’ future generations would be of mixed blood. Laban and his daughters were false god worshippers i.e. of idols (Gen 31:19, 30) showing that blood linage did not guarantee salvation. After the formation of Israel the nation, many of them too died being idol worshippers.
Jacob returns to Canaan, on the way meeting his brother Esau in the land of Edom and finds Esau has also been blessed by God in terms of possessions (Gen 33:18, Gen 32:3, 33:9, 36:6, Deu 2:5). Remember Esau inherited all Isaac had when he died as Jacob had ran away. So although technically he had sold his birthright, he practically still got it in the sense he got the possessions, though not the blessing of being father of many nations whereby his genealogy would be mentioned. That was reserved for Jacob and possibly the purpose of the birthright transfer [1Ch 5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.]
In the account of the raping of Dinah we read Simeon and Levi killing all the men of that city and taking the young children and wives to be part of their group. These captives would then be circumcised according to the custom and any offspring whether mixed with Israelites or not; become part of Israel’s group. Israel then takes all his household, inclusive of servants and captives to Bethel, another part of Canaan (Gen 35:1-2, 6). Finally he arrives back at the same territory of his father Isaac and grand father Abraham, in Mamre, in Hebron which is in Canaan (35:27, 45:25). So all three patriarchs moved around i.e. being sojourners as later called as is Israel the nation (1Chron 29:15).
So as a recap. We have three main groups of people all having been given the custom of circumcision. Esau of the Edomites, Ishmael and Jacob / Israel. The custom also possibly extending to their servants and whole household of various origins. Balaam, though a sorcerer, was a prophet of God, hence why Balak sent for him. He did not come out Egypt with Moses and Israel so God had others from other ancestry than the 70+ who went into Egypt. They can be God’s people, in terms of knowing and obeying His ways, without being of “Israeli”. i.e. the bible does not say; but Balaam could have been a Hebrew; but not an Israeli! A Jew can be a sorcerer see Acts 13:6,8; Isa 47:9, 57:3, Jer 27:7; Mal 7:5).
We also have these three groups inter marrying with other blood lines. We shall now trace the blood line of Jacob whose name is changed to Israel. Jacob takes his household from Canaan into Egypt. These include his sons and grandsons with their wives and children (Gen 46:7).
Another crucial point for us to understand is the English word “children” compared to the Hebrew word(s) from which it was translated. In Hebrew the word is H1121 בֵּן bên bane From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation,. Note in the “widest sense, builder of a family name”. It is used 4925 times in the KJV. There are a few other Hebrew words also translated “children” but they are used very few times. Some being H3025 in Genesis 16:1, 30:1; H1129 in Gen 16:2, 30:3; H3206 in Gen 30:26, 33:1-7, Exodus 1:17-18, 21:4; H3211 in Num 13:22; H2945 in Num 14:3, 16:27.
What is the difference between these “children”? It is like asking what is the difference between Israel’s children and Israel’s children. It depends on which “Israel” we are referring. Israel the nation, extended family, congregation that went into and came out of Egypt or “Israel” the individual who was first named Jacob. H1121 is used when the “children” refer to more than the literal out of your loins or womb children as with Eve in Genesis 3:16 referring to all future human children compared to Gen 33:1-7 which limited “children” to those directly from Jacob and his wives. So God gave His laws and commandments to “Israel” in the “widest sense” of its use. Those humans who have separated themselves onto Him not of any specific bloodline, colour or birth.
All the direct souls from Israel’s loins that came into Egypt are 70 (Ex 1:5). However, he also had servants, as maybe also some of his sons who had families. We should remember with Abraham and Isaac, servants and captives became part of the household and many times outnumbered the actual true bloodline descendants. Jacob’s servants came from the people of the East. Jacob gets many servants born in or from the land of “the East” (29:1). Gen 30:43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.(31:17, 32:5). These are the same non Isrealite people who fight Israel Judges 6:3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them. The people of the east were enemies of Israel (Jud 7:12, 8:10, 1king 4:30). Yet God had Job as a righteous man who feared God living in the east (Job 1:3).
Gen 46:7 says sixty six direct descendants of Israel’s seed went from Canaan to Egypt. Of Israel’s four wives 33 were from Leah and fourteen from Rachael i.e pure blood stock. Seven from Bilhah, Rachael’s maid and 16 from Zilpah, Leah’s maid. Making 47 to 23 ratio of pure blood stock to mixed stock. When added to Joseph’s two sons from an Egyptian wife, the ratio is 47 to 25 or about 2 to 1. However, if we were to include the servants, as with Abraham and his 318 circumcised servants to his two or three, the ratio would be numerous times in favour of the non pure blood stock or linage to the pure.
Judah, son of Leah and Jacob (pure blood), leaves his brethren and goes away where he marries a Canaanite (Gen 38:1-2) and has 3 sons. God kills the first 2 and he later has twins via Tamar (v27) These first 5 being half pure blood. Her account shows she, as a non birthright Israeli, knew and practiced the law of their God; at least about inheritance and raising up seed to dead husband. As did Ruth. Judah has total of five sons on half blood line (1Chron 2:4; 4:1).
Joseph, son of Rachael and Jacob (pure blood), marries and Egyptian woman (41:47), daughter of Egyptian priest and has two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (41:51-2). They are therefore half blood as Judah’s five sons and become two of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Joseph called a Hebrew 39:14). Reuben of Leah, had 4 sons. Simeon of Leah had 6 of which one was from a Canaanite woman (Gen 46:10).
If the ratio of non pure blood line inclusive of servants was 400 to 70 on entry into Egypt, that could be 6 to one. I make this point because 430 years later when the households multiply and become a nation leaving Egypt, there would either be a multiplication of the 2 to 1 ratio if the maids were of pure blood stock or 1 to 6 if they were not. Meaning there would either be more non pure blood stock than pure or at least half as many non pure to pure that make up the nation of Israel.
So from the origin, it was a mixed multitude going into Egypt. Thus when the bible says a mixed multitude came out in Ex 12:38 it could possibly mean the congregation was made up of individuals from various origins who became part of Israel’s descendants’ household. By now, they had forgotten the ways of their fathers (i.e. circumcision) and had adopted those of Egypt especially their gods, belief and worship practice. For this reason they had to be given the ways of the single and true God again as contained in Exodus, Leviticus and following. We shall see further on in scripture, the composition of Israel and inhabitants of the land, was a mixed multitude i.e. Solomon speaking Ecc 2:7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: So here we see non Jews had the same custom of circumcision gotten from Abraham.
IN THE WILDERNESS.
In the book of Numbers chapter 1 God instructs Moses to take a census of the men eligible for war according to their families and household. Those over 20 yrs of age. Such men would include servants. That is the custom and makes sense. Send servants to fight and die at least with you and not you on your own so that if you or family members get killed servants do not inherit all you left. Abraham took his 318 servants to rescue Lot. 2Sam 11:3, 2Sa 11:17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also, 1Ki 9:20 And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel,.
We are now at least 430 years later. We do not know who married who during that time, though we are told who are to head each tribe (Num 1:6-15). The same heads of tribes that are killed in Num 25:4 for allowing members of their tribe to commit idolatry with the Moabite women. As a result 24,000 were killed (Num 25:9). Another example of the impartial justice of God. As with 250 men of Korah’s family in Num 16:32, 35 where the earth opened up and swallowed them for challenging Moses.
However, we are to remember, the ratio of non pure blood line to pure. Secondly, before they came into the Promised land (Canaan), all those men were killed by God for their disobedience and of that generation only Caleb and Joshua survived. There is a theory that Caleb was not of pure blood line stock. So on entering Canaan, 470 years after the promise to father Abraham, we have a situation of not knowing the blood line or colour composition of Israel the nation of many people inclusive of Hebrews as there could have been further intermarriages between pure, half and quarter blood line. Descendants of people of Jacob’s loins, people of the east or strangers of other heritage that lived among them. The same possible composition as those that will enter the new heaven and earth to come. God referred to the whole mixed congregation as “Israel” to whom He gave His laws and made the covenant, not only the Hebrews. They were treated as one, so that if an individual of the congregation as trespassed His laws, His consequence was on the whole congregation. They had collective responsibility Jos 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: Jos 7:11 ISRAEL hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded THEM: for THEY have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among THEIR own stuff. Jos 7:12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: Excluding the Levites, 603,550 men of war age were numbered in Num 1:45. If we average out those 11 tribes and add the average for the Levites, we would get around 658,418 men.
If we tripled that figure to allow one female and one child under 20 years, the congregation would be about 1,975,254 which we can round up to 2 million persons. When the second census is taken in Num 26:51 the number of men is almost the same, 601,730.
That number increased when Moses warred with the Midianites and took their women and children. These would later be incorporated into the nation and inhabitants of Israel through mixed childbearing, with the men of Israel. Num 31:9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. Num31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. Num 31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Num 31:35 And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.
Before entering Canaan:
The Gibeonites deceive Joshua chapter 9 i.e. came with stale bread etc. and became servants with Israel living among them. The book of Joshua states the Israelites shared the promised land with some of the inhabitants. Due to time I will only read 2 examples; but others are in the written version.
Jos 13:13 Nevertheless the children of Israel expelled not the Geshurites, nor the Maachathites: but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day. Jos 15:63 As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day. (see 2Sam 5:6-10). Jos 16:10 And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.
Jos 20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation. (Find other scripture where strangers got land).
Jos 23:11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
Jos 23:12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: Jos 23:13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you. Sadly this is what happened. They did cleave to the remnant.
Before entering Canaan, the tribes of Israel were added to by taking in some foreign women and children of nations they conquered. After the 12 tribes entered their respective lands, as said, they were not the sole occupiers of Canaan territories; but in many cases; they shared the land with the natives of Canaan. Other scriptures referring to the sharing are in Judges 1:19+ which I will leave out due to time.
Israel sins in the land:
Jdg2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
Jdg 2:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. Jdg2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. Jdg 2:14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
Jdg2:17 ….. they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.
Judges to New Testament.
To keep the information presented within the allotted time, I will give a few scriptures to support the point that the composition of Israel changed during the entering of the Promised Land to the New Testament birth time of Yahshua and the temples destruction in A.D. 70 when further scattering came.
They were conquered many times and their land inhabited by their conquers or they taken to other countries. There they intermarried as Joseph did in Egypt, Samson with Delilah and Esther with the king of Persia. For example Jdg 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. Jdg 11:2 And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman. Jdg11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren,…
Jdg14:1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. Jdg14:2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife….See also Ruth 1:4 and Ruth marrying Boaz,
In short, there were many children born as a result of intermarriages between the tribes of Israel and other nations. Whether of pure blood, half or quarter. Using two of the most famous persons as an example we have Solomon and his 1,000 wives and concubines and Ahab and Jezebel.,.1Ki 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 1Ki 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
1Ki 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
Apart from the mixed marriages between full and part blood line, there was also strangers who were part of Israel’s population who kept the ways of their God. The following few verses shows the number of strangers at that time was probably equivalent to one tribe. They kept the Passover and Solomon included them in his prayers to God. In other words, there was no difference between them save for their place of birth.
2Ch 2:17 And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred (153,600). 2Ch 6:32 Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name's sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; 2Ch 6:33 Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name....
2Ch 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel.... 2Ch 30:25 And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. A similar thing happened when Israelis and strangers returned with Ezra Ezr 6:21 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat, Ezr 6:22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
God’s favour was passed onto persons not because of their heritage; but their obedience. For example, after Solomon, God appointed Jeroboam to be king of ten tribes. He had married an Egyptian wife (1King 11:19) yet God told him 1Ki 11:37 And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. 1Ki 11:38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee. 1Ki 11:39 And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.
Ezr 9:1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the persons of the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. Ezr 9:2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. Some people may argue that these foreign wives were later put away; but the bible actually only indicates that the priests may have put away such wives in 10:18.
Any children the kings or population had would become Israeli nationals, part of its nation. Whatever befell the nation would also befall them whether taken into captivity, left in the land or returning from captivity. When returning to the land in the books of Nehemiah and Ezra we see the extent of the intermarriages. Also not everyone returned or at that time. Daniel did not; but remained in Babylon. The book of Ezra also tells us other nations were displaced and settled in other parts of the world by their captors way before some apparently end up as slaves in Africa in 14000 i.e. Ezr 4:10 And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side the river, and at such a time.
So by the time we come to the period of the New Testament, the composition and locations of the congregation of Israel is a mixture of marriages between numerous nations some of whom remained in those nations. Even in Acts 2:5 we are told “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven”. Going by their history of intermarriages it is conceivable to deduce such practice continued either between first generation travellers or their offspring when reaching foreign lands.
So that was the composition of “Israel the nation” in the past upto the birth of the Messiah. I do not mean composition of the inhabitants of the land as many inhabited the land that did not try to come under the laws of God as the Greeks, Romans, travellers and other residents.
New Testament and beyond.
Scriptures speaks of a time when the nations of the world will be merged into one kingdom with one leader, the Messiah and king. On His arrival a new kingdom will be set up whereby the Israeli nation and gentile nations can be fellow citizens; both believing in Him and living in accordance with His father’s laws. The New Testament calls this group of believers from Israel whether Hebrew or other and of other nations the Church or body of Christ [Relevant scriptures being Rom 12:5, 1Cor 10:17, 12:27, Eph 1:22-23, 4:12,15-16, 5:23, Heb 13:3. Col 2:12]. It talks about to the Jew first and then the Gentiles. Rom 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 1Co 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
After, A.D. 70 the Jerusalem temple was destroyed and believers scattered to take this new faith of the sect of the Nazarenes to the gentile nations. But to where did they scatter? Some would have you believe they scattered to Africa, through Egypt. No scripture is given in support of this but an assumption based on Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
(Mar 13:14, Luk 21:21). The mountains being those of Africa. Jerusalem to Ghana is about 2,900 miles and to Gambia about 3,500. Those being two of the main black slave trade countries. Jews are said to have travelled this distance by foot. Then I think it is claimed, about 1400 years later were sold as slaves to the Caribbean continents and then to America. To back this hypothesis it is claimed blacks of today are the only ones with have incurred the curses of Deu 28. This is wrong. Many nations history show they also suffered the same, though the bible does not detail. i.e. When the king of Assyria threatened Hezekiah in saying 2Ch 32:13 Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand? Sheila told me she saw on the internet many cultures claiming to be the descendants of the original Israelis. From the Chinese to the English. Starting with the supposition that you are the real jews and finding scriptures to suit your stance is not the right way to arrive at the truth. I have heard Christian and non Christian religions state the bible was mentioning their religion using scriptures of the bible.
We are told in the New Testament the scattering from Jerusalem was of believers not Jews. The Romans were persecuting believers of the faith not so much of a birthright. Though believers could have mostly be of Israeli ancestry due to their Sabbath keeping; but not necessarily pure blooded ancestry.
The word mountains occur 167 times in the bible and I do not think they ever refer to any in far Africa as Ghana or thereabouts. Valleys appear 28 times and valley 148. Where there are valleys, there is commonly also a surrounding mountain which may or may not be the same mountain as those mentioned 167 times. My point being there are numerous mountains around Jerusalem itself. We saw such in Judges 1:19, 34 above for example and Eze mentions them Eze38:8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste:... Many others in neighbouring countries and thus very unlikely Matt 24:16 refers to mountains in countries so far away and never mentioned in the bible. If I was to say flee to the road, shop or out the door, it is most likely to be the nearest one. So the mountains referred to by Yahshua are those around Jerusalem or bordering countries.
The New Testament also states regions where Jews were and to where they went on pre AD 70 persecution. I would say new Jews leaving Jerusalem in AD 70 would most probably go to regions already with a Jewish population such as in Acts 2:9-11, 8:1.
Act 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. 1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Act 14:6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: Act 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people.
God does not have colour, location or race preference as He is a colourless spirit, found everywhere and created all races. He teaches anyone or colour from any location can know He cares for them and wishes them to be saved as equal as next person. He made all. The words of promise God spoke to Israel comprise of two elements, blessings for obedience and land for possession. That promise given to the whole human race through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to whom God said they will be the fathers of all nations. All inhabitants of the world. Blessings come through obedience and we see many individuals and nations received it. Ruth and Cornelious as individuals, Nineveh as a nation. All occupiers of nations have possession of land whether of Japan, china, Caribbean, Africa, Mexico or Egyptians. If things are not going right today, do not necessarily put it down to the curse of God; but the corruption of the politicians. The Canaanites land was taken away for their sinful state, as was the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Other nations kept their land. God took away the land of the utterly wicked Deu 9:5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So if ones ancestors land was taken away, consider it was because of their witchcraft practices and how many are now being brought to the one God understanding of the Bible albeit imperfect understanding initially.
Esau or the Edomites retained their land as a possession from God. So it comes down to being a sinner or not. Isiah 66 says all nations will come to worship God and Zec 14:16 adds they will keep the feast of tabernacles. That means others will also have land in the new heaven and earth. Bottom line, we are heirs of the promise citizen of the kingdom not through our colour, ancestry, place of birth or residence; but as keeper of God’s laws. In Rom 11 it says all Israel will be saved once they all believe in Yahshua and keep His Fathers commandments. Non birthright gentiles can be grafted into the olive tree of Israel thus becoming Israelites. So when the Old Testament says Jacob will be father of all nations and the New that all Israel will be saved, it means all the obedient individual humans. That is your criteria to attain and not be deceived by the deceits of the adversary it is about race.
Plsm 39:12. All humans are strangers and sojourners in this earth. We are merely passing through like the wind.
Many people write on the Jews as a nation. What happen to them, to where they travelled and whether the ones in Israel now are the real ones. They focus on the forest as a whole. I have tried to break it down to the type of trees that make up that forest. They focus on the group as a whole, probably to make a biblical claim to the land that the bible says comes with God’s authority. However, I do not think they look at it from God’s eyes. As seen others as Esau and Lot got land. Strangers who joined themselves to Israel and their God got land (Josh 20:9, Eze 47:23). Abraham, Isaac or Jacob were not promised nor given the land because they were Jews, as there were no Jews or Israelis at that time. They were given it because of Abraham’s obedience and what God knew of him Gen 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. Gen 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
That blessing and land came with a condition repeated to all generations.
Gen 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. Gen 17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
I think we would be more familiar with them being mention in the blessings and curses as told by Moses to the people before he died. I will quote them as passed onto Solomon by his father David 1Ki 2:1 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 1Ki 2:2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;
1Ki 2:3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: 1Ki 2:4 That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
We read Solomon failed to follow this instruction and the kingship did not pass unto his children. We also read God gave the same obedience instruction and resulting favour to the non birthright king. Confirming it is not the hearers of the law; but the doers that are blessed. As was Ruth, Cornelius and others. The trend confirms the fact, God shows mercy and favour on the obedient and faithful. I doubt anyone would disagree with this point; but to use a scripture 1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
Rom 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; Rom 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Rom 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Rom 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
Rom 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.. Rom 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? Rom 2:27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Rom 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. Rom 4:10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: Rom 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith
As Exo 19:5 and Deu 14:2 said and is repeated in 1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Eph 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: [see also Titus 3:7].
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Eph2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. Eph2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Eph2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Rom 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ). Meaning, through one man’s action, Adam, caused whole human race to inherit the penalty of death. Similarly by one man (God manifested into man), Yahshua, brings life to every human who lives by His father’s commandments inclusive of repentance for transgressions.
So when people think they are the real Israel as a result of colour and others are not, they are saying that they have and are entitled to something that others are not. That they are special and so on and others are not. It is not their place to claim or give anything. That is reserved for God and no individual today is better than another in God’s eyes because of their place of birth or man’s criteria so no one can claim to be Israel over another person, that is God’s decision according to one’s obedience to His laws their heart.
I opened asking you to bear in mind that God created everyone human and does not wish any to perish; but have the chance to come to His eternal life regardless of the place, culture or time period of their birth. Also the way He has gone about it setting up one nation as a light to the other nations.
Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Eph3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.
So brethren, I hope you see from the above study, these circulated theories about who are the real Jews or Israelites of the past or present, that take up a lot of internet space and people’s mind and time is really a divisive issue and intention. It is not of God, nothing to do with land or blessing as non Israelis got the same; but, in my opinion to stir up division between groups of believers who would otherwise be united to fight evil and the devil. Instead they are being set to fight among themselves as in Judges 7:22 and 1Sam 14:20 where everyone’s sword was against each other.
You can be God’s child. Inherit land and get His blessings not by being a blood line descendant but, as the study above shows and Rev 14:12 says “Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”.
Shalompost script: Note Lev 22:10 There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. Lev 22:11 But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat. [Once purchased, the stranger becomes part of the priestly family and can eat the holy food that even a home born Hebrew not of the priestly lineage could eat]. Lev 22:10 There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing. Lev 22:11 But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat. [The priests’ servants become part of their “house” and has right to eat of “it” that natural Hebrews of other tribes cannot eat]. Num 23:7 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel. Num 23:8 How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? Ofcourse the reference to Jacob and Israel is for the whole congregation NOT only the Hebrews as some people use other bible references to Jacob or Israel.. Num 25:2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. Num 25:3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: Num 26:1 And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, Num 26:2 Take the sum of ALL ALL ALL the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers' house, all that are able to go to war in Israel. [We have so far seen the mixture of people from various ancestry make up this congregation of “children of Israel” and follow the same laws and lifestyle. When Abraham, Esau and Jacob went to fight, their servants also went i.e Gen 14:14. Servants became part of the “fathers’ house”. Here every male over 20 years regardless of origin, colour, bond or free would go to fight as part of the ALL and “children” not only those of direct blood relation to Jacob. Remember with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob servants always had a higher ratio to direct blood line family members. Obviously servants are not going to stay safe at home while the owners go into battle and risk dying. The number of men given for each family includes the servants. So it is futile to claim the “children of Israel” are of one colour or descendants. “Although I HAVE cast them far off among the heathen, and although I HAVE scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come (Ezekiel 11:16 KJV). Scattering was a PAST event in days of Eze, way before black 17th Century slavery.