WHO ARE THE JEWS?
By Bertrand comparet
By Bertrand comparet
The identification of the Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and Germanic people, as the surviving members of the tribes of Israel, leaves us with two other questions to answer.
1. WHO ARE THE JEWS?
2. WAS YAHSHUA A JEW?
To answer these questions, we must first define what we mean by Jew. The muddled thinking of most people on this subject is due to the fact that they never know just what they do mean by Jew. Sometimes they mean Jew by religion, regardless of his race, there are Negro, Chinese and Japanese that have been converted to Judaism. Sometimes people mean a Jew by race regardless of his religion. For example, Premier Ben Gurion of the Jewish nation in Palestine is a Buddhist by religion, though a Jew by race.
Since the question of whether Yahshua was a Jew by religion, is the easiest to answer, let's answer that question first. The answer is clearly no. Yahshua had the true religion of the Old Testament found in the law and the prophets. He constantly rebuked the Jews for having abandoned the law for Judaism under the Babylonian Talmud, which in Yahshua's day was called the tradition of the elders. In Matthew 5:17-18 Yahshua said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill; for verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, not one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled."
Yahshua constantly rebuked the Jews for their apostasy, for setting aside the laws of Yahweh in favor of the tradition of the elders. This Talmudic Judaism was very different from the religion, which we find in the Old Testament. The late Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, chief rabbi of the United States, expressed it so clearly that I cannot improve upon his words. He said, "The return from Babylon, and the adoption of the Babylonian Talmud, marks the end of Hebrewism, and the beginning of Judaism."
Since the religion of the Old Testament was the religion of the real Hebrews, not Jews, the learned rabbi was quite right in calling it Hebrewism, and noting that it came to its end when the Talmud was adopted. This was the beginning of a new religion, Judaism or Babylonianism, which the Canaanites, Hittites, etc. practiced.
We read in Matthew 15:1-9, "Then came to Yahshua scribes and Pharisees which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do Thy disciples transgresseth the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But He answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of Yahweh by your tradition? Ye hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophecy of you saying this people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." This same incident is also found in Mark 7:5:13.
In John 5:37-46 Yahshua told the Jews, "The Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me. Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and it is they which testify of Me. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; of whom ye say that he is your God: yet ye have not known Him." In John 15:23 Yahshua said, "He that hateth Me hateth My Father also." In Matthew chapter 21 Yahshua summed up their position by saying that even the tax collectors and harlots could enter the kingdom of Yahweh before the Jews. Surely Yahshua's entire ministry was a complete demonstration that He wasn't a Jew by religion.
Was Yahshua a Jew by race? To answer this question, we must trace the racial ancestry of both Yahshua and the Jews. Yahshua was a pure blooded member of the tribe of Judah, and no true Judahite was a Jew by race, as we shall see. Yahshua's ancestry is given in both Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3. Both of them show that Yahshua was a descendant of the patriarch Judah, through one of his twin sons Pharez, who was an ancestor of his mother Mary. He came through the line of David, and Nathan the brother of Solomon, as traced in Luke chapter 3. Yahshua was a pure blooded Israelite of the tribe of Judah as Paul tells in Romans I: 3.
Now, let's trace the racial descent of the Jews, let's note that the Jews were not, and are not Israelites. Yes, I know that you have been taught that Jew and Israelite were the same thing, but no greater falsehood was ever taught, as we shall see. Let's get the first proof of this from Yahshua Himself. In Matthew 15:24 Yahshua states plainly, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Therefore Yahshua was sent to those who were Israel, but not to others. Accordingly, when He sent His 12 disciples, out to preach His gospel, Matthew 10:5-6 records that He told them as follows. "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Then He added in Matthew 10:23, "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come."
The disciples could have gone over all the cities of Judea in a month, so it was obvious that the cities of Israel, to which Yahshua referred, were the cities of the so called lost tribes of Israel who had already entered Europe in their long migration. Take careful note of Yahshua's own words. "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." If the Jews were part of Israel, then they would have been some of His sheep, but He says they are not of His sheep.
In John 10:14,26-27 Yahshua says, "I am the good shepherd and know My sheep, and am known of Mine." Then Yahshua told the Jews, "But ye believe not because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me." Note carefully that Yahshua does not say that the reason the Jews are not of His sheep is because they don't believe, and that they could become His sheep just by changing their minds. To the contrary, Yahshua says that the reason they don't believe is that they are not His sheep. He knows His sheep, and knows that the Jews are not of His sheep.
Since the Jews aren't any part of the tribes of Israel, then who are the Jews? Let's trace their ancestry. We find the true line of Yahweh's people must be kept free from mongrelization with the neighboring Canaanites. Genesis 24:3-4 records that Abraham took great pains to see that his son Isaac, should marry only a woman of his own people. Likewise Genesis 27:46 & 28:1 record that Isaac also required that his son Jacob, whose descendants became known as Israel, should also marry only within his own racial line.
This law of racial purity had been obeyed for several centuries to keep the racial line pure. However, one of the sons of Israel, the patriarch Judah, father of the tribe of Judah, violated this law of racial purity by marrying a Canaanite woman who bore him three sons. Of the three sons, only Shelah survived and left descendants, read Genesis 38:1-5. This half-breed, mongrel line must be distinguished from Judah's pureblooded descendants by his twin sons Pharez and Zarah. Judah fathered Pharez and Zarah by his daughter-in-law Tamar. Although they were born out of wedlock they were pure Israel stock on both sides, Yahshua was descended from Pharez. The descendants of these twins are the real tribe of Judah.
Genesis 46:12 and Numbers 26:20 record that the half breed son Shelah, accompanied Judah into Egypt, and in the following centuries left many descendants. They were in the exodus, and accompanied the armies of Israel into the Promised Land. However, they bred true to type. They were half-breed Canaanites, lacking the spiritual insight, which Yahweh gave to His own people, so these mongrels remained idolaters, Baal worshipers. In I Chronicles 4:21 you will find them referred to as the house of Ashbea. Ashbea is a corruption of Ishbaal, meaning man of Baal, and shows they were still idolaters, unable to perceive the God of Israel. So these Shelahites, half-breeds, formed one of the people of the land who were part of the Jews in the time of Yahshua.
Another alien racial group who became part of the Jews were the mixed multitude which Exodus 12:38 records left Egypt with the children of Israel. The Hebrew word translated here mixed, is the word ereb, meaning half-breed or mongrel.
During the next two centuries in Egypt, many violated the divine law against race mixing and this mixed multitude was the result. On the exodus when the going became hard in the wilderness, this mixed multitude made a lot of trouble. Numbers 11:4-6 records how they led some of the Israelites into rebellion. This mongrelized group was still in the land after the return from the Babylonian captivity. Nehemiah 13:3 lists these mongrels as still being in the land and still a source of trouble, they were also among the Jews in Yahshua's time.
Then there were the various Canaanite people who were still living there. Chief among these Canaanites were the Jebusites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites and the Amorites. When the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, Yahweh gave them specific instructions to completely drive out or exterminate all of these Canaanites.
Yahweh gave these instructions in Numbers 33:50-56 and Deuteronomy 7:1-6 & 20:16-18. "When Yahweh thy God shall bring thee into the land wither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites and the Gergashites, and the Amorites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; and when Yahweh thy God shall deliver them before thee: thou shalt smite them and utterly destroy them, thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show any mercy unto them. * * But of the cities of these people which Yahweh thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save nothing alive that breatheth: but thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites: as Yahweh thy God hath commanded thee."
I know it is fashionable among the liberal church members of today, to look down their noses at Yahweh and say, I just can't believe in that cruel God of the Old Testament. I think Yahweh will manage very well without their belief. He always has a good reason for what He tells us to do. The Bible never argues with you about the reasons for its laws, it just states the laws. There is always a good reason, if you will look for it.
For about 2,000 years, the Canaanites had worshiped Baal and Ishtar, the most immoral religion in the world, with the possible exception of some Hindu religions still practiced today. Part of the worship of Baal and Ishtar consisted of the compulsory prostitution of all the women. On certain festival days of the year, all the women of the village had to sit in the field outside the village gate. Any wandering camel driver who came along could select the woman of his choice. He would hand her a coin, which she must pay over to the temple, then he would take her aside and leave her with his syphilis or gonorrhea, as the case might be.
This practice funneled into Palestine all the venereal diseases of all western Asia. Any doctor can tell you that one infection of syphilis not cured, can produce degenerative changes in the children for as many as four generations. However, the Canaanites had been replenishing the disease with new infections every generation for 2,000 years. They weren't physically, mentally, morally or spiritually fit to marry or even associate with the people of Israel. Therefore Yahweh warned the Israelites to exterminate them. He warned if they didn't do this, they would have integration. Their children would grow up with yours as playmates; they will intermarry until you become as badly polluted as they are. Then Yahweh warned He would have to destroy Israel as He was commanding Israel to destroy them. The Israelites are often soft hearted and soft headed, however they did exterminate the people of Jericho and a few other cities. The Bible records in Joshua 15:63, Judges 1:21,27-35 & 19:10-12 and II Chronicles 8:7-8, that they left most of the others alive, merely making them pay a heavy tribute tax. For example, the Jebusites inhabited the city of Jerusalem at the time the Israelites came in. The Bible records that the Jebusites were neither killed nor driven out, but continued to live among the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
Ezra 9:1-2 and Nehemiah 13:23-29 tells that even after the people of the southern kingdom of Judah returned from the 70 years captivity in Babylon, the Jebusites were still in the land and some of the Israelites were intermarrying with them. The Bible records the same thing as to the other Canaanite people, further proof of this is found in various places, such as Ezekiel 16:1-3. "Again the word of Yahweh came unto me saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say thus saith Yahweh unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite."
Yahweh could not have said this truthfully to any true Israelite; however, He was not saying it to Israelites. He said it to the city of Jerusalem and her people, who were in large part Jews. They had gained power in the manner by which Jews usually gain it. Hence, Jerusalem was becoming more and more corrupt, as most of the prophets record.
These Jews surrounded and became the influential advisors to the kings of Judah, just as today they surround and are the principal advisors of our presidents. We find clear proof of this in Isaiah 3:8-9 where he says, "For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongues and their doings are against Yahweh, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! For they have rewarded evil unto themselves."
In China, where the rulers are Chinese, you couldn't say that the show of their countenance doth witness against them. Their faces would be just like those of the rest of the Chinese. In Sweden, where the ruling class were Swedes, you couldn't say that their faces were witness against them, for they had the same kind of Swedish faces the rest of Sweden had. However, in Jerusalem the faces of the Canaanite, Jebusite Jews identified them and were a witness against them, the true Israelites were not hook nosed.
The ancient kings of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Persia were very vain about their military conquests. They left carved stone monuments telling how they captured this city and that one. They told how many people they had killed and how many people they had enslaved etc. On these monuments they usually had carved, in the stone, pictures of the captive people. Whenever they showed Israelites, the faces had straight noses and were generally of Anglo-Saxon type. However, when they showed the Canaanites, the faces were those of typical hook nosed Jews.
Therefore the faces of the Canaanite, Jebusite Jews, who had gained controlling power as merchants, bankers, advisors of the king and as the wealthy ruling class, identified them as separate from the real Israelites. The show of their face doth witness against them.
These Jews had brought ruin upon the kingdom of Judah. Now go back and read the many places where Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel condemn the wickedness, which was found in Jerusalem. Don't you find the same conditions existing in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., where large numbers of the same people have gained power through their wealth?
We find there were still large numbers of Canaanites in the land; they were integrated with the real Israelites and Judahites. These Jews were bringing the lowering of living standards which integration always brings, look at Washington, D.C. Besides the Jebusites in Jerusalem, the Bible records that the other Canaanite people the Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites and the Amorites, were not exterminated, but only driven out and made to pay a tribute tax. They were left in the land to be integrated with the people and to corrupt them. These Canaanites were another element of the Jews in the time of Yahshua.
Remember when the people of Israel left Egypt, they were accompanied by a mixed, mongrel multitude. The same is true of the return of the remnant of the people of the kingdom of Judah from their captivity in Babylon; the books of Ezra and Nehemiah record the return. The records in these books show the total number who returned to Jerusalem was 42,360. They also show among these were many who were not Israelites of any tribe. They were Babylonians who had come with them in order to get in on the ground floor, as the saying goes, and they had even infiltrated into the priesthood. It says, "These sought their register among those who were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found".
When you add up the total of all these mongrelized and Canaanite people, listed in Ezra and Nehemiah, they equal 8,381 people. This was about one fifth of all the people who returned from Babylon to Palestine, So they formed another element of the Jews in the land of Palestine during Yahshua's time.
There is one more group we need to mention to complete the list, and that is the Edomites. You will remember that Esau and Jacob were twin brothers. Esau was a man of such low character that we have Yahweh's own testimony in Malachi 1:2-3. "Was not Esau Jacob's brother? Saith Yahweh. Yet I loved Jacob and I hated Esau."
Jacob kept racial purity so Yahweh changed his name to Israel and made him the father of Yahweh's own chosen people Israel, named for their father. The other twin, Esau, married two Canaanite wives and one Ishmaelite wife, and left only half-breed, mongrel children. Read Genesis 26:34-35, 27:46 & 36:2.
As Esau's mongrel children could not marry into the true Semitic line, he moved out from among them and went down to mount Sier, the rugged range of mountains southeast of the Dead Sea. This land was called Edom, or occasionally by the Greecianized form of the word Idumea. Thereafter Esau's descendants were called Edomites. Read Genesis 33:16 & 36:1-9.
In this area they had a long and troublesome history. Esau's grandson was Amalek, father of the tribe of Amalek, who were such an evil bunch that in Exodus 17:14-16 Yahweh said He would have perpetual war with Amalek until they were all destroyed. The Edomites constantly harassed the southern portion of Israel until King Saul beat them off about 1087 B.C.
I Samuel 15:1-26 tells how Saul disobeyed Yahweh's command to exterminate them, and for this disobedience Yahweh deposed him as king, in favor of David. Even David didn't exterminate the Edomites and there was a long history of wars between Edom and Israel and even later with Judah. This history is recorded in II kings chapters 8 & 14 and II Chronicles chapters 20 & 25. The whole book of Obadiah is devoted to Yahweh's condemnation of Edom's treacherous attacks upon the kingdom of Judah, when Judah was being conquered by Babylon.
During the Babylonian captivity of Judah, the land lay practically empty. During this period, the people of Edom, partly from opportunity and partly from pressure against them from the east, moved into the vacant southern half of the old kingdom of Judah. Read the article Edom, in Funk and Wagnall's New Standard Bible Dictionary, pages 198-199 and Scribner's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 1, pages 644-646. From this southern half of the old kingdom of Judah, the Edomites harassed the little nation, which returned from Babylon.
By about 142 B.C., the returned exiles of Judah won complete independence under the Maccabean line of kings. About 120 B.C., John Hyrcanus, one of the Maccabean kings, conquered the Edomites. He too, instead of exterminating them, took them into his kingdom, offering them full citizenship if they would give up their pagan ways and adopt the religion of Judaism. This they did and from 120 B. C. they were full citizens of this kingdom. Read Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews" book 13, chapter 9, and The Jewish Encyclopedia, article "Edom", Vol V, page 41.
By 69 B.C., incompetent leadership and intrigue within the Maccabean monarchy, together with the rising power of Rome in western Asia, gave opportunity to Antipater (also called Antipas), an Edomite chieftain, founder of the Herodian family, to rise to power. By bribery, boldness and military skill, he gained the favor of Rome, and the Romans made him Procurator (governor) of Judea. Antipater's son, Herod I, beginning as governor of Galilee, used the same methods to secure appointment as king of Judea in 40 B.C. By 37 B.C., he had gained complete control of Judea. He maintained himself in power with extreme ruthlessness and bribery, for which he taxed the people very heavily. The New Deal, Raw Deal and Great Society are not so new after all. This is the same Herod who had all the two year old and younger, male children killed in Bethlehem, trying to murder Yahshua
His son, Herod Archelaus, held the governorship (the Romans didn't trust him with the crown) for ten years of astonishingly evil misrule from 4 B.C. to 6 A.D. After this the Romans convicted him of crimes and removed him. Thereafter Judea was governed by Roman Procurators; of whom Pontius Pilate was number six. Nevertheless, the Romans left practically complete power of local government in the hands of the Herodian Edomites. They had complete control of the temple and power to enforce all their local laws. It is recorded in John 18:31 how Pontius Pilate tried to get out of condemning Yahshua, telling the Jews, "Take ye Him and judge Him according to your law".
These Edomite Jews could say that Abraham was an ancestor of theirs through Esau, as they did in John 8:33. This Hebrew blood, through Esau, had been diluted to the vanishing point by 1,700 years of marrying the people of Canaanite racial stock. Therefore Yahshua rebuked them for falsely claiming to still be of Abraham lineage and therefore inferentially Israelites. He told them in John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth because there is not truth in him."
You should carefully observe John 8:31-47. These were the Jews to whom Yahshua was speaking, and the Bible identifies them as Jews. In the Jewish Encyclopedia, the article on Edom concludes with the words, "The Edomites today are found in modern Jewry".