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Who are the Jews?

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WHO ARE THE JEWS?

The identification of the Anglo-Saxon-Scandinavian Germanic peoples as the surviving members of the peoples of Israel, leaves us with two other questions to answer:

1. WHO ARE THE JEWS?

2. WAS JESUS CHRIST 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 a Jew by religion, regardless of his race (for Negroes, Chinese and Japanese have all been converted to Judaism); or sometimes they mean a Jew by race, regardless' of his religion (for example, Premier Ben Gurion of the Jewish nation in Palestine is a Buddist by religion, though a Jew by race) - and usually people don't know which of these they do mean.

Since it can be answered quickest, let us first take the question - was Jesus Christ a Jew by RELIGION? The answer is clearly "NO." Jesus had the true religion of the Old Testament, found in the Law and the prophets: and He constantly rebuked the Jews for having abandoned this for Judaism under the Babylonian Talmud (which in His day was called "The Tradition of the Elders.") In Matthew 5:17-18, he 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, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled.

Jesus constantly rebuked the Jews for their apostasy, for setting aside the Laws of God 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 on 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 true 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 (then called the Tradition of the Elders) was adopted; and that this WAS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW RELIGION - "JUDAISM," (or BABYLONIANISM.)

So we read in Matthew 15:1-9: "Then came to Jesus Scribes and Pharisees which were of Jerusalem, saying, 1Why do Thy disciples transgress 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 God 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."' (The same incident is found also in Mark 7:5-13.) In John 5:37-46, Jesus told the Jews: "The Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of . . . 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: for he write of Me." Again, in John 8:54-55, lie said: "It is My Father that honoreth Me: of whom ye say that He is your God: yet ye have not known Him." In John 15:23, Jesus said: "He that hateth Me hateth My Father also." In the 21st Chapter of Matthew, Jesus summed up their position by saying that even the Tax Collectors and the harlots could enter the Kingdom of God before the Jews. Surely, Jesus Christ's entire ministry was a complete demonstration that He was not a Jew by RELIGION.

Was Jesus a Jew by RACE? To answer this, we must trace the racial ancestry of both Jesus and the Jews. Jesus Christ was a pure-blooded member of the Tribe of Judah-and no true Judahite was a Jew by race, as we shall see. Jesus ancestry is given in both Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Both of them show that He was a descendant of the Patriarch Judah, through one of his twin son Pharez; by His mother Mary, He came through the line of David, and Nathan, the brother of Solomon, as traced in the 3rd. Chapter of Luke. Jesus Christ was therefore a pureblooded Israelite, of the Tribe of Judah as Paul says in Romans 9:4-5.

Now, let us trace the racial descent of the Jews. First, let us note that the Jews were not - and are NOT - Israelites. Yes, I know that you have been taught that "Jew" and "Israel" as we shall see. Let us get the first proof of this from Jesus Christ himself. He stated plainly, in Matthew 15:24: 'I am not sent but unto the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. "Therefore, He was sent to those who were of 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 this: "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." And He added, "Ye shall NOT have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come. (Matthew 10:23.) They could have gone over all the cities of Judea in a month; so it was obvious that the cities of Israel, to which he referred were the cities of the so-called Lost Tribes who had already entered Europe in their long migration. But take careful note of Jesus Christ's own words: "I am not sent but unto the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel." If the Jews were any part of Israel then they would have been some of His sheep; but He says that they are not.

In the 10th chapter of John, Jesus says: "I am the good shepherd, and KNOW MY SHEEP, AND AM KNOWN OF MINE." But he tells the Jews - and it says "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 those words: He does NOT say that the reason that the Jews are not His sheep is that they don't believe, and that they could become His sheep just by changing their minds: to the contrary, He says that the reason they don't believe is that THEY ARE NOT OF HIS SHEEP: He knows His sheep, and knows that the Jews are not of His sheep.

Since the Jews are not any part of any Tribe of Israel, then WHO ARE THE JEWS? Let's trace their ancestry. We find that the true line of His people must be kept free from mongrelization with the neighboring Canaanite Accordingly, Genesis 24:3-4 records that Abraham took great pains to see that his son Isaac, should marry of only a woman of his own people likewise Genesis 27:46 -28:1 records that Isaac also required that his son, Jacob (the father of the Israelites) should also marry only within his own race line. This law had been obeyed for several centuries, to keep the race line pure. But one of the sons of Israel, the patriarch Judah, father of the tribe of Judah, violated it by marrying a Canaanite woman, who bore him 3 sons, of whom only one, Shelah, survived and left descendants. (See Genesis 38:1-5.) This half-breed, mongrel line must be distinguished from Judah's pure-blooded descendants by his twin sons Pharez and Zarah. Judah fathered Pharez and Zarah by his daughter-in-law Tamar; although born out of wedlock, they were of pure, Israel stock on both sides; and from one of them, Pharez, Jesus Christ was descended. The descendants of these twins are the real tribe of Judah.

The half-breed son, Shelah, accompanied Judah into Egypt, and in the following centuries left many descend-ants. They were in the Exodus, and accompanied the armies of Israel into the promised land. (See Genesis 46:12 and Numbers 26:20.) However, they bred true to type: they were half-breed Canaanites, lacking the spiritual insight which God gave to his own people, so they remained idolaters, Baal-worshipers, In 1st Chronicles 4:21, you will find them referred to as "the House of Ashbea." "Ashbea" is a corruption of "Ishbaal" - "man of Baal" and shows that they were still idolaters, unable to perceive the God of Israel. So these Shelanites, half-breeds, formed one of the peoples of the land, who made up the Jews in the time of Jesus Christ.

Another alien racial group who became part of the Jews were the "mixed multitude" which Exodus 12:38 says left Egypt along with the children of Israel The Hebrew word here translated "mixed" is the word "EREB," meaning half-breed or mongrel. During the two centuries in Egypt, many had violated the divine law against race-mixing, and these were the result. On the Exodus, when the going became hard in the wilderness, the Bible records that this "mixed multitude" made a lot of trouble, and led some of the Israelites into rebellion. (See Numbers 11:4-6.) This mongrelized group was still in the land after the return from the Babylonian captivity; for we find them listed in Nehemiah 13:3 as still in the land, and still a source of trouble. They also were among the Jews in Christ's time.

Then there were the various Canaanite peoples who were still in the land, chief of whom were the Jebusites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, and the Amorites When the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, God gave them specific instructions to completely drive out or exterminate all of these Canaanites, saying: "When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Gerga****es, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; and when the Lord 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 the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: but thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hitties, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee." (See Numbers 33:50-56; Deuteronomy 7:1-6; 20:16-18.)

I know that it is fashionable among the "liberal" church members of today to look down their noses at God, and say, "I just can't believe in that cruel God of the Old Testament." However, I think He will manage very well with-out their belief. He always was a good reason for what He does or tells us to do. The Bible never argues with you about the reasons for its rules, it just states the rule: but 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 even 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: and any wandering camel-driver who came along could select the woman of his choice, hand her the coin which she must pay over to the temple, then take her aside and leave with her his syphilis or gonorrhea, as the case might be. This funneled into Palestine 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. But the Canaanites had been replenishing the disease with new infections every generation for 2,000 years; they were not physically, mentally, morally, or spiritually fit to marry or even associate with our people. Therefore, God warned the Israelites to exterminate them; if you do not, He warned them, you will have "integration;" your children will grow up with theirs as playmates, they will intermarry, until you become as badly polluted as they are, and I will have to destroy you as I am commanding you to destroy them.

But the Israelites are often soft-hearted and soft-headed. While they did exterminate the people of Jericho and a couple of other cities, the Bible records that they left most of the others alive, merely making them pay a heavy tribute tax. For example, the city of Jerusalem was inhabited by the Jebusites 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 people of the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin. (See Joshua 15:63; Judges 1:21,27-35; and 19:10-12; and 2nd Chronicles 8:7-8.) 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 people were intermarrying among them. (See Ezra 9:1-2 and Nehemiah 13:23-29.) And the Bible records the same thing as to the other Canaanite peoples, Further proof of this is found in various places, such as Ezekiel 16:1-3: "Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 'Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy Nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite. and thy mother an Hittite." God could not have said this truth-fully to any real Israelites: BUT He was NOT saying it to Israelites: He said it to the city of Jerusalem and her people. 'They were in large part Canaanite Jews: and 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. They surrounded, and because the influential advisors of, the Kings of Judah: just as today they surround and are the principal advisors of our President, 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 the Lord, 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 I For they have rewarded evil unto themselves."

Now in China, where their rulers were 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; and in Sweden, where their ruling class were Swedes, you couldn't say that their faces were witness against them, for they had the same kind of Swedish faces as the rest of the people had. But in Jerusalem, the faces of the Canaanite-Jebusite Jews identified them, "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, and left carved stone monuments telling how they captured this city and that one, killed so many people and enslaved the others, etc.; and 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; but when they showed 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, the wealthy ruling class, identified them as separate from the real Israelites - "the show of their countenance doth witness against them." They 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 DC., where large numbers of the same people have gained power through their wealth?

So we find that there were still large numbers of Canaanites in the land, "integrated" with the real Israelites and Judahites, and bringing the lowering of standards which integration always brings: look at the City of Washington, DC. for example. Besides the Jebusites in Jerusalem, the Bible records that the other Canaanite peoples - the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, and the Amorites -were not exterminated or driven out, but merely conquered and made to pay a tribute tax, and left in the land to be integrated with the people and corrupt them. So these Canaanites were another element of the Jews in the time of Jesus Christ.

You will remember that 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. They show that the total number who returned was 42,360; but they also show that 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 is; and they had even infiltrated into the priesthood. But it says that "these sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found:" When you add up the total of all these other elements listed in Ezra and Nehemiah, they equal 8,381 of these alien Babylonians - about 1/5 of all the people who returned from Babylon to Palestine. So they also formed another element of the Jews in the land of Jesus Christ's time.

One more, and we complete the list; that is the Edomites. You will remember that Esau and Jacob were twin brothers; but Esau was a man of such low character that we have God's own testimony, in Malachi 1:2-3: "Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: Yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau." Jacob kept the race-line pure, and God changed his name to Israel and made him the father of God's own chosen people, Israel. But Esau married two Canaanite wives and one Ishmaelite wife, and left only half-breed, mongrel children. (See Genesis 26:34-35; 27:46; and 36:2.) As his mongrel descendants could not marry into the true Semitic line, he moved out from among them, and went down to Mount Seir, the rugged range of mountains south-east of the Dead Sea, and this land was called "Edom" (or occasionally by the Grecianized form of the word, "Idumea"); thereafter, his descendants were called "Edomites." (See Genesis 33:16 and Genesis 36:1-9.) There they had a long and troublesome history. Esau's grandson was Amalek, father of the Tribe of Amalek, who were such an evil lot that, in Exodus 17:14-16, God said that He would have perpetual war with Amalek until they were all destroyed. The Edomites constantly harassed tile southern portion of Israel until King Saul beat them off, about 1087 BC. But Saul disobeyed God's command to EXTERMINATE them, and for this disobedience, God deposed him as king, in favor of David. See 1st Samuel 15:1-26. But even David didn't exterminate them, and there was a long history of wars between Edom and Israel (later with Judah.) (You will find It in 2nd Kings, Chapters 8 and 14, and 2nd Chronicles, Chapters 20 and 25.) The whole book of Obadiah is devoted to God's condemnation of Edom's treacherous at-tack upon the Kingdom of Judah when Judah was being conquered by Babylon.

During the Babylonian captivity of Judah, the land lay practically empty; and 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. (See article "Edom,"in Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Bible Dictionary, pages 198-199, and Scribner's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. I, pages 644-646. From this new area, they continued to harass the little nation which returned from Babylon. By about 142 BC. the returned exiles of Judah won complete independence under the Maccabean line of Kings; and about 120 BC. 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 paganism and adopt the religion of Judaism. This they did, and from 120 BC. they were full citizens of the kingdom. (See Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews," Book 13, Chapter 9, and see also The Jewish Encyclopedia, article "Edom," Vol. V, page 41.)

By 69 BC. 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. His -son, Herod I, beginning as Governor of Galilee, used the same methods to secure appointment as King of Judea in 40 BC.; and by 37 BC. he had gained complete control of Judea. He maintained himself in power by extreme ruthlessness and by 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 little male children in Bethlehem murdered, trying to murder Jesus Christ.

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 BC. to 6 AD.; after which the Romans convicted him of crimes and removed him: and thereafter Judea was governed by Roman Procurators (of whom Pontius Pilate was No. 6.) Nevertheless, the Romans left practically complete power of local government in the hands of the Herodian Edomites, who had complete control of the Temple and power to enforce all their local laws. (Remember how Pontius Pilate tried to get out of condemning Jesus Christ, telling the Jews: "Take YE Him, and judge Him according to YOUR law." (John 18:31.)

These Edomite Jews could say that Abraham was an ancestor of theirs, through Esau, as they did in John 8:33; but this Hebrew blood through Esau had been diluted to the vanishing point by 1700 years of marrying only people of Canaanite racial stocks. Therefore, Jesus Christ rebuked them for falsely claiming to be still of Abrahamic (and therefore inferentially of Israelite) lineage, for 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 no truth in him." You should very carefully observe the 8th chapter of John, verses 31-47. These were Jews to whom Jesus 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."
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