The Truth According to The Hebrew Bible!
The Bible tells us that Jesus was a Jew, with his numerous visits to the Temple in the New Testament. Yet, Jews themselves do not recognise Jesus as a Jew or as the Messiah. So what constitutes a Jew and how can Christians through their Gentile forebears claim that their saviour was a Jew when the evidence is to the contrary?
We need to go back into history when supposedly Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt into the land Canaan, God’s promised land. The earliest references to the Israelites is c. 1400 BCE, while the term Jews was a long way off in the future. When the Israelites conquered the Canaanites with the help of their God, they named their new land, Israel. It stayed that way through the period of Judges, and the early kings such as Saul, David and Solomon.
On the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam became king of united Israel (12 Tribes), nevertheless, that was short-lived as the Ten Northern tribes refused to acknowledge Rehoboam as their new king. This was owing to heavy taxation and historical labour disputes during the reign of Solomon. Meanwhile, Jeroboam from the tribe of Ephraim, who had fled to Egypt after being sentenced to death by the late king Solomon for subversion, returned from exile. In short, he led the revolt against Rehoboam after the king refused to lower taxes and labour issues. In 931 BCE the once united kingdom of Israel, split! With Jeroboam becoming the first king of the Northern kingdom of Israel and Rehoboam becoming the king of the Southern kingdom of Judah.
This is where biblical history, geography, chronology and terminology comes into play!
For believers, biblical history is of paramount importance. Yet, when they see the truth, they reject out of hand owing to their Christian teachings. Not meaning to be rude about it as most if not all the Christians commentators rejected my trilogy Post on the Samaritans and the ancestral bloodline of Jesus. Yet, all the evidence is there in the Old Testament and Jewish history.
The etymology of the English term Jew originates from the Biblical Hebrew word Yehudi, meaning “from the Kingdom of Judah.” So theoretically those Ten Tribes of the Northern kingdom of Israel were known as Israelites, a much older term than Jew. Therefore, to be a Jew (after 931 BCE), one must have been born and lived in the kingdom of Judah.
Furthermore, after the diaspora of the Israelites (2 Kings 15:29), anyone that lived north of the border of Judah after 721 BCE, were foreigners as described in 2 Kings 17:24.
On the obsolete (after 721 BCE) Northern kingdom of Israel, which from the reign of King Omri (884-873 BCE) was renamed, Samaria. Omri after reigning for six years moved from his old capital of Tirzah to his new capital also called Samaria, see 1 Kings 16: 23-24.
Galilee was inhabited by Gentiles?
23 There is no gloom where there had been distress. Where once he degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, now he has glorified the way of the Sea, the land across the Jordan, *Galilee of the Nations.[a](Isaiah 8:23 NIV)
[a] 8:23 The territories mentioned in this verse are those which the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III took from Israel and incorporated into the Assyrian provincial system as a result of the Syro-Ephraimite War of 735–732 B.C. (2 Kgs 15:29). Zebulun…Naphtali: regions of the former Northern Kingdom of Israel. The way of the Sea: the area along the Mediterranean coast south of Mount Carmel which became the Assyrian province of Dor. Land across the Jordan: the province of Gilead east of the Jordan. Galilee of the Nations: the territory north of Mount Carmel which was incorporated in the Assyrian province of Megiddo. Galilee apparently had a large non-Israelite population. Mt 4:15–16 (see below) cites this verse in the context of the beginning of Jesus’ public mission in Galilee.
*Galilee of the Nations means the people that the king of Assyria forced to repopulate Samaria/northern kingdom of Israel from 721 BCE onward (see 2 Kings 17:24).
15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
16 the people who sit in darkness
have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.” [Matthew 4:15-16 NABRE]
Source: For both Isaiah 8:23 and Matthew 4:15-16
The Gentiles who write the genealogy of Jesus did not research the information contained in the Hebrew scriptures or Israelite history.
The post ends by citing: 48 The Jews answered him [Jesus], “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” [John 8:48 NIV]
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