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Tanakh and Talmud

What race were the Hebrews?


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2014-12-01 22:45:38
2014-12-01 22:45:38

Biblical tradition says that the Hebrew people were descended from the semitic people of Mesopotamia, through the patriarch Abraham. This would suggest that they were of north-eastern semitic stock, although biblical reference to "Ur of the Chaldees" even suggests southern semitic stock, since the Chaldeans were an Arabic tribe that migrated into what is now Iraq, around the eighth century BCE.

Scholars working with archaeologists have drawn the strong consensus that the Hebrews were actually rural Canaanites who migrated away from the rich Canaanite cities on the Mediterranean coast, into the hitherto sparsely populated hinterland, only later developing legends of a mass Exodus from Egypt and conquest of the Canaanite cities. On this basis, the Israelites were West Semitic people like the Canaanites and Aramaeans.


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2014-12-01 21:02:35
2014-12-01 21:02:35

Semitic. The Torah speaks of three branches of post-Flood mankind: Yefet (Jafeth), Ham, and Shem (the three sons of Noah; Genesis ch.10).
The children of Yefet are (broadly speaking) the Europeans.
The children of Ham include the ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Nubians, Bantu (and sub-Saharan Africans in general), Canaanites and many others.
The children of Shem include the ancient Assyrians, Elamites, Arameans, Lyddians and Semites in general. One group of Semites gave rise to the Arabs, Hebrews, Moabites, Ammonites, Edumeans and others.
Though technically "Hebrews" includes all descendants of Eber (a Semite descendant; see Genesis ch.10-11), today the term is usually used to mean those who would later be called Israelites.
Note that all Israelites are the children of Jacob, grandson of Abraham.


Just as today, Israelites came in differing skin-tones, heights, and body-types. Our tradition is that the twelve sons of Jacob (the 12 Tribes) were not completely similar to each other in appearance, though none of them was really dark-skinned (Rashi commentary on Genesis 12:11).
Abraham and Sarah came from southern Iraq and their wider family from northern Iraq. Since DNA tests have shown that Jews intermarried infrequently throughout history, Abraham and his Israelite descendants probably looked like Jews today.
DNA testing of Jewish communities worldwide has shown that they are all interrelated and of Middle Eastern genetics, comparable to the Sephardim today (not African or Egyptian).
In 2000, the analysis of a report by Nicholas Wade "provided genetic witness that Jewish communities have, to a remarkable extent, retained their biological identity separate from their host populations, evidence of relatively little intermarriage or conversion into Judaism over the centuries. The results accord with Jewish history and tradition."


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2014-12-01 00:34:52
2014-12-01 00:34:52

No one knows for sure, since there are no photos of Ancient Hebrews. But we can surmise that the Ancient Hebrews were a range of skin tones, just as the Jews of today are a range of skin tones.

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Hebrews were a culture and ethic group, but they did not consist of a single race.

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The Hebrews or Israelites were the forerunners to the Christian faith. To them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the sacred service, the promises, the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, came the Christ.

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A Christian may be of any country/people/race. The Hebrews were the 12 sons of Israel (Jacob) only. There are some today who believe many Christians are descendant from one or more of the Hebrew tribes.

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The Hebrews' military was an army composed of Hebrews.

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The Hebrews were enslaved by the Pharaoh. For clarification, Hebrew is the term for Jews and Christians before they separated into two religions.


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