Jesus Black Ancestors|
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|Term Paper: November 1998 for class: -
The Black Presence in the Old Testament,
Interdenominational Theological Center
(1) Trace the lineage of Jesus from Noah to Jesus
(2) Outlining the Black presence in the line.
(3) Give geographical significance to the origin of people - color and
(4) Include in your paper a theological reflection on what God was doing.
Length: 5-6 pages, double-spaced, plus bibliography
SOME PRELIMINARY INFORMATION
In ancient times, including Jesus' time, the Arabian peninsula was considered
part of what we now call Africa, not "the Near East" or "the Middle East".
Americans and modern Europeans tend to think of a genealogy as a simple
chronological list of ancestors and descendants; hence, many skeptics
are quick to point out omissions in biblical genealogies and claim those
are "proof" that the Bible is not reliable.
It is important to note that in ancient times genealogies were not always
simple "family histories". They served numerous purposes, e.g.:
The segmented genealogy describes more than one line of descent from an ancestor.
It charts alliances among peoples and may serve a variety of different
functions in the areas of confederations, intermarriage, habitations, possessions
of land, and war.
Segmented genealogies were used for domestic purposes by mirroring changes
in the society, and for religious reasons related to celebrating some festival.
They were also used for political and legal purposes revealing ethnic
alliances. Since the group was more socially powerful than the individual,
relationship to the group enhanced one's social power. This made ethnic
relationships essential for effectuating treaties and alliances. Thus,
family tree records were pressed into the service of explaining the social
and political relationships needed to defend and maintain the survival of
McCray, Vol 2. pp 32-33
I do not claim to be an expert on this topic, nor does this paper purport
to be an exhaustive treatise on this subject. The main reasons I put
the paper (slightly modified) on the site are:
Most English-language information on Christianity gives the false subliminal
impression that Jesus was a dark-haired Anglo, (an American term referring
to Caucasian Americans of generally northern European heritage, e.g., English,
German, etc. "Anglo" is a term of ethnicity not race. It
is a narrower term than "white" or "Caucasian". For instance, medium-dark
skinned persons from India, Pakistan, etc., are definitely Caucasian but
would not be considered Anglo.)
Christianity is frequently portrayed as "the White Man's religion". The
truth is that most of the people in the Bible were people of
color (i.e., not "Anglo"): Semitics, blacks, and Mediterranean, e.g.,
I spent a lot of time researching and writing this (about 30 hours), because
so little material is available.
Very little information is readily available in print.
Virtually all the printed works on this topic are
very biased: American and European biblical scholars like to
pretend that Jesus was Anglo, and black Bible scholars who write on this
topic give the impression that everybody in the Bible was dark
black with pronounced negro features.
Like most Anglos, I was quite surprised to find out that Jesus
does have black ancestry.
I know it'll really bug a lot of Anglos who feel superior to people of
color because "Jesus was
white." (i.e., Anglo).
(Incidentally, since I know people will wonder
. . . I'm half Italian, one-quarter German and one-quarter English. I attend a
Protestant black church
and also a congregation
of Messianic Jewish and
gentile believers and a Reform Jewish temple, although I have no Jewish ancestry, because those are where the Lord led me.)
THE ORIGIN OF MANKIND AFTER THE FLOOD
According to Genesis 9:19 and the Table of Nations in Genesis 10, all mankind
is descended from the three sons of Noah:
Japheth. (For some strange reason, Noah's sons are always listed in that order although Genesis 10:21 says Japheth was Shem's older brother. Normally in the Bible sons are listed in chronological order.)
The descendants of Japheth settled in Anatolia, modern Turkey, and from there moved into the Caucasus
mountains of Western Russia and from there settled Europe and Russia. They
are the ancestors of the Caucasian peoples. Their main impact on Israel was
through the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans.
Ham's descendants became the various
black peoples who settled the African continent and parts of the Arabian
peninsula. His sons were Cush, whose
descendants settled in Ethiopia,
Mizraim, whose descendants settled in
Egypt, Put, whose descendants settled
in Libya, and Canaan, whose descendants
settled in Palestine and founded the cities of Sidon, Tyre and Carthage and,
among others, were the ancestors of the Phoenicians.
Collectively, in ancient times the descendants of Cush formed a large ethnic
group and were the main populace of the Cushite Empire, which extended from
present-day western Libya to Ethiopia and Nubia, south of Egypt, all of
present-day Egypt, and the Arabian peninsula into the mountains of Turkey.
They spoke a variety of languages and had skin pigmentation ranging from
dark black to medium brown.
One of Cush's sons was
Nimrod, founder of Babylon, Akkad, Assyria
and Nineveh, several of early mankind's most powerful nations and cities.
Their languages are generally referred to as belonging to the Western Semitic
group, although they actually are Hamitic.
Mizraim's descendants became the Ludim,
Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, and Casluhim [Philistines]. According
to the Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus, most of these peoples were
destroyed in the Ethiopic Wars.
THE MYTHICAL 'CURSE OF HAM' AND THE ACTUAL CURSE
It is often claimed that the black race resulted from a curse that Noah placed
on his son Ham because Noah became drunk with wine and Ham "looked upon his
father's nakedness." Some scholars interpret this as a euphemism and believe
that Ham had homosexual intercourse with his father; others believe the reason
for the curse was the disgrace Ham caused by telling others. The claim is
that the curse turned Ham black on the spot. In any event,
Genesis 9:25-27 records that in fact Noah
cursed Ham's youngest son, Canaan, not Ham:  he
said, "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers."
 He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan
be the slave of Shem.  May God extend the territory of Japheth;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave."
Canaan's descendants founded Sidon and, among others, were the ancestors
of the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites,
Zemarites and Hamathites. There is ample historical evidence that indeed
they were cursed with moral depravity including temple prostitutes and human
sacrifice. One scholar, Lenormant, said of the
religion: "No other people ever rivaled them in the mixture of bloodshed
and debauchery with which they thought to honor the Deity." (per
Summary of Near Eastern
History, cited below.)
Shem's descendants became the Semitic
peoples who settled parts of the Arabian Peninsula, including what is now
Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon. They were of a generally
medium-brown complexion with facial features roughly mid-way between typical
negro and typical Caucasian and the languages they spoke included Arabic,
Hebrew, and Aramaic, Jesus' native language.
It is important to realize that in Old Testament times Egyptians were black, not Arab. Arabs first conquered Egypt when Moslems invaded Egypt shortly after the death of Mohammed.
THE LINEAGE OF JESUS FROM NOAH
Jesus descended from the line of
Shem; His lineage from Noah through
Abraham is shown in
Genesis 11:10-27 and
Luke 3:34-38: Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Cainan,
Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abram a.k.a Abraham.
Jesus' lineage from Abraham through
David is shown in
Matthew 1 and Luke
3: Matt 1: Abraham, of Ur of the Chaldees & Sarah,
Isaac & Rebekah, Jacob & Leah,  Judah & Tamar
[Canaanite ?], Perez, Hezron,
 Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon,  Salmon & Rahab
[Canaanite], Boaz & Ruth
[Moabite], Obed,  Jesse, David
& Bethsheba, who probably was a non-Hamitic
Hittite **. (Moabites were Semitic --
descendants of Abraham's nephew Lot; see Genesis
(**Note: Historically, there were two, possibly three unrelated peoples called Hittites. One group conquered another group but kept the name. One may have descended from Ham, (Hamitic) and one from Japheth. The Japhethic
group would be Caucasian. The Hittites are among the oldest of the Indo-European
site has information on the Hittites. It is not clear whether the "Biblical Hittites" are the "Hittites" referred to by historians.)
Rahab was a contemporary of Joshua, successor to Moses. Seventy Israelites
went into captivity in Egypt and during the 400 years the Israelites were
in captivity in Egypt they and their descendants intermarried with
non-Israelites. (The Israelites were in Egypt 430 years, 400 in
captivity.) The group of over 600,000 men plus women and
children that left Egypt under Moses was a "mixed multitude". Ethnically,
their ancestors were a combination of Hamitic Egyptians and Semitic Israelites.
Although the Bible lays out Jesus' ancestors through Shem, it does
not mention that His ancestors would have had Hamitic blood from
this intermixing, e.g. on their mothers' sides.
Jesus' human paternal genealogy after David, mainly as shown in
Matthew is:  Solomon (1Ch 3:5),
Rehoboam, Abijah,  Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram,  Uzziah (Ahaziah
1Ch 3:11), Joash (1Ch3:11), Amaziah (1Ch3:12), Azariah (1Ch3:12), [Matt
9] Jotham, Ahaz,  Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon,  Josiah,
 Jeconiah, Shealtiel,  Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim,
 Azor, Zadok, Akim,  Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan,  Jacob,
Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus.
Jesus' maternal genealogy after David, as shown in
Luke 3:23-31: Nathan (1Ch 3:5), Mattatha,
Menna,  Melea, Eliakim, Jonam, Joseph, Judah,  Simeon,
Levi, Matthat, Jorim, Eliezer,  Joshua, Er, Elmadam, Cosam, Addi,
 Melki, Neri, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Rhesa,  Joanan, Joda,
Josech, Semein, Mattathias,  Maath, Naggai, Esli, Nahum, Amos,
 Mattathias, Joseph, Jannai, Melki, Levi,  Matthat, Heli,
THE BLACK PRESENCE IN JESUS' LINEAGE
Jesus' male ancestors trace a line from Shem. However, ethnically and racially,
they were mixed Semitic and Hamitic from the times spent in captivity in
Egypt and Babylon.
Rahab and probably Tamar were Canaanites. Although Canaanites spoke a Semitic
language, they were descendants of Ham through his son Canaan. Bethsheba,
who had been the wife of Uriah the Hittite, probably was a Hittite
herself, possibly a Hamitic Hittite, though scholars disagree on the precise identity of the "Hittites" in the Bible because historical records are quite scarce.
In the United States today the general view on whether someone is "black"
is the One-Drop Rule -- if a person has any black ancestors
s/he is considered "black", even with a clearly Anglo skin color, e.g., Mariah
Carry, LaToya Jackson. (cf., for example,
of Egyptology and the History Kemet (Egypt))
THE THEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE
In Old Testament times the first son had the right of preeminence, the right
to inherit the best of what his father owned. As first-born Son of God, Jesus
has that right. In Ezekiel, e.g.,
5:5-7 God condemns Israel, saying that it
has been more unfaithful than the Gentiles. Yet Jesus was entitled to the
best the Father had. During the period from Noah to the Cross, God was preparing
for His only Son a worthy inheritance. Also, regarding Israel, God had covenanted
Genesis 17:7-8 " I will establish my covenant
as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after
you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants
after you.  The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien,
I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after
you; and I will be their God."
It has also been noted:
The prophesy of the moral and spiritual history of the nations in
Genesis 9 furnishes an indispensable
introduction to the principle that underlies the table of the nations in
Genesis 10. The principle is that in divine dealings the moral character
of a thing cannot be understood unless its source is known.
Israel was in God's mind the medium of redemptive
blessing to the world, and it was necessary for the nation
to understand the source from which the various nations that surrounded her
sprang, in order that she might have an insight into their character, thereby
to guide her attitude and conduct toward them. This moral and spiritual principle
underlying Genesis 10 makes it unique.
(Summary of Near Eastern
History by R.P. Nettelhorst, Chapter: "Prehistory: The Flood", Quartz
Hill School of Theology) [emphasis added]
God used the Hamitic descendants in Egypt and Babylon and the Japhethic
descendants in Rome to train and castigate Israel, to "bring it through the
fire" and "remove the dross". (In metallurgy, certain metals are refined
by melting them. Impurities rise to the top and are skimmed off. This
layer of impurities is known as 'dross'.)
God used the Shemitic and Japhethic descendants to fulfill Noah's curse on
Canaan and His promise to Abraham, giving the land of Canaan's descendants
to Israel and destroying the Phoenicians with Alexander the Great (Tyre)
and Rome (Carthage).
At the Tower of Babel mankind tried to make itself great independent of God,
so God confused man's language. At Pentecost, God showed that men, even
descendants of Canaan, can only be brought together in Him.
God used Jesus, a descendant of cursed Canaan, to redeem the Elect, showing
that people need not be bound by generational curses if they trust and rely
on God for deliverance.
Internet sources found by Altavista search on 11/17/98
Search for: +Hamitic +Bible -WHS -~custance
NLOL means "No Longer On-Line"
WAYBACK means now only accessible through the Internet Archive, www.archive.org
by Arlen L. Chitwood
The Lamp Broadcast, Inc., Norman, Okla. © 1996
Bibliophobe's Guide to the Acts of the Apostles, The. WAYBACK
by S.N.Mousir-Harrison. ©:1997
Part Three -
A God for all peoples.
Black Presence in the Bible - Discovering the Black and African identity
of Biblical Persons and Nations, The.
by Rev. Walter Arthur McCray
Black Light Fellowship, Chicago Illinois © 1990
Black Presence in the Bible and the Table of Nations Genesis 10:1-32,
Volume 2, Table of Nations
by Rev. Walter Arthur McCray
Black Light Fellowship, Chicago Illinois © 1990
(Note: McCray's two books are both paperbacks and the covers look virtually
identical. The only real difference on the covers is the background colors.
At first glance, Volume 2 appears to be a 'rehash' of the first
book, i.e., the author simply paraphrased his first book figuring he would
sell more books. However, this is not the case. Each volume
does cover different material, and anyone interested in this topic
should buy both volumes. Most bookstores do not stock them.
They can be ordered on-line from
& Phoenician History & Culture
by Lilinah biti-Anat Copyright 1997
(Main directory) Levantine and near Eastern Paganism
Curse of Ham: Capsule
of Ancient History, The.
by Robert Brow
This article originally appeared in Christianity Today [October 26, 1973],
From Jerusalem --
Pictures of a Black Jesus NLOL Mar '07
by Moreijah Ben HaMelech a.k.a. Wesley B. Webster © 1997
African Israelite Information Center
Genesis Flood, the
Biblical Record and its Scientific Implications, The.
Article: "Origin of Postdiluvian Civilizations"
by John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris
P & R Publishing, Phillipsburg, New Jersey
High Civilization WAYBACK
by Gregory M. Gordon
Afro-American History I/hst 240, Fall 1998
Index - The Table
by Bill Cooper
Part Two: the Lineage of Ham
to the Exodus: A Picture of the Plan of the Ages, An. WAYBACK
Brother James Parkinson
International Convention of Bible Students -- Miskolc, Hungary
Theology 601 Unit 1 ("Sacred Words") / Lesson 5 (The Torah) WAYBACK
(author not specified) on-line course materials, Culdee College
Egyptology and the History Kemet (Egypt), The. WAYBACK
by Gregory M. Gordon, History Professor,
College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL U.S.A.
(12 Sept 1998)
Black Ethiopia Israelites (author not identified) WAYBACK
Repopulation after the
Christian Network: The Ben Crick Files
Roots of the Nations,
Chapter 3: The Descendants of Ham
Arthur C. Custance, PhD.
The Arthur C. Custance Library (downloadable)
Summary of Near Eastern
by R.P. Nettelhorst
Chapter: "Prehistory: The Flood"
Quartz Hill School of Theology, 43543 51st Street West - Quartz Hill, CA
of North African History, 1000 B.C. - 630 A.D. WAYBACK
by Dr. Robert A. Hess, Messiah College
This Land is
Abridged from the booklet of the same name by the Chicago Bible Students