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Abraham and the Children of Israel

Updated: Mar 22

And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran and dwelt there.

Now YHWH said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.

And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

Genesis 11:31, 12:1

The Patriarch Abraham left the city he had apparently grown up in, and where he had acquired a wife, as part of his father Terah’s household, ostensibly to journey to a place he wasn’t aware of, though his father was: YHWH tells Abram He will show him the land he is to journey to and he leaves Haran to travel to the same initial destination of his father, Canaan. It appears that since Terah had chosen to settle in Haran this was now considered the family’s homeland, even though it is clearly stated that Terah had led his household from Ur of the Chaldees. What is of importance is the record of Abram not originating in the land of Canaan.

Abraham was a foreigner in Canaan, as was Isaac and Jacob/Israel after him. He sent back to Haran for a wife for Isaac, who later sent Jacob to the same place for the same purpose, i.e., acquiring a wife, because he had a problem with the women of Canaan who his son Esau married. Abraham was a Semite, and the people of Canaan Hamites, this is clear from the Bible, but as children of sons of Noah they were related, actually cousins. I point this out because today there is somewhat of a controversy about the location of Canaan’s land/Israel, i.e., whether it is a part of what is known today as Africa or not. And this controversy is an apparent attempt to say the Israelites were “African”, and why I am writing this, because the truth is they weren’t if we go strictly by the Bible.

While I agree that Canaan’s land/Israel is part of Africa- it rest on what is called the African tectonic plate- the patriarchal seed of Abraham didn’t originate there, according to the Bible. A look at the map shows us that Abraham’s people came from lands far removed from any direct connection with continental Africa, they were more Asiatic. Were they dark-skinned? Probably yes!

Let’s be realistic about this; we are speaking of a temperate region, with very hot weather most of the year. The original people of this region were undoubtedly dark skin because they would have migrated from the lower portion of the continent as original man was making his way northward.

Once people began to return to this region from farther north, their general coloring became more varied. In only 400 years, the average skin tone of the people in America has gone from that of the native Indians to that of the European invaders and now is transitioning again due to an increase in the number of darker skinned immigrants and slaves.

Climate alone would cause the skin coloring of the people of the region of the Bible stories to have been dark. They certainly were not what is called “fair-skinned”. Remember, Moses was raised in the house of the Egyptian Pharaoh, so there was a similarity between the appearance of the two peoples. The Nubians and Ethiopians are known to have been dark skinned, so it stands to reason that their next-door neighbors, the Egyptians, were also dark skinned, perhaps to a lesser degree, but still dark.[1]

Elamites (iStock)

Persians (Nat. Geo.)

Assyrians (iStock)

King Menes Narmer, Egypt (Tours Portal)

Abraham was a Semite, who was married to a Semitic woman, Sarah, who gave birth to a son, Isaac, who in turn married a Semitic woman, Rebekah, who gave birth to two Semitic sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau married two Hamitic women and Jacob/Israel two Semitic ones. We also can add that Abraham- as Abram - had a son, Ishmael, by Hagar, Sarai’s Egyptian/Hamitic handmaid. What we see thus far is a wholly Semitic lineage from Abraham to Jacob/Israel. However, once Jacob/Israel returns to Canaan with his family, things begin to change; he returned with two wives and 12 children, the oldest –Reuben—no older 19.

These twenty years have I been in thy house: I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy flock; and thou hast changed my wages ten times.

Genesis 31:41

Jacob/Israel’s sons had not started families by the time of his return to Canaan, therefore when it says 70 souls of Jacob’s loins went into Egypt, this means the sons had children by wives who weren’t included in the count, at least 12. We know Joseph’s wife was Egyptian/Hamitic, and I’m going to say that the other son’s wives were Canaanite/Hamitic women because it makes sense for them to take of the women around them, much as the story of Judah seems to indicate.

And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in unto her.

Genesis 38:2

After over 200 years in Egypt, the pattern would have repeated, with the male children of the Israelites in many cases taking Egyptian wives, though this would have only added to the now abundance of Hamitic blood in the veins of the Israelites from already mingling with Canaanite women. That Hamitic peoples were/are African/dark-skinned was accepted as a truism; Ham was even said to have been “cursed” black! The later Mosaic prohibition against marrying Canaanites was too little and far too late, that ship had already sailed! The story of Judah is a lesson for today’s Jewish people in particular because there can be no question of the lineage of Judah’s sons, Shelah, Perez and Zerah, who were born of Canaanite/Hamitic women, and Jewish lineage today is through the woman!

YHWH caused Abraham to leave the area where he was born and grew up, where all the people were basically Semites, and to settle in a foreign land among another people, Hamites. He caused Jacob/Israel to take his whole family even deeper into Hamitic territory, Egypt, because there was something I feel He wanted them to acquire.

And God spoke unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said: 'Jacob, Jacob.' And he said: 'Here am I.'

And He said: 'I am God, the God of thy father; fear not to go down into Egypt,for I will there make of thee a great nation.

I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again, and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.'

Genesis 46:2-4

The Israelites left Egypt far different from the herdsmen who entered after over two hundred years of exposure to Egyptian culture and knowledge; they entered a family and left a nation. They left a blend of Semitic and Hamitic, both intellectually and genetically, with Moses instructing them on how to govern themselves as this new corporate body using the skills he acquired while a prince in the Egyptian royalty. The God of Abraham sent them south to the seed of Ham to learn and prosper, he used the north - the seed of Japheth - to chastise them.

For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.

Jeremiah 50:3

This Semitic/Hamitic relationship is given further emphasis in the story of Boaz/Judahite and Ruth/Moabitess.

So, Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in unto her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.

And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying: 'There is a son born to Naomi'; and they called his name Obed; he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez begot Hezron;

and Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab;

and Amminadab begot Nahshon

and Nahshon begot Salmon;

and Salmon begot Boaz,

and Boaz begot Obed;

and Obed begot Jesse,

and Jesse begot David.

Ruth 4:13, 17-22

Remember Perez?

And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in unto her.

And she conceived and bore a son; and he called his name Er.

And Judah took a wife for Er his first-born, and her name was Tamar.

And it was told Tamar, saying: 'Behold, thy father-in-law goeth up to Timnah to shear his sheep.'

When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot; for she had covered her face.

And he turned unto her by the way, and said: 'Come, I pray thee, let me come in unto

thee'; for he knew not that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said: 'What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?'

And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.

And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold his brother came out; and she said: 'Wherefore hast thou made a breach for thyself?' Therefore, his name was called Perez.

Genesis 37:2,3,6,13,15,16,27,29

The mother of Perez wasn’t even the wife of Judah, she was the widow of his eldest son, undoubtedly a Canaanite/Hamite, and the line of Judah that seemingly led to David is recorded as passing through her son! If the Jewish people today trace their lineage back to the Judah of the Bible, then they must acknowledge that they are half Semitic and half Hamitic at the very least, for all Judah’s sons were by Canaanite/Hamitic women.

There has been a controversy recently over the decision of a director of Iranian descent to cast a “Black” woman as the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra. Egyptians are saying that it is a historical fact that Cleopatra’s lineage was Grecian/Ptolemian, and therefore a white/European actress should have been chosen to portray her. This is what the director, Tina Gharavi, had to say:

“Cleopatra’s heritage has been attributed at one time or another to the Greeks, the Macedonians, and the Persians. The known facts are that her Macedonian Greek family — the Ptolemaic lineage — intermarried with West Africa’s Seleucid dynasty and had been in Egypt for 300 years.

Cleopatra was eight generations away from these Ptolemaic ancestors, making the chance of her being white somewhat unlikely. After 300 years, surely, we can safely say Cleopatra was Egyptian.”[1]


Clearly for this director, the Egyptians of Cleopatra’s time were “Black”, as they most likely were during Biblical times and as were all the Hamitic peoples then. After over 200 years among those same Egyptians and Canaanites, the Israelites would have undergone much the same process as Cleopatra’s ancestors!

There is a belief among some archeologists today that the Abraham story is just that; a fabricated account to give special meaning to the history of a group of people who were actually originally Canaanites themselves. In either case, what is clear is that the people who became known as the Children of Israel were not a 100% Semitic group by the time they became known by this name- if they had ever been- and even being Semitic would not have made them European/white during the Biblical era. It would, however, mean that the original Israelites were African if they were Canaanites/Hamites, and not Semitic at all!

The Children of Israel are a historical fact, Abraham a Biblical corner stone, while there is physical evidence of Israel in Canaan, there is only the legend of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees! Were/are the Children of Israel Hamitic and Semitic, or only Hamitic/African?

Addition 17/03/2024-

Came across this today on Quora:

Did the ancient Phoenicians ever mention Israel? Are there any pre–Common Era Phoenician writings about Israel? If so, what is the closest thereof?

Dimitris Almyrantis

I don’t know if we have any Phoenician writing surviving. The Phoenicians had literature, but it was all burnt or lost: I recall reading that the only book surviving from Carthage is a manual on how to treat your slaves, in Latin translation (the Romans had priorities).

We do have references to the two kingdoms of Israel (Samaria) and Judah in the Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions, which detailed political events in stone. Sennacherib’s Prism from the early 7th c. BC is likely the most famous, detailing the Assyrian pillage and devastation of Samaria-Israel and the attack on Judah, which king Hezekiah resisted from within the walls of Jerusalem (“like a caged bird”), buying off the Assyrian host with tribute. The material devastation of the attacks and the ruin of settlements is corroborated by the archaeological record.


The skeptical historical account (with which I entirely agree on this issue) deviates from the Biblical narrative on several points:

·      the Israelites did not originate in Mesopotamia, and were never captive in Egypt, and there was no migration or conquest of Canaan.

The Jews, Samaritans, and Phoenicians were in fact all closely related peoples living in Syria-Canaan who spoke closely related languages, used similar scripts, and worshipped the same gods (the various forms of Baal/Adonai were more competing varieties than opposites). The later mythic history of a nation held captive in Egypt and coming in as conquerors against supposed native Canaanites was glorifying legend invented in imitation of Assyrian royal propaganda, which privileged successful conquest.

·      there doesn’t seem to have been a United Kingdom ruled by David and Solomon, including both Israel and Judah.

While the Jews and Samaritans-Israelites were very closely connected, and the Torah used by the Samaritans is near-identical to that of the Jews (replacing Jerusalem with Mt. Gerizim), the idea that both kingdoms were preceded by a United Kingdom that was a major regional power is unsubstantiated. More likely they developed in parallel, and the Hellenistic Hasmonean kingdom was the first to cover both regions.

The account of the Babylonian Captivity, however, (i.e. the spoliation and abduction of large parts of the Jewish population and their return) is much more recent, and in outline historical.

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