(If I say something that is right, then God has inspired me. If I say something that is wrong, then it is my own mistake.)
1. Claims of Biblical Israelites being white or Black.
Over the years, I've come across arguments by certain race-centric fringe groups (among both whites and blacks) attempting to claim the Biblical
Israelites as belonging to their respective racial stocks. Such ideas are presented alongside skewed interpretations of scriptures, and made to look
like it has some Biblical validity. Two such examples :
And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance
-I Samuel 16:12
There are plenty of other scriptures used by race-centric groups to substantiate their views regarding the racial stock of Biblical Israelites. But I
am not about to dissect every one of them and I'm definitely not going to highlight groups propagating race-centric theology. Instead, this thread
will try and demonstrate how ideas about Biblical Israelites being white or black stops working when common sense and logic is applied.
Those who propose that the scripture contains references to their race or kind are simply seeing what they believe in the scriptures. They force
meanings into the text, which otherwise do not exist. For example, "brass in a furnace"
are not descriptions of any
particular skin type as race-centirc theologians would have you believe. When common sense is applied, we know that "brass in a furnace"
a fiery glow and cannot be a skin color. "Ruddiness"
simply means a healthy red color
. It has to do with blood rushing to the face,
and therefore can apply to any body who is fair skinned, thereby including everyone from the Orientals to Indians to Caucasians to Mexicans to
2. What did the Biblical Israelites actually look like?
Now, I am not claiming to know exactly what the Biblical Israelites looked like. But it is possible to guess the racial make up of the Biblical
Israelites by referring to the racial features of the people who are presently living in the middle east, i.e - the geographical regions occupied by
the Biblical Israelites.
We clearly see that people of the Middle east, regardless of their religious beliefs, are not exactly racially homogeneous and that there exists a
broad spectrum of features and skin tones. Some tend to look more "white", like the Syrian child and the Lebanese women, while the Egyptian man
looks "black". Yet in all cases, they aren't "white" or "black" in the conventional sense, as imagined by whites and blacks subscribing to
ideas about Biblical Israelites being of their respective racial stock.
The features of contemporary Middle Eastern people may not give us a 100% accurate portrait of the racial make up of Biblical Israelites who lived
3000 years ago, but it would be a far better approach towards establishing the racial make up of Israelites, than to make arbitrary guesses with
skewed interpretations of Biblical verses. The Biblical Israelites were a middle eastern people and would have definitely resembled the middle eastern
people of today, not peoples who were native to other continents.
Ideas of the Biblical Israelites being "white" or "black" are rooted not in logic and fact, but rather, the bizarre notions of people fantasizing
about belonging to the racial stock of the Biblical Israelites. If anything it all, it simply demonstrates that these race-centric groups place their
racial identity above, or on the same level as their religious beliefs / spirituality. Perhaps this attitude stems from a need to assert themselves as
being part of the crowd that the Bible was mostly written about, like as if being of the same race as the Biblical Israelites would bring them closer
to God. I also suspect that groups who assert that the Biblical Israelites were of their own racial stock subscribe to the theology of Jewish
"chosenness", with which comes a sense of being "special".
God knows best!