Wednesday, March 26, 2008

DNA Confirms Mixed Ancestry of Jews

Alice C. Linsley

Reformed Judaism Magazine has an article about the mixed ethnic and racial identity of Abraham's people. Here is the part that caught my attention:

Based on the anthropological and genetic record, we’ve been able to ascertain that the core Israelite population was not a single homogenous population, as the Bible says, but really an amalgam of local populations—Canaanites, Semites, and others—who merged in one form or another over many centuries and achieved a kind of tribal unity by about 1000 B.C.E., during the time of King Solomon. DNA then begins to come into play again after the development of a worldwide Jewish diaspora, which began in the aftermath of the Assyrian invasion of the Northern Kingdom in the 8th century B.C.E. and again after the destruction of the First (586 B.C.E.) and Second (70 C.E.) Temples in Jerusalem. For example, DNA research now confirms that groups in China and India are likely descendants of Israelites from the First Temple period.

The Bible reveals that the Jews are a not pure race. That is something that the Jewish leaders hoped to accomplish after the return from Babylon, but Jewish racial purity is largely a myth, except for the priestly lines which intermarried exclusively. Those are the lines listed in the genealogies of Genesis 4-12.  The priestly lines do not show a mixed DNA.

Priests married only the daughters of other priests and the priestly lines were patrilineal kin. The priesthood was already well established before Aaron. Moses' father was the eighth generation ruler-priest of the House of Seir, the Horite. Joseph married the chaste daughter of the priest of Heliopolis. Abraham’s mother is not named in the Bible, but according to tradition she was the daughter of a priest associated with the shrine of Karnach on the Nile. Her father is called "Karnevo" in the Babylonian Talmud.  The Karnach temple was dedicated to Horus who was called the “son of God”. The Horites were a caste of priests who were devotees of Horus.

Genesis 10 reveals that Abraham was a descendent of Kush, so we know that the Genesis material has a Nilotic cultural context.

This same article in Reform Judaism Magazine goes on to says: "DNA research of male and female lineages has shown, for example, that certain tribes in Africa and India have Jewish roots."  The Sudra who settled in southern India were from Sudan. They are the ones who build the Harrapa civilization and spread their Nilotic worldview across the anceint Afro-Asiatic Dominion.

They migrated out of East Africa, as did the great kingdom builder Nimrod, one of Abraham's ancestors. These Kushite rulers are responsible for the spread of a common worldview and common religious practices from Bor-No (Land of Noah) near Lake Chad to India.

Related reading:  Jewish Myth of Racial Purity; Challenge to Shaye Cohen's Portrayal of Abraham; The Christ in Nilotic Mythology; Who Were the Kushites?; The Migration of Abraham's Ancestors; Who Were the Horites?


Alice C. Linsley said...

Someone really has the wrong end of the stick if they think that the Bible says that the Israelites were a single homogeneous people. The biblical information is quite clear that there were many peoples under the umbrella "Israel," including many Africans.

TLF+ said...

Yeah, that's one lame misrepresentation of the the Biblical testimony -

"A wandering Aramaean was your father"

"Moses married a Cushite woman"

"Joseph was given an Egyptian wife"

"Ruth, a Moabitess, an ancestor of David"

etc., etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article -- made more interesting by the two comments. Thanks for the good work. GRL3

Anonymous said...

And, more to the point, what are we to do with Jethro, the priest of Midian and Moses' father in law, and his advice to Moses regarding the division of people for better governing (Exodus 18:17-27; Deuteronomy 1:9-18) ?

Abu Daoud said...

Fascinating...also, don't the Hebrews actually leave Egypt along with a mixed multitude of others?

dGabe Evau said...

This was interesting, however not particularly extensive. It does not preclude the possibility of Indo-European or other Northern Eurasian ancestry of Abraham w/ subsequent cultural domination by this group, with a racial predominance of indigenous Middle Easterners, similar to what happened in most of Europe.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Indeed it may be that Abraham's ancestors had Indo-European or Northern Eurasian blood. Genesis doesn't tell us about those people however. The Genesis genealogical information traces Abraham's ancestors back to west central Africa. The kinship pattern of his ancestors is quite distinctive with intermarriage between patrilineal priestly lines with ruler-priests taking 2 wives - one a half-sister and the other a patrilineal cousin. The pattern is traceable from Genesis 4 and 5 to the time of Jesus.