The Origin of Jews

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Dear Reader,

An individual has inquired:

In Genesis Chapter 10, the descendants of Noah are listed, and the words "Gentiles" and "Nations" referring to these descendants in this chapter, seem to be interchangeable, both words referring to the stock of Noah. If this observation is true, then wouldn't the Gentiles/Nations mentioned elsewhere in the old testament and new testament, still be referring to those who are the actual stock of Noah? If this be so, then I have a problem understanding logically and scientifically how other ethnic groups, other than actual descendants of Noah (ultimately Israelites/Jews), can be considered Gentiles, Nations, Sons, or descendants of Noah. Is it evenly remotely possible that the ancient Bible translators made a gross error in interpreting the concept of who Gentiles really are, namely, ethnic Jews who strayed from the God of Abraham, whom God sent His Son to redeem and to unite (both faithful and idolatrous Jews), His elect, His chosen people, into one nation? I am not a non-Christian Jew seeking exclusivity of Jehovah, as some may deduce, nor am I a theological scholar soliciting an argument, but merely an ordinary person seeking truth. So, can anyone please clarify for me and others who have the same unvoiced question in mind, the terms "Gentiles" and "Nations" as was meant in Genesis 10? And how other ethnic groups became Gentiles, (lineage of Noah) in the New Testament. Thank you for any recommended literature, preferably scriptures, or scholar's perception on the subject that would enlighten me. I have sought honest answers to honest questions at other sites and from individuals, but to no avail. Hopefully, my quest for truth of the matter will end here.


Reply from Ron Beaulieu

Dear ____________,

I believe that the answer to your question lies within the dictionary definitions of ethnic and Gentile. The descendents of Noah who remained monotheistic (versus those who built the tower of Babel) and apart from those who descended into paganism were later designated as Jews, being primarily of the tribes of Judah, Levi, and Benjamin. God has always had a true and faithful people. All others were pegged as Gentiles, such as the hellenized tribes who were corrupted by Grecian philosophy etc. Later on in history, Gentiles converted to Judaism and Christianity. It appears that certain tribes, such as those of the tribe of Judah, Benjamin and Levi, had certain tribal or ethnic common characteristics of appearance. The tribe of Judah possesses these characteristics more than those of Levi and Benjamin, although all three tribes are considered to be of Jewish extraction. Although many today regard the Jews as a race, it would be more proper to regard them as ethnic tribes descended from Jacob. Shem was the son of Noah that the children of Israel (Jacob) descended from. There were several generations between Shem and Jacob. Judah was a very large tribe. Benjamin was a small tribe that became mixed with the tribe of Judah. Levi was the priestly tribe scatterred among all of the twelve tribes. When the ten northern tribes became separated from the two southern tribes, there were Levites who remained with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

The ten northern tribes were scatterred long before the southern tribes. The northern tribes intermarried and were absorbed by those who took them captive. The (two) southern tribes plus the Levites who remained with them, were less intermarried, as the Jews did not (and many still do not) believe in intermarriage out of their religion. Everyone is a descendent of Noah. His sons went their separate ways and most descendents became pagan or Gentile. The son of Noah, Shem was the one through which Christ, who was of the tribe of Judah, came. The terms Jew and Gentile thus should not be used to designate races per say, but ethnic groups descended from the various sons of Noah and Jacob. We are all brothers and sisters. It becomes clear that to hate any ethnic group or "race" is to hate a brother or sister, and this will not be sanctioned by God our Father.

Ron Beaulieu