Saturday, September 23Spiritual Warfare and Other Cool Bible Stuff

Race Relations In The Bible: The 12 Tribes of Israel – Part 5


"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." - Hosea 4:6

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Who were the Hebrews? What nationalities did they consist of? Why isn’t this taught in Sunday School? We’re about to answer a few questions and probably create a few new question in the process. With that said, let’s get to it:

The Twelve Tribes of Israel

In Part 4 we looked at the parental ethnicities of all of Jacob’s wives and sons. It is these same sons that will come to be known as The Twelve Tribes of Israel. So let’s take a look at each of the twelve sons and see who they chose as wives.

1. Reuben (Hebrew + Syrian): When the other brothers decided to kill Joseph, it was Reuben that intervened. According to scripture, Reuben slept with Bilhah, but the name of his wife is not mentioned. The sons of Reuben were:

  1. Hanoch (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  2. Phallu (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  3. Hezron (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  4. Carmi (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)

“Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.” – 1 Chronicles 5:1

Because of his transgression with Bilhah, he was stripped of his birthright and it was given to the sons of Joseph (it’s about to get interesting). According to the book of Jasher, Reuben married a Canaanite woman, but the Bible is silent about it, so we won’t officially include it here.

2. Simeon (Hebrew + Syrian): It was Simeon and Levi that killed an entire city full of people when they found out that the king of Shechem (Canaanite) raped their sister Dinah (Hebrew + Syrian). Simeon’s wife is not named, but some rabbinical sources say that his wife was Bonah (Canaanite) from Shechem, and some say he married his sister Dinah.

  1. Jemuel (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  2. Jamin (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  3. Ohad (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  4. Jachin (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  5. Zohar (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  6. Shaul (Hebrew + Syrian + Canaanite)

While we don’t know much about the first five sons, Genesis 46:10 tells us the Shaul was the son of a Canaanitish woman, but it doesn’t say she was Simeon’s wife. The Canaanites came from the line of Ham.

3. Levi (Hebrew + Syrian): Levi was the other brother that helped Simeon wipe out an entire city over the rape of their sister Dinah. It is Levi’s line that will go on to become the priests of Israel. Again, we aren’t told anything about his wife, but we know that he had three sons:

  1. Gershon (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  2. Kohath (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  3. Merari (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)

We’re going to get deeper into the line of Levi in Part 6, so I’ll hold off for now, but let’s just say another ethnicity is going to get added to the Hebrew mix.



Read More About Ethnicity & The Bible In My Book

God Couldn't Have Done It Without Africa: Earth's Final Great Awakening


4. Judah (Hebrew + Syrian): The Bible tells us that Judah took a Canaanite wife, an unnamed daughter of Shuah (Genesis 38:2), and they had three sons:

  1. Er (Hebrew + Syrian + Canaanite)
  2. Onan (Hebrew + Syrian + Canaanite)
  3. Shelah (Hebrew + Syrian + Canaanite)

Judah was living in the land of Canaan when he took a wife for his oldest son. Her name was Tamar and she was most likely a Canaanite. God ends up killing Er because he’s evil, and Onan because he won’t get Tamar pregnant, which was the custom. Because of this, Judah keeps Shelah away from Tamar, but we’re just getting started here.

After the death of his wife, Judah happens upon Tamar (disguised as a prostitute), who knows he’s coming (Genesis 38:13). They make a deal, exchange sex for payment, and they part ways (Genesis 38:14-20). Three months later (Genesis 38:24), Judah finds out she’s pregnant, and she goes on to have two more of Judah’s sons:

  1. Pharez (Hebrew + Syrian + Canaanite)
  2. Zerah (Hebrew + Syrian + Canaanite)

Shelah, Pharez, and Zerah are going to come back into play later on, and if you’ve been studying your Bible, then you already know that one of these sons with Canaanite blood is going to be related to Christ. Let’s keep moving.

5. Issachar (Hebrew + Syrian): This is one of several sons that we really don’t know much about. Other than who his mother was and who his children were, the only other thing we know about him was what Jacob had to say before he died. Here are his sons:

  1. Tola (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  2. Phuva (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  3. Job (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  4. Shimron (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)

6. Zebulun (Hebrew + Syrian): This is one of several sons that we really don’t know much about. Other than who his mother was and who his children were, the only other thing we know about him was what Jacob had to say before he died. Here are his sons:

  1. Sered (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  2. Elon (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  3. Jahleel (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)

7. Dan (Hebrew + ?): This is one of several sons that we really don’t know much about. Other than who his mother was and who his children were, the only other thing we know about him was what Jacob had to say before he died. Here are his sons:

  1. Hushim (Hebrew + ? + ?)

8. Naphtali (Hebrew + ?): This is one of several sons that we really don’t know much about. Other than who his mother was and who his children were, the only other thing we know about him was what Jacob had to say before he died. Here are his sons:

  1. Jahzeel (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  2. Guni (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  3. Jezer (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  4. Shillem (Hebrew + ? + ?)

9. Gad (Hebrew + ?): This is one of several sons that we really don’t know much about. Other than who his mother was and who his children were, the only other thing we know about him was what Jacob had to say before he died. Here are his sons:

  1. Ziphion (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  2. Haggi (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  3. Shuni (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  4. Ezbon (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  5. Eri (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  6. Arodi (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  7. Areli (Hebrew + ? + ?)

10. Asher (Hebrew + ?): This is one of several sons that we really don’t know much about. Other than who his mother was and who his children were, the only other thing we know about him was what Jacob had to say before he died. Here are his sons:

  1. Jimnah (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  2. Ishuah (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  3. Isua (Hebrew + ? + ?)
  4. Beriah (Hebrew + ? + ?)

11. Joseph (Hebrew + Syrian): He is definitely the most famous son out of the twelve, even though the Messiah would eventually come from the line of Judah. Nine of his brothers wanted to murder him, but it is Reuben that speaks up on his behalf.

“Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.” – Genesis 37:28

To spare you the trouble of going back, the Midianites were the children of Midian (Hebrew + ?), Abraham’s son with Keturah. They were related to Joseph by blood, but likely didn’t know him at all. The Ishmaelites (Hebrew + Egyptian/African) were Ishmael’s children, Abraham’s son with Hagar. They were also related to Joseph by blood, but probably didn’t know him. The Egyptians were from the line of Ham, through his son Mizraim. No direct relation to Joseph, other than through Noah.

While in Egypt (Africa), Joseph marries Asenath (Egyptian), and they have two mixed race sons that would go on to change the very foundation of scripture. Those sons were:

  1. Ephraim (Hebrew + Syrian + Egyptian/African)
  2. Manasseh (Hebrew + Syrian + Egyptian/African)

A Quick Look At Genetics

I thought it would be good to include this here since it might not have clicked yet for some people reading this. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Dad = 50% Hebrew + 50% Syrian
  • Mom = 100% Egyptian/African

The resulting children would have the following genetic make up:

  • Children = 50% Egyptian/African + 25% Hebrew + 25% Syrian

That means that Ephraim and Manasseh were more African than Hebrew. We’re going to come right back to Ephraim and Manasseh, but first lets deal with Benjamin.

12. Benjamin (Hebrew + Syrian): He was the youngest and apparently the busiest of the twelve because he sired ten sons. Almost as many as his father Jacob. Benjamin was Joseph’s little brother by the same mother, and it is Benjamin that Joseph requested to see when his brothers showed up in Egypt.

  1. Belah (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  2. Becher (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  3. Ashbel (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  4. Gera (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  5. Naaman (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  6. Ehi (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  7. Rosh (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  8. Muppim (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  9. Huppim (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)
  10. Ard (Hebrew + Syrian + ?)


Read More About Ethnicity & The Bible In My Book

God Couldn't Have Done It Without Africa: Earth's Final Great Awakening


The Half Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh

The inclusion of Ephraim and Manasseh into the founding twelve tribes of Israel is monumental in both the historical  and spiritual sense. Here we have Biblical proof that African blood flowed through at least two tribes (one tribe when Joseph is used). But why is that important?

  1. It proves that it is not God, but man that is against interracial mixing.
  2. It proves that the twelve tribes were not Eurocentric, as many false teachers like Arnold Murray and Dennis Murray would have us believe.
  3. It proves that Jacob had no problem with accepting racially mixed grandchildren as his own.

“And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.” – Genesis 48:5

This decision by Jacob, to adopt Ephraim and Manasseh as his own, is going to completely change most of what you think you know about scripture, but you’re going to have to wait for Part 6 to see why.

A Few Quick Observations

  1. These 12 men were the beginning of the tribes of Israel, which means they had to find their wives somewhere. That means there’s another ethnicity in the line, but we just don’t know what it is.
  2. God has remained completely silent about all of the racial mixing, which means racial purity is a man made construct.
  3. Two mixed race children (Ephraim and Manasseh) received the birth right and were adopted by Jacob as his own sons, thus making them part of the 12 tribes.

A Quick Summary of Ethnicity In Israel

I thought this would be a great place to do a quick recap of the ethnicities that have been introduced into the nation of Israel so far. As we head into Exodus, we’re going to have a lot more mixing going on.

  • Hebrew/Middle Eastern: Abraham was a Hebrew.
  • Syrian/Middle Eastern: Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah were Syrian.
  • Canaanite/African/Middle Eastern*: Simeon’s son Shaul was born to a Canaanite woman. Judah had three sons by two different Canaanite women.
  • Egyptian/African: Ephraim and Manasseh were Joseph’s sons born to his Egyptian wife.

As we can see from the above summary of ethnicity in Israel, those concerned with racial purity lost that fight a long time ago. We’re just now heading to Exodus and Israel’s genetic code is already a melting pot, for lack of a better expression.

*The Canaanites are originally from the line of Ham, but Canaan (Noah’s grandson) settled in the Middle East after he was cursed. His brothers settled in Africa. While they technically fall under two different categories based solely on their geographical location, they share the same lineage.

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