The Rabbis say that we Karaites don't have the oral traditions to sustain ourselves through the changes of society and civilization. I've always had difficulty accepting that comment considering that we are still here almost 1300 years after our establishment as a distinct entity. True, we never bothered to incorporate what Rabbinical Judaism called the "oral" or unwritten laws into our faith, primarily because when God told Moses to assemble 70 judges to write the laws down, he presented them as complete and immutable, so anything referred to as the "oral laws" were not from God but the interpretations of men. Men who would bend the laws to suit their own purpose. So the accusation that we are lacking the oral laws is most definitely true but I can assure you that we are certainly not lacking our oral traditions, legends and history. This we have meticulously preserved for countless centuries. The story I'm about to present is one of these. It is an ancient tale, that even though Rabbinical Judaism is aware of it, they have strived to make it vanish because in many ways it is contrary to what they wish their followers to believe. It is about a very beautiful princess that followed her husband along the Exodus from Egypt to the land of Canaan. For the most part she has been obliterated from the Five Books of Moses except for the rare reference but there were other books and these existed outside the control of the Rabbis and they have survied. And together they tell a story that is well worth reading.
Felasha Jews from Ethiopia
Over the years I have had the pleasure of rabbinical detractors saying to me, "Where's your proof?" Their implication being that the stories and tales that I either blog about or write in my series of novels known as the Kahana Chronicles are the fabrication of a very fertile mind. Even though you will notice that many of the hubs that I produce on this site have pictures of the books and pages that I cite my material from, they still find it difficult to accept that the world is not as they have grown up to believe but that history is filled with many paradoxes and editors that have been quite brutal in removing what they did not find suitable to their own tastes. Probably the greatest of the editors was Ezra the Scribe because he was arrogant enough to edit the Torah to suit a political agenda. Now that's a comment that might even offend my Karaite brethren because as you know, we built our entire faith on the Tanakh and to now have its authenticity questioned is paramount to being blasphemous. Let me qualify my statement by saying that he only dared to make minute changes to suit his agenda and that these changes suited more the Pharasaic movement that developed two centuries later than it did the Saddukim upon which we base much of our belief structure. Returning from exile in Persia, Ezra and the aristocrats that accompanied him wished to exert control over a population that for roughly two generations had continued in their absence to live and thrive in Israel and Judea. And as we know from our own past couple of centuries the best way to control a population is at first to divide it so that various factions are set one against the other. The unification that follows is stronger because the dominant faction has removed the dissenters and those politically opposed to the new order. It was no different back then. The population that had never been exiled to Babylon, the poor and lower class Judeans, the Samaritans, the native Canaanites, Edomites and other mixed races would never fully be unified with a re-emergent Judean state. It would take years, perhaps generations before they would be fully integrated and in the process Ezra feared they would dilute the Judaism that he wished to reinstitute; A Judaism that had been "purified" by the rivers of Babylon and coincidentally where he had asserted himself as the Kohen Gadol or the Chief High Priest.
And herein lies the great division of Rabbinates and Karaites. In order to remove the element of society that he feared in his mind would be the greatest proponent of moral and religious decay he forbade anyone that had taken a foreign bride to belong to the Jewish community. Inheritance of faith had become maternal to the exclusion of paternal lineage by the reading of a single edict. But who's edict was it? God's? Certainly not. It was Ezra's and the Pharasiac party that followed and the Rabbinical parties that followed that. As strange as it seems Ezra as a Kohen, a distant relative of my own blood actually passed an edict that ultimately fragmented Judaism centuries later and turned it away from its primary goal, to be a light unto the world encouraging others to seek that light and convert them to what was the only monotheistic religion at that time. And his decision most certainly had a political overtone that outweighed its religious motivation. There already was a ruling class left behind in Judea and Samaria. They were the House of Sanballet and the Tobiads. Families that had a historic right to claim leadership of the land. And there was a priesthood as well; the descendants of Mehsullam who were also legitimate Kohenim from the 24 families chosen by King David. But there was one element this pre-existant leadership all had in common; according to Ezra Chapter 9 they had all taken wives from the various people that inhabited the land who were not Jewish. Coincidentally it was the princes that had returned to Jerusalem with Ezra that lodged the initial complaint. What better way to eliminate the ruling class that had remained behind. As we know from Ezra Chapter 7:26, Ezra had been given ultimate power by the King of Persia. He had been given the authority to put any man that wouldn't follow his edicts to death or banishment or the confiscation of his property or imprisonment. A lot of power that could be abused. And as we see in Chapter 10 he sent out a message through the land that everyone had three days to gather in Jerusalem which would be the 20th day of the 9th month and whomever didn't show up was no longer part of the Jewish community and all his substance was forfeited. Imagine losing your home, your possessions, your business because you didn't come when summoned by a group of men that haven't been around for 70 years and now say that they're in charge. And to those that showed up in Jerusalem they were told that they had to divorce themselves from their foreign wives and any children of those wives if they wished to keep their status and property. It would appear that many did so, as harsh and as cruel as this edict was.
And so was born the law of inheritance that separates Karaites from Rabbinical Jews. But was the edict by Ezra a true rendering of the laws from the Torah? Was this God's ruling or as I have mentioned a political device utilized by a returning elite to gain dominance over the land and the people? Certainly not according to Numbers 12:1 a single line that has sent Rabbis and many Christian leaders scrambling in their attempts to try and explain in a hundred other ways than accept it as a clear statement that the foreigness of a wife or the colour of her skin is not the determinant of one's being Jewish but it is the faith of the father that does so.
How much clearer can God be about the paternal inheritance of Judaism? From the Torah, this particular sentence expresses the challenge made by Aaron and Miriam to not only usurp Moses's authority but to force him, exactly as Ezra did, to divorce his wife and send her away or face being banished from the Jewish congregation. Well, God wasn't going to have a bar of it and made it perfectly clear that women were not the determining factor when he punished Miriam for raising the challenge against Moses but spared Aaron the embarassment of being punished as well.
Now I have watched and read over the years how many rabbinical authorities and Christian authorities have attempted to explain this line in Numbers as not being literal. That the wife referred to was Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro the Midianite and all that Aaron and Miriam were saying was that she was not one of the escaping slaves and therefore her thinking was as if she was "foreign" to them. Why that should even be an issue is beyond anyone with a modicum of intelligence. Then these same scholars attempt to explain another possibility by saying it was an issue of jealousy. That they wanted Moses to send her away because she had a greater influence on him than they did. The one that had the influence was her father Jethro, a priest, a chieftain and who Moses placed above all others. It wouldn't be a case of sending Zipporah away but several thousand Midianites and that wasn't going to happen. And just to set the record straight, the Midianites were Semites as we learn from Genesis, so any argument of foreigness is entirely fabricated since the Hebrew slaves were nothing but a large number of Semites from various tribal backgrounds and Zipporah was no different from any of them.
Once you've gone through all these arguments with a rabbinical student, they're willing to take the argument to the next level. A battle of semantics. The wife in Numbers 12:1 is described as a Cushite. Cush is the Semitic name for Ethiopia. But you will find this student is willing to argue that a Cushite is actually someone from Cushan. And Cushan was another name for the land where the Midianites came from in the Sinai peninsula. And they will smile and think they have you until you remind the that everywhere else in the Torah a person from Midian is referred to as a Midianite. Why would there be an exception for this one sentence.? And then you will say, but even if it was so, wouldn't someone from Cushan be a Cushanite, not a Cushite? And I always love this answer because it's one of desperation. You will hear about how one of the scribal editors that was copying the Torah made an error and wrote Cushite by accident and the mistake was carried on from every copying afterwards until the original versions wer lost through time. That would imply that there never was more than one copy being made througout all the land or that if there were multiple copies being made, then this one scribe was responsible for making all of them so that the same error appeared in all of them. We know that's not the case, that there were schools of scribes copying the Torah and all of them would have made the same error which never got picked up by any of the proofreaders throughout an entire country. I think not!
But to finish the argument the fact is that Cushan has a vuv as its second letter in the Hebrew spelling. Cush doesn't. And in the sentence of Numbers 12:1 there is no vuv as the second letter in Cushite. This woman was Ethiopian and she was very important to Moses. We don't know a lot about her from the Torah, but then again, his wife Zipporah didn't receive much press either after her marriage to Moses. We here about her joining Moses with his two sons in the desert once the exodus began and that's it. As a nation of oral traditionalists, it would be very unusual that there weren't stories about this Ethiopian wife, that wasn't Semitic, and whom God went out of his way to protect by warning both Aaron and Miriam that they were not to ever attempt to banish her from the community.
Moses's Beautiful Black Wife
Of course there are historical writing that allude to this Ethiopian Princess. And as a Karaite, it is vitally important that I can point to her existence as evidence of the correctness of paternal inheritance. If the most illustrious of our prophets, our law giver, our father of the nation can take a wife from foreign lands and in no way this diminishes his stature as a member of the congregation then it essentially confirms this basic tenant of Karaism. That is not to say that there aren't restrictions on marriage. There are and most of these apply to the Kohenim, the high priesthood, as in to which offspring would be eligible for holding the position based on the mother's background but it is not a case of whether the offspring would be Jewish or not.
The first of these historical treatises was by Artapanus in the 3rd-2nd centuries B.C. Of course depending on the age of the original versions of Yasher Shemot and Yalkut, the legend may have already been written down when Artapunus decided to release his own version. And it was Artapanus's version that played a major source for Flavius Josephus's version released in Antiquities of the Jews (Ant. II.x.2) around 91 A.D. But Josephus had other sources he used as well which would only indicate than in spite of Ezra's reformation, several hundred years later the people were still saying that it wasn't the case in Moses's day.
Artapanus provides us with a wonderful story of how Moses, as a young prince of Egypt was sent by his stepfather (who was not the Pharaoh but his master of the horse) Chenephres with an army to invade Ethiopia. It was designed as a suicide mission since his stepfather was jealous of his stepson's popularity. But apparently Moses had some unanticipated military talents and after battling for years he was able to conquer Ethiopia. Moses returned to Egypt where he was welcomed by Chenephres but still being jealous of him, Chenephres removed Moses's army and sent them back to Ethiopia under the governorship of Nacheros, thereby stripping Moses of his authority and protection. He then ordered Chanethothes to assassinate Moses who tried to flee but was foiled when Chanenthothes learned of his attempted escape. The two men fought and Moses killed his enemy which then leads to the story in the Torah of how he had to flee into the desert where he encountered Zipporah and her sisters. Artapanus doesn't mention an Ethiopian Princess but he does suggest that Moses spent up to nine years in Ethiopia and the Queen of Sheba when she visits Solomon provides an indication that she was a descendant of Moses. A lot can happen in nine years.
The story by Flavius Josephus definitely has similarities to that by Artapanus but in Josephus's version, he is sent by his adopted mother Thermutis to Pharoah to receive the honour of generalship over the army being sent against Ethiopia. He apparently catches the Ethiopians by surprise as they were thinking he would attack by floating down the Nile but instead Moses took an overland route. Moses took city after city, chasing the Ethiopians back into their capital city Saba (Sheba). Saba was surrounded by the Nile and other rivers and had a great wall around it. The battle raged outside the walls but Moses could not press the advantage. The daughter of the Ethiopian king would watch the battle from the walls and overtime fell in love with Moses as she watched him do battle. It was then that Tharbis thought of a way to end the battle, save the city and stop the slaughter. She sent out her servant with a message to Moses. If he would agree to marry her then the city would surrender and pay tribute to the Egyptians. Moses accepted and consummated his marriage to Tharbis before returning with his bride and army to Egypt. Upon his return Pharaoh feared the success and popularity that Moses enjoyed and began worrying that he would become a threat to his throne. Moses became aware of Pharaoh's plot to have him killed and he flees into the desert.
There is a very similar story to that of Josephus written by Lucius Cornelius Alexander Polyhistor who was given his freedom by Sulla which therefore places him in the early 1st century B.C. The fact that a slave in Rome would be writing of this story makes you appreciate just how popular and well circulated it was, even though there are no old rabbinic sources that either mention Moses conducting wars against the Ethiopians nor his marriage to the Ethiopian princess. One can only assume that this oversight by rabbinical authors was intentional. Either they did not want it well known that Moses had taken a foreign wife, and this was acceptable to God which undermines the entire rabbinical premise of inheritance of faith through maternal lines only, or else they were embarrassed by the fact she was black and therefore contrary to the concept of the children of Ham, she was neither cursed nor considered unworthy.
On the other hand, as a Karaite I look at it from the perspective of how wonderful that God has sent a clear message regarding the law of inheritance and who can be a Jew. It is not restricted by sex or colour or even point of origin. It only requires faith and adherence to the original scriptures.
Peaceful1 on October 25, 2012:
It is within the heart that Yahweh will look. It is to Yahweh that we look for Peace and security. We may agree to disagree as Peoples this system will end with a spiritual structure Yahweh will be the center of all that evolves! Everything else will surround him. Pray to surround yourself around around Yahweh! The past cannot be erased from our DNA, history, spirit or our minds! Magnify his name now and forever!
Kahana (author) on March 17, 2012:
Of course I approve of your comment but it would appear you clearly did not understand the intent nor the content of my article in which I thought I was quite precise in demonstrating that colour had no place in religion, especially in Judaism which began as a mixed multitude. So I really do have a right to insist that those that follow the true spirit of YHWH be colourblind because that was what we were intended to always be. You seem to wish to insist that 'white' is in some way inferior and use leprosy as your conviction of purpose. Being afflicted with Mycobacterium, in which your skin undergoes necrosis and turns white, does not imply that somehow being white was considered inferior or undesirable. The colour change was and still is just a medical fact of life. And for your information, I am Misrachi, my skin is ruddy and therefore I am not defending or favouring any particular skin colour. You spent a lot of time trying to make a point that white implied inferiority. Perhaps it is time to realize that white, red, black, yellow makes no difference. It is the beliefs we carry inside, how we treat our fellow man, demonstrating kindness and consideration to all, by which YHWH will judge us by.
passin by on March 14, 2012:
oops...meant to say
"in essence those who inflict the "colour as race" fallacy (especially the more spiritual aspect of Yashra'al) have no real authority to insist on colour-blindness of the rest of us; they are those who clearly see or promote colour distinctions...."
that is if you dare to post my comment.
passin by on March 14, 2012:
well, that's really rich...
Insisting that detractors of this article be "colour-blind" when this article is used to assert the issue of "colour" with regards to Yashra'al (e.g., "Moses's Black Wife") is ironic at best; and reveals what lies just below the surface: a latent sense of entitlement. If my comments appear harsh, try being the recipient of the hypocrisy of "colour-blindness".
Maybe "Moses's Blacker Wife" (sarcasm intended) should be the revised title within this article because its author makes an unfortunate assumption about the colour of the ancients being biased towards so-called "white"; there is just too much evidence to refute this notion which could easily be seen as low-level bigotry.
Numerous times in Scripture we have examples of "white" skin being the exception to the rule and also a sign of a curse:
-Adam (the male and female) was made of the dust of the ground (that's erets; brown earth with a ruddy glow to it with blood running through it; without blood brown skin appears ashen);
-Mosha's hand turned white as a sign from YHUH; as can be recalled he was astonished, even terrified and, i'm guessing, relieved when his hand returned to its "original" colour;
-Myram cursed with the shame of leprosy; her skin turned white as a consequence of her impudence. It is evident that this was not a highly desired thing as she was separated from her people for 1 week until her skin returned to its natural colour.
-Gehazi (Elisha's servant?) cursed with Naaman's leprosy perpetually; so he and his descendants bore the sign of his covetousness and greed.
-In The Book of Yashar, Melol was also cursed with leprosy; I believe his affliction became a deeper form of leprosy and cancer since he lost his protection from the sun for his wickedness towards Yashra'al. YHUH avenged against him for killing our infants to attempt to heal himself and diminish our numbers otherwise.
-Laban (the sorcerer) means "white"; he was likely a "natural" born albino as Manuacham (Noach) was (1Hanwkh/Enoch).
-According to the book of Yashar Sham and Ham dwelt together (which explains why Manuacham's prophecy of Yaphath dwelling in the tents of Ham probably seemed unlikely at that time as Yaphath left and went north); notice we learn of the exploits of children of Sham and Ham and very little of Yaphath until later (Babel conquered by the Madai and Paratz and Ashkenaz).
-1Hanwkh (Enoch) and Yashar both state or suggest (prophecy of the animals) that Yaphath looked more like his father (his skin was lighter; but still brown). Additionally, the Watchers and Runaways/Former Watchers/Fallen Malakim looked like white, blonde men; hence the illegitimate children the Naphalim would take on the characteristics of their fathers who cohabited with banwth ha Adam.
More likely than not, with the exception of malakim and naphalim, most of the people i note here had clean leprosy; that's what it's called when skin loses its melanin protection and turns to various shades of white but the sufferer doesn't have deformity; e.g., Michael Jackson's affliction.
White skin has always been the exception in Scripture; not the rule. Nowadays, people can see through the lie of colour as a sign of superiority or a right to survival of the fittest based on that notion; even genetic science proves that "white" is not "right" but one of many variations on the original theme of Adam and the effect on our race by fallen, interfering malakim and environment.
The Lemba preserve anywhere from 65% - 85% of the DNA of the Kohanim of Yashra'al. This makes me think that their superficial features are somewhat consistent with that of Lewi the Administrators and Managers of Yashra'al. Realize that dark skin is a dominant feature in mankind. White skin is a recessive trait (introduced into Adam by the Runaways and, later on, is the body's amazing response to drastic changes in the environment); so-called "black" features will prevail more often than so-called "white" features in so-called "mixed" unions. Anecdotally, i see the evidence of this "dominance" in my own family which ranges from the lightest light to the darkest dark; and we're all Yashra'al.
There are other peoples in what is now called the African continent who are also part of the Baht Phutzi. The Ashkenaz by comparison have a paltry 15% of the Kohanim gene dispersed amongst them; which suggests to me that so-called "black" Lewites married into Yaphath (foreigners) since Ashkenaz is a descendant of Yaphath.
I also find the title Mizraim (Saphardim) very interesting; it suggests to me that they may be representative of the "mixed multitude" that escaped Mizraim with Yashra'al; I wonder if it was only pure Yashra'al and pure Mizraim that left? Perhaps others also sojourned with Yashra'al.
In essence those who inflict the "colour as race" fallacy (especially the more spiritual aspect of Yashra'al) have no real authority to insist on colour-blindness of the rest of us who clearly see or promote colour distinctions. After all the one insisting should lead by example if they wish to be taken seriously with regard to colour and race or the promotion of blindness to such things.
Chaplain Bernell Wesley from Jonesboro,Georgia on January 12, 2011:
I was the ony African American to work onOperation Moses from the field. I was an English teacher
Kahana (author) on December 01, 2010:
The passage in Deuteronomy makes it clear that Ezra's enforcement of a cruel punishment for crimes that may have not even existed was contrary to the intent of God. From Deuteronomy 21 we can appreciate that the daughters of our enemies can and should be brought in to the Israelite community if we should fall in love with them. Though in the aforementioned cases we would take them captive, they are not to be treated as concubines or slaves but as free women, as our wives. They are to cut their hair and their nails as if in mourning because they will be burying their former lives, abandoning their old beliefs and adopting our way of life and beliefs. We are not to mistreat them, nor harm them in any way, and if they should choose not to adopt the Israelite traditions, then we are to set them free, and give them the means by which to survive, and definitely not strip them of all their belongings and possessions. What Ezra imposed, was a complete contradiction. These women and their husbands from the non-exiles were given no opportunity to prove their adoption of new laws he was introducing. They were not allowed to retain their property. They were exiled from the community and treated as non-entities with no rights. They were humiliated, persecuted, and ultimately punished contrary to the will of God. And their possessions were given to the returning aristocracy that had no rights to them. That is the reality. As in so many affronts to God, greed and the trappings of power have led us astray and clouded our judgments.
caleb on November 27, 2010:
On your point about Ezra And the women compaired
To Deut 21 :10-14, how are they related? One is about
Women incaptivity the other is about women trying to
Get there Israel men to worship other gods I see vwhat you are saying but could you vgive me more on
PEACE IN (YAH)
BnBashath BnYaqob on September 18, 2010:
That is a very nice, reasonable response, Kahana.
Kahana (author) on September 05, 2010:
BnYaqob, I'll remind you as I remind those that promote an all white origin to the Children of Israel, that it was a mixed multitude and those that insist that colour is or was in some way a prerequisite to a Jewish inheritance have totally misunderstood Yahweh. Thankfully, my God is colourblind and we should try to emulate that characteristic of the Lord if we are to truly follow in His footsteps.
BnBashath BnYaqob on September 04, 2010:
"We merely have to look at the physical characteristics of Afro-Americans over the last four hundred years to see how rapidly these features can change from the original pure African features they would have had originally."
To think that "pure africans" look the same is,
uninformed to say the least.
I won't go into the varying physical characteristics of neighboring communities anymore than to say that short dark skinned Africans, tall brown skinned Africans, medium height light skinned Africans, all reside in the same countries or cities within Africa as different ethnic groups.
Rape by Massa is not the only cause for noses that aren't flat and lips that aren't bigger than yours.
Those are NOT "european features", unless everything is seen through a eurocentric lens (Hmmmmmmmmm.....)
African Americans are, for the most part, descended from those that inhabited the Holy Land.
The haplotype common among African americans
is not common in Africa, not even West Africa.
The African American Haplotype
originates from North Africa.
Shem did not necessarily look like Arabs do today.
Oral tradition says that Ham and Shem looked very similar, but Japheths' appearance was more closer to
Idumeans or Edomites,
hence the Isle of the Gentiles gift of territory.
Egyptian President Gamal Nasser said that
"There will never be peace in Israel
because the Jews left black, but came back white."
Zondervans Bible Dictionary (a very reliable authority) states that The American Negro, or African American
is NOT descended from Ham, but from Shem.
Moses and his people certainly were dark skinned, wooly haired people.
It wasn't until 1505 when Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint biblical characters with european features did this whole misconception begin.
All ancient renderings clearly depict the Hebrews as people of color, but more importantly, even Negroid.
As evidenced in the carvings of Assyrian Soldiers leading Hebrews into bondage.
Praise YAH for truth,
Not traditions of man
or respecting of persons
chocolatefish on June 16, 2010:
I always knew there was more to that story. Thanks for telling us all. What they hid was beautiful. Too bad they were afraid to tell the whole story. It makes Moses even a greater man than he's portrayed.
Kahana (author) on June 12, 2010:
Misterdiggs, no need to apologize. If one does not ask, then one does not get answers. Let's begin with the term Semite. Because we only think in the language we use, rather than in the language the term originated in, we aren't aware that the term Semite is actually in reference to Shem, one of the son's of Noah. You see, in that chapter of Genesis, all the races of man are traced back to the son's of Noah, so in that respect, we all share a common ancestor, we are all the same. But people have chosen to emphasize the differences rather than the similarities. Take away the external features, which we know are environmentally induced, and physiolocially, structurally, internally, we are identical. I have often told people to hear with their eyes and see with their ears and it will open up the realization that we are not different. We only choose to 'see' ourselves so. As for the onset of Judaism, the enigma is that until the advent of Abraham, there doesn't appear to be much monotheism in the world. So everyone that went before him was pagan and this definitely presents a world different from the picture given in Genesis where God did seem to be a presence and play a role in mankind's lives. Why no one before Abraham appears to have remembered that is a riddle. But even Abraham wasn't Jewish, that came four to five hundred years later once monotheism began to take root and for the first time a mixed multitude of people were united under a codified set of religious laws; laws handed down by God through Moses. But of that mixed multitude, only a small part were Judahites or Jews for short. Again, you must remember that English was not the language spoken, so Yehudim, as those of the tribe of Judah would refer to themselves became Jew in Enghlish, Juden in German, Juif in French, etc. But the predominance of the tribe of Judah only came about after one of their own, David, becoming king and following the destruction of the northern Kingdom by the Assyrians. Because the people became split, it was Israel in the North and Judah in the south. And even though Judah comprised not only Judahites, but Ephramites, Simeonites, Benjaminites and those Levites residing their, it was their kingdom, so everyone was labelled as Jew. Much in the same way that everyone in America is American, though ethnically, they are a very mixed multidtude. I hope this has helped answer your questions.
misterdiggs from Limbo on June 12, 2010:
In the Holy Bible; specifically the book of Genesis we are told that all human beings have their origins in Adam and Eve. In my estimation this would mean that all human beings are related. That incest was not a sin early on in the early human family but became a sin later.
I am often told that my reasoning is an oversimplification however apart from other human beings being created by God or the scientific explanation of other species of humanoids within evolution there is no other explanation.
My question is 1)Were the original Jews a distinct race of human beings? 2) Did these Jews have specific physical characteristics different from their "cousins" who would later be converted to Judaism or marry into it?
I reason that if all humans are of Adam and Eve then all humans are Jews by reason of their human birth if not by doctrine.
It is my understanding that Yehovah set apart a people to himself to call them Holy. Were these covenant people who were set apart of a particular race?
I have heard that the term "semitic" is a term that incorporates the word "semi" which supposedly means "mixed" or "part." Is this true?
Forgive me if my questions dominate your time but I am curious to know your thoughts as to Jews and humanity per the Holy Scriptures.
I won't bother you further; suffice to say I will seek answers to my other questions elsewhere.
Thank you in advance.
Kahana (author) on June 12, 2010:
Neferkaptah, may I suggest you also read my hub on A Karaite Reading of Exodus. I think you might find that one very interesting and then we can talk further about the way things were.
Neferkaptah on June 12, 2010:
The Theosophy of Twt-Mos Djoser
I am facinated with your knowledge of understanding of the translated texts of my Semitic Hebrew ancestors who came out of my beloved Kemet with an African religion who they then, transformed for their own necessities and I can't speak about the biblical Moses, Moshe, Moises or Musa, but I can tell you that the name is not Hebrew, but Ancient Egyptian derived from the name M-S pronounced phetically as Mos, which means, "The rightful heir", but in the Hebrew the name Moshe means, "He who was taken out of the water" if I am not mistaken.
Second, the Hebrew Adonai, which means, "L-rd" for the orthodox Jews can be derived either from Adonis or Adon and Adon is the equivalent to the Ancient Egyptian the Aton, or the Aten, which is the only neter god in the pantheon of neteroo, which no physical representation was acceptable, was considered the uncontainable that couldn't be contained and it didn't manifest in any way or form to its followers.
Third, for me the biblical Moshe, Moses, Moises or Musa is none other than, A'aferti Ankh-Aten who was Egyptian/Semite because his father was A'aferti Amenhotep the 3rd "King Solomon" and his mother was Queen Tiye, which was the true power in those days behind the throne of Amenhotep the 3rd and she was the daughter of Yuya, which is considered to be in the biblical account, Iose ben Iaakov.
Fourth, the biological father of Prophet Moshe, Moses, Moises or Musa was Amram or Imram and this also the name, which A'aferti Ankh-Aten gave to his spiritual and personal father the, Aten, which can be transformed into the Hebrew Adon and then, Adonai "The L-rd."
Both Moshe and Ankh-Aten married an Ethiopian woman who was the queen in Ethiopia and in the Ancient Egyptian account her name was "Adonith", which means, Adon it and Adon is the Aten, but I cannot relate Zippora to the Ancient Egyptian's neteroo excpet, that the name ends in "ra", which can be said that is "Ra."
Amram or Imram is the base for the city of Ankh-Aten, which is Tell-Armana, which means, "The City on the Horizon of the Aten" meaning, that Tell-Armana is under the protection of the Aten or Adonia "The L-rd."
What I am trying to say is that everything in this world has several sides to the same story and one must try to look at all the sides; however, in all fundamental religious systems and institutions since the dawn of civilization, the dominating religion(s) are totalitarian and are the ones that dicates what is truth and what is a lie and you hav to decide what is truth and what is a lie and not the religious leaders and don't take the biblica account face value.
Take for instance, Aaron who was the Kohen Ghadol "high priest" of Adonai I-H-V-H in the Ancient Egyptian account, the older brother of A'aferti Ankh-Aten was the high priest of Ptah and Ptah is the universal demiurge, which created the seven heavens and the earth and the humanity in them and everything from his very own essence, life and intellect subjected to the law, which is Ptah itself and the older bother of the Pharaoh Ankh-Aten was murder because no Semitic Hebrew would be permitted to rule Egypt and her children, which will be the enslavement and oppression of Anciet Egyptians in their land and country by the Semite and this cause for a law to be passed.
The law stated more or less "That the Hebrew male child would be sacrificed "murder" in order to prevent them, the Semite Hebrews from having to much power because of the expansion of the population", which then, illustrate that they were reaching and had reached the royal linenage of Kemet.
Kahana (author) on June 11, 2010:
A fair question Mister Diggs. There is an assumption based on media presentation that all Jews are Ashkenazi, or European. For whatever reason, the media tends to overlook the significant populations of Sephardi (Spanish & North African), Mizrachi (Bessarabian, Mesopotamian & Arabian), Bene Israel (Indian), Felasha (African) and Lemba (African), and Kaifeng (Chinese) Jews. So the perception is that as a people we must all be white and from Germany and Poland. What is most interesting is that wherever Jews have migrated, due to environment and intermarriage, we accordingly acquire the characteristics of native populations. Hence the Indian Jews look like Indians, Chinese Jews look Chinese, etc. I have recently read a statistic that on DNA testing 17% of the Ashkenazi Jews tested as being from other populations. So with a 1 in 5 intermarriage rate or conversion rate, it is no surprise that the physical characteristics have become similar to the European populations. We merely have to look at the physical characteristics of Afro-Americans over the last four hundred years to see how rapidly these features can change from the original pure African features they would have had originally.
But this article was actually hinting at something different. We know that Zipporah, was a Medianite and therefore of semitic origins. But there definitely appears to be references to a second wife who was Cushite, or of pure African origins. And even though the Exodus was of a mixed multitude, the fact that she was African was objected to by both Aaron and Miriam. When Miriam complains too harshly about her, she is given a dose of leprosy. So one must assume that Miriam was not kindly predisposed to this other wife of Moses. What I hope people will understand from this hub is that in Judaism, there is no colour. There is just a faith, and that faith was intended to be colour blind from its inception.
misterdiggs from Limbo on June 11, 2010:
Forgive me for my ignorance as I am neither a Jew nor am I familiar with the culture, history or religion of Jews.
I was wondering though; why are Jews, Egyptians and other peoples from North Africa always depicted in movies as having white skin and "Eurocentric" features?
Also; if the Jews, Egyptians and other Semitic peoples from antiquity were all people of color. Why is it necessary to call Moses's wife black or point out that she was black if all or most of the semitic peoples are dark skinned as well?
It is my understanding that the Jews who currently occupy Israel are European Jews from Germany and Poland; "Ashkinazi's I believe." If Germany and Poland is really their homeland how is it they came to be in Israel?
The "mixed multitude" from the exodus as it were would've been what mixing of what two or more peoples? Were these peoples dark skinned as well?
Thank you for your time.
Kahana (author) on June 07, 2010:
Tovyah, I don't think it is an issue at all for we all understand that what exodused from Egypt was a mixed multitude. As for Aaron I would tend to think he did not look too differently from members of my family since after all, we share his DNA across two distinct haploids. Pictographically, the Shasu and Apiru were drawn as Semites by Egyptian artists, but the Cushites and Midianites would have had a large number of Madawli or Nubians amongst them and they were definitely dark skinned peoples. So homogeneity was never an issue.
tovyah ben ephraim on June 07, 2010:
Great story,although in regards to the possibilty of Moshe having a black wife I must admit some amusement.Israel went in to egypt with 70 souls after 430 years they left as a mixed multitude according to the scriptures.Now, as karaite jews that pride themselves on extracting "the plain meaning" from scripture I would hope the same intellectual honesty would be used when assessing the scriptures as a historical document as well.Egypt or Mitsrayim is in Africa,Israel or Palestine is in Africa.The usage of the middle east as descriptive of this part of the world is fairly recent.So the reality regarding this story is that most likely the question regarding Moshe's wife was not one of color.The greater issue for you and your readers(UNFORTUNATELY}IS THE DISTINCT POSSIBILITY THAT MOSHE,AARON AND MIRIAM AS WELL AS THE MAJORITY OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WOULD HAVE BEEN PEOPLE OF COLOR.
Kahana (author) on November 30, 2009:
Yes Eddie, the Kohenim were restricted on whom they could marry but as we see from Deuteronomy 21:10-15 those same restrictions did not apply to the common people. By imposing restrictions on everyone else, by forcing husbands to cast away wives and children, based solely on their ethnicity and not on their religious beliefs was contrary to the Torah. Remember there is an essential commandment by God that appears in the Torah but is not listed in the ten but it is no less important. "You must be kind and hospitable to the stranger, for once you were a stranger in a strange land!" The enforced edict was hardly an act of kindness.
eddie on November 30, 2009:
actually, the Priests are forbidden from marrying out, hence they must marry from their own people... SO Ezra was simly fulfilling the Torah Law.
Kahana (author) on August 16, 2009:
Thanks for the tip Alan.
Alan Hootnick on August 16, 2009:
Allen, if you're worried about the "limited" commercial appeal of your books, I would say that a book titled: "The Black Wife of Moses" would sell like hotcakes!