3 Myths Taught By Black Hebrew Israelites: Straight Outta Context  

Nick Cannon recently made headlines for Anti-Semitic comments and in the process introduced many people to the religion of the Black Hebrew Israelites. For those of you who don’t know, this religion believes that the true Israelites of the Bible are not the Jewish people we see today, but black people and other people of color. This has caused some black people to quickly jump on the bandwagon and swallow this idea whole without thinking, especially because of the racial tensions we’ve been living in. This post is my way of addressing some common myths the Black Hebrew Israelites teach as a way of educating some of my well-meaning black readers. It’s not my intent to slander the Black Hebrew Israelites since that’s never my M.O. to begin with, but also because I have family members I love who are Black Hebrew Israelites. I simply want to educate some of you to keep you from rushing into this without thinking.

 

For any of you who are history buffs and have read hours worth of research on this topic, I’m not going to address the extrabiblical history in this post(except briefly on point number 2). That would require a whole other post by itself. I’m only going to address the biblical “evidence”. Because if the biblical evidence doesn’t add up, whatever historical “evidence” that exists is questionable. 

 

So here are 3 myths the Black Hebrew Israelites take straight outta context…

 

 

  1. Jacob was black and Esau was white

Jacob and Esau and the Inheritance | Children's Bible Lessons

 

The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.”(Gen. 25:25).

This verse states that Esau had red hair covering his whole body. And the only people we know with red hair, the argument goes, are white people. Then, later on when God says that He hates Esau and loves Jacob(Mal. 1:3), this must mean that He hates Esau’s race. Ergo, God hates white people. And since God says that He loves Jacob and Jacob was black, this must mean that God loves black people. 

This doesn’t even begin to address the fact that God’s “hatred” here might mean something different than what we normally mean. This is the same God who told us to “hate” our parents and to “hate” our own lives in order to follow Him(Lk. 14:26). But all that aside, there’s a very simple reason why Jacob and Esau weren’t black and white. 

They were twins.

If Esau was white, then Jacob also had to have been white. There’s no way around that. You can argue that they weren’t identical twins, but fraternal twins aren’t usually different ethnicities. 

However–plot twist–interracial twins are very real. But they are the product of interracial relationships, like these biracial twins from the UK. Jacob and Esau were not the product of an interracial marriage. Their culture actually forbade that and their parents were cousins(Gen. 24:15). Their entire culture revolved around the idea of ethnic purity so they would go out of their way NOT to marry someone of another ethnicity. So if Isaac and Rebekah were the same ethnicity, then so were their children. If Esau was white, then so was Jacob. 

But Esau probably wasn’t white because white people aren’t the only people who can have red hair. First of all, Moroccans(from Africa) can have red hair and straight up black-skinned Africans can have red hair when they’re albino. It’s very well possible that Esau was an African albino and not white at all. But the fact that that argument isn’t made(probably because it would be really hard to maintain that God hates albinos) for me is evidence that this stance is shaky to begin with. But this isn’t the only shaky argument for the blackness of the Israelites. 

 

 

2. The 12 Tribes are 12 groups of people of color

 

Black Hebrew Israelites argue that each tribe of Israel is actually a different group of people of color. So Jamaicans are from the tribe of Benjamin, Dominicans are from the tribe of Simeon, Mexicans are from the tribe of Issachar and so on and so forth. There are even verses used to support some of these. For example, one Black Hebrew Israelite explained to me that since the name Judah means “praise”(Gen. 29:35) and the African American church is known for their praise and worship, this is a small piece of evidence that African Americans are from the tribe of Judah. This also explains how Jesus is black because He’s from the tribe of Judah. That logic at least is consistent in this case, but there is one glaring reason why this cultural argument as a whole doesn’t make sense. 

I’m Haitian and according to Black Hebrew Israelites, I’m actually a part of the tribe of Levi. The problem with this is that Haitians as an ethnic group didn’t exist until the 16th century when Spain and France invaded our island, wiped out the Taino people, and imported African slaves. All in all, Haitians did not exist until the 1500’s A.D. The tribe of Levi existed in the 1500’s B.C. Saying that the Levites are Haitian is like saying that the Canaanites were American. It’s not historically, ethnically, or biologically possible because they did not exist yet.   

This is true for all of the other groups of people as well. Because, with the exceptions of Mexicans and maybe Native Americans, none of the other ethnicities existed during biblical times.

 

3. Jesus was black

 

CHRIST . SON OF GOD . ( ISRAELITES ) (description ) | Black god ...

“The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow…His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace.”(Rev. 1:14-15).

This is the big one. In the book of Revelation, John has a vision where he sees Jesus in person and the above is his description of Him: white, wooly hair and bronze skin. What kind of people have wooly hair and bronze skin? Black people. Therefore, Jesus was and is black. But as with the other verses on this list, this isn’t as black and white. 

First and foremost, when you read this passage in context, it becomes abundantly clear that this is not a literal description of Jesus, but a symbolic one. How do we know that? Because the rest of the description is LITERALLY(in every sense of the word) impossible. Here it is in it all its glory:

The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”

So not only does Jesus have wooly hair and bronze skin, His eyes are red like fire, His voice sounds like a waterfall, He’s holding not one, not two, but seven stars, and He’s spitting out a double-edged sword. Since it’s safe to assume that Jesus probably wasn’t literally a sword eater or holding multiple suns in his hands, then it may be safe to assume he wasn’t literally black. It seems more reasonable to assume these images represent Him as the Son of God. He has hair like wool because He’s the Lamb of God. His eyes are red like fire because He’s going to judge the world. His skin is bronze like someone who’s been through a furnace because He’s been through the furnace of God’s judgment and came out purified. His voice sounds like water because He has Living Water. He’s holding seven stars because those stars are seven churches(v. 20). He has a sword because the Bible is the Sword of the Spirit and Jesus is the Word of God. 

Furthermore, even if this was literally what Jesus looked like when He was on Earth, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would have been brave enough to talk to Him, let alone crucify Him. Therefore, Jesus wasn’t literally black. 

These are just a few of the myths that Black Hebrew Israelites teach. But before I conclude, I have two words of caution to my black readers.

First, be careful about associating yourself with this movement as a way of becoming “woke”. Black Hebrew Israelites are not exactly friendly when it comes to their view of white people. They generally believe that white people are the object of God’s wrath and can’t be saved. I’m not saying that all of them are like this, but generally speaking, they are incredibly hostile in their view of white people. So be careful about jumping on the “Jesus was black” bandwagon because you may end up associating yourself with hatred you don’t actually have.

Secondly, be careful about the words you use. It’s very clear that the Bible has been whitewashed throughout history. There were no white people in it because it predates white people. The main characters are all African and Middle Eastern because the entire book predominantly takes place in those two regions of the world. However, being African is not necessarily the same as being “black”. When people come to the U.S. from South Africa, Morocco, or Egypt, they don’t usually adopt a “black” identity. Because although they may consider themselves brown or people of color, they don’t usually consider themselves black. To say that the people of the Bible were predominantly African would be accurate. But to go the step further and say that they were black would be presumptuous because they wouldn’t consider themselves that way. 

At the end of the day, do your research before hopping on memes and tweets. 

Jesus wasn’t white. But He also wasn’t black. He was a Jewish man of color born in the Middle East. 

One thought on “3 Myths Taught By Black Hebrew Israelites: Straight Outta Context  

  1. Not all Israelites believe that caucasians are the devil our church which is an Israelite church teaches exactly what christ taught love and teach all nations Matthew 28:18-20 Acts13:47. We are not to frown upon or downgrade ourself because we are an Israelite, condensed to men of lower estate yes but never deny who you are because some else can’t handle it. So there are caucasians, Asians, Africans and other nationalites in our congregations around the world.
    2. When you say that christ wasn’t literally “black”…I agree because remember no man on earth is literally “black” especially by the definition and even less by the literal color. I’ve never seen a “black man” nor a “”white man” unless you’re speaking about the disease called leprosy which is now known as albinism. When Christ walked the earth he did have a sword proceeding from his mouth and his eyes were red and he was holding thise 7 candles but it was all spiritually. Maybe, I think, you missed when christ did cut with his words, and he did have red eyes like fire due to anger towrds hiw we treated our brothers and he did hold us in his hand as we followed him until his death and even after. You missed the whole point of christ brith, walk and death. Matthew 15:24 ” am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Its summed up simply in that one scripture the pirpose of his earthly visit is that and can expounded on if you understand why he had to come save the children of Israel and how he did it.
    3. “Black” and “White” are colors and do not denote nationality just as you said there are albino “Africans” correct? So with that being said, when someone is as “white” as you say they are you still have to identify their nationality as you did when you said “African Albinos”. Now in the case of Jacob & Esau when you read the scriptures in whole without paraphrasing, as you must admit you did in Genesis 25, it tell us starting at verse 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said (speaking of Rebecca) , If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.

    23 And the LORD said unto her, TWO NATIONS ARE IN THY WOMB, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

    So it’s clear here that your modern idea of how twins are born can be thrown out of the window along with your assumption that they have to both be caucasian or how you so eloquently stated “they both must be white”. You were wrong to say that since the Lord stated to Rebecca that there are two different nations in her womb meaning two different nationalities. So it is possible that Jacob could be one complexion/ nation and his brother a completely different complexion/nation in the same woman. But then you have this you must deal with on the flip side, if they are both “white” as you say then Esau are the caucasians anyway correct so then our trachings are correct even if you believe that Israelites are not the so called Negros, latinos, natives of america and the Caribbean islands. So either way you put it you’d have to admit you’re wrong in one or both points about Jacob and Esau’s complexion and nationality. It can be proven with scriptures that you’ve seemed to over look that Esau is of the caucasian nationality and Jacob is of a brown clored race. Here are scriptures you over looked, Paul was mistaken for an Egyptian Acts 21:37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?

    38 Art not thou that EGYPTIAN, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?
    No question that historically Egyptians were dark skinned and I have never mistaken a caucasian as an Egyptian…have you? Not enough? I present Barnabas and Simeon who are Israelites by blood in Acts 13:Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called NIGER( Greek word #G3526 =BLACK in their language) , and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

    2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

    So these were Israelites that were clearly dark skin. Hold on now…there’s more. How could Joseph the youngest son of Jacob at the time, live in Egypt and not be recognized by his own brothers if he did not blend in with the Egyptians in not only attire but also in complexion? If joseph was “white” as you speculate then he would’ve stood out like a sore thumb in the ancient egyptian empire and his brother would’ve regonized their “white” brother amongstthe dark skin Egyptias. Again Moses who lived as Pharaohs nephew taken in by Pharaohs daughter at a time when he was killing all the first born of the Israelite children searching for the prophet that was fortold by his seers that would bring down the Egyptian empire…I ask how could he live with Pharaoh and be taken in to his home if he was as “white” as you say? Pharaoh would’ve taken the baby and threw him to the alligators as he did with many of the children of Israel at that time and morever his daughter would not have been able to tell him it was her child or that she wanted him to be her child he would not have looked anything like her. Lasty I ask that you look into the lineage of Esau in the Bible since you have done a little research this should be no problem for you. Esau is the father of the caucasian nationality according to scripture and we teach that because when you trace his lineage it leads to a people called the Idumeans in the bible, a nation that lived in a land south of the city of Judah. Those people eventually move to a land in Asian minor called Chittim or Kittim depending on who translates the word. That land after the great grandson of Esau named Zepho takes control of it with his brothers and most of the surronding area becomes known as Greece. Greece is ruled by caucasians history tells you that as well as the book of 1, 2, 3 & 4th Maccabees. However it can further be proven in history that Greece became Rome ruled by the same nation of people namely caucasians. Therefore we know that caucasians are Edomites, that become Idumean, that become Greeks, that becaome Romans because in the scriptures it tells us of a man named Herod the (not so) Great who according to our scriptures here Matthew chapter 2 as well as others, Herod is a descendant of the Greeks and it can be seen when you examine his name is the Greek which is the Greek word #G2264 shiwn below:
    Original: Ἡρώδης
    Transliteration: Hērōdēs
    Phonetic: hay-ro’-dace

    Thayer Definition: Herod = “heroic”

    the name of a royal family that flourished among the Jews in the times of Christ and the Apostles. HEROD THE GREAT WAS THE SON OF ANTIPATER OF IDUMAEA. Appointed king of Judaea B.C. 40 by the ROMAN SENATE at the suggestion of ANTONY and with the consent of OCTAVIAN, he at length overcame the great opposition which the country made to him and took possession of the kingdom B.C. 37; and after the battle of ACTIUM, he was confirmed by OCTAVIAN, whose favour he ever enjoyed.

    So in conclusion I respect you for trying to protect your readers and your people from Israelites who spread hate and lies. However that it is not our church The Gathering of Christ Church and it should be stated that there are Israelites who do not hate anyone unless you agenda is to disprove and clu is p all Israelitesas being the same which of course as I stated would be a bold face lie and would point to you not actually wanting to protect your readers or friends but actually is a ploy to further degrade the children of God simply because you have a disdain for us which is what the article should be about instead of putting out a warning, you should state in the beginning that “I do not like Israelitesand never will no matter they teach simply because…” of whatever the reason is you fill that in. Just because we understand who we are biblically and historically and are proud of our nationality doesn’t make us hateful. Many nations are proid of who they are like Japanese, like Chinese, like all the Asians, lole Arabs, like the Africans, like the Caucasians etc. as I am sure you are proud of whatecer nationality you claim currently which is fine right? What is most concerning to me though, is that there are facts in the bible that you have overlooked either because you chose too or you simply don’t have a complete understanding of the scriptures which most modern Christians lack but not always to their own fault I blame the pasyors as God does in Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors who destroy and scatter my flock. Now if you’re scattered and if you get destroyed by doctrine and finally by God’s wrath against sin who will you blame when you have clearly enough common sense to search the scriptures to oppose God’s word when you could use your time and intelligence to actually seek the truth that’s found in the scriptures available for those who want it. Ecclesiastes 12:13+14. I hope this message finds you well…good day sir.

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