Ashkenazi, Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews - not from the 12 tribes of Israel

Septextura

Active member
I was stunned when I was reading through the OT and the genealogies listed Ashkenazim and Mizraim as lineage of Japheth and Ham, not Shem.

Genesis 10
1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

Ashkenazi (the white skin) are Magog gentiles, and Mizrahi, Sephardic (the dark skin) are Egyptians, Babylonian, Syrian, North African etc. gentiles.

I understand these are Jews by faith if not by ethnicity, but I'm unsure who are the OG ethnic Jews of the Old Testament today. Is there such a identity group in existence?
 
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I was stunned when I was reading through the OT and the genealogies listed Ashkenazim and Mizraim as lineage of Japheth and Ham, not Shem.
That's because this theory is a crock. And the OT says nothing about Ashkenazim and Mizrahim. Those two distinctions did not exist back then. They refer to different branches of the Diaspora. I'd love for you to offer the verses where the Torah uses the words "Ashkenazim" and "Mizrahim." Did you think we would fall for this?

Just to clue you in, this idea that Jews are not really part of the People of Israel has come out of the extreme anti-Zionist (read anti-Semitic) position to delegitimize Israel. If Jews are not really the descendants of the Israelites, that would cause problems of credibility with our claim to the land.
 

Septextura

Active member
That's because this theory is a crock. And the OT says nothing about Ashkenazim and Mizrahim. Those two distinctions did not exist back then. They refer to different branches of the Diaspora. I'd love for you to offer the verses where the Torah uses the words "Ashkenazim" and "Mizrahim." Did you think we would fall for this?

Just to clue you in, this idea that Jews are not really part of the People of Israel has come out of the extreme anti-Zionist (read anti-Semitic) position to delegitimize Israel. If Jews are not really the descendants of the Israelites, that would cause problems of credibility with our claim to the land.

To me Israel is legitimate nation, if you practice Judaism you're a Jew, and I can't be bothered with nazi nonsense. My interest in the ethnic composition of modern Israel is purely for Biblical study and in this specific case how genealogies have impact on eschatology. I don't care about secular genetic, demographic or linguistic research, it has too much conflicting data. A plain reading of the text compared to what we see today is sufficient for me. The words of God have primacy and they clearly say Ashkenaz and Mizraim are not of the line of Shem.

So is there a particular ethnic group from the line of Shem today that exists as a separate identity like Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Mizrahim Jews do? I'd like to learn more about it.
 

Harel13

Member
I was stunned when I was reading through the OT and the genealogies listed Ashkenazim and Mizraim as lineage of Japheth and Ham, not Shem.

Genesis 10

Ashkenazi (the white skin) are Magog gentiles, and Mizrahi, Sephardic (the dark skin) are Egyptians, Babylonian, Syrian, North African etc. gentiles.

I understand these are Jews by faith if not by ethnicity, but I'm unsure who are the OG ethnic Jews of the Old Testament today. Is there such a identity group in existence?
Oh brother.

Really?

So is there a particular ethnic group from the line of Shem today that exists as a separate identity like Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Mizrahim Jews do? I'd like to learn more about it.
These three groups of Jews are descendants of the Jews of old. There have been enough DNA tests that attest to this. There's plenty of other evidence. I'm honestly surprised, and I don't mean to sound rude, but do you not know how the Jewish Diaspora worked?

I would divide it into two major phases: 1. The exile of the 10 Tribes, formerly known as The Kingdom Of Israel, eventually exiled to what most people today believe are areas in Afghanistan. From there they moved to other countries. Some may have found their way to Africa. Others, to India.

2. The exile of the Judeans, formerly known as The Kingdom of Judea, exiled in two sub-phases: the first was the Babylonian Exile, where many were exiled to Babylon while other fled to Egypt, though we have records of there already being a Jewish community in Egypt by that time. From there they spread out to other countries such as Persia, Assyria and North Africa. A minority returned to the Land of Israel and most of that group was eventually exiled some centuries later over a period of a number of centuries to countries such as Rome and Egypt. Others made their way to other countries such as Babylon, Persian, North Africa, Central Africa, Greece and so forth.

From the last exile that I mentioned grew the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities. From research and old Jewish sources, it seems that Jews who came to Europe eventually spread out to other countries such as France, Britain, Germany, Turkey, Spain and Portugal. The Jewish people, at some point during their history, took old names from their sources and stuck them onto other countries. They identified the Germanic people as descendants of the Biblical Ashkenaz, and since they were living in the land of Ashkenaz, eventually the name stuck to them too, and they became - much like the Babylonian Jews, the Roman Jews, the Yemenite Jews and others - the Ashkenazi Jews. Hardships and unrest led many Jews to move to other countries such as Poland and Russia. By the 20th century, there were Jews all over Europe.

The Jews who came to Spain named Spain Sefarad, which appears in the Talmud as a name of a place. Thus, they became the Sephardi Jews. During various periods of unrest in Spain, many Jews fled Spain and found refuge in countries such as the Netherlands, Portugal, "Ashkenaz" (Germany), Egypt and other North African countries. Thus, some of the customs of the Sephardi Jews mixed in with the customs of Jews of the "Mizrachi" (Eastern in Hebrew) communities. By the 20th century, there were Jews all over the Middle East, North Africa, parts of Central Africa, America, and even in certain parts of the Far East.

Now, about the Biblical genealogies. There are disagreements about the identities of the proto-nations mentioned in Genesis, but I can tell you a few things: a. "Mizrahi" מזרחי does not come from "Mizrayim" מצרים. As I said, Mizrachi means "Eastern" and refers to the Jews who stayed in the east. Mitzrayim means "Egypt". b. Jews don't name their communities because they are descendants of non-Jews of that area, but after the name of the area. So, like I said, Ashkenazi Jews are Jews who settled in Ashkenaz. Ethiopian Jews who settled in Ethiopia. Temani Jews are Jews who settled in Teman (Yemen). The one exception, I believe, would be the Khazarite Jews who according to legends were a nation of converts. But that community has long since disappeared with the overthrowing of the Khazarite Kingdom.

If you're interested in a discussion on the identities of the Biblical proto-nations, I'd be more than happy to share what I know on the subject. I find it a fascinating subject. I just had to get this question of "who are the Jews" out of the way.
 

Septextura

Active member
@Harel13

Are there Jewish dynasties today that have clear genealogy known up to the line of David and can be considered as future source of the long awaited messiah? (example Ruzhin)
 

Harel13

Member
@Harel13

Are there Jewish dynasties today that have clear genealogy known up to the line of David and can be considered as future source of the long awaited messiah? (example Ruzhin)
Ruzhin claim descent, but I really don't know whether they have a direct lineage. If you do the math, the odds of someone from the communities who are most likely descendants of the Judean tribes not being a descendant of David are actually quite slim. Take the multiple Davidic descendants in the Bible + the Davidic descendants in the Talmud + the people from later years who held traditions that they were descendants of David (some even had genealogies, way back) + the fact that an extremely high percentage of Jews only married born-Jews (conversion being extremely rare in the past), you'd eventually discover that many, many Jews out there are hypothetical descendants of David.

My mom's side of the family has direct lineage to a certain famous rabbi from the 16th century who many say was a descendant of David. An extremely large number of Ashkenazi Jews claim descent from Rashi, the great 11th-12th century Jewish commentator, and many believe he too was a descendant of David.

But no, bottom line is, I'm not aware of anyone who has direct, fully-mapped out lineage from David. There might be, though, I'm just not aware of anyone.

Which in Judaism, actually works better for the hypothetical messiah. Rather than someone with the potential to be messiah stopping and saying: "Wait...I have no idea if I qualify in lineage...okay, I won't do anything", anyone (well, anyone who isn't a Levite or Kohen) could roll up his sleeves and get to work.
 
To me Israel is legitimate nation, if you practice Judaism you're a Jew, and I can't be bothered with nazi nonsense. My interest in the ethnic composition of modern Israel is purely for Biblical study and in this specific case how genealogies have impact on eschatology. I don't care about secular genetic, demographic or linguistic research, it has too much conflicting data. A plain reading of the text compared to what we see today is sufficient for me. The words of God have primacy and they clearly say Ashkenaz and Mizraim are not of the line of Shem.

So is there a particular ethnic group from the line of Shem today that exists as a separate identity like Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Mizrahim Jews do? I'd like to learn more about it.
I'm not trying to pick at you, but often it is the little things which cause big misunderstandings.

What makes a person a Jew is not whether they practice Judaism. There are Jews who are atheists, for example. By Halakha (Jewish Law) a person is a Jew if their mother is a Jew, or if they have undergone a valid legal conversion to Judaism (which is much more than a religious conversion).

The Tribal nature of the Jewish people has little to do with Shem, who is the mythological father of all Semites. It has to do with the descent from Abraham, Isaac, and especially Jacob/Israel, or a halakhic adoption into the People of Israel.

Again, you are returning to this claim that the word of God says something about Ashkenazim or Mizrahim, groupings of Jews which didn't even exist when the Torah was written. They do not. I have challenged you to provide verses where these terms are used, and of course, you have not complied because such verses do not exist.
 
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Septextura

Active member
Again, you are returning to this claim that the word of God says something about Ashkenazim or Mizrahim, groupings of Jews which didn't even exist when the Torah was written. They do not. I have challenged you to provide verses where these terms are used, and of course, you have not complied because such verses do not exist.

They existed and weren't of the 12 tribes, but later converted to Judaism as a religion, maybe they mixed through marriages with the tribes while in exile/diaspora. To be genealogically from Abraham and Isaac you first need to be from Shem, not Japheth or Ham.

Genesis 10:1-7 showing pre-Abrahamic nations. Ashkenaz are Caucasians, Mizraim are mid-Egyptian.






Deuteronomy 27:12–13 lists the twelve tribes:
  • Reuben (Hebrew ראובן‎ Rəʼûḇēn)
  • Simeon (שמעון‎ Šimʻôn)
  • Levi (לוי‎ Lêwî)
  • Judah (יהודה‎ Yehuḏā)
  • Issachar (יששכר‎ Yiśśāḵār)
  • Zebulun (זבולון‎ Zəḇūlun)
  • Dan (דן‎ Dān)
  • Naphtali (נפתלי‎ Nap̄tālî)
  • Gad (גד‎ Gāḏ)
  • Asher (אשר‎ ’Āšêr)
  • Benjamin (בנימין‎ Binyāmîn)
  • Joseph (יוסף‎ Yôsēp̄), later split into two "half-tribes":
  • Ephraim (אפרים‎ ’Ep̄rayim)​
  • Manasseh (מנשה‎ Mənaššeh)​
 
They existed and weren't of the 12 tribes, but later converted to Judaism as a religion, maybe they mixed through marriages with the tribes while in exile/diaspora. To be genealogically from Abraham and Isaac you first need to be from Shem, not Japheth or Ham.

Genesis 10:1-7 showing pre-Abrahamic nations. Ashkenaz are Caucasians, Mizraim are mid-Egyptian.






Deuteronomy 27:12–13 lists the twelve tribes:
  • Reuben (Hebrew ראובן‎ Rəʼûḇēn)
  • Simeon (שמעון‎ Šimʻôn)
  • Levi (לוי‎ Lêwî)
  • Judah (יהודה‎ Yehuḏā)
  • Issachar (יששכר‎ Yiśśāḵār)
  • Zebulun (זבולון‎ Zəḇūlun)
  • Dan (דן‎ Dān)
  • Naphtali (נפתלי‎ Nap̄tālî)
  • Gad (גד‎ Gāḏ)
  • Asher (אשר‎ ’Āšêr)
  • Benjamin (בנימין‎ Binyāmîn)
  • Joseph (יוסף‎ Yôsēp̄), later split into two "half-tribes":
  • Ephraim (אפרים‎ ’Ep̄rayim)​
  • Manasseh (מנשה‎ Mənaššeh)​
I'm not sure why you are being so stubborn about this. You received flawed information from anti-semitic sites, and made a mistake. No big deal. But to continue in this campaign after you have been given accurate information? What am I supposed to think about that?

Ashkenazim are Semitic. The DNA has been tested, and they all have the same markers for the middle east that Arabs have. There was some intermarriage between these Children of Israel and the converts who came to them, which is how their skin paled. But they are not, for example, a large group of converts. They are not caucasians.

Nor is there a relationship between "Mizrahim" and "Mizrayim." They have nothing to do with Egypt.

Harel13 did an excellent, excellent job of giving you the detail on this. You need to accept it. You have been fooled by a bunch of disinformation. Get over it. We all make mistakes.

Spend some time studying the diaspora using credible historical sources. The groups Ashkenazim and Mizrahim come from this period of time.
 

Jewjitzu

Member
@Harel13

Are there Jewish dynasties today that have clear genealogy known up to the line of David and can be considered as future source of the long awaited messiah? (example Ruzhin)
Zechariah 12 points to the house of David, with their wives. We see something similar in Jeremiah 33:19-22 pointing to multiple sons of David ministering along with the Levites. So, the lineage of David must still exist, and not relegated to one final person. Deut 17:18-20.
 

sk0rpi0n

New member
I was stunned when I was reading through the OT and the genealogies listed Ashkenazim and Mizraim as lineage of Japheth and Ham, not Shem.

Genesis 10


Ashkenazi (the white skin) are Magog gentiles, and Mizrahi, Sephardic (the dark skin) are Egyptians, Babylonian, Syrian, North African etc. gentiles.

I understand these are Jews by faith if not by ethnicity, but I'm unsure who are the OG ethnic Jews of the Old Testament today. Is there such a identity group in existence?

Ashkenazi Jews refers to Jews who settled in Ashkenaz (i.e., Europe).

Mizrahi Jews refers to Jews who settled in Mizraim (i.e., Middle East or North Africa).

It's only a reference to the land they settled in.

But that said, Jews are not ethnically homogenous. Jews have, for generations, mingled with the populations of the countries they settled in. That's why European Jews resembles non-Jewish Europeans, Indian Jews resemble non-Jewish Indians, Moroccan Jews resemble non-Jewish Moroccans etc.

The Jews of the Bible were not an ethnic group. Exodus 12:38 addresses the generation that left Egypt as a mixed multitude.
 

Harel13

Member
Let me just correct you there on two points:
1.
Mizrahi Jews refers to Jews who settled in Mizraim (i.e., Middle East or North Africa).
Mizrach =/= Mitzrayim. Mizraim or Mitzrayim means Egypt. Mizrahi or Mizrachi means eastern or of the east. Just because they are spelled similarly in English, doesn't make them related. Yes, Mizrachi Jews include the Egyptian Jews, but Mitzrayim doesn't include all of the eastern hemisphere.

2.
The Jews of the Bible were not an ethnic group. Exodus 12:38 addresses the generation that left Egypt as a mixed multitude.
Exodus 12:38 notes that together with the Israelites, a mixed multitude joined them - not that the entire People of Israel were a mixed multitude. But yes, you are correct that Judaism allows conversion and converts joined and still join the ethnic Jewish people. The majority, however, are descendants of the original Israelites.
 

Septextura

Active member
I'm not sure why you are being so stubborn about this. You received flawed information from anti-semitic sites, and made a mistake.

If the Bible and Bible study websites are deemed anti-semitic, then so be it. I use them regularly.

Ah, my bad, so Mizraim refers to the both Egypts, Upper and Lower.

Mizraim - Wikipedia
Mizraim (Hebrew: מִצְרַיִם‎ / מִצְרָיִם‎, Modern Mitzráyim [mitsˈʁajim] Tiberian Miṣrāyim / Miṣráyim [misˤˈrɔjim] \ [misˤˈrajim] ; cf. Arabic مصر, Miṣr) is the Hebrew and Aramaic name for the land of Egypt, with the dual suffix -āyim, perhaps referring to the "two Egypts": Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Mizraim is the dual form of matzor, meaning a "mound" or "fortress," the name of a people descended from Ham. It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land of Egypt and its people.

Neo-Babylonian texts use the term Mizraim for Egypt. The name was, for instance, inscribed on the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. Ugaritic inscriptions refer to Egypt as Mṣrm, in the 14th century B.C. Amarna tablets it is called Misri, and Assyrian records called Egypt Mu-ṣur. The Classical Arabic word for Egypt is Miṣr / Miṣru, the name that refers to Egypt in the Quran, though the word is pronounced as Maṣr in Egyptian colloquial arabic. Some Ancient Egyptian inscriptions at the time of Pharoah Amenhotep IV refer to Egypt as Masara and to Egyptians as Masrawi.

So, these gentile groups took the faith from the ancient Israeli tribes, and intermixed with them, taking the religious identity and some of the cultural, but keeping the national identity. But all of this is pointless if you believe in allegorical messiah and that it doesn't have to be a known direct line of David (like a long genealogical tree of names). Obviously as a Christian I approach it differently. The New Testament begins by listing the genealogy of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The 2nd temple Jews demanded it, it's not my own invented criteria.

According to Genesis 10, Mizraim son of Ham was the younger brother of Cush and elder brother of Phut and Canaan, whose families together made up the Hamite branch of Noah's descendants. Mizraim's sons were Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim (out of whom came Philistim), and Caphtorim.

Interestingly, Palestinians are of the same branch as Mizraim.
 

Septextura

Active member
Khazars - Wikipedia
The Khazars (/ˈkɑːzɑːrz/, /ˈxɑː-/; Kuzarim;[6] Turkish: Hazarlar; Azerbaijani: Xəzərlər; Bashkir: Хазарҙар; Tatar: Хәзәрләр, Xäzärlär; Xazar; Persian: خزر‎; Ukrainian: Хоза́ри, Khozáry; Russian: Хаза́ры, Khazáry; Hungarian: Kazárok; Greek: Χάζαροι, Házaroi; Latin: Gazari/Gasani) were a semi-nomadic Turkic people with a confederation of Turkic-speaking tribes that in the late 6th century CE established a major commercial empire covering the southeastern section of modern European Russia, southern Ukraine, Crimea and Kazakhstan.
...
A part of the Khazars (i.e., Kabars) joined the ancient Hungarians in the 9th century. The ruling elite of the Khazars was said by Judah Halevi and Abraham ibn Daud to have converted to Rabbinic Judaism in the 8th century, but the scope of the conversion within the Khazar Khanate remains uncertain.

Why would Turkic nomads convert to Judaism if there were no Jews there? Obviously there were as a diaspora (of the 12 tribes) and they passed on their religion and culture to the host nation and melded with it. If no assimilation takes place (minority to majority or vice versa) then persecution and ghettoization takes place, as we see in Europe. Sometimes forced assimilation becomes policy, which is why there were crypto-Jews in the Middle Ages across Europe. Despite forced religious conversions, a lot of Christianity was influenced by Jewish Mysticism/Gnosticism.

In Sociology there is a theory of assimilation proposed by Ibn Khaldun, who by observation concluded that invading military strong nomadic people get assimilated to the culture, religion and language of the developed, agricultural, pacifistic civilization they conquered. The minority ethnic group gets swallowed up and embedded in the conquering nation, but it continues to exist through the culture, not its bloodline.

This also happens in the shape of diplomacy, where old kingdoms create alliances with new military capable but culturally inferior kingdoms to fend off invasions, attacks, defeat opponents, expand etc. Kievan Rus' converted through Christianity by their king Vladimir I converting first, marrying Basil II's sister. Franks became Catholics by Clovis I converting. It was common through history for a nation to convert to a religion from the head first. Khazar elites converted to Judaism. After the conversion they could intermarry with the tribes.
 
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Harel13

Member
So, these gentile groups took the faith from the ancient Israeli tribes, and intermixed with them, taking the religious identity and some of the cultural, but keeping the national identity. But all of this is pointless if you believe in allegorical messiah and that it doesn't have to be a known direct line of David (like a long genealogical tree of names). Obviously as a Christian I approach it differently. The New Testament begins by listing the genealogy of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The 2nd temple Jews demanded it, it's not my own invented criteria.


Interestingly, Palestinians are of the same branch as Mizraim.
Wow. The first time, I thought it was just a hiccup. A one-time lack of knowledge. But you really know nothing about Middle Eastern history, do you?

Plishtim or Philistines are not Palestinians. There are different views on who the different groups of Philistines in the Bible are - some say they were multiple waves of Minoans fleeing Minoan Crete to the coast of Israel, others say that some were Cretans and others were Egyptian or another African group and some say they may have been related to the Phoenicians.

The word "Palestine" was first coined by the Greeks, some say as a twisting of the name "Philistine" and other say as a translation of the word "Yisrael" which means "wrestle with God", the Greek word for "wrestle" being "palaistês", and used by some to refer to the land of Israel. The term was popularized by the Roman Empire, used in particular to demoralize the Judeans after defeating them and exiling them post-their three rebellion attempts. The name of the province of Judea and Galilee was changed to Palestine in order to cut the ties of the Jews to their land and to weaken their claim to it.

Hundreds of years later, the first Muslim conquests came to Israel and began settling there, along with spreading out to many other territories in the Middle East and North Africa. Descendants of these conquerors continued to live in Israel along with the small remainder of the Jewish community and some Christians, mostly monks, nuns and clergy. The Arabs took the name "Palestine" and turned it into "Filastina". It referred to the land, not to the people living in the land. Centuries later, the Ottoman Empire conquered Israel. 500 years later, the British Empire conquered Israel during WWI. After the war, they changed the name of the territory to "Mandatatory Palestine" and declared all citizens - Jews, Arabs, Druze and Christians - to be "Palestinians". For example, you can see here a passport of a Palestinian Jew. The Arabs staunchly refused to be identified as Palestinians and stuck with plain "Arab". They were all of the collective Arab ethnic group, after all. It was the British who began splitting up the Arab land into countries - Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, etc - after WWI and WWII. For this reason, many of those countries have the same flag colors - chosen by the British.

"Palestinian" as a distinct "ethnic group" (more of a nationalistic movement than an ethnic group, considering the Arabic history with the term "Palestinian") of Arabs living in Israel but refusing to accept the Israeli government in 1948, began post the Israeli Independence War but really started to get hype in the mid-to-late 60's.
 

Harel13

Member
After the conversion they could intermarry with the tribes.
From a Jewish perspective, marrying a convert is not considered intermarriage. The average convert (save a few exceptions) can marry into the Jewish community and their descendants are fully Jewish. The convert himself or herself is also fully Jewish, excepting a few certain laws that apply to them.
 

Septextura

Active member
From a Jewish perspective, marrying a convert is not considered intermarriage. The average convert (save a few exceptions) can marry into the Jewish community and their descendants are fully Jewish. The convert himself or herself is also fully Jewish, excepting a few certain laws that apply to them.

I meant it in that sense. I wrote earlier I consider a Jew everyone who practices Judaism, regardless of ethnicity or passport.
 

Septextura

Active member
Wow. The first time, I thought it was just a hiccup. A one-time lack of knowledge. But you really know nothing about Middle Eastern history, do you?

History is written by the victors. Believe what you will, I have no problem with it.
 
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