Palestine – In Christ’s Time June 29, 2010Posted by The Prodigal Son in Uncategorized.
(A page from my 1929 Bible)
The above image demonstrates the distinction between Judea, Samaria and Galilee. In the N.T., the word ‘Judean’ is translated as ‘Jew’. Jesus was a Galilean from Nazareth – not a Judean.
The following is a post I made HERE at OC.net
‘Jews’ = Judahites, ‘Jews’ = Judeans, ‘Jews’ = Edomites??
I am convinced that many – if not most of the ‘Jews’ (Judeans) in the New Testament narrative were actually Edomites.
The Old Testament in English presents the word that should be translated ‘Judahite’ as ‘Jew’, while the New Testament in English presents the word that should be translated ‘Judean’ also as ‘Jew.’
It seems clear to me that these two words are not synonymous!
Here’s an e-mail I sent to Presvytera Jeannie Constantinou which spells out my point… (I would also love to hear people’s take on all of this) [Here at Christ Conquers also!]:Quote
“I hear people all of the time (and I’ve now heard you as well) equating the ‘Jews’ with Hebrews and O.T. Israelites. This is one of my pet peeves, and the majority of ‘Christians’ do this! Where have they gotten this idea?
“Strictly speaking, it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a ‘Jew’ – or to call a contemporary ‘Jew’ an Israelite or Hebrew.”
– Jewish Almanac (1980 ed.)
Many times already in your podcasts, I have heard you use the word ‘Jew(s)’ or ‘Jewish’ – when it would have been correct to say Hebrew(s) [before Jacob’s time], Israelite(s) or Judahite(s). Now I am sure you know that Adam, Seth, Noah or Moses were not ‘Jews’… Nor was Joshua ever called a ‘Jew’. This also goes for Abraham, Isaac & Jacob: NONE of these were (or were EVER called in the Scriptures) ‘Jews’!
Now, since we know that God Himself changed Jacob’s name to Israel – we could say that Jacob was the first Israelite… Before him – there were only Hebrews! Certainly you could NOT correctly call them ‘Jews’! Yet you – in your podcasts (and most of so-called ‘Christendom’) do just that!
In the O.T., the word ‘Jews’ appears for the very first time in II Kings 16:6 (KJV), with the ‘Jews’ being driven from Elath by Rezin – king of Syria. (This is an interesting verse in another way too – I’ll come back to it later.) A quick cross-reference to the Septuagint (IV Kingdoms in the LXX/OSB) show that the translation there shows NOT ‘Jews’… but (more accurately) ‘men of Judah’. Therefore, it would be correct to say that the very first ‘Jew’ was Judah. All of the Hebrews which came before Judah then – were NOT ‘Jews’.
But even here – in most Bibles the word ‘Jew(s)’ is entirely un-neccessary (as evidenced by the LXX/OSB) and when the O.T. Is combined with the N.T., this made-up English word only causes confusion… And frankly – makes me think that all of this is no accident. Judah of course was the patriarch of the tribe of Judah (one of 13 if we include the tribe of Levi). If we look at the other Israelite tribes, they are all translated into English in a similar manner: the tribe of Levi become known as ‘LevITES’… the tribe of Benjamin become ‘BenjamITES’… the tribe of Reuben become ‘ReubenITES’…. the tribe of Gad become ‘GadITES’.
But when it comes to Judah and his tribe – are they called as we would expect – ‘JudahITES’? No! Instead we end up with the made-up word ‘Jew(s)’! Strange? I thought so… Anyhow, it seems clear that in the O.T., the word ‘Jew(s)’ really means Judahites… At first designating a tribal racial member of the Judahites and later, a resident of the kingdom of Judah (regardless of whether that resident was actually a tribal Hebrew Israelite or not.)
Then (during the Roman occupation) in the New Testament we also find the word ‘Jew(s)’… But does it still mean ‘Judahites’? The temporal Kingdom of Judah is no more, so ‘Jew’ now designates a resident of the Roman province of Judea OR Judahites.
Therefore the word SHOULD have been translated as Judean(s) when applicable. This would have made MUCH more sense and avoided much confusion! But the words ‘Judean(s)’ & ‘Judahite(s)’ are NOT found anywhere in the Bible! Those called ‘Jews’ in the New Testament were NOT all tribal Judahites – many of the residents of Roman Judea were not even Israelites!
So you see how it’s very misleading to call them ‘Jews’ because it draws a false parallel to the Judahites of the Old Testament. One could be a Judean (‘Jew’) without being a Judahite (‘Jew’) – and vice-versa. Why use the same word? The truth is – many of the residents of New Testament Judea were actually Edomites!
I’m sure you can grasp the significance of this!
According to I Maccabees 5:3-8, the nation of Edom (Idumea) ceased to be in 126 BC when John Hyrcanus completed the conquest began in 163 BC by Judas Maccabeus, forcing the Edomites to be circumcised. According to Josephus – thereafter these Edomites were considered nothing other than Judeans. So Edom was simply absorbed into Judea.
Anyhow my point is this: The word that should have been rendered in English as ‘Judean’ was instead transliterated into the loaded made-up new word – ‘Jew’.
It makes quite a difference to the meaning conveyed by the Scriptures… Is this an accident? Look at this verse from John in two variations:
‘Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him…’ (This implies that He spoke to Judahites; Israelites; Hebrews.)
‘Then Jesus said to those Judeans who believed Him…’ (This conveys that He was speaking to people of Judea – the PLACE, who could have been of any nationality, and were not neccessarily Hebrew Israelites… and could easily have been Edomites.)
The historian Strabo, writing around the time of Christ… held that the Idumeans (Edomites) constituted the majority of the population of Western Judea – where they comingled with the Judeans and adopted the Israelite customs. (Strabo, Geography – Bk 16.2.34)
“John Hyrcanus conquered the whole of Edom and undertook the forced conversion of it’s inhabitants to Judaism.” (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XIII 9,1)
“Thenceforth the Edomites became a section of the Jewish people.” (Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol 6, pg 378 )
“Thus at this juncture of time the Edomites were incorporated with the Jewish nation, and their country was called by the Greeks & the Romans ‘Idumea.'” [Mark 3:8; Ptolemy – Geography V. 16] (The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol V, pg 41… Ca. 1904)
According to Josephus, it was the Edomite Herods who ruthlessly ended the Judahite Maccabean dynasty and its Hasmonean high priestly family; it was the Herods who then appointed many of the high priests (including Annas) – and took over the gov’t of the Judeans, and finally lined up with Titus in the siege of Jerusalem.
So how many of those in the N.T. Who were called ‘Jews’ were really Edomites – but were still called ‘Jews’ because they lived in Judea? If these Judeans weren’t all Judahites (or even Israelites), then how misleading is it for them to also be called ‘Jews’ as the O.T. Judahites were called ‘Jews’… implying that ‘Jew’ is synonymous with Hebrew or Israelite? VERY!
Now – back to the verses found II Kings 16:6 – first in the Masoretic O.T. Of the KJV…
“At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the SYRIANS came to Elath and dwelt there unto this day.”
O.K. – now here is the same verse from IV Kingdoms 16:6 from my OSB w/ the Septuagint…
“At that time, Rezin king of Syria returned Elath to Syria and drove the men of Judah from Elath. Then the EDOMITES went to Elath, where they continue to dwell to this day.”
See the difference there? Is this an accident? Now consider that King Herod was an Edomite… HOW MANY of ‘the Jews’ (Judeans) in Christ’s time were REALLY Edomites?”
Since Christ said He came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel… Is it not possible that all of the true Hebrew Israelites became Christians, while the Edomites were the ones who went on to be known as ‘Jews’?…
(Please click on the link beneath the map above to view the responses I received…)