Christians commonly believe, the Jews are God’s chosen people.
Christians believe the nation of Israel and its Jewish people are the descendants of Biblical Israelites, the people who came from Abraham. Much of this stems from the modern definition of the word “Jew,” and how the word is applied to people today.
We should remember, historically, God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham which placed identifiable markers on Abraham’s descendants, (Genesis 17:4-7). Since the Advent of Christ, this truly became spiritual, (Galatians 3:16, 29).
By properly analyzing these markers, it becomes impossible for the Jews to be God’s chosen people.
We will discover, this belief not only contradicts the Bible, but it causes problems historically and scientifically. Before we begin, we need to gain proper context by understanding the word “Jew,” and how it is applied today.
The Definition Of Jew
The true definition of “Jew,” better said Judean, described the descendants of the Tribe of Judah. Over time, anyone residing in Judea became known as a Judean (Jew). Yet, that does not change one’s genealogy, only their national identity. We do the same thing today, I am English and German (genealogy), but I am American (national identity).
Unfortunately, many theologians have further confused the term by categorizing all ancient Israelites as “Jews”. This in effect places all 12 Tribes of Israel into the single tribe of Judah which is not Biblically accurate. Each of the 12 Tribes has always retained their own name.
Today, the word “Jew” is used to identify someone by ancestry, their national identity to Israel, or someone of the Jewish faith, (Judaism). This means, the word Jew has no adherence to its original definition, which defined a race, not a national identity, or religion. Further, anyone who converts to Judaism is considered a “Jew”.
Now that we understand that, perhaps it will provide some context to God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham. This perpetual covenant provides markers that identify Abraham’s descendants today.
Jews Did Not Fulfill God’s Everlasting Covenant
God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham was unconditional, so we know this promise is alive, even to this very day.
God promised Abraham’s descendants (12 Tribes of Israel) would become; “many nations,” as “numerous as the stars of heaven,” and ‘all the nations of the earth would be blessed’ by them, and they would even “possess the gate of his enemies,” (Genesis 17:4-7, 22:16-18).
These identifiable markers should not be overlooked or understated. These details prove it’s impossible for the nation of Israel to consist of God’s chosen people, (see: Are The Jews God’s Chosen People?). If that were true, it would transform God’s Word into a work of fiction.
Considering the markers God laid out, we do not find Israel meeting these requirements.
- The Jews are not as “numerous as the stars of heaven,” they consist of only 0.2% of the world’s population.
- The Jews are not “many nations,” only the single nation of Israel.
- The Jews do not ‘bless all nations of the earth’ physically or spiritually. They receive support from other nations, and do not spread the Christian faith.
- The Jews do not ‘possess the gate of their enemy,’ rather, their enemies constantly launch assaults on their land.
Now, these are physical characteristics that God placed upon “Abraham’s seed”. At the same time, we know today, “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed,” and this is truly the eternal fulfillment of God’s Promise to Abraham, (Galatians 3:16, 29, Romans 4:13-14, 16, 9:6-8).
So regardless if we are looking at the Jews from a genealogical or spiritual aspect, they simply do not fulfill God’s Everlasting Promise. These details reveal, the people known as Jews cannot be God’s chosen people.
Therefore, we are going to research those who identify as Jews (Judeans) today.
Today, roughly 90% of all Jews identify as Ashkenazi Jews who trace their immediate ancestry to Europe. Yet, if they are the descendants of ancient Israel, how and when did they migrate from the Holy Land to Europe?
This question has baffled Biblical scholars and historians alike, and the answer remains obscure to this very day. With no clear evidence, two hypotheses attempt to explain their origins.
The Rhineland Hypothesis
According to the “Rhineland Hypothesis,” the Ashkenazi descended from Jews who fled Palestine after the Muslim conquest in 638 A.D. It is thought roughly 50,000 Jews moved from the Rhineland in Germany into eastern Europe.
Yet, many historians say this is impossible. It would have meant the Jewish population exploded to eight million from the 15th to 20th centuries. That would equal a birth rate 10 times higher than local non-Jewish populations. All during a time of economic hardship, disease, and war that ravaged Jewish communities.
The Khazarian Hypothesis
According to the “Khazarian Hypothesis,” Ashkenazi Jews descended from the Khazars, a mix of Turkish and other peoples who settled in the Caucasus in the early centuries A.D. History explains, the Khazars were influenced by Jewish merchants, and the Khazars adopted Judaism in the 8th century.
The kingdom of Khazaria came to an end in the 13th century. The now Judaised-Khazars fled westward settling in Poland and Hungary where their skills in finance, economics, and politics were in demand. From there, these convert Jews spread into Western Europe.
We will now take a look into the history of the Khazar people.
The Jewish Conversion Of The Khazars
The Khazars were a heathen people that adopted the religion known as Judaism, thus taking on the name “Jews”. While little is known about the once powerful kingdom of Khazaria, its Jewish conversion is cemented into history.
The chaghan (the king) of the Chazars and his grandees, together with a large number of his heathen people, embraced the Jewish religion.
The most striking characteristic of the Khazars was the apparent adoption of Judaism by the khagan and the greater part of the ruling class in about 740. The circumstances of the conversion remain obscure, the depth of their adoption of Judaism difficult to assess; but the fact itself is undisputed and unparalleled in central Eurasian history. A few scholars have even asserted that the Judaized Khazars were the remote ancestors of many eastern European and Russian Jews.
This historical account is undisputed. The Khazar people converted to the Jewish faith known as Judaism, thus becoming known as “Jews” themselves.
However, adopting a religion does not change your race. A Caucasian Christian who converts to Islam does not become Arabic.
Therefore, the Khazars are Jews (Judeans) by conversion. They are not the descendants of the ancient Israelite Tribe of Judah, they are converts to the religion known as Judaism.
Further, the Khazars were,
A people of Turkish origin whose life and history are interwoven with the very beginnings of the history of the Jews of Russia. The kingdom of the Chazars was firmly established in most of South Russia long before the foundation of the Russian monarchy by the Varangians (855).
Jews have lived on the shores of the Black and Caspian seas since the first centuries of the common era. Historical evidence points to the region of the Ural as the home of the Chazars. Among the classical writers of the Middle Ages they were known as the “Chozars,” “Khazirs,” “Akatzirs,” and “Akatirs,” and in the Russian chronicles as “Khwalisses” and “Ugry Byelyye.”
Yet, despite being once very powerful, the Khazarian kingdom vanished from history without a trace, or did it?
It is hotly contested, but evidence suggests Ashkenazi Jews are the descendants of the Khazars who migrated into Europe under a new name, “Jews”. At the very least, what we have documented clearly identifies a group of people claiming a heritage that is not their own.
Yet, there is more to this story than just historical records.
Genetic Origins Of Ashkenazi Jews
Science explains, Ashkenazi Jews are the most genetically analyzed group of people in the entire world. This is due to their tight-knit family tree. Ashkenazi are close as fourth or fifth cousins, and “everyone is a 30th cousin”. Yet, their origins remain a mystery.
Therefore, three genetic studies are extremely relevant to the discussion, and must be considered.
Ashkenazi Khazar Genetic Ancestry
This study analyzed the DNA of Ashkenazi Jews and compared it to those living in the Black Sea region, formerly the Khazarian empire. Unfortunately, DNA from the remains of ancient Israelites and Khazarians has yet to be sequenced to firmly tie Ashkenazi origin.
Nevertheless, the study explains, Ashkenazi Jews share a predominant ancestry with those in the Black Sea region. Even indicating ancestry to ancient Gok-Turks who were of Asian descent. This firmly supports the “Khazarian hypothesis,” where the majority of Ashkenazi Jews originated from Khazaria.
The study concluded by stating, Jews
Instead of being primarily the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, present-day Jewish populations are… primarily the children of a Turkish people who lived in what is now Russia, north of Georgia, east of Ukraine.
Adding to the genetic link, Ashkenazi Jews also share similar genetic diseases with those living in the Caucasus today.
Origins Of The Name Ashkenazi
Another study attempts to identify the origin of the name Ashkenazi along with the Yiddish language. Researchers discovered there were four ancient villages named, “Iskenaz, Eskenaz, Ashanaz, and Ashkuz” in north-eastern Turkey. These names are only found in this part of the world and may be derived from the word “Ashkenaz”.
As for the Yiddish language, few people can speak or understand it outside of Ashkenazi Jews. The study suggests, the Yiddish language originated in this part of the world 1,000 years ago. Yiddish was a secret language of Jewish merchants who used it to control their monopoly on trade from Asia to Europe along the Silk Road.
Ashkenazi European Genetic Ancestry
Yet another study that seeks to identify the origins of Ashkenazi Jews found another potential source, Europe itself. In fact, more than 80% of Ashkenazi DNA has European ancestry on the maternal side.
Contradicts the notion that European Jews mostly descend from people who left Israel and the Middle East around 2,000 years ago. Instead, a substantial proportion of the population originates from local Europeans who converted to Judaism.
The study goes on to say, the maternal line of Ashkenazi Jews has been based in Europe for the last 3,500 years. Long before Biblical Israelites were exiled from the land of ancient Israel. This indicates, Ashkenazi Jews are not the descendants of Biblical Israelites.
Further, the study indicated these genealogical roots were most likely due to the conversion of European women.
Additionally, the same study cited previous studies that suggest some paternal origins of Ashkenazi Jews came from the “near east,” which includes the land of Israel. However, on the paternal Ashkenazi Levite side, DNA shows more than 50% European origin, which suggests “a possible Khazar source”.
Biblical, Historical, And Scientific Conclusions
These scientific studies, along with historical records of the Khazarian conversion to Judaism firmly conclude, Ashkenazi Jews are not the descendants of ancient Israelites. This reality invalidates the “Rhineland Hypothesis,” and indicates Ashkenazi Jews are a mix of various peoples who adopted Judaism throughout history.
The Bible also confirms this, as Ashkenazi Jews do not meet the Biblical requirements to claim God’s everlasting covenant to Abraham. Ashkenazi Jews are not many nations, many people, neither do they bless the nations of the world, nor possess the gate of their enemies.
Moreover, most Jews are atheists, few are religious, and most importantly, even less have accepted Jesus Christ.
Why It Matters
For generations, Christians have shown their admiration and support for Jews thinking they are God’s chosen people. This has led to an outpouring of support for Israel from the Christian community and the United States.
History should be corrected, and Christians should understand who they are supporting and reflect on why.
As Christians, our goal is to properly understand the Bible, and this subject goes a long way to accomplish that. It helps us realize God’s everlasting covenant is alive today. In fact, it is even fulfilled in those who call on the name of Jesus Christ, (Romans 4:11-18; Galatians 3:28-29).