About The Author
Holy Day Calendar
Today's News In Prophecy
Share The Gospel - Tell Everyone
Daily Bible Study on Facebook
Daily Bible Study on Twitter
Free Online Bibles: KJV and ASV
1 Year Bible Reading Plan
Make A Donation
Free Daily Bible Study Library: Download a copy of this entire 5,500+ studies website
Free Sermon Library: Complete 500+ Sermon Index and Download Links
Friday, September 16 2011
Who Were The First Jews?
The Hebrew word pronounced yeh-hoo-daw is rendered into English as "Judah." Judah was one of the sons of Jacob and his wife Leah (pronounced in Hebrew as lay-ah; see also Mothers Of Israel).
"29:32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me. 29:33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon. 29:34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. 29:35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing." (Genesis 29:32-35 KJV)
A different Hebrew word, pronounced yeh-hoo-dee, means a descendant of Judah i.e. "Judah" was not a "Jew" because he was not his own descendant. That Hebrew word, that means a descendant of Judah, is rendered into English as "Jew."
While the English rendering of "Jew" is merely an abbreviation of Judah, just as, for example, the English version of the name Joseph is sometimes abbreviated as "Joe," it should be kept in mind that in the actual Hebrew, "Jew" specifically means a descendant of the man "Judah."
"Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite"
As explained, the first Jews (yeh-hoo-dee) were the children of Judah (yeh-hoo-daw). According to the Biblical record, they were born of a Canaanite woman. While that may seem shocking to some (i.e. the primary Messianic line originated genetically-equal from Judah and a Canaanite), keep in mind that Judah couldn't have married a Jew, because none existed yet (the same reason that, for example, the Sabbath is not "the Jewish Sabbath" because the Sabbath existed long before there were any Jews in existence - see How Many Days Of Creation Were There?). Nor could Judah have married an Israelite because at that time the only Israelites (the children of Jacob, who the LORD renamed as Israel) that existed were Judah, his brothers (see Are Levites 'Jews'?) and their sister Dinah (see Israel's Iraqi Roots). By the actual Hebrew words, the first Jews, the sons of Judah and "a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah," were Er, Onan and Shelah.
"38:1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 38:2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. 38:3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. 38:4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. 38:5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him." (Genesis 38:1-5 KJV)
When the oldest son Er had grown to adulthood, Judah found a wife for him - a woman named Tamar, who could not have been a "Jew" either because the only Jews that then existed were Judah's three sons. Tamar was almost certainly a Canaanite woman, just like Judah's wife Shuah. The marriage of Er was brief however: "Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him."
"38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 38:7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him." (Genesis 38:6-7 KJV)
The LORD put Judah's second-born son Onan to death also (i.e. the LORD killed the first two "Jews" that existed).
"38:8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 38:10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also." (Genesis 38:8-10 KJV)
Judah then arranged for the widow Tamar to live in her father's home, with the intention that Tamar would eventually marry Judah's youngest son Shelah when he had grown up.
"38:11 Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house." (Genesis 38:11 KJV)
Later, Judah's wife Shuah died. By that time also, Tamar had lost her tolerance for her widowhood and delayed family situation, so she resorted to a ruse to have children, not through her dead husband's brother, but through her dead husband's father who was then, as a widower, not married - just as Tamar was not married.
"38:12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
Judah later discovered that Tamar was with child, his child, or as it happened, his twin sons - Pharez and Zarah. It was from the line of Pharez that Jesus Christ was born (Matthew 1:1-3).
"38:24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom.
This Day In History, September 16
1620: The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World. On board were 48 crew members and 101 colonists, including 35 Separatists from Leiden, Holland, known afterward as the Pilgrims. During the three-month voyage, two passengers died and two babies were born.
1673: Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I declared war against France (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1747: The French captured Bergen-op-Zoom, consolidating their occupation of Austrian Flanders in the Netherlands.
1810: A rebellion against Spanish rule broke out in Mexico when the priest Hidalgo y Costilla issued the grito de Dolores.
1812: The Great Fire of Moscow destroyed 75% of the Russian city.
1882: The Great September Comet of 1882 was so bright that it could easily be seen in the daytime sky.
1893: Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was born in Hungary. The Nobel Prize winning biochemist was the first to isolate vitamin C.
1920: A terrorist bomb exploded in the Wall Street district of New York City, killing at least 25 people.
1934: An anti-Nazi protest was held in Munich. Not all Germans believed Adolf Hitler's "patriotic" myths and excuses for doing Satanic evil (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1945: At the end of the Second World War, Britain took Hong Kong from the Japanese. Britain surrendered political control of the wealthy island to the Chinese in 1997.
1947: Typhoon Kathleen killed over 1,900 people in Japan.
1955: Argentine President Juan Peron was ousted by a military coup.
1975: Papua New Guinea became independent from Australia.
1978: A magnitude 7.9 earthquake killed 25,000 people in Iran.
1982: Lebanese Phalangist militiamen entered the Palestinian refugee camps at Saba and Shatila and slaughtered over 2,000 men, women and children. The Israeli military had unwittingly allowed the murderers into the camps.
1997: Typhoon Oliwa hit southwestern Japan, killing 6 people and forcing 80,000 from their homes.