Here we will continue with the second part of our series looking at Charles A. Wiseman’s book Who Is Esau-Edom?
Recently, a few of our readers brought up the questions, “Who was the first Jew?” and “What is ‘ground zero’ for the Jewish people?” — a subject that Wiseman grapples with in his chapter, “The Origin of the Jews.”
Although Wiseman argues that the first “Jews” — or first ancestors of today’s Jews — arose out of Edom, he also concedes that Edom is just one of many bloodlines that the mongrelized Jews have mixed with throughout the past centuries as they moved from one place to another.
Keep in mind that Esau and Jacob were twins with the same genetic parents — and also keep in mind that none of the wives of Jacob or his 12 sons were Israelites — they all took wives from the Genesis 10 nations, and most likely so did their children and grandchildren.
What determines Israelite identity is the father — not the mother — as long as the mother is a legitimate, unmixed Adamic woman from the Genesis 10 nations — take Ruth, for example.
So we have no way of knowing when the descendants of Esau became mixed — as the early descendants of Canaan — one of Noah’s grandsons — were certainly unmixed, but over time — with practicing paganism no doubt — many of them became mixed without the religious proscription against such mixing.
According to Jewish tradition, Jews had changed from patrilineal to matrilineal identity sometime around 200 AD — probably because by that time most Jews had become race mixed, and the only way to ensure the continuity of “Jewish” identity was through the “Jewish” mother.
[Please read our essay on the subject of Jewish racial admixture — and the switch to matrilineal descent.]
That said, Wiseman certainly makes the case that these “Jews” took on the spiritual ethos of Esau-Edom sometime between the Babylonian captivity and after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.
By that time, they no longer could claim any legitimate identity as Israelites — as their own books admit — and so they became “Jews” — whose “religion” closely followed the anti-Christ Pharisees who, according to Josephus adhered to many religious tradions not consistent with the writings of Moses:
“…that the Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses; and for that reason it is that the Sadducees reject them, and say that we are to esteem those observances to be obligatory which are in the written word, but are not to observe what are derived from the tradition of our forefathers.”—Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XIII, 293
Judaism as a “religion” thus began as the “oral traditions” brought back to Judea from Babylon — and then codified by the rabbis sometime around 200 AD — Christianity is not based on talmudic Judaism, which came into being after certain leaders of the Pharisees rejected Christ.
Many speculate that these Pharisees who rejected Christ were necessarily racial Edomites — but if that were the case, none of the disciples accused them of not being real “men of Israel” — nor does Christ.
Yes, many Edomites, after forced conversion, were given citizenship in Judea under John Hyrcanus circa 150 BC and became thereafter known as “Judeans” — but the Edomites did so because they wanted to continue to live “in the land of their forefathers” — according to Josephus — which would be in the southern-most part of Judea.
And it should be noted that, according to Josephus, the Pharisees disagreed with Hyrcanus’ policy of forced conversion of Edomites — and this disagreement contributed to Hyrcanus switching from being a Pharisee to joining the Sadducees.
If true, then we must ask the question — would not the Pharisees then reject any converted Edomites from joining their ranks?
In reality, Edom is mentioned only once in the entire New Testament in Mark 3:8,
“And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.”
And this verse — at least in the context of John 10:27 — seems to indicate that those who came to hear and follow Christ included Idumeans or Edomites — which would seem to contradict the idea that all Edomites were non-Adamics — at least at this point in history.
In reality, we just don’t know how much mixing occurred between these southern Edomites and the Israelites in northern Judea around Jerusalem — especially with the Israelites who followed the tenets of their faith which forbade any mixing.
We do know that the Khazars were a predominantly Turkic-Mongol people — and whatever Edomite admixture they had would have been minor — and only circumstantial given Wiseman’s evidence.
And so the actual historical evidence linking the Edomites to today’s Jews is scant and tenuous, as Wiseman concedes — but the character and ethos of today’s Jews most certainly coincides with Esau-Edom — the eternal adversaries of Israel.
So let’s proceed here with Wiseman:
The Origins of the Jews
During Titus’ siege of Jerusalem (66-70 A.D.), “20,000 Idumeans [Edomites] appeared before Jerusalem to fight in -behalf of the Zealots who were besieged in the Temple.” [see The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. V, (1904), p.41] About 97,000 inhabitants of Judea were taken captive, and an unknown number had fled either before or during the siege.
This is the last mention of the Edomites as a people in recorded history. Yet Bible prophecy indicates that Edom would be an enemy of Israel in latter times. We find that their only connection to a present day people and religion is with the Jews and Judaism. We thus need to trace back the origin of the Jews to see who they are and how they fit into the nuzzle of who is Esau-Edom.
The Jews of today fall within two main types — the Sephardic Jew and the Ashkenazi Jew. The Sephardim are also know as “Spanish Jews” and constitute about 5% of the Jews in the world. The Ashkenazim are the “East European Jews” which were found in Poland, Russia, Germany, and Western Asia. This group of Jews make up 90% of the so-called “Jews” in the world.
Many reference and historical sources have unequivocally identified that the bulk of the Ashkenazi Jews were derived from a people known as Khazars (or Chazars in some texts). The original Jewish Encyclopedia of 1905 revealed that the main stock of the Jews came from this Asiatic people known as Chazars or Khazars:
CHAZARS: A People of Turkish origin whose life and history are interwoven with the very beginnings of the history of the Jews of Russia. . . .Historical evidence points to the region of the Urals as the home of the Chazars.—The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, (1905), p. 1.
The Khazars were a nomadic people who had no traces of Hebraic culture. They had been following a pagan and sex-oriented religion until they had officially embraced Judaism in 740 A.D., while rejecting Christianity and Mohammedism. The Jewish author and historian, Arthur Koestler, also concludes that the majority of east European Jews — and hence of world Jewry — is of Khazar and not of Semitic origin. In the beginning of his book Koestler states:
“. . . the large majority of surviving Jews in the world is of Eastern European-and thus perhaps mainly of Khazar—origin. If so, this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan, but from the Caucasus; . . .and that genetically they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes than to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’’—Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Trribe, Random House, 1976, p. 17
Koestler then devotes the remainder of his 255 page book to prove this premise. For instance, a record of a letter by a Khazar King shows that he traced his people to Noah’s son Japheth, not Shem, and to “Japheth’s grandson, Togarma, the ancestor of all Turkish tribes.” [see Koester, op cit., p. 72]
The Khazar government was destroyed by the Slavs of Russia in 1016 A.D. Around 1200 A.D., the land was invaded by the hordes of Genghis Kahn. These two events caused large numbers of Khazars to migrate to Poland and western Russia forming the cradle of Western Jewry.
“There is an abundance of ancient place names in the Ukraine and Poland, which derive from ‘Khazar’ or “Zhid’” (Jew).”—Koestler, Ibid, p. 145
As the Khazars left their homeland of Khazaria and migrated north and west, they lost their name and became known as Jews. Their Yiddish language and alphabet is not that of the Israelites (Phoenician-Greek style), but an amalgamation of Aramaic, medieval German, Slovak and Russian dialects.
The best historical evidence, therefore, shows that the Jews are not descended directly from the Israelites of the Bible but derive much of their ancestry from the Khazars and other people of Turkish-Asiatic blood. The Khazars are also of Edomite stock and both stocks make up the present day Jews, as the historian H. G. Wells states,
“…The ldumeans (Edomites) were….made Jews….and a Turkish people (Khazars) were mainly Jews in South Russia….The main part of Jewry never was in Judea and had never come out of Judea.”—H. G. Wells, The Outline of History, 3rd ed., MacMillian, 1921, p. 494
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the original stock of the Khazars came from the land of Edom:
Hasdai ibn Shaprut, who was foreign minister to Abd al-Rahman, Sultan of Cordova, in his letter to King Joseph of the Chazars (about 960)….speaks of the tradition according to which the Chazars once dwelt near the Seir Mountains.”—The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, (1905), p. 3
The “Seir Mountains” are none other than the original land of Esau-Edom:
“Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.”–(Genesis 36:8)
Seir was a mountain range south of the Dead Sea and was also known as the “Iand of Edom”
(Genesis 36:21). The Seir mountains were the home of the Edomites for nearly a millennium. “The Edomites arrived in Edom or Seir at the end of the 14th and beginning of the 13th century BC,” according to the Encyclopedia of Judaica [Vol. 6, p 372]. Thus, it should be no surprise that migrants from that land would recall the name of their original homeland.
If the Khazars did originally “dwell near the Seir Mountains,” then the Khazars — and thus world Jewry — are racially of Edomite stock. But how and when did Edomites get to Khazaria? There is evidence that in the 6th century BC some of the Edomites fled their homeland of Seir and migrated north:
“After the fall of Jerusalem, in 586 BC, the Edomites began to press northward (see Ezekiel 36:5).—The New Westminister Dictionary of the Bible, ed. By Henry S. Gehman, The Westminister Press, Philadelphia, 1970, p. 418.
The extent and ultimate destination of this northward trek is not found in history, but it is possible that it may have brought some Edomites to the region of Khazaria. The Edomites were also cast out of Palestine and dispersed in different directions in 70 A.D. when the Romans sacked Jerusalem. Many thousands of these people are known to have migrated northward to Asia Minor and around the Black Sea region [see Ewald, History of Israel, (J.E. Carpenter, translated 1874), vol. 5, p. 239].
When dealing with a people of a mixed racial heritage, it becomes a real quandary to ascertain their origin. The Jews of today are such a people. In fact the Jews themselves assert they are mongrels because of:
“. . .the original mixed ancestry of the Jews and their subsequent history of inter-mixture with every people among whom they have lived and continue to live. . .”—Ashley Montagu (born Israel Ehrenberg), Man’s Most Dangerous Myth, 1974, p. 375
The anthropologist, Professor Carleton Coon, has also demonstrated the admixture of the different Jewish types with other races. He explains that while the “Jews” cannot be classed as “race” per se, they are an ethnic group:
“. . .the Jews form an ethnic group; that like all ethnic groups they have their own racial elements distributed in their own proportions; like all or most ethnic groups they have their “look,” a part of their cultural heritage that both preserves and expresses their cultural solidarity. They have developed a special racial sub-type and a special pattern of facial and bodily expression.”—Carleton S. Coon, The Races of Europe, The MacMillan Co., N.Y.,1939. p.442.
When we talk of the racial mixtures that brought about the Jews of today, we must highlight the events surrounding the Babylonian captivity of Judah. The remainder of the Judah nation — which included some of the tribes of Benjamin, Levi, and Simeon — was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. But at the same time Edom was also put under Babylonian rule causing some of the Edomites to be brought to Babylon (Jeremiah 27:2-7).
When Persia overthrew Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree (538 BC) allowing the Judahites to return to their land and rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:1-5). However, only about 50,000 returned to Palestine (Ezra 2:64-65). Some of them had apparently departed to their kinsmen in Europe.
However, many of the Judahites and Benjamites preferred to remain in Babylonia becoming a part of the indigenous population. Those remaining had intermarried with the Babylonians and Edomites that were in the land and adopted their religion and law — the Babylonian Talmud — which became the foundation for Judaism. These then became the Babylonian Jews: ”Then many of the people of the land became Jews” (Esther 8:17).
Although they are called “Jews” — a term which is derived from the word “Judah” — these people are not true Judahites but became a mixed or hybridized people, consisting of Edomites, Hittites, Canaanites, Judahites, Babylonians, Ishmaelites, Huns, Khazars, etc.
When they migrated to other lands throughout the centuries, they retained their “Jew” or Judahite identity but brought with them the religion of Babylon.
Because of the Jews’ mixed ancestry, history is sketchy as to their origins from Japheth, Esau, or other people in the Bible. However, identification of these persons or tribes can also be ascertained by the characteristics, prophecies, etc., revealed about them in the Bible. Since Esau-Edom is one of the more predominate figures in the Bible, [in the next chapters] we will endeavor to ascertain his identification and place in historical and current events by these means.