sábado, 30 de enero de 2016

Arab Jews, Mizrahi Jews, Samaritans, Palestinians, Berber Jews & their other Israelitish Relatives in the Greater Middle East & Vicinity 2

Simcha Jacobovichi claims to have found a group of Cohens in Northern Africa. Who are these people? The Cohen Jews of the Island of Jerba, Tunisia probably.

In Iraq, both Jews and Muslims, broke fast with dates.

The Sassoon family, Bagdadi Jews from India, became known as the Rothschilds of the East because of their wealth acquired through trade.

Damascus had a large Jewish community in Mameluks. It stood out as an important Kabbalah center. However the Jews (& Christians) were discriminate against & even persecuted under the Mameluks. Whith the taking over by the Turks things sharply improved, to the point that were promoted to high ranking administration posts & the Jews also thrived economically. In Istanbul the Jews were in good terms with the Corps of Jannissaries, the renowned military elite founded in the 1300s.

All Jewish states were, in biblical terms, "a beleaguered city". There's only documents of a Jewish resistence about Massada & Bettar. Bettar/Bethar was the last great centre of resistance during the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome.

Muslim men can marry non-muslim women if they are from the people of the book, under certain conditions as well.

The name المقدس بيت Bayt al-Maqdis, Bayt al-Muqaddas is a direct translation of the Hebrew name for the Temple, המקדש בית Beit Ha-Miqdash, both literally meaning "The House of the Holy". "House of the Holy" would be "Temple" in one word, obviously refering to the Israelite temple. This means that even the Arabs recognized the Jewish legitimacy of Jerusalem in the past.

Jerusalem, Damascus, Sinai, Safet, Sichem, Salahah (Dhofar, Oman), Tiberias & Hamadan are the holy sites of Judaism. The "holy cities" concept dates to the 1640s, with Tiberias joining in 1740, resulting from the creation of an association between the cities for the collection of halukka (funds for the needy). Some of the earliest Jewish history in what is now Oman is associated with the Biblical/Quranic figure Job/Ayyoub. The Tomb of Job is located in Jabal Dohfar 45 miles from the port city of Salalah.

Baqubah city in Iraq, derives from the Arabic baya 'kuba meaning "Jacob's house."

In North Darfur, Sudan, there's a village called Tabit. Tabit is a Hebrew word, but of course Hebrews have been in the area since the main group left Egypt. A small group stayed behind when Israel, following Moses leadership, went to Canaan. A group of these Israelites was in southern Egypt & eventually was reinforced by another contingent of Israelite colonists-soldiers. They made a Temple in Elephantine island, in the Nile River. This concentration of Israelites was on the two sides of the modern Egyptian-Northern Sudanese border. From this Israelite presence the Falasha communities would have sprung. This is reinforced with current studies.

One of the many false Jewish Messiahs, that appeared in Teman/Yemen, said that Mohamed was a foretold Messiah & encouraged his fellow Jews to join Islam. Because of him & many other influencial Jewish men lots of Jews have joined the ranks of Islam. Hence many so called Arabs & non-Arab Muslims, throughout the Moslem World, are really Jews & descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel.

The Yemenites absorbed some Ethiopian elements. This is the case in Moslem & Jewish Yemenis. The Yemenite Jews were called the Lituanians of the East for their great knowledge in Jewish literature. According to Jewish records: "If the family (of the ancient Yemenite Jews) was poor, even a boy of 8 or 9 years of age, was expected to (and indeed ready) to support himself. In this case the boy might prefer to run away from home and lead an independent life." This is interesting because likewise in the Mormon (Latter-day Saints) doctrine at age of eight children are considered accountable & psychologysts also agree. To be exact psychologysts consider the age of accountability at 7 or 8 years of age. Notwithstanding the enmity between the Arab countries & Israel in 1948, the Yemenite imam didn't object the Yemenite Jews "going up (Aliyah)". The majority of Jewish Yemenite leaders regarded their imam as a good man that set his Jewish subjects free out of benevolence, as much as for any other reasons (I would dare to say, over & over, that Yemen & Yemenites are not like other Arab Moslem peoples. Despite their Muslim religion, Arabic language... Yemenites are remarkably Jewish ethnically. The blood of Israel runs throughout, the Yemenite Moslem veins.) Moreover, despite Yemen (together with the Arab League) being in theory at war with Israel, there are no hostilities between the two nations. Last, but not least, the Yemenite imam intended that the Jews would take with them whatever of their belongings they could carry, however robbers stole much of their possesions or local leaders, on their journey to the airplanes that would take them to the Promised Lands, overtaxed them. Many perished on their trip before salvation was given through their airflight.

For an Aleppoan Armenian his community's position in Aleppo is no better than that of the Jews. Despite their thousands of years sojourning in Syria, Jews are not regarde as Arabs, unlike their Christian & Muslim counterparts. In Aleppo there's such great Jewish sellers that they could sell pork to a rabbi. A local Armenian complains that whereas the Syrian Armenians are conscripted in the Syrian army & are sent to the most dangerous missions, the Jews are not comnanded to enlist it. The truth is a little different because the Syrian Jews are banned from enlisting that army under the premise that they are zionistic spies for the Jewish State of Israel, & that they could take over the army & then the country. The thief thinks everyone else is a thief as well, for this is what the ruling Assads did. From the earliest time up until the Middle Ages, Aleppo was known by local Jews as Aram Zobah, the original name with which Syrian's ancient Aramean ancestors founded it. However the most used Hebrew name which Jews know Aleppo is Haleb, with which Jewish lore says Abraham pastured his flocks on the hillsides around it & who freely fed the local poor. Indeed Aleppo stands prominently in the Jewish history & lore. Local Jewish traders had outstanding religious & trading relations with the Indian Jews of Cochin. Because of the fanatic intolerance local Muslims exercized against Jews and Christians alike, the Turkish Ottoman rulers threatened to fire cannons toward the Muslim quarter. In the Talmud says that Aleppo is the most northerly point to which a Jew can go from the Holy Land without being considered a traveler. The Abadi is a celebrated Aleppoan Jewish family. One of them say they are well organized and cohesioned, & that if the Assyrian Baathist would attacked them they would strongly fight. This same Jew says that, according to his parents, Syrian Jews descend from the lost tribes, to which he says that they are the forgotten tribe.

Christian Jews

Today, some 300,000 Jews around the world are followers of Jesus. And millions of Jews are searching for the Messiah and thus reading the Hebrew prophecies, and comparing them with the writings of the New Testament, and trying to decide whether Jesus really is the Messiah we have desperately longed for over so many centuries.

Today, on Yom Kippur, you can watch short videos of Jewish people explaining how they met the Messiah.

More than 10 million people have watched these videos just in the past few months.


Lebanon was originally peopled by Phoenician-Canaanites along the coast.  Israelite Tribes and other groups were also important. The Israelite Tribe of Asher had been given much of Lebanon as its tribal heritage.

The Crusader  state of County of Tripoli (1109-1289) founded by Raymond IV of Toulouse from southern France encompassed most of present day Lebanon. 

The local Christians were known as Maronites. The Maronites were descended from inhabitants of Lebanon who had become Christians in the 300s and 400s CE. They had then moved to the mountain region to escape persecution by the Romans. Orthodox & Maronite Christians are said to be the offspring of the first Christians, a people with a Jewish origin.

As a result of the Crusades the Maronites gave their allegiance to the Pope in Rome. This made them Roman Catholics as distinct from other Christian groups who at that time followed the directions of Constantinople i.e. Greek Orthodox Christianity.

# These initial contacts led to centuries of support for the Maronites from France and Italy, even after the fall of the Crusader states in the region. #

Under Ottoman Turkish rule the French intermittently tried to intervene in Lebanon in attempts to protect the Christian population who suffered from Moslem and Druze hostility. 
In 1923 France received the League of Nations Mandate for Syria and Lebanon. Under the French (1923-26) more than 50% of the population were Christians and they controlled most of the country.

Lebanon became formally independent in 1943. The last French troops withdrew in 1946. 
In 1975 the Lebanese Civil War pitted a coalition of Christian groups against the joint forces of the PLO, left-wing Druze and Muslim militias. In June 1976 Syria sent in its own troops. The war ended at the end of 1990.  It is estimated that 150,000 people were killed and another 200,000 wounded. Some 900,000 people, representing one-fifth of the pre-war population, were displaced from their homes. Parts of Lebanon were left in ruins.

The Christians lost their previously dominant position. Paradoxically it had been the French who expanded the borders of Mount Lebanon, which was mostly populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees as well as Moslem settlers from northern Syria had entered Lebanon. The Christian birthrate was much lower than that of their Muslim neighbors. Many of the Christians emigrated. They are still emigrating. 

At present 54% are Muslims, 41% Christians, 5% Druze. More than half the Christians are Maronite Catholics. The rest are mainly Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, or Armenians.

Two Places In the Bible Known As Damascus?

Ezekiel (47:17) placed Damascus on the northern or north east boundary of Israel.
This border however, we know from other sources,  reached at least up to the Euphrates River (Genesis 15:18).

Different commentaries have shown how the Damascus mentioned by Ezekiel and elsewhere in the Bible was in a different region from the city we call Damascus today. Scripture may in effect under the name Damascus refer to one of two different places, depending on the context.  The city and region we call Damascus today in Ancient Times was known as the Land  of  Apum (or Abum) and translated as Land of the Donkey. There was another place with the same name in the Habor region east of the Euphrates. The two areas may have been ethnically connected. Indications are that the Land of Apum east of the Euphrates was also known as Damascus just as the more southern present-day Damascus was also identified with the Land of Apum.

According to Near Eastern Archaeology in the Twentieth  Century, edited by James A. Sanders, 1970, p. 173, note 2. Damascus was also known as Apum. Article: "NORTHERN CANAAN AND THE MARI TEXTS" by Abraham Malamat # the land of Apum mentioned here must be differentiated from another country of the same name occurring ion the Mari and Cappadocian texts, located in the Habor region".

This is confirmed by: "Is the Area of Apum-Damascus Mentioned in the Mari Archives?"  by Wayne T. Pitard, BASOR, no.264, November 1986 www.jstor.org/stable/1357021

Amos prophesied that the northern Ten Tribes of Israel would be exiled "beyond Damascus". The intention apparently was to the northern area known as Damascus and not that of today.

Amos 14:25 Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 26 You shall take up Sakkuth your king, and Kaiwan your star-god, your images that you made for yourselves; 27therefore I will take you into exile beyond Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.

Comments On Syrian Jews

Descendants of David amongst Syrian Jews, the Dayan Family.


#...'The Book', 'Yashir Moshe'. This book, written in 1864 by Rabbi Moshe Dayan, was a commentary on King Solomon's Shir Hashirim ( Song of Songs). The hidden gem in this book is the genealogy found between the introduction and the commentary. Here, Rabbi Dayan traces the Dayan family lineage straight back to King David.

Norval Marley the father of Bob Marley was British and of Syrian Jewish ancestry.

As Syrian Jews migrated to the New World and established themselves, a divide frequently persisted between those with roots in Aleppo (the Halabi Jews, alternately spelled Halebi or Chalabi) and Damascus (the Shami Jews), which had been the two main centers of Jewish life in Syria. This split persists to present-day, with each community maintaining some separate cultural institutions and organizations, and to a lesser-extent, a preference for in-group marriage.

The Ancient Reubenite and Israelite French Links with Lebanon and Syria

In early Medieval and Modern Hebrew the country of France is called "Zarephath". Zarephath (Sarapata) was originally a Phoenician town, "Zarephath which belongeth to Zidon" (1-Kings 17:9) in which Israelites also dwelt. Throughout ancient Gaul and especially on the northwest coast there are signs of Phoenician or Israelite settlement.  It may be that France received the name Zarephath for ethnic reasons due to some connection with the mixed Israelite Phoenician center of Zarephath (Daat Sofrim). 

The name, "Zarephath",  is also recalled in the Book of Obadiah. Most of the Classical Rabbinical Commentators said that the name Zarephath in the Book of Obadiah meant France (Rashi, Radak, Daat Sofrim), or the North in general (Nachmanides, Sefer HaGeulah), or (according to Abarbanel) France and England together. The verse in question (Obadiah 1:20) has been shown as referring to the Lost Ten Tribes.

A significant element amongst the French are descended from the Tribe of Reuben. France also includes input from Gad, Manasseh, Simeon, Judah, Levi, and othe Israelite Tribes. In Biblical times Reuben had been dominant in the area now known as Syria. This is discussed below.  Reubenite origins shed light on the traditional French attachment to these regions. 

The Israelite Tribe of Dan was also to be found in Northern Syria:

Deuteronomy 33:22 And of Dan he said: Dan is a lion's whelp that leaps forth from Bashan. Bashan was in East Syria and on the Map of Ptolemy is remembered under the names of Bathanaei and Bathanae Regio.

The French in Syria

The French has established contacts with the Alawis even while Syria was under Ottoman rule (Pipes). After World War 1 it took France three years from 1920 to 1923 to gain full control over Syria and to quell all the insurgencies that broke out, notably in the Alawite territories, Mount Druze and  Aleppo in the north

At the end of the rebellion (ca. 1923) of Syrians against the French, there was a famine  and ca. 30% of the population of Syria perished.

Revolts against France, mainly led by the Druze, continued to take place.
The French also had had trouble with part of the Alawites though most of the Alawis were in favor of their presence. 

Despite some initial fiction conflicts the French on the whole used the Alawites to help them rule Syria. They established autonomous regions in Alawite areas and encouraged the Alawites to serve in the army and police forces.  The French considered the Alawites to have martial qualities. In general the Alawites very much preferred French rule to the prospects of an independent Syria.

With the fall of France in 1940 during World War-2, Syria came under the control of Vichy France. Moshe Dayan, future Israeli military commander and politician, lost his eye while guiding Australian soldiers on a raid into Vichy controlled Syria. The British and Free French occupied the country in the Syria-Lebanon campaign of July 1941. Continuing pressure from Syrian nationalists and the British forced the French to evacuate their troops in April 1946. A republican government dominated by Sunni Muslims took control. They were destined to be displaced by the Alawis.

Syria- Background

The modern Syrian state was established after the First World War as a French mandate. Formerly, under the Ottoman Turks the areas of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine (Israel) had all been considered part of one entity. The concept of a Greater Syria encompassing all these regions still exists in Arab consciousness. In Biblical times the population of Syria consisted of Amorites, Hittites, Aramaeans, and others.

Sections of the coastline of Syria were briefly held mainly by French overlords during the Crusades in the 1100s.  They were known collectively as the Crusader state of the Principality of Antioch. The Armenians also ruled over areas in the north.

On 1 October 1918, the 3rd Australian Light Brigade, led by Major A.C.N. 'Harry' Olden had liberated Damascus from the Turks. Two days later, 3 October 1918, the forces of the Arab revolt led by Prince Feisal also entered Damascus. Feisal was the son of the Hashemite ruler of the Hejaz in Arabia. A military government under Shukri Pasha was named and Faisal ibn Hussein was proclaimed king of Syria. 

In effect  after the proclamation, Feisal only ruled loosely over some of the interior regions of Syria with the rest remaining under British or French control.

In October 1919, British forces in Syria and the last British soldiers stationed east of the Jordan were withdrawn and the region east of the Jordan came more under the control of Feisal in Damascus.

In Syria, the Alawis (1919) with French arms rebelled against Feisal. Feisal belonged to the Hashemite dynasty of Mecca in Arabia. Under the guidance of Lawrence of Arabia the Hashemites had rebelled against the Turks in WW1 and the British felt something was owed them. The British and French were both allies and rivals. To some degree Feisal was backed by the British working against France.

In 1920 Feisal seized control of Damascus and attempted to take real control of Syria. The French used military force to expel him. The French had received Mandates over Syria and Lebanon from the League of Nations.  The French were welcomed in Lebanon but had to face revolts in some areas of Syria (1920-23).

Feisal in attempting to pre-empt the French in Syria may have had British encouragement. As compensation for the loss of Syria Feisal was made King of Iraq (1921-1933). A massacre in Iraq of Assyrian Christians in 1933 was followed by the British having him assassinated.

The Dayan Family of Aleppo

Jews of Aleppo, Syria By Sarina Roffe The Jews of Aleppo, Syria were a religious and cohesive group that practices Sephardic Judaism and dates from the two thousand years plus they lived in the region. Their presence predates Christianity and Islam. Rulers came and went and with each the Jews learned to live peacefully. Between the 15th and 17th centuries, Aleppo absorbed other Sephardic immigrant groups largely from Spain, Italy and Iraq. Their education was limited to religious education and they remained apolitical due to their political status.

These religious Jews remained isolated from the broader Jewish world and were not influenced by Modernism or Western education that affected the Jews of Western Europe. The Jews of Aleppo had little contact with the outside world and lived under the strict aegis of their rabbis who ruled the community with an iron hand, absorbing many of the cultural aspects of Islamic society such as food, naming practices, the treatment of women, and limited education. By the early 20th century, a majority had emigrated to Israel, Latin America and the United States. By the mid-1990s, there were less than a dozen Jews remaining in Aleppo.

Background Aleppo is a city that spans Jewish history from the days of King David over 3,000 years ago. Aristocratic and noble, Aleppo was the crown of the Sephardic world 1 . The Jewish presence in Syria is intertwined with the history and the politics of Jerusalem. According to the book of Samuel, and Psalm 60, Aram Soba, the Biblical name for Aleppo, was part of the extended area of northern Israel. Through the millennia, great Talmudic sages record Aleppo's unbroken record of communal peace and spiritual productivity. Early Jewish travelers to the area include Sa'adia Gaon in 921, Benjamin of Tudela in 1173, Rabbi Petachya of Regensburg in 1170-80. 2

According to Aleppan-born author Joseph A. D. Sutton, perhaps even the patriarch Abraham visited Aleppo.

It is hoary Aleppo legend, both Jewish and Muslim, that the patriarch Abraham had settled for a period in Aleppo in his wanderings from his native Ur. He is believed to have milked his cows there. Halab, the Arabic name for Aleppo, is the Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic for 'milked.' 3

Great Synagogue The foundation for the Great Synagogue in Aleppo is believed to have been built by King David's General, Joab ben Seruya (circa 950 BCE), after his conquest of the city (2 Sam 8:3-8). Anthropologist Walter Zenner dates the building of the Great Synagogue to the fifth century of the Common Era. 4 The architecture of the synagogue was heavily influenced by the designs of Muslim mosques. 5 For example, over the centuries the ark of the synagogue has been an exact copy of a mosques mihrab. (The synagogue was destroyed during the rule of Tamerlane in 1400 and was rebuilt in 1418. In 1947 anti-Zionist groups burned the synagogue, which was in an abandoned state by 1995. 6 ) There are other synagogues in Aleppo, many of them small. Each synagogue had a mikvah. There were also social service organizations to help the poor, an organization called Aleppo Codex.

Through the centuries, distinguished rabbis learned in Aleppo, which was a center of significant Torah learning. Among the reasons for Aleppos importance in Jewish learning was the Aleppo Codex (see page right), which is described by scholars as follows:

The 'Jewel of the Crowns' is the Hebrew manuscript of the Bible written by the scribe Shlomo Ben Buya'a during the first half of the 10th century (or 896) and then verified, vocalized and pointed by Aaron Ben-Asher in Tiberias. It was taken to Egypt where it was seen by Maimonides, who considered it to be the most perfect of all versions and used it as an example and standard of the Bible text. Sometime towards the end of the 14th century the manuscript was taken into the custody of the Jewish community of Aleppo. Keter Aram Tzova (The Aleppo Codex), the most authoritative manuscript of the Masoretic text of the Bible, was kept in the Joab Ben Zeruiah Synagogue (in the Cave of Elijah) for some 500 years until 1947. Apparently it was damaged in the fire of the synagogue in 1947 and thought to be lost until 1958, when it was brought to Israel. Now most of its pages, 295 of the original 487, are safeguarded in Jerusalem, Israel. 7

Because of the Aleppo Codex, its use by Maimonides, and the belief that it was an authoritative text of the Bible, 8 Aleppan Jews believed that they could achieve a higher level of Torah learning and thought of themselves as more learned and privileged than Jews in other places. This feeling of privilege extended to the region's governance and economy.

Political Standing The politics of the region depended on the rulers. With the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of Rome, the Romans placed restrictions on Jews. These were lifted with the Arab conquest in 636 CE, when Islamic caliphates began ruling the region. From the seventh Century until the end of Ottoman rule, the Jewish community was self-governed. Self-government entitled the Jews to freedom of religion, a separate court system ruled by local rabbis to handle internal disputes, and military protection. In return for political and military protection, the Jews were given dhimmi status, meaning they had to adhere to certain rules and pay a poll tax, which was based on the number of men in the community.

According to the Quran, dhimmi status did not entitle Jews to the same or equal rights as Muslim citizens. Jews, along with their Christian counterparts, were of a lower status than Muslims and disputes between a Christian or Jew and a Muslim were settled in the government court, which was ruled by Islamic law. In addition, Jews had to agree to live under the laws of the Pact of Umar, which included regulations such as wearing distinctive dress, not riding horses or any animal that would make a Muslim look up to a Jew, and not building new synagogues. Jews had to justify the existence of older houses of worship by stressing their antiquity, such as the Great Synagogue of Aleppo to Joab the son of Seruya. Ceremonies such as blowing the shofar and celebrating Purim had to be conducted so as not to disturb their Muslim neighbors.

These laws were irregularly enforced, depending on the economics of the region and the current Muslim ruler. If things got worse economically, the treatment of Jews deteriorated. When times were good and the economy was booming, Jews were treated well, so long as they stayed in their place and did not upset the balance between the two religious groups. The Jewish community that evolved in this setting developed a different kind of politics to govern their people. The community was governed by the hakham bashi, or chief rabbi. Paying and collecting taxes and obtaining patronage were forms of political participation. For the most part, Jews learned to live under this political structure and avoided bringing attention to themselves such that they could live peacefully. Conditions remained good for Jews in Syria under the Fatimids and later under Ottoman rule. The Ottoman Empire was particularly interested in efficient governance. A census was taken of its territories to determine ethnic composition and dispute claims concerning ethnic populations in the Ottoman territories.

The empire was divided geographically into administrative units called vilayets, or provinces. Vilayets were further divided into sanjaks, or sub-provinces, which in turn were divided into kazas, or cities. A kaza might also include small villages that surround it. The chief town of a sanjak was called the merkez kasasi, or central kasa. Aleppo was a vilayet, and encompassed a vast area that included what is now Beirut, as well as numerous outlying villages. It is widely known that the Ottoman rulers favored the Jews, offering them refuge after the 1492 Edict of Expulsion from Spain, because the Ottomans believed that the Jews would bring their skills as merchants, which in turn would help the economy. Many of the Jews expelled from Spain fled to the part of the Ottoman Empire that we now know as Syria. This included Damascus and Beirut as well as Aleppo, an established center for great rabbinic learning. In 1920, the Ottoman Empire was split by the Treaty of Versailles. The French Mandate of Syria (as well as Lebanon) were mandated by the League of Nations. In 1923, the Republic of Turkey was established. In 1924, the French combined provinces of Aleppo and Damascus into the State of Syria.

Rabbinical Leadership in Aleppo From the mid-nineteenth century on, the Ottoman government appointed a chief rabbi (Hakham bashi), who represented the Jewish community before government agencies and could be a powerful individual in the community in his own right. Rabbis often came from families with a long tradition of supplying the community with hakhamim. 9 The hakham was distinguished by his clothing, for example, the size and color of his turban and the long, wide sleeves of his outer garments. 10 While it was customary for everyone to wear an ankle-length robe with a sash around the waist, the Hakham bashi was a government official and wore a finer robe with ceremonial orders and medals, gold and silver embroidery. The Hakham bashi had two government-appointed bodyguards who carried his Staff of Office and cleared the way for him. 11

Aleppan rabbis were learned in Kabbalah and Talmudic legal tradition. They dealt with cases of Jewish law, ranging from spiritual to civil cases including marriage, inheritance, business contracts, torts, building regulations and Jewish rituals. 12 Aleppan Jews consistently had a reputation for respecting rabbinic authority. 13

While the Aleppan communitys leaders paint a historic picture of strict observance and Torah learning, it should be noted that there was an unsuccessful attempt to introduce Reform Judaism into Aleppo in 1862 by Rabbi Rafael Kassin, the great great grandfather of R. Jacob Kassin. The grandson of Rabbi Yehuda Kassin, Rabbi Rafael Kassin (1780-1871) was chief rabbi of Baghdad for many years. When he returned to Aleppo, he declared himself a religious reformer. 14 Rabbi Rafael Kassin had a tremendous following and his supporters wanted to separate from the community. 15

According to researcher Yaron Harel, "Quarrels which broke out in the bazaar between the two groups forced the local authorities to intervene to prevent disturbances of public order." 16 The movement was temporarily quashed but in 1865, another rabbinic reformer Rabbi Eliahu Ben Amozeg - wrote Em Lamikra, which presented modern scientific commentary on the Bible. The rabbis of Aleppo issued an edict to destroy all copies of the book throughout the Middle East and to excommunicate the author, but only the rabbis of Damascus accepted the edict. 17

The rabbis of Aleppo made significant contribution in terms of religious literature. Examples are as follows:

1. Rabbi Haim Mordecai Labaton (1780-1869 Aleppo), the son of Luna and Rabbi Helfon Labaton, became Chief Rabbi of Aleppo and head of the Beit Din. During his lifetime he was revered and respected by both Jews and Muslims of the region. He wrote two learned treatises, Nochach Hashulchan and Ben Yayir. 2. Rabbi Helphon Labaton, one of the sons of Rabbi Haim Mordecai, was a kabbalist who died in 1824 at a young age, predeceasing his father. Some of his writings are included in Nohah HaShulhan Rabbi Helphons son, Rabbi Isaac Labaton (d. 1912), was one of the most respected Dayans in Aleppo. He knew the Book of Laws by heart and was an expert in writing agreements and contracts between businessmen according to Jewish law. 3.

Rabbi Isaac Labaton wrote Oseh Hayyil and his response are published in works by other authors. Rabbi Isaac Labatons daughter, Sarah Labaton, married kabbalist Rabbi Shalom Hedaya (Aleppo 1862-1945), son of Rabbi Moshe Hedaya. Rabbi Shalom wrote Shalom LaAm, Dober Shalom, HaHayyim VeHaShalom, She LeBet Abot, and Shalom veTzedek 4. Rabbi Yitzhak Attia (b. 1775 Aleppo) wrote six books over the course of his life. Rabbi Yitzhak's first book is titled Zara Yitzhak Attia and is an explanation of the first two sections of the Chumash.

The second book, Vatican Yitzhak, is a continuation and covers the next three Chumash. Shut Avot is an explanation of the Gemarra. Rov Tagan, his fourth book, is an explanation of the six books of the Mishna. His fifth book Mesharet Moshe, speaks of the strong hand of the Rambam; Echet Chael, is a literal translation of the Woman of Valor poem. His last book was titled Tana Veshiar. 5. Rabbi Rafael Kassin writings include Maarekhet HaShulhan, Lehem HaMarekhet, Yayyin HaRekaa (a collection of sermons), Derekh Hahayyim (a defense against Gentile attacks on the Bible and Talmud) and Tekafo Kohen.

Demographics Prior to the 1492 Expulsion from Spain, a vast majority of the Jews living in Aleppo were indigenous to the area. The 1492 Expulsion brought a number of Jews to Aleppo. In 1516, when the Venice ghetto was opened, many Jews emigrated from the Italian city-state to Aleppo. Thus, there were three groups in Aleppo by the 16 th century the indigenous Jews, the Spanish, and the francos. During the initial settlement period, the Spanish Jews who had emigrated from Spain, remained separate and apart from the indigenous Aleppan Jews. The Spanish Jews spoke Ladino, a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish that was not understood in Aleppo, where the population spoke Arabic and read Hebrew with an Arabic accent. Spanish grandee Seor Shlomo Kassin was a wealthy Spanish immigrant and an administrative genius.

Soon after his arrival in Aleppo, he was appointed head of the community. Seor Shlomo's grandson, Rabbi Yom Tov Kassin, was the first Kassin family member to become a Chief Rabbi in Aleppo. A dispute between the Jewish community of Aleppo and the Francos was settled in a 220-page rabbinical decision (Mahane Yehuda treatise, Livorno, Italy) issued by Rabbi Yehuda Kassin (Aleppo 1708 1784 Aleppo). Mahane Yehuda (Livorno, 1803) contains hundreds of responsa and illustrates mastery of all phases of Talmudic literature. The end of the book has printed agreements between Jerusalem and Damascus rabbis.

A collection of Rabbi Yehuda's response was subsequently published in Jerusalem by his great grandson Rabbi Shaul Kassin under the title Ro'ei Yisrael (Jerusalem 1904) in three parts. A collection of his sermons, VaZot LiYehuda, exists in manuscript form. It is a book of questions and answers on Torah, Gemara, and Kabbalah. It took several centuries, but eventually the two communities the new Spanish Jews and the Jews indigenous to Aleppo, converged into one and the Ladino language of the Spanish Jews died out by the middle of the 18 th Century. Yet the surnames of the families - like Liniado, Kassin and Labaton - live on into the 21 st Century The Ottoman Government did not keep vital records, although individual rabbis kept records of brit milahs, marriages and deaths, so most population estimates for Aleppo are unreliable. By examining immigration patterns, it is generally believed that there were over 20,000 Jews in Aleppo at the end of the 19 th century.

The general nucleus of emigration from Syria was between 1900 and 1920. Although the Ottoman General Census shows a fairly stable Jewish population of about 10,000 Jews in both Damascus and Aleppo, there is evidence in the United States of about 2,000 immigrants a year from this region between 1900 and 1920, with the exception of World War I. According to the Ottoman census, in 1881, there were about 10,000 Jews in Aleppo. The same figures are shown up to 1914, with a slight rise in Jewish population in 1916. 18

The Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS) reported that from 1899-1907 about 2,732 Levantine (Sephardic) Jews came to the U.S. After World War I, HIAS estimated about 10,000 Jewish emigrants left the Middle East region for the U.S. It is safe to estimate another 5-7,000 emigrated to Palestine and Latin America (a majority of these settled in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, although some settled in Panama and Venezuela). After World War I, the French Mandate government governed Aleppo and Damascus. Jews who had passports from European countries were exempt from local taxation, which caused a drain on the finances of the local Jewish community. 19 Massive emigration from Syria occurred during the period after World War I and continued until the late 1920s, when the Great Depression began.

As religious Jews, family size tended to be large. A survey of family genealogies from this region, indicates that most families had between six and 12 children. Extended families lived together on a hoosh, a number of small dwellings that opened up onto an indoor courtyard in the Jewish quarter. There were two classes of Jews in Aleppo. The wealthier members of the community were bankers or merchants, while lower class members included brokers, grocers or peddlers. They were craftsman, stall-keepers, cobblers, clerks, peddlers, porters, or others without skills. The occupations of the Aleppo Jews determined their social class standing and their wealth. There was a social class structure that determined marriages. Besides life cycle events, recreation activities favored backgammon and cards.

Until the end of the 19 th Century, cotton and silk were the primary exports from the Middle East to Asia and Europe as caravans traveled from East to West. The first signs of serious economic hardship came with the start of the Industrial Revolution, which caused a reversal in the flow of trade, compounded with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1867. The combination dealt a bitter blow and ultimately destroyed trading along the caravan routes, which included Aleppo and Damascus. Economic times became bad, then worse. Education was not provided for girls, who were protected and did not leave the home without a male escort, even after they were married. Boys attended religious school and learned basic math necessary for keeping track of business expenses. Once a boy reached his 13 th birthday and became a bar mitzvah, he no longer attended school.

In the late 19 th century, the French introduced the Alliance Israelite Schools to Aleppo but few children could afford to attend. Marriages were generally arranged after a girl had her first cycle, often as young as 13 or 14. Teenage girls and marriage women adorned their arms with gold bangle bracelets, a tradition that carried forward to the present time. Before a wedding took place, the groom's mother would send gifts to the bride, including money to go to the mikvah (ritual bath) where she would prepare herself for her wedding night, and a white handkerchief. The handkerchief was used to clean the bride after her first union with the groom.

Girls were prepared for their lives as wives and mothers, learning sewing, meal preparation and how to manage a household. Cooking was a religious effort in order to uphold the laws of kashrut and convey the Syrian culture to their children through food and annual traditions. Few women worked and they rarely shopped. In the Middle East it was customary for the husband to arrange for a stock of staple items and to market since it was assumed that he was the better negotiator. Women were highly respected and honored because their work as mothers and homemakers was important. They kept their heads covered, and if they went out in public, their faces.

Factors Leading to Emigration Worldwide politics began having an influence on Syria in the early 19 th Century when European powers sought equal treatment for Christians and Jews. Jewish contractual positions with the government disappeared, but civil service positions were created. Heads of the religious communities such as the chief rabbi, were appointed positions. The jizha tax was a substitution for military service and was eliminated. The Ottoman Empire, which encompassed what is today Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other territories, fell early in the 20 th Century. In 1908 the Young Turks, who succeeded the Ottomans in certain areas, began conscripting Jews into their Army, spurring a mass emigration of Jews to the Americas.

Overnight, Jewish men were secretly being sent away to avoid military service. The first wave of Syrian Jews went to America to escape military service. Syrian Jews arrived in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, New York, Chicago, and other cities, although most remained in New York. Another major factor was regional economic decline, which caused great hardship for the Aleppan Jews and spurred emigration. Until the end of the nineteenth century, cotton and silk were the primary exports from the Middle East to Iran and Europe as caravans traveled from East to West.

The first signs of serious economic hardship came with the start of the Industrial Revolution, 20 which caused a reversal in the flow of trade, compounded by the opening of the Suez Canal in 1867. The combination dealt a bitter blow and ultimately destroyed the trading along the caravan routes, along which lay Aleppo and Damascus. Emigration from Syria halted during World War I and many families were separated. After World War I, the French took control over Aleppo and it, along with Damascus, became a French Mandate. Travel required a French passport or travel paper. Jews who had passports from European countries were exempt from local taxation, which was a drain on the finances of the local Jewish community.

Massive emigration from Syria occurred again during the period after World War I and continued until the mid-1920s, when the Great Depression began. The emigrs from the early 20 th Century migration populate what is known today as the Syrian Jewish communities of Brooklyn and New Jersey. Those who were denied entry into the United States ended up in Latin American cities such as Mexico City and Argentina, where today there are also large populations of Jews of Syrian descent. The Ottoman Empire was divided into areas controlled by France and Great Britain. Palestine was under British Mandate. Syria was under French control. The Republic of Turkey was established in 1923. Syria gained its independence from France in 1946. Attacks against Jews who remained in Syria after World War I increased. Pogroms in 1947 left Jewish shops and synagogues destroyed. Thousands of Jews left the country for America and Palestine. The pogroms and destruction also placed the cherished Aleppo Codex in great jeopardy.

"When the synagogue was torched in 1947 during a pogrom, the Codex was saved and hidden. In 1957, it was smuggled out of Aleppo to Israel, where it was presented in 1958 to President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. It is housed in the Ben-Zvi Institute. Of the original 487 leaves, only 295 leaves remain. The Aleppo Codex is believed to be the most authoritative, accurate and sacred source document, both for the Biblical text and for the vocalization and cantillation. It has greater religious and scholarly import than any other manuscript of the Bible." After the birth of the State of Israel in 1948, persecution of Jews remaining in Syria was common. The Jews were no longer permitted to own property, travel or practice their occupation. Jews who tried to leave the country were persecuted. The Muslim dhimmi laws were strictly enforced.

Those Jews who were permitted to travel for business purposes could not travel with family members because the Syrian government feared that they would flee. The Syrian government feared that Jewish men would join forces with Israel and fight against them in the Israeli Army. During a 10-year period in the 1980s, a collection of Jewish Holy objects was smuggled out of Syria through the efforts of then-Chief Rabbi Avraham Hamra. The collection included nine ancient Bible manuscripts, known as the Ketarim, each between 700 and 900 years old. In addition, there were 40 Torah scrolls and 32 decorative boxes in which the Sephardic Torah scrolls were held. The collection was taken via Turkey, in stages to the Jewish National and University Library of the Hebrew University in Israel. The smuggling was necessary since official requests for permission to take them out of Syria were denied. A massive lobbying effort on the part of the Syrian Jews who had emigrated to New York resulted in Syrian Jews being granted exit visas to America as tourists in the early 1990s. Fewer than a dozen Jews remain in Syria today.

Israelite Tribes and their Claim to Syria

Before the exile, the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half-Manasseh had together been settled in GILEAD and Bashan on the eastern banks of the Jordan in the Land of Israel. Later part of the Tribe of Simeon also settled there (1-Chronicles 4:42) alongside offshoots from other Israelite Tribes. "GILEAD" was a name given to a good portion of the Land of Israel east of Jordan including that in which the Tribe of Reuben dwelt. Gilead was also the name of a son of Machir son of Manasseh. The Galaadi or Galatians in Celtic France (Gaul) received their name either from the Israelite region of Gilead or from the Israelite clan of Gilead son of Manasseh who dwelt in part of Gilead. This is worth emphasizing since it can cause confusion: "Gilead" was an important clan in the Tribe of Manasseh east of the Jordan but the name "Gilead" could also be applied to the whole Israelite area east of the Jordan in which settled Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

            The clan of Gilead comprised most of the Manasseh group that had been east of the Jordan in the Land of Israel and had neighbored Reuben who in turn had adjoined Simeon in the south. The eastern section of the Land of Ancient ISRAEL on Ptolemy's map is referred to as  "Arabia". The Tribe of REUBEN, called "Rahabbanai", is listed in eastern Syria and west of the Euphrates . In very Ancient Times (long before the Northern Israelites were exiled) the Mari correspondence of Northern Syria on the Euphrates mentions the Rabeans (of Reuben) alongside a group from Benjamin (Banu/Maru Yaminas) and Gad (Beni Samal and Zapunni both from Tsefion of Gad).  Manasseh was also recalled from this region and was referred to as "Manas" and as "Mentiu". 

A Ruling Clan of Davidiim who were probably descendants of David was mentioned. Reuben in the Land of Israel east of the Jordan adjoined half-Manasseh of Joseph and Gad. 

The Map showing the location of Habor also depicts a large section of the Middle East. It shows areas settled by Israelite Tribes long before the Exile as well as regions in which Israelites were re-settled by the Assyrians after the Exile.

      According to the Bible (1-Chronicles chapter 6) the Tribes of Gad and Reuben fought against Arabian tribes and settled in their lands "until the time of exile" (1-Chronicles 6:22). The former presence of Israelite Tribes in northern Arabia and Syria prior to the exile is recalled in some of the place-names mentioned by  Ptolemy in the Land termed "ARABIA" on his Map.

      As well as the Tribes of Gad and Reuben the area east of the Jordan River was also settled by the half-tribe of  Manasseh along with a portion from Simeon and contingents from Judah, Benjamin, and other Tribes.

      The clan of Yacin (Icen) from Simeon is recalled in IUCA in the south-east near the Persian Gulf. This area includes the oil-rich fields of present-day Kuwait and the Iraqi oil fields and it is interesting to note that the region once belonged to Israel. The clan of Yacin later in Scythia became known as the Sacae-Eucae and Eucatae and in northern Europe as the Saxon-Euci and in Celtic Britain as the ICENI neighbors to the SIMENI. Boudicca, the Celtic Queen in Ancient Britain who led a revolt against Roman Tyranny belonged to the Iceni tribe. 

      West of Iuca on the Map is Bera. Beria is a clan name amongst the Tribes of Benjamin, Ephraim, and Asher. Another acceptable way of pronouncing the Hebrew spelling of "Beria" gives "Beria-g-h" or "Ver-iag" which national name re-appeared amongst Scandinavian and Khazar groups.

      The name RAHABENI ON PTOLEMY'S MAP IS A FORM FOR REUBEN and was to be repeated in Serica (east of Scythia) as the RHABBANAEI WHO GAVE RISE TO THE RIBUARI FRANKS IN EUROPE.   
      The name MASANI on Ptolemy's Map derives from Manasseh. The inversion of syllables ("Mas-ani" for "Men-eseh") is a common phenomenon. The Masani were later recalled in northern Holland and from there they crossed over to England.

      Furthur north, the BALAGAEA and BELGINAEA co-relate to the name BELAH (pronouncable as "Bela-g-h") which was a clan name from the Tribe of Bejamin and was to re-appear in the BELGAE who gave their name to BELGIUM.

      CAUCHABENI means "Sons (Beni) of Chaggi" or Haggi (Num.26) whose name in Hebrew began with the letter HETH, which is transliterable either as "h" or as "ch". Haggi (Chaggi) was one of the Clans of Gad which in Scythia became known as the Cachage Scythae and as the Huga. Later in West Europe they were recorded as the Cauki (Chauci) or Hugo Franks. GADIRTHA recalls the place name Gadir. This place-name occurs several times within the Land of Israel and may also be associated with GAD. Gadira was also the name of an important port in southern Spain linked with the Phoenicians, Tarshish, and the Celts of early Ireland and Britain. Much of the region east of the Jordan settled by the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh in the Bible (Deuteronomy ch.4) is termed BASHAN.  In Aramaic Bashan was written as BATHAN and on the Map is recalled in the BATHANAEI and BATHANAE REGIO (i.e. Kingdom of Bashan) adjacent to SACCAE REGIO. 

The Mesopotamian Sumerians called the Bashan, "BASIL". Later the Royal Scythians were named Scythae Basilae and these gave their name to SCANDINAVIA which was originally called "SCATANAVIA" or Land of the Scyths. Scandinavia according to the Roman Geographer, Pliny, was also known as "BASILIA". The Kingdom of the SACCAE (Saccae Regio) besides Bathanaea has a clear Scythian connection since "SACCAE" was the contemporary Middle Eastern term for Scyth and the name is believed to be a derivative of "Isaac". The appellation "Saxe" or "Saxon" is a further development of the same name. The Map shows GAUZANITIS and the CHABORIS RIVER and CHALYBONITIS. 

      In this area the presence of Israelite exiles from Samaria has been testified to by the finds of inscriptions. Gauzanitis has been equated with the River Gozan in the verse concerning the Assyrian deportation: 'THE KING OF ASSYRIA took Samaria and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and in Habor, the River Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" (2-Kings 17: 6).  The Talmud seems to identify the River of Gozan with the Ouzan ['Ouzan' is pronounced locally as "GOUZAN"] River further to the northeast, called the "Cyrus" by Ptolemy. The region of "HABOR" (pronounceable as "Chabor"), to which Israelites were also taken, probably encompassed the CHABORAS River area as well as Nisibis and the adjoining expanse of Adiabene according to the Talmud (Kiddushin 72, Adiabene = Hadayb).     

      The CHALYBONITIS was named after the Chalybes who were descendants of the CHELUBAI (1-Chronicles 2:19) from Hetzron of Judah. They were descended from the sons of Chaleb ben Jefunai and associated with the Keni and Kenizai who were metal workers. After their exile the Chalybes were associated in Greek records with the Cimmerians. The Greeks ascribed to them the invention of iron processing. They were later located  in the Caucasian area of Iberia (Georgia) where the Cimmerians were also once centered. Justin reported a group of Chalybes in the area of Galatia in northwest Spain where too they were noted as metallurgical experts. From Spain they apparently passed over into Ireland and Celtic Britain.     
Zechariah 10:10 and Micah 7:14 speak of the return of Ephraim and the Tribes to Lebanon, Gilead, and Bashan.

Rough Biography Of ‘Isa (Jesus Christ) According To Islam

According to the Qur’an, ‘Isa was the Messiah. He was supported by the ‘Holy Spirit’. (Al-Baqarah 2:87; Al-Ma’idah 5:110) He is also referred to as the ‘Word of Allah’. (An-Nisa’ 4:171)

Mariam, while still a virgin, gave birth to ‘Isa.

‘Isa spoke whilst still a baby in his cradle. (Âl 'Imran 3:46; Al-Ma’idah 5:110; Maryam 19:30) He performed various other miracles, including breathing life into clay birds, healing the blind and lepers, and raising the dead. (Âl 'Imran 3:49; Al-Ma’idah 5:111)

‘Isa did not die, but ascended to Allah. (An-Nisa’ 4:158) On the day of Resurrection ‘Isa himself will be present.

‘Isa (Jesus) in the Hadith

The prophet ‘Isa shall kill the Evil One (Dajjal), an apocalyptic anti-Christ figure.

In one tradition of Muhammad we read that no further prophets will come to earth until ‘Isa returns as ‘a man of medium height, of reddish complexion, wearing two light garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head although it will not be wet. He (‘Isa) will destroy the Evil One and will live on the earth for forty years.

‘Isa will return in the last days.

"... the time and the place for [the poll tax] is before the final descent of Jesus (upon whom be peace).
Ibn Naqib goes on to state that when Jesus returns, he will rule ‘as a follower’ of Muhammad.

Should We Agree Levantines Are Not Arabs?

Levantines (Syrians, Palestinians, Lebanese) are considered Arabs by most people and unfortunetely they consider themselves as such as well. The truth is that Levantines are Eastern Mediteranean and are culturally Greek and Aramaic more so than Arab. We don't have Arab features, skin coloring and culture.

The Levant is a diverse religious place. In palestine at least 30 % of all Palestinians are Christians, overseas almost every palestinian is a Christian, and they are usually dominating in bussiness and commerce. Palestinians, Lebanese and Syriacs are well-respected in South America for their wealth and contributions to their new homelands.

Lebanese people also live in Africa in huge numbers as bussinessmen. We are the Chinese and Jews of Africa (or South America).

This is not surprising seeing that we are descendants of the Phoenicians, a seafaring people that traded with almost every people on earth from Britain, Sicily to Scandinavia and some say even to the Americas (Phoenician coins have been discovered in the Amazon rainforest).

Our Genetic input is strong in Greece, Italy, Spain,south France. We have a mixture of Greek, Aramaic and Jewish in our blood.

In Levantine churches Aramaic is still spoken and even many Muslims from Syria, Palestine and Lebanon can understand this language.

Syrians: 1- indigenous deep-rooted Syrians (The Original population): are characterized by Mediterranean European features (mainly like: Greece, Italy, and Balkan region), these are mainly White-skinned, brown-haired with exceptions (Dominant trait Hereditary) and brown, green, Hazel and blue eyed. There were living all over Syria. But nowadays, they live in Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, Syrian coast and Hama (the western, north and middle parts of Syria). They are mostly Muslim Sunnis. There is also the Alawite branch of Shia Muslims. There are also the Ismailis (known historically as the Assassins) & there are also Christians, but not as the second group.

Syrians are Arameans that were Arabized. A lot of Greeks too. In Syria most Syrians are Muslim while the diaspora is mostly Christian. Lebanese: a wide array of origins. The coastal sunnis are descendants of Phoenicians. Phe mountainous Maronites are descendants of Syrians from al-Hama province. The Druze are descendants of local people mixed with Kurds, some Arab tribes,and even Jews.

Palestinians: wide array of origins. Most Palestinians are descendants of Jews.up until the 9th century it was still a predominately Jewish place. Another section of Palestinians are descendants of Samaritans, especially in Nablus. Arabs: after the region of Palestine became an economic hub when the British took over, a lot of Egyptians migrated to Ghaza. Most Ghazans look different to other Palestinians because they are Egyptians. Levantine Arabic and culture is more refined than that of Arab. Levantines are the only ''Arabs'' that have a nice version of this dialect, influenced by Aramaic, of course, and levantine love for beauty, we beautified it. Our pronouncation is different because we don't pronounce the Qaf & replace wit the hard Dhaa with a zaa. We don't overemphasize the a3yn.

                                                                Languages & dialects

Grammar is a bit different too, but its no by chance that the Lebanese dialect is most popular in arabic music and pop. Levantine culture appreciattes beauty, intellect, hospitality and art: most of the Byzantine art, Greek art, Christian philosophy etc came from the Levant. Levantine people are laid back and kind, sharing to visitors and people. It’s an insult to say its Arab, because it ignores our long Aramean, Jewish, Canaanite and Byzantine history. Phenotype: Levantine Arabs are usually pinkish white to light sunkissed skin (look at any Khawaja Lebanese or Palestinian have dark hair and light brown to hazel eyes (although a lot of us do have dark eyes).  Men have masculine features and decent builds & women are very feminine having full lips, long thick hair, and amazing curves. They have beautiful eyes usually big with almond shape.

Palestinians do have Jewish haplogroups, true but they've also mixed with so many other races who have come to the Holy Land. Armenian, Greek, etc. Everyone is mixed there. When Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, etc., leave the Arab League, reestablish Aramaic/Phoenician speaking cultures and officially declare themselves as Levantine non-Arabs, and become so recognized by their neighbors, then this can be formally declared. In 1948 there were only 2000 Armenians living in the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem. They are Endogamous and only married other church members. The Armenian gene is higher in Lebanese (also recent due to them fleeing there to escape Turkish persecutions).  You understand the Arab distinctions between A'rab and Musta'arab you will see this. Palestinians don't belong to tribes. Arabs do. All Arab tribes can be traced back to the Arabian peninsula of the 7th century. For example Iraqis are REAL Arabs.

All their Tribes can be traced to Arabia. Many of their biggest tribes played a lot of influence in Mohamed's life. Would you say Sephardic and Mizrahic Jews are Arabs as well?They (up until 1960's) spoke Arabic as their day to day language and Hebrew/Aramaic only in their liturgies. They ate ''Arab food'' (well levantine food), wore Arab like clothing, and had Arabized names. but they still considered themselves Bani Israail. How is that different for the Levantine Christians who may speak a so called Arabic dialect in formal settings, but mix it with Aramaic phrases, and also have a Aramaic religious culture. Greek names? Feel more kinship with Greeks than Saudis? I can tell you right now, most Lebanese consider themselves Phoenicians, its only the sunni ruling elites who continue the whole Arab country thing. Most Lebanese Christians will not agree. The Phoenician alphabet is being retaught to the younger generation. A lot of Muslims are even getting DNA tests showing up Phoenician blood.

The Samaritans, "Neo-Jeroboamites" or "The Pagan Half-Israelites."

2 Kings 17:7-41 723 BC-70 AD

                                                          Joseph's tomb at Shechem

Introduction: 1. The Samaritans were a pagan sect that grew out of the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim after their deportation in 723 BC into Assyria by Shalmaneser. a. Assyrian king Shalmaneser V, 727-722 BC deported Israel into captivity in 723 BC, but died the following year. b. Sargon II (Assyria) 722-705 BC sends a group of Assyrians to inhabit Samaria/Israel but YHWH kills them with lions which they interpret as an omen. c. The Assyrians living in Israel ask Sargon II for a priest of Bethel who had been recently deported. d. We don't know this priest's name but he must have been prominent, given he was chosen by Sargon II to represent the God of Israel. e. What Sargon II did not know was that this was an evil priest… the very likes of whom God had destroyed the ten tribes to begin with due to the very idolatry he was now promoting again at Bethel after the 723 deportation. f. At Bethel, following in the footsteps of Jeroboam (923 BC), idol worship stood beside the true worship of YHWH down to the Babylonian captivity of 587 BC. g.

After the return of Judah, the Samaritans ceased to worship idols, but they invented a brand new alternate religion where they chose Mt. Gerizim as their holy mountain in direct opposition to Jerusalem. This action was a continuation of Jeroboam's policy of separating the ten northern tribes from the one true God at Jerusalem. His famous quote: "It is too far for you to go up to Jerusalem… worship at Bethel or Dan" says it all. h. The "Samaritans" intermarried with the pagans, a point of contention between them and the pure blooded Jews, that continued down to the woman at the well of John 4. i. The Samaritans, therefore represented all the worst of the Jews in that they opposed God's choice of David, Jerusalem and polluted their bloodlines which forever disqualified them from producing the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The woman at the well was told by Jesus that they were totally wrong and in error: "Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." (John 4:21-22) 2. The basic philosophies of the Samaritans originated with Jeroboam. This is why we call the Samaritans, "Neo-Jeroboamites". Samaritans carry on the basic traditions that Jeroboam set in order in 931 BC when he set up two pagan worship centers to replace Jerusalem: Bethel and Dan. 3. A small population that had been deported in 723 BC from the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, were brought back by Shalmaneser and they intermarried with the Gentiles. 4. In about 538 BC, after Judah returned from Babylonian captivity, the Samaritans chose Mt. Gerizim as the location where Abraham sacrificed Isaac.

To the Samaritans, Mt. Gerizim is their "Jerusalem". This has caused the Jews to hold the Samaritans with contempt to this day. The Samaritans and the Jews are historic enemies. 5. In the New Testament, Jesus used the "parable of the good Samaritan" as an example of how lost Samaritans can be more moral, than those who consider themselves saved. 6. The Samaritans had three periods of development: a. Incubation stage in the anti-Jerusalem ideology promoted by Jeroboam which laid the ground work for the sect to develop. (931 - 723 BC) b. The birth stage of becoming a formal "Samaritan sect" in reaction to Nehemiah's efforts to rebuilt Jerusalem as the center of Mosaic religion. (723 -538 BC) c. The born again stage in their conversion to Christ by being baptized for the remission of their sins upon their confession of faith. (33 AD) 7. In 622 AD the devil would duplicate another counterfeit religion through Mohammed who said that Mecca was the place where Abraham sacrificed Ishmael. For the Muslims, Mecca is their Jerusalem. A.

The origin of Samaritans ideology is Jeroboam: Incubation stage: 931-723 BC 1. The "Incubation stage" of Samaritan history is from the time of the divided kingdom to the time of the Assyrian captivity. (931-723 BC) 2. The history of the Samaritans starts with Solomon's son Rehoboam who went to Shechem to become king: "Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king." (1 Kings 12:1). Since Solomon was anointed king at the Gihon spring (1 Kings 1:33) Here is a photo of the coronation spot at the Gihon spring in the city of David that was discovered in 2005 AD. Solomon rode David's mule to the Gihon spring. The rock had been ridged so that the mule would have traction and not slip. There was a post hole to tie up the mule. You can see both features in the photograph. Because Rehoboam went to Shechem and not this location, it seems it was not "the place" for kings to get anointed. Perhaps Solomon was the only king anointed here.
3. Rehoboam acted foolishly and caused the Kingdom to split in two.

The ten northern tribes became the Kingdom of Israel under King Jeroboam. 4. About 931 BC, Jeroboam deliberately created a counterfeit replica of the religion Moses revealed in the Wilderness. He set up two "Jerusalems": One in Bethel and one in Dan. Here is the worship site he set up in Dan to compete with the real Jerusalem. The basic philosophies of the Samaritans where Mt. Gerizim is the real "holy mountain" not Jerusalem, had their origin in Jeroboam. This is why we call the Samaritans, "Neo-Jeroboamites". Jeroboam's famous quote, "Its too far for you to go to Jerusalem", was the foundation of the Samaritans making Mt. Gerizim as their holy mountain 200 years later.

                                                          Jeroboam's altar at Tel Dan

5. Here is the 3000 year old altar that Jeroboam set up in Dan. It is the little square of blocks inside the larger replica steel altar. The area has been rebuilt and enlarged during the Hellenistic period (400 BC). The Jeroboam's original altar area was expanded and enlarged and included cut stones with stairs rather than uncut stones with ramps. But Jeroboam's original altar was found below the newer and larger Hellenistic altar. The steel replica gives the size and height of the Hellenistic altar that was built over top of Jeroboam's altar. You can see the 3000 year old male cult oak tree at the rear right hand side of the photo. Nearby is the 3000 year old female cult myrtle tree. The oak tree was seen as a male deity and the Myrtle as female deity. These two tree were part of the pagan worship of the site. Pagan worship under trees was one of the reasons why the kingdom of Israel went into extinction: "They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree" 2 Kings 17:10

Notice that Shechem, a valley town between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim, was Jeroboam's original home base.

The Samaritans, influence by Jeroboam, adopted Shechem as their home base with Mt. Gerizim as their "real Jerusalem" where Abraham sacrifices Isaac: "Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel. Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. "If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah." So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt."

He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense." 1 Kings 12:25-33 7. In 723 BC, when the 10 northern tribes (Kingdom of Israel) went into permanent extinction by being deported into Assyria by Shalmaneser, the Assyrian king, God blamed Jeroboam for misleading the nation with his counterfeit religion:

"Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had introduced. The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against the Lord their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the Lord had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the Lord. They served idols, concerning which the Lord had said to them, "You shall not do this thing." Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets."

However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the Lord had commanded them not to do like them. They forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him. So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah. Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced.

The Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight. When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the Lord and made them commit a great sin. The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them until the Lord removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day." 2 Kings 17:7-23 8. Kermes Oak and the Scarlet worm: If you look at the photo above, you can see the male cult Kermes oak tree. Henry Morris talks about the scarlet worm that fed upon this tree. Look at the 22nd Psalm.

This is the great Psalm of the crucifixion of Christ written 1,000 years before it was fulfilled. It describes in great detail the sufferings of Christ on the cross. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" he cries out. Then down in verse 6...he says "But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people." What did he mean by saying "I am a worm"?...This particular worm is different from other kinds of worms. There are different kinds of worms, different varieties, but this is a particular worm. It means more than just he is not a man. Isaiah 52 says, "his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." He was literally made corruption personified; he didn't even look like a man there on the cross; it is talking about more than that here. He says "I am a worm and no man."

This is a scarlet worm and the reason it was called that was because it had the ability to secrete a scarlet fluid which was used in making the scarlet dye that they used in ancient days. As a matter of fact, when you find the word "scarlet" in the bible, it's the same word. "Though your sins be as scarlet," it's the same word exactly. The worm was identified with the crimson color. The life cycle of that worm is something like this: when the mother worm was ready to give birth to the baby worms, she would find the trunk of a tree, a post or a stick somewhere and then she would plant her body in that wood and she would implant her body so firmly in it that she could never leave it again. And then the young would be brought forth and the mother's body would provide protection for the babies as long as they needed before they could get out and take care of themselves.

Then the mother would die, and in the process, the scarlet fluid would stain her body and the body of the young and the tree and so on. The Lord Jesus said "I am like that scarlet worm." He's making peace through the blood of his cross; he's bringing many sons into glory through the suffering. And this is a graphic testimony of the fact that eternal life comes out of the suffering and death of the Son of God" (Bible & Science tape series, Henry Morris). The Kermes Oak was historically important as the food plant of the Kermes insect from which a red dye was obtained and used toward the end of the second Holy Temple (70 CE). The color red, translated as 'scarlet,' or 'crimson,' in Hebrew is usually referred to as 'shani' or more fully as 'tolaat shani.' (In Chronicles, the color is referred to as karmil: "with purple and blue and crimson yarn", II Chron. 2:6,13).

The "scarlet worm", Tola`ath shani, "scarlet," Cermes vermilio is a scale-insect which feeds upon the oak and it is not a worm. The female is wingless and adheres to its favorite plant by its long, sucking beak, by which it extracts the sap on which it lives. After once attaching itself it remains motionless, and when dead its body shelters the eggs which have been deposited beneath it. The males, which are smaller than the females, pass through a complete metamorphosis and develop wings. The dye is made from the dried bodies of the females. The word 'crimson' comes from kermes, although the color produced was more of an orange-red.

The Cermes vermilio also gave rise to one other word for red, vermillion (Latin "worm-colored", from vermiculus, the Latin term for the kermes). Vermilion, in Hebrew shashar, also appears two times in the Bible (Ezek. 23:14 and Jer. 22:14). This red color was early known; "...and took a scarlet thread" (Gen 38:2). It was one of the colors of the ephod (Exo 28:6), the girdle (Exo 28:8), and the breastplate (Exo 28:15) of the high priest. It is also mentioned in various other connections (Jos 2:18; Sa2 1:24; Lam 4:5; Nah 2:3). A scarlet robe was in mockery placed on our Lord (Mat 27:28; Luk 23:11 Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool (Isa 1:18). Scarlet and crimson were the firmest of dyes, and thus not easily washed out.

                                                    Acorn from a Kermes Oak B.

The Samaritans formally began in 723 -538 BC: 1. 723 - 538 BC: The first phase of Samaritan history is from the time of the divided kingdom to the time of Judah returned from Babylonian captivity in 538 BC. The second phase was after Judah returned from Babylonian captivity. 2. Shalmaneser moved non-Gentile natives of Assyria (Modern Iraq, Babylon) and other places into Samaria to occupy the land to retain control. When God killed these non-Jews with lions the people requested one of the "priests" of Jeroboam's religion, to return and teach them about the "God of the land". Shalmaneser chose one of the priests who was from Bethel to move back into Canaan and educate the gentiles about this God who was killing them. Bethel was one of the two pagan altars that Jeroboam had set up. 3. "The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and Sephar-vaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel. So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities. At the beginning of their living there, they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them which killed some of them. So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, "The nations whom you have carried away into exile in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them because they do not know the custom of the god of the land." Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, "Take there one of the priests whom you carried away into exile and let him go and live there; and let him teach them the custom of the god of the land." So one of the priests whom they had carried away into exile from Samaria came and lived at Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.

But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the houses of the high places which the people of Samaria had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived. The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of Sepharvaim. They also feared the Lord and appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who acted for them in the houses of the high places. They feared the Lord and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile. To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the Lord, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law, or the commandments which the Lord commanded the sons of Jacob, whom He named Israel; with whom the Lord made a covenant and commanded them, saying,

"You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down yourselves to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them. "But the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, and to Him you shall bow yourselves down, and to Him you shall sacrifice. "The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods. "The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. "But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies." However, they did not listen, but they did according to their earlier custom. So while these nations feared the Lord, they also served their idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day." 2 Kings 17:24-41 4. In the end the Hebrew priest of Bethel, who had been trained to function in the false religion Jeroboam invented, learned no lessons from being deported to Assyria. They continued to worship both idols and Yahweh, the one true God of Israel. This is exactly why Yahweh punished them by deporting them for eternal extinction into Assyria. C.
5. Tobiah's royal palace was built about 2 kms away up in the side of a rock cliff. It was a massive structure and twice an inscription can be found on the palace walls that identify it as "Tobiah". Here is the first "Tobiah" inscription right of the door that is cut out of solid rock.

The Samaritans chose Mt. Gerizim after the Babylonian captivity in 538 BC 1. 538 BC - 30 AD: The second phase of Samaritan history is from the time Judah returned from Babylonian captivity in 538 BC to the time of Christ's birth. 2. After Judah returned from exile, the idol worshipping Samaritans were confronted with a zealous and repentant group of Hebrews who immediately started rebuilding Jerusalem and the Temple. Judah had learned in exile what the Samaritans never did: Follow the word of God exactly as it is written as a blueprint. Many churches today are very "Samaritan like" in that they teach both the Gospel and things that had their origin in the human mind. The biggest false doctrine floating around churches today is: "Doctrine doesn't matter." 3. Tobiah (an Ammonite) and the men of Samaritan mocked and opposed Nehemiah's efforts to rebuild Jerusalem: "When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel." Nehemiah 2:10 "He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?" Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, "Even what they are building-if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!"" Nehemiah 4:2-3 4. About 515 BC, When the Jews succeeded in completing rebuilding Jerusalem, Tobiah went off in a huff, and built his own temple and royal palace, which was located transjordan in his native homeland of the Ammonites. The temple can be seen today with amazing full size rock carved lions all the way around the top of the temple. There are also lions at ground level. One is pictured below. There are many "house of David" symbols including lily flowers and capitals of the same style that David used.

6. Here is a close up of the second of two "Tobiah" inscriptions on the palace walls: We can hear the Judeans chastising the Samaritans for their continued idolatry. "You never learned your lesson. We have returned back from Babylon and we have learned our lesson. We are not going to worship idols any more. You need to repent. We have the truth, you are worshipping idols still. When will you ever learn?" Of course the Samaritans did not listen, but continued to manufacture lies about Mt. Gerizim being the holy mountain of God, and not Jerusalem. 9. Looking back to 931 BC, notice that the first place Jeroboam built a home was at Shechem located in the valley between Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal. The anti-Jerusalem sentiment of Jeroboam is the foundation of what eventually gave birth to the Samaritans who are equally anti-Jerusalem. With the return of Judah from Babylon, the Samaritans were suddenly forced to defend, for the second time, why they would not worship in Jerusalem. Out of this the Samaritans chose Mt. Gerizim as their "Jerusalem". 10. Since the grand-daddy and "high priest" of the Samaritans was Jeroboam, it makes sense that they decided to center their religion on a mountain that overlooks their founder's first residence in the valley city of Shechem. 11. But they needed to make one more important changes to history. They started teaching that Abraham sacrificed Isaac on Mt. Gerizim, not Mt. Moriah (ie. Jerusalem).

The arrival of Judah after 538 BC back to Jerusalem was a social force that caused the Samaritan's to get back into the "religious counterfeiting business" of their founder Jeroboam. No doubt they were challenged by this groups of zealous "follow the book, Bible thumping" Judeans.

So Mt. Gerizim became the "Holy Mountain" of the Samaritans after 538 BC, which was nothing more than a continuation of the ideas Jeroboam had introduced in 931 BC. 12. Today the Jews in Israel have irreconcilable differences because Muhammad, like Jeroboam, was a master at myth making and the rewriting of history. For example, Muslims today teach that Moses, Isaiah and Jesus were all Muslims! Being at odds with every history book in every library in every university in the world doesn't seem to be problem for Muslims! 13. The true history is that Abraham sacrificed Isaac in Jerusalem. The Samaritans rewrote history and teach Abraham sacrificed Isaac in Mt. Gerizim. The Muslims rewrote history and teach Abraham sacrificed Ishmael in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. In the parable of the Tares, the Devil is the counterfeiter of religion. Today many churches are counterfeits of the true church you read about in the Bible. 14. By 500 BC, we have two sects of Jews who have irreconcilable differences in theology because the Samaritans rewrote history into a lie. The Samaritans also intermarried with the gentiles.

This is the foundation of the contempt that the Jews have for the Samaritans. D. How the Jews viewed the Samaritans in 30 AD: 1. The Jews at the time of Christ viewed the Samaritans as idol worshipping apostates to be shunned who had intermarried with the Gentiles. 2. Not once are the Samaritans referred to as a sect in the Old Testament, Nehemiah 4:2 shows how the "wealthy men of Samaria" mocked Nehemiah's efforts to rebuilt Jerusalem. 3. "For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans." John 4:9 4. The Jews falsely slandered Jesus for being a Samaritan probably because he was from Nazareth, a city north of Mt. Gerizim. Guilt by geography: "The Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" John 8:48 E. How the Jesus viewed the Samaritans in 30 AD: 1. Jesus' viewed the Samaritans as apostates, just like the rest of Jews did. However, unlike his fellow Jews, Jesus did not shun them.

At the early stages of Jesus' ministry he did not view the Samaritans as being part of Israel but on the same level as Gentiles. This is important since the Samaritans were originally from the tribes that were part of the Kingdom of Israel as part of the 10 northern tribes: "These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 10:6 3. Jesus viewed the Samaritans as foreigners. Of the one Samaritan leper who Jesus cleansed: "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine-where are they? "Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?"" Luke 17:11-18 4. Jesus was rejected by the Samaritans simply because he was on his way to Jerusalem. The bad feelings between the Jews and the Samaritans went both ways: "When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem.

When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." And they went on to another village." Luke 9:51-56 5. A later time Jesus was making a similar trip to Jerusalem he healed a Samaritan of Leprosy. A miracle like this would surely impact his Samaritan village. "While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine-where are they? "Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?"" Luke 17:11-18 6.

Jesus bluntly told the woman at the well her religion is wrong: "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." John 4:22 7. In spite of all this, Jesus used a Samaritan as the timeless example of a man doing unconditional good to a stranger in the Parable of the good Samaritan. F. The parable of the good Samaritan: "Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. "And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. "Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. "But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. "On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.'

"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."" Luke 10:30-37 1. Jesus knew exactly how separate the good honest hearts from the bad in the way He told stories. 2. This amazing parable was spoken to a Jewish Lawyer and he made a Samaritan the hero! A Jewish Lawyer was one who is an expert in Mosaic law. 3. He used a priest, Levite and a Samaritan. The priest and Levite are vilified and the Samaritan is the hero! Wow how to make your audience hate you! But the honest listener would have to agree. 4. In this parable, an expert in Mosaic law, was being told to imitate the morals of a Samaritan who was being held up as a role model. 5. It is entirely possible that this was a recent and real news event. G. The Samaritan woman at the well converts to Christ: "There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? "You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?" Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw." He said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here." The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have correctly said, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly." The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He." At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why do You speak with her?" So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?" They went out of the city, and were coming to Him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples were saying to one another, "No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. "Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. "For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.'

"I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor." From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all the things that I have done." So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."" John 4:7-42 1. The Samaritan woman at the well resulted in evangelizing the entire Samaritan city. Jesus Disciples are now told to start teaching the Samaritans. This reverses his previous ban on teaching them earlier on in his ministry.

It is important to keep in mind that Jesus bluntly told the Samaritan woman to her face that her religion was wrong, and yet she was honest enough to accept this and convert to Christ. 3. He told her: "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." She could have taken offence, instead she went and brought back the whole town to hear more of this. H. The Samaritans were included in the great commission: The day Jesus ascended into heaven, Jesus gave three stages of evangelizing the world: "but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."" Acts 1:8 1. Jews. the Samaritan who were pagan Jews. The pagan Gentiles I. The city of Shechem and Simon become Christians: "Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. So there was much rejoicing in that city. Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, "This man is what is called the Great Power of God."

And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts. But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed. Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! "You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.

"Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. "For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity." But Simon answered and said, "Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me." So, when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans." Acts 8:4-25. Shechem, the capital city of the Samaritans and Simon the sorcerer are converted. (Although some suggest the city of Samaria was "Sebaste", 11 km NW of ancient Shechem). 2. Shechem was converted though the preaching of Philip. Simon the sorcerer, was an example of the type of religion the Samaritans were willing to accept. 3. Simon used the same three techniques that modern Pentecostal/Charismatic preachers use to deceive followers into believing they possess supernatural powers: 1. Talk: "claiming to be someone great". 2. Testimony (of deceived followers): "This man is what is called the Great Power of God."

Tricks: "he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts". (Max Dawson) 4. Simon presents a warning to those to follow Pentecostal/Charismatic preachers because: Large numbers of people listen to them: "all were giving attention". The fact that large numbers of people supported Simon did not change the fact that he was a fraud. The fact that important people could vouch for him did not change error into truth, or change tricks into miracles. The rich, famous and important people follow them: "greatest". Long periods of time: "for a long time". (Max Dawson) J. Churches established in Samaritan cities: Churches were established in Samaritan cities: "So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase." Acts 9:31 So after 1000 years the Samaritans had finally come home to their God by repenting and believing in Jesus and being baptized for the remission of their sins. The Samaritans who rejected Jesus would share the same fate as the Jews who rejected Jesus: Hell. As far as Christianity is concerned, there is no spiritual difference between a pagan Gentile, a Samaritan and Jew today: They are all lost and need the blood of Jesus in order to be saved and get to heaven. Learn for yourself how to be saved. K. Mt. Gerizim is located next to Shechem and beside the oaks of Moreh: "The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain [Gerizim], and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."

Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."" John 4:19-24 The Samaritans believed two false doctrines: that Mt. Gerizim was the Holy Mountain of God. The myth that Abraham sacrificed Isaac at Mt. Gerizim instead of Jerusalem as the Bible says. Historically, the orthodox Jews who lived in Jerusalem began to claim that the "Mt. Gerizim" Samaritans had chosen, was in fact the wrong mountain. The orthodox Jews knew the Samaritans were at the true Mt. Gerizim, but were wanting to counter their anti-Jerusalem teachings by saying, "You Samaritans claim the Mt. Gerizim is your holy mountain, but you haven't chosen the wrong mountain for Mt. Gerizim. Obviously then, you are wrong when you say Jerusalem is not the true mountain of God."

So the Orthodox invented a new lie to counter the lies of the Samaritans. This was unfortunate because even today in modern Israel, some Jews today continue to claim that the Mt. Gerizim of the Samaritans, is the not the true Mt. Gerizim. The true Mt. Gerizim, is located elsewhere near Jericho and Gilgal. 3. However the Bible is clear in that Mt. Gerizim is located beside Shechem, not Gilgal: The oaks of Moreh were beside Mt. Gerizim and two Bible verses place the oaks of Moreh beside Shechem (modern Nabulus). (Genesis 12:6 and Genesis 35:4.) Judges 9:7 likewise places Mount Gerizim directly beside Shechem: "Jotham went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and called out. Thus he said to them, "Listen to me, O men of Shechem, that God may listen to you." (Judges 9:7) 4. In 325 AD, Eusebius believed that the Samaritan's choice for Mt. Gerizim was wrong and said so in his Onomasticon which he wrote in 325 AD. He likely based this on the Bible verse that said it was opposite Gilgal: "Are they [Mt. Ebal and Gerizim] not across the Jordan, west of the way toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh?" Deuteronomy 11:30.

It is clear that "opposite Gilgal", does not mean beside Gilgal, as Eusebius claimed. It was beside the oaks of Morah, which was beside Shechem: Genesis 12:6 and Genesis 35:4. In 325 AD Eusebius wrongly chose mountains sometimes called "Tyros" and "Thrax" above Aqaba jabr near Jericho. The Samaritans chose "Jebel es-Slamiyeh" and "Jebel et Tur". These are the traditional locations on all Bible maps today and are the correct locations. 6. Here is what Eusebius wrote in his Onomasticon in 325 AD: Mt. Ebal: "Gaibal (Gebal). Mountain in the Promised Land where Moses commanded an altar to be built (at the command of Moses an alter was built). They say (there are) two neighboring mountains facing each other located at (near) Jericho, one of which (is said) to be Garizin [Gerizim], the other Gaibal [Ebal]. But the Samaritans erroneously point out two others near Neapolis (argue for two mountains near Neapolis but they err greatly) since the great distance of one from the other there shows that they are not able to hear one another when calling out from one (hear the voices calling out in turn blessing or cursing as Scripture records)." (Eusebius, Onomasticon 325 AD) Mt. Gerizim: "Garizein (Garizin). Mountain where those calling out the blessing (curse) stood. Read the above mentioned Gaibal (Gebal)." (Eusebius, Onomasticon 325 AD) Gilgal: "Golgol or Galgal. The Scriptures teach this is near Mt. Garisein and Mt.Gaibal. The place of Galgal is in the Jericho region (near Jericho). [Therefore the Samaritans err who would point out Mt.Gairsin and Mt.Gebal near Neapolis which Scripture testifies are near Galgal.]" (Eusebius, Onomasticon 325 AD) Footnote from Onomasticon : This and the following entry can be treated together.

The Onomasticon begins by recording the simple biblical information here. The generally accepted tradition is to follow the Samaritan tradition as given here. The two mountains are on either side of Neapolis (K. 4:28) and are Jebel es-Slamiyeh and Jebel et Tur. The Madaba Map reflects this tradition by having them near Shechem (K. 150:1) called Garizin and Gōbel. The pilgrims also recognize this identity. "At Neapolis is Mt Gazaren where the Samaritans say Abraham brought the sacrifice. And to ascend up to the summit are 300 steps. At the foot of the mountain is located a place by the name of Shechem" (Itin. Bourd. PPT I, 18). Zeno and Justinian built churches on Garizein according to Procopius Buildings V, vii, 5-17. Excavation of this area is going on. But Eusebius and Jerome prefer to follow an anti-Samaritan location. The Madaba map hesitates between the two opinions and so locates Gebal Garizeini near Ierichō [Jericho] (K. 104:25). The use of the LXX names in Ierichō region and the Aramaic in the Neapolis area may signify some preference. Since Josephus and the later Byzantines had the correct tradition, this rabbinic tradition must have developed in the late first and early second centuries.

Procopius 905C is also confused: "This is situated at the Eastern part of Ierichō beyond Galgal" and he continues by denying the Samaritan tradition. Yet in 908A he seems to accept the Samaritan location and tradition. The two mountains near Jericho are probably those above Aqaba jabr sometimes called Tyros and Thrax. The Roman road to Jerusalem passed between them. In Interpretation of Hebrew Names "Gebal, ancient abyss or stone building" (87). (Eusebius, Onomasticon 325 AD) 7. In 542 AD, the Madaba map places the two mountains twice, in two different locations: On the Madaba map, the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim are in two different locations. One is at Shechem (Modern Nabulus) and one near Jericho and Gilgal. This is because the Orthodox Jews had created a new location near Jericho in their longstanding dispute with the Samaritans. Eusebius, Jerome and the creators of the Madaba map were fully aware of the two traditions and chose to represent both on the map.
Herbert Donner comments on this: "The mountains Gerizim and Ebal are represented twice on the Madaba Map: near Jericho and near Neapolis. What has happened here? The problem can be solved on the basis of Eus. On. 64:9-14 where, strangely enough, both mountains are indeed located near Jericho. Eusebius, however, does not fail to add: "The Samaritans show other ones near Neapolis, but they are wrong, for the mountains shown by them are too far from each other, so that it is impossible to hear one´s voice when calling to each other." Although this seems to be entirely intelligible and is confirmed by Deut. 27, the Samaritans were by no means wrong. Eusebius was wrong, and everybody knew it, perhaps he himself included. The Samaritans laid claim to the mountains, considering them to be their own holy mountains. Hostility to the Samaritans forced the orthodox Jews in Jerusalem to locate both mountains at another spot, for the Samaritans were not allowed to be right. Eusebius followed the orthodox Jewish tradition. The mosaicist, however, being well informed, preferred a Solomonic solution: he listed the mountains twice, indicating by larger letters that he regarded the location near Nabulus as being correct." (Herbert Donner, The Mosaic Map of Madaba, Kampen 1992, 24.48) 9. In the 1980's, Adam Zertal has chosen an entirely new location for Mt. Gerizim after discovering Joshua's Altar. Zertal believes the Samaritans chose the wrong mountain in 500 BC this was about 1000 years after Joshua built his altar in 1406 BC. Zertal reasons that the chances of them getting the mountain wrong is high because of the long time frame between Joshua and when they first chose Gerizim to be their "holy mountain". (900 years)

There is also a possibility that the Samaritans deliberately chose a different mountain because they wanted to create a new myth that Abraham sacrificed Isaac there. While Mt. Ebal is not in dispute, here is where Zertal believes Mt. Gerizim is really located. He chose this new location, because it is within view of a Hebrew altar he discovered which he believes to be Joshua's altar.

One of the problems for Zertal, is that the altar doesn't directly point to his choice for Mt. Gerizim. Rather the altar is facing the open plains to the left of Zertal's Mt. Gerizim. Surely the altar would point directly to Mt. Gerizim since it was directly in view.

Here is a close up of Zertal's choice for Mt. Gerizim taken from the south side of the altar. It is unfortunate that Zertal carries on the tradition of those orthodox Jews who lived from 400 BC - 30 AD that the Samaritans had chosen the wrong mountain for Mt. Gerizim. The Samaritans chose the correct mountain. Zertal is wrong.

When all has been examined it is clear that the correct location of Mt. Ebal is where Adam Zertal found Joshua's Altar. The correct location for Mt. Gerizim is where the Samaritans chose it. Zertal's choice for Mt. Gerizim is wrong. Eusebius is also wrong for locating the two mountains beside Jericho and Gilgal. The Bible locates Mt. Gerizim beside Shechem. The Samaritan location at Shechem (Nabulus) is correct. The orthodox Jewish locations near Gilgal are wrong. L. The history of Shechem, Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim: Today, ancient Shechem is located Tel Balata, which is about 3 km east of modern Nabulus. It may be that Tel Balata which literally means "a paving stone or tile" may in fact derive from Arabic balut, meaning "oak". In 2085 BC Abraham left Haran at age 75 and the same year God appeared to him at Shechem: Gen 12:4. In 2085 BC, Abraham built an altar in Shechem beside the Oak of Moreh where God appeared to him and promised to give his seed the land: "Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him." Genesis 12:6-7. Regarding the "Oaks of Moreh": Not just a single oak tree but a forest called the "oaks of Moreh" were located near, but not in Shechem, (Genesis 35:4) and apparently not directly on either of the two mountains: "Are they [Mount Gerizim & Ebal] not across the Jordan, west of the way toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh?" Deuteronomy 11:29-30. The location of the oaks of Moreh are clearly outside the formal city limits of Shechem: "Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him." Genesis 34:6

3. In 1900 BC, Jacob after he had fled from Laban back to Canaan, he built an altar at the place he camped "before the city of Shechem", not in Shechem. He bought this land: "Now Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram, and camped before the city. He bought the piece of land where he had pitched his tent from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, for one hundred pieces of money. Then he erected there an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel." Genesis 33:18-20 4. In 1900 BC, just before Jacob moved from Shechem to Bethel, he hid the idols of his family under the "oak of Moreh" which was the very spot where Abraham had built an altar: "So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which they had and the rings which were in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the oak which was near Shechem." Genesis 35:4 5. In 1893 BC, Joseph was sold into slavery. Jacob sent Joseph to Shechem to find his brothers, who had moved on to Dothan, where they betrayed him: "Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them." And he said to him, "I will go."" Genesis 37:13 6. Joshua lived 1460 - 1350 BC: Joshua is described as a young man, a youth, when Israel left Egypt: (Ex 33:11; Num 11:28) He was chosen by Moses to fight Amalek at (Exodus 17:9) Rephidim. We would estimate that Joshua need be no less than 20 and probably 30 years old when he was given the responsibility of leading the armies of Moses.

Since the exodus was 1446 BC and Joshua lived to be 110 years old. (Joshua 24:29) This means Joshua was born about 1466 BC and died 1356 BC. This means that Joshua began serving Moses at age 30, and served Moses for 40 years in the wilderness and then 40 years in Canaan after crossing the Jordan. 7. In 1406, when Israel crossed the Jordan, the tabernacle was first set in the Gilgal (Josh 4:19). 8. In 1390 BC, Joshua traveled from Gilgal, where the tabernacle was located, to Mt. Ebal beside Shechem to built the "altar of Joshua". The ark of the covenant was taken to Mt. Ebal and used in the blessings and curses ceremony, while the tabernacle remained at Gilgal. Josh 8:30 9. In 1385 BC, the tabernacle then moved to Shiloh (Josh 18:1,10) where he divided up the land by lot (Joshua 19:51). Shiloh was the central gathering point for Israel at the time of Joshua: "When the sons of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the sons of Israel gathered themselves at Shiloh to go up against them in war." Joshua 22:12. 10. In 110 AD, Josephus says that the tabernacle was first at Gilgal, then Shiloh after which Joshua built the Altar on Mt. Ebal.

The correct order was Gilgal, Ebal, Shiloh: "The fifth year was not past, and there was not one of the Canaanites remained any longer, excepting some that had retired to places of great strength. So Joshua removed his camp to the mountainous country, and placed the tabernacle in the city of Shiloh, for that seemed a fit place for it, because of the beauty of its situation, until such time as their affairs would permit them to build a temple; and from thence he went to Shechem, together with all the people, and raised an altar where Moses had beforehand directed; then did he divide the army, and place one half of them on Mount Gerizim, and the other half on Mount Ebal, on which mountain the altar was; he also placed there the tribe of Levi, and the priests. (And when they had sacrificed, and denounced the [blessings and the] curses, and had left them engraved upon the altar, they returned to Shiloh. (Josephus, Antiquities 5.1.19, 68-70). In 1385, Shechem became a central "city of refuge" for Ephraim and Manasseh: "They gave them Shechem, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasture lands, in the hill country of Ephraim, and Gezer with its pasture lands," Joshua 21:21 (Josh 20:2,7; 1 Chronicles 6:67). In 1380, From Shiloh, Joshua sent the tribe of Reuben transjordan for their inheritance: Joshua 22:9.

The sons of Reuben built an exact replica of the altar of burnt offering in the tabernacle at Shiloh on the east side of the Jordan which created a huge problem. Altars had to be endorsed directly by God or else they were considered apostate and rebellious: "Thus says the whole congregation of the Lord, 'What is this unfaithful act which you have committed against the God of Israel, turning away from following the Lord this day, by building yourselves an altar, to rebel against the Lord this day?" Joshua 22:16 "Therefore we said, 'It shall also come about if they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say, "See the copy of the altar of the Lord which our fathers made, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; rather it is a witness between us and you."

"Joshua 22:28 13. In 1350 BC Just before Joshua died, the tabernacle "sanctuary of the Lord" was moved from Shiloh to Shechem and placed near the Oaks of Moreh. Joshua gathered all the people there for his farewell address: "Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, ... and they presented themselves before God." (Joshua 24:1). He also set up a memorial stone directly underneath the very oak that Abraham had built an altar near and Jacob had hid his family idols underneath: "So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak [of Moreh] that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. Joshua said to all the people, "Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us; thus it shall be for a witness against you, so that you do not deny your God." Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his inheritance." Joshua 24:25-28 14. In 1350 BC, Joshua died and was buried at Timnath-serah: Josh 24:30. At the same time Joseph, who had died in Egypt 450 years earlier (1800 BC), was buried at Shechem in a plot of land Jacob had bought 550 years earlier (1900 BC): "Now they buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt, at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one hundred pieces of money; and they became the inheritance of Joseph's sons." Joshua 24:32; Genesis 33:18-20; Acts 7:16. 15. Today, the tomb of Joseph is located east of modern Nabulus between Tel Balata and Sychar: "one of the tombs whose location is known with the utmost degree of certainty and is based on continuous documentation since biblical times. (Zvi Ilan, Tombs of the Righteous in the Land of Israel, p. 365)
16. On 7 October 2000, Joseph's Tomb, the third most holy place in Judaism, was destroyed by Muslims. It is located east of modern Nabulus between Shechem (Tel Balata) and Sychar at the foot of Mt. Ebal. It had come under attack and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) withdrew after gaining reassurances from the Palestinian Authority (PA) that they would protect the site in accordance with their obligations under the Oslo Accords to protect holy sites.

Two hours after the withdrawal Muslims began destroying the site. It was burned and torn down stone by stone, then bulldozed. It was immediately declared a Muslim holy site.

Name/Last Name Hassan & Other Related Names


Family name

Meaning "handsome", "good", "manly", "strong", "benefactor"; "son of Osain", "son of Oisín"; "cantor", "singer". Region of origin Arabic, Irish, Scottish, Hebrew

Hassan (also spelled Hasan, Hassen, Hasson, Hassin, Hassine, Hacen, Hasen, Hasin, Hass, Hassa, Hasa, Hess, Cassin, Chassan, Chasan, Chasson, Chason, Khassan, Khasan, Cassan, Casan, Hasso, Hassanein, Hasnen, Hassani, Hasani, Alhassan, Al-Hassan, Lassana, Alassane, Lacen, Lasanah, Assan, Asan, Asanov, Hasanov/Hasanova, Khasanov/Khasanova, Hasanoff, Jasanoff, Hasanović, Hasanovic, Asanović, Hasanovich, Asanovski, O'Hassan, Haasan, or Hasaan) is an Arabic, Irish, Scottish, or Hebrew surname.

Etymology and spelling

There are several unrelated origins for this name:

In Arabic, the surname Hassan (حسن, Ḥasan) means "handsome", "manly", "strong", "good" or "benefactor".

In Ireland/Scotland, the surname Hassan is one of the anglicized forms of the Gaelic (Irish/Scottish) form of Ó hOsáin. It is to be distinguished from Ó hOisín and Ó hOiseáin (Hession and Hishon). In County Londonderry, where it is numerous, it is spelt Hassan, Hassen, Hasson, Hassin and Hessin. In the Monaghan Hearth Money Rolls of 1663, it appears as O'Hassan. There was a Hasson of Wexford among the "principal gentlemen" of that county in 1598, but that family was no doubt of non-Gaelic stock, and a John Hassan was an influential merchant in Wexford fifty years earlier.

In Hebrew, the surname Hassan (חסן) means "cantor", or "good cantor", derived from the Arabic "good" and the Hebrew "cantor". Hassan is normally an Arab first or last name; but, in the Jewish Sephardic - Mizrahi tradition, it is a Jewish surname.

The Hassan or Hasson (see also Hassoun), appear to have most likely originated from Spain, from where the Jewish family has initially settled in Morocco and in Livorno, Italy following 1492 expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and afterwards following the 16th century has spread throughout the Ottoman Empire (notably to Thessaloniki, Greece; Istanbul, Turkey; in 1592 in Sidon, Lebanon; Damascus, Syria; Constantine, Algeria and Tunis, Tunisia).

List of variant spellings In French: Hassan, Hassen, Hasson or Hacen.

In Spanish: Hassan, Hassán, Hacen, Hacén, Jassan, Jassán, Jasan, Jasán, Hasson or Jasanoff. In Italian: Cassan, Cassano, Cassani, Hasson, Gazzano, Gazzani, Gassano, Gassani.In Russian and Bulgarian (in Cyrillic): Хасан, Хасан, Асанов/Хасанов (masculine), Асанова/Хасанова (feminine). In Russian (in Cyrillic): Хасан, Хассан, Хассен, Хэссан, Гасан, Асан. In Hebrew: חסן (Hasan or Hassan). In Arabic: حسن (Ḥasan). In Armenian: Hassanian or Hasanian. In Azerbaijan: Həsən. In West Africa: Lassana, Alassane and Lacen, derived from al-Hassan. In Finland: Hasanen for Hassan, derived from the Arabic Hassan and the Finnish suffix for surnames -en. In Turkish: Hasan. In Bosnian: Hasanović. In Albanian: Hasani. In Macedonian: Hasanovski or Asanovski.

In Croatian/Serbian/Montenegrin: Asanović or Hasanović. In China, some Muslims believe that their surname Ha (哈) is abbreviated from Arabic Hassan. In Kurdish: Hesan. In Somali: Xasan Popularity of the name The popularity of the name Hassan or its variants Hasson, Hassen, Hassin is not only in the Arab world (including Arab Christians) but also in the Muslim world.

The Irish last name Hassan or its variants Hasson, Hassen, Hassin is frequently found especially in the area of Derry in Northern Ireland and also everywhere where there is a sizable Irish diaspora like in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The frequency of the Hebrew last name Hassan – or its variants Hasson, Hassen, Hassin – is mostly among Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews, but it is also popular among Ashkenazi Jews, used as a spelling variant of Hazan.

Hasan family

The Hasan Family also spelled Hassan, is an esteemed Bangladeshi family, who have contributed exceptionally to South Asian politics and various social movements for nearly four-hundred years. The seat of this Zamindar family is located in Baniachang, Sylhet near the town of Habiganj. The family is one of the remaining remnants of the nobility of the Mughal Court to exist in Bangladesh, with their ancient home still intact.

According to legend, the first known Hasan was sent to Bengal by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir around 1627. The family migrated from Murshidabad to East Bengal to where the family's patriarch , Anis Ul Hasan married into a family in Baniachong, Sylhet.

Rise to Prominence
Anis Ul Hasan died at an early age , and his son Obaid Ul Hasan went to Calcutta in search of fortune. There he became a leading scholar of Persian. The Nizam of Hyderabad learned of Obaid Ul Hasan and appointed him Vizier and as a tutor to the crowned prince. The Monarch bestowed great riches to the Hasan family, allowing for the purchase of massive tracks of land in what is today the Habiganj District of Bangladesh; thus establishing the Zamindari status of the family. Due to various economic and political upheaval, the land ownership of the Hasan's drastically reduced. Following disintegration of what was then East Pakistan, the new socialist-leaning Bangladeshi State abolished the feudal Zamindari system, thus removing any "official" rights attached to the family's status as Zamindars.

Hession (pronounced "hesh + in") is an old Connacht Irish surname. It is an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó'hOisin. In Gaelic, it is pronounced "O + hush + een".

It appears to originate in Co. Galway and in County Mayo. The Hession surname is predominantly found in these counties in the Census of Ireland, 1911. It means to descendant of Oisín a personal name meaning "little deer", and the name of the poet and warrior of the fianna in Irish mythology. Hugh Hession (Áed Ua hOissín) was the name of two Tuam clerics in the 11th and 12th Centuries - the coarb of St. Jarlath (1050) and the first Archbishop of Tuam (1152) respectively. George Petrie who unearthed the High cross at Tuam which bears an inscription Áed Ua hOissín wrote that he was assisted by a gentleman of the name O'Heshin who little realised he was digging up the relic of an ancestor. Darby O'Hession (spelt O'Hoysshynne) is the name of a Galway Cleric in the 16th, a vicar choral recorded in that churches first charter of St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church in Galway in 1551.

Hession has occasionally been spelt Hessian in Galway and is sometimes falsely assumed to be of German origin -See Hessian. MacLysaght suggests a connection with the surname Ussher -which is probably the name of a separate and distinct family of English Origin based in Dublin and later in Galway. This connection with Ussher is appaently the basis for claims the family is of Norman or English Origin, and the use of the Ussher Arms for the family on popular family history sites.

The name may be related with similar names Hishon in County Limerick and Hassan in County Londonderry. Hishon is the anglicised form of Ó hOiseáin and finds an early reference amongst the Allies of the MacNamara family in Co Clare in the early 14th century. While Hassan is the anglicized form of Ó hOsáin.

The Genealogies of Osraige preserved in Rawlinson B 502 record an Ua Ossain family with many descendants. A Conail Ua Osseni was Abbot of Letuba, and here are also two kings named Ua Oisin are recorded as kings of Mughdhorna in the region in the 7th and 8th century (see Airgíalla). The Annals of Loch Ce record that Domnall Ua Cuirc king of Muscraige was killed by Ua Oisin and Ua Fladhen in 1044, while anothe Ua Oisin was involved in conflict between the men of Magh Ithe and the Airgíalla in 1055.

Oisín (/oʊʃiːn/ oh-SHEEN; Irish pronunciation: [ɔʃiːn]), Osian or Ossian (/ɔːʃən/ AW-shən) or Osheen, was regarded in legend as the greatest poet of Ireland, and is a warrior of the fianna in the Ossianic or Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. He is the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill and of Sadhbh (daughter of Bodb Dearg), and is the narrator of much of the cycle.

His name literally means "young deer" or fawn, and the story is told that his mother, Sadbh, was turned into a deer by a druid, Fear Doirche (or Fer Doirich). When Fionn was hunting he caught her but did not kill her, and she returned to human form. Fionn gave up hunting and fighting to settle down with Sadbh, and she was soon pregnant, but Fer Doirich turned her back into a deer and she returned to the wild. Seven years later Fionn found his child, naked, on Benbulbin. Other stories have Oisín meet Fionn for the first time as an adult and contend over a roasting pig before they recognise each other.

In Oisín in Tir na nÓg, his most famous echtra or adventure tale, he is visited by a fairy woman called Niamh Chinn Óir (Niamh of the Golden Hair or Head, one of the daughters of Manannán mac Lir, a god of the sea) who announces she loves him and takes him away to Tir na nÓg ("the land of the young", also referred to as Tir Tairngire, "the land of promise"). Their union produces Oisín's famous son, Oscar, and a daughter, Plor na mBan ("Flower of Women"). After what seems to him to be three years Oisín decides to return to Ireland, but 300 years have passed there. Niamh gives him her white horse, Embarr, and warns him not to dismount, because if his feet touch the ground, those 300 years will catch up with him and he will become old and withered. Oisín returns home and finds the hill of Almu, Fionn's home, abandoned and in disrepair. Later, while trying to help some men who were building a road in Gleann na Smól lift a stone out of the way onto a wagon, his girth breaks and he falls to the ground, becoming an old man just as Niamh had forewarned. The horse returns to Tir na nÓg. In some versions of the story, just before he dies Oisín is visited by Saint Patrick. Oisín tells the saint about what happened and dies.

In the tale Acallam na Senórach (Tales of the Elders), Oisín and his comrade Caílte mac Rónáin survived to the time of Saint Patrick and told the saint the stories of the fianna. This is the source of William Butler Yeats's poem The Wanderings of Oisin.

The location of the grave site of Oisín is disputed. It is rumoured to be in Glenalmond in Perth, Scotland. Wordsworth wrote a poem on the subject entitled "Glen-Almain, the Narrow Glen". Others say it is located in the Nine Glens of Antrim at a site that has been known for generations as "Oisín's Grave". The megalithic court cairn is located on a hillside in Lubitavish, near the Glenann River, outside the village of Cushendall on the North Antrim Coast, and is believed to be the ancient burial place of Oísín.

Hass may refer to:
People Hass (surname) Places Hass (town), a town in Syria
Hass is a German surname. Hass (Arabic: حاس) is a town in northwestern Syria, administratively part of the Ma'arrat al-Numan District of the Idlib Governorate. The town has an altitude of 630 meters above sea level. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Hass had a population of 9,595 in the 2004 census. Its inhabitants are predominantly Sunni Muslims. Nearby localities include Kafr Nabl to the west, Hish to the south, Kafr Ruma and Maarrat al-Numan to the east, and al-Bara to the north. Hass is well-known for its olive groves, and is surrounded by historical sites, including some of the most important Dead Cities, such as Serjilla, Shanshrah, and al-Bara and Kafr Nabl.

Hass itself contains a medieval-era mosque and ruins. It is also immediately northwest of the site of a 6th century CE Byzantine tomb. The tomb consists of two levels with a pyramid-shaped roof and is held up by Corinthian columns.

Hass is also near the site of an ancient dead city, known today as Khirbet Hass. The site contains the scattered ruins of six Roman and Byzantine-era churches and a large municipal hall with a rectangular courtyard with borders made of Doric columns. Among the churches, is one that measured 65 ft by 43.5 ft (its nave making up nearly half of the width). The church floor was marked by a mosaic depicting peacocks.

Haas, also de Haas, is a German and Dutch surname, usually from Hase or de Haas, the German and Dutch words for "hare".

Hussein (/huːseɪn/; also spelled Husein, Husain, Hussain, Husayin, Hussayin, Hüseyin, Huseyin, Husseyin, Huseyn, Hossain, Hosein, Hossein, or Husseyn) (Arabic: حُسَين, Ḥusayn), is an Arabic name which is the diminutive of Hassan, meaning "good", "handsome" or "beautiful". It is commonly given as a male given name, particularly among Shias. In some Persian sources the forms Ḥosayn, Hosayn, or Hossein are used. On the Subcontinent or South Asia, the form used is "Hussain" or "Hossain" in the Bengal region.

This name was not used in the pre-Islamic period, and is recorded to have been first used by the Islamic prophet Muhammad when he named his grandson Husayn ibn Ali, saying he had been commanded to do so by the archangel Gabriel. Usain also derives from it.

Alassane is a given name or surname that is an alternative transliteration of Al-Hassan. Lassana is a given name or surname that is an alternative transliteration of Al-Hassan.

A Hessian is an inhabitant of the German state of Hesse.

Hessen, also Hessen am Fallstein, is a village in the Harz district of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Since 1 January 2010, it is part of the town Osterwieck.

Hesse is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.

Hasse is both a surname and a given name.

Hess or Heß as a surname. Hess, Oklahoma, a community in the United States.

Ḥazzan (surname)
Hazan, Chazan, Chasen, and Khazan are alternative spellings of Hazzan. See also Hassan (surname). Khazan is a transliteration from Russian of the last name Хазан, typically of Russian-Jewish descent.

People having the name Gasan are in general originating from Azerbaijan. Gasan is a toponym found in Azerbaijan & a mountain in South Korea. Gasan Jōseki (1275–1366) was a Japanese Soto Zen master.

As in the example above, Gasan is a name used in Japan & Korea. Does it come from the Semitic name Hasan? Hasan is also found as a last name in Celtic areas. Did the Israelite ancestors of the Celts bring it to the British islands? Maybe the Israelite ancestors of some Japanese (& Koreans?) brought it to eastern Asia too, but in an evolved form.

Qaqun, Toponym in the Holy Land

Tell Qaqun is strategically located near the north-south Via Maris, the ancient road that connected the regions north of Israel (Mesopotamia, Asia minor and Syria), via the Megiddo pass, to the center of Israel and the south (Egypt). Another route connected Via Maris to Samaria and Shechem in the east. Qaqun was west of the Biblical city of Socoh (of Samaria). Socoh is mentioned in the Bible (1 Kings 4:10): "The son of Hesed, in Aruboth; to him pertained Sochoh, and all the land of Hepher". The land of Hepher is the area around Qaqun.

In the Crusader period, a castle called Caco or Cacho was here, of which an 8.5m tower survives. It was mentioned in 1123 when it apparently still was held by the lord of Caesarea, John Aleman, in 1253. In 1160, Benjamin of Tudela visited Qaqun which he identified as being ancient Keilah. Kakon & Kakun are Jewish last names. Even an Israeli footballer has Kakun as a last name.

God's Promise to Ishmael

The crisis that arose in the 1900's in the Middle East is largely a crisis between Ishmael and Esau, not between Jacob and Esau, nor even Isaac and Ishmael.

I recall the year 1979 when Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin made their historic peace agreement. One prominent radio preacher, Dr. Benjamin Morris, began to proclaim loudly that this was a repeat of the biblical story of Jacob and Esau embracing in Genesis 33:4. Of course, he meant the Israelis were "Jacob" and the Egyptians were "Esau."

I challenged him on this the following day, since he had a call-in radio program. My question was this: "Why is that for all these years you called the Arabic nations "Ishmael," and now you say that they are "Esau"??

There was a long and painful pause. Then he answered rather meekly, "Did I say they were Esau?"

"Yes, you did. You are saying that president Sadat is Esau, and prime minister Begin is Jacob."

To his credit, Dr. Morris backed down faster than a cat caught on the kitchen table. This began a 57-minute conversation live on the radio.

It is too easy for prophecy teachers to misidentify the characters in modern prophecy. First of all, not every Muslim nation is Arabic. Turkey is Muslim, but they are Turks, not Arabs. Iranians are Persian Muslims, but not Arabs. Egyptians and Sudanese are not Arabs either. Though they generally have Islam in common, they are not at all unified and, at times, they really hate each other. Their tribalism and disunity have long prevented them from dominating the world.

Having said that, the heart of Islam centers around their holy city, Mecca, which is in Saudi Arabia. In effect, these non-Arab countries have joined an Arab religion. So from a religious perspective, they are Arab in the same sense that they can become Christian and thereby share in the inheritance of the promises of Christ.

Ishmael is the primary source of Arab identity, biblically speaking. So a study of Ishmael, his biblical conflicts, and the promises of God to him prophesy of the present-day conflict as well as the future Kingdom of God when this conflict is resolved.

This issue has become important, because Christian Zionism has taken the side of the Israelis in virtually all matters and often manifest the same hatred for Arabs found among non-Christian Israelis. They do this because they have lost sight of God's promises to Ishmael. We need to understand these things in order to know how to conduct ourselves today as well as to know how the story will end.

Ishmael was the son of Abram and Hagar, the young Egyptian princess that Pharaoh had given to Sarah as restitution for taking Sarah into his harem for a time (Gen. 12:15). The book of Jasher tells us that Hagar was Pharaoh's daughter by a concubine. Ten years later, after Sarah went through menopause, they decided that the promises of God would have to be fulfilled through Hagar. The law in those days allowed proxy parenting through one's bondservants. Gen. 16:3 says:

"And after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram's wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife."

Hagar was no mere concubine. She was Abram's second WIFE. Nonetheless, she was a bondwoman. The Bible recognizes two kinds of marriage--bondwoman wife and freewoman wife. Each had its place, and so Hagar and Sarah became prophetic types of Old and New Covenant marriages (Gal. 4:24). Both covenants were valid and good in their own ways, but only the New Covenant could bring forth the ultimate promises of God.

One of the fundamental differences between the Bible and the Koran is that the roles of Ishmael and Isaac are reversed in each. The Koran says that Abraham offered Ishmael on Mount Moriah, whereas Gen. 22 says it was Isaac. There is, therefore, a religious disagreement about who is actually called to bring forth the promises of the Kingdom of God on the earth. This is part of the present world conflict as well, for Muslims believe that their religion will prevail upon the whole earth, Jews and Christian Zionists think that Judaism will prevail, and Christians believe that Christ's Kingdom will prevail.

The matter will be decided finally when Scripture is fulfilled, saying, "Cast out the bondwoman and her son" (Gen. 21:10; Gal. 4:30). This is a word not only to physical Ishmaelites (Arabs) and Islam in general, but also to legal Ishmaelites (Jews) and to spiritual Ishmaelites (Christians under Pentecost).

Each is a manifestation of Ishmael in a little different manner. Paul tells us that physical Jerusalem is "Hagar" (Gal. 4:25), and "is in bondage with her children." Who are those "children"? He is telling us that the adherents of Judaism are the "children" (Ishmaelites) of Hagar-Jerusalem. This makes Jews legal Ishmaelites. I say "legal," for the following reason:

Hagar is the Old Covenant, given at Sinai IN ARABIA (Gal. 4:25). Arabia is the inheritance given to Ishmael. That is why Islam is an Old Covenant religion. But so is Judaism. Though the two religions are in conflict, they are, in fact, two manifestations of the same prophetic type--Ishmael. Judaism had opportunity to progress from Old Covenant to the New, but they rejected the Mediator of that New Covenant, Jesus Christ. In deciding to remain under the jurisdiction of Mount Sinai, they effectively put Jerusalem under the spiritual authority of Ishmael.

In later years, God hired the Roman army to drive out the Jewish inhabitants of the land (Matt. 22:7), and some centuries later, God gave the city and the land to Islamic people known today as Palestinians. This happened because the Jews had inadvertently given their city and territory to Ishmael by putting it under the jurisdiction of Mount Sinai in Arabia. Of course, they did not know what they were doing, but God knew, and so He showed them through history the result of their legal decision.

By the law of tribulation (Lev. 26 and Deut. 28), the Jews were unable to return to that old land as a whole until such time as they would acknowledge their offense and hostility to Yahweh-Jesus (Lev. 26:41). But, as I showed in my book, The Struggle for the Birthright, they took advantage of a loophole in the law. The Jews had conquered and forcibly converted the Edomites (Idumea) in 126 B.C. Josephus tells us that "they were hereafter no other than Jews" (Antiquities of the Jews, XIII, ix, 1). Virtually all Jewish historians agree with this historic fact, and it can be found in any study of Idumea (the Greek form of Edom).

The Jews of Jesus' day, then, included both Judeans and Idumeans in a single nation. The Romans set up Herod as their king, primarily because he was half Judean and half Idumean. They figured he would be acceptable to both sides.

The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and the subsequent Jewish dispersion did not put an end to this Judeo-Idumean alliance. There are many Bible prophecies about Edom-Idumea in the last days, and there is only one people through whom these prophecies may be fulfilled. It is not Egypt. Anwar Sadat was not an Idumean. Sadat was representing Ishmael, and Begin was representing Esau-Edom-Idumea.

The present conflict in the Middle East is not between Jacob and Esau, but between Ishmael and Esau. Esau has a temporary claim to the land in order to fulfill Isaac's prophecy to him in Gen. 27:40, after Jacob had taken the birthright by deceit and lies. Mal. 1:4 says they will "build" but eventually God will destroy what they build.

Ishmael has the overall claim to the land on a more permanent basis, for the Old Covenant is their inheritance.

God's Promise to Ishmael--Part 2 Genesis 16 tells us that Ishmael was the son of Abram the Hebrew and Hagar the Egyptian. Because Sarah was barren, she gave her servant (Hagar) to Abram as a wife in order to bring forth a son who could be the heir of God's promises. But when Hagar became pregnant, she became arrogant, as verse 4 says:

"And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight."

Pride was the first heart problem. The second problem was that Sarai reacted by mistreating her. The result was that Hagar ran away, intending to return to Egypt. But an angel of the Lord found her. Verses 9, 10:

" (9) Then the angel of the Lord said to her, 'Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.' (10) Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, 'I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they shall be too many to count'."

The angel first addressed Hagar's heart problem and told her to return and submit to Sarai's authority. Secondly, as a result of submitting to proper authority, she would have many descendants of her own. These, of course, would not receive the highest promise of God--the Birthright from Adam--but even so, her children would receive a lesser promise of God.

                                                                  Joseph hugging Israel

Many years later, in the story of Israel and Judah, we learn more about how this principle actually works. Joseph received the birthright, while Judah received the promise to provide the kings (Messiah) for Israel. After the death of Solomon, when the nation was divided, there was a breach between Israel and Judah, and it brought about a breach between the Birthright and the Scepter. Because of Solomon's mistreatment of the Israelites (high taxation), they refused to submit to the rightful king, the son of Solomon. Only when the two nations were in unity could each benefit from the other's calling.

On a secondary level, we find the same problem with Hagar, and the same kind of resolution. She should swallow her pride and submit to Sarai's calling, and this was the condition by which she would be blessed.

How does this actually work out prophetically, and how does this apply to the current Middle East crisis?

First, keep in mind that Sarai's mistreatment of Hagar occurred before God had changed Abram's name to Abraham and before Sarai had become Sarah. Their names were changed 13 years after Ishmael's birth, when God added the Hebrew letter hey to their names. Hey is the breath of God, and it indicates inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Not until God changed their names to Abraham and Sarah was it possible to conceive and bring forth the promised seed, Isaac. It was done by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ishmael, then, was born from fleshly Abram, and his birth was "natural," that is, "of the flesh" (Gal. 4:29). Later, Isaac was born from spiritual Abraham, and his birth was "by promise," that is, "according to the Spirit" (Gal. 4:29).

This teaches us that the promises of God cannot come about by the power of the flesh or by the natural man (i.e., the "soulish" man, or the Adamic man). God's promises are brought forth only by the power of the Spirit.

Ishmael was the son of Abram; Isaac was the son of Abraham. That is the difference. The story has allegorical significance to us all, both personally and corporately as well as prophetically in the present condition of the Middle East.

First, on a personal level, our Adamic nature corresponds to Abram and Sarai. It cannot bring forth the promises of God. Anyone who depends upon the flesh, or who thinks that God will bless the flesh and give the Birthright to its genealogical "seed," will be disappointed. Paul and John tell us that the Gospel is a seed that has begotten a new creation man within us, "Christ in you," which is of the Last Adam. This is the "Isaac" within us, and it is the true inheritor of the promise of God. The Adamic flesh has already been condemned to death, and it will not inherit the promise, even if it enjoys a certain level of faith and righteousness through the Old Covenant.

You may want to read that last sentence again, since I threw a lot into it.

Corporately speaking, since Hagar represents the Old Covenant (Gal. 4:24), Ishmael represents the people who adhere to Old Covenant religion. This is a religion that attempts to discipline the old Adamic man into submission to the law of God and thereby make this old Adamic man righteous enough to inherit the promises of God. It cannot be done.

The story of Ishmael and Isaac are an allegory of the distinction between the first Adam and the Last Adam. They are our two identities--fleshly and spiritual identities, of whom Paul speaks in Romans 7:20, saying, "But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me."

Note that the "I" which sins is not the same "I" that "am no longer the one doing it." Paul chose to identify, not with the fleshly "I" from Adam, but with the spiritual "I" that is from the last Adam. 1 John 3:9 confirms this, saying literally: "no one who has been begotten by God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin because he has been begotten by God" (Emphatic Diaglott).

In other words, when God begets an embryo within us by the Word of God, the Son of God has been conceived within us, which cannot sin any more than Jesus could sin after being conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit.
This holy seed within us is the Son of God because God is its Father; but it is also the son of man because we in our flesh are its mother. This is the seed which Isaac typified, while all other children born naturally are mortal children typified by Ishmael.

Our "Ishmael" can be trained to be righteous, but he can never be righteous enough to be spiritual or to inherit the promise. Only that which is begotten by God will receive the promise and live forever. That is our "Isaac."

Yet Ishmael has been given a promise. It is a secondary promise, however, and should not be confused with the promise given to Isaac. There are three main religions that have Hagar as their mother--that is, the Old Covenant. Islam, Judaism, and pre-Tabernacles Christianity. Their adherents are Ishmaelites in different ways, but they all have this one feature in common--they all want to make Adamic flesh righteous enough to inherit the promises of God.

True Christianity among the overcomers is different because it recognizes that the Holy Spirit must beget the inheritor of the promise. The promise will not come to Adamic flesh or to any other genealogy from the first Adam. Being a genealogical Israelite is as insufficient as being a genealogical Ishmaelite. Both are from Adam who has been condemned to death.

So of what benefit is religion? Religion is not the answer, nor is it synonymous with being begotten by God. Religion rules the flesh, and religious leaders tell fleshly people what to do to be "righteous." It restricts sin by enforcing laws--even the divine Law itself. But the law is weak in that it cannot change Adamic nature into the nature of Christ. Religion is an Old Covenant measure to restrain the flesh until the Sons of God are manifested.

The day will come when God will reveal or unveil the true inheritors. It is called the manifestation, or unveiling, of the Sons of God (Rom. 8:19). They will be called, not to oppress or mistreat the Ishmaels in the world, but to show them the way to experience the same thing in the age to come.

God's Promise to Ishmael--Part 3

There are many levels of meaning and application of God's promise to Ishmael. So far we have focused largely on the most personal and universal application. It is God's promise to our own inner Ishmael--our flesh. We have seen that the flesh, or the "old Man" inherited from the first Adam, is not and can never be the inheritor of God's promise.

Yet as a child of the Old Covenant (Hagar), Ishmael did have a promise from God. It was fulfilled in Israel's first inheritance in the land of Canaan. It was purely a fleshly land inheritance. By contrast, the New Covenant offers us a greater inheritance, for here the "land" is a glorified body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). Israel was not ready to receive this greater inheritance under Joshua, and so they entered Canaan, not at the feast of Tabernacles, but at the time of Passover. Specifically, it was the tenth day of the first month, when they were supposed to select the lambs for Passover (Joshua 4:19).

The Old Covenant inheritance was a type of the greater inheritance yet to come. It was a temporary inheritance for Israel until such time as they were ready for the greater. A measure of this greater inheritance was given in the fulfillment of that second feast, Pentecost, in the second chapter of Acts. But the full inheritance will not be given until the fulfillment of that third and final feast in the law, Tabernacles. The purpose of Tabernacles is to manifest the Sons of God, who will have authority to minister in heaven in spirit and to minister in earth in physical bodies.

In a very real way, though the character of an overcomer must be "Isaac," Ishmael himself is a type of that glorified flesh. Ishmael was the offspring of a Hebrew and an Egyptian, and he pictures the genetic offspring of heaven and earth, God and man, spirit and flesh. Fascinating stuff, indeed.

Yet when we contrast Ishmael and Isaac on another level, we see that Isaac was a greater type of offspring of heaven and earth, for his birth required divine intervention from heaven.

And so on the corporate level of application, there are various groups of people represented by both Ishmael and by Isaac. I find at least three levels of application, each distinct and yet having things in common.

Physical application: There are physical Ishmaelites in the world, represented by the Arabs and (more broadly applied) represented by the religion of Islam in general.

Legal application: There are legal Ishmaelites in the world, represented by those adhering to the religion of Judaism.

Spiritual application: There are spiritual Ishmaelites in the world, represented by pre-Tabernacles Christianity. Generically speaking, it is Pentecostal Christianity--not the denomination by that name, but rather the Church under its pentecostal anointing.

As for the physical application, the promise to Hagar and Ishmael is found in Ishmael's name itself. It means "God hears." The angel told Hagar to name him thus, because "the Lord has heard your affliction" (at the hands of Sarah). In other words, God recognized that Sarah had no right to mistreat Hagar and to afflict her, even though Hagar's attitude was not right either.

The angel gave this promise by the well called Beer-lahai-roi, "the well of living after seeing." This incident was a prophecy that Ishmael's descendants in the end would see God and live (receive immortality). They will drink the water of life from the wells of salvation. (Yeshua, or Jesus, means "salvation"). They will come to know Jesus for who He really is, according to the word of Isaiah 12:2, 3,

" (2) Behold, God is my salvation [Heb., Yeshua]; I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God [Yah Yahweh] is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation [Yeshua]. (3) Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation" [Yeshua].

This passage prophesies of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, saying, "Yahweh has become my Yeshua." The God of the Old Testament became flesh and dwelt among us. Therefore, we are able to draw water from Him. For this reason Jesus said in John 7:37 and 38, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. . . from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water."

The two Old Covenant religions of Islam and Judaism do not yet know Jesus in this way. Neither understands how the God of the Old Testament could come to earth in human flesh, nor do they understand the purpose of the feast of Tabernacles and what they are destined to become.

This is, however, the "well" where the angel of God will find Hagar. The promise to her is that God has heard her and understands her bondage and affliction. When she sees, she will live.

The well beer-lahai-roi was located "between Kadesh and Bered" (Gen. 16:14). Kadesh means "holy," and Bered means "hail." Isaiah 28:17 tells us that God's hail will sweep away the refuge of lies. Hail, then, indicates the coming of TRUTH by whatever means God chooses. God finds Hagar somewhere between holiness and truth. But that is where she will receive her revelation of Jesus Christ.

The people of Hagar-Ishmael, then, are future Christians, future overcomers. Instead of mistreating them for their pride in thinking that Old Covenant religion can inherit the promises of God, we ought to see their destiny as God sees them. They will not see and live until God reveals Himself to them.

Meanwhile, however, the angel told Hagar that Ishmael would be a "wild donkey of a man" (Gen. 16:32). The Hebrew text reads pareh awdawm. The word pareh means "a wild donkey." Later, we find that God called Israel a wild donkey as well (Jer. 2:24). And, of course, I showed in my book, The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost, that the donkeys are one of the primary biblical symbols of Pentecost as well.

Hence, Ishmael, the "wild donkey," is a prophetic type that fits at least three levels of application: Islam, Judaism, and Pentecostal Christianity. They all have one thing in common--rebellious character, a "stiff neck," which makes each an unclean creature in the sight of God.

As I explained in Part 1, Judaism also revolves around Hagar, because their adherents consider Jerusalem to be their "mother." Jerusalem is Hagar (Gal. 4:25), and her children are in bondage under the Old Covenant. Furthermore, they persecute the children of Sarah, Paul says (Gal. 4:29). In their pride, these legal Ishmaelites think they are "chosen" to fulfill the promises of God as if they were Isaac. They have induced Christian Zionists to join with them in their quest to make Hagar bring forth the promise and to make Ishmael the chosen seed. But their quest will fail when God casts out the bondwoman and her son.

Finally, most of Christianity (as a religion) is a form of spiritual Ishmael, because they have reverted to Old Covenant thinking. When the Church followed the example of Israel under Moses by refusing to hear God's voice for themselves, they were left with a physical sword with which to bring righteousness into the earth. For a thousand years the Church tried to subdue the earth under Christ by using force and violence. They only succeeded in shedding more blood on the earth.

And so they too fulfilled the word of the angel who revealed the character of the wild donkey, saying in Gen. 16:12, "his hand will be against everyone, and everyone's hand will be against him." In other words, they would use violence to establish their will and, supposedly, the will of God.

God's Promise to Ishmael--Part 4

With all the types and shadows in the Old Testament, it would be helpful to step back for a moment and look at the big picture.

Adam and the Last Adam portray the types that contrast the "fallen" nature of Adam with the "righteous nature" of Christ.

Nimrod and Shem (Melchizedek) portray the types that contrast the different methods of rulership utilized by the fallen nature of Adam and the righteous nature of Christ. Nimrod usurps power over men by violent conquest and enslavement, while Shem builds Jerusalem, the "City of Peace." They are the founders of Babylon and Jerusalem, as well as Mystery Babylon and the New Jerusalem.

Ishmael is the type of religious man that has the fallen nature of Adam. Isaac is the type of a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Ishmael is the wild donkey that needs restraint by an Old Covenant and through fear. Isaac is the lamb offered to God on Mount Moriah, and he portrays the lamb-like nature of Christ who loves enough to give his life as a living sacrifice.

Esau and Jacob/Israel portray the types of the unbeliever and the believer who is on his journey to become an overcomer. Esau, the unbeliever, helps to train Jacob by the negative example of violence and force. Jacob, in turn, is the imperfect believer whom God is training to become Israel, the name of the overcomer.

There are many other contrasting characters in the Bible, such as Moses and Pharaoh, Saul and David, David and Absalom, Jeremiah and Hananiah, and (in the New Testament) Jesus and the temple priests. Each of these portrays the contrast between the Adamic nature and the nature of Christ in some manner.

                                      Nomad at Qasr Ibrim, Lower Nubia, modern Egypt

In our current study, we are focusing upon Ishmael, the religious man who uses the violent nature of the fallen Adam in the attempt to establish God's will in the earth. Each of the three main religions represented by Ishmael has the Adamic nature in common, though each manifestation takes a different form.

What do they have in common? They do not recognize God's sovereignty and therefore they rely upon the flesh to accomplish their purposes. Esau, the unbeliever, thought God was either irrelevant or non-existent, so he acted in his own self-interest. Ishmael represents fleshly religion that works with great zeal to bring about God's Kingdom in the earth. When God gives religion some authority in the earth, they do not know how to utilize that authority by the mind of their Sovereign. They fulfill their "duty to God" in a fleshly manner and soon degenerate into violent and bloodthirsty methods of "helping God" to subdue the earth.

In other words, the religious Ishmaels are willing to kill for God in order to subdue man through fear, instead of being willing to give one's own life in order to subdue man through love.

Thus, Ishmael persecuted Isaac in ancient times (Gal. 4:29). In the New Testament, the priests of Judaism persecuted the Christians in their fleshly zeal for God. Later, the Christian Church persecuted "heretics and infidels" in their fleshly zeal for God. And still later, Islam did the same.

Today, all three Ishmaels are reaching a climactic struggle to see who is the strongest, the most violent, the most bloodthirsty of them all. Jewish Zionism has taken Palestine by force and violence, as seen most clearly in the 1940's when they were the terrorists of the day. Christian Zionism has taken their side, thinking that God approves of Jewish terrorism, violence, and force in establishing His Kingdom. And Islam has raised its own fleshly opposition to establish its own terroristic reaction.

None of the above will win in the end. The time is drawing near to "cast out the bondwoman and her son." This means that religions of violence and force are all disqualified from establishing the Kingdom of God and bringing forth the promises of God. Scripture says that the purpose for casting out the bondwoman and her son is to make it clear to the world WHO is actually the child of promise, called to establish the Kingdom. It is Isaac, not Ishmael.

The Isaac company are those who do not follow the violent methods of the Ishmaels. Instead, they know God's sovereignty and believe that God is perfectly capable of fulfilling His purposes without the need for zealous but carnally-minded Ishmaels to assist Him. The Isaac company, then, is willing to WAIT for the appointed time, after the Ishmaels have had their day. In the end, the Isaac company will fulfill the feast of Tabernacles, give birth to the Manchild on the first day of Tabernacles, and will be presented to God as the Sons of God on the eighth day of Tabernacles. Then on that same day of presentation, according to the law, they will be revealed in the earth as the Manifested Sons of God.

I find it interesting to read reports from various sources how many Muslims are receiving dreams and visions of Jesus Christ, which are causing millions to leave Islam and to turn to Christ. Many report that they are seeing the violent nature of Islam as its zealous but carnal, religious nature is now visible for all to see. All of this violence has made many Muslims sick of their own religion and ripe for a new revelation of Christ.

Dr. Tom White writes: "In Iran, their culture of hate has produced a thirst for love. Iranians are tired of hate. The Iranians I have met are ready and responsive to apostles of love. It would be simple to call for a crocodile hunt in Iran through an armed revolution. Iran has been the leading exporter of terrorism since 1980. Yet as a Christian ministry, we realize another kind of warfare exists as described in Scripture. . .

"Entire families are throwing aside hate and receiving the love of Christ. (Some say there are hundreds of thousands [of Iranian Christians], others say closer to one million.) . . . We continue to find first-generation apostles of love in the middle of this madness.

"This summer [2006] we completed a book called Desperate for God with testimonies from the Iranian underground church. Many believe this to be the fastest growing Muslim-convert-to-Christ church in the world. Those tired of hatred are being driven into the arms of Christ in what could be one of the ripest nations for the gospel on the planet." [from The Voice of the Martyrs, August 2006]

At the present time, Muslims are suffering the most at the violent hands of all three Ishmael-type religious forces. This may be why they are turning to Christ in record numbers. They are seeing that hate may be a religious virtue, but there is something not quite right about it. When they see the love of Christ and are able to read about it in the New Testament, it is obvious to them that Jesus knew what He was talking about. The religious and political leaders have everything to lose by this new message of love, so they remain opposed to it. But the oppressed people themselves find it to be a refreshing drink of water in a dry place.

It may take a little longer for Jews and Christians to come to Christ, because at the present time they have the upper hand in much of the world. But the present war doctrine is providing opportunity for Mystery Babylon to establish legal precedents that will soon be used against Christians in America. In fact, this is already happening, though not yet widespread. We are moving toward the day when it will be unlawful for anyone to convert from the religion of his birth. Such legislation is already in place in much of the world. It will be unlawful to call sin sin or to quote certain New Testament passages. The time to oppose Ishmael-type violence is NOW.

The Tzadik's Last Berber - Jewish Protector

Hananiyah Elfassie is the last Berber Jew in the Ourika Valley of Morocco's High Atlas mountains, two hours by bus from Marrakech. Though most members of the Moroccan Berber tribes are Muslim today, some North African Berbers, like Elfassie's ancestors, were Jewish before Arab conquerors arrived here over 1300 years ago.

"Fifty years ago," Elfassie remembers, "Ourika had 300 Jewish families. We had two synagogues, Jewish schools, rabbis to perform circumcisions, bar-mitzvahs and weddings, and plenty of kosher food and matzah for Pesach." In those days, Elfassie worked the Ourika Valley's olive presses and traded Jewish crafts with local Berber Muslims.

Then Elfassie's Berber-Jewish family and friends joined a wave of Moroccan immigration to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s. Eventually, only Hananiyah Elfassie, his mother Saada, and his wife Yamna remained.

Saada Elfassie was born in Ourika and devoted her life to guarding the tomb of a tzadik, Rabbi Shlomo ben Hensh, dead 500 years but still revered like a saint. Like their Muslim counterparts, who revere each departed holy man, Jewish Berbers always made tzadik commemoration a cornerstone of their religious life.

When Saada died 24 years ago, Hananiyah and Yamna assumed sole responsibility for guarding the Tzadik's tomb, said to be the source of miracles. Yamna died two years ago. The couple never had children. Now, Hananiyah Elfassie is alone with three graves - those of his wife, his mother, and the man they stayed in Ourika to watch: the Tzadik.

Though the Elfassies have long been supported by tzedakah donations from pilgrims who come for blessings and miracles from the long-departed rabbi, few visit Hananiyah and his tzadik these days. Israeli tourism to Morocco halted with the renewed Palestinian Intifada and American and Western European tourism have slowed to a trickle since the September 11 terrorist attacks. But the spirit of the Tzadik has survived many crises during his five centuries interred in the Ourika Valley.

Although Hananiyah often considered making aliyah, his path was impeded by a recurring dream, which his wife likewise experienced. In their dream, a snake appeared and became a staff that blocked their home's doorway. Hananiyah believes this vision was a sign from the Rabbi, who fears his grave will be lost without Hananiyah's vigilance.

Hananiyah Elfassie clings to the hope that Rabbi Shlomo ben Hensh's spell is strong enough to attract new protectors to take his place preserving the Tzadik's memory -- the last vestige of Berber-Jewish history in Morocco's Ourika Valley. It may take a miracle.

A tablecloth dries on Friday afternoon in a sunny corner of the Hananiyah Elfassie's courtyard. He lives in a two-story facility, built with donations from foreign philanthropists in the 1970's and maintained by tzedakah from visitors and support from Morocco's king. Though not luxurious by Western standards, the home is much grander than the mud huts of many of Hananiyah's neighbors.

Yamna Elfassie stood in the doorway to the tomb of Rabbi Shlomo ben Hensh. Yamna was the last Berber Jewish woman in the Ourika Valley of Morocco's High Atlas Mountains, two hours by bus from Marrakech. After over 40 years of marriage, she died in 2000, leaving her husband Hananiyah as the only remaining Jew in the Ourika Valley.

Hananiyah Elfassie, the last Jew in the Ourika Valley of Morocco's High Atlas mountains, guards the tomb of a "Tzadik" who died 500 years ago. Foreign pilgrims visiting the Tzadik's tomb taped snapshots of famous rabbis to the wall behind him.

Once there were 300 Jewish families, two synagogues, Jewish schools, rabbis to perform circumcisions, bar-mitzvahs and weddings, and no shortage of kosher meat and matzah in the Ourika Valley. Then, in the 1950's and 1960's, all of the Ourika Valley's Berber Jews made aliyah to Israel, leaving only Yamna and Hananiyah el-Fasil. Today, none of the people are Jews in the red mud huts that make up the nine small, hillside villages lining the river.

Yamna and Hananiyah Elfassies told the story of why they stayed in the Ourika Valley. They remained in the Ourika Valley to protect the tomb of Rabbi Shlomo ben Hensh, decades after all the other Jews left. Rabbi ben Hensh died more than 500 years ago, but they revered him as a Tzadik who lived after death, stopped the sun's course, and even turned into a snake to ensure himself a proper Jewish burial. Because of a recurring dream they shared, in which a snake became a staff blocking their path, the Elfassies were afraid to leave the gravesite. The Tzadik's tomb is said to be the source of miracles.


Anatomy of a Discovery.

"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night." Exodus 13:21

In recent years there has been much discussion as to whether Mt. Sinai was actually located in the Sinai peninsula or in Midian which is in modern day Saudi Arabia.

The idea is not a new one; Beke first published (posthumously) the possibility in 1878 more importantly Lucas of "Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industry" fame in a wonderful book published in 1938 made a compelling argument for the thesis.

Along comes Ron Wyatt who takes the thesis and goes on an adventure to Jebel Al-Lauz in the Tobuk area of North Western Saudi Arabia and finds a mountain with a black top and a few artifacts which is enough for him to claim that he has found Mt. Sinai. He was followed by two other adventurers, Larry Williams and Bob Cornuke who without citing Wyatt (plagerism???? Its difficult to tell as none of the books published have an index) go to the same site and come to the same conclusion. They have found Mt. Sinai.

A number of critiques have been published on the thesis but only one criticism resonated with me and that was the suggestion that it was more than 11 days away from Kadesh Barnea according to the Biblical account. That of course presupposes that we knew where Kadesh Barnea is and that the present identification in the Negev at Ain el Qudeirat is the correct one.

I had already decided to do a television special on "The Exodus" including the Wyatt thesis and I knew a little of the Exodus and therefore whilst I was sympathetic to the notion that Mt. Sinai was in Saudi Arabia, I believed that it must have been a volcano and Jebel Al Lawz whilst it had a black top, was not one. It also seemed likely from the quote that starts this piece, that there was at least one and probably a string of volcanoes on the route of the Exodus. How else to explain the phenomenon described?

I therefore started to search for two things.

A high mountain in Arabia that was a volcano and that fit the specifications of Mt. Sinai.

Another location for Kadesh Barnea

How did we work before the internet. Within a few minutes…………. Bingo, I had found this map which seemed to be a promising start. There was an almost straight tectonic line from Yemen to "Canaan".

Now to find Mt. Sinai or Mt. Horeb as it is also known in the Bible.

Those who understand linguistics know that both Hebrew and Arabic words are based on three letter roots (without vowels), thus hrb for Horeb and that there is a process known as metathesis where occasionally translations from one language to another involve changing the order of the letters say to rbh, or brh etc.

17 volcanic sites are listed in Arabia only two with an elevation above 3,000.

Harras (the Arabic word for Volcano) of Dhamar at 3,500

Harra of Arhab at 3,100.
Not for the first time in my career of investigating was I speechless. "RHB" "HRB". The same. A tall volcano that fit the physical requirements of Mt. Horeb perfectly but where was it………. IN YEMEN.

My skepticism was increased by the fact that I knew of no way the Israelites could have arrived there and eleven days journey to Kadesh Barnea seemed utterly impossible.

I then remembered a book by Professor Kamal Salibi which I had read when it first came out and dismissed as being totally unrealistic. I had been in touch with Kamal over the years and I unearthed the book from my library to see if there were other identifications between the Hebrew and the Arabic along the tectonic plate. On page 41 is a map of the area in which Professor Salibi believes the whole Biblical story of the children of Israel originates. The area of Asir (Seir) is in Western Saudi Arabia. Two things immediately stood out.

There was a place "Rofiydan" in the South near the Yemeni border on the route north running parallel to the tectonic line. That immediately brought to mind the Hebrew "Rephidim" one of the camping stops along the route of the Exodus.

Much further north, again on the tectonic line was a place called "Bani Amr" (the tribe of Amr). This in Asir (Seir). That immediately brought to mind the attack by the Ammorite in the vicinity of Mt. Seir an event that also took place during the Exodus.

Now we were getting somewhere, albeit with the aid of a book that has been totally discounted by the academic community.

It gets even stranger.

I needed to find another location for Kadesh Barnea.

Whilst Kadesh is a common Hebrew word meaning "holy" the word Barnea is totally unknown. Salibi suggests that it could be referring to a god "rn" so the site could be one dedicated to that god. Hebrew scholars have no thoughts on the subject.

Back to "Google". Another shock. I get referred to a site containing papers from my old friend Velikovsky who I have spent 30 years criticising. I suppose Salibi could have been the Velikovsky of the 80s. Here I was relying on the scholarship of two men who have been more reviled than any two others in the modern age J

Where does Velikovsky place Kadesh Barnea, in the most unlikely place of all for a Jewish biblical scholar? MECCA!!! For him (and perhaps for me) it made perfect sense. What was the holiest site in Western Arabia, Mecca?

The story gets even stranger. As usual for Velikovsky, his writings are always meticulously (if not always accurately) footnoted. Kadesh Barnea in the Biblical account is located in the desert of Pharan (Paran)……. (note the "rn" again). Velikovsky states that "according to the old Arabian sources" Pharan is in the mountainous area of the Hijaz. There is a reference to a footnote 17. The problem is in his paper, footnote 17 is missing. What to do?

I remembered meeting Velikovsky’s research assistant when I visited the old man many years ago at his house in Princeton. I tried to contact him, Jan Sammer, now living in Czechoslovakia. What he sent me back was even more remarkable than Velikovsky’s original suggestion. The medieval Arab geographer actually identifies Pharan with Mecca itself.

Where is Mecca on our grand scheme of things, again very near the fault line on the way from Yemen to Canaan?

I contacted Salibi again. He dismissed my ideas about Mt. Horeb in Yemen and Kadesh Barnea as Mecca (on the grounds that it was too arid, but in fact there are fresh springs in the area and 2,500 years ago, the area could well have been lush) but did identify the 12 camping spots mentioned in Numbers 33 as being the exact equivalents of sites in Asir.

Had I stumbled on the real route of the Exodus? What did the route that I had mapped out look like? Bigger mysteries remain. How did the Israelites get to Yemen and how did the idea that it took 11 days from Mt. Sinai to Kadesh Barnea get sorted out.

Al Quds (qds in both Arabic and Hebrew means Holy) is Jerusalem in Arabic: Now Mecca (Islam's Holiest City) may very well turn out to be the long lost city of Kadesh (qds) Barnea. A major Jewish holy City, lost for 3,500 years.

Yemen's Last Jews Come to Israel

50 stayed behind voluntarily, so these Jewish immigrants were the last Yemeni Jews to move at their own request. Their Torah, carried by their rabbi, was 600 years old.

By supporting Federation you enable us to fund life saving missions run by our partner The Jewish Agency for Israel, helping countless Israelis around the world move to Israel.

Yechiya Ya’akov Dahari’s whole family diligently kept the Torah in Yemen even under the most trying of circumstances. As a metal worker who raised nine children through poverty and prejudice, he felt he was tough enough to handle life in Yemen. But as time went on, the situation became increasingly dangerous. When kidnappings and attacks became a daily worry, more and more of those close to him made aliyah with help from The Jewish Agency for Israel.

From the Founding of Israel Until Today

A proud partner of Federation, The Jewish Agency has been at the forefront of helping Yemen’s historic but beleaguered Jewish community find a safe haven in Israel since Operation Magic Carpet brought over 49,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel in 1949, just after the state’s founding. This community has gone on to play a fundamental role in shaping the Jewish State, holding prominent roles in Israel’s political, cultural, culinary and religious life.

Subsequent operations brought thousands more Yemenite Jews to Israel, cumulating in the early 2016 mission that brought nineteen of the last remaining Jews out of the conflict-ravaged country to safety in Israel, including Yechiya Ya’akov and the rest of his family—and their unique Torah.

Dreams of Zion

Upon arrival in Israel, Yechiya Ya’akov cried tears of joy upon first seeing Zion, the land, then cried more upon seeing another Zion, his grandson. After only four years in Israel, the young man already sounds and dresses like an Israeli teen and looks forward to helping his family adjust to life in Israel.
But the family isn’t worried about losing their unique heritage. Yechyia Ya’akov’s son, Rabbi Shlomo Yechiya, smuggled their community’s centuries-old Torah scroll on his voyage to Israel. Though the scroll was threatened daily in Yemen, he is confident both it and the community that has kept it through untold hardship are now home safe in Israel.

“We dream that we will make it, and we can build our lives so that everything is behind us. All we want is to keep our Torah and to live in a dignified manner,” he says.

May 27, 2016

Yemen is a Jewish State, Ethnically, Even if It's a Moslem Country Religiously

Genetics score really high on the Jewish Gene or Cohen Gene in Yemen. Yemen has been historically a Jewish State when a Yemeni king joined Judaism with his people. There has been a contact with the Kindom of Israel since King Solomon & the Queen of Saba. Then different sources speak of great waves of Israelites colonizing the area.

Another name for Yemen is Teman. That's why the Yemeni Jews are often known as Temani. The Queen of Sheba is said to have heard about King Solomon from Jews in Yemen. Teman was an Edomite clan, so that clan might have founded or sojourned in the area. Many Edomites mingled with the Jews in the Promised Land before anyway. The Temne people have very Israelite like traditions & are considered to be descendants of Temani Jews.

Because of the Arab expansion of Islam you can find Arabs (apart from the more recent diaspora) in areas as distant as Morocco, Somalia, Saudi, Iran, Afghanistan. Afghanistan & Iran are Muslim countries, but not Arabs. Somalia sometimes is considered an Arab country because of its belonging to the Arab League & its Arab minority, but it's less Arab than it is so. It's interesting that many Israelites worldwide have Arab neighbors: Israeli Jews, Moroccan Jews, Kurds, Druzes, Iberogens, Madis, Zakhors, Iddaoshahaks, Yibirs, Pashtuns, Yemeni Jews (Although most so called Arab Muslim Yemenis have Israelite genes), Tunisian Jews. The Arab is the constant neighbor of the Hebrew, but almost everywhere you find Israelites. Many ethnic groupss in Afghanistan & Pakistan, including some which are not even called Arab, are believed to have Arab origin. This is the case, for example, of the Awans of Miawali (Called in Mianwali, Pakistan, Maliks) & many other ethnic groups, tribes, clans... Yemen is genetically Jewish, Levitic to be exact, but why?, & how? Yemen had a very old contact with the ancient Israelite state. 

The queen of Sheba (ancient name of Yemen) visited king Solomon & not few even believe she got pregnant from him. The Israelite colony of Yemen became big. Eventually a local king adopted the Israelite religion & later made Judaism the official religion of Yemen. This attracted even more Israelites more Israelites & the converts to Israelitism & the biological Israelites intermingled. That's why Yemen is genetically an Israelite state today. The local Israelites were called Jews despite not being only from the Kingdom of Judah as it happened in other areas. In the time of Muhamad the Jews were quite numerous, but not only in Yemen, but in such places as Medina (An Arab name that became a very common Jewish Sephardi name), Mecca (Or Makkah). Makkah coincidentally is a Hebrew word meaning slaughter. There's an African tribe with this name (Makaa) & an Amerindian one with this name. Where their ancestors Arabs or Jews coming from Mecca?

Kingdom of Yemen (1918-1962)

Description of the flag

The Kingdom of Yemen was never a British protectorate - it was nominally part of the Ottoman empire until 1918 and was independent thereafter. Independently, here were two British protectorates (known as the Eastern and Western Aden Protectorates) which contained 24 sultanates, emirates and sheikhdoms in the hinterland of Aden. In 1962, the imam of Yemen was overthrown and the Yemen Arab Republic established.

                                             Kingdom of Yemen's flag (1918-1962)

Alternative design

The Yemeni flag which was adopted in 1927. The drawing is based on the illustration in National Geographic, February 1951. The National Geographic of September 1961 shows a flag of essentially the same design but with dimensions of 2:3 instead of 1:2. The following text accompanies the drawing in the 1951 edition:

'The five stars represent the five natural geographic divisions of Yemen; they also recall the five dogmas of Islam and the five times a day the prayers are recited by the faithful. The saber, widely used as an emblem by Arabs, and the red field on which it is placed, are reminders to the people of the blood they have sacrificed in defense of the liberty and independence of their country.'

The flag was in use until 1962 when the imam was overthrown and the Yemen Arab Republic established. A civil war between republicans (supported by Egypt) and royalists (supported by Saudi Arabia) continued until 1970, with the royalist side continuing to use the flag of the kingdom.

                                                        Flag of the Imam of Yemen

The flag of Imam of Yemen used prior to the revolution was red, with in white the shahada in Arabic script (less artistic than in the Saudi flag).
Paul Said Mt. Sinai Was In Saudi Arabia: Gal 4:25

The teaching of Paul is so clear, that we could locate Mt. Sinai by saying: Mount Sinai is located in the land where Ishmael lived: Midian

Arabia in the Bible is Modern Saudi Arabia:

1. Arabia in the Bible is always, without exception, the land of Midian. (Modern Saudi Arabia). 2. Arabia is associated with Kedar. Kedar is called "men of the east" Jer 49:28. 3. Kedar was the son of Ishmael, who intermarried with the Midianites and lived south east of the Dead Sea. "These are their genealogies: the firstborn of Ishmael was Nebaioth, then Kedar" 1 Chronicles 1:29 4. Ishmael settled in Shur and the wilderness of Paran: Gen 16:12; 21:21; 25:18 5. Ezek 27:21 clearly shows that Arabia meant Saudi Arabia: "Arabia and all the princes of Kedar". Kedar was 6. Isaiah describes Arabia as including Kedar (Ishmael's son): "The oracle about Arabia. In the thickets of Arabia you must spend the night, O caravans of Dedanites. ... all the splendor of Kedar will terminate" Isaiah 21:13, 16 7. In describing the swath of land from Babylon (Hazor) to Saudi Arabia (Kedar) Jeremiah 49:28 tells Hazor (Babylon) to invade Kedar (Saudi Arabia) calling them "men of the east". "Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated. Thus says the Lord, "Arise, go up to Kedar And devastate the men of the east. " Jeremiah 49:28 8. Therefore Arabia = Ishmaelites, Midianites, Kedarites, Wildernesses of Shur and Paran, Midian 9. The Ishmaelites, Midianites, Kedarites never lived west of the Arabah valley in the Negev.

Commentaries on Gal 4:25: Mt. Sinai in Arabia

1. Commentary on Galatians, Joseph Agar Beet, 1885 AD, Gal 4:25, p135 2. Galatians, A Continental Commentary, Luhrmann, Dieter, 1992 AD, Gal 4:25 3. Galatians, Matera, Frank J., 1992 AD, Gal 4:25 4. The People's New Testament, B.W. Johnson, 1891 AD, Gal 4:25 5. Galatians, Mike Willis,1994 AD, Gal 4:25 6. The Jerome Biblical commentary, Brown, R. E., Fitzmyer, J. A., & Murphy, R. E. 1968 AD, Gal 4:25 7. New American Commentary, George, T., 1994 AD, Gal 4:25 8. The IVP Bible background commentary, Keener, C. S., 1993 AD, Gal 4:25

                                             Exodus Mount Sinai-Ishmael-Wilderness of Shur

Commentaries on Gal 4:25: Mt. Sinai in Arabia

1. "For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia. It calls attention to the geographical position of Sinai, giving definiteness to our conception of the great mountain and silently reminding us that it was the home of Hagar's children. ... For, that Mount Sinai is in the land of Hagar's children, whether or not the mountain bore her name, reveals in clear light the appropriateness of Paul's allegory." (Commentary on Galatians, Joseph Agar Beet, 1885 AD, Gal 4:25, p135) 2. "What is actually new in Paul's argument lies in the first clause. The manuscript tradition of the text shows the problems that early copyists and translators had with this argument. Paul's intention here is to equate Hagar with Mount Sinai in Arabia. How does he arrive at this? The reader is first reminded that Paul himself was in Arabia (cf. 1:17) and will therefore credit him with a certain local familiarity. Arabia is indicated both by the name Hagar as well as by the location of Mount Sinai. Hagar is, to be sure, an Egyptian according to Gen. 16:1, but the region that is later accorded to her son Ishmael and his offspring is to be found in Arabia (cf. Gen. 25:6, 18).

There one can also find Hagar as the name of a locality (cf. 1 Chron. 5:10, 19-20; Ps. 83:6), and this name may be preserved today in the place named Chegra. In the vicinity of this modern city of Chegra, however, to which the Hagar/Ishmael traditions seem to be related, is also the possible location (according to the geographic concepts of the Old Testament) of Mount Sinai, on which Moses received the law. Not until around the fourth century C.E. was it located on the peninsula that is known to us as Sinai. The writers of "the five books of Moses" seem to identify the "reed sea" with the Gulf of Aqaba, not with the Red Sea, and to have imagined Mount Sinai in the mountains that one can find in today's atlases south of the city of Tabuk in extreme northwest Saudi Arabia, where the city of Chegra also lies. The only question is whether the mountains actually bore the name Hagar from that city. That, however, is what Paul seems to assert here, for that is where the logic of his argument seems to rest. Paul is apparently referring to information that he acquired during his stay in Arabia (cf. 1:17).

After the rationale for equating Hagar with Mount Sinai, the allegorical explanation now goes further, saying that Hagar therefore corresponds to the present Jerusalem because-and here Paul harks back again to 4:1-7-the present Jerusalem is in slavery just as Hagar and her children were." (Galatians, A Continental Commentary, Luhrmann, Dieter, 1992 AD, Gal 4:25) 3. "for Hagar is a mountain in Arabia (it); for Mount Sinai is in Arabia (S, C, G). C. K. Barrett ("The Allegory of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar," 163-64) notes that "a decisive consideration in favor of the long text is that the omission of Hagar leaves a bare piece of geographical information of little interest to the readers or relevance to the context." In the Greek text, Hagar is governed by the neuter article to (literally, "the Hagar") which is not translated in English.

The article indicates that it is not Hagar the person that Paul has in mind but the word "Hagar" which is in the text; for this reason Hagar is placed in quotation marks. Paul may have associated Hagar with Mount Sinai because Sinai is located in Arabia, the land of Hagar's descendants through Ishmael. See Ps 83:6 which speaks of the "Hagrites." It is less likely that Paul is dependent upon the linguistic similarity between the Arabic word hajar ("rock" or "cliff") and certain place names of the Sinai peninsula. (Galatians, Matera, Frank J., 1992 AD, Gal 4:25) 4. "For Agar is Mount Sinai. Represents Sinai. This Mount Sinai is in Arabia, the very home of Ishmael and his race. Some also add that one name of the mountain is Hagar, but this is not certain." (The People's New Testament, B.W. Johnson, 1891 AD, Gal 4:25) 5. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia. The condition of the text at this point is rather uncertain. Some manuscripts have (a) de Hagar Sina, (b) some gar Hagar Sina, (c) some de Sina, and (d) others gar Sina.

The points at issue are (a) whether the word Hagar should be included or omitted and (b) whether the clause should be introduced by gar or de. The major uncial texts are divided between the first and third readings and the oldest papyrus text has the second reading. Hence, there is a good bit of uncertainty regarding exactly how this should read. The problem is caused by the meaning of the phrase being dubious; the scribes probably emended the text to make the sense of the passage clearer. Another suggestion is that this phrase is a gloss transferred from the margin of the text, a not very likely possibility because of the uncertainty of its meaning. Two explanations of this verse are worthy of our attention. These two positions are summarized for us as follows: So far as can be determined from the rather uncertain text, the equating of Hagar with Sinai is suggested either by the location of Sinai in Arabia, the land of Ishmael and his progeny, or by the linguistic similarity of an Arabian word hajar (rock or cliff), with which certain place names on the Sinaitic peninsula seem to be related (Theological Dictionary New Testament, 1:56).

The two positions then are as follows: (1) Paul is arguing that the word Hagar sounds like an Arabian term used to refer to a mountain in the Sinai peninsula; (2) Paul is arguing that Sinai is located in the land possessed by the descendants of Ishmael. In arguing against the first interpretation, Lightfoot seems correct in charging that it is not likely that Paul would have expected the Greek-speaking Galatians to have understood his meaning if he were arguing that the word Hagar sounds like hagar in Arabian speech. Secondly, the proof that hagar was ever used to refer to Mt. Sinai is rather uncertain. The evidences that have been cited are Chrysostom in the fourth century and a Bohemian traveler of the year 1598 (Lightfoot 195). Neither is evidence of what was current in Paul's day. The weakness of these two arguments is sufficient reason for rejecting this explanation. The other interpretation simply has Paul further identifying who Hagar represents in the allegory. To Hagar (this Hagar) identifies Hagar, not as the woman, but as the Hagar of the allegory.

His argument is that Mt. Sinai is located in Arabia, the land inherited by the descendants of Ishmael and outside the limits of Canaan, the land of promise. This ties Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Law to the side of Ishmael rather than to Isaac. And answereth to Jerusalem which now is. The word answereth means "to stand or march in the same row with ... hence to stand over against, be parallel with." The word was used to refer to a file of soldiers. It shows that Mt. Sinai stands on the side of Ishmael and not on the side of Isaac. (Galatians, Mike Willis,1994 AD, Gal 4:25) 6. ""one [covenant coming] from Mount Sinai..., that is Hagar; but Mount Sinai lies in Arabia, yet it corresponds to the present Jerusalem": This is the reading of the oldest Pauline manuscript. (P46) and it is supported by several others. Another well attested reading is: "Now Hagar means Mt. Sinai in Arabia." In either case, wishing to emphasize that the slavery the Law introduced was the condition of the rejected son of Abraham, Paul identifies Hagar with the Sinai pact and the "present Jerusalem." Verse 25a is a geographical detail explaining how Hagar, although connected with a holy place outside of the Promised Land, is yet equated with the "present Jerusalem."

Geographically, Hagar represents a place in Arabia, but even so she stands for enslavement and so corresponds to Jerusalem. But why does Paul mention Arabia at all? possibly because Mt. Sinai is in Arabia, which is Ishmaelite territory: he thus associates the Sinai pact with the eponymous patriarch of Arabian tribes (see Gn 25:12-18; Ps 82:7). He thus suggests that the Law itself stems from a situation extrinsic to the promised Land and to the real descendants of Abraham. Paul's Jewish colleagues would not have been happy with this allegory. (The Jerome Biblical commentary, Brown, R. E., Fitzmyer, J. A., & Murphy, R. E. 1968 AD, Gal 4:25) 7. "In this case the actual meaning of Paul's typology is more evident than the historical referent that lies behind it. On what basis could Paul equate Hagar with Mount Sinai, and why did he make the seemingly gratuitous allusion to Arabia? After all, Paul was not giving a geography lesson or writing a travel guide for visitors to the Holy Land. Some have pointed to the similarity in sound between the name Hagar and a similar Semitic word meaning "rock" or "crag."

It is more likely, however, that Paul was here reflecting a certain geographical orientation acquired during his earlier sojourn in Arabia (cf. 1:17). According to Gen 25 (vv. 6, 18), Hagar and Ishmael were expelled to "the land of the East," that is, to the region later known as Arabia. The name Hagar also appears in other Old Testament texts (cf. 1 Cron 5:10, 19-20; Ps 83:6) to describe the geographical locality south of the Dead Sea and north of the Arabian peninsula. The word "Hagar" itself is still preserved in the name of the modern city of Chegra, located in what is today the extreme northwestern section of Saudi Arabia. According to certain ancient traditions, the mountain range near this vicinity was believed to be the site of Mount Sinai, where Moses received the law. Assuming that Paul had a certain local familiarity with this region and was cognizant of the popular traditions linking both the expulsion of Hagar and the giving of the law to this particular region, it is not surprising that he would have found a certain typological congruence in the identification of Hagar and Mount Sinai.

By emphasizing that Mount Sinai is in Arabia, the land of the Ishmaelites, Paul was preparing his readers for the dramatic reversal he was about to make in the received interpretation of the Sarah-Hagar analogy." (New American Commentary, George, T., 1994 AD, Gal 4:25) 8. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia (mount Sinai was then called Agar by the Arabians) (Matthew Henry, Gal 4:25) 9. "Arabia" included Mount Sinai, south of Judea, as well as the northward area mentioned in 1:17. The Nabataean Arabs were viewed as Ishmaelites, descendants of Hagar, in Paul's day, thus making the connection clearer to ancient readers familiar with eastern Mediterranean geography. (The IVP Bible background commentary, Keener, C. S., 1993 AD, Gal 4:25)

An Interview with Frank Moore Cross, Israelite Origins, Bible Review, Aug 1992

HS: Where is Midian?
FMC: Midian proper bordered Edom on the south and probably occupied part of the area that became southern Edom in what is now southern Transjordan. It also included the northwestern corner of the Hejaz; it is a land of formidable mountains as well as desert.

HS: In Saudi Arabia?

FMC: Yes. It is in the northwestern border area of what is now Saudi Arabia. I prefer to refer to it by the biblical term "Midian." Incidentally the Saudis will not permit excavation in this area despite efforts that Peter Parr and I conducted some years ago on behalf of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the British School of Archaeology.

HS: Isn't Midian traditionally placed in Sinai?

FMC: I should say rather that Sinai is placed in Midian.

HS: Are you saying that all scholars agree that Midian is south of the Jordanian-Saudi border?

FMC: I cannot say categorically all, but the consensus is that ancient Midian was south of Eilat on the Saudi side. Note too that tradition holds that the Midianites controlled routes north through Edom and Moab very much like the later Nabateans, and that Midian in Israel's earliest poetry is associated with Edom, Mt. Seir and Teman.

The notion that the "mountain of God" called Sinai and Horeb was located in what we now call the Sinai Peninsula has no older tradition supporting it than Byzantine times. It is one of the many holy places created for pilgrims in the Byzantine period.

HS: In the fourth century?

FMC: Yes.

HS: So you would place Sinai in what is today Saudi Arabia?

FMC: You haven't forgotten your skills in cross- (or Cross-) examination. Yes, in the northwestern corner of Saudi Arabia, ancient Midian. There is new evidence favoring this identification. In the late 1960s and 1970s when Israel controlled the Sinai Peninsula, especially in the period shortly before it was returned to Egypt, the peninsula was explored systematically and intensely by archaeologists. What they found for the 13th to 12th centuries B.C.E., b the era of Moses and Israel's entry into Canaan, was an archaeological blank save for Egyptian mining sites at Serabit el-Khadem and Timna (see photos of artifacts from Serabit el-Khadem and Timna) near Eilat. There was no evidence of settled occupation to be found. This proved true even at the site generally identified with Kadesh-Barnea ('Ein Qudeirat). It was not occupied until the tenth century B.C.E at the earliest, and its fortress was constructed only in the ninth century.

On the other hand, recent surveys of Midian have produced surprising discoveries of a developed civilization in precisely the period in question, the end of the Late Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age, the 13th to 12th centuries. 3 At Qurayyah archaeologists discovered a major fortified citadel, a walled village and extensive irrigation works (see photo of citadel at Qurayyah).

Characteristic pottery called Midianite ware—usually called Hejaz ware in Saudi journals—radiates out from the northern Hejaz into southern Transjordan and sites near Eilat, notably Timna. 

Extraordinarily enough, it is absent from the Sinai. In short we have a blank Sinai and a thriving culture in Midian in this era.
HS: Do you have any guess as to what mountain might be Mt. Sinai?

FMC: I really don't. There are several enormous mountains in what is now northwestern Saudi Arabia. Jebel el-Lawz is the highest of the mountains in Midian —8,465 feet—higher than any mountain in the Sinai Peninsula; but biblical Mt. Sinai need not be the highest of mountains. There is some reason to search for it in southern Edom, which was Midianite terrain before the expansion of the Edomites south. Archaic poetry in the Bible describes Yahweh as coming from Edom. For example, in Judges 5:1-31, the oldest of the biblical narrative songs (late 12th century B.C.E.), we read:

"When Thou Yahweh went forth from Seir, When Thou didst march forth from the highlands of Edom, Earth shook, mountains shuddered; Before Yahweh, Lord of Sinai, Before Yahweh God of Israel" (Judges 4-5).

And in the Blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:2-29), which is also very old, we read:
"Yahweh from Sinai came, He beamed forth from Seir upon us, He shone from Mount Paran" (Deuteronomy 33:2).

The name "Seir" refers of course to a mountainous district of Edom. The following verses are found in Habakkuk 3:3-7 (one of the oldest and most primitive hymns in the Hebrew Bible): 12
"Eloah (God) came from Teman,

The Holy One from Mount Paran. His majesty covered heaven, His praise filled the earth, He shone like a destroying fire... He stood and he shook earth, He looked and startled nations. Ancient mountains were shattered, Eternal hills collapsed, Eternal orbits were destroyed. The tents of Kushan shook, Tent curtains of the land of Midian."

I would argue that these archaic songs that locate Yahweh's movements in the southeast—in Edom/Seir/Teman/Midian/Cushan—are our most reliable evidence for locating Sinai/Horeb, the mountain of God. The search for origins, and reconstruction of history from material that arises in oral tradition, is always a precarious task. The singers of narrative poems—I speak of them as Epic sources—follow certain traditional patterns that include mythological elements. They do not contain what we would call history in the modern sense of that term. We are dealing with epic, which does not fit easily into either the genres of fiction or of history.

How can the historian ferret out valid historical memory in such traditional narrative? Perhaps he cannot. I am inclined to think, however, that when we can isolate old traditions that have no social function in later Israel, or actually flout later orthodoxy, that such traditions may preserve authentic historical memories, memories too fixed in archaic poetry to be revised out or suppressed.
(Israelite Origins, An Interview with Frank Moore Cross, Bible Review, Aug 1992)

"Although the heartland of the Arab nations was what is known today as Saudi Arabia, the Romans gave the name Arabia to a province of their empire which lay south and east of Palestine, in the corner of the Mediterranean world between Syria and Egypt. It comprehended the Negev, southern Syria, all of Jordan, and northwest Saudi Arabia." ... "when Augustus added to his realm the former kingdom of Judaea as a province under equestrian procurators, there remained in the circuit of imperial provinces along the desert's edge only the space extending across the Sinai, from Egypt into and encompassing the Negev, together with the entire territory of Transjordan, from the Syrian Hawran to the Gulf of 'Aqaba. It was this substantial tract that Trajan annexed in A. D. 106 under the name of the province of Arabia. This was Roman Arabia, as distinct from the land of incense and perfume in the south of the [Arabian] peninsula, which was known as the kingdom of Saba, or, to the Romans, Arabia Felix." (G. W. Bowersock, Roman Arabia, 1983, p 1-2)

Josephus in refuting Apion, actually hurts those who attempt to make Paul's statement of Mt. Sinai being in Arabia. (Gal 4:25) Notice that Apion did not believe that the modern Sinai Peninsula was part of Arabia: "Moses went up to a mountain that lay between Egypt and Arabia, which was called Sinai" (Josephus, Against Apion 2-3)

Four false arguments. Even if these false arguments were true, Midian, where Mt. Al-Lawz is located, has always been Arabia.

1. "Arabia" in Paul's thinking included the "Sinai" peninsula. 2. In 50 AD. the general Roman population understood that Arabia included "Sinai" peninsula. 3. Writing to many churches in Roman Galatia, Paul used modern (50 AD) Roman definitions of Arabia, not Jewish. 4. Moses never used the word Arabia, so Paul had no choice to but use modern Roman definitions of Arabia.

Arabia in the Old Testament was well defined to include Midian and east of the Arabah Valley where Edom lived. It clearly excluded the Sinai Peninsula: 1 Chron 1:29-31 tells us that Kedar and Tema were sons of Ishmael who lived in Midian (Arabia) and that Dedan, was associated with Arabia, Edom, Kedar, Tema in Jeremiah 25:23-24; 49:7-8. So from a strictly Bible definition Arabia specifically excluded the Sinai Peninsula:

1. "besides that from the traders and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the country. " 1 Kings 10:15 2. "besides that which the traders and merchants brought; and all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon." 2 Chronicles 9:14 3. "The oracle about Arabia. In the thickets of Arabia you must spend the night, O caravans of Dedanites. " Isaiah 21:13 4. "Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who cut the corners of their hair, and all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who dwell in the desert" Jeremiah 25:23-24 5. "Dedan traded with you in saddlecloths for riding. Arabia and all the princes of Kedar, they were your customers for lambs, rams and goats; for these they were your customers. " Ezekiel 27:21 6. "Then the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs who bordered the Ethiopians; " 2 Chronicles 21:16

The New Testament uses Arabia only twice by Paul in the same book of Galatians! If we let the Bible define Arabia, from the specific information provided, Mt. Sinai cannot be in the Sinai Peninsula.
The Allegory in fact uses three words Moses never heard of:

1. Jerusalem: first used in 1406 BC in Josh 10:1 2. Jew: First used in 532 BC in 2 Kings 25:25 3. Arabia, Arab: First used in 1000 BC in 2 Chronicles 9:14; 1 Kings 10:15

Paul used Hebrew not Roman references because the entire book is written to prove that Jews must give up the law of Moses given at Mt. Sinai. He makes a very strong appeal to Hebrew tradition in the opening chapter: Gal 1:13-18. Remember, the Hebrew Old Testament clearly defines Arabia as excluding the Sinai Peninsula and the New Testament uses Arabia only twice by Paul in the same book of Galatians! First he says he spent three years in Arabia immediately after his conversion, then says Mt. Sinai is in Arabia. The inference, of course, is that just like Moses and Elijah, Paul spent personal time with God on Mt. Sinai. If we let the Bible define Arabia, from the specific information provided, Mt. Sinai cannot be in the Sinai Peninsula.

                                                                     Sinai in Saudi

Hagri (1), Hagrite (1), Hagrites (4)

1 Chron 5:10 ...of Saul they made war with the Hagrites, who fell by their hand, so that... 1 Chron 5:19 They made war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab.

1 Chron 5:20 ...They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were ...
1 Chron11:38 ...the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Hagri,

1 Chron 27:31 Jaziz the Hagrite hadcharge ofthe flocks.All these ... Ps83:6 ...the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites.

Dismissing Jewish refugees — a case of moral evasion

I recently had the misfortune of reading Daniel Haboucha’s screed here at The Times of Israel against Israel’s new campaign to raise awareness of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Haboucha’s piece dismisses as an exercise in cynicism Israel’s decision to bring attention to the plight of the 800,000-900,000 Jews that were expelled from Arab countries following the establishment of Israel in 1948. To Haboucha, it is Zionism that is to blame for the fate of these Jews. Zionism is also, in Haboucha’s opinion, to blame for the plight of Palestinians, i.e., “the ongoing, collective trauma of an entire nation being dispossessed of its homeland.”

Haboucha’s thesis is untenable, and his piece is a shameful endorsement of the Arab states’ cynical use of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

Haboucha starts by informing us that his family was “forced to leave Egypt in the early 1960s, abandoning… much of their property. Their traumatic uprooting after centuries of life in the Middle East is an egregious example of systemic religious persecution, and one that unquestionably merits redress.” And yet, Haboucha spends the rest of his long-winded diatribe effectively arguing against any viable means of achieving that redress. Why? Because, as he would have it, “inviting comparisons between [his] ‘plight’ [as a Canadian citizen] today and the plight of a Palestinian… who grew up in a refugee camp is both absurd and unlikely to play well for Israel.”

In fact, the “plight” of Haboucha can and should be compared to that of Palestinians in camps in Arab countries, and that should play very well for Israel by exposing its foes’ cruel cynicism.

                                 A Jewish girl from Yemen in the Beit Lid refugee camp in 1950

The Palestinians presently in camps in Arab states are not refugees. They are the descendants – after three or more generations – of refugees, just like Haboucha. Unlike Haboucha, however, they have been eternally confined to refugee status not by Israel but by the refusal of Arab leaders to integrate them into the countries in whose territories they are located. The Palestinians that Haboucha refers to have been deprived by their own brothers of any chance to better their lives and are made to suffer veritable apartheid in Arab countries. They have passed on their refugee status, in contrast to every other group of refugees on earth, from generation to generation, their children thus inheriting the Pyrrhic benefit of UN dependence and eternal grievance. If their plight is deplorable it is solely because the Arab world and the UN have engineered it to be so. Haboucha’s refusal to investigate the plight of Palestinians in camps rewards the Arab states by shielding them from their direct responsibility for that plight.

Haboucha then tries to inform his readers of a supposed Israeli responsibility in creating the Palestinian refugee problem. We are told that Yitzhak Rabin “personally oversaw the expulsion of nearly 70,000 Palestinian civilians from Lydda and Ramle during a week of fighting in June 1948.” Also, Haboucha alleges that, “in drawing a direct parallel between the Jews who were forcibly dispossessed by Arab governments and the Palestinians, the Israeli government finally appears to be acknowledging its role in creating the Palestinian refugee crisis, with all of the political and diplomatic consequences this implies.”

Slowly, Haboucha is working his way to a PLO-worthy narrative (his article was in fact sent out to the mailing list of the PLO Department of Culture and Information with the subject line “worth reading”). What he is really trying to say is that Israel bears responsibility for the War of 1948 because that war is what created the refugee problem. Or maybe he just doesn’t realize that in war, shit happens. People die. Others are displaced. Wars are ugly and should only be turned to as a last resort. And that is why in its very Declaration of Independence, Israel first sued for peace and called on the Palestinian Arabs not to leave but rather to remain within the Jewish state as citizens and as equals:

WE APPEAL — in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months — to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.
                                                                     Woman of Nazareth

WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

As a consequence of this invitation, Israel today counts over one million Israeli Arab citizens, including judges, ministers, parliamentarians, diplomats and military officers. That is hardly the mark of a country bent on expelling Arabs.

And the Arabs could have established the first state of “Palestine” in history next to Israel. They could have made a counter-offer. They could even have flooded young Israel with Arab immigrants. Instead, the Palestinians and allied Arab armies launched a war of genocidal aggression on the Jews. “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades,” declared Azzam Pasha, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, of the War of 1948.

                                             Israeli Arabic speaking towns & villages

And so, with Europe’s crematoria still smoldering, the Jews — including many refugees from the Holocaust, a genocide they knew had been supported by Palestinian leadership — were forced to fight local Arab militias and five armies for their very existence, alone. And some Palestinians — about 70 000 – 100 000, it is true — were pushed out of their homes in the ensuing melee, homes that had often served as bases for attacks on civilian aid convoys from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. What Haboucha doesn’t mention is that thousands of Jewish inhabitants were also expelled by the advancing Arab armies, for instance from the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and from the Gush Etzion bloc of villages south of Jerusalem, both of which were completely destroyed.

In what would amount to gross legal malpractice, Haboucha mentions none of these crucial details. He makes no distinction between, on the one hand, the mass expulsion and dispossession of close to one million Jews from Arab countries based on their religion alone, and, on the other, the displacement of 650,000 Arabs pursuant to their own, war of aggression against genocide survivors. In his account, the Arabs are in no way responsible, despite having started the war that caused the refugee problem and despite keeping those refugees in captivity for generations. It is on Rabin — himself a refugee from Jerusalem who was defending his people from Jordanian aggression — that blame must fall. I wonder if Haboucha will teach this moral evasion to his children.

                                                          Jewish refugees en route to Israel

Regardless, the responsibility for the Palestinian refugee problem lies strictly with the Arab leaders who initiated a war for no other reason than chauvinist folly, a war that brought nothing but suffering to Israelis and Palestinians alike.

As the article makes clear, Haboucha’s grievance is with Jewish self-determination itself: Israel’s founders knew long before 1948 that the establishment of a Jewish state in the heart of the Arab world would spell catastrophe… Zionism transformed Jews in Arab countries from members of a deeply rooted religious minority into “enemy nationals.” When made aware of the impending danger faced by the Jews of Iraq in the 1940s due to mounting hostility toward Zionism, David Ben Gurion felt responsible for the harm he suspected would befall them; he referred to these Arab Jews as potential “victims” of the Zionist movement.

A number of fallacies are trafficked in this passage. First, long before 1948, Naboucha’s “Arab world” was in fact Turkish. And it included areas that are today “Arab” merely by dint of colonialism. Naboucha’s “Arab world” is in reality also Maronite, Assyrian, Coptic, Kurdish, Amazigh, Kabyle, Berber. And Jewish. Those indigenous populations would recoil if told that their lands were Arab, and his use of that term is a legitimization of the ongoing suppression of indigenous Middle-Eastern peoples by Arab states.

Similarly, Haboucha’s use of the trendy if nonsensical term “Arab Jew” is also heavily ideological. Haboucha should know that Jews in North Africa and the Middle East, like Christians, long predate the Arab invasions. Genetic studies have recently shown limited to no mixing with the Arab occupiers throughout the centuries. There were cultural differences as well. To use the term “Arab Jew” in that manner is to suggest that Zionism denatured Jews and turned them from Arabs into the “enemies” of Arabs. By fabricating an idyllic, pre-Zionist Middle East and by accusing Zionism of inventing Jewish peoplehood, Haboucha aligns his article with revisionist PLO pamphlets. And he denies to Jews the very peoplehood that he assumes for Palestinians.

As if on cue, Haboucha then starts to blame the violence that scared many Jews into leaving Arab countries in the 1950s on the Jews themselves.

The geographical name data for Khazar in Iraq, near Turkish & Syrian borders, not far from the former Khazarian Jewish Empire

Similarly, Jewish emigration from Iraq accelerated in 1951 after the bombing of a synagogue; this act was blamed at the time (by British consular officials and many Iraqi Jews) on Zionist agents. To my knowledge, there is no conclusive evidence supporting this claim, yet it is lent credibility by the recent admission by a former member of the Iraqi Zionist underground that members of his group did employ such tactics.

This is not wholly different from blaming the Holocaust on Jews. Maybe Mr. Haboucha should be reminded of the Farhoud massacre, or all of the other massacres of Jews that occurred in the Middle East before 1948. In any case, it is risible that an attorney would make a case on less than a handful of anecdotes –some, by his own admission, wholly unsupported – in order to speak for, against and over the testimony of hundreds of thousands of dispossessed Jews from Arab states and their official representatives.

But Haboucha’s argument that the Jewish refugees are victims of Zionism (and not of the Arab states that made them into refugees) becomes even more flimsy as the article goes on. He states:
Compounding their hardships, Arab Jews who settled in Israel were subjected to deep systemic discrimination, economically disenfranchised, and treated as culturally inferior. This phenomenon is still something of a sore wound in Israel, and is documented extensively in an emerging field of literature.

If Jewish refugees from Arab countries continued to suffer in Israel it is all the more reason to seek redress from those who, by expelling them, caused that suffering. And if Zionism is responsible for alleged discrimination in imperfectly integrating Sephardic refugees into Israel, then it is similarly the Arabs – and not Israel – who must be held to account for the ongoing suffering of Palestinian refugees and their descendants in their midst. I’ll add that to make his point that Sephardic Jews were discriminated against in Israel, Haboucha quotes lyrics from a Moroccan Israeli wedding band. That alone should be enough to discredit his article. But there is, unfortunately, more.

Having just told us that Sephardic refugees were treated as second-class citizens in Israel, and were therefore victims of Zionism, Haboucha reverses himself and informs us that, no, Zionism actually treated the Jewish refugees as compatriots, and they are therefore not refugees:

Mizrahim who settled in Israel were treated at the time by the government — at both a legal and a rhetorical level — not as refugees who had been forced from their homeland, but as compatriots returning to their homeland after years in exile. Ayalon’s initiative prompted Palestinian-Israeli member of parliament Ahmed Tibi to ask glibly, “How many homelands do [Jews] get to have?”
Let us skip over the fact that he is choosing to quote Ahmed Tibi – an elected lawmaker in Israel’s parliament who found it acceptable to also serve as adviser to arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat —on the issue of dual loyalties. Let us also gloss over the fact that people today often have two or even three homelands. Haboucha’s main assertion here is that because the expelled Jews immigrated to Israel rather than to another country, they are not refugees. This is absurd.

A refugee is someone who has been forced to leave his or her country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. That definition doesn’t change if those fleeing end up in a good place and manage to build a better life for themselves.

To Haboucha, however, refugee status and the concomitant pity that it commands are to be granted not to those who have been forced from their homes but rather to those who have been abused by their adoptive countries. Jews are not refugees to Haboucha, because they chose to go to Israel after being expelled and now are part of the fabric of that state. The Palestinians and their descendants, however, are refugees because they are still being mistreated and excluded from their adoptive countries. This is akin to saying that those who fled Nazi Germany early in the war were not refugees by virtue of the fact that they ended up on American soil where they thrived.

It is to turn the concept of refugee on its head.

The only legally and morally salient point is that up to 900,000 Jews were forced to leave because of persecution, not on their own terms, and not with their possessions. Where they chose to go once expelled and whether that aligned with Zionism or not is of no consequence in determining whether they deserve redress for their trauma and losses. If Israel treated refugees as compatriots because its founding ideology welcomes immigrants, that does not in any way change the fact that these people were refugees. Indeed in the very next paragraph, Haboucha yet again contradicts himself by asserting, plainly, that “most of the Arab Jews who left their home countries did not leave voluntarily.”

Haboucha, by using Israel’s compassionate welcoming of Jewish refugees against it, does nothing but reward the Arab states for their ongoing mistreatment of Palestinians. No good deed goes unpunished in the twisted mind of this bien pensant:

Whether they were primarily victims of Zionism, as Ben Gurion wrote, or of Arab governments, as Ayalon now argues, is largely a moot point, however, given that none of those Jews are refugees today. They have all been settled for decades in their adoptive countries and, for the most part, don’t look back.

Had the Arabs also integrated those Palestinians displaced by their own leaders’ madness, they too may have had good lives today; they too would have been settled for decades; they too would not have looked back. But they are not integrated. They are kept angry and trapped in camps because their fury deflects attention from those who rightfully deserve to be its object.

The “collective trauma” of the Palestinians endures not because of some Israeli sin of existence, as Haboucha almost spells out, or because of a self-inflicted “Nakba.” It exists and endures is because the Palestinians insist on establishing a state and at the same time rejecting every single offer that would allow them to do so without causing — in Haboucha’s words — the veritable “ongoing, collective trauma of an entire nation being dispossessed of its homeland,” i.e., Israel’s destruction. In light of that, Haboucha’s piece is nothing but an endorsement of the Arab states’ cynical abuse of Palestinians and their descendants as pawns. It not only ignores the Arabs’ guilt in expelling close to one million innocents from Arab states because of the crime of their Judaism; it also absolves them from any guilt in causing the Palestinian refugee problem by choosing war over partition in 1948, and for keeping the Palestinians in suffering for political reasons ever since.

I too am the descendant of Jews forced to flee an Arab country after millennia, with only those possessions that could be smuggled out in the hollows of wooden coat-hangers. Daniel Haboucha does not speak for me.

Y-DNA Haplogroups links Nordic and Germanic People to Arabs and Jews

Haplogroups show that the original Nordic and Germanic stock genetically is closely related to Arabs and Jews.

What are Haplogroups?

Haplogroups (Hpg) are major branches on the Y chromosome tree. There are two kinds of Haplogroups:

Haplogroups for male Y-DNA which is passed on from father to son. Women do not have Y-DNA.
Haplogroups for female mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed on from mother to daughter, but which males also have from their mother but do pass on themselves to their children.
Y-DNA and mtDNA have separate nomenclatures. This study is only about male Y-DNA.

A person’s male Haplogroup only shows the Haplogroup of his paternal line of descent, i.e. his father, his father’s father, his father’s father’s father, etc. It doesn’t necessarily show the Haplogroups which the majority of the person’s ancestors belonged to. The study of Haplogroups therefore says more about populations than about individuals.

Haplogroup IJ

Y-DNA Hpg IJ is made up of Hpg I and J. Hpg I is divided into Hpg I1 and I2.

Hpg I1 is associated with the Nordic and Germanic peoples and where they have spread. I1 is most common in Scandinavia where 40% of the males belong to I1. Hpg I2 is found throughout Europe, except northern Europe, in most of the Middle East and the Magreb countries. Hpg I2 is most common on the Balkans.

                                                                   Y DNA Hpg I1

Hpg I1 is no doubt the same as the Nordic race of anthropology and I2 the same as the Dinaric race.

Hpg I is closest related to Hpg J, which is associated with Arabs, Jews and related peoples. Hpg J is common throughout the Arabic speaking world, Turkey, SE Europe, and Iran. Hpg J is most common on the SW part of the Arabian Peninsula. 82% of Yemenite Arabs belong to Hpg J. [i]
Left: Y DNA Hpg I1

Hpg I1 is no doubt the same as the Nordic race of anthropology and I2 the same as the Dinaric race.

Hpg I is closest related to Hpg J, which is associated with Arabs, Jews and related peoples. Hpg J is common throughout the Arabic speaking world, Turkey, SE Europe, and Iran. Hpg J is most common on the SW part of the Arabian Peninsula. 82% of Yemenite Arabs belong to Hpg J.[i]

Jewish Yemeni woman with bindi like forehead spot. Was this bindi the result of a strong contact between Yemenites (at least Jews) & Indians in the past?

The SW part of the Arabian Peninsula was also where Ishmael lived, according to the Quran 2:127 which say that Ishmael and Abraham built the foundations for the Ka’aba, the cube-shaped building in Mecca.[ii] Hpg J must therefore be Ishmael. Hpg I must be Isaac. Hpg IJ must be their father Abraham.

Non-IJ Europeans

Most Europeans belong to other Haplogroups than IJ. The most common Haplogroup in Europe is Hpg R1 which more than half of all Europeans belong to. In Western Europe the concentration of Hpg R1 is particularly high, reaching as high as 88% among the Basques and 79% of Ireland. Hpg R1 is also very common in India, Central Asia, and Iran. The distribution of Hpg R1 is by some believed to be connected with the spreading of the Indo-European languages.

According to geneticists Hpg IJ split into I and J app. 35,000-40,000 years ago and Hpg IJK split into Hpg IJ and Hpg K app. 40,000-45,000 years ago. Hpg K turned into several Haplogroups, including

Hpg P which split into

Hpg R (common among Indo-Europeans)
And Hpg Q (the most common among Native Americans)
And Hpg NO which split into

Hpg N (common among Finns, Estonians, northern Russians, and Ugric peoples)
and Hpg O (the most common among Chinese and other East Asians)
Haplogroups and the Bible

The dates at which geneticists say that the Haplogroups split from each other does present a problem. According to geneticists, the original Adam (“Y-chromosomal Adam”) lived 90,000-60,000 years ago. Bible students have on the other hand usually calculated the creation of Adam to have taken place app. 6,000 years ago. Why these two dates do not agree must for now remain an un-answered question.

God-fearing Christians should not put blind faith in science, as the apostle Paul wrote:

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science false so called” (1 Timothy 6:20

However, when tracing the descent of peoples and nations it would be a shame not to use Haplogroups simply because some of the geneticists’ conclusions.

Haplogroups and the exiled tribes of Israel

Biblical history, secular history, the fulfillment of Bible prophecies, along with much other evidence which now includes Haplogroups shows that the original Nordic and Germanic tribes were descendants of the lost tribes of Israel.

According to the Bible the majority of the 12 tribes of Israel were removed by the Assyrians in 721 BC to areas south of the Caucasus. Secular history such as the Icelandic historian Snorri Sturlasson (1178-1241) in The Chronicles of the Kings of Norway (app. 1220) traces the ancestors of the Nordic and Germanic peoples to areas south of the Caucasus.

A population with Hpg I1 therefore indicates that the population has ancestry from the exiled Israelites.

Haplogroups R, Q, N, and O could very well be descendants of Japheth, since they are found where descendants of Japheth are traced to.

Haplogroup I1 in Europe: statistics

Nowhere does a male population entirely consist of Hpg I1. Here is a list of Y-DNA Haplogroups of regions generally believed to have much Israelite ancestry:

Regions generally believed to be of Israelite origin have many males of Hpg I1, but also many of other Haplogroups. This indicates that the original Israelite stock in Europe is mixed with other nationalities, especially descendants of Japheth.

A Shabbat in Tunisia

A Shabbat in Djerba, Tunisia today still captures the spirit of Djerba's ancient Jewish settlers. Djerba, a small Tunisian, Mediterranean island, has been a Shabbat oasis since the first Jews arrived here 2600 years ago during the Babylonian Exile. Some say that the high priests (Cohanim) of the Second Temple in Jerusalem fled to Djerba when the holy city was destroyed in 70 C.E. One of Djerba's synagogues, called La Ghriba, was reputedly built upon a foundation laid around a door the Cohanim salvaged from the Temple. Legend has it the world's oldest Torah is hidden deep within La Ghriba's shadowy recesses. No one disputes the fact that La Ghriba stands on a site that has housed Jewish worship continuously for almost 2000 years.

More than 500 years ago, Spanish Jews pursued by the Inquisition joined the earlier refugees. Though persecution has flourished closer to Djerba's shores since 1948, with the Arab world's reaction to the State of Israel's creation, Shabbat remains a cherished time on Djerba, reminiscent of the island's heritage as a place where Jews found peace.

Dolly Haddad starts busily preparing to greet the Sabbath early Friday morning, seldom setting foot outside the kitchen. Her brief departures are only to summon one of her daughters to run to the store to pick up an ingredient. Young Helena Haddad always has Friday off from school because it is the Muslim day of rest. At her mother's call, Helena rushes out the door to maneuver the winding, sandy alleyways of Hara Kebira ("the large ghetto") to the small Arab grocery store. Once, the village of Hara Kebira was exclusively populated by Jews. Even today, 700 Jews live here - a majority of the inhabitants. The Arab shopkeeper sells Helena sugar and kosher hummus, and she hurries home to her mother.

Helena's father and older brother, Danny and Alex Haddad, spend Friday at their jewelry store in Houmt Souk, Djerba's main town, one kilometer from Hara Kebira. Just before sunset, the men wrap up the week's business and walk home. They arrive just in time to splash their faces with water drawn from the family's courtyard well, before crossing the street to begin evening services at the most convenient of Djerba's fourteen synagogues.

After services, the Haddads walk home to spend the evening with family visiting from France and Israel, washing down Dolly Haddad's spicy lamb, fish, eggplant, pepper and couscous creations with sweet Djerban wine. After munching piles of tiny black sunflower seeds for dessert, the family joins in traditional Arabic and Hebrew songs until they are too tired to keep their eyes open.

After growing up in the traditional Djerban Jewish town of Hara Kebira, many Djerban’s leave their families to travel or study abroad, often in France or Israel. Many Djerban families expect their children to study abroad and they do want to increase opportunity for them by allowing them to do so. However, Djerbans realize that fewer and fewer of their native sons and daughters return after their studies to settle on the remote island.
Noted ud player Yaacov B’chiri is the elder cantor of the Djerban Jewish community. B’chiri performs both Jewish and Arabic music, often blending Arab melodies into Jewish songs like the Hatikvah or singing Hebrew words to traditional Arabic music. Most Djerban Jews are trilingual, speaking fluent Arabic, French and Hebrew, so B’chiri can always find an audience for his multilingual music.

The many archways and ornate tiles adorning Djerba, Tunisia's fourteen synagogues evoke the flamboyant style of Muslim mosques more than they resemble traditional Jewish temples.

Djerba Jews pray on a sultry Friday afternoon in one of Hara Kebira's fourteen active synagogues.
Hara Kebira was once among several Jewish villages on the island of Djerba, off the coast of Tunisia, where the Jewish community first settled 2600 years ago during the Babylonian Exile. Today, Hara Kebira is not only the last predominantly Jewish village on the island --it is the last one in North Africa. The village's existence recalls a former age, as does its lifestyle. While these men in traditional Djerba dress spend their hours in prayer and study, their wives are at home, preparing for Shabbat.

On Friday afternoon, the old men in one of Hara Kebira's many synagogues nod off in the stifling heat, waking periodically to chant or argue Talmud. Suddenly, a Djerba boy showing tsit-tsit (fringes of an undershirt prayer shawl) runs into the doorway, looking for his friend. "Mikhael!" he yells into the sanctuary. The learned scholars do not even seem to notice. While waiting for friend Mikhael to retrieve the soccer ball, the boy observes with curiosity a foreigner behind him in the street. Pointing to his head, the boy addresses the man inquisitively, "Kipah?" stating the Hebrew word for yarmulke or skullcap. Growing up on an island, in the last Jewish village in North Africa, and spending his youth in cheder (Hebrew school), the boy is confused. He seems to wonder, "This man does not look like an Arab, yet he wears no kipah like the Jewish men. Should I invite him to play or not?"


(Turk. Engürü, Rom. Ancyra, med. Angora), capital of the Republic of Turkey since 1923. A trading center on the trade route to Persia and the Far East, it was a way station for Jewish merchants. A few settled there permanently. After the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, the number of Jewish settlers increased.

Exiles in large numbers arrived in Ankara, and on their initiative two organized communities (Spanish and Portuguese), which also included the city's previous Jewish inhabitants, were established. The two communities united in the mid-16th century. They numbered 231 Jews in the 1520s and 747 in the 1570s.

The Jews of Ankara engaged in the silk trade, ordering wares from Persia and selling them throughout Turkey, and some merchants became wealthy. The rabbis of Safed decided that the rabbis in Ankara could not be depended on in profound matters of halakhah requiring detailed knowledge, but Moses de Boton and David ha-Kohen, who were consulted by several communities in the vicinity, were exceptions.

The community dwindled as a result of the plague of 1672. In the 18th century, when prosperity returned, a permanent religious court which also supervised communal arrangements was established; business expanded and commercial ties were formed between Ankara and other commercial towns.

In the 19th century there were no decisive changes in the economic situation, but the intellectual level of the community declined, and many Jews left the town. Migration after World War II reduced the Jewish population from 1,500 to 800. There was a certain subsequent increase and in 1968 it numbered 1,000, but in 2005 it was estimated that only 700–800 Jews live there.


Ababda is easily derived from the Hebrew word ABAB plus the suffix "da" added.

Abib 'abib (Hebrew) [from the verbal root ABAB to be fresh, green; to blossom, bear fruit] Ear or sprout (of grain); first month of the Hebrew sacred year, equivalent to March-April and beginning with the new moon. Hodesh ha-'abib was the "month of green corn"; later, after the exile, called Nisan during which the vernal equinox was celebrated.

Abib \a"bib\ (&?;), n. [heb. abīb, lit. an ear of corn. the month was so called from barley being at that time in ear.] the first month of the jewish ecclesiastical year, corresponding nearly to our april. after the babylonish captivity this month was called nisan.

Tel-Abib (ancient Israel had one town with this name, & modern Israel has one city with the same name, but different spelling: Tel Aviv)

Aviv has several related meanings in Hebrew: The basic meaning of the word aviv is the stage in the growth of grain when the seeds have reached full size and are filling with starch, but have not dried yet. During the plague of hail (Exodus ), the barley was said to be aviv and the flax giv`ol. The month in the Hebrew calendar when the barley has reached or passed this stage ( ) is called Aviv, or the "month of the aviv": the seventh of the Jewish civil year, and the first of the Biblical ecclesiastical year. It begins about the time of the Northern spring equinox (March 21). Since the Babylonian captivity, this month has mainly been called Nisan ( ).
On the sixteenth day of the month, harvest was begun by gathering a sheaf of barley, which was offered as a sacrifice to God , when the Temple in Jerusalem existed. "Aviv" accordingly also means spring, one of the four seasons. Thus the major modern Israeli city of Tel Aviv means "Spring Hill". Since Passover is always celebrated on 15–21 (or 22 outside Israel) Nisan, near the beginning of spring, "Holiday of Aviv". Pesach or Passover is always on the 14th of Nisan. The first day of Chag ha Matzoh or the Feast of Unleavened Bread is always the day after that, the 15th of Nisan. is an additional name for Passover. Aviv is also a Hebrew male given name (the female equivalent is Aviva) for example: Aviv Geffen, an Israeli rock musician, singer, songwriter Aviv, a documentary on the life of Aviv Geffen Aviv Maayan, an Israeli-Welsh professional wrestler.

green fruit; ears of corn
(n.) The first month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, corresponding nearly to our April. After the Babylonish captivity this month was called Nisan.

An ear of corn, the month of newly-ripened grain (Ex. 13:4; 23:15); the first of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and the seventh of the civil year. It began about the time of the vernal equinox, on 21st March. It was called Nisan, after the Captivity (Neh. 2:1). On the fifteenth day of the month, harvest was begun by gathering a sheaf of barley, which was offered unto the Lord on the sixteenth (Lev. 23:4-11).

Christians in the Holy Land: Don’t Call Us Arabs

If Israel would throw its full weight behind its Christian citizens and demonstrate zero tolerance for anti-Aramean incitement, the numbers would increase even more dramatically.

It’s easy to be cynical about Israel’s acceptance of Aramaic identity. The disparaging version, sometimes offered in the international press, goes something like this: In order to guarantee their future hegemony, Jewish Israelis are pursuing a strategy of divide-and-conquer toward the state’s Arab minority. Having succeeded in co-opting the Druze and Circassians, the Israeli government has recognized Aramean identity in order to divide Christian Arabs from Muslim Israelis. This conspiracy theory can only sustain itself, however, by ignoring the context of the current Middle East. As The American Spectator reported in 2012, “There has been a flowering of non-Arab identity among the region’s Christians.” And one thing these various awakenings have in common is an emphasis on reviving the Aramaic language. Interestingly, inspiration for that revival comes—to a certain degree—from Israel and Zionism. According to David Dag, an Aramean activist living in Sweden, “If Israel could be revived, why not Aram?” Shadi Chaloul says, “We were inspired by the reviver of the Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda.”

But the assertion of non-Arab identities is not limited to Aramean Christians. If one steps back and looks at the “Arab world” as a whole, one can see minorities from North Africa to Iraq emancipating themselves from what they believe to be an imposed Arab identity. Consider the Berbers, a people indigenous to North Africa whose presence long predates the Muslim conquest. After 14 centuries of Arab hegemony, denial of the Berbers’ cultural and linguistic rights is still the norm. For example, while 10 percent of the Libyan population is Berber, under the Qaddafi regime, it was illegal to give children non-Arabic names. Needless to say, things haven’t gotten much better during the chaos that followed Qaddafi’s fall from power. In Algeria, 25 percent of the population is Berber, but Arabic remains the state’s only official language. Oppressed by the country’s Arab majority, Algerian Berbers openly identify with the Jewish people and express their admiration for Israel. It is illegal to give children non-Arabic names in Morocco as well, even though the population is 10 percent Berber. Nevertheless, a Berber-Jewish friendship association was established in 2008, and the association’s head, Ahmed Adghirni, openly defended the group in a televised debate with an Algerian pan-Arabist.

                                         Pregnant Mary with Joseph going to Bethlehem

“Arab identity” is something particular to Arabs, and does not concern the Amazigh [Berbers] or North Africans of other identities. … For the Jews too, Arab identity is of no concern. … If only the Arabs had believed in friendship with the Jews all these years, we would not be seeing rivers of blood flowing among the Arabs themselves, or between the Arabs and the Jews. … I find it objectionable that anyone … could have an aversion to the word “friendship.”

Moving east, consider the case of the Egyptian Copts. They are direct descendants of the civilization that built the pyramids, and practitioners of one of the world’s most ancient forms of Christianity. Their language is all that remains of the ancient Egyptian tongue. Despite the fact that Copts constitute 10 percent of Egypt’s population, Egypt calls itself the “Arab Republic of Egypt,” and during the heyday of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arabism in the 1950s and ‘60s, the brief union between Egypt and Syria was named “The United Arab Republic.” Today, however, Copts such as the poet Fatima Naoot like to remind Egyptians that her people lived in Egypt long before Arabs left the Arabian Peninsula, and that Copts were forced to adopt the Arabic language.

A study shows that both the Arabs of Israel and the Jews are descended from the land of Aram in Babylon – the birthplace of the Patriarch Abraham.

Genetic Studies of Jews & Modern Assyrians

The closest genetic relationships of the Assyrians are with the native populations of Jordan and Iraq. In point of fact, however, all of the seven populations of interest are quite close to each other. There are no wide separations between any of them. This despite the fact that they contain members of three major language families: Indo-European (Iranian, Kurdish), Turkic (Turkish) and Semitic (Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese - Arabic; Assyrian - Aramaic). "In spite of the complex history of the Middle East and the great number of internal group migrations revealed by history, as well as the mosaic of cultures and languages, the region is relatively homogeneous" [genetically].

The latter point is also made in studies of Jews. Based on earlier studies using classical genetic methods, Cavalli-Sforza et al. came to the conclusion "that Jews have maintained considerable genetic similarity among themselves and with people from the Middle East, with whom they have common origins." Evidence for the the latter concept was very convincingly made and extended by an international team of scientists in a very recent research article8 ,widely reported in the press, in which the genetics of different Middle Eastern populations were studied using a completely different method than the classical methods that form the great majority of papers in the Cavalli-Sforza et al book.

The research involved direct DNA analysis of the Y chromosome, which is found only in males and is passed down from father to son. Seven different Jewish groups from communities in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East were compared to various non-Jewish populations from those areas. The results showed, first of all, that "Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level." Furthermore, the genetic characteristics of Jews were shown to be distinctly different from (non-Jewish) Europeans, suggesting that very little admixture occurred between Jews and Europeans, even after about 80 generations of Jews in Europe.

There was a similar distinct difference between Jews and North Africans. In striking contrast, there was an "extremely close affinity of Jewish and non-Jewish Middle Eastern populations [Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, Druze, Saudi Arabians] observed here ...[that] supports the hypothesis of a common Middle Eastern origin" of these populations dating back about 4,000 years. The differences between the populations were not statistically significant, demonstrating once again the close genetic relationship of Middle Eastern populations to each other. In fact, the Palestinians and Syrians were so close to the Jews in genetic characteristics that they "mapped within the central cluster of Jewish populations." As one of the Israeli scientists on the team said, "Eventually people will realize that they are not that different." Peace through Genetics?

Petra Was Part of the Kingdom of Israel

The Nabataean civilization flourished for a time in the region near the old Promised Land in which the ancient biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah were once located. The region including Petra was ruled by Kings David and Solomon during the time of the United Kingdom of Israel.

                                                           Royal Grant to Abraham

After the split of the Israelite tribes into the two separate kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the region around Petra would have periodically been ruled or dominated by the kingdom of Judah, which experienced resurgences in power and scope during the reign of its righteous kings. It should be pointed out; however, that the famous ancient structures at the modern Petra site would not have existed during the time of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

The Nabataean civilization came into being after the province of Judea was founded in the old Persian Empire during the time when remnants of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi returned to Jerusalem and its environs under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah in the 5th century BC (Ezra 1-2). The Judeans that resettled the region of Jerusalem and part of the old Promised Land certainly knew about the Nabataeans and likely traded with them as they lived in the same region of the Mideast.

Some Palestinians Want to Return to Observant Judaism

South of Hevron, in Yatta, there is a large formerly-Jewish presence – and some even want to return to active Judaism. It is widely known there that half the residents are of the originally-Jewish Mahamra clan – a name that means “winemaker,” a trade that is forbidden according to Islam. “The people in these areas converted to Islam later in history,” MiSinai says, “and therefore more customs and knowledge and artifacts have been preserved.” These include Jewish stars over the entrances to homes, while in at least one house, the family has hidden a mezuzah and tefillin in creative hiding spots. One man pulled out a small Hebrew booklet of Psalms and Tanya with which he says he continues to secretly pray.

Miro Cohen, a Jew from Tekoa, in eastern Gush Etzion, is very friendly with the Arabs in a nearby village known as Kawazbe – a name that he and they agree is merely a corruption of Kuzeiba, the original name of the famous Bar Kokhba.

                     Palestinian women dancing for harvest like their Hebrew ancestors did

“These people are the descendants of Bar Kokhba,” Cohen declares. One Arab sitting with him can count his ancestors eight generations back, ending with a grandfather named Kawazbeh. Another village elder says openly that his grandfather was a Jew who converted to Islam. Some of the residents want to return to Judaism; they don’t call it converting, because they are “already Jewish.” On the other hand, Arabs with the name Kawazbeh have been arrested for terrorist activity against Israel.

Other areas where Arabs of Jewish descent reside are Kfar Anzah in Samaria, Samoa in southern Judea, villages in the Tel Arad area, and more. Rabbi Stein says, “We know that up to about 200 years ago, the Galilee village of Sakhnin was a Jewish town, with an active synagogue. The Turks pressured them to convert to Islam, but the people there know that they are of Jewish origins.”

Al-Mansi, Ayn al-Mansi & al-Mansi

"Mansi" or "al-Mansi" was a village in  pre-independent Israel. Hebrew didn't have vowels really because of being a Semitic language. So the word "Manassah" sometimes has been transliterated as "Manasseh", "Menasheh...

The consonants MNS are also in name Mansi, so it could also have the same origin. Looking at the map there's a village called "Mansi" or "al-Mansi" & it is in the territory that in tribal Israel was given to the tribe of Manassah. This village Arab's name is translated as "The Forgotten" so Mansi means "Forgotten" because "al" means "the" in Arabic. And "Forgetting" is the same meaning of the Hebrew name Manashe. In al-Mansi's surroundings there was another village named al-Mansi & another was known as "Ayn al-Mansi". Ayn al-Mansi is translated in Arabic as "Forgotten Well", once again with the same meaning.

                                                                      Pyramids in Egypt

There's a town in Egypt called al-Manashi or simply Manashi. This could easily be identified with Manasha or Manashe, son of Joseph & grand-child of Israel. Joseph's children Manashe & Ephraim were Egyptian borne Israelites. Perhaps the town was called after him.

Mansi is a Jewish Italian last name as well.

The Sawarka Bedouin Jews

One place where MiSinai has apparently found very strong Jewish roots is in the Bedouin tribe known as the Sawarka. There are about 3-4,000 of them throughout the Sinai and the Negev, and they “are all Jewish,” says a tribal leader in perfect Hebrew. With his face camouflaged for the cameras, the Bedouin says, “They had no choice but to convert; this was centuries ago… I remember my mother and grandmother wouldn’t light fire on Sabbath, and they had a special mikveh…”

Others, in a Bedouin village east of Hebron, also remember burning a small piece of dough (reminiscent of the Biblical command to separate a small piece of dough when baking bread), lighting candles at graves, and tearing clothes and sitting shiva for seven days, and not three as is Muslim practice.

Even today, ritual circumcisions are carried out after the seventh day of birth. Many homes in some of the Arab villages have doorpost indentations for a Mezuzah, with a scroll placed in some of them.
In another village just south of Hevron, Muhammed Amsalem – a descendant of Spanish Jews - told Aharon Granot of Mishpacha magazine that everyone in town knows he and his clan are Jews: “Our elders tell us that our forefathers came to this land during the [15th century] Spanish Inquisition, via Morocco. They settled in Ramle. Then the Mamluks forced them to convert to Islam, and they moved to the South Hevron area.”

Amsalem says they decided to reveal their Jewish roots after the 1967 Six Day War when they learned that a Jewish community had been reestablished in Hevron. “But the Jews saw we had no knowledge of their religious practices and refused to accept us… If the Jewish community would be willing to receive us today, we would join them with great enthusiasm.”

In the area of the South Hevron Hills, half of the Arabs are aware of the Jewish origins. They used to talk about it openly, though no longer. One man who recently publicized a silver Chanukah menorah that had been passed down to him from his father and previous generations was hung by terrorists by his feet for six weeks, leaving him with permanent injuries. 

Most Palestinians in Judea & Samaria Were Formerly Jews

As a journalist, I was always very skeptical what the origins of the Palestinian people are. Some have argued that the origins of the Palestinians date back 1,000 years. Others claim that the ancestors of the Palestinians came much more recently, during the late Ottoman and British Mandate periods. And still others allege that the roots of the Palestinian people in the Holy Land are ancient. So what are we to believe?

The American archeologist Eric Cline reported in his book Jerusalem Besieged: “Although some would disagree, historians and archeologists have generally concluded that most, if not all, modern Palestinians are probably more closely related to the Arabs of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, and other countries than they are to the ancient Jebusites, Canaanites, or Philistines. The major movements of those Arabs into the region occurred after 600 CE, more than 1,600 years after David and the Israelites had vanquished the original inhabitants of the land.” This fact is confirmed by Sherif Hussein, the Guardian of Islamic Holy Places of Arabia, who stated that the Palestinians ancestors had only been in the region for 1,000 years.

Numerous scholars have reported that following the Black Plague and Crusades in 1517, only 300,000 people were left in the Land of Israel, of whom 5,000 were Jewish, and that many of the ancestors of the modern Palestinians came in the late Ottoman and early British Mandate period. During the British Mandate period alone, 100,000 Arabs from neighboring countries immigrated to the Holy Land.

However, after conducting intense research into this issue, another story for the origins of the Palestinian people has appeared which further reaffirms Jewish attachment to the Holy Land. A Palestinian living in Jerusalem who wishes to remain anonymous has confessed in an exclusive interview that this persons’ family origins are 100% Jewish and that this person’s father’s family were Cohanim. He proclaimed: “Most of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria are former Jews. The Ottomans converted them by force. My family converted to Islam in the early 1900’s.”

                                                                     Palestinian farmers

This Palestinian explained that the town where this person originally came from and the seven surrounding villages had a Jewish majority up until the early 1900’s: “My grandparents tell me they were born Muslim. The entire town which is Islin and the entire collection of towns near Beit Shemesh were Jewish. The entire towns around us used a Jewish judge known as Khawaja Kakum, who was a rabbi.”

The Palestinian noted that in the late 1800’s, the Ottoman Empire started to pressure the local population to accept Islam, after Herzl informed the Ottoman Sultan of the Zionist movements’ intentions. This resulted in the Sultan going crazy and making sure that would not happen, although he did refrain from issuing a formal edict of conversion: “The Ottoman soldiers would arrive, investigating and making sure everyone was Jewish and that would involve a humiliating act. The locals would have to bring all of the fancy rugs so the soldiers could use them. They had to fix hay mixed with sugar for the horses of the Ottoman cavalry. And then, the locals had to cook food for the soldiers. They were forced to mix yoghurt with lamb in a dish known today as mansaf.”

The Palestinian noted that Bayt Itab, which was near Beit Shemesh, was inhabited by Sephardic Jews: “A particular family in the town began holding Friday prayers on both Friday and Saturday, so the Ottomans would be fooled into believing that they were not Jews. Now Beit Shemesh, another nearby town, had mostly Jewish families that would later on become Palestinian, except for one family.”

“Many Jews would never believe this but if you visit Zora; you will see the tomb or grave of Samson the Great,” the Palestinian noted. “You would learn that Palestinians used to glorify this man in this town. Whenever someone dies, Palestinians used to sing in sadness for him: ‘Oh my G-d, why have you taken him, he has never displaced his grandmother or given advice to a Muslim.’ Why would Muslim Palestinians sing folk songs like that?”

                                                                        Ancient Jews

“One of the folk songs for children goes: ‘By the G-d of Moses, don’t make me lose my way,’” the Palestinian explained. “Why not Muhammed? Also, the local comments reflected in the entire Palestinian community used the term ‘he’s a Cohen’ to reflect someone who is wise or who could see stuff others could not see. Most Palestinians don’t know what a Cohen is. Why do they use the term ‘he is a Cohen’ to describe someone with G-d given knowledge?”

While such statements go contrary to pan-Arab propaganda and the standard Middle Eastern history books taught across the globe, this Palestinian is not the only one to make this claim. According to the Jerusalem Post, Tzvi MiSinai conducted research into the Jewish roots of the Palestinian people and discovered that 90% of the Palestinians have Jewish roots: “And what’s more, half of them know it.” He noted that many Palestinians maintain Jewish customs, including mourning rituals, lighting Shabbat candles and even wearing tefillin.

Misnai is not the only researcher to believe this. Genetic studies conducted by Hadassah Medical School found that the Jewish population is surprisingly close genetically to the Palestinian population, implying that many of them have Jewish blood in them. Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion evidently agreed that most Palestinians have Jewish roots, according to Arutz Sheva: “If we investigate the origins of the Felahim, there is no doubt that much Jewish blood runs in their veins.”

In fact, Ben-Gurion believed so strongly in the idea that in 1956, he set up a task force together with Moshe Dayan and Haim Levkok that were supposed to develop ways to Judaize the Bedouin, teaching them about Jewish life and educating them to be part of the Israeli nation, even if only ethnically and not religiously. According to the Jerusalem Post, the Bedouin were willing to listen, but the teachers dropped out of the program because they could not take living under the same conditions the Bedouin did. As a result, these people were never integrated into Israeli society.

Dr. Harry Mandelbaum noted in an article he wrote for Think Israel that despite 2,000 years of persecution and various forced conversions by various conquerors throughout most of Jewish history of the Land of Israel, the Jews have made up a significant part of the population if not a majority in the Holy Land. These facts contradict the censuses conducted, which claim that the Holy Land had a Muslim majority starting in Mamluk times. It also contradicts the standard history books that emphasize that most Palestinians roots can be traced back to at the earliest the 7th century and not further back in history. While it is certain that the Arab conquest and subsequent Islamic conquests, as well as the Crusades and Black Plague, had their role in shaping the Holy Land’s demography, perhaps these censuses don’t convey the entire picture.

“It is important to note that estimates and censuses conducted by the Muslim conquerors were heavily biased to exaggerate the number of Muslims and to minimize the number of Jews and Christians,” he noted. “Therefore, the only reliable data is provided by non-Muslim neutral sources. Tourists and politicians, Arabs and non-Arabs alike, have documented their observations of the population in the Holy Land beginning more that a thousand years ago.”

According to the historian James Parker, “During the first century of the Arab conquest, the Caliph and Governors of Syria and the Holy Land ruled entirely over Christian and Jewish subjects. Apart from the Bedouin in the earliest days, the only Arabs west of the Jordan were garrisons.” In 985, Arab writer Muqadassi complained: “The mosque is empty of worshippers. The Jews constitute the majority of Jerusalem.” In 1377, the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun declared, “Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel extended over 1400 years.”

Mandelbaum also noted in his article that Dutch scholar Adriaan Reland who visited the Holy Land in 1695 found that most of the communities had Hebrew names, with some Greek and some Roman. There were no Arabic Muslim names to any of the communities at that time period. He furthermore claimed that the cities were mostly populated by Jews, while the rest of the population was predominately Christian and Muslims constituted a minority of the population.

Interestingly, Reland reported this, even though Caliph El Hakim forced all of the Jews of the Holy Land to either convert to Islam or leave the country in 1012 and the Crusaders massacred numerous Jews in the Holy Land in the late medieval period. He maintains that until the British Mandate period, the influx of Muslims into the Holy Land was minimal and most of the locals had Jewish roots.

“When General Allenby, the commander of the British military forces, conquered Palestine in 1917/1918, only a few thousand Muslim Arabs resided in the Holy Land,” Mandelbaum writes. “Most of the Arabs were Christians, and most of the Muslims in the area either came from Turkey under the Ottoman Empire, or were the descendants of Jews and Christians who were forcefully converted to Islam by the Muslim conquerors.”

However, despite the massive influx of Muslims into the Holy Land during the British Mandate period, the Palestinian interviewed proclaimed: “I don’t know of a Palestinian family who does not have a Jewish story to their history. Just like Jews were forced to convert to Christianity in Spain, they won’t ever go back, but it would be helpful to remind us publicly of whom we were and what we were, to show that we must connect as humans.”

This Palestinian explained that both sides made mistakes in the years leading up to Israel’s establishment and afterwards. The Zionist movement did not recognize the Palestinians as having Jewish roots in their family while emphasizing that both sides suffered from anti-semitism and the Palestinians themselves also very much looked down on the newcomers from Europe. But this Palestinian hopes that this information can help bring the two peoples together at the very least to pursue peace in the future: “Unless we study our past, we won’t move forward to the future.”

Blood brothers: Palestinians and Jews share genetic roots, though so did Cain and Abel.
Confronted by the violence sweeping over Israel, it can be easy to overlook the things that Jews and Palestinians share: a deep attachment to the same sliver of contested land, a shared appetite for hummus, a common tradition of descent from the patriarch Abraham, and, as scientific research shows - a common genetic ancestry, as well.

Several major studies published in the past five years attest to these ancient hereditary links. At the forefront of these efforts are two researchers: Harry Ostrer, professor of pediatrics and pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, and Karl Skorecki, director of medical and research development at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa. Back in June 2010, and within two days of each other, the two scientists and their research teams published extensive analyses of the genetic origins of the Jewish people and their Near East ancestry.

“The closest genetic neighbors to most Jewish groups were the Palestinians, Israeli Bedouins, and Druze in addition to the Southern Europeans, including Cypriots,” as Ostrer and Skorecki wrote in a review of their findings that they co-authored in the journal Human Genetics in October 2012.

“Karl and I are good friends,” Ostrer told Haaretz by telephone from New York. “We used somewhat different analytical methods—there’s no claim there for superiority, or one side versus the other.” In their results, as well, “there was really very little difference at all.”

                                                              Wedding in Ramallah 1920

Ostrer’s research on “Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era,” published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, sampled 652,000 gene variants from each of 237 unrelated individuals from seven Jewish populations: Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek and Ashkenazi. These sequences were then compared with reference samples from non-Jews drawn from The Human Genome Diversity Project, a global database of genetic information gathered from populations across the world.

Each of the Jewish populations, they found, “formed its own distinctive cluster,” indicating their shared ancestry and “relative genetic isolation.” Ostrer’s team also identified two major groups of Jews: Middle Eastern Jews (Iranian and Iraqi) and European/Syrian Jews. The split between these two groups of Jews occurred some 2,500 years ago.

Cousins with the Druze and French

Both groups of Jews shared ancestry with contemporary Middle Eastern and Southern European populations. The closest genetic relatives of the Middle Eastern Jews are Druze, Bedouin and Palestinians. The closest genetic relatives of the European group of Jews are Northern Italians, followed by Sardinians and French. (For the group known as British Israelites the French & other Western Europeans are Lost Israelites)

In a 2012 study, Ostrer identified North African Jews as a third major group. In Skorecki’s study on the genome-wide structure of the Jewish people, published in the journal Nature, he and his fellow researchers sampled tens of thousands of genetic variants from the genomes of 121 individuals hailing from 14 Jewish Diaspora communities, and compared these variants with samples drawn from 1,166 individuals from 69 Old World non-Jewish populations.

They found that Jews from the Caucasus (Azerbaijan and Georgia), the Middle East (Iran and Iraq) North Africa (Morocco) and Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities, as well as Samaritans, form a “tight cluster” that overlaps with Israeli Druze.

This, the authors write, “is consistent with an ancestral Levantine contribution to much of contemporary Jewry.”

In addition, a “compact cluster” of Yemenite Jews “overlaps primarily with Bedouins but also with Saudi individuals.” Ethiopian and Indian Jews are more closely related to their own neighboring, host populations.

                                                     Palestinian women with elegant embroidery

Middle East origins in European Jews

Further evidence for the Middle Eastern origins of Ashkenazi Jews came from a study published in 2014: In that research, which appeared in Nature Communications, a team led by Shai Carmi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem sequenced the complete genomes of 128 people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Their analysis revealed that the Ashkenazi Jewish population is “an even mix” of European and Middle Eastern ancestral populations—suggesting, as Carmi writes on the web site of The Ashkenazi Genome Consortium (TAGC), “a sex-biased process, where, say, Middle-Eastern Jewish men married European non-Jewish women.”

Are these genetic ties between Jews, Palestinians, Bedouin, and Druze important in a contemporary context? “It doesn’t matter to me personally,” Skorecki says, “since I think that global human identity supersedes all other considerations.”

“We want to know who we are and where we came from,” Ostrer, who is now studying cancer risks among Ashkenazi Jews and Northern Israeli Druze populations, sums up. Even so, shared ancestry doesn’t necessarily imply a special bond. As Ostrer notes, citing the Biblical tale of Cain and Abel, “the fact that people are related to one another doesn’t prevent their developing extreme hostility to one another.

Nestorians & Other Christian Israelites of the East

Nestorian Israelites or Church of the East

Assyrian Church of the East

The Assyrian Church of the East (Classical Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܪܝܐ), officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East Classical Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܩܕܝܫܬܐ ܘܫܠܝܚܝܬܐ ܩܬܘܠܝܩܝ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܪܝܐ ʻIttā Qaddishtā w-Shlikhāitā Qattoliqi d-Madnĕkhā d-Āturāyē), is a Syriac Church historically centered in Assyria, northern Mesopotamia. It is one of the churches that claim continuity with the historical Patriarchate of Seleucia-Ctesiphon – the Church of the East. Unlike most other churches that trace their origins to antiquity, the modern Assyrian Church of the East is not in communion with any other churches, either Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or Catholic.

Theologically, the church is associated with the doctrine of Nestorianism, leading to the church, perhaps inaccurately, also being known as a "Nestorian Church", though church leadership has at times rejected the Nestorian label, and was already extant some four centuries prior to Nestorius. The church employs the Syriac dialect of the Aramaic language in its liturgy, the East Syrian Rite, which includes three anaphoras, attributed to Saints Addai and Mari, Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius.

The Church of the East developed between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD from the early Assyrian Christian communities in the Assuristan province (Parthian ruled Assyria) of the Parthian Empire, and at its height had spread from its north Mesopotamian heartland to as far as China, Central Asia and India. A dispute over patriarchal succession led to the Schism of 1552, resulting in there being two rival Patriarchs. One of the factions that eventually emerged from this split became the Assyrian Church of the East, while another became the church now known as the Chaldean Catholic Church, originally called The Church of Athura (Assyria) and Mosul, which eventually entered into communion with the Catholic Church, both in continuation from the Church of the East.

A more recent schism in the church resulted from the adoption of the Assyrian Church of the East of the Gregorian Calendar rather than maintaining the traditional Julian calendar that is off by 13 days. The opponents to the reforms introduced formed in 1964 the Ancient Church of the East headquartered in Baghdad and headed since 1968 by a separate Catholicos-Patriarch.

The Assyrian Church of the East is headed by the Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV, who currently presides in exile in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Below the Catholicos-Patriarch are a number of metropolitan bishops, diocesan bishops, priests, and deacons who serve dioceses and parishes throughout the Middle East, India, North America, Oceania, and Europe (including the Caucasus and Russia).

Early years of the Church of the East

The Church of the East originally developed during the 1st century AD in the Mesopotamian Eastern Aramaic speaking regions of Assyria and northwestern Persia (today's Iraq, southeast Turkey, northeast Syria and north western Iran), to the east of the Roman-Byzantine empire. It is an Apostolic church, established by the apostles St Thomas (Mar Toma), St Thaddeus (Mar Addai), and St Bartholomew (Mar Bar Tulmay). St Peter (Mar Shimun Keapa), the chief of the apostles added his blessing to the Church of the East at the time of his visit to the see at Babylon, in the earliest days of the church when stating, "The elect church which is in Babylon, salutes you; and Mark, my son (1 Peter 5:13).

              The Jews leaving Babylon for the Holy Land. Not everyone left Babylon, many stayed.

Official recognition was first granted to the Christian faith in the 4th century with the accession of Yazdegerd I to the throne of the Sassanid Empire. In 410, the Synod of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, held at the Sassanid capital, allowed the Church's leading bishops to elect a formal Catholicos, or leader. The Catholicos, Mar Isaac, was required both to lead the Assyrian Christian community, and to answer on its behalf to the Sassanid Emperor.

Under pressure from the Sassanid Emperor, the Church of the East sought increasingly to distance itself from the western (Roman Empire) Catholic Church. In 424, the bishops of the Sassanid Empire met in council under the leadership of Catholicos Mar Dadisho I (421–456) and determined that they would not, henceforth, refer disciplinary or theological problems to any external power, and especially not to any bishop or Church Council in the Roman Empire.

                                             Jesus resurects Lazarus, popular biblical story

As such, the Mesopotamian and Assyrian Churches were not represented at the various Church Councils attended by representatives of the Western Church. Accordingly, the leaders of the Church of the East did not feel bound by any decisions of what came to be regarded as Roman Imperial Councils. Despite this, the Creed and Canons of the first Council of Nicea (325); affirming the full divinity of Christ; were formally accepted at the Synod of Seleucia-Ctesiphon. The Church's understanding of the term 'hypostasis' differs from the definition of the term offered at the Council of Chalcedon. For this reason, the Assyrian Church has never approved the Chalcedonian definition.

The theological controversy that followed the First Council of Ephesus, in 431, proved a turning point in the Church's history. The Council condemned as heretical the Christology of Nestorius, whose reluctance to accord the Virgin Mary the title 'Theotokos' ('God-bearer' or 'Mother of God') was taken as evidence that he believed two separate persons (as opposed to two united natures) to be present within Christ. (For the theological issues at stake, see Assyrian Church of the East and Nestorianism.)

The Sassanid Emperor, hostile to the Roman Empire, saw the opportunity to ensure the loyalty of his Christian subjects and lent support to the Nestorian schism. The Sassanid Emperor took steps to cement the primacy of the Nestorian party within the Church of the East, granting its members his protection, and executing the pro-Roman Catholicos Babowai, replacing him with the Nestorian Bishop of Nisibis, Barsauma. The Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Babai I (497–503) confirmed the association of the Persian Church with Nestorianism.

Eastern expansion

During the medieval period the geographical horizons of the Church of the East extended well beyond its heartland in present-day northern Iraq. Communities sprang up throughout Central Asia, and missionaries from Assyria and Mesopotamia took the Christian faith as far as China and the Malabar Coast of India.

Schism and the establishment of the Chaldean Church

The massacres of Assyrian Christians by Tamerlane (1336–1405) destroyed many bishoprics, including the ancient Assyrian city of Ashur. The Church of the East, which had previously extended as far as China, was largely reduced to an Eastern Aramaic speaking Assyrian remnant living in its original heartland in Upper Mesopotamia (what had been Assyria), the triangular area between Amid, Salmas and Mosul. The See was moved to the Assyrian town of Alqosh, in the Mosul region, and Mar Shimun IV Basidi (1437–1493) appointed Patriarch, establishing a new, hereditary, line of succession.

Growing dissent in the church's hierarchy over hereditary succession came to a head in 1552, when a group of bishops from the Northern regions of Amid and Salmas elected Mar Yohannan Sulaqa as a rival Patriarch. Seeking consecration as Patriarch by a Bishop of Metropolitan rank, Sulaqa traveled to Rome in 1553, and entered into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. On being appointed Patriarch, Sulaqa took the name Mar Shimun VIII and was granted the title of "Patriarch of Mosul and Athur (Assyria)". Later this title became "Patriarch of the Chaldeans", despite none of its adherents being from the long disappeared Chaldean tribe, or from what had been Chaldea in the far south east of Mesopotamia.

Mar Shimun VIII Yohannan Sulaqa returned to the Near East the same year, establishing his seat in Amid. Before being put to death by partisans of the Patriarch of Alqosh, he ordained five metropolitan bishops, thus establishing a new ecclesiastical hierarchy, a line of patriarchal descent known as the Shimun line.

Sees in Qochanis, Amid, and Alqosh (17th century)

Relations with Rome weakened under Shimun VIII's successors, all of whom took the name Shimun. The last of this line of Patriarchs to be formally recognized by the Pope died in the early 17th century. Hereditary accession to the office of Patriarch was reintroduced, and by 1660 the Assyrian Church of the East had become divided into two Patriarchates; the Eliya line, based in Alqosh (comprising that portion of the faithful which had never entered into Communion with Rome), and the Shimun line.

In 1672 the Patriarch of the Shimun line, Mar Shimun XIII Denha, moved his seat to the Assyrian village of Qochanis in the mountains of Hakkari. In 1692, the Patriarch formally broke communion with Rome and allegedly resumed relations with the line at Alqosh, though retaining the independent structure and jurisdiction of his line of succession.

The so-called Chaldean Patriarchate was revived in 1672 when Mar Joseph I, then the Assyrian Church of the East metropolitan of Amid, entered into communion with Rome, thus separating from the Patriarchal See of Alqosh. In 1681, the Holy See granted Mar Joseph the title of "Patriarch of the Chaldeans deprived of its Patriarch", thus forming the third Patriarchate of the Assyrian Church of the East. It was this third Patriarchate that was to become known as the Chaldean Catholic Church in 1683.

Josephite line of Amid

Each of Joseph I's successors took the name Joseph. The life of this Patriarchate was difficult; stricken early on with internal dissent, the Patriarchiate later struggled with financial difficulties due to the tax burden imposed by the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Despite these difficulties, the influence of the Patriarchate expanded from its original homeland of Amid and Mardin towards the area of Mosul, where ultimately the See was relocated.

Mar Yohannan VIII Hormizd, the last of the Eliya hereditary line of the Assyrian Church of the East in Alqosh, made a Catholic profession of faith in 1780. Though entering full communion with the Roman See in 1804, he was not recognized as Patriarch by the Pope until 1830. This move merged the majority of the Patriarcate of Alqosh with the Josephite line of Amid, thus forming the modern Chaldean Catholic Church.

The Shimun line of Patriarchs, based in Qochanis, remained within the Assyrian Church of the East, and refused to enter communion with Rome and join the Chaldean Church. The Patriarchate of the present-day Assyrian Church of the East, with its see in Chicago, forms the continuation of this line.

20th century

In 1915 the Assyrian Church see at Qochanis see was completely destroyed by the Ottoman Turkish Empire in the context of the Assyrian Genocide, Assyrian war of independence and Armenian Genocide. Survivors of the massacres escaped by marching over the mountains into Iran and Iraq to join their kinsmen. In 1918, after the murder of Mar Shimun XXI Benyamin and 150 of his followers, and fearing further massacres at the hands of the Turks and Kurds, the survivors fled from Iran into what was to become Iraq, seeking protection under the British mandate there, and joining ancient indigenous existing Assyrian communities of both Eastern Rite and Catholic persuasions in the north of that country.

The British administration employed Assyrian troops (Assyrian Levies) to put down Arab and Kurdish rebellions in the aftermath of World War I. In consequence, Assyrians of all denominations endured persecution under the Hashemite monarchy, leading many to flee to the West, in particular to the United States, where Chicago became the center of the diaspora community.

Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII

During this period the British-educated Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, born into the line of Patriarchs at Qochanis, agitated for an independent Assyrian state. Following the end of the British mandate in 1933 and a massacre of Assyrian civilians at Simele by the Iraqi Army, the Patriarch was forced to take refuge in Cyprus. There, Shimun petitioned the League of Nations regarding his peoples' fate, but to little avail, and he was consequently barred from entering Syria and Iraq. He traveled through Europe before moving to Chicago in 1940 to join the growing Assyrian diaspora community there.

The Church and the Assyrian community in general faced considerable fragmentation and upheaval as a result of the conflicts of the 20th century, and Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII was forced to reorganize the church's structure in the United States. He transferred his residence to San Francisco, California in 1954, and was able to travel to Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait, and India, where he worked to strengthen the church.

In 1964 he decreed a number of changes to the church, including liturgical reform, the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, and the shortening of Lent. These changes, combined with Shimun's long absence from Iraq, caused a rift in the community which led to another schism. In 1968 traditionalists within the church elected Mar Thoma Darmo as a rival patriarch to Shimun XXIII Eshai, creating the Ancient Church of the East.

In 1972, Shimun decided to step down as Patriarch, and the following year, he married, in contravention to longstanding church custom. This led to a synod in 1973 in which further reforms were introduced, most significantly including the permanent abolition of hereditary succession a practice introduced in the middle of the fifteenth century by the patriarch Shemʿon IV Basidi who had died in 1497); however, it was decided that Shimun should be reinstated. This matter was to be settled at additional synods in 1975, however Shimun was assassinated by an estranged relative before this could take place.

Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV

In 1976, the current Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV, was elected as Shimun XXIII Eshai's successor. The 33-year old Dinkha had previously been Metropolitan of Tehran, and operated his see there until the Iran–Iraq War of 1980–1988. Thereafter, Mar Dinkha IV went into exile in the United States, and transferred the patriarchal see to Chicago. Much of his patriarchate has been concerned with tending to the Assyrian diaspora community and with ecumenical efforts to strengthen relations with other churches.

Assyrian Church of the East and Nestorianism

The Nestorian nature of Assyrian Christianity remains a matter of contention. Elements of the Nestorian doctrine were explicitly repudiated by Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV (South Sudan is considered to have many Israelites. One of it's ethnicities is called Dinka) on the occasion of his accession in 1976.

The Christology of the Church of the East has its roots in the Antiochene theological tradition of the early Church. The founders of Assyrian theology are Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia, both of whom taught at Antioch. 'Antiochene' is a modern designation given to the style of theology associated with the early Church at Antioch, as contrasted with the theology of the church of Alexandria.

Antiochene theology emphasised Christ's humanity and the reality of the moral choices he faced. In order to preserve the impassibility of Christ's Divine Nature, the unity of His person was defined in a looser fashion than in the Alexandrian tradition. The normative Christology of the Assyrian church was written by Babai the Great (551–628) during the controversy that followed the First Council of Ephesus (431). Babai held that within Christ there exist two qnome (essences, or hypostases), unmingled, but everlastingly united in the one prosopon(personality).

The precise Christological teachings of Nestorius are shrouded in obscurity. Wary of monophysitism, Nestorius rejected Cyril's theory of a hypostatic union, proposing instead a union of will. Nestorianism has come to mean dyaphysitism, in which Christ's dual natures are eternally separate, though it is doubtful whether Nestorius ever taught such a doctrine. Nestorius' rejection of the term Theotokos ('God-bearer', or 'Mother of God') has traditionally been held as evidence that he asserted the existence of two persons – not merely two natures – in Jesus Christ, but there exists no evidence that Nestorius denied Christ's oneness. In the controversy that followed the Council of Ephesus, the term 'Nestorian' was applied to all upholding a strictly Antiochene Christology. In consequence the Church of the East was labelled 'Nestorian', though its theology is not dyophysite.

The Church is governed by an episcopal polity, which is the same as other Catholic churches. The church maintains a system of geographical parishes organized into dioceses and archdioceses. The Catholicos-Patriarch, currently Mar Dinkha IV is head of the church. The Synod comprises Bishops who oversee individual dioceses, and Metropolitans who oversee episcopal dioceses in there territorial jurisdiction.

The Chaldean Syrian Church in India and the Persian Gulf is the largest diocese of the church. Its story goes back to the Church of the East that established presence in Kerala. The converts were from lower, untouchable castes, for in a caste-ridden Malabar society. During times of disturbances in the Persian Empire and the Middle East, Assyrian inflow into Kerala ceased and local converts had to take responsibility for the churches. Nevertheless, Malabar churches retained their Nestorian connections. Connection between the Malabar church and the Church of the East was sporadic for a long period till the arrival of the Portuguese. The church is represented by the Assyrian Church of the East and is in communion with it.

In spite of both ethnic and religious persecution and a serious decline in membership since their height around the fourth century, the Assyrian Church of the East has survived into the 21st century. Here is St. Mary Assyrian Church in Moscow.


The current hierarchy and dioceses is as follows. The Patriarchate of the Church of the East was located for centuries in the cathedral church of Mar Shallita, in the village of Qudshanis in the Hakkari mountains, Ottoman Empire. After the exodus in 1915 the Patriarchs temporarily resided between Urmia and Salmas, and from 1918 the patriarchs resided in Mosul, Iraq. After the Simele massacre of 1933, the then Patriarch Shimun XXIII Eshai was exiled to Cyprus. In 1940 he was welcomed to the United States where he set up his residence in Chicago, Illinois and administrated the United States and Canada as his Patriarchal province. The patriarchate was moved to Modesto, California in 1954, and finally to San Francisco, California in 1958 due to health issues. After the assassination of the Patriarch and the election of Mar Dinkha IV in 1976, the patriarchate was temporarily located in Tehran, Iran where the patriarch already resided. Since 1980, the Patriarchate again returned to Chicago, Illinois where it currently remains. The Diocese of Eastern United States served as the patriarch's province from 1994 until 2012.

Due to the unstable political, religious and economic situation in the church's historical homeland of the Middle East, many of the church members now reside in Western countries. Churches and dioceses have been established throughout Europe, America and Oceania. The largest expatriate concentration of church members is in the United States, mainly situated in Illinois and California.

Church of the East (Nestorian Christianity)

The Church of the East (Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ʿĒ(d)tāʾ d-Maḏn(ə)ḥāʾ), derogatorily and both doctrinally, historically and chronologically innacurrately known as the Nestorian Church, is a Christian church, part of the Syriac tradition of Eastern Christianity. It was founded in Assyria (Athura) in northern Mesopotamia between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, during the Parthian Empire. It was to become the church of the Persian Sassanid Empire, and quickly spread widely through Asia. Between the 9th and 14th centuries it was the world's largest Christian church in terms of geographical extent, with dioceses stretching from the Mediterranean to China and India. Several modern churches claim continuity with the historical Church of the East.

The Church of the East was headed by the Patriarch of the East, continuing a line that, according to tradition, stretched back to the Apostolic Age. Liturgically, the church commonly adhered to the East Syrian Rite, and theologically, it later became associated with the doctrine of Nestorianism, which emphasized the distinctness of the divine and human natures of Jesus. This doctrine and its chief proponent, Nestorius (386–451), were condemned by the First Council of Ephesus in 431, leading to the Nestorian Schism and a subsequent exodus of Nestorius' supporters to Sassanid Persia. The existing Eastern Aramaic speaking Assyrian Christians within the Sassanid Empire welcomed these refugees and adopted Nestorian doctrine at the Synod of Acacius in 486AD (officially adopting the decrees of the local 484AD synod of Bit Lapat), leading the Church of the East to be known alternately as the Nestorian Church. However, in 544AD the controversial Synod of Mar Aba I attempted to reverse the influence of 484 and 486 and was the basis of the reforms carried out by Babai lauded by Rome as well as the Assyrians and their branches. Eventually, the Church of the East rejected Babai and Mar Aba I but accepted King Khosrau's Synod of 612AD which was the first to describe Miaphysite Christology later adopted by the Oriental Orthodox. Catholicos Timothy I of Baghdad is perhaps the best recorded exemplar of the Church's approach to a wide variety of subjects at the turn of the 9th century AD.

The church grew rapidly under the Sassanids, and following the Islamic conquest of Persia, it was designated as a protected dhimmi community under Muslim rule. From the 6th century, it expanded greatly from its north Mesopotamian heartland, establishing communities in India (the Saint Thomas Christians), among the Mongol tribes in Central Asia, and China, which was home to a thriving Church of the East Christian community under the Tang Dynasty from the 7th to the 9th century. In the 13th and 14th centuries the church experienced a final period of expansion under the Mongol Empire, which had influential Church of the East Christians in the Mongol court.

From its peak of geographical extent, the church experienced a rapid period of decline starting in the 14th century, due in large part to outside influences. The Mongol Empire dissolved into civil war, the Chinese Ming Dynasty overthrew the Mongols and ejected Christians and other foreign influences from China (also including Manichaeism), and many Mongols in Central Asia converted to Islam. The Muslim Mongol leader Timur (1336–1405) nearly eradicated the remaining Assyrian Christians in Mesopotamia; thereafter, Nestorian Christianity was largely confined to Upper Mesopotamia and the Malabar Coast of India. In the 16th century, the Church of the East in the Assyrian homeland of northern Mesopotamia went into a schism from which two distinct churches eventually emerged amongst the Assyrians: the modern Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church in communion with the Holy See.

Organization and structure

The head of the church, the Patriarch of the Church of the East, also bears the title of Catholicos. Like the churches from which it developed, the Church of the East has an ordained clergy divided into the three traditional orders of deacon, priest (or presbyter), and bishop. Also like other churches, it has an episcopal polity: organization by dioceses, each headed by a bishop and made up of several individual parish communities overseen by priests. Dioceses are organized into provinces under the authority of a metropolitan bishop. The office of metropolitan bishop is an important one, and comes with additional duties and powers; canonically, only metropolitans can consecrate a patriarch. The Patriarch also has the charge of a province: the Province of the Patriarch.

For most of its history the church had six or so Interior Provinces in its heartland in northern Mesopotamia, south eastern Anatolia, and north western Persia, and an increasing number of Exterior Provinces elsewhere. Most of these latter were located farther afield within the territory of the Sassanids (and later of the Caliphate), but very early on, provinces formed beyond the empire's borders as well. By the 10th century, the church had between 20 and 30 metropolitan provinces including in China and India. The Chinese provinces were lost in the 11th century, and in the subsequent centuries, other exterior provinces went into decline as well. However, in the 13th century, during the Mongol Empire, the church added two new metropolitan provinces in northern China, Tangut and Katai and Ong.

Nestorian priests in a procession on Palm Sunday, in a 7th- or 8th-century wall painting from a Nestorian church in China, Tang Dynasty


The Church of the East is associated with Nestorianism, a Christological doctrine advanced by Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 428 – 431 AD, which emphasizes the disunion between the human and divine natures of Jesus.

Nestorius's doctrine represented the culmination of a philosophical current developed by scholars at the School of Antioch, most notably Nestorius's mentor Theodore of Mopsuestia. This became a source of controversy when Nestorius publicly challenged usage of the title Theotokos (literally, "Bearer of God") for the Virgin Mary. He suggested that the title denied Christ's full humanity, arguing instead that Jesus had two loosely joined natures, the divine Logos and the human Jesus, and proposed Christotokos (literally, "Bearer of the Christ") as a more suitable alternative title. These statements drew criticism from other prominent churchmen, particularly from Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, leading to the First Council of Ephesus in 431, which condemned Nestorius for heresy and deposed him as patriarch. Nestorianism was officially anathematized, a ruling reiterated at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. However, a number of churches, particularly those associated with the School of Edessa in Assyria and northern Mesopotamia, supported Nestorius—though not necessarily the doctrine ascribed to him—and broke with the churches of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Many of Nestorius' supporters relocated to Sassanid Persia. These events are known as the Nestorian Schism.

Christological spectrum during the 5th–7th centuries showing the views of The Church of the East (light blue)

Although the "Nestorian" label was initially a theological one, applied to followers of the Nestorian doctrine, it was soon applied to all associated Eastern Rite churches with little regard for theological consideration. While often used disparagingly in the West to emphasize the Church of the East's connections to a heretical doctrine, many writers of the Middle Ages and since have simply used the label descriptively, as a neutral and conventional term for the church. Other names for the church include "Persian Church", "Syriac" or "Syrian" (often distinguished as East Syriac/Syrian), and "Assyrian".

In modern times some scholars have sought to avoid the Nestorian label, preferring "Church of the East" or one of the other alternatives. This is due both to the term's derogatory connotations, and because it implies a stronger connection to Nestorian doctrine than may have historically existed. As Wilhelm Baum and Dietmar W. Winkler said, "Nestorius himself was no Nestorian" in terms of doctrine. Even from the beginning, not all churches called "Nestorian" adhered to the Nestorian doctrine; in China, it has been noted that none of the various sources for the local Nestorian church refer to Christ as having two natures. As such, in 2006 an academic conference changed its name from "Research on Nestorianism in China", explaining in the Preface, "...it was decided not to keep the term "Nestorianism" in the title of the future conferences and the present book, but to use the term Church of the East, which is correct and wide enough to cover the whole field of the research."

The 2000 work, The Ecclesiastical Organisation of the Church of the East, 1318–1913, offers an explanation in the first chapter:

The terminology used in this study deserves a word of explanation. Until recently the Church of the East was usually called the 'Nestorian' church, and East Syrian Christians were either 'Nestorians' or (after the schism of 1552) by the ethnic and geographic misnomer 'Chaldeans'. During the period covered in this study, the word 'Nestorian' was used both as a term of abuse by those who disapproved of the traditional East Syrian theology, as a term of pride by many of its defenders (including Abdisho of Nisibis in 1318, the Mosul patriarch Eliya X Yohannan Marogin in 1672, and the Qudshanis patriarch Shem'on XVII Abraham in 1842), and as a neutral and convenient descriptive term by others. Nowadays it is generally felt that the term carries a stigma, and students of the Church of the East are advised to avoid its use. In this thesis the theologically neutral adjective 'East Syrian' has been used wherever possible, and the term 'traditionalist' to distinguish the non-Catholic branch of the Church of the East after the schism of 1552. The modern term 'Assyrian', often used in the same sense, was unknown for most of the period covered in this study, and has been avoided.

The church was formed in Parthian and Sassanid ruled Assyria (Athura/Assuristan) and many of its original members in Upper Mesopotamia and south eastern Anatolia had since ancient times been described by both themselves and neighbouring peoples as Assyrians, however the church itself did not specifically use the prefix Assyrian until later times.

The Assyrian Church of the East has shunned the "Nestorian" label in recent times. The church's present head, Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV, explicitly rejected the term on the occasion of his consecration in 1976.


The Peshitta, in some cases lightly revised and with missing books added, is the standard Syriac Bible for churches in the Syriac tradition: the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Syrian Catholic Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East, the Indian Orthodox Church, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Maronite Church, the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, the Syro-Malabar Church and the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.

The Old Testament of the Peshitta was translated from the Hebrew, although the date and circumstances of this are not entirely clear. The translators may have been Syriac-speaking Jews, or the early Jewish converts to Christianity. The translation could have been done separately for different Old Testament texts, and the whole work was probably done by the 2nd century AD.

The New Testament of the Peshitta, which originally excluded certain disputed books (2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation), had become the standard by the early 5th century.

Parthian and Sassanid periods

Christians were already forming communities in Assyria (Athura) as early as the first century, when it was part of the Parthian Empire. By the third century, the area had been conquered by the Persian Sassanid Empire (becoming the province of Assuristan), and there were significant Christian communities in northern Mesopotamia, Elam, and Fars. The Church of the East traced its origins ultimately to the evangelical activity of the apostles Addai, Mari and Thomas, but leadership and structure was disorganized until the establishment of the diocese of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, the bishop of which came to be recognized as Catholicos, or universal leader, of the church. This position received an additional title later, Patriarch of the East.

These early Christian communities in Assyria, Elam and Fars were reinforced in the fourth and fifth centuries by large-scale deportations of Christians from the eastern Roman Empire. However, the Persian Church faced several severe persecutions, notably during the reign of Shapur II (339–79), from the ethnically Persian Zoroastrian majority who accused it of Roman leanings. The church grew considerably during the Sassanid period, but the pressure of persecution led to the Persian Church declaring itself independent of all other Christian churches in 424.

Meanwhile, in the Roman Empire, the Nestorian Schism had led many of Nestorius' supporters to relocate to the Persian Empire. The Persian Church increasingly aligned itself with the Nestorian schismatics, a measure encouraged by the Zoroastrian ruling class. The church became increasingly Nestorian in doctrine over the next decades, furthering the divide between Roman and Nestorian Christendom. In 486 the Metropolitan of Nisibis, Barsauma, publicly accepted Nestorius' mentor, Theodore of Mopsuestia, as a spiritual authority. In 489, when the School of Edessa in Mesopotamia was closed by Byzantine Emperor Zeno for its Nestorian teachings, the school relocated to its original home of Nisibis, becoming again the School of Nisibis, leading to a wave of Nestorian immigration into the Persian Empire. TheChurch of the East patriarch Mar Babai I (497–502) reiterated and expanded upon his predecessors' esteem for Theodore, solidifying the church's adoption of Nestorianism.

Now firmly established in the Persian Empire, with centers in Nisibis, Ctesiphon, and Gundeshapur, and several metropolitan sees, the Church of the East began to branch out beyond the Persian Sassanid Empire. However, through the 6th century the church was frequently beset with internal strife and persecution from the Zoroastrians. The infighting led to a schism, which lasted from 521 until around 539, when the issues were resolved. However, immediately afterward Roman-Persian conflict led to a renewed persecution of the church by the Sassanid King Khosrau I; this ended in 545. The church survived these trials under the guidance of Patriarch Mar Abba I, who had converted to Christianity from Zoroastrianism.

By the end of the 5th century and the middle of the 6th, the area occupied by Nestorians included "all the countries to the east and those immediately to the west of the Euphrates", including Persia, Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Socotra, Mesopotamia (Assyria and Babylonia), Media, Bactria, Hyrcania, and India; and possibly also to places called Calliana, Male, and Sielediva (Ceylon). Beneath the Patriarch in the hierarchy were nine metropolitans, and clergy were recorded among the Huns, in Persarmenia, Media, and the island of Dioscoris in the Indian Ocean.

Nestorian Christianity also flourished in the kingdom of the Lakhmids until the Islamic conquest, particularly after the ruler Al-Nu'man III ibn al-Mundhir officially converted in c. 592.

Ecclesiastical provinces of the Church of the East in 10th century

Islamic rule

After the Sassanid Empire was conquered by Muslim Arabs in 644, the newly established Rashidun Caliphate designated the Church of the East as an official dhimmi minority group headed by the Patriarch of the East. As with all other Christian and Jewish groups given the same status, the Church was restricted within the Caliphate, but also given a degree of protection. Nestorians were not permitted to proselytize or attempt to convert Muslims, but their missionaries were otherwise given a free hand, and they increased missionary efforts farther afield. Missionaries established dioceses in India (the Saint Thomas Christians). They made some advances in Egypt, despite the strong Monophysite presence there, and they entered Central Asia, where they had significant success converting local Tartar tribes. Nestorian missionaries were firmly established in China during the early part of the Tang Dynasty (618–907); the Chinese source known as the Nestorian Stele describes a mission under a proselyte named Alopen as introducing Nestorian Christianity to China in 635. In the 7th century, the Church had grown to have two Nestorian archbishops, and over 20 bishops east of the Iranian border of the Oxus River.

The patriarch Timothy I (780–823), a contemporary of the caliph Harun al-Rashid, took a particularly keen interest in the missionary expansion of the Church of the East. He is known to have consecrated metropolitans for Damascus, for Armenia, for Dailam and Gilan in Azerbaijan, for Rai in Tabaristan, for Sarbaz in Segestan, for the Turks of Central Asia, for China, and possibly also for Tibet. He also detached India from the metropolitan province of Fars and made it a separate metropolitan province, known as India. By the 10th century the Church of the East had a number of dioceses stretching from across the Caliphate's territories to India and China.

Nestorian Christians made substantial contributions to the Islamic Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, particularly in translating the works of the ancient Greek philosophers to Syriac and Arabic. Nestorians made their own contributions to philosophy, science (such as Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Qusta ibn Luqa, Masawaiyh, Patriarch Eutychius, Jabril ibn Bukhtishu) and theology (such as Tatian, Bar Daisan, Babai the Great, Nestorius, Toma bar Yacoub). The personal physicians of the Abbasid Caliphs were often Assyrian Christians such as the long serving Bukhtishu dynasty.


The Church of the East had a vigorous corps of missionaries, who proceeded eastward from their base in Persia, having particular success in India, among the Mongols, and reaching as far as China and Korea.


The Saint Thomas Christian community of Kerala, India, who trace their origins to the evangelism of Thomas the Apostle, had a long connection with the Church of the East. The earliest known organized Christian presence in Kerala dates to the 3rd century, when Nestorian Christian settlers and missionaries from Persia settled in the region. The Saint Thomas Christians traditionally credit the mission of Thomas of Cana, a Nestorian from the Middle East, with the further expansion of their community. From at least the early 4th century, the Patriarch of the Church of the East provided the Saint Thomas Christians with clergy, holy texts, and ecclesiastical infrastructure, and around 650 Patriarch Ishoyahb III solidified the church's jurisdiction in India. In the 8th century Patriarch Timothy I organised the community as the Ecclesiastical Province of India, one of the church's Provinces of the Exterior. After this point the Province of India was headed by a metropolitan bishop, provided from Persia, who oversaw a varying number of bishops as well as a native Archdeacon, who had authority over the clergy and also wielded a great amount of secular power. The metropolitan see was probably in Cranganore, or (perhaps nominally) in Mylapore, where the shrine of Thomas was located.

In the 12th century Indian Nestorianism engaged the Western imagination in the figure of Prester John, supposedly a Nestorian ruler of India who held the offices of both king and priest. The geographically remote Malabar church survived the decay of the Nestorian hierarchy elsewhere, enduring until the 16th century when the Portuguese arrived in India. The Portuguese at first accepted the Nestorian sect, but by the end of the century they had determined to actively bring the Saint Thomas Christians into full communion with Rome under the Latin Rite. They installed Portuguese bishops over the local sees and made liturgical changes to accord with the Latin practice. In 1599 the Synod of Diamper, overseen by Aleixo de Menezes, Archbishop of Goa, led to a revolt among the Saint Thomas Christians; the majority of them broke with the Catholic Church and vowed never to submit to the Portuguese in the Coonan Cross Oath of 1653. In 1661 Pope Alexander VII responded by sending a delegation of Carmelites headed by Chaldean Catholics to re-establish the East Syrian rites under an Eastern Catholic hierarchy; by the next year, 84 of the 116 communities returned, forming the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. The rest, which became known as the Malankara Church, soon entered into communion with the Syriac Orthodox Church; from the Malankara Church has also come the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.


Christianity reached China by 635, and its relics can still be seen in Chinese cities such as Xi'an. The Nestorian Stele, set up on 7 January 781 at the then-capital of Chang'an, attributes the introduction of Christianity to a mission under a Persian cleric named Alopen in 635, in the reign of Tang Taizong during the Tang Dynasty. The inscription on the Nestorian Stele, whose dating formula mentions the patriarch Hnanishoʿ II (773–80), gives the names of several prominent Christians in China, including the metropolitan Adam, the bishop Yohannan, the 'country-bishops' Yazdbuzid and Sargis and the archdeacons Gigoi of Khumdan (Chang'an) and Gabriel of Sarag (Loyang). The names of around seventy monks are also listed.

The Nestorian Stele, created in 781, describes the introduction of Nestorian Christianity to China

Nestorian Christianity thrived in China for approximately 200 years, but then faced persecution from Emperor Wuzong of Tang (reigned 840–846). He suppressed all foreign religions, including Buddhism and Christianity, causing it to decline sharply in China. A Syrian monk visiting China a few decades later described many churches in ruin. The Church disappeared from China in the early 10th century, coinciding with the collapse of the Tang Dynasty and the tumult of the next years (the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period).

Christianity in China experienced a significant revival during the Mongol-created Yuan Dynasty, established after the Mongols had conquered China in the 13th century. Marco Polo in the 13th century and other medieval Western writers described many Nestorian communities remaining in China and Mongolia; however, they clearly were not as vibrant as they had been during Tang times.

Mongolia and Central Asia

The Church of the East enjoyed a final period of expansion under the Mongols. Several Mongol tribes had already been converted by Nestorian missionaries in the 7th century, and Christianity was therefore a major influence in the Mongol Empire. Genghis Khan was a shamanist, but his sons took Christian wives from the powerful Kerait clan, as did their sons in turn. During the rule of Genghis's grandson, the Great Khan Mongke, Nestorian Christianity was the primary religious influence in the Empire, and this also carried over to Mongol-conquered China, during the Yuan Dynasty. It was at this point, in the late 13th century, that the Church of the East reached its greatest geographical extent. But Mongol power was already waning, as the Empire dissolved into civil war, and it reached a turning point in 1295, when Ghazan, the Mongol ruler of the Ilkhanate, made a formal conversion to Islam when he took the throne.

Jerusalem and Cyprus

Rabban Bar Sauma had initially conceived of his journey to the West as a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, so it is possible that there was a Nestorian presence in the city ca.1300. There was certainly a recognizable Nestorian presence at the Holy Sepulchre from the 1348 through 1575, as contemporary Franciscan accounts indicate. At Famagusta, Cyprus, a Nestorian community was established just before 1300, and a church was built for them ca.1339.

Schism and later history

Collapse of the exterior provinces

The 'exterior provinces' of the Church of the East, with the important exception of India, collapsed during the second half of the fourteenth century. Although little is known of the circumstances of the demise of the Nestorian dioceses in Central Asia (which may never have fully recovered from the destruction caused by the Mongols a century earlier), it was probably due to a combination of persecution, disease, and isolation.

The blame for the destruction of the Nestorian communities east of northern Iraq has often been thrown upon the Turco-Mongol leader Timur, whose campaigns during the 1390s spread havoc throughout Persia and Central Asia, but in many parts of Central Asia, Christianity had died out decades before Timur's campaigns. The surviving evidence from Central Asia, including a large number of dated graves, indicates that the crisis for the Church of the East occurred in the 1340s rather than the 1390s. Several contemporary observers, including the papal envoy Giovanni de' Marignolli, mention the murder of a Latin bishop in 1339 or 1340 by a Muslim mob in Almaliq, the chief city of Tangut, and the forcible conversion of the city's Christians to Islam.

At the end of the 19th century, tombstones in two East Syrian cemeteries were discovered and dated in Mongolia. They dated from 1342, and several commemorated deaths during a plague in 1338. In China, the last references to Nestorian and Latin Christians date from the 1350s. It is likely that all foreign Christians were expelled from China soon after the revolution of 1368, which replaced the Mongol Yuan dynasty with the xenophobic Ming dynasty.

By the 15th century, Nestorian Christianity was largely confined to the Eastern Aramaic speaking Assyrian communities of northern Mesopotamia, in and around the rough triangle formed by Mosul and Lakes Van and Urmia, the same general region where the Church of the East had first emerged between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. Small Nestorian communities were located further west, notably in Jerusalem and Cyprus, but the Malabar Christians of India represented the only significant survival of the once-thriving exterior provinces of the Church of the East.

Schism of 1552

Around the middle of the fifteenth century the patriarch Shemʿon IV Basidi made the patriarchal succession hereditary, normally from uncle to nephew. This practice, which resulted in a shortage of eligible heirs, eventually led to a schism in the Church of the East. The patriarch Shemʿon VII Ishoʿyahb (1539–58) caused great offense at the beginning of his reign by designating his twelve-year-old nephew Khnanishoʿ as his successor, presumably because no older relatives were available. Several years later, probably because Khnanishoʿ had died in the interim, he designated as successor his fifteen-year-old brother Eliya, the future patriarch Eliya VII (1558–91). These appointments, combined with other accusations of impropriety, caused discontent throughout the church, and by 1552 Shemʿon VII Ishoʿyahb had become so unpopular that a group of bishops, principally from the Amid, Sirt and Salmas districts in northern Mesopotamia, chose a new patriarch, electing a monk named Yohannan Sulaqa, the superior of Rabban Hormizd Monastery near the Assyrian town of Alqosh. However, no bishop of metropolitan rank was available to consecrate him, as canonically required. Franciscan missionaries were already at work among the Nestorians, and they persuaded Sulaqa's supporters to legitimize their position by seeking their candidate's consecration by Pope Julius III (1550–5).

Sulaqa went to Rome to put his case in person. At Rome he made a satisfactory Catholic profession of faith and presented a letter, drafted by his supporters in Mosul, which set out his claims to be recognized as patriarch. On April 9, having satisfied the Vatican that he was a good Catholic, Sulaqa was consecrated bishop and archbishop in the basilica of Saint Peter. On April 28 he was recognized as "patriarch of Athura and Mosul" by pope Julius III in the bull Divina disponente clementia and received the pallium from the pope's hands at a secret consistory in the Vatican. These events, which marked the birth of the Chaldean Catholic Church, created a permanent schism in the Church of the East.

Sulaqa was consecrated "patriarch of Athura and Mosul" in Rome in April 1553 and returned to northern Mesopotamia towards the end of the same year. In December 1553 he obtained documents from the Ottoman authorities recognizing him as an independent "Chaldean" patriarch, and in 1554, during a stay of five months in Amid, consecrated five metropolitan bishops (for the dioceses of Gazarta, Hesna d'Kifa, Amid, Mardin and Seert). Shemʿon VII Ishoʿyahb responded by consecrating two more underage members of the patriarchal family as metropolitans for Nisibis and Gazarta. He also won over the governor of ʿAmadiya, who invited Sulaqa to ʿAmadiya, imprisoned him for four months, and put him to death in January 1555.

Sees in Qochanis, Amid, and Alqosh

The connections with Rome loosened up under Shimun VIII Sulaqa's successors, who all used the patriarchal name Shimun. The last patriarch to be formally recognized by the Pope died in the 1600, and the heredity of the office was reintroduced, and thus by 1660 the Church of the East had become divided into two patriarchates, the Eliya line in Alqosh (which comprised those who had not entered in Communion with Rome) and the Shimun line. In 1672 the Patriarch of the Shimun line, Mar Shimun XIII Denha, moved his seat to the Assyrian village of Qochanis in the mountains of Hakkari. In 1692 he formally broke communion with Rome and he allegedly resumed relations with the line at Alqosh.

In the Western regions, a new start for the so called Chaldean Patriarchate began in 1672 when Mar Joseph I, then the metropolitan of Amid, entered in communion with Rome, separating from the Patriarchal see of Alqosh. In 1681 the Holy See granted him the title of "Patriarch of the Chaldeans deprived of its patriarch" as leader of the Assyrian people who stayed in communion with Rome, and thus forming the third patriarchate of the Church of the East.

Josephite line of Amid

All Joseph I's successors took the name of Joseph. The life of this patriarchate was difficult: the leadership was continually vexed by traditionalists, while the community struggled under the tax burden imposed by the Ottoman authorities. Nevertheless its influence expanded from the original towns of Amid and Mardin toward the area of Mosul, where they relocated the see.

Mar Elias (Eliya), the Nestorian bishop of the Urmia plain village of Geogtapa, c.1831 .The image comes from Justin Perkins, 'A Residence of Eight Years in Persia among the Nestorians, with Notes of the Mohammedans' (Andover, 1843)

Yohannan Hormizd, the last in the Eliya hereditary line in Alqosh, made a Catholic profession of faith in 1780. He entered full communion with the Roman see in 1804, but he was recognized as Patriarch by the Pope only in 1830. This merged the majority of the Patriarchate of Alqosh with the Josephite line of Amid, thus forming the modern Chaldean Catholic Church.

The Shimun line of patriarchs at Qochanis, which extended mainly in the Northern mountains, remained independent of the Chaldean Church, and the patriarchate of the present-day Assyrian Church of the East, now located in Chicago, Illinois, forms the continuation of this line.

20th century

The Assyrian Church of the East faced a further split in 1898, when a bishop and a number of followers from the Urmia area in Iran entered communion with the Russian Orthodox Church, and again in 1964 when some traditionalists responded to ecclesiastical reforms brought on by Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII (1908–1975) by forming the independent Ancient Church of the East.

Today the Assyrian Church has about 170,000 members, mostly living in Iran, Iraq, and Syria. The Patriarchate of the Assyrian Church of the East is in exile in Chicago, and that of the Ancient Church of the East is in Baghdad.

In the Common Christological Declaration between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East in 1994, the two churches recognized the legitimacy and rightness of each other's titles for Mary.

Chaldean Catholic Church

The Chaldean Catholic Church (Classical Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܟܠܕܝܬܐ ܩܬܘܠܝܩܝܬܐ; ʿītha kaldetha qāthuliqetha), is an Eastern Syriac particular church of the Catholic Church, under the Holy See of the Catholicos-Patriarch of Babylon, maintaining full communion with the Bishop of Rome and the rest of the Catholic Church. The Chaldean Catholic Church presently comprises an estimated 500,000 people who are ethnic Assyrians indigenous to northern Iraq, and areas bordering it in southeast Turkey, northeast Syria and northwest Iran.

The history of the Chaldean Church is the history of the Church of the East founded in Assyria (Persian ruled Athura) -represented today by at least eleven different churches, including the Assyrian Church of the East, of Assyria (then ruled by the successive Parthian and Sassanid Empires, where it was known by its derivative names of Athura and Assuristan)- between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. The Assyrian region of northern Mesopotamia was also the birthplace of the Syriac language and Syriac script, both of which remain important within all strands of Syriac Christianity.

It was originally a part of The Assyrian Church of the East before the 1553 consecration of Shimun VIII Yohannan Sulaqa who entered communion with the Roman Catholic Church, when it was renamed The Church of Athura (Assyria) and Mosul, subsequent to this, it was again renamed by Rome in 1683 as The Chaldean Catholic Church, despite none of its Assyrian adherents being connected ethnically or geographically to the long extinct Chaldeans.

After the extensive massacres of Assyrian and other Christians by Tamerlane in around 1400 AD had devastated many Assyrian bishoprics, the Church of the East, which had previously extended as far as China, Central Asia, Mongolia and India, was largely reduced to Assyria, its place of origin, and followed by the core of Eastern Aramaic speaking ethnic Assyrians who lived largely in the area of Northern Mesopotamia between Amid (Diyarbakır), Harran and Hakkari in the north to Mosul and Kirkuk in the south, and from Salmas and Urmia in the east to Al-Hassakeh in the west; an area approximately encompassing ancient Assyria.:55 The episcopal see was moved to Alqosh, in the Mosul region, and Patriarch Mar Shimun IV Basidi (1437–1493) made the office of patriarch hereditary within his own family.

19th century: expansion and disaster

The following years of the Chaldean Church were marked by externally originating violence: in 1838 the monastery of Rabban Hormizd and the town of Alqosh was attacked by the Kurds of Soran and hundreds of Christian Assyrians died and in the 1843 the Kurds started to collect as much money as they could from Assyrian villages, killing those who refused: more than ten thousand Assyrian Christians of all denominations were killed and the icons of the Rabban Hormizd monastery defaced.

In 1846 the Chaldean Church was recognized by the Ottoman Empire as a millet, a distinctive religious community within the Empire, thus obtaining its civic emancipation. The most famous patriarch of the Chaldean Church in the 19th century was Joseph VI Audo who is remembered also for his clashes with Pope Pius IX mainly about his attempts to extend the Chaldean jurisdiction over the Indian Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. This time was a period of expansion for the Chaldean Catholic Church.

In the early 20th century Russian Orthodox missionaries established two dioceses in North Assyria, and many Assyrian leaders believed that the Russian Empire would be more interested in protecting them than the British Empire and the French Empire. Hoping in the support of Russians, World War I and the subsequent Assyrian Genocide was seen as the right time to rebel against the Ottoman Empire, and an Assyrian War of Independence was launched, led by Agha Petros and Malik Khoshaba. On 4 November 1914 the Turkish Enver Pasha announced the Jihad, the holy war, against the Christians. Assyrian forces fought successfully against overwhelming odds in northern Iraq, southeast Turkey and northwest Iran for a time. However the Russian Revolution in 1917, and the collapse of Armenian resistance, left the Assyrians cut off from supplies of food and ammunition, vastly outnumbered, and surrounded. Assyrian territories were overrun by the Ottoman Empire and their Kurdish and Arab allies, and the people forced to flee: most who escaped the massacres and continuation of the Assyrian Genocide died from winter cold or hunger. The disaster struck mainly the regions of the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean dioceses in North Assyria (Amid, Siirt and Gazarta) were ruined (the Chaldeans metropolitans Addai Scher of Siirt and Philip Abraham of Gazarta were both killed in 1915).

A further massacre occurred in 1933 at the hands of the Iraqi Army, in the form of the Simele massacre, which resulted in thousands of deaths.

21st century: eparchies around the world

A recent development in the Chaldean Catholic Church has been the creation in 2006 of the Eparchy of Oceania, with the title of 'St Thomas the Apostle of Sydney of the Chaldeans'. This jurisdiction includes the Chaldean Catholic communities of Australia and New Zealand, and the first Bishop, named by Pope Benedict XVI on 21 October 2006, is Archbishop Djibrail (Jibrail) Kassab, until this date, Archbishop of Bassorah in Iraq. There has been a large immigration to the United States particularly to Southeast Michigan. Although the largest population resides in Southeast Michigan, there are populations in parts of California and Arizona as well. Canada in recent years has shown growing communities in both eastern provinces, such as Ontario, and in western Canada, such as Saskatchewan.

In 2008, Mar Bawai Soro of the Assyrian Church of the East and 1,000 Assyrian families were received into full communion with the Chaldean Catholic Church from the Assyrian Church of the East.


The Chaldean Catholic Church uses the East Syrian Rite.

A slight reform of the liturgy was effective since 6 January 2007, and it aimed to unify the many different uses of each parish, to remove centuries-old additions that merely imitated the Roman Rite, and for pastoral reasons. The main elements of variations are: the Anaphora said aloud by the priest, the return to the ancient architecture of the churches, the restoration of the ancient use where the bread and wine are readied before a service begins, and the removal from the Creed of the Filioque clause.

Ancient Church of the East

The Ancient Church of the East (Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܥܬܝܩܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ʿĒtā ʿAttīqtā d'Maḏnəḥā, Arabic: كنيسة المشرق القديمة‎), officially the Ancient Holy Apostolic Catholic Church of the East (ܗܝ ܥܕܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ ܕܐܫܬܬܐܣܬ ܒܫܢܬܐ) was established in 1964. It is one of the churches that claim continuity with the historical Patriarchate of Seleucia-Ctesiphon – the Church of the East, one of the oldest Christian churches in Mesopotamia.

The Ancient Church of the East was established as the result of a schism within the Assyrian Church of the East, distinguishing itself by opposition to introduction into the Assyrian Church of the East of the modern Gregorian Calendar in place of the traditional Julian calendar (which differs from the Gregorian by a widening number of days, currently thirteen). The Ancient Church of the East seated itself in Baghdad, headed by a separate Catholicos-Patriarch. The first, Mar Thoma Darmo (1968–1969), was succeeded as Catholicos-Patriarch by Mar Addai II Giwargis in 1970.

The position of Catholicos-Patriarch of the Ancient Church of the East remained vacant for the initial four years of the Church (1964-1967). In 1968, the followers of the newly established church elected a rival catholicos-patriarch Mar Thoma Darmo while Mar Shimun XXIII continued as the official head of the Assyrian Church of the East. The elected catholicos-patriarch Mar Thoma Darmo was a native of Mesopotamia, a former Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East in India from 1952 to 1968 based at Thrissur, India. He became the head of the Ancient Church of the East in October 1968 and relocated to Baghdad.

Following Patriarch Mar Thoma Darmo's death in 1969, Mar Addai II was elected to head the Ancient Church of the East in February 1970.

The head of the church is the Patriarch of the Church of the East, who also bears the title of Catholicos, presently Mar Addai II. The Ancient Church of the East has an ordained clergy divided into the three traditional orders of deacon, priest (or presbyter), and bishop. It also has an episcopal polity, meaning it is organized into dioceses, each headed by a bishop and made up of several individual parish communities overseen by priests. Dioceses are organized into provinces under the authority of a metropolitan bishop.


In September 1968 Mar Addai Giwargis was consecrated Metropolitan of Iraq, Mar Aprem Mooken was consecrated Metropolitan of India, and Mar Poulose Poulose was consecrated Bishop of India. These prelates in turn consecrated Mar Thoma Darmo Catholicos-Patriarch of the Ancient Church of the East during the first week of October 1968. Mar Thoma Darmo died in September 1969, and Mar Addai Giwargis became Acting Patriarch. Mar Addai Giwargis consecrated two Metropolitans in December 1969, Mar Narsai Toma for Kirkuk, and Mar Toma Eramia for Mosul and Northern Iraq. Mar Addai's jurisdiction now was Baghdad.

In February 1972, Mar Narsai Toma of Kirkuk and Mar Toma Giwargis of Nineveh consecrated Mar Addai Giwargis as Catholicos-Patriarch.

Mar Daniel Yakob, Bishop of Kirkuk for the Assyrian Church of the East was accepted in the Ancient Church of the East, in 1985, to head the North American parishes. In July 1992, Mar Yacoub Daniel was consecrated Bishop for Syria and in June 1993 Mar Emmanuel Elia as Bishop for the Patriarchate of Baghdad. In 1994, Mar Emmanuel Elia shifted his residence and became Bishop of North America (USA and Canada).

Several changes occurred in the church hierarchy during November–December 1995. Mar Aprem Mooken, Mar Pouluse Poulose and the Church in India united with the Assyrian Church of the East. Timothaus Mar Shallita was accepted into the Holy Synod and appointed Metropolitan of Europe, and Mar Yacoub Daniel was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.

In June 2010, the Ancient Church of the East Synod officially declared that the church will begin starting 2010 to celebrate Christmas on the 25 December of each year according to the Gregorian calendar. From its establishment, the church had continued to celebrate Christmas on January 7 of each year. This move will mean that both the Ancient Church of the East and the Assyrian Church of the East will follow the same calendar. The calendar issue was one of the main reasons the Church of the East had split. Easter will continue to be celebrated according to the Julian calendar.

The Ancient Church of the East acknowledges the traditional lineage of the Patriarchs of the Church of the East from Thoma Shlikha, (Saint Thomas) (c. 33-c. 77) until the schism 1964-1967 and considers itself a true continuation of this lineage.

During the reign of Mar Shimun XXIII, in 1964, a schism appeared in the Assyrian Church of the East causing the establishment of the Ancient Church of the East. The seat of the new church remained vacant for three years before Mar Thoma Darmo was assigned as Patriarch of the Ancient Church of the East, while Mar Shimun XXIII continued as the official head of the Assyrian Church of the East.

Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (Classical Syriac: ܥܕܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ ܬܪܝܨܬ ܫܘܒܚܐ) is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. It employs the oldest surviving liturgy in Christianity, the Liturgy of St. James the Apostle, and uses Syriac as its official and liturgical language. The church is led by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. The Syriac Orthodox Church traces its history to one of the first Christian communities in Antioch, described in the Acts of the Apostles (New Testament, Acts 11:26) and established by the Apostle St. Peter in AD 37.

The Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox family of churches, which has been a distinct church body since the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451 but its roots date back to the first founded church outside Jerusalem in Antioch in AD 37 when and where the followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians. The precise differences in theology that caused the split, "arose only because of differences in terminology and culture and in the various formulae adopted by different theological schools to express the same matter", according to a joint declaration by the last head of the Syriac Orthodox church, Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, and Roman Catholic Pope John Paul II in 1984. However, this view is not held by the Eastern Orthodox Church, one of the participants in the Council of Chalcedon. The Syriac Orthodox Church participates in ecumenical discussions, being a member of the World Council of Churches since 1960, where the last Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas served as a president, and a member of the Middle East Council of Churches since 1974.

The Church has twenty-six archdioceses and eleven patriarchal vicariates. In 1959, the Patriarchate was moved to Damascus, modern-day Syria.

Apostolic Succession

The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch claims the status as the most ancient Christian church in the world. According to Saint Luke, "The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch," (New Testament, Acts 11:26). St. Peter and St. Paul the Apostle are regarded as the cofounders of the Patriarchate of Antioch in AD 37, with the former serving as its first bishop and he is considered as the first Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church.

As Jewish Christianity originated at Jerusalem, so Gentile Christianity started at Antioch, then the leading center of the Hellenistic East, with Peter and Paul as its apostles. From Antioch it spread to the various cities and provinces of Syria, among the Hellenistic Syrians as well as among the Hellenistic Jews who, as a result of the great rebellions against the Romans in A.D. 70 and 130, were driven out from Jerusalem and Palestine into Syria.

When St. Peter left Antioch, Evodios and Ignatius presided over the Patriarchate. Because of the prominence of St. Ignatius in the church's history, almost all of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchs since 1293 were named Ignatius.

Patriarchate of Antioch

The spiritual care of the Church was vested in the Bishop of Antioch from the earliest years of Christianity. Given the antiquity of the bishopric of Antioch and the importance of the Church in the city of Antioch which was a commercially significant city in the eastern parts of the Roman Empire, the First Council of Nicaea (325) recognized the bishopric as a Patriarchate along with the bishoprics of Rome, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, bestowing authority for the Church of Antioch and All of the East on the Patriarch.

Even though the Synod of Nicaea was convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine, the authority of the ecumenical synod was also accepted by the Church in the Persian Empire which was politically isolated from the Churches in the Roman Empire. Until 498, this Church accepted the spiritual authority of the Patriarch of Antioch. The Church also maintained a smaller non-Chalcedonian church under a Catholicos (Katholikos), known by the title Maphryono, until the 1860s. This Catholicate was canonically transferred to India in 1964 and continues today as an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church with the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch as its head.

The Christological controversies that followed the Council of Chalcedon in 451 resulted in a long struggle for the Patriarchate between those who accepted and those who rejected the Council. In 518, Patriarch Mar Severius was exiled from the city of Antioch and took refuge in Alexandria. On account of many historical upheavals and consequent hardships which the church had to undergo, the Patriarchate was transferred to different monasteries in Mesopotamia for centuries. In the 13th century it was transferred in the Mor Hananyo Monastery (Deir al-Za`faran), in southeastern Turkey near Mardin, where it remained until 1933. Due to an adverse political situation, it was transferred to Homs, Syria and in 1959 was transferred again to Damascus.

The Patriarchate office is now in Bab Tuma, in Damascus, capital of Syria; but the Patriarch resides at the Mar Aphrem Monastery in Ma`arat Sayyidnaya located about twenty five kilometers north of Damascus.

Ecumenical Relations

The Church of Antioch played a prominent role in the first three Synods held at Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381), and Ephesus (431), shaping the formulation and early interpretation of Christian doctrines.

In terms of Christology, the Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) understanding is that Christ is "One Nature—the Logos Incarnate, of the full humanity and full divinity". Just as humans are of their mothers and fathers and not in their mothers and fathers, so too is the nature of Christ according to Oriental Orthodoxy. The Chalcedonian understanding is that Christ is "in two natures, full humanity and full divinity". This is the doctrinal difference which separated the Oriental Orthodox from the rest of Christendom.

By the 20th century the Chalcedonian schism was not seen with the same relevance, and from several meetings between the authorities of Roman Catholicism and the Oriental Orthodoxy, reconciling declarations emerged in the common statement of the Oriental Patriarch (Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas) and the Pope (John Paul II) in 1984.

The Syriac Orthodox Church is very active in ecumenical dialogues. It has been a member church of World Council of Churches since 1960 and the Patriarch, Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas is one of the presidents of World Council of Churches. The Syriac Orthodox Church is also actively involved in ecumenical dialogues with the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox churches. There are common Christological and pastoral agreements with the Catholic Church. It has also been involved in the Middle East Council of Churches since 1974.

Since 1998, the heads of the three Oriental Churches in the Eastern Mediterranean i.e. the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicate of Cilicia, Antelias, Lebanon) meet regularly each year.



Syriac Orthodox clergy and some devout laity follow a regimen of seven prayers a day, in accordance with Psalm 119. According to the Syriac Tradition, an ecclesiastical day starts at sunset:

Evening or Ramsho prayer (Vespers)
Night prayer or Sootoro prayer (Compline)
Midnight or Lilyo prayer (Matins)
Morning or Saphro prayer (Prime or Lauds, 6 a.m.)
Third Hour or tloth sho`in prayer (Terce, 9 a.m.)
Sixth Hour or sheth sho`in prayer (Sext, noon)
Ninth Hour or tsha` sho'in prayer (None, 3 p.m.)


The liturgical service, which is called Holy Qurbono in Syriac Aramaic and means 'Eucharist', is celebrated on Sundays and special occasions. The Holy Eucharist consists of Gospel Reading, Bible Readings, Prayers, and Songs. During the celebration of the Eucharist, priests and deacons put on elaborate vestments which are unique to the Syriac Orthodox Church. Whether in the Eastern Mediterranean, India, Europe, the Americas or Australia, the same vestments are worn by all clergy.

Apart from certain readings, all prayers are sung in the form of chants and melodies. Hundreds of melodies remain and these are preserved in the book known as Beth Gazo. It is the key reference to Syriac Orthodox church music.

Bible in Syriac tradition

Syriac Orthodox Churches use the Peshitta (Syriac: simple, common) as its Bible. The Old Testament books of this Bible were translated from Greek to Syriac between the late 1st century to the early 3rd century AD.

The Old Testament of the Peshitta was translated from the Hebrew, probably in the 2nd century. The New Testament of the Peshitta, which originally excluded certain disputed books, had become the standard by the early 5th century, replacing two early Syriac versions of the gospels.


The Different Ranks of Priesthood in SOC i.e. Patriarch, Catholicos, Metropolitan, Corepiscopos, Priest, Deacon, Laymen.


In the Syriac Orthodox tradition, different ranks among the deacons are specifically assigned with particular duties. The six ranks of diaconate are:

‘Ulmoyo (Faithful), Mawdyono (Confessor of Faith), Mzamrono (Singer), Quroyo (Reader), Afudyaqno (Sub-deacon), Mshamshono (Full Deacon)

Only a full deacon or Masamsono can take the censer during the Divine Liturgy to assist the priest. However, in Malankara Church, because of the lack of deacons, altar assistants who do not have any rank of deaconhood assist the priest. The deacons in Malankara Church are allowed to wear a phiro, or a cap.


The priest is the seventh rank and is the duly one appointed to administer the sacraments. Unlike in the Roman Catholic church, Syriac deacons can marry before ordained as a full priest; however he cannot marry after ordained as priest.There is another honorary rank among the priests that is Corepiscopos who has the privileges of "first among the priests" and are give a chain with cross and specific vestment decorations. Corepiscopos is the highest rank a married man can be elevated in the Syriac Orthodox Church. Any ranks above the Corepiscopos are unmarried.


Episcopos is a word that means "the one who oversees". In the Syriac Orthodox Church, an episcopos is a spiritual ruler of the church. In episcopos too there are different ranks. The highest and the supreme is the Patriarch, who is the "father of fathers". Next to him is the Maphriyono or Catholicos of India who is the head of a division of the Church. Then there are Metropolitans or Archbishops and under them there are Episcopos or Bishops.


The clergy of the Syriac Orthodox Church have unique vestments that are quite different from other Christian denominations. The vestments worn by the clergy vary with their order in the priesthood. The deacons, the priests, the bishops, and the patriarch each have different vestments.

Celebration at a Syriac Orthodox monastery in Mosul, Ottoman Syria, early 20th century

The priest's usual dress is a black robe, but in India, due to the harsh weather, priests usually wear a white robe. However, during prayers in the church, they wear a black robe over the white one. Bishops usually wear a black or a red robe with a red belt. They do not, however, wear a red robe in the presence of the Patriarch who wears a red robe. Bishops visiting a diocese outside their jurisdiction also wear black robes in deference to the bishop of the diocese, who alone wears red robes. Priests also wear phiro, or a cap, which he must wear for all the public prayers. Monks also wear eskimo, a hood. Priests also have ceremonial shoes which are called msone. Without wearing msone, a priest cannot distribute holy Eucharist to the faithful. Then there is a white robe called kutino symbolizing purity (Mormon priests, which are all worthy male members, wear white shirts every sunday symbolizing purity as well. It's the same with Shinto priests.). Hamniko or Stole is worn over this white robe. Then he wears girdle called zenoro and zende meaning sleeves. If the celebrant is a bishop, he wears a masnapto, or turban (Very different from turban worn by Sikh men). A cope called phayno is worn over these vestments. Batrashil, or Pallium, is worn over the Phayno by Bishops (Very similar to Hamnikho worn by priests). An important aspect is that Bishops and Cor-Episcopas have handheld crosses while ordinary priests have none.

Primacy of Saint Peter

The Fathers of the Syriac Orthodox Church tried to give a theological interpretation to the primacy of Saint Peter. They were fully convinced of the unique office of Peter in the primitive Christian community. Ephrem, Aphrahat and Maruthas who were supposed to be the best exponents of the early Syriac tradition unequivocally acknowledge the office of Peter.

Global Presence


It is estimated that the church has about 3,500,000 members globally including around 1,600,000 members in India. There is another orthodox faction in India "Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church", which has about 2,600,000 members, this church is independent and has its own Catholicos in India. There are 800,000 Syriac Orthodox members in Syria and 5,000 in Turkey, 1,750 in Palestine (500 in Jerusalem and 1,250 Bethlehem) (numbers in Iraq are unknown). In Lebanon they number up to 50,000. In the diaspora, there are approximately 80,000 members in the United States, 80,000 in Sweden, 100,000 in Germany, 15,000 in the Netherlands, 200,000 members in Brazil, Switzerland, and Austria and around 1,000,000 in Central America, including a large number of indigenous Mayan converts in Guatemala.

Official Name

Since the church has never been the officially-adopted religion of a modern-day country, a unique name had long been used to distinguish the church from the polity of Syria in most languages besides English. This includes Arabic (the official language of Syria), where the Church has always been known as the "Syriani" church; the term "Syriani" being the same word used to identify the Syriac language in Arabic. The meaning of this term is entirely unique from the term for "Syrian" in Arabic, which is translated as, literally, "Syrian". Being the lone exception up until the year 2000, English identified the church as the "Syrian Orthodox Church"; with "Syrian" being derived from the term "Syrian church" used by English-speaking historians to describe the community in ancient Syria prior to the ecumenical divisions. The confusion between "Syrian" and "Syriac" in English led to some nationalists favoring the term "Syrian Orthodox" and some Assyrians favoring the term "Assyrian Orthodox". However, the term "Syrian Orthodox" failed to distinguish the church as in other languages and the term "Assyrian Orthodox" led to confusion with the Assyrian Church of the East. Hence, in 2000, a Holy Synod ruled that the church should be named after its official liturgical language of Syriac (i.e. Syriac Orthodox Church), as it is in most other languages. The official name of the church in Syriac is pronounced ʿĒdtō Suryōytō Triṣaṯ Šuḇḥō; this name has not changed, nor has it changed in any language other than English. The church is often referred to as Jacobite (after Jacob Baradaeus), but it rejects this name.


The church today has two seminaries, and numerous colleges and other institutions. Among those there are several religious institutions which are noteworthy. Patriarch Aphrem I Barsoum (†1957) established St. Aphrem's Clerical School in 1934 in Zahlé, Lebanon. In 1946 it was moved to Mosul, Iraq, where it provided the Church with a good selection of graduates, the first among them being Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas and many other Church leaders. Also the church has an international Christian education centre which is a centre for religious education. In the year 1990 he established the Order of St. Jacob Baradaeus for nuns and renovated St. Aphrem's Clerical building in Atshanneh, Lebanon for the new order.

Jurisdiction of the Patriarchate

Middle East

The Syrian Orthodox Church in the Middle East has several Archdioceses and Patriarchate Vicariates in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, UAE and the Arab States of the Persian Gulf.

The Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, the Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church His Holiness Ignatius Aphrem II.
Patriarchal Office Director in Damascus Archbishop H.E. Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak.
Patriarchal Secretary in Damascus Archbishop H.E. Mor Timothius Matta AlKhori.
Archbishopric of Jazirah and Euphrates under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Eustathius Matta Roham.
Archbishopric of Aleppo under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim.
Archbishopric of Homs & Hama under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Selwanos Petros AL-nemeh.
Patriarchate Vicariate for the Archdiocese of Damascus under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Ivanius Paulose Al-Souky.

Archbishopric of Mount Lebanon under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Theophilos George Saliba.
Patriarchate Vicariate of Zahle under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Yostinos Boulos Safar.
Archbishopric of Beirut & Benevolent institutions in Lebanon under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Clemis Daniel Malak Kourieh.
The Patriarchal Institutions in Lebanon under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Chrysostoms Michael Shimon.

Archbishopric of Baghdad and Basrah under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Severius Jamil Hawa.
Archbishopric of Mosul, Kirkuk and Kurdistan under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Nicodimus Dawood Sharaf. Served previously by the retired Archbishop but currently Patriarch Advisor H.E. Mor Gregorius Saliba Shamoun.
Archbishopric of St Matthew's "Matta" Monastery under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Timothius Mousa A. Shamani.

Archbishopric of Istanbul and Ankara under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Filüksinos Yusuf Çetin.
Patriarchate Vicariate of Mardin under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Filüksinos Saliba Özmen.
Patriarchate Vicariate of Turabdin under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Timothius Samuel Aktaş.
Archbishopric of Adiyaman under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Gregorius Melki Ürek.

Holy Land
Patriarchate Vicariate of Israel, Palestine and Jordan under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Severios Malke Mourad.

Patriarchate Vicariate of UAE and Arab States of the Persian Gulf under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Bartholomaus Nathanael.

Bethel Suloko Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church, Perumbavoor, Kerala

The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, one of the various Saint Thomas Christian churches in India, is an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church, with the Patriarch of Antioch as its supreme head. The local head of the church in Malankara (India) is the Catholicos of India also called Catholicos of the East, currently Baselios Thomas I, ordained by the Patriarch in 2002 and accountable to the Patriarch of Antioch. The headquarters of the church in India is at Puthencruz near Ernakulam in the state of Kerala in South India. Another church, the Indian or Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, is an independent Orthodox church Knanaya Syrian Orthodox Church is an archdiocese under the Syriac Orthodox patriarchate. Unlike most other patriarchal churches abroad, the language of the Syriac Orthodox Divine Liturgy in India is mostly in Malayalam along with Syriac. This is because almost all Syrian Christians in India hail from the State of Kerala, where Malayalam is the mother tongue of the people.


The Syriac Orthodox Church has four Archdioceses and Patriarchate Vicariates in North America, one Archdiocese in Central America and the Caribbean Islands and two Patriarchate Vicariates in South America.

Patriarchate Vicariate of the Eastern USA under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim now the Patriarch His Holiness Ignatius Aphrem II.
Patriarchate Vicariate of the Western USA under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan (Kaplan is a very typical Levitic last name. Not by chance it's said that Nestorian churches have Israelite origin & where made to preach the Lost Ten Tribes.).
Malankara Archdiocese of North America under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho Pathickal.

Patriarchate Vicariate of Canada under the spiritual guidance and direction Archbishop H.E. Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi.

Archdiocese of Central America, the Caribbean Islands and Venezuela under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Yaqub Eduardo Aguirre Oestmann.

Patriarchate Vicariate of Argentina under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Chrysostomos John Ghassali.

Patriarchate Vicariate of Brazil under the spiritual guidance and direction of the Apostolic Nuncio H.E. Mor Theethose Bolous Toza.

The Syriac Orthodox Church in Europe has seven Archdioceses and Patriarchate Vicariates.


Patriarchate Vicariate of Belgium, France and Luxembourg under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Severius Hazail Soumi.

Patriarchate Vicariate of Germany under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis.
Ecumenical Movement in Germany under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Julius Hanna Aydın.

Patriarchate Vicariate of the Netherlands under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Polycarpus Augin (Eugene) Aydın.

Archbishopric of Sweden and Scandinavia under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Julius Abdulahad Gallo Shabo.
Patriarchate Vicariate of Sweden under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Dioskoros Benyamen Atas.

Patriarchate Vicariate of Switzerland and Austria under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Dionysius Isa Gürbüz.

United Kingdom
Patriarchate Vicariate of the United Kingdom under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Athanasius Toma Dawod.



Patriarchate Vicariate of Australia and New Zealand under the spiritual guidance and direction of Archbishop H.E. Mor Malatius Malki Malki.

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