Black Israel

Three years ago I read Deuteronomy 28 and was shocked at how much it parallels the experience of Blacks in the Americas. Before I ever read those verses, however, I knew something was missing. I kept asking the question: Why do they hate us so much?

Season 1 Episode 25


Before the stars escaped the night sky each morning, those fluorescent eyes crept into my bedroom, slithered through the entanglements of my mind and found themselves in my reoccurring nightmares—staring and waiting. It was always the same dream, nothing but trees would surround me as my body was propelled through a spectacular rainbow of green jungle, and an engulfment of wind would whip my body shamelessly until the blackness of my skin would cry out with even darker whelps of agony. All the while, those eyes kept flashing in the shadows of the trees—they were always coming for me. And just when my heart would reach its limit, my feet would fall from beneath me. The ground would slowly crumble, fading away, until a gaping black hole no more than a yard in diameter would open beneath my toes and having no desire to pull myself from its unrelenting gravity, I always let myself fall. There, I would find myself on my knees in a soft patch of grass, entwined with colorful wildflowers and fanciful butterflies—a patch of heaven that only existed where my body lay unresponsive. Around me, were crippled faces, skewed in mourning faces; those frail and emaciated bodies with quivering lips chanting, wailing and groaning—I could feel their pains shaking in the core of my bones and my whole body shuddered in their pain.When I would finally get the nerve to lift my eyes upward, there past me and them, buried in a mystery of color and shadow, those eyes would be watching.Then, out of nowhere, iron chains would fall from behind me thrusting themselves upon my own thick arms and legs until they were so tight I feared to even breathe. My grassy plateau disappeared from beneath my innocent knees as they scraped through the scathing dirt of the desert and the ground became red with fresh blood. My blood... Ree Hughes
00:03:02 Hey guys welcome back to the PSALMS to God podcast. So one of the things that I think firmly cements my faith in God and in Christ and in the Bible is fulfillment of Prophecy. When you match up historical evidence or historical fact with Biblical prophecy and what the Bible is telling you, it's kind of mind-blowing. I mean you look at it, and you're like “Oh, wow! Like this is real; this is what... God said this was going to happen and that's what happened. And look this is amazing. Like this is directly pouring out into my life. I see how this is applicable to today.” And it it just does something to you. And so for the second season I was going to go into history—more so the history of the church and some of the prophecies and how they have played out.
00:03:57 So, the series that I'm starting today would have gone in to season 2. It makes way more sense to put it there than in season 1, where the theme is supposed to be about the Fruit of the Spirit. But God has been putting it on my heart to go ahead and share this. So its out of place, but its going in here anyway, because the Lord said to speak it, so I'm speaking it. The reason that I know that God wanted me to share this now, as opposed to later, is because of something that happened last month.
00:04:33 So I have a ton, a ton of files in my Dropbox account, and some of them have some very cryptic names. It's more like I had this flash drive and I backed it up on Dropbox, so it just says “flash drive” or “external drive”[1] and then when you go into that there are more files and folders and directories of other things. And I was just kind of tired of looking at the chaos that is my Dropbox. So I wanted to clean it up and get organized and be a little bit productive. So I dug into this folder called “external drive,” which led me to a lot of things that I did in college. So it has a another folder that is all of the writing that I used to do. I used to write all the time; I was obsessed with writing—I'm still a little obsessed with writing, but I was way more avid of a writer back then.
00:05:30 And I found this story that I had been working on in college; it actually stems from a dream that I had in high school. And when I started reading this and realized that it was planting the seeds for what I've started to learn 3 years ago, I was kind of mystified. I was impressed with the writing, but I was also mystified. So the beginning of this episode I read for you to introduction to that story that I found. So that is the story that I was writing; let me know if you like it, maybe I'll continue it. But it comes from a dream that I had in high school, and at that time—between the dream and between the story—the biggest question that I was asking was: why does the world hate Black people so much?
00:06:25 For all of my non-black viewers or listeners, you probably think I'm being dramatic, but if you walked a day in the shoes of a black person you would probably empathize with that question. When I was four, is the first time somebody told me I was Black. A White student in my preschool came up and told me that she was White and that I was Black. I still don't know what that has to do with the price of tea in China, but you know what, that's what it is. That's how I found out I was black, and then shortly after that I was introduced the n-word, and it just kind of spiraled out of control from there. I will confess I have been kicked off of a public school bus and out of a public after school program because people called me the n-word and I retaliated with a form of violence. I am not condoning that—don't do that but that's what I did when I was a child because I didn't know anything else to do at the time.
00:07:31 So growing up in the middle of nowhere South Carolina, racism is a common thing. It's just something that is. People were shocked after Trump was elected and people started doing and saying racist things; I was not shocked, because I have heard and seen those things many times in my life. It didn’t seem that odd[2] to me; I was like “Yeah, I knew those people existed.”
00:07:57 So rolling into college brought about a new change—sorry guys, that's Bubbles—and that was the realization that it wasn't just small town South Carolina that had this problem. I had spent most of my childhood under the impression that all I have to do with leave. Once I got old enough to move out and be on my own, I would go somewhere where there was no racism. But the US is steeped in White supremacy, and the world in general has a problem with racism. Whether it's colorism or actual racism, the entire world has a problem with brown people, and the darker you are the more they have a problem with you.
00:08:52 And I just... At that age I think I was searching for an answer for why. It just... It didn't make sense; and this is where this story started to evolve from… From this dream and from this question. Of course after I graduated from college, I got kind of busy with life, and I totally forgot I was even writing this story. It got to the point that it was so far in the back of my mind, I didn't remember anything about it. I started getting more involved with reading the Bible and becoming closer to God, and like I said, this story passed... The dream, the story, everything just passed totally out of my consciousness.
00:09:36 But about three years ago, I was doing an in-depth study on the book of Deuteronomy, and I came to Deuteronomy 28. When you read through chapter 28 of Deuteronomy, it is mind-blowing. The significance of it, and the parallels that it has to things that have happened in modern times with Black people in the Americas is extremely fascinating, and even without having ever heard the Black Israelite Theory, I was able to look at that chapter, and be like “Yo, this is extremely personal. This is extremely relevant. How did I not know that these words were in this Bible?”
00:10:25 And so I started digging into it and trying to figure out what it was and piece it together, and of course thanks to it being the modern era that it is, Google quickly took me to a lot of websites, a lot of sermons, on the Black Israelite Theory. And so that is how I begin researching that particular theory. There are already post on my blog about it, nothing that is I guess concrete or anything like that. It's just random research. And so I kept going, and I ended up having some talks with some of my friends about it. We started researching it, reading it... And the deeper you get into it, the more you start to realize that there's definitely something to it—there's definitely something to be said about it. And so I wanted to talk about it here on the podcast.
00:11:27 And I think for this first piece of the series, I want to talk about the idea of the Israelites not being White. What I mean is... Don't even... You don't even have to go into picturing the Israelites as just being Black and dripping with melanin, and you know, I don't know, like being Wesley Snipes[3] dark. We don't have to go that far, yet, OK? Let's just… Let's just stick to what’s in the Bible and common sense.
00:11:59 Before we go into that, there are some disclaimers that I need to put out there, because language is hard. And when we say things a lot of times things get mixed up. People make associations that are not necessarily the correct associations. We make assumptions. We have different connotations of words, and things get all kind of muddled up. So the first thing I want to say is that I do not subscribe to the Black Hebrew Israelite religion group, etc. They preach a lot of hate and a lot of hate speech, and I do not agree with that. So I want put that out first and foremost. While I think that the theory has some credence, and I want to talk about the actual theory and the information that is present in the Bible, there is a lot of things that some people who subscribe to this theory believe and say and do that is not of God. I want to remind you that anything that is said should be tested with scripture. In the Bible it says that he that does not know love does not know God,[4] so if you are preaching hate there is a disconnect and it is not right. That is a problem. I'm not going down that path.
00:13:17 Another thing I want to clarify are terms and terminologies, because I think that we speak about race and nationality and ethnicity, and we kind of mix them all up together. And a lot of times people say words and use words interchangeably that actually have differences and their... The nuances of those words are slightly different. I think it's important that we actually talk about those up front, so that as we go down this journey that things are less confusing.
00:13:52 So from the Bible I want to talk about three different groups of people that are often referred to as though it encompasses the same groups of people, and that is: the Israelites, the Hebrews and the Jews. I know some of y’all like, “I thought they were the same people.” These are not exactly the same people. It's roughly the same, which is why people tend to interchange them, but it's not quite the same. OK, so the Hebrews are descendants of Eber— that's where the word comes from: Hebrew/Eber.[6] Eber was a son of Shem;[5] he was a descendant of Shem—Shem being a descendant of Noah and an ancestor of Abraham. Abraham was a Hebrew; all of the Patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob—they were all Hebrew, and therefore all Israelites are Hebrew; all Jews are Hebrew. They all come from the Hebrew people, but there are Hebrews that are not Israelites and that are not Jews.
00:15:03 The Israelites are descended from Jacob. Jacob was his given name; God changed his name to Israel, and that is where the name Israel comes from. So all of his descendants are Israelites.
00:15:18 From there, the Israelites became a great nation, and as they were at the height of their power— of their prosperity—after the rule of King Solomon, things got a little muddy. And as with most families, and with most nations, there was basically like a civil war type situation, and the nation split in half. The northern half retained the name of Israel, and the southern have started calling themselves Judah, after the tribe of Judah. The people in the southern part of the nation were referred to as the Judeans or the Judeans, and that is where we get the term Jew. So the Jews are actually from specific tribes within Israel, mainly the tribe of Judah, though some of them might be Levites, or they might be from The Tribe of Benjamin which was also in that southern region. And that is where we get the name Jew. Now, if you really want to get tripped up, then you should note that in modern-day the created country of Israel, that was created by the UN, those people refer to themselves as Israelis.
00:16:34 So yeah. Lots terms. Lots of different groups of people. That's how they're kind of related.
00:16:41 Also in modern terms, let's clarify the difference between being Black, being African-American, being African, ‘cause a lot of people just see Blackness and think that it's all the same. I've had conversations with people that just do not understand that just because you are Black does not mean that you're American. It's a very befuddling conversation, but there are black people scattered across the globe. Some of these black people have direct ties to Africa, like they were born in Nigeria, and their family moved from Nigeria to Europe or to America or to China, wherever. And so they probably—if you speak to them—refer to themselves as Nigerian. They may have roots to a specific tribe in Africa; they are directly tied to a country within Africa. So that would include people like President Obama, who is Kenyan. His family is from Kenya,[7] and they were not brought over to the U.S. on the transatlantic slave trade. They were not slaves. He is directly from Africa.
00:18:02 Then you have people like myself that have been in America for so long that we don't know where we came from off the continent of Africa and have absolutely no ties to the continent. I cannot tell you what tribe my ancestors are from, or where on the continent they came from—somewhere in Western Africa or Central Africa? I don't really know. All I know is that as far as I can trace back, my family has been in America. This is what people generally term to be African-American: descendants of the slaves that were brought over here from Africa and have been in America for some time.
00:18:46 But not all of the slaves that were taken from Africa came to the United States; some of them went into the Caribbean and into South America. So you also have the people of the Caribbean; so you have Haitians, Jamaicans people, from Trinidad, Guyana, wherever. You have people in Brazil, people in Mexico, people in Colombia, and Peru... All in and out of the Americas that are descended from the “Africans” that were taken from Africa, and brought over here through the transatlantic slave trade.
00:19:26 And then you start getting into terms like Afro-Latino, where you have people who are from the Latin American countries. They probably speak Spanish as their first language, but they still have descendancy (or ancestors) from the continent Africa. And they may look just like me.
00:19:45 So this is what we call the African diaspora and it's confusing because when you really start trying to define what it means to look like a Black person, how to identify a black person, and what it means, it starts getting a little messy. As a lighter skinned Black person, I often get asked what I am, even though I think I look obviously Black. And when I’ve meant people from the continent of Africa, some of them look like me too, because there is a wide range of skin tones, hair textures, shapes, sizes, and everything in between amongst black people. That's something that people typically don't think about or account for when they are envisioning the word black, or envisioning what a Black person looks like. And I want you to keep that at the forefront of your mind as we talk about this theory; because the truth is the people described in the Bible would have been the same.
00:20:55
Photocredit: Unsplash.com/Oladimeji Odunsi
If you read the Bible and if you look at history, you have to come to the conclusion that the Israelites were not white. I'm sorry. I know y'all been watching all the stuff that Western Europeans have been putting out there. They've been painting White Angels and White Jesus and White everything since the Dark Ages, but this is not what those people look like. It can't be. And this is how I know: on two occasions, at least—just two that I think of off the top of my head, there are probably more—there are Israelites that are confused for Egyptians. In Exodus 2:19, Moses is confused as an Egyptian, and in Acts 21:38, Paul is confused as an Egyptian. Now I know, they depict Egyptians as White too—I wonder why? We’re going to get there. But the Egyptians weren’t White either.
00:22:06 I'm not saying this to say that all of these people were just dripping with melanin, and they were you know, I don't know like that's not what I'm trying to say. Like I said in the beginning, I think there was a range of shades just like there are a range of shades within the Black race today. But I have met people from Egypt, from modern Egypt, and they're like the same color as me or darker. They are not White. First of all Egypt is close to the equator, all right. There is no way... White people would burn instantaneously in that climate; they could not survive.
00:22:46 Secondly, since the beginning of time, people have been coming and going through the Middle East and Egypt, and all of these areas. There have been wars, there have been changes of populations and everything in between. The Romans, who were White, invaded both Israel and Egypt. The Arabs, during the Ottoman Empire, also invaded Northern Africa. And so during all of these changes of power, there would have been intermingling of those races and of those cultures. So for the Romans, who were White, to have come into Egypt and intermingled with the Egyptians, and Egyptians still be the same color I am today, they had to have been much darker beforehand. That's just logic. I don't think... They were either the same color, because they never intermarried with the Romans, or they were darker, but either way they weren't White. I'm standing by that.
00:23:54 If you don't even want to believe that from that from a logic point of view, the Bible tells us that they weren't White. In Exodus 4:6, God tells Moses to stick his hand out and He turns his hand white? White. He turns his hand White. His hand cannot turn white if it’s already white. Can you imagine? Like if you're already pale, how you going to tell that your hand turned white? That would be a pointless thing. No one, I mean if I was far enough away I wouldn't even be able to tell the difference, but you would surely know if my hand turned white because it's not white to begin with, it’s brown. When you get to Numbers 12:10, the same thing happens to Moses’ sister, Miriam. She also turns white, and if you read throughout the Old Testament, every time they start talking about leprosy—people think it's the leprosy that we talked about today, but it's not. It's some sort of disease where their skin turns white. That's literally what the Bible says. Every time they say that somebody has leprosy, it’s accompanied with their skin turned white. That means their skin wasn't white to begin with. It was strange for them to have white skin. That is what the Bible says.
00:25:12 So these people were brown. So how do we have White Jewish people today?
00:25:21 We know that the Jews went into captivity, the Israelites I should say, were taking into captivity. So the first set of captivity, or the first round of captivity, happened to the northern kingdom. When the kingdom split, the northern kingdom never acted the way they were supposed to. They never followed God; their kings took them down sinful paths, and God punished by scattering them right out—and Deuteronomy 28 talks about this scattering. It talks about how if they didn't follow the Word of God, they would be scattered. So, the Assyrians attack Northern Israel, and these people are scattered who knows where, and they are often referred to as The Lost Tribes. No one knows what happened to them, where they went, who they became. However, somebody has to know. There has to be some way to identify these people, because in Revelation when we talk about the 144,000, they are mentioned there. It says 12,000 from this tribe and from that tribe and it lists those tribe that are lost. So it stands to reason that before the end, those people will be identified, as well.
00:26:41 Then you have those who were in Judea. And they also went into captivity: first into Babylon, then they fell under the tyranny of Rome. When Rome finally crushed them in 70 AD at the siege on Jerusalem, they too, were dispersed. And because the Romans are the ones who started carrying Christianity, people stopped caring about what actually happened to the Jews, or the Israelites, and they started focusing more on the Gentiles. And so this whole period is just never talked about. There was this siege on Jerusalem, all of a sudden, you know, they had squashed out Judaism. They were still persecuting Christians. Then all of a sudden Constantine decided to convert the empire to Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church takes over; a lot of history gets, you know, befuddled and lost, and we pop up into present-day, and now we have White Jewish people.
00:27:52 Where did they come from? Most people just assume that they intermarried with the Romans, they moved into Europe, and that's where you get the Ashkenazi Jews. Mind you Ashkenaz is a son of Japheth.[8] Japheth is from the other son of Noah. So you had Shem, who birthed Israel. You had Ham, who birthed Egypt, and then you have Japheth who had a child named Ashkenaz.[9] And this is the word, the Hebrew word, for Germany. Ashkenazi Jews being Jews who were found in Germany.[10][11]
00:28:33 So the theory would be that, like I said, after the siege of Jerusalem, that the Jews just kind of melded into Rome, and melded into Europe. But that doesn't actually follow the logical pattern of the Israelites. When there was a famine in Canaan, or drought, or any other problem, the Israelites always fled South into Egypt.... Abraham went to Egypt.[12] Isaac went to Egypt.[13] Joseph ended up sold into slavery in Egypt, but then when there was a drought, his family came into Egypt, as well.[14] That's why they were there to be in bondage in the first place. When we get to the time of Jesus, when Herod issues his decree to kill all of the children under 2 years old—all of the male children—in attempt to kill Jesus, Jesus and his family flee to Egypt.[15] They always fled South into Egypt. They didn't fly... They didn't flee North into Europe. So why would they suddenly go North now? Furthermore, that’s not what the Bible says.
00:29:46 So, like I said, we're going into Deuteronomy 28, and Deuteronomy 28 talks about where they went, who they are, because where they went tells us who they are. And I can't wait to get into this, but we're already at 30 minutes—guys there is so much to say! So I want you to stick a pin in it right there, and we're going to come back to this topic of who the Israelites are, where they went, and why the world hates Black people so much. Tune in… I would say that I'm going to wait till Monday for the text episode but I probably won't. Tune in whenever the next episode drops and make sure you like and subscribe. Send me messages or add me on Instagram: shiree.hughes and I hope you'll stay with me. I hope you pray through this, and yeah it's going to be a fun ride. See you next time.

Footnotes and References

  1. This is a terrible way of organizing files. Aside from memorization I can never figure out where stuff is or even what I have or don’t have.
  2. Odd meaning out of the ordinary. It’s still odd in terms of foreign concepts and behaviors that no one should be thinking, let alone exhibiting
  3. I have no idea why this is who popped into my head for comparison.
  4. 1 John 4:8
  5. Genesis 10:21
  6. "Hebrew". Encyclopædia Britannica. April 17 2019
  7. Jeff Wallenfeldt David Mendell. "Barack Obama". Encyclopædia Britannica. May 15, 2019
  8. Genesis 10:2-3
  9. Actually Ashkenaz is Japheth’s grandson.
  10. University of Huddersfield. "DNA research sheds light on ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews". Science Daily. October 8 2013
  11. "Askenazi". Collins Dictionary; visited June 2019
  12. Genesis 12:10
  13. Genesis 26 (Actually he didn’t physically go to Egypt; he just thought about it!)
  14. Genesis 42
  15. Matthew 2:13

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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